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The conservation president

Who also wants offshore drilling in previously-pristine Alaskan waters. What the hell, why shouldn’t Alaskans have polluted water, too?

It isn’t freedom

If you have no agency over your own body.

The latest line from the Obama cheerleaders is that the wimmenz should just shut up and sit down, or big bad Romney will make the next SCOTUS appointment. That kind of brilliant strategy has led to the fact that in many states, women can no longer get an abortion. That’s mind-boggling. Soon it will be like the old days, when women ran an underground service that brought women to NYC, which was then the only place in the US where abortion was available.

Yeah, what Liss said. This is bullshit.


Since I know one of the plaintiffs and one of the potential witnesses in this case, I was pretty sure what happened is something you see all the time in business: You present an idea, someone with money and power takes it and oh well! How nice that this will have a happier ending:

Two Democratic consultants who claim they supplied Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer with the idea for the Huffington Post have filed an amended version of their lawsuit, saying emails and other documents they obtained through discovery show how the defendants appropriated the concept and attempted to cover their tracks.

In the new filing, the plaintiffs, Daou and Boyce, accuse Huffington and Lerer of playing a double game with them in late 2004 and early 2005, as plans for the website were coming together.

“[A]t the same time as Huffington and Lerer were soliciting Boyce’s and Daou’s ideas and plans, telling them that they were building together what would become The Huffington Post, and shaking hands with Boyce and Daou in a manifestation of their business relationship, we now know that Huffington and Lerer were secretly sending Plaintiffs’ ideas to other individuals and developing their own business venture…while excluding them from ownership and control,” reads the complaint.

Those “other individuals” were Roy Sekoff, HuffPost’s founding editor, and Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who worked on the launch in its early stages. (Breitbart died in March 2012.) On Dec. 7, 2004 — three days after Boyce and Daou say Huffington and Lerer agreed to work with them — Huffington emailed a copy of Boyce’s proposed business plan to Sekoff, along with Lerer’s critique of it. Within two weeks, Breitbart had been recruited as well.

The similarities between the Boyce/Daou plan and the HuffPost that eventually emerged without their involvement were documented in the original complaint, filed in November 2010.

In discovery, however, the plaintiffs obtained the minutes of a meeting held March 29, 2005, at which Huffington, Lerer, Sekoff and Breitbart “discussed possible responses to press inquiries on the subject of when and how the idea for the website originated.” According to the minutes, Sekoff and Breitbart suggested that Huffington and Lerer deflect questions about how they came together by saying it “doesn’t matter.”

The plaintiffs say the exchanges detailed in the minutes “reflect the deliberate creation of a false and fraudulent ‘narrative’ to explain the origin of the idea for The Huffington Post.”

This is, as you can guess, an expensive problem for AOL and HuffPo. Karma!

Dave Dayen on “refreshing contacts”:

I always find the revolving door to be an intriguing subject of inquiry. The combination of big money in influencing policy, as well as the transient nature of most political jobs, combines to ensure that members of Congress and their staffs put in their time building relationships on Capitol Hill, only to jump over to K Street to lobby those ex-colleagues. You have to do this a few times, to maintain the relationships with the new cast of characters and prove your worth to the paymasters of the lobbyists. And so that’s what we see.

The Hill takes a look at this today.

Some former lobbyists who left the influence industry last year to work as aides on Capitol Hill are already back on K Street. Others are coming to lobby shops for the first time, some from the offices of freshman members elected in 2010 […]

Among the staffers who have returned to their lobbying careers after a stint on Capitol Hill are Jim Barnette, Sarah Beatty and Anne Steckel.

Barnette served as the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s general counsel. He worked for Steptoe & Johnson before moving to the committee. Barnette has since rejoined the firm and registered to lobby for big-name clients like Facebook and Fluor Corp.

Beatty lobbied for the American College of Cardiology prior to serving Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) as chief of staff. Now she is registered to lobby for Wal-Mart.

And Steckel left Growth Energy to serve Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) as chief of staff. She now works as a lobbyist for the National Biodiesel Board.

One lobbyist quoted in the article says quite explicitly that the goal of flipping back to Capitol Hill after some time on K Street is to “refresh contacts.” You get to know the new players in Congress, and after a time, you have a blueprint from which to lobby them. So you head back out for a payday.

This is basically legalized bribery. You have lobbyists working off relationships gained from close contacts with Congressional figures. Maybe they aren’t passing money around, but they are passing what amounts to a “legislative subsidy,” in the form of working knowledge. And at the end of the day, the favors are made to friends. And campaign contributions always lurk in the background.

This is why getting rid of incumbents doesn’t matter. There’s a powerful staffer establishment on Capitol Hill, and they’ll still be there no matter who loses.

Spirit in the sky

Norman Greenbaum:

It’s over

I still remember the first time I heard Alison Krauss sing. It was in 1987, on the old “Sunnyside” program on WXPN, and the purity of her voice just took my breath away:

Under water

Journalism in New Orleans.

For what it’s worth

Buffalo Springfield:

I’m still in love with you

Steve Earle and Iris DeMent:

Philly represent

Now if only they did this to Obama for pushing the same destructive education policies. But they won’t.

PHILADELPHIA – When Mitt Romney came to an inner-city charter school here Thursday to promote his new education agenda, he received something of a history lecture about the persecution of blacks in America and the struggles of African American children to meet the academic achievements of their white counterparts.

Seeking to broaden his appeal heading into the general election, Romney was venturing for his first time in this campaign into an impoverished black neighborhood to hear the concerns of local educators and community leaders. But here in the streets of West Philadelphia, the emotion surrounding his contest with the nation’s first black president was raw, as dozens of neighborhood residents shouted, “Get out, Romney, get out!”

Romney arrived at Universal Bluford Charter School aboard his logo-emblazoned campaign bus and began his morning visit by meeting school and civic leaders at a formal roundtable session. “I come to learn, obviously, from people who are having experiences that are unique and instructive,” he said.

Kenny Gamble, who founded the West Philadelphia school last year, told Romney that his school’s top priority is improving the education of African Americans and closing the achievement gap between blacks and whites. Gamble, a legendary songwriter and founder of Philadelphia International Records, created and runs Universal Companies, a not-for-profit community development organization involved in education, real estate and social services.

“Where there was a time when it was against the law of the country for people of African-American descent to even read or write, it is even more important today that we discuss education for the African-American community,” Gamble told Romney.

Romney highlighted his record of education as governor of Massachusetts, when the state’s schools were among the best in the nation in some areas. But Gamble interjected, “Governor, you’ve got to go back and remember how the whole concept of education has failed. You go back a few years, even in Boston, when they were trying to integrate schools and they had young black children going to white neighborhoods and they were throwing eggs at the little black children, spitting on them, calling them all kinds of names.”

Outside, meanwhile, some brick row houses across from the school were boarded up. Police had cordoned off a full city block to protect Romney and his entourage. Residents, some of them organized by Obama’s campaign, stood on their porches and gathered at a sidewalk corner to shout angrily at Romney. Some held signs saying, “We are the 99%.” One man’s placard trumpeted an often-referenced Romney gaffe: “I am not concerned about the very poor.”
Madaline G. Dunn, 78, who said she has lived here for 50 years and volunteers at the school, said she is “personally offended” that Romney would visit her neighborhood.

“It’s not appreciated here,” she said. “It is absolutely denigrating for him to come in here and speak his garbage.”

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) addressed protesters and the media, quipping that Romney “suddenly somehow found West Philadelphia.”
“It’s nice that he decided this late in his [campaign] to see what a city like Philadelphia is about,” Nutter said. But, he added, “I don’t know that a one-day experience in the heart of West Philadelphia is enough to get you ready to run the United States of America.”

“You want to have an urban experience?” Nutter added. “You want to have a West Philly experience? Then come out here and talk to somebody in West Philly.”
Philadelphia’s district attorney, Seth Williams, said Romney does not understand the plight of urban America and was hiding from “real Americans.”

“Instead of just talking at the school and getting back on his huge bus, he should come out, he should walk 60th Street, he should talk to folks who are out here that are mad so maybe he could understand how real Americans, those that live here in urban America, the issues that are important to us,” Williams said.

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