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Change we can believe in

by Jerome a Paris Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 05:39:50 PM EST

The ACLU is not happy:

Justice Department Stands Behind Bush Secrecy In Extraordinary Rendition Case

The Justice Department today repeated Bush administration claims of "state secrets" in a lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen DataPlan for its role in the extraordinary rendition program. Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen was brought on behalf of five men who were kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons or foreign intelligence agencies overseas where they were interrogated under torture. The Bush administration intervened in the case, inappropriately asserting the "state secrets" privilege and claiming the case would undermine national security.

Barf.


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Well said.  Barf We Can Believe in.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 05:51:17 PM EST
Rendition/torture is a diversionary issue, a pacification/diversion theme used to divert attention from the event which started ALL of the Homeboy Stupidity cancer.  That would be THREE buildings falling to the ground, imploding into their own footprints. 911, the real truth emergency.
by Lasthorseman on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 07:03:36 PM EST
Via BoingBoing:

Kanjorski: "The Treasury opened its window to help. They pumped a hundred and five billion dollars into the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts, and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic and there. And that's what actually happened. If they had not done that their estimation was that by two o'clock that afternoon, five-and-a-half trillion dollars would have been drawn out of the money market system of the United States, would have collapsed the entire economy of the United States, and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed."

"It would have been the end of our political system and our economic systems as we know it."



A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.
by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 07:06:56 PM EST
That someone--national or private--who is a really big player, tried to bring the system down last September.  

Bring the system down--for, if they really just wanted their money, they would have used the more subtle and less disruptive tactic of easing their way out of their position.  

Who?  We would like to know almost as much as the government would like not to tell us.  

Probably, not China:  No, someone even more embarrassing to acknowledge.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:25:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We need to have this in a diary so we can dissect it.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/2/9/234340/6189/142/695504
posted by Magnifico

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:40:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully there will be a cross-post here?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Thursday, at about 11 o'clock in the morning, the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of money market accounts in the United States to a tune of $550 billion being drawn out in a matter of an hour or two.
What Thursday? September 18? The day Paulson announced his stimulus plan?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:58:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted the following comment there:
On the day the electronic run on the money markets happened, September 18th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,019.69. This was roughly two weeks before the huge market collapse during the first week of October 2008. As an aside, I wonder how many members of Congress got cashed out their stocks that day?
Let me remind you of what happened that week.

At the end of Sunday, September 14th, BofA agreed to take over Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers was left to fail, which they did on Monday September 15th.

The markets lost heavily on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday September 17th the two remaining investment banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, lost 25% and 15% respectively. They also started losing valuable clients, who moved their brokerage accounts to the likes of JP Morgan, which had a retail side and less leverage. Shortly thereafter MS and GS announced plans to merge with retail banks. The independent investment banks were no more.

On Thursday the 18th this alleged bank run happened. What we did know happened was that Paulson hit the PanicButton™ and announced his economic stimulus. It was clearly a rush job and it made very little sense. You can read Krugman's blog entries from that day on to see how ill-conceived the plan was.

On Friday the 19th the FT led with the headline "Markets Roar in Approval" and a picture of Paulson extending his arm across the page. Quite impressive. The rally lasted until the weekend and all the gains were lost over the followig week of Congressional bickering.

I had always thought Paulson had announced his stimulus plan to save his former company, GS. Maybe he had other motivations.



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 06:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at the DKOS diary that would make it seem that the republicans, by attempting to make the bailout fail are trying to bring about the conditions for martial law as supposedly mentioned in the talk given by Poulson, and so subvert the election result.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

Representative Sherman later revealed that members were warned that Martial Law would result if the $700 bailout plan was not passed, and Iguadland10 posted another video ascribing that particular warning to Paulson.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:36:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd be curious to know: With what military was the Giant Talking Penis planning to implement martial law?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:44:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The strikeforce of free enterprise? after all they are out of work. Or perhaps it was just a threat that Cheney would grab more power, and then who would make him give it back?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:53:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once in a while, a part of my feels reassured by the fact that our citizens are better-armed than most first-world soldiers.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:59:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, in other words, something in the neighborhood of a quarter of the money market was pulled?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.  I'd like to know who threatened to declare martial law, too, because it seems to me that would qualify as treason or something along the lines of treason.

That needs to be investigated.  Like, now.

Not because I think it might have actually worked -- not a snowball's chance in Hell, in my opinion, as the soldiers, sheriffs and cops would not have backed them up -- but simply because the threat was made and people at the top of the Bush administration were apparently thinking about it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 08:17:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ACLU's right to not be happy.  This is fucking bullshit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 08:20:19 PM EST
Holder was confirmed 4 days ago. Obama may still disappoint, but there is no way administration of a huge bureaucracy like that will be in control in 4 days. No way.
by rootless2 on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 10:01:38 PM EST
Jerome's right nonetheless. I have no specifics about the case, but I'll bet it dates back to long before Obama took office, and justifiably, once it's in the courts, the Obama administration is legally bound to let it play out.

Still though, pressure on America's misdeeds need to be maintained. With blame placed on the guilty. Obama's message team are adults, and when they're worried enough about something like this, they know how to clarify the situation. In my old anthropology class, I learned something that rang so true I haven't forgotten it for almost 40 years: status and prestige in any society (and this is as close as you get to a law of nature in the social sciences) isn't conferred - it's earned, and the holder must periodically reaffirm his fitness for the prestige he holds. Obama must continue with policies that reflect the high-mindedness his campaign trumpeted and which the world continues to expect of him. He must do this just to maintain his legitimacy.

Now that Jerome has spoken, one can justifiably claim that the French regard American security policy in its war on terror with the gravest regard. Hopefully, the French government will begin to reflect the attitudes of it's constituency and transmit this concern/displeasure/alarm to Washington.

Hopefully.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 at 11:26:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pursue a particular case:  Once they decide it is not worth continuing, that is the end of it.  

What the ACLU believes and we all suspect is that, whatever he intends for the future of the US Executive, Obama has no interest in correcting past mistakes.

Not what he was hired for, really.    

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:33:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that may be entirely correct, but my point is that when the cabinet officer for a 100,000 employee department that is involved in every sector of law enforcement is confirmed on Feb 4, it is premature to make sweeping conclusions about policy on February 9.
by rootless2 on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:27:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anybody with a gram of sense would know to lay down the law on the high-profile cases faster than immediately.

Heads must roll for this rejection. Either there was no new policy, in which case Obama is guilty. Or the policy was communicated with insufficient force, in which case the secretary of Justice is guilty. Or an apparatchik somewhere in the bureaucracy thought that he could continue with business as usual under the new management. In which case he needs to go. Preferably for an extended stay in Alaska or Hawaii.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2009 at 12:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I'm happy to have voted for him not only because the alternative was unbearable, but more positively, for what he stood for, the fact remains that I'm totally convinced that Obama will be America's Gorbachev.
by Lupin on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 04:31:56 AM EST
You do know Gorbachev is not exactly the most popular politician in Russia these days...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 04:53:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that may have been his point. Isn't Lupin in the US-is-gonna-die corner?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 04:55:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:03:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lupin is in the "US has serious issues" corner. What expat isn't.
by northsylvania on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 06:04:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the US of A will become Mad Max-land, no, but I do think it's going to collapse pretty badly, and possibly even fragment à la ex-USSR, though that seems more unlikely to me. (Although reading redstate, I can't help wondering...) It will then reinvent itself. Into what, that is the question.

Obama like Gorby wants to save a system that can't be saved and will fight tooth and nail against needed reforms. It's a lost cause.

When this site began I wrote that the biggest challenge of this new century would be for the rest of the world to learn to cope with the fall of the American Empire, and I still believe that.

We're in for a pretty rough ride.

by Lupin on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see, did try do change the system, without changing its core precepts, led the country into crisis and civil war, loss of superpower status...

Might happen. Will not be pretty.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 04:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have to give Gorbatchev credit at least for that: there was very little bloodshed under his watch, ie the empire's dissolution was peaceful.

The wars that did happen afterwards (Karabakh, Chechnya, Transdniestria, Tadjikistan, Georgia, the 1993 coup) cannot really be blamed on him.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 04:59:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that might be hyperbole for the August'91 coup.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:03:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so five years down the line after the collapse, the gangsters, and militarists will be in charge under the benevolent lead of the head of the CIA?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean, like for the past few decades ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 09:19:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wondered who would notice first. ;)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 11:08:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ceebs:
so five years down the line after the collapse, the gangsters, and militarists will be in charge under the benevolent lead of the head of the CIA?

lol, sounds about right... autocracy with lipstick, in latest hollywood hot pink shades of 'liberty'!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 11:12:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, interesting take, lupin.

i've been seeing him as a latter-day (male) Persephone, allotted the role of america's 'guide to the underworld'.

his body language even looked like an elevator flunky, as he grimly composed himself to tell america: 'going down...'

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 11:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm glad I'm not US President: most jobs I've ever had, I've barely found the most convenient toilet to my desk and figured out how to get lunch after three weeks. This guy's already a complete failure.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:00:44 AM EST
But should we laud this particular decision?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 05:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That excuse is too convenient.

This case has been on the radar for quite a while. It has been highlighted as a potential 'do as you say' and 'finally, we have a chance to end this nightmare' milestone...and now it is a millstone. While not deserving the meter's needle-pin that you use to slay us with, his inaction is indicative; is he is or is he ain't gonna slice away all the cancers that created the most successful presidency ever?

Is one of the hallmarks of the 1,000 Bush Accomplishments going to be that he was so over the top, that tyranny still remains excused after he has left? I am of two minds whether such tyranny was merely blowback, mere unintended consequences of paying back the GreedyBastards who paid for his coronations, of actual evil. Is tyranny an implied consequece of endless expansion for his friends in the war toys industry, endless angst for his friends in the drug industry, endless big brother sensationalism for his friends in the media, endless opportunities for the criminal banking/insurance industry? The stated goal of the neo groups was bankrupting the government financially...was it required to bankrupt the moral base to accomplish that goal?

My belief is that your guy Obama can't be a complete failure until he fails to perform miracles in each and every category required for creating a new democracy from the ashes he was handed.

His keywords have got to be Constant Vigilance. He can't let one thing go un-noticed since even perfection has such a large chance of failure. For we have seen that the American people are not studious and enduring types, and are easily swayed into becoming terrorists while crying about how mistreated they are. If the failures add up, if there is enough angst and apathy, it will be complete failure for that dream of a government for, by and of.

Sorry my response wasn't as clever and terse as yours. I just couldn't figure out how to say: If you have to bat 100 to survive, if you have to excise all the cancers and all the effects of them, is it complete failure to leave any behind?

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:11:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My guy Obama? You're very funny: I'm the one that's long been saying I expected normal rational US semi-evil from him on foreign policy.

I'm not excusing anything: it just seems that the internet left have slightly less impulse control and tolerance for delayed gratification than my 10 month old son.

I also think that Tomalsky might be onto something:

OK, what I'm about to say isn't true of everyone, of course. But there is a general thing: liberals are happy being unhappy. Or worrying. We're (I very much include myself) big worriers. With reason: history teaches that the tide of change doesn't always flow in our direction, especially in recent years. I know a lot of people who couldn't quite believe that America could elect a man like Barack Obama, and still didn't quite believe it after it happened.

In addition, there is a general tendency to accentuate the negative. Partisans of both sides focus on what has been lost in compromise, but there is a crucial difference in the quality of complaint. Conservatives tend to look upon compromise and shout: "Betrayal!" Liberals have more often tended to sigh: "Well, I figured as much." The blogosphere has given liberalism an often necessary jolt of the former disposition, but it's still the general reflex of the liberal mind (again, including my own) to assume the worst and nod knowingly as it inevitably happens.

Now, I don't know what the court decision tells us about the position the US administration is adopting: it may be that they haven't exactly decided how to handle the issue and are simply taking the most conservative position while they figure it out - it doesn't seem obvious to me that time is of the essence here. It may also be that people's worst fears will be realised. We'll see.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are not wrong. I am just pissed.

Also, my Irish friends all have the predilection of saying things like, "You man in charge there..." whether he is my man or not, just seemed appropriate given your message.

As you say, we'll see. But I think it is indicative of the normative behavior. They'll get rid of the headline mockable and defend the indefensible easier-to-defend.

I do disagree with Tomalsky though; the tide of Progressive does flow in our direction. There are many fewer kings or queens of consequence, many rich are asking to be taxed, and 'freedom from' is gradually being replaced by actual plain ol' 'freedom'.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 09:04:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction: "Your man in charge there..."

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 09:06:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
um, i think it's probably more like 'man in discharge'

:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 11:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job

WASHINGTON--African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 07:56:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Truly one of the greatest headlines ever.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 09:16:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that one: Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over', which will be hard to top.


"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."

Bush swore to do "everything in [his] power" to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers, going into massive debt to develop expensive and impractical weapons technologies, and passing sweeping budget cuts that drive the mentally ill out of hospitals and onto the street.

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

"You better believe we're going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration," said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. "Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?"

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 02:45:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We always reserve the worst jobs for African-Americans.
by Lupin on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 12:43:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
he's like the casino manager, forgiving buddies' debts, and passing out free chips to get the game going again...

more drinks and peanuts!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 10th, 2009 at 11:10:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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