June 30, 2008

Bye Bye Blogger

Well, well, well. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Magically, my posting privileges are back. Blogger sent me this email:

Hi there,

On behalf of the Blogger Team, I want to apologize for the recent trouble you've had with your locked blog. Automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, and although we are constantly working to improve our tools, it appears that our filters have caused some Blogger accounts to mistakenly be blocked from creating new posts.

While we are still investigating, we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the "Just Say No Deal" network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam.

Regardless, we have restored posting rights to your blog, and it is very important to us that Blogger remain a tool for political debate and free expression.

So once again, we apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience as we looked into the problem.

Sincerely,
The Blogger Team

Automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science

Huh. Well, don't you think your system should be able to tell a blog with nearly 700 posts and that's been around for oh, say, THREE YEARS, from a "spam" blog???? Let's work on that, shall we? And in the absence of this sort of flagging on YOUR end, how's about a little benefit of the doubt for the next set of bloggers that get caught in your "automated spam detection" maze.

"...we believe this may have been caused by mass spam e-mails mentioning the "Just Say No Deal" network of blogs, which in turn caused our system to classify the blog addresses mentioned in the e-mails as spam..."

Sorry, but no. Not buying it. Whenever the JSND coalition sends out an email, it does not list all of the blogs, but merely directs people to the web site where we are all listed. If there was any spamming going on, it wasn't from Just Say No Deal.

And furthermore, how many flags does it take for a blog to get shut down? One? Five? Twenty? A hundred?

In the meantime, I'm happily settled in over at WordPress. Loving the new blog smell.

June 23, 2008

That didn't take long

Guess they couldn't take the ridicule.

In plain sight...

Digby

So, it's not really a capitulation. It's a strategy.
ghost2 muses at Alegre's Corner on the FISA capitulation and suggests that it happened with Obama's full support and direction.

This is not only Pelosi's position, but also Obama's position.

You are naive if you think the compromise happened without the knowledge of Obama, and he is issuing a statement after the fact. That cannot be.

An expolosive, controversial issue like this could hamper the nominee. Why would Pelosi bring it up now?

Note carefully. It's the quiet time. Reporters mad at Hillary Clinton for prolonging the primary have just now gotten their vacations. It's summer, just before 4th of July. What better time to throw Campaign Finance, FISA under the bus?

Superdelegates LOVE the money networks Obama has and are drooling at the prospect of that money. He is even careful and not issuing fundraising emails for anyone, b/c that means some cherished donors will also end up on somebody else's big email list. That's his ace, and he is not letting go of it.

Remember, the first thing that came for Obama was MONEY. You'd think that network of bundlers, lobbyists, and corporate bosses with connections didn't expect anything in return?

Obama will throw a lot of people under the bus, but he is too smart of a politician to throw his money backers there. That won't happen.

FISA and immunity were the first thing delivered by Obama. You, Glenn and everyone else can ignore that at your peril.
Even Hunter (Why do we care about FISA?), over at DailyKos says:
Because of all the issues we've faced, in the last few years, this one was an absolute no-brainer, the one thing that the Democrats, no matter how stunningly incompetent, humiliatingly ineffective or bafflingly capitulating they may be, could manage to win simply by sitting on their damn hands. But no; it took serious work to lose on this one. Serious, burning-the-midnight-oil work to manage to quite so cravenly negate their own oversight duties.
Hunter assumes that the Dems wanted to "win" this (that is, come down on the side of the Constitution). It's obvious they do not.

In other news...

Turkana points out to us what else our Democratic Congress gave Bush: Funding for the war, no strings attached, through July 2009.
While you were distracted by the Democrats' capitulation to Bush on domestic spying and telecom immunity, you probably didn't even notice that they were also busy capitulating to him on the war.
Oh, and Cheney? He's off the hook too.
What can we say about a leader who can't stand up to the most unpopular president ever? No strings attached. In exchange for a few small bills that the Democrats could have hammered Bush for not supporting. If they weren't political imbeciles. But now the war is funded through July 2009. The biggest blank check ever. Because Nancy Pelosi took the war off Congress's plate. You have to love that metaphor. Because it calls to mind Pelosi's previously having taken impeachment off the table. Which set the table for this, as reported by The Hill:

Vice President Dick Cheney has won his battle to withhold records from the public despite efforts by Congress and other critics who say they should be open to scrutiny.

The Democrats are conceding defeat. The party’s top investigator in the House of Representatives acknowledges that there is nothing more he can do to force the vice president’s hand.

“He has managed to stonewall everyone,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “I’m not sure there’s anything we can do.”

Waxman said that despite Cheney’s turning this administration into “one of the most secretive in history,” there’s not much he or anyone else can do because the administration has only a few more months left in office.
Sure. And Waxman's one of the good guys. But there's nothing more he can do. Against perhaps the only government official in this country who is even more unpopular than Bush. Because once impeachment was off the table, it was clear that Bush and Cheney could do whatever they wanted. There are no consequences. So, they thumb their noses and laugh. They are above the law. And Congressional Democrats agree. But don't worry about it. Just another day in Washington.

June 22, 2008

When did they have the Democratic Convention?

I just received this in my inbox from State Senator Stephen Horsford via the Nevada State Democratic Party:

Dear Democratic leaders,

On the eve of Sen. Barack Obama’s first visit to Nevada since becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Democratic leaders in Northern and Southern Nevada will hold news conferences to to talk about the Democratic unity behind Sen. Obama’s bid for the presidency.

In Reno, Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie and Treasurer Kate Marshall will lead a news conference, and we hope you will stand with them as they discuss Sen. Obama’s plan for Nevada and the nation, and pledge to “Turn Nevada Blue.” At the same time in Las Vegas, Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid and I will spearhead a similar news conference.

As you might have seen, recent polls show Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain in a neck-and-neck race here in Nevada. I hope you can attend this event to show Nevadans that Democrats are united around Sen. Obama and will work together to change our country.

What: Unity news conference on the eve of Sen. Obama’s visit to Las Vegas
When: Noon, Monday, June 23
Where: Washoe County Democratic Party Headquarters
1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1, Reno

For more information, please contact myself at (702) 985-7535 or Kirsten Searer at (702) 236-1498.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Steven Horsford
Senate Minority Leader
Um. No. Until the convention, Barack Obama is the "presumptive" nominee.

Bob Somerby and We Irish

If you are not making The Daily Howler a regular stop you're missing out on some of the best media criticism on the web. Go review this past week's postings. Somerby isn't afraid to take on the sacred cows. In this post on "We Irish" Somerby takes on Jack Welch's NBC news division.

Is there really something wrong with assembling a news division in the way Jack Welch did? We think the problem is already evident here—and we think it became a good deal more evident as this discussion proceeded.

In this discussion, you see three East Coast Irish Catholics "starting with the religious piece.” “This is probably the one night we’ll ever do it on Hardball,” Matthews said—and let us translate that for you too. Almost surely, this was “the one night” on which these men will tell you, anywhere near this frankly, how they really see the world. Indeed, in the passages we’ve already quoted, a great deal has already been said.

What happens when you’re raised as Russert was raised? Buchanan stated his view of the matter. “I think it creates in you a certain type of individual,” he said. And then, he said what type of individual he had in mind. If we remember who Buchanan was discussing, we think he made a striking assertion:
BUCHANAN: [Russert] was unique, he was sui generis, because he came out of that working class Catholic urban ethnic Buffalo neighborhood, parochial school, church, "Sister this.” And you’re respectful. You were obedient. And I think it creates in you a certain type of individual. I don’t care what side of the party of the political party you’re on, we are culturally very much the same.
What happens when you’re raised as We Irish were raised? According to Buchanan, you become a respectful person. You become obedient. And not only that: The Jesuits “did imbue in you certain certitudes, beliefs of right and wrong. They were hammered into you.”

But here’s our question: Are those the traits you want to see in your nation’s leading journalists? And then too, were those really the traits of you saw in the work of Tim Russert? We had planned to postpone this discussion, but we think the ideas being blabbed all about are too important to be delayed. So how about it: Do you want an obedient, respectful news corps? A news division full of people who got their “certitudes” “hammered” into them during the early years of life? And is that really what Russert was like? We think these questions are especially relevant because of what Matthews said to Olbermann last Friday night.

It seems his words may have been disappeared. But in his comments to Olbermann, Matthews did describe an obedient man, a man who bought the company line—the “patriotic” line—at a time when his nation really needed a hard-headed type of analysis. There is much to ponder in last night’s discussion; we’ll continue with it tomorrow. But according to Buchanan, We Irish were raised to be respectful—obedient. And everybody seemed to agree: We Irish are better than the rest.

June 21, 2008

Obama and the Supreme Court

This is troubling.

Cass Sunstein is an advisor for Obama for America? That is extremely troubling as Cass Sunstein holds views that I believe should be anathema to most progressives.
In the comments it is mentioned that Sunstein is often mentioned as Obama's first SCOTUS pick.
That is a scary thought (5.00 / 3) (#57)
by talex on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 10:13:36 AM EST

Although Presidents do tend to nominate those who are in within their circle of influence. And that is the case here.

As others have said here if their was one reason to vote for Obama over McCain it would be because of their choice for the SCOTUS. But in this case if it were Sunstein then we no longer have that reason to vote for Obama.

It could be correctly argued that it would be easier for a Democratic majority to beat back a bad McCain nomination than it would for them to beat back a nomination from a Democratic President.

Think about that people.
And:
My oh my (5.00 / 6) (#23)
by hookfan on Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 09:29:27 AM EST

and the reasons for women to vote for Obama seem to be getting less and less. I thought SCOTUS was the big reason to vote for Obama. Couple this with his change on withdrawal from Iraq, flip on Nafta and campaign finance, and now fisa, explain to me again why a progressive would vote for Obama? Is the only reason to be against McCain?

I'm through. I won't vote for Obama now. Nor will I support a party that has brought us this debacle. Where will I go? I dunno. Guess I will wander in the wilderness for awhile. . .

Get Over It

How many times in the last 7 1/2 years have we heard that?

In 2000 the US Supreme Court stops the counting in Florida thereby handing the presidency to George W. Bush. Those of us who were willing to acknowledge GW as the legitimate winner of the election, but wanted to be sure by having the votes counted were told constantly by the rightwing to just "get over it." Worse, even John Kerry in 2004 told us to quit crying in our teacups and "get over it." I remember the outrage from the left blogosphere over that.

Since Super Tuesday, Obama supporters have been telling Clinton supporters to give it up, Obama's winning, "get over it."

And finally, in a stunning show of empathy and unity, Barack Obama tells us the same thing.

Via iam0nly1 at Alegre's Corner:

Obama agreed that a lot of work needs to be done to heal the Democratic Party, and that he hoped the Clinton supporters in the room would help as much as possible.

According to Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Obama then said, "However, I need to make a decision in the next few months as to how I manage that since I'm running against John McCain, which takes a lot of time. If women take a moment to realize that on every issue important to women, John McCain is not in their corner, that would help them get over it."
iam0nly1 notes:
Now we know why Obama has sent out all the female Democratic Senators (sans
Hillary) out with their "Checklist" to reel back in Hillary's female
supporters...it's women's work, and Obama's having none of it.

Trusting Barack

madamab at Oooh, nuance! discusses why so many of us cannot trust Barack Obama. Short version: No record and a habit of lying about pretty much everything. (Seriously, read the entire post) Two snippets:

It would be "the height of ideology" to stick to a campaign promise that you used to win the anti-war left to your side? Seems to me that it is the height of cynicism to pretend you are something you're not.

If Senator Obama will pull back from his campaign position on Iraq, what else will he "change" his mind about?

Public financing, perhaps? Jerusalem? Iran? NAFTA?

How about FISA?

[...]

So no, please don't tell me that he and Hillary Clinton believe in the same things and would fight the same fights as President. The fact is, I don't have any idea what Barack Obama believes in. I have no sense of what his goals are. He would have to actually do something - pass a law, take a stand, make something happen in the Senate - in order to push aside that fog of cynicism even the eensiest little bit.

June 20, 2008

Tell me again, what are the Democrats doing?

Oh yeah . . .

The bill, which was passed on a 293-129 vote, does more than just protect the telecoms. The update to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an attempt to balance privacy rights with the government's responsibility to protect the country against attack, taking into account changes in telecommunications technologies.

"This bill, though imperfect, protects both," said Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., and a former member of the intelligence committee.

[...]

Key senators voiced strong opposition to the compromise, although they're unlikely to have the votes to either defeat or filibuster the bill. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the immunity deal. He said that nothing in the new bill would prevent the government from once again wiretapping domestic phone and computer lines without court permission.

Specter said the problem is constitutional: The White House may still assert that the president's Article II powers as commander in chief supersede statutes that would limit him actions.

"Only the courts can decide that issue and this proposal dodges it," Specter said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California disputed that, saying FISA would from now on be the authority for the government to conduct electronic surveillance.

Yeah, and we know how well Bush has observed the law so far.

(Banging head against wall)

Update: Glenn Greenwald weighs in.
Surrendering and fearful: that's the face of the Democratic Party. It's how they show they're not weak. The most succinct summary of what the Democrats just "negotiated" came from Russ Feingold: "The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation."

[...]

I'd like to underscore the fact that in 2006, when the Congress was controlled by Bill Frist and Denny Hastert, the administration tried to get a bill passed legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, but was unable. They had to wait until the Congress was controlled by Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to accomplish that.

[...]

She [Pelosi] doesn't have the courage to say if she supports it -- that is superb and strong leadership -- but in praising the bill, she invokes the justification so obviously misleading that it should insult anyone who hears it: namely, that we should all be grateful because this bill "empowers the District Court, not the FISA Court, to look into issues that relate to immunity."

Indeed. What a wonderful concession that is. Instead of ordering the FISA court to give amnesty to the telecoms in secret, the bill orders the District Court to give amnesty to the telecoms in secret. What a very significant and meaningful improvement that is.
Oh goody, Barack is supporting the "compromise." So much for protecting and defending the Constitution. Greenwald goes after him:
Nobody should be fooled by Obama's vow to work to remove telecom amnesty from this bill. Harry Reid is already acknowledging that this "effort" is likely to fail and is just pure political theater: Reid said: "Probably we can't take that out of the bill, but I'm going to try." The article continued: "Reid said the vote would allow those opposed to the liability protection to 'express their views.'"

We should continue to demand that amnesty is removed from the bill -- and fight it to the bitter end -- but this whole separate vote they'll have in the Senate on whether to remove amnesty is principally designed to enable Obama, once he votes to enact this bill, to say: "Well, I tried to get immunity out, and when I couldn't, I decided to support the compromise." It's almost certainly the case that Hoyer secured Obama's support for the bill before unveiling it.

Either way, Obama -- if amnesty isn't removed -- is going to vote for warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, and his statement today all but sealed the fate of this bill.
Please read the entire Greenwald piece. It's a tour de force.

Rewarmed leftovers

How is Checklist for Change 2.0 any different from the Checklist for Change 1.0 released by the Senate Democratic Women nearly two years ago to the day?

2008 New Hopey Changey Checklist

  • Provide Equal Pay for Equal Work
  • Keep Good Jobs in America
  • Make Health Care Affordable
  • Take Care of Our Military Families and Veterans
  • Restore America's Credibility in the World
  • Protect our Environment
  • Make America Energy Independent
  • Prepare for Future Disasters
  • Enforce Fiscal Accountability
  • Protect the Family Checkbook

2006 "Checklist"

  • Safeguard America's Pensions
  • Keep Good Jobs in America
  • Make College Affordable for All
  • Protect America and Our Military Families
  • Prepare for Future Disasters
  • Make America Energy Independent
  • Make Small Business Health Care Affordable
  • Invest in Life-Saving Science
  • Protect Our Air, Land and Water
And how is it different from the Six for '06?
  • National security
  • Jobs and wages
  • Energy independence
  • Affordable health care
  • Retirement security
  • College access for all
Anyone notice what's missing? Hint: It's what the doomsayers all say we will be sacrificing if we don't start riding the Unity Pony™.