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Friday Night Immigration Jam: Los Lobos - Will the Wolf Survive?

All alone in a world that’s changed
Music • Views: 2,590

YouTube

The video’s several years old and low resolution, but with the House Republicans’ vote for a deranged racist anti-immigrant bill that has no chance of passing the Senate, I can’t think of a better song for tonight’s jam than the Los Lobos classic “Will The Wolf Survive?”

Through the chill of winter
Running across a frozen lake
Hunters hard on his trail
All odds are against him
With a family to provide for
But one thing he must keep alive
Will the wolf survive?
Will the wolf survive?

Drifting by the roadside
Climbs a strong and aging face
Wants to make some honest pay
Losing to the rainstorm
He’s got two strong legs to guide him
Two strong arms keep him alive
Will the wolf survive?

Standing in the pouring rain
All alone in a world that’s changed
Running scared now forced to hide
In a land where he once stood with pride
But he’ll find his way by the morning light

Sounds across the nation
Coming from your hearts and minds
Battered drums and old guitar
Singing songs of passion
It’s the truth that they all look for
Something they must keep alive
Will the wolf survive?
Will the wolf survive?
Will the wolf survive?

(h/t: @vinayd)

President Obama Denounces Torture, Right Wingers Go Loony Tunes

Wingnut business as usual
Wingnuts • Views: 5,261

In his press conference today, President Obama said, “After 9/11… we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.”

And you can just imagine the reaction from conservatives to that. Well, actually, no need to imagine. Here’s a representative tweet from Ted Cruz’s senior communications advisor.

And of course, that’s just the tip of the crazyberg that is the conservative movement. I’ve been blocking and muting people on Twitter for the past hour, many of them self-professed “Christians” like these:

UPDATE at 8/1/14 2:02:27 pm by Charles Johnson

Obama’s statement on torture wasn’t really news; in May 2013 he said pretty much the same thing: Remarks by the President at the National Defense University | the White House.

Meanwhile, we strengthened our defenses — hardening targets, tightening transportation security, giving law enforcement new tools to prevent terror.  Most of these changes were sound.  Some caused inconvenience.  But some, like expanded surveillance, raised difficult questions about the balance that we strike between our interests in security and our values of privacy.  And in some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values — by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.

Vox Publishes Full Text of the Deleted Times of Israel Post About Genocide

Updated by Max Fisher on August 1, 2014 - Vox
Middle East • Views: 5,916

It’s Max Fisher, but most of this is factual — and there’s one pullout I’ve highlighted below that Max got exactly right. ToI had the sense to take this post from a blogger, not a journalist, down quickly, so I don’t see it as representing the Times at all, or the mainstream media of Israel. It is however an extreme minority opinion there that we do need to keep awareness of, if for no other reason to keep it in check.

The English-language Israeli publication Times of Israel today published, and then quickly deleted, a blog post by the writer Yochanan Gordon with the extremely inflammatory headline “When Genocide is Permissible.” The post does not explicitly endorse the genocide of Palestinians, but it asks if doing so would be morally justified after building up the case it would be and presenting only evidence in the affirmative.

“What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?” Gordon asks. And later, arguing that Hamas will never accept peace and that Israel is justified in doing anything necessary to impose it, “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”

This is not because Gordon himself is a particularly influential writer, much less a political leader of any kind, but because this post represents an extreme iteration of a much broader problem, in which the conflict and the discourse around it exacerbates and empowers extremism on both sides of the conversation. We’ve preserved the full text of the now-deleted blog post below; you can read it for yourself. This is not because Gordon himself is a particularly influential writer, much less a political leader of any kind, but because this post represents an extreme iteration of a much broader problem, in which the conflict and the discourse around it exacerbates and empowers extremism on both sides of the conversation. There is real social science behind this phenomenon, which pushes the politics of the conflict away from peace and toward more hard-line positions, as well as raising voices that de-humanize the “other side” in a way that makes it easier to perpetuate the fighting.

My two cents on the topic: extremists have only the power that we collectively grant them — they are, and will always be only a small margin at the fringe edge of humanity. Those who use fear and anger to shape the future can only affect us minimally if we do not allow their anger and fear to mold and shape us individually.

More: Here’s the Full Text of the Deleted Times of Israel Post Backing Genocide in Gaza - Vox

——— Update——

Please also note this accurate observation from Charles:

Max Fisher’s opening sentence is wrong. The Times of Israel blog section is not officially published - it’s called their self-publishing section, and it’s unedited. So no - the Times of Israel did not “publish” that blog post. It was published at their site by the author.

It’s also important to note that the blogger who made the Genocide post resides in New York.

littlegreenfootballs.com

Ted Cruz Spokesperson Derides White House Katy Perry Concert for Special Olympics - Then Deletes Tweets

Bad optics?
Politics • Views: 16,129
UPDATE at 7/31/14 7:06:35 pm by Gus


After realizing said performance was for Special Olympics, Amanda Carpenter weasels out of it with a lame apology and deletes said Tweets.

UPDATE at 7/31/14 7:06:57 pm by Gus


Amanda Carpenter Tweet Screenshot A
Amanda Carpenter Tweet Screenshot B

CIA Admits Improper Snooping on Network Used by Senate Intelligence Committee

CIA abuses the separation of powers
US News • Views: 12,551

The New York Times has details on a statement made today by the CIA, summarizing the Inspector General’s report on the CIA’s snooping on a computer network used by the Sentate Intelligence Committee.

WASHINGTON — An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee to prepare its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program.

The report by the agency’s inspector general found that C.I.A. officers created a fake online identity to gain access on more than one occasion to computers used by members of the committee staff, and tried to cover their movements as they rooted around the system, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation’s findings.

A statement issued Thursday morning by a C.I.A. spokesman said that John O. Brennan, the agency’s director, had apologized to the two senior members of the intelligence committee and would set up an internal accountability board to review the issue. The statement said that the board, which will be led by former Senator Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, could recommend “potential disciplinary measures” and “steps to address systemic issues.”

The Department of Justice has declined to investigate this issue, but it really shouldn’t stop here. It’s an outrageous misuse of the CIA’s powers, and CIA head John Brennan basically lied outright when asked a direct question about the allegations made by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. David Corn asks the next question: Should Obama Fire His CIA Chief for Misleading the Public About the Senate Spying Scandal?

UPDATE at 7/31/14 2:16:00 pm by Charles Johnson

There’s one detail that is being generally ignored in most of the reports so far: the CIA actually supplied the computers and operated the network the Senate Intelligence Committee was using, so suggesting this involved “hacking” is completely off-base.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it was still an egregious violation of the Senate’s privacy.

WHOA! Gateway Pundit Lies Again!

This time it’s Hoft’s moronic partner
Wingnuts • Views: 17,179

Jim Hoft is well known as The Dumbest Man on the Internet, but he now has a partner who’s giving him real competition for the title, Andrew Marcus. In addition to being blindingly stupid, Marcus is an utterly shameless liar who never hesitates to twist facts around to suit his one agenda — attacking President Obama. And the right wing herd never fails to go for it.

Today Hoft’s idiot partner bleats: WHOA! Obama Halts Visa Applications From Israel | the Gateway Pundit.

WHOA! I mean, WHOA! That’s intense, dude!

No Jews Allowed

Democrats have a Jewish problem:

US Embassy in Tel Aviv Severely Restricts Visas for Israelis

Tourist visa process cancelled until further notice, embassy announces.

From the Obama State Dept:

“Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv remains open but is operating at reduced staffing until further notice, and has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services,” the statement says. “Emergencies involving an American citizen and visa applications will be considered on a case by case basis.”

Progressives are not 100% on Israel’s side.

h/t US_Patriot1776

How shocked would you be to discover that this rancid hyperbole is a complete distortion of the truth?

Here’s the US embassy’s full statement - they’re short-staffed due to the security situation and have temporarily suspended visa processing. And it’s very unlikely that President Obama had anything to do with this decision, of course.

American Citizen Services | Embassy of the United States

Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv remains open but is operating at reduced staffing until further notice, and has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services. Emergencies involving an American citizen and visa applications will be considered on a case by case basis. If you had a scheduled visa appointment, you will receive an email informing you of the appointment cancellation, and another email with a new scheduled appointment. If the appointment is not convenient for you, you may reschedule your appointment through the scheduling system. You are not required to pay a new fee. We will update the website and our facebook on any developments. To ask for an emergency appointment, please email NIVTelAviv -at- state -dot- gov (for visas) or AMCTelAviv -at- state -dot- gov (for U.S. Citizens Services) and explain the nature of your emergency. We will respond to your email quickly with additional instructions.

And the pathetic Right Wing Unison Nitwit Chorus immediately jumps all over this bogus post, of course:

AP: The Bush Administration Kept Colin Powell in the Dark About Torture

Reeking of guilt
WTF • Views: 19,077

Tonight’s horrifying story about the Bush administration’s moral bankruptcy: they reportedly kept some of their most public top officials deliberately ignorant of CIA torture practices after the 9/11 attacks — up to and including Secretary of State Colin Powell.

In common human terms, this is “knowledge of guilt.” They knew the public wouldn’t support this, so they just … hid it. Even from the most senior officials in the government, charged with interacting with the public on these issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks concludes that the agency initially kept the secretary of state and some U.S. ambassadors in the dark about harsh techniques and secret prisons, according to a document circulating among White House staff.

The still-classified report also says some ambassadors who were informed about interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at so-called black sites in their countries were instructed not to tell their superiors at the State Department, says the document, which the White House accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter.

The 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation program has been years in the making. The findings are expected to reveal additional details about the CIA’s program and renew criticisms that the U.S. engaged in torture as it questioned terrorism suspects after the 2001 attacks.

A congressional official who has read the Senate report confirmed that it makes the findings outlined in the document. A former senior CIA official said the secretary of state at the time, Colin Powell, eventually was informed about the program and sat in meetings in which harsh interrogation techniques were discussed. But Powell may not have been informed when the techniques were first used in 2002, the official said. A spokeswoman Wednesday said Powell would not comment.

Chuck Todd Finds a Way to Blame Democrats for Republican Impeachment Insanity

WTF, Chuck
Media • Views: 18,753

I have no idea how anyone could look at the insane impeachment talk coming out of so many Republicans these days and still find a way to invoke the Magical Balance Fairy and say “both parties are equally responsible for this.”

But Chuck Todd did.

Chuck Todd on Wednesday railed against both the White House and congressional Republicans for engaging in “disgusting” and “embarrassing” rhetoric on impeachment and suing the president.

“This is sort of an embarrassing moment for Washington,” the NBC News chief White House correspondent said. “The leaders for both parties here — they’re driving away people from the polls, they’re driving people away from politics. This is cynical, it’s ugly, it’s disgusting.”

[…]

Todd declared a plague on both their houses, criticizing both Boehner and the White House for “embarrassing” tactics.

“This is the most cynical — Boehner’s up there with this ridiculous lawsuit, Josh Earnest sitting at the podium trying to tick off names of, ‘Look at Republicans who want impeachment’ — it’s not serious,” Todd said. “The lawsuit’s not serious. The impeachment talk’s not serious. This is playground stuff. This is embarrassing.”

Ooohkay. So in the weird world of Chuck Todd, pointing out that Republicans are increasingly ranting about impeachment is the same thing as ranting about impeachment.

It’s the privileged Beltway “view from nowhere” at its most ridiculous.

Michele Bachmann: Obama Is Planning to Do Medical Experiments on Migrant Kids

Good freaking grief
Wingnuts • Views: 19,980

SoundCloud

Well, it’s crazy day in the right wing universe and the xenophobic insanity over migrant children just keeps getting worse.

Now Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann is weighing in on the religious right radio program Wallbuilders Live, with a new theory, that is her theory, which is hers, that President Obama is sneaking all these children into the US so the evil liberal medical community can grab them and use them for medical experiments.

This is real, by the way, not from one of those “satirical” fake websites. She really said this. Gah.

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 Frank says:

Beware of the fish people, they are the true enemy -- Speaking at a ProChoice rally in Los Angeles around 1989-90.