Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sotomayor Knows Her Nunchuks And Marcy Wheeler Blows MSNBC Away With A Blow Job Attack!

Sotomayor Knows Her Nunchuks And Marcy Wheeler Blows MSNBC Away With A Blow Job Attack!

Marcy Wheeler: “And your idea is that after investigating Bill Clinton of a blow job for like five years, we shouldn't investigate the huge, grossly illegal things that were done under the past administration only because Alberto Gonzales was too much in the back pocket of Dick Cheney to do it when he was still in office.”

Sessions Is A Racist


On July 14, the nation's five major newspapers reported Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) opening statement at the confirmation hearing of Judge Sonia Sotoamyor without reporting in that day's print editions that, in 1986, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions' nomination as a U.S. district court judge following testimony that reportedly included allegations that Sessions had a history of making racially charged comments. In addition, as noted by the Associated Press, Sessions' "nomination originally drew fire from civil rights groups because of his [1985] prosecution ... of three west Alabama civil rights activists on vote fraud charges. The three were acquitted by a federal court jury, prompting civil rights leaders to charge that the prosecution was an attempt to intimidate black voters."

If you want to know what really matters in Washington, don't go to Capitol Hill for one of those hearings, or pay attention to those staged White House "town meetings." They're just for show. What really happens - the serious business of Washington - happens in the shadows, out of sight, off the record. Only occasionally - and usually only because someone high up stumbles - do we get a glimpse of just how pervasive the corruption has become.

Why you should put bloggers on TV
Media Matters for America - Washington,DC,USA
But you know what, if liberal bloggers were around in the late `90's during the impeachment insanity and had regularly gone on TV to remind voters that ...
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Blogger Marcy Wheeler caused a media stir yesterday when she appeared on MSNBC and said "blow job" on live TV. (See clip below.) She said it in the context of Republicans demanding that the Obama administration not investigate possible law-breaking by the previous GOP administration.

Said Wheeler to her conservative counterpart on MSNBC:

And your idea is that after investigating Bill Clinton of a blow job for like five years, we shouldn't investigate the huge, grossly illegal things that were done under the past administration only because Alberto Gonzales was too much in the back pocket of Dick Cheney to do it when he was still in office.

MSNBC's hosts quickly apologized on behalf of Wheeler, stressing she didn't mean to say that phrase on daytime TV. Gawker poked some fun, posting the headline:

Why You Should Never Put Bloggers On TV

But I don't buy it. Of course, I see the general point--when people go on cable news shows they ought to refrain from using certain sexual phrases. But you know what, if liberal bloggers were around in the late `90's during the impeachment insanity and had regularly gone on TV to remind voters that Republicans were trying to remove a sitting president from office over a "blow job," maybe that nonsense could have been curtailed.

Instead, the Beltway pundits minded their manners and pretended impeachment was about something grand and important and legal and historic and...whatever. It wasn't. It was about a blow job, but the press and Republicans didn't want to dwell on that detail. Instead they played dumb. Today, bloggers exist to call out that kind of BS as Wheeler demonstrated. (Blow jobs = big gov't investigations, but illegal torture and wiretapping are out of bounds?)

Personally, I wish bloggers like Wheeler had been around ten years ago for some much needed truth telling about blow jobs.

Jeremy Scahill is the author of the international best-seller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. He is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice. While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Traveling around the hurricane zone in the wake of Katrina, Scahill exposed the presence of Blackwater forces in New Orleans and his reporting sparked a Congressional inquiry and an internal Department of Homeland Security investigation. He has appeared on ABC World News,CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS’s The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide. Scahill also served as an election correspondent for HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Is Obama Continuing the Bush/Cheney Assassination Program?

Congress is outraged that Cheney concealed a CIA program to assassinate al Qaeda leaders, but they should also be investigating why Obama is continuing—and expanding—U.S. assassinations.

By Jeremy Scahill

In June, CIA Director Leon Panetta allegedly informed members of the House Intelligence Committee of the existence of a secret Bush era program implemented in the days after 9-11 that, until last month, had been hidden from lawmakers. The concealment of the plan, Panetta alleged, happened at the orders of then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

Now, The New York Times is reporting that this secret program that had “been hidden from lawmakers” by Cheney was a plan “to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists.” The Wall Street Journal, which originally reported on the plan, reported that the paramilitary teams were to implement a “2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts.”

The plan, the Times says, never was carried out because “Officials at the spy agency over the years ran into myriad logistical, legal and diplomatic obstacles.” Instead, the Bush administration “sought an alternative to killing terror suspects with missiles fired from drone aircraft or seizing them overseas and imprisoning them in secret C.I.A. jails.”

The House Intelligence Committee is now reportedly preparing an investigation into this program and the Senate may follow suit. “We were kept in the dark. That’s something that should never, ever happen again,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein. Withholding this information from Congress “is a big problem, because the law is very clear.”

There are several important issues raised by this unfolding story. First, while the Times claims the program was never implemented, the program sounds very similar to what Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sy Hersh described in March as an “executive assassination ring” run by Dick Cheney that operated throughout the Bush years:

“Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named [William H.] McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

“Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.

Hersh’s description sounds remarkably similar to that offered by theTimes and the Wall Street Journal. While the House and Senate should certainly investigate this program—and lying to Congress, misleading it or concealing from it such programs is likely illegal—it is also important to guarantee that it has actually stopped. But another pressing issue for the Congress is investigating the Obama administration’s adoption of this secret program’s central components. As the Times noted, the major reason—beyond logistical hurdles—that the program was not implemented (if that is even true) was that the Bush administration began increasing its use of weaponized drones to conduct Israeli-style targeted assassinations (often, these drones kill many more civilians than so-called “targets”). These drone attacks, coupled with the use of extraordinary rendition and secret prisons, became the official program for “eliminating” specific individuals labeled “high value” targets by the administration.

The Obama administration has not only continued the Bush policy of using drones to carry out targeted assassinations, but has also continued the use of prisons where people are held indefinitely without charge or access to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Under Obama, Bagram air base in Afghanistan is expanding and, at present, hundreds of prisoners are held there without charges. In essence, the Obama administration is doing exactly what this secret CIA program sought to do, albeit out in the open.

Beyond the Cheney assassination program, what is really worthy of Congressional investigation right now is the legality of Obama’s current policy of assassination. In 1976, President Gerald Ford issued an executive order banning assassinations. “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination,” states Executive Order 11905.

White House lawyers—with their seemingly infinite legal creativity—would likely say that the drone strikes are not assassinations, but rather part of war. That putting poison in a cigar of a foreign leader is different than launching missiles at a funeral where an “enemy” is believed to be among the mourners. While the implications of the U.S. assassinating heads of state or foreign officials are grave, it could be argued that, on some levels, the drone attacks are worse in the sense that they kill many more civilians. Moreover, these drone attacks largely take place is Pakistan, which is a sovereign nation. There is no legal or Congressional declaration of war against Pakistan.

It is long past due that the Congress investigate this U.S. government assassination program. The politically inconvenient truth, however, is this: An actual investigation would require the Democrats pounding Cheney over his concealment of an assassination program (that allegedly was not implemented) to focus their investigation on how President Obama actually implemented and expanded that very program.

The Washington Monthly

By Steve Benen
the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, accused Sotomayor of being prejudiced. Citing a controversial racial bias case in which a fire department discarded the results of a qualifying test when black firefighters scored too low, Sessions said Sotomayor ... Stay stupid NRC, stay stupid. Posted by: Ron Byers on July 13, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK. If politics has no place in the courtroom, why do we entrust the most craven politicians in the land to confirm judges? ...
Political Animal - http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » The Sotomayor Confirmation
By Curt
Latinos will be watching Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings “like hawks” for evidence that senators on the Judiciary Committee are mistreating the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, or are mischaracterizing her record, .... jeeez Since FA went there…….. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5921629142284078851 It's The Theology Stupid! Obama, Wright and Farrakhan connection; --------------; Mike's America @Wordsmith: You going to do a post on that? ...Flopping Aces - http://www.floppingaces.net/

Sotomayor: Abortion Law Is "Settled"
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
Sotomayor told the Senate Judiciary Committee that "there is a right of privacy. The court has found it in various places in the Constitution. ...
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'Wise Latina Woman' Wisely Impassive Through Mispronunciations and ...
By Melinda Henneberger
The argument that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee returned to again and again during their opening statements at the confirmation hearing for President Obama's first nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, was that Sotomayor had confessed to .... The next profession we need to destroy is editors of stupid blogs. This is the most irresponsible piece of sh-t journalism you can shake a stick at. If you shake a stick around this journalist, she might just chase it. ...
Politics Daily - http://www.politicsdaily.com/

Live: Sotomayor Hearings | Drudge Retort
By rcade
If anyone has a Senate Judiciary Committee drinking game for when Jeff Sessions says "disappointed," they're at risk of alcohol poisoning. So we have someone who got into a tier 1 school without the test scores and the grades (read this as Not .... They don't honestly expect any nominee to answer a question like "how would you rule on an abortion case?" but they ask anyways. It's all a show, and they're hoping the nominee slips up and says something stupid under pressure. ...
Drudge Retort - http://www.drudge.com/

Sotomayor Knows Her Nunchuks
Washington Post - United States
Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked her to talk about a fellow who swings from trees in the jungle. "One of the most important ...See all stories on this topic

What Has Dick Cheney Told Liz Cheney About His Role In CIA Controversy? Morning Joe Didn't Ask


On July 14, MSNBC's Morning Joe hosted Liz Cheney to discuss recent reports that her father, former vice president Dick Cheney, instructed the CIA not to disclose to Congress an intelligence program that CIA director Leon Panetta recently discontinued. Cheney repeatedly defended her father during the interview, and at one point stated, "[Dick Cheney] doesn't comment on classified programs, and obviously I'm not going to comment on classified programs on his behalf." But at no point was she asked to explain what conversations she's had with Dick Cheney about CIA practices and policies during the Bush administration, or whether her father did in fact provide her with classified information that he reportedly withheld from Congress.

During her Morning Joe appearance, Cheney stated of reports that her father told the CIA not to brief Congress about intelligence activities, "there's simply no evidence" that Dick Cheney broke any rules or guidelines and later stated as fact that "[l]aws were not broken." In addition, afterWashington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said Dick Cheney made the "wrong judgment" if he ordered the CIA not to disclose certain information to Congress, she also said: "You don't have any facts upon which to make that assessment, Eugene. ... You don't know what these programs were, so you can't sit there without knowing the programs and say the law was somehow not abided by." But while co-host Mika Brzezinski and Time's Mark Halperin each asked Cheney if her father instructed the CIA on whether to brief Congress -- a question she refused to answer -- neither Brzezinski, Halperin nor anyone else asked Cheney what, precisely, Dick Cheney had told Liz Cheney about his activities, or what basis she had for defending her father if he hasn't spoken to her about details beyond those publicly reported by news outlets such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

From the July 14 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

BRZEZINSKI: Here with us now, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney and former principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Liz Cheney, also mother of Elizabeth, who's here -- adorable. Liz has been critical of the Democrats' calls for investigations into the CIA programs, and on foreign policy, she recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal this: "Mr. Obama thinks he is making America inoffensive to our enemies. In reality, he is emboldening them and weakening us." I think I've heard something like that before from someone you might know. So, you're in agreement with a very high-profile former vice president. But let's start -- let's start with the big story of the past few days, the CIA information. Did your father prevent any information on anything from going to Congress? Did he authorize that? Did he tell anyone to keep information from Congress?

CHENEY: Well, he -- this is clearly a classified program, and he doesn't talk about classified programs and won't comment on it. So I want to be clear that I'm not here to speak for him in that regard.

BRZEZINSKI: I'm not asking what --

CHENEY: But I think that it's important for us all to sort of take a step back here and look at what's going on. This appears to have been a series of plans to capture or kill Al Qaeda. And for the Democrats to have used that now, you know, to politicize it, for the speaker of the House of Representatives to be talking about investigations, really, you know, sort of trying it looks like to cover up the difficulties she's in because of her own press conference, strikes me as just incred -- excuse me -- incredibly irresponsible. And I think that the American people really do have a serious question to ask and are beginning to wonder, you know, are the Democrats up to handling national security issues.

BRZEZINSKI: Look, I don't deny that it looks to me or could look to many like political rehab under way on Capitol Hill. So that's why I'm asking the question. Is it just that? Is it simply that, or is there a there there? Whether it's this plan, this program or this effort, or any effort, was there any attempt by your father in any way to keep the CIA from telling Congress information they should have heard?

CHENEY: Well, I think you have to look, for example, at what General Hayden said yesterday. General Hayden, the former director of the CIA, came out publicly on the record and said he was under absolutely no restraint for briefing Congress, and that he had a series of triggers about when Congress needed to be briefed and that those triggers were not met with this particular program. I think it does a disservice to former directors of the CIA to politicize this issue, and I think it does a disservice to the Bush administration, frankly. We kept the nation safe for eight years, and the nation has been down this path before. You know, we went through the Church Commission. We went through a whole series of investigations into the CIA after Vietnam, and what we see is that it weakens our ability to gather intelligence. It damages morale at the agency --

BRZEZINSKI: I don't disagree with that.

CHENEY: -- it weakens our ability to be able to win this war. And so I think the Democrats have got to, you know, think long and hard before they send us down that path again.


BRZEZINSKI: If the guidelines or the laws were broken, I think there are some who would argue that we need to look into it and maybe there should be prosecutions. I would say pertaining to your father, the question is: Did he bend any rules? Did he break any guidelines in terms of trying to keep information --

CHENEY: Mika, there's simply no evidence of that. I mean, what you have --


CHENEY: -- what you have was the director of the CIA, Panetta, apparently going up on the Hill and talking about a program. And as a result of that, you had a huge front-page New York Times story, which was discounted by the director of the CIA himself prior to Leon Panetta. He also had a story in the LA Times which said not just General Hayden but the other previous CIA directors as well said they felt no pressure not to reveal this program; that, in fact, when programs are in the planning stages, you don't go to the Hill every moment and say, "We're planning this, we're planning this." And I will also point out that President Obama himself believes that the White House and the executive branch have to have the ability to decide when to brief, and that's why he's issued a veto threat for the current intelligence legislation.

BRZEZINSKI: And some of his issues --

CHENEY: So this is not a partisan issue.

BRZEZINSKI: And some of his positions on Guantánamo have evolved since they've been in office.

CHENEY: Well, he's having a real problem on Guantánamo.

BRZEZINSKI: But let me try -- let me try this issue on -- let me try this question a different way: If guidelines or laws were broken, do you think that it should be looked into and that people should be prosecuted? High-level administration officials in the Bush administration.

CHENEY: Laws were not broken, and I think that you've got a real problem here because the potential prosecution that we're talking about now from the attorney general is of CIA operatives. Now, the president of the United States himself stood in the White House and issued a statement saying, you know, "I'm going to release the details of the enhanced interrogation program, but we aren't going to prosecute the people who carried out the program." People can get this statement online. The president said that himself. Now you've got the attorney general saying, "Well, maybe we will." You know, that has not happened before in American history, and it's a real, very dangerous precedent to set that somebody comes into office and begins to treat policy differences with the predecessor as criminal differences.

HALPERIN: Let me ask you a question, not about the specific program, but just the history of the Bush-Cheney administration. Did your father, as part of his job, ever instruct the CIA whether to brief Congress or not on a particular matter? Was that part of what he did?

CHENEY: I was not in every meeting my father had. I was not in probably, actually, most meetings my father had, so --

HALPERIN: But do you know if he did that as part of his duties, either on his own or at the president's request?

CHENEY: Look, I -- he doesn't comment on classified programs, and obviously I'm not going to comment on classified programs on his behalf. I think that it is very, very clear, if you look at the law, if you look at the 1947 National Security Act, that the White House does in fact have the right to decide when to brief the CIA. And --

HALPERIN: Right. But do you know if that's something he did personally, that was part of his responsibility, either on his own or at the president's request? Not about any particular program.

CHENEY: Again, I'm not going -- I'm not going to comment --

HALPERIN: I'm not asking about a particular program --

CHENEY: No -- right, but I'm not going to comment --

HALPERIN: -- I'm asking about how he functioned in the White House.

CHENEY: Well, I wasn't there. I didn't work in the White House --

HALPERIN: So you don't know whether he ever did -- you don't know whether he ever did that?

CHENEY: -- but I think it's very important to look at the fact that not only do they have the right to decide when to brief Congress, but they have a right to look at a particular set of issues and say, if we brief Congress on this issue, we're worried that it's gonna potentially expose sources and methods. So there's absolutely --

HALPERIN: Without question -- without question he could have. I'm just asking --

CHENEY: -- nothing nefarious about the possibility that anybody in the White House said, "here's when you should brief and here's when you shouldn't" --

HALPERIN: I'm not raising --

CHENEY: -- but I'm not going to comment on whether they did or they didn't.

HALPERIN: Or whether that was his role.

BRZEZINSKI: OK -- all right, let me -- and also, you know, the one thing I always try and struggle with, because we're on different sides, different points of view on this, and I love that you come on the show so that we can try and explore it together. But the time after 9-11 is so different than the way we think now. And it's the one thing where I really struggle in my mind about some of the decisions that were made because the entire country would have supported exactly what is being accused here in many ways if they were asked at that moment, do you think we ought to do A, B, and C, and do you think we ought to keep it secret?

CHENEY: And I should -- I would -- I think that's an important point, Mika, because I would also point out that the -- there was really, you know, unanimity. The Democrats themselves supported the programs that the president put in place, the vice president supported, to keep the nation safe. They supported those programs when it was politically expedient --


CHENEY: -- and now that we're in a situation where it seems to be politically expedient, although I would argue --

BRZEZINSKI: But the moral high ground is easier now than it was then.

CHENEY: Right. But it's very dangerous -- it's a dangerous path for them to go down from the perspective of the national security of the nation.


ROBINSON: I actually have a question for Liz in a minute. But, you know, look, it is inconvenient that there is a law, there is a 1947 law that requires that Congress be briefed on significant intelligence operations or activities or anticipated significant intelligence activities. So it seems to be clear they should have been briefed, and if the vice president told the CIA not to brief Congress, than that was wrong.


ROBINSON: If the executive branch can just decide not to brief about anything, because it would affect sources and methods, then you don't have a law, and you're certainly not following the spirit or the letter of the law.

CHENEY: No, but that's not the argument, Eugene --

ROBINSON: So clearly, it's a judgment call.

CHENEY: It's a judgment call.

ROBINSON: -- and I believe the wrong judgment was made in this case. But you can't have absolute discretion --

CHENEY: But you don't have any facts upon which to make that assessment, Eugene. You don't have any facts.

ROBINSON: -- and the executive branch not to follow the law. You can't -- you can't have that.

CHENEY: You don't know what these programs were --

ROBINSON: You can't have that.

CHENEY: -- so you can't sit there without knowing the programs and say the law was somehow not abided by.

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