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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 04:15 PM
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George W. Bush Made Retroactive N.S.A. ‘Fix’ After Hospital Room Showdown

Source: NYT

WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush sought to retroactively authorize portions of the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 surveillance and data collection program after a now-famous incident in 2004 in which his attorney general refused to certify the program as lawful from his hospital bed, according to newly declassified portions of a government investigation.

Mr. Bush’s effort to salvage the surveillance program without changes did not satisfy top Justice Department officials, who threatened to resign. But the newly disclosed passages of a report by inspectors general of six agencies suggest that the confrontation in the hospital room came after the Justice Department identified several problems, including a “gap” between what Mr. Bush had authorized the N.S.A. to collect and what the agency was collecting in practice.

A leak of government documents in 2013 revealed that the fight had been partly about the legality of the N.S.A.’s collection of data about Americans’ emails in bulk. But the latest disclosure shows that the Justice Department had additional concerns.


The newly revealed passages in the report show that the fight was about more than that. The passages consist largely of quotations and descriptions of the evolving Stellarwind authorization orders that Mr. Bush periodically signed, and which were drafted by David Addington, the top counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/us/politics/george-w-bush-made-retroactive-nsa-fix-after-hospital-room-showdown.html?_r=0

WH Responds - Vice President Dick Cheney: Wrong Then, Wrong Now

In 911 calls, Kelley tried to invoke diplomatic immunity

Source: NBC News

Audiotapes of several 911 calls placed by Florida socialite Jill Kelley as the media descended on her Tampa home show she complained about what she considered trespassing on her property and attempted to invoke diplomatic-type privileges.

“I am an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability,” Kelley told a 911 dispatcher. “They should not be able to cross my property. I don’t know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well?”

A South Korean official confirmed to NBC News that Kelley is an honorary consul for South Korea, but said she has no diplomatic immunity. He said Kelley assists the consulate based in Atlanta on occasion with things like passports and visas but is not an employee.

The U.S. State Department said Kelley has no formal affiliation with that U.S. agency.

“I can assure you that she does not work for the State Department and has no formal affiliation with the State Department,” State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/14/15162122-in-911-calls-kelley-tried-to-invoke-diplomatic-immunity?lite

Roger Ailes: "don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog"


How Karl Rove Fought With Fox News Over the Ohio Call

Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes assembled his network's election team in a second floor conference room at Fox’s midtown headquarters to discuss the night’s coverage. He prepared them for the worst. “Guys," he told them according to a source familiar with the exchange, "if things don’t go your way tonight, don’t go out there looking like someone ran over your dog."

Six hours later, American Crossroads co-founder and Fox News contributor Karl Rove was on-camera seeming to ignore his boss’s orders. Shortly after 11 p.m., Bret Baier went on-camera to read a script written by Fox’s Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, based on an analysis by the network's decision desk, announcing Ohio for Obama. “That’s the presidency, essentially," Baier said.

Instantly, Fox phones lit up with angry phone calls and e-mails from the Romney campaign, who believed that the call was premature, since tallies in several Republican-leaning Southern counties hadn't been been fully tabulated. "The Romney people were totally screaming that we’re totally wrong," one Fox source said. "To various people, they were saying, 'your decision team is wrong.'" According to a Fox insider, Rove had been in contact with the Romney people all night. After the Ohio call, Rove — whose super-PAC had spent as much as $300 million on the election, to little avail — took their complaints public, conducting an on-air primer on Ohio's electoral math in disputing the call.

The episode "speaks for itself. It was live television," said a Fox News spokesperson. "Karl was in touch with the Romney people after he and Joe Trippi became concerned the call might be premature," said a Rove spokesperson. "It was then he found the Ohio Secretary of State website had roughly 7 percent more of the vote in and the two candidates separated first by 1,995 votes and then by 911." Hovering behind the dispute was Rove’s history as George W. Bush’s strategist in two close elections: In 2000, Fox had called Florida for Al Gore early, and then was forced to rescind the call later. At 2:16 a.m., they again called the race, this time for George Bush — that call, too, they'd had to rescind. (Adding to the controversy, Bush’s cousin, John Ellis, was leading the team of statisticians that made the call.)

This time, it was the network divided against itself, and Fox News' top producers held a meeting to adjudicate. The decision desk stood their ground. They knew how momentous the call was. Earlier in the night, according to a source, before making the call, Arnon Mishkin, who heads the decision desk, told Fox brass, “let’s remember this is Fox News calling Ohio. This will say something beyond Ohio going for Obama.” Fox brass told Mishkin to get the numbers right and ignore the politics: "If we think Ohio has gone Obama, we call Ohio," said a Fox News executive.

NBC News projects Obama to win re-election

Source: NBC News

NBC News projects Obama to win re-election

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/

Syrian rebels root for Romney in hopes of US military intervention

Source: Christian Science Monitor

Seldom do you find Arabs anywhere in the Middle East who have warm feelings about America’s most recent war with Iraq, especially in Syria where many people were actively involved in supporting the Iraqi insurgency.

Yet as Syria’s upheaval nears the two-year mark, many of those who are increasingly desperate for a foreign intervention to end the conflict now reference Iraq as a seemingly positive example of why America might decide to help. With an eye on the US elections, they say they hope the party that brought them the Iraq war might also bring America to Syria.

“The Republicans prefer using the military. Like Bush, he entered Iraq and Afghanistan. They use the military in all cases so maybe they will try to intervene here,” says Mustafa Abu Abdu, who used to be a psychology student before the war. “Obama will keep saying that Assad must stop and that America is sorry about civilian deaths, but he will not do anything to help here.”

A number of Syrians like Mr. Abdu say they hope Tuesday’s election in America will bring Mitt Romney into the Oval Office because they say he is more likely to change the US policy in favor an intervention in Syria.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-rebels-root-romney-hopes-us-military-intervention-212532573.html

The Economist backs Obama, 'the devil we know'

Source: AFP

LONDON — The Economist, the respected weekly current affairs magazine, on Thursday said it was backing US President Barack Obama for re-election, although with less enthusiasm than four years ago.

The London-based publication said in its leader that while the United States faced a tougher decision and a more negative campaign than in 2008, Obama's Republican rival Mitt Romney "does not fit the bill".

"This choice turns on two questions: how good a president has Mr Obama been, especially on the main issues of the economy and foreign policy? And can America really trust the ever-changing Mitt Romney to do a better job?" it said.

"On that basis, the Democrat narrowly deserves to be re-elected."

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5glJ4vP6AWtXeA0lUnHrU_HYZB7Jw?docId=CNG.c652cad0d3f6a3dd9c80e6d08c946b36.291

S.A. veteran says service dog was kicked out of store, harassed

Source: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — Local dog lovers are stepping forward to defend a veteran who was allegedly kicked out of a business and ridiculed for having a service dog.


Hanauer is just one of the local dog lovers rallying support for Adan Gallegos, who says he and his dog Botoz were kicked out of Billy Bob's Beds on Tezel Road. He was allegedly told to take off his wounded warriors shirt and to go occupy Wall Street, instead.


Gallegos is taking his case to federal court. Hanauer and Beck said they hope it can bring positive attention to service dogs, showing just how much veterans can rely on their best friends.

Attorneys representing Billy Bob's Beds issued the following statement:

"Mr. Gholson and his employees honor the military service of Mr. Gallegos and all veterans and active duty personnel. Billy Bob (BB) regrets the way things occurred and the misunderstanding between Mr. Gallegos and BB."

Read more: http://www.kens5.com/news/Wounded-Warrior-Sues-Local-SA-Business-175535981.html

Romney's son apologizes to Obama for 'swing' remark

Source: CNN

(CNN) – Tagg Romney, Mitt Romney's oldest son, apologized to President Barack Obama Monday for saying he wanted to "take a swing" at him during contentious presidential debates.

Obama and Tagg Romney were seen speaking on the stage after Monday's final presidential debate, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Two Obama aides said the conversation included an apology for the remark, made last week during a radio interview.

Asked in that interview what it's like "to hear the President of the United States call your dad a liar," Tagg Romney joked about his fantasy response.

"Jump out of your seat and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him," he said. "But you know you can't do that because, well, first because there's a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because that's the nature of the process. You know they're going to try to do anything they can do to make my dad into something he's not."

Read more: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/23/romneys-son-apologizes-to-obama-for-swing-remark/?hpt=hp_t1

Trump Promises 'Very Big' Political Bombshell Wednesday

Source: CNBC

Real estate magnate and Republican political figure Donald Trump told CNBC he has a major announcement to make Wednesday concerning the presidential race.


"I do have something that's very big. It's about President Obama," he said during a "Squawk Box" interview. Asked if he could provide any hints of what he might be divulging, Trump said, "No, but tomorrow you'll see."


During the interview, Democratic operative and Daily Beast columnist Bob Shrum mocked Trump's claims over Obama's residency.


"Hey, Bob," he later added, "guys like you are what set this country so far behind. We're now a laughing stock throughout the world.

"No, Donald, you're a laughingstock," Shrum said.

Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49515813

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