A review of top-secret NSA documents suggests that the surveillance agency still collects and sifts through large quantities of Americans´ online data – despite the Obama administration´s insistence that the program that began under Bush ended in 2011. Shawn Turner, the Obama administration´s director of communications for National Intelligence, told the Guardian that "the internet metadata collection program authorized by the Fisa court was discontinued in 2011 for operational and resource reasons and has not been restarted." But the documents indicate that the amount of internet metadata
The NSA scooping up all content of all domestic communications and internet traffic would certainly explain some congressional votes and public statements that have left all of us scratching our heads. What might a congressman do a google search for that he wouldn´t want anyone to know about?
Threats, blackmail, and extortion. The three course dinner in Obamamerica.
Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was born in the Philippines while his parents served as missionaries, is stepping up to help victims in the country devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The Tim Tebow Foundation has activated a donation link so people can help those in need. Mr. Tebow has also made the Philippines one of the primary beneficiaries of his outreach programs, First Coast News reported. Currently his foundation is working with CURE International to build an orthopedic children’s hospital in Davao City set to open next year. The hospital is one of the few places that survived the storm, but it
A call from the Hay-Adams Hotel this past spring reporting that a Secret Service agent was trying to force his way into a woman’s room set in motion an internal investigation that has sent tremors through an agency still trying to restore its elite reputation. The incident came a year after the agency was roiled by a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, prompting vows from senior officials to curb a male-dominated culture of hard partying and other excesses.
President Obama says he´s looking for a "fix" to address cancelled insurance plans. That doesn´t mean he´ll find one. Obama has directed his health care advisers to look for a way to deal with the wave of cancellation notices hitting some policyholders. But health policy experts have no idea what the White House could actually do to alleviate the sticker shock some consumers are facing. "I can´t imagine what they´re thinking about," said Tim Jost, a Washington & Lee University law professor and an expert on the Affordable Care Act. Policy wonks on both sides of the health care debate held open the
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) vowed to continue his hold on all of President Obama’s nominees until the five State Department witnesses interviewed by the Accountability Review Board come before Congress to testify Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. Host Candy Crowley attempted to corner Graham into backing off those demands in light of CBS’s decision to retract a recent 60 Minutes interview with a British contractor who was purportedly a Benghazi witness. Graham replied the retraction is irrelevant to his demands considering he never knew the British contractor existed. Moreover, Graham said there is evidence independent of the British security
Here’s our travel advisory for New York City: It’s always a great time to go, given the restaurants and the museums and the other sites and attractions. But starting January 1, the city may not be as safe. Yes, we said “safe,” meaning physically secure. So by all means go to New York City, but if you want to hedge your bets, go between now and January 1. Why then, you ask? And what’s this concern about safety? Well, there is a story here: For more than two decades now New York City has experienced substantial declines in murder and
The federal government shutdown may have distorted the US employment report for October — but not the US economy. Blowing away expectations, the Labor Department reported a surprisingly large 204,000 gain in October non-farm payrolls vs. a 125,000 consensus. Add in a combined a 60,000 upward revision to job gains in August and September and the three-month average is 202,000 vs. 154,000 in the August-October period in 2012. Capital Economics: Apparently, the near three-week Federal government shutdown had little, if any, impact on payrolls. Manufacturing increased by a healthy 19,000, construction increased by 11,000 and retail increased by 44,000. …
President Obama has spent the past two weeks on the defensive as millions of Americans are receiving cancellation notices from their insurers as a result of changes made by his health care law. But there’s a bigger problem for Obama than Americans getting annoyed at having to lose plans that they like, despite his oft-repeated promise that they could keep them. At the end of the day, people aren’t necessarily loyal to insurance policies or companies. Americans routinely switch plans and insurance companies as they shift jobs, move, get married or have kids.
There was one clear loser on Election Day: Obamacare. President Obama’s unfair, unaffordable, and unworkable law is a disaster for America. And a majority of voters in New Jersey and Virginia agree. Both states held gubernatorial elections Tuesday. According to exit polls from CNN, voters who showed up don’t like Obamacare. In New Jersey, where Republican Governor Chris Christie cruised to reelection, 50 percent of voters said they oppose the law, and among them, 34 percent said they strongly oppose Obamacare — significantly higher than the 23 percent who strongly support it. In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli. According to CNN’s
Jon Stewart mocking and deriding CNN has become a late night ritual of sorts, and on Tuesday night he specifically targeted the CNN show New Day for making it their new ritual to go to the on-set couch when the news gets real for a (this is a real phrase they use) “couchable conversation.” Stewart was so befuddled by what we can informally call the couch walk (of shame?), especially with the weird sponsorship that goes along with it. Stewart called these moments “so gloriously, cravenly unnecessary that I think that I love it.” He made a plea to the CNN bosses
Part I: The Monster Smiles The phone rang near 8:30 one night, and an automated message played: “You have a call from a federal inmate,” and then, patched in, his voice, high and a little singsong, the name “Kermit Gosnell.” We had only briefly exchanged hellos, our first words to each other, when he made a request. “I wonder,” he said, “could you send me a picture of yourself?” “A picture?” I asked. “They won’t let you send a Polaroid,” he said, “but if you can send some image of yourself, I just feel it would help me get to know you.” I’ve spoken to many
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said ObamaCare’s Web site, already a tangled mess, might need to be rebuilt from scratch to to protect against cyber-thieves because he fears it’s not a safe place right now for health-care consumers to deposit their personal information. “ I know that they’ve called in another private entity to try to help with the security of it. The problem is, they may have to redesign the entire system,” Rep. Mike Rogers said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” political talk show. “The way the system is designed, it is not secure.”
Early this year, as part of the $92 million “Data to Decisions” program run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research began evaluating computer programs designed to sift through masses of information stored, traded, and trafficked over the Internet that, when put together, might predict social unrest, terrorist attacks, and other events of interest to the military. Blog posts, e-mail, Twitter feeds, weather reports, agricultural trends, photos, economic data, news reports, demographics—each might be a piece of an emergent portrait if only there existed a suitable, algorithmic way to connect them. DARPA, of course, is
Is the president’s Obamacare “fix” part of the Obama administration’s pattern of deceit or a product of its frequent delusion?A cursory discussion with almost anyone who knows anything about the insurance business would have alerted the president to the fact that his proposal is unworkable. The initial take from experts on both the right and the left is that the president did not fix anything yesterday. Insurance industry experts agree that the very idea that canceled health policies can be renewed or extended for one year is laughable
In a recent interview with BBC News, Oprah Winfrey said that President Obama is disrespected because he is an African-American. "There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African-American," Winfrey said. "There’s no question about that, and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it." Speaking with the BBC´s Will Gompertz in the UK to promote "The Butler," Winfrey also spoke to the global issue of racism. "It´s gotten better. Are there still places where people are terrorized because of the color of their
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful women in the world, declared she would not be stripping off her lingerie to get ‘buck naked’ on screen. The billionaire TV tsarina and occasional actress was speaking to me about her role in director Lee Daniels’s movie The Butler, in which she plays Gloria, wife of a White House butler played by Forest Whitaker. Gloria becomes bored with her middle-class life while her husband’s off looking after ‘that other family in the White House’. Oprah said that after a while Gloria starts to drink, and fools around with a neighbour, played by
Pollster John Zogby reports in our weekly White House report card that President Obama’s health care program is still troubled, but he gets credit for taking ownership and trying to fix it. "Forget about Iran and unemployment, this week was all about Obamacare and it was a ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ moment. As Tevye would say: ´Un da vun hand, but un da udda hand…´ “So we have the president admitting he broke his promise to Americans when he promised they could keep their plans. And the GOP gloated, mocked, preached doom and a failed presidency, and made a solemn vow to
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Some 50 years after John F. Kennedy´s sole presidential term was cut short by an assassin´s bullets, nearly three-quarters of Americans believe Kennedy will go down in history as an outstanding or above-average president. This is the highest retrospective rating given to any of the 11 presidents who have held office since Dwight Eisenhower. Another fifth of the public sees the slain president as average, while just 3% rank him as below average or poor. Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, and the 50-year anniversary of his assassination is being marked by a bevy of new
She didn’t write about ‘Protecting the Heart of Christmas’ at all—instead, the eternally offended governor may have penned the perfect manual for another holiday altogether: Festivus. Initially I planned to ignore this week’s release of Good Tidings and Great Joy, Sarah Palin’s book waging war on the war on Christmas. Few political hucksters milking the culture war for an easy buck peddle antics more shopworn than the annual fear-mongering that secularist Scrooges are coming for our creches. But then I couldn’t stop wondering: What happens when the Queen of Grievance takes up arms on behalf of the Prince of Peace’s
It´s been a bad week for MSNBC, and a bad week for serious journalism. First, the network learned to regret giving Alec Baldwin a job after he called a photographer a word that is more than a little homophobic. MSNBC have since suspended his show for two weeks. Now, Martin Bashir has scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrel after launching a tirade against Sarah Palin ("America´s resident dunce") that has to be seen to be believed. And you´re warned: it is stomach churning. The beloved liberal journalist used his afternoon TV show to deliver a somewhat justified critique of
His actor parents are well known activists and Stephen Ira Beatty seems determined to follow in their footsteps. The eldest child of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, who revealed he was transgender at the age of 14, appears in a new public service announcement (PSA) urging New York to change its Medicaid regulation which excludes transgender people from accessing healthcare. Stephen, 21, appears confident and informed as he speaks about the problem, saying: ‘I grew up outside of New York, but I´ve always known I´ve wanted to move here for the city´s vibrant artistic community. ‘As a trans person, I
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on Friday closed his show with likely the most disgraceful rant against former Alaska governor Sarah Palin you’ve ever heard. Besides calling her “America’s resident dunce” and claiming she has a “deceased mind,” Bashir suggested that someone should defecate in her mouth and urinate in her eyes. MARTIN BASHIR: It´s time now to clear the air. And we end this week in the way it began - with America’s resident dunce, Sarah Palin, scraping the barrel of her long deceased mind, and using her all-time favorite analogy in an attempt to sound intelligent about the national debt.
The headline is a statement to, not a quote from Boehner, but it was worth the deception to make the point. President Obama has been given so much slack by an enabling Washington D.C. media, that Obama is now hanging onto the rope to avoid falling into the abyss. The fawning media who placed all their political bets on his success, is unwilling to admit publicly (and perhaps even privately) what they know in their brains but unwilling to let their heart in on: Obama is and always was a phony.
WASHINGTON - A terrifying new ‘game’ that’s already caused deaths in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, and it preys upon unsuspecting people walking the streets, anywhere. A recent report from New York-based CBS 2 shed light on the growing trend, displaying unsettling footage of teens participating in this game – which goes by the name ‘Knockout’ – and involves randomly targeting passersby, with the ultimate goal being to knock them out with one punch as they walk by. One victim shown in the footage was 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., who was found dead with his
Barack Obama could not have been more unequivocal. The telecommunications companies had to be punished for violating the letter of federal law. He didn’t want to hear about how President Bush told them it was okay. One laughs now remembering how Obama’s base, the anti-anti-terrorist Left and its lawyer legions, used to call Bush the “imperial president” and thunder for his impeachment. Bush couldn’t hold a candle to our incumbent Caligula. He had no idea, for example, that presidents can just “waive” inconvenient parts of congressional statutes, like FISA. FISA governs foreign intelligence surveillance. It requires the executive branch to get