John Yoo’s Legal Groundwork for Subverting the Republic by Naomi Wolf

Published at The Huffington Post on 3 March 2006, for fair use only

Author: Naomi Wolf

Wiki Keywords: Civil Society, Freedom Rights, Democracy

Keywords at Huffington Post: Bush Administration, Bush Doj, Bush Justice Department, Bush Memos, George W. Bush, John Yoo, John Yoo Memo, Politics News

If history gets this recent era right, future textbooks will have to show that the US narrowly averted a carefully planned but thorough and unmistakable conspiracy to subvert the rule of law and the process of democracy from 2001-2008. For three years, since writing End of America, I have been arguing that the Bush team sought irretrievably to subvert our liberty. Fortunately, this appalling and conceivably irrevocable subversion of the tenets of freedom was narrowly averted by citizens at every level — from the grassroots to the courts — resisting in time. But the release this week by the Justice Department of the “secret memos” sought valiantly by the ACLU confirms that Bush’s legal architects were building up the framework for something even scarier than our most anguished projections.

You can see the documents themselves online — but, as usual, there is a gap between the cautious journalistic interpretation of the event and the dense legalese in which they are written, and no one yet has really explained to citizens who are not attorneys what these memos claimed to give Bush the right to do. This is my initial reading of these documents: Continue reading

The Pakistan puzzle and the Afghan Trap

From the RealNews Network

Interview with Garry Porter

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more about “The Pakistan puzzle, with Gareth Port…“, posted with vodpod

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Closure of Kyrgyz base deals a blow to US

Quoted from Hurriet

Kyrgyzstan parliament approves U.S. military base closure

Kyrgyzstan‘s parliament voted Thursday to close a key U.S. air base in the country – a move that could hamper President Barack Obama’s efforts to increase the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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Taliban rukt op in Afghanistan, Kabul geschokt na zelfmoordaanslag

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Gecoördineerde aanvallen van Taliban strijders maakten minstens 26 doden en 57 gewonden in het hartje van de hoofdstad Kaboel. De hoofdstad was gedurende uren geparalyseerd. Het was de eerste maal dat Talliban guerrillas toesloegen zo dicht bij het machtscentrum. Drie gebouwen van de regering waren het doelwit. Minstens vijf met kalasnikovs en explosieven bewapende Taliban bestormden het Ministerie van Justitie. Dit lijkt een voorbode op een verdere escalatie van de oorlog in Afghanistan. Een andere groep viel een gevangenis aan in een voorstad van Kaboel.
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FYI Opel Antwerpen: Automakers, UAW move to create low-wage workforce in US

With government deadline for concession deal approaching

Posted on World Socialsit Web Site, for fair use only

By Jerry White
6 February 2009

General Motors and Chrysler have offered buyouts and early retirement packages to their entire combined workforce of 89,000 hourly workers in a move aimed at ridding the industry of higher-paid veteran workers and replacing them with new hires making half the wages.

The buyouts, which are being carried out with the full participation of the United Auto Workers union, is in line with the automakers agreement to drastically reduce labor costs in exchange for $17.4 billion in emergency loans from the Treasury Department.

As the February 17 deadline approaches for the automakers to conclude cost-cutting deals with the union-as part of the “viability” plans they must submit to the Obama administration-the UAW is keeping its members in the dark. The union bureaucracy has issued no public statements on its talks with the auto makers, which began in mid-January.

The terms of the federal loan require workers to accept wage and benefit concessions that would reduce them to the level of nonunion workers at US plants operated by Toyota and Honda by the end of 2009. In addition, the UAW must accept billions owed to a union-controlled retiree health care fund in the form of virtually worthless stocks, rather than cash. This would mean drastic cuts in health care benefits for hundreds of thousands of former workers and their dependents.

A clause in the bailout deal-co-drafted by the Bush’s Treasury Department, the congressional Democratic leadership and the incoming Obama administration-also bans auto workers from striking under the threat that the government will revoke the loans and throw the companies into bankruptcy.

While accepting the wage cuts in principle the UAW has been lobbying the Obama administration for an extension of the deadline so it can have more time to pressure older workers to leave. As part of its efforts to pressure reluctant workers to accept a buyout, the UAW has agreed to the elimination of the jobs bank program-which subsidized the lost wages of laid-off workers-just as layoffs are mounting.

GM, which has announced plans to slash 31,500 hourly and salaried jobs by 2012, ended the jobs bank program on Monday and Chrysler did so last week. The 1,600 UAW workers in GM’s jobs bank will be placed on layoff and must apply for unemployment benefits. As part of the loan deal the Treasury Department called for the “elimination of the payment of any compensation or benefits to U.S. employees of the company or any subsidiary who have been fired, laid-off, furloughed, or idled, other than customary severance pay.” Continue reading