Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category

World Net Daily reported 4/7 report, concerning a declassified document released by DHS. Here’s a sample of what’s in it.

Homeland Security on guard for ‘right-wing extremists’
Returning U.S. military veterans singled out as particular threats
c/o WorldNet Daily

From the(U//FOUO) Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment

(U//LES) The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific
information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence,but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears aboutseveral emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the firstAfrican American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

— (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups
during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry
out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic
downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability
to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing
extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and
government authorities similar to those in the past.


BTC Opinion Editorial:
The Idiot’s Guide to Talking Down Hysterical Democrats

(Rated-MA)WARNING
**ANONYMOUS BTC POST WRITTEN BY A DRAG QUEEN***

Truth is as much of a responsibility as it is a burden. I say this with a comic conscience.

THE TRUTH: Obama’s people are flipping out over all the racist gun nuts who hate homosexuals in a chain of fear-reaction.

Ok? There. I said it. You guys are no better than FOX when they coke up before the newscast.

So what’s really news here? The fact that there is an Extremism and Radicalization branch.

“Federal efforts to influence domestic public opinion must be conducted in an overt and transparent manner, clearly identifying United States Government sponsorship. “

I’m impressed. This is the difference between Napolitano and that clod Chertoff. You may hate the office, but there’s a fairness involved here. [Democrats] handle people’s feeling’s better. Look at Obama, his personal pandering to the elites aside , his smoothness cannot be denied. Just think if Billy Dee Williams had a political career instead of becoming the Tanqueray spokesperson.

I still can’t stand most of his cabinet appointees, especially Rahm Emmanuel’s Nazi ass. I won’t spit on him or anything. I just can’t stand his intolerance. He needs to come out of the closet. I think that will make America a safer place to be for homophobic bigots. That’s right, Rahm. Be the bigger man. Don’t run it like Orwell’s Animal Farm. Right now a dead MILK man is outshining you. He did a lot more for democracy than you are doing. Queens need to arm themselves against bigoted idiots. The argument is AC/DC. LIVE WITH IT!!

For those of you who missed a few days at Jesus School and/or those who missed Margaret Cho’s last DVD : YOU DON’T GET TO CONTROL SEX BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS.

Let God handle it. It’s a private matter. If “god’s chosen people”, would wake up and start fighting for something they could actually control the world would be a different place. I would LOVE to see the Christian Coalition go on the warpath against bestiality, human sex trafficking and child rapists. They would win if they did.

For KKK hoodies in the back woods hundreds of miles away from Washington, high on Listerine and incest: don’t shoot brown people. No matter how insistent the Grand Vizzer is. That guy is not going to do your jailtime or volunteer to get raped in your place once you’re in federal prision. It won’t work out.

Tonight, Olbermann continued his exploratory conviction against the “bipartisan” stronghold over the U.S. government’s assumed right to our privacy.

The argument surround’s Jewel vs. NSA , filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The fate of the imperiled court case below.

Please support the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s legal defense fund here to help defend our right to retaliate against government mandated stalking.


April 6th, 2009
c/o EFF.org


San Francisco – The Obama administration formally adopted the Bush administration’s position that the courts cannot judge the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) warrantless wiretapping program, filing a motion to dismiss Jewel v. NSA late Friday.

In Jewel v. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is challenging the agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. The Obama Justice Department claims in its motion that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged “state secrets.” These are essentially the same arguments made by the Bush administration three years ago in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF’s lawsuit against one of the telecom giants complicit in the NSA spying.

“President Obama promised the American people a new era of transparency, accountability, and respect for civil liberties,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “But with the Obama Justice Department continuing the Bush administration’s cover-up of the National Security Agency’s dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans, and insisting that the much-publicized warrantless wiretapping program is still a ‘secret’ that cannot be reviewed by the courts, it feels like deja vu all over again.”

For the full motion to dismiss:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/jewel/jewelmtdobama.pdf

For more on Jewel v. NSA:
http://www.eff.org/cases/jewel

New Bill Proposes Unprecedented Government Power Over the Internet

A cybersecurity bill introduced April 1st in the Senate would give the federal government extraordinary power over private sector Internet services, applications and software. The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 would, for example, give the President unfettered power to shut down Internet traffic in emergencies or disconnect any critical infrastructure system or network on national security grounds. The bill would grant the Commerce Department the ability to override all privacy laws to access any information about Internet usage in connection with a new role in tracking cybersecurity threats. The bill, introduced by Sens. John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe, would also give the government unprecedented control over computer software and Internet services, threatening innovation, freedom and privacy. CDT President and CEO Leslie Harris said, “The cybersecurity threat is real, but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy.” April 01, 2009 .

For More Info: http://cdt.org/

Audacity Without Ideology
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Thursday, January 15, 2009; A19

For the past two years, Barack Obama has made it hard for anyone to pin him down philosophically. So when he raises his hand on Tuesday, exactly what — beyond the efforts of an eager, data-driven problem-solver — can the American people expect?

Obama has spent his adult life tilting left while courting conservatives. That’s how he won his very first campaign, for president of the Harvard Law Review.

He has been known to call himself a “progressive,” and when he occasionally uses the word “ideological” in reference to his own leanings, he clearly casts himself as somewhere left of center.

Yet most of his references to ideology are disdainful and dismissive. In discussing his economic stimulus package, he speaks of judging his proposals by how many jobs they produce and how quickly they will move the economy. Other criteria are inadmissible.

There are at least three keys to understanding Obama’s approach to (and avoidance of) ideology. There is, first, his simple joy in testing himself against those who disagree with him. Someone who knows the president-elect well says that he likes talking with philosophical adversaries more than with allies.

This part of him was once the detached writer and professor who could view even his own life from a distance and with a degree of abstraction. Seen with perspective, after all, the ideological differences in the United States are rather small. We have no major socialist party, and when it comes down to it, even conservatives are reluctant to dismantle our limited social insurance and welfare programs.

But Obama’s anti-ideological turn is also a functional one for a progressive, at least for now. Since Ronald Reagan, ideology has been the terrain of the right. Many of the programs that conservatives have pushed have been based more on faith in their worldview than on empirical tests. How else could conservatives claim that cutting taxes would actually increase government revenue, or that trickle-down economic approaches were working when the evidence of middle-class incomes said otherwise?

Thus the second key: Right now, being empirical is in the progressive interest. Note that data show that the parts of the stimulus package most congenial to liberals (increases in unemployment insurance and food stamps; fiscal aid to the states; government spending on public projects) are also the parts with the most economic bang. In other words, progressives don’t need ideology to make their case.

In this respect, at least, Obama is rather like Franklin D. Roosevelt, who dismissed the conservative economic doctrines of the 1920s. “We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature,” Roosevelt said, directly countering the central premises of orthodox economics. “They are made by human beings.” Thus did Roosevelt make pragmatism and experimentation enemies of conservative ideology. Obama, wearing a smile as he stands on a mountain of data, is doing the same.

But in a third respect, Obama’s anti-ideological talk is not just a vehicle for progressive inclinations but the real deal. Obama regularly offers three telltale notions that will define his presidency — if events allow him to define it himself: “sacrifice,” “grand bargain” and “sustainability.”

To listen to Obama and his budget director Peter Orszag is to hear a tale of long-term fiscal woe. The government may have to spend and cut taxes in a big way now, but in the long run, the federal budget is unsustainable.

That’s where sacrifice kicks in. There will be signs of it in Obama’s first budget, in his efforts to contain health-care costs and, down the road, in his call for entitlement reform and limits on carbon emissions. His camp is selling the idea that if he wants authority for new initiatives and new spending, Obama will have to prove his willingness to cut some programs and reform others.

The “grand bargain” they are talking about is a mix and match of boldness and prudence. It involves expansive government where necessary, balanced by tough management, unpopular cuts — and, yes, eventually some tax increases. Everyone, they say, will have to give up something.

Only such a balance, they argue, will win broad support for what Obama wants to do, and thus make his reforms “sustainable,” the other magic word — meaning that even Republicans, when they eventually get back to power, will choose not to reverse them.

It is riotously ambitious. But it’s worth remembering that in November, Americans elected a man who counts “audacity” as one of his favorite words.

postchat@aol.com

“Obama has made virtually no public comments about the initiative, which calls for driver’s licenses and other state-issued IDs to include digital photos and be readable by scanning devices. In addition, the one time that the Senate considered a Real ID funding issue during Obama’s tenure there, he didn’t cast a vote. – ComputerWorld

Obama will inherit a real mess with Real ID


The effort to impose national standards for photo IDs remains a bone of contention between federal and state officials.

By Jaikumar Vijayan

December 22, 2008 (Computerworld) As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office, it’s unclear how his administration will proceed on the technology-heavy Real ID program. But what is all too clear is that the three-year-old effort to impose identification-card standards on state governments remains mired in controversy.

Obama has made virtually no public comments about the initiative, which calls for driver’s licenses and other state-issued IDs to include digital photos and be readable by scanning devices. In addition, the one time that the Senate considered a Real ID funding issue during Obama’s tenure there, he didn’t cast a vote.

Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Obama’s choice to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, signed a bill in June barring her state from participating in the program. And during a Senate committee hearing last year, she said that complying with the rules would cost state governments a total of $11 billion. The DHS is responsible for implementing the Real ID rules.

“I don’t think anybody in the next administration, including Napolitano, wants to deal with Real ID,” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute in Washington. “It’s a real stinking mess. Most likely, they’ll find the quietest way they can to get it off their plates.”

The Real ID Act was signed into law by President Bush in 2005 as part of the government’s effort to combat terrorism. Other IT-related provisions require participating states to store digital images of IDs for up to 10 years and link their driver’s license databases to one another.

But the law has been widely criticized by privacy advocates and civil rights groups. Even a DHS advisory committee voiced reservations about Real ID last year, citing privacy, security and logistical concerns.

Real ID has also become a bone of contention between the DHS and state governments that see it as an attempt to force unwanted standards down their throats while making them pay for the program. In addition to Arizona, states that have said they won’t participate include Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Washington.

There’s no mandate that states issue Real ID cards. But eventually, all citizens will need IDs that comply with the requirements in order to board planes, enter federal buildings and receive federal benefits.

The outpouring of protests has prompted the DHS to ease up on its implementation deadlines. For instance, under the final rules set by the agency last January, existing driver’s licenses will continue to be accepted as federal identification until December 2014. And people who are age 50 or above at that time won’t have to show Real ID cards for another three years.

Also, after initially setting a deadline of last March for states to request extensions on meeting an initial set of Real ID requirements, the DHS backed off of threats to begin enforcing the rules.

Harper said the agency decided to slow down and pass the baton to the next administration. DHS officials “realized there’s just no way they’re going to win this” by taking a confrontational approach, he said.

At this point, the only reasonable way forward is for the DHS to work more cooperatively with states on Real ID implementations instead of continuing to “dangle sabers over their heads,” said Chris Dixon, an analyst at Input, a government IT consulting firm in Reston, Va.

“This should have been put to bed long ago,” Dixon said, noting that many states are already implementing new ID features similar to what Real ID requires, as part of their own efforts to improve security.

If Napolitano is confirmed as head of the DHS, said Dixon, her experience as the governor of a state that is fighting Real ID might help point the way to a resolution. “Napolitano,” he said, “could sit down with the governors and try to find a way out of this impasse.”

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld’s print edition.

Got something to add? Let us know in the article comments.

Can we really say of Barack Obama, “Don’t believe the hype,”? 

He hasn’t had much of an opportunity to make a America better or worse as the new POTUS elect.

For salt, what does Obama really have to pick from but the incumbent residuals whose performance has been a little better than complete garbage during the last eight years? Dignified public servants? How about corporate patsys : spineless, irresponsible, shortsighted, lazy cretins with a bloated sense of both entitlement and import to the people they have failed to serve but whose paychecks they cash anyway. They are the reason I don’t want Obama’s job.  

It’s a sitcom; what Dilbert would look like if he had both money and power. 

So I defer to someone very responsible -Dennis Loo, World Can’t Wait herald and author of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush & Cheney.  Who can we trust except those who have absolutely NO TOLERANCE WHATSOEVER for civil liberties backslides?  There are those who have developed an acutely sensitive attennae to America’s political performers – such as Dennis Loo.

Author Dennis Loo, Ph.D. is a Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona. He graduated with honors from Harvard in Government and received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Sociology. He has been a journalist, including as a Photo Editor at the Harvard Crimson and an Associate Editor at the Hawaii Observer. His research and writings revolve mostly around polling and public policymaking, with an emphasis on the roles of media, public officials and social movements.
Professor Loo cuts Obama & cabinet potentates NO SLACK in this report on Obama.

“Civil liberties –

He supports the war on drugs.

He supports the crack-cocaine sentence disparity.

He supports Real ID.

He supports the PATRIOT Act.

He supports the death penalty.

He opposes lowering the drinking age to 18.

He supported amnesty for telecoms engaged in illegal spying on Americans.”

Granted… what I fear the most is what is actually happening now that the election is over. DHS is staffing up and spending our tax dollars like crazy without relative checks and balances.   Is Obama going to stand up to the spoiled and irrelevant military class docking their bids on American soil?  Or is he just going to get paid, shut up and “do his job” like the last guy?

TO BE CONTINUED…

Civil liberties groups like the ACLU & The Electronic Frontier Foundation are lining up to present their priorities for the incoming Obama administration.  

Among EFF’s Declarations :

“Scale back the use of National Security Letters to gag and acquire data from online service providers. The REAL ID Act, with its requirement that Americans carry a national ID card, has been rejected by many U.S. states and should be federally repealed. Large-scale government data collection and data-mining projects like Automated Targeting System (ATS) should be reduced or eliminated. Invasive border-searches of electronic devices should be stopped.”

President Bush, produced an environment so damaging to civil liberties, you would have to be comatose not to notice the before-&-after levels of public monitoring and movement infringements.  Although, we did achieve a victory in the restoration of habeas corpus.

The DHS are seeking additional staffing ramping up to a new deadline for Secure Flight in January.   {January?   Isn’t that when our new hero is sworn in?}   The tax-cash for this moved forward without oversight from the GAO- Government Accountability Office.  
  
AIMING TO KILL FLIES WITH A SLEDGEHAMMER: What have we done?
As part of my blogging editorial responsibilities here at BeatTheChip,  I bear the burden of truth.   Here is my interpretation of the US government implementing public surveillance. 
They are watching us. OK- so why are they REALLY watching us
Not necessarily because we are doing anything wrong, but due to their collective paranoia over blowback from those they have wronged- which now includes the American people.  After witnessing the RNC mass arrest of non-violent protestors, including 42 accredited journalists, they might be a lot edgy over their lack of popularity.  Vicious cycle – the more excessive force they use, they know there will be retaliation.  They are aware of how they would react if they were on the receiving end of their treatment.  So why drive the repression of rights for the common man with illegal, immoral and universally inhuman practices detrimental to peace and prosperity?   They are losing their grip on their own place in the human race.  
All soldiers develop a level of dehumanizing logic that makes absolutely no sense, so they can execute adroit orders to maim, kill, posion and do bad things to otherwise innocent people. That is how they make their living.
My thought here to rise above this, is recognition of American Heritage.  As a nation, we reap what we sow.  We have been blithely aware, so much more swept up in the toilet of distractions laid in front of us, to ignore our bad behavior in less fortunate nations we have victimized.  I think of Grenada – a nation who refused us bananas or sugar and paid with blood.  
How dumb are we if didn’t think the persistent lack of conscience would eventually become a continental U.S. problem?  Since when are we too good to reign in our own government?  
The executive “dream team” who renamed  The Department of Domestic Security to Homeland Security, according to a Nazi playbook needs to know who opposes the excesses of spying, invasion of privacy and pilfering of boundaries.  They need to know who to shut up.   
One of these days we are going to interview an average telecomm investigator as an employee, just to find our where their head is at. They’re still Americans – maybe just stuck for a paycheck, two kids and alimony,  a mortgage.  Who are these people?  America’s gestapo reprobates or just suckered into a “secure” lifestyle where surveillance just a way to pay the bills.
A STORY FROM MY PERSONAL HISTORY: Your tax dollars at work
My father worked for a special warfare test division on a base in the Republic of Panama during the Noriega regime.  We lived in “the Green Zone”.  A zone occupied by military personnell living and working peacibly in Panama.    What I now know about the CIA, Noriega, the Iran Contra scandal and Panama’s role in the whole scenario has made me both sadder and wiser.
Nonetheless, as a dependent child I was in a good place to observe and learn what the day-to-day looks like when you are in an aggrivated state of police monitoring.    I rode a skateboard.  I was a kid and kids have to go outside and play – threat or no threat.
I walked outside of my home one day to find a fully munitioned humvee with a singular military policeman on-duty parked next to our driveway.  He was toting a rifle.  No big deal.  I had seen servicemen with guns frequently enough it really wasn’t intimidating.   However, they never were camped outside of my house with no notice.  It seemed a little out of place.
I resumed  skateboard practice.  It was quiet, nothing going on, except  that were in an escalated Personnell Movement Limitation (PML)  Charlie – excessive rioting and unrest among Panamanians and where U.S. defense personnell were more active.   The trouble was, we had been in PML Charlie for 6 weeks and nothing was really going on in the streets.   We went to school with Panamanians and other kids whose parents were international diplomats. Honestly, everyone was a little weary of what we call today “fear mongering”- with nothing actually going on.  It was restrictive and excessive.  That tends to bug bored kids, whose job really is to find their way around overarching administrators.
As I started in skateboarding,  the  MP stationed outside of my house began to tell me not to skateboard in front of my house.   His reason?   I was crossing over the “green zone into the orange zone”.   I looked at him and explained that nothing was going on.   I looked around me illustrating there were no cars on the street – literally, NOTHING was happening.    I kept skateboarding and he looked the other way, because it was as rediculous as I had indicated – and he knew it.   I persisted with this action for 10 -12 minutes then I got bored and went back in the house looking for something else to do.
We all have better things to do with our lifetime, but when you live on a base or in a military civilization you are swimming in an irrational amount of protocols, rules, and orders.  There’s not a whole lot you can do “right”, otherwise someone loses their usefulness. 
There is a limit to the useful purpose of military personnel.   To this day, I wonder how much taxpayer money was spent to have that humvee, armed to the teeth,  stationed outside our house complete with one MP staff seargant with not much to do.