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    by Published on 05-18-2015 04:40 PM

    Bipartisanship: McConnell, Stephanopoulos Reach Across The Aisle To Help Push Hillary Clinton’s Obamatrade
    by Matthew Boyle - 17 May 2015

    An embattled Republican, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), joined an embattled Democrat, ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos, in a rare showing of bipartisan support for the Hillary Clinton-backed Obamatrade deal on Sunday morning.

    With Stephanopoulos on the ropes over his $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation — a fact he didn’t bother to disclose before interviewing Breitbart News senior editor Peter Schweizer about his book Clinton Cash — there are serious questions being raised about McConnell’s decision to attempt to help the former Bill Clinton staffer.
    McConnell’s office
    by Published on 05-18-2015 03:35 PM
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    New laws to target radicalisation

    Under the proposals, ministers would be able to silence any group or individual they believe is undermining democracy or the British values of tolerance and mutual respect.


    David Cameron is to set out a string of new powers to tackle radicalisation, saying the UK has been a "passively tolerant society" for too long.

    The PM will tell the National Security Council a counter-extremism bill will be in the Queen's Speech on 27 May.

    The bill will include new immigration rules, powers to close down premises used by extremists and "extremism disruption orders". ...
    by Published on 05-18-2015 02:30 PM
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    On Friday the House passed a massive National Defense Authorization for 2016 that will guarantee US involvement in more wars and overseas interventions for years to come. The Republican majority resorted to trickery to evade the meager spending limitations imposed by the 2011 budget control act – limitations that did not, as often reported, cut military spending but only slowed its growth.

    But not even slower growth is enough when you have an empire to maintain worldwide, so the House majority slipped into the military spending bill an extra $89 billion for an emergency war fund. Such “emergency” spending is not addressed in the growth caps placed on the military under the 2011 budget control act. It is a loophole filled by Congress with Fed-printed money.
    by Published on 05-18-2015 01:25 PM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sheila Beasley was struggling to clean up after her beloved Rottweiler, Rocky, on a Bronx sidewalk on a December day in 2008 when she briefly put his leash down — a move spotted by a nearby plainclothes police officer who promptly wrote her a summons for having an unleashed dog.

    Beasley, a 50-year-old mother of two, said she forgot about the ticket and missed a court date to resolve it. That decision triggered a warrant for her arrest, and nearly three years later, police showed up at her door and hauled her off to jail, where she stayed for four days.

    "I feel like they abducted me from my house," Beasley said this week. "I would never even make up in my wildest dreams and think I would have to go through a system like that for something so insignificant as doggy poop."

    New York's court system has about 1.2 million open warrants like Beasley's, affecting people who run the risk of arrest for failing to resolve sometimes decades-old infractions for low-level offenses such as drinking in public or disorderly conduct. And while city officials haven't yet presented a formal proposal on how to resolve the backlog, Police Commissioner William Bratton has floated one approach that advocates and others are already supporting: amnesty.
    Continued... http://news.yahoo.com/nyc-police-bos...153720618.html
    by Published on 05-18-2015 12:20 PM

    For years Star Trek fans – known as Trekkies – have been the butt of jokes about their penchant for wearing pointy ears and attending science fiction conventions.

    But the police feared British fans of the cult American show might boldly go a little too far one day.

    It has emerged that Scotland Yard kept a secret dossier on Star Trek, The X-Files, and other US sci fi shows amid fears that British fans would go mad and kill themselves, turn against society or start a weird cult.


    Special Branch was concerned that people hooked on such material could go into a frenzy triggered by the millennium leading to anarchy.

    by Published on 05-18-2015 11:15 AM

    Sen. Rand Paul says the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data on "innocent Americans" has led federal law enforcement officials to lose sight of real threats -- including the Boston Marathon bombers.

    "I think if you're not spending so much time and money collecting the information of innocent Americans, maybe we could've spent more time knowing that one of the Tsarnaev boys, one of the Boston bombers, had gone back to Chechnya," the Kentucky Republican senator said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

    "We didn't know that, even though we'd been tipped off by the Russians. We had communicated, we had interviewed him, and still didn't know that."

    Paul, who's seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said if he's president he would keep the NSA but target the intelligence agency's operations toward more likely terror suspects.

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    by Published on 05-18-2015 10:10 AM

    BAGHDAD—Islamic State on Sunday seized control of the western city of Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s largest province, after military officials ordered security forces in the city to retreat.

    The fall of Ramadi to Islamic State is the extremist group’s biggest success this year, and a major blow to a government campaign to push the militants out of Anbar province.

    As hundreds of security forces and tribal fighters fled Ramadi, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the controversial decision to call in the country’s largely Shiite paramilitary force into the Sunni province.

    Taha Abdul Ghani, a member of Anbar’s provincial council, said the withdrawal order to troops in Ramadi was made to prevent mass casualties. “Ramadi, by military standards, has completely
    by Published on 05-18-2015 09:05 AM

    A federal appeals court won't force the US to disclose its clandestine plan to disable cell service during emergencies.

    That was the decision from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concerning Standard Operating Procedure 303. The court had taken the same position in February and agreed with the government's contention that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows the Department of Homeland Security to withhold documents if their exposure could "endanger" public safety.

    After the decision, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which brought the FOIA suit, had asked the court to revisit the issue in what is known as an en banc review. The appeals court declined (PDF) in a one-sentence order Wednesday.
    Continued: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...phone-service/
    by Published on 05-18-2015 08:00 AM

    The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones.

    While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation. According to Privacy International, "It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner's Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes... There was no public debate."

    Privacy International also suggests that the change to the law was in direct response to a complaint that it filed last year. In May 2014, Privacy International and seven communications providers filed a complaint with the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), asserting that GCHQ's hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act.
    Continued... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...gchq-immunity/
    by Published on 05-18-2015 06:51 AM

    The Senate is supposed to be finishing up a six-week work period, but would lawmakers really leave for the Memorial Day recess without resolving the debate over National Security Agency surveillance?

    For Sen. Rand Paul the answer is “yes,” because a lack of affirmative legislative action by the Senate by June 1 would mean the expiration of the authorities under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    “We could do something extraordinary,” the Kentucky Republican said Thursday. In the event of an outright lapse in the authorization, Paul said, “I see no reason why we couldn’t use the Constitution for awhile.”

    Paul, whose filibuster of CIA Director John O. Brennan’s nomination over drone policy elevated his profile nationally, plans to do it again.


    McConnell, who has favored a full extension of the program until near the end of the next presidential administration, floated a two-month stopgap late Thursday, but Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tweeted shortly thereafter, “Two months is two months too long.”

    The White House also upped the pressure, with spokesman Eric Schultz telling reporters Friday the Senate should not go home without clearing the House bill.

    If senators fail to pass the House bill, “they will be weakening our nation’s security and stand in the way of reforms … that would enhance the American people’s trust and confidence in the agencies tasked with protecting them.”

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    by Published on 05-17-2015 07:30 PM

    Apr 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – This month, Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) and Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2) started a Constitutional War Study Group to focus on the history, philosophy, legal authority and political need behind Congress’ constitutional war powers. The Constitutional War Study Group is open to all members of Congress and will hold regular meetings with academic, legal, and military scholars who will brief the group on how Congress can reclaim its constitutional authority and legislative process for debating and declaring war. On Friday, May 1, Congressmen Jones and McGovern will speak about the Constitutional War Study Group on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM EST.

    “For decades, Congress has slipped into a dangerous and unconstitutional pattern of failing to carry out its responsibilities and has ceded its authority to the executive branch in matters of war. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended,” said Congressman Jones. “With the threat of ISIS and our never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is absolutely necessary that Congress reclaims its constitutional authority to debate and declare war. It is a moral responsibility of Congress to do so. I hope the Constitutional War Study Group will foster a greater urgency in Congress to address matters of war.”

    “Congress must uphold its constitutional duty to authorize military action. The lack of open debate and discussion in Congress around recent military actions in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have made it clear that it is time to re-examine the role and responsibilities that we, as Members of Congress, have in committing our country to war,” said Congressman McGovern. “It is my hope that the Constitutional War Study Group will help foster dialogue among Members and increase awareness around the issues pertaining to U.S. engagement in armed conflicts around the world. At a minimum, we owe it to our servicemen and women and their families to carry out our Constitutional duties as responsibly and faithfully as they carry out theirs.”

    by Published on 05-17-2015 06:25 PM

    Fairfield, Ia. – Rand Paul sought to shape the foreign policy debate among 2016 contenders on Saturday, criticizing fellow White House hopefuls Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton for their views on the Middle East.

    The Republican senator also railed on a Patriot Act that allows the government to collect Americans' phone data, vowing to fight against its renewal in Congress in coming days.

    The speech came after a week of questions around Bush's views on the Iraq War and ahead of a week of debate on the Patriot Act in Washington.

    "We had a question this week that was asked to a certain candidate who used to be the governor of Florida who's running in the Republican primary," Paul said, referring to Bush and his appearance Monday on Fox News. "And the question was: Knowing what you know now do you think it was a good idea to topple Hussein, to begin the war in Iraq?

    "He fumbled around, and I think he had four or five different questions on four or five different days. But one of his responses was a very defensive response: 'Well, that's hypothetical. What would that have to do with this election?' I think the question has everything to do with this election."

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    by Published on 05-17-2015 05:20 PM

    Jim DeMint: Ex-Im Bank Is Crony Capitalism Run Amok
    By Jim DeMint - 05/13/2015

    There are two types of businesses: successful ones that don't need financial assistance from the government, and unsuccessful ones that don't deserve it.

    Those lucky enough to have foreign deals backed by the Export-Import Bank fall almost entirely in the first group. They don't need the help, but they'll take all the favors they can get.

    Only 2% of American exports get this kind of subsidy from the government, and over time, those special taxpayer-funded favors can mean hundreds of millions in additional profit to those lucky few corporations.

    As for the others, they're left to compete at a disadvantage. That's not opportunity for all; it's favoritism
    by Published on 05-17-2015 04:15 PM


    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh's recent blockbuster article claiming that the Obama Administration lied about the Navy Seal operation to kill Osama Bin Laden has set off a battle between the journalist and the White House. Did the government lie about bin Laden?

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