We've had some extreme weather so far this summer, but most of us never really get to see what hits us. Here is a very impressive video of a supercell as it forms!
41134 documents found in 0.018 seconds.
- American Constitution Society
- Booz Allen
- Chris Hayes
- Christopher Pyle
- Church Committee
- Community organizing
- Domestic Spying
- Gen. Keith Alexander
- Jan Brewer
- Medicaid expansion
- Mike McConnell
- Mike's Blog round up
- North Carolina
- Open Thread
- Pat McCrory
- Patriot Act
- Republican Party
- Section 215
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Sen. Frank Church
- Stupid Right-Wing Tweets
- Susan L. Burke
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
- William Barber
- William J. Barber
- corporate capture
- judicial nominations
- peggy Noonan
- tea party
The Trans-Pacific trade agreement is a truly vile agreement. I dare anyone to read it and stay an unquestioning Obama booster:
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama's nominee to head U.S. trade negotiations, expressing concerns about the administration's lack of transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major trade deal being negotiated largely in secret.
Labor unions, public health advocates and environmental groups have long decried so-called free trade policies for undermining important regulations in the pursuit of corporate profits. The letter signals that Warren's tough stance on bank regulation extends to other major consumer and public interest matters.
What the public does know about the TPP has been learned through leaked documents. According to those documents, the Obama administration is seeking to grant corporations the ability to directly challenge regulations in countries involved in the talks -- a political power that was typically reserved for sovereign nations until the 1990s. Obama opposed such policies as a presidential candidate in 2008. The leaked intellectual property chapter of the deal includes provisions that would increase the costs of life-saving medicines in poor countries.
Warren's letter does not take issue with specific terms of the negotiations, but rather the secrecy surrounding the process. Members of Congress have been allowed to see TPP negotiation texts. Some have said they were insulted by the complex administrative procedures the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, or USTR, imposed to actually access the texts -- barriers not imposed on unelected corporate advisers.
Sen. Warren continues to hit all the right progressive notes.
I'm very happy to hear Sen. Warren take on this issue, because it's extremely important - and key to building a progressive nation. It's been very frustrating to me that Obama did not make filling the bench a priority, and I hope she lights a fire under him:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a group of liberal lawyers last night that they should press the president to speed up the judicial nomination process, and warned that failing to do would lead to increasing corporate influence over the courts.
“Above all, we must make judicial nominations a priority. It’s time for a new generation of judges, judges whose life experience extends beyond big firms, federal prosecution, and whitecollar defense,” she said in a speech before the American Constitution Society.“We need sustained pressure to get those judges in front of the Senate. Pressure — pressure on our President, pressure on Senators, pressure in the press,” she added.
The White House has been in a prolonged standoff with Senate Republicans over judicial nominations, especially those for the powerful D.C. Circuit Cout of Appeals. Some progressives have criticized the president for waiting too long to make appointments to fill three vacant seats on the court, and have called for him to name appointees for other federal courts as well.
Warren, a former Harvard Law professor, also criticized the “increasingly brazen and ideological pro-corporate tilt” of the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit. “Follow this pro-business trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce.”
All Things Democrat: Rick Santorum explains why Mitt Romney wasn’t able to come from behind.
BlueOregon: Six months after the bloodbath at a local shopping mall, the Multnomah County GOP is raffling off an AR-15 assault rifle.
Economic Policy Institute: There are many factors driving increasing income inequality in the U.S.; tax and budget policy is high on that list.
Speaking of which, your quote of the day: “Capital gains and dividends were a larger share of total income in 2006 than in 1996 (especially for high-income taxpayers) and were more unequally distributed in 2006 than in 1996. Changes in capital gains and dividends were the largest contributor to the increase in the overall income inequality.” (Thomas Hungerford, Congressional Research Service, December 29, 2011)
Guest blogging Mike's Blog Round Up this week is Jon Perr from Perrspectives. Send your tips, recommendations, comments and angst to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.
Thanks very much to Chris Hayes and his All In staff for including my tweet of this video in tonight's #Click3.
PS. This grandpa totally dances like my own dad. Happy Father's Day weekend.
Open thread below...
Vietnam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Iraq War and Katrina? Bah. They were nothing compared to the NSA's tyrannical data mining program (which started under the Bush administration, by the way).
She's not even trying anymore.
Have another Old Fashioned, Peg.
Remember when we were told that the scary powers of the Patriot Act would only be used against terrorists? Good times! Imagine an open-ended, secret audit of your business finances -- just in case. Just as we saw RICO abused by the FBI in the 80s and 90s, now they're using the Patriot Act to sidestep the legal process for reasons that have nothing to do with terrorism. Michael Isokoff:
The FBI has dramatically increased its use of a controversial provision of the Patriot Act to secretly obtain a vast store of business records of U.S. citizens under President Barack Obama, according to recent Justice Department reports to Congress. The bureau filed 212 requests for such data to a national security court last year – a 1,000-percent increase from the number of such requests four years earlier, the reports show.
The FBI’s increased use of the Patriot Act’s “business records” provision — and the wide ranging scope of its requests -- is getting new scrutiny in light of last week’s disclosure that that the provision was used to obtain a top-secret national security order requiring telecommunications companies to turn over records of millions of telephone calls.
Taken together, experts say, those revelations show the government has broadly interpreted the Patriot Act provision as enabling it to collect data not just on specific individuals, but on millions of Americans with no suspected terrorist connections. And it shows that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court accepted that broad interpretation of the law.
It's a feature, not a bug! The man whose disclosures of domestic spying in the 1970s aparked the Church committee hearings makes many important points in this Democracy Now! interview with Amy Goodman:
AMY GOODMAN: Christopher Pyle, let’s turn for a minute to the Church Committee’s special Senate investigation of government misconduct, which you played a key role in the mid-'70s, U.S. Senate committee chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Church of Idaho, who conducted a massive investigation of the CIA and FBI's misuse of power at home and abroad, the multi-year investigation examining domestic spying, the CIA’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, the FBI and CIA’s efforts to infiltrate and disrupt leftist organizations, and a lot more. This is Senator Frank Church speaking during one of the committee’s hearings.
SEN. FRANK CHURCH: You have seen today the dark side of those activities, where many Americans who were not even suspected of crime were not only spied upon, but they were harassed, they were discredited and, at times, endangered.
Members of Congress do not go to those briefings, even if they’re offered, because once you go to the briefing, then you can’t talk about what you’ve been told, because it’s classified. So the briefing system is designed to silence Congress, not to promote effective oversight.
AMY GOODMAN: And this is another clip from the Church Committee Senate hearing. This is CIA Director William Colby testifying. He was asked if he found the work of the committee unwelcome.
WILLIAM COLBY: No, I do not. I’ve—as I’ve said to the chairman, I welcome the chance to try to describe to the American people what intelligence is really about today. It’s a—it is an opportunity to show how we Americans have modernized the whole concept of intelligence.
AMY GOODMAN: That was then-CIA Director William Colby. So, if you would, Chris Pyle, take this forward, from what came out of the Church Committee hearings, that started with your exposé from being a military whistleblower, to what you’re seeing today with Edward Snowden.
This video is from the June 3 Moral Monday rally.
"The appeal for each Moral Monday has been the same: urging legislators to govern for the good of the whole, rather than for the wealthy."
— Rev. William Barber.
Since April, North Carolina citizens have been gathering at the state capital in Raleigh for "Moral Monday" rallies and acts of civil disobedience to protest the the cruel things Republican legislators are doing to the people of the state. This week, despite tornado warnings, more than 1,400 protesters gathered for the sixth week's protests, and more than 80 were arrested, including one reporter clearly wearing news credentials. A week ago Monday, 151 were arrested. Arrests for this and recent Moral Mondays now total 388.
What's going on? Republicans took over and started enacting severe, cruel policies against the poor and minorities, while giving tax cuts to the rich and businesses. As The Nation explains in "Protesters Shake Up North Carolina Legislature With Moral Monday Demonstrations,"
In 2010, Republicans took control of the state House and Senate for the first time since Reconstruction. With their firm majority, the GOP redrew district lines for state Senate and House seats, securing an even more solid majority in the 2012 election. Voters also elected a Republican governor, the former mayor of Charlotte, Pat McCrory. Many assumed that his big-city background would make him a moderate, but McCrory quickly appointed Art Pope, the money behind many of the state’s Tea Party candidates, as budget director, and the legislature went to work.
Some of the severe measures already passed include:
- Cutting the payroll tax credit for over 900,000 poor and working people
- Slashing state unemployment benefits and rejecting federally-funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation to 170,000 laid-off workers
- Rejecting federal funds to expand Medicaid to cover 500,000 North Carolinians without health insurance
Whatever else Jan Brewer is, no one can say she isn't hard-nosed and calculating. When she decided the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was good for Arizona, she also decided to steamroll the Tea Party, forging a strong bipartisan coalition while sending the extremists to a dark, dusty corner.
First, she threatened a veto of every single bill sent to her by the legislature until they approved the Medicaid expansion. They thought she was joking, so they sent up five bills, and Brewer returned five vetoes.
Brewer’s surprise move came after House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, adjourned the lower chamber until Thursday, stalling efforts by a bipartisan House coalition to pass Brewer’s 2014 budget and Medicaid expansion.
Many legislators were on their way home when Brewer called key lawmakers to a meeting in her offices, where the special-session plans were hatched. They agreed to unseat the speaker and Senate president, if necessary, to get Medicaid expansion and the budget passed.
Brewer issued a special-session proclamation at 5 p.m., and by then, Democrats and the expansion-friendly Republicans were already gathering on the House floor.
This is the first time in memory that a governor has called a special session with the intention of going around her own party’s leadership and without notifying them.
Brewer was playing for high stakes, too: