Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 7

Republican Congressman Declares That Most People On Food Stamps Deserve To Starve (AUDIO)


Brian Fung, "The NSA is giving your phone records to the DEA. And the DEA is covering it up."

A day after we learned of a draining turf battle between the NSA and other law enforcement agencies over bulk surveillance data, it now appears that those same agencies are working together to cover up when those data get shared.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been the recipient of multiple tips from the NSA. DEA officials in a highly secret office called the Special Operations Division are assigned to handle these incoming tips, according to Reuters. Tips from the NSA are added to a DEA database that includes "intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records." This is problematic because it appears to break down the barrier between foreign counterterrorism investigations and ordinary domestic criminal investigations.

Because the SOD's work is classified, DEA cases that began as NSA leads can't be seen to have originated from a NSA source.

So what does the DEA do? It makes up the story of how the agency really came to the case in a process known as "parallel construction." …

Of course, we will be piously reminded, if you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have to worry about it. Or, as St. Reagan's Attorney General once said"… [T]he thing is, you don't have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That's contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect."


Barack Obama is the hardest-working President in modern American history yet a legislative body that works only 126 days a year criticizes him for taking a vacation?


Why We Should Stop Obsessing Over How Expensive The World's First Test-Tube Hamburger Is


 If the NSA is so omniscient and omnipresent, then how come they didn't catch Bradley Manning three and a half years ago when he was in that chat room with Wikileaks talking about the Afghanistan and Iraq videos he'd given them?


Doctors Prove George W. Bush Has A Heart; Repair It For Him


Oh, this is what passes for priorities? Detroit can't afford road, bridges, pensions, salaries, health care but it CAN afford a half billion dollar hockey arena?




Sometimes you just need to point and laugh (via Benen):

Senate candidate Liz Cheney improperly received a state resident fishing license based on an application with incorrect information, according to Wyoming Game and Fish Department records.

Cheney, who last month announced she will challenge Sen. Mike Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary, received her resident license just 72 days after closing on her Wilson house in May 2012. State law requires residents live in the state 365 consecutive days before they can receive a resident hunting or fishing license, which are cheaper than out-of-state licenses.

Cheney's application also lists her as a 10-year resident of Wyoming.

The Game and Fish records are incorrect, Cheney told the Star-Tribune.

"The clerk must have made a mistake," she said. "I never claimed to be a 10-year resident."

Blaming the clerk is the cherry on top, because it's obvious to everyone who isn't paid to shill for Liz that she was trying to use that license to prove that she's not a carpetbagger. If you think this is a nothingburger, think again: hunting and fishing are huge in Wyoming, and this will dog her until she either loses to Enzi or quits.

Something tells me Mike Enzi has a friend at Game and Fish, which is conducting an "ongoing investigation" into whether Liz is going to get a fine. Lesson one for Liz: real politics is a hell of a lot different from lying for money on Fox News.


GOP threatens CNN, NBC - GOP wants control over what they broadcast Link

Rinse Prettyboy is threatening not to partner with NBC and CNN on future presidential debates 
unless they halt production of recently announced programs about Hillary.

NBC announced in July that the network would air a four-hour miniseries called "Hillary," 
and CNN Films is producing a documentary about her as well.

In letters addressed to NBC and CNN on Aug. 5, Prettyboy warned that RNC members intend 
to vote on a resolution at their party-wide meeting later this month to shut out the networks from 
partnering with the party on Republican primary debates if they do not cancel the programs.

"Out of a sense of fairness and decency and in the interest of the political process and your company's 
reputation, I call on you to cancel this political ad masquerading as an unbiased production," Prettyboy wrote. 
"If you have not agreed to pull this programming prior to August 14, I will seek a binding vote 
of the RNC stating that the committee will neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates 
nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor."

Correct response: "Blow it out your ass, Prettyboy."


Groundwater from the hills above Fukushima is leaking into the basements of the reactor buildings, mixing with irradiated water in those basements, and then leaking into the Pacific. After the usual Tepco cluster fuck, the government is stepping in to help with this plan:

Tepco and the industry ministry have been working since May on a proposal to freeze the soil to prevent groundwater from leaking into the reactor buildings.

Similar technology is used in preventing groundwater flooding in subway construction, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday that the vast scale of Tepco's attempt was "unprecedented in the world." [...]

Experts say, however, that maintaining the ground temperatures for months, if not years, would be costly. The plan is to freeze a 1.4 km (nearly one mile) perimeter around the four damaged reactors by drilling shafts into the ground and pumping coolant through them, creating a wall of frozen earth that will block the flow of groundwater into the plant.

This is what the head of the government task force said Monday:

Tepco's "sense of crisis is weak," Mr Kinjo said. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone"

"Right now, we have an emergency," he added.

That's perhaps the most eloquent description of Tepco that I've heard so far. Their culture is clearly one of denial–they were in denial about the need for a higher seawall,  as well as during the post-tsunami meltdown, so it's no surprise that their denial has continued during the damage control and cleanup phase.


Can you say hypocrite?



GOP House after ACORN Again - Trouble is, they no longer exist, morans! Link



What is wrong with these people?


What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs?


A rightwing Christian organization falls for kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro's lies hook, line, and sinker. Castro blamed all his crimes on porn and that was exactly what the anti-porn Institute on Religion and Public Life wanted to hear. The story reminds me of the Christian conservative leader James Dobson's interview of serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy too blamed everything on a "porn addiction," rather than take responsibility for his actions, and Dobson ate it all up. The religious right seems to love psychopaths, because the psychopath's self-serving lies and excuse-making are exactly what they want to believe. And that does not say good things about the Christian right.


The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Bank of America today for fraud concerning $850 million in mortgage-backed securities.


It's the August recess and that means it's Town Hall Season. And this is what happens when a Republican representative, in this case Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), descends upon the village and tells the villagers that he is not going to vote for Senator Mike Lee's Obamacare Hostage Act.

Note: This video was edited by a Tea Party group, not a liberal group, to make it more ominous.

The key exchange:

Pittenger: Do you think Harry Reid is going to pass that in the Senate?

Village Rube: It doesn't matter.

Yeah. It doesn't matter. Fuck actually governing. Yeehaw! We should primary Robert Pittenger the next time he's up for reelection. We don't need more RINOs, right? We need someone who will stand up for "conservative values," as the lady in the video said, by holding the entire federal government hostage.

Those two things — conservative values and hostage taking — are more or less synonymous at this point.


More Republican outreach - via Media Matters

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson called Texas State Senator and choice advocate Wendy Davis "Abortion Barbie" after The Weekly Standard attacked her for not responding to a question that linked legal abortion to the crimes of doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Get it? She's blonde. She's skinny. And I want to reduce her to a doll that is typically sold with accessories such as ovens, vacuums, and princess gowns so I'll compare her to a barbie. Because I'm Erick Erickson. Nailed it!

The Weekly Standard reportedly asked Davis to respond to claims that there is "no difference between some types of legal abortion and the crimes of convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell."

Given that the two are not even remotely similar, why should she respond? I probably wouldn't but, if I did, I would say that access to legal abortion will prevent the next Gosnell. And that response would fall on deaf ears.

Whether it's reducing Wendy Davis to an "Abortion Barbie" caricature or encouraging people to slap Hillary in a video game, it's evident that their inner caveman is still controlling most of their actions. Republicans are terrified of strong, popular women in politics who don't conform to their tropes.


The National Rifle Association thinks it's a trespass against the 2nd Amendment to ban bullets containing lead. Lead bullets are totally unnecessary, of course, but the NRA think the ban would discriminate against the constitutional rights of hunters.

The NRA is also targeting zoos. For some reason.

"Anti-lead ammunition groups will not rest until all lead ammunition, and ultimately hunting, is banned," the gun lobby claimed in a Friday press release.

The NRA singled out a law under consideration in California which would require hunters in the Golden State to use lead-free ammunition. Lead free bullets are widely available from top manufacturers, and have not been shown to function any differently than bullets containing the highly toxic element. [...]

Scientists aren't the NRA's only new targets. Nonprofits like the San Diego Zoo and the California Condor Recovery Team are also on the enemies list. The NRA claims these groups "have considerable influence over many legislators and regulators," which they use to "capture" the regulatory agencies and bureaucrats responsible for lead ammunition restrictions.

Yes, the NRA's cheese continues to fall off its cracker.


Is there any difference between this and the latest unhinged rantings of Glenn Greenwald who believes the worldwide terror alert recently issued by the State Department is a political conspiracy?

via ThinkProgress

Fox News responded to the State Department's order for "nonemergency" government personnel to leave Yemen on Tuesday by suggesting that the administration is deliberately leaking intelligence to bolster its public image and distract from other scandals. [...]

"If the White House is revealing secrets, does that sound familiar? They're trying to prosecute a guy in Moscow who revealed some secrets when he was in Hong Kong," Fox's Judge Andrew Napolitano said on 'Fox & Friends' adding, "if the White House is revealing secrets to make the White House look good, the revelation of which tips off or hands to the enemy, that is not good."

According to Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy, it appears that the Obama administration is "working overtime" to distract from ongoing fake scandals, while Greenwald more or less believes the same thing, casting doubt on the idea that any threat exists today.

I know where this is headed, but it isn't going to work. If this story had come about this time next year, it may have had the affect of depressing midterm voter turnout, but as it stands the boy has already cried wolf a dozen times.

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