Hackgate: Rabid Weasels All the Way Down

(Jeff Danziger’s website)

H/t commentor PeakVT for the link to Reuter’s report that Rebekah Brooks was not a nice person to work for:

When Brooks became editor, at age 31, she had a brief to broaden the paper’s appeal by intensifying the focus on celebrity and showbusiness news and publishing fewer of the harder stories the paper had been known for…
At the same time, the pressure to get exclusive stories was so intense that dubious practices were barely questioned. “They were ‘dodgy business HQ’. I’m not sure if people even realised it was illegal. It was a don’t-get-caught culture,” said the reporter of seven years’ standing. New staff would be given the cold shoulder until they’d proved themselves to be “thoroughly disreputable” so their colleagues could trust them.
“It was no place for anyone to pipe up and say: ‘This doesn’t seem ethical to me.’ That would have made you a laughing stock.”
Journalists didn’t explicitly ask for private investigators to get involved in their work, but help would be provided if a reporter got stuck on a promising story. “How it arrived on your desk was a bit of a mystery. You didn’t know and you didn’t ask,” said the reporter. “Every week, somebody’s mobile phone records, somebody’s landline records, sometimes even somebody’s medical records. It was common enough not to be notable.”

Much more disreputable detail at the link. Hoocoodanode seems less and less a defensible legal strategy.

If you prefer something inspirational on a Monday morning, Adweek has a nice little piece on “The Ben Bradlee of Phone Hacking:’Guardian’ editor Alan Rusbridger wouldn’t let investigation die”. (Complete with quotes from the NYT‘s Bill Keller sneering that the Guardian ain’t got no dolla-dolla, and should hurry up and die already.)

And another wonderful tidbit via commentor whose name I’ve misplaced JGabriel (thanks, Sharl!):

Elected conservatives outsource all their work to corporations, leaving me wondering what they do all day

Excellent all-in-one-place piece on ALEC in ProPublica:

This week, both the Los Angeles Times and The Nation put the spotlight on a little-known but influential conservative nonprofit that creates “model” state legislation that often make its way into law. The organization has helped craft some of the most controversial—and industry-friendly—legislation of recent years.
The American Legislative Exchange Council,ALEC, crafted a model resolution for states calling the EPA’s attempts to regulate greenhouse gasses a “trainwreck” and asking Congress to slow or stop the regulations, the Times reported. A press release on ALEC’s site says that at least 13 other states have passed resolutions

It calls itself a “policy making program that unites members of the public and private sectors in a dynamic partnership” based on “Jeffersonian principles.” Critics say it has devolved into a pay-for-play operation, where state legislators and their families get to go on industry-funded junkets and major corporations get to ghostwrite model laws and pass them on to receptive politicians.

I know the information on ALEC has been floating around for months on liberal sites, so it’s heartening to see that news outlets (LA Times, NPR) are now picking it up.

Here’s where you can find the ALEC-drafted bill your state legislator is introducing as his or her own work, “word for word”, in the case of the recent Arizona immigration law:

The Center for Media and Democracy has obtained copies of more than 800 model bills approved by corporations through ALEC meetings, after one of the thousands of people with access shared them, and a whistleblower provided a copy to the Center. We have analyzed and marked-up those bills and made them available at ALEC Exposed.

Looking at the categories, it’s easy to understand why monied interests are drafting this legislation and introducing it in state legislatures all over the country. The profit incentives are clear when they are privatizing public schools and destroying unions, or limiting the right of individual citizens to hold a wrongdoer responsible for money damages suffered, or gutting environmental regulations, or rewriting a state tax code. Those are obvious. What’s interesting is the voter ID bill. That really sticks out. No profit incentive there, so what’s that all about, I wonder?

Debt Ceiling Kerfuffle: Lawrence O’Donnell Explains that Liberal Outrage Helps Obama With Swing Voters

Gigantic Cloud of Smug

Tonight, Lawrence O’Donnell dropped some more knowledge about the debt ceiling negotiations, and I must admit to a sense of self-satisfaction that what he said tonight dovetails nicely with what I’ve been saying for a week (see e.g.here and here) about Obama governing and courting swing voters1 simultaneously:

Outrage notes have been struck today in the liberal blogosphere and elsewhere that the President was entertaining modest modifications in Medicare and Social Security that could save trillions, even though liberal democrats in the past have done exactly that. The President’s willingness to discuss raising the retirement age in Medicare or Social Security has met rage from some who don’t know that the eligibility age of Social Security has already been raised, that a gradual increase of a retirement age was enacted in 1983, increasing the full retirement from 65 to 67, and that increase had the support of liberals in the House and the Senate.

Read more

Like they love PAC

Sarah Palin’s PAC subsidized her family vacation (via):

Sarah Palin’s political action committee spent tens of thousands of dollars covering the costs of the former Alaska governor’s “One Nation” East Coast bus tour this spring — a trip that Palin (R) has repeatedly characterized as a “family vacation.”

According to a list of itemized expenditures filed by SarahPAC to the Federal Elections Committee and published Thursday, Palin’s committee spent nearly $14,000 on the “bus wrap” that festooned the family’s tour bus with images of the Liberty Bell, Constitution and American flag. The committee spent $10,000 on “logistical trip consulting,” $3,600 to the bus driver and at least $7,000 on lodging.

In other news, as ABL points out, Jane Hamsher is on the anti-Obama warpath.

Griters gonna grift. There’s an audience for anti-Obama Firebagging, there’s a bigger audience for leatherclad teabagging motorcycle mamas. That’s about the only difference. Let’s quit pretending otherwise, once and for all.

Update. I want to be clear here, I am not that much of an Obot these days. I read Krugman’s and Atrios’s criticism of how Obama has handled the economy every day and I agree with a lot of it. I am not confident the budget debt ceiling deal Obama makes will be a great one. I love Tbogg. But FDL’s attacks on Obama and his supporters are nuts, and they’re not worth taking seriously.

Jane Hamsher Calls Obama Supporters “Dumb Motherfuckers.”

Hey, it’s better than Joan Walsh’s favorite term: Obamalovers

Keep your eye on Firedoglake, people. That ship is sinking fast. Jane Hamsher is suffering stage 5 Obama Derangement Syndrome. It’s so bad that she is now ignoring what Democratic aides have reported regarding Obama’s meeting with Cantor, and is sucking the milk from Cantor’s teat:

For the record I don’t think it’s a big deal if Obama has to take sole responsibility for raising the debt limit. But he does.

It undermines his intention to run in 2012 as the “fiscally responsible” guy who closed the deficit, and that’s why he is cussing mad. Well, that and the fact that he has to undergo ritual humiliation at the hands of the GOP every 2 months to get what he wants.

The irony is that the Obamabots are so out of touch with who Obama is and what he wants they don’t realize that by cheering for the McConnell deal, and his prowess in making McConnell “blink,” it amounts to twisting the knife for him. It makes it impossible for him to reject the deal the end — which empowers the GOP to hold out.

Cantor offered a temporary extension three times last night, and by both Democratic and GOP accounts, that’s what made Obama snap. He wouldn’t be rejecting it “even if it brings my presidency down,” and taking his case to the American people, if he thought he had scored some big victory.

You gotta feel sorry for the guy. His most ardent supporters are the dumbest motherfuckers in the world, and they don’t realize he thinks they are digging his political grave.

At this point, Jane Hamsher is a parody of herself. She spews whatever brain jizz happens to be coagulating in her mind directly into the faces of her sycophants, and they lap that shit up like their only dream in life is to play the role of Hamsher PermaFluffer. I mean, it’s downright comical.

Read more