11/10/2010 archive

NBC: Fair and Balanced.

On Monday, Matt Lauer’s interview with George W. Bush aired on the “Today Show”, giving Mr. Bush free publicity for his new book, “Decision Point”. Since then segments of the interview have been aired on other NBC and MSNBC shows with little counter to Mr. Bush’s lies and deception about his presidency.

Michael Moore has offered to give NBC “Fahrenheit 9/11” for free to counter balance all the unchallenged publicity they have given the admitted war criminal, George W. Bush. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes. Can you hear us, Mr. Obama.

I would give them (NBC) “Fahrenheit 9/11”, for free, to run on NBC, as balance to all the publicity they’ve been giving him . . .

I hope we never forget what this man did.

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.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Joseph C. Wilson: George Bush’s Deception Points

Having read that people began lining up in front of bookstores before former President Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, was due to be released, I hurried off to purchase mine early on November 9, arriving about fifteen minutes after opening time. I have the distinction of being the first person to purchase Bush’s book in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I have a special interest in understanding how the former president sees his decision to invade Iraq and his use of intelligence to justify the invasion. I have also been curious about what he might have to say about the betrayal of a CIA covert officer’s identity, my wife’s, by, among others, two senior members of his staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove. I had seen his interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer in which he volunteered that Scooter Libby was a “loyal” American who had been somehow caught up in the Valerie Plame affair. I was thunderstruck by his description of a man convicted of four counts of lying to federal officials, perjury, and obstruction of justice, the chief of staff to the Vice President who knowingly offered up Valerie Plame’s name to a New York Times reporter, and who was so obsessed with destroying my reputation that he kept a three-ring binder on me and an annotated copy of my book. My expectations for truthful revelation in Bush’s book, after his comment, were naturally low. I have not been disappointed. In fact, Deception Points might have been a more appropriate title.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Sit! Stay! A New York Times Chew Toy for Blue Dogs

The conservative wing of the Democratic Party just drove it over a cliff, but you’d never know if from reading Matt Bai’s latest New York Times piece. It’s the latest in a series of Bai paeans to that odd mix of ideologies and opportunism that Washington types persist in calling “centrism,” despite its ever-increasing distance from the real center of American opinion.

How is a Blue Dog different from all other dogs? Apparently when you love a blue dog, you lick it.

Like so many other commentators these days, Bai’s so enmeshed in personalities and labels that he never gets around to the issues. In his piece the liberals are fighting with the centrists, Howard Dean’s supporters don’t like Rahm Emanuel, and it’s all a reporter can do just to keep score. Unfortunately he never pauses to consider the possibility that policies, not personalities, might have been the key to victory.

Richard Norton-Taylor: Waterboarding is no basis for truth

George Bush’s defence of torture relies on a belief in information that our intelligence agencies treat with deep scepticism

Bush cannot be allowed to get away with making these kind of claims about information based on torture, information that Britain’s security and intelligence agencies treat with deep scepticism and – as far as the supposed links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq are concerned – incredulity

Greenwald v. O’Donnell

Now some of you may think I watch waaaaay too much TV and you’re absolutely right.  Since the 60s I’ve always had my choice of at least 2 of every network including PBS and a handful of independents.  My TV is constantly on, even when I’m napping, and I’m sure I absorb it osmotically (yes I do know that means movement of a solvent through a semi-permeable membrane and I deliberately chose it instead of ‘subliminally’ which is not only less felicitous but also hypnotic hocus pocus and not what I mean at all).

Now that we have vocabulary covered and a proper understanding of how marinated in media I am, I’d like to draw your attention to Greenwald on O’Donnell discussing the Democratic Party that you might have missed but through the miracle of the tubz you can experience at your leisure and convenience.

If Larry is a Socialist, I’m the freaking King of Siam.

The perniciousness of Blue Dogs

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010 07:11 ET

I thought the West Wing clip at the end was simply masturbatory self indulgence.  You’re no Socialist Larry, you’re just another delusional Versailles Villager pretending to be a ‘Real American’ like Marie Antoinette pretended to be a milk maid on her play farm.

For context, the setup.

Am I becoming a Video Blogger?  No.  Frankly it’s a pain in the ass, much harder than real words.

There Will Be No Investigation

There will be no investigation, there will be no prosecution and there will be no rule of law.

DoJ: No charges for destruction of CIA interrogation videos

The Justice Department has decided not to bring criminal charges for the destruction of Central Intelligence Agency videotapes of tough interrogations of terrorism suspects, including videos of waterboarding.

“In January 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to investigate the destruction by CIA personnel of videotapes of detainee interrogations,” Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement e-mailed to reporters Tuesday afternoon. “Since that time, a team of prosecutors and FBI agents led by Mr. Durham has conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. As a result of that investigation, Mr. Durham has concluded that he will not pursue criminal charges for the destruction of the interrogation videotapes.”

An attorney for the former CIA official who ordered the tapes’ destruction, Jose Rodriguez, expressed satisfaction with the DoJ’s decision.

The stature of limitations was let expire on November 8 and “crickets” from the press.

Durham Torture Tape Case Dies, US Duplicity in Geneva & The Press Snoozes

And, The Obama Justice Department let it happen

Torture? Check. Covering Up Torture? Check. Rule of Law? Nope.

This inquiry started long before Obama started looking forward, not backward. It started before the White House allowed the Chief of Staff to override the Attorney General on Gitmo and torture. It started before we found out that someone had destroyed many of the torture documents at DOJ-only to find no one at DOJ cared. It started before the Obama DOJ made up silly reasons why Americans couldn’t see what the Vice President had to say about ordering the leak of a CIA officer’s identity. It started before the Obama White House kept invoking State Secrets to cover up Bush’s crimes, from illegal wiretapping, to kidnapping, to torture. It started at a time when we naively believed that Change might include putting the legal abuses of the past behind us.

This inquiry started before the Obama Administration assumed the right to kill American citizens with no due process-all the while invoking State Secrets to hide that, too.

This inquiry started before Bush and then Obama let BP get away with serial violations of the laws that protect our workers and environment, and then acted surprised when BP ruined our Gulf.

This inquiry started before Obama helped to cover up the massive fraud committed by our banks, even while it continued to find ways to print money for those same banks. It started, too, before the Obama Administration ignored mounting evidence that banks-the banks employed by taxpayer owned Fannie and Freddie-were foreclosing on homes they didn’t have the legal right to foreclose on, going so far as to counterfeit documents to justify it. This inquiry started when we still believed in the old-fashioned principle of property rights.

This inquiry started before banksters got excused when they mowed down cyclists and left the scene of the crime, because a felony would mean the bankster would lose his job.

The ACLU’s Anthony Romero reacted to this news saying, in part, “We cannot say that we live under the rule of law unless we are clear that no one is above the law.”

I think it’s clear. We cannot say we live under the rule of law.

Thank You, Mr. Olbermann, the White House is on the Phone.

Michael Moore: Well, good to see you. Just a little advice for you next time, form yourself into a corporation.

Keith Olbermann: Exactly

MM: Then you can give to whoever, how much you want, nobody cares and if your bosses have a problem with it, they can take it up with Scalia.

On This Day in History: November 10

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

November 10 is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 51 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1975, the 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed “Mighty Fitz,” “The Fitz,” or “The Big Fitz”) was an American Great Lakes freighter launched on June 8, 1958. At the time of its launching, it was one of the first boats to be at or near maximum “St Lawrence Seaway Size” which was 730 feet (220 m) long and 75 feet (23 m) wide. From its launching in 1958 until 1971 the Fitzgerald continued to be one of the largest boats on the Great Lakes.

Final voyage and wreck

Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin on the afternoon of Sunday, November 9, 1975 under the command of Captain Ernest M. McSorley. It was en route to the steel mill on Zug Island, near Detroit, Michigan, with a full cargo of taconite. A second freighter under the command of Captain Jesse B. “Bernie” Cooper, Arthur M. Anderson, destined for Gary, Indiana out of Two Harbors, Minnesota, joined up with Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, being the faster ship, took the lead while Anderson trailed not far behind. The weather forecast was not unusual for November and called for a storm to pass over eastern Lake Superior and small craft warnings.

Crossing Lake Superior at about 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), the boats encountered a massive winter storm, reporting winds in excess of 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) with gusts up to 86.9 knots (160.9 km/h; 100.0 mph) and waves as high as 35 feet (11 m). Visibility was poor due to heavy snow.  The Weather Bureau upgraded the forecast to gale warnings. The freighters altered their courses northward, seeking shelter along the Canadian coast. Later, they would cross to Whitefish Bay to approach the locks.When the storm became intense, the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie were closed.

Late in the afternoon of Monday, November 10, sustained winds of 50 knots were observed across eastern Lake Superior. Anderson was struck by a 75-knot (139 km/h; 86 mph) hurricane-force gust. At 3:30 pm, Captain McSorley radioed the Anderson to report that she was taking on water and had top-side damage including that the Fitzgerald was suffering a list, and had lost two vent covers and some railings. Two of the Fitzgerald’s six bilge pumps were running continuously to discharge shipped water.

At about 3:50 pm, McSorley called the Anderson to report that his radar was not working and he asked the Anderson to keep them in sight while he checked his ship down so that the Anderson could close the gap between them. Fitzgerald was ahead of Anderson at the time, effectively blind; therefore, she slowed to come within 10 miles (16 km) range so she could receive radar guidance from the other ship. For a time the Anderson directed the Fitzgerald toward the relative safety of Whitefish Bay. McSorley contacted the U.S. Coast Guard station in Grand Marais, Michigan after 4:00 pm and then hailed any ships in the Whitefish Point area to inquire if the Whitefish Point light and navigational radio beacon were operational. Captain Cedric Woodard of the Avafors answered that both the light and radio direction beacon were out at that moment. Around 5:30 pm, Woodward called the Fitzgerald again to report that the Whitefish point light was back on but not the radio beacon. When McSorley replied to the Avafors, he commented, “We’re in a big sea. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

The last communication from the doomed ship came at approximately 7:10 pm, when Anderson notified Fitzgerald of an upbound ship and asked how it was doing. McSorley reported, “We are holding our own.” A few minutes later, it apparently sank; no distress signal was received. Ten minutes later Anderson could neither raise Fitzgerald by radio, nor detect it on radar. At 8:32 pm, Anderson was finally able to convince the U. S. Coast Guard that the Fitzgerald had gone missing. Up until that time, the Coast Guard was looking for a 16 foot outboard lost in the area. The United States Coast Guard finally took Captain Cooper of the Anderson seriously shortly after 8:30 pm. The Coast Guard then asked the Anderson to turn around and look for survivors.

The Edmund Fitzgerald now lies under 530 feet of water, broken in two sections. On July 4, 1995, the ship’s bell was recovered from the wreck, and a replica, engraved with the names of the crew members who perished in this tragedy, was left in its place. The original bell is on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in Michigan.

The Witch of November I am a sailor. Blessed Be

Obama Admits to Failure

President Obama in an interview with “60 Minutes” correspondent, Steve Kroft, said

So, ultimately, I had to make a decision: do I put all that aside, because it’s gonna be bad politics? Or do I go ahead and try to do it because it will ultimately benefit the country? I made the decision to go ahead and do it. And it proved as costly politically as we expected. Probably actually a little more costly than we expected, politically. . . . .

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, partly because I couldn’t get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I had hoped for. We thought that if we shaped a bill that wasn’t that different from bills that had previously been introduced by Republicans — including a Republican governor in Massachusetts who’s now running for President — that, you know, we would be able to find some common ground there. And we just couldn’t.

Some how the talking heads in the MSM managed to interpret this as Obama’s didn’t negotiate with Republicans.

From NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, Ali Weinberg *** Obama in defeat: To us, the most striking part of President Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview was his admission that that he and his administration didn’t compromise and work with the Republicans.

Where were these people over the last two years?

The truth of the matter is Obama failed because he tried to negotiate with the Republicans. Republicans asked and Obama gave in to them and the blue dogs with out batting a pretty eyelash and got nothing in return. That was Obama’s defeat.

This has to be the worst interview by a sitting president in recent memory

Prime Time

So Keith is back.  I’m tempted not to watch for fear he’ll do something stupid like apologize.  Broadcast premiers.

Greenwald on O’Donnell (definitely).


Dave hosts Denzel Washington and Bon Jovi.  Jon has Harrison Ford (cool), Stephen Cee Lo Green.  Conan Tom Hanks, Jack McBrayer, and Soundgarden.

BoondocksThe Story of Thugnificent

You know when fluoridation first began?

I… no, no. I don’t, Jack.

Nineteen hundred and forty-six. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

Uh, Jack, Jack, listen… tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first… become… well, develop this theory?

Well, I, uh… I… I… first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.


Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue… a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I… I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.


I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh… women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh… I do not avoid women, Mandrake.


But I… I do deny them my essence.

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Gulf oil firms need ‘top to bottom reforms:’ US panel

by Karin Zeitvogel, AFP

36 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US presidential panel probing the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster on Tuesday slammed the firms involved in the deadly rig accident in April, calling them safety laggards in need of a complete overhaul.

“BP, Halliburton and Transocean are major companies operating throughout the Gulf, and the evidence is that they are in need of top-to-bottom reform,” said William Reilly, co-chair of the presidential oil spill commission.

“Emphatically, there was not a culture of safety on that rig… We know a safety culture must be led from the top and permeate a company,” he said as he opened the second day of a hearing into the April 20 explosion on a BP-leased drilling rig off the Louisiana coast.