Saturday, May 27, 2006

Vacation

I'm going to be incommunicado until at least Wednesday, May 31 May 28. [ed: whew, I needed that vacation more than I thought] May 31.[ed: maybe the vacation ended too soon.]

It's just as well, I was having a serious case of Springitis, anyway.

(updated time, since my vacation got pushed back a day due to technical difficulties.)

Checks and Balances Still Working

This article in the WP shows Bush actually acting like a grownup and a leader. (Of course, it wouldn't be the first time WH insiders have lied about what Bush has said and done in private).

The confrontation between the Congress and the Justice Department over the search of Rep. Jefferson's office was escalating. As it looked like Bush might order the return of the seized documents, AG Gonzales and two others were making noise about resigning over what they considered a political interference in a criminal investigation.
The desire to do something before the Memorial Day recess also created an "artificial deadline" that Bush considered counterproductive. "As the week moved on," [a senior administration] official said, "there's no question emotions were running high on both sides. . . . People had a gun to their head, and it was really making people not more flexible but more intense. It was his view to say let's get more time."

...

Bush decided to head off the situation. He summoned Cheney, Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, counselor Dan Bartlett, legislative director Candida Wolff, White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy White House Counsel William K. Kelley and some other staff members to the Oval Office on Thursday morning and announced that he had decided to seal the Jefferson documents.

"I'm going to put an end to the escalation," one official quoted Bush as saying. "We've got to calm this down."
But more importantly than Bush acting like a leader, it shows that the White House knows for a fact that the power of the Executive, even in a "time of war," is actually Constitutionally limited.
Bush aides were also worried about a war with the Republican House if the president did not act.

"If you tell the House to stick it where the sun don't shine, you're talking about a fundamentally corrosive relationship between two branches of government," the senior administration official said. "They could zero out funding; they could say, 'Okay, you can do subpoenas, so can we.' "

The first bolded part is the single best argument against the President's assertion that the Constitution gives him war powers to do whatever he thinks is in the best interest of national security. He has no power to fund his enterprises. That means, inherently within the Constitution, that the President has to seek Congressional approval for any action he takes, especially if his actions will require funding. Such as waging wars and spying on U.S. citizens. It also means that, inherently within the Constitution, the President has to have the approval of the Supreme Court, since the Legislature can't okay unconstitutional acts. That's checks and balances in a nutshell.

The second bolded part is what really cowed the WH, though. They're not too afraid of Congress defunding their various projects, because they've so effectively lied to and hidden information from both Congress and the public, stealing billions and violating civil liberties. They can work the PR - at least they used to be able to, so maybe it does concern them a bit. But they're especially worried about being forced to testify and provide documents about those projects. In other words, having to tell the truth.

And Bush's predicament really goes a long way to showing us that checks and balances are still vitally alive. It's just this Congress which refuses to use its inherent powers to enforce them.

And we know what has to be done about that. This November.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Culture of Life - As Long as You Live it Our Way

Fundies say they revere life, but only life they deem "worthy." The Nation (via Fark), has a story about how the Family Research Council opposes an vaccination against cervical cancer because it might tempt young women to engage in pre-marital sex.

Here's how the Nation puts it:
Just as it's better for gays to get AIDS than use condoms, it's better for a woman to get cancer than have sex before marriage. It's honor killing on the installment plan.

Is It Still Murtha's Fault?

TalkLeft excerpts a NYTimes article that confirms what Murtha said: some Marines murdered, in cold blood, a bunch of innocent, unarmed Iraqi men, women and children.

To be fair, the Marines have a defense, though it doesn't sound very good.

I have a lot of emotions over this. I'm sickened and ashamed, naturally. But I'm also sad for the Marines who did it, because I tend to think that - though there is no excuse for what they are accused of doing - wars create extreme stress that does things to even the best person's psyche. Even basically good people who wouldn't commit a crime under normal circumstances can "lose it."

My husband's grandfather was a Marine in WWII at all the South Pacific hot spots, and he still doesn't really talk about it. Over 60 years of demons haunting him. Who knows what he saw, or possibly what he did? For years after the war, his wife had to wake him with a broomstick, so she wouldn't get attacked.

This is another reason to not waste our military on unnecessary wars.

But I am also proud of the military for not covering it up, and for being forthcoming with the information. Contrary to the belief of some, hiding ones mistakes and pretending they don't happen is worse than admitting it and trying to make amends.

[update: I blame Springitis for the ennui which lead to that last unsupported stupid statement. There does appear to have been a cover up.]

New Belgium

My husband will be very happy to learn that New Belgium is doing so well it's expanding its operation. (Via SoapBlox Colorado)

Tancredo's Chances

ColoradoLib has polls on the CD6 race which show even voters in this red stronghold of Tom Tancredo don't care as much about a "red meat" Republican issue as about "red meat" Democratic issues. Plus he has an assessment of Bill Winter's chances.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

We Live in Different Worlds

The other day my mom said Iraq is going well.

Maha did three excellent essays on the turmoil in Iraq:

I always appreciate when a quote from the Tao te Ching is thrown into an argument, as Maha does in the last. Opening the book randomly to read a passage for an attitude and outlook adjustment has gotten me through many rough patches.

That's Why Hastert's Upset

Hastert is under investigation in the Abramoff corruption case. (via AmericaBlog).

It's not a stand on principle for the separation of powers that he's upset that William Jefferson's Capitol Hill office was searched. He's worried for his own butt.

And that's precisely why every civil right and separation of powers needs to be protected on principle. Someday it might be your butt on the line.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

So Now It's "Separation of Powers"

It took a violation of one of their own to get Congress up-in-arms about this Administration's contempt for precedent and separation of power.
"Nothing I have learned in the last 48 hours leads me to believe that there was any necessity to change the precedent established over those 219 years," Hastert, an Illinois Republican, said in a statement Monday.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said congressional independence from the executive branch protects Americans from abuses of power.

"Justice Department investigations must be conducted in accordance with Constitutional protections and historical precedent," she said.

The FBI, for the first time ever, searched the offices of Congressman William Jefferson, who clearly accepted bribe money. They set up a "filter" team of prosecutors and FBI agents who weren't involved in the case against Jefferson to look through all the privileged documents before handing the relevant ones off to the official investigators.
[House Speaker Dennis] Hastert said those protections may not be enough.

"It is not at all clear to me that it would even be possible to create special procedures that would overcome the Constitutional problems that the execution of this warrant has created," he said.
The White House response: FU.
"Obviously we are taking note of Speaker Hastert's statements," said White House press secretary Tony Snow after the Illinois Republican spoke with Bush at the White House.

I hope the Administration will be as laidback when Congress raids the White House.

Now get off your sorry, violated asses and investigate this White House, 'cause there is no one left to speak for you but yourselves!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Kaye Grogan: All Your English Are Belong to Us

Sadly, No! is justifiably ridiculing Kaye Grogan, a freelance (I don't think "freelance" means what she think it means - and am I to infer that someone actually paid for this?) writer.

She uses severely compromised punctuation and grammar to explain that America has taught us all fluent English. She also makes the historically inaccurate claim that no language other than English has ever been spoken on the North American continent.

But at least she recognizes the silliness of having to pass a law requiring people to speak a language that nearly everyone speaks, anyway -- if not in the first generation, then certainly by the third. It's just another red meat, unnecessary law, like the flag burning amendment.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

So, They Found One Corrupt Democrat

We all knew they existed. And it looks pretty straight-forward, rather than the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours-or-how-about-a-gay-male-hooker-or-underage-child-let's-fix-the-books kind that undermines our entire democracy perpetrated by Republicans. Though sometimes the Republicans do the straightforward kind, too.

A Democratic Representative, Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was caught on tape by the FBI putting $100,000 into his trunk, purportedly for bribes to a Nigerian businessman. The money was later found in his freezer.

Small beans, comparatively speaking.

And he's not the only one to bribe Nigerian officials.

Update: In honor of my comment troll, some other Democrats whose integrity makes them stupid. I'm in good company.

The Mahablog explains why we're better.
Via Maha, some others:
TPMMuckraker
MyDD
Firedoglake
The Left Coaster
Also, AmericaBlog


You can't fix your problems if you pretend they don't exist.

Free Speech at New School

John McCain caused quite a stir at (note the use of the anarthrous premodifier, FU Mark Steyn) liberal New School University in New York giving the same speech he compromised his "principles" to give at Rev. Falwell's Liberty University.

A student, Jean Rohe (via Atrios), who was selected to speak at her commencement, used the content of his earlier speech to mock him, and he was roundly booed by the students. Hardly a surprising event. It is expected that a fake maverick Republican speaking at a liberal college is going to be jeered.

McCain knew this.
McCain's top political adviser, John Weaver, said the protests were "not unexpected."

But here's what makes McCain even more of a boob hack conservative Republican pretending to be a maverick. The typical bullshit about lack of free speech on campuses.
"It's not uncommon on a liberal campus that free speech is a theory in the classroom only," Weaver said.

No one stopped McCain from speaking. No one stopped the students from registering their protests. Free speech was robustly in attendance at New School University that day. Both sides were rude. The students booed, and McCain told them they were full of themselves and should respect their wiser elders.

I have always loved the British form of arguing. They are like bloggers in spoken form. They make cogent, well-organized, substantive arguments sprinkled liberally with invective and snark. Just watch Q&A time with the Prime Minister; note the harumphs of dissent.

I recall watching a raucous debate that involved British university students, members of the American media and students from Northwestern University many years ago (probably early to mid 90s). The Northwestern students would yield for questions and were serious-minded about the debate. The American media members had a little better speaking style, would yield for questions, and had some clever rejoinders. But the Brit ... specifically I recall someone asking if he would yield for a question, to which the Brit said, "Why don't you go sit in the car and bark at strangers?" Then he continued his argument.

People like John Weaver and Richard Cohen have delicate sensibilities more suited to tea and biscuits on the sofa with a Jane Austen novel (a lovely way to spend a rainy afternoon, IMHO, but not a great way to deal with the public).

Update: I particularly liked this part of Jean Rohe's HuffPost piece:
More importantly, I feel obligated to respond to one thing that McCain told the New York Times. "I feel sorry for people living in a dull world where they can't listen to the views of others," he said. This is just preposterous. Yes, McCain was undoubtedly shouted-out and heckled by people who were not politely absorbing his words so as to consider them fully from every angle. But what did he expect? We could've all printed out his speech and chanted it with him in chorus. Did he think that no one knew exactly what he was about to say? And it was precisely because we listen to the views of others, and because, as I said in my speech, we don't fear them, that we as a school were able to mount such a thorough and intelligent opposition to his presence. Ignorant, closed-minded people would not have been able to do what we did. We chose to be in New York for our years of higher education for the very reason that we would be challenged to listen to opposing viewpoints each and every day and to deal with that challenge in a nonviolent manner. We've gotten very good at listening to the views of others and learning how to also make our views heard, even when we don't have the power of national political office and the media on our side.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stunning Incompetence

I knew from soon after the war's "major operations" were declared to be "mission accomplished" that the "post-war" planning was a bust, but it's always very sobering and frightening to see just how ideologically driven and unprepared for actual events these "reality makers" were.

Via Atrios.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Self-Destructing Childish Morons









Actually, the childish behavior is all on Marc Holtzman's side. I feel for Bob Beauprez's aide, who's done nothing wrong, but gets smacked and ridiculed for it.

Still, I find this pathetically amusing.

Integrity vs. Cravenness

Good for men with integrity, like Russ Feingold, who storms out in outrage at the sanctimoniousness of morally bankrupt men like Arlen Specter. Specter's response, "Good riddance."

It'll be good riddance from America when mewling cowards like Specter, who compromise their principles at every opportune moment, and who held this committee meeting in a room with limited public access, are gone.

The committee passed the anti-same sex marriage amendment on to the full Senate for debate, though it's unlikely to pass.

Here's the difference between the two men:

  • Feingold introduces a resolution to censure the President, knowing it won't pass, is unpopular and potentially political suicide. But he really believes in it.
  • Specter passes on a bigoted amendment which he doesn't think will pass, but will give the GOP political play and get out the base. And he doesn't believe in it at all.

Roberts(on) Says America to be Punished with Storms

Edited:
I haven't been able to find a link online. (I probably couldn't find this because I was calling Pat Robertson Pat Roberts).

I heard on the radio this morning that Pat Robertson, during one of his prayer and meditation sessions, was told by God that this year the U.S. coastline will be assaulted by terrible storms, and "If he heard God right" (that was how the guy on the radio said it), possibly even a tsunami on the northwest coast.

But at least it's not for failing to oppress the gays, pagans and abortion-providers. This time we're going to be punished for ... Israel withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.

Once again, I have to wonder what Pat Robertson's 700 Club has been punished for all these years?

Hayden ♥ Negroponte

Outgoing CIA Director Porter Goss announced his retirement earlier this month after disputes with Hayden and Negroponte about the CIA’s direction.
If Michael Hayden agrees with John "Death Squad" Negroponte, then I don't think I can get behind his nomination.

But I'm not sure that's the real reason Goss left, anyway.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No Government Oversight

We are not going to get any kind of government accountability or oversight as long as the Republicans control all branches of government.

Luckily, it looks like the GOP continues its incompetence and is too distracted by mollifying their bigoted base that they can't find the time to give the President the necessary fake legislative power to cover his ass and continue to unconstitutionally spy on Americans.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Press Ignoring Rove Indictment

Truthout.org is spreading rumors on the internets, and the press doesn't care.

Jason Leopold reports that Rove has informed the White House that he will soon be indicted, at which point he will resign. But this news of the impending indictment appears nowhere in the mainstream press. Leopold's guess about why (I heard him on Jay Marvin this morning) is that members of the press have called for confirmation, but have either not gotten a response or have gotten a denial.

Now, that's never stopped the press from reporting rumors before. My guess is, members of the press have been requested to sit on the rumor until after the President's immigration speech tonight, and possibly tomorrow, to not distract from "the message," giving the Pres. two news cycles.

The Handsoff.org Ad, Fisked

Lately a lot of people have been talking about "saving the internet:

"[sounds of crowd cheering]Save the internet! Net neutrality now! Keep the net free! We need the government to regulate the internet! [silence] chirp chirp.


Is the internet really in danger? Does the internet need saving?
Under current conditions, all internet users are treated equally, and we are all able to get content from around the world from every carrier who handles internet access with equal facility.

Some people use a lot of bandwidth for things like gaming or watching videos. Some use hardly any, for checking email or reading text on the internet. The price for accessing the internet is adjusted to make up for this usage, just like some people use public roads more, but pay the same in taxes.

But the telcos want to collect money at both ends, from customers who pay for access and from websites, like Google, who provide services. It's like charging a person to ride a ferry across a river to get to the best darn hot dog vendor on the East Side, then charging the hot dog vendor for attracting increased business to the ferry.

Then there's the analogy telcoms use, of big trucks being charged more for using toll roads. It's inapt. It's more like, as Tim Wu said, "Imagine streets working better for Ford cars than for cars made by GM or Toyota." More people may want to drive Toyotas, but precisely because so many more people want to drive Toyotas, they get charged more to make the road work adequately. Plus, the toll road company just made a deal with Ford to get more people into their cars by providing better road service. Of course you would still be able to use any ISP to access any site, but some sites would be so hindered by crappy service that they would become unusable, unused, and be silenced.

For instance, if Blogger refused to pay extortion money to Qwest, no one using fabulous high speed internet would want to spend a minute trying to access my site, so I would probably get about as much traffic as I currently get, making mine a really poor example. But you see what I mean.

Does that hurt the internet? Let's see, right now I can access any site in the world regardless of country or ISP. Without net neutrality, I get access to whatever my ISP thinks I should get access to, or those who can pay larger premiums to get it to me. Yeah, the internet loses a lot of credibility and usefulness. Thus, the internet needs saving from an industry that would change the rules which helped it to flourish in the first place.

It keeps getting faster, we keep getting more choices and pretty soon homes will be directly connected to the fiber optic backbone.
Pretty soon, yeah right. Back in 1996, the telcoms promised we would have those fiber optics by now, and they claimed they needed lots of money and incentives to build the fiber optic infrastructure. So where's that fiber optic backbone we were promised in 1996? Walter Gifford is soaking in it?

Building the next generation of the internet is going to take a lot of work and cost a lost of money, and some big corporations can't wait to use it. They plan on using a huge portion of the new bandwidth to do things like stream high definition movies.
Again, they made this promise in 1996, and never delivered. "Some big corporations" may use the already paid for infrastructure which doesn't yet exist to stream videos. Well, the telcos have profited greatly from innovations to the internet which they never paid for, but which have drawn huge amounts of traffic (and access fees) to their services. Free lunch!

They're gonna make billions, but they don't wanna pay anything. Instead, they want to stick consumers with the whole bill. And they call their plan "net neutrality?
I'll let the expert commenters at digg.com answer the "free lunch" charge:

  • "You could argue that Verizon is freeloading off of Google by charging for access to services that Google spent millions to build. Access providers wouldn't be able to sell expensive connections if other companies didn't provide compelling content and services. Nobody would pay Verizon for broadband if all they could access was Verizon content." - ebenthurston's comment
  • "That bandwidth is being paid for by end-users, or by companies that buy bandwidth from Verizon. Verizon may act as a transit AS for google's traffic, but that's the whole point of peering agreements, it's what the internet is built on. Verizon is getting free bandwidth to/from other providers because of peering agreements. If all these people start charging for transit traffic, things are going to fall apart really fast.This is simply a case of greedy companies screwing things up and destroying a good thing in the name of profit. In the long run, they are going to hurt themselves." - signal15's comment
  • "It's not google that uses the bandwidth it's us, in a good part, verizons own customers... this is short sighted nonsense." - binaryjay's comment
  • "Google pays for its access to the internet and each user pays for it. Verizon and ATandT and the like get their money by connecting up ISPs, businesses and such to such networks. Everyone has ALREADY been paid! They are claiming that by providing a service to Google(traffic) that Google and users have already paid for, that They should get paid again. As if a hotel had to pay the cab driver for dropping off the passenger, even though the passenger already paid at the airport!" - Machismo's comment


These corporations are asking Congress to create volumes of new regulations to control how content is delivered over the internet. Should politicians and bureaucrats replace network administrators?
The opposite is true. Regulations over the internet which already existed were ended by the FCC just last year, and will go into effect at the end of this summer, which is why we now have a scramble to create a definite law to cover the internet.

It will be the first major government regulation of the internet and it will fundamentally change how the internet works.
ISPs have been protected under the common carrier law since the internet was first developed. It's the big telcos who want to change the way the internet has been working.

Try this for a "first:"

For the first time, the companies that own the equipment that delivers the Internet to your office, cubicle, den and dorm room could, for a price, give one company priority on their networks over another.

This represents a break with the commercial meritocracy that has ruled the Internet until now. We've come to expect that the people who own the phone and cable lines remain "neutral," doing nothing to influence the content on your computer screen. And may the best Web site win.
These big corporations and the "save the internet" campaign want the government to take control of the internet.
We want to keep the controls that have been on it and helped it flourish over the last couple of decades.

They say it's to prevent websites from being blocked, but they can only cite two examples of internet providers who have blocked websites, and they were both in Canada.
Actually, I saw four, two in the U.S. (not how they say "blocked websites," because then they don't have to mention the U.S. examples which were not blocked websites) But there haven't been too much in the U.S. because of ... wait for it ... net neutrality.

The net neutrality issue is a fundamental question about who should control the internet, the people or the government.
This is actually an issue about content versus infrastructure, because the issue of who should control the infrastructure is long settled law -- the common law and later codified law of the common carrier (this is an interesting 1994 article by Eli M. Noam on the impending doom of common carriage because of developments in the internet infrastructure).

The internet is a public resource controlled by private entities, in the same way as seaports, railroads or telecoms. Private companies own the infrastructure, but they are not allowed to discriminate in who uses them, because the industry they operate in has too much effect on other industries, and the economy as a whole.

It's an old principle of common law. Heck, even the Romans recognized the principle. People who offer services for the "common good" are required to give those services equally to everyone. "Equal" is a subjective term, apparently. The analogy the telcos use is flying coach versus flying business class. Problem with that analogy ... even though business class is in the front of the plane, you don't really get to your destination any faster than coach, you just get better snacks and a more comfy seat. That means Disney World doesn't suffer a loss of business because it takes a day longer for the people in coach to get to Orlando. It also means Disney World doesn't have to pay for everyone to fly business class, or charge $2000/person to get in the park.

And it's a fight about who's going to pay. Multibillion dollar corporations or you.
We've already paid, thank you. Telcos were allowed to collect higher phone rates and get tax breaks to the tune of $200 billion dollars to do what they claim they are being hindered from doing. The U.S. is far from #1 in broadband service because the phone companies pocketed their profits, and trillions more was lost to the U.S. economy because new services and technologies were developed overseas, rather than here.

Speaking of new technologies being developed, not only have telcos hurt the U.S. since breaking their 1996 promise, they would continue hurting domestic innovation in the future for the sake of their own short-term profit. (Via if:book)

Congress is about to vote on net neutrality. Make up your own mind.
It's hard for people who aren't experts in the internet or law to make up their own minds. That's what the telcos are relying on. In trying to figure this out by doing extensive reading, I was almost convinced for a short time that the telcos were right.

It's about the future of the internet.

For more, go to handsoff.org
These last parts are unequivocally true. But make sure to compare their member organizations with those at savetheinternet.com. I know it's a guilt by association fallacy, but it was handsoff.org who first used it when claiming net neutrality is backed by multibillion dollar corporations. A lot more of "the little guys" back net neutrality.

***

The unaltered transcript and link to video through MyDD is here.
An examination of Mike McCurry's pimpled ass is here and here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

West Wing Finale Goof

My husband knows his history. As soon as he heard the following exchange:
Mrs. Bartlett - "Who in his right mind decided that January would be the best time of the year to hold an outdoor ceremony north of the equator?"

President Bartlett - "Jefferson, Adams and Franklin."

he stopped the tape, jumped up, declared he caught a goof, and made himself a snack.

His memory served him right. The first inaugurations were held on March 4, and having them outdoors wasn't a custom until Andrew Jackson's in 1829. It was constitutionally changed to January 20 in 1933.

For more interesting inauguration facts, click here.

Handsoff.org's Dishonest Ad, Transcript

Matt Stoller at MyDD got a link to an anti-net neutrality ad, which he deconstructs. (via Atrios)

Here's the transcript:

Lately a lot of people have been talking about "saving the internet:"

[sounds of crowd cheering]Save the internet! Net neutrality now! Keep the net free! We need the government to regulate the internet! [silence] chirp chirp.

Is the internet really in danger? Does the internet need saving?

It keeps getting faster, we keep getting more choices and pretty soon homes will be directly connected to the fiber-optic backbone.

Building the next generation of the internet is going to take a lot of work and cost a lost of money, and some big corporations can't wait to use it. They plan on using a huge portion of the new bandwidth to do things like stream high definition movies.

They're gonna make billions, but they don't wanna pay anything. Instead, they want to stick consumers with the whole bill. And they call their plan "net neutrality?"

These corporations are asking Congress to create volumes of new regulations to control how content is delivered over the internet. Should politicians and bureaucrats replace network administrators?

It will be the first major government regulation of the internet and it will fundamentally change how the internet works

These big corporatoins and the "save the internet" campaign want the government to take control of the internet. They say it's to prevent websites from being blocked, but they can only cite two examples of internet providers who have blocked websites, and they were both in Canada.

The net neutrality issue is a fundamental question about who should control the internet, the people or the government. And it's a fight about who's going to pay. Multibillion dollar corporations or you.

Congress is about to vote on net neutrality. Make up your own mind.

It's about the future of the internet.

For more, go to handsoff.org

***

Get the fisking here.
See me mock Mike McCurry, corporate shill and liar, here and here.

President Gore

I missed this last night, as I was busy maintaining a six hour vodka buzz and listening to my husband's crazy-fun aunts tell hilarious family stories. (My sister-in-law got three days of celebrations for her graduation. No, she's not spoiled ::rolleyes)

However, I think my husband recorded this, so we'll be watching it later tonight.

Via Atrios

Friday, May 12, 2006

Idol Controversy

Many fans are claiming their votes for Daughtry were misdirected to Katharine McPhee.

They've started a petition, but I don't know what can be done about it if there was a technical glitch. Plus, I don't really care, since it's more important that Daughtry have a career than be the winner of American Idol, and now he can get started on it. He's already a winner.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Graduation Day

Today my sister-in-law graduates from CU Business School, followed by drinks and food at the restaurant she works at, so no more blogging today. Unless I hear something good. Or if I feel like it later tonight.

Coulter Fraud

Remember how mAnn Coulter may have committed voter fraud by using a false address to register to vote? There are developments, as reported by Brad Blog (via HuffPost).

There also seems to be some confusion about her residency and if she's allowed to take the $25,000 homestead tax exemption for being a permanent resident in Florida. She bought a home in Palm Beach, but claims she doesn't live there (see Brad Blog), and a Brad Blog commenter found that she seems to be based out of New York City rather than Palm Beach.

Violating that law has a penalty, too, which would make it:

Voter fraud -- $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison
Homestead exemption fraud -- $5,000 and up to one year in prison
Totalling: $10,000 and up to six years in prison.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Man, Dobbs Hates Mexicans

He's all over the president's ass about not enforcing border security, and all over Congress' ass for failing in its oversight ... on this one issue ... but not about NSA spying or the President declaring, in essence, "L'etat, c'est moi," and nulling the 4th Amendment.

Dobbs asks, "Do you take us for fools?" (via Huffington Post) He's just asking this?

Mary Cheney Smackdown

I heard on the Ed Schultz show about Mary Cheney's comments about John Kerry and John Edwards -- the former is a "son of a bitch," the latter "slime" -- because they dared mention her name in the course of defending the rights of homosexuals, something they wouldn't have had to do if her dad hadn't been working on the side of oppressing people like his own daughter -- though not individually by name, so it's okay.

She must really be bothered at the notion of being associated with civil rights, the horrendous political whore.

So I was very pleased to see (via AmericaBlog) that Kerry's spokesman came out swinging,

Kerry spokesman David Wade: "Seems like a suspicious lecture from a political operative who flacked for the most anti-gay administration in history and allowed Karl Rove to divide America for political gain," Wade said. "She'd be more credible if she pushed dad's administration to support hate crimes legislation and equal rights for gay Americans."

Snap, oh yes he did!

Keep up the counterattacks with hefty doses of snark, guys. It works for me.

Ahmadinejad is Smarter than Bush

Ahmadinejad positions himself as the reasonable one, reaching out for common ground and peace in a letter to Bush. And the Bush Administration continues the tough talk, further alienating more people.

I'm not endorsing this letter's content (via Non-Prophet), as I disagree in many parts, especially about the need for monotheism and the failure of liberalism and western-style democracy. But it's still a smart move.

American Idol

Video from the Today show. Simon Cowell predicts the top two American Idol contestants, and I think he's right.

In fact, I'm predicting tonight Katharine McPhee will be going home. Poor song choices and a strained, over the top performance. She was one of my favorites from the beginning.

And just for a little rant: last night Simon said something about what music works in the "real world," and Ryan mocked Simon for not living in the real world himself, with his large income, house, and staff. Well, Ryan, how do you think Simon got all that stuff? By knowing what music works in the "real world." Jackass.

Update: Not too proud to admit I'm wrong. It was obviously a shock to everyone involved, including Katharine and Chris, that Daughtry was voted off.

I'm still never going to vote.

Don't feel too bad for him, though. There had to have been record companies lined up waiting to sign him.

Face for a Fling?

Women can tell which men like children, and so which men they'd more like to have a long-term relationship with. Men who don't much care about kids only get short, torrid love affairs, apparently.

I find that interesting. I was immediately attracted to my husband for a long-term relationship, but he doesn't like kids, except his own.

My favorite story about him: when he was a photog at a news station that still had goldenrods on the news van (a large, two-pronged yellow transmitter), he was trying to put away equipment after a live shot. A kid on a bike came up and started asking him all sorts of questions, which he curtly answered. When the kid asked what the goldenrods were, he'd had enough. He said, "That's a laser, and if you don't leave me alone, I'm going to shoot your house."

The kid sped away.

NY Cops Need Better Training

Remember the complaints about the mass arrests from the 2004 RNC demonstrations in New York? The complaints were justified.
The board's letter to Mr. Kelly on Tuesday echoed complaints voiced by demonstrators in the aftermath of the convention, Mr. Dunn said. "From the start, the mass arrests of protesters at the convention have been tainted by complaints that people were not given clear orders to disperse, were trying to cooperate with the police and were acting lawfully," he said. "This report from the C.C.R.B. [ed: Civilian Complaint Review Board], which is an official city agency, now shows that those complaints were entirely valid."

The demonstrators were peacefully assembling, trying to cooperate with police, but the police in America are not trained to treat citizens with respect in the exercise of their consitutional rights. They're trained to view citizens as threats and opponents.

The police commissioner, however, is not required to follow the recommendations of the board, which are for better training of handling large, peaceful crowds. It's up to Commissioner Kelly to determine what actions to take, but it sounds like he doesn't agree the police did anything wrong:
"And the implication that the N.Y.P.D. failed during the R.N.C.," he said Tuesday, "turns truth on its head."

"The policing of the R.N.C. was one of the Police Department's finest hours," Mr. Kelly continued.

How's this for a response, Mr. Kelly? "Overall the police department did an excellent job. Only 3 arrests out of 63 turned out to be improper. Even so, we have a responsibility not only to keep the peace and protect a citizen's body, we have a responsibility to protect a citizen's rights, and in 3 cases we failed. We will review our procedures to ensure that, in future, all our officers work with the public in securing their constitutional rights."

Sounds like the problems the police have with handling large, peaceful crowds starts at the top, with Commissioner Kelly's attitude.

WoW Goes Off World

The expansion of World of Warcraft will take players to a new world called Draenor, where they can play characters that are closely related to the demons of WoW.

Click through to find links to pictures and videos.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Feeling Threatened

Today is Dogpile on Richard Cohen day. I said in a previous post that Cohen was personally offended by something Colbert joked about, so then refused to acknowledge that anything Colbert said was humorous.

Peter Daou explains on Huffington Post.
As more power and influence accrues to the netroots, entrenched political forces will resist mightily, ceding no turf without a bitter fight.

The media, an entrenched political force, is having its comfort disturbed by upstarts who are stealing more and more of their authority and audience.

Cohen is part of that. Yes, he's just a columnist who often criticizes the President and his policies, and is not a lap dog. But he's part of the power structure and has friends and colleagues who have, overall, been doing a dismal job. In the same way I'm defensive at his attack on angry emailers and bloggers (though I don't count myself as one), he's defensive at an attack on his stenographer friends (though he doesn't count himself as one).

Daou links to Greg Sargent's Prospect article on the increasing recent attacks on "angry" left bloggers. It's not really the "vitriol" and anger that upsets them, it's the effectiveness of the medium.

Trouble in Canon City

For Republicans, that is.

Another indicator that Richard Cohen is blowing hot air out his ass about leftie anger in emails? Voters in Fremont County are not privy to Cohen's hate emails, and some may have written a few themselves. (From DemNotes)
You know the Republicans are in trouble when the Democrats get a better reception in places like Fremont County than the Republicans.

...

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of staying here in Canon City for the annual “Blossom Festival” parade ... Democrats were right in the middle of the parade, leaving the Republicans several entries behind.

Then, folks started showing up — and kept showing up! We had a HUGE entry — literally three blocks long! ...

The best note, though, was when we reached the end of the parade route. Walking through the crowds of several tens of thousands of parade-watchers, we had gotten several cheers — even more than usual. When we got to the end, all of our candidates received cheers from the many folks at the end — the crowd was particularly loud. I stuck around to see what the Republican entry looked like on the route. What energized me most was the crowd’s response to the Republicans — complete and utter silence. Not a cheer to be heard. Keep in mind, now, that Fremont County rivals El Paso County for how Republican its voters are.

Utter silence for the Republicans? How rude. ::sniffsniff:: We are not amused.

Cohen Pulls a Malkin

The delicate Mr. Cohen's prissy sensibilities have been offended by a barrage of email from vitriolic people attacking him for his attack on Colbert's WHACD routine. (Via Atrios)

So he dedicated a whole column to whining about it, and insults black people while doing it: Digital Lynch Mob? Come one! Yeah, getting stupid emails is just like being terrorized, tortured and murdered. Whatever.

He admits somewhat to bringing it on himself.
Fine. I said the man wasn't funny and not funny has a bullying quality to it ...

Cohen didn't find a single joke funny? He heard the genuine and robust laughter in the room at several jokes, and it's dishonest and presumptuous for him to declare unfunny a routine that was in parts objectively found to be funny.

To state unequivocally that the entire routine is not funny means he was so bothered personally by something that his opinion has been compromised and biased.

So people who laughed were chafed that Cohen declared authoritatively (remember, Cohen is teh funny) that Colbert was completely and objectively not amusing and rude, then made up his own definition of comedy and also declared, again dishonestly, that Colbert wasn't that.

If Colbert is mean-spirited and awful, then his fans must be mean-spirited and awful, so what did he expect?

But then he extrapolates hateful emails to losing elections to Republicans. For years the right wing has been called to action to write hate mail en masse to sponsors and media outlets, and some have even been called (and answered the call) to murder. And for years the Republican party has been winning. Not only have they been winning, they've manipulated the entire media and political center to moving in their direction.

Today's hate emailers are nothing like the anti-war protesting Left in the 60s and 70s. What lost the Left the election to Nixon was not anger, it was anger paired with violence. There were race riots and general unrest and people were afraid. Today the violence, paired with stunning mendacity and incompetence, comes from the Right. If anything loses Democrats elections now (besides the election cheats), it's their lack of outrage and opposition.

Cohen's narrow view of history matches his narrow view of comedy, and both are lacking and dishonest.

Here's a joke: Richard Cohen.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dwangela

Coming soon.

Lauri Clapp's No Uptight Conservative

She like flowers and letting her hair down. But don't cross her, or you'll get an eyeful.

Just ask Rep. Cory Gardner, whose skin still burns, despite having won a MUD (Medal Under the Dome) Award.


Ouch! Being a Rookie Really Hurts MUD

•Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma

Gardner followed his heart instead of partisan politics Feb. 9 when he voted againt a fellow Republican's bill on divorce that critics said was horribly flawed. The sponsor, Rep. Lauri Clapp, R-Centennial, was livid, and she and Rep. Lynn Hefley, R-Colorado Springs, gave Gardner nasty looks the rest of the committee meeting. A trip to the woodshed and noogies followed.

Here's a story on the divorce bills Clapp sponsored. She says her own divorce had nothing to do with the bills to end a 90-day waiting period, take a class on the impact of divorce on children, and a redundant bill to stop annoying or embarrassing behavior by a party to the divorce.

Don't Pray for the General

He fell and broke his wrist, and we need him back on the keyboard leading the 101st Keyboard Commandos ASAP.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jayne Colbert

From a Fark photoshop contest










With the caption:
Stood up to the man and he gave him what for.

Interestingly, it was just today I discovered the easter egg on the Firefly series, of Adam Baldwin singing "Hero of Canton" wearing his silly manly cunning hat.

Superman Trailer

Crap Filter has the link to trailer number two.

Now that's a movie I'm interested in seeing. I didn't like trailer one.

A Lot of People Aren't Ready

The numbers for United 93 are only slightly better than Serenity's the first week, worse the second, and I doubt United 93 -- which had a lot more press -- already had a built-in fan base chomping at the bit to see it.

It'll be interesting to see if theaters feel politically pressured to keep it playing more than 5 weeks (Serenity closed after 5).

Don't mind me, I just measure movies' success by Serenity.

Provincial Mythos

O'Reilly says kids in small town America don't swear. (via Pharyngula)

He probably thinks oral sex was invented in the '60s, too.

Spreading the Word on Illegal Solution

I increasingly hear a call for a solution from the Left on immigration. And it's markedly different from the other side's rallying cry of "Let Mexico fix its own crappy financial problems." Molly Ivins column, which ran in the Denver Post today,
It does not take great economic acumen to realize that Mexico was damaged by NAFTA, that the surge in immigration has been caused by our own selfish and stupid trade policies, which benefit few of us, also.

I certainly don't have great economic acumen, so it makes sense to me.

And a letter to the editor said the same
According to the CIA WorldFactBook online, ongoing concerns in Mexico include "low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution, and few advancement opportunities for the largely Amerindian population in the impoverished southern states."

What would happen if the U.S. focused on reducing immigration from Mexico by helping Mexico become a place where relatively few would want to leave? With the amount of money that would be needed to forcefully keep Mexicans from coming to the U.S. illegally, a great deal could be done. Wouldn't everyone be better off if we cooperated with Mexico to improve opportunities for education and employment?

Not too long ago I heard an author on one of the liberal talk shows make a comparison that made sense. He said, what if you were living in poverty with no prospects for employment and no welfare system to aid your children, and Canada had crappy jobs for $85/hour. Wouldn't you sneak into Canada? And all things being equal, wouldn't you rather stay in the U.S.?

The source of the problem isn't open borders, illegals crossing, or employers hiring, so "fixing" any or all of those things (as if they could be fixed) won't be a solution. Those are just symptoms. Anyone who watches House knows that treating symptoms will kill the patient.

(I actually have a cane, which I got last year during an attack of cellulitis in my knee a few weeks after falling in the basement -- told you I'm accident-prone. It started hurting the morning after I watched my first episode of House, which was the episode where it's revealed how his leg was hurt, by muscle death. Needless to say, I was worriedly diagnosing myself on the way to the doctor. I should start using my cane to poke at pro-fence builders. Oh, and sarcasm. "He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. He was vicious.")

It's good to see more calls to fix the actual problem.

Friday, May 05, 2006

When Will Malkin's Conscience be Reconquistaed?

I know I just posted something from News Hounds, but my mom often goes on about "reconquista," so I just want to document this atrocity for her future edification. When we argue about it some time in the future, I'll know exactly where to find it.

Fox News Producer Has Avian Flu

At least that's what I'm assuming, since some producer at Fox totally got scooped by not only CNN, but by News Hounds by more than 25 minutes (how's that for a sensational headline: made you look ;-p).

I've had local news directors hover over my shoulder, frantically scanning the competing local channels, to get a crawl about a car accident on over an afternoon soap before the competitor. Didn't matter if it was only by a minute, we had to beat them.

Fox News watches all their competitors obsessively, so it's highly unlikely they didn't know CNN had reported that Porter Goss had resigned.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lauri Clapp Likes to Garden

But the Colorado Rep. doesn't like having contact with her constituents (no email, voicemail always full, constituents unable to get appointments). Thankfully, because of term limits, she'll have more time to both garden more and have less contact with her constituents.

Oh, if only her constituents had been pretty flowers. Well, when my sons get too rough, I do remind them to be gentle with mommy, as I am a delicate flower.

At the Democratic caucus, I was asked if I wanted to run for her seat. But I have no time (or ability) for such an endeavor, would rather not have to deal with hundreds or thousands of constituents, and would rather tend to my garden. Hmm, maybe I am qualified.

Mike "Pitbull" McCurry

He's not giving up at HuffingtonPost, and like a tenacious pitbull, he's going to be put down.

The comments are great, particularly:
But you Clintonistas sold us down the river with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. You DLC-types have aided in the wholesale selling off of our airwaves, and it has not served the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the airlines and it has not served the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the energy companies and it has not served the people well. Enron? Ask California! You and the Republicans have deregulated the Savings and Loan industry; it did not serve the people well. You and the Republicans have deregulated the telephone companies. Think you have better phone service now? I don't. You and the Republicans have allowed the entire American media to be owned by five huge companies. Now THEY regulate what we hear and see and read and the music we hear and the TV shows we see. Thus cameth the blogosphere.

The Clintonista-DLC-Republican model of conglomerate ownership of the infrastructure has been a fucking disaster.

And
Net neutrality, which is the de facto "law of the internet" and has been for its entire history, is the single most important factor in determining its success. There have been many attempts to create just the sort of balkanized system you advocate, and for the very same reasons. Remember GEnie? Remember CompuServe? Remember Prodigy? Do you know why they all failed, and the Internet ate their lunch?

Net Neutrality.

...

The internet thrived because it eschews the Producer/Consumer model for a symmetrical Participant-based model. That is what people are paying your clients for--a chance to participate, on equal footing, with everybody from the kid down the street to the president of the United States. Even big-bucks lobbeists blogging for their corporate masters get their packets routed based on the same protocols as grandma streaming video of the baby birds outside her kitchen window. That's what this is all about. That's what people are paying for. Break it, and you will be killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Really, just who the hell does McCurry think he's fooling here? People who use the internet aren't the typical uninformed American rube he's used to dealing with, apparently.

No Lie Is Small Enough

Atrios documents many claims that Bush speaks fluent Spanish, and Scott McClellan today claiming Bush doesn't speak Spanish fluently.

Congress: "We Can Still Be Bought"

With a wink and a nod and a scaled-back lobbying bill, Congress lets lobbyists know they'd better be more clever with their bribes.

Much of the legislation is aimed at increasing public disclosure by lobbyists. It would require them to file reports on their activities quarterly instead of twice a year and to provide more information on their political contributions.

...

House GOP leaders scaled back the reach of the ethics legislation in the face of objections from many rank-and-file Republicans. These lawmakers defended the usefulness of many "fact-finding trips" [ed: added quotes] financed by private groups and noted that existing rules limit the value of gifts or meals they can accept from lobbyists to less than $50.


Remember, Gourmand Trent Lott ("Red Lobster" R-MS) can't find a decent meal for less than $50.

The new bill does have some teeth:
Penalties for violating the rules would include, for the first time, the possibility of jail time [for lobbyists].

...

It would also deny congressional pensions to lawmakers convicted of abusing the public trust and require a public accounting of projects tucked into spending bills, often at the behest of lobbyists.

But they're baby teeth:
Government watchdog groups denounced the legislation as a sham.

"A vote for this bill is a vote to spray air freshener to mask the stench of corruption instead of cleaning up the underlying problems," said Anna Aurilio, legislative director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, called the bill "an outright deceit that does not change the way lobbyists and House members take care of each others' interests at the expense of the American people."

Another Judge to Filibuster

Sen. Salazar is considering filibustering Terrence Boyle, protege of Jesse Helms, who has so frequently, blatantly disregarded laws and precedent in Civil Rights cases that he has been overruled twice as much as the average trial judge in the 4th Circuit.

From Alliance for Justice (PDF):
Appellate courts have reversed Judge Boyle for subverting basic procedural rules, not fully and fairly considering the cases before him, ignoring binding precedent and clear statutory mandates, and repeating the same errors more than once.

Since the popular mantra these days has been "he respects precedent," this should be a no brainer for everyone on the Senate.

Moussaoui Coming to Colorado

He's going to spend his life in a maximum security federal prison.

I wonder if he'll convert to Christianity (as opposed to those who convert to Islam in prison). More likely he'll be killed by a fellow inmate as revenge for 9/11.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Show Me the Funny; I Wasn't Talking to You, Richard Cohen

Richard Cohen is Atrios's Nobel Prize in Wankery, for very good reason:

In Washington [Colbert] was playing to a different crowd, and he failed dismally in the funny person's most solemn obligation: to use absurdity or contrast or hyperbole to elucidate -- to make people see things a little bit differently. He had a chance to tell the president and much of important (and self-important) Washington things it would have been good for them to hear.

Obviously, Colbert used absurdity, contrast and hyperbole. Therefore, Cohen must think Colbert used them to be mean, not to elucidate. But I can't figure out what Cohen thinks is good for Bush and self-important Washington to hear to elucidate them. After all, it was apparently rude to mention the following topics:

  • Anti-intellectualism -- it is impolite to joke that the President has contempt for facts and figures and science.
  • Bush's Iraq policy -- it lacks decorum to suggest that Bush's Iraq policy is lacking.
  • Bush's domestic eavesdropping -- it is ill-mannered to needle the President about suspending the 4th Amendment.
  • The press corps as stenographers -- it is discourteous to remind the press corps of their self-admitted shortcomings.

Bush and self-important Washington don't need elucidation in those areas. They already know and don't care.

Colbert should have made fun of Bush's package, to elucidate him about how manly he is.

More on funny man Cohen, so you know you can trust his judgment:
  • Cohen says, "Outing a CIA agent, destroying a spy network doing work on Iran's WMD for political retribution is nothing much. Or, anyway, the Bush Administration didn't mean to do it, it was just collateral damage."
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 is so bad, it could help Bush.
  • From Atrios, who awarded Cohen the Nobel Prize in Wankery in 2000 for spending an entire column castigating VP candidate Lieberman for something presidential candidate Bush said.
  • Richard Cohen as stenographer, which is probably why he thinks it's not funny.
  • Cohen's anti-intellectualism and contempt for science, also probably why he thinks it's not funny.

Upgrading My Computer and Skills

I just installed a 512 MB RAM on my computer all by myself. For those of you who think, "So, big whoop," this was the first time I've ever seen the inside of a computer.

I was especially excited when I logged on and everything loaded in about 5 seconds, rather than 30 secs.

Next I'm going to buy a video card, and I might try putting that in by myself, too. And then, World of Warcraft shall be mine.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Are We Sure He's Off the Drugs?

Because Rush is in full hallucination mode about his criminal charges (via the good Roger Ailes).
"From my point of view, the end result will be as if I had gone to court and won, but the matter is concluded much sooner," the 55-year-old conservative commentator told his listeners.

See, if you had gone to court and won, you wouldn't have had to make a deal and comply with court orders, essentially being on probation for 18 months.

He's passing it off like it was just a time and money saver for him (he spent millions of dollars on lawyers over 27 months -- can we see some record of that?). He's so strapped for cash, he can't be bothered to actually seek vindication, but has to make a deal for pseudo vindication, since the prosecutors have a very good case against him.

Dollar Drop

Square in the Nuts spots an article in the British Times Online. In America, the focus is on interest rates and inflation, without considering the overall strength of the dollar. But what happens overseas is just as important as what the Fed does.
THE dollar has embarked on a big decline that will see it fall against all leading currencies, according to analysts.

The plunge is being prompted by America’s $800 billion (£438 billion) current-account deficit, they say.

...

Analysts say that without interest-rate support, the dollar will be weighed down heavily by America’s imbalances.

“I think this is it,” said Tony Norfield, global head of currency strategy at ABN Amro. “The dollar has been supported by high yields but markets are saying that is no longer enough. The question for policymakers is going to be how to manage the dollar’s decline. It won’t be a one-way street but the fall is likely to be biggest against Asian currencies.”

Mike McCurry, Corporate Shill, Liar

I don't fool myself that I have any particular impact or import on the internet (although I think I changed a few minds over the Jay Bennish affair).

I make almost no money blogging (I've made approximately $20 on Google Ads and Amazon purchases, which I won't get paid for until I've accumulated a much larger sum, probably by the end of 2007).

But what little impact or support I have I credit solely to myself: how much time I put into the effort of blogging, of educating myself, of writing cogent arguments, of putting myself out there to get attention. I am the equal of Daily Kos and Atrios because the forum exists for me, a humble "nobody" to attain what they, former "nobodies," have. That's because telcos aren't allowed to censor me, or make me a second-tier blogger because I don't pay them. Equal access to a public forum that not everyone can create for themselves.

That's because the internet is in fact as free a public good as you can get. It's the definition of democracy in action and the ideals of equal opportunity. And it's certainly not free, despite Mike McCurry's protestations that us bloggers just want to continue the "free ride."

I have to pay for internet service. As a commenter on Huffington Post pointed out, all tax-paying Americans, even the ones without internet access, pay for it -- from paying for its creation to tax breaks for giant telcos who aren't making enough money for McCurry's liking. ISPs get plenty from advertising and making people pay for large volume services.

It's as free as public television, which also isn't free, and which sucks harder than ever since the end of the Fairness Doctrine -- much like net neutrality. In fact, McCurry, who said, "The Internet has worked absent regulation... ," is pretending that it's bloggers who want to introduce net neutrality to fix a problem that's never existed.

However (via MyDD, via Dave Sirota at HuffPost),
...during the Clinton years, the FCC actively enforced net neutrality — the Internet’s First Amendment – against his telecom clients. Common carrier statutes have in fact been a bedrock principle of telecommunications law since 1934, and in 1996 Congress ratified that with a commitment to network neutrality. Yet less than a year ago, in August, 2005, the Clinton -Gingrich policy of enforced network neutrality was radically upended by the FCC ...

That makes Mike McCurry a big fat liar, and a corporate shill to boot.

Update: Just read this new post on HuffPost by Adam Green.
Not only is [McCurry] serving as the mouthpiece for AT&T and other corporations who self-servingly want to end the free and open Internet as we know it, but he is committing the cardinal sin of any spokesperson: He is outright lying.

McCurry's own words ridiculing bloggers' "the sky is falling" attitude:
The Internet has worked absent regulation and now you want to introduce it for a solution to what? What content is being denied? What service is being degraded? What is not right with the Internet that you are trying to cure?

...

This is not an issue where there is a progressive, pro-little guy, pro-Dem stand versus the big bad companies that pay big bad lobbyists (what a joke you think I am one of them).

Says Adam Green:
And the little guy with the next big idea would be muscled out of the marketplace, relegated to the "slow lane" of the information superhighway.

This isn't just speculation -- it's already happened in places without Net Neutrality. Heck, AT&T's CEO blatantly announced, "The Internet can't be free."

From MoveOn.org, which Green links to:
  • In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
  • In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a contentious labor dispute.
  • Shaw, a major Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to "enhance" competing Internet telephone services.
  • In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned http://www.dearaol.com/-- an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

Can't Stop the Money

It doesn't appear Monday's boycott had much impact, financially, in Colorado. Many businesses were able to work around it. But it was only one day. Businesses know (and have known) that they would be in big trouble if there was no pool of undocumented workers.
If all the undocumented workers left and the unemployed took their jobs, another 34,400 to 66,400 workers would be needed in Colorado, if the Pew estimates are correct.

Colorado likely would attract workers from other states to replace those born in other countries, said Joseph Winter, a senior labor economist with the state.

Discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work, retirees, college students and other groups not counted in the state's unemployment tally also could rejoin the workforce.

Higher wages likely would be needed to attract workers to fill the gap, causing employers to eliminate some jobs.

It sounds like, if it were possible to round up and deport all the illegal workers, like some want, that it would be good for American unemployment and American workers. But higher paid workers doing the job of two or three people are still overworked and underpaid, most likely leading to inferior work product. But it is not possible, nor desireable, to round up millions of people.

I had supported a guest worker program, myself. But having learned that importing cheap labor hurts American workers, whose wages are depressed by the creation of "second-class" citizens, I no longer do. It would probably work out for American businesses, though, which is why Bush supports it. He's in the pocket of business.

Most Mexicans, if given a practical choice, would remain in Mexico with their families, language, culture and history. Mexico needs to be a better place to live and work, and the United States plays a role in that.
Whether measured by the explosive rural crisis caused by NAFTA; the government data showing horrifying levels of poverty, increased economic inequality and NAFTA-related environmental damage; or by the diversity of Mexican workers and farmers united in their outrage about NAFTA, it is obvious that NAFTA was harmful to Mexico.

...


Displaced rural workers have migrated to Mexico’s overcrowded cities where underemployment and unemployment have kept wages for scarce jobs low or made the perilous journey to the U.S. to seek work, with such migration more than doubling under NAFTA as Mexico’s economy failed to create nearly enough jobs for its workers.1 Despite this, NAFTA defenders often point to Mexico’s increased exports to the U.S. and inflow of foreign investment as evidence of success. Yet, NAFTA rules forbade Mexico from adopting the policies that could have harnessed these inflows to create permanent gains for the Mexico’s economy. And while exports increased, the average wage paid Mexico’s manufacturing workers declined from $5 per day (which was not a living wage) to only $4.

How can we, in good conscience as well as for practical reasons, have created this problem for Mexicans and then just wash our hands of it? Or use it as an excuse to create an underclass of non-citizens?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Stephen Colbert's "In Your Face"

To everyone at the WH Correspondent's Dinner, with a hearty FU to boot.

A big thank you to Frederick at Daily Kos.

Update: AM760's site has the video. Oh, the discomfort in the room was often palpable. Note the moments when it was "safe" to laugh out loud.

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