How powerful and far-reaching is the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Google-like search engine, known as XKeyscore? Alexey Yaroshevsky examines the facts from the Edward Snowden leaks and looks into how the engine is used to search for specific online communications.
If you were to read only the first paragraph of the Associated Press report on the government’s brand new jobs report, you’d be led to believe that President Obama’s economic policies are working beautifully. But then the AP quickly changes its happy tune about the June jobs numbers for the nation and — in a stunning about-face that contradicts its own initial assessment of the country’s job health — reveals the dark side of the just-issued Labor Department report.
Here’s the AP’s opening “hip-hip-hooray, Obama” paragraph as carried on the left-leaning (and Obama loving) Huffington Post:
Did you catch that part about the “job market moving close to full health?” If that’s the rosy scenario we’re now celebrating, how can the Associated Press — only a few words removed from that happy dance — say the following about the drop in the unemployment rate?
The rate fell mostly because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Other details in the report were less encouraging: The percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low. Average hourly pay was flat. And employers added 60,000 fewer jobs in April and May than the government had previously estimated.LABO
So, at the same time that the AP trumpets “a job market moving close to full health,” the news service acknowledges that more and more and more Americans have dropped out of the labor force. It’s as though the AP had that first celebratory paragraph ready to roll before the truly bad news found in the devilish details of the government’s report was released.
Does the old expression “whistling past the graveyard” come to mind?
Coverage of the Thursday jobs report by The Hill goes into greater detail about the dark underbelly of the statistics that the president and his liberal supporters certainly won’t be pointing out any time soon:
The number of people in the labor force fell by 432,000, a reason for the lower jobless rate, while 56,000 fewer people were employed, sending the participation rate down to 62.6 percent, the lowest level since 1977.
And as long as we’re unpacking the Labor Department’s numbers to disclose the facts about America’s jobs picture rather than the feelings the left would embrace, here’s the truth about the kind of jobs the private sector created in June. As you can see, they’re not high-skilled, high-paying positions — except possibly for the health care sector — as much as low-skilled, low-paying service jobs. Again, via The Hill:
Jobs growth was centered in the service sector — retailers added 33,000 jobs, the healthcare sector tacked on 40,000 while leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 22,000.
Manufacturing only added 4,000 while construction employment was unchanged in June.
The question isn’t what side is Obama on; the question is, what are we going to do about it? He’s a bloody nightmare.
Middle East allies accuse Barack Obama and David Cameron of failing to show strategic leadership in fight against Islamic State
The United States has blocked attempts by its Middle East allies to fly heavy weapons directly to the Kurds fighting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq, The Telegraph has learnt.
Some of America’s closest allies say President Barack Obama and other Western leaders, including David Cameron, are failing to show strategic leadership over the world’s gravest security crisis for decades.
They now say they are willing to “go it alone” in supplying heavy weapons to the Kurds, even if means defying the Iraqi authorities and their American backers, who demand all weapons be channelled through Baghdad.
High level officials from Gulf and other states have told this newspaper that all attempts to persuade Mr Obama of the need to arm the Kurds directly as part of more vigorous plans to take on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) have failed. The Senate voted down one attempt by supporters of the Kurdish cause last month.
The officials say they are looking at new ways to take the fight to Isil without seeking US approval.
“If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating Isil, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” said a senior Arab government official. “With Isil making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.”
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters train on a weapon during a training session with British military advisers
The Peshmerga have been successfully fighting Isil, driving them back from the gates of Erbil and, with the support of Kurds from neighbouring Syria, re-establishing control over parts of Iraq’s north-west.
But they are doing so with a makeshift armoury. Millions of pounds-worth of weapons have been bought by a number of European countries to arm the Kurds, but American commanders, who are overseeing all military operations against Isil, are blocking the arms transfers.
One of the core complaints of the Kurds is that the Iraqi army has abandoned so many weapons in the face of Isil attack, the Peshmerga are fighting modern American weaponry with out-of-date Soviet equipment.
At least one Arab state is understood to be considering arming the Peshmerga directly, despite US opposition.
The US has also infuriated its allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states, by what they perceive to be a lack of clear purpose and vacillation in how they conduct the bombing campaign. Other members of the coalition say they have identified clear Isil targets but then been blocked by US veto from firing at them.
“There is simply no strategic approach,” one senior Gulf official said. “There is a lack of coordination in selecting targets, and there is no overall plan for defeating Isil.”
Western leaders increasingly accept that the “war on Isil” has not gone well, from the moment last year Mr Obama called the group a “JV [junior varsity] team” of jihadists compared with al-Qaeda. At that point, Isil had seized Fallujah, which US forces took in a bloody battle in 2004. It went on to take much of western Iraq and large areas of Syria, and in May took Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province.
Britain is moving closer to expanding its role in the war. The Government on Wednesday gave its strongest indication yet that MPs will be given a new vote on whether to bomb Isil in Syria.
Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said it was “illogical” that British planes were able to hit extremists in Iraq but not across the border.
Any decision to bomb in Syria would have to be approved by MPs. In 2013, the Prime Minister lost a vote for British military action in Syria. However, Mr Fallon said: “It is a new Parliament and I think new Members of Parliament will want to think very carefully about how we best deal with Isil, and the illogicality of Isil not respecting the borderlines.”
Mr Fallon suggested that a bombing campaign could be mounted in revenge for the terror attacks in Tunisia if a link could be proved between the killer and Isil in Libya. Britain would only take military action in Libya “where we think there is an imminent threat, a very direct to British lives or, for example, to British hostages”, he said.
Senior Whitehall sources did not distance themselves from Mr Fallon’s comments but insisted there was no immediate prospect of military action.
The Telegraph understands that Mr Cameron is concerned that Labour might force the Government into another defeat over Syria.
Pentagon Issues alert; ISIS posts map of FBI Command Centers
BY STEVE WATSON
New York Congressman Peter King was spreading more of his brand of fear on Fox News last night, telling viewers that officials in New York are worried that there is going to be a dirty bomb attack this weekend.
Speaking to Megyn Kelly regarding the heightened chatter of a possible terrorist attack during 4th of July celebrations, King took things to a whole new level.
Saying he’s never seen this level of concern, King stated “You wouldn’t see the… nuclear explosion detection devices being used the way they are… if this were just a routine warning.”
“Did you just say nuclear?” Kelly responded.
“Yes, that’s a big concern here in New York.” King replied, adding “Nuclear explosives, the dirty bomb. That’s why so much money has been put in to explosive detection devices.”
King, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism, loves to perpetuate the idea that there are terrorists around every corner in US cities trying to set off nuclear bombs. He is obsessed with stripping away freedoms and rights in favour of more aggressive surveillance and tighter controls in the face of the threat of terrorism.
King has routinely called for the NSA to strengthen and increase its mass surveillance programs.
He has previously referred to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as a “terrorist appeaser”, and a traitor, and has called for the extradition and prosecution of Snowden, as well as journalists reporting on the issue of NSA surveillance.
King is an expert in terrorism, having supported the IRA in the 1980s, despite bombings that had killed British soldiers and scores of innocent people, as well as targeting British politicians, including the Prime Minister.
On the heels of official alerts from the FBI, the DHS, as well as former CIA officials over July 4th, the Pentagon has also issued an alert, noting that it is maintaining a “higher alert status” due to potential threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“The call went for increased attacks during Ramadan, which is why you see us maintaining a higher alert status,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Wednesday.
In addition, fears have been heightened by reports that the FBI is setting up command centers around the country to prepare for terror attacks on the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
ISIS has responded by widely posting a map showing the locations of the temporary command posts.
Do you love this? Dozens of residents of Tennessee who knew that Barack Obama’s motorcade was driving by rushed to the streets to wave Confederate flags at him as he drove by!
The Chicago Sun-Times reported
If there’s one thing we know by now, it’s that some people in the South love their Confederate flags, so a bunch of people in Tennessee decided to greet President Barack Obama’s the only way they know how.
Obama was at the Stratton Elementary School in Madison to deliver a speech on his health care law, and several people lined the street, waving Confederate flags.
Some also were holding the flag along Obama’s motorcade route as he returned to the airport after his speech, according to The Hill.
WAY TO GO TENNESSEE!!!!