Daily Archive: 10/17/2010

Oct 17 2010

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher’s New Rules

New Rule: The Only Difference Between DeMint and Fred Phelps is DeMint is Afraid to Carry the Sign

h/t Video Cafe @ Crooks & Liars

Oct 17 2010

Currying the Favor of a War Criminal

Maybe President Harry S. Truman should have invited Hideki Tojo to the White House for tea and advice. President Obama thinks that it is just fine to invite former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, to the Oval Office to consult with her on Russia, disarmament and other issues. This woman should be in a cell in the Hague for the rest of her life along with George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes.

It was Condoleeza Rice who was Bush’s National Security advisor at the time, said in 2003 during the run up to the Iraq war that Sadaam Hussein had “the infrastructure, nuclear scientists to make a nuclear weapon,” and

“The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

It was with Rice’s blessing in Situation Room meetings that included Cheney Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft that water boarding and other methods of “enhanced interrogation” were approved and became the norm.

So as Glenn Greenwald points out that instead of prosecuting the “Bush officials who broke the law and instituted a worldwide torture regime”, President Obama has appointed “some of them to occupy the highest positions in my administration and then meet with others in order to drink from the well of their wisdom on a wide range of foreign policy matters.”

No, Glenn, it is not “very childish, shrill and unpragmatic” of you or anyone else to demand that

“the person who presided over the Bush White House’s torture-approval-and-choreographing meetings and who was responsible for the single most fear-mongering claim leading to the Iraq War” be held accountable by this President and the Justice Department which is so hell bent to uphold laws that are discriminatory, unpopular and, most likely, unconstitutional.

But, Ms. Rice gets to have tea in the Oval Office and is consulted by President Obama. All is forgiven.

Oct 17 2010

On This Day in History: October 17

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

October 17 is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 75 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1986, President Ronald Reagan signs into law an act of Congress approving $100 million of military and “humanitarian” aid for the Contras. Unfortunately for the President and his advisors, the Iran-Contra scandal is just about to break wide open, seriously compromising their goal of overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Congress, and a majority of the American public, had not been supportive of the Reagan administration’s efforts to topple the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Reagan began a “secret war” to bring down the Nicaraguan government soon after taking office in 1981. Millions of dollars, training, and arms were funneled to the Contras (an armed force of Nicaraguan exiles intent on removing the leftist Nicaraguan regime) through the CIA. American involvement in the Contra movement soon became public, however, as did disturbing reports about the behavior of the Contra force. Charges were leveled in newspapers and in Congress that the Contras were little more than murderers and drug runners; rumors of corruption and payoffs were common. Congress steadily reduced U.S. assistance to the Contras, and in 1984 passed the second Boland Amendment prohibiting U.S. agencies from giving any aid to the group.

The affair was composed of arms sales to Iran in violation of the official US policy of an arms embargo against Iran, and of using funds thus generated to arm and train the Contra militants based in Honduras as they waged a guerilla war to topple the government of Nicaragua. The Contras’ form of warfare was “one of consistent and bloody abuse of human rights, of murder, torture, mutilation, rape, arson, destruction and kidnapping.” The “Contras systematically engage in violent abuses… so prevalent that these may be said to be their principal means of waging war.” A Human Rights Watch report found that the Contras were guilty of targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination; kidnapping civilians; torturing and executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat; raping women; indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian homes; seizing civilian property; and burning civilian houses in captured towns.

Direct funding of the Contras insurgency had been made illegal through the Boland Amendment the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984, all aimed at limiting US government assistance to the Contras militants. Senior officials of the Reagan administration decided to continue arming and training the Contras secretly and in violation of the law as enacted in the Boland Amendment. Senior Reagan administration officials started what they came to call “the Enterprise,” a project to raise money for their illegal funding of the Contras insurgency.

Oct 17 2010

The Week In Review 10/10 – 16

316 Stories served.  45 per day.

This is actually the hardest diary to execute, and yet perhaps the most valuable because it lets you track story trends over time.  It should be a Sunday morning feature.

Oct 17 2010

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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.

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Christiane Amanpour is “on the trail” reporting from Delaware on “This Week” featuring exclusive interviews with Republican Christine O’Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons.

“This Week” kicks off an extraordinary ABC network wide series, “Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.” Amanpour has an exclusive interview with Maria Shriver, who will be releasing a groundbreaking report Sunday morning examining Alzheimer’s impact on women, who are at the center of this crisis.

Meghan McCain joins ABC’s George Will, Terry Moran and Matthew Dowd on our roundtable. With a little more than two weeks before Election Day they’ll analyze the midterm political landscape, where races are opening up and where they are tightening.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: The question for discussion is: How Divided Are We? Mr Schieffer’s guests will be Howard Dean, Former Chairman, Democratic National Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Liz Cheney, Republican Strategist and Chairwoman, Keep America Safe and William Galston, Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy, Clinton administration and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.

The Chris Matthews Show: Mr. Matthews will be joined by Andrea Mitchell, NBC News

Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Bob Woodward, The Washington Post Associate Editor, David Brookes, The New York Times Columnist and Helene Cooper, The New York Times  White House Correspondent. They will be discussing these questions:

Is Obama’s National Security Team at War?

What’s the Evidence Hillary Clinton Might Bump Joe Biden?

Are Voters Set to Elect Some Extremists to the Senate?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: An exclusive with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for an inside look at the Obama administration’s game plan to keep Democrats in power on the Hill. Plus, a look at the president’s agenda when it comes to all the big issues post-election: the economy, taxes, foreign policy and more.

Also the Senate Debate 2010 series continues with the showdown in Colorado. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet squares off with Republican Ken Buck on all the issues that matter most to the nation and to Colorado: the economy, taxes, health care, immigration and more.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Just two weeks until the midterm elections and the political ad wars are flooding the airwaves at historic levels. The White House accuses the US Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups of spending millions of dollars from “unknown donors” and foreign entities. Joining us to discuss this and more is Senior Adviser to the President David Axelrod.

We get the GOP response from former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, chair of the Campaign for Working Families. That PAC is launching a $1 million ad blitz in 10 midterm election races.

Then, a closer look at the November midterms and the impact all this money will have on Election Day; that with Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group and Michael Duffy, Assistant Managing Editor of Time.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS:  An exclusive interview with the newest Nobel laureate. MIT professor Peter Diamond was part of a trio that won the award in economics for their work on unemployment — certainly a hot topic these days. And just recently, Diamond was nominated by President Obama to the Federal Reserve. But the nomination was blocked. Diamond on HIS job problem…and the nation’s.

Also, North Korea’s “Dear Leader” is at it again. Kim Jong Il has just announced his succession plan and while it sounds like a farce, the implications could be deadly serious. What is in store for the Korean Peninsula’s future? And could a North Korean collapse lead to a confrontation between the U.S. and China?

While the world was watching the Chilean mine, much else was going on in the world. We’ll span the globe with a terrific GPS foreign policy panel.

And Iraq is going on nine months without a government and violence continues to wreck havoc there. Fareed sits down with Ayad Allawi, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, to get his thoughts on the stalemate and on Thursday’s deadly roadside bombing that killed members of Allawi’s party.

Also, a look at Al Qaeda’s new magazine. Is it the jihadist’s Cosmo?

And finally, was the rescue of the Chilean miners the solution to breaking a century-old dispute between two neighboring nations?

Oct 17 2010

Morning Shinbun Sunday October 17

Sunday’s Headlines:


US shaken by sudden surge of violence against gays

Republican funding surge provides crucial advantage


Battle for Trafalgar as developers eye Spain’s last unspoilt shores

German, French rail companies on collision course over Chunnel rights

Middle East

Cracks widen in Netanyahu’s coalition

Seven years of war and still no power to the people


Japan, Once Dynamic, Is Disheartened by Decline

A foreigner’s battle to preserve South Korea’s hanok houses


Africa’s children get the ‘Slumdog’ treatment

MDC demands Mugabe reverse appointments

Latin America

‘This was the most compellingly upbeat story since the lunar landings. It was a rare privilege to be there to watch it unfold’

Key U.S. allies in Iraq said to be rejoining rebels

Many have quit Sunni Awakening or are covertly helping al-Qaida group


BAQUBA, Iraq  – Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.

Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters – many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military – appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Oct 17 2010

June Cleaver (Beaver’s Mom) Has Died – w/Fav TV Sitcom Poll

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Docudharma

Barbara Billingsley, whose portrayal of June Cleaver on the sitcom “Leave It to Beaver” helped define the suburban TV mother of the 1950s and who lampooned her wholesome image in the movie “Airplane!” as a prim older lady who is fluent in “jive,” died Oct. 16 at her home in Santa Monica, Calif.  She was 94.

Mrs. Billingsley was a fashion model and supporting player on film and television before she won her best-known role, gowned in her signature skirts, high heels and pearls as the Cleaver family matriarch on “Leave It to Beaver.”

June Cleaver was presented as the flawless housewife, lovingly going through the motions of running a home: stuffing celery with peanut butter, vacuuming in high heels, greeting her husband when he came home at night and tucking in her two adorable sons.


Oct 17 2010

Prime Time

So today Rangers fans and Yankee haters are getting their revenge (though 5 runs is not enough) but the point is that you only have to split away and that’s already done.  Tonight on Faux we have a pitchers’ duel which means a boring game barring a breakdown.  I’ve already picked the Phillies, I say they do it in 6.  Does this hurt the eventual Yankees matchup?  Did you see CC last night?  Vincible.

There is also Turn Left Racing.


SNL Repeat from 9/25.  GitS: SAC Re-View, Eraser (episodes 20 and 21).

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Oct 17 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Rescuers work to reach four trapped in Ecuador mine


1 hr 52 mins ago

PORTOVELO, Ecuador (AFP) – Ecuadoran rescuers on Saturday succeeded in creating openings large enough to pump fresh air to four men trapped in a caved-in gold mine, the government said.

But despite the progress, emergency workers had not yet made contact with the men and relatives faced continued uncertainty about whether their loved ones were still alive.

The Ecuadoran miners became trapped in the early hours of Friday morning, after the collapse blocked their exit from the mine, leaving the four men stuck some 150 meters (492 feet) below ground in the Casa Negra mine.