Ask Facebook to de-friend Ted Ullyot!

cross-posted at the Oxdown Gazette

Logo for anti-Ullyot Facebook groupThe L.A. Times’ Tech blog* is reporting that Ted Ullyot — a former chief of staff to former AG Alberto Gonzales, a former AOL in-house lawyer and a former Kirkland & Ellis partner — is moving to San Fran to take the top legal job at Facebook.

Facebook Sends Ted Ullyot a Friend Request, Dan Slater, Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

And just in case you were wondering:

As for his stint in the Bush administration, that was something he had long sought and something for which he remains grateful, Ullyot said. Despite the politically charged high drama, he said: “I have nothing but good to say about it.”

Facebook hires general counsel as it continues to grow, Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Technology blog

Unsurprisingly, there’s a protest group: We demand that facebook fire Alberto Gonzales’ right-hand man, Ted Ullyot.  283 members and counting.

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Get FISA Right: on the air in St. Paul!

Get FISA Right logoDuring the past 8 years, the Bush administration listened to Americans’ phone calls and read their emails without a warrant. If elected President, John McCain would do the same.*

Get FISA Right ad, scheduled to air on Fox News in St. Paul today

Update: check out Nick Juliano’s Anti-FISA group targets GOP delegates in St. Paul on The Raw Story

We’ve got at least 9 Get FISA Right ads scheduled to air on the cable news networks during the Republican National Convention. With the live documentation of journalists in handcuffs and demonstrators teargassed and pepper-sprayed in St. Paul, a prime time Fox News ad defending the Constitution for only $123 feels like money very well spent — a great chance to reach all the media looking for convention stories to cover as well as the personal satisfaction of bringing up an issue I know none of the speakers will touch. I know it’s been said a lot recently, but SaysMe.tv’s ability to let individuals air cable ads is really a game-changer.

For Against
Republicans 46 1
Democrats 5 44
July 9 Senate vote on telecom immunity

It’s been a really difficult 8 years for civil libertarians, and although there’s a sense of change in the air and I’m increasingly confident that we’ll win when the FISA battle resumes early next year, nobody at last week’s Democratic National Convention seemed to want to talk about the damage that’s been done to the Constitution. Is it really possible that issues like the Fourth Amendment, the rule of law, and the underlying Nixonian Article II/”unitary executive” theory aren’t going to be on the table this election? It’s appalling on at least a couple of levels. As an American, I really feel like we should get to vote on whether or not we continue a slide into fascism. And as an Obama supporter, how can an otherwise-intelligent campaign throw away such a huge potential advantage?**

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Get FISA Right gets partisan!

Get FISA Right logoThe new ad stars the Constitution as the main player, with the visual featuring a pan over founding documents. One version of the ad takes aim at the Republican Senators, who voted unanimously to extend the powers of government to listen to Americans’ phone calls and read their emails without a warrant; another highlights John McCain’s strong endorsement of the Bush Administration’s wiretapping policies over the last eight years.

— from Get FISA Right Directs Fire at McCain, GOP

Even though I push back on the media’s framing of civil liberties as a partisan issue — libertarians, greens, and “classic” conservatives value the Constitution just as highly as progressives — there’s no denying the Republican party’s party-line vote on FISA and McCain’s enthusiastic support for the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping efforts. With the conventions signalling a shift into high gear in the campaign, it seemed like a great time for Get FISA Right to complement our earlier non-partisan Don’t let our Constitution die ad.

As the discussion threads on the wiki page show, there were a lot of different ideas for what we might do. There was a tight deadline in order to get things ready to air by the RNC, so we wound up going with a very simple visual; and after some discussion, chose a couple of different voiceovers. We got the usual stellar help from saysme.tv, and I’m really happy with how the ads came out. Here’s one of them:

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“If Ann Coulter had liveblogged the Gettysburg Address”

by Mark Kleinam on The Reality Based Community:

Old Abe is approaching the podium, looking even more like a badly-dressed and ill-proportioned scarecrow suffering from a depressive disorder than he usually does. I mean, if you’re going to be an empty suit, couldn’t you at least find a suit that fits?

And as usual, he’s not wearing an American flag lapel pin. Too good for it, I suppose. Probably thinks it’s tacky, and that “real patriotism” doesn’t have to be displayed. Typical intellectual arrogance.

and much more, with Ann providing line-by-line commentary

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“Election falsification” and other voting issues in Ohio (updated)

Update, March 27: The Columbus Dispatch reports statewide officials say prosecution for Limbaugh is very unlikely: “lying through your teeth and being stupid isn’t a crime.” Ari Melber’s Limbaugh’s Lying Voters Under Investigation on The Nation’s Campaign Matters blog has a lot more.

Kim Zetter’s The Mysterious Case of Ohio’s Voting Machines, on Wired’s THREAT LEVEL, has context for Ohio in general. From earlier in the month, Lingering questions in Ohio and Uncounted delegates & Ohio’s delegate math on Dan Tokaji’s excellent Equal Votes Blog cover the equally-important non-Limbaugh issues.

(originally posted March 7)

streets blocked outside the polling location

Art House Queen’s picture of the streets blocked surrounding the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections symbolizes voter disenfranchisement across the state. They ran out of ballots in Sandusky County and Franklin County; voting machines broke down in Montgomery County and no doubt elsewhere; a dozen computer memory cards spent the night in the back of a sherriff’s van in Lucas County before being counted; in Obama stronghold Cuyahoga County, voter privacy was compromised and huge numbers of provisional ballots still haven’t been counted.

The Secretary of State is “very pleased”, citing it as improvement over 2004 despite horrible weather; and very importantly, the move to paper ballots in Cuyahoga County went well, and the state’s pressuring Diebold to refund the $21 million for the decertified voting machines. Democracy in America, 2008. Nothing to see here, move along, move along …

Except …

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The day after: a work in progress on “narrative through the lens of strategy

A few teasers:

With aid of what they describe as “the kitchen sink,” the Clinton campaign came out tactically slightly ahead: somewhere between four and ten delegates out of the 370 in play. Kudos to them. Even so, yesterday’s results are almost exactly what the Obama campaign had projected a month ago, a likely +3 or +4 over projections in Texas balanced by a likely -2 or -3 in Ohio. The Obama campaign continues to have a huge cushion: 120 pledged delegates over their early-February projections. With less time for a Clinton turnaround, Obama’s strategic advantage has grown … guess they were prepared for the kitchen sink, or something like it.

The Clinton campaign’s potential role in the Obama-in-Somali-garb photo will call attention to the earlier “Obama is a Muslim” email from Clinton staffers, the series of racially charged attacks documented on the Clinton attacks Obama wiki and elsewhere, and the Clinton campaign’s earlier “playing along” with Drudge. At the same time, the “denounce and reject” standard she proposed in the debate will get continued attention thanks to McCain and Lieberman’s welcoming of virulently anti-Catholic anti-LGBT anti-New Orleans anti-Palestinian (and anti-so-much-more) John Hagee’s support. How many volunteers, staffers, supporters will the Clinton campaign “denounce”? How many contributions will they reject?

From a strategy perspective, the Clinton campaign in desperation threw everything they could into March 4. (You can only align with Drudge, Limbaugh, O’Reilly and McCain so many times before voters and superdelegates start to ask whether this is good for the party — and there aren’t a lot of other friendly foreign governments they can call on these days.) At the cost of substantially damaging their campaign as well as their individual reputations, they managed to claw their way to an inconsequential and Pyrrhic “victory”. Mathematically, they’re now very close to elimination. Not a good result for the Clintons at all.

So, while it’s not over and anything can happen, once all the hard work is done and the votes are counted, I predict that March 4 will be seen as the day that the voters in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont — and the grassroots volunteers for Obama all around the country and the world — virtually assured Barack Obama’s nomination as Democratic party’s candidate for President of the United States of America.

Read on for the full essay. Feedback and discussion welcome!

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What democracy looks like in the US, February 2008

Update, March 6: democracy largely (albeit imperfectly) prevailed in the LA County mess; 47,153 “double bubble” votes were counted in Los Angeles County. What about Ohio? We shall see …

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The Super Tuesday thread!

To avoid overflowing the blog, I’ll use this thread to collect various snippets about Super Tuesday. Stories and threads elsewhere:

Update, 6:40 p.m.: I’m having intermittent problems getting to the Facebook threads, so they may be having a hard time keeping up with the load.

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DA who sent ‘amorous’ and racially charged messages to drop arson charges against Texas Supreme Court Judge

Now that’s a story you don’t see every day!

A Texas Supreme Court justice and his wife were charged on Thursday in an arson fire that destroyed their suburban Houston home last June, the judge’s lawyer said.

But in a bizarre reversal, prosecutors plan on Friday to seek dismissal of the indictments against the justice…

It appeared, the lawyer said, that a grand jury had voted the indictments precipitously over the objection of prosecutors.

District Attorney Charles A. Rosenthal Jr., who has been fending off calls for his resignation over amorous e-mail messages to his executive secretary and other sexually explicit and racially charged messages, issued no statement.

Good thinking on the ‘no statement’ part.

Update on January 18: it’s not just any DA, it’s the guy who defended the Texas law that criminalized homosexuality in Lawrence v. Texas at the US Supreme Court!

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