Conservative Pundits Take Shots at Gitmo and Economy – Fire Blanks

Your average Conservative pundit

“Hoist with his own petard” literally means “blown up with his own mine.” More generally, a “petard” is a hat-shaped device which can be be charged with gunpowder.

Republican pundit Michelle Malkin is upset that after seven years, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay – some of them guilty, some innocent are Playing games at Gitmo,

The human rights crowd is right: Life is hard for a Guantanamo Bay detainee. The deprivation is unspeakable. Their brains have not been “stimulated” enough, according to the facility’s “cultural advisor.” Which is why this Thanksgiving, America is drawing up plans to provide the 250 or so suspected jihadists at the “notoriously Spartan” detention camp with basic sustenance including movie nights, art classes, English language lessons, and “Game Boy-like” electronic devices, according to the Miami Herald.

Since 9-11 the U.S. has had an average of 3000 Americans killed a year by other Americans. Those that were convicted were sent to prisons where they were feed three times a day, got some exercise, played games, wrote letters to family, recieved visitors – in other words some covicted murderers of Americans got some basic human rights. Much of the limited activities that are provided prisoners are done because thos activties make life easier for the prison guards – the prisoners are less likely to act up if they think they might lose some privledges – its basic penal system management. many of this basic rights were denied everyone at Guantanamo Bay regardless of whether they were guilty or not guilty. Its her hero george W. Bush who is making these changes. After the Hamdan Supeme Court decision the current Republican president released or transferred about 500 prisoners to other countries. Of the 255 remaining prisoners, the government, i.e. Bush only has plans to try 80. There are certainly some bad people at Gitmo that deserve to be locked up. Why is it so complicated for malkin and like-minded righties to distinquish between innicent, marginally copable, and dangerous – most likely guilty as hell. Nope is the same old righty technique of painting with a broad and shallow brush, freigning irgnorance of the hypocrisy of being pro spreading democracy, yet holding the rule of law in contempt. If the Right thniks Gitmo is just a summer camp, lets see the reality show where a plane load of Conservative pundits check into the Gitmo prison for 6 months.

From the Christian World magazine, Detainee dilemma

The dilemma involving Chinese Muslims imprisoned for seven years at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, highlights the difficulty President-elect Barack Obama will have in following through on his campaign promise to close the controversial naval military prison.

The 17 detainees, who the U.S. government no longer deems as “enemy combatants,” have been cleared for release since 2003, but the dilemma lies in where to send them. These Chinese Muslims, known as Uighurs (pronounced WEE’ gurz), face persecution in their home country, and U.S. officials fear they would be killed if they return to China.

These people are not guilty of anything. Let’s all get red faced mad as hell that while these innocent people are wasting away in Gitmo Summer Camp they play some electronic games or paint a picture. How many petards has Michelle hang herself by at this point – somewhere around 500.

Malkin is also either woefully uninformed about Obama’s views on Gitmo or is intentionally misleading her readers. She writes,

…top legal advisors and supporters of Barack Obama, whose name detainees chanted on election night, are now rethinking the President-elect’s absolutist campaign position on shutting the center down and flooding our mainland courts with every last enemy combatant designee

First, McCain waned to close Guantanamo Bay detainee facility and start military tribunals – Malkin was a McCain supporter. All the way back now to 2007 and Senator Obama’s views on Gitmo, Sunday, June 24, 2007, Obama tells crowd he wants Guantanamo Bay detainee facility closed

“While we’re at it,” he said, “we’re going to close Guantanamo. And we’re going to restore habeas corpus. … We’re going to lead by example ? by not just word but by deed. That’s our vision for the future.”

Habeas corpus is a tenet of the Constitution that protects people from unlawful imprisonment.

The White House said Friday that Bush has made closing the prison in Cuba a priority and that Bush’s top aides are in active discussions about the subject.

Malkin also claims that Obama is suddenly discovering that there are going to be difficulties – difficult to believe considering Obama is a Constitutional scholar, was a U.S. Senator when the Hamden decision came down and a presidential candidate that ran on the issue. Obama’s Guantanamo challenges won’t end with closing prison

But Guter, the former Obama campaign adviser, is skeptical that a Mohammed prosecution is possible and says that allegations of torture would entangle any trial.
“Most of these problems we made ourselves. We could have had enough to convict,” he said. “We didn’t trust our own institutions that had served us all these years. We didn’t trust in our federal courts; we didn’t trust in our Constitution.”
One Obama adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing undecided issues, acknowledged the difficulty of the task ahead.
“There will be complicated choices to be made about individual detainees,” the adviser said. “We all know what the options are. There is nothing new under the sun. They are all going to be looked at.”
And it is clear that reaching solutions will take time.
“Guantanamo will be closed, but these people will be transferred somewhere, and some of them will need to be held for some time,” said Deborah Pearlstein, a national-security-law scholar at Princeton University. “It doesn’t make sense to say this will be resolved on Jan. 20.

One of the reasons as cited in this article from WaPo is that Bush, rather then put these people in a”prisoner of war” camp and following Geneva guidelines, made up out of whole cloth a new unique designation for them. Then subjected them to mistreatment and torture – except for some that he rendered to other countries to be tortured. What use is a pundit that refuses to look at the facts and seems utterly oblivious to her blatant hypocrisy.

Who knows what Republican Grover Norquist is, a little bit pundit, fly in the soup ideologue – he doesn’t seem to have a regular job, surviving on the largess of Republican “think tanks” and donations. He does keep showing up on the TeeVee giving his opinions,

On the whole, the Right still is in denial about what their cockamamie economic theories hath wrought. Grover Norquist claims the economy is failing because Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. The only solutions being offered by the Right are the same solutions they always offer — tax cuts, especially capital gains tax cuts (although whose got capital gains these days?), and of course blaming labor. ( empahsis mine)

The Origins of the Financial Crisis

The rapid rise of lending to subprime borrowers helped inflate the housing price bubble. Before 2000, subprime lending was virtually non-existent, but thereafter it took off exponentially. The sustained rise in house prices, along with new financial innovations, suddenly made subprime borrowers — previously shut out of the mortgage markets — attractive customers for mortgage lenders. Lenders devised innovative Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) — with low “teaser rates,” no down-payments, and some even allowing the borrower to postpone some of the interest due each month and add it to the principle of the loan — which were predicated on the expectation that home prices would continue to rise

[   ]..These new financial innovations thrived in an environment of easy monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and poor regulatory oversight. With interest rates so low and with regulators turning a blind eye, financial institutions borrowed more and more money (i.e. increased their leverage) to finance their purchases of mortgage-related securities. Banks created off-balance sheet affiliated entities such as Structured Investment Vehicles (SIVs) to purchase mortgage-related assets that were not subject to regulatory capital requirements Financial institutions also turned to short-term “collateralized borrowing” like repurchase agreements, so much so that by 2006 investment banks were on average rolling over a quarter of their balance sheet every night.

[  ]…What is especially shocking, though, is how institutions along each link of the securitization chain failed so grossly to perform adequate risk assessment on the mortgage-related assets they held and traded. From the mortgage originator, to the loan servicer, to the mortgage-backed security issuer, to the CDO issuer, to the CDS protection seller, to the credit rating agencies, and to the holders of all those securities, at no point did any institution stop the party or question the little-understood computer risk models, or the blatantly unsustainable deterioration of the loan terms of the underlying mortgages.

During this time the Bush administration still worshipped at the feet of deregulation and trickle down economics. There was no leadership at the top to rein in these practices in or to even sound a warning signal.