Monday, March 8, 2010

Liz Cheney Spanked by Right Hand

When Kenneth Starr is on your back for obstructing due process, you know that your circle of allies is shrinking.

Liz Cheney 'Al-Qaeda 7' Ad Disgusts More Conservatives

A group of 19 prominent Bush administration officials and other lawyers launched an offensive Monday, attacking Liz Cheney for a recent ad by her group, Keep America Safe, that questioned the loyalties of Department of Justice lawyers that had represented Guantanamo detainees.

In a statement signed by nine former Bush officials and 10 other lawyers, critics condemned the ads as a "shameful series of attacks...both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications."

The letter defends the current selection of Department of Justice attorneys saying that "the American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients is at least as old as John Adams's representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston massacre ...To suggest the Justice Department should not employ talented lawyers who have advocated on behalf of detainees maligns the patriotism of people who have taken honorable positions on contested questions and demands a uniformity of background and view in government service from which no administration would benefit."

Perhaps the most unexpected signature is that of Charles "Cully" D. Stimson, who stepped down from the top Pentagon position determining detainee policy in 2007 following a radio interview in which he said that companies shouldn't hire law firms that provide pro bono services to detainees.

He told Newsweek's Declassified blog that attacks such as Cheney's latest ad were "below the belt," because they "question the integrity" of lawyers for representing their clients.

The Declassified blog also breaks down some of letter's lineup of signatories:

Among the signers of Wittes's letter are a virtual "who's who" of officials who worked on counterterrorism policies under President Bush. In addition to Stimson, they include: John Bellinger, former chief counsel to the National Security Council and the State Department; Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general; Charles Rosenberg, former chief of staff at the Justice Department; Peter Keisler, former assistant attorney general at the civil division and the official who was in charge of representing the government in cases brought by Guantánamo detainees; Daniel Dell'Orto, former general counsel at the Pentagon; Matthew Waxmann, former deputy assistant secretary of defense in charge of detainee affairs; and Bradford Berenson, former White House associate counsel.

Former solicitor general Kenneth Starr, as well as two key proponents of George W. Bush's terror policies, David Rivkin and Lee Casey, also round out the list.

I found the historical point about John Adams a nice touch. Just as freedom of speech covers unpopular speech, due process covers unpopular clientele.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

If more Republicans were like Cindy McCain...

I would possible consider them. With Limbaugh and the teabagger movement having them by the balls, however, that is not going to happen anytime soon.

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- Cindy McCain, the wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, and their daughter Meghan have posed for photos endorsing pro-gay marriage forces in California.

Mrs. McCain appears with silver duct tape across her mouth and "NOH8" written on one cheek in a photo posted Wednesday to the Web site of NOH8, a gay rights group opposed to Proposition 8. The ballot measure passed by California voters in 2008 bans same-sex marriage.

The McCains' daughter Meghan, who has been outspoken in her support for gay rights, has also endorsed NOH8. She appears with silver duct tape across her mouth and "NOH8" on a cheek in a photo on her Twitter site.

Cindy McCain contacted NOH8 and offered to pose for the photo endorsement, the Web site said.

John McCain's office said in a statement that the Arizona senator respects the views of members of his family but remains opposed to gay marriage.

"Sen. McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman," the statement said.

John McCain backed an Arizona ballot measure passed by voters in 2008 that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

The NOH8 Web site praised Cindy McCain's willingness to publicly endorse a cause that is unpopular within the Republican Party.

"The McCains are one of the most well-known Republican families in recent history, and for Mrs. McCain to have reached out to us to offer her support truly means a lot," the site says.

"Although we had worked with Meghan McCain before and were aware of her own position, we'd never really thought the cause might be something her mother would get behind. We have a huge amount of respect for both of these women for being brave enough to make it known they support equal marriage rights for all Americans."

Meghan McCain said Wednesday in a Twitter message linked to her blog: "I couldn't be more proud of my mother for posing for the NOH8 campaign. I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality."

Meghan McCain was asked to be the keynote speaker at next month's National Equality Week at George Washington University in Washington for her advocacy, but her appearance has drawn criticism from Republicans on campus, the NOH8 site said.

McCain's Senate re-election campaign said Wednesday that his presidential running mate, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, will come to Arizona to campaign for him in March. Palin has been a vocal opponent of gay marriage.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Want coverage on Haiti? You will not get it from Fox News.

Media Matters for American

The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck, Fox News' three top-rated programs for 2009, combined to devote a total of 20 minutes and 40 seconds of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti and its aftermath. Among the things Beck discussed instead of the earthquake were Senate majority leader Harry Reid's controversial comments; Hannity discussed the possibility that Republican candidate Scott Brown could win a special election for Massachusetts' U.S. Senate seat. Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball, MSNBC's three top-rated shows, devoted 1 hour, 45 minutes, and 27 seconds to the earthquake -- more than five times the coverage aired by Fox News' top three shows.

Call it spin all you want, but these numbers don't lie.

To rally the people to support Haitian relief might mean rallying the people behind our Commander-in-Chief, and thus increase his approval among the American people.

We can't have that happen, now can we?

Note: If you are a Fox News viewer, please demand more coverage of the event. Let's just say that it is your civic duty.

Also, I am sure that there people that will believe that I, likewise, am also being politically calculating by criticizing Fox News. Truth is, any prominent news outlet withholding coverage of said resent event deserves criticism, regardless of their motive.

If you can come up with a reason as to why they might be doing this other than what I have stated: I am all ears.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Vatican to Take Page from Scientology's Playbook

Catholic News Agency

The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.

The statement cited a "great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father" in recent years as contributing to a desire to use the Pontiff's name for all manner of educational and cultural institutions, civic groups and foundations.

Due to this demand, the Vatican has felt it necessary to declare that "it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church."

The declaration alludes to attempts to use ecclesiastical or pontifical symbols and logos to "attribute credibility and authority to initiatives" as another reason to establish their "copyright" on the Holy Father's name, picture and coat of arms.

"Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff... and/or the use of the title 'Pontifical,' must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See," concluded the message released to the press.

Perhaps I need to brush up on my public domain laws.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

No, Not the Edgerton of Aurora, NE

It looks like North Carolina's constitution "DOES" have a religious test for office.

ASHEVILLE — North Carolina's constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office.

Opponents of Cecil Bothwell are seizing on that law to argue he should not be seated as a City Council member today, even though federal courts have ruled religious tests for public office are unlawful under the U.S. Constitution.

Voters elected the writer and builder to the council last month.

“I'm not saying that Cecil Bothwell is not a good man, but if he's an atheist, he's not eligible to serve in public office, according to the state constitution,” said H.K. Edgerton, a former Asheville NAACP president.

In case you are wondering who H.K. Edgerton is...


H. K. Edgerton is a black Southern heritage activist and former president of the NAACP's Asheville, North Carolina, branch. His most notable action to date was a march from North Carolina to Texas to build awareness of Southern culture and history. Edgerton runs a website, Southern Heritage 411, which portrays some of his views and research on Black Confederate participation in the American Civil War.

In December 1998, Edgerton was suspended from the NAACP after he approached Kirk Lyons, an attorney who had represented Ku Klux Klan leader Louis Beam in a 1988 conspiracy trial, to assist the Asheville NAACP in a lawsuit over housing policy. According to the NAACP, his suspension was due to non-compliance with the organization's rules when the Asheville chapter fell into debt. In 1999, he was voted out of office.

Edgerton is now the chairman of the board of directors of the Southern Legal Resource Center. He is also an associate member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Yes, the picture above is not a photoshop intended to provoke a sense of irony. When I saw a similar photo years back, I thought it was part of a joke site. Later, I learned about this real individual from Penn and Teller's Bullshit.

Also, since Mr. Edgerton is such a stickler to who and who isn't eligible for public office in accordance to North Carolina's constitution, I am sure he would take up the same position if the constitution bared blacks. Am I right?

Furthermore, to accommodate the flag flown above, I made a little something I thought would be amusing.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Insert Your Own Joke

The Politico on Al Franken's "anti-rape" amendment

"I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”