http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120618/D9VFIAO00.htmlMilitants crossed from Egypt's turbulent Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel on Monday and opened fire on civilians building a border security fence, defense officials said.* "MILITANTS...???" HOW'BOUT TERRORISTS...? MURDERERS...? KILLERS...?(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)One of the Israeli workers was killed, and two assailants died in a gun battle with Israeli troops responding to the attack.No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which underscored the growing lawlessness in the Sinai desert since longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular uprising last year.* HOW'RE YA ENJOYING THE "ARAB SPRING" FOLKS? YOU KNOW... THE "ARAB SPRING" THAT HILLARY AND OBAMA APPLAUDED... THE TOPPLING OF MUBARAK THAT HILLARY AND OBAMA SUPPORTED...(*STILL JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)Israeli security officials have grown increasingly anxious about the security situation in the Sinai since Mubarak's ouster. * THE OUSTER HILLARY AND OBAMA SUPPORTED!Continued political turmoil in Egypt, weak policing in the Sinai and tough terrain have all encouraged Islamic militant activity in the area. The mountainous desert now harbors an array of militant groups, including Palestinian extremists and al-Qaida-inspired jihadists, Egyptian and Israeli security officials say. The tumultuous situation surrounding Egyptian elections, in which Islamic groups made a strong showing, has added to Israeli unease.* THANK YOU HILLARY CLINTON! THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA!Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio that there has been "a worrisome deterioration of Egyptian control" over the Sinai.* YA DON'T FUCKIN' SAY?! I MEAN... WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT?! (ASIDE FROM EVERYONE....?!?!)The magnitude of the growing threat from Sinai was driven home last August, when gunmen from Sinai infiltrated Israel and ambushed vehicles on a desert highway, killing eight Israelis.
* TWO-PARTER... (Part 1 of 2)http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/more-transparency-into-government.html* FROM THE OFFICIAL GOOGLE BLOG, FOLKS. (IN OTHER WORDS... IT'S A PRESS RELEASE - AND A CHALLENGE TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS!About two years ago, we launched our interactive Transparency Report. We started by disclosing data about government requests. Since then, we’ve been steadily adding new features, like graphs showing traffic patterns and disruptions to Google services from different countries. And just a couple weeks ago, we launched a new section showing the requests we get from copyright holders to remove search results.The traffic and copyright sections of the Transparency Report are refreshed in near-real-time, but government request data is updated in six-month increments because it’s a people-driven, manual process. Today we’re releasing data showing government requests to remove blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011.Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. And just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect — Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.For example, in the second half of last year, Spanish regulators asked us to remove 270 search results that linked to blogs and articles in newspapers referencing individuals and public figures, including mayors and public prosecutors. In Poland, we received a request from a public institution to remove links to a site that criticized it. We didn’t comply with either of these requests.* NOTICE, FOLKS... EVEN GOOGLE ITSELF HESITATES TO COME RIGHT OUT AND HIGHLIGHT "OBAMA ADMINISTRATION" REQUESTS...(*SHRUG*)* BUT IF YOU UTILIZE THE LINK AND GO TO THE HYPERLINKS EMBEDDED WITHIN THE ACTUAL GOOGLE PRESS RELEASE... AMERICA PLAYS A STARING ROLE IN THE AGE OF CENSORSHIP!In addition to releasing new data today, we’re also adding a feature update which makes it easier to see in aggregate across countries how many removals we performed in response to court orders, as opposed to other types of requests from government agencies. For the six months of data we’re releasing today, we complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.We’ve rounded up some additional interesting facts in the annotations section of the Transparency Report. We realize that the numbers we share can only provide a small window into what’s happening on the web at large. But we do hope that by being transparent about these government requests, we can continue to contribute to the public debate about how government behaviors are shaping our web.Posted by Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst* TO BE CONTINUED...
* CONCLUDING... (Part 2 of 2)* BACK TO WHAT THE PRESS RELEASE FAILED TO HIGHLIGHT - SEE: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/18/tech/web/google-transparency-report/index.htmlIn the last half of 2011, U.S. agencies asked Google to remove 6,192 individual pieces of content from its search results, blog posts or archives of online videos, according to the report. That's up 718% compared with the 757 such items that U.S. agencies asked Google to remove in the six months prior.Overall, Google received 187 requests from United States law enforcement agencies and courts to remove content from its Web properties from July to December, up 103% from the 92 requests the Mountain View, California, company received in the previous reporting period.In one incident cited in the report, a U.S. law enforcement agency asked Google to take down a blog that "allegedly defamed a law enforcement official in a personal capacity." The company did not comply with that request.In another, a separate law enforcement group asked Google to take down 1,400 YouTube videos (Google owns YouTube) because of "alleged harassment."In the last half of 2011, Google received 6,321 requests for user data from government agencies in the United States and complied at least in part with 93% of them, according to data released in the report. (Those requests for information about Google users come as part of criminal investigations, Google says, and are not unique to the company.)Google complied more frequently with U.S.-based requests for information about users than with requests from other countries, according to the report. It complied or partially complied with only 24% of such requests from Canada, 44% from France and 64% from the United Kingdom, for example.The number of user data requests Google received from the United States was up 6% over the previous six-month period and 37% compared with the last half of 2010.
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Chicago-Weekend-Shootings-159404805.htmlPresident Obama and his family arrived in Chicago Friday evening. They attended the wedding of senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter, and the president spent Father's Day golfing with friends.* MEANWHILE... IN "THE OTHER AMER... er... I MEAN, CHICAGO"...At least seven people were killed and 35 were injured since Friday night. The youngest victim was a 16-year-old girl who died after she was shot three times in the chest Saturday evening in the Englewood neighborhood.Ten people were shot overnight Friday, and in one hour Sunday morning, three people were killed. The latest shooting happened just after midnight Monday when a 19-year-old was shot to death on the city's North Side.The shootings mark the third weekend in a row with gunfire injuries totaling well into the double digits. Last weekend, 46 people were hurt and eight killed across Chicago. The previous weekend, 29 were injured and three were killed in shootings.* THIS IS THE CITY OBAMA'S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF RUNS.* THIS IS THE CITY OBAMA "MADE HIS BONES" IN.* THIS IS THE CITY WHERE MICHELLE OBAMA WAS PAID HUMUNGOUS, EVER-LARGER SALARIES (IN LINE WITH HER HUSBAND'S "PROMOTIONS" IN STATE AND THEN FEDERAL "SERVICE") TO ENGAGE IN FUNDRAISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR A HOSPITAL.(*SIGH*) (*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
http://www.taxpayer.net/search_by_category.php?action=view&proj_id=5304&category=Wastebasket&type=ProjectLast week the [GOP-controlled] House of Representatives voted on the fiscal year 2013 Energy and Water spending bill. The $32.1 billion bill funds several government agencies, most notably the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Over 60 amendments were offered, and many votes were taken on important taxpayer issues — including subsidy cuts to energy sectors across the board.Shockingly, despite our $15 trillion debt and trillion dollar deficits predicted for the next decade, Congress overwhelmingly rejected these cuts. * FORGIVE ME; I DON'T KNOW WHETHER WE'RE STILL TALKING JUST THE GOP-CONTROLLED HOUSE, OR, WHETHER WE'RE TALKING THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED SENATE, OR, WHETHER BY "CONGRESS" THE AUTHORS MEAN BOTH HOUSES, BOTH PARTIES, WORKING TOGETHER TO SCREW THE TAXPAYERS.Amendments to cut subsidies for nuclear, fossil, renewable energy, and more were defeated time and again.* DEFEATED BY WHO? I WISH THEY'D NAME NAMES, BUT THEY DON'T. IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING.But when we were all but ready to throw in the towel, one lonely cut amendment squeezed through. By a landslide margin of one vote, Congress stopped $25 million in wasteful subsidies for oil shale. Peanuts, we know, but at least they found something! And it was something that has been raking in the cash for decades.* $25 MILLION DOLLARS IS A ROUNDING ERROR. Although you may have heard of shale gas or shale oil, oil shale is different. Unlike shale gas and shale oil, it has failed to be produced on any significant scale. It’s solid rock that contains kerogen, from which oil can be derived. But the process to extract it is inefficient, expensive, and extremely water-intensive, and the oil produced is comparatively low quality.Over the last century, taxpayers have invested billions of dollars to help oil shale production get off the ground. * FIGURES!In the early 1900’s the government began formal support of oil shale extraction – setting aside three tracts of land as reserves. In the 1940’s we began funding extensive research, and in the 1980’s we offered a suite of subsidies including hefty loan guarantees, price guarantees, tax credits, and more. Congress created a quasi-governmental entity — the Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC) — just to provide funding for oil shale and other unconventional fuels like liquid coal (just as unsuccessful as shale). Just five years after its start in 1980, the SFC had already lost billions of dollars and President Reagan pulled the plug.(*CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*)But the subsidies didn’t stop when the SFC went the way of the dodo. In 2005 oil shale got another sweetheart deal in the energy bill, getting valuable tax breaks and other subsidies.* IN 2005 REPUBLICANS CONTROLLED BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS AND BUSH WAS PRESIDENT.Taxpayers have also subsidized oil shale through land giveaways. Two million acres of federal land was made available for its development without charging any fees or rents which are typical of oil and gas extraction on public or private land. Since oil shale is not currently commercially viable, it’s questionable if taxpayers will ever receive revenue from its production.* ON THE OTHER HAND... UNLESS THE GOVERNMENT HAD PLANNED TO SELL THE LAND... WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE, REALLY? (*SHRUG*)Now, don’t get us wrong here. If oil shale could be the next big thing we’d be happy to see it. But, the oil industry has plenty of money in their coffers to make it happen - if it is possible. What we don’t want to see is lawmakers continuing to pile on the subsidies.(*NOD*)Congress scored one small victory for taxpayers last week by voting to cut the addition of more oil shale subsidies. We had hoped that with the budget situation a lot more subsidies would be stripped out, but at least this may be the start of government getting out of the oil shale business.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303448404577407971109011402.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTopOne test for economic conservatives is whether they are willing to oppose constituent business interests looking for government favoritism. On that score, two recent contrasting votes by Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida are instructive.* LET ME GUESS... (*SIGH*)... RUBIO COMES OFF AS A SCUMBAG?Last month the Senate easily voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, 78-20, a vote that was never much in doubt given the backing from business lobbies and the White House. But it's still worth saluting the 20 votes in opposition — 19 Republicans and independent socialist Bernie Sanders — and especially Mr. DeMint, a rare case of a Senator voting for principle against the biggest interests in his home state.* I BELIEVE I POSTED THE TALLY HERE AT USUALLY RIGHT.Boeing is the largest beneficiary of Ex-Im bank taxpayer loan guarantees and it has a new plant to turn out 787s in North Charleston. General Electric and Caterpillar have major plants in South Carolina and get Ex-Im help too. Sen. DeMint went so far as to lead the charge against Ex-Im, much to the annoyance of Chambers of Commerce in the Palmetto State.(*CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*)"I gave a speech to 400 Chamber members and everyone was for Ex-Im Bank," he says. "So I asked them: 'How many of you would sign your own name to this loan?' Not a single hand went up." Mr. DeMint says he voted as he did because he's concluded that "we've created a culture in Washington that has almost every major business in the country with its nose in the trough."* WHICH BRINGS US TO RUBIO I BET... (*SIGH*)That includes the sugar lobby, which last week narrowly defeated a bipartisan attempt at reforming its egregious quota program that gouges American consumers to benefit a mere 5,000 or so farmers. The Senate voted 50-46 to table Senator Pat Toomey's reform bill, but the reform would have passed if not for the votes of 16 GOP Senators. (See the nearby table.)* I'LL POST THE FULL LIST SEPARATELY LATER TONIGHT OR TOMORROW.The usual sugar beet and sugar cane state suspects dominate the list, but one name leaps out — Mr. Rubio, the freshman from Florida who won his seat in 2010 while running as a tea party favorite in opposition to the crony capitalism and government meddling of the Obama Administration.(*SNORT*) (*SMIRK*) (*SNICKER*)Mr. Rubio nonetheless voted against consumers and for the big sugar-cane producers, including Florida's Fanjul family. Mr. Rubio thus voted to the Left of the 16 Democrats who joined 30 Republicans in supporting sugar reform. Unlike Mr. DeMint, the Floridian was not a profile in courage on this issue, or even a profile.* FOLKS... EXPLAIN TO ME AGAIN HOW VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER...
Post a Comment