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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 37,305

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Obama to nominate Summers as Fed chief: Japan's Nikkei TOKYO (Reuters)

Obama to nominate Summers as Fed chief: Japan's Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will name former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Japan's Nikkei newspaper said on Friday.

The newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, said in its original Japanese version that Obama was "in the final stages" and moving toward naming Summers.

The English-language version said the president "is set to" name Summers as early as late next week.

Debate in Washington has focused on whether Obama will pick Summers or Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke, whose term as head of the U.S. central bank expires in January. The appointment must be approved by the Senate.


Craigslist Guy Can’t Deal With His Roommate’s Opinions On Syria Anymore

$800 Bedroom Available (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

If anyone is interested, I'm renting out my bedroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn immediately. I apologize for the short notice. The apartment features a kitchenette, a large (by New York standards, ha ha) bathroom, and a roommate that's going to have some opinions on Syria.

I'd like to return to my apartment, but I know that as soon as I do, I'll be confronted by a roommate with opinions on the Syrian conflict and a determination to share them with me. The apartment has high ceilings and exposed brick along the far wall. At only $800/month it's a steal for the location.

I won't listen to your god damn opinions on Syria, Mike. I won't do it.

Situated between the L, JMZ, and G trains, it's convenient no matter where you work and the neighborhood is loaded with great restaurants and bars. It never ends with Syria. It just keeps going until he's shared every opinion he has and then he just circles back and repeats. Utilities included.

More lol.


Lawyer Says Difi's Claims on Spy Evidence Undercut Prosecutors

Ronald Chapman, the defense lawyer for Sheheryar Qazi, argues in the filing that the government’s claim suggests it may be concealing investigative trails to keep surveillance issues out of the courtroom.

“The government leaves a fundamental question unresolved: admitting, after months of denials, its general duty to provide notice… while refusing to explain or account for the testimony of Senator Dianne Feinstein’’ that indicates NSA surveillance “contributed to Mr. Qazi’s arrest and prosecution,’’ Mr. Chapman wrote in a 16-page appeal to federal judges.

The Tuesday filing asks the judge in the case to force prosecutors to provide clear answers as to what role the NSA surveillance program played in the Qazi case.

The filing cites Ms. Feinstein’s statements on the Senate floor in December 2012, when she urged fellow lawmakers to extend a key NSA surveillance program for another five years. The FISA Amendments Act was reauthorized, allowing NSA to continue broad collection of Internet traffic.

In that speech, she specifically cited the Qazi brothers, who had been arrested just a month earlier, as among eight distinct cases that showed the need for such a program. “So I believe the FISA amendments Act is important and these cases show the program has worked,’’ she said.

The prosecution team on the Qazi case, however, has told the defense that they don’t plan to offer any evidence derived from the NSA program.

The Qazi case isn’t unusual in that regard. Since the law was first enacted five years ago, not a single defendant has received notice of the government’s intent to use evidence derived from the surveillance program, Mr. Chapman noted in his filing.



BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say infighting between rebel forces in Syria has killed at least 50 in clashes in the country's northeast.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that the fighting took place in Hassakeh province.

It says clashes between Kurdish fighters and members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the past two days left 13 Kurdish gunmen and 35 militants dead.

The two sides have been fighting in northern Syria for months in clashes that left scores of people dead on both sides.


Syrian Rebel leader: "The revolution is dead. It was sold,"

"The revolution is dead. It was sold," said Mohammad al-Daher, a commander in the rebels' Western-backed Free Syrian Army. "People used to assume that Assad will be gone, no question. But I wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that he remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country."

Rebels based in the Damascus suburbs, counting on the U.S., had already adjusted their battle plans. Anticipating American airstrikes that in their view could help neutralize Mr. Assad's air force, the rebels plotted to follow with an assault on the Syrian capital that, they hoped, would crack the regime, according to these rebels.

Those expectations—as with other rebel hopes for game-changing U.S. intervention over the course of the 2½-year conflict—appear to have been unrealistic. Mr. Obama raised the idea of U.S. military action as a way to punish the Assad government for using chemical weapons—not to help the rebels in the battle on the ground.

U.S. military officials said the threat of a U.S. attack did affect the battle. The officials said they had seen some retreat in recent weeks by Mr. Assad's forces, moving from attacking positions to bunkers to shelter from a potential bombing campaign. As a result, the regime had been in less of a position to strike rebel positions, particularly around the city of Aleppo, the officials said.

But reports of new attacks this week by the Assad regime suggest the tide shifted as the threat of an immediate American attack receded.


We give raw intell data on US citizens, govt officials to Israel without review

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel that probably includes sensitive information about Americans, according to the latest top-secret document leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

The 2009 document, a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart, says the U.S. government regularly hands over intercepted communications that have not first been reviewed by U.S. analysts and therefore may contain phone calls and emails of American citizens.

The agreement allows for the possibility that intercepts given to Israel might include the communications of U.S. government officials, in which case Israel is supposed to destroy them immediately. Other data on U.S. citizens who aren't in the government, however, can be kept by Israel for up to a year, according to the document, first published Wednesday by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

NSA officials declined to answer questions but issued a statement saying, "Whenever we share intelligence information, we comply with all applicable rules, including the rules to protect U.S. person information."


67 Japanese Cities Firebombed in World War II

While watching the movie The Fog of War [transcript], which is Robert S. McNamara's commentary about his involvement in, among other things, World War II and the Vietnamese War, I was shocked to hear him say that before the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 [see video], under the command of General Curtis LeMay, United States B-29 planes firebombed (using napalm -- a jellied gasoline) 67 Japanese cities.

McNamara's comment on the bombing was this: LeMay said that "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." "And I think he's right," says McNamara. "He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals." . . . "LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side has lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"

While McNamara talks about the firebombing in the movie, there is a very fast sequence of frames in which the bombed Japanese cities are named, with a comparison of the size of the Japanese city to a U.S. equivalent, plus a percentage of the Japanese city destroyed. To get all this information, I had to advance the DVD frame-by-frame -- otherwise the whole thing shoots by you in a blur. Below is the information.

Name of Japanese
city firebombed Percentage of the
city destroyed Equivalent in size to
the following American city
Yokohama 58 Cleveland
Tokyo 51 New York
Toyama 99 Chattanooga
Nagoya 40 Los Angeles
Osaka 35.1 Chicago
Nishinomiya 11.9 Cambridge
Siumonoseki 37.6 San Diego
Kure 41.9 Toledo
Kobe 55.7 Baltimore
Omuta 35.8 Miami
Wakayama 50 Salt Lake City
Kawasaki 36.2 Portland
Okayama 68.9 Long Beach
Yawata 21.2 San Antonio
Kagoshima 63.4 Richmond
Amagasaki 18.9 Jacksonville
Sasebo 41.4 Nashville
Moh 23.3 Spokane
Miyakonoio 26.5 Greensboro
Nobeoka 25.2 Augusta
Miyazaki 26.1 Davenport
Hbe 20.7 Utica
Saga 44.2 Waterloo
Imabari 63.9 Stockton
Matsuyama 64 Duluth
Fukui 86 Evansville
Tokushima 85.2 Ft. Wayne
Sakai 48.2 Forth Worth
Hachioji 65 Galveston
Kumamoto 31.2 Grand Rapids
Isezaki 56.7 Sioux Falls
Takamatsu 67.5 Knoxville
Akashi 50.2 Lexington
Fukuyama 80.9 Macon
Aomori 30 Montgomery
Okazaki 32.2 Lincoln
Oita 28.2 Saint Joseph
Hiratsuka 48.4 Battle Creek
Tokuyama 48.3 Butte
Yokkichi 33.6 Charlotte
Uhyamada 41.3 Columbus
Ogaki 39.5 Corpus Christi
Gifu 63.6 Des Moines
Shizuoka 66.1 Oklahoma City
Himeji 49.4 Peoria
Fukuoka 24.1 Rochester
Kochi 55.2 Sacramento
Shimizu 42 San Jose
Omura 33.1 Sante Fe
Chiba 41 Savannah
Ichinomiya 56.3 Sprinfield
Nara 69.3 Boston
Tsu 69.3 Topeka
Kuwana 75 Tucson
Toyohashi 61.9 Tulsa
Numazu 42.3 Waco
Chosi 44.2 Wheeling
Kofu 78.6 South Bend
Utsunomiya 43.7 Sioux City
Mito 68.9 Pontiac
Sendai 21.9 Omaha
Tsuruga 65.1 Middleton
Nagaoka 64.9 Madison
Hitachi 72 Little Rock


I wonder if Russia is going to take a more active role protecting Assad.

Maybe they convinced Assad to give up CWs by making promises on other fronts.

Maybe he promised Assad personal sanctuary and is putting together a solution that keeps Russia as a major player there.

Russia's interests haven't disappeared, blocking a natural gas pipeline to Europe, keeping their base available, controlling extremist Chechens and Dagestanis, all that still exists.

Then look at Iran and the news that Russia could be arming them.

Is Russia reasserting itself? How will that sit with our alpha male types who feel a need to make sure we are #1 top dog?

It's sad if that is going to be what drives this debate that only hurts the little guy.

Listening to Lieberman on CNN...I thank God Kerry said what he said.

Thank you Secretary Kerry. Maybe that was planned, maybe not, it doesn't matter.

Thank you President Obama for taking this opportunity to keep us out of war.

Do not let the skeptics derail what could be a broad international coalition that will make things safer.

The Horrifying Secret Of Syria Policy

None of the key international actors would really mind if the war goes on forever. Not the U.S. Not Israel. Not even Russia
posted on September 9, 2013 at 10:42pm EDT

Washington’s latest path out of intervening in Syria’s bloody civil war is anything but a policy failure. This is the success of a tacit, multi-lateral agreement that blood and fear and death are the acceptable price of keeping two sets of enemies fighting one another.

For overlapping sets of reasons, key players — the Americans, the Russians, and the Israelis, among others — see Syria’s civil war as the least bad of a set of dangerous alternatives in a pivotal region.

“Our ‘best case scenario’ is that they continue busy themselves fighting each other and don’t turn their attention to us,” an Israeli intelligence officer told BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel. “Better the devil we know than the devils we can only imagine if Syria falls into chaos and the extremists from across the Arab world gain a foothold there, ” the officer said.

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