The count is up to 11 now. If they vote the way they talk to the press, that's enough to win a majority (but, for now, short of breaking a filibuster). And don't believe the nonsense about it being "just a meeting". This is a very public form of whip-counting.
If any of those senators belong to you, contact them and let them know you will see them out of office if they cave on this.
Think about this for a moment. The government is not just demanding access to information collected in the ordinary course of business; they are seeking laws to require companies to keep 10 years worth of very detailed data on their customers just in case those customers are maybe suspected of doing something wrong in the future.
In other words, any time a police officer decides they don't like you, they can search 10 years of records to find a reason to get you in trouble.
No one can survive that kind of scrutiny by a motivated adversarial party.
The lack of an audit should be a red flag in and of itself. Databases like these need to be coded so that every lookup has the identifying codes for the officer who requested the lookup, the officer who actually performed the lookup, the investigation for which the lookup was performed, and a specific, individual description of how the lookup is connected to the investigation. When that investigation is closed, every record related to it should be audited again and a notification sent to the subject of the lookup explaining what happened and why.
And providing a simple form to send back in if they feel the lookup was inappropriate.
NRA would like you to sign a petition to oppose Obama's Supreme Court nominee
Gun control is the only issue close to Obama's heart that he hasn't been able to move through either legislative or executive action, and it's only been through vigorous opposition at every stage that Obama has been blocked. The chance to nominate a replacement for the author of the Heller decision, which returned the 2nd Amendment to an honored place in American jurisprudence, must have seemed like a godsend to Obama in the final year of his presidency.
NSA confirms Clinton email contained signals intelligence above Top Secret level
That sources at the NSA -- which was once referred to jokingly as "No Such Agency", referring to it being so secret no one would admit it existed -- are willing to confirm that Clinton's email contained their signals intelligence information and that it was based on reports classified above the Top Secret level is frankly amazing. Even having the public discussion about this incident has probably tipped off the people being spied on that they are not secure and caused them to change their security measures, effectively burning the source.
One NSA source described it as "word for word, verbatim copying."
Why legal barriers to encryption technology won't catch terrorists
The technology is available and out there. It cannot be suppressed, nor does government have any right to suppress it. People have the right to privacy in their own papers and communications; to the extent that government wishes to invade that privacy, it needs a warrant based upon probable cause, and no one else is obligated to help. Particularly not the person who is being investigated, who is protected by the 5th Amendment from being required to incriminate himself.
If the government is unable to open the safe or break the technical means used to protect information, that's their problem.
Trying to change that by writing requirements to violate the privacy of device owners and customers into the law will just cause manufacturers of secure devices and customers for those products to obtain them from nations that respect their privacy.
Judicial Watch requests to depose 8 Clinton staffers
I think the most devastating things these aides can testify about will be Hillary's privately expressed motives for setting up the server. Did she talk about avoiding FOIA requests? Did she talk about how to send and receive classified information by removing its markings? Will they admit it if she did?
I'm betting the answer to the last question is no, but they can't just say nothing; at least not without pleading the 5th (and that would look really, really bad).
There is little new that can be said here. The attacks are in Europe, and used bombs, so the gun control angle is a non-starter. They took place just outside the airport security checkpoints, as many have predicted would be the inevitable result of trying to set up checkpoints around secure areas. A defensive strategy does not have the resources to present a strong defense everywhere, so determined attackers will find some way to do damage.
One worrying note:
I have to assume this was driven by some specific intelligence. I hope that the people they are sending home are not any of the security personnel.
Obama wants to break into your phone... to enforce tax laws?
Note the sudden shift here. Terrorists! Child pornography!.... and tax laws?!
The first two are what he wants you to hear, because they produce an emotional response. Terrible things are happening, we have to get into your phone -- everyone's phone -- to prevent them. (Never mind that being in everyone's phone doesn't actually prevent anything). The last one, enforcing the tax laws, the drug laws, and every other part of the criminal code... that part isn't supposed to be mentioned.
The founding-era technology analogy here would be to ban fire because some people use it to burn their private papers to avoid paying taxes. Banning encryption is equally stupid, and equally futile.
Another State Dept employee declining to answer questions about Hillary's server
That is, declining to answer them voluntarily while the questions are still voluntary.
He's not pleading the 5th, yet. In fact, he says he's declining because he already answered similar questions in detail for another committee. That doesn't seem like it will hold up as a reason not to answer questions, but it sounds better than pleading the 5th.
That's not a factual assertion so much as it is a conclusion from evidence, but it's still interesting. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if the FBI under its current director is actually taking the Hillary investigation(s) seriously, but if a grand jury has been set up that suggests that the DOJ might also be taking it seriously.
I have nothing against people who, for whatever reason, feel their physical gender does not mesh well with their mental self-image. At least as long as they aren't yelling at me for getting their preferred pronouns wrong, anyway. But I do think that no matter how special a snowflake you think you are, reality tends to win in the end. And the more of yourself you invest in denying reality, the more it hurts when you lose.
That's not me trying to make a choice for anyone else. That's just advice. Take it or leave it.
Why personal computers should not have cloud-based logins
What Microsoft is trying to do with Windows 10 is make your personally-owned computer a "window" into a Microsoft-owned cloud of services. It's an interesting model for them, but too little, too late... and it doesn't appeal to people like me who want to be in control of our own computers.
In order to understand what we now know about what Clinton was doing with her private email system and classified information, let's examine a couple scenarios for how classified information could appear on her private email server.
1) Directly copying a classified document. She says this never happened, and it would obviously be a blatant violation of the rules. Reports are that the system is set up to make this physically hard; the classified computers are not networked to unclassified ones.
2) Telling aides and employees to remove classified markings and forward her information from those documents. We know this happened at least once. On its face, this appears to be ordering a subordinate to perform an illegal act. It's not clear if the subordinate complied in that specific case, but we have literally thousand of examples (including many classified top secret or higher) that probably fit into this category without the explicit instructions to remove classified markings and send in insecure email. In this case, Hillary's in trouble for receiving it on her server and not disposing of it properly, but the original offense isn't hers... at least, not for those cases she did not give explicit instructions about. (Although a credible case could be made that using her private server in this manner was a deliberate act, so she's not off the hook completely).
3) Writing (not copying or paraphrasing) emails that refer to information that should be classified, but which were not themselves ever designated classified. This is the sort of thing that happens if Hillary, say, writes an email to someone containing negotiating positions or the name of a spy or something. Just because Hillary, or an aide, wrote the email without referencing another document or marking the email itself classified doesn't mean the email isn't classified. We appear to have at least 104 examples of this.
The thing that gets tricky is that there may well be lots of examples of type-3 classified information flying around in private email. It's not like most government officials have minders reading their "private" email accounts preventing it. And while Hillary's casual approach to security seems exceptional, we've already established that many Obama officials both had and used personal email for work purposes. So if Hillary takes a big fall for this, it's likely to make other government officials uncomfortable. But then, Petraeus has already taken a fall for a similar offense, so the precedent has been set.
If Hillary can skate after deliberately setting up a system that negligently (at best!) exposed classified information, openly violated the rules for handling that information, deliberately conspired to avoid complying with federal records laws, and then trying to cover it all up by deleting her emails when found out... then we no longer have the rule of law in this country.
But then, we haven't had that for 7 years. So what else is new?
This is not evidence of a crime that would stand up in criminal court... but it sure is circumstantial evidence of widespread voter fraud in the Democrat party, and that voter ID laws can make a significant difference.