Obama Says US Underestimated Rise of ISIL

US President says Washington, in contrast, overestimated the Iraqi army’s ability to counter armed groups US intelligence agencies have underestimated the activity of armed groups inside Syria, which has become “ground zero” for them worldwide, US President Barack Obama has said in an interview aired by American CBS television. Conversely, the US overestimated the ability of the Iraqi army to fight the groups, Obama said in the interview taped on Friday and aired on Sunday, days after the US president globally made his case for action in a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. Citing earlier comments by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, Obama acknowledged that US intelligence underestimated what had been taking place in Syria. Fighters went underground when US Marines quashed al-Qaeda in Iraq with help from Iraq’s tribes, he said. “But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the...

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Secret Politics Pervade Popular Companies

But overall trend points toward big corporations volunteering more details, new survey says By Dave Levinthal, Center for Public Integrity – Watch your Netflix show, wear your Ralph Lauren shirt, brew your Keurig coffee and deposit your paycheck at M&T Bank. Just know that you’re patronizing some of the nation’s least politically transparent companies, according to a new study to be formally released this morning by the nonpartisan Center for Political Accountability and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Twenty of the nearly 300 companies studied didn’t score a single point on the survey’s 70-point scale measuring political disclosure and accountability policies, including Netflix Inc., which produces political thriller “House of Cards,” and K-Cup maker Keurig Green Mountain Coffee, which says it uses the “power of business to make the world a better place.” Other basement dwellers include Whole Foods Market Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., Wal-Mart...

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Naomi Klein on Cause of Climate Crisis: “Capitalism Is Stupid”

Naomi Klein is out to change hearts and minds around climate change By Sarah Jaffe, Truthout | Interview/News Analysis – Her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate out now from Simon & Schuster, is a broad challenge to those who want a livable planet: We need to come up with a livable economic system too. Deeply researched and personally reported, Klein’s third book takes us from the tar sands in Alberta (“Earth, skinned alive”) to the oil-soaked waters of the Gulf of Mexico (“a miscarriage”), from climate denier conferences to a meeting of would-be geoengineers, as she traces the path of destruction that capitalism and a mindset she terms “extractivism” – that is perhaps even older – have left on the Earth. At one point, Klein concedes, it might have been possible to stop the climate crisis with a few regulations here, a carbon tax there. But...

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Right Wing WorldNetDaily Columnist Links Gay Rights To ISIS Extremists

by Ryan Denson – Nope, you cannot make this stuff up. With conservatives it’s always the same: Obama and liberals are the reason why everyone hates America. It has nothing to do with the fact we came in guns-a-blazin’ in the 2000’s with our approach to foreign policy, and it is not because of our exceptionalism in world affairs… No, according to columnist Mychal Massie of the right-wing WorldNetDaily, abortion, immigration reform, and yes, the gays, are responsible for why the extremist militants in ISIS hate the United States. In his article, titled “America – Poised For Collapse,” Massie claims that it is because the sin of sodomy, among other things, that has caused these militants to rise up against the US and other tolerant countries: “They view America in light of what she supports— and let there be not one doubt that these pagans understand that the homologation of...

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FBI Director Equates Protecting Personal Privacy with Lawlessness

James Comey says that moves by tech giants to offer encryption to customers allows cell phone users to “place themselves beyond the law.” by Jon Queally – FBI Director James Comey has responded to recent moves by tech giants Apple and Google to offer better encryption services on their handheld devices by suggesting that giving people the ability to protect their private communications from state law enforcement agencies is akin to lawlessness. In recent weeks both companies have rolled out new software enhancements for their respective smartphones that make it harder for police or federal agents to obtain emails, photos, or call information that may be stored on the devices. The encryption is also designed to protect against fraud, theft, and other digital invasions. The move was widely applauded by privacy rights advocates, who in the wake of revelations about NSA surveillance practices on the U.S. population made possible by...

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ALEC Is Lying About Climate Change Google Chairman Tells Diane Rehm

By Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch – Google got in a lot of hot water with climate activists for its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the lobbying organization that writes “model legislation” favoring corporate interests. Chairman Eric Schmidt told National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Monday that Google’s support of the group was a “mistake,” and that ALEC was spreading lies about climate change, “making the world a much worse place.” He said that ALEC’s legislation on behalf of fossil fuel industries — bills such as the surcharge on solar-generated energy in Arizona and the abandonment of clean energy standards in Ohio — are both harmful for Earth’s future and a bad investment. In response to a call from Kristen in Syracuse, who asked if Google is still funding ALEC which supports climate deniers in D.C., Schmidt said “We funded them as part of a political campaign due to something unrelated, but...

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This Homework Question Called 15th Century Slavery A ‘Bold New Idea’

by DeWyn – One teacher learned a lesson from a student when asking a question about sugar cultivation in the 15th century. For those of us who need to brush up on our world history, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal wasn’t really a navigator. He just took credit for what other people did. He was a monarch who sent others to do the exploring and like a lot of people of his time (and like a lot of capitalists of our time) saw only resources. In 1441, he sent explorers to from Portugal to Africa to find gold, silver and spices. They found little gold, but they did bring home 12 black, Arabic speaking, African people, as exhibits. One of the captives, though, was a chief who negotiated his release. In exchange, he would send more Africans for slaves. A year later, the explorers returned to Africa and brought...

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Over 100,000 Sexually Explicit Photos Of Children Found On Arrested Archbishop’s Computer

by Vera – Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was previously stripped of his title over accusations of child molestation, was arrested last week. With an investigation underway, detectives of the Vatican have recently discovered that Wesolowski’s office computer contained sexually explicit content involving children – over 86,000 images and 160 videos were found. An additional 45,000 photos had been deleted from the computer. Upon examination, the video files were of teenage boys being forced into sexual acts with each other and adults. The 86,000+ photographs had been neatly organized into category-based folders. Wesolowski, who was head of the church in the Dominican Republic between 2008 and 2012, was originally allowed to walk freely in Rome despite the allegations of having paid minors for sex. Now, the 66-year-old former Archbishop is limited to a tiny room in the Collegio dei Penitenzieri’s basement, the same building that hosts the Vatican’s court and military police. Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief...

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Prosecutor: Reply to Perry Filing Likely to Come Next Month

by Terri Langford, The Texas Tribune – Gov. Rick Perry‘s legal team was quick to challenge the criminal indictment against him in August, making its position known within days of the governor’s booking. “Continued prosecution of Governor Perry on the current indictment is unprecedented, insupportable and simply impermissible,” the governor’s attorneys wrote in their brief. “This court should not hesitate to dismiss both counts of the indictment and bar the prosecution, immediately if not sooner.” One month later, they have yet to get an answer from special prosecutor Michael McCrum, the man who secured the indictment against Perry. On Thursday, McCrum told The Texas Tribune that his response is coming but probably wouldn’t be filed until the “later half” of October. “I’m just taking a lot of time to look into it carefully,” McCrum said. “There are several matters that are blatantly wrong.” He didn’t...

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US Team Breaks Guinness World Record for Highest Paper Airplane Flight

By Stu Robarts, Gizmag – For most people, paper airplanes are something you launched across school classrooms as a kid. A team of US Air Force auxiliary volunteers, however, has been taking it far more seriously. The team launched a paper airplane from a high-altitude balloon at 96,563 ft (29,432 m), taking the world record in the process. In a press release on its website, the US Fox Valley Composite Squadron, Illinois Wing, Civil Air Patrol, reports that the paper airplane was launched from Kankakee, Illinois, and landed 82 miles (132 km) away, Southwest of Rochester, Indiana. The flight took just under 2 hours and 7 minutes. The paper airplane, designed by the cadets themselves, is said to have a traditional shape and is made out of paper board. It is 30 inches (76 cm) long with a wingspan of 14.5 in (36.8 cm). It weighs in at 424...

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9/11 First Responder Health Crisis: Three Ground Zero FireFighters Die The Same Day…From Cancer

by Kerry-Anne – On September 11th 2001, 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics from the New York City Fire Department lost their lives while responding to the terrorist attacks in the World Trade Center…but ever since, first responders have continued to lose their lives from conditions set in motion that day. Three fellow first responders from the New York City fire department joined their fallen comrades this week. Daniel Heglund, Howard Bischoff and Robert Leaver died Monday, according to NY1, which reported that each of the men suffered from cancer. Daniel Heglund spent 21 years with the department, Leaver had a 20-year FDNY career and Bischoff was a 19-year veteran. All three retired in 2003, and Leaver and Bischoff were longtime friends, the Daily News reported. Their deaths served as “a painful reminder that, 13 years later, we continue to pay a terrible price for the Department’s heroic efforts on September...

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ISIL pushes into Syrian town despite US raids

ISIL fighters continue to advance on Ain al-Arab despite US air strikes and fierce resistance from Kurdish forces   Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have continued to advance into the Kurdish-dominated town of Ain al-Arab in Syria, despite the US-led air campaign against the self-declared jihadist group. More than 15,000 residents have fled the northern Syrian town as ISIL fighters pushed deeper, fighting fierce battles with Kurdish armed groups on Saturday. Ain al-Arab, which the Kurds call Kobane, is close to the Syrian-Turkey border. Turkish officials said that four mortar shells from the fighting in Syria landed in Turkey on Saturday, injuring two people. Earlier on the day, US coalition-led warplanes struck ISIL positions near Ain al-Arab, as well as targets that included wheat silos in the country’s east. Fighting have been raging in the north for two weeks as ISIL captured dozens of villages around Ain al-Arab and tried to...

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A Copyright Ruling in California Could Spell Trouble for Oldies Radio

by Jesse Walker – If you live in California and listen to oldies radio, don’t be surprised if your favorite station suddenly decides to change its format. Thanks to a court decision that came down this week, it might become a lot costlier for stations in that state to play music made before 1972. The plaintiffs in the case are the Turtles, a ’60s band best known for the song “Happy Together.” (More precisely, the plaintiffs are Flo & Eddie, a successor act with a litigious history. They own the rights to the Turtles’ name and recordings.) The defendant is the satellite-radio megalith SiriusXM. In a nutshell, Flo & Eddie argue that the broadcaster violated their rights each time it transmitted a Turtles record without their consent. This is where things get complicated. There is a difference between owning the rights to a song and owning the rights to a recording. (Bob Dylan owns...

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Politifact Destroys Biggest Republican Talking Points On Climate Change

by Ryan Denson – Politifact recently compiled their 10 biggest claims on climate change into one neat, organized list. In it, they sift through claims made my politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle, rating them from “Pants on Fire” lying to “True” statements. Republicans have a world of truth hurled their way, and it is epic. Here are the 10 fact checked claims Politifact chose: Claim No. 1 – “Climate change is a hoax.” Claim made by Lenar Whitney, a Republican. Politifact rated this claim as Pants on Fire. “We found — as we have before — that there’s an overwhelming consensus among respected scientists that human-caused global warming is real. In this fact-check, we looked at some of Whitney’s supporting evidence to argue that global warming is a hoax and found that it was weak.” Thank you, Politifact! It’s bad enough that her ridiculous video even went...

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The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘Because You People Will Hound Me if I Don’t’ Edition

by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, o9/28/14 – Happy Sunday one and all…….. beyond glorious here in the great white north.  Beautiful blues skies, mid-seventies temperature wise, chipmunks clamoring over me for my bag of peanuts, Owen stretched out in whatever room the sun is glowing the strongest in…… life, she be good. Hope all is well with you guys and gals.  Sit back, relax and take a few minutes to learn some new tasty tidbits and perhaps get a chuckle or two.  I do apologize in advance for the last picture on this weeks SF&Fs…… but I just had to.  So, without further ado, it’s on with this weeks Sunday Funnies & Factoids. 1) The Jaws of Life were invented by George Hurst, who was a mechanical engineer and auto racing enthusiast. He conceived the idea after witnessing an accident at the Indy 500 where the driver died because he...

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Sex Toy Sale Makes Dorothy Think It’s Not Her Kansas Anymore

“From the Desk of NickiLeaks” Dorothy had left home, feeling like a house had dropped on her. In this case, a whore house. No thanks to Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republicans cutting Kansas’ tax base by so much that the state was, for all intents and purposes, bankrupt. And Dorothy didn’t know what to make of it, what to make of the fact that the Republicans had screwed up the state’s economy so incredibly that, to raise money, Kansas was selling off fuzzy handcuffs and other sex toys seized from Larry Minkoff, the owner of Bang sex stores who owes the state $163,983 – or, in other words, the same amount of money the Kansas legislature decided not to tax one white millionaire. Well, to avoid the truth, Kansas gave the toys back to Minkoff and then ordered him to auction the toys off and give them the money that they...

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How Rich Old White Men Are Taking the Lunch Money Away From Broken-Down Schools

by Paul Buchheit – Cuts to Head Start and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have taken food away from schoolchildren. The cuts are directly related to the dramatic dropoff in federal corporate tax revenue. Tax avoidance is just as bad at the state level, which is a much greater source of K-12 educational funding. Both individuals and corporations are paying less state taxes than ever before. As a result, our public schools, the most important expression of a society working together to secure future generations, are being defunded and dismantled and left to decay. It may be the ugliest extreme of inequality in our country — tax avoidance by the rich vs. broken-down schools. Rich White Male Tax Avoidance According to a Standard and Poor’s analysis, average annual state tax revenue fell from 10% to 5% between 1980 and 2011, even as the share of total income for the top...

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‘Outside’ Groups Swamp Florida’s Airwaves in Race for Governor

Candidates routinely appear in ads paid for by third-party groups By Rachel Baye, Center for Public Integrity – The race to occupy the Florida governor’s mansion is among the most expensive state-level contests in the country this year, with roughly $31.8 million spent through September 8 on 64,000 television ads. But the campaign committees of incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger and former Gov. Charlie Crist are responsible for less than 4 percent of that spending. That’s the lowest rate of candidate participation in any governor’s race in the country, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data from media tracking service Kantar Media/CMAG. The phenomenon stems in part from a new campaign finance law that the Florida Legislature passed last year. The change made it easier for independent political committees to raise unlimited sums of money. The committees can then use that money to...

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Sarah Palin Whines About Obama Salute In Incredibly Disrespectful Speech, Apologizes To Military (VIDEO)

by Stephen D Foster Jr – In the same Values Voter Summit speech in which she got the address of the White House wrong, Sarah Palin also mocked President Obama over his styrofoam cup salute. During her speech, Palin accused liberals of actually creating scandals to distract Americans from other so-called scandals. Seriously, she really claimed that liberals are the ones making scandals out of things. In addition, the rambling sentence also referenced Benghazi, the IRS, and golf while completely disrespecting the Commander-in-Chief. They distract, bebopin’ from one scandal after another, knowing that there are so many that you can’t keep up with all of ‘em so no one is ever held accountable, from the IRS corruption to you being spied on to Benghazi to bailouts to Bush’s war was bad, but Barack’s bombs, oh baby those red lines, the strategy there that was thought up on the back nine,...

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A Pot Lovin’ Colorado Politician And Wyclef Jean Just Made The Best Campaign Ad Ever (Video)

by Kerry-Anne – An independent candidate for Governor of Colorado loves weed and hip hop, and managed to combine the two in his campaign ad by performing a pro-liberty rap with none other than Wyclef Jean. The message, according to the Dunafon campaign: Jean and Dunafon’s message is that if you’re sick of party politics, and you want to get the money out, an independent governor is the best choice for Colorado, because he is not taking money from vested interests, and is willing to talk about the most divisive issues: local control over fracking, the release of non-violent cannabis prisoners, and investing to create a world-class cannabis and hemp industry in Colorado. Gawker nails it with this description: Imagine, if you will, a libertarian William Shatner whose musical tastes skew more Blunted on Reality than Bringing It All Back Home, and you’ve got something like Mike Dunafon, an...

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