McConnell Inadvertently Confirms Bushies’ Torture Regimen

Mikemcconnell
Seriously, is everyone in the Bush Administration just the dumbest form of human ever created? This is what Bush’s National "Intelligence" Director (an ironic title if there ever was one!) said about the Bushies’ approach to torture:

This is from an AP story, Spy Chief McConnell Defends Tactics:.

The nation’s spy chief on Sunday would not identify what CIA interrogators are allowed to do in getting information from terror suspects, but tried to assure critics that torture is not condoned or used.

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, in a rare broadcast interview, defended a new order from President Bush that broadly outlines the limits of how suspects may be questioned in the CIA’s terror interrogation program.

The executive order bans torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, sexual abuse, acts intended to denigrate a religion or other degradation "beyond the bounds of human decency." It pledges that detainees will receive adequate food, water and medical care and be protected from extreme heat and cold.

It does not, however, say what techniques are permitted during harsh questioning of suspects _ a matter of debate in the U.S. and elsewhere.

McConnell would not elaborate.

"If I announce what the specific measures are, it would aid those
who want to resist those measures," McConnell said. "So I won’t be too
specific."

When asked if the permissible techniques would be troubling to the
American people if the enemy used them against a U.S. citizen,
McConnell said: "I would not want a U.S. citizen to go through the
process. But it is not torture, and there would be no permanent damage
to that citizen."

Which means, they use torture, just not the kind that causes permanent damage. maybe. Of course, they intend to keep the techniques secret, so who knows?

Here’s what’s stupid about this, folks.

First, torture doesn’t work. Want proof? Well, the Bushies have been using it for at least five years now, and we’re still bogged down in Iraq, we’ve lost most of Afghanistan, and terrorists are still plying their trade. In fact, not only have we not caught any al Qaeda using torture, but the numbers of al Qaeda are increasing, in part because of the use of torture.

Think a little. If someone is in extreme discomfort, or pain, or under severe emotional distress, he  will say anything to get it to stop.  Which means that he’ll tell you anything he thinks you want to hear. The torture on the show "24" is a fantasy, folks; it simply doesn’t happen that way, and especially not that fast.

I’ll put it this way; ask John McCain how well it works.

But check out the double-speak from this jackass. Think of the immorality inherent in the statement that, while they will torture the hell out of people who aren’t citizens, they would never, ever use the same techniques on American citizens.

I want you to think about that statement for a while, and then tell me why the terrorists want to kill us. And if you say it’s "for our freedoms," I’ll have to clock you.

Then, think about what they do to prisoners in federal prisons who are American citizens, and think about the fact that it’s far worse than that.

They’re torturing people, folks. The largest free country in the world is torturing people it doesn’t like. And they’re doing it in your name…

 

Capitol Police Have a Double Standard…

Capitol Hill Police and the Fraternal Order of Police have demonstrated a double standard when it comes to how they treat Congresspeople who show them disrespect.

See, Rep. Chris Shays — one of those chickenshit Republicans who has taken a stand against the Iraq occupation (it’s NOT a war!), but who won’t vote against Bush in any way, was involved in an altercation with a Capitol Police on Thursday. This is according to CNN.com – CNN Political Ticker Congressman clashes with police «.

Republican Rep. Christopher Shays apologized Friday for a loud and angry altercation he had a day earlier with a Capitol Police officer, saying he behaved “in a way I know was not appropriate.”

Shays spokesman John Cardarelli said the incident took place at the West Front entrance to the Capitol during a rainstorm when the congressman was trying to locate a group of his Connecticut constituents who were coming for a Capitol tour.

An intern had gotten lost with the group and had difficulty describing where they were to Shays, who asked to speak to the police officer. The officer refused, saying it was against policy to accept phone calls while on duty.

Shays eventually found the group and went to them, but the police officer refused to allow them to enter the building through the West Front entrance, which is off-limits to tourists. Shays, Cardarelli said, grabbed the officer’s lapel “to look at his name badge” and shouted at him.

“I know Chris swore, and he probably did use the f-bomb,” Cardarelli told
CNN.

Okay. So we have a physical altercation between a Congressman and a police officer. He apologized the next day, saying he regretted doing it. Does this remind you of anyone?

From: Report: McKinney Punches Cop:

According to sources on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Cynthia
McKinney (D-GA) punched a Capitol police officer on Wednesday afternoon
after he mistakenly pursued her for failing to pass through a metal
detector.

Members of Congress are not required to pass through metal detectors.

Sources
say that the officer was at a position in the Longworth House Office
Building, and neither recognized McKinney, nor saw her credentials as
she went around the metal detector.

The officer called out,
“Ma’am, Ma’am,” and walked after her in an attempt to stop her. When he
caught McKinney, he grabbed her by the arm.

Witnesses say McKinney pulled her arm away, and with her cell phone in hand, punched the officer in the chest.

Cynthia McKinney was then lambasted throughout the entire news media for weeks over this. She was called a whore and a tramp and all manner of other things by the scum over at Fox Noise, and all over the radio talk shows.

Now, some of the attention was caused by McKinney herself, as she suggested the officer was racist. The police, however, also made a big deal out of it, threatening to sue her.

Now, let’s go back to the first article, about white Republican Rep. Shays once again, shall we?

Earlier Lou Cannon, head of Washington’s chapter of the Fraternal
Order of Police, also said the incident had been blown out of
proportion.

“Everyone’s trying to make this sound like another Cynthia McKinney
situation, but it’s no where close to that,” Cannon said. “Words were
exchanged, but there was no striking, no hitting, no grabbing. There
was no touching.”

Oh, really?

In the Shays incident, HE grabbed the officer, after the officer didn’t let the might Congressman have his way. You know how Republicans are; they think they’re the shit, and everyone else works for them. But SHAYS made the first move, and grabbed the officer FIRST.

Compare that to the McKinney incident. The OFFICER grabbed HER first. Now, imagine you’re a woman, in Congress, and someone grabs your arm from behind. Your first instinct is probably not going to be much different than hers. She was entitled to be there, just as Shays felt he was entitled to be there. Get it?

So, here’s the question for the FOP. Where do you derive your double standard?

Is the dividing line Democrat or Republican?
Is it male or female?
Is it black or white?

It must be something. McKinney was in the wrong, and Shays was in the wrong. Why the disparate treatment?

And to the news media; where is this story? Why was McKinney all over the media, while Shays barely got a mention, until he apologized the next day?

Senate Prudes Take Action Against…. Bad words?

So,let’s get this straight.

These schmucks can’t pass a bill to stop the massive killing of our troops and innocent Iraqi citizens. They can’t pass a bill to address the 12 million immigrants who are here illegally. They can’t find the political will to fix a health care system that’s killing people daily. But goddammit, they sure as shit can pass a worthless bill, so that your kids wont hear words like "fuck" or "shit."

Link: FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!.

As expected, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has voted in favor of the Protecting Children From Indecent Programming Act, which allows the FCC to fine television and radio broadcasters for airing profanities, even if they are fleeting, unscripted words or images. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA), came in response to a recent federal appellate court decision that struck down the FCC’s attempt to issue indecency violations for broadcasts that inadvertently aired fleeting expletives. If the bill is passed by the full Senate and ultimately signed into law, it would put the blame on broadcasters for unscripted or unexpected indecency.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin commented on the Commerce Committee’s passing of the Rockefeller bill, saying in a statement that it "affirmed the commission’s ability to protect our children from indecent language and images on television and radio. Significantly, members of Congress stated once again what we on the commission and every parent already knows; even a single word or image can indeed be indecent."

You know what, you worthless idiots? A single word or image CAN be indecent. No doubt about it. But no one can stop a kid from hearing it, no matter what sorts of safeguards you put up. We have a president who flips people off in public, and a vice president who tells people to "fuck off" on the Senate floor, and then claims he "feels good about it." You think that, somehow, if they don’t hear it on television, they don’t ever hear it?

And while you focus on "cuss words," hate speech rules the goddamn airwaves on a daily basis. Keep watching this blog; you’ll see stuff that is REALLY dangerous for kids to hear. Seriously; which words are more damaging to children; the word "fuck" shouted as an expletive, or a scumbag like Michael Weiner-Savage telling your kids that all gays who have kids are child abusers? You think hearing certain words is bad, how about a failed transsexual experiment like Ann Coulter calling everyone she doesn’t like a "faggot," as a synonym for "weak"? How about Comedian Rush Limbaugh referring to Barack Obama and Halle Berry as "Halfrican American" because they happen to be the product of a loving couple who didn’t let their racism cloud their love for each other?

No one has ever been killed by any of the words the Senate Commerce Committee now wants to waste more tax money on, in  a lame attempt to ban them from the airwaves. No one has ever been maimed by words, no one’s ever been actually, physically hurt by words.

On the other hand, if you’re going to make the claim that certain words are "indecent" and somehow hurt our children, then the handful of expletives the idiots in the Senate and the FCC want to ban are the least of them.

I think it’s time we started making complaints to the FCC, every time we hear something that is actually indecent from our radios and televisions.

Every time you hear something that’s actually offensive coming over your airwaves, go to the FCC’s Electronic Comment filing system, and lodge a complaint. In all of these years, the FCC has never really fashioned a definition for "indecent"; perhaps we can guide them in the right direction…

 

You Call Glenn Beck’s Crap CNN Headline NEWS?

On his Thursday night
CNN Headline News crapfest, Glenn Beck (ironically, during a segment called
"Real Story") brought on some guy whose seeming purpose in life is to
Glennbeck1
shill for the nuclear power industry. (He’s not, which we’ll get to a bit later
on…) He started off with the basic Beck idiocy; actually, I think right wing
talk show hosts have this sort of crap patented somewhere, because they all use
it. They simply state something as if it’s fact, and since there is no one
available to rebut them, it simply lays there, like the steaming turd that it
is. IN introducing this guy, he let off a few stinkers;

 

Now,
let`s move into another hot topic: $9-a-gallon gasoline in Norway is
ridiculous. How about the $3 a gallon that we`re paying here in the U.S. now?
It`s no day at the beach. And the "Real Story" is, gas prices are
getting so high, most people aren`t even going to be able to afford to go to
the beach soon. According to a new poll, nearly half of all Americans would
rather reduce their driving, retail and entertainment spending if gas goes to
$3.50 a gallon — and trust me, it ain`t a matter of if, it`s a matter of when
— so what do you do?

 

One newspaper in Norway claims that taxes cause a gallon of gas to cost $9 per gallon, but there is no evidence that it’s a fact. According to almost every source EXCEPT that one article, including AA Roadwatch, the price is about $6.50 currently. 

 

About 15 seconds
later, Beck begins to get philosophical.

 

The
bottom line is that we`re all going to have to keep driving, because it`s a
reality. We`re all going to all have to heat our houses, and we`re all going to
go on living our lives. So we can`t afford literally, or figuratively, to
dismiss any energy option.

 

Okay, so shitting into
a large box and burning it in our living rooms to keep warm is still on the
table? Putting millions of orphaned dogs and cats onto treadmills to generate
electricity is still being considered? Can we burn corpses for fuel? We really can’t dismiss ANY energy option?

 

We ALL can’t keep
driving, to the extent we do now. I mean, for Chrissakes, folks, look at
traffic now, and compare it to traffic 20 years ago. The reality is, we must
change our lifestyles in significant ways, and part of that is to demand more
public transportation, such as electric rail lines, monorails, or whatever we
can manage, and we have to stop moving farther and farther out of town. And we
have to work toward electric cars.

 

You see, one of the
reasons Europeans, like the Norwegians, pay so much more for gasoline is
because they tax it and use that money to build transportation infrastructure.
Compare that to the United States, where our genius lawmakers reduced the gas
tax by almost a nickel a few years back, because that nickel was such an
incredible burden on taxpayers (how’s that working out for you?), and who keep
trying to cut funding for public transportation. Norwegians have a smaller
country, so they don’t have to drive very far in the first place, but they also
have far higher mileage standards than we have, and they have an excellent
public transportation system.

 

We need some sort of
truth detector when it comes to news. The news channels seem to strive for
balance between right and left, but there seems to be little attempt to correct
the record, for the record.

 

It used to be that all
news outfits had several layers between the reporter and the audience, be it
print or electronic media. Woodward and Bernstein weren’t allowed to print
anything about Richard Nixon, unless there was corroborating evidence that it was
true. Fact checkers used to comb over every work, to make sure the story was
accurate. Yes there were papers that engaged in "yellow journalism,"
which were less concerned about the facts, but everyone knew which those were.
Nowadays, the line is blurring between The National Enquirer and CBS News. And
with more and more radio blithering heads moving their bullshit to the
ever-more-aptly-named "boob tube," well, why can they continue to
call the channel CNN Headline "News"? Seriously, what does an idiot
like Glenn Beck offer in the way of news?

 

This is the kind of
garbage that was thrown out there:

 

Dennis
Avery is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of
"Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years." Dennis, is there a
shortage of three-eyed babies in Russia? Why are they thinking about 26 nuclear
reactors when they`re really not good at it?

 

DENNIS
AVERY, HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, the death toll from Chernobyl is only about 50
people, and they think it`s been overstated. And the rest of the world thinks
they can build nuclear reactors with safety shields. And the French have done
it. They`re getting two-thirds of their electricity from nuclear plants. And
we`ve been backed into a nuclear corner by the environmental movement.

 

BECK:
Well, I tell you, you know, it is amazing. I mean, Dennis, let`s not kid around
here. Chernobyl was a bad thing. But…

 

AVERY:
Yes, it was.

 

BECK:
… you see on the news about Tokyo, it`s my understanding that the nuclear
spill that has happened is one one-billionth of the legal level. Is that even
possibly true? Because I sure don`t hear that on TV.

 

AVERY:
How many people die in coal mining accidents every year?

 

BECK:
I don`t know. A lot.

 

AVERY:
A lot. The total safety profile of nuclear is very safe.

 

Pasted from <http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/19/gb.01.html>

 

First of all, don’t
you love how these guys just throw the names of their organizations out there,
as if every "Institute" or "Foundation" was automatically
legitimate. The "Hudson Institute" isn’t exactly a purely scholarly,
non-partisan group. Its focus these days is on foreign policy and national
security issues, and their web site features a smattering of moderate pieces,
mixed among a huge number of poorly researched opinion pieces written by former
Reagan and Bush 41 appointees. I mean, the Trustees include Al "I’m in
charge!" Haig, Pete DuPont and Dan Quayle, although in Quayle’s case, the
designation (honorary) appears next to his name, so to their credit, they do
understand he’s not exactly a scholar. But if you read the articles on the Hudson Institute’s web site, you find a
hodgepodge of articles that do not reveal a tremendous amount of actual
research.

 

But let’s do some fact
checking, shall we?

 

First of all, let’s
start with Avery himself. Dennis Avery is NOT a nuclear expert. His specialty
is food production. He has written
about nuclear power before,
in which he attempted to discount the ill
effects, should the United States nuclear industry proliferate and there were
suddenly hundreds of plants all over the country, and even seems to suggest
that increased radiation levels decreases the incidents of cander. The article
was written in 2004, and to his credit, he did at least acknowledge that the
globe was warming, although he included the obligatory right wing
anti-conservative non-argument that we’re not sure if humans are the cause. He
also demonstrated that he is either extremely lazy, intellectually speaking, or
just knows he’s full of shit, because he mentions study after study in the
article, but gives no details about the study. Sorry, Dennis, but I don’t buy
anyone’s interpretation of a study until I can read the whole thing in context.
I’m funny that way.

 

So, after reading
Dennis’s previous writing on nuclear power, I’m not surprised by the enormous
number of half-truths and outright bullshit he hands the audience, and village
idiot Glenn Beck just lets lay there like so many radioactive turds.

 

The direct, immediate
death toll from Chernobyl around the reactor itself was 56. But what Avery
leaves out of his instant analysis is the estimated 9000 cases of thyroid
cancer among children, and many others who may still contract cancer throughout
the area most heavily affected. Sixty percent of the fallout, for example, fell
on Belarus. In fact, radiation from the explosion was carried through most of
the world, including North America. He also fails to note that more than
336,000 people were evacuated.

 

Avery also failed to
note, that the reactor that blew up was being shut down for testing, and was
not even close to full capacity. The problem was, the nuclear technicians
brought in to test, made a mistake, and shut down the reactor too fast. In
other words, human error. He also failed to note that, under the circumstances,
what ended up coming from that particular reactor was a cloud of radioactive
dust, not water vapor, which meant the radioactivity was more highly
concentrated over a smaller area. Still, the highest concentration covered more
than 155,000 sq. km, and affected 7 million people. In Belarus, the worst-hit
country in the region, more than 6,000 sq km of farm land is unusable, and more
than 100,000 people had to be resettled. Throughout the region, they are still
finding cancer clusters, and the affected seem to be mostly children. In the nuclear industry article cited above,
Avery dismisses cancer as "overwhelmingly a disease of old age." So,
how does he explain so many children with thyroid cancer?

 

He is right, that the
nuclear industry’s safety profile is very good, by traditional standards, but
the fact of the matter is, the potential for major damage is unlike anything
we’ve seen before, and the question we have to ask ourselves is, if there are
many other ways to generate the energy we need, why put any of our eggs in the
nuclear basket? If one small nuclear reactor explosion in the boonies in the
middle of the night can displace hundreds of thousands of people and make so
much farmland unusable, the only question that matters to us should be, are we
willing to take the risk for a few measly megawatts of electricity?

 

See, if the only
choices available were oil and nuclear, we’d have to choose oil, because an
oil-fired power plant isn’t likely to create a plume of radioactivity that
could affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Yes, the French
get three-quarters of their energy from nuclear power right now, but the fact
that one country does something doesn’t mean there isn’t a better alternative.
They also spent more than a half TRILLION dollars building that infrastructure,
for a country that is about the size of Colorado and Wyoming, and with a
population roughly one-fifth the size of ours.

 

BECK:
It seems to me that the environmental movement has been very, very good at
marrying the word "nuclear energy" right to "nuclear bomb."
The word "nuclear" scares people. And there is — you know, you
should think of the energy of the sun, not the energy of the atom bomb. There`s
a difference. I don`t want to live on the sun, but as long as we use the sun
appropriately, it`s a good thing, right?

 

AVERY:
They`re suing to stop two geothermal plants in Northern California, which have
no emissions of any kind, just two nine-acre sites in the middle of the
boondocks. And the environmentalists say, "Well, that was really pretty,
and we don`t want to mess it up." It`s 18 acres with no emissions, two
power plants.

 

BECK:
Yes. The problem is — and this is what I tried to say to, you know, RFK Jr., I
mean, we`ve got to come together. There are no perfect solutions, but it
doesn`t seem like they want any solutions. You know, one of the founders of
Greenpeace who was on who said, you know, the answer is clean nuclear energy.
You`ve got to have energy. This is clean. And when Greenpeace said, "No,
no, no," he realized this is all about politics. It`s not really actually
about keeping things clean and green. Isn`t it true that nuclear energy has
zero CO2 emissions?

 

AVERY:
Zero C02. And then we contrast it with corn ethanol, which produces 50 gallons
worth of gasoline per acre per year, against an annual demand of 135 billion
gallons. How much of America`s forest are we going to destroy to grow low-grade
auto fuel at 50 gallons per acre per year?

 

BECK:
I`ve got to tell you, the ethanol thing, I`m sorry, heartland, I know you love
it. It`s good for the farmers. It is bad, bad news for the environment and bad
news for the country and bad news for our energy needs in the future.

 

Pasted from <http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0707/19/gb.01.html>

 

Okay, let’s start with
the "environmental movement." By implication, Beck means
"liberals." But here’s the funny thing; the far right has done far
more "marrying" of "nuclear energy" with "nuclear
bomb" than any liberal. Iran’s trying to build a nuclear plant to generate
power, but the Bushies (perhaps rightfully) refer to it as a "nuclear
program," and imply that Iran wants to build a bomb. Ditto North Korea.

 

As for ethanol, I’m
not aware of anyone who is proposing ethanol as a permanent solution to our
energy needs. Ethanol should be an interim solution, to break our dependence on
oil, but our ultimate goal simply has to be natural energy production, such as
solar, wind, tide and geothermal power. And we have to make everything far more
efficient, so that the same amount of energy stretches twice as far.

 

They did get one thing
right; there are no CO2 emissions from nuclear plants. But do you know what
they forgot to mention?

 

The waste.

 

You see, you don’t
have smoke coming from a nuclear plant, but there is an awful lot of
radioactive waste to dispose of somehow. And right now, we have tons and tons
of waste just waiting for someplace to dispose of it, and more nuclear plants
would mean more of that.

 

Another aspect of
nuclear power Avery just kind of blew off include the immense cost. He throws
around the French model as an example, but fails to mention that France has
spent more than $600 billion on their nuclear infrastructure over the years,
for a country that’s about the size of Colorado and New Mexico, and has a
population roughly one-fifth the size of ours. If you like $1000 a month
electric bills, you’ll love nuclear power.

 

The bottom line on all
of this is, if the idiots in the news media want more
viewers/listeners/readers, they’re going to have to start supplying the market
with a product that it doesn’t already have; the facts, unvarnished and
certified as facts. In other words, real journalism we can trust. We can all hear blowhards’ opinions anytime
we want; we all work with people like that, we all have a relative like that;
we can overhear that sort of thing out on the street, if we just keep our eyes
and ears open.

 

What we need from the
news is, well… the news. Unvarnished facts, parading before our eyes and ears
without the spin of the person presenting them.

 

If you want to make
money hand over fist, just give us the facts. That’s all we ask. Glenn Beck
doesn’t deal in facts, and has no place on CNN Headline NEWS.

And CBS Wonders Why It’s in Last Place??

Here is an interesting item, courtesy of media Matters, that is the quintessential example of why journalists throughout the mainstream media absolutely MUST go back to fact reporting, and stop injecting their own analysis into every report.

Look at this report from CBSNews.com through  Media Matters :

At one point, Obama seemed to take aim at Edwards, who has tried to make poverty the main issue of his candidacy.

"This kind of poverty is not an issue I just discovered for the purposes of a campaign," Obama stressed just nine minutes into his comments. "It is the cause that led me to a life of public service almost twenty-five years ago."

The timing of Obama’s speech — scheduled on the same day that Edwards scheduled his tour’s finale in Kentucky — suggests that Obama plans on fighting Edwards for title of defender of the poor. In fact, Obama pointed out he turned down lucrative offers at major law firms to return to the south side of Chicago as a community organizer, while Edwards went on to make millions as a trial lawyer before beginning his career in public service.

Jonathan Prince, Edwards’ campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that while Obama had "been working hard throughout his life to make a difference," Edwards was "committed to the issue of poverty long before he was in public life."

Asked about Obama’s comment, Prince responded by emphasizing Edwards’ record on the issue, adding, "I have no reason to think that Senator Obama was talking about Senator Edwards at all."

You know, one of the things I have found striking about the 2008 campaign so far, is that the near-complete respect the tope-tier candidates have for each other (Clinton and Edwards’ overheard discussion notwithstanding, of course.), and Prince’s reaction to this absolutely absurd question was right on the mark. Here is an excerpt of Obama’s speech, including context, and it is clear to anyone who actually listened to it exactly what Obama is talking about.

 

OBAMA:
But poverty is not just a function of simple economics. It’s also a matter of
where you live. There are vast swaths of rural America
and block after block in our cities where poverty is not just a crisis that hits
pocketbooks, but a disease that infects every corner of the community. I’ll be
outlining my rural agenda in the coming weeks, but today I want to talk about
what we can do as a nation to combat the poverty that persists in our
cities.

 

This
kind of poverty is not an issue I just discovered for the purposes of a
campaign, it’s the cause that led me to a life of public service almost 25 years
ago.

 

I was
just two years out of college when I first moved to the South Side of Chicago to
become a community organizer. I was hired by a group of churches that were
trying to deal with steel plant closures that had devastated the surrounding
neighborhoods. Everywhere you looked, businesses were boarded up, schools were
crumbling, teenagers were standing aimlessly on street corners, without jobs,
without hope, without prospects for the future.

 

He’s not talking about John Edwards; he’s talking about HIMSELF. He is saying that he didn’t just discover poverty for the purposes of HIS campaign. He’s not casting aspersions on anyone else, and Prince’s response was right on.

How about a  quick journalism lesson; who, what, where, why and how.  If you can’t answer any or all of these questions, you don’t report it. Edwards’ name was not mentioned in the speech, so what sort of journalist would report that he was talking about Edwards without asking first. And no, you didn’t ask, Whitney Smith, CBS News intern. You asked Prince to comment on what Obama said, and even he said that he didn’t think Obama was talking about him. And yet, you STILL wrote that Obama "seemed to" be talking about Edwards.  Given that Edwards’ spokesperson didn’t think that was the case, don’t you think you should have re-read and re-evaluated what you thought you heard?

And I refuse to blow this off, because Ms. Smith is "just an intern." As an intern, it’s pretty much a guarantee that someone above her approved this sloppy piece of writing, and did not hold her up to the journalistic standards that CBS News used to be known for.

Again; if you want to know why people don’t pay attention to the mainstream press, this is why. if people want personal news analysis, there are a million blogs out there, including this one, to provide that; why in God’s name would they go to CBS News to get some intern’s take on what she thought Obama might have meant.

Stick to the facts. There is more of a market for them, anyway. The opinion market is saturated.

How News Loses Credibility in One easy Step.

This is a horrible trend, and absolute proof that the people running cable news are all about short-term profits, and have no idea what their actual job is supposed to be.

from The Hollywood Reporter: CNN’s Beck in bed with ad.

In the first ever on-air pitch for one of its advertisers, CNN Headline News talk show host Glenn Beck recently plugged one of his radio show sponsors — Select Comfort mattresses.

Despite the long-standing journalistic practice of keeping news free of commercial messages to preserve editorial integrity, a Headline News spokesman noted that Beck’s show is a "point-of-view" program and not a traditional newscast.

"Select Comfort is Glenn Beck’s/Headline News’ first and only advertiser to have an on-air entitlement, and it’s specifically targeted for his show," the spokesman said. "The advertiser has a relationship with Glenn Beck that extends beyond his Headline News program."

Can you believe this crap? During a program on a channel named "Headline news," they have someone purporting to be a "newsman" (yes, I know; it’s impossible to take an idiot like Glenn Beck seriously in any forum) stopping in mid-report and touting the benefits of SelectComfort beds.

I understand that he does this on his radio show, and I don’t have a problem with that. But CNN Headline News, um, is a NEWS channel. People go there to watch the news. It’s bad enough that there are too many opinion programs on these channels in the first place. But why make the water even muddier by removing any semblance of credibility from the channels altogether?

Isn’t it bad enough that FNC refers to itself as a "news" channel, despite the fact that they don’t report on very much news at all?

Imagine if this catches on. You’re watching NBC News one day, and Chip Reid’s reporting on today’s doings at the White House, when suddenly he pulls out a box of Tide with Bleach, and tells Brian Williams, "You know, Brian, our viewers may not live in the White House, but their clothes can be white…"

Or, imagine you’re reading an article in the New York Times: " the robber fled the store and jumped into a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, the luxury SUV that now comes with a 100,000 mile Cadillac warranty, to make his escape."

Once again, if the news people want to know why fewer and fewer people are getting their news from traditional sources, talk to me. Report the news, just the news, and the profits will be greater than you ever dreamed of…

 

Bush Accelerates Contempt of Congress

See, here’s the problem, folks. The Bushies simply do not believe in accountability or oversight. They believe in the "emperor’ model of governance, and they are attempting to place more power in the presidency than it has ever had previously.

Earlier this week, Bush asserted that the country was in a "state of emergency" over the war in Iraq, and asserted that he had the power to simply declare someone guilty of impeding the war in Iraq (which isn’t even a war) and take everything they own. Now, he’s claiming that Congress has no power to order anyone in his administration to do anything.
Link: Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings – washingtonpost.com.

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

The position presents serious legal and political obstacles for congressional Democrats, who have begun laying the groundwork for contempt proceedings against current and former White House officials in order to pry loose information about the dismissals.

(…)

"A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or
convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case," said a senior
official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the
administration. "And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue
against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department
provided. No one should expect that to happen."

The official, who
spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to
discuss the issue publicly, added: "It has long been understood that,
in circumstances like these, the constitutional prerogatives of the
president would make it a futile and purely political act for Congress
to refer contempt citations to U.S. attorneys."

Think about that a minute. Essentially, it has been determined that it’s possible a crime was committed; if not a crime, a serious case of malfeasance. yet, the check on the Executive Branch, which IS the Congress, is being forbidden to investigate anything by the very people they’re investigating.

This is the highest level of corruption ever seen in the White House, and that’s saying a lot. I’m not even talking about the US Attorney firings; I’m talking about the assertion of supreme power that is not mentioned in the Constitution. These people didn’t swear an oath to Dubya; they swore an oath to the Constitution. They don’t work for a company run by CEO Dubya and paid by him; they work for the government and they work for and are paid by us.

It’s this simple, folks; the three branches are equal, and they check each other. If someone in the Executive Branch does something wrong, Congress has a duty to investigate it. It’s not optional; they have to. Congress makes the laws, the Executive Branch makes sure the laws are implemented, and the Judicial Branch makes sure the laws  are within the  parameters set out ion the Constitution. And they all check each other. That’s the beauty of the system, and why it’s worked so well for so long.

We have to impeach these people; it’s that simple. They would certainly pull this crap during an impeachment proceeding, as well, but that would just reinforce the articles of impeachment.

Stop This Whole “Helping the Enemy” Crap!

Iraq_troops
Could we please cut the crap with this whole "helping the enemy" nonsense?

Apparently, every time you criticize something the Bushies do in Iraq, you’re "helping the enemy. The latest victim of these absurd allegations is that well-known troop-hater, Senator Hillary Clinton.

Link: Clinton Hits Back at Pentagon Official – The Huffington Post.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hit back Friday at a Pentagon aide who charged that her questions about Iraq withdrawal planning have the effect of helping the enemy _ calling the accusation a spurious dodge of a serious issue.

Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for president, had asked the Pentagon to detail how it is planning for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. She first raised the issue in May, pointing out that whenever troops leave, it will be no simple task to transport the people, equipment, and vehicles out of Iraq, possibly through hostile territory.

Eric Edelman, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for policy, offered a sharply-worded response, saying such discussions boost the enemy.

"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote. His tough language in a letter obtained Thursday was surprising in part because it came in correspondence with a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has oversight of the Pentagon.

Excuse me, Eric, but it’s actually impossible for ANYONE to help the enemy, or ‘reinforce enemy propaganda." Can you guess why, Eric? I’ll give you a bunch of reasons, but let’s start with one basic FACT. (I know you Bushies are allergic to them, but here goes, anyway.)

THERE IS NO "ENEMY" IN IRAQ.

Yes, there are elements of al Qaeda in Iraq right now, but the fact of the matter is, we are not actually in Iraq, fighting a war against an actual enemy. we won the war four years ago, remember, Eric? Our goal was supposedly to oust Saddam, get rid of WMDs and install a democracy. We did that, right?

We are not fighting a war; we are an occupying force.

So, who’s the "enemy" in an occupation, exactly? Again, I acknowledge that there are a few scattered al Qaeda terrorists over there, but they are not the bulk of the problem. In fact, both Sunnis and Shiites have expressed a desire to get rid of al waeda, and they blame us for them being there in the first place.

But there are other reasons that Hillary Clinton’s speaking out against this occupation, and demanding a withdrawal probably isn’t emboldening anyone. First of all, most Iraqis don’t have access to electricity most of the day, so I’m gonna kind of doubt that they’re sitting there watching C-SPAN. Second, most Iraqis want us the hell out of there, so it’s actually more likely that Iraqis would leave us alone once they found out we were withdrawing. Third, they don’t see us as the "enemy;" we’re simply in the way of their civil war.

To give you an idea, what we’re doing in Iraq is the equivalent of standing on the street corner during a firefight between Crips and Bloods on a downtown street. If you’re hit by gunfire, is it because your enemies shot you, or because you’re standing in the middle of a firefight.

All of this anti-war talk is, however, emboldening someone. It’s emboldening the troops. Talking about ending this and going home actually reminds the troops that we do care about them. If you really care about our soldiers, then you have to be for bringing them home. There is no more for them to do over there; bring them home to protect this country against terrorists, for a change.

That’s right, folks; when we talk about ending this thing and bringing the troops home, the troops feel better. We’re fighting for them, not the wingnuts who want to leave them in harm’s way…

 

Valerie Plame Again Gets Hosed: This Time by a Bush/Starr Judge

The dismissal of
Valerie Plame’s lawsuit is an absolute travesty of justice, and it’s an example
of a new trend right wing have begun to use, which I’ll discuss later on in my
rant.

 

Bates_2
DC District Court
Judge John D Bates, first of all, is a Bush appointee, an obvious reward for
his work as pornographer Ken Starr’s deputy on the "Whitewater"
investigation for two years. He was also appointed by Chief Justice Roberts to
the FISA court — you know, the one Bush bypassed so that he could do his
spying in secret. But you know; I always live in hope that even a right wing
jurist can put aside his partisanship and rule based on the law.

 

I’m beginning to lose
hope.

 

This is the basic
reason Judge Bates
gave for granting the dismissal:

 

For
the reasons explained below, the Court finds that, under controlling Supreme
Court precedent,
special factors — particularly the remedial scheme established by Congress in
the Privacy
Act — counsel against the recognition of an implied damages remedy for
plaintiffs’ constitutional
claims. The Court also finds that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the
tort claim
because plaintiffs have not exhausted their administrative remedies under the
Federal Tort Claims
Act, which is the proper, and exclusive, avenue for relief on such a claim.

 

Essentially, what
Judge Bates (no jokes about his name, now) is saying is that the Bushies who
leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press, were acting within the scope of the
duties of their job. Yes, folks, you read that right; because national security
and intelligence is within the scope of the duties of the people working in the
White House, they are immune from liability, according to this twit. (Go ahead,
now you can call him "master"; you know you want to.)

 

The job of the people
in the White House is to protect national security, and to protect those men
and women working on national service matters for this country. That is their
job.

 

Now, if a doctor
operates on the wrong arm, or a lawyer screws up a case, they can be sued into
the next life. But for some reason, a bunch of politicians can disclose
classified information at will, and according to this judge, there is nothing
anyone can do about it, because they have discretion, as part of their job, to
do what they want with regard to national security.

 

But we’re not talking
about acting within the scope of their job. We’re talking about working OUTSIDE
the scope of their job. We’re talking about undermining the very country whose
Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. That is the government equivalent
to a worker for a large corporation giving away corporate secrets to a rival.
If there was a case before Bates in which a worker for AT&T was handing
proprietary information over to Verizon, I wonder if Bates would then say it’s
"within the scope of their employment?" Bates tries to make that
stupid claim by citing the Federal Tort Claims Act, but this is a load of crap.
The purpose of the FCTA is to protect federal employees from liability for
discretionary functions. Specifically, the FCTA bars claims "based upon
the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a
discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee
of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused." (28
U.S.C. S 2680(a).

 

The problem is, the
actions cited in the Wilsons’ complaint is not based upon either the exercise
or failure to exercise a discretionary function. What they did to the Wilsons
was a politically charged smear campaign, and they purposely outed a covert CIA
agent, and compromised an operation into finding WMDs in Iran. What did the
Bushies either do, or fail to do, in this case, that was part of their
"discretionary function"? Is outing covert agents part of their job
description? No, not really. So, what discretionary function did they fail to
do. Nothing, of course. By purposely outing the agent, it can’t be said that
they didn’t protect her. For Chrissakes, how far do you go with that avoidance
of responsibility? That’s a hell of a defense for a lot of criminals, isn’t it?
"Oh, well officer, you can’t arrest me, because I’m her husband, and by
shooting her, I simply failed to protect her…"

 

Face it; Judge Bates
is making stuff up, because he’s desperate to protect his buddies in the Bush
Administration. There’s no other explanation.

 

There’s another aspect
of this that bothers the hell out of me.

 

Have you noticed that
right wing judges, especially the Bush appointees, are increasingly choosing
not to rule in cases, but are instead denying standing to those who bring suit.
In this case, Bates’ opinion contains all sorts of clues about how he would
have ruled had the case gone forward; there is a significant bias in the way he
lays out the case. But he lacks the courage of his convictions, as well as the
courage to allow a jury to hear the case and decide for themselves. So, instead
of a ruling, he simply dismisses the case and claims a lack of standing.

 

This happened another
time, in the case recently before the Sixth Circuit, that made the absurd claim
that those who were likely being spied upon secretly by the federal government,
can’t have standing to sue, because they can’t prove
the government spied on them. Even though the government itself said it did.

 

This is the trend,
folks. These idiots don’t have the courage of their convictions, so instead of
ruling on difficult subjects (I mean, who wants to be the judge who ruled
against the CIA agent that was purposely outed by the Vice President, right?
And who in their right mind would want to be the judge who ruled that of course
the president has the power to conduct a secret domestic spying program. True
to form, Bush has chosen for the bench a bunch of cowards, just like him.

 

Tucker! Man’s Man! Spirit Fingers! Jazz Hands!

Tucker1_2
From the
July 17 edition
of MSNBC’s Tucker (from Media Matters):Tucker3

CARLSON: Speaking of
made up, Mitt Romney — 300 dollars for a make up company called Hidden Beauty.
I would mock him, but I wear makeup for a living, so that would be hypocritical,
so I’m not going to.

Can we please stop this bullshit with the double standards?

I mean, what is it with this idiot, anyway? He’s always referring to Obama with terms like "wuss," and he’s always insinuating crap about Edwards because of his $400 haircut. Could we, at some point, actually discuss the issues?

And may I say, I don’t think it’s all that credible for Tucker Carlson to be commenting onTucker2_2
another’s manhood.

Look at these pictures, will you? This guy doesn’t exactly strike you as someone who could play linebacker for the Broncos, you know?

And Tucker; you not only wear make up for a living, you also get your hair cut and groomed, and probably at a cost at least comparable to the $400 Edwards paid.

Just cut the crap, and start talking about politics if you’re going to pass yourself off as a pundit, will you?