Friday, October 24, 2014

NO ACCOUNTABILITY

The people who ran the Iraq War should be held accountable for the Blackwater murders but they won't be and they also won't be held to account for torturing prisoners:
Senate’s inquiry into CIA torture sidesteps blaming Bush, aides
By Jonathan S. Landay, Ali Watkins and Marisa Taylor

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 16, 2014

“It does not look at the Bush administration’s lawyers to see if they were trying to literally do an end run around justice and the law,” the person said.

As a result, the $40 million, five-year inquiry passed up what may be the final opportunity to render an official verdict on the culpability of Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials for the program, in which suspected terrorists were abducted, sent to secret overseas prisons, and subjected to the harsh interrogation techniques.

IT'S HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT MOST AMERICANS...


prefer the GOP to the Democrats on national defense but I have to admit that fact:

SOURCE

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I DIDN'T FORGET THE INCIDENT BUT I DID MISS THE TRIAL

There's no reason not to go up the chain of command except Pelosi didn't have the courage to initiate impeachment hearings and Pres. Obama decided to leave the guilty alone.
Blackwater guards convicted in Iraq killings
Four ex-employees of US security firm found guilty of charges related to shootings of more than 30 civilians in 2007.
Last updated: 23 Oct 2014 08:36
AL JAZEERA

Four former employees of the US security company Blackwater have been convicted of almost every charge related to the shootings of more than 30 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, seven years ago.

The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder, and the three other ex-security guards - Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - were convicted on Wednesday of committing multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

The trial focused on the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of 17 others.

The shootings, which came in the fourth year of the US military invasion of the country, triggered an international uproar over the role of defence contractors, who were hired by the US State Department to protect American diplomats in the Middle Eastern country.

The four men were charged with a combined 33 counts in the shootings, and the jury is expected to continue deliberating on the other counts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I CAN'T FIND IT...

UPDATE:  I found it & linked to it.

but I recall posting about a media personality survey that found Rush Limbaugh was the most disliked of all 30 or so national media figures. Today, the WaPo reports on a Pew Research study that found Limbaugh was the least trusted of about 40 media personalities or news outlets:

A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO I NOTICED A CAMPAIGN SIGN

It was for 2 conservatives running for spots on the Arizona Corporation Commission:
Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution establishes the Arizona Corporation Commission. Only 7 states have constitutionally formed Commissions. Arizona is one of only 13 states with elected Commissioners. In the 37 other states, Commissioners are appointed by either the governor or the legislature.
In most states, the Commission is known as the Public Service Commission or the Public Utility Commission. Our Commission, however, has responsibilities that go beyond traditional public utilities regulation. These additional roles include facilitating the incorporation of businesses and organizations, securities regulation and railroad/pipeline safety.
By virtue of the Arizona Constitution, the Commissioners function in an Executive capacity, they adopt rules and regulations thereby functioning in a Legislative capacity, and they also act in a Judicial capacity sitting as a tribunal and making decisions in contested matters.
The sign stated that voting for them would be fighting back against Obama and I was puzzled because the Commission really doesn't have a political edge to it but I guess this is part of the Big Plan the GOP has for the 2014 elections.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I THINK THIS MEANS THAT BERNIE SANDERS AND ELIZABETH WARREN ARE NOT ONLY CORRECT

they have a winning message, otherwise why would William "The Bloody" Kristol fear their economic populism?  From Digby:
KRISTOL: ... I do think Democrats have made a mistake. The upscale consultants in Washington have said war on women worked in 2012. It'll work again this year.

But it -- the thing -- (INAUDIBLE) Republican consultant said to me the other night, thank God they're running war on women and it's not war on working class ads.
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So I'm happy that the Democrats are going down this war on women road and not focusing on the economic populace issue.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

AN EDITOR SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT THIS MISTAKE

Michael Ettinger & Michael Linden present some evidence that supply-side economics (sse) has not worked over the last 30 years EXCEPT for their claims that sse results in lower job creation and lower productivity growth.
The difference between 1980s sse and 1990s non-sse is statistically insignificant and even the comparison between the 2000s sse and 1990s may not be significant.  One should also have strong reservations about their claim that productivity increases are greater in non-sse eras:

THE FED CHAIRMAN DOESN'T SEEM TO BE A NEO-LIBERAL

(h/t John Cassidy)

She spoke at a conference in Boston on Oct. 17th and provided a number of remarkable statistics, including these:
The distribution of wealth is even more unequal than that of income, and the SCF shows that wealth inequality has increased more than income inequality since 1989. As shown in figure 3, the wealthiest 5 percent of American households held 54 percent of all wealth reported in the 1989 survey. Their share rose to 61 percent in 2010 and reached 63 percent in 2013. By contrast, the rest of those in the top half of the wealth distribution--families that in 2013 had a net worth between $81,000 and $1.9 million--held 43 percent of wealth in 1989 and only 36 percent in 2013.

The lower half of households by wealth held just 3 percent of wealth in 1989 and only 1 percent in 2013.
You can find the entire 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances here.

EBOLA AND CONSERVATIVE MEMES

Right now, it seems that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital erred in first sending Thomas Eric Duncan home with some medication and erred again when it did not make caregivers wear protective clothing.  The hysteria is the press has puzzled me because one the one hand, conservatives are claiming this is yet another Big Government FAIL but it was the local authorities who made the errors.  So Ron Fournier's conclusion, "We shouldn't need an Ebola czar. The president needs to do his job better." seems just another example of his going over to the Talk Radio side of political reporting.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

ANOTHER PLACE JONI ERNST CAN TARGET

Instead of her Victorian harping on The Poors, she could do something useful for a change & start to trim down the bloated defense complex.  Once again, Atrios provided the example:
Probe of silencers leads to web of Pentagon secrets
By Craig Whitlock October 12
WaPo

The mysterious workings of a Pentagon office that oversees clandestine operations are unraveling in federal court, where a criminal investigation has exposed a secret weapons program entwined with allegations of a sweetheart contract, fake badges and trails of destroyed evidence.

...separate trials are scheduled this month in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for a civilian Navy intelligence official and a hot-rod auto mechanic from California who prosecutors allege conspired to manufacture an untraceable batch of automatic-rifle silencers.

The silencers — 349 of them — were ordered by a little-known Navy intelligence office at the Pentagon known as the Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration, according to charging documents. The directorate is composed of fewer than 10 civilian employees, most of them retired military personnel.

Court records filed by prosecutors allege that the Navy paid the auto mechanic — the brother of the directorate’s boss — $1.6 million for the silencers, even though they cost only $10,000 in parts and labor to manufacture.

Friday, October 17, 2014

TARGET SELECTION

Atrios links to two interesting stories that do serve to emphasize a characteristic of the conservative mind.  The first one is about the horrid Joni Ernst, the second one about our new addition to the military-industrial complex, the private/public intelligence complex.

Ernst deplores the fact that some people "rely on the government to provide absolutely everything for them."  and these people just by chance happen to be The Poors.  Ernst is silent on people who really are dependent on the government for their very comortable ife style:
The NSA, whose operations are almost entirely secret, has long been criticised for its close corporate ties. One long-serving official, William Black Jr, left the agency for Science Applications International Corporation, before returning in 2000 as deputy director.

While Black was in his senior position, SAIC won an NSA contract to develop a data-mining programme, called Trailblazer, that was never implemented, despite a cost of over $1bn. Whistleblowers have charged that Trailblazer killed a more privacy-protective system called ThinThread.

Compounding the potential financial conflicts at the NSA, Buzzfeed News reported that the home of chief of its Signals Intelligence Directorate, Teresa Shea, has a signals-intelligence consulting firm operating out of it. The firm is run by her husband James, who also works for a signals-intelligence firm that Buzzfeed News said appears to do business with the NSA; and Teresa Shea runs an “office and electronics” business that lists a Beechcraft plane among its assets.