Thursday, December 08, 2005

Something to vote for

Bernie Sanders gave an interview published in The Progressive. Here's one question and response.

Q: So what’s your message to progressives?

Sanders: We have got to change the political culture in America. We need a political revolution. That means we are working on politics not just three weeks before an election but 365 days a year. We have to develop a strong economic message which says every American is entitled to health care through a national health care program. And we’re not going to allow these large corporations to push through trade agreements which allow them to throw Americans out on the street and run to China. We’re not going to give tax breaks to billionaires and then cut back on the needs of our elderly or poor or kids or education. We’re not going to privatize Social Security—in fact, we’re going to strengthen it. We’re going to provide quality education for every kid in America, from preschool through college. We have to take on these corporate leaders who are selling out the American people, whose allegiance is now much more to China than it is to the United States. If we have the courage to take these people on, I think we can overwhelm Bush and his friends.

Here's where the rest is: Link

Via Kos

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sadistic, small minded little prick

Let's not forget then Governor Bush's mocking Karla Faye Tucker shortly before her execution in Texas.

"Please," Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "don't kill me."

Go read the whole reminisence. It recalls what should never be forgotten, a Bush defining moment. Read also this post on Altercation where I found the link to the Timothy Noah Slate article linked above and here.

Thumbs up; thumbs down


...Clemency has long been intertwined with politics.

Gov. Pat Brown, who in the 1950s and '60s commuted 23 death sentences, more than any California governor, acknowledged that he once let an inmate die in the gas chamber to get a minimum-wage bill through the Legislature.

The issue is never the issue.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Status report

Just to keep things straight, here’s a brief status report.

Rumsfeld and Cheney are crazy. Condi is ambitious and semi smart but thinks mostly of her shoes and loves to travel. Bush is an ill tempered fool who is over his head and shitting his pants terrified the world is going to find out.

We torture prisoners. We invade a country that poses no threat to us and sell the imperialistic quest for control of oil to the public with lies designed to frighten us. We maintain a Gulag of fewer, but more widely scattered prisons than the Soviet archipelago version, perhaps more disturbing because their existence reveals a disdain for our fundamental principles.

Our government comes to power through election fraud. Fraud friendly Republican developed computer voting technology continues proliferate. Leading Democrats still talk about being “bipartisan”. Hillary wants to stop flag burning. The New York Times, that helped us into all of the above, is still referred to as liberal. Lots of people watch O’Reilly. NPR has been taken over by the right.

Go here, to noutopia, read the posts and scroll down to the cartoon.

Condi: torture ok because they're different

Condi justifies torture. ABC story.

Without mentioning any country by name, Rice acknowledged special handling for certain terrorists.

"The captured terrorists of the 21st century do not fit easily into traditional systems of criminal or military justice, which were designed for different needs. We have had to adapt," Rice said.

This is the ultimate bullshit excuse. One used, in one way or another, by every criminal regime to allow for everything from genocide to torture. Give a name to a group, disenfranchise them, propagandize how they are different, with "different needs" and then, once dehumanized, slaughter them or torture them, or whatever.

You would think Europeans would be too sensitive to this rationalization to fall for it. The Sportsmen for Bush fascist base, of course, are all for it.


Condi says the U.S. does not use torture. What she means by the word "torture" and what the rest of us mean by it are very different.

From Reuters: CIA prisons in Europe closed in November: ABC News

...ABC News cited intelligence officers as saying that Rice could say that because of a presidential finding that approved "enhanced interrogation techniques," which the United States has said are not torture. These include sleep deprivation and waterboarding.

...ABC cited its sources as saying that the al Qaeda suspects being held are regularly subjected to these interrogation techniques.

In the report on the Web site, ABC cited sources as saying that of the suspects held by the CIA, only one, Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, a suspected coordinator of the September 11, 2001 attacks, did not require water boarding before he talked.

The report said al-Shaibah broke down in tears after he was walked past the cell of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the attacks on the United States. The sources were cited as saying a visibly shaken al-Shaibah started to cry and became cooperative.

So, just what kind of shape was Khalid in that simply seeing him reduced al-Shaibah to tears?

War criminals all.