Late Night: The Brotherhood of the Burning Pants

By: Thursday June 13, 2013 8:00 pm

Lying has certainly come a long way in the new century. Those of us us born in the 1900′s can still remember a time when being caught publicly lying could bring down a President (Nixon), or at the very least, get one impeached (Clinton). In those sepia-toned days, lying was a content-neutral affront; Barry Goldwater was just as justifiably incensed at being lied to by Nixon as Al Gore was at being lied to by Clinton, despite the rather gigantic difference between the significance of their respective lies.

But something odd happened when George W. Bush entered office.

 

Late Night FDL: Partners in Crime

By: Thursday June 6, 2013 8:00 pm

While it’s certainly no surprise to find that the government has turned to yet another corrupt monopoly to carry out its dirty work against ordinary citizens, I seriously question the quality of their co-conspirator, Verizon. If we are going to have a lawless corporate behemoth shoveling our personal data, or rather, in the parlance du jour, “meta” data, into the insatiable maw of the new police state, wouldn’t it be nicer if the company were also capable of performing its core function adequately?

Late Night FDL: Times of Illusion

By: Thursday April 25, 2013 8:00 pm

On the rather surreal occasion of the opening of something solemnly called the George W. Bush “Library,” I was inexorably drawn not to my personal Bush Library of 92 infuriating volumes, but the somewhat smaller 60 or so in the Nixon section.  As I listened to snippets of Village homilies and President Obama predictably joshing chummily about the “clubhouse,”  I was reminded of Jonathan Schell’s masterful recounting of the Watergate era, The Time of Illusion. 

Late Night: Long Live the King

By: Thursday January 17, 2013 8:00 pm

“I’m afraid that President Obama may have this ‘king complex’ sort of developing, and we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Thus spake Rand Paul, US Senator (!), somewhat before he knew what, exactly, Obama’s proposals would entail. But does that really matter? True believers like Paul are reliably armed with two of the three things they’ve ever half-read (not written by Ayn Rand), the Bible and the Constitution, and have come to some pretty novel conclusions about both works. Of course, such conclusions are completely nuts, but nonetheless at least as infallible as whatever comes out of the Pope’s ass on any given day, so there.

Thomas Drake Proved to Be Bloody Well Right

By: Thursday June 23, 2011 5:45 pm

As you will recall, Tom Drake was belligerently prosecuted by the DOJ on trumped up espionage charges (See: here, here, here and here) and their case fell out from underneath them because they cravenly wanted to hide the facts. As a result, Drake pled guilty to about the piddliest little misdemeanor imaginable, and will be sentenced, undoubtedly, to no incarceration whatsoever, no fine and one year or less of unsupervised probation on July 15, 2011. But the entire Tom Drake matter emanated out of Drake’s attempt to internally, and properly, cooperate with a whistleblowing to the Department of Defense Inspector General.

Obama Pretends the Bob Woodward Law Doesn’t Exist

By: Saturday April 23, 2011 8:55 am

The way secrecy in this country works is insidious not just because the government prevents citizens from learning the things we as citizens need to know to exercise democracy, but also because the President and other classification authorities can wield secrecy as an instrument of power, choosing to release information they otherwise claim is top secret when it serves their political purpose.

The Fog of Obamawar in Hi-Def 1080p

By: Sunday April 10, 2011 4:00 pm

David S. Cloud has an amazing piece in today’s Los Angeles Times on the sobering reality and cold-hearted bloodlust of remote drone warfare. Cloud’s story tells, in gripping, fully fleshed from all angles, detail the story of an United States killer drone operation gone awry.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Julian Zelizer, The Presidency of George W. Bush: The First Historical Assessment

By: Sunday January 30, 2011 1:59 pm

Midway through his presidency, when Bob Woodward about how history would judge the War in Iraq, George W. Bush responded: “History. We don’t know. We’ll all be dead.” Instead, in a 2006 essay in Rolling Stone, the prominent historian Sean Wilentz argued that a substantial majority of U.S. historians already considered the Bush administration to be a “failure” (81% in a poll conducted by the History News Network). Wilentz predicted that Bush would “be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.”

State Secrets Santa and SCOTUS

By: Saturday December 25, 2010 7:52 am

Amid all the holiday hustle, bustle and, on at least some of the lame duck session accomplishments, success of Barack Obama, it is good to keep in mind what a lump of coal his administration has been on civil liberties and privacy. Nothing has been more emblematic of the cancer they have been in this regard than the posture they have relentlessly fought for on unfettered and unilateral ability of the Executive Branch to impose the state secrets doctrine to shield the government from litigation, even when it is concealing blatant and wholesale government criminality.

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, August 30, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It
Chat with John Dean about his new book. Hosted by James Robenalt.

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Imagine: Living In A Socialist USA
Chat with Paul LeBlanc and Dianne Feeley about the book. Hosted by Deena Stryker

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