Internet Media Internships At TPM

It is the last week to get your applications in for Talking Point Memo's spring internship program:
From January 14th:

Job Opening at TPM

Starting today, we're announcing a job opening for a reporter-blogger at TPMmuckraker. The new hire will be one of two full-time reporter-bloggers for the site. There is no deadline for applications. We'll be hiring as soon as we find the right person. If you're interested please send a resume, two clips and a letter describing your interest and qualifications for the job to talk (at) talkingpointsmemo.com with the subject line "TPMmuckraker Job".

This is a full-time position, with health care. The reporter-blogger will report from either New York or Washington, DC., depending on the applicant.

If you've already expressed interest in the position informally, please submit an application as described above.

To learn more about what we do at TPM and what we've accomplished in the last year, see these news reports on TPM from 2007. And thanks to our readers who make all of this possible.


TPM interns are vital to our operation and have a hand in everything we do. They work alongside our reporters to write and break stories, help our editors keep a finger on the pulse of the news day, and produce all kinds of digital media from youtube clips to mash-up photographs. Some of our interns have gone on to jobs here at TPM, others have moved on to jobs in new and old media alike, working for Think Progress, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The New York Sun, and more. To learn more about what we do at TPM and what we've accomplished in the last year, see these news reports on TPM from 2007.

Because each intern is encouraged to work in multiple parts of our operation, it's important that applicants have a basic understanding of new media technologies (blogging, youtube, etc.) and a desire and ability to learn quickly. All internships are unpaid and based in TPM's New York City office.

To apply for any of our internships, send an email to talk at talkingpointsmemo.com with a cover letter, resume and two references. Include in the email subject "TPM Internship."

Spring 2008 Internship

Our Spring 2008 Internship runs from mid-March to early June. We will be accepting three or four full time interns. Part-time interns may be considered.

Applications are due on February 8th.

Summer 2008 Internship

Our Spring 2008 Internship runs from early June to late August. We will be accepting four or five full time interns. Part-time interns will not be considered.

Applications are due on March 21st.

Rolling Internships (Intern now!)

At any given time, it is always possible that we could use a smart person in the office to replace a lost intern or help us manage the ever-growing mountain of muck and news. If you're available to come in sooner than the beginning of the next internship cycle begins, let us know.

There are plenty of you Connecticut Bloggers that could bring a lot to their pages in filling these positions. And the trade off? Learning from one of the best media outfits on the intertubes...

DANGERstein Idiocy Alert!

Dan Gerstein's own brand of right wing propaganda, from BooMan at the The Booman Tribune:

For those of you keeping score at home, the Baby Boomer Generation is made up of people born between 1946 and 1964, meaning that they are currently between 44 and 62 years old. The Blog Reader Project shows the following demographic breakdown for Daily Kos readers:


Less than 18: 0.3%
18-20: 1.2%
21-34: 26.3%
35-45: 22.8%
46-55: 25.7%
56-65: 18.0%
66-75: 4.6%
Older than 75: 1.0%

The results show that the majority of Daily Kos readers are not Baby Boomers. The largest category (the plurality) is the 21-34 contingent, and more than 50% of readers (the majority) are too young to be part of the Boomer generation, while more than 5% are too old. This doesn't prevent senior adviser to Sen. Joe Lieberman's vice presidential and presidential campaigns, Dan Gerstein, from asserting:

The Kossacks and their activist allies -- who skew toward the Boomers -- believe that Republicans are venal bordering on evil, and that the way Democrats will win elections and hold power is to one-up Karl Rove's divisive, bare-knuckled tactics. Their opponents within the party -- who skew younger and freer of culture war wounds -- believe that the way to win is offer voters a break from this poisonous tribal warfare and a compelling, inclusive vision for where we want to take the country.

Technically, Gerstein said 'Kossacks and their activist allies', so I guess he can try to defend himself by claiming that the 'activist allies' skew to the boomer generation, thereby tilting Kossacks in that direction. I don't know, Gerstein is an asshat. But it's kind of important that he's screwed up the generational profile of Daily Kos because his entire essay depends on Kossacks (and by extension, the blogosphere as a whole) being about the politics of the past, in distinction from the hopeful, post-partisan politics of the future (as embodied in Senator Barack Obama).

Gerstein might be onto something about Kossacks (and the blogosphere more generally) but not because of the age distinctions, i.e., because non-Kossacks/Blogopshereites are "freer of culture war wounds." Ironically, Gerstein hits on a better explanation (though he skips right over it) while he is in the process of distorting the history of the Lieberman/Lamont battle.

Read on...
Yes! More asshat idiocy from Dan Gerstein...


Soldier Suicides Skyrocket

Meanwhile, suicide attempts and self-inflicted wounds are rocketing alongside the suicide rates:
Soldier suicides reach record level, study shows

"I'm very disappointed with the Army," Whiteside wrote in a note before swallowing dozens of antidepressants and other pills. "Hopefully this will help other soldiers." She was taken to the emergency room early Tuesday. Whiteside, who is now in stable physical condition, learned yesterday that the charges against her had been dismissed.

Whiteside's personal tragedy is part of an alarming phenomenon in the Army's ranks: Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post. Last year, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006.

At the same time, the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army has jumped sixfold since the Iraq war began. Last year, about 2,100 soldiers injured themselves or attempted suicide, compared with about 350 in 2002, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command Suicide Prevention Action Plan.

The military is broken and all the idiots in the criminal administration do is offer lip-service:
Increasing suicides raise "real questions about whether you can have an Army this size with multiple deployments," said David Rudd, a former Army psychologist and chairman of the psychology department at Texas Tech University.

On Monday night, as President Bush delivered his State of the Union address and asked Congress to "improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope and promise and dignity," Whiteside was dozing off from the effects of her drug overdose.

Blumenthal investigating sub-prime mortgage crisis

Blumenthal is looking into the sub-prime mortgage crisis as millions of Americans are looking at losing their homes, a little less than a half a million of them in Connecticut:
It is estimated that more than $100bn (£50bn) was been wiped off the balance sheets across the financial sector, in losses and asset writedowns. Share prices have also fallen heavily.

The SEC is already conducting a clutch of civil investigations into the scandal.

Some US states have launched their own legal action. Yesterday, Connecticut state attorney general Richard Blumenthal said his office has issued subpoenas to all major rating agencies and bond insurers in a widening probe of industry practices related to the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

He said this includes MBIA and Ambac, the two monoline insurers who guarantee municipal loans whose shares plunged last week over concern they do not hold enough capital to guarantee their ratings, after getting caught in the sub-prime chaos.

Blumenthal also told Reuters that Connecticut was cooperating with the state of New York over its investigation.

Senator Chris Dodd had some words on this:
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $146 billion economic stimulus package on Tuesday. Parts of the package would allow the Federal Housing Administration and housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help prop up the mortgage market.

These measures "will enable homeowners with larger mortgages to refinance, lower their monthly payments, and avoid foreclosure," said Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat, after passage of the package.

Sen Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, urged the Senate to take similar action swiftly and spend billions of dollars more to help distressed homeowners.

"Unlike past recessions and slowdowns, the epicenter of this economic crisis is the housing crisis," the Connecticut Democrat said on the Senate floor.

"Reckless, careless, and sometimes unscrupulous actors in the mortgage lending industry essentially allowed loans to be made that they knew hard-working, law-abiding borrowers would not be able to repay," said the former presidential candidate.

He accused the Federal Reserve and the Bush administration of doing "absolutely nothing" to stop these practices.
Imagine that? Preznit bush doing nothing to help the little people. How republican of him!


John McCain's Campaign Platform

Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan sum up the John McCain campaign platform pretty effectively:
BUCHANAN: Here’s a guy, basically, what does he say? The jobs are never coming back, the illegals are never going home, but we’re gonna have a lot more wars.

SCARBOROUGH: We’re gonna start a lot of wars! He has promised, for the record Keith, John McCain’s platform — and it certainly looks inviting for the fall — he has promised less jobs and more wars. Now that’s something we can all rally behind.

According to Think Progress:

While campaigning in Michigan earlier this month, McCain said some Michigan industries cannot be resurrected. “I’ve got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back,” he said.

And just this weekend, McCain told a crowd of supporters, “There’s going to be other wars. … I’m sorry to tell you, there’s going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars.”

And the McCain Silly Walk Express stumbles its way into the lead through the shear incompetence of the other GOP presidential candidates. His likely campaign motto?

John McCain in 2008!
The best of the worst the GOP has to offer!

According to ctblogger the Silly Walk Express will be stumbling through Connecticut with his neoconservative brother in eternal arms, Joe Lieberman:
McCain is coming to Connecticut... with Lieberman attached to the hip.
McCain, the front-runner in the Connecticut GOP primary, is appearing Sunday at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, the site of an appearance before winning the state's primary in 2000.

The Arizona senator will appear with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, says a well-placed source.

I wonder how those "stick with Joe" Democrats feel right about now?
My guess is that they feel pretty darn dumb after we, in Connecticut's left Blogosphere, warned them over and over again...


Thank you Senator Dodd!

Via Missy's Brother at My Left Nutmeg, Americans thank Senator Chris Dodd for working to protect The Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the FISA battle:

The rest of Congress could learn a thing or two about leadership from Senator Dodd, and we thank him for his efforts in protecting our freedoms. Keep up the good work!

Previously brewed in New Milford:

Illegal Surveillance and the Telecoms - Just the Facts

  • In December 2005, the New York Times reported that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans have had their phones wiretapped by the National Security Agency (NSA) without any judicial review. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed by Congress in 1978, prohibits domestic spying unless a warrant is first issued by the FISA Court. By authorizing government spies to bypass the process mandated by FISA, President Bush authorized them to break the law.

  • The so-called “Protect America Act,” which passed in August, made the situation worse by sanctioning a legal infrastructure under which American citizens might unwittingly be subject to daily, repeated invasions of privacy or violations of other constitutional rights. These liberties are not abstract or optional. Freedom from government spying on our private lives is at the core of what it means to be an American – the kind of personal liberty that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died to protect.

  • All parties involved must be held accountable for any illegal activity, including telecommunications companies (telecoms) that satisfied government requests for information about private communications. FISA currently provides sufficient mechanisms to allow telecoms to proceed lawfully with such requests. Every American should have the confidence that our judicial system will ensure that telecoms will not be permitted to circumvent this established process and undermine our fundamental right to privacy.

  • It is unacceptable that the FISA reform being debated now seeks blanket immunity for the telecoms’ alleged complicity in the Administration’s actions. If the telecoms never have to testify, Americans may never know the true extent to which they have been targeted for surveillance. We have a right to know what’s been done and how far the overreaching went.

  • In protecting the telecoms, the Administration is protecting itself. At a minimum, the Administration should not be given the power to bury the secrets of its domestic spying program by keeping the telecoms out of court. Telecom immunity not only has the potential to excuse illegal activity, it also precludes the public from getting access to information and prevents Congress from conducting effective oversight.

  • Immunity compromises will not serve the interests of the American people. Substituting the government as the defendant in telecom lawsuits will only further rob Americans of their day in court by forcing them to sue a government that may use the power of the executive, state secrets, and other “privileges” to withhold information. Reimbursing the telecoms for their legal costs through indemnification rests financial burden on the taxpayers – essentially Americans paying for spying to which they object.

  • Congress should err on the side of our Constitution and not bow to political pressure by signing off on telecom immunity. Americans deserve nothing less.

Now... There is one aspect of this that gets overlooked by many. BooMan makes a reasonable case that the entire lawsuit issue for telecoms is completely bogus:
There is no reason to immunize the telecom corporations because they are already immunized if they had a good faith reason to believe they were following the law. The only reason to immunize them is to prevent the truth about the extent of the lawbreaking from coming to light.
Even if this were not the case and they acted in bad faith the matter of lawsuits was already settled in the market place:
It has nothing to do with lawsuits and everything to do with covering the asses of the politicians that have acted criminally by illegally spying on Americans. Don't let them switch the topic to something as piddly as minor lawsuits that will cost telcoms a minuscule slice of their profits:

The Bush team argue impending financial doom for the telecom industry should lawsuits be permitted to continue. However, at this time, the financial impact is speculative (pdf file) with a market that “seems unconcerned” about the lawsuits filed against telecoms:

For example, when the complaint in Hepting v. AT&T Corp. was filed and when AT&T’s motion to dismiss the suit was denied, AT&T’s stock price remained essentially unaffected. The entirety of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory system requiring public filings and disclosures is premised on the idea that, when the relevant information is available publicly, the market is the most effective indicator of the value of a corporation. That the stock price of AT&T was unaffected by the suit indicates the market’s determination that the company’s financial footing remains sound, despite the potential liability.

Moreover, telecommunications carriers have survived enormous payouts in class action suits in the past. For example, in September of this year, Sprint received preliminary approval from the court for a $30 million class-action settlement. And in 1994, AT&T agreed to pay a $100 million settlement. Just as they have for the other risks incumbent in their business, telecommunications carriers have liability insurance to protect them in the event of an adverse civil judgment. And if, at some point in the future, a series of judgments comes to present a threat of widespread bankruptcy in the telecommunications industry, the government may take action at that time. But any preemptive liability shield is premature and unneeded.

Thus, should the telecom lawsuits proceed and if damages are awarded by the courts and if the damages are not covered by telecom liability insurance, and if Congress then determines that a bailout is needed for the industry, then Congress has the authority to legislate funding to the industry, thus preserving the plaintiffs’ right to a judicial remedy and the public’s right to a transparent government. As Sen. Feingold notes:

If the companies engaged in such widespread illegal conduct that the damages would be enormous, Congress can intervene to limit the damages. That’s a far more appropriate response than simply giving the companies a free pass for any illegal conduct.

Moreover, if the concern is financial liability, why is the immunity so broad that “cases will be dismissed even if they do not seek money damages but only declaratory and injunctive relief.”
The lawsuit distraction is just that... A distraction from the real issue of the bush illegally spying on Americans.
And even if the matter was not already settled in the market place... As Russ Feingold said, "Congress can intervene to limit the damages." Do not let them distract you from the fact that the bush administration was illegally spying on Americans, and not just after 911 but before that, according reports:
A former telecom executive told us that efforts to obtain call details go back to early 2001, predating the 9/11 attacks and the president's now celebrated secret executive order. The source, who asked not to be identified so as not to out his former company, reports that the NSA approached U.S. carriers and asked for their cooperation in a "data-mining" operation, which might eventually cull "millions" of individual calls and e-mails.

Like the pressure applied to ITT a half-century ago, our source says the government was insistent, arguing that his competitors had already shown their patriotism by signing on. The NSA would not comment on the issue, saying that, "We do not discuss details of actual or alleged operational issues."
Any reasonable person would realize that invocation of 911 by anyone is completely bogus when the illegal spying was, in fact, started before that date. Equally important here is the fact that it was not just Foreign calls that were being monitored, BUT all of the traffic on their networks:
Although the president told the nation that his NSA eavesdropping program was limited to known Al Qaeda agents or supporters abroad making calls into the U.S., comments of other administration officials and intelligence veterans indicate that the NSA cast its net far more widely. AT&T technician Mark Klein inadvertently discovered that the whole flow of Internet traffic in several AT&T operations centers was being regularly diverted to the NSA, a charge indirectly substantiated by John Yoo, the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the official legal memos legitimizing the president's warrantless wiretapping program. Yoo told FRONTLINE: "The government needs to have access to international communications so that it can try to find communications that are coming into the country where Al Qaeda's trying to send messages to cell members in the country. In order to do that, it does have to have access to communication networks."
And when I say all of the traffic, I mean telephone calls, both local and foreign, as well as all internet and Email traffic:
Conventional wisdom has long been that the bulk of the surveillance operations -- groundbreaking because they lacked judicial oversight -- involved primarily telephone calls. However, officials say the Bush administration's program frequently went after e-mail and other Internet traffic.
These actions by the bush administration go far beyond being simply criminal. They are an attack on the The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

What part of these oaths do the politicians that swear to them fail to understand here?
  • Presidential Oath:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

  • For Congress Members:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."
Many of these politicians' actions are not simply impeachable offenses for a failure to uphold their oaths of office, but exhibit a heretical acceptance of criminal actions and contempt for the founding documents that could only be described as treason.


Some Vermonters uderstand the real issues...

The important ones that our Congress should have dealt with years ago:
Brattleboro residents will vote at town meeting on whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted and arrested for war crimes, perjury or obstruction of justice if they ever step foot in Vermont.

Surprisingly, "Vermont is the only state Bush hasn't visited since he became president in 2001." And just in case you are wondering if this might actually happen should the voters decide to pass it... The local police supported the petition drive to get this voted on.
"Everybody I talked to wanted Bush to go," [Kurt Daims] said, noting that even members of the local police department supported the drive.


The article goes on to say the indictments would be the "law of the town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro police ... arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro, if they are not duly impeached ..."

They might want to consider adding the names of everyone that has served in Congress under the criminal years of the bush administration and showed no effort or inclination to put impeachment on the table...