If you thought that the Obama Administration would bring an end to the Bush Administration’s domestic surveillance programs, you were wrong:
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III urged lawmakers yesterday to renew intelligence-gathering measures in the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire in December, calling them “exceptional” tools to help protect national security.
The law, passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, created divisions between proponents, who said it was necessary to deter terrorism, and privacy advocates warning that it tramples on Americans’ civil liberties. Portions of the law are up for reauthorization this year.
Mueller told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee he hopes that the reauthorization of two provisions would be far less controversial than in previous years. One of those provisions, which helps authorities secure access to business records, “has been exceptionally helpful in our national security investigations,” he said.
In response to a question from Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Mueller said that his agents had used the provision about 220 times between 2004 and 2007. Data for last year were not yet available, he said.
The measure allows investigators probing terrorism to seek a suspect’s records from third parties such as financial services and travel and telephone companies without notifying the suspect. The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the provision, saying it violates the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.
Another provision, permitting roving wiretaps of terrorism suspects, was used 147 times and has helped eliminate “an awful lot of paperwork,” Mueller said. In the past, authorities had to seek court approval for each electronic device carried by a suspect, from a cellphone and a BlackBerry to a home computer. But under the provision, one warrant can cover all of those machines.
Fed Pres Lockhart in a speech a few hours ago in Paris is summing up well what is the growing angst in the markets that the Fed is sowing the seeds for big inflation with their aggressive steps by saying, “there’s reasonable concern related to the growth of the balance sheet of the central bank in response to the economic difficulties we’re having, that this could over the long term fuel inflation if the monetary aggregates are not managed well and if the Fed doesn’t react at the right time to remove some of the stimulus.” We are thus relying on a Fed that thought subprime was contained at a loss of maybe $150b in 2007 to somehow reverse their massively aggressive initiatives at the exact right time.
With a different sort of Godiva, here's Suzanna Logan, courtesy of A Newly Conservative Lesbian
Since it appears that a whole lot of people are going to engaged in one of the two manifestations I previously identified as “Going Galt” this April 15th, perhaps it’s time for some additional perspective on the process. Jerome Tuccille wrote It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand, which he followed with It Still Begins with Ayn Rand. Tuccille also “garnered publicity by sending a blonde in a body suit riding through Central Park on a horse named Taxpayer.” Perhaps the next rendition of the book should be entitled It Begins with a Naked Ayn Rand.
Shudder. Perhaps not. Not unless Angelina Jolie will be the one doing the poses.
I learned by a super-bat-secret-blogger-email-cc list started (I think) by Robert Stacy McCain about the rediscovered topic of “Naked Tea Parties.” In a blog posting, McCain mentions that “at least one young activist is considering the Lady Godiva approach to this situation.”
The current target of McCain’s e-affection has been invited to speak at one of the upcoming tea parties to be held around the nation on April 15th. However, her attire (or lack thereof) is still up in the air. Former aspiring porn star (you’ll have to read her blog entry for those lurid details) and current political activist Suzanna Logan writes:
So, in the name of all that is holy (and parties, tea, and taxes), let me say that I can assure Mr. Reyes that “Blah!” will not be his reaction if he happens to end up at a Tea Party where I’m in attendance.
McCain will also be speaking at a Tea Party event — the one in Birmingham. It will be nice to spend time with my old buddy and toss down a few beers — and I’m sure his speech will be entertaining and informative. We are bringing him down to Alabama to discuss both the Beltway perspective and to tell tall tales of all sorts of Internet-related goodness. Also speaking (based on the latest information I have available) will be another old friend, talk show host Matt “Mouth of the South” Murphy, as well as Alabama 2010 GOP gubernatorial wannabe Tim (son of Fob) James.
If the media doesn’t cover these nationwide events because of the full-frontal assault on federal fiscal policies, perhaps they’ll at least show to cover any nipple slips at halftime.
This said, we didn’t need major media coverage to draw thousands and thousands to the last Tea Party event I helped organize in Birmingham. However, I recall that the only reporter (Birmingham News) who showed at that event had to borrow my cell phone to call for a cameraman after he noted the amount of people in attendance. If you will check out the hyperlinked photographs, it’s obvious what we didn’t need nudity to draw a good crowd in Sweet Home Alabama — but it may well be necessary for reasonable media attention.
Perhaps McCain is too distracted by nudity — or perhaps it’s a necessary evil to draw attention to the government’s response to our economic crisis. Hopefully, he won’t see this billboard (courtesy of Glenn Reynolds) as he’s crossing the Tennessee state line on I-65 and inadvertently miss his speaking engagement. Whatever he does, let’s hope he doesn’t show up for the Alabama event clad as he was in this photo.
UPDATE: It’s starting to look like we might see some Naked Tea Party Jello Wrestling. The challenging went on for a few e-mails on the super-bat-secret-blogger-email-cc list, but now it’s out in the open. Logan wrote the following in an update:
Because as the saucy bad girl Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful,” I hereby invite you to a Tea Party Wrestle-O-Rama between moi and Ms. “hotMES” Stuart.
Here is my suggestion, as I have also been invited to speak at a Tea Party, in Richmond, VA with the promise of a free t-shirt. Perhaps, we should start our own naked tea parties. I mean, how much longer could the press ignore these if hot conservative women were showing up? It’s just a thought.
Perhaps I should up the challenge? How about a naked Jell-O wrestling match at a Tea Party? I mean, that would definitely ensure some press coverage.
Forget Alabama. If this continues, I’ll be heading up north towards Richmond. ;)
UPDATE II: A media personality friend (too chicken to allow her name to be used or leave a blog comment) called to suggest that while I’m “a crude but entertaining” writer, I missed a critical hyperlink. She thought this photolink should be provided with this sentence: “However, her attire (or lack thereof) is still up in the air.”
What does she know? She does national television and probably makes more money than me. What do I know? I do Internet and probably have a lot more fun. But I don’t necessarily do it for a living.
Whatever… I’ve always thought that shot of Marilyn Monroe is hotter than the grimy street grate version. Still not as healthy for you as the “Got Milk?” shot, though.
UPDATE III: Back to the über-secret “super-bat-secret-blogger-email-cc list”, there seems to be some competition between the DC/NOVA/Richmond area and Alabama. Having lived in both places, I’ll suggest that chickspeople-of-the-XX-chromosomal makeup are certainly hotter in northern Alabama. Here are somephotos of two booby brunette ‘bama Bob Barr babes who will be attending the Birmingham brouhaha.
Would that we had an articulate defender of freedom in Congress as Daniel Hannan, Minister of the European Parliament for South East England.
Here is a video of him confronting the Prime Minister of England.
The truth, Prime Minister, is that you have run out of our money. The country as a whole is now in negative equity. Every British child is born owing around £ 20,000. Servicing the interest on that debt is oing to cost more than educating the child.
Now once again today you tried to spread the blame around; you spoke about an international recession, an international crisis. Well, it is true that we are all sailing together into the squalls, but not every vessel in the convoy is in the same dilapitated condition. Other ships used the good years to caulk their hulls and to clear their rigging – in other words to pay off debt. But you used the good years to raise borrowing yet further. As a consequence, under your captaincy, our hull is pressed deep into the waterline under the accumulated weight of your debt.
Now it’s not that you’re not apologizing. Like everyone else here, I’ve long accepted that you are pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility for these things. It’s that you are carrying on willfully worsening our situation wantonly spending what little we have left.
Prime Minister, you cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund the unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit. You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt.
Watch the whole thing. Much of it applies to all the Democrat and Republican politicians in government today.