Watergate 2004 = old news?

Geez. I did a Google News search that turned up a two week old story in the Nation that cites the GOP snooping, and indicates that it’s been public knowledge since the Wall Street Journal published the leaked memos in November. (And the article quotes Orrin Hatch as saying, “there is no excuse that can justify these improper actions.” I guess his staff weren’t listening, or they wouldn’t have offered the defenses quoted in the Globe article.)

Apparently what’s new today in the Globe article is the scope and duration of the intrusions.

Watergate 2004? Maybe not

Via Josh Marshall and the Boston Globe, “Senate’s GOP staff pried on Democrats.” Sounds eerily familiar, except this time (thirty years later) it’s the Senate, not the White House staff, being accused of illegally eavesdropping on the other party. Apparently, for almost a year, GOP staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee were accessing what the Globe article calls “restricted Democratic communications” and leaking the information, including sensitive documents about Democratic positions and tactics on judicial nominees.

On the technology level, there is a claim in the article that the GOP’s computer technician told his Democratic counterpart of the problem but that nothing was fixed. Hmm. So if I happen to notice that your office is unlocked, that means it’s OK to come inside, read your mail, and leak all the juicy parts to your co-workers?

On the political level, it’s interesting that only the Republicans chose to take advantage of the glitch, though it appears to have granted equal access to both sides’ documents. It’s also interesting to speculate how high up there was awareness that these files were being accessed.

It’s no executive level cover up. But it is interesting to hear GOP spinmasters say things like “There appears to have been no hacking, no stealing, and no violation of any Senate rule.” That sets an interesting precedent for prosecuting computer crime going forward.

Finding Appalachian music with BlueRidgeMusic.org

For all who are interested in the traditional folk music of America, BlueRidgeMusic.org provides a searchable database by state, county, location, keyword, and date of all traditional music happenings in the Blue Ridge Mountains between North Carolina and Virginia. The Marshall Depot is listed as a venue, as are a few other gigs in and around Asheville.

The database is courtesy the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College in Virginia, which also has some pretty cool Appalachian music material in its current online exhibit, “Deathly Lyrics: Songs of Virginia Tragedies.”

Most Unique Subscription Lists

Andrew Grumet: Most Unique Subscribers. Brilliant hack of the Share Your OPML SDK over at feeds.scripting.com. The basic concept, as invented by Chuck Welch in a comment on Andrew’s blog: add the number of users subscribed to each feed in your subscriber list and divide by the number of feeds in your list.

My number is 46.27 (based on the list published on the site; I need to upload a new list, since I now have 161 feeds in NetNewsWire (up 40 from when this started two weeks ago). If Dave’s new tool has done anything, it’s turned me into an RSS fiend.

One note: the more customizable feeds like the iTunes Music Store’s offerings become available, the higher everyone’s uniqueness number will rise.