As part of my ongoing quest to confuse everyone and lose readers, I’ve relocated my blog.
The URL is the same: allisonkilkenny.com, but it redirects to a different, newer (and I’m told better) blog. As a result, allisonkilkenny.wordpress.com will no longer update. Please update your RSS readers with this feed: http://www.allisonkilkenny.com/feed/.
I promise I will try to stop moving the blog now.
My permanent blog will now be at http://trueslant.com/allisonkilkenny/. However, allisonkilkenny.com is still the permanent link to my blog, and will now forward to the True/Slant website.
He hopes it will give him and his Conservative government enough time to develop a stimulus package that could prop up the economy.
Mr Harper said: “The opposition’s criticism is that we have to focus on the economy immediately and today’s decision will give us an opportunity – I’m talking about all the parties – to focus on the economy and work together,”
He said a budget will be the first order of business when Parliament resumes.
Three opposition parties have united against Harper, accusing him of failing to protect Canada from the global financial crisis. The credit crisis and a global sell off of commodities have slowed Canada’s resource-rich economy, and the finance minister said last week he expects a recession.
Liberal leader Stephane Dion said the opposition would seek to oust Harper unless he makes a “monumental change” in dealing with the economy and other parties.
“For the first time in the history of Canada the prime minister is running away from the Parliament of Canada,” Dion said.
The opposition was also outraged by a government proposal to scrap public subsidies for political parties, something the opposition groups rely on more than the Conservatives.
Although that proposal was withdrawn, the opposition has continued to seek Harper’s ouster, saying he has lost the trust and confidence of parliament.
Governor General Michaelle Jean, who represents Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, had the power to grant the unusual request to suspend parliament. Had she refused, Harper would have had two choices: step down or face a no-confidence vote he was sure to lose.
Harper would not offer details on their a two-and-a-half hour long conversation, citing constitutional tradition.
Opposition politicians blasted Harper’s methods.
“I have friends calling me from other countries saying ‘Oh well, don’t worry, we’ve seen this happen in third world countries before, we’ve seen Parliament’s get suspended, and people pull fast tricks in order to not face the will of Parliament,’ but in Canada?,” Liberal Bob Rae said. “I frankly don’t regard his government as legitimate any more. His government is there because he avoided the will of Parliament.”
Opposition New Democrat leader Jack Layton called it a sad day.
“He’s trying to lock the door of Parliament so that the elected people cannot speak,» Layto said. «He’s trying to save his job.”
Layton said the shut down only delays Harper’s inevitable defeat.
Analysts said a governor general has never been asked to suspend parliament to delay an ouster vote when it was clear the government didn’t have the confidence of a majority of legislators.
Nelson Wiseman, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, said Jean’s decision strengthened the office of the prime minister at the expense of the popularly elected Parliament.
“It’s not a good day for parliamentary democracy,” Wiseman said.
Just a reminder that Stevens was recently convicted on seven felony charges. A court found him guilty of making false statements by failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., and other friends.
Oh, but of course, his motto is (he reminds us): “My motto has always been ‘to hell with politics, just do what’s right for Alaska.”
As long as you make a shit load of money, hoard lots of favors, and perpetuate cronyism, right?
Good riddance. May you awake every night in a cold sweat.
As always, spot the FOX NEWS headline
- In a victory stunning only to those of us convinced of an impending military coup and the racist parts of the south, Barack Obama won the presidency. He is the first African-American president of the United States. We’ll be sure to tear Barack apart for the remaining four years if he sells out the Progressives, but for the next ten seconds, we’re going to play nice. Ready? Here we go: Congratulations, Barack Obama. Please protect the people who got you elected.
- Now that Sarah Palin is gone, gone, gone, McCain advisors have started spilling even more dirt on her. One – she did not know where Africa was. Two – she did not know what countries are in North America and 3. She would throw fits so massive that it would make staffers cry. They may not have community organizers in the real America, but apparently there’s no shortage on miserable dumb bitches. It’s actually quite shocking they didn’t win.
- Honeymoon’s over. Barack Obama has reportedly named Rahm Emmanuel, relic of the Clinton years as his chief of staff. In addition to being known as a real son of a bitch, Emanuel is also allied closely with Wall Street after working years in the world of banking. He also ferociously defends every bad Israel policy decision. He also chearleaded the Iraq War at its beginining. Rahm Emmanuel: Change We Can Hardly Believe In.
- And in Bad Stuff Can Still Happen Even Though We Elected a Black Guy News: the US today killed 23 women and 10 children in Afghanistan. That is Afghanistan, Barack Obama’s “good war.”
- Democrats picked up five seats in the Senate but fell short of the sixty needed to overcome Republican filibusters. In North Carolina, State Senator Kay Hagan ousted vindictive bitch Elizabeth Dole in one of the sweetest victories of the night. Dole had released an ad attacking Hagan for accepting donations from atheists. The ad included a voice-over saying “There is no God,” a sentiment Elizabeth Dole no doubt believes now that she has lost the election.
- Hulk Hogan takes son Nick out in Sin City to celebrate his release from jail
DAMASCUS, Syria — U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as “serious aggression.”
A U.S. military official said the raid by special forces targeted the foreign fighter network that travels through Syria into Iraq. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military’s reach.
“We are taking matters into our own hands,” the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.
The attack came just days after the commander of U.S. forces in western Iraq said American troops were redoubling efforts to secure the Syrian border, which he called an “uncontrolled” gateway for fighters entering Iraq.
A Syrian government statement said the helicopters attacked the Sukkariyeh Farm near the town of Abu Kamal, five miles inside the Syrian border. Four helicopters attacked a civilian building under construction shortly before sundown and fired on workers inside, the statement said.
The government said civilians were among the dead, including four children.
A resident of the nearby village of Hwijeh said some of the helicopters landed and troops exited the aircraft and fired on a building. He said the aircraft flew along the Euphrates River into the area of farms and several brick factories. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information,
Syria’s Foreign Ministry said it summoned the charges d’affaires of the United States and Iraq to protest against the strike.
“Syria condemns this aggression and holds the American forces responsible for this aggression and all its repercussions. Syria also calls on the Iraqi government to shoulder its responsibilities and launch and immediate investigation into this serious violation and prevent the use of Iraqi territory for aggression against Syria,” the government statement said.
The area targeted is near the Iraqi border city of Qaim, which had been a major crossing point for fighters, weapons and money coming into Iraq to fuel the Sunni insurgency.
Iraqi travelers making their way home across the border reported hearing many explosions, said Farhan al-Mahalawi, mayor of Qaim.
On Thursday, U.S. Maj. Gen. John Kelly said Iraq’s western borders with Saudi Arabia and Jordan were fairly tight as a result of good policing by security forces in those countries but that Syria was a “different story.”
“The Syrian side is, I guess, uncontrolled by their side,” Kelly said. “We still have a certain level of foreign fighter movement.”
He added that the U.S. was helping construct a sand berm and ditches along the border.
“There hasn’t been much, in the way of a physical barrier, along that border for years,” Kelly said.
The foreign fighters network sends militants from North Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East to Syria, where elements of the Syrian military are in league with al-Qaida and loyalists of Saddam Hussein’s Baath party, the U.S. military official said.
He said that while American forces have had considerable success, with Iraqi help, in shutting down the “rat lines” in Iraq, and with foreign government help in North Africa, the Syrian node has been out of reach.
“The one piece of the puzzle we have not been showing success on is the nexus in Syria,” the official said.
The White House in August approved similar special forces raids from Afghanistan across the border of Pakistan to target al-Qaida and Taliban operatives. At least one has been carried out.
The flow of foreign fighters into Iraq has been cut to an estimated 20 a month, a senior U.S. military intelligence official told the Associated Press in July. That’s a 50 percent decline from six months ago, and just a fifth of the estimated 100 foreign fighters who were infiltrating Iraq a year ago, according to the official.
Ninety percent of the foreign fighters enter through Syria, according to U.S. intelligence. Foreigners are some of the most deadly fighters in Iraq, trained in bomb-making and with small-arms expertise and more likely to be willing suicide bombers than Iraqis.
Foreign fighters toting cash have been al-Qaida in Iraq’s chief source of income. They contributed more than 70 percent of operating budgets in one sector in Iraq, according to documents captured in September 2007 on the Syrian border. Most of the fighters were conveyed through professional smuggling networks, according to the report.
Iraqi insurgents seized Qaim in April 2005, forcing U.S. Marines to recapture the town the following month in heavy fighting. The area became secure only after Sunni tribes in Anbar turned against al-Qaida in late 2006 and joined forces with the Americans.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem accused the United States earlier this year of not giving his country the equipment needed to prevent foreign fighters from crossing into Iraq. He said Washington feared Syria could use such equipment against Israel.
Though Syria has long been viewed by the U.S. as a destabilizing country in the Middle East, in recent months, Damascus has been trying to change its image and end years of global seclusion.
Its president, Bashar Assad, has pursued indirect peace talks with Israel, mediated by Turkey, and says he wants direct talks next year. Syria also has agreed to establish diplomatic ties with Lebanon, a country it used to dominate both politically and militarily, and has worked harder at stemming the flow of militants into Iraq.
The U.S. military in Baghdad did not immediately respond to a request for comment after Sunday’s raid.
Associated Press reporter Pamela Hess in Washington and Sam F. Ghattas in Beirut contributed to this report.
Remember this amazing slice of awesome?
Well, Crazy Lady kept talking to reporters afterwards. Here’s what happened:
Above, an interview with Quinnell done via streaming cell phone. Interviewers include Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent from The UpTake, Adam Aigner of NBC News and Dana Bash of CNN.
Quinnell said she obtained the information on Obama being an Arab at “her local library” and from a pamphlet obtained at a local McCain campaign office (provided by a fellow volunteer not the campaign
itself). She has taken it upon herself to redistribute the information as widely as possible by making copies of the pamphlet and sending it to random names in the phone book.
Gayle Quinnell: I went to the library in Shakopee and I got lots of … three pages of information about Obama
Adam Aigner of NBC News: And what kind of information did you get?
Quinnell: I got to tell you, you call me. It’s a long story. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to this country.
Aigner: What would you think would happen? Do you think it would become Muslim country and what would that mean?
Quinnell: It would be bad
Aigner: So even though Senator McCain told you that he didn’t feel that was true and you ought to be more respectful, you still fear that?
Quinnell: I still do. Yeah. I’m not alone. I go to Burnsville, the main Republican headquarters and I do a lot of work over there. A lot of sending out mail and talking to people. And all the people agree with what I’m saying to you about Obama.
Aigner :Then do you feel there are a lot of volunteers for McCain who feel that way?
Quinnell: Yes. A lot of them. In fact I got a letter from another woman that goes over there to Burnsville and she sent me more things about Obama.
Aigner: What was on the letter?
Quinnell: Oh all kinds of bad things about him and how, I mean I have to tell you to call me. It’s all bad.
Reporter: Are a lot of people getting this letter and are a lot of people believeing it and is that turning a lot of votes or support for McCain?
Quinnell: Yeah I sent out 400 letters. I went to Kinkos and I got them all printed out. And I sent about 400 letters. I went in the telephone book and sent them out to people. So they can decide if they would want Obama.
Aigner: Can you give me your name again?
Quinnell: Gayle Quinnell and I honestly think that these people hear about this Obama, they wouldn’t want him.
Aigner: Because they would know what you know in the letter?
Quinnell: Yeah, he read that letter. In fact when I was standing in line , there were about eight girls, young girls standing in line. And they said “what have you got.” I had one of the letters and they said
“Give it to me. I want to read it. I want to read it” And they read it. And they just went (shakes head) . They hadn’t read it before and they didn’t (unintelligible) all that information. To me it’s bad news.
Aigner: So maybe if I call you you’ll give me one of the letters maybe?
Quinnell: I sure can!
Aigner: You don’t have another one on you now?
Quinnell: No I don’t. But I can give you what I got and I can give you what she sent me in the mail.
Aigner: I’d be interested to read it.
Aigner: And can you spell your name for me?
Aigner: E-L-L? And Gayle is just…
Aigner: And where you from?
Quinnell: I’m from Shakopee.
Quinnell: Shakopee, Minnesota
Aigner: And and I’m sorry how old are you ma’am?
Quinnell I’m 75
Quinnell: (Nods yes) And I got a lot of grandkids and a lot of kids, I’ve got five kids. I got seven grandkids and they all think the same way.
(PHONE NUMBER EDITED OUT OF CONVERSATION)
Noah Kunin (The UpTake): Do you volunteer at the Republican Party Headquarters or the McCain Campaign office over in Burnsville?
Quinnell: McCain. McCain Headquarters in Burnsville.
Noah: The McCain headquarters.
Quinnell: It’s out over by , over by that post station there.
Noah: Yeah, I know which one you’re talking about. And just to be sure to make sure we got your quote OK, you called Obama and Arab terrorist?
Noah: You called him an Arab terrorist? Is that correct? Why do you think he is an Arab?
Quinnell Because his dad is. If you… I’ll send you the paper.
Female reporter: His dad is Muslim His dad was Muslim. Barack Obama has never been a Muslim.
Quinnell: No but he’s….
Dana Bash of CNN: He’s a Christian.
Quinnell: He’s not an Arab either, he’s a —
Bash: His father was Muslim, and he’s a Christian.
Quinnell: Yeah, but he’s still got Muslim in him. So that’s still part of him. I got all the stuff from the library and I could send you all kinds of stuff on him. In fact….
Bash: What did you think about McCain said. He said he’s a decent person.
Quinnell: Well he did have didn’t have (unintelligible)… I think McCain wanted to (unintelligible) I don’t think he wanted to say anything against him. You know he didn’t want to cut him down. That was my way of thinking. I don’t think he wanted to cut him down. So he just kind of brushed me off.
Reporter: Plus he criticizes Barack Obama plenty himself, so why wouldn’t he do it now?
Quinnell: Well I probably brought up something that he didn’t want to talk about.
Reporter: Do you think John McCain thinks that he’s Arab? Do you think he knows this stuff that you’re saying you know is fact?
Quinnell: I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t want to bring it up then. I don’t know why. Is there some way I can get to you more information.
Bash: Can you wait for me for like five more minutes?
Bash: I want to an interview on camera. Our camera team is occupied right now. What’s your name?
Quinnell: Gayle Quinnell (Spells name again)
Bash: In case I lose you, you don’t have a cell phone do you?
Quinnell: No I wish I had it on me but I don’t.
Bash: See the pretty lady over there with red hair? That’s our camera. As soon as she’s done , we’ll be over there Ok
Reporter: What was your reaction when Senator McCain backed away
Quinnell: What was my reaction? Well when he didn’t want to talk about it…
America, the world’s beacon of democracy – that shiny righteous city on the hill – has always claimed moral superiority to the war criminals of the past. America got this title because of two claims: we don’t torture people and we give everyone the right of Habeas Corpus.
Well, toss #1 out the window. We do torture people. Of course, the CIA claims they only water boarded people when the country was in total chaos and everyone was absolutely terrified of another 9/11. Skeptics might say that’s exactly when the CIA should have shown the MOST restraint – when the American citizenry was in a state of shock and needed to be calmed rather than prodded – but then that would hardly follow the government’s systematic pattern of exploitation and fear-mongering.
So because we torture people, all confessions (of any kind) are immediately called into question, even the confession of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the former senior aide to Osama bin Laden, who has said he was the principal planner of the plot and who is one of the Gitmo Six. No video tapes of his interrogation were ever shown to the public, so we have no idea if he was forced into giving false information through torture.
The CIA were desperate to find someone – anyone – on which to pin the blame for 9/11. Perhaps in their desperate quest, they overzealously interrogated terrified men, who in turn regurgitated false confessions in hopes of calming their crazed captors.
And #2 (the right of Habeas Corpus) flew out the window, too. The government can lock you up, and they don’t need to tell you why, or even present evidence to a court. Just ask the six men awaiting their “trial” in Guantanamo. These guys aren’t going to get a fair trial, and some people might say that’s a good thing.
After all, why should we give terrorists a fair trial?
Well, the question has a two-fold answer. First, they could be innocent. Yes, it’s true: sometimes our government has the wrong people arrested. Second, we gave NAZIS fair trials at Nuremberg. We even found a lot of defendants not guilty! In the Nuremberg opening proceedings along, three men were found not guilty. The men got a second chance at freedom because they were able to speak in their defense and present evidence in court: two bedrocks of American democracy.
In other words, men accused of Nazi war crimes had more rights than the Gitmo Six.
Still, even without the right of Habeas Corpus, even without the right of a fair trial, maybe…maybe…these guys can catch a lucky break.
Not according to Colonel Morris Davis, a former prosecutor for the military commissions overseeing all the prosecutions at Gitmo. The Nation magazine reveals that when Davis spoke with Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes, who now oversees the prosecutions and the defense for the tribunal process, about the possibility of acquittals, Haynes nearly had a heart attack.
“(At the) Nuremberg trials there were some acquittals, and if there are some acquittals in our situation here, at least that will lend some legitimacy to the process,” Davis told Haynes. That’s when, according to Davis, Haynes’s eyes grew to the size of saucers.
“We can’t have acquittals,” Haynes said, “How can we explain holding these people for so long?” and he added, “We have to have convictions.”
Even Nazis caught a better break than the Gitmo Six. These guys are going to get railroaded, and potentially executed, on-site. And yet some individuals still claim the Gitmo Six will receive a fair trial, despite the practices of secret evidence and torture.
Pentagon legal adviser Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann claims the defendants will have the right to remain silent so as to not incriminate themselves. But Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights told Democracy Now that Hartmann’s claims are weak.
“He said that these detainees were going to have was a right to remain silent at trial. What that means is, they didn’t have the right to remain silent when the government was torturing them and interrogating them and abusing them, (but) they can sit idly by during this commissions process and listen to the stream of evidence that was brought in against them through torture, and they have a right not to say anything about it, and it is an illusory right.
Military officials have said that even if these men are found not guilty, the government has no intention of letting them go. So the absolute best they can do is to remain in jail for the rest of your life illegally. And, of course, the worst you can do is to be executed. These are sham show trials, and there is nothing about this that comports with due process.”
One can practically hear the Gitmo Six pining: If only we were Nazis.
The trials at Nuremberg were a proud moment for America. We got to show the world that we gave even our enemies a chance to defend themselves. We let the worst of the worst – individuals accused of genocide – present evidence in their defense. For a brief moment in history, America truly was a merciful giant, one capable of compassion and immeasurable kindness and decency.
However, if the Gitmo Six are subjected to these secret, illegal trials, and then are murdered in a United States military prison, we have become what we have so long claimed to loathe: immoral tyrants.
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The Lone Iraq Story:
Dispatches From Iraq: How U.S. troops in Baqubah take to the air to track insurgents
1. Harriet Miers
2. Josh Bolton
3. Bush’s plummeting approval rating