Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff also worked as businessman, movie producer and writer. Abramoff's lobbying and the scandals and investigation are featured in a documentary movie "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and a political satire movie titled "Casino Jack".
Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard. He has been the lead counsel in important cases concerning copyright laws for digital content. His current work concerns institutional corruption.
Source: Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff
Attorney General Eric Holder announced at Northwestern University law school that the U.S. can assassinate U.S. citizens without any without disclosure of why they are even alleged to be baddies and without any review of any nature whatsoever by any judge, Congress or the American people.
Northwestern University’s law school professor Joseph Margulies said:
I defy anyone to read [Holder's] speech and show any differences between Obama and Bush on these issues, They both say we are in a war not confined to particular battlefield. … Both say we can target citizens without judicial oversight and that can happen anywhere in the world.
Columbia law school professor Scott Horton notes that this assassination strategy was created by Dick Cheney, and is being carried out by the Obama administration:
A lot of this seems to have been put in place under the tutelage of Dick Cheney. So here we see one of Dick Cheney’s ideas being ratified by Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder.
On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. It could permit the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to imprison indefinitely civilians captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial. The breadth of the NDAA’s worldwide detention authority violates the Constitution and international law because it is not limited to people captured in an actual armed conflict, as required by the laws of war. The law does not require even an allegation that a detained person caused any harm or threat of harm to the United States or to any U.S. interest. Mere allegation of membership in, or support of, an alleged terrorist group could be the basis for indefinite detention. Under the American justice system, we don’t just lock people up indefinitely based on suspicion.
If you haven't noticed, the religious right has operated in a rather consistent cycle since the 1980s. Get a little bit of power, overreach, get smacked down, climb back up in a few years. Well, there's yet another sign that the overreach is underway--one that's so glaring that it merits a repost from yesterday.
Brian Barcelona, a fundie activist in the Sacramento area, has recently launched One Voice, a movement dedicated to restoring government-mandated prayer in the public schools. And it turns out that Barcelona has close ties to Lou Engle, the so-called "prophet" behind TheCall and a major leader in the New Apostolic Reformation.
The rally is part of the national Days of Action being organized by Public Citizen and over 40 other sponsoring organizations, including Common Cause, Free Speech for People, Greenpeace, 350.org, People For the American Way, Move to Amend and California Church IMPACT.
The Sacramento rally is crucial to building momentum for a proposed state resolution jointly authored by Assemblymembers Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa), instructing Congress to send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment overturning the Citizens United ruling and restoring constitutional rights and fair elections to the people.
President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, allowing indefinite detention to be codified into law. As you know, the White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.
The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.
Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.
I must confess that I have my own views of the Muslim world. Like most countries they want self-determination. That is the process by which a country determines its own statehood and forms its own allegiances and government. Self-determination is an idea that can't killed with bombs or bullets or autocratic leaders.
Al McCoy talks about how empires are maintained, why the U.S. empire is in decline, and what the consequences might be depending on how we respond to that decline. Al McCoy is a professor of history at the University of Wisconson–Madison, and author of 'Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines and the Rise of the Surveillance State,'
Source: TomCast for April 24, 2011: SubordiNations
Robin Wright talked about the recent Middle East uprisings and she responded to telephone calls and electronic communications.
Source: Rock The Casbah
I recommend opposing the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012. The U.S. is not at war with any country. Nor is U.S. threatened by any group of criminals. Therefore, the U.S. does not need a war-time budget. The only defense needed is a few ships on each of the coasts. Veterans must get the best possible treatments for physical and mental injuries. I support job training for all Americans unable to find work.
The U.S. military is not a global police force. No country can possibly afford to pay for this useless manifestation of arrogance. Any secret provisions of this bill directly violate the Constitutional requirements to spell out all government expenditures. Detention of suspects without a public and fair trial also violates the 5th amendment of the Constitution. The excessive military expenditures by the U.S. government threatens the future economic viability of the U.S. economy.
The only expenditures needed for Iraq and Afghanistan are those needed for a speedy and safe exit by all U.S. personnel. These recommendations will be opposed by all who equate military might with the mission of the U.S. to shape the world. They can not see the foolishness of such a conceit. Americans expect their elected officials to put the health and wealth of their country ahead of useless and self-defeating projections of power
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Mon, 11/21/2011 - 7:51pm
The officers involved in the shocking pepper-spray attacks on UC Davis students Friday should be immediately arrested because they've violated federal and state laws, said one of the lawyers from Occupy Sacramento in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and other law enforcement officials.
"Physical attacks on persons violate California Penal Code 242 (Battery) and such violence perpetrated by those in uniform is a criminal violation of Federal civil rights law 18 USC 242," said Jeff Kravitz, a constitutional rights attorney.
Kravitz suggested the state, through AG Harris, as well as Yolo District Attorney Jeff Reisig and US Attorney Benjamin Wagner should make the arrests of the UC Davis officers immediately.
"It is imperative that proper action be taken by County, State and Federal authorities... initiating criminal proceedings including the arrest of those who committed the acts of violence or bringing the issues before a grand jury. Leaving he matter solely in the hands of the University is not a reasonable option," said Kravitz.
He added that the University of California's promised investigation is "clearly self-serving and bears resemblance to the investigation conducted by Penn State into the allegations of sex crimes by Jerry Sandusky...an investigation used to protect the university and not the victims."
Bob McChesney talks with Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Jacob Hacker has made important contributions to public policy ideas in the areas of healthcare, social welfare and economic opportunity. Jacob has spent his career researching how the institutions of social protection work, practically and economically.
Paul Pierson is noted for his research on comparative public policy and political economy, the welfare state, and American political development. Pierson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.