Thursday, January 29, 2009

Updating The Holder Bond Issue, The Daily Afghanistan Concern, Bailout Abuse And Timely Reminders.

Updating The Holder Bond Issue, The Daily Afghanistan Concern, Bailout Abuse And Timely Reminders.



"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) –


 Aide: Holder Has Made No Decisions On Prosecuting Bush Officials

On the off-chance that 
BushCheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld et. al. are not investigated and prosecuted by either U.S. or international authorities, then private means of adjudication will take over. ... You far lefties just want to try to get even for the 2000 election and Clinton's impeachment. BHO knows it would just divide the country further, he is not stupid. BHO wants to be remembered for his policies, not his witch hunts. ...Most Popular Entries on HuffingtonPos... -

Feingold Questions Holder


Feingold On Holder Bond Controversy Rachael Maddow Show


 From a written statement by Holder according to talkingpoints:

by Ralph Lopez


UPDATE, HOLDER HEDGED: From a written statement by Holder according to talkingpoints:

Politicizing Justice

'How can we trust your leadership when . . . you just constantly change the story, seemingly to fit your needs to wiggle out of being caught, frankly, telling mistruths?”


Remember Sen. Chuck Schumer’s skewering of Alberto Gonzales? Watching the bobs, weaves, and outright denials of attorney-general nominee Eric Holder as he struggles to explain his inexplicable conduct in the Marc Rich pardon scandal, one can’t help but remember. It seems like it was about five minutes ago that Senate Democrats were posing as the last line of defense between a vulnerable public and that greatest of all threats: a “politicized” Justice Department led by an attorney general who wouldn’t level with Everyman’s tribune, the Judiciary Committee.


Schumer was fit to be tied—or at least pretended to be. He wasn’t so much questioning as scolding Gonzales. The Scorseses at the New York Times and NBC News had cried “Action!” and the Left’s divas, who’ve made the Judiciary Committee their center stage for 20 years of Borkings, snapped into carefully choreographed outrage.


We’d already heard the warm-up act from non-Judiciary Democrats like Sen. Mark Pryor, who’d pronounced months earlier: “When an attorney general lies to a United States senator, I think it is time for that attorney general to go.” But it was July 2007 when the real stars of the melodrama took the stage: “The attorney general is meant to be the chief law-enforcement officer of the land,” Schumer declaimed. “He must be a person of truth and candor and integrity.”

A tremulous Dianne Feinstein soon arrived, framing Gonzales’s tragic flaw—his alleged inability to relate facts to the committee—in myth and metaphor. It was, the senator said, “almost as if the walls were actually crumbling on this huge department.” Not to be outdone, the maestro himself, Patrick Leahy, brooded over the “discrepancy here in sworn testimony.” To the delight of peanut-gallery partisans, the chairman declared that Gonzales must “be fair to the truth.” Finally, enter the chorus: Feinstein and Schumer’s joining Sheldon Whitehouse and Russ Feingold to
demand that the Justice Department appoint an independent counsel to probe Gonzales’s alleged mendacity. “It has become apparent that the attorney general has provided at a minimum half-truths and misleading statements,” they wrote. For Feingold, this was the same old song he’d been singing for two years.


So where are they now, these selfless defenders of truth, Main Justice, and the American Way? They’re tripping over themselves to line up behind Holder, the truth-challenged nominee who helped preside over a hopelessly politicized Justice Department.

With Holder as the pliant deputy attorney general willing to grease the boss’s skids, President Clinton sought to improve the Democrats’ electoral position in New York by doling out pardons to members of FALN, the Puerto Rican terrorist group. Then, transparently in exchange for political contributions, he pardoned Marc Rich, at the time one of the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives. This was Clinton's final presidential act. It shocked the country—so much so that millions in public funds were expended on congressional and criminal investigations.


The stench of the Rich pardon clings to Holder, who made it happen. It was undeniable that he had abused his office: A House committee report found that his “actions were unconscionable.” The only real question was whether he had been corrupt or merely out of his depth: whether his running interference against his own Justice Department for the fugitive’s benefit was, as the report put it, “the result of incompetence or a deliberate decision to assist Jack Quinn”—Rich’s lawyer and an influential Democrat Holder was hoping would help him become attorney general in a Gore administration.


Luckily for Holder, the investigation didn’t draw a final conclusion. And there it should have been left. Either conclusion illustrates Holder’s unfitness to be given the public trust again—especially given Schumer & Co.’s paeans to “truth and candor and integrity.” Yet here we are. So once again we must wrestle with why Holder went to such lengths for Rich.



What was most repulsive was Rich’s record: massive tax evasion, fraud, racketeering, and, worst of all, funding America’s enemies—particularly Khomeini’s Iran when it was holding Americans hostage in the late 1970s. Rich’s record was the yardstick of corruption—it said that, for all the Clinton administration’s “rule of law” malarkey, what matter most are money and political connections.


For precisely that reason, Holder has always tried to stay as far away from Rich’s record as possible. His only defense—and it has never been much of one—is that he did not know much about Rich and didn’t educate himself by getting input from the prosecutors responsible for the case. When pressed by the Judiciary Committee in 2001, Holder not only denied having even a vague awareness of the notorious Rich when Quinn first approached him in 1999 for help, but went so far as to claim that “Mr. Rich’s name was unfamiliar to me” at that time.  ( Page 2 )




White House v. NYT: Will Obama Go Hard in Afghanistan?

By David Corn | January 28, 2009 4:12 PM |


Folks who bother to worry about the war in Afghanistan--not a large slice of the population--had reason to fret on Wednesday morning when they picked up (or clicked on) the New York Times and read a front-page story noting that President Barack Obama is adopting a new "approach to Afghanistan that will put more emphasis on waging war than on development." The piece cited unnamed senior administration officials.


At a press briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs had said that the administration was in the early stage of reevaluating Afghanistan policy. He had noted that Obama intended to meet with US Army General David McKiernan, the commander of the NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, to discuss the course ahead. It seemed as if no decisions had been rendered about Afghanistan.


Yet the Times indicated key calls have already been made:


[Administration officials] said that the Obama administration would work with provincial leaders as an alternative to the central government, and that it would leave economic development and nation-building increasingly to European allies, so that American forces could focus on the fight against insurgents.


Has Obama dumped nation-building for Taliban-fighting? That could be troubling.


But at Wednesday's White House press briefing, Gibbs rained on the Times's scoop. Asked about the article, Gibbs referred to "erroneous reporting" and maintained that the administration's review of its Afghanistan policy is "not yet completed." He pointed out that Obama has emphasized the "importance of long-term development" in Afghanistan and the region and that there is not "simply a military solution" to the problem. He added, "Only through long-term and sustainable development can we hope to turn around" the situation in Afghanistan. He did not, however, address whether Obama was contemplating a division of labor, under which the Europeans would take the high (development) road and the Americans would take the low (counterinsurgency) road. When I asked when Obama would meet with McKiernan to review the policy, Gibbs said that he did not know.


Meanwhile, the International Institute for Strategic Studiesreleased a report this week, saying that Afghanistan is entering its most critical phase since the United States invaded the country. The group's director, John Chipman, noted, "The integrity of the whole international mission in Afghanistan is ... very substantially at stake." The IISS report was bad news: "In the face of a strengthening insurgency in Afghanistan, NATO has increasing problems in forging a common understanding of objectives for its mission."


Gibbs says the policy review is just beginning. The Times reports the deal's done. Who to believe? In any event, Obama ought to publicly address Afghanistan soon. Secretary of Defense Bob Gates on Tuesday said Afghanistan is the "greatest military challenge"facing Obama. That being the case, the new commander in chief ought to tell the rest of us what he intends to do about it.


This was first posted at can follow my postings and media appearances via Twitter by clicking here.


TagsAfghanistanBarack ObamaDavid McKiernanInternational Institute for Strategic StudiesNew York TimesObama administrationRobert Gibbs


Good Gov't Groups: Are Corporations Using Bailout Money To Fund ...
"This incident also starkly demonstrates the need to fundamentally reform the way we fund our
congressional elections," reads the letter. "In our current system, special interests believe they can buy policies from Congress through ...
The Huffington Post | Full News Feed -


Reform groups are blasting letters to congressional committee chairs and the head of the Congressional Oversight Panel, urging an investigation into whether bailout recipients used taxpayer money to benefit political candidates or organizations.


The letter -- signed by officials with U.S. PIRG, Change Congress, Public Campaign, Public Citizen and Democracy Matters -- builds off a Huffington Post report revealing that employees with at least two bailout recipients participated in a call aimed at drumming up opposition to the union-backed Employee Free Choice Act.


"We're calling for Congress to investigate whether Bank of America, AIG, or other recipients of billions in bailout money used taxpayer dollars to send 'large contributions' to any political organizations," reads the letter. "Congress has a responsibility to oversee the $700 billion bailout of the financial services sector. That means making sure that these taxpayer funds are used transparently, and in ways that benefit regular people -- not special interests."


The call, which took place on October 17, was hosted by Bank of America Corp, three days after the bank received $25 billion in federal bailout funds. Participants on the call were urged to persuade their clients to donate to groups and politicians who opposed the labor legislation, which makes it easier for employees to organize into unions….


House OKs $819B Stimulus Bill With GOP Opposition - MashGet
How irresponsible of... nader paul 
kucinich gravel: Why are we hearing this? Who gains? News of the claims comes at an awkward time for... Ted: Obama says his “recovery plan will include UNPRECEDENTED measures that will allow the ...
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'Buy American' Rider Sparks Trade Debate  |  Proviso Limits Steel, Iron From Abroad

The stimulus bill passed by the House last night contains a controversial provision that would mostly bar foreign steel and iron from the infrastructure projects laid out by the $819 billion economic package.


A Senate version, yet to be acted upon, goes further, requiring, with few exceptions, that all stimulus-funded projects use only American-made equipment and goods.


Proponents of expanding the "Buy American" provisions enacted during the Great Depression, including steel and iron manufacturers and labor unions, argue that it is the only way to ensure that the stimulus creates jobs at home and not overseas.


Opponents, including some of the biggest blue-chip names in American industry, say it amounts to a declaration of war against free trade. That, they say, could spark retaliation from abroad against U.S. companies and exacerbate the global financial crisis.


The provisions also confront President Obama with his first test on trade policy. He must weigh the potential consequences of U.S. protectionism against the appealing slogan of "Buy American" and the jobs argument.


Bush gets the boot
Socialist Worker Online - Chicago,IL,USA
... Bush" actions was to draw attention to the fact that Bush and Cheney were leaving office with no criminal investigations, no impeachment proceedings, ...


The Darkness before the Dawn (and how to lift it)
Huffington Post, NY - 13 hours ago
With five days to go until the Inauguration, I realized I had been reduced to hoping that my President and my government were incompetent. ...


Obama to Face Test on Executive Privilege After Rove Subpoenaed ...
Democracy Now - New York,NY,USA
And, you know, Dennis 
Kucinich is talking about a truth and reconciliation commission, but we need an accountability and a responsibility commission, ...
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