Posts tagged news
Posts tagged news
Senators casting the same votes: A view of Congressional polarization through the years.
Gambia severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as Chinese influence and investment increases in the country
Obama’s Obamacare headache yesterday:
This means that the insurance companies have 32 days to reprogram their computer systems for policies, rates, and eligibility, send notices to the policyholders via US Mail, send a very complex letter that describes just what the differences are between specific policies and Obamacare compliant plans, ask the consumer for their decision—and give them a reasonable time to make that decision—and then enter those decisions back into their systems without creating massive billing, claim payment, and provider eligibility list mistakes.
All by January 1.
"In the interest of keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers, we are staying the course," he said in a statement moments ago. "We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies. I believe this is in the best interest of the health insurance market in Washington."
via New York Times
On Nov. 15, 1969, a quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C., against the Vietnam War.
Less than half of Iranians say their government should lend economic, military, or political support to Syria. Fewer Iranians favor economic and military support for Syria than did so in 2012.
Iranian-American journalist Hooman Majd explains on today’s Fresh Air how the Iran sanctions have affected the lives of citizens
When you notice the amount of hardship we are dropping onto the citizens of a country, it is worth asking whether our policies are working in this regard. We are against the Iranian regime, not its people. However, this does not translate well into the populace. After all, the burden is on us to explain why we are doing anything to sanction the government. The reasons never seem good enough in hindsight. We are paranoid when it comes to Iran acquiring some form of nuclear weapon. After all, Pakistan and North Korea already have nuclear capabilities, and we do not fret over them the way we do with Iran. No meetings. No diplomacy. Only when the flame starts being lit at the tip of the dynamite, we go into high gear in order to avert disaster.
Jim McElhatton of The Washington Times • From the announcement that Rand Paul’s column, in conservative D.C. newspaper The Washington Times, is being cancelled amid widening plagiarism allegations against the Kentucky Senator. As we mentioned earlier today, Paul’s damage control strategy started to change, from duel threat to adviser-issued pseudo-admission. source (via shortformblog)
The fact that this man wished we were still of a time where ‘dueling’ was still available tells a load about his persona. We cannot have someone like this as President in 2016. It is bad enough he is sitting in our federal body of elected officials.
"There has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material — and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago," writes Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers. He concludes: “Snowden did what he did because he recognized the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.” In a separate essay published at The Daily Beast, Ellsberg adds, “I definitely have a new hero in Edward Snowden, the first one since Bradley Manning, and I’m glad it didn’t take another 40 years.”
Snowden has allowed us to highlight even more attacks on our Constitution. America post-9/11 has become an America devoid of any 4th and 5th amendment guarantees. Our government says that what they’re doing with these data collection operations is legal, but the Fisa court which handles the warrants for collecting our information is clandestine in nature. How are we supposed to have effective oversight over such a court? For our government to keep telling us “it’s ok - shh”, is unacceptable. It is time to update the checks and balances that we have in this country, as promised by our Constitution. Just imagine if there was ever another attack on America, we would devolve into a complete autocratic military state (if we aren’t there already).
There is definitely good reason to have secretive communication intelligence, but the potential for abuse that we see now with what the NSA is doing, is unconstitutional in any sense of the word. Senator Frank Church said, in 1975(!), that our country’s intelligence gathering capabilities can be frankly turned against us at any time. He couldn’t even imagine what we have now at the time. But we can come back from this police state with people like Snowden. Snowden proved that regular Joes like him, that have the information on hand, can turn around a government with hands all over our private lives.
Lets try to remember what this country stands for, and it’s definitely not about surrendering ourselves for freedom. We fight for it.
The cowardly move by the Justice Department to subpoena two months of the AP’s phone records, both of its office lines and of the home phones of individual reporters, is potentially a breach of the Justice Department’s own guidelines. Even more important, it prevented the AP from seeking a judicial review of the action. Some months ago, apparently, the government sent a subpoena (or subpoenas) for the records to the phone companies that serve those offices and individuals, and the companies provided the records without any notice to the AP. If subpoenas had been served directly on the AP or its individual reporters, they would have had an opportunity to go to court to file a motion to quash the subpoenas. … Even beyond the outrageous and overreaching action against the journalists, this is a blatant attempt to avoid the oversight function of the courts.
In other news, Attorney General Eric Holder was the subject of a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee - where members of the House grilled Holder about the AP subpoenas - and where Holder (to my enjoyment) called Rep. Issa’s conduct as Congressmember “shameful”.
Justice Department Subpoena of AP Journalists Shows Need to Protect Calling Records | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Cindy Cohn, Kurt Opsahl, and Nate Cardozo
This revelation of government’s secret access to huge amounts of calling records as part of its leak investigation should not be such a surprise. The DOJ has long maintained that no one has any privacy interests in their call data records and has also engaged in unprecedented and aggressive prosecutions around government leaks … But it should sound a wake-up call for the rest of us, including members of Congress and the courts. Government data-mining of Americans’ calling records and other metadata held by phone companies and ISPs should require more than a mere subpoena and should be protected by more than a hortatory regulation, whether the target is the news media or an ordinary citizen.
While we as Americans revere in our amazing freedom, we tend to forget just how much freedom we don’t have. Some can argue that Americans have a Constitutional right to privacy, but not if something like the third party doctrine (“…knowingly revealing [info] to … third party relinquishes Fourth Amendment protection in that [info]) has something to say about it.
Here’s what happened concerning the Department of Justice and the Associated Press:
The government, however, should not be able to seize information the way they have done against the Associated Press. It is disrespectful towards the 1st Amendment and towards the American people.