Monthly Archives: February 2012

Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine

Word Cloud: The most common words linked to Romney and Gingrich on the Internet

Source: The Daily Beast

Charting GOP Super PAC Cash

By Josh Israel, ThinkProgress

23 February 12

Once again this week, independent-expenditure-only “Super PACs” disclosed their donors for the month of January 2012. A ThinkProgress analysis of these new filings and previously available data reveals that 19 wealthy donors have already given a million dollars or more each, combining to funnel $46.75 million to Republican-allied Super PACs so far this cycle.

It comes as little surprise that this list is dominated by financial sector investors (8), energy and chemical producers (4), and real estate developers (3). All are white. Only one, the wife of casino tycoon Sheldon Edelson, is female. The Obama administration has backed financial sector consumer protections and environmental regulations unpopular with big Wall Street and big energy.

The 19 donors’ contributions accounted for about 53 percent of the $88.2 million combined receipts for those committees. Here are the 19:
Donor Donations Sector
Harold Simmons/Contran Corp. $14.1M Chemicals
Sheldon Adelson $5M Casinos and hotels
Miriam Adelson $5M Casinos and hotels
Bob Perry $3.5M Real Estate/Construction
Peter Thiel $2.6M Finance/Investment
Jon Huntsman Sr. $2.2M Chemicals
Jerry Perenchio Living Trust $2M Media
Julian Robertson $1.25M Finance/Investment
Robert B. Rowling $1.1M Energy
Edward Conard $1M Finance/Investment
Robert Mercer $1M Finance/Investment
John Paulson $1M Finance/Investment
Paul Singer $1M Finance/Investment
Foster Friess $1M Finance/Investment
Rooney Holdings Inc $1M Real Estate/Construction
William Dore $1M Energy
Whiteco Industries $1M Real Estate/Construction
F8 LLC (Jeremy Blickenstaff) $1M Finance/Investment
Eli Publishing (Steve Lund) $1M Cosmetics

These donations went to Super PACs backing GOP hopefuls Newt Gingrich (Winning Our Future), Ron Paul (Endorse Liberty), Mitt Romney (Restore Our Future), Rick Santorum (Red, White & Blue), backing former candidates Jon Huntsman Jr. (Our Destiny), Rick Perry (Make Us Great Again), and Republican candidates in general (American Crossroads).

To equal just their Super PAC contributions, political campaigns would need to collect more than 18,000 checks for $5,000 – the individual limit. Republican strategist Christopher LaCivita told the New York Times that these super donors are “serious business tycoons.” And these serious business tycoons are seriously overwhelming the political system with their contributions.

The GOP understand women’s health care

Gingrich the Grandiose, Monarch of America: to whom the rules do not apply

Romney ready to bring back Corporate greed

Writing Advice: setting incremental goals

The hardest part of setting incremental goals, such as 1,000 words a day, 6 days a week, is that when Monday rolls around … you’re back at zero. It’s time for another 1,000 words just to get out of the red.

Last week I got 8,230 words out and completed Chapter 39. Today I’ll give it one more pass and then get into Chapter 40.

Sailing east from Langkawi to Majuro

There is a narrow window, from December to March, when the winds allow sailing towards the east along the Equator. Later in the year the passage from PNG to Micronesia becomes a little easier, and then in July-August it is possible to sail from Majuro to Midway Island and then the NW coast of the USA with out too much trouble. But no one tempts the weather Gods by saying such things out loud.


from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 10
February 6, 2012

Secrecy News Blog:



When Congress passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, it
included provisions that authorized U.S. armed forces to detain persons who
are captured in the conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated
forces. However, Congress also said that those provisions did not provide
any new authority to detain U.S. citizens or others who may be captured in
the United States.

“Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or
authority relating to the detention of United States citizens…,” section
1021(e) of the Act states. “We are simply codifying existing law,” said
Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, at the time.

But this was an evasion, since existing law regarding the detention of
U.S. persons is indeterminate in important respects.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service fleshes out the law
of detention, identifying what is known to be true as well as what is
unsettled and unresolved.

It is perfectly clear, for example, that a U.S. citizen who fought
alongside enemy forces against the United States on a foreign battlefield
could be lawfully detained. This was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in
the case Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.

On the other hand, the CRS report explains, “the President’s legal
authority to militarily detain terrorist suspects apprehended in the United
States has not been definitively settled.”

Nor has Congress helped to settle it. “This bill does not endorse either
side’s interpretation,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein on December 1 about the
defense authorization act, “but leaves it to the courts to decide.”

So if a detention of a U.S. person does occur, the CRS said, “it will be
up to a court to determine Congress’s intent when it enacted the AUMF [the
2001 Authorization to Use Military Force], or alternatively, to decide
whether the law as it was subsequently developed by the courts and
executive branch sufficiently established that authority for such detention
already exists.”

Up to now, “Lower courts that have addressed questions the Supreme Court
left unanswered have not achieved a consensus on the extent to which
Congress has authorized the detention without trial of U.S. persons as
‘enemy combatants,’ and Congress has not so far clarified its intent.”

The new CRS report traces the development of U.S. detention policy from
the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 through the Civil War, the two World
Wars, and the Cold War up to the present day. See “Detention of U.S.
Persons as Enemy Belligerents” by CRS legislative attorney Jennifer K.
Elsea, February 1, 2012:

Click to access R42337.pdf

Some other new (or newly updated) CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News
that have not been made readily available to the public include the

“Terrorist Watch List Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms,”
February 1, 2012:

Click to access R42336.pdf

“War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance,” February 1, 2012:

Click to access RL33532.pdf

“The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for
Congress,” January 27, 2012:

Click to access R41024.pdf


The Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin is a quarterly journal
published by the U.S. Army to promote awareness and discussion of current
topics in military intelligence. Although unclassified, the Bulletin is
not made available online by the Army. Recent volumes can be found,
however, on the Federation of American Scientists website.

The two latest issues are devoted to “Intelligence in the Current
Environment” (April-June 2011) and “Enabling Intelligence Analysis”
(July-September 2011).

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

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Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
voice: (202) 454-4691
twitter: @saftergood

Writing Advice: do not let friends read works-in-progress