Posts Tagged ‘glenn



11
Jun
13

A few thoughts on Snowden, Greenwald, and the NSA

Cross-posted on The People’s View

Unless you’ve been under a rock (and more on that later), the “high-information” portion of our Republic has been treated to days of OHMYGODTHENSAISSPYINGONMYGOATPORN.

The current hero of the “left” “libertarians” is Edward Snowden, leaker of NSA collection of phone records and Internet traffic, with an able assist from his glibertarian guru Glenn Greenwald. For all of an hour, the hashtag #IStandWithEricSnowden trended on Twitter on Sunday, after he revealed himself as the freedom-loving mole in the heart of the Big Brother Beast.

Let me pause for a moment to share with you a quote from one of the best novels of recent years, “World War Z”. Yes, it’s a zombie novel, but it also serves as a commentary on modern day politics.

When you think of the CIA, you probably imagine two of our more enduring and popular myths. The first is that our mission is to search the globe for any conceivable threat to the United States, and the second is to believe that we have the power to perform the first.

…We can’t just spread ourselves thin looking for, and hoping to stumble on, new and possible dangers. Instead, we’ve always had to  identify and focus on those that are already clear and present.

Replace “CIA” with “NSA” and you have a picture of where we are now.

Continue reading ‘A few thoughts on Snowden, Greenwald, and the NSA’

11
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama speaks with White House Counsel Gregory Craig in the Oval Office, June 11 2009. (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sara Kliff: The Obama administration will comply with a court order to allow over-the-counter emergency contraceptive sales to women and girls of all ages, according to documents filed late Monday.

While the Department of Justice initially appealed this policy, it has now asked a judge with the Eastern District Court of New York to withdraw that challenge, provided he approves the federal government’s plan for compliance.

The reversal means that emergency contraceptives, a heated policy area that has vexed two presidential administrations, will soon be available to young women off of the pharmacy shelf.

More here

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John Stanton: House Democratic Assistant Leader James Clyburn charged Monday that a series of high-profile leaks about secret domestic spying programs are part of a broader effort by opponents of President Barack Obama to damage the administration politically. “There is an attempt by several people to do political harm to this president. I just think this is part of that,” Clyburn told BuzzFeed.

Clyburn, one of the top Democrats in the House, said he “absolutely” believes Snowden, who is currently in Hong Kong, should be extradited back to the United States to face charges.

More here

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Brad Plumer: On Monday evening, the Senate voted 66 to 27 to approve a massive farm bill that will set the course of U.S. food policy for the next half-decade. The old farm bill expired last year, and its replacement is 1,150 pages long, costing some $955 billion over 10 years. So what’s actually in it?

Food stamps and nutrition, $760.5 billion over 10 years. This is by far the biggest part of the farm bill, with the bulk taken up by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps low-income families pay for food. The Senate bill tweaks some of the rules governing eligibility and cut spending slightly by $3.9 billion compared to what would happen if current policy was kept. (There’s also a controversial amendment by David Vitter to ban anyone convicted of a violent crime from food stamps for life.)

More here

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This is a hero.                          This is not a hero.

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10
Jun
13

Snowden does Guardian’s Greenwald Survey

You can do it too! Just click here

10
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama waves to his family, standing on the Truman balcony of the White House, as he walks from Marine One on the South Lawn after returning to Washington from California, June 9

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Today:

11:30: The President delivers remarks on the Equal Pay Act

1:0: Press Briefing by Jay Carney

2:10 The President makes a personnel announcement (see below)

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News that actually, you know, impacts people’s lives:

USA Today: The auto industry is about to go on a hiring spree as car makers and parts suppliers race to find engineers, technicians and factory workers to build the next generation of vehicles.

The new employees will be part of a larger, busier workforce. From coast to coast, the industry is in top gear. Factories are operating at about 95% of capacity, and many are already running three shifts. As a result, some auto and parts companies are doing something they’ve been reluctant to consider since the recession: Adding floor space and spending millions of dollars on new equipment.

…. The auto industry’s stepped-up hiring will help sustain the nation’s job growth and help fuel consumer spending. On Friday, the government said U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in May, roughly the monthly average for the past year and a sign of the economy’s resilience.

More here

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Steve Benen: Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform were in need of some good news. Whereas it looked like the “Gang of Eight” bill was on track for 70 votes in the Senate two weeks ago, the prospects deteriorated quickly last week — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) threatened to oppose his own legislation; bipartisan House talks crumbled; senators questioned whether the bill could overcome a GOP filibuster; and a House Republican vote on Dreamers offered a reminder of just how right-wing the caucus is on the issue.

So, are reform hopes slipping away? Not just yet. In fact, the effort got a bit of a boost over the weekend….

Full post here

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TPM: President Barack Obama will announce Monday that he intends to nominate Jason Furman as the new Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, a White House official said.

Obama will make the personnel announcement at 2:10 p.m. ET at the White House. Furman will succeed Alan Krueger, who is stepping down from the post to return to Princeton University in the fall.

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ThinkProgress: Rep. Elijah Cummings pledged to release transcripts of interviews with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials that Republicans insist demonstrate that the agency’s targeting of conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) status was directed by the Obama administration.

Cummings made the remarks on CNN’s State of the Union, a week after Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) appeared on the program and insinuated that the White House directed IRS agents to single out tea party and patriot groups for additional scrutiny. Issa has refused to provide evidence that substantiate that claim.

“I wrote Chairman Issa on Thursday and I wrote to him this morning. I want those transcripts to be released,” Cummings said. “I’m willing to come on your show next week with the chairman with the transcripts if he agrees to do that. If he doesn’t, I’ll release them by the end of the week.”

Cummings insisted that the interviews will prove that “the White House was not involved in this,” pointing out that the Cincinnati IRS manager of the screening group, a career veteran at the agency who identified himself as Republican, told investigators that Washington did not direct the targeting….

More here

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Kinda reckon this is all we need to know about Edward Snowden….

…. but soooo many questions, like the ones Goldie Taylor was asking this morning:

Click here to see the rest of the post

09
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago today, one of Pete Souza’s very great photos: “The President had attended the fourth grade closing ceremony for his daughter Sasha at her school in Bethesda, Md. As he was departing, he noticed some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility adjacent to Sasha’s school so he walked over to say hello to them.”

If the Greenwald Groupies were putting a caption on the pic, it would most probably read:

‘OMG™! Illegal surveillance!’.

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President Obama talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, June 8

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Today:

PDT

10:25 AM: President Obama departs Palm Springs, CA

EDT

5:55: Arrives The White House

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ZDNet: The real story in the NSA scandal is the collapse of journalism

Summary: A bombshell story published in the Washington Post this week alleged that the NSA had enlisted nine tech giants, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple, in a massive program of online spying. Now the story is unraveling, and the Post has quietly changed key details. What went wrong?

More here

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I missed most of the news and developments yesterday, so flicked through the Twitter machine this morning to read what people were saying. And I see the Greenwald Groupies, urged on by their Dear Leader (and his personal fundraising campaign), now fear that Koch Boy will be taken out by evil Obama.

No, really.

Their fears were heightened when The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons tweeted this (and, needless to say, it was breathlessly retweeted by Greenwald):

“OMG™!!!!!!!!” was the gist of the Groupies’ reponse.

But Clemons then admitted he couldn’t actually identify the four people, and only had poor quality pics and audio (yes, he secretly recorded them, possibly illegally so, depending on that state’s laws – oh, the irony) so, not unreasonably, @BoloBoffin asked: “If you can’t identify them, how do you know they are US intel officials?”

Or, at the very least, wait until he could confirm they were intel officials before tweeting what he did? You know, journalism.

Soon after, Clemons began watering down his original tweet:

In other words, he had no clue who these people were – but his original tweet did the trick, it was RTed almost 1,000 times, got him lots of attention and earned him the love of Koch Boy and his sheeple.

If they were intel officials, did Clemons not consider the possibility that they might also be dufuses loudly talking macho crap in an airport lounge because they’re pissed off by Koch Boy’s attempts to damage intelligence gathering efforts on terrorist suspects? Or does he think they were loudly discussing in an airport lounge an actual plan to, um, ‘disappear’ Koch Boy?

Yep, this is where the Groupies are at.

Which takes us to….

Click to see the rest of the post

08
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama arrives at Palms Springs International Airport, June 7

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Today:

PDT

9:25 AM: President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China hold a bilateral meeting, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands

11:10 AM: The President participates in a departure greet with President Xi Jinping and First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan

Sunday:

PDT

10:25 AM: The President departs Palm Springs, CA

EDT

5:55: Arrives The White House

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The Week Ahead:

Monday: The President will deliver remarks at the White House commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

Tuesday: Will deliver remarks at the White House in support of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform bill. Later in the morning, the President will host President Ollanta Humala of Peru at the White House.

Wednesday: The President will travel to Boston for an event for Ed Markey for Senate and the Massachusetts Democratic Party. From there, he will travel to Miami for a DNC event and will return to the White House in the evening.

Thursday: Will deliver remarks at the LGBT Pride Month celebration at the White House.

Friday: The President will welcome the WNBA Champion Indiana Fever to the White House to honor the team and their victory in the WNBA Finals

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Pete Souza: President Obama with China’s President Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands.

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Business Insider: The Washington Post Has Now Hedged Its Stunning Claim About Google, Facebook, Etc, Giving The Government Direct Access

…. the Washington Post reported a shocking story about how the FBI and National Security Agency had partnered with Google, Facebook, and many other tech companies to spy on the tech companies’ hundreds of millions of users …. Not surprisingly, the Post’s story created an instant explosion of outrage. The ire was directed at both the government and the technology companies.

….. 24 hours later, after more denials and questions, the Post has made at least two important changes to its spying story.

More here

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07
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

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Today – all times EST:

11:50 AM: The President delivers a statement to reporters on the Affordable Care Act, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose

White House Live * C-Span * CBS

12:25: Departs San Jose

1:35: Arrives Los Angeles

3:0: Delivers remarks at a DNC Fundraiser, Private Residence, Santa Monica

5:05: Departs Los Angeles

5:55: Arrives Palm Springs

8:0: Participates in a photo opportunity with President Xi Jinping of China, at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, California.

8:05: Holds a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping

11:0: Holds a working dinner with President Xi Jinping

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Steve Benen: … The U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in May, slightly better than expected, though the overall unemployment rate inched higher to 7.6%. As is usually the case, there was a gap between the two major sectors – America’s private sector added 178,000 jobs last month, while spending cuts caused the public sector lose 3,000 jobs.

One key figure to keep in mind, however, was local-government hiring, where 13,000 jobs were created. We’ve grown accustomed to municipalities doing the opposite, and if this holds up (and continues), it will strengthen the overall job market…

More here

PS Loved this: “Do you folks remember the last time Steve Benen took a day off? Yeah, we had to go back and look, too. I’m happy to report that Steve is taking vacation today and tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.”

But…. “Steve says he’ll be escaping vacation at least long enough to post the new unemployment report – and his famous bikini graph – on Friday morning.”

Yes, he took a break from his two day vacation to post on the jobs’ figures. He’s a hoot.

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Must-read – although, Tomasky makes the mistake of suggesting the deranged hate only comes from the right:

Michael Tomasky: Nothing will stop Republicans from trying to turn the IRS scandal into Watergate. They simply despise Obama too much to settle for anything less ….. That’s all this is really about — their base’s rage at the continued existence of Barack Obama, and their own twisted craving to acknowledge and stoke it.

…. all that is to say nothing of the racist invective that is the constant background music of this presidency …. We in the media never discuss this, but it is a daily diet in this country — yes, daily — and nothing said about any president in history that I can think of comes close to matching its relentless and savage sickness.

…. The liberal base hated George Bush all right, but the hate wasn’t quite as existential, wasn’t quite as drenched in the same kind of suppurated derangement one finds in quarters of the right.

Besides which, Bush discredited himself through his uniform incompetence. Obama, clearly competent, has not done that and is unlikely to do it. So the Republicans have to do it to him. Tarnishing Obama is the only way they can emerge from these eight years not completely humiliated by him, so we’re just going to have to endure it.

Full post here

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06
Jun
13

Intelligence agency conducts intelligence. News at 11.

So, doughty warrior of the glibertarians Glenn Greenwald has a MAJOR SCOOP: the National Security Agency obtained a warrant from the FISA court to have Verizon Business hand over millions of phone records. SHOCK! ALARM! OBAMA IS SPYING ON YOU!

Now, I don’t mean to be glib myself. The expanded powers given to intelligence agencies in the wake of 9/11 are a valid subject of debate. Barack Obama’s NDU speech in which he wants to work to curtail the Presidency’s expanded powers is an indication on where he stand on this issue.

But comparing the NSA’s latest data mining to what was occurring under the Bush administration is an exercise in the purest sophistry, and a way for Mr. Greenwald to drive clicks to his Guardian website. (And, really, Guardian, why do you employ a writer who BEGS FOR DONATIONS on your website? )

Continue reading ‘Intelligence agency conducts intelligence. News at 11.’

06
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

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President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy aboard Air Force One, June 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama’s image juxtaposed with this discussion says a lot about how far we’ve come but how there is much more progress needed

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Ken Wheaton: Last week, a new ad from Cheerios was deemed controversial when media outlets discovered that the racist contingent of the idiocracy known as the YouTube comment section trashed the ad for featuring a mixed-race couple and a biracial child.

But according to data from Ace Metrix, Americans like the ad. In fact, “Good for Your Heart” (called “Just Checking” on YouTube) tested the highest of six new Cheerios ads this year and garnered attention and likeability scores 9% and 11% “above the current 90-day norm for cereals.”

More here

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Jeffrey Goldberg: Now Rice will be, in effect, Kerry’s supervisor. McCain and Graham, by turning Rice into the scapegoat of the Benghazi debacle, have inadvertently allowed the president to bring her into the innermost ring of power, in a role that requires no Senate confirmation.

In the highly centralized White House foreign-policy and national-security operation (critics would call it overcentralized, and they have a point) the secretary of state, even one of Kerry’s stature, does comparatively little to set the administration’s overarching policy.  It will be Rice’s job to interpret the president’s broadest wishes and put them into place across several government departments.

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Her influence will be especially pronounced, I think, because she is part of Obama’s original foreign-policy team — in what could have been a near-suicidal career move, Rice, a former official in President Bill Clinton’s administration, signed on to Obama’s campaign when his victory didn’t seem at all assured. Her appointment today is partly payback for her loyalty, and a thumb in the eyes of her Senate critics. It is also a sign that the president and Rice are in sync on a broad set of issues, and here is where it gets interesting.

More here

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New York Times: Wisconsin and Minnesota are neighboring states with long traditions of caring for the least fortunate, but, at the moment, only one of them is concerned about the health of the poor and uninsured. In February, more than 130,000 Minnesota residents who lack health insurance became eligible for coverage when the state expanded its Medicaid program under the health care reform law. That will save the state $129 million in the first two years alone.

Wisconsin, however, has chosen to take the path of indifference. On Tuesday, the Republicans who control the State Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted to reject the expansion of Medicaid, even though it would have covered 85,000 people at less cost to the state. The committee was marching in lock step behind the governor, Scott Walker, who claims to be worried that federal financing will run out. What’s really going on, of course, is that state Republicans have made poor people the victims of their ideological resistance to President Obama and his health care law.

More here

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This is a MUST read by Joshua Foust if you want to know the truth about the NSA story and not fall for Glenn Greenwald’s and the media’s nonsense. Click Here

Joshua Foust: 1. Congress voted to legalize expansive surveillance powers in 2001 (The USA PATRIOT ACT), 2008 (retroactive immunity for warantless NSA wiretaps in the FISA Amendments Act), and in 2012 (renewing the FISA Amendments Act).

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30
May
13

The Mask Slips

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