Saturday, February 07, 2009

Obama Disappoints Again!

At this rate, pretty soon I expect he will start talking about invading Iraq!

LA Times - It seemed like a firm campaign promise. Barack Obama pledged to continue President Bush's faith-based office in the White House, but with a key change: Groups receiving federal money would no longer be allowed to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion.

On Thursday, however, as President Obama disclosed the details of his faith-based program, he left the controversial Bush policy in place.

The decision angered Democrats and civil libertarians who thought Obama had agreed with their view that Bush's 2002 executive order went too far.

"Based on what he said, we thought the issue had been resolved," said Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-Va.).

"You'll have to ask them why they think it's all right to discriminate," Scott said. He added that administration officials are "either offended by the idea of discrimination, or they're not."

But Thursday's announcement surprised and pleased some religious leaders, particularly religious conservatives, who had a strong ally in Bush and had been pressing the Democratic president to revoke his earlier promise.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Torture Proves Hard To Give Up

Here is another depressing story about Obama helping to keep our torture secret....

After the British High Court ruled that evidence of a British resident's rendition and harsh interrogation at the Pentagon's Guantanamo Bay prison must remain secret because of threats made by the Bush administration to halt intelligence sharing, the Obama Administration offered a terse statement seemingly expressing support to the BBC.

"The United States thanks the UK government for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information and preserve the long-standing intelligence sharing relationship that enables both countries to protect their citizens," a spokesman said.

In response, the ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, shot off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking the Obama Administration to clarify their position. Romero also issued a sharply-worded three sentence statement to the press, saying Obama has now offered "more of the same."

"Hope is flickering," Romero said in a statement. "The Obama administration's position is not change. It is more of the same. This represents a complete turn-around and undermining of the restoration of the rule of law. The new American administration shouldn't be complicit in hiding the abuses of its predecessors."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Why Placate These People???

Obama wanted to make this show of reaching out to the out of touch GOP...and now look how we get screwed for it.....

think it's understandable, though unfortunate in terms of the future of the country and the interests of justice, that Sen. Gregg (R-NH) made it a condition of his accepting the Commerce appointment that he'd be replaced by a Republican. But now comes word that he's recusing himself from any votes on the Stimulus Bill.
Note that in this case a recusal amounts to a no vote since the Dems will likely need 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster. And now he's unavailable to provide one.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Makes Me Glad I Will Be Dead By 2050!

Things are going to get depressing around the Golden State just about the time I am checking least I hope the worst holds off until then!

Global Warming Could Erase California's Farms
Obama's Energy Secretary minces no words in first interview. By the end of the century, the nation's "salad bowl" could be a dust bowl.

In another sign that change has indeed come to the White House, President Obama's Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, is discussing the threat of global warming in new, stark and -- frankly -- frightening terms. This is not the kind of warning we ever heard from the Bush Administration.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, his first since being confirmed as Energy Secretary, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist said that all agriculture in California could be undermined by global warming by the end of this century. In other words, within the space of one lifetime, the nation's largest farm producer -- known as the "salad bowl" because it provides about half of the nation's veggies -- could quickly become more like barren a dust bowl.

Not only that, but California's cities are in jeopardy, too, Chu said. The reason? Mountain snowpack in the Sierras is dwindling, as warmer temperatures prevent snow accumulation and lead to greater evaporation. It's the runoff from those mountain snows that irrigate land and keep thirsty people alive in the valleys below.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nice To See Things Like This Happen.....

Obama Justice Department Re-Hires Attorney Fired By Goodling Because Of Lesbian Rumor»

In October 2006, Leslie Hagen, who was working as the liaison between the Justice Department and the U.S. attorneys’ committee on Native American issues, was informed that despite her “outstanding” job performance reviews, her contract would not be renewed. In April 2008, NPR reported that the Justice Department was investigating whether Hagen was fired after a rumor reached former Justice Department official Monica Goodling that she was a lesbian.

When the DoJ Inspector General report on Goodling was released in July 2008, it concluded that Goodling was motivated by Hagen’s perceived sexual orientation and “that Goodling’s actions violated Department policy and federal law, and constituted misconduct.”

Last night, however, NPR reported the good news that Obama Justice Department has re-hired Hagen for old position:

Last year, the Justice Department posted Hagen’s old job again. The department conducted a national search. Applications came in from around the country. After several rounds of interviews, Hagen eventually won the job.

The paperwork makes it official as of Monday, Feb. 2. Hagen now has her old position back, but this time it’s a little different. Her contract no longer comes up for renewal every year. Now, the job is permanent.

[The picture is of Monica of the biggest clowns of the Bush (in)justice department.]

Monday, February 02, 2009

Obama Lets CIA Keep Controversial Renditions Tool

And here we have another installment of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..."

Under executive orders issued by Obama last week, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, or the secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the U.S.

The rendition program became a source of embarrassment for the CIA, and a target of international scorn, as details emerged in recent years of botched captures, mistaken identities and allegations that prisoners were turned over to countries where they were tortured.

The European Parliament condemned renditions as an "illegal instrument used by the United States." Prisoners swept up in the program have sued the CIA as well as a subsidiary of Boeing Corp., which is accused of working with the agency on dozens of rendition flights.

But the Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration's war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.

Although Obama says that torture will no longer be part of the rendition program, how exactly that will be insured is puzzling to me....given the countries that are involved.

Judges jailed for taking bribes from private juvie prisons to send kids to jail

The prison/industrial complex at work I guess....

Two senior Pennsylvania judges have been sentenced to seven years in prison for taking bribes from juvenile detention centers -- in exchange for the bribes, the judges turned in guilty verdicts for the teens who appeared before them and sent them to juvie, thus enriching the operators of the kiddy gulag. For this, the judges received $2.6 million in kickbacks.

First, the judges helped the detention centers land a county contract worth $58 million. Then their alleged scheme was to guarantee the operators a steady income by detaining juveniles, often on petty stuff.
Many of the kids were railroaded, according to allegations lodged with the state Supreme Court last year by the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy group.