On March 11, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, strode on to the Senate floor and made a shocking charge: the CIA had spied on committee investigators who were examining the CIA’s past use of harsh interrogation techniques (a.k.a. torture). She essentially confirmed media reports that the agency had accessed computers that had been set up in a secured facility for her staffers to use—and that this high-tech break-in was related to a CIA memo that the agency had not turned over. The document was far more critical of the CIA’s interrogation program than the agency’s official response to the still-classified (and reportedly scorching) 6,300-page report produced by Feinstein’s committee. As Feinstein described it, the CIA, looking to find out how her sleuths had obtained this particular memo, had been spying on the investigators who were paid by the taxpayers to keep a close watch on America’s spies.
Feinstein’s public statement—unprecedented in US national security history—caused an uproar. I noted that this clash between the Senate and Langley threatened a constitutional crisis. After all, if the CIA was covertly undercutting and interfering with congressional oversight, then the foundation of the national security state was at risk, for the executive branch, in theory, can only engage in clandestine activity as long as members of Congress can keep an eye on it. Yet the system of oversight appeared to have broken down.
Molly Redden reveals the next front in the GOP war on women.
Texas lawmakers have already walloped abortion access with 24-hour mandatory waiting periods and onerous rules that shut down almost half of the state’s clinics. But one anti-abortion lawmaker is gearing up for more. Although the legislature isn’t in session this year, State Sen. Ed Lucio (D) is promising to introduce a bill for 2015 that would force women to undergo an hour-long adoption seminar before obtaining an abortion.
Lucio declined through a spokesman to be interviewed for this article. But a similar bill he offered in 2013 provides clues about the forthcoming legislation. That bill instructed the Health and Human Services Commission to create an educational course about adoption of up to three hours. Women would have to take the course, for free, online or in person, and submit a “certificate of completion” to the physician performing the abortion. The bill contained an exception for women who became pregnant as the result of rape or incest or required an abortion for medical reasons.
“It is my hope that, when presented with more information on adoption resources and services available, more pregnancies can be carried to term,” Lucio told the San Antonio Express-News.
The music director of a Illinois church lost his job after getting engaged to be married.
Colin Collette got engaged to his longtime partner in Rome last week. But after announcing his big news, he was fired Monday from the Holy Family Church in the suburb of Inverness.
“He’s a little more angry right now at this moment, and understandably so, because I think he’s concerned for me. He knows the church is my life,” Collette said of his partner, William.
This is pretty freaking disgraceful but it’s worse when you consider that the builder got tax credits.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is under fire for signing off on a building plan that allows a new luxury high-rise on Manhattan’s western edge to have a separate entrance for low-income residents.
About 20 percent of the units in the 33-story tower will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents. But all the affordable units will be grouped in one area, and those tenants will have to enter through a separate door.
“This developer must go back, seal the one door and make it so all residents go through the same door,” City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal said. “It’s a disgrace.”
Civil rights attorneys say a significant number of tenants in the subsidized apartments could be minorities. Lawyer Randolph McLaughlin says that makes the building’s design more than disgraceful — but possibly illegal.
“To permit developers or encourage them to create separate and unequal buildings and take tax credits and benefits from the city,” he said, “I think that’s a constitutional violation.”
The White House in the next few days is expected to declassify the long-awaited summary of a U.S. Senate committee study of a CIA program that used “enhanced interrogations” and secret prisons to extract information from captured militants, several officials familiar with the matter said.
Over the last two weeks, former directors and deputy directors of the CIA have been invited by the Obama administration to review a still-secret version of the 600-page Senate Intelligence Committee summary at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Officials familiar with its contents say it concludes that the CIA’s use of harsh “enhanced interrogation” methods such as waterboarding, or simulated drowning, on a handful of prisoners, and other stress tactics on a larger set of captured militants, did not produce any significant counter-terrorism breakthroughs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.
Big waves like those fit for surfing are not what we think of when contemplating the Arctic Ocean. The water is ice-covered most of the time — and it takes large expanses of open sea plus wind to produce mighty surf.
So the fact that researchers have now measured swells of more than 16 feet in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea, just north of Alaska, is a bit of a stunner. Swells of that size, researchers say, have the potential to break up Arctic ice even faster than than the melt underway there for decades thanks to rapid global warming.
The wave measurements, using sensors beneath the surface communicating via satellite, were recorded by Jim Thomson of the University of Washington and W. Erick Rogers of the Naval Research Laboratory in 2012 and reported in an article in Geophysical Research Letters this year.
President Barack Obama feasted on working-class delicacies in Kansas City on Tuesday night as he sought to bond with people unaccustomed to having the ear of the most powerful man in the world.
His presidential motorcade steered to Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque shortly after landing at Kansas City International Airport.
Once there, he met with four White House-chosen Kansas Citians over a half-slab of ribs, a Bud Light and conversation about how what he does in Washington registers in people’s lives.
I know we keep saying it’s just a matter of time before this guy pops off again, but it may be sooner than we think!
To me the article below sounds a lot like that Comedy Central show Nathan For You, in which the comedian (Nathan Fielder) cold-calls businesses and cons them into suggestions to improve their revenue that actually piss off all of the customers in hilarious ways. Except in Zimmerman For You, he just shows up to offer his vast experience as a “freelance” security guard…. lolz ensue - along with death threats!
Police: George Zimmerman says he’s doing security work in DeLand
by Claire Metz
DELAND, Fla. —George Zimmerman said he is doing security work for the owner of a motorcycle shop, according to the DeLand Police Department.
Police said they spotted Zimmerman sitting in a pickup truck with his dog in the back of the Pompano Pat’s Motorcycles store on Woodland Boulevard around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
Zimmerman said he was helping protect the store for the owner, Pat Johnson, who is running for mayor in DeLand, according to police.
Police said the store was broken into recently.
Johnson told WESH 2 News that he befriended Zimmerman after his acquittal in the the death of Trayvon Martin last summer, but did not hire him to do security work.
Johnson said Zimmerman has sat outside of his store several times on his own lately.
Johnson said he has received death threats after false reports that he hired Zimmerman.
More at WESH-TV Orlando
Elect enough of these secessionist bozos and we can be just like the Ukraine…
Video has surfaced of a Maryland Republican nominee for Anne Arundel County Council singing “Dixie” as the national anthem at a secession conference in Alabama.
Over the weekend, Grove City College psychology professor and blogger Warren Throckmorton uncovered video of Michael Peroutka speaking to the 2012 League of the South national conference in Wallsboro, Alabama.
Peroutka generated controversy after winning the GOP nomination because he believes that the current U.S. and state governments are no longer valid, and should be destroyed by secession or other means.
Last week saw an overflowing cornucopia of IT problems, challenges and failures being reported. From these rich pickings, we decided to focus this week’s edition of IT Hiccups first on a multi-day computer problem affecting the US Department of State’ passport and visa operations, followed by a quick rundown of the numerous US and UK government IT project failures that were also disclosed last week.
According to the Associated Press, beginning on Saturday, 21 July, the U.S. Department of State has being experiencing unspecified computer problems including “significant performance issues, including outages” with its Consular Consolidated Database [pdf], which has interfered with the “processing of passports, visas, and reports of Americans born abroad.” A story at ComputerWorld indicates that the problems began after maintenance was performed on the database. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told the AP that the computer problem effects were being felt across the globe.
The AP story says that a huge passport and visa application backlog is already forming, with one unidentified country already reporting that the backlog of applications had reached 50,000 as of Wednesday. The growing backlog has also “hampered efforts to get the system fully back on line,” Haff told AP.