NSA surveillance reform bill dies in Senate

nsa(RT) The US Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster and move forward with the USA Freedom Act, which would have placed significant restrictions on the way the National Security Agency’s conducts surveillance domestically. Supporters of the bill tallied 58 “yes” votes against 42 “no” votes, but they fell two shy of bringing the USA Freedom Act up for a clear majority vote. Opposition generally came from Republicans, but not all conservatives voted against proceeding with the bill. Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas) was a co-sponsor of the measure, and was one of four Republicans to vote in favor of advancing it. Senior Republicans said stopping the surveillance would benefit enemies of the United State, including Islamic State militants, according to Reuters. The bill, now effectively dead for this year, would have stopped the NSA from collecting the phone records of millions of Americans who are not suspected of any crime. The reforms are unlikely to be reviewed when the new Congress convenes in January, but the controversial surveillance program will most likely be debated next year as Congress decides whether to renew the Patriot Act, which serves as the foundation for the NSA’s activity. If passed into law, the bill would have placed metadata records – information such as the time a call was made and the duration of the call, but not the actual content of the call itself – in the possession of telephone companies instead of the NSA. If intelligence agencies wanted access to the data, they would have to seek approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The bill would also allow public advocates to participate in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) proceedings. Additionally, the government would be required to disclose FISA opinions and statistics about the extent of domestic spying activities, though these could be withheld if they posed a risk to national security. Although the House of Representatives passed the original draft of the Freedom Act in May, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-.Vt.) further strengthened the bill at the request of civil liberties advocates. Key reformers like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have not yet thrown their support behind the bill, hoping for stronger measures against the “backdoor” collection of Americans’ data – something done indirectly when the primary target is a foreigner. DETAILS TO FOLLOW Source: RT News

3 BILLION GALLONS of “Fracking” Wastewater Pumped Into Clean California Aquifiers: “Errors Were Made” State Admits

About the time you thought the drought in California couldn't get worse, the residents find out oil and gas companies have dumped toxic "fracking" waste water into clean aquifers contaminating their precious drinking water. And the sad thing is, the State officials knew about it. Here's the rest of the story. (Zero Hedge) Dear California readers: if you drank tapwater this morning (or at any point in the past few weeks/months), you may be in luck as you no longer need to buy oil to lubricate your engine: just use your blood, and think of the cost-savings. That’s the good news. Also, the bad news, because as the California’s Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, Jason Marshall, told NBC Bay Area, California state officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump up to 3 billion gallons (call it 70 million barrels) of oil fracking-contaminated waste water into formerly clean aquifiers, aquifiers which at least on paper are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, and are protected by the government’s EPA – an agency which, it appears, was richly compensated by the same oil and gas companies to look elsewhere. And the scariest words of admission one can ever hear from a government apparatchik: “In multiple different places of the permitting process an error could have been made.” Because nothing short of a full-blown disaster prompts the use of the dreaded passive voice. And what was unsaid is that the “biggest error that was made” is that someone caught California regulators screwing over the taxpayers just so a few oil majors could save their shareholders a few billion dollars in overhead fees. And now that one government agency has been caught flaunting the rules, the other government agencies, and certainly private citizens and businesses, start screaming: after all some faith in the well-greased, pardon the pun, government apparatus has to remain:
“It’s inexcusable,” said Hollin Kretzmann, at the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco. “At (a) time when California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, we’re allowing oil companies to contaminate what could otherwise be very useful ground water resources for irrigation and for drinking. It’s possible these aquifers are now contaminated irreparably.”
The process, for those confused, explained by NBC:
In “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing operations, oil and gas companies use massive amounts of water to force the release of underground fossil fuels. The practice produces large amounts of waste water that must then be disposed of. Marshall said that often times, oil and gas companies simply re-inject that waste water back deep underground where the oil extraction took place. But other times, Marshall said, the waste water is re-injected into aquifers closer to the surface. Those injections are supposed to go into aquifers that the EPA calls “exempt”—in other words, not clean enough for humans to drink or use. But in the State’s letter to the EPA, officials admit that in at least nine waste water injection wells, the waste water was injected into “non-exempt” or clean aquifers containing high quality water. For the EPA, “non-exempt” aquifers are underground bodies of water that are “containing high quality water” that can be used by humans to drink, water animals or irrigate crops. If the waste water re-injection well “went into a non-exempt aquifer. It should not have been permitted,” said Marshall.
Yet it was, to the tune of 3 billion gallons. And nobody said a word about it until someone finally did a little research and found that people, especially those in power, lie. And lie they did because the severity of the pollution is only now becoming clear: In its reply letter to the EPA, California’s Water Resources Control Board said its “staff identified 108 water supply wells located within a one-mile radius of seven…injection wells” and that The Central Valley Water Board conducted sampling of “eight water supply wells in the vicinity of some of these… wells.” “This is something that is going to slowly contaminate everything we know around here,” said fourth- generation Kern County almond grower Tom Frantz, who lives down the road from several of the injection wells in question. According to state records, as many as 40 water supply wells, including domestic drinking wells, are located within one mile of a single well that’s been injecting into non-exempt aquifers. That well is located in an area with several homes nearby, right in the middle of a citrus grove southeast of Bakersfield.
Cue the just as angry community organizers:
“That’s a huge concern and communities who rely on water supply wells near these injection wells have a lot of reason to be concerned that they’re finding high levels of arsenic and thallium and other chemicals nearby where these injection wells have been allowed to operate,” said Kretzmann. “It is a clear worry,” said Juan Flores, a Kern County community organizer for the Center on Race, Poverty and The Environment. “We’re in a drought. The worst drought we’ve seen in decades. Probably the worst in the history of agriculture in California.” “No one from this community will drink from the water from out of their well,” said Flores. “The people are worried. They’re scared.”
It remains to be seen just whom that other, far more prominent community organizer will blame for this latest environmental debacle. Surely it will somehow be the fault of the Keystone pipeline? In the meantime, the oil companies are already taking defensive measures, blaming the fiasco on… a “paperwork issue.”
The trade association that represents many of California’s oil and gas companies says the water-injection is a “paperwork issue.” In a statement issued to NBC Bay Area, Western States Petroleum Association spokesman Tupper Hull said “there has never been a bona vide claim or evidence presented that the paperwork confusion resulted in any contamination of drinking supplies near the disputed injection wells.”
Well, actually, there is:
However, state officials tested 8 water supply wells within a one-mile radius of some of those wells. Four water samples came back with higher than allowable levels of nitrate, arsenic, and thallium. Those same chemicals are used by the oil and gas industry in the hydraulic fracturing process and can be found in oil recovery waste-water.
And now back to the source of it all: the California Department of Conservation, where we are confident a little further investigative reporting will find millions in kickbacks and corruption, all funded by the oil and gas “lobby.”
When asked how this could happen in the first place, Marshall said that the long history of these wells makes it difficult to know exactly what the thinking was. “When you’re talking about wells that were permitted in 1985 to 1992, we’ve tried to go back and talk to some of the permitting engineers,” said Marshall. “And it’s unfortunate but in some cases they (the permitting engineers) are deceased.” Kern County’s Water Board referred the Investigative Unit to the state for comment.
We hope to learn who the state will refer the unit for comment next. Finally, for those living around the blue dots, avoiding the tapwater for the time being may be a good idea.
As for whether the public’s opinion about fracking is changed as a result of revelations such as this: we reserve judgment until comparative Investigative Units piece uncover how many billion gallons in fracking wastewater was dumped in other states where the shale miracle is (still) alive and well. Source: Zero Hedge

GRUBER-gate | Summed up in 2 Minutes.

Jonathan GruberConfused at just what Jonathan Gruber, friend (or not friend) of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, said (and didn't say)? Here is the two-minute idiot's guide to the Obamacare architect (or not Obamacare architect)'s controversial comments (and just who did and did not know him)... Source    

GRUBER: Explains How “Mislabeling” Helped Pass the Affordable Health Care Act.

Jonathan GruberIn those 2011 remarks, Gruber said that, despite the fact that most members of his profession agree employer-based health insurance tax breaks were bad policy, “it turns out politically it’s really hard to get rid of.” He said that the Affordable Care Act helped to do away with this system in two ways. The first, “by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it’s a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.” And secondly, by delaying the implementation of this tax until 2018. “But by starting it late, we were able to tie the cap for Cadillac Tax to CPI, not medical inflation,” Gruber said. “This was the only political way we were ever going to take on what is one of the worst public policies in America, and every economist should celebrate this,” Gruber insisted. “It’s on the books now,” Gruber added of the 2018 implementation deadline at which point he anticipated employers and unions would seek to have this tax repealed. “At that point, if they want to get rid of it they’re going to have to fill a trillion dollar hole in the deficit.” Source The sixth video has now surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, the MIT Professor who has made the news with his explanations of how the drafters of the Affordable Healthcare Act, not ONLY relied on the "lack of transparency" and the "stupidity" of the American voters, is now admitting to using "mislabeling" as a key strategy used to pass this legislation. The bottom line, they (Congress) knew and understood perfectly, if the American people had full disclosure and transparency, the Affordable Healthcare Act would have never passed. Source The relevant remarks begin at the 30:38 mark:

Prayers offered to “Allah” by IMAM Hamad Ahmad Chebli on the House Floor of the US Congress.

Prayers offered to "Allah" by IMAM Hamad Ahmad Chebli on the House floor of the United States congress November 13th, 2014.

Imam2 IMAM Hamad Amad Chebli is the “Imam,” or religious leader, of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ). Imam Chebli grew up in Lebanon, and attended one of the most the prestigious Islamic institutions in the world, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. Imam Chebli received his Masters in Islamic Canonical Law from Al-Azhar University. Source

Its amazing to watch over the years the subtlety to which the Islamic presence is merging into American culture; especially with the nature of the Islamic faith being so extremely "intolerant" and "hostile" towards the Christian faith in Islamic countries. And yet, as is evidenced in this video, "We the People", as a Nation "under GOD" invite IMAM Chebli to pray to his god, "Allah" on the House floor of the United States Congress.

GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

Published November 11, 2014FoxNews.com OBAMACARE ARCHITECT: VOTER ‘STUPIDITY’ PROMPTED COST CONCEALING Just a few days before Americans get the pleasure of wading through the upgraded though still not completely debugged Healthcare.gov Website, another bombshell that paints a picture of public deception in pushing through the president’s unpopular health law has been dropped by ObamaCare’s chief architect. Forbes: “You’ve got to hand it to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The guy dubbed the ‘Obamacare architect’ is a viral YouTube sensation. A few months back, he was caught on tape admitting that Obamacare doesn’t provide subsidies for federally-run insurance exchanges; it’s now the topic of a new case before the Supreme Court. [Monday] a new video surfaced in which Gruber said that ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ made it important for him and Democrats to hide Obamacare’s true costs from the public. ‘That was really, really critical for the thing to pass,’ said Gruber. ‘But I’d rather have this law than not.’ In other words, the ends—imposing Obamacare upon the public—justified the means. The new Gruber comments come from a panel discussion that he joined on October 17, 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He was joined on the panel by Penn health economist Mark Pauly. Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller was the first to flag Gruber’s remarks. Source: Jonathan Gruber (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor) helps write the AHC, with "torturous" language to purposely conceal the fact this bill is really about enriching the Pharmaceutical and Insurance companies at the expense of the American people.

According to Reason.com, He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, according to The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill "to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation." He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.

Jonathan Gruber, in other words, knows exactly what it took to get the health care law passed.

They are not even trying to hide the fraudulent practice of concealment and lack of full disclosure. Its now out there in plain site. Call your member of congress and senators and express your outrage regarding this practice of legislation being done behind closed doors. This is an apolitical issues...its negative affects will be experienced by everyone equally.