Friday, January 4, 2013

Rendition gets ongoing embrace from Obama administration 04 Jan 2013

Worth reading mainly because everyone is trying to block them so something must be true.  They go off on conspiracy rants occasionally, but so does the MSM and government.  

On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM, CLG_News <clg_news@legitgov.org> wrote:
Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government
04 Jan 2013
All links are here:

EarthLink blocking CLG Newsletter since 24 December 2012 --Hotmail, AT&T block update posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 04 Jan 2013 CLGers, if you are subscribed to the CLG Newsletter roster with an EarthLink.net domain, you have not received the CLG Newsletter since -- and possibly before -- 24 December 2012. CLG's webhoster, MayFirst, has received notification from EarthLink that their block has been removed. We'll see if that is the case. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact lori at legitgov.org, if you want the blocked/missed editions forwarded. On another front, MayFirst was taken steps to circumvent the blocks imposed by Hotmail.com, Live.com, and MSN.com. Previously, switching the mail server's IP triggered a larger block by AT&T and its domains, including Yahoo.com.

Rendition gets ongoing embrace from Obama administration 02 Jan 2013 The three European men with Somali roots were arrested on a murky pretext in August as they passed through the small African country of Djibouti. But the reason soon became clear when they were visited in their jail cells by a succession of American interrogators. US agents accused the men -- two of them Swedes, the other a longtime resident of Britain -- of supporting al-Shabab, an Islamist militia in Somalia that Washington considers a terrorist group. Two months after their arrest, the prisoners were secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York, then clandestinely taken into custody by the FBI and flown to the United States to face trial. The secret arrests and detentions came to light Dec. 21 when the suspects made a brief appearance in a Brooklyn courtroom. The men are the latest example of how the Obama administration has embraced rendition -- the practice of holding and interrogating [and torturing] terrorism suspects in other countries without due process -- despite widespread condemnation of the tactic in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Because of the secrecy involved, it is not known how many renditions have taken place during Obama's first term.

Defense bill's Guantanamo Bay provisions have human rights groups upset with Obama 03 Jan 2013 With President Obama's second term about to begin, one of his administration's first promises, that it would close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, looks all but abandoned after he signed a defense bill late Wednesday that includes an array of tough restrictions on the transfer of detainees prisoners out of the facility. Obama had threatened to veto the *633 billion National Defense Authorization Act but signed it, as he did last year, with a statement criticizing sections of the bill that he said are "unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch's authority" by Congress. In the case of Guantanamo, the legislation bars the transfer of prisoners into the United States for any purpose, including trials in federal court. It also requires the defense secretary to meet rigorous conditions before any prisoner can be returned to his own country or resettled in a third country.

Britain's Kabul embassy installs electronic 'body orifice' security scanners 28 Dec 2012 The British Embassy in Kabul has followed in the footsteps of high-security prisons around the world by installing what might politely be described as an electronic orifice scanner to screen visitors for weapons concealed inside their bodies. Recent visitors have described being asked to sit in an "electric chair", which uses magnetic sensors to detect hidden metal inside the anus or other cavities. The Body Orifice Security Scanner (Boss) is essentially a powerful metal detector that is used in prisons to avoid the need for intimate cavity searches. It has been installed to root out hidden mobile phones, sim cards or other metallic contraband.

Thousands call for Iraq prisoner release, slam PM 04 Jan 2013 Thousands of protesters in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq called Thursday for the release of prisoners and the resignation of the Shiite premier, the latest in more than a week of anti-government rallies. Officials sought to head off the demonstrations by beginning a mass release of female prisoners, a key demand of Sunni Arab protesters angered by what they allege is the misuse of anti-terror legislation by the Shiite-led authorities to target their minority community. In a sign of cross-sectarian anger with the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, meanwhile, hundreds of protesters from mostly-Shiite provinces in south Iraq joined the rallies, days after a powerful Shiite cleric voiced support for the demonstrations.

United States and New Zealand conducted secret 'tsunami bomb' tests designed to destroy coastal cities --3,700 bombs were exploded during tests 01 Jan 2013 The United States and New Zealand conducted secret tests of a "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves. The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city. The top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.

Department of Defense drug spending ballooned by more than 123 percent since 2002 --Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget 29 Dec 2012 Last year, the Pentagon spent more on pills, injections and vaccines than it did on Black Hawk helicopters, Abrams tanks, Hercules C-130 cargo planes and Patriot missiles -- combined. Since 2002, the Department of Defense has spent more than *5 billion on Lipitor, Plavix, Advair, Nexium and Singulair... But the military drug purchases also paint a picture of a fighting force increasingly reliant on antidepressants, psychotropic drugs and powerful narcotic painkillers that critics call dangerous and that have been involved in a growing number of prescription drug overdoses. The military spent at least *2.7 billion on antidepressants and more than *1.6 billion on opioid painkillers such as Oxyc*ntin and hydrocodone over the past decade. The details come from an unprecedented American-Statesman analysis of nearly every individual drug purchase made by the Department of Defense since 2002. The paper's analysis also showed that many drug manufacturers saw their revenue from military sales soar over a decade that featured two wars and a large influx of beneficiaries covered by Tricare, the military's 'health' program. They were led by giant Pfizer, with more than *8 billion in sales from the Department of Defense since 2002.

Venezuelan government announces Chávez has 'severe' respiratory infection 04 Jan 2013 Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is still suffering a "severe" respiratory infection that has hindered his breathing as he struggles to recover from cancer surgery in Cuba, the government said on Thursday. The 58-year-old socialist leader has not been seen in public nor heard from in more than three weeks. Officials say he is in delicate condition after his fourth operation in just 18 months for an undisclosed form of cancer in his pelvic area.

Hillary Clinton to return to work next week 03 Jan 2013 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is "raring to go" and plans to return to work next week after medical setbacks that kept her out of public view for more than three weeks, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Clinton's return to work will probably be brief. The White House has already picked Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to succeed her and is expected to formally nominate Kerry within days. Clinton was released from a New York hospital Wednesday evening, three days after a blood clot was discovered inside her skull.

FAA restricts air zone around grounded Shell Oil drilling rig off Alaska coast 02 Jan 2013 Salvage crews hoped to board the grounded drill rig Kulluk on Wednesday to better assess damage to the beached vessel, but bad weather remained a factor. Coast Guard flyovers are planned for Wednesday over the Royal Dutch Shell conical drilling unit, which grounded off of Sitkalidak Island near southwestern Kodiak Island on Dec. 31. Those crews will determine whether it is safe to deploy a team onto the Kulluk to further evaluate the condition of the rig, which ran aground late Monday night.

Limited Sandy relief vote to occur on Friday 03 Jan 2013 After a firestorm of criticism from Northeast Republicans, the House of Representatives is expected to take up an aid package on Friday meant to address those still reeling in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Lawmakers will consider *9 billion in immediate assistance for flood insurance and will weigh another *51 billion in broader aid on January 15. The Senate, which had already approved the larger Sandy plan that the House refused to consider, is expected to sign off on the scaled-back version on Friday as well, according to a Democratic leadership aide. Senators will hold off on any further action, however.

Broad $60.4B Sandy relief bill criticized as 'pork' 03 Jan 2013 In more than 100 pages of legislation detailing the *60 billion disaster aid plan Congress considered, there's almost no mention of specific projects: no order to rebuild the sand dunes in Belmar that washed away. No earmark to fix the breached berm in the Meadowlands that flooded Moonachie and Little Ferry. No direct payment for the thousands left homeless. Instead, the versions that passed between the House and Senate laid out the spending in broad terms. Replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency's budget; allocate funds for the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild beaches and channels destroyed by superstorm Sandy; repair damaged roads, bridges and railroad infrastructure; and fund disaster relief and long-term housing needs through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Those broad, unspecified categories -- as well as a Senate bill that once included *400 million for projects like a new roof on the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and funding for fisheries in Alaska -- allowed critics in Congress and elsewhere to claim the aid package is laden with "pork," or unnecessary spending.

Boehner reelected as House speaker 03 Jan 2013 House Speaker John A. Boehner narrowly won reelection Thursday to a second term overseeing a chamber that has proved difficult for him to manage, surviving a rebellion from the most conservative wing of his GOP caucus. The vote followed several recent insurrections from rank-and-file Republicans that left Boehner (R-Ohio) in a less powerful position heading into critical negotiations this year. He survived the defections of 12 Republicans, with the opposition coming from the most conservative members. The final vote tally was 220 for Boehner to 192 for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Boehner's White House F-bomb 02 Jan 2013 For all the stalemate in the 'fiscal cliff,' there were some heated moments, too. A Democratic source familiar with one particular exchange told CNN that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were sitting on a sofa in the White House. House Speaker John Boehner breezed in and his first words to Reid were "Go f*** yourself." Boehner's comment came after Reid took to the Senate floor on Thursday and characterized the House speaker's handling of his chamber as a "dictatorship." Reid responded to Boehner's confrontational tone by laughing, the Democratic source said, though a GOP source who was there said he didn't think Reid was all that happy.

U.S. markets surge after Congress approves 'cliff' deal 02 Jan 2013 U.S. markets surged more than 2 percent Wednesday, soaring hours after Congress approved a plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff” by raising taxes on America’s wealthiest households and holding their gains through the day. By the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.35 percent, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index had gained 2.54 percent, and the Nasdaq had shot up 3.07 percent. 

President Obama signs 'fiscal cliff' bill 02 Jan 2013 President Barack Obama has signed a bill that boosts taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while preserving tax cuts for most American households. The bill, which averts a looming [Wall Street-Obusha-GOP-created] 'fiscal cliff' that had threatened to plunge the nation back into recession, also extends expiring jobless benefits, prevents cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors and delays for two months billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts in defense and domestic programs. The GOP-run House approved the measure by a 257-167 vote late Tuesday, nearly 24 hours after the Democratic-led Senate passed it 89-8.

Eight corporate subsidies in 'fiscal cliff' bill, including NASCAR, Goldman Sachs and Disney 01 Jan 2013 Here are eight corporate subsidies in the fiscal cliff bill: 1) Help out NASCAR - Sec 312 extends the "seven year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complex property", which is to say it allows anyone who builds a racetrack and associated facilities to get tax breaks on it. This one was projected to cost *43 million over two years. 2) A hundred million or so for Railroads - Sec. 306 provides tax credits to certain railroads for maintaining their tracks. It's unclear why private businesses should be compensated for their costs of doing business. This is worth roughly *165 million a year. 3) Disney's Gotta Eat - Sec. 317 is "Extension of special expensing rules for certain film and television productions". It's a relatively straightforward subsidy to Hollywood studios, and according to the Joint Tax Committee, was projected to cost *150m for 2010 and 2011. 4) Help a brother mining company – Sec. 307 and Sec. 316 offer tax incentives for miners to buy safety equipment and train their employees on mine safety. Taxpayers shouldn't have to bribe mining companies to not kill their workers. 5) Subsidies for Goldman Sachs Headquarters – Sec. 328 extends "tax exempt financing for York Liberty Zone," which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds. Rather than going to small businesses affected, however, this was, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp." According to David Cay Johnston's 'The Fine Print,' Goldman got *1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds. 6) *9B Off-shore financing loophole for banks – Sec. 322 is an "Extension of the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F." This strangely worded provision basically allows American corporations such as banks and manufactures to engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes on income earned from it. According to this Washington Post piece, supporters of the bill include GE, Caterpillar, and JP Morgan. Steve Elmendorf, super-lobbyist, has been paid *80,000 in 2012 alone to lobby on the "Active Financing Working Group." 7) Tax credits for foreign subsidiaries – Sec. 323 is an extension of the "Look-through treatment of payments between related CFCs under foreign personal holding company income rules." This provision cost *1.5 billion from 2010 and 2011, and the US Chamber loves it. It's a provision that allows US multinationals to not pay taxes on income earned by companies they own abroad. 8) Bonus Depreciation, R&D Tax Credit – The research tax credit was projected to cost *8B for 2010 and 2011, and the depreciation provisions were projected to cost about *110B for those two years, with some of that made up in later years. [And, these are the same a**wipes that want to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? Nope. Start reading.]

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