Tag Archives: Reuters
No S**t Sherlock!
* Former presidents also due to attend dedication
* Memorial service for Texas explosion victims on the agenda
* Fundraiser will aim to help Democrats in midterm elections
U.S. President Barack Obama is in Texas to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with former President George W. Bush in what could serve as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle against terrorism, from the Sept. 11 attacks to the Boston Marathon bombings.
Obama is due to attend the dedication on Thursday of Bush’s presidential library at Southern Methodist University, along with former presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter and hundreds of Bush administration alumni.
While Democrat Obama and Republican Bush have deep political differences, they share a common belief that the United States must defend itself against violent extremism.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks defined Bush’s eight years in the White House and last week’s Boston Marathon bombing handed Obama another challenge to homeland security.
Obama, at a Democratic fundraiser soon after he arrived in Dallas on Wednesday night, said he was looking forward to attending the Bush library dedication and that he would project a bipartisan spirit.
“One thing I will insist upon is whatever our political differences, President Bush loves his country and loves its people and…was concerned about all people in America, not just those who voted Republican. I think that’s true about him and I think that’s true about most of us,” Obama said.
Bush told ABC News that the Boston attacks reminded him of his time in the presidency.
“I was deeply concerned that there might’ve been an organized plot,” Bush told ABC News. “I don’t know all the facts… But I was deeply concerned that this could’ve been, you know, another highly organized attack on the country. And it still may be. Again, I don’t know all the facts.”
Certain issues require a common response regardless of political party, said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Center at the University of Southern Illinois.
“They may get to the office as a conservative or a liberal but there are real forces that move them to the pragmatic center on a variety of issues and national security is one of them,” Simon said.
But Obama was also looking to a time when more Democrats could be elected to Congress. His first stop in Dallas was at a fundraiser that brought in $600,000 for the Democratic National Committee at the home of major Democratic donor Naomi Aberly.
It is his third fundraiser this year for his party in the hope that Democrats can wrestle control of the House of Representatives from Republicans and add to the Democrats’ Senate majority in 2014 midterm elections.
Without adding Democratic seats, Obama may find it difficult to overcome Republican opposition to many of the priorities of his second term, such as closing tax loopholes enjoyed mostly by the wealthy and stricter gun control.
“Washington is not, how should I put this charitably, it’s not as functional as it could be,” Obama said.
Still, he told the Democratic donors, he plans to keep talking to Republicans as he has in recent weeks to try to find common ground, even though “some of you may think I’m a sap” for doing so.
Thursday’s dedication of Bush’s library and museum has put Bush, the 43rd U.S. president, back in the limelight he has largely avoided since leaving office in January 2009.
At the time, the United States was laboring under the burden of two wars and a collapsed economy. Bush’s approval rating at the time was 33 percent. A Washington Post-ABC poll this week put his approval rating at 47 percent, basically equal to Obama’s.
The museum exhibits cover major points of Bush’s presidency and offer visitors an opportunity to decide how they would have responded to those challenges.
A central feature of the museum concerns the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Obama has found himself pursuing some of the same policies that Bush began, such using drones on military targets and trying to overhaul U.S. immigration laws.
Obama is expected to speak at the dedication along with the former presidents.
“Regardless of the times when they served and their political and policy differences, there is a commonality of experience that the president believes binds them together,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
After visiting Bush in Dallas on Thursday, Obama is scheduled to attend a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, for the 14 people killed when a fertilizer plant exploded last week in West, Texas. (Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Karey Van Hall, Toni Reinhold and Lisa Shumaker)
- Matt Lauer to interview George W. Bush Thursday (allday.today.com)
- CNN Poll: How Will History Remember George W. Bush? (fox2now.com)
- Ahead of library opening, Obama says Bush ‘loves this country’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- CNN Poll: How will history remember George W. Bush? (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Obama fundraising in Texas, then at Bush library dedication (reporternews.com)
The United States government is apparently taking North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s threats quite seriously. The drums of war, indeed…
The Huffington Post via Reuters
The United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to South Korea on Sunday to join military drills aimed at underscoring the U.S. commitment to defend Seoul in the face of an intensifying campaign of threats from North Korea.
The advanced, radar-evading F-22 Raptors were deployed to Osan Air Base, the main U.S. Air Force base in South Korea, from Japan to support ongoing bilateral exercises, the U.S. military command in South Korea said in a statement that urged North Korea to restrain itself.
“(North Korea) will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which will only further isolate North Korea and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia,” the statement said.
Sabre-rattling on the Korean peninsula drew a plea for peace from Pope Francis, who in his first Easter Sunday address called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula.
“Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow,” he said, speaking in Italian.
Tensions have been high since the North’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered a nuclear weapons test in February, breaching U.N. sanctions and ignoring warnings from North Korea’s closest ally, China, not to do so.
That test, North Korea’s third since 2006, drew further U.N. and bilateral sanctions designed to pressure the impoverished North to stop its nuclear weapons program. Pyongyang responded to the new steps by ratcheting up warnings and threats of war.
North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea, but Seoul and its ally the United States played down the statement from the official KCNA news agency as the latest in a stream of tough talk from Pyongyang.
In a rare U.S. show of force aimed at North Korea, the United States on Thursday flew two radar-evading B-2 Spirit bombers on practice runs over South Korea.
On Friday, Kim signed an order putting the North’s missile units on standby to attack U.S. military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the stealth bomber flights.
The F-22 jets will take part in the annual U.S.-South Korea Foal Eagle military drills, which are designed to sharpen the allies’ readiness to defend the South from an attack by North Korea, the U.S. military said.
The U.S. military did not say how many of the planes were flown to South Korea from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. The statement described Sunday’s deployment as part of routine shifts of air power among bases in the Western Pacific that U.S. forces have been conducting since 2004.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted the top Japanese government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, as condemning Pyongyang for “aggressive provocation” after Kim’s ruling party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, identified U.S. military bases in Japan as targets for attack.
The two Koreas have been technically in a state of war since a truce that ended their 1950-53 conflict. Despite its threats, few people see any indication Pyongyang will risk a near-certain defeat by re-starting full-scale war. (Reporting by Paul Eckert; Editing by Eric Beech)
- U.S. F-22 fighter jets set to join South Korea military exercise (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- U.S. Moves Stealth Fighters To South Korea (warnewsupdates.blogspot.com)
- U.S. Jets to S. Korea: F-22 Stealth Jets Join Military Drills (theepochtimes.com)
- HERE COMES THE BOOM: U.S. Moves Stealth Jets to SKorea (secretsofthefed.com)
- The Sound Of War Drums: U.S. Moves F-22 Stealth Jets To South Korea (patdollard.com)
- US sends jets amid Korea tensions (bbc.co.uk)
- F-22 Raptors sent to South Korea (cnn.com)
I’ve seen and heard about this sort of conduct happening more times than I care to remember…
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Monday condemned racially charged language used by a federal prosecutor in Texas.
The justice, appointed to the court by President Barack Obama in 2009, took the relatively unusual step of writing a statement to accompany the nine-member Supreme Court’s announcement that it would not take up a criminal case.
Sotomayor took issue with the unidentified prosecutor who, while questioning an African-American defendant in a drug case, asked: “You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you – a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?”
The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor wrote that the prosecutor had “tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation.”
The question was “pernicious in its attempt to substitute racial stereotype for evidence,” she added. Sotomayor also accused the Obama administration of playing down the issue.
The defendant in the case, Bongani Charles Calhoun, wanted the Supreme Court to order a retrial because he said his right to a fair trial was violated when the question was asked. He was convicted of three offenses over his role in a drug conspiracy.
Initially, the administration declined to file a response to Calhoun’s claim, indicating government lawyers did not think it merited attention.
“I hope never to see a case like this again,” Sotomayor wrote.
Justice Stephen Breyer signed on to Sotomayor’s statement.
The court did not take up the case on Monday, because Calhoun had failed to raise his argument earlier in the appeals process, as required under the law, Sotomayor wrote.
At trial, Calhoun’s argument was that, although he was present when federal agents arrested him and several other men, he was unaware of the illegal activity.
The case is Calhoun v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, 12-6142. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Mohammad Zargham)
- Sotomayor slams controversial remarks by prosecutor (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Justice laments prosecutor’s racially charged question (news.terra.com)
- Justice laments prosecutor’s racially charged question (news.yahoo.com)
- Sotomayor calls prosecutor out for racial profiling in drug case (rawstory.com)
- Justices Appalled By Racist Question (personalliberty.com)
- Sonia Sotomayor rebukes federal prosecutor for racially charged remark against Latinos, blacks (nbclatino.com)
- Sotomayor slams controversial remarks by prosecutor (wyff4.com)
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Apparently Newt Gingrich thinks its ok to muddle his previous marriages, but disagrees with same-sex marriages.
In my opinion states opposing same-sex marriages are no different from the states who opposed inter-racial marriage in the past by imposing miscegenation laws. Those states who enacted miscegenation laws were just plain wrong as demonstrated in the civil rights case of Loving v. Virginia, which The Supreme Court settled in 1967.
I’m sure the southern born Newt Gingrich would have opposed inter-racial marriages as well had he been a legislator back then.
Newt Gingrich, who’s married to his third wife, said this weekend that the U.S. was “drifting towards a terrible muddle” by not limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex, Reuters reported.
But he drew a distinction between Iowa, where the Supreme Court essentially legalized gay marriage, and New York, where elected representatives did.
“Iowa was a very different case from New York,” Gingrich said, according to reporter O. Kay Henderson.
“I mean, Iowa was seven judges deciding that they would arbitrarily overturn the laws and the culture of the state of Iowa which is fundamentally different,” Gingrich said. “I mean New York at least, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, it is in the elected process and it is in the legislature and it is with the governor and that’s the right venue.”
“I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that’s what marriage ought to be and I would like to find ways to defend that view as legitimately and effectively as possible,” Gingrich said.
- Gingrich and Bachmann Call For Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage (jonathanturley.org)
- Political roundup: Would gay marriage be legalized in Pennsylvania? (pennlive.com)
- Reason Morning Links: Jon Huntsman on Gay Marriage, Newt Gingrich on the Fed, Scott Walker on Craft Beer (reason.com)
- Newt Gingrich: Obama Is So Bad, Black People Will Vote Republican (theoraclemagnews.wordpress.com)
The irony is that the U.S. Government doesn’t believe in privacy for its citizens (due to the war on terror) but reacts quite defensively when exposed for its hypocrisy through breaches of its security apparatus.
The U.S. Senate website was the latest target in a string of cyberattacks from Lulz Security, the hacker group that had previously compromised PBS and some Sony sites.
The hackers got into the servers’ public side but were not able to penetrate the firewall to reach private information, such as senators’ contact information.
“We don’t like the U.S. government very much,” Lulz Security said in its release of the information it obtained. “This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov—is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?”
The reference is to a report that the U.S. government may consider cyberattacks acts of war; however, the report referred specifically to attacks from foreign governments, not loose-knit hacking groups like Lulz Security.
- US Senate Website Hacked, ‘Just For Lulz’ – New York Magazine (news.google.com)
- Senate web site hacked (capitolhillblue.com)
- Hackers access Senate server “just for kicks” (cbsnews.com)
- LulzSec Hacks Bethesda Softworks And U.S. Senate (slashgear.com)
- U.S. Senate Computer Networks Breached by Hacker Activists (businessweek.com)
- LulzSec hacks US Senate (go.theregister.com)
- Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Problem Explained (freetech4teachers.com)
- Newer Nuclear Reactors May Not Have Failed in Japan (technologyreview.com)
- Is Seawater a Last Resort to Cooling Japan’s Nuclear Reactors? (scientificamerican.com)
- 3rd Explosion Rocks Fukushima Nuclear Reactor in Japan (blippitt.com)
- The Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor’s legacy of safety concerns (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
Although Gawker is somewhat skeptical about this new offering of email leaks from “Anonymous”, apparently the activist group is planning to expose Bank of America documents sometime today. If I were those folks in the financial industry, I’d be very afraid of what may be about to hit the proverbial fan…
A member of the activist collective Anonymous is claiming to be have emails and documents which prove “fraud” was committed by Bank of America employees, and the group says it’ll release them on Monday. The member, who goes by the Twitter handle OperationLeakS, has already posted an internal email from the formerly Bank of America-owned Balboa Insurance Company.
The email is between Balboa Insurance vice president Peggy Johnson and other Balboa employees. (Click right to enlarge.) As far as we can tell, it doesn’t show anything suspicious, but was posted by OperationLeaks as a teaser. He also posted emails he claims are from the disgruntled employee who sent him the material. In one, the employee says he can “send you a copy of the certified letter sent to me by an AVP of BofA’s [HR department] telling me I am banned from stepping foot on BofA property or contacting their employee ever again.”
OperationLeaks, which runs the anti-Bank of America site BankofAmericasuck.com, says the employee contacted the group to blow the whistle on Bank of America’s shady business practices. “I seen some of the emails… I can tell you Grade A Fraud in its purest form…” read one tweet. “He Just told me he have GMAC emails showing BoA order to mix loan numbers to not match it’s Documents.. to foreclose on Americans.. Shame.”
An Anonymous insider told us he believes the leak is real. “From what I know and have been told, it’s legit,” he said. “Should be a round of emails, then some files, possible some more emails to follow that.” The documents should be released Monday on Anonleaks.ch, the same site where Anonymous posted thousands of internal emails from hacked security company HBGary last month. That leak exposed a legally-questionable plot to attack Wikileaks and ultimately led to the resignation of HBGary CEO Aaron Barr.
There are lots of reasons to be skeptical about this latest supposed leak. For now, it’s a guy who hates Bank of America and posted a single internal Balboa email and some seriously outrageous claims to Twitter. (When emailed for comment he posted our email to Twitter with “Fuck you, Gawker.”) It’s unclear what he’s actually got. And the whole incident echoes the time Wikileaks claimed to have its own Bank of America bombshell leak, which turned out to be a dud.
But those we’ve spoken to in Anonymous are convinced there’s something to this. Anonymous has a proven track record with leaks, and Bank of America has been in their crosshairs since they cut off payments to Wikileaks in December. If it’s real, it could be big. Keep your eye on anonleaks.ch: It should hit Monday.
Update: The leak will drop at 12:00am on Monday morning. According to Reuters, a Bank of America spokesman has confirmed the existence of a leak, saying it consists of “non-foreclosure related clerical and administrative documents stolen by a former Balboa Insurance employee.” The spokesman told Reuters, “We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue.”
UPDATE: It appears some of the emails may have been leaked already.
- Are Anonymous Hackers About To Expose Something Awful About Bank Of America On Monday? (businessinsider.com)
- More Anonymous vs. HBGary (descentintodarkness.wordpress.com)
- HBGary CEO Also Suggested Tracking, Intimidating WikiLeaks’ Donors (blogs.forbes.com)
- Anonymous vows to take leaking to the next level (cnn.com)
- Hacked and now vandalized, HBGary pulls out of RSA (infoworld.com)
- “Julian Assange can be extradited” and related posts (tumeke.blogspot.com)