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How Low Will They Go?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Obama administration has gone over to the dark side with stretching the “terrorist” category, going far further that Bush or Cheney would ever had dreamed. They have now compared an uprising in 1818 by the Seminole tribes in Florida to Al Qaeda to justify prosecutions of detainees at Guantanamo

Bitter analogy in war crime case: Indians, al Qaeda

By Carol Rosenberg

Seminoles in 1818 similar to al Qaeda in 2001? Some Pentagon prosecutors appeared to make this analogy to support a Guantánamo war crimes conviction, then clarified in a war court filing.

Pentagon prosecutors touched off a protest – and issued an apology this week – for likening the Seminole Indians in Spanish Florida to al Qaeda in documents defending Guantánamo’s military commissions.

Citing precedents, prosecutors reached back into the Indian Wars in arguments at an appeals panel in Washington D.C. Specifically, they invoked an 1818 military commission convened by Gen. Andrew Jackson after U.S. forces invaded then-Spanish Florida to stop black slaves from fleeing through a porous border – then executed two British men for helping the Seminole Indians.

Navy Capt. Edward S. White also wrote this in a prosecution brief:

“Not only was the Seminole belligerency unlawful, but, much like modern-day al Qaeda, the very way in which the Seminoles waged war against U.S. targets itself violate the customs and usages of war.”

A native American advocacy group complained to the military court. Defense lawyers for two Yemenis convicted of war crimes at Guantánamo countered that the behavior of Jackson, the future U.S. president now on the $20 bill, was no shining example of American military justice.

A politically ambitious Jackson, defense lawyers wrote, waged “an illegal war” that set fire to entire Indian villages “in a campaign of extermination.”

In the legal precedent, U.S. troops convicted two British traders, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister, for helping the Seminoles and escaped slaves and sentenced them to a whipping. Jackson, a slave owner, declared the punishment too soft. He had them executed.

Florida historians are familiar with the episode.

“Arbuthnot was hanged from the yard arm of his own ship,” said University of Florida history professor Jack Davis. “Ambrister was killed by firing squad.”

At issue in the Court of Military Commissions Review is whether a newly minted post 9/11 war court crime – providing material support for terror – is legitimate for prosecution at a war crimes tribunal.

Marcy Wheeler at FDL comments that “our government is siding with slavery, genocide of Native Americans, and Andrew Jackson’s illegal belligerency, it is citing our own country’s illegal behavior-to find some support for the claim that material support is a military crime.”

Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson sent a letter of apology to the Seminole tribe but didn’t back away from the analogy.

But Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson made clear in the single-page letter that the U.S. government was standing by its precedent from Gen. Andrew Jackson’s Indian Wars in its bid to uphold the life-time conviction of Osama bin Laden’s media secretary at Guantánamo’s Camp Justice.

Johnson delivered a speech at the Pentagon in commemoration of Martin Luther King day that twisted Dr. King’s antiwar philosophy into support for the Afghan and Iraq wars.

What Marcy said:

And so it is that our government clings desperately to one of the darkest chapters of our history to legitimize its current actions. Rather than reflect on what that means-how damning it is that we can point only to Andrew Jackson’s illegal treatment of Native Americans to justify our current conduct-the government says simply, “a precedent is a precedent!”

Obama’s boys have now thrown Native Americans under the bus. Welcome, my friends, you have lots of company.

#Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement

Cross posted from [The Stars Hollow Gazette]

Stephen Colbert has had a grand time taking on Sen. Jon Kyl’s blatant lie on the Senate floor that Planned Parenthood is using 90% of its services for abortion, when it’s actually about 3%. Kyl’s spokes person tried walking back the lie but Stephen took it to Twitter creating this hash-tag, #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement

Transcript provided by Bruin Kid @ Daily Kos

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Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Desserts for the Conscientious

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Apple Clafoutis

Winter Strawberry Gelato

Honey-Baked Pears

Grapefruit Ice

Pear and Red Wine Sorbet

“Pretty Please, Can We Regulate You”

Cenk Uygur and Dylan Ratigan discuss what it is to regulate banks

“Pretty please, can we regulate you with someone you like?”

The fight for Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a “fight worth waging”. Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan

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Stiglitz: The Cost Of War and Redistribution of Wealth

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz has consistently pointed out that the US is on the wrong track for economic recovery and that the continued support for the money pit of Iraq and the shifting the countries wealth to the 2% elite will be the downfall of economics growth, He recently wrote an excellent article in Vanity Fair, Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%, pointing out that even the wealthy will come to regret this path.

t’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous-12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades-and more-has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

(emphasis mine)

This is well worth the time to read the entire piece and save it as a reference as this country sinks further into the morass and becomes a “Banana Republic”as the Tea Party Republicans try to drag this country back to the 19th century by repealing laws that protect children and workers.

Stiglitz also appeared on Democracy, Now! with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez to discuss his article and the current US “budget crisis” that has been fabricated by the right wing, Obama and the ever beholding MSM:

This week Republicans unveiled a budget proposal for 2012 that cuts more than $5.8 trillion in government spending over the next decade. The plan calls for sweeping changes to Medicaid and Medicare, while reducing the top corporate and individual tax rates to 25 percent. We speak to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who addresses the growing class divide taking place in the United States and inequality in a new Vanity Fair article titled “Of the 1, by the 1, for the 1%.” Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University and author of numerous books, most recently Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy. “It’s not just that the people at the top are getting richer,” Stiglitz says. “Actually, they’re gaining, and everybody else is decreasing… And right now, we are worse than old Europe.” includes rush transcript

Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Assault on Social Spending, Pro-Rich Tax Cuts Turning U.S. into Nation “Of the 1 Percent, by the 1 Percent, for the 1 Percent”

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The Budget Battle: From Here To Thursday

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Government has avoided a shut down in the last minutes, however, this isn’t over, by a long shot. While the Obama supporters will be touting tonight’s passing of a “Bridge CR” and agreement for the 2011 budget a “victory’, is it? Yes, they managed to remove some of the most egregious riders that the “Full Mooner” Tea Party Republicans were trying to jam through but it cost Obama almost $39 billion more than the $40 million that he originally proposed for a grand total of $79 billion in cuts that will only carry through until September that is if they pass it next Thursday. It still isn’t very clear just what is in that extra $39 billion in cuts.

There are still give aways in the bill which includes the riders to ban DC from using its own funds to pay for abortions for poor DC women and approval of the unpopular DC school vouchers which was opposed by the DC city council. So much for Republican respect for state’s rights.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post sums it up, this is “2011 not 1995”:

The substance of this deal is bad. The rhetoric of it is worse.

The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals. In the end, the real negotiation was not between the Republicans and the Democrats, or even the Republicans and the White House. It was between John Boehner and the conservative wing of his party. And once that became clear, it turned out that Boehner’s original offer wasn’t even in the middle. It turns out to be slightly center-left.

But you would’ve never known it from President Obama’s comments following the conclusion of the negotiations. Obama bragged about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” Harry Reid repeatedly called the cuts “historic.” It fell to Boehner to give a clipped, businesslike statement on the deal. If you were just tuning in, you might’ve thought Boehner had been arguing for moderation, while both Obama and Reid sought to cut deeper. You would never have known that Democrats had spent months resisting these “historic” cuts, warning that they’d cost jobs and slow the recovery.

Although there will now be a separate Senate vote to cut Title X funding for Planned Parenthood, which will most likely fail, this is a major capitulation by Obama and the Democratic leadership that gives 1/6th of the government 2/3rds of the budget cuts it wanted. All of these riders will appear again and again and many will pass the House and, perhaps, even the Senate. What matters more to Obama than anything else is his notion of “bipartisanship” which is shifting this country further and further to the right to the detriment of the majority if Americans and the future.

Nice spelunking by the Spelunker-in-Chief.

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