domestic-spying

Wikileaks Document Dump Reveals Secret CIA Raccoon Spy Program

Wikileaks has released a trove of documents containing details of CIA hacking tools and surveillance initiatives, among them, a top secret domestic spy program code named RocketEars, that enlists raccoons as listeners.

Security experts and journalists have been poring over the cache of leaked documents, collectively known as “Vault 7,” since Tuesday. Many explain security exploits used in consumer electronics like iPhones and Samsung TVs, which can be used to spy on targets. But the raccoon program is particularly strange.

“No one would ever suspect the raccoon rummaging through your backyard trash is working for the CIA,” says Dennis O’Conner, a security analyst and former consultant to the U.S. intelligence services. “It’s a perfect secret program. But what we don’t understand yet is how the raccoons communicate their surveillance back to base. They’re not the most reliable reporters.”

The Fluffington Post will update this story as it develops.

via Marslettuce

Consider Linux Instead of Windows 10

Windows 10 has proven to be spyware masquerading as an operating system. Microsoft flatly states anything on your computer will be disclosed “if they feel it is necessary”. Read the nonnegotiable terms to see the true extent of the spying. They admit to recording keystrokes, computer files and your passwords. They tell you this information will be uploaded to a remote server.

The settings menu has options to control information, but as tech sites have pointed out, they don’t work. Win 10 will still continuously report activity regardless of what you do. It’s important to note the spying contains a unique machine ID that can be traced directly back to you.

Before people jump in with the usual “oh yeah, they’ve been doing that for years” and “everyone spies including Apple and Google”, the answer is no, they don’t. This level of spying is unprecedented. There’s a big difference between anonymously gathering data and uploading the entire contents of your computer to a remote server. No one ever told you they’d disclose your entire hard drive along with every keystroke you’ve made “if they feel it is necessary”. 

You cannot avoid this violation of your person without moving away from Microsoft products. The best option now is a Linux variant. There are many flavors around, and I’m not here to push one over another, but they are viable replacements to Windows.

First, you need to forget the old myths surrounding Linux. They install easily just like Windows. The days when you needed a computer degree are long gone. The whole Linux ecosystem is alive and thriving with everything you need to get up and running. Using Linux is just like Windows too. The interface is very similar for most flavors.

There are Linux versions of all popular software like Office, video and picture editing, and so forth. In the rare case you must have a Windows based program there are Windows emulators which will run it under Linux. All your bases are covered except for one but it’s a big one. Games.

Very few of the big tentpole games run directly under Linux. Some might run through the Windows emulator but the performance hit would be drastic. Unless you’re willing to live with reduced graphics resolutions and frame rates, it isn’t the optimal solution. The advent of DirectX 12 will only make matters worse. Of course, this is only an issue if you play demanding games like Call of Duty or you aren’t using a game console. Not everyone needs a powerful gaming PC. In fact, hardly anyone does.

I’m just saying Microsoft spying has finally gone too far. We shouldn’t tolerate it. Think about Linux. It would be a perfectly acceptable alternative for 99% of the people. It has come a long way and is now as easy to install or use as Windows. There is no longer any reason to avoid it. The price is either free or very cheap. Give it a try before you make up your mind and you might find a better world away from the prying eyes of Microsoft.

anonymous asked:

About the not liking President Bush- I guess can you explain both maybe?

I’ll stick to the kiddo:

1. He stole the presidency in 2000. People may forget that Republicans in Florida purged more than 50,000 African American voters before Election Day, and then went to the Supreme Court where the GOP-appointed majority stopped a recount that would have awarded the presidency to Vice President Al Gore if all votes were counted. National news organizations verified that outcome long after Bush had been sworn in.

2. He covered up his past. He was the scion of a powerful political family who got away with being a deserter during the Vietnam War. He was reportedly AWOL for over a year from his assigned unit, the Texas Air National Guard, which other military outfits called the “Champagne Division.”

3. As Texas governor from 1995-2000, he signed the most execution orders of any governor in U.S. history- 152 people, including the mentally ill and women who were domestic abuse victims. He spared one man’s life, a serial killer.

4. He embraced global isolationism. He withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, over Russia’s protest, taking the U.S. in a direction not seen since World War I.

5. He ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden. He ignored the Aug. 6, 2001 White House intelligence briefing titled, “Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S.” Meanwhile, his chief anti-terrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, and first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, testified in Congress that he was intent on invading Iraq within days of becoming president.

6. Bush turned to Iraq not Afghanistan. The Bush administration soon started beating war drums for an attack on Iraq, where there was no proven Al Qaeda link, instead of Afghanistan, where the 9/11 bombers had trained and Osama bin Laden was based. His 2002 State of the Union speech declared that Iraq was part of an “Axis of Evil.”

7. He flat-out lied about Iraq’s weapons. In a major speech in October 2002, he said that Saddam Hussein had the capacity to send unmanned aircraft to the U.S. with bombs that could range from chemical weapons to nuclear devices. “We cannot wait for the final proof- the smoking gun- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” he said.

8. Bush launched the second Iraq War. In April 2003, the U.S. military invaded Iraq for the second time in two decades, leading to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and more than a million refugees as a years of sectarian violence took hold on Iraq. Nearly 6,700 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq and Afghan wars. 

9. Bush ignored international ban on torture. Suspected terrorists were captured and tortured by the U.S. military in Baghdad’s Abu Gharib prison, in the highest profile example of how the Bush White House ignored international agreements, such as the Geneva Convention, that banned torture, and created a secret system of detention that was unmasked when photos made their way to the American media outlets.

10. Bush violated U.S. Constitution. The Bush White House ignored basic civil liberties, most notably by launching a massive domestic spying program where millions of Americans’ online activities were monitored with the help of big telecom companies. The government had no search warrant or court authority for its electronic dragnet.

11. Assault on reproductive rights. From the earliest days of his first term, the Bush White House led an assault on reproductive rights. He cut funds for UN family planning programs, barred military bases from offering abortions, put right-wing evangelicals in regulatory positions where they rejected new birth control drugs, and issued regulations making fetuses- but not women- eligible for federal healthcare.

12. Said evolution was a theory. One of his most inflammatory comments was saying that public schools should teach that evolution is a theory with as much validity as the religious belief in intelligent design, or God’s active hand in creating life.

13. Millions more lacked access to healthcare. Following these poverty trends, the number of Americans without health insurance was 38.4 million when Clinton left office. When Bush left, that figure had grown by nearly 8 million to 46.3 million, the Census found. Those with employer-provided benefits fell every year he was in office. 

anonymous asked:

Hi ^^ I was wondering if I might be able to do a prompt request for a domestic spy/assassin couple if that's okay? Thanks ^^

  • “There are four cans of beer, thirty pounds of C3 explosives in our fridge and no food. I think we need to go grocery shopping.” 
  • “You keep getting shot at and you need to learn to be less reckless about yourself because I care about you, okay? So I’m cutting off sex every time you do some stupid shit you could’ve avoided”
  • “I’m pretty used to you disappearing on me for days at a time. I don’t mind it, I have my own work to keep myself busy. One night you show up seriously injured, insisting on not going to see a doctor so I have to stitch you up myself”
  • “Honey did you see my gas mask?”
  • “You want to try and live a normal life, so we moved to the suburbia. I’m a really good actor when I need to, but I’m completely hopeless in all neighborhood social functions. I’d rather have my fingernails pulled out by the russian mafia again than spend another hour talking about Kevin’s new golf set”
  • last but not least, the classic: “We were assigned to kill each other. So the only viable option is to turn on both our agencies and possibly go out with a bang” 
And the People We Hurt (Part 8) (Lin x Reader)

Summary: The life, the love, the beach

Warnings: Implied and referenced sexual scenes

A/N: this is the longest thing I’ve ever written and I want to go ahead and say your welcome.
—————————————————–
It had been six months into your domestic bliss, and you spy career seemed almost like a dream. Expect when you responded to an unexpected tap to the shoulder by slamming someone into a wall. Small steps. In any case things with Lin were going swimmingly. You spent so much time together you almost had to spend time away. Almost. You and Lin were close to moving forward in your relationship. You just kept getting interrupted.

You were at his apartment, it was his first night back from Moana press. “I missed you.” He said and wrapped his arms around your neck. You were surprised at his suddenness. You had just walked in and now you had him pushing you against the door. You kissed, passionately, and moved towards his room. He had just laid you down when his phone rang. He answered it.

“Mijo why has Carla called me and said she just heard you come in?” He had told everyone he would be home tomorrow he had surprised you at work and taken you out to eat. His neighbor must have heard you come in.

“Uh well you see Mama…” and the night had needed there.

Another time you were at your house. James was with Joe and your mother was out of town. You were on the couch and you couldn’t help but feel like you in highschool again. You had a hand under his shirt and his mouth on your neck. You heard the door open and you jumped back and onto the floor. Jenna, your cousin stood in the door. Her hand over her mouth and her shoulders shaking from laughing. “Really on the couch? Classy cuz.” She said and you got up in a fit of anger and shoved her out the door. You could hear her laughing on the other side.

One night you had planned a very special evening. You two had spent the afternoon at the theater and then you’d taken him to dinner. It was the two year anniversary of the night you first met, you remembered it so well in your mind. Mostly because it had been the night your world had gone into chaos. He was writing, he was always writing. He was in one of the chairs facing the hallway that led to his bedroom. You had told him an hour ago you were going to bed. You were actually putting on lingerie. White and lacy, and most of it see through. Complicated straps held up the almost not there lace.

“Lin.” He rose his brows not looking up. You had used your years of practicing seduction to pose perfectly. “Lin.” He still wasn’t looking up. You narrowed your eyes this man. “Lin. Look. Up.” He slowly raised his eyes and formed a surprised face.

“Shit.” He muttered and looked at you. He scrambled to get his laptop off him and make his way to you. “Fuck.” He said and slid his hands around your waist. You smirked and wrapped your arms around his head.

“Do you like it?” You asked and he nodded.

“I love it.” He said and you kissed him slowly and he walked you back to his bedroom, his hands on your hips. He gently laid you down and kissed down your neck. He was about to take off your bra when you’re phone started ringing. She sighed and started to reach for it.

“Ignore it. Ignore it please, to everything ignore.” He said and you shook your head.

“What of James is in trouble?” She asked and he groaned. He didn’t let up on your neck though. You answered your phone and your cousin’s overly excited voice answered.

“Do you have some vacation days for work?” She asked.

“Yeah. Why do you need to know?” You asked her when Lin bit right above your heart you flicked his ear. He bit harder.

“Do you wanna take the kids and go to the Hamptons?” She asked and you sat up straight knocking Lin off you.

“I completely forgot about the Hamptons house.” You said and slapped your hand to your head. It was yours after all. When your grandmother had died she’d left the small Hamptons cottage to you. It barely cost anything because it was right outside of the Hamptons city line and in the woods. The only thing that made it worthwhile was a hidden cove. From the start of the drive way all you could see was woods, as you drove closer to the house the woods started to turn into sand dunes. It was your favorite place in the world. You had planned to live there, before your career had been decided. It’d been so long since you’d been to the beach. You forgot how much you loved it. “Yes I would love to go.”

“Go where?” Lin asked cautiously. You hadn’t traveled at all since you’d gotten your job. Lin had been away, but it hadn’t felt like it because he texted you so often, and face timed.

“The Hamptons. Lin do you wanna come?” You asked and Jenna laughed on the other line.

“Do I?” He asked and you nodded. He shrugged and nodded. “Sounds fun I guess.” You smiled and kissed his cheek.

“When do we leave?” You asked.

“Two days.” Jenna said excitedly.

“Okay we’ll be ready.” You said and Lin looked at you expectantly.

“What?” You asked and gestured to your askew lingerie. “Get your head out of the gutter. We’re going to the beach!” You said and kissed his cheek and got off the bed grabbing one of this shirts and walking to your section of his closet.

That how you ended up at the store with Jenna the next day looking for a bathing suit. “It’s gotta be hot, but something I can surf in too.” You said looking around the store. You found a maroon bikini, it Had slits in the sides at your hips, and the top was a sweetheart neckline with thin straps.You looked at your legs and hips, it’d been forever since you’d been in a bikini would it even look right on you. It fit and you bought it. You also got a white bohemian esque cover up.

“You’re going to look beautiful.” Jenna said. She’s been worried about her figure in a bathing suit too. Three kids would do that too you. Jenna had always been naturally thin though. During all of her pregnancies it had looked as if barely anything was there at all.

“So are you.” You told her and winked.

“I’m thinking the Friday that we’re there maybe going to see Mr. Jefferson, I haven’t talked to him in years but his daughter called the other day wondering if we’d come out. So I just turned it into a week at the beach. You and Lin would have the house to yourselves for the night, you know he’ll want us to stay.” Jenna said casually and you flushed. You knew what she was implying.

“That sounds nice.” You said and nodded. She smiled and you both went to the checkout counter.

You and Lin were in your jeep driving down a long wooded road. “Are we there yet?” He asked. You laughed and shook your head. He’d been asking that all day. You had left around lunch time. Jenna had headed up earlier and had set everything up.

“Almost.” You said and turned down a dirt road and he groaned. You just shook your head, your heart beat faster as the leaves started to turn to sand and trees into tall grass. You smiled when you saw your cousin’s jeep with the surf boards in the back. You looked in the rear view mirror to see James fast asleep in the moonlight. You drove up the the house. That was right on the edge of the sand. “We’re here.” You said and kissed Lin’s cheek as you got out. The house was built to the inside of a huge cliff and right where the house ended the beach began. The back porch had a staircase leading to the sand.

“You grew up here?” He asked.

“Well I spent most of my summers out here. I surfed a little, but I didn’t really love it until I could drive down here. During the summer I’d leave Joe at home and come out here when things got boring. Or I needed an escape from life. I stopped for the most part after basic training.” You told him and picked up James carrying him him inside as Lin grabbed the bags.

When you walked in it was like nothing had changed. The photos of you and Jenna still everywhere. The pictures one of your college boyfriends took of you. You smiled when you entered your old room and laid James down on it. There were two other beds one that held a seven year old and another that held Jenna’s two year old and four year old. You shut the door and walked down and looked in the room where Joe use to sleep. Jenna’s sisters laid there fast asleep and redder than a lobster. They had been on the beach all day. You entered your grandmother’s room. The one you had commandeered through your high school and college years. Everything was the same as you’d left it. Jenna must have cleaned today while the kids played. As everything was still in its place, but not dusty. You jolted when Lin set down the bags.

“It’s beautiful. It’s not something I’d expect you to like.” He said and came to wrap his arms around you as you looked at the vanity. Rings and bracelets and bangles laid there all perfectly still and shining. You picked up one ring, a small wave ring and slipped it on. Lin grabbed one of the thicker ones and slipped it on his thumb. You turned in his arms and kissed him.

“What was that for?” He asked and you shrugged.

“Come on, Jenna’s outside.” You said and grabbed his hand and lead him outside. Jenna was sitting in a chair on the porch looking out over the waves.

“Hey.” You whispered in her ear and she turned around and look at you.

“Hey.” She whispered back. “You wanna go night swimming?” She asked and you laughed.

“That’s dumbest thing I’ve ever been asked. Of course I want to.” You said started to shed your clothes and stripped down to your bathing suit. Lin watched you two race to the water and splash each other. It was like you had never left the summer of your senior year. Spending all the time you could in the Hamptons and staying in the water all day. After a while, you didn’t know how much time. Lin got you to come in and take a shower and sleep. He himself actually slept in the next morning. Something unheard of.

When the sun streamed in the next morning Lin groaned and looked for warm body usually beside him to hide his eyes in. He jerked up when he felt a cold spot beside him. No no no not again, he almost started crying as he made his way through the unfamiliar hallways. You couldn’t be gone, not again, he couldn’t take the heartbreak again. He stumbled and ran into a wall and stumbled back. He was caught by the front of the shirt and the picture that had come loose in a hand. He looked into the eyes of his savior, they just happened to be his favorite pair of eyes.

“Jesus Lin, do you want to wake everyone in the whole house up?” You whispered at him playfully as you righted him and set the picture back.

“Sorry I panicked.” He said and you shook your head and smiled at him. You walked him into the living room. The coziness of it made Lin feel a whole lot better. Every space was decorated with small beachy nick nacks and seashells. The walls had pictures of two young girls everywhere. One blonde with straight hair the other you with saltwater curled hair. He guessed the blonde was Jenna. The living room was octagonal and both had open doorways with a curtain of beads as doorways. It must not rain much, and he guessed it would with the cliff as protection from storms. There were two surfboards on the deck that was in the left side of the house and he could see the cars parked outside of his right.

“Well since you’re up, you wanna help me with breakfast?” You asked and he nodded. You smiled and lead him to the kitchen. You had most of it ready, but you had to do the eggs and bacon. You weren’t the best cook, but you did know how. He set himself to work scrambling the eggs while you cooked the bacon. He felt like he could do this every morning. You in his shirt and nothing else cooking in the early morning for the kids in the back rooms.

You glanced up at him and saw him staring intently at you. “What?”

“Nothing, just think about how I could do this forever.” You blushed and looked at him. He was serious and that made you blush more. You looked down at what you were doing and nodded. “Me too.” You whispered.

It was silent for a moment, accentuated by the waves breaking in the shore. The silence was cut off by small feet coming into the living room. “‘Maymay?” You heard a voice ask. You came around the kitchen counter and into the living room to see who it was. John, Jenna’s two year old stood in the middle of the living room rubbing his eyes.

“Come here little man.” You said and sat on the floor holding your hands out to and he walked a little unsteadily to you and plopped into your lap. Lin finished cooking the bacon and came to sit with you. “Are you excited about this week?” You asked and he nodded. “What are you most excited about?” You asked.

“The beach.” He said and you laughed.

“You wanna go help me wake up mommy?” You asked and he nodded and got up running from the living room to his mother’s room. You smiled and got up. Ever since you’d started this new life you’ve been getting very domesticated. You had spent your twenties protecting the world and not having a break. You’d only had one boyfriends after high school, then he’d died, and now you had Lin. You didn’t spend your early twenties partying and then spent the rest doing college. You gone straight into college, straight to basic training, and soared through the ranks. Never once did you ever really seriously think of settling down and starting a family. Now almost a decade later you were sitting in your summer home with the man you loved cooking for your family and honestly you couldn’t think of anywhere else you’d want to be. You didn’t care that you’d lost your old self. Your old self was selfish and unreliable.

You got up slowly and walked to the rooms and slowly started to wake everyone up. You got James up first turning him on his side and shaking him until his eyes opened. You eventually got everyone up and eating breakfast. “So what’s first today?” You asked.

“Well maybe we could go into town. Look for a fair or something. They’ve always got one the first week of summer.” Jenna said and you nodded. “But it won’t open until later tonight.”

“Hmm, we can stay here and then go find somewhere to eat lunch and maybe shop a little. Maybe go down to the old beach shack find something to do down there.”

“Oh we could to Odie’s magic shop. He’d love to see you again.” Jenna teased and you blushed and shook your head.

“No I will put myself in the same room as Odie ever again.” You said and shook your head.

“Who’s Odie?” James asked and you shook your head.

“You are too young to know therefore don’t ask about again.” You said and Lin lean towards you.

“I’m old enough to know, who’s Odie?” He asked and you blushed even more. With this new life you lost a lot of your poker face.

“Odie was her first crush.” Everyone around the table oood. You rolled your eyes.

“I was ten, and he had a skateboard and did tricks. I thought he was cool.” You said and Jenna laughed. You got up and started to take you place to the kitchen.

“Cool enough to chase him down the pier trying to get a kiss?” You stopped and looked back at her.

“Jenna you promised you wouldn’t talk about that ever again.” You said and everyone at the table was laughing.

“Sorry little cuz it’s my job to embarrass you.” You frowned at her words and set your plate down in the kitchen. You waited for a moment, “I bet I can beat you to the waves.” You said and she got up.

“You’re on.” She said and you both raced outside to the water. You threw off Lin’s shirt onto the sand and dove into the water. You came up farther out than you thought you were, and Jenna suck up behind you and tackled you into the water. You came up gasping and pushed her off of you. You both laughed and saw the kids and Lin standing on the shore line. The kids took off into the house to change into their bathing suits, but Lin just stood there and watched you. You swam towards the shore and when you reached him you smiled.

“Come swim with me.” You said and he took off his shirt and threw it next to yours and dragged you into the water. You laughed and he held you close as you drifted into deeper water. You kissed him and he kissed you back. He was reaching for the bottom of your swim suit when he heard the kids coming out of the house.

“One day. One day I will have you.” He whispered and you shivered despite the sun beating down on you both.

“Hopeful.”

“Certain.”

For three hours everyone was playing and swimming, around lunch you dried off and got into the cars and drove into town. Lunch went smoothly, though Lin teased you all day wrapping an arm around you, shoving his hand in your pocket. Whispering dirty things in your ear. He did it all day too. He eventually stopped, when you went to sleep. The man was trying to kill you.

That’s how the whole week went. Finally Friday arrived and house was yours. The kids had left around lunch time with Jenna. You and Lin had been lounging around when he asked you to go buy a few things for dinner. You ended up gone for an hour and half trying to find everything. When you pulled up into the driveway you saw the house was completely dark. The outside path to the beach was decorated with tiki lights and rose petals. You shook your head and brought the groceries into the house stuffing everything into the fridge and then making your way down the path to Lin.

He had one of your thin beach blankets spread out over the ground. He had a few pillows laid at one corner and food spread near them. You smiled as he looked up at you from where he was sitting. He smiled at you too. You stomach was flipping. He was so adorable.

He came up to you and wrapped you in his arms. “Hola Princesa.” He whispered in your ear and you leaned your forehead on his.

“Hi.” You whispered back. You almost forgot to eat dinner.

You were in bed the waves breaking on the shore and you held Lin on your bare chest. He was kissing all over your hand. When he got to your ring finger and kissed it and ran his finger over it. “Will you marry me?” He asked and you looked down at him. You moved the hair off his face as he tilted his head to look at you. You smiled and so did he. Did you want to spend eternity bound to his soul? To live here in this house with him during the summer? Did you want to cook breakfast with him every morning for your children? Did you never ever want to go back to being a spy so you could have a life with him?

“Yes.” You whispered and kissed his forehead.

Demons
  • <p> <b></b> (Signs maybe listed more than once)<p/><b>Fallen Angel// An angel who rebelled against God's wishes, an angel who sinned and was cast out of heaven:</b> Aries, Aquarius, Leo, Pisces<p/><b>Familiar// A shape shifting demon that serves a witch or magician as a domestic servant, spy and companion, in addition to helping to bewitch enemies or to retrieve divine information.:</b> Gemini, Cancer, Capricorn, Sagittarius<p/><b>Incubus or Succubus// A Demon that has sexual intercourse with a sleeping human being, feeds off sexual energy and activity.:</b> Virgo, Scorpio, Aries<p/><b>Leviathan// A large sea serpent that is believed to be the demon of greed and the Grand Admiral of Hell.:</b> Libra, Aquarius, Leo, Sagittarius<p/><b>Satan// The King of hell.:</b> Virgo, Pisces<p/><b>Ghoul// an evil spirit or phantom, especially one supposed to rob graves and feed on dead bodies.:</b> Cancer, Taurus, Libra<p/><b>Poltergeist// a violent demon/supernatural manifestation.:</b> Virgo, Scorpio<p/><b>Daeva// demons that cause plagues and diseases and who fight every form of religion. They are the male servants (or followers) of Angra Mainyu, also known as Ahriman:</b> Gemini, Taurus<p/><b>Antichrist// the spawn of Satan, the demon that will bring the world to an end.:</b> Scorpio<p/></p>

Congress Says C.I.A. Hacked The Computers of Senators Reviewing Their Torture Tactics

August 2nd, 2014

A U.S. Senate committee report will conclude that the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks yielded no critical intelligence on terrorist plots that could not have been obtained through non-coercive methods, U.S. officials familiar with the document said.

Foreshadowing the impending release of a report expected to suggest that the “enhanced” techniques were unnecessary and also to accuse some CIA officers of misleading Congress about the effectiveness of the program, President Barack Obama said on Friday that the CIA “tortured some folks.” He had supposedly banned the practices soon after taking office in 2009.

Obama also defended CIA director John Brennan who has faced congressional calls for his resignation after a revelation that the agency spied on the Senate committee investigating its interrogation techniques.

Video

VIDEO: Rand Paul leads bold crusade against NSA spying in EPIC Senate speech

This is as good as it gets, ladies and gentlemen.  This is not a speech from just another politician running for higher office.  This is a potent, pointed, heart-felt “give me liberty!” from a man who is sick and tired of seeing the Constitution shredded by his own government. 

here’s the video:

To Senator Paul we say, “Bravo!”  Thank you for your tireless efforts to protect the American people from a tyrannical Federal government.

youtube

BEHAVE YOURSELVES! The NSA is Watching!

Congress doesn’t mind the NSA spying on you, but gets angry when the CIA does it to them

On Tuesday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of spying on her committe’s work. The CIA had previously set up a private workspace where the senators could look at the agency’s classified documents on President George Bush’s rendition and extradition programs. But over the past few days, the CIA and the Congress have gotten into a finger-pointing war about improperly accessed documents and who spied on whom.

Feinstein’s vocal protest has won support from both sides of the aisle, but it seems like some of the senators have forgotten a crucial detail: they have never been huge critics of domestic spying.

Feinstein herself had said that NSA’s spying scheme was justifiable because, “It’s called protecting America.” But both she and Graham are now less receptive to surveillance when they are on the receiving end.

Read more | Follow policymic

ellidfics replied to your post:geekerypeekery replied to your photo:Nice hat,…

Is this why some of those early comics have been basically retconned as propaganda about Cap and Bucky rather than what they actually did?

SOoooooooort of. It’s complicated because of retcons and reboots. And it gets even worse because within the canon there were also Captain America comic books. (Steve was the artist on his own comic book for a while; Steve’s favourite pastime as an illustrator was drawing superheroes, so he moved from commercial illustration to comic books where “You have such a gift for drawing athletic men in heroic poses, Steve.”) 

Modern comics have retconned the “Captain America was stationed in America” idea for the most part; it depends on which canon you’re dealing with, of course, but it’s now generally accepted that Captain America was leading troops in combat in the 616 universe (he definitely was in Ults and MCU). This is a retcon but a pretty mild one, and usually it’s acknowledged that the Cap comics in-universe were also about Cap in combat, not about Cap fighting domestic spy rings. Whether or not he posed as Klutzy Steve Rogers in his downtime on base isn’t really specified, though you do get the occasional mention of it in side comics at times.  

The parts that are usually actually called propaganda in-world are the parts after the war ended. In the original Captain America comics, Steve was discharged from the Army and got an apartment with Bucky, becoming his foster dad while teaching at Bucky’s school. They still served as Captain America And His Boy Pal Bucky but they were doing more of a superhero gig, fighting villains like The Fly and such. As the popularity of the comic waned, Cap was moved to a men’s adventure magazine, where he fought the Cold War and was generally a GIGANTIC ASSHOLE. “Fifties Cap” was a serious dickhead, and he was cancelled entirely in the mid fifties. 

When Cap was brought back in Tales Of Suspense and The Avengers in the mid-sixties, the writer actually forgot about Cap’s activities after the war. He wrote the standard story we know today: that Steve and Bucky were on a plane which fell into the ice, killing Bucky (Stan Lee fucking HATED sidekicks) and suspending Cap in an iceberg. 

Somewhere along the line someone said “Hold up, what about this dickhead in the fifties?” and so they retconned him as “Fifties Cap”: William Burnside, a Cap fanboy so intense he got plastic surgery so that he’d look like Steve. Along with Jack Monroe, his “Bucky”, Burnside took a version of the Serum that drove him and Monroe a little crazy. He became, basically, a Tea Partyer: a racist, anti-communist, holier-than-thou thug embodying every negative aspect of American conservative culture. His general MO in he comics was to do away with Steve so he could take his place as the rightful Captain America; failing that, he was usually all about white supremacy. 

That’s the major retcon in terms of Steve’s history: that this asshole from the fifties wasn’t actually him but was Crazy William Burnside, who crops up from time to time (last time, Steve had him committed to a secure mental institution, so he’s presumably out of the picture for a while). 

WOW was that probably more than you wanted to know about Captain America’s Many Hilarious Retcons. 

hopelesshoemantic  asked:

Excuse my ignorance, but why do you not think president Obama is doing an okay job? It's my understanding that he tried to do everything he set out to do but he kept being voted against by the house and Senate.

You should definitely check out my Obama tag, but here are a few reasons why Obama is no friend to the working class or oppressed peoples, not here and not anywhere: 

On Immigration

  • ICE has deported over a million people since 2009. Deportation rates are rising every year, and are currently approaching 400,000. (ACLU 8/18/11) Despite the fact that unauthorized immigration rates are sinking (Pew 9/1/10), Border Patrol has more agents than it’s ever had before (White House 5/2011) and ICE’s budget has risen to nearly $6 billion. Despite a stated policy of targeting high-level criminals, the majority of those deported under ICE’s “Secure Communities” program have only misdemeanor convictions or no conviction at all. (Deportation Nation 5/25/11)
  • The Department of Homeland Security’s has rescinded the Secure Communities agreement memos with various jurisdictions and announced that compliance with the program is mandatory, despite legislation to the contrary. (IPC 11/29/11Restore Fairness 8/8/11)
  • The vast majority of ICE detainees have no access to counsel. (ABA 2/2010) Half of ICE detainees are kept in private prisons (ACLU 11/1/11); detainees in both private and public detention centers are subject to sexual abuse (ACLU), physical abuse and lack of medical care (ACLU 10/24/11), lack of access to counsel (ACLU 11/17/11ABA 2/2010)
  • DHS has denied people entry into the United States due to mental illness; one Canadian was turned away at the border due to a suicide attempt five years prior. (CBC 9/9/11)
  • At least 5,100 children are in foster care in the United States because their parents were deported. If current deportation trends continue, this number could rise to 15,000 in the next five years. (ARC 11/2011Frontline 11/3/11)

On Israel/Palestine

  • Despite his stated support for a two-state solution, Obama has opposed Palestine’s UN bid for statehood, and has declared that, if the issue is brought to the UN Security Council, the United States will veto it. (Guardian 9/21/11). When Palestine was given membership in UNESCO, the United States canceled UNESCO funding. (Reuters 11/2/11) Similarly, though Obama makes public statements deriding the continued advance of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, the US vetoed a UN resolution (sponsored by 130 nations, including all other members of the Security Council) opposing the settlements. (Christian Science Monitor 2/18/11)
  • The Obama administration dropped its attempts to persuade Israel to halt construction of settlements in Palestinian territory and allowed the moratorium on construction to expire, a serious problem not just morally but diplomatically, as Palestinian authorities have refused to engage in direct talks as long as Israel was building on lands seized from Palestine in 1967. (Reuters via MSNBCAP via Huffington Post, both 12/7/10)

On Military and Foreign Policy (Imperialism)

  • Obama’s State Department secretly directed its diplomats to spy on the United Nations, directing them to uncover computer passwords, credit card numbers, and biometric data. Similar directives ordered embassy staff in oil-rich African countries to conduct military surveillance and embassy staff in the Middle East to seek out travel plans of leaders in the Palestinian Authority. (Guardian 11/28/10)
  • Under the Obama administration, use of unmanned drones in military raids has severely increased—of the 309 known strikes, all but 52 took place after Obama took office. The exact number of people killed is not known (publicly at least), but the Bureau of Investigative Journalism places estimates between 2,373 and 2,997; at least 391 and possibly as many as 780 were civilians, including 175 children. These figures are based largely on media reports; in most cases, the actual identities of the victims are unknown, and as such there is the real possibility that a large number of “alleged militants” are actually civilians. (BIJ 8/10/11) The bulk of drone attacks have been in Pakistan, but the U.S. has also used the weapons in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, and Somalia. (Independent 7/1/11) A State Department legal adviser said it was “the considered view of this administration” that American drone attacks abroad constitute “self-defense”. (Wired 3/26/10)
  • In September, Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was killed in a targeted assassination on Barack Obama’s explicit orders due to alleged al-Qaeda ties. (NYT 10/1/11) Obama’s Justice Department argued in court, after Awlaki was placed on the list but long before he was killed, that the President has the authority to order the assassination of American citizens deemed a threat without a trial or even charges, and that this authority is not subject to judicial review. (ACLU 11/8/10)
  • After the scheduled military pullout from Iraq at the end of the year, the State Department will continue to employ 5,000 private security contractors in the country. (ABC 10/21/11), including the controversial company DynCorp (NPR 12/27/11)
  • During the “limited humanitarian intervention” (Yahoo 3/23/11) in Libya, the U.S. dropped dozens of bombs on the nation, even after the rebels succeeded in taking the capital. (Wired 10/20/11) American-backed anti-Gaddafi forces have been implicated in numerous human rights abuses, including indiscriminate arrests of sub-Saharan African nationals, torture and sexual assault of detainees (Amnesty International 10/2011), and a mass execution of Gadaffi loyalists at a hotel in Sirte (Human Rights Watch 10/23/11); there are reports that black Libyans are being lynched by rebel forces. (Liberation 8/30/11) The National Transitional Council’s interim leader announced a desire to return to traditional law and repeal the nation’s divorce laws. (Radio Netherlands 10/24/11)
  • Obama has resumed the war in Somalia. In addition to the aforementioned drone strikes, the U.S. is giving millions of dollars to Somali troops described by reporters as “ineffective”. The U.S. is also giving support to Ugandan, Kenyan, and Ethiopian military troops to fight in Somalia. (Washington Post 11/24/11)
  • In 2009, the United States used a cluster bomb against an alleged al-Qaeda training camp; the attack is estimated to have killed 41 civilians. (Amnesty International 6/4/10) The United States is one of few industrialized nations not to have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. (CCM) The Obama administration has continued Bush’s refusal to sign the Mine Ban Treaty. (AP via MSNBC 11/24/09)
  • The Obama administration shipped arms to Saudi Arabia to quell a rebellion in North Yemen, while publicly claiming to be uninvolved. (Salon 12/9/10) When larger masses of Yemenis began protesting the long-standing rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Obama administration supported Saleh; after it became clear that the movement against Saleh was too broad, the White House became involved in the negotiations to remove Saleh peacefully (Reuters 4/4/11), all while continuing its drone war against alleged Yemeni terrorists. (NYT 6/9/11) When Saleh finally stepped down, Obama praised the transfer of power as “a new beginning” (White House 11/23/11), despite continued protests in the country against the immunity from prosecution Saleh received in the power transfer agreement. (Guardian 11/23/11)
  • The Obama administration revived a Rumsfeld plan to equip ICBMs with conventional warheads—a plan that even the Bush administration eventually scrapped because it was too dangerous. (NYTWired, 4/23/10)
  • In 2010, the State Department hired Xe services, better known as Blackwater, to provide security at new U.S. consulates in Afghanistan. (Washington Post 6/21/10) Nearly simultaneously, Xe was given a contract to provide security at CIA bases in Afghanistan and other undisclosed countries. (Washington Post 6/23/10)
  • The Department of Defense sold $60 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in 2010, including 84 F-15s, 190 helicopters, and massive amounts of bombs and missiles. (Washington Times 11/19/10)
  • The United States has expanded its clandestine presence in Middle East and nearby countries, friend and foe, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia. This new order makes it clear that such operations are intended to be long-term. (NYT 5/24/10)
  • The Obama administration worked out an agreement with Afghanistan that would keep U.S. troops in the country until 2024. (Telegraph 8/19/11)
  • According to a CIA lawyer involved in the Bush-Obama transition, the incoming administration sought to do away with the torture program but keep virtually every other aspect of Bush’s CIA programs. (Frontline via Raw Story 9/1/11)

On Domestic Spying, Black Site Prisons, and Civil Liberties

  • In an interview on America’s Most Wanted, President Obama expressed support for a national database of DNA samples taken from arrestees, regardless of whether they are convicted, equivocating the practice with taking mugshots. (LA Times 4/9/10)
  • In a statement coinciding with the release of Bush-era memos from the Office of Legal Counsel regarding torture programs, Obama promised that agents who had been involved in torture would not be prosecuted, saying “This is a time for reflection, not retribution.” (White House 4/16/09) The administration has also declined to prosecute CIA officials who destroyed dozens of videos of agents torturing suspected terrorists. (NYT 11/9/10) When a Spanish human rights group called for Spain’s National Court to prosecute several Bush officials including Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, Obama joined with Republican officials in secretly pressuring Spain to circumvent the Spanish legal system and drop the charges. (Mother Jones 12/1/10)
  • Despite campaign promises to end the Bush administration’s “extraordinary rendition” program, whereby individuals were kidnapped without charges, taken to secret locations on foreign soil, and tortured, the Obama administration has largely kept the program in place, turning prisoners over to foreign countries and relying on “assurances” from those nations that the prisoners will not be tortured. (LA Times 2/1/09NYT 8/24/09Pro Publica 9/6/11) The administration has consistently invoked “state secrets” privileges and national security concerns to deny rendition survivors any hope of legal justice. (ACLU 11/15/11)
  • Similarly, Obama’s DOJ has sought to block litigation against the NSA over warrantless wiretapping, continuing the Bush administration’s invoking of “state secrets” (a practice which Obama himself opposed on the campaign trail). Obama’s administration, however, has gone beyond Bush’s argument to a disturbing new level, with the unprecedented claim that the federal government is categorically immune from litigation regarding illegal spying. (Salon 4/6/09EFF 4/7/09)
  • Obama’s DOJ has also argued to the Supreme Court that the government should be able to attach GPS devices to suspects’ cars without warrants. (Wired 6/27/11)
  • The Obama administration denied UN investigators access to Guantanamo prisoners and information on secret prisons. (Washington Post 7/23/09)
  • A terrorism strategy released by the White House recommends increasing the monitoring of “extremism” on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. (CNET 8/3/11) The Justice Department is seeking to require ISP’s and cell phone companies to hold on to records for significant periods of time to aid law enforcement. (Raw Story 1/25/11)
  • Obama’s Department of Justice has issued new guidelines on the use of Miranda warnings in interrogation of terrorism suspects, but has refused to make these guidelines public, further clouding an already murky subject. (Salon 1/19/11)
  • The Department of Defense released a list of names of prisoners at the Bagram prison, where allegations of torture and abuse have been raised for years. However, the list did not contain such important information as length of detention, location of capture, or national origin (BBC 1/16/10), information which the Obama administration has fought hard to keep secret. (TPR 10/26/10) The administration has opened a second prison at Bagram, referred to by former inmates as “Tor Jail” or “Black Jail”; the DoD refuses to acknowledge that this prison even exists. (BBC 4/15/105/11/10)
  • The Pentagon has stated that it has the right to react to hackers with military force “when warranted.” (Reuters 11/15/11)
  • In a memo to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama personally waived portions of a Bush-era law that forbade providing military assistance to countries known to recruit child soldiers, in order to provide military aid to Chad, Sudan, Yemen, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Foreign Policy 10/26/10White House 10/25/10)
  • Obama’s FBI has raided homes and offices of anti-war activists and labor organizers on pretexts of connections to “foreign terrorist organizations.” (Democracy Now 9/27/10Washington Post 6/13/11)
  • President Obama refused to release photos depicting abuse against detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan in violation of a Freedom of Information Act request, claiming that doing so would inflame terrorists against the United States. (ABC 5/13/09)
  • Obama declared that some Guantanamo detainees would be held indefinitely without trial, claiming that such prisoners “cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but … nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States.” (Washington Post 5/22/09) The following year, his Justice Department argued in court that a ruling requiring the government to give Guantanamo prisoners their habeas corpus rights did not apply to prisoners at Bagram; a District Court judge rejected this argument, but an appeals court reversed the ruling, essentially granting the DOD power to imprison people indefinitely so long as the prison is in a war zone. (Salon 5/21/10)
  • Part of Obama’s campaign was focused on curtailing the more egregious portions of the PATRIOT Act, but he signed a one-year extension of the act in 2010 and a four-year extension in 2011, neither with any changes. (Christian Science Monitor 3/1/10Huffington Post 5/27/11)
  • An FBI policy made public after an FOIA request reveals that the agency keeps people on a terrorism watch list even if they have been cleared of any charges. (NYT 9/27/11)
  • TSA is performing unannounced security screenings, including pat-downs, not just at airports but train stations, ferries, and bus terminals. They have begun working in tandem with ICE, predictably targeting people of color, through the “VIPR” program (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response). (Mother Jones 6/20/11) In San Diego, a joint TSA-ICE Trolley raid led to 21 arrests, including the deportation of three teenagers on their way to school. (Union-Tribune 5/23/09)

On Law Enforcement

  • In 2009, the ATF began a secret program called “Operation Fast and Furious” in which illegal firearms were deliberately allowed to fall into the hands of drug cartel members in Mexico in an attempt to reach the higher members of the cartels. The program was kept secret from both the American public and the Mexican government. A gun purchased in the program killed a Border Patrol officer in late 2010. U.S. attorneys denied the rumors of the program in the announcement of a series of arrests, but it was eventually made public by a disgruntled ATF officer who went to Congress. (Washington Post 7/25/11) Attorney General Eric Holder denied knowledge of the program, but had been receiving regular briefings on the subject since at least July of 2010. (CBS 10/3/11)
  • The DEA is involved in laundering millions of dollars in drug cartel money to further their investigation of cartel leaders; the practice is understandably controversial, and has seen little apparent success. (NYT 12/3/11)

On Wall Street and Labor (Class Struggle)

  • Obama has claimed that he “understand[s] the frustration” fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement (ABC 10/10/11), and the Democratic Party has made advances toward appropriating the movement. (NYT 10/10/11) Obama’s tepid statements of not-quite-support are understandable considering that his campaign in both 2008 (Open Secret) and 2012 (LA Times 7/22/11Washington Post 10/19/11) have received massive funding from Wall Street firms; he has received more donations from the securities and investment industry than any other candidate in the past 20 years. (Influence Explorer through Q2 2011) Any hope that he might support the movement were dashed when his Department of Homeland Security aided local governments in suppressing and evicting protesters. (Guardian 11/25/11)
  • Obama’s first appointed director to the National Economic Council, Larry Summers, has had a long-standing close relationship with Wall Street. In 2008 alone, Summers was paid $5.7 million for working one day a week at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and receivied $2.7 million in speaking fees from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch. (Washington Post 4/6/09) In 2000, when California Governor Gray Davis contacted the federal authorities with concerns that Enron was manipulating the market, Summers (who at that time was Treasury Secretary under President Clinton) joined Alan Greespan and, in one meeting, Enron CEO Ken Lay to urge Davis to deregulate California energy companies, remove caps on consumer prices, and relax environmental regulations. (The Daily Beast 11/12/08) Obama initially considered nominating Summers for Treasury Secretary, but ultimately decided to appoint him head of the NEC, which would not require Senate confirmation. (Salon 4/4/09)
  • When Summers stepped down from his post, Obama replaced him with Gene Sperling, who had already held the position for several years under Clinton. During this previous term as NEC director, Sperling was a chief negotiator on the Financial Modernization Act (NARA 1999), more commonly known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley. GLB repealed portions of the Glass-Steagall Act that had forbidden an institution from operating as any combination of investment bank, commercial bank, and insurance company. (LOC 11/2/99) On the campaign trail, Obama placed a great deal of the blame for the current recession on this repeal, but this rhetoric has all but disappeared from his public statements (NYT 11/12/09), and his appointment of the very negotiator responsible as his top economic adviser paints a grim picture for those who seek to have Glass-Steagall restored.
  • Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has his own host of controversies. The issues range from failure to pay $35,000 in taxes between 2001 and 2004 (Washington Times 1/14/09) to his role in the AIG bonus scandal in 2009. That year, Geithner and Larry Summers lobbied then-Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd to alter an amendment in the stimulus bill. The original amendment limited bonuses and so-called “golden parachutes” at companies receiving federal bailout money; at the request of Summers and Geithner, Dodd added a loophole exempting previously-existing bonus contracts from being affected. (CNN 3/19/09) AIG, a recipient of over $170 billion in bailout money, soon announced a plan to pay $165 million in executive bonuses. (NYT 3/14/09) Geithner himself was involved in AIG’s bailout while he was president of the New York Federal Reserve, as well as the bailout of Citigroup, both in 2008. (NYT 11/24/08)
  • While president of the New York Fed, Geithner discouraged the New York Attorney General from pursuing criminal action against AIG executives involved in the company’s collapse (NYT 4/14/11); that same attitude characterizes the Obama administration’s approach to prosecution. The Justice Department has declined to prosecute executives at several companies; they dropped their investigation against the former CEO of Countrywide Financial, one of the country’s biggest mortgage lenders (NYT 2/19/11), and have decided not to prosecute Washington Mutual executives for their part in the biggest bank failure in American history.(Bloomberg 8/5/11) Federal prosecution for financial institution fraud is at a 20-year low. (Huffington Post 11/15/11)
  • When Wisconsin governor Scott Walker attacked public sector unions in the state, seeking to strip them of their right to collective bargaining, Obama spoke out against the attacks, but made no action to help the workers, refusing to even visit Wisconsin (in contradiction to a campaign promise to “walk on that picket line” when bargaining rights came under fire). (Huffington Post 2/24/11) When the Democratic Party begin mobilizing to support the Wisconsin workers, Obama’s White House staff reined them in. (NYT 3/3/11)
  • Obama and the Department of Labor sat on a review of child farm labor laws for several months, well past the February 2011 deadline for review and public comment; the rules were finally made public in September. In that time, two 17-year-old boys were critically injured on a farm in Oklahoma, and two 14-year-old girls were electrocuted and killed on a Monsanto farm in Illinois. (Huffington Post 8/15/11DOL 10/31/11)
  • The Obama White House was closely involved in a deal awarding solar panel manufacturer Solyndra LLC a half-billion-dollar federal loan (ABC 9/13/11), and Obama praised the company as an example of the success of his economic policies; the company filed for bankruptcy in August and laid off over a thousand workers. (AP via Syracuse Post-Standard 8/31/11) It was later revealed that Solyndra had run out of money and defaulted; the Department of Energy restructured the loan in an attempt to keep the company solvent. (Wall Street Journal 9/28/11) A decades-long Treasury official testified that he has “never seen” a loan agreement be restructured like Solyndra’s. (Washington Examiner 10/14/11) When another company given a loan under the same program received negative press, the Department of Energy altered old press releases to remove that company’s name. (CNBC 10/19/11) When it became clear in 2010 that Solyndra would lay off workers, the Obama administration asked the company to delay the announcement until after the midterm elections on November 2; the company agreed, and made the announcement on November 3. (Washington Post 11/15/11)
  • The administration has boasted of its foreclosure prevention program, but the foreclosure rate is still increasing. (AP via NPR 11/10/11) The foreclosure program has had little oversight and no transparency. Mortgage companies are being paid millions of dollars in taxpayer money, but audit results are not being made public, and there is evidence that the mortgage companies are performing the same abuses as always without any consequences. (Pro Publica 10/4/11) Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was based on an industry plan, and deliberately crafter its language to exlude millions of homeowners who were seen as undeserving. The administration was dismissive of proposals to allow bankruptcy judges to lower mortgage payments on primary residences a prohibition not applied to any other type of debt and which Obama himself opposed on the campaign trail. (Pro Publica 2/4/11)
  • Shortly after the mortgage audits were made public, the Obama administration rolled out a new plan to lower mortgage payments for homeowners in need. But the new plan would make the taxpayer liable for refinanced loans; banks would be immune to liability. Furthermore, the plan does nothing to address the fact that most of these mortgages are for significantly more money than the homes are actually worth, which experts say is the core problem in the housing crisis. (Huffington Post 10/24/11)
  • When some states notified the Treasury of their intention to use money from the Hardest Hit Fund (a program under TARP intended to help homeowners in the states hit worst by unemployment and the housing market crisis) on legal aid groups that help individual homeowners, the Treasury told these states that doing so would violate TARP rules—a decision they reached after consulting with a law firm that represents several large banks and lending institutions. (The Nation 12/9/10)
  • A 2011 audit has revealed that the Federal Reserve is “riddled” with serious conflicts of interest. A number of high-ranking Fed officials have strong ties to the financial industry, and have used the Fed to award their companies emergency loans. The Fed’s conflict of interest rules have been kept secret, as well as waivers to the rules; the information was only brought to light under a GAO audit. (Senate 10/19/11)
  • Wall Street is making more money under Obama than it ever did under Bush. (Washington Post 11/6/11) The government has invested with banks to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars, while U.S. poverty rates are higher than ever. (CBS 9/13/11)
  • Obama signed an executive order announcing his commitment to “review” regulations on business, characterizing the current regulatory framework as “redundant” and “excessively burdensome” on businesses. (NYTWhite House, both 1/18/11) Within days, OSHA began withdrawing a number of proposed rules, including a strengthening of workplace noise regulations and a rule to provide a space on employer injury and illness forms to record musculoskeletal disorders. (The Hill 1/30/11)
  • Obama publicly espoused rhetoric that seemed to endorse made-in-America manufacturing policies, but opposed Congressional attempts at including such policies in legislation, and worked in active opposition by pushing trade deals with South Korea, which would deal a significant blow to the American auto industry and provide material support to Korean firms with serious labor rights problems. (Alternet 8/26/10)

On Healthcare

  • The Obama administration lauds the healthcare plan as a major success, but it was compromised from the start. Obama made back-room deals with the private medical industry to block the public option he claimed to support. (HuffPo 3/16/10NYT 8/13/09)
  • When the anti-choice Stupak amendment was removed from the final version of the bill that was passed in 2010, President Obama effectively reinstated it, banning women covered under the high-risk insurance pool program from using that insurance to access abortion services. (ACLU 7/15/10)
  • An analysis by the Physicians for a National Health Program concluded that the healthcare bill as passed will leave 23 million people uninsured while hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars will be shoveled to private health insurance companies. (PNHP 3/22/10)
  • Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services granted waivers to thirty large, mostly private, employers, including McDonald’s and Jack in the Box, exempting them from requirements to provide coverage to their employees; the waivers leave nearly a million workers uninsured. (USA Today 10/7/10)
  • The Obama administration refused to release a list of health industry executives visiting the White House during negotiations over the healthcare bill, using an argument originated by George W. Bush that such documents were exempt from public disclosure laws, and contradicting campaign promises for transparency in healthcare negotiations. (LA Times 7/22/09)
  • During the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, President Obama offered to inrease the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 in exchange for Republican agreement to raise certain taxes. (Huffington Post 7/11/11) In addition to the obvious threat to public health this poses, it would lead to an increase in total health spending. (CBPP 8/23/11)
  • Obama sought to slash $300 to $500 billion in “entitlement spending”, including massive cuts to Medicare; he has said that “healthcare cuts” are required in any budget deal. (NYT 9/13/11)
  • The Obama administration has fought aggressively to buy a controversial smallpox drug from a company called Siga (owned by a longtime donor to the Democratic Party), despite concerns over both its necessity and its effectiveness. When Department of Health and Human Services officials balked at the company’s asking price, the government replaced the lead negotiator. When Siga was in danger of losing the contract, the government blocked other companies from bidding. The final agreement pays Siga significantly more than what government specialists considered a reasonable price. (LA Times 11/13/11)
  • Part of the healthcare bill required that employer-provided health insurance cover birth control. The Obama administration is seeking to allow a wide range of exemptions to this rule, allowing any religiously-affiliated employer to opt out. This would include a number of universities, hospitals, and clinics, and potentially leaving millions of women without access to birth control. (NYT 11/19/11)
  • Obama is joining House Republicans in seeking to modify a formula in the healthcare plan to count Social Security benefits as income, pushing a potential million Americans out of the Medicaid eligibility bracket each year. (Washington Times 11/24/11)
  • The Obama administration argued to the Supreme Court that hospitals and clinics cannot sue drug companies for discounts they are entitled to under federal law or for recompense after being overcharged. (NYT 1/9/11)
  • The administration rewrote the rules of the healthcare bill, removing coverage for end-of-life planning, apparently due to fears that an incoming Republican majority on Congress would use such language as political ammunition. (NYT ¼/11)
  • The Obama administration hired a former executive from WellPoint, the largest private insurance company in America, to “help implement” the new healthcare law. (Open Left 7/14/10)
  • Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services overruled the FDA and rejected a move to allow the morning-after pill to be sold without an age restriction. (Washington Post 12/7/11) Obama claims not to have been involved in the decision, but publicly supports it nonetheless. (NYT 12/8/11)

On the Environment

  • In 2010, President Obama appointed Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator. Prior to his appointment, Siddiqui was a vice president of CropLife America, a bioindustry organization representing, among others, DuPont, Monsanto, and Dow. (Huffington Post 3/18/10CLA) Siddiqui is a staunch supporter of GMO food; during an earlier stint in the Department of Agriculture, he pushed to allow GMO products to be labeled “organic”, and has lobbied for weaking international regulations on pesticide. (GMO Journal 5/6/10)
  • Obama’s USDA and FDA have released a position paper opposing labeling for genetically modified foods. The paper claims that such labels are “false, misleading, or deceptive,” saying that food labels should not “suggest or imply that GM/GE foods are in any way different from other foods.” (The Atlantic 4/26/10)
  • The Minerals Management Service (later reorganized into the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement) allowed dozens of oil companies, including BP, to drill in the Gulf of Mexico without permits or environmental assessments, and frequently overruled its own staff scientists who raised objections regarding the safety of offshore drilling both in the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska. These fast-tracked approvals included the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded in 2010 and caused the largest oil spill in history. (NYT 5/14/10) The Department of the Interior was warned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of oil spills and the risk of a major spill, but the warnings were ignored and Obama announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling. (Huffington Post 7/3/10)
  • Charles Monnett, a high-ranking scientist with the OEMRE, published a 2006 paper documented the severe effects of climate change on Arctic polar bears and has raised awareness of the issue worldwide. When oil firms seeking to drill in the Arctic complained of environmental reviews causing delays in the permitting process, Monnett was put on suspension, silenced with a gag order, and forbidden from talking with his colleagues; Obama soon signed an order demanding that Arctic drilling permits be expedited. (Guardian 7/28/11)
  • This stifling of scientists’ concerns about environmental effects of government policies is wide-reaching: scientists in the Pacific Northwest were pressured to downplay the effects dams have on salmon populations, water quality experts were interfered with when studying the effects of development projects on the Everglades, biologists throughout the West have reported being pressures to ignore the effects of overgrazing, and calls for further study were ignored when the government decided to treat the Gulf oil spill with massive amounts of potentially toxic chemicals. (LA Times 7/10/10)
  • Obama’s Interior Department upheld a Bush-era rule that forbids use of the Endangered Species Act to combat greenhouse gas emissions. (Time 5/8/09)
  • The Obama administration argued in court to uphold a rule that lifted a restriction on the amount of public land a private company can use. Environmental groups had sued, saying it gave companies unlimited access to dump toxic waste on public land. (CBS 4/2/10)
  • When New York City and eight different states filed suit against a group of coal-burning utility companies to try to force them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Obama’s Justice Department argued to the Supreme Court against the lawsuit, siding with the utility companies. (WSJ 8/26/10)
  • Obama overruled the EPA and a unanimous panel of scientific advisers and canceled a proposed EPA regulation that sought to curb smog by restricting the production of ground-level ozone. (AP via Yahoo 9/2/11)
  • Obama’s Department of State has worked with Trans-Canada oil lobbyists to build an environmentally questionable pipeline from Alberta to Texas. Rather than providing oversight, the State Department has given the company support, even after Trans-Canada suggested dropping their request to pump oil at higher pressures than allowed, then reapplying for a waiver after the project is approved. (NYT 10/3/11) In October, Obama hired a former Trans-Canada lobbyist as a senior advisor to his re-election campaign. (Tar Sands Action 10/24/11)
  • The Obama administration has continued—and stepped up—Bush’s abuse of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, turning what is supposed to be a regulatory research office into a tool for industries to lobby for looser environmental and safety rules. The Obama administration has changed 76% of rules submitted through OIRA, including a staggering 85% of EPA-related rules, for the benefit of industry. (Guardian 11/28/11)
  • The Obama administration is supporting genetically engineered agriculture in fifty wildlife refuges in violation of a lawsuit settlement with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Peer calls the program a “joint effort with Monsanto … part of a White House pledge to double exports.” (Truthout 7/25/11)
  • Obama’s Department of the Interior has approved scores of seismic surveys and drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico without permits required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. (Center for Biological Diversity 5/14/10)

On Education

  • Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition for school grants continues the policies of No Child Left Behind, judging performance on test scores, pushing school closures as a viable reform method, and promoting charter schools at the expense of the public school system. (Democracy Now 3/5/10) The changes made by state school systems to compete in the program led 746 school principals in New York to sign a letter of protest against testing. (NYT 11/27/11)

On Taxes, Budget, and Social Services

  • Obama extended the Bush tax cuts as part of a deal with Congressional Republicans in 2010. In addition to tax cuts or freezes across the board, the deal includes a tax cut for the top 2% of earners, an estimated $120 billion over two years; and an estate tax exemption for property less than $10 million. (ABC 12/17/10)
  • The deal brokered by Obama and Boehner during the manufactured debt ceiling “crisis” is estimated to reduce the United States GDP by $241 billion and cost nearly two million jobs—and these estimates are for 2012 alone. (EPI 8/1/11) The President has argued that the crisis, in particular the meaningless S&P downgrade of the U.S. credit score, makes it necessary to cut funding to social security and Medicare—but not the defense budget. (Politico 8/9/11)
  • Obama revived a failed Bush commission on debt and packed it with officials who have made careers of trying to attack and dismantle social security. (AlterNet 3/28/10)
  • The White House is seeking to cut funding from a program that trains occupational nurses, doctors, and safety professionals, and researches ways to decrease job-related fatalities in the agriculture, logging, and fishing industries, where death rates range from 5 to 58 times the national average. (CPI 8/4/11)
  • Obama supported passage of a House bill drafted by Republicans that would eliminate a tax compliance rule for governmnent contractors and pay for it by reducing Medicaid eligibility. (TPM 10/25/11) He also supported a budget that would cut funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in half, leaving millions without winter heat. (Christian Science Monitor 2/10/11)
  • The Obama administration supported a bill that would encourage public housing authorities to rely on private funding, and would decrease public funding with a goal of, as a National Housing Institute analysis put it, “getting the federal government out of the low-income affordable housing business.” (Washington Post 7/14/10NHI summer 2010)

On LGBTQIA rights

  • President Obama spent two years in opposition to the right of same-sex couples to marry before finally stepping back its policy and declaring it would not defend DOMA challenges in court. (ACLU 2/23/11) A spokesman for Obama said in 2010 that the president “does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples” and that same-sex marriage is “an issue for the states.” (The Hill 8/5/10) Despite its declaration that it would no longer defend DOMA, it used the act later that year to deny immigration benefits to a married gay couple, deporting a man who was the primary caregiver to his AIDS-afflicted husband. (SF Gate 8/9/11)

On Transparency

  • One of Barack Obama’s major campaign issues was transparency; it is also turning out to be one of his major betrayals. Federal agencies denied more than 70,000 Freedom of Information Act requests under the “deliberative process” exemption (which Obama claimed to oppose) during the 2009 fiscal year alone; denials under all exemptions in the same time frame approached 500,000. These numbers represent a marked increase in both number and rate of denial from previous years, even though the number of FOIA requests actuallydecreased. (Huffington Post 3/16/10)
  • Despite campaign promises that he would protect and strengthen whistleblowers’ rights (Change.gov), Obama’s administration prosecuted more whistleblowers and alleged leaks in his first 18 months than any other president did in their entire administration. (NYT 6/11/10) His Justice Department reissued a Bush-era subpoena demanding aNew York Timeswriter reveal his source in an article on a bungled CIA job. This revival of the Bush administration’s prosecution stands in marked contrast to Obama’s “forward-looking” hands-off approach to prosecuting Bush officials for their wrongdoing. (Salon 4/29/10)
  • Breanna Manning, accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and documents to WikiLeaks, has been held in captivity since May of 2010; for almost a year of that time (AP via NYT 4/28/11), she was kept in solitary confinement and forced to sleep in the nude. President Obama defended her treatment (NYT 3/11/11), and the Department of Defense did not so much as set a hearing date until November, a full 18 months after Manning’s arrest. (NYT 11/21/11)[Private Manning was arrested under the name Bradley Manning; since the news reports linked here were published, however, it became known that Manning identifies as female and prefers the name Breanna.]
  • During his campaign, Obama promised that lobbyists and former lobbyists would not be allowed to work for the administration, and once in office he set up rules to that effect. However, his administration has repeatedly given waivers to lobbyists, allowing them to circumvent the rule; in many cases, not even a waiver has been issued. (Obameter) At least 15 high-power fundraisers for Obama’s 2012 campaign are unregistered lobbyists, including executives from Pfizer and Comcast. (NYT 10/27/11)
  • Obama’s Department of Justice is pushing to allow government agencies to outright lie about the existence of sensitive records. Instead of saying it can neither confirm nor deny whether it has a given record, the new rules would give the government the ability to say the record doesn’t exist. (Pro Publica 10/24/11)
  • When he took office, Obama announced he would publicly release White House visitor logs in the interests of transparency, but the actual logs released have serious gaps and omissions. (CPI 4/13/11) Furthermore, the administration has taken to simply meeting with lobbyists at a coffee shop across the street from the White House in order to avoid having records of the visits. (NYT 6/24/10)

(Source)

Obama’s Crimes by themindislimitless:

These things are really not hard to find. Situate them in the context of the struggle against white supremacist heteropatriarchal imperialist capitalism and it’s really not hard to arrive at the conclusion that Obama is firmly acting on behalf of, as part of, the oppressor class. 

Rand Paul Got the Better of Chris Christie on the 4th Amendment

Chris Christie tried to attack Rand Paul on the NSA and national security, but Rand Paul won the day by defending the Fourth Amendment & the Bill of Rights.

Written by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic:

One of the biggest clashes in the Republican debate Thursday night came after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked about his past attacks on Senator Rand Paul. The two men disagree about an NSA program that spied on tens of millions of innocent Americans by logging all phone calls they dialed and received. Paul, a leading critic of the phone dragnet, has argued that it flagrantly violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Christie has said that if America is hit by another terrorist attack, Paul should be called before Congress to answer for his efforts to constrain the NSA’s domestic spying.

“Do you really believe you can assign blame to Senator Paul just for opposing the bulk collection of people’s phone records in the event of a terrorist attack?” a moderator asked Thursday. The ensuing exchange highlighted stark differences in how the rival candidates would govern and their respective understandings of the Constitution.

Christie stood by his attack.

“Yes, I do,” he said. …

Paul responded to Thursday’s attack by expressing his preference for targeted surveillance rather than an expansive dragnet that sweeps up everyone’s metadata. “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,” he said. “The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence. I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights. I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights.”

Christie was ready with a retort.

“You know, that’s a completely ridiculous answer: ‘I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people.’ How are you supposed to know?” Like Keith Alexander, Christie seemed to be arguing that the government needs to intrude on everyone’s private communications to identify terrorists. It’s the logic of general warrants. How can the police know who is keeping an illegal gun in their home without searching the contents of everyone’s home? Republicans uncomfortable with that logic should avoid voting for phone dragnet supporters.

“Get a warrant!” Paul said. “Get a judge to sign the warrant!” …

In fact, “get a judge to sign a warrant” is a rather succinct description of how “the system” is “supposed to work,” if we define “the system” as the Constitution rather than national-security officials following their gut instincts. It’s hardly “blowing hot air” for a senator to call on the executive branch to follow the law.

“Here’s the problem, governor,” Paul said.  “You fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights. Every time you did a case, you got a warrant from a judge. I’m talking about searches without warrants, indiscriminately, of all Americans’ records, and that’s what I fought to end. I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead.”

Rather than articulate why he believes individualized warrants are neither lawfully required nor prudent, Christie chose to address the “hugging Obama” part of the argument. …

I cannot comment on the style preferences of a GOP voter base that presently prefers Donald Trump to all other candidates. But on substance, Paul easily bested Christie in this exchange. …

Christie seems oblivious to the basic logic of the Bill of Rights. The constraints it places on government are not suspended in the aftermath of a terrorist attack––they are, in fact, most important precisely when a polity is panicked and officials are unusually able to seize excessive power without criticism. His praise for leaders unapologetically jettisoning such constraints in the name of protecting us is more dangerous than any terrorist plot in U.S. history.

Most people would object to the government searching their homes without a warrant. If you were told that that while you are at work, the government is coming into your home every day and searching it without cause, you might be unsettled. You might even think it a violation of your rights specifically, and the bill of rights generally.

But what if the government, in its defense, said: “First of all, we’re searching everyone’s home, so you’re not being singled out. Second, we don’t connect your address to your name, so don’t worry about it. All we’re doing is searching every home in the United States, every day, without exception, and if we find something noteworthy, we’ll let you know.”

This is the essence of the NSA’s domestic spying program. They are collecting records of every call made in the US, and every call made from the US to recipients abroad. Any number of government agencies can access this data – about who you have called any day, any week, any year. And this information is being kept indefinitely.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/20/nsa-surveillance-programme-get-worse

huffingtonpost.com
AP: NYPD Secretly Designated Entire Mosques As Terrorism Organizations

The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

In response to the news, the ACLU and two other organizations have filed lawsuits against the NYPD. saying the department’s practices leave Muslims in fear of practicing their religion.

EDIT: As pointed out below, this is an AP story that ran on HuffPo. This has been edited to clarify.