Fiendish Feds Filched my Follicles

I flew United, Milwaukee>Ohare>Austin for the Netroots Nation bloggers convention last week.

Landing, 2 bags out of 66 passengers were not on the carousel, mine and agnostic's, another raucous Dailykos poster. We were told they'd been mistakenly sent to Scranton, would be delivered to out hotel around midnight. Actually arrived 4:00 the next afternoon, with 2 pieces of tape, one from TSA, and another from Homeland Security. Missing, my hairbrush, and Ms. Agnostic's scarf.

As I connect the dots, when our dossiers were run, an alert HSA drone noticed empty datafields for our DNA. No longer empty.Agnostic originated in Chicago, my bag was to have been transferred. A true accident wouldn't have plucked them both from different streams.

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Two-Faced Susan: Susan Collins' Lies, Hypocrisy, and Allegiance to the GOP's Far Right Wing

(By the end of this post, you'll want to contribute heavily to Congressman Tom Allen's Senate campaign.  Keep the link handy.)

Susan Collins is approaching the conclusion of her second term as Maine's junior Senator, the seat she first won in 1996.  Her employment history prior to serving as a U.S. Senator includes twelve years on the staff of U.S. Senator William Cohen (R-ME), so she is no stranger to the machinations of representing the state of Maine in the U.S. Senate.

While Collins has presented herself as a moderate or centrist in order to maximize the breadth of her appeal to Maine voters, when one looks at the entirety of her record, what is evidenced is overwhelming double-talk and an undue allegiance to the far-right wing of the Republican Party and the current Bush administration.  It has become clear that Susan Collins is out of step with mainstream Maine voters and is far too comfortable being patently dishonest when it suits her political ends.

(Much, much, much more below the fold.)

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Breaking: Immigration Deal Disaster for Environment, Workers

By Glenn Hurowitz

Cross-posted at Democratic Courage blog.

Senate Democrats and Republicans have concluded an "immigration reform" deal that will be a disaster for the environment and workers. To placate extremist anti-immigrant activists, Democrats agreed to go ahead and finance construction of 370 miles of fencing along the Mexican border. The double-layered concrete wall will cut off endangered wildlife like jaguars, Sonoran pronghorn antelope, and the ferruginous pygmy owl from their habitat and divide several wildlife refuges that local conservationists fought for decades to create. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has made the situation worse by waiving all environmental laws to expedite construction of the wall.

But the wall may be just one part of the environmental double whammy likely from any grand bargain on immigration. There's significant evidence that the influx of people from less developed countries like Mexico to developed countries like the United States is helping fuel the United States's rapid increase in global warming pollution by increasing the number of people partaking of America's high consumption habits.

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Sununu Decides Corporate Interests Should Trump Homeland Security

John Sununu is a party-line kind of guy. In 2006, Sununu stuck with the majority of the Republican caucus on 91 percent of party-line votes and backed the President's position 90 percent of the time. In 2005, he received an "F" on his middle class report card from the Drum Major Institute.

But while such a record might suit Sununu in one of the reddest of the red states in the nation, unfortunately for him he represents a purple state -- New Hamphire -- that is trending more and more blue, a state that in November elected its first Democratic legislature in 130 years while reelecting a Democratic governor with close to three-quarters of the vote, a state that sent two Republican Congressmen packing in 2006 in favor of Democrats, a state that has backed the Democratic presidential nominee in three of the past four campaigns for the White House. Given this set of circumstances, it is at least somewhat surprising that on one of the first key legislative votes in the Senate this year -- on the passage of S. 4, which implements the recommendations of the 9/11 Commisssion -- Sununu voted no to appease his corporate conservative supporters who were unhappy with language that would allow for some new workers' rights. The New York Times' David Luo has more on what, broadly, the vote means.

The Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would enact more recommendations made by the Sept. 11 commission, but the bill faces the threat of a White House veto because it offers expanded union rights to airport screeners.


The Bush administration has made clear it will reject counterterrorism legislation that includes language pushed by Senate Democrats, granting collective bargaining rights to employees of the Transportation Security Administration. Administration officials said the labor requirements would hamper the department's flexibility in responding to terrorist threats.

Bolstering the veto threat, Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, sent a letter to the White House last month signed by 35 other Republican senators who said they were prepared to sustain a presidential veto.

If Harry Reid forces DeMint and his Republican allies to follow through on their threat to uphold the President's veto -- and there's good reason to believe that he will -- Sununu will be put on the hook one more time for putting his ideological backers ahead of America's national security. And such votes could not come at a worse time for Sununu, whose favorability rating among New Hampshire adults has fallen to just 45 percent, a very difficult position from which to run. And since Sununu was only barely able to win in a good year for Republicans despite illegal voter suppression tactics undertaken on his behalf, a 45 percent favorability rating cannot instill much confidence in Sununu supporters and Republican strategists hoping to see him win reelection next fall -- particularly as a strikingly large number of qualified Democratic politicians in New Hampshire are lining up to take him on.

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Reprinted from The Satirical Political Report

Trying to deflect the torrent of criticism of his Signing Statement reserving the right of warrantless mail searches, President Bush today insisted that such powers were essential to U.S. national security.

Waving a dirt-encrusted and battered envelope with a postmark of September 5, 2001, Bush claimed that the Post Office had found this letter just last week, which seemed to hint at a massive and imminent attack on the United States.

Bush said that since the letter is written in Arabic, it probably won't be translated by the FBI until 2009, after he leaves office, but that he wanted to ensure that he left his successor with an expanded arsenal of powers to combat terrorism.

Since the letter repeatedly refers to "9/11," Bush assured the nation that he's pulling out all the stops in trying to thwart this plot, and that he's just grateful that the country has at least eight months to apprehend the conspirators.


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