Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Common Cause

The grapic today is because Bob Dylan was given an honor no other rock / folk music persona has ever been given before.

He was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters as an honorary member.

Today, since I am following the Common Cause inspired events being streamed online that are reflecting on the Watergate episodes of some 40 years ago, I will get into "the wayback machine."

I may have some posts on the Common Cause event later, but one blockbuster thing so far is the concerns that they all felt:
If Nixon were president today he would not have been impeached because accountability no longer exists, and we have forgotten anything we thought we learned during that episode of American History.
But to show that some things don't change and because of my watching those panels, here are three Dredd Blog posts from this date in 2009:

The politicians who have been banksters are treated like royalty.

The people are treated like the subclasses when it comes to taxes sometimes.

Professor Caron notes:
This provision was extraordinarily valuable to Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson, both of whom had hundreds of millions of dollars in unrealized capital gains in Goldman Sachs stock. When they were appointed secretary of the Treasury, they were able to realize all the gains on their stock shares, saving them tens of millions of dollars in taxes, and diversify their portfolios at the same time.

What I have always found interesting about this obscure provision of the tax law is that it recognizes a principle that ought to apply to all taxpayers.
(TaxProf Blog, italics added). What, the tax laws are not even handed? Banksters are special? No way, not in my country!?

The Obama administration's lawyers in the Department of Justice have made a silly argument and have argued that prisoners should be denied the justice of due process of law by the courts:
The Obama Administration, taking its first position in a federal court on claims of torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, urged the D.C. Circuit Court on Thursday to reject a lawsuit by four Britons formerly held there. In addition, the new filing argued that a recent appeals court ruling makes clear that “aliens held at Guantanamo do not have due process rights.”

Moreover, the document called for a sweeping ban on lawsuits against U.S. military officials, claiming constitutional violations by such officials. Allowing such lawsuits “for actions taken with respect to aliens during wartime,” it said, “would enmesh the courts in military, national security, and foreign affairs matters that are the exclusive province of the political branches.”

The brief was another indication that, at least so far, the new Administration is not moving to make a wide-ranging break with detention policies of the former Bush Administration. While President Obama has ordered the closing of Guantanamo by next January, lawyers for the government have taken positions in a variety of detainee court cases that do not propose fundamental change.
(SCOTUS blog). So their position is "We don't torture, but if we do too bad"? Get used to it?

They are siding with those who say "I was following orders", which is the Nuremberg defence.

That is patently bogus and hypocritical. It does not meet the standards we have agreed to and stood for all these decades and centuries.

This chump change does not bode well for the future either, at a time when the reputation of the United States needs to be improved to say the least.

It is egregious when it comes soon after another flip flop on presidential signing statements which Obama raged against in the past.

It is all the more egregious when he wants to send more troops to Afghanistan where the Supreme Court there has upheld:
Afghan courts have produced yet another example of its de-evolution into a medieval Sharia system. The country’s Supreme Court has upheld the 20-year-sentence of Parwez Kambakhsh for blasphemy. He was convicted of asking questions in a university class about women’s rights under Islam and downloading an article on equal rights for woman. We are about to send thousands of more troops into the country to preserve it from . . . radical Islamic influences.
(Professor Turley). Obama what the hell has gotten into you? Is Michele with you on this one?

In another case today before Judge Bates in the DC federal court the administration departed from the Bush II regime:
The Obama Administration disclosed on Friday that it will no longer claim the power to detain terrorism suspects under the label “enemy combatant,” even while claiming broad authority to detain those who are a part of terrorist networks or who supplied “substantial support” to such forces.
(SCOTUS blog). It is difficult to tell whether these variations are positions of individual US Attorneys of the Bush II era who are refusing to leave, or whether it is muddled policies that are causing these seemingly inconsistent positions.

Remember when your sister or brother did something and you got blamed and punished for it?

China is out to punish you and I for what the past regime has done, unless the current administration cleans up the past regime's mess:
The Chinese prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said the country was “worried” about its holdings of U.S. Treasuries and called on the United States to provide assurances that the investments were safe, and that China was watching United States economic developments very closely.

“President Obama and his new government have adopted a series of measures to deal with the financial crisis. We have expectations as to the effects of these measures,” Mr. Wen said at a news conference in Beijing after the final session of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese legislature.

“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.”
(NY Times, italics added). The past robber baron regime implemented policies, backed by their supporting banksters, which took value from you.

The value of your house and the value of your stock and perhaps even your job has been diminished by the policies of the past regime.

You got slapped. But you did vote them out of office.

Let's hope we don't get slapped by China too ... for what they did.

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