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Whenever you’re on my mind

Marshall Crenshaw:

Heroin

Kenn Kweder:

Anonymous

Has hacked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site:

Online mischief makers Anonymous are set to launch a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the website of the US Chamber of Commerce later today, in retaliation for the organisation’s support for the draft PROTECT IP Act.

The ‘hacktivist’ collective announced it would launch the DDoS attack at 20:00 Eastern Standard Time.

If passed, the ‘Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property’ Act – ‘PROTECT IP’, for short – will allow US Justice Department officials to force ISPs and search engines to block access to web sites it believes to be infringing US copyright laws, and would require other companies such as advertising network providers and payment processors to cease doing business with them.

In order to obtain a preliminary court order that the site is ‘dedicated to infringing activities’, the Justice Department must show that a web site is directed at US consumers and harms holders of US intellectual property.

The draft legislation has the backing of both sides of the US political spectrum, and US government sources say the bill has already gathered a lot of support among legislators – chiefly due to the lobbying activities of groups representing rights holders and big business, including the MPAA, Viacom, Mastercard, Sony and Disney.

The US Chamber of Commerce is being targeted for its outspoken support for the bill, which critics accuse of having disastrous implications for freedom of speech and the open exchange of information online.

Anonymous isn’t the only group actively resisting the draconian legislations; within the corporate world, Google has stated it will go on fighting the bill even if it is passed. Speaking in London on 18th May, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said:

“If there is a law that requires DNS [domain name systems, the protocol that allows users to connect to Web sites], to do x, and it’s passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States, and we disagree with it, then we would still fight it… If it’s a request, the answer is we wouldn’t do it; if it’s a discussion, we wouldn’t do it.”

“Times are changing,” says hacking hive-mind Anonymous, which accuses industries such as Hollywood – which the group says will still make billions regardless of what gets distributed on the Internet – of doing everything in its power to maintain the status quo, “moulding legislation to increase profits rather than protect civil liberties.”

Ominous

Some unpleasant-looking clouds forming. Looks like another storm…

Helping Joplin

Here’s some info:

Collecting monetary donations is the best way to help Joplin, according to Polk County Emergency Management Director Rick Lewis. After last night’s tornado that damaged or destroyed about 30 percent of the southwest Missouri town, several area organizations and churches are collecting money, food and supplies.

“With money, they can feed people or do whatever they need to do,” Lewis said. “If [people] don’t know where to send donations, they can send them through [Polk County Emergency Management] to PO Box 181, Bolivar MO 65613, marked Joplin.”

Selfish bastards

That solid 75%+ of voters who don’t support cuts to Social Security!

I remember how shocked the organizers of last year’s Catfood Commission town hall were were people said emphatically that they would rather cut the military than Social Security. Apparently the Little People aren’t as pliable as they used to be.

Cuckoo

The weather:

Has human activity made a given extreme event more likely?

“In these cases,” he said, “the answer is often yes.”

Boehner’s problem

Digby:

Ok, I get it. The freshman all came in high on power, believing that they had a mandate to ruthlessly slash government spending. But how hard would it have been for Boehner to point out that they’d just won their seats because they’d convinced a bunch of elderly people that Obama was trying to kill them by destroying Medicare? Oh, and by the way, if they want to stay in office they’d need those elderly people to vote for them again?

Boehner’s freshmen are a handful, no doubt about it. But it’s his job to manage that and he made a mistake with this one. He allowed them to alienate seniors, the one group they desperately need to keep if they are to be competitive. He sets the agenda and he should have chosen something far less politically damaging to feed to his slavering freshman vultures. It shouldn’t be hard. They hate everything about government. They couldn’t find something other than the government’s most popular programs right out of the gate?

The article says they are trying to figure out how to save the situation. They clearly haven’t done so. Last week they forced Newt Gingrich to grovel and squirm for days for insulting their plan and former Tea Party dreamboat Scott Brown twisted himself into a pretzel finally deciding today that he wasn’t going to support it, writing:

“The sooner Congress addresses this, the less painful it is likely to be — but more difficult adjustments will be required if we delay,” he wrote. “We should start by making improvements to the traditional Medicare plan.”
(I can just hear Newt whining, “How come he gets to say that?”)

This is a huge political problem for the GOP. It could fade if the Democrats allow them to take it off the table. (The Politico article says that Joe Biden’s bi-partisan group may do that, but it’s hard to see how they can unless Democrats are total fools. Oh wait ...) But there’s nobody to blame except for Boehner, Cantor and Paul Ryan for this mess. And I have a sneaking suspicion that they’ll pay for it with their jobs. The Democrats may be fools, but the Republicans are ruthless when their leadership fails them. Just ask Newtie. He knows all about it.

Oh look

Not only is the Philadelphia Orchestra not bankrupt, filing for bankruptcy is a plan by board members to loot the players’ pensions and break their union! (h/t Lambert)

The 99ers

The elephant in the economic recovery room…

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