If ISIS Were Really a Movie

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 7:01 pm

What if we rewrite the script?


New DoD Directive on Detainees Allows Sleep and Sensory Deprivation, Biometric IDs

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 6:00 pm

On August 19, 2014, the Department of Defense released an updated version of its Directive 2310.01E on the “DoD Detainee Program.” It supercedes the previous version, dated September 5, 2006.

Earlier this month, Steve Vladek at the Just Security blog, pondered why the government chose this particular time to release the new, updated directive. While his observations are important and worth considering, much of importance is omitted from his brief analysis.

In my analysis — besides the potential legalities explored by Vladek, which impact the definition of what the government considers the definition of an “unprivileged belligerent” (like the detainees at Guantanamo), and access of legal counsel to these prisoners — the new directive propounds a number of new rules that summarize the Obama administration’s detainee regime, particularly as it relates to Guantanamo.

More on Private Insurance Whac-A-Mole

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 4:57 pm

The Affordable Care Act banned some of the private insurance industry’s worst practices, like denying coverage based on preexisting conditions, but that doesn’t mean they were just going to stop trying to find ways to get out of paying for customers’ health care. It simply started a game of consumer protection whac-a-mole where the industry comes up with innovative ways to screw sick people.

Whistleblower Mark Klein: Oppose the USA Freedom Act

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 3:46 pm

I support the letter calling on Congress to reject Senator Leahy’s so-called USA Freedom Act. The bill is a fraud, a pretense at “reform” which leaves in place all the main elements of the NSA’s surveillance program. (Needless to say, Senator Feinstein’s alternative bill is even worse.) The bill tinkers around the edges of the phone call records collection while leaving untouched the meat of the “program,” the vast, unconstitutional dragnet collection of internet data which I helped expose. To top it off, the bill now includes the renewal of the Patriot Act, thereby institutionalizing the entire monstrous apparatus.

It’s no wonder that James Clapper, the current Director of National Intelligence who lied to Congress about what the NSA was doing, has now endorsed the Leahy bill–evidently he feels no threat from it, and that should be a warning to all who defend civil liberties.

The Aggregating of Polling Aggregators

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 2:35 pm

The news site Vox has taken the new polling-focused approach to political coverage to a very meta place. They don’t aggregate the polls — instead they are now aggregating the other poll aggregators.

Poverty Unchanged By Wall Street Recovery

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Though the federal government and Federal Reserve moved heaven and earth to ensure the 1% were made whole after the financial crisis, those unable to buy influence in Washington remain frayed. According to the Census Bureau over 14% of Americans remain below the poverty line while financial markets have made a considerable recovery from 2008 lows. There has been a recovery, for some.

Call Congress: Oppose the Syria War Amendment

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 12:22 pm

The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on an amendment to give President Obama power to arm Syrian rebels as part of his military plan to fight ISIS.

Poll: Florida’s Medical Marijuana Amendment in Danger

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 11:17 am

Efforts to make Florida the first southern state to adopt medical marijuana are in danger of possibly coming up short this November. A new SurveyUSA/WFLA pollfound only 56 percent of voters at this moment plan to support Amendment 2, Florida’s Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative while 31 percent plan to vote against it. The remaining 13 percent are still undecided.

Email Suggests Manufacturer of Stingray Surveillance Equipment May Have Lied to FCC

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 10:11 am

The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the manufacturer of StingRay surveillance products of providing inaccurate information and possibly even lying to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the agency that is supposed to regulate communications over cable, radio, satellite, television and wire.

Reactionaries In Kiev Throw Member Of Parliament In Dumpster, Luhansk And Donetsk Granted Special Status

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 9:07 am

A reactionary mob in Kiev threw a member of Ukraine’s parliament in a dumpster for supporting a bill that would give special status to regions in East Ukraine. The mob waving flags from neofascist groups such as Svoboda and Right Sector burnt tiees and ultimately assaulted a member of parliament, dumping him in a trash can and hitting him with a tire.

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