Saturday, February 20

Maher: The Tea Baggers are a CULT, not a "Movement"

He're something that crystallizes a thought I've been struggling with for a couple years now. Which is "What the FRACK is Wrong with these Neo-Con, Birther, Deather, Tenther, Seconder, Torture-Monger, Corporate Shill Nut Balls on the Right Wing of this Country?"

Maher: Their A CULT!

Well, gee that pretty much explains everything.

You can't argue with people in a Cult, because the First Rule of Cult Club is you don't trust or listen to anyone who not in Cult Club.

This is why you have them constantly talk about the "Left Wing Media" - it's not their media - so it's not to be trusted, even when the get things 100% correct.

It's not about FACT. It's not about Reality.

The World is only 4,000 Years Old. Jesus Rode a Dinosaur. Climate Change isn't true because of the Snowpocolipse in Washington, even though they have to bring in Snow by the Truck Load in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics.

Sgt Hasan is a Terrorist because his name is Hasan.

Joe Stack isn't a Terrorist because his name is Stack.

Barack Obama isn't keeping our Country safe even though he's killed or captured more terrorist in Afghanistan and Pakistan than George Bush ever dreamed of - and he's an appeaser because he won't go all Jack Bauer on the Ass-Bomber, even though we're getting plenty of actionable (and Legally useful) information from him simply by being Smarter than he is, not more Assholish!

In every way, and in every sense these guys believe a pile of shit that is completely ridiculous. It's not a difference of opinion - it's a difference of REALITY.

And it's not just the Tea Baggers, it's increasingly become more and more of the BASE of the Republican Party. That's why we can't get Health Care. That's why we can't get Financial Regulatory Reform. That's why we can't get a Job's Bill.

This is not a matter of a honest ideological differences - this is total fucking Wackjob Lunacy.

It's time we just came to recognize this for what it is and deal with it accordingly. And that is to handle it the same way that they do on Bully Beatdown.

These people aren't going to recognize reality - Until Reality (Figuratively) Hits them In the FACE!. Their Alpha Male Pit Bulls - (like Mittance Romney), Bill "Fuck it, We'll Do it Live!" O'Reilly or Glenn "Barkin Mad" Beck - don't understand anything other than POWER!

If we need to pop a cap in the Filibuster, then let's do it. If we need to use Reconciliation to pass any meaningful bills - then Let's Do it.

It's time to stop trying to be reasonable with the Unreasoned.

STOMP 'Em, Right into the Ground.


Thursday, February 18

Suicide Plane Terrorist Attack on Austin IRS Building

A plane has crashed this morning into government offices in Austin Texas including those housing the IRS. Officials are not saying they think this is an act of domestic terrorism, but they aren't saying that it was an accident either.


A single-engine plane crashed Thursday into an office building housing the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas, in what law enforcement said could be a deliberate act by the pilot.

Local law enforcement officials and the White House, however, said they did not believe the incident was an act of terrorism. U.S. law enforcement officials said authorities were trying to determine if the pilot intentionally targeted the IRS.

What bothers me about this story is the fact that this persons own story seems to mirror my own over the past decade. He was a Contract Software Engineer, as I used to be. He ran afoul of the IRS due to unreported income, I've been practically working under the table and under the radar for that last 5 years now taking in less than $10,000 a year when I used to make an average of $45/Hr a decade ago.

I've been through bankruptcy and multi-evictions. My credit rating is destroyed. I've struggled with rage-aholism and depression. I know there are no millions of Americans who've been through something very similar.

But this guy is a long way down the road from where I am.

He railed about the Bail-outs and Health Care: Via Huffpo

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

He was more than a little cynical about "America".

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”... and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

His biggest issue seemed to be a rather obscure section of the U.S. tax Code.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer... and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

It's at the end of the note that things turn most chilling and, in my mind, 'McVeigh-ish"...

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)


In my opinion there is no question that this was a terrorist attack against the U.S. Government. This was a Suicide Bombing via plane.

But the open question is will he be pegged as a crank from the left (with his criticism of Health Care, and "GW Bush the Puppet President"), or a crank from the right (and his rabid criticism of a currupt government and unfair taxation ala the Tea Party?) - or does his case completely fail to fit into that framing?

I doubt the right will use this to attack Obama as "Soft" on Terrorism, since there was probably no visible warning and this guys didn't have a "Muslim" name - on the other hand their likely to reject that notion that he has clear "common cause" with the Tea Party movement.

Terrorism isn't just for Muslim's anymore.

More importantly how many more people who've lost their livelihoods and all hope over the last year or last 5 years are likely to self-destruct in equally explosive ways? Or will the size of this destruction instead case them to take pause, take stock, and attempt more productive ways to help recover their sanity and in world that seems to have gone insane?


Tuesday, February 16

Cheney is Still a Fact-Mangling Dick

After slipping out from his undisclosed bunker, Richard B. Cheney appeared On This Week and yet again criticized President Obama for not following in his torture-monger foot steps.

Via Raw Story

"I think you ought to have all of those capabilities on the table," Cheney told ABC's Jonathan Karl Sunday.

Cheney also said he opposed the Obama administration's ban on waterboarding.

"He announced when he came in last year that they would never use anything other than the U.S. Army manual, which doesn't include those techniques," Cheney said. "I think that's a mistake."

Before I get into the meat of this let me first give Dick some credit for correctly pointing out that Sarah Palin is a War-mongering Super Wingnut for suggesting Obama should go to War with Iran to get re-elected, and for exposing John McCain as a liar and hypocrite for ignoring the Militaries own decision making process on "Don't Ask Don't Tell".

Not that he put it in those terms exactly.

After that though, it was all down hill.

Full Transcript.

As I pointed out just yesterday there is no evidence - ZERO - that Cheney's Torture-Lite(tm) techniques would have given us better information that what we're already getting from Omar AbdulMutallab by gaining the cooperation and support of his family.

For the record, he's wasn't Mirandized until 9 Hours After his arrest. Richard Reid the "Show Bomber" whose still isn't an American Citizen was Mirandized in the first five minutes back in 2001.

And yes, what Cheney is suggesting is Torture - Cheney's own former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon Ruled that it was in Military Court with a detainee who wasn't even water-boarded.

These techniques were developed by Communist Countries in order to illicit false confessions for political purposes - the same way that Cheney tried to have the Iraqi Head of Security Water-boarded so that he would claim Saddam had something to do with 9-11.

(Sorry about the bad audio)

Those tactics don't get you the TRUTH, Cheney should know that since FBI Director Mueller has announced they didn't Foil a Single Terror Plot with information from Coercive Interrogations.

Also the system that Cheney continues to champion that he and Bush "put in place" was smashed to bits by the Supreme Court as Unconstitutional as Hamdan v Rumsfeld in 2006.

(c) Because UCMJ Article 36 has not been complied with here, the rules specified for Hamdan's commission trial are illegal. The procedures governing such trials historically have been the same as those governing courts-martial. Although this uniformity principle is not inflexible and does not preclude all departures from courts-martial procedures, any such departure must be tailored to the exigency that necessitates it.


(d) The procedures adopted to try Hamdan also violate the Geneva Conventions. The D. C. Circuit dismissed Hamdan's challenge in this regard on the grounds, inter alia, that the Conventions are not judicially enforceable and that, in any event, Hamdan is not entitled to their protections. Neither of these grounds is persuasive.

Now Bush and Congress responded to this decision with the Military Commissions Act, but even the tribunals established under this act have had a Rocky Road with at least SEVEN Prosecutors who've resigned in protest because of the disorganization of the Commissions and slipshod handling of the evidence.

"I am highly concerned, to the point that I believe I can no longer serve as a prosecutor at the Commissions, about the slipshod, uncertain 'procedure' for affording defense counsel discovery."

Even before Hamdan in 2004 the CIA Inspector General had ruled that the program was deeply illegal and ineffective.

The real trouble began on May 7, 2004, the day the C.I.A. inspector general, John L. Helgerson, completed a devastating report. In thousands of pages, it challenged the legality of some interrogation methods, found that interrogators were exceeding the rules imposed by the Justice Department and questioned the effectiveness of the entire program.

Because of this Cheney's pet interrogation program was all but dead by 2005.

And even if AbdulMuttalab had been put into the Military System, he would have still be required to have a lawyer as per a decision from former Federal Judge (And Bush Attorney General) Michael Mukasey ruled in the Jose Padilla Case.

Via Glenn Greenwald

I want to highlight one extremely relevant consideration concerning Judge Mukasey -- the impressive role he played in presiding over the Jose Padilla case in its earliest stages. After Padilla was first detained in April 2002 and declared an "enemy combatant," he was held incommunicado, denied all access to the outside the world, including counsel, and the Bush administration refused to charge him with any crimes. A lawsuit was filed on Padilla's behalf by a New York criminal defense lawyer, Donna Newman, demanding that Padilla be accorded the right to petition for habeas corpus and that, first, he be allowed access to a lawyer. That lawsuit was assigned to Judge Mukasey, which almost certainly made the Bush DOJ happy.

But any such happiness proved to be unwarranted. Judge Mukasey repeatedly defied the demands of the Bush administration, ruled against them, excoriated them on multiple occasions for failing to comply with his legally issued orders, and ruled that Padilla was entitled to contest the factual claims of the government and to have access to lawyers. He issued these rulings in 2002 and 2003, when virtually nobody was defying the Bush administration on anything, let alone on assertions of executive power to combat the Terrorists. And he made these rulings in the face of what was became the standard Bush claim that unless there was complete acquiescence to all claimed powers by the President, a Terrorist attack would occur and the blood would be on the hands of those who impeded the President.

Both Jose Padilla and Ali Al-marri, the only two persons arrested for terrorism on U.S. Soil who actually were placed in Military Custody, were both ultimately tried and convicted in civilian courts.

So essentially what Cheney suggests shouldn've been "on the table" really isn't even legally viable. It's nowhere near the table, in fact it's not even in the same room as the law and the Constitution.

Speaking of "Granting Terrorist the Rights of Americans" - I thought Conservatives believed that the one thing that makes America unique and "Superior" to other countries was idea that Human Rights are granted By God rather than by government, isn't that what makes them "Inalienable"?

Dick Move Number 2 was Cheney's attempt to take Credit for the Iraq Withdrawal, which conventiently ignores how long Bush and Cheney both argued as recently as last June that the last thing we should do in Iraq - is set a date for Withdrawal or else chaos might erupt as the insurgent simply "Wait for us to leave".

Mr. Cheney told The Washington Times’ America’s Morning News radio show that he is a strong believer in Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and that the general is doing what needs to be done.

“But what he says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks.

Unlike the Bush Administration the Obama Presidency actually has a chance to "Win" the War on Al Qeada by aggressively pursuing them in Afghanistan (where a brand new massive offensive was just announced) and working closely with our allies in Pakistan as well as drying up their recruitment and re-enforcements by recommitting our country to the Rule of Law, our own Constitution, Ideals of Justice, Fairplay and the Geneva Conventions.

Y'know - everything that you FAILED to do - Dick.


P.S. And Cheney et al. may not entirely be out of legal jeopardy on this, there's considerable evidence the Abu Zubaydah was abused long before the Yoo, Bybee memos were even written. The British inquiry into the Iraq War has found that Binyam Mohammed was brutally tortured also before the OLC Authorizing Memos.

The U.S. Prosecuted and Executed Japanese Soldiers for Water-boarding Americans, and even court-martialed and dishonorably dischared the U.S. Soldier pictured in the left of this photo for helping to water-board a member of the Vietcong.

In 1983 a Texas Sherrif was prosecuted and sentenced to 10 Years for water-boarding a suspect. All of that was before the President Reagan signed the U.N. Convention against Torture in 1988, and the War Crimes Act as passed in 1994. With Eric Holder's Special Prosecutor still out there investigating this issue, Cheney is a long way from being entirely "Safe".