ZCs

Brooklyn, NY

#1730 Jun 1, 2013
CON'T

WALLACE: Senator Durbin, just briefly, why not, because we’re now in the mess that we are in because of political targeting, why not send a letter that says, go after any group of any political persuasion? Why not refrain from mentioning a conservative group and never mentioned any liberal groups?

DURBIN: Well, I explained that once, Chris. But, you know, Karl Rove was making — he’s boasting, saying he’s going to raise so much money, millions of dollars. And I knew that if they went into investigate this group, every other group would be put on notice.

I’ve also said from the beginning, Chris, there’s no basis for targeting within the IRS, what we basically need to say is all groups need to have the law applied to them equally. And in this situation, Karl Rove was front and center and proud of it. And that’s why I mentioned his organization.

Sen. Durbin did a great job laying it out. Karl Rove deserved, and continues to deserve IRS scrutiny because his dark money Crossroads groups are violating the rules for tax exempt organizations. Rove has regularly boasted about how much money Crossroads is spending to defeat Democrats, when tax exempt nonprofits aren’t supposed to be engaging in partisan political activity.

Fox News was trying to play gotcha with Dick Durbin, and he turned the tables on them by explaining why their own paid contributor is violating the rules. Once Durbin got into Citizens United, host Chris Wallace tried to redirect the questioning back to Durbin’s letter, but instead got another reminder that Karl Rove was flaunting his lawbreaking ways.
ZCs

Brooklyn, NY

#1731 Jun 1, 2013
An Ode to Bush

On April 16, the Obama administration released four memos that were used to authorize torture in interrogations during the Bush administration. When President Obama released the memos, he said,“It is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.”

Yet 13 key people in the Bush administration cannot claim they relied on the memos from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. Some of the 13 manipulated the federal bureaucracy and the legal process to “preauthorize” torture in the days after 9/11. Others helped implement torture, and still others helped write the memos that provided the Bush administration with a legal fig leaf after torture had already begun.

The Torture 13 exploited the federal bureaucracy to establish a torture regime in two ways. First, they based the enhanced interrogation techniques on techniques used in the U.S. military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program. The program — which subjects volunteers from the armed services to simulated hostile capture situations — trains servicemen and -women to withstand coercion well enough to avoid making false confessions if captured. Two retired SERE psychologists contracted with the government to “reverse-engineer” these techniques to use in detainee interrogations.

The Torture 13 also abused the legal review process in the Department of Justice in order to provide permission for torture. The DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) played a crucial role. OLC provides interpretations on how laws apply to the executive branch. On issues where the law is unclear, like national security, OLC opinions can set the boundary for “legal” activity for executive branch employees. As Jack Goldsmith, OLC head from 2003 to 2004, explains it,“One consequence of [OLC's] power to interpret the law is the power to bestow on government officials what is effectively an advance pardon for actions taken at the edges of vague criminal statutes.” OLC has the power, Goldsmith continues, to dispense “get-out-of-jail-free cards.” The Torture 13 exploited this power by collaborating on a series of OLC opinions that repeatedly gave U.S. officials such a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for torturing.
truth

Bronx, NY

#1732 Jun 6, 2013
ZCs wrote:
An Ode to Bush
Fox News had a gotcha moment go wrong, when Sen. Dick Durbin explained why Karl Rove deserves to be investigated by the IRS.
Transcript via Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: Senator Durbin, I want to pick up on this culture. Starting in 2010, a number of Democratic senators — Democrat senators — sent letters to the IRS asking them to investigate various groups that they said were seeking tax-exempt status, but were improperly involved in politics. Now, in October 2010, you sent a letter to the IRS in which you talked about going after groups.
But you only mentioned one specifically by name and I want to put this up from the October 2010 letter that you wrote to the IRS,“One organization whose activities appear to be inconsistent with the tax status is Crossroads GPS.” That, of course, a group co-founded by Karl Rove.
Question, Senator — why single out Crossroads when you did not mention one single liberal group, and there were a bunch that were applying for that exempt-status exactly that point, with the name “progress” in their names?
DURBIN: I can just tell you flat out why I did it, because that Crossroads organization was boasting about the money they were raising as a 501(c)(4).
Let’s get back to the basics. Citizens United really unleashed hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations seeking tax-exempt statuses to play in political campaigns. The law we wrote as Congress said that they had to exclusively be engaged in social welfare and not politics and campaigning.
And so, here is the IRS trying to decide whether or not these organizations really comply with the law. Crossroads was exhibit A. They were boastful about how much the money they were going to raise and beat Democrats.
He should be investigated.
He probably lied and cheated on his taxes.
truth

Bronx, NY

#1733 Jun 6, 2013
ZCs wrote:
CON'T
WALLACE: Senator Durbin, just briefly, why not, because we’re now in the mess that we are in because of political targeting, why not send a letter that says, go after any group of any political persuasion? Why not refrain from mentioning a conservative group and never mentioned any liberal groups?
DURBIN: Well, I explained that once, Chris. But, you know, Karl Rove was making — he’s boasting, saying he’s going to raise so much money, millions of dollars. And I knew that if they went into investigate this group, every other group would be put on notice.
I’ve also said from the beginning, Chris, there’s no basis for targeting within the IRS, what we basically need to say is all groups need to have the law applied to them equally. And in this situation, Karl Rove was front and center and proud of it. And that’s why I mentioned his organization.
Sen. Durbin did a great job laying it out. Karl Rove deserved, and continues to deserve IRS scrutiny because his dark money Crossroads groups are violating the rules for tax exempt organizations. Rove has regularly boasted about how much money Crossroads is spending to defeat Democrats, when tax exempt nonprofits aren’t supposed to be engaging in partisan political activity.
Fox News was trying to play gotcha with Dick Durbin, and he turned the tables on them by explaining why their own paid contributor is violating the rules. Once Durbin got into Citizens United, host Chris Wallace tried to redirect the questioning back to Durbin’s letter, but instead got another reminder that Karl Rove was flaunting his lawbreaking ways.
Fox News sucks.
Sayer

Cheyenne, WY

#1734 Jun 7, 2013
One thing I gotta give Bush credit for is the vast amount of comedy he generated. Think of all the laughs we have gotten from him (almost makes up for the shame we got from him, huh?).

&fe ature=player_detailpage
ZCs

New York, NY

#1735 Jun 15, 2013
An Ode to Bush

It’s fast becoming a cliché, but it’s nevertheless the truth: If Republicans plan to win the White House any time soon, they’re going to have to change. And that change will have to be more substantial than simply asking the Romney clan to ease up a bit on the whole public service thing, or churning out more Spanish-language campaign ads during the next election. To borrow one of the president’s favorite phrases, when it comes to an altered Republican Party, there’s got to be a “there” there. Singing some new lyrics atop the same old tune just won’t cut it.(Sorry, Senator Rubio.)

So the question is not so much whether the GOP should change but, rather, how? Two options commonly proffered are as follows: Republicans could follow the lead of Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and push for even smaller government (I call this the “more cowbell” school of thought). Or they could look instead to the small but influential group of right-wing intellectuals claiming to offer a new path: the “conservative reformers.” The decision looks so simple. Either one step forward, or two steps back.

Spend some time reading the conservative reformers, though, and you’ll discover things are a wee bit more complicated than that. The choice isn’t quite so stark. Because rather than offering a fresh, new way to package conservatism for the 21st century, it turns out that the conservative reformers, whether they know it or not, are resurrecting an idea whose time has come, and gone, and perhaps now come again. They’re bringing compassionate conservatism back. Or at least they’re trying.

Before going any further, though, we should define our terms. What is compassionate conservatism? It would be an oversimplification to call it the conservatives’ version of Clintonism — but only a little. In a 2009 essay about the phenomenon for the National Interest, the New America Foundation’s Steven M. Teles described the basic conceit of compassionate conservatism as “an effort to shift the basic axis of partisan…from means to ends.” That’s a fancy way of saying that compassionate conservatism takes the welfare state for granted, whereas more doctrinaire conservatism (think Paul Ryan) seeks to burn it to the ground instead.
same old same old

Bronx, NY

#1736 Jun 15, 2013
Sayer wrote:
One thing I gotta give Bush credit for is the vast amount of comedy he generated. Think of all the laughs we have gotten from him (almost makes up for the shame we got from him, huh?).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =qwaeD0SHbXsXX&feature=pla yer_detailpage
That is the absolute truth.
same old same old

Bronx, NY

#1737 Jun 15, 2013
ZCs wrote:
An Ode to Bush
It’s fast becoming a cliché, but it’s nevertheless the truth: If Republicans plan to win the White House any time soon, they’re going to have to change. And that change will have to be more substantial than simply asking the Romney clan to ease up a bit on the whole public service thing, or churning out more Spanish-language campaign ads during the next election. To borrow one of the president’s favorite phrases, when it comes to an altered Republican Party, there’s got to be a “there” there. Singing some new lyrics atop the same old tune just won’t cut it.(Sorry, Senator Rubio.)
So the question is not so much whether the GOP should change but, rather, how? Two options commonly proffered are as follows: Republicans could follow the lead of Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and push for even smaller government (I call this the “more cowbell” school of thought). Or they could look instead to the small but influential group of right-wing intellectuals claiming to offer a new path: the “conservative reformers.” The decision looks so simple. Either one step forward, or two steps back.
Spend some time reading the conservative reformers, though, and you’ll discover things are a wee bit more complicated than that. The choice isn’t quite so stark. Because rather than offering a fresh, new way to package conservatism for the 21st century, it turns out that the conservative reformers, whether they know it or not, are resurrecting an idea whose time has come, and gone, and perhaps now come again. They’re bringing compassionate conservatism back. Or at least they’re trying.
Before going any further, though, we should define our terms. What is compassionate conservatism? It would be an oversimplification to call it the conservatives’ version of Clintonism — but only a little. In a 2009 essay about the phenomenon for the National Interest, the New America Foundation’s Steven M. Teles described the basic conceit of compassionate conservatism as “an effort to shift the basic axis of partisan…from means to ends.” That’s a fancy way of saying that compassionate conservatism takes the welfare state for granted, whereas more doctrinaire conservatism (think Paul Ryan) seeks to burn it to the ground instead.
They don't plan on changing so you won't have to worry about them winning the presidency anytime in the near future.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1738 Jun 21, 2013
An ODE To Bush

Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst who in 2005 blew the whistle on what he alleged was massive unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies, claimed Wednesday that the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

Speaking on "The Boiling Frogs Show," Tice claimed the intelligence community had ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

"Here's the big one ... this was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois," he said. "You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It's a big white house in Washington, D.C. That's who they went after, and that's the president of the United States now."

Host Sibel Edmonds and Tice both raised concerns that such alleged monitoring of subjects, unbeknownst to them, could provide the intelligence agencies with huge power to blackmail their targets.

"I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on," Tice said.

After going public with his allegations in 2005, Tice later admitted that he had been a key source in a bombshell New York Times report that blew the lid off the Bush administration's use of warrantless wiretapping of international communications in the U.S. The article forced Bush to admit that the practice was indeed used on a small number of Americans, but Tice maintained that the NSA practice was likely being used the gather records for millions of Americans. The NSA denied Tice's allegations.

In the wake of recent reports detailing the extent of the NSA's data surveillance programs, Tice has again come out as a skeptic of the administration's response. While defenders of the program have insisted that there is nothing to suggest the government has the authority -- or desire -- to listen in on people's phone calls without a warrant, Tice told The Guardian that he believes the NSA has developed the capability "to collect all digital communications word for word."
ZCs

New York, NY

#1739 Jun 21, 2013
An Ode to Bush

BUNCE ISLAND, Sierra Leone—Twelve American presidents owned slaves, eight while serving in office, and at least 25 presidents count slave owners among their ancestors. But new historical evidence shows that a direct ancestor of George W. and George H.W. Bush was part of a much more appalling group: Thomas Walker was a notorious slave trader active in the late 18th century along the coast of West Africa.

Walker, George H.W. Bush's great-great-great grandfather, was the captain of, master of, or investor in at least 11 slaving voyages to West Africa between 1784 and 1792.

Scores of European merchants and American plantation owners grew rich on the trade that transported more than 10 million Africans to North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil between 1550 and 1850. Bush's family, like many others, has previously been identified as slave owners in the United States. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at least five Walker family households, George W. Bush’s ancestors by his father’s mother, owned slaves in Maryland’s Cecil County.

But this is the first time an ancestor of Bush has been directly linked to the brutal trans-Atlantic trade in which millions perished. When I queried the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which publishes ancestries of American presidents, the only other president they flagged up with definite slave dealer ancestry was Thomas Jefferson, whose father-in-law, John Wayles (1715-1773), was a planter, slave trader and lawyer in the Virginia Colony.(The NEHGS did acknowledge that there could be other presidents with slavers as ancestors.)

The discovery of the slave-trading ancestor of the Presidents Bush was made by two men: Roger Hughes, a retired newspaper editor and genealogist in Illinois who has previously documented other Bush ancestors as slave owners in the United States, and Joseph Opala, an American historian who has spent much of his adult life in Sierra Leone, the former British colony on the West African coast.
Advertisement

Opala heads a project to preserve Bunce Island, a slave fort 20 miles upriver from Sierra Leone's coastal capital, Freetown, where Thomas Walker bought Africans in the late 18th century. On Bunce Island thick jungle hems in the hulking ruins of the slave fort, abandoned after Britain banned the slave trade in 1807 and left largely untouched since then. Gravestones record the names of long-dead slavers.

As Hughes conducted genealogical research into Bush's ancestors, he began to suspect that two Thomas Walkers in the historical record—one a British-born merchant and known ancestor of the Bushes, the other a slave ship captain who journeyed to Bunce Island—might be the same man. The known Bush ancestor married in 1785 at Bristol, which along with London and Liverpool was one of the three British cities highly involved in the Atlantic slave trade. He later emigrated to the United States, applying for naturalization at New York in 1792, which he received two years later, and purchasing property at Burlington, N.J., in 1795.

At Opala's recommendation Hughes sent scans of the two Walkers' signatures to Maija Jansson, a handwriting analyst at Yale University, without any information on their provenance. Jansson confirmed that the signatures were from the same individual.
truth

Bronx, NY

#1740 Jun 21, 2013
ZCs wrote:
An Ode to Bush
BUNCE ISLAND, Sierra Leone—Twelve American presidents owned slaves, eight while serving in office, and at least 25 presidents count slave owners among their ancestors. But new historical evidence shows that a direct ancestor of George W. and George H.W. Bush was part of a much more appalling group: Thomas Walker was a notorious slave trader active in the late 18th century along the coast of West Africa.
Walker, George H.W. Bush's great-great-great grandfather, was the captain of, master of, or investor in at least 11 slaving voyages to West Africa between 1784 and 1792.
Scores of European merchants and American plantation owners grew rich on the trade that transported more than 10 million Africans to North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil between 1550 and 1850. Bush's family, like many others, has previously been identified as slave owners in the United States. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at least five Walker family households, George W. Bush’s ancestors by his father’s mother, owned slaves in Maryland’s Cecil County.
But this is the first time an ancestor of Bush has been directly linked to the brutal trans-Atlantic trade in which millions perished. When I queried the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which publishes ancestries of American presidents, the only other president they flagged up with definite slave dealer ancestry was Thomas Jefferson, whose father-in-law, John Wayles (1715-1773), was a planter, slave trader and lawyer in the Virginia Colony.(The NEHGS did acknowledge that there could be other presidents with slavers as ancestors.)
The discovery of the slave-trading ancestor of the Presidents Bush was made by two men: Roger Hughes, a retired newspaper editor and genealogist in Illinois who has previously documented other Bush ancestors as slave owners in the United States, and Joseph Opala, an American historian who has spent much of his adult life in Sierra Leone, the former British colony on the West African coast.
Advertisement
Opala heads a project to preserve Bunce Island, a slave fort 20 miles upriver from Sierra Leone's coastal capital, Freetown, where Thomas Walker bought Africans in the late 18th century. On Bunce Island thick jungle hems in the hulking ruins of the slave fort, abandoned after Britain banned the slave trade in 1807 and left largely untouched since then. Gravestones record the names of long-dead slavers.
As Hughes conducted genealogical research into Bush's ancestors, he began to suspect that two Thomas Walkers in the historical record—one a British-born merchant and known ancestor of the Bushes, the other a slave ship captain who journeyed to Bunce Island—might be the same man. The known Bush ancestor married in 1785 at Bristol, which along with London and Liverpool was one of the three British cities highly involved in the Atlantic slave trade. He later emigrated to the United States, applying for naturalization at New York in 1792, which he received two years later, and purchasing property at Burlington, N.J., in 1795.
At Opala's recommendation Hughes sent scans of the two Walkers' signatures to Maija Jansson, a handwriting analyst at Yale University, without any information on their provenance. Jansson confirmed that the signatures were from the same individual.
The truth is the light.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1741 Jun 21, 2013
An Ode to BUSH

Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.
The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.

truth

Bronx, NY

#1742 Jun 21, 2013
ZCs wrote:
An Ode to BUSH
Contradicting a statement by ex-vice president Dick Cheney on Sunday that warrantless domestic surveillance might have prevented 9/11, 2007 court records indicate that the Bush-Cheney administration began such surveillance at least 7 months prior to 9/11.
The Bush administration bypassed the law requiring such actions to be authorized by FISA court warrants, the body set up in the Seventies to oversee Executive Branch spying powers after abuses by Richard Nixon. Former QWest CEO John Nacchios said that at a meeting with the NSA on February 27, 2001, he and other QWest officials declined to participate. AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to shunt customer communications records to an NSA database.
Exactly.
when

Bronx, NY

#1743 Jun 25, 2013
ZC's, when is the next Ode to Bush coming?
ZCs

New York, NY

#1744 Jun 29, 2013
when wrote:
ZC's, when is the next Ode to Bush coming?
Soon. it's coming!
ZCs

New York, NY

#1745 Jul 20, 2013
An Ode to Bush.

Liz Cheney, the infamous political operative and daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, announced last night that she is running for Senate. After careful consideration, I believe this is welcome news for the country and today I would like to offer my endorsement.

I’ve thought about this over the past several days, in anticipation of Cheney’s announcement. As the New York Times reported earlier this month, Cheney had already moved her family to Wyoming. She alerted the sitting senator, Republican Mike Enzi, that he might face a challenger. And fearing a charge of carpetbagging, she has been, according to the Times,“showing up everywhere in the state, from chicken dinners to cattle growers’ meetings.” I’ve also enjoyed that in her Twitter feed, Cheney has started referring to Wyoming as “God’s country.”
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1747 Jul 30, 2013
ZCs wrote:
An Ode to Bush.
Liz Cheney, the infamous political operative and daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, announced last night that she is running for Senate. After careful consideration, I believe this is welcome news for the country and today I would like to offer my endorsement.
I’ve thought about this over the past several days, in anticipation of Cheney’s announcement. As the New York Times reported earlier this month, Cheney had already moved her family to Wyoming. She alerted the sitting senator, Republican Mike Enzi, that he might face a challenger. And fearing a charge of carpetbagging, she has been, according to the Times,“showing up everywhere in the state, from chicken dinners to cattle growers’ meetings.” I’ve also enjoyed that in her Twitter feed, Cheney has started referring to Wyoming as “God’s country.”
Politics has evolved into a strange game.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1748 Aug 3, 2013
ILAL wrote:
<quoted text>
Politics has evolved into a strange game.
Exactly.

People are basically get shammed with B.S.
ILAL

Bronx, NY

#1749 Aug 5, 2013
ZCs wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly.
People are basically get shammed with B.S.
It's an Ode to Bush.
ZCs

New York, NY

#1750 Sep 7, 2013
An Ode to Bush

He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.

His legacy is paralysis, hypocrisy and uncertainty practiced in varying degrees by those who want to learn from history and those who deny it. Let’s grant some validity to the waffling, though none of it is coming from the architects of the worst global fiasco in a generation.

Time should not soften what President George W. Bush, and his apologists, did in an eight-year war costing the United States more than a trillion dollars, 4,400 American soldiers dead and the displacement of two million Iraqis. The years should not gauze over how the world was conned into an awful conflict. History should hold him accountable for the current muddy debate over what to do in the face of a state-sanctioned mass killer.

Blame Bush? Of course, President Obama has to lead; it’s his superpower now, his armies to move, his stage. But the prior president gave every world leader, every member of Congress a reason to keep the dogs of war on a leash. The isolationists in the Republican Party are a direct result of the Bush foreign policy. A war-weary public that can turn an eye from children being gassed — or express doubt that it happened — is another poisoned fruit of the Bush years. And for the nearly 200 members of both houses of Congress who voted on the Iraq war in 2002 and are still in office and facing a vote this month, Bush shadows them like Scrooge’s ghost.

In reading “Lawrence in Arabia,” Scott Anderson’s terrific new biography of one outsider who truly understood the tribal and religious conflicts of a region that continues to rile the world, you’re struck by how a big blunder can have a titanic domino effect. The consequences of World War I, which started 100 years ago next year, are with us still — particularly the spectacularly bad decisions made by European powers in drawing artificial boundaries in the Mideast. Syria and Iraq are prime examples.

Until the Syrian crises came to a head, we had yet to see just how much the Bush fiasco in Iraq would sway world opinion. We know now that his war will haunt the globe for decades to come. Future presidents who were in diapers when the United States said with doubtless authority that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction will face critics quoting Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney with never-again scorn.

The parallels are imprecise and many degrees apart: Iraq was a full-scale invasion, Syria is a punishment. But there it is — the Bush hangover, felt by all.

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