1:24 PM, May 24th, 2013

Don’t have an hour to watch President Obama pontificate on the future of national security? No worries! Watch the key moments from his speech in less than 250 seconds

2:54 PM, March 7th, 2013



Rand Paul’s 12+ hour filibuster about drones gets a succinct 43-word response.

Meanwhile, we have the transcript from the first seven hours of Paul’s filibuster, and that alone takes up over 100 pages.

Short and sweet(?)

Reblogged from Los Angeles Times
12:40 PM, March 5th, 2013

New York–based artist Adam Harvey launches an anti-drone clothing line

9:58 PM, February 12th, 2013
As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight.  That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations.  Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts.  I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way.  So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.
If you had the dreaded ‘d’ word in your drinking game you are still sober. 
1:03 PM, June 19th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, June 19th

1. U.N.: Justify Drone Use, U.S.: A United Nations investigator on Tuesday called on Washington to justify its policy of killing al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, rather than capturing them, at the risk of harming civilians.

2. Pakistan Court Bans P.M. From Office: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday disqualified Prime Minister Raza Gilani from holding office, two months after finding him in contempt of court.

3. G20 Urges European Solution: More ominous news out of Europe. As the G20 summit started in Mexico, leaders expressed concern over the mushrooming debt crisis in Europe—while fears over Spain’s financial health grew after the news that the country’s borrowing costs soared.

4. UK Stops Russian Shipment: President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday jointly called for peace in Syria, but Putin refused to support the U.S. efforts to persuade Syrian president Bashar al-Assad from power.

5. Microsoft Reveals ‘Surface’ Tablet: Microsoft is finally ready to take on the iPad. The company unveiled its new Surface tablet at an event in Los Angeles on Monday.

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Photo by Platon for Newsweek

At 76, he has aged with unholy grace: the mussed carrot-top, now the cloud tint of jiffy-bag innards, has scarcely thinned; the oblong face remains a mobile mask of amused perplexity; the wiry physique, thanks to daily exercise, still exudes the vigor of the athlete he once was—a skilled-enough boxer, in his teens, to have trained for the Golden Gloves competition. Read the full story here

1:35 PM, June 14th, 2012


What the Heck Is Homeland Security Doing With $180 Million in Drones Mostly Sitting Around?

A few years ago, the Border Patrol started buying unarmed Predator drones. By the end of 2011, they had 10 of these $18 million machines, and very little idea of what exactly they wanted to do with them.

That’s my takeaway from a new report released by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. The drones only flew 37 percent as often as they were supposed to, logging 3,909 hours in the air in a 12-month period that should have seen them in the air for more than 10,000 hours.

One big problem, according to the report, is that there weren’t enough ground stations and support. This is like signing an expensive free-agent running back but forgetting you need offensive linemen. Drones are sexy! The ground control stations that run the drones, not so much.

Read more.

Hopefully taking sweet Instagram pics

Reblogged from The Atlantic
12:25 PM, June 5th, 2012

Frontpage: Tuesday, June 5th

  1. CIA Targeted Major Al Qaeda Leader: A CIA drone strike in Pakistan targeted al Qaeda’s second in command, Abu Yahia al-Libi, on Monday, though it was not clear if he was actually killed. Al-Libi took over as al Qaeda’s second-in-command after Osama bin Laden was killed and he reportedly runs day-to-day operations in Pakistan. U.S. officials said that the drone strike killed five people and that they were “optimistic” that al-Libi was one of them. 
  2. Wisconsin Recall in ‘Dead Heat’: Political eyes will all be focused on Wisconsin Tuesday as voters go to the polls to decide whether to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Walker’s challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said the race is a “dead heat,” as most polls showed Walker has a narrow lead over his 2010 challenger.
  3. Merkel: Need ‘More Europe’: German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated on Monday that she will accept a grand bargain to give more support to some of the euro zone’s most troubled countries in exchange for more control over Europe’s spending. 
  4. Thousands Line Up for Jubilee: Thousands lined the streets of London on Tuesday for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, as she rode in a carriage to St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the Archbishop of Canterbury led a Service of Thanksgiving to her. 
  5. Clinton: Romney Would Be ‘Calamitous’: Former President Bill Clinton set the record straight on Monday night. After the Democrat praised Mitt Romney’s business record last week, calling it “sterling,” Clinton said at an Obama fundraiser in New York that a Romney presidency “would be in my opinion calamitous for our country and the world.” 

Photo via picturedept:

Diamond Jubliee Fashion

The Daily Beast has continuing coverage of the celebrations including a gallery of Jubliee fashion.


Reblogged from Picture Dept
11:03 AM, April 19th, 2012

Frontpage: Thursday, April 19th

  1. Poll: Condi Tops GOP VP List: Would Condi and Mitt make a good team? Republicans and conservative independents seem to think so, according to a new CNN poll released Wednesday in which former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice earned the most votes for preferred vice president (26 percent). 
  2. CIA Pushes Yemen Drone Campaign: There could be a lot more drone strikes in Yemen soon, if the CIA has its way. The agency is requesting permission to strike targets in the country based only on suspicious behavior, such as surveillance showing militants gathering at al Qaeda compounds or unloading explosives. The problem, say critics, is that al Qaeda is closely linked to the antigovernment opposition fighters, and it’s hard to tell the difference. 
  3. Three Secret Service Members OustedAt least three Secret Service members are being shown the door over the Colombia scandal. The agency announced that one will be fired, another will retire, and a third has been recommended for firing but will be allowed to appeal. Two of the ousted agents are senior supervisors with two decades of experience.
  4. Baghdad Blasts Kill 30: At least 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured Thursday in 12 bombings in Baghdad and other northern Iraq cities, officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but a Baghdad military spokesman said al Qaeda was behind them. 
  5. The Sun’s Royal Editor ArrestedBritish police nabbed The Sun’s royal editor and two other people in a dawn raid. The editor, Duncan Larcombe, was arrested on suspicion of paying a public official for information. Scotland Yard says the arrests were based on information obtained from News Corporation’s management-standards committee, which Rupert Murdoch set up after the hacking scandal at News of the World. The Sun is one of Murdoch’s remaining British papers. 

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Photo: Famed entertainer Dick Clark passed away yesterday. Here’s Clark on Dec. 31, 2011, in New York’s Times Square, during what would be his final appearance on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. (Ida Mae Astute / ABC) See more iconic photos of Clark or read John O’Hurley remembering his mentor

3:51 PM, February 21st, 2011

Press coverage zings with unlikely stories about Davis – that he howls in his prison cells when the five-times daily call to prayer rings out; that the CIA plans a “Hollywood-style heist” to spring him; that he is the linchpin of the CIA’s drone programme.

Raymond Davis, an American official jailed for shooting and killing two Pakistanis, was a CIA operative spying on militant groups in Pakistan, the U.S. government has confirmed. Davis and American officials claim that the shooting was in self-defense for a failed robbery, though some reports indicate the victims were shot in the back. The Pakistani government currently has until March 14 to decide if Davis will be granted diplomatic immunity. The incident spotlights the already tense relations between Pakistan and the U.S., and the CIA’s expanding presence in the country—from which the U.S. military is largely restricted from operating because the two countries are not at war.

(Source: Guardian)

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