Zero Hedge – Americans not in Labor Force Rise to Record 93,194,000

Did I hear some liberals say the economy was improving under Obama?

MAY 8, 2015 – Americans Not In The Labor Force Rise To Record 93,194,000

In what was an “unambiguously” unpleasant April jobs payrolls report the fact that the number of Americans not in the labor force rose once again, this time to 93,194K from 93,175K, with the result being a participation rate of 69.45 or just above the lowest percentage since 1977, will merely catalyze even more upside to the so called “market” which continues to reflect nothing but central bank liquidity, and thus – the accelerating deterioration of the broader economy.

Daily Signal – What You Need to Know About Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court

By Mike Licht

by Ryan T. Anderson, Daily Signal, April 21, 2015


One week from today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about gay marriage. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. There simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage. Whatever people may think about marriage as a policy matter, everyone should be able to recognize the Constitution does not settle this question.

Unelected judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and then say the Constitution requires them everywhere. Continue reading →

Cato – Baltimore Police Admit Thousands of Stingray Uses

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by Adam Bates, Cato @ Liberty, Apr. 9, 2015, 10:56AM


It’s been a bad week for Stingray secrecy.  Following a court-ordered document dump in New York earlier this week, a Baltimore detective yesterday testified in court that he had personally used a Stingray between 600 and 800 times during two years as a member of the Baltimore Police Department’s Advanced Technical Team. He also testified that the unit has used such devices 4,300 times since 2007.

Stingrays are handheld or vehicle-mounted surveillance devices that operate by mimicking cell towers.  They have the capability to force cell phones within their range to connect with the Stingray and transmit ID information from the phone.  Some models – the technology is constantly being upgraded to keep pace with advancing telecommunications infrastructure – are suspected of being able to intercept content, but the true extent of the capability is a closely-guarded secret. What is increasingly not a secret is that dozens of law enforcement agencies around the country have been using these devices for years to sweep up swaths of cell phone data, much of it from innocent people, with little to no transparency or oversight. Continue reading →

Daily Signal – How a Bystander’s Video of the Deadly South Carolina Police Shooting Reignited Debate Over Body Cameras

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by Josh Siegel, Daily Signal, Apr. 8, 2015


The stark visual of watching a white policeman fire eight shots into the back of a fleeing black man in North Charleston, S.C. this weekend would not have been known to America if not for a bystander capturing the scene on video.

Those precise details as shown in the video allowed the state to charge the officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, with the murder of Walter L. Scott, 50, and reignited a national discussion on police reform. Continue reading →

Daily Signal – ‘I Am Who I Am’: 3 Questions for Rand Paul

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by Ken McIntyre, Daily Signal, April 7, 2015


The Daily Signal sent three questions to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and he provided his answers by email over the weekend.

“Most Americans have fallen victim to an overzealous federal government.”

— Rand Paul

Paul’s reply to the second question previews a  slogan—Defeat the Washington Machine, Restore the American Dream—he was set to unveil Tuesday in Louisville in announcing he will seek the Republican nomination for president. Continue reading →

Daily Signal – Where Do GOP Presidential Prospects Stand on 20-Week Abortion Ban?

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by Kate Scanlon, Daily Signal, Apr. 4, 2015


In a crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, is there room for agreement on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act?

The legislation would prohibit abortion after five months—more than halfway through a pregnancy—except in cases where rape or incest were reported.

A recent Quinnipiac poll shows 60 percent of Americans support pain-capable legislation.

Do the Republican presidential candidates support the legislation? Continue reading →

Heritage – The War on Poverty After 50 Years

by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, Heritage Foundation, September 15, 2014


Abstract

In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began. Continue reading →

ProPublica – Claim on “Attacks Thwarted” by NSA Spreads Despite Lack of Evidence

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by Justin Elliott and Theodoric Meyer, ProPublica, Oct. 23, 2013, 8:59 a.m.

UPDATE Dec. 17, 2013: In a new ruling that calls the NSA’s phone metadata surveillance likely unconstitutional, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon cited this article in his assessment of the agency’s claims about thwarted terrorist attacks. Read the ruling here


Two weeks after Edward Snowden’s first revelations about sweeping government surveillance, President Obama shot back. “We know of at least 50 threats that have been averted because of this information not just in the United States, but, in some cases, threats here in Germany,” Obama said during a visit to Berlin in June. “So lives have been saved.”

In the months since, intelligence officials, media outlets, and members of Congress from both parties all repeated versions of the claim that NSA surveillance has stopped more than 50 terrorist attacks. The figure has become a key talking point in the debate around the spying programs.

“Fifty-four times this and the other program stopped and thwarted terrorist attacks both here and in Europe 2014 saving real lives,” Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said on the House floor in July, referring to programs authorized by a pair of post-9/11 laws. “This isn’t a game. This is real.”

But there’s no evidence that the oft-cited figure is accurate.

Continue reading →

ProPublica – The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President

By Center for American Progress Action Fund

by Kara Brandeisky, ProPublica, Aug. 7, 2013, 10:24 a.m.


When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs. Here are some of the proposals the president co-sponsored as a senator. Continue reading →