Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chasing Faux News Viewers

Leahy Calls On Justice Department To Investigate Laura Ingraham’s Phone Jamming
Atrios Asks: Should "someone who told her listeners to jam a voter hotline is really someone appropriate for ‘The most trusted name in news.’”

Looks like Glenn Beck has competition coming in the 'worst move ever by CNN' dept.

A walk down Laura Lane:

Audio: Laura Ingraham Tells Listeners To Jam Voter Protection Hotline

Video: Ignoring Novak's July 2003 column, Ingraham suggested Plame compromised her own undercover status in Jan. 2004

Video: Ingraham: Kerry constituencies not "regular people"

Video: Laura Ingraham thinks '24' Popularity Justifies Torture

"You couldn't make this up"

TPMmuckraker: Stevens Vows To Block Ethics Bill

Just when we thought there was no more Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) news for the day, John Bresnahan hears that he's promising to block ethics legislation.

You couldn't make this up:

The Sen Ted Stevens Investigation Widens

TPMmuckraker's ongoing coverage of the Stevens' scandal here [click]TPMmuckraker:

It's official: the FBI is looking into more than Sen. Ted Stevens' Veco-overseen remodeling project. Roll Call reports that the FBI and the Department of Interior are also looking into a series of earmarks for one of Stevens' pet projects.

The project, the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seaward, Alaska, has received some $50 million in federal money since 1998. One of Stevens' former aides, Trevor McCabe, was paid $558,000 of that money for an adjacent piece of land. Federal investigators want to know more about the arrangement. ...
And I just couldn't resist pointing to this curious angle on the story the AP is floating:

The focus seems to be on the wine *
Federal agents searching the home of a Republican senator from Alaska seemed especially interested in cases of wine stored in the house. ...

He said investigators photographed individual wine bottles as well as cases of wine, as they carried out the search as part of a public corruption probe. ...
Update: Think Progress: CREW calls on Stevens to give up committee seat

Stevens' Financial Clerk Testifies Before Grand Jury

A Senate clerk for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) has testified before a grand jury about the remodeling of the senator's home overseen by Veco, the AP reports.

The Commerce Committee clerk, Barbara Flanders, who assisted Stevens with his personal financial records, also handed over documents related to the senator's finances and testified to what she knew about how the murky home remodeling project bills were paid.

Flanders is not the first Capital Hill staffer to be brought in to the investigation. Some of Stevens' former aides have already been questioned by the FBI. ...
TPMmuckraker's ongoing coverage of the Stevens' scandal here.

Olbermann Schools Mitt Romney About Youtube

Geeeze, Romney is even more of an idiot about the net than Sen Ted "The internet is a bunch of tubes" Stevens.

"Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential hopeful has already tied the current cammander in chief as an internet luddite, explaining quote: "YouTube is a website that allows kids to network with one another and make friends and contact each other. YouTube looked to see if they had any convicted sex offenders on their web site. They had 29,000." "

"That would be MySpace. Youtube is where they have the collection of 29,000 gaffs by Mitt Romney."

No wonder Romney is apparently too chicken to show up to a CNN/Youtube debate. He must have been afraid he was going to get asked questions by sex offenders all night long. BTW, given his party's history over the past year, what with Foley, Gibbons, Vitter, etc, maybe they ought to just start screening out republicans from posting on MySpace and they could nip that ugly statistic in the bud.

O'Leilly smears DailyKos and Dems Again

This time it's over a photoshopped pic he claims was posted on the Daily Kos website that apparently shows Lieberman helping Bush out with a busted zipper, or at least that's what the man was apparently doing in the picture that someone photoshopped Lieberman's head instead. What's so "vile" about that? Does Bill O have a dirty mind or what?"

Loyal BushieThis guy looks to be applying for a US Atty position

We're not haters Bill O., we're laughers, and that photoshop is funny, and is a perfect metaphor for Lieberman's limitless devotion to Bush.

original picture >>

The real question is was this pic ever posted on the main page or did Faux News dig it up from the comments or diaries? O'Lielly is trying to shame the Dem Presidential candidated from attending the event because he portrays Daily Kos and liberal blogs in general as "haters. Here's the video of tonight's All Spin Zone tirade:

The fued between O'Lielly and Dailykos started when Bill O. attacked Jet Blue's sponsorship of the Yearly Kos event this weekend which resulted in Jet Blue pulling their logo from the event but still supplying tickets.

Well, Daily Kos, Americablog, and Atrios have been fighting back big time. Americablog keeps digging up hateful comments from registered posters on O'Lielly's web forum that are even worse than the anonymous comments from threads at Dailykos.com that Bill O. has been spouting off about and along with "Brave New Films" and other sites has helped organize protests to Faux News advertisers on O'Liely's show, especially Home Depot, and Monday was declared "Fallafel Day"

Bill O'Reilly, class act
by kos

A treat for O'Reilly's fans heading on over here to check out the "hate":
During the course of Defendant BILL O'REILLY's sexual rant, it became clear that he was using a vibrator upon himself, and that he ejaculated.
Incidentally, there are two sides in this battle: 1) the Coulter/O'Reilly/Limbaugh side, and then there's 2) the Netroots/Colbert/Olbermann side. Funny how things have shaken out.
I know, way too much info. Sorry.

Late Update: BREAKING... Home Depot dumps O'Reilly: "We will not... advertise on the Bill O’Reilly show"

Later Update:Here's some interesting trivia that I didn't know about the original pic:
Here's the deal; the internets have been mysteriously scrubbed clean of the story, but the guy in the picture on his knees is Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi and the buggerer is Sweden's Prime Minister Goran Persson. They were all together in DC in June of 2001. Like I say, I can't find the original zipper failure story, but here's another picture taken at the same time:wikipedia pic from whitehouse website

More Trivia: And here's a copy of the original in a Norwegian paper:

(I believe its caption says it is a "clever photoshop" or "A few photoshop-capable ..." something to that effect. Anyone know Norwegian?)

Monday, July 30, 2007

FBI & IRS Raid Sen Ted Stevens' Home

''The Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes.''
TPM: FBI, IRS Search Home of U.S. Sen. Stevens, Who Has Been Scrutinized in Corruption Probe

TPMmuckraker has more.

That's the same home, of course, that was doubled by a renovation undertaken in 2000 -- the contractor, curiously, was Veco, the corrupt oil company. Veco, prosecutors have pointed out "was not in the business of residential construction or remodeling." And that's not all that's curious about the renovation.
I'll have a CNN video clip about it up soon. (Here it is)
And there's more from TPMtv:

Click to watch
You can also see TPMmuckraker's on-going and comprehensive reporting on the Stevens' scandal here.

Hackable Voting Machines

Here's video of CNN's Situation Room discussing the report released Friday by the state of California in which computer scientists from California universities hacked into the three largest electronic voting systems used across the nation, Diebold, Sequoia, and Hart-Intercivic, and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered.

While the report tries to downplay the possibility of tampering because it did not take into account physical safeguards that may be in place to keep potential hackers from gaining access to the machines, and even had one idiot (Paul Herrnson?) on to say that "anyone can steal a box of paper ballots, blank or completed, and switch them for another one, and that's much easier to do than to hack into a computerized voting system." Really? "Anyone"? how easy is it for "anyone" to steal and replace enough paper ballots to alter the outcome of any election like a single hacker could? Talk about ignoring "real-world safeguards".

CNN and their "experts" they had on to downplay this study are ignoring the widely reported lack of "real-world safeguards", the ease at which these systems have been hacked, and the fact that an entire election's results can be manupulated by a single person on these e-systems.

There currently is a house bill, H.R. 811 sponsored by Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ) that is likely to pass that will address most of these issues (it's not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction), but as the NYT reported last week that it seems all but doomed to fail in the Senate. WTF?

When, if ever, is Congress going to anything about securing the integrity of our elections?

Did Bush leak data mining story to save Gonzales?

Heh Heh Heh!RawStory:

In a request for information Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers suggested the Bush administration may have leaked classified information on US spying programs in order to rescue embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from perjury charges. ...
Bush leaking classified info to save someone in his cabinet's ass? Deja vu.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

NSA's Massive Domestic Spy Program

Total Information Awareness Lives
Today both the the NYT and WaPo came out with stories re: an NSA datamining program that had previously not recieved much attention until Gonzales' testimony this week brought it out front and center.

WaPo: Data Mining Figured In Dispute Over NSA
A fierce dispute within the Bush administration in early 2004 over a National Security Agency warrantless surveillance program was related to concerns about the NSA's searches of huge computer databases, the New York Times reported today.

The agency's data mining was also linked to a dramatic chain of events in March 2004, including threats of resignation from senior Justice Department officials and an unusual nighttime visit by White House aides to the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, the Times reported, citing current and former officials briefed on the program. ...
And the NYT:
NYT: Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over U.S. Spying

“This has gone on long enough,” [Sen.] Feingold said. “It is time for a special counsel to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought.”

The senators’ comments, along with those of other members of Congress briefed on the program, suggested that they considered the eavesdropping and data mining so closely tied that they were part of a single program. Both activities, which ordinarily require warrants, were started without court approval as the Bush administration intensified counterterrorism efforts soon after the Sept. 11 attacks. ...

The N.S.A., the nation’s largest intelligence agency, generally eavesdrops on communications in foreign countries. Since the 1978 passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, any eavesdropping to gather intelligence on American soil has required a warrant from the special court.

In addition, court approval is required for the N.S.A. to search the databases of telephone calls or e-mail records, usually compiled by American phone and Internet companies and including phone numbers or e-mail addresses, as well as dates, times and duration of calls and messages. Sometimes called metadata, such databases do not include the content of the calls and e-mail messages — the actual words spoken or written. ...
While both pieces seem to downplay the illegality or intrusiveness of such a program, I believe they're misleading their readers on that point. To explain why, I'd like to go back and review what is known about the program so far. First I want to point to the USA Today story last year "NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls" that said the "National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth." As USA Today put it, only Qwest denied the NSA access to the records, but Verizon and BellSouth issued denials, or perhaps they're better described as non-denial denials.

The thing is, from what is already known about the NSA spy program we can see that the telcos don't need to turn over any of their records. They've turned over the keys instead so the NSA can gather the info themselves. According to the whistleblower lawsuit brought against AT&T (which the government has thus far been able to put a stop to the lawsuit altogether by claiming 'state secrets' privilege), AT&T has evidently allowed the NSA to hardwire into their fiber optic network, the same system which virtually every other telco piggybacks on so it doesn't matter that Quest claims it hasn't turned over records or not, so the NSA can collect the data themselves. Being directly tied directly into the nation's main telephone/internet grid, the NSA is able to comb through not only every telephone call, but also every web-browsing session, every email, everything. It doesn't matter what cell, landline or internet based telephone provider or ISP you have, everything flows through those hubs, and the NSA is monitoring all of it.

Do follow me on these few articles:
Wiretap Whistle-Blower's Account

... One of the documents listed the equipment installed in the secret room, and this list included a Narus STA 6400, which is a "Semantic Traffic Analyzer". The Narus STA technology is known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets. The company's advertising boasts that its technology "captures comprehensive customer usage data ... and transforms it into actionable information.... (It) provides complete visibility for all internet applications." ...

What is the significance and why is it important to bring these facts to light?
Based on my understanding of the connections and equipment at issue, it appears the NSA is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the internet -- whether that be peoples' e-mail, web surfing or any other data. ...
The emphasis on Narus' "Semantic Traffic Analyzer" above is my doing. 'What is a Narus?' you may ask. Well, take a look at what Forbes had to say about Narus in 1999...

Forbes: Narus knows what you are doing on the network

For example, if someone in San Francisco makes a video conference call to New York and London, the probe captures the exact length of the call and then sends a log file, also known as a call data record (CDR) back to the database, which is housed on Narus' servers. The CDR is then used for billing purposes.Want to know what Narus software can do? It can find out how much time you spent on the network, how many E-mails you sent, how long you played online video games, how many files you uploaded or downloaded and what web sites you accessed. ...
More about this can be found in this DailyKos diary:

All About NSA's and AT&T's Big Brother Machine, the Narus 6400

If the AT&T whistleblower is correct, and it's a pretty safe bet he is because this administration is trying its damnedest to have the whole case thrown out on national security state secrets grounds, then the NSA is capable of monitoring everything we do online and over the phone. That would explain the telco's statements that they have not provided any records to the NSA, they've just opened the entire network & let the NSA gather its own records.

And if that aint enough for you on this topic, I'd like now to point to this interview last year by Tim Russert of NYT's James Risen (who 1st broke the NSA story) and WaPo's datamining expert Robert O'Harrow Jr. Given the new disclosure of the NSA datamining program, this video is all too relevant. It sheds LOTS of new light on exactly what was going on and the corporations the NSA had partnered with for its datamining operation. Please do check it out:

James Risen & Robert O'Harrow Jr. Explain NSA's Massive Datamining Program

If you've been paying attention at all it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what they are doing. What began as the "Total Information Awareness" Program until it was axed by Congress, survives today broken apart into several different programs. This has already been reported:

National Journal: Total Information Awareness ‘Stopped In Name Only’

And just last month:

FBI Seeking To Create 6 Billion Record Database Similar To Total Information Awareness

Make no mistake about it, Big Brother is Watching You.

GOP Election Rigging & Hackable Voting Machines


PBS (Finally) Exposes Criminal GOP Conspiracy to Steal the 2004 Election via Illegal 'Vote Caging' Scam
3-Year Overdue NOW Report Links Scheme to Top Republican Operatives and White House
Former US Attorney David Iglesias Believes Withheld WH Emails May Show Criminal Involvement in '04 Election Theft...
Last night --- nearly three years after it was first reported by the BBC --- PBS's NOW finally exposed the Republican Party conspiracy to steal the 2004 Presidential Election. Whaddayaknow?

The 15 minute segment concentrates on "Voter Caging" and features appearances by Greg Palast and former US attorney David Iglesias. Readers will recall that Palast, who originally broke this story in 2004, has written BRAD BLOG exclusives on voter caging and on Tim Griffin, who was one of the leaders of the illegal scheme.

Thinkprogress has more here "Voter caging and how it works"

If that wasn't enough for you:

NYT: Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere
Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into three electronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered, according to reports released yesterday by the state.

The reports, the latest to raise questions about electronic voting machines, came to light on a day when House leaders announced in Washington that they had reached an agreement on measures to revamp voting systems and increase their security.

The House bill would require every state to use paper records that would let voters verify that their ballots had been correctly cast and that would be available for recounts.

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, and the original sponsor of the bill, Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, said it would require hundreds of counties with paperless machines to install backup paper trails by the presidential election next year while giving most states until 2012 to upgrade their machines further. ...
Have you seen "Hacking Democracy" yet?

Technorati Profile

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bushco: 'Friend of my Enemy is my Friend'

Who cares if "most of the insurgent violence directed at the American military has come from [Saudi backed] Sunni forces, and not from [Iranian backed] Shiites"? Bush wants to give them $20 billion in weapons anyway.

Steve Benen:
In 2007, just as we're learning about the aid Saudi Arabia is giving to Sunni militias in Iraq, the Bush administration is planning a large arms deal with the president's long-time allies.
The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.
Chalk this right up there as one of the stupidest counter-productive things the Bush admin has tried to do in Iraq, like arming the very Sunni militias that have been doing most of the killing of our troops.

Whose side is Bush on?

Bill Moyers on Earmark Reform

Bill Moyers interviews Steve Ellis from 'Taxpayers for Common Sense' about the earmarking process. They discuss the audacious earmarks of Rep Don Young (R-AK) and Sen Ted Stevens (R-AK) and how earmarks lay at the heart of the 'Duke' Cunningham and Abramoff scandals. Watch the entire PBS "Bill Moyer's Journal" episode here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"A Really Big Deal"

Thinkprogress: AP Reveals New Document Demonstrates ‘Clear Case’ Of Gonzales Perjury On Spying Program

MSNBC’s David Shuster: “this is a really, really big deal and a big problem for Gonzales. … The legal expert I talked to tonight said this is a clear case of perjury.”
TPM: Alberto Gonzales: Lying Liar Editionpants on fire
Now it seems even the markedly right-wing editorial board at the
Washington Post has bailed on Gonzales:
Credibility Collapse
Once again, Alberto Gonzales is unable to offer straight answers to simple questions.
... At what point does someone lose so much credibility that he should no longer serve in public office? In the case of Mr. Gonzales, we believe that time has come and gone.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Keeping Secrets

You want to know my secret plans?
Bushco refuses to allow Congress to know their plans for what they will do following a terrorist attack.

The Oregonian: Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.

As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.

On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.

"I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says.

Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn't know who did it or why.

"We're talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America," DeFazio says. "I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee." ...
Bushco's penchant for secrecy be damned, how the hell can they keep Congress in the dark about how the government is going to continue to function after a worst case scenario cripples the institution? It's at least a recipe for disaster, and at worst a model for imposing martial law or a coup d'etat.

I guess we'll just have to trust Bushco on this too, just like we have to do about everything else this admin can get away with keeping hidden. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday, July 20, 2007

This Stuff's Not Even Ironic Anymore


Americablog: GOP head of Christian Action League arrested for getting some Christian action with a hooker

Charlotte Observer: Coy Privette, a retired Baptist pastor, conservative lawmaker and outspoken advocate for Christian groups, was charged Thursday with paying a prostitute for sex acts. ...

Privette, a prominent Republican with a 30-year career, is one of the state's most vocal opponents against alcohol sales and legal gambling. He also serves on the State Baptist Convention of North Carolina and as president of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. ...

In Your Face, Senator

C&L:In your face, chickenhawks. Literally.

The best part about this sign? It is prominently displayed in the lawn across the street from Sen. Norm Coleman’s home in St. Paul.

UPDATE: The same sign is now up in front of Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao’s home in Kentucky too. ...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Max Blumenthal Rocks!

Watch this video:

Draft Chickenhawks

Nuff Said.

I Can Hardly Wait

C&L:Truth to Power

Larry Flynt told Larry King that he has at least 30 more names to release in his quest to expose Republican hypocrisy.
FLYNT: We’ve got good leads. We’ve got over 300 initially. And they’re down to about 30 now which is solid….

FLYNT: I was shocked, especially at one senator…
Flynt says he hasn't made his mind up whether to release all of the names at once or to let them "trickle" out. I'm not sure which I would prefer him do either. I'd love to know myself right now, but as this isn't an election year it will probably be better if he holds his cards to his chest a while longer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Soldier's Challenge To Bush

Called out. Bush!? McCain!? Lie berman!? Put on yer flak jackets.
Here's a surprisingly good look at the situation in Iraq like I've never seen on msm. This is shockingly candid video news coverage by an embedded reporter with soldiers who don't mind letting the camera catch them venting how they really feel.

Watch the video:

Thinkprogress: Approaching his fifteenth month in Iraq, one soldier made a personal challenge to President Bush: “I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride alongside me. I’ll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for 15 months. I’ll do 15 more months. They don’t even have to pay me extra.”

Monday, July 16, 2007

Is This Commercial Too Risque for TV?

If you think so, please do enlighten me as to why.

Apparently the folks that head the national offices at both FOX and NBC think it's perfectly fine to advertise prescription drugs for boners that warn of the hazards of having an erection that lasts more than four hours, but anything that suggests putting a condom on that erection is going too far.

NYT: When Trojan introduced the condom commercial last month, it was rejected as national advertising by both CBS and Fox. Fox said it objected to the message that condoms can prevent pregnancy, while CBS said it was not “appropriate ...

The Omerta Holds

House Democrats are blowing it. Specifically, the House Intel Committee chair Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) ought to be called to account. There's only one reason I can figure the Dems would be trying to keep this thing buried and the LA times has it pegged.

TPMmuckraker: Dems Help Bury Committee Report on Duke's Doings

... After the committee completed a report on how Cunningham abused his seat last year, the Republican leadership blocked its release, though ranking member Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) was able to disseminate a five-page summary of the findings last October.

Now the Democrats are in power. But the committee's chair Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) has decided not to publicly release the full 23-page declassified version. ...

The LA Times reports:
... "They are so nervous about this report being out," said one congressional official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Members oppose putting this thing out because you read this and the natural question is: 'Did you know this, and what did you do about it?' I don't think any members wanted that scrutiny." ...

Representative Silvestre Reyes (D - 16)

U.S. Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121 locally or toll-free 1-800-962-3524

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Late Night, Sunday night.

This is all I got.

Sen David ''Diaperman'' VitterAmericablog: GOP Senator David "I pay hookers while committing adultery on my wife" Vitter returns to DC for votes

Will he be wearing diapers?

And some good news:

Daily Kos:
After outraising the NRSC by $13.7 million to $7 million in the first quarter, the DSCC has done it again. Second quarter totals for the DSCC are $17.6 million; for the NRSC, $8.6 million. ...

Wake the F*ck Up Cheney

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cheney Asleep On The Job Again?

In today's NYT:

Cheney Asleep Again? ZZZZZzzzzzzz...

.Cheney Asleep Again? ZZZZZzzzzzzz...

He seems to have quite a history of doing this.

What's News? July 14 2007

There's a good writeup in today's WaPo about how Republicans are starting to lose support for their continued occupation of Iraq now even in tradionally red-state small midwestern towns. That's not news to me, as I've witnessed the dwindling support for Bush here in Kansas for some time. This as Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that "Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave “any time they want.”" It's no wonder that each week brings us news of Republicans on the Hill who've had enough with their party's '"stay the course" right off the cliff' position. This time it's Senators John W. Warner (R-VA) and Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) who yesterday introduced a plan "that would require President Bush to present a strategy by October that began limiting the involvement of American forces." We'll see whether this is for real or just empty rhetoric to create the illusion of seperation by how they vote.

China, fresh from executing their former food safety chief "in an attempt to stem a crisis of consumer confidence in domestic produce" following tainted dog food and toothpaste scandals, has now turned the tables and has suspended some U.S. pork, chicken imports. To hell with actually addressing the consumer safety problem, China knows how to play the PR game hardcore.

Where the Money Leads

Sith Lord, Richard Perle

Media Transparency follows the money fueling the right-wing movement, to show how conservative philanthropies, through their tax-exempt funding strategies, shape public discourse.

The big givers include Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Scaife, Koch, Coors, and Walton family foundations. They alone have poured $28 million into the American Enterprise Institute. That kind of money buys a lot of "experts."

With coordinated giving on a grand scale, they've led the way in funding a movement to radically alter the social, legal, educational, media, political and religious landscapes of the United States, building a supply-side machinery for implementing a hard-right agenda. ...(more)
Media Transparency also hosts a great site, cursor.org, that adds a paragraph or two everyday to their running linked summary of the daily news. Definitely worth checking out.

Cold War Redux

Russia Pulls Out of Arms Control TreatyThis is not good news at all. Yet another colossal international relations and national security failure by the Bush administration:

BBC: Russia Suspends Arms Control Pact
Russian President Vladimir Putin has suspended the application of a key Cold War arms control treaty.

... Russia has been angered by US plans to base parts of a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic...

The suspension is not a full-scale withdrawal - but it means that Russia will no longer permit inspections or exchange data on its deployments. ...

Whitehouse Cover-up in Tillman Death?

C&L:Whitehouse secrets over Pat Tillman's death

And the disgraceful Pat Tillman saga continues.. How’s this for “supporting the troops” and respecting their families?

Seattle Times:
The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests.” ...
Late Update: Steve Benen @ TPM has more.

Late Update: It gets worse. Much Worse.

TPMmuckraker: Was Pat Tillman murdered?
[A]ccording to the AP, medical examiners questioned the close proximity of three bullet holes in Tillman's forehead, fired from ten yards away. There are questions -- which will be difficult to hear, considering Tillman's heroism -- that Tillman was not well-liked within his unit. Other elements of the circumstances surrounding Tillman's death appear difficult to reconcile with the friendly-fire ruling -- which came after the Army announced that Tillman died in combat:

Feel Good

via Joe @ Americablog:

Bush, Rove and Cheney feelin good

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's News? July 12 2007

I'm going to try to keep a daily "What's News?" posting on this blog. Basically I see it being a summary of short excerpts & links to what is going on in US/World News in a format that's subject to evolve over time. Here's my first crack at it:

Florida state Rep. Bob Allen (R), Florida co-chair of the McCain campaign, was arrested in a Titusville park restroom on charges of solicitation.
TPM: As officer Kavanaugh explains in the arrest report "Allen engaged me in a conversation in which it was agreed that he would pay me $20.00 in order to perform a 'blow job' on me."
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., whose number on the D.C. madam list was exposed earlier this week by Larry Flynt (who btw says he is also tracking 20 congressional sex scandals leads) was defended by Jeanette Maier, the "Canal Street Madam", whose brothel she claims Vitter frequented several times beginning in the mid-1990s, paying $300 per hour for services:
Maier: "I want his wife to know he's a good man, I want his children to know he's a good father. If he had sex out of wedlock, so what? At least he stayed with his children."
Oh, but that's not all. Wonkette has more on Sen. "Diaperman" Vitter:
When Republican Senator David Vitter rented prostitutes back home in New Orleans, there was “more than sex” — he liked the hookers to make him wear diapers. ...
And if Vitter's wife plans on keeping her word, he might want to invest in some Kevlar diapers from now on. (OUCH!!)
Wendy Vitter told the Times-Picayune: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary [Clinton]. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me." ...
Also with his number on the infamous DC Madam list is none other than the former Congressional staffer for Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) and CNN & MSNBC "Republican Strategist" John (Jack) "CREEEP" M. Burkman Jr. - Principal at J.M. Burkman & Associates.

Will it adversely effect his career? Somehow I doubt it.

U.S. House passes Iraq withdrawal bill 223 - 201

C&L: Barbara Boxer says Impeachment should be on the table

George F'in Bush

This is my first post. Just seeing if I can get the hang of it by posting a video. I just love this scene.