27 February 2006

Athletic Autie

Site is political, post isn't, links to video and news article, pretty cool.

21 February 2006

Documents reclassified in secret U.S. review - International Herald Tribune

Even if I had the slightest shred of trust in the present administration, this would still bother me. As it is, it's just one more thing that scares the hell out of me.
In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have removed from public access thousands of historical documents that had been available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians.
But because the reclassification program is itself shrouded in secrecy - governed by a still-classified memorandum that prohibits the National Archives even from saying which agencies are involved - it continued virtually without outside notice until December. That was when an intelligence historian, Matthew Aid, noticed that dozens of documents he had copied years ago had been withdrawn from the archives' open shelves.
The stuff they pulled should never have been removed, he said. Some of it is mundane, and some of it is outright ridiculous.

Read more at www.iht.com...

14 February 2006

Bush Spent Over $1.6 Billion on Advertising and Public Relations Contracts

That's spread over two and a half years. $640 million a year. $440 million/year of that by the DoD. And that understates the tax-payers' tab for administrational flackery:

GAO's accounting of the Bush Administration's public relations and advertising contracts is limited. GAO surveyed only seven of the 15 cabinet-level departments, relied on self-reported information from the agencies, and did not include subcontracts, task orders on existing contracts, or public relations work done by government employees.

More info at <http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/> . (Whew. And numerical IP addresses are considered user-unfriendly?)

Read more at www.truthout.org/docs_2...

07 February 2006

Jeff Chester | The End of the Internet? (Truthout.org)

The big network corp's want to give you as little as possible for the highest possible price. So what else is new in this greatest of all possible corporate-capitalist worlds?

We the people are, after all, merely an evolutionary dead-end, serving as feedstock for the great and powerful economic structures that own the world and it's teeming masses.

Best learn to live in the cracks and crevices, 'cause that may be all us commoners have left to us.

But I'm not bitter....

Read more at www.truthout.org/...

06 February 2006

Defense of Eavesdropping Is Met With Skepticism in Senate - New York Times

Mr. Feingold was clearly angry when his turn came to question Mr. Gonzales. You wanted this committee and the American people to think that this kind of program wasn't going on, he said. But it was.

Not so, Mr. Gonzales insisted. Last year, he said, Mr. Feingold asked him whether he thought the president could authorize eavesdropping in violation of the law, and that the question was therefore hypothetical.

I was telling the truth then, the attorney general said. I'm telling the truth now.

What is the meaning of "is", again?

Read more at www.nytimes.com/2006/02...

02 February 2006

Tell me again--why is Boehner a good choice?

Compare this, from one NYT article on Boehner's election (emphasis added):
Mr. Boehner received 122 votes to 109 for Mr. Blunt, the House Republican whip, in a runoff made necessary by an inconclusive first ballot. The stunning upset signaled that many House Republicans are uneasy about the lobbying scandals that threaten to tar some in their party, and that they wanted far more change than Mr. Blunt seemed to promise.
to this from another NYT article on Boehner (ditto the emphasis):
Boehner rose to fame as a member of the "Gang of Seven," the group of upstart Republicans who assailed the excesses of the majority Democrats amid reports of bounced checks at the House bank.

Once in power, similar GOP foibles were on display. Boehner was forced to apologize in the mid-1990s for distributing checks from tobacco companies to his colleagues on the House floor.

He has been scrutinized recently for accepting donations, parties and trips from Sallie Mae, the nation's largest provider of student loans, as it lobbied the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which Boehner chairs.
Yup, sounds like the Republicans have really got a handle on this reform thing. "Suitcased", as my boot camp company commander used to say.

The March of the Straw Soldiers - New York Times Op-Ed

Let me put it to you in Texan, Mr. Bush drawled at the Grand Ole Opry House yesterday.

...says the New English Preppy-in-Chief, speaking in reference to his illicit illegal criminal surveillance activities.

Mr. Bush said the warrantless spying was vetted by lawyers in the Justice Department, which is cold comfort. They also endorsed the abuse of prisoners and the indefinite detention of "unlawful enemy combatants" without charges or trials.

The president also said the spying is reviewed by N.S.A. lawyers. That's nice, but the law was written specifically to bring that agency, and the president, under control. And there already is a branch of government assigned to decide what's legal. It's called the judiciary. The law itself is clear: spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal.

Read more at www.nytimes.com/2006/02...