Hullaballoo

Louisiana Tortured Albert Woodfox for 40 Years

"We tortured some folks"

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NSA Launches Charm Offensive

For the first time since 1975, the NSA invited in a bunch of academics to flatter them brief them about the secret programs and this interview with one of the participants gives us some idea of what their charm offensive is supposed to accomplish. I'll let you read the whole thing but these answers from the NSA struck me as being so vacuous as to demand some kind of response:

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How an Ayn Rand-Loving Libertarian Destroyed The Company He Runs With His Cultish Objectivist Theories

In case you thought the cult of hedge fund Objectivist free market libertarianism was just destroying government and the social fabric, never fear that it can destroy companies as well. Just look at what has happened to Sears after it hired insane free market hedge fund libertarian Eddie Lampert to run their company:

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Southern States Waste No Time Gutting Voting Rights After Supreme Court Overturned Voting Rights Act

I don't think I need to point out just how obvious these people are being, do I?
 

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Liberty Loving Rand Paul Wets Pants Over Boston, Demands More Surveillance, Tougher Immigration Laws

For anyone who ever expects the allegedly principled libertarian Rand Paul to be anything more than an ephemeral civil liberties ally to be used for your own purposes and nothing else, here he is in all his glory, letting his little white slip show once again:

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House Dems Attack President Obama's Extrajudicial Assassination Powers

Since the participation of Rand Paul in the civil liberties debate seems to make it doubly controversial and more difficult than it already is, perhaps the liberal base, at least, will be persuaded by the stalwart progressive House Democrats who sent this letter to President Obama today

Here's the crux of their issue:



Unlike everyone else they seem to have managed to see the forest for the trees on this and aren't obsessing of the use of drones, as if that's the real problem* with all this. They are asking about the authorities under which the president has granted himself the power to secretly target Americans for assassination. 

It's signed by Lee, Ellison, Conyers, Grijalva, Edwards and Honda. Not a libertarian or right winger anywhere to be found. And as Emptywheel points out there are others as well, like Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, Jerry Nadler and Pat Leahy among others. This is beyond ideology or partisanship. Or at least it should be.

*Yes, drones present problems for modern warfare for a number of reasons, which we've discussed before. But this is about something more than the technological capability. It's about whether the president has the constitutional or statutory authority to carry out a covert assassination program against American citizens on the new "global battlefield." (And again, that's not to say that carrying out such a program against non-citizens is moral or legal either, but it's a different set of rules and norms.)

Some Red-State Residents Say They Want to Secede -- But Their States Wouldn't Be Able to Sustain Themselves

The drearily predictable calls for secession in the wake of the re-election of the first African-American president have already begun:
 

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Why Are These Pampered Wall Street Billionaires So Whiny and Thin-Skinned?

If you've been wondering specifically what it is that the wealth coddling, Wall Street protecting Obama has done to offend these greedhead Billionaires, here it is:

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