US News

Open Thread - Lord of The Dance

  • Posted on: 20 December 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Because, I am certain they will tell you, it'll be good for you if they slash Social Security and eliminate Medicare and Medicaid::

House GOP: Cut Gov't Spending By 20 Percent Despite Economic Impact

tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com

The GOP plan to cut federal spending to 2008 levels appeals to the conservative base, because it predates big spending items like the stimulus bill. But it would constitute a severe reduction in spending, below levels proposed by President Obama and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

What? You think they will take that budget axe the military budgets or to Halliburtons and Blackwater/Xe's welfare checks?

This should not even be a debate:

Barbara Lee, Bobby Scott Introduce Bill For 99ers

www.huffingtonpost.com

WASHINGTON — Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Bobby Scott (Va.) introduced legislation Friday that would provide additional assistance to "99ers" — people who've exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment benefits without finding work.

But you know that there are idiots, refer to that first open thread story, that would love nothing more than kicking these people to support certain other people's interests:

End Corporate Domination: More Than Advocacy We Must Resist

www.commondreams.org

On December 16, 2009, I stood in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building with about a dozen single payer supporters. We were holding signs and standing vigil on the eve of the first time in U.S. history that a single payer bill would make it to the floor of either body in Congress.

Below the Open Thread fold is a Not Safe For Work Youtube featuring an "every man" informed type responding to questions about the bailouts for the rich. And maybe some dancing...

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Senate Passes Bill That Destroys Existing Whistleblower Rights

  • Posted on: 13 December 2010
  • By: luaptifer

Also, see NWC Calls for Correction of Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

Senate Passes Bill That Destroys Existing Whistleblower Rights  (source)

Take Action!

The Senate passed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) on Friday, December, 10th, by unanimous consent. As the National Whistleblowers Center has repeatedly stated S. 372 is a bad deal for whistleblowers. There are two poison pills in the bill that fundamentally undermine the small advances in the bill. There is still time to fix the bill.

 

TAKE ACTION! Stop the repeal of existing whistleblower rights

 

For the first time ever, federal employees will not be protected for blowing the whistle on a violation of law. The excuse given to justify this dangerous rollback is that it only excludes minor violations of law. The fact is there is no such thing as a minor violation of law. Either it is violation of the law or it is not. Federal managers should not be allowed to decide what laws they can violate.

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Senate Adopts Don't Ask Don't Tell as Their Position on DADT

  • Posted on: 9 December 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

For now...

It is sad that they don't even have enough of a spine to talk about this. Not rationally nor irrationally, as is their tendency these days, they would rather just muzzle any debates on the world that has long since passed them by.

"With the failed cloture vote to end the filibuster of the Defense Authorization bill -- which in essence killed a vote on repealing "don't ask, don't tell," Joe Lieberman has announced that he will introduce a free standing bill to repeal the policy"

Barbara Morill also says to "stay tuned" because it will be coming before the end of the sessions.

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A Progressive News service

  • Posted on: 4 December 2010
  • By: Unenergy

Re-Posted from Dailykos with permission from StrandedWind

I don't even recall who it was, but someone tweeted about the Knight Foundation News Challenge, and I favorited it for later inspection.

I finally got around to looking at it a few days before it ended and I was kicking myself - last year they gave grants between $75,000 and $400,000 for people who had ideas. Good ideas, mind you, but just ideas ... and we've actually got Progressive Congress News up and running.

So ... step over the fold and help me drag home a great big score for the Progressive community.

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The Spawn of Judy Miller?

  • Posted on: 1 December 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

It only took a few paragraphs in to Salon's critique of the NY Times' handling of revelations - more specifically, the NY Times' exclusion of revelations - in wikileak's #cablegate  to begin to wonder about Obama's action, as well, and the meaning of it:

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Guess Who Else Is A Lobbyist For Porno Scanners?

  • Posted on: 30 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

In case you think Body Scanners are going away anytime soon... It ain't just Michael Chertoff on the lobbyist gravy train for this:

Airport body-scanner manufacturers armed for K Street battle

Companies like L-3 Communications, the defense contractor, are providing several of the scanners under a nearly $165 million TSA contract won earlier this year, are well-prepared for the fight.

Linda Hall Daschle, a former administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration and wife of ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), is one of L-3’s best-connected lobbyists.

The president of LHD Associates, Daschle has earned $100,000 in lobbying fees so far this year working on “matters related to advanced imaging technology” — body scanners — among other air-travel issues, according to lobbying disclosure documents.

...snip...

Rapiscan attracted attention earlier this year when it was revealed that former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, a vocal proponent of body scanners, had consulted for the company. Peter Kant, Rapsican’s executive vice president, said Chertoff was no longer working for the company.

The only time there is real bipartisanship is when there is a buck to be made...  And they will do anything to keep their money flowing.  More Below...

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Early Saturday Morning Drive-by Posting: Million Dollar Patriotism. No, really!

  • Posted on: 20 November 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

Hat-tip Lordrag of DelphiForums.

So, not all of the rich elite are against letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest of Americans:

__________

"For the fiscal health of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens, we ask that you allow tax cuts on incomes over $1,000,000 to expire at the end of this year as scheduled," their website states. "We make this request as loyal citizens who now or in the past earned an income of $1,000,000 per year or more."

__________

Source

That right there is million dollar patriotism, brought to you by your fellow concerned citizens out of concern for the economy and who have a good sense of what will help the economy the most.

Taxes. Specifically, taxing those who can most afford it.

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Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on News and Objectivity

  • Posted on: 16 November 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

Sometimes, someone says what needs to be said -- there's more to the truth than the objective idealism of "fair and balanced" which Fox News has turned into a catch-phrase for "partisanship" and propaganda.

In the Special Comment delivered on 15 November 2010, Keith Olbermann talks about the News Media and it's abhorrent record.

Give it a listen.

Comments are open, and welcome.

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Open Thread - I see pink underwear in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's future...

  • Posted on: 12 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

And brain bleach to remove that image in my future:

Arizona Sheriff used hidden database to misspend up to $80 million, officials claim

www.rawstory.com

A hidden computer database recently discovered in the course of a racial profiling investigation shows Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio misspent up to $80 million in funds intended for jail operations, according to Maricopa County supervisors and budget officials.

Anything, preferably non-brain bleach related, Open Thread worthy pass through your mind lately?

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Open Thread - Digging in the Dirt

  • Posted on: 9 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

Digging Into polling numbers - From ctblogger at MLN, a little bit on Connecticut's version of The Drudge Report and the biased polls they paid for:

New York Times FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver offers his take on Merriman River Group's congressional polling for that site that inflates it's stats.

Nate_Silver

...that's putting it mildly. Hopefully, in the future the statewide media will take future polling from CTCapitolReport with a grain of salt.

Dig in below the fold for more Open Thread dirt...

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The real victory tonight: The Blue Dogs take a beating.

  • Posted on: 3 November 2010
  • By: Pen

So far, it looks like nearly half the Blue Dog Dems have been kicked out of office. That’s a much higher percentage of Dems than the Progressive Caucus lost tonight. I think it speaks loudly to why the Dems got their butts kicked today. This wasn’t Americans turning to the Republicans, which polls show Americans hate worse than Dems. This was Americans turning away from the Blue Dogs. The ones who sold us out to the corporatists.

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Monday Morning Open Thread, NaNoWriMo Edition

  • Posted on: 1 November 2010
  • By: Open Thread

November is National Novel Writing Month, and a great impetus to get you to write that novel you've always wanted to complete.

I've co-authored two books, neither via NaNoWriMo, but both are languishing while my co-authors and I search for agents and/or publishers.

NaNoWriMo writers sometimes seem to have better luck.

I'm going to participate this year, and write at least one.

Anybody else?

If so, tell us about it in comments, and get going! Time's already ticking away.

Oh, and remember -- this is an Open Thread.

 

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Heathens Hold the Line as Californians Reject Corporate Takeover

  • Posted on: 25 October 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

The corporate takeover of California is on hold according to the latest polls out of the nation’s largest state. Just nine days before the election, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California poll shows a nearly impossible uphill battle for the big business ticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.

Among likely voters in the governor’s race, Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%. In the race for United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead. The leads by Democrats come from a brand new constituency, those who "never" go to church. More on that later.

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Phishing, Taxes, The US Treasury and You

  • Posted on: 7 October 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

It's that time of the year, folks -- a swarm of emails have been coming out from spoofed addresses, claiming to be from the customer service section of Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (eftps.gov).

NOTE: The IRS never sends emails to taxpayers. Pass that tidbit on, and help take a bite out of cybercrime...

It starts off with the following:

__________
From: EFTPS Tax Payment [mailto:customers@eftps.gov]
Sent: today, this month, real recent time
To: yourbusinessname@yourbusinessurl.com
Subject: Your Federal Tax Payment has been rejected. Report ID: xxxxxxxx (some numbers, sometimes sequential if from the same spammer/phisher/cyber-criminal/needle-dicked bugfvcker)

Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 012345678 has been rejected.

Return Reason Code R21 - The identification number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid.

Please, check the information and refer to Code R21 to get details about your company payment in transaction contacts section: http://eftps.gov/R21

In other way forward information to your accountant adviser.

EFTPS: The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
PLEASE NOTE: Your tax payment is due regardless of EFTPS online
availability. In case of an emergency, you can always make your tax payment by calling the EFTPS.
__________

What changes, slightly, is the subject (sometimes the message has "URGENT" at the start of the subject, sometimes not), the content (sometimes the line "In other way forward information to your accountant adviser" is present, sometimes not). The URL "eftps.gov/R21" is not the actual URL that the message redirects you to -- that's just the URL label. The actual URL differs, usually directing people to a server in Russia through a variant of the domain name "eftpsxxxxx.com" where the "xxxx" is a series of numbers. A traceroute on the various URLs comes back with different domain hosts / admin information, but the email headers from any message you receive usually include an ip address (and sometimes a source node) for where the message may actually be from -- or at least one of the potential zombie machines it was sent from.

Should you receive any such emails (I've received about 12 so far over the past few days), there's a quick and easy way to report them to the IRS (see below). In general, any time you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from the Treasury or US government, you can go to the US Treasury's website for contact information about how to report the phishing attempt, or -- if you've been a victim of a cybercrime, particularly if you've lost money or property -- you can go straight to the IC3 site and file a complaint (or 2, or 3 -- or 12 -- as the case may be).

For this particular email scam and for cases specifically involving the IRS and tax scams, go to the IRS page for more information. The IRS is already aware of this particular scam, but you should still report it and provide the details of the email source to help their cybercrime investigators track the perpetrators. Usually, a great and simple method to do this as well as report these types of fraud involves the following:

  1. View and copy the full header information of the email,
  2. Forward the email message to phishing@irs.gov, with a copy of the full header information pasted within

Easy-peasy.

Whatever you do, do not click on the links of any suspicious emails, even those purporting to be from the IRS or US Government, unless you can be sure that the link goes to where it says it is going.

More information is available about this at the IRS site on fraud/phishing/abuse (same IRS link as provided a few sentences ago).

Be careful out there, and remain ever-vigilant for those cyber-criminals who'll try to steal you blind almost as fast as the Bush/Cheney Administration and their Republican Congressional majority gutted the national treasury and destabilized our entire economy and infrastructure.

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