July 11, 2009 archive

Holder May Probe Bush-era Torture Anyway?

Daniel Klaidman at Newsweek has a somewhat tantalizing article up just a little while ago today that may indicate a little hope for war crimes prosecution is not unreasonable…

Independent’s Day

By Daniel Klaidman | NEWSWEEK

Published Jul 11, 2009

Obama doesn’t want to look back, but Attorney General Eric Holder may probe Bush-era torture anyway.

Alone among cabinet officers, attorneys general are partisan appointees expected to rise above partisanship. All struggle to find a happy medium between loyalty and independence. Few succeed. At one extreme looms Alberto Gonzales, who allowed the Justice Department to be run like Tammany Hall. At the other is Janet Reno, whose righteousness and folksy eccentricities marginalized her within the Clinton administration. Lean too far one way and you corrupt the office, too far the other way and you render yourself impotent. Mindful of history, Holder is trying to get the balance right. “You have the responsibility of enforcing the nation’s laws, and you have to be seen as neutral, detached, and nonpartisan in that effort,” Holder says. “But the reality of being A.G. is that I’m also part of the president’s team. I want the president to succeed; I campaigned for him. I share his world view and values.”

These are not just the philosophical musings of a new attorney general. Holder, 58, may be on the verge of asserting his independence in a profound way. Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama’s domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform. Holder knows all this, and he has been wrestling with the question for months. “I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president’s agenda,” he says. “But that can’t be a part of my decision.”

Utopia 12: The Field Trip

We have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive, and I’m proposing that might not be the final answer. So I’m saying, why don’t we try a leaner alternative?


The disheartening slowness of any progress toward freedom from need is mainly fruit  of a greed out of proportion to any justifiable fear of insecurity.


[…]  land conservation will succeed only if and when man creates beautiful cities  wherein he will feel it a privilege to be, live, and work.  

Science rejects the non-rational as unreal.  In doing so, she puts herself in a position  of non-competence in all those fields or things that through existing, inasmuch as  they modify the real, do not avail themselves of any computation or any methodological  inquiry.  


Life is a study of the improbable, not the statistically average.


Nothing is purer than sterility and simpler than death.                        

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Bosnia buries, mourns Srebrenica massacre victims

By Daria Sito-Sucic, Reuters

2 hrs 15 mins ago

SREBRENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of grieving Bosnian Muslims attended a somber burial ceremony on Saturday for 534 newly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, one of the bloodiest events in the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic seized Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, and slaughtered more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in July 1995.

Every year thousands of Bosnians gather on the July 11 anniversary of the attack for burials, family reunions, and to remember their relatives and friends lying beneath the thousands of white tombstones in the special memorial cemetery.

Here Bushie, Bushie, Bushie

Riders On The Storm Open Thread

Riders On The Storm

Dark Soul – Chapter Six

Happy Saturday and welcome to the Dog’s serialization of the novel Dark Soul. This is a work in progress, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, don’t be shy about offering them up.

If you have just started reading this, you can find chapters one through three at the following links:

Dark Soul – Chapter One

Dark Soul – Chapter Two

Dark Soul – Chapter Three

Dark Soul – Chapter Four

Dark Soul – Chapter Five

This serialization is only available here at Docudharma!  

Score one for the bulls in Pamplona

Well, it doesn’t happen very often, but the bulls added to the Darwin Awards candidates in Pamplona:

Bulls 1 Humans 0

Another day at the Office, for Lobby America

also posted on the kos

A Day In The Life Of A Georgia Lobbyist

Her phone rings. It is another board member, and he is at the Capitol.  We are off to the third floor and a day that accelerates from 0 to 60 very quickly.  Among the sea of suits, we find her guest and connect him with Rep. Stephens, who will escort him onto the floor of the House for a visit.

Immediately thereafter, we meet up with the lobbyist for the Department of Economic Development, which houses the tourism budget and serves as the state’s marketing apparatus for the industry. They discuss the House budget cuts, pending legislation and chart strategy.  During that conversation she is approached by another lobbyist from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia who relays concerns over a hotel tax bill introduced a day earlier.  Joy assures her the bill is a temporary bill and that a substitute is coming.  […]

Not much later, the lobbyist for the Georgia Municipal Association approaches Joy expressing similar concerns.  Joy again explains a substitute is coming.

Shhhh! it’s a secret!

The Public Option is “going to kill people”

Crossposted at daily kos

    “That is exactly what’s going on in Canada and Great Britian today, they don’t have the appreciation of life as we do in our society, apparently”

    “this program of ‘government option’ is being touted as being the panacea, the savior of allowing people to have quality health care at an affordable price is gonna kill people”


   Take ten paces, turn and mock at will.

Happy Trails

I’ve always thought GBCW diaries were stupid. So this is not one.

But Buhdy has asked me to leave Docudharma and, as the proprietor here, I’ll comply with his wishes.

But before I do – I’d like to recall the good times that this blog has been to me. There were times in my life that those who participated here were a rock in what felt like an otherwise intolerable world. And besides that…I’ve learned alot that I’ll take with me. So I want to thank everyone that’s been a part of that.  

It’s called f%#@ing with people

This diary, honestly, sucks. Like, I am hung over and not even trying.

Do not Rec this essay. It is poorly written by a inebriated, dissident and a malcontent Dharma bum.

Now this diary here is well written, informative and should be rec’d liberally, as well as put on the front page.

Please Rec this diary linked below here like crazy.

Obama Admin Ends MTR Mining With A Name Change

If any one should like to stay after reading and recommending the much better diary linked above, I have left the Sagacious George Carlin hear to entertain you with his wholesome, family value based humor.


Docudharma Times Saturday July 11

Saturday’s Headlines:

White House Eyes Bailout Funds to Aid Small Firms

Old suspicions magnified mistrust into ethnic riots in Urumqi

Savita Bhabhi cartoon porn website blocked by Indian security law

Germany shocked by the other lives of civil servants

Thousands of victims still to be identified 14 years after Srebrenica

Seven Somalis beheaded by extremists for ‘spying for government’

Nigerian group claims oil attack

Senior Iranian cleric calls for revision of election laws

Unblocking Panama canal’s bottleneck

Report: Bush-era surveillance went beyond wiretaps

A government report raises new questions about how the Bush White House kept key Justice officials in the dark about the post-Sept. 11 program.

By Josh Meyer

July 11, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 surveillance efforts went beyond the widely publicized warrantless wiretapping program, a government report disclosed Friday, encompassing additional secretive activities that created “unprecedented” spying powers.

The report also raised new questions about how the Bush White House kept key Justice Department officials in the dark as it launched the surveillance program.

In a move that it described as “extraordinary and inappropriate,” the report said the White House relied on a single, lower-level attorney in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel for assessments about the programs’ legality.

The attorney, John Yoo, a young George W. Bush appointee with close ties to the president’s inner circle, wrote a series of memos legally blessing the program even though his superiors and most top officials were uninformed about it.

Death Toll Debated In China’s Rioting

Officially, 184 People Died on Sunday

By Ariana Eunjung Cha

Washington Post Foreign Service

Saturday, July 11, 2009

URUMQI, China — The Yu siblings could hardly bear to look at the police snapshots of the dead — the images so full of anger and cruelty. So they took turns sifting through them in search of their brother, who had been missing since ethnically charged riots shook this city in far western China on Sunday.

Yu Xinqing was the one who found him, victim No. 46.

Yu’s elder brother, Yu Xinping, had been finishing his shift when a protest by Muslim Uighurs turned violent and some went on a rampage, attacking Han Chinese in the city. His body was mangled from multiple knife wounds and was badly burned.


Leaders in House Seek to Tax Rich for Health Plan


Published: July 10, 2009

WASHINGTON – House Democrats will ask the wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee said Friday.

The proposal calls for a surtax on individuals earning at least $280,000 in adjusted gross income and couples earning more than $350,000, said the chairman, Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York.

It would generate about $550 billion over 10 years to pay about half the cost of the legislation, Mr. Rangel said. As the proposal envisions it, the rest of the cost would be covered by lower spending on Medicare, the government health plan for the elderly, and other health care savings.

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