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Thursday, April 16, 2009
Not Blame Laid, But Responsibility Ascribed.
Keith Olbermann on Obama's heartbreaking and possibly ruinous decision not to prosecute the torturers, and why prosecution means not "retribution," but justice ...
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More Sickness, This Time As "Controlled Acute Episode"
From a memo on waterboarding: "The waterboard , which inflicts no pain or actual harm whatsoever, does not, in our view, inflict "severe pain and suffering"...The waterboard is simply a controlled acute episode, lacking the connotation of a protracted period of time generally given to suffering."
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Criminally Sick
From the torture memos on "confinement boxes," "severe pain," and insects. Strong stomach required.
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DOJ Releases Torture Memos: Now Is the Time for Prosecutions, Not 'Reflection'
On April 16, 2009, the Department of Justice released four secret memos used by the Bush administration to justify torture: A 18-page memo, dated August 1, 2002, from Jay Bybee, Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. [ PDF ] A 46-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. [ PDF ] A 20-page memo, dated May 10, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. [ PDF ] A 40-page memo, dated May 30, 2005, from Steven Bradbury, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OLC, to John A. Rizzo, General Counsel CIA. [ PDF ]
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The Workers Get Peanuts
With American Airlines posting losses of $375 million, but executive bonuses of $6.5 million, all three company unions are protesting "a pattern of corporate excess." With the unions currently negotiating long-sought pay raises, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) said the bonuses "must be a signal the company is now ready to make good on its long repeated refrain of shared sacrifice bringing shared reward." "Employees deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and sacrifices," said APFA President Laura Glading. "Our members are hungry for their due."
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Fishing For Muslims
A Muslim group in Michigan has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate complaints the FBI is asking members to spy on Islamic congregations in what one leader calls a "fishing expedition." The charge by the Council of Islamic Organizations sounds plausible, given the paranoid flavor of an April 15 post by the right-wing Family Security Matters ; its title: "Obama Administration Stacking the Deck with Islamists."
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Gotham's Socialists Party Like It's 1972
Good God. Is this the future we have to look forward to? Universal health care and free art?
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Take Back the Economy
Economist Robert Reich has joined a coalition of progressive organizations in a campaign by SEIU and Brave New Films to fire Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis. Reich narrates a video that explores the growing public anger at executives "taking home boat loads of money" while firing thousands of workers.
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Omit Needless Words!
Having arrived at a new era of political literacy – ie: a president who can formulate a full sentence – let us duly mark the 50th anniversary of those masters of clarity, William Strunk and E.B White, and their timeless The Elements of Style. They gave us vital ground rules – use the active voice, use nouns and verbs – and taught us that "writing is one way to go about thinking," a task best achieved by making "every word tell."
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Teabag Hyperbole: So Out There, We Can't Decide If We're Amused or Offended
A teabagger in Chicago. If you can't read it: "The American taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's ovens."
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