Republicans revived attacks against their favorite target "Obamacare" by seizing on technical failures to try to delay its rollout, amid some fraying of Democratic support for the health care reforms. The rocky debut of the website where people started…
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- Affordable Care Act
- Boston Marathon
- Chris Rock
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
- Election 2012
- Fox News
- Guy Fawkes
- House Speaker John Boehner
- Islamic extremists
- Juan Williams
- July 4th
- Michelle Malkin
- Mitt Romeny
- Mitt Romney
- Palestinian Territories
- Paul Ryan
- President Barack Obama
- Public Education
- Sean Hannity
- Senator Marco Rubio
- Tamara Holder
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev
- Teachers Union
- US citizens
- University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
- World News
- counterterror officials
- digital bombardment
- domestic violence
- fair compensation
- federal website
- gunpowder plot
- health care
- insider attack
- job security
- press conference
- qualified teachers
- september 11
- smaller classes
- technical glitches
- top priority
by Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica, April 19, 2013
As an eighth-grader in a Cambridge public school, suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was quiet, friendly, spoke good English and seemed at home in his adopted country.
While hundreds of police officers pursued the 19-year-old during a nationally-televised rampage across Boston Friday, a former classmate recounted memories of the refugee who, according to counterterror officials, became a U.S. citizen on an ironic date: Sept. 11, 2012.
The story of the Boston bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, is still unfolding at high speed. Many aspects of the case, including the brothers' motivations, are not yet clear.
But a portrait began to emerge Friday based on ProPublica interviews with counterterror officials, the public statements of relatives and associates, and reports in the media.
Counterterror officials believe the brothers were Islamic extremists. And the information available so far suggests that they appeared to integrate well into U.S. society, yet slid into a spiral of Islamic radicalization with bloody results. The profile has similarities to the home-grown terrorists behind attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005, according to counterterror officials.
"He was always a nice kid," said Cam Blauchner, who attended middle school with Dzhokhar, in a telephone interview with ProPublica. "He was shy, but not in a creepy way. He was a sweet guy. We played soccer together. I knew he was from Chechnya, but he never talked about it. He never mentioned his religious affiliation. I didn't know he was Muslim."
At some point, however, Dzhokhar and his brother plunged into a subculture that is grimly familiar to counterterror agencies in Europe and, to a lesser but worrisome extent, the United States, officials said.
There are signs that the brothers showed interest in the conflict in Syria, which has drawn al Qaida fighters and other militants from across the Muslim world and Europe, according to a U.S. counterterror official. Like others interviewed for this story, the official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing case.
The brothers had viewed videos about the plight of Syrian Muslims, the official said. Syria is the latest hotspot on the world map of jihad. Holy warriors a decade ago were inspired by videos about brutal combat between jihadis and Russian troops in the brothers' family homeland: the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, a breeding ground for al Qaida fighters in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
As the Israeli army rains shells on the Gaza strip Thursday, it’s also taken the offensive online, posting videos of its attacks on Hamas targets and live-tweeting its campaign. Now the hacktivist group Anonymous has responded with a digital bombardment of its own.
In a coordinated action that began at 3 a.m. ET Thursday, hackers attacked web sites belonging to the Israel Defense Forces, the prime minister’s office, Israeli banks, airlines and security companies by flooding them with web traffic, in an operation they called #OpIsrael. “We Anonymous will not sit back and watch a cowardly Zionist State demolish innocent people’s lives.” reads one message posted to a defaced site, along with an image of smoke rising over what appears to be a Palestinian city.
Anonymous Twitter accounts provided links to what they described as an Anonymous Gaza Care Package with tools for staying online if Israel cuts Internet service the Gaza Strip during its military action. Another hacker group, Telecomix, provided its own detailed instructions in English and Arabic for using dial-up connections.
"Anonymous does not support violence by the I.D.F. or by Palestinian Resistance/Hamas. Our concern is for the children of Israel and Palestinian Territories and the rights of the people in Gaza to maintain open lines of communication with the outside world," reads a press statement from Anonymous.
Sunday early morning world news round-up from Al Jazeera English: Another insider attack in Afghanistan, a string of blasts rock Iraq, police violence in hit Spain's austerity protests, and more.
Conservative columnist and Fox News commentator, Michelle Malkin is having a really tough time lately. As she throws gasoline on every fire, or would-be fire that comes up in the media, no one will dance around the flames with her. It seems it's getting difficult to be a right-wing extremist these days.
On Wednesday, Malkin thought she was going to have a great day after catching wind of a couple of reporters who were captured planning to ensure that Romney was asked if he regretted the tone and timing of his statement condemning President Barack Obama’s response to Tuesday’s embassy attacks.
“If it looks, sounds, talks like journo-tools for Obama, it is what it is,” said Malkin.
Imagine her dismay when told that The Hill columnist Juan Williams said that coordinating a line of questioning ahead of a press conference was a common practice among reporters. Perhaps sensing that the flames she was trying to ignite would diminish, she declared to Sean Hannity that she had "seen how the sausage is made in these sausage factories," so maybe when no one will dance around her flames she holds cook outs? Sort of like when life hands you lemons, make lemonade?
It wasn't long for Ms. Malkin to wait before the fatal attacks in Libya lit a spark in her again this week. "These optics suck," she angrily yelped on Fox News. As she blasted the Obama administration for not being psychic and fortifying "these embassies on the 11th anniversary of 9-11," I thought to myself that first of all, it wasn't an embassy that was attacked, it was a consulate that Ambassador Stevens was visiting. Then next, I wondered if she called up George W. Bush every year to blast him for not fortifying our foreign embassies? Probably not, eh?
Next thing I knew, Malkin is literally screaming that basically everyone should be as angry as she is because "Every Friday is riot Friday," and she really wants us to remember that because she seemed really just beside herself as she cried out "Will we ever forget? Never forget!" It was hard to believe that Hannity let her ramble on like that, you'd think he would be rather embarrassed to have her on the show. There was no mention of meat during that episode.
I'm not sure of the date of the next time I caught Ms. Malkin on Fox News, but she was trying to start a fire with Chris Rock, and he's a funny guy. First, Malkin screeches that "Left-wing "Holly-Weirdos" are sooo out of touch with the American mainstream," which made me laugh just a little. A right-wing extremist like Malkin accusing Hollywood of being out of touch with the mainstream? The irony! But then she brings up a graphic with a copy of one of Chris Rock's "tweets" from back on July 4th that said:
"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but i'm sure they enjoyed the fireworks"
You can see in the video how unhinged she gets over this one as she screams out "Chris Rock, You make a living running your mouth off. Hey! Just like me. That's something to celebrate. You can't do that everywhere else in the world, you know!"
Maybe someone should tell her that Chris is a comedian, and also that he has a point. Now that he mentions it, blacks celebrating "freedom" while they were still in chains in this country...well, I'm just saying, he has a point.
That was all I caught of Michelle Malkin screaming this week, and it sure was more than enough. Even fellow Fox News contributor Tamara Holder said of Malkin, "I don't know her personally, but I am not a fan of her debating style. I think she probably needs to get laid. She's very angry." Malkin mentions this on her Facebook page...blames it on the "Vulgar left." Always with the gas on the fire, and it's always the left's fault.
The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on the front lines of a fight to defend public education. On one side the 30,000 members of the CTU have called for a contract that includes fair compensation, meaningful job security for qualified teachers, smaller class sizes and a better school day with Art, Music, World Language and appropriate staffing levels to help our neediest students.
On the other side, the Chicago Board of Education—which is managed by out of town reformers and Broad Foundation hires with little or no Chicago public school experience—has pushed to add two weeks to the school year and 85 minutes to the school day, eliminate pay increases for seniority, evaluate teachers based on student test scores, and slash many other rights.
Teachers, parents and community supporters in Chicago have fought valiantly—marching, filling auditoriums at hearings and parent meetings, even occupying a school and taking over a school board meeting. Most recently, 98 percent of our members voted to authorize a strike. But now we find ourselves facing new opponents—national education privatizers, backed by some of the nation's wealthiest people. They are running radio ads, increasing press attacks, and mounting a PR campaign to discredit the CTU and the benefits of public education.
In a new video ad, called "Facts," President Obama aims to set the record straight in the face of attacks from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on his Medicare plan.
"Mitt Romney continues to mislead the American people about President Obama's record on Medicare--and skip the truth about his own plan to eliminate the guarantee of Medicare and provide people with a voucher to buy health care instead," Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement announcing the new ad.
"Facts," according to Fetcher, will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.
"President Obama's new ad 'Facts' gets the facts wrong," responded Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "The facts concerning the President's record on Medicare are clear: 1) Obama cut the program by $716 billion, 2) millions will be forced to lose their Medicare Advantage coverage and 3) the program will go bankrupt in 2024. Mitt Romney has a plan for Medicare that protects it for today's seniors and strengthens it for future generations."
Republicans have criticized Obama for diverting $716 billion from Medicare, apparently referencing a July report by the Congressional Budget Office which said a repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would result in a $716 billion increase in Medicare costs through 2022.
But the report also says that Medicare will not lose $716 billion should Obamacare stay in place, as Romney claimed in his ad. More of Romney's "sauce for the goose" crap, I suppose. Better duck, Mittens, more pesky facts headed your way!
ALLIES of global hacker group Anonymous have put on their masks and picked up litter in a Tokyo park as a protest against tough illegal download laws.
The 80-strong collective said yesterday's busy bee was a protest against Japan's tougher laws against illegal downloads.
In light rain, they took part in an "anonymous cleaning service" for one hour in a park and on pavements in the shopping and entertainment hub of Shibuya, a change from the group's trademark website attacks.
They were dressed in black and wore masks of Guy Fawkes, the central figure in England's 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up parliament, which have become a symbol of protests by the loosely linked alliance around the world.
The group said that cyber attacks are the work of other global Anonymous networks in the global internet community, and that they prefer "constructive and productive solutions."
"We want to make our fellow citizens aware of the problem with a productive message."