Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 13, 2009

WEDNESDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* A disappointing White House reversal: "President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could 'further inflame anti-American opinion.'" He added that the pictures "are not particularly sensational."

* You can tell when the president makes a bad decision by the number of high-profile Republicans who offer Obama praise.

* In more encouraging White House news, the administration is poised to announce new regulations of derivatives.

* What did we learn at today's Senate hearing on Bush-era torture?

* There were hopes that some of the economic numbers from April would offer some signs of hope. They didn't -- foreclosure and retail numbers were both awful.

* The president believe the "stars are aligned" to get health care reform passed this year. I hope he's right.

* On a related note, Organizing for America is getting to work rallying support on the issue.

* Something to keep in mind while Senate Republicans block Dawn Johnsen: "Her predecessor, Jay Bybee -- who went on to authorize illegal torture -- won easy confirmation in 2001 through a simple voice vote. Bybee's successor, Jack Goldsmith, was also approved by a voice vote. Steven Bradbury served for three years as an acting OLC head, and so did not have to come up for a vote. Having a full -- and filibuster-proof -- Senate vote on Johnsen would be an unusual break with recent precedent."

* I'm not sure if the new cooperative plan with the Pakistani government over the use of Predator drones is going to work out.

* Congrats to Marcy Wheeler for winning a Hillman Foundation journalism award. It's well deserved.

* Marriage equality takes a step forward in New York.

* The language Christopher Hitchens used to attack Wanda Sykes is not OK.

* Eric Boehlert asks a question I've pondered many times myself: "Does anybody actually edit the WashTimes?"

* And once in a while, it feels good to be appreciated. This very generous post brought a smile to my face.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

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Comments

About the tyranny of the minority; Harry Reid does not seem to lead so much as cave to the minority. Is he the only guy who wants the job of Majority Leader in the Senate?

Posted by: bcinaz on May 13, 2009 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

A disappointing White House reversal:

This might be worth doing a post. I'm not sure why this is disappointing. Those who care know that thousands of detainees have been abused. There will be a time for releasing photos, but not while the wars are ongoing and troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to improve things.

Posted by: Danp on May 13, 2009 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

The president believe the "stars are aligned" to get health care reform passed this year. I hope he's right.

Some reform might get passed, but if it's reform dictated by the insurance companies, we might be better off leaving things alone.

Posted by: qwerty on May 13, 2009 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

"And once in a while, it feels good to be appreciated. This very generous post brought a smile to my face." - CB

Awwwww, that's so cute!!! :)

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 13, 2009 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

When I watch the Republicans stumble around making fools of themselves these days, sometimes I think back to the nadir of the progressive movement, back in the 80s when writers like Hitchens and Cockburn were treated as serious, influential, intellectual voices on the left. I can't count the arguments I had trying to convince other liberals that these guys were simply not serious policy thinkers, and following their style and their ideas was not the way back.

Hitchens is still an offensive joke, of course, although that's a bit easier for everyone to see these days. There's a cautionary tale in there that shouldn't be forgotten.

Posted by: WoofWoof on May 13, 2009 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

I think Johnsen will prevail, once the netroots gets going on this. The longer the wait, the more her appointment makes sense. They haven't even explored Siegelman, Minor, et al., yet. However, it is useful to point out the changes in the rules.

The Senate hearing highlighted just how much Lindsey Graham needs to resign his reserve commission [he's a JAG], because he is no longer defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic as his commissioning oath states. And, as a JAG, he ought to be well aware of the prior US prosecutions for waterboarding (even in TX, BTW). All he could do was used an ABC report that was retracted by ABC after a thorough debunking. When called on that he changed the subject. Anybody to run against him in SC?

Single payer, public option.

Another Bybee memo on presidential powers is posted over at Kos, worth reading. Something to remember about for impeachment hearings. If Bybee hasn't resigned yet [which he has not], he will have to be forced out. Those hearings will be verrrrry informative, I think. Bybee is a disgrace to anyone who taught or trained him.

Ventura's takedown of Cheney was on the mark, with bonus Coleman smacking. However, Cheney is also putting a lot of things into the public record that a certain judge in Spain has already noticed, and since there is no justification permitted for torture at all, Darth had better not leave the country. So, while he thinks he's getting his side out first to a potential jury pool, IMHO if he ends up at the Hague, it won't help and it may not help here either. There's still a lot more to come out starting with Vaughn Walker's courtroom.

And, we'll see what the Al-Libi "suicide" as well as the UK inquiry yields. Obama may make threats about cooperation, but the Opposition will make the Government follow through or face being turned out of office. I can't see how UK voters will appreciate the finer nuances of the US torturing a British subject.

I'm glad to see the Pakistan government getting a little more serious about the Taliban. Their grip on power depends on the military and is tenuous at best. We'll have to work this differently, but is McChrystal the only choice? Really? Because he has lots of baggage from Pat Tillman's passing in friendly fire, and Tillman's family is already venting to the press about it. They have to have someone (perhaps in SACEUR) with the same views and no baggage.


Posted by: rugger0 on May 13, 2009 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's so great to watch your star rising, SB. The mere output alone is astonishing but the quality keeps me here.

And, I've learned a lot! Thanks for all you do.

Posted by: MissMudd on May 13, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

What is it going to take to get a public review of the Bush-Cheney reign of torture and to indict, try, and convict war criminals? Do we need to take to the streets, get a massive letters campaign going, urge action from outside ur borders? if someone designs a campaign, I believe enormous numbers of people will step up to participate.

Obama appears to be calculating how much harm the pursuit of justice on war crimes would do to the initiatives he wants to get passed. But the greater harm has already been done and cannot be overlooked. Obama has lost my 2012 vote and the votes of people in my immediate circle already, and he will see me and many other campaigning for people who support justice in the 2010. This is too big to be allowed to slip away.

Posted by: ghillie on May 13, 2009 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

After his FISA vote, is the reversal about the release of torture photos and rescinding Don't Ask Don't Tell, a surprise? He is a politician, a good one, but still a politician.

Posted by: jen f on May 13, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I second Missmud, Steve you do great work and we are greatly appreciative. Thanks.

Posted by: Scott F. on May 13, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

How are the photos going to inflame opinion in the Muslim world? People (especially in Iraq and Afghanistan) already know very well what's been going on in those prisons.

Posted by: Speed on May 13, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

About his request to delay the photos, President Obama just said:
..."Moreover, I fear the publication of these photos may only have a chilling effect on future investigations of detainee abuse."

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/president-oba-5.html

He's concerned that publications of photos with EVIDENCE of abuse will have an effect on FUTURE INVESTIGATIONS of this abuse. Hmmm...

Posted by: DC on May 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

We still live in an empire, folks. We may have Marcus Aurelius instead of Caligula, but it's an empire nonetheless.

Posted by: Red on May 13, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Obama continues to be a disappointment unless you work on Wall Street.

Posted by: tko on May 13, 2009 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

"President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could 'further inflame anti-American opinion.'" He added that the pictures "are not particularly sensational."

Obama also said that there is nothing new in the photos.

The whole argument is BS.

If there is nothing new, then there is nothing new to inflame. And if there is something new, anti-American opinion will be even more inflamed the longer the new info is suppressed.

In any case, the anti-American response is the proper response to war crimes committed by America. We need to suck it up and take it like an adult.

Obama's logic is the logic of the adulterous spouse who doesn't want to reveal his affair because it might ruin his marriage....

Posted by: Disputo on May 13, 2009 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

You know the best way to avoid inflaming our enemies and endangering our own soldiers? DON'T FUCKING TORTURE PEOPLE.

Posted by: shortstop on May 13, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible Obama is inviting a court challenge on the photos that he knows he will lose?

Posted by: gab on May 13, 2009 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

From Bill Moyers Journal with Bruce Fein and Mark Danner, "BRUCE FEIN: It's a matter of proximity to the evil. If you're doing it directly, it's different than if you're encouraging somebody else to do it. And one of the things that your question brings out is, as you know, we had the Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson testify, just last year, there have been 108 detainees, who died in U.S. custody. And 25, he says, have been found by our own internal investigation to be victims of murder. And we just sort of shrug our shoulders. It shows all-

BILL MOYERS: Why?

BRUCE FEIN: Well, why do we do it? It's Alexander Hamilton in "Federalist 8," and I encourage all your readers the read "Federalist 8." It said, at a time of crisis in war, even democracies will yield civil liberties and freedom, because they'll be fearful. And that the leaders have to try to prevent that. And that's what's going on here.

Remember the same phenomenon in World War II. 120,000 Japanese Americans. Got to put them in concentration camps. Even though five months after Pearl Harbor, no evidence of espionage, no evidence of sabotage. They were volunteering out of the concentration camps to go fly, and got the medal for their bravery. And yet, we did it. And it took twenty-some, thirty years later before we said, "This got it wrong." This is happening again. The leaders are there to try to prevent us from succumbing to our basest instincts from fear.

MARK DANNER: There's no question that there have been many times in American history when the United States is attacked, when it responds by breaking its own laws. You could cite the Palmer Raids, Korematsu, as you just did, the McCarthy period. You can cite a number of examples. But you asked why this is different. And I'll tell you what it seems to me is dramatically different. This was made legal, within the American Government. I say "made legal" with quotes. This was officially done. This was ordered by the President. The Department of Justice made memos saying you can do this. The principals, Attorney General, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, sat in meetings and talked about interrogations that were plainly illegal, according to our laws, and according to treaties we have signed.

All of it is now laid out before the public, and finally, if you look at Fox News, if you look at discussion of this usually on the conservative side, not always, but usually on the conservative side you find a strong attempt, basically, to say, "Not only should this stuff have been done, but we should not handcuff ourselves. We should keep doing it." So, we're talking about not simply what happened before. We're talking about the politics of now. And that's why it's important.

BILL MOYERS: Are we in danger of letting this preoccupation with what is over and happened five years ago, distract us from coping with the world?

BRUCE FEIN: No. Indeed, our greatest character as a nation comes from putting rule of law and how we behave towards others as more important than what the GNP is. Once we decide it's more important to prevent a layoff in some place, as opposed to following the rule of law, then we've lost our soul as the United States of America. Then we're the Roman Empire. And that's not what the founding fathers fought for.

Moreover, the Nixon period shows that you can chew gum and walk at the same time. There, you may recall, in the middle of impeachment, we had the Yom Kippur War. We had crisis with the Soviet Union. Putting on high alert, all those sorts of things. The impeachment process went on. You can pass laws, as well. There's no reason why that the focus on prosecution or pardons and confronting this directly disables us from addressing these other issues. And if it does, that's the price you pay for liberty in a republic.

MARK DANNER: And one should add, by the way, that this is vitally important not only because of what happened before, but because of what's going to happen after another attack. And we have to assume there will be another attack. And if the argument that torture is absolutely crucial to protect the country is accepted by the population, then in the wake of another attack, the politics, I think, are very likely to be extremely poisonous.

Blaming the current administration, because it didn't torture, and thus left the country vulnerable. So, we're talking about not simply the Bush Administration. We're talking about who we are, what we do in the world, how we fight this war, and what will happen in the wake of another attack that's very likely to come."
Why doesn't Obama just pardon Bush like Ford did to Nixon and then we'll just have to worry about the crimes of the next Republican president since Obama's not going to keep his promises of transparency. Hiding the pictures and hiding the torture just makes Obama's administration look more like Bush's.

Posted by: tko on May 13, 2009 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Orlando" is sure getting the business over at her blog about her crush on you, Steve.

Of course, she's right.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on May 13, 2009 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

What is it going to take to get a public review of the Bush-Cheney reign of torture and to indict, try, and convict war criminals?

Some leading Democrat who knew all about it (perhaps Pelosi, or Eric Holder, or Patric, Leahy) will have to fall on her (or his) sword, so to speak, and confess to knowing all about it, and resign her (or his) position. Once it is clear that the prosecutions are more than partisan getting-even, the prosecutions will proceed.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on May 13, 2009 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop, @ 18:37,

We have, supposedly, stopped (I still have a hard time believing *anything* the government says. It's that commie "training" I got as a child/teen/young adult. Reinforced by the last 8yrs).

As for the release of the pictures... I was and am against that, myself. Release them to the criminal court which is trying the whole Bush/Cheney cabal, the better to inform their judgment? By all means, yes. But, release them to the public? Not so much. The ones dreaming at home at attending such torture sessions might have a visual aid to help them attend to the "matter in hand" but, otherwise, what's the profit?

To those of you who say "they already know what happened"... True. But they also knew what was happening in Abu Ghraib, yet it was the photos that intensified the explosion of anger. A picture is worth a thousand words... So, I'm with Dan, @17:38; once we're out of that arena and some perverts want to have those photos on discs or on pay-to-play TV, fine. Now, maybe not.

Posted by: exlibra on May 13, 2009 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

A disappointing White House reversal: "President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could 'further inflame anti-American opinion.'" He added that the pictures "are not particularly sensational."

Ya THINK!!??!! (SPOILER ALERT--I'm going to curse now...)

LISTEN--this is a fucking outrage! A fucking OUTRAGE!!! Every time I turn around President Obama is betraying the values of the people who worked their hearts out for him and who stood up to the hate machine and the monster machine when no one else had the fucking GUTS to march for peace. I'm an adult. I KNEW I was going to be occasionally disappointed. I KNEW there were going to be days when I wouldn't be happy. I get that.

I did not vote for Obama so that he could cater to the diseased far right of the fucking US Senate. I did not vote for Obama so that he could stab me and my progressive values in the back once every goddamned week! Once a week the President betrays his base! Once a week he's walking away from the principles that a CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR should know intrinsically to be the guiding force behind his Presidency! What FUCKING CRIMINAL REPUBLICAN is he going to spare from jail next week?!?

Do you know what? We SHOULD HAVE PICKED HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. And do you know why?

Because HRC has a brass pair. She would do something on purpose to make the Reich Wing in this country go batshit crazy fucking bonkers once a week just for shits and grins, kiddos. She would have had Rush Limbaugh strapped to a gurney and handed over to someone with a less than "CHRISTIAN" intention for his putrid corpse by now.

I'm FINISHED with you President Obama. FINISHED WITH YOU. My values mean more than your reelection, SIR.

Posted by: HBK on May 13, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Benen is a skilled writer with an advanced sense of irony, a sarcastic streak, and a healthy dislike for Republicans

I check in regularly to find out what's wrong with Republicans, and I am never disappointed -- that is, never disappointed by Steve Benen.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on May 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

On Christopher Hitchen's nasty comment to Wanda Sykes: Actually I think that he was trying to make a joke by saying something very crass, in a drunken and snide effort to reflect what the media and political folks don't think is OK to say at such a function. Sorry to offend, but I laughed.

Posted by: BKP on May 13, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hitchens, while I try to admire the intellect, seems bitter and ruined.
I look for insight from him but find inconsistencies.

The blogger's shout out to Steve was rather priceless.
I enjoy this site for the substantial nature of posts, their literary quality (English major myself), and their frequency.

It is such an waste of time and trouble that the RNC wants to rebrand
democrats as the 'democrat socialist party.'

Medicare D's bonanza payouts to Big Pharma courtesy of GWBush is a big reason for the problems now observed. Blocking democrats from the meeting with drug companies and republicans in charge, Bush ensured the government would not negotiate lower drug prices.

Governor Palin is so silly. Writing a book? Get real. She doesn't even read.

Posted by: wisely on May 13, 2009 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Count me as one more strong fan. Perceptive, fun, alive -- that's you.

Posted by: don ricardo on May 13, 2009 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hitch's comment about Wanda Sykes is offensive (& I keep up with her as being a close-to-home town girl) but her joke about Loombowel wasn't a good choice for a WH/press type event. It should be on talk radio/comedy central/blogs/Colbert etc., and we don't have to pretend it's fine because we don't like Loombowel or because rightie commentators are worse and more officially placed (Coulter of the distinguished (heh) Human Events saying she wished the highjackers had crashed into NYT, Edwards a fag, etc.), the stuff about soldiers shooting Pelosi etc. Better to rag on that than always defensive about "your own."

Posted by: Neil B. on May 13, 2009 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to counter the pro-opaque-ists on here who support Obama breaking his campaign promise, but I can't say it any better than Anthony D. Romero. Exec Dir of the ACLU:

The Obama administration's adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president's stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department's failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration.

It is true that these photos would be disturbing; the day we are no longer disturbed by such repugnant acts would be a sad one. In America, every fact and document gets known – whether now or years from now. And when these photos do see the light of day, the outrage will focus not only on the commission of torture by the Bush administration but on the Obama administration’s complicity in covering them up. Any outrage related to these photos should be due not to their release but to the very crimes depicted in them. Only by looking squarely in the mirror, acknowledging the crimes of the past and achieving accountability can we move forward and ensure that these atrocities are not repeated.


Posted by: Disputo on May 13, 2009 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible Obama is inviting a court challenge on the photos that he knows he will lose?

The courts have already ordered that the photos be released in response to a suit by the ACLU. What Obama is signaling is his intention of fighting the court order.

Posted by: Disputo on May 13, 2009 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

That Hitchen's is a racist homophobe should surprise no one at all.

Posted by: Jay on May 13, 2009 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

POTUS needs a new military advisor...Afghanistan is going to be Obama's Big Muddy with McChrystal as his chicken shit General...

Posted by: antiquelt on May 13, 2009 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Christopher Hitchens is a bloated sack of santorum.

I hope that's not against "the rules."

Posted by: kc on May 13, 2009 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

"A disappointing White House reversal"

Perhaps. Obama plays a long game. In fact, he's playing several long games. At any rate, he talked about his approach to the issue of crimes by the previous administration before the election -- in a NY Times article, I believe -- and so far his approach seems entirely consistent with what he expressed there.

Essentially, we have more emergent issues than this one. It is an important one. But I think we should perhaps focus more attention on the doors he has left open, then on the ones he has closed. That will tell you more.

Posted by: Jon on May 13, 2009 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

And Steve, you & Hilzoy are fantastic. I come here to be assured that there is intelligent life on earth; you never fail me.

Posted by: Jon on May 13, 2009 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

I occasionally have a nagging sense that all is not well with the Republican party. It's nothing that the Democrats don't also do in spades -- but still, there are a few potential problems with the GOP. It's worth keeping an eye on to see if actual trouble does develop with party policies or priorities.

Steve Benen helps me determine that my judgment is still perfectly calibrated. Unfortunately, many others of you commenting here disappoint me. You disappoint me deeply.

And if I'm disappointed, what will the voters think in November 2010?

It's a concern.

Posted by: MatthewRQuarreler on May 14, 2009 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Do you know what? We SHOULD HAVE PICKED HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. And do you know why?

Because HRC has a brass pair. She would do something on purpose to make the Reich Wing in this country go batshit crazy fucking bonkers once a week just for shits and grins, kiddos.

And who among us would be so churlish as to point out that neither Clinton's senatorial history nor the entire record of her husband's presidency lends an iota of supporting evidence to this lush fantasy?

Posted by: shortstop on May 14, 2009 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Not sure if you've blogged on this, but how about this court case exposing Merck and Elsevier's dirty deeds (not done dirt cheap)? Via discovery in a court case, e-mail among Merck operatives exposes strategies for destroying anyone who questions the efficacy of their medications (containing phrases like "destroy these people where they live"). Elsevier operated at least 6 fraudulent medical journals (funded by big pharma without disclosure).

Here are some relevant links:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/09/bad-science-medical-journals-companies

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25311725-5013871,00.html

http://crookedtimber.org/2009/05/11/friends-dont-let-friends-publish-in-elsevier-journals/

http://blog.bioethics.net/2009/05/merck-makes-phony-peerreview-journal/

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09%2F05%2F09%2F1514235&from=rss

http://laikaspoetnik.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/mercks-ghostwriters-haunted-papers-and-fake-elsevier-journals/

Posted by: otherpaul on May 14, 2009 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton would be doing the same thing as Obama. This disease is endemic to our system. The dems in congress were kept in the loop. They knew and approved. If Obama goes after the republicans than he has to go after the democrats and politics won't let him do that. And that would have stopped Clinton as well.

The fourth plane was aimed at Washington. They all wet their pants and panicked.

Posted by: Thorin-1 on May 14, 2009 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton would be doing the same thing as Obama.

And who among us would be so churlish as to point out that neither Clinton's senatorial history nor the entire record of her husband's presidency lends an iota of supporting evidence to this lush fantasy?

You've drunk the Kool-Aid. You're as bad as the wingnuttia of Reich Wing America. They (the media, the Rethuglican Party, etc.) were TERRIFIED of her ascent to the Presidency and they all but assured us of our doom by doing whatever they could to elevate Obama to electibility status.

HRC ran to the center and had a terrible campaign team, and that's why you're FUCKING BLIND to reason.

HRC's record in the Senate is sterling. She has helped give children FUCKING HEALTH CARE. You throw that around like it is nothing but the wingnuttia cannot stand to see children being taken care of. That drives them batshit fucking crazy. HRC's record as first lady drove them batshit fucking crazy and had them popping pills throughout the 1990s. I seem to recall the dementia of the editorial pages of virtually every single newspaper in this country and their fight against her on health care, taking care of children, and trying to improve the lives of women in this country.

Men never get it. HRC would be driving them into a frothing lather right now and she would be governing NOTHING like President Obama right now. Here's a little hint, children: the person who once drove them apoplectic wouldn't be kissing their fucking rings and begging them to like her right now. Or are you so delusional as to suggest that a woman who spent years begin savaged and attacked wasn't really being savaged or attacked at all?

HRC would be kicking them in the nutsack with a smile on her face right now.

Posted by: HBK on May 14, 2009 at 6:12 AM | PERMALINK

Or are you so delusional as to suggest that a woman who spent years begin savaged and attacked wasn't really being savaged or attacked at all?
.
HRC would be kicking them in the nutsack with a smile on her face right now.
HBK

You must have missed how she was treated by Richard Mellon Scaife, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh during the primaries, and how grateful she was for it. Instead of rebranding Dems as socialists, attacking Michael Steele and Colin Powell, and screaming about handshakes or bows, they would have been on an all out unanimous assault on her, and she would have been smiling, pretending to be above it all. Any effort to get a stimulus package through would have brought charges about her campaign funds.

I doubt she would have prosecuted anyone in the Bush administration for anything, but if she did, all you would have heard on TV is, "Is this personal revenge?"

Posted by: Danp on May 14, 2009 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

Matthrw R Marler wrote: I check in regularly to find out what's wrong with Republicans

Why? all you have to do is look in a mirror.

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on May 14, 2009 at 7:38 AM | PERMALINK

But I think we should perhaps focus more attention on the doors he has left open, then on the ones he has closed. That will tell you more.

I'm with you on this, Jon. I would never sit at a poker table with President Obama.

Posted by: MissMudd on May 14, 2009 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

Not Releasing the abusive photos may be a good thing IF Obama plans to prosecute these crimes and IF he plans on releasing them at some later date (years from now). He's not hiding something that we don't already know about. He's limiting the damage that they would incite if released now.

They could be used to support the criminal cases, if needed. I think the photos should eventually be released (if that's the plan) but holding off on that while we address the issue and while we continue our involvement in the Middle East isn't a bad idea.

We should note that Obama doing this would not be the same as say BUSH doing this. In Obama's case, he and others have acknowledged the abuse already and MAY prosecute it. Bush would hide this to cover his ass or to deflect retribution for his corrupt, illegal actions.

I'm holding out for Obama to do the right thing at some point. If he fails to prosecute these crimes, it would invite the consternation that should rightfully be leveled against him.

Steve & Hilzoy, keep up the good work. There's truth in what you say and it's my hope that more and more people see that truth as you gain more visibility. I'm grateful for your talent and intelligence.

Posted by: QuestionEverything on May 14, 2009 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Danp: "A disappointing White House reversal:"

This might be worth doing a post. I'm not sure why this is disappointing.

I'm with you Danp. I think this is just another example of Obama being the smartest president we've had in decades.

Posted by: chrenson on May 14, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Or are you so delusional as to suggest that a woman who spent years begin savaged and attacked wasn't really being savaged or attacked at all?

No. I'm reminding you flatly -- not suggesting -- that HRC fell all over herself during the campaign sucking up to the very people who'd attacked her for years. Danp forgot a few folks, Rupert Murdoch the most interesting among them. The sight of her publicly sharing a political post-coital cig with the guy who'd wanted her in prison was a bit much for many of us. You may think the way a candidate runs a campaign is totally divorced from how she or he manages in general, but you're pretty much in the minority on that.

As for Clinton's cautious and centrist Senate record, I've always admired her for her courageous stance on children's health care. I wish you had a few more solid examples of her fictional crusade against the right. But bellow louder, and maybe you can make those who're just skimming think you do.

Posted by: shortstop on May 14, 2009 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

McGruber: You know, pre-9/11, we weren't waterboarding anyone...

No, Warren, I'm not engaging with you. You need help, my friend.

Posted by: shortstop on May 14, 2009 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, get your good pals to moderate this blog a little better so that you can continue to play out your little put-down fest with your regular zeal and aplomb.

McGruber ain't me, and if you want to keep throwing Christian names around, quit talking out of your ass before you embarrass yourself anymore, okay? You're not worth the effort, and you know why you're not worth the effort.

Posted by: Warren Street on May 14, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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