Friday, May 29, 2009

With all due respect, Senator Levin... are not exactly correct.

Dick Cheney said that the Bush Administration's "enhanced interrogation techniques" (i.e. torture of prisoners) worked, and saved lives. You think he was lying because torture did not produce good intelligence information or save the lives of US citizens from potential terrorist attacks. While your assertion is indeed correct, that is not what Dick Cheney said.

It is well documented that torture is unreliable for extracting truthful information, but is very useful for extracting false confessions. Those false confessions are the "success" that Cheney is referring to. Torturing prisoners into "confessing" to a link between Iraq and 9/11 was a key "justification" for going to war against Iraq.

In setting up and implementing this scheme to march to war under false pretenses, people like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Alberto Gonzales and others could be convicted of treason and war crimes. These offenses can result in the death penalty under US law. Therefore, torturing prisoners into false confessions and then rebranding the word "torture" can save their lives.

So, with all due respect Senator Levin, I accept your rationale, your arguments and your intent. But I must confess that I find your statement about Dick Cheney lying to be technically incorrect.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What the opponents of improving healthcare don't want you to know

Conservatives beat the fear drums that single-payer healthcare will be too expensive, and cannot succeed. What they don't like to talk about is the massive profits being taken via the current system at the expense of the common folk, the $42B "taxed" annually on healthcare recipients that would be eliminated under single-payer, and the fact that EVERY other first-world nation is an example of how to improve US healthcare. The US is the only remaining Western country stuck in the outdated for-profit, insurance-driven, healthcare-for-some model of healthcare.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Intelligent Dental Work?

In my life, I've had 7 teeth extracted. I have had orthodontic work done. I have probably had a dozen fillings. I fully believe that I am better off for having had this work done.

Therefore, I believe that every person should have 7 teeth extracted, orthodontic work, and a dozen or so fillings. Those failing to do so are morally inferior to me, should be marginalized, and my beliefs should be taught in public schools in lieu of other points of view.

Ridiculous, right? You bet it is. However, it's the same basic argument that certain zealots make - just replace dentistry with religion. Then mix in one neo-conservative political party...

Pre-emptive political strike

The Republicans are already gearing to associate "Latio" with "racist" in order to try to sway the public away from an eminently qualified, and CENTRIST nominee. Just like they associated Iraq with 9/11, they're counting on an uneducated public believing an association if they hear it over and over enough. Gee, I can't imagine how this could backfire...

Before President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor, the Republicans were already on the public speaking circuit, saying how they're going to oppose Obama's nominee, and work to obstruct it. That was BEFORE THEY EVEN KNEW WHO IT WOULD BE. At least they're consistent with their mission of opposing anything Obama does, and laboring to try to bring about failure.

Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove, both of whom dropped out of second-rate colleges, are claiming that Sotomayor, who graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton and was an editor of the Yale Law Review, doesn't have the intellect to serve on the Supreme Court.

Keep in mind, that Judge Sotomayor was appointed to the federal bench by the first Bush. Republicans thought very highly of her then, because The Party told them she was a good choice. Now that it's a Democrat that's nominating here, however, The Party says she's a bad choice, so the Republicans are dutifully opposing her.

Sonia Sotomayor

So, the righty talking points that are hitting the airwaves at all the usual Republican media outlets are centering on the "facts" that Obama and Sotomayor are both sexist and racist because Sotomayor is female and born in Peurto Rico. Some of them are going so far as to imply that PR is not even part of America.

So, let me get this straight. Ronald Regan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor, and that was not sexist. George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas, and that was not racist. But now that the Republicans are dutifully following the mantra of "attack Obama for everything", he and his nominee are both sexist and racist for exactly the same thing.

Oh, it gets even better. They keep playing the same out-of-context partial sound bite over and over. In it, Sotomayor says that being a Latina woman does effect her decision making process. Not only is it common sense, but hearing the whole speech makes even more sense (She said that she holds IN CHECK the part of herself that might be determined by her Latina-ness when making a decision, but that it makes her self-aware of her own possible biases). But the GOP is somehow holding this edited clip as "proof" of her racism. Too bad for them that the arch-conservative, always pro-big-business, politically motivated pick Sam Alito essentially said the exact same thing.

Supreme Court Justice Alito on his immigrant background: ‘I do take that into account’ when ruling. Where was the republican outrage from that comment? How come they didn't attack Alito and call for dubya's impeachment for that statement?

Or, let history be our guide to Republican thinking

Republicans 4 years ago: holding up a Supreme Court nominee is unprecedented, unAmerican, and shows that the Democrats want the terrorists to win.

Republicans now: holding up a Supreme Court nominee is absolutely required to uphold democracy.

What a bunch of hypocrites, distorting the Constitution for political posturing. Hey guys, we have these recording devices that can bring your past words into the present...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Making Pelosi a distraction

So, let me get this straight. Republicans are calling for Nancy Pelosi to be kicked out of office because she has stated that she was not informed about the Bush Administration's use of torture while it was occurring.

Republicans are claiming that she knew about this illegal activity and did not stop it, so she is therefore unfit for office.

However, Republicans who knew about the crimes are immune from this call to be removed from office, because they were just following the lead of their political party. The top people of their party - George W. Bush and Dick Cheney - are immune to any type of prosecution or retribution for the crimes because if the President does something, then it's not a crime. They further extend this impunity to all members of the Executive branch.

So, they know that Bush ordered crimes to be committed. It's OK that he did so, because he was the President. Anyone following his orders was merely following orders, so they're OK. Any Republicans that knew about the crimes are OK because they were following GOP party orders. However, any Democrat who is even suspected (conveniently by Republicans) of knowing about the crimes must be removed from office.

In what universe can this actually make sense to anybody other than a Republican political strategist?

Are they genetically predisposed to being dishonest?

Republicans when real US intelligence gathering doesn't match their
political plans: CIA is unreliable and doesn't tell the truth.

Republicans when politically-appointed and politically-motivated leaders
of US intelligence gathering are exposed as misrepresenting the findings
of real US intelligence gathering: the CIA always tells the truth and to
suggest that they are unreliable is a tragic attack against them.

Differences in priorities

So, the Democrats are poised to pass legislation protecting Americans from predatory credit card practices. Things like not allowing retro-active raises in interest rates to screw people over, or printing "catches" in fonts so small that an average person is not even capable of reading it with the naked eye.

Republicans decided they cannot publicly oppose this due to the political backlash, despite directives from the credit card company lobbyists. So instead they attached an amendment to the law that would allow anyone to carry loaded weapons into national parks. That's right, they actually want loaded weapons always at the ready where people are getting drunk around a campfire, and families are asleep in tents within errant shot range. GOP logic is that if everyone in a national park was carrying a loaded gun (including semi-automatic assault rifles with armor-piercing bullets), we'd all be safer, including from "friendly fire". And best of all, they believe this is the key to protecting Americans from predatory credit card practices.

No, I don't understand Republican logic either.