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Moscow's Voice of Truth

From Edward Snowden's Manifesto for the Truth from his residence under the protection of Vladmir Putin and the decidedly not free and open Russia:

....Sometimes the agencies even deliberately try to hide their surveillance of high officials or the public. While the NSA and GCHQ seem to be the worst offenders – this is what the currently available documents suggest – we must not forget that mass surveillance is a global problem in need of global solutions.....

Merkel's Cell Phone and the Black Guy

(1) Merkel's now famous or infamous cell phone has apparently been 'monitored' since 2002, initiated by, I assume, white guys in the Bush administration. No one has asked who authorized that action. It was before she was Chancellor. She apparently was put on the NSA 'list' when she became an important politician in Germany. This would lead one to believe that this could have been a very long list, perhaps 'a routine intelligence' procedure, NSA business as usual, and furthermore, the program involved may date back to well before 2002.

Shutdown=GOP 1% Cabal for 'Grand Bargain' Cuts

The Grand Bargain, the plan that would cut entitlements for the middle and lower class, 'chained CPI' to cut Social Security, cuts to Medicare for the aged and cuts to Medicaid for the poor.

Shutdown Prediction

Since Articleman is not here to give us his more discerning take, I will predict that the Republicans in the House, led by Speaker Boehner, will not pass a 'clean continuing resolution', or any government spending Bill the President will sign, by this Monday. Their ultimate list of demands for federal law and  finances includes everything from means testing for Medicare, less regulation of Wall Street, tax cuts for the rich, approving the XL pipeline to deregulation of environmental laws. 

Wall Street Fleecing Main Street, Gaming Commodities

While the public is thoroughly distracted with unending news and commentary on phone call logs, metadata, roller coaster accidents or the lack of accountability for the murder of a teen in Florida, one lonely article in the New York Times discusses how Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Blackrock are fleecing the consumer on Main Street with a game of merry go-round played with 1,500 lb. bars of aluminum in the environs of bankrupt Detroit:

DagTSB Report: Flight 214, Quebec Train Disaster

As Director (acting) of the Dag Transportation Safety Blog, reports on each of two recent transportation disasters are below. For the Asiana flight 214, they say the official NTSB report will be over 900 pages long and take 18 months. DTSB works on a swifter less verbally expansive, 'in your face' manner in issuing reports.

DTSB Flight 214 crash in SF:

No, NSA's General Alexander was Not Making Stuff Up

WASHINGTON — Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, said on Tuesday that American surveillance had helped prevent “potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” including at least 10 “homeland-based threats.” But he said that a vast majority must remain secret to avoid disclosing sources and methods......

Hero in Cowboy Hat, Lost a Son, Saved a Life

His name is Carlos Arredondo, and he lost two sons in the war in Iraq. He came to the US as an 'illegal' in the early 80's. He has since gained citizenship.

After he lost his son Alex to the war, he participated in anti-war protests, and was beaten to the ground and assaulted in Washington, DC during one demonstration in 2007. Link

The Peculiar Mind of Rand Paul

From McClatchy:

-Less government means more 'economic liberty', so why are rich tycoons spending billions on electing these guys? If government is drown in a bathtub, does Senator Rand Paul get the Golden Ducky? Why not start with liberating Kentucky?

Obama Loses Game of Chicken with GOP

In 2011, Obama played the fight the deficit game with the GOP, by signing the 'Budget Control Act of 2011". It mandated across the board spending reductions of 5% or so for non-entitlement spending of the government, not evaluating or specifying where or how the cuts were to be made. Just an ax to every discretionary program.

Nothing like this had ever been done before. Obama gambled it wouldn't happen. Doing so may have helped him win the election. Or maybe not.

Obama now calls the sequester "Just Dumb". Maybe his making this deal with the GOP in 2011 was dumb, and thinking they would back out of it now was also dumb. The GOP is the Party of dumb. Obama should know that by now.

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