Short synopsis at link above.
More in-depth analysis at The National Memo.
Sanchez said that what lawmakers learned ”is significantly more than what is out in the media today,” which is interesting when considering previous reports by journalists and whistleblowers.
Here’s a rundown of the reports and the allegations:
- In 2006 NSA insiders told Leslie Cauley of USA Today that the NSA has been collecting almost all U.S. phone records since shortly after 9/11.
- In 2010 Dana Priest and William Arkin of The Washington Post reported that “collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, and other types of communications” every day.
- According to a 2007 lawsuit, Verizon built a fiber optic cable to give the “access to all communications flowing through the carrier’s operations center.”
- In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford reported how the U.S. government hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap AT&T.
- AT&T engineer Mark Klein discovered the “secret room” at AT&T central office in San Francisco, through which the NSA actively “vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” through the wiretapping rooms, emphasizing that “much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.”
- Former NSA executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake testified that the NSA is using Israeli-made hardware to “seize and save all personal electronic communications.”
- A classified program called Prism, leaked by Snowden, appears to acquire information from the servers of nine of the biggest internet companies. The Washington Post reported that the government’s orders “serve as one-time blanket approvals for data acquisition and surveillance on selected foreign targets for periods of as long as a year.”
- NSA Whistleblower William Binney that the NSA began using the program he built (i.e. ThinThread) to use communications data for creating, in real time, profiles of nearly all Americans so that the government is “able to monitor what people are doing” and who they are doing it with.
- In July the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), established to “hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance,” found that the NSA violated the Fourth Amendment’s restriction against unreasonable searches and seizures “on at least one occasion.”
- BONUS: In March CIA Chief Technology Officer Ira “Gus” Hunt said: “It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information.”
If there is “significantly more” to the NSA’s domestic snooping, then we’re all ears and eyes.
I guess the only good thing that’s come from this whole NSA issue is that those of us who read and repeated that “the NSA has been aggregating and monitoring all internet traffic using AT&T and Verizon fiber splits since about 2006” look a lot less crazy. I mean, it was always accurate information - it’s been widely reported and well sourced for almost a decade, as the above demonstrates - but now it seems a lot more people are finally paying attention to the implications.
What did you think a $4 Billion, 65 Megawatt-powered, data storage and analysis installation in Utah was being used for? Bitcoin mining?
The IRS office in Cincinnati which decides whether to exempt such groups from income tax singled out 72 of them for scrutiny because they were openly affiliated with the Tea Party movement, together with 24 others whose names included associated labels such as “patriot”.
To qualify for tax exempt status such groups have to show they are not directly backing a political candidate but they are allowed to campaign on general “civic issues”.
However a further 226 other political groups were also placed in the same review whose affiliations were not immediately apparent from their name alone, which is often the case among liberal campaign groups. It remains unknown how many of these were in fact Democrat-leaning groups, partly because individual names cannot be publicly released under IRS confidentiality laws.
At first, my thought was “How ‘shocking*’ that political groups openly opposed to taxation would be given further review in (though not actively blocked from) their applications for politically-oriented tax-exempt status.”
But now my thoughts are just “How ‘shocking*’ that GOP groups are claiming persecution for being treated equally as opposed to preferentially.”
*Read: “not really shocking at all.”
I vote we actually just enforce the laws we have already. Anyone think about that one?
Yes, that’s a huge part of what must be done BEFORE we take any other major steps. This should be a piece-by-piece approach in order to be fair to all Americans — and future Americans.
Heritage, can I put you down in favor of deporting six-year-olds? Because you know we deport six-year-olds, right? And I’m having a really hard time finding anybody who thinks that’s a good idea. I mean, I know, deep down, that it must be for Freedom and the American Way. It just seems so mean-spirited.
Also, could you help me come up with a polite way to tell the DREAMers to GTFO? Because using the F-word—even in an abbreviation isn’t a really dignified way to go about things. But I can’t figure out how we can support deporting them without, at least, using it implicitly.
But you’re right. We can’t compromise on this. Because this is about what it means to be an American. I’m an American because my parents were an American. And I’m proud of that accomplishment. But if other people start becoming Americans because they wanted so passionately to be Americans that they sacrificed everything to be here and prevailed, despite the odds? That makes my accomplishment look pretty measly. We can’t allow that.
Just remember: “illegal immigrants” are benefits freeloaders who are so lazy that they’re stealing all the American jobs.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) intends to run for president — of the United States — and he’s been a guest on Alex Jones’ show.
In other words, the guy raising the specter of Obama using “weather weapons” to kill Oklahomans is the same guy helping influence several Republican policymakers in 2013.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find that rather alarming.
I dunno, seems about par for the course for me. Is this any less crazy than kowtowing to a national radio host who devoted an entire week to calling a private citizen a slut or actively courting a TV host that thinks gay marriage causes hurricanes?
I recently saw Eric Garcetti bowl seven strikes in a row. It was at a campaign event just before the primary election, at the Spare Room in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Eric’s technique is probably better suited to discus throwing. He hurls the ball with such force that by the time it makes contact with the ground it’s already halfway down the lane. The momentum of his own arm lifts both his feet off the ground, so that for a moment he bobs in the air like a buoy. I’m not sure the pins get knocked down so much as they dive out of the way of Eric’s throw in fear of obliteration. The frames that were not strikes were all spares, except for one, which was an eight.
If you want to know about Eric Garcetti’s actual achievements in office, about how, during his terms representing East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village on the City Council, those neighborhoods transformed from gang-ridden cesspools into some of the most dynamic and desirable areas of Los Angeles, go ahead and Google that. I support Eric for that, and also for a handful of other small details you might think are unrelated to the skills you need as Mayor of Los Angeles, but which I think demonstrate something essential.
Here are some additional minor data points.
Eric Garcetti dances like a Jewish kid who grew up in the Valley —which is to say, really well. Jewish kids from the Valley are raised on hip hop. At some point everyone had a home video that taught you how to breakdance. You showed off for girls at bar mitzvahs by demonstrating the moves you spent months learning in secret. At some point Eric mastered the pop and lock. He will bust it out with little provocation. The professional dancing crew that inaugurated the South Los Angeles campaign office was genuinely impressed.
The first time I heard Eric Garcetti speak was at a fundraiser for his City Council reelection campaign in 2005. I remember it well because I embarrassed myself. Eric was talking to the room about the history of Spanish missions in California, and he asked “How many of you here have been to the mission of Los Angeles?” I was the only person to raise a hand. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “That was a trick question. There was no Los Angeles mission.” While I shrunk back cringing into the crowd he went on to explain why this was, and demonstrated what I would come to realize was an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Los Angeles.
Before the Mayoral campaign, when he had a bit more free time, Eric Garcetti would never turn down a game of Lexulous, the Facebook equivalent of the Scrabble knock-off Words With Friends. He’s the only person I cannot beat at that game.
Steve Lopez, the usually cantankerous columnist for the Los Angeles times seems genuinely won over by Eric Garcetti, which is something, because Steve Lopez doesn’t ever seem to get won over by anything. Here’s one of his typically acerbic passages, from January: “Since my knee replacement surgery less than two weeks ago, I’ve been popping narcotic painkillers that come with long lists of potential side effects. Among them are vomiting, hallucinating and impaired thinking. It is perhaps that third one that made me feel compelled to write about the race for mayor of Los Angeles.”
But jump ahead to last week, when Lopez admitted that he is “humbled” by Eric Garcetti’s experiences. “He’s George Plimpton, Bono and Seinfeld’s Mr. Peterman all rolled into one,” wrote Lopez about Eric. “When he says: ‘And then there was the time I commandeered a snowmobile at the North Pole while on a climate-change fact-finding mission and located Salma Hayek’s lost purse in the frozen tundra,’ he’s not kidding.” You may detect a hint of sarcasm, but the fact that it’s only a hint is telling.
The title of Steve Lopez’s article is “You name it, Eric Garcetti has done it.” But that misses the point. From what I’ve seen, you name it, Eric Garcetti can do it. You might be tempted to dismiss him as one of those annoying guys who is good at everything, until you realize that he’s not good at everything, he’s only good at the things he loves —but he loves a lot of things. He loves service, he loves Los Angeles, he loves the pop and lock. And the thing about someone who has that kind of heart, who gives his all to the things he loves until he masters them, that sort of heart is infectious. It wins people over. Even curmudgeons like Steve Lopez.
The office of Mayor in Los Angeles is not like the office of Mayor in New York or Chicago. In eastern cities, the executive is invested with large amounts of unchecked authority. Eastern mayors, to some extent, rule by decree. Not so in Los Angeles, which spreads executive power over several independent bodies and offices. To be successful as mayor here, you have to exercise what they call “soft power,” which Wikipedia describes succinctly as “the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce.” The secret to soft power is winning people over. The secret to winning people over is to demonstrate a lot of heart.
There are specific reasons I’m in the tank for Eric Garcetti. I think he’s a leader. Not only do I think he’s the leader that Los Angeles needs, I think he’s the leader everyone needs. I want to see what he can do as Mayor. Please join me in voting for him tomorrow.
I’ve only met Eric Garcetti a couple times, but his responses to what I can only describe as my “pointed” questions earned my vote entirely. He’s got good ideas, a massive work ethic, and a seeming inability to abandon hope. He also recognizes Los Angeles’ potential as one of the world’s great cities, while not using it as an excuse to sugarcoat the areas that desperately need attention. In two minutes he can explain how homelessness, parks, LA city business taxes, encouraging schools to teach computer programming, and revamping LAX are all connected to the success of the city, and you realize that he’s right on all counts. Eric Garcetti earned my vote tomorrow, and I encourage you to read about him, his platforms, and his accomplishments in the links above for yourself.
Currently, The Washington Post is putting together a live board composed of Tweets, Instagram, and other social media and news updates. These are some of the most astonishing scenes currently coming out of Boston.
Police and military are still on a high profile manhunt for the younger suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, MIT shooting, and police shootout last night in Watertown. The older suspect has been killed during conflicts with police.
WAKE UP PEOPLE!
No, take a basic criminology course.
Why don’t you take a basic freedom course?
LONE CHECHEN ON THE LOOSE. BLOW THE FUCKING CITY APART. RAID EVERYONE.
To all the people on here who think what is happening in Boston is acceptable:
There is no one out shooting cops and blowing things up. There was one confrontation with police HOURS AGO. This guy is gone or dead somewhere from injuries incurred. He is not hiding in every basement in Boston (though the police searches seem to indicate that).
They are incompetent if they lost track of him with all the technology they have when they were close enough to have a shoot out at some point.
Also, it’s called the fourth amendment. This is defacto martial law and violates the rights of everyone under “lockdown”. Not to mention it makes the cops look incredibly stupid (which we already knew was the case anyways).
Stop just accepting things under a false guise of “security”. And why can’t I talk about the politics of this? The state does. They are using it to normalize you to this immense police presence so that when it is used to oppress free speech you accept it as long as they say it’s because of a “terrorist threat”.
Are you really all so gullible that you don’t understand this? Are you all so xenophobic, ignorant, isolated, nationalistic and fear-ridden that you don’t see how the state and the ruling classes are politicizing this for their own advantage? Or are you caught up in the fear that you can’t defend yourself and that you need some sort of over-reaching state apparatus to oppress you in order to “protect and serve”?
Can we start thinking critically yet? Or must we resign to the role provided to us by the state - keep quiet and obey?
1) I’m enjoying reading this in light of how the events finished up yesterday, especially the premise of “There is no one out shooting cops and blowing things up” given that that’s exactly what was going on. The premise itself is a denial of reality.
2) I’m not sure the last poster realizes the delicious irony in presenting a never-ending stream of false equivalencies, and either/or scenarios (either you see his/her point, or you’re “xenophobic, ignorant, isolated, nationalistic, and fear ridden” for example) while simultaneously asking people to think critically.
3) “Why don’t you take a basic freedom course” is an amazing sentence. I read it as maybe the most intentionally mocking sentence I’ve ever read on the internet. With that said, Poe’s law applies.
4) It’s called Exigent Circumstances, and it’s a well-established part of US law, and has been for almost four decades now (People VS Ramsey, 1976.) Essentially, it means that given dire enough circumstances (specifically including the potential escape of a suspect willing and/or able to cause harm to the public) the police can enter a property without a warrant. The other option is getting a new warrant every time someone runs onto private property or hops a fence, which was determined to be A) unwieldy and B) not what the 4th Amendment was intended to cover. The corollary is that unless it applied to the case at hand, nothing found during the search of a home could be used against you in a court of law.
5) From what I was told by people who live in that area, there was no martial law and no lockdown. People were told not to leave their houses, but nothing prevented it physically or legally from happening. This is not “defacto martial law” and I’ve provided a link to more reading to educate you on what actual Martial Law is.
6) I’m not sure what “technology” applies here. Are you suggesting that the BPD does or should have drones? Or that there’s some individual tracking mechanism that can and/or should be applicable to activate? The extent of the technology available to them seems to be A) people, and B) helicopters. Not sure about where you stand on this, but I’m okay with it staying right where it is. Knowing that he A) went into a neighborhood, and then B) disappeared while C) intending to hurt and/or kill the public seems to be a good reason to search that neighborhood to prevent D) innocent people being killed, as had happened three times previously with these individuals in the previous 72 hours. The next step when someone disappears into a neighborhood while being pursued (thankfully avoided here) is usually a hostage standoff, again with innocent people at risk. I don’t see this being used to “normalize” this response to/for free speech given that “free speech” and “public bombings” are so absurdly divergent that the argument is equally applicable that this action is meant to “normalize” people’s reaction to polar bears.
7) Regardless of the rest of the overall non sequitur above (and I actually did a quick search just to make sure it wasn’t an algorithm just assembling bits and pieces of sentences it found across the internet) I’m honestly not sure how you can say “Or are you caught up in the fear that you can’t defend yourself and that you need some sort of over-reaching state apparatus to oppress you in order to “protect and serve”?” Is your suggestion that people A) hunt down the perpetrators of a public bombing themselves to prove that they can defend themselves, or B) not have the police/FBI investigate to show they don’t need someone to protect and serve?
I honestly can’t parse that sentence, because the words arranged as such only have two interpretations, neither of which makes sense from an individual or a social construct. People can’t defend themselves from all possible intents to hurt or kill - it’s just reality. But unlike what happened in LA (which is a different story altogether) this doesn’t seem to be a case of the police harming anyone in their pursuit. Not in the shootouts (which happened in neighborhoods), and not even the woman who pulled her gun on the cops entering her home (leading to a standoff, concerns that it was a hostage situation, resolution without a single shot being fired, and ultimately everyone backing down with no harm done to anyone and no charges filed.) In their pursuit of someone with demonstrable intent to harm the public, so far as I’m aware not a single civilian was injured by the police or any other departments.
8) It’s fine and all to complain, but complaints without solutions are a pretty meaningless argument. Don’t just complain about what you don’t like, or say that anyone who disagrees with you is “ignorant” - provide solutions that could be equally or more effective in the given scenario(s). Cause I’ve got to tell you, in most of the above it’s just whining and insults, and it comes off as…well, let’s just say it comes off as someone with no intent of making a difference themselves. Anyone can complain, but people who provide solutions make a difference. The two go hand in hand - “This is wrong, here is how it should be handled.” - but one can’t exist without the other if real change is the actual intent.
…it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much…
Since half the people I see arguing about the debt ceiling don’t seem to understand it has nothing at all to do with future spending, here’s a three minute video explaining what the debt ceiling actually is.
(Hint: it’s about paying existing monetary obligations congress has already agreed to.)
For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually, in reality, happening in this country every year because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of… an imaginary Hitler.
JON STEWART, reacting to gun nuts who fear that attempts at reasonable gun control laws will lead to “government taking away your guns” and who predict the rise of new Stalins and Hitlers as a result, on The Daily Show.
Jon was particularly on point tonight.
Link to the show, as it’s one of the best they’ve done in a while.
It’s possible that preventing people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses from getting guns might decrease the risk of mass killings. Even the Supreme Court, which in 2008 strongly affirmed a broad right to bear arms, at the same time endorsed prohibitions on gun ownership “by felons and the mentally ill.”
But mass killings are very rare events, and because people with mental illness contribute so little to overall violence, these measures would have little impact on everyday firearm-related killings. Consider that between 2001 and 2010, there were nearly 120,000 gun-related homicides, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Few were perpetrated by people with mental illness.
The overall crude odds ratio for patients with severe mental illness for violent convictions during the period 1988–2000 was 3.8.
Translation: less than 4% of violent crime can be attributed to mental illness. So that argument of “we need to get serious about addressing mental illness in this country” ignores the other 96% of violent crime and is thus just a scapegoat.
Even if we’re going to get as specific as possible and just deal with homicide and attempted homicide rates, the mentally ill still only make up 18.2% - meaning that more than 4 out of every 5 homicides and attempted homicides cannot be attributed to mental illness.