Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,100
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,100
I'm still living
- 2016 (182)
- 2015 (500)
- 2014 (383)
- 2013 (199)
- 2012 (1)
- June (1)
- Older Archives
The Senate’s top Republican said Thursday that the sweeping 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal championed by President Obama will remain on ice until another president revives it.
And with both current presidential nominees opposed to the deal’s ratification, that could be the death knell for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, barring a major shift from Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
“Since they negotiate the deals and they send them up, the president is a big, big player in trade,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said at a news conference Thursday. “If we were going to have another discussion about trade, it would have to be led by whoever the next president is.”
Obama has made a renewed push in recent months for congressional ratification of the trade agreement, known as the TPP, with an eye toward persuading Congress to hold a vote on the deal in the post-election lame-duck session. The president has called the largest regional trade and regulatory deal in history one of his top economic priorities and a crucial strategic initiative in the fast-growing Asia Pacific, where the administration has sought to hedge against China’s growing influence.
Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/09/29/mcconnell-the-trans-pacific-partnership-is-dead-until-a-president-revives-it/?postshare=2221475167743653&tid=ss_tw-bottom
I guess this is cause for celebration, no?
Posted by Blue_Tires | Thu Sep 29, 2016, 06:44 PM (18 replies)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opened the door Thursday to changing legislation that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. court.
"I do think it's worth further discussions, but it was certainly not something that was going to be fixed this week," he told reporters when asked about a push by some senators to tweak the measure.
Across the Capitol, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed that Congress may need to "fix" the legislation, but said he wasn't sure when that would happen.
"We want to make sure the 9/11 victims and their families had their day in court," Ryan told reporters. "At the same time, I would like to think that there may be some work to be done to protect our service members overseas from any kind of legal ensnarements that occur, any kind of retribution."
Despite the override, 28 senators sent a letter to Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressing concerns about the measure in the hope that the two senators, who spearheaded it, would be willing to amend the law in the future.
BLUF: The Senate got their little patriotic override and only afterwards decided to actually read it... Then they have the nerve to blame Obama for "not communicating concerns about the bill" when he'd been doing that all along
Posted by Blue_Tires | Thu Sep 29, 2016, 03:20 PM (3 replies)
You have to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen instructs a police negotiator, in newly released 911 transcripts. “They are killing a lot of innocent people. What am I to do here when my people are getting killed over there. You get what I’m saying?”
Mateen makes this demand more than once in multiple calls. The gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando pledges allegiance to the Islamic State, also more than once, though the transcript omits part of his declaration:
Mateen identifies himself to police on the calls, which start about a half-hour after he stormed the nightclub. “I want to let you know I’m in Orlando,” he states, “and I did the shooting.” There are three calls, the first lasting only a few minutes. The last call ends around 3:25 a.m. In the conversations, Mateen asks to be called “Mujahideen” and “Islamic soldier.” The shooter claims that he has explosives, a threat that turned out to be false. He says he is wearing a vest like “what they used in France,” then he recants, saying it’s a vest “to go out to a wedding.” He mentions the Boston Marathon bomber: “My homeboy Tamerlan Tsarnaev did his thing on the Boston Marathon, my homeboy did his thing, okay, so now it’s my turn, okay?”
Audio has not been released, but these transcripts, made public this past Friday, offer the clearest details of Mateen’s stated motivation to commit mass murder. The FBI released partial transcripts soon after the massacre, which included bits and pieces of the conversations between Mateen and authorities that pointed to his radicalization. But these fuller transcripts hint at just how deep his infatuation with ISIS may have been, even for a “homegrown” terrorist.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 03:57 PM (3 replies)
Man accidentally eats 4 pot brownies, cusses at cat
OMAHA, Neb. —Police were called to a home near 93rd and Ohio streets Tuesday around 9:45 p.m. for an accidental overdose report. When officers arrived, they spoke with the 53-year-old man, who said he had eaten four brownies earlier in the day and after feeling the effects of them, believes they contained marijuana.
Police said the man was displaying odd behavior such as crawling around on the floor, calling their cat a 'bitch' and randomly using profanities along with saying he feels like 'he's trippin.'
Police spoke with the man's wife who said she got home around 9:30 p.m. and said she and her husband were watching TV when all of a sudden her husband started to suffer from bad anxiety. The wife told police that her children had borrowed their grandfather's car earlier in the day to get groceries. When the husband went out to retrieve them, he saw some brownies laying on the back seat, which he later ate.
While police were still at the scene, the son arrived and said the brownies belonged to his siblings and he we was pretty sure they had marijuana in them. Medics checked the man's vitals and said they were fine, although the man refused to go to the hospital. The man was helped into bed and asked to call 911 if the situation became worse.
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 02:31 PM (4 replies)
Police in New Mexico are looking for a man who, they say, punched his wife after she started breastfeeding their newborn in front of a male doctor. Rafael Orozco became angry when his wife, who had given birth earlier that day, started breastfeeding their baby girl, exposing herself to a doctor who had walked in to check on her and the infant, according to a police report.
Orozco, 22, punched his wife in the mouth as she was carrying the baby in her arms, the report said. He also slapped the infant on the head before hospital staff confronted him. Iesha Hartt told police that her husband is a very jealous man, according to the report. He called her names after she began breastfeeding their daughter and grabbed her by the throat, leaving scratches on her shoulder area, the report said.
Orozco ran out of the hospital’s labor and delivery room after being confronted by hospital staff. When a security guard caught and restrained him, Orozco reached to his side and told the guard that he had a gun. He was let go, and he fled the hospital, the report said.
The hospital was placed on lockdown overnight amid the search for Orozco, according to media reports. Police also checked Orozco’s home and the residence of Hartt’s mother, but he is yet to be found.
Damn, lady... You might want to contact a divorce attorney ASAFP before you end up dead...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 02:24 PM (35 replies)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Norwegian appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit seeking a legal guarantee to allow Edward Snowden to travel to Norway without risk of being extradited to the United States.
The Borgating court upheld Wednesday a ruling by a lower district court saying it cannot issue such a guarantee for someone who isn't present in Norway.
An Oslo law firm filed the lawsuit in April on behalf of the former National Security Agency contractor and the Norwegian chapter of PEN that had invited Snowden to receive its Ossietzky Prize in November. The literary group had appealed the Oslo district court June ruling.
Snowden, who is currently in Russia, faces U.S. charges that could land him in prison for up to 30 years for leaking details of a secret U.S. eavesdropping program.
Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/6b9fb9e4681c4c6faba3b45cb51949e1
Enjoy your Russian winter, Edward...
As it turns out, Snowden *WAS* available for comment today, and it's just as whiny as you'd expect since Norway didn't bend their law just to cater to his massive ego: https://twitter.com/Snowden/status/781184025113133057
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 10:55 AM (17 replies)
International prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 say the missile that hit the plane was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.
They said the missile launcher was brought into Ukraine from Russia.
All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in midair flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Relatives told the BBC that prosecutors said they would investigate about 100 people over the incident.
"They told us how the Buk was transported how they came to that evidence from phone taps, photo, film material, video," Robby Oehler, whose niece was killed in the crash, told the BBC.
The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consists of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37495067
So once again, I've been proven 100% correct, and all the Putin apologists, trolls and hot take artists in the leftist blogosphere who constantly floated dozens of 'alternate theories' about 'what really happened' are nowhere to be found...
And just to recap some of the lowlights, the Russians....
1. Blocked a UN resolution for international tribunal into the shootdown: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33710088
2. Hacked the servers of the JIT to compromise the investigation: http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/10/23/pro-russia-hackers-targeted-dutch-mh17-investigators/
3. Have now openly admitted they fabricated their original radar data on the day of the incident: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2016/09/26/russian-defence-ministry-presents-evidence-faked-previous-mh17-evidence/
These are really odd actions for a nation to undertake if they are truly blameless in this situation, wouldn't you say?
Posted by Blue_Tires | Wed Sep 28, 2016, 08:36 AM (1 replies)
I’ve closely followed the saga of Edward Snowden from the moment the former CIA and NSA IT contractor grabbed the global limelight with both hands back on June 12, 2013 by appearing in the Chinese media, exposing American government secrets on a scale nobody had ever done before.
I insisted from the outset that Snowden was not the whistleblower he claimed to be, rather an attention-seeking narcissist, and that certainly once he landed in Moscow on June 23, 2013—and quite possibly before—he was in bed with Russian intelligence. Moreover, Snowden’s 1.5 million stolen documents were nearly all about NSA foreign intelligence and Pentagon military matters—not domestic surveillance. In short, the Snowden saga as presented to the public by Ed and his media enablers was a fantasy.
Now, more than three years later, my position—which garnered me criticism and epic amounts of social media trolling—has been vindicated by several sources, including the U.S. Congress. Oliver Stone’s apologia-as-film about Snowden has just opened, to decidedly mixed reviews, and its premiere has been marred by the overdue intrusion of reality on this Moscow fable. Stone has a long history of making “truthy” movies based on Kremlin propaganda, and his latest sticks with that dubious pattern.
I’ve taken the Snowden debacle personally, in no small part because when I worked in NSA counterintelligence, it was obvious that something like Snowden was bound to happen. By ignoring basic security, by outsourcing core missions to greedy defense contractors, by allowing the security clearance process to fall apart—and above all by oversharing sensitive information with people who had no “need to know” as the spies say—NSA and our whole Intelligence Community created the circumstances that made Snowden possible.
None of this is to deny the traitor’s agency: Ed did all this, willfully. Yet NSA is every bit as culpable as Snowden for this historic debacle, for ignoring years of warnings about security that predicted exactly what came to pass when Snowden stole grandly and fled to China, then Russia, where he remains. I, along with others, warned NSA years ago that it was flirting with counterintelligence disaster, and the agency was “just one asshole away” from the security abyss. Eventually that asshole was going to show up. He did, as actuarially he was bound to. His name just happened to be Ed Snowden.
Game, set, match
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 19, 2016, 04:58 PM (14 replies)
Either Edward Snowden is lying or his former boss is. That’s one way to read contradictory statements from the two men about whether Snowden actually knew that much about one of the most controversial surveillance programs that he exposed to the world three years ago.
It’s a program that gives the National Security Agency access to data from the world’s biggest technology companies, including Facebook and Google, and it features prominently in the new Oliver Stone biopic “Snowden,” which premieres Friday and portrays its namesake as a genius hacker who saw first-hand how the NSA abused its formidable powers. That movie has renewed a long-simmering battle between Snowden and his critics. And it’s revealing new information about the biggest leak from the U.S. intelligence community in decades.
For the first time, the man who hired Snowden as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton at an NSA facility in Hawaii said Snowden actually didn’t have any access to that program, known commonly as PRISM. What’s more, Steven Bay said, Snowden failed to understand the regime of oversight and legal scrutiny in place to prevent unauthorized spying on Americans.
“He asked me two or three times on how to get access to what essentially was the PRISM data—we didn’t call it that internally, but that’s kind of what everyone knows it is,” Bay told the national security publication The Cipher Brief this week.
“That’s one of the interesting things about his story is that people don’t realize,” Bay continued, “he never actually had access to any of that data. All of the quote domestic collection stuff that he revealed, he never had access to that. So he didn’t understand the oversight and compliance, he didn’t understand the rules for handling it, and he didn’t understand the processing of it.”
At least the "hero" myth is officially dead...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Mon Sep 19, 2016, 09:22 AM (0 replies)
Oliver Stone’s Snowden is a bad movie, stuffed with myth, short on drama. Stone has always been a tendentious writer but he was once a terrific director. JFK ranks among the most exasperating movies of all time for portraying Jim Garrison, one of the battier Kennedy-assassination conspiracy-mongers, as a truth-telling hero. But it was still rollicking, spooky fun—so crazy entertaining, I could almost excuse its crazy script. In Snowden, Stone has another self-styled hero on his hands, but this time he dispenses with the high-flying style and instead spends two hours shrouding his protagonist with the aura of a holy martyr.
The story, as Stone tells it, matches the portrait put forth by Edward Snowden, his lawyers, and his celebrators for some time: A patriotic young man goes to work for the CIA, then the NSA. Gradually disillusioned by what he sees, he smuggles out thousands of documents that reveal the NSA’s vast scale of domestic surveillance. He flees to Hong Kong, where he gives the material to a pair of trusted, rebellious reporters, so the American people will know what’s being done in their name at the price of their liberty.
The fact is, many of Snowden’s documents bore no resemblance to whistleblowing as the phrase is broadly understood. Judging from Snowden-inspired stories in the Washington Post and the Guardian, they revealed details about the NSA’s interception of email and cellphone calls by the Taliban in Pakistan’s northwest territories; an operation to gauge the loyalties of CIA recruits in Pakistan; intelligence assessments inside Iran; and NSA surveillance of cellphone calls “worldwide,” an effort that (in the Post’s words) “allows it to look for unknown associates of known intelligence targets by tracking people whose movements intersect.” In his first interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden revealed that the NSA routinely hacks into hundreds of computers in China and Hong Kong. None of this is noted in Stone’s film.
Whatever one’s views of U.S. foreign policy in those parts of the world, these activities are legitimate aspects of the NSA’s charter, which involves intercepting communications of foreign powers. They have nothing to do with domestic surveillance or spying on allies. Exposing these intercepts is not whistleblowing: It’s an attempt to blow U.S. intelligence operations. And while Snowden has since acknowledged that other countries do this sort of thing too, not least China and his host at the moment, Russia, he never leaked documents revealing their hacking programs even though, in his job at the NSA, he would have had access to reports (and possibly raw data) about them as well.
It's almost like he's been reading me on DU the past three years...
Posted by Blue_Tires | Sun Sep 18, 2016, 11:48 AM (3 replies)