August 15, 2009 archive’s quarterly fundraiser going on now!

Just in case you didn’t know,’s quarterly fundraiser is going on right now.  If you think they do a good job, why don’t you kick in a bit?  They offer several ways to donate, including getting a percentage from an purchase.  Just think, that Finger Lickin’ new Janet Evanovich mystery you’ve been wanting to buy can go to help  This is how I made my donation this quarter.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

1 U.S. senator meets Suu Kyi, Myanmar junta leader


Sat Aug 15, 11:50 am ET

YANGON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Jim Webb met Myanmar top military leader Than Shwe and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday and announced the release of an American jailed for visiting the Nobel peace laureate.

Webb met Than Shwe at the country’s remote new capital of Naypyidaw on the second day of his visit and later talked with Suu Kyi for about 45 minutes at a guest house arranged by government officials in Yangon.

Webb’s office later released a statement saying American John Yettaw, who was sentenced to seven years hard labor by Myanmar’s military government, would be released.

Updated: Obama Starts U.S. Military Hostilities Against Venezuela


President Obama is now deploying American Troops to Colombia to start new unprovoked Military hostilities against (neighboring) Venezuela, using the same advanced Predator Drone Airstrike technology that has been murdering thousands of innocent civilians throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.

From The Obama Sends Soldiers And Drones To Venezeula’s Neighbor

American troops will soon find themselves stationed at military bases scattered across the South American nation of Colombia with a mission to use advanced Predator drone technology to “aid in fighting the drug trade” and to “combat terrorism”.

President Hugo Chavez warned, “the winds of war are beginning to blow.” Chavez has already accused Colombian troops of making an incursion over the border and regional tensions are running high.

Honduran de-facto President Rafael Correa also took exception, saying the United States would target Colombia’s neighbors. “It has also sparked concern from moderate Colombian allies, such as Chile and Brazil, who want assurances that U.S. forces won’t be operating outside Colombia’s territory,” The Wall Street Journal adds.

Why Obama Should Be in NOLA on Katrina Anniversary

The deathers are all worried about how old folks will be treated under Democratic health care legislation.

Perhaps they have forgotten how old folks were treated under Republican rule:


How many old folks died because our federal government saw no role to play in protecting and caring for its citizens?

See, the trouble with not looking back is that we don’t remember what we ought to remember.

Katrina is something to remember.  Always.  The federal flood, they call it on the NOLA blogs.  The federal flood because the Army Corps of Engineers cut corners and didn’t make the levees right.  The federal flood because heckuva job Brownie and Bush’s happy cronies didn’t give a shit about the folks suffering but only cared about going to the cash register to hear the “ca-ching” that meant their usual profit off of human suffering.  Blackwater profited.  Halliburton profited.  A whole lot of Republicans profited.

Live Blogging the Torture and Accountablity Panel Update Final Update

This is the panel the Dog has been waiting for! Torture and accountability. On the panel we have Vince Warren,. Rep. Jerry Nadler, Marcy Wheeler and Melisa Goodman. The Dog is going to try to live blog this for those playing our home game.  

Economic Recovery? Whose Economic Recovery?

Bloomberg August 14, 2009:

Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — Instead of a so-called New Normal of subdued growth, the U.S. may be heading for a robust recovery.


Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his Federal Open Market Committee colleagues two days ago said the economy is “leveling out.” The central bank has pumped about $1 trillion into the banking system in a campaign to end the crisis, triggered by mortgage defaults, that has caused more than $1.6 trillion in losses and writedowns among financial firms worldwide.

President Barack Obama last week said: “We are pointed in the right direction,” in remarks at the White House. “We’ve rescued our economy from catastrophe.” The administration anticipates a gathering impact from its $787 billion fiscal stimulus into next year.

Sen. Specter and Rep. Sestak At Netroots Nation

It seems there is too much to see and too many people to talk about (as well as too many Tequila and Coke’s to consume) to have time to post in a timely manner form Netroots Nation. So you are getting the news kind of a day behind. Sorry about that, the Dog is only one hound and he can only do what he can do.

Originally posted at

Direct Action and Velvet Revolution

Every sane person on progressive blogs is boiling over with feelings of frustration, resentment, and betrayal as the Bushbama administration continues to feed the American people into the ravenous maw of the plutocracy. It was not enough for them to guarantee permanent war to fatten the Military-Industrial Complex. It was not enough for them to use hundreds of billions of future public wealth to assure the rich compensation of Wall Street bandits. It was not enough for them to continue the erosion of privacy and civil rights by making the whim of the President the supreme law of a national security state. No, they now want to create a massive permanent subsidy of a dysfunctional private health insurance system that combines the worst features of greed-based “disease management” with the unaccountability of massive Government spending.

The only way to get this increasingly dysfunctional hijacked government off our backs is direct action against its plutocratic puppet-masters. The Whole Foods boycott and the Glen Beck sponsor boycotts are, I believe, early manifestations of successful direct action that bypasses the profoundly corrupt Bushbama regime. It will take time to bring down the first targets, but once the people appreciate the power and precision of the direct action weapon, it can snowball into the velvet revolution our nation so badly needs.

I urge you to actively participate in any direct citizen action that strikes against the American Plutocracy. This is our only peaceful chance of stopping the subjugation of the American people by ruthless and sociopathic malefactors of great wealth. If we miss this chance, we run the risk of the violent disintegration of American society. It is time to rip the masks off the cancer men who buy our politicians and poison our society. It is time to strike at their wealth, the only thing that they care about, and thus to strip them of the power to destroy our future. Direct Action against the American Plutocracy is the last best hope of American democracy.

Grassley promotes Glenn Beck’s new book at town hall. Does he agree that Obama is a racist, too?

Crossposted at Daily Kos

thanks for the FP bump, Buhdy

    From the invaluable

TOWN HALL ATTENDEE: I noticed that you have the book “Common Sense” with you today, I hope you share it with a lot more of those 535 people.

GRASSLEY: Well the reason I brought it is you’re supposed to pass it on to other people when you’re not reading it.

    I’ve had about enough of the whole Senate Finance Committee, but Senator Grassley takes the cake with this one.

    I wonder what else Beck sells that Grassley buys?

    Senator Grassley actually read this Piece Of Shit?

    After the town hall, reports that Senator Grassley gave them an autographed copy of Glenn Beck’s new book and said “It’s something you gotta read a couple of times.”

    I assume that it is one of those books where they ask you questions and you go to different chapters to follow different storylines, and each storyline has a different ending where the world ends thanks to us no good reverse racist fascist neo-Nazi progressive socialists Democrats.

    Did Senator Grassley actually pay for this garbage?

    So, if Senator Grassley is endorsing Glenn Beck’s new book, Common Sense (which, presumably one lacks if they are reading it.), I wonder if Senator Grassley endorses these other classic asshat Glenn Beck statements.

more below the fold

Senator Webb and U.S. Diplomacy

Just caught this over at Stars and Stripes and from AP:

Senator wins release of US prisoner in Myanmar

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb won the release Saturday of an American prisoner convicted in Myanmar and sentenced to seven years in prison for swimming secretly to the residence of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the senator’s office said.

Yettaw, 53, is to be officially deported Sunday, when he will fly with Webb on a military aircraft to Bangkok, according to a statement from Webb’s office.

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb won the release Saturday of an American prisoner convicted in Myanmar and sentenced to seven years in prison for swimming secretly to the residence of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the senator’s office said.

Yettaw, 53, is to be officially deported Sunday, when he will fly with Webb on a military aircraft to Bangkok, according to a statement from Webb’s office.

We Still Torture

I realize this is a bad time, with the Health Care debate and all –


As the Obama administration continues to fight the release of some 2,000 photos that graphically document U.S. military abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, an ongoing Spanish investigation is adding harrowing details to the ever-emerging portrait of the torture inside and outside Guantánamo. Among them: “blows to [the] testicles;” “detention underground in total darkness for three weeks with deprivation of food and sleep;” being “inoculated … through injection with ‘a disease for dog cysts;'” the smearing of feces on prisoners; and waterboarding. The torture, according to the Spanish investigation, all occurred “under the authority of American military personnel” and was sometimes conducted in the presence of medical professionals.

so allow me to put it in that context, since the teabaggers are generally the ones who condone torture – and who responded deplorably to Hurricane Katrina…

On Disarmament, Or, How Congressman Larsen Made A “Town Hall” Work

We’ve all been hearing the “Town Hall Meeting” stories the past few days, and the images presented have been of gatherings where you might see some current or former official “death panel” for the benefit of the crowd, where the few people who shout the loudest bully the rest into silence, and where threats of physical intimidation are part of the debate.  

I attended one of these meetings, and based on what I saw I’m here to tell you that it is possible to hold an event that features none of the images previously described.

Instead, what I say was an event where people asked their questions, the Congressman answered-and from time to time the angry members of the audience got their shout on, too…but not in a way that was able to ever take control of the venue.

There were helpful lessons that can be applied by others who want to have these meetings, and today’s conversation examines what can be done to make them work for you, too.

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