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The House's NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

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  • Rep Mike Rogers (R-IL), Congress' serial fabricator, has the audacity to call his new law the 'End Bulk Collection Act'. 
  • Obama's proposal isn't much better.
  • Special Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending February 16, 2014

Trevor TimmGuardian (UK)

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When Rep Mike Rogers claims a bill does something particular – like, say, protect your privacy – it's a fairly safe assumption that the opposite will end up true. Photograph: Chris Usher / AP

Tuesday 25 March 2014|  The White House and the House Intelligence Committee leaked dueling proposals last night that are supposedly aimed at ending the mass collection of all Americans’ phone records. But the devil is in the details, and when it comes to the National Security Agency’s unique ability to twist and distort the English language, the devil tends to wrap his horns around every word.

The House proposal, to be unveiled this morning by Reps Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, is the more worrying of the two. Rogers has been the NSA’s most ardent defender in Congress and has a long history of distorting the truth and practicing in outright fabrication, whether in touting his committee’s alleged “oversight” or by way of his attempts to impugn the motives of the once again vindicated whistleblower who started this whole reform debate, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Trevor Timm is executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and defends journalism dedicated to transparency and accountability. 

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Related:

us_national_surveillance_state_50.jpgSpecial Report | NSA Spying: Week Ending February 16, 2014, David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • 9 New items including:
    • Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald | The NSA's Secret Role in the US Assassination Program
    • Why A Bipartisan Move Against The NSA Could Kill The New Deal, Zack Beauchamp and Ian Miller
    • NSA Bulk Metadata Collection Is Illegal: Government Oversight Board
    • Chris Hedges | What Obama Really Meant Was…
    • Glenn Greenwald: Obama NSA Speech A 'PR Gesture' 
    • “Surveillance breeds conformity”: Salon’s Glenn Greenwald interview
    • NSA Surveillance Is About Power, Not "Safety"
    • Ralph Nader | Corporate Espionage Undermines Democracy
    • You're not paranoid--the NSA really is spying on you

Minneapolis and the siren song of economic impact

  • Perhaps, however, we should resist the "sweet enchantment" of those economic projections, take them with a pinch of salt or at least try to understand what they mean.
  • Here’s Minnesota’s game plan to land the Super Bowl — but is it worth it?
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Marlys Harris, MinnPost

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NicolletMallGrovesRedesign640.jpg Rendering of the "Nicollet Groves" area of a Nicollet Mall redesign. James Corner Field Operations Team

03/25/14 | It barely matters what the idea is — a new transit line, a baseball field, a hospital, an apartment complex, a widened road or expanded sewer system. Many of us, like terrible 2-year-olds, react with a petulant "no."    

But that resistance is often overwhelmed by the sweet yoo-hoo of the economic-impact study. Generally, one comes with each new proposal for civic improvement. Almost invariably, it predicts that the new project, whatever it is, will produce goodies beyond compare — jobs in the hundreds or thousands, spending in the millions, higher real-estate values and plushy tax revenues. Impressed, we say, "OK, let's do it."

A Minnesota native, Marlys Harris has been an investigative reporter and editor with specialties in consumer protection and finance for Money Magazine and Consumer Reports. 

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Here’s Minnesota’s game plan to land the Super Bowl — but is it worth it?

Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost 

VikingsStadiumFireworks640.jpg The new stadium isn’t built yet, but the plan is to have it finished by 2016 and Super Bowl-ready two years later. / Minnesota Vikings

01/30/14 | There are a few key ingredients to winning a Super Bowl in your home state. First get a handful of prominent business leaders in the mix, followed by the ringing endorsement of local and statewide politicians. Then bring up the fancy restaurants, convention centers and hotel rooms and raise a few million dollars. Last but not least, throw in a new football stadium.  

That’s the blueprint Gov. Mark Dayton and an all-new Super Bowl committee are working from as they aim to bring the 2018 game to the Vikings stadium in Minneapolis. The new stadium isn’t built yet, but the plan is to have it finished by 2016 and Super Bowl-ready two years later. By that time, it will have been more than 25 years since the football spectacle was held in Minnesota.

Briana Bierschbach reports on public affairs, higher education, politics and other important topics and issues in the news. 

Full story...

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Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Four: the concussion defense, Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

  • The final installment in a four-part series
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Three: the great pinkwash 
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

American politics has descended into madness.

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  • The greater majority of us have not been vigilant about our collective public life, thus enabling Washington to just let the current corrupt, mad, barbaric, demonic, sadistic, and savage situation happen.
  • Life on the Edge of Death (Graphic)

David Culver, Telling It Like It Is

I%20Want%20You.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

I agree completely with Noam Chomsky  that the congressional refusal to extend unemployment benefits is evidence that American politics has descended into madness.

“The refusal to provide very minimal living standards to people who are caught in this monstrosity — that’s just pure savagery,” Chomsky said during an interview with HuffPost Live. “There’s no other word for it.”

David Culver, Editor of Evergreene Digest, writes "Telling It Like It Is!", a blog dedicated to fracturing fiction, fantasy, fairy tales, foolishness, and other falsehoods.

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Life on the Edge of Death (Graphic), Gavin Aung Than, GoComics

The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.'

Gavin Aung Than, GoComics <http://www.gocomics.com/>

 

Series | Minimum Wage, Part 3: Move to raise state’s minimum wage held up by debate over indexing

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“For the long term, I think there’s a benefit to it,” Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, a member of the minimum wage conference committee, said. “It’s not just youth that we are employing in minimum wage jobs, we do have people who are trying to raise families, so I’d like to see that as part of the final package.”

Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost 

articles/022514RaiseMinimumWageRally640B.png Supporters of raising the state minimum wage held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 25. MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

This is one in a series of articles funded by a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation.

03/21/14 | Lawmakers in St. Paul aren’t talking much about increasing the state’s minimum wage these days, despite an aggressive push from Democratic lawmakers at the start of the legislative session to quickly get a bill to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk.  

An increase in the minimum wage was not part of legislative negotiations this week over passing a tax bill, and after an initial blitz of hearings, the minimum wage conference committee has not met in more than a week.

Briana Bierschbach reports on public affairs, higher education, politics and other important topics and issues in the news. 

Full story…

Related:

Series | Minimum Wage: Part 2, Minnesota’s troubled past with the minimum wage: from leader to outlier, Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost

  • From the start, the minimum wage debate was about women.  
  • MinnPost Series | Minimum Wage: Part 1, How taxpayers subsidize low-wage workers

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Series | Minimum Wage: Part 1, How taxpayers subsidize low-wage workers, Steven DornfeldMinnPost

When consumers step up to the counter and order one of McDonald’s “Extra Value” meals, they probably think they’re getting a good deal. Most of them never consider how much they are paying in taxes to subsidize the labor force preparing and serving those meals.

Obama Worse Than Reagan On Nukes

  • Winding down nuclear weapons spending, and eventually abolishing the things (for which no negotiations are underway), has been the right thing to do since the first bomb exploded in the New Mexico desert in 1945. State Department support for the coup in Ukraine and the resultant saber rattling (echoes of August 1914?) make it as urgent as ever. 
  • Obama Surpasses the Historic Peak on Nuclear Weapons Spending
  • Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit

Steve Breyman, truthout / Popular Resistance 

Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/March 21st, 2014 | Heads-up, veterans of the nuclear freeze movement in the United States, the anti-Euromissile campaigns in Western Europe and the various anti-nuclear weapons efforts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Incoming.

We spent much of the 1980s resisting Ronald Reagan’s new Cold War and his new nuclear weapons of all shapes and sizes. We pushed back against his giant “defense” budgets and countered his harrowing rhetoric. We knew Star Wars was a scam and the MX missile a danger. We grimaced at his appointments to key policymaking positions and scoffed at his insincere arms control efforts.

Steve Breyman was 2011-12 William C. Foster Visiting Scholar Fellow in the Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs Office of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the US Department of State, where he worked fruitlessly on reforming nuclear weapons policy. He is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Full story…

Related:

Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit, Ari Shapiro, National Public Radio (NPR)

Fake%20Media.jpg Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing < … >, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

March 21, 2014 | President Obama goes to The Hague for a nuclear security summit Monday. Although the crisis in Ukraine is overshadowing the event, there is a packed agenda independent of the tensions with Russia. This is the third time world leaders have met to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

Full story (audio and transcript)…

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