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Archive for the ‘Table Talk’ Category

Alice Marshall’s Working On A Book

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 22, 2009

You might be interested in helping her write it:

About this Project

I am an independent PR practitioner with a longtime interest in voting machines. With your help I can write a book that chronicles the story of how the reputation of this technology went from perfect solution to alleged conspiracy.

The book I propose would be entirely about the reputation of voting machine technology. Others have written about the merits of the voting machines; I do not propose to address that aspect of the story. I am solely concerned with the reputation meltdown of the machines. When they were first brought to notice, they enjoyed widespread confidence. Now they are seen as insecure at best and the instrument of conspiracy at worst. How did such a thing come about? This article I wrote for the Daily Dog will give funders a sense of my approach.

So far as I am aware, this was the first case of an online campaign directed against a specific technology. I propose to write a detailed book that traces the story from the obscure websites that attacked the machines to when the machines became the subject of late night comedy. It will be necessary to conduct hundreds of interviews with activists, computer scientists, corporate leaders, lawyers, elections officers, reporters, and politicians. I am particularly eager to interview the public relations teams of the companies involved to get their side of the story. What is it like to be on the receiving end of this sort of pressure campaign?

Obviously, this will require a great deal of time; if I write this book I will not be able to accept any additional PR clients. It will be necessary to subscribe to Lexis/Nexis and similar data bases. I also anticipate that I will require a research assistant. It is my ambition to publish the book before the end of October 2009. There are elections this year in Virginia, New Jersey, and Kentucky. An October release would be the best timing for a book such as this.

This book will be aimed at public relations professionals. Robert French, who teaches public relations at Auburn University, has agreed to review the book on his blog infOpinions, so funders can be confident that the book will receive some publicity.

Project location: Washington, DC

Alice is a longtime online activist whose online history goes back to the early days of Salon‘s Table Talk. She’s been one of the heavy lifters on the subject of electronic voting. Her planned book is worth the support you can give it.

Posted in activism, blogs and blogging, organizing, Table Talk, voting machines | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on May 18, 2007

“Oh no! Does she have a … NEW CAMERA?!?”

Alex Staring

“Yes.” ::sigh:: “She has a new camera. And she’ll be taking more pictures of us with it.” ::grumble::


“What do we care? We don’t live with her.”

Ambott’s Cats

(This week’s Special Guest Cats — Baby Boy, Ella, and Abby — live with ambott of Salon’s Table Talk.)

Posted in Alexander the Great, cats, Friday Cat Blogging, Good Things, guest cats, Just for fun, Lady Lightfoot, Table Talk | 6 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on May 11, 2007

Alex is in his happy place.


Lightfoot is keeping an eye on me.


And Special Guest Cats Sophie and Angus are taking life easy.


Their catstaff is polargal of Salon’s Table Talk.

Posted in Alexander the Great, cats, Friday Cat Blogging, Just for fun, Lady Lightfoot, Table Talk | 5 Comments »

Even Texas

Posted by MEC on April 14, 2007

Martin Freed of Fairbanks, Alaska reports an interesting experience in Texas:

Our “Dump Bush” sign on the rear door was large enough to be read from at least 30 feet. So far, we had received nothing but thumbs up or even cheers from passing drivers. What can be expected in Texas?

…The waitress asked where she could get one of our “Impeach Bush” buttons.

…two 18 wheeler truckers came over and asked if they too can have some. You know the Neocons are in trouble when truckers in Texas want “Impeach Bush” buttons.

Can we impeach him now?

(H/T LetterMan of Salon’s Table Talk and LetterMan’s Lair)

Posted in Bush, Table Talk, Texas | 2 Comments »

St. Vincent Students: Invitation to Bush Tarnishes School

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

Students at St. Vincent College object to the college’s invitation to George W. Bush to be commencement speaker. A petition against his acceptance states:

Since it was founded in 1846, Saint Vincent College has strived to embody the ideals of the Catholic faith and the fifteen-hundred-year heritage of Benedictine education. The College’s mission is firmly rooted in “the love of values inherent in the liberal approach to life and learning.” We believe your administration’s disregard of opposing viewpoints has deeply divided the nation and flies in the face of this approach.

Your poor stewardship of the environment, policies that favor the wealthy while ignoring the needs of the poor and the sick, and reckless squandering of the lives of our troops by clinging to failed tactics in an ill-conceived, unjustified war are at odds with our values. Values that—rather than being unique to Catholicism—are universal.


Your purposes are not our purposes, and your beliefs do not reflect the values and heritage of our cherished institution.

As with the BYU protest, this shows that the students of St. Vincent College recognize that “morality” is about more than publicly claiming to be religious and pushing certain hot-button issues. Their elders should listen to them.

(Once again, H/T Salon’s Table Talk)

Posted in Bush, dope slaps for Dubya, priorities, Table Talk | 2 Comments »

We Knew They Would

Posted by MEC on March 19, 2007

Last Friday, I predicted that The Usual Suspects, rather than admit defeat in their attempts to discredit Joe and Valerie Wilson, would accuse Valerie of lying under oath in the Congressional hearing.

I don’t know whether Brit Hume was the first, but he certainly went at it with gusto. Think Progress demolishes him, but I expect we’ll be hearing the same accusation from others of his ilk, probably in the same words and everything.

I expect demands that Valerie be indicted for lying under oath, because it’s a Very Serious Crime, from the exact same people who’ve been defending Scooter Libby by saying he should never have been prosecuted because there was “no underlying crime”.

[H/T Salon’s Table Talk]

Posted in anti-truth, Brit Hume, Fox Noise, GOP/Media Complex, hypocrites, mediawhores, Table Talk, Valerie Plame | 2 Comments »

The Business of War

Posted by MEC on March 17, 2007

“Karl Northman” of Salon’s Table Talk demolishes the Republican talking point that Democrats are trying to “micromanage the war” (not to mention their claim to be better for business):

The Republicans are now accusing the Democrats of wanting to “micromanage” the conduct of the Iraq War. So let’s look at this war from a business point of view.

The war is something like a 100 billion dollar a year enterprise. Including contractors and support, it has something like 250,000 employees. However, it is just a small part of USA, Inc. It is a division that opened four years ago with great hype and promises to the shareholders of low costs and high returns. Despite increasing investment, the costs have always been far over estimate, and the returns minimal, if not negative. In any real business, after 400 some billion dollars had spent, with no return and no turnaround in sight, questions would be asked:

  • Should the Iraq War Division get increased funding or less? Should it be allowed to increase its headcount, except with specific qualifications on who may be added and when?
  • The original network of business partners has not expanded, but has rather shrunk, and almost all Iraq War operations are now company-owned and not run by franchisees. As costs increase, and returns decrease, should we really even be in the Iraq War business any more?
  • How much of our resources should we commit to a product line that has never taken off, that is increasingly rejected by consumers, and where there doesn’t even seem to be the option of selling it or spinning it off to someone else?
  • How much can we afford to spend propping up the Iraq War division without serious damage to our other, more important, more profitable, lines of business, and how much longer can we afford the increasing damage to the asset we carry called “Goodwill”?
  • If we want to get out of the Iraq War business, how can we do it and minimize the one-time costs associated with the closure and divestiture?

These are the questions that are finally getting debated in Congress. These are not “micromanagement” questions nor are they tactical management questions. They are questions of corporate strategy. They are just some of the questions that the board of directors should ask, but that haven’t been asked for years because the CEO’s cronies there haven’t allowed them to be asked.

The previous board of directors let this division be created, let it continue and grow, let management do whatever it wanted and handed them a blank check, even when it was clear in the first six months that the original business plan was flawed. But in November, the stockholders put in a new board, and the cronies are no longer in control. It’s long past time that the board got involved in the strategic direction of the company, even if they haven’t yet decided that it might be time to fire the current management.

When the supposed party of business, who preened over having the “first MBA President”, thinks that the questions above are the sort of thing that constitutes “micromanagement”, they only show that they will use every talking point handed to them by their spinmeisters regardless of its self-evident absurdity. They may feel they must march in lockstep with the party, or they may truly not understand the issues, or they may not think that anyone else will know or care. It hardly matters which – they are demonstrating their inability to think independently, their willful ignorance, their contempt for the American people, or all of those at once.

Posted in Iraq war, Silly Republicans, Table Talk | 2 Comments »

Was Valerie Wilson, not Joe, the Real Target?

Posted by MEC on March 17, 2007

Valerie Plame Wilson testified yesterday about her CIA assignment:

In the run-up to the war with Iraq, I worked in the Counterproliferation Division of the CIA, still as a covert officer whose affiliation with the CIA was classified. I raced to discover intelligence for senior policy makers on Iraq ‘s presumed weapons of mass destruction program. While I helped to manage and run secret worldwide operations against this WMD target from CIA headquarters in Washington , I also traveled to foreign countries on secret missions to find vital intelligence.

She also testified that

In February of 2002, a young junior officer who worked for me — came to me very upset. She had just received a telephone call on her desk from someone — I don’t know who — in the office of the vice-president asking about this report of this alleged sale of yellow cake uranium from Niger to Iraq.

She was specifically working on Iraq ‘s presumed weapons of mass destruction program. She wasn’t just an agent; she had people reporting to her in CIA headquarters. What are the odds that Dick Cheney, who was actively meddling in the very work she was overseeing, didn’t know about her? Slim, or none?

We know from other sources that Cheney was angry that he wasn’t getting what he wanted from the intelligence reports. And he wouldn’t get reports that “fit the facts around the policy” from Valerie Plame Wilson. Her testimony makes that very clear:

Intelligence collection is certainly more of an art than a science. But if there is any taint of bias, then it undermines its usefulness. The primary customer of our intelligence if, of course, the president of the United States. And if the president of the United States thinks somehow or doesn’t believe that his intelligence that he receives on his desk — he or she receives on his desk every morning — is free of ideology, politics, a certain viewpoint, how then can that president make the most important decisions of all about the security of our country? And I do feel passionately about that. You have to get the politics out of our intelligence process.

Ms. Wilson testified that she believed her outing was retaliation for her husband’s public criticism of Bush’s lies. She could be wrong about that. It might have been retaliation for doing her job the way it should be done, as the Busheviks have retaliated against so many people from climate scientists to U.S. attorneys for doing their jobs the way they should be done instead of serving the Bushevik agenda.

[H/T Arizona Girl in Salon’s Table Talk for inspiring these thoughts]

Posted in Congressional hearings, Dick Cheney, heroines, Iraq war, Joe Wilson, Table Talk, Valerie Plame | 5 Comments »

Media Atrocity Averted

Posted by MEC on March 17, 2007

There were reports last month that when the White House press room reopens after extensive renovations, Helen Thomas, who as the doyenne of White House correspondents has a place of honor in the front row for press briefings, would be displaced by cable news and relegated to a second-row seat.

Apparently Les Kinsolving and I weren’t the only people who was outraged by this affront to Ms. Thomas.

When the White House press room reopens, the White House Correspondents Association will

honor a previous commitment by our association to maintain Helen Thomas’ seat in the first row. As the dean of the White House press corps, Helen is an institution. First with United Press International and now as a White House columnist for Hearst newspapers, Helen has covered every president since John Kennedy.

[H/T Salon’s Table Talk]

Posted in Helen Thomas, real journalism, Table Talk | Comments Off on Media Atrocity Averted

Newt’s Going to Run for President

Posted by MEC on March 9, 2007

Can anybody think of any other explanation for this than that Newt is setting up to get the support of the Raving Theocrat Right for a presidential run?

On Wednesday, Focus on the Family alerted reporters to an interview with Gingrich that will air tomorrow and Friday on James Dobson’s radio show, in which the former House speaker fesses up to “moral failings.” According to the press release, which is smartly scant on the juicy details so that we’ll have to tune in (or at least Google it), Gingrich tells Dobson that he has “gotten on his knees and sought God’s forgiveness” for his personal failings.

The only thing more staggering than the cynicism of this “confession” is the hypocrisy, and vice versa.

Moral failings? Yeah, Newt’s had a few. Does he repent of them? Only until after Election Day 2008. “Repentance” means nothing without some attempt to undo the harm you did.

I’ll believe he repents of them when he pays his first wife the child support he owes her. Even though the children are long since grown up, I’m sure she could use the money.

A public admission of his own hypocrisy for condemning Bill Clinton’s sexual misbehavior all the while Newt was engaging in more serious sexual misbehavior would also be a nice gesture.

I bet my next mortgage payment that Newt won’t do anything to actually make amends. Any takers?

[H/T Salon’s Table Talk]

Posted in 2008, Flying Monkey Right, hypocrites, Newt Gingrich, Republicans acting badly, Table Talk | 2 Comments »

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