Friday, March 4, 2011

A Bad Boy Of Our Own In Iraq, Rachel Maddow On Newt Gingrich Scam, Bradley Manning Nude In Jail

Eugene Robinson
Eleanor Clift, Daniel Stone

"A federal watchdog agency says that overlapping and duplicate programs waste billions of dollars each year. Congress is taking this study so seriously that they're ordering a second study to look into it." – Jay Leno
"Sarah Palin was so accomplished as Governor she graduated early." –Jon Stewart
David Letterman's "Top Ten Surprises in Moammar Gadhafi's First United States Interview"

10. Neither he nor Christiane Amanpour could pronounce each other's names
9. Asked for Lady Gaga's cell number
8. Condemned the Academy for not giving Best Actor Oscar to Jesse Eisenberg
7. Wanted to plug his latest project: 'Big Moammar's House'
6. Left early to attend Justin Bieber's 17th birthday party
5. Kept stopping to phone Mike Fancesca at WFAN
4. Explained how to do a hassle-free home perm
3. The freestyle rapping
2. Livid he wasn't chosen for next season of 'Dancing With the Stars'
1. Claimed to be a 'rock star from Mars riding a Mercury surfboard'

Sometimes I wish that I blogged about mediocre actors who have fried their brains on too much speed and alcohol, in the world of Hollywood it's too easy to find lost souls heading towards a train-wreck. At least they don't take a whole country down with them, in a real bloodbath like some horrible Greek tragedy... And now Venezuela's own Hugo Chavez has offered to mediate between the two factions, and the Arab League is actually taking him seriously!

There are a couple news subject that have caught up to what I have previously posted over the last couple of months. The first is in Eugene Robinson's article, linked above, about the Republicans dangerous switch from "jobs,jobs, jobs" during the last election, and now it's all about "cuts, cuts, cuts" which would eliminate hundreds, if not thousands of jobs. The second, is how the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri al Maliki, is creating another dictatorship under our noses... "As protesters throughout the Arab world challenge their authoritarian leaders, Iraqis, government officials and regional experts see increasing signs that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is expanding his power, undermining the fragile democracy struggling to take hold here.

A ruling in January by Iraq’s highest court — sought by Mr. Maliki — gave him control of once-independent agencies responsible for running the country’s central bank, conducting elections and investigating corruption. A month after that ruling, two leading human rights groups reported that forces that report directly to Mr. Maliki, in violation of the country’s Constitution, were running secret jails where detainees had been tortured. And in July, Iraq’s high court ruled that members of Parliament no longer had the power to propose legislation. Instead, all new laws would have to be proposed by Mr. Maliki’s cabinet or the president and then passed to the Parliament for a vote. Political experts said they knew of no other parliamentary democracy that had such restrictions." I don't know if we are willingly turning a blind eye, or that our leaders are too distracted, or our military generals are too dumb to care, but we need to correct this or find ourselves invading Iraq again in a couple more years... Not only do we tend to back all of the dictators and bad boys in the world, but we help create them, too. Lest we forget, Saddam was an asset of the CIA when he was a young and hungry general...

I happened to watch the Rachel Maddow show last night, she is consistently one of the most intelligent and fun pundits on politics, and she had this wonderful piece on how Newt Gingrich has been scamming people for money for the last ten years, by almost, but never actually running as a candidate for President. It really is quite clever of Newt, and, hopefully, the link to Youtube will work below:

Never fear, the good old boys in the South are looking out for you. If you have even a teeny tiny bit of Islamophobia, you might consider moving to Tennessee, Missouri, or Alabama, all states that have introduced bills to ban the practice of sharia law in their courts. I know I'll feel safer sleeping tonight, dreaming also of Texas seceding from the Union...

Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker's histrionics over balancing the budget may land him in jail, or at least successfully impeached, especially if he goes through with sending out 1500 lay-off notices. Unfortunately, the courts no longer accept the excuse "I was only following orders..."

We know how childish the top brass of our military act, such a sad truth, and they have charged the flawed founder of wikileaks with over 22 charges and would like to see him in an American court. Now, the lawyer for Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of actually downloading the files, has claimed that his jailers made him stand naked in his cell yesterday for over seven hours: “This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification,” Mr. Coombs wrote. “It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. Pfc. Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.”

First Lt. Brian Villiard, a Marine spokesman, said a brig duty supervisor had ordered Private Manning’s clothing taken from him. He said that the step was “not punitive” and that it was in accordance with brig rules, but he said that he was not allowed to say more." Such bullshit, still coming from our military jailers. It's easy to see where the conditions for Abu Graib comes from, it's business as usual here in the US. Makes one wonder what conditions are like in an Afghan jail or one of our newest rendition sites that we are not supposed to know about...

Lastly, with the bad example the generals make for the troops, and the incredible leap in the number of amputees that are coming back from Afghanistan, has anyone made the link to the increasing rate of suicides by soldiers returned from combat?

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