• CaseyJones

    by Published on 10-18-2013 03:13 PM

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...llion-first-t/

    U.S. debt jumped a record $328 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week.

    The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday.

    The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.
    by Published on 10-15-2013 07:50 PM

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/exc...-to-create-new

    The reporter who broke the NSA story promises “a momentous new venture.” A “very substantial new media outlet” with serious backing, he says.

    Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer and blogger who brought the Guardian the biggest scoop of the decade, is departing the London-based news organization, for a brand new, large-scale, broadly-focused media outlet, he told BuzzFeed Tuesday.

    Greenwald, 46, published revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of American and British domestic spying and about officials deception about its scope. He said he is departing for a new, “once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity” with major financial backing whose details will be public soon.

    “My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling: I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved,” Greenwald said in an emailed statement. “The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline.”
    by Published on 10-15-2013 02:38 PM

    http://www.examiner.com/article/repo...y-gov-t-agents

    Citing the Heath and Human Services website, a report posted Wednesday at the Freedom Outpost says that under Obamacare, government agents can engage in "home health visits" for those in certain “high-risk” categories.

    Those categories include:

    • Families where mom is not yet 21;
    • Families where someone is a tobacco user;
    • Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and
    • Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.

    According to HHS, the visits fall under what is called the "Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program" allegedly designed to “help parents and children,” and could impact millions of Americans.

    Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown said that despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary."

    "The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks," he said. "A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to 'intervention' in 'school readiness' and 'social-emotional developmental indicators.' A farm family may be subject to 'intervention' in order to 'prevent child injuries.' The sky is the limit."
    by Published on 10-15-2013 12:53 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...es-a-comeback/

    It’s been more than half a century, but hemp is back. Sort of.

    Earlier this month, a Colorado man harvested the crop for what advocates say was the first time in 56 years. The legality of his actions are somewhat unclear, but they represent a promising turning point for proponents of the versatile plant that can be used in fabrics, textiles, yarns, paper and carpeting.

    “I’m much more hopeful than I have been,” says Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp, a nonprofit that advocates for legal changes that would allow farmers to grow the crop. Thanks to a confluence of state and federal policies, hemp cultivation may not be far off.

    Hemp, a plant of the same species as marijuana, falls into a legal gray area. Because it contains trace levels of THC — the substance in marijuana that gets people high — it’s governed by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. It’s not illegal to grow, but you need a Drug Enforcement Agency permit to do so. And none are currently out there, according to a July Congressional Research Service report.
    by Published on 10-15-2013 11:44 AM

    http://world.time.com/2013/10/14/gre...s-yet-to-come/

    Although four months have passed since Edward Snowden’s explosive NSA surveillance leaks, the most revealing details have not yet been published, and could be rolled out in the international media over the coming weeks and months, beginning with U.S. spying activities involving Spain and France. That’s according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the Snowden story last June, and whose life has been drastically upturned since. “There are a lot more stories,” he said on Monday in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives. “The archives are so complex and so deep and so shocking, that I think the most shocking and significant stories are the ones we are still working on, and have yet to publish.”

    Greenwald was speaking in a packed university gymnasium to hundreds of journalists, who are gathered here this week for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, a two-yearly event that rotates around the world, bringing together writers, television producers and editors to share information and collaborate on work. Here, Greenwald was something of a hero — the entire thrust of the conference centers on ferreting out secrets and wrongdoing—and the journalist received a rock-star welcome. And while Rio was chosen as the location for the conference years ago, it proved a fortuitous spot. Greenwald recently revealed on Brazil´s hugely popular Globo TV that the NSA had spied on President Dilma Rousseff, as well as the government oil company Petrobras. The news caused a furor in Brazil, not least from Rousseff herself, and she canceled a White House visit, originally scheduled for next week.
    by Published on 10-14-2013 05:50 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...d8f_print.html

    The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

    The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.
    by Published on 10-14-2013 05:35 PM

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/...s-30x-long-law



    Bureaucracies in the Obama Administration have thus far published approximately 11,588,500 words of final Obamacare regulations, while there are only 381,517 words in the Obamacare law itself.

    That means unelected federal officials have now written 30 words of regulations for each word in the law.

    What is commonly known as the Obamacare law includes both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). Since these bills were signed into law by President Barack Obama in March 2010, various agencies in the administration have published 109 final regulations spelling out how they are to be implemented.
    by Published on 10-14-2013 04:58 PM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/te...ties.html?_r=0

    Federal grants of $7 million awarded to this city were meant largely to help thwart terror attacks at its bustling port. But instead, the money is going to a police initiative that will collect and analyze reams of surveillance data from around town — from gunshot-detection sensors in the barrios of East Oakland to license plate readers mounted on police cars patrolling the city’s upscale hills.

    The new system, scheduled to begin next summer, is the latest example of how cities are compiling and processing large amounts of information, known as big data, for routine law enforcement. And the system underscores how technology has enabled the tracking of people in many aspects of life.
    by Published on 10-14-2013 12:54 PM

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/14/ob...rrest-warrant/

    A woman with an outstanding warrant for her arrest is currently serving as an Obamacare “navigator” in Lawrence, Kansas.

    Rosilyn Wells — the Director of Outreach and Enrollment for the Heartland Community Health-care Center (HCHC) – is “the only full-time Affordable Care Act navigator in Lawrence,” according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

    Wells was certified as an Obamacare navigator despite her financial history, which includes a bankruptcy in 2003, a 2007 civil charge from a local check cashing business called Midwest Checkrite for writing a bad check, and being more than $1700 behind on her state tax bill, and having an outstanding arrest warrant in nearby Shawnee County. Wells lives and works in Douglass County.

    Reached by phone, The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office would not elaborate on the specific charges related to Wells’ arrest warrant.
    by Published on 10-14-2013 11:25 AM

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...esday/2979557/

    As the government shutdown grinds into its third week, veterans benefits will draw the spotlight Tuesday in what could be the biggest protest yet aimed at pressing Congress and President Obama to solve the political impasse.

    The Military Coalition, a group of 33 veterans and military organizations, is planning a rally at the World War II Memorial on Tuesday morning. The groups want to publicize the impact the shutdown is having on many vets and their families amid concerns of delayed disability pay, GI Bill education stipends and other benefits.

    The American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars are among groups that will be represented. Steve Gonzalez, assistant director of the American Legion's Economic Division, will be among speakers emphasizing the impact on employment and training.
    by Published on 10-10-2013 05:45 PM

    MOSCOW October 10, 2013 (AP)
    By CARO KRIEL Associated Press



    Four former U.S. government officials who met with former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden said Thursday that he is adjusting to life in Russia and expresses no regrets about leaking highly classified information. Separately, Snowden's father arrived to see his son.

    The Americans, who once worked for the CIA, FBI, Justice Department and NSA, have criticized the U.S. government and exposed what they believed was wrongdoing in the security agencies. All supporters of Snowden, they are the first Americans known to have met with him since he was granted asylum in Russia in August.

    In interviews with The Associated Press, they described spending the previous evening with Snowden to present him with an award given annually by a group of retired national security officers.

    "He spoke about going out and about and getting to understand Russia and its culture and the people," said Thomas Drake, who started working for the NSA in 2001 and disclosed an electronic espionage program that he saw as invasive. "This is where he lives now, and so where you live is your home."

    Snowden's father, Lon, did not say when or where he would meet his 30-year-old son, but expressed optimism about his situation.

    "You know, I have heard so many things through the media, and my assumption is certainly, given the circumstances, he's doing as well as could be expected," Lon Snowden told the AP shortly after he arrived in Moscow. "He's safe and he's free, and that's a good thing."

    The elder Snowden said he doubts his son will return to the United States, where he is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the NSA's surveillance of phone and Internet usage around the world.

    The four former U.S. officials refused to say where they met with Snowden or where he is living.

    "For his own safety it's best that no one else knows where he actually lives," Drake said. "But I believe he is making the best of his circumstances and is living as normally as possible."

    Full story:
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/...oscow-20526263
    by Published on 10-10-2013 06:56 AM

    Top Internal Revenue Service Obamacare official Sarah Hall Ingram discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller.

    Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division, also received an email alongside White House officials that contained confidential information.

    Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.

    Full story: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/09/wh...taxpayer-info/
    by Published on 10-09-2013 01:31 PM

    BY JIM SWIFT
    12:51 PM, OCT 9, 2013

    Earlier today, an unidentified bearded man took it upon himself to bring his lawnmower and a few tools to the Lincoln Memorial to provide free groundskeeping work to the closed federal monument.

    It's unclear how much of the expansive lawn behind the memorial was mowed, but Park Police were alerted and three cruisers with multiple officers showed up.

    THE WEEKLY STANDARD watched the officers observing the mystery mower from a distance, as he appeared to be packing it up for the day, carefully placing his blue South Carolina flag in a tube attached to his tool-toting dolly.

    According to Park Police public information officer Sergeant Paul Brooks, there was no arrest made. "He was asked to leave, and he complied," said Brooks.

    On Twitter, Brandon Morse shared a photo of the mystery memorial mower:



    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...st_762324.html
    by Published on 10-08-2013 04:06 PM

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/natio...r-own-20131008

    Scientists, engineers and policymakers are all figuring out ways drones can be used better and more smartly, more precise and less damaging to civilians, with longer range and better staying power. One method under development is by increasing autonomy on the drone itself.

    Eventually, drones may have the technical ability to make even lethal decisions autonomously: to respond to a programmed set of inputs, select a target and fire their weapons without a human reviewing or checking the result. Yet the idea of the U.S. military deploying a lethal autonomous robot, or LAR, is sparking controversy. Though autonomy might address some of the current downsides of how drones are used, they introduce new downsides policymakers are only just learning to grapple with.

    The basic conceit behind a LAR is that it can outperform and outthink a human operator. "If a drone's system is sophisticated enough, it could be less emotional, more selective and able to provide force in a way that achieves a tactical objective with the least harm," said Purdue University Professor Samuel Liles. "A lethal autonomous robot can aim better, target better, select better, and in general be a better asset with the linked ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] packages it can run."
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