Milestones

At nine months old, guess who just defeated her first “child-safe” device?

DMDFII looks pretty proud of herself in this pic, as she should.

In the usual parenting split Dr. Mrs. Dr. F. wants pretty much everything locked down and bumpered while I tend to take things more casually. Still, to please her I have started looking for alternatives. Maybe we should embrace the twenty first century and protect the toilet using an electronic lock with automatic online updates and encrypted two-factor authentication. I could link it up with the fridge and the gas furnace and give the system an innocuous acronym name like Handy Automated Living. What could possibly go wrong.

Chat about whatever.








Open Thread


Does daddy have a shotgun?








Tuesday Morning Open Thread

Programming note:

In United States of Secrets, a two-part series airing May 13 and 20, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to reveal the dramatic inside story of the U.S. government’s massive and controversial secret surveillance program—and the lengths they went to trying to keep it hidden from the public.

Part one, from Michael Kirk (League of Denial, Bush’s War), goes inside Washington to piece together the secret political history of “The Program,” which began in the wake of September 11 and continues today—even after the revelations of its existence by Edward Snowden.

Then, in part two, Martin Smith (The Untouchables, To Catch a Trader) explores the secret relationship between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency: How have the government and tech companies worked together to gather and warehouse your data?…

***********
In other news, per the Washington Post:

The Senate deadlocked Monday on a bipartisan energy bill, with Republicans mounting a filibuster that also is likely to end any near-term consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline proposal that has become a key issue in several critical elections.

The vote Monday — 55 to 36, mostly along party lines — on a modest energy efficiency bill sponsored by Sens. Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) ended a long but sporadic attempt to approve legislation that has been ensnared by several controversial side issues amid Republican attempts to attach amendments to the measure…

***********
Apart from holding actions, what’s on the agenda for the day?








Late Night Open Thread: All the “News” That’s Fit to Stenograph

I’m grateful to Betty Cracker for bringing that GQ interview to our attention, because there’s some very interesting stuff there:

Without [Snowden’s] knowledge, let alone approval or consent, The Guardian gave a ton of documents to The New York Times and to ProPublica. And so, yeah, I mean, The New York Times has no source relationship with Snowden. It was a conscious choice that he made. And so they pretty much have published stuff that he didn’t think should be published, in a way that he didn’t necessarily think it should have been published. That last story being a perfect example, where he got accused of spilling American secrets about espionage against the Chinese, when in reality he had no role whatsoever to play in the decision to publish that story. They can basically damage his reputation by making choices that he doesn’t agree with and never approved.

I think the Times has had a close relationship with the government in the last five to six decades. I mean, it’s interesting, if you go back and read left-leaning media critics during the Vietnam War, they were saying a lot of the same things that left-wing media critics were saying during the Iraq War. That in the wake of 9/11, news-media outlets are disseminating pro-government, pro-war falsehoods by doing nothing more than talking to government officials and laundering their claims as reporting—as though the government is on the editorial board of The New York Times.

Yeah, like the incident you quote in the book about Bill Keller [former executive editor of The New York Times] on the BBC…
Yeah, where he’s boasting about the fact that they don’t publish things without the government being happy with what they’re doing. And it obviously has resulted in the suppression of all kinds of important stories, which is the most inexcusable thing that can happen in journalism. And that has happened repeatedly at the Times. I think they’ve essentially become this mouthpiece for those in power, perhaps not consciously. When I make this critique, people at The New York Times are offended, because they actually don’t believe that it’s happening. And they’re not lying. It’s a more subtle dynamic than the government marching in and issuing memos to the Times about what they should and shouldn’t publish. It’s just a cultural approach to the news that basically says that the parameters of what can be discussed and viewed as reasonable are the ones that are endorsed by the most powerful financial and political factions in New York and Washington. They’re reflecting the mind-set of those elite groups rather than challenging them or confronting them…

… Which is, I do believe, an aspersion about the NYTimes that’s been made right here in this very blog, and not just by me. I also remember various anti- Greenwald commentors exploding with glee over the “spilling American secrets about espionage against the Chinese” narrative, because it proved do you hear PROVED Snowden was just another cheap mercenary, and therefore we could totally dismiss everything he’d said or been quoted as saying.

Just another skirmish in the long OUR TEAM ROCKS UR TEAM SUKKS tribalism that is enobled as the march of human history…








Monday Evening Open Thread: Covering

obamacare not covered toles
(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)

Greg Sargent asks, gleefully, “Are Republicans surrendering on Obamacare?“:

As #Benghazi fever rises among Republicans, the Hill reports this morning that the House GOP has “gone quiet” on Obamacare. There are no scheduled votes or hearings on the Affordable Care Act. Contacted by the Hill, most GOP campaign committees won’t say whether they will be launching any new attacks on the law.

As the Hill puts it: “The lack of action highlights the GOP’s struggle to adjust its message now that enrollment in the exchanges beat projections and the uninsured rate is going down.”

At the same time, the Hill notes that GOP operatives overseeing Senate races remain “conscious of the need to keep a drumbeat going against the law.” The question now: If Republican officials really are backing off on Obamacare, will the base go along?

A new CNN poll illustrates the situation nicely: It finds that far more Americans want to keep Obamacare than repeal it. At the same time, only majorities of Republicans want repeal and only majorities of Republicans think the law is already a failure.

Mr. Sargent’s emphases. Truly, it will be a fine thing this fall if the Repubs can’t get their base to turn out unless they’re vowing to repeal Obamacare… and every time they reiterate that vow, they lose more low-information voters. Every single Democrat needs to campaign on “If you don’t show up in November, the GOP will steal your shiny new affordable healthcare benefits!”
***********
Apart from good news, what’s on the agenda for the evening?