Monday, December 15, 2014

Richard Bruce Cheney: Put Him Out to Pasture and Close the Gates

Two Thus Far Have Escaped Justice 
(Blaming others - protecting crimes)

Jay Bybee; John Yoo; Jack Goldsmith; James Comey; Steven Bradbury

First some background on the so-called "torture memos" that DOJ & OLC issued that Bush-Cheney say they followed and that torture was not involved:

AUGUST 2002: Jay S. Bybee, who oversaw the office, issues a memo, released Thursday by the Obama administration, that says the C.I.A. has the authority to use harsh interrogation techniques. The memo, drafted by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, argues that physical torture “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”  

JUNE 2004: Jack Goldsmith, Mr. Bybee’s replacement, rescinds the 2002 memo — days after it becomes public — with the support of James B. Comey, then deputy attorney general. Mr. Goldsmith submits his resignation on the same day.  

DECEMBER  2004: Daniel Levin, the new acting head, issues a new memo denouncing torture and broadening its definition.  

MAY 2005:  Over the objections of Mr. Comey, Steven G. Bradbury, newly appointed to run the office, signs several secret opinions. The memos, which were released by the Obama administration, justify combining different interrogation techniques and find that even the CIA harshest tactics are not “cruel, inhuman or degrading,” the restriction soon to be imposed by Congress.
More to date: former VP Dark Dick Cheney on NBC with Chuck Todd - here in part (key parts). and in total here:

1.  Cheney and Bush and others all say “we were following legal opinion that told us it was legal:

However, DOJ lawyers in 2004, rescinded John Yoo and Jay Bybee OLC 2003 memorandum authorizing the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” for DOD, and a similar one written for the CIA in August 2002.  Jack Goldsmith, who as head of the Office of Legal Counsel (after John Yoo left) made the decision to rescind the memorandums. He criticized the documents, saying they had used careless legal reasoning to provide national security agencies with sweeping interrogation authority. [Reported by The New York Times4/2/08]

2.  Doctors Say Rectal Rehydration is Not a Modern Medical Practice:

According to PBS' Newshour, the technique known as “rectal rehydration” or “rectal feeding” is a practice that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries but is not a modern medical procedure. Newshour reported that doctors have called the practice “humiliating, and that it has no place in medical treatment.” [On PBS, NewsHour12/12/14]

3.  Most startling statement from Cheney:

He said after being pressed by Chuck Todd on MTP on the fact that the Senate report revealed that 25 percent of tortured detainees turned out to be innocent and were later released, yet many had been subjected to the torture techniques.

How Cheney downplayed that and said clearly stated: “I have no problem with torturing innocent detainees as long as we achieve our objective.”

My B/L on this whole torture issue: There is absolutely 100% no reason to torture to gain valuable intelligence or military actionable information.

Enjoy the review. Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. to Mr. and Mrs. Media: Please take your spotlight and air time away from and off  of Mr. Cheney. Thank you in advance.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two Americas: Ultra Rich and Wall Street vs. The Rest of Us

A Few Views from Around America 

First, I would ask you to review this 60 Minutes segment from 2011it is about 13 minutes:

Then I would ask you to check out the article below (at the links below). It may not be precisely overlapping the time since that 60 Minutes 2011 segment, but it’s in the same time frame since nevertheless:

Over 48 million Americans live in poverty, according to a special report by the Census Bureau Thursday. It provides an alternative look at the worst off people in the nation than the official numbers that came out in September. Government programs such as food stamps do help some people, especially children, but even so 16% of American children are living in poverty, according to the supplemental report (could reach 25% unless massive changes are made).

Pretty stark isn’t it? Yet this GOP wants to loosen or discard programs that help those most in need and a biggie, as Sen. Warren noted in her great speech on the spending bill wherein the GOP wants to roll back Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform and let the good times roll again for the biggest banks – seen here:

This is a critical issue especially in view of the massive GOP effort and plans to cut food stamps, rollback or repeal the ACA, and their constant assault on the homeless and hungry and poor in our country. Oh, BTW: this is more than merely my view or opinion – it’s pretty darn accurate.  

Thanks for stopping by … and stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

He's Alive, He's Alive: Dark Dick Rises from the Interno

Richard Bruce Cheney: Former Vice President of the United States
(Hard to believe)

It didn't take Mr. Cheney long to respond to the Senate torture report ... what, one day? His quote if you can believe it in this segment: "Torture is something we very carefully avoided he said on FOX with Bret Baier in response to a the report, which graphically described brutal treatment of detainees. Then he quickly and smugly added: I think we were fundamentally justified and I would do it again in a minute.”

I presume he'd advocate invading Iraq again, too? Or Syria? Or hell, why stop there: How about North Korea and Iran, and at the same time just for good measure, eh, Mr. Cheney?

Let's be clear here, if that's even possible. Those who bash the Senate report are from what I can ascertain are novices about interrogation but strong on anything that reflects badly (in their pea-sized brains) on DEMS (e.g., the committee chair DEM Sen. Feinstein) and President Obama ... or anyone who even supposes to say that torture it bad. That includes everyone on FOX, mostly Rightwing Talk Radio (the Limbaugh and Hannity lovers) and probably I'd wager, 99.9% of the entire GOP.

Having said that and many know I was a Marine interrogator for 10 years and DOD a couple after that, so I kind of know the rules of the road as it were. Simply stated (and a lot more at my main detainee page here) is simple: torture is illegal, unlawful, a war crime and it does not work, period.

Those who advocate otherwise fall into Dark Dick Cheney's camp. That is: they do not know their ass from a hole in the ground to speak frankly as illustrated here.

The bottom line is just exactly as Sen. McCain said in his excellent speech on the Senate floor: "It has left an ugly stain on America and our values (sic)."


Saturday, November 29, 2014

The GOP Should Be in Bed: They Are Suffering with Benghazi Fever

Dr. Frankenstein Would be My First Guess and the GOP's Best Hope
(for him to create more angry white guys)

A bit of background: For six years now, the Republicans have struggled to make a[any] scandal stick to President Obama. One by one, the controversies, if we can honestly call them that, possessing shorthand names like Solyndra, Benghazi, the IRS, and Fast and Furious, and replay of Benghazi (see below) have all hit a “Benghazi fever” pitch, and then faded away, except for Benghazi, which they hope to keep alive despite their own committees saying there is no “there, there.” They just cannot drop it and move on.  GOP hopes Obama heath care woes have staying power | from Business & Technology | The Seattle Times (from here).

Seemingly the only tool the GOP ever uses to measure their own “leadership skills” in Congress.

The latest and most-disgusting yet from Media Matters:

On November 21, the Republican-led House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the findings of its investigation into the September 2012 attacks on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, debunking many right-wing media myths about the attacks. 

Despite the fact that this is just the latest of several reports that clear Obama administration officials of any wrongdoing,  Then what does Speaker Boehner do? he reappoints Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to lead a special committee in furtherance of the right-wing hoax. Looking for Zebras in the forest, eh, Mr. Boehner? Guess what - they do not reside there. 

The GOP always takes pride in saying “We serve the American people.” Not this way they don't. They are out for Obama's blood or head and along the way, to gather as many political points as possible.

They are in a word, pathetic and this latest shows just how much – hell, they can't even trust their own committees to tell the truth. So, dig, dig, dig, drip, drip, drip and milk that baby for all it’s worth – but in the end, it's not worth very much. I am also pretty sure the Grand Old Party has just about worn out their welcome across mainstream America. Their days are numbered that is unless Sen. Graham cranks up old Dr. F and together they sing in unison: “It's alive, it's alive.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

GOP Attacks on Obama-care: Their Legs Are Far and Few Between

Let's Talk About Obama-care
(let us tell you what repealing it has done to us so far)

Excellent review here from MSNBC (about 9 minutes) really worth watching.

The GOP has cast over 50 votes to repeal the law - all have failed. The offer nothing as a replacement for the effectiveness of the program now, yet they contend they can do better ... with this plan, I surmise? 

The ACA is the law of the land (said Speaker Boehner, but now he dances to a different tune). It is working despite the efforts otherwise and yes, even the lousy program launch start up (we all admit that), but now, well it's on track and serving over 10 million Americans, millions with decent affordable health care for the first time in their lives. 

Yet the GOP remains busy dreaming up ways to derail it. Now another test lingers at the USSC regarding language in the bill, kinda like what "is" is or what "state" actually means?

Stay tuned and follow this closely - I guarantee you I will. Thanks for stopping by.

GOP Immigration Plan: Build the Dang Wall — Rep. King (R-IA) Advisor

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Show and Tell Hour

Artist's Concept of Alternate GOP Plan
(anti-personnel mines every 12 inches between points 2 and 12)

Rep. King's remarks when he made his debut and presented his "Electrified Fence for our Southern Border: We Do This With Livestock All The Time."

If by chance some happen make it to the other side, with bodies fully in tact, then they will be greeted with this sign every 25 feet hanging on a final obstacle seen below:

That obstacle is:

Then if they manage that final task, they will be greeted with open arms and invited to join the GOP as a potential a "real American."

Meanwhile President Obama does his job quite effectively as seen here:

1.  The administration deported a record number of illegal immigrants in 2011. 
2.  The administration deported 438,421 deportations in 2013, a record number.
3.  Over 2 million have been deported during Mr. Obama’s total time in office
4.  Deportations in 2013 increased by more than 20,000 over 2012, which was 410,000, and more than 51,000 over 2011, which was 716,000.
5.  Our borders are now safer and more secure.
6.  The net flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. stands at zero.
7.  The practice of prioritizing the removal of undocumented immigrants with criminal records from the interior of the country has greatly improved and slowed down those entering illegally.
8.  The steps have been both smart and successful policy.
9.  ICE has a case load of 1.8 million aliens who are either in removal proceedings or have already been ordered removed. Less than two percent are in detention, which is the only proven way to ensure departure.
10.  At the end of July 2013 there were 872,000 illegal immigrants – which was nearly half of ICE’s total docket. All have been ordered removed but who had not left the country.

More later I am sure.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Guns, Less Crime: That BS Line Now Disputed — Facts Prevail

The Book, the Bullshit
(started the open-carry bills movement)

Here's Mine. Let Me See Yours

Wow, Sweet. I Love It
(any other colors)

Introduction (from the WaPo): “More guns, less crime.”  Surely we’ve all heard that mantra before? There's even an entire book devoted to it (seen above).  As Emily Badger noted awhile back, it has become a staple of our national gun control debate. That idea has been: “The idea that more guns lead to less crime appears on gun policy 'fact sheets,' as evidence debunking gun control 'myths,' in congressional committee reports.”

The notion stems from a paper published in 1997 by economists John Lott and David Mustard, who looked at county-level crime data from 1977 to 1992 and concluded that “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths.”

Of course, the study of gun crime has advanced significantly since then (no thanks to Congress).

Some researchers have gone so far as to call Lott and Mustard's original study “completely discredited.

B/L (if there ever is a bottom line):  Stanford law professor John Donohue and his colleagues have added another full decade to the Lott-Mustard analysis, extending it through 2010, and have concluded that the opposite of Lott and Mustard's original conclusion is true: More guns equal more crime (any sane, rational person probably already knew that, except NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre).

Wayne LaPierre by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Say What???

This latest will surely make the GOP and their NRA pals heads explode (no pun intended).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Midterm Winner: Fear Spread Misdirected Anger & Unnecessary Worry

Proposed Cover of the Dems #1 Best Seller
(as soon as they write it)

You might ask before finishing this post, how does fear enter the post that follows? Simple: fear by incumbents about losing their seat. Thus this topic I strongly believe is the most serious and compelling issues right along side preserving our guaranteed right to vote. This is the foundation that needs another inspection under a more intense spotlight because old Gerrymandering still lurks in the shadows. 

A quick synopsis of that term: Contrary to one popular misconception about the practice, the point of gerrymandering isn't to draw yourself a collection of overwhelmingly safe seats. Rather, it's to give your opponents a small number of safe seats, while drawing yourself a larger number of seats that are not quite as safe, but that you can expect to win comfortably.

In the midterm that just ended, Republicans appear to have won their largest House majority since the Hoover administration, and they won possibly on at least these three elements:

1.  the weakness of Democratic candidates,
2.  poor resource allocation strategy by Democratic party leaders, particularly DCCC chair Rep. Steve Israel,
3.  an election narrative that did little to inspire base Democratic voters.

Topping off those three elements is the fact that the GOP benefited from the most egregious gerrymandering in American history.

As Rolling Stone reported, GOP donors plowed cash into state legislative efforts in 2010 for the very purpose of redrawing congressional lines. In the following year, as the tea party wave brought hundreds of Republicans into office, newly empowered Republican governors and state legislatures carved congressional districts for maximum partisan advantage. Democrats attempted this too, but only in two states: Maryland and Illinois.

For the GOP however, strictly partisan gerrymandering prevailed in Ohio, Pennsylvania Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Tennessee and beyond.

And, on top all that, factor in fear (e.g., GOP said repeatedly that last few weeks that ISIS was coming and Ebola was already here), plus the sustained hatred for Mr. Obama (they have said repeatedly that he has been absent and wrong since January 20, 2009).

Finally this: An absolute for sure: GOP fear and hatred machine worked overtime and sold that product exceptionally well. A very good read on right wing tactics can be seen in this West Point Study … check it out.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014 Midterms Almost in the History Books: Gearing Up for 2016

Longest Consult in American History Now Underway

More like GOP fortune telling; prognostication; foretelling; palm reading; prediction; forecasting; or soothsaying ... from the experts as it were:

From the Five Thirty Eight (November 1, 2014) one predictive model:

Their quick look: What their outlook indicates: 
  • Republicans have a 68.0% chance of winning the senate majority.
  • Democrats have a 32.0% chance of keeping the senate majority.
  • There is a 20.5% chance Republicans will control 52 senate seats and Democrats will control 48 of the 100 seats.

Well, all right then – some cheering for “our” side (whichever side that might be – take your pick):

A crowd cheers for North Carolina Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis during a rally for voters, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C.

Um, it should remind us all of famous FDR quote: “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.”

Great rundown here, in part, check it out:

Despite airy Republican rhetoric, they are bona fide big spenders and heavy-handed regulators—albeit in a different way than Democrats. Republicans may complain about bloated government and red tape restrictions when they’re benched on the sidelines, but their track record of policies while in power tells a whole different story—and reveals their true colors. Let’s take a walk down memory lane - continue at the link.

I would make a prediction, but I have a lousy record in that regard. My hunch, not a real prediction would be: a lot of people will be surprised at the outcome next week (how's that)??

Hang on tight – we are apt to see a photo finish in the race to control the Senate.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Campaign Ads: Sipping Koch (that is if Ads were really honest)

Updated (as promised): Projected for this Midterm Cycle

Koch Brothers vs. Top 10 Unions

Jon Stewart in his usual style on the Daily Show nails this issue squarely on the head.

Here is link to modified version of a Koch Ad that assumes it were re-filmed, true, and included the facts as we all mostly know them (e.g., the official Koch spending facts). 

It's a real keeper for sure — also video follows - about 4 minutes - enjoy:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cost of Legalized Political Corruption in America: $4 Billion and Change

Another Date that May Live in Infamy
(Depending on the Senate outcome)

Petty Cash to the Big Players
(Assumes that is neither You nor I)

Good segment on this topic - which is one of my top 5 issues:

Our form of government, representative democracy, and valued freedoms don't come cheap do they?

So why do we treat ourselves as cheaply as voters then? Hey, just asking.

Friday, October 24, 2014

GOP Red Herring State Productions Present: Voter Fraud R Us

Academy Award Performance
(for best comedy)

The Proverbial Proof is in the Pudding

We need to keep our eye on the GOP/RED states
(their assault on voting rights)

I want to stay with this topic as we head into the 20143 midterms in a very short 10 days, thus I am adding another source, a very reputable one: FRONTLINE here

Highlights therein have several good links. 

Voter fraud generally rarely happens. When it does, election law experts say it happens more often through mail-in ballots than people impersonating eligible voters at the polls.

An analysis by News-21, a journalism project at Arizona State University, found 28 cases of voter fraud convictions since 2000. Of those, 14 percent involved absentee ballot fraud. Voter impersonation, the form of fraud that voter ID laws are designed to prevent, made up only 3.6 percent of those cases.

Other types included double voting, the most common form, at 25 percent, and felons voting when they were prohibited from doing so. But neither of those would be prevented by voter ID laws, either.

Original post starts from here:

Main Subject: Bogus GOP & RED state RED HERRING: VOTER FRAUD.

This issue is really about suppressing the right to vote aimed at those who mostly vote DEM and thus benefiting the GOP and giving them the edge in key states. Once again it is shown to be more bogus than ever (the chart above) .... and from this story.

Extract: "Conservative media figures pointed to the news that 145 immigrants' names were flagged on North Carolina's voter rolls as proof of potential voter fraud in the upcoming election.  But the discovery of these names actually disproves the potential for voter fraud, as the state's board of election is now confirming the citizenship of individuals who were flagged."

As if we didn't already know.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reminder for Republicans Who Advocate Weakening Voting Rights

President Reagan, in 1982, signs a 25-year extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA)

Mr. Reagan Said "Voting Rights was the Crown Jewel of American Liberties"

The Proof of His Remarks

Always listen to your Mother, right? Even "Mother Jones."

Republicans Are Trying to Make Sure Minorities and Young People Don't Vote This November

Will they succeed or not? We will soon find out. Check back later and especially on election night (November 4th).

This cycle is sure to be a nail-biter, I suspect. Hang on tight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pre-Election Observation for Serious Voter Consideration

Over time I've come to see the GOP-Conservatives reflecting this image – whether it’s on purpose, by design, or something that comes naturally to them:

As being cruel, callous, cold, outrageous in public statements, bizarre at times, nasty towards anyone different than them, always insulting, seldom offer a positive agenda or decent public worthwhile idea, and always and I mean always, bash any political opponent and always be anti-government everything possible, which is the very same government they strive to serve in while professing and advocating “I stand with the American people....”

Truly the GOP should change their name to GOH (Grand Old Hypocrites), and adopt a new logo:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Faces in History: Some Great, Beautiful, Some Not So Hot

Head of Helen. Attic red-figured krater, c. 450–440 B.C. - Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Helen of Troy *
In Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" (1604), Faust conjures the shade of Helen of Troy. Upon seeing Helen, Faustus speaks the famous line: “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium.”

Russian President Vlad Putin **

**(Is this the face who could launch a 1000 nukes)

The face of anger for sure, but how far will/would he go about this issue and headlines:

Russia warns of 'prolonged' period of cold relations with U.S.

Story here ( - highlights:  

Frustration at Western hectoring boils over after Milan meeting brings no progress. The Ruble near all-time lows again after Moody’s cuts sovereign debt rating and thus: Russia lashed out at the U.S. again Monday, predicting a long period of cold relations and saying that Moscow won’t agree to any conditions for the lifting of sanctions on it.  

The E.U. made a decision to fall in with U.S. policy on Ukraine and join it in applying sanctions has angered Moscow, which had counted on the importance of their bilateral trade relations –especially in energy – to protect it. Instead the E.U., like the U.S., has banned Russia’s largest banks from its capital markets and limited sales of high-tech goods to its crucial oil sector.  

Stay tuned … one thing to keep in mind… hurting a major power by hitting them in the wallet can be a tough call and that in turn can also make those inflicting the economic pain go on guard to be prepared to take whatever is thrown back at them – possibly in spades as they say …  

Stay tuned as they also say.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola Scare in 2nd Gear: Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Giddy Old Poops

Might as Well Start Here 

GOP Peddles Cheap Fear
(But the cost is high)

Ebola and the call for a travel ban ... bad idea I think and so do medical professionals ... why? People would skirt around it, lie about their travel and such ...

But, sadly, politics is about to get in between Ebola, proper care and any prevention ... and the GOP is leading that pack (how ironic is that: the GOP putting politics between us and medical personnel – kind of a twist on fear of Obama-care isn’t it)?

They are great at fear mongering and now some DEMS are not joining in what may seem like a popular idea but is one based FEAR and fear is dangerous, very.

WASHINGTON — A ban on travel from West Africa might seem like a simple and smart response to the frightening Ebola outbreak there. It's become a central demand of Republicans on Capitol Hill and some Democrats, and is popular with the public. But health experts are nearly unanimous in saying it's a bad idea that could backfire.

The experts' key objection is that a travel ban:

(1) Could prevent needed medical supplies, food and health care workers from reaching Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the nations where the epidemic is at its worst. Without that aid, the deadly virus might spread to wider areas of Africa, making it even more of a threat to the U.S. and the world, experts say.

(2) Would be difficult to prevent people from the affected countries from traveling to the U.S. and might even be difficult to enforce and might generate counterproductive results.

(3)  People would lie about their travel history or attempting to evade screening for flights.

The U.S. has not instituted a travel ban in response to a disease outbreak in recent history. The experts insist now is not the time to start, especially given that the disease is still extremely contained in the U.S. and the only people who have caught it here are two health care workers who cared for a sick patient who later died.

Let's be honest here shall we ... if that's even possible. We have a better chance of contracting the flu are suffering a hearth attack than contracting Ebola.

An article on that is here from Vox … interesting reading and from here, too.

“Threats to Americans, ranked (by actual threat instead of media hype)”  

Of course leave it up FOX to lead the fear mongering, hand-wringing crowd – via their own “FOX dynamic poll” as usual. You know the kind I mean: slanted, one-sided, and biased (seen here):