Daily Archive: 06/06/2013

Jun 06 2013

The Death of the Fourth Amendment

“[America’s intelligence gathering] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left. Such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.”

~Sen. Frank Church (D-ID), Meet the Press, August 17, 1975~

Just like the CIA has no clue who they are killing with their “targeted” drone strikes, the NSA has no clue whose data they are mining in the massive collection of Verizon phone records that was authorized in a FISA warrant under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It was issued in early April shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombing.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

Thanks to Pres. Barack Obama and many Congressional Democrats, and as Alex Pareene at Salon points out, there is nothing we can do about it.

This order went through a FISA Court, according to the rules laid out explicitly by Congress (unlike the Bush administration’s abuses, which were only retroactively authorized). The order could’ve been isolated, or it could’ve been standard practice. We have no way of knowing. And it’s almost definitely not just Verizon. As Marc Ambinder says: “I would assume that these orders are typical and are issued by the FISC to other telephone companies, and possibly to companies that process e-mail as well.” (He also says the order is “at odds with statements from government officials who’ve insisted that the government does not collect all Americans’ phone records just because they can.”) An unnamed expert cited by the Washington Post says the order “appears to be a routine renewal of a similar order first issued by the same court in 2006.”

While the fact that the NSA has the power to do this has been public for some time, we’ve never seen, until the Guardian obtained one, an actual Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant. They are very top secret. Someone will probably be prosecuted for leaking this one. That, in fact, is one of the primarily issues civil libertarians, like the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been raising: If the way the administration interprets the law is secret, the law itself is effectively secret. Now we know more. But the recent history of the U.S. and domestic surveillance suggests that knowing more won’t lead to doing anything about it.

This one cannot be laid solely at the feet of the Republicans. In fact, one of the chief supporters and architect of this latest bill is the senior Democratic Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, who has criticized her fellow Democratic colleagues for not understanding the threat of terrorism. Today she has been all over the cable channels and traditional MSM defending this massive violation of the Fourth Amendment saying, “This is to ferret this out before it happens. It’s called protecting America.

She handed out letters she and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the committee, wrote to their colleagues in 2010 and 2011 explaining how the program worked, and urging that they support it. Congress did so.

“This is nothing particularly new,” Chambliss said. “Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this, and to my knowledge we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information.” [..]

“I’m a Verizon customer,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during an appearance on Fox News. “I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States.”

How about protecting the Constitution, Senators?

Of course the White House is defending the warrant:

(T)he Obama administration, while declining to comment on the specific order, said the practice was “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States”. [..]

“As we have publicly stated before, all three branches of government are involved in reviewing and authorising intelligence collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Congress passed that act and is regularly and fully briefed on how it is used, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorises such collection. There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

The administration stressed that the court order obtained by the Guardian relates to call data, and does not allow the government to listen in to anyone’s calls.

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Bob Corker (R-TN), who have been a vocal opponents of FISA and the Patriot Act, spoke out earlier:

“I have had significant concerns about the intelligence community over-collecting information about Americans’ telephone calls, emails, and other records,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who has tried to change the law, along with Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)

“The administration owes the American public an explanation of what authorities it thinks it has,” said Udall. [..]

“The fact that all of our calls are being gathered in that way — ordinary citizens throughout America — to me is troubling and there may be some explanation, but certainly we all as citizens are owed that, and we’re going to be demanding that,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), noting that he, too, was a Verizon customer.

Even the chief architect of The Patriot Act, which many consider unconstitutional, Rep. Jim Sensengrenner (R-WI) considers this phone records grab troubling. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, he stated:

As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses. The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the so-called business records provision of the Act.  I do not believe the broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.

Discussing The Guardian article by Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman on Democracy Now was joined by: William Binney, served in the National Security Agency almost 40 years, including a time as director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group; Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights; and Thomas Drake, National Security Agency whistleblower who was charged with violating the Espionage Act by the Obama administration.

The domestic NSA-led Surveillance State which Frank Church so stridently warned about has obviously come to fruition.  

Jun 06 2013

Power to the United Nations

President Obama announced that he is nominating former White House adviser Samantha Power to replace UN Ambassador Susan Rice who is leaving the post to become the his new National Security Adviser. The UN appointment is subject to approval by the Senate while the NSA position is not. While there was some noise from the right about the Rice move, as a slap in the face by the president over the Benghazi incident, there hasn’t been much said about Power, at least that has been noticed by the traditional MSM.

So who is Susan Power? Anyone who followed the 2008 Obama v Clinton campaign, will remember her as the Obama campaign as a foreign policy advisor. In a March 6 interview about the campaign in The Scotsman, Power notoriously said about then Sen Hillary Clinton a “She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything.” Although she apologized that night for the remark, she resigned from the campaign the next day. She later joined the Obama administration as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director running the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Council.

Born in Ireland and married to law professor Cass Sunstein, whom she met while working on the Obama campaign, Power began her career as a journalist covering the wars in Yugoslavia. She is a strong advocate for human rights, as well as, LGBT and women’s rights. From her Wikipedia bio:

In April 2012, Obama chose her to chair a newly-formed Atrocities Prevention Board. During her time in office, Power’s office focused on such issues as the reform of the UN; the promotion of women’s rights and LGBT rights; the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities; the protection of refugees; the campaign against human trafficking; and the promotion of human rights and democracy, including in the Middle East and North Africa, Sudan, and Burma.

In her book Pulitzer Prize-winning A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, she raised many questions about the Clinton administration’s decisions to not engage in conflicts where the country’s hard security interests were not readily apparent. She is also credited for being one of the key figures in persuading Pres. Obama to intervene in Libya. Her solutions to humanitarian issues have been criticized as “tendentious and militaristic, for answering a ‘problem from hell’ with a ‘solution from hell’.”

Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, the question gets asked if ‘can Samantha Power’s appointment survive a ride on the right-wing crazy train“? The question of her support of Israel may come into question on the basis of comments she made in an interview where she was harshly critical of Israeli policy on Palestine. She has been a strong advocate for a Palestinian state. Her marriage to Sunstein may also come under some scrutiny since Sunstein as Pres. Obama’s information czar came under heavy criticism for a paper he wrote about the First Amendment and some other controversial views.

In an aim to get better insight into how Power thinks and what her approach to foreign policy would be if she is appointed, Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman re-posted this debate Power had with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill in 2008 about US intervention in Kososvo,  Iraq sanctions and Bill Clinton’s foreign policy record. Scahill covered the NATO bombings of Kosovo and Yugoslavia for Democracy Now! in 1999.

Jun 06 2013

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

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Noam Chomsky: Humanity Imperiled

For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves.  That’s been true since 1945.  It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.

And there are other dangers like pandemics, which have to do with globalization and interaction.  So there are processes underway and institutions right in place, like nuclear weapons systems, which could lead to a serious blow to, or maybe the termination of, an organized existence.

The question is: What are people doing about it?  None of this is a secret.  It’s all perfectly open.  In fact, you have to make an effort not to see it.

Marjorie Cohn: Bradley Manning’s Legal Duty to Expose War Crimes

Manning is charged with crimes for sending hundreds of thousands of classified files, documents and videos, including the “Collateral Murder” video, the “Iraq War Logs,” the “Afghan War Logs” and State Department cables to Wikileaks. Many of the things he transmitted contain evidence of war crimes. [..]

Manning fulfilled his legal duty to report war crimes. He complied with his legal duty to obey lawful orders but also his legal duty to disobey unlawful orders.

Section 499 of the Army Field Manual states, “Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.” The law of war is contained in the Geneva Conventions. [..]

The Uniform Code of Military Justice sets forth the duty of a service member to obey lawful orders. But that duty includes the concomitant duty to disobey unlawful orders. An order not to reveal classified information that contains evidence of war crimes would be an unlawful order. Manning had a legal duty to reveal the commission of war crimes.

Kirk Douglas: America’s Cowboy Days Are Over

Under the flooring of my dressing room is a safe. In it are two guns that I used to shoot the bad guys in movies and a silver plated revolver with my name engraved on it which was given to me by some crazy fan. People take their movie heroes very seriously. I often played the good cowboy on screen, riding in to save the day. Now, everybody thinks he is a cowboy too. That frightens me. We have become a cowboy country with too many guns.

I put my guns in the floor safe very long ago so that my children would not be able to find them. I was reminded of that safe when I read in the papers that a five-year-old boy shot and killed his two-year-old sister. How did he get the gun?

Richard (RJ) Eskow: The World Economy Is a Ticking Time Bomb (and The Fuse is Burning)

Respected economist John Kay is about to make a public statement which essentially says that the world economy is a ticking time bomb and global markets are a lit fuse.

Kay is a professor at the London School of Economics, a columnist for the Financial Times, and the author of a widely-read report on stock market flaws which was commissioned last year by the British government.

Kay says that the world is “waiting for the next crisis.” He’ll present that conclusion in a keynote speech which was previewed and extensively quoted earlier this week.

Jim Hightower: IRS Should Outlaw All “Social Welfare” Political Fronts-Left and Right

If you’re covered in political stink, it might be prudent to avoid yelling “dirty politics” at others.

Lately, a mess of right-wing tea party groups have been wailing nonstop that they have been targeted, harassed and denied their civic rights by partisan, out-of-control, Obamanistic IRS thugs (no adjective too extreme when assailing Obama or the IRS). The groups certainly are right that it’s abhorrent for a powerful agency to run a repressive witch hunt against any group of citizens just because of their political views. After all, liberals have frequently felt the lash of such official repression by assorted McCarthyite-Nixonite-Cheneyite forces over the years, and it must be condemned, no matter who the victims.

Lauren Carasik: Honduras: When Will the US Stop Funding Death Squads?

It is time for the US to stop aid to Honduras as there is credible evidence of human rights abuses

A resurgence of death squad activity targeting suspected gang members and others is exacting a mounting toll in Honduras, a country already wracked by violence and impunity. As documented in a series of AP investigative reports, it is increasingly apparent that US-funded Honduran National Police are dispatching summary justice to gang members, in a policy of “social cleansing”, with complete impunity.Since evidence has surfaced linking the Honduran police to death squad activity, US support for the police would violate the “Leahy Law”, which mandates withholding aid to foreign security forces when credible evidence exists that they have committed human rights abuses.

Jun 06 2013

On This Day In History June 6

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on image to enlarge

June 6 is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 208 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, eager motorists park their automobiles on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.

History

The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Riverton. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932, for a patent of his invention, and he was given U.S. Patent 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. That patent was declared invalid 17 years later by the Delaware District Court.

Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offered 500 slots and a 40 by 50 ft (12 by 15 m) screen. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” (The first film shown was the Adolphe Menjou film Wife Beware.) The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states. The April 15, 1934, opening of Shankweiler’s Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, was followed by Galveston’s Drive-In Short Reel Theater (July 5, 1934), the Pico in Los Angeles (September 9, 1934) and the Weymouth Drive-In Theatre in Weymouth, Massachusetts (May 6, 1936). In 1937, three more opened in Ohio, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another 12 during 1938 and 1939 in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia. Michigan’s first drive-in was the Eastside, which opened May 26, 1938, in Harper Woods near Detroit.

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in’s field. Attempts at outdoor speakers next to the vehicle did not produce satisfactory results. In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.

Jun 06 2013

What Fourth Amendment?

Orwell intended 1984 as a cautionary tale, not a recipe for totalitarianism.

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian

Wednesday 5 June 2013

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.



Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.



The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compels Verizon to produce to the NSA electronic copies of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls”.

The order directs Verizon to “continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this order”. It specifies that the records to be produced include “session identifying information”, such as “originating and terminating number”, the duration of each call, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and “comprehensive communication routing information”.



The law on which the order explicitly relies is the so-called “business records” provision of the Patriot Act, 50 USC section 1861. That is the provision which Wyden and Udall have repeatedly cited when warning the public of what they believe is the Obama administration’s extreme interpretation of the law to engage in excessive domestic surveillance.

In a letter to attorney general Eric Holder last year, they argued that “there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.”

“We believe,” they wrote, “that most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted” the “business records” provision of the Patriot Act.

Privacy advocates have long warned that allowing the government to collect and store unlimited “metadata” is a highly invasive form of surveillance of citizens’ communications activities. Those records enable the government to know the identity of every person with whom an individual communicates electronically, how long they spoke, and their location at the time of the communication.

Such metadata is what the US government has long attempted to obtain in order to discover an individual’s network of associations and communication patterns. The request for the bulk collection of all Verizon domestic telephone records indicates that the agency is continuing some version of the data-mining program begun by the Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack.

The NSA, as part of a program secretly authorized by President Bush on 4 October 2001, implemented a bulk collection program of domestic telephone, internet and email records. A furore erupted in 2006 when USA Today reported that the NSA had “been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth” and was “using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity.” Until now, there has been no indication that the Obama administration implemented a similar program.

These recent events reflect how profoundly the NSA’s mission has transformed from an agency exclusively devoted to foreign intelligence gathering, into one that focuses increasingly on domestic communications. A 30-year employee of the NSA, William Binney, resigned from the agency shortly after 9/11 in protest at the agency’s focus on domestic activities.

In the mid-1970s, Congress, for the first time, investigated the surveillance activities of the US government. Back then, the mandate of the NSA was that it would never direct its surveillance apparatus domestically.

At the conclusion of that investigation, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho who chaired the investigative committee, warned: “The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.”

Better than Bush?  Better than McCain?  Better than Romney?

Well, if by better you mean more effective…

Jun 06 2013

Security Theater

The problem with our “elites” is that most of them are certifiable morons who only have their jobs due to nepotism and cronyism.  Thus, to disguise the fact that they are consistently and reliably wrong and incompetent, they constantly try to hide their mistakes and make sure that they can never be held accountable for them.

Today’s example comes from the Department of Homeland Security which asserts its authority to search your electronic devices at border crossings based on nothing but an inarticulate “hunch”.

[A]dding a heightened [suspicion-based] threshold requirement could be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefit. First, commonplace decisions to search electronic devices might be opened to litigation challenging the reasons for the search. In addition to interfering with a carefully constructed border security system, the litigation could directly undermine national security by requiring the government to produce sensitive investigative and national security information to justify some of the most critical searches. Even a policy change entirely unenforceable by courts might be problematic; we have been presented with some noteworthy CBP and ICE success stories based on hard-to-articulate intuitions or hunches based on officer experience and judgment. Under a reasonable suspicion requirement, officers might hesitate to search an individual’s device without the presence of articulable factors capable of being formally defended, despite having an intuition or hunch based on experience that justified a search.

Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Impact Assessment- Border Searches of Electronic Devices (.pdf), December 29, 2011

This document was released pursuant to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request and here’s what they have to say about it-

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project

06/05/2013, 3:49pm

This line of thought is faulty for a few reasons. DHS claims that giving Americans the opportunity to challenge laptop searches in court would lead to the divulgence of national security secrets, but this is obviously wrong. The government has numerous resources at its disposal to prevent the disclosure of sensitive information. The “state secrets privilege,” to take just one example that is used in court cases, has been criticized on many grounds, but no one has ever seriously suggested that its protections are too anemic. Although DHS might fear the prospect of being called into open court to explain its actions, executive accountability before the law is the bedrock on which our system of constitutional self-government is built.



Even more problematic is the government’s claim that the “hard-to-articulate” hunch of a border agent is enough for the government to scrounge around through our personal photos, medical and financial records, email, and whatever other sensitive information may be stored on our laptops and phones. While the report cites unspecified anecdotal evidence that wrongdoers are sometimes apprehended based on “intuitions,” it says nothing about the number of innocent people who are subjected to unjustified searches as a result. As the Supreme Court explained in Terry v. Ohio, if law enforcement agents are allowed to intrude upon people’s rights “based on nothing more substantial than inarticulate hunches,” then “the protections of the Fourth Amendment would evaporate, and the people would be ‘secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects,’ only in the discretion of the [government].”

To be sure, rummaging around through people’s personal papers may well turn up the occasional bad guy, but that is not the only consideration. No doubt law enforcement agents would also find it useful to walk into people’s homes at will, but we don’t allow them to do so because that would intrude on our reasonable expectation of privacy in our homes. And just as we reasonably expect privacy in our homes, so, too, do we expect that border agents will not base their decisions to search through our electronic information on a whim or a hunch. Put another way, requiring law enforcement agents to possess objective reasons for a search is a feature of our constitutional framework, not a bug.

(h/t Wired)

Jun 06 2013

Around the Blogosphere

 photo Winter_solstice.gifThe main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

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This is an Open Thread.

At Whiskey Fire, Thers would like an explanation from these major news sites why this story was such “national” news? He expects that “as soon as they can stop saying “dildo” & “sex toy” over & over w/o giggling,” we’ll get an answer.

Top News Hot Babe photo 6a00d8341c579653ef019102fdf43b970c-_zps24acba5a.png

Click on image for enlargement and all the “hot links.”

Everyone thinks that Stephen Colbert’s “tribute” to Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who took her hat out of the ring for 2014 last week, is the bestest eva’. h/t twolf at Dependable Renegade where I saw it first

Over at his blog, Beat the Press, Dean Baker want an answer from Bloomberg NewsClive Crook:

Dean says that “Crook” is spelled correctly. He also comments on a column by Harold Meyerson at The Washington Post about the Trans Pacific Partnership Pact that is being secretly negotiated by the Obama administration:

Lambert continues his ObamaCare Clusterfuck at Corrente.

Just for chuckles, the House GOP voted to defund the no-longer-in-existence GOTV organization, Acorn, while Breitbart’s former chief prank videographer James O’Keefe was order to fork over $100 G’s to the ACORN employee he smeared.

At FDL’s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola has the Live Updates from day 3 of Bradly Manning’s Trial.

Jon Walker at FDL Action noted that it appears Obama has stopped trying to play nice with Republicans. Now, if he had done that 4 years ago, we might be somewhere. Jon also reports that a bipartisan House group is unlikely to reach a deal immigration reform.

Over at FDL’s News Desk, DSWright has all you need to know about Pres. Obama’s choice of UN Amb. Susan Rice as his National Security adviser and her replacement at the UN, Samantha Powers. Rand is miffed.

From Atrios at his joint Eschaton: IMF to the Greeks: Sorry we destroyed your country and directions to Balloon Juice for this silly bit: Feats of Leger Derp Main.

The final words go to “Uncle” Charlie Pierce at Esquire’s Politics Blog, for his wisdom on Judge Edith H. Jones of Houston, who sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He thinks she would make a better plumber than a judge or theologian, all be it a bigoted one.

Sorry for the lateness of tonight’s post but real life keeps interrupting my blogging. Tell me if I missed anything good, or really bad.