Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hope and/or Change News Roundup

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?


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.)


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

FWIW, I have seen a recent analysis of the Marquette polling on the recall that shows pretty significant oversampling of republicans.

Not that it changes the DNC douchbaggery, but it is not as dire as Marquette and the Urinal-Sentinel would like to make it seem.

I still haven't seen a convincing case that the lack of DNC support stems from Obama. He's not responsible for EVERY bad thing that happened. i had a cramp in my leg yesterday morning that I am pretty certain was Rmoney's fault.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

She's his DNC chair.

"And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."

Randal Graves said...

Fine, vote for the other guy, just don't be surprised when he steals your uterus and wears it as a hat.

And you know words are as useless as boobs on a man.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Jill Stein is a lady, R.G.

Laura said...

I agree with whatever Randal said. Even if he's wrong. ;) He's still as cute as a button!


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

That's why we all give him a pass, Laura.

Heck, we can't even tell R.G. to go fly a kite.

Brando said...

The MYTV Buzz Bin hoopla over the Facbook IPO is making me miss the days when the largest threat to the country was an Oval Office hummer.

fish said...

Thudner obviously thinks that Obama and Romney ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!!!111!

David Atkins told me so.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Even More Hope and Change:

In April, Qasim was selected as the winner of the Audience Award for Best International Film at the 2012 National Film Festival For Talented Youth, held annually in Seattle, Washington. Qasim, however, along with his co-producers, were prevented from traveling to the U.S. to accept their award and showcase their film because their request for a visa to travel to the U.S. was denied. The Tribune reported: “Despite being chosen for the award, the filmmakers were unable to attend the award ceremony as their visa applications were rejected twice.

We would condemn this, if Bush and Cheney did it. But now we're just gonna keep our mouths shut?

That's b.s.

Dragon-King Wangchuck said...

You're just upset because Obama's been a horrible preznit on a wide range of issues.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

We would condemn this, if Bush and Cheney did it. But now we're just gonna keep our mouths shut?

Who said that? Have you built a strawzombie to battle again?

It's shit. It's American Politics. Your choice is shit.

So what are we doing about it?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I mean, what are we doing besides bitching on the internet.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

We = Large swaths of the so-called liberal left, zrm.

Come on, how often have you heard anyone but Glenn Greenwald, Scott Horton, and some little people talk about these things, and mention Obama, the most powerful Democrat on the planet, specifically?

As to what to do about it, that's a fine question.

Number one, figure out that there's a problem, and doing the same thing over and over again ("voting for the lesser evil") isn't making it any better...quite the opposite.

The best thing I can figure out to do so far is to support Jill Stein. But I'd be happy to hear your suggestions.

Jennifer said...

I think I'll just have another beer.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

But I'd be happy to hear your suggestions.

Well, Imma start with knocking Walker out. Which nobody else in the country seems to care about, so fack all y'all. I know we are Flyover country, but NO CHEESE FOR YOU.

If we can get Wisconsin started, then I'll think about the rest of you. If not, I fucking give up and I'll just vote Romney. I mean, since I've already tried voting third party and look how much good it did.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

How about you start on the lovely Ohio Teabaggers? Run for Governor!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I mean, since I've already tried voting third party and look how much good it did.

Most of the country voted for Democrats in 2006 and 2008, look how much good that did?

And I do hope you get rid of Walker. But Obama and company have a lot more money than I do, you know.

They get it from Jamie Dimon and fiends. And therein lies the problem.

Substance McGravitas said...

I really wonder when some political terror is gonna start.

Randal Graves said...

Folks assume the system as is can be fixed 'cause the system is filled with soylent green wearing people masks when that's the reason for the "aw shit it's broke" in the first place.

Won't be a new -ism till vast gobs of people are willing to pop a cap in someone's head, and then the leaders of the new -ism will just end up doing the same shit as the old -ism only with cooler gadgets.

Jim H. said...