Ol Mitch is running scared. First he says he might join a Rand Paul filibuster

Then he whines that he has been Watergated and evil libruls are bugging him an’ stuff. Oh, and libruls are picking on his wife’s ethnic background… for mentioning that as Bush 43’s Labor Secretary, she enabled more job outsourcing to China than any other cabinet member in the history of the known universe so boo hoo stop making me get all butt hurt ‘n stuff.

Phew. Sorry about that. Been reading Wonkette too much first thing in the morning and my inhibitions have gone the way of that surplus Clinton left Bush….

Seriously, the turtle (ok, not TOO seriously) is looking pretty stressed and scared these days. Rand Paul gets some atta-boys from the tea bagging brigade for that pointless filibuster and Ol Mitch wants to jump in when Rand Man says he might put a catheter up his nozzle and go on a verb binge to feign a stop to any vote on  gun control legislation. So, yes, we can add pandering to the paranoid gun nuts (and the merchants making record sales based on imagined threats to the 2nd) to Mitch’s list of fraidie-cat-iechisms. Check.

Then ‘the liberals are bugging my office! The liberals are like the Watergate guys…’ play for sympathy from the persecution-complexed-but-not-quite-paranoid RW Christians who love to hate liberals, because, you know, JESUS ‘n stuff.   We have to give McConnell props here for knowing his target audience and their propensity for mis-remembering history and the probability that they might recall that Watergate was a bad thing, but totally disassociate it from the reality that it was also a GOP thing. He is lower than the barnacle on a whale’s belly, but he isn’t a brainless barnacle.

Then, as part of the GOP outreach and warm fuzzy hugs and kisses to those who care about the not-rinso-white peeps, ‘They pick on my sweet lil wife cuz she’s not rinso-white, so THEY are the bigots!’ Totally ignoring the fact that the flak Mrs Mitch got was about her record-setting enabling of corporate job outsourcing while working as G.W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, and the fact that she was called by name, which happens to be the Chinese surname she kept and has gone by professionally, Elaine L. Chao.  So, really, McConnell was trying to mooch sympathy for the fact that his wife’s name was accurately reported along with her record. Check off ‘appearing to appeal to broader spectrum of color peeps without actually doing any such thing’ on Mitch’s To-Do list.

Now, to really get attention for all these things checked off his list, he has to get LOTS more attention for it all. So, call the FBI right fracking now! Investigate all this evil doing by doers of evil!

Ooopsies, seems that tape was not a wire tap, so no Watergate here. And since it is pretty clear that the recording device was moved to better capture the sound when someone from the back of the room spoke, it seems pretty evident the ‘bug’ was a phone or computer device and on the table in the room, in plain sight. And even if the recording device was somehow clandestine, KY is a single party state, so as long as one party in the meeting was OK with recording it, it is legal. One would guess anyone recording a conversation, openly or covertly, would be OK with recording a conversation, so LEGAL in Kentucky! The ugly reality for Team McConnell: ‘Quick, call the plumbers, we have a leak and it is us!’

Furthermore: in the taped conversation, it is said that LAs (legislative aides, as in official federal employes working on Mitch’s staff, but paid by We the Taxpayers) did a lot of research work to ferret out info on Ms Judd (by reading the book she wrote). So now we get to the crux of the matter: Did Mitch violate the LAW by having senatorial staffers doing campaign work on the taxpayers’ time or were they doing it in addition to their regularly scheduled work hours and not on the taxpayers’ dime? And in what space was this work done? At their homes, as volunteers? At campaign office space? Or did ANY of that research take place in ANY official senatorial office space?

Yes, call the FBI to investigate! Proceed, Senator…….


Google releases full version of FCC’s report on company’s controversial gathering of personal data with Street View cars

The FCC has already released a portion of the report already, with heavy redaction action. Can we find out how much the FCC spends on black markers? We might have a place to cut some cash outta the budget.

Google released the full report ahead of a FOIA request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and a lot of controversy over the car cameras and interception of a whole lot of data from wireless connections.

Google ‘inadvertently’ got private data like e-mail and text messages, passwords, Internet-usage history, and other data from unsecured wireless networks for two years or so, beginning in 2007.

Frankly, I fail to see how taking pictures from a car managed to suck up data. Guess they were doing more than just taking pictures, so how was this ‘inadvertent’? I’m anything but a tech guru, so how does an innocent camera collect all that data? None of my cameras can do a trick like that.

Google said it was the fault of a rogue engineer. The FCC thinks maybe somebody at Google could have, or should have known about the data collection

Per LA Times report:

The report points the finger at a rogue engineer who, it says, intentionally wrote software code that captured payload data information — communication over the Internet including emails, passwords and search history — from unprotected wireless networks, going beyond what Google says it intended. The engineer invoked his 5th Amendment right and declined to speak to the FCC.

But the FCC raises the question of whether engineers and managers on the Street View project did know — or should have known — that the data was being collected.

According to the FCC report: The engineer in question told two other engineers, including a senior manager, that he was collecting the payload data. He also gave the entire Street View team a copy of a document in October 2006 that detailed his work on Street View. In it, he noted that Google would be logging such data.

Well, good to know it’s not my cameras that are defective. The problem is either Google’s failure to conduct proper oversight of employees, or tendency to blame rogue employees for doing what Google has always done, collect a whole lot of data on you.

In the meantime, lock your networks. Remember, if a product doesn’t cost you anything, YOU are the product. Google is a profitable sort of enterprise.


Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird, plane, a drone? And who let the drones out? Who? Who? Who?

Good morning, fellow babies. Wanna get some idea just who has been licensed to operate drones in the US? Well, the veil may be lifting (though I seriously doubt it will be fully pulled back) as the FAA finally got around to answering a FOIA request for drone operator information filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Not anything too tin-foil-y to see here.  Which, of course, makes some of us a bit, well, tin-foil-y, wondering what the reports don’t include. The FAA says more information will be released in response to the EEF’s FOIA requests.

Seems a lot of universities and research groups get to operate drones. That makes sense. Easy to understand that amazing things could be learned about our environment with an assist from drones carrying various sampling and measuring devices. Why not use some of the tech developed for learning about Martian atmosphere on finding out more of the particulars about our own? Maybe some scientists will gather information that might make a dent in the climate change deniers’ thick skulls? My feeble mind can only imagine what other leaps of science cold be made using these flying tools.

But who else might be watching, and what might they be watching for? Am old enough to have misgivings about the intent of many of my fellow inhabitants of this pretty blue sphere. Not everyone has the same ethical standards and respect for others that my heroes have.

I wanna know what law enforcement agencies have license to fly drones, what kinds of drones they are flying, and what tricks those drones can do. But that’s just me, being cautious about what local agencies who may not have the best track records re civil rights protection might be up to. Can you imagine someone who likes to maintain dossiers on critics and political enemies like, oh say (soon to be former) sheriff Joe Arpaio has eyes in the skies over your ‘hood? And what sort of mischief could unethical corporations and/or media get up to with the capability to fly over your family BBQ, or maybe look in your windows?

And I would like to know what sort of tools can be put up in the air that might have impact on people. Crowd control? Mood enhancement chemicals? I have jokingly wondered what might happen if a crop duster filled with some psycho-active chems were to hose some of us down. Now, I am not so sure I say it completely in jest.  Still thinking back to the very short-lived news item, early in the Bush/Cheney administration, re DOD, crowd calming substances, and the hunt for a method of delivery, for, you know, calming urban populations in areas where the US military might be deployed.  That little gem of brilliant candor disappeared from media pretty fast, which always gives me pause.

Anyway, enjoy the interactive map. It is interesting and mildly comforting. Bookmark the EFF site. Looks like another good resource for your tool bag for keeping an eye on what is going on in areas some of us are just not watchful enough.

Or, we could all just hum and go back to sleep.

Missouri Pol pandering to racists haz a sad that there aren’t enough votes to impeach Obama

Rep Todd Akin says the votes to impeach just aren’t there.     He left out the part about no impeachable offense, but pols on the right seldom let facts get in the way of spin.

If GOP pols actually wanted Obama out of the White House, they would be working on that Jobs Jobs Jobs thing in earnest. They would be busting their humps to turn the economy around in favor of working people and middle class stability. If they could pull that off, they win.

But that is not their goal. Removing Obama as Job One is just one more diversion to keep the masses amused while they enact more policies to make sure the haves and have mores keep raking in record profits at the expense of the people.

Time to run some batshit crazy ladies!

One of the miscreants on a forum Attila frequents posted this along with a comment that the Left might make more points with humor.  Well, perhaps more points with moderates and indies, but considering how many right wingers still don’t get Colbert, I think there is a satire-grasping-gene some just do not possess.

Posted  especially for a wonderful  ‘subversive’ at a most influential desk at a great library in a great American town. But  the rest of you can watch this outstanding video too! Maybe you will help it go viral and get the legs it needs.