The tactics never change….

via tangledwing

3. The Bush crew floats a number of pushback strategies, settling on one that becomes the mantra of virtually every Republican surrogate. These Republicans face down poorly prepped Dem surrogates and shred them on cable news shows.

 Bush Assails Democrats Over Patriot Act

I think this little poke at the sails puts us at number three, though Winslow is right, the rightie noise machine is in full chicken-little gear, we’re all gonna die if the cowboy with no cows doesn’t get his way. Democrats can stand up for principles, for what’s best for security and liberty or roll over like puppies. If we get the puppies scenario, the Right will attack anyway. If they stand their ground and take the Russ Fiengold way, “give me liberty or give me death” in 2006 the majority of Americans, who refuse to live in constant fear, will see the party that stands for principle.

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Benjamin Franklin

Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money —

Just a primer on data mining, the statistics involved and data clusters,  An Overview of Data Mining Techniques

This overview provides a description of some of the most common data mining algorithms in use today.   We have broken the discussion into two sections, each with a specific theme:  

      Classical Techniques: Statistics, Neighborhoods and Clustering 

      Next Generation Techniques: Trees, Networks and Rules

Lesson for 2006, never trust a man that wears a black fedora, Tremors Across Washington as Lobbyist Will Aid Inquiry and Case Bringing New Scrutiny To a System and a Profession

 Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them.

Jack Abramoff is a whore, a hooker that took money to screw over America, its the world’s oldest profession. When its done in the name of politics and power its a public obscenity where all the lipstick and gaudy dresses in the world can’t diguise it. Arrogant people in high places are not the only thing that has been exposed today. Today we see the fiction of free markets,

Not long ago, Mr. Abramoff was perhaps Washington’s most aggressive – and, at $750 an hour, most highly compensated – deal maker, a flamboyant man who moved fluidly through the nexus of money and power. Now his decision to cooperate in a broadening corruption and bribery investigation has thrust him into the role of a corporate insider turning against the company that claimed just to be doing business as usual..NYT

Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been indicted for illegal actions he allegedly took to purchase a fleet of Florida gambling boats from a businessman who was later killed in a gangland-style hit. Other efforts he took to funnel money to support causes of interest to his clients are also being probed.
Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them.- WaPo

This is an article from 2003, deep history in internet years, The Fiction Of Free Trade

Trade treaties erect barriers to trade as often as they remove such barriers. As Wayne Andreas, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland said in 1995: ?There is not one grain of anything in the world that is sold in the free market. Not one. The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians.? As someone well-acquainted with both illegal price fixing and the legal exertion of political power to extract taxpayer subsidies, Andreas knows of what he speaks.

Every society that has ever existed has had its myths with which they hold on to like a man with a lead belt to a life raft. If America wants to cling to some bumber sticker jingoism, I prefer the more humane and realistic “fair trade”. If our system of economics was based on a complete laizzes fair market, the only lobbyists we’d hear about are the save blue whale crowd. People that devote time to saving animals, trees, and health care benefits for workers are notoriously suspicious of easy money.


Behind the magic door is always another door, or for the classically minded a Pandora’s Box, Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show


It is not clear whether General Hayden referred at the briefing to the idea of warrantless eavesdropping. Parts of the letters from Ms. Pelosi and General Hayden concerning other specific aspects of the spy agency’s domestic operation were blacked out because they remain classified. But officials familiar with the uncensored letters said they referred to other aspects of the domestic eavesdropping program.

Bush administration officials said on Tuesday that General Hayden, now the country’s No. 2 intelligence official, had acted on the authority previously granted to the N.S.A., relying on an intelligence directive known as Executive Order 12333, issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. That order set guidelines for the collection of intelligence, including by the N.S.A.

Did that Exe. Order 12333 catch your eye. Most of it the usual boiler plate spy stuff that most of us don’t have a problem with, just think real life 007 stuff, but this caught my attention,

Agencies within the Intelligence Community shall use the least intrusive collection techniques feasible within the United States or directed against United States persons abroad. Agencies are not authorized to use such techniques as electronic surveillance, unconsented physical search, mail surveillance, physical surveillance, or monitoring devices unless they are in accordance with procedures established by the head of the agency concerned and approved by the Attorney General. Such procedures shall protect constitutional and other legal rights and limit use of such information to lawful governmental purposes.

and this

2.8 Consistency With Other Laws.

Nothing in this Order shall be construed to authorize any activity in violation of the Constitution or statutes of the United States.

Yes it sat that the AG can sign off on spying, but not in violation of other laws and its my understanding that the current version of FISA laws and the Patriot Act would supercede any conflicting authorizations. We’re kind of right back where we started, except that the BunnyHouse will not be cooperating with the people’s representatives,

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, has pledged to hold congressional hearings on Bush’s warrantless domestic spying program. At today’s press briefing, Scott McClellan made it pretty clear that administration officials wouldn’t cooperate:

One last bit for today on whistleblowers from James Risen who was one of the reporters on the original NYT NSA story(linking to WaPo, NYT link has gone to archives already) said on TODAY:

RISEN: Well you know I think this was the most classic whistleblower case I’ve ever seen. Where people – You know, in a lot of stories people have mixed motives for why they talk to reporters, some people in some stories there’s a turf battle and they’re losing out on a turf battle, or whatever. In this case – I’ve been a reporter for about 25 years – this was the purest case of whistleblowers coming forward, people who truly believed there was something wrong going on in the government and they were motivated, I believe, by the purest reasons.

--NEFF: Office memorandum, Walter Neff to
                         Barton Keyes, Claims Manager. Los
                         Angeles, July 16th, 1938. Dear Keyes:
                         I suppose you'll call this a
                         confession when you hear it. I don't
                         like the word confession. I just
                         want to set you right about one thing
                         you couldn't see, because it was
                         smack up against your nose. You think
                         you're such a hot potato as a claims
                         manager, such a wolf on a phoney
                         claim. Well, maybe you are, Keyes,
                         but let's take a look at this
                         Dietrichson claim, Accident and Double
                         Indemnity. You were pretty good in
                         there for a while, all right. You
                         said it wasn't an accident. Check.
                         You said it wasn't suicide. Check.
                         You said it was murder. Check and
                         double check. You thought you had it
                         cold, all wrapped up in tissue paper,
                         with pink ribbons around it. It was
                         perfect, except that it wasn't,
                         because you made a mistake, just one
                         tiny little mistake. When it came to
                         picking the killer, you picked the
                         wrong guy, if you know what I mean.
                         Want to know who killed Dietrichson?
                         Hold tight to that cheap cigar of
                         yours, Keyes. I killed Dietrichson.
                         Me, Walter Neff, insurance agent, 35
                         years old, unmarried, no visible
                         scars --
                              (He glances down at
                              his wounded shoulder)
                         Until a little while ago, that is.
                         Yes, I killed him. I killed him for
                         money -- and a woman -- and I didn't
                         get the money and I didn't get the
                         woman. Pretty, isn't it?
From Double Indemnity Screenplay by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler
Based on the novel"Double Indemnity In Three Of A Kind" by James M. Cain