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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for March 2012

FOTHOM XLII: Boom! With one Data Dump the Hackgate Scandal goes Global ACTION DIARY

Tom Watson, the MP who led the charge against Murdoch’s UK empire, is asking for help

On the eve of Lowell Bergman’s excellent PBS documentary (tonight 10 PM PBS) on the original Hackgate allegations that closed News of the World, we have a data dump which actually takes the hacking allegations to a whole new level: to a global News Corp security group which appears to have been behind pay-TV hacking across the world.

Last Night’s BBC1 Panorama Documentary

Through a series of reconstructions, hidden surveillance cameras and interviews with the key players, Panorama alleges that the piracy which crippled ITV Digital was a deliberate attack by the News Corp. subsidiary NDS, which produces about 75 per cent of the encryption software that protects access to pay-tv.  The programme centres on an exclusive interview with Lee Gibling, the man behind The House of Ill Compute website which was, until it was closed down in 2001, the main source of codes and software for manufacturing pirate access cards.

Analyzing the 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court Election

On April 5th, 2011 Wisconsin held an election to choose a Wisconsin Supreme Court nominee. The supposedly non-partisan election turned into a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker’s controversial policies against unions. Mr. Walker’s new law will probably be headed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and since the Supreme Court is elected by the voters Democrats saw one last chance to defeat his law.

The frontrunner was the incumbent justice, Republican David Prosser. The Democratic favorite was relatively unknown JoAnne Kloppenburg. The two candidates essentially tied each other, although Mr. Prosser has taken the lead following the discovery of 14,315 votes in a strongly Republican city.

Here are the results of the election:


More below.

Would losing the SCOTUS decision on the ACA be the worst thing?

OK.  I’ll answer my own question right off the bat.  Yes.  Losing would be horrendous.  It would be horrendous for us politically and policy-wise.  It would validate those on the right who claim the mantle of The Constitution (along with God, Reason, History, Morality, etc.).  If the mandate alone falls, the whole thing becomes an economic albatross.  

How do we maintain the prohibition on exclusion of pre-existing conditions without maintaining the economic participation of the healthy?  [A caveat to Clintonians here.  You were right 4 years ago.  HRC was right.  I never mixed it up on this issue, in part because it made me uncomfortable, though I cringe to acknowledge that it was not enough to admit at the time that Obama was wrong.  What’s worse is that I think Obama knew even then that mandates were the key to economic viability.  So while some Obama supporters recoiled from Hillary Clinton as the professional politician who would say anything, as a caricature machiavel, she was the candidate bold enough to tell the controversial truth on this issue.  And this should be marked forever to her credit.]  And if the whole thing goes down, millions of Americans will lose their care and unfunded emergency services will continue to be a drain on the economy and the lack of preventive and timely care will exacerbate them.  One of Obama’s 3 undersold signal accomplishments (the other being the auto industry and killing OBL, though we might add the draw down in Iraq and prevention of a 2nd great depression as well) will be turned into a defeat.

A Russian Perspective on the Russian-Georgian War

By: inoljt,

In the summer of 2008, although many people have forgotten, Russia and Georgia fought a brief war. The war began when Georgia launched an invasion of its rebellious province South Ossetia. South Ossetian resistance was bolstered when Russia launched a massive intervention. Georgian and Russian forces fought for several days, ending in a resounding Georgian defeat.

The American perspective of the war reflects American suspicion of Russia, dating from the hostility of the Cold War. Georgia, most grudgingly acknowledge, did start hostilities. But Russia’s response was extremely disproportionate and, in this view, deserves to be condemned. On the other hand, the war has revealed that Georgia is definitely not ready to join organizations such as NATO or the EU.

This article, by Mikhail Barabanov of the Moscow Defense Brief, provides a fascinatingly different perspective.

More below.

Colorado Senate: Birth Control = First Degree Murder

Colorado’s Senate has passed a bill called “First Degree Homicide Of The Unborn Child Bill”, according to njcronk on DKOS.

The stated intent of the bill is to be able to charge murderers twice for killing a pregnant woman. But such a law cannot stop there.

As LeftHandedMan says in the first comment at DKOS:

Does the Doctor and the woman both get the death penalty, or just the Doctor?

If the nurse does her job, is she guilty of second degree murder or neglegent homicide? Should she get the death penalty too? Like a getaway driver who helps a first-degree murderer get away might get in some states?

If a woman miscarries, is that murder or just involuntary manslaughter?

It gets both worse and, perhaps, better when you look deeper.

FOTHOM XL: Murdoch Father and Son’s ‘Squalid’ Deals with Prime Ministers: New Eric Lewis Cartoon

Private papers were released last night from the Thatcher Foundation which show the secret meeting Rupert Murdoch had with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to make sure his bid the The Times and Sunday Times would not be referred to the Monopolies and Merger’s commission in return for more political support, and an introduction to Ronald Reagan’s political circle. The eminent and brilliant editor Harold Evans of the Sunday Times, who was against all assurances ousted by Rupert Murdoch, said on a BBC Radio Interview this morning (starts around 1:49).

“The whole thing is so squalid I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at being vindicated after all this time”

Shining LIGHTS on ICS Cybersecurity

(Crossposted from Infosec Island)

As we wrestle through our critical infrastructure cybersecurity conundrum we talk a lot about Big Electricity, Big Oil and other Big Asset Owners.

Certainly these asset owners play a crucial part in providing the services of modern society, and keeping them secure is very important. However, these asset owners are not all – or even most – of the problem.

In the US Electric Sector, for example, there are around 3,200 utilities keeping the lights on. Less than 1% of these would be considered Big Electric companies. Drinking and waste water is supplied by over 50,000 US utilities, almost none of which are large operations. Manufacturing, Transportation, Chemical and other sectors are similarly bottom-heavy in terms of demographics.

Obviously, achieving reliable security in large facilities – and none at small ones – only moves us so far towards securing the nation.