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Saturday, January 03, 2009

The U.S. Attorney Question Partially Answered

In a meeting last month with the Barack Obama’s transition staff, representatives of the nation’s top prosecutors caught a glimpse of the president-elect’s thinking on the politically fraught issue of what to do with the the current 93 U.S. attorneys.
“[The president-elect] is going to be smart and be cautious. My gut feeling is it won’t be like it was in 1993,” said U.S. AttorneyJohnny Sutton of Texas’ Western District, a member of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys. On Dec. 11, Sutton and 15 other members of the committee met with Obama’s DOJ transition chief, David Ogden, and his staff at the Justice Department to advise them on law enforcement issues and to point out areas the committee believes require special attention.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Republican Party is terrified by the idea of Eric Holder as Attorney General

The Republican Party is terrified by the idea of Eric Holder as Attorney General. Of all of the appointments to Obama’s Cabinet, this is the one that fills the Right with horror and dread. They have been working overtime to block this appointment. Since Holder was nominated, they have been defining him in the press and framing the issues in ways that they think they could use to take him out.
It started with his ties to the Clinton White House and that Marc Rich pardon and now they are working to bring up everything from Elian Gonzalez to Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky and any other nonsense they can throw into the air in the hopes of killing this appointment.
The answer is simple: Holder will investigate the political corruption in Washington.
And for the modern Republican Party an active and righteous Department of Justice prosecuting the crimes of the Bush years is a nightmare that fills them with dread.
And so they plan to go after Holder as their latest effort to obstruct justice.
They must be stopped.
The Abramoff Scandal is Expanding: More GOP woes for 2009...

For many the Jack Abramoff scandal is old news, ancient history and in the past. As the corrupt Bush Administration winds down many of his corrupt fellow travelers are hoping that the Abramoff scandal is dead and buried—and that their involvement will never bubble to the surface. These Corruptionists hope that the Abramoff scandal is over, but they are just whistling past the graveyard. As Faulkner said:
"The past is never dead. It’s not even past."
Quietly, the professionals at the Department of Justice have been working this massive scandal—that is complex by design—to build cases that move from the outer edges to the heart of political corruption in Washington DC. Abramoff is just a doorway in—not an endpoint—and prosecutors are zeroing in on some big fish in a corrupt stream.
The investigation was very active in 2008 and expanded its scope. More shoes are dropping. More details are being exposed. This is why the GOP fears the future, Obama and Eric Holder.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The latest innocent casualties of the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip were five young sisters, who died this evening when an attack on the mosque of the refugee camp they lived in caused a wall to fall on their small home, killing them and injuring their father and three other siblings.
The Israeli military defended the attack, saying the mosque was a “known gathering place” for Hamas supporters. The uncle of the slain girls insisted that his family has had nothing to do with the rocket attacks coming from the strip.
On this morning's Morning Joe, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski offered his expertise on the conflict in Gaza. It was all very insightful! But you'll want to just skip to the end of this clip, where host Joe Scarborough attempts to ask for Brzezinski's daughter Mika's hand in marriage or something by insisting that "you cannot blame what's going on in Israel on the Bush administration." This prompted Zbig to reply, "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you." Burn!
Anyway, things grew only more awkward from there, as Scarborough batted the insult hither and to, while Mika rolled around in her chair, totally chagrined. The show finally, mercifully, cuts to commercial (over the strains of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" -- apparently the closest thing the producers had to "superficial'). At that point, Scarborough directed Mika to give her father six dollars to make the mean man go away. Anyway, enjoy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Unrest caused by bad economy may require military action, report says

Source: El Paso Times

EL PASO -- A U.S. Army War College report warns an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Nathan Freir wrote the report "Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development," which the Army think tank in Carlisle, Pa., recently released.

"Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities ... to defend basic domestic order and human security," the report said, in case of "unforeseen economic collapse," "pervasive public health emergencies," and "catastrophic natural and human disasters," among other possible crises.

The report also suggests the new (Barack Obama) administration could face a "strategic shock" within the first eight months in office.

Group Urges Americans to Speak Out Against Planned Bush Blanket Pardons

Tim King Salem-News.com

The group says it is extremely important to block the pardons before they can happen.

(SALEM, Ore.) - A group called The People's Email Network, is urging Americans to do what they can to stop the Bush Administration from issuing pardons that will absolve Vice-President Dick Cheney and others from future retribution over alleged crimes committed during the presidency. They say a recent round of pardons from President Bush are just a sign of things to come.

"Pay no attention to the handful of Christmas pardons granted by Bush. This is mere political window dressing to distract from the bumper crop of blanket absolutions, including one for himself, scheduled to be released just before midnight on Jan 19th," the group said. Cheney will be remembered for his implication that waterboarding is not torture, despite the fact that such practice can be prosecuted as a war crime in most civilized countries.

Critics point to a recent interview with the Washington Times, during which Mr. Cheney said "I felt very good about what we did. I think it was the right thing to do." The People's Email Network said, "Cheney would not so arrogantly be bragging on TV about how he authorized torture if it were not so."

- snip -

The Action Page To Stop The Bush Pardons is located at this link: http://www.usalone.com/hres1531.php

Lehman bankruptcy filing wiped out billions: report

Source: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc's emergency bankruptcy filing wiped out as much as $75 billion of potential value for creditors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an analysis by the bank's restructuring advisers.

A more planned and orderly filing would have allowed Lehman to sell some assets outside of bankruptcy court protection and would have given it time to unwind derivatives positions, according to the analysis by Alvarez & Marsal.

The Journal said it was too early to say how much money Lehman creditors would recover; it said unsecured creditors have asserted they are owed $200 billion.

White House Blames Hamas For Latest Wave In Violence...

In northern Gaza, a father lifted the body of his 4-year-old during a funeral Monday for five children from the same family killed in an Israeli missile strike.
What's New

When Don't The White House blame Palistine for "EVERYTHING"

Israel always inncocent? You Decide

I thought Hamas was the democratically elected Govt of Palistine?

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described Monday as a "war to the bitter end," striking next to the Hamas premier's home, and devastating a security compound and a university building.
The three-day death toll rose to at least 315 by Monday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The U.N. said at least 51 of the dead were civilians, and medics said eight children under the age of 17 were killed in two separate strikes overnight. Israel launched its campaign, the deadliest against Palestinians in decades, on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.
Since then, the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border has doubled and the Cabinet approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers.
The strikes have driven Hamas leaders into hiding and appear to have gravely damaged the organization's ability to launch rockets, but barrages continued. Sirens warning of incoming rockets sent Israelis scrambling for cover throughout the day.
Greg Mitchell, 12.28.2008
Editor of 'Editor & Publisher'
The foreign press, and even Haaretzin Israel, carries more balanced accounts than the American media.

Dawn of the daughters

Malia and Sasha Obama set to become the world's most famous tweens
Dawn of the daughters ... first there were the Olsen twins, then Miley Cyrus and now the daughters of president-elect Barack Obama look set to cash in on the lucrative tween market More

Obama Cabinet and beyond

Last Updated: 12/28/08 7:45 p.m.
The Hill is closely tracking the personnel moves of the Obama administration. The list below includes official appointments and names being floated for key posts. The names are listed alphabetically.


When a 19 year-old white supremacist recently gained a seat on the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee, the election created such an outcry that embarrassed local politicians used a technicality to block his seating.
It was all supposed to end very differently: the Republican Party's Southern strategy, which seemed to many so cynically brilliant as recently as the turn of this century, has backfired so badly that even parts of the South, such as Virginia and North Carolina, are now dominated by Democrats, and not the old-school segregation-era Democrats. These new Southern Democrats come in all colors and both genders and they range from the most socially progressive to others who would have felt quite at home in the more moderate Republican party of old. The failure of the GOP's Southern strategy is also in evidence in one often overlooked respect: the election of candidates by electorates of a different race or ethnicity. Obama is, of course, the most extremely visible example of this phenomenon, but there are others, including in the South. In Georgia, for instance, the 2nd district's Representative, Sanford Bishop, who is African-American, has been comfortably reelected several times despite redistricting that has given his constituency a slender white majority. The same goes for Mel Watt, one of the most progressive members of Congress, an African-American elected in a narrowly white majority district in North Carolina. Conversely, the Memphis area Congressman is white and represents a district that is nearly two-thirds black. In total, there are over two-dozen seats nationally that are represented by members who are in a racial or ethnic minority in their own constituency; half of these are African-Americans, many of them in the Midwest (Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Kansas City) and in California. This represents a sea change from just a decade ago, when it was considered far-fetched to believe that a black candidate could be elected from a district that was anything less than 60% African-American.
The 1992 redistricting piled up non-white voters into congressional districts dubbed "minority-majority," to increase non-white representation in Congress. Republicans eagerly embraced the new take on voting rights, as they felt it would make dozens of white-majority districts less competitive for Democrats. There was also much hand-wringing among Democrats for the same reason, and some even argued that there was no point in increasing non-white representation in Congress if it meant that the party would never again regain power. Obviously, things have turned out quite differently for the Democrats, whose Congressional majority is now as strong as it has been in decades, thanks in part to its robust diversity, and to a growing indifference to race and ethnicity.
It is no coincidence that at the same time, the GOP has shriveled into a more uniform party than at most times since the 1960s. Like a restricted country club that would rather die than change, the Republican Party is marginalizing itself for the sake of the white men who run it. "Barack The Magic Negro" and Palm Beach aryanists are just the more bizarre manifestations of a party that has wallowed for so long in the privileges of its white male supremacy that it does not even realize that everyone has left the plantation, and they are not coming back.
RNC members call unprecedented special meeting
For the first time in party history, members of the Republican National Committee have called their own unscheduled meeting without the aid of the Washington-based party apparatus.
Organized by North Dakota Republican Party chairman Gary Emineth, the meeting will convene for the specific purpose of hosting a forum for candidates running to chair the national committee. Members will meet at an as-of-yet-undecided location in Washington on January 7.
The unscheduled and unexpected meeting, plans for which were first reported by The Hill, was called by Emineth and 21 other RNC members from 18 states, according to a memo from the RNC counsel’s office. Party rules stipulate a meeting must be called by at least 16 members from 16 different states.
According to those familiar with party rules, individual members have never called a meeting under the arcane rule.

Gaza residents cower at home, plumes of smoke rise above skylines and morgues are packed

Chaos in Gaza as Israel's strikes continue
Terrified prisoners fled a Gaza City jail bombed by Israeli warplanes on Sunday, their faces white with dust and red with blood as they stumbled over huge piles of rubble.
Across the territory, grieving families pitched traditional mourning tents of green tarp outside the homes. Yet the rows of chairs inside these tents remained largely empty, as residents cowered indoors for fear of new Israeli strikes. Plumes of gray smoke rising into the sky marked the site of the latest Israeli attacks.
Even for war-weary Gazans, who've lived through countless Israeli incursions, air attacks and months of bitter Palestinian infighting, the latest surprise Israeli air offensive was unusually traumatic. In all, more than 290 people — most of them Hamas policemen, but also 20 children — were killed in some 300 Israeli air attacks over two days.
On Saturday, shortly after Israel unleashed the deadliest-ever offensive against Hamas and its rocket squads, hospital morgues quickly overflowed. In the initial chaos, the dead were wrapped in blankets and lined up on the ground, as frantic relatives searched for their loved ones.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Will congressional Republicans again sacrifice their political interest to satisfy their Southern-baked ideological imperatives?

As a rule, a new president's choice of a secretary of transportation makes few headlines, even when the appointee is a member of the opposition. In 2001,George W. Bush decided to name as transportation secretary Norman Mineta, a former representative from California, to be the token Democrat in his Cabinet, and no one noticed. And no one except forMark Shields, who lavishly praised the appointment, paid much attention last week when Barack Obamamade Ray LaHood, the retiring representative from Peoria, Ill., the second Republican in his Cabinet.
This one, however, is loaded with meaning because LaHood is no ordinary member of Congress. He has been, as Shields pointed out, one of the most widely respected members of the House; a leader in the uphill struggle for comity between the parties; and a throwback to the days of his old boss Bob Michel, the minority leader who resisted the scorched-earth tactics of Newt Gingrich. Such was LaHood's reputation for fairness that he was the natural choice to preside over the House during the explosive impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton.
The significance of his accepting Obama's offer goes beyond the signal it sends of the new president's seriousness about outreach to moderate Republicans. As transportation secretary, LaHood will be at the center of the road and bridge construction projects Obama plans to make the highlight of his almost trillion-dollar stimulus program.

The Republican Party is marginalizing itself for the sake of the white men who run it.

Peter Yarrow: My Response to the Mean-Spirited "Barack the Magic Negro"
Taking a children's song and twisting it in such vulgar, mean-spirited way, is a slur to our entire country and our common agreement to move beyond racism.
Paul Jenkins: The GOP's White Supremacy
Like a restricted country club that would rather die than change, the Republican Party is marginalizing itself for the sake of the white men who run it.
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