• twomp

      by Published on 07-13-2014 09:22 AM

      Once upon a time, Barack Obama's harsh and deserved criticism of President George W. Bush's executive overreach was a popular campaign applause line at Democratic rallies. Now, he is facing down a threatened lawsuit from House Speaker John Boehner challenging the president's abuse of executive power.

      Obama has dismissed the suit as a "stunt," which is partly true.

      The convenient election year timing isn't a coincidence. But that a public legal battle might benefit Republicans doesn't mean the GOP suit is devoid of merit.

      Read the rest here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinio...lumn/11934197/
      by Published on 07-13-2014 08:20 AM
      Article Preview

      From antiwar.com: http://original.antiwar.com/chris_er...estroyed-iraq/

      It doesn’t take a PhD in Sociology to conclude that Iraq was better off with Saddam Hussein than it is today.

      It’s not that Saddam was a great leader without blood on his hands. It’s just that what six US presidents have done to Iraq over the past 35 years has been much worse than anything Saddam ever did to the people of Iraq.

      Under Saddam, Iraqis had a thriving economy that included a wealthy middle class, a high functioning infrastructure on par with the most developed nations of the world, and free healthcare and free education through graduate school. Today, Iraqis have an effective unemployment rate of 50%, a difficult ...
      by Published on 07-08-2014 08:30 AM

      These are the men and women who are supposed to keep watch over the nation’s spies. And they have no idea about the latest revelations of inappropriate NSA snooping.

      The newest revelations about the National Security Agency may be shocking to the rest of us. To the congressional overseers of the American intelligence services, not so much. They’re still catching up from a holiday weekend. Or maybe they’ve just become numb to the whole spying-on-ordinary-people thing.

      Using files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the NSA scooped up the communications of innocent Internet users, including Americans, and that those not targeted by the agency far outnumber those targeted by the agency.

      read the rest here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...bombshell.html
      by Published on 07-02-2014 02:41 PM

      Journalist says his team is investigating objections raised

      Jon Queally, staff writer
      Tuesday, July 1, 2014

      At midday on Monday, journalist Glenn Greenwald announced that revelations he has termed among "the most important" to result from documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden would be published at midnight.

      However, despite the growing anticipation on Monday and just hours prior to the expected publication, Greenwald went back to Twitter and announced:

      As of noon on Tuesday, the reporting was still not showing on The Intercept, the online outlet edited by Greenwald where much of his most recent reporting on the documents has appeared, and no additional updates on the status of the reporting were seen on Twitter.

      In various venues in recent months, Greenwald has suggested that the most explosive 'bombshell' reporting based on the documents would come last and recently discussed how the focus of the reporting will reveal the specific individuals or kinds of people that the NSA is targeting inside the United States with its "collect it all" approach to digital surveillance.

      by Published on 06-26-2014 05:26 PM

      MonkeyParking, the Italian startup that was recently ordered to cease and desist by the San Francisco City Attorney, has remained defiant.

      ”We are not stopping any service as we know we are not illegal, so there is no reason to do it,” Paolo Dobrowolny, the company’s CEO, told Ars.

      On Monday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera cited a city code that forbids drivers who "enter into a lease, rental agreement, or contract of any kind" for public parking spots. The violation is punishable by up to $300 in fines.

      Continued: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...-to-shut-down/
      by Published on 06-26-2014 09:38 AM

      BAGHDAD (AP) — Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants' positions inside Iraq, military officials confirmed Wednesday, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned against the threat and said other nations should stay out.

      Meanwhile, a new insurgent artillery offensive against Christian villages in the north of Iraq sent thousands of Christians fleeing from their homes, seeking sanctuary in Kurdish-controlled territory, Associated Press reporters who witnessed the scene said.

      The United States government and a senior Iraqi military official confirmed that Syrian warplanes bombed militants' positions Tuesday in and near the border crossing in the town of Qaim. Iraq's other neighbors — Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — were all bolstering flights just inside their airspace to monitor the situation, said the Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

      American officials said the target was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Sunni extremist group that has seized large swathes of Iraq and seeks to carve out a purist Islamic enclave across both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.

      "We've made it clear to everyone in the region that we don't need anything to take place that might exacerbate the sectarian divisions that are already at a heightened level of tension," Kerry said, speaking in Brussels at a meeting of diplomats from NATO nations. "It's already important that nothing take place that contributes to the extremism or could act as a flash point with respect to the sectarian divide."
      Kerry has lost his mind. I don't think he even knows what he's talking about any more.

      Read the rest here:
      by Published on 06-25-2014 07:24 AM

      Looks like President Vladimir Putin has renounced his right to intervene in Ukraine. He gave his authority to invade Ukraine back to the Russian parliament. Yet another move that our tyrants could learn from. The strength to give back the power you were given.

      Vladimir Putin formally took Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine off the table as separatist leaders agreed to a ceasefire, proposed by Kiev, in the region.

      But both the government and the rebels accused each other of continuing to open fire after the ceasefire was agreed Monday evening, and the downing of a Ukrainian helicopter on Tuesday evening, killing nine, raised further questions about the possibility of ending the bloodshed quickly.

      The fighting has left hundreds dead over the past two months and the region now enters a difficult and uneasy period of negotiations aimed at stopping the cycle of violence.

      Putin on Tuesday asked the upper house of the Russian parliament to revoke its ruling in March saying Russia could use troops on Ukrainian territory.
      Read the rest here:

      by Published on 06-17-2014 04:34 PM

      KILIS, TURKEY—Syria’s civil war has washed over Turkey’s border, flooding the latter with hundreds of thousands of refugees. The problems worsen daily, as the Obama administration contemplates expanded aid to the rebels. The Turkish government is urging Washington to intervene more actively to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian refugees also look to America for help. Yet administration efforts so far have yielded few positive results.

      George W. Bush’s grandest foreign policy “success,” the ouster of Saddam Hussein, is turning into an even more dramatic debacle. Egypt is racing back into Mubarak-style authoritarianism, with political instability likely to eventually follow.

      Turkey is moving in both an authoritarian and Islamic direction, raising doubts about its future international orientation. The outcome of President Barack Obama’s “splendid little war” in Libya continues to unravel.

      read the rest here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dougband...erywhere-else/
      by Published on 06-15-2014 08:59 AM

      Washington (AFP) - The United States condemned an attack on Russia's embassy in Kiev on Saturday and called on Ukraine to provide adequate security for the diplomatic mission.

      The US reaction came after a crowd, inflamed by the downing of a Ukrainian military transport plane, tore down the embassy's flag and overturned vehicles as a dozen police looked on.

      "The United States condemns the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev, and calls on Ukrainian authorities to meet their Vienna convention obligations to provide adequate security," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

      US Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, called Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and expressed condolences for the 49 troops killed Saturday when pro-Russian rebels shot down the Il-76 transport plane near the airport that serves the city of Lugansk, a senior State Department official said.

      The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Kerry underscored to Yatsenyuk "the commitment of the United States and G7 partners to raise the costs for Russia if it does not end the flow of weapons across the border and break with separatists."
      by Published on 05-29-2014 06:43 PM

      Obama never mentions Paul by name. But Paul's views -- described as isolationist by his detractors and non-interventionist by his allies -- repeatedly function as a rhetorical device against which Obama argues, and which he clearly means to reject as part of his broad vision of the post-Iraq/Afghanistan/Sept. 11 world and the United State's role in it.

      Let's go through a few particularly Paul-y passages from Obama.

      * "At least since George Washington served as commander-in-chief, there have been those who warned against foreign entanglements that do not touch directly on our security or economic well-being. Today, according to self-described realists, conflicts in Syria or Ukraine or the Central African Republic are not ours to solve. Not surprisingly, after costly wars and continuing challenges at home, that view is shared by many Americans."

      Obama, like many -- Democrats and Republicans -- who reject the Paul view of the U.S. in the world, uses the idea that this isolationist tendency is nothing new and, since it has failed to catch on fully in the past, argue that it won't catch on this time either. Maybe so, but as Obama acknowledges, the Paul view is one held by a major chunk of the American populace. This chart -- courtesy of an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll conducted late last month -- tells that story powerfully.
      Read the rest here:

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