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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,722

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There are scorpions among us. They sit in Congress.

They would take the food out of the mouths of children. They would put the insurance companies back in charge of health care. They would shut the government down, refuse to pay the nation’s bills, destroy the trust that other countries place in us when they buy our bonds, they would do all this rather than give President Obama the slimmest of political victories.

Why? It is their nature.

I am not talking about the entire Republican Party. I am talking about a faction of far-right, tea party-driven congressmen who do not care who drowns.

They don’t have real alternate plans to help people. They weren’t, they believe, elected to help people. They were elected, they believe, to keep the other side from helping people.

the rest:

NSA Complains That It Has To Spend Time Closing Leaks Rather Than Spying On Everyone

NSA Complains That It Has To Spend Time Closing Leaks Rather Than Spying On Everyone

NPR has a slightly bizarre article claiming that the effects of the Snowden leaks "aren't what he intended." Except the article doesn't really suggest that at all. It does focus on how the NSA is now spending a ton of time trying to figure out how to prevent future leaks, but that's to be expected. It also talks about how the NSA needs to focus on that rather than on spying on everyone with a hint of "and you might all die because we can't do our jobs" added in for flavor.

Another effect of Snowden's disclosures on NSA operations has been that agency leaders have chosen to expedite planned security reforms, as part of an effort to prevent future leaks. The agency has begun consolidating databases, moving them from separate repositories into large data centers where cloud analysis can be employed. The data are to be "tagged" with restrictions so that analysts not qualified or authorized to review the information will not be able to access it.

"We've had to do things that we had planned to do over the next three or four years and move them dramatically to the left," says the NSA's chief information officer, Lonny Anderson. "We haven't asked for additional resources. We've just said, 'We've got to do this.' So something gives, because we're not getting additional resources. And what gives, for us, is mission."

The NSA mission is intelligence gathering.

"We have to make sure we don't cross a line where we're so busy locking down the networks that we're not defending the nation," Anderson says. "That's the fine line we walk."

the rest:

“I hope you quit smoking,” Obama said.

Kiai said he still smokes "sometimes" and asked the president if he still indulged.

"No, no, I haven't had a cigarette in 6 years," Obama told Kiai. "That's because I'm scared of my wife."

Obama addressed his own struggles with the addiction in a 2011 video to urge Americans to kick the habit.

“The fact is, quitting smoking is hard,” he said in the video. “Believe me, I know.”


U.S. government to sue JPMorgan in mortgage case: sources

Source: Reuters

Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to sue JPMorgan Chase & Co over mortgage bonds it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis, a sign the bank's legal troubles are not yet over.

A lawsuit, first reported by Reuters, could come as early as Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony and Justice Department spokeswoman Adora Andy Jenkins declined to comment.

The bank disclosed in August that federal prosecutors in California were conducting criminal and civil investigations into the bank's mortgage securities.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/23/us-jpm-mbs-california-idUSBRE98M13020130923

Dick Cheney mocked by guy in a kilt after he loses antelope hunt over a ‘gun malfunction’

Dick Cheney's hunt ended without a bang as the Remington team won.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney came in second place in an antelope hunting contest after his gun malfunctioned over the weekend — and to make matters worse, he was mocked by a man in wearing a kilt.

According to K2TV, Cheney’s “Wyoming” team was forced to surrender the title to the Remington team due to some problems with the former vice president’s equipment.


As part of the hunting club tradition, a member of Cheney’s “Wyoming” team was called up on stage to explain the loss. And for some reason, he was wearing a kilt-like skirt.

“That was that f*cking box of Remington ammunition,” the man said. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Dick Cheney’s gun had a major malfunction today. He had Remington ammunition. But the good news is, his gun didn’t work and nobody got hurt.”


POPCORN HERE: Aide: John McCain ‘f*cking hates’ Ted Cruz

Aide: John McCain ‘f*cking hates’ Ted Cruz

By David Edwards
Monday, September 23, 2013 11:23 EDT


“He fucking hates Cruz,” one McCain aide told the magazine. “He’s just offended by his style.”

At the time, McCain had publicly referred to Cruz and other Republicans as “wacko birds.”

“If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution makes you a wacko bird then I am a very, very proud wacko bird,” Cruz later told CBS News.


Repuke: We're earning our 11% popularity-It's easier to talk about Obamacare than major problems'

Quote of the Day

"It's total atrophy. We're earning our 11 percent popularity. It's easier to talk about Obamacare than the major sources of our problems."

-- Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), quoted by the Washington Post, on congressional priorities

But Cornell Was Okay?

But Cornell Was Okay?
September 23, 2013 | Robert Farley

This is just fabulous:

The elite academic circles that Cruz was now traveling in began to rub off. As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.”

It’s understandable; in grad school, I refused to study with anyone who had an undergrad degree from the minor Pac-12 schools, like Arizona State or Oregon.

Rand Paul: Subsidizing Health Care Of Fed Workers=Unconstitutional-Yet He Relies On It For Himself

Rand Paul Says Subsidizing Health Care Of Federal Workers Should Be Unconstitutional, Continues To Accept Subsidized Health Care

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) -- who has relied on taxpayer funded health care since 2011 -- plans to offer a constitutional amendment that would prohibit tax dollars from subsidizing the health care of government employees.


The federal government currently pays for approximately 75 percent of Paul’s health care costs and the senator has advocated for expanding the Congressional system. In March of 2012, he co-sponsored legislation to expand the FEHBP to Medicare enrollees, highlighting in a press conference for the plan that “We’re going to offer a plan that would give all seniors citizens in the country the same Congressional health care plan that we have.” “Our health care plan, the Congressional health care plan, or the federal employee health care plan, is 75 percent subsidized,” he bragged

Paul’s office would not respond to multiple requests for comment.


Time to Retire the Military Commissions & While We're At It Close Gitmo

A brand-new blog focusing on national-security-law issues hits a home run in its first at-bat.


Time to Retire the Military Commissions

By Daphne Eviatar
Monday, September 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM

It’s time for the government to cut its losses: move the 9/11 case to a real federal court, where we can finally get on with it. There’s nothing wrong with admitting this was all a big mistake. Given how many people and government branches have their fingerprints on it, everyone involved will find someone else to blame.


While we’re at it, no other terrorism cases should be brought in the Guantanamo commissions, either. U.S. federal courts have safely handled hundreds of these cases; it’s time to stop trying to re-invent the wheel.

Of course, this would require an act of Congress—no easy feat in this political climate. Currently, federal law prohibits the transfer of any Guantanamo detainees to the United States, even for trial. And some in Congress are loathe to do anything that President Obama once supported. But if any of them actually watched some of these hearings, they’d have to agree: the military commissions are a fiasco and an embarrassment. Keeping the most important terrorism trial in U.S. history in this obviously second-rate court system will ultimately do major damage to the United States and the integrity of our justice system.

That legacy will stretch far beyond President Obama’s term in office. And it will stain the hands of everyone who allowed it to happen.

the rest:
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