Obama's Top Priorities

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpress.com/

Below is a list of what, in my view, the most important to-dos on the president's lengthy to-do list are.

Of course I could be a smart aleck and just put -

1. THE ECONOMY

2. THE ECONOMY

3. THE ECONOMY

But that would be both unintellectual and too crude a way to make a point. Nevertheless - and quite coincidentially - all of the priorities listed below do link to the economy in some way or other. Here they are:

1. Fix the subprime mess.

2. Reform the banking industry.

3. Cut health care costs.

Details below the fold.

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Hey NY Times, How About the "Palestinian Hanging" Torture?

It's pretty clear the media strategy in this torture thing is to limit the coverage to the more milquetoast-ee tortures like pouring cold water on guys and making it look like they were trying to be careful about it.  This is why newspapers are losing circulation and going under: there's no news.  The Internet has emerged the supreme source of information.  Why pay for a paper when I can find out a lot more at work surfing DKos every now and then (Ha!  Caught you guys!  Get back to work!)

Hey New York Times, what about the Palestinian Hanging?  You need look no further than Major General Anthony Taguba's definitive report to find out about it.  You are hung with your arms behind you often causing dislocation of the arms from the sockets.  A tweaked version was to put your feet on an electrified drum through which to deliver shocks.  Since Obama will not release the torture photos, this is what it looks like:

This is the position in which al-Jamadi died, the prisoner in the famous Abu Ghraib photo of his body packed in ice.  The torture causes pulmonary damage.  As the guards released the shackles and lowered al-Jamadi, a witness said, blood gushed from his mouth "as if a faucet had been turned on."

Then you've got the plain bloody murder, but we won't talk about that, will we?  The media has ignored the large number of interrogation subjects who were "interrogated" until lights out.  At least 51 of these have died since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004.

Oh yes, then you have the child rape.  Sy Hersh said:

   

" Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said at the time:
"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience. We're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."

A compilation in November2008 of other evidence of alleged incidents involving children at the time recounts:

-- Iraqi lawyer Sahar Yasiri, representing the Federation of Prisoners and Political Prisoners, said in a published interview there are more than 400,000 detainees in Iraq being held in 36 prisons and camps and that 95 percent of the 10,000 women among them have been raped. Children, he said, "suffer from torture, rape, (and) starvation" and do not know why they have been arrested. He added the children have been victims of "random" arrests "not based on any legal text."

-- Iraqi TV reporter, Suhaib Badr-Addin al-Baz, arrested while making a documentary and thrown into Abu Ghraib for 74 days, told Mackay he saw "hundreds" of children there. Al-Baz said he heard one 12-year-old girl crying, "They have undressed me. They have poured water over me." He said he heard her whimpering daily.

-- German TV reporter Thomas Reutter of "Report Mainz" quoted U.S. Army Sgt. Samuel Provance that interrogation specialists "poured water" over one 16-year-old Iraqi boy, drove him throughout a cold night, "smeared him with mud" and then showed him to his father, who was also in custody. Apparently, one tactic employed by the Bush regime is to elicit confessions from adults by dragging their abused children in front of them.

-- Jonathan Steele, wrote in the British "The Guardian" that "Hundreds of children, some as young as nine, are being held in appalling conditions in Baghdad's prisons...Sixteen-year-old Omar Ali told the "Guardian" he spent more than three years at Karkh juvenile prison sleeping with 75 boys to a cell that is just five by 10 meters, some of them on the floor. Omar told the paper guards often take boys to a separate room in the prison and rape them.

-- Raad Jamal, age 17, was taken from his Doura home by U.S. troops and turned over to the Iraqi Army's Second regiment where Jamal said he was hung from the ceiling by ropes and beaten with electric cables.

Keep it up, NY Times! Bloggers want the advertising rev you are losing every time your circulation goes down!


Call the Office of the Attorney General, "NO WHITE WASH!" at (202) 353-1555. Then email the Justice Department.

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Fox News should be required to register as a 527

Having missed the events of the day live, I've spent the past couple of hours flipping between the three cable news networks. For about half the time I watched Fox and I really got a feel for profound difference in coverage between Fox and the other stations.

Not to say that any of the coverage was particularly insightful or brilliant, but on CNN and MSNBC I repeatedly saw clips from Biden's speech followed by talking head analysis of mixed levels of value. In the at minimum 45 minutes of Fox viewing I saw no clips of Biden's speech - not one. I would say about 25 percent of the time was spent on McCain's theme of Biden's former slights about Obama's experience when Biden was running for president. ALL of the rest of the time was spent discussing how much the choice pissed off Clinton supporters, bringing in whatever Democrats they could find to support the meme (Susan Estrich, a former Clinton campaign representative I didn't recognize, etc.) with alleged journalist Geraldo Rivera saying he was "pissed" that Clinton was passed over.

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At least one honest reporter about Iraq pre-war coverage

There is at least one honest reporter willing to talk about how the media didn't do it's job in the Iraq pre-war coverage.

Even though the media has long been painted as liberal, I think they have actually been much tougher on the Democrats. How many times have Hillary and Obama been attacked by the media for a gaffe. While McCain makes one gaffe after another and gets away with it. And I would argue that most of the one's McCain makes are serious ones. In fact, I think we should be spending less time attacking one another, Clinton-Obama supporter, and focus more of our attention on McCain.

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Diaries

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