Archive for March 14th, 2011

14
Mar
11

flashback….. o meets a

14
Mar
11

‘night everyone

14
Mar
11

flashback …. ‘torturer-in-chief’

Newsweek (January 2009): The End of Torture: Obama banishes Bush’s interrogation tactics

In the first sign of friction within his new administration, President Obama overruled the pleas of senior U.S. intelligence officials and signed a new executive order that bars the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods beyond those permitted by the U.S. military …The executive orders represented a clean break with Bush administration policies and won quick praise from human-rights groups….

In perhaps his most far-reaching and potentially controversial move, Obama ordered that the CIA immediately cease using any interrogation techniques that are not already authorized in the U.S. Army Field Manual. He also ordered the CIA to close, “as expeditiously as possible,” any secret detention facilities overseas and begin immediate compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits “humiliating and degrading” treatment of prisoners.

The interrogation directive represents the sharpest departure from Bush-era policies and was the subject of vigorous internal debate among Obama advisers….….senior U.S. intelligence officials told Obama’s advisers that they still needed the flexibility to use some interrogation methods not permitted by the military … but in the end, Obama’s review team rejected their arguments and questioned the premise that such methods were necessary….

…In a stinging rebuke to Bush administration legal policies, Obama’s order states that U.S. government officials involved in interrogations may no longer rely on any Justice Department legal memos written between September 11, 2001, and Jan. 20, 2009. Such memos – many of them still secret and the subject of fierce controversy during the Bush years – were, with one stroke of Obama’s pen, made invalid.

Full article here

14
Mar
11

oh no, they’re falling out with each other

TPM: This won’t go over well with a lot of his fellow GOPers. Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), the Staten Island Republican who defeated Democrat Michael McMahon in November, just launched a broadside against conservative members of his own party who are threatening to defect from spending legislation that seeks to prevent a government shutdown.

“The extreme wing of the Republican Party is making a big mistake with their flat-out opposition to a short-term continuing resolution,” Grimm said in a statement. “I know that there is some opposition to working with Senate Democrats from the extreme right of the tea party who would rather see a government shutdown than pass a short-term solution; however, as long as we continue to cut spending each time, we are keeping our promise to the American people to reduce the deficit and fix the economy.”

More here

14
Mar
11

a basketball legend (and paul pierce)

From Boston Celtics’ captain Paul Pierce’s blog:

So I wanted to share this picture with you guys.

I got to meet President Obama a few days ago when he was in town to speak in Dorchester. I don’t get star struck that easily, but man … it was pretty cool!

I admire what he’s been able to do so much. I also had a chance to tell him about my charity program – FitClub34. Michelle Obama’s program Let’s Move has the same goals as my program – to increase nutrition for kids … makin’ sure our kids are eating right, exercising and being healthy.

He loved some of the things we’ve been doin’, which made me feel real good. I’m hoping we will get to work together soon.

****

Thank you Fred and The Only Adult In The Room!

14
Mar
11

a little background on that resignation…

NYT: The State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, resigned on Sunday, three days after publicly criticizing the Pentagon as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” in its treatment of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning…

Mr. Crowley’s comments … stirred a political tempest in Washington and were rejected by President Obama at a news conference on Friday….

White House officials were infuriated by the episode … which one described as “the last straw” in a series of incautious remarks by Mr. Crowley. …he had a rocky tenure at the State Department, failing to establish close ties to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

…Mr. Crowley had been in a tenuous position for some time … and was discussing another assignment with Mrs. Clinton and her chief of staff even before his Manning remarks. He did not travel on Mrs. Clinton’s plane, which is highly unusual for a spokesman and added to the perception that he did not have access to her inner circle.

Public statements from Mr. Crowley raised hackles in the Pentagon and the White House several times. On Friday, in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, he sent out a message on ’Twitter that said: “We’ve been watching a hopeful tsunami sweep across the Middle East. Now we’re seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.” Other officials said the message was insensitive, and Mr. Crowley pulled it from Twitter.

He also came under fire in a State Department audit while managing the public affairs bureau … Last month, Michael Hammer, a former spokesman for the National Security Council, became Mr. Crowley’s deputy — a move that was widely perceived as setting the stage for Mr. Crowley’s departure.

Full article here

14
Mar
11

three-piece

President Barack Obama meets with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, Commanding General of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, in the Oval Office, March 14. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

14
Mar
11

‘strident partisanship’ pays well, you know

Steve Benen: About a year ago, to the great disappointment of his Democratic colleagues, Evan Bayh announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. He even wrote a lengthy New York Times op-ed about his decision, decrying “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology.”

….He implored Americans to take seriously the “challenges of historic import” that “threaten America’s future,” while at the same time announcing that he would stop working on these challenges altogether.

And what would he do with this time? ….possibly teaching and/or philanthropic work. He … hoped to do something “worthwhile for society.”

That was a year ago. Today, the former senator who decried “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology” will be paid by a ridiculous cable news outlet that exists to spew “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology”: Fox News officially announced on Monday that Bayh is becoming a contributor to the network.

….Fox News hires Democrats who can be reliably counted on to say unpleasant things about Democrats. Why do you think Doug Schoen is on Fox News all the time? Because of his charming smile or because he’s the “Democrat” who hates Democrats?

Also note, this won’t be Bayh’s full-time gig … when he’s not pontificating for the Republican news network, he’ll be a D.C. lobbyist.

I guess Bayh’s efforts to find a post-Senate career that’s “worthwhile for society” were tougher than expected? That or just wanted the cash. Either way, it’s a reminder that Evan Bayh capacity to disappoint isn’t limited to his career on the Hill.

Full article here

Thank you GoBrooklyn

14
Mar
11

‘the gop’s bizarro economics’

Robert Shrum: With the economy finally, plainly on the mend, the Republican response — perhaps predictable from the party of death panels — is to deploy a bodyguard of lies about both the causes of the crash and the reasons for the recovery.

Up in New Hampshire last weekend, the latest reincarnation of Mitt Romney purloined the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan — is there anything authentic left about Mitt? — to denounce “the Obama Misery Index.” He blamed the president for “soaring numbers of Americans enduring unemployment, foreclosures, and bankruptcies.” Right index, wrong president. What about that guy George W. Bush, who left behind a spiraling downturn graver than anything since the Great Depression? Romney uttered nary a word about him, obviously calculating that Republican primary voters will buy Obama-bashing in any form. Romney apparently hopes to then persuade some, just enough, of the mainstream electorate of this ahistorical, economically senseless, and intellectually bankrupt anti-fairytale by repeating it over and over again.

…Republicans seem to expect or fear a continuing and convincing rebound in jobs and growth; they worry the president will get the credit. So they’re deploying their bodyguard of lies on a wider front than Romney’s incredible and inevitably time-limited attempt to blame Obama for the Bush disaster.

…That’s probably their only chance, assuming they can recruit a candidate stronger than their present field of losers. If Americans see and feel a recovery underway, they will reward the president and the party that did the heavy lifting, not those who try to lift the credit. The GOP’s bodyguard of lies will then be dismissed in defeat to the place they belong — the political and economic precincts of Bizarro World, where they famously turn up the air conditioning in order to get warm.

Full article here

14
Mar
11

newark in november

First lady Michelle Obama made an appearance on the Sundance Channel’s documentary “Brick City” on Sunday night. The segment of the documentary – which focuses on Mayor Cory Booker and Newark – featured the First Lady’s visit to a Newark elementary school in November.

Info here




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