Clear and more than chilly this Tuesday morning up here on California’s north coast, and it seems we’re in for some cold — the high today is expected to be less than 50 degrees, and we’re in for a hard-freeze watch for the middle of the week.
After some most-gorgeous days lately, the ugly winter has finally found the Lost Coast.
And a fiscal downside to the racket the NSA has caused (actually, Eddie Snowdon announced it): Disclosures of spying abroad may cost U.S. companies as much as $35 billion in lost revenue through 2016 because of doubts about the security of information on their systems…
Doubts about a lot of shit has surfaced recently.
(Illustration found here).
Considering our Congressional assholes’ actions lately, or maybe the overwhelming inaction, Americans wonder if they’re not taking the crack — why don’t we see.
According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, 64 percent of Americans favor requiring welfare recipients to submit to random drug testing — a measure pushed by Republican lawmakers in recent years — while 18 percent oppose it.
But an even stronger majority said they’re in favor of random drug testing for members of Congress, by a 78 percent to 7 percent margin.
Sixty-two percent said they “strongly” favor drug testing for congressional lawmakers, compared to only 51 percent who said the same of welfare recipients.
While drug testing for both welfare recipients and lawmakers received support across party lines in the new poll, the congressional proposal was the one more likely to bring Americans together.
Eighty-six percent of Republicans, 77 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents said they want drug testing for members of Congress.
If a member of Congress is caught using illegal drugs, as Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) was in late October, Americans expressed little inclination to show mercy.
Sixty-six percent said that a member of Congress convicted of possessing a small amount of cocaine should be forced to resign, while only 14 percent favored allowing the convicted member to serve out the remainder of his or her term.
Americans consider drug testing to be a no-brainer under a variety of circumstances, according to the survey.
Seventy-two percent said they support random drug testing for members of the military, and 87 percent supported it for airline pilots.
Seventy-one percent said they support random drug testing for professional athletes.
Doing drugs, doing Congress, what’s the difference?
Maybe the big difference is being a Republican — an example of asshole GOPers in bullshit mode. This appeared last September, but I spied it just this morning:
New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce (R-NM2), recently named one of Congress’ richest members, has used his taxpayer-funded office accounts at least 30 times to reimburse himself for meals and other food and beverages while also voting to cut millions in food stamp aid for his constituents who live in one of the poorest districts in the country.
New Mexico leads the country in children living with hunger and nearly 1-in-4 of Pearce’s constituents live in poverty according to 2010 Census numbers.
SNAP cuts supported by Pearce are estimated by the USDA to cost 37,106 households – 61 percent including children under the age of 18 — who make an average of just $16,959 per year.
“Even though he voted to slash SNAP help for tens-of-thousands of families who are actually poor and actually hungry, Congressman Steve Pearce – one of the richest millionaires in congress – is gaily spending taxpayer dollars to fund his own personal supplemental nutritional assistance program, otherwise known as lunch,” says Patrick Davis, Executive Director of PROGRESSNOWNM.
“The message to taxpayers from Congressman Pearce seems to be: Pay your taxes, it’s almost lunchtime and I’m hungry,” adds Davis.
Total bullshit, but bullshit that will stink for a long time.
And arcing bullshit-backwards to the most-fabulous NSA — and how the NSA elders sent home a family talking-points sheet to use at holiday gatherings to show how wonderful the NSA. And one biggie was that although they spy on corporations, they don’t do it for monetary gain.
Please, explain to your families we spy on everyone and everything, but we ain’t crooks — “NSA does not and will not steal industry secrets in order to give U.S. companies a competitive advantage.”
Mercy Wheeler explains:
The NSA has uttered various versions of this claim since the Snowden leaks started.
But I find this formulation particularly telling.
NSA is not denying they steal industry secrets (nor could they, since we know they’ve stolen data from corporations like Petrobras and have stolen secrets from a range of hacking targets).
They’re just denying they steal secrets in order to give US companies a competitive advantage.
Of course, they’re not calculating the advantage that having the world’s most voracious COMINT spy might have for owners of IP.
They’re not talking about how intelligence on opposition to US products (like GMO or untested chemicals) translates into industrial advantage.
They’re not talking about how spying influences the work of Defense Contractors (who do, of course, also sell on the international market).
They’re not talking about how larger financial spying ultimately gives American companies an advantage.
But so long as NSA’s workers can tell their mother-in-law they’re not facilitating US cheating (which they are), it’s all good, I guess.
Though, it does smell like bullshit.