Democratic Underground

Blog Box

March 3, 2006
Compiled and written by Delilah Boyd

Indecent Exposure

Do you want your information super highway to become a toll road? Do you really have to take your gun to work? Is a memory loss expert your only hope in avoiding a perjury conviction? Would you vote against The Honest Leadership Act? If you're a card-carrying member of BushCo, the answer to each of those questions is yes. The good news? Bloggers are exposing these and other Republican indecencies, and the media is reporting what bloggers are writing.

Which Came First: GoogleNet Or PayAsYouGoNet?

I confess. There's no such thing as PayAsYouGoNet (yet), and GoogleNet isn't the official biz subsidiary name, but the battle between these two mythical broadband beasts is heating up fast. Google has been quietly buying up unused fiber-optic cable and superfast connections on the East Coast, and they've piloted a free WiFi hotspot in San Francisco's Union Square shopping district.

Why? Some possible reasons: 1) Google wants to save untold millions by bypassing the middleman (like Comcast) which links up with Google's servers via a wholesaler; 2) Google is trying to stop Big TelCo's attempt to create a PayAsYouGoNet, thereby profiting from targeted avertising revenues; or 3) Big TelCo is trying to thwart Google's free WiFi, TV on demand, and digital video online endeavors in order to make you pay more for their efforts.

At any rate, Big TelCo's lobbyists are busy jawboning Congress today, hoping for a digital class system in America tomorrow. Common Cause has the blast-action congressional email link, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (according to The Jeff Pulver Blog) is poised to introduce a stand-alone bill to preserve net neutrality, and Future Of The Book points out the obvious:

Broadband providers argue that tiered pricing (whether for services or bandwidth) will increase innovation. This argument is deeply flawed. Tier-pricing will not guarantee new and useful services for users, but it will guarantee short term financial gains for the providers. These companies did not invent the Internet nor did they invent the markets for these services. Innovative users (both customers and start-ups) discovered creative ways to use the network. The market for broadband (and the subsequent network) exists because people outgrew the bandwidth capacity of dial-up, as more companies and people posted multimedia on the web. Innovation of this sort creates new demands for bandwidth and increases the customer base and revenue for the broadband providers. New innovative uses generally demand more bandwidth, as seen in p2p, video google, flickr, video ipods, and massively multiplayer online role playing games.

Future Of The Book also quotes Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan, who addressed this issue on Tuesday: "It is not a free lunch for any one of these content providers. Those lines and that access are [already] being paid for by the consumer." If all of this screams "to virtual arms!" to you, a good place to start is Mitchell Szczepanczyk's article, The End Of The Blogosphere?

For what it's worth, my money is on Google, whose customer loyalty is second to none. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have the mysteriously-ever-popular Colin Powell on your executive board, either.

Revolver Rooms and Pistol Parking Lots

Wonder of wonders! Florida turned down an NRA-approved opportunity to force businesses to allow employees to bring guns to work, including possible "gun rooms" and "gun parking lots." The Gun Guys write:

Even lawmakers bought and paid for by the NRA couldn't vote for this bill. And especially not when the NRA went into "compromise" mode, and proposed the dumbest ideas we've heard since New Coke: a "gun room" in every workplace. A separate "gun parking lot" for employers to build and maintain. Sure, NRA. For most people, "compromise" means that you concede some points. For the NRA, it just means make your suggestions even nuttier than they've ever been.

Will the NRA's disappointed gun-toting workers go postal over this loss? Time will tell. In other gun news, The Gun Toting Liberal is averaging 10,000 hits per day now. If you have trouble accessing the site because of the traffic, keep trying! It's a keeper!

Scooter's Hooters

Hooter #1: Scooter Libby's gone and hired Harvard's top memory loss expert. The Daily Nightly points out that "memory loss will be [one of the] 'central themes' of Libby's defense." Funny, I don't recall anyone in the Bush administration touting the hiring of Vice President Cheney's memory-impaired chief-of-staff, do you? The funniest part of this story: the fact that Libby can remember that he needs a memory expert to testify on his behalf.

Hooter #2: But for Arianna Huffington's sources, we might never have learned that MSNBC flunky Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson's father, Richard Carlson (oh, great - another Dick in a bowtie), is Libby's Defense Fundraiser go-to guy. A tiny fact that both MSNBC and Tucker Carlson either didn't think was important to disclose, or they were too busy to remember. On a sub-Hooter #2 note, Tucker's mom is the Swanson's Frozen Food heiress. The boycott will now commence.

One final note: NewsMeat lists both Mr. and Mrs. Carlson as bigtime Republican donors, who even gave money to Bob Dole in '96. I know. Shocker.

What Civil War? Where?

Listening has never been one of George W. Bush's strengths, but Point-X Rants cites eleven warnings from experts on Iraq descending into civil war, which the president (by way of his handlers) ignored completely... including the warning by his own father.

You're Gay? You're Out, Soldier! (But Not Yet. We Still Need You to Fight.)

It's 2006. It's ridiculous that our military is still discriminating against gays. This throwback issue reminds me of those Geico caveman commercials, but not in a good way. Case in point, the sad story of an army soldier serving in Afghanistan whose profile on a gay personals site (sans military status or any other hint of military association whatsoever) has garnered an involuntary discharge - but only after the completion of the soldier's tour of duty "mission," of course. Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Worry has the details (including conflicting reports by the two snitchers) of this and our military's other secret, undisclosed discriminatory policies. Check it out. This blog is definitely bookmark-worthy!

Culture Of Corruption Club

FiredUp!America hoped last Friday that Brent Wilkes would join the ranks of indicted Abramoff co-conspirators:

Once Again The Noose Tightens Around The House GOP
Submitted by Roy Temple on Fri, 02/24/2006 - 6:30am.
GOP AbraMafia | GOP Culture of Corruption

Mitchell Wade, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Rep. Duke Cunningham bribery scandal, will become an "indicted co-conspirator" later today.

According to the AP, Wade will plead guilty to unspecified charges in Washington.

This is extremely bad news for the GOP, as this will give the feds yet another cooperating witness in their ongoing corruption probe of DeLay and others.

Wade, and fellow defense contractor Brent Wilkes, showered GOP House members with campaign contributions, and in at least one case, bribes, in return for earmarked defense contracts.

We're still waiting for the Wilkes frog march; however, Larry Johnson at No Quarter has connected the Wilkes-Foggo (CIA's No. 3 guy) dots. Apparently, the CIA's Kyle Dustin "Dusty" Foggo not only handed Wilkes the contract to supply all of the water to our Iraq forces, they're so close that they named their children after each other. Either the crickets are chirping, or serious plea bargaining is in progress.

So many Republican criminals. So little column space. Some of the talented bloggers posting on the Republican culture of corruption this week: Love Ministries, Stubborn Liberal, Target The Corrupt Republican Campaign, and Persuasion, Perseverance and Patience. This week's GOP throat-throttler post comes from National Debunker:

Down the rabbit hole in the nation's capitol.

The House Republican campaign operation is charging that a recently released Democratic report on Republican corruption violated House ethics rules because, er, it reported on Republican ethical violations.

For those still struggling to convince their BushCo-loving friends and families that Republican corruption is rampant, ask them to explain why Republicans defeated the Honest Leadership Act this week. For details, visit Senator Harry Reid's blog, Give 'Em Hell Harry.

Bigots vs. Gay Adoption

More hatred. More fear. More wedge-issue cash raised. Hughes For America predicts gay adoption will be this year's battle cry for cash as Republicans face voter dissatisfaction at the polls.

The Rovian Republicans are at it again. As the 2006 election approaches, right-wing strategists realize that to maintain power, they must again rile up their base. Give conservatives a reason to fight the culture war from the ballot box, the thinking goes, and their presence will help guarantee top-ticket results.

What were statewide gay marriage bans in 2004 appear to be gay adoption bans this fall. Ballot initiatives in 16 states speak to the fact that the Republican Party is again relying on deeply held biases to stay in office.

To me, however, there's no moderation on this issue. There's no gray area. There's no coalition to be formed. There's right and there's wrong. There's love and there's hate. Call me stubborn and close-minded, but if you are against gay adoption, you are a bigot. A hateful, prejudiced bigot.

You're not stubborn, Hughes. You're intelligent and kind.

George W. Kiss Of Death

According to BluegrassReport, wingnut Rep. Geoff Davis (R) avoided President Bush last Thursday like the plague. Funny - as of Feb. 13th, Davis was counting on Bush to help his floundering re-election campaign. Bluegrass has the goods on Davis:

Back in 2004, Davis traveled to Cincinnati during a Bush visit and boarded Air Force One so that they could emerge from the plane together (see left).

Also, National Journal just released its 2006 House rankings yesterday and listed this race as #12:

12. KENTUCKY-04 (Davis-R)

In any case, we can't ignore initial Democrat polling, which shows Ken Lucas already ahead of Geoff Davis. And the GOP brand is getting killed right now in the Cincinnati media market, which might offset the automatic GOP advantage this district gives to Davis.

And the Bush self-inflicted hits just keep on coming! From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

Bush at cabinet meeting: "And so people don't need to worry about security. This deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America."

Say what? Remember when your English teacher made you transpose clauses ad nauseam?

If we were concerned about the security for the United States of America, this deal wouldn't go forward.

Laugh riot: the president is still defending the UAE port deal. Gun Toting Liberal notes that the press and the entire flippin' Republican machine either can't count, or they don't want you to know that Dubai Ports World, owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, would actually control 21 American ports. Six. Twenty-one. What's the difference among culture of corruption friends? Truly heavy sigh.

President Doofus Dives In The Polls. Again. Still.

Bloggers are all buzzing, but the snarkiest post on the prez's plummeting poll numbers comes from Jessica's Universe:

i'm not going to mention bush's approval rating i'm not going to mention bush's approval rating... it's at 34%, but i'm not going to mention it.

i will, however, mention cheney's at 18%.

On The Bright Side

Carnival of the Liberals #7 is up at! Don't miss the videos incorporated into the blog posts. And the entire cast of West Wing will reunite for the final episodes - The Medium Is Not Enough even speculates that Sam will replace Leo as the vice president.

Last but not least on the good news front, almost every blog post covered in this week's Blog Box was recommended by readers. Keep sending those links, and start a blog if you don't have one already! Each day brings us another exposed Republican indecency, and Republicans are beginning to eat their own. Pass the popcorn.

Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations to Delilah.

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