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    • Cambridge Analytica, FaceBook And Inevitable Abuses That Inevitably Happen
      So, you’re probably aware of the furor over Cambridge Analytica. They scraped Facebook’s database, and used the psychological information to craft their campaign. They have also been caught on tape admitting they do dirty tricks like honey traps, and propaganda (knowing lies). And there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. First of all, it […]
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Friday Open Thread

NFL conference championships are on Sunday. The Jets will face Indy in the Who’s-yer-new-sponsor Dome while the Vikes play the Saints in NOLA.

What are you doing this weekend?



Over at Zsa Zsa’s Huff&Puff they are pimping the above video under the headline:

Scott Brown’s Wife Music VIDEO: Gail Huff’s RACY ‘Girl With The Curious Hand’ (PHOTOS)

The article goes on to report:

On Tuesday night, Scott Brown’s wife pleaded with her husband to stop advertising his “available” daughters, but a video we’ve dug up reveals that Gail Huff wasn’t always so prim and proper.

The Massachusetts senator-elect’s wife, who now works as a reporter for Boston station WCVB-TV, starred in singer Digney Fingus’ 1984 video for a song called “The Girl With The Curious Hand.”

In the video […] Huff struts around and sunbathes in a black bikini, the top of which she removes at one point before diving into water. At the song’s climax, she suggestively squeezes a tube of sunscreen, perhaps explaining the curiosity of this girl’s hand.

Yes, that’s right – that shameless hussy appeared in public in a bikini! She strutted and suggestively squeezed! And if you watch the grainy clip very carefully, you’ll very briefly see there is no bikini strap across her back as she dives from a boat into the water, proving beyond all doubt her boobies were exposed (but not visible on the video) for a few tenths of a second!

Good grief! What is wrong with progressives these days?

Watch the video and make up your own mind. (WARNING: the music is almost as lame as the HuffPo article)

Friday Afternoon News and Views: Have We Finally Reached A Tipping Point?

The boiling point

Tipping points: the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable; the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point. (Malcolm Gladwell)

Was the special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat the final straw for Obama supporters and for Obama’s corporate agenda? It sure looks that way. The signs are everywhere: prog blogs are in chaos, big media is finally beginning to notice that Obama is arrogant and out of touch, and even the most far-gone Koolaid drinkers are beginning to sober up. Firedoglake is morphing into a blog that resembles TC back in June of 2008.

Oddly, Krugman is still hanging in there with the Koolaid Krowd. He wants the House to pass the Senate bill right away. WTF?! Just what drug did they feed him at that White House dinner anyway? Or are the bosses at the NYT holding a gun to his head as he writes his columns?

Elsewhere, all around the ‘net, hundreds of Koolaid drinkers are jumping on the wagon every day. Let’s take a brief tour.

At The Nation, William Greider calls the Massachusetts election results a “pie in the President’s face.”

The special election displayed monumental miscalculations by which Obama has governed, both in priorities and political-legislative strategies. It may seem perverse and unfair, but the president’s various actions for reform generated a vaguely poisonous identity. Amid the general suffering, Obama is widely seen as collaborating with two popular villains–the me-first bankers and over-educated policy technocrats of the permanent governing elite. Obama made nice with the bankers and loaded up his administration with Harvard policy wonks who really don’t know the country. These malignant associations gain traction because people see there are grains of truth in observable reality.

Greider still has a way to go–he still adores Obama’s “soaring rhetoric,” and he thinks Obama just followed the advice of his bad advisers and needs to fire them and hire new ones. But it’s a start. Greider is a smart man. He’ll get it eventually.

Drew Westen has been on Obama case for awhile now, but this post is even more emphatic than the past few he has written.

The President’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that we have a two-party system, his insistence on making destructive concessions to the same party voters he had sent packing twice in a row in the name of “bipartisanship,” and his refusal ever to utter the words “I am a Democrat” and to articulate what that means, are not among his virtues. We have competing ideas in a democracy — and hence competing parties — for a reason. To paper them over and pretend they do not exist, particularly when the ideology of one of the parties has proven so devastating to the lives of everyday Americans, is not a virtue. It is an abdication of responsibility.

I’ve got his book The Political Brain lying around here somewhere. Maybe I’ll read it.

And it sure does look like Obama’s agenda is about to topple over, doesn’t it? Roll call has the startling news that Ben Bernanke’s reappointment is in trouble. It’s subscription only, but D-day has quotes at FDL.

Ben Bernanke’s nomination to serve a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve appears to be in peril. Bernanke is up for a second term at the Fed; his current term expires in 10 days on Jan. 31. A handful of Senators had previously threatened to filibuster the nomination, but this week the number of opposing lawmakers appeared to grow, further dimming his prospects for installment.

“I think it’s worthy of a review,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who is undecided.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met with Bernanke on Thursday, one day after Democrats voiced concerns during their weekly policy luncheon about the nomination. In a statement after his meeting with the Fed chairman, Reid was coy, saying the two met “to discuss the best ways to strengthen and stabilize our economy.” […]

At Wednesday’s Democratic caucus meeting, according to Senators, liberals spoke out against confirming Bernanke for a second term. Those liberals tried to make the case that the White House needs to put in place fresh economic advisers to focus on “Main Street” issues like unemployment rather than Wall Street concerns. Moderates were more reserved, Senators said, but have similarly withheld their support for Bernanke.


At Politico: Dem health care talks collapsing

Health care reform teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as House and Senate leaders struggled to coalesce around a strategy to rescue the plan, in the face of growing pessimism among lawmakers that the president’s top priority can survive.

The legislative landscape was filled with obstacles: House Democrats won’t pass the Senate bill. Senate Democrats don’t want to start from scratch just to appease the House. And the White House still isn’t telling Congress how to fix the problem.

Also at Politico: White House caught in Democrats’ crossfire

Congressional Democrats — stunned out of silence by Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts — say they’re done swallowing their anger with President Barack Obama and ready to go public with their gripes.

If the sentiment isn’t quite heads-must-roll, it’s getting there.

Hill Democrats are demanding that Obama’s brain trust — especially senior adviser David Axelrod and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel — shelve their grand legislative ambitions to focus on the economic issues that will determine the fates of shaky Democratic majorities in both houses.

And they want the White House to step up — quickly — to help shape the party’s message and steer it through the wreckage of health care reform.

Double wow!

And get this: even NOW is waking up!!!!!

As Democrats weigh options for health reform following a major setback in the Massachusetts election, the nation’s leading womens’ rights group blasted the legislation as “beyond outrageous.”

The National Organization for Women (NOW) harbors deep concerns with the Senate health legislation, and exclaims that “women will be better off with no bill whatsoever.”

“The Senate bill contains such fierce anti-abortion language, and there are other problems from the point of view of women,” NOW’s President Terry O’Neill told Raw Story in an interview.

O’Neill said NOW “will not support candidates in 2010 if they vote for it.”

Triple Wow!!!!

Will Scott Brown be the savior of the Democratic Party? It’s too early to tell yet, but it does look like we’ve reached a tipping point. Please post your own “tipping point” links in the comments.


Hillary Clinton Channels FDR in Internet Freedom Speech

Some people call us Hillary Die Hards like that’s a *bad* thing.  But there’s a reason we supported her for president of the US.  She leads from her principles.

That’s it.  The whole shebang.  We didn’t think she was perfect or transformative or a magical change agent.  We figured that she’d piss us off occasionally.  But in general, there’s a bedrock foundation of belief and commitment to her values and we can pretty much predict what side she’s going to come down on an issue.

That’s why the speech she gave yesterday at the Newseum in Washington came as no surprise to me.  The earthquake in Haiti has obscured the seismic activity in China that occurred last week when Google refused to continue censoring its search engine for the Chinese audience at their government’s demands.  It is also alleged that government sanctioned hackers have accessed 40 0r more companies, including Google, in order to look for information on Chinese dissidents and to steal source code and intellectual property.  These are very serious allegations.  Censorship and persecution of dissidence  are abhorrent and anyone who works with proprietary information in large databases knows how valuable that information is.

Yesterday, Hillary threw down the gauntlet and committed the State Department to preserving and extending the ability of all countries to use the internet as a means of expression, commerce, education and connection with each other.  Here’s a small sample of that speech:

On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.

Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They have provided a lodestar to every succeeding generation, guiding us, galvanizing us, and enabling us to move forward in the face of uncertainty.

So as technology hurtles forward, we must think back to that legacy. We need to synchronize our technological progress with our principles. In accepting the Nobel Prize, President Obama spoke about the need to build a world in which peace rests on the inherent rights and dignities of every individual. And in my speech on human rights at Georgetown a few days later, I talked about how we must find ways to make human rights a reality. Today, we find an urgent need to protect these freedoms on the digital frontiers of the 21st century.

There are many other networks in the world. Some aid in the movement of people or resources, and some facilitate exchanges between individuals with the same work or interests. But the internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them. This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship.

As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history. But history itself has already condemned these tactics. Two months ago, I was in Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leaders gathered at that ceremony paid tribute to the courageous men and women on the far side of that barrier who made the case against oppression by circulating small pamphlets called samizdat. Now, these leaflets questioned the claims and intentions of dictatorships in the Eastern Bloc and many people paid dearly for distributing them. But their words helped pierce the concrete and concertina wire of the Iron Curtain.

There was a reason why Hillary voted no on retroactive immunity for telecomms in the FISA legislation.  It wasn’t to make Obama look bad.  He did that all on his own.  No, she wanted to protect our privacy so that we could call our president on his boneheaded moves without fear of retribution.

The full text of the speech and a video of the event is available at 21st Century Statecraft at State.gov.

Democrats who fear yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling on corporate campaign donations should get crackin’.  The internet provides a wealth of low cost or free methods of spreading the word, like blogtalkradio, blogging, facebook.  Some candidates have made use of these tools but online media is still in its infancy and has the potential to reach a lot of people who might otherwise get their information from TV.  If you’d thrown your weight behind Hillary, you’d have a friend in the WH right now who would help you protect your precious access.  Looks like you’ll have to do this on your own now.  Get to work!

Nate Silver is clueless

I saw this post titled “Will the Base Abandon Hope?” at the misnamed blog “Politics Done Right” and I had to check to make sure it wasn’t an Onion parody:

So then Barack Obama gets elected, whose very trademark is Hope, and whose very election signifies progress. He promises a lot of things, and you look over the political horizon and see large Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, a logjam of popular, progressive initiatives, and a neutered and discredited opposition party. And you think to yourself: “Well, knock on wood, but this looks pretty fucking good!”.

And for a little while, things are pretty fucking good. Al Franken — Al Franken! — wins in Minnesota! Arlen Specter switches parties! Man, Republicans are so screwed! The stimulus wasn’t perfect (you’re vaguely worried about a couple of things that Krugman said) but you think to yourself: We’re going to be in the majority for a LONG time. There’s no need to blow our wad all at once.

Over the summer, the unemployment rate continues to go up, and the President’s approval rating continues to go down. But all of this seems like a natural enough part of the political process — the same economic cycles that got your candidate elected were going to cause Obama a few problems, weren’t they? The cute wittle tea parties have evolved into the town hall meetings — those are a little scary, actually. But the Democrats bounce back as resolved as ever to pass a health care bill, and the President makes a strong speech. And there’s always Sarah Palin to make fun of.

In the fall, you begin to see some of your friends on the left question the President. You remind yourself that you’re the Adult in the room, and that some people are never going to be happy — don’t they remember Ralph Nader? Truth be told, you have a few questions yourself, especially about the health care bill. But slowly and surely, it’s working its way through Congress.

The Democrats lose a couple of elections in New Jersey and Virginia — and man, what the hell did Maine just do on gay marriage? Copenhagen goes to shit. But then, on Christmas Eve, Ben Nelson votes for the health care bill! It’s not quite the bill you’d like, but it’s an awfully nice holiday gift — the biggest progressive achievement in years.

After the New Year, there are a few more signs of trouble. A bunch of Democrats retire. Polls — not just Rasmussen — show Obama’s approval below 50 percent. Then one shows that things are closer than expected in Massachusetts, where they’re having an election to replace Ted Kennedy. A Republican can’t possibly win the Kennedy seat, can he?

Yes. He. Can.

Oh, shit.

What the fuck?

That passage goes off track in the first sentence and quickly turns into a train wreck. Obama’s slogan was hope, his trademark is bullshit. When he won the election anyone who was paying attention during the primaries was thinking “we are so fucked” and praying to (insert deity of choice) they were wrong.

Real liberals were happy about Al Franken’s election but disgusted with Arlen Specter’s self-serving switcheroo. We expected that Obama would be a one term wonder and wondered if the Democratic majority would survive past 2010. It was progressives that made fun of Sarah Palin, not liberals. (Our idea of “fun” doesn’t include calling women stupid bimbos.)

Obama’s speeches are so lame even Jeebus couldn’t heal them and Ben Nelson put coal in our stockings on Christmas Eve. The only redeeming value in Martha Coakley’s loss was the possible end of Obamacare.

Vaguely worried? We’re running around screaming like our hair is on fire.

Nate Silver needs to put down the Kool-aid and step away from the punchbowl.