The new data-sharing rules enacted by the Obama administration will allow the NSA to lawfully share the unredacted, full take of its surveillance databases with sixteen other US government agencies -- meaning that, for example, Trump's door-to-door deportation squads could use that data to figure out who's doors to break down, and his Muslim surveillance database could bootstrap itself with NSA data. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Whoah. This is huge news. NBC is reporting that Chelsea Manning is on President Obama's "short-list" for commutation. It even appears that the DOJ has recommended that she be released. Chelsea has suffered immensely at the hands of the U.S. government, all for doing what she thought was right and trying to help people. I hope everyone will drop what they are doing today to call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama go do the right thing and reduce Chelsea's sentence to time served. Read a statement from Chelsea's attorney and Fight for the Future here." Read the rest
Every year Chief White House photographer Pete Souza rounds up his best photos, and this year’s collection is especially poignant as it’s the last one of the Obama administration. Souza was looking for “behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady.” The whole collection is available over on Medium and a few of my favorites are below:
U.S. President Barack Obama met with reporters today for the final press conference of 2016, before the new administration is due to take over. Live tweets below.
Federal Bureau of Investigations chief James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper today indicated the FBI and ODNI support a recent CIA assessment that Russia committed internet attacks targeted at America's elections, with the intent in part being to help Donald Trump win.
The two famous Chicagoans joined forces to remind everyone that December 15 is the deadline to get covered for healthcare for 2017.
Ta-Nehisi Coates's 17,000-word history of the Obama presidency in the Atlantic is called "My President Was Black," but it's about the very special kind of blackness that Obama embodied -- not because whites saw the biracial politician differently, but because Obama's extraordinarily supportive white family and unique boyhood in Hawai'i spared him the racial trauma visited on other young black people in America. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future sez, "Chelsea Manning has already spent more time behind bars than any other whistleblower in U.S. history. She's been systematically mistreated, subjected to torture, and denied access to desperately needed health care while serving a 35 year sentence in an all-male military prison." Read the rest
Bill Maher went to the White House to interview President Obama for a special episode of Real Time. Here's the full 37-minute interview. It's worth watching because Maher brings up topics that most journalists aren't interested in, like the war on drugs (Obama wants to treat it as a public health issue), and rights of atheists. Read the rest
President Obama made his first public comment on the recent FBI/Clinton email hijinks, just days before the election.
@nathan: "Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents."
@DJ_lcpl: "Barack Obama...bro, do you even lift!?" (Obama's response: "Well, I lifted the ban on Cuban cigars, that's worth something.")
@realDonaldTrump: "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!" (Obama's response: "Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.")
I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child. It represents an essential part of our character -- curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and doing it before anybody else. The space race we won not only contributed immeasurably important technological and medical advances, but it also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers with the right stuff to keep America on the cutting edge...
This week, we'll convene some of America's leading scientists, engineers, innovators and students in Pittsburgh to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers. Just five years ago, US companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market. Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it. More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives.
We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America's story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time. Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we're already well on our way.
“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” said a statement today from the Obama administration about a series of cyberattacks on U.S. political figures and organizations.
Them's fightin' words.
An image identified as a scanned copy of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s passport was published online today by "DC Leaks," along with personal emails associated with a man identified as a “low-level White House staffer who worked with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”
Obama's inaugural White House staff was drawn from his campaign staff, who were mostly dudes, and the women among the newcomers felt that they were getting ignored or talked over in meetings. Read the rest