Morning Must Reads: August 21

In the news: NSA; Bradley Manning; Bo Xilai; race for Fed Reserve head; Rick Perry and Obamacare; NRA's database of gun owners

  • Share
  • Read Later
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • “The National Security Agency—which possesses only limited legal authority to spy on U.S. citizens—has built a surveillance network that covers more Americans’ Internet communications than officials have publicly disclosed, current and former officials say. The system has the capacity to reach roughly 75% of all U.S. Internet traffic in the hunt for foreign intelligence, including a wide array of communications by foreigners and Americans. In some cases, it retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology, these people say…” [WSJ]
  • “Syrian opposition activists Wednesday accused the government of killing scores of civilians, including women and children,  in a poison-gas assault on rebel strongholds outside Damascus.” [L.A. Times]
  • Today a military judge will announce the prison sentence for Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information toWikiLeaks.
  • Bo Xilai’s trial begins tomorrow. The Atlantic reports a conviction is assured.
  • “Gov. Rick Perry wants to kill Obamacare dead, but Texas health officials are in talks with the Obama administration about accepting an estimated $100 million available through the health law to care for the elderly and disabled.” [Politico]
  • Summers, Yellen allies wage behind-the-scenes efforts to win Federal Reserve nod. [Washington Post]
  • “The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces.” [NYT]
  • Democrat Terry McAuliffe has a 48 – 42 percent lead over Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the race to become Virginia’s next governor, according to today’s Quinnipiac University poll.
  • How the NRA Built a Massive Secret Database of Gun Owners [Buzzfeed]
797 comments
retiredvet
retiredvet

Boston Ducks Education Reform...For Now

In time, it's inevitable that all schools will be owned by major banks and finance behemoths. Laugh now at the idea of a Walmart Academy where chubby kids wear greeter vests and learn to work the register, and in 10 years you'll look back and laugh heartily at your shortsightedness. Until then, at least there's a modicum of relief in the city where this crazy socialist idea of public ed originated.

notsacredh
notsacredh

I'm not saying the GOP is crazy, but the GOP is crazy.

fitty_three
fitty_three

Our Dyslexic Duo still haven't realized that Egypt is not our 57th state.

ahandout
ahandout

The wisdom of the Chicago gang, Rahm and Barry.

How's that Cairio speech working out for ya?

"Or, you look at Iran: the moderate voices of reform that are willing to accept some kind of engagement in modernity are winning, and the extremists are back on their heels," Emanuel said. "It's not just one speech, but it's a series of policies."

Yes, it is a whole series of F ups. 

 http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/06/rahm_emanuel_obamas_historic_c.asp


ahandout
ahandout

At the very least, it is a insanely stupid statement from Barrack Hussein Obama: "The future doesn't belong to those who would slander Islam."

What is does is encourage the radical Islamists who are committing violent acts around the world, killing, torturing, raping, and persecuting those who dare, or who through their different faiths "slander Islam."

The Sharia based Constitution favors Sunni Muslims and all Egyptian law is subject to this interpretation. The "blasphemy" laws are effectively used to terrorize the Copts and liberal media and the new "Civil Associations and Institutions Act" will severely restrict the ability of NGOs to form and operate within Egypt, further limiting the ability of religious minorities and opposition forces to coordinate and mobilize.


Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/coptic-christians-disappointed-with-obama-and-kerrys-us-foreign-aid-to-morsi#ixzz2cdvEWSzA

notsacredh
notsacredh

The only bad thing about the civil war in the GOP is that it won't last forever.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh I've got dough on the rise. It's homemade pizza tonight for supper.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91 

I was just downthread looking at the discussion about how far right the GOP could go.

That is when I reealized that my revelation about it was just a tweensy bit late!

notsacredh
notsacredh

Please. When has anything ever embarrassed any of them? They don't get embarrassed. They just say that what they said was taken out of context even if it was verbatim and the whole text is printed.



mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Hey Weekly Standard how is the "Democracy in the Middle East" policy you endorsed working out for the Middle East?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout How is it stupid? Lets reverse the statement and see if it makes more sense.

"The future belong to those who would slander Islam"

Yep that is much less insanely stupid.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh Chris Cillizza of the WaPo agrees:

For a Republican hoping to win back the White House in 2016 after eight years in the political wilderness, it’s been a frustrating last few days.

“The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary,” said Mike Murphy, a prominent Republican campaign consultant. “That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse.”

The prospect of facing a Goldwater-like election — the Arizona senator won only 36 percent of the popular vote in 1964 — in 2016 is more real than it has been in quite some time, according to close observers of the GOP.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh 

I think this one might be of interest to our Dyslexic Duo + 1:

"The party is acting as if the entire world is a GOP primary. That is a very dangerous way to operate. We have massive image problems with the greater electorate, and the silly antics of the purist wing are making our dire problems even worse."

notsacredh
notsacredh

From the article:

"With Democrats defending many open Senate seats in red states, Republicans may see a "dead cat bounce" in the midterm elections. But make no mistake: The party is slowly breaking apart"

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, do you ever make vegetable pizza with cream cheese and powdered ranch dressing instead of pizza sauce? If not, I'll give you the recipe tomorrow. You eat it chilled and it's great.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, that sounds good. We watched a MST3K. Soultaker. Horribly entertaining. We have the entire series run.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@fitty_three

Meh.... Not our loon.

Ours are on our coins.

Seriously, I really don't care.  Our free speech laws are not quite as broad as America's so if there's a problem, they can actually be charged.  Until then, they can say whatever they want.  I won't be listening.

ahandout
ahandout

@sacredh Since when is the Democratic Party concerned with embarrassment of politicians?  Bill and Hillary Clinton defending his BJ in the Oval Orifice lowered the bar so low, that Democrats defend and vote for Weiner and Filner.  Embarrassment = Monica Lewinsky.  Geez.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet  

True, but it's all I can say about their incessant ramblings.  I'm not going to debate them on it.

collioure
collioure

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  

Even after the various nations of the Arab world shed their dictatorships, democracy is going to take a long time to develop there, Third Grade. 

Insofar as dictatorships provide the conditions under which terrorism ferments, the US which under more mainstream Presidents supports the spread of liberty across the globe should not interfere to suppress such efforts.

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  You know Bug, like Barry, sometimes it is best to not say anything, than to open your mouth and confirm that you are a fool.

yogi
yogi

Guns don't kill the GOP, Tea Party people do.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, it couldn't happen to a nastier bunch of people. It doesn't matter to me at all if the GOP bans half the netwroks from covering their debates. If there is even one live camera broadcasting their clownfest, it will still be on every media outlet. The best part is that the networks that get frozen out can just endlessly replay the gaffes as revenge.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@sacredh 

Remember when Democrats were at risk of losing the Senate in 2012 because they were defending so many open seats?  How did that end again?

I just feel like that has to be pointed out from time to time.  Just because Democrats have to defend twice as many seats doesn't mean they've got to spend twice as much money as the Republicans.  Status quo seems to be the most likely outcome, not reversion to even.

Sue_N
Sue_N

Hm. I'm something of a pizza purist, but I do love cream cheese. Share away!

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91@ahandoutYou know Bug, like Barry, sometimes it is best to not say anything, than to open your mouth and confirm that you are a fool.



mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 So you can't explain how it is an insanely stupid statement can you? Why would it be smart to insult a religion of over a Billion worshipers?

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mhungerman, the GOP would be insane (yeah, I know) if only Fox broadcast the debates. It isn't hard to imagine other major networks saying they can't show any highlights because the GOP is trying to keep their candidates views under wraps. The media will make the story if the GOP plays hardball.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@Sue_N " The best part is that the networks that get frozen out can just endlessly replay the gaffes as revenge."

I'm not sure FOX would let them run the whole thing...

fitty_three
fitty_three

@Sue_N

How far right can they go isn't going to be limited by Godwin' s law.  Look up upthread to see what Ron Paul is up to.

notsacredh
notsacredh

"It's the establishment and pundits who push the "moderate" candidates.'

But it's still the voters that decide which candidate to vote for. I couldn't care less what the pundits or establishment in my party says or who they're for. I make up my own mind because I make my own choices. If the voters in the GOP want more conservative candidates, why don't they vote for them?

ahandout
ahandout

@sacredh @ahandout  It's the establishment and pundits who push the "moderate" candidates.  You can hear the cry for a moderate candidate right now.  

Bob Dole

Bush Sr 

McClown

Romney

All moderates. 

notsacredh
notsacredh

@ahandout, they? The GOP is they? It was the GOP voters that elected their candidates.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mantisdragon91, I was only kidding. I don't believe in any religion so they're all equal in my eyes. I've always thought that discriminating against someone because of their religion made about as much sense as discriminating because of skin color.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mantisdragon91, OMG! You're Jewish? You don't write Jewish. Ummmm....if we happen to pass on a thread, pretend that I'm not Jewish either.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@Sue_N, I won't be more than mildly surprised if the baggers get labeled as RINOs within 6-8 years by the "real conservatives" that pop up after another shellacking or two.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh @mhungerman Just look at paulie calling McCain and Graham RINOs now. And the Tennessee baggers are trying to get rid of Lamar Alexander because he's not conservative enough. Lamar effing Alexander is too liberal for them.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@sacredh Yeah, ti would have to be a "Sea Change" for the GOP.  They're F'd if they don't do it, though.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mhungerman, here's something else that I rather wasn't true. We lost a significant number of our bigoted democrats when we made Obama our nominee. We'll get most of them back with white candidates.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mhungerman, the problem with going after the centrist vote is that they see centrists as practically socialists. They've swung so far to the right that even their relative moderates are far more conservative than conservatives were even 15 years ago.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@sacredh Well, I did say it wouldn't happen overnight and it wouldn't be without pain.  Just think how long the Dems were in the Progressive wilderness.  They would HAVE to aggressively go after the centrist vote.

I also don't see them losing 100% of Tea Party.  A lot of them have "converted" and would convert back if it were expedient.  The GOP needs to just draw the line and censure or even go after politically anyone who crosses it.  Anyone with ambitions will figure it out.  Anyone else is someone they don't need.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@mhungerman, the Tea party makes up 20-25% of the GOP. They lost to Obama by 5,000,000 votes in 2012. They won't come within 10 million if Hillary is the nominee and they split and I think that's generous..

hivemaster
hivemaster

@sacredh @fitty_three Actually, a split is exactly what they need.  Amputate the Teabaggers and try to go back and claim the middle, sort of a reverse of what the Clintonistas did with the Dems in the early 90s.  It will be painful, and it won't happen overnight, but without it, they may just cease to exist on a national level.  Political parties DO go out of business.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@fitty_three, the GOP has lost 5 out of the last 6 popular votes for president. They need the entire party to even have a chance. What chance do they have if there's a split?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

I agree.

One of the interesting things I noted was Cruz getting shouted down in Texas. I think that this is also a very bad omen for those nuts.

The only thing that might be dead in 2014 is the GOP if this becomes the norm.