Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.
The matter may have lost some urgency after Nov. 6. But with more than 300 drone strikes and some 2,500 people killed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military since Mr. Obama first took office, the administration is still pushing to make the rules formal and resolve internal uncertainty and disagreement about exactly when lethal action is justified.
Mr. Obama and his advisers are still debating whether remote-control killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the United States, or a more flexible tool, available to help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territory.
Yes, after 300 strikes and 2,500 dead, Obama and his team are still debating when drone strikes are OK and when not.
Today the Boeing Company told union negotiators that it intends to deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples, even though Washington State voters decisively approved a marriage equality law earlier this month.
Representing 23,000 Boeing engineers and technical workers, Ray Goforth is executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001. He was sitting at the negotiation table today—as part of ongoing talks over retirement benefits—and says the company’s position “says to employees that they can be discriminated against based on who they are.”
I sure as hell won’t be buying my next airplane from Boeing, and I ‘ll take my defense contracts elsewhere too!
After he blamed gun violence on single mothers, and after he said he’d actively sought “binders full of women” that were actually brought to him unrequested, Romney said something about women so remarkably out of touch and archaic that I was shocked my TV didn’t suddenly turn black and white:
“I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible.”
A once powerful Minnesota Republican at the center of a sex scandal broke his 10-month silence. Michael Brodkorb lost his job after admitting an affair with then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, and he’s now taking legal action for what he says was an improper firing.
In an interview with WCCO, Brodkorb discussed the scandal, and gave a surprising inside look at the gay marriage amendment.
Along with Voter ID, Minnesota Republicans made the gay marriage amendment a centerpiece accomplishment this election year.
But Brodkorb — once a powerful Republican insider — says a big reason it’s on the ballot isn’t family values. Top Republicans needed a way to get conservatives off the couch and into the voting booth.
He helps develop the campaign to make same-sex marriage more illegal, but then because he has sour grapes about his affair and being fired, he decides that he’s suddenly going to “stick it” to the GOP by changing his vote? Meanwhile, the rights of thousands of people hang in the balance thanks largely to his own efforts. He obviously doesn’t care one whit about the outcome of the vote, it’s all just some big joke to him. This is the worst kind of person to have in politics. Which, I assume, is why he was a republican staffer in the first place.
A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion, according to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post.
NBC News was one of the first to learn of the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong on Saturday, but instead announced the death of astronaut Neil Young.
LZ Granderson is a regular CNN columnist and contributor, and has written a column this week that — no joke — urges Americans to stop being so “nosy” about all the bad things the U.S. Government does. You just have to read it to believe it
Michael Cook at Talk Business reports on the warm reception a speaker received at a recent Ozark Tea Party rally June 9 in Mountain Home for telling this “icebreaker” joke in her approximation of black dialect:
A black kid asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’
“‘Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’
“‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’
“‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”
The Baxter Bulletin, which covered the event, captured audio of the episode and reported that the crowd laughed heartily at Tea Party Board member Inge Marler.
Imagine a 9 year old kid posting this picture on her weblog:
What do you do as a school council? Indeed, you make taking pictures in the lunch room illegal, based on the “distress and harm” the picture caused.
UPDATE: Ban lifted
But if a massive surface mining operation in the vicinity of your house poisons your water table, and if your well water runs brown with coal sludge and heavy metal particulate, well, that’s just the cost of doing business in America, a cost that will be paid by the Appalachians who only live there. It’s regrettable, at best. You can’t call the police and the state doesn’t want to know. And if you dare to take a picture of child’s exposure to that poison, if you have the nerve to walk into the halls of Congress and show them the obscenity that is a child that must wash herself with poison every day, they will call you a child pornographer. They will call the police.
When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker met with a billionaire campaign donor a month before he launched his attack on the collective-bargaining rights of public-sector workers and public-school teachers, he engaged in a detailed discussion about undermining unions as part of a broader strategy of strengthening the position of his Republican party.
After he initiated those attacks, Governor Walker testified under oath to a Congressional committee. He was asked during the April 2011 hearing to specifically address the question of whether he set out to weaken unions—which traditionally back Democrats and which are expected to play a major role in President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign—for political purposes. Walker replied: “It’s not about that for me.”
During the same hearing, Walker was asked whether he “ever had a conversation with respect to your actions in Wisconsin and using them to punish members of the opposition party and their [union] donor base?”
Walker replied, not once but twice, that the answer was “no.”
So, did the governor of Wisconsin lie, under oath, to Congress? The videotape of Walker talking with Diane Hendricks, the Beloit, Wisconsin, billionaire who would eventually give his campaign more than $500,000, surfaced late last week. Captured in January 2011 by a documentary filmmaker who was trailing Hendricks, the conversation provides rare insight into the governor’s long-term strategy for dividing Wisconsin. And the focus of the conversation and the strategy is by all evidence a political one.
In the video, Walker is shown meeting with Hendricks before an economic development session at the headquarters of a firm Hendricks owns, ABC Supply Inc., in Beloit. After Walker kisses Henricks, she asks: “Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions?”
“Oh, yeah!” says Walker.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc lost $10 billion of its market value on Monday on concerns that a bribery investigation in Mexico could be very costly and hinder its plans to grow.
Reflect on that for a second. Shares didn’t go down because the company committed a crime, or because of unethical behavior, or the way the company behaved when the crime was discovered. No. Shared dropped because it could hinder its plans to grow.
And nobody blinks an eye on that. Society is fucked up.
News organizations cultivate a reputation for demanding transparency, whether by suing for access to government documents, dispatching camera crews to the doorsteps of recalcitrant politicians, or editorializing in favor of open government.
But now many of the country’s biggest media companies, which own dozens of newspapers and TV news operations, are flexing their muscle in Washington in a fight against a government initiative to increase transparency of political spending.
The corporate owners or sister companies of some of the biggest names in journalism — NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and dozens of local TV news outlets — are lobbying against a Federal Communications Commission measure that would require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Internet.
They’re all for transparency except when it comes to their own income.
So according to the Test Development Center, it appears that it is acceptable to use scientifically correct answers for wrong responses on the Science FCAT as long as FLDOE does not expect a fifth grader to be educated enough to realize that the wrong answers are scientifically correct.
I wonder how many students got “wrong” answers on the FCAT because their teachers taught them too much. How many “F” schools would have higher grades if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers. How many “B” schools would get the extra funding that “A” schools get, if those scientifically correct “wrong” answers were counted as correct answers?
Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I’ve never really cared before now.
Because this time, the stakes are high.
This time, it’s my daughter’s voice on the line. Literally.
A casual text message to work colleagues encouraging them to "blow away" the competition at a trade show allegedly plunged a Muslim man into a terrorism probe.Telecommunications sales manager Saad Allami says the innocent message, aimed at pumping up his staff, has had devastating consequences on his life.The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the U.S. border because of their connection to him.
It’s getting safer in Canada, too.
While campaigning yesterday in Woodland Park, Colorado, GOP contender Rick Santorum told a sick child and his mother that they shouldn’t complain about the exorbitant cost of his medication because some people spend $900 on iPads. He appeared unmoved by the plight of the family, staunchly defending drug companies’ right to charge whatever they want.
The candidate also said that the parent and child unjustly felt entitled to get life-saving care at an affordable rate
According to Senator Dodd, "technology business interests" are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into corporate pawns rather than coming to the table to find solutions. "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services," he writes. "It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today."
"It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests," he writes.
"A so-called ‘blackout’ is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals," the Senator continues. "It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy."
Shame on those evil piracy-promoting people at Wikipedia putting their business interests ahead of… wait, what? Wait, no, it’s DANGEROUS to black out those websites. Be careful out there today.
Smith, a 29-year-old lawmaker from Columbus, was pulled over after leaving Hal’s restaurant on Old Ivy Road and allegedly running a red light while traveling southbound on Peachtree Road, the police report said.
Efforts to contact Smith were unsuccessful Friday night.
Atlanta police Officer Z.A. Kramer, who was following the lawmaker’s 1998 gold four-door Jaguar XJ8, said the traffic light had just turned red when Smith went through the intersection at Pharr Road.
Kramer said he informed Smith, who was traveling alone, why he was stopped, and the lawmaker told him he didn’t realize the light was red.
“I observed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Smith’s breath,” Kramer said in his report. “He advised me he was a state representative and gave the name ‘Kip Smith.’”
Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.
Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
The officer told Smith that was done only after an arrest, and that Smith had not been placed under arrest, but Smith “seemed to be having a difficult time understanding what I was trying to explain to him,” the officer said in the report.
The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.
Kip Smith co-sponsored HB 464, which is one of the many bills that would require drug testing for public assistance. I guess he knows from personal experience why testing for any intoxication is a good thing…
I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.
No. Instead they should:
1) boil every nuanced issue down to two diametrically-opposed sides
2) give each side equal reporting time even if the one side represents a fringe opinion not shared by most people qualified to discuss the issue
3) assume a kind of faux “objectivity” in which news reporters are not allowed to describe actual facts but only to present the “competing theories” of the two sides
4) if by accident a news story should suggest that a fact presented by one individual might be false, immediately correct for this by pointing out that individuals on the opposing team also sometimes present false facts. Bonus points if these counterexample facts have nothing to do with the issue under discussion and serve only to stretch the human capacity for metaphorical thinking to its breaking point.
You’ve probably seen those headlines about Tim Cook making $378 million in Apple stock last year. Those articles are mostly a bit confused. He was awarded restricted stock, to vest over the next 10 years. Apple is just reporting the whole grant to the SEC in the year it was made.
OK, that seems a bit more reasonable than a $378 million payday, right?
Well, let’s do a thought experiment to see how much Cook actually might make with those 900,000 shares he will receive if he doesn’t get fired or leave before then.
I’m sure Apple’s Board would be happy if Cook kept Apple growing as much as it has the last 10 years. That seems like a good benchmark.
From Fall of 2001 to Fall of 2011), Apple stock increased from about $9 to $378, or 42x.
If Cook is successful and the stock tracks along, then in the Fall of 2021 his stock price will be 42 * $378, and Cook was not given options (where you only make money if the stock goes up) but actual stock, so he makes the full value, or 42 * $378 * 900k.
Per year Cook would make 1.4 billion dollars.
(He only has to do roughly 1/4th as well as the past 10 years to make roughly $378 million per year.)
Sometimes I lose my faith in humanity…
Note how the 8.6 percent unemployment rate in November looks higher than March’s 8.8 percent rate, and about the same as the 9 percent unemployment rate in October.
The US Air Force dumped the cremated, partial remains of at least 274 troops in a landfill before halting the secretive practice in 2008, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The procedure was never formally authorized or disclosed to senior Pentagon officials, who conducted a review of the cremation policies of Dover Air Base — the main point of entry for US war dead — in 2008, the Post said.
Nor was the dumping ever disclosed to the families of the fallen troops, who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a respectful and dignified manner, the Post said, citing Air Force officials.
Honoring the fallen….
Naomi Wolf’s feverish article charging that the crackdowns of occupy locations were being coordinated by federal law enforcement agencies has captured the #OWS collective consciousness.
And, as it turns out, the sole basis for her article — Rick Ellis’s article in Examiner.com — was debunked by Ellis himself nine days before Wolf decided to feed her feverish fact-free article to the frenzied masses.
The Naomi Wolf article in question is the one that was posted here.
[edited to fix link]
WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, reports that Grant County, Wisconsin, District Attorney Lisa Riniker, who charged a 6-year-old boy with first-degree sexual assault becaused he played doctor with a 5-year-old girl, has obtained a gag order that prohibits his parents, who have sued Riniker and two other county officials, from talking about the case. Iowa County Judge Bill Dyke issued the order last Monday, forcing the boy’s parents to cancel a planned interview with WISC.
Britain’s jobless young people are being sent to work for supermarkets and budget stores for up to two months for no pay and no guarantee of a job, the Guardian can reveal.
Under the government’s work experience programme young jobseekers are exempted from national minimum wage laws for up to eight weeks and are being offered placements in Tesco, Poundland, Argos, Sainsbury’s and a multitude of other big-name businesses.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) says that if jobseekers "express an interest" in an offer of work experience they must continue to work without pay, after a one-week cooling-off period or face having their benefits docked.
Young people have told the Guardian that they are doing up to 30 hours a week of unpaid labour and have to be available from 9am to 10pm.
Which leaves them no time at all to look for real jobs. But then again, why would any company hire an employee if the government provides them for free?
Anybody want to bet these “apprenticeships” count as employment in government stats? In a few months there will be proud claims unemployment went down despite the economy in the shitter.
Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and french fries will do?
In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration’s efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.
This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress.
Well, it could be worse – the US has a history of calling people who give out free breakfast to kids communist outlaws bent on overthrowing the U.S. government.