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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 10,501

Journal Archives

David Corn: Why Picking Tom Perez for AG Would Be a Smart Move for Obama

I so think I agree with Corn's recommendation. We sorely need an AG who will focus on police abuses, election fraud, and calling out corrupt pols, instead of continuing pot-SWAT raids in states with legal weed. Do I hear an Ay-men?

Why Picking Tom Perez for Attorney General Would Be a Smart Move for Obama
Win or lose, a nomination battle would rally Democrats—and put Republicans on the defensive.
By David Corn * Mon Nov. 3, 2014 * Mother Jones

Whether or not the Democrats lose their Senate majority on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will need to show some fight after the midterm elections. If the Republicans triumph, Obama must do something to rally his discouraged supporters and show he won't spend his final two years as a truly lame-duck president. If the Dems manage to hold the Senate, the president, who has been pinned down by ISIS, Ebola, and other crises, will still be looking for a way to take back the political narrative and flex his political and policy muscle. Either way, he has a good option: nominate Tom Perez as attorney general.

The chatter in Washington is that Obama will announce his pick to replace the outgoing Eric Holder soon after Election Day, and Perez is on the White House's short list. Based on his resumé, Perez, who is now secretary of labor, is a reasonable choice. He's also one of the administration's most stalwart progressives.

Before taking charge of the Department of Labor in July 2013, Perez was the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's civil rights division. The office had been eviscerated under George W. Bush, and Perez revitalized it by mounting voting rights cases and legal challenges to discrimination against gays and lesbians. During his tenure, the division opened a record-breaking number of investigations into police abuse and forged wide-ranging agreements to clean up various police forces accused of misconduct, no small matter given recent national debates and controversy sparked by the Ferguson episode and the Trayvon Martin shooting.

As Mother Jones previously reported:

Using its authority to compel institutional changes in local law enforcement agencies that have engaged in systemic violations of Americans' constitutional rights, Perez's office has helped to overhaul the police department of Puerto Rico and New Orleans police force. (New Orleans police officers shot several civilians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.) It has scrutinized the Miami and Seattle police departments and exposed the civil rights abuses of Arizona's notorious anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio.


Re Measure 92: Check out this inter-active map showing how many OTHER states,

including MOST states, ALREADY have some form of GMO labeling laws either in place or that are being legislated and/or introduced via citizen initiatives.

This simple fact exposes the big lie being promulgated by the No on 92 campaign that "92 would result in a $400 annual increase in an Oregon family's food budget" because they IMPLY that Oregon would be the ONLY state in USA where food producers would need to separately label and distribute non-GMO food.

Oddly enough, Yes on 92 ads DO cite how many other NATIONs already have GMO-labeling requirements and/or ban them altogether; but I have never seen them point out how many other states have GMO labeling requirements in the works, which clearly shows that food producers are ALREADY going to be required in SOME STATES to label GMOs, it won't "only" be required Oregon.


I only ran across this interactive map yesterday, or would have posted it earlier.

Until Leading Democrats Do THIS In Unison, we are all up shit creek without a paddle

You name it. We all know the sorry list ..

Climate change come-a-cropper (which Noam Chompski thinks is more pressing than ANYthing right now),
endless wars in the ME, Wall Street still unleashed, etc. etc. <--- WE ARE ALL ROYALLY SCREWED!!

Democrats won't even take the tiniest baby step towards owning-up to the crises we face.
Exhibit A: One such necessary baby-step would be to put a permanent end to blatent GOP
election fraud and buggering once-and-for-all. http://projects.aljazeera.com/2014/double-voters/

It will be messy and balls-to-the-wall for sure, for them to even try to do such a thing. But IMHO this
is an even more immediate, albeit shorter-term, crisis than climate change.

Until Dems uniformly do this, why focus on anything else?

Why are our Democratic office-holders such shrinking violets?

Why is it that Democrats, regardless of how progressive they talk before their election, so often fail to follow-through, leaving progressive voters stunned and disillusioned?

In particular, I'm thinking of the blatent ongoing GOP/Rovian election fraud going on during this election cycle, when we've had 6+ years of supposedly "progressive" Democrats in the WH, DoJ and FEC. I'm thinking of Guantanamo still being open, and the shameful way that torture has become a mainstay for our defense and intelligence agencies. I'm thinking of how most of the Wall St. Banksters who broke the economy to line their own pockets are still walking free with OUR money in their Cayman Islands bank accounts. You get my drift.

Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters

Recent 20 Minute TED Talk by Glenn Greenwald on why it is a canard to say
"I have nothing to hide, so I don't care about my privacy"

WTF! DEA, Denver Police Raid Multiple Marijuana Grow Operations

This really pisses me off. It's like a rude slap in the face to Colorado voters, who recently legalized recreational weed. WTF is the DEA thinking? This is so backward, so NOT what is needed or wanted by We The People, so egregious it stinks to high heaven.

I certainly hope this shit stops at the federal level once Holder steps down.

DEA, Denver Police Raid Multiple Marijuana Grow Operations
10/28/2014 3:41 pm EDT * Matt Ferner * HuffPo

Federal agents along with local Denver police conducted multiple raids on marijuana growing operations around Colorado's capital city Tuesday morning.

The Denver Police Department declined to speak about the details of Tuesday's raids, citing an ongoing investigation, but tweeted this statement:

The Denver Post reported that the operation involved the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Denver Police Department and the Colorado Attorney General's Office.
ALERT: Area law enforcement are conducting an ongoing investigation involving illegal drug activity. No further info at this time. #Denver

"It's a very large and successful investigation," James Gothe, DEA group supervisor in Denver, told The Denver Post. "We're assisting."

Tak Landrock of Denver's Fox31 reported that cars, cash and marijuana plants were seized at six locations in Denver.

Calls to the DEA and the Colorado Attorney General's Office were not immediately returned.

It remains unclear why the police action was conducted and whether the marijuana grow operations targeted were illegal sites or state-licensed businesses.


The Real-Guy Serpico Speaks-Out: "The Police Are Still Out of Control - I Should Know"

Remember the movie Serpico, starring Al Pacino? This guy is the guy Al was playing in that circa 1972 movie; and he has a LOT to say, 4 full pages worth, and it's well worth the effort to read it. I'm now rewatching the movie, just to get the full-meal deal.

The Police Are Still Out of Control
I should know.
By FRANK SERPICO * Politico * October 23, 2014

In the opening scene of the 1973 movie “Serpico,” I am shot in the face—or to be more accurate, the character of Frank Serpico, played by Al Pacino, is shot in the face. Even today it’s very difficult for me to watch those scenes, which depict in a very realistic and terrifying way what actually happened to me on Feb. 3, 1971. I had recently been transferred to the Narcotics division of the New York City Police Department, and we were moving in on a drug dealer on the fourth floor of a walk-up tenement in a Hispanic section of Brooklyn. The police officer backing me up instructed me (since I spoke Spanish) to just get the apartment door open “and leave the rest to us.”

One officer was standing to my left on the landing no more than eight feet away, with his gun drawn; the other officer was to my right rear on the stairwell, also with his gun drawn. When the door opened, I pushed my way in and snapped the chain. The suspect slammed the door closed on me, wedging in my head and right shoulder and arm. I couldn’t move, but I aimed my snub-nose Smith & Wesson revolver at the perp (the movie version unfortunately goes a little Hollywood here, and has Pacino struggling and failing to raise a much-larger 9-millimeter automatic). From behind me no help came. At that moment my anger got the better of me. I made the almost fatal mistake of taking my eye off the perp and screaming to the officer on my left: “What the hell you waiting for? Give me a hand!” I turned back to face a gun blast in my face. I had cocked my weapon and fired back at him almost in the same instant, probably as reflex action, striking him. (He was later captured.)

When I regained consciousness, I was on my back in a pool of blood trying to assess the damage from the gunshot wound in my cheek. Was this a case of small entry, big exit, as often happens with bullets? Was the back of my head missing? I heard a voice saying, “Don’ worry, you be all right, you be all right,” and when I opened my eyes I saw an old Hispanic man looking down at me like Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan. My “backup” was nowhere in sight. They hadn’t even called for assistance—I never heard the famed “Code 1013,” meaning “Officer Down.” They didn’t call an ambulance either, I later learned; the old man did. One patrol car responded to investigate, and realizing I was a narcotics officer rushed me to a nearby hospital (one of the officers who drove me that night said, “If I knew it was him, I would have left him there to bleed to death,” I learned later).

The next time I saw my “back-up” officers was when one of them came to the hospital to bring me my watch. I said, “What the hell am I going to do with a watch? What I needed was a back-up. Where were you?” He said, “Fuck you,” and left. Both my “back-ups” were later awarded medals for saving my life. I still don’t know exactly what happened on that day. There was never any real investigation. But years later, Patrick Murphy, who was police commissioner at the time, was giving a speech at one of my alma maters, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and I confronted him. I said, “My name is Frank Serpico, and I’ve been carrying a bullet in my head for over 35 years, and you, Mr. Murphy, are the man I hold responsible. You were the man who was brought as commissioner to take up the cause that I began — rooting out corruption. You could have protected me; instead you put me in harm’s way. What have you got to say?” He hung his head, and had no answer.

Even now, I do not know for certain why I was left trapped in that door by my fellow police officers.

Whole 4 Page Article Here: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-police-are-still-out-of-control-112160.html#.VE8EO1ZH1FI

Nobel Peace Prize Winners to Obama: Release the CIA Torture Report

Nobel Peace Prize Winners Urge Obama To Release CIA Torture Report
The Huffington Post * By Alana Horowitz * October 26, 2014

Twelve Nobel Peace Prize winners penned an open letter to President Barack Obama urging his administration to release a U.S. Senate report on the CIA's use of torture.

In the letter, released Sunday night on TheCommunity.com, the laureates asked for "full disclosure to the American people of the extent and use of torture and rendition by American soldiers, operatives, and contractors, as well as the authorization of torture and rendition by American officials." The letter also pushed for a clear plan for the closing of Guantanamo Bay and other international sites where the U.S. has engaged in torture.

The letter was signed by José Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, F.W. De Klerk, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunus, John Hume, Bishop Carlos X. Belo, Betty Williams, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Oscar Arias Sanchez and Mohammad ElBaradei The laureates spoke out sharply against any use of torture, but said that the U.S.' tactics were particularly troubling.

"In recent decades, by accepting the flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law in the name of combating terrorism, American leaders have eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend," they said. "They have again set an example that will be followed by others; only now, it is one that will be used to justify the use of torture by regimes around the world, including against American soldiers in foreign lands. In losing their way, they have made us all vulnerable."

The letter urged Obama to better adhere to the policies set forth by the UN Convention against Torture and the Geneva Convention.


Chuck Todd: "Voters just don't know where to go"

On CNN, as "the analysis" of the electoral landscape in 2014 elections.

Implying of course that Dems and ReThugs are "equally complicit" and hopelessly so.

Gag me with a spoon.

Erik Prince walks free & rich, while his Blackwater underlings go to prison.

Does anyone even know, is Blackwater (or it's alias) still on the public dole? This article says it was during Obama's first term, but is not clear about whether they're presently being hired to do the military's dirty work.


BY JEREMY SCAHILL * Buzzflash * Oct. 22, 2014

The jury found one guard, Nicholas Slatten, guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard. The jury is still deliberating on additional charges against the operatives, who faced a combined 33 counts, according to the Associated Press. A fifth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, had already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and cooperated with prosecutors in the case against his former colleagues. The trial lasted ten weeks and the jury has been in deliberations for 28 days.

The incident for which the men were tried was the single largest known massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of private U.S. security contractors. Known as “Baghdad’s bloody Sunday,” operatives from Blackwater gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians at a crowded intersection at Nisour Square on September 16, 2007. The company, founded by secretive right-wing Christian supremacist Erik Prince, pictured above, had deep ties to the Bush Administration and served as a sort of neoconservative Praetorian Guard for a borderless war launched in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

While Barack Obama pledged to reign in mercenary forces when he was a senator, once he became president he continued to employ a massive shadow army of private contractors. Blackwater — despite numerous scandals, congressional investigations, FBI probes and documented killings of civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan — remained a central part of the Obama administration’s global war machine throughout his first term in office.

Just as with the systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, it is only the low level foot-soldiers of Blackwater that are being held accountable. Prince and other top Blackwater executives continue to reap profits from the mercenary and private intelligence industries. Prince now has a new company, Frontier Services Group, which he founded with substantial investment from Chinese enterprises and which focuses on opportunities in Africa. Prince recently suggested that his forces at Blackwater could have confronted Ebola and ISIS. “If the administration cannot rally the political nerve or funding to send adequate active duty ground forces to answer the call, let the private sector finish the job,” he wrote.

None of the U.S. officials from the Bush and Obama administrations who unleashed Blackwater and other mercenary forces across the globe are being forced to answer for their role in creating the conditions for the Nisour Square shootings and other deadly incidents involving private contractors. Just as the main architect of the CIA interrogation program, Jose Rodriguez, is on a book tour for his propagandistic love letter to torture, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, so too is Erik Prince pushing his own revisionist memoir, Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror.

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