May 16, 2013
President Barack Obama dismissed calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS scandal, and evaded a question asking if White House officials knew of the IRS targeting of conservative political groups.
“I can assure that I certainly did not know anything about the [inspector general] report before the IG report had been leaked through the press,” he told reporters during a Thursday lunchtime press conference held in the White House Rose Garden.
Obama’s evasion will likely spur public suspicions that White House officials knew about, or even supported, the IRS targeting.
When asked about a special prosecutor, Obama said he would work with investigations begun by Congress and the Department of Justice.
“Between those investigations, I think we will be able to figure out exactly what happened … and we’re going to be able to implement steps to fix it. And that, ultimately, is the main priority that I have,” he said.
“I have complete confidence in Eric Holder as attorney general,” he said in response to a question about the simultaneous scandal over the department’s investigation of phone calls by reporters working for The Associated Press news agency.
Posted: May 6, 2013
By: Justin Waldman
This story begins as I was discussing chemtrails and contrails with a friend. The “chemtrail” stories have, generally, not surfaced in the national mainstream media news, yet. Yes, there are some markets that have run their stories on the lasting impressions of these sky phenomenon. Some news outlets have had discussions with qualified meteorologists, geologists, and former military experts.
The difference between “contrails” and “chemtrails” is very different. Contrails refer to gasses and condensation that is expelled from an aircraft jet, or other, engine. Chemtrails refer to aircraft spreading specific gasses, particles, or substances that are being deliberately spread over the atmosphere in certain areas to accomplish a scientific experiment. This difference between the two is that contrails evaporate and and quickly dissipate. Chemtrails, on the other hand, are said to linger for hours or days over the sky leaving (sometimes) a hazy-white fog in the midsts of what would otherwise be blue sky.
Geoengineering for the good of the planet (i. e. cloud seeding for rain, specific attempts to control certain rays from the sun through reflective means, or other non-lethal means) is said to be a science to accomplish certain specific experiments or tests to help our society in specific ways. There are scientists doing research for the good of our planet. Yet, there are skeptics that believe it is a government attempt at reducing our population.
Nevertheless, how do we know the “intent” of government or scientific research if we are not made aware of it? There are some conspiracy theorists that have successfully launched investigative work towards finding the truth about this phenomenon.
By Jeffrey Lord on 4.2.13 @ 6:09AM
Blacklash released in paperback as Dr. Ben Carson attacked by Johns Hopkins leftists.
If America were a bus, Deneen Borelli would be the new Rosa Parks.
Borelli is the very model of a human being, an African American and a woman who is just plain tired up to here at all of the back of the bus treatment dished by liberals — black and white alike — to conservatives who happen to be black.
Ms. Borelli has in a figurative sense, as Rosa Parks did in the original and literal sense, sat down in a seat reserved for liberals at the front of the American bus. She won’t get up, she isn’t moving and she most assuredly doesn’t care that liberals don’t like the fact.
And most assuredly, they don’t.
Joseph Menn and Deborah Charles
Posted: March 21, 2013
The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.
As a result, more private sector employees than ever before, including those at big banks, utilities and key transportation companies, will have their emails and Web surfing scanned as a precaution against cyber attacks.
Under last month’s White House executive order on cybersecurity, the scans will be driven by classified information provided by U.S. intelligence agencies — including data from the National Security Agency (NSA) — on new or especially serious espionage threats and other hacking attempts. U.S. spy chiefs said on March 12 that cyber attacks have supplanted terrorism as the top threat to the country.
The Department of Homeland Security will gather the secret data and pass it to a small group of telecommunication companies and cyber security providers that have employees holding security clearances, government and industry officials said. Those companies will then offer to process email and other Internet transmissions for critical infrastructure customers that choose to participate in the program.
DHS as the middleman
By using DHS as the middleman, the Obama administration hopes to bring the formidable overseas intelligence-gathering of the NSA closer to ordinary U.S. residents without triggering an outcry from privacy advocates who have long been leery of the spy agency’s eavesdropping.
The telecom companies will not report back to the government on what they see, except in aggregate statistics, a senior DHS official said in an interview granted on condition he not be identified.
“That allows us to provide more sensitive information,” the official said. “We will provide the information to the security service providers that they need to perform this function.” Procedures are to be established within six months of the order.
The administration is separately seeking legislation that would give incentives to private companies, including communications carriers, to disclose more to the government. NSA Director General Keith Alexander said last week that NSA did not want personal data but Internet service providers could inform the government about malicious software they find and the Internet Protocol addresses they were sent to and from.
“There is a way to do this that ensures civil liberties and privacy and does ensure the protection of the country,” Alexander told a congressional hearing.
Fears grow of destructive attack
In the past, Internet traffic-scanning efforts were mainly limited to government networks and Defense Department contractors, which have long been targets of foreign espionage.
But as fears grow of a destructive cyber attack on core, non-military assets, and more sweeping security legislation remained stalled, the Obama administration opted to widen the program.
Last month’s presidential order calls for commercial providers of “enhanced cybersecurity services” to extend their offerings to critical infrastructure companies. What constitutes critical infrastructure is still being refined, but it would include utilities, banks and transportation such as trains and highways.
Under the program, critical infrastructure companies will pay the providers, which will use the classified information to block attacks before they reach the customers. The classified information involves suspect Web addresses, strings of characters, email sender names and the like.
Not all the cybersecurity providers will be telecom companies, though AT&T is one. Raytheon said this month it had agreed with DHS to become a provider, and a spokesman said that customers could route their traffic to Raytheon after receiving it from their communications company.
As the new set-up takes shape, DHS officials and industry executives said some security equipment makers were working on hardware that could take classified rules about blocking traffic and act on them without the operator being able to reverse-engineer the codes. That way, people wouldn’t need a security clearance to use the equipment.
Civil liberties implications
The issue of scanning everything headed to a utility or a bank still has civil liberties implications, even if each company is a voluntary participant.
Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that the executive order did not weaken existing privacy laws, but any time a machine acting on classified information is processing private communications, it raises questions about the possibility of secret extra functions that are unlikely to be answered definitively.
“You have to wonder what else that box does,” Tien said.
One technique for examining email and other electronic packets en route, called deep packet inspection, has stirred controversy for years, and some cybersecurity providers said they would not be using that. In deep packet inspection, communication companies or others with network access can examine all the elements of a transmission, including the content of emails.
“The signatures provided by DHS do not require deep packet inspection,” said Steve Hawkins, vice president at Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems division, referring further questions to DHS.
The DHS official said the government is still in conversations with the telecom operators on the issue.
The official said the government had no plans to roll out any such form of government-guided close examination of Internet traffic into the communications companies serving the general public.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.
February 28, 2013
And there is some evidence to support it. When you ask voters who will be to blame if the sequester occurs, Obama or “congressional Republicans,” they’re much more likely to say they’ll blame the latter.
Obama also comes out on top when you ask whether they will blame “Obama and congressional Democrats” or “congressional Republicans.” Voters are not always good predictors of their future attitudes.
Questions continue to swirl surrounding the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Among the most confounding factors were inaccurate comments made by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in the wake of the assault. The embattled administration official appeared last night on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” to discuss the government’s handling of the crisis.
During the exchange, the host challenged Rice on some of the confusing and contradictory information that emerged in the wake of the terror attack. The ambassador also issued some tough words for those who still believe the Obama administration is hiding key information.
Stewart wasted no time launching into his questioning. Almost as soon as Rice sat down, he asked the ambassador why she was selected to speak out on Sunday morning shows and pondered why someone else more appropriate (i.e. Hillary Clinton or another official) wasn’t chosen. The ambassador gave this long-winded answer:
“I’ve spent many-a-Sunday doing the Sunday shows. In this case, Secretary Clinton, who had been asked originally to do it, felt that she didn’t want to, couldn’t do it that week, having been through quite an intense week with the loss of our colleagues in Benghazi, the violence against our embassies all over the Arab and Muslim world and then — also that Friday having to join President Obama in greeting the families of our fallen colleagues and bringing their bodies back.”
Limbaugh raves about doctor’s speech: ‘Talk about a tingly feeling up your leg!’
Posted: February 09, 2013
At the National Prayer Breakfast, broadcast live on C-SPAN2, Dr. Ben Carson said he didn’t want to “offend” anyone, but his words nonetheless were likely to have made one distinguished guest in attendance – President Barack Obama – squirm in his seat.
Carson is director of the pediatric neurosurgery division at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. His inspiring story of growing up the son of an illiterate, single black woman to becoming one of America’s most esteemed doctors has been detailed in the book “Gifted Hands” and the movie of the same name.
At Thursday’s prayer breakfast, Carson took aim at a number of topics that may have caused the man seated two chairs to his right a bit of indigestion, including class-warfare economics.
“Some people say, they say, ‘Well, that’s not fair because it doesn’t hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10,’” Carson said. “[But] where does it say you have to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot!
“We don’t need to hurt him,” Carson continued. “It’s that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here, building our infrastructure and creating jobs.”
Pete Souza / The White House
President Bush had the OLC “torture” memos, because he felt making high value targets uncomfortable to save American lives was important. President Obama has his “kill” memo, because he feels it legally messy to capture and interrogate over simply killing terrorists; and he includes American citizens as possible HVTs who can be targeted for extermination without due process….to make America safe.
In wake of John Brennan’s confirmation hearing today for the position of CIA Director (with questions to answer for, from the left and the right), and amidst pressure from those on the right AND the left, President Obama has agreed to sharing the OLC “kill” memo with congressional intelligence committees.
Senate committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she was “pleased” with the decision. “It is critical for the committee’s oversight function to fully understand the legal basis for all intelligence and counterterrorism operations,” Feinstein said in a statement.
The gun control controversy is only the latest of many issues to be debated almost solely in terms of fixed preconceptions, with little or no examination of hard facts.Media discussions of gun control are dominated by two factors: the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment. But the over-riding factual question is whether gun control laws actually reduce gun crimes in general or murder rates in particular.
If, as gun control advocates claim, gun control laws really do control guns and save lives, there is nothing to prevent repealing the Second Amendment, any more than there was anything to prevent repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that created Prohibition.