#NSA Nuts And Squirrels

Update: There are some who question our contention that Snowden should have released his information to the American voter before the 2012 election. We respond in this comment HERE and in subsequent remarks in the comments section of this article.

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We are really tired and disgusted with the “look! a squirrel” crowd. This morning (at 3:11 a.m.) Mickey Kaus shouted “look! a squirrel” and proved how stupid this “squirrel” stupidity is.

Kaus wrote “the NSA Squirrel” to argue that this latest Obama scandal NSA version is a distraction concocted by the White House to sneak through immigration reform. An astute comment to the Kaus “squirrel” foolishness deserves attention and publishing every time someone shouts “Look! a squirrel”:

“Exactly. Mickey’s concern is the immigration bill, so the NSA scandal seems like a distraction, and so it looks like it may have been exposed as a distraction. Similarly, some people who think Benghazi is the biggest scandal think the NSA and IRS scandals are happening to distract people from Benghazi.

But containing a wildfire with a backfire makes no sense if the backfire is bigger than the wildfire and burns out of control. Many people are willing to see Benghazi as just a tragic but distant screwup, but everybody deals with the IRS and expects it to be apolitical, and everybody resents being snooped on by the NSA. Sure, the NSA scandal takes the focus off the immigration bill, but the cumulative weight of these scandals makes the administration look some combination of incompetent and evil, which lessens support for anything the administration wants.”

That is exactly correct. We also applaud the writer for recognizing that you can be “incompetent and evil” at the same time. That’s why we call Barack Obama a “treacherous Boob“. We recognize that “Obama cannot be trusted” but that also Obama is a clown constantly stepping on his big feet, or over his Dumbo sized floppy ears. Barack Obama is a treacherous Boob and these Hydra scandals are not “squirrels”.

The utter stupidity of the “squirrel” hunters generally and Kaus when he is squirrel hunting in particular came late today as the “leaker” of the NSA scandal uncloaked himself in an interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.

The NSA leaker is Edward Snowden and this is not an Obama “squirrel” operation. No doubt certain “squirrel” hunters will now say this is truly a super secret cover operation, an even more super clever Obama “uber-squirrel” three dimensional chess operation, and somehow link Hong Kong to this new brilliant Barack Obama genius ploy. Sorry we ain’t buying that sack of nuts to feed to the squirrels we see in the park.

The “squirrel” hunters are fools. The eruption of scandals such as the NSA one is not a squirrel army unleashed by the White House to hide something else even more gruesome – even as we are sure there are many more Obama White House Horrors to disclose:

“Edward Snowden: I mistakenly believed in Obama’s promises

Edward Snowden, the self-revealed whistle-blower at the National Security Agency, explains that part of the reason he decided to come forward was because President Obama did not roll back the surveillance measures put into place by the Bush Administration.

A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party,” Snowden said in an interview with the Guardian. “But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”

Snowden acknowledged that he watched Obama struggle as he attempted to justify the surveillance programs during his press conference on Friday.

“My immediate reaction was he was having difficulty in defending it himself,” Snowden said about Obama. “He was trying to defend the unjustifiable and he knew it.”

Snowden referred to a “grassroots movement” planning to take to the streets on July 4 in defense of the Fourth Amendment. The movement is called “Restore The Fourth Amendment,” and grew out of the Reddit community.

“I have been surprised and pleased to see the public has reacted so strongly in defence of these rights that are being suppressed in the name of security,” Snowden said in the interview.”

Follow our thinking while we explain why we are pleased Snowden released the information he gave to the Guardian but Snowden is NOT A HERO.

Snowden contributed and voted for Ron Paul for president. That Reddit “community” is chock full of nuts in love with Barack Obama and the Occupy Wall Street loons. That’s all fine. We believe in broad coalitions on issues like this and we encourage a strong response against what the American government is up to in this PRISM corruption. Indeed we previously wrote:

“On civil liberties, freedom, liberty, and the Constitution things just got a whole lot worse. The latest scandals are dangerous and worthy of revolutionary uprising.”

We get it. Snowden did good when he released this type of information. We also appreciate that he understands that the hammer is going to come down on his head and he is willing to pay the price for his act of civil disobedience. We worry for the family and friends he cares about but that through his actions he has exposed to danger.

We get it. But Snowden must be condemned for the most disgusting quote of the many disgusting quotes of the day which include those from Obama supporters who now defend Obama even as they condemned George W. Bush for doing less of the same types of outrages.

Listen to this phony who says he wanted to start a discussion on the issues he cares about:



Glenn Beck and Daniel Ellsberg are hailing Snowden as a “real hero”, the “hero” they have each “been waiting for”:

“I think I have just read about the man for which I have waited.Earmarks of a real hero. guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun…
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) June 9, 2013

I was just with Dan Ellsberg as he learned out about Edward Snowden. He called Snowden a hero, said he’s been waiting for him for 40 years.
— Trevor Timm (@trevortimm) June 9, 2013

We don’t think Edward Snowden is a hero. Snowden says that he released the NSA information because:

“When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale then the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing but over the course of a normal person’s career you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. And when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from them.”

“But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.

Daniel Ellsberg when he released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times stated that there is a mindset in elite institutions dealing with intelligence matters that they know more than the general public and are wiser than the general public. Ellsberg stated that at some point however he realized this elitism was wrong and that the public needed to know what was happening. Ellsberg quoted the great Declaration as his motivation, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

So we find ourselves today, applauding Snowden for releasing the PRISM information but angry at him for his elite world view. Snowden could have released all his information in 2012 during the election and had the public discussion he now says he wants. But he sought to protect Barack Obama first.

Snowden held back the truth because he thought he knew better than the American people. We doubt that he withheld this information in order to see if Mitt Romney would win. Snowden chose to protect Barack Obama instead of telling the American people the truth at a time when it would have mattered. We’ve seen this Obama protection from many before Snowden.

We do not think he is a hero. Snowden should have revealed this information in 2012 after the conventions so that the voters could pass judgment on these abuses of constitutional government

But Snowden protected Obama over his own principles. We applaud what Snowden did but we condemn him for protecting Barack Obama instead of providing the truth to American voters.

As much as we are pleased that this hideous governmental overreach has been exposed by Snowden we condemn him for putting his judgment over the American voter. And by the way if he “believed” Barack Obama as he states, he is not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

The squirrel hunters are not the brightest either. All the scandals matter and all the scandals must be investigated and prosecuted.

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233 thoughts on “#NSA Nuts And Squirrels

  1. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/the-national-security-agencys-collection-of-phone-/

    The National Security Agency’s collection of phone data from all of Verizon’s U.S. customers is just the “tip of the iceberg,” says a former NSA official who estimates the agency has data on as many as 20 trillion phone calls and emails by U.S. citizens.

    William Binney, an award-winning mathematician and noted NSA whistleblower, says the collection dates back to when the super-secret agency began domestic surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    “I believe they’ve been collecting data about all domestic calls since October 2001,” said Mr. Binney, who worked at NSA for more than 30 years. “That’s more than a billion calls a day.”

  2. Well, at least half-a-billion of them were from that time my girlfriend (at the time) and I got drunk and got really mad at each other and…

  3. “We do not think he is a hero. Snowden should have revealed this information in 2012 after the conventions so that the voters could pass judgment on these abuses of constitutional government..”
    ****
    I doubt if Mr. Snowden was thinking tactically or strategically about if/when to release the data but I think if it was done in 2012, it would have gone nowhere. At that time, Obots and the Obama media protection corps would have killed the story and “Republican” politicians and bloggers, etc. would have called him a traitor, just like Manning.

    Now with the sequence of Benghazi, DOJ targeting of FOX, AP, IRS and now NSA, the concept of Big Brother has a reality. I think the key was IRS targeting of conservatives, this was a come to Jesus moment for those Republicans who supported the Bush/Cheney Police State, and now talk like they have blue
    ACLU cards in their wallets. Timing is everything, especially when dealing with a formerly “Teflon President”; 2012 wasn’t the time, hopefully June 2013 is. The best thing is more will be coming and hopefully over the next 3 1/2 years, Obama is going to pinned like bug to a specimen board.

  4. SHV, Snowden states in the excerpts we quoted from that he waited on releasing the information because of the election. He did it to protect Obama. We think the American people should have known about this before the election so they could make an informed choice whatever the outcome. Even if they still voted for Obama we think that would have been better. If the DailyKooks said “vote for Obama” even with PRISM/NSA the blood would be on their hands. The hypocrites would have been brought out into the open.

    This was an issue of sufficient importance to let the people decide. If the people chose tyranny, then so be it.

    “But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election].

  5. Norma Desmond, you sound a bit cynical. There is no way that you might be saying that the Obama CREEP is involved in any of this are you? Gosh and begorah who could ever believe such a thing? 🙂 🙂

    From your link:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

    The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

    A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

    The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

    The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

    The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

    It really does sound like the Obama campaign doesn’t it? Sock puppets and thugs.

    We remember we started our website on WordPress and eventually some Hillary websites began to appear. Unfortunately these new websites used Google. The Google executives were all in for Obama and soon the Hillary websites were shut down. The Hillary websites were forced to come to WordPress too.

    As in Watergate we suspect that the trails to all these scandals will lead to the Obama CREEP (committee to reelect the president) and the Oval Office.

  6. Admin- Me? Cynical? But when I saw that story – well….it just kinda sounded a bit too familiar. I remember the Bots were like White Corpuscles attacking a germ in the bloodstream when we would even ATTEMPT to get a point out there. It was like 50 Million Killer Bees would attack and sting and almost TOO fast to be batted away.

    But nah. Obama and his henchmen (and women) wouldn’t do anything like that! And I surely DO hope they lead to the Oval. And not just because it is Obama. Although it’s hard to imagine anyone worse in the Presidency – I thought that about Bush too.

  7. “SHV, Snowden states in the excerpts we quoted from that he waited on releasing the information because of the election. He did it to protect Obama. We think the American people should have known about this before the election so they could make an informed choice whatever the outcome. ”
    ******
    Courage of the non-combatant? Rather than protecting Obama, a more likely explanation is that he was hoping (against hope??) that Obama would change course for the NSA. He knew very well, that at age 28, he was going to end his life if/when he went public, why not wait and see what happened after the election. The thing that amazes me is that he did it, one person out of thousands of employees.

  8. The thing that makes me so mad, when SO MUCH of this scandalmania appears to be CREEP Related, is that PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS that Obama is a cheater. The ONLY way he wins ANYTHING is to cheat. Elections, legislation, appointments – all of it. He gets by cheating. Some is egregious, some is “thumb on the scale” cheating, but cheating it is. And this is a KNOWN COMMODITY with Barack Obama. So why is everyone clutching their pearls about the probability that he used the office and the powers of the Presidency to cheat to win a second term? My goodness!

    The LOOK ON MITT ROMNEY’S FACE the night of his concession at the election was enough to tell ALL Americans Obama Cheated Again.

  9. Admin: I found what S was referring to—the interview with Daniel Ellsberg. And as S noted, it is excellent>

    Among other things, Ellsberg asks the right question:

    when a government employee violates his statutory duty of non-disclosure to expose actions by the Government which go far beyond what is necessary to protect the nation and are in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment, can he be held criminally liable?

    If the answer to that question is yes, then we have reduced the Constitution and the rights of the American People to a hollow shibboleth.

    Suffice it to say, I am not sanguine that the Chief Justice will give us the right answer. As noted, he is a weak man.

  10. I only wish we had members of congress to call a spade a spade (so to speak) and pull another Joe Wilson and call the President what he is – a liar. AND that he through his henchmen and probable blackmail from the ill-gotten gains of IRS and NSA intrusions usurped the voting rights of millions of Americans. SOMEONE in the WH knows the truth.

  11. Here is part of a long piece about Obama which I wrote on 11/13/09.
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    In the aftermath of 9/11 the Bush Administration began monitoring all email, fax and telephone, conversations throughout the world in real time with the NASA Supercomputer. The initial purpose of the monitoring was to detect key words which would indicate a present intention to commit a terrorist act. Later it was modified to monitor the emotional state. This amounted to a warrantless search. So the Patriot Act was changed to permit the monitoring but the evidence was inadmissible as fruits of the poisonous tree. The Administration was reluctant to acknowledge the existence of such activities and unwilling to proceed to court on cases where they would be exposed in pre-trial discovery. There is reason to believe that Blue States wrote a program to mine that information as well.
    During the primary Obama deplored the illegal spying on Americans, but when he got to the general election he switched gears. Mainstream media excused this as simply moving to the center. But the logical inference is that he wanted to continue spying on Americans for security reasons and political ones as well. This is evident in reversal on FISA, his refusal to prosecute 40% of the cases, and his ability to tailor messages in real time. For example, when the national chatter decried his Stimulus Plan as a slush fund he quickly renamed it a “Safety Net”. Likewise, when he was called weak and indecisive on Afghanistan, the New York Times headline was immediately changed to read “Obama Convening War Council and Entering Decision Making Phase. For a general discussion of the subject the following article will be helpful: (“Government Turning to Data Mining” @http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp/dyn/content/article/2006/06/14/AR2006061402063.html.)

  12. When Ellsberg says he believes they are listening, go watch the Frontline special I saw on Netflix about a year ago. I THINK this is the one – it sounds like it http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/homefront/
    It was creepy. IIRC there was a woman agent on there and she recalled “inadvertently” listening to private conversations among people who had no more to do with terrorism than the man in the moon. She felt queasy and awful – and I believe she left. Anyway – he’s right. They listen to what they want to when they want to. After all – how would the courts know anyway? Or congress?

    As the Frontline piece says – everyone is a suspect.

  13. This “confluence” (not conflation Mr. Emanuel, go back to Hollywood) leaves Messiah Obama in a very untenable position. Candidate Obama would love to be in the position of condemning this spying on Americans with his usual bombast, whereas President Obama is compelled to defend it. Or say he knew nothing about it until he saw it on television. But if he says that then his past positions (see above) will discredit him.

  14. Wbboei…thank you for locating and posting the Ellsberg CNN clip

    Admin, I think we will have to agree to disagree or choose different semantics regarding Edward Snowden…

    I don’t know if I would go into the realm of “hero” but I will definitely say his actions are courageous…he is only 29 yrs old – minus 5 years of O, he would have been 23/24…I believe he worked at Booz Allen for less than 3 months…

    I think it takes an enormous amount of courage to put his young life on the line the way he has…he had a girlfriend, was said to have been making over $200,000 and now he is essentially a hunted fugitive…

    He has given the whole issue content…specific content…and ignited the discussion…in fact, he has set a torch to the discussion…

    I cannot be cynical because he did not reveal the info he had prior to O…this is a very big revelation…forcing Clapper and Social Media giants now to start to react and respond…and jolting some in the media from their O stupor…

    As for Daniel Ellsberg…I thought his whole segment was interesting…HOWEVER…the part that really grabbed me…was towards the end…when Don Lemon starts suggesting that maybe we cannot believe Snowden…

    …and Daniel Ellsberg takes complete control and raises the stakes and says…not only does he believe what Snowden has so far revealed but Ellsberg believes that the NSA (and implicating the Executive Branch and O) are not only collecting all the metadata…

    …but in addition, Daniel Ellsberg believes confidently that the NSA (and Executive branch) are listening to the content and are aware of specific names etc

    …and Ellsberg concludes by dissing the ineffectual Congess, with the exception of Wyden and Uudall…and states that the danger in all of this is leading to tyranny (paraphrased)

    …so I think Snowden is to be commended for his courage…and if what Glenn Greenwald says is true…this is just the beginning and the tip of the iceberg…with a lot more to come…

    in fact, I hope that Snowden’s actions will motivate others to come out from the shadows…it must be frightening to be in their shoes…talking about it is one thing…doing it, when it is your life on the line, is quite another…

  15. Just finished your post Admin and haven’t read the comments yet, but for the amount of years this kid has been alive, and although it would have been better if he had leaked this info before the election, to me, he has made a life changing sacrifice for the good of his country.

    29 years old, same age as my son, so maybe I identify with this kid more than most. I know what it takes to be a system admin, the amount of schooling, expense, brains and hard work to be placed in a position like this in the CIA. His paycheck was more than I could ever dream of, and living in Hawaii, the good life, and now knowing that it is all over for him…because the corruption of our government was more than he could live with.

    To come forward, knowing just how much danger he is in now, that takes a mixture of courage and idealism…most people would never make this decision.

    I have to ask myself, if Mitt won in 2012, would he have stopped this sort of snooping, or would he have continued the same plan George W started?

    This young man will probably live to regret his decision, either because he or someone in his family will be ‘hurt’ from this, or he may spend his life in prison or hiding from the CIA.

    Will this program be shut down, not a chance. Will Congress slow it down or correct it? Not any better than they have shut down HellCare or the corruption of the IRS and the DOJ.

    I feel badly for this kid, he had such a bright future, finally did the right thing for his country at his own personal expense, and will pay dearly for it.

  16. also…it seems another aspect of all this information being revealed is that slowly but surely the variety of dangerous implications are being explained…

    for instance, there is this whole crowd that says “I don’t have anything to hide, so I don’t care if they look at my info…if you don’t have anything to hide you do not have to worry”…very shortsighted and naive…

    …however, Snowden and also Applebaum (that was a long presentation to get through in that clip on previous thread) are both trying to explain…that this information is going to be kept for past our lifetimes…and there is a real danger in ‘retroactive policing’…to listen to them explain it…you can be living a good, honest life, however since the NSA will have this complete trail of everything you ever said, did , emailed, blogged, called, etc…there are many ways all this info can be used against anyone to ‘frame’ and intimdate…or even blackmail anyone…the NSA will have the power to selectively edit personal info on anyone and go after them…

    …and that is not even touching upon the fact that…heck, as a human being, we might still want to have some semblance of privacy and private information that is not intended for any governmental metadata…

    both of these young, computer tech savvy guys, in their 20’s…are trying to explain the subtle and dangerous implications of where this is all headed…

    for the O robots…like Toobin…and the other blind leading the blind O followers…they have no vision of how they or their families, friends…or maybe future children could be hurt by all of this…in the future…

  17. Current Article
    Whistleblower Outs Self

    By Larry Johnson on June 9, 2013 at 8:31 PM in Current Affairs

    Edward Snowden is now the man. Good and bad. He is the man pulling back the curtain on the National Security Agency and he is driving the neocons and those who favor giving Government all power over you absolutely nuts. I encourage you to go to the Guardian website and watch the video and full interview posted here.

    George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with the able assistance of members of Congress like John McCain, Diane Feinstein, Peter King and Lindsay Graham, have used the threat of fear to curtail and limit your civil rights. Their excuses are idiotic.

    For example, the defenders of this massive invasion of privacy insist that our creaky old ancestors were technological troglodytes and just did not appreciate the need we have to day to spy and pry into everyone’s activities.

    Yet, our founding fathers understood quite clearly the dangers of an omnipotent tyrant. Remember, they faced a King who believed he was appointed by God and by virtue of that authority could do whatever he damn well pleased. Limiting the power of a Federal Government to play God was front and center in the deliberations of the Continental Congress and the drafters of the Constitution.

    I recognize reality. We have already been willing to sacrifice portions of the Bill of Rights in the face of fear. During World War II, the American people embraced the move by President Roosevelt to lock up those Asian slants, you know, the JAPS, in “nice” concentration camps and deprived them of their property and their liberty. We ignored the Germans and the Italians, but we nailed those slopes.

    We have relegated the Second Amendment to a right for sport shooting, happily choosing to ignore that this amendment was all about arming the average citizen in the event they needed to band together and fight the government if it threatened the liberty of its citizens.

    I’m all in favor of going after and killing terrorists. But let’s be honest with ourselves. Terrorism is a vastly overrated threat and a very uncommon act. Using the excuse of fear to justify invading your phone, your computer and your emails is bullshit.

    If you live with the delusion that you can sit in your house with a cell phone and a wifi connected computer and have guaranteed privacy, wake the hell up. You do no. Here’s a newsflash–your cell phone can be used as a listening device, even if turned off. Hackers can get access to your computer and watch you over the built in camera (if you have a computer with that ability).

    So count me as someone who shares Snowden’s concerns about the expanding power of Big Brother. Now, had he consulted with me, I would have suggested he take a different road. He should have gone first to the IG and then to senior members of Congress (but accompanied by a member of the press). This would have enabled him to put the authorities on notice without immediately putting himself in jeopardy. I do not think Snowden, by virtue of his youth, really thought this thing through thoroughly. He better have some back up plans for seeking asylum in a friendly foreign Embassy.

    What do you think?

  18. Jay Leno:

    How much will the $590 million Powerball winner pay in taxes? The IRS says they won’t know until they learn if she’s Republican or Democrat.

  19. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/06/what-if-china-hacks-the-nsas-massive-data-trove/276637/

    In the wrong hands, it could enable blackmail on a massive scale, widespread manipulation of U.S. politics, industrial espionage against American businesses;,and other mischief I can’t even imagine.

    The plan is apparently to store the data indefinitely, just in case the government needs it for future investigations. Don’t worry, national security officials tell us, we won’t ever look at most of it.

    Do you trust the government to keep it secure, forever, if others try to look?

    If so, why?

    Here are 5 terrifying scenarios:

    1) China manages to get the NSA data.

    2) Russia manages to get the NSA data. (It isn’t like they never succeeded in placing spies in our government before.)

    3) Pakistan manages to get the NSA data. (They pulled off stealing the West’s nuclear secrets.)

    4) Iran manages to get the NSA data.

    5) Saudi Arabia manages to get the NSA data.

    Of course, it could be a non-state actor that gets ahold of the data too. Perhaps a successor to Al Qaeda.

    What if one of these entities breached the database’s security without our even knowing?

    Even assuming the U.S. government never abuses this data — and there is no reason to assume that! — why isn’t the burgeoning trove more dangerous to keep than it is to foreswear? Can anyone persuasively argue that it’s virtually impossible for a foreign power to ever gain access to it? Can anyone persuasively argue that if they did gain access to years of private phone records, email, private files, and other data on millions of Americans, it wouldn’t be hugely damaging?

    Think of all the things the ruling class never thought we’d find out about the War on Terrorism that we now know. Why isn’t the creation of this data trove just the latest shortsighted action by national security officials who constantly overestimate how much of what they do can be kept secret? Suggested rule of thumb: Don’t create a dataset of choice that you can’t bear to have breached.

  20. Admin: Professor Jacobson is skeptical bout Snowden, just as you are.

    Snowden job?
    Comments
    Permalink
    Posted by William A. Jacobson Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 9:32p

    It seems that nothing is ever as it seems.

    It may be that Edward Snowden is what he seems to be — an Obama-supporter who, despite barely gaining a GED, managed to work his way into sensitive technical positions at the CIA, NSA and private contractors, and then became disillusioned that abuse of individual privacy he witnessed under the Bush administration was not cured and if anything worsened under Obama, and who, despite four years of Obama-rule in which to leak embarrassing documents, waited until late May 2013 in which to take and then dump on Glenn Greenwald a treasure trove of seemingly embarrassing documents which allegedly show a massive data-mining operation and desire to control all the world’s information.

    Or, it may be that this is all too perfect, that the criminally leaked documents have been misconstrued by journalists with agendas and that the programs at issue previously were disclosed at least in generalities and have safeguards built in, but none of that matters because the leaks come precisely at a time when the Chinese government has come under increasingly distressed complaints by U.S. industry and government over cyber-espionage and on the eve of a trip to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping at which Obama was expected to make cyber-espionage a central issue, thereby emasculating complaints about Chinese activities.

    It may be that Snowden fled to Hong Kong because, as he asserts, it protects free speech, or it may be that he fled there because he easily could slip into mainland China, which itself does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. and which, in any event, has veto power over Hong Kong’s exercise of its extradition treaty with the U.S., or at a minimum, makes a “rendering” conducted on sovereign Chinese soil unlikely.

    All I’m saying is that this whole thing may be exactly as it seems. I just don’t know what it seems to be.

    I will reserve judgment until more facts are known about Snowden, and what he actually revealed.

  21. Admin

    In the wrong hands, it could enable blackmail on a massive scale, widespread manipulation of U.S. politics, industrial espionage against American businesses;,and other mischief I can’t even imagine.

    ———-
    The way any of these countries could get a hold of this info is when the CIA, NSA or DOJ hire foreign sys admins or some other tech job that deals with this data.

    Recently the US decided that there were not enough trained geeks in America, and decided to open up visas for foreign tech folks.

    Hmmm, wonder how well that will work out in the future?

  22. I have spent my adult life from the early days of the Cold War worrying to one degree or another about the external threats to the United States. Today, we have Obama, and suddenly I find it harder to get ginned up to those threats when the threats against this nation seem far far far closer to home. Obama’s hidden past, his racism, his fuck yous to the American People, his obstruction of justice, his corruption of the vote, his 17 trillion dollar deficit, his own spying on Americans for political purposes through Blue State make it impossible for me to take his warnings about foreign threats seriously even if they are real. It takes moral authority to lead this nation, and in his case it is conspicuous by its absence. It is impossible to believe he has our best interests at heart, and that is the core problem.

  23. Wbboei (and to all who disagree or expressed doubt about what we have written), it is not that we are “skeptical” about Snowden. We applaud what he did. Our main concern is that intelligence and government elites believe they know better than the people. Somehow their game is to keep information away from the people and then beat up on the people for doing stupid things. That’s why for all the scenarios surmised to explain the timing of Snowden’s information release we condemn not giving the public the information needed before the election.

    We confess we have developed a degree of contempt for the American voter but we come at it from a different angle. We believe that if the voters have the information they will do the wise thing. That information usually comes from Big Media and the campaigns. Both have failed the people. Our contempt is directed towards Big Media and voters who don’t seek to inform themselves but instead by the bullsh*t ladled out to them.

    For the record, we do not believe that Mitt Romney, John McCain, nor even Hillary Clinton would have ended this vast invasion into our private lives – without public pressure forcing them to make promises during their campaigns. For sure Barack Obama is so corrupt that he will not end this and we never believed he would even when he said he would (read all our FISA articles from 2007).

    For this tyranny to end it will have to be in the context of an election. Therein lies our distrust of Snowden. If Snowden wanted to end this snooping or have a public discussion of this policy the time to do it was during the election of 2012. Instead Snowden kept the secrets in order not to hurt Obama’s reelection.

    For this policy to be destroyed will require a coalition of citizens from the full spectrum of political beliefs. This will have to be thrashed out in the 2016 (maybe 2014 elections as well) elections. We could have had this discussion in 2012 but for Snowden’s protection of Obama.

    As to Snowden our article describes the sacrifices he, family and friends will now pay. One of the lines of attack will be these very disturbing China questions. We believe Snowden needs to explain two things immediately:

    (1) Why did he withhold information from the American voter before the 2012 election? Are we right in our assertions of what he has said or is there another explanation for this miserable failure on his part?

    (2) Why did he wait to release the information on the weekend that Obama and the Chinese Premier were to meet? Cybersecurity was to be a topic of conversation between Xi and B.O. and this timing is at least questionable – especially in light of his comments regarding China and the fact he fled to Hong Kong.

  24. I guess the better point is this: Obama showed no interest in protecting American lives in Benghazi. Why then should we take his professed concern over the breach of security seriously, unless like everything else he does, it is motivated by crass politics. I will say it again, it is impossible to believe that he has our best interests at heart. We cannot take his word for it, and if we look to his actions, time and again, they demonstrate the exact opposite. Furthermore, at some point, the expanding demands of the national security state must yield to the Constitution. Otherwise we will become no better than our enemies.

  25. SHV
    June 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm
    “We do not think he is a hero. Snowden should have revealed this information in 2012 after the conventions so that the voters could pass judgment on these abuses of constitutional government..”
    ****
    I doubt if Mr. Snowden was thinking tactically or strategically about if/when to release the data but I think if it was done in 2012, it would have gone nowhere. At that time, Obots and the Obama media protection corps would have killed the story and “Republican” politicians and bloggers, etc. would have called him a traitor, just like Manning.

    Now with the sequence of Benghazi, DOJ targeting of FOX, AP, IRS and now NSA, the concept of Big Brother has a reality. I think the key was IRS targeting of conservatives, this was a come to Jesus moment for those Republicans who supported the Bush/Cheney Police State, and now talk like they have blue
    ACLU cards in their wallets. Timing is everything, especially when dealing with a formerly “Teflon President”; 2012 wasn’t the time, hopefully June 2013 is. The best thing is more will be coming and hopefully over the next 3 1/2 years, Obama is going to pinned like bug to a specimen board.
    ***********************
    I do agree. They would have buried it. It does take courage and at this point, I will take it where ever I can.

  26. I smell rope a dope by Greenwald, he put it out, reeled them in , got a defence, now he’s gonna wreck it……..

    Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 2h

    We’ll be putting the focus back where it belongs very shortly: on the conduct of the US Government……

  27. NSA Leaker: I Had Authority ‘To Wiretap Anyone’:

    kind of ruins the whole, we did it legally defence, doesnt it….

  28. How delicious…the irony….

    Waipahu, Hawaii – A Hawaii real estate agent says Edward Snowden and his girlfriend moved out of their home in a quiet neighborhood near Honolulu on May 1, leaving nothing behind.

    . . . . .

    Snowden is a 29-year-old contractor who says he’s the source behind reports about the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs. The Guardian newspaper reported Sunday that he was working in a National Security Agency office in Hawaii. He left for Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained there since. . . . . .

    ……………………

    Wonders did he come across any other documents in Hawaii.?

  29. A twenty nine year old geek is not going to be able to provide an especially well thought out explanation of why he has done something. An intelligent person of this age is still forming their beliefs. I fully expect Mr Snowden to be all over the place in the coming months as he is under fire from those he used to align himself with. I am fairly sure that he was under the same sort of influence of propaganda and hopium that those in his social, economic, work, and geographical circumstances were in 2012. I have sons of this general age with similar income and technical talents and they too have libertarian streaks. I don’t really care why he has done what he has but rather that he has added perhaps the final component of a perfect storm of scandals to discredit and marginalize a malevolent power. The fact that NSA is watching everyone and it is now common knowledge essentially nixes how this administration retains power.

  30. Norma Desmond, no doubt immoral is also OK as long as immoral is legal. The replacement of constitutional by legal is a troubling development. Slick Rick.
    ——————-
    …Friday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a left-leaning advocacy group, announced a series of internet ads they would run across the country targeting Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. – a fierce defender of the Obama administration’s counter-terror tactics – and against Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who told reporters Thursday he was “glad” NSA was keeping tabs on phone records. “In 36 hours, nearly 20,000 people have signed the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s petition calling on both houses of Congress to hold investigations and reveal their findings to the public,” committee spokesman Matt Wall said.

    The coalition of senators who came out with public statements in opposition to the president’s programs this week were the same ones who back in December when Congress was hurrying to pass the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act – a bill that gives the administration broad discretion to collect private data – were fighting to narrow its reach…. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/06/07/liberals-obama-at-odds-over-nsa-programs?google_editors_picks=true

  31. Mormaer
    June 10, 2013 at 6:11 am
    ————————
    I agree. I can think of a half dozen things here that do not add up, unless you assume that his thought process was not as coherent as we might like. Questions like if he wanted to support democracy, why did he not reveal this information before the election? If he was concerned about its expansion of the program under Obama, which did he sit back and let Obama win again? If he was a libertarian, and supported Ron Paul, then why did he not go to Ron Paul with this information? If he did not want to make himself the center of attention, why did he come forward and reveal his identity? The most likely explanation is the one you offer. From what we know now, he has rendered an important service to the country, and whatever collateral damage it has rendered for him to go the path he did, i.e. the concern that it undercut Obama’s attempts to discourage hacking of US businesses, and military systems, etc. is of lesser importance–far lesser importance to my priorities. The drift of this country toward empire and police state can no longer proceed in the dark as hit has been allowed to do under Obama and his predecessor and but for this disclosure it would not have happened. How many other people knew about this program–a thousand, ten thousand, whatever. They did not come forward, they were content to let this country drift toward that repugnant future state, therefore his is one in a thousand. The net result is he has removed another mask off Obama, one that many Obama supporters were ignorant before, or were comfortable with as long as they were not being targeted/

  32. Now with the sequence of Benghazi, DOJ targeting of FOX, AP, IRS and now NSA, the concept of Big Brother has a reality. I think the key was IRS targeting of conservatives, this was a come to Jesus moment for those Republicans who supported the Bush/Cheney Police State, and now talk like they have blue
    ACLU cards in their wallets. Timing is everything, especially when dealing with a formerly “Teflon President”; 2012 wasn’t the time, hopefully June 2013 is. The best thing is more will be coming and hopefully over the next 3 1/2 years, Obama is going to pinned like bug to a specimen board.
    —————————–
    Wisdom is forced on us by age and experience–Ben Johnson. Let us hope it is more than a simple matter of whose ox is being gored. Let us hope that this something important has been learned by society at large here, with respect to the value of the constitution, the dangers of the police state, and perils of buying brand Obama. If so, then we may save not only ourselves, but the rest of the world which is drifting in that direction as well, or never left it.

  33. CBS News: U.S. State Department Cover-Ups Range From Prostitution Charges To Drug Rings

    WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – Uncovered documents show the U.S. State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal behavior ranging from sexual assaults to an underground drug ring.

    CBS News reports that is has unearthed documents from the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), an internal watchdog agency, that implicate the State Department in a series of misconducts worldwide.

    The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” ­ a problem the report says was “endemic.”

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/06/10/cbs-news-u-s-state-department-cover-ups-range-from-prostitution-charges-to-drug-rings/

  34. The reason I say this is because I do not want to lose the importance of the moment. Right now, you can be relatively sure that big media and Obama are conspiring to demonize Snowdon, and to prosecute him with the full powers of the state. They are most definitely a tag team, who are determined to curtail our liberty. However, there are a handful of journalists like Greenwald who are willing to stand their ground, but sadly not very many of them. It is hard for the good ones to survive in the big media soil, unless they have attained an elder statesman status like Bob Scheiffer, or are willing to fight the corrupt hierachies in their own organization in the pursuit of truth like Sharyl Attkisson. When I compare her work at CBS with her counterpart at ABC, Brian Ross who misidentified the shooter of Giffords as a tea party member in order to get there firstest with the mostest, it is the difference between the sublime and the ridiculous. I have spoken to Brian and I can assure you this was not a one off situation.

  35. Browkaw has attained elder statesman status. But he does not use it to tell us the truth. Instead, he has devolved into a lover of Obama and a defender of the status quo. He has traded the role of journalist for the less taxing role of mouth piece for the status quo. When a media personality reaches that stage, they should have the good sense to exit the stage. But most of them cannot leave. They make an announcement that they are retiring, collect all the accolades they can form the sycophants, and two months later viola they are back, by popular demand we are told. Here’s looking at you, Vulf Blizkreig.

  36. Jesus Christ, its not just a snowball, its a full fledged avalanche of documents coming out, it may just bury Bambi for good at this rate.

  37. Big media is a nickel bag whore.

    Just look at the headlines: Drug and prostitution rings in the State Department (gasp). IRS spent $50 million on wasteful conferences (gasp). Somebody needs to e held accountable. So long it is not Obama.

    The point is, how can they demand accountability from others when they themselves have failed the nation, by not holding Obama himself, the titular head of government accountable for anything he does, and promoting the myth.

    We have met the real enemy here and it is big media. They are the ones who made all this possible. They are the ones who failed the country. They are the ones who have traded the role of watch dog for the role of lap dog. It is unseemly for them to banter about accountability, when they themselves have none.

  38. Jesus Christ, its not just a snowball, its a full fledged avalanche of documents coming out, it may just bury Bambi for good at this rate.
    ———————-
    After five long years, I am beginning to believe there may be hope (that everything comes out) and change (loss of moral authority and impeachment).

    Because he never bothered to define what he meant by hope and change, there is some room for interpretation.

    Hope all is well with you, Moon.

  39. wbboei, the whole thing is one big whorehouse brothel now…….it makes a mockery of prostitution laws while they are at it because media and govt is the biggest prostituting whores ever.

  40. ADMIN SAID.
    We do not think he is a hero. Snowden should have revealed this information in 2012 after the conventions so that the voters could pass judgment on these abuses of constitutional government———————-

    That bothers me too. The timing of this thing. 🙂

  41. The things i see on twitter today from AA’s defending Obama today have been the most ridiculous ever…….

    Imani ABL ‏@AngryBlackLady 16m

    I must have missed that part of history where Rosa Parks ran off to Hong Kong to chill in a luxury hotel.

    (wtf Rosa Parks has to do with domestic spying is beyond me but thats the crap i’ve been seeing all day on Twitter…seriously some are comparing Rosa Parks to Snowden)

  42. I did not know who this “reporter” for CBS was–the one who is obsessed with the drug and prostitution scandal. Turns out he is ex CIA. Are we to assume therefore, that things have reached a state where, not only are bureaucrats, big media, administration officials, campaign officials, think tankers and their ilk linked together in a daisy chain but now even the CIA is getting into the act? None of this bodes well for freedom of the press.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18564_162-20121358.html

  43. moononpluto
    June 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

    The things i see on twitter today from AA’s defending Obama today have been the most ridiculous ever…….

    Imani ABL ‏@AngryBlackLady 16m
    —————–
    I thought it applied only to chiropractors, but evidently it is true of black Obama supporters as well:

    “To a man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

  44. Oh this is gonna come back and bite them on the ass…

    UK Foreign Sec William Hague tells the House of Commons accusations GCHQ tried to circumvent UK law by using U.S. intelligence are “baseless”

  45. This has everything to do with control of the message. It is not condensed much though because I feared distorting it – I am just not that quick at grasping the written word.
    David Koch’s Chilling Effect on Public Television By William D. Cohan
    ..There have also been some less headline-grabbing incidents of unchecked power that seem almost quaint (but are no less appalling): Billionaires who use their money and power to influence what gets shown, or not, on public television. Consider the sorry saga of “Citizen Koch,” an independent documentary film that traces the effect of the tidal wave of corporate money that has flooded the political system since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. In April 2012, the two filmmakers behind “Citizen Koch” — Tia Lessin and Carl Deal — received $150,000 from Independent Television Service, a San Francisco-based outpost of public television that gets funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support and distribute independent films. The title of the film is partly a play on “Citizen Kane,”Orson Welles’ thinly veiled portrait of William Randolph Hearst. It also refers to the documentary’s description of the role played in the recall election by Americans for Prosperity, a so-called super-PAC funded by David and Charles Koch, the ultraconservative billionaire owners of Koch Industries Inc… It turns out that David Koch, for whatever reason, is a fan of public television. Over the years, he has donated $23 million for shows and independent films that have — how shall we say? – – a more liberal-leaning view of the world. In 1997, Koch became a trustee of WGBH, the public television station in Boston, and in 2006, he joined the board of WNET, in New York City… Then, by coincidence, another documentary film — “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream” — by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney was scheduled to debut Nov. 12 on PBS. In his film — as in Michael Gross’s earlier book “740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building” — Gibney used 740 Park Avenue as a metaphor for the wealth and power that is concentrated in Manhattan. The building’s wealthiest resident is David Koch, and, in the film, Gibney referred to him as a “right-wing oil tycoon,” explained that Koch Industries paid what was then “the largest civil penalty” in the history of the Environmental Protection Agency, and, perhaps most damning, revealed that the billionaire had tipped a doorman a mere $50 at Christmas, writing a check. According to Jane Mayer, who broke this story last month in the New Yorker, David Koch wasn’t happy about his portrayal and let Neil Shapiro, the president of WNET, know about it. Complicating matters, according to Mayer, was WNET’s expectation that David Koch would donate at least $1 million to its capital campaign.
    Mayer wrote that Shapiro attempted to “mollify” Koch by giving him a heads-up about the film, organizing a roundtable debate, and adding a voice-over introduction warning that it was“controversial” and “provocative.” Gibney’s film aired as scheduled but, according to Mayer, Koch canceled whatever plans he had to make a large donation to WNET. (He resigned from the WNET board on May 16; he remains on the board of WGBH.) That’s how “Citizen Koch” became caught in the crossfire between David Koch and WNET and ITVS. A public-relations official told Mayer that airing “Citizen Koch” on public television “was a real problem, because of ‘Park Avenue.’Because of the whole thing with the Koch brothers, ITVS knew WNET would never air it. Never.”
    ITVS, for its part, couldn’t risk alienating WNET, which has the largest public television audience. On April 15, ITVS told Lessin and Deal that it was pulling the plug on its support for “Citizen Koch.” “We were stunned,” Lessin told me in a recent interview.“It’s not outright control. They’re just fostering a kind of self-censorship that happens when the public television executives and programmers are guided by what they believe will please or anger the very donors that they rely on.”
    Lessin and Deal lost a major portion of their funding and are now paying for the film out of pocket. Some of their vendors haven’t been paid but have been understanding, so far. They also lost their distribution network and a chance for a wider audience to see the film. “Citizen Koch” has been shown at film festivals, but that’s it.
    “Look, we’ve suffered,” Lessin said. “The film has suffered. The public television audience doesn’t get to see the film. Now, looming on the horizon, David Koch and Charles Koch seem to be interested in purchasing the Tribune Company newspapers. If they can have the influence over our film — just by David Koch being on the board of trustees and being a donor – – imagine the influence that they would have if they actually owned these really important papers.”
    And, just like that, in this insidious way — a film censored here, some phone records seized there — the freedoms that we once took for granted and thought were guaranteed by our Constitution are slowly but surely eroded. This can’t be a good thing.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-09/david-koch-s-chilling-effect-on-public-television.html

  46. Three Administration Lies to the Public That Must Have a Consequence

    President Obama, speaking to the American public, Friday afternoon:

    “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

    http://t.co/pneNjeUfnS

  47. “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”
    —————————
    Another red herring. This is not about the other branches. The other branches do not have six scandals on their plate. This is the old trick of the left–to so broaden the question as to make the discussion irrelevant. When someone says this could be harmful to life the leftist responds what is life but a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage etc. And by the way, stop trying to lecture us. Nobody with any common sense is listening to you anymore. A president must have moral authority in order to lead the nation, but you have been so determined to rub people’s noses in it that you cannot expect them to respond.

  48. Report: Air Force Orders Airmen Not To Read Obama-Scandal News…

    President Obama has said the outrage over the federal government’s decision to monitor citizens’ phone activity is all “hype.”

    He might want to share his opinion with the U.S. Air Force, which is ordering members of the service not to look at news stories about it.

    WND has received an unclassified NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that warns airmen not to look at news stories related to the data-mining scandal.

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/06/10/report-air-force-orders-airmen-not-to-read-obama-scandal-news/

  49. Mormaer
    June 10, 2013 at 6:11 am

    —-
    I totally agree.

    Wbb- I am sure the OhAdministration will crucify this kid and claim he is the reincarnation of the devil, after all, he does not look like he could be Obama’s son.

    The Feds will play into any scenario they can to make themselves look responsible and this kid as being evil and under the influence of enemy forces. The evil spin has begun and he will probably end up being treated as badly as Oswald.

    I wonder where the ‘professor’ came up with the idea that this kid barely passed his GED and wormed his way up the ladder to Sys Admin with no real formal skills?

    Is it perhaps the elitist perspective of this professor that doesn’t know much about technology, or does he have proof of this?

    Was this kid the super geek like Gates or Jobs? No, but that doesn’t mean he was some near high school drop out. If he was, why would the CIA hire him to do such a technical job in the first place?

  50. holdthemaccountable
    June 10, 2013 at 11:24 am
    ********************

    So the documentaries were basically anti conservative it seems. Nothing new there. I guess in reality, if I gave 23 million to PBS and they didn’t present a fair unbiased film, I would probably try to halt production.

  51. Wbb

    … How many other people knew about this program–a thousand, ten thousand, whatever. They did not come forward, they were content to let this country drift toward that repugnant future state, therefore his is one in a thousand.

    —–
    Yes, and like I said before, this seems to be a mixture of courage based on naïveté. Anyone that was old enough to know how badly this can turn out for him, would probably not decide to take on the CIA and the entire administration, but would choose a different path that was more safe.

  52. I turned on 60 Min. last night, wondering how they would spin the snooping scandal and the IRS scandal……..no spin, no news, just a rerun of Soda Myass’s path to becoming the most wonderful Supreme in all of history.

    Gag, a$$wipes!

  53. Rubio is such an evil guy. Hispanic version of the fraud. Rubio can not be trusted. Rubio can not be trusted. Rubio can not be trusted…
    ********************

    June 10, 2013
    Rubio To Univision: Amnesty Isn’t Conditional On Border Security. Also: Kelly Ayotte: Remember When I Opposed Amnesty As A Candidate? Yeah, About That….
    —DrewM. ( ACE)

    Having already flipped or lied (depending on how charitable you are) about his definition of “amnesty”, Marco Rubio is now talking out of both sides of his mouth about whether or not border security is a priority of his reform bill.

    To conservatives he says legalization of any kind is contingent upon the fraud of a border security “plan”.

    Linking Temporary Status To Security Triggers: No undocumented immigrant is eligible to apply for temporary status until the border security and fencing plan is in place. After being in the temporary status for at least ten years, no currently undocumented immigrant can even attain permanent residence, much less citizenship, unless the border security, employment verification and exit system triggers have been achieved.
    To Hispanics he says something very different.

    In his own appearance on the Spanish-language Univision network, Mr. Rubio tried to assuage some Hispanics who fear that their legal status will be held hostage to border security. Mr. Rubio said illegal immigrants will get quick legal status and work permits regardless of whether the borders are secure — but won’t be given a full pathway to citizenship until more enforcement is imposed.
    “Nobody is talking here about preventing legalization. Legalization will take place,” Mr. Rubio told Univision in an interview scheduled to air Sunday.

    “First comes legalization, then comes this border security measure and then comes the permanent residency process. What we are talking about here is the permanent residency system,” Mr. Rubio said. “Regarding legalization, a vast majority of my colleagues have already accepted that: that it must take place and that it must start at the same time we start with what has to do with security. That is not conditional. Legalization is not conditional.”

    Let’s just be honest about this…Rubio is as dishonest as any politician out there.

    Speaking of which…Kelly Ayotte is now on Team Amnesty.

    This will come as news to people who supported Ayotte all the way back in way back in the dark ages of 2010.

    As New Hampshire’s former Attorney General, Kelly understands the urgent need to stop the dangerous flow of illegal immigrants into our country. Arizona’s move to address this issue at the state level reflects a failure of leadership in Washington to solve this problem once and for all. With a wave of violent crimes in the state, Kelly believes Arizonans were fully justified in passing their law.
    In the Senate, Kelly’s top immigration priority will be to secure our borders — no excuses. Simultaneously, she will work to ensure that existing immigration laws are enforced and is against amnesty. Kelly knows that Americans can solve any problem if they put their mind to it — and she will bring that results-oriented approach to this critical issue.

    Just another word about “amnesty” as a term. Aside from Rubio’s definition in 2010, here’s what he says now.

    “This is not amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness of something. Amnesty is anything that says do it illegally, it will be cheaper and easier,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
    Ask yourself this, would the millions of people who are on the waiting list to come to this country legally gladly exchange their years long wait to come here for the chance to go through the amnesty system Rubio and the rest support? My guess is HELL YES. All they’d have to do is pony up $1,000 (which is less than it costs to go through the full legal process) and they are in.

    By Rubio’s own definitions, old and new, this is amnesty.

    Immigration miscellany:

    – The anti-amnesty strategy in the Senate is taking shape. Basically it’s “make them live by their own words”.

    And

    – A short guide to the fraud that is the Schumber-Rubio plan.

    (I accidentally stepped on John’s post, so I pulled this down and am reposting it)

  54. By the way Hillary has now joined Twitter….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/10/hillary-clinton-using-twitter-at-last/?wprss=rss_election-2012

    Hillary Clinton has made her Twitter debut today. Weeks after establishing an account, her first tweet:

    Hillary Clinton Verified account
    @HillaryClinton

    Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…

    New York · clintonfoundation.org
    ……………………………………..

    Hillary Clinton ‏@HillaryClinton 27m

    Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe – I’ll take it from here… #tweetsfromhillary

  55. Glenn Greenwald:

    “If everyone is so sure this spying is legal, why does Obama DOJ keep preventing federal courts from ruling on its constitutionality”

    Also it seems that all of the push back is against Snowden, is any Obama fluffer saying that the information is a fraud??

  56. Again, I think the “timing” issue was determined by Snowden’s “internals” rather than a broader social/political rational. However, in support of the thesis that the story would have gone into a Black Hole in 2012 is the fact that the “hardware” side of this story was revealed in 2006 (“Room 641A”) and that went nowhere, despite the fact that Bush/Cheny had minimal media support at that time.

  57. a few things…

    …it is not only worrying about if all this information falls into foreign hands…we have to worry about if it falls into the wrong hands right here in America…the same danger and threats then still exist…’retroactive policing’, personal blackmail, political blackmail, business blackmail, selective editing of your entire digital life to incriminate you or coerce you, etc, etc, etc

    …as for Edward Snowden…in fact, he isn’t even the issue…and the more we focus on him…the more distracted we get from the info he provided…as Greenwald says…time to put the focus back on the government and its actions…not the time for the O admin and certain republicans to flood the spin and deflect the issue…the focus has to stay on what the govt is doing and the consequences…and also the potential for unlimited access to all this info by many different angles…

    …debating over Snowden is incidental also because of the fact that according to “experts” disclosing on TV…there are literally thousands of potential ‘Snowdens’ out there…there was an ‘expert’ on, I think in that CNN segment just prior to Ellsberg coming on yesterday…can’t remember his name…

    …and he was asked if it really was that easy for Snowden, who was working for a contractor, a contractor, not even the US govt…to get access to all this confidential info…and this ‘expert’ said “absolutely, there are thousands and thousands of people in the same position…he said these are the technicians that connect all this information and there is no way…no way…the FBI can monitor all of them…thousands of techie not only exposed to the info but connecting the info…who can stop them from any kind of manipulations at any time?

    so just think about that…if all these people are connecting the “metadata info” there in no control over who can do whatever with this info…

    Snowden said he could literally wiretap anyone at any time…this after only working for the contractor the less than 3 months…imagine that kind of access by all this techies working for private contractors after a few months…does that make you feel safe and protected?????

    there are no safeguards in place…

  58. “as for Edward Snowden…in fact, he isn’t even the issue…and the more we focus on him…the more distracted we get from the info he provided…”
    *******
    But that is all that the Obama Ministry of Propaganda has, the insinuation that Snowden is an operative of the Chinese govt. At least that is the talking point that the Ministry is sending to the surrogates.

    “Former CIA case officer Bob Baer revealed on CNN Sunday evening that intelligence officials were possibly considering Edward Snowden’s case as Chinese espionage, after Snowden came forward this afternoon from an undisclosed Hong Kong location.”
    (snip)

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/former-cia-officer-officials-considering-nsa-whistleblowers-case-potential-chinese-espionage/

    Again, the most damning thing is that none of the push back is based on “the information is fraudulent”. If,in the remotest chance, the Chinese govt set this up then they deserve the thanks of the
    American People.

  59. Only 59% Shocking.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/june_2013/59_oppose_government_s_secret_collecting_of_phone_records

    59% Oppose Government’s Secret Collecting of Phone Records

    Most voters oppose the U.S. government’s secret collection of the phone records of millions of Americans and think the feds are spying too much on U.S. citizens these days. Just 26% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the government’s secret collecting of these phone records for national security purposes regardless of whether there is any suspicion of wrongdoing.

    ……………………….

    So 26% of the population have and would surrender their liberty…..these are the type of sheep that turned family and friends into the gestapo, watched as Jews got marched off and then would offer their kids up for the Obama Youth if it came to it………in truth too stupid to vote. Surrender your liberty, you are already dead, you just dont know it yet.

  60. just thinking, maybe the acknowledgement and secrets exposed of how many have access to our private, personal info, and the incredible access of private contractors to that info…is what is freaking out O WH, NSA and republicans…probably thinking they were getting away with it…what a mockery they make of US citizens…

    this is where I agree completely with Admin…all these elites running the show and crafting these projects…

    however I don’t want to blame the messengers…rather the messengers come forward than not…I cannot judge that when they are so young and at such enormous risk…there could be other reasons untold…I don’t know…I am inspired by whatever idealism…or whatever…now makes them come forward…it makes me want to believe in the good guys again

  61. moononpluto
    June 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    By the way Hillary has now joined Twitter….

    ——-
    With Admin, Hillary and Bill on Twitter, I dusted off my account again and tweeted Hillary that I want her to run in 2016 and other stuff.

  62. “Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden

    by Eli Lake Jun 10, 2013 12:44 PM EDT

    “The top-secret ‘Q Group’ has been chasing Edward Snowden since he disappeared in May. Eli Lake on the intel community’s internal police—and why the agency is in ‘complete freakout mode.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/06/10/inside-the-q-group-the-directorate-hunting-down-andrew-snowden.html

    Anyone who thinks that the “Q” Group operates within the safeguards of the US judicial system, well I have a Nigerian bank account for you.

  63. the ‘expert’ I kept referring to is:

    Tom Fuentes, Former FBI Assistant Director

    I can’t find the CNN clip right now…but he is the one who implies that there are many other techies out there with access to the info Snowden had and the FBI cannot monitor all of them…

  64. “So 26% of the population have and would surrender their liberty…..these are the type of sheep that turned family and friends into the gestapo, watched as Jews got marched off and then would offer their kids up for the Obama Youth if it came to it…”
    ***
    It’s human nature, I guess. Every time that I fly or read stories about the TSA doing body searches on disabled children in wheelchairs, I am reminded of Hannah Arendt’s “Banality of Evil”.

  65. “Your comment is awaiting moderation. Don’t worry, it might simply be an overactive spam filter.”
    *****
    WTF, “Banality of Evil” redirected me to the NSA?

  66. Highlights from SHV’s link at 2:07

    Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate Hunting Down Edward Snowden

    The top-secret ‘Q Group’ has been chasing Edward Snowden since he disappeared in May. Eli Lake on the intel community’s internal police—and why the agency is in ‘complete freakout mode.’

    Even before last week’s revelations by The Guardian newspaper that the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting call records from telecommunications companies and had the ability to mine user data from major U.S. Internet companies, the NSA was already on the trail of the leaker, according to two former U.S. intelligence officers with close ties to the agency.

    [snip]

    Snowden—…From a hotel in Hong Kong, he told The Guardian he expected he would never be allowed to return home and that he could end up imprisoned or murdered because of his decision to leak.

    [snip]

    Snowden began final preparations for his departure three weeks ago, The Guardian reports, copying the final documents he intended to share, telling his supervisor that he would need time off for medical treatment, and his girlfriend simply that he would be away. “That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world,” he told the paper in his interview from Hong Kong.

    The security and counterintelligence directorate serves as the NSA’s internal police force, in effect watching the agency’s watchers for behavior that could pose an intelligence risk. It has the authority to interview an NSA contractor or employee’s known associates, and even to activate a digital dragnet capable of finding out where a target travels, what the target has purchased, and the target’s online activity.

    [snip]

    The directorate serves as the NSA’s internal police force, in effect watching the agency’s watchers.

    [snip]

    The impact of the leak inside the NSA has been enormous. “There is complete freakout mode at the agency right now,” one former intelligence officer tells The Daily Beast. “There has never been anything like this in terms of the speed of referral of a crime report to the Justice Department. Normally this kind of thing takes weeks and weeks.”

    Snowden’s disappearance in May was immediately noticed by the directorate, and when The Guardian published the first court order and then documents associated with a program called PRISM, Snowden immediately became the leading suspect in the leak, the intelligence sources said, adding that the FBI was now investigating the leak as well.

    Edward Snowden explains why he released top secret information.

    In Congress, some members have already called for the United States to pursue Snowden’s extradition and prosecute him for his unauthorized disclosures. “If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date,” Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterintelligence & Terrorism, said in a statement Sunday.

    [snip]

    The former U.S. intelligence officers, however, said the case is already being treated as a potential defection. [Of course, the Feds expect him to stay put at his job when he blows the whistle, so they can nab him quickly and toss him in jail before the media picks up on it?]

    Press officers for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the NSA declined to comment for this story.

  67. Excellent points by O’Grady.

    One of the other two makes a further point:

    Obama excoriates Bush for these very policies

    He assures us that the war with al Qaeda is over

    Ergo, we can go back to pre-11 policies

    But now we learn something very different

    We learn that he has been secretly expanding these programs

    To protect us from al Qaeda–even though the war with them is over

    He must be a messiah, because what he is saying passeth all understanding

    Unless you are a bot, in case the master has spoken, so get in line

    If you like being lied to, then you will love Obama.

    You worship him.

    Otherwise, not so much.

  68. Does life imitate art?

    Who knows?

    One thing is for sure.

    This is not wild bill donovan’s cia.

    I suspect that the CHICONs may have an interest in finding him too.

    In that case, it is a race to the court house–or embassy.

  69. http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-pa-ed-snowden-nsa-leak-20130610,0,7199785.story

    The father and stepmother of Edward Snowden, the man who said he leaked news of the government’s classified surveillance program, live in Upper Macungie Township and were visited this afternoon by two people who identified themselves as FBI agents.

    Karen Snowden, 48, said the couple had been “bombarded” by media, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” since the story broke Sunday. Lonnie Snowden, 52. briefly spoke to ABC News Sunday, saying he had last seen his son months ago for dinner and the two parted with a hug. The elder Snowden told ABC he was still “digesting and processing” the news about his son.

    snip

  70. “Inside the ‘Q Group,’ the Directorate”
    ******
    Why does “The Directorate” make me think of NKVD, MVD, KGB, etc.?

  71. Banality of Evil”
    ——————-
    If memory serves that quote is from a heroine of mine, Hannah Arendt. She was an expert on dictatorships–of the German and Soviet variety. And she warned us about those path which lead only to despair and from which no one ever returns. This should be the role of every historian, but too many today are like Doris Kearnes Goodwin and Michael Beschloss, Obama lovers like some many others in their social cast. If all history is fiction, then I am quite sure those two will be up to the task.

  72. I know this whole Snowden thing is freaking me out – because I just put a post-it over my ‘camera’ on this Mac at work.

  73. ABC’s “Good Morning America,
    ——————-
    Wow: comes now the A-Team. Where is Brian Ross, their ace investigative reporter?

    We can all go back to sleep, our hour of deliverance is at hand.

    Good morning–Amerika.

  74. They say things are more challenging for presidents during their second term.

    With Obama, how can that possibly be?

  75. Snowden’s media bio, was good at computers, not so good in school.

    Edward Snowden’s computer wizardry allowed him to rise through the ranks

    Former CIA technical worker Edward Snowden has been identified by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as the person who leaked sensitive information about US surveillance programmes.

    Mr Snowden, 29, had been living with his girlfriend in Hawaii before flying to Hong Kong where is staying in a hotel, the newspaper said.

    The journalists who interviewed him at the secret location described him as “quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers”.

    Explaining why he decided to leave the US, he told the paper: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.”
    ‘Disillusioned’

    Mr Snowden is reported to have grown up in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and later moved to Maryland, near the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade.
    NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland (file image) Mr Snowden spent some of his early years near the NSA HQ in Fort Meade

    Describing himself as a less than stellar student, he is said to have studied computing at a Maryland community college to get the necessary credits to obtain a high school diploma. However, he never finished the course.

    In 2003, he joined the US Army and began training with the Special Forces only to be discharged after breaking both his legs in a training accident.

    His first job with the NSA was as a security guard for one of the agency’s secret facilities at the University of Maryland. He then worked on IT security at the CIA.

    Despite his lack of formal qualifications, his computer wizardry allowed him to quickly rise through intelligence ranks.

    By 2007, he was given a CIA post with diplomatic cover in Geneva.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22837100

  76. gonzotx
    June 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    ————–
    TY for the response. I am still trying to get my head around a guy who supported both Americans For Prosperity and PBS. And now he is ticked so will buy newspaper(s)? I do notice local PBS station is constantly panhandling for funds. ha ha
    —————————————
    Snowden parents. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macungie,_PA

  77. Shadowfax
    June 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    —————
    Good find. Again it is the UK leading the way.

  78. http://www.salon.com/2013/06/10/digital_blackwater_meet_the_contractors_who_analyze_your_personal_data/

    Meet the contractors analyzing your private data

    Private companies are getting rich probing your personal information for the government. Call it Digital Blackwater

    By Tim Shorrock

    ************************************

    essentially all our private, personal info is being farmed out to private contractors getting very rich on our taxpayer dollars while they spy on us…

    …and it is going to get much worse when IRS takes over our health care info

  79. Shadowfax, the “freakout” is real and justified. Last night we read an article, which we will try to find and post, that asked if Snowden’s claims as to what information he had access to are true. Remember Snowden was an employee at a contract company not a high CIA or NSA official. Yet, according to Snowden, he had information such as lists of every spy around the world. The amounts of information that Snowden claims to have access to is truly staggering.

    Manning, the Wikileaks leaker, had a staggering amount of information he had access to as well. At the time many asked how this young, troubled, guy could get access to so much information and such ease to get the information copied and spirited out of the information centers. But compared to Snowden, Manning had close to nothing.

    If Snowden did have access to the information he says he could copy, then the “freakout” is total. We imagine the equivalent “freakout” would be if Valerie Jarrett decided to turn state’s evidence to a special prosecutor against Obama. Obama would “freakout”. The NSA must be consuming a high degree of tranquilizers and aspirin these days.

  80. AP sticks the knife in:

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130610/DA6QUFM00.html

    WASHINGTON (AP) – As a candidate, Barack Obama vowed to bring a different, better kind of leadership to the dysfunctional capital. He’d make government more efficient, accountable and transparent. He’d rise above the “small-ball” nature of doing business. And he’d work with Republicans to break Washington paralysis.

    You can trust me, Obama said back in 2008. And – for a while, at least – a good piece of the country did.

    But with big promises often come big failures – and the potential for big hits to the one thing that can make or break a presidency: credibility.

    A series of mounting controversies is exposing both the risks of political promise-making and the limits of national-level governing while undercutting the core assurance Obama made from the outset: that he and his administration would behave differently.

    The latest: the government’s acknowledgement that, in a holdover from the Bush administration and with a bipartisan Congress’ approval and a secret court’s authorization, it was siphoning the phone records of millions of American citizens in a massive data-collection effort officials say was meant to protect the nation from terrorism. This came after the disclosure that the government was snooping on journalists.

    Also, the IRS’ improper targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status has spiraled into a wholesale examination of the agency, including the finding that it spent $49 million in taxpayer money on 225 employee conferences over the past three years.

    At the same time, Obama’s immigration reform agenda is hardly a sure thing on Capitol Hill, and debate starting this week on the Senate floor is certain to show deep divisions over it. Gun control legislation is all but dead. And he’s barely speaking to Republicans who control the House, much less working with them on a top priority: tax reform.

    Even Democrats are warning that more angst may be ahead as the government steps up its efforts to implement Obama’s extraordinarily expensive, deeply unpopular health care law.

    Collectively, the issues call into question not only whether the nation’s government can be trusted but also whether the leadership itself can. All of this has Obama on the verge of losing the already waning faith of the American people. And without their confidence, it’s really difficult for presidents to get anything done – particularly those in the second term of a presidency and inching toward lame-duck status.

    The ramifications stretch beyond the White House. If enough Americans lose faith in Obama, he will lack strong coattails come next fall’s congressional elections. Big losses in those races will make it harder for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, especially if it’s Hillary Rodham Clinton, to run as an extension of Obama’s presidency and convince the American public to give Democrats another four years.

    Obama seemed to recognize this last week. He emphasized to anxious Americans that the other two branches of government were as responsible as the White House for signing off on the vast data-gathering program.

    “We’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight,” Obama said. “And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

    The government is an enormous operation, and it’s unrealistic to think it will operate smoothly all of the time. But, as the head of it, Obama faces the reality of all of his successors: The buck stops with him.

    If the controversies drag on, morale across America could end up taking a huge hit, just when the mood seems to be improving along with an economic uptick. Or, Americans could end up buying Obama’s arguments that safety sometimes trumps privacy, that his administration is taking action on the IRS, and that he’s doing the best he can to forge bipartisan compromise when Republicans are obstructing progress.

    Every president faces the predicament of overpromising. Often the gap can be chalked up to the difference between campaigning and governing, between rhetoric and reality. As with past presidents, people desperate to turn the page on the previous administration voted for the Obama they wanted and now are grappling with the Obama they got.

    From the start of his career, Obama tried to sculpt an almost nonpartisan persona as he spoke of bridging divides and rejecting politics as usual. He attracted scores of supporters from across the ideological spectrum with his promises to behave differently. And they largely believed what he said.

    Back then, he held an advantage as one of the most trusted figures in American politics.

    In January 2008, Obama had an 8-point edge over Clinton as the more honest and trustworthy candidate in the Democratic primary. That grew to a 23-point advantage by April of that year, according to Washington Post-ABC News polls. Later that year, the Post-ABC poll showed Obama up 8 points on Republican nominee John McCain as the more honest candidate.

    Obama held such strong marks during his first term, with the public giving the new president the benefit of the doubt. Up for re-election, he went into the 2012 campaign home stretch topping Mitt Romney by 9 points on honesty in a mid-October ABC/Post poll.

    But now, that carefully honed image of trustworthiness may be changing in Americans’ eyes.

    A Quinnipiac University poll conducted late last month found 49 percent of people consider Obama honest and trustworthy, a dip from the organization’s last read on the matter in September 2011 when 58 percent said the same. He also has taken a hit among independents, which used to be a source of strength for him, since his second-term controversies have emerged. Now just 40 percent say he is honest and trustworthy, down from 58 percent in September 2011.

    Obama has waning opportunities to turn it around. He’s halfway through his fifth year, and with midterm elections next fall, there’s no time to waste.

    If he can’t convince the American people that they can trust him, he could end up damaging the legacy he has worked so hard to control and shape – and be remembered, even by those who once supported him, as the very opposite of the different type of leader he promised to be.

    Reads a bit like diluted Big Pink dontchathink?

  81. admin
    June 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm
    Shadowfax, the “freakout” is real and justified
    ***************************************************

    Exactly…

    **********************

    btw…heard that Julian Assange is going to be on Anderson Cooper tonight

  82. admin
    June 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    AP sticks the knife in:
    ****************************

    they will all be coming here to review your archives…

  83. Admin, I hope you find and write about that article.

    So many of the things that many of us thought were just potheads and some of their ‘delusions’ – are not that far fetched now.

    I read somewhere that the free phones Barry passed out, could be used for tracking. Maybe they were test subjects?

  84. Shadowfax
    June 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    —————————
    I do not see him at all as a Chinese agent. That theory has been advanced by CNN. It comes from a former intelligence agent who has been trained to think in those terms. I believ it is just another squirrel. If that were his game, he would never have gone public.

  85. Admin

    If Snowden did have access to the information he says he could copy, then the “freakout” is total. We imagine the equivalent “freakout” would be if Valerie Jarrett decided to turn state’s evidence to a special prosecutor against Obama. Obama would “freakout”. The NSA must be consuming a high degree of tranquilizers and aspirin these days.

    ——
    I keep thinking about a comment that Snowden said, something about he could even spy on the President, if he had an email.

    My guess is that by having an email from the president, he would have the IP address of his phone or computer, which means he would be able to get into that hardware and see everything there, read all his emails, harddrive, dropbox, blue tooth equipment…

    I dunno, just guessing.

    Do they have the capability of using the IP address as a key? The cop shows on teevee seem to use it a lot.

  86. Wbb

    I do not see him at all as a Chinese agent. That theory has been advanced by CNN. It comes from a former intelligence agent who has been trained to think in those terms. I believe it is just another squirrel. If that were his game, he would never have gone public.

    —-
    I fully agree with you.

  87. they will all be coming here to review your archives…

    ——–

    They probably already have them. 😉

    Hillary supporters, yea, how radical.

    Buck up Barry, you’re policies are as corrupt as your campaigns.

    We will not forget that you stole some of Hillary’s votes, and cheated your way into the White House. NEVER!

    Your corruption is coming home to roost.

  88. Hillary’s twitter account is so cute, she is following only four accounts:

    Bill
    Chelsea
    CGI
    Clinton Foundation

    How many followers so far on her first day? 143,042

    Wait a few seconds, refresh, and there are hundreds more.

  89. Shadowfax, we had to dig through a whole lot of our research to find this article we referenced earlier. This is “freakout”:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-nsa-2013-6?op=1

    The 12.5 minute video interview with Snowden is well worth your time, as there are many facets worth breaking down, including why he decided to risk his entire life in order to be a whistleblower.

    Most shocking, perhaps, is the power that he claims to have had.

    At one point he says: “I had full access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world.”

    Earlier he claims: “Any analyst at any time can target anyone … I, sitting at my desk, certainly have the authorities to wiretap anyone — from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President.”

    And around the 10:30 mark, he makes the shocking claim: ‘If I had just wanted to harm the U.S., you could shut down the surveillance system in an afternoon, but that’s not my intention.”

    We eagerly await confirmation or a rejection that a 29-year old at an outside firm had the power he claims to have had.

  90. As good as that AP article is, it never quite reaches to character issue, which is the one that most concerns me.

    I am less concerned that the promises he has made have not been fulfilled. There are always excuses, and for every 10 of which he has found 20. But the worst you can say about that is that he is incompetent. If that were all, I would be less concerned than I am.

    What concerns me far more is his ability to make a promise, secretly do the exact opposite, and then re-affirm his original promise, which is now a lie.

    We saw this clearly with the talking points–he told us it was the video, then we learned that it was not the video and yet thereafter, he appeared at the UN and continued to blame the video.

    Likewise, he criticized Bush for spying on Americans, promised to curtail those activities, instead expanded them, while telling us that they were being curtailed.

    This cannot be dismissed or explained away as a function of competence, or the lack thereof. This is a deep character flaw. And when a man with that kind of flaw is given absolute authority to act, no good can possibly come of it.

  91. As an example of our thesis that elites in the intelligence/government communities think they know better than the American public and how power corrupts: when we reread that article about the power Snowden claims he had we thought of how much we would like to have been in the position to “wiretap” the accounts of Valerie Jarrett and the Obamas without them knowing it.

    We went into a reverie of what we could do with that information. Then we caught ourselves and realized this is the danger: “power corrupts”.

    And Shadowfax, a special reference for you, we thought of Galadriel when she is offered the one ring by Frodo.

    Power corrupts in many ways and the first of these is the subtle notion that you know better and are a bit superior to the “masses” and therefore can take shortcuts for the greater good. This is why, the rule of law fairly administered must be the life preserver we cling to.

  92. Daniel Ellsberg:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america

    In my estimation, 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. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.

    Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

    The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp.”

    For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know.

    The fact that congressional leaders were “briefed” on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

    Obviously, the United States is not now a police state. But given the extent of this invasion of people’s privacy, we do have the full electronic and legislative infrastructure of such a state. If, for instance, there was now a war that led to a large-scale anti-war movement – like the one we had against the war in Vietnam – or, more likely, if we suffered one more attack on the scale of 9/11, I fear for our democracy. These powers are extremely dangerous.

    There are legitimate reasons for secrecy, and specifically for secrecy about communications intelligence. That’s why Bradley Mannning and I – both of whom had access to such intelligence with clearances higher than top-secret – chose not to disclose any information with that classification. And it is why Edward Snowden has committed himself to withhold publication of most of what he might have revealed.

    But what is not legitimate is to use a secrecy system to hide programs that are blatantly unconstitutional in their breadth and potential abuse. Neither the president nor Congress as a whole may by themselves revoke the fourth amendment – and that’s why what Snowden has revealed so far was secret from the American people.

    In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

    “I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

    The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left.”

    That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.

    So we have fallen into Senator Church’s abyss. The questions now are whether he was right or wrong that there is no return from it, and whether that means that effective democracy will become impossible. A week ago, I would have found it hard to argue with pessimistic answers to those conclusions.

    But with Edward Snowden having put his life on the line to get this information out, quite possibly inspiring others with similar knowledge, conscience and patriotism to show comparable civil courage – in the public, in Congress, in the executive branch itself – I see the unexpected possibility of a way up and out of the abyss.

    Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.

    Snowden did what he did because he recognised 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.

  93. admin
    June 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm
    ——-
    Thanks admin.

    Sounds like the entire spy ring of data is open to anyone that gets into the system. Also, just like I see on tv.

    Frightening to have so many people, from all different backgrounds and beliefs able to play with people’s privacy/lives this way.

    We all know our government can’t be trusted.

    They have the documents, and can alter them too.

  94. If the spies have our data, they have our bank records, our passwords…why couldn’t they just freeze our accounts, or transfer funds out, or in (to trump up a pay-off) for someone they are out to get?

    They can manipulate all digital documents…look at Barry’s BC, and that was a damn poor graphic job, and it was good enough for more than half of the country.

  95. It is reasonable to assume that someone either at AEI, Judicial Watch, Manhattan Institute, or Heritage is asking himself whether it would be prudent to get Eric Schmidt on the record, to find out whether what Maxine Waters is saying is true, namely that the Obama organization has, with his help and that of his organization Google, collected a tremendous amount of privileged information on every American which will be used to influence the dynamics and the integrity of future elections in this country. If the Obama organization has a similar capacity to spy on Americans thanks to Eric, then similar abuses are possible. In fact, it would be worse because there would be no judicial intermediary to control it. Unfortunately, it could not be redressed under the Constitution, because it involves private action. On the other hand, it could well be actionable under tort law or civil RICO on a class action basis, in which case, injunctions and money damages could be possible. I am thinking of this more as a deterrent than a payday for lawyers, and as a way to prevent them from undermining our democracy any more than they already have.

  96. http://washingtonexaminer.com/on-immigration-an-opposition-strategy-emerges-hold-gang-to-its-own-words/article/2531493

    On immigration, an opposition strategy emerges: Hold Gang to its own words

    Opponents of the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill have focused on a multitude of weaknesses in the legislation. Its border security triggers are ineffective, they say. Same for its internal enforcement provisions. It would allegedly lower wages for low-skill American workers. It would reward immigrants for the act of coming to the United States illegally. And so on.

    But with the Senate scheduled to take up debate on the Gang bill Tuesday, a new opposition strategy is emerging: to expose the weaknesses of the bill by holding Gang members to account for their own words. In countless public statements, Gang members have touted the “tough” measures in the bill. But it’s common knowledge among opponents that several of the purportedly tough provisions are weakened by waivers and exceptions. What if opponents came up with amendments that hewed closely to the Gang members’ statements of purpose — but took out the waivers and exceptions and replaced them with tight requirements? What would happen then?

    For example, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican on the Gang of Eight, has often said the bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop “100 percent awareness” of the U.S.-Mexico border — that is, to keep all of the border under surveillance at all times — and apprehend 90 percent of those who attempt to cross the border illegally. A “Myth vs. Fact” press release from Rubio’s office shortly after the Gang of Eight bill was first introduced called for “100 percent awareness and 90 percent success in apprehending those trying to cross the border.” Unless those goals are met, Rubio and other supporters have said, formerly illegal immigrants will not be permitted to move from registered provisional immigrant status to legal permanent resident status and then, later, to U.S. citizenship.

    But the bill as written includes no such requirement; immigrants can be awarded legal permanent resident status even if the security goals have not been met. So now, Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, is preparing to introduce an amendment that not only re-affirms the 100 percent-90 percent structure — it requires that those standards must be met before any registered provisional immigrants would be allowed to apply for legal permanent resident status. It’s just like the Gang bill, except that it would actually demand that the border be secure before legal permanent resident status is granted. Who would not agree? [snip]

    So the effect of the Cornyn amendment would be to suggest that some of the tough talk that has gone into the promotion of the Gang bill is just talk. “We are exposing vulnerabilities,” says one GOP aide. “You say 100 percent and 90 percent are good? Let’s put it to the test and actually mandate it. If you then say that’s unattainable, that raises a lot of questions about your sincerity or the ability of your legislation to do what it says it does.”

    There are a number of possibilities for Cornyn-style amendments dealing with other provisions of the bill. For example, both Democrats and Republicans have claimed that the bill requires formerly-illegal immigrants to learn English as a condition of acquiring legal permanent resident status. “They will have to, for the first time in U.S. history, learn English to be able to even become a permanent resident,” said Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez on the day the Gang first introduced its work last January. “Before any of these 11 million could earn a green card, they would be required to…learn English,” Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the first GOP non-Gang member to endorse the bill, wrote on Sunday.

    But the bill does not require any immigrant to demonstrate any level of proficiency in English as a condition of earning a green card. While the bill says immigrants must meet a standard laid out in the Immigration and Nationality Act that they “demonstrate an understanding of the English language,” it then adds that those immigrants who don’t understand English should be “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study…to achieve an understanding of English.” There’s no requirement that they actually achieve that understanding as a condition of earning legal permanent resident status.

    So what if a Republican filed an amendment to require that immigrants demonstrate an understanding of English before being eligible for green cards? No waivers, no conditions — just demonstrate an understanding of English. It’s no more than Gang members have said — but if it were actually required it might well upset the careful balance of the agreement. [snip]

    So what if a Republican filed an amendment that would empower the commission to enforce border security, stipulating that the 100 percent-90 percent structure must be in place before any green cards are awarded? It seems likely some supporters of the bill would strongly oppose such a requirement.

    The bottom line is that the Gang’s advocates have made a number of statements attributing strong measures to the bill that were not actually in the bill. So what if Republicans tried to insert those measures into the legislation on their own? The proposals would almost certainly be voted down, but some of the weaknesses in the bill would be exposed for all to see.

  97. If I believed the Federal Election Commission was worth a damned I would look for relief there. But their performance over the years has been pathetic, most especially their failure to control the influx of vast sums of federal money by requiring that the 3 digit code on the back of foreign credit cards accompany contributions. As you may recall, the Obama campaign cleverly and deceptively delete that requirement on their campaign website, right under the noses of the FEC. Knowing how money determines elections, I can think of no greater regulatory oversight. They had four years to fix it and they failed to do so. And that is why I call them pathetic. No effective redress will be found in that organization.

  98. wbboei
    June 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    … to find out whether what Maxine Waters is saying is true, namely that the Obama organization has, with his help and that of his organization Google, collected a tremendous amount of privileged information on every American which will be used to influence the dynamics and the integrity of future elections in this country.

    ——
    A lot of things are going though my mind on all this, I am starting to wonder at what point I should pull out the tinfoil and make myself a hat, or if this is our new reality.

    The dip$hits all praised Obama for getting his supporters cell phone numbers, and having them blog on his website, to get their email addresses.

    Hark, now we know why they wanted all this info. Remember when he was going to call them all during the 2008 campaign [and that fiasco was hours late], and later in 2012, to tell them something…who knows what, I didn’t give him jack.

  99. One more thought about Eric and what he may have done. I would be wrong for him to turn over the records of Google users to the Obama campaign sua sponte–on his own motion. This would violate an implied privity of contract. But suppose he and his geeks taught the Obama administration how to mine that data themselves, would that be actionable? Because that is what we are more likely to find here.

  100. Immigration – gang of 8

    We can freakin’ spy on American citizens, but leave the poor illegal aliens alone!!!

    I say, set up drones over the borders, fire tracking chips into their heads, then let the Feds track them and see if they pay their income taxes to pay for ObamaCare.

    Maybe we need to get fake ID, leave the country and sneak over the Mexican border as new aliens. At least we would be treated better.

  101. Sorry Admin, I know you like Rubio, but this sounds like Amnesty to me:

    Marco Rubio: In immigration reform, legalization comes first — ‘It is not conditional’

    In a Spanish-language interview Sunday with the network Univision, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican on the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform group, made his strongest statement yet that legalization of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants must happen before any new border security or internal enforcement measures are in place, and will in no way be conditional on any security requirements.

    “Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/rubio-in-immigration-reform-legalization-comes-first-it-is-not-conditional/article/2531504

  102. I am starting to wonder at what point I should pull out the tinfoil
    ————————
    If so then you are in excellent company. Colonel Billy Mitchell for one. He predicted the world war I, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the transition of Navy doctrine from the battleships to air power, years before they happened and was riddled as a tin foil hat in his day. But what he really did, better than anyone else, including Pershing and MacArthur, is he imagined the future capabilities and dangers of technological advance. The Court Marshall of Billy Mitchell starring Gary Cooper and Rod Steiger is an excellent movie and an inspiration of tin foil hat people everywhere. Since there is no good clip to show you, I have selected a more documentary clip which is posted below:

  103. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/06/09/fncs_political_insiders_this_is_an_administration_that_is_in_crisis.html

    DOUG SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER (@ 1:10): “Let’s be clear, Gregg, this is an administration and a presidency that is in crisis. You have three huge issues — you have the NSA issue that broke this week, the phone records; you have three scandals with the IRS; the Justice Department; you also have an agenda that basically is dead in the water. This is a presidency that is effectively at a tipping point and I believe that the approval rating is much more likely to go down, perhaps down substantially, than to go up.”

  104. Shadowfax
    June 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    If the spies have our data, they have our bank records, our passwords…why couldn’t they just freeze our accounts, or transfer funds out, or in (to trump up a pay-off) for someone they are out to get?

    They can manipulate all digital documents…look at Barry’s BC, and that was a damn poor graphic job, and it was good enough for more than half of the country.
    ***************************************************************************

    maybe this is why such global theft and identity theft is on the rise…who knows who is giving who this inside info…if this 29 yr old could expose all of this for altruistic reasons…

    how do we know what the bad guys and plants are doing?

    for example…

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/09/technology/security/cyber-bank-heist/index.html

  105. Rubio earns his Uni-Party Gold Card:

    “In a Spanish-language interview Sunday with the network Univision, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican on the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform group, made his strongest statement yet that legalization of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants must happen before any new border security or internal enforcement measures are in place, and will in no way be conditional on any security requirements.

    “Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/rubio-in-immigration-reform-legalization-comes-first-it-is-not-conditional/article/2531504

    Be interesting to follow the money…I bet he is getting an infusion of both “high tech” and “low tech” dollars, ie. Silicon Valley and Big Ag./poultry processors, etc.

  106. Great video Admin, Benghazi story…

    Wasn’t that some sort of CIA facility, gun selling to the rebels, that the ‘State Department’ was to protect?

    Protecting the State’s Ambassador would be Hillary’s job…but what about the CIA even letting an ambassador anywhere near this place?

    Could Hillary even come close to telling the CIA what to do in this case…there is more to this story than we can imagine.

    I wonder if Snowden knows anything about Benghazi?

  107. Thanks Wbb

    Since there is no good clip to show you, I have selected a more documentary clip which is posted below:

  108. “Wasn’t that some sort of CIA facility, gun selling to the rebels, that the ‘State Department’ was to protect?”
    *******
    According to LJ, the CIA and Dept. of State were involved in a “buy back” program for weapons that had been supplied to Libyan “rebels”, including portable anti-air rocket systems. The arms were supposed to be destroyed. This covert operation was legal because the WH had informed appropriate members of Congress via a “Presidential Finding” letter.

    The speculation was/is that instead of destroying the weapons, money from Qatar and the UAE was used to ship the weapons via Turkey to Syria, for use by the Sunni Islamists. That, allegedly, is why the amb. was meeting with a Turkish amb. in Benghazi. No “Presidential Finding” for this covert op. was sent to Congress, so if this arms transfer was occurring, it was highly illegal.

  109. SHV, do you think Hillary knew of the illegal aspect of the covert op? Why would she send her amb. to do covert actions instead of the trained CIA agents handling the dangerous work?

  110. Jeebus..talk about “pots and kettles”

    “On Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans to the press, a traitor. She told the press, “I don’t look at this as being a whistleblower. I think it’s an act of treason.” She said that Snowden had violated his oath as a government employee to uphold the Constitution: “He violated the oath, he violated the law. That’s treason.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/10/Feinstein-treason-Snowden-NSA

    IIRC, don’t members of Congress such as Feinstein, Rogers, King, et al. take an oath of office that refers to the Constitution? She is trying to save her sorry ass….hopefully we are seeing a “perfect storm” and it won’t work this time.

  111. ruh roh.
    Leading Europeans, from Angela Merkel down to information chiefs across the continent, are lining up to grill American counterparts on the Prism surveillance programmes, amid mounting fury that the private information of EU nationals will have been caught up in the data dragnet
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/10/european-reaction-us-surveillance-revelations?CMP=twt_gu
    With Merkel set to bring up the issue with Barack Obama next week, and the European commission vice-president, Viviane Reding, eager to grill US officials at a meeting in Dublin on Friday, the issue looks set to dominate a week of summitry. Reding, who is responsible for data protection in Europe, is to seek clarification on whether the access to personal data in the Prism programme is limited to individual cases, is based on concrete suspicion or if wider sets of data are being accessed.
    Peter Schaar, Germany’s federal data protection commissioner, told the Guardian that it was unacceptable for the US authorities to have access to EU citizens’ data and that the level of protection was lower than that guaranteed to US citizens.
    “So far, the US has no adequate level of data protection guaranteed in law and with independent oversight, like in Europe,” he told the Guardian. “It’s essential for me that we cannot ignore anymore the question of what happens with the data of the private sector if it’s collected by US or third-party companies and public authorities want to surveil this data….
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/10/european-reaction-us-surveillance-revelations?CMP=twt_gu

  112. “SHV, do you think Hillary knew of the illegal aspect of the covert op?”
    *****
    I have no idea…I think that she was involved with the initial arms to Libya, since overthrowing Gaddafi was her agenda…Some speculation is that arms to Syria was run directly out of the WH via the US Amb. who’s loyalty is more likely to the person who appointed him, ie. Obama than to the Dept. of State.

  113. U.S. whistleblower drops out of sight, faces legal battle

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A contractor at the National Security Agency who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance programs dropped out of sight in Hong Kong on Monday, ahead of a likely push by the U.S. government to have him sent back to the United States to face charges.

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95910O20130610

  114. Not everyone in big media is serenading Obama the way they used to.
    That being the case, permit me to crucify a verse . . .

    He’s toy balloon whose fated soon to pop
    And then he’ll be the bottom not the top
    That inspiration to the world Barack (Hussein Obama)

  115. IRS Buying Spying Equipment: Covert Cameras in Coffee Trays, Plants

    (CNSNews.com) – The IRS, currently in the midst of scandals involving the targeting of conservative groups and lavish taxpayer-funded conferences, is ordering surveillance equipment that includes hidden cameras in coffee trays, plants and clock radios.

    The IRS wants to secure the surveillance equipment quickly – it posted a solicitation on June 6 and is looking to close the deal by Monday, June 10. The agency already has a company lined up for the order but is not commenting on the details.

    “The Internal Revenue Service intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation,” reads the solicitation.

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/irs-buying-spying-equipment-covert-cameras-coffee-trays-plants

  116. It is a small wonder that 0 is still hanging in there on the polls. If I had control of an uber-big-brother machine of data collection and direction, I would assemble a list of phone numbers from the pollsters, another of unassigned phone numbers and another list of ObamaZombies. As the pollsters phone out to randomly generated phone numbers, I would simply redirect a sufficient number of unassigned phone numbers to the Zombies to keep those numbers up there. Child’s play these manipulators.

    And is it not now clear how 0 abused the powers of his office to steal the 2012 election?

    He is and always will be just a thug from Chicago.

  117. “On Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans to the press, a traitor.
    ———————-
    Let me see if I understand this. She swears an oath to support the constitution, then tries to destroy the Second Amendment and she calls herself senator. He takes an oath to not disclose classified information, then does so on the grounds of conscience, and she calls him a traitor.

    I think they are scared of alot of things: disclosure of sensitive secrets, capture of him by China, the possibility that others men and women of conscience might follow suit. And, oh yes, she has made her and Lindsay look bad–which is of course the unkindest cut of all.

    What a world.

  118. A Primer on the Upcoming Senate Immigration Debate

    By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary) | June 10th, 2013 at 02:11 PM | 17

    RESIZE: AAA

    On Tuesday afternoon, Harry Reid plans to bring the amnesty/immigration deform bill (S.744) to the floor for the first procedural vote – cloture on motion to proceed with debate. Harry Reid can probably count on all 54 Democrats voting for cloture, with the possible exception of Mark Pryor (AR). In a sane world, Senate Republicans would all vote against the motion (even assuming we lose the 4 GOP gang members plus Susan Collins and Kelly Ayotte), and this national nightmare would be over. They would recognize that the bill is beyond fatally flawed and cannot (or will not) be salvaged by proceeding to debate with the amendment process. They would demand that Obama implement the current laws on the books before discussing any amnesty and repeating the mistakes of 1986.

    Unfortunately, the GOP leadership in the Senate is also fatally flawed. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Cornyn have announced their plans to vote for cloture, all but ensuring that at least 15 more Republicans join them in sealing the fate of this bill. Obviously, it is still important for Republicans to pressure their members into voting no. The lower the number of no votes is on the first vote, the more momentum it will give to the proponents of amnesty.

    Most of the first week will be consumed by opening statements and speeches from individual members. However, towards the end of the week, we will begin to take up amendments:

    Conservative concerns:

    Ameliorating the Pig: There are a number of Republicans, from McConnell and Cornyn to Paul and Hatch, who would love to vote for this bill. They have all suggested that anything is better than the status quo, and that they desire for “something” to pass. However, they understand that the structure of the bill is too egregious for them to save face with their constituents. Democrats also understand that they need to pretend to offer some concessions in order for Republicans to join them with this amnesty – an endeavor they know to be unpopular with most of the country. Senator Cornyn has already offered an amendment to strengthen the enforcement measures in the bill. The problem is that his amendment will only strengthen the triggers to upgrade their status to green cards and citizenship. The illegals will still get immediate amnesty once Napolitano submits her vacuous security plan. The rest is all kabuki theater. Once they receive their initial amnesty, there is no way there will be enough will to withstand the relentless political pressure to upgrade their status, irrespective of whether the enforcement benchmarks are met. We will be left with another failed amnesty – one that has already incentivized a new wave of illegal migration.

    As such, it is not hard to see how Schumer and Rubio could work out a deal using Cornyn’s amendment as a baseline. Even though Democrats are currently inveighing against Cornyn’s amendment, they are engaging in typical hardline negotiation tactics (something Republicans will never do). If they get the feeling that half the GOP conference would go along with such a fake enforcement strategy, they will negotiate the amendment down and agree to a grand compromise, which keeps the basic structure of the bill intact.

    Ironically, the excuse for offering this amendment is that the status quo is unacceptable because Obama won’t enforce the laws. Yet, somehow, we are supposed to believe that he will enforce new laws, especially if those laws are not barriers to the initial and most important amnesty.

    Passing with 70-75 Votes: As we’ve noted, the fix is already in. They have more than 60 votes to pass the bill, even without a phony amendment designed to feign concern over border security. With 52-53 Democrats in support, in conjunction with the 4 GOP gang members, Kelly Ayotte, Susan Collins, and a half dozen other RINOs, the left has all the votes they need. So why all the kabuki theater trying to “improve” the bill?

    Obviously, Schumer and the Democrats understand that this bill cannot pass the House. They also desire for Republicans to share in the blame of passing another failed amnesty. That’s why they are aiming for a super-majority of 70-75 votes. By passing some sort of a phony enforcement amendment to give cover for weak Republicans, Schumer hopes to obtain a super-majority, thereby placing tremendous pressure on the House.

    Distracting the Base With Scandals: Ironically, it might be the multiple Obama scandals that save his presidency and doom the GOP for years to come. With much of talk radio and conservative figures consumed with the scandals, proponents of amnesty are slipping right into the end-zone without any mass outrage from the conservative base. Although the scandals are of grave importance, nothing is more dangerous than this amnesty bill. Beginning this week, the major talk radio show hosts have a moral obligation to begin exposing the imminent threat of this bill to their listeners. Remember, all we need to do is hold together the base, and we will defeat this bill. However, if we remain distracted on other issues and fail to turn up the pressure on Republican members of Congress, they will capitulate en masse.
    The Citizenship Red Herring: Conservatives must stay on message demanding enforcement before legalization instead of focusing on the path to citizenship. The citizenship issue is a red herring. Once the illegals are granted legal status, there is no way that citizenship will be permanently walled off. The important thing is to prevent any legalization from taking place before we enforce the laws and fix the magnets like welfare and birthright citizenship. Similar to the first point, if Democrats perceive that there is broad support for a legalization-first bill sans the path to citizenship, they would ultimately take it, with the understanding that they will easily win the citizenship shortly thereafter.

    Punchline:

    Sadly, it is very difficult to foresee a scenario in which a bill fails to pass the Senate before the July 4th weekend. No matter how successfully we expose the duplicity and danger involved in this legislation, there are at least 60 members who couldn’t care less. However, it is still important that we keep the numbers down, as evidenced by Schumer’s desire for a super-majority. Conservatives must stifle the temptation to focus their attention solely on the scandals, and make a concerted effort to pressure the GOP members against this travesty. Here are some key members to call:

    Barrasso, Cochran, Wicker, Heller, Hoeven, Johanns, Johnson, Moran, Roberts, Paul, Blunt, Fisher, Toomey, Portman, Collins, Hatch, Corker Crapo

    The unifying theme among conservatives – whether you believe in no amnesty or amnesty at the right time – must be ‘enforcement first.’ Marco Rubio has already admitted that any final deal will be predicated on legalization first. Hence, there is nothing more to debate. This behemoth must be defeated.

  119. SHV

    “On Monday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called Edward Snowden, the man who leaked secrets about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans to the press, a traitor.

    ————–
    I have been a strong supporter of Dianne Feinstein for years, voted for her in every election, and her calling Snowden a traitor, with the facts we have so far…makes me ashamed of her.

    Unless she can prove she is right, I will not forget she said this and has taken this stand.

  120. Feinstein, a as loyal member of the Uni-Party, receives rewards for loyalty.

    Sen. Diane Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum won a construction contract for California’s high-speed rail project, reports the California Political Review.

    Author Laer Pearce says Perini-Zachary-Parsons, a construction group partially owned by Blum’s investment firm, Blum Capital, and their investors, bagged the nearly billion dollar contract:

    The Perini-Zachary-Parsons bid was the lowest received from the five consortia participating in the bidding process, but ‘low’ is a relative term. The firms bid $985,142,530 to build the wildly anticipated first section of high speed rail track that will tie the megopolis of Madera to the global finance center of Fresno. Do the division, and you find that the low bid came in at a mere $35 million per mile.

  121. SHV
    June 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    —-
    Fair enough. I gotta pick your brain one more time on this.
    Remember the rumors that Bill brought in his own lawyers because of some emails Hillary has, about Benghazi?

    Let’s say Hillary didn’t know about the covert ops until the night of the attack. That someone emailed her more about what was going on. Even if she tried to step in, if Obama told everyone to ‘step down’, would she still be guilty of not protecting her employee in Benghazi?

  122. Non-accountability marches onward at the IRS

    By: John Hayward | June 10th, 2013 at 05:05 PM | 3

    How is the great crusade to bring accountability to the IRS coming along? According to Eliana Johnson at National Review, the Director of Rulings and Agreements, Holly Paz, just became “the fifth Washington D.C.-based IRS official involved in the current scandal to leave her position.”

    According to the House Oversight Committee, Paz was involved in an internal IRS investigation that in May 2012 concluded that the agency had been discriminating against conservative groups. That was a year before a Treasury Department inspector General’s report reached the same conclusion, but Paz and others at the IRS failed to inform Congress of the findings of the internal investigation. During the inspector general’s own investigation, Paz, who National Review Online revealed is a donor to Barack Obama, sat in on the vast majority of the interviews conducted by the inspector general’s team. House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa harshly criticized inspector general J. Russell for allowing that, saying it was “inappropriate” to include anybody in the agency in the interviews who could have participated in the targeting of conservative groups.

    Well, it sure does sound like she had to go. What became of former Director of Rulings and Agreements Paz? Run out of town on a rail? Tarred and feathered? Hung on the rack and forced to read Maureen Dowd columns until her mind broke, and she began referring to herself as “Reek?”

    The IRS source says the memo did not indicate whether [Paz] has been moved to a new position, placed on leave, or fired.

    Oh. So American taxpayers with unfashionable political views may yet be at her mercy. I don’t see anything in there about punishment or reprimand. Politico also has a story about Paz, and they don’t know what happened to her, either. They inquired with the IRS, but the agency “didn’t immediately respond to questions about the personnel change.”

    What about the other four scalps claimed by this scandal in Eliana Johnson’s tally? Did I miss some sort of bureaucratic massacre while I was writing juicy emails to keep the boys at the NSA Department of Omniscience entertained?

    Paz is the fifth Washington, D.C.-based IRS official involved in the current scandal to leave her position. She follows Carter Hull, a tax law specialist accused of micromanaging Cincinnati’s handling of tea-party applications; Joseph Grant, the head of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities division, who retired on June 3, just eight days after being promoted; acting commissioner Steven Miller, who announced his resignation days after news of the scandal broke; and Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations division and the figure most closely associated with the targeting of conservative groups, who was placed on paid administrative leave after refusing to tender her resignation.

    Nope, looks like I didn’t miss anything. No one has been fired over this scandal. If Paz actually did get sacked, she would be the first… and the agency’s reluctance to disclose her fate means they’re not exactly making an example out of her. Carter Hull is retiring gracefully later this summer. Joseph Grant was also allowed to retire without censure or reprimand. The official IRS announcement of his departure, issued on May 16, read as follows:

    Joseph Grant, Commissioner of Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division, has announced his plans to retire on June 3rd. Before this position Joseph was the Deputy Commissioner, TE/GE. He joined the IRS in August 2005, as Director of the EP Rulings & Agreements division, became the Director of Employee Plans in 2006, and became TE/GE Deputy Commissioner in 2007. Before that, he was the Chief Operating Officer and a Deputy Executive Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Joseph also served on the staff of the Oversight and Social Security subcommittees of the House Ways and Means Committee.

    Nothing about unacceptable behavior, abuse of power, or political dirty tricks in there! As Johnson mentioned, Grant became head of his department only a week before his retirement was announced. His predecessor, Sara Hall Ingram – who was in charge while that mighty legion of “renegade low-level employees” was busy suppressing the Tea Party vote – was promoted to head of the ObamaCare enforcement division.

    Acting IRS Commissioner Steve “Customer Service” Miller was a temporary appointee whose term expired on schedule – he didn’t get sacked or punished. And of course, the infamous Lois Lerner is currently enjoying a paid holiday at taxpayer expense. She didn’t lose her job, and in fact she refused to resign when Miller supposedly asked her to – a request we only know about through a third party, Republican Senator Charles Grassley of the Finance Committee.

    I think what Johnson is driving at in her National Review post on Holly Paz is that a few senior officials in D.C. are experiencing some career disruption, which is incompatible with the fairy tale about a few wild and crazy cubicle gnomes in the sub-levels of the Cincinnati office taking Obama’s anti-Tea Party rhetoric too seriously. But in truth, there has been no great push to hold anyone truly accountable, or clean house to prevent such abuses from occurring again. There was some early noise from President Obama about how the politicized abuse of power was unacceptable, but he’s clearly not angry about it. Most importantly, he’s not doing anything to get to the bottom of it. If he sends high-level heads rolling, it would be an admission of wrongdoing… and it might motivate some of the unemployed, publicly humiliated officials to retaliate by telling stories the Administration would rather keep buried. Give it another month, and the White House will begin referring to the story as “old news,” which only bloodthirsty partisans could still be upset about.

    The most benign explanation for the IRS scandal is that a bunch of agents and supervisors spontaneously decided to abuse their authority for political ends, to help their beloved President and punish his enemies, while higher officials either remained clueless or looked the other way. If that was true, you would think a lot of people involved would be named, shamed, and cut loose, to restore public confidence in the agency. Instead, we’re left to wonder how many other agencies are filled with Obama loyalists who might “spontaneously” decide to use confidential information for political purposes. Do you suppose anyone like that works for the National Security Agency?

  123. Lu4PUMA
    June 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    ———
    There is every reason to believe that Barry does have the contact info of all his zombies. He collected them during the campaign. I talked about it above. It wouldn’t take a large geek crew to pull off what you mentioned, and I am sure there are Obama Zombies working for the polls too.

    Tinfoil-

  124. admin
    June 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm
    C’mon Dianne Feinstein, “Freakout!” Everybody, “Freakout!

    ———-
    😆 You tease.

  125. Shadowfax
    June 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Tinfoil-
    *****
    The biggest “Tinfoil” speculaltion that I have and recently raised by others, is who (singular/plural) the command and control for this Administration. It isn’t Obama, he is too lazy, stupid and disinterested and he has no politics other than “I, me, my, mine”. Jarret is smart enough but she is a Chicago political fixer, slum lord and thug but doesn’t have the background to run the “show”.

  126. wbboei
    June 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    If I believed the Federal Election Commission was worth a damned I would look for relief there. But their performance over the years has been pathetic, most especially their failure to control the influx of vast sums of federal money by requiring that the 3 digit code on the back of foreign credit cards accompany contributions. As you may recall, the Obama campaign cleverly and deceptively delete that requirement on their campaign website, right under the noses of the FEC. Knowing how money determines elections, I can think of no greater regulatory oversight. They had four years to fix it and they failed to do so. And that is why I call them pathetic. No effective redress will be found in that organization.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    Wbboei – Remember who was big at the FEC? (not sure of the dates – it’s been hard to find)

    Who was there long enough to develop and infuse the highly partisan culture of corruption we later (and more recently) have seen at the IRS? Why it’s our dear friend Lois Lerner. It’s no wonder Obama had a pass for every type of donation imaginable. But if you asked her, I am sure she would take the Fifth.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/breaking-lois-lerner-told-republican-in-1996-promise-me-you-will-never-run-again-and-well-drop-this-fec-case/

  127. Shadowfax
    June 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm
    I turned on 60 Min. last night, wondering how they would spin the snooping scandal and the IRS scandal……..no spin, no news, just a rerun of Soda Myass’s path to becoming the most wonderful Supreme in all of history.
    Gag, a$$wipes!
    ______________

    I happened to see O’Reilley’s Factor tonight. Not that I wanted to, but I did want to see what t news was saying about Snowden, and I knew that AC would have little, if any, unbiased coverage of the situation with Snowden. O’Reilley is not one of my favorites. Like Limbaugh, he spends as much or more time talking about himself, and prompting his guests to talk about him, than he spends actually dealing with the issue at hand. That said, Bill O reported that CNN and ABC spent zero minutes covering the congressional hearings regarding IRS targeting conservative groups, while NBC and CBS each devoted 3 minutes each to the hearings. MSM is worthless.

  128. SHV

    More tinfoil

    The show is probably run by a small group of thugs that have been planning Barry’s kingdom for quite awhile. Part of the group that pushed him in and out of the best schools, 2 years in the Senate, only enough time to vote present and leave.
    These people have connections with deep money pockets.

    I think folks like Uncle Teddy as one.

    If this were one smart guy, things wouldn’t be unraveling all at once.

  129. http://abcnews.go.com/US/secret-history-nsa-contractors/story?id=19366914&singlePage=true#.UbY7mfZa3VQ

    I was way off when I stated that I read/heard that there were thousands and thousands of techie/contractors with access to this confidential information…there are MILLIONS…of contractors with security clearances

    for example…

    snip

    In the wake of 9/11, the NSA expanded the scope of the communications it would collect and review. The agency is completing a $1.2 billion data farm located in the Utah desert in which thousands of computers will collect information from billions of pieces of communication, according to government reports.

    All of the intelligence agencies, including the NSA, also began hiring contractors, like Snowden, to help carry some of that new load.

    Like contracted mercenaries hired to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, intelligence contractors were given access to government information and resources.

    “There are millions of contractors inside the nation’s intelligence agencies,” said Angela Canterbury, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight. “The U.S. intelligence community is rife with outsourcing.”

    A 2010 Washington Post report found “close to 30 percent of the workforce in the intelligence agencies is contractors.”

    Some 5 million people hold a government security clearance, according to a 2012 report by the Director of National Intelligence. About 1.4 million people have top-secret clearance, and half of those are the employees of private businesses.

    Some 480,000 contractors held top-secret credentials as of last year, and 2,000 companies supply contractors to the intelligence agencies.

    Among the largest of those companies is Booz Allen Hamilton, a privately owned consulting company located in Virginia.

    The company has deep roots and many connections to the intelligence community.

    The current director of national intelligence JAMES CLAPPER is a former Booz Allen executive. The company’s current vice chairman Mike McConnell, was the DNI in the George W Bush administration.

    According to the Washington Post, as of 2010, the company contracted more than 23,000 people to the government to do intelligence work at 23 agencies in 15 areas of expertise including technological intelligence, intelligence analysis, and counter intelligence.

    The company is estimated to be worth $5 billion annually.
    ***************************************

    Booz Allen Hamilton is where Snowden worked…it is also a consultant on major financial affairs in the USA and worked on consulting Dodd-Frank

    http://www.boozallen.com/consultants/civilian-government/financial-services/financial-regulatory-reform/analyzing-dodd-frank-act

    notice that James Clapper is a former Booz Allen executive…and so the incest continues…

  130. Despite some bumps in the road, the real agenda of our Uni-Party, money and vote buying, moves ahead.

    “Senate Passes Bloated $955 Billion Farm Bill 66-27”

    http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/06/10/Senate-Passes-Bloated-955-Billion-Farm-Bill-66-27

    It would be nice to know where that $760+ billion, over 9 years, in food stamp money goes but IIRC it’s against Federal Law for the Ag Dept to release those data. It might embarrass Monsanto, Con-Agra, Coke, Pepsi, Tyson, Wal-Mart, etc., etc.,etc.

  131. “Interview with Snowden’s girlfriend with some photos”
    ****
    I recognize that waterfall in HI. My ex. had several pictures of it with her standing on the rock wearing a very small bikini bottom and a smile.

  132. Norma Desmond
    June 10, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    ———————–

    That is the answer alright.

    Wherever Learner goes political corruption follows.

    You can make book on it.

    No wonder Kwalaja wants to bury the scandal

    –and not do his oversight job.

  133. S, from the NYT article you linked above, this is one of many snarky observations Brooks makes, about and Snowden, whom he presumably, has never met:

    “He betrayed the Constitution. The founders did not create the United States so that some solitary 29-year-old could make unilateral decisions about what should be exposed. Snowden self-indulgently short-circuited the democratic structures of accountability, putting his own preferences above everything else.”

    Damn that kid. All of that stuff he’s done – being self-indulgent, betraying the constitution, not being accountable, everything. How dare he. Only Obama is entitled to do all that stuff – and get a free pass from Brooks and all the other so-called journalists, whose delusions about the great Obama, allow them to believe he can do no wrong – even when he blatantly does whateverthehell he wants to do – without regard to the constitution, the country’s laws, traditions, and norms; the negative impact his actions may have on this country, as a whole, and on American citizens, individually. Brooks either fails to see, or just doesn’t care that Obama does not give one damn about America.

  134. S, Freespirit, the David Brooks column makes little sense. Brooks opens with an attack against Snowden of the most personal kind. We learn Snowden was rude to a neighbor and did not visit mom and dad. Brooks then condemns Snowden as too “individualistic”. Snowden is also abused for “deep suspicion of authority”. Brooks is angry at all the “distrust” and “cynicism”. Snowden is condemned for lacking “respect for institutions and deference to common procedures.”

    The next half of Brooks screed is a listing of all that Snowden has “betrayed”. Brooks declares Snowden betrayed “honesty and integrity”, his oaths of secrecy, his friends, his co-workers, young people who will now not be trusted with the same types of jobs, his employers, codes of honor, “the cause of open government”, “the privacy of us all, and the Constitution. Brooks reasons that open government and our privacy will now suffer because of Snowden, get this twisted logic, because now the government will become more draconian in how it gets the information it wants.

    We think Snowden should have provided this information during the election last year so the voters could see what has become of our Republic and make judgments accordingly before the election. But we applaud Snowden releasing the documents however too late. Brooks however is not happy and he ends the blast at Snowden with this foolishness:

    “Snowden faced a moral dilemma. On the one hand, he had information about a program he thought was truly menacing. On the other hand, he had made certain commitments as a public servant, as a member of an organization, and a nation. Sometimes leakers have to leak. The information they possess is so grave that it demands they violate their oaths.

    But before they do, you hope they will interrogate themselves closely and force themselves to confront various barriers of resistance. Is the information so grave that it’s worth betraying an oath, circumventing the established decision-making procedures, unilaterally exposing secrets that can never be reclassified?

    Judging by his comments reported in the news media so far, Snowden was obsessed with the danger of data mining but completely oblivious to his betrayals and toward the damage he has done to social arrangements and the invisible bonds that hold them together.”

    Using Brooks’ own caveats we can only conclude that yes, Snowden did the right thing. The information was menancing, and grave enough for him to violate his oaths and take the consequences (Brooks leaves out this bit of truth that in acts of civil disobedience one breaks the law and takes the consequences, which Snowden will eventually face fully when caught.) We wish Snowden had provided the information to the public before the election but other than that Snowden did the only thing he could do.

    Suggestions that Snowden should have given his information to elected officials, congressional investigators, or prosecutors are risible. Nothing would have happened and the secret violations of individual liberty continued after Snowden was spirited away.

    Brooks makes no sense or rather Brooks betrays his insular mentality.

  135. amazing how all of this scandal stuff is all coming out at once……..its like one thing after another….this ambassador sex scandal sounds like it is well time to try and do a squirrel from the NSA leak…..nothing low information voters like more than a sordid political sex scandal……..the timing is immaculate as they say. It also gives Obama a big hit on his nemesis Hillary Clinton, o i would not be surprised if this a leak job from the WH to try and do ! : hit Hillary…2 : divert from the NSA leak.

  136. I wrote Brooks off a long time ago. They tried to market him as a conservative. If he is that then the word conservative has lost all meaning. If he is not a conservative then what exactly is he?

    To answer that question, you need to go back between Brooks and Shields. The subject matter of that debate was Obama. But in fact, it was less like a debate and more like a love fest. As you would expect, both of those gladiators were madly in love with Obama. But of the two, Brooks was far and away the more passionate. As he spoke of Obama, there was candlelight and violins in his eyes. If you had the stomach to keep watching and listening, which I did in those days, you learned something about Brooks. You learned that by his own admission this was the first love he had felt for any politician ever. And therein lies the problem.

    The magic of first love is the ignorance it will end. Hence, as the love for Obama is ending for many around him, and he himself may be ravaged by a certain degree if self doubt, along comes Mr. Snowden, who in his own way puts a pickle in the shit sandwich Brooks knows he will one day be forced to swallow. Better to blame the pickle than to blame his own ignorance for the situation he is now in. He can pretend it was politics up to a certain point, but that is not an absolute defense. For one thing, he is supposedly a conservative, and other conservatives who manifested the same feelings of lust he did, but never to the same degree have most definitely jumped ship to avoid embarrassment. Also, Obama is the antithesis of what he claimed to be in 2008. Finally, there can be no defense for the lack of due diligence which Brooks has shown toward Obama. It reflects poorly on his character, professionalism, and maturity. Thus the poison pen.

    The conclusion is obvious.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rD8Jv546zCc

    which turned out to be less of a debate and more of a love fest. But the bigger lover of Obama was not the liberal-Shields, but rather the so-called conservative Brooks. If you have ever seen someone who was madly in love, then you will understand what I am talking about. There was candle light and violins in Brook’s eyes as he spoke of his inamorata. What was even more remarkable was by his own admission this was first love for any politician. w And, it has been said that the magic of first love is the ignorance it will ever end. As it is ending for many around him, Brooks begins

    He is a man in love–with Obama. And I suspect for him it is first love. And the magic of first love is the ignorance it will end. I think that is what he is fighting now. The inescapable fact that his light of love is not the god he told himseld

  137. Today, the head of Google is a man named Page. He and others hired Schmidt away from Novelle in 2001 to be CEO. During his tenure Schmidt became a billionaire off the stock options of a company he did not found, which is itself unprecedented. By 2012 Schmidt was out. It appears that he was asked to leave, and there were suggestions in the business press that it was not a particularly amicable departure. During his tenure as CEO Schmidt brought Google into what can only be described as an incestuous relationship with the Obama Administration and the Obama campaign. The interchange of personnel and systems was most likely the tip of the iceberg. Which leaves the rest of us to wonder whether that has anything to do with his being forced out. This possibility occurred to me yesterday, when I read an article from the tech news describing how the internet companies who have shared customer records with the administration are now scrambling to repair their reputations.

    By contrast, the ceo of the company I worked for was Republican who sat on at least one board with Donald Rumsfeldt. But nobody in our company knew that until after he was retired and the company was sold. Most companies would be loathe to do what Schmidt did during his tenure at Google, for two reasons. First, you will alienate part of your customer base by shameless pushing your own political views and aligning your organization with one party. Second, when the other party gains power, you will be hard pressed to get their ear when you need it. My grandfather ran a small dry goods store in a small town in Western Montana in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He too was a Republican, but he never let that fact be known, because the farmers and ranchers he served–many of them were democrats and he wanted their business. Again, this is what makes Eric Schmidt such an unusual man–he was not even subtle about it. In the end, perhaps it will make no difference, but it is worthy of a case study at Harvard. Granted, Imelt of GE did this too. But it seems to me Schmidt went further.

  138. Its called BOUNDLESS INFORMANT

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining

    The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.

    The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

    The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.

    The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, “What type of coverage do we have on country X” in “near real-time by asking the SIGINT [signals intelligence] infrastructure.”

    An NSA factsheet about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: “The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country.”

    Under the heading “Sample use cases”, the factsheet also states the tool shows information including: “How many records (and what type) are collected against a particular country.”

    A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA “global heat map” seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.

    ……………

    So whatever bullshit they spin, they know what they are collecting.

  139. .nothing low information voters like more than a sordid political sex scandal
    ———————–
    In more puritanical times, this would have commanded public attention, whereas now, with everything else going on, I would file it under ho hum. So if this was a skud unleashed against Hillary I doubt it will have any real effect. But in a different sense, it should contribute to the overriding impression that from the IRS to State to HHS to Justice to EPA it is chaos. And that impression directly implicates Obama. None of the excuses raised to date–from government is too big to manage (ergo we need more big government), to I read about it in the newspaper, to I am outraged, to I will not rest until the perpetrators are apprehended ring true. I would say all arrows point to him not her, and this will not distract them. The more important question is whether the sum of these scandals will divert Republican attention from preventing an immigration debacle of the first magnitude.

  140. Admin

    “Using Brooks’ own caveats we can only conclude that yes, Snowden did the right thing. The information was menancing, and grave enough for him to violate his oaths and take the consequences (Brooks leaves out this bit of truth that in acts of civil disobedience one breaks the law and takes the consequences, which Snowden will eventually face fully when caught.) We wish Snowden had provided the information to the public before the election but other than that Snowden did the only thing he could do.”

    Exactly. Everyone from the far right to the far left is condemning Snowden’s actions, and questioning his motives, educational level, maturity, etc. I get that he chose not to go the whistle blower route to expose NSA, and as Admin said, he should have come forward before the election. But, to have media (no doubt as agents of government, in many cases) focus on suspicions about Snowden and criticism of him, while ignoring the violations committed by this government is outrageous. No doubt Brooks and others are using these personal attacks to divert attention from the real issue. That is their job, after all – protect Obama at all costs.

  141. As I look at what Obama is doing to destroy this nation and the world, I think back to simpler times. The best example of that is the Amish in Central Pennsylvania. I have spent time there so I know whereof I speak. These people dress in black attire, operate horse drawn black buggies, drive through covered bridges, and read the bible by candle light. They own some of the richest soil in the country and grow organic crops. That life holds a certain appeal seeing what is occurring everywhere else. I could even learn to like shoe fly pie. Let us hope that Obama and his minions do not destroy that vestige of the American tradition as well. Notice I used the word hope, but in a far different context than he does. I hope we can get our country back.

  142. foxyladi14
    June 11, 2013 at 11:52 am
    ———————-
    So Wall Street loses the vig . . . I mean their commissions.

    That is big.

    What it means is that China is playing hardball.

    And Obama is willing to throw some of his biggest supporters under the bus.

    Since this is his “last election” he no longer needs them.

  143. Let us hope that Obama and his minions do not destroy that vestige of the American tradition as well. Notice I used the word hope, but in a far different context than he does. I hope we can get our country back.
    **********

    It doesn’t look as if obama is even trying to save anything of the American tradition. 🙁

    And has anybody asked the residents of these cities and states what they think of this coming invasion?

    I didn’t think so.
    **

    Obama Admin Considering Resettling Syrian Refugees in U.S. and These Are the States Where They May Go

    The Obama administration is considering resettling some refugees who have escaped war-torn Syria in the United States, a development first reported by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday and later confirmed by the State Department.

    According to the Times, the resettlement of the refugees would be “part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/11/obama-admin-considering-resettling-syrian-refugees-in-u-s-and-these-are-the-states-where-they-may-go/

  144. Have you all noticed how all the O protectors are really, really, really pushing the
    Pew poll…(and ignoring any others)

    …even when the O protectors try to give “balance” to the discussion or are reporting the issue…they all throw in “but the American people seem to be supporting the Prez…the American people are ok with the surveillance if it stops terror” and then they report the Pew poll statistics…bla, bla

    I find this so incredibly laughable…the whole issue and Snowden broke less than a week ago…here at Big Pink we have seen one example after another on how ‘uninformed’ the public is…never heard of Benghazi, not sure who the VP is…not paying attention, etc

    …and now the O protectors want us to believe the “public” has digested this story and analyzed the ramifications in less than a week to have formed a position that supports unlimited surveillance and spying on them…every single day and in every single way of their private lives…

    …yeah, ok…

  145. In 2007, candidate Obama appeared on Saturday Night Live, grinning like a possum eating shit out of a hairbrush. He wore an Obama mask which he took off revealing himself underneath, and told us he had nothing to hide.

    Flash forward to now, and we see that still he has nothing to hide.

    Nothing that is except for, oh gosh let’s see: the IRS scandal, the spying on reporters, Fast and Furious, extortion of health care providers, spying on Americans, where he was on the night of the Benghazi attack, how the talking points came to be changed, etc.

    No siree nothing to hide. Not him. Not the Messiah. He is too transparent.
    ———————————————————————–

    Obama Plays Himself on SNL
    Ripping off mask at Hillary Halloween party: ‘I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself.”
    By NewsDude , Newser Staff

    Posted Nov 4, 2007 9:47 AM CST

    STORY
    COMMENTS (0)

    Embed this story

    (Newser) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama turned up the heat on frontrunner Hillary Clinton last night on “Saturday Night Live” when he appeared in the opening sketch—a Halloween party thrown by a faux Bill and Hillary and attended by faux Democratic candidates—as himself. Everyone was in costume, including Barack, who wore an Obama mask, then ripped it off to reveal the real thing.

    “I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,” he told the actor playing Clinton (Amy Poehler). “I’m not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.” Actors playing other candidates appeared as Sponge Bob (both Joe Biden and Chris Dodd) and Al Gore (Bill Richardson). “Mike Gravel” wore a straight jacket.

  146. Obama Plays Himself on SNL
    Ripping off mask at Hillary Halloween party: ‘I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself.”
    By NewsDude , Newser Staff

    Posted Nov 4, 2007 9:47 AM CST

    STORY
    COMMENTS (0)

    Embed this story

    (Newser) – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama turned up the heat on frontrunner Hillary Clinton last night on “Saturday Night Live” when he appeared in the opening sketch—a Halloween party thrown by a faux Bill and Hillary and attended by faux Democratic candidates—as himself. Everyone was in costume, including Barack, who wore an Obama mask, then ripped it off to reveal the real thing.

    “I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,” he told the actor playing Clinton (Amy Poehler). “I’m not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.” Actors playing other candidates appeared as Sponge Bob (both Joe Biden and Chris Dodd) and Al Gore (Bill Richardson). “Mike Gravel” wore a straight jacket.

  147. Comedian Bill Cosby thinks we should be more like Muslims. – Allen West responds.

    This past weekend, Cosby penned an op-ed for The New York Post in which he detailed some of the flaws in modern society. He also suggested we should take a page out of the Koran if we want to have healthier families, less crime and more productive people.

    http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/06/10/comedian-bill-cosby-thinks-we-should-be-more-like-muslims-clearly-he-is-showing-signs-of-alzheimers-disease/

  148. I thought yesterday had a strong synergy for the cause of the Republic. Overnite things became so quiet and I’ve truly been despondent all this day until now. A bit of an article a family member found at yahoo. Says it was published 10 hours ago. I’m including the bottom 60%.
    Keeping Us Safe From Obama
    Mona Charen’s column is released once a week
    ‘…Mrs. Obama too struck this theme, railing against the supposed reign of fear that Bush imposed. “I am tired of living in a country where every decision that we’ve made over the last 10 years wasn’t for something, but it was because people told us we had to fear something.”
    In his first inaugural address, Obama intoned, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” In the wake of revelations that the Obama administration has been engaged in massive data mining of telephone calls, computer use (by foreigners) and other information, the president explains, “It’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience.”
    Why did the president only come to his realization after “his team” evaluated the intelligence? Most Americans were aware that the threats from terrorists were genuine without benefit of the “President’s Daily Intelligence Brief.” Terror attacks tend to make the news. But Barack Obama wasn’t an average citizen before moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He was a senator. He was on the Foreign Relations Committee and had access to classified information — all the more reason to believe that he knew that the terror threat was not cynical “fear mongering” by President Bush.
    Never has Obama conceded that President Bush acted in good faith — not even after his “team” assured him that data collection was necessary for thwarting terror plots. No, when Bush engaged in data mining, he was “undermining our constitution and our freedoms.” When Obama does it, he is “striking the right balance” between security and freedom.
    Obama asks us to trust that he’s using power judiciously. Under President Bush, liberals were never given reason to fear that government power was being used to persecute them. Enough said.
    The president assures us that “no one is listening to our phone calls,” and that may be true. But this administration also assured us that no sweeping data collection on American citizens was going on, that the IRS was not unfairly singling out conservatives, that the Justice Department had not attempted to prosecute journalists, and that the Benghazi attack was the response to a video.
    It would be nice to trust the president, but it wouldn’t be wise.
    http://news.yahoo.com/keeping-us-safe-obama-070000986.html

  149. Brooks opens with an attack against Snowden of the most personal kind.

    Not only is Brooks an idiot, but possibly a racist.

    If Snowden looked like he was Barry’s son, hoodie and all…Brooks would have praised his courage.

  150. http://jonathanturley.org/2013/06/11/dr-obamalove-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-a-police-state/

    snip

    Various leaders like Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., assured citizens that there is nothing to fear in having the government collect all of your calls, including details like their duration, location, time and your associations. Call it the sequel: “Dr. Obamalove or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love a Police State.” Our leaders are assuring us that such databanks will help them protect us from others, but who will protect us from our protectors?

    Each of these intrusions has been justified as making us safer, but collectively that creates a fishbowl society where privacy is little more than an illusion. We are approaching the tipping point in our system, where liberty is giving way to authoritarian power. While our current leaders may be benign, we are increasingly dependent on their good motivations and discretion for our liberty. It is precisely the system that the framers rejected at our founding. Benjamin Franklin warned of the siren’s call for power by government officials when he observed that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    If we allow these officials to strip us of our privacy, we have not failed the Framers. We have failed ourselves.

    ***********************************************************************

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/06/11/traitor-or-whistleblower-attacks-on-snowden-mount-from-political-and-media-figures/

    The attacks on Edward Snowden have increased today. CNN’s Jeff Toobin who previously denounced Snowden as a “clown” has added that he is a a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison. In the meantime, Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker John Boehner have denounced Snowden as a “traitor.” Other media organizations have barred their reporters from referring to him as a “whistleblower” in what has become a deluge of negative stereotyping of Snowden.

    In Toobin’s case, it is worth noting that he has also belittled the objections to the massive surveillance program — the same position taken by Democrats and the White House. However, for Toobin to call a man a “grandiose narcissist” is bizarre. As noted yesterday, this is a man who threw his life away to reveal what he believed to be an abusive surveillance program (as to many other citizens). This is one of the most narcissistic towns on Earth and its leading denizens in politics and the media often seem uncomfortable with people who are willing to throw away their lives on principle. It is the type of self-sacrifice that they would never consider in their own lives. This is a town filled with sycophants, self-promoters, adulterers and the rest. It is not surprising that so many would find an individual like Snowden hard to understand or dangerous.

    Snowden clearly fits that more common definition of whistleblower, even if the government contests the application of statutory protections. Many can legitimately question Snowden’s chosen means for objecting to this program. However, the hostile and dismissive treatment by the establishment reflects an obvious fear of the implications of this scandal. Even US Sen. Al Franken (D, Minn.) has tried to stamp out the outcry by insisting that he was aware of the program and “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.” Democrats are scrambling to deal with the latest betrayal of civil liberties without their knowledge and consent. Franken knows that the issue is not how it has been used (though abuses are being reported) but its potential for abuse. It is a databank allowing transparency of every citizens calls and associations. Nevertheless, the establishment is joined together in mutual interest to deaden the reaction of citizens,

    snip

    Before we repeat the growing effort to label Snowden as a traitor, perhaps we should ask about the betrayal of our privacy and constitutional values by others pushing these labels.

  151. Hopefully my non-computer friend Shirley and others I don’t know, can now recognize portraying Snowden’s female companion as a pole dancer for the smear that it is.

  152. Just looking around the internet for older articles about the Oh campaign using number crunching or cell phones during the election…(relating to Maxine Waters comment above.)

    This article does talk about some data mining:

    How Obama’s data crunchers helped him win –

    [snip]

    …So as they did with all the other data collected, stored and analyzed in the two-year drive for re-election, Obama’s top campaign aides decided to put this insight to use.

    [snip]

    For the general public, there was no way to know that the idea for the Parker contest had come from a data-mining discovery about some supporters: affection for contests, small dinners and celebrity. But from the beginning, campaign manager Jim Messina had promised a totally different, metric-driven kind of campaign in which politics was the goal but political instincts might not be the means.
    Obama: ‘The best is yet to come’
    Road to Obama’s victory in 3 minutes
    Twitter’s pivotal role #2012election
    24 hours of Election Day Twitter trends

    “We are going to measure every single thing in this campaign,” he said after taking the job.

    He hired an analytics department five times as large as that of the 2008 operation, with an official “chief scientist” for the Chicago headquarters named Rayid Ghani, who in a previous life crunched huge data sets to, among other things, maximize the efficiency of supermarket sales promotions.

    Exactly what that team of dozens of data crunchers was doing, however, was a closely held secret.

    “They are our nuclear codes,” campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt would say when asked about the efforts. Around the office, data-mining experiments were given mysterious code names such as Narwhal and Dreamcatcher. The team even worked at a remove from the rest of the campaign staff, setting up shop in a windowless room at the north end of the vast headquarters office.

    The “scientists” created regular briefings on their work for the President and top aides in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, but public details were in short supply as the campaign guarded what it believed to be its biggest institutional advantage over Mitt Romney’s campaign: its data.

    On Nov. 4, a group of senior campaign advisers agreed to describe their cutting-edge efforts with TIME on the condition that they not be named and that the information not be published until after the winner was declared.

    What they revealed as they pulled back the curtain was a massive data effort that helped Obama raise $1 billion, remade the process of targeting TV ads and created detailed models of swing-state voters that could be used to increase the effectiveness of everything from phone calls and door knocks to direct mailings and social media.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/tech/web/obama-campaign-tech-team

    Only one small piece of the data collecting puzzle that was exposed in 2012

  153. Shadow, here is a similar one but different geek. Published by BBC.
    Harper Reed was the Chief Technology Officer for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election team. He figured a way to contact all the ppl who would vote for President Obama and then make sure they voted. Think what he could do with what Obama is collecting now.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22355364

  154. Shadow, one more, but perhaps different technique. Been awhile since I looked at it.
    1.
    …The last election was the triumph of the urban political machine. In 2008, Obama ran as a national candidate. In 2012, he ran as the figurehead for the urban political machines and let their voter turnout and voter fraud efforts carry the day. In 2008, he tried inspiring people. In 2012, he ran the same tired campaign run by a hundred corrupt mayors in a hundred cities who know that they can’t lose because the game is rigged and the voters have no choice…. http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-chicagoization-of-america.html

  155. Maybe all these smaller pieces were released to hide what they were really doing. 🙁

  156. Ron Paul: Edward Snowden a Hero

    Former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is now praising Edward Snowden for exposing NSA activities.

    Ron Paul, a lion of the libertarian movement, is roaring again. He is praising Edward Snowden, the admitted leaker of information about a vast U.S. government surveillance program that is generating headlines around the world.

    “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and [investigative reporter] Glenn Greenwald, who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk,” Paul said in remarks posted on campaignforliberty.org, the website of an advocacy group that Paul leads.

    “They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”

    Others express a harshly negative view of Snowden, the central figure in the ongoing leaks case who has been condemned for jeopardizing national security.

    But Paul said, “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”

    “The Fourth Amendment is clear,” added Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas. “We should be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, and all warrants must have probable cause. Today the government operates largely in secret, while seeking to know everything about our private lives – without probable cause and without a warrant.”

    Paul inspired an intensely loyal following as a Republican presidential candidate in 2012 because of his libertarian views that emphasized curbing the power of the federal government. Paul has retired from Congress but says he will remain active in commenting on major issues.

    His son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also takes a libertarian approach and is preparing a class-action lawsuit to halt what he says are unconstitutional invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency. Rand Paul is considered a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/Ken-Walshs-Washington/2013/06/11/ron-paul-edward-snowden-a-hero

  157. Good finds Hold’um, I bet there were boys in basements across America collecting and sifting data for their bro to win.

    One thing good about the internet, you can work from home anywhere – especially if it’s in secret.

  158. Shadow

    Basement Bros. Makes perfect sense but I did not think about them doing this. Was just glad they were not so in our faces this time around.

    I would never find the clip but I do remember election eve. BO on stage glancing over to MO with facial expression I took to mean he was convey to her the thought “I told you.”

  159. the whole usual gang is here…

    http://gawker.com/the-vain-media-cynics-of-the-nsa-story-512575457

    The Vain Media Cynics of the NSA Story

    In the past week, we’ve witnessed the post-9/11 era’s most comprehensive set of stories about the extent of the U.S. government’s secret domestic spying programs. It’s front page news worldwide. It’s sparked a national debate over privacy and security. And some of our nation’s most useless political pundits could not be more bored.

    For anyone involved in punditry or professional opinion-mongering, there is an almost irresistible impulse to get ahead of the conventional wisdom. We understand this impulse well. No one wants to be caught in the wishy-washy retreat towards the middle that typifies newspaper editorial page garbage on this (and most other) issues. Staking out a strong position outside of the consensus is a great way to attract attention, as a writer. Sometimes, this indicates intellectual independence and bravery. Other times, it indicates the opposite.

    Let’s be honest: Edward Snowden (pictured), the man who made a calculated decision to risk everything he has in order to reveal the NSA’s secret spying program, did something heroic. You don’t have to believe Edward Snowden himself is a grand hero, or a larger-than-life figure. But if you are a journalist— someone who works constantly to shed light on the workings of the government, with the belief that news is good for the public— you have to acknowledge that Edward Snowden did something quite admirable. If you are astute and rational enough to understand that a massive government domestic spying operation is newsworthy, then you must also understand that the person who exposed it at great personal risk has done something brave and worthwhile. Without Snowden’s act, the public’s knowledge of what is being done to them in their own name would be much poorer.

    We usually take a backseat to no one when it comes to strongly stated positions that are outside the consensus. We are often accused of being cynics. But even we can see quite plainly that the Prism story is huge, important, and newsworthy, and that the person who made the story happen deserves credit for helping it come out.

    Oddly enough, the cynics on this story reside in the ultra-establishment. They are the journalists and pundits who feel compelled to demonstrate their own sophistication by dismissing these revelations as old hat (though documented proof of these programs has never been seen before). They are those who have grown so inured to the gross overreach of government power that they can no longer conceive of it as scandalous. They prefer to comfort the NSA, and afflict the leaker. They are people like Jeffrey Toobin, at The New Yorker, who calls Snowden “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison,” and adds:

    Any marginally attentive citizen, much less N.S.A. employee or contractor, knows that the entire mission of the agency is to intercept electronic communications. Perhaps he thought that the N.S.A. operated only outside the United States; in that case, he hadn’t been paying very close attention. In any event, Snowden decided that he does not “want to live in a society” that intercepts private communications. His latter-day conversion is dubious.

    Or David Brooks, of The New York Times, who says that Snowden “betrayed” both honor and the Constitution, and engages in a bit of thinly sourced psychoanalysis:

    Though thoughtful, morally engaged and deeply committed to his beliefs, he appears to be a product of one of the more unfortunate trends of the age: the atomization of society, the loosening of social bonds, the apparently growing share of young men in their 20s who are living technological existences in the fuzzy land between their childhood institutions and adult family commitments…

    It’s logical, given this background and mind-set, that Snowden would sacrifice his career to expose data mining procedures of the National Security Agency.

    Sure, except for the fact that it has never happened before, it is logical. (Millennials!) There’s also David Simon, the creator of The Wire, who manages to compare this all to— surprise— law enforcement in Baltimore, and dismisses this unprecedented disclosure as a “faux-scandal” about the “Same old stuff.”

    And there’s Andrew Sullivan, the Blogger Most Likely to Appear on Sunday Talk Shows, who adds in his wide-eyed way that “I, like Simon, am actually impressed by the government’s efficacy in exploring these electronic trails and patterns.”

    A secret, unaccountable spying program vaster than the world has ever seen? Neat-o! (This is the same school of journalistic thought responsible for cranking out gee-whiz stories about the awesome technological capabilities of each new military weapon, without ever wondering about the morality of what those weapons are used for.)

    But for sheer yawning dismissal of this story, no one can beat the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, a longtime fan of government secrecy:

    [The NSA programs] were secret, yes, but members of Congress were informed — and they approved. Safeguards were built in. If, for instance, the omniscient computers picked up a pattern of phone calls from Mr. X to Suspected Terrorist Y, the government had to go to court to find out what was said. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act established a court consisting of 11 rotating federal judges. These judges are the same ones who rule on warrants the government seeks in domestic criminal cases. If we trust them for that, why would we not trust them for other things as well?

    Cohen snidely calls Edward Snowden a “cross-dressing Little Red Riding Hood” who will be forgotten by history. Snowden lacks the natural manliness of Richard Cohen.

    You’ll notice a few commonalities between all of these dismissive positions. All of these members of the media, who ostensibly work on the public’s behalf, would prefer to take the completely unverifiable word of a top secret government agency that nothing is amiss, rather than to see any classified materials leak into the public realm.

    They fancy themselves able to deduce the motivations and mindset of Edward Snowden based on the thinnest of anecdotes. They all express contempt for the idea that the public has a right to know what its government is up to, unless that knowledge has been specifically approved by government censors.

    And they all, in one form or another, express the idea that this stuff is unworthy of our concern because, hey, smart people like them already knew (er, assumed) this stuff was going on.

    To pay too much attention to it now would therefore undermine their reputation for being savvy. This is the most dangerous idea of all. When the media itself can’t be bothered to get excited about an enormous secret government spying program, we’re all in trouble. Nobody would know anything about anything if someone didn’t bother to write about.

    ***********************************************

    heck, there’s still the Pew poll…

  160. Leanora
    June 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Comedian Bill Cosby thinks we should be more like Muslims. – Allen West responds.
    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

    I see Senility has set in for poor Bill. 😆

  161. Who can forget that memorable episode of Saturday Night Live when Obama jumped out of a wedding cake wearing Obama mask which he took off only to reveal the same Obama, grinning like a possum eating shit out of a hairbrush, whereupon he uttered the following which brought the house of ignoranatis down cheering:

    “I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,”. “I’m not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.”

    Nunc pro tunc, then as now he is just being himself, he is not going to change who he is just because it is year 5 of his benighted presidency, because as he so aptly put it, he has nothing to hide . . .

    Except perhaps what he was doing on the night of the al Qaeda attack on Benghazi, what he was doing when he paid stimulus dollars to his cronies, what his justice department was doing on Fast and Furious, what is Attorney General was doing when he lied to congress and spied on journalists, what his NAS was doing when they spied on all Americans, what his Secretary of Health and Human Services was doing when she solicited contributions from the very companies she regulates, what his EPA was doing to target companies who did not contribute to him and what his IRS was doing targeting those on his enemies list as he has clearly identified them over the past few years.

    Obviously, he has nothing to hide.

  162. Current Article
    Top Secret Hysteria

    By Larry Johnson on June 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM in Current Affairs

    Watching the parade of politicians and pundits condemning NSA “whistleblower”, Edward Snowden, as a traitor who should be charged with treason is both amusing and disturbing. I am amused in the same way that a smile crosses my face while watching the classic scene from CASABLANCA, Police Captain Louis Renault expresses shock that there is gambling in the casino while collecting his winnings. What really did Snowden divulge? Some codewords on Power Point slides that are classified as Top Secret / SI / ORCON / NO FORN, but does anyone with a modicum of understanding about current technology doubt the ability to collect electronic information?

    I am disturbed by the cavalier attitude of so many towards the Constitution and the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. I am furious with all who insist that the threat of terror is so great and so unique that we must surrender our freedom. Thank Christ the technology of today did not exist back in 1776. By this kind of logic and reasoning the Brits had ample justification to go after traitors and terrorists such as John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Richard “Lighthorse Harry” Lee. Back then the tyrants had to physically travel to your home and force their way inside. Governments and their security forces still have that power and ability.

    But time has added a new twist to the mix–the Government can now enter your home and monitor your activities electronically. Twenty years ago the Government still had to physically get inside your home to plant a bug aka listening device or video camera. No more. Our new Wi Fi connected world and our high tech toys and communication devices have created a technological superhighway that enables the Government, if it chooses, to invade your privacy.

    With that in mind I applaud Snowden’s revelations in hopes that it sparks a authentic debate in this country and forces us to impose limits on the ability of the Government to invade our lives. I do not see any “big cat” suddenly out of the bag. If any evil doer previously imagined that they could hide their communications without fear of detection, they are morons. The best way to protect communications is to meet face-to-face in a room specially shielded to protect any kind of eavesdropping. Or, write by hand a coded message and have it delivered by a trusted courier. But even those kinds of systems can be penetrated.

    So, I will now divulge a highly classified piece of intelligence. I hope you are sitting down–the United States spies on other countries and groups that we believe pose a threat to us. Here’s another deep, dark “Secret.” Foreign governments routinely spy on us. Hell, I believe we have even locked up an American citizen, a fellow named Jonathan Pollard, for spying on us on behalf of Israel.

    I am troubled, however, by the timing of Snowden’s so-called revelations. It came on the eve of President Obama’s meeting with the Chinese and a top item on the agenda was to berate the Chinese for their “hacking.” Snowden’s leak completely emasculated that strategy. Obama had little standing for criticizing Chinese abuses while an American citizen was on Chinese territory describing how the United States was doing the same kind of things to the Chinese. Oopsie.

    There are three reasons leaks occur–1) a deep-seated dispute over policy, 2) a desire to promote and/or praise the policies of the President or 3) espionage. Could it be that Snowden was recruited by the Chinese? Was it a false flag recruitment?

    You want proof of Number Two? Today’s Washington Post reports:

    U.S. intelligence operatives covertly sabotaged a prominent al-Qaeda online magazine last month in an apparent attempt to sow confusion among the group’s followers, according to officials.

    The operation succeeded, at least temporarily, in thwarting publication of the latest issue of Inspire, the English-language magazine distributed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. When it appeared online, the text on the second page was garbled and the following 20 pages were blank. The sabotaged version was quickly removed from the online forum that hosted it, according to independent analysts who track jihadi Web sites.

    In contrast to Snowden’s revelations, this leak actually tells the bad guys what we are doing in a way that directly impacts their activities. You tell me–why is this okay and Snowden’s bad?

    The irony of Snowden decrying US electronic spying while sitting on Chinese territory, where similar abuses are routine, did not escape me. That said, I would caution you against buying into the National Security fear mongering being spread, especially on FOX, that suggests we are now vulnerable to bad guys. That’s only true if you accept the fact that your Government, the United States of America, is a potential bad guy who can invade your Constitutionally protected privacy.

    The only enemies that Snowden’s revelations helped are the political enemies of Barack Obama. Snowden exposed the galling hypocrisy of Obama, who still wants you to believe that he is not “bad” like Bush. Obama desperately wants you to ignore what he is doing and focus only on his vacuous pronouncements. I find the entire affair disgusting. But it does serve one good purpose–it reminds us that our the men who drafted the Constitution may not have foreseen the technological advances of society but they certainly understood that the Executive power of the government must be limited and subjected to the oversight of the people. Let us pray this lesson is relearned.

  163. n 2009, however, Obama extended three provisions of the Patriot Act – allowing roving wiretaps, which would allow monitoring of an individual instead of a specific number; seizure of financial, medical, library and other records of suspected terrorists; and monitoring someone suspected of engaging in terrorism who may not be linked to a specific terrorist group, the Washington Times reported on Sept. 16, 2009. – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/sharpton-you-can-t-blame-obama-secret-surveillance#sthash.b4TxK7xn.dpuf

  164. A point I have been trying to get past the spam filters is that in 2007 Obama did the SNL skit taking off all the Obama masks to reveal that even though it was Halloween, he has nothing to hide. Fast forward to today, and I noted the seven scandals he and his corrupt administration are embroiled in and it becomes obvious that the contrary is true, for every day now he proves to us, regardless of political stripe that he has much and too much for a president to hide.

  165. Reposting this great post. 🙂

    If the judicial leg of the three legged stool is corrupt, and the executive leg of the stool is equally corrupt and the legislative leg of the stool is corrupt, seem’s the owners of the stool would have noticed a long time ago and replaced the legs as they went bad. Perhaps the owners of the stool just did not care, perhaps its planned obsolescence. Do you suppose a new stool is on order? With all thats going on it appears the stool is in need of emergency repair, maybe the owners of the stool will see the need to replace the leg’s with one’s made of Constitutional Oak rather than the modeling clay the stool legs have become. Wishy washy clay legs are nothing but trouble producing heart ache for the owners and frankly are dangerous to the health of the owners as well.

  166. “I have nothing to hide. I enjoy being myself,”. “I’m not going to change who I am just because it is Halloween.”
    —————————-
    When bots say I’m cute and funny
    And my teeth aren’t teeth but pearls
    I just scarf it up like honey (aka foreign campaign contributions)
    I enjoy being a shill

    A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.

    “Shill” typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the impression that they are an enthusiastic independent customer of a seller (or marketer of ideas) for whom they are secretly working. The person or group who hires the shill is using crowd psychology to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services (or accept the ideas being marketed). Shills are often employed by professional marketing campaigns. “Plant” and “stooge” more commonly refer to any person who is secretly in league with another person or organization while pretending to be neutral or actually a part of the organization he is planted in, such as a magician’s audience, a political party, or an intelligence organization (see double agent).[citation needed]
    Auctioneer and assistants, Cheviot, Ohio.

    Shilling is illegal in many circumstances and in many jurisdictions[1] because of the potential for fraud and damage, however if a shill does not place uninformed parties at a risk of loss, but merely generates “buzz,” the shill’s actions may be legal. For example, a person planted in an audience to laugh and applaud when desired (see claque), or to participate in on-stage activities as a “random member of the audience,” is a type of legal shill.[citation needed]

  167. Larry Johnson via Wbboei says:

    I am disturbed by the cavalier attitude of so many towards the Constitution and the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. I am furious with all who insist that the threat of terror is so great and so unique that we must surrender our freedom. Thank Christ the technology of today did not exist back in 1776. By this kind of logic and reasoning the Brits had ample justification to go after traitors and terrorists such as John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Richard “Lighthorse Harry” Lee. Back then the tyrants had to physically travel to your home and force their way inside. Governments and their security forces still have that power and ability.

    *******************************************************

    I have been thinking basically the same thing…with what is going on today…there would not have been a United States of America…

    Roger Williams and all the rebels of those days would have been thrown into jail and/or killed…

    with the complicit media and the secret government of today…they want us to shut up and behave…and if we do not like it…or protest…or dare to reveal their secrets…then the rebels of today are treasonous and narcissistic because they won’t conform to the set-up and rules designated by the elite know-it-alls…

    …the elite know-it-alls that are becoming richer by the day…going back and forth from goverment positions to executives of private companies and contractors and creating the policies that are making them very rich while they are forcing the rest of us to surrender to them and shut up and behave…no need to ask any questions…

    what the hell is happening to the USA?

  168. By Evan Perez

    The National Security Agency’s broad collection of U.S. phone customer data received its first legal challenge since the disclosure of the program last week.

    The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, alleging that the National Security Agency was violating the ACLU’s constitutional rights. The ACLU said it is a customer of Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.67%’s Verizon Business Network Services and it said metadata from the ACLU’s phone calls are being collected.

    The Obama administration declassified elements of the NSA program after the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper published a secret court order that authorized the NSA collection of phone records from Verizon customers.

    The NSA program is much broader, according to people familiar with the matter, and also includes call data from AT&T T -0.58% and Sprint S +2.51%, encompassing the country’s three largest phone companies. The broadness of the collection means that for every call made by the majority of Americans, the NSA gets a record of the location, the number called, the time of the call and the length of the conversation, according to the people familiar with the matter.

    President Barack Obama has defended the program and said the court-approved order doesn’t allow the government to eavesdrop on calls. The practice, which evolved out of warrantless wiretapping programs begun after 2001, is now approved by all three branches of the U.S. government.

    The ACLU suit filed in New York’s Southern District seeks a federal court order declaring the mass call logging in violation of federal law that governs foreign intelligence surveillance, as well as constitutional free speech and search-and-seizure protections.

    The ACLU is also asking that the court stop the data collection and require the destruction of records already collected.

  169. Don’t cheer too loudly. Chances are they will fuck it up. At one time they had good lawyers. Whereas now, it is a crap shoot. That said, I do wish them luck. For once in their century long existence they landed on the right side of an issue. Billy Mitchell must be watching over this nation. Surely not their foundeer Roger Baldwin. He was too close to Lenin.

  170. In the early part of the last century, Christopher Columbus Langdell the legendary dean of Harvard Law School and others of his generation imposed Jewish quotas–which sought to limit their access to public education. The ACLU, and others fought against that discrimination and argued that merit–not race, religion etc. should govern access to higher education. That view fell into disrepute by the late 1960s, when the concept of affirmative action was introduced into legislation and case law. That issue split the ACLU, and the half of it I was supportive of–lead by William Van Alstyle of Duke law school left the organization. Bill Jacobson today notes that a Texas case involving affirmative action will be ruled on by the Roberts Court and opines that affirmative action is now an idea whose time has come and gone. He finds support for that view in the maunderings of Bill Keller lately of NYT. The question is now that we have had it for 50 years how do you disengage. It has become an entitlement, and to take it away may further divide society. Having it divides society, removing it divides society, but the difference is removing it may also provoke civil strife in these trying times.

  171. This is as off topic as possible…just motoring around the nets, stumbled on that link for Wbb above, the 50 Worst Cars, and had to share this one for the laughs.

    1899 Horsey Horseless

    Somewhere between an early car and the head-in-the-bed scene in The Godfather, the Horsey Horseless, the brainfart of inventor Uriah Smith of Battle Creek, Mich., was intended to soothe the skittish nerves of our equine servants. A wooden horse head was attached to the front of the chuffing buggy in order to make it resemble a horse and carriage (Smith recommended the horse head be hollow to contain volatile fuel — another great idea).

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1658545_1657686_1657662,00.html

  172. Hi…Yes I am still in Turkey until Sunday, I am currently in the south western tip, there are still regular protests but what is going on in the big cities is nothing short of state sponsored terror and violence and flagrant intimidation, abuse and assault against peaceful protestors.

    they need help and support and the turkish media is doing its best to ignore it under fear from the ruling party…this is not a democratic country anymore like it was under Ataturk ideals.

  173. Obama has an “off the record” meeting with his stenographers…

    “Reporters who attended Monday’s session with the president were loathe to discuss it with BuzzFeed, citing the White House’s stipulation that the meeting remain off the record. But the session came after the White House announced a “travel/photo lid” for the day — White House parlance for no more events, and the signal for the pool reporter to go home — and reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Time, McClatchy, Politico, Tribune, NPR, Bloomberg, USA Today, AFP, Yahoo and other outlets were milling around the briefing room waiting to be called in. In total, about two dozen reporters were included. (BuzzFeed was not invited to the meeting, although a reporter, who did not know the president would be present, requested to be included.”

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/obama-schmoozes-reporters-at-secret-meeting

  174. wbboei

    “grinning like a possum eating shit out of a hairbrush”
    ____________________

    huh?! lol. I’ve hear the expression “grinning like a possum” all my life, but never have I heard the part about the shit hairbrush! I’m trying to make sense of that saying but, having some difficulty getting past that image in my head. Thought processing skills are slow kicking in. Whatever it means, it’s funny.

  175. No doubt in my mind that Rubio and the other RINOS who support amnesty will be happy to see Obama re-enter the debate, and honored to tell their constitutents how they and Obama stood side by side in selling out the American People. That should get them a lot of votes in the next primary. Notice how Rove’s organization who are worried that Romney got so few Hispanic votes are worried that Obama will swoop in now and claim the credit, with the full support of big media. So his whole scheme is backfiring, because he will not get the Hispanics but will lose the base of his party. But the good news is this puts even more pressure on the House to say no, because all of them are up for re-election and the prospects of voting for Obama’s bill will be inimical to their election prospects. The memo will read support it if you will, but at your own personal peril.
    ___________________________________________

    Pro Amnesty Republicans Do NOT Welcome Obama’s Opportunistic Return To The Debate. (I shouldn’t think so)

    WASHINGTON — As a fragile bipartisan effort to pass sweeping immigration legislation through the Senate reaches the final stretch, President Obama, who has been deliberately absent from the debate until now, has reemerged, hoping to cross the finish line along with the lawmakers who have championed the bill.

    But Republicans who favor reform are eyeing the president’s last-minute immigration are worried that his presence in the process could threaten the delicate compromises Republicans and Democrats have made over the past several months.

    “Mr. Obama adds nothing to the immigration debate at this point — not from a ideological perspective or tactical log-rolling perspective — and his entry at this point can only upset the tenuous balance negotiators are trying to create,” said Jonathan Collegio, spokesperson for American Crossroads. The Karl Rove-founded campaign spending group is running ads in support of the Gang of Eight immigration bill currently working its way through the Senate.

    Collegio said the process has a better chance of succeeding without the president’s help.

    “If he had a record of bringing folks on the hill together this entry would make sense, but Obama is clearly the least skilled congressional negotiator since Carter and his very presence will only hurt the work taking place on Capitol Hill,” he said.

    While Obama has stayed out of the immigration fray publicly this year, White House officials have been working on the bill behind the scenes, making phone calls and holding private meetings with various stakeholders to try to get a deal done. Supporters of the president have argued letting Congress work out the bill was the best idea for the time, keeping Obama — the GOP’s favorite political enemy — as far away from the debate as possible.

    But that stance changed this week as Obama began pushing for the Gang of Eight bill specifically, tying himself to the legislation in a way that makes some of the bill’s Republican supporters nervous. On Saturday, Obama touted the bill in his weekly address to the nation, and on Tuesday he held a high-profile event at the White House. Obama gave the bill a shoutout.

  176. The fear and hatred of Hillary is building up on FoxNews, this headline is posted with a photo of Hillary looking angry in her big black stroke glasses.

    State Dept. Accused of Covering
    Up Sex, Prostitution Investigation

  177. I thought this headline was about Chris Christie for a moment:

    ‘300-pound mako shark jumps into fishing boat off New Jersey coast’ (FoxNews)

    Sorry, Christie wouldn’t be jumping – my bad.

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