Even Congress denied access to basic details of NSA spying

Via BoingBoing and The Guardian: GOP and Democratic Congressmen have been denied information from the House Intelligence Committee on details of NSA spying. When they ask for information on how the Committee voted, the Committee won’t tell them the details of the vote or how other House members voted. It is supposedly “classified”. These Congressmen are being asked to vote on continuing to fund NSA operations and can’t even get the information they need to make a vote based on the facts.

Get out and vote!

If you live in the U.S., today is the day. After almost 2 years of campaigning and listening to the candidates, it’s our turn as citizens to make our decisions and vote for our candidates. I voted an hour ago – and the turnout was higher than 4 years ago, and I live in the state with the highest percentage of registered voters and those who vote. We had more voting booths than I’ve seen in 10 years of living here.

You know this, right?

Mark Shuttleworth: In defense of independent governance

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu Linux, has a stirring blog post up titled In defense of independent governance. I cannot due a summary justice, but Mr. Shuttleworth’s extremely well written words on culture, democracy and free speech have moved me, and I encourage you to read it. I’ll leave you with this from Mark Shuttleworth: At times like these, we are our own worst enemy. We hear what we want to hear.

The Angry Liberal Club

Via BoingBoing, C.B. Shapiro has written an amazing piece of work, titled “Hark, the Angry Liberal Sings“. I’ll let his words explain, he does a much better job than I ever could, and I couldn’t agree with him more: There’s been some ink spilled lately denigrating so called ‘angry liberals,’ that is, people who have allegedly lost their right to be taken seriously because they are ‘angry.’ And they are ‘liberal.

Wisconsin Gets It

Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin signed into law a bill requiring any vendor who provides electronic voting machines must provide the code that runs on those machines. This, combined with paper copies of the vote you cast for (which Wisconsin also requires) are a must when it comes to electronic voting. Not just to avoid the fraud as seen in Ohio in 2004, or as a check against corrupt CEOs who publicly say they’ll do everything in their power to see an election go a certain way and they also just happen to provide e-voting machines, but the code and paper voting provide trust to the end user that their vote counts.

Senate Rejects Extension of Patriot Act

Senate Rejects Extension of Patriot Act Sen. Feingold has Senators listening! With a vote of 52-47, 8 short to override a filibuster, Senators today rejected extending the Patriot Act. Senators from all sides joined Sen. Feingold in opposing this terrible piece of legislation that stomps on American’s civil liberties. “We can come together to give the government the tools it needs to fight terrorism and protect the rights and freedoms of innocent citizens,” said Sen.

Fight the Power

Just recently, I had mentioned Senator Feingold on the blog, and here is more proof that he gets it. As Congress gets closer to extending the police state that is the Patriot Act, Senator Feingold says: “I will do everything I can, including a filibuster, to stop this Patriot Act conference report, which does not include adequate safeguards to protect our constitutional freedoms,” said Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis.

2008 Straw Poll

I don’t blog politics much, though I’m a pretty passionate liberal (no, really). DailyKos, one of the more liberal and bigger blogs out there, shared their November straw poll results for the Democratic primary. Surprisingly enough, Russ Feingold is 2nd in the straw poll for the 3rd month in a row, after Gen. Clark. Now granted, DailyKos readers are extremely progressive, but I’m still surprised. I had the honor of meeting Senator Feingold one Sunday when we bumped into each other at lunch at Dotty Dumplings Dowry (alas, one of the best burger places ever is gone from Madison now) when he was still a state senator.

Entrepeneur or Scam Artist?

The Star Tribune has a story up about E. Adam Web, a man who scans city ordinances around signs and billboards and petitions cities to put up huge billboards, up to 672 feet high. When the city declines the request, he goes after them in court pointing out that the local ordinances are so confusing and outdated that a homeowner couldn’t even put up a “Go Vikings” sign in their own yard.