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Photos by: joanneleon. September, 2013.


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After shutting down the govt for two weeks and nearly causing a global economic calamity, Obama had some scolding to do! And who did he go after?

Bloggers! Who will rid us of those meddling bloggers?!

Look, there's nobody more troublesome that someone who hurts Obama feelings!  Refusing to toe the corporate media and state TV MSNBC line.  Worse than Cruz.  

B b b b b bb Bloggers!

Obama Blames Shutdown on Lobbyists, Bloggers, “Talking Heads” and “Professional Activists”

You cannot make this stuff up.

Obama gave his usual adult talking to the children, meaning American citizens, type of speech to mark the cease-fire in the budget battle so that the two sides can work out a peace accord. Of course, it goes without saying that both sides keenly want a pact that will inflict cuts on middle and low-income Americans while only imposing at most token costs on the wealthy, and in particular, secure the prize that the leadership of both parties keenly desire, namely, cuts in Medicare and Social Security, dressed up as “reforms”.

These speeches are unpleasant to read because the blarney is so thick it could be packaged and sold as an industrial lubricant. But underneath the greasy veneer is the message that the Important People in the Beltway, meaning Obama, Democrats, and “responsible Republicans” in Congress must dedicate themselves to the pursuit of prosperity…of the 1%. [...]

[...]

But Obama is clear who the bad actors have been:

But to all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change. Because we’ve all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the American people — and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust. Our system of self-government doesn’t function without it. And now that the government is reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy; create good jobs; strengthen the middle class; educate our kids; lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. That’s why we’re here. That should be our focus.

Goddamn bbbloggers!

The charming daughter of Nancy Pelosi. Ms. Rapid Response herself.

Meanwhile, as a bunch of bloggers and independent journos get ready to launch a big new media venture. $250 million, for starters.  I just hope that Omidyar is the real deal.  I've read that he has other goals besides transparency, etc.  He's interested in a "personalized" news platform.  Given that he was a founder of eBay, which was a revolutionary platform, I suspect that he wants to do something revolutionary for the news media platform as well.  I think that Amazon's founder is interested in something similar. I don't think either of them are buying or building news media organization just for kicks.  What they come up with could be a game changer.  It should make the world of media very interesting.  I suspect that organizations like the New York Times are very worried. They had their chance to revolutionize the media, for years. I think they've made some efforts at it. But they also spent years fighting and denying.  And they were dealing with financial issues all the while.

The extraordinary promise of the new Greenwald-Omidyar venture (UPDATED)
Adversarial muckrakers + civic-minded billionaire = a whole new world

This isn’t just another startup.

What makes this extraordinary is the combination of muckraking—and, dare I say, dissident—journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill with the gargantuan fortune of one of the first Internet billionaires.

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo. Billionaires tend to have a finger in every pie: powerful friends they don’t want annoyed and business interests they don’t want looked at. The Way Things Are may not work for most of us, but it ain’t bad if you’re an American billionaire.

By hiring Greenwald & Co., Omidyar is making a clear statement that he’s the billionaire exception. A little more than a year ago, Greenwald was writing for Salon.com, which (somehow) has a market cap of $3.5 million. Six years ago he was still typing away on his own blog. It’s like Izzy Stone running into a civic-minded plastics billionaire determined to take I.F. Stone’s Weekly large back in the day.

Jamie Galbraith.
James K Galbraith on Shutdown, Raise the Wage and Austerity

We had the pleasure of speaking with one of the world's finest progressive economists as part of our #CriticalEconomics series - Professor James K Galbraith- on 17 October 2013. In the conversation we discussed the recent Shutdown of the US Government, the need to raise the federal minimum wage and also the crisis in Europe particularly youth unemployment.

@20committee ... crow.   This morning, he's talking about Taiwan and Pentagon budgets instead of his usual Greenwald/Snowden fare.  
Snowden Says He Took No Secret Files to Russia

WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, said in an extensive interview this month that he did not take any secret N.S.A. documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June, assuring that Russian intelligence officials could not get access to them.

Mr. Snowden said he gave all of the classified documents he had obtained to journalists he met in Hong Kong, before flying to Moscow, and did not keep any copies for himself. He did not take the files to Russia “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest,” he said.

“What would be the unique value of personally carrying another copy of the materials onward?” he added.

He also asserted that he was able to protect the documents from China’s spies because he was familiar with that nation’s intelligence abilities, saying that as an N.S.A. contractor he had targeted Chinese operations and had taught a course on Chinese cybercounterintelligence.

“There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents,” he said.

Jesselyn Radack in The Nation.  @20committee no happy about this article either.  His rantings for the past five months about the KGB and China it's not surprising that the latest news about Snowden is distressing for him.  The last time he got pwned in a major way, he posted a picture of himself, his jacuzzi and pool, and booze.  

My Visit With Edward Snowden
Although living in exile from the country he loves, Snowden is warm, centered and engaged and follows debates about surveillance with a keen legal acumen

As for who is providing for his security—WikiLeaks? FSB?—this question is borne not out of a concern for his safety, but rather a US desire to perpetuate a false narrative that Snowden is being controlled by the Russians. I can say with certainty: Edward Snowden is not being controlled by the Russians, or anyone for that matter. He is fiercely independent and makes his own decisions, leaving him perplexed and understandably frustrated by the continuous insinuations that he is giving the Russians information. He ticks off abundant evidence to the contrary. First, he points out, he didn’t destroy his life to become a Russian asset. Second, he’s in Russia only because of the United States, which revoked his passport while he was en route to Latin America. Third, WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison has been by his side the whole time, in part to bear witness to the fact that he is not engaged in spying activity. Fourth, it is obvious that he chose to give information about NSA’s secret dragnet surveillance to the US people, not foreign adversaries. Fifth, and perhaps most significantly considering the contrary narrative promulgated in the United States, he has not had access to the information he revealed since he left Hong Kong. Here, rational logic fails and cognitive dissonance clouds him from seeing that the spy allegation is just a more incendiary version of the routine smears always leveled against whistleblowers. For why would your country crucify you when you’re trying to keep it on the right path?

The issue of his security is paramount. Russia granted him asylum and clearly has an interest in protecting its refugee. Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the United States would not torture him if he returned, hardly a salutary promise. Senator Dianne Feinstein accused him of treason—an act punishable by death. And last week, former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden and House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers joked about putting Snowden on the “kill list” for assassination. The audience laughed. No one protested that this was wildly unprofessional, inappropriate and profoundly disturbing. When we raised this exchange with Snowden, he had heard the veiled threat and shook his head at how such a notion could be both equally absurd and realistic. He also noted how hypocritical it is that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper can blatantly lie to Congress, under oath and on camera, and not be charged with perjury, while the government pursues him with an unhinged Javert zeal and charges him with espionage for telling the truth.

Obama's Likely Pick for NSA Chief Is a Master Spy. It May Not Be Enough.

Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers, the odds-on favorite to be nominated by President Obama as the next director of the National Security Agency, has all of the intelligence and military credentials for the position. "A walking resume for this job," said retired Admiral James Stavridis, who recently served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and has known Rogers for more than a decade.

But is Rogers a master politician? That may be the more important question if he takes over the helm of the country's biggest spy agency at one of its most perilous moments, when leaks about the the NSA's inner workings have damaged its credibility in the eyes of a large number of lawmakers and the public.

Those who know the Chicago native and have tracked his rise to admiral don't doubt his professional qualifications for the NSA job. Over a career in the Navy spanning more than 30 years, Rogers has worked in cryptology, signals intelligence (or electronic eavesdropping), and recently helped write the Navy's strategy for cyber warfare and "information dominance" in the Internet age. He has touched the major bases of NSA's mission, and has earned the trust of the military's top brass in stints at the Pentagon. And today, at age 53, he runs the Navy's signals intelligence and cyber warfare operations - much in the same way the outgoing NSA Director, Gen. Keith Alexander, also runs the U.S. Cyber Command.

This is a pretty big deal.  Don't forget that the NYPD and the CIA are closely tied in this surveillance effort.  CIA-on-the-Hudson (which somebody should take to the courts, IMHO).
De Blasio Tells Muslims He’ll End Broad NYPD Spying If Elected
Democratic Front-Runner: Use Surveillance Only To Follow Up On Leads

As WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reported, de Blasio, the front-runner in the Nov. 5 general election, said that, on his watch, NYPD surveillance tactics would only be authorized to follow up on specific leads and that the police force would be under the supervision of a new inspector general.

“The efforts of surveillance have to be based on specifically specific information, and obviously you need to go through a careful vetting process,” de Blasio said during a rally at Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn.
[...]
“Not only are we going to be safe, but we’re going to be safe in a manner that is, again, consistent with our values and our constitution,” de Blasio said.


Meet the man who could be next in line to control the NSA’s spying apparatus

[...]According to his Navy biography, he was originally a surface warfare officer, but selected for "re-designation" to cryptology in 1986. Since then he's served in numerous cryptological roles, [...] Rogers took over his current role as the head of the Navy’s cyber command in September 2011.

Someone who views the Internet as an offensive zone

Rogers told CHIPS, the Department of the Navy's Information Technology Magazine, that the role of his team of "cyber warriors" was both to defend naval networks and achieve "information dominance." But he also had somethings to say about how the Naval force should approach cyberspace in general.

"While cyberspace has been traditionally thought of as an enabler (supporting combat) in the traditional sea, air and land environs, today, it is a primary warfare domain of equal importance. Because the Navy’s combat power is drawn from a highly networked and electromagnetic spectrum dependent force, the Navy will need to lead, engage and win the fight across these critical enironments[SIC]."
Simpson-Bowles/Catfood Commission Reference/Repository



Articles:
Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson Reach New Heights of Hypocrisy in "Fix the Debt" Ad
Pete Peterson Exposed: The "Grand Bargain" Hoax (Video)
Stacking the Deck: The Phony 'Fix the Debt' Campaign
Pete Peterson's Long History of Deficit Scaremongering

Sites:
PetersonPyramid.org

Other:
- Twitter hashtag #nocuts, #CatfoodCommission, #GrandBargain


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