I was planning to go to Iowa, but I couldn't make it because of that virus so my good friend Jeralyn Merritt from Talkleft is going to cover the primary for C&L...She has press credentials and will be all over the state of Iowa I'm sure, telling us what's going down and carousing with Jane Hamsher...
Archives for December, 2007
I appreciate the fact that the music business is in the midst of considerable turmoil. CD sales are abysmal, record companies are losing a lot of money, and music pirating has become fairly routine, prompting thousands of lawsuits from the RIAA against consumers. It’s an industry facing major, system challenges.
But if the music business wants to get back on track, this definitely isn’t the way to do it.
[I]n an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.
The industry’s lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier this month that the MP3 files Howell made on his computer from legally bought CDs are “unauthorized copies” of copyrighted recordings.
“I couldn’t believe it when I read that,” says Ray Beckerman, a New York lawyer who represents six clients who have been sued by the RIAA. “The basic principle in the law is that you have to distribute actual physical copies to be guilty of violating copyright. But recently, the industry has been going around saying that even a personal copy on your computer is a violation.”
It’s as if the industry is anxious to destroy any remaining goodwill it may have left.
Critics say The Times' decision underscores the paper's increasing willingness to showcase views of those who are less concerned with the constraining nature of reality and truth. But Rosenthal scoffed at such assertions.
"I'm not sure if I understand this weird fear of opposing views," said Rosenthal. "We have views on our op-ed page that are as thuggish or more so than Vladimir's." He added, "The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected and brutal leader - and somehow that's a bad thing. How intolerant is that? The whole point of the op-ed page is to air a variety of opinions."
In further defending the hire, Rosenthal explained, "Look, Hitler and Stalin are dead. Pol Pot, too. Osama bin Laden tends toward the run-on sentence. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has trouble meeting deadlines. Musharraf told us he has too much on his plate right now to commit. Charles Manson's parole board has repeatedly declined our requests for Chuck to pen a column for us while serving out his life sentence. Dick Cheney can't write a sentence without dropping an F-bomb. And, well, let's just say all options were off the table concerning President Bush."
See, and the saddest part is that the irony would be completely lost on Rosenthal. In all seriousness, could Putin ever be as consistently wrong as Kristol has been?
The more we get to hear Huckabee---the more we understand that this candidate running on extreme religious fundamentals is unqualified to lead a culture that is made up of many, many different belief systems, or none at all. Check out this clip from Meet The Press and watch his wingnuttia in action. It's a sight to behold. Please, pray for him. Think Progress and Page OneQ have more...(h/t Heather)
MR. RUSSERT: But when you say aberrant or unnatural, do you believe you're born gay or you choose to be gay?
GOV. HUCKABEE: I don't know whether people are born that way. People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice. We may have certain tendencies, but how we behave and how we carry out our behavior--but the important issue that I want to address, because I think when you bring up the faith question, Tim, I've been asked more about my faith than any person running for president. I'm OK with that.
MR. RUSSERT: But you said you would ban all abortions.
GOV. HUCKABEE: Well, that's not just because I'm a Christian, that's because I'm an American. Our founding fathers said that we're all created equal. I think every person has intrinsic worth and value...
MR. RUSSERT: But many Americans believe that that would be, that would be you imposing your faith belief...
UPDATE: Jane reports that Huckabee held a press conference today saying:
Huckabee just held a press conference where he announced that he made a negative ad against Romney -- Lord forgive him -- but at the last minute he decided to turn the other cheek and not broadcast it. But just to show he wasn't shittin' y'all, he decided to show it to a few of his closest friends at a press conference that included Tim Russert, Joe Klein, Barbara Comstock and a few hundred journalists and bloggers of varying degrees of noteriety.
I don't make resolutions. I try to remind myself daily just to do things better--take that extra 20 minutes to read a book with my kids instead of checking emails, to push myself a little harder when I exercise, to make a point of eating healthier and living more mindfully. I don't succeed as often as I would like. But I plug away.
Nevertheless, lots of people do make resolutions. Hopefully, they're not broken already by January 3rd. Share what you'd like to do better for 2008.
Launching a new "Catholics for McCain" group and rolling out new leadership for his "Iowans of Faith for McCain" group last week, broadcasting a television ad about bonding with a prison guard over a cross as a POW, and airing recent ads on Iowa Christian radio, the presidential candidate who famously denounced the Christian Right's leaders as "agents of intolerance" in his 2000 White House bid is making an 11th-hour appeal for the movement's support.
Perhaps more than anyone, the person responsible for John McCain's turnabout is Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, the evangelical-turned-Catholic religious conservative who endorsed McCain shortly after ending his own presidential campaign in October. In recent weeks, Brownback and advisors from his defunct campaign have counseled McCain and his aides about stepping up conservative Christian outreach and have arranged meetings between the campaign and evangelical Christian leaders.
"They are redoubling their efforts," Brownback said of the McCain camp's religious outreach effort in an interview on Saturday. "For quite a while, they just didn't think it was their best zone of opportunity, and then we pushed them a lot and they've seen that McCain has a message that resonates in that community."
"I don't think they'd been very aggressive on reaching out the faith community... or showing respect for faith and issues of faith," Brownback added about McCain and his team. "More than anything, he had to show respect for authentic faith, and you're seeing that now in his language."
Jeez, I just love how the Republicans are trying to out-theocrat one another. (/snark) The question is whether these "faith voters" have such short memories that they'll forget McCain's dismissive words during the 2000 campaign. Don't you find it curious that the MSM isn't really picking up on the rather large flip-flop on McCain's part the way they dissected every single vote or statement John Kerry made in 2004?
The recent NY Times article on the late, great Steve Gilliard made fresh for me the loss that I (and many others) feel over his silenced voice. At his best, Gilly was ferocious and challenging (though John Amato through his calls with him tells me that he was a sweetheart in real life; I never got the particular pleasure of speaking to him on the phone). I've spent a lot of time looking over various blog posts about Gilly this weekend and this link by "truth" at FDL came flooding back for me just how much Steve Gilliard could incite such emotions. It was this post that I read that dark day in November 2004 when I realized we would be forced to endure another four years of George W. Bush & Co. So on this eve of a new year, just days away from the onset of the primary season to select the new president, I want you to read (or re-read) Gilly's words of The Fighting Liberal:
You know, I've studied history, I've read about America and you know something, if it weren't for liberals, we'd be living in a dark, evil country, far worse than anything Bush could conjure up. A world where children were told to piss on the side of the road because they weren't fit to pee in a white outhouse, where women had to get back alley abortions and where rape was a joke, unless the alleged criminal was black, whereupon he was hung from a tree and castrated.
What has conservatism given America? A stable social order? A peaceful homelife? Respect for law and order? No. Hell, no. It hasn't given us anything we didn't have and it wants to take away our freedoms.
10 Zen Monkeys: 2007 Remixed
Truthdig: The Iowa Caucus Con
Defense Tech: Air Force Going Green
Pharyngula: Torture--what is it good for?
Who says we aint got good taste buds? Steven Hart of The Opinion Mill and a guest blogger here at MBR, has a new book which is getting some well-deserved attention.
To meet Kenneth Starr is to question the anger of his most partisan critics and the ardor of his most ideological admirers. As few have forgotten, Starr's pursuit of President Clinton endeared him to Clinton's enemies but also made him, for some, a modern Inspector Javert, sneeringly derided in one publication as a "pious lawman."
And yet, here Starr is, atop the law school at Pepperdine University, cheerfully imagining a culture of engaged and conscientious young lawyers, wistfully harking to a time when the nation was less divided and acrimonious.
His critics might be surprised, but Starr is neither monster nor prude. He is genial, reflective and easygoing, lighthearted even. Committed to public service, he speaks most eloquently on the notions of service and compassion. .
OK, it gets much worse.
So, this is Los Angeles' Kenneth Starr -- not the pursuer of a president but rather the educator and public servant, the lawyer guided by faith, leading from a hilltop in Malibu. And yet he struggles to shed his polarizing past, trying his best to claim an old mantle of centrism despite those who still are angry at him...read on
Newton would have you believe that he's just a simple man now, smoking a pipe in his rocking chair and gazing out into the Pacific ocean on a sunny day with a bible in his hand. Salon paints a much darker picture . And what type of faith would lead a man to do this?
Prosecutors: Ex-independent counsel fabricated letters on inmate’s behalf. Lawyers for a death row inmate, including former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, sent fake letters from jurors asking California’s governor to spare the man’s life, prosecutors said Friday.
I guess Newton forgot to tell his readers that he was hired to defend Blackwater too.
Blackwater USA, the private military contractor in the Bush Administration's "war on terror," has a new lawyer working to defend it against a ground-breaking wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of four of its contractors killed in Iraq. The new "counsel of record" for the North Carolina-based company is none other than former Whitewater investigator Kenneth Starr--the independent counsel in the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
I'm still trying to figure out why Newton would write an almost revisionist piece about Kenneth Starr at this time. Is there some ulterior motive behind it or just blind ignorance?
UPDATE: And I forgot to mention that Starr:
...argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that an Alaska school had the right to suspend a student for unfurling a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner.
BILLIONAIRE money manager Jeffrey Epstein has brought in a hired gun to help defend charges brought against him in Palm Beach, Fla., of soliciting prostitutes for sex---"Epstein is worried he could be targeted by federal prosecutors, and Starr is still very well-connected with Republicans," said one source.
That's some "educator and public servant guided by faith," wouldn't you say?
As a rule, the GOP presidential field realizes that the president’s name isn’t supposed to be uttered at all. In the most recent presidential candidate, not a single Republican hopeful used the word “Bush” over the course of the 90-minute event. This, of course, makes sense -- candidates don't want to align themselves with the least popular president in the modern political era.
But that's just rhetorical. Paul Krugman explains today that when it comes to substance, the GOP candidates are effectively promising four more years.
On one side, the Democrats are all promising to get out of Iraq and offering strongly progressive policies on taxes, health care and the environment. That’s understandable: the public hates the war, and public opinion seems to be running in a progressive direction.
What seems harder to understand is what’s happening on the other side — the degree to which almost all the Republicans have chosen to align themselves closely with the unpopular policies of an unpopular president. And I’m not just talking about their continuing enthusiasm for the Iraq war. The G.O.P. candidates are equally supportive of Bush economic policies. [...]
In fact, however, except for Mike Huckabee — a peculiar case who’ll deserve more discussion if he stays in contention — the leading Republican contenders have gone out of their way to assure voters that they will not deviate an inch from the Bush path. Why? Because the G.O.P. is still controlled by a conservative movement that does not tolerate deviations from tax-cutting, free-market, greed-is-good orthodoxy.
The more things change, the more the Republican Party stays the same.