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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
1 Comments
If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
5 Comments
Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
15 Comments
It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
7 Comments

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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.
Dick Cheney

Some things never change

by: Jay Stevens

Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 19:51:46 PM MST

Dad orders CIA to lie to Congress. Congress mulls investigation.  Daughter goes ballistic, and essentially conflates national security interests with her dad.

Angry child?

Nope. Considering a run for office.

Next, it'll be Ralph Reed trying to reanimate his corrupt political corpse by nominating himself as a leader of a "younger, hipper" conservative Christian movement - oh, wait! It'll be interesting if anyone falls for his schtick. Last time we heard from him, he was rallying the faithful to stir up anti-gambling sentiment at Jack Abramoff's behest.

I guess some folks never change.

Speaking of which, wouldn't it be nice if Congress had been all hot to investigate Cheney for the myriad, other law-breakin' schemes he's suspected of participating in? Why not investigate his role in US torture policy, say?

Reminds me of how they sat on their hands when it was revealed the government was tapping Americans' phones and tracking our Internet behavior, but when the FBI searched William Jefferson's office - after finding a garbage bag full of cash in his freezer - they went ballistic.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Defending Cheney

by: Jay Stevens

Tue May 12, 2009 at 06:56:32 AM MST

Richard Cohen rushes to Dick Cheney's defense today, wondering, you know, what if torture really works?

Blogger Alert: I have written a column in defense of Dick Cheney. I know how upsetting this will be to some Cheney critics, and I count myself as one, who think -- in respectful paraphrase of what Mary McCarthy said about Lillian Hellman -- that everything he says is a lie, including the ands and the thes. Yet I have to wonder whether what he is saying now is the truth -- i.e., torture works.

In some sense, this is an arcane point since the United States insists it will not torture anymore -- not that, the Bush people quickly add, it ever did. Torture is a moral abomination, and President Obama is right to restate American opposition to it. But where I reserve a soup├žon of doubt is over the question of whether "enhanced interrogation techniques" actually work. That they do not is a matter of absolute conviction among those on the political left, who seem to think that the CIA tortured suspected terrorists just for the hell of it.

Nice rhetorical trick there, eh? Call into question a fact by alluding to the "absolute conviction" of liberals, and, wow! Suddenly it's no longer a fact, even if it is supported by tons of evidence! But, folks, torture does not work as an interrogation tool.

But there are other uses of terror! Andrew Sullivan:

Looked at from a distance, the Bush administration wanted to do two things at once: to declare to the world that freedom is on the march, and human rights are coming to the world with American help, while simultaneously declaring to captives that the US has no interest in the law, human rights, accountability, transparency or humanity. They wanted to give hope to all the oppressed of the planet, while surgically banishing all hope from the prisoners they captured and tortured. And the only way they could pull this off is by the total secrecy they constructed and defended. So we had a public government respectful of the rule of law, and a secret government whose main goal was persuading terror suspects that there was no rule of law at all. It is hard to convey just how dangerous this was and is.

That is, if there's anything the Bush administration was obsessed with, it was the projection of power. And didn't the Bush administration use torture to get "evidence" of al Qaeda's link to Iraq? So yeah, Cheney probably does think torture works. But not in the way Cohen means...

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

CIA: torture doesn't work

by: Jay Stevens

Mon May 11, 2009 at 10:12:17 AM MST

Here's an "interesting" tidbit of news from a CIA torture report soon to be declassified:

Government officials familiar with the CIA's early interrogations say the most powerful evidence of apparent excesses is contained in the "top secret" May 7, 2004, inspector general report, based on more than 100 interviews, a review of the videotapes and 38,000 pages of documents. The full report remains closely held, although White House officials have told political allies that they intend to declassify it for public release when the debate quiets over last month's release of the Justice Department's interrogation memos...

Although some useful information was produced, the report concluded that "it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks," according to the Justice Department's declassified summary of it.

And even government officials who were involved claimed that torture provided information, they felt that the same information could have been gathered from regular interrogation techniques.

Which begs the question, why does Dick Cheney still support torture?

Discuss :: (46 Comments)

"...a hole in its heart..."

by: Jay Stevens

Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 22:10:39 PM MST

Okay, in all the hubub of the election and Obama's transition and Rick Warren's honored position in the inauguratiobn is forgotten the Bush administration. The reason - let's face it - for the Democratic sweep of Congress and the presidency.

It was bad. In fact, it was just as bad as many of us had feared.

Take Dick Cheney. Last week on the talk show circuit, he defended the belief that the presidency has absolute powers and admitted he authorized the use of torture, in response to which Dahlia Lithwick appropriately quoted John MacKenzie:

MacKenzie shows how a scholarly constitutional claim about the right of executive branch officials to interpret the Constitution morphed into the aggressively ahistorical interpretation of executive power that Cheney parrots with such perfect confidence. As MacKenzie writes: "The unitary executive has come a long way for a theory that has a hole in its heart and no basis in history or coherent thought. It simply is devoid of content, not expressed or even strongly implied in foundational documents such as The Federalist, not to mention the Constitution."

And today Murray Waas reports:

Vice President Dick Cheney, according to a still-highly confidential FBI report, admitted to federal investigators that he rewrote talking points for the press in July 2003 that made it much more likely that the role of then-covert CIA-officer Valerie Plame in sending her husband on a CIA-sponsored mission to Africa would come to light.

The Bush administration: just as bad as we said it was.

You know...how many of these stories were shrugged off by traditional media for so long, and are now openly admitted to by the vice president? And what consequences will there be?

I'm betting none.

Honesly, everybody should be enraged by this - conservatives and DC insiders, too. But conservatives are busy coming up with intellectual justifications for the Bushies' actions and the media is busy coming up with reasons why it's a bad idea to punish any of these *sshats, the real reason being that they identify with the Cheneys of the world more than the dirty hippies...ie, the rest of us.

Merry friggin' Christmas.

Speaking of which, I'll be posting lightly for the next few days, because I'm on vacation!

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

"Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong."

by: Jay Stevens

Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 15:10:17 PM MST

Looks like I'm not the only one who noticed Palin's creepy answer about the power of the office of the VP during her recent debate with Joe Biden:

Ms. Couric asked Joseph Biden, Ms. Palin's rival, the same question in a separate interview. He had it exactly right when he told her that Mr. Cheney's theory of the "unitary executive" held that "Congress and the people have no power in a time of war." And he had it right in the debate when he called Mr. Cheney "the most dangerous vice president we've had in American history."
The Constitution does not state or imply any flexibility in the office of vice president. It gives the vice president no legislative responsibilities other than casting a tie-breaking vote in the Senate when needed and no executive powers at all. The vice president's constitutional role is to be ready to serve if the president dies or becomes incapacitated.

Any president deserves a vice president who will be a sound adviser and trustworthy supporter. But the American people also deserve and need a vice president who understands and respects the balance of power - and the limits of his or her own power. That is fundamental to our democracy.

So far, Ms. Palin has it exactly, frighteningly wrong.

Like I said then, she answered the question, which likely means it was scripted. And means that her anwer was no mistake.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and torture

by: Jay Stevens

Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 14:49:40 PM MST

If the Divine Comedy has any merit, John Yoo will find himself someday encased in flame, the fate reserved for fraudulent advisors in the Eighth Circle of Hell. In short, this guy has used his legal background and education to willfully misrepresent the Constitution and framers' intent all in the name of serving ideology that fighting to overturn "secular-based government touting individual liberties and a weak executive."

Recently, some of Yoo's handiwork was declassified.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 575 words in story)

Giving thanks for next year!

by: Jay Stevens

Thu Nov 22, 2007 at 20:56:41 PM MST

Last year I started a tradition of anticipating what I'll be thankful for next year, a sort of weak prediction game.

How I'd do last year? Not bad. I'm still around, I've got my family and friends, I still live in a great town, and I'm still thankful for having worked my *ss off for Tester last year. We did see an AL East baseball battle and - unanticipated - a Red Sox world championship! We've got a great child care provide and better preschool.

Unfortunately neither W nor Cheney did the perp walk, Hannity still has a show, and my novel is yet unpublished. Unwritten, even.

So what about next year? Hm. Forget the sporting wishes: I'm having such a good year with the Pats/Red Sox/Celtics it would seem selfish to wish for more good fortune there next year. As far as Bush & Cheney's arrests...well, I'm realistic. Ditto with the Democratic Congress growing a backbone within the year. By this time next year, we'll know who our next President is; I hope I'll be thankful it isn't a complete nut case like Giuliani, or the usual pro-corporate types, like Romney or Clinton.

I hope I'll be thankful the dollar didn't collapse. That we're not at war with Iran. That oil isn't at $200 a barrel. I hope I'll be thankful for a Democratic majority in the state legislature, for more progress here in Missoula for progressive causes and good, smart planning for growth. I hope I'll be thankful for a solid energy plan for the state coming out of the election.

And as always, I hope I'll be thankful, again, as always for my friends and family, and for living in an eclectic and cool city like Missoula.

Oh, and I'm thankful, too, that Chuck Norris is a Republican.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Beaverhead Democrats urge impeachment

by: Jay Stevens

Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 06:33:51 AM MST

On September 11 this year, Democrats from Beaverhead county met and decided to call for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney. Members of the Beaverhead Democrats are drafting letters for our Congressional delegation - Rehberg, Baucus, and Tester - to that effect.

The discussion was heated. Many wanted to avoid making the statement, because they felt it would alienate voters in a conservative county where Democrats already have a hard time winning seats. Others felt like it would be a futile gesture. But no one claimed that our country's top officials weren't guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and in the end, the call for impeachment won the day:

Following lengthy discussion, it was agreed in the meeting that emphasis in the letters should be on impeachment as a constitutional remedy to the dangerous excesses of the executive branch rather than a merely personal attack on Bush and Cheney.

"We're interested in preserving the Constitution not scoring political points," said one of the participants.

I got my hands on the draft of the letter Beaverhead Democrats are writing. In it, they present our delegation with a long list of offenses the president and his second-in-command have committed against the rule of law, international agreements, and the American people. Spying on Americans without a warrant. Misleading Congress in congressional investigations. Breaking Congressionally ratified international treaties by invading Iraq, torturing, suspending habeas corpus.

"In the conduct described above," write the authors, "George W. Bush and Richard Cheney have violated their constitutional oaths to faithfully execute their offices, and, to the best of their abilities, to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. They have violated their constitutional duty to take care that laws be faithfully executed and have arrogated excessive power to the executive branch in violation of basic constitutional principles of the separation of powers."

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 252 words in story)

Quote of the day

by: Jay Stevens

Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 10:30:20 AM MST

This is definitely the quote of the day::
The Washington Post updates the progress of Bush's "freedom agenda." Peter Baker writes, "Two and a half years after Bush pledged in his second inaugural address to spread democracy around the world, the grand project has bogged down in a bureaucratic and geopolitical morass, in the view of many activists, officials and even White House aides." Complaining about the influence of Cheney, one official tells the Post, "OVP [Office of Vice President] has this little-girl crush on strongmen."

That about sums up the entire Bush-lovin' unhinged right's unquestioning devotion to the executive's radical power grab, don't it now?
Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Immigration, Congressional subpoenas, Dick Cheney, and impeachment

by: Jay Stevens

Thu Jun 28, 2007 at 10:15:43 AM MST

Look at that, the Cheney story has gotten very interesting.

Let's start with Bush's rejection of Congressional subpoenas for documents of former White House staff, Harriet Miers and Sara Taylor, as part of the investigation into the prosecutor purge, claiming "executive privilege." This came close on the heels of yesterday's announcement that VP Cheney, while acknowledging he was part of the executive branch, would still reject oversight on how his office handled classified information, because it's not an "agency." Next up: subpoenas to the White House and Cheney's office from the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. Expect more of the same stonewalling from Bush and Cheney.

The news of the rejection of Congressional subpoenas and the impending constitutional crisis comes at the time of newfound (and long overdue) scrutiny into Cheney's dealings embodied in the recent Washington Post four-part series revealing details of the Vice President's powerful and unprecedented position in the government.

The chattering classes have turned against Cheney.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 441 words in story)

Corralling Dick Cheney

by: Jay Stevens

Sat Jun 23, 2007 at 16:26:55 PM MST

If you haven't heard, Dick Cheney considers himself a unique branch of government. No, this is not a joke.

Cheney's office, according to a story first reported by the Chicago Tribune, has resisted attempts by a tiny federal agency to compile information -- in accordance with an executive order signed by George Bush himself -- on the classified documents being held by the Vice President's operation. Cheney's office argued that the Vice President's office, because it has both executive and legislative branch duties, is exempt from the order.

This would be funny if it weren't so serious. If he claims he's not in the executive branch, then he's obviously not considering himself suspect to the rules governing that service.

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 328 words in story)
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