I identify fairly strongly as a liberal (although this was not always the case), so perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that one of the most frustrating phenomena I experience as a politics junkie is watching liberal leading lights latch on to stupid ideas. Today, for instance, whoever was running the Mother Jones Twitter account sent out this:
The link points, as you can see, to Adam’s Serwer’s latest piece, When the US Government Can Kill You, Explained. His lede:
On Monday, the Obama administration explained when it’s allowed to kill you.
The piece, which discusses Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech Monday on the legal reasoning behind the administration’s national security policy, is accompanied by a stock photo of U.S. Air Force “Reaper” drone armed with guided HELLFIRE missiles — the sort used to kill the American-born al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.
[Here's a guest post from Jason Sparks aka @sparksjls. I meant to post this before the Iowa Caucus but -- SQUIRREL!! Oops. The points are still salient, and so you should still read it. Cheers! -ABLxx]
Cenk Uygur, late of MSNBC, now of Current, is featured in a new Huffington Post opinion piece urging Democrats to vote against President Obama in the Iowa caucuses. To support his underlying aim, Uygur cherry-picks a handful of issues on which he disagrees with the president’s actions, and in the process either purposefully misleads or, alternatively, has conducted so little research as to unintentionally mislead. Either way: He misleads. Let’s look at what he’s arguing.
Uygur opens his HuffPo piece with a screed about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA); he takes issue with the final language contained in the NDAA sections pertaining to the detention of al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. Uygur asserts that the NDAA allows for “the indefinite detention of US citizens by the military inside the US.” To bolster this frightening claim, Uygur links to this Glenn Greenwald post on Salon.com, in which Greenwald makes the same assertion: that the NDAA is the “indefinite detention bill.”
So, is it? How can we determine if the NDAA is the “indefinite detention bill” Uygur and Greenwald (to name just two) claim it is? How about if we look at the legislative language? The pertinent detention section of the NDAA is Sec. 1021/1022. Here’s the final language that came out of the House/Senate conference committee (the NDAA went to conference because the House-passed and Senate-passed NDAAs differed in key aspects, as we’ll discuss below.) I’m clipping at some length the key provisions at Sec. 1022, and have taken the liberty of bolding certain sub-sections:
Posted in Our Pundits of Perpetual Disappointment, Puritopians, Ratfvckery, Submissions from Readers
Tagged @sparksjls, Bush Tax Cuts, Cenk Uygur, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Dodd-Frank, Glenn Greenwald, Huffington Post, indefinite detention, NDAA, President Obama
I’ve put off writing this post for days, and I still don’t have the words to express my disgust about the “rape analogy heard ’round the Twitterverse.” In case you’re not up to speed, long story short, I had a Twitter discussion with Marcy Wheeler about the NDAA; a Greenwald supporter quipped that if I saw Obama raping a nun on live TV, I would defend him for it; another supporter quipped that I would fantasize about playing the role of the raped nun; and Greenwald piled on. When asked to account for the clumsy rape metaphor, Greenwald doubled down, claiming that it wasn’t a metaphor, and that he actually believed that I and other Obama supporters would defend Obama if we were to see him raping a nun. Continue reading
This just in.
President Obama plans to issue a signing statement which will clarify how the Administration views the law. From Talking Points Memo:
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed speculation Wednesday that President Barack Obama would issue a signing statement when he makes the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its controversial detention provisions law.
“We made really substantial progress in moving from something that was really unacceptable to the administration to something with which we still have problems,” Holder said in response to a question from the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Perez. “But I think through these procedures, with these regulations we will be crafting, we can minimize the problems that will actually affect us in an operational way.”
Holder said the language of the NDAA had been moved in a “substantial way” from some of the original language which led the president to issue a veto threat.
“So we are in a better place, I think the regulations, procedures that will help, and we’ll also have a signing statement from the president” which will help clarify how they view the law, Holder said.
Yes, but will he issue this statement before or after we’ve all been indefinitely detained indefinitely in a detention center as a result of this indefinite detention bill?
That’s what the people want to know. Continue reading
Shenanigans are afoot.
Matt Osborne of Osborne Ink has the story:
On December 10th an unknown spammer posted a selectively-edited video of Senator Carl Levin at YouTube and proceeded to tweet the link 45 times over 24 hours. The link is now dead (video deleted by user), but it has already been copied to accounts on various video sites. To find out what Senator Levin actually said, you can go watch the full C-SPAN clip at PoliticusUSA.
The video set off an online freakout of epic proportions. Recipients of this ‘reply message spam’ included a Bradley Manning account, Occupy accounts, and assorted hacktivist accounts. It was like squirting lighter fluid onto a smoldering flame, feeding paranoid memes of right and left. Indeed, “Joe Fangorico” was nonpartisan, including FOX News’ own Joe Napolitano and Ron Paulites on his or her list.
That’s because spammers are mainly looking for clicks. They make money from the first click, and so have incentive to obtain as many clicks as possible. A certain subset of netizen culture is eager for outrage, and therefore prone to pass disinformation. Video evidence that President Obama has evil designs on habeas corpus? That’s traffic gold, which is why so many different sites featured the video.
Joe Fangorico is not just a spammer, he’s also a hacker. You can see the Twitter account here:
(read the rest)
Who was taken in by and helped spread this tale? Need you even ask? Continue reading
I first saw an American “Hellfire” missile while covering a U.S. Army training exercise near the DMZ in South Korea*. It was loaded on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter, which was bristling with weaponry that also included a pod of 2.76” Hydra rockets and a vicious-looking, swivel-mounted chain gun under its nose, which I was informed fired explosive 30-milimeter rounds and was “linked” to a monocle attached to the gunner’s helmet – meaning that the gun always pointed at exactly what the gunner was looking at.
These were details I learned after being nearly tackled by the sergeant in charge of the refueling point – I had innocently wandered around the front of the aircraft, hoping to get some usable file photos of the division’s Apaches up close. A rule I hadn’t yet heard held that under no circumstances should anyone ever walk in front of that chain gun.
“It’s bad juju,” the NCO told me, as I dusted off my BDUs.
“Outright media lies are easy to debunk. It’s the lazy, fact-free, inside baseball analysis that’s killing us.” -@Shoq
I have been getting bombarded by people on Twitter accusing me of “being on the wrong side of history” with respect to the NDAA simply because, I suppose, I am not exhibiting the appropriate amount of outrage to match theirs. My interest in politics, the media, and the manner in which narratives are created and disseminated throughout Blogistan, the Twittersphere, and ultimately to the mainstream media is seemingly gauche to some.
One need only look at the 800 plus comments at Balloon Juice yesterday (here, here, and here), many of them excoriating me for focusing on the “wrong” issue. The politics of the day is less important than the fact that our civil liberties are being infringed — at least that is what I’m told.
Nonetheless, as is my right, I will continue to focus on what interests me, no matter how unimportant it may seem to some — and that is this: the language we use to describe and discuss important prevailing issues. Continue reading
I had some thoughts. I tweeted them. Then I put them in a chirpstory.
I really am procrastinating writing an actual post on this because, frankly, IDONWANNA. But you can read what I might have said in a blog post (if I end up not writing one) and you can listen to Hal Spark’s show which is awesome, and not just because he gave me a shout-out and called me his compatriot at the 1 hour 34 minute mark.
[Hiya! This is a post by Milt Shook for which I'm quite grateful because now I probably don't have to write one. See? Procrastination works! -ABLxx]
(Stay to the end, and watch me expose Glenn Greenwald as a liar once again.)
One of the most galling things about the professional left is the number of times they lie to make a point. You can’t be a progressive and also lie to the people who read your stuff. As this blog notes time and time again, the truth has a liberal bias; Fox News needs to lie; we do not.
Case in point; the hysteria over what many pro and emo lefties refer to as the “Indefinite Detention Bill.” Even people I often admire are buying into the hysteria, and it’s become depressing.
First thing you should know is, there is NO SUCH THING as an “Indefinite Detention Bill.” The actual bill Obama first threatened to veto and has now agreed to sign is called the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012.” The part about the “indefinite detention” is actually a poison pill amendment Republicans inserted into the bill to portray any Democrat who votes against it or President Obama if he vetoes it as being “against our troops.” Republicans put it there, not Democrats or Obama.
Yet, who the hell do these supposed “liberals” go after? Not the people who put that crap into the bill in the first place, of course. They go after President Obama, who has command the military (which includes my son, who’s working hard trying to rebuild Afghanistan, by the way) and have little choice but to put up with such Amendments. How incredibly stupid is this? Did so many progressive really learn NOTHING from the 2010 elections?
Obama doesn’t have a line-item veto, so he can’t veto the “Indefinite Detention Bill” without vetoing the entire NDAA. Now, you may think that would be a good thing, but would it? It’s not just about the troops. What about all of those civilians who might lose their jobs for at least a month or two, while Obama and Congress, including teabaggers, who have declared defeating Obama as their main goal, worked out a new NDAA without that little amendment, assuming they could do so? What do you think canceling all those defense contracts for a month or two would do to the unemployment rate? How about six months? What would happen to all of those small towns that depend on the military bases and contractors to support their small businesses? Do you imagine the GOP might be a bit energized after the unemployment rate suddenly rises to 10%? Continue reading