look at the light coming out of the roof

Why the NSA Surveillance Program Is Unlawful

We are scholars of constitutional law and former government officials. We write in our individual capacities as citizens concerned by the Bush Administration’s National Security Agency domestic spying program, as reported in the New York Times, and in particular to respond to the Justice Department’s December 22, 2005 letter to the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees setting forth the administration’s defense of the program. Although the program’s secrecy prevents us from being privy to all of its details, the Justice Department’s defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance. Accordingly the program appears on its face to violate existing law

Go and read the rest as they say.

“It’s a big thing,” Duane said as he and Moses halted at the fence and peered through. Distantly, he could see now that the mysterious structure in the woods was at least a hundred yards long, flat-topped and black as coal except from narrow shafts of light that came from its windows. “And look at the light coming out of the roof.” – The War-Makers, Nick Carter

what do I get – a couple of bucks and a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

I can understand the concept behind having someone that used to have a problem, like an addiction to gambling going to a group of former gamblers, like Gamblers Anonymous. I cannot understand why a political party reaking with corruption would let a former leader who turned out to be a master of corruption lead them out of the spot they’re in. Newt: I’m shocked, shocked by Abramoff scandal!

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who rose to power in 1994 by exposing — and exaggerating — Democratic corruption, found himself on familiar footing Wednesday in the basement ballroom of the Hotel Washington. This time, however, his target was the corruption of his own party, and the exploits of one of its former stars, the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

and from Digby, Welcome Back Newtie

As much as I love having Newtie back on the scene reprising his former role as a fake Republican reformer, I can’t help but wonder how he hopes to explain the fact that he was officially reprimanded as Speaker for his unethical behavior by a special counsel . I realize that this happened almost ten years ago, so it’s ancient history, but it was quite the circus at the time

By all means let the new school culture of corruption be lead out of the Valley of Delay-Abramoff by Mr. “pattern of questionable behavior”. Sounds like a good title for a new show on the Comedy Channel.

Everyone seems to have a problem with the media and more often then not, its the televised news that is the subject of reference. Television has always done a spotty job at best of covering the news, we usually get a quick glimpse at some event and a soup spoon about the whys and consequences. Cnn was never perfect, but at least we used to have James Hatori and Wolf Blitzer, now we just have Wolfie and Rush Limbaugh’s mistress. As much as the righties hate CBS they’re kind of biting the hand that feds them, The Viacom CEO endorses George Bush and sets off a debate about political partisanship and
. Sure Billy Bob Redneck conservatives really thinks that CBS has a liberal bias, but rightie political players are just feeding Billy Bob rotten red meat:

Right-wing media magnate Murdoch owns the conservative Weekly Standard, the New York Post and the national cable network Fox News, which he’s staffed with prominent conservative journalists, such as Brit Hume and Tony Snow, and star commentators, such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

So its not a completely unreasonable to think its not a bad idea for at least one national media (TV) outlet that puts a focus on actual news, An Open Letter to George Soros: Buy CNN

Would you like to turn on a cable TV channel and know that you will never see Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter, James Dobson or Ralph Reed?

Would you like to know that the news program you’re watching — whatever the politics of the network’s owner — presents verifiable facts from respectable sources?

Would you like to watch commentary on the news by experts whose opinions don’t come from the daily talking points of either political party?

Me too. That’s why I’m writing this open letter to George Soros with one simple request — PLEASE BUY CNN.

That thought has come to me from time to time over the last few years, as CNN has devolved into an anemic version of Fox News. But it became an incessant drumbeat in my head last week, when Jack Abramoff took his plea and almost everyone on cable bought the Republican lie that this is a “non-partisan” scandal. It is anything but.

That’s all America wants, some verifiable facts. The thirty minute blip that passes for news on the regular broadcast networks just doesn’t cut it. I love the internet, but it has as much bad information as good. Its great that people on the net are their own filters, but people as a whole are not good editors. If they were we could close half the journalism programs in colleges across America tomorrow. While sites like Digg and Shoutwire are very useful for highlighting whats popular or new, that does not always translate to what is most relevant. The web does give people instant access to to tools to express themselves with little to no censorship, which seems to satisfy a need that some people can get very emotional about….Get out of MySpace, bloggers rage at Murdoch

Angry members of MySpace, the personal file-sharing website for young adults, are accusing Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation of censoring their postings and blocking their access to rival sites.

The 38 million subscribers to MySpace, which News Corp bought for $629m (£355m) last July, discovered that when they wrote to each other about rival video-swapping site YouTube, the words were automatically deleted, and attempts to download video images from YouTube led to blank screens.

The intervention by News Corp in the traditionally open-access world of the web – in particular the alteration of personal user profiles – provoked a storm of angry posts in online “blogs”.

Outside View: unmet needs

Many in Congress and the Pentagon boast American troops have the best equipment in the world. But reports from the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan say otherwise. The information about the failures is not new; solutions are long overdue.

Some of the most worrying questions center on the efficacy and lethality of the firearms U.S. forces are using.

Official reports show high levels of dissatisfaction with the M-4 carbine, M16 rifle magazines, and M249 machine gun. The small size of the 5.56mm bullet used in these weapons is also highly controversial among some troops.

But problems with weaponry are just a subset of the larger issue: equipment that is not up to scratch.

Let’s say that the Neocons were an independent corporation, Bush-Cheney Neoconartists Inc. and you have a corporation with no war department and you’re looking to outsource your war to someone competent. Are these the guys that you would choose ? No wonder there’re having recruitment problems.

WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?

The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?

TERRY
It wasn’t him!
(years of abuse crying out in him)
It was you, Charley. You and Johnny. Like the
night the two of youse come in the dressing
room and says, “Kid, this ain’t your night- we’re
going for the price on Wilson.” It ain’t my night.
I’d of taken Wilson apart that night! I was ready-
remember the early rounds throwing them combinations.
So what happens- This bum Wilson
he gets the title shot- outdoors in the ballpark!
and what do I get- a couple of bucks and
a one-way ticket to Palookaville.
(more and more aroused as he relives it)
It was you, Charley. You was
my brother. You should of looked out for me.
Instead of making me take them dives for the
short-end money.

CHARLEY
(defensively)
I always had a bet down for
you. You saw some money.

TERRY
(agonized)
See! You don’t understand!

CHARLEY
I tried to keep you in good with Johnny.

TERRY
You don’t understand! I could’ve been a
contender.
I could’ve had class and been somebody.
Real class. Instead of a bum, let’s face it,
which is what I am. It was you, Charley.

From the screenplay ON THE WATERFRONT by Budd Schulberg