What gives?

 Huh. Apparently, during the Bush administration's waning days, Cheney lobbied ferociously for a pardon of Scooter Libby. And Dubya wouldn't budge.


In the waning days of the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney launched a last-ditch campaign to persuade his boss to pardon Lewis (Scooter) Libby - and was furious when President George W. Bush wouldn't budge.

Sources close to Cheney told the Daily News the former vice president repeatedly pressed Bush to pardon Libby, arguing his ex-chief of staff and longtime alter ego deserved a full exoneration - even though Bush had already kept Libby out of jail by commuting his 30-month prison sentence.

"He tried to make it happen right up until the very end," one Cheney associate said.

Again, huh. I wonder what's up there? Come to think of it, I didn't hear anything at all about Bush pardons. Anybody know what's going on?



30 years gone


 So CBS News Sunday Morning, in honor of its 30th birthday, conducted a poll using the same questions used by the CBS News/New York Times poll (and some other sources) 30 years ago.

Some of the results were pretty interesting.




CBS/NYT L.A. Times Poll  

Now  12/1979 

Television   60%  41% 

Newspapers   14  42 

Internet   13  n/a 

Radio     7  11 

Magazines    1   2 

Talking to people  4   3 


Note the "n/a" next to Internet in 1979.



      CBS/NYT Gallup 

      Now  11/1978 

Wrong   41%  62

Not wrong  54  25


There it is, in black and white. A majority of Americans now accept homosexuality as a normal state of affairs. Progress!


Progress on health care, too.






Now  1/1979 

Private enterprise  32%  48% 

Government – all problems 49  28 

Government – emergencies 10  12 

Don’t know     9  12 


A clear majority of Americans favor government-provided health care, at least in emergencies, and a near-majority favors it in all cases.


Take a look at the whole poll. It's an interesting three-decade snapshot.




February 14 - Playlist Spotlight


An Evening of Afrotainment is dedicated to bringing you music from Black artists worldwide who cross all genres of music.  We do our best to present music that makes you listen, think and reflect as we slip and slide aurally through the spectrum of the Black experience often described as "Soul" music.  Soul music is best known for blending gospel and R&B.

Revolutionaries Guided by Great Love

Well, it's the day before Valentine's Day, and my thoughts have turned towards love; after all, love is the strongest force in the universe.  Love is integral to profound social change work.  As we work together to build the world anew, love informs our visions and fuels our actions.  If we want to live in a world that holds the values of love, truth and beauty as central tenets of our creed, then we must open to love here and now, with each other and ourselves.

Of course it was Che Guevara who said, "At the risk of sounding ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love."

Which is not unlike Buddha saying, "The thought manifests as the word. The word manifests as the deed. The deed develops into habit. And the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care. And let it spring from love, born out of concern for all beings."

So what does a world that values love and compassion look like? As we envision, manifest and build the world, how do we reflect love and compassion both in the making and in the result?


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

racism and the economic crisis


For The Old Mole February 9, 2009.

Racism is arguably both a cause and a consequence of the current economic crisis.

Bread and Roses Feb 6 Show: Interview w/creators of We've Got Time To Help


Bridget B. here, the interview with Seth Reams and Michelle King, the creators of We've Got Time To Help, was well received.  This segment of Bread and Roses, engineered by Brooke Kavanaugh, started, as always, at 6pm and ended at 7pm.  Here's the email that Seth and Michelle sent within an hour or so of leaving the station.

RIP: Lux Interior


I am very sad.

Cramps Frontman Lux Interior R.I.P. [Pitchfork]

The Long & Dusty Road 02.04.09


Wayfaring Stranger (Hobart Smith, In Sacred Trust: The 1963 Fleming Brown Tapes)
The Farmer's Daughter (The Dickel Brothers, Dickel Bros. Vol. 1)
Life Worth Living (Uncle Tupelo, No Depression)
Magnolia Blossums In The Breeze (Baby Gramps, Baptized on Swamp Water: Tribute to New Orleans)
Last Word (Victoria Williams, Musings of A Creek Dipper)
You Don't Know My Mind (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle Be Unbroken)

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