Elections

Punk'd?

Hmm. So after a resounding electoral victory, an inauguration the likes of which we've never seen, and an odd new empathic burst of shared purpose, President Obama did what now?

He followed Bush's lead on civil liberties.

 

Obama Administration Maintains Bush Position on 'Extraordinary Rendition' Lawsuit

The Obama Administration today announced that it would keep the same position as the Bush Administration in the lawsuit Mohamed et al v Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc.

A source inside of the Ninth U.S. District Court tells ABC News that a representative of the Justice Department stood up to say that its position hasn't changed, that new administration stands behind arguments that previous administration made, with no ambiguity at all. The DOJ lawyer said the entire subject matter remains a state secret.

It's because of that last item I listed above -- that sense of shared purpose, of belief that all of us are going to get pointed in the right direction -- that this stings so much. "Extraordinary rendition" was one of the most galling of the Bush junta's excesses. Ashcroft, Gonzales & Co. had relied upon "state secrets" privilege to prevent courts from ruling on cases like Mohamed, in which five plaintiffs had been forcibly deported to other countries (we still don't know where) and tortured.

On one of its first chances to turn away from the dark side, the Obama administration has stepped right in the footprints set down by Bush. "State secrets" still prevent the tortured from having their day in court. It's a disgrace.

The only hope I hold out -- and it's a thin one -- is that the situation around rendition is as convoluted as that surrounding the prosecutorial cases for the Guantanamo detainees. Perhaps on this issue, too, the Bushies left such a scorched landscape in their wake that the Obama Justice Dept. is having trouble making head or tail of what went on in the course of "extraordinary rendition." Perhaps they will do the right thing and revisit Mohamed again down the road.

I hope so. I hope Obama is not the Manchurian candidate I feared he might be.

H/T Glenn Greenwald

If You Love This Planet on 02/02/09

Air date: 
Mon, 02/02/2009 - 11:15am - 12:00pm

Host Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks with Bob Herbert, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, about the changing political landscape in the U.S. and the new Obama Administration.

More Talk Radio on 02/02/09

Program: 
More Talk Radio
Air date: 
Mon, 02/02/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am

Hosts Cecil and Celeste speak with prominent anti-racism activist Tim Wise about his new book "Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama."

Special Programming: Public Affairs on 01/29/09

Air date: 
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 10:00am - 11:00am

Host Stephanie Potter interviews David C. Korten about his new book "Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth: Why Wall Street Can't Be Fixed and How to Replace It."

Korten identifies the deep sources of the current economic crisis: Wall Street institutions that have perfected the art of creating "wealth" without producing anything of real value: phantom wealth.

"This Land Is Your Land!"

program date: 
Sun, 01/25/2009

 

"This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land!"

Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen sang this song, which included some rarely heard verses, in front of Obama and the nation at the Inauguration celebration, January 19.  Here is one of those verses as sung by its composer, Woody Guthrie himself, in 1944 together with some commentary by Clayton Morgareidge.

3:53 minutes (2.23 MB)

Life During Wartime on 01/28/09

Program: 
Life During Wartime
Air date: 
Wed, 01/28/2009 - 11:00pm - Thu, 01/29/2009 - 1:00am
Short Description: 
Raging punk and hardcore spun by your favorites plus live performances from Iron Lung and Australia'

Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/20/2009

The day after Barack Obama's historic inauguration as president of the United States we'll look at how much has changed in the United States and what still needs to change in the days, months and years ahead.

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by guests John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the US Human Rights Network.

54:56 minutes (25.15 MB)

Old Mole Variety Hour for January 19, 2009

program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

On this program, the Moles look forward to the Obama presidency, back to the messages of Martin Luther King Jr., and to how the Nixon presidency is selectively remembered in the film Frost / Nixon.  Hear the whole show by clicking on the arrow above, or individual segments by following their links below where you can find more information  about each piece:

1.  John Nichols, correspondent for The Nation, talks with the Mole's Bill Resnick about where history might drive Obama.

2.  "What Would King Tell Obama?" -- an article by Michael Honey read by Tom Becker. 

47:40 minutes (27.28 MB)

Obama, Race, and Class

program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

What does the Obama presidency mean, symbolically and politically, for issues of race and class?  Malik Miah comments in this article from Against the Current.  The Old Mole's Jan Haaken reads it for us. 

8:14 minutes (4.71 MB)

John Nichols from the Inauguration

Categories:
program date: 
Sun, 01/18/2009

From the streets of Washington, D.C. on the eve of the Inauguration, John Nichols, a correspondent for The Nation Magazine, talks with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about Barack Obama and how history may drive him into more progressive action than he has foreseen.  

16:07 minutes (9.23 MB)
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