Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why do I bother?

Every morning, after I walk the dog, I turn off the lights, sit on the floor and meditate. Why? Because I believe if I'm diligent, it will lower my blood pressure.

Then I turn on the TV to get ready for work and what's on? This show on MSNBC called Morning Joe. If you haven't seen it, you are indeed one of the fortunate people on the planet.

Joe Scarborough, a former congressman from redneck Florida. One of the young Gingrich revolutionaries, Joe made his bones during Clinton's impeachment for the blow job.

For weeks, Joe has been opining over torture, defending Dick "Dick" Cheney's authorization to use waterboarding on a couple of bad guys.

Morning Joe had Liz Cheney on, talking about what a great fucking guy her father is and what a great thing her father did. She even repeated that gasbag Limbaugh's assertion that Cheney, because Rush can't think of any other motive, must be speaking out now because he loves his country.

Huh. I would have guessed a fear of indictment, social disapprobation and/or eternal damnation, but then I'm not the mighty El Rushbo with his superior brain powers.

Here's the brief Liz Cheney, who loves her daddy, made for Dick.

1. Lawyers in the DOJ said these methods weren't illegal.
2. Dick was protecting the country.
3. Half the people in America agree with Dick so that makes it OK.
4. We waterboard people in SERE, a program that trains men to survive capture and interrogation by the enemy.

First, she's right about the lawyers. These are the legal eagles who gave us dictator lite in the theory of the Unitary Executive. They said these techniques weren't illegal.

But then some other lawyers came after them and said, oops, we think these techniques are illegal. So just ignore those first memoranda, OK? No harm, no foul, OK?

(And if my lawyer tells me it's OK not to pay my taxes, do I still have to go to jail?

There's precedent in American law that says waterboarding is illegal. We have prosecuted people for waterboarding. I understand precedent is a big thing with legal guys.

Then there's the law itself. (This link from Barry Eisler's great blog post on this subject):

The UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, signed by President Reagan in 1988 and ratified by the Senate in 1994, and Article VI of the Constitution ...

So, it looks like Big Dick broke the law. Ouch. On to #2.

Dick was protecting the country. So if I rob a bank and give the money to charity, that's OK. I didn't know intentions negated the law. Learn something new every day.

Half the country would torture some raghead if they had the chance. And that's the half we should follow? Huh? I mean, WTF?

And now for number 4. I've heard this so often from right wingers that my head nearly explodes when I hear it again. For those who think this makes waterboarding all right, try to read slowly and carefully.



Listen, I went through some things in training that I wouldn't want to do again. Sleep deprivation, harassment, physical and mental fatigue, all designed to break me. But even at its worst I knew these people would not do me any real harm. I knew they were doing this to make me stronger. That means it is not the same thing. So let's stop with the SERE bullshit, OK?

Or if you insist, remind your listeneres that the SERE program - the stress positions, loud noise, lack of sleep, etc. - was based on Communist Chinese torture of American POWs captured in Korea. That means Daddy turned to Mao for instructions on how a civilized country behaves during war. Fucking Mao!

When challenged by another guest as to legality of these techniques, Liz Cheney agreed that people had different opinions.

OK. Fine. Let's have a hearing to hash out all these differing opinions.

And for the last straw wingers cling to, that Pelosi and other Democrats knew and approved of these techniques, I say, bring it on. I don't care who gave this the green light. They need to be held legally accountable.

That's another word right-wingers love to throw around - accountability. Except when it's applied to them. Bastards.

I don't know why this meditation crap isn't doing a fuck of a thing for my blood pressure.

Goddam eastern guru bullshit.


Jeff Shelby said...

Can you turn on the TV BEFORE you meditate?

JD Rhoades said...

Dude, I'm a bigger news junkie that anyone I know, and even I know better than to watch these assholes in the morning.

JD Rhoades said...

PS here's what I suggest:

1) Turn on the radio and listen to NPR. They only occasionally make me want to throw things.

2) Tape or DVR last night's Daily Show and watch that while you get ready.

But for God's sake, man. Morning Joe? Are you insane?

David Terrenoire said...


It's a masochistic streak, obviously.

That and I'm dumber than a bok of hammers.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

This is why I do all my meditating in morning traffic at six am. With AC/DC blaring and me shrieking along with it. Swerving between cars, running stop signs, buzzing old ladies while they're crossing the street.

Hey, it's a lot more relaxing than watching those shows.

John Nadler said...

Dave, it's amazed me to see Cheney (and his family) on television so often, and I wondered why. You're probably right that he is concerned. I also think his motives may be highly personal: he just can't relinquish power, ie. the spotlight. His whining about President Bush's refusal to pardon Scooter Libby said a lot. He seemed outraged that the President refused him, which makes one wonder how little he was refused when it came to policy, etc. I like the Daily Show's take on Cheney's PR tour. They created a segment called 'Your Dick is Showing."

Joe Saundercook said...

I grew up reading spy novels and generally assuming that the governments of all the world powers (including our own) were in the common/general habit of snatching people off the street, drugging them up, torturing them beyond the limits of their sanity and then either brainwashing them or replacing them with look-alike corpses.
So, the lemonade I make of this is that maybe, just maybe, all this bluster and postering is an indication that the assumptions of my youth are not the case.

charlie stella said...

Davey, Davey, Davey ... then I get up at 3:00 a.m. to prepare for a miserable day at the gym and I read about more of the so-called "change" I'm supposed to believe in:

Despite complaints that banks and credit card companies are gouging customers by charging outrageous interest rates, the Senate on Wednesday easily turned back an effort to cap interest rates at 15 percent.

The effort by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, drew only 33 votes and needed 60, with a bipartisan group of 60 senators opposing it as the Senate pushed its credit card overhaul toward the finish line. Some Democrats and consumer groups have said that an interest cap is needed to put real teeth into an otherwise solid bill.

Other backers of the measure calculated that an interest rate ceiling would doom the popular legislation. The banking industry, which had some heavy-weight representatives monitoring the vote off of the Senate floor, warned that an interest rate limit could cause a sour reaction in the financial markets.

But Mr. Sanders said the card companies and banks were engaged in conduct that could get others hauled into court. He said one-third of all credit card holders are paying interest above 20 percent and as high as 41 percent.

“When banks are charging 30 percent interest rates, they are not making credit available,” said Mr. Sanders, who noted credit unions are limited to 15 percent. “They are engaged in loan-sharking.”
Joe Scarborough is just another big mouth and harmless, Dave. Your Democratic majority in the Senate isn't.