Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,
Solarbird
solarbird

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It's a festival of linky politics!

First, I want to link to this fantastic series of photos from the volcanic eruption in Iceland, link courtesy filkertom. It's not political, like there rest of this, it's just awesome.

I've also got a few important economics things to talk about, but not in this post. Most of these are politics.

Really, what more can you say about the Catholic Church's pedophile protection programme than what they have to say themselves:
A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.

The proposed change to the law would put “all Church institutions, including your parish, at risk,” says the letter, which was signed by Connecticut’s three Roman Catholic bishops.
I mean, I'm not thrilled about indefinite extensions of statues of limitations either, to be honest; I see it as yet another manifestation of the police-state/surveillence-state cowardice endemic in American society today. But the ongoing disgrace and ongoing cover-up here is so repugnant that I can't side with the Catholic Church even on this one.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney new most of the detainees were innocent. And had them tortured anyway. (Just, you know, if you want to talk about ongoing disgraces and ongoing cover-ups.)

Mr. Obama's justice department is trying to sweep email messages without warrants, mostly to prove they can, as far as I can tell from this. They're also going after whistleblowers in the NSA. The "leak" in this case came from Thomas A. Drake, who leaked data showing massive cost overruns and technical failures inside NSA, and - I don't think even slightly incidentally - now the NSA had "rejected a program that had the promise of collecting communications while protecting Americans’ privacy" during the Bush administration. Glenn Greenwald, given the refusal to investigate or prosecute Bush administration torture and illegal domestic spying programmes, wants to know what the hell happened to 'look forward, not backward', and we all know the answer to that. Or, as Mr. Greenwald notes:
Under the Obama DOJ's two-tiered justice system (and it's an Obama political appointee, Lanny Breuer, trumpeting the indictment), engaging in serious wrongdoing entitles you to immunity (Look Forward, Not Backward), whereas exposing it to the public merits a lengthy prison term.
It is worth noting that the Bush administration investigated and threatened whistleblowers, but never got around to prosecuting them. (That link also contains more details about the extent of the failures and overruns Mr. Drake helped expose.)

Oh, remember those torture tapes that got destroyed, an illegal act of obstruction of justice? We all knew it was on purposes, but now it's proven. They have the documents, it was specifically ordered and done to prevent prosecution of CIA torture trimes.

The trial-ballooned replacement for Justice Stevens on the US Supreme Court is Elena Kagan, who everyone agrees will move the court far to the right in areas of power; she's far more deferential to claims of unitary executive power than Justice Stevens. Her nomination, should it proceed, should severely damage the "it's all about judicial appointments" argument for voting Democratic rather than third-party.

Andrew Sullivan says you can't dislike the executive order requiring Federal-aid receiving hospitals to allow partners of same-sex couples visitation rights - tho' it's actually allowing any patient to designate anyone they want - but this would all be a lot quicker and simpler if the government simply stopped officially and legally discriminating against GBLT people in marriage. Still, it's a legitimate good. Unlike all of the above, awesome volcano pictures excepted.
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