Sunday Linkfest & Earworm

Obsession by Animotion:

If you haven’t already read this post by Caroline Vernon of Progressive Action for the Common Good, head over to Blog for Iowa and do so now.

The post is concerning PACG’s email list and the fact that several subscribers are dropping — without having requested to be dropped. This is primarily affecting users with Mediacom and Yahoo!, and the PACG staff contacted both ISPs. The problem was traced back to AT&T, the company that provides the backbone for the Mediacom network. Caroline learned that email from their site had been “blacklisted” — that is, flagged for abuses (such as the activity named for the precooked, canned meat) so that many servers would no longer accept their email. Caroline contacted AT&T and received a primarily form letter in response, which is posted at the first link above.

Caroline has been in contact with other progressive groups who are experiencing similar issues and seems to believe that AT&T (and perhaps other large telecoms involved in the warrantless wiretapping fiasco) are purposefully blocking progressive lists that were organizing against retroactive immunity.

I have to admit that after reading Caroline’s post, I wasn’t overly concerned. My first thought was to the recent “Joe Job” perpetrated against our own domain. While most blacklists recognize such attacks for what they are and don’t punish the server for the spoofing, it doesn’t always end so nicely. So, my first thought was that nefarious precooked, canned meat folks were spoofing the PACG’s email server and that AT&T — and perhaps others — had mistaken that for legitimate abusive practices. Caroline says, however, that she has contact info for other progressive groups that have been suffering the same fate.

In 2000 or 2001, AT&T was in trouble for offering “pink contracts” to companies that were known to be sending unsolicited commercial email. The pendulum swung the other direction in the two years that followed, with the AT&T blacklist — either or — becoming extremely strict and blocking a great deal of legitimate mail. There were several users from that were on the blacklist and couldn’t send mail to me (my provider used the AT&T backbone).

There also seems to be another problem happening in conjunction with what’s being reported by Caroline — Yahoo! mail users, even those paying for premium services, have been unknowingly been separated from their mail. That is, the Yahoo! addresses were rejecting mail and, as a result, have been unsubscribed from many email lists. Some are pointing to the recent refusal by Yahoo! to be bought out by Microsoft, but my personal thinking is that it has more to do with CAPTCHA being cracked.

Here’s a headline for you: “Vander Plaats Charges Culver with Sexual Misconduct.” No, I’m not making that up. That’s the actual headline that Bob Vander Plaats, 2006 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, placed on a press release to discuss the fact that Gov. Chet Culver has refused Title V abstinence-only federal funding. If you don’t believe me, you can also read about this on Price of Politics and Iowa Insider.

You’d think Vander Plaats, a former high school principal, would have caught such a mistake before hitting the send button.

We were thrilled to know that we were selected as one of the “E for Excellence!” blogs by Around Des Moines and fully intend to pass on our 10 selections as well — just as soon as we can make the decision. In any event, as soon as we do, the information will be given its own post on the blog. Thanks again!

According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, Barr Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged it accepted $20 million from Warner Chilcott for agreeing not to sell a generic version of the oral contraceptive Ovcon for five years. In 2005 alone, Warner Chilcott reported $90.2 million in sales of Ovcon.

A user — geocajun — on the One Bread, One Body Christian-based forums, turns back the clock to review what Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, had to say about Sen. John McCain in the year 2000 (that includes a shout out about Iowa’s own Sen. Tom Harkin):

“How John McCain Threatens the Pro-Life Cause”

“It is noteworthy that during McCain’s 17 years in Congress, he never had an opportunity to vote on Roe v. Wade until October 21, 1999, when the Senate voted on a resolution-style amendment by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to endorse Roe v. Wade. McCain skipped the vote to make an extra campaign appearance in New Hampshire, as documented in a local newspaper. The amendment passed narrowly.”

“”On January 15, McCain said that if elected president, he might appoint former Senator Warren Rudman (R-NH) — his close advisor and the co- chairman of the national McCain campaign — as U.S. attorney general. As a senator, Rudman voted to preserve Roe v. Wade, and was an active opponent of other pro-life efforts legislative efforts. … Rudman voted to confirm anti-Roe v. Wade Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, but later wrote in his 1996 memoirs, “If my vote had been the deciding one, I would have voted against Thomas, no matter what the consequences.”

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A Republican turned Democrat who is now registered with no party, Lynda is the founder of Essential Estrogen. She and her husband live in eastern Iowa with their two (mostly good) children and two (mostly good) dogs. Their oldest child was turned loose on the world in 2011 and is making her home in another state. A journalist, essayist and hobby fiction writer, Lynda's work has been seen in Salon, RH Reality Check, the Atlantic, The Iowa Independent, UK Guardian as well as other online and traditional publications. She has also appeared as a guest on various television and radio news shows.

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