Try 30 seconds.
Via Noel Sheppard:
Try 30 seconds.
Via Noel Sheppard:
You’re not allowed to rule on whether it’s consitutional, Your Honor, because it’s classified! More secret law! Yay, transparency!
Via NY Times:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved late Friday to prevent a federal judge in California from ruling on the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance programs authorized during the Bush administration, telling a court that recent disclosures about National Security Agency spying were not enough to undermine its claim that litigating the case would jeopardize state secrets.
In a set of filings in the two long-running cases in the Northern District of California, the government acknowledged for the first time that the N.S.A. started systematically collecting data about Americans’ emails and phone calls in 2001, alongside its program of wiretapping certain calls without warrants. The government had long argued that disclosure of these and other secrets would put the country at risk if they came out in court.
But the government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.
“Disclosure of this still-classified information regarding the scope and operational details of N.S.A. intelligence activities implicated by plaintiffs’ allegations could be expected to cause extremely grave damage to the national security of the United States,” wrote the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr.
So, he said, he was continuing to assert the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to seek to block information from being used in court even if that means the case must be dismissed. The Justice Department wants the judge to dismiss the matter without ruling on whether the programs violated the First or Fourth Amendment.
More intolerance from the tolerance enforcers.
Via The Wrap:
. . .After the meeting (between A&E executives and GLAAD), GLAAD issued its statement on Robertson’s comments. A&E initially released a statement from Robertson in which he said he would “never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me.” But the network declined to comment itself until Wednesday night, when it announced the suspension, which GLAAD applauded.
“We believe the next step is to use this as an opportunity for Phil to sit down with gay families in Louisiana and learn about their lives and the values they share,” the spokesman said.
The organization is also currently researching companies who use Robertson as a spokesperson.
“Silence is agreement in this case,” he said. “With such egregious anti-gay and racist comments, those companies that choose to be affiliated with this family need to speak out.”
We reported on the House effort to save military pensions. Senator Sessions is trying in the Senate, by closing the waste loophole of giving child tax credits to people that don’t qualify for them, a $4.2 billion dollar black hole down which our lovely government has poured our money.
Who could object to this logical way to prevent fraud and properly pay back our troops? Democrats.
It’s just criminal to allow the fraud to go on, nevermind to allow it to continue and take the money away from our military.
Via Daily Caller:
After Senate Democrats thwarted his effort to prevent military retirement budget cuts at the expense of a welfare loophole, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions is now calling on Senate and House appropriators to include the spirit of his amendment in their omnibus spending package.
In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers obtained by The Daily Caller, the Alabama lawmaker laid out his argument for eliminating the cuts to military pensions included in the House and Senate passed two-year budget deal and off set them by preventing unauthorized people from claiming Additional Child Tax Credit payments.
“In the Senate I proposed a replacement, procedurally blocked by the Senate Majority, which I believe could attract bipartisan support,” Sessions wrote Friday. “This replacement would restore the $6 billion [over ten years] to military pensions by instituting a reform proposed by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.”
A 2011 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that millions of tax filers without Social Security numbers were able to obtain $4.2 billion in Additional Child Tax Credits in 2010, a massive increase from the $924 million in 2005.
Nobody demonizes with more vitriol than the left.
RANGEL: People are coming to the office saying thank you so much. Nobody knows the amount of complaints people have that they have been cut off from insurance; they went bankrupt because of the bill, that they reached their limitations, they had a precondition, and so for those who are against it, without any plan at all, I am amazed that they can get by with it. You would think that the tea party has no old folks, no sick folks, no poor folks, no one on social security, no one on Medicare, no one that needs a living wage. You know, when you’re on the right side, whether it’s politics or business, you have to be patient. And we do have some people that don’t mind killing the Republican Party in 2016, embarrassing the Congress and having the economy to fail and they have proven that.
More like the horrible 5 years, but I accept that this one, as he steps up “the transformation” is without doubt the champ of terrible.
Via NY Post:
When Barack Obama sings “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve, he will have reason to think back, with a deep sense of nostalgia and not a small amount of regret, on the last time he sang the song.
If he gets a lump in his throat as he recollects that glorious night one year ago, who would blame him? After all, he was riding about as high as a man can ride on New Year’s Eve 2012.
There he was, almost literally the master of the universe — the canny victor of the 2012 election, having run what was instantly regarded as the most brilliant technical campaign in American history. He used that victory to prevail in a “fiscal cliff” showdown with Republicans the last week of December that led to the significant tax increases on the well-to-do he had sought since the beginning of his first term. He had a 53% approval rating; only 40% disapproved.
Guess my World of Warcraft Authenticator is useless now huh?
Via Latinos Post:
The National Security Agency essentially bribed an important industry computer and network security firm to put a secret backdoor in their encryption formulas, according to a new report.
In September, a report by The Guardian sourced top-secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to reveal that the National Security Agency intentionally compromised security standards for a wide range of technology products, with the intention of accessing information from so-called “backdoors” in those systems.
According to the Reuters report, the NSA paid a $10 million contract to RSA Security, described as “one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry,” to intentionally include an NSA-friendly code in a key part of the encryption of one of RSA’s popular security tools. The report was based on “two sources familiar with the contract.
And if we believe Debbie Wasserman Schultz the Democrats will be campaigning on it during the midterms.
Via Red Alert:
Americans are sick and tired of hearing “Obamacare” according to a new Marist University poll, ranking it as the word Americans want to hear least in the new year.
The poll, which was released Friday, found that four in ten Americans would be content without having to ever come across the nickname for President Obama’s Affordable Care Act ever again.
Unsurprisingly, Republicans are even more vehement about their disgust for the word, with 59 percent of them wishing they wouldn’t have to hear the word “Obamacare” come January. Just one in four Democrats are tired, however, of hearing about the new law.
Drug addicted sex fiend Charlie Sheen is unhappy with Phil Robertson so the Z-list celebrity took to Twitpic last night.
Posting a picture of a Mallard on Twitpic, Sheen called the “Duck Dynasty” star Robertson “Mallard brained” and a shower dodger.
hey Mallard brained
you have offended and hurt so many dear friends of mine,
who DO NOT have the voice or the outreach that I do.
well news flash
I will speak loudly and clearly for ALL of them.
just when your desperately sub evolved ass thought the pressure was off,
you are now in the crosshairs of a MaSheen style media
(I’ll try to keep the big words to a minimum as not to confuse you)
Note to DWS: Please! Please! Please! Run on Obamacare!
Via Daily Caller:
One in four Americans have either lost their health insurance because of Obamacare or know someone who has, according to a new poll shared first with The Daily Caller.
The YG Network Congressional District Poll of 1,652 likely voters in 11 competitive U.S. House districts indicates Obamacare will be a powerful issue that motivates voters in important races in 2014.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents claimed knowing someone or personally receiving a health-insurance cancellation notice. Seventy-three percent said they didn’t have that experience.
In the same poll, 57 percent said these cancellation notices would be one of the most important issues in the 2014 election cycle. More than eight in 10 of those polled blamed both congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama for the cancellations.
Via Fox News:
It’s a problem some churches didn’t know how to handle until now. One security company is using its power to partner with a symbol that needs a little help this holiday season.
Each year, Baby Jesus figurines are stolen from nativity scenes across the country. Now, church owners are fighting back.
A GPS device is put inside the doll to prevent theft.
“And the beauty of this is it really works and it’s simple to use,” said Alan Czyzewski, Parishioner at St. Ambrose Church in New Jersey.
Brickhouse Securities gives out free GPS devices to qualified religious institutions. Then they track the movements.
“We then monitor it from our cloud-based mapping system, and set up alerts so that they’ll get a text message or an e-mail if Baby Jesus is in motion,” said Todd Morris, CEO of Brickhouse Securities.
There are so many things wrong with that statement I don’t even know where to begin.
(CNS News) — Judge Robert J. Shelby, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the U.S. District Court in Utah last year, issued an opinion on Friday declaring that a right to same-sex marriage is “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition.”
Shelby was confirmed to the federal bench by a voice vote of the Senate on Sept. 21, 2012. There was no debate over his nomination, and no senator objected to his confirmation.
He has now issued an opinion that could fundamentally alter American law and culture.
“The State’s second argument is that the Plaintiffs are really seeking a new right, not access to an existing right,” Shelby wrote in an opinion issued on the afternoon of the Friday before Christmas.
“To establish a new fundamental right, the court must determine that the right is ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,’ such that ‘neither liberty nor justice would exist if [it] were sacrificed,” he said.
The suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by the A&E Network after making controversial remarks in GQ magazine regarding homosexuality has been called a business decision. But now Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller is making a business decision of his own.
Miller announced on his personal Facebook page Friday night that A&E would no longer be welcomed to film or produce any of its programs or series with the help of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office or its facilities.
“A&E has suspended Phil Robertson for talking about his conservative Christian beliefs,” Miller wrote.” None of us are without sin and I am not judging anyone. I am sure A&E made what they believe is a good business decision. Many people who disagree with A&E might choose to remain silent and there was a time when I might have done the same, but no longer. In my mind the punishment is unreasonable.
“I know it will not matter to A&E, but it will make me feel better. A&E has produced more than a half dozen programs with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. They will not do any more with my assistance while I am sheriff. It is time for someone other than Hollywood and the news media to stand up for what is right!”
Fun fact of the day.
Via CNS News:
President Barack Obama, who is departing Friday for a vacation in Hawaii that will reportedly last until Jan. 5, took more annual vacation days on average in his first term than the average private-sector worker gets after 20 years on the job.
Obama took an average of 21.5 vacations days per year in his first four years as president. By comparison, private-industry workers in the United States who have at least 20 years on the job get an average of 19 days of paid vacation per year.
The Petition, directed at A&E, asks that Phil Robertson be immediately reinstated and that A&E stop their discriminatory treatment of him.
It is as of 3:21 EST at 164,279 signatures and quickly climbing.
Looks like A&E bought themselves a bunch of trouble.
From our favorite “moderate” Muslim country.
BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA (AP) – A group of Muslims on Friday protested against Christmas and New Year celebrations in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province.
About 70 protesters took part in the protest at the governor’s office and at a hotel in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
The protest came days after an influential Islamic clerics’ organization, the Ulema Consultative Assembly, issued an edict prohibiting Muslims in the city from offering Christmas wishes or celebrating on New Year’s Eve. The protesters called on authorities to ban the celebrations, claiming they are prohibited by Islam.
The edict, known as a fatwa, and the protesters did not oppose celebrations by non-Muslims in the city, which has four Christian churches, three Buddhist temples and a Hindu temple.
Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra, is the only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to implement a version of Islamic Shariah law.
This was a horrible crime – a young couple just leaving the mall from holiday shopping, the husband shot in the head, their Land Rover stolen and left in Newark.
Via Daily Mail:
Four men have been arrested over the death of a lawyer shot in front of his wife during a carjacking outside a New Jersey mall last week, authorities said on Saturday.
The suspects in the fatal carjacking on Sunday last week, in which Dustin Friedland was killed at The Mall, Short Hills, were arrested in a series of raids overnight.
Three of the men were arrested in their homes in New Jersey and the fourth was arrested in a Pennsylvania hotel, between 9pm on Friday and 3am Saturday.
The suspects were identified as Hanif Thompson, 29, Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, and Kevin Roberts, 33.
Speaking of toxic.
This year has taught me one thing:
The only cure for this toxic Republican House is to win the 17 seats we need for a Democratic majority. There are just too many of our fellow Americans who can’t afford another two years of Tea Party rule — of shutdown threats, of attacks on women’s health and voting rights, of an utter lack of governing.
But I need you with me in this fight.
Your grassroots power is what will help me push back against the onslaught of false attacks we are facing from the Republicans and their outside groups. As we head into the election year, we know the Republican vitriol (and cash) coming at House Democrats will undoubtedly spike.
If you can contribute — even if it’s just $3 — I’d be grateful for your support before our year-end fundraising deadline:
Onward to victory,
At least this time the Democratic Assembly Speaker doesn’t appear to be covering it up…
Warning crude language
Via NY Post:
Move over, Vito “Gropez” — yet another Albany politician has been accused of outlandish sexual harassment by young female staffers.
Married-with-children Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, 62, tormented three workers with lewd antics such as sending a video of himself supposedly receiving oral sex, suggesting they shack up with him in hotels and talking about a tattoo on his penis, new court documents charge.
“I got a boner when I walked into the office today when I saw you,” the seven-year assemblyman allegedly drooled to his then-director of communications, Annalise C. Freling, 28, last year at a governor’s event, according to court papers filed Thursday.
“You’re so hot, you know what I want to do with you,” he allegedly said.
If only more gay libs felt the same way.
HT: Tony Lee
Don’t denigrate her with servile titles.
Valerie Jarrett says she has “very specific responsibilities” in the Obama White House and focuses on them, rather than on an all-encompassing portfolio.
“I’m not the shadow chief of staff,” she said, responding to the use of the term by POLITICO’s Ben White at a Morning Money breakfast. She mentioned her roles in outreach to women and girls, and to the business community and local government officials.
Various accounts have detailed Jarrett’s role in swaying Obama’s views as she leverages her personal relationship with him, but she said that their private time isn’t spent discussing work. “We do compartmentalize,” she said.
Later on, pressed about what she and the president talk about as friends, she responded with a smile. “Just stuff,” she said, “just stuff.”
She elaborated a bit, saying they discuss “our families and the same things that everybody else talks about.”
Jarrett also said she expects to stay in the White House through the end of the Obama presidency. “I have the best job that I have ever had and will ever have,” she said. “I serve at the pleasure of the president … I’ll be there as long as he’ll have me.”
Way to alienate your customer base, Cracker Barrel.
Cracker Barrel has become the first sponsor to cut bait with “Duck Dynasty” … but not entirely.
The Southern-themed food chain reacted to Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments by removing “selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests” from their stores and restaurants.
We called a bunch of Cracker Barrel stores, and the managers told us the products that were removed were the ones that had Phil’s face plastered on the packaging. Almost to a person, the managers added, “We still offer a wide variety of Duck Commander products,” and then we heard a click.
Feel good story of the day.
Via Yahoo! News:
In the fallout over Wednesday’s suspension of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson by A&E for anti-gay and racist remarks, GLAAD is experiencing record levels of backlash.
“In the five-and-a-half years I’ve worked at GLAAD, I’ve never received so many violently angry phone calls and social media posts attacking GLAAD for us speaking out against these comments,” the media watchdog organization’s vice president of communications Rich Ferraro told TheWrap.
He said those reactions range from those who simply believe as Robertson believes to those who feel that GLAAD and A&E’s actions limit the reality star’s free speech.
“I don’t think this is about the first amendment,” Ferraro said. “I feel it’s more about the America we live in today. That is one where Americans, gay and straight, are able to speak out when people in the public eye make anti-gay and racist remarks.”
This will only effect Rodman if he cares about someone other than himself.
Shin Dong-Hyuk is the only person born in a North Korean political prison camp to escape to the West. His memoir, Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West, ostensibly reads as the story of liberation from oppression. It’s really a book about food. The starving Shin tells of dining on barbequed rat, tree bark, and the undigested corn kernels in cow mess. For Shin, freedom is a hamburger.
So hearing that Dennis Rodman, a man he had never heard of until his trip to Shin’s native land in February, enjoyed fine food and fine wine with the leader of his country naturally made the former political prisoner cringe.
Shin wrote a powerful public letter to Rodman, posted at the Washington Post. It reads in part:
Mr. Rodman, I cannot presume to tell you to cancel your trip to North Korea. It is your right as an American to travel wherever you wish and to say whatever you want. It is your right to drink fancy wines and enjoy yourself in luxurious parties, as you reportedly did in your previous trips to Pyongyang. But as you have a fun time with the dictator, please try to think about what he and his family have done and continue to do. Just last week, Kim Jong Un ordered the execution of his uncle. Recent satellite pictures show that some of the North’s labor camps, including Camp 14, may be expanding. The U.N. World Food Programme says four out of five North Koreans are hungry. Severe malnutrition has stunted and cognitively impaired hundreds of thousands of children. Young North Korean women fleeing the country in search of food are often sold into human-trafficking rings in China and beyond.
I am writing to you, Mr. Rodman, because, more than anything else, I want Kim Jong Un to hear the cries of his people.
As opposed to your cracked-out Democrat uncle.