The Young Turks: Cenk Interviews Howard Dean

Cenk was asking Dean about possible replacements for the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  They talk about the 50 state strategy and the choice of Rahm Emanuel.  It’s a great interview in which Cenk asks Dean policy questions also.

Fox News: GOP Governor laughs at suggestion of Palin being future star

This is from the Hannity and Colmes show, which features Republican Governor Mark Sanford.  Not only does he laugh, but he starts naming off many other possible rising stars for the Republican Party.

FDIC Adds 54 Banks To “Problem List”

As of this Tuesday, we have a grand total of 171 banks that are considered to be in trouble, that is almost a 50% increase.  For anyone that is curious how their bank in performing; Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983.  Here is the link.

In the second quarter, 117 FDIC-insured institutions were on the list. Now, at 171, the number of institutions on the FDIC’s “problem list” is at its highest level since late 1995.

“We’ve had profound problems in our financial markets that are taking a rising toll on the real economy,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair in a statement, adding that Tuesday’s report “reflects these challenges.”

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One Shot Left

Common Dreams

The latest science suggests that preventing runaway climate change means total decarbonisation.

by George Monbiot (The Guardian UK)

George Bush is behaving like a furious defaulter whose home is about to be repossessed. Smashing the porcelain, ripping the doors off their hinges, he is determined that there will be nothing worth owning by the time the bastards kick him out. His midnight regulations, opening America’s wilderness to logging and mining, trashing pollution controls, tearing up conservation laws, will do almost as much damage in the last 60 days of his presidency as he achieved in the foregoing 3000.

His backers – among them the nastiest pollutocrats in America – are calling in their favours. But this last binge of vandalism is also the Bush presidency reduced to its essentials. Destruction is not an accidental product of its ideology. Destruction is the ideology. Neoconservatism is power expressed by showing that you can reduce any part of the world to rubble.

If it is now too late to prevent runaway climate change, the Bush team must carry much of the blame. His wilful trashing of the Middle Climate – the interlude of benign temperatures which allowed human civilisation to flourish – makes the mass murder he engineered in Iraq only the second of his crimes against humanity. Bush has waged his war on science with the same obtuse determination with which he has waged his war on terror.

Is it too late? To say so is to make it true. To suggest that there is nothing that can now be done is to ensure that nothing is done. But even a resolute optimist like me finds hope ever harder to summon. A new summary of the science published since last year’s Intergovernmental Panel report suggests that – almost a century ahead of schedule – the critical climate processes might have begun…

Read this entire article.

What George Bush is trying to do by changing environmental rules, on his way out the door, must be stopped. 

Will last-gasp “refinements” to the Clean Air Act let power plants locate near national parks next year? Will a new federal rule allow coal-mining debris to be dumped closer to streams? Will factory farms soon get a pass on reporting hazardous chemical releases?

So goes the worry list of environmentalists awaiting what they suspect may be an avalanche of last-minute “midnight rules” by the Bush administration that favor industrial polluters by relaxing or undermining environmental standards.

It is like George W. Bush no longer gives a damn. Not that he ever did…

Will Obama pursue war crimes, close Guantanamo – or won’t he?

Rachel Maddow interviews Slate.com senior editor Dahlia Lithwick.

During the course of this interview, it is suggested that the American people don’t have the ‘appetite’ to pursue charging people from this administration with war crimes.. I don’t know what people she is referring to. It is ALL I have been waiting for. I don’t know anyone who is also not waiting for these people to pay. Our laws are meaningless if they cannot be enforced – especially when it comes to people in high positions.

I have been waiting 7 years for this to happen – to finally get some accountability for all the crimes these people wave committed, and for all the death and destruction they have wrought. People all over this country are starving for some accountability, and we as a nation NEED to look at all that was done, examine all the laws that were broken, and fix things while putting the pieces back together again so this can NEVER happen again.

It is the only way to restore credibility to our country and to the laws this nation was founded on, and the only way to prevent it from being repeated. It is the only real way to bring healing and hope back to the people of this country, and gain back the respect of the world. They are also watching closely.

I would also plead strongly with President Obama to NOT go back on his promising to close Guantanamo Bay.


Guantanamo Justice After Seven Years

by Marjorie Cohn, Jurist

Since the Bush administration began transporting men and boys to Guantánamo Bay in January 2002, it has tried to prevent them from presenting their cases before a neutral federal judge. Indeed, the naval base was turned into a prison camp precisely to keep the detainees away from impartial courts. The government argued that federal courts had no jurisdiction over men detained on Cuban soil. Twice, the Supreme Court rejected that argument, finding that the United States exercises complete jurisdiction and control over the Guantánamo Bay base.

Finally, on November 20, in a stunning development, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the government to release five Guantánamo Bay detainees “forthwith.” Finding that the government failed to prove the men were “enemy combatants,” the judge, in a rare comment, urged senior government leaders not to appeal his ruling. “Seven years of waiting for a legal system to give them an answer . . . in my judgment is more than enough,” he said.

The five detainees the judge ordered released are Lakhdar Boumediene, Mustafa Ait Idir, Hadj Boudella, Saber Lahmar and Mohammed Nechla. Judge Leon did, however, find that a sixth detainee, Belkacem Bensayah, was properly classified an enemy combatant.

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Pentagon Redefines Combat Disabilities – Wounded Vets Lose Benefits

Just when you think the government can’t possibly cause more problems for veterans than they already have, the Pentagon gives them a surprise and sinks to an all new low.

In a little-noticed regulation change in March, the military’s definition of combat-related disabilities was narrowed, costing some injured veterans thousands of dollars in lost benefits — and triggering outrage from veterans’ advocacy groups.

The Pentagon said the change was consistent with Congress’ intent when it passed a “wounded warrior” law in January. Narrowing the combat-related definition was necessary to preserve the “special distinction for those who incur disabilities while participating in the risk of combat, in contrast with those injured otherwise,” William J. Carr, deputy undersecretary of Defense, wrote in a letter to the 1.3-million-member Disabled American Veterans.

The men and women need to be given difficult problems and rigorous training so that when they get into combat they are better prepared and equipped for the circumstances they will encounter. Under such hard training you expect to have some injuries, and those who are injured should be treated the same as the veterans wounded in combat, because that is reason for training.

Participation in life-threatening duties while not necessarily related to combat should be a no brainer when it comes to health coverage for those injuries – if these functions were not performed by military personnel who does the Pentagon think is suppose to do the work?   Or should they think twice about taking the risk because, heaven forbid, if while performing their duties they get seriously injured the government isn’t going to pay for the surgeries that are required to correct the damage done.  Could the government get any more heartless in their interpretation.  This reminds me of the movie Article 99.

Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq — by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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