Posted by Adam @ 8:24 pm on June 27th 2013

Corzine in the dock

Jon Corzine waded into an environment in which arrogance and corruption are common, adored himself a little too much and ended up in charge of a fiscal car-crash. Surprisingly, we’re not talking about when he became governor of New Jersey, but rather of him joining and leading derivatives broker MF Global which later collapsed and, oops, turned it used $1 billion of client funds to try and keep itself afloat.

Now, John Corzine is being sued by Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the farrago, with the suit including a demand that he’s banned from trading and the like. If he’s deemed too incompetent and corrupt for Wall Street, the only option will presumably be a return to government, or possibly moving to Hollywood (which will put him in direct competition with me for the coveted and prestigious “bald middle-aged man” leading roles which adorn all the blockbusters nowadays, for which I am totally going to start trying out if I learn to act and move to Hollywood).

Posted by Adam @ 8:05 pm on June 27th 2013

Bees will break your heart

Honey from rhododendron nectar can cause heart problems.

WHY WON’T ANYONE LISTEN?

Posted by Brad @ 10:33 am on June 26th 2013

DOMA Unconstitutional – Court Refuses to Rule on Prop 8?

Good to see a pretty terrible law inevitably meet its due.

Constitutional issues aside, I think for the gay rights cause this is the real crown jewel. But if as is being reported the supreme court has said the federal state has no compelling reason to discriminate against gay marriages, then it will be very hard for them to not eventually rule the same on a state level as much as they’ll not want to and will keep punting. Federalism does not give states the right to violate the federal constitution, after all.

But, from a practical standpoint, I’m fine with this. We live in an America where it is still legal for states to ban gay marriages (but gay marriages are legal in California), but if they don’t, those marriages have the full force and protection of the law. I can live with that for now.

Still, given that gay marriage is now legal in California because of an appeals court decision OVERTURNING Prop 8, that does make the ability of states to ban gay marriages – confusing. Be interesting to see how other appeals courts now treat the 9th Circuit decision overturning Prop 8, which still stands, and which is now basically an inevitable extension of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA. In other words, if all the precedents are stacking up NOT finding a good reason to discriminate against gay marriages, where does an appeals court judge go to find one in his favor?

Posted by Brad @ 10:28 am on June 26th 2013

Prepare for the Onslaught of Judicial Acivitism Usage Debates

Here is nice, succinct, step-by-step description of the usage of “judicial activism” that nevertheless winds up being totally incoherent based on its last sentence. Basically, it was good’ adjudicating there Lou to strike down the Civil Rights Act, but it becomes legislating to legalize gay marriage.

I am more or less ambivalent on the Civil Rights Act piece, but do feel very strongly that the case against same sex marriage bans is a pretty clean constitutional one, and really that has nothing to do with marriage. Our federal government is theoretically not be able to arbitrarily divy up its citizenry into different classes of citizens who get different rights, benefits, and penalties, unless there is a very compelling state interest in doing so (and the burden of proof has to be on them to make that case). That is the foundation and indeed very definition of equal protection of the law – a very clear constitutional mandate (which I think would have existed even before the Equal Rights amendment but certainly is crystal clear after). So it’s utterly beyond me how that’s is “legislating” in any sense of the form, except insofar that that conclusion does necessarily inform how we can and cannot legislate (which, in gay marriage’s case, of course has very immediate implications).

In any case, I’m done with the use of the judicial activism, and I’m done debating the use of judicial activism as well.

Posted by Adam @ 3:52 pm on June 25th 2013

Anna Marie Cox, reading between the lines

So, the Supreme Court have invalidated the formula for preclearance in the Voting Rights Act, so that Congress would have to pass another formula if it were to be applied to any states in future, something which has about zero chance of happening.

Anna Marie Cox believes that this means the Supreme Court (or, at least, 5 of the 9 Justices) have declared an end to racism in America:

But here’s the real story: according to Chief Justice John Roberts, “Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.” With a stroke of his pen, he effectively declared the end of racism in America

I would observe that “with the stroke of [a] pen” is almost always followed by something daft (much, and ironically, as “I’m not a racist but…” is almost always followed by a torrent of racism) but more to the point her chosen quotation doesn’t even support her conclusion. “Rare” and “an end” are not actually the same thing, any more than than the Panda is extinct. That doesn’t mean the Supreme Court’s decision is right — it’s reversed a measure designed to prevent a particularly unpleasant form of discrimination against, and dis-empowerment of, vulnerable minorities — but let’s not go too far down the road of putting words into their mouths.

I would also note that the Supreme Court is probably the only way this was ever going to get changed — I can’t see there ever being enough politicians prepared to remove the protection even if they believed it to be unnecessary — so the “stroke of the pen” stuff is daft and, furthermore, it’s a legitimate use of Supreme Court authority because just about anything important which is related to race gets subject to strict scrutiny by the Court. That’s not to say that now was the time for this ruling to happen — and it was a narrow decision — but in principle I think this is where it was going to happen. In the same way, invalidating the current formula — dating back 40 years — is probably the only chance of it getting updated, either (not that I’m particularly confident it’ll get updated).

Posted by Adam @ 9:42 pm on June 24th 2013

Consistency not required

I was listening to the Michael Smerconish show on Sirius XM when the Snowden leaks first came out. Smerconish — whom I like — was against the practices but also said that people should be consistent in how they feel about this stuff: if they backed it when Bush was in power they should back it when Obama is in power, and if they opposed it back during the Bush era they should oppose it now.

I agree that people should be consistent, but to be honest I think it’s more important that we have as many people as possible oppose this stuff when it comes out, which means we don’t want to restrict ourselves to the set of people who are consistent. Andrew Sullivan may be useless and uninteresting while Obama is in power, but he was good and important reading when Bush was in power. The Corner, even can be a good source of commentary and information but it’s much better when Democrats are in control, Obama included (although you still have to filter the crazy). Josh Marshall is another who did better when he had someone against which he felt he could rail.

Glenn Greenwald is consistent — and I have fairly consistently found him irritating, although his consistency on privacy and secrecy issues and abuses is commendable — but if we have to rely on Glenn Greenwald-style focus and consistency we’re not going to end up hearing about much at all (although Greenwald did get the payoff, as a main outlet for Snowden’s leak which he earnt through that consistency and focus). We have to go to battle with the craven press corps and partisan political hacks we have, not the ones we want, and while people like Greenwald can be an immovable object upon which we can rest levers, personally I’ll support pressure against the government’s domestic surveillance from where I can get it.

Posted by Brad @ 3:38 pm on June 24th 2013

Music Video of the Week

I have to admit to having a soft spot for Robyn.

Robyn featuring Snoop Dogg – U Should Know Better

Posted by Adam @ 1:22 pm on June 23rd 2013

Ecuador wins Snowden asylum lottery

And he’s off. Maybe Iceland was too cold, or maybe he just couldn’t get there; if the Russians are playing ball — Snowden’s overnighting in Moscow — I would assume that he can definitely get to Ecuador via Cuba.

All a bit unsavoury — Ecuador’s not a great place for freedom of information, itself — but I guess if one’s being pursued by the US government there aren’t all that many choices available.

Meanwhile, Greenwald takes time off his next story to lambast Obama.

Posted by Adam @ 11:29 pm on June 21st 2013

Connecting the dots with stripes

Humanity’s primary enemies are bees. Like the revulsion all right-thinking people feel towards Chicago-style pizza, our bee-animosity is learnt early on in life and held dear to our quailing hearts so that we might smite them wherever they raise their disgusting, stripy bodies, smite them with the very vengeance and pure burning anger of the Hellfires until they are cast to the wind as ashes of pure evil and the children, our sweet children, may one day grow up in a world without bees (where we are informed that the supermarkets will be able to condense their fruit and vegetables section to make more room for bacon, beer and (at least in some states, like California) liquor).

However, we should not allow our righteous bee-directed fury to blind us to other threats from the so-called “natural world”. I present to you, for your disgust and horror, the sheep-eating plant. Yes, really. It eats sheep.

But, you might say, bees don’t eat sheep, why are you worried? Don’t be so easily fooled, I say. Do you know who else didn’t eat sheep?

Hitler.

You know who else likes plants?

Bees.

I think that my point is made, and well.

Posted by Adam @ 7:34 pm on June 20th 2013

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, gun violence martyr

Mayors Against Illegal Guns listed a lot of victims of gun violence which included Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was shot dead by the police. Probably not going to pluck at many heart strings. Oops.

Posted by Adam @ 7:16 pm on June 20th 2013

Decider or determiner?

It’s silly to expect Presidents, or any politicians, to be experts on the subjects about which they make decisions; indeed, when issues rise to the level of political decision they may already be complicated by competing factors and conflicting evidence and opinions amongst experts. So, risible though it was at the time, Bush’s “I’m the decider” line actually describes the role of our leaders, which is to decide based on expert opinions from the team they put together.

Obama is not an expert on nuclear capabilities, strategies or the politics and thinking surrounding them, he didn’t run pretending to be one and he has a host of people to advise him who are experts in those areas. It’s a bit odd, then, when he says:

After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies — and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent — while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third…

It’s a bit of an odd turn of phrase. He’s decided, or “we’ve” determined, surely? That decision, particularly the bit about a potential reduction of a third, would have to be the result of a complex and perhaps contentious analysis.

This is not an attempt to declare that Obama’s claiming to have invented the internet*, although as I assume it was a prewritten speech it’s not just an accidental turn of phrase but is supposed to make Obama look like a Cerebral Man of Actions.

*He could only have invented the internet if it was him that invented Al Gore.

Posted by Adam @ 12:49 am on June 20th 2013

Cry havoc and get my attorney to write me a letter

I don’t like to post without much comment but this is awesome. I’m not a big fan of judges cracking wise, but attorneys should get to do it occasionally.

Posted by Brad @ 4:03 pm on June 19th 2013

Barely Noticed News Story of the Day

FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged Wednesday that the agency has deployed drones to conduct surveillance in the U.S., and that the bureau was developing guidelines for their future law enforcement use.

Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the un-manned aerial vehicles, whose use by law enforcement has raised questions from privacy advocates and civil liberties groups, are deployed in “a very minimal way and very seldom.”

“Our footprint is very small,” the director said. “We have very few.”

So, remember when we used to discuss stuff and pass laws before we would, like, radically re-alter the fabric of privacy and law enforcement and the like? Or when, for instance, laws would dictate guidelines which would then dictate use, rather than agencies doing what they wanted and then telling creating policy later explaining to us why it was okay?

Yeah, not so much anymore.

Posted by Brad @ 3:35 pm on June 19th 2013

Movie Idea

No title or plot as yet beyond that which the story immediately suggests (which, honestly, is probably all of it), but two boneheaded members of the KKK employed by GE in upstate New York creating a giant laser death ray mounted on a flatbed truck designed to kill “enemies of Israel” – and having some trouble securing financing from either the North Carolina KKK or a local synagogue – strikes me as something worthy of building around.

Posted by Brad @ 11:39 am on June 19th 2013

RIP Michael Hastings

The journalist, who caused a firestorm when he actually reported the crap being said around him during his time with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was killed in a car accident at the age of 33.

One of the least appreciated facets of the power structure in America is, I think, the way the press relationship with those in power has mutated over the last two or three decades, from investigatory to subservient, from holding to account and combative in nature to a transcription game trading away independent agency for “access” (in which you are allowed to transcribe more important people’s agendas or getting a different kind of sniping anonymous quotes from Karl Rove if you’re a good little monkey). The McChrystal fiasco in 2010 was incredibly revealing in that regard. It was amazing the teeth-gnashing that Hastings (unapologetically) unleashed when some actual journalism happened to break out in D.C.

Good obit here.

Posted by Adam @ 11:01 am on June 19th 2013

Clock ticking on Swedish bestialists

It’s political correctness gone mad!

Story is a few days old but then I haven’t taken advantage of Huffington Post’s convenient set of tags for this story to keep abreadst of the Issues Which Concern Me:

Follow: Bestiality, Sex With Animals, Sweden, Zoophiles, UK News

Germany banned bestiality earlier in the year (allegedly because of erotic zoos!).

First they came for the bestialists, and I was silent because, seriously, that stuff is sick.

Posted by Adam @ 10:38 am on June 18th 2013

Joe Kinnear, coherence optional

Joe Kinnear is a somewhat irregular character in UK football — which has had its share of irregular characters — but his appointment as Director of Football at Newcastle United — where he had previously been a not-very-successful manager — led to this interview (note, he is not really a 38 year old stunner or a NASA employee, although he did manage Nepal).

However much you hate the people who run your sports team, it’s probably not as bad as this. Unless you’re a Newcastle United fan, in which case it’s exactly this bad.

Posted by Adam @ 1:57 pm on June 17th 2013

Is Edward Snowden a flake?

Naomi Wolf seems to think he’s a spy (not just in the obvious way — NSA subcontractor, duh — but because he doesn’t seem like a normal whistleblower, to her), but I wonder if he’s just a bit of a flake.

In the latest politico story on Snowden, he’s coming across to me either a brave and collected ideologue — the intepretation we’d like to take — or a bit of a loony. If he is a loony, or can be made to look like one, I expect people in general will end up caring much less about this.

Meanwhile, the recent Snowden allegations that the UK was intercepting the communications of G8 members are fairly well-timed given that the UK is currently hosting another G8 summit. Of course, I am sure in this bright new age of British governance we wouldn’t dream — dream, I say — of trying to do that again.

Posted by Rojas @ 3:03 pm on June 14th 2013

Who is the greatest human that ever lived?

Post in the comments section. I will have the correct answer for you later.

Posted by Adam @ 9:27 am on June 14th 2013

Escalation ahoy!

So, the Obama administration has confirmed the earlier reports that the Syrian government have been using chemical weapons and is going to start giving aid to the opposition/rebels/plucky freedom-fighters/ragtag mix of sectarian, religious and ideological individuals.

I think it was inevitable that, when the reports were confirmed, Obama would have to announce something; any more talk of a red line would have been pretty weak if something didn’t actually happen as a result of crossing it. Be intriguing to see what it turns out to be, and whether the UK and France are on-board with it. With about 100 000 people dead already (UN estimates) there’s obviously plenty of reasons to try to stop more of the same, but how can the USA help guide a potential replacement government — hardly a win if the next government are very hostile to the US and its allies — without putting boots on the ground, which I can’t imagine is even remotely a possibility?

Interesting times to be Obama.

Posted by Jack @ 8:44 pm on June 13th 2013

The Washington Redskins should change their name.

I confess that this is one of those things about which I never gave a second thought, and yet when I stumble upon even the most cursory explanation, it seem completely obvious. Of course they should change it! It’s damned offensive!

In light of recent Washington Redskins’ funded polls demonstrating widespread public acceptance and support for the existing name, I decided to unscientifically test my hypotheses that this was simply because most of the public had never been exposed to the counter argument in any form other than the most dismissive caricature. Today at work, without preamble, I asked a group of five coworkers if they thought the owners of the Redskins should change the team name. Not one of them thought they should. The reasons were varied: Never even considered it. Did not realize “redskins” is an offensive term. Resistance to “PC bullshit.” Respect for the team history, and a general assumption that it must surely represent a kind of honoring of Native Americans’ grit and fighting spirit.

Having recently stumbled across some info on a blog or three I threw out two points: 1) the term “redskins” is deemed quite offensive by most actual Native Americans (Google it!) and I asked, in light of that, if they would feel differently about the New York Kikes, the Pacific Chinks, The Carolina Darkies, or the San Francisco Faggots. 2) I gave a very short history of the Redskins former owner (overt white nationalist and vehement segregationist, George Marshall) and team (originally the Boston Braves which was only changed to the Redskins by Marshall in the mid twentieth century).

I got pushback:

– Where does it end? Do the Atlanta Braves have to change? The Florida State Seminoles? I replied by differentiating actually offensive names such as “Redskins” with those that are not, like “Braves” while suggesting that there are other, very different reasons that Native Americans oppose the latter. To wit: a bunch of corporate bastards profiting off the misery of our genocide is bad, but profiting off it while ridiculing our image and perpetuating racial slurs even worse.

– OK yeah maybe to all that, but it still is honoring the strength and warrior ethos of the “redskins.” The “New York Heebs” and whatnot is not a fair comparison. My reply (only not nearly this smooth or prepared): OK, what if the NY Kikes are a Donald Trump backed group competing in an investment reality TV show in which the goal was to win the most money? The Pacific Chinks are a crowd sourced chess team cultivating an “inscrutable” image? The Darkies are a jazz ensemble group from an upscale Savannah private High School? The SF Faggots are a corporate backed fashion design cadre competing in a collegiate level design contest? Are they now OK because they “honor” supposedly desirable characteristics of their team namesakes?

By the end of the conversation, of the five I had three at least seriously reconsidering their positions, one still completely locked in on the “but it honors their toughness,” and one having shifted from “absolutely not this is PC BS” to “I don’t care I have no opinion and I never did.” He was, of course, my most ardent opponent in this. He didn’t care very aggressively.

So your thoughts? Should they change it, if not why not, and if yes, do you think I am correct in that it is because the general public has not been exposed to basic cogent arguments for doing so, or is it something deeper? Or shallower?

Posted by Adam @ 8:22 pm on June 13th 2013

Some dizzy whore, 1804

Thus sang Morrissey on the perils of plagiarism, back in the heady days of my mis-spent youth. NSA spooks, however, probably spent their youth attaching mirrors to their shoes and rifling their schoolmate’s possessions and missed out on this valuable lesson on the perils of passing off the work of others as your own.

Still, I guess that if you are going to steal someone else’s work and make out that it’s your own, where better than in a top-secret NSA powerpoint presentation. What’s the chance anyone will ever see it? Oh dear. Busted.

Posted by Adam @ 4:35 pm on June 13th 2013

That zany, madcap Rep. Peter King

Glenn Greenwald responded last night to Rep. Peter King saying that Greenwald might be prosecuted, adding that Greenwald had threatened to reveal the names of CIA sources.

Alas, it’s completely and utterly untrue. Even by the low standards both of politicians’ statements and Peter King’s derangement, this was bizarre. Bizarre, I say! That Peter King, one year it’s IRA support, another year it’s wanting to put journalists in prison for published redacted versions of leaked information, ho ho.

Aside from the silliness of this, though, King’s the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and he’s threatening a journalist with prosecution based on patently obvious falsehoods. He is a showpony and a tool, but I’m bemused that this doesn’t horrify at least some of his voters; even if you think that Greenwald is an American-hating, handwringing gloryhound, he has the right to author this leaked information.

Posted by Adam @ 1:20 pm on June 13th 2013

Our genes, no longer patentable

Supreme Court rules

This is one of those “why wasn’t this the case already?” things, for me — isolation of a gene just doesn’t seem like “product of human ingenuity” just because it’s hard — but creation of artificial genes can, as per the ruling, still be patented (which also makes sense).

A rare ray of sunshine in the patent wars. Now I just need to win my case against Apple for ownership of “smug coolness”, which they have been stealing from me for decades.

Posted by Adam @ 3:57 pm on June 12th 2013

Trust me, I’m the President

Politico has an article about how the “I’ve got this” reassurances from Obama to staff and worried Democrats is getting old. I have been wondering, myself, why the wheels look wobbly for Team Obama right now — Benghazi won’t die, AP/FOX phonetaps, NSA leaks — and here’s my list of possibilities:

  1. Republicans are poopyhead meanies!
  2. The news media are poopyhead meanies bitter about the administration’s hunting down of leak sources
  3. The administration isn’t that competent and things have accumulated so we’re hearing about them now
  4. The administration are like any other, in terms of competence, but the Republicans are finally getting traction on the administration’s mistakes and/or the media are finally doing their jobs
  5. The administration are like any other, in terms of over-reach, but the Republicans are finally getting traction on their abuses and/or the media are finally doing their jobs
  6. The administration are really unusually bad, in terms of over-reach, but the Republicans are finally getting traction on their abuses and/or the media are finally doing their jobs
  7. Bad luck, all this coming at once

Benghazi, I think, is #1 with a side of #4; there’s more there than was obvious, but not as much as Darrell Issa wished to portray as the case. The NSA stuff, I fear, is typical overreach and the administration have been unlucky it got leaked and unlucky it came out at more or less the same time as the other stuff, but the media are somewhat easily distracted by bikini-clad leaker girlfriend woman and arguably, other than the Guardian and the Washington Post (who are just erecting a paywall!), aren’t really doing their job properly. The NYT did write a nasty editorial (which they later modified to make it more targetted than it initially appeared) but the main focus is on Edward Snowden, the leaker, rather than the implications of the leaks.

AP/FOX phonetaps and the associated strenuous hunting down of leaks, though, I think is a case #6 — unusually high over-reach, in keeping with the general risk-aversion I think characterises Obama’s administration — and the media are on it, doing their job properly, because they care about this stuff as it affects them. It’s gone a bit quiet, but I hope Holder ends up — as I heard Tavis Smiley suggest, a couple of weeks ago — having to resign over it.

UPDATE: I forgot the IRS farrago. I think that’s more of #4, screw up and the GOP are rightly nailing them for it.

Posted by Adam @ 6:26 pm on June 11th 2013

Pope says gay lobby has penetrated Vatican

Some titles write themselves. If you’re a smutty-minded juvenile, I mean.

Pope Francis, about to soon become-unloved by the elements of the orientation-equality movement gay lobby who’d liked some of his positions on the poor, etc, has spoken.

“In the Curia,” Francis said, referring to Catholicism’s central bureaucracy, “there are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption.”

“The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there,” Francis continued. “We need to see what we can do.”

I’m not sure how well this has translated, as given the normal use of something like “gay lobby” it perhaps appears to conflate “people who support gay equality in law” with “people who have gay sex”, although a Vatican-watcher quoted later in the story also says that it’s not clear what the “gay lobby” actually is.

Anyhow. The internets will burn.

Posted by Adam @ 3:58 pm on June 11th 2013

Most boring bee news story ever?

Straight from the presses in steamy Houston, the most boring bee story ever. I am going to paste it in full in case the bee censors take it down at some future date.

There are bees flying through the walls of Victoria Azpuru’s home in west Houston.

She said they have returned three times in thirty years. At 74 years old, she nor her 79 year old sister, can get rid of them.

Azpuru just had surgery on her hand and a medical condition keeps her from going outside to do anything about it. She told Local 2, “I saw new bees and old ones buzzing, buzzing around and I got scared and came out because I’m allergic to bees.”

Azpuru called Local 2 and we called bee removal expert Claude Griffin at Gotcha Pest Control.

He went outside and quickly spotted the problem. Griffin said, “They may have imbedded themselves behind that chimney, behind that siding, in that corner and there’s a little moisture coming in.”

Griffin left her home on Suffolk Chase Lane in west Houston Monday to plan his attack. He planned to remove the bees on Friday.

He said the ants near an electrical transformer in the backyard could become a problem too. He was also trying to find a way to get her grass cut.

So, a nice tale of how the local news station did something about the bees, described in a tedious story some editor insisted was written to justify the expense of a couple of cans of wasp killers and a long broom, right?

You couldn’t be wronger if you were dressing your chihuahua in lingerie, giving it a Hitler moustache and then taking it to a Turkish bath.

Think about it. This is how they will take over and replace our way of life. One day it’s boring stories about feeble old folks getting their little “bee problem” solved by The Man Who Can, next minute your vigilance has lapsed and you’ve turned your eyes away to the pictures of bikini-clad celebrities on the right hand side of every Daily Mail webpage (don’t look! You’ll be trapped clicking on celebrity midriffs for an hour. So someone told me. Yes. Someone. Someone else) and while you weren’t paying attention giant bee complexes have appeared where human slaves toil endlessly in the nectar factories as their stripy overlords buzz, buzz, buzz and plot, plot, plot to cross breed us with flowers and create mobile nectar units for their perpetual sugary pleasure.

Today, nuisance bee stories. Tomorrow, you’ll be a full-service ambulatory bee truckstop.

Kill them all with fire.

Posted by Adam @ 1:58 pm on June 11th 2013

Summary of some major outlets’ NSA coverage a few days on

The Guardian optimistically has a headline on its front page saying “Obama administration under pressure as US senators demand end to secrecy” under a picture of Edward Snowden linking to this story. One might come away with the impression that it’s the main political issue of the day…

Fellow leak recipients of the Story the Washington Post do have a bunch of NSA-related stories on their front page (like this one covering the NSA autopsy on how Snowden got the information), but nothing implying that the government is in real trouble over this. The New York Times have a couple of stories on the front page but nothing political other than a link to Boehner calling Snowden a traitor; the NY Times, of course, wasn’t in on the original leaks so will presumably be motivated primarily by how they judge the importance of the story and how they think they can look good given that their rival the Washington Post got the primary information.

Politico are interested and have a number of stories including this one on whether there’s harm to US national security interests as a result of the leaks and, interestingly, this story on whether the NSA/Snowden furore is actually a welcome relief for Obama because the Snowden element of the story is starving the substance of the story of coverage and also distracting from other issues like the IRS farrago.

Of some other big sources, CBS News are mostly focussed on the Snowden aspect of the story, as are the LA Times. Maybe politico are right.

If I weren’t so lazy, I’d post screenshots. But I am. Lazy, that is.

Posted by Brad @ 1:48 pm on June 11th 2013

Depressing Poll of the Day

Pew_NSA_Poll

Mike Riggs
captions:

Could it be that sharing a party ID with whoever’s in the White House is a better indicator of one’s opinion on major civil liberties issues, than, say principle? I AM REALLY STARTING TO THINK SO.

Posted by Adam @ 12:35 pm on June 11th 2013

Immigration: to the Senate and don’t spare the horses

Obama attempts to look relevant and probably annoys the Republicans needed to get this through, Mitch McConnell — the walking, bloaviating embodiment of the necessity of having low expectations — lowers our expectations and Brad still doesn’t care about immigration. Meanwhile, the Gang of Eight’s bill is about to get its first vote in the Senate.

Doug Holz-Eakin gives a somewhat interesting interview on C-SPAN here (with their cool text timeline advancing with the video)(but it’s CSPAN, so prepare for it to be long and dry, like the run of Kansas City pro sports), laying out the cerebral pro-immigration Republican view (as opposed to Sen. Rubio, for example, who makes a more aspirational argument). Alas, the anti-immigration forces within the GOP are far more vocal (I fear that Mark Krikorian — who I think is a clever guy, albeit one with which I wholeheartedly disagree on immigration — may wear his fingers down to the bones typing anti-immigration posts) and the default here — the popular opinion, if not swayed — is always going to be against in any way legislating with the aim of regularising — by which, of course, I mean something which can be labelled “amnesty” — the status of illegal immigrants.

On the plus side, Boehner at least isn’t predicting failure in the House. If something actually workable comes out of this, it’ll be the most extraordinary cooperation — for something with which I agree — of the two main parties in DC that I can remember, as normally they only come together to piss me off.

UPDATE: Passed the first vote 82-15 so will proceed to endless and depressing debate.

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