We hit heavily on wiretapping. We agreed that it was the wrong course, particular for the 41 Dem Reps who supported warrantless spying on anyone. Lynne hopes for meaningful revision at the six-month review period. Mike is less sanguine (and previously expressed his views at Marry in Massachusetts).
Bush also signed an executive order on July 17th that bypasses the Fifth Amendment and allows unilateral seizure of property without press. Congress need not approve this to have effect of law. They must act to overrule this.
See Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.
A caller, T.A. Barrett, introduced a libertarian dialog. We saw an overlap in view of freedoms with our progressive stances, and clear differences in the role of government and taxes.
Posts of the Week
Mike did not have to stretch the Minnesota Monitor post on the I-35 bridge collapse to see the parallels and lessons for Massachusetts and other states. In Blaming and Gaming the Blame Game, Eric Black looks at infrastructure neglect. A no-new-taxes, second-term governor Tim Pawlenty actively quashed transportation maintenance and improvement, as our governors here have. In addition, the legislature accomplished so little that quite a few who share his GOP affiliation lost their seats in 2004. Sure, no new taxes, but the business of the state did not get done.
Through previous Gov. Jesse Ventura’s and Arne Carlson administrations, no-new-taxes pledges have won elections and failed the public. Ventura’s transportation commissioner, Elwyn Tinklenburg noted that “Pawlenty and (his looey) Molnau held legislative leadership positions long before they changed to the executive branch. Their basic approach of no-new-taxes small-government, both in St. Paul and among their allies in Washington, was a key reason that the infrastructure continued to deteriorate.”
As here, those who didn’t have a solid majority in both houses of their legislatures claimed they would have done it, if only… The governors and legislative leaders who campaigned on low taxes somehow try to decouple that from its effects.
Ryan’s Blog of the Week is FireDogLake’s of coverage of the Yearly Kos blogger convention. Jane Hamsher had a great post contradicting a WaPo story about how bloggers were a bunch of old, white men. Um… no. Jane Hamsher, for starters, certainly isn’t a male. Neither is her blogger companion, Christy. The next largest contributor to FDL that I know of may be a male, but he certainly isn’t a part of the majority: Pach is not only latino, but also gay (as is John Avarosis of AmericaBlog). The most-widely read blogger in the entire blogosphere is Arriana Huffington and while Kos may be #2, he’s latino as well. Rounding out the high-profile national bloggers, Digby is a woman, not a man. Clearly, the lefty blogosphere is quite a bit more diverse than the main stream media will give it credit for.
I have to link another FDL blog, this one written by TeddySanFran. He writes about how disappointing the event was for him.
But hereâ€™s what I liked the very least: the overarching theme seemed to be, much like the song from Oklahoma about farmers and ranchers, â€œWhy Canâ€™t the Bloggers and the Media be Friends?â€ I came away from lectures by Mike Allen (of George Bushâ€™s and Karl Roveâ€™s favorite new website politico.com) and Jay Carney (Glenn Greenwaldâ€™s nemesis at Time) and Ezra Klein (of the American Prospect and Tapped) feeling just icky. Why icky? Because I believe American traditional media to be complicit in an illegal and immoral war and occupation of Iraq. They are unable and unwilling to expose the shredding of our Constitutional rights but quite concerned about Paris Hiltonâ€™s incarceration. They are entirely unbothered about their own absurd appearances at Correspondents Dinners rapping with Karl Rove, to my mind the architect of an American Presidency chock full of the worst American war criminals ever.
So donâ€™t expect me to fly all the way to Chicago and make nice with representatives of Traditional Media when they say that the Washington Post and New York Times didnâ€™t lie about murders in New Orleans and Governor Blancoâ€™s complicity in the disaster. They were printing White House talking points and anybody who takes a moment to read coverage from the Houston Chronicle knows it.
And donâ€™t get me to pay $175 a night for a room in a Hyatt with surly customer service and then pretend that Matt Bai-toy is a great â€œgetâ€ as a debate moderator, especially when he made Chris Matthews look professional. Whatâ€™s the point of having a New York Times reporter moderate a YKos debate, anyway?
Of course, it’s important to reach out to the traditional media, but right now they just aren’t listening. I can’t say just how hard we have to kick them in the behind to be good reporters and, you know, report the truth… but the message hasn’t come across yet. So why we’d reward the NY Times for their complicity in getting America to go to war, I don’t know. At the very least we could have gotten a Bill Moyer or the like to moderate the event from us, if the Presidential candidates wanted a non-blogger, media guy as co-moderator.
Some people have criticized the blogosphere of joining the ranks of conventional democratic powers-that-be. Of course, I don’t think we are quite there yet. However, some members of the blogosphere are moving in that direction – and that should be a scary, scary thing. Yes, it’s important to elect democrats over republicans – because we need the committee chairs. However, when considering just how weak our congressional leadership has shown themselves to be, we need to figure out ways to stay sharp and just as in focus as ever in making sure we replace the party DINOs just as quickly as the Republicans that enable them.
Toxins in the Statutes [60:07m]: Play Now
| Play in Popup