Monday, February 01, 2010

Thank God It's Friday

There an old Oscar Brown Jr. tune, 'Hymn To Friday' (from his 'Between Heaven and Hell' album), a calypso-beat number;

"It's the eagle fly day ... It's my day to get high day ... If you see what I say ... Thank God it's Friday ..."

It may (or may not) have become a bit clearer, why President Obama so eagerly wiped the floor with the PartyofNoicans last Friday, and, perhaps, left Baltimore singing "Hymn to Friday".

It was their GOP House Issues Conference, they extended the invitation to the President, but did not, initially, agree to have it televised.

This, from Steve M, on No More Mister Nice Blog, quoting an NYT article;
Although he and other presidents have addressed opposition caucuses before, they usually close the doors for questions, but this time the White House insisted on letting the news media record the give and take.

Hmmm .. Why would they insist? .. Let's see if we can come up with a reason ...

Ahh! ... It would dominate the news cycle for the rest of the day, perhaps two, or three?


It did, including MSNBC, who preempted Olbermann and Maddow on Friday night, to have them, with Tweety, rerun the event, adding their commentary.

And, what was thrown out on the Friday Night Trash Dump?

Obama's DOJ Clears Torture Memo Authors John Yoo, Jay Bybee of Professional Misconduct

The Truthout post culls from a report in Newsweek, "Holder Under Fire";
try the alleged 9/11 conspirators in New York City and his handling of the Christmas bombing plot suspect. Now the left is going to be upset: an upcoming Justice Department report from its ethics-watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), clears the Bush administration lawyers who authored the “torture” memos of professional-misconduct allegations.

While the probe is sharply critical of the legal reasoning used to justify waterboarding and other “enhanced” interrogation techniques, NEWSWEEK has learned that a senior Justice official who did the final review of the report softened an earlier OPR finding. Previously, the report concluded that two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics, say two Justice sources who asked for anonymity discussing an internal matter. But the reviewer, career veteran David Margolis, downgraded that assessment to say they showed “poor judgment,” say the sources. (Under department rules, poor judgment does not constitute professional misconduct.) The shift is significant: the original finding would have triggered a referral to state bar associations for potential disciplinary action—which, in Bybee’s case, could have led to an impeachment inquiry.

Jack Balkin cuts through the crap;
That is, the torture memos were written not to define "torture" with respect to new situations where the statute was unclear; rather they were written to allow the CIA to get around the legal ban on torture, even to the point of arguing that the torture statute would be unconstitutional if applied to persons acting under the direction of the President as commander-in-chief. The torture memos were not a hypothetical lawyer's exercise to guide future conduct. They were written in order to ensure that members of the CIA would never be prosecuted for torture.

Obama can end the recession, personally find every unemployed person a job, perform, himself, medical operations that save lives, but letting the Bush Grindhouse, and their cronies, get off scott free, from their illegal actions and war crimes, he will be wearing that failure, that "not looking in the rearview mirror" like a scarlet letter.

And it doesn't help his obtuseness, when other countries take action, that he doesn't;

International Arrest Warrants Requested

Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, U.S.A. has filed a Complaint with the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales (the “Accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” perpetrated upon about 100 human beings. This term is really their euphemism for the enforced disappearance of persons and their consequent torture. This criminal policy and practice by the Accused constitute Crimes against Humanity in violation of the Rome Statute establishing the I.C.C.

This might mean that these dwarfs, finks, phonies and fraud can't summer in Europe, or attend the Cannes Film Festival, but they are free to roam this country, weigh in on current events, continue their lying, smear the President and, otherwise, enjoy their lives, unfettered with any annoyances, any accountability, for their heinous crimes.

Now, during the State of the Union Address, again in his emasculation of the PartyofNoicans, Obama, as the suddenly naked GOP and Right Wing Freak Show, pointed out, Obama did quite a bit of "Bush Bashing".

He inherited the financial shit train from The Bush Grindhouse.

The Commander Guy, and his cronies, took us from surplus, to trillions-of-dollar in debt.

Obama hasn't been shy of falling back on that, and it surely, pisses off the PartyofNoicans, because it is true, it is fact.

Also, true, and also anchored in a boatload of facts, is the illegal activities, and war crimes, of the previous administration.

Mr. President, you are becoming hypocritical, to single-out the financial mess, but, when it comes to holding your predecessor, his Shadow President, Rumsfield, the two former Crony Generals, Condi Rice, Addington, Libby, Yoo, et all. accountable for the laws they violated, you, suddenly, can only look forward, you can't turn your neck, to look in the rearview mirror.

Glenn Greenwald tackled this, earlier this month, in his "The crime of not "Looking Backward";
Every Obama-justifying excuse for Looking Forward, Not Backwards has been exposed as a sham (recall, for instance, the claim that we couldn't prosecute Bush war crimes because it would ruin bipartisanship and Republicans wouldn't support health care reform). But even if those excuses had been factually accurate, it wouldn't have mattered. There are no legitimate excuses for averting one's eyes from crimes of this magnitude and permitting them to go unexamined and unpunished. The real reason why "Looking Forward, Not Backwards" is so attractive to our political and media elites is precisely because they don't want to face what they enabled and supported. They want to continue to believe that it just involved the quick and necessary waterboarding of three detainees and a few slaps to a handful of the Worst of the Worst. Only a refusal to "Look Backwards" will enable the lies they have been telling (to the world and to themselves) to be sustained. But as Horton's story illustrates, there are real victims and genuine American criminals -- many of them -- and anyone who wants to keep that concealed and protected is, by definition, complicit in those crimes, not only the ones that were committed in the past, but similar ones that almost certainly, as a result of Not Looking Backwards, will be committed in the future.

Yeah, we have a recession, astronomical unemployment, you're on the verge of blowing Healthcare Reform, so many things, all so much piled on the plate.

Ahhh, you probably think that we're going to tell you to get off your ass, and start rounding up these creeps, hauling their "no-bid-contract" asses into court and getting it on with them, right?


Since your so busy, since you have so much on your plate, we have an easier solution.

Let The Hague indict them, and all you have to do is not stand in the way of extraditing over there for trial, say the United States will cooperate, and stand behind whatever decision comes from The Hague.

All in the name of justice, and the rule of law.

Heck, you'll even authorize a gang of U.S. Marshals go out and get them, and, in a rather ironic twist, you can use one of those CIA "Extraordinary Rendition" airplanes, to get them over there.

If you want to put a little lead in the "Hope You Can Believe In' pencil, you'll be able to write your own ticket, as the person that didn't let them get away with it.

Whaddya say, there, Mr. President?

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