Cheney: How The Grinch Stole Festivus!

• “I’m not talking about the actual country. I’m talking about the idea of America. The idea of America would never torture.” —Stephen Colbert

20 key findings about CIA interrogations from the Senate Intelligence Committee's report released December 2014 (NY TImes):
1 (torture) “not an effective means of acquiring intelligence”
2 “rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness”
3 “brutal and far worse than the CIA represented”
4 “conditions of confinement for CIA detainees were harsher
5 “repeatedly provided inaccurate information”
6 “actively avoided or impeded congressional oversight”
7 “impeded effective White House oversight”
8 “complicated, and in some cases impeded, the national security missions”
9 “impeded oversight by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General”
10 “coordinated the release of classified information to the media”
11 “unprepared as it began operating”
12 “deeply flawed throughout the program's duration”
13 “overwhelmingly outsourced operations”
14 “coercive interrogation techniques that had not been approved”
15 “did not conduct a comprehensive or accurate accounting of the number of individuals it detained”
16 “failed to adequately evaluate the effectiveness
17 “rarely reprimanded or held personnel accountable
18 “ignored numerous internal critiques, criticisms, and objections”
19 “inherently unsustainable
20 “damaged the United States' standing in the world”

• Watch video below: “Dick Cheney's Mind Is 'The Scariest F--king Place In The Universe,' Says Jon Stewart” (after short ad)

• “(The CIA Torture Report confirms that) the CIA's actions a decade ago are a stain on our values and on our history.” —Senator Dianne Feinstein

• ”We didn't treat the Nazis like this. We didn't' treat the Vietcong like this. This is something that is without precedent in American history." —CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin

• “The Torture Convention (effective 1987) prohibits the United States from deporting an individual to a country where there is a reasonable expectation that he will be subjected to torture — physical, mental or otherwise. —Jonathan Shapiro

• “The purpose of torture is not getting information. It's spreading fear.” —Eduardo Galeano

• “There is still much debate about whether torture has been effective in eliciting information - the assumption being, apparently, that if it is effective, then it may be justified.” —Noam Chomsky

• “Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management. —Late Senator Edward Kennedy

• Watch below: Former President George W. Bush interviewed by Matt Lauer: Bush: "Look, first, we used the technique on three people. captured a lot of people and used it on three. we gained valuable information to protect the country, and it was the right thing to do, as far as i'm concerned."

• “One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture.” —Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

• “We are America; we don't torture. And the moment that is not the case, I want off the train.” — Fox News anchor Shepard Smith

• "We tortured some folks…We did some things that were contrary to our values." —Barack Obama

• “Torture didn’t just happen, after all – contrary to the president’s recent statement, “we” didn’t torture some folks. Real actual people engaged in torture. Some of these people are still employed by the U.S. government … It is bad enough not to prosecute these officials – but to reward or promote them and risk the integrity of the U.S. government to protect them is incomprehensible. The president needs to purge his administration of high-level officials who were instrumental to the development and running of this program. He needs to force a cultural change at the CIA.” —Outgoing Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), Senate Intelligence Committee

• Watch below: Former VP Dick Cheney: "I have no problem (with torture) as long as we achieve our objective. And our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and to avoid another attack against the United States. I was prepared and we did, we got the authorization from the president and authorization from the justice department to go forward with the program. it worked. It worked now for 13 years. We've avoided another mass casualty attack against the United States ... I'd do it again in a minute".

• Watch below: Former POW, Senator John McCain speaks out against torture:

• Watch below: Senator Dianne Feinstein discusses release of the CIA Torture Report:

•” When you send the signal, as the Obama administration did, that torture is not a crime that ought to be punished, it's just a policy dispute that you argue about on Sunday shows, of course it emboldens torturers like Dick Cheney to go around and say, 'What I did was absolutely right.’” —Glenn Greenwald 

Scary-As-Hell Creatures

Above: “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” (1962) by Diane Arbus. In 2005 an original print of the photograph sold for $408,000.

Above: “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” (1962) by Diane Arbus. In 2005 an original print of the photograph sold for $408,000.



• Below: For Trick or Treaters who fail to wear an actual costume, are over 16, or fail to say "Thank you" or "No problem."

Source: unknown from tumblr

Source: unknown from tumblr photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder photo by Reuters/Brian Snyder

Prepping for Parenthood #1

• “Like all parents, my husband and I just do the best we can, and hold our breath, and hope we’ve set aside enough money to pay for our kids’ therapy.” —Michelle Pfeiffer

• "You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." —Franklin P. Jones

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• "I think Lincoln had a unique parenting style. He let his kids run free and wild." —Steven Spielberg

• "One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun." —Jane Goodall

• Below: Wonderfully wry HBO ad touting on-the-go viewing to avoid embarrassing moments with parents (1 of 3):

• "Having children is like living in a frat house — nobody sleeps, everything's broken, and there's a lot of throwing up." —Ray Romano

• "Education, like neurosis, begins at home." —Milton Sapirstein

• "Few things are more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own." —Doug Larson

• “If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says, ‘keep away from children.' " —Susan Savannah

• "There really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child." —Anne Lamott

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• Our booming Boomerang Generation: "The U.S. Census Bureau reported a 5 percent point increase in the number of young men (ages 24–34) living with their parents for the period between 2005 (14%) and 2011 (19%). For the same period, the number of young women living with their parents increased from 8% in 2005 to 10% in 2011." (wikipedia)

• About the animated quote at very top (about a woman anticipating a possible divorce): A Broadway-dancer-turned comedian, Rita Rudner is a pioneering, "old-school" (non-blue) comic now working almost exclusively in Las Vegas. An accomplished author and screenwriter, her books include "I Still Have It; I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It," "Naked Beneath My Clothes" and the novels "Tickled Pink" and "Turning The Tables."



Jon Stewart's Tortured Logic daily show jon stewart donald rumsfeld dick cheney torture waterboarding dianne feinstein panetta report 

• “I was a strong advocate and helped put together the enhanced interrogation program. Some people call it torture. It wasn’t torture.” — Dick Cheney

• "If you can’t trust a man who shot his own friend in the face because he thought he was a bird,  I don’t know who you can (trust). — Jon Stewart

• "There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that's just a fact." — Donald Rumsfeld

• The Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, voted to release part of a 6,300-page report detailing the CIA's use of torture during the Bush Administration. The report concludes that the torture was not effective. (April 3, 2014) 

• Below: Watch Jon Stewart take Cheney and Rumsfeld to the woodshed (sorry for ad at beginning; worth the wait).

Watch Senator Dianne Feinstein's historic speech defending Congress' ability to have effective oversight over the nation's intelligence activities and to declassify the torture report in the 2 clips above. (March, 11, 2014)


Parts for Farts: The Dick Cheney Story vice president richard dick cheney heart organ transplant devil tin man wizard of oz animated gif

• Former VP Dick Cheney received a heart transplant in March 2012, to the chagrin of the Tin Man.

• "Watching Cheney in these periodic re-emergences ... can be disconcerting … as with a horror movie villain, you can never count on a credit sequence to put an end to your fright."  — Ana Marie Cox

• Over a decade ago, famous Texas heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley, hired by the 2000 Bush campaign, cleared Cheney for the VP spot, reporting that Cheney was "in good health with normal cardiac function" — despite having had multiple heart attacks and a long history of cardiac procedures. 

• Below: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Oct. 2013 interview with Cheney: "This idea that you have this respected heart surgeon from Texas who didn't see youdidn't examine you, and then writes something saying that you have normal cardiac function. That just wasn't true, Mr. Vice President."

Cheney replied: "Go ask Denton Cooley about that." 

• Suggest watching at 4:42+ for the lie that enabled the most notorious VP in American history: