Looks like Kay is the only front pager around, so use this space to discuss the Snowden/Greenwald affair and anything else that might be going on.
On a side note, it does not surprise me at all that GOP Reps have started to back away >from giving their own constituents bunk advice about the Affordable Care Act. Of those offices that you guys called the staff were either clueless or in Pat Toomey’s case at least modestly helpful. It is just too easy to catch liars and bad constituent service really will put a Congressperson back on the job market in a hurry.
Cut the link, which erroneously went to a report from the CFPB that mortgage servicers contributed to the foreclosure crisis by screwing with homeowners who tried to play by the rules. Also, the sun rose in the east this morning.
I forgot where to find the original intended link, which reported that three more GOP congresspeople have committed to giving their constituents good faith advice on the ACA. If anyone remembers that post please link it in the comments.
The DOJ is going after voting rights in Texas. I hope NC is next on the chopping block.
The Moar You Know
The Tea Partiers are going to be for the GOP what orcas have become for Sea World; they got the rubes in for a few years, and fleeced them for plenty of cash, but then the devil fish started dismembering and killing their own people and now Sea World would like nothing better than to get rid of them – but they can’t, because then the rubes leave entirely.
Don’t know if this has been covered yet, but:
Tim- You’ve got the wrong link there; it goes to a story about mortgage fraud.
Old Dan and Little Ann
I was just watching the local news describe PBO’s motorcade through Rochester when I received a picture message from a buddy of mine. His wife had her picture taken with PBO himself at the local joint where he stopped. My wife is jealous.
So, it turns out Greenwald/Guardian lied again. This time about GG’s spouse being denied an attorney. Now, maybe some of the GG worshippers will realize people who are questioning Greenwald/Snowden’s stories aren’t unthinking Obots but are remember GG has a long history of lies.
@Hal: obviously Vicki needs more shoes and feet in her diet
NASDAQ shut down for “technical problems” around 12:14 EDT. Haven’t seen a decent explanation nor a time they’ll return to trading.
@Old Dan and Little Ann:
Heck, I’m jealous and I’m hundreds of miles away.
If demography truly is destiny and the GOP is in a death spiral, the Big Money Boyz (h/t Digby) could pull the plug, go in a new direction, and we could see a real sea change a la the Whig collapse. I put the odds at only 10%, but that’s not zero.
Any thoughts on the Obama higher ed proposals?
I think it’s a good idea to tie student loan availability to basic publicly-available metrics. But some of the metrics they want to use sound unwise and may backfire in fairly predictable ways by encouraging colleges to do detrimental things.
Also, there are some absent metrics that are amazing. If you want to control college costs, you have to address (a) administrative bloat, and (b) non-curricular bloat like the race to build ever better sports and entertainment complexes on campuses. I think you also need to address the increases in spending on technology, which appears out of control. A lot of colleges seem to invest in technologies they have little practical use for, as if there’s a built in impetus to identify all the technologies the college *could* get and then treat them as *must* get.
Anyway, college costs aren’t going up much because of curricular cost increases, apart from that tech spending.
So Filner is reportedly going to resign as mayor of SD tomorrow.
I will stipulate that he is a sexist pig who in a better world would be allowed nowhere near any position of public trust.
However, he is also the only thing standing between the citizens of America’s Finest City and a megalomaniac wingnut real estate developer who wants to remake the city according to his vision, which looks decidedly dystopian to me.
It’s a question of priorities, and I think the wrong priority is winning.
Those of y’all who wanted Filner gone had better show up to do the heavy lifting to keep Doug Manchester’s stooge from getting elected.
Shouldn’t we be discussing Bradley Manning?
@Old Dan and Little Ann: How exciting for your wife.
Since this is an open thread, Daily Kos really has become a cesspool. The frontpagers are talking about Obama in the same way they talked about Bush. There is almost no one left who is reasonable. Just nutjobs.
I’d like to think we’re fizzling on the Greenwald/Snowden affair so we can examine the lag between technology and law, an examination of the purpose and efficacy of out sourcing National Security and just how much is this a tax payer boondoggle.
While this is very important, I hope we maintain our focus on activism that educates and furthers the implementation of Obamacare. Years from now, our grandchildren will thank us that we fought the fight that led to single-payer.
Snowden and Greenwald are having an affair? I can see that.
GG is a shameless self-promoter, so the incident with his spouse is the best thing that could ever happen to him.
I think Oregon’s plan to have students pay for college with their post-college earnings instead of taking out loans is a better plan than what Obama is proposing. I think his plan seems pretty worthless. And unless I missed it, it doesn’t do anything to address the millions of Americans who have already left college with crippling college debt. Something needs to be done about that as it drags down the entire economy.
President Obama is in my area today, and I’ve been yelling at my radio since the local NPR affiliate keeps playing clips of Republican State Legislators keep bitching about how Buffalo and upstate NY are in bad shape because of Democrats. Let’s see, Obama has been President since 2009, and Buffalo has been a shithole since, oh, decades, but if only Republicans were in control all the poor people in this area would be so much better off.
As I am aware of everything on Teh Intertoobz:
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@pamelabrown53: the outsourcing of intelligence work is one of the things about this that bugs me the most.
discuss the Snowden/Greenwald affair
I can only assume that’s some dry snark-trolling by Tim F? Seems more DougJish, but I guess everybody’s a smart ass in the toobz
@Old Dan and Little Ann: I meant for your friend.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: well that’s in keeping with the Bush/Cheney policies that the private sector does it better because then I can get in on the kickbacks way of doing business and with our current federal setup, I don’t see those jobs being restored to the government sector anytime soon.
@smintheus: Good topic. I like the idea of the government ranking institutions, rather than US News. Obama’s right – the current rating system has created all sorts of bad incentives.
I do like the change to looking at value, but agree with you that some of what Obama is proposing here may have some bad consequences. Nevertheless, what can he realistically do about this without Congress’ help? Not much.
@askew: On the contrary, I think the change in emphasis to quality and taking into account average debt in the rating system is targeted directly at the question of student debt.
There are aspects of Oregon’s plan I like, but it’s not clear to me how you address the startup costs. It’s not cheap – several billion.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Did anyone see that post by John Cole early this morning? Balloon Juice has turned into Firebagger Central. Apparently John Cole can do the presidenting job better than the president. Does anyone have any links to steely-eyed centrist blogs that recognize the inherent greatness of the president and calibrate their commentary accordingly?
The Moar You Know
@Hal: Not thinner. But far less healthy after they get here. My last trip to deep Mexico was a revelation. They don’t factory farm, and the ingredients to anything are far better quality than anything you can buy in this country. I didn’t want to leave.
@Hal: Her last name describes the make up of her skull.
That it isn’t just racist and ignorant, it’s racist ignorant and incoherent. And I am sure it will be enough to trigger shrieks about how blacks need to stop being lazy and eating fried chicken from people who need scooters to get from the living room to the kitchen.
@Poopyman: Watching CNBC rattle on about this. They are very concerned about investor confidence in the stability of the exchanges. Several of the heads suggested that there should be a government agency to investigate these types of glitches, like the NTSB investigates air accidents.
Of course these are the same folks who labeled Dodd-Frank worse than pedophilia and the last stop before Obama declares himself dictator.
Jockey Full of Malbec
From the point of view of the Vampire Squid, post-HS education only exists as yet another means to generate a 3-8% interest income stream (ie it’s essentially a ‘tax’ on labor that siphons off potentially productive income upwards to our beloved investor class).
There are solutions: Ban for-profit institutions, especially the newfangled ones that seem designed to snare students into debt. And get the Banks out of the education business, entirely.
I’d either go for an Australian-style system (you repay based on your income over ten years– Bill Clinton has pushed for something like this in the past), or tie student loans to the Treasury rate (if banks get to borrow at sub-2% rates for non-productive activity, why can’t students borrow at those same rates, on the assumption that the Govt will make it back later due to increased productivity and incomes?)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@piratedan: Yeah, we could all write the script about the MASSIVE INCREASE IN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT if those personnel were reintegrated into the public sector like they should be.
another vague thought that’s been buzzing around in my head today: Do you think John McCain or any of his fluffers in the non-Fox media see any connection or contradiction between his calls for intervention in Syria and his demagoguery about BENGHAZI! ? Me neither.
Love that NSA spying on everyone is considered the Greenwald/Snowden affair. It’s like you are getting a government memo to try and make the story about them, rather than about running a permanent marker through the fourth amendment. Makes sense, around here if a NSA story isn’t written by GG, then it usually gets ignored. So it is really just about them here.
@smintheus: I don’t know. I have a MA. My dad a PhD. My grandfather a PhD. All state schools.
The Guardian has really been covering itself in mud over this whole thing.
Especially on the “destroyed computer” bit, which smelled bad from the beginning. Why did they have to destroy anything, instead of just wiping the hard drive? And why did they sit on the story for two months?
Then the editor tweeted a picture, saying “this is the remnant of the Mac we destroyed”, which was instantly met with a chorus of “THOSE AREN’T MAC PARTS!!”
And yet Republicans are making noise about tying this autumn’s debt ceiling vote to destroying Obamacare. I can see it happening, too.
Keep in mind the example of what happened to California’s GOP. They lose state wide elections because they will not compromise. The very word ‘compromise’ is not in their dictionary, it is an altogether foreign concept. They nominate only true believers for state offices, most of whom are usually trounced by the voters, and will continue to nominate them until Judgement Day.
Congressional republicans have voted 40 times to destroy Obamacare. 40 times. They are resolved to strangle it in the cradle, or, barring that, then during its infancy, adolescence, adulthood, or old age. They will never quit.
So I wonder if there are enough non-insane republicans left in the House willing to join the democrats to defeat such an attempt, should it be made.
@askew: Maybe DailyKos is a cesspool, or maybe Obama hasn’t been doing that great a job! I know that’s crazy talk for your brain, but it could be that as well! Otherwise, you might be down to this blog and maybe Little Green Footballs, if you want your staunch no Democrat criticism. And some might feel that is slowly changing here too.
@The Moar You Know:
Most of the overweight Mexican Americans I know have desk jobs. The ones I know (and see) who work as housekeepers or day laborers are generally pretty thin. It’s almost as if exercise is more important than diet in maintaining a healthy weight.
The Moar You Know
@burnspbesq: As an SD native, I am appalled. As you say, the wrong priority is winning. I don’t give a shit that Filner is a groper. So was Schwarzenegger, so is Newsom. Filner is the only guy who could fight off the Manchester/DeMaio consortium of ruin, and if he’s out of office that is the fucking end of that experiment with actual city democracy. There are no replacements in line. Not one. Not even someone who could be built into one. As far as Dems go, he’s all we have.
San Diego, within a year, is going to be a company town again. Not OK.
@askew: I bailed on that shithole in 2006. For the same reasons. They cannot deal with a political reality in which their side won. They’d rather be losers fighting against oppression than winners calling the tune.
Most Tea Partiers are the same way, oddly enough. No vision past “screw President Darkie”.
@askew: he was denied an attorney……until the last hour.
That’s right, Evil Lord Obama is controlling all of us. When he isn’t reading your email.
Yes, Chris Hayes reported the Guardian story as fact with no mention the picture was fraudulent. Not once has Hayes or Maddow corrected their stories on GG’s reporting when it is found out he or Snowden lied.
@Steve Crickmore: Actually the report from the Guardian I saw indicated that he refused an attorney. Kind of a different matter altogether.
Whatever. It’s all fucking noise.
Ambinder has actually been doing some good reporting on the NSA stuff, deflating much of the hype while also raising legitimate concerns over what’s going on.
Ted & Hellen
VINCENT PRICE says Free Chelsea Manning!
From beyond the grave, even…
That’s the latest iteration of the story. They’ve also said he was offered an attorney but turned the offer down because he didn’t trust the government to provide him with a reliable one.
@Comrade Jake: I think an official govt set of metrics, made available to students and parents, would help some of them a lot – especially first-generation students, who often are feeling their way in the dark because they don’t have family networks to give them basic advice.
Also, simple metrics about debt would be devastating for for-profit colleges, which I think are one of the main targets of the administration (given how GOPers dug in to protect them from the big bad Obama a few years ago).
@Steve Crickmore: He REFUSED an attorney and even a glass of water at first because ‘he didn’t trust the government.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Emma: That’s funny. I’m not much of a believer in conspiracy theories, but the fact that they picked a layover in London– were there really no connecting flights through Paris, Zurich or Lisbon?– is almost enough to make me think Greenwald set his husband up for (in GG’s mind) martyrdom.
@Jockey Full of Malbec: I want to like the idea of repaying a fixed percent of your income for a set period, but I see problems. Would the trust-funders get away with financial murder? Would it cause colleges to raise tuition even higher to soak the govt more?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: On the toobz, we’re all frigging Einsteins.
My favorite tin-foil ht is a scenario where Corporations Rule The World. How better to do that than by corporations taking over national security functions?
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Tenerife? Big transfer spot, especially for traffic between Europe and South America.
So why are companies like UPS doing this? And hey, I know it’s Fox but that’s where the links of ‘see obomacare is gonna kill us’ believers get their news.
This on is showing up multiple times in my facebook list so It’s GOING to become the conservatives ‘thing’ for at least this week.
@smintheus: I agree. I’d love to see US News lose its place as being the rankings overlord. Everyone knows that many of the metrics they use have absolutely no tie to quality.
@The Moar You Know:
I have no problem with Obama criticism, but too many posters at Kos are continuously betrayed! Thrown under the bus!!!
Nothing gets me more than supposedly politically aware and intelligent people who say there are no differences between Obama and Bush, or Dems and Republicans.
I was just thinking the other day that I cannot wait for Obama to be out of office. Then everyone can go back to the status quot of political realities instead of expecting miracles.
@Berial: Well that’s interesting – not just UPS but the University of Virginia. They’re not going to cover spouses any longer – yikes.
That article is pretty useless. I wonder what it is about the new law that would significantly increase costs for UVa.
@Comrade Jake: Saw him on CSPAN this morning. Good segment.
@The Moar You Know:
I’ve watched the slow slide of DK into irrelevance but I still check back there occasionally and am shocked by how nutso the site has gone. It’s weird to see LGF become more sane and DK more insane during the Obama WH years. Never would have expected that in 2008. I do love the DK elections sub-section though as the only thing allowed in that section is horserace talk so most of the nutsos stay out of there.
I don’t think it has anything to do with expecting miracles. Most of the more prominent and vocal nutjobs on the left were Hillary or Edwards supporters not Obama supporters in 2008. Some of them are racist, some are bitter Obama won, some are anti-government, and some of them just have no grasp on reality.
@Thlayli: Ya, that”s exactly what I said. Keep on cheerleading.
You should be in stand-up. Obama leaving won’t make them return to political reality. They’ll just start a new political crush, who will likewise disappoint them by failing to be the messiah. That’s the problem with placing absolute priority on purity; no elected official can ever satisfy you. If anyone ever comes close, they’ll move the goalposts so they can continue to claim disappointment.
@Comrade Jake: Yeah. It’s long on ‘dooooooooom!!!’ but short on ‘why’.
Gin & Tonic
Saw this in my Google News feed. May not be in “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar” territory, but still one of the better headlines I’ve seen. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/councillors-in-ballina-decide-to-keep-teeth/story-fnii5s41-1226702441876
Apparently the anti-flouride nutjobs are still on the case in Australia.
@Comrade Jake: @Comrade Jake:
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
UPS is just using “scarequote OBAMACARE!!! scarequote” as their excuse for a money-saving plan they intended to implement anyway. Now they can blame Obama instead of their greedy shareholders and execs. Plus, it’s only for spouses who have their own employer-based insurance. I assume it’s the same for UVa.
Jesus, I can’t wait for Obamacare to get fucking implemented already, so everyone can see what an A) big nothingburger it is for them personally or B) a huge boon to them personally, as their situation warrants. This was one of my biggest fears about a long drawn-out rollout for the ACA -that people would spend years and years ginning up worries about what the impact might be .before anyone actually experienced it
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@askew: I do think Hillary would/will have an easier time than Obama, but there will also be purity trolls and emoprogs and professional leftists for the hypothetical President Rodham Clinton. I may have to start reading Eschaton threads again, to watch the PUMAs and Naderites who came together in ’09 to agree that Obama is worse Bush, Reagan, Nixon and McCarthy combined, turn on each other.
@Berial: There’s actual a decent Bloomberg article up on this, basically stating that there’s nothing in Obamacare that would be forcing this.
Their take seems to be that companies are simply using the new law as an excuse to dump healthcare costs. Shocking!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
She’ll get an easier time from the media for sure. Most of the Dem strategists/pundits are Clinton loyalists and unlike the Clintons, the Obama team doesn’t hold petty grudges so they won’t spend the next 8 years trying to screw over Hillary’s presidency. I still don’t know if I can see her winning the presidency. She surrounds herself with mediocre staff and she is an average politician at best. But, the demographics may have moved enough that any Democrat who wins the presidential nod would win the presidency.
She kinda-sorta has half a point: the American diet is terrible and most places that people live are set up so it’s almost impossible to get any kind of exercise. It’s not unusual to be walking down a major street here in So Cal and have the sidewalk just abruptly end so you have to walk along the edge of a busy street until it starts again. (I’m thinking of a specific stretch of Alameda Blvd. in Burbank, but it’s pretty common all over the place.) There are entire suburbs where the only way to get to the grocery store is to drive, and once you get there, there’s far more processed food available than fresh food.
It has very little to do with ethnicity (white people get Type II Diabetes, too!) and a whole lot to do with bad urban planning and industrialized agriculture leading to these results.
@gypsy howell: Agreed. And thanks for the info.
@Comrade Jake: VERY much needed that link.
It’s really getting ridiculous how many of these stories keep popping up, and how often you have to dig to find out, ‘surprise! nothing at all to do with Obamacare!’. Just asshat company management being asshats.
@Mnemosyne: A lot of it isn’t just industrialized agriculture but industrialized food period. Soo much processed food is just that. PROCESSED. You hardly recognize half the ingredients in the stuff. Hell think of the lowly ‘cheeto’. It’s been crafted to completely fool you into eating tons of the stuff. THAT is what it’s built to do. Not deliver health, not even to really give you anything other than a desire to keep eating the product.
The NSA revelations are only the “Snowden/Greenwald” affair in the USA, and only among those who’d rather focus on personalities than the bigger issues of security, privacy, and government action/reaction that rise from the publication of NSA documents . The trust in government (particularly the British government) among some here at Balloon Juice reminds me of the same blind faith in the veracity of claims of WMDs in Iraq.
you can only hope that there’s some pushback at the employee level about the real reason (GREED) for cutting back on their insurance.
It’s been so long since I had employer-based insurance, let along a spouse who was concurrently eligible for employer-based insurance, that I’m not sure if this has a financial impact on those couples- will they end up spending more on two separate policies than one single policy for two people?? I don’t know how the employee part of the insurance costs will net out for them, ie, will they get double dinged? Anyone have a clue on that?
@Roger Moore: Was he offered an attorney of his or the authorities’ choosing? I’d take the first, not so much the second.
The link in the article to Kaiser is more informative.
@Jane2: ok, but IF the government had given Greenwald a call (as he said they did) he could have contacted the Guardian to provide an attorney. Obviously at some point someone set it up, whether government or provided by Greenwald or the Guardian. Like most newpapers, the Guardian has a legal firm on speed-dial. They couldn’t find any one of their lawyers in London? Because they could sure find them for their hearing today.
Has GG offered a plausible explanation as to why he needed Miranda to transport classified documents for him? It just seems incredibly sloppy, not to mention unfair to Miranda.
OBAMABOT! STOP TRYING TO FOCUS ON GREENWALD’S PERSONALITIES AND MOTIVES AND START FOCUSING ON OBAMA’S PERSONALITIES AND MOTIVES
@Berial: Oh for christ’s sake–people have always been at the mercy of their employers and the employers always give specious reasons why this year’s gutting of the health care program is totes necessary. Mr. Aimai and I have a 5000 dollar deductible and that is the only choice we are given on his company’s health plan. If they fucked us over next year and blamed the ACA I wouldn’t be at all surprised. But why is this the fault of the ACA and not, say, capitalist greed? I know what I think it is: the bastards who run Mr. Aimai’s company are cheeseparing capitalist thieves. They do what they can get away with. And for that reason I’m grateful that we live in ma where, in the event that his company refuses to offer health care to any of us, we can buy into the exchanges.
I asked this last night in a Bradley Manning reddit thread, and after getting one unhelpful answer, I’ll ask here, because I think a few people on the board have followed this case and are most likely far more knowledgeable about it than I am:
During the internet chats between Adrian Lamo and Manning, Lamo is extremely knowledgeable about relatively obscure military acronyms, even using them himself. Manning refers to squints, a reference to people in SIGINT, and Lamo knows exactly what he’s talking about. He doesn’t ask Manning if some documents are secret or top secret, but their official designations, S or TS.
This chat all takes place after Lamo is two weeks out of being forcibly confined to a rehabilitation facility – not the conditions in which I would best be able to recall such things, if it isn’t a field you’re familiar with. Lamo doesn’t appear to have any background in the military, or any military-related work experience in any of the profiles of him that I’ve read.
Does anyone know what in Lamo’s past experience gave him such a grounding in this area?
The actual chat logs are here: “Manning Lamo Chat Logs Revealed”.
I tried to write about this subject in “The Invisible World: Bradley Manning, Adrian Lamo, Chet Uber, Timothy Douglas Webster”; I present my own hypothesis there, but I’m not married to it. I’m just looking for possible answers.
The only (unhelpful) answer I got from reddit was that it’s possible to know such acronyms without military experience; well, duh. What I find surprising is the obscurity of the acronyms and the easy familiarity, as if the speaker works in the field.
@Emma: I don’t have a lot of faith in Greenwald’s accounts, but I do in the Guardian’s. This story claims that the Guardian had lawyers on it as soon as the paper found out and that the lawyers were refused access.
FWIW, my Democratic Congresscritter Brad Sherman’s local office has been none too helpful with my very simple question about the ACA. They referred me to DHHS. They said there was a lot of stuff in the law, and they didn’t have anyone in the office who was well versed enough to find a specific answer to a specific question. Now I know the Repugs are intentionally not trying very hard, but is this really any better?
Ted & Hellen
How dare they!
Here’s the link. EXCLUSIVE: Three More GOP Congressmen Pledge To Help Constituents Enroll In Obamacare
If Miranda declined access to a lawyer, the Guardian’s lawyers wouldn’t have been allowed access. He would have to request it before they’d be allowed in. Sounds like maybe he did towards the end of his time in custody, but the details that are dribbling out are so sketchy and sometimes contradictory that it’s anybody’s guess.