Sunday, April 26, 2009

Episode 52: The Scoop!


#1 – She Coulda Been Number Two…

A couple of weeks ago, Queen Noor was on Colbert Report, and I couldn’t help but think about what things would be like had McCain won. Now Joe Biden has pretty much been out of the limelight, but I don’t think we could have said the same about Sarah Palin. What struck me on the show was, our potential first female VP couldn’t hold a candle to any other female head of state in the world. Now, Palin and Noor share a few qualities: they are both charismatic, deliver speeches well, and have the aesthetic qualities of a modern leader – young, impassioned, and ambitious. However, Queen Noor carries herself with such grace and professionalism (trying not to get all gushy here), and Palin just doesn’t have it. I don’t know how any leader could take Palin seriously. She’s definitely not in the same ballpark in terms of intelligence and grace under fire. But that’s all I have regarding Palin. Forgive me for opening the pandora’s box of old news, but it’s all a bit funnier in retrospect... =)
Here is Noor on Colbert, and Palin in her most flattering interview with Hannity for compare and contrast

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#2 – If It Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck, Talks Like a Duck…

All of this talk of torture is rather disturbing. It doesn’t matter what kind of spin anyone puts on it… if you beat the living crap out of a detainee, drown him, starve him, and make him stand naked in front of a pack of starving dogs, IT’S TORTURE. Trying to reconcile the irreconcilable is a fruitless endeavor, and our lack of moral compass makes us look pretty awful. If you have to pick up the torture handbook from 1950s China for tips, that should be a pretty good indicator that we were probably doing the wrong thing. And “close doctor supervision” during all Advanced Interrogation Methods? That’s a good one.

So the ultimate barometer by which we attempt to justify our actions is “did the torture producer answers?” If you have beat a guy within a half inch of his life AND waterboard him 183 times before he talks, well I’m no expert, but I’m inclined believe torture does not work! So kudos to you Mr. President for releasing the memos, and shame on you for not pushing prosecution. I understand that Obama has important items on the agenda he wants passed, but we’re playing partisan politics right now… for goodness sake, healthcare will be voted on the grounds of reconciliation. So do the right thing and put those responsible for legislating and authorizing torture in jail. The law is only as good as our ability to enforce it.

#3 – The Empire Strikes Back

Why is Dick Cheney still in the news? I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an extreme case of sore loserness in politics before. He is well within his right to criticize the president, but is that really in the best interest of the nation right now? However, his presence in the media does highlight some pretty awesome ironies, and I’m an irony kind of guy.

1) Obama is making America less safe? There is no better sign of weakness that infighting. Let’s step out of the political arena for a sec and consider a show like survivor. Which teams always win? The unified ones. Which team goes home packing? The ones with incessant quarrelling and petty backstabbing. The stronger teams always look to knock out the infighting teams first to gain a competitive advantage. The very same is going on in real world politics today

2) Cheney is unarguably the top 5 most unpopular political figures in American history. Every time he takes the stage, his inflammatory marks pander to a shriveling base, and doesn’t do much to impress swing voters. In trying to make his party stronger, they actually become weaker.

3) Megan McCain (who would’ve had a better time running against Obama than her dad) had to tell Cheney shut up and go home. The republicans are desperately trying to get the “Megan McCain” vote (though a failed Michael Steele “bling bling” campaign cause a big setback in this department). But when a young republican is so outspoken against the Bush/Cheney/Rove politics that the “rising star” republicans employ, the efforts of getting the young vote are severely diminished. Cheney, pack up your bags, and enjoy your retirement.
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7 comments: on "Episode 52: The Scoop!"

Grog said...

My problem isn't torture per se, I think it's clear that the US has engaged in torture for a long time (spies, double agents, rebel leaders etc.)
The problem with the Bush/Cheney torture campaign was it's broadness. The army would sweep neighborhoods where they suspected terrorists to be and then just torture everyone they got to see who might have information.
This doesn't seem very effective and more significantly, was impossible to hide.
Torture should never be routine.
Rendition, secret prisons, secret assassination squads...I mean was Cheney trying to emulate Stalin?

conservative generation said...


I like the plurality of issues here.

#1: Don't know why you guys are still bringing down Sarah Palin? You talk about sore loser (don't know who Cheney was running against?), but the election is over. Sounds a bit sore winnerish to me. You of all know there is a lot more to a person than their public speaking. I don't think Sarah Palin would make a good Presidential candidate. Maybe one day...but then again she was a VP pick. Biden's no picnic either.

#2 I'll save my torture comments for when I've read the memo. I like to be informed before I try and make a point one way or another. However, from what I've read, what was done was legal. Moral or not, if it's legal one shouldn't be prosecuted. I don't mind an inquiry so long as you are willing to burn any democrats who were involved as well.

#3 - LOL! You are so right about McCains daughter being a better candidate.

The Law said...

I won't deny the sarah palin thing is way over and done... but after watching the g20 summit and the colbert report... it just got me thinkin about it... no sore winnerish intent here

I can *kinda* sympathize with the agents who were ordered to torture. I'm sure there are things our soldiers would rather not do in Iraq, but they can't disobey an order... but it is pretty clear that the law was twisted to make what was once illegal, legal, and the people responsibile for distorting legislation should be punished for it. But as Grog said, the kind of wide spread, profile, capture, and "interrogate" technique is wrong in every way. I can understand the apparently very rare "Jack Bauer" moment where you capature a terrorist on american soil, and there is proof that a bomb is gonna go off in the Staples Center, and he knows the disarm code... roughing him up for that info, may lead to saving american lives in that case. But according to many interviews from CIA and FBI agents that have been on TV these last couple of weeks, that situation is VERY rare. theres no way anyone can expect waterboarding someone 183!!! times is going to produce anything useful. Again, agents said intel obtained this way frequently led to dead ends. Now if he was waterboarded twie and gave up info, AND it led to some information, the debate would be a bit different.

I reckon Megan McCain is my age, so I guess she can't run for president until 2020 lol. And if her opponent was a bozo, she'd stand a really good chance to win commandingly I think.

Mark Meloy said...

No matter what political leaning we may have, pushing prosecution is a bad idea. It is simply a Pandora's box without the hope. Allowing lawyers to start going through the evidence will unearth decades of CIA actions that are, at the very least, questionable. No one with any common sense doubts that when the US needed it, assassination's and torture occurred, especially during the Cold War. In a time of trying to establish a working relationship with these foreign countries, this is not the time for our dirty laundry to come flying out, hampering the goodwill established by Obama in his recent overseas visits. We all know these things were happening since the beginning of the CIA, to feign shock now is absurd. Opening this to litigation will be a completely unnecessary nightmare that will have no end. Kudos to Obama for walking away from this one.

conservative generation said...


Fair enough on Palin. I forgot to mention, you were quite fair choosing the Hannity interview.


Can't argue with that. Probably the first thing I agree with Obama about.

The Law said...

The L Comment... FAIR AND BALANCED BABY! ;-)

Good comments Mark and Grog... I hadn't really condsidered our past armed engagements and I feel more inclined to stand down on pushing prosecution.

Still, what Grog points out is the broad scope of profiling used to detain suspects. It is becoming more clear that the law was modified and distorted to allow these acts to happen. Even if it is something like the peopel responsbile for distorting the law are simply fired and banned from law, I'd be satisifed. If everyone gets off this scott free, I don't think it sets a good example should something like this happen 100 years from now.

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