With the next downturn in sight, the recovery better hurry up and get here.
Half-wittedly: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he answered questions from senators in the "least untruthful manner" in March, when he said NSA did not "collect any type of data at all on ... Americans". Clapper said the 'misunderstanding' stem from semantic confusion over the definition of 'no', which to him includes various shades of 'yes.' What he meant was that the agency does not 'wittingly' or 'voyeuristically' collect American communications. His definition of 'collect' is a collectable, too.
Your Results May Vary: Senators Wyden (D-OR and Udall (D-CO) are convinced “that the Patriot Act Congress voted on [by Congress] is different in material ways than the one the Obama administration is implementing.”
Check: Of the 166 men incarcerated at Guantanamo, the government thought it might be able to prosecute 36 of them. The courts thought differently; now fewer than 20 will face charges because even after holding them for years, torturing them now and then, and eavesdropping on their lawyers, the military still cannot come up with any charges for what appears to be a group of relative innocents.
Metadata Illustrated: Or how the British were able to pre-emptively render Paul Revere. Wow, social network analysis... who knew?
Inversion Layer: Are the criminals supposed to be running the place? Why are people like PFC Manning who provided evidence of war crimes on trial, and not the criminals? If we lived in a just society, Snowden wouldn't have to be in hiding.
Ignorance Is Bliss: Conservatives are attacking Obama for complying with a court order mandating the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraceptives because these pills will somehow empower men who want to abuse women, embolden pedophiles and cause an increase in rape. Somehow.
Proportion: In 2001, terrorists killed about 3,000 people in the US. In the same year, nearly 30,000 were killed by firearms. In the decade since then Muslim terrorists have killed about 30 US citizens within the US. During that same decade abut 360,000 Americans have been killed by firearms. Why do we accept electronic monitoring 24/7 to stop the terrorists, but cannot accept the mildest monitoring or regulation of those who are far more likely – 10 thousand times more likely – to kill us?
Money Quote: “Wall Street is rooting for [unemployment] to get ever so slightly worse, hoping to stave off any decrease in the Fed’s bond buying programs."
Stuporstitious: While the wind has gone from Austerity's sails, economies drift along fatalistically, their captains stuck in a stupor where nothing seems possible and fate must have its way. Inertia passes for policy. The unemployed and impoverished do not vote, do not count, have no lobbyists, and at best serve to swell a progress. It is the new normal, and if things don't change, they will.
Asked & Answered: Is the FISA court that approves NSA activities just a toothless rubber-stamp organization, or does it keep them honest and protect our privacy? Yes. And no.
Cost/Benefits: The US Green Building Council has proposed Congress adopt national building standards that give credit to builders who avoid using harmful chemicals in their buildings. The companies that manufacture these harmful chemicals that produce health risks are, of course, against making buildings safer for people.
Distances: If you are concerned, upset, outraged (pick all that apply) over the revelations of NSA spying on you, just wait until the next Republican president takes office. “The Bush administration was not some kind of historical aberration that will never be seen again.”
Sometimes The Map Is The Territory: Go to the maps, scroll down to the last two - Reliance on food stamps (by percentage of the population) and Percent of population over 25 without a high school diploma. They could have saved space – it's the same chart with different titles. All of them are. Poverty, Income, Inequality, Ignorance. You could throw in Religious Fundamentalism, Gun Fetishes, and so on...
The Parting Shot: