Saturday, November 29, 2008

Conversation No.3: The Real News Network Venezuela Report

Conversation No.3: The Real News Network Venezuela Report







Allies of President Hugo Chavez's won a strong majority in Venezuela's local elections on Sunday, winning 17 of 22 state governorships and 265 of 327 mayoral races.



The opposition made important gains, capturing the Caracas mayor's office and two of the most populous states. Meanwhile Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Caracas on Monday to meet with Hugo Chavez, just one day after a Russian fleet docked in the Venezuelan port of La Guaira.




The Russian navy will be conducting joint naval maneuvers with Venezuela in the Carribean. The maneuvers are scheduled to begin on December first. In Caracas, Russian and Venezuelan officials signed a series of accords, including one pledging cooperation in nuclear energy for peaceful uses. The Real News Network spoke to Latin American Studies Professor Miguel Tinker Salas who says, the fact that the opposition was able to make modest gains means it's a victory for Venezuelan democracy, and the Venezuelan political process, and the maturity of the Venezuelan population who participated—over 65 percent in this regional election process.


The question, as to Obama's future relations with Chavez is complicated by the people Obama is surrounding himself with. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton receives Kissinger's seal of approval, a man who, in that same position, has a particularly poor record in Latin America, having for instance helped engineer brutal regimes in Chile and Argentina. Timothy Geithner worked for Kissinger Associates, Inc., as well as with the IMF at a time when that organization contributed to the economic turmoil in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. I can't see Obama inviting Chavez over for dinner anytime soon.


Our corporate owned western media is united against Chavez because he took land back from the corporations, returning it to the people, for use in agricultural and other production.


He also has, in PDVSA, a state owned oil company, rather than leaving Venezuela's oil deposits open for plunder by international oil companies, an incidence of colonial imperialism now masked as 'globalization.'


So Chavez, in wanting his own country to profit from its oil, is an anti-globalist. PDVSA is catalyzing oil production in Latin America, making the entire region less dependent on foreign oil (see: ).


Venezuela's nuclear partnership with Russia may have similar inspiration. All of which makes Chavez a prime candidate for, not an American-British sponsored coup, because he's at present too popular, but for assassination. I wonder if this is one reason his Russian friends have some of their navy in town: the message being, if you mess with him, you mess with me.


There is another dimension this growing arrangement that follows the Cuban Issues of years ago.  We are sensitive to any Russian aid, presence or weaponry to our soft southern under belly as are the Russians who during the Cuban Missile Crisis sought and given the withdrawal of our missiles from Turkey.  I am not going into the merits of that trade off.  It is a matter of fact, history and considerable discussion.


Just keep in mind European events of the past year and the “Polish Issue” now on the table, and Russian’s emergence as an oil supplier.


What we are going to have to get through our thick heads are the facts that: we cannot buy and co-opt Latin American States with NAFTA and the like, they are no longer economic weakling “Banana Republics”, and that in fact Venezuela and Brazil have all the makings of rising economic challengers. 


We have an opportunity to shed our old “Monroe Doctrine” Teddy Roosevelt crazed Glazed eyed Imperialist image in Latin America.  It certainly would be preferable to have working partners to our South as opposed to a united Anti-America coalition of states. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Conversation No.2 : Repower, Refuel and Rebuild America : Cleaning Up The Agenda, Finishing Tough Tasks And Preparing For The near Future

Repower, Refuel and Rebuild America : Cleaning Up The Agenda, Finishing Tough Tasks And Preparing For The near Future

GOP Smear Machine, Freedom's Watch, Crashes and Burns
By Janis
Proclaimed as the right's answer to the powerful progressive grassroots organization,, Freedom's Watch never lived up to its hype, despite massive funding by Nevada billionaire Sheldon Adelson. ...
The Progressive Puppy -

After Torture: Discussing a Plan for Justice in the Post-Bush Era

An Open Forum co-hosted by The Center on Law and Security and Harper's Magazine featuring:

The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, co-chair of Herrick Feinstein LLP's government relations practice;

Scott Horton, contributor, Harper's Magazine and Adjunct Professor, Columbia Law School;

Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); Burt Neuborne,

Inez Milholland Professor of Civil Liberties, NYU Law;

Michael Ratner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights;

Major General Antonio Taguba, U.S. Army, Ret.

Moderated by Luke Mitchell, Senior Editor, Harper's Magazine

This event is free and open to the public.

To RSVP, please email or call 212-992-8854.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2008; 6:00-7:30 P.M.

Something very, very, very wrong

The Gutting of our Civil Service – A Prelude to Fascism

Posted by Time for change in General Discussion
Thu Nov 27th 2008, 10:30 PM

One of the most striking hallmarks of the Bush/Cheney administration has been the privatization of as many formerly government jobs as it could get away with. This effort has sometimes been referred to as “competitive outsourcing”, and the implication of that term is that privatization creates competition which ultimately results in better or more efficient services at lower cost.

This kind of thinking gathered steam under the Reagan presidency, and reached new heights under Bush II. The prevailing philosophy behind it is, as Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”. The ultimate end of this movement is the complete dismantling of the Civil Service system in our country, and its replacement by privatization of all government functions formerly covered by our Civil Service system.

I have worked as a civil servant for more than 20 years, beginning in 1982. During that time I have developed a deep appreciation of our Civil Service system, and I have had a close view of the attacks on it by the radical right, which played such a prominent role in government during those years….


Commentary: Bush should do something to stop crisis |

You Cannot Pardon a Crime You Authorized

Statement from the Steering Committee for the Prosecution for War Crimes of President Bush and His Subordinates

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Conversation No. 1 : Pardon Me!

Pardon Me Please For Anything I Have Done, May Do Or Am Thinking About Doing.



Well my friends the subject of Presidential pardons has recently come up. The reason for this sudden interest in the Presidential pardon is due to the fact the President George W, Bush has used this absolute power to pardon fourteen people and to commute prison sentences for two others so far.

The fear by the Democrats is that President Bush will use this power to pardon someone like Scooter Libby, or someone else they might consider controversial. I do believe that he should pardon the two Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos. Those were the two who were convicted for shooting a drug smuggler in his butt as he was attempting to escape back into Mexico from the US.

Their other big fear is that he may even issue pardons to people who have not been charged with anything yet, such as cabinet members or even VP Dick Cheney. Believe me they have wanted to get Dick Cheney for years. If President Bush were to do these types of pardons they could not be overturned and the Democrats would lose their shot at some Republican red meat.

The constitution was written to make sure that Presidential pardons were absolute and could not be overturned. Let us not forget that previous Presidents have used the Presidential pardon controversially since we became a country. Let’s take a look at some of these great leaders who have used the pardon to their advantage.



There's no definitive legal consensus on whether a president can pardon himself.


But Bush may well give the theorists an answer.


Charlotte Dennett promised that, if she won her race for attorney general of Vermont in the recent election, she would prosecute George W. Bush for the murder of 4,000 American soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians after he left office.

Unfortunately, Dennett did not become Vermont's attorney general. But it is possible (perhaps very possible) that one or more of our other 49 state attorneys general will take up that case after Jan. 20. Hopefully, that AG will appoint -- as Dennett promised to do --famed criminal attorney Vincent Bugliosi (author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder) as special prosecutor.

However, there will be no prosecution or trial of George Bush -- or Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld, or Condoleezza Rice, or any of the others who deliberately deceived America into a war that should never have been waged -- if Bush decides to pardon not only his accomplices in crime but also himself.

We know that a president can pardon anyone, for any reason, and for any federal crime (except in cases of impeachment), not only after a conviction has been handed down in trial, but before any trial has even taken place, indeed before any charges have even been filed -- as Gerald Ford infamously pardoned Richard Nixon for Watergate; as George H. W. Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, Elliott Abrams and various CIA officials accused and/or convicted in connection with the Iran-Contra affair; as Bill Clinton pardoned his brother, Roger, for drug trafficking and financier Marc Rich for tax evasion (after Rich's wife made a significant donation to the Clinton Presidential Library); and as current President George W. Bush more recently commuted "Scooter" Libby's prison term.

So -- can Bush do it? Can he pardon himself before leaving office?




The presidential pardon has been a controversial matter since day one. Virginian George Mason would’ve been one of the signatories to the new constitution of the United States of America, but disagreed with basic ideas in the document — including the pardon — and refused to sign. On the power of the pardon, Mason worried that a president who had “secretly instigated to commit crimes” with others might use it to prevent “a discovery of his own guilt.”


But it was Alexander Hamilton who prevailed in that debate. “The principal argument for reposing the power of pardoning in the chief magistrate is this: In seasons of insurrection or rebellion, there are often critical moments when a well-timed offer of pardon to the insurgents or rebels may restore the tranquility of the commonwealth,” he wrote in the Federalist Papers. Unfortunately, Hamilton only foresaw the presidency as a position held by “a single man of prudence and good sense.”


Which recent resident of the White House doesn’t that sound like to you? Mason’s argument is starting to look better.


Still, Hamilton’s argument also makes sense. The idea is that executive clemency could be used quickly to avoid a national emergency. Washington used it to end the Whiskey Rebellion, an uprising of Pennsylvanians who refused to pay taxes on booze. Andrew Johnson granted clemency to the entire confederate army — a pretty common sense move that still wasn’t without controversy. His opponents accused him of restoring the right to vote to most of the south for political gain.


But it pays to remember that, as historically significant as the Federalist Papers are, they aren’t law. Hamilton’s opinion of the pardon has no more legal basis than his confidence that there’d never be a President Numbskull. The law is in the Constitution and that reads, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome To The Cafe Camus Political Coffee House

Welcome To The Cafe Camus Political Coffee House

( Cafe Politique de Camus de Cafe)

Where All Things Political Will Be Discusssed As America
Enters An Era Of

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