OK

I wonder why John McCain doesn't come right out and say he sold his soul.  We miss the straight talk.  He should run with the explicit admission that he plans to pardon Jack Abramoff, and make the former lobbyist Secretary of the Treasury.  Ralph Reed, McCain's newest best buddy, it should be admitted, will get a big role in McCain's administration.  McCain should tell us that Exxon will replace our current EPA.  He should regale us with tales of how his administration will be one big, happy oil company and lobbyist family, like his campaign.  That would be straight talk.

More, yo.

Oil Comes From Trees

Clown shoes for Rep. Bill Sali (R-ID), who stated in 2006 and again recently that forty percent of trees are crude oil.  In case you missed this great nugget I got from TP, Bill Sali, a guy who steals oxygen from legitimate human beings, really has no inkling of where oil comes from.  Byron Yankee helped point out just how stupid Sali really is, and he isn't the only one who has heard it straight from the horse's mouth.  Betsy Russell from the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported on Sali's ignorance a couple of years ago.

Republicans in many shapes and sizes have gone oil mad.  The rants and incredible claims such as China is drilling in Boca, drill drill drill, and "Oil Rocks!" were funny at first.  After a bunch of Republican Representatives got down on the floor and began looking for little pieces of oil, the debacle became troublesome.  Jonesing for oil has become a key part of Republican ideology.  I urge them to get professional help.  Maybe something like a 12 step program could work for them, or at least get them off of the floor.

*
Torture in Immigration Detention

Our system has failed.  We now treat immigration detainees as criminals, and deny them medical care.  Jason Ng had a broken back and terminal cancer while held in detention, but was denied medical care repeatedly.  Guards and staff believed he was faking.  The man's suffering must have been horrific.

In federal court affidavits, Mr. Ng's lawyers contend that when he complained of severe pain that did not respond to analgesics, and grew too weak to walk or even stand to call his family from a detention pay phone, officials accused him of faking his condition. They denied him a wheelchair and refused pleas for an independent medical evaluation.

Nina Bernstein at the New York Times brought this tale to my attention before coffee or breakfast.  I have an idea.  For those people out there who are so proud of torture, let's get you hooked up with some real torture.  Fans of the police state should be tased, pepper sprayed, beaten and detained indefinitely.  Equal suffering for all might eventually cause them to change their minds.

The guards who dragged Mr. Ng to Hartford should be prosecuted and jailed for many long years, as should the warden who was in charge of the facility.  Given the atmosphere of complete immunity for anyone involved with torture or human rights violations that probably will not happen.  What happened to our proud nation?  Does anybody really think things like this are okay?

My prayers are with his family.
They didn't deserve this.

*
CNN: The New Fox News

Atrios brought a CNN press release to my attention.   Here are the new additions to the high quality team of unbiased journalists:

· David Brody, senior national correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years, Brody writes the political blog, "The Brody File."
· Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist and former campaign consultant for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Castellanos is a partner in National Media Inc., a political and corporate consulting firm.
· Dana Milbank, a Washington Post staff writer and author of the thrice-weekly "Washington Sketch" column. A veteran of political coverage, he has also worked for The New Republic and The Wall Street Journal, and his latest book is Homo Politicus: The Strange and Scary Tribes That Run Our Government.
· Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist and currently the political director and Washington editor-at-large for HuffingtonPost.com. In a previous role, she was chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.
· Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Times. Previously, she served as director of the office of public affairs at the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and as director of outreach communications for the Republican National Committee.

Dana Milbank is the brainiac who wrote the article painting Obama as arrogant and presumptuous based on a quote taken completely out of context.  Just to rehash, here are the original words:

It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It's about America. I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.

 And here's what Milbank wrote:

Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," adding: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

That succinct bit of comparison came from Mathew Yglesias, and about a million other people.

Steve Benen wrote at length about the wingnutification of CNN.  Anybody who watches the channel probably already knew how far the channel has gone to the right.  I personally quit watching it when I became concerned I might smash my television set one day.  Somebody referred to CNN as the "liberal media" the other day, which caused me to laugh until tears poured down my cheeks.  They apparently never watch anything but Fox News, or they would know that CNN could bring them great pleasure.

Tony Snow worked there before he died.  We all know Tony "Never Tell The Truth" Snow.  I think I waited long enough to finally say this without being called insensitive.  I hope he's in a heaven full of liberals, progressives, African Americans, GLBT people, poor people and honest folks.  He would probably consider that hell.

Frances Frago Townsend also got a job from CNN.  Townsend, the former White House homeland security advisor, approves of torture, and everything else the Bush administration does or has done.  Townsend said of our use of torture, "... we start with the least harsh measures first..." and stop "... if someone becomes cooperative."  Nothing screams objective journalism like employing an advocate of torture.

Hey, at least they threw in one token Democrat.  Yeah, that will get me to watch it again.

*
Huevos!

Activists draped a banner off of the new CCTV building under construction in Beijing.  The banner not surprisingly said "Free Tibet."  Three Americans, a Briton and a Canadian were detained by police following the incident.  Let me take a second to say, "Huevos!"  And I thought I was a gutsy activist...

China set up "protest parks" for the Olympic games.  We have those too.  Denver and St. Paul will both be protest parks this year.  Our government will have a chance to see lots of activists in the same place at the same time.  Look forward to lots of videotape from the events as well.

*
Happy Trails Perversion Mushararraf

Pervez Musharraf will resign.  Et tu, Musharraf?  What's happening to Bush's brilliant global policy?

Maybe Benazir Bhutto can take over... oh, right, the Bush administration was directly responsible for Pakistan's failure to keep her alive.
Ron Suskind:

Bhutto says, you know, "Look at my situation. I’m now going to wash away the entire Musharraf power structure, because the fact is, is I’m rising, and he’s plummeting. That’s one opponent. Also, the jihadists are realizing that I might create a counterpoint in this whole region to bin Laden. So now I’ve got two enemies, of course, who have been in an unholy alliance—dictatorial power, messianic radicalism—for many years, and I have no protection. Why? Because Dick Cheney won’t make the phone call." We go on and on about this. She says, "Why? Explain it to me, the idea that they assured me Cheney would make the call to Musharraf simply to say, ‘You’re the dictator, make sure she is protected. She has to make it to election day. If she doesn’t, we’re going to hold you responsible.’"

Bhutto, at this point, realizes she’s essentially been abandoned because the US has chosen illegitimate power over spoken principle. It’s an extraordinary finish to her life of real clarity and also clarity about, oddly, the power, truly, of democratic ideals, if you actually believe in them.

Big surprise, big men in Washington always say they're gonna call, but they never do.
Osama Bin Laden won't take the job, but may well have a hand in who does.

Best
August
Ever

*
Spray and Pray

Wednesday Army Brigadier General Gregory Zanetti gave honest testimony about the method used to charge prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.  Air Force Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann wanted cases that would "capture the public's imagination."  Some of the sexiest cases involved very young men, like Mohammed Jawad and Omar Ahmed Khadr, who were only teenagers when the threw hand grenades at Americans.  Hartmann pushed for speedy charges, and bullied anyone whose opinion differed from his own.

The testimony shines a light on the driving force behind some of the "war crimes" trials centering on Guantanamo prisoners.  The trials were meant to be publicity for the Bush administration's detention of "enemy combatants."  Hartmann wanted cases that would make the public adore the idea of Guantanamo and military tribunals.  Hartmann probably hadn't expected the Supreme Court of the United States to disagree with George Bush, and probably didn't think his role would ever come into question.  What's the use of a kangaroo court if the masterminds become exposed?

The Miami Herald ran the same story.  Hartmann has been disqualified from further involvement with the cases.  

''The judge found that in the interests of justice General Hartmann is disqualified from further action in this case,'' said Air Force Maj. Gail Crawford, a military attorney serving as spokeswoman for the trials.

The information further buttresses the notion that the proceedings are a sham.  Many writers use the term "kangaroo court" when referring to the military tribunals.  Such a proud time for the rule of law...

Have A Nice Day, World.

Originally posted to prestochango on Fri Aug 15, 2008 at 07:46 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.