December 28, 2009 archive

Another Son Of Gideon v. Wainwright

In 1963, a unanimous United States Supreme Court overruled a decision it had made two decades before, and announced in Gideon v. Wainwright, a decision written by Justice Black, that due process of law required the appointment of counsel for people accused of felonies.  

Before Gideon was even decided, it should have been clear that a momentous decision was coming.  Gideon did have a lawyer, so the Court appointed Abe Fortas, who would later become a Supreme Court Justice, to represent him.  The ACLU filed an amicus curiae brief authored by legal heavyweights urging the Court to declare that the the Constitution’s due process clause contained a right to appointed counsel for indigents accused of felonies.  And 22 states filed amicus briefs agreeing with the ACLU.  Among the State Attorney Generals signing the brief were Walter Mondale and Thomas Eagleton.


Predictions 2010

This is my first time, so bear with me.

#1 Late in 2010, Barack Obama will realize that the Republicans are not trying to help rebuild the country from the Republican disaster of the last nine years.

#2 Just in time for the 2010 election, the voters will realize that the Democrats aren’t trying to help them rebuild from the Republican disaster of the last nine years.

#3 Realizing there is a HUGE power vacuum, the more progressive Senators and House Leaders will push for new, REAL reforms in all areas of government. The Obama Admin will shut them down. Hard.

#4 There will be shocking new revelations of law breaking on Wall St. and in the Insurance Industry. Nothing will happen.

#5 There will be shocking new revelations of torture and other war crimes. Nothing will happen.

#6 There will be shocking new revelations of corruption in Congress….nothing will happen.

#7 There will be shocking new revelations that our policies in Afghanistan are making things worse not better….nothing will happen.

#8 After all of this nothing happening (as opposed to, ya know, Change)….The 2010 elections will have a record low turnout and Repubs will “win.” Or. The 2010 elections will have a record high turnout and the Dems will win….but still not “have the votes.”

#9 As a result of this…..nothing will happen.

#10 Climate Change will continue to accelerate and we will all start to see the immensely serious consequences of decades of inaction. Nothing will happen.

Bonus Prediction: Something completely unexpected will happen. And no one will know what to do about it…but it will change everything.

Updated with Corrections Re: 9th Circuit legalizes torture

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Update #2: It has been brought to my attention that my initial analysis on the subject of this diary, originally titled “SCOTUS legalizes TORTURE and creates legal ‘unpersons'”, and then edited to state 9th Circuit . . .  is factually incorrect. I apologize for the confusion and will be writing a thorough dairy tomorrow based on the facts of the ruling by the 9th Circuit court.

    I have left the full text of the original diary intact below the fold and will be glad to be further corrected. I seek to learn as well as to share what knowledge I have.

    But I will ask this: When? When do we start to see accountability, for the super rich, for the Corporations and their CEO class, and for the crimes and other excesses of the politically powerful. When?

Thank you, and apologies to all.


Open Government


On Anti-Corporatism And Its Critique

This is a response to a number of recent statements in the blogosphere about “anti-corporatism,” the belief that what’s wrong with American politics is its domination by corporate power.  Here I argue that the divide between “Left” and “Right” is quite real — but on a wide variety of issues no traction will be gained unless we oppose neoliberalism, the political economy of choice for the corporate order.

(Crossposted at Orange)  

A Most Disastrous Decade Ending {to be continued}

Americans Are Hell-Bent on Tyranny

In the US, of course, there is no such attempt to hold to account Bush, Cheney, Condi Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the large number of war criminals that comprised the Bush Regime, notes Paul Craig Roberts….>>>>>

Docudharma Times Monday December 28

Monday’s Headlines:

At least 15 dead in Tehran street battles

Thailand starts deporting Hmong refugees back to Laos

Another Peril in War Zones: Sexual Abuse by Fellow G.I.’s

As college costs rise, loans become harder to get

Hamas’s rhetoric of resistance masks new stance a year after Gaza war

Britain to send £50m to Palestine

Chinese archaeologists ‘discover’ tomb of notorious pantomime villain Cao Cao

Shackles, convulsions and sheer terror: life on death row in China

French TV viewers hunger for Britain’s cookery show leftovers

Monaco to build into the sea to create more space

Chile confronts past with new museum

Iran opposition figures arrested after protests

A number of opposition figures have been arrested in Iran, a day after violent protests in the capital left at least eight people dead.

The BBC  Monday, 28 December 2009

Those detained include senior aides to opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

His nephew Seyed Ali Mousavi was among those killed in Sunday’s violence, the worst since June’s contested elections.

Family members say they are being prevented from holding his funeral because his body has been taken from the hospital where it was being kept.

His brother, Seyed Reza Mousavi, is quoted by the reformist website Parlemannews as saying: “Nobody accepts responsibility for taking away the body… We cannot have a funeral before we find the body.”

Other opposition sources say the body has been taken by government agents in order to prevent his funeral becoming a rallying point for more protests.

“He was in a trance”

In yet another example of unbelievable douchebaggery, our favorite Senator Joe Lieberman has decided, based on some guy trying to set his underwear on fire on a flight to Detroit, that we need to go to war with Yemen.

“Somebody in our government said to me in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, Iraq was yesterday’s war,” Lieberman explained. “Afghanistan is today’s war. If we don’t act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow’s war. That’s the danger we face.”

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), also appearing on the program, seemed to agree, calling an attack against Yemen “something we should consider.”

What these two double-douchebags fail to mention is that we’ve already attacked Yemen.

Do they really think we’re that stupid?   I guess if you’re appearing on Fox, you can assume your audience IS that stupid, but c’mon.    Just a few days ago we sent Tomahawk missiles into Yemen, slaughtering dozens of civilians.  We also signed off on Saudi air strikes that had the same result — a slaughtering of civilians.

So yeah, let’s just ignore that for the time being, and maybe we can somehow retroactively justify something we’ve actually already done, based on some extremely flimsy evidence about this guy who tried to set his nutsack on fire on an airplane.   Flimsy evidence?  How can that be?   Why would CNN be reporting on this 24/7 with it’s “Fear! Fear! Fear!” tactics if the evidence was flimy?   Yemen is the enemy damnit!    I heard it on TV!

Well, check this out from Chris Floyd:

Wow, that didn’t take long at all. Scant days after the American war machine took the cloaking device off its direct military involvement in Yemen, we have an alleged attempted terrorist attack by an alleged attempted terrorist who, just scant hours after his capture, has allegedly confessed to getting his alleged attempted terrorist material from … wait for it … Yemen!

Yemen-trained terrorists on the loose in American airplanes! At Christmas! Great googily moogily! It’s a good thing our boys are on the case over there right now, pounding the holy hell outta some of them Al Qaeder ragheads! And to think, a few pipsqueaky fifth columnists had been starting to wonder why we were killing dozens of innocent civilians on behalf of an authoritarian regime embroiled in a three-way civil war on the other side of the world.


And it must be true, right? I mean, just look at how well-sourced the NYT story is. “A law enforcement official” — Police captain? State trooper? G-Man? Traffic cop? — said that the alleged attempted terrorist said he’d got his “explosive chemicals” from Yemen. (Elsewhere in the paper, other unnamed officials told NYT reporters that the alleged material strapped to the alleged attempted terrorist was “incendiary,” not explosive. But who cares? “Bomb, Terror, Yemen!”)

Of course, the NYT noted that “authorities have not independently corroborated the Yemen connection claimed by the suspect” (nor, they could have added, have they independently corroborated that the claim was actually made), but still, the completely anonymous “law enforcement official” said that the suspect’s claim “was plausible,” and even added: “I see no reason to discount it.”

Well, it doesn’t get more solid than that, does it? They nailed that story down so tight you couldn’t pry it open with God’s own crowbar. An anonymous source confirmed the plausibility of his own claim.   Man, that’s ironclad. It’s certainly good enough to light up the media firmament with headlines linking “terror in the Heartland” with the empire’s newest killing field in a volatile foreign land.

So yeah, with that kind of evidence, let’s go bomb a new country!   Oh, wait, we already have.   Shhh!

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Gaza lives on.

On December 27, 2008 (one year ago today), the Israeli government launched a brutal assault on the Gaza strip, killing an estimated 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of children and 14 Israelis, in less than 1 month.  This clip was created by the Never Before Campaign in support of the Gaza Freedom March.

For more on the Israeli massacre of Gaza,  Al Jazeera has the best timeline of events. I also recommend Amnesty International’s report, B’TSelem’s report, Human Rights Watch report, and The Goldstone Report.

We have been warned

  The underlying assumption that the current world monetary system is built upon is that America will always over-consume and the world will always accept our debt at face value. It’s a warped and unhealthy relationship, but its worked (sort of) for several decades. That’s why it was notable when a Chinese central banker spoke up last week.

 “The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries,” Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. “Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible.”

Impossible? That’s absurd. For decades foreigners have been more than willing to exchange their excess dollars from trade surpluses for our debt in order to keep their currencies at artificially low levels.

  It turns out that the problem isn’t foreigner’s willingness to lend to us.

“The US current account deficit is falling as residents’ savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the US is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world,” he added. “The world does not have so much money to buy more US Treasuries.”

 The problem is that the American middle class is broke and unable to continue to over-consume.

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The Pope The Keurig The Sony Reader

All part of the Illuminati Plan to Destroy America.

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