Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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I think Atrios is right. These commercials being run by CEI against Al Gore's new movie are so comical I think they'll probably boost ticket sales.

We just got a PR email from CNSNews.com, which I guess is so independent that they're sending out an email flacking a TV ad run. (Technically, I guess they're flacking their story about the ads. But it's hard to tell.)

But the subject line says it all: "Pro-Emissions T.V. Ads Counter Gore Film."

Pro-emissions? Didn't know anyone was pro-emissions? I have this image in my mind of connoisseurs with their noses by a muffler. Nice bouquet? Mmmmm. Bahrain 1974.

So many shocking developments in one evening.

NYT: "The quick fix may involve sending in the National Guard. But to really patch up the broken border, President Bush is preparing to turn to a familiar administration partner: the nation's giant military contractors. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, three of the largest, are among the companies that said they would submit bids within two weeks for a multibillion-dollar federal contract to build what the administration calls a "virtual fence" along the nation's land borders."

Even on the downward side of the mountain, all the cronies get a taste.

I guess Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrup Grumman bid so it can seem like a competitive process when Halliburton gets the contract?

Shocking, ain't it?

BaltSun: "The National Security Agency developed a pilot program in the late 1990s that would have enabled it to gather and analyze massive amounts of communications data without running afoul of privacy laws. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, it shelved the project -- not because it failed to work -- but because of bureaucratic infighting and a sudden White House expansion of the agency's surveillance powers, according to several intelligence officials."

The shelved program ...

*Used more sophisticated methods of sorting through massive phone and e-mail data to identify suspect communications.

* Identified U.S. phone numbers and other communications data and encrypted them to ensure caller privacy.

* Employed an automated auditing system to monitor how analysts handled the information, in order to prevent misuse and improve efficiency.

* Analyzed the data to identify relationships between callers and chronicle their contacts. Only when evidence of a potential threat had been developed would analysts be able to request decryption of the records.

Annals of the War on Terror.

It seems the whole security clearance process is shutdown indefinitely at the Pentagon because Steve Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and the Office of Personnel Management can't work out a silly billing dispute.

That means that anybody new we hire to do national security related work can't start because they can't get their clearance.

Not just it'd be funny it weren't so tragic, but genuinely funny.

From US News ...

Some Bush administration officials are unhappy with the consensus intelligence community assessment that Iran could attain a weapons capability sometime between 2010 and 2015, based on assumptions about its ability to overcome technical problems. More-hawkish officials view the CIA, scorched by criticism over its exaggerated reports on Iraqi nuclear efforts, as timid on Iran, and Vice President Dick Cheney is said to have recently criticized the intelligence assessment in private as "too cautious."

I'm sure glad this isn't going to be handled anything like last time.

Next up, what about the Cheney family's private slush fund for Iran work?

Art Brodsky brings us the latest from the senate on the battle to save the Internet and Net Neutrality. Definitely give this a read to see what you can do today.

Big oil astroturf group, Competitive Enterprise Institute, launches the new attack on Al Gore.

Personal Note: I remember watching on Crossfire years ago CEI sachem Fred L. Smith explaining how global warming was actually a good thing because of all the cool new crops we could grow.

Late Update: The good folks at ThinkProgress have found the 1992 Crossfire in question. And they've got the actual quote.