CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for July 26, 2013

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”350″ height=”263″ align=”right” !}

International Developments

? “Egypt’s military investigate Morsi over ‘colluding with Hamas’ in revolution.”  Update:  “Huge rallies by supporters and opponents of Egypt’s ousted Islamist president are continuing into the night with five people killed in Alexandria.”

? “Obama ‘Concerned and Disappointed’ After Journalist Who Exposed US War Crimes Freed:  Abdulelah Haider Shaye ‘put in prison because he had the audacity to expose’ deadly US drone strike.”

? 39 killed, 100+ injured “after two bombs exploded in a market in northern Pakistan.”

? Two Guantanamo detainees to be sent back to Algeria.

? “Only 28% Believe Afghan War Is Worth Fighting.”

International Finance

? Following the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s $885m settlement with UBS, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have “set aside money”, and the Royal Bank of Scotland fears it will be broken up, in addition to facing “a multibillion-dollar payment in the U.S.”

? Remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the NY hotel maid case? “Ex-IMF chief Strauss-Kahn to be tried for pimping.”

Money Matters USA

? “Senate Democrats are circulating a letter urging President Barack Obama to appoint Janet Yellen” as head of the Federal Reserve.   Uh-oh:  Wall Street doesn’t want Summers, either; they want Yellen, too.  Bait-and-switch?

? “SAC Capital Is Arraigned on a Raft of Criminal Charges.”  “SAC: federal grand jury indicts hedge fund for inside trading.”

? Under Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan, “pension funds, unions and unsecured bondholders would receive, in some cases, as little as 10 cents on the dollar” while Bank of American and UBS will get 75 cents.  He’s also looking at selling the city’s art collection, “Belle Isle,” etc

? “FEMA Grants Nearly $3m for West, Texas, Schools.”

In Hot Pursuit

? US Attorney General Eric Holder “has told the Russian government that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty for . . . Edward Snowden.” Holder’s letter “also offers . . . guarantee that Snow won’t be tortured.”  Emptywheel responds.

? “Putin’s spokesman . . .: Russia wont extradite Snowden to US. . . . There is no U.S.-Russia extradition treaty.”

? “German president [Joachim Gauck] says whistleblowers like Snowden merit respect.”

Surveillance Planet

? James Bamford:  “They Know Much More Than You Think.” The NSA, lies and expanding powers.

Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a bill to “repeal the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendment Act.”

? Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) warns against conflating the bulk phone data collection (Section 215) and the internet communications data collection (Section 702).  The former has not produced anything that cannot be gotten by “less intrusive means” though the latter has produced something of value.

? NSA Director Keith Alexander claims “there were 13 cases where the . . . call tracking program, had helped head off terrorism”, but 12 of those were about “terrorism . . . aimed at Somalia”.  He also used the Zazi case as proof of how effective his massive spying program is, although available evidence disputes that claim.

? While the Senate holds a hearing on NSA surveillance next week with DNI head James Clapper and NSA head Keith Alexander, the House will be holding a hearing on NSA surveillance practices–with testimony from critics.  Update:  Glenn Greenwald invited to testify at the House hearing.

? Charlie Savage in the NY Times:  “Roberts’s Picks Reshaping Secret Surveillance Court”, legislative proposals to correct that tendency, and a list of all FISC judges.

A federal judge refuses to delay “what could turn out to be a major landmark case (ACLU v. Clapper) on the legality of the National Security Agency’s . . . mass metadata collection program.”  This one involves Verizon.

? “Shocking ‘Extermination’ Fantasies . . . on Full Display at Aspen Summit:  Security Forum participants expressed total confidence in American empire, but could not contain their panic at the mention of Snowden.” Ashcroft’s humor on torture, former NSA chief Mike Hayden on “Kill ’em”, etc.

? 47% of Americans think anti-terrorism policies “have gone too far in restricting civil liberties”; 55% of tea partiers and 42% of Democrats agree.

Politics USA

? Whatever happened to candidate Obama’s interest in protecting whistleblowers?

? NC’s Republican-dominated legislature has “approved a radical voter suppression bill . . . easily the most extreme anti-voter bill passed by any state since the Jim Crow Era. . . . Court challenges . . .  will most assuredly follow.”

? NC Gov. Pat McCrory (R) “gives his cabinet generous salary hikes . . . 11 percent and 5 percent.” Rank-and-file employees got a 1.2% increase, “the first in four years.”  McCrory wanted his cabinet staff’s salaries so high so “they can afford to live.”  Rank-and-filers?  Pfffffft.

? Maybe this’ll do it for Carlos Danger Anthony Weiner (D).

? Beleaguered Bob Filner (D), Mayor of San Diego, now has a Navy rear-admiral (ret),  a  dean at San Diego State, “the head of the Port Tenants Association and a businesswoman” accusing him of unwanted “advances.”  Update:  He’s getting help.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? Phoenix, AZ has 90 efficiency apartments available for the “chronically homeless [with] a documented disability.”

The War on Women

? “The Senate Appropriations Committee . . . [yesterday lifted] a ban that prevents Washington, D.C., from using non-federal revenue to pay for abortion care for low-income women [and] to end a policy denying Peace Corps volunteers abortion coverage in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is at risk”.

Heads Up!

? UC-Davis cop, Lt. John Pike, found himself pretty well-despised and -depicted after pepper-spraying peaceful protesters.  He’s now trying to get worker’s comp because of the “psychiatric injury” resulting from the incident.

Planet Earth News

? “Large, Troubling Methane Pulse Coincides With Arctic Heatwave, Tundra Fires”.

Rep John Boehner (R-OH) “Invested in 7 Canadian tar sand companies according to his 2010 financial disclosure”.

? “Halliburton . . . to plead guilty to destruction of evidence in the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling tragedy”, is willing “pay the maximum available statutory fine, be subject to three years probation, and continue to cooperate with the government’s investigation.”

? New study: “Potential Well Water Contaminants Highest Near Natural Gas Drilling”.

? “Four protesters arrested at Enbridge [MI] pipeline construction site charged with felony.”

? 56% reduction in “water stored in peak snowpack in the McKenzie River watershed in the Oregon Cascade Range” projected for 2050.

Break Time 

The Hour When The Ship Comes In

Previous post

Sexecutive Actions – Updated to Reflect Summer Camp Fun

Next post

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, the Peace Farce, and, Egypt