So, we have reached a point in the Democratic nomination where, if neither candidate drops out, a[...]
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I hadn't realized that the fact that McCain was born in Panama was causing some hysterical reactions in some quarters.
In keeping with what I said Saturday and what my fellows have posted here, I’d like to underscore a key point. Whomever we vote for on Tuesday would be wise to follow the below advice. Our current President certainly hasn’t acted wisely nor, as his father would have put it, prudently, in many [...]
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In 2004, the 9/11 Commission recommended the establishment of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board “to ensure that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered” by the President “in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies” related to national security. The board was also charged with determining “whether guidelines designed to appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties are being followed.”
But the panel has been shrouded in controversy since its implementation, beginning with the fact that “the board was not sworn in until March 2006, due to inaction on the part of the White House and Congress.”
Now, the board is officially vacant. The terms of the original members expired on Jan. 30, 2007, but “no nominations have been sent to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which must approve appointees for the five vacancies“:
The Bush administration has failed to nominate any candidates to a newly empowered privacy and civil-liberties commission. This leaves the board without any members, even as Congress prepares to give the Bush administration extraordinary powers to wiretap without warrants inside the United States. […]
Terms for the board’s original members expired on Jan. 30, but no nominations have been sent to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which must approve appointees for the five vacancies.
Though the board “has no real powers of investigation,” the White House has sought to undermine its oversight capabilities throughout its existence. In May 2007, Lanny Davis — the sole Democrat on the board — resigned in protest after the Bush administration “made more than 200 revisions” to the panel’s first report to Congress.
At least one of those revisions was meant to give the White House political cover during the U.S. attorney scandal:
Chairman Carol E. Dinkins told board members March 29 that the White House counsel’s office had asked to delete the passage, fearing the revelation might inflame the ongoing political controversy over the administration’s dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys, according to documents and interviews with board members.
Before joining the board, Dinkins “served as a campaign treasurer for President Bush and was a partner at the same law firm as former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”
As Bush pushes for more surveillance powers, the White House appears content to not have to deal with the accountability and oversight that a civil liberties board would provide.
The only problem is, by the description in the article, it doesn’t look like push polling at all.First a critical definition: push polling, which many of us are familiar with term after the hit job done on John McCain in South Carolina appears to the receiver to be “issues polling”, but usually last just a [...]
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According to campaign sources, polling and stealing off other analysts, Hillary Clinton has an edge in New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.Keep in mind that it comes down to delegates, not just winning states, and they'll be splitting a lot of these states' delegates. And as always, California is the big prize. The NYT has a nice list of the various states, how many delegates they have, whether they do "winner take all," and who's ahead in each (h/t to Ablog reader Hector in the comments).
Obama has an edge in Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Dakota and Illinois.
Tossups: California, Connecticut, Democrats Abroad, Arizona, Missouri, Delaware, Utah, American Samoa, Alaska, Massachusetts
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Baghdad is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely powerless, an Iraqi official said on Sunday in a grim assessment of services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion.
One of three sewage treatment plants is out of commission, one is working at stuttering capacity while a pipe blockage in the third means sewage is forming a foul lake so large it can be seen "as a big black spot on Google Earth," said Tahseen Sheikhly, civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security plan.
A sewage back-up so big it looks like a black lake on Google earth? That can't be good.
I wrote about this only a few weeks ago, but I still can't get my head around how this story played out in the press. (I could cite many more examples of this national noblesse oblige, such as revelations from the Downing Street Memo, on Abu Ghraib, on illegal wiretapping, on secret prisons, etc.)
From the Center for Public Integrity:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses....
In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.
1546, "practicing illusion or magic, deceptive," from L. pręstigious "full of tricks," from pręstigię "juggler's tricks," probably altered by dissimilation from pręstringere "to blind, blindfold, dazzle," from prę- "before" + stringere "to tie or bind" (see strain (v.)). Prestige is from 1656, from Fr. prestige "an illusion" (16c.). These words were derogatory until 19c.; prestige in the sense of "dazzling influence" was first applied 1815, to Napoleon. Prestigious with this sense is attested from 1913
Privilege is prestige, and prestige, in its fundamental nature as in the etymology of the word, means deception and enchantment. Again the line of development is continuous from the magician-leader of the simpler societies to the priest-king or god-king of the first civilization, as indeed Frazer showed fifty years ago.
Power was originally sacred, and it remains so in the modern world. Again we must not be misled by the flat antimony of the sacred and the secular, and interpret as "secularization" what is only a metamorphosis of the sacred. If there is a class which has nothing to lose but its chains, the chains that bind it are self-imposed, sacred obligations which appear as objective realities with all the force of a neurotic delusion. (Life Against Death, Norman O. Brown, Vintage Books, 1959, p. 252)
LONDON (Reuters) - More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain's leading polling groups.
The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes....
The margin of error in the survey, conducted in August and September 2007, was 1.7 percent, giving a range of deaths of 946,258 to 1.12 million.
The project uses reports from English-language news media (including Arabic media translated into English) to compile a running total. In its "Quick-FAQ" the IBC states: "It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media. That is the sad nature of war."
...as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq discovered early last year, verifying the numbers independently is impossible because, since the U.S. escalation nicknamed the "surge" began one year ago, the Iraqi government has refused to share its raw mortality data with UNAMI [United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq] or other outside sources. Many human rights advocates, including UN Human Rights Officer Ivana Vucco, have said this step was taken under pressure from the United States to conceal the real level of violence.