1. From a Tom Coburn interview (R-OK) by Ezra Klein:
EK: On the other side of that hypothetical, let’s say Obama wins, but Republicans hold the House and maybe even take the Senate. How do they act in that hypothetical? Are they more or less willing to compromise with Obama?
TC: I don’t know. I’m not good at predicting that. If President Obama is president again, those problems are still there and we have to solve them. He knows that. We’ve had conversations where he’s told me he’ll go much further than anyone believes he’ll go to solve the entitlement problem if he can get the compromise. And I believe him. I believe he would.
2. Did the White House Direct the Police Crackdown on Occupy?
by DAVE LINDORFF
A new trove of heavily redacted documents provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) on behalf of filmmaker Michael Moore and the National Lawyers Guild makes it increasingly evident that there was and is a nationally coordinated campaign to disrupt and crush the Occupy Movement.
3. Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?
by Jeremy Scahill
On February 2, 2011, President Obama called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The two discussed counterterrorism cooperation and the battle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. At the end of the call, according to a White House read-out, Obama “expressed concern” over the release of a man named Abdulelah Haider Shaye, whom Obama said “had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.” It turned out that Shaye had not yet been released at the time of the call, but Saleh did have a pardon for him prepared and was ready to sign it. It would not have been unusual for the White House to express concern about Yemen’s allowing AQAP suspects to go free. Suspicious prison breaks of Islamist militants in Yemen had been a regular occurrence over the past decade, and Saleh has been known to exploit the threat of terrorism to leverage counterterrorism dollars from the United States. But this case was different. Abdulelah Haider Shaye is not an Islamist militant or an Al Qaeda operative. He is a journalist.
While Shaye, 35, had long been known as a brave, independent-minded journalist in Yemen, his collision course with the US government appears to have been set in December 2009. On December 17, the Yemeni government announced that it had conducted a series of strikes against an Al Qaeda training camp in the village of al Majala in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, killing a number of Al Qaeda militants. As the story spread across the world, Shaye traveled to al Majala. What he discovered were the remnants of Tomahawk cruise missiles and cluster bombs, neither of which are in the Yemeni military’s arsenal. He photographed the missile parts, some of them bearing the label “Made in the USA,” and distributed the photos to international media outlets. He revealed that among the victims of the strike were women, children and the elderly. To be exact, fourteen women and twenty-one children were killed.
Whether anyone actually active in Al Qaeda was killed remains hotly contested. After conducting his own investigation, Shaye determined that it was a US strike. The Pentagon would not comment on the strike and the Yemeni government repeatedly denied US involvement. But Shaye was later vindicated when Wikileaks released a US diplomatic cable that featured Yemeni officials joking about how they lied to their own parliament about the US role, while President Saleh assured Gen. David Petraeus that his government would continue to lie and say “the bombs are ours, not yours.”
That post is dated March 13, 2012, and so is perhaps not "news". How many of you have heard about it? If we had a functioning press, this would be a big deal, and there would be substantial pushback. But we do not, and I only read about it because Glenn Greenwald linked to it in...
4. Obama’s new free speech threat by Glenn Greenwald
There is substantial opposition in both Yemen and the West to the new U.S.-backed Yemeni President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Hadi was the long-time Vice President of the Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, and after Saleh finally stepped down last year, Hadi became President as part of an “election” in which he was the only candidate (that little fact did not prevent Hillary Clinton from congratulating Yemen “on today’s successful presidential election” (successful because the U.S. liked the undemocratic outcome).
The Post article notes that, as unusual as this Executive Order is, Obama issued a similar one for Somalia in 2009, and it has one other precedent: “In 2006, President George W. Bush issued a similar order regarding Ivory Coast in West Africa.” Newspapers should just create a template that says that for every article: this radical and controversial power that Obama has just seized for himself has its genesis in the executive power and war theories of Bush/Cheney. Except for the power to secretly target U.S. citizens for due-process-free assassination-by-CIA and the manic war on whistleblowers — those are Obama originals — that’s a reliable claim to make, which is the point.
5. Comfortable Shoes Department By Charles P. Pierce
Right now, if nothing else changes, it looks very much like Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, is going to keep his job.
Dear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: That heinous future actually could happen if you don't get out of the Green Room and get the DNC off the stick here. I'm still not kidding. If the Democrats blow this one, and if it's proven that the DNC could have helped in any way and didn't, you should be fired before the sun goes down.
Newsflash for Charles P. Pierce: DWS is Obama's handpicked DNC Chair, like Tim Kaine before her. If Obama wanted her to jump to Tom Barrett's aid, she'd be asking, "How high?"
As BDR might say, C.P.P.'s Obamapostasy will never be ready.
(Cross-posted at Whiskey Fire. Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.)