August 28, 2012 archive

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 2 (Afternoon)

In the next 4 and a half hours all the actual events of the 2012 Republican National Convention will take place including the acceptance of credentials, adoption of rules, adoption of resolutions and the platform, and the roll call for the nomination of Willard “Mitt” Romney to be the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States (and the roll call for the nomination of Paul Ryan to be the Republican Party candidate for Vice-President of the United States).

Everything else is just propaganda.

And the only bit that has least little news worthiness to it is whether the Ron Paul supporters will get any air time.

Ron Paul’s Faithful Continue To Make Noise; Floor Fight Tuesday?

by Liz Halloran, NPR

August 27, 2012 05:57 pm

Surrounded by microphones, cameras, scribbling reporters, they recounted their outrage at the RNC’s decision to deny seats to duly elected Ron Paul delegates from Maine and other states.



Over at Romney’s native state of Michigan delegation area, a clutch of Ron Paul supporters who came to the convention as unbound delegates spoke of their misgivings about Romney.

“We personally think there’s not too much difference between Romney and Obama,” said Jacob Horward, 25, of Midland.



The Paulites say that there are more of them embedded in state delegations than Republican officials are willing to acknowledge, and they are trying to organize a floor fight Tuesday to take on new proposed party rules that would hobble outsider candidates seeking to seat delegates at future conventions.

Many of the pro-Paul delegates were chosen at state party conventions, and not through the allocation process based on the results of presidential caucuses and primaries. The rules change would require that delegates be picked based on caucus and primary contest outcomes; not by state conventions.

Here’s how ABC News described the proposed rule change, and an Indiana Republican committeeman’s strong reaction:

“The new rule, however, gives presidential candidates veto power over their own delegates, representing a big boost in power for the candidates and a reduction for states. If Mitt Romney, for instance, didn’t like a delegate slated to cast a vote in his favor at the convention, Romney could throw him out and choose an alternate.

” ‘This is the biggest power grab in the history of the Republican Party because it shifts the power to select delegates from the state party to the candidate,’ Republican National Committeeman Jim Bopp of Indiana said in an e-mail message to fellow committee members obtained by ABC News. ‘And it would make the Republican Party a top-down, not bottom-up party.’ “

Politico reported this schedule last night and Reince Priebus has vowed there will be no more changes.

click here 2:00 p.m.

  • Color Guard Knights of Columbus
  • Pledge of Allegiance by former Gov. Tim Babcock (Mont.)/ Tom Hogan (Fla.)
  • National anthem sung by Philip Alongi
  • Invocation by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
  • Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees

enter site Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries including:

  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
  • Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris
  • Chairman of Tampa Bay Host Committee Al Austin
  • Republican congressional candidates
  • State Delegate Barbara Comstock (Va.)
  • Rep. Tim Griffin (Ark.)
  • Republican Senate candidates
  • Republican National Committee auxiliaries

And then all the official business that happens at the Convention

  • Consideration of convention committee reports
  • Committee on Credentials Chairman Mike Duncan
  • Committee on Permanent Organization Chairwoman Zoraida Fonalledas
  • Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner, presiding
  • Official convention photograph
  • Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu
  • Committee on Resolutions Chairman Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va.
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Sen. John Hoeven
  • Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn
  • Roll call for nomination of president of the United States
  • Roll call for nomination of vice president of the United States

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=is-prescription-accutane-safe 6:40 p.m.: Recess

And that’s it.  No more reason to watch except for the speeches.

Our coverage will continue with http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-50-mg-online-prezzo-piu-basso-a-Parma TheMomCat around 7 pm for the evening addresses.

The Week has a pretty useful guide.

The GOP convention: A viewer’s guide

The Week

posted on August 28, 2012, at 10:25 AM

Hot speakers.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in the 7 p.m. EDT hour on Wednesday, following a video of Ron Paul. Several other former Romney rivals will also speak: Rick Santorum (7 p.m. Tuesday), Tim Pawlenty (9 p.m. Wednesday), and Newt Gingrich (7 p.m. Thursday). There are also up-and-comers of note: Utah congressional candidate Mia Love (7 p.m. Tuesday), Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz (9 p.m. Tuesday), and Gov. Martinez (10 p.m. Wednesday). Here’s the full schedule.

Will it all be on TV?  Depends on what kind of TV you watch.

ABC, NBC, and CBS will only broadcast the 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. speeches on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. PBS will begin its coverage at 8 p.m. each night. The big three cable news channels – CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC – will devote a lot more airtime to the convention, running intermittent coverage and commentary from the Tuesday opening until Thursday’s final gavel. Current TV will cover most of the convention, hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.



The RNC is offering its own live stream on YouTube, plus a bunch of interactive features through its “Convention Without Walls” Facebook app, but you can also watch the convention unfold live online at Politico, ABC News, PBS NewsHour, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal – in fact, many of these sites have multiple simultaneous live streams, available for viewing on your computer, smartphone, or tablet (you can watch ABC’s three feeds at the same time via an iPad app). You can even watch a live feed of the anti-RNC protests, courtesy of Occupy Tampa, or real-time fact-checking from the Sunlight Foundation.

I’ll probably start out with MSNBC and switch to Current if I think it will help, but I may just have to retire to my fainting couch if there are any breaches in proper decorum and something exciting happens.

Feel free to chime in with your observations and outrages.

Blowing in the Stellar Wind

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stellar Wind  is the open secret code name for certain information collection activities performed by the United States’ National Security Agency and revealed by Thomas M. Tamm to New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau. The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The program’s activities involve data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.

There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data is collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. In March 2004, the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft ruled that the program was illegal. The day after the ruling, Ashcroft became critically ill with acute pancreatitis. President Bush sent White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Chief of Staff Andrew Card Jr. to Ashcroft’s hospital bed, where Ashcroft lay semiconscious, to request that he sign a document reversing the Justice Department’s ruling. However, Ashcroft was incapable of signing the document. Bush then reauthorized the operation, over formal Justice Department objections. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller, Acting Attorney General James Comey, and many prominent members of the Justice Department were prepared to resign over the matter. Valerie Caproni the FBI general counsel, said, “From my perspective, there was a very real likelihood of a collapse of government.” Bush subsequently reversed the authorization.

During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. Approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but 1 percent bore fruit. One of the known uses of this data was the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former NY governor Elliot Spitzer‘s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.

In March 2012 Wired Magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a new NSA facility and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail.” Naming the official William Binney a former NSA code breaker. Binney goes on to say that the NSA has highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at AT&T and Verizon both. [4] The article suggests that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.

The Program

by Laura Poitras

To those who understand state surveillance as an abstraction, I will try to describe a little about how it has affected me. The United States apparently placed me on a “watch-list” in 2006 after I completed a film about the Iraq war. I have been detained at the border more than 40 times. Once, in 2011, when I was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and asserted my First Amendment right not to answer questions about my work, the border agent replied, “If you don’t answer our questions, we’ll find our answers on your electronics.”‘ As a filmmaker and journalist entrusted to protect the people who share information with me, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to work in the United States. Although I take every effort to secure my material, I know the N.S.A. has technical abilities that are nearly impossible to defend against if you are targeted.

The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which oversees the N.S.A. activities, are up for renewal in December. Two members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, are trying to revise the amendments to insure greater privacy protections. They have been warning about “secret interpretations” of laws and backdoor “loopholes” that allow the government to collect our private communications. Thirteen senators have signed a letter expressing concern about a “loophole” in the law that permits the collection of United States data. The A.C.L.U. and other groups have also challenged the constitutionality of the law, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in that case on Oct. 29.

Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker who has been nominated for an Academy Award and whose work was exhibited in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She is working on a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. This Op-Doc is adapted from a work in progress to be released in 2013.

This video is part of a series by independent filmmakers who have received grants from the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute.

Who is watching the NSA?

Giving In to the Surveillance

by Shane Harris

IN March 2002, John M. Poindexter, a former national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, sat down with Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the National Security Agency. Mr. Poindexter sketched out a new Pentagon program called Total Information Awareness, that proposed to scan the world’s electronic information – including phone calls, e-mails and financial and travel records – looking for transactions associated with terrorist plots. The N.S.A., the government’s chief eavesdropper, routinely collected and analyzed such signals, so Mr. Poindexter thought the agency was an obvious place to test his ideas.

He never had much of a chance. When T.I.A.’s existence became public, it was denounced as the height of post-9/11 excess and ridiculed for its creepy name. Mr. Poindexter’s notorious role in the Iran-contra affair became a central focus of the debate. He resigned from government, and T.I.A. was dismantled in 2003.

But what Mr. Poindexter didn’t know was that the N.S.A. was already pursuing its own version of the program, and on a scale that he had only imagined. A decade later, the legacy of T.I.A. is quietly thriving at the N.S.A. It is more pervasive than most people think, and it operates with little accountability or restraint. [..]

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) asked the NSA a simple question: how many persons inside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA? I. Charles McCullough, the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, answer was that to answer that question would violate the privacy of citizens. In other words, they probably don’t know.

In July, in response to a request from Sen. Wyden, IG McCullough declassified three statements “one of which indicated that the FISA court agreed with Wyden that the government had “circumvented the spirit of the law.” Even the Wall Street Journal reported that this “represented the first time the government has acknowledged U.S. spy activities violated the Constitution since the passage of” the Amendments Act in 2008.

Whistleblowers like Mr. Binney, Thomas Drake, as well as, journalists like Ms. Poitras and James Risen put their reputations, freedom and lives on the line to warn us about the unregulated, unmonitored surveillance of the NSA. No one is watching the NSA but they are watching us.

Cartnoon

Another goner.  I think this is actually a better print.  Originally posted May 6, 2011.

Daffy Duck Slept Here

Seven Days In May

U.S. Army battling racists within its own ranks

By Daniel Trotta, Reuters

Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:00am EDT

White supremacists, neo-Nazis and skinhead groups encourage followers to enlist in the Army and Marine Corps to acquire the skills to overthrow what some call the ZOG – the Zionist Occupation Government. Get in, get trained and get out to brace for the coming race war.

If this scenario seems like fantasy or bluster, civil rights organizations take it as deadly serious, especially given recent events. Former U.S. Army soldier Wade Page opened fire with a 9mm handgun at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Aug. 5, murdering six people and critically wounding three before killing himself during a shootout with police.



“We don’t really think this is a huge problem, at Bragg, and across the Army,” said Colonel Kevin Arata, a spokesman for Fort Bragg.

“In my 26 years in the Army, I’ve never seen it,” the former company commander said.



That failed to stop former Marine T.J. Leyden, with two-inch SS bolts tattooed above his collar, from serving from 1988 to 1991 while openly supporting neo-Nazi causes. A member of the Hammerskin Nation, a skinhead group, he said he hung a swastika from his locker, taking it down only when his commander politely asked him to ahead of inspections by the commanding general.

“I went into the Marine Corps for one specific reason: I would learn how shoot,” Leyden told Reuters. “I also learned how to use C-4 (explosives), blow things up. I took all my military skills and said I could use these to train other people,” said Leyden, 46, who has since renounced the white power movement and is a consultant for the anti-Nazi Simon Wiesenthal Center.



“We’re very strict on the tattoo policy here within this recruiting station,” said Sergeant Aaron Iskenderian, head of the Army recruiting office in Fayetteville, the Army town next to Fort Bragg.



Iskenderian cited the example of a young man who came in recently with a tattoo of the Confederate flag.

“We’re in the South here. It’s considered Southern heritage. It’s on the General Lee,” Iskenderian said, referring to the car from the television show “The Dukes of Hazzard.”



Academics who study white supremacists say proponents of the “infiltration strategy” of joining the U.S. military have adapted, telling skinheads to deceive military recruiters by letting their hair grow, avoiding or covering tattoos, and suppressing their racist views.



“They are some of the most disciplined soldiers we have. They really want to learn to shoot those weapons,” Smith (former military investigator, now a professor of criminal justice at Austin Peay State University) said. “The problem wasn’t just that we were opening the floodgates to let them in. We let them out after prosecution or when their time was up and we didn’t let the police know.”

4 soldiers linked to terror plot; alleged leader tied to Washington

Mike Carter and Miyoko Wolf, Seattle Times

Monday, August 27, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Aguigui was home-schooled in Cashmere, Chelan County, joining the Army after graduation. He married fellow soldier Dierdre Wetzker at Fort Stewart, according to news reports and interviews with family.

Wetzker, 24, died last year at Fort Stewart while pregnant with the couple’s son. According to Orlin Wetzker, her uncle in Ogden, Utah, the family was told by law-enforcement officials that she may have been poisoned. A call to Aguigui’s parents’ home in Cashmere was not returned.

The prosecutors in the Georgia homicide case have called Wetzker’s death “highly suspicious,” but no charges have been filed.

According to court testimony, the group used some of the nearly $500,000 in insurance and death benefits to buy more than $87,000 worth of military-grade firearms and land in Washington state.



In a videotaped interview with military investigators, Pauley said, Aguigui called himself “the nicest coldblooded murderer you will ever meet.” He used the Army to recruit militia members, who wore distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol, she said. Prosecutors say they have no idea how many members belong to the group.

“All members of the group were on active duty or were former members of the military,” Pauley said. “He targeted soldiers who were in trouble or disillusioned.”



In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.

Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said the Army has dropped its own charges against the four soldiers in the slayings of Roark and York. The Military authorities filed their charges in March, but never acted on them. Fort Stewart officials Monday refused to identify the units the accused soldiers served in and their jobs within those units.

But, but, but…

Anarchy!

Anarchist Leader In Assassination Plot Was Apparently A Page At The 2008 GOP Convention

Geoffrey Ingersoll, Business Insider

Aug. 28, 2012, 8:57 AM

Shortly after the media frenzy over these "anarchist" militant revolutionaries and their alleged aspirations to overthrow the government (with $87,000 of weapons and multiple members with loose lips), Gawker revealed that their leader, Isaac Aguigui was apparently a page at the Republican National Convention in 2008.



The caption of the photograph says “Republican National Convention page Isaac Aguigui watches from the edge of the floor at the start of the first session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 1, 2008.”

Move along, nothing to see.

On This Day In History August 28

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

August 28 is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 125 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King addressed the crowds assembled on the Washington Mall from the steps at the Lincoln Memorial. His speech, “I have a Dream”, is forever embedded in history and our memories as one of the great moments in the fight for civil rights. But there were many other speakers, and in particular one great performance by the “Queen of Gospel”, Mahalia Jackson. Right before Dr. King spoke, Ms. Jackson performed “How I Got Over”.

Indeed, if Martin Luther King, Jr., had a favorite opening act, it was Mahalia Jackson, who performed by his side many times. On August 28, 1963, as she took to the podium before an audience of 250,000 to give the last musical performance before Dr. King’s speech, Dr. King himself requested that she sing the gospel classic “I’ve Been ‘Buked, and I’ve Been Scorned.” Jackson was just as familiar with Dr. King’s repertoire as he was with hers, and just as King felt comfortable telling her what to sing as the lead-in to what would prove to be the most famous speech of his life, Jackson felt comfortable telling him in what direction to take that speech.

The story that has been told since that day has Mahalia Jackson intervening at a critical junction when she decided King’s speech needed a course-correction. Recalling a theme she had heard him use in earlier speeches, Jackson said out loud to Martin Luther King, Jr., from behind the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” And at that moment, as can be seen in films of the speech, Dr. King leaves his prepared notes behind to improvise the entire next section of his speech-the historic section that famously begins “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….”

There is no embeddable video of Ms Jackson from that day but here is the inspirational song she performed that day.

On This Day In History August 28

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

August 28 is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 125 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King addressed the crowds assembled on the Washington Mall from the steps at the Lincoln Memorial. His speech, “I have a Dream”, is forever embedded in history and our memories as one of the great moments in the fight for civil rights. But there were many other speakers, and in particular one great performance by the “Queen of Gospel”, Mahalia Jackson. Right before Dr. King spoke, Ms. Jackson performed “How I Got Over”.

Indeed, if Martin Luther King, Jr., had a favorite opening act, it was Mahalia Jackson, who performed by his side many times. On August 28, 1963, as she took to the podium before an audience of 250,000 to give the last musical performance before Dr. King’s speech, Dr. King himself requested that she sing the gospel classic “I’ve Been ‘Buked, and I’ve Been Scorned.” Jackson was just as familiar with Dr. King’s repertoire as he was with hers, and just as King felt comfortable telling her what to sing as the lead-in to what would prove to be the most famous speech of his life, Jackson felt comfortable telling him in what direction to take that speech.

The story that has been told since that day has Mahalia Jackson intervening at a critical junction when she decided King’s speech needed a course-correction. Recalling a theme she had heard him use in earlier speeches, Jackson said out loud to Martin Luther King, Jr., from behind the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” And at that moment, as can be seen in films of the speech, Dr. King leaves his prepared notes behind to improvise the entire next section of his speech-the historic section that famously begins “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….”

There is no embeddable video of Ms Jackson from that day but here is the inspirational song she performed that day.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Catcher 9

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 1

“I am not a number.  I am a HUMAN BEING!”

Below the fold lies painful, hurtful snark.  For those who may object on issues of taste and decorum, all I can say is “I warned you”.