January 20, 2011 archive

Bradley Manning Petition

Oliver North’s Pre-Trial Conditions for UCMJ Violations Dramatically Different than Bradley Manning’s

By: Jane Hamsher, Firedog Lake

Thursday January 20, 2011 9:35 am

David House is the only person aside from Bradley’s lawyer who visits him regularly. He recently wrote about Bradley’s conditions here at FDL, which include severe restrictions on his ability to exercise, communicate or even sleep. Manning has not been convicted of any crime, nor is there a date for any court hearing. The New York Times recently reported that these techniques are being used to induce Manning to flip on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

I don’t recall Oliver North being subjected to anything like that while he was awaiting trial.

Over 30,000 people have signed the petition. We’d like to get it up to 50,000 by the time David delivers them. I promise to be a faithful videographer and bring back video of David’s experience with the petitions, to the extent that it is allowed on the base.

The New Drinking Game: Anthony Weiner’s “Half Time Report”

We may have lost Alan Grayson to a teabagger but we still have Anthony Weiner calling the plays and the players at half time in the HCR bill repeal debates in the House. Sometimes the House provides some really great entertainment.

WEINER: There have basically been three formations of the argument by the Republicans. First, they start by making things up, you kind of have to wonder if any of them actually read the bill…”130,000 new agencies” – NOT TRUE. “New IRS agents” – NOT TRUE. “Death Panels” – NOT TRUE. “Members aren’t covered” – NOT TRUE. “No Tort Reform in it” – NOT TRUE. You know, I want to just advise people watching at home playing that now popular drinking game of “you take a shot whenever Republicans say something that is not true,” please assign a designated driver, this is going to be a long afternoon!

If this “game” continues over the next two years, the need for liver donors is going to increase exponentially.

WH Has Social Security Cuts on Their Table

Get a load of this.  It was released late yesterday evening in The Hill.

2 things happened Wednesday.  The new Republican majority House gleefully voted to overturn the last session’s PPACA health care reform bill completely, as expected.  And the Chinese President, Hu Jintao had a fancy state dinner at the White House with the President. It was said to be a “quintessentially American” state dinner, with lobster, rib eye beef with onion crisps, potatoes, and apple pie for dessert.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011.

The Hill

Senior White House officials have told Senate Democrats that raising the Social Security retirement age and changing the calculation for cost-of-living adjustments are “on the table” but no final decisions have been made, according to Senate sources.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Strategists for congressional Democrats fear this could create permanent Democratic minorities in the House and Senate.


These so – called political strategists really have their heads up their bums if they think their biggest problem is that it could create permanent Democratic minorities in the House and Senate.

I bet they want me and you to be civil about this.

Let’s get this straight.

This isn’t about which Party gets to be on top.  This isn’t about getting somebody elected, or re elected, and it’s sure not about being able to pass more pathetic legislation and declaring a victory at the photo – opp.

This isn’t about writing your best selling, tell all,  cover up biography afterwards, nor your cushy post administration job in the private sector or think tank.  

This is literally about life and death for the elderly and the most vulnerable in our population.

They really think they can extort their remaining constituency on this issue.

They really think they can raise the retirement age to 68 or 69 before somebody can collect on Social Security or Medicare.

They think this is merely a matter of strategizing for the 2012 national re election of the Democratic candidate for the White House, and to hell with the House and Senate.

This is war.

Hey, Madame ex Speaker, we saw what you did before in the House, when push came to shove, on that concept of everybody in the tax extraction in exchange for universal eligibility of coverage for a government program. You punted, and it was disgraceful.  Senate Majority Leader, too.

You know and I know what’s going down on that State of the Union speech this month.

There Will Be Platitudes.  “And I pledge to you, Social Security will remain safe and solvent on my watch.”  

Then afterwards he does whateverthehell he wants.  

Don’t make me use the Mother of 5 Voice.  

Froomkin has more:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Six In The Morning

Let The Show Trials Begin After All Who Needs Real Jurisprudence      

U.S. Prepares to Lift Ban on Guantánamo Cases

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to soon lift an order blocking the initiation of new cases against detainees, which he imposed on the day of President Obama’s inauguration. That would clear the way for tribunal officials, for the first time under the Obama administration, to initiate new charges against detainees.

Food Riots and Man-Made Famine 2011

  It now seems likely to be one of the most tragic and inevitable global trends for 2011: food riots.

 People are burning stores in India, Chili, China, Egypt, and Algeria.

 The recent overthrow of the Tunisian dictator was about a lot of things, including corruption and unemployment, but it was also about food prices too. Protest signs in Tunis included examples like, “WE WANT bread and water and no Ben Ali.” Some protesters waved loaves of bread to emphasize their point.

 Food price protests have spread even to oil-rich Oman.

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 Meanwhile, governments are taking desperate measures in the face of soaring prices.

 India has banned the export of onions after vegetable prices have risen 70% in the past year. China is implementing price controls and building up a strategic supply of foodstuffs. South Korea is lowering import tariffs on food. Many arab governments are resorting to tax cuts and hand-outs to defer popular protests.

 The scary thing is that everyone expects food prices to keep increasing.

 Beef and pork prices are at record highs, but, if forecasts prove accurate, consumers have only just begun to see higher prices for food and fuel.

  Steady increases in the costs of grain and energy since last fall are drawing comparisons to the summer of 2008, when corn and soybean prices set a record and gasoline topped $4 a gallon, said Purdue University farm economist Chris Hurt.

  Unlike in 2008, however, grain prices are up before the first seeds go into the ground, and fuel costs are rising well ahead of the spring-summer driving season.

 The key question is “why”? Why is food price inflation suddenly so high?

Late Night Karaoke

Old News from Qala-e-Ragh, Chora, Oruzghan, Afghanistan

Oruzgan (1)

“It was 4 hours in the night when I heard a noise and some five or more bombs exploded. The bombs fell right on our house.”

“I was under the rubble themselves.  People pulled me out.  I was unconscious. They took me to the hospital in Tarin Kowt.  Ten days I stayed there when I went to Kandahar for more specialized care.”

“There they told me that almost all my relatives were killed.”


Jan Mohammed Sultan lost his wife, six of his nine sons, two of his three daughters, a host of grandchildren, nieces and nephews and in-laws as his sister.

“The government says that the dead were Taliban.”

“It is not allowed to show the faces of women. But my sons showed the relatives to government representatives to prove that the Taliban were not. Also, they let the children see.  

“Why you threw bombs on them?” they asked.

Oruzgan (2)

All quotes above were translated by Google from http://uruzgan-slachtoffers.bl…


A Proposal for Netroots Nation ? I Need Your Thoughts

(Cross posted to Daily Kos, Firedoglake, and the Stars Hollow Gazette)

I’m thinking of putting together a proposal to have a discussion/roundtable/panel at Netroots Nation this coming June 16th – 19th, in Minneapolis.

We need to the energy back into the anti-torture/pro-accountability movement. This issue will not go away, as much as we want to close our eyes because it is so painful.

My purpose for the panel/discussion/roundtable is to find ways and start the planning for a concerted effort to get torture and accountability back on the nation’s agenda.

I need YOUR help.

Even if you are not going to be there, I need YOUR help.

Pull up a chair, and let’s talk.

Food stamps a growth industry for JP Morgan.

Okay, the next step in our free-market fundamentalist socio-economic ontogeny really is “soylent green is people!”  I mean mother fucker!  JP Morgan is one of the chief causes of putting people on food stamps, AND they are the number one provider of food stamps to Americans.  They profit directly in taxpayer dollars from the destitution they cause us.

Are you shitting me?  Is this the Twilight Zone?

JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States.  JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.  JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money.  In the video posted below, JP Morgan executive Christopher Paton admits that this is “a very important business to JP Morgan” and that it is doing very well.  Considering the fact that the number of Americans on food stamps has exploded from 26 million in 2007 to 43 million today, one can only imagine how much JP Morgan’s profits in this area have soared.  But doesn’t this give JP Morgan an incentive to keep the number of Americans enrolled in the food stamp program as high as possible?  

First, who in the world thought that an investment bank would be a provider of food stamps in the first fucking place?  When did that become privatized?  And why the fuck would you privatize food stamps in the first place?  Because everything becomes more efficient when you pay for exorbitant profits and executive bonuses?  How does paying for some cocksucker’s gazillion-dollar house in the Hamptons make feeding the destitute more efficient?  How does everything get fucking financialized?  How does paying rent on every god-damned government function create efficiency?  

When our “legislative engineers” begin engineering solutions to our problems, their first order of duty appears to be mandating conflicts of interest in every blueprint and block of programming code.  Every god-damned flow chart indicates that the person causing the problem for a fee is the person in charge of fixing it for a fee in an infinite loop of corruption.  Every input and output in the declaration file assigns citizens as suckers and Wall Street as benefactors of our largesse.  And if there is a programming bug, such that there is a government function from which Wall Street is not siphoning profits, they send their lobbyist lizards skulking into Congress to get those bugs out.

Food stamp usage went from 27 million to 43 million between 2007 and now, because Wall Street crashed the global economy.  We bailed them out and went on food stamps.  How do they manage to profit off of every god-damned discomfort and distress twice, thrice, really, who knows how many times their profits and bonuses treble for every ounce of woe they foist on us?

Just listen to this Wall Street lizard croaking out his reason for living:

“Volumes [of food stamps and profits] have gone through the roof in the past couple of years.”  Our indigence, misery, and privation are a boon to them, a fucking growth industry.  They’re burning our candle on both ends.  And in the middle.  Fuck.  Them.

How is it that Wall Street and Congress have the balls to do this?

I feel like cold-cocking someone.  How’s that for civility, cocksuckers?   Tunisia, here we come.