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Bondage-gate and Donor Money

James O'Keefe on Fox NewsFor a political party that presents itself as the party of morality and family-values, should spending $1,946 at a topless, West Hollywood bondage club be interpreted as family bonding? While both parties occasionally fail to spend political donations most efficiently, the Republican National Committee (RNC) faces questions as major newspapers reported last week on the RNC's expenditure at Voyeur, a topless bondage club in West Hollywood.The expenditure was listed on RNC's monthly financial disclosure report to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The entire situation is filled with irony as the Republican Party purports to be the party of morals. How moral is it to spend political donors' money at a club with topless dancers? 

DOJ Might Be Facebook-Stalking You

EyesFacebook might be selling you out to the government.

With the help of the University of California Berkeley's Samuelson Clinic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents from the government about how they monitor and use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn to gather information for investigations. The EFF struck gold with this request, as both the IRS and the Department of Justice released training presentations on social networking sites. While this may seem benign, the training material from the DOJ suggests that feds go undercover on sites such as Facebook to gather information on crime.

The DOJ slide show presentation (pdf) also discusses how cooperative these social networking sites are in complying with requests for private data. For example, Facebook, a highly popular social networking site, was described as "often cooperative with emergency requests," while Twitter was less cooperative because they refused to preserve data without legal process.

Marking World Water Day, March 22, 2010

Today, March 22nd, is World Water Day. It is no surprise that corporations have attempted to co-opt this event. One example of greenwashing that SourceWatch has targeted is the Starbucks-run "www.worldwaterday.net," which many environmentally-minded individuals may mistake for the official UN World Water Day website. Since SourceWatch first identified the misleading page, www.worldwaterday.net now routes viewers to www.waterday.org, where the Starbucks connection is not apparent. (A cached version of the original page's privacy agreement can still be viewed here). Please bookmark our new water clearinghouse on Sourcewatch to find regular updates about this precious and essential natural resource, including news about the dangers of Halliburton's hydrofracking process that is being challenged by citizens opposed to ruining drinking water supplies through efforts to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale in New York and elsewhere.

Guernica's Interview with CMD's Wendell Potter

Guernica magazine is running the following interview with Wendell Potter, Senior Fellow on Health Care with the Center for Media and Democracy.

The former mouthpiece for insurance giant Cigna divulges his role in misleading the public, the emotional day that led to his whistle-blowing, and what should really scare you.

Wendell Potter was head of corporate communications at Cigna, one of the largest health insurance companies in America, when he attended the U.S. premier of Michael Moore’s Sicko. Potter was part of the team charged with discrediting Moore’s film, which advance word said was highly critical of the health insurance industry. Potter “sat quietly in the back and took notes,” but soon realized he had a problem. “When I saw the movie, I’ll be honest: I thought it was a real good documentary. I knew from my own studies of other healthcare systems that it was an accurate portrayal of those systems and how they are able to provide universal coverage.” Yet he was being paid by Cigna to tell people the opposite, that the film was full of lies.

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