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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New spooks for old, and other news briefs

There's a new group of spooks in town called the Defense Clandestine Service. The DCS is run by the DOD. So, um, just why do we need a new CIA...?

As you will recall, when Dubya was faking up a casus belli against Iraq, he didn't trust the CIA, so the work was farmed out to ad hoc groups within the Defense Department. They're the ones who foisted the yellowcake hoax on the world. Remember Niger-gate? Remember the Laptop of Death?

Prediction: We're going to get more of that kind of crap, and the DCS is going to serve it up to us. As a general rule, the younger intelligence services are bolder and more willing to try to pull off deceptive and immoral schemes. The lies are going to center on Iran.

The new service is the brainchild of Michael Vickers, the fellow who was in charge of the CIA's efforts to arm the Afghan jihadis against the Soviets. Peter Dale Scott had something to say about that...
Senior defense officials in Washington, such as Michael Vickers, still refer to Operation Cyclone as the “most successful covert action” in CIA history. It seems not to concern them that the CIA’s program helped generate and unleash Al Qaeda – the new post-Soviet rationale for defense budgets – and Afghanistan’s current role as the world’s major source for heroin and hashish.
Isn't he cute? Newt still thinks he has a chance. In Delaware. Ah, yes, Delaware -- the state which many insiders have called "Maker of Gods." Then again, maybe he's just gonna give up.

Obama needs a theme, says Paul Krugman. All righty. How's this: "The other party is filled with people who are insane, corrupt and two-faced. By contrast, we are merely corrupt and two-faced."

Bye-bye Post Office. Is the internet killing the U.S. mail? In part, yes. But much of the problem traces to a stupid Republican law designed to break the Post Office worker's union.

Is Romney going to pick Rubio? John Smart offers an interesting argument in favor of that proposition. Hispanics will probably lean Democratic in the general, but Romney could seriously chip into Obama's lead in this demographic. At any rate, Romney and Rubio are getting chummy.

The Republican war on voting is preventing senior citizens from casting ballots. If this report doesn't make you grit your teeth, you must not have any teeth.

Could the Republicans lose the House? John Boehner says there's a one-out-of-three chance of that happening. He may simply be trying to motivate his troops, but I think he may be on to something. Having Romney as the head of the ticket is going to depress turnout from the base.

Speaking of house flipping... I find this story just infuriating. Will we never learn...?

Arizona may go for Obama? WTF?

Thought experiment: Try think of a way Arizona could get weirder than it already is. Take your time. Think if over. Go water the plants while you ponder. We'll still be here when you get back.

Liquidated. Riverdaughter's review of Karen Ho's Wall Street book is a book in itself, and it makes an interesting segue into recent pharma history. Strongly recommended.

Why is Barack Obama spying on Susan Sarandon? I find this story particularly ironic, since it isn't difficult to find right-wing commenters who denigrate Sarandon in the most barbaric fashion. They seem to think that she and Obama are in some sort of left-wing conspiracy together. Not so:
Actress and left-wing activist Susan Sarandon has claimed she was recently denied security clearance for a visit to the White House - and that the government has been tapping her phone.
'We know we're under surveillance,' Sarandon said: 'I’ve had my phone tapped.'
Comments:
Obama-crats: Corrupt, two faced but to stupid to do insane like republicans.
 
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