Tuesday, May 26, 2009

symbolism, not facts

This is an old Paul Krugman opinion piece from 2002, but it is so completely true. The big boys (Chevron, Shell, etc.) do not invest money to lobby Congress to drill in ANWR. They don't give a shit either way about ANWR. Because if it really mattered to them, they'd already be drilling there. But it's expensive to drill in Arctic conditions, (especially compared with cheap drilling in mild climates with cheap labor-- Nigeria, Burma, etc.) and the tiny amount of oil in Alaska could NEVER EVER liberate addicted Americans from dependency on Saudis. But you'd never know this from listening to Limbaugh, Palin, etc. The catchphrase from the GOP Convention in Minneapolis was "Drill, baby, drill!" It's all about symbolism, and throwing some red meat to the patriotic peasants. It's all about finding someone --anyone-- to blame for $3.50 gasoline. I can only assume that the executives and geologists at Chevron chuckle with amusement at the entertaining lies of Limbaugh... but they know it has nothing to do with reality. - Andy K.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Obama's detentions with no trial

Here's columnist Charles Krauthammer expressing how pleased he is at Obama's decision to detain alleged terrorists indefinitely. As Andy K. points out, "The other 'conservatives' (Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly) are too stupid to understand the profound similarities between the Bush war on terror and the Obama war on terror."

During the '08 campaign, Obama fans were constantly pointing out his moving oratory prowess. Krauthammer writes, "As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush's moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy."


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bill Clinton and Haiti

One of the first campaign promises Bill Clinton broke was his pledge to reverse George H.W. Bush's inhumane treatment of the Haitian refugees fleeing to the U.S. To make matters worse, the refugees were escaping a misery the U.S. helped to create.

In 1994 I attended a workshop on Haiti where I was dismayed to hear about a document showing that the U.S. had trained Haitian military personnel after the coup ousting the elected government of President Aristide. As Noam Chomsky reported at the time, "That Haitian army officers received training in the U.S. after the coup was confirmed in an internal Pentagon document, including eight officers who started courses in early 1992."

After thousands of Haitians died at the hands of the CIA-backed paramilitary FRAPH, President Clinton sent U.S. combat troops to "restore democracy." The reinstated Aristide was forced to sacrifice the social agenda that built the grass-roots movement responsible for electing him and adopt the World Bank model.

Now in 2009 Clinton is poised to become the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special UN envoy to Haiti.

Here's analysis by reporter Jeremy Scahill:


Rumsfeld and Katrina


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Illinois Senate calls for withdrawal from Afghanistan

from Democracy Now!:

Illinois Senate Opposes Escalation of Afghan Occupation

President Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan is facing opposition in his home state of Illinois. The Illinois State Senate has passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan instead of Obama’s plans to increase the occupation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

sleep torture was even worse than the waterboard

Not that I take waterboarding lightly (I don't) but if I had to
choose, I'd rather be waterboarded than subjected to Rumsfeld's sleep
torture program. The sleep torture consisted of 11 days chained in
shackles in a stress position, wearing a diaper, and deprived of
sleep. Rumsfeld subjected 25 prisoners to this torture, compared to 3
prisoners who were waterboarded. - Andy K.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

NY Times and the torture double-standard

Andrew Sullivan:

"So you have a perfect demonstration of the NYT's double-standard. If Chinese do it to Americans, it's torture; if Americans do it to an American, it's 'harsh interrogation.'"

more from Sullivan:



Friday, May 8, 2009

Pelosi lied

"In that or any other briefing...we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on April 23, 2009.

Not true. See:


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Doctors, lawyers and activists take on Senate Finance Committee

Let's hear it for the doctors, lawyers and activists who stood up to Senator Max Baucus and participated in the health care reform debate. This discussion is normally reserved for corporate lobbyists representing the health insurance industry along with Big Pharma and the well-paid Senators awash in their money.