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  • Strobe Talbott … agreed with Hadley that it was appropriate for the US to give weapons to Ukraine given that US intelligence was already identifying targets for the Ukrainian military. Talbott said it is a “no brainer” that the US should help eliminate targets it is already helping to identify.

    I’d like to ask Strobe & Co. which is the preferable target: the senior citizens, their pensions cut off by Kiev, trying to sell their last possessions to keep from starving? or the stray dogs who are already starving, their owners already killed or displaced by the war? Obliterating which group with heavy weaponry will give the greater boost to our Security here in the Homeland?

  • Yeah I’ve heard various references to that. Yet even with that as an affirmative defense that was ostensibly available to Wilson, the facts here far surpass the “probable cause” standard for an indictment.

    I wonder why McCulloch didn’t take the path of less resistance and secure an indictment (months ago!), and then just dog it at the trial. I don’t mean to brag, but that’s how they would have handled it in my town, as we saw in the Amadou Diallo case.

  • I want to get one more thing off my chest from McCulloch’s announcement of the grand jury finding:

    McCulloch said the chronological sequence of bullet wounds wasn’t clear from the autopsies except for the first and the last. But he only deduced which one was the last because it was a shot to the head that would have immediately brought down Brown. That explains why it would have been the final legally justifiable shot (assuming any of them were), but doesn’t show it was in fact the final shot.

  • When Wilson says he can’t think of any other action he could have taken, I’m led to ask: How about staying inside your SUV police cruiser and following your apparently (and actually) unarmed suspect, who was on foot, until backup arrived? Even “Hulk Hogan” couldn’t do anything to you in your vehicle, and he wasn’t threatening anyone else at that time.

  • It may be plausible motivation, but still a bad decision. Covering your ass on one particular concern doesn’t justify ignoring all the others. Purposely waiting until 8:30 pm added a weird energy to the whole proceeding that I don’t believe was helpful to anybody.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Secretary of Defense Hagel Announces Resignation

    2014-11-24 16:20:06View | Delete

    I nominate Jimmy Carter.

    Well, since the initial U.S. clandestine destabilization of modernizing, secularly governed Afghanistan took place on Carter’s watch, setting the stage for the Soviet invasion and all that followed, good ol’ peace-lovin’ Jimmy Carter might be a plausible choice to keep the flames of war raging.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Louisiana Senate: Mary Landrieu Way Behind in New Poll

    2014-11-19 15:52:11View | Delete

    How could Landrieu supporting a bill authored by her opponent, getting the Senate to schedule a special vote on it, failing to pass it, and basing the whole thing on the pipeline company’s marketing lies and denial of science not have worked to win her re-election?

  • kapock commented on the blog post Burying My Father Who Was One of My Biggest Fans

    2014-11-18 16:56:58View | Delete

    Thanks for sharing, Kevin. You and your dad were lucky to have had each other, even if for too short a time.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Okinawa Elects All Anti-U.S.-Bases Candidates by David Swanson.

    2014-11-18 13:57:21View | Delete

    I would just note that the previous Okinawa governor, Nakaima, was also elected on an anti-base platform, and later went back on the promise.

    I’m not predicting a repeat, but politicians are something that you have to keep a close eye on.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Watchers of the Sky Falls in a Pit by David Swanson.

    2014-11-17 14:55:37View | Delete

    Good comment on a good post. For years, I’ve wanted to see a more realistic analysis of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign (the alliance’s first-ever military hostilities, conveniently coming a few years after its ostensible reason for existing had inconveniently disappeared). Unfortunately, to the extent it is remembered at all, it has become fossilized as [...]

  • Zacarias Moussaoui is, frankly, a loony. The Islamists he encountered recognized that, and never included him in any operations. The statements that were the basis for his criminal conviction were fantasies that didn’t match up to any objective facts. There was never a legitimate basis for prosecuting him as a master “terrorist”, though from the perspective of public safety he’s probably not the worst guy to have off the streets.

    Nothing he says should be taken as evidence of anything.

  • The US has become the Soviet Union.

    …without full employment.

  • kapock commented on the diary post The World Gets the Wars Americans Deserve by David Swanson.

    2014-11-15 12:17:05View | Delete

    You can explain to them that ISIS explicitly said it wanted to be attacked. You can show them how ISIS is growing as a result.

    I would quibble with these two sentences. Otherwise, full marks; excellent (and dispiriting) piece. The news this week was that the Pentagon will need an estimated $7.5B over the next five [...]

  • Is Rahm’s re-election in doubt at this point, or is he a shoe-in notwithstanding developments like this?

  • If Obama keeps doubling the number of troops in Iraq, soon there will be more U.S. soldiers there than there are atoms in the universe—though none of them will be combat troops, of course.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Happy Veterans Day

    2014-11-11 13:28:26View | Delete

    I suggest we combat the “stolen valor” scourge by taking away the incentives: Don’t thank people for doing jobs that only make everyone’s lives worse; don’t offer them special perqs or elect them to political office for that reason either. Instead, do treat everybody with dignity and respect; support everybody’s right to good healthcare and education; fight the narratives that foster this country’s ceaseless war making.

    Follow this course and, voila, I guarantee stolen valor will trouble the land no more.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Happy Veterans Day

    2014-11-11 13:23:41View | Delete

    Me too. Hasn’t happened in a long time before this,

  • kapock commented on the blog post Obamacare Going Back Before the Supreme Court

    2014-11-07 13:22:20View | Delete

    That’s right.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Obamacare Going Back Before the Supreme Court

    2014-11-07 12:21:58View | Delete

    There is zero indication in the Congressional record, Congressional Budget Office reports, or media coverage of the entire debate that anyone drafting the law intended subsidies to be conditional on whether states established the exchanges. Much of the other parts of law would logically not make sense if that were the case.

    Yes, though official ACA cheerleader Jonathan Gruber of MIT did use this absurdity to help sell the law.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Obamacare Going Back Before the Supreme Court

    2014-11-07 12:17:02View | Delete

    The Supreme Court (or, I should say, the corporate interests it is serving) already made a political decision not to strike down the ACA (excuse me, I meant to say: did a deep Constitutional analysis, and found that some gentlemen in Philadelphia in 1787 would have considered it in accord with their designs. That’s how these things are really decided!), except for the expanded Medicaid requirement, which was separable from the larger scheme and only helped poor people (i.e. not really people). Unlike the Medicaid expansion, striking down the subsidies in Repub states would in fact destroy the ACA as it is meant to function.

    I don’t see any reason why the political calculation would have changed, so I would be surprised if the court rules against the subsidies.

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