May 21, 2010 archive

Friday: Fairwell to Habeas Corpus, Greenwald on Obama’s Win on Indefinite Detention

This is a must read review in Salon of today’s court ruling on “Boumediene vs Bush”  written by Glenn Greenwald, which gives the history of the creation of Bush’s prison gulag in 2006 with the Military Commissions Act, and background and then says:

  Congratulations to the United States and Obama for winning the power to abduct people anywhere in the world and then imprison them for as long as they want with no judicial review of any kind.  

If you’re secretly kidnapped by, say,  a military for profit contractor and shipped off to Gitmo, the Bush DOJ contended that the detainee under Boumediene has a right to a hearing (when they get “around to it,” years later, if you survived the torture) but when you’re secretly kidnapped by Only God Knows What or Who and shipped off to Bagram’s Secret little hell holes in Afghanistan, then the non existent detainee has no rights to any such kind of hearing.  


 In other words, the detainee’s Constitutional rights depends on where the Government decides to drop them off to be encaged.  One of the first acts undertaken by the Obama DOJ that actually shocked civil libertarians was when, last February, as The New York Times put it, Obama lawyers “told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team.”

But last April, John Bates, the Bush-43-appointed, right-wing judge overseeing the case, rejected the Bush/Obama position and held that Boumediene applies to detainees picked up outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram.  

But which Bagram are they being shipped to ?  The known Bagram Prison, or the one Gen McChrystal’s Secret Special Forces and the CIA and Blackwater Xe’s operations aren’t admitting the existence of ?  

Redistributing Wealth: How much would YOU get?

Suppose your household sits exactly in the middle of net worth in the United States, meaning that 50% of households are worth more and 50% less, exactly at the median of net worth. What is YOUR net worth?

According to the most recent (2007) Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve, YOUR net worth is…


Now suppose that all the wealth in the United States were distributed equally among all the households, so that everybody had exactly the average (mean) amount of wealth.

What would YOU get?


YOU would gain $436,000!


It might also surprise middle-class Americans to learn that the middle class is not in the middle.

Suppose you’re exactly in the the middle of the middle class, exactly in the middle of the middle quintile of wealth, which is wealthier than the bottom 40% but poorer than the top 40%.

Then YOUR net worth is only…


But if all the wealth in the United States were distributed exactly equally among all the families…

Then YOU would gain $468,200.

Wild Wild Left Radio #65 Bankfoils, Turmoil and More Bleeding Oil

Tonight at 6PM Eastern Time, WWL Radio!!!!!

Gottlieb and Diane G. will be live and in color (or is that off color?) on WWL radio tonight at 6pm Eastern Time to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective.

Hear the Unreported & Under Reported Headlines stories you should be paying attention to, from US Politics, to the farthest reaches of the Earth by the WWL coalition of subversion: undermining the PTB by speaking Truth to Power!!!!

The Senate gives us a Permaform, rather than reform bill, making economic apartheid permanent. The color/apartheid movement in America is strong, despite the Elite’s grab, and Mexican is the new Nigger of us all.

The PTB lie to us about the Oil Disaster; trying desperately to hide the Gulf under a floormat.

Meanwhile, the rest of the World is in upheaval: The Koreas, Iran and Thailand…. and our leaders are swimming ass deep in it all; trying to find the edge to keep the upper hand.

What a news cycle!

Please join us for the only “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective on the breaking news!

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Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Louisiana marshes hit by Gulf oil slick

by Clement Sabourin, AFP

Thu May 20, 6:47 pm ET

VENICE, Louisiana (AFP) – Crude oozed Thursday into US wetlands, prompting furious Louisiana officials to accuse BP of destroying fragile marshes beyond repair and leaving coastal fishing communities in ruin.

With some of the worst fears of environmental disaster being realized in the marshlands of the Mississippi Delta, BP was also forced to concede it had underestimated the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

The British energy giant had always maintained only 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of crude was gushing each day from a pipe ruptured when its Deepwater Horizon rig exploded one month ago and sank.

Open Rain


Top Ten BP Excuses: David Letterman

Virginia AG, others, and Political Slush Fund

In the Guise of a Navy, All, Veterans Nonprofit Support Group!

Just abit of recent backround:

Stand-ins Posed as Members of Navy Veterans Association

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Reef of Dreams

(Click on image for larger view)


New York City Tax Dollars At Work

Cross-posted at DailyKos and Firefly-Dreaming.

Today as Mayor Michael Bloomberg was crowing about the fourth-graders reading scores New York City had an historic event. Obviously there are few things as important as the education of our young but the completion of The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is a well deserved feather in Bloomberg’s cap.

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the fact that a stroll along the Hudson River will now take you from one tip of Manhattan to the other. I needed to be one of the first to enjoy the new Riverside Park walkway and went down to take some pictures.

The path that has been promised for decades is the final link of the Waterfront Greenway that stretches from Battery Park to Dyckman Street. Capital funds allocated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid for most of this nearly $16 million project that not only benefits New Yorkers at leisure. Now bicycle commuters can ride almost the entire length of the island without ever encountering an automobile.      

The River…”The Body of the Nation”

Mark Twain called the basin of the Mississippi River, “The Body of the Nation.” It gathers slowly in the upper midwest. It is fed from a remarkable number of rivers and a remarkable number of states. It winds its way though the center, through the very soul of our country. There are countless stories and mythologies and poems written in homage to this beautiful languid body of water. There are lives who live and breathe because the river flows. There are whole ecosystems depending on the great artery to bring them life.

Earth Observatory…NASA

BP = Beyond Prosecution? “It Can Do Whatever It Wants and Won’t Be Held Accountable”

Four weeks ago today, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank, breaking the pipe connecting to the wellhead a mile below on the floor of the Gulf in Mississippi Canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo Prospect.

Former EPA Criminal Division Special Agent Scott West led a 2006 investigation of British Petroleum following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra. His story hopefully will not prove to be somewhat prophetic for BP’s prospects following the Deepwater Horizon environmental catstrophe, but it is very much worth hearing and reflecting upon.

As Jason Leopold wrote yesterday May 19 in a very detailed historical and investigative article at

Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.

West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history – which went undetected for nearly a week.

West was confident that the thousands of hours he invested into the criminal probe would result in felony charges against the company and the senior executives who received advanced warnings from dozens of employees at the Prudhoe Bay facility that unless immediate steps were taken to repair the severely corroded pipeline, a disaster on par with that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was only a matter of time.

In fact, West, who spent more than two decades at the EPA’s criminal division, was also told the pipeline was going to rupture – about six months before it happened.

In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, West described how the Justice Department (DOJ) abruptly shut down his investigation into BP in August 2007 and gave the company a “slap on the wrist” for what he says were serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to jail.

He first aired his frustrations after he retired from the agency in 2008. But he said his story is ripe for retelling because the same questions about BP’s record are now being raised again after a catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured an oil well 5,000 feet below the surface that has been spewing upwards of 200,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf waters for a month.

Today Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of interviewed Scott West about his experiences investigating and attempting to bring criminal charges against BP:

One month after the BP oil spill, we speak to Scott West, a former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency who led an investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra.

Before West finished his investigation, the Bush Justice Department reached a settlement with BP, and the oil company agreed to pay $20 million. At the same time, BP managed to avoid prosecution for the Texas City refinery explosion that killed fifteen workers by paying a $50 million settlement.

Fmr. EPA Investigator Scott West:

US Has Told BP “It Can Do Whatever It Wants and Won’t Be Held Accountable”

Democracy Now – May 20, 2010

Democracy Now’s rush transcript follows…

How to throw Rosa Parks off the bus, by John Stossel and Rand Paul

STOSSEL: because private businesses ought to get to discriminate.


(I)t should be their right to be racist.

“I want my country back”

Back to when? 1963? or 1910? or 1810?

When Rosa Parks was thrown off of a bus for refusing to sit in the back in accordance with discriminatory Jim Crow laws it helped begin the Civil Rights movement.

It was racist then, and it would still be racist now.

Except, of course, if you are a libertarian or a Republican.

   In the last 24 hours, both Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul and Fox News Corp employee John Stossel have made the case that it is OKAY to throw Rosa Parks off the bus if it is owned by a private business.

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