Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 11th, 2009

Obama Leaves Door Open To Investigating Bush, But Wants To “Look Forward”

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

January 11, 2009 11:10 AM

Responding to the most popular inquiry on the “Open for Questions” feature of his website, Barack Obama said on Sunday that he is “evaluating” whether or not to investigate potential crimes of the Bush administration, but that he was inclined to “look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

The answer was delivered during an interview to This Week With George Stephanopoulos. But the question itself has been weeks in the work.

The Obama transition team, as part of its efforts to open up the political process, had allowed web users to vote on questions for the incoming administration to field. To the top rose a query from Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com and a former Clinton White House technology official, asking whether the incoming administration would appoint a special prosecutor to “independently investigate the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.”

On Obama’s website, a December statement from Vice President-elect Joe Biden on the topic was offered as a response (similar older statements were used to address several other national security-related questions, which the transition team has avoided discussing). But Stephanopoulos made the matter moot by posing the question directly to the president-elect.

“We’re still evaluating how we’re going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth,” said Obama. “And obviously we’re going to look at past practices. And I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. And part of my job is to make sure that for example at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got to spend all their time looking over their shoulders and lawyering up.”

Pressed a bit — was he ruling out prosecution? — the president-elect suggested that decision would be that of his attorney general.

“I think my general view when it comes to my attorney general is that he’s the people’s lawyer. Eric Holder’s been nominated,” said Obama. “His job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people, not be swayed by my day-to-day politics. So ultimately, he’s going to be making some calls. But my general belief is that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.”

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Countdown To The Golden Globes: Parties, Swag, Cosmetic Work

SANDY COHEN | January 10, 2009 09:18 PM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — Stars are sprucing themselves up, getting gifts and going to galas before Sunday’s Golden Globes.

PRE-GLOBES GALA: Even celebs who may not be Golden Globes-bound will don glamorous duds this weekend. A spate of stars, including Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal and Sting, were expected Saturday at the Art of Elysium’s annual charity gala.

The swanky soiree, held at a former cathedral in downtown Los Angeles, will include dinner, music, a fashion show and special honors for Eva Mendes and Jim Sheridan.

Mendes was chosen to receive the inaugural Spirit of Elysium award for her work with the organization over the past two years. Sheridan, the event’s co-chair, was to be presented with the Visonary Award before passing the torch to next year’s honoree, Shepard Fairey.

On the Net:

http://www.goldenglobes.org

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

People of the world are tired of Economic Manipulation, Terrorism, and War….


Nothing will ever be the same in Washington…

Hair – Let the Sunshine In

Read Full Post »

Saturday Night Live: Rachel Maddow Interviews Burris And Blagojevich (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   January 11, 2009 08:27 AM

“Saturday Night Live” kicked off the year with a new Rachel Maddow impression by castmember Amy Elliott, who joined the show in November.
The show opened with Maddow interviewing Roland Burris (Keenan Thompson) about his repeated attempts to break into the Senate.

Watch the week’s other skits here.

Maddow then welcomed Rob Blagojevich, played by Jason Sudeikis in a horribly realistic wig, who went on to call Maddow an assortment of wrong names from Ellen to K.D. Lange while swearing and making threats.

>>>WATCH HERE<<<

Read Full Post »

Op-Ed Columnist

Eight Years of Madoffs

Published: January 10, 2009

THREE days after the world learned that $50 billion may have disappeared in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, The Times led its front page of Dec. 14 with the revelation of another $50 billion rip-off. This time the vanished loot belonged to American taxpayers. That was our collective contribution to the $117 billion spent (as of mid-2008 ) on Iraq reconstruction — a sinkhole of corruption, cronyism, incompetence and outright theft that epitomized Bush management at home and abroad.

The source for this news was a near-final draft of an as-yet-unpublished 513-page federal history of this nation-building fiasco. The document was assembled by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction — led by a Bush appointee, no less. It pinpoints, among other transgressions, a governmental Ponzi scheme concocted to bamboozle Americans into believing they were accruing steady dividends on their investment in a “new” Iraq.

The report quotes no less an authority than Colin Powell on how the scam worked. Back in 2003, Powell said, the Defense Department just “kept inventing numbers of Iraqi security forces — the number would jump 20,000 a week! ‘We now have 80,000, we now have 100,000, we now have 120,000.’ ” Those of us who questioned these astonishing numbers were dismissed as fools, much like those who begged in vain to get the Securities and Exchange Commission to challenge Madoff’s math.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Obama’s This Week Interview: Discusses Economy, Closing Guantanamo, Gaza Crisis

Huffington Post |   January 11, 2009 08:32 AM

***CHECK BACK FOR VIDEO***

George Stephanopoulos interviewed President-elect Barack Obama on ABC’s This Week, and Obama addressed the challenges his administration will face when he is sworn in on January 20th.

Obama said fixing the economy for the long-term will require sacrifices from every American, and that the priority for the large stimulus plan he is pushing for is doing what works:

“These are going to be major challenges. And we’re going to have to make some tough choices… So what our challenge is going to be is identifying what works and putting more money into that, eliminating things that don’t work, and making things that we have more efficient. I’m not suggesting, George, I want to be realistic here, not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace that we had hoped.”

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Nasir@15:15 CET

By Professor Rashid Khalidi | New York Times,

Published: January 7, 2009

NEARLY everything you’ve been led to believe about Gaza is wrong. Below are a few essential points that seem to be missing from the conversation, much of which has taken place in the press, about Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip.

THE GAZANS: Most of the people living in Gaza are not there by choice. The majority of the 1.5 million people crammed into the roughly 140 square miles of the Gaza Strip belong to families that came from towns and villages outside Gaza like Ashkelon and Beersheba. They were driven to Gaza by the Israeli Army in 1948.

THE OCCUPATION: The Gazans have lived under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel is still widely considered to be an occupying power, even though it removed its troops and settlers from the strip in 2005. Israel still controls access to the area, imports and exports, and the movement of people in and out. Israel has control over Gaza’s air space and sea coast, and its forces enter the area at will. As the occupying power, Israel has the responsibility under the Fourth Geneva Convention to see to the welfare of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

THE BLOCKADE: Israel’s blockade of the strip, with the support of the United States and the European Union, has grown increasingly stringent since Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in January 2006. Fuel, electricity, imports, exports and the movement of people in and out of the Strip have been slowly choked off, leading to life-threatening problems of sanitation, health, water supply and transportation.

The blockade has subjected many to unemployment, penury and malnutrition. This amounts to the collective punishment — with the tacit support of the United States — of a civilian population for exercising its democratic rights.

THE CEASE-FIRE: Lifting the blockade, along with a cessation of rocket fire, was one of the key terms of the June cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. This accord led to a reduction in rockets fired from Gaza from hundreds in May and June to a total of less than 20 in the subsequent four months (according to Israeli government figures). The cease-fire broke down when Israeli forces launched major air and ground attacks in early November; six Hamas operatives were reported killed.

WAR CRIMES: The targeting of civilians, whether by Hamas or by Israel, is potentially a war crime. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers. Negotiation is a much more effective way to deal with rockets and other forms of violence. This might have been able to happen had Israel fulfilled the terms of the June cease-fire and lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Nor is it about “restoring Israel’s deterrence,” as the Israeli press might have you believe. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people.”

Rashid Khalidi, a professor of Arab studies at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming “Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 526 other followers

%d bloggers like this: