Sunday, November 16, 2008

Obama's Fire-Side Chat on YouTube ; Maddow Strip UltraConservative Lieberman Of Chairmanship

Today's Post:

President-Elect Barack Obama's Fireside chat on YOUTUBE.

Ethics & Lobbyists

Maddow On Sen. Joe Lieberman

Palin/McCain too " Liberal "

Blackwater & Other Mercenaries will they escape justice?

Anyway first off here is the First YouTube Video Fireside Chat by Barack Obama as President Elect:
At AlterNet Return of the Fireside Chat: Obama Delivers First Democratic Video Address Posted by Staff, Think Progress November 15, 2008.
"It may seem like a political no-brainer in the age of YouTube, but as aides to Mr. Obama pointed out, it is a first ..."
Yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama recorded the "Democratic Radio Address" using video as well as audio. The New York Times notes, "It may seem like a political no-brainer in the age of YouTube, but as aides to Mr. Obama pointed out, it is a first for a president or president-elect." In the message, Obama urges Congress to "pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again."

and another video which shows Obama's attempt to make government more transparent to the American people as amember of Obama's transition team speaks about Ethics and the role of Lobbyists .

Over the past decades the Lobbyists through their influence and billions of dollars to spread around as gifts or bribes in Washington have been able to shape and decide many of the policies to be carried out by the US legilative bodies. There are over 35,000 Lobbyists in Washington and far too many Republicans and Democrats are all too eager to have a working relationship with them which eventually pays of big time. Big Bucks grease the wheels .Can Obama's administration clean this up or get it under some control or is the American Political system just far too corrupt to be changed .

Excellent Maddow Piece Spells Out Why Lieberman Must Be Stripped of His Chairmanship/ by David Sirota, Open Left November 14, 2008.

Maddow took all the arguments against Joe and summed them up in a really great piece last night.
Many in the blogosphere, including OpenLeft have noted that the removal of Joe Lieberman from his committee post isn't about revenge -- it's about political pragmatism. In specific, it's about making sure a guy who has repeatedly displayed his deep personal and irrational hatred for Barack Obama doesn't have the subpoena power to embark on witch hunts against President Obama. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night took all of those arguments and summed them up in a really great piece:

So, to reiterate -- removing Lieberman is not about revenge, it's about helping make sure the next administration doesn't have to spend all it's time fending off a crazed McCarthyist with subpoena power.

UPDATE: Maddow's final point is really important -- it's a point I made earlier: This idea that Democrats can just strip him of his chairmanship the moment he gets on his first witch hunt is absurd. Once he's down that road, he becomes almost impossible to control, because he will be portrayed as the Honest Crusader, and Democratic efforts to restrain him will be likened to Richard Nixon's "midnight massacre" where he fired Archibald Cox. It will, in short, create a martyr more powerful than even a Chairman Lieberman.

and here's more on why Obama shouldn't just simply forget about or forgive all of the unethical & criminal activities and the corruption of the Bush administration:

From Now Is No Time to Sing Kumbaya: We Must Hold the Bush Regime Accountable
by Ian Welsh, Firedoglake November 14, 2008.

We cannot just ignore Bush's crimes and incompetence because Obama got elected.

The SAME people who were responsible for Nixon's crimes, were responsible for Iran/Contra. They and their proteges came back and were responsible for Bush, Iraq, torture, screwing up Katrina and so on.
But we're supposed to let bygones be bygones so they can do it again in the next Republican administration.

Yeah, and folks wonder why things like Bush happen. If you refuse to hold people of any significance responsible for crimes and screwups (like all the bank CEOs keeping their jobs) they will do it over and over again.

So yes, let's all sing Kumbaya, and not get JUSTICE for all the crimes that were committed. And lets not hold anyone to account for incompetence or stupidity, but make sure they keep their jobs, or even if they lose them, that the second Republicans are back in power, they can have them again.

If that's what America does, America will go down in flames. Guaranteed. This continued unwillingness to ever hold elites to account for their crimes and incompetence is a far bigger long term problem than the economy or Iraq or baby boomers, or medical problems or anything else. It is the core problem and as long as it is not solved, crisis after crisis will continue to occur.

Conservative Senator DeMint claims McCain and Palin were too liberal and so lost the election!

McCain too moderate not conservative enough - did Sen. Jim DeMint listen to any of the speeches or interview during the campain sinc what actually went on doesn't seem to register with his views on the election. And the Senator once again uses this false notion that most Americans are in fact conservative on most issues.Opion polls and the election show that the American people do not believe the country should move further to the right. If so why did Bush's ratings in polls sink to an all time low or why is it that most Americans want out of iraq and want more spending on programs like healthcare , schools, old age security and the basic infrastructure. Americans also rejected the angry , hate mongering and smear campaign which attacked Barack Obama and claimed he was a " socialist ", a " Communist " a " secret Muslim " a Black Panther Radical in disguise etc. This as it turns out did not play well with the American voters.

at AlterNet .org Gop Senator: McCain Betrayed Republican Principles
by Steve Benen, Washington Monthly November 15, 2008.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R) stepped up to become the first high-profile Republican official to blame John McCain for his defeat.

As Republicans continue to search for answers to explain what happened in this year's elections, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R) stepped up to become the first high-profile Republican official to blame John McCain for his defeat.

That, in and of itself, is not a bad idea, but DeMint's reasoning was all wrong.
"McCain, who is a proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver's seat," DeMint said. "His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn't fit the label, but he was our package."

"Americans do prefer a traditional conservative government," he said. "They just did not believe Republicans were going to give it to them."

I don't think so. First, what did George Soros have to do with the election? Second, McCain gave up on his own immigration policy long before voters went to the polls. Third, McCain's cap-and-trade proposal didn't include a cap. McCain supported the bailout and opposed ANWR drilling, but so did his Democratic opponent.

I'm curious, how many voters does DeMint think wanted to vote for McCain/Palin but decided, "He's just not right-wing enough"? Indeed, on most, if not all, of the issues DeMint mentioned, it's Democrats who are part of the mainstream, not the GOP.
Regardless, I suspect we'll hear quite a bit more of this as far-right post-mortems are written. And if Republicans decide that the lesson to be learned is that McCain/Palin was excessively "moderate," they can wander in the political wilderness quite a bit longer.

And more on Blackwater & Private Contractors - Thugs for hire

Will President Obama insist that Blackwater & other so called Private Contractors be brought to justice for any criminal activities they may have committed. It will not sufice to just throw a few low-level grunts as it were to the wolves as " scape -goats. Those higher up including CEO's of these companies should also be forced to pay for their acts.

But according to corporate America it is legal to kill with impunity if that is stipulated in the contract signed by the Government and the private firm. This means that corporate contracts trump the US Judiciary, the US Constitution, the US Bill of Rights and Military Law. And this is just the way George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice , Donald Rumsfeld and their Neocon advisers designed this privatization scheme.

There is still some 140,000 mercenaries in Iraq who think and act as if they were in the Wild West withour any real competent oversight. It is difficult to understand that they do not answer to the US Government or Judiciary or civil courts nor can the Iraqi government or people bring any of these armed thugs to justice. They are the ultimate end-result of the privatization of war and the Free Market Place at work. For some reason American legislators or the courts and possibly the American people are unwilling to bring these mercenaries & corporate thugs to justice if they have committed criminal acts such as summary executions or rape or murder or mowing down Iraqi citizens just for the fun of it. They represent the Ugly American at his most vicious and lethal to them all Iraqis are the enemy and Iraqi are not to be treated as human beings. This too is a form of racism which seems rampant among these private contracors also throughout the US Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackwater Busted? Six Guards May Be Charged in Iraq Massacre
By Jeremy Scahill, Posted November 15, 2008.

Critics still fear reckless behavior by the 140,000 private corporate contractors in Iraq will continue.

After more than five years of rampant violence and misconduct carried out by the massive army of private corporate contractors in Iraq -- actions that have gone totally unpunished under any system of law -- the US Justice Department appears to be on the verge of handing down the first indictments against armed private forces for crimes committed in Iraq. The reported targets of the "draft" indictments: six Blackwater operatives involved in the September 16, 2007, killing of seventeen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square.The Associated Press reports, "The draft is being reviewed by senior Justice Department officials but no charging decisions have been made. A decision is not expected until at least later this month." The AP, citing sources close to the case, reports that the department has not determined if the Blackwater operatives would be charged with manslaughter or assault. Simply drafting the indictments does not mean that the Blackwater forces are certain to face charges. The department could indict as few as three of the operatives, who potentially face sentences of five to twenty years, depending on the charges.

If the Justice Department pursues a criminal prosecution, it would be the first time armed private contractors from the United States face justice.
But that is a very big "if."

"The Justice Department has had this matter for fourteen months and has done almost everything imaginable to walk away from it -- including delivering a briefing to Congress in which they suggested that they lacked legal authority to press charges," says Scott Horton, distinguished visiting professor of law at Hofstra University and author of a recent study of legal accountability for private security
"They did this notwithstanding evidence collected by the first teams on the scene that suggested an ample basis to prosecute. The ultimate proof here will be in the details, namely, what charges are brought exactly and what evidence has Justice assembled to make its case. Still, it's hard to miss Justice's lack of enthusiasm about this case, and that's troubling."

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