1. That decision has strained the relations between the U.S. and Russia. President Barack Obama called off a meeting with President Vladimir Putin at a summit hosted by Russia in September. Snowden said the U.S. government was “unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they’ll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth.” In a note accompanying the videos, WikiLeaks said Snowden spoke on Wednesday in Moscow as he accepted the Sam Adams Award, given annually by a group of retired U.S. national security officers and named for a CIA analyst during the Vietnam War who accused the U.S. military of deliberately underestimating the enemy’s strength for political purposes.
This article has been curated from EDWARD SNOWDEN: Mass Surveillance Is Making Us Less Safe
Here are the facts (See charts below): The United States has indeed incurred a significant debt load over the last decade — $17 trillion in total. About $6 trillion of this is owed to the government itself. This absolute amount of debt is much less meaningful than the debt as a percentage of GDP, which is now about 73% (after netting out the amount that the government owes to itself. Including the intra-government debt, it’s just north of 100% of GDP). That’s the highest level of debt the country has carried since just after World War 2, but it is not an unsustainable level of debt. The country’s lenders are not panicking and demanding higher interest rates, and the hypothesized “point of no return” of ~90% of GDP that was talked about frequently a few years ago has been shown to have been the product of a calculation error.
This article has been curated from Since We’re Talking About Debt And Deficits Again, Here Are The Facts… [CHARTS]
Collins and Senate Democrats also disagree on spending levels. Democrats already consider the $986 billion level for 2014 discretionary spending that has been used in most House and Senate bills to be a concession. (Discretionary spending is all spending other than programs whose costs are determined by formulas that Congress is not required to reauthorize each year, such as Social Security.) The Collins plan would cut that figure to $967 billion. “On the merits there is virtually nothing in it for us,” a senior Senate Democratic aide tells Business Insider, “given that we’ve already passed a clean [continuing resolution] and Republicans are now pregnant on the concept of a clean debt limit increase.” That second part is a reference to the fact that Republican leadership in the House has been pushing for a six-week debt limit increase without policy concessions, and many Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, have been sending signals that they are not really willing to allow the country to hit the debt limit. With Republicans signalling that they aren’t actually willing to breach the debt limit, it’s hard for Democrats to justify giving them much in return for an increase.
This article has been curated from NO DEAL: Talks Break Down Between Boehner And The White House — Democrats Reject ‘Collins’ Plan To Reopen The Government
The people whose letters I’m printing below are literally the people Republicans depend on to re-elect them to Congress. Keeping these people happy is their job — which is why the Republican Party has become so inept and crazy. Jim Kennedy says I’m a “low information voter” in league with “the black racists”: Senator Cruz is right on. I am one of those “crazy people” the liberal left does not like, being former Marine, a supporter of Tea Party, college graduate, member of NRA, member of Sons of Confederate Veterans.
This article has been curated from One Look At These Emails, And You’ll See Why Republicans Let Ted Cruz Lead Them Off A Cliff