Jeff Sessions said very few people are being deported -- think about it: When was the last time you saw a deported person? Americans were shocked to learn that the NSA and FBI have been hacking a number of major internet companies... and PalTalk. And Glenn Greenwald broke another big story about the government planning overseas cyber attacks. Greenwald will undoubtedly have a third scoop in a few days when he is a target of one such attack. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, June 7th, 2013:
OBAMA ORDERS OVERSEAS CYBER TARGETS - Glenn Greenwald: "Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) 'can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging'.It says the government will 'identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power'. The directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US, though it specifies that no such domestic operations can be conducted without the prior order of the president, except in cases of emergency." [Guardian]
Mitt Romney won't run for president again, begging the question: Will Mitt Romney run for president again? "I got my chance," the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee said on Fox News today. "I took my message to the American people. I wasn't successful." [BuzzFeed]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Delaney: "Laurel Rockefeller of Johnstown, Pa., has just entered her sixth month of unemployment. Her previous job in a call center lasted only three weeks. Before that, she'd been unemployed since working seven weeks for the Census in 2010. She's been without stable full-time work since May 2009, when she lost her job as photographer and graphic artist for a sewing machine company....Rockefeller maintains optimism and has used some of her time to write novels. "I'm determined not to be a casualty of this recession," she said. "I can survive anything if I can just catch a break." Rockefeller said she's got $20,000 of debt, mostly from basic expenses -- though she acknowledges one or two missteps. She said a Brooklyn pet store sold her an ill cockatiel in 2011 and wouldn't take it back. She racked up $2,500 in medical bills for the sick bird. It recovered and accompanied Rockefeller to rural Pennsylvania after her unemployment insurance ran out. When Rockefeller was taking out the trash on her first day in a new apartment last December, she failed to account for the fact that her front door opened outside instead of into a hallway. The bird made its move. "She literally flew over my head," Rockefeller said. She yelled and yelled but the bird never came back." [HuffPost]
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PRISM IS ANOTHER WAY THE U.S. CAN MONITOR YOU - Despite the name, PRISM is not a Northern Virginia-based government consulting firm or a trip-hop DJ duo. WaPo: "The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post. The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley. Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: 'Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.'" [WaPo]
OBAMA DEFENDS SURVEILLANCE - The president kindly took time out of planning a drone strike on Glenn Greenwald's house to answer some questions about our police state (might we suggest "LibertyPlus" as an alternate term?). Times: "President Obama on Friday offered a robust defense of the government surveillance programs revealed this week, and sought to reassure the public that his administration has not become a Big Brother with eyes and ears throughout the world of online communications. 'Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,' Mr. Obama said, delivering a 14-minute answer to two questions about the surveillance programs at an event that was initially supposed to be devoted to the health care law. 'That's not what this program is about.'...He acknowledged that the public may be uncomfortable with the broad reach of the formerly secret programs, but he said he believed the government had struck the right balance between the need to fight terrorism and the need to protect privacy...He repeatedly stressed that the surveillance programs were subject to Congressional oversight. In fact, he suggested that the programs -- which he conceded were classified as top secret -- were not truly secret because many members of Congress were aware of them." [NYT]
James Clapper, CIA director, released more information on the Verizon monitoring program: "The program is conducted under authority granted by Congress and is authorized by the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Court which determines the legality of the program. The government is prohibited from 'indiscriminately sifting' through the data acquired. It can only be reviewed 'when there is a reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts, that the particular basis for the query is associated with a foreign terrorist organization.' He also said only counterterrorism personnel trained in the program may access the records. The information acquired is overseen by the Justice Department and the FISA court. Only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed, he said. The program is reviewed every 90 days." [AP]
Rand Paul Rand Pauls: "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation Friday that would prevent the government from obtaining the phone records of Americans without 'a warrant based on probable cause,' following reports that the National Security Agency has secretly been collecting the records of millions of Americans. It appeared to be the moment Paul, a vocal defender of civil liberties, was waiting for. He announced his bill, 'The Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013,' in a statement Thursday, as his colleagues on Capitol Hill were busy defending the NSA program." [HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui]
SENATE BEGINS TOTALLY MEASURED DEBATE ON IMMIGRATION - Elise Foley: "The Senate kicked off its debate Friday on the 'gang of eight' comprehensive immigration reform bill with vows from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) to fight its passage. 'From my perspective, there is no one amendment that can fix this bill,' Lee, who at one time worked with the gang of eight on a reform deal, said on the floor. 'Indeed, there is no series of tinkering changes that will turn this mess of a bill into the reform the country needs and that Americans deserve.' It was the first series of floor debate on the gang of eight reform bill, which would increase border security, create more interior enforcement, streamline legal immigration and provide a conditional path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. The bill will go up for a vote next week on whether it should proceed, and is expected to pass a 60-vote threshold even though it does not yet have 60 votes in support. The issue of whether to support the reform legislation is most complicated for Republicans, many of whom, like Lee and Sessions, say that it provides too little border security and that the path to citizenship would violate the nation's commitment to the law." [HuffPost]
JEFF SESSIONS: NO ONE IS BEING DEPORTED - The Immigration and Naturalization Service has a way of shutting that whole thing down. Elise Foley: "Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said again on Friday that 'nobody' is being deported from the United States -- a nation that expelled a record of more than 400,000 people last year. 'The federal government has reached a point now where virtually no one is being deported except those being convicted of serious crimes,' Sessions said on the Senate floor, arguing against the bipartisan 'gang of eight' immigration reform bill. The Obama administration has ramped up deportation levels to record levels, despite also calling for immigration enforcement that would give legal status to some of those being removed. It has also implemented policies that allow some undocumented immigrants to stay, such as Dreamers -- young undocumented immigrants -- who can received deferred action from deportation. The administration has argued that since it doesn't have the resources to deport all undocumented immigrants, it must use practices that focus on serious criminals." [HuffPost]
SENATE GOP DIVIDED ON ADVANCING D.C. CIRCUIT COURT NOMINEES - Jen Bendery: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been signaling he may pick a fight on filibuster reform this summer, and a major litmus test will be whether Republicans block a handful of President Barack Obama's key nominees in the coming weeks. But for now, Republicans can't even agree on how to proceed...HuffPost talked to nearly a dozen Republican senators to get their reactions, and they were all over the map. Some are holding firm in their argument that the court just isn't busy enough to warrant filling its three vacancies. 'You don't need any more in that circuit. It's the most underworked circuit in the country,' said a visibly agitated Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). 'I think we're playing politics.' 'We all know that the D.C. court has too many judges on it. It's not a busy court," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). 'I would think that the president is ill-advised to just immediately try to look for one other opportunity to establish confrontation, unless he's just trying to change the subject.'" [HuffPost]
LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT STILL HIGH - And if the long term unemployed are still high, we can't blame them. Delaney: "The ranks of the long-term unemployed have dwindled by 1 million since last year, but economists are uncertain whether they're finding jobs or dropping out of the labor force. Only people who have actively searched for work within four weeks of the government's survey count as unemployed. Laurel Rockefeller of Johnstown, Pa., has just entered her sixth month of unemployment. Her previous job in a call center lasted only three weeks. Before that, she'd been unemployed since working seven weeks for the Census in 2010. She's been without stable full-time work since May 2009, when she lost her job as photographer and graphic artist for a sewing machine company." [HuffPost]
Mark Gongloff breaks down today's job numbers:"The U.S. economy continued to churn out low-paying jobs in June, as the weakest labor-market recovery since World War II ground sluggishly ahead. Employers added 175,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, up from a downwardly revised 149,000 in April. The unemployment rate rose a tick, to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent... The job gains were better than the 163,000 economists expected, according to a Bloomberg tally. At the same time, the rise in unemployment means the Federal Reserve may be in no hurry to slow down its policy of buying bonds to pump cash into the economy, a scheme known as 'quantitative easing.'" [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - History's most chill rabbit is bathed.
JOHN YARMUTH: 'MITCH MCCONNELL SUCKS' - Really, he actually said that. Here's hoping that the Louisville Exccentric Observer, the alt-weekly Yarmuth help founded, asks a McConnell aide for comment about whether the Senate minority leader sucks. WaPo: "Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) had a blunt assessment of the dynamics in next year's Kentucky Senate race Thursday night. 'I can be really brief tonight and just say, Mitch McConnell sucks,' he told the crowd at a Jefferson County Democratic Party dinner. At the same dinner, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes appeared to be embracing the idea of a challenge to the Senate minority leader, although she has set no timetable for her decision and is still not a sure bet to run." [WaPo]
- Not a single damn: Little girl eats raw onion. [http://huff.to/14G0ASF]
- Tiger falls asleep on car. [http://huff.to/1b6FJLT]
- A supercut of all the fake websites featured in "Arrested Development." [http://bit.ly/1bcKio0]
- Brian Williams raps again. This time it's a cover of Warren G's "Regulate." [http://bit.ly/10Vk6gH]
- Tennessee man who fathered 22 children with 14 women: "I was young an ambitious and I loved women." [http://nydn.us/193TyxZ]
- Golfers trying to hit a gong from 200 yards away. [http://bit.ly/R3pY18]
- A prediction of clothing in the future ... from 1939. [http://bit.ly/16PNusZ]
@howardfineman: A former #CIA guy asked me why did #DoJ need to subpoena #AP and #JamesRosen phone logs when the #NSA already had them?? Inefficient govt.!
@daweiner: Sad that I didn't see any "Spies Like U.S." headlines today.
@BuzzFeedAndrew: "He made his way into the office of the head of PRISM for the first time. The chair swung around to reveal a Citi bike staring back at him."
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