Archive | June, 2013

Mick Jagger knocks Obama on surveillance

30 Jun

Mick Jagger knocks Obama on surveillance

Politico’s ‘Snopping’ Error

30 Jun

Politico’s ‘Snopping’ Error – FishbowlDC

Moving up in rankings for Libertarian Fellow Traveller of the Year, Glenn Greenwald discloses that he has IRS problems too

30 Jun

Distractions about my past and personal life have emerged – an inevitable side effect for those who challenge the US government
When I made the choice to report aggressively on top-secret NSAprograms, I knew that I would inevitably be the target of all sorts of personal attacks and smears. You don’t challenge the most powerful state on earth and expect to do so without being attacked. As a superb Guardian editorial noted today: “Those who leak official information will often be denounced, prosecuted or smeared. The more serious the leak, the fiercer the pursuit and the greater the punishment.”
One of the greatest honors I’ve had in my years of writing about politics is the opportunity to work with and befriend my long-time political hero, Daniel Ellsberg. I never quite understood why the Nixon administration, in response to his release of the Pentagon Papers, would want to break into the office of Ellsberg’s psychoanalyst and steal his files. That always seemed like a non sequitur to me: how would disclosing Ellsberg’s most private thoughts and psychosexual assessments discredit the revelations of the Pentagon Papers?
When I asked Ellsberg about that several years ago, he explained that the state uses those tactics against anyone who dissents from or challenges it simply to distract from the revelations and personally smear the person with whatever they can find to make people uncomfortable with the disclosures.
So I’ve been fully expecting those kinds of attacks since I began my work on these NSA leaks. The recent journalist-led “debate” about whether I should be prosecuted for my reporting on these stories was precisely the sort of thing I knew was coming.
As a result, I was not particularly surprised when I received an email last night from a reporter at the New York Daily News informing me that he had been “reviewing some old lawsuits” in which I was involved – “old” as in: more than a decade ago – and that “the paper wants to do a story on this for tomorrow”. He asked that I call him right away to discuss this, apologizing for the very small window he gave me to comment.
Upon calling him, I learned that he had somehow discovered two events from my past. The first was my 2002-04 participation in a multi-member LLC that had an interest in numerous businesses, including the distribution of adult videos. I was bought out of that company by my partners roughly nine years ago.
The lawsuit he referenced was one where the LLC had sued a video producer in (I believe) 2002 after the producer reneged on a profit-sharing contract. In response, that producer fabricated abusive and ugly emails he claimed were from me – they were not – in order to support his allegation that I had bullied him into entering into that contract and he should therefore be relieved from adhering to it. Once our company threatened to retain a forensic expert to prove that the emails were forgeries, the producer quickly settled the case by paying some substantial portion of what was owed, and granting the LLC the rights to use whatever it had obtained when consulting with him to start its own competing business.
The second item the reporter had somehow obtained was one showing an unpaid liability to the IRS stemming, it appears, from some of the last years of my law practice. I’ve always filed all of my tax returns and there’s no issue of tax evasion or fraud. It’s just back taxes for which my lawyers have been working to reach a payment agreement with the IRS.
Just today, a New York Times reporter emailed me to ask about the IRS back payments. And the reporter from the Daily News sent another email asking about a student loan judgment which was in default over a decade ago and is now covered by a payment plan agreement.
So that’s the big discovery: a corporate interest in adult videos (something the LLC shared with almost every hotel chain), fabricated emails, and some back taxes and other debt.
I’m 46 years old and, like most people, have lived a complicated and varied adult life. I didn’t manage my life from the age of 18 onward with the intention of being a Family Values US senator. My personal life, like pretty much everyone’s, is complex and sometimes messy.
If journalists really believe that, in response to the reporting I’m doing, these distractions about my past and personal life are a productive way to spend their time, then so be it.
None of that – or anything else – will detain me even for an instant in continuing to report on what the NSA is doing in the dark.

Daily Caller Communications Aide to Reason

30 Jun

Daily Caller Communications Aide to Reason – FishbowlDC

Daily Caller Communications Aide to Reason

30 Jun

Daily Caller Communications Aide to Reason – FishbowlDC

Paula Deen Surges Past ‘Game of Thrones’ to Top Spot on Amazon

30 Jun

Amazon's Best Sellers - H 2013

Not due on shelves until Oct. 15, the book from the embattled cooking star is one of two in the Top 10.

Paula Deen‘s forthcoming cookbook, Paula Deen’s New Testament, has surged past best-sellers by the likes of Dan BrownStephen King and Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin to take the top spot on Amazon’s sales charts.
The book charted in the 1,500s on Monday and by Wednesday it was at No. 18.
The Southern TV cook has faced widespread outrage and dwindling endorsement deals since a deposition was released last week in which she admitted to using a racial slur for African-Americans in the past, and discussed her wish to mount a “true Southern plantation-style” wedding.
Scheduled to hit shelves on Oct. 15, the book is Deen’s first with Random House. Another Deen cookbook, 2011’s Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible, currently resides at No. 7 on the best-sellers list.
In addition, five of the Top 10 books on the Amazon’s movers and shakers list of books that have jumped the most in the past 24 hours are Deen-related. 

The Attempted Extortion of Paula Deen

30 Jun

The Attempted Extortion of Paula Deen

Rand Paul 2016

30 Jun

Rand Paul 2016: Rand Paul is Running For President, and His Party Might Finally Be Ready For Him


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Rand Paul 2016: Rand Paul is Running For President, and His Party Might Finally Be Ready For Him
Rand Paul is running for president. And he could win. Take a moment to digest that.
The 50 year-old Kentucky senator and son of libertarian icon Ron Paul has turned out to be a lot more politically savvy than most pundits predicted, much to Karl Rove’s dismay. The recent string of events involving the NSA leaks and the IRS scandal has fueled the paranoia of an Orwellian state that Paul’s base has long held. His 12-hour filibuster on drones has positioned him to run as a champion of civil liberties, and highlighted the more measured approach to talking about foreign policy in relation to his father. While Ron Paul would suggestthat using drones in targeting killings makes people hate us and creates new terrorists overseas, Rand instills a fear in suggesting that the government could use drones to target U.S. citizens without due process. He takes the same anti-drone stance as his father but personalizes the message.
He also has going for him that he’s ideologically in line with the Republican base in a cycle where the argument that moderation equals electability has been exhausted. Given where the Republican Party was in 2012, Mitt Romney was a weird fit to be their nominee. He was a relatively moderate, pragmatic governor trying to desperately re-brand his views to be in sync with a party that has made obstructionism their policy agenda in Congress and threatened to shut down the government and default our nation’s credit. He was a quarter-billionaire representing a party that had been hijacked by a grassroots movement fueled by economic insecurity with a vocal nativist segment. The base of the Republican Party did not like him. They never did. Romney was nominated on the promise that he would be the most viable and electable candidate, but the base of the party was dragged kicking and screaming on the road to his nomination, where just about every anti-establishment candidate had their moment polling in first place.
A big reason Romney won the nomination is he was the only establishment candidate in a field crowded with anti-establishment candidates who divided up the anti-Romney vote. Now, fast forward to 2016. Rand Paul is the top tier anti-establishment candidate. He inherits a base of libertarian support that his father enjoyed, and on top of that he attracts more of the anti-establishment Tea Party voters from 2012. He may even expand the primary electorate by bringing new voters in as Obama did in 2008. This would give him a pretty solid floor that would cement his status as a top-tier candidate.
The difference between 2012 and 2016 is this time the establishment vote might be divided up in a similar way to how the anti-establishment vote was divided in 2012. If Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan all run, the establishment support would be greatly divided. The chances of all of them running are very slim, however. It’s hard to imagine Jeb Bush running if Rubio’s in, and vice-versa, and Paul Ryan looks a lot more likely to stay in the House. But it only takes two establishment candidates running to divide up their vote.
He’s still a long shot to the nomination, and a much longer shot to the presidency. But his candidacy is possible because of the notion that charisma is a more electable quality than moderation and substantive accomplishment. Though if saying no to everything and talking for 12 hours nonstop qualifies one to be president, I have a couple ex-girlfriends who would make great candidates.

Matthew Yglesias evicts the black church ladies

30 Jun

I often blog, because it is like shooting fish in a barrel, about white, and even black and Latino, limousine liberals in DC who smear everyone else as racist while living in only the most lily white DC (or DC suburban) zip codes – in a majority black city: Jonathan Chait and all the NPR bigwigs in Chevy Chase, DC, Chris Matthews in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Jay Carney and Hilary Rosen in Palisades, David Gregory in Foxhall, Andrea Mitchell in Kent-Berkeley (so very white most black and even most white DC residents don’t know what or where that is, and her only black neighbor is a multimillionairess who married an even wealthier white man), Eugene Robinson and Chuck Todd in north Arlington, Dana Milbanks and almost every other national journalist in Cleveland Park, David Brock and one of the Podesta brothers in Kalorama (where the only people of color are either the help or ambassadors from Africa and Asia).  It’s what economists call demonstrated preference – it’s the walk you walk, not the talk you talk.

But sometimes the leftovers and proglodytes hurl their charges of racism from somewhat less segregated homesteads, at least in a snapshot sense.  Neighborhoods that are temporarily integrated because the non-black well paid agents of Big Government are still displacing the black working class.  As the federal government, and liberal billionaires and multimillionaires like George Soros and the lobbyist Podesta brothers, import mainly white technocrats and lawyers with 6 and even 7 figure salaries into DC, waves of gentrification displace the original working class African American population.  Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, Karen Finney and other Democrat pols and flaks live in gleaming lofts built on what used to be black neighborhoods.

And joining them is Matthew Yglesias.  He recently bought a lovely new million dollar condo, which provoked some discussion about how well it pays to promote the leftover agenda.  This week he’s being paid to say Rand Paul is a white supremacist, because Rand Paul might just think there is a way to address bigotry in a multicultural society other than the Democrat Party’s failed model of a drug war, failed segregated public schools, the sacred cow of the Civil Rights Act, and selling poor black and brown kids to the educrat cartels to get donations for Democratic candidates.  Ironically, Yglesias home is erected on the grave of DC’s black majority, now down to 49% and shrinking – his home is the former location of  Damali African Wear.

The government employees and pro-government flaks with 6 and 7 figure salaries have also been driving DC’s black church ladies away.  Logan Circle is full of African American churches but their congregants now live an hour away in Prince George’s County and drive back to Logan one day a week, in their matching brightly colored hats, purses, shoes and frocks, to worship at their childhood churches.  But the Big Government yuppies only let them back one day a week.

  1. 1500 Ninth Street Northwest
    (202) 232-4288

    Shiloh Baptist Church

  2. 1226 Vermont Ave NW
    (202) 667-1377

    Luther Place Memorial Church

  3. 474 Ridge St NW
    (202) 638-7373

    Metropolitan Community Church of Washington

  4. 1405 15th St NW
    (202) 387-3131

    Grace Reformed Church

  5. Washington
    (202) 667-1078


Pictured up top is the very white kitchen from which he cooks up his charges of racism in defense of Obama and failed Democratic Party policies that have left us with many black men in prison, high black unemployment, and low levels of black literacy. (Below his building before and after condo conversion.)

Wonder if he’s seen Poltergeist?

(A side note: Yglesias did actually participate in a panel recently on how government regulation drives up the cost of housing for poor and moderate income people.  And he should be concerned about how government programs increase poverty and social ills – he’s been mugged once so far when walking home from visiting some poorer, libertarian, journalists who live in a less gentrified neighborhood.)

Frederic Bastiat – in Memorium

30 Jun

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (French; 30 June 1801[1] – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost, and for penning the influential Parable of the Broken Window. His ideas have gone on to provide a foundational basis for Libertarian and the Austrian schools of thought.[1][2]

Read his classic essay “The Law,” here.