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Holy Crap !!! - Andrew Sullivan Is MUST READ Today !!!

The Nullification Party
Andrew Sullivan - TheDish
Oct 1 2013 @ 11:37am

But there is something more here. How does one party that has lost two presidential elections and a Supreme Court case – as well as two Senate elections - think it has the right to shut down the entire government and destroy the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury to get its way on universal healthcare now? I see no quid pro quo even. Just pure blackmail, resting on understandable and predictable public concern whenever a major reform is enacted. But what has to be resisted is any idea that this is government or politics as usual. It is an attack on the governance and the constitutional order of the United States.

When ideologies become as calcified, as cocooned and as extremist as those galvanizing the GOP, the American system of government cannot work. But I fear this nullification of the last two elections is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the American system of government as we have known it cannot work. It cannot, must not work, in the mindset of these radicals, because they simply do not accept the legitimacy of a President and Congress of the opposing party. The GOP does not regard the president as merely wrong – but as illegitimate. Not misguided – illegitimate. This is not about ending Obamacare as such (although that is a preliminary scalp); it is about nullifying this presidency, the way the GOP attempted to nullify the last Democratic presidency by impeachment.

Except this time, of course, we cannot deny that race too is an added factor to the fathomless sense of entitlement felt among the GOP far right. You saw it in birtherism; in the Southern GOP’s constant outrageous claims of Obama’s alleged treason and alliance with Islamist enemies; in providing zero votes for a stimulus that was the only thing that prevented a global depression of far worse proportions; in the endless race-baiting from Fox News and the talk radio right. And in this racially-charged atmosphere, providing access to private healthcare insurance to the working poor is obviously the point of no return.


I regard this development as one of the more insidious and anti-constitutional acts of racist vandalism against the American republic in my adult lifetime. Those who keep talking as if there are two sides to this, when there are not, are as much a part of the vandalism as Ted Cruz. Obama has played punctiliously by the constitutional rules – two elections, one court case – while the GOP has decided that the rules are for dummies and suckers, and throws over the board game as soon as it looks as if it is going to lose by the rules as they have always applied.

The president must therefore hold absolutely firm. This time, there can be no compromise because the GOP isn’t offering any. They’re offering the kind of constitutional surrender that would effectively end any routine operation of the American government. If we cave to their madness, we may unravel our system of government, something one might have thought conservatives would have opposed. Except these people are not conservatives. They’re vandals.

This time, the elephant must go down. And if possible, it must be so wounded it does not get up for a long time to come.

More: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/01/the-nullification-party/

A Page 1 Problem For Congressional Conservatives - HuffPo

A Page 1 Problem For Congressional Conservatives
The Huffington Post | By Sam Stein
Posted: 10/01/2013 9:24 am EDT


WASHINGTON -- Readers of newspapers -- yes, they still exist -- woke up Tuesday morning to dueling headlines. The shutdown of the federal government dominated front pages, with many papers looking into how the situation would reverberate locally...

These headlines certainly weren't what many conservatives had in mind a few weeks ago, when they plotted to delay or alter the health care law through a protracted showdown over the budget. Obamacare survived the showdown. The government didn't.

Today's front pages tell that story. A few of them, taken from the Newseum's website, are below:


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/government-shutdown-obamacare_n_4022577.html

Wanna Know Why The Congress Gets Paid During A Shutdown ???

Just moments ago...

Chris Hayes had a nice young analyst/guest on...

And Hayes said that one bone of contention that many people had been writing about, and writing to him about...

Was the question of Congressional Pay during a government shutdown.

Her reply was twofold...

First... congressional pay is "Automatically Appropriated", no need to vote on it.

Second... (and the reason why) is because they have "Constitutional Responsibilities"

If you believe that A + B Equals C...

Then... If A (congressional pay is automatically appropriated) PLUS B (this is so because of Constitutional Responsibilities that must be achieved) to get to C (a healthy well functioning Democracy)...

I might agree...

But when you take B out of the equation...

There is NO C... There is only A.

Yep... That's About Right...


From: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/09/27/20718519-gop-ransom-note-has-plenty-of-demands-not-enough-votes?lite

I Understand Why Certain Things Would Be Exempted From A Government Shutdown... However...

there is an argument to be made... that this should not be true...

Think of it as a general strike.

No airline flights... no MIC funding... all private contracts halted... no pay for congress and staff...

EVERYTHING... would be shutdown...

And let's see how THAT plays with the American Public.

Game Change... They Didn't Know The Half...

If You Take A Postion On Drone Strikes... This Is MUST READ Stuff...

UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA's view of drone opponents as 'threats' and 'adversaries'
A top secret NSA document provides context for yesterday's abusive detention of Baraa Shiban

Glenn Greenwald - theguardian.com
Wednesday 25 September 2013 13.17 EDT

• Read the excerpts of the drone document here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/sep/25/nsa-documents-top-secret-excerpts


A well-known and highly respected Yemeni anti-drone activist was detained yesterday by UK officials under that country's "anti-terrorism" law at Gatwick Airport, where he had traveled to speak at an event. Baraa Shiban, the project co-ordinator for the London-based legal charity Reprieve, was held for an hour and a half and repeatedly questioned about his anti-drone work and political views regarding human rights abuses in Yemen. When he objected that his political views had no relevance to security concerns, UK law enforcement officials threatened to detain him for the full nine hours allowed by the Terrorism Act of 2000, the same statute that was abused by UK officials last month to detain my partner, David Miranda, for nine hours.

Shiban tells his story today, here, in the Guardian, and recounts how the UK official told him "he had detained me not merely because I was from Yemen, but also because of Reprieve's work investigating and criticising the efficacy of US drone strikes in my country." Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/like-david-miranda-interrogated-british-airport

The notion that Shiban posed some sort of security threat was absurd on its face. As the Guardian reported Tuesday, "he visited the UK without incident earlier this summer and testified in May to a US congressional hearing on the impact of the covert drone programme in Yemen." Viewing anti-drone activism as indicative of a terrorism threat is noxious. As Reprieve's Cory Crider put it yesterday, "if there were any doubt the UK was abusing its counter-terrorism powers to silence critics, this ends it." But perceiving drone opponents as "threats" or even "adversaries" is hardly new. Top secret US government documents obtained by the Guardian from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden characterize even the most basic political and legal opposition to drone attacks as part of "propaganda campaigns" from America's "adversaries".

The entry is part of a top secret internal US government website, similar in appearance to the online Wikipedia site. According to a June interview with Snowden in Hong Kong, the only individuals empowered to write these entries are those "with top secret clearance and public key infrastructure certificates", special access cards enabling unique access to certain parts of NSA systems. He added that the entries are "peer reviewed" and that every edit made is recorded by user.

One specific entry discusses "threats to unmanned aerial vehicles". It lists various dangers to American drones, including "air defense threats", "jamming of UAV sensor systems", "terrestrial weather", and "electronic warfare employed against the command and control system". But alongside those more obvious, conventional threats are what the entry describes as "propaganda campaigns that target UAV use".

Under the title "adversary propaganda themes", the document lists what it calls "examples of potential propaganda themes that could be employed against UAV operations". One such example is entitled "Nationality of Target vs. Due Process". It states:

Attacks against American and European persons who have become violent extremists are often criticized by propagandists, arguing that lethal action against these individuals deprives them of due process."

In the eyes of the US government, "due process"...


Much More: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/nsa-uk-drone-opponents-threats

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA 'Repeatedly Deceived The American People' - GuardianUK

Sen. Ron Wyden: NSA 'repeatedly deceived the American people'
About the Snowden disclosures, the Oregon Democrat told the NSA chief: 'the truth always manages to come out'

Glenn Greenwald - theguardian.com
Friday 27 September 2013 07.14 EDT

James Clapper decried the release of the information and said media reports about it have been inaccurate Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday held a hearing, ostensibly to investigate various issues raised about the NSA's activities. What the hearing primarily achieved instead was to underscore what a farce the notion of Congressional oversight over the NSA is.

In particular, the current chair of the Senate Committee created in the mid-1970s to oversee the intelligence community just so happens to be one of the nation's most steadfast and blind loyalists of and apologists for the National Security State: Dianne Feinstein. For years she has abused her position to shield and defend the NSA and related agencies rather than provide any meaningful oversight over it, which is a primary reason why it has grown into such an out-of-control and totally unaccountable behemoth.

Underscoring the purpose of yesterday's hearing (and the purpose of Feinstein's Committee more broadly): the witnesses the Committee first heard from were all Obama officials - Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander, Deputy Attorney James Cole - who vehemently defended every aspect of the NSA. At the conclusion of their testimony, Feinstein announced that it was very, very important to hear from the two non-governmental witnesses the Committee had invited: virulent NSA defender Ben Wittes of the Brooking Institution and virulent NSA defender Timothy Edgar, a former Obama national security official. Hearing only from dedicated NSA apologists as witnesses: that's "oversight" for Dianne Feinstein and her oversight Committee.

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner stated the obvious to Gen. Alexander: "a lot of Americans have lost trust in what you're doing." But of course they all spent the entire afternoon blaming Snowden and "the media" for this development rather than taking any responsibility themselves. The very idea that meaningful reform of the NSA will come out of this annexed, captured, corrupted Committee is ludicrous on its face.

But there are two members of that Committee who actually do take seriously its oversight mandate:


More: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/27/ron-wyden-nsa-systematically-deceived

Hurricane Season: Extreme Weather In The US – In Pictures - GuardianUK

Hurricane season: extreme weather in the US – in pictures
Professional storm chaser Roger Hill captured these incredible images during this year's hurricane season. He travelled nearly 50,000 miles overall in search of extreme formations like tornadoes and supercells

Thursday 26 September 2013 13.12 EDT

More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2013/sep/26/meteorology-natural-disasters#/?picture=418337223&index=0

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