Posted by: quiscus | October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008

1. “One activist I know thinks that the Repubs will contest the electors in Ohio and elsewhere to prevent Obama from obtaining the required number. In that case, per Article II of the Constitution, VP Dick Cheney can step in and assume the presidency.”

This scary scenario makes sense based on the past 8 years. Anyone who thinks they (Cheney/Bush faction of Repub party) will cede power without a battle, is engaged in wishful thinking at very least.  Imagine America in the hands of an extreme war hawk imperialist oil man whose heart is already seriously unhealthy.
How long can he endure?”

http://www.911blogger.com/node/18337

2.  “It appears someone at the CIA ordered the withholding (of Oswald/Mihdhar intel) with the assassination and plane hijackings in mind. Perhaps that person (or persons) lied to subordinates about the real reasons for the withholding. It appears that person (or persons) had the necessary power to ensure that al-Hazmi/al-Mihdhar were placed on the Flight 77 manifest (if indeed the intent was to make the CIA look complicit). One would think we are talking about a very high level of CIA power required to frame the institutional CIA in such a blatant manner. I’m not sure why subordinates would tolerate a criminal superior jerking them around in order to facilitate heinous crimes. And then go along with a torture program. And an invasion of Afghanistan. And allow politicians to get a bunch of soldiers killed in Iraq based on a false conflation of Bin Laden and Hussein. Why are we still speculating about 9/11 when CIA officials know the answers but refuse to tell the public? Why should the public assume good faith from the CIA? I saw people jumping out of a 110 story office tower. Somebody at the CIA should have the courage to explain exactly why those people suffered such horrific deaths. To have the CIA Director speak of faulty cable trafficking/watchlisting procedures as an explanation for such tragedy is grotesque. I guess it’s no surprise that the same man would champion the use of torture while refusing to call it torture.”

http://www.911blogger.com/node/18336

3.  “Yet the electoral process is rigged, in this country: the system permits only two political parties. All others must overcome enormous obstacles to achieve ballot status. This give the War Party maximum elbow room to manipulate the political process behind the scenes, and allows them to exercise their dictatorship in a “democratic” fashion. The twoparty monopoly gives the War Party a strategic advantage: it merely has to split itself in two, amoeba-like, so that both officially-recognized “major” parties” simply become the “right” and “left” wings of a single party – the War Party.”

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=13698

4.  Good:

“CIA officers could face trial in Britain over torture allegations”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cia-officers-could-face-trial-in-britain-over-torture-allegations-980384.html

5.  Is Palin the stupidest woman in the country?  What a f**king moron:

“Somehow, in Sarah Palin’s brain, it’s a threat to the First Amendment when newspapers criticize her negative attacks on Barack Obama.  This is actually so dumb that it hurts:

In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by “attacks” from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

Maureen Dowd recently made an equally stupid comment when she complained that her First Amendment rights were being violated by the McCain campaign’s refusal to allow her on their campaign plane.

The First Amendment is actually not that complicated.  It can be read from start to finish in about 10 seconds.  It bars the Government from abridging free speech rights.  It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re free to say things without being criticized, or whether you can comment on blogs without being edited, or whether people can bar you from their private planes because they don’t like what you’ve said.

If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press.  Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn’t only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that.  Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct:  that it’s inherently unfair when they’re criticized.  And now, apparently, it’s even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers.  In the Palin worldview, the First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials such as herself would not be “attacked” in the papers.  Is it even possible to imagine more breathaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?

And:   isn’t Palin violating the First Amendment right to a free press by criticizing the media and convincing her followers that newspapers are biased and corrupt?”
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

6.  “We are about to enter the twilight zone, that strange black hole in political time and space that appears no more than once every four years. It is known as the period of transition, and it starts a week from today, the time when the United States has not one president but two. One will be the president-elect, the other George Bush, in power for 12 more weeks in which he can do pretty much whatever he likes. Not only will he never again have to face voters, he won’t even have to worry about damaging the prospects of his own party and its standard bearer (as if he has not damaged those enough already). From November 5 to January 20, he will exercise the freest, most unaccountable form of power the democratic world has to offer.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21126.htm

7.  Bailout swindle:

Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, raised these explosive questions in a stinging letter sent to Paulson this week. The union did what any private investor would do. Its finance experts vetted the terms of the bailout investment and calculated the real value of what Treasury bought with the public’s money. In the case of Goldman Sachs, the analysis could conveniently rely on a comparable sale twenty days earlier. Billionaire Warren Buffett invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and bought the same types of securities–preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock in the future. Only Buffett’s preferred shares pay a 10 percent dividend, while the public gets only 5 percent. Dollar for dollar, Buffett “received at least seven and perhaps up to 14 times more warrants than Treasury did and his warrants have more favorable terms,” Gerard pointed out.

“I am sure that someone at Treasury saw the terms of Buffett’s investment,” the union president wrote. “In fact, my suspicion is that you studied it pretty closely and knew exactly what you were doing. The 50-50 deal–50 percent invested and 50 percent as a gift–is quite consistent with the Republican version of spread-the-wealth-around philosophy.”


The Steelworkers’ close analysis was done by Ron W. Bloom, director of the union’s corporate research and a Wall Street veteran himself who worked at Larzard Freres, the investment house. Bloom applied standard valuation techniques to establish the market price Buffett paid per share compared to Treasury’s price. “The analysis is based on the assumption that Warren Buffett is an intelligent third party investor who paid no more for his investment than he had to,” Bloom’s report explained. “It also assumes that Gold Sachs’ job is to protect its existing shareholders so that it extracted from Mr. Buffett the most that it could…. Further, it is assumed that Henry Paulson is likewise an intelligent man and that if he paid any more than Mr. Buffett–if he paid $1 for something for which Mr. Buffett would have paid 50 cents–that the difference is a gift from the taxpayers of the United States to the shareholders of Goldman Sachs.”


The implications are staggering. Leo Gerard told Paulson: “If the result of our analysis is applied to the deals that you made at the other eight institutions–which on average most would view as being less well positioned than Goldman and therefore requiring an even greater rate of return–you paid a$125 billion for securities for which a disinterested party would have paid $62.5 billion. That means you gifted the other $62.5 billion to the shareholders of these nine institutions.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21125.htm

8.  “People who do not vote are not participating for very good reasons. However, in the absence of a loud boycott, their non-participation gets interpreted as ‘conceding’ or ‘apathy’. My point here is that, NO, this is not apathy. In fact it makes perfect logical sense, and it is far more honest than participating in fraudulent elections that only re-produce illusions about America, the ‘world’s greatest democracy’; illusions that only buttress the imperial system.


I come from the so-called Third World, in which boycotting elections is a political tool the masses, and the parties that stand with them, employ with good effect. Imran Khan’s party (Insaf) in Pakistan, for example, boycotted the last elections there, and it was an organized message sent to the establishment that the rulers would not get a stamp of approval from the real opposition. This, far from re-creating ‘apathy’ or ‘conceding’ the elections, actually makes governments nervous. In Iran, for another example, you are required to take your birth certificate with you when you vote, so the authorities can stamp it, so they can see who has not participated, so they can do onto you what they will, should you have to deal with the authorities at some point.


So, boycott is actually a very powerful political tool, because it gives political voice to those who refuse to participate. Simply sitting at home and not announcing that you are boycotting is a different matter. Boycott is a political move, with a long-term vision in mind.


The American people are fed a huge lie every four years that their voices can make a difference. Really? It didn’t make a jot of difference in 2006, when people, out of pure illusion, voted into the Congress a majority of Democrats with the hope that they would bring the war of occupation in Iraq to a speedy end. As George Carlin would have said, people might as well have wished on a rabbit’s foot!


It didn’t make any difference when a huge majority of the American people kept yelling down the jammed Congressional telephone lines, and over-stuffed Congressional email inboxes with, “Don’t give my money away to those scum sucking swine!” The people’s ‘representatives’ stole people’s money anyway and handed it over to the banksters in broad daylight!


So, to repeat, what’s the point of voting for establishment people? Except getting demoralized, such behavior has no other effect.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21123.htm


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