Tales of the Sausage Factory

Genachowski's Remarks At Auschwitz

I cannot claim to know Chairman Genachowski very well. But the remarks below, given as head of the U.S. delegation in commemoration of the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, mark him as my brother on a level that goes beyond all levels of politics and policy.

Ezchor! Lo tishcach I will remember; do not you forget.

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My Thoughts Exactly

On Highest Authority from Soviet Russia: Sundman Novels “not shit Dan Brown”

So, checking my Wetmachine referer logs this morning, I found that this livejournal entry has already sent me 54 visitors. Since the page is what appeared to be (and in fact is) Russian, I turned to Google Translate, which provided this wonderful text:

A good example for the present writer can become a success John Sandmena.

This is a modern writer, he wrote great novels of an action and distributes them for free. About how this is done you can ask from him, look at the website or call in at www.wetmachine.com kickstarter.com.

In place of, say, Lukyanenko, I have started to click links kickstarter.com. Sandmen requested for the next novel 5 000 dollars. Who? Yes to all. “Kick” it just for this purpose and is intended to collect money from the crowds of internet users in all sorts of interesting initiatives.

John had something to show his readers:

novels “Acts of the Apostles” and “Developing Obama”[Ed: ????] is not shit Dan Brown. “If Brown was Sandmenom, according to Jeffrey Zeldman,” he would have realized that this thriller is far from absurd, flat and one-dimensional. “

Credit confidence Sandmenu from the Internet community for the next novel, ”Science works” expressed in the amount of U.S. $ 8 059. Slightly more than requested by the author. And how much money you need to write this novel?

Note — my final Kickstarter tally was not quite as great as the amount pledged — about $900 did not clear when presented to credit cards; plus, Kickstarter.com and clearing house Amazon.com each take cuts (including on that $900, by the way). But still, not half bad. Or as we say in Russian, according to Google Translate, недурно.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Net Neutrality Nearer? Maybe

Some promising noises out of the FCC and Congress lately–even from President Obama– about preserving Net Neutrality. However, the Telco & other retrograde forces out there have lots of money, lobbyists, and influence. Free Press’s “Save the Internet” campaign has some good things going on, including an astonishing $100,000 matching contribution fundraiser sponsored by an anonymous donor. Chip in what you can. And contact your congresspeople today.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

Barack Obama, chump

Josh Marshall lays it all out beautifully.

AIG’s Liddy, as spokesman for the entire financial industry, has told Mr. Obama (and by extension, all the rest of us), “Shut up, bitch(es), and give us our money. And don’t be slow or we’ll fuck you up the ass like nobody’s business.”

On Mr. Obama’s staff, messers Geitner, Summers, Axelrod et al have responded by saying, “They’re right, Mr. Obama, they are going to fuck you up the ass. Although you are president of the United States of America, you are powerless to stop them. All you can do is give them more and more and more money. But we can advise you on the best way to self-administer K-Y jelly.”

Josh Marshall’s exposition is not so crude as my own summary of it, and I encourage you to go read it.

This will probably be the big test in Obama’s presidency, in the sense that if he fails it, he’ll have so far alienated his core constituency that any subsequent policy initiatives may be moot. People just won’t care or trust him. And so far, from me, at least, he’s getting a great big fat “F”.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

The Fairness Doctrine Vote Proves Conservative Noise Machine Still Strong As Ox But Twice As Dumb.

Conservatives take joy where they can these days, so no surprise they are busy patting themselves on the back for attaching to the DC Voting Rights Bill an amendment to prevent the FCC from reviving the “Fairness Doctrine.” It makes an interesting case study on a number of levels. First, how does the conservative echo chamber still manage to get a Democratic Senate to vote for an item pushed by conservative talk radio 87-11? Were the situation reversed, and liberal Senators wanted to attach some piece of useless legislation promoted by Air America, such as a ban on banging your head against the wall until you fall unconscious, conservatives would take joy in crushing it just to show the bleeding heart Liberal wussies who rules the roost.

Of course, some of it may be the piece of legislative jujitsu pulled off by Senator Durbin, which modified the amendment to reenforce the overall regulatory power of the FCC to promote diversity. All in all, this makes an excellent case study on how Rush and his crew are leading the GOP back to glory while the Ds stay focused on being effective.

Details below . . .

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Posted in How Democracy Works, Or Doesn't, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 5 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

House Republicans Continue to Stand Up For Principle Despite Self Interest or Common Sense. Go GOP!

I am not entirely sure that a delay of the DTV transition is a good thing, but I know a political reality when I see it. With too many viewers likely to experience serious television viewing disruption, the smart politician takes some prudent steps to avoid blame. Hence the unanimous Senate vote to delay the transition until June. But the House Leadership, eager to give Obama and the Ds their first “defeat,” felt otherwise. They managed to muster a cadre of the faithful to vote against the passage of the Senate bill in the House “on suspension,” meaning without debate and requiring a 2/3rds majority.

It’s largely a symbolic gesture, since the Ds can always bring the bill up through the usual processes. And, for the majority of the country who are not hardcore GOP “we hate Obama and want him to fail no matter what this does to the country or even us personally,” it reenforces the perception that the Rs would much rather play games than get stuff done. Still, Republicans and various news outlets are all about how this marks Obama’s first “defeat.”

I look forward, therefore, to future news stories such as this:

Washington — House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and senior Republican members of the House of Representatives suffered serious head injuries today after slamming their heads repeatedly into a wall until they fell unconscious. The strange behavior began when Obama suggested he would introduce legislation that would have made it illegal to slam your head into a wall until you fall unconscious.

Conservative pundits praised Boehner and his colleagues for “sticking to their principles” and “refusing to cave.” “If Obama and his socialist comrades in Congress outlaw giving yourself a concussion, they’ll take our guns away next!” Warned Rush Limbaugh. Other media analysts questioned whether this “head banger rebellion” marked a turn around in the Republican’s fading fortunes. “If Obama can’t get bipartisan support for not injuring yourself, you have to ask what sort of influence he really has,” said Brit Hume.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed sympathy for her Republican colleagues and wished them a speedy recovery. However, a source close to the Speaker reported that — when conferring with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) — Pelosi giggled and said: “Next week, let’s get them to eat dung beetles.”

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A Promising First Step

O.K., it is only a modest first step, but it is still nice to see.

In keeping with that whole “use the internet and new technologies, government transparency, yadda yadda yadda” stuff from the campaign, Obama and his transition team have now set up a new website for the transition at change.gov.

The website includes many of the features that made the Obama campaign website so effective. It is also an unprecedented time to compliance with a campaign promise (even before taking office). More importantly, if you click on the technology agenda, you will observe that it is pretty much the same tech agenda as from the campaign website.

That may not seem like a big deal, until you notice the top items. Protect the Openness of the Internet and Encourage Diversity In Media top the list.

Yes, it is merely a continuation of his previous campaign commitments. Yes, simply saying protecting the openness of the internet is your top priority does not actually gaurantee you will do it. I am not some Kool-Aide drinking neophyte. But I am also not someone who thinks that cynicism substitutes for wisdom and can’t wait to rush to proclaim that all that progressive stuff was just campaign chin music. I find it pleasantly reassuring that (a) these guys continue to show the same level of discipline in planning and execution they did during the campaign, (b) they appear quite serious about the business of governing, and (c) they seem to be on track to take us in the right direction.

Not bad for Day 2 after the election . . . .

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Life In The Sausage Factory, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 6 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

A Reminder Why the PK Petition On Mobile Texting Matters (lest you think I only pick on cable operators).

Today’s NYT has this op ed on Obama’s use of text messaging to announce his VP pick. It provides a nice reminder about the importance of the pending Petition by PK and others on text messaging. Filed after Verizon denied NARAL a short code but reversed itself within 24 hours the mobile texting petition often gets bundled with the Comcast complaint as if they were essentially two examples of the same thing. They aren’t. The Comcast complaint asked the FCC to follow through on its previous commitment to prevent broadband providers from blocking or degrading content or applications. For all the (well deserved) hoopla around the decision, it was at heart, as Commissioner Tate described, “a normal enforcement proceeding, regarding a particular complaint within the confines of the specific circumstances presented.”

The Petition for Declaratory Ruling on mobile text messaging and short codes is not a complaint (although it is an adjudication). It does not seek to punish Verizon as a bad actor, and it only refers to the NARAL incident as an illustration of why the Commission needs to act. Rather, we ask the Commission to decide — for the first time — whether mobile text messaging is a Title II telecommunications service, like the underlying phone number and voice service. If the Commission decides that it is a actually a Title I enhanced service (like the internet access you can buy separately), we ask the FCC to impose rules that would prevent wireless carriers from denying a short code to someone or from messing with anyone’s text messaging.

Not that Verizon or any other provider would be so foolish as to deny the Obama or McCain campaigns short codes or block their text messages. I’m not even worried about independent candidates like Barr and Nader. No, I’m worried about us ordinary schlubs, or even unpopular folks who can’t count on getting a front page story on the NYT if something happens but still deserve the right to organize and spread their message to willing listeners.

More below . . . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

Mukasey == Gonzales==Republican Stooge, let's sing the “I Was Not a Nazi Polka,” Hooray!

You may recall how Fredo Corleone Harry Reid and the rest of the clueless Democrats in the Senate enthusiastically bought into the pious shitpile of festering stinking lies and prevarications that was the testimony of Michael Mukasey, the “Good German Republican”, at his confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General, when he swore, jawohl, that he would uphold the constitution no matter what, yessir, even unto the gates of Hell or the White House, whichever came first, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, yah sure, you betcha, because I am a Federal Judge of Impeccable Credential and Pedigree, don’t you know, and I uphold the law, and I vas not ein SS guard I don’t change my stripes to fit the fashion, and blah blah blah blah blah.

And so he became the highest law officer in the land, with a pat on the back and a friendly howdy-do & welcome, hail fellow well-met, from Harry and Diane and all the other fine Presbyterians & toothless cowards in the Greatest Deliberative Body in World(tm). Alberto is gone! Michael is here! Integrity has been restored to the Department of Justice! Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, Hail Dorothy! (Senators Obama, Clinton, Dodd and Biden just happened to be out of town for the vote, how unfortunate!)

Below the fold: Recalling an old chestnut from the late lamented Chad Mitchell Trio.

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Posted in Memology, My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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