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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for December, 2009

Ho damn ho

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

TTP wishes all a good holiday season (substitute FSM of choice for verbage) and like the Daily Show and Colbert, we’ll back in the new year…

See ya…

Hentoff on Obama: “possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had.”

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

John W. Whitehead: When Barack Obama was a U.S. Senator in 2005, he introduced a bill to limit the Patriot Act. Now that he is president, he has endorsed the Patriot Act as is. What do you think happened with Obama?

Nat Hentoff: I try to avoid hyperbole, but I think Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had. An example is ObamaCare, which is now embattled in the Senate. If that goes through the way Obama wants, we will have something very much like the British system. If the American people have their health care paid for by the government, depending on their age and their condition, they will be subject to a health commission just like in England which will decide if their lives are worth living much longer.

In terms of the Patriot Act, and all the other things he has pledged he would do, such as transparency in government, Obama has reneged on his promises. He pledged to end torture, but he has continued the CIA renditions where you kidnap people and send them to another country to be interrogated. Why is Obama doing that if he doesn’t want torture anymore? Throughout Obama’s career, he promised to limit the state secrets doctrine which the Bush-Cheney administration had abused enormously. The Bush administration would go into court on any kind of a case that they thought might embarrass them and would argue that it was a state secret and the case should not be continued. Obama is doing the same thing, even though he promised not to.

So in answer to your question, I am beginning to think that this guy is a phony. Obama seems to have no firm principles that I can discern that he will adhere to. His only principle is his own aggrandizement. This is a very dangerous mindset for a president to have.

A must read interview with Nat Hentoff.

Lets hear from the southern bozos

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

First, a real Georgia peach of a moron, our own Rep. Price:

Rep. Price: Obama and Holder ‘may’ have a ‘disdain’ for America

Yesterday, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, appeared on Dennis Miller’s radio show, which was guest hosted by comedian Nick DiPaolo. Towards the end of the interview, the conversation turned to the Obama administration’s decision to hold a trial in a New York City court for accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, which Price called “a remarkable abrogation of duty on the part of the attorney general and the president of the United States.”

PRICE: Well, it it, it’s absolutely political move. One could not make any argument that said that we would be safer as a nation with these individuals coming here for trial. So, I think you’re right its an absolutely political move and a disdain for our form of government may in fact be in place. I think its an absolute philosophical block on what it has, what it has taken to allow this to be the greatest nation in the history of the world.

The only one with “disdain” for this country are those too partisan or scared to actually learn what this country is made of…and for.

Ah, but he’s bested by the simpering wimp from the great state of South Carolina:

Senator cites blacks as disadvantage for his state

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow caught Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday seemingly arguing that his state’s 31 percent African-American population puts him at a disadvantage — and that it’s a good reason not to support healthcare reform.

What?

Maddow cuts to Graham:

“Throughout the nation there are going to be thousands more people enrolled in Medicaid and every state except one is going to have to come up with matching money,” Graham remarks. “I have 12 percent unemployment in South Carolina. My state’s on its knees. I have 31 percent African-American population in South Carolina.”

“The argument here appears to be that Sen. Graham believes it is sleazy to expect a state with lots of black people in it, to have health reform,” Maddow says. “Because you know, black people. Maybe he meant something other than what it seemed like with those remarks. But it should be noted he did use the same inexplicable argument twice. Once on the Senate floor and once on The Today Show. We contacted Sen. Graham’s office today for an explanation. We’ll let you know when and if we hear back.”

Ah, the neverending embarrassment that are southern pols…it’s Christmas, go ahead a pour your self a big mug of STFU…with eggnog.

The myth that kills: “Defending our freedom”

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The Troops Protect Our Freedom, and Other Lies I Learned in School

Barrack Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech included this self-congratulatory little gem:

“But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions—not just treaties and declarations—that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans.”

Before Mr. Obama dislocates a shoulder patting himself on the back, maybe we should look at the record.

When it comes to guaranteeing stability and promoting democracy, the United States’ record is pretty clear. “Global security” and “stability” mean the security and stability of a particular global order guaranteed by the United States—a global order that reflects the interests of the coalition of class forces that control the American government.

The United States’ record with regard to “enabling democracy” is also clear. When it has best served the interests of the corporate world order to replace a dictatorship with a formal democracy, the United States has done so. But when it has best suited the interests of corporate power to overthrow a democracy by force, the United States government has not hesitated to do so.

Let’s get something clear. The United States’ military does not “defend our freedom.” There hasn’t been a war in my lifetime that involved a genuine foreign military threat to our freedom, and the United States government has been actively involved in suppressing freedom around the world for decades. The United States government is a threat to our freedom, and the freedom of people everywhere.

ACORN cleared…again

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

ACORN Cleared YET AGAIN of Wrongdoing…

Earlier this month, a two-month independent investigation of ACORN, by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, found incidents of mismanagement, but no criminal wrongdoing by ACORN, the favorite whipping boy of Republican scammers such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox “News” and the GOP itself. That investigation also found that the “sting videos” used recently against ACORN were doctored and manipulated.

Of course, readers of The BRAD BLOG know the Republicans’ entire, long, sad, anti-democratic (small “d” and large “d” both) campaign is based on little more than the fact that ACORN registers millions of legal low and middle income voters who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic (large “d”) rather than Republican, and the GOP and their democracy-hating proxies will go to any lengths to keep those legal voters from exercising their legal franchise.

And today, once again, ACORN is cleared of wrongdoing vis a vis yet another independent investigation, this one by the Congressional Research Service [PDF], as noted in a press release from U.S. House Judiciary Chair John Conyers this afternoon.

Here’s a question for ya. Why does ACORN keep getting investigated and cleared of charges while Karl Rove, who has been manipulating elections since the Nixon era, keeps appearing on television?

Oh, that’s right. IOKIYAR.

US tries to detox the water

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

U.S. expands efforts to regulate meds in water
EPA lists 13 pharmaceuticals as candidates for regulation

Federal regulators under President Barack Obama have sharply shifted course on long-standing policy toward pharmaceutical residues in the nation’s drinking water, taking a critical first step toward regulating some of the contaminants while acknowledging they could threaten human health.

A burst of significant announcements in recent weeks reflects an expanded government effort to deal with pharmaceuticals as environmental pollutants:

* For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency has listed some pharmaceuticals as candidates for regulation in drinking water. The agency also has launched a survey to check for scores of drugs at water treatment plants across the nation.
* The Food and Drug Administration has updated its list of waste drugs that should be flushed down the toilet, but the agency has also declared a goal of working toward the return of all unused medicines.
* The National Toxicology Program is conducting research to clarify how human health may be harmed by drugs at low environmental levels.

The Associated Press reported last year that the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans contains minute concentrations of a multitude of drugs. Water utilities, replying to an AP questionnaire, acknowledged the presence of antibiotics, sedatives, sex hormones and dozens of other drugs in their supplies.

The news reports stirred congressional hearings and legislation, more water testing and more disclosure of test results. For example, an Illinois law goes into effect Jan. 1 banning health care institutions from flushing unused medicine into wastewater systems.

Sean Bell Way…excellent.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Council Votes To Rename Street For Sean Bell

The City Council voted Monday to approve a proposal to rename part of Liverpool Street in Queens after police-shooting victim Sean Bell.

The three-block stretch will be renamed Sean Bell Way, following the 41-7 vote. Two council members abstained.

Bell was gunned down by police in November 2006 as he was leaving a Jamaica strip club, seen above, hours before he was to be married.

In April, 2008, all three police officers accused of being involved in the fatal shooting were acquitted on all charges by a judge.

Those in support of the bill said it was a way to honor Bell, as well as the changes the New York City Police Department put in place as a result of the shooting.

“When a child walks down the block, they’re going to want to know who Sean Bell is,” said Nicole Paultre Bell, the shooting victim’s fiance. “And his memory will live on forever and that’s what we want.”

The police detectives union, along with seven City Council members, had spoken out against the proposal, calling it an insult to law enforcement.

Good question: What happened to all those GOP ideas?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

In reality, both parties have plenty of ideas that they would like to implement if given the political power to do so. Republicans’ policy ideas primarily involve cutting marginal tax rates and regulations. The question isn’t whether the Republican Party has any ideas. The question is whether the party has any relevant ideas.

It has to be unsettling to those few people who still call themselves conservatives to realize that they are aligned with a party that has clearly run out of gas. No ideas, no leadership, simply existing as the party of “no”…mainly, no Obama. The world has passed them by, and if they have retained even a shred of honesty (hard to imagine after the last 8 years of their boastful intolerance for reality), they have to feel that just maybe substituting greed for common sense, prayer for meaningful action, and fantasy for fact has left them broke, unemployed and powerless.

And they deserve every greedy, selfish minute of angst they feel. Screw ’em. We clearly need an opposition party (just as we did under Bush, Inc), but these lying clowns ain’t it. Go ahead, march in the streets to maintain the status quo in health care while your insurance company runs you into bankruptcy. Fap yourself raw to Sarah Palin- hell, you don’t have a job anymore, plenty of time for it.

And while you’re at it, open a damn book (that isn’t sold by Regency, that is) and learn something about the world you inhabit. Not the one you pretend exists…but the real one.

A wingnut Christmas in Crazytown

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Scary to ponder how many people believe this nonsense:

World Net Daily poll on what to get Obama for Christmas: an ‘arrest warrant’ and a ‘ticket back to Kenya.’

The right-wing website World Net Daily (WND) has been the source of a variety of smears, particularly a campaign to question the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship. While WND exists at the fringes of the conservative movement, top Republican legislators frequent the WND radio program and the Republican National Committee, among other GOP organizations, fund WND through e-mail list rentals. The website, which files regular articles about the role of Christianity during the holiday season, has a new Christmas-themed poll which asks, “What would you like to give Obama for Christmas?” Readers have responded by voting for: “a court ruling booting his ineligible self from office, “a one-way ticket back to Kenya,” and “an arrest warrant”:

poll

7 Reasons for Atheists to Celebrate the Holidays

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Such as…

#4: The War on the War on Christmas. Watching Bill O’Reilly and the Christian Right work themselves into an annual lather over the fact that (a) not everyone in America celebrates Christmas; and (b) some well-mannered businesses choose to recognize this fact by using ecumenical or secular holiday greetings…is some of the best free entertainment we could ask for.

Sure, it’s theocratic. Sure, it’s bigoted. Sure, it has its roots in anti-Semitism and white supremacy. But it’s also freaking hilarious. Watching these hypocrites twist themselves into knots explaining why America is a Christian nation and it’s the grossest insult to acknowledge the existence of other religions by saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”… and why this stance somehow isn’t shameless religious bigotry? It’s the best contortionist act in town. And like the circus, it comes around every year.