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ucrdem

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles
Home country: US
Current location: East of East L.A.
Member since: Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
Number of posts: 15,305

Journal Archives

I don't see Obama as a centrist but I guess it depends on your priorities.

HRC promised in a televised debate to bomb Iran. Obama was not a senator when the IWR was voted on but he did say something about "dumb wars" and that in my view is what got him elected. He hasn't bombed Iran and he has scaled back the military. Would HRC have done that? Her enthusiasm for the Libyan invasion suggests not. That to me puts Obama far to the left of HRC on any meaningful scale. YMMV.

There were 2 DOJ opinions. The second was the torture green light.

Comey approved the first but strongly disapproved the second. He expressed this to his boss, AG Gonzalez, who nevertheless went into a May 31, 2005 WH meeting and gave Cheney what he wanted, i.e. approval of both opinions.

The NYT article of June 6, 2009, includes links to three Comey emails discussing this meeting, but in the paragraph you quoted, misrepresents their content so as to make it seem that Comey approved the 2nd opinion when he clearly did not. Link to NYT article (you might need to sign in):

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/us/politics/07lawyers.html?hp&_r=0

Comey states his objection several times in the 3 emails, and in the passage I posted here, it's clear that "I concurred" refers to the first opinion, but not the second. Link to the 3 emails, which I recommend reading, here:

http://static1.firedoglake.com/28/files//2009/06/050427-comey-emails-compressed.pdf

Greenwald wrote a June 7, 2009 Salon column pointing out that the NYT was lying, link here, with many thanks to ProSense for her post earlier this evening:

http://www.salon.com/2009/06/07/torture_memos/

Now that Comey is headed into the Obama administration, Greenwald has apparently changed his tune, and wants to pretend that the NYT article was right all along. Well, it wasn't, and here's the proof one more time, from the 2nd email, dated April 28, 2005:



Hope that helps!

Pass prop 30, the "millionaires' tax," without Brown? Don't think so.

Brown campaigned a year to get that through and ran the gauntlet of RW tricks and distractions. He personally addressed teachers and no doubt other unions at their meetings and persuaded them to accept his cuts and taxes. Believe it or not there are plenty of voters in Cali who resent both and frankly I didn't think Prop 30 had a chance, but it passed in August, and mostly taxes upper brackets as promised:

Based on California Franchise Tax Board data for 2009[8], the additional income tax is imposed on the top 3% of California taxpayers.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/California_Proposition_30,_Sales_and_Income_Tax_Increase_%282012%29


Meanwhile California's foodstamp program has been renamed CalFresh and advertises widely on radio and TV. I saw an ad last weekend pushing fruits and vegetables and encouraging Californians to give it a try. Older radio spot:



Personally I never saw a foodstamp commercial when Ahnold was wrecking the place. Let's give credit where credit is due eh?

Good thing they brought a camera!

Thanks, Cha, it was a terrific speech.

He rolled out least 4 new policies:

1 - release Gitmo detainees;

2 - repeal AUMF;

3 - media shield law;

4 - new rules for drone strikes.


Lots of great quotes too. Here's one I hope will be prophetic, on the GWOT:

"But this war, like all wars, must end," he added. "That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/05/23/obama-counter-terrorism-speech-drones-guantanamo-bay/2354001/


Makes me want to stand up and all over again!

have a great weekend Cha!

I'm not sure "blank check" is entirely accurate .

It's a characterization we hear often I suppose but that doesn't make it true. Holdover policies like Gitmo and drone strikes are only part of the picture and don't acknowledge the secret prisons that were closed or the practices that were ended like renditions and torture, not to mention two wars if we count Afghanistan. Gitmo was a failure but he did what he promised and introduced legislation, which was defeated. And he made an attempt to rationalize the drone policy by personally stepping in, but thanks to the NYT that was a p.r. fiasco. Now he's rolling out a complete redo to once and for all bring an end to the Bush legacy of permanent emergency.

Scahill explains why Obama is worse than Bush, Cheney, Romney, and McCain:

all in one paragraph. I underlined the 4 names so you won't miss them:

So, you know, I think that becauseóbecause itís a popular Democratic president, I think people have been convinced that things have really radically shifted, and in reality, they havenít.

And I think a lot of the Bush people stand in awe of what President Obama has been able to do, because they know that they probably wouldnít have been able to get it done themselves.

So, you know, there are ways in which Obama pushed the Cheney agenda far beyond what a President McCain or a President Romney would have been able to do, because he had his base of supporters.



http://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/24/the_world_is_a_battlefield_jeremy


And that my friend is the ratbaggers' gospel of drone. Any questions?

That's the point of repealing it.

And you left out the best part of that clip, which is the smack-down from Angus King that follows:

SEN. ANGUS KING: Gentlemen, Iíve only been here five months, but this is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that Iíve been to since Iíve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today. The Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, clearly says that the Congress has the power to declare war.

Thisóthis authorization, the AUMF, is very limited. And you keep using the term "associated forces." You use it 13 times in your statement. That is not in the AUMF. And you said at one point, "It suits us very well." I assume it does suit you very well, because youíre reading it to cover everything and anything.

And then you said, at another point, "So, even if the AUMF doesnít apply, the general law of war applies, and we can take these actions." So, my question is: How do you possibly square this with the requirement of the Constitution that the Congress has the power to declare war?


This is one of the most fundamental divisions in our constitutional scheme, that the Congress has the power to declare war; the president is the commander-in-chief and prosecutes the war. But youíre reading this AUMF in such a way as to apply clearly outside of what it says. . . .

Obama calls on Congress to repeal the Bush-Cheney AUMF (military authorization)

Source: TPM

From today's Counterterrorism speech:

And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing.

The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we donít need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.

So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMFís mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. Thatís what history advises. Thatís what our democracy demands.

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/read-transcript-of-obamas-speech-on-counterterrorism-policy



Pretty damn good news

BO renews calls for media shield law:

a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.

Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.
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