More Secret Powers for the Transparency President and his Brennan Wraith

(Does anyone here remember what ends up happening to Froto at the end of his journey in the bowels of Mt. Doom? He finally gave in to the seduction of the power of the one ring and refused to destroy it. That series of books would have a very different ending were it not for mere chance and the persistence of Gollum. It might look something like Washington today. So much for Camelot.)

Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes

from New York Times


Obama’s CIA chief John O. Brennan

A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.

That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code — even if there is no declared war.

The rules will be highly classified, just as those governing drone strikes have been closely held. John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser and his nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, played a central role in developing the administration’s policies regarding both drones and cyberwarfare, the two newest and most politically sensitive weapons in the American arsenal.

[read the rest, here]

McCain compares Iranian leader to monkey; draws GOP charge of racism

By Domenico Montanaro, NBC News

Always one to speak — or Tweet — his mind, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) Monday made a joke comparing Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a monkey, something one Republican congressman charged was “racist.”

“So Ahmadinejad wants to be first Iranian in space – wasn’t he just there last week?” McCain said in a tweet that also linked to a story about Iran launching a monkey into space.

Some didn’t take so kindly to the not-so-diplomatic quip, prompting McCain, 76, to respond: “Re: Iran space tweet – lighten up folks, can’t everyone take a joke?”

Seeing that, Michigan congressman Rep. Justin Amash, 32, shot back.

“Maybe you should wisen up & not make racist jokes,” Amash tweeted.

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87% of Americans Say Tax the Wealthy More to Protect Social Security Benefits

by Zaid Jilani, Contributor

social securitySocial Security is fully solvent until 2037 and is not in crisis. But one way to make sure there are no cutbacks in benefit cuts after that is to lift the payroll tax cap so wealthy Americans contribute more into the system.

A new survey from the National Academy of Social Insurance finds that most Americans want to do just that. When survey respondents were asked how they felt about the statement “It is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by wealthy Americans,” 87 percent of them agreed, with 62 percent of them strongly agreeing.

It’s worth noting that this number includes even 71 percent of self-identified Republicans (and 86 percent of self-identified independents).

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Bankrupt, Decaying And Nearly Dead: 24 Facts About The City Of Detroit That Will Shock You

by Michael Snyder, Blacklisted News

If you want to know what the future of America is going to be like, just look at the city of Detroit.  Once upon a time it was a symbol of everything that America was doing right, but today it has been transformed into a rotting, decaying, post-apocalyptic hellhole.  Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, and in 1960 Detroit had the highest per-capita income in the entire nation.  It was the greatest manufacturing city the world had ever seen, and the rest of the globe looked at Detroit with a sense of awe and wonder.  But now the city of Detroit has become a bad joke to the rest of the world.  Unemployment is rampant, 60 percent of the children are living in poverty and the city government is on the verge of bankruptcy.  They say that Detroit is just a matter of “weeks or months” away from running out of cash, and when Detroit does declare bankruptcy it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States.  But don’t look down on Detroit, because the truth is that Detroit is really a metaphor for what is happening to America as a whole.  In the United States today, our manufacturing infrastructure has been gutted, poverty is absolutely exploding and we are rapidly approaching national bankruptcy.  Detroit may have gotten there first, but the rest of the country will follow soon enough.

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