With a great sense of relief, I can finally say I?ve completed my first year of college. The idea[...]
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Looks like we're all busy at work today. Here's some stuff to think about:
In the be careful what you wish for department, Bernie Kerik has been indicted in Washington for lying to the White House on his 2004 application for Homeland Security Chief. Similar charges were part of his New York indictment, but he had successfully moved to dismiss them.
In December, Kerik pleaded not guilty to another indictment in New York levying similar charges against him, but those charges were dismissed because the incident allegedly happened in Washington, officials said.
Now he faces trial on two indictments in separate districts.
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
While this may not be the most egregious example of the New York Times allowing a writer to "fail upwards" (see William Kristol), it's damn close.
Earlier this month, Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic penned a screed entitled, "The Case Against Sotomayor," an article based on anonymous sources that Rosen dutifully reported:
They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.
The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it.
It's probably just a coincidence that three days before Rosen's hit piece appeared, a talking points memo was distributed by a GOP operative that targeted potential nominees, including Sonia Sotomayor, that parroted the very criticisms that Rosen was peddling:
Substantial questions also persist regarding Judge Sotomayor’s temperament and disposition to be a Supreme Court justice. Lawyers who have appeared before her have described her as a "bully" who "does not have a very good temperament" and who "abuses lawyers" with "inappropriate outbursts."
Coincidence? Or confirmation that Rosen mindlessly played stenographer for his unnamed critics, given that in the article he admitted:
I haven't read enough of Sotomayor's opinions to have a confident sense of them ...
To recap: Rosen printed an attack on Sonia Sotomayor based completely on anonymous sources; he used the same attacks outlined in a Republican-generated memo; he admitted he hadn't bothered to read enough of Sotomayor's opinions to verify the veracity of the claims; and his article was widely refuted, even as conservatives latched onto it as a "basis for opposing" Sotomayor.
And despite all of this, Rosen is given a prominent platform in the New York Times to give his very serious thoughts ... from the liberal point of view ... on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. Once again the traditional media rewards insiders and gives them legitimacy despite their previous blind or biased work.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;The evil that men do lives after them,The good is oft interred with their bones,So let it be with CaesarBilly ShakespeareThis essay is taboo, this essay speaks an awkward, uncomfortable truth. This essay is[...]
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You have to wonder just what level of moral and ethical depravity you have to reach to be a Fox News talker these days.
Col. Ralph Peters -- who doesn't exactly have a track record for probity to begin with -- went on Neil Cavuto and offered a solution to dealing with terrorists at Guantanamo Bay -- just kill them all:
Peters: Neil, I've gotta tell you where I'm coming from. I come from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, the anthracite coal fields. We don't screw around with terrorists.
[Oh, yeah -- that Schuylkill County: Where redneck juries let minority-bashing thugs off scot-free. In other, they don't screw around with white terrorists -- they just let 'em go. OK, good to know.]
Peters: First of all, I am not concerned about the human and legal rights of terrorists. Because as far as I am concerned, when a human being chooses to commit an act of terror against innocent human beings, he puts himself outside of humanity. And this obsession with the legal -- supposed legal and human rights of terrorists -- a small number -- condemns billions of human beings, billions, to live in fear.
And again, Neil, once you commit an act of terror, in my book, you are outside, you are anathema, and you should be killed.
Now, I'm not talking about killing every living thing in the barnyard. But for example, when we attack an Al Qaeda compound, and the people defending the Al Qaeda compound can -- and they're shooting at us, that's probably a pretty good indicator that they are terrorists. So I see no reason to bring them to the United States, no reason to bring them to Guantanamo. There are a small number of senior terrorists who have intelligence value. Them we should take prisoner, but we should do the interrogations in foreign countries -- and why set ourselves up for legal problems?
Now Neil, I know it's not politically correct. I don't care. I care about the security and well-being of my fellow Americans. I care about the human rights of innocent people around the world. And as far as I'm concerned, terrorists should die.
And a good thing that's happening now -- as soon as you had this movement to close Guantanamo, et cetera et cetera, the word I'm getting from the field is our special operators and our soldiers and Marines on the front lines are taking fewer prisoners.
Cavuto: All right, so in other words, they're killing them.
Peters: We're dealing with people who aren't human anymore. They're monsters. And just like in the movies, monsters deserve to die. And we agonize over this.
Cavuto: I see your point about what we agonize over. But what if all the 200 or so Gitmo detainees are not monsters -- some were just caught up in a roundup where they weren't doing anything wrong. Now, I don't have the details or the who's who on who might fill that equation here, but you know what I mean, that, that -- then you would be wiping them all out.
Peters: Well, there will be miscarriages of justice in a brutal war like this. But I don't think too many. We're pretty good at figuring out who's right and who's wrong.
Yeah, right. Sure we are:
An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens of men ? and, according to several officials, perhaps hundreds ? whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.
McClatchy interviewed 66 released detainees, more than a dozen local officials ? primarily in Afghanistan ? and U.S. officials with intimate knowledge of the detention program. The investigation also reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. military tribunal documents and other records.
This unprecedented compilation shows that most of the 66 were low-level Taliban grunts, innocent Afghan villagers or ordinary criminals. At least seven had been working for the U.S.-backed Afghan government and had no ties to militants, according to Afghan local officials. In effect, many of the detainees posed no danger to the United States or its allies.
These right-wing yakkers got all uptight about the potential release of those detainee-abuse photos, because they would anger Arabs, recruit more terrorists, and . Maybe they should worry more about the release of their own words.
As she faces what is already expected to be a host of hostile questions from the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in her confirmation hearings, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama?s first nominee to the Supreme Court, should[...]
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A portion of the transcript released by the feds between Roland Burris and Rob Blagojevich, the now ex-governor's brother, from November 13, 2008.
A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Chad Rubel
If you thought there was a fleeting chance that Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) would have any shot of being elected to a full 6-year term in 2010, that chance now might fit into a thimble with plenty of room for your finger.
When now former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested last fall, we were told there were lots of tapes of numerous conversations. When Blagojevich weaved and bounced around and made his surprise pick of Burris to fill Barack Obama's remaining Senate term, Burris was asked repeatedly by the press and in the Illinois House whether there was a connection between Burris and Blagojevich. Burris told us we had nothing to worry about. The latest tape to be released is one more chapter in the "you might be wrong about that, Sen. Burris" game.
In the latest tape, Burris is heard having a conversation with Blagojevich's brother, Rob. In the process, Burris tries to find ways to get Gov. Blagojevich money without it seeming like he's doing it to get the Senate seat, or pay-for-play. The phrase that just about every media outlet has played summarizes his dilemma: "if I do get appointed that means I bought it."
A particularly damning bit of testimony has Burris offering to funnel money through his lawyer and law partner, Tim Wright. Giving money through someone else is a violation of the state's election code.
The challenge: What snarky, jejune name can you make up for Rush.
When you wanna diss that fat fucker, Rush? Call him:I like the first one better because it alludes to the pilonidal cysts in his rectum that--along with his father the publisher and his uncle the judge--rescued Rusty, after he'd flunked out of South-Southwest Missouri State College in late '67, from being drafted, going to boot-camp, and becoming a man--where that is understood to mean looking at yourself, naked, weak, and afraid, and growing from the experience... According to his Section 8 papers, he literally grew a mad hair up his ass, and it has never come out. All this "meta" is way past twitter range, unless you broke it up...Limbah, the Butt?Each is entirely the consonant allusion. C.f. Darth Cheney.
Jabba, the Rush?
Only ridicule 'works.'
And hurling offal.
Is that the underlying message/lesson of twitter-talk? That human intelligence can accommodate only 140 characters at a time? Or that that is the optimum length of a human message? Where the limitations of the medium reduce communication to its grittiest essentials. Like I said, this rap wouldn't twitter. Too lengthy. Transitions are what would be the first to go.
It occurrred to me some time ago that the 'instantaneous communications industry' provided humanity with something they thought they had lost out on the veldt a million years ag0: the constant, ego-salving, time-binding reassurance from the tribe. Welcome to the Monkey House. The din is incessant. Each screams to its fellows to assure itself of its connection with its tribe. "I am 'someone' and I know to whom it is true."
If I were offered the chance to do another ph.d., I'd do it at the intersection of the 'discursive practices' of the Internet(s) and the Vygotskyian Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). That'd be rich territory for a semiotician/semiologer to mine.
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We told you earlier today about Alberto Gonzales' apparent use of the nomination of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice -- a distinction for which Gonzo himself was once a top candidate -- to rehabilitate his reputation.
But judging by the way that the ex-AG's name is being invoked today -- as a prime example of an unqualified political hack who was seen to be in the running for the top court thanks largely to his personal ties to the president -- that rehab campaign doesn't seem to be going so well.
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This study by Anthony Feinstein (Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Department of Psychiatry, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario) and Maggie Botes (International Contractors Association, Pretoria, South Africa) examines the psychological health of contractors working in war zones.
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