ABOUT DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
A Pulitzer prize winning journalist- for exposing tax loopholes and inequities – best selling author and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University College of Law, where he teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world.
David’s newest book, The Fine Print, is about price gouging by corporations, will be out later this year. The Fine Print supplements earlier books on tax and economic policy:
• Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense; Stick You With The Bill, about hidden subsidies, rigged markets, and corporate socialism;
• Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich—and Cheat Everybody Else, was a New York Times bestseller and won the Investigative Reporters and Editors 2003 Book of the Year award.
I’m pretty darned happy with my new Roku, which enables me to watch Al Jazeera on my teevee instead of being glued to the computer.
Roku boxes are small and inexpensive, starting at $59. (I’ve seen them on Craigslist for $30. You can also get an Apple TV box, or watch Netflix through your kid’s PlayStation.) They have a lot of content, and they’re adding more all the time. I thought I’d be using their Netflix streaming instead of the Comcast premium channels, but I spend most of my time watching their free content – including Al Jazeera.
All you need to make this work is broadband. You install it on your teevee, register it online (so it can maintain your channel selections) and watch. Now I also get to watch YouTube on my teevee, which is a lot more freakin’ awesome than you might think.
Imagine having a huge library of BBC documentaries at your disposal — free. Live NASA stream. Just about any radio station that offers streaming. NPR podcasts. Food channels. The Onion Network. Original comedy like My Damn Channel. Japanese anime. Astro Boy. Those really old black and white cartoons, which I love. NHL and MLB (so far, no NFL.) Lots and lots of news!
Because Roku runs on an open source platform, developers are constantly adding new private channels (also free. And yes, they do have pay-for-porn.)
And those network shows you love? You can get them all, including the ABC and Fox shows that Comcast doesn’t offer through on-demand, for $8 a month through HuluPlus. (Or you can simply run an HDMI cable from your computer to your teevee, which is free.)
Tired of hotel TVs that only carry three channels? You can take it with you when you travel, too.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The former head of a whistle-blower protection office under President George W. Bush must spend at least a month in jail, according to a ruling by a federal judge that could threaten to derail the ex-official’s plea deal.
Scott Bloch, who headed the Office of Special Counsel, pleaded to a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt of Congress in April 2010. That plea, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson said in an opinion late Wednesday, requires a sentence of “imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month.” She rejected arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyers that she has the discretion to impose a lower sentence and that other defendants who have pleaded guilty to the charge got probation, including baseball star Miguel Tejada last year.
Bloch admitted withholding information from House investigators about having private technicians “scrub” computer files used by political appointees at the Office of Special Counsel in December 2006.
Bloch was to be sentenced Thursday, but Robinson postponed that until Monday because of her ruling. It’s one of many delays in sentencing since Bloch’s plea because of the jail time issue.
“The court finds that no authority supports the requests of counsel that the court either interpret the sentencing provision as discretionary, or, alternatively, disregard the provision,” Robinson wrote. “The court therefore declines the invitation to do so.”
The online group Anonymous said Wednesday that it had paralyzed the Egyptian government’s Web sites in support of the antigovernment protests.
Anonymous, a loosely defined group of hackers from all over the world, gathered about 500 supporters in online forums and used software tools to bring down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, said Gregg Housh, a member of the group who disavows any illegal activity himself. The sites were unavailable Wednesday afternoon.
The attacks, Mr. Housh said, are part of a wider campaign that Anonymous has mounted in support of the antigovernment protests that have roiled the Arab world. Last month, the group shut down the Web sites of the Tunisian government and stock exchange in support of the uprising that forced the country’s dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee.
Mr. Housh said that the group had used its technical knowledge to help protesters in Egypt defy a government shutdown of the Internet that began last week. “We want freedom,” he said of the group’s motivation. “It’s as simple as that. We’re sick of oppressive governments encroaching on people.”
You know what? I like sex. I like it a lot. Most people do. Most people like sex so much because done properly, it makes you happy and you have a better day. Some people apparently are not doing it right, because they spend more time worrying about how to keep other people from having it than they do trying to figure out how to have MORE sex.
They are very upset at the thought that women somewhere might be having sex without being punished — in this case, by a pregnancy they neither want nor are emotionally and financially prepared to follow through.
They should mind their own fucking business.
It’s not about abortion. It’s not about “the babies.” IT’S ABOUT SEX.
I feel sorry for people who have such unhappy sex lives that they can spend so much time and energy planning everyone else’s sex lives. They are sick, twisted fucks and yes, they make the Baby Jesus cry. If there is a God and God designed the universe, He/She did a pretty good job of designing us for pleasure.
So fuck these sex-hating people. They make my head hurt.
Just a little example of how these things usually work behind the scenes: They needed to protect Meehan’s congressional seat, so Summers agreed to keep his mouth shut and take the fall, in exchange for something — but since we have Tom Corbett in office now and he picked the AG, I’m guessing Mr. Summers will get house arrest. That’s how Delco rolls!
“Several hundred paper-making jobs were lost in his district and he refused to do anything about it at the same time he was sleeping with a lobbyist for the printing industry that was very happy to get their cheap paper from China. Gotta give it to Lyons though! She’s one hell of a lobbyist!
It was greeted with a resounding silence from the corporate media.
But today, the National Enquirer will carry the story.
Stark in an interview with Sam Seder today denied speculation (including that from Down With Tyranny’s Howie Klein) that former hate radio host Rep. Mike Pence (IN-6) or someone from his staff was the source for the story. He also posted this on his website:
Several days ago, my friend Howie Klein reported at his blog, Down With Tyranny, that Mike Pence was spreading the John Boehner/Lisbeth Lyons story.
Normally, I’d not feel the need to respond to what others write, but this case is different. First, I can’t have people assuming that Howie got his information from me, because implicit to that assumption would be the fact that I can’t keep confidences with my sources. Second, to the extent that people may read the two blogs and put together the idea that Howie got his information from me, they would be ill-informed. And since I think I am in the business of more fully informing the public, allowing that misunderstanding to fester cuts against what I am trying to accomplish with StarkReports.com.
Look, I’m obviously a partisan. And the idea that Mike Pence may be circulating these rumors makes for some pretty satisfying and delicious palace intrigue. But, as much as I wish it were so, Mike Pence was not a source for my reporting.
With that said, as fate would have it, I ran into Representative Pence at a Robert Hurt campaign event over the weekend. I was able to ask him if he was spreading the story. He looked down, pursed his lips and shook his head as if to deny. Most people I know would have taken that as a flat denial, and I’m certain that’s how it was intended.
But here’s another secret… In law school, when you are taking depositions, you are taught that the answers to “yes or no” questions must be spoken. I’m not sure if that is because a court reporter cannot record “witness nodded their head in the affirmative” or “witness shook head to indicate the negative” or if it is because sworn testimony must be spoken aloud for it to be a matter of record. Anyway, Washington has definitely jaded me. I have extreme difficulty accepting anything our elected leaders say as gospel; I’m a natural (extreme) skeptic. So all I can do is report what happened and let y’all make up your own mind.
Stark also says that he doesn’t think there’s an attempt by members of the House GOP caucus to take Boehner out — mostly based on his own opinion that it doesn’t make sense.
I don’t agree. I think this has the signs of a classic hit. We already know the House ideologues weren’t thrilled about having Boehner as Speaker — as conservative as he is, he looks like a flaming liberal compared to some of the new cowboys. It may not have been Pence, but I’ll bet it was coordinated with him.
Mike Stark asks why they’d wait until he was already Speaker. I think it’s pretty obvious: They want to purge the party, and they want to do it from a position of seeming invincibility. What better way to terrify the occasionally-moderate members than by taking down the Speaker? For maximum effect, Boehner would have to be in power for the attack to scare the crap out of the other House Republicans.
Look at what’s happening: They’re already threatening primaries against some very conservative Republican senators, people like Orrin freakin’ Hatch. You really think these people are above a purity purge?
Gay rights are also a real flash point in the Republican party right now, since GOP Proud signed on as a co-sponsor of this year’s CPAC conference for the second year in a row. And just like last year, the right-wing Christian extremists wet their pants at the very thought, saying it was a movement away from conservative principles (yeah, like racking up a record deficit under Bush was a conservative principle, right?).
There’s a definite split in the party. Prominent wingnuts like Jim DeMint and far-right groups like the Family Research Council. the Heritage Foundation and the American Family Association said they won’t attend.
The extremists are feeling their oats. My guess is, they’ll publicly flex their muscle by taking out Boehner.