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Archive for March 3rd, 2011

You can tell a man from Harvard…

Posted by Charles II on March 3, 2011

“You can tell a man from Harvard,” the old saw goes, “You just can’t tell him very much.” The right-wing government of Israel must have a lot of Harvard men.

From DemocracyNow:

Israeli Diplomat Resigns over “Wrong” Foreign Policy

A veteran Israeli diplomat has resigned in protest of what he calls Israel’s “wrong” foreign policy. The diplomat, Ilan Baruch, spent more than 30 years in the Israeli government, most recently as ambassador to South Africa. Baruch says he stepped down in opposition to the occupation of Palestinian land. He also criticized Israeli government officials for longtime efforts to label opposition to Israeli polices as “anti-Semitism.”

Sadly, even Haaretz seems to have been unwilling to publish the text of the letter. The closest they got was this mealy-mouthed presentation of the resignation.

Separately, there’s this story from Robert Parry on the Egyptian and Libyan dictatorships. It goes a long way toward explaining why the US cannot seem to just do what is right in the Middle East:

The mysterious fortune of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak got an early boost from millions of dollars in cash bribes delivered by CIA-connected arms merchants in the late 1970s, according to two participants.

The two men – former CIA officers Thomas Clines and Edwin P. Wilson – said the payments helped secure an exclusive shipping contract for their Egyptian American Transport and Services Co. (EATSCO).

Wilson also claimed that President Ronald Reagan’s White House knew of the bribery and how much Mubarak and Sadat walked away with.

In that same time frame, Wilson was arrested on charges of shipping explosives to Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya.

Though Wilson claimed he was sent to Libya by senior CIA official Ted Shackley to spy on Gadhafi’s terrorist operations, a CIA affidavit was submitted at Wilson’s trial denying any substantive CIA contacts with Wilson after his intelligence career officially ended in 1976.

The bribery accusations from Clines and Wilson suggest that another complexity is that some of Mubarak’s money was delivered in secret cash as part of U.S. intelligence-related operations.

Though Wilson said Reagan’s White House possessed documents relating to the sums slipped to Mubarak, those records have never been made public and — if they still exist — likely remain highly classified.

Posted in Conflict in the Middle East, israel | Comments Off on You can tell a man from Harvard…

Wisconsin GOP: Cribbing From Monty Python?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2011

The increasingly desperate behavior of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and his fellow Koch Republicans in the state legislature took yet another turn towards Onionville today:

The Republicans in Wisconsin are floating a bunch of nonsense about chipped marble. The building is so much more spotless that anyone could ever hope to expect after two weeks of occupation. The protesters have recycling and cleanup teams. This is bullshit. But not as much as the ammo at the entrance rumor! Meanwhile their lockdown of the Capitol kept out firefighters during an emergency call.

The whole “oh oh look we’ve found bullets” bullshit is oddly familiar.

For a visual demonstration, see the video above.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in unions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wisconsin GOP: Cribbing From Monty Python?

GOPers Confuse Civil And Criminal Law, Make Asses Of Selves In Public

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2011

You can tell that Firedoglake is scaring the living daylights out of the conservatives tasked with defending Scott Walker and the other Koch Republicans in elective office in Wisconsin. A whole passel of them — or one determined fellow with a “persona management” account — has decided to invade this comments thread for this post at FDL concerning the highly unconstitutional (not to mention illegal) effort to pretend that the fourteen Democratic state senators in exile have broken a law and therefore are subject to arrest, even though the state constitution expressly exempts them from arrest for all civil complaints and in fact everything but “treason, felony and breach of peace”.

One of the trollies thinks he/she/it has a winning rebuttal with this citation:

Article IV, §15 – ANNOT.

The members of the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and prosecution when they included article IV, section 15 in the Wisconsin Constitution. The phrase “treason, felony and breach of the peace” in that section was intended to mean all crimes. State v. Burke, 2002 WI App 291, 258 Wis. 2d 832, 653 N.W.2d 922, 02-2161.

Of course, said trollie is either really dumb and just copying what he/she/it saw cited by fellow trolls, or is an enormous, mendacious, disembodied anus. Because guess what? The Burke case is about criminal, not civil complaints — and a full reading of the paragraph so carefully and deceptively edited by the trollie or the person from whom the troll lifted the trope shows this clearly:

We conclude that the members of the Wisconsin Constitutional
Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and
prosecution when they included article IV, section 15 in the Wisconsin
Constitution. The phrase “treason, felony and breach of the peace” in that section
was intended to mean “all crimes.” We therefore agree with the trial court that
Burke is not privileged from criminal prosecution.

Of course, the reason the Koch Republicans are so determined to try and criminalize time-honored and accepted political procedure is because they are about to lose their Senate majority to recall elections: “The Republicans are engaging in b.s. strong-arming because they know it’s their only chance to finish off the assault on public employee rights before their asses get kicked to the curb.”

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in (Rich) Taxpayers League, 111th Congress, abuse of power | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Annals Of Media Stupidity: Wisconsin Protests Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 3, 2011

A by no means complete listing of media atrocities concerning the protests in Wisconsin:

Sally Jo Sorensen shares with a piece from Rusty Lear, a fellow who grew up on a Wisconsin farm with horses, explaining how his horse sense, coupled with his knowledge of the area plant life and climate, helped him determine that the footage of rioting people being dispersed from a palm-tree-decorated area by mounted cops could not have been taken in Madison during the ongoing protests as FOX claimed it was. (Seems that the Madison police force has four (4) horses, none of which look like the horse in the video.)

— Speaking of horse sense and the GOP/Media Complex’s near-complete lack thereof, Abe Sauer of The Awl addresses several instances of media malpractice: The Paunch Punking, CNN’s weird refusal to cover any groups of marchers that might undermine the corporate-advertiser-pleasing anti-union storyline, and the fact that A.G. “Paunch” Sulzberger was sent by the New York Times to Madison when their best labor reporter, Steven Greenhouse, was already there.

Media Matters focuses on the worst media offender, FOX, with a comprehensive run-down of its offenses against journalism on this story.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

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