The National Security Agency is conducting secret tests on the computer systems of U.S. private sector entities, including public utilities, a CNET report revealed this week. The secret program, dubbed Perfect Citizen, is part of an effort by the government to improve security systems in the private sector and test offensive operations against enemies’ computer systems. Targets reportedly include power grids and gas pipelines. The NSA’s operation reportedly probes their computer systems for vulnerabilities as part of a larger cybersecurity and cyberwarfare initiative.
With Ted Kennedy Jr. ruling out a run for John Kerry´s senate seat, eyes turned to Barney Frank as a potential replacement. In an interview last week, Frank demurred but added he would not necessarily say "no" should he be offered an interim appointment. Governor Deval Patrick is tasked with the job of replacing Kerry until a special election is held in 2014. Barney Frank is retiring from the House of Representatives at the end of the year after a 30+ year tenure. However, recently Frank described himself as "tired."
Introduction: After a lengthy, self-imposed informational black-out, my high-level DHS contact known as “Rosebud” emerged with new, non-public information about plans being discussed and prepared for implementation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the near future. (Snip) DH: What’s going on now? RB: People better pay close attention over the next few months. First, there won’t be any meaningful deal about the fiscal crisis. This is planned, I mean, the lack of deal is planned. In fact, it’s necessary to pave the way for what is in the short term agenda.
The Oxygen Channel is taking a page out of Maury Povich´s playbook. The network is ordering up a new reality special to be called "All My Babies´ Mamas." And yes, the narrative is exactly what you think it is: Slated to premiere next spring, the special chronicles the complicated lives of one man, his children’s mamas, and their army of children, capturing the highs and lows of this extreme ‘blended family’ as they navigate their financially and emotionally connected lives. The special will double as a potential pilot should the ratings prove advantageous.
Hundreds of tea plantation workers have set alight their boss´s bungalow in north-east India, burning to death the owner and his wife, officials say. Angry workers surrounded the bungalow at Kunapathar in Assam state late on Wednesday, following a two-week long dispute with the management. Police said the incident happened after the management asked some workers to leave their accommodation. More than half of India´s tea output comes from 800 tea estates in Assam
A White House official explains to ABC News that “congressional stupidity” is affecting the economy – not President Obama. “What we need is for the Senate Minority Leader not to block a vote and for Boehner to allow a vote,” a White House official told ABC News. “The hits to our economy aren’t coming from outside factors, they’re coming from congressional stupidity.” As Conn Carroll noted earlier this morning, Sen. Harry Reid is currently rounding up votes from Republican Senators for a tax package that would extend current tax rates for all incomes below $250,000
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-Nev. this morning blasted Speaker John Boehner for failing to bring the House of Representatives back to Washington to pass a deal on the fiscal cliff. “We are here in Washington working, while members of the House of Representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things,” Reid said heatedly. Reid blamed Boehner for running the House of Representatives under a “dictatorship of the Speaker” insisting that he was more worried about keeping his Speakership than helping everyday Americans.
There is good news and bad news about climate. The good news is that science evidence has made it quite clear that the human contribution to a possible global warming is minor; in fact it cannot even be identified in the data record. The bad news is that the media and politicians pay no attention whatsoever to the science and are marching ahead full-speed with efforts to control CO2 emissions -- thereby hurting the economy, destroying jobs, and stunting economic growth. They are under the illusion that
Piers Morgan has done it again, this time saying that both the Bible and the U.S. Constitution are "inherently flawed" and need new "amendments." During Morgan´s Monday, December 24 broadcast of his cable spectacle, CNN´s British import once again attacked America´s most deeply held principles by slaming both the Constitution and the Bible. Morgan was interviewing Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren when he essentially went for the throat. "Both the Bible and the Constitution were well intentioned, but they are basically, inherently flawed. Hence, the need to amend it. My point to you about gay rights, for example,
President Barack Obama told ABC News´ Barbara Walters that he ran for re-election because he wanted "men with guns" around as his daughters, Malia (14) and Sasha (11), begin dating boys. The interview was the first that the President and First Lady have given since Obama´s re-election in November. It aired on Nightline on December 26. In its published highlights, ABC News has drawn attention to the Obamas´ comments about keeping the romance alive in their marriage, yet those remarks were followed by this exchange:
President Obama and First Lady Michelle released a statement on Wednesday, extending "warm thoughts and best wishes" to Kwanzaa celebrants. Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to all those celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today marks the beginning of the week-long celebration honoring African American heritage and culture through the seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. We celebrate Kwanzaa at a time when many African Americans and all Americans reflect on our many blessings and memories over the past
Documentary-maker and liberal activist Michael Moore said the reason for mass shootings in the United States is largely due to fear and racism, and on Christmas Eve he pleaded, “calm down, white people, and put away your guns.” In a blog post entitled “Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns,” while still calling for stricter gun-control laws, Moore said such laws will not stop mass killings because of “who we are” as a nation. “We are a country whose leaders officially sanction and carry out acts of violence as a means to often
Americans value their children, their safety, and the right to pursue their dreams without fear -- and those "common values" trump the rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said last Friday in a speech at a Washington, D.C., elementary school. In the coming weeks, Duncan said he plans to spend a lot of time visiting schools and communities -- to talk about gun violence: "I want to talk to gun owners and hunters and sport shooters and ask them, what should we do? I want to talk about community and responsibility,
First lady Michelle Obama said she did not want to run for elected office because she felt she lacked the patience needed to accomplish change in Washington. The first lady was asked, in an interview with ABC´s Barbara Walters released late Wednesday, why she had ruled out launching a bid for office herself. "I have learned from my husband, watching him, that it does require a great deal of patience to really feel the full impact of the work that you do on the ground," the first lady said. "It doesn´t happen right away."
Hybrid and electric cars need prominent labeling inside or out to warn firefighters and other rescuers of the hazards posed by their high-voltage systems after a serious crash, according to an influential industry panel. Hybrids or electrics should have inch-high letters or badges on both sides and the rear that are visible to first responders from at least 50 feet, says the committee of experts from SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, who looked at the issue. An alternative, it said, was distinctive
Washington –If you want to stay out of trouble in California, don’t let your dog chase a bear. And don’t get caught releasing feral hogs in Kentucky. New laws prohibiting both of those activities are among the dozens of regulations and changes taking effect in 2013. The new laws cover everything from prohibiting law enforcement officers from having sex with inmates on their way to prison to revising the term “motor vehicle” to exclude swamp buggies. More than 200 new laws will be on the books Jan. 1 and while some may seem silly or outdated others
The Obama administration´s chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation´s economy and people´s health. Jackson, the agency´s first black administrator, constantly found herself caught between administration pledges to solve controversial environmental problems and steady resistance from Republicans and industrial groups who complained that the agency´s rules destroyed jobs and made it harder for American companies to compete internationally.
Over the last few months leading ladies have leapt to the defence of Hitchcock whose reputation has been tarnished in a drama based on the experiences of Tippi Hedren, who starred in The Birds and Marnie. According to The Girl, the BBC drama in which the Hedren is portrayed by Sienna Miller, Hitchcock subjected the former model to sexual harassment and physical abuse including threatening her with broken glass. In one scene the director lunges at Hedren and his attempt to kiss the actress borders on an assault. Her rejection, the drama alleges, was avenged by Hitchcock
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this morning that it "looks like" Congress will fail to come to a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff. "It looks like that´s where we´re headed," Reid said. It´s not exactly a surprise — leaders left Washington last week without any imminent signs of a deal in the making. But it´s a grim warning just days before tax hikes and automatic spending cuts begin to take effect. Reid opened the Senate session by launching into a lengthy criticism of the House and Speaker John Boehner, saying
Europe: Ayn Rand once said: "We can evade reality, but we cannot avoid the consequences of evading reality." Witness France´s unpaid entitlements, especially its faltering social security system, as a cautionary tale for the U.S. Two years ago, French citizens rioted across the nation, angered by then-President Nicolas Sarkozy´s timid effort to put the country´s social security system on a sustainable footing, by raising the retirement age — from 60 to 62. That minor reform led to Sarkozy and his center-right party being thrown out of office, and replaced by socialist Francois Hollande.
David Gregory and Piers Morgan have both met the Alinskyite Right, and progressives in positions of power should take note. Both men are the targets of digital petition drives aimed at holding them to their own standards, and ridiculing them, invoking Rules 4 and 5 from Rules for Radicals: 4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. 5. "Ridicule is man´s most potent weapon." There is no defense
At 12:54 a.m., on Saturday December 22, President Barack Obama and his family arrived at Kailua, a Hawaiian town on the island of Oahu. Almost five days later, Obama, leaving his wife and kids behind, departed the island to return to Washington, D.C. Obama’s vacation lasted a brief 118 hours, according to pool reports. So what did Obama do during his vacation? Mainly, he golfed. Obama spent about 17 and a half hours golfing this Christmas vacation. On December 26, Obama left his vacation home at 9:27 to spend about 6 hours on the links, with buddies
At the moment it is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes as a point of light moving slowly against the background stars. It doesn´t seem much – a frozen chunk of rock and ice – one of many moving in the depths of space. But this one is being tracked with eager anticipation by astronomers from around the world, and in a year everyone could know its name. Comet Ison could draw millions out into the dark to witness what could be the brightest comet seen in many generations – brighter even than the full Moon.
Owners of an old-school soda shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, have been warned to kick the habit and stop stocking novelty candy cigarettes. City inspectors threatened a misdemeanor citation and $500 fine if Lynden´s soda fountain is caught selling the fake smokes again. The Star Tribune reported on Wednesday that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters, which has been in place for nearly three years.A city spokesman said the warning came after inspectors received and looked into a complaint about the presence of the tobacco-themed products.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied Hobby Lobby’s request for an emergency injunction to block the health reform law’s contraceptive coverage requirements and said it will not decide the case before lower courts have ruled. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the store owner doesn´t meet the extremely high standards required for a preliminary injunction. It´s not "absolutely" clear that they need the injunction and lower courts have been divided on whether to grant similar requests, she wrote, though she adds that the court doesn´t have much experience with similar religious-based claims for emergency injunctions.
President Obama has made a practice of celebrating numerous religious holidays from diverse traditions around the world. Wednesday he hailed Kwanzaa, a seven-day African-American tradition begun in 1966 by Ronald Everett. Everett adopted the name Maulana Karenga and said the holiday was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." Karenga was an active participant in the violent Black Power struggles of the 1960´s and in 1971 was convicted of false imprisonment and felonious assault.