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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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John Kerry on NSA spying: ‘Some of these actions have reached too far’


Kerry says certain practices occurred ‘on autopilot’ and vows to meet allies to repair damage caused by NSA spying revelations

John Kerry on NSA spying: ‘Some of these actions have reached too far’
By Dan Roberts, The Guardian
Thursday, October 31, 2013 19:25 EDT

John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, conceded on Thursday that some of the country’s surveillance activities had gone too far, saying that certain practices had occurred “on autopilot” without the knowledge of senior officials in the Obama administration.

In the most stark comments yet by a senior administration official, Kerry promised that a previously announced review of surveillance practices would be thorough and that some activities would end altogether.


In a separate development on Thursday, a group of technology giants called for substantial reforms to the US government’s surveillance programmes. The companies were furious about revelations this week – the latest to emerge from documents leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – that the agency had intercepted the cables that link the worldwide data centres belonging to Google and Yahoo.

“Recent disclosures regarding surveillance activity raise important concerns both in the United States and abroad,” said the letter to the Senate judiciary committee, signed by Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft.
The companies said they supported the USA Freedom Act and added: “We urge the administration to work with Congress in addressing these critical reforms that would provide much needed transparency and help rebuild the trust of internet users around the world.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 1, 2013, 05:13 AM (1 replies)

Chuck Hagel scolds states for not recognizing military benefits for same-sex marriages


Chuck Hagel scolds states for not recognizing military benefits for same-sex marriages
By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, October 31, 2013 21:35 EDT

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel rebuked several U.S. states for failing to grant full spousal benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian members of the armed forces.

Hagel said nine states had failed to recognize the rights of same-sex partners of military personnel based at National Guard installations.

The Pentagon chief said the situation had arisen despite federal recognition of the rights of gay couples.


He added that “not only does this violate the states’ obligations under federal law, their actions have created hardship and inequality by forcing couples to travel long distances to federal military bases to obtain the ID cards they’re entitled to.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 1, 2013, 04:57 AM (4 replies)

Ed Schultz blasts House GOP for kicking the poor ‘right in the teeth’ with food cuts


Ed Schultz blasts House GOP for kicking the poor ‘right in the teeth’ with food cuts
By Arturo Garcia
Thursday, October 31, 2013 19:56 EDT

MSNBC host Ed Schultz excoriated House Republicans on Thursday for taking time off while budget cuts affecting not only America’s working poor but the business sector were set to be implemented on Friday, while hiding behind what he called trumped-up political issues, or their own faith.

“This is the scandal,” Schultz said. “This is the most kicking the least right in the teeth for no reason at all other than unmitigated greed.”

Activists have described the $5 billion reduction to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as “close to catastrophic” for many participants, since it will mean they will have around $1.40 to spend per meal, and losing an estimated 2 billion meals next year. Lawmakers are also scheduled to debate whether to cut another $40 billion from the program as part of a new Farm Bill later in 2013. The cuts are set to take effect at midnight Thursday night, while the House is off until Nov. 12, Schultz noted.

However, Schultz argued, it won’t just be 47 million Americans being affected, but 250,000 grocery stores and supermarkets who accept SNAP credits as payment.

unhappycamper comment: On October 29 the DoD told us they floated our newest $5~7 billion dollar destroyer --> http://www.democraticunderground.com/11794884

FYI, this one VERY EXPENSIVE destroyer costs more than all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers EVER.
Posted by unhappycamper | Fri Nov 1, 2013, 04:40 AM (2 replies)
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