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Shutdown Could Diminish GOP Hopes Of Winning Senate - WaPo

Shutdown could diminish GOP hopes of winning Senate
By Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane - WaPo
Thursday, October 3, 4:51 PM


The political fallout from the partial government shutdown does not appear likely to affect the House Republicans who instigated it, given that so many of them come from deeply conservative districts where their constituents cheered the confrontation with President Obama.

But others in the GOP are worried.

Party veterans say they are increasingly concerned that a prolonged standoff in Washington could damage their prospects for winning back the Senate in 2014. “You can see that in the different reaction of Senate Republicans” compared with their House counterparts, a prominent GOP pollster said.

Like several other Republican strategists interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to publicly disparage his party’s prospects or those of his clients.

GOP senators — with a few notable exceptions, including and led by Ted Cruz (Tex.) — have been far more skeptical about the political wisdom of the shutdown engineered by House Republicans. And now that it is underway, the party is looking for ways to distance its Senate candidates from the ensuing mess.

“It’s a referendum on Washington,” said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “Democrats have controlled Washington for the past five years.”

That, however, may be a harder argument to make for the seven GOP House members expected to seek Senate seats. All are in relatively conservative states, where the party believes it stands a good chance of winning next fall.

They include...


More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/shutdown-could-diminish-gop-hopes-of-winning-senate/2013/10/03/81e2db8a-2b84-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_print.html

Feds Demanded Encryption Key From Snowden's Email Provider Lavabit - CBSNews

Feds demanded encryption key from Snowden's email provider Lavabit
By Chenda Ngak - CBS News
October 3, 2013, 2:29 PM


Lavabit founder Ladar Levison resisted orders from the U.S. government to turn over encryption and SSL keys to bypass the email service's security features, newly unsealed documents reveal. Levison, who was previously silenced by a gag order, is now coming forward to talk about his fight to keep customer data out of the hands of the government.

Lavabit came to national attention when Levison shut down the encrypted email service in August. Many speculated that the move was related to news that Lavabit was former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's email provider of choice. Snowden has been charged with espionage after leaking national security documents to the press and is currently living in Russia, after being granted asylum. According to the Global Post, Lavabit's link to Snowden was reportedly made while coordinating an appearance at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport in July.

According to court documents, Lavabit was ordered in June to turn over information about what appears to be Snowden's email account, home address, bank account numbers, telephone connection records, IP addresses and device information. The government also approved the installation of a pen register and the use of a trap a trace device, which captures both incoming and outgoing communication. Lavabit was also required to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigations with any technical assistance to accomplish the installation of the "pen/trap device."

Lavabit did not comply with the order because, according to court papers, the email account in question was using Lavabit's encryption service and Levison did want to "defeat [its] own system." The emails were encrypted in a way that would not allow Lavabit to have access to the messages. The government then requested encryption and SSL keys, but that would give them the ability to decrypt the email account of all of Lavabit's users.

A judge threatened to hold Levison in contempt for...


More: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57605908/feds-demanded-encryption-key-from-snowdens-email-provider-lavabit/

Water 6,700 Times More Radioactive Than Legal Limit Spills From Fukushima - MSNBC

Water 6,700 times more radioactive than legal limit spills from Fukushima
By Arata Yamamoto and Alexander Smith, NBC News


TOKYO -- Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has suffered yet another leak, spilling out 430 liters of contaminated water thousands of times more radioactive than legal limits, its operator said Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said the water which spilled from the storage tanks had radiation readings as high as 200,000 becquerels per liter -- almost 6,700 times higher than the legal limit of 30 becquerels.

Although sandbags have been placed to prevent further spread of the leak, some of that water may have already reached the plant's harbor on the Pacific Ocean through a drainage trench, TEPCO said.

The leak comes one day after Japanese fast food company Yoshinoya Holdings announced plans to grow vegetables on a farm just 60 miles from the nuclear plant.

Advertise | AdChoicesA TEPCO spokesman told a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday that the leak happened because workers miscalculated the amount of water the tank was capable of holding due to it sitting on a slope...


More: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/03/20797895-water-6700-times-more-radioactive-than-legal-limit-spills-from-fukushima?lite

Congressman Castigates Park Ranger For The Memorial Closure He Voted For - HuffPo

Congressman Castigates Park Ranger For The Memorial Closure He Voted For
Jason Linkins - HuffPo
Posted: 10/03/2013 12:04 pm EDT | Updated: 10/03/2013 12:16 pm EDT

"How do you look at them and ... deny them access?" said Neugebauer. He, with most House Republicans, had voted early Sunday morning to pass a funding measure that would delay the Affordable Care Act, a vote that set up a showdown with the Senate and President Barack Obama. With the parties unable to agree on how to fund the federal government, non-essential government functions shut down Tuesday.

"It's difficult," responded the Park Service employee.

"Well, it should be difficult," replied the congressman, who was carrying a small American flag in his breast pocket.

"It is difficult," responded the Park Service employee. "I'm sorry, sir."

"The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves," the congressman said.

"I'm not ashamed," replied the ranger.

From there, Segraves reports, "a crowd of onlookers got involved," and began loudly demanding that Neugebauer lay off the park ranger, pointing out again and again that the reason everyone was in the position they were in was due to the fact that Congress very specifically put them there. Neugebauer countered that it was all really Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) fault, but that failed to impress anyone.

What's really ghastly about this is that the whole "Harry Reid shut down the government" line is a talking point. It's "messaging" -- the mostly disingenuous bilge that politicos spit in order to gain some phantom upper hand in a war of rhetoric that plays itself out in the press. It's not intended to be sincere, it's all posturing -- throwing sub-standard witticisms at a wall in the hopes that something will stick and convince people.

This is all stuff intended for an audience of reporters -- and in that setting, all is fair. But you're not actually supposed to extend "messaging" out into the world of ordinary human Americans in this fashion, and victimize park rangers with it.

What's also inane about this is that, as Segraves takes pains to point out, the park rangers deployed to the World War II Memorial, while enforcing the closure of the memorial to the general public, are also there to make sure that the Honor Flight veterans who come to the memorial get access to the site. So, by impeding her from doing her job, all Neugebauer was doing was impeding access for the Honor Flight veterans. And telling the ranger that she should be ashamed? Man, that's not a good look, and the gathered crowd made sure Neugebauer learned that the hard way.

Got to give credit to the ranger for standing her ground and doing her job with professionalism, in the face of an idiot who really needs to learn his place.

More (w/Video): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/congressman-park-ranger-memorial_n_4037524.html

Asshole !!!

Yeah... Real Fucking Funny...

Ex-NSA chief jokes about putting Edward Snowden on kill list
By Brendan Sasso - TheHill
10/03/13 09:18 AM ET


Former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden joked Thursday about putting Edward Snowden on a kill list.

Hayden noted that Snowden has been nominated for a European human rights award.

"I must admit, in my darker moment over the past several months, I'd also thought of nominating Mr. Snowden, but it was for a different list," Hayden said during a panel discussion on cybersecurity hosted by The Washington Post.

The audience laughed, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who was also on the panel, responded, "I can help you with that."


Link: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/326315-former-nsa-chief-jokes-about-putting-snowden-on-kill-list

Mom Chooses Medical Marijuana Over Chemo As Treatment For 3-Year-Old Son's Cancer - HuffPo

Mom Chooses Medical Marijuana Over Chemo As Treatment For 3-Year-Old Son's Cancer
The Huffington Post | By Matt Ferner
Posted: 09/30/2013 5:38 pm EDT | Updated: 10/01/2013 11:29 pm EDT

One year ago, 3-year-old Landon Riddle was diagnosed with leukemia. Under doctors' orders, his mother Sierra Riddle began treatment for her young son: aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.

But while still living in Utah, Sierra watched her little boy become violently ill from the chemotherapy -- Landon suffered nerve-damage in his legs, nausea that led to vomiting dozens of times a day, intense pain and at one point went 25 days without eating following the treatment, according to CNN.

"Around the clock, he was usually on liquid morphine, Ativan, Promethexane," Sierra told CNN back in July. "And it just really didn't seem to be helping."

Feeling like her family "didn't have anything left to lose" she looked into medical marijuana treatment. She moved her family to Colorado Springs, Colo. to benefit from the state's marijuana laws and started to give Landon liquid forms of both Cannabidiol, or CBD, and Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.

"Within four weeks we could see the improvement," Sierra told KRDO.


“They are not only forcing me to do something against my will as a parent, they are forcing me to make my child sick,” Riddle said to CBS4.


Riddle says that no matter what people think about her decisions, the plain and simple truth is that marijuana has helped her son. "As soon as we started taking the oil, his platelets have been a regular healthy person's level and <doctors> can't understand why," Riddle told CNN.

As unusual as it may seem, the Riddle family is not alone in choosing medical marijuana treatment for a child with a severe illness. In 2012, then 7-year-old Mykayla Comstock of Oregon, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, made headlines for her use of medical marijuana to combat the side effects of chemotherapy.

The family of 6-year-old Charlotte Figi was the subject of a CNN documentary earlier this year regarding their daughter's use of medical marijuana to help treat the debilitating seizures that result from her rare form of epilepsy.

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/marijuana-over-chemo_n_4017985.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill Working On New NSA Revelations - HuffPo

Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill Working On New NSA Revelations
Posted: 09/28/2013 8:46 pm EDT



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States' government said Saturday they've teamed up to report on the National Security Agency's role in what one called a "U.S. assassination program."

The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted.

Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars," said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don't want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the U.S. assassination program," said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.

"There are so many stories that are yet to be published that we hope will produce 'actionable intelligence,' or information that ordinary citizens across the world can use to try to fight for change, to try to confront those in power," said Scahill.

"Dirty Wars" the film, directed by Richard Rowley...


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/29/glenn-greenwald-jeremy-scahill-nsa-assassination_n_4010405.html?ir=Media

The Perils of Hacking Math - Slate

The Perils of Hacking Math
The National Security Agency is undermining fundamental principles of mathematical knowledge.

By Edward Frenkel - Slate
SEPT. 30 2013 12:42 PM


Recently, I co-authored and published a math paper that solved a 15-year-old mystery. But, unlike a book or a gadget, the work cannot be copyrighted or bought and sold. In fact, my co-author and I have made our paper available for free, for the whole world to see, on arXiv, an online depository of scientific articles. This inherent democracy has always been the mark of mathematics: It belongs to us all, even if people are not aware of it. Mathematicians don't expect to be paid for their discoveries; we do math because we want to understand how the world works.

This principle has deep roots in history as well as in legal systems. No one can own mathematical knowledge; no one can claim ownership of a mathematical formula or idea as a personal possession. Though he discovered it, Albert Einstein couldn't patent his famous formula E=mc2. In the landmark Gottschalk v. Benson decision, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded:

A scientific truth, or the mathematical expression of it, is not a patentable invention. ... A principle, in the abstract, is a fundamental truth; an original cause; a motive; these cannot be patented, as no one can claim in either of them an exclusive right. ... He who discovers a hitherto unknown phenomenon of nature has no claim to a monopoly of it which the law recognizes.

Unfortunately, this time-honored and essential principle of freedom of mathematical information is now being compromised. According to published reports, the National Security Agency has attempted to undermine mathematical formulas used in widely used encryption systems. They did it both by using advances made in secret by mathematicians on their payroll and by intentionally subverting commonly used security protocols by installing "backdoors" that make these protocols easier to break.

The legality and broad implications of the NSA large-sale surveillance have already been discussed at great length. My point here, however, is that tampering with mathematics is by itself a dangerous precedent that raises a host of legal and ethical issues.

We should be especially alarmed by the reported attempts by the NSA to intentionally undermine...


More: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/09/nsa_misuse_of_mathematics_secret_formulas_and_backdoor_cryptography.html

Walter White’s Sickness Mirrors America - David Sirota/Salon

Walter White’s sickness mirrors America
"Breaking Bad" strikes such a nerve because Walt's ills of body and soul are also those of our country

SATURDAY, SEP 28, 2013 09:00 AM PDT

Heisenberg, in other words, reminds us that America’s unique brand of capitalism delivers exceptional productivity – but not necessarily in ways that we might want.

Still, economic desperation cannot fully explain Walter’s process of breaking bad. After all, while he does have cancer, he faces no more economic stress than most people in his economic situation who also face the illness — and most middle-class cancer victims don’t opt to cook meth. So what sets him apart and makes his story so representative of this moment’s zeitgeist? The answer is his total embrace of the most pernicious aspects of the American Dream mythology.

Unlike so many Americans, Walter White actually has a safety net. As a public school teacher, he actually has decent health insurance (even though as noted above, it may not be completely adequate for his illness, and may not prevent a medical bankruptcy). That is more than millions of his fellow countrymen can say. Also unlike most Americans, he has friends from his past who are willing to pay to get him the world’s most cutting-edge cancer treatments. But even with all that, Walter still chooses what he calls “the empire business” in an effort to live out the dominant mythology. More specifically, he rejects his friends’ offer of help and embarks on a flamboyant journey to live out the archetypal up-from-the-bootstraps story — the American Dream narrative on which our society bases its very definition of manhood. In the process, he also tries to live out the Aggrieved American White Guy Fantasy of thwarting his dark-skinned foreign competitors and claiming a market that he believes to be rightfully his.

Ultimately, all of these themes converge to raise the most harrowing questions of all — the taboo questions about whether we should really cherish the desperation, the greed and the every-man-for-himself ideologies that drive Walter White and that make American the industrialized world’s exception. It is the kind of question “Wall Street” asked back in 1987 when a badly broken Bud Fox dared to ask Gordon “Greed is Good” Gekko: “How much is enough?” It is the same question that “Breaking Bad’s” psychopathic murderer Todd recently posed to his neo-Nazi uncle when he asked: “No matter how much you got, how do you turn your back on more?”

In America, our culture too often offers up the same response as Gekko and Heisenberg. We too often say there is no such thing as “enough” and therefore you don’t ever turn your back on more.

More: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/28/walter_whites_sickness_mirrors_america/

In case You Missed This... And YOU SHOULD NOT... Laura Ingraham: ‘Sob stories’ from injured veterans

Laura Ingraham: ‘Sob stories’ from injured veterans will make GOP cave on shutdown
By David Ferguson - RawStory
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:55 EDT


Fox News contributor and sometime “O’Reilly Factor” host Laura Ingraham predicted on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning that the government shutdown will end when the media starts pushing “sob stories” about injured veterans who can’t get care because of the federal closure.

Republicans in Congress, she said, will inevitably cave in to demands to reopen the government when people try to force them feel guilty for shutting down programs to help people who were hurt or traumatized serving the country in combat.

After briefly rejoicing that the shutdown will make it so much easier to drive during the day in Washington, D.C., Ingraham announced that the whole shutdown debacle should be called the “Countdown to Cave-In” because she knows that establishment Republicans will be too cowardly to hold the line.

“It’s only a matter of time, in my mind,” she opined, “before the Republicans say ‘We can’t keep doing this’ because the sob stories are going to start coming out. You’re gonna have camera crews on veterans’ counseling centers where you’re gonna interview, ‘Yeah, your appointment’s been canceled today, who do you blame?’”

She continued...


More (w/Video): http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/01/laura-ingraham-sob-stories-from-injured-veterans-will-make-gop-cave-on-shutdown/

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