You may not have the resolutions sorted out yet, but here’s a solid list of things you probably don’t want to happen: Deepest Darkest Fears
, a web-comic by Fran Krause
(as seen at Gizmodo
Just so GitM is keeping up with all the various social media platforms on the sidebar, as of two days ago I’m now in my forties. (That’s champagne gummies
atop an Irish car bomb cake
and a bottle of twelve-year-old Jamesons, courtesy of Amy.)
Feels much the same on this end (so far), but then again I rolled the clock over in my head somewhere around 37, and dissertation-writing happens in dog years anyway. Onward and upward.
I’m currently working on my own year-end list, as per GitM tradition, and be advised: I’ll probably give myself a few more weeks into 2015 since I have so many holes still to plug. (Even if I was in top movie-going form at the moment, which I’m not, DC is still a second tier town in terms of the release schedule.)
But in the meantime, and also as in year’s past, David Ehrlich has assembled another very impressive Best of the Year video with his choices. I disagree mightily with some of his picks — let’s just say Nymphomaniac won’t be cracking my list — but, once again, Ehrlich’s infectiously fun Super-Cut makes me wish I’d seen more movies this year.
“To put it another way, AIG owed these banks a bunch of money, but if it had to pay the banks, it would go bust. But if it didn’t pay the banks, the banks would lose money. The banks were willing to lose a little bit of money, but Geithner said no no, you don’t have to lose any money in the deal at all. The accusation is that Geithner and co. shot AIG in the head, and then let other banks feast on its rotting carcass (liberally spiced with government money). Paulson has actually confirmed this was the goal…It was an utterly selective political judgment to choose one set of actors over another set of actors.”
This one’s been in the bookmarks for awhile, but in very related news
, Matt Stoller surveys the troubling backstory of the bailouts emerging
from what should be a sideshow: AIG shareholder Hank Greenberg suing the government for unfair treatment
. (He only got half a sweetheart deal.) “Greenberg’s case is revealing that the bailouts were done selectively, and there was an attempt to cover up what happened…bailout opponents were largely correct, and the bailout apologists were lying and/or wrong.”
There are many reasons why I post less frequently at GitM these days, and a lot of them are the usual prosaic stuff — life is good
, the days are very busy, my garrison isn’t going to build itself
. But among them also is, quite frankly, it’s sometimes hard to see a purpose to it anymore, at least in GitM’s current incarnation. Case in point: this month’s CIA torture revelations
Like countless others, I have been railing about the Bush-era CIA torture regime here for over a decade now. So this isn’t a breaking story. Still, the recent Senate Report — which the “most transparent administration in history” fought tooth and nail to bury — ably covers all we’ve known to date, and includes a number of horrifying new revelations.
For example, so it turns out that we — you and I — paid foreign governments $300 million to construct and maintain our dungeons.
We — again, you and I — also paid two psychiatrists $80 million to come up with more devastating torture techniques
. (And their contract was originally for $180 million!)
These two assholes got on the payroll after Al Qaeda higher-up Abu Zubaydah was captured. Zubaydah was then waterboarded over eighty times
, mainly so he and others would corroborate the false positive, demanded by Iraq War architects, that Iraq was involved with Al Qaeda
We also tortured people for not calling CIA officers “sir,” or having a stomachache.
We even tortured our own informants.
We anally raped detainees with pureed hummus, causing anal fissures and a rectal prolapse due to “excessive force.”
We also may have raped detainees with dogs
. And it sounds like a child was raped
in our custody as well.
Another detainee froze to death during his Room 101 session.
Naturally, the CIA tried to cover all this up. First, they blatantly lied about the efficacy of their torture regime. (And, since it cannot be said enough, particularly in the wake of the CIA’s Zero Dark Thirty propaganda
: Torture does not work
Then, they — with the full and active complicity of both the Bush and Obama administrations — blocked the American people from seeing the evidence of their depravities, including destroying torture tapes
, repeatedly lying to Congress
, and hacking into Senate computers
And, still, over a decade later: Even though the Constitution bans torture
, even though it is a crime to lie to Congress, even though it is explicitly a crime NOT to prosecute torturers
, Nobody Has Gone To Jail
— well, except the whistleblower
And on top of everything else, Americans approve of all of this by 2-1.
So, what is there to say? The illegality here is black and white, the crimes abhorrent, the moral corruption pervasive…and yet we all just collectively shrug. The sad and hilarious thing about The Onion‘s recent minotaur video — “That hungry half-man, half-bull kept us safe from the terrorists!” — is this is basically the world we live in now.
Makes me sick, m*therf*cker, how far we done fell.
Self-explanatory. The on-the-button Serkis voiceover threatens lameness, but I like John Boyega’s urgency, and was surprised to see Oscar Isaac in an X-Wing (given that I heard/presumed he was the Han of the new cast.) Show me more!
Update These characters’ names are released on throwback-style Topps cards: Boyega is “Finn,” Ridley “Rey,” Isaac “Poe Dameron,” the shadowy Sith fellow “Kylo Ren,” and the wheeldroid is BB-8. But who is Tenzing Norgay?