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”
source: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/cia-interrogation-report/key-findings/

• 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 

The Maniacal Mind of Richard Nixon

More Nixon:

• "You don't know how to lie. If you can't lie, you'll never go anywhere." — Nixon's advice to a political associate

• "I'm not going to be the first American president to lose a war." — Nixon in October 1969, six years before the Vietnam War finally ended

• "The only place where you and I disagree is with regard to the bombing. You're so goddamned concerned about civilians and I don't give a damn. I don't care." — to Henry Kissinger — quoted in Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg

• "I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that, for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry and he has his hand on the nuclear button." — quoted in The Ends of Power by Robert Haldeman

• "I don't give a shit what happens. I want you all to stonewall—plead the Fifth Amendment, cover-up, or anything else. If that will save it, save the plan." — Watergate cover-up

• Below: Stephen Colbert looks back at the ups and downs of the Nixon presidency. Gives Nixon credit for notable accomplishments. Worth 4 minutes.

Yet More Nixon:

• "Reagan is not one that wears well ... on a personal basis, is terrible ...  isn't pleasant to be around ... strange." — in 1972

• "The Irish can't drink ... they get mean." — to Chuck Colson

• "The Italians, of course, those people course don't have their heads screwed on tight." — to Chuck Colson

August 9, 1974

August 9, 1974

Still more Nixon: 

• "Well, did you do any fornicating this weekend?" — to David Frost before a 1977 interview

• "I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue." — Nixon reflecting on the Watergate scandal in 1978

• "Voters quickly forget what a man says." — Nixon

flag pin for label.jpg

• "The tradition only goes back about 40 years, when Richard Nixon started wearing a flag lapel pin regularly ... got the idea from Bob Haldeman — who picked it up from Robert Redford’s 1972 film, “The Candidate.” — Stephen Ambrose per Washington Post

"The Justice Department has agreed to pay $18 million to the estate of former President Richard M. Nixon in compensation for presidential papers, photographs and tape recordings that were seized after Mr. Nixon's resignation in 1974." — New York Times, June 2000

• From USA Today: Corrections & Clarifications:
"A story Feb. 21, 2005 wrongly attributed a quote to Richard Nixon as saying Hunter S. Thompson was that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character. It was Thompson who made the remark about Nixon."

(additional sources: hbo, about.com, wikiquote.org, brainyquotes.com)

 

Losing Their Minds on Capitol Hill

• Andy Borowitz writes for  The New Yorker

• Andy Borowitz writes for The New Yorker

• Video below: Stephen Colbert's jabs at the least productive Congress in American history

• "Face it, folks, we are a divided nation — divided by those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.” — Stephen Colbert

• Below: Red states (GOP) and blue states (Dems) 2013

• Below: Hotbeds of discontent and willful ignorance:

gallup poll congressional approval 1974-2014.png

• Above: "The 435 House members and one-third of the Senate who face re-election could do so amid the lowest congressional approval ratings for a midterm election in modern political history. Gallup historically has found that low congressional approval ratings are associated with higher congressional turnover." — Gallup

•  “Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.” — Henry Kissinger

Stephen Colbert Knows Economics

fizzdom.com stephen colbert mcdonald's ronald mcdonald minimum wage living wage dorothea lange poverty republicans

• The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009.

• "If Congress had passed the Democrats' bill (in spring 2014) to raise the minimum hourly wage from $7.25 (= $15,080/year) to $10.10  over two years, 4.6 million people would rise above the poverty line." (time.com) 

• The bill would have also increased the wage for tipped employees to 70 percent of the minimum wage.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart amuse at the 2006 Emmy Awards.

• "The precursor of modern minimum wage laws can be found in the Ordinance of Labourers (1349), which was a decree by King Edward III that set a maximum wage for laborers in medieval England" (due to a labor shortage caused by the Black Plague).

• "The first national minimum wage law was enacted by the government of New Zealand in 1894, followed by Australia in 1896 and Great Britain in 1909 (and) the United States ... in 1938." (wikipedia)

minimum wage for developed nations 2011 - wikipedia

minimum wage for developed nations 2011 - wikipedia

Stephen Colbert Captures Condoleezza Rice

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     fizzdom.com condoleezza rice condi rice sexy praying mantis george w. bush war criminal stephen colbert insect

• Video above: On Saturday, May 3, 2014 Condoleezza Rice withdrew as a paid ($35,000) commencement speaker at Rutgers University due to faculty and student protests because of her advocacy for the Iraq War and the use of waterboarding. (wikipedia)

• In past years she's faced protesters at Boston College and Princeton University commencements, and at many speaking engagements worldwide. 

Condi Rice instills fear about a "mushroom cloud" to drive the U.S. to war in Iraq in the Rachel Maddow video above.

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show recounts Condoleezza Rice selling the Iraq War with the "nuclear weapons" threat in the video above.

• In April 2014 digital storage company DropBox appointed Rice to their Board of Directors despite her pro-domestic spying position. Protesters argue that "Given everything we now know about the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance program, and Rice’s role in it, why on earth would we want someone like her involved with Dropbox, an organization we are trusting with our most important business and personal data?”

•  "When Libyans raided (Muammar) Qaddafi’s palace, they discovered a homemade scrapbook filled with photos of (Rice). 'Yes, Leezza, Leezza, Leezza ... I love her very much,' (Qaddafi) told Al Jazeera in 2007." (vanityfair.com)

Fizzdom.com featured on Huffington Post

Fizzdom.com is featured in tech-journalist Larry Magid's article on Huffington Post, highlighting today's post "Celebrating Cesar Chavez" and Friday's post "Colbert Denies War On Women." A five-minute audio interview of John Grimes follows the article. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-magid/cesar-chavez_b_5051421.html