Tag Archives: Glenn Greenwald

Camille Paglia, philosophical heroine to left and right, on why Trump is Now and NYT is Yesterday!

I have always admired Camille Paglia as a unique intellectual heroine, dear to the hearts and souls of the deeper intellectuals of both the right and the left.  Here is her latest on Salon.com, which I used to read just for her and Glenn Edward Greenwald. As an aside, when I say “used to” I mean ten years ago or more, back to Salon’s origins in 1995-2005 when I was a devoted subscriber and sometime comment and letter contributor: but Salon has deteriorated and degenerated.  It is not not just unAmerican but Anti-American.  Most of what appears on the pages or screens of Salon.com these days is so offensive and vile…. so blatantly unthinkingly OBOTOID (in support of the 44th) anti-white racist and pro-communist, I hardly ever look at it: BUT CAMILLE NEVER DISAPPOINTS, and I have been following her since she wrote for a literary magazine now defunct based in Austin, Texas—whose name I can’t even remember right now…

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2016 05:00 AM CDT
Camille Paglia:

PC feminists misfire again, as fearful elite media can’t touch Donald Trump
A boastful, millionaire New Yorker liked the company of beautiful women? This is why NYT can’t lay a glove on Trump
CAMILLE PAGLIA
TOPICS: CAMILLE PAGLIA, DONALD TRUMP, EDITOR’S PICKS, ELECTIONS 2016, FEMINISM, MADONNA, MEDIA CRITICISM, MUSIC, NEW YORK TIMES, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, INNOVATION NEWS, SUSTAINABILITY NEWS, TECHNOLOGY NEWS, LIFE NEWS, NEWS, POLITICS NEWS

Camille Paglia: PC feminists misfire again, as fearful elite media can’t touch Donald Trump
(Credit: AP)
Zap! If momentum were a surge of electromagnetic energy, Donald Trump against all odds has it now. The appalled GOP voters he is losing seem overwhelmed in number by independents and crossover Democrats increasingly attracted by his bumptious, raucous, smash-the-cucumber-frames style. While it’s both riveting and exhilarating to watch a fossilized American political party being blown up and remade, it’s also highly worrisome that a man with no prior political experience and little perceptible patience for serious study seems on a fast track to the White House. In a powder-keg world, erratic impulsiveness is far down the list of optimal presidential traits.

But the Democratic strategists who prophesy a Hillary landslide over Trump are blowing smoke. Hillary is a stodgily predictable product of the voluminous briefing books handed to her by a vast palace staff of researchers and pollsters—a staggeringly expensive luxury not enjoyed by her frugal, unmaterialistic opponent, Bernie Sanders (my candidate). Trump, in contrast, is his own publicist, a quick-draw scrapper and go-for-the-jugular brawler. He is a master of the unexpected (as the Egyptian commander Achillas calls Julius Caesar in the Liz Taylor Cleopatra). The massive size of Hillary’s imperialist operation makes her seem slow and heavy. Trump is like a raffish buccaneer, leaping about the rigging like the breezy Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn, while Hillary is the stiff, sequestered admiral of a bullion-laden armada of Spanish galleons, a low-in-the-water easy mark as they creak and sway amid the rolling swells.

The drums had been beating for weeks about a major New York Times expose in the works that would demolish Trump once and for all by revealing his sordid lifetime of misogyny. When it finally appeared as a splashy front-page story this past Sunday (originally titled “Crossing the Line: Trump’s Private Conduct with Women”), I was off in the woods pursuing my Native American research. On Monday, after seeing countless exultant references to this virtuoso takedown, I finally read the article—and laughed out loud throughout. Can there be any finer demonstration of the insularity and mediocrity of today’s Manhattan prestige media? Wow, millionaire workaholic Donald Trump chased young, beautiful, willing women and liked to boast about it. Jail him now! Meanwhile, the New York Times remains mute about Bill Clinton’s long record of crude groping and grosser assaults—not one example of which could be found to taint Trump.

Blame for this fiasco falls squarely upon the New York Times editors who delegated to two far too young journalists, Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, the complex task of probing the glitzy, exhibitionistic world of late-twentieth-century beauty pageants, gambling casinos, strip clubs, and luxury resorts. Neither Barbaro, a 2002 graduate of Yale, nor Twohey, a 1998 graduate of Georgetown University, had any frame of reference for sexual analysis aside from the rote political correctness that has saturated elite American campuses for nearly 40 years. Their prim, priggish formulations in this awkwardly disconnected article demonstrate the embarrassing lack of sophistication that passes for theoretical expertise among their over-paid and under-educated professors.

When I saw the reporters’ defensive interview on Monday with CNN anchors Kate Bolduan and John Berman, I felt sorry for the earnest, owlish Barbaro, who seems like a nice fellow who has simply wandered out of his depth. But Twohey, with her snippy, bright and shiny careerism, took a page from the slippery Hillary playbook in the way she blatheringly evaded any direct answer to a pointed question about how Rowanne Brewer Lane’s pleasantly flirtatious first meeting with Trump at a crowded 1990 pool party at Mar-a-Lago ended up being called “a debasing face-to-face encounter” in the Times. The hidden agenda of advocacy journalism has rarely been caught so red-handed.

The supreme irony of the Times’ vacuous coverage is that the early 1990s banquet-hall photograph of the unmarried Rowanne Brewer and Donald Trump illustrating it is the sexiest picture published in the mainstream media in years. Not since Melissa Forde’s brilliant 2012 Instagram portraits of a pensive Rihanna smoking a cigarillo as she lounged half-nude in a fur-trimmed parka next to a fireplace have I seen anything so charismatically sensual.

Small and blurry in the print edition, the Brewer-Trump photo in online digital format positively pops with you-are-there luminosity. Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile. The hovering Trump, bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie, is in Viking mode, looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat. “To the victor belong the spoils!” I said to myself in admiration, as seductive images from Babylon to Paris flashed through my mind. Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!

Hey, none of this should make Trump president. But I applaud this accidental contribution by the blundering New York Times to the visual archive of modern sex. We’ve been in a long, dry-gulch period of dully politicized sex, which is now sputtering out into round-the-clock crusades for transgender bathrooms—knuckle-rapping morality repackaged as hygiene. An entire generation has been born and raised since the last big epiphany of molten on-screen sexuality—Sharon Stone’s epochal and ravishingly enigmatic performance in Basic Instinct (1992). Maybe we need Trump the movie mogul most of all. Forget all that Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom tsuris—let’s steer Trump to Hollywood!

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Dear Camille,

This was a minor point in your essay on “Free Speech and the Modern Campus,” but your comments on the National Museum of the American Indian really struck a chord with me, and I wanted to thank you, since I never saw any appropriately awful reviews.

I visited not long after it opened, in anticipation of seeing an organized, well-structured tour through the cultures, languages, and religions that we have lost (the Smithsonian does a good job in other places!). Obviously, there was nothing but happy talk about how man and nature used to live in harmony, not a word wasted on the linguistic diversity that was lost in North America since 1600, and absolutely no thematic organization across the museum. I had the distinct impression that the curators thought that putting together a coherent program would have been one final, intolerable act of cultural imperialism!

How could you take such amazing ingredients and produce something so tasteless? It was like going to a nice restaurant in anticipation of a wonderful steak dinner and being served a picture of parsley. What a waste!

Chris Dyer
Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh

I totally agree with you! As I said last month in the free speech lecture at Drexel University that you refer to, the beautifully designed National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. has been shockingly furnished like a tacky gift shop, devoid of scholarly substance and clarity of presentation. This is a major scandal that demonstrates the failure of parochial identity politics, which has so distorted American education and directly led to today’s plague of campus political correctness.

In the 1970s, when women’s studies, African-American studies, and Native American studies were hastily added to the curriculum by administrators under public relations pressure, those new programs were not coherently planned or structured in scholarly terms, so they became instantly vulnerable to highly politicized ideology that has limited their wider cultural impact over time. The tragic emptiness of the National Museum of the American Indian (whose major draw seems to be its multi-ethnic cafeteria) is one result of the ghettoization of Native American studies, which should have been incorporated into the broader, well-established fields of world anthropology and archaeology.

Maybe next year, if the dollar goes into tripled-digit hyperinflation (e.g. like Zimbabwe today, Argentina in the 1980s, Germany in the 1920s, they’ll make Obama the first man in history to receive two Nobel Prizes in consecutive years by giving him the Nobel Prize in Economics….

It does seem strangely bizarre that Obama’s own supporters on the Democratic left (such as Salon.com’s editor in chief Joan Walsh) are struggling to defend Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize while apologizing “even as we acknowledge disappointment with Obama on State Secrets, Torture, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (you know, minor issues relating to world peace like those which constitute, well….just about everything he’s touched in the past nine months, see http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh// for October 10, 2009), the rest of the Country is reeling from the sensation that this is all just a really bad joke, including my favorite commentator on civil rights and civil liberties, the author of How would a Patriot Act?.  The key quote from the article below is, in my opinion:

[Obama has] worked tirelessly to protect his country not only from accountability — but also transparency — for the last eight years of war crimes, almost certainly violating America’s treaty obligations in the process.  And he is currently presiding over an expansion of the legal black hole at Bagram while aggressively demanding the right to abduct people from around the world, ship them there, and then imprison them indefinitely with no rights of any kind.

All put together it makes me want to cry for my beloved but hopelessly insecure homeland, the United States of America, home of the zombie-like sleepwalkers and cowards who are letting this all happen (i.e., what seems like at least 75% of the population and maybe more)!  But seriously, what Obama is doing on the foreign front to protect the Bush legacy is nowhere nearly as sinister and corrupt as what he’s doing at home—pushing his domestic socialist agenda in cooperation with the corporate-financial giants, i.e. the international Banks, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase just to name the top-three leading culprits, whose disregard for the fundamental elements of common law contract and property law is rapidly turning this country into a nation of homeless vagabonds….one foreclosure at a time, 70 foreclosures per morning and afternoon per session per county court, all across the United States, from sea to shining sea!

Glenn Greenwald

FRIDAY OCT. 9, 2009 07:10 EDT

(updated below – Update II)

When I saw this morning’s top New York Times headline — “Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize” — I had the same immediate reaction which I’m certain many others had:  this was some kind of bizarre Onion gag that got accidentally transposed onto the wrong website, that it was just some sort of strange joke someone was playing.  Upon further reflection, that isn’t all that far from the reaction I still have.  And I say that despite my belief that — as critical as I’ve been of the Obama presidency regarding civil liberties and Terrorism — foreign affairs is actually one area where he’s shown genuine potential for some constructive “change” and has, on occasion, merited real praise for taking steps in the general “peace” direction which this Prize is meant to honor.

Obama has changed the tone America uses to speak to the world generally and the Muslim world specifically.  His speech in Cairo, his first-week interview on al-Arabiya, and the extraordinarily conciliatory holiday video he sent to Iran are all substantial illustrations of that.  His willingness to sit down and negotiate with Iran — rather than threaten and berate them — has already produced tangible results.  He has at least preliminarily broken from Bush’s full-scale subservience to Israel and has applied steadfast pressure on the Israelis to cease settlement activities, even though it’s subjected him to the sorts of domestic political risks and vicious smears that have made prior Presidents afraid to do so.  His decision to use his first full day in office to issue Executive Orders to close Guantanamo, ostensibly ban torture, and bar CIA black sites was an important symbol offered to the world (even though it’s been followed by actions that make those commitments little more than empty symbols).  He refused to reflexively support the right-wing, civil-liberty-crushing coup leaders in Honduras merely because they were “pro-American” and “anti-Chavez,” thus siding with the vast bulk of Latin America’s governments — a move George Bush, or John McCain, never would have made.  And as a result of all of that, the U.S. — in a worldwide survey released just this week — rose from seventh to first on the list of “most admired countries.”

All that said, these changes are completely preliminary, which is to be expected given that he’s only been in office nine months.  For that reason, while Obama’s popularity has surged in Western Europe, the changes in the Muslim world in terms of how the U.S. is perceived have been small to nonexistent.  As Der Spiegel put it in the wake of a worldwide survey in July:  “while Europe’s ardor for Obama appears fervent, he has actually made little progress in the regions where the US faces its biggest foreign policy problems.”  People who live in regions that have long been devastated by American weaponry don’t have the luxury of being dazzled by pretty words and speeches.  They apparently — and rationally — won’t believe that America will actually change from a war-making nation into a peace-making one until there are tangible signs that this is happening.  It’s because that has so plainly not yet occurred that the Nobel Committee has made a mockery out of their own award.

But far more important than the lack of actual accomplishments are some of the policies over which Obama has presided that are the very opposite of peace.  Already this year, he not only escalated the American war in Afghanistan, but has ordered air raids that have produced things like this:

That was from a May airstrike in which over 100 Afghan civilians were killed by American jets — one of many similar incidents this year, including one only a week ago that killed 9 Afghan civilians.  How can someone responsible for that, and who has only escalated that war, possibly be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the very same year that he did that?  Does that picture above look like the work of a Nobel Peace laureate?  Does this, from the May airstrike?

Beyond Afghanistan, Obama continues to preside over another war — in Iraq:  remember that? — where no meaningful withdrawal has occurred.  He uttered not a peep of opposition to the Israeli massacre of Gazan civilians at the beginning of this year (using American weapons), one which a U.N. investigator just found constituted war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.  The changed tone to Iran notwithstanding, his administration frequently emphasizes that it is preserving the option to bomb that country, too — which could be a third war against a Muslim country fought simultaneously under his watch.  He’s worked tirelessly to protect his country not only from accountability — but also transparency — for the last eight years of war crimes, almost certainly violating America’s treaty obligations in the process.  And he is currently presiding over an expansion of the legal black hole at Bagram while aggressively demanding the right to abduct people from around the world, ship them there, and then imprison them indefinitely with no rights of any kind.

It’s certainly true that Obama inherited, not started, these conflicts.  And it’s possible that he could bring about their end, along with an overall change in how America interacts with the world in terms of actions, not just words.  If he does that, he would deserve immense credit — perhaps even a Nobel Peace Prize.  But he hasn’t done any of that.  And it’s at least as possible that he’ll do the opposite:  that he’ll continue to escalate the 8-year occupation of Afghanistan, preside over more conflict in Iraq, end up in a dangerous confrontation with Iran, and continue to preserve many of the core Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies that created such a stain on America’s image and character around the world.

Through no fault of his own, Obama presides over a massive war-making state that spends on its military close to what the rest of the world spends combined.  The U.S. accounts for almost 70% of worldwide arms sales.  We’re currently occupying and waging wars in two separate Muslim countries and making clear we reserve the “right” to attack a third.  Someone who made meaningful changes to those realities would truly be a man of peace.  It’s unreasonable to expect that Obama would magically transform all of this in nine months, and he certainly hasn’t.  Instead, he presides over it and is continuing much of it.  One can reasonably debate how much blame he merits for all of that, but there are simply no meaningful “peace” accomplishment in his record — at least not yet — and there’s plenty of the opposite.  That’s what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.

UPDATE:  Remember how, during the Bush years, the GOP would disgustingly try to equate liberals with Terrorists by pointing out that they happened to have the same view on a particular matter (The Left opposes the war in Iraq, just like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah do! or bin Laden’s criticisms of Bush sound just like Michael Moore’s! ).  It looks like the Democratic Party haslearned and adopted that tactic perfectly (“‘The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,’ DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO”; Republicans are “put[ting] politics above patriotism,” he added).

Apparently, according to the DNC, if you criticize this Prize, then you’re an unpatriotic America-hater — just like the Terrorists, because they’re also criticizing the award.  Karl Rove should be proud.  Maybe the DNC should also send out Joe Lieberman’s 2005 warning that “in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”  Hamas also thinks that Israeli settlements should be frozen — a position Obama shares.  So, by the DNC’s Rovian reasoning, doesn’t this mean that Obama “has thrown in his lot with the terrorists”?

UPDATE II:  On Democracy Now, Naomi Klein calls Obama’s award “disappointing, cheapening of the Nobel Prize,” and adds:  “I think it’s quite insulting. I don’t know what kind of political game they’re playing, but I don’t think that the committee has ever been as political as this or as delusional as this, frankly.”  On Daily Kos, Michael Moore writes ironically:  “Congratulations President Obama on the Nobel Peace Prize — Now Please Earn it!”  Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, says she’s “very disappointed” with this award, noting:  “President Obama has yet to prove that he will move seriously on the Middle East, that he will end the war in Afghanistan and many other issues.”   And my Salon colleague, Alex Koppelman, adds several thoughts about the efforts by the DNC and some Democratic groups to explicitly equate opposition to the Prize with “casting one’s lot with terrorists.”

Liberal Law Professors who Support Lawless Conservatives? I’m ashamed to say I studied with Cass Sunstein at the University of Chicago Law School….

WHAT CAN I SAY?  Back in Law School I was President of the Environmental Law Society and Cass Sunstein, who taught the basic courses in both Administrative and Environmental Law, never came to our meetings or showed any interest in the year-long seminar we put on about the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill and its consequences in 1990-1991, wherein we brought in speakers from all sides of the debate and broadened out to discuss the Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill in the Atlantic near France.  Cass Sunstein, a liberal who supported the most authoritarian measures any government could take, was always a bit of an enigma to me.  He published prolifically but his office was literally impossible to enter because there were mounds (not piles but sloping mounds) of disorganized paper in his office.  (I’m known for having piles of paper in every room of my house, but any mounds get “excavated” and stacked up fairly quickly).  Anyhow—it is with great sorrow but no particular Surprise that I see Cass Sunstein, a close ally of hypothetically liberal Obama, defending Bush’s most outrageous infractions of U.S. and International Law, and both Civil and Human Rights.  It hardens my anger at the University of Chicago for embracing Corporate Communist Globalism as the Hegelian “synthesis” that will resolve the “world split” between Communism and Capitalism.  I fear for America no matter who is elected in November—but I suppose I narrowly fear the hypocrisy of “Liberal” Obama—whose recent voting record suggests a willingness to suppress civil and human rights as vigorously as Bush has.  And the thought of Cass Sunstein on the Supreme Court is simply terrifying—he is unpredictable and non-transparent—as any “liberal” who supports repression must by definition be. 
Bruce Fein was another enigma who hung around Chicago—he was a conservative whom I could not understand, but I have come to respect him very highly—his early, 2005, demand for the impeachment of Bush was a “voice crying in the wilderness” which should have been heeded…. I will say that I think that Kenneth Starr’s preposterous hounding of President Clinton over the whole “Monica Lenguinski” (Lengua being tongue in Spanish) non-controversy really discredited the very concept of impeachment proceedings, and everything else connected with prosecutions of public officials for REAL wrongdoing.  And being a conspiracy theorist, I can’t help but wonder: was that the real purpose?  To make it appear that impeachment was so totally and purely a matter of “political manipulation” that it would be a very long-time before anyone could ever take it seriously again?  It’s just sad that by coincidence (or carefully thought out plan), the President to Succeed Clinton in office was destined to be the greatest war criminal (at least) since Adolph Hitler to hold the chief executive office of any major nation in the world.
Glenn Greenwald is one of my favorite writers at Salon.com—and I have several times included his articles here on my blog, but this may be the most important yet:

The parade of “shrill, unserious extremists” on display at today’s impeachment hearings

(updated below)
Former Reagan DOJ official, constitutional lawyer, and hard-core conservative Bruce Fein was one of the first prominent Americans to call for George Bush’s impeachment in the wake of the illegal NSA spying scandal. Back in late 2005 and 2006, when even safe-seat Democrats like Chuck Schumer were petrified even of uttering the words “broke the law” when speaking of the Bush administration — let alone taking meaningful action to investigate and putting a stop to the lawbreaking — Fein wrote a column in The Washington Times forcefully and eloquently arguing:

Volumes of war powers nonsense have been assembled to defend Mr. Bush’s defiance of the legislative branch and claim of wartime omnipotence so long as terrorism persists, i.e., in perpetuity. Congress should undertake a national inquest into his conduct and claims to determine whether impeachable usurpations are at hand.

In 2006, Russ Feingold called Fein as one of his witnesses in support of Feingold’s resolution to censure President Bush for his lawbreaking. Today, Fein is one of the witnesses who will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in favor of Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment resolutions (joined by Elizabeth Holtzman, Bob Barr and several others). As KagroX details here, that the House is holding hearings on Kucinich’s resolution is not, in any way, an indication that the Congress is prepared to take those resolutions seriously. Manifestly, they are not.
 
Yesterday, Jane Hamsher spoke with Bruce Fein on BloggingheadsTV about why the Democrats have, in general, failed to hold the Bush administration accountable for their multiple crimes (Slate yesterday detailed some of the many Bush crimes). Here is what Fein — echoing an argument I made a couple of weeks ago — said on that topic:

Jane also asked Fein about Obama adviser Cass Sunstein’s recent statements that Bush officials should not be prosecuted for their illegal detention, interrogation and spying programs. To get a sense for why this matters, National Journal this morning listed Sunstein as one of a small handful of likely Supreme Court appointees in an Obama administration. But — similar to Fein’s point regarding Jay Rockefeller, Jane Harman and comrades — Sunstein has long been one of the most vocal enablers of Bush radicalism and lawlessness, having continuously offered himself up over the last seven years to play the legal version of the TNR role of “even-liberal-Cass-Sunstein-agrees-with-Bush.”
During my Democracy Now debate with him, Sunstein said: “I’d be honored but surprised if the military commissions cite some of my academic articles.” But as Talk Left‘s Armando documented, Sunstein would be an ideal and highly likely “legal scholar” for the Bush administration to cite as part of its military tribunals, as Sunstein was an early and outspoken supporter of the theory that Bush had the authority to order military commissions (a theory which the Supreme Court rejected in Hamdan). Identically, while Sunstein now pretends to disagree with Bush’s theory as to why he had the power to spy on Americans in violation of the law (Sunstein said on Democracy Now: “while I agree with Senator Feingold that the President’s position is wrong”), Sunstein defended those theories as “very reasonable” when he was on right-wing talk radio with Hugh Hewitt in late 2005 during the height of the NSA controversy.
It’s really hard to imagine a worse person on whom Obama could be relying as a legal adviser, let alone a potential Supreme Court nominee, and here is what Fein had to say about Sunstein’s view of things:

The destruction of the CIA interrogation videos in 2005 that Fein referenced there seems particularly malicious — plainly criminal — in light of the new documents obtained yesterday from the CIA by the ACLU. One of those documents — an August 4, 2004 CIA memo (.pdf) — explicitly warns “of possible future judicial review of the Program and of these issues,” meaning the CIA’s interrogation methods and the legality of the Bush administration’s behavior. Destroying evidence relevant to a future criminal proceeding is the very definition of obstruction of justice — a crime for which ordinary people are regularly prosecuted and imprisoned — yet we have the Cass Sunsteins of the world, speaking on behalf of our political and media class, insisting that it would be terribly unfair and disruptive to treat any of this as a criminal matter (and — as is true for many of the episodes of Bush lawbreaking — key Congressional Democrats were briefed on the possible destruction of the interrogation videos as well).
Most revealingly of all, the Kucinich impeachment hearing today is like a parade of those whom the Beltway class mocks as Shrill, Unserious losers and Leftist radicals — people who actually use overly excitable words like “crimes” and “prosecutions” when talking about our leaders or who, like the ACLU, actually object that most of what our Government does occurs in total secrecy. Serious, responsible Beltway establishment leaders know that courtrooms and prosecutions are only for the common people and — for our own good — our leaders cannot, must not and should not be exposed to any of that, and must continue to be able to shield what they do from public scrutiny.
* * * * *
NPR this morning has a story, both radio and print, regarding the left/right Strange Bedfellows citizen coalition and Money Bomb campaign targeting those responsible for the erosion of civil liberties, constitutional protections and the rule of law. The NPR story includes this:

Earlier this month, Congress passed a rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. Opponents say it gives the president too much power to tap private communications without court oversight. That argument was made none too subtly by a TV ad that ran in the home district of Chris Carney, a Pennsylvania Democrat who supported the new FISA law.
 
“Chris Carney is surrendering to Bush and Cheney the same un-American spying powers they have in Russia and communist China,” the ad says.
Apparently, the ad hit a nerve. A Carney spokeswoman called the ad a “smear campaign” and said NPR should not do a story about it. But the ad was paid for by Carney’s fellow Democrats.
Blue America is a political action committee promoted by Democratic bloggers like Jane Hamsher. She is disappointed with Congress since it went Democratic.
“I’m very upset with my party right now,” Hamsher says. “They were given the majority, and they have a 9 percent approval rating right now for a reason.”

Apparently, NPR isn’t Comcast — at least not in this instance — and it thus ran the story despite Carney’s pleas.

UPDATE: To be clear, it’s far from certain, obviously, that Obama would appoint Cass Sunstein to anything, let alone to the Supreme Court. And as I’ve said before, the precarious 5-4 Supreme Court balance is reason enough, just standing alone, to strongly prefer an Obama administration to a McCain administration. But Sunstein — both due to his relationship to Obama and, independently, to his new marriage — is one of the most inside of Obama insiders. That he has simultaneously been such an unusually vocal defender of some of the worst Bush radicalism is obviously worth noting, and is self-evidently disturbing. Today, Matt Stoller reviews Sunstein’s latest book and several of the odd ideas in it.