Mar 132014
 

Let me begin with the caveat that I am not a fan of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).  She spends far more time in bed with America’s rogue agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA) than any Democrat should.  That said, I stand in full support of her attempts to bring to light both the crimes committed by the CIA under the Bush Regime, and their subsequent crimes to prevent the Senate Intelligence Committee from fulfilling their proper oversight roll.  Here’s the latest.

0313TortureIt was outrageous enough when two successive presidents papered over the Central Intelligence Agency’s history of illegal detention, rendition, torture and fruitless harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects. Now the leader of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, has provided stark and convincing evidence that the C.I.A. may have committed crimes to prevent the exposure of interrogations that she said were “far different and far more harsh” than anything the agency had described to Congress.

Ms. Feinstein delivered an extraordinary speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday in which she said the C.I.A. improperly searched the computers used by committee staff members who were investigating the interrogation program as recently as January.

Beyond the power of her office and long experience, Ms. Feinstein’s accusations carry an additional weight and credibility because she has been a reliable supporter of the intelligence agencies and their expanded powers since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 (sometimes too reliable)… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

I strongly recommend clicking through for the rest of this excellent article.

Here’s an excerpt from Dianne Feinstein’s address on the Senate floor.

I find her statement fully credible.  Given her normal conservative bent on national security issues, there is no basis at all to believe she is lying.

Rachel Maddow provided additional detail and explained the background in most excellent fashion.

Major kudos to Rachel Maddow!

The CIA’s complaint is that Intelligence Committee staffers removed the Panetta Report from the computers provided them to a secure safe in the Hart Office Building.  Technically, they may be correct, because that did violate the agreement between the Committee and the CIA.  However, the CIA had already violated that agreement in two ways.  First they had been spying on the use of the computers provided the Committee for their “exclusive use”.  Second, they had removed documents from those computers to prevent their use as evidence.  When Committee staffers discovered that the CIA was removing documents, they took the steps necessary to protect what they considered the most important document by removing it to the same secure location they would have used to review the documents, were it not for the special arrangements made for this investigation.  To me it seems that the purpose the CIA had in having the documents reviewed at the non-standard location, which they controlled, was to surreptitiously prevent the overseers from doing their job.  Therefore I find the removal of the of the Panetta Report to be fully justified, under the circumstances.

I am gratified to learn that Feinstein intends to declassify and release the summary and conclusions of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of the torture perpetrated by the Bush Regime until Obama discontinued it, when he took office.  I am equally gratified to learn that Obama supports this as well.  While I have a pretty good idea what it will contain, releasing this information is long past due.

Share
Mar 082014
 

This is Rachel’s second major Iraq War special, and if you have not had the good fortune to see it, or want to see it again, you can watch it here.  She made her point well and documented it with her usual thoroughness and accuracy.  While my own analysis includes a second reason, she agreed completely with my main  reason.  Enjoy!

0308bush_warispeaceThe U.S. cannot escape from its sins in Iraq until it honestly accounts for its reasons for invading the Middle Eastern nation, said MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

She explained to Jon Stewart on Wednesday night’s “Daily Show” that she made a new documentary, “Why We Did It,” to help examine some of those unanswered questions.

“I did another documentary a little bit more than a year ago about how we were lied to, about how the administration’s case about why we had to go to war in Iraq wasn’t true, and how they sold us a false case,” Maddow said. “It sort of leads right away to the next question, that if the case they made wasn’t really why they wanted to go, why did they really want to go?”…

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Here’s the video I found in two segments:

I think we all knew that it was about the oil, but I have never seen it so well documented in one place.

In my opinion, there was also a second reason why.  The main place we station troops in the Persian Gulf is Saudi Arabia.  There the Wahhabi sect exerts considerable influence on the government and the populace.  Wahhabis are Republican Supply-side pseudo Muslims, the main source of funding for Al Qaeda, and every bit as rabid and hate-filled as Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are here.  Because Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam’s two holiest places, Mecca and Medina, they consider the presence of US troops on Saudi soil to be sacrilegious pollution.  That presence is one of the two main reasons, along with US support for Israel, for Al Qaeda terrorism against the US.  The US is concerned that the welcome mat for our troops could be rolled up at some future time.  The Bush Regime intended to make Iraq a puppet client state and a permanent base for US forces to control the Persian Gulf from a local than does not make us beholding to the Saudis.

Share
Mar 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I had hoped to have an additional article, but my new vacuum arrived.  Assembling it was most interesting, because I do not have a doctorate in Engineering, and I am not psychic.  It works.  Then I had to try it out.  Then I had to clean the refrigerator for my store to Door delivery.  Tomorrow is my annual physical, and my doctor is way on the other side of town.  I’m taking the lift bus, and I’ll be gone most of the day.   I Have to fast after Midnight.  I’ll be doing good to get out even an Open Thread for Friday, if I can.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:29 (average 5:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: If you haven’t met Rev. William Barber, then you are in for a treat. This is not your grandma’s Sunday service, that’s for sure. (Or, if it is … then you totally have one cool grandma.)

Pay close attention to the words of "The Great Dissenter" at 2:01 and see if you agree.

 

Amen!

From Daily Kos: The fact that Florida’s Republican governor and legislature refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare was bad enough. Florida has the second highest number of uninsured people among all the states. About one quarter of Florida’s population was uninsured before the health exchange opened in January. That’s 3.8 million people. If the state were to expand Medicaid, one million of them would get Medicaid coverage. But it gets worse. Florida isn’t just turning away Medicaid expansion money, they’ve jeopardized existing funding by refusing to comply with federal Medicaid law. The state has decided to impose a limit of six emergency room visits per year to Medicaid patients. The feds say Florida can’t do that, Florida says, sure we can. And now they’re losing funding.

The only thing that will save Florida is a giant dose of Dulcolax to cure their case of Republipation.

From YouTube: RACHEL MADDOW: Why We Did It Preview

 

It will be most interesting to see if the reasons Rachel has uncovered are the same as I have projected. First, seize the oil. Second, establish permanent bases for military operations in the Persian Gulf that is not under the control of Saudi Arabia. This special will air at 6:00 PM pacific Time on MSNBC.

Cartoon:
0306Cartoon

Share
Mar 052014
 

Until now, I have remained silent on Vladimir Putin’s (R-RU) invasion of the Ukraine.  I like to get a sense of what’s going on before jumping in half-cocked.  In my opinion, the invasion is a crime, but there is little the US can actually do about it, other than propose sanctions and organize international opposition.  This directly parallels our position when Putin invaded Georgia.  There is one critical difference.  When Putin invaded Georgia, Democrats blamed Putin.  But now that Putin ids invading the Ukraine, Republicans are blaming Obama and praising Putin.  Here’s an example.

0305PutinWhile most of Vladimir Putin’s right-wing fans have come from the socially conservative wing of the GOP, it would be wrong to say the Russian autocrat doesn’t have some cross-over appeal for today’s Republicans. Case in point: Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and well-known moderate on some social issues, counts himself as a fan — or at the very least sounds like one.

Appearing on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show, Giuliani shared his thoughts on Russia’s invasion and de facto annexation of the Ukrainian province. Rather than blasting Putin for ignoring international law, the sovereignty of an independent neighboring country, and the rights of Ukrainians to decide their country’s future for themselves, Giuliani praised Putin for being what he called “a leader.”

After chuckling dismissively at the idea of merely leveling sanctions against Russia in response to its transgression, Giuliani laid it out as simply as he could: “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day, right? He decided he had to go to their parliament — he went to their parliament, he got permission in 15 minutes.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Salon.com>

Rudy must be smoking InsaniTEA IF he thinks he can compare Putin getting permission from his puppet parliament and Obama getting anything at all from the our Republican Congress.

Rachel Maddow extended this theme with even more examples.

No matter what Obama does, Republican’s will condemn him for it.  As for Putin, Republicans love him so much, that they would rather betray their own country than join Democrats in opposing his crimes.

Share
Feb 162014
 

Once upon a time, the citizens of North Carolina enjoyed the benefits their state had to offer, but they believed Republican lies and allowed their state to be overthrown.  It is now the Totalitarian Racist Plutocracy of McCrorystan, led by TEAfuhrer Pat McCrory.  In typical Republican fashion, the TEAfuhrer has harmed residents with his corruption, but a federal investigation is giving him a pain in the ash, more precisely, the coal ash.

McCrorystanFlag

Rachel Maddow said on her show Friday night that the toxic coal ash spill in North Carolina exposes Gov. Pat McCrory (R)’s corrupt ties to Duke Energy, the company responsible for sending tens of thousands of tons of coal ash spilling into the Dan River.

On Friday, she said, the Tea Party governor did a press conference thinking that he was going to be answering questions about the winter storm that walloped the region this week. Instead, McCrory found himself on the pointed end of questions about his ties to Duke Energy, the statewide energy company that caused the spill.

Environmental groups in the state have sued Duke Energy over the spill, which has fouled miles of river ecosystems and will take years to clean up. McCrory is accused of working with Duke to quash those suits. He is also known to own a considerable amount of stock in the energy company, but refuses to disclose that amount.

Reporters wanted to know on Friday about the appearance of a conflict of interest… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Here’s that video:

As usual, Rachel is spot-on!  I’m most hopeful that the investigation will bear fruit, and TEAfuhrer McCrory becomes the best kind of Republican: unemployed and convicted.  The oppressed people of McCrorystan need their state back.

Share
Feb 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling quite tired after going out to run errands and doing a bunch of volunteer paperwork, so I’m going to limit myself to just this article today.  I hope you are all staying warm and safe.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In a 2004 ceremony in Orange County, N.Y., Robina Asti, a World War II veteran and pilot, married her longtime sweetheart, Norwood Patton. After Norwood passed away in 2012, Robina applied for survivor’s benefits, and a terrible thing happened. Listen to her story.

 

In my opinion, she should have been accorded the same treatment that any other widow would have received.

From YouTube: Plans to beat Boehner on Minimum Wage & Immigration – Rachel Maddow

 

I see this as a lose-lose scenario for Republicans. If Democrats get the required number of signatures, we the people win. However, I think that getting twenty eight Republicans to sign it, without being able to use Agent Orange (Boehner) as cover, is not likely. Nevertheless, we get to put all Republicans who refuse to sign it on front street. When we make Republicans demonstrate who they really are to voters, they lose.

From The New Yorker: Dear subscribers,

Today, it was announced that Comcast is joining forces with Time Warner Cable in a friendly acquisition worth $45 billion. As we could have expected, many people are wondering what this transaction will mean to the service that you, our subscribers, will enjoy.

We know that all of your comments, however mean-spirited some of them may have been, have come from a good place: genuine concern about what this merger will mean for your future cable service. At Comcast/Time Warner, we care deeply about those concerns, and, to help allay them, here are some answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s) we have received since the merger was announced.

Q: How will the merger affect the price of my cable service?

A: There is no clear answer to that. But we will be introducing financing options, roughly similar to those that enabled you to attend college.

Once again Andy’s satire is virtually true. Click through for the rest. The deal should not be allowed to go through because of antitrust laws.

Cartoon:
0215Cartoon

Share
Jan 312014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling poorly.  Please pardon my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Loony toon Congressman Tim Huelskamp appeared with Rachel Maddow after the SOTU speech to address a series of sick disgusting tweets he posted in the House chamber as the President spoke.

There’s no other way to say it: Obama Derangement Syndrome.  For some people seeing a black man address the nation on national tee vee causes them to lose their shit…

…See, they no longer say "YOU LIE" out loud while the President speaks, instead they tweet it out to their hate mob while he’s speaking.

Embarrassed that Rachel was exposing his hate speech on live tee vee, he vainly tried to divert attention away by… you guessed it… a "WHAT ABOUT BENGAAAAAAAAAAHZIII!11!!" rant.

For International readers, I found the same video on YouTube.

I thought it hilarious that every time Rachel asked this Republican liar to validate what he had just said, he changed the subject. In fact, Obama has issued the fewest executive orders per year os any President in the last 117 years.

From Upworthy: If You Needed A Better Reason To Start Cooking More Meals At Home, Here’s One For You

Riddle me this: What is cheap, addictive, and leads to poor nutrition? Exactly what you should be avoiding. Cue the video, my friends!

 

Thanks to Store to Door, I can now eat more fresh fruits and veggies. If you have a similar service in your community, I strongly recommend using and supporting it.

From Think Progress: On CNN Wednesday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told host Wolf Blitzer that she supports equal pay for women despite voting against a measure that would help women achieve that goal…

…But McMorris Rodgers actually voted against laws meant to address the pay disparity between men and women four times. She voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act twice, which lengthened the time for victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint. She also voted twice against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure aimed at closing the gender wage gap by ending the practice of salary secrecy, thus giving women and others a better chance of rooting out discrimination, narrowing the guidelines for what pay disparities are justified, and strengthening penalties for discrimination as a way to deter it, among other things.

Republicans may say they support equal pay, but they voted unanimously against the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate 2010 and just 10 voted for it in the House. Senate Republicans blocked it again in 2012 with a filibuster.

 

There is a reason that virtually every Republican politician lies about almost all issues. The only way they can get votes is to keep voters ignorant about what they plan and who they represent. Most broadcast media do not challenge their lies.

Cartoon:

0131Cartoon

Share