Monday, February 02, 2009

Hangover Wrangle

Did your team win? Did you overdo it at the party? Get back to work now (for those of us who still have a job to go to, that is). And if you get a break today, check out the best of last week's posts from the blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance.

In her first ever YouTube video, TXsharon shows the emissions boiling into the air when a Barnett Shale gas well undergoes hydraulic fracture.

jobsanger examines the modern Republicans who call themselves conservatives, but have betrayed the beliefs and philosophical standards of past conservatives in Where Are The Real Conservatives?

Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men has something to say about the student loan mess that's making it impossible for many young adults to attend college these days.

The Texas Cloverleaf shows that pictures can tell a thousand words. And the pictures of ships at anchor in Singapore is telling the world we are screwed.

Burnt Orange Report discusses the over 22,000 voters being purged from the Hidalgo County voter rolls.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme explains how the Republican free market principles work in real life using contaminated peanut butter as exhibit A.

Redistricting isn't just a state issue. Houston is under pressure to redraw its city council lines. Off the Kuff takes a look at where this stands.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is amazed at the social progress creeping around the world. America elects a biracial president. Iceland appoints an lesbian prime minister. What's next? Yes We Can - Iceland Courageous.

Easter Lemming Liberal News writes his congressman while considering the Republican death spiral.

WhosPlayin announced 46,000 layoffs this past week -- just in the blogging industry.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out John Carter's latest shenanigans in Carter's political ploy, the "Rangel Rule".

Things can get pretty ugly between fans of competing sports franchises and we at McBlogger were not immune as Cap'n Kroc and Harry Balczak tear each other apart.

Over at Texas Kaos, Libby Shaw's keeping an eye on Senator Jackass of Texas as he tries to heighten his national profile at the expense of American families. in his latest hit, the buckskin fringed one votes against children having health care. Again.

The Republicans are having an identity crisis, and the election of Michael Steele as RNC chair is not likely to help them solve it. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs observes that Rush Limbaugh is still calling the shots, and they are all cheap.

Neil at Texas Liberal offers some thoughts on city elections in Houston.

John Coby at
Bay Area Houston publishes what Rick Perry really said at his campaign kickoff speech in the Capitol.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

A HOF performance

That could also have been said of Arizona's Kurt Warner, who got his team the lead late but with 2:08 too much for Ben Roethlisberger to work his magic.

Each quarterback was in search of his second Super ring; each was masterful, but the championship goes to Big Ben and the Steelers.

A few more Funnies

Yoo Idiot


The question Mr. Obama should have asked right after the inaugural parade was: What will happen after we capture the next Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Abu Zubaydah? Instead, he took action without a meeting of his full national security staff, and without a legal review of all the policy options available to meet the threats facing our country.

What such a review would have made clear is that the civilian law-enforcement system cannot prevent terrorist attacks. What is needed are the tools to gain vital intelligence, which is why, under President George W. Bush, the CIA could hold and interrogate high-value al Qaeda leaders. On the advice of his intelligence advisers, the president could have authorized coercive interrogation methods like those used by Israel and Great Britain in their antiterrorism campaigns. (He could even authorize waterboarding, which he did three times in the years after 9/11.)

After attorney general-designate Eric Holder testified in his confirmation hearing that waterboarding was torture, Dick Cheney made the rounds of teevee talking heads to declare that it was he who had authorized the torturing of detainees at Guantanamo. Maybe that was just Dick being Dick, maybe he was trying to take the heat off Bush, but Yoo -- whose legal memos paved the way for the lovely euphemism "enhanced interrrogation techniques" -- lets the cat out of the bag here, fingering the former President of the United States.

John Cornyn's bullshit starts to make a little more sense in context of his slavish and utter devotion to protecting Bush at all costs, doesn't it?

There's a grander context here that I want to explore, however.

Most reasonable people -- including many practitioners of it -- acknowledge that torture does not work. But "work" is a loaded word.

If your intention is to extract factual information regarding terrorism then, no, torture doesn't work. But if your intention is to coerce confessions out of people who are essentially innocent, THEN IT WORKS. It works as a cover-up for your vacuous "war on terror" and its attendant policies such as wiretapping Americans, as well as a distraction for your own state-sponsored, false-flag terrorism. It works as a means to intimidate people who would speak up against you, too. It has all sorts of viable uses depending upon your intentions. And since the idea was at the time to use 9/11 as a justification to nullify constitutionally protected rights and thus implement the equivalent of an enforceable police state, one could say that having a policy of torture was essential to the plan.

It's probably safe to say that it worked well enough to get Congressional Republican majorities re-elected in 2002, and Bush re-elected in 2004.

So now that sanity has prevailed, and we have an administration and a Congress that is gradually enabling itself to acknowledge the truth, the remaining and reasonable course of action is to follow the dictates of the treaties and accords signed by predecessors of George W Bush and investigate and prosecute all of those in his administration responsible for the violations.

Let justice prevail though the heavens fall, someone once said.