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What is ALEC hiding?

You’ll remember that ALEC is the vehicle through which lobbyists write business-friendly legislation for elected Republican officials:

For the second time in two days, Center for Media and Democracy’s reporter Eric Carlson has been kicked out of the ALEC hotel. Eric flew down to New Orleans to cover the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting. After hearing from ALEC Board member and Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz that “there is nothing secret about it [ALEC],” Carlson was eager to attend ALEC workshops and interview state legislators about their priorities.

However, Carlson was denied press credentials Wednesday by ALEC’s PR firm and then kicked out by security as he sat writing on his computer in the Marriott lobby. Marriott denies that it was their security personnel and speculates that it could have been private security hired by ALEC. Marriott gave CMD assurances that as long as guests were not being disruptive anyone could sit in their lobby.

Today, Carlson was kicked out again and threatened with arrest apparently for the crime of Tweeting about sightings of corporate lobbyists and Heritage Foundation “experts” attending the ALEC meeting. Eric’s Twitter handle can be accessed here: http://twitter.com/#!/theericcarlson.

Carlson is part of the CMD team that brought ALEC to public attention in recent weeks with the release of the ALECexposed.org website, which lists over 800 ALEC model bills.

“What is ALEC hiding? Our reporter was simply doing his job Tweeting about ALEC corporate lobbyists and legislators as they walked by. Tweeting is apparently a crime in ALEC’s New Orleans,” said Mary Bottari Center for Media and Democracy.

The ALEC press policy says: “ALEC invites credentialed members of both traditional and online journalist [sic] to attend ALEC events.” No problem. CMD has been engaged in investigative reporting since 1993. We have covered and reported all sorts of conferences, domestic and international, events at the Wisconsin State Capital Building, the U.S. Congress and even the White House. The ALEC press policy also says: “Journalists may not register as media if their news outlet is funded by a think-tank, political party, lobbying organization, trade association or corporation. ALEC will not allow journalists to register as media for the purpose of writing a personal online blog.” Again no problem. CMD is not funded by any of these entities.

But when Carlson went to register for his ALEC press credentials, he was handed the press policy and told that ALEC did not allow “advocacy” organizations. Notably, the ALEC press policy does not mention advocacy organizations.

To read this post, you need to open this link in another tab, but don’t read it yet (I’ll blockquote below anyway for you lazier readers).

Once it’s open, please play this audio track (there’s no animation to watch) while you read.

[A]merica has the stupidest goddamn investors on the planet. For months they sat around cheering on the tea partiers and declaring solemnly that the federal budget was just like a household budget and we needed “real action” on the debt in order to build confidence in the economy. Then, suddenly, when they got it, they realized that what they really wanted wasn’t dumb slogans but actual policies that would help spur the recovery. And that means looser monetary policy and fiscal stimulus.

The Dow plummeted Wednesday, but rallied late in the day. Today the markets shit the bed.

Dow Jones: 11,383.68; -512.76 (-4.31%)

S&P500: 1,200.07; -60.27(-4.78%)

Nasdaq: 2,556.39; -136.68(-5.08%)

I’m writing this at 10:42 EST: three hours ago CNBC posted “Asia Dives as Growth Fears Hurt Risk Appetite”. As atrios likes to say, “Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!” I suspect the roller coaster that only goes down is not over yet. Checking back at google finance, all global markets are down. Double “Wheeeeeee!!!!!”

Of course, this would be a lot funnier if the butt of the joke was only the wealthy. Instead, we’re all going to take it in the can, and not in the nice consensual way either.

Ah well. At least we will have the bitter, taunting laughter of Nelson Muntz, a cartoon character, to keep us warm in our cardboard boxes under the bridge. Provided we have wi-fi.

Never found a girl

Daryl Hall with Booker T. Jones and Mayer Hawthorne:

Green onions

Booker T. Jones with Daryl Hall and Mayer Hawthorne:

Strange arrangement

Meyer Hawthorne with Daryl Hall:

The Onion’s Obama birthday joke was satire, I guess, in the lamest sense of the word. Here’s how it would read if the Onion writer had acknowledged what happened this week in D.C.

Special comment

This was on Countdown earlier this week, and I was just so busy catching up that I forgot to post it. But here it is now, thanks to a reminder from Avedon:

,

Wisconsin recall

Here’s a new song called “Scott Walker, Motherfucker”:

Click to see lyrics:
Continue Reading »

Handy chart

8 pro-democrat spending facts

Infographic courtesy of Business Loans

If you live in Philly

Lots of cool stuff to attend in the next few days!

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