Friday, January 9, 2015

Last Call For General "Betrayed By His Little Soldier", You Mean

Remember Gen. David Petraeus and his career-ending affair with a mistress while CIA chief back in 2012?  The DoJ and FBI sure as hell remember, and he's about to get fried up like catfish.

The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against retired Gen. David H. Petraeus for providing classified information to his former mistress while he was director of theC.I.A., officials said, leaving Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison.

The Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography, and focuses on whether he gave her access to his C.I.A. email account and other highly classified information. F.B.I. agents discovered classified documents on her computer after Mr. Petraeus resigned from the C.I.A. in 2012 when the affair became public.

Mr. Petraeus, a retired four star-general who served as commander of American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has said he never provided classified information to Ms. Broadwell, and has indicated to the Justice Department that he has no interest in a plea deal that would spare him an embarrassing trial. A lawyer for Mr. Petraeus, Robert B. Barnett, said Friday he had no comment.

Mr. Holder was expected to decide by the end of last year whether to bring charges against Mr. Petraeus, but he has not indicated how he plans to proceed. The delay has frustrated some Justice Department and F.B.I officials and investigators who have questioned whether Mr. Petraeus has received special treatment at a time Mr. Holder has led an unprecedented crackdown on government officials who reveal secrets to journalists.

Needless to say, Eric Holder's going to be under a lot of pressure to prosecute, but it may not be his decision at all as Loretta Lynch, his replacement, has her confirmation hearings staring as early as the end of the month.

Things just got real interesting.

Manchin On The Hill, Con't

Sen. Joe Manchin has two jobs these days, representing West Virginia in the Senate, and repeating weak Republican attacks against the leader of his own party.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Thursday he was disappointed that the White House threatened to veto his legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing the president’s move was “not the way a democracy works.” 
The West Virginia lawmaker said he was upset Obama did not reserve judgment on the bill until it went through the committee and amendment process in an interview with Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

“I just couldn't believe that out of the gate, two hours after [Sen.] John Hoeven [R-N.D.] and I announced that were introducing the bill, that they would come out from the White House and the president would make a statement that he's going to veto it,” Manchin said. 
The Democrat said he had been hopeful the president’s history serving in the Senate would have led him to hold off on a veto threat. 
“I would have thought the president would say, ‘Listen, being a former legislator, I'm going to wait until this process unfolds. And at the end of the day, I'll tell you, do I like what they came up with, or do I not like what they came out with, and this is my reason for veto,’ ” Manchin said. “[He] never even gave it a chance, never even gave it a chance. Now, that's just not the way you do legislation. It's not the way a democracy works. And it's not the way the ... three branches of government should work.”

Reread your Constitution, chuckles.  The President vetoing a bill is precisely how American democracy works.  The redress to this, also in said Constitution, is for the Congress to override the President's veto, which it can do with a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate.  If you can do that, you can pass anything you like no matter what the President says.

Get to making those phone calls, Joe.  Your energy company masters are waiting.

Rich Man, Poor Man

If you want to know how the GOP is going to get away with massive Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid cuts, it's because the majority of Americans feel that the poor in America have it too easy. And the richer you are, the more you despise America's lower class.

Most of America's richest think poor people have it easy in this country,according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center. The center surveyed a nationally representative group of people this past fall, and found that the majority of the country's most financially secure citizens (54 percent at the very top, and 57 percent just below) believe the "poor have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return." America's least financially secure, meanwhile, vehemently disagree — nearly 70 percent say the poor have hard lives because the benefits "don't go far enough." Nationally, the population is almost evenly split.

Why the surprising lack of compassion? It's hard to say. At the very top, the sentiment is likely tied to conservatism, which traditionally bemoans government programs that redistribute wealth, calling them safety nets. Some 40 percent of the financially secure are politically conservative, according to Pew. And conservatives are even more likely to say the "poor have it easy" than the rich — a recent Pew survey found that more than three quarters of conservatives feel that way.

More broadly, the prevalence of the view might reflect an inability to understand the plight of those who have no choice but to seek help from the government. A quarter of the country, after all, feels that the leading reason for inequality in America is that the poor don't work hard enough.

35 years of Reagan's "welfare queens", Bush 41's "war on drugs",  Clinton's welfare reform and financial sector remake, Bush 43's "soft bigotry of low expectations" and crashing the economy and yeah, even six years of the "Obama recovery" and it's still not enough wealth for the 1%.

The people with the tens of billions of dollars are paying the people with hundreds of millions of dollars to convince the people with hundreds of thousands of dollars that the people with a couple of hundred bucks left over at the end of the month are making too much money.

These are also the people who believe "most corporations make a fair and reasonable profit" (51%), believe "government is almost always wasteful and inefficient" (61%) and then there's this:

Pretty much across the board, if you're black and poor, it's your own goddamn fault.

Combine the two and as Lyndon Johnson said, if you can convince the poorest white man that he's better than the highest black man, then he won't mind you picking his pocket.


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