Established by Congress to investigate and expose government waste, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has decided to not reveal its volumes of materials to the public for another two decades.
After three years of work, the commission officially shut down last week, having concluded that the U.S. misspent between $31 billion and $60 billion in contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But it won’t allow its records to be opened for public review at the National Archives until 2031, because some of the documents contain “sensitive information,” according to one official.
So they know who stole the money, and whoever did it is important enough to get protection..
We’ve seen before that organizations don’t seem to react well to outside security folks pointing out vulnerabilities in their systems. They very often take a “blame the messenger” approach — as if pointing out a flaw suddenly makes that flaw come into existence. But one company seems to be taking it to another level. That Anonymous Coward points us to a story in which a security professional found a big and ridiculously obvious bug in the website of an Australian investment fund, First State Superannuation. Apparently you could see other people’s accounts by merely changing the account numbers in the URL. Increase the number by one, and see the next user in line. This is the kind of extraordinarily basic mistake that I thought had been eradicated a decade ago. Apparently not.
But the company that runs the fund, Pillar, went quite crazy about this. While the company did fix the security hole, it also sent the police to interrogate the security researcher, Patrick Webster. Pillar also sent a letter to customers (pdf) in which it suggests that Webster created this massive security flaw, rather than their own dreadful programming:
It has come to our attention that a member of First State Super, who has online access to their account, devised a way to view an image of your statement.
And then, to add insult to injury, Pillar sent Webster a letter saying he broke the law, they were closing his account, and may seek money from him to fix the vulnerability
STATE Parliament is set to pass new legislation making it a criminal offence to "insult" Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien.
Fines of up to $11,945 will be given to anyone found guilty of upsetting the minister and his staff under the extraordinary new offence.
The Baillieu Government is seeking changes to the Gaming Regulation Act which it says are "reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons". If passed, the ruling will become law.
The amendment proposed to the Act will make it an offence to "assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate" the minister or authorised persons exercising "due diligence" in monitoring gambling systems such as pokies.
State Labor has seized on the extraordinary amendment, with Opposition gaming spokesman Martin Pakula branding the minister "Windscreens O’Brien – because this proves he’s got a glass jaw".
"Is the minister so precious that he now needs legislation to protect him from insults?" he said.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, risks an explosive rift inside the Coalition with an explicit call for the scrapping of the Human Rights Act.
“I’d personally like to see the Human Rights Act go because I think we have had some problems with it,” she says.
So, I am gravely serious when I write this – if I catch someone not replacing the milk, or at least, in the case where the downstairs store has close already, not sending an email to the office so the first person that arrives (usually Christa or me) can pick one up upon arrival – then I am going to fire you. Im not joking. You will be fired for not replacing the milk, and have fun explaining that one to your next employer. This is not a empty threat so PLEASE don’t test me.
Even after a teen-ager tragically committed suicide in suburban Buffalo this month in the wake of constant harassment, the bullying allegedly did not stop with his death.
The parents of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, who was found dead at their home on Sept. 18, indicated in an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry on Tuesday that their daughter endured further taunts at a school function immediately after Jamey’s wake. At a homecoming dance she attended shortly after her brother’s death, a potentially poignant moment turned ugly after a song by Lady Gaga, Jamey’s favorite artist, who recently dedicated a song at a concert in his memory.
“She was having a great time, and all of a sudden a Lady Gaga song came on, and they all started chanting for Jamey, all of his friends,’’ Jamey’s mother, Tracy, told Curry. “Then the bullies that put him into this situation started chanting, ‘You’re better off dead!’ and ‘We’re glad you’re dead!’ and things like that.
"A substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in," New Hampshire Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline quoted Perry saying on the stump in a tweet. Before that, Cline quoted Perry saying, "I do believe the issue of global warming has been politicized."
Let’s talk about money rolling in, shall we?
Perry has also shown an eagerness to do the bidding of his major supporters. Most notably, his second-biggest all-time donor, Harold Simmons, owns a nuclear waste dump. Perry led the charge in 2010, while Simmons gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Perry’s re-election campaign, to allow Simmons to import nuclear waste from thirty-eight states. On June 27 of this year, ten days after Perry signed the legislation, Simmons gave $100,000 to Americans for Rick Perry. Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, estimates that the rule change will bring upward of $2 billion for Simmons. “If you put money in Perry’s purse, he’ll create policies you need,” says Smith.
How’s that for a pot calling a kettle black?
The patriots at Free Republic know a fellow traveler when they see one:
I’ve seen the video based on the Berwick manifesto and I have to agree with almost all of it. I’m starting to read the manifesto and so far, it is dead on.
He was right about the stifling of speech by the MSM. Perhaps that is where we need to direct our efforts. It is my feeling that the MSM is somewhat culpable because they do try to stifle speech. Perhaps this wouldn’t have happened if he felt his voice was being heard seriously, rather than ridiculed.
The thing is that much of the writing in the manifesto is spot on in its analysis of Islam, the threat posed to Western culture and democratic systems of government by multiculturalism and by Marxism and their sympathizers. There is little evidence in the first 800 or so pages that this is guy who would become so radicalized he would shoot up and blow up innocent people.
He strongly defends and argues in favor of the constitutional rights we enjoy in the United States. He rejects Nazism and other “hateful” ideologies. He shows understandable alarm at the loss of freedoms in the name of tolerance. None of these would be foreign to conservative philosophy. You can tell he researched his subject very well and the argument he presents in favor of protecting Western culture is one I would not fault.
On Saturday, an 8-inch pipeline in BP’s Lisburne oil field — near Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay — was being pressure-tested when the pipe burst, releasing crude oil, methanol, and water across a gravel pad and into a small pond. Buildings nearby shook from the force of the rupture, and heavy winds blew the oily mixture across roughly 7,000 square feet of tundra and gravel.
There’s some compelling evidence that this was a preventable spill. A 2010 investigation by ProPublica revealed that 148 sections of BP pipeline in Alaska (including the one that burst) were so corroded that they were in imminent danger of rupture. Internal records showed that these pipelines had worn so thin — in some cases as thin as a few thousandths of an inch — that they should be operated only under reduced pressure. The investigation also found that regular maintenance of BP’s pipelines and facilities throughout Alaska had been neglected for more than a decade, due to a company-wide effort to reduce operating costs.
To the good: they treat hacking as a problem and scandal. To the incredible/bad: they present their (now closed) UK sister publication News of the World as a victim of the hacking problem, rather than as a perpetrator.
Watch, if you can stand to.
The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a $649 billion defense spending bill that boosts the Pentagon budget by $17 billion and covers the costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Scoffing at the suggestion that “everything is on the table” in budget negotiations between the Obama administration and congressional leaders, Frank said, “The military budget is not on the table. The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch.”
That’s right James Verone says he has no medical insurance. He has a growth of some sort on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot. He is 59 years old and with no job and a depleted bank account. He thought jail was the best place he could go for medical care and a roof over his head. Verone is hoping for a three-year sentence.
Only in the USA.
Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator and likely presidential candidate, wants all abortions outlawed. He has even said that abortion providers should be “criminally charged.” Clearly, his compassion for zygotes, fetuses, and other squishy, jelly-like substances not fully alive is without question. When it comes to actual human beings, however, there is some doubt. He voted to cut every social and welfare program that came before him as senator, and not just those helping women and girls, but those helping the poor, immigrants, children in general, and, of course, education.
Mr. Santorum doesn’t hate all people, however. As a Republican, he loves rich people, white people, business people, and Christians. The real Americans, he calls them. There’s one other person he loves, too: his wife, Karen Santorum.
Karen was going to die if her pregnancy was not ended, if the fetus was not removed from her body. So, at 20 weeks, one month before what doctors consider ‘viability’, labor was artificially induced and the infected fetus was delivered. It died shortly thereafter.
“my account was hacked” usually becomes “my account of what happened was hacked to bits on closer inspection”.
Dutifully writing down what government officials say and then publishing it under cover of anonymity is what media figures in D.C. refer to as “real reporting.” But the most hilarious part of this orgy of cowardly anonymity comes at the end, when Politico explains what is supposedly the prime defect in Hersh’ journalism:
Hersh has faced criticism for his heavy reliance on anonymous sources, but New Yorker editor David Remnick has repeatedly said he stands by his reporter’s work.
Rape is often called the ultimate violation of self. A crime of absolute contempt for personal integrity, leaving the women caught in its wreckage to labor under the trauma for years. What reprehensible event could possibly have the same consequences as the spiritual dead zone rape victims are left in?
Well, getting a flat tire, according to Kansas state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.
Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, plans to step down—and right into a top lobbying job at Comcast-NBC.
The news, reported this afternoon by the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Politico, comes after the hugely controversial merger of Comcast and NBC earlier this year. At the time, Baker objected to FCC attempts to impose conditions on the deal and argued that the "complex and significant transaction" could "bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms."
Four months after approving the massive transaction, Attwell Baker will take a top DC lobbying job for the new Comcast-NBC entity, according to reports.
The response of groups like Free Press was expected in its anger, but not without merit. "No wonder the public is so nauseated by business as usual in Washington—where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows," said Free Press’ Craig Aaron.
While Rehberg calls himself poor and complains that he’s struggling, the fact is that he is, as of 2009 records, the 14th richest member of the House of Representatives. Opensecrets.org estimates that his average net worth in 2009 was $31 million. If he’s struggling on that, one has to wonder if he’s really a good arbiter of what’s fair for Main Street America.
A former Belgian bishop at the center of one of the Roman Catholic church’s biggest pedophile scandals said Thursday that he had abused two nephews and insisted he had no plans to abandon the priesthood.
Earlier this week, the Vatican used its new rules to crack down on sex abuse by high-ranking churchmen by ordering Vangheluwe to no longer work as a priest while officials determine his punishment.
Over the weekend, Belgian bishops reported that Vangheluwe had merely been sent outside the country for spiritual and psychological counseling.
On February 16, Borders Group Inc. (BGP) filed for Chapter 11 protection and announced it would close about 30% of its stores nationwide in the coming weeks (In re Borders Group Inc., 11-10614, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York). Borders is/was currently the second-largest book chain after Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS),
Six thousand people – 6,000 – out of work.
Meanwhile, the President and CEO is asking for $8.3 million in executive bonuses (including nearly $1.7 million for himself).
Well, if they didnt give him the bonus he might leave and ruin another company!
YouTube has pulled a video made by Apple employees for the “It Gets Better” project, replacing it with a still image that said the video violated “YouTube’s policy on depiction of harmful activities.”
Youtube, you’re a bunch of fucking pricks.
Newly released Federal Aviation Administration documents and audiotapes shed a scary new light on a bizarre incident late last year during which U.S. Senator James Inhofe landed his Cessna on a closed runway at a south Texas airport, scattering construction workers who ran for their lives as the politician’s plane hopscotched over them and six vehicles.
Boyd also said that Inhofe showed little contrition following the close call. “He come over here and started being like, ‘What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.’”
Using the tragedy in Christchurch as a means to advance the corporate agenda of offshore entertainment giants is shameful, to say the least. It’s hard to imagine the depravity at work in the mind of the big content lobbyist who decided that hitching a ride on emergency legislation to address the horrific consequences of the Christchurch quake was a good idea.
Juan E. Mendez, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said his request for a private interview with Manning was denied by the Defense Department on Friday. Instead, he has been told that any visit must be supervised.
Mendez has been seeking to determine whether Manning’s confinement at a military brig at Quantico amounts to torture, following complaints about his treatment and an incident in which the private was forced to strip in his cell at night and sleep without clothing.
“My request . . . is not onerous: for my part, a monitored conversation would not comply with the practices that my mandate applies in every country and detention center visited,” Mendez said in a statement Monday, noting that at least 18 countries have allowed unmonitored interviews.
A simple conclusion: yes, it’s indeed torture and the US knows it.
Since taking office in January, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has stripped public workers of their collective bargaining rights, proposed wage cuts to local government employees, and insisted that his “state is broke” and that its public workers are overpaid. But Walker applies a different standard to himself.
Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that Walker is using state funds to pay more than $81,500 a year to the 26-year-old son of a major campaign donor with no college degree and two drunken-driving convictions.
Despite having almost no management experience, UW Madison college dropout Brian Deschane now oversees state environmental and regulatory issues and manages dozens of Commerce Department employees. After only two months on the job, Deschane has already received a 26 percent pay raise and a promotion.
Transocean Ltd. had its "best year in safety performance" despite the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig that left 11 dead and oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s largest offshore-rig company said in a securities filing Friday.
Accordingly, Transocean’s executives received two-thirds of their target safety bonus. Safety accounts for 25% of the equation that determines the yearly cash bonuses, along with financial factors including new rig contracts.
General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
All these poor, poor corporations, being driven out of business by oppressive tax schemes. Thank goodness there’s a whole raft of business-friendly politicians finally installed in office who can give them the tax breaks they so desperately need to get the economy back on track!
3.2 billion = 64,000 50k/yr jobs.
Tell GE to take a hike, hire 64,000 people to build infrastructure, and get some of that 50k back in income taxes.
Rep. Christopher Lee is a married Republican congressman serving the 26th District of New York. But when he trolls Craigslist’s "Women Seeking Men" forum, he’s Christopher Lee, "divorced" "lobbyist" and "fit fun classy guy." One object of his flirtation told us her story.
The emails aren’t especially interesting, but they point to Rep. Lee’s hypocrisy, given his anti-woman, anti-gay voting record.
Rep. Chris Lee, weeks into his second term as Congressman for New York’s 26th District, has resigned the office.
He says he “made profound mistakes”…
And as a result, the OkCupid web post about why you should never pay for a dating site can now only be found in Google Cache