Tag Archives | Government

Federal Marijuana Hearing Victim of Government Shutdown

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Picture: Hupu2 (CC)

Published a day prior to the legislative temper tantrum:

Politico:

One of the first victims of a government shutdown may be a congressional hearing on marijuana laws.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on the White House’s drug control policy “in the wake of the DOJ’s decision not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized it,” the panel said in a statement. “This hearing will also explore the effects of legalization, including the social costs of increased marijuana use.”

But if there’s no agreement on a federal budget, the hearing will be postponed, the committee said.

Oh, and marijuana isn’t legal while the feds are doing their thing, (although I think maybe a little weed might help on Capitol Hill).

 … Read the rest

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A Shutdown or A Coup? How It Was Engineered

What is the Tea Party and where did it come from? Was it a grass roots movement nurtured in the bowels of deep dissatisfaction in the American electorate with “big government” and its inexorable turn towards Socialism?

Hate to disappoint folks who buy the populist revolt theory. Anyone remember the mad rant of Rick Santelli in 2009? He’s a fixture on the pro-business channel CNBC who actually was first to call for a Tea Party by millionaires in Chicago to protest against any relief for homeowners who were on the verge of being foreclosed upon.

It was this loudmouth who used his bully pulpit on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to make the original call.

The idea resonated with the armies of the resentful who always feel l that the government should not help those in need—characterizing them as people living in bigger houses than they can afford and unfairly demanding a bailout from tax payers.… Read the rest

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The NSA Deserves a Permanent Shutdown

Nsa signTo the people in control of the Executive Branch, violating our civil liberties is an essential government service. So — to ensure total fulfillment of Big Brother’s vast responsibilities — the National Security Agency is insulated from any fiscal disruption.

The NSA’s surveillance programs are exempt from a government shutdown. With typical understatement, an unnamed official told The Hill that “a shutdown would be unlikely to affect core NSA operations.”

At the top of the federal government, even a brief shutdown of “core NSA operations” is unthinkable. But at the grassroots, a permanent shutdown of the NSA should be more than thinkable; we should strive to make it achievable.

NSA documents, revealed by intrepid whistleblower Edward Snowden, make clear what’s at stake. In a word: democracy.

Wielded under the authority of the president, the NSA is the main surveillance tool of the U.S. government. For a dozen years, it has functioned to wreck our civil liberties.… Read the rest

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Despite Shutdown Threats, The System Keeps Spinning

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_CongressAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Republican Senator Ted Cruz just spent a marathon 21 hours speaking at the Senate podium. While usually, such marathon stints spent in the same place are reserved for people trying to win used cars, Ted was stumping in protest of Obamacare, something so contentious that in addition to Republicans “symbolically” attempting to pass legislation killing it 41 times, both parties are willing to endure a government shutdown while they play political ping-pong over it. For those Americans who think a government normally set at the little turtle on the mobility scooter at the grocery store is bad, just wait until Uncle Sam locks himself out of the front gate completely. But, we don’t need to completely panic. While millions of regular government employees could be out of a paycheck for awhile, there are at least a few things American’s needn’t worry about.

Our leaders won’t go hungry.Read the rest

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How Cops Are Vetted For Aggression & Insensitivity | Interview with Capt. Ray Lewis

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Abby Martin remarks on the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, highlighting a recent Reuters poll showing that only 15% of Americans are satisfied with the government’s effort to prosecute Wall Street bankers, and speaks with former Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis about why he chose to protest in-uniform at Occupy.

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 … Read the rest

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NSA Chief’s “Information Dominance Center” Designed To Look Like Star Trek

ifWe are officially living in someone else’s fantasy. The Verge writes:

Foreign Policy describes NSA head Keith Alexander’s data-processing “Information Dominance Center” in Virginia as a high-tech homage to Star Trek.

Alexander reportedly had his operations center redesigned to mimic the Enterprise bridge, “complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed.”

“The Center’s primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies,” says a paper by designers DBI Architects. “The futuristic Commander’s console gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship.”

The officials and lawmakers who were apparently treated to presentations at the center, however, seemed duly impressed. “Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,” says an officer who helped coordinate the visits.

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Fmr US Attorney General: US Sanctions Are Genocidal | Interview with Ramsey Clark

Abby Martin speaks with former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, discussing Iraq before the first Gulf War, his opinions on Syria, why he legally represented Saddam Hussein, and how US sanctions have a far greater negative effect on people than on the regimes of the countries these sanctions target.

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