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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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White House office to delete its FOIA regulations

Source: USA Today

White House office to delete its FOIA regulations
Gregory Korte, USA TODAY 3:21 p.m. EDT March 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject all requests for records to that office.

The White House said the clean-up of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law. The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.

But the timing of the move raised eyebrows among transparency advocates, coming on National Freedom of Information Day and during a national debate over the preservation of Obama administration records. It's also Sunshine Week, an effort by news organizations and watchdog groups to highlight issues of government transparency.

"The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me," said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/16/white-house-foia-regulations-deleted/24844253/

The Elephants Are Right!

I am pissed - Where's the green peppers?

ByBRENDAN JAMESPublishedMARCH 16, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

The Economist magazine faced ridicule on Monday after it revealed its cover for an issue focusing on America's Latino population: an American flag fashioned out of chili peppers.

"A special report on America's Latinos," the cover read.

The thinking man's weekly tweeted the issue's cover on Thursday, adding the text, "This week's cover: Firing up America."

But the backlash didn't bubble up until Monday morning. Several people faulted the cover as cringeworthy; Vox Media went so far as to call it "embarrassingly racist."

no me gusta:

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros: Snow days are a liberal plot to strip schools of religious holidays

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros: Snow days are a liberal plot to strip schools of religious holidays

On Monday’s edition of Outnumbered, Fox News host Jedediah Bila argued that schools should start earlier to “avoid angering this religious group or that religious group, and let everyone have their religious holiday.”

But Duffy said that there was something more sinister going on.

“That makes too much sense,” the Wisconsin Republican quipped. “Don’t let any good crisis go to waste, and if you want to take religion out of the public square, look at Boston and look at all the snow and say, ‘What a great reason now, we can take these religious holidays out of our school system.’”

“It’s using the crisis to the liberal benefit,” he added.

Tantaros agreed: “I think the congressman hit the nail on the head. This is what happens when liberal academic Boston meets ethnic Boston.”


CBS' Schieffer To Tom Cotton: Will You Write A Letter To N. Korea Too?

At one point, Schieffer asked the senator why he hadn't reached out to the U.S.' other nuclear adversaries, too.

"Senator, are you planning to contact any other of our adversaries around the country?" Schieffer asked. "For example, are you planning to check with the North Koreans to make sure that they know that any deal has to be approved by the Congress?"

Cotton smiled when Schieffer brought up North Korea.

“Right now I and most every other senator is focused on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” he responded. “That’s why it’s so important that we communicated this message straight to Iran, because they’re not hearing it from Geneva.”

Cotton returned to the matter of North Korea later in the interview. He echoed an argument former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made in a recent op-ed on Iran: prior deals with the North Koreans failed to stop them from developing a nuclear bomb, so a deal with Iran wouldn't likely hold up, either.

"Now the world has to live with the consequences of a nuclear North Korea," Cotton said. "I don't want the world to live with the consequences of a nuclear Iran."


ROLLING STONE: None Dare Call It Treason: Tom Cotton, Iran and Old GOP Ideas

Iran-Contra was "a vastly more explicitly illegal enterprise at every stage than Nixon's clownish" dirty tricks

By Jeb Lund March 16, 2015


.......In the increasingly Manichean atmosphere of American politics, there will always be some politically exculpatory explanation. Nixon had to do it to stop the Democrats from "stabbing the troops in the back," or Both sides do it, so why should I care?


The Reagan administration in some ways played these events out in reverse, beginning with what some people believe was a Reagan campaign conspiracy to sabotage hostage crisis talks in Iran and ending with the indisputably real violation of the Boland Amendment – a series of legally binding additions to congressional bills that prevented the Reagan administration from giving aid to the Nicaraguan contras. The Reagan administration had already used the CIA to try to overthrow the Sandinista government, and in this case a Democratic Congress exerted its ability to deny a Republican president the means to further his military and foreign policy. The Reagan administration's response was to fund the contras by illegally sell arms to the same Iran (hello again!) that candidate Reagan had excoriated and that he would subsequently arm Iraq against.

The Iran-Contra affair was ultimately a vastly more explicitly illegal enterprise at every stage than Nixon's clownish burglary, campaign ratfuckery and slush funds – and yet the response to it, from a nation still disgusted by the post-Watergate bummer process of honest self-evaluation, was bipartisan compartmentalization and hyper-partisan pardon. (In the latter case, quite literally, as George H.W. Bush pardoned multiple Reagan administration conspirators and saved the nation from accountability.) The response to Iran-Contra codified the Nixon paraphrasis of If the president does it, it's not illegal into something between best practices and standard operating procedure. Everything between Bush and the neocon crowd's "noble lies" about Iraq, to Obama's refusal to indict them, to Obama's technocratic insistence that he and his team think really hard about the Kill List before turning Yemeni kids booking down the street into hamburger flows from this concession made by Americans to government malfeasance. So go ahead, yell at Iran's government, lick the Supreme Ayatollah's cheek and whisper te quiero, hombre, call the president a pussy. Do whatever the fuck you want.

This is the world Tom Cotton lives in – where you can undermine a president legally or illegally, and it won't matter. The record will be interpreted as needed by believers. You can even do something illegal with the same Iran that in your next breath you claim endangers us all. A crime enumerated in black and white will be forgiven by 50 percent of the voting audience just on sheer mistrust of the other 50 percent, and as for the rest, appealing to America's "vital national security interests" will do most of the work.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/none-dare-call-it-treason-tom-cotton-iran-and-old-gop-ideas-20150316#ixzz3UYu3Gz6e
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Obama Lampoons O'Reilly, Needles His 'Reporting From The War Zone'

President Obama was the latest to weigh in on the scandal surrounding host Bill O'Reilly on Saturday, cracking a joke at the Fox host's expense.

At the Gridiron Club and Foundation's annual dinner, Obama joked that House Republicans may be plotting a coup.

"Or as Bill O'Reilly calls it, 'reporting from the war zone,'" the President said, according to the Associated Press.

In recent months reporters have hounded the Fox host over his past reporting and statements.

how did i miss that?

The Case for Al Gore in 2016

Al Gore should run for president

Ezra Klein: “To many Democrats, the fight the party needs is clear: Hillary Clinton vs. Elizabeth Warren. But the differences between Warren and Clinton are less profound than they appear. Warren goes a bit further than Clinton does, both in rhetoric and policy, but her agenda is smaller and more traditional than she makes it sound: tightening financial regulation, redistributing a little more, tying up some loose ends in the social safety net. Given the near-certainty of a Republican House, there is little reason to believe there would be much difference between a Warren presidency and a Clinton one.”

“The most ambitious vision for the Democratic Party right now rests with a politician most have forgotten, and who no one is mentioning for 2016: Al Gore. Gore offers a genuinely different view of what the Democratic Party — and, by extension, American politics — should be about.”

He would have MY vote - unequivocally:

Portland man: I was tortured in UAE for refusing to become an FBI informant

Portland man: I was tortured in UAE for refusing to become an FBI informant
Yonas Frike, who attends a mosque where at least nine of its members have been barred from flying, says the US no-fly list is being used to intimidate American Muslims into spying on behalf of US authorities


The 36-year-old Eritrean-born American was finally back in Portland at the end of a five-year odyssey that began with a simple business trip but landed him in an Arab prison where he alleges he was tortured at the behest of US anti-terrorism officials because he refused to become an informant at his mosque in Oregon.

Fikre is suing the FBI, two of its agents and other American officials for allegedly putting him on the US’s no-fly list – a roster of suspected terrorists barred from taking commercial flights – to pressure him to collaborate. When that failed, the lawsuit said, the FBI had him arrested, interrogated and tortured for 106 days in the United Arab Emirates.

As shocking as the claims are, they are not the first to emanate from worshippers at Fikre’s mosque in Portland, where at least nine members have been barred from flying by the US authorities.

“The no-fly list gives the FBI an extrajudicial tool to coerce Muslims to become informants,” said Gadeir Abbas, a lawyer who represents other clients on the list. “There’s definitely a cluster of cases like this at the FBI’s Portland office.”


Obama to Governor Walker: "as-salamu alaykum"

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