dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
AT&T Thanks Democrats For Telecom Immunity
In private party in Denver crashed by Salon.com...
by Karl Bode 04:17PM Tuesday Aug 26 2008
There's a slew of private corporate-sponsored parties occurring at this week's Democratic National Convention in Denver, one of which was hosted by AT&T. AT&T is surely eager to thank Democrats for recently getting them off the hook for handing over American phone and data records to the NSA without a warrant. The move saved AT&T from billions in legal penalties, as it kills lawsuits from the likes of 22-year AT&T employee turned whistle blower Mark Klein -- who discovered (pdf) AT&T was funneling Internet data from multiple carriers directly to the NSA with no judicial oversight. While the press is banned from these parties, Salon.com's Gleen Greenwald, who did an amazing job tracking the FISA fight, went anyway -- and took a camera crew.
quote:
Click for full size
Amazingly, not a single one of the 25-30 people we tried to interview would speak to us about who they were, how they got invited, what the party's purpose was, why they were attending, etc. One attendee said he was with an "energy company," and the other confessed she was affiliated with a "trade association," but that was the full extent of their willingness to describe themselves or this event. It was as though they knew they're part of a filthy and deeply corrupt process and were ashamed of -- or at least eager to conceal -- their involvement in it.
A 2007 lobbying and ethics law was supposed to cut down on lobbyist skulduggery at conventions, but legal loopholes have quickly been exploited.


130 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments



amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

2 recommendations

reply to jmn1207

Re: "a slew of private corporate-sponsored parties"

said by jmn1207:

Usually when people are promoting free markets, they are doing so from an idealistic vantage point. The same can be said for people that push for a more socialized agenda. The reality, as you have stated, often lies somewhere in between a true free market and a command economy.
I agree. The problem I see is that it seems like we Americans have been indoctrinated to *reflexively* recoil at the mere mention of the word "communism" or "socialism." People can have a perfectly reasonable discussion about whether we, as a society, are willing to let people work for (and live on) pennies per hour -- just as we have established that we're not willing to let people buy/sell poor-quality (and less-expensive) medical services or food and drugs.

But, someone opposed to minimum wage will invoke the "socialism" word, and 9 out of 10 Americans will line up with the "free market" rhetoric because "I don't want to be a socialist, that's evil and opposed to everything about being a 'Merican."

Completely oblivious to how virtually all our markets are socialized -- and those *same* people *like* it that way.

I'm not saying things can't go too far. Just always amazed at the false use of rhetoric that implies absolute principles. It's such a cheap and dishonest way to stop any discussion. And it's amazing how effective it is, which means we 'Mericans really are brainwashed.

Mark


jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to amigo_boy
Usually when people are promoting free markets, they are doing so from an idealistic vantage point. The same can be said for people that push for a more socialized agenda. The reality, as you have stated, often lies somewhere in between a true free market and a command economy.

amigo_boy

join:2005-07-22

2 recommendations

reply to ChrisXP
said by ChrisXP:

A free market has to be free to work. Add Socialism into it, it no longer is free, but just another State runned institution.
All of our markets are socialized to some extent. And it's because "free markets" in the literal sense often don't work (just as socialized markets in an absolute sense don't).

- Food and drug quality laws, setting standards to a level a free market wouldn't.

- Laws governing medical products and services. Eliminating willing buyers and sellers of lessor-quality products and services.

- The SEC, moderating the stock market, to create more predictable outcomes and eliminate a large amount of caveat emptor that goes with true "free markets." (The same thing with banking regulations, making it virtually impossible for you to open a bank of lessor quality to serve those who may be willing to purchase those services, or earn more interest with greater risk).

- Building codes and zoning laws, restricting how you can dispose of your property (the basis of free markets).

- Social creation of corporate charters. A corporation is a legal yet fictional "person" created through public law in the State legislature. It serves as the fall guy if officers and investors make bad choices in the pursuit of profits.

It's been my experience that those who promote their position by reference to "free markets" are either naive, or deceptively misusing a term which would be more accurately phrased: "freer markets work better for those things I think should be freer." At that point, we're just talking about who's ox will be gored because you're suckling at the same societal nipple as others. (I.e., we're not talking about good versus evil, or some kind of absolute principle.).

Mark


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

2 recommendations

reply to cornelius785

Re: gee, i wonder...

said by cornelius785:

who AT&T is gonna back? McCain with whoever or obama with biden?
AT&T will back BOTH. Then they'll back whoever wins.


KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

2 recommendations

reply to nutcr0cker

Re: Spare change as promised by the messiah George Obama

They both flip-flop. Sometimes it's because they were wrong in their position. Sometimes it's wrong to flip-flop, because they are changing their position to suit the target audience. That's usually the case.


Shamayim
I already have a Messiah.
Premium
join:2002-09-23

2 recommendations

I'll say it again

Klein was and is an American hero.
--
Who is Jesus? and Why it matters (to YOU).


FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

3 recommendations

reply to cornelius785

Re: gee, i wonder...

said by cornelius785:

who AT&T is gonna back? McCain with whoever or obama with biden?
Big corporations will support both candidates at the same time. It is much safer to buy both candidates then it is to back the wrong one.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
Ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?


jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to tiger72

Re: "a slew of private corporate-sponsored parties"

said by tiger72:

Really? You really can't believe they did this?

Partisanship has only hidden the reality of politics. Each side points and cries "THEY are horrible!". When it comes down to it, both parties do the same crap, just under different banners.

Stop voting (D)
Stop voting (R)

Vote on the issues, and this will stop. Until then, it'll continue to be business as usual.
I just want to see a national debate with a 3rd party participating. We generally keep voting the incumbents back into office over and over again and we are going nowhere. There is very little separating a Democrat from a Republican other than the direction the mud is being slung. I keep hearing how I am wasting my vote by casting mine for anything other than R or D each election, but I know in my heart that I am really doing the right thing, and we have to start somewhere.


tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to HiDesert
Really? You really can't believe they did this?

Partisanship has only hidden the reality of politics. Each side points and cries "THEY are horrible!". When it comes down to it, both parties do the same crap, just under different banners.

Stop voting (D)
Stop voting (R)

Vote on the issues, and this will stop. Until then, it'll continue to be business as usual.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara