The new Cuba deal gives Marco Rubio fits.
He says Obama negotiates like a half-wit.
But truth be told,
Obama didn’t fold.
It was Pope Francis who made him do it.
During a recent interview, former Vice Pres. Dick Cheney proudly assumed responsibility for the U.S. government’s program of torturing prisoners in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “I’d do it again in a minute,” Cheney asserted.
Cheney is undoubtedly emboldened by the fact that there is no chance that he, the president he served or their minions will ever face justice for ordering the torture of prisoners, actions that were, by even the lowest standards of decency, war crimes.
Cheney and the others will escape justice, largely because the current president chooses to allow it, despite the fact that torture is illegal in this country and worldwide, under provisions of an anti-torture treaty signed by Pres. Ronald Reagan in 1984. There is also precedent for trying officials accused of torture. As was noted earlier, in 1946, the United States and its allies executed Japanese officials who ordered waterboarding of prisoners during World War II.
But the roots of America’s abhorrence to torture go back even farther, all the way to the founding. In fact, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington ordered that soldiers under his command who were found to have tortured prisoners could face execution.
In its report on the torturing of terrorist suspects by the U.S. government during the Bush-Cheney administration, the Senate Intelligence Committee revealed a long list of abuses:
Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.
Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force.” The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse.”
The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. U.S. agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.
In a facility codenamed COBALT, but referred to as the “Dungeon,” the United States created a chamber of horrors:
Jeb Bush has made his intentions about running for the high office his father and brother occupied. Mother Jones magazine offers a scathing list of 23 reasons he should probably reconsider.
As the magazine puts it: “From questionable business dealings to allegations of philandering, the former Florida governor’s past is an opposition researcher’s dream.”
Sorry, government-haters, but yesterday was a big day for NASA, the government’s space-exploration department, which successfully launched and recovered its new Orion spacecraft. According to NASA, the craft was sent into a brief orbit “atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket Dec. 5 at 7:05 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), is the first flight test for NASA’s new deep space capsule and is a critical step on NASA’s journey to Mars.”
Here is hope for the tens of people who are worried about the future of Liz Lauten, who was fired as communications director for tea party congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee yesterday because of a rant she posted on Facebook in which she called Pres. Obama’s daughters, Sasha, age 16, and Malia, age 13, classless sluts.
Based on Rush Limbaugh’s experience insulting daughters of Democratic presidents, Lauten, a former Republican National Committee employee and press secretary for former Rep. Joe Walsh, the infamous deadbeat dad from Illinois, is sitting pretty. Limbaugh has accumulated a net worth of $400 million, reportedly, even though (or perhaps because) he has a history of insulting the appearance of the daughters of Democratic presidents.
Amount President Obama’s approval rating with Latinos has jumped since he announced a new policy of deportation relief for millions of undocumented immigrants, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll finds. The new survey of Latino adults shows that 57% now say they approve of the job that Obama is doing, compared with 47% of Latino voters who said the same in September, before the immigration announcement.
Of Americans now identify themselves as Democrats, down from 32% six weeks ago. “The number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats has dropped to a record low in nearly 34 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, marking the party’s challenges after its poor showing in the 2014 midterm elections. The Republican Party, by contrast, has gained sharply in popularity, if not allegiance.”
Of Americans want the next president to take a different approach to governing. “Even among Democrats, 47% said they wanted a successor who takes a different tack — about the same as the 46% who wanted an Obama-like approach,” according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll: “Looking ahead to 2016, seven in ten That puts Mr. Obama in George W. Bush territory: In the latter part of Mr. Bush’s second term 74% wanted the next president to take a different approach.”
Jeb Bush’s ideological score based on a combination of three statistical indices created by Nate Silver. Bush’s score is “similar to Romney and McCain, each of whom scored a 39. He’s much more conservative than Huntsman, who rates at a 17. Still, Bush is more like his father, George H.W. Bush, who rates as a 33, than his brother George W. Bush, who scores a 46. And the Republican Party has moved to the right since both Poppy and Dubya were elected.”
Not even 10%
A new Monmouth University Poll finds that when GOP voters are asked to name who they would like to see as the party’s nominee for president, they volunteer more than a dozen names, with none exceeding 10% support. Contenders include Mitt Romney (8%), Ben Carson (7%), Chris Christie (7%), Jeb Bush (6%), Ted Cruz (5%), Rand Paul (5%), Mike Huckabee (3%), Scott Walker (3%), Bobby Jindal (2%), Rick Perry (2%), Marco Rubio (2%), and Rick Santorum (1%).
The new Cuba deal gives Marco Rubio fits.
He’s going down a checklist of thorny, longstanding problems, and he’s doing whatever he can to tackle them. These are things that have been tearing at us for decades and generations. My sense is his feeling is, I’m not going to leave office without doing everything I can to stop them.
— David Axelrod, quoted by the New York Times, on President Obama’s recent actions.
If you want a government that’s gonna intrude on your life, enforce their personal views on you, then I guess Jeb Bush is your man.
— Michael Schiavo, quoted by Think Progress, on being overruled by Bush for his decision to remove his wife Terri’s feeding tube after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.
On behalf of the French delegation, I want to tell you, you are very beautiful.
— French ambassador Gérard Araud, quoted by the New Yorker, in a text message to U.N ambassador Samantha Power, adding that, “As a Frenchman, I’m not condemned to be politically correct.”
I’m going to end on a note of gratitude — something I never thought that I would say. George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office.
— Jon Stewart, on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of torture during the Bush administration.
At election time, candidates seduce us with promises to bring America together, but inevitably fall short and end up leaving office with the country more polarized than when they arrived. After blaming them for their failure to unite us, we turn to the next crop of presidential aspirants and the cycle of hope and disappointment begins all over again.
— Brendan Nyhan, writing for the New York Times’ The Upshot blog.
- Patti Davis: Dear Sasha and Malia
- AP: Putin Accuses West of Trying to Sideline Russia
- PoliticsUSA: Tea Party Nation Says #Whitelivesmatter
- Eclectablog: While Progressives Try to Catch up with ALEC in the States, ALEC Moves to the Cities and Counties
- TPM: ‘Nuclear Option’ Helps Obama Reshape The Courts For A Generation
- Agregate: Who Would Jesus Waterboard?