Iranians have used social media to mock Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, after he suggested they were not allowed to wear jeans.
In an interview with BBC Persian TV Mr Netanyahu said that if Iranians were free they would wear blue jeans, and listen to Western music.
Hundreds of Iranians both in Iran and abroad reacted on social media sites…Many posts showed mainly young Iranians wearing jeans and listening to Western music, some in comic poses.
Others mocked up scenes from ancient Persian history with the protagonists wearing denim.
Jeans are not banned in Iran, where an Islamic dress code requires women to cover their hair and wear modest outer clothing. Some Western music or Western-style music is tolerated.
One picture on social media sites showed a young boy in jeans whispering into the ear of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Another is a doctored photograph of Mr Netanyahu’s address at the UN last year in which he drew a red line across a sketch of a bomb, to warn that Iran was moving closer to the metaphorical “red line” of gaining enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb.
In the mocked-up picture, widely-shared on Twitter, the bomb has been replaced with a picture of a female figure wearing jeans, with the Israeli prime minister appearing to draw a red line across the thighs.
One Iranian response on a Facebook page that has attracted hundreds of followers read: “He thinks he saw our bomb but he hasn’t seen our jeans.”
Most Americans probably can legitimately claim to be ignorant of the role our nation played in suppressing democracy in Iran – laying the groundwork for an Islamic revolution. Israelis really can’t. They can’t avoid a certain amount of history and knowledge. Though, obviously, their right-wing prime minister tries hard to portray himself as the theocratic village idiot.
Obama loves anyone who loves military drones!
A former senior FBI official implicated in surveillance abuses is poised to become a federal judge in one of the US’s most important courts for terrorism cases…Valerie Caproni, the FBI’s top lawyer from 2003 to 2011, is scheduled to receive a vote on Monday in the Senate for a seat on the southern district court of New York.
Caproni has come under bipartisan criticism over the years for enabling widespread surveillance later found to be inappropriate or illegal. During her tenure as the FBI’s general counsel, she clashed with Congress and even the Fisa surveillance court over the proper scope of the FBI’s surveillance powers.
And Caproni faces renewed skepticism for describing surveillance conducted under the Patriot Act as more limited than it actually is, now that the Guardian has revealed and the Obama administration confirmed that the National Security Agency uses the act to collect and store the telephone records of hundreds of millions of Americans…
“Government officials that secretly approved of overbroad surveillance programs the public is only seeing now because of leaks, and whose testimony on the issue obscured rather than revealed these abuses, should be held to account for their actions in a public forum,” said Mike German, a former FBI agent.
German, now a lawyer with the ACLU, would not comment on Caproni specifically, citing ACLU policy of neutrality on nominations. But he continued: “Excessive secrecy always threatens democracy, but misleading and incomplete testimony before Congress and the courts simply cannot stand unaddressed without doing real damage to constitutional government.”
This is a good article detailing Caproni’s history of coming down on the side of a surveillance state. Big Brother lives on in her heart. Meanwhile, she ain’t doing half-bad while waiting to roll on into Obama’s legal structure – currently working for Northrop Grumman.
Just a few weeks ago, the secure email service Lavabit — which Edward Snowden used while corresponding with Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald about NSA leaks, ironically — shut down because of the founder’s concern about government surveillance, as did fellow email provider Silent Circle. Now, the well-respected legal discussion forum Groklaw has done the same, driven by what its founder has called the “forced exposure” of NSA surveillance. How many more web services do we have to lose before NSA chilling effects become a serious drain on the internet we all take for granted?
In his note about the closure of his secure email service, Lavabit founder Ladar Levison said that if we knew what he knows about the security of the global email system, we wouldn’t use email at all. Pamela Jones, the founder of Groklaw, said in her own closure notice that this warning started to gnaw away at her, and finally she couldn’t stomach running her web forum and email list any longer, because of a fear that its entire contents were available to the NSA.
“The simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how ‘clean’ we all are ourselves from the standpoint of the screeners, I don’t know how to function in such an atmosphere…”
How much of what we value about the internet is in jeopardy because of the sheer scale of the surveillance that is going on all around us? It’s one thing to lose a secure email service or a legal discussion forum, but how long until other more mainstream services are affected? And it doesn’t have to be outright shutdowns or closures — just a series of restrictions or the gradual decline in usage by users who are (rightly) concerned about the information they are putting online or the digital cookie crumbs they are leaving behind them.
What else can we do? We can all use secure email tools like PGP, as John Biggs of TechCrunch suggests, and refuse to use services that identify us — but even the latter restricts the available web to a tiny fraction of what we once took for granted. Perhaps all that is left is for us is to take Blake’s advice and rage against the dying of the light.
Destroying the freedom of the Internet is something many of us have feared, prepared for – prepared in the sense of readying for political battles in the parliament of your choice. In my case – the United States Congress – one of the slimiest elective dungheaps in the world.
As much as we prepared, though – none foresaw the purportedly liberal voice in the White House as the abuser who would take his skills as constitutional lawyer and wrap them around the task of Big Brother. But, he has. Until – and unless – his followers in the Democrat Party commit to reversing this crap policy they do not deserve to hold office.
“When I finish this rewrite, it will hardly be worth taking to the bathroom”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, released more than 200 pages of interview transcripts Tuesday afternoon after the committee’s Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to do so…
Cummings released transcripts with an IRS screening group manager described as a “conservative Republican,” who said that the targeting of the Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status started with low-level workers in Cincinnati. The witness also said that there was no communication on the targeting with any senior IRS officials or with anyone in Washington or the Obama administration.
Democrats have posted the key portion of the transcript here, in which the manager says he initially was made aware of a case involving a Tea Party group when an agent “asked for guidance.” He agreed with the agent that there “wasn’t enough information” to determine whether the group should have a tax-exempt status, and said he elevated the issue to his “area manager…”
“I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development,” the manager said.
He also told the Oversight Committee that he believed no one from the White House was involved in the IRS’ screening of Tea Party groups.
Cummings called on Issa to release the entire transcripts, which Issa said would harm the investigation. Cummings asked him for specific reasons, and demanded he respond by Monday. When Issa didn’t respond, Cummings released the entirety of the transcripts.
Issa’s office also did not respond to requests from multiple media outlets — including this one — that asked whether he would eventually release full transcripts.
Like any rightwing punk, Issa is pissed that the actual transcript of the hearing is available for ordinary citizens to read and review. The Republican habit of clipping snippets of information to give an opposite view of reality is notorious; but, this example of a hypocrite and liar like Issa trying to get away with doing the same – with information that’s part of the congressional record – is despicable.
Of course he’s pissed off. Like most populist four-flushers he can’t stand to have reality interfere with ideology. The humorous bit is that just about the only time the IRS was ever proven to be complicit in political attacks was at the hands of a Republican president. A scumbag named Nixon.
Jon Stewart rocks!
It will be nothing but fun to watch the Birthers who ran all their Trumped-up blather over a non-white Democrat born in Hawaii running for president. Even worse – winning.
Now, they get to flip-flop when the same silly questions on presidential eligibility are asked of their favorite white Republican Kool Aid Party Kandidate – born in Calgary.
Jeep plant in Belvidere, Illinois
Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne reiterated that Jeep sport-utility vehicle production will stay in the U.S. after presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested output may move to China.
“Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote today in a letter to Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler’s employees. “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”
Romney told a crowd a crowd in Defiance, Ohio, on Oct. 25 that he saw an unidentified story that said Jeep was “thinking of moving all production to China.” The Republican nominee has since aired an ad in Ohio highlighting Chrysler’s desire to make Jeeps in China without mentioning investments and added jobs at U.S. Jeep plants. President Barack Obama is scheduled to air a response ad in the closely contested state today.
Bloomberg News reported Oct. 22 that Chrysler’s majority owner Fiat SpA (F) planned to resume Jeep output in China and may eventually make all of the brand’s models there. The report stated that potential production in China would be in addition to output at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
Chrysler hasn’t built Jeeps in China, the world’s largest auto market, since before Turin, Italy-based Fiat took control of the U.S. automaker in 2009 after a U.S.-backed bankruptcy. Production in China would allow Fiat and Chrysler to sell Jeeps that avoid Chinese government tariffs on imported vehicles…
Since its bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler has announced about $4.2 billion in investments for Jeep models and plants that produce them in Detroit; Belvidere, Illinois; and Toledo, Ohio. The three investments will add about 5,700 jobs combined by next year, Marchionne wrote today in his message to employees.
Republicans have often lied about economics, racism, bigotry of every stripe – when their tactics embrace the worst of hypocrisy. Never can I recall the CEO of a corporation having to distribute a letter to employees about the lies of a presidential candidate.
If you vote for Romney, you’re really going to get what you deserve – untruth in advertising.
There’s a lot of chatter about the new word debuted by Obama today — “Romnesia” — which is meant to describe Mitt’s tendency to forget about, contradict or evade his own positions on a host of issues. Here’s the “Romnesia” riff Obama delivered in Virginia today:
Obama runs through Mitt’s “Romnesia” on a range of issues — equal pay, contraception, abortion, tax cuts for the rich, etc. — and then ends on a joke. He says the good news is that Mitt’s “Romnesia” can be cured — thanks to Obamacare, which guarantees coverage to people with preexisting conditions…
Romney held extreme positions to get through the primary, then flip flopped away from them to get through the general election, but can be expected as president to honor the extreme positions he originally took, since his base won’t let him do otherwise. There’s nothing contradictory in pointing all that out. However, painting Romney as a flip flopper does risk driving home the idea that Romney never really believed in the exreme positions he adopted and is a moderate at heart.
The new “Romnesia” riff can be seen as an answer to this. There’s no need to choose between “extremist” and “flip flopper.” Romney is simply a weasel.
I’ll take weasels – or the ferrets who live in tunnels under my front yard – over politicians like Romney, any day. They may be aggressive carnivores, scary to prey appropriate to their size and nature; but, Romney takes Brylcreem image onto the battlefield of ideas like a phony ambulance with a big Red Cross on the side and white phosphorus flame throwers mounted behind a sliding panel.
We’re supposed to believe that in his heart he’s just a traditional American conservative who really cares about us ordinary folk. When the reality is that he’s greedy money-sucker whose only allegiance is to dollars and gold. He doesn’t care who gets screwed for him to profit. He doesn’t even care which country’s banks get to hide his money.
I keep your phone number under my pillow, George
Yesterday, Mitt Romney gave a big speech in which he accused Obama of lighting a “prairie fire of debt.” It’s a good line, and it has received widespread media coverage.
Romney’s speech has already been dissected by Jonathan Chait and Steve Benen. They note that it’s entirely at odds with conventional understanding of how deficits work, and utterly disconnected from context, rendering it almost unquantifiably misleading.
But I wanted to make another point. If you scan through all the media attention Romney’s speech received, you are hard-pressed to find any news accounts that tell readers the following rather relevant points:
1) Nonpartisan experts believe Romney’s plans would increase the deficit far more than Obama’s would.
2) George W. Bush’s policies arguably are more responsible for increasing the deficit than Obama’s are…
This shouldn’t be a matter of partisan opinion. On the first point, independent experts think an actual set of facts exists that can be used to determine what the impact of Romney’s policies on the deficit would be. And according to those experts, based on what we know now, Romney’s policies would explode the deficit far more than Obama’s would.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has taken a close look at this question. It has determined that relative to current policy — that is, if you keep the Bush tax cuts in place, as Romney wants to do — Romney’s tax cutting plans would increase the deficit by nearly $5 trillion over 10 years. That’s on top of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Romney has promised to close various loopholes to pay for his tax cuts, but he hasn’t specified which ones. Until he does, the Tax Policy Center concludes, his plan would cost $5 trillion — which would be added, yes, to the deficit.
By contrast, Obama’s plans would not increase the deficit by anything close to that amount. Relative to current policy, the Tax Policy Center has found, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by approximately $2 trillion over the next decade. Now, under Obama, the deficit would still increase. That’s because current policy means we’re forgoing the $4.5 trillion in revenues we’d gain if we let all the Bush tax cuts expire. But neither candidate is going to do that. Obama, however, would end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and bring in revenues through a variety of other tax increases. Bottom line: relative to current policy, Obama’s plan would reduce the deficit by bringing in $180 billion or more in revenues a year, or approximately $2 trillion over 10 years; Romney’s plan would increase the deficit by nearly $500 billion a year — $5 trillion over ten years…
On the second point, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has determined that the policies put in place under Bush are the main driver of the deficits that are projected over the next decade.
The only debate about Romney’s advocacy, so far, is whether he’s ignorant of how many times he’s flip-flopped on questions of policy and economics — whether he’s ignorant of real facts [which I sincerely doubt - the man is unethical not stupid] — or whether he chooses to tell the lie du jour for whichever audience he confronts.
The reason he gets away with any of this is the incompetence of the Talking Heads, the media flunkeys posing as journalists.
Which federal program took in more than it spent last year, added $95 billion to its surplus and lifted 20 million Americans of all ages out of poverty?
Why, Social Security, of course, which ended 2011 with a $2.7 trillion surplus.
That surplus is almost twice the $1.4 trillion collected in personal and corporate income taxes last year. And it is projected to go on growing until 2021, the year the youngest Baby Boomers turn 67 and qualify for full old-age benefits.
So why all the talk about Social Security “going broke?”…The reason is that the people who want to kill Social Security have for years worked hard to persuade the young that the Social Security taxes they pay to support today’s gray hairs will do nothing for them when their own hair turns gray.
That narrative has become the conventional wisdom because it is easily reduced to a headline or sound bite. The facts, which require more nuance and detail, show that, with a few fixes, Social Security can be safe for as long as we want…
Now let’s look at how that $2.7 trillion Social Security surplus arose. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan sponsored an increase in Social Security taxes, changing the program from pay-as-you-go to collecting much more taxes than it paid in benefits. The idea was to have the Boomers prepay part of their old age benefits. The extra tax was supposed to pay off the federal debt and then be invested in federal bonds. Instead, Reagan ran huge deficits, violating his 1980 promise to balance the federal budget within three years of taking office…
Silvio Berlusconi’s scandal-ridden premiership ended in ignominy as he was forced to hide from a jeering crowd in Rome after handing in his resignation at a late-night meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano. His departure followed a historic vote in parliament that paved the way for a new government tasked with shoring up the ailing economy.
Berlusconi was forced to leave the presidential residence through a side entrance, to chants of “buffoon, buffoon” from thousands of demonstrators outside….The protesters, including a choir singing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah, rejoiced at his departure.
The 75-year-old billionaire brought down the curtain on a government that has become plagued by scandals and seemed increasingly helpless in the face of the economic storm that has taken his country and the euro to the brink of catastrophe. The dramatic end of his 17-year domination of Italian politics came as the lower house of parliament approved a package of savage cuts and stimulus measures demanded by the European Union to trim Italy’s massive €1.9 trillion debt.
After losing his majority in the house, a weakened Berlusconi had pledged to resign as soon as he had pushed the reform package through parliament. The reforms were passed by 380 votes to 26. Opposition parties did not participate…
Italy’s longest serving postwar prime minister raised a toast with ministers at a final cabinet meeting after the vote, only for his car to be chased by protesters shouting “Go, go, thief!” as he left for a second meeting with party officials at his Rome residence…
The questions facing Italy, today, are the natural result of leaving the Clown Prince of Populism in place all these years. Those who vote for nationalism, imperial lies, the histrionics of a Berlu or his counterparts throughout the Western world run the inevitable risk of getting exactly what they vote for.
An incompetent, a paper tiger who buried his nation in debt and disgrace.