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Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Saturday Morning News

Posted by on Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 7:11 AM

The Sequester Stomps on Air Traffic Controllers: 149 air traffic control towers across the country will be closed as a result of the government unnecessarily fucking us all with the sequester. Starting in April, pilots at many small airports will be responsible for coordinating take-off and landing by themselves.

The DEA Says Heroin is Back in Style: Especially in Grant County, WA where heroin use and heroin seizures have spiked in the last 2 years.

Guns Don't Kill People, Guns Kill Coyotes: 10,000 Coyotes, to be exact. Utah pays civilians $50 dollars for each dead coyote carcass collected in their "Predator Control" incentive program.

Police Shoot South Seattle Suspect: Bellevue's SWAT team shot a man suspected in a string of robberies after he allegedly tried to "drive them over" with his car.

Fire Rips Through Condo Building in North Seattle: Firefighters were unable to save much of the building, but they did rescue one woman's shivering Bichon Frisé.

Greek Gunmen Raid Prison: The gunmen allegedly attacked a prison tower with firearms and grenades, allowing 11 Albanian prisoners serving sentences for robbery and theft to escape.

Gitmo Rennovations: The Pentagon has asked for $49 million to build a new wing for "special detainees" at Guantanamo Bay, bringing the full bill for renovating the torture-center to $195.7 million in taxpayer dollars. The Pentagon says these upgrades are necessary since Congress decided to leave the prison open "indefinitely."

North Korea Believes There is Nothing Wrong With North Korea: North Korea says North Koreans are "happy with pride and honor that they have one of the best systems for promotion and protection of human rights in the world."

Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget: It took a full night of sleepy senators bickering and debating amendments, but at 4:56 this morning Washington's Patty Murray announced the budget's passage.

The NRA Grades Washington State Legislators: Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray got F's, and some republicans from Eastern Washington got A's. A's come with a $2,000 reward.


Comments (17) RSS

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Tacoma Traveler 1
Gunmen, not gunman.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on March 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
If you kill that many coyotes, you are going to have a problem with vermin and rabbits they keep in check.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 3
Not sure I understand you. Could you write five paragraphs or more? Things are a tiny bit more clear when you do that, thanks.

Did you read about that Canadian prison escape this week?Pretty cool.…
Posted by dnt trust me on March 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
biffp 4
$2,000 for voting as the NRA directs. Democracy in action.
Posted by biffp on March 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
All sorts of neat surprises in the Senate budget including a cut of more than half a billion dollars to fight wildfires. Which is just fine because we all know states will be able to take up the slack . . . Or perhaps the argument is that the federal funding had been enabling wildfires . . .
Posted by Fluffy on March 23, 2013 at 9:24 AM · Report this
Why do people put intros and credits on YouTube videos?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on March 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 7
@2: Indeed they will.

I love coyotes. When I travel to NM to stay with relatives I hear them late at night. So spooky are their mournful wails.

They are the witches of Macbeth.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Super-Woman of the Year ! ! !

Although there are many worthy candidates (Senator/Professor Elizabeth Warren, and the lady scientist/whistleblower who was legally reinstated at the EPA, no thanks to Drone Master Obama and his ilk), U.S. District Judge Susan Illston is the official winner!

"U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the government to stop issuing so-called NSLs across the board, in a stunning defeat for the Obama administration’s surveillance practices. She also ordered the government to cease enforcing the gag provision in any other cases. However, she stayed her order for 90 days to give the government a chance to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals."

A clear violation of both the Fourth and First Amendments (US Constitution), these are best represented by an exchange between the Jacob Appelbaum (posing the obvious question) and the FBI's deputy general counsel, giving her feeble and chilling answer in response to Mr. Appelbaum's question (a WikiLeaks' volunteer, Jacob has done much to promote awareness of Big Brother Online):

"How am I supposed to go to a judge if the third party is gagged from telling me that I'm targeted by you?"

Her answer: "There are times when we have to have those things in place."

The vid for your viewing pleasure:…

And why is this soooo important:…

The lack of court oversight raises the possibility for extensive abuse of NSLs under the cover of secrecy, which the gag order only exacerbates. In 2007 a Justice Department Inspector General audit found that the FBI had indeed abused its authority and misused NSLs on many occasions. After 9/11, for example, the FBI paid multimillion-dollar contracts to AT&T and Verizon requiring the companies to station employees inside the FBI and to give these employees access to the telecom databases so they could immediately service FBI requests for telephone records. The IG found that the employees let FBI agents illegally look at customer records without paperwork and even wrote NSLs for the FBI.

And another explanatory paragraph:

NSLs are a powerful tool because they do not require court approval, and they come with a built-in gag order, preventing recipients from disclosing to anyone that they have even received an NSL. An FBI agent looking into a possible anti-terrorism case can self-issue an NSL to a credit bureau, ISP or phone company with only the sign-off of the Special Agent in Charge of their office. The FBI has to merely assert that the information is “relevant” to an investigation into international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.

Source article/site:…

Ultra-secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech, a federal judge in California ruled in a decision released Friday.

But wait, what is awaiting us in the very near future (actually presently in place)?????

From Kevin D. Haggerty's Surveillance and Democracy book:

The latest addition to these databases is the Nokia Siemens Intelligence Platform, a monster data-warehousing suite integrating all sorts of data sets: mobile-phone and internet logs, credit-card and bank-account transactions, car registry and DNA databases, road-traffic data, phone-card transcripts, chat protocols, health and insurance data.

(Also known as “intelligence in a box”!)

Automated intelligence operations at all levels. How very very kewl for the bad guys, especially since this is being marketed in China, the USA, the Middle East and Asia (primarily to the most totalitarian countries).……
Posted by sgt_doom on March 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
So we can afford torture chambers but not air traffic control?
Posted by Jenkitty on March 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
raindrop 11
@9: The House leadership gave the president the opportunity to have a bill so that the president could administer the sequester with ration and reason, instead of across-the-board. However, the president chose not to accept such a deal, but to tie it with additional tax increases, something that president had already recently achieved in January.

Hence the president equates the pain of an across-the-board sequester as an acceptable penalty for his refusal to reach a deal with the House leadership.
Posted by raindrop on March 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 12
3, Would you rather I did it in iambic pentameter as well?
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on March 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Last of the Time Lords 13
Can't wait for all those mid-air plane crashes out in the heartland!!!
Posted by Last of the Time Lords on March 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
venomlash 15
@11: The bill the Republicans proposed included EVEN DEEPER cuts to social services so that they could avoid cutting stuff that they liked. You can't cut your way out of a recession, as much of Europe is learning of late.
Posted by venomlash on March 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
rob! 17
@doomie, you get a lot of shit around here, but I want to thank you for tirelessly providing us with many interesting links. Yes, sometimes you tip over into tinfoil territory, but I've learned a lot through your efforts.

@14 deserves to be seen by those who have unregistered comments turned off. (Light editing; gratuitous insult not included. You should register, KB.)
Obama has bent over backwards to appease the increasingly farther right. It's one of my biggest problems with him. Pretending the sequester happened for any reason other than the Republican obstructionist agenda that started the moment a black man was made President is willfully ignorant at best. At worst it is a cynical attempt to change the nation's policies to your far right agenda with lies and half truths, in spite of the nation's will, by muddying the waters.
Posted by rob! on March 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Obama stated many, many times that the sequester happened because of the Republican obstructionist agenda.
Posted by sarah70 on March 23, 2013 at 9:18 PM · Report this
@17, " sometimes you tip over into tinfoil territory.."

EVERYTHING I mention is factual and easily verifiable.

On those occasions when you have or experience difficulty with accepting the facts (what we adults refer to as "reality"), I would suggest you consult a physician or pyscho-therapist.
Posted by sgt_doom on March 24, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
raindrop 21
@20: Good heavens! @17 is being gracious and you just had to be snippy.
Posted by raindrop on March 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this

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