Saturday, March 29, 2008

Heads up, guys!!!

There's this guy, Carl Forti, who used to work for the NRCC, then for Romney, and just got hired by this group Freedom's Watch, which purports to be some kind of rightwing respone to MoveOn. As if.

He's a slimy character. With him, here's what the NRCC did:
One advertisement accused the rival candidate of billing taxpayers for a call to a phone-sex line. One alleged that a candidate "fixed" his daughter's speeding tickets. Still others stated that a candidate endorsed a "coffee talk with the Taliban," and that another was supported by the Communist Party.
Oh, and they also did this: apparent coordinated effort from the NRCC -- the House GOP committee -- to place calls that appear to be from the local Democratic candidate and then automatically call the same number back as many as seven or eight times each time the caller hang-ups. If the caller listens to the whole message it goes on to bash the Democratic candidate. But if the caller hangs up prematurely, the computer calls right back.
Apparently Freedom's Watch has been lamely limping along and their Board is all psyched on getting someone who'll bring the grimy. Think Swift Boat Veterans-style, "doesn't matter if it's true as long as it dominates the narrative," with a healthy dash of seedy whisper campaigning. I'm not saying it's just because of Forti - surely they're all mad.

But they will bring the grimy, the ugly, the evil, and if the public can get out in front of it, be on the alert, that will weaken its impact. I hope Keith will get a jump on this one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John, we hardly knew ye

Hey there everyone in the cyberwebs! Sorry I've been, well, gone. Been kinda busy and this whole blogging thing is like a muscle -- if you don't use it you lose it. I'm going to try to get back in the thick of it again because it's an important year, and I got some shit to say.

Today has been a crappy day on account of John Edwards dropping out of the presidential race. He was my boy and I was really psyched about voting for him next week (oh John, 6 days! Couldn't you have hung in there?) and the whole concept of voting for a candidate I actually support, as opposed to voting against one I'm scared of.

I have to say that the Edwards thing hit me harder than I thought it would. I knew it was coming, of course, and knew he wasn't going to win the nomination (although dammit, he should have, and if he had, he would have walked away with the presidency and instead we're going to get President McCain oh fuck, I hate this) but I just wasn't ready. I see the logic of dropping out now -- I figure he's hoping that he can get Obama or Hillary to pick up some of his issues (poverty) in exchange for an endorsement just before super-duper Tuesday. But it still sucks, and we've still lost the most progressive candidate in the race (ok, mainstream progressive).

There's a lot of talk now about where his supporters will go now. O & H are gagging for us since the race is tighter than American Apparel's sizes, and the 15% that Edwards has been getting would be more than enough to push either of them over the top. I personally don't know where I'll go. Today I don't even want to vote, I don't care anymore, it seems like the good guys always go down. But you know, the good guys do always go down, and I've never let that stop me before. So tomorrow I'll pick back up again and figure it out. Look for upcoming posts: "The Trouble with Hillary," and "The Trouble with Obama."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I love you, Mike Gravel

Here's just one reason, re: getting the F up out of Iraq:

"You pass the law, not a resolution, a law making it a felony to stay there. And I'll give you the text of it... if you're worried about filibuster, here's what you do tactically. They can pass it in the House. We've got the votes there...In the Senate, let them filibuster it. And let Reid call up every -- at 12:00 every day to have a cloture vote. And let the American people see clearly who's keeping the war going and who's not....You want to -- you want to tell the Iraqis how to run their country. I got to tell you, we should just plain get out -- just plain get out. It's their country. They're asking us to leave. And we insist on staying there. And why not get out? What harm is it going to do? Oh, you hear the statement, "Well, my God, these soldiers will have died in vain." The entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. And they're dying in vain right this very second. And you know what's worse than a soldier dying in vain? It's more soldiers dying in vain. That's what's worse."
Orangeburg, South Carolina - April 26, 2007

There are many more reasons, too, not least of which is his utterly inspiring faith in the will of the people to steer the country on the right course... Hey, when is the WaPo magazine article about him hitting stands??

Thursday, August 02, 2007

On to Chicago!

Hey there. Remember us? No, no one was hauled off to Gitmo after the last post. There was a family emergency and things got a little hectic around here.

We're (semi) back, and this azulita and I are headed off the Chicago for the annual YearlyKos convention!

Here's hoping this year is as good as last year in Vegas, although I don't see how it could be...

We'll let you know how it went when we get back!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The FBI came for me yesterday. Really.

Yesterday around lunchtime the boyfriend calls me at work. “Chica,” he says, “you should listen to this message.” He plays a message from an NYPD detective asking me to call him. I was confused, but assumed it was some sort of fundraising request. A couple of hours later I the detective and left a message. His voicemail said he was a part of the NYPD-FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

[As background, almost 10 years ago I worked as an investigator at the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the agency that investigates complaints against the police department. It was an interesting job and a lot of fun (all of the investigators were just out of school, which made it a little more party-like than you would think. Or perhaps a lot more). I eventually quit and went on to work on a couple of movies before going to grad school. About a month ago I got a myspace friend request from some group called ‘CCRB Underground’ and said yes. It was a collection of current or former CCRB investigators making fun of the place. I remember looking at it and trying to figure out if I knew any of them, but I didn’t. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they knew who I was until I realized I had CCRB listed as one of the places I’d worked on my profile.]

So it did occur to me that this might have something to do with the CCRB, but I couldn’t imagine what. After a little phone tag I finally spoke with the detective. He wanted to meet up with me and ask a few questions relating to CCRB but about a current case. He was willing to come to my work or home, but wanted to do it that day. I’m not too big on having the police in my house, so I suggested the Starbucks by work. The detective said they could drive me home if I was in a hurry, and that they didn’t want to inconvenience me.

None of this made any sense, but I wasn’t especially concerned. Maybe some old investigator had some issue with the cops? There was one guy who did a lot of street theatre stuff, and another girl who had been pretty heavily involved in protesting the RNC back in ’04, and I know that the Joint Task Force was involved in that. More worried were all of my coworkers, who were horrified at the idea that I might just get into a car with strangers.

I went and met the detective. He and his partner showed me their IDs. One was indeed an NYPD Detective and the other an FBI agent. They were very friendly and asked where I wanted to talk. I said on the way home was great. We got into their car (a big one with DC plates) and the detective sat in the back with me while the g-man drove. They already knew my address. Why? Because they’d been to my house three times already. In fact, they hadn’t ever called me, they had been ringing my buzzer (which runs through the phone line and which my machine eventually picks up).

Here’s where it gets crazy.

The detective pulled out a folder and took out a piece of paper. It was all the pictures from my myspace page printed out. He pulled out some more papers and (basically) said this:

Some ‘concerned citizen’ was trolling myspace and came across CCRB Underground. Somewhere on there was the quote from Back to the Future about how Doc got the uranium to power the time machine by stealing it from some Libyan nationalists: “They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn, gave them a shiny bomb-casing filled with used pinball machine parts.”

This citizen took it upon his or herself to look at who the friends were on this site and found me. (Now would be a good time to look at my profile.) He or she then sent an email through the site saying (as far as I can tell) CCRB Underground was some sort of terror group and I advocated armed revolution and narcotics trafficking. Somehow this ended up on the Mayor’s desk the Commissioner got upset and then the gears went into motion. A priority investigation was launched and, they said, the original CCRB Underground guy had his computer confiscated.

The detective proceeded to ask me if I traffic in narcotics, if I am involved in terrorist activities or armed violence, what is my primary email address, who do I live with, where do I work, what do I do, how long have I been there, whether I had travelled outside the country in the last ten years, who the other people in the pictures on my page were, if I knew anyone involved with CCRB Underground, or recognized any of the people from the page.

Now I’m a grown up girl who investigated cops. They don’t scare me. And these guys were as nice as can be, and we were laughing about the whole thing – I mean, Back to the Future? But I was not exactly in a position where it would have been easy to say, “I don’t really want to answer that.” At all.

I did point out that I was being sarcastic, and that the art (such as it is) of my myspace profile lay in the ironic juxtaposition of interests like the destruction of the military industrial complex and napping. I also pointed out that my profile also said I started high school over a decade before I was born and spent nine years in college. I believe I also digressed into my theory that there is an X vs. Y generational change in terms of how to present oneself on the interwebs – us Xers are all about the irony and the snark, whereas I see more Y kids being all earnest. I think I also compared the investigation they were running to a kabuki dance. They didn’t disagree. The FBI agent mentioned that he had been in Japan for a while and actually seen a kabuki dance.

They got to my block. I told them that if it was all the same to them, I was going to keep my profile the same, as it had already gotten me into about as much trouble as it could. They said fine. We exchanged pleasantries and I got out, shook their hands and went into my building.

So, in summary:

An anonymous person (or at least unknown to me) found something patently false on the internet, not to mention perfectly legal (as being interested in revolution, not to mention WRITING ABOUT IT, certainly is), made a complaint about it, and next thing I’m being visited and questioned by the FBI. Needless to say I’m assuming that the email address I gave them (and probably any of mine they can find) is now being monitored, and I’m pretty much going to have to figure my phone is going to be tapped as well.

Because I wrote something completely legal on myspace.

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Score one for justice!

"We need to make the statement that the truth matters ever so much," Fitzgerald said.

Fitz, oh Fitz, how I love and admire you.

"People who occupy these types of positions, where they have the welfare and security of nation in their hands, have a special obligation to not do anything that might create a problem," U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said.

Judge Walton's sure to end up on a disloyalty list one of these days, what with his apparent commitment to impartial justice.

As a side note, I would argue that the media's relatively blase' attitude to the entire CIA leak situation - with one notable exception mentioned in the post below - in the face of what has been practically, if not legally, established as Actual Treason is proof of the media's hopeless cowtowing to conservatives. I'm not exactly sure what creates these conditions - a handful of super-rich men holding the reins to 99% of traditional media? simple inertia on the part of the press corps ("we're so USED to accusing the Dems of threatening our national security!")? actual threats to reporters from the administration that they'd best not cover the story OR ELSE (detailed in the last pages of Joe Wilson's book)? - but I know full well that if anyone outside the administration, or possibly the Republican members of Congress, did anything that even began to approach the damage to our national security and interests that this situation has caused, the spewing heads on the tube would be falling all over themselves to scream "TRAITOR!!!," remind us that 9/11, um, happened, and clamor for a public execution.


Countdown to Countdown

Ladies and gentlemen, cock your tivos. The man himself, Sexy Sexy Joe Wilson, makes a sexy return to Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight!!!

I look forward to:
1) the obvious: sexiness. I mean, duh.
2) much mutual props-giving and words of respect between host and guest (two of our very most favorite people in the public sphere)
3) finding out the answer to the question posed in the uber-dramatic spot they were running last night by way of advertisment: Was Justice Served???
4) when does Valerie's book come out?

Monday, June 04, 2007

More from the Department of No Shit

In case you were wondering, the Surge isn't working.

But really, that was sort of a foregone conclusion, wasn't it?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wonkette is a hater so I don't have to be

I don't know if you still read Wonkette (now that the original Wonkette has gone off to be serious at Time and it's now written by a guy) but it's fucking awesome.

Back when Original Wonkette (O.W.? O. Wo?) wote the blog, there was some sort of strange attempt to be unbiased, or at least to not be constantly full of vitriolic hate towards the Administration. Thank god that's over! Because honestly, vitriolic hate is the only appropriate thing to feel towards these assclowns.

As an example of the fun (if you're a political nerd, and if you're reading this, you are) check this out.

And have you ever read a better, pithier description of the fear mongering nightmare they have fostered than this: "...because it will always be September 12 forever and ever until we die of global warming."?

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Sad Day

Veronica Mars, cancelled.

Be sure to watch the season and now series (sob!) finale this coming Tuesday, May 22. It's 2 hours long and I think it starts early. Check you listings.

OK, I gotta go be sad now.