AT&T Ripping People Off, No Wai!!!

AT&T reserves the right to change its terms of service by sending its Internet service customers an e-mail. Apparently, it also reserves the right to deposit those e-mails into its customers’ junk mail folders.

Last month, AT&T made some controversial changes to its Internet policies. Verbiage indicating that high-bandwidth users might experience some intentional slowdowns irritated some techies; another section that forces customers to use binding arbitration to resolve disputes annoyed consumer organizations; and an L.A. Times reporter bristled at the size of the full new agreement — 2,500 pages.

via AT&T customer caught in ‘spam-22’ – The Red Tape Chronicles –

Note: I am an AT&T customer (damn you Apple) and I haven’t seen an updated user agreement ever.  Expect the scams to get worse before they get better.

Previous rant re: telecom ripoff here.

Senator McCain, Her 8-Year-Old Has a Question

Last night, our nation’s unfolding economic crisis came home to roost on my personal Main Street.

Last night, my eight-year-old connected the dots and began to fear.

Last night, my eight-year-old cried.

And, then, last night, my eight-year-old started asking pointed questions.

via Daily Kos: UPDATED: Senator McCain, My 8-Year-Old Has a Question

Some good writing over at Kos.  It’s funny watching people who have no idea how that site works lambast it as if it was a single person.

Rick Noriega on FISA

I was just watching some videos for this previous post and I ran into the one below.

That video was posted in June.

This is the story [posted here], from this week.

WASHINGTON – The Senate Select Intelligence Committee is looking into allegations from two U.S. military linguists that the government routinely listened in on phone calls of American military and humanitarian aid workers serving overseas.

“These are extremely disturbing allegations,” said Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., in a statement issued Thursday. “We have requested all relevant information from the Bush administration. Any time there is an allegation regarding abuse of the privacy and civil liberties of Americans it is a very serious matter.”

ABC News first reported the charges Thursday, citing one current and one former military linguist by name. They are contained in the book “The Shadow Factory,” to be published next week.

Rick Noriega was one of the guys they listened to.  His was some of the pillow-talk they recorded and passed around.  He didn’t like it.  Now he’s running for Senate.  Works for me.  Heckuva lot better’n Cornyn who spent 2004 talking about how great the war on Terror (in Iraq) was going, not fighting it in Afghanistan.

BTW, here is Cornyn on voting with Bush to approve warrantless wireless of the communications of American citizens.

Earlier this week,Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex
mentioned an article written on Texas Insider in which Senator Cornyn made clear his stand on FISA.

[John Cornyn:]

America’s elected leaders have a duty to keep the American people safe. We know that the ability to obtain the right information at the right time is critically important in our struggle against radical Islamic terrorists….”

Yeah right.

With all due respect, Mr. Cornyn, it is also the duty of our elected leaders to serve the people whom they represent and to protect our Constitutional rights. The warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is not only unconstitutional, it is also a mechanism only a police state would use. We elect Presidents in this great nation thank you. We do not install dictators or crown kings.

[full post]

To be clear, Obama also voted for that dang FISA bill.  Hopefully he’ll flip-flop on that now that we know what it has been used for.  I can understand why he’d vote for it to avoid the “weak vs his Mulin terrist brothers” nutters, but that’s about it.   It needs to be fixed.


John “Corny” Cornyn’s “Cow Whisperer” Ads and Rick Noriega’s Response

For as much money as John Cornyn has, he sure is spending it in the most bizarre ways, and on some of the most in-effective TV ads I can imagine.After mucking up his launch by running ads immediately after Hurricane Ike and running them for two weeks statewide with seeing a negative bump in the polls, his campaign unveiled their latest ad.

John Cornyn has moved from a canyon- to a field of cows.

No, I’m not kidding. Watch it.

via Burnt Orange Report::: John Cornyn’s New Ad: “The Cow Whisperer”

This is such a joke.  C’mon, gimme a break.

Cornyn has been in lock-step with Bush his entire time in the Senate.  He defends him at every turn.  He’s as big a problem with what has happened as Bush is.  Except he had less power.  Regardless, he was with Bush on everything.  And I don’t think I can be literal enough about that.

Sadly, this is what he’s up against.

There he was, trying to attract Texans’ attention by holding a Webcast town hall meeting to answer voter questions about his U.S. Senate race.

Two minutes later, Democrat Rick Noriega’s show turned to static. Lots of static. Then the camera tilted upside down. Then more static. The screen went to black. A few voters’ questions could be heard, but Noriega’s answers were often interrupted by audio and video glitches.

Technical troubles aren’t the only difficulties lately for Noriega’s long shot bid to oust Republican Sen. John Cornyn. Faced with Cornyn’s far larger bank account and advantage of incumbency in a predominantly Republican state, Noriega has little room for error. Yet his campaign continues to stumble on matters big and small.

[full story]


Seriously though, the guy’s name is Rick Noriega, which is a tough name to run on in the U.S., much less Texas.

He’s got a funny ad though.

…which has been seen roughly twice as many times as my own video from last week regarding the economic collapse and who to blame…which inlcudes John Cornyn.

Twice.  Which is sad, because I’m not even running for Senate.

BTW, you can read about their recent debate here.

From the polls I’ve seen, Corny is up about 6 or 7 points.  Hopefully as McFailin continues to implode and Obama surges, it will drag along the Texas electorate.   I know that sounds pretty fanciful, but you would be surprised at the Obama/McCain car sticker ratio in Dallas, which is where the “W Museum” is being built (and a “W Hotel” already has been).

Why Monarchy Sucked

The children of Paul Emery Washington think of their father as an unpretentious, generous guy who climbed the corporate ladder to become regional manager at CertainTeed manufacturing, a building-supply company. Now 82, he takes care of his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, while spending time on the San Antonio, Texas, property that he shares with his children. “I think he would’ve been a great king,” says son Bill Washington—a statement, we admit, that might seem a little odd. Except that Paul Emery Washington is a direct descendant of George Washington, our nation’s first president and perhaps the only man in history who turned down the position of monarch.

via America’s ‘Lost Monarchy’: The Man Who Would Be King | Newsweek Culture |

Look, I know you get a big bonus in your capital when there is a monarchy, and you can declare war on whomever you like whenever you like, but the simple fact is that the downsides of recessive genes overweigh the acts of our fathers nearly every single time.

Palin Moves Past “Joke” Territory, Heads Toward “Cliche”

There’s a couple Sarah Palin stories that I want to get out of the way, much like history will do with her candidacy.

First I’ll mention how the McCain /Palin Campaign pre-emptively cleared Palin from wrongdoing (much like Bush pre-emptively invaded Iraq).   Then I’m going to mention the actual Branchflower Report, which found she had abused her power in an unethical manner [available here in PDF form].

After that I’ll talk about her reality-denying interview regarding the Alaskan probe.  Then I’ll point out who she really blames for the problem.  Finally I’ll point out how her recent, insane rhetoric has backfired, how her tone has allegedly changed, and how it’s still a joke.

First: The McCain / Palin Campaign clears themselves of any wrongdoing.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska [Thursday] October 9, 2008 (AP)

Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.

Lawmakers are expected to release their own findings Friday. Campaign officials have yet to see that report — the result of an investigation that began before she was tapped as McCain’s running mate — but said the investigation has falsely portrayed a legitimate policy dispute between a governor and her commissioner as something inappropriate.

“The following document will prove Walt Monegan’s dismissal was a result of his insubordination and budgetary clashes with Governor Palin and her administration,” campaign officials wrote. “Trooper Wooten is a separate issue.”

“I just hope that the truth is figured out,” Monegan told The Associated Press on Thursday. “That the governor did want me to fire him, and I chose to not. You just can’t walk up to someone and say, ‘I fire you.’ He didn’t do anything under my watch to result in termination.”

[full story]

Nice move.  Very Bush-like.  Hmm, how’d that work out for us?

Well, let’s see what the ACTUAL report says.  This one is easily illustrated with th e picture below , and this soundbyte.

Palin Probe Reveals Ethical Lapses

Palin Probe Reveals Ethical Lapses

 Here’s the relevant parts of the interview… I’ll go ahead and put the obvious bullshit in italics.

[Opening Statement]

Palin: OK cool.

Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing … any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.

[Todd] did what any – I think — any rational person would do so again, nothing to apologize there with Todd’s actions and again very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

[First Question]

ADN: Governor, finding No.1 on the report was that you abused your power by violating state law. Do you think you did anything wrong at all in this Troopergate case?

Palin: Not at all and I’ll tell you…

So no, not having done anything wrong, and again very much appreciating being cleared of any legal wrongdoing or unethical activity at all.

[Second Question]

ADN: Have you read the whole report? (No response; Stapleton [Palin’s Aide] invites question from KTVA reporter).

KTVA-Channel 11: … The report that came out yesterday, do you think that the end result is partisan?

 Yes, you read that right.  They cut off the reporter who was asking the simple follow-up…”Did you read the report?”  The reporter asked this because Palin stated something that was completely the opposite of what the report just said, much like their pre-emptive report did.   She then contines to do so, after blaming everyone else for her ethical lapse.

She did single out one person, above all else, to blame for this mess….here’s the focused version…from a comment on Fark…

whizbang Quote 2008-10-12 08:45:28 PM  
Well, it’s certainly consistent with their First-Dude-Takes-the-Heat defense strategy:

Todd did what anyone would have done given this state trooper’s very, very troubling behavior and his dangerous threats against our family.

Todd did what I think any Alaskan would do. And he,

Todd did what the state’s Department of Law Web site tells anyone to do if they have a concern about a state trooper. And that’s you go to the commissioner and you express your concern. And

Todd did what our personal detail asked him to do. Bob Cockrell early on as I was elected and was asked are there any threats against you, and

Todd brought the concern as I did to Commissioner Monegan about the state trooper’s threats.

He did what any – I think — any rational person would do so again, nothing to apologize there with

Todd’s actions and again very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing.

 Note also that thinking it is “rational” and normal for someone to use the Governor’s office to call directly and talk to a commissioner directly about their ex-brother-in-law is completely insane.  The access that Sarah gave Todd makes it plenty evident that she drew no boundaries regarding his access to her personnel and her authority as Governor.  It is idiotic to try and argue that it was without her knowledge and not part of her agenda.  But that’s their argument.

To go and get caught red-handed and then throw your own husband under the bus…all the while denying you did anything wrong?

C’mon, Plain [sp], give us a break.  No wonder you got booed.


So that’s one example of how detached this person is.    Let’s look at one more example to put this argument to bed. 

Sarah begins…

[quotes taken from this article]

“It’s not negative and it’s not mean-spirited in a campaign for me to ask you to check out our opponent’s record, and I would ask you to check out our opponent’s record ….”

And you know she’s going for the Ayer’s thing, right?  Like she did last week, right?  LIke how she said Obama was hanging around with terrorists?  You folks remember this, right?  Because that’s not what happend at all…

“…check out our opponent’s record on a couple of the legislative opportunities that Barack Obama has had to reflect his feelings on the same issue that I just talked about,” Palin said. “I’m not being negative, not mean-spirited, but please check out his record on partial birth abortion and on the Child Born-Alive Act, and I’ll let you judge for yourself.” 

Oooh, good one.  Going for the “Obama is a Baby Killer” argument.  Nah, that’s not negative or mean-spirited.

And neither is this…

“All across America, I know that there’s a lot of anger right now,” Palin said.

Right, right, I know, people are pissed the “Arab” terrorist might win the election, right?

What? No? Then what is it?

“There’s anger about the insider dealing of lobbyists and anger at the greed of Wall Street, and anger about the arrogance of the Washington elite. And with serious reforms to change Washington, John McCain is going to turn your anger into action.”

Aaah, I see.  People are mad the “Washington elite”.  You know.   People born and bred in Washington. The sons of Admirals and Vice Presidents.   Ya know…those elites…Republican presidential candidates.

She goes to talk about the good guys and bad guys.

“Help me Ohio to help put John McCain in the White House,” Palin said. “He understands… For one thing, we know who the bad guys are, OK? We know, we know that in the war, it’s terrorists, terrorists who hate America and her allies and would seek to destroy us, and the bad guys are those who would support and sympathize with the terrorists. They do not like America because of what we stand for: liberty, freedom, equal rights. Those who sympathize and support those terrorists who would seek to destroy all that it is that we value, those are the bad guys, ok?”

This is toning it down?  Last week she says that Obama sympathizes and pals around with terrorists.  This week she says that the terrorist are the bad guys (along with lobbyists like a young John McCain and “Greedy Wall Street” types, i.e. jews).

Her followers know what she really means.  Obama is the Bad Guy.

I guess when you are completely ignorant of, or just flat out ignore history and facts and such.  And don’t feel the need to “look to the past” as she’s so fond of saying….you can make such ridiculous claims in public with a straight face.

When you study history and know that the term “Founding Fathers” is damn near synonymous with “Elitist Lawyers” and then look at what this country has had to go through to get to where it is, I don’t think you could.

Many of the men who started this country were out-of-the-closet INTELLECTUALS.  And LIBERAL ONES too.

I completely understand that the “liberal” and “conservative” of over 200 years ago bears little resemblance to that of today, but this culture war against knowledge and history and science needs to stop.  This thinly vieled argument that Barack Obama is a Terrorist Who Hates America really needs to stop.

This kind of politics needs to stop now.  If it doesn’t, we can make absolutely sure this kind of politics stops in a few weeks, when we get a chance to exercise the power that a bunch of rich, elitist, patriotic laywers and slave-owning intellectuals decided in their slightly-less-than-infinite wisdom to give to the common people.

Infinite wisdom is reserved for the Almighty and I think we can all agree now, as Americans, that Almighty we are not.