When Barack Obama meets Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in London this week at the G20 summit, it will be perversely interesting to see if Zapatero is greeted with the famous Obama smile or a less-often-seen, steely-eyed glare. Spanish investigating magistrate Baltazar Garzon – the man who arrested former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [...]
A few weeks ago, George W. Bush slunk into Calgary, Alberta where he was paid a reported $50,000 to address a gathering of oil men; in Alberta, there’s no such thing as oil women because, even in the 21st century, the province still revels in its rough-n’-ready, real cowboys are men, way of thinking. It [...]
February is a poignant month for it marks my parent’s wedding anniversary and mother’s birthday and both come a few weeks after the 10th commemoration of her death. Probably because Barack Obama’s inauguration is still fresh in my mind, and she was a lifelong progressive Democrat, I’ve been thinking a lot about Joyce lately: More [...]
It didn’t take the GOP long to begin devouring its own. No sooner had the Senate passed The Stim yesterday but notorious right-wing funder-in-chief Richard Mellon Scaife’s front organization, “The National Republican Trust PAC,” sent an urgent e-mail to fellow travellers asking for money to defeat Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe – [...]
There isn’t much point showing the Republican Party that they’ve lost it completely and are floating out to sea, alone and abandoned on a shrinking iceberg like an aged bull walrus driven from the herd. After all, new party chairman Michael Steele doesn’t know that when you work, you have a job and vice versa, [...]
by Charley James Talk about setting up a bright, highly competent, loyal, nice guy for failure. When Barack Obama named former Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta to run the Central Intelligence Agency yesterday, he picked a man whose biggest plus is having loudly protested the agency’s use of torture including waterboarding and other “enhanced [...]
by Charley James – At the end of the state funeral for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on October 3, 2000, official mourners were milling about in front of Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. Cuban president Fidel Castro stepped over to Jimmy Carter to ask a serious political question: What did Carter think of using the [...]
In a devastatingly critical examination of the narco-state formerly known as Afghanistan, the New York Times’ Dexter Filkins today documents case after case of widespread corruption on a massive scale in the Afghan government, including officials ranging from low-level, local bureaucrats right up to the brother of President Hamid Karzai. Filkins shows the difficult situation [...]
Like tens of millions – and growing – of his increasingly desperate countrymen, he is out of work and cannot find a job; worse, nobody in his chosen profession will even interview him. His previously good friends don’t want to publish his story so he is reduced to keeping a journal for his sons. He [...]
by Charley James – A few nights ago, Rachel Maddow was discussing the Wall St. bailout on her MSNBC show with guest Dr. Laura Tyson. Tyson, a former economics advisor to Pres. Clinton and now a professor at UC-Berkeley, was defending the banks who received bailout money for their total lack of disclosure or transparency [...]
by Charley James – Last Saturday, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus came up with an unusually convoluted bit of punditspeak about forgiving Dick Cheney his self-admitted war crimes and crimes against humanity including lying the country into war, illegal wiretapping, outing Valerie Plame-Wilson, torturing prisoners of war and – oh, right – telling Fox News’ [...]
by Charley James – John McCain lost the presidential election only because the Obama landslide was greater than Republican operatives anticipated and local GOP apparatchiks weren’t vigilant enough in preventing legitimate voters from casting ballots. And when informed by field offices of a potential voting rights problem, Attorney General Michael Mukasey reportedly chose not to [...]
by Charley James – According to both the 9/11 Commission report and Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies, in the summer of 2001 former CIA director George Tenet raced around Washington clanging “alarm bells” to anyone who would listen about a possible al Qaeda attack on the United States. The CIA and the National Security [...]
by Charley James – Appearing last night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin called for an investigation and possible indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney for admitting he authorized waterboarding – a form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition and illegal under numerous US laws and international treaties.
by Charley James – Overlooked in the frothing about Dick Cheney’s interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl is a simple truth. Shotgun Dick, Darth Vadar, The Man Who Never Was, Richard Bruce Cheney confessed freely and openly to committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Vice President who spent eight years avoiding interviews used what [...]
by Charley James – To prove to himself once and for all that everything is going swell in Iraq, George Bush spent one of his last weekends in office sneaking into Baghdad to say, “So long, suckers! Glad we destroyed you!” in front of what he assumed would be a friendly, naïve audience of Iraqi [...]
Should we pity the rich? For the first time in the lives of many of them, they are in as much financial trouble as the middle class, poor, and working poor. It just shows up differently. Friends from the days when I lived in Manhattan are writing increasingly gloomy e-mails saying that there are so [...]
by Charley James – In the 1950s, “Engine” Charley Wilson – then chairman of General Motors – said “What’s good for GM is good for America.” We’re about to find out that the reverse is also true.
by Charley James – Since neither the Pentagon nor the Veterans Administration seems to show much real interest in the plight of returning Afghan and Iraqi vets beyond a few discredited talking points spouted during interviews, organizations such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are taking the lead.
Thursday morning, House Democrats took firm control of the environment issue by ousting Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. John Dingell. In his place, the caucus chose Rep. Henry Waxman. Besides seating a committed environmentalist as head of the influential energy committee, the vote removes one of the auto industry’s best friends from a key [...]
by Charley James – As a progressive, one of the things that I appreciate about MSNBC’s evening line-up is that although its people have a liberal point of view, they stick to actual facts rather than slide down into the slimy half-truths and outright lies that Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the other on Fox’s [...]
As if we don’t have enough to worry about the shenanigans Bush & Co. might try pulling in their last 60-plus days in office, now comes whispered reports from Washington that Dubya is considering issuing a “blanket pardon” for everyone involved in anything illegal in the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and – more critically – [...]