mic picks up discussion on Senate floor: ‘It’s all rigged’
“It’s all rigged. The whole conversation is rigged,” said ColoradoSen. Michael Bennet. “The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck. It’s just rigged.”
The remark was picked
up live on C-SPAN 2, although microphones are usually turned down during
voting times. An aide quickly realized the mistake, jumped up and had
the sound cut off. Read
Andrew Napolitano Debates A Fiery Bill O’Reilly On Entrapment In
Oregon Bomber Case
Would-be Portland, Oregon bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud never came close to doing the harm he hoped to, thanks in large part to a government sting operation that fed him faulty explosives. Whether his intention to kill a sizable number of Americans on that day was natural within him before the government got involved, however, will be a major point of contention during trial, and Judge Andrew Napolitano believes Mohamud may have a case that it wasn’t. Read More
cables expose world leaders' sensitive diplomacy
A vast treasure trove of secret State Department cables obtained by the Web site WikiLeaks has exposed the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, as well as bluntly candid assessments by American diplomats, according to news organizations granted advance access to the more than 250,000 confidential documents. Read More
GOT to love Glenn Greenwald!!!
The FBI is obviously quite pleased with itself over its arrest of a 19-year-old Somali-American, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who -- with months of encouragement, support and money from the FBI's own undercover agents -- allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb at a crowded Christmas event in Portland, Oregon.
What's missing from all of these celebrations is an iota of questioning or skepticism. Read more
What the TSA Patdown Searches Are
You can hardly watch a TV news show,
listen to a radio broadcast, pick up a newspaper, or read the Internet
without hearing about the aggressive Transportation Security Agency
patdown searches at airports.
Man Proves TSA Policies
Blogger Matt Kernan was able to bypass both the naked body scanner and invasive TSA pat down procedures during his return to the United States this past weekend, proving that both measures are completely unconstitutional and creating a precedent for a total shake-up of airport security.
Kernan, who documents the case on his website, was returning from a trip to Europe and was perturbed to see TSA workers making Americans who had already cleared security in their airport of origin go through backscatter x-ray machines and be groped simply to re-enter their own country. Read More
Ex-AIPAC official threatens to
uncover mass spying at Israel lobby
A former foreign policy chief for the largest Israeli lobby in the US is threatening to provide evidence members of the organization regularly trafficked in classified US government information.
The claim comes in the midst of an increasingly ugly lawsuit in which parties have alleged or admitted to mass viewing of pornography among senior staffers at AIPAC as well as extra-marital affairs. Read More
Not-Very-Convincing Explanation of Testimony on Its "Opps, We Still
Have the Note" Snafu
It was predictable, as soon as the press took notice of a potentially very damaging bit of testimony by a Countrywide manager, that its parent, Bank of America, would do everything in its power to deny its validity.
By way of brief background (see here, here, and here for more detail), a recent court decision in Kemp v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. stated that Countrywide had not transferred the note (the borrower IOU) to the Bank of New York, trustee for the securitization trust. Perhaps more important, the ruling also noted that a Countrywide employee stated that it was Countrywide’s practice not to transfer the note, which is contrary to the stipulations of the pooling and servicing agreement. Read More
well, President Obama does not have to endure the sexual assault, now
Barack Obama on Saturday acknowledged some travelers'
"frustrations" with having to go through full-body pat-downs
and scans at airports, but he said the enhanced security measures are
necessary to keep America safe.
longtime Charlotte, N.C., flight
attendant and cancer survivor told
a local television station that she was forced to show her prosthetic
breast during a pat-down.
Security and Terrorism Expert Bruce
Schneier: TSA Scans "Won't Catch Anybody"
Since 9/11, cryptology expert and
security consultant Bruce Schneier has been one of the most pointed
critics of the government's anti-terrorism security programs. In his
2003 book "Beyond Fear," he coined the phrase "security
theater" to refer to measures which are undertaken not because they
will be effective at thwarting attacks, but because the agencies
carrying them out need to appear to be doing something useful. We spoke
to Schneier about the recent controversy involving the Transport
Security Agency's use of invasive scanners and full-body pat-downs.
As the controversy over new airport body scanners escalates, voters feel more strongly than ever that the U.S. legal system is more protective of individual freedoms than it is of the nation's overall security.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights rather than protecting national security. Read More
Ron Paul Unleashes On
TSA "Enough is Enough"
In perhaps his most
impassioned and irate speech to date, Congressman Ron Paul unleashed a
tirade of vilification at the TSA and their security procedures that
have stoked nationwide outrage, stating “enough is enough” as he
introduced new legislation to that would open the way for TSA employees
to be sued for groping Americans or putting them through dangerous naked
body scanners, preventing travelers ‘from being treated like
CDC and ADA Now Advise
to Avoid Using Fluoride
A new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds once again that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.
Exposure to high levels of fluoride results in a condition known as fluorosis, in which tooth enamel becomes discolored. The condition can eventually lead to badly damaged teeth. The new study found that fluoride intake during a child's first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula. Read More
A New Jersey man gets seven years for
being a responsible gun owner.
Sue Aitken called the police because she was worried about her son, Brian. She now lives with the guilt of knowing that her phone call is the reason Brian spent his 27th birthday in a New Jersey prison last month. If the state gets its way, he will be there for the next seven years.
Aitken was sentenced in August after he was convicted of felony possession of a handgun. Before his arrest, Aitken, an entrepreneur and owner of a media consulting business, had no criminal record, and it appears he made a good-faith effort to comply with New Jersey's stringent gun laws. Even the jurors who convicted him seem to have been looking for a reason to acquit him. But the judge gave them little choice. Aitken's best hope now is executive clemency. He is petitioning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a reprieve this week. Read More
starts photographing irises of crime suspects
The New York Police Department is taking photographs of the irises of crime suspects along with their fingerprints and mug shots.
The NYPD says the images will be used to help avoid cases of mistaken identity. The process takes about five seconds. Suspects will be scanned using handheld devices when they're arrested and again shortly before they're arraigned to make sure the irises match. Read More
United States Supreme
Court Will Soon Issue a Landmark Decision on the Validity of the
The United States Supreme Court will soon issue a landmark decision on the validity of the Constitution. The Supreme Court will consider three petitions filed by William M. Windsor, a retired Atlanta, Georgia grandfather. The decision should be rendered by the end of the year. Unless The Supreme Court acts, federal judges will be free to void the Constitution.
The Questions Presented to The Supreme Court by Grandfather Windsor are:
Wall Street Collects
$4 Billion From Taxpayers as Swaps Backfire
The subprime mortgage crisis isn’t the only calamity Wall Street created that’s upending the finances of U.S. states and cities.
For more than a decade, banks and insurance companies convinced governments and nonprofits that financial engineering would lower interest rates on bonds sold for public projects such as roads, bridges and schools. That failed promise has cost more than $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as hundreds of borrowers from the Bay Area Toll Authority in Oakland, California, to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, quietly paid Wall Street to end agreements since 2008. Read More
So, basically, if you are
a private, small business owner, you are out of luck!
As Obama administration officials put into place some of the new rules that go into effect under the federal health care law, they are issuing more waivers to try to prevent some insurers and employers from dropping coverage and also promising to modify other rules because many of the existing policies would not meet new standards.
Last month, federal officials granted dozens of one-year waivers that were aimed at sparing certain employers, including McDonald’s, insurers and unions who offer plans that sharply limit the coverage they provide. These limited-benefit plans, also known as “minimeds,” fail to comply with new rules phasing out limits on how much policies will provide in medical care each year. Read More
President Obama isolated ahead of 2012
President Barack Obama has performed his
act of contrition. Now comes the hard part, according to Democrats
around the country: reckoning with the simple fact that he’s isolated
himself from virtually every group that matters in American politics.
Losing a Baby Over a Poppy Seed
The birth of a couple’s first child is supposed to be a joyous occasion -- and for the first three days, it was for Elizabeth Mort and her partner Alex Rodriguez. But then the commonwealth of Pennsylvania took their young daughter away after the hospital where she was born reported the mother for testing positive on a drug test. Her drug of choice? An “everything” bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts.
“The best thing in my life had been taken from me and there was nothing I could do to get her back,” Mort says. For five excruciating days, officials with Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS) kept mother away from child, all based on a positive drug test they didn’t even bother to investigate -- and which the hospital never even informed the mother about. Now, aided by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the parents are fighting back with a lawsuit against both LCCYS and Jameson Hospital. Read More
More Privacy Infringements to come!
The age of the plain old credit score is gone, says a report at the Wall Street Journal, and it's been replaced by ever more intrusive efforts by banks and credit agencies to gauge exactly what you're worth, and what you can pay.
To that end, financial firms are now tracking their customers' bank deposits, rent payments or home values, and even utility bills to figure out who may soon become a financial risk, reports WSJ's Karen Blumenthal.
So, for example, if your employer pays you through direct deposits and those deposits stop, financial institutions can now have warning that your money situation is likely to tighten, and may deny you credit on that basis.
But the efforts don't end there. A new area of research, income estimation, "took off earlier this year," WSJ reports, and involves financial firms collecting information about mortgages, personal loans and credit history to determine how much an individual makes and how much credit they should be given. Read More
pressing Obama not to run again
Some senior personalities in the Democratic Party have discussed with President Obama's advisers the possibility of him not running for re-election in 2012, according to an influential Democratic Party operative speaking on condition of anonymity.
The operative, who is close to the Democratic leadership, did not indicate whether Obama was undecided about running again.
Any such decision would need to be made at a later date based on a number of factors, such as any change in poll numbers after the midterm elections, the operative said. Read More
is about privacy! My 17 yr old daughter pointed out that this
borderlines on pornography...
A suburban Philadelphia school district is agreeing to pay $610,000 to settle two lawsuits brought by students who were victims of a webcam spying scandal in which high school-issued laptops secretly snapped thousands of pictures of pupils.
The agreed payout by the Lower Merion School District comes two months after federal authorities announced they would not prosecute administrators.
Prosecutors and the FBI opened an inquiry following a February privacy lawsuit accusing administrators of spying on students with webcams on the 2,300 district-issued MacBooks. The lawyers who filed lawsuits on behalf of two students acquired evidence in pretrial proceedings showing that the district secretly snapped thousands of webcam images of students, including pictures of youths at home, in bed or even “partially dressed.” Read More
Northrop Grumman and the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security Conduct Successful Nationwide Identity
Authentication Demonstration for Emergency Preparedness
Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently coordinated a nationwide demonstration showing the ability to deploy a common, interoperable credentialing system that enables electronic identity authentication for government and industry personnel. Read More
The Obama administration announced Wednesday it plans to sell up to $60 billion worth of fighter jets and helicopters to Saudi Arabia, in one of the largest-ever single U.S. arms deals.
The State Department and Pentagon informed lawmakers that the sales over the next 15 to 20 years will include 84 new F-15 fighter jets, 70 Apache attack helicopters, 72 Black Hawk helicopters and a wide array of missiles, bombs, launchers and equipment such as night vision goggles and radar warning systems. Read More
WASHINGTON – Reports of thyroid cancer patients setting off radiation alarms and contaminating hotel rooms are prompting the agency in charge of nuclear safety to consider tighter rules.
A congressional investigation made public Wednesday found that patients sent home after treatment with radioactive iodine have contaminated unsuspecting hotel guests and set off alarms on public transportation.
They've come into close contact with vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children, and trash from their homes has triggered radiation detectors at landfills.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering new rules to address the problem, in particular curbs on sending patients to hotels after treatment, a spokesman said Wednesday. Read More
CORPUS CHRISTI — Money and assets seized by law enforcement during crimes could be used to pay salary bonuses for Nueces County state prosecutors.
Commissioners gave District Attorney Anna Jimenez permission to come up with a plan that will use the 20 percent of asset forfeiture funds her department receives under the law to supplement department pay each quarter. There is $306,000 in that fund.
Money from that account is underused, Jimenez said.
In the past, it supplemented one prosecutor’s salary and occasionally contributed to programs that benefit crime victims. Jimenez said she would be open to using the money to benefit crime victims, but the money mostly would be spent on staff, who she said are overworked and underpaid. Read More
For the second time in little over a month, President Barack Obama stripped the word "Creator" from the Declaration of Independence when giving a speech.
"As wonderful as this land is here in the United States, as much as we have been blessed by the bounty of this magnificent continent that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, what makes this place special is not something physical. It has to do with this idea that was started by 13 colonies that decided to throw off the yoke of an empire and said, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’” Obama said in Monday's speech. [Emphasis added.] Read More
WASHINGTON — Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials, citing lapses in compliance with surveillance orders, are pushing to overhaul a federal law that requires phone and broadband carriers to ensure that their networks can be wiretapped, federal officials say.
The officials say tougher legislation is needed because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that create technical obstacles to surveillance. Read More
The Treasury reported a nearly $1.3 trillion deficit for 2010, down from 2009 but still the second-largest in more than 60 years, adding fuel to this year's political debate about the size of deficits and government.
The government also announced that, for the second year in a row, Social Security recipients wouldn't receive a cost-of-living adjustment, because inflation levels have fallen so low in the current economy.
Taken together, the latest announcements could increase the political fallout from the toxic combination of high deficits and low growth.
"If you want to know what's driving the anger out there, there's no issue that people are more concerned about than the fiscal condition of the country and the effect it's having on potential prosperity," said Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. Read More
APNewsBreak: NY officers face
Four New York Police Department officers are facing internal charges based on the highly publicized accusations by a fellow officer that they manipulated crime statistics, an NYPD official said Friday.
The officers include the former commanding officer of the 81st Precinct in Brooklyn, Deputy Inspector Steven Mauriello.
Mauriello, a sergeant and two patrol officers were served with the charges this week. A second sergeant was expected to be served next week, said the official, who only named Mauriello. Read More
MoDOT temporarily puts brakes on new
red-light cameras on state highways
The Missouri Department of Transportation has suspended approval of any more red-light cameras on the state highway system until it can get a clear picture of their operation and safety records.
Interim state Transportation Director Kevin Keith said he doesn't want to eliminate camera enforcement entirely because it has proven to be a "good tool for public safety" elsewhere. But he said there are indications some communities' camera use is going beyond ensuring safety. Read More
states can proceed with their lawsuit seeking to overturn President
Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law, a Florida judge ruled on
Local government officials are training active duty military soldiers to run communities, re-igniting fears that troops will be used to deal with civil unrest in the event of a total economic collapse or other national emergency in a newly militarized America.
“The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division met with City Manager Mary Corriveau, Mayor Jeff Graham and other City officials gaining insight about city infrastructure,” reports ABC 50.
“Government 101 is a new program that
Fort Drum has established to learn from local officials about what it
takes to run a community efficiently.” Read
Morningland Dairy is the latest attempt by the FDA to fulfill the Healthy People 2020 objective to kill raw dairy. Morningland is owned by Joseph and Denise Dixon, who operate the cheese plant and make raw cheese from cows kept right on the property and managed by one of their eldest daughters..
In the thirty years of Morningland Dairy
operations NO ONE has become ill from consuming their products. Yet they
have been ordered by the Missouri Milk Board to destroy ALL of their
cheese without actual tests being performed on the cheese stock. This is
nearly 50,000 pounds of cheese, or approximately $250,000. Read
Consumer advocates and lawyers warned federal officials in recent years that the U.S. foreclosure system was designed to seize people's homes as fast as possible, often without regard to the rights of homeowners.
In recent days, amid reports that major
lenders have used improper procedures and fraudulent paperwork to seize
properties, some Obama administration officials have acknowledged they had
been aware of flaws in how the mortgage industry pursues foreclosures.
Stewart Rhodes writes today on the Oath
Keepers website that the Southern Poverty Law Center is now officially
part of the Department of Homeland Security. Rhodes sources a DHS
document, entitled “Countering Violent Extremism Working Group,” that
lists Richard Cohen as a member of the DHS created group. Cohen is
president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition to
Cohen, a number of law enforcement officials are members of the DHS group,
including Austin Chief of Police Art Acevedo. Read
BOWIE, Md. - About
three dozen people were treated for illness during a rally featuring
President Barack Obama at Bowie State University.
Prince George's County Fire and EMS
spokesman Mark Brady tells WTOP numerous ambulances were sent to the rally
after people started fainting and became dizzy. Read
Prince George's County Fire and EMS
spokesman Mark Brady tells WTOP numerous ambulances were sent to the rally
after people started fainting and became dizzy. Read
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi struck back Wednesday at Newt Gingrich over comments the former GOP Leader made urging Republican candidates to make next month's election a fight "between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks." Read More
Midwestern Antiwar groups are continuing to struggle to make sense of a series of high profile Friday raids by the FBI, which officials said were part of a “Joint Terrorism Task Force” investigation but which many are seeing as a direct attempt to intimidate them.
“The government is trying to quiet activists,” insisted lawyer Jim Fennerty, whose client Hatem Abudayyeh’s home was among the eight raided on Friday. “This case is really scary.”
The raids were launched exclusively against the homes of antiwar activists, a number of whom are involved in organizing protests against the upcoming Democratic National Convention in 2012. No arrests were made and the FBI insisted that no arrests are forthcoming. Read More
FBI agents in Chicago took a laptop and documents from the home of a Palestinian-American anti-war activist in an attempt to silence his advocacy, an attorney said Sunday.
The FBI on Friday searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago, including the home of Hatem Abudayyeh, who is the executive director of the Arab American Action Network, attorney Jim Fennerty told The Associated Press. Read More
The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.
The Justice Department is demanding a federal appeals court rehear a case in which it reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month, without a court warrant. The authorities then obtained warrants to search and find drugs in the locations where defendant Antoine Jones had traveled.
The administration, in urging the full
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a
three-judge panel’s August ruling from the same court, said Monday
that Americans should expect no privacy while in public.
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