Tag Archive: Around the Blogosphere

Jan 16 2014

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Eugene Robinson: Where Is the Democrats’ Outrage?

Shame on Republicans for blocking the resumption of long-term unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans. And shame on Democrats for letting them.

The GOP cannot be allowed to cast this as a bloodless policy debate about “incentives” that allegedly encourage sloth. Putting that spin on the issue is disingenuous, insulting and inaccurate: As Republicans well know, individuals receiving unemployment checks are legally required to look for work.

Republicans should also know that the jobless desperately want employment. For some, a new job might be just weeks or months away. But the benefits cutoff may make it impossible to keep house and home together in the meantime.

Jeff Biggers: How dirty coal foretold West Virginia’s disaster

Residents have warned about coal-cleaning chemicals for years. Will feds finally investigate state agencies?

Since Jan. 9, when a chemical used to process coal leaked into West Virginia’s Elk River, images of beleaguered Charleston residents lining up for bottles of water from National Guard tankers have dominated the headlines. With some restrictions on water use lifted on Jan. 13, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared, “We see light at the end of the tunnel.”

The tunnel of denial, hopefully. The fallout over the chemical spill from a coal-processing plant should serve as a wake-up call to the nation after years of pleas by coal-mining communities for federal invention in the state’s rogue regulatory agencies that oversee the coal industry and its chemical-industry counterparts.

Tomblin has attempted to distance the coal industry from the nation’s latest environmental disaster. Asked if the spill was a result of the state’s heavy reliance on the coal industry, he quickly replied, “This was not a coal-company incident. This was a chemical-company incident.” But the entangled reality of dirty coal and its toxic chemical cleansers has finally arrived at the governor’s front door – and faucet.

Jim Hightower: What if Antibiotics no Longer Work?

Have you had your daily minimum requirement of triclosan today? How about your dosage of triclocarban?

Chances are you have, but don’t know it. These two are antimicrobial chemicals, which might sound like a good thing – except that they disrupt the human body’s normal regulatory processes. Animal studies show, for example, that these triclos can be linked to the scrambling of hormones in children, disruption of puberty and of the reproductive system, decreases in thyroid hormone levels that affect brain development and other serious health problems.

Yet, corporations have slipped them into all sorts of consumer products, pushing them with a blitz of advertising that claims the antibacterial ingredients prevent the spread of infections. The two chemicals were originally meant for use by surgeons to cleanse their hands before operations, but that tiny application has now proliferated like a plague, constantly exposing practically everyone to small amounts here, there and everywhere, adding up to dangerous mega-doses.

John Nichols: The Internet As We Know It Is In Peril. The FCC Can (And Must) Save It

When the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order Tuesday-dealing what is being broadly interpreted as a fatal blow to net neutrality- it highlighted the urgent need for the FCC to develop a smarter and more assertive approach to protecting citizens and consumers in the digital age. [..]

The DC Circuit has rejected the commission’s approach, and struck down key regulations that were designed to preserve net neutrality. In so doing, they have, as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, says: “(dealt) a blow to consumers and small businesses alike.” Without regulatory safeguards, adds Sanders, “corporations are able to prioritize the information available to users, it stifles ideas and expression, as well as commerce and innovation.”

But the court has not said the FCC lacks authority to protect broadband Internet users.

In fact, if the FCC responds to the court ruling with a bold move to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service that can be regulated in the public interest, it has the ability to do just that.

Diane Roberts: For some idiots, there just aren’t enough guns on university campuses

Guns are a part of US culture. But as a professor, I see no reason they need to be on college campuses. It just invites disaster

American universities are places of art and music, gleaming labs and fine old buildings, famous libraries and fancy football stadiums, old traditions and new thinking, beauty, youth and brains – about everything you could want. Except guns. Apparently, there just aren’t enough guns in those ivy-covered halls.

Never fear: second amendment fundamentalists mean to correct what they see as the sad paucity of weapons on campus. In Florida, a gaggle of true believers calling themselves Florida Carry busies itself arguing that institutions of higher learning have no right to ban guns on their taxpayer-funded property. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to pack heat in a class like Organic Chemistry II? Florida Carry’s attack is gradual: last year they prevailed in a suit to let students at the University of North Florida stash guns in their cars; this year, they’re aiming to force the University of Florida to allow its 50,000 students to keep guns in their dormitories.

Aug 15 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

It has been a busy week, with not enough time to cover the other important news, events and just some “stuff”.

First some the election news.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the Democratic nomination to fill the Senate vacancy in New Jersey that was left with the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. He beat Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone.  But, hey, what’s another corporate “bright shiny object” in the Senate. He will face Republican Steve Lonegan in a special election on October 16.

In the New York City mayoral primaries, the focus has been on the Democrats. Anthony Weiner’s lack of self control and awareness has him sinking in the polls giving liberal Bill De Blasio, the current Public Advocate, a chance to shine and shine he did. De Balsio has taken the lead from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. according to Tuesday’s Quinnapiac poll:

Among likely Democratic voters, de Blasio took 30 percent of the vote, followed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at 24 percent, former comptroller Bill Thompson at 22 percent, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) at 10 percent, comptroller John Liu at 6 percent and former council member Sal Albanese at 1 percent. Another 7 percent was undecided.

De Blasio also held the lead in three potential runoff scenarios, beating Quinn by 54 percent to 38 percent, Thompson by 50 percent to 40 percent, and Weiner by a whopping 72 percent to 22 percent.

De Blasio’s opposition to Stop n’ Frisk and message that appeals to the middle and working classes have started to resonate.

In the race for NYC’s Comptroller, former governor Eliot Spitzer has a 19 point lead over his opponent Manhattan Borough President Scott Springer. Wall Steet is not happy. Good. They should be afraid. Eliot with subpoena power may be an awesome sight.

The three Republican candidates, John Catsimatidis, George McDonald and Joseph Lhota, met for a debate last night. Essentially their message was: “Good job, Bloomie” and promised more of the same. Not exactly a winning message, guys.

Any way, the NYC primary day is September 10, then the real fun begins.

On to the blogs.

From Firedoglake:

TBogg says his “farewell” to his blog at FDL, at last.

Over at Corrente:

Lambert‘s Obamacare Cluster F**k continues:

This from lambert will either make you sick or raise your blood pressure to stroke levels:

Then he asks this question:

From transcriber:

At naked capitalism:

From Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel:

From our friends at Voices on the Square:

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

I knew there was another reason I admired Bette Midler other than her singing:






h/t Atrios at Eschaton

The woman rocks in more ways than you’d expect.

Jul 30 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

The mid-Summer Doldrums are here, sometimes called the “Lazey, Hazey Days of Summer” and there isn’t much happening. The news media is focused on Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, who continues to embarrass himself with his lack of self-control. No one loves Larry Summers, even the White House has backed off nominating him for the Federal Reserve chair.

Joining other cities, Philadelphia is suing the world’s biggest banks over LIBOR, the interest rate fixing scheme that possibly cost municipalities  billions of dollars:

he parent banks named in the Philadelphia complaint are Bank of America Corp, Barclays Bank Plc, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG. [..]

The U.S. municipalities claim that they lost money when they received lower interest rate payments than they should have, or had to pay artificially inflated rates because of the alleged manipulation.

Philadelphia also said local governments were forced to pay “sometimes devastating” penalties to terminate investment agreements.

Russian President Vladimir Putin went fishing and something smells fishy about his tale.

Video footage released by the Kremlin last week showed Putin dressed in camouflage fatigues and sunglasses, fishing, driving a motorboat and petting reindeer in a remote region of Siberia with his prime minister and defense minister.

But the images of the 60-year-old president hauling in a pike which the Kremlin said weighed 21 kg (46 pounds) proved too much for some Russians to swallow.

Within hours, online satirists were questioning whether the incident was staged and whether the pike was really as big as the Kremlin said.

An EU diplomat met with ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and it is rumored that the military backed government is attempting to restore secret police units of the Mubarik regime.

Egypt’s state security investigations service, Mabahith Amn ad-Dawla, a wing of the police force under President Mubarak, and a symbol of police oppression, was supposedly closed in March 2011 – along with several units within it that investigated Islamist groups and opposition activists. The new national security service (NSS) was established in its place.

But following Saturday’s massacre of at least 83 Islamists, interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced the reinstatement of the units, and referred to the NSS by its old name. He added that experienced police officers sidelined in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution would be brought back into the fold.

Police brutality also went unchecked under Morsi, who regularly failed to condemn police abuses committed during his presidency. But Ibrahim’s move suggests he is using the ousting of Morsi – and a corresponding upsurge in support for Egypt’s police – as a smokescreen for the re-introduction of pre-2011 practices.

In his latest offer of a “grand bargain” with the recalcitrant Republicans, Jon Walker reports that President Obama is resorting to negotiating tactics used by his predecessor, George W. Bush to cut a deal. Also, even with Social Security still on the table, Obama is still unable to come to budget agreement.

The fighting in Syria continues, over half of Mexico lives in poverty and after his Brazilian tour, Pope Francis went home.

At this writing, we are waiting for the verdict in the Bradley Manning trial, barring any miracle of common sense and jurisprudence, we can all surmise what the verdict will be on all counts.

I’m going to the beach and contemplate those “Lazey, Hazey Days of Summer.”

Jun 25 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

Paul Krugman has been in France the last week, at a conference and now hanging out on the beach in Normandy. The weather sounds pretty unbeach like.

At Beat the Press, Dean Baker schooled Robert Samuelson on inflation and and now gives him a lesson about supply and demand.

Over at Corrente, lambert has that found Margaret Thatcher has been living in Ottowa, Canada. He also doesn’t think that Edward Snowden is not a traitor despite what former VVAW medal-tosser John Kerry says he is. He could use aome advice about fencing to keep the woodchuck at bay.

Marcy Wheeler, proprietress of emptywheel, tells us that Senators Wyden and Udall sent a letter to the head of the NSA, Gen. Keith Alexander asking why the NSA is still publicly lying and dissects Alexander’s appearance on ABC’s “The Week with George Stephanopolis this Sunday.

The gang at FDL has been really busy. On the main page, Jon Walker gives us the skinny on the Massachusetts senate race to replace John Kerry. Democratic candidate Rep. Ed Markey has a solid lead over Republican Gabriel Gomez. Like anyone didn’t see that coming. He also reports that the Conference of Mayors who are asking the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.  

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Over at the News Desk, DSWright tells us, amazingly, that NSA Director Alexander doesn’t know “who WikiLeaks are other than this Assange person.”. Not only does Keith lie, he has a attention deficit problem. Or he’s just telling more lies. I’ll go with the latter.

Kevin Gosztola at The Dissenter has a round up of Week Three of Bradley Manning’s trial.

At Hullabaloo, digby isn’t as obsessed with Snowden, he’s not the story, but madder than a wet hen at the traditional MSM for now wanting to arrest Glenn Greenwald: “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” She hasn’t read that huge formerly left wing liberal faded orange blog lately. That’ll set her hair on fire.

At naked capitalism, Bill Black reports how Ecuador won by defying the Neoliberal “Washington Consensus” Playbook. Yves Smith tells us that Administration Keeps Pretending Mortgage Servicing Has Been Fixed, Whistleblowers Say Otherwise.

From the Mike Masnick at Techdirt:

At Esquire’s Politics Blog, Charles Pierce came off his weekend hiatus the expound on a report from McClatchy News that the Obama administration has become “the most fertile environment for paranoids since the Nixon people first cut a check to Egil Krogh.” he has some rather unkind words for the president for creating “within the entire federal bureaucracy a culture of spies and informers, which will inevitably breed fear and deceit and countless acts of interoffice treachery. [..]  I continue to wonder precisely what Constitution of which nation this president taught back in his days in law school.” Ouch, indeed.

The last words got to Atrios at Eschaton: CRASH, BABY, CRASH

I don’t really want it to crash, but a crash is about the only thing which might cause Our Galtian Overlords to notice that maybe, just maybe, the economy isn’t perfect.

Jun 22 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

The AMA has decided obesity is a disease but fail to acknowledge that the biggest cause of obesity is poor diet. Calories are the biggest cause of obesity but doctors very rarely ever talk to their patients about nutrition.

I wonder if the AMA would consider making violence against women a disease now that the WHO has reported that it’s “global health problem of epidemic proportions”

h/t lambert at Corrente who continues to update on ObamaCare Clusterf**k.

Kevin Gosztola at FDL The Dissenter has the up dates for Day 7 and Day 8 of Bradley Manning’s trial and reports that Edward Snowden has become the 8th person to be indicted for espionage by the Obama Justice Department.

At FDL Action, Jon Walker tells us how Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell tried to scare Democrats by threatening to actually making the Senate functional. Harry Reid will never stand for that.

Just for laughs, Sen. McConnell thinks that a constitutional amendment that would establish that corporations are inhuman not people with constitutional rights is absurd. I guess he’s worried that the next amendment would be to deny human hybrid turtles the right to hold elected office.

At the FDL News Desk, DSWright has an open letter to the Secret Service regarding the Aaron Swartz file and tells us that sources are not talking to the Associated Press.

At Hullabaloo, digby said something:

One of the most laughable comments the NSA program supporters have been making is the one insisting that the FISA court is “transparent.” It’s rulings are secret as are the government’s interpretations of the law and those rulings. If that’s what we call due process these days, we might as well just officially institute a Star Chamber and call it a day.

Atrios wants to know if there is any reason that the defeat of the farm bill is bad news?

Oh Cool! The Rude Pundit think that “David Brooks is the Paula Deen of the Times” op-ed page and tears him a new one as only he can.

At Esquire’s Politics Blog, Charlie Pierce rips into President Obama for his ludicrous argument defending the transparency of the FISA court.

And the last words go to watertiger at Dependable Renegade for her tribute to James Gandolfini on his death at 51 from a sudden heart attack while on vacation in Italy:

And yet, Dick Cheney is still alive.

Only the good die young. R.I.P. James and Michael.

Jun 14 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

Our friend Cassiodorus at Voices on the Square, has the eighth article in his series This is a conservative country.

The PPACA FAQ project is up and running at Corrente, along with lambert‘s marathon rant on the ObamaCare Clusterf**k.

Corrente‘s DCblogger is keeping an eye on the Koch brothers with a link to the web site Koch Watch and libbyliberal remembers Germany 75 years ago. Also Rainbow Girl is keeping tabs on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On his way out after a 12 year reign, he’s making a land grab of public real estate for his wealthy subjects.

Dean Baker at his blog Beat the Press asks Why Does Reform of Fannie and Freddie Have to Mean More Profits for the Banks? He also points out that Home Prices are Not Affordable and we are Fighting Corruption in the Pharmaceutical Industry With a Water Pistol.

At FDL Action, Jon Walker reports on today’s Supreme Court ruling that Your Genes Are Safe From Being Patented. Also:

Bradley Manning’s trial has recessed until Monday, you can read FDL The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola‘s Live Up Dates here and here. Also from Kevin:

At the FDL News Desk, DSWright reports:

Marcy Wheeler, at emptywheel, reports on that members of the House Intelligence Committee confirm that while these surveillance, data mining program are not secret, but revealing them will kill us all.

From the environmental bloggers at Grist:

From Mike Masnick at TechDirt, it’s about time somebody challenged this:

Also from Mike:

At Esquire’s Political Blog, Charles Pierce asks a simple question of the government: Tell Me What Is Being Done In My Name. So would we all. Follow the hashtag #InMyName on Twitter to demand to know.

The last words go to All In host Chris Hayes who reports on the continuing “War on Women” by Republicans:

Jun 12 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

While most of the traditional MSM is focused the Obama administration’s use of Stasi tactics to fight the never ending was on terror, the internet bloggers provide us with other distractions. I usual have some pearls of wisdom from Paul Krugman but his blogging day ended early with the evacuation of the entire Princeton campus because of a bomb threat that turned out to be false. Someone upset with their grades?

There was this great article in the New York Times’ Opinionator by Nobel Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz:

Apparently, the TSA has no respect for Wookies when they confiscated Chewbacca’s lightsaber, John Aravosis at Americablog has the scoop

Over at Corrente, lambert, Rainbow Girl and Hippicaria are starting a new series with facts about “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA), better known as Obamacare:

At Dependable Renegade, watertiger has game she’d like to play called “”Who Said This?”

“I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people…There are certain things that are appropriate for me to know that is not appropriate for the bad guys to know.”

You might find the answer a bit of a surprise.

You can catch up with the Bradley Manning trial with Kevin Gosztola at FDL’s The Dissenter:

There are a couple of good posts by Jon Walker at FDL Action on the negotiations over the immigration reform bill:

Also at MyFDL:

At the FDL News Desk, DSWright keeps us informed:

At Yves Smith‘s place, naked capitalism:

Atrios at Eschaton and Charles Pierce at Esquire’s Poitics Blog think that the blatant lying by DNI James Clapper is a good reason to fire the guy

A “joke” from our friend Ecchidne of the Snakes:

 photo CIAandFriends_zpsf15c0f43.png

Click on image to enlarge

Jun 07 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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

It’s been a lively day on the tubes with most of the posting on the super secret leaked FISA Warrant by Glenn Greenwald and the national security crew at The Guardian. Nice work for your first week on the job, Spencer.

Our friends at Voices on the Square have some great posts on Bradley Manning and workers rights:

At Corrente, lambert gives “mad props” to Glenn and an opinion piece at Bloomberg by Noah Feldman.

Also from DCblogger:

and libbyliberal:

Over at Americablog, Our friend Gaius Publius tells us what’s is in the tar sands oil besides oil:

Gaius calls it “sludge,” I’d call it “toxic.”

At FDL News Desk, DSWright has this news:

Jon Walker at FDL Action tells about these developments:

At FDL’s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola gives an the inevitable news:

Glenn, Spencer, here come the secret subpoenas for your phone and e-mails.

At Salon, lapsed blogger David Dayen tell you the truth about your student loan, it’s not really a loan. h/t Yves Smith at naked capitalism

Well, this is a really good question from digby at Hullabaloo:

Atrios wants to know what 20,000 NSA employees do all day.

The last words today go to Mike Masnick at Techdirt, just in case you weren’t disgusted or paranoid enough about the US government:

  • Oh, And One More Thing: NSA Directly Accessing Information From Google, Facebook, Skype, Apple And More

    This program, like the constant surveillance of phone records, began in 2007, though other programs predated it. They claim that they’re not collecting all data, but it’s not clear that makes a real difference:

       The PRISM program is not a dragnet, exactly. From inside a company’s data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes, but under current rules the agency does not try to collect it all.

       Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade key in “selectors,” or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s “foreignness.” That is not a very stringent test. Training materials obtained by the Post instruct new analysts to submit accidentally collected U.S. content for a quarterly report, “but it’s nothing to worry about.”

       Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content.

    I now need a couple of vodka martinis and just leave the jar of olives on the bar.

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.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

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.  

Jun 04 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.

It takes a gay man to point out the ludicrous hypocrisy and blatant slap in the face to women of the panel of witnesses at this morning’s hearing on military sexual assaults before the Senate Armed Services Committee. From John Aravosis at Americablog:

In a brazen slap in the face to women in the military, the Senate Armed Services Committee – run by Democrats, mind you – invited 18 opponents of legislation addressing sexual assault to testify at a hearing today, while inviting only 2 witnesses who support the sexual assault legislation, and no sexual assault victims at all to testify.

The picture says it all:

Senate Military Sexual Assault Hearing photo a70b4de499234e509e1c5af0a1311205-88_zpsa63c095b.jpg

Click on image for the full impact.

At Dependable Renegade, watertiger offers her thoughts on Sen. Saxby Chamblis’ “hormone level created by nature” defense of for rapes in the military for rapes in the military:

What do you call a giant anal sphincter wrapped in worsted wool, ignorance and the American flag?  [..]

Remember, this is the guy who (1) avoided serving in Vietnam, and who (2) won election by calling Max Max Cleland, a decorated war veteran who sacrificed mightily for his country, unpatriotic. IOW, Chambliss is a scumbag of the highest order. Asshole Emeritus, even. And a sexist douchebag, to boot. What a guy.

At Corrente, hipparchia has an idea on how to elect more and better Democrats to Congress:

Take a page from the Republican play book: have your candidates for office sign a pledge and then hold them to it.

The pledge? Bring back pork barrel spending. Bring home the Federal dollars to your district or state. Tax the rich to pay for it.

It’s not really a true jobs guarantee program, and it would be a far far better thing if they spend the money on stuff we really need, but even bridges to nowhere provide jobs, plus they’re less morally objectionable than, say, drone manufacturing.

Jim White, at emptywheel, reports of the arrest of an Afghan colonel implicated in atrocities committed by a “shady character” known as Zakaria Kandahari, the CIA and a U.S. special forces team:

In another article at ProPublica, Cora Currier reports “on the death of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan forces in late 2001.”

I think you know the answer to that question. It’s why John Kiriakou is in prison:

After Obama pledged in 2009 to look into the case, a parallel inquiry was begun the next year in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by current Secretary of State John Kerry.

The fate of that investigation is also unclear. The lead investigator, John Kiriakou, was a former CIA officer who was caught up in a criminal leak prosecution and is now in prison. Other Senate staffers could not provide details on Kiriakou’s efforts. Physicians for Human Rights says contact from the committee fizzled out within a year.

Over at Paul Krugman‘s blog Conscious of a Liberal, Paul was at the Princeton commencement this morning. His nephew graduated. Who knew that they still teach Latin?

(T)he high point so far was the Latin salutation, which was apparently – judging from the reactions of those who understood it – a spectacularly funny stand-up routine. Who knew? [..]

Shirley Tilghman has been a great university president, but even I can tell that she speaks Latin with a very Canadian accent.

And this post on Josh Barro’s attempt at being a reasonable conservative and the unintended consequences of the GOP’s Moral Derpitude.

It must be “Pick on Josh Barro Day.” Atrios takes his turn at Eschaton:

On the twitterz earlier Josh Barro wrote:

   Liberals love the ARC tunnel that Chris Christie killed bc they love anything with rails, but it was a dumb, overly expensive project.

snip

I’d rather have a $10 billion pair of tunnels than spend $10 billion on equipment the military doesn’t even want. That probably isn’t a choice, either, but we do the latter all of the time. We shouldn’t get “sensible” when the former is an option.

but he did like Josh’s Erickson bashing.

A couple of interesting posts at Yves Smith‘s site, naked capitalism:

The final words go to Charles Pierce at Esquire’s Politics Blog for pointing out this interview with Pentagon Papers whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, on MSNBC’s The Cycle about the opening day of PFC Bradley Manning’s court martial.

Ellsberg wasn’t buying the made-to-order prosecutorial three-rail shot from Manning to WikiLeaks to Osama bin Laden.

   “It seems absurd and I would say outrageous to say that giving information to the American public and through WikiLeaks to the world and it indicates nothing more than it does give comfort to our actual enemies…these are commentaries on the policies that are actually shameful. I would like to see the people who participated in the atrocities Bradley Manning exposed investigated.”

He’s still pretty sharp.

 

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