Democrats Are a Bunch of Stuffed Suits… Matt Taibbi

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts?

But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical Blob cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.

So they’ll punt on this issue in the name of “maturity” or “bipartisanship,” Wall Street will get a nice win, and Hillary Clinton or whoever else is being set up as the Blob candidate on the Democratic side will receive an avalanche of Financial Services donations to stave off Warren (who will begin appearing in the press as an unhinged combination of Lev Trotsky and Spartacus). A neat little piece of business all around. I don’t know whether to applaud or throw up.” Matt Taibbi

Sammy In His Window Seat

Susan Dropping Off Sammy For A Long Holiday Visit

“The Contagious Exercise of State Violence“:

by Charles Pierce in Esquire

“… Somewhere in itself, and not very far from the surface, either, this country has gone mad with fear and rage. As a result, it is finding sustenance in the acts of official violence, and doing so in more different ways than the republic has seen since we had lynching, union busting, and Red Scares at the same time, back when the 19th century was turning into the 20th. Anyone who can’t see the political and sociological tissue connecting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the revelations of a decade’s worth of CIA brutality, and the execution of Robert Holsey isn’t looking hard enough. In the country’s untrammeled fear and rage, it is exercising the only function of self-government it can recall as its mad brain turns to red fire — to encourage the exercise of the state’s power to wound and kill all the right people. In this madness, race and class are mere diagnostic categories. In this madness, the politics of right and left, of Republicans and Democrats, of conservatives and liberals, of red and blue, are pathetically inadequate to assess the situation. In this madness, the choices are not made within the easy and obvious contexts. This is a choice between barbarism and not, between savagery and not. This is a choice between the national soul and the national Id. This is a choice of whether to take inchoate and weaponized vengeance against the living representations of the monsters in our paranoid dreams. That’s the last vestige of self-government that we have allowed ourselves. The right to demand that the institutions of government kill what we fear. By any means necessary, as someone once said…”

ebmisfit gets it right… Torture Nation – Throwing the CIA Under the Bus Edition (and Abu Ghraib)

“Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.” — Attorney General John Ashcroft, in one of many meetings about using torture.

The Bush Administration knew about it. The Cheney Cabal pushed for using more brutal methods.

As horrific as the report is turning out to be, it is also a profile in cowardice. There was no acknowledgement of the Bush Administration’s demands that people be tortured. And the Obama Administration, aka MTAHNS, refused to turn over nearly ten thousand documents to the investigators. Obama opposed the CIA turning anything whatsoever over to the Senate inquiry, which makes Obama, for trying to cover up the commission of war crimes, as culpable as Bush.

The CIA and the Department of Defense committed war crimes. They committed the sort of crimes that, nearly seventy years ago, we executed enemy prisoners for doing similar things.

But they were not rogue agencies. The CIA and the military did what their bosses demanded of them. Which is not an excuse, but an explanation.

The release of the Senate report is a laudable step. But it is also a stark example of the shitty tendency of bureaucracy to blame the underlings for following the orders of the bosses.

Which leads me to this: We should either open a prosecution of the senior members of the Bush Administration for what they did, or pardon everyone who was convicted for torturing prisoners at Abu Graib. Either we follow through on being a nation of laws or embrace that we are a nation of war criminals. There really isn’t any middle ground.

As for the Wingnut Weasels who are, to this day, defending the use of torture and decrying the release of the report about things the entire world knows that we did anyway, those folks are showing themselves to be beneath contempt. Their waving the bloody flag of patriotism as a justification for torturing people is simply despicable.

All honor to John McCain, for breaking ranks with the Pro-Torture/Republican Party on this issue.”


Aurora at Old Crow, Yukon Territory

does it get any better? Aurora, Old Crow in the Yukon Territory by Robert Postma in SpaceWeather…

Drought Map for December 2 2014