Sunday Reads: Friday Lite Make-Up Cartoon PostPosted: April 21, 2013
<——– Isn’t she beautiful?
Doesn’t she look happy and fancy free?
Enjoying a Sunday drive in a damn cool convertible on a fabulous sunny day.
Something that we all deserve, yes?
Well, that pin-up by artist Bill Medcalf is the closest thing I could get for you this morning.
Okay, here are a few news stories and then the cartoons, since we did not have any on Friday night.
The quake has left 203 dead or missing and has injured some 11,500.
The latest figures were given by China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, quoted by Xinhua. It said 960 of the injured were in serious condition.
You read those figures right.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says that he is prepared to make “all available resources” available from the federal government to assist in the recovery after an explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas — but the senator voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy earlier because he said it was “pork.”
The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that Cruz had reacted to the fertilizer plant explosion that killed dozens in West, Texas earlier this week.
“We are in very close touch with officials on the ground and we’re monitoring the tragic accident closely,” Cruz said in Washington. “It’s truly horrific and we are working to ensure that all available resources are marshaled to deal with the horrific loss of life and suffering that we’ve seen.”
In a statement on his website, Cruz added that “[w]e remain in communication with Gov. Perry’s office and emergency management officials, and stand to offer whatever support we can.”
But following the super storm that devastated much of the East Coast last year, Cruz was not as willing to part with taxpayer money.
According to The New York Times, the junior Texas senator voted against Sandy aid three times.
I just won’t make a comment about this, but my guess is you know what I would say about it if I did.
Two more links for you…
Yesterday Boston Boomer put this Greenwald link in the comments, it is good and I think it deserves a front page notice: What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter?
First, the Obama administration has already rolled back Miranda rights for terrorism suspects captured on US soil. It did so two years ago with almost no controversy or even notice, including from many of those who so vocally condemned Graham’s Miranda tweets yesterday. In May, 2010, the New York Times’ Charlie Savage – under the headline “Holder Backs a Miranda Limit for Terror Suspects” – reported that “the Obama administration said Sunday it would seek a law allowing investigators to interrogate terrorism suspects without informing them of their rights.” Instead of going to Congress, the Obama DOJ, in March 2011, simply adopted their own rules that vested themselves with this power, as reported back then by Salon’s Justin Elliott (“Obama rolls back Miranda rights”), the Wall Street Journal (“Rights Are Curtailed for Terror Suspects”), the New York Times (“Delayed Miranda Warning Ordered for Terror Suspects”), and myself (“Miranda is Obama’s latest victim”).
In a great analysis last night denouncing the DOJ’s decision to delay reading Tsarnaev his rights, Slate’s Emily Bazelon details exactly what roll-back of Miranda was achieved by Obama. Specifically, the Obama DOJ exploited and radically expanded the very narrow “public safety” exception to Miranda, which was first created in 1984 by the more conservative Supreme Court justices in New York v. Quarles, over the vehement dissent of its liberal members (Brennan, Marshall and Stevens, along with O’Connor). The Quarles court held that where police officers took a very brief period to ask focused questions necessary to stop an imminent threat to public safety without first Mirandizing the suspect, the answers under those circumstances would be admissible (in Quarles, the police apprehended a rape suspect and simply asked where his gun was before reading him his rights, and the court held that the defendant’s pre-Miranda answer – “over there” – was admissible).
The Court’s liberals, led by Justice Thurgood Marshall, warned that this exception would dilute Miranda and ensure abuse. This exception, wrote Marshall, “condemns the American judiciary to a new era of post hoc inquiry into the propriety of custodial interrogations” and “endorse[s] the introduction of coerced self-incriminating statements in criminal prosecutions”. Moreover, he wrote, the “public-safety exception destroys forever the clarity of Miranda for both law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary” and said the court’s decision “cannot mask what a serious loss the administration of justice has incurred”.
As Marshall noted, the police have always had the power to question a suspect about imminent threats without Mirandizing him; indeed, they are free to question suspects about anything without first reading them their Miranda rights. But pre-Miranda statements were not admissible, could not be used to prosecute the person. This new 1984 “public safety” exception to that long-standing rule, Marshall said, guts the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that one will not be compelled to incriminate oneself. As he put it: “were constitutional adjudication always conducted in such an ad hoc manner, the Bill of Rights would be a most unreliable protector of individual liberties.”
As controversial as this exception was from the start (and as hated as it was among traditional, actual liberals), it was at least narrowly confined. But the Obama DOJ in 2011 wildly expanded this exception for terrorism suspects. The Obama DOJ’s Memorandum (issued in secret, of course, but then leaked) cited what it called “the magnitude and complexity of the threat often posed by terrorist organizations” in order to claim “a significantly more extensive public safety interrogation without Miranda warnings than would be permissible in an ordinary criminal case”. It expressly went beyond the “public safety” exception established by the Supreme Court to arrogate unto itself the power to question suspects about other matters without reading them their rights (emphasis added):
“There may be exceptional cases in which, although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat, and that the government’s interest in obtaining this intelligence outweighs the disadvantages of proceeding with unwarned interrogation.”
That is what Graham advocated regarding Miranda: that Tsarnaev be interrogated about intelligence matters without Mirandizing him, and that’s exactly what Obama DOJ policy – two years ago – already approved. Worse, as Bazelon noted: “Who gets to make this determination? The FBI, in consultation with DoJ, if possible. In other words, the police and the prosecutors, with no one to check their power.” At the time, the ACLU made clear how menacing was the Obama DOJ’s attempted roll-back of Miranda rights for terror suspects.
Although we do not yet know how long the Boston bombing suspect will be questioned pre-Miranda or what will be asked, Bazelon – citing the Obama DOJ’s 2011 policy as well as last night’s announcement – writes:
“And so the FBI will surely ask 19-year-old Tsarnaev anything it sees fit. Not just what law enforcement needs to know to prevent a terrorist threat and keep the public safe but anything else it deemed related to ‘valuable and timely intelligence’. Couldn’t that be just about anything about Tsarnaev’s life, or his family, given that his alleged accomplice was his older brother (killed in a shootout with police)? There won’t be a public uproar. Whatever the FBI learns will be secret: We won’t know how far the interrogation went. And besides, no one is crying over the rights of the young man who is accused of killing innocent people. . . .”
So Democrats reacted with horror and outrage to Graham’s suggestion that “the last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to ‘remain silent.'” But that’s already Obama DOJ policy, enacted with little controversy. And last night’s announcement makes clear that the Obama DOJ intends, as Bazelon says, to question him about a wide range of topics far beyond matters of imminent threats to public safety without first Mirandizing him.
Please go and read the rest of that article. Greenwald goes on to say that the liberals have changed their minds on this enemy combatants…he sites MSNBC as a major supporter of it now…I didn’t know that. Honestly, I have avoided the news this weekend…could not stand it any longer. I have not changed my mind, they need to be reading Tsarnaev his Miranda rights.
This whole thing about postponing Miranda, it bothers me. Juan Cole has a post up this morning that makes some valid points. Is LindJohn’s notion of an Enemy Combatant Racist? How about attempted Assassination of the Commander in Chief?
He is referring to Lady Lindsey and John McCain by the way, but look at this:
This attempt to sidestep the US Constitution by creating an alternative jurisdiction, and to try civilians in military courts, is a stride toward dictatorship. It is precisely the tactic used by Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, and the demand that the military stop arresting and trying civilians has been central to the country’s revolutionary reform movement.
Likewise, Bahrain has started trying civilians in military courts, as part of its authoritarian crackdown on its protest movement.
That exemplar of human rights, the Uganda regime, also resorts to this practice. So LindJohn want to put us in some pretty classy company.
That is some scary comparisons don’t you think? Cole continues…
Tsarnaev is an American citizen and a civilian who killed and injured people on American soil. He is a murderer, and should be tried in the courts like a whole host of others who committed or plotted murder as a means to terrorizing the public.
The point seems obvious to anyone to the left of Attila the Hun. Those who point to the Civil War are confusing ordinary times with times of martial law. We’re not having a civil war and there is no martial law.
Peter Bergen sagely writes that an “FBI study reported that between January 1, 2007, and October 31, 2009, white supremacists were involved in 53 acts of violence, 40 of which were assaults directed primarily at African-Americans, seven of which were murders and the rest of which were threats, arson and intimidation. Most of these were treated as racially motivated crimes rather than political acts of violence, i.e. terrorism.”
He points out that in December of 2011, Kevin Harpham was sentenced to 32 years for planting a bomb at the site of a Martin Luther King, Jr., parade in Spokane, Washington. There isn’t any difference between Harpham and Tsarnaev. Both targeted a public event involving moving through the streets. Harpham was allegedly a member of a hate group, the National Alliance, founded by William Price, the author of ?The Turner Diaries. He was also interested in the Aryan Nation..
Then there was Wade Michael Page, who killed six persons, five of them of Sikh heritage and one a policeman. His was certainly an act of terrorism.
I am not aware that Senators McCain and Graham suggested that any of these individuals be tried as enemy combatants.
I’ll just come out with it. I have to ask whether their use of the term “enemy combatant” is racist. Is it only for deployment against people not of northern European heritage?
I don’t know about if it would be fair to ask if this is racist…maybe it is. But it seems to me that this is definitely being used selectively. And that bothers the hell out of me.
You want to read something chilling, take a look at this…
Boston Boomer ended her post on Obama = Bush on Steroids about his change in Miranda Rights with this sentence:
We might as well be living in Libya or Egypt.
And here you have Juan Cole making the same kind of comparison two years later.
Dakinikat wrote this in her post about the withering Miranda Rights under Obama, again this is two years ago:
Just hope you never get classified as a terrorist or you’ll disappear down some rabbit hole.
Let it soak in a moment.
I bet Graham and McCain will be making the Sunday Talk Show rounds this morning, calling for Tsarnaev to be held down at Guantanamo.
Enough of that.
Oh did you all see the latest from CNN? According to Andy Borowitz:
In a sweeping format change that marks the end of an era for the nation’s first cable news outlet, CNN announced today that it would no longer air breaking news and would instead re-run news stories of the past “that we know we got right.”
The rebranded network, to début nationwide on Monday, will be called “CNN Classic.”
“Breaking news is hard,” said the newly installed CNN chief, Jeff Zucker. “You have to talk to sources, make sure their stories check out O.K., and then get on the air and not say anything stupid. I, for one, am thrilled to be getting out of that horrible business.”
CNN Classic will begin its broadcast day on Monday, Mr. Zucker said, “with round-the-clock coverage of Operation Desert Storm.”
Mr. Zucker did not indicate what impact the new format would have on such CNN stars as Wolf Blitzer, saying only, “I can’t promise that Wolf will be a part of CNN’s future, but he will continue to be a big part of our past.”
The CNN chief scoffed at reports that other cable news outlets had eclipsed his network once and for all, throwing down this gauntlet: “We are going to win May sweeps with Hurricane Katrina.”
I want to end this post with something spectacular:
Neil Diamond called the switchboard at Fenway Park at about 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.
“Hey, I’m here,” he said, according to Red Sox officials. “Can I come?”
The 72-year-old, who had flown himself to Boston just for Saturday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the Royals, surprised the 35,152 in attendance after the top of the eighth inning and sung the song that’s made him synonymous with Fenway Park.
“Sweet Caroline” may have never sounded sweeter.
Video at the link.
Enjoy your Sunday, and share your thoughts with us today.