Go to this link to see the group my tipster describes as “whiter than an albino ghost at a KKK rally.” Here’s a couple of screenshots showing the entire lily-white staff:
I think each biography should end with the phrase: “He is white.” (Unless it’s a woman. Then I would say: “She is white.”) For example:
Melissa Foley (@melfoley) is the new media program director for Netroots Foundation. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a senior member of the online communications team at Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection and as director of marketing and operations for a web-based social enterprise. Melissa holds a master’s from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s from UC San Diego. She lives with her husband in San Mateo, CA. She is white.
Nolan Treadway (@nolan ) serves as political and logistics director. Nolan has years of experience in progressive politics and online organizing. Previously, he was an online organizer for the Democratic National Committee and interned in new media for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Nolan holds a bachelor’s in business from Michigan State University and a master’s in public policy from American University. He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Joan. They are both white.
Complete the following phrase: the Netroots Nation staff is whiter than . . .
The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.
. . . .
After the CBS News made inquiries to the State Department about the charges, Schulman says investigators from the State Department’s Inspector General promptly arrived at Fedenisn’s door. “They talked to both kids and never identified themselves,” he said. “First the older brother and then younger daughter, a minor, asking for their mom’s place of work and cell phone number … They camped out for four to five hours.”
Schulman says the purpose of the visit was to get Fedenisn to sign a document admitting that she stole State Department materials, such as the memos leaked to CBS. Schulman says it was crucial that she didn’t sign the document because her separation agreement with the State Department includes a provision allowing disclosures of misconduct. Furthermore, none of the materials were classified.
Schulman charged that sending law enforcement officers to pressure her into signing an agreement was heavy handed. “Why not simply mail it, courier it, send it Federal Express or deliver it by any other normal means by which one delivers a demand letter? Why send two federal law enforcement agents?” he asked. He also said that officials from the Inpsector General’s Office told him they’d be having a “no kidding get together with the DOJ,” implying to him that they would push criminal charges if his client didn’t cooperate.
Meanwhile, there appear to be no criminal consequences on the horizon for Eric Holder, who lied under oath when he said he never even heard of potential prosecution of a report after signing off on a warrant premised on potential prosecution of a reporter.
And there appear to be no criminal consequences on the horizon for James Clapper, who flat-out lied to Ron Wyden by answering this question:
Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?
But Holder and Clapper are a) high-level guys who b) play ball.
So they are giving a pass for blatant lies to Congress, while a woman who followed the law and tried to tell the truth is threatened with prosecution.
Hope and change, baby. Hope and change.
P.S. Even if there are no consequences for Holder or Clapper, lies have consequences for the rest of us. It turns out we have Clapper to thank, in no small measure, for Edward Snowden’s revelations. In a recent chat at the Guardian, Snowden said that among the factors that caused him to reveal the existence of the program was . . . Clapper’s blatant lie:
I imagine everyone’s experience is different, but for me, there was no single moment. It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress – and therefore the American people – and the realization that that Congress, specifically the Gang of Eight, wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act. Seeing someone in the position of James Clapper – the Director of National Intelligence – baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.
Over the weekend I published a post noting that, according to a CNET article, Jerrold Nadler had essentially confirmed the worst about the NSA surveillance: individual agents were actually listening to calls based on an analyst’s say-so, and not based on a court order.
Now it appears that the CNET article was misleading. Nadler tells BuzzFeed: “I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.” Standard backtracking? You’d think so, but as this Atlantic Wire piece explains, Nadler’s original claim was publicly made in an exchange with Robert Mueller, and the full video and transcript reveal that Nadler apparently interpreted “specific information” as meaning content when in fact it means metadata:
We heard precisely the opposite at the briefing the other day. We heard precisely that you could get specific information from that telephone simply based on an analyst deciding that and you didn’t need a new warrant.
Apparently Nadler interpreted this as an analyst listening to calls — but saying the analyst can get “specific information from that telephone” does not necessarily equate to “listening to calls.”
Back and forth goes the ping pong ball on how concerned we should be.
Meanwhile, don’t miss my exclusive from over the weekend suggesting the possibility (admittedly speculative at this point) that Snowden may be meeting his girlfriend in China or Hong Kong. The piece, which contains pictures of the girlfriend in various stages of undress for Important Journalistic Purposes, possibly helps explain why Snowden went to China. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more traction.
It has been reported that Edward Snowden left his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, when he went to Hong Kong.
But are we sure about that? A tipster sends me evidence that shows that Mills once lived in China for six months, and spoke to a Hong Kong photographer about her desire to visit Hong Kong — the very city, as it happens, where Snowden is now staying as he seeks a country that will give him asylum.
For a while the Internet was fascinated with Edward Snowden’s girlfriend, and it wasn’t hard to see why. BuzzFeed had a compilation of videos and images from her various social media accounts, and the images show her to be attractive and often dressed in skimpy attire:
Mills also said his daughter, Lindsay, who has been dating Snowden for four or five years, is holding on amid the national controversy. Jonathan Mills says he has texted his daughter, but that he did not know where she was.
Mills also said he last saw his daughter two months ago, when she came to visit for a week.
But buried in the reporting on her social media accounts is a clue to her possible whereabouts. It turns out that she previously lived in China, and spoke of returning there, or possibly to Hong Kong.
The BuzzFeed piece above indicates that Mills’s personal blog, now deleted, was at http://www.lsjourney.com/. The last post she wrote included this passage:
But at the moment all I can feel is alone. And for the first time in my life I feel strong enough to be on my own. Though I never imagined my hand would be so forced.
As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu. But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes. In those unsure endings I find my strength, my true friends, and my heart’s song. A song that I thought had all but died away, when really it was softly singing all along. I don’t know what will happen from here. I don’t know how to feel normal. But I do know that I am loved, by myself and those around me. And no matter where my compass-less vessel will take me, that love will keep me buoyant.
Sounds like she’s headed somewhere, doesn’t it?
“Lsjourney” also had an Instagram account at http://instagram.com/lsjourney/. We know this is hers because she linked it from her Twitter account, which is still active. Here she is on June 10, looking contemplatively at a globe:
And it turns out that Mills, commenting under her Instagram moniker “lsjourney,” had a discussion with a Hong Kong photographer going by the moniker ardisblossom at this image about China:
If you go to the image, you can see the comments on the right. Here are the relevant comments from the exchange:
lsjourney: Where is this? I love that sound
ardisblossom: It’s part of a Buddhist ceremony in a temple in China.
lsjourney: Are you living in China? I love China and miss it.
ardisblossom: sort of, I’m living in Hong kong. Have you been to HK? @lsjourney
lsjourney: I didn’t make it to HK met some great people from HK when they traveled through China. They preferred HK over China. Kind of sad I didn’t make it there since I wasn’t too far away living just outside of Guilin.
ardisblossom: Guilin is a beautiful place, hong [k]ong is beautiful too but in a very different way. ^^ @lsjourney
lsjourney: Yes it is a beautiful place. I miss it a lot actually. One of the prettiest places I’ve ever lived. Do you go to china often?
ardisblossom: not very often, I wish I could travel more in my own country ^^’ @lsjourney
lsjourney: I wish I could travel more in your country too! Spent 6 months there and fell in love.
Does this mean she is in China or Hong Kong? No. Maybe Snowden went to Hong Kong hoping she would follow.
But if she expressed a love for China and a desire to see Hong Kong, and she is missing, and he is in Hong Kong . . . you can draw your own conclusions.
The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
I thought all this had the advantage of legislative oversight. So, um, why are we just hearing about this now?
That is a rhetorical question.
I thought Snowden’s claims sounded far-fetched, although I also acknowledged that I didn’t know for sure. They’re starting to sound more near-fetched, though, aren’t they?
UPDATE: Meanwhile, our hero Snowden continues to provide classified information about our alleged efforts against the Chinese to . . . the Chinese.
UPDATE x2: Looks like the interpretation of Nadler’s comments was off base. More here.
The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year — it’s also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers’ digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it’s never gone before.
. . . .
“It’s well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use,” says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yale Law School. “I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information on databases in government, and those concerns are well-taken. It’s appropriate to watch it carefully. There should be safeguards.” He adds that taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.
. . . .
“Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are,” boasted Dean Silverman, the agency’s high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.
Many senators elected to leave Washington early Thursday afternoon instead of attending a briefing with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Keith Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and other officials.
The Senate held its last vote of the week a little after noon on Thursday, and many lawmakers were eager to take advantage of the short day and head back to their home states for Father’s Day weekend.
Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity.
By the way, I’m not sure I place the blame for this on the Senators. One wonders when the briefing was announced, and whether it was deliberately set for a day and time when the administration knew lawmakers had already scheduled their out-of-town trips.
In paid ads, and in just about every TV or radio interview, Rubio can be heard to utter the words, “Our current immigration system is a disaster. What we have now is de facto amnesty.” In other words, by not granting amnesty to illegal aliens, we are granting them amnesty, according to the convoluted logic of Florida’s Republican senator.
But Rubio is not the only practitioner of Orwellian amnesty doublespeak in the Republican ranks. A small sampling of what some other prominent Republicans have had to say on the topic recently bears that out:
“[T]he status quo isn’t working — it’s de facto amnesty.” ~ Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
“Millions here illegally have de facto amnesty.” ~ Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
“I’ve got a news flash for those who want to call people names on amnesty. What we have now is de facto amnesty.” ~ Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
“What we have right now is de facto amnesty — meaning there are currently 11 million immigrants living undocumented and without legal status in the United States.” ~ Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
A cynic might even get the idea that somewhere on Capitol Hill there is a Republican talking points memo on amnesty floating around — or at least a de facto memo.
And what a talking point it is! There is this horrible situation where all these people who came here illegally are being treated as if they were legal. So . . . let’s make them legal. That way, at least we can collect a tiny fine from them give them welfare, deincentivize them to work, and let them start voting for Democrats!
I find myself increasingly convinced by this compelling talking point! How about you?