HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » kpete » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 24 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,631

Journal Archives

New Docs: ‘Primary Source’ Of NSA’s Spying Power Is A 33-Year-Old Executive Order By Ronald Reagan

Newly released documents prove the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying power overseas primarily comes from a 33-year-old executive order signed by then President Ronald Reagan:

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained a series of internal papers from intelligence agencies including the NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency detailing how integral Reagan’s 1981 order is to the NSA’s current surveillance program. The order broadly allows the government to collect data from any company that is believed to have ties to foreign organizations. It also complicates the path forward for intelligence reforms in Congress.

Previous reports acknowledge the order’s use as a foundation for some of the NSA’s surveillance programs such as gaining backdoor access to tech companies’ data centers. But the new documents, which were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the ACLU and other civil liberties advocates filed just before Edward Snowden’s leaks to the media, show Executive Order 12333 is the “primary source” authority when it comes to the NSA’s foreign spy programs.

“Because the executive branch issued and now implements the executive order all on its own, the programs operating under the order are subject to essentially no oversight from Congress or the courts,” Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU wrote in a blog post.

Compared to section 215 of the Patriot Act, which would let intelligence agencies gather lists of incoming and outgoing calls from telecommunication companies, Reagan’s order has lax constraints on bulk data collection on U.S. citizens. As long as the communications data is stored internationally, the NSA can collect it. Federal law enforcement agencies can also get data stored overseas but first need a search warrant.


Romney: 'If I had to do this again-I'd insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times"

Bonus Quote of the Day

"I was talking to one of my political advisers and I said: 'If I had to do this again, I'd insist that you literally had a camera on me at all times. I want to be reminded that this is not off the cuff."

-- Mitt Romney, quoted by the New York Times, on running for president.


Immigration reform isn't a "Latino issue" any more than access to birth control is a "women's issue.

First, I think there's another component of the return of terror politics which you didn't explicitly mention, which is the effect it has on Democratic Party base voters. Speaking for myself, when the whole "we're gonna bomb ISIS" thing happened, my own thoughts / feelings were, "Great, here we go again, only this time with Obama instead of Bush."

I found myself disheartened that we were once again going into an armed conflict in the Middle East which promised (literally!) to be long, which had relatively vague goals, and which left-of-center thought leaders were skeptical of (both the goals and the viability of achieving them with the plans the Obama administration laid out).

The second thing was the administration's decision to postpone (again) any sort of practical steps on immigration reform. At the time I remember savvy commentators noting, in their savvy way, that this was a good idea because after all the only battleground race in 2014 with a substantial Latino component was Colorado. Well, here we are a few weeks later, poised to lose Colorado. At another level, though, I think that the savvy commentators underestimated the impact this move would have across the entirety of the party's base. Immigration reform isn't a "Latino issue" any more than access to birth control is a "women's issue." It's an issue of social justice, which is important to the entirety of the Democratic Party base. As if that wasn't enough, this is an issue which the administration declared was a priority, something needed to be done, and then -- they backed down. For everyone who agreed that this was important, it played out as the administration throwing its base under the bus in pursuit of a transient and unattainable political advantage. Once again, there was the "here we go again" reaction.

Put these two things together -- walking away from a party priority and embracing a military conflict in the Middle East -- and it's like we're back to the bad old days of the 2002-2003 era. I can't blame the Democratic base for feeling discouraged and not particularly motivated to support these candidates, since that's the way I feel.


When the Next Terrorist Attack Comes, Will We Be Capable of Keeping Our Heads?

When the Next Terrorist Attack Comes, Will We Be Capable of Keeping Our Heads?


As we start a new war, it's worth considering the question now.

Imagine it’s six months from now. A 19-year-old man—whom we’ll later learn was in communication with members of ISIL in the Middle East—walks on to the Mall in Washington on a weekend afternoon. Groups of tourists are walking about from one monument to another. He takes his backpack off his shoulders, reaches in, and removes the semiautomatic rifle he bought a month before at a gun show in Virginia, where he didn’t have to submit to a background check (though it wouldn’t have mattered, because his record is clean). He opens fire on the crowd, and before U.S. Park Police are able to reach him and put him down, he has killed six people and wounded eleven others. In his pocket is a note announcing his devotion ISIL, and that he is striking at the United States in retaliation for its illegal war on the true Muslims building a caliphate in Syria and Iraq….

Most of us appreciate, at least intellectually, that our chance of dying in a terrorist attack is approximately zero, and even if it increases, that increase would mean it has gone from approximately zero all the way up to pretty much zero. But that’s not how we act and react. So let’s go back to that attack, and consider what would happen in response. It would be the biggest news story of the year, every report emphasizing that it happened “just steps from the White House and the Capitol building.” The news media would amp up the fear to levels we haven’t seen in the last decade, encouraging everyone to look for sleeper cells lurking down at the Piggly Wiggly. Republicans would of course unite behind President Obama in our time of mourning—kidding! They’d go on TV to denounce him for being so weak that the evildoers struck us in our very heart, and proclaim not only that the blood of the victims is on the hands of every Democrat, but that more attacks are coming and we’re more vulnerable than we’ve ever been. Dick Cheney would emerge snarling from his subterranean lair to warn us that this is only the beginning and we really need to start bombing at least five or six more countries. Senator Lindsey Graham, who has already said about ISIL that “this president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home,” might just tear off his shirt and scream, “We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die!” right on Fox News Sunday.

And the public would follow right along. In a recent CNN poll, 41 percent said they were very or somewhat worried that they or a member of their family would be a victim of terrorism—which, to repeat, is about as likely as they or a member of their family getting hit by a falling piano. This number hasn’t changed much in years (five years ago it was 36 percent), all accumulated evidence to the contrary. But one successful attack is all it would take to push that number comfortably past a majority. In the last year, the number of people telling the Pew Research Center that government anti-terror policies have not gone far enough to protect us has increased from 39 percent to 50 percent (among Republicans it’s gone from 41 percent to 64 percent), despite the fact that the only terrorist attacks in that time came from a crazed man who wanted to kill TSA agents and a couple of right-wing extremists in Nevada.


Uncanny...Krgthulu - He has always been with us...

Joe Gagnon, traveling in Asia Minor, sends me a picture from a museum:

I know I’m an old-time Keynesian, but maybe even older-time than I knew …

NO PRICE FOR THE MAD - By Charles P. Pierce

Back in 2010, as part of a biannual act of madness by which the magazine endeavors to analyze every congressional race in the country, I had occasion to talk to Tarryl Clark, who was challenging Michele Bachmann on behalf of the splendidly name Democratic Farmer-Labor Party for Bachmann's job in Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District. How, I asked Clark, does one make good use of the rich trove of lunacy that is Bachmann's entire public career.

"Well," Clark told me. "I'm not going to call her crazy, if that's what you mean."

In fact, that was exactly what I meant.

The great failing of the Democratic party over the past three-and-a-half decades has been the party's failure to take political advantage of the obvious prion disease that has afflicted the Republican party since it first ate all the monkey-brains in the mid-1970's. Whether this was out of cowardice, incompetence, or an overly optimistic view of the inherent sanity of the electorate, is no longer an issue. The failure to make the Republican crazee the Republican party's standing public identity has encouraged the increased spread, and the increased virulence of the prion disease, with disastrous consequences for the rest of us. Why, in the name of god, would you not call Michele Bachmann crazy? Because it might offend the people who vote for her? It's supposed to offend those people. Those people beg to be offended, and, by doing so, you at least inject into the discussion the notion that the Republican party has thrown its marbles gleefully to the four winds. A few elections later, that may become the general opinion. After all, the Permanent Republican Majority wasn't built in a day.


the rest:

Dining Out With The Koch Bros.

Ferguson Police Dept ---"Body Camera OFF"

Police also confirmed today that the wounded officer had a body camera, but that it was turned off during the incident.

St. Louis County Police Sgt. Brian Schellman, a police spokesman, said he did not know why the camera was off.

Ferguson police officers began wearing body cameras on Aug. 31, three weeks after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, fatally shot Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed black teenager.

Police originally reported late Saturday night that the officer spotted two suspects trying to break into a business and that when confronted, one of them pulled a gun and fired at the office, wounding him in the arm.

Police, however, now are describing a different scenario: that the police officer, during a business check, saw a male subject in the rear of the Ferguson Community Center. When he approached, the person began to run and the officer followed on foot. During the pursuit, the man spun around and fired at the officer, who was hit in the left arm, before disappearing in the wooded area behind the center.


Angry cosmonaut

nuff said:


Yelena Serovais is to be the first Russian woman on the International Space Station. She is also the fourth Russian woman in space. Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space way back in 1963, twenty years before Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

So at a press conference, what was she asked about? Her make-up. When Serova ignored that question, attention moved to her hair. At which point Serova gave the response this deserved:

Published on Sep 26, 2014

MORE Ruth Bader Ginsberg: SCOTUS Is Way Out Of Line on Abortion- "A New Form Of Big Brother"

JR: And for dissents, your Gonzalez v. Carhart dissent is quite memorable.

RBG: That was in a partial-birth abortion case. And there what concerned me about the Court’s attitude, they were looking at the woman as not really an adult individual. The opinion said that the woman would live to regret her choice. That was not anything this Court should have thought or said. Adult women are able to make decisions about their own lives’ course no less than men are. So, yes, I thought in Carhart the Court was way out of line. It was a new form of “Big Brother must protect the woman against her own weakness and immature misjudgment.”

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 24 Next »