I got a late start on this last night, so will be finishing it piecemeal, throughout today. Check back later for more.
Political News Summary: Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 19, 2009
| Last Thursday, President Obama directed the DOJ to release the Bush Torture Memos as part of an ongoing court case. The fallout has been wide, and varied.
In an editorial on Sunday, The New York Times called for the impeachment of federal judge Jay Bybee, the author of the memos, and John Yoo's boss.
“These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him.”
Yesterday, as he released four Bush-era legal memos authorizing the torture of terrorist suspects, President Obama made it clear he would not support any prosecutions of low-level interrogators who actually carried out Bush’s policies. “[I]t is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution.”
The ACLU's lead counsel, Jameel Jaffer, told Glenn Greenwald that Obama was very careful in his wording, and that nothing the President or Eric Holder had said precludes prosecution of the people responsible for these policies.
By the way, I read some of the torture memos myself, and they are as ugly and grotesque as you might imagine.
RELATED: :: The case for impeaching Jay Bybee.
:: Fox News Defends Bush Administration’s Use Of Torture
:: Hayden: The Torture Memos Show The ‘Outer Limits’ That ‘Any American’ Would Go To In Interrogations
:: Scott Atran: The Moral Measure of a Civilization Is in Its Treatment of Enemies
| The New York Times reported that the F.B.I. as well as state law enforcement agencies, have vastly expanded their collection of DNA, creating further concerns about privacy issues.
| There has been an ongoing kerfluffle within the Democratic Party over Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, with many wanting Summers gone. My two cents is simply thus. The problem people have with Larry Summers was clearly that he was a new democrat from the party's revival through Bill Clinton. This group was sick of losing elections and decided to embrace real economic policy and moderate positions while keeping core liberal values (like health care). This made some lefties extremely angry, but they held their tongue, because otherwise, we would have been stuck with Bob Dole. When the financial problems happened this group of angry people rejoiced claiming that all the liberal policies (free markets, free trade capitalism) should be thrown out the window and return to discredited union and big government policies. This is why Mr. Summers is not popular Yes he was wrong but hindsight is 20/20. This particular group on the left would have waited 50 years just to blame something on the "Washington consensus".
| Not really political, but of interest nevertheless, 12 brands that may disappear by 2010. Among the brands whose demise is expected is Avis, Borders, Crocs, and Gap. H/T to Huffpost.
| MEDIA MATTERS log, April 20 - April 26, 2009
| MEDIA MATTERS log, April 13 - April 19, 2009