No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post
Our image in the Muslim world would probably improve if we stopped killing so many Muslims.
Say No to Torture Week begins today. I learned this from Jeff Kaye, who also writes: “This nation has not gotten the full truth about this country’s torture program, past, present, and plans for the future. As the commentators latch onto the upcoming election with ever-greater avidity, it appears certain that these issues will get shoved even farther onto the back burner. “
An awful lot of people who call themselves “conservatives” or “moderate Republicans” out in the real world probably just want to get back to that 1950s idyll where things were mostly fine for most whites who finished highschool (and even most who hadn’t) and they could be comfortable being patronizing at best and utterly ignorant at worst about funny-colored people. Their leaders have to lie to them about the need to sacrifice Social Security because they know perfectly well that these people like Social Security. These rank-and-file Republicans may not recognize Social Security and Medicaid as “government programs”, let alone liberal programs, but they are willing to believe the lies because they’ve been taught to hate the hippies and the (academic and media) elites and lump them together. And that’s easy to do, since the representatives of “liberal” thought they see on their TVs are utterly callous and contemptible people who talk a lot of right-wing crap. They just don’t realize that liberals are actually disgusted by those creeps on TV, too, and for exactly the same reasons: because they make it clear that they don’t give a damn what happens to normal people who are just trying to earn an honest crust and take care of their families.Avedon Fucking Carol.
Barry Friedman and Dahlia Lithwick on our radical, activist Supreme Court.
Looks like Boumediene will get its first test. Stay tuned.
Adam Serwer is writing, better than I can, about everything I’m thinking before I can post on it. I may just stop blogging and redirect all my traffic to him.
Leftover links. Andrew Sullivan:
I wish either of us had all the information the government has to resolve this question beyond a reasonable doubt - but am realistic enough to know that in wartime in these matters, some trust in a duly elected president of the United States at war and some secrecy in war operations is something we just have to live with.Barry Eisler:
Guantanamo is, of course, just one instance, and the history of successive governmental lying is so long and consistent I always find it baffling when someone reflexively treats government claims as a sufficiently trustworthy basis for imprisonment and execution.More Eisler:
We’ve all had the experience of knowing someone who we realize over time has a tendency to fib. When we make that discovery, immediately thereafter we begin to discount that person’s unverified claims. This is just a common-sense, automatic, adult reaction to experience in the world. And yet, when it comes to the government, no matter how many times we’re subjected to much worse than mere fibbing — whether it’s Guantanamo, or WMDs, or the scapegoating and persecution of Steven Hatfill as the anthrax killer, or the Pat Tillman coverup, to name only a few of the more recent instances of government lies — some people will continue to trust governmental assertions as though the government has an unblemished record of truth-telling.Eisler doesn’t post at the rapid pace of a blogger, but when he does it’s usually terrific.
The Justice Department’s brief is filled with slithering evasions and half-truths about what the administration previously said and did.
I have no doubt that the Obama Administration will prevail in this litigation. The court handling the case is likely to employ one of several judicial escape pods. It will find that al-Awlaki senior cannot represent the interests of his son, for instance, or it will determine that the issue presented is essentially a political question in which federal courts shouldn’t meddle. Indeed, any federal court would feel awkward reviewing the executive’s decision to designate targets in a war. But these findings would be acts of judicial cowardice. The executive should be forced to explain itself.
Oh those repressive Chinamen:
While I didn’t experience censorship as it’s shown in the movies-the black sharpie, the page torn from the record-I did experience a casual tyranny strong enough to keep my name off this piece.Americans are so fortunate to live in a country where the biggest outlets do not uncritically pass along government propaganda for fear of losing favor or access.
bmaz is not optimistic about Elizabeth Warren’s prospects as a reformer. We’ll see. It may be a ceremonial post. If so, and she’s willing to walk away from it and go public with her dissatisfaction, she could still do a lot of good. It’s all speculation for the moment though.
So we all hate the shiftless unemployed, and are repulsed by the wave of laziness that has washed over the country and turned so many people into bloodsucking parasites. If it wasn’t for all that goddamn unemployment insurance they might just accept the fact that the well paying jobs they lost are gone forever, and would instead resign themselves to flipping burgers. Sell all that extraneous crap you accumulated, dump your house at a fire sale price and move into an apartment. The living standards enjoyed in the decades after World War II were a complete fantasy, they are gone forever, and the only course left is to voluntarily exit the middle class and join the ranks of the working poor. That’s the new America, baby, and the sooner you suck it up, bite the bullet and get with the program the sooner you’ll stop feeling so agitated.
For a dissenting view, Andy Kroll quotes the plaintive appeal of someone in the vise of economic contraction: “Why should you have to give up your home?”
Janet Tavakoli tells it like it is. Take me, Janet!
ECONNED EXCERPT from pp. 24-5:
Dani Rodrik, a development economist and economics professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, who is pro-trade, has nevertheless repeatedly taken on fellow trade economists for overstating their case…The great unwashed masses cannot participate in these discussions. Were an autodidact to uncover the same type of flaws that Rodrik discussed, his opinion would be rejected due to his lack of credentials. A big chunk of policy development and vetting is in the hands of a mandarin class that often is uninterested in and unresponsive to the concerns of the public at large.“Mandarin class” is wonderfully descriptive.