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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 8, 2004, 03:14 PM
Number of posts: 3,574

Journal Archives

Jennifer Hoelzer, Former Wyden Aide, Unleashes On Obama Administration Secrecy

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- A former top aide to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) fired back at the Obama administration this weekend, challenging the president's assertion Friday that he welcomed a debate on privacy and national security and that Congress had been fully briefed.

Jennifer Hoelzer was a longtime aide to Wyden until recently, and vented her frustration in a way she couldn't as his communications director or deputy chief of staff. Hoelzer wrote on TechDirt that she was stunned to see President Obama claim he wanted such a conversation after she had worked for years to beg and plead with the administration to declassify material so that an actual debate could take place.

Really, Mr. President? Do you really expect me to believe that you give a damn about open debate and the democratic process? Because it seems to me if your Administration was really committed those things, your Administration wouldn't have blocked every effort to have an open debate on these issues each time the laws that your Administration claims authorizes these programs came up for reauthorization, which -- correct me if I am wrong -- is when the democratic process recommends as the ideal time for these debates.

For example, in June 2009, six months before Congress would have to vote to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which the Obama Administration claims gives the NSA the authority to collect records on basically every American citizen -- whether they have ever or will ever come in contact with a terrorist -- Senators Wyden, Feingold and Durbin sent Attorney General Eric Holder a classified letter "requesting the declassification of information which argued was critical for a productive debate on reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/11/jennifer-hoelzer-obama-nsa_n_3739639.html

more at link

I'd rather restore constitutional law and give up my healthcare. Just thought I'd throw that out

there, since there seems to be a trend right now to parade the healthcare here. In other words, no amount of rah-rah about the healthcare, no matter how good it truly is for folks, will negate the loss of constitutional law, nor will it deflect my attention. Keep your eye on the ball (for those able to see it).

Has anyone heard when Tom Delay reports to prison yet? I've lost track of the status of his case,

and I don't want to miss the perp-walk (yeah, I know he likely never will, but I sure wish the system worked for politicos the same way it works for everyone else).
Posted by silvershadow | Fri Aug 9, 2013, 06:54 PM (5 replies)

How many times has he said the word "constitution", does anyo know? Just curios. Flame away if you

must. But this whole speech sounds like the "one" where we as a nation are just supposed to accept the misdeeds of two administrations, imho. It's not enough to just say security, no matter how many time you say it. Unless it meets the constitution, it will never pass muster with those who are paying attention.

If this is how it's got to be, then we all have to write it into the constitution, because I just don't see it- never have, never will as it stands. Surely he knows that. He sounds like he's reading off a general description of "the mission", rather than the big legal issues that the most strident voices have been expressing, so I happen to be disappointed yet again. (Re: NSA)

Martin O’Malley Steps Closer To 2016 Presidential Run

By Zeke J Miller @zekejmillerAug. 03, 2013

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signaled that he is moving closer to mounting a 2016 presidential campaign this weekend at the summer meeting of the National Governors Association in Milwaukee, Wis.

Speaking to reporters Saturday — 1192 days before Election Day — while sipping a beer in the wood-paneled lobby of the Hilton hotel, the Democrat seemed excited by the possibility, speaking candidly about his ongoing preparations. ”It’s going well,” he said, adding that he’s given a number of significant addresses over the past several months at universities and think tanks. “By the end of this year I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016.”

O’Malley also highlighted the work of his O’ Say Can You See PAC, which is supporting “like-minded candidates,” and growing his social media presence. The political action committee raised more than $500,000 in the first six months of 2013 and donated to early state candidates Iowa Rep. Bruce L. Braley, a 2014 candidate for U.S. Senate; and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, as O’Malley oversaw one of the most productive — and most liberal — legislative sessions of any governor in the country. The governor signed strict gun control legislation, boosted the state’s transportation funding, and abolished the state’s death penalty. In 2012, he successfully advocated for initiatives to legalize same-sex marriages in Maryland.

O’Malley said he is also taking the time “to let my soul catch up to where my body’s been,” slowing down to read, write, and think before making the critical and life-altering decision.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/03/martin-omalley-steps-closer-to-2016-presidential-run/#ixzz2b1p9EwvY
Posted by silvershadow | Sun Aug 4, 2013, 02:59 PM (3 replies)

Fast food strikes intensify in seven cities

The biggest walkout yet begins this morning -- and the strikes could have far-reaching implications for labor

This morning marks the start of what will likely be the largest fast food worker mobilization in U.S. history, with a New York City walkout today kicking off strikes in seven cities over four days. These work stoppages by non-union workers are the latest escalation in an embattled labor movement’s unprecedented challenge to the overwhelmingly non-union industry, whose ranks are growing and whose conditions are spreading elsewhere in the U.S. economy.

“I know you’re tired of suffering,” KFC employee Naquasia LeGrand told fellow workers gathered with clergy and politicians at a rally last Wednesday announcing that New York City worker-activists had voted to strike this week. “I don’t want to see the next generation suffering and suffering. I don’t want my kids suffering. I want to make sure they have a better future than I do.” Looking out on a crowd of about 150 at the entrance to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, LeGrand added, “So if I want that to happen, I need you guys to stand with me just as long as I’m standing with you.”

As Salon first reported, the fast food effort went public last November, with a strike by about 200 employees of various chains in New York City. Over the past four months, that walkout has been followed by similar work stoppages in five other cities, and a second New York City strike roughly twice as large. Each of those strikes has been backed by the Service Employees International Union and local allies, and each has shared the same demands: a raise to $15 per hour, and the chance to form a union with intimidation by management. This week’s strikes will include five of those six cities – New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee- and two new ones: Kansas City and Flint, Mich. (A spokesperson for the campaign in Seattle, where workers struck in May, told Salon to expect “a series of escalating direct actions” there this week.)

“I might be doing the work of three people” due to under-staffing, McDonald’s employee Kareem Starks told me after Wednesday’s rally, “but still getting paid one wage.” Starks, a 30-year-old former Parks Department employee, said it’s “been hard trying to live off the minimum wage, $7.25, and support my two kids plus pay rent.” As we spoke, a fellow fast food worker walked over to introduce himself, congratulate Starks on the speech he’d just delivered, and show him a scar on his arm. “I got burned too myself,” he told Starks. “But my manager doesn’t care.”

(much more at link: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/29/fast_food_strikes_intensify_in_seven_cities/

Tampa port chairman accused of running 'deplorable' illegal rental property

By Will Hobson and Jamal Thalji, Times Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 4:56pm

TAMPA — William A. "Hoe" Brown, chairman of the Tampa Port Authority and a prominent Republican fundraiser, has been running an illegal rental property that Tampa's code enforcement director calls "deplorable" and "not fit for human habitation."

"It's shocking. People shouldn't have to live like that," said Jake Slater, Tampa's director of neighborhood empowerment, who termed the squalor among the worst he's ever seen.

Slater visited the Seminole Heights property Monday, and his staff returned Tuesday to tell tenants their apartments — in five split, singlewide mobile homes Brown illegally placed last year behind his office at 106 W Stanley St. — were unfit for habitation.

Code staff offered to connect the tenants with social service agencies. But Brown decided to reimburse the seven tenants — who range in age from 4 to the upper 60s — hundreds of dollars in back rent in exchange for accepting short-notice evictions.

More from the Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/city-tampa-port-chairman-running-deplorable-illegal-rental-property/2130674


My comments: More Republican family values on display.

"This is the lowest of the low"-Louise Slaughter, D, on the failure of the farm bill. nt

Masao Yoshida Dead: Former Chief Of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Dies At 58

Source: Huffington Post

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. says the former chief of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant, Masao Yoshida, has died of cancer of the esophagus. He was 58.

TEPCO officials said Yoshida's illness was not related to radioactive exposure.

Yoshida led efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after it was hit by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi said Yoshida died Tuesday morning at a Tokyo hospital.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/masao-yoshida-dead_n_3565387.html

a little more at link. "TEPCO officials said Yoshida's illness was not related to radioactive exposure.". How would they know this, again?

This is now Sunday evening. 10 to 1 says this week will be all about

that plane crash, and they will use it to totally re-set the public's attention.
Posted by silvershadow | Sun Jul 7, 2013, 06:42 PM (0 replies)
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