July 15, 2009 archive

Lethal Warriors

Not a good report, but with the stress levels of multiple tours and possibly in two theaters, longer tours for much of the time our soldiers have been in both theaters, stress of conflict, family, experiences and much more, this does not surprise! Nor will it when it doesn’t get the coverage it should among our talking heads and politicians, let alone a country that has pretty much forgotten both occupations.

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports the U.S. and China try to reach accord on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Recognizing the growing environmental crisis, Beijing has launched its own set of domestic policies to reduce pollution while resisting international accords on emissions that they believe will interfere with determining their own destiny.”

    “Beijing has committed $462 billion to scaling up renewable energy by 2020. China has increased wind power by 100% each of the last three years… China considers its efforts to battle climate change superior to those of the U.S., which did not sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and awaits a vote by the U.S. Senate on the Waxman-Markey climate bill.”

    “The Chinese bristled at a stipulation in a recent U.S. climate bill that calls for tariffs on green exports from nations that fail to sign emission caps… China wants industrialized nations to reduce their emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.”

    The NY Times adds U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu warns China in a speech at Tsinghua University.

    If China’s emissions of global warming gases keep growing at the pace of the last 30 years, the country will emit more such gases in the next three decades than the United States has in its entire history, said Mr. Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics.

  2. The Washington Independent reports Insider trading bill looks to hold Congress to corporate standard. “Neither securities law nor ethics rules prevent congressional lawmakers and their staffs from benefiting financially from the non-public information they gather from their daily routines on the Hill. That loophole, studies reveal, has allowed lawmakers to reap significantly higher Wall Street returns than other investors.”

    The ‘Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act’ is a bill that has gotten nowhere in the past three years. On Monday, the legislation got its first public hearing on congressional insider-trading.

    “Members of Congress and their staffs should not be above the law when it comes to profiting from sensitive information,” Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), a sponsor of the bill, said in a statement Monday. “The American people expect their public servants to represent their interests, not fatten their stock portfolios.”

  3. The Guardian has what it is calling the First ever image of IED roadside explosion in Afghanistan. The photo by Manpreet Romana shows a U.S. Marine running for safety moments after an IED blast. The roadside bomb explosion was photographed in the Garmsir district of Helmand province.

    Meanwhile, the NY Times reports Afghan war’s buried bombs put risk in every step. The war in Afghanistan today is “where death is measured less by the accuracy of bullets than by the cleverness of bombs. And though the Afghan insurgency’s improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, are less powerful or complex than those used in Iraq, they are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each week, American military officers say.”

    This year, bomb attacks on coalition troops in Afghanistan have spiked to an all-time high, with 465 in May alone, more than double the number in the same month two years before. At least 46 American troops have been killed by I.E.D.’s this year, putting 2009 on track to set a record in the eight-year war.”

  4. As if something out of a horror movie, the Anchorage Daily News reports a Huge blob of Arctic goo floats past North Slope communities. “Something big and strange is floating through the Chukchi Sea between Wainwright and Barrow.”

    “It’s thick and dark and “gooey” and is drifting for miles in the cold Arctic waters”. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating and collected “globs” of the mysterious stuff floating miles offshore for testing. Nobody knows for sure what the gunk is, but Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer says the Coast Guard is sure what it is not.”

    “It’s certainly biological,” Hasenauer said. “It’s definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter.

    “It’s definitely, by the smell and the makeup of it, it’s some sort of naturally occurring organic or otherwise marine organism.”

Late Weird Update! Time To Tax The Ultra Wealthy Appropriately

One of the most pernicious frames the Republican Party and Grover Norquist have ever placed on our nation is this idea that the rich should not be taxed at much higher levels than the rest of the nation. This frame is so well placed it has become nearly and article of faith for the nation if we some how put a significant amount of tax on those who can most afford it this punishes the whole nation. The Dog thinks this is flatly insane.

Originally posted at Squarestate.net


So who says we are shouting down a whole or only talking to ourselves? Today the Dog got an e-mail from the Neil Cavuto show on Fox “Going out of” Business Network asking if he would like to be on the show to talk about raising taxes on the rich. After thinking it through the Dog has turned them down, why be a chump they can treat like a punching bag? If this were one of the Dog’s signature issues it would have been different, but since this was a one off essay, it is not worth outing the hound to look like a putz. Still we are getting attention on our humble blogs, so as Buhdy says “SHOUT LOUDER!”  

Building the ‘Ultimate Torture Diary’

As hard as it may be to believe, in yesterdays diary at Dkos people were still saying stuff like this…

Investigate what exactly? (5+ / 0-)

   To investigate something is to observe it and study it closely….and to gain knowledge.


What exactly do you propose they “investigate”?

Do you have incidents?  Dates?  Personnel involved?  

If you don’t, that means you want a fishing expedition.  If that’s what you mean, just say so.

I answered back with…

Senate Report Details Torture Policy Origins

Can Holder Ignore the Red Cross Report?


What We The People Already Know About Torture

But that last one hasn’t been updated for a long time now. As we move in to the next phase with Ministry of Truths campaign…and hopefully the run up to Holder appointing an SP. And a new investigation of how a frikkin Vice-President gets to create secret death squads (!!!)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new, comprehensively linked, one stop shopping torture diary to reference?

I would go ahead and do it myself except for two things…

One, I would miss something….and two, I have a chance (and the energy) to go to the beach today < grin > and needed to write an essay to autopost for my slot today!

There are a few torture timelines out there to be had, including emptywheel’s

But they lack a connecting narrative that is also compelling. It is a worthy goal, but is this a good group project? If so, how would we do it?

One idea, each person takes a chunk of the timeline, perhaps a chunk they are already familiar with and develops the narrative and then we can group edit?

All other ideas are welcome as always!

10 Against Torture

Please support Amnesty International’s powerful new campaign urging President Obama to hold accountable those who have made torture our national policy.

The time to yell louder is now.

Below the fold, 10 renowned poets, activists, authors, interrogators, and torture victims have written their own letters to the President, and ask that you send one of these letters to the White House in their names.


Glenn Beck OWNED on Radio Show, goes totally berserk


This is insane. Glen Beck is fucking psychotic. Sick, demented, paranoid and insane.

Straight jacket material.

The way he goes from spitting and howling to normal in .5 seconds, disturbing.

May I please ask WHY we allow this piece of shit to stay on air?


Really, WTF?

GOPers, Sotomayor and the Soft Bigotry of…Soft Bigotry

Yvette Melendez from Glastonbury, Conn., who is sitting in the nominee’s VIP section in the hearing room, said she winced inwardly when Sen. Tom Coburn said, “You’ll have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.” But Melendez says she didn’t feel offended. “I personally did not think it was appropriate,” she told me in an interview. “But I’m sure he said it as a joke.”

link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/…

And looking at the clip it feels that Yvette Melendez from Glastonbury, Connecticut is pretty much spot-on:

“We’re killing the wrong people”

The supreme act of corrupt power is to murder with impunity, and it is this act that may bring down Dick Cheney. Today Lawrence Wilkerson had this to say about Cheney’s secret death squads:

“What I suspect has happened is what began to happen while I was still in the government, and that was we’re killing the wrong people,” Wilkerson added. “And we’re killing the wrong people in the wrong countries. And the countries are finding out about it, or at least there was a suspicion that the countries might find out about it, and so it was shut down. That’s my strong suspicion.”

For monsters like Cheney and Bush, the thrill of the kill was not diminished by making mistakes. No, this simply added to the feeling of unbridled power. That’s what it means to kill with impunity. There were no checks on the heads of our national security state. They were no different from Louis XIV or Caligula. They held the power of life and death over hundreds of millions of people, and it was intoxicating.

If you can’t Find the “Terrorists” — you can always Buy them!

How Guantanamo’s prisoners were sold

The president of Pakistan’s [Pervez Musharraf] attempts to publicise his memoirs throw light on the flawed and dishonest processes that the US uses in bringing “terrorists” to justice

by Clive Stafford Smith – NewStatesman – 09 October 2006

The payments help us see why so many innocent prisoners ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Musharraf writes that “millions” were paid for 369 prisoners – the minimum rate was apparently $5,000, enough to tempt a poor Pakistani to shop an unwanted Arab to the Americans, gift-wrapped with a story that he was up to no good in Afghanistan.

(emphasis added)


I guess this is the True Meaning of Capitalism — if you can’t find the “bad guys” —  Buy Them!

A Fake Consultant Exclusive: Political Robots Fail In Operational Service

It has been quite some time, Gentle Reader, since we addressed the issue of political robot design, but recent events have forced us to return to the subject once again.

As you undoubtedly are aware, three high profile ‘bots from Robotican™ Labs have recently experienced major failures.

It was originally thought that the problems were isolated to the Robotican™.1 Congressional Series of Devices…but it is now known that the failures also extend to the.2 Gubernatorial Series as well.

In today’s story we will examine what is known about these failures, how they may impact other devices in Political Service, and what solutions might be available to address these issues.

Because Liz Cheney is a War Criminal, too

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Please help recommend this diary there so people can call for action!

        State Department Deputy Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs 2002-2003

    Elizabeth Cheney

    Who better to remain loyal to Dick Cheney as he committed war crimes. Guilty of complicity, Liz Cheney is a war criminal.

  Titled the “Evolution of Presidential War Powers,” Cheney’s thesis, according to writer Zac Frank, argued that “constitutionally and historically, presidents have virtually unchecked powers in war.”


Smirkarella     Dick’s daughter Liz might be interested in running for office. “It’s something I very well may do,” says Liz “Mini Me” Cheney.



Contact AG Eric Holder and The White House to demand a Special Prosecutor to Investigate all aspects of the Bush/Cheney Administration today.

    Contact Congress today and ask them to support H.Res 383 and a closed rule so that open public investigations of Bush/Cheney and their policies can begin in a special committee in the House of Representatives.

    Contact information provided below the fold.


I think Lasthorseman would like this:


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