August 17, 2013 archive

Citizen Bezos

We Liberals Just Don’t Get We Should Surrender to Romney Democrats

Cory Booker Wins Senate Primary: The Far-Left Wins Nothing — Again…

To be honest, I may know even less than this rightwing hack editorializing in the tabloid Huffington Post about Cory Booker.

What I do know is that Cory Booker, fake liberal, was enraged with the attacks on Romney’s “capitalism” in which Cory Booker apparently partakes with his own “private equity” corporation.  These outfits have been the primary driver, along with their financiers, in de-industrializing America and pouring trillions of dollars into off-shore tax shelters.

if the far-left was more politically savvy, its strongest voices would’ve seen the strategic advantage in supporting Booker even though they don’t align exactly with Booker’s politics. The smart play here would’ve been to have supported Booker knowing that they’d have been more successful lobbying a would-be Senator Booker in support of progressive legislation than it would’ve been to lobby a would-be Republican Senator Lonegan.

And how successful will actual Democrats [I prefer the old profane canards from Rahm Immanuel to the softer lies from Bob Cesca] be explaining to a vulture that feasting on the rotting corpses of businesses that he has killed may not be preferable to getting businesses runing and workers employed in America?

You never really know how things will turn out.  The ugly, demented Nixon somehow presided over the most liberal administration in America in the 20th Century despite all its failings.

The sainted Jimmy Carter abandoned Keynes and gave us the Misery Index before Bill Clinton really took the economies of the whole damn planet down by heeding the advice of Larry Summers to rid restraints on the bankers.

The latter was all so predictable that even I did so though admittedly I couldn’t possibly have been more wrong about Nixon.  I just don’t trust the unbalanced haters.

Booker has yet to show his true color, so to speak.

Best,  Terry


On This Day In History August 17

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 136 days remaining until the end of the year.

The Dakota War of 1862 (also known as the Sioux Uprising, Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War) was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux or Dakota which began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.

Throughout the late 1850s, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862 the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.

On August 17, 1862, four Dakota killed five American settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, but estimates range from 400 to 800. It is said that until the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the civilian wartime toll from the Dakota conflict was the highest in U.S. history (excluding those of the Civil War).

Over the next several months, continued battles between the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late December 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on December 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In April 1863 the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations.

NSA: Oversight or Coverup?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

NSA Spying: The Three Pillars of Government Trust Have Fallen

by Cindy Cohn and Mark Jaycox, Electronic Frontier Foundation

With each recent revelation about the NSA’s spying programs government officials have tried to reassure the American people that all three branches of government-the Executive branch, the Judiciary branch, and the Congress-knowingly approved these programs and exercised rigorous oversight over them. President Obama recited this talking point just last week, saying: “as President, I’ve taken steps to make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people.”  With these three pillars of oversight in place, the argument goes, how could the activities possibly be illegal or invasive of our privacy?

Today, the Washington Post confirmed that two of those oversight pillars-the Executive branch and the court overseeing the spying, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court )- don’t really exist. The third pillar came down slowly over the last few weeks, with Congressional revelations about the limitations on its oversight, including what Representative Sensennbrenner called “rope a dope” classified briefings. With this, the house of government trust has fallen, and it’s time to act.

Latest Leak: NSA Abused Rules To Spy On Americans ‘Thousands Of Times Each Year

by Mike Masnick, TechDirt

(T)he latest report from the Washington Post based on leaked documents shows that an audit of the NSA’s activities shows it broke privacy rules, mostly to spy on Americans, thousands of times per year:

   The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

   Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

The audit info comes from Ed Snowden’s leaks, so it seems rather incredible that President Obama, Keith Alexander and Mike Rogers didn’t seem to realize that this audit would eventually come to light, showing that they were flat out 100% lying to the American public.

That’s Not Oversight: Head Of FISC Admits He Relies On NSA’s Statements To Make Sure They’re Obeying The Law

by Mike Masnick, TechDirt

The chief judge of FISC, Reggie Walton, who has reacted angrily in the past to the claims of FISC being a “rubber stamp”, has now admitted that the FISC really can’t check on what the NSA is doing and relies on what they tell him to make sure that they’re not breaking the law.

   “The FISC is forced to rely upon the accuracy of the information that is provided to the Court,” its chief, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, said in a written statement to The Washington Post. “The FISC does not have the capacity to investigate issues of noncompliance, and in that respect the FISC is in the same position as any other court when it comes to enforcing [government] compliance with its orders.”

That’s not quite true. You see, with “any other court” when it comes to “enforcing compliance” things aren’t all hidden away from everyone, so there is scrutiny to make sure that there’s compliance. Not here.

Either way, this again shows just how laughable President Obama’s claims are about the FISC’s oversight abilities:

   “We also have federal judges that we’ve put in place who are not subject to political pressure,” Obama said at a news conference in June. “They’ve got lifetime tenure as federal judges, and they’re empowered to look over our shoulder at the executive branch to make sure that these programs aren’t being abused.”

Not quite. Now we know that they rely on the NSA to tell the judges what they might see if they were looking over their shoulders… and the NSA isn’t entirely truthful to FISC about that.

The latest revelation that the House Intelligence Committee withheld surveillance information from Congress before a critical vote to renew the Patriot Act has resulted in pressure from both side of the aisle and government watch dogs on committee chair Mike Rogers (R-MI). The demand is for an explanation of why a document that prepared by the justice department and intelligence community was not shared by the panel’s leadership. From Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian:

The accusations broaden the focus of the surveillance controversy from the National Security Agency to one of the congressional committees charged with exercising oversight of it – and the panel’s closeness to the NSA it is supposed to oversee.

(Michigan Republican Justin) Amash told the Guardian on Monday that he had confirmed with the House intelligence committee that the committee did not make non-committee members aware of the classified overview from 2011 of the bulk phone records collection program first revealed by the Guardian thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden. The document was expressly designed to be shared with legislators who did not serve on the panel; it appears that a corresponding document for the Senate in 2011 was made available to all senators.

“Nobody I’ve spoken to in my legislative class remembers seeing any such document,” Amash said.

Amash speculated that the House intelligence committee withheld the document in order to ensure the Patriot Act would win congressional reauthorization, as it ultimately did.

On Monday, a former senate staffer Jennifer Hoelzer, who was deputy chief of staff for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), spoke with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on President Barack Obama’s proposed changes to reform the government’s surveillance policies and programs.

Full transcript can be read here

“Unfortunately Edward Snowden was the only means by which we have been able to have this debate,” Hoelzer says. “We, working for Senator Wyden, did everything to try to encourage the administration to bring these facts to light. We’re not talking about sources and methods, we’re not talking about sensitive materials, we’re talking about what they believed the law allows them to do.”

As Spencer Ackerman points out in his article, both Chairman Rogers and his ranking Democratic counterpart, Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, are “staunch advocates of the NSA bulk surveillance programs.”

This is the government’s definition of “oversight.”

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Health and Fitness News, a weekly diary which is cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette. It is open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here and on the right hand side of the Front Page.

Gazpachos Minus the Bread

The New Gazapachos photo recipehealthpromo-tmagArticle_zps9b1b87eb.jpg

For years I insisted that gazpacho can’t be gazpacho if it doesn’t have bread as one of its ingredients. After all, bread is what gives classic gazpacho its unique texture. But this week I decided to forget about the bread and focus in on the combination of tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, onion and garlic that is really behind the signature flavor of gazpacho. The new Spanish chefs have been reinterpreting this lively, low-calorie soup for over a decade now, so I felt free to experiment, too.

~Martha Rose Shulman~

Gazpacho sans Bread

Keep this gazpacho in a pitcher in the refrigerator and enjoy all summer long.

Blender Gazpacho With Celery, Carrot, Cucumber and Red Pepper

A version of gazpacho that is essentially a tangy, pungent vegetable smoothie.

Chipotle Gazpacho

Chipotle contributes heat and smoke to this beautiful blender gazpacho.

Tomatillo, Tomato and Avocado Gazpacho

Avocados contribute a creamy texture to this spicy gazpacho.

Beet and Tomato Gazpacho

The color alone is reason enough to make this gorgeous gazpacho.

Random Japan

 photo DSC00005.jpg


A nursing student in Gifu was criticized for tweeting in-class photos of human organs along with a message that read, “We have a colon from a hospital patient.”

It was reported that prior to last month’s Upper House elections, 29 Twitter users set up accounts in which they posed as leaders of major political parties.

Archaeologists in Kyoto made a surprising discovery while examining the underside of a Kamakura-era piece of pottery: the oldest surviving example of a Japanese writing lesson.

A former employee of cosmetics company Kanebo reached a settlement with the firm over an incident in which she was forced to wear a fortune-teller costume at a training session “as punishment for not reaching a sales target.”

Friday Night at the Movies

Mother Jones takes up the call for transgender equality

In an essay entitled The Pentagon’s Transgender Problem Mother Jones writers Adam Klasfeld and Brett Brownell consider the situation of military service by transgender people and the treatment of transgender veterans.  They have subtitled the piece, in very small type:

New studies suggest that transgender civilians are twice as likely to enlist, and transgender veterans are 20 times as likely to commit suicide.