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Spencer Ackerman is at Guatánamo reporting on Obama’s first Military Commissions trial. What happens with Omar Khadr in the course of this proceeding could have enormous implications for detainee policy. Think about it: If the initial case, chosen because it has the best chance of “succeeding,” craps out, what does it say about the cases for the rest of the people still indefinitely warehoused in that God forsaken hellhole?
The stout guardians of liberty at the Cato institute have managed to achieve nearly total silence about Arizona’s plainly unconstitutional new law since it was signed into law. The only post about it appears to be this short (165 word) take from Daniel Griswold gently pointing out “that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than their native-born counterparts,” while prior to that there was only a brief item that includes the following ringing defense of freedom: “I’m interested in how well practiced Arizonans and Arizona government officials will become at checking the papers of people in their state. I have little to worry about, of course, because I’m not an illegal immigrant.” Just like the Peterson foundations concern trolling on deficits now (as opposed to its silence during the Bush years), Cato has a very selective embrace of civil liberties. Look at what they cover, and how they cover it. Their embrace of civil liberties is very, shall we say, selective.
Two headlines from Daniel Tencer: ACLU to Obama: ‘Entire world is not a war zone’ and Reagan admin ‘hyped Soviet failures into threats,’ documents show. Keeping the citizenry in a state of paralyzing fear in order to justify an aggrandized military and bellicose foreign policy is an American tradition, dammit. We shouldn’t be expected to give that up any more than we should give up fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Two from digby. First, a brilliant analysis on the foolishness of adopting stupid, nihilistic conservative policy prescriptions as some kind of “centrist” compromise position (hey guys: bad policy is bad politics!), then this:
Now, it occurred to me as I watched this unfold over the week-end that the White House might be genuinely worried about what will happen to their good bud if he were to be forced to “come out” on immigration just as he is being outed by a bunch of racist, homophobic teabaggers. (And don’t think for a moment that this isn’t a real problem for Graham because it certainly is and they know it.) I’m sure they are worried about all the future bipartisan bills that he and Rahm have dreamily strategized over a shared chocolate malt in the White House kitchen. But if they are more worried about Huckleberry Graham than they are about Harry Reid —- or more importantly about their Hispanic constituents all over this country who are about to be hunted down like dogs —- then they have a lot to answer for.
Andrew Sullivan: “When it sinks in that this is how the British Tories now partly think of the US, you realize how much damage to the US Dick Cheney and George Bush really did.”
It’s nice to see phone tapping of citizens is scandalous somewhere. Maybe someday we’ll have as advanced a democracy as India.
David Obey may be in trouble. Local political dynamics aside, it probably hasn’t helped that he’s a blowhard. In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to review the…
David Obey Bluster Watch. On cuts to the Pentagon’s budget:
We will not exceed [Barack Obama’s] requested level for appropriations; but we will also not exempt any department or activity from review, including foreign aid and the Pentagon, because none of them are without waste.On Afghanistan:
“There ain’t going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan,” House Appropriations Chairman David Obey told ABC News in an exclusive interview. “If they ask for an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, I am going to ask them to pay for it.”
Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, made it clear that he is absolutely opposed to sending any more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and says if Obama decides to do that, he’ll demand a new tax — what he calls a “war surtax” — to pay for it.
“On the merits, I think it is a mistake to deepen our involvement,” Obey said. “But if we are going to do that, then at least we ought to pay for it. Because if we don’t, if we don’t pay for it, the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every initiative we have to rebuild our own economy.”
On the stimulus package:
The inaccuracies on recovery.gov that have come to light are outrageous and the Administration owes itself, the Congress, and every American a commitment to work night and day to correct the ludicrous mistakes.
On state secrets:
During the previous administration, all of us were critical of the president’s assertion that he could pick and choose which aspects of Congressional statutes he was required to enforce. We were therefore chagrined to see you appear to express a similar attitude.
As chairman of the appropriations committee, I have no intention of reporting out of committee any time in this session of Congress any such (war funding) request that simply serves to continue the status quo.Would you vote for him?
“We’ve gone through a very tough year, and I’ve been driving Congress pretty hard,” said the president in explaining why immigration reform might not happen. The next day Harry Reid unveiled his framework for it. If he was sending a message that Congress is a co-equal branch of government and not a herd of cattle for president cowboy to drive, good for him.
The stupidity of the tea partiers has nothing to do with innate intelligence or with acquired intelligence. It has nothing to do with smartness or brainpower or where anyone falls on the bell curve of Stanford-Binet test scores. It is, rather, a moral stupidity, a moral imbecilism that produces simple imbecilism — the inevitable intellectual consequence of a selfish refusal to listen to what empathy is shouting from all sides.I also loved this by Maureen O’Connor, but you need to read the post to get the context: “Stephanie graduated from Princeton in 2007 with a degree in - wait for it - sociology.”