Centrist Pundits Pushing Hopeless Candidates

Josh MarshallJosh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wrote an insightful article last week, Chris Christie and the Distorting Lens of New York Media Dominance. It answers the question, “Why is so much made of these northeastern Republicans when they never have any hope in a national primary?” There is a lot to his answer. Basically: so much of the media establishment — including conservative flagships — is located in the northeast. He also noted that this is where most of the moneyed Republican base is. But, “It’s just not where the voters come from.”

As everyone should know, this is the standard problem for the Republican Party. It is committed to the interests of Wall Street. But that doesn’t win elections. The Republican base voter is mostly interested in social issues. The truth is that Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani are extremely conservative. “But they are usually not terribly focused on the evangelicalism-tinged social issues that drive Republican party identification in its heartlands.” So these guys might be loved by Wall Street, but they are like the Southern Strategy without the south: they aren’t going to win elections, even if northern Republican voters rather like them.

I agree with all of this. But I think there is another aspect to it. It has to do with the Professional Centrists. These are the people, who represent the foundation of the commentariat, who are always and forever looking for a “third way.” By definition, the Republicans are too conservative and the Democrats are too liberal. And we know it is definitional, because these people so often call on the two parties to compromise on what turns out to already be Democratic policy. But even if it weren’t for this, how can someone look at both the Democratic and Republican Parties and how much more conservative they’ve become over the last 50 years and think, “Sure, the Republicans are too conservative, but the Democrats are too liberal!”?

For these kinds of pundits, the Republicans from blue states will always have a special glow. It’s simply because those Republicans can’t afford to look like rattle snake handlers. But since the pundits don’t care about actual policy, they can focus on the way that people like Christie and Giuliani seem like regular people (in the sense of “like people who upper class pundits know”). What’s more, they seem less conservative than the likes of Ted Cruz — even though they aren’t. So it allows these Professional Centrists to claim that these Republicans are centrists. It’s axiomatic: given that Democrats are too liberal and Republicans are too conservative, any Republican who they decide is less conservative than the Republican Party generally must be a centrist or moderate. QED.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

Charles Murray Finally Realizes He Isn’t Winning

Charles MurrayCharles Murray is out with another book, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. I haven’t read it because no one is paying me to. There are too many great books that I will never have time to read. I’m not going to waste my time reading yet another of his screeds. Let’s be clear what he’s all about. Most people know him from, The Bell Curve. As a result, most people think of him as a racist. Indeed, I’m pretty sure I have called him that myself. But it isn’t quite appropriate. Murray doesn’t care about race. Like all of his books, The Bell Curve was making a social argument for conservative policy. In that particular case, he was arguing for an end to affirmative action.

This new book is more practical. He argues for a kind of civil disobedience. He wants some billionaires to pony up some money for a legal defense fund that will allow companies everywhere to break the law. This act of widespread law breaking will thus paralyze the system and the long promised libertarian utopia will at least be at hand! Some people seem genuinely concerned about it. Sam Seder and Digby spoke about it at some length on The Majority Report on Tuesday. But I don’t think there is much to worry about here.

Matt Bruenig tackled the issue last week with his usual finely tuned analysis, Charles Murray’s Abracadabra State. He noted that Murray’s legal defense fund would constitute insurance. And in most areas, the courts have already made insurance against law breaking illegal. Now it is possible that the court system would allow conservatives to get away with such a scheme. But that would be because the courts wanted the same thing that the conservatives wanted. That, of course, does not seem likely. Even conservatives judges bristle when conservative activists try to mess with their power.

To me, Murray’s idea is just a systematic approach to what conservatives have long been doing. We have seen two major challenges against Obamacare. But the truth is that conservatives have filed hundreds if not thousands of similarly frivolous lawsuits. And they were all taken care of very quickly. And it goes back much further than that. Conservatives love to rail against “activist judges,” but for the last 30 years, it has been the conservatives on the bench who have been activists. There are very few people in the federal courts who would be seen as liberal outside our own skewed definition of the term.

I think that Brian Beutler is exactly right, Charles Murray and the Right’s Plan to Subvert Democracy. But even that gives the conservative movement too much credit. Despite their constant claims to the popularity of their cause, conservatives gave up on democracy over two centuries ago. This is one of the great burdens of being a conservative. If you are serious, you have to admit that the people are not on your side. And that means abandoning the idea of democracy. And that means you want something like a philosopher-king. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Instead, it would just be a king — some better than others. But most conservatives are fine with that — just as long as they are part of the aristocracy, and they are allowed to keep stealing from the poor.

Murray’s subtitle is telling, “Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.” It’s interesting how conservatives see liberty as being whatever it is that they want. It’s never thought out. I would like the liberty to live anywhere that I want and to hunt and gather. But Murray would say: no, no, no! That’s because the kind of liberty I’m talking about interferes with the kind of authority (property rights) that he believes in. Murray doesn’t believe in liberty, though; he believes in a system of government that is more attentive to the interests of his class. Of course, he’s living in a dream land. There is no government that could be more attentive to the interest of his class than the one we have in the United States — at least one that wouldn’t cause a revolution.


See also: David Frum Summarizes Charles Murray

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

Morning Music: Ducu Bertzi

Best of '06 - Ducu BertziI’m not quite sure what we here in the west thought the godless commies were up to in the 1950s and 1960s. But what they were up to was the same things we were up to. They were just poorer. Romania is generally considered the most oppressive of the Soviet autocracies. But just like we were here in the states, the Romanians were having a folk revival in the early 1960s. I’ll have to mine that period in the future.

For now, I’ve discovered a much later artist from the same tradition, Ducu Bertzi. He’s a singer-songwriter from Sighetu Marmației in the northernmost of Romania. I don’t know much about him, other than that he performed a lot with the much more famous Florian Pittiș. You know us Americans: we don’t get out much. Anyway, here is a song, “Suflet Fără Chei” off (at least), Best Of ’06. The literal meaning of the title is “Soul Without Pier.” But Google Translate offers “Keyless Soul.” I think the idea is a soul without a point of access. It sounds very poetic and sad. Regardless, it is beautiful song:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Morning Music

Anniversary Post: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Sarah Josepha HaleOn this day in 1830, the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was first published. I’ll provide some discussion of it in a moment, but first I want to talk about it in the context of copyright law. If the law had been then as it is now, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” would have still be under copyright at the beginning of 1949. Think about that. The first American steam train was produced in 1830. That was the cutting edge of transportation. And we would have had to wait until the dawn of the Space Age before this little rhyme was considered part of the public domain. After it was written, we lived through the Civil War and then World War I and then World War II. But according to current American law, the country had only then moved on enough for the rhyme to be considered part of our shared culture. Until then, it was simply property for some corporation to use to extract rents.

It was written — to one extent or another — by Sarah Josepha Hale. Born in 1788, she lived all the way to 1879, which is one of the reasons that the length of the copyright would have been so long. It was published as part of her book, Poems for Our Children. You can find out more about her in the birthday post I wrote about her, Sarah Josepha Hale Had a Little Lamb.

So happy 185th birthday to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Now let’s go fix our broken copyright system!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Anniversaries, Politics, Reading & Writing

Brilliant Onion Video Explains Copyright Dysfunction

CopyrightI think people are often confused as to exactly what I am talking about with regard to intellectual property (IP) laws and how they are out of control. They also often think that it is strange that someone who actually makes (very little) money from royalties would feel this way. On a personal level, it is just because the IP laws are not set up for creative workers; they are set up to ensure corporate profits. And there are far better ways to encourage creative work besides copyrights and patents. One is Dean Baker’s idea for Artist Freedom Vouchers.

But rather than get into such details, I’d like to share with you a two and a half minute video. The Onion produced it, How To Successfully Sue Other Moms Who Steal Your Parenting Tricks. It is part of a series by a character, Grace Manning-Devlin. She is a vblogger who produces a show called, “Mothers Should.” In it, she provides parenting advice to other upper class mothers. Perhaps the best is, Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms. In it, she explains that the hottest trend in baby naming is, “Naming your baby after jobs that no longer exist.” For boys, these include names like, “Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, Serf…” And for girls, “Lector, Bluestocking, and Town-Hag.” She also recommends names from the Bible, like “Daniel” and “Shan’t.”

The video on copyright and patents gets the tone completely right. Check it out:

I’m not a parent, so I probably don’t get all the jokes here. But the main thing seems to be that she is copyrighting trivial things. But even more than that, she’s copyrighting things that clearly didn’t originate with her like the smiley face bubble bath. This is quite common. The most infamous example is the song, Happy Birthday to You. The song dates back to the mid-19th century. But some company got the idea of copyrighting it in 1935, and people have been paying for it ever since.

The video also highlights the use of legal harassment by copyright holders. That gets back to “Happy Birthday to You.” In most cases, it isn’t worth the expense to to fight against frivolous IP claims; it’s cheaper just to pay. So when Manning-Devlin was in Whole Foods (Of course!) and saw another woman using the copyrighted “craisens tip,” she gets her lawyer to send out a cease and desist letter. This is standard behavior in the corporate world. Apple computer has been doing this with “look and feel” lawsuits for 25 years, despite the fact that Apple also “stole” the same ideas from people before them.

Also really interesting is how parents are supposed to gain access to all these exciting parenting tips. For $24.99 per month, mothers can use up to 20 of Manning-Devlin’s “hottest tips.” This is similar to software and videos, which are never sold but rather licensed. (It makes you wonder: how did she know the Whole Foods woman wasn’t a subscriber?) But even more funny is “Grace’s Public Domain Tricks,” which are, like all of her ideas, things that were already around, but have clearly been around a lot longer. For example, there is the “Easy Couch Fort.” I’m sure these public domain ideas she’s claimed and “given back” are being written off as lost revenue.

The argument in favor of IP laws has always been that it encourages creative work. But it is clear at this point that they do just the opposite. No one, for example, can write a Harry Potter novel without licensing it (which means no one will be allowed to except for JK Rowling). But if that weren’t the case, I’m sure that other people would have written Harry Potter novels that were as good or better than the original ones. I don’t begrudge Rowling her money — in fact, she seems like a thoroughly decent person. But she didn’t write those books because she thought she would become a billionaire. I have little doubt she would have been thrilled with the thought of simply making a living as a writer.

So none of this stuff is about what creative workers do. What’s funny about The Onion video is that the (supposed) creative worker is acting the way that the corporatocracy does. Remember: “An idea is like a seed: it can only turn into a tree if you kill all the birds trying to eat it.”

Afterword

One thing that I really liked in the video was the use of jump cuts which are so vblog. I find it annoying. These people can buy nice cameras, lighting, and editing software. But to shoot with an extra camera or otherwise provide cutaways is asking too much. But note: I’m not against jump cuts. But if someone is going to the trouble of making something look professional, why not do that? It’s all about time, of course. It is easy to automate all the rest. Proper editing takes time. And talent.


See also: Copyright: Forever Less One Day.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fun? Maybe? Fun?, Politics

Rosencrantz on Life and Death in a Box

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadDo you ever think of yourself as actually dead, lying in a box with a lid on it? … It’s silly to be depressed by it. I mean, one thinks of it like being alive in a box, one keeps forgetting to take into account the fact that one is dead… which should make all the difference… shouldn’t it? I mean, you’d never know you were in a box, would you? It would be just like you were asleep in a box. Not that I’d like to sleep in a box, mind you, not without any air — you’d wake up dead, for a start, and then where would you be? Apart from inside a box. That’s why I don’t think of it… Because you’d be helpless, wouldn’t you? Stuffed in a box like that, I mean you’d be in there forever. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead, it isn’t a pleasant thought. Especially if you’re dead, really… ask yourself, if I asked you straight off — I’m going to stuff you in this box now, would you rather be alive or dead? Naturally, you’d prefer to be alive. Life in a box is better than no life at all. I expect. You’d have a chance, at least. You could lie there thinking — well, at least I’m not dead! In a minute someone’s going to bang on the lid and tell me to come out. “Hey you, whatsyername! Come out of there!” … I wouldn’t think about it, if I were you. You’d only get depressed. Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where’s it going to end?

—Tom Stoppard
Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

Leave a Comment

Filed under Fun? Maybe? Fun?, Quotations, Spiritual/Religious

US Out of Okinawa!

US Military Bases on OkinawaIn 1995, three US Marines kidnapped, beat, and raped a 12-year-old Okinawan girl. The men were convicted in a Japanese court, served their time, and went home. One of them went on to murder his girlfriend and then kill himself. The other two live somewhere in obscurity. As for the child, I have no information on what happened to her. I assume she was shielded from public view, and I hope that she has been able to get on with her life. For the people of Okinawa, this horrible crime is still very much alive. For the last 20 years, the people have been trying to get the US military to leave.

This last weekend, Al Jazeera reported, Thousands Protest Against US Airbase in Japan’s Okinawa. There are a total of 47,000 US military personnel in Japan, and over half of them are located on the Okinawa prefecture (kind of like a Japanese state). And the people are not happy. Think about it. There are roughly a million and a half people on the islands. And after two decades, they are still showing up in large numbers to protest. An estimated 35,000 protesters showed up in Naha — by far Okinawa’s largest city with a population of less than 350,000 people. It’s impressive, and maybe we should listen to them. (Obviously, it is a question for the Japanese government, but if we led, they would follow.)

After the outrage of the rape, the US military decided to move their Futenma base, where roughly 3,000 Marines are stationed. But all they wanted to do was to move it from one place on the Okinawa prefecture to another. Not too good. A 2007 poll found that 85% of the people in Okinawa were against the US military presence. But it seems only about half of them want the bases to go away completely; the other half would like to see them greatly reduced in size. And it isn’t surprising. According to The Guardian back in 2011, between 1972 and 2009, there were 5,634 criminal offense committed by the servicemen. “Among them are 25 murders, 385 burglaries, 25 arsons, 127 rapes, 306 assaults and 2,827 thefts.”

So why aren’t the military bases being moved? Well, according to the Japanese government, it is all Okinawa’s fault. At this point, Tokyo says that if they don’t want the base moved to another place on Okinawa, they have to come up with an alternative. This reminds me very much of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. As an occupation force, Israel is in charge of security, but Israel constantly complains about the Palestinian Authority not controlling its people. It’s the usual thing: those with power use it however they want, and when they don’t, they dump the responsibility onto the weak.

But look at the map at the top of this article. The red areas represent US military bases. We have these all over the world. This is what American empire looks like. I know that conservatives like to respond that we aren’t controlling the governments of other countries. But we don’t allow non-compliant governments to exist in areas that are important to us. And that was the same way it was under the British empire and the Roman empire. They always had their local stooges. I don’t think it is necessary for us to have an empire. In the long run, I think it is bad for us. But the least we could do is cooperate with the wishes of the people of Okinawa.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

Why We Don’t Address the Over-Valued Dollar

Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman highlighted a bit of disingenuousness about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from the White House, Tariffs Versus Currencies. I thought it would be helpful to go into this a little bit because it is probably the most important single economic issue that we have to deal with. Basically: the dollar is too damned high. This is the reason that so many people are out of work. And this is the reason that we only manage to get to full employment when we have things like the late 1990s stock bubble and the late 2000s housing bubble.

In this new report (pdf), the authors said, “US businesses must overcome an average tariff hurdle of 6.8 percent, in addition to numerous non-tariff barriers (NTBs), to serve the roughly 95 percent of the world’s customers outside our borders.” Krugman noted that the 6.8% is supposed to sound like a very big number. But it isn’t. He provided the following graph that shows that value of the dollar (weighted by where we export) went up over 20% from last summer and the beginning of this year:

US Dollar Value -- Trade Weighted

Clearly, the value of the dollar is a far bigger deal. But I understand: 6.8% is still extra forcing against our exports. The problem is that the tariff forcing works both ways: we tax their goods and they tax our goods. So this discussion is disingenuous in the same way that these discussions always are on the issue of increased trade.

Dean Baker provided a good way to think of this. Imagine that there is a car being built in Ohio. After the trade deal, the company decides to send all the parts to Mexico to have the car assembled, and then shipped back here for sale. All of those car assembly workers are out of a job, yet “trade” has gone way up!

The question remains, “Why don’t we do something about the over valued dollar?” And the reason is because having a high valued dollar is great if you already have a lot of them. The high valued dollar is only a problem if you are like 99% of working age Americans who need a job. In addition to this, companies like Walmart depend upon buying cheap products from other countries. If paper towels out of China suddenly go up in price by 20%, it is a big problem for them because their supply lines are already set up. If paper towels can be purchased more cheaply in the US, then another retailer could beat Walmart’s prices.

All of this is entirely typical of the way the we deal with all problems in this country: we don’t go straight at the problem; we nibble around the edges. The TPP apologists will claim that we don’t deal with currency manipulation because it is a hard problem. But the value of the dollar is not just an issue of currency manipulation. During the Clinton years we explicitly had a “strong dollar” policy — and nothing has really changed. And that shows you that the real reason we don’t deal with the issue of the value of the dollar — and by extension, the issue of our trade deficit — is because the power elite in this country don’t want to. And that should tell you all you need to know about the TPP: it is being crammed down our throats because the power elite want it — not because it is good for the country.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics

Morning Music: Sound of Music

Sound of MusicBecause of the hilarious video review, The Onion Looks Back At The Sound Of Music, I’ve been having various songs from that musical going through my head today. In truth, I’m not that fond of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work. When I was a kid, I loved it. Now it just seems too overblown, even as it lacks for inspiration. Clearly, that has been the direction of Broadway musicals over the course of my life, but I don’t have to like it.

My favorite song from the film was not written by the dynamic duo, but rather just by Richard Rodgers himself, because Oscar Hammerstein had died five years earlier. That song is “I Have Confidence” — it was either that or “Something Good,” since those were the only two Rodgers wrote the lyrics for. Both those songs are musically more interesting. This adds weight to my argument that the Rodgers and Hart songs are better because Rodgers wrote the music first. It’s a thought.

Before getting to the song, let me note that one of my favorite film, Romantics Anonymous, with one of my favorite crushes, Isabelle Carré, uses “I Have Confidence.” In it, the debilitatingly shy Angélique uses the song to give her courage. It never works. Of course, I can’t share that with you because the company that owns the copyright can’t tell the difference between advertising and theft. I dare say no one on the planet has worked as hard as I have to get people to watch this charming film.

Where was I? Oh, that’s right: “I Have Confidence.” Here is Sierra Boggess singing it live on television:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Morning Music

Anniversary Post: Battle of Clavijo

Battle of Clavijo - Corrado Giaquinto (Detail)On this day in 834, the Battle of Clavijo didn’t take place. But for a very long time, people thought that it did. It was supposedly between the good Christians of Spain to expel the Muslims from the country. Over time, they realized that the battle never took place. But for centuries, people believed. It even included actual historical figures, like Emir of Córdoba. But ultimately, the truth came out. A big problem with it is that there was no mention of the battle for about three hundred years after it. It reminds me of something else regarding Christianity, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. You know: a really impressive event that everyone would have known about that supposedly included actual historical figures, but somehow is completely devoid of contemporaneous accounts? It’s just not coming to me…

Another interesting thing about the battle is that supposedly Saint James Matamoros showed up to fight back the Muslims. Matamoros was a legendary character and this is pretty much what he would always do: show up and kill Muslims. Further, he was thought to be the same person as James, son of Zebedee, one of Jesus’ apostles, and the first to be martyred (according to tradition). Those who know their Book of Revelation realize that when Jesus comes back, he is going to kick some major butt. I find it interesting that pretty much all religions are parochial in this way: God will come in and help our little group kill all our enemies. Given how undependable God is in this regard, it’s all kind of hard to take.

That’s what’s so great about the Battle of Clavijo. You don’t need to have wars where God helps you win. You can just make up wars where God helps you win. That has two major advantages. First, it makes God really dependable. Second, no war! That’s pretty great. The Iraq War could have been just a story. It would have great to teach a lesson about hubris and stupidity. Instead, we had an actual war and most people haven’t learned a damned thing.

But happy anniversary to the fake Battle of Clavijo!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Anniversaries, Politics, Spiritual/Religious

Farcical Presidential Debates And Drunk Blogging

Drunk BloggingThe first Republican presidential nomination debate will air on Fox News on 6 August 2015. That’s just two and a half months away. I have very found memories of live-blogging some of the 2012 presidential debates with all the guys over at The Reaction. But that put a lot of pressure on Michael to take email that the rest of us were sending and then post it. Plus, users then had to manually update their pages. That is the problem with using Blogger for your hosting. It was also the problem here when Frankly Curious was using the Nucleus CMS. But now that I’m using WordPress, I can get actual live-blogging software, so I’m thinking of doing that here. Given that I can usually only stand to watch these things while I drink, it could be interesting.

Earlier this year, the RNC had announced that they were going to take control of the nomination process. But apparently not. Jonathan Bernstein summarized the situation well, Fox to Candidates: Go Nuts. On Camera. Please. One would think that the party would want to tightly control those who are in the debates, you know, so that the party doesn’t look totally crazy. But that apparently would have ruffled feathers with the crazy base of the party. So the RNC has abdicated the responsibility and just thrown it on the cable news networks.

Obviously, the networks have a different incentive than the Republican Party does. It strikes me as indicative of the fact that even the “adults” in the party are incompetent. For the first debate, Fox News is going to allow the top ten candidates as indicated by the last five polls before the even. That might include ties, so there could be more than ten. But isn’t ten about three times as many as the Republican Party needs to deeply embarrass itself? The situation is even worse for the second debate at CNN. For that, the network is going to have two debates: one for the top ten and a second one for those not in the top ten but who receive at least 1% in “public polling” — whatever that might be.

2012 Republican Presidential Debate

Jonathan Bernstein noted that even more than the bad incentives it provides the networks, are the incentives it provides the candidates, “We’re going to see gimmicks, stunts and every attention-grabbing device the campaigns can think of, all timed to maximize poll standings near the end of July.” He added that the huge amount of money available to some candidates will allow them to buy ads on Fox News to make it into the top ten. A win-win for Fox News!

At the moment, the Real Clear Politics average of polls provides the following winners in the top ten: Jeb Bush (15.4%), Scott Walker (13.2%), Marco Rubio (13.2%), Rand Paul (9.2%), Mike Huckabee (8.6%), Ted Cruz (8.6%), Ben Carson (7.8%), Chris Christie (5.4%), Rick Perry (2.4%), and Rick Santorum (2.3%). That’s like 2012, but worse. The field rounds out with John Kasich (2.0%), Carly Fiorina (1.3%), Bobby Jindal (1.3), and Lindsey Graham (1.3%). It’s quite a collection.

At the very least, the first couple of debates will be events to behold. So I think I’m going to press forward with the live blogging. If you see some weird stuff going on here over the weekend, it probably means that I’m testing some new software. Otherwise, I’m sure I will announce any live-blogging I intend to do. It would be nice if at least a couple of people watched. Like I said: it could be interesting. Especially if you’re drunk!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Computer/Meta, Politics

Lack of Accountability Means Future Torture

Ryan CooperThe big question is what this means for the future. Torture is extremely illegal (no matter what Bush’s Justice Department said) — but as the blog emptywheel points out, so is perjury, making false statements as a government employee, and obstruction of justice, all of which has continued up to this year. (It is worth keeping in mind that there is no statute of limitations on torture that is known to risk or cause serious injury or death.) Any halfway competent prosecutor would be able to roll up half the agency with those tools and this report.

But the only person who has gone to jail over this program is the man who exposed it in the first place: John Kiriakou, for leaking classified documents. Nobody gets prosecuted when they leak classified information to win public support for war crimes, but a decent and honorable whistleblower got 30 months in federal prison.

It’s time to start treating the CIA for what it is: a clear and present danger to the United States as a democratic nation. The CIA has proved time and again that it is a rogue institution that follows its own destructively idiotic instincts — and the post-9/11 era has been no different.

A legislature with even the slightest scrap of dignity or self-respect would at a minimum immediately undertake a complete reorganization of the security apparatus, followed by a truth and reconciliation commission. Better yet, an official war crimes tribunal.

But we’re not going to do that. Republicans overwhelmingly support torture as affirmatively good policy, which means the only change we’ll see with the incoming Congress is more deference to CIA goons. The executive won’t punish anyone, either — President Obama, to his shame, has already ruled that out, again. And much of the mainstream media is incapable of treating this subject seriously. John Yoo, author of the worst legal memos in American history justifying the torture program, gets a respectful hearing on Morning Joe. Michael “37 pages of lying” Hayden gets kid glove treatment in Politico.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the SSCI, says the point of the report is to prevent torture from ever happening again. But without any accountability, it’s just as likely that America will torture again in the future.

—Ryan Cooper
Why America Will Torture Again

Leave a Comment

Filed under Politics, Quotations