Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:20 AM
Number of posts: 7,524
Number of posts: 7,524
Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.
The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.
In 2007 the Denver Post reported:
""Nacchio suggested that the NSA sought phone, Internet and other customer records from Qwest in early 2001. When he refused to hand over the information, the agency retaliated by not granting lucrative contracts to the Denver-based company, he claimed.""
The Bush-Cheney administration fought fiercely to pass legislation which granted telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for violating Americans' Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution. The legislation was passed in 2008. UK Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald argued that the unprecedented "retroactive" immunity would also give the Bush administration immunity as well, by preventing lawsuits from moving forward into the discovery phase, where wrongdoing was likely to be uncovered.
We know the GOPers tried and failed to pin President Obama with targeting them with the IRS, but did Cheney try to target Dems with the NSA? I have always suspected this was the case.
Keep talkin' there, Dick. I love old memories.
Posted by deminks | Thu Jun 20, 2013, 07:09 AM (36 replies)
Biden also made remarks about former Vice President Al Gore, who served in the House with Markey and was also at the fundraiser.
"This man was elected president of the United States of America," Biden said, talking about Gore's presidential election defeat in 2000. "No, no, no. He was elected president of the United States of America. But for the good of the nation, when the bad decision in my view was made, he did the right thing for the nation."
Some Biden truth-tellin' for this Wednesday morning.
That oughta get the wingers stirred.
Posted by deminks | Wed Jun 12, 2013, 10:02 AM (78 replies)
WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.
The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.
Debate over the coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush has often broken down on largely partisan lines. The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment, led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — a Republican, Asa Hutchinson, and a Democrat, James R. Jones — seeks to produce a stronger national consensus on the torture question.
Mr. Hutchinson, who served in the Bush administration as chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration and under secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said he “took convincing” on the torture issue. But after the panel’s nearly two years of research, he said he had no doubts about what the United States did.
Posted by deminks | Tue Apr 16, 2013, 03:34 AM (2 replies)
Disclose Ed Rendell's conflicts of interest due to his position as a co-chair of the Fix the Debt campaign - a billionaire-financed campaign to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - when he appears on MSNBC to offer commentary on budget, public investment, infrastructure or environmental issues.
Why is this important?
Ed Rendell today is a co-chair of Fix the Debt — nevertheless, in media appearances on your network he is regularly introduced only as the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania. He is special counsel to the law firm Ballard Spahr, where he focuses on privatization in housing and infrastructure. Rendell is a senior adviser at Greenhill & Co., a multinational investment bank.
Rendell is also on the advisory board of Verdeva, a technology development firm, and an operating partner at the venture capital firm Element Partners, a company that has recently invested in natural gas "fracking" in Pennsylvania and nearby states.
Ed Rendell is no longer a Democratic politician. He is a lobbyist, a banking adviser, and technology investor.
Posted by deminks | Sat Mar 2, 2013, 06:39 PM (4 replies)
Last week Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, gave what his office told us would be a major policy speech. And we should be grateful for the heads-up about the speech’s majorness. Otherwise, a read of the speech might have suggested that he was offering nothing more than a meager, warmed-over selection of stale ideas.
To be sure, Mr. Cantor tried to sound interested in serious policy discussion. But he didn’t succeed — and that was no accident. For these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
And such is the influence of what we might call the ignorance caucus that even when giving a speech intended to demonstrate his openness to new ideas, Mr. Cantor felt obliged to give that caucus a shout-out, calling for a complete end to federal funding of social science research. Because it’s surely a waste of money seeking to understand the society we’re trying to change.
Want other examples of the ignorance caucus at work? Start with health care, an area in which Mr. Cantor tried not to sound anti-intellectual; he lavished praise on medical research just before attacking federal support for social science. (By the way, how much money are we talking about? Well, the entire National Science Foundation budget for social and economic sciences amounts to a whopping 0.01 percent of the budget deficit.)
Posted by deminks | Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:59 PM (11 replies)
MSNBC host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough admitted on Sunday that Republicans only kept their majority in the House of Representatives as a result of gerrymandering, noting that the GOP received less votes than Democrats in the 2012 election. Scarborough argued that Republicans must prevent radical ultra-conservative voices from dominating the party’s message and pointed out that the GOP is already losing electoral ground among voters who view it as too extreme and out of touch with middle class Americans:
SCARBOROUGH: William F. Buckley in the 1960s at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism. He went after the John Birch Society, Ayn Rand, George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party because it’s getting smaller and smaller. In this debate, we actually have conservative thinkers, talking about ronald reagan being a RINO — a Republican in name only, because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff. But I just have to say one other really important point, because I made a mistake over the past month talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House. As this article I was referencing mentioned, we actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races. It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority.
Posted by deminks | Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:15 PM (5 replies)
There’s a reason they’re call gun “NUTS.” The NRA just lies. These guys should consider teaming up with the religious right, considering the audacity of lies they tell.
You might recall that we reported earlier this week that the NRA had launched an ad/Web site targeting President Obama’s children. The ad claimed – falsely, we now know – that the school the Obama girls attend, Sidwell friends, has “11 armed guards.”
In fact, the school has no armed guards of any kind.
Now, you’d think that when the NRA saw that the source for lie was “Breitbart,” a far right blog known for its sensationalism rather than it’s love of veracity, they’d have double checked. Well, if they did, they double checked with Fox News, because it’s a lie.
The article quotes the Washington Post fact checker.
4 Pinocchios for a slashing NRA ad on security at Sidwell Friends School
Posted by deminks | Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:46 PM (75 replies)
(Washington, DC) Our elections are officially privatized. They are hidden from our view by design.
On November 6, your votes will be cast and tallied on voting machines manufactured and serviced by private companies. The computerized voting machines run on software that is closely held as a trade secret by these companies. Our elections officials are barred from examining the most important aspects of the software. Why? Because those same officials signed away our right to open access and inspection of the voting systems that tell us who won and who lost each and every election. (Image: WikiCommons)
This is the most profound election fraud imaginable. It affects every citizen, all 311 million of us.
Watch the Post-Election Polls and Analysis
Rich Charnin has been studying and writing about election for early ten years. He was one of the first researchers to discover the inconsistencies in the media consortium's exit polling and the first researcher to look beneath the surface of the 2004 election. Charnin predicted the exact electoral count of the 2008 election and updates his blog daily.
His latest book, Matrix of Deceit: Forcing Pre-Election and Exit Polls to Match Fraudulent Vote Counts, shows how the media consortium uses their exit polls to ratify questionable elections. The official exit polls released by the networks and major news outlets are adjusted before release to match the official election results. Charnin was the first to point out that that nearly half the official media consortium's state presidential exit polls exceeded the margin of error in favor of Republicans and only three did so in favor of the Democratic presidential candidate. The probability of that happening is one of those unfathomable improbabilities, one in several trillion. Where are the experts, academics, and elections officials who prop-up an indefensible election process? What do they have to say in their defense? Nothing.
John Lewis Injured During March
John Lewis, leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was struck on the head by a state trooper during an attempt to march on the state capitol in Montgomery in March 1965.
For all of you who poo-poo exit polls. The exit polls you and I see are adjusted - do you understand that? - adjusted to match the results before they are released to the public by the MEdia. It's not the people lying about who they voted for - they are effing cooked before you and I see them.
When Rep. Lewis says he lived it and is now living it again, he speaks the truth.
Posted by deminks | Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:14 PM (6 replies)
This morning on Fox News Sunday, Justice Antonin Scalia reiterated just how extremely his Constitutional originalism can be applied. Referring to the recent shooting in Aurora, CO, host Chris Wallace asked the Supreme Court Justice about gun control, and whether the Second Amendment allows for any limitations to gun rights. Scalia admitted there could be, such as “frighting” (carrying a big ax just to scare people), but they would still have to be determined with an 18th-Century perspective in mind. According to his originalism, if a weapon can be hand-held, though, it probably still falls under the right o “bear arms”:
WALLACE: What about… a weapon that can fire a hundred shots in a minute?
SCALIA: We’ll see. Obviously the Amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried — it’s to keep and “bear,” so it doesn’t apply to cannons — but I suppose here are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided.
WALLACE: How do you decide that if you’re a textualist?
SCALIA: Very carefully.
A SCOTUS judge/dog whistler on Faux Newz.
Gore won, Fat Tony. Get over it.
Posted by deminks | Sun Jul 29, 2012, 11:05 AM (5 replies)
Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) is poised to release its findings next week on the cause of recent global warming. A forthcoming NY Times op-ed by Richard Muller, BEST’s Founder and Scientific Director, has been excerpted on a conservative website with the headline, “New Global Temperature Data Reanalysis Confirms Warming, Blames CO2.”
I have spoken with scientists and journalists familiar with BEST’s findings, and the excerpt appears genuine. Here is the money graf:
CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified scientific issues that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Now, after organizing an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I’ve concluded that global warming is real, that the prior estimates of the rate were correct, and that cause is human.
Yes, yes, I know, the finding itself is “dog bites man.” What makes this “man bites dog” is that Muller has been a skeptic of climate science, and the single biggest funder of this study is the “Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000).” The Kochs are the leading funder of climate disinformation in the world!
Posted by deminks | Sat Jul 28, 2012, 07:20 PM (13 replies)