Obama fires back at Cheney on 60 Minutes By David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Dick Cheney and the anti-terror policies of the Bush years have not
"made us safer," according to President Barack Obama.
In an interview on Sunday night's 60 Minutes, the president offered a stern response to the former vice president's criticism
that Obama has somehow made Americans "less safe."
"... The vice president is eager to defend a legacy that was unsustainable," said Obama, characterizing Cheney's politics
as a line of thought which "has done incredible damage to our image and position in the world."
"I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney," said Obama. "Not surprisingly. You know, I think that Vice President Cheney
has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our constitution, our
belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the wrong lesson from history. The
facts don't bear him out.
"I think he is ... That attitude, that philosophy has done incredible damage to our image and position in the world. I
mean, the fact of the matter is, after all these years, how many convictions actually came out of Guantanamo? How many ...
How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney?
It hasn't made us safer.
"What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment, which means that there is constant effective recruitment
of Arab fighters and Muslim fighters against U.S. interests all around the world.
KROFT: Some of it being organized by a few people who were released from Guantanamo.
OBAMA: Well, there is no doubt that we have not done a particularly effective job in sorting rough who are truly dangerous
individuals that we've got to make sure are not a threat to us, who are folks that we just swept up. The whole premise of
Guantanamo promoted by Vice President Cheney was that, somehow, the American system of justice was not up to the task of dealing
with these terrorists."
"... This is the legacy that's been left behind and, you know, I'm surprised that the vice president is eager to defend
a legacy that was unsustainable. Let's assume that we didn't change these practices. How long are we going to go? Are we going
to just keep on going until, you know, the entire Muslim world and Arab world despises us? Do we think that's really going
to make us safer? I don't know a lot of thoughtful thinkers, liberal or conservative, who think that was the right approach."
This video is from CBS' 60 Minutes, broadcast Mar. 22, 2009.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees
who served President George W. Bush, finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected”:
Only 25% to 30% of ex-Bush officials seeking full-time jobs have succeeded, estimated Eric Vautour, a
Washington recruiter at Russell Reynolds Associates Inc. That “is much, much worse” than when Ronald Reagan,
George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton left the White House, he said. At least half those presidents’ senior staffers landed
employment within a month after the administration ended, Mr. Vautour recalled.
Carlos Gutierrez, Commerce secretary under President Bush, blamed the struggling economy. “This is not a great time
for anyone to be job hunting, including numerous former political appointees,” he said. Former Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales feels the same way, but his successor, Michael Mukasey, didn’t seem to have any problem landing a job.
This handout from Russian advertising agency Voskhod shows a smiling,
cartoonish black man flashing the victory sign in front of the US capital building, along with the Russian slogan:
"Everyone's talking about it: dark inside white!" Obama ice cream, anyone? Chocolate-vanilla ice cream is one of several
Russian products being marketed using Obama even as critics call the ads racist. (AFP/VOSKHOD-HO/File)
An undersea volcano erupts near the Pacific Ocean island of Tonga on
March 18. The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning for Tonga, Niue, the Kermadec Islands, American Samoa
and Fiji, but lifted it nearly two hours after the quake struck. (AFP/Matangi Tonga/Lothar Slabon)
BILL MAHER NEW RULES MARCH 20, 2009
Fate May Rest in the 20th District Congressional Race in NY
By: David Phillips
March 23, 2009
Michael Steele has said that the race in the 20th Congressional District is “going to be a battle royale. We’ve
come to play.”
The national Main Stream Media is starting to take notice
of this race a bit more than they normally would because of the grumblings in the Republican Party about whether Steele can
handle the job as Chairman of the RNC, all because of Steele’s recent openness about Rush Limbaugh where Steele said
that Rush was "incendiary" and just an "entertainer. Then the following week
in an interview with GQ magazine's Lisa Depaulo Steele said a woman should have the right to choose an abortion.
So first Steele pissed off the retarded right wing of
the GOP who worship Rush Limbaugh and who see him as the GOP leader, and then he pissed off the religious right wing of the
GOP which wants abortions abolished completely.
So now it's put or shut up for Steele, if he can deliver
the 20th congressional district to the GOP in the special election on March 31 then these grumblings will fade away.
The House seat up for grabs was held by Kirsten Gillibrand
who on January 23, 2009, was appointed by Governor David Paterson to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Republican candidate is Jim Tedisco who has been
a State Assemblyman since 1982 and his Democratic opponent is Scott Murphy who is a businessman.
So, Steele has a seasoned politician in Tedisco running
against a businessman who is new to politics. The RNC Chairman has been pouring money into Tedisco’s campaign so the
cards are in favor of the republican candidate, and if he loses, Chairman Steele may lose as well.
Steele was elected on the sixth and final ballot beating
out South Carolina Republican party Chairman Katon Dawson 91 to 77.
I wonder what her thinking is on the outcome of the
election, is she hoping that Tedisco wins because another republican would be in the House, or is she thinking that if Tedisco
loses and Steele is voted out of his RNC Chair, that she might have another shot at the job.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
COLBERT VS. STEELE IN RAP OFF
The Leadership of the GOP
Some Strange Words Seeping Out of the Mouths of DC Republicans
On a Iowa radio station,Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said: “The first thing that would make me feel a little
bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow
and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”
Grassley latter said: "From my standpoint, it’s irresponsible for corporations to give bonuses at this time when
they’re sucking the tit of the taxpayer."
Steve LaTourette blames D.C. sucking sound on politicians' sphincters
"Ross Perot, when he ran for president in 1992, talked about the giant sucking sound," Bainbridge Township GOP Rep. Steve
LaTourette said today in an impassioned speech on the House of Representatives floor that attacked the use of taxpayer funds
for bonuses paid to AIG executives.
"Well, today there's another sucking sound going on in Washington, D.C. And that's the tightening of sphincters on both
ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as people are having to explain who put into the stimulus bill this provision of law."
GOP Rep Steve LaTourette Hears Sucking Sounds Coming out of DC Politician's
Sphincters...It's one of those Republican things...
‘Confidential’ Red Cross Torture Report Details ‘Suffocation’ and Head-Smashing
Journalist Mark Danner reports today that he has acquired
a once “confidential” 2006 Red Cross investigation on U.S. terror detentions. The report details “suffocation
by water,” “prolonged stress standing,” “beatings by use of a collar,” and “confinement
in a box.” Danner notes that senior Bush officials were well aware of the techniques being used. Some accounts from
– “I was taken out of my cell and one of the interrogators wrapped a towel around
my neck; they then used it to swing me around and smash me repeatedly against the hard walls of the room.”
– “Both my feet became very swollen after one month of almost continual standing.”
– “A thick flexible plastic collar would also be placed around my neck so that
it could then be held at the two ends by a guard who would use it to slam me repeatedly against the wall.
The report’s conclusion reads: “The allegations of ill treatment of the detainees indicate that,
in many cases, the ill treatment to which they were subjected while held in the C.I.A. program, either singly or in combination,
constituted torture.” Previously, the Bush administration had attempted to conceal harsh treatment from the Red Cross.
In August 2007, speaking about a Red Cross torture investigation, Bush defensively remarked: “Haven’t
seen it; we don’t torture.”
Climate Denial Crock of the Week- "Sea Ice"
Global Climate Change Accelerates Water Hunt in U.S. West
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - It's hard to visualize a water crisis while driving the lush boulevards of
Los Angeles, golfing Arizona's green fairways or watching dancing Las Vegas fountains leap more than 20 stories high.
So look Down Under. A decade into its worst drought in a hundred years Australia is a lesson of what the American West
Bush fires are killing people and obliterating towns. Rice exports collapsed last year and the wheat crop was halved two
years running. Water rationing is part of daily life.
"Think of that as California's future," said Heather Cooley of California water think tank the Pacific Institute.
Water raised leafy green Los Angeles from the desert and filled arid valleys with the nation's largest fruit and vegetable
crop. Each time more water was needed, another megaproject was built, from dams of the major rivers to a canal stretching
much of the length of the state.
But those methods are near their end. There is very little water left untapped and global warming, the gradual increase
of temperature as carbon dioxide and other gases retain more of the sun's heat, has created new uncertainties.
Global warming pushes extremes. It prolongs drought while sometimes bringing deluges the parched earth cannot absorb. California
Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow says two things keep him up at night: drought and flood.
"It isn't that drought is the new norm," said Snow. "Climate change is bringing us higher highs and lower lows in terms
of water supplies."
Take Los Angeles, which had its driest year in 2006-2007, with 3 inches (7.6 cms) of rain. Only two years earlier, more
than 37 inches (94 cms) fell, barely missing the record.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a drought emergency last month, and Los Angeles plans to ration water
for the first time in 15 years. Courts are limiting the amount of water taken from into rivers to save decimated fish populations,
which is cutting back even more to farms.
California farmers lost more than $300 million in 2008 and economic losses may accelerate to 10 times that this year as
95,000 people lose their jobs. Farmers will get zero water from the main federal supplier.
Nick Tatarakis sank his life savings into the fertile San Joaquin Valley but now thinks his business will die of thirst.
"Every year it seems like this water thing is getting rougher and rougher," he said. "I took everything I had saved over
the last three or four years, put it into farming almonds, developed this orchard. Now it is coming into its fifth year and
probably won't make it through this year."
Dead Eye Dick is Worried that all the Talk of Investigations by Congress of his past Administration
could Bite him in the Ass, so he has gone onto the Talking Head Circuit to try and Re-Write History and Spew more Fear into
the Hearts and Minds of the Weak...
And no one can explain Cheney's wawawa's better than Mr. Jon Stewart...
On Dick Cheney's TV interviews: "You know, I don't understand this.
The guy is vice president for eight years, you barely see a whiff of him. He lives in some subterranean lair, literally has
his house removed from Google Earth. Then, when he's no longer accountable to the American people, he's popping up everywhere,
can't get him off my TV. He's like the Mario Lopez of doom now." --Jon Stewart
"Speaking of which, he did not disappoint [on screen: Cheney saying that Obama's actions since he took office have made
Americans less safe]. I trust you. So, sir, is that based on you reading the intelligence reports? [on screen: Cheney saying
he doesn't read the intelligence reports anymore]. Oh, well then, maybe I could interest you in a hot cup of shut-the-f***-up."
Washington (CNN) – President Obama's economic
advisers on Sunday refused to endorse a House bill that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid out by companies that
receive bailout money, with one administration official describing the plan as potentially "dangerous."
Fueled by anger over more than $165 million in bonuses paid out by insurance giant AIG, the House passed the punitive tax
bill on Thursday in a 328 to 93 vote
Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's top economic adviser, told ABC's "This Week" that the bill "may go too far
in terms of some legal issues, constitutional validity, using the tax code to surgically punish a small group. That
may be a dangerous way to go."
Bernstein noted that that private investors the government needs to carry out its toxic assets plan might be scared away
by such a tax.
Christina Romer, who chairs the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNN's "State of the Union" that the president
believes "it's completely appropriate to have different standards" for firms that have taken federal funds.
But she told CNN's John King the White House favors creating a federal "resolution authority" over bailed out financial
institutions, which would give a judge the ability to void the kind of controversial contracts that allowed AIG to pay out
Romer called it "a legal way to break these contracts and go forward."
Another White House official stressed that the president will weigh all options coming out of Congress, but will not act
too hastily to recoup the money.
"The president has been pretty forthright in his anger with what happened with AIG, and the simplest thing is for these
guys to give the money back," Austan Goolsbee, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, told CBS' "Face the Nation."
He added, "The president has also been clear, we don't want to govern out of anger."
Jobless Rate at 11.2% for Veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan By Gregg Zoroya USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The economic downturn is hitting Iraq and Afghanistan
veterans harder than other workers — one in nine are now out of work — and may be encouraging some troops to remain
in the service, according to Labor Department records and military officials.
The 11.2% jobless rate for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are 18 and older rose 4 percentage points
in the past year. That's significantly higher than the corresponding 8.8% rate for non-veterans in the same age group, says
Labor Department economist Jim Walker.
Army records show the service has hit 152% of its re-enlistment goal this year. "Obviously the economy plays a big role
in people's decisions," says Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, an Army spokesman.
Some soldiers are re-enlisting specifically because of the poor civilian job market, says Sgt. 1st Class Julius Kelley,
a career counselor at Fort Campbell, Ky. "It's job security (in the Army), and I try to sell that all the time," he says.
"You don't have to worry about getting laid off in the Army."
The market is tough outside the Army. Unemployment among the youngest of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, those ages 20 to
24, reached 15% in February, records show. That compares with 13.8% for the same age group of non-veterans. Some government
jobs offer preference to veterans by giving them extra points on civil service exams. However, there is no evidence this is
having much effect on unemployment.
The $787 billion economic stimulus law enacted last month includes a $2,400-per-person tax credit for employers who hire
unemployed veterans in 2009 and 2010.
In addition, the Labor Department operates career centers that provide priority service for veterans and the HireVetsFirst
website, says Peggy Abrahamson, a Labor Department spokeswoman.
Young veterans, Walker says, often have trouble "translating their military skills into skills on their résumé that employers
The total number of unemployed veterans of the two wars — about 170,000 — is about the same as the number of
U.S. troops deployed to those wars.
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans enter the workforce at a disadvantage, says Justin Brown, a Veterans of Foreign Wars specialist
in veterans' economic issues. "If you served in the military, you're disconnected from the civilian workforce, you don't have
contacts that a civilian person has," he says.
The least the country can do, Brown says, is help veterans find jobs so "they come home and they're not living in the streets,
unemployed, homeless or in bankruptcy."
Robert Pearson, 23, of Minneapolis, is a former paratrooper who served in Afghanistan. He says it's hard to find work as
a human resources manager in order to use the skills he learned managing soldiers as a combat team leader.
He says he was shocked when a job-placement worker told him that some employers consider a military record almost like
having "a felony."
"People just frown upon us nowadays, thinking we're all flying-off-the-handle crazy guys," says Pearson, who has a bachelor's
degree in business management. "They don't even give us a chance."
Banks To Taxpayers: Drop Dead! By Madeleine Begun Kane
Where’s your money? You’ve no right to know. Banks account for your dough? Ho! Ho! Ho! We
are rich and white collar — Won’t help if you holler. Go pester a unionized co!
Bernard Goldberg: Dictionaries Have A 'Liberal' Bias
On the March 17th edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly
and author Bernard Goldberg ventured a discussion of whether or not the Yiddish word "schvartzer," which comedian Jackie Mason
used to describe President Barack Obama, was a derogatory term or not. It was, in Goldberg's opinion "absolutely not a bad
Cursory research indicates that the issue isn't clear cut. Alan Colmes, for example, recently opined, "It was never my
understanding that it is appropriate to use the word 'schwartza' any more than it is proper to use the 'n' word. There are
those, however, who believe that 'schwartza' is just Yiddish for the word 'black' and its use is part of the Jewish culture."
The Online Etymology Dictionary says the term is "somewhat derogatory." One letter writer to the New York Times has suggested
that "It is no more pejorative than the Yiddish word 'goy' is for a non-Jew. Unquestionably, both words can be used derisively,
depending on context and tone of voice; but to describe 'schvartzer' as a racist and hateful word is an insult to every Yiddish
So, look, my advice to you, for the time being, is don't use the farkakte word, okay? But this, via News Hounds, is the
O'Reilly, playing the voice of balance, pointed out that his dictionary referred to it as, "often disparaging and offensive."
Goldberg's answer? "Forgive my arrogance. The dictionary is written by some liberal person."
But then O'Reilly said, "We're living in a society where anything is uttered about any minority group, Media Matters or
somebody else will say you're a racist. That's what they do."
"Exactly," Goldberg agreed. "That's an important point."
So there you have it! The definitions of the words commonly used in the English language have a known liberal bias. Which
explains why most of Goldberg's books seem like they're written in Esperanto.
Or, as Stephen Colbert puts it:
"Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
VARIOUS LATE NIGHT QUOTES
"We are very excited to have the President of the United States, Barack Obama here.
A lot of people were surprised that the President came to N.B.C. You'd think by this time he'd be tired of big companies on
the brink of disaster with a bunch of overpaid executives." --Jay Leno (Read highlights from Obama's appearance on The
"What's amazing, though, is that even though the President travels with this huge group
of people -- I mean, he's got the staff, Secret Service, presidential aides -- it's still less people than when we have Mariah
Carey on." --Jay Leno
"And earlier today, the President held a town meeting, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
was there. And I thought it was great to see the President reaching out to California's non English-speaking community." --Jay
"Did you see President Obama standing next to Governor Schwarzenegger? Didn't the President
look like the head of a company who's introducing its latest cyborg model to the world?" --Jay Leno
"Big night for the network tonight. Barack Obama became the first sitting president to ever
appear on a late night show. He was on 'Leno' tonight. Of course, it doesn't count the time Thomas Jefferson was on 'Larry
King.'" --Jimmy Fallon
"Former President George W. Bush just signed a $7 million book deal, though, reportedly,
he thought it was to read one." --Jimmy Fallon
"I heard this today, a new audiotape from Osama bin Laden was released. On the tape, he
says he doesn't care what anyone says, he's not giving back his bonus money." --Jimmy Fallon
"Obama had a town hall meeting with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately the guy running
the teleprompter screwed up and Obama wound up starting his speech by saying, 'I'll be back' and 'Hasta la vista baby.'" --Jimmy
In worthless drain on taxpayer money news, insurance giant A.I.G.. is on the hot seat because after they took
billions of dollars in bailout money, they gave $165 million out in bonuses to their executives. So now, lawmakers are demanding
that they give the money back. The problem, though, is that legally they’re entitled to the money so it’s a dilemma.
But I have an idea I think might satisfy all of us and also adhere to the letter of the law. I say, instead of mailing the
bonus checks to their houses, we put rocks on them and we put them at the bottom of an enormous piranha tank. We set it up
in the middle of Times Square. You want the money, swim. There it is.- Jimmy Kimmel
This Week in God!!!
Main Entry: marˇriage Pronunciation:..'mer-ij, 'ma-rij.. Function: noun Etymology:
Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry Date: 14th century 1 a (1): the state of being united
to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the
state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>
b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
Merriam-Webster dictionary will now be BANNED from all Private religious schools...Culminating with a book burning and
marshmallow roast on Saturday April 11, 2009 on the eve of Easter...Contact your local Church or Catholic school for those
who want a ride on the Bus of Righteousness to the main Event or wish to contribute books...
Pastor I.C. Clearly...
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