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East Coast Pirate

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Member since: Tue May 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
Number of posts: 775

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Head Start eliminated services to 57,000 children in U.S. as a result of sequester

Head Start programs across the country eliminated services for 57,000 children in the coming school year to balance budgets diminished by the federal sequester, cutting 1.3 million days from Head Start center calendars and laying off or reducing pay for more than 18,000 employees, according to federal government data scheduled for release Monday.

The latest numbers, based on the results of “reduction plans” Head Start grantees submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services, fall short of earlier predictions by the Obama administration that 70,000 children would lose access to preschool because of the mandatory 5 percent cuts. But the cuts will still affect tens of thousands of poor families across the country who rely on Head Start for early learning programs, day care and a network of social services and medical care.

The initial administration projection was based on “a worst-case scenario” in which all reductions would focus on children’s access to Head Start, said a senior administration official who was unauthorized to publicly discuss the matter, because the information had not yet been released. In reality, grantees had some flexibility in how they cut their budgets as long as they maintained quality and prioritized children’s health and safety.

Some Head Start centers focused on cutting administrative and support services, such as transportation. Others chose to shorten the school year or the school day. The latest figures show that 18,000 program hours will be cut next year by centers that will start later in the day or end earlier.

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/head-start-eliminated-services-to-57000-children-in-us-as-a-result-of-sequester/2013/08/18/e1181810-06d9-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Mon Aug 19, 2013, 07:36 PM (7 replies)

GOP’s secret fear: House majority is in trouble

If you listened closely last week, you heard the unmistakable sound of the air of certainty seeping out of a bubble of conventional wisdom. For months — in some cases, years — political junkies have held the notion that the GOP’s House majority was semi-permanent as an article of faith. Times change.

After the elections in November, the GOP’s hold on the House was almost universally thought to be unshakable, at least in the coming midterms, possibly through the end of the decade. Republicans had used the huge gains they made in 2010 to redraw the congressional map in a way that made their majority immune from referendum. Democrats won the popular vote for the House by over a million ballots in 2012 and didn’t come close to recapturing it. The economy could soar, Republicans could spiral out of control, and the Democrats would still have a hard time winning back the House before the next census in 2020.

Nothing’s changed about the map in the past 10 months, and the country’s as polarized as ever. But suddenly Republicans aren’t so confident that their majority is all that durable. Or to put it less charitably, the party worries it’s so rudderless and unpopular that it might blow what everyone believed to be a rigged game much sooner than expected.

In three different stories, four reporters with strong Republican sourcing detected a specter of doubt haunting the GOP. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York distilled it most clearly.

“Behind the scenes — in whispered asides, not for public consumption — some Republicans are now worried that keeping the House is not such a done deal after all,” he wrote. “They look back to two elections, 1998 and 2006, in which Republicans seriously underperformed expectations, and they wonder if 2014 might be a little like those two unhappy years.”

More: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/19/republicans_fear_theyll_blow_their_permanent_house_majority/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Mon Aug 19, 2013, 01:50 PM (47 replies)

Egypt: All coups end in petty tyranny, however good the intentions

When I was four years old, a mob attacked our family farm. A crowd of men lit tyres and set them against our front gates, intending to burn their way in.

My mother took me by hand to the back entrance, a footpath leading into the hills. “We’re going to play a game,” she told me. “If we have to come this way again, we must do it without making a sound.”

My father was having none of it. He had an obligation to the farm workers, he said, and he wasn’t going to be pushed off his land by hooligans bussed in from the city. He was suffering, I remember, from one of those diseases that chronically afflict white men in the tropics, and he sat in his dressing gown loading his revolver with paper-thin hands. In the end, security guards managed to disperse the crowd with shots and, for us at least, the danger passed. Others were not so lucky: there were land invasions and confiscations all over the country.

This was Peru in the early 1970s, a country reduced to chaos and penury by the military government of General Juan Velasco, whose putsch, inevitably, ended up exacerbating all the problems that had justified it in the first place.

There is no such thing as a good coup, only bad coups and worse coups. All military regimes, in time, become tawdry and self-serving. Whatever intentions the army officers begin with, they end up as petty tyrants. An elected ruler is kept in check by the knowledge that he can be fired. Take that knowledge away and, however pure his motives, he will end up arranging the affairs of state around his personal convenience.

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10247575/Egypt-Allcoups-end-in-petty-tyranny-however-good-the-intentions.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sun Aug 18, 2013, 07:44 AM (1 replies)

You just know who's going to rec which NSA thread; ever get the feeling

it's like this?

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:44 PM (19 replies)

Check in if you DO NOT support Rand Paul

I don't.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat Aug 17, 2013, 01:50 PM (249 replies)

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri's younger brother arrested in Egypt, sources say

Source: NBC News

CAIRO - The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has been arrested by police in Egypt, security sources said Saturday.

Mohammed al-Zawahri, the younger brother of the terror network leader, was detained at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Giza, the sources said.

He has been a vocal supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement and the more extreme group to which he belongs, Al Gama'a Al Islamiya.

The arrest of the younger al-Zawahri came as more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters and others opposed to the military's overthrow of Islamist Morsi were detained Friday as mass protests turned violent.

Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/17/20064539-al-qaeda-leader-ayman-al-zawahris-younger-brother-arrested-in-egypt-sources-say
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat Aug 17, 2013, 09:42 AM (3 replies)

Encrypted email service Lavabit raises $100K for legal defense fund

A week after Lavabit founder Ladar Levison shuttered the encrypted email service rather than comply with undisclosed government demands, he’s getting set for a legal fight. Speaking to RT, Levison says that the defense fund he created has reached $100,000 as he gears up for a showdown in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Levison had previously said that he chose to close the service rather than "become complicit in crimes against the American people," and that a favorable court decision "would allow me to resurrect Lavabit as an American company." While Levinson is legally prohibited from discussing the particulars of his case, he is believed by many to have received a national security letter — a secret subpoena issued by the NSA or intelligence agency — after it was reported that NSA leaker Edward Snowden communicated to journalists using Lavabit's email service.

Earlier today, US District Court judge Reggie Walton told the Washington Post that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees the NSA's data collection under the FISA Amendments Act, has no way to independently investigate whether or not the agency is complying with the relevant rules. That dismissal of the court's efficacy was echoed by Levinson in his interview with RT: "Any sort of oversight by a kangaroo court is exactly that: a rubber stamp," he said.

More: http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/16/4627278/lavabit-raises-100k-for-defense-fund-as-it-prepares-for-legal-showdown
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Aug 16, 2013, 05:43 PM (0 replies)

Court: Ability to police U.S. spying program limited

The leader of the secret court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government’s vast spying programs said that its ability to do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules that aim to protect Americans’ privacy. Without taking drastic steps, it also cannot check the veracity of the government’s assertions that the violations its staff members report are unintentional mistakes.

“The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court,” its chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”

Walton’s comments came in response to internal government records obtained by The Post showing that National Security Agency staff members in Washington overstepped their authority on spy programs thousands of times per year. The records also show that the number of violations has been on the rise.

More; http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/court-ability-to-police-us-spying-program-limited/2013/08/15/4a8c8c44-05cd-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Aug 16, 2013, 03:16 PM (2 replies)

Arms Shipments Seen From Sudan to Syria Rebels

Source: New York Times

Syrian rebels, frustrated by the West’s reluctance to provide arms, have found a supplier in an unlikely source: Sudan, a country that has been under international arms embargoes and maintains close ties with a stalwart backer of the Syrian government, Iran.

In deals that have not been publicly acknowledged, Western officials and Syrian rebels say, Sudan’s government sold Sudanese- and Chinese-made arms to Qatar, which arranged delivery through Turkey to the rebels.

The shipments included antiaircraft missiles and newly manufactured small-arms cartridges, which were seen on the battlefield in Syria — all of which have helped the rebels combat the Syrian government’s better-armed forces and loyalist militias.

Emerging evidence that Sudan has fed the secret arms pipeline to rebels adds to a growing body of knowledge about where the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is getting its military equipment, often paid for by Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or other sympathetic donors.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/world/africa/arms-shipments-seen-from-sudan-to-syria-rebels.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Aug 15, 2013, 08:40 PM (0 replies)

New Saudi-supplied missiles boost rebels in south Syria

Source: Reuters

AMMAN - Rebels in southern Syria have fired newly acquired anti-tank guided missiles supplied by Saudi Arabia in a significant boost to their battle against President Bashar al-Assad, rebel, intelligence and diplomatic sources say.

Several Russian-designed Konkurs anti-tank weapons were used in a rebel attack this week on an army position in Deraa city near the Jordanian border, said a source in a rebel brigade linked to the Western-backed Supreme Military Council.

Missiles were also fired around Laja, a rebel stronghold in the rugged region stretching north to the outskirts of Damascus, according to Faiq al Aboud, a member of the Al-Mutasem Bi'Allah brigade whose account was corroborated by other fighters.

The recent flow of Saudi-backed arms reflects concerns in Riyadh at the slow pace of progress by rebels in the south and concern that al Qaeda-linked groups could exploit the stalemate to expand their presence, said a Western diplomatic source.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/15/us-syria-crisis-arms-idUSBRE97E0QH20130815
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Aug 15, 2013, 07:07 PM (2 replies)
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