Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One Good Thing: Stepping Back From The Brink

Once again Mandy proves why she's one of my heros, both as a writer, and a mom. I couldn't imagine a better person to call friend.

One Good Thing: Stepping Back From The Brink: "This morning at work, I surfed over to the website for one of our news channels in the Triangle, just to see what was going on at home. I sc..."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There are no Fiscal conservatives . . . The Baseline Scenario

It's about time someone with Simon's clout pu thtis out in public. Too bad he will be dismissed as UnSerious!

The United States stands out as quite different. No one is yet seriously proposing to address our underlying budget issues. There are certainly people who claim to be “fiscal conservatives” – some of the right and some on the left – but none can yet be taken seriously. The implications are very bad for our fiscal future.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One Good Thing: More Love

Mandy is a great writer, and I have been inspired by her openness, her complete embrace of her horrible circumstances, and he willingness to voice that which too many keep too private. She is, simply, one of my heros. Her story inspired the One Good Thing facebook page that adorns the upper left corner of this blog. And so I was crying with joy when I read this latest missive from her:

One Good Thing: More Love: "Ed and I had long discussed trying to have our second child when Hudson was about two to two and a half years old. For some reason, I’d gott..."

Yes we can try them in federal courts, unless we want to rig the results

Finally, if timidly, a U.S. Federal Court judge begins to reassert the REAL place of the Constitution in our society (emphasis mine):

The court has not reached this conclusion lightly," Kaplan wrote in a three-page order barring Abebe's testimony. "It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world we live in. But the constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not lonely when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction."

Unfortunately, some in our society don't see this a a small and necessary victory in preserving what is left of our tattered civil liberties pillar:

"The decision of the judge to delay the Ghailani trial and dismiss a key
government witness is a clear indication of the problem when prosecuting war on
terror detainees in a federal court," said Kirk Lippold, a senior military
fellow at Military Families United and former commander officer of the USS Cole,
which was attacked by al-Qaeda in 2000 in Yemen. "This is a blatant misuse of
legal proceedings and would not occur if the Department of Justice had pursued
the use of military commissions."

No, Mr. Lippold, the decision by a federal judge to dismiss a tainted witness is not the problem - the torture and indefinite extrajudicial detention of the suspect that caused his tainting is the problem. If these detainees are truly only tri-able in military commissions, then thy need to be treated as prisoners of war, and afforded Geneva Convention protections. leaving that issue aside, there is no "Color of war" exception to the Convention on Torture, to which the U.S. is a signatory, and which was, once ratified by the Congress, made into U.S. law.

This just days after a terrorist, who plead guilty in federal court (despite the assertion that we can't try people there and obtain convictions unless we sue tainted witnesses, or keep it all under wraps because of STATE SECRETS) gave the clearest evidence yet as to how badly U.S. foreign policy continues to hurt our strategic interests (h/t Glenn Greenwald):

If the United States does not get out of Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries controlled by Muslims, he said, "we will be attacking U.S.," adding that Americans "only care about their people, but they don't care about the people elsewhere in the world when they die" . . . .

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Heart of the Matter: This is Your Brain on War

Following up on some of Glenn Greenwald's excellent reporting on the government's decissions to assinate American citizens without due process, author and former CIA clandestine officer Barry Eisler takes on those (purported on the Left side of the aisle) who seek to defend the President's actions:

But even leaving all that aside, the "but it was done to only a few people" argument is pretty weak. The acceptability of government conduct ought to turn
on its legality, not on how many people were subjected to it. Presumably Sullivan wouldn't offer this defense of government conduct if the conduct in
question had been torture, though of course this was a primary Bush administration defense of its torture regimen -- that only three people were

The Heart of the Matter: This is Your Brain on War