Archive for February 5, 2013
Glenn Greenwald — legal thinker extraordinaire, imho — has penned a blistering take down of a “white paper” prepared by Obama’s Department of Justice justifying his supposed power to assassinate Americans without due process. The document (pdf) was posted online last night by NBC’s Michael Isikoff.
The last two sentences pretty much say it all:
[W]e have the current president asserting the power not merely to imprison or eavesdrop on US citizens without charges or trial, but to order them executed – and to do so in total secrecy, with no checks or oversight. If you believe the president has the power to order US citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then it’s truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable.
Read the whole thing here.
I think this move by Obama is very bad; an extremely dangerous road to go down. To think that every single American is no longer guaranteed the right to be charged and to have the opportunity to defend him or herself before a jury of their peers is shocking. That’s something that has comforted me all my life. The thought of living in a country where the ruler can pick off citizens at will is foreign to how things have work around here since the country was founded and against our system of laws that make us great.
That a “constitutional scholar” would seize this power takes my breath away. It’s tremendously depressing. Obama has basically carried out a drone attack on the law.
I have a good friend who lives in Ohio and she says everything Governor John Kasich does is self-serving:
John Kasich’s Obamacare Flip Burns Conservatives
Conservative groups wanted to stop the march of Obamacare expansion at ground zero: the states.
But one of their best hopes just caved.
John Kasich, the fiercely conservative governor of Ohio, announced Monday that he’s going to expand Medicaid dramatically using federal money — a 180-degree turn from what conservative groups swore their allies in governors’ mansions would do when the Supreme Court gave them an out last year.
That leaves Kasich, who built his political identity arguing for smaller government, at odds with the same movement conservatives who propelled him to victory in Ohio and have eyed him for a presidential run in 2016.
“I think it’s definitely going to weaken him with the conservative base,” said Chris Littleton, the Ohio director for American Majority Action.
Yeah, it probably will “weaken him with the conservative base” — as in the 26%ers — but it will help with independents, moderates and who knows, maybe even some Democrats, so this move sure points toward him eying a run for prez.
Now it’ll be interested to see what the wackos do.
If Obama was sitting in front of me right now I’d ask him why the hell he’s doing this:
U.N. Committee Tells Obama to Stop Waiving Sanctions on Countries That Use Child Soldiers
The Obama administration has waived sanctions on countries that use child soldiers for three years in a row, and today a United Nations committee urged the U.S. president to take a tougher stance.
Last October, President Barack Obama issued a presidential memorandum waiving penalties under the Child Soldiers Protection Act of 2008 (CSPA) for Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen, along with a partial waiver for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Those penalties were put in place by Congress to prevent U.S. arms sales to countries determined by the State Department to be the worst abusers of child soldiers in their militaries, but the Obama administration has waived almost all of them each year, arguing that continued arms sales to abuser countries are needed either to bolster those countries’ fragile security or to support cooperation with the U.S. military in areas such as counterterrorism.
Good on the U.N. but what’s Obama thinking? The cynic in me says he’s protecting the profits of U.S. arms manufacturers which if true, would make me sick.
Cute video of a disabled goldfish (looks like it’s deformed in the back end and its fins there aren’t working) in a floatation device who’s hand-fed:
Take Pew’s latest “news I.Q.” quiz here. (I’m kind of dorky and I like things like this.)
I scored 68. Drat. I misidentified the Japanese flag as China’s (duh) and I think I screwed up on what a graph represented.
It was ten years ago today when Colin Powell testified before the United Nations Security Council to appeal for their support for the invasion of Iraq. I remember it so well. I remember thinking the so-called “evidence” was pretty darn flimsy and that it was crazy to go to war based on what was presented.
But Powell insisted:
“Every statement I make today is backed up by sources,” solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. The source was an eyewitness.”
Now we know that “solid source” was a liar who took the entire Bush administration, almost every single member of congress, the vast majority of Americans and the member-countries of the “coalition of the willing” for a ride.
Has to be one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever experienced.
Ingrid Vaca Diez is on a mission to build better homes for the poor.
With few funds and little support, she uses the only resource she can find in abundance – empty plastic bottles.
Her own life in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is one of relative comfort but she is shocked by the rising level of poverty she sees around her.
Though completely self-taught, she designs and builds new homes using recycled plastic bottles filled with dirt as the “bricks”. So far, she has built 10 of these homes.
The people she is trying to help are rural, indigenous migrants, often living in single room, dirt floor shacks.
Ingrid picks her projects based on the urgency of a family’s need.
To call the homes Diez builds “garbage homes” isn’t really descriptive or fair — look how nice they are:
What a great idea. Bravo to Ingrid Vaca Diez.