Booyah. It’s morning in America. The jobless numbers are stabilizing, the stock market is sizzling, quarterly earnings came in better than expected, traders have turned bullish, housing is showing signs of life, and clunker-swaps have given Detroit a well-needed boost of adrenalin. Even Cassandra economists –like Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini–have been uncharacteristically optimistic. Is it true; did we avoid a Second Great Depression? Is the worst really behind us?
Maybe. But there is only one way to find out for sure. Raise rates.
Bernanke should welcome the opportunity to show everyone how he’s pulled the world’s biggest economy back from the brink of disaster. All he needs to do is stop giving away free money, shut down a few of his so-called lending facilities, and stop manipulating interest rates by purchasing mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from Fannie and Freddie. How hard is that?
A press report on August 10 revealed that the government of Italy is planning to modify if not dispense with its post-World War II constitutional limitations on conducting offensive military operations; that is, to reverse a 61-year ban on waging war.
The news story, reminding readers that “Italy’s post-World War II constitution places stringent limits on the country’s military engagements,” stated the Italian government intends to introduce a new military code “specifically for missions abroad,” one that – in a demonstration of evasiveness and verbal legerdemain alike – would be “neither of peace nor of war.” 
On August 10 and 11, respectively, the nation’s Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa and Foreign Minister Franco Frattini were interviewed in the daily Corriere della Sera in in tandem they bemoaned what they described as undue restrictions on the Italian armed forces in performing their combat roles in NATO’s war in Afghanistan.
As we continue to wait for the release of the video/transcript of long-gagged FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ deposition last Saturday, the campaign of David Krikorian, Ohio’s Democratic candidate for the U.S. House seat in the 2nd Congressional district, has just issued a press release relating to it. Complete release posted below.
The Krikorian campaign’s press release, issued within the last hour today, follows in full below…
Krikorian For Congress Press Release
FBI Whistleblower Provides Revealing Testimony In Schmidt v. Krikorian Case
Ohio Elections Commission To Hold Preliminary Hearing Tomorrow
Cincinnati, OH – August 12, 2009 – FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, testified on Saturday to her knowledge of Turkish Government infiltration of US Department of State and the US House of Representatives. The testimony was revealing and will be used in David Krikorian’s defense against frivolous false statement claims brought by his 2010 opponent Representative Jean Schmidt.
First-of-Its Kind Study: Medicare for All Single-Payer Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages
Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today. It may be viewed at www.CalNurses.org.
The number of jobs created by a single-payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008.
On Sunday, I was delighted to take part in a conference call arranged by World Can’t Wait, consisting of an interview with Frank Harper, followed by a question and answer session with those listening in. This was a novel set-up for me, but I thought it worked well, and I’m delighted that it’s now available as an MP3 on World Can’t Wait’s website.
As World Can’t Wait explains in an introduction to the recording on its website, “The conversation ranged from the origins of systematic torture at the very beginnings of the US invasion of Afghanistan, to the significance of the continued denial of habeas corpus rights to the prisoners caught in the US dragnet, to the ways in which the Obama administration is continuing, with slight modification, the policies of the Bush Regime towards the Geneva Conventions and the treatment of prisoners snared in its war of terror.”
In an exclusive interview with Foreign Policy Journal, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul responds to charges that he supports terrorism, discusses 9/11 and ulterior motives for the war on Afghanistan, claims that the U.S., Israel, and India are behind efforts to destabilize Pakistan, and charges the U.S. and its allies with responsibility for the lucrative Afghan drug trade.
Retired Lieutenant General Hamid Gul was the Director General of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 1987 to 1989, during which time he worked closely with the CIA to provide support for the mujahedeen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Though once deemed a close ally of the United States, in more recent years his name has been the subject of considerable controversy. He has been outspoken with the claim that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were an “inside job”. He has been called “the most dangerous man in Pakistan”, and the U.S. government has accused him of supporting the Taliban, even recommending him to the United Nations Security Council for inclusion on the list of international terrorists.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. D-Mich. today released over 700 pages of on-the-record interview transcripts of Karl Rove and Harriet Miers on the U.S. attorney firings and the Bush administration’s politicization of the Department of Justice. Conyers also released over 5,400 pages of Bush White House and Republican National Committee e-mails on these subjects.
The released materials reveal that White House officials were deeply involved in the U.S. attorney firings and the administration made a concerted effort to hide that fact from the American people. “After all the delay and despite all the obfuscation, lies, and spin,” Conyers said, “this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons. Under the Bush regime, honest and well-performing U.S. attorneys were fired for petty patronage, political horsetrading and, in the most egregious case of political abuse of the U.S. attorney corps – that of U.S. Attorney Iglesias – because he refused to use his office to help Republicans win elections. When Mr. Iglesias said his firing was a ‘political fragging,’ he was right.”
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.” Dwight David Eisenhower, “Military-Industrial Complex Speech,” 1961, 
“My observation is that the impact of national elections on the business climate for SAIC has been minimal. The emphasis on where federal spending occurs usually shifts, but total federal spending never decreases. SAIC has always continued to grow despite changes in the political leadership in Washington.” Former SAIC manager, quoted in Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, “Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow.” Vanity Fair, March 2007
“We make American military doctrine” Ed Soyster, MPRI
In the first part of this three-part series examining the Guantánamo prisoners’ attempts to secure their release via the US courts, Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, examined the Bush administration’s record in the seven months after the Supreme Court’s ruling, in June 2008, that the prisoners had constitutionally guaranteed habeas corpus rights, and explained how, despite obstruction by the Justice Department, District Court judges reviewed 26 cases, and in all but three found that the government had failed to establish, “by a preponderance of the evidence,” that it was justified in holding the men. This second article (and the final part next week) examine the Obama administration’s record, in its first seven months in office, presenting an under-reported story of ongoing obstruction by the Justice Department, apoplectic judges, and, in the majority of the cases in which a judge has been able to make a ruling, more humiliation for the government.
Bush’s Justice Department lives on in two depressing court rulings
On his second day in office, President Obama issued a number of Executive Orders, which appeared to tackle the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror,” and included pledges to uphold the absolute ban on torture and to close Guantánamo within a year. Given the repeated defeats of the Bush administration’s detention policies in the courts, it was not unreasonable to suppose that Obama would move swiftly to overhaul the Justice Department, which had been rocked by scandals indicating that it had become heavily politicized during the Bush years. Accordingly, it was anticipated that Obama would focus on putting in place new staff who would take on board the Supreme Court’s statement that “the cost of delay can no longer be borne by those in custody,” would prevent the obstruction that was all too apparent in the dying days of the Bush administration, and would urgently review the prisoners’ files to prevent further humiliation by taking unjust and unwinnable cases to court. Continue reading →