Tag: Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Do you miss Mitt?

Conventional wisdom says perhaps you should, for now the focus will be entirely on the Democratic jackass race that shows no signs of melting down until June if then.

Your Bonus Muck-

  • We Don’t Discuss Interrogation Techniques until We Want to

    By Paul Kiel – February 6, 2008, 1:03PM
  • White House Insists on Confirmation of Torture Memo Author

    By Paul Kiel, TPMMuckracker- February 6, 2008, 4:35PM

    For more than three years, Steven Bradbury has been the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, the crucial Justice Department office that has the power to issue “advance pardons,” as former OLC head Jack Goldsmith put it. But Senate Democrats, because of Bradbury’s role in approving the warrantless wiretapping program and enhanced interrogation techniques that include waterboarding, have opposed White House efforts to have him confirmed and remove his acting status.

  • Today’s Must Read

    By Paul Kiel, TPMMuckracker – February 7, 2008, 9:44AM

    If it’s seemed to you that the administration has blundered its way into its recent pro-waterboarding PR offensive, you’re right.
  • GOPer: 99% of Americans Would Support Waterboarding

    By Paul Kiel, TPMMuckracker – February 7, 2008, 2:25PM

Bonus coverage from emptywheel

“Are you the people’s lawyer or the President’s?”

DocuDharma has kept an admirable concentration on the real issues that confront us, centered primarily on the essential lawlessness of the current administration and it’s Congressional and Village Idiot enablers.

Update: Conyers Says He’s on Edge of Starting Impeachment

by David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org

Friday 2008-02-08 04:34

h/t: Tigana

The Stars Hollow Gazette

So tomorrow we’re set up for what are likely to be a string of defeats on the Protect America Act extension which we’re all supposed to ignore because we can’t keep our concentration focused on anything except cheap plastic distractions like the Super Bowl (congratulations Obama for your Giants endorsement) and Super Tuesday horse racing (go Sea Biscuit).

Glenn Greenwald

In the Senate, Democratic and Republican leaders have, according to Congressional Quarterly and others sources, reached an agreement as to how to proceed on the FISA vote this Monday. There are currently numerous amendments pending to the Cheney/Rockefeller Senate Intelligence Committee bill, almost all of them introduced by Democrats (with one co-sponsored by Arlen Specter) and most of them (if not all) unacceptable to the White House and the GOP.

The essence of the new agreement is that most of the amendments will be subject to a simple up-or-down vote — if they get 50 votes, then they pass — while several of the amendments will require 60 votes to pass (allowing, in essence, the Republicans to filibuster those amendments without actually having to go to the Senate floor and engage in a real filibuster).

Senate Democratic leadership sources are trying to claim that this is some sort of victory for Senate Democrats, and echoing that sentiment, even some of the most insightful and knowledgeable around — such as McJoan at Daily Kos — are hailing the agreement as evidence that “Dems didn’t cave” and that “they held tough.” Unless there is something I’m overlooking, I don’t understand that perspective at all.

Update III-

UPDATE III: Dan Froomkin, quoting The Providence Journal’s Scott MacKay, has excerpts from former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee’s new book:

The book excoriates Mr. Bush and his GOP allies who repeatedly fanned such wedge issues as changing the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage, abortion and flag-burning. But he saves some of his harshest words for Democrats who paved the way for Mr. Bush to use the U.S. military to invade Iraq. . . .

“The top Democrats were at their weakest when trying to show how tough they were,” writes Chafee. “They were afraid that Republicans would label them soft in the post-September 11 world, and when they acted in political self-interest, they helped the president send thousands of Americans and uncounted innocent Iraqis to their doom.

“Instead of talking tough or meekly raising one’s hand to support the tough talk, it is far more muscular, I think, to find out what is really happening in the world and have a debate about what we really need to accomplish,” writes Chafee. “That is the hard work of governing, but it was swept aside once the fear, the war rhetoric and the political conniving took over.”

Chafee writes of his surprise at “how quickly key Democrats crumbled.” Democratic senators, Chafee writes, “went down to the meetings at the White House and the Pentagon and came back to the chamber ready to salute. With wrinkled brows they gravely intoned that Saddam Hussein must be stopped. Stopped from what? They had no conviction or evidence of their own. They were just parroting the administration’s nonsense. They knew it could go terribly wrong; they also knew it could go terribly right. Which did they fear more?”

Chafee was describing the 2002 lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, but the description is just as apt today. And his description of what Democratic Senators did back then after meeting with White House and Pentagon officials sounds a lot like what many of them do today after meeting with White House and NSA officials.

Read it and weep.

Are you clear what’s happening here?

Tomorrow is another day of struggle and all cranky and hung over I expect you back at work.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Chad rebels say they seized eastern town

By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer

34 minutes ago

NAIROBI, Kenya – Chadian rebels said they had seized an eastern town in an area housing more than 400,000 refugees along the border with Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region, but the government said Sunday it had repelled the attack.

Rebel spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah said he had no other information because he had been fighting all day in N’Djamena, the capital of the former French colony in Central Africa, where rebels were battling for a second day to oust President Idriss Deby.

“We defeated the garrison there and took Adre at around 4 p.m.,” Koulamallah said.

But Chad’s Gen. Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour said government forces fought off the attack, and claimed that Sudanese troops were involved.

Weekend News Digest

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.

Groundhog predicts more winter weather

Associated Press

Sat Feb 2, 8:57 AM ET

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Brace yourself for more wintry weather. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Chad rebels seize capital after heavy fighting: military source

by Francesco Fontemaggi, AFP

16 minutes ago

NDJAMENA (AFP) – Rebels seized Chad’s capital Ndjamena on Saturday after intense fighting with government forces, military and rebel sources said, as President Idriss Deby Itno remained holed up in the presidential palace.

“The whole of the city is in the hands of the rebels. It’s down to mopping-up operations,” according to the military source.

Chadian rebel spokesman Abakar Tollimi said the president could leave his palace, if he so wishes, but later added that there were plans to attack the presidential residence.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

It little profits that an idle king, by this still hearth, among these barren crags, match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole unequal laws unto a savage race…

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel.  I will drink life to the lees!  All times I have enjoy’d greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those that loved me and alone, on shore;  and when thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades vext the dim sea…

I am become a name for always roaming with a hungry heart!

Much have I seen and known- cities of men and manners, climates, councils, governments.  Myself not least, but honour’d of them all.  And drunk delight of battle with my peers far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades for ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end, to rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use.

As tho’ to breathe were life!  Life piled on life were all too little, and of one to me little remains; but every hour is saved from that eternal silence, something more…

A bringer of new things; and vile it were for some three suns to store and hoard myself and this gray spirit yearning in desire to follow knowledge like a sinking star beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus, to whom I leave the sceptre and the isle.  Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil this labour, by slow prudence to make mild a rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere of common duties, decent not to fail in offices of tenderness, and pay meet adoration to my household gods when I am gone.

He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port.  The vessel puffs her sail.  There gloom the dark, broad seas.  My mariners, souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me- that ever with a frolic welcome took the thunder and the sunshine, and opposed free hearts, free foreheads…

You and I are old.

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil.  Death closes all, but something ere the end, some work of noble note may yet be done; not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks.  The long day wanes, the slow moon climbs, the deep moans round with many voices.

Come, my friends,  ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.  Push off, and sitting well in order smite the sounding furrows, for my purpose holds- to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down.  It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, and see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides and tho’ we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are- One equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses, Alfred- Lord Tennyson

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US troops reductions in Iraq may slow

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

1 hour, 22 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is sending strong signals that U.S. troop reductions in Iraq will slow or stop altogether this summer, a move that would jeopardize hopes of relieving strain on the Army and Marine Corps and revive debate over an open-ended U.S. commitment in Iraq.

The indications of a likely slowdown reflect concern by U.S. commanders that the improvement in security in Iraq since June – to a degree few had predicted when President Bush ordered five more Army brigades to Iraq a year ago – is tenuous and could be reversed if the extra troops come out too soon.

One of those extra brigades left in December and the other four are due to come out by July, leaving 15 brigades, or roughly 130,000 to 135,000 troops – the same number as before Bush sent the reinforcements.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

So.  You’re not looking for meta or political, but the personal reminiscence or poetry.

Well on Wednesday you’ll get typeset Tennyson, but today you get me and Kools.

I used to smoke Kools, the worst cigarette in the world because it’s Mentholated and filtered with asbestos.  I’d smoke until my lungs felt “brown”.

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

It is by the juice of Safu that thoughts acquire speed,

The lips acquire stains.  The stains become a warning.

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

One time, while I was smoking Kools, I got invited to a party with a bunch of people I didn’t know.  They also didn’t smoke and the girls were kind of cute and interesting and I didn’t realize at the time how much I stank.

Eight hours later I emerged (having been welcomed and accepted and indulged in what I most desire which is intelligent conversation with peers) and I got in my car and right after I fired it up I fired up a Kool.

And right after I turned the corner out of sight I parked and barfed my guts out from the sick.

Did that stop me?  No.  I went on to smoke and not smoke.  I finally started (I’m done now) once again at a High School Reunion where I practically ripped open a cigarette machine for a pack of Merits because I felt inadequate.  So did the girl with the biggest tits in second grade who was right next to me and would have banged me in the hall if my fiance hadn’t been in the ballroom.

Gotta love reunions.

From there I went on to a point where it was kind of a bonding ritual between me and the dad.  He’d always smoked and so had his mom and dad.  They liked the smell and so do I.  You can smoke in my car if you like, I’m already dead.  I know exactly how long it takes to smoke a Kent III King- 5 minutes because that’s how long our mandatory breaks were.  Smoke them to the stub and crush them in the tub I have my last ashtray hanging around unclean to remind me what my lungs look like.

But there came a time when I decided I was done so I went on the gum and it’s been a while.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Super DuckAh. Everyone still loves Don Vito and the Corleones on the rock hard hockey puck chicken circuit.  At least that’s what they say to my face.

Why I even had my friend Vincenzo drop by.  We were very civil.

While I sometimes speak ex cathedra there is only one capo di tutti.

I wish to make it clear that 200 – 500 words and a graphic is only a suggestion for a front page piece, not a requirement.  It’s actually rather easy to be Front Paged here, all you have to be is good.  We’ll make it look pretty if you don’t have artistic sensibilities to be offended.

Not that being good or Front Page aspirations are a requirement to post- you get 2 (count ’em) TWO! essays a day so you can easily change your mind about what’s important, follow BREAKING!!! developments if you care to.

On the other hand there are three Pony Parties a day (@ 9, noon, and 6) if all you have is a comment for an Open Thread and Muse in the Morning, DocuDharma Times, and 4 at 4 are also there for your convenience.

We encourage participation of all kinds.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Indonesia’s ex-dictator Suharto dies

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer

22 minutes ago

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Former Indonesian President Suharto, a Cold War ally of the United States whose brutal military regime killed hundreds of thousands of left-wing political opponents, died Sunday. He was 86.

Although he oversaw some of the worst bloodshed of the 20th century, Suharto is credited with developing the economy and will be buried with the highest state honors Monday at the family mausoleum.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and others from the country’s political elite prayed over his body. Yudhoyono declared a week of national mourning and called on Indonesians “to pay their last respects to one of Indonesia’s best sons.”

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Police question French bank trader

By PIERRE-ANTOINE SOUCHARD, Associated Press Writer

1 minute ago

PARIS – The French trader accused of one of the biggest bank frauds ever surfaced Saturday – in the custody of police, who were questioning him about bad bets that cost France’s No. 2 bank billions of euros in a season of jittery markets.

Financial police in Paris were questioning Jerome Kerviel in a probe into Societe Generale’s allegation against the 31-year-old trader, judicial officials said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Kerviel has kept a low profile since the bank said Thursday that Kerviel’s unauthorized trades caused it losses of euro4.9 billion (US$7.14 billion). His picture made the front page of newspapers around the world, and journalists staked out his apartment and those of his family members for days, but they did not catch him on camera – prompting rumors he had fled the country.

Japan Comes Out At Night

1. Opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa comes under fire for disappearing before a Lower House vote allowing the Maritime Self-Defense Force to resume its anti-terror refueling mission. He gives a speech for a candidate backed by his party, Minshuto, in the Osaka governor’s election. And he vows a change in government this year. He’ll likely show up if that happens. 2 hr, 8 min, 43 sec

Founded a University and then found himself in jail.

Perhaps if Tsuneo Nakajima had “Found” another use for his hands he wouldn’t be a guest in the Gray Bar Hotel.

Docudharma Times Friday January 25

This is an Open Thread: Who’s behind the door?

Friday’s Headlines: E.P.A. Chief Defends His Decision on California: Egypt moves to seal Gaza border: Pakistani army in onslaught against Taliban chief linked to Bhutto killing: US troops will be gone within 10 years, says Iraqi minister: Berlusconi eyes return to power in Italy

U.S. Asking Iraq for Wide Rights on War

WASHINGTON – With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire in 11 months, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors specific legal protections from Iraqi law, according to administration and military officials.

This emerging American negotiating position faces a potential buzz saw of opposition from Iraq, with its fragmented Parliament, weak central government and deep sensitivities about being seen as a dependent state, according to these officials.

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