Politics and Media Headlines 1/20/09


It's Time for the Taste Test (by Pat Racimora at No Quarter)
No doubt in anyone's mind. Barack Obama is the best known brand name on the planet. He was marketed masterfully, from the almost-Pepsi logo to imposing the best persuasion techniques known to social scientists... But now it is time to open the can and see what's really inside.

Crowds pack frigid Mall for Obama's inauguration (AP)
WASHINGTON - Braving frigid temperatures, an exuberant crowd of hundreds of thousands packed the National Mall on Tuesday to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as America's first black president. He grasps the reins of power in a high-noon ceremony amid grave economic worries and high expectations.

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/19/09


Matt Davies is back!

First funny Obama joke that I've heard:
Bush's Lessons for Obama
(by Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune)
OK, how many of you are going to miss the George W. Bush years? Can I see a show of hands? There is little question that President Bush became an extremely valuable, if involuntary asset to Barack Obama's long march to the White House. I think Bill Maher was the first comedian I heard joke that President Bush messed up the country so badly that the voters felt they had to send in a black man to clean it up.

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/16/09


Outgoing CIA director defends detainee interrogation program (McClatchy)
LANGLEY, Va. -- Outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden vigorously defended on Thursday the agency's use of secret prisons and coercive interrogation methods on suspected al Qaida terrorists, saying they helped avert new terrorist attacks and were done "out of duty, not out of enthusiasm."

See?  It's all okay.  It was only out of duty.  They were just following orders.

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/15/09


Barack Obama 2.0 (Political Wire)
President-elect Obama's political team "is quietly planning for a nationwide hiring binge that would marshal an army of full-time organizers to press the new president's agenda and lay the foundation for his reelection," the Los Angeles Times reports. "Organizers and even Republicans say the scope of this permanent campaign structure is unprecedented for a president. People familiar with the plan say Obama's team would use the network in part to pressure lawmakers -- particularly wavering Democrats -- to help him pass complex legislation on the economy, healthcare and energy."

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/14/09


The Heretik

Top Bush Official Says Detainee Was Tortured (American Constitution Society)
A senior Bush administration official says a GuantánamoBay detainee was tortured, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward reports. Susan J. Crawford, a top Pentagon official overseeing the military commissions told Woodward that interrogation methods used on Mohammed al-Qahtani, accused of helping to plot the 2001 terrorist attacks, amounted to torture. According to The Post, the techniques included "sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold ...." Crawford said, "We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture.

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/13/09


Our Little Shop of Horrors (by Pat Racimora at No Quarter)
For all of our sakes, all I can say is "Let's wish him luck."

On Sunday, Obama told George Stephanopoulos that closing Gitmo would be difficult; yesterday two anonymous advisers told the AP that an order to close the base will be signed soon after he takes office.
Advisers say Obama preparing to close Gitmo
(AP)
WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to issue an executive order his first week in office -- and perhaps his first day -- to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, according to two presidential transition team advisers.
But as J-SOM at Liberal Rapture points out, "Of course, we'll see. I suspect that the `order' is the point - and actually closing Gitmo will never quite occur... If Gitmo IS closed in short order I'll post a complimentary retraction of this post. Until then PEBO has earned our suspicion."--Caro

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/12/09

The Heretik

Obama: Closing Gitmo 'a challenge' (Politico)
Barack Obama suggested he's not likely to actively pursue criminal charges against national security officials who were directly involved in unlawful interrogations or wire-tapping, and said it would be difficult to quickly close down Guantanamo Bay. On Guantanamo -- which he repeatedly promised to shutter during the campaign -- Obama, in an interview on Sunday with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week," reiterated his intent to do just that but also sounded a pragmatic note. "That's a challenge," the president-elect said about the prospect of closing down to the detainee facility within the first 100 days of taking office.
Is there a new definition of "pragmatic" that has somehow escaped my attention?  It now seems to mean "whatever the Beltway blowhards want."--Caro

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/8/09


Class Warfare (by Susie at Suburban Guerrilla)
[F]rom Daily Kos...: "If the lines had continued to track closely together as they did prior to the 1970s, the MINIMUM WAGE would be more than $19 an hour. THE MINIMUM WAGE!!!..."... Also a major factor: The two-paycheck family obscured this wage deflation. After all, with both husband and wife working, it almost added up to one healthy paycheck! (As you can imagine, single moms like me had no trouble figuring it out.) I used to read years ago that Republicans actually liked the influx of women into the workplace for precisely this reason: It gave them cover for deflating wages. Nice work, guys!

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/7/09


The Heretik

Freedom Rider: Bush Goes Out a Winner (by Margaret Kimberley at the Black Agenda Report)
Bush is leaving office in the popularity basement, but his checklist of accomplishments is full. Bush has "succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party." Even when at his nadir in the polls, Bush managed to transfer $700 billion dollars into the pockets of his high-roller banking friends. He has implicated so many Democrats in torture, the party has little choice but to give him and themselves immunity. "It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way."
And that's why I'm so skeptical of calls for bipartisanship.  What we've seen is really unipartisanship--always leaning toward the Republican side.--Caro

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Politics and Media Headlines 1/6/09


Quote of the Day (Political Wire)
"Obama's team are the best linguists I've ever seen. Republicans aren't in his league right now." -- Frank Luntz, author of Words that Work, in an interview with Politico.
Frank Luntz is the man who espouses the juxtaposition of phrases that don't belong together, to make people believe that they belong together, without telling outright lies.  He's responsible, for example, for Republicans saying "Saddam Hussein" and "9/11" in the same sentence, to make Americans think Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, when he clearly was not.--Caro

The Radical Fringe

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