Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when
we're not too hungover we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.
This Day in History
The Guardian and the Washington Post shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that revealed a global surveillance network monitoring millions of Americans and foreigners.-----
The British and American newspapers won the award for public service journalism handed out by the Pulitzer committee at Columbia University in New York for sparking debate on secretive NSA programs.
The awards evoked a similar situation in 1972 when The New York Times was recognized for publication of The Pentagon Papers, leaking details of US political and military involvement in Vietnam.
The U.S. security complex is up in arms about cyberhackers and foreign terrorists targeting America’s vulnerable infrastructure. Think tank reports have highlighted the chinks in homeland security represented by unsecured ports, dams and power plants. We’ve been bombarded by stories about outdated software that is subject to hacking and the vulnerability of our communities to bioterrorism. Reports such as the Heritage Foundation’s “Microbes and Mass Casualties: Defending America Against Bioterrorism” describe a United States that could be brought to its knees by its adversaries unless significant investments are made in “hardening” these targets.-----
But the greatest dangers for the United States do not lurk in terrorist cells in the mountains surrounding Kandahar that are planning on assaults on American targets. Rather, our vulnerabilities are homegrown. The United States plays host to thousands of nuclear weapons, toxic chemical dumps, radioactive waste storage facilities, complex pipelines and refineries, offshore oil rigs and many other potentially dangerous facilities that require constant maintenance and highly trained and motivated experts to keep them running safely.
The United States currently lacks safety protocols and effective inspection regimes for the dangerous materials it has amassed over the last 60 years. We don’t have enough inspectors and regulators to engage in the work of assessing the safety and security of ports, bridges, pipelines, power plants and railways. The rapid decline in the financial, educational and institutional infrastructure of the United States represents the greatest threat to the safety of Americans today.
And it’s getting worse......
What the military will say to a reporter and what is said behind closed doors are two very different things -- especially when it comes to the U.S. military in Africa. For years, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has maintained a veil of secrecy about much of the command’s activities and mission locations, consistently downplaying the size, scale, and scope of its efforts. At a recent Pentagon press conference, AFRICOM Commander General David Rodriguez adhered to the typical mantra, assuring the assembled reporters that the United States “has little forward presence” on that continent. Just days earlier, however, the men building the Pentagon’s presence there were telling a very different story -- but they weren’t speaking with the media. They were speaking to representatives of some of the biggest military engineering firms on the planet. They were planning for the future and the talk was of war.-----
The confab neatly illustrated the Democratic Party’s current predicament. As public disgust with rising inequality and a protracted jobs crisis compels a populist approach to governing and campaigning, the party remains inextricably tied to some of the elites responsible for the underlying problems. Publicly, the party seems united — but who is truly dedicated to reversing the country’s alarming descent into oligarchy, and who is just using the issue of the day to burnish their credentials or troll for votes?-----
Over the last year, a rabbi, a state NAACP official, a small town mayor and other community leaders wrote op-eds and letters to Congress with remarkably similar language on a remarkably obscure topic.-----
Compare eight letters and op-eds against return-free tax filing have been written by community leaders over the last year.
The letters and op-eds don't mention that, as ProPublica laid out last year, return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Or that, under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. Or that the concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe.
So, where did the letters and op-eds come from?
Must Read Blog Posts
The Daily Wiki
Never heard of this before today, but it's interesting lore. The fundies must be all excited, lol...
Something to Think about over
Did you ever notice that when you put the words "The" and "IRS" together, it spells "THEIRS?" ~Author Unknown-----