08/05/2010 archive

Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Kabuki

Crossposted from Antemedius

Gareth Porter is an historian and investigative journalist and US foreign and military policy analyst. He writes regularly for Inter Press Service on US policy towards Iraq and Iran. Porter is author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam.

Porter talks with Real News Network’s Paul Jay with a dissection of Obama’s Iraq ‘withdrawal’ smoke and mirrors kabuki.

Real News Network – August 5, 2010

Gareth Porter:

Obama backtracks on commitment to withdraw combat troops from Iraq

Transcript below the fold

CA Prop 8: The Fight Has Just Begun

With the careful ruling by Judge Walker yesterday that Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendment’s due precess and equal protection, the arguments to reverse Judge Walker had already started even before the decision was revealed. The defendants asked that the decision be immediately stayed if it did not go in their favor, which it didn’t. So, Judge Walker issued an immediate stay until this Friday, Aug 6, to give the defendants time to file for a permanent stay while the appeals process continues. Now, it will be up to the 9th Circuit Court to decide the stay and if the full court will hear the appeal.

Last night, Rachel Maddow had as her guests Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and the two lawyers who successfully challenged Prop 8, David Boies and Ted Olson.

First is Rachel with Dahlia. The video with Boies and Olson is below the fold, also links to other opinions and analysis on the ruling.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Pundits is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

From the Editorial Board of the New York Times: Marriage Is a Constitutional Right

Until Wednesday, the thousands of same-sex couples who have married did so because a state judge or Legislature allowed them to. The nation’s most fundamental guarantees of freedom, set out in the Constitution, were not part of the equation. That has changed with the historic decision by a federal judge in California, Vaughn Walker, that said his state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment’s rights to equal protection and due process of law.

The decision, though an instant landmark in American legal history, is more than that. It also is a stirring and eloquently reasoned denunciation of all forms of irrational discrimination, the latest link in a chain of pathbreaking decisions that permitted interracial marriages and decriminalized gay sex between consenting adults.

As the case heads toward appeals at the circuit level and probably the Supreme Court, Judge Walker’s opinion will provide a firm legal foundation that will be difficult for appellate judges to assail.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: Is the GOP shedding a birthright?

Rather than shout, I’ll just ask the question in a civil way: Dear Republicans, do you really want to endanger your party’s greatest political legacy by turning the 14th Amendment to our Constitution into an excuse for election-year ugliness?

Honestly, I thought that our politics could not get worse, and suddenly there appears this attack on birthright citizenship and the introduction into popular use of the hideous term “anchor babies”: children whom illegal immigrants have for the alleged purpose of “anchoring” themselves to American rights and the welfare state.

On This Day in History: August 5

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

On this day in 1957, American Bandstand goes national

Television, rock and roll and teenagers. In the late 1950s, when television and rock and roll were new and when the biggest generation in American history was just about to enter its teens, it took a bit of originality to see the potential power in this now-obvious combination. The man who saw that potential more clearly than any other was a 26-year-old native of upstate New York named Dick Clark, who transformed himself and a local Philadelphia television program into two of the most culturally significant forces of the early rock-and-roll era. His iconic show, American Bandstand, began broadcasting nationally on this day in 1957, beaming images of clean-cut, average teenagers dancing to the not-so-clean-cut Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” to 67 ABC affiliates across the nation.

The show that evolved into American Bandstand began on Philadephia’s WFIL-TV in 1952, a few years before the popular ascension of rock and roll. Hosted by local radio personality Bob Horn, the original Bandstand nevertheless established much of the basic format of its later incarnation. In the first year after Dick Clark took over as host in the summer of 1956, Bandstand remained a popular local hit, but it took Clark’s ambition to help it break out. When the ABC television network polled its affiliates in 1957 for suggestions to fill its 3:30 p.m. time slot, Clark pushed hard for Bandstand, which network executives picked up and scheduled for an August 5, 1957 premiere.

Tribute to Dr. William Harrison 20100804

I read with sorrow this evening that Dr. Harrison is closing his practice.  He is an excellent physician, and skilfully delivered my firstborn son in 1985.

Dr. Harrison has been in a bit of controversy, since he is the only OB to provide abortions in the northwest Arkansas area.  This man has guts.  The fundies are rejoicing.  I am mourning.

When the former Mrs. Translator and I visited his office in late 1984 and early 1985, he also practiced OB-GYN and delivered babies.  The costs of that became large afterwards, so he limited his practice to abortions.

Prime Time

Keith, Rachel, and the Boys, but you don’t have to watch news on my account though maybe you’ll want to.  Is Shark Week over yet?

I’m of mixed mind about The Assassins.  On the one hand it has Sylvester Stallone.  On the other hand it has Antonio Banderas.  Given the subtext about aging action hero studs you could find it interesting.

Or not.

What?  You think I’m slighting Ghost Hunters?


Dave has Julia Roberts and The Dead Weather.  Jon has Bruce Henderson, Stephen Michael Posner.  Alton does espresso (too much caffine?  Why do you think that?)

Showdown at Cremation Creek.  This is HUGE.  If you ever hope to understand why David Bowie is The Sovereign of The Guild of Calamitous Intent you’ll examine every frame individually using your DVR and then watch it again at 5 am (hey, you’ll be up in time for Home Movies, Mets Fast Forward, and Monster Trucks).

Not that I would know anything about it.

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Hope for Gulf as BP plugs well, most of the oil gone

by Matt Davis, AFP

1 hr 10 mins ago

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – On a pivotal day for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, BP plugged Wednesday and prepared to permanently seal its stricken well while officials announced most of the toxic crude is now gone.

Though undoubtedly the best day since the disaster began more than 15 weeks ago, US officials cautioned that a great deal of clean-up work remained and that the long-term impact could be felt for years, even decades, to come.

BP’s long-awaited “static kill” was conducted overnight as heavy drilling fluid was rammed into the busted Macondo well for eight hours, forcing the oil back down into the reservoir miles beneath the seabed.