Armed agents seize records of reporter, Washington Times prepares legal action
By Guy Taylor–The 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.
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.
By Jeff Macke | Breakout
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.”
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.
By Jeanne Sahadi | CNNMoney.com
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.
Washington Bickering Has Killed Nearly 1 Million Jobs
By Rick Newman | The Exchange – Wed, Oct 16, 2013 7:19 AM EDT
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.
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! http://youtu.be/_BiODEobbug