Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action


Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action

By Guy TaylorThe Washington Times

Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.

The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at the Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.

The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.

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Mozilla Lightbeam for Firefox: NSA spying row leads firm to expose who’s watching while you surf


Mozilla Lightbeam for Firefox: NSA spying row leads firm to expose who’s watching while you surf

Mozilla’s Lightbeam for Firefox, a download produced by the US free software community behind the ever-popular browser, is claiming to a ‘watershed’ moment in the battle for web transparency.

Everyone who browses the Internet leaves a digital trail used by advertisers to discover what your interests are.

Users who activate Lightbeam will be able to see a real-time visualisation of every site they visit and every third-party that is active on those sites, including commercial organisations which might potentially be sharing your data.

Mozilla wants users who install the Lightbeam add-on to Firefox, to crowd-source their data, to produce the first “big picture” view of web tracking, revealing which third-parties are most active.

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Ben Stein: 4 Warnings Revealed by Government Shutdown


Ben Stein: 4 Warnings Revealed by Government Shutdown

According to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (MHFI) the recently concluded government shutdown cost a total of $24 billion. Due to this unanticipated expense, the ratings agency has lowered its fourth-quarter GDP estimate by a minimum of .6%. If there’s anything of which the nation can be completely certain, it’s this: That number is inaccurate and ultimately unimportant.

If there are lessons to be learned from the ongoing, shambling disaster of a debt ceiling fight/Obamacare showdown, they are philosophical and long term. Economics is a social science. There’s no need for higher math, just higher thinking. In the attached clip author, economist, pundit, lawyer and general polymath Ben Stein shares takeaway lessons from the last three weeks.

The country is angry, divided, confused.

“We learned how very angry and divided this country is. And learning that people opposed to the entitlement state are ready to take extremely drastic action to stop it… some kind of process of national reconciliation must be going on,” says Stein. We knew we were angry, but the price of the reconciliation between entitlement and taxation factions is growing.

The nature of the debate was disheartening, as neither side had a realistic perspective on the balance between income (taxes) and expenditures. This wasn’t a serious debate about budgets, but rather a heated exchange between ideologues. The real conversation wasn’t about tightening our national belt, it was about which group got a bigger portion of assumed deficits.

“We cannot both be a high-entitlement state and a low-tax state,” Stein states plainly. “Arithmetic is the boss.”

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This just in: Congress votes to do its job


This just in: Congress votes to do its job

The deal Congress passed to avert default and fund the government for a few months also requires lawmakers to do what they, um, were elected to do: Sit down and negotiate over a budget.

What those negotiations — to be led by Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan — can accomplish was not at all clear on Thursday.

Expectations for any large, long-range deal are decidedly low among budget experts and seasoned political analysts. And they’re not wildly optimistic that lawmakers will successfully deal with shorter-term budget decisions either.

“Because the deal does not address any of the underlying policy differences between the two parties, Washington will simply barrel toward a new set of deadlines no better prepared for compromise than it was this time around,” said Sean West, U.S. policy director for the Eurasia Group.

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Washington’s Dysfunction Has Cost Nearly 1 Million Jobs


Washington Bickering Has Killed Nearly 1 Million Jobs

It’s just a “partial” government shutdown. Threats of a U.S. government default are overblown. The federal government is too involved in the economy, anyway.

These are some of the excuses used to justify repeated standoffs in Washington over federal spending. The politicians doing the fighting usually insist the economy can withstand their histrionics and everything will go back to normal once it’s over. Yet economists increasingly see lasting damage from the drawn-out budget bickering, with a new study contending that political standoffs have cost the economy 900,000 jobs this year alone. And Fitch, the rating agency, now says it may join Standard & Poor’s in downgrading the U.S. credit rating.

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Windows 8.1 Now Available.


Windows 8.1 Now Available.

Windows 8.1 gives you the familiar desktop with its taskbar and Start button, plus a beautiful new Start screen that you can customize with your favorite apps, people, and sites so that everything you love is just a tap or click away.

You also get built-in cloud storage for anytime, anywhere access to your photos and files, beautiful full-screen browsing with Internet Explorer 11, plus an exclusive collection of built-in apps like Photos and Mail, with many more apps available from the Windows Store.

System requirements

To install the free update to Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro through the Windows Store, your PC must be running Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.
For more information, read the full terms and conditions.

  • 1 GHz processor or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2

  • 1-2 GB RAM / 16-20 GB available hard disk space

  • 1024 × 768 screen resolution

  • DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver

  • To use touch, you need a PC that supports multitouch

  • Internet access (fees may apply)

  • Microsoft account required for some features

  • Watching DVDs requires separate playback software

  • Windows Media Center license sold separately

  • See the full system requirements

Too Funny! Bad Lip Reading Does Game Of Thrones.


Too Funny! Bad Lip Reading Does Game Of Thrones.

Theme park manager Eddie Stark has one week to whip his lackluster group of employees into shape before the park’s grand opening. See outtakes here!