Posted by Charles II on August 19, 2015
Jonathan Marshall, The Consortium:
Exclusive: As Secretary of State in 2009, Hillary Clinton helped a right-wing coup in Honduras remove an elected left-of-center president, setting back the cause of democracy and enabling corrupt and drug-tainted forces to tighten their grip on the poverty-stricken country, as Jonathan Marshall explains.
The Obama administration has expressed sympathy for anti-corruption movements in Central America, but has yet to acknowledge its failure to protect democracy in Honduras against a military coup in 2009, which set the stage for that country’s current crisis.
Bowing to pressure from conservative Republicans in Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton refused to condemn the ouster of leftist President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. By her own admission, she began plotting within days to prevent him from returning to office.
Her recently released emails show that she sought help from a pro-coup lobbyist for Honduran business interests to establish communications with the new military-backed president. She also approved the continuation of U.S. aid to the illegitimate new regime, blocked demands by the Organization of American States for Zelaya’s return, and accepted subsequent presidential elections that were condemned by most international observers as unfair and marred by violent intimidation.
So, perhaps Latino activists could be as aggressive in asking Hillary Clinton about her role in the Honduran coup as Black Lives Matters has been in asking Bernie Sanders how his administration would handle racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Posted in 2016, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Honduras | 2 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on July 30, 2015
Caty Enders, The Guardian:
Environmentalist Bill McKibben said that while Clinton’s support for solar was necessary, it was far from a comprehensive energy policy. “Much of the impact of her climate plan was undercut the next day by her unwillingness to talk about the supply side of the equation,” he said. “Ducking questions about the Canadian tar sands or drilling in the Arctic makes everyone worry we’re going to see eight more years of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, which is what we do not need to hear in the hottest year ever measured on our planet.”
McKibben is not alone in criticizing Clinton’s energy policy for sounding like too little too late.
“It’s just plain silly,” said James Hansen, a climate change researcher who headed Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years. “No, you cannot solve the problem without a fundamental change, and that means you have to make the price of fossil fuels honest. Subsidizing solar panels is not going to solve the problem.”
Posted in climate change, Democrats, global warming | 5 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015
Democrats who voted for cloture[on the TransPacific Partnership “trade” deal]:
Michael Bennet of Colorado, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Thomas Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
Even Ron Wyden, who has been so good on privacy.
It’s definitely time to nominate Bernie Sanders as the first step in telling the Corporate Democrats to fark off.
Added: A great comment from Eschaton about Hillary and her triangulation on trade.
willf -> JeffCO • 16 minutes ago
I think democrats should follow her example, and wait on the “supporting Hillary” question until after the election.
Posted in Congress, Democrats, international | 2 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on November 20, 2014
Matthew Taylor, The Guardian:
Human rights experts and technology groups have launched a new tool allowing members of the public to scan their computers and phones for surveillance spyware used by governments.
Amnesty says Detekt is the first tool freely available that will allow activists and journalists to find out if their electronic devices are being monitored without their knowledge.
Detekt was developed by German security researcher Claudio Guarnieri after discussions with human rights activists. It will be launched on Thursday in partnership with Amnesty International, British charity Privacy International, German civil rights group Digitale Gesellschaft and US digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Meanwhile, our freedom-loving Senate Republicans are blocking any limits on spying on Americans (although, paradoxically, this may possibly be good news). We can’t even get those radical leftist Senate Democrats to release the torture report even though 30 U.S. military generals have urged that it be released. Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, from August:
Three of the Middle East’s most brutal and hated dictators participated fulsomely in pre- and post-9/11 renditions: Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Though the CIA cultivated robust relationships with their security services, cemented around counter-terrorism, the US would later abandon Mubarak, aid in Gaddafi’s overthrow and killing, and come within a hair’s breadth last year of attacking Assad.
Through those alliances, the US secretly permitted the architecture of rendition to encompass their partners’ enemies. Documents recovered by Human Rights Watch in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s overthrow showed the US capturing and interrogating Gaddafi’s opponents in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose ties to al-Qaida were nuanced and transactional, and then rendering them to Gaddafi.
“Interrogation” entailed, among other things, being sealed inside a small “confinement box,” repeated beatings and waterboarding – all within CIA custody, and all before transference to Gaddafi’s prisons for even more brutal treatment.
Posted in Democrats, Republicans as cancer, Senate | 2 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on November 5, 2014
In 2012, young voters, African Americans, and Latinos represented 19%, 13%, and 10%, respectively, of the national electorate. This year, those same groups represented 13%, 12%, and 8%, respectively, of the national electorate, according to CBS News. The smaller share of the electorate was not because White turned out in overwhelming numbers. It was because younger voters and minorities stayed home.
Probably nothing to do with mass purges of the voter rolls, threatening African Americans with jail for voting, unreasonable requirements for Voter ID. Or, for that matter, a failure to deliver a good employment market, rising wages, etc.
Must be because they hate Kenyan Muslim carriers of the dread Ebola.
BTW, congratulations to Minn Dems for good wins on a bad night!
Posted in Democrats, Obama Administration | 4 Comments »
Posted by MEC on September 6, 2012
The speakers at the Republican National Convention were politicians, business owners, various Romneys, actress Janine Turner, Paralympic gold medalist Chris Devlin-Young, Gov. Bob McDonnell’s daughter Jeanine McDonnell, and Clint Eastwood. Without exception, they’re people with money and political connections.
The speakers list for the Democratic National Convention includes plenty of politicians and other public figures. It also includes Doug Stern, firefighter from Cincinnati, Ohio; Maria Ciano, “stay-at-home mother and former Republican voter”; Stacey Lihn, mother of a child with severe medical issues; Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Elaine Brye, teacher from Winona, Ohio; Johanny Adames, student and new U.S. citizen; Elizabeth Bruce, Planned Parenthood patient; Ed Meagher, Vietnam veteran who provides support services for wounded soldiers; Bill Butcher, small business owner; Benita Veliz, DREAM Act activist; Karen Eusanio, auto worker; and Randy Johnson, Cindy Hewitt and David Foster, former employees of companies bought by Bain Capital.
One might argue that the inclusion of ordinary people in the DNC lineup is just for show, to pander to the voters by orchestrating the message, “See? Your voice is important to us, we let some of you speak at our convention.” But by that cynical interpretation, the non-rich and non-powerful are so insignificant to the Republicans that they didn’t even bother to pander to them.
Posted in Democrats, Republican National Convention | 6 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on June 1, 2012
Michael Biesecker, HuffPo:
A jury’s refusal to convict John Edwards was less a redemption of the former White House hopeful than a rejection of the Justice Department’s boldest attempt to make an example of someone in the name of enforcing campaign finance laws.
“As noted by nearly every campaign finance lawyer who considered the matter, this was a lousy case,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director for the campaign finance watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “All the salacious details prosecutors offered up to prove that Edwards is, indeed, despicable, were not enough to persuade the jury to convict him.”
Several jurors said there just wasn’t enough evidence. On network talk shows Friday, even jurors who thought Edwards was guilty on at least some counts said the prosecution wasn’t able to prove it.
Being a scoundrel is not a crime. Sometimes one wishes it were, but not enough to waste a lot of money on it.
Posted in Democrats, Department of Injustice, John Edwards | 9 Comments »
Posted by Charles II on May 21, 2012
This is one of those feeding frenzies of the irrelevant that guarantees I won’t be watching network TV for the foreseeable future–life is too short–but Cory Booker did a good enough job of defending himself on Rachel that it’s worth seeing if only to see a Democrat fighting back.
This is also one of those moments that explains, though does not justify, the attempts of Democratic operatives to beat the rank and file into line. You simply do not give the GOP the slightest room to twist, lie, and distort.
Posted in Democrats | Comments Off on Cory Booker to GOP: Get offa my lawn
Posted by Charles II on May 16, 2012
Sara Blaskey and Steve Horn, Truthout:
ALEC, though, is not the only “corporate bill mill” playing this game.
“Taxpayer-subsidized stealth lobbyists” have upped the ante and skillfully advanced their agendas through bipartisan “trade associations” for state government officials – in particular, the Council of State Governments (CSG) whose multimillion-dollar budget is mostly funded by taxpayers. …
Upon being sworn into office, all state-level legislators (there are about 7,500 of them total), as well as their respective legislative staffs, automatically become CSG members. The organization’s membership also includes representatives from the executive and judicial branches of state governments.
Between 2009 and 2011, CSG’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 forms indicate revenue between $29 and $34 million annually. … $8.4 to $9.9 million of these funds – come from what it describes as “entrepreneurial efforts” which can be loosely interpreted to mean anything from publication sales to a sizable chunk from corporate patronage.
Some perspective is warranted: 990s filed by ALEC in 2010 placed its entire budget at just under $6 million.
To date, CSG is responsible for publishing between 30-40 model bills annually, in a process called Suggested State Legislation (SSL). These bills are distributed to the states as templates of bipartisan “best practices” often promoting the agendas of multinational corporations.
Most recently, the 2013 SSL docket includes legislation written by and for the shale gas industry on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), as well as a corporate-backed, union-busting collective bargaining “reform” bill.
Until now, the virtual charter school agenda has been linked exclusively to ALEC, though this is far from the case. It is common to see corporations and special interests groups use both CSG and ALEC to promote their agenda – a two-pronged attack, if you will.
A little-known fact is that the NRA also played a role in promoting a slightly tamer – and much less controversial – pro-gun model through CSG.
CSG and ALEC have also broken bread over the so-called “tort reform” agenda.
The most damning evidence of [another organization, The National Council of State Legislatures] NCSL’s shenanigans comes from an October 2010 report from ABC News’ “Nightline” on the July 2010 NCSL Legislative Summit, which took place in Louisville, Kentucky.
NCSL – due to ABC’s reporting – was the inspiration for a broader US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation on corruption in state politics. “Nightline” went so far as to describe state governments as the new “ground zero of influence peddling” for corporate lobbyists, using NCSL as a case in point. [Golfing, groping, dancing, drimking, and horse races]
Though not directly responsible for any policy positions, per se, the [And yet anotherorganization] State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), with an annual budget in the $2.5 to $3 million range, can best be described as a corporate-funded tutelage academy for majority and minority state-level legislative leaders nationwide.
I really don’t think that “FFFFFF” is too strong a statement about people who claim to be for private enterprise while using the US Treasury to bribe and indoctrinate public officials into the task of busting up the bedrock of civil society to create a one-party corporate state,
Posted in corporatists, cronies, Democrats, Republicans, The Plunderbund | 1 Comment »
Posted by Charles II on May 3, 2012
Added: In the realm of the ridiculous but unrelated, Romney is attacking Cameron for being nice to Obama (a “love-in”!). “Cameron’s performance smacked of a ‘lack of experience” says the tyro from Bain.
Ed Pilkington and Lisa O’Carroll:
Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate committee on commerce, science and transportation, has written to Lord Justice Leveson, who leads the British judicial inquiry into media ethics, asking if he has uncovered any evidence relating questionable practices in the US [by the Murdoch gang].
“I would like to know whether any of the evidence you are reviewing suggests that these unethical and sometimes illegal business practices occurred in the United States or involved US citizens,” Rockefeller writes in a letter released on Wednesday.
This is the first time in years Jay Rockefeller has done something to convince me that he is still alive.
Murdoch, meanwhile, is not exactly repentant. Roy Greenslade, quoting Murdoch’s e-mail to his employees:
I would also like to inform you today that the autonomous Management and Standards Committee, which was established by the company to ensure full cooperation with all investigations, has completed its review of The Times and The Sunday Times, assisted by outside counsel, Linklaters.
We found no evidence of illegal conduct other than a single incident reported months ago, which led to the discipline of the relevant employee.
Further, the Management and Standards Committee has also completed its internal review into The Sun.
Meanwhile, CREW is seeking to get FOX broadcasting licenses lifted. Ed Pilkington and Dominic Rushe:
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) has written to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, calling on the regulator to pull the plug on Rupert Murdoch’s lucrative television licences on grounds of character.
Melanie Sloan, Crew’s director, said that the Murdochs had clearly failed the character test that is embedded within US media law as it is within British. “If they are not passing the character standard under British law, it seems to me that they are not going to meet the character standard in America.”
Posted in Democrats, Rupert Murdoch | 2 Comments »