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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,833

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"FakeFilibuster" - Cruz pre-negotiated terms of his fake filibuster with Reid.

Cruz pre-negotiated terms of his fake filibuster with Reid.

Adam Jentleson @AJentleson

Fun fact: Senator Cruz pre-negotiated the terms of his #fakefilibuster with Senator Reid yesterday. Not exactly a Mr. Smith moment.
1:58 PM - 24 Sep 2013

Reid did appear to have prior knowledge of Cruz's intention to launch into a speech, which is not quite a filibuster because a cloture vote will take place Wednesday regardless of what he does.

"I just want to make sure that everyone understands there is no filibuster today," he said Tuesday at roughly 10 am ET.


Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions

Source: Politico

Patrick Leahy backs sweeping NSA restrictions
By: Tony Romm
September 24, 2013 11:23 AM EDT

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the powerful chairman of the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday strongly endorsed a series of sweeping restrictions on U.S. surveillance programs — from ending the bulk collection of Americans’ phone call logs to creating new oversight mechanisms to keep the National Security Agency in check.

In a speech at Georgetown University Law Center, the Vermont Democrat said the government “has not made its case” that the ability to collect Americans’ phone records en masse under the PATRIOT Act is “an effective counterterrorism tool, especially in light of the intrusion on Americans’ privacy rights.”

As the senator criticized the program, authorized under Section 215, he also pledged to explore “possible structural changes” to the secret court that reviews government surveillance requests. And Leahy said he planned to work with his Republican colleagues in the House to rein in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs the NSA’s ability to tap Internet communications as it scours for foreign terror suspects.

Leahy’s speech Tuesday marks his committee’s return to the thorny, complex surveillance debate, sparked by contractor Edward Snowden. Even as Snowden’s leaks continued to make headlines, lawmakers disengaged as they turned their attention to Syria and the debt ceiling.

Read more: http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B2006704-29F7-44EF-BC2B-B5FBCCBC3367

One third of the INTRADE bets placed on a Romney win in the last few weeks were by one person.

I saw an interesting article on Slate today: "Why a Single Trader Was Willing to Lose Millions Betting on a Romney Win" It seems that one third of the bets placed on a Romney win in the last few weeks were by one person. The article relies on this paper, titled Trading Strategies and Market Microstructure: Evidence from a Prediction Market.

The paper from Columbia University's Rajiv Sethi and Microsoft Research's David Rothschild found that the single anonymous trader accounted for about one-third of all bets made on Romney during the final two weeks of the campaign. So, regardless of motivation, it's clear the trader played an out-sized role in determining an Intrade line that was all too often used by pundits and political journalists to suggest the presidential race remained a toss-up until the very end.


Treat the Tea Party Like the Addicts They Are

Treat the Tea Party Like the Addicts They Are
by BooMan
Tue Sep 24th, 2013 at 11:40:19 AM EST


..............The way to treat Tea Partiers is the way you would treat a drug addict. Realize that you didn't cause their craziness, you can't cure their craziness, and you can't control their craziness. All you can do is establish that you have zero-tolerance for their bullshit and lay out consequences for them if they keep mainlining excrement. And then you need to get out of their way and let them figure things out for themselves.

Judd Gregg thinks that he can talk sense to these addicts if he grants them half their insanity. That's like telling a junkie that it's okay for him to abuse alcohol as long as he stays away from the smack. That won't work. These people need some tough love and a 12-step program.

Their brains have been marinated in weaponized bullshit for so long that they don't know how to function without it. They can't be reasoned with until they've been right-wing media-free for at least 90 days. They probably need an inpatient treatment program that has no televisions or radios, and no email, either.

You can't shame them. Begging won't work. Anger won't work. Negotiating won't work. Guilt won't work. Fear won't work. Pretending you're their best friend won't work. You might as well stop being in denial about it and realize that only forcing them to own up to their problem is going to get them to begin on the road of recovery.

The Rest:

Mrs. Cheney, NO, YOU shut your mouth!

Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney and mother of U.S. Senate candidate Liz Cheney, on Saturday night told former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson “shut your mouth” about his support for her daughter’s opponent, according to an online account by Simpson’s daughter-in-law.

“So I’m at the Patrons Ball tonight and Lynne Cheney, the mother of Liz, comes up to my father-in-law and tells him to… I believe the direct quote was “Shut your mouth” regarding his support of Mike Enzi,” Deb Oakley Simpson wrote on her Facebook page.


OBAMA: "Iraq shows us that democracy cannot simply be imposed by force" --- Take that neo-cons!

Barack Obama uses UN speech to extend olive branch to Iran
President says secretary of state John Kerry will lead nuclear negotiations and acknowledges US role in 1953 Iran coup

• Obama dismissed the notion of a chess match between the US and Russia playing out over Syria. "We're no longer in a Cold War. There's no great game to be won," he says.

• Obama delivered an apologia for the US role in the Middle East. "The US is chastised for meddling... at the same time blamed for failing to do enough to address the region's problems," he said. He said the US had won a "hard-earned humility" in Iraq, which "shows us that democracy cannot simply be imposed by force." But "we reject the notion that these principles are western exports incompatible with Islam or the Arab world."


P, U.

Chelsea W. (warning: honesty) by Mr. Fish


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:
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