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David Gregory, for example, asked Greenwald last June, "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden, even in his current movements, why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?"
On Thursday, Taibbi called Gregory's tone towards Greenwald "outrageous."
"I don't know how he can call himself a journalist and talk like that," he said. "Look, this is the job. The job is we're supposed to report the truth. If whistle blowers come forward, we're supposed to take the risk along with those whistleblowers and society long ago decided we should have protections when we do this."
"Modern journalists just don't recognize how serious it is," Taibbi added.
video & more:
Posted by kpete | Fri Feb 21, 2014, 09:10 AM (86 replies)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman Henry Waxman released a letter to Senator John McCain and former Representative Newt Gingrich
February 20, 2014
The Honorable John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Newt Gingrich
4501 North Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Dear Senator McCain and Mr. Gingrich:
Over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a powerful and important speech in Indonesia about the dangers of climate change. Secretary Kerry accurately said, “When I think about the array of global threats … terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction … the reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them.”
Your reaction was disappointing. Senator McCain asked, “On what planet does he reside?” Mr. Gingrich called the Secretary “delusional” and “dangerous to our safety.”
You should know that Secretary Kerry’s assessment of the risks we face is consistent with those of national security experts of unimpeachable credentials. For example:
• Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, Chief of U.S. military forces in the Pacific region, said that the biggest long-term security threat in the region is climate change because it “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.”
• General Anthony Zinni, the former Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Central Command, warned, “You may also have a population that is traumatized by an event or a change in conditions triggered by climate change. … Then you can be faced with a collapsing state. And these end up as breeding grounds for instability, for insurgencies, for warlords. You start to see extremism. These places act like Petri dishes for extremism and for terrorist networks.”
• Robert Gates, the former Defense Secretary, said, “over the next 20 years and more certain pressures – population, resource, energy, climate, economic, and environmental – could combine with rapid cultural, social, and technological change to produce new sources of deprivation, rage, and instability. … I believe the most persistent and dangerous threats will come less from ambitious states than failing ones that cannot meet the basic needs – much less aspirations – of their people.”
• Admiral Michael Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated, “The scarcity of an potential competition for resources like water, food and space, compounded by the influx of refugees if coastal lands are lost, does not only create a humanitarian crisis but it creates conditions of hopelessness that could lead to failed states and make populations vulnerable to radicalization.”
• Admiral John Nathan, former Commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces, predicted, “There are serious risks to doing nothing about climate change. We can pay now or we’re going to pay more later.”
• James Clapper, the Director of the National Intelligence, testified, “there will almost assuredly be security concerns with respect to … energy and climate change. Environmental stresses are not just humanitarian issues. They legitimately threaten regional stability.”
• Thomas Fingar, the former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, concluded, “We judge global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security interests.”
• Hans Blix, the former chief UN weapons inspector, said he thought climate change posed a greater threat to the planet than nuclear proliferation.
You may also want to review the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, which called climate change “an accelerant of instability or conflict” that “could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments.”
These concerns about the profound risks of climate change are shared by distinguished world leaders. Last month, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, wrote in the Washington Post, “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. It threatens the well-being of hundreds of millions of people today and many billions more in the future.” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, said last year that climate change has the “potential for major social and economic disruption.” And Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, stated that if we fail to confront climate change “we could witness the rolling back of decades of development gains and force tens of millions more to live in poverty.”
You may also want to reflect on what Robert Rubin, the widely respected former Treasury Secretary, said just last month about climate change: “There are a lot of really significant, monumental issues facing the global economy, but this supersedes them all.”
Senator McCain made a particular point of criticizing Secretary Kerry for talking about climate change “when we have got 130,000 people in Syria killed.” This is an inaccurate criticism because Secretary Kerry has been devoting extensive attention to Syria. It is also uninformed. There are experts who believe that climate change and the extended drought is one of the underlying causes of the conflicts in Syria. As the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote, tensions in the Middle East have been “driven not only by political and economic stresses, but, less visibly, by environmental, population and climate stresses as well. If we focus only on the former and not the latter, we will never be able to help stabilize these societies.”
Secretary Kerry needs allies in this fight for the future of our planet. History will not look back and fault him for leading the charge to prevent the worst impacts of climate change while we still have time. But history may question why Republican leaders who were once their party's champions on climate change fled the field at a crucial moment.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 04:46 PM (19 replies)
Tom DeLay: People keep forgetting that God ‘wrote the Constitution’
By David Edwards
Thursday, February 20, 2014 16:23 EST
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) this week warned Americans to remember that God “wrote the Constitution” based on the Bible.
During an appearance on John Hagee Ministries’ Global Evangelism Television (GETV) network on Wednesday, host Matt Hagee asked the Texas Republican where the country had gone wrong.
“I think we got off the track when we allowed our government to become a secular government,” DeLay explained. “When we stopped realizing that God created this nation, that he wrote the Constitution, that it’s based on biblical principles.”
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 04:38 PM (111 replies)
Equal Rights Are Not “Special Rights”
February 20, 2014 | Scott Lemieux
Via Sullivan — who notes that on the odious anti-civil rights bill the National Review is now to the right of the Kansas Republican Party — one of the moldiest of conservative canards:
Laws that create special privileges (sic] based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech (sic] and the free exercise of religion (sic].
Over to you, Justice Harlan:
My brethren say that, when a man has emerged from slavery, and by the aid of beneficent legislation has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that state, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws, and when his rights as a citizen or a man are to be protected in the ordinary modes by which other men’s rights are protected. It is, I submit, scarcely just to say that the colored race has been the special favorite of the laws. The statute of 1875, now adjudged to be unconstitutional, is for the benefit of citizens of every race and color. What the nation, through Congress, has sought to accomplish in reference to that race is what had already been done in every State of the Union for the white race — to secure and protect rights belonging to them as freemen and citizens, nothing more.
The argument that securing basic rights non-oppressed classes can take for granted constitutes “special rights” hasn’t improved in the past 130 years.
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 10:50 AM (2 replies)
Jenn’s Words: “Living in poverty is like being punched in the face over and over and over on a daily basis. “
Posted on February 19, 2014 by Jupiter Sinclair
Thank you to Jenn for sharing her personal story of living in poverty right now….
Today, I did something I never thought I’d do. I yelled at my son for being hungry. Oh sure, there are many parents nodding in agreement because they’ve done the same thing. Many have yelled at their kids for asking for one more snack right before dinner was served or for wanting to eat junk food out of boredom. That’s not why I yelled. I yelled because I didn’t have extra food to give him and I was taking my frustration out on him. He wasn’t doing anything wrong. He’s just a kid, a 7 year old who is full of energy and constantly growing. Of course he’s hungry often. That’s what kids do. However, I didn’t have enough food for anyone to have extras. Everything has to be rationed out over a week or more. Food stuff needs to be stretched. Already angry and frustrated with our situation, I lost my cool when my child asked a simple question – because I knew there was nothing I could do to change it in that moment. My anger turned to worry, another constant feeling in my daily life, as I wondered if this would create food issues in my child. Will he be afraid to eat, knowing that we might not have enough the next day?
I’m 35 years old. I am a mother and a wife. I am college educated, degreed, and I have held a professional license. I have been working since the age of 18. Until now. I live in poverty. I am poor. My family is poor.
When I say I am poor, I don’t mean that it’s going to take me two weeks to save for a new iPad or the next iWhatever. I don’t mean that I’ll need a coupon to shop at J.Crew. I mean that I have saved my kids Halloween candy for times when my blood sugar gets too low after a day of not eating because I can’t afford enough food for 3 square meals for the entire family. It means that having my heat set above 60 degrees is a luxury. It means that the needle on my gas gauge is constantly hovering at E. It means that we wear our clothes several times before laundering because we can’t afford the fees to use the washing machines. It means the thrift shop is damn expensive. It means so many more things that we don’t often think about unless we’re living in poverty. As a culture, we are disconnected to the idea of not having access to the most basic needs. Consumerism and materialism are supposedly signs of a healthy economy and successful nation, environment be damned, and a blind eye towards those less advantaged is a requirement.
Our story of poverty doesn’t come with credit card bills, expensive cable packages, luxury toys. It’s not that anyone should be judged for why they are poor, but people naturally ask, mostly out of curiosity and sometimes to find information to justify their lack of care for your position, for a way to blame you for your own situation. It makes it easier to detach. We have both been hard workers for over a decade. We have played by the rules. It still got us. I am currently unemployed – and that’s not for a lack of effort. My husband lost a fairly good job over a year ago and we’ve been pulled down a spiral ever since. His period of unemployment meant we burned through our savings and our emergency fund. While I am still unemployed (to be fair, I do walk dogs or babysit on occasion for some cash, but those times are few and far between), my husband is currently working three jobs. Three jobs. My husband is not college educated. He has worked on the warehouse/shipping/receiving side of retail for a very long time and is good at what he does. He’s very strong, enjoys physical labor, and is a hard worker. His three jobs are retail-based. Two of them pay exactly minimum wage. The third pays just above that. He is constantly applying for jobs on a weekly basis, as am I. With three jobs, you can imagine he works many hours. There have been weeks were he worked all three jobs back to back with maybe an hour or two in between. Thanksgiving to the New Year were brutal. He would often work nearly 30 hours in a row, come home to sleep for a few hours, then go back for another cycle of 30 hours. It’s been brutal on his health and our family.
Will someone stop for a moment and tell me in what world is it considered moral for a person to work three jobs and still be unable to support their family. It just isn’t right.
Living in poverty is like being punched in the face over and over and over on a daily basis. It’s pulling yourself out of a hole, only to fall over a cliff. Every step in the right direction is rewarded with a hearty push several steps back. The changes to one’s mental health when living in poverty can be astonishing. I suffered a miscarriage years ago and I knew anger and sadness then. I made my way through it and survived. I didn’t think I would feel such strong emotions again. I was wrong. The anger is back. Anger is for everything. I’m angry I am in this situation. I am angry I’m not good enough for proper employment. I’m angry my children are living through this. I am angry at my husband. I’m angry at Christians who preach against me, ignoring the words of Christ. I’m angry at politicians who vote against people like me. I’m angry at a society that views me as a leech, as a welfare queen, as someone who deserves the be on the bottom of humanity’s shoe.
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 10:31 AM (12 replies)
A POPULAR and noted critic of Wall Street corruption, Matt Taibbi is moving to Glenn Greenwald’s First Look Media. It’s a good fit given what Glenn has said his new-media site will be all about.
Matt Taibbi, who made a name as a fierce critic of Wall Street at Rolling Stone magazine, has joined First Look Media, the latest big-name journalist to leave an established brand to enter the thriving and well-financed world of news start-ups. (New York Times)
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 09:53 AM (58 replies)
Quote of the Day
"If he is good enough for Ted Nugent, he is good enough for me!"
-- Sarah Palin, in a Facebook post, endorsing Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R).
Posted by kpete | Thu Feb 20, 2014, 09:32 AM (7 replies)
A judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a facility where enriched uranium for nuclear bombs is stored. Two others who took part, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months. The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July 2012, embarrassing officials and prompting security changes. Judge Amul Thapar of Federal District Court said Sister Rice did not share the others’ criminal backgrounds. “Her crimes are minimal in comparison to the others,” the judge said. The three admitted to spray painting peace slogans and hammering on exterior walls of the facility. When a guard confronted them, they offered him food and began singing. The complex is the primary American site for processing and storage of enriched uranium -NYT
Posted by kpete | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 07:48 PM (10 replies)
So I'm going through the Scott Walker documents and come across this:
The text of the caption is as follows:
"This morning I went to sign my Dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare". So I explained to her that my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs. So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify. My Dogs get their first checks Friday."
page 4962 (Holy Cow) pdf:
more, plus how to find this gem:
Updated To add more disgust:
“THE NIGHTMARE … ‘I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted Jewish homosexual … but please, oh dear God, don’t make me a Democrat.’” A 2010 email forward from then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s then-chief of staff, Thomas Nardelli, to his deputy, Kelly Rindfleisch...........................
Posted by kpete | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 07:28 PM (8 replies)
Reuters reports this morning that Volkswagen’s “top labor representative” has threatened to block any future expansion plans in the South, citing conservative interference in the United Auto Workers vote in Chattanooga.
Quoting an interview with a German newspaper, the news service reports Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council, as saying he can imagine further expansion in the United States, but it probably won’t be in the South unless some sort of labor representation is established in the Chattanooga plant. Workers in Germany have representation on corporate boards, giving them a say in citing decisions.
Osterloh’s remarks seem to contradict statements by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and others that Chattanooga would get another vehicle if workers rejected UAW representation. Osterloh describes such talk as conservative “interference.”
On the other hand, the debate may not be over. The Associated Press quotes Osterloh as saying he hasn’t given up on bringing labor representation to Chattanooga, citing the same interview.
Posted by kpete | Wed Feb 19, 2014, 05:12 PM (334 replies)