Weekly Address 06-15-13

 Posted by at 10:03  Politics
Jun 152013
 

“Celebrating Father’s Day Weekend”

From the White House weblog:

President Obama discusses Father’s Day and notes that nothing substitutes for the love and support of the presence of a parent in a child’s life.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Transcript after the break.

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Jun 142013
 

There is a cartoon in this week’s collection that was actually published one year ago. See if you can guess which one it is.

      

      

      

      

      

      

Jun 142013
 

Texas governor Rick Perry signed the “Merry Christmas” bill recently passed by the Republican-controlled Texas state legislature yesterday. The new law states that students and school officials have the right to use religious greetings like “Merry Christmas” and display various religious holiday symbols on school grounds. In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Perry stated that the First Amendment guarantees Americans freedom of religion. It does not grant them freedom from religion.

Watch and listen for yourself (if you think you can stomach it)…

It’s a shame that a bill like this one I’m signing today is even required, but I’m glad that we’re standing up for religious freedom in this state. Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.

In other words, if we want to shove our religion down your throats we are going to do it and there isn’t a dang thing you can do about it.

I’ve often heard the Republican party referred to as “the American Taliban.” I have resisted that label because I felt it was kind of harsh, even for our Republicans. I’m beginning to change my mind.

Booz Allen Statement

 Posted by at 14:42  Politics
Jun 112013
 

From their website:

Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013 for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.

I guess they had to make it official, but isn’t that kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped? Seems to me to Mr. Snowden kind of quit his job the day he took off for Hong Kong. It also appears that his claims of a $200,000 salary were somewhat exaggerated.

I’m thinking that his salary is not the only thing he exaggerated.

But analysts said that Snowden seems to have greatly exaggerated the amount of information available to him and people like him.

Any NSA analyst “at any time can target anyone, any selector, anywhere,” Snowden told the Guardian. “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email.”

Robert Deitz, a former top lawyer at the NSA and CIA, called the claim a “complete and utter” falsehood.

“First of all it’s illegal,” he said. “There is enormous oversight. They have keystroke auditing. There are, from time to time, cases in which some analyst is [angry] at his ex-wife and looks at the wrong thing and he is caught and fired,” he said.

NSA analysts who have the authority to query databases of metadata such as phone records — or Internet content, such as emails, videos or chat logs — are subject to stringent internal supervision and also the external oversight of the foreign surveillance court, former NSA officials said.

“It’s actually very difficult to do your job,” said a former senior NSA operator, who also declined be quoted by name because of the sensitive nature of the case. “There are all these checks that don’t allow you to move agilely enough.”

For example, the former operator said, he had go through an arduous process to obtain FISA court permission to gather Internet data on a foreign nuclear weapons proliferator living abroad because some of the data was passing through U.S. wires.

“When he’s saying he could just put any phone number in and look at phone calls, it just doesn’t work that way,” he said. “It’s absurd. There are technical limits, and then there are people who review these sorts of queries.”

Don’t forget to vote in the poll in the previous post.

A 21st Century Traitor

 Posted by at 17:33  Politics
Jun 092013
 

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

Is anybody buying that? This kid (who did not even complete high school) was making $200,000 per year and living with his girlfriend in Hawaii. He had a very comfortable life and a secure future. Yet he chose to give it all up for “the world that he loves.”

He is now holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong.

Mr. Snowden was bought off, pure and simple. I’m guessing by a foreign government. Given his choice of sanctuary, I’m thinking China.

He needs to be brought back to the United States and face trial for treason.


Weekly Address 06-08-13

 Posted by at 10:23  Politics
Jun 082013
 

“Time to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform”

From the White House weblog:

In this week’s address, President Obama says that the United States Senate will soon take action to fix our broken immigration system with a commonsense bill, and urges lawmakers to act quickly to pass this bill so that we can continue to live up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and also a nation of immigrants.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

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Transcript after the break.

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Jun 072013
 

The very best political and editorial cartoons of the week are posted in this space every week at this time. Simply click on the first thumbnail to make it larger and to start a slide show. Enjoy.

      

      

      

      

      

      

Affordable Care

 Posted by at 16:29  Politics
Jun 072013
 

President Obama spoke in San Jose, California this morning on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)…

He also spoke at length about “the reports of secret government surveillance of phones and Internet.”

There was a bit of a snafu at the beginning of his remarks when somebody on his staff forgot to put the hard copy of his speech on the podium. According to BuzzFeed (whatever that is): “Obama Loses Cool, Snaps At Staffers In Speech Mixup.” Of course this is the story that is now circulating through all the right wing blogs and media outlets. Watch the beginning of the video and decide for yourself if the President lost his cool or yelled at anybody.

A transcript of the President’s remarks follows the break.

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