Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Obama Determined To Make It Difficult For His Base To Vote For Him

I don't understand why he is doing things like this (from Greenwald , quoting Washington Post):

President Obama plans to issue an executive order Wednesday giving the Treasury Department authority to freeze the U.S.-based assets of anyone who “obstructs” implementation of the administration-backed political transition in Yemen.
The unusual order, which administration officials said also targets U.S. citizens who engage in activity deemed to threaten Yemen’s security or political stability, is the first issued for Yemen that does not directly relate to counterterrorism.
Unlike similar measures authorizing terrorist designations and sanctions, the new order does not include a list of names or organizations already determined to be in violation. Instead, one official said, it is designed as a “deterrent” to “make clear to those who are even thinking of spoiling the transition” to think again. ...
It is quite beyond me why Obama's apparent need to fix an election in Yemen should become a free-speech issue for any American citizen. But Obama seems determined. I'd like to see how they spin this one.

UPDATE: be sure to follow Greenwald's links to Jeremy Scahill (regrettably in multiple tweets) and Marcy Wheeler.

AFTERTHOUGHT: the above post is probably inadequate to make clear the danger to Americans' free speech rights. So here's Greenwald regarding possible Yemeni or American speech on the one-candidate "election":

In other words, the U.S. Government will now punish anyone who is determined — in the sole discretion of the U.S. Government — even to “indirectly” obstruct the full transition of power to President Hadi. But what if someone — a Yemeni or an American — opposes Hadi’s rule and wants to agitate for a real election in which more than one candidate runs? Is that pure political advocacy, as it appears, now prohibited by the U.S. Government, punishable by serious sanctions, on the ground that it “obstructs” the transition of power to Hadi? Can journalists who report on corruption or violence by the Hadi regime and who write Op-Eds demanding a new election be accused, as it seems, of “threatening Yemen’s political stability”?

(OT, if I ever meet the guy who implemented copy-pastes in the Blogger editor, I shall murder him/her with a blunt instrument... Oh, OK, I suppose I should explain that, too. Suppose your blog body has a yellow background... hey, it could happen. Now suppose you want to copy-paste a paragraph from a quoted web site into your blog. What should the default background be? Why, of course, says Blogger, it should be the background of the original, which nine times out of ten is white! But not just a solid white background for the graf you copy-pasted. Oh, noooo, nothing so sensible. Blogger imposes a line spacing on quoted text, so that the copy-pasted area on my blog consists of black print on a white background for each line... with yellow visible between lines. This is madness. Any damned fool can see that the proper background color for a copy-paste is "transparent" or "inherit"; there is no excuse for introducing another color. The fact that there's no excuse doesn't stop Blogger...)


  1. OT: I can see why it is happening by looking at the page source. Every single paragraph is treated as a separate DIV with colors defined. If you copy from a Blogger site that will probably be included and overwrite the defaults.

    WordPress will do something similar if you paste in 'Visual' mode, but ignores the formatting information in 'HTML' mode.

    Oh, yes, Zero is functionally a neo-con. That's why I won't vote for him.

  2. Bryan, I've found that my best bet is to copy-paste from whatever source into an instance of gedit (think: notepad). This effectively removes all formatting. Then I have to use as many BR tags as needed to simulate paragraphs (two per graf) and then paste the whole thing into HTML mode on the blog. Often I forget a step, or neglect to remove the DIV's and such from the original, or whatever. It is aggravating, because there is simply no reason for Blogger to make it difficult to blockquote a passage. It's inexcusable... and I do not excuse it. It may drive me back to WordPress; I haven't decided yet.

    Obama is hopeless; I have no notion of reforming him. But for the sake of women's rights and LGBTQ rights (and little else), I shall hold my nose and vote for him. Then I shall go home and sterilize my hands...

  3. I should say that pasting into gedit usually removes most formatting. Some things come through, depending on the source of the quoted material. There is no one way that works on every text to be quoted; it's always cut-and-try.

  4. And one last thought on background colors: yes indeed, Blogger will create separate DIVs each with its own STYLE including a BACKGROUND-COLOR (usually white). At a minimum, I have to go through and manually remove those. If "Yellow" were not part of my blog name, I'd simply give up on the BODY background color, but by now I'm so stubborn I'll fight it to the death.

  5. I have difficulty following your struggles, Steve, because I've got the most simplistic form ever. But when in doubt, I copy to clipboard and paste from there. It seems to rinse everything....

  6. ellroon, your blog has a white background. If you copy-paste from an original (say a NYT article) which also has a white background, Blogger will silently insert a "background-color:white;" tag, but it has no effect, because your background is already white... no harm, no foul. My background is a very deliberately chosen pale yellow, #feaeae, to be precise. So if Blogger forces a background of white, and also forces larger line heights, the results can be really quite ugly. Most posts require of me quite a bit of manual labor at the HTML level to obtain a satisfactory appearance; I am literally fighting the Blogger post editor every step of the way... and all because of my pale yellow background. (It sounds like racism, doesn't it?)



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