Morning Must Reads: January 15

In the news: European intelligence agencies secretly met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's delegates; the President plans NSA reforms; domestic drones; two of the largest trade bills ever envisioned; the 2014 midterms; President Christie

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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

  • European Spies Reach Out to Syria [WSJ]
  • “The president plans to increase limits on access to phone data, call for privacy safeguards for foreigners and propose the creation of a public advocate post, according to people briefed on his thinking.” [NYT]
    • “The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.” [NYT]
    • “The National Security Agency’s director, responding to questions from independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, says the government is not spying on Congress. But a two-page letter from Army Gen. Keith Alexander to Sanders goes on to state that the agency can make no guarantee that representatives or senators have not had their “telephone metadata” caught up in broad government sweeps.” [USA Today]
  • “Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are increasingly borrowing border-patrol drones for domestic surveillance operations, newly released records show, a harbinger of what is expected to become the commonplace use of unmanned aircraft by police.” [WashPost]
  • “Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, is in the midst of negotiating two of the largest trade bills ever envisioned. The Atlantic and Pacific pacts, once completed, could encompass more than 60% of the world’s economy, including most of Europe and Asia. The dirty little secret about the treaties: they both exclude the world’s largest and fastest-growing economy: China.” [TIME]
  • “It’s just two weeks into 2014, but House Republicans are already convinced that the key to winning November’s elections is to talk about President Barack Obama as much as possible.” [Politico]
    • “House Republican leaders are increasingly confident the economy will be a winning issue for their party in the 2014 midterm elections…They hope this argument, coupled with repeated attacks on the healthcare law, will play into the fatigue voters historically display toward incumbent presidents during their second term.” [Hill]
    • “President Barack Obama has a plan to save the Senate’s tenuous Democratic majority: Sell a populist message, try to make Obamacare work better and raise lots of cash.” [Politico]
  • Chris Christie Was Never Going to Be President Anyway [Atlantic]
591 comments
notsacredh
notsacredh

This thread is back on page 1. I wonder if that means we're not getting a new one today?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

There's an article about Harvey Weinstein taking aim at the NRA in a new film.  The swarm is imminent, I suspect.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

The nominations on how to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor are in.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is a new MMR.

jmac
jmac

What a pile of Bull!   Did anyone listen to Gates on CNN?  


If ever there was a man setting himself up for an Independent or Republican run, it would be Gates.   But I'm happy to hear he so loved Reagan's massive military buildup to defeat the evil Soviets (tripling the national debt) and that Biden was wrong not to support that.    He also thinks Congress is broken because both sides are controlled by their extremes.   WHat an idiot.   He works with center-right Obama (who got bin Ladin) and he missed the Democrats moving so far right they're over the middle?  


And he was wrong, wrong, wrong on Afghanistan and BIden was right.  Gates wanted a "Success"   That means a win.  That meant nation building.     I guess the kind of win he got when Bush declared Mission Accomplished.  


And what part of Code Pink does he think controls Democrats?   I think the man makes Trump look good.    

outsider
outsider

something weird is going on

jmac
jmac

Quote Of the DAy:   

“It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana are being legalized at the same time. Leviticus 20:13 says that if a man lays with another man, he should be stoned. We were just misinterpreting it,” – CertifiedFunny.com.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@sacredh If it were just one person, I'd say maybe they were taking a sick day, but there's both Alex and Maya.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@hivemaster , good morning master. What did you do to Alex and Maya? No...don't tell me. I'm drinking again.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@nflfoghorn 

I've heard great things about McConaughey's performance in Dallas Buyer's Club.  I haven't seen it (or 12 Years a Slave for that matter) so I don't know which is better.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@DonQuixotic, I had the best night's sleep I've had in at least a year and no new MMRs? Why hast thou forsaken me?

collioure
collioure

@jmac 

Congress and our political system are broken because the extremes in both parties and special interests wield too much influence..

notsacredh
notsacredh

@DonQuixotic, I'll probably never watch Dallas Buyer's Club. I just don't think it's something I'd enjoy. I've never seen Brokeback Mountain either. I don't like love stories.

jmac
jmac

@collioure @jmac WHAT extreme left-wing group controls the Democratic party?  Name it.  


Not on the economy is there a left wing group that controls the Democratic party.  Not on defense.   Not on education.   Not on regulation.   Not on surveillance (thank God).  

Name it.   

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@collioure

I don't blame her for the spill from his company, but I do think that her quote implies a particular mindset from him and that mindset is completely and totally detached from reality.

And there's plenty of blame to go around but I'd say the CEO earned a huge chunk of it.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@collioure@MementoMori 

Uh, if Obama was the owner or CEO of Freedom Industries, then sure?

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori 

1) I thought you already did, with all your talk of how it was the inspector's fault.

2) If the CEO isn't responsible for what his company does, who is?

3) This is another fine example of fact-free argument-starting on your part.

4) It's after midnight. Go to bed, collie.

collioure
collioure

@TyPollard@collioure 

Why that one?

I love maps.  Some of these are absolutely fascinating. The Barbarian invasions are of great interest to me as there are excavations of a 7th century walled town near here.  I lead a hike right past it, but I was away when the research team gave a lecture here last summer.


notsacredh
notsacredh

@DonQuixotic , I'll get the 3D blu-ray when it comes out.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@DonQuixotic, yes. Both my wife and I loved it. It's probably the best space special effects I've ever seen.

collioure
collioure

@jmac @collioure

You think NARAL is not far left wing?  I do.

On the other side there's Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform.

Groups like this are all over the place in Washington.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@outsider, I suspect Satan. Of course Alex may have just forgot to set his alarm clock. Either way, it's pure evil at work.

notsacredh
notsacredh

@jmac, blue dogs? They're extreme left wing compared to the "mainstream" running the GOP.

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori@collioure 

You missed the discussion yesterday, Mori.

You fail to recognize that no one wanted this to happen.  No CEO wants this to happen.  No environmental inspector wants this to happen.  No insurer wants this to happen  . . .

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori  

[Posts image blaming CEO]

"That's be like me blaming the spill on Obama, Mori. "

[A dozen argumentative posts later...]

"The CEO most of all obviously.."


And that's why no one likes you.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MementoMori

A REAL 'Merican might've hurt some peasants.  Who cares?  If Al Qaida tries to hurt some 'Mericans....someone gotta bleed.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure 

Sigh.

Apparently, "everyone" doesn't include the CEO.

I bet if someone robbed a bank, you'd blame the security guard instead of the bank robber.

Bonne nuit, collie. It's very late in "France".

collioure
collioure

@MementoMori@outsider@collioure 

No, Mori.  We discussed this yesterday.

Everyone dropped the ball.

And W Va apparently has no laws governing storage sites.

This company hadn't seen an inspector since 1991.

MementoMori
MementoMori

@collioure @MementoMori 

collie, do some research and come back with something substantial.

I'm not here to co-enable whatever issues you have by engaging you in a pointless argument. It's tiresome.

And it's 1am in "France".

collioure
collioure

There's a lot of history hereabout.  Makes life interesting.  USA is a comparatively young country