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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Kander's Obama: The Listener

I know I was critical of photographer Nadav Kander's NYT inauguration series "Obama's People" (1, 2). I found a lot of it either irreverent or rushed.
Kander's image of Obama unveiled today, however -- on Obama's 100th day in office, previewing Sunday's NYT Magazine feature -- is decidedly different. Beyond a thoroughly serious portrait, I would go so far as to say it captures a defining quality of Obama's presidential character -- and does so with a clarity and conviction I didn't expect to emerge for sometime.
The consequence of being a multifaceted person with many fine qualities and strengths is that Obama presents with a lot of looks. What Kander confidently clarifies, however, is possibly the "presidential quality" that distinguishes itself above all others.
Barack Obama, as the image conveys in the most luminous way, is a listener.

Obama using the bully pulpit to dictate to the credit card suits how the industry is going to treat the consumer from now on.

(ABC Video.)

Top Senate Democrat: Bankers 'Own' the US Congress

Glenn Greenwald
The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis "own" the U.S. Congress -- according to one of that institution's most powerful members -- demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is.

Rachel Maddow Show - Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher - ConservaDem Sen. Evan Bayh

Iraq: The Hidden War

Iraq: The Hidden Story shows the footage used by TV news broadcasts, and compares it with the devastatingly powerful uncensored footage of the aftermath of the carnage that is becoming a part of the fabric of life in Iraq.
Prod/ Dir: Christian Trumble; Exec Prod: Stephen Phelps; Prod Co: Zenith Entertainment Ltd - 2006
Images of Iraq dominate our TV news bulletins every night but in this film, Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow, questions whether these reports are sugar-coating the bloody reality of war under the US-led occupation
- Warning -
This video contains images that should only be viewed by a mature audience

The Corporation

This is an extraordinary film about the creation of the American corporation, its legal organizational model, its global economic dominance and its psychopathic tendencies, and its incredible ambition to influence every aspect of culture in its unrelenting pursuit of profit. LinkHere

Children as Unlamented Victims of Bush’s War Crimes

By Michael Haas
The best kept secret of the Bush’s war crimes is that thousands of children have been imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise denied rights under the Geneva Conventions and related international agreements. Yet both Congress and the media have strangely failed to identify the very existence of child prisoners as a war crime. LinkHere

Iraq's Child Prisoners

A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees – some as young as 10 – are also being subjected to rape and torture

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos

Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2006-10-23 20:54.

NEW YORK A federal judge ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were "blatantly sadistic."
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered the release of certain pictures in a 50-page decision that said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they "do not need pretexts for their barbarism."
The ACLU has sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture.
Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said Thursday that releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism. "When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image--a false image--like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it's not," Abizaid said.
The judge said, however, that "the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."
An ACLU release this afternoon said it was getting 70 photos and three video tapes. It also said that the government is being given 20 days to appeal.
What is shown on the photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib prison that the Pentagon has blocked from release? One clue: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last year, after viewing a large cache of unreleased images, "I mean, I looked at them last night, and they're hard to believe." They show acts "that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he added.
A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of "rape and murder." Rumsfeld then commented, "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."
The photos were among thousands turned over by the key "whistleblower" in the scandal, Specialist Joseph M. Darby. Just a few that were released to the press sparked the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal last year, and the video images are said to be even more shocking.
“Today's historic ruling is a step toward ensuring that our government's leaders are held accountable for the abuse and torture that happened on their watch,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The American public has a right to know what happened in American detention centers, and how our leaders let it occur." LinkHere

Friday, May 01, 2009

John Dean: Rice may have admitted conspiracy

In little-noticed comments Thursday, the former White House counsel for President Richard Nixon John Dean said Thursday that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may have unwittingly admitted to a criminal conspiracy when questioned about torture by a group of student videographers at Stanford.
Rice told students at Stanford that she didn’t authorize torture, she merely forwarded the authorization for it. Dean, who became a poster child for whistleblowing after aiding the prosecution of the Watergate affair, told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann that Rice may have admitted to a criminal conspiracy.
In a video that surfaced Thursday, Rice said, “The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligation, legal obligations under the convention against torture… I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.” (Video of Rice’s comments appears at the bottom of this article.)
Her comments raised eyebrows from online observers, who compared Rice’s answer to that of Richard Nixon’s infamous quip: “When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal.”
Dean said he found Rice’s comments “surprising” and put her in a legal mire of possible conspiracy. LinkHere

'Canceled US Credit Card'

GOP Rep.: China has 'canceled US credit card'
China, wary of the troubled US economy, has already "canceled America's credit card" by cutting down purchases of debt, a US congressman said Thursday.
China has the world's largest foreign reserves, believed to be mostly in dollars, along with around 800 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds, more than any other country.
But Treasury Department data shows that investors in China have sharply curtailed their purchases of bonds in January and February.
Representative Mark Kirk, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and co-chair of a group of lawmakers promoting relations with Beijing, said China had "very legitimate" concerns about its investments.
"It would appear, quietly and with deference and politeness, that China has canceled America's credit card," Kirk told the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American group.
"I'm not sure too many people on Capitol Hill realize that this is now happening," he said.
The Republican lawmaker said that China was justified in concerns about returns from finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were bailed out by the US government due to the financial crisis. LinkHere

"So be it.”

Perennial Neoconservative gadfly John Bolton, who has often been accused of makingexaggerated claims about Middle Eastern threats, is now suggesting that a military coup in Pakistan may be the only viable response to the growing power of the Taliban.
In an op-ed for Saturday’s Wall Street Journal,Bolton writes, “To prevent catastrophe will require considerable American effort and unquestionably provoke resistance from many Pakistanis, often for widely differing reasons. We must strengthen pro-American elements in Pakistan’s military so they can purge dangerous Islamicists from their ranks; roll back Taliban advances; and, together with our increased efforts in Afghanistan, decisively defeat the militants on either side of the border. This may mean stifling some of our democratic squeamishness and acquiescing in a Pakistani military takeover, if the civilian government melts before radical pressures. So be it.”
Bolton’s stance on Pakistan appear to go hand-in-hand with his recent attempts todescribe the Obama administration’s international outreach efforts as amounting to a “tangible projection of weakness” and “revealing a Jimmy Carter-style unwillingness to do what’s necessary in a hard world to protect America’s interest.”
Both Bolton’s temper and his attempts to force intelligence analysis to match his own preconceptions are legendary. When he was nominated by former President Bush to be United Nations ambassador in 2005, the former head of the State Department’s intelligence bureau, Carl Ford, testified that Bolton was “a serial abuser” who had tried to have an analyst fired because he disagreed with Bolton’s belief that Cuba has a biological weapons program. LinkHere

"Buzz is building"

Chelsea Clinton To Marry This August: Report
That Chelsea Clinton will get married on Martha's Vineyard this summer. Sources on the island tell us that the former first daughter will wed Marc Mezvinsky atTed Danson and Mary Steenburgen's home in Chilmark this August. The wedding coincides with President Barack Obama's rumored vacation on the Vineyard. To prepare for the A-list affair, Danson and Steenburgen are said to be doing extensive renovations on their property. Vineyard caterer Jaime Hamlin, who helped throw one of Bill Clinton'sbirthday parties on the island, said there's plenty of local excitement about Chelsea's upcoming nupitals, especially among vendors who hope to get some business from the Clintons. "They haven't called me yet," Hamlin joked. "Maybe they will." The young Clinton met Mezvinsky years ago through her parents. He is the son of former Iowa congressmanEdward Mezvinsky, and like Chelsea, studied at Stanford University in California.

Arianna On "Countdown," Discusses How Dem Senators Screwed Homeowners

Arianna appeared on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Friday night to talk about why a number of Senate Democrats voted against legislation aimed at stemming foreclosures Thursday. Arianna read a list of the names of the Democratic Senators who voted against the bill and called on President Obama and Harry Reid to take a firmer stand against the influence of the banks who opposed the legislation. LinkHere

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Obama 101

Fox News stocks up on holy water and garlic to commemorate Obama's first 100 days

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

M - Th 11p / 10c
Obama 101
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisFirst 100 Days

Isikoff: With terrorist guilty plea, court ’scores’ where illegal detention failed

Accused al Qaeda “sleeper” operative Ali al-Marripleaded guilty on Thursday to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda.
Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff was jubilant at the outcome, telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, “Score one for the criminal justice system.”
According to Isikoff, the Obama administration’s decision to try al-Marri in criminal court has accomplished what the Bush administration was unable to achieve with over seven years of illegal detention and “enhanced” interrogation techniques. It has not only established the facts about al-Marri’s own terrorist activities but has made him available as a witness in further trials.
Isikoff explained that al-Marri was detained in December 2001 and was suspected of plotting a second wave of al Qaeda attacks. “But rather than charging him in a criminal court, the Bush administration designated him an enemy combatant, stripped him of al. his Constitutional rights … and threw him in a military brig, denied him access to a lawyer, subjected him to ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques … and [he] wasn’t charged with any crime.”
“This prompted a huge constitutional debate,” Isikoff continued, “as to whether or not a president can simply unilaterally strip somebody of his rights.” The case was all set to go to the Supreme Court this winter, when the Obama administration took al-Marri out of the military brig and charged him with conspiracy. “And today, amazingly, he pled guilty to some pretty significant set of facts.” LinkHere

Freedom of the Press in Georgies 8 year reign? I don't think so

Burma, Iran top group’s list of worst countries for bloggers; Obama expresses concern
Freedom of the press is one of the most hallowed of the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and has seen America through thick and thin, even as time and technology have changed the way news is delivered.
Today, the U.S. Senate marked World Press Freedom Day by issuing a resolution acknowledging threats to the free press abroad and “reaffirming the United States’ commitment to promoting this essential right globally.”
The bipartisan effort was spearheaded by Democratic Sens. Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Dick Durbin and others along with GOP Sens. Dick Lugar and Johnny Isakson and “independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman.
Press Freedom - War on Iraq
225 journalists and media assistants killed since the start of fighting in Iraq in March 2003, two still missing, 14 are kidnapped ...

Judge affirms KBR electrocution lawsuit can proceed

A federal judge has denied an appeal reuqest by Kellog, Brown & Root to appeal over a lawsuit which accuses the company of negligent homocide in the electrocution death of a U.S. soldier.
“KBR filed a motion with U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer asking her to amend a March order that will allow the case to move forward; the order prevented an appeal during the course of the case,” reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The contractor wanted her to change that order to allow it to appeal her decision on a motion for dismissal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”
“[A]n Army criminal investigator says the manner of death for Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, has been changed from accidental to negligent homicide because the contractor failed to ensure that ‘qualified electricians and plumbers’ worked on the barracks where Maseth died,” reported the Associated Press in January.
“Maseth, 24, of Shaler, Pa., outside Pittsburgh, was electrocuted on Jan. 2 when an improperly grounded electric water pump short-circuited and flowed through the pipes,” reported ABC in March 2008. “Since the coiled hose was touching his arm, he was hit with an electrical jolt and went into cardiac arrest and died.” LinkHere

'Scapegoats': Jailed GIs plan appeal after Bush memos

You've not heard the last from some 0f the only Americans prosecuted for torture under the Bush administration.
Charles Graner and Lynndie England, who were both made famous for applying the Bush administration's torture techniques to prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, are pleading their case to the media and preparing appeals.
From the Washington Post:

Obama Press Briefing Visit: Talks Souter, Supreme Court Pick

With his chief counsel and chief of staff by his side, Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press briefing room on Friday, officially announcing the retirement plans of Supreme Court Justice David Souter and laying our what kind of appointment he would make.
With no advanced warning, even for Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the President took to the podium to read a brief set of prepared remarks. He had just gotten off the phone with Souter, he announced, and wanted to say a few words about the conversation. LinkHere

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White House Talks Supreme Court Justice Souter's Replacement

Obama's Turn: The Potential List Of Souter Replacements

Matthew Shepard's Mom Responds To Congresswoman's "Hoax" Comments

Judy Shepard appeared on last night's edition of the Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the recent expansion of Federal hate crimes legislation and the remarks made by North Carolina representative Virginia Foxx, who, in testifying against the expansion, suggested that Shepard was merely the victim of a robbery, and that suggestions that he was targeted because he was gay were all a part of "a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."LinkHere

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Obama Quits While Ahead

Prez Resigns After Hundred Days: ‘All Downhill From Here'
According to the latest University of Minnesota/Opinion Research Institute survey, Mr. Obama's 67% approval rating is topped by First Lady Michelle Obama at 84%, with daughters Sasha and Malia and dog Bo tied at 98%.
In a move that stunned both political allies and foes alike, President Barack Obama resigned today after serving 100 days in office, telling the White House press corps, "It's all downhill from here."
The reporters seemed stunned by the President's decision in light of the fawning media coverage he received during his first 100 days, but the hyperbolic nature of that reportage, ironically, may have been the prime motivator behind Mr. Obama's shocking move.
"Let's face it, I'm not going to get better coverage than I have to date," he said. "The only guy with a higher approval rating is that dude who landed the plane on the Hudson - or maybe that other dude who escaped from those pirates."
Mr. Obama may have a point, as current polls show that the only Americans with higher approval ratings are members of his immediate family. LinkHere

Obama Orders Emergency Quarantine of Biden

Veep to be Kept in Sealed Box
According to President Obama, the vice president will be kept in a sealed box away from television cameras and microphones "until we are certain that the danger is passed." LinkHere

The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists on Waterboarding, Interrogations

The New Focus on Two Retired Military Psychologists Called the 'Architects' of the CIA's Techniques
April 30, 2009
As the secrets about the CIA's interrogation techniques continue to come out, there's new information about the frequency and severity of their use, contradicting an 2007 ABC News report, and a new focus on two private contractors who were apparently directing the brutal sessions that President Obama calls torture.
According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington.
Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates.
Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with theCIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and implemented theCIA's interrogation program.

Banks Beat Homeowners: Foreclosure Bill Killed In Senate

Banks Beat Homeowners: Foreclosure Bill Killed In Senate With Democratic Help

Mortgage Bankers Celebrate Victory

Durbin is deeply unhappy with his Democratic colleagues that sided with the banks. "Frankly, I can't match what the bankers are doing in terms of lobbying," he said. Asked by the Huffington Post how bank influence could ever be reduced, he said, "When the voters speak, some elected officials listen. So I hope that, if we fail on mortgage foreclosure and we fail on credit card reform, I hope that people in this country will stand up and say to Congress, 'You've got the wrong friends.'"

WATCH: Bankers Celebrate On Camera

The Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to stave off home foreclosures by a vote of 51 to 45. It was an overwhelming defeat, with the bill's backers falling 15 votes short -- a quarter of the Democratic caucus -- of the 60 needed to cut off debate and move to a final vote.
The death of the bankruptcy reform measure -- which would have allowed a small number of homeowners who met strict conditions to renegotiate mortgages under bankruptcy protection -- is a major tactical win for the banking industry. But allowing the foreclosure crisis to continue unabated may end up being a failed strategy for the financial sector. LinkHere


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do you feel safer?

House GOP Tries To Terrify Public With Anti-Obama Ad The Thugs are at it again, Obama has really got them by the balls, and their shaking in their boots.
After all wasn't it on the GOPs watch, that 9/11, Katrina the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afganistan, the leaking of a CIA agents name, the Economic meltdown, The Torture Memos happened.

House Republicans want to know: Do you feel safer?

In a remarkable video just released by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and ranking intelligence committee member Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), images of Obama "bowing" to Saudi officials and shaking hands with Hugo Chavez are interspersed with footage of the Pentagon exploding and terrorists doing bad things. All of it is back-dropped by frightening music.
"What is the overarching strategy?" Boehner asked when questioned about the video. "I'm trying to push the administration to describe what their overarching strategy is." LinkHere

Condi Rice Pulls A Nixon: When the President Does It, That Means It is Not Illegal

Condoleezza Rice was recently speaking at Stanford when students asked her an excellent question on waterboarding and torture. They have her answer on tape and it isn't pretty. Condi Rice absolutely pulls a Nixon.
Condi Rice Pulls a Nixon: If the President Orders Torture, It Must be Legal LinkHere

Fox not granted a question at Obama’s press conference.
In tonight's press conference, Obama spent nearly a full hour answering questions from reporters, who represented media organizations such as the Detroit News, the Associated Press, BET, and all three cable networks -- ABC, NBC, and CBS. One outlet that didn't get a question? Fox News, whose affiliate was the only network station that decided not to air the prime-time news conference. Obama called on Fox News White House Correspondent Major Garrett in his previous two press conferences.

G.O.P. Debate: A Broader Party or a Purer One?

WASHINGTON — A fundamental debate broke out among Republicans on Wednesday over how to rebuild the party in the wake of Senator Arlen Specter’s departure: Should it purge moderate voices like Mr. Specter and embrace its conservative roots or seek to broaden its appeal to regain a competitive position against Democrats?

How many more have to die?

100 Days of Competence Versus Crazy

Bob Cesca
One of the most striking aspects of President Obama's first 100 days has been his ability to not necessarily "feel our pain" but instead to become a role model for how we should deal with our pain. In other words, we're all in the shit -- even the president -- but here's how best to deal with it: remain calm, think clearly, set an agenda, and make sure to spend time with your family. (Because, as the famous line goes, "a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.")
There's a classic astronaut quality to President Obama in that, so far, he's been able to confront enormous strain with a cool but competent grasp of the mission -- there appears to be a natural respect for his duty as well as for the 300 million people he's serving. President Obama's first 100 days haven't been flawless, but considering the Apollo 13 nature of the situation he inherited, his errors could've been far more serious.
Meanwhile, his opposition has behaved like a googly-eyed, flop-sweat soaked mess -- crapping their cages and shouting gibberish about the end of the world.
The striking contrast between President Obama's grace under pressure and the apoplectic insanity of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck or Michele Bachmann is the Republican Party's greatest weakness. They're missing the narrative for the sake of blind rage. Rather than grasping, as the president has, the very simple concept that, in general, people under tremendous stress don't respond well to screeching maniacs -- especially screeching maniacs who are clearly making things up as they go -- the Republicans have, by design or by instinct, embraced this screeching maniac base. LinkHere


"Simply opposing our approach on every front is probably not a good political strategy," Obama declared at Thursday night's prime time news conference. "I want them to realize that me reaching out to them has been genuine."
To his "Republican friends," Obama offered something of a rebuke for their conduct just 100 days into his administration. "I can't sort of define bipartisanship as simply being willing to accept certain theories of theirs that we tried for eight years and didn't work."
In particular, he laid the groundwork for compromise on what promises to be the next big partisan hurdle. "I've said this to people like [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell. I said, 'Look, on health care reform, you may not agree with me that I've -- we should have a public plan. That may be philosophically just too much for you to swallow. On the other hand, there are some areas like reducing the cost of medical malpractice insurance where you do agree with me. If I'm taking some of your ideas and giving you credit for good ideas, the fact that you didn't get 100 percent can't be a reason every single time to oppose my position." LinkHere

NO: House Passes Obama-Backed Budget With Zero GOP Votes
WASHINGTON — Congress has wrapped up work on a compromise $3.4 trillion budget outline aimed at helping advance President Barack Obama's ambitious agenda despite staggering government deficits.
The Senate's 53-43 vote to pass the measure followed House action earlier Wednesday.
The votes to adopt the nonbinding budget blueprint are only a first step toward Obama's goal of providing health care coverage for all Americans.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democrats in Congress capped President Barack Obama's 100th day in office by advancing a $3.4 trillion federal budget for next year _ a third of it borrowed _ that prevents Republicans from blocking his proposed trillion-dollar expansion of U.S. government-provided health care over the next decade.
The 233-193 House vote to adopt the nonbinding budget blueprint is only a first step toward Obama's goal of providing health care coverage for all Americans. The budget plan sets the parameters for subsequent tax and spending bills expected to boost clean energy programs and student aid and extend many of President George W. Bush's tax cuts. LinkHere

She is for real, another deplorable republican specimen, that sits in congress of the USA

Not a HATE CRIME?????

Bill, opposed by Bush in 2007, gives gay victims new protections.

Less than one month after she used the term “tar baby” on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has managed to offend another group of Americans: gay people.
Speaking on the House floor Wednesday while a hate crimes bill – known as the “Matthew Shepard bill,” after the gay 21-year-old who was brutally murdered in 1998 – was being debated, Foxx called the University of Wyoming student’s association with the legislation “a hoax” because, she said, Shepard was not killed because of his sexual orientation.

Matthew Shepard (most controversial hate crime ever)

The Matthew Shepard Story - Part 1/9

Dennis Shepard's courtroom speech (... to remember Matthew Shepard on the 10th anniversary of his death)

Ellen DeGeneres Discusses The Recent Tragic Death

These are not Hate Crimes??????? YOU DECIDE

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Fox News illiminated Journalism

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-2/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-3/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-4/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-5/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-6/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-7/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-8/9

OUTFOXED, Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, Part-9/9

FOX Refuses To Cover Obama Press Conference (NWS) - 28 Apr 2009
Fox won't be airing President Obama's prime-time news conference on Wednesday,

911 Calls: Panic As Planes Flew Over NYC

AssociatedPressApril 29, 2009

Just released excerpts from 911 tapes show New York and New Jersey residents were terrified by the sight of a huge passenger jet and an F-16 fighter plane whizzing around the State of Liberty Monda...

Obama Takes Swipe At Fox News, Tea Baggers

Obama To Fox News And Tea Baggers: ‘Let’s Not Play Games’

President Obama spent part of the 100th day of his presidency today in Arnold, Missouri where he hosted a town hall meeting with local residents. During the town hall, Obama recognized criticism he's been receiving from the far right. "I know you have been hearing all these arguments about, 'Oh, Obama's just spending crazy, look at these huge trillion dollar deficits, blah, blah, blah.'"
Obama then noted that the real fiscal problem facing the United States is the skyrocketing costs of Medicare and Medicaid, not the Recovery Act or bank bailouts, which he said are "one-time charges." "If we aren't careful, health care will consume so much of our budget that ultimately we won't be able to do anything else," he warned.
Obama then mocked the right wing's tea bagger gatherings for their misplaced anger and, indirectly, Fox News for promoting them:
OBAMA: So, you know, when you see, you know, those of you who are watching certain news channels, on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term how we're going to stabilize social security. [...] [L]et's not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act because that's just a fraction of the overall problem that we've got.

VIDEO REPORT: Conservatives’ 100 Days Of Opposition

In the first 100 days of the Obama presidency, the conservative movement has undergone a period of radicalization. From knee-jerk opposition to the President's policies, to petty insults and conspiracy theories aimed at smearing Obama, to the embrace of the radical tea party protests, the Republican party has responded by lurching further to the right. ThinkProgress's Victor Zapanta compiled a video report on the radical right's 100 days of opposition. Watch it:

100 Black Men of America and CNN: Obama Has Soul, A True "Brotha With Swagga" (Video)

CNN Story On Obama's "Swagga" The Most Embarrassing Ever?

Bush Flashback: “War Crimes Will Be Prosecuted…It Will Be No Defense To Say, ‘I Was Just Following Orders’”

Just before launching his invasion of Iraq, President Bush went on national televisionto issue an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, urging him to leave his country within 48 hours. Bush also had this message for “all Iraqi military and civilian personnel”:
War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.”

George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley argues that this statement by Bush shows that “he and his administration knew that there is no ‘good faith defense’ in committing war crimes.”
Bush also understood the need for full investigations and accountability when it comes to torture. After the Abu Ghraib scandal, Bush told Al Arabiya: “It's important for people to understand that in a democracy, there will be a full investigation. In other words, we want to know the truth. In our country, when there's an allegation of abuse ... there will be a full investigation, and justice will be delivered.” (See the video here.)
Steve Benen responds, “It seems to me if Democrats are looking for an excuse to do the right thing, they don't have to say much more than, ‘We're doing what Bush told us to do.’”
Please join our campaign calling on Congress to begin impeachment hearings against Jay Bybee.


Dem Reps. Conyers And Nadler Call For Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute Torture

Your Either With Us, Or Against Us, the Bush mentality lives on even after he's gone!!!!!

Following the surprising news that Sen. Arlen Specter is switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, Politico writes that one of the last Republican moderates, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), "didn't seem surprised" by Specter's announcement:
"I'm stunned ... I'm very surprised. I had no idea this was coming," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) "I'm stunned." But Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) a fellow moderate, didn't seem suprised. On the national level, she says, "you haven't certainly heard warm encouraging words of how they [Republicans] view moderates. Either you are with us or against us."
According to Politico, Specter made his "final move" to switch parties after "a recent poll showed him badly losing a Pennsylvania Republican primary next year." Snowe was most recently elected in 2006, so she won't face re-election until 2012.

UPDATERyan Grim reports:

Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in the Senate, said Tuesday that Arlen Specter's abandonment of the GOP is "devastating," both "personally and I think for the party." "I've always been deeply concerned about the views of the Republican Party nationally in terms of their exclusionary policies and views towards moderate Republicans," said Snowe, who has been approached, she said, by Democrats in the past about switching parties. Specter's switch to the Democratic Party "underscores the blunt reality" that the GOP is not a welcome place for moderates, she said. LinkHere

Absolutley pathetic that this crazy could ever be elected to any office, let alone the Congress of the USA

During an interview with PajamasTV today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely claimed that the last swine flu outbreak occurred under "another Democrat President, Jimmy Carter." Bachmann, however, insisted she was not trying to blame either man for the outbreaks:
BACHMANN: I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under Democrat President Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it is an interesting coincidence.

The only problem is that the last U.S. outbreak of swine flu did not begin under Carter. Rather, it began in February of 1976, when Republican Gerald Ford was president. LinkHere

Specter Promises Obama To ‘Support Your Agenda,’ Hours Later Restates Opposition To OLC Pick

This morning, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter decided to leave the Republican Party -- saying it "has moved far to the right" -- and join the Democrats. President Obama was informed of Specter's decision this morning and called to welcome him to the party. White House sources told ABC News that Specter pledged loyalty to Obama's agenda:
At 10:32am, President Barack Obama reached Specter and told him "you have my full support" and "thrilled to have you."
Specter told the president, "I'm a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda."
Just hours later, however, Specter reaffirmed his unfounded opposition to Obama's pick to head the Office of Legal Counsel, Dawn Johnsen:
Q: How are going to vote on the Dawn Johnsen confirmation?
SPECTER: I'm opposed to the nominee for Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Council, Dawn Johnsen. LinkHere

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) said today he would support Johnsen's nomination, becoming the first Republican to publicly support her.


Obama has figured out something everyone outside the country knows: America looks both more powerful and more attractive when it seems confidently at ease, not thin-skinned or cocky.
Gary Hart, 04.28.2009
Author, Wirth Chair professor at the University of Colorado
Crises are too important to waste and the Obama administration is using the many crises it inherited not to go backward but to launch into the new century -- finally.
Amb. Marc Ginsberg, 04.28.2009
Former US Amb. to Morocco
I resolutely accord President Obama and his foreign policy team a well earned grade of "A" in the conduct of America's national security challenges in the first 100 days of his presidency.
Lincoln Mitchell, 04.28.2009
Assistant Professor in the Practice of International Politics, Columbia University
When Obama became president, the country was reeling economically, directionless in foreign policy, losing credibility abroad and suffering a crisis of confidence at home. He has begun to turn all of this around.
Mitchell Bard, 04.28.2009
Writer and Filmmaker
The task awaiting Obama was massive. And yet, there is a rush to decide how he's doing after 100 days. Donnie Walsh gets two years to revive the Knicks, but the president only gets 100 days to
Marc R. Stanley, 04.28.2009
Chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council
We are happy to say that the first 15 weeks of Obama's presidency have made us proud and have fulfilled his promise of much needed change for our country. fix the country?
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