The Fantasies of Left-wing Bloggers?

Finally, a few Democrats stand up to the Bush administration’s bullying and immediately it’s the bloggers‘ fault? According to the White House, the Democrats are allegedly “caving” to the liberal bloggers.

From Alternet:

The White House has experienced difficulties moving its ill-conceived national security priorities through Congress. Yesterday, the Senate passed legislation banning waterboarding, defying a Bush veto threat. Also, House leaders have said they will not approve the Protect America Act with immunity for telecom companies.

[Skipping]

Perino also attacked Congress for holding a contempt of Congress vote on White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers instead of expanding Bush’s surveillance powers:

The American people will find it baffling that on a day that House leaders are trying to put off passing critical legislation to keep us safer from the threat of foreign terrorists overseas, they are spending scarce time to become the first congress in history to bring contempt charges against a president’s chief of staff and lawyer. … The ‘people’s House’ should reflect the priorities of the American people, not the fantasies of left-wing bloggers.

The line is a familiar one. When the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington revealed that the White House had destroyed millions of e-mails, Perino shrugged them off as the accusations of a “left-wing” group — but she later backtracked.

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As Chris Matthews would say–Ha! The fantasies of left-wing bloggers? Really, Dana Perino? That’s laughable.

The fantasies of left-wing bloggers go far beyond a few modest civil rights victories after seventy gazillion losses in a row.

In the battle over telecom immunity, the ball bounced into the hands of a couple of committee chairs that would not be moved. Earth to Dana: the cave-stream of the Democratic Party is intact.  Captain Caveman Harry Reid will be there for you when the next “battle” takes place. Anything you want, you got it. Where have you been the last seven years?

But I do hope that all the incumbent Democrats in Washington got a real good look at what Donna Edwards did to Al Wynn. We can influence things a little. A nudge. Here and there.

The next nudge in the battle against the cave-stream of the Democratic party comes August 5th in Memphis where progressive Steve Cohen faces a vicious primary battle that has already gotten extremely ugly (h/t Russ).

Harry Reid – Biggest Asshole of the Week

Kvatch spoke with Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid from the AT&T Congressional Hospitality Suite at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Senator Reid, on Thursday, after the President criticized Congressional Democrats, you said:

The president could have taken the simple step of requesting new authority from Congress … but whether out of convenience, incompetence, or outright disdain for the rule of law, the administration chose to ignore Congress and ignore the Constitution…

If this is really your position, couldn’t you have tried harder to stop telecom immunity legislation in the Senate. What about a filibuster?

Well Kvatch you know filibusters are hard! They take a lot of time and your throat gets dry doing all that talking. Plus the President promised to ‘make me cry like a little girl’ if I didn’t get the Senate to roll over on this one. Not to mention the fact that AT&T threatened to cut off my DSL connection. You just can’t stand up to the administration when faced with that kind of pressure.

But Senator…now the only mechanism citizens have of discovering the extent of Bush Administration lawbreaking, civil lawsuits against the telecoms, could be taken away.

Come on Kvatch…don’t take it so hard. Lawsuits cost money, lots and lots of money. You don’t really want to squander what little you do have suing big companies like Verizon, now do you?

Well Senator…many of those suits—

I’m sorry Kvatch, but I’m afraid that I’m going have to go. There is a nice young woman here who says that Hamachi tastes ‘so much better’ if I eat it off of her stomach.

Come here sweet thing…

iNews Friday – 2/15/2008

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi Headline Translator:

Headline: Redskins Hire Jim Zorn as Head Coach
Translation: Sinful to play on the Lord’s Day, says Zorn – what with team’s new daily prayer meetings, how about Tuesday mornings?

Headline: Washington Vote Counting Stopped, McCain Declared Winner
Translation: Republican counters ran out of fingers, toes

Headline: ‘Tactical mistake’ to focus on me, Bush warns Democrats
Translation: Says the big planning wonk

Headline: Ex-Boeing engineer charged with theft of Space Shuttle secrets for China
Translation: China announces new fortune cookies that can withstand the heat of reëntry

Headline: US arrests four ‘Chinese spies’
Translation: Will exchange for Five Chinese Brothers

Headline: Yahoo rejects Microsoft’s $44.6B bid
Translation: Gates rips Ballmer a new one – “we’re supposed to buy out SMALL companies with good products we can put our name on, dammit”

Headline: Australian Aborigines Prepare for Historic Apology
Translation: Paul Hogan apologizes to crocodiles and Dundee, Scotland

Headline: What Will Erik Bedard Bring to the Marniers?
Translation: Tequila and lime juice, presumably

Headline: Clemens Tells Congress He Is Innocent
Translation: Blames Huck, Jim, Becky Thatcher

Headline: Clemens – My Friend ‘Misheard’
Translation: “Reports of my steroid use are greatly exaggerated”

Headline: Clinton’s Challenges Ahead
Translation: Will be challenging results of Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas primaries

Headline: PETA vs. the Dog Show
Translation: Beagle denies taking Great Dane hormones

Headline: Obama chipping away at Clinton voters
Translation: Cheney mulls implanting chips in Clinton voters

Headline: House Republicans walk out
Translation: Had to get to Duke Cunningham’s big garage sale

Headline: GOP wrestles over earmarks
Translation: Larry Craig appears on Senate floor in his own sequined wrestling costume

Headline: Bush ’41’ to endorse McCain
Translation: “Mr. President, I’d appreciate your support this fall.”
“What?” “Your support, I’d appreciate it this fall.” “The mall? Bar an’ I went last Friday.” “TGI Fridays?” “Fried eggs???” “I don’t have time for this.” “Huh? About 11 o’clock.”

Ignorance must be bliss

As someone I love dearly reminded me recently, there is a belief that ignorance is bliss. I always thought ‘Lollygobble Bliss bombs’ were bliss, sad advertising tragic that I am. Actually I’m not sure what they are, but never mind.

I know many on this particular blog would agree with the statement that ‘the US presidential primaries are a crock of shit!’ I’m sure because I think mine is the first reference to that great media event storming the country. Ooops, the Uber Amphibian did have a piece recommending that Huckabee loser for the Repugnant candidate. But that hardly counts.

What really concerns me is the information the US media chooses not to deliver to your doorstep or living room. I assume there are more advertising dollars in the ‘Primaries Reality Show’ than in observing the results of US foreign policy.

The latest ignored story is the attempted coup in the world’s youngest democracy, East Timor (Timor Leste). This is a country that ‘the great democracy’ happily handed over to a draconian Indonesian regime. My country was also part of that disgusting deal, but we report the results here.

So we now have one very brave President lying in an induced coma in an Australia hospital, with lead in his lungs. My anger at the coup has been increased a thousandfold by the US ignoring this situation, ignoring responsibilities for past actions.

I recall when a White House functionary was quietly sidelined two years ago after it was revealed he was passing messages to certain people in the Philippines, in an attempt overturn the elected government in that country. That news was ignored by US media too.

So given the power of US media and advertising, of the sanctity of the corporations, one can only conclude that ignorance is the best path for American citizens.

Future Headlines: One Final Surge And Then We’re Done

ESA ANNOUNCES: TITAN’S SURFACE ORGANICS SURPASS OIL RESERVES ON EARTH

BUSH ADMINISTRATION INSISTS TITAN GIVE UP ITS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

U.S. MILITARY BEGINS OPERATION ‘LONG-ARM-O-THE-LAW’, MOBILIZES FOR PLANETARY INVASION

HALLIBURTON MOVES CORPORATE H.Q. TO MARS, CITES READINESS TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS

HUGO CHAVEZ CLAIMS TITAN NOT ELIGIBLE FOR OPEC MEMBERSHIP

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON VOTES FOR INVASION THEN CLAIMS SHE MADE A MISTAKE

SEN. BARACK OBAMA CLAIMS WE SHOULD INVADE THEN VOTES AGAINST IT

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN INSISTS U.S. INVADE EVERY ‘OIL RICH’ PLANET IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Platinum LEED for Paul HQ

Campaign office uses no government services

Already viewed as the presidential candidate with the most ideological consistency, Republican hopeful Ron Paul can now brag that his office is the greenest of all the campaigns. The U.S. Green Building Council yesterday gave the Paul’s national campaign headquarters the coveted Platinum ranking under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

LEED is a set of standards for sustainable building design and construction. The Council awarded the Paul campaign 69 out of 69 possible points for its new office, located outside Arlington, Virginia.

The Council’s announcement lauded the Paul design for its use of native building materials, natural lighting and ventilation, organic design, and not adding to the municipal waste stream.

“We wanted a headquarters that walks the talk that the government that governs best, governs least,” said Paul campaign spokesperson Lee Burtarrion. “So we decided the best thing was to have an office that doesn’t rely on government for anything.”

According to Burtarrion this meant no building permits, and no public-owned electricity, running water or sewer hook-up. “I tell ya, we drove our real estate agent nuts,” recalled Burtarrion. “But then he called and said ‘have I got a deal for you’.”


Paul is off the grid
Just toss trash all the way in the back.

Lack of facilities are not a problem, he says, because using a shovel gives one a strong sense of self reliance.

“A major consideration was that this design is totally fireproof. The fire department is an example of the kind of big government, socialist program we refuse to use,” said Burtarrion.

“We also don’t get Postal Service delivery here, because it’s 500 yards from the road. Instead we have a box at the UPS Store in town,” he said.

But the Paul office is not completely lacking in modern conveniences. “Phone companies are private sector. We have a kick-ass phone system,” Burtarrion said.

Move Over Blackwater, Here’s InfraGard

Yesterday on Thom Hartmann’s Air America program, he discussed something called Infragard. I didn’t hear what they were talking about because my focus was split, but the few phrases I could hear made me come back to the computer later so I could find out what that was all about.

Here’s the message on the front page of InfraGard’s website:

Learn more about InfraGard:

InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States. InfraGard Chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.

I don’t know about you, but that gave me the creeps.

What are we supposed to think? There are people running our government that are twisted enough to compare the upcoming 9/11 trials with the Nuremberg trials. Now they’re privatizing the FBI. This InfraGard thing is sick. It can morph into just about anything. They have guns and they are authorized to use them.

Blogger Kate Chase at All Things Democrat breaks down the new guard:

Yet, with all these terrific failures comes a report in The Progressive that the Bushies, ever the good friend to the worst corporate offenders – many of the same ones the Bushies offer HUGE tax breaks to in a bizarre new form of corporate welfare at the same time these creeps take jobs elsewhere – launched a program called InfraGard that:

  • reports potential threats of an attack to corporations when mere mortals are not allowed to know (you may pay a hell of a much bigger percentage of your income on taxes than Exxon or Halliburton, but you just don’t rate knowing if you’re about to be bombed)
  • encourages corporate leaders to “report” “problematic” employees (perhaps union organizers, those who might talk against the Bush Administration over the water cooler?) and others (say, their biggest competitor)
  • potentially “rewards” these corps with extra corporate welfare
  • makes US as taxpayers foot the bill to supply FBI agents and homeland (in)security folks to “interface” with the companies in the organization.

This is just the short list; because so much is secret about it, we can’t put it to a pull stink test.

(more)

Frankly, I’m surprised they haven’t just seized power outright. I figured there would have been an announcement on that back when the sweaty dude, McClellan, was the Press Secretary.

With just ten months left until Bush supposedly leaves office, the suspense is killing me.

Crossing the US Border? Secure Your Data!

 …or, “Nothing says ‘f*ck DHS!’ like strong encryption!”

Did you know that at US border points—bridge crossings, airports, ferry terminals—your 4th Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure doesn’t exist. Or perhaps the Department of Homeland Security somehow thinks that border crossings aren’t really part of the United States. Though…I suspect that Canada, Mexico, and the City of San Francisco would probably have something to say about that. Indeed Bu$hCo has found another novel way of violating the rights of US citizens, by seizing and copying all the data on their electronic devices as they pass through border checkpoints.

An engineer returning from business in London was forced by federal agents to log them in to his company laptop and then had to stand by as they copied information on the web-sites he’d visited. Amir Khan, an IT consultant and US citizen from Fremont, California, has been stopped every time he returns to the US. He claims that custom’s agents routinely search his laptop, books, personal notebooks and mobile phone. And it doesn’t end there. The EFF has documented numerous cases of Customs and Border Protection personnel unlawfully seizing and searching equipment without probable cause.

In a climate where the government becomes the violator of one’s rights, there is only one defense: Take data protection into your own hands. Many products exist that allow one to encrypt data with sufficient strength that even the government would have a hard time breaking it. If you use a Mac or PC, your laptop already comes equipped with hard drive encryption software. Just a password…and away you go. Want something stronger? Shareware, open-source products like TrueCrypt encrypt drives, folders, or files with multiple algorithms and passes.

So tell the Feds to go **SCREW THEMSELVES**! And when some hotshot Border Patrol agent announces that he needs access to your laptop, you can respond, “Certainly. Let me just log you in…” safe in the knowledge that they’ll get exactly NOTHING!

Can we can the hate?

“There are people who hate without knowing why they hate.” Australian Aboriginal activist Marcia Langton.

“I am not going to try and break down the reasons why an apology should be given… but in my heart I feel there is a real need for it.” Former Olympic champion Cathy Freeman – a decedent of the Australian Indigenous stolen generations.

My country is going through an amazing transformation following the repudiation of a decade of attempted Americanisation. While Rudd is carefully going about rebuilding a proper economic base for the country he has also launched into a deeper and more emotional reconstruction.

The first sitting of our new parliament occurs on Tuesday, Australian time. On Wednesday the first order of business, well the main order of business for his new parliament, is to say sorry for our historical treatment of the country’s indigenous population.

The issue is fraught with complications. For us ‘whitey’ it isn’t necessarily a personal guilt issue so much as recognition, but many fear Rudd will be apologising for something we didn’t personally do.

That is partly the fault of the Howard regime; everything is personal, except responsibility. Howard was adamant that he would never say sorry. But the aboriginal community is splintered as well. Many believe that recognition carries a cash bonus when the price tag should be a reasonable portion of the national budget into solving the old weeping sores.

Like the economy, the resolution of 200+ years of the indigenes will take time and some measure of understanding. Both will require putting aside personal issues like greed, hate and envy. But nothing will happen with the flick of a switch. Let’s hope the healing starts at least.