Archive for Vice President

Debates Week Podcast

Solo punditry today as Mike went on about the U.S. Senate and POTUS debates in the past week. He offered maybe all too obvious suggestions for the Dem candidates.

Elizabeth Warren, challenger to Sen. Scott Warren, held her own in Lowell, but Barack Obama seemed to doze through his Denver show with Mitt Romney. Mike was up at UMASS/Lowell and offered his color commentary.

The short of it that Warren must press Brown on his awful votes. He’s evaded two years of them that are against the interests of MA residents and of all women. He hides behind claiming without any evidence that she got special advancement privileges in hiring, tenure and more by noting her putative Native American fractional heritage. That’s been a smoke screen to avoid his performance. Warren simply has to insist that he cut the crap.

Likewise, the POTUS did not call Romney on one huge honking lie after another. On the campaign trail afterward, the POTUS has hit on these. He simply needs to bring that face to face in the next two goes.

Click below for a one-man rant.

icon for podpress  Debates Week [24:58m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Donkey Time Podcast

We intended to chat up the DNC convention today. Of course, in context, that meant contrasting the Republican one with it, looking at both the content and power of both, and extrapolating the November results.

Every optimistic, Ryan was buoyed. Ever the worrywart, Mike was cautious. However, both agreed that the Obama team won. Romney/(the other) Ryan’s chances to come on strong continue to diminish.

Listen in as we talk about the increased likelihood of a continuation by the POTUS and why.

We also weighed Citizens United’s effects on this election, how the GOP and its millionaire minions may fine-tune their abuse of democracy, and the paths to ridding the process of the shouting corporate/billionaire speech.

icon for podpress  DNC effects [28:04m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Picking Paul Podcast

It’s not an assured victory for President Obama following Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as VP candidate, but it’s close. There are those unknown issues, such as the couple of billionaires and many millionaires who have pledged to spend whatever it takes in PAC and direct contributions to put the GOP in power.

Perhaps more important, Obama and his crew have to frame the monstrous Ryan budget proposals clearly. Then, they have to make sure the Dems, moderates and independents drag themselves to the polls on November 6th.

Listen in as our Ryan Adams and Mike speak to the Romney/Ryan horror show. Our Ryan has some comparisons and contrasts to Sarah Palin. Mike notes the foreign policy deficits and ignorance of both Romney and Ryan. This is not the time or state of the world for bumblers to try to learn on the job. Those gross shortcomings should reveal themselves in debates and campaign coverage.

Mike again went on about how this election more than any in memory will come to fantasy v. reality. The 40% or more of voters who need to believe in the abject failure trickle-down-economics that forms the core of Ryan’s income stream. Listen in as we scoff.

For this to work for Obama and the Dems, they have to make the effects of the Romney/Ryan proposals plain. Moreover, the media have to pay attention. PACs can suck it.

icon for podpress  Paul Ryan VP Pick [30:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Views from Arlington Podcast

We were graced by John Galligan, a.k.a. Humble Elias, the blogger at Chimes at Midnight. Lynne and Mike dragged national and local politics around the grounds.

He knows a lot about and has strong opinions on Arlington politics, Sarah Palin, John Kerry and Ed O’Reilly among others. As one teaser, he figures lots of shoes are about to drop on Palin’s candidacy. Sounds like fun to me.

icon for podpress  Chimes at Noon [34:40m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Why We Ignore Toture Podcast

Eric FairMike ended up as solo babbler today. The subject was torture.

He had a choice Saturday between the Boston civic summit, which was certain to be lots of idealized talk and the seminar/panel Torture and the American Psyche: Blurring the Boundaries Between Healers and Interrogators.

The panel was at the First Parish (UU) Church in Brookline. However, the roughly dozen co-sponsors were largely mental health and physicians associations. The 150 or so attendants seemed to be mostly psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists.

Disclaimer: Mike attends that church and knows the social-action committee folk, as well as goes to coffee hour and church meetings in the hall where the seminar occurred.

The panel included Stephen Soldz Ph.D., a local psychoanalyst, social activist and professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Leonard Rubenstein J.D., president of Physicians for Human Rights, David Sloan-Rossiter Ph.D., co-chair of the Curriculum Committee at Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Eric Fair a former interrogator in Iraq who has been telling his story and calling for reform. The photo is of Fair.

The short of the seminar included:

  • This is not the first time, we as a nation have tortured and have overridden our Constitution and its amendments (think WWII interment camps, Cold War and Red Scare periods). When a lot is perceived to be at stake humanity and our values lose.
  • Despite the evidence that coerced information is worthless, too many in the chain of command have convinced themselves it is a regrettable necessity. It is not.
  • Psychologists have been key in devising and training on the worst, most effective ways of torturing captives.
  • The American Psychological Association is the only professional organization in any of the health fields that does not absolutely forbid its members from participating in torture.
  • Left without clear directives and discipline, our soldiers who otherwise act heroically, Fair said, “will wield that same violence in the most irresponsible of ways, to the shameof the very cause they swore to defend.”
  • The current Administration may need to go away before a new President stops the anti-American, anti-liberty acts against us and others.

Related Links:

Mike will post more on the panel in the next few days at Marry in Massachusetts.

icon for podpress  Torture panel [27:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Podcast Ranges From Here to Impeachment

Ryan and Mike covered the poll Eileen Donoghue’s team took and released on the candidates’ standing in the 5th CD race. It was short on methodology (likely voters?) but showed modest bumps by the second, third and fourth candidates at the expense of leader Niki Tsongas.

We didn’t put too much stock in it and hope that issues make voters go for their best interests. Ryan will attend and report back on the pending environmental debate by the candidates.

We still see a budget impasse hindering Gov. Deval Patrick’s progressive goals. TBD.

We spent a lot of time kicking around the possibilities for impeachment of the President, Vice President and Attorney General for lying under oath, obstructing justice and contempt of Congress. Mike remembers the Nixon years and has his hopes. So far, Ryan doesn’t see the slim Democratic majority swaying enough Republicans to do the right thing.

scooter cartoonMike’s blog post of the week was about executive privilege and impeachment by Christy Hardin Smith on firedoglake. It’s a privilege… dissects the Cheney-now-Bush claims of executive privilege. Scooter Libby’s commutation may have been legal (assuming no Executive Branch conspiracy to obstruct justice), but with yesterday’s refusal to let aides testify before Congress and previous refusal to turn over email and other documents, there’s a huge crisis. All signs now point to both crimes and cover-up.

The post’s rallying cry includes:

It is time for members of Congress — on both sides of the aisle – to step up to the accountability plate. And the showdown this week with the White House over executive privilege is the first big step in a long-overdue bill of lading for their malfeasance and misadministration of justice.

Short-term, this week’s scheduled aide testimony is a direct challenge to Congress as a branch of government. As the post puts it:

What the case law boils down to is this: if the executive aide in question was part of a deliberative process inside the White House, but this process did not involve discussions directly with the President, the assertion of executive privilege is far, far weaker for that aide. Which means that a Congressional challenge to that privilege ought to be made, and strongly, because the Congress is on more solid ground in pressing said aide for testimony, especially where there is a question of possible executive malfeasance involved.

Among its conclusions is “It is their bluff of assertion of privilege that is the current bet on the table. Congress ought to call the bet — and raise with a threat of contempt if testimony is not immediately forthcoming and if documents are not immediately delivered.” Then, another post on the same blog notes, can come the impeachment inquiry and beyond.

icon for podpress  The Possible and the Ideal [52:39m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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