** David Sanger of the New York Times: "... President Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should -- in most circumstances -- reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday. But Mr. Obama carved a broad exception for 'a clear national security or law enforcement need,' the officials said.... The White House has never publicly detailed Mr. Obama's decision, which he made in January.... There is no evidence that the N.S.A. had any role in creating Heartbleed, or even that it made use of it.... But documents released by Edward J. Snowden ... make it clear that two years before Heartbleed became known, the N.S.A. was looking at ways to accomplish exactly what the flaw did by accident."
Oops. Missed This. Jennie Matthew of AFP: "US reporter Glenn Greenwald returned to his homeland Friday for the first time since he helped expose Washington's vast electronic spying network, warning that more revelations are yet to come. Greenwald, who maintains regular contact with fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, flew into New York with filmmaker Laura Poitras to receive a journalism award for their coverage. Greenwald and Poitras had feared they could be detained upon arrival but told reporters at a Manhattan hotel that, while US officials 'deliberately created' a sense of risk, they faced no problem."
Tom Hamburger & Matea Gold of the Washington Post: "... Google -- once a lobbying weakling -- has come to master a new method of operating in modern-day Washington, where spending on traditional lobbying is rivaled by other, less visible forms of influence. That system includes financing sympathetic research at universities and think tanks, investing in nonprofit advocacy groups across the political spectrum and funding pro-business coalitions cast as public-interest projects.... Nine years ago, the company opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of the capital's pay-to-play culture. Since then, Google has soared to near the top of the city's lobbying ranks, placing second only to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012 and fifth place in 2013."
Justin Gillis of the New York Times: "The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century. It remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, according to a report unveiled here. But even in parts of the world like Europe that have tried hardest, governments are still a long way from taking the steps that are sufficient to do the job, the experts found."
Breaking! Maureen Dowd has found someone to love: Stephen Colbert. It's uncanny -- not a dollop of snark for Colbert (but plenty for other late-nite comics). ...
... Here's Dowd on the "Colbert Report," ca. 2005:
... Okay, so Ben Collins of Esquire loves Colbert too.
Mary Walsh of the New York Times: "Multiemployer pensions are not only backed by federal insurance, but they also were thought to be even more secure than single-company pensions because when one company in a multiemployer pool failed, the others were required to pick up its 'orphaned' retirees. Today, however, the aging of the work force, the decline of unions, deregulation and two big stock crashes have taken a grievous toll on multiemployer pensions, which cover 10 million Americans. Dozens of multiemployer plans have already failed, and some giant ones are teetering -- including, notably, the Teamsters' Central States pension plan, with more than 400,000 members. In February, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal multiemployer insurer would run out of money in seven years, which would leave retirees in failed plans with nothing."
Harold Meyerson: "... if reciprocal credit is due for the landmark legislation of LBJ's presidency, so reciprocal blame should be placed for the tragedy of Vietnam. It's clear from the tape recordings that Johnson made of his private phone calls 50 years ago this spring that the new president viewed the prospect of going to war in Vietnam with trepidation.... And yet, many of the key players who had been with him on civil rights -- the Republicans, the AFL-CIO and his own advisers -- were urging him to plunge in.... In the end, of course, Johnson took just enough of their counsel to wreak havoc on Vietnam, the United States, his political party and his presidency. The blame is his but, as with the credit, there's plenty left over to go around."
Valerie Miller, et al., of the New York Daily News: The woman who threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton is extremely crazy. CW: But of course the Secret Service let her into a supposedly closed event.
As James Singer the Science Winger pointed out yesterday, the Earth is the center of the universe! Or so say some actual wingnuts who have produced a slick Bible-consistent "documentary" film -- with real scientists! (who are mortified they got suckered into the project). Steve Benen reports.
Sex & the GOP
Scott Keyes, in the Washington Post: "In cooperation with the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so.... Making divorce less accessible harms women most.... Women today are twice as likely as men to ask for a divorce...." ...
... CW: The SOBs cannot stay out of your bedroom, even if that bedroom is occupied by two people in a miserable marriage. I think the high-minded moral principles behind this latest intrusive movement are (1) to hell with what the wife wants, & (2) married women vote Republican. Also maybe: if a couple is unhappy, they are less likely to have sex with each other, and sex is a dirty, dirty thing.
Elsewhere Beyond the Beltway
Freeeeedom! Liz Fields of ABC News: "A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters. Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally." ...
... Here's some background from CBS Las Vegas/AP: "A group of Republican Arizona lawmakers are upset with a brewing showdown in Nevada between the federal government and a rancher who claims rights to graze his cattle in a remote area about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.... Federal officials say Bundy has racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees over the years while disregarding several court orders to remove his animals. [Rep. Bob] Thorpe says lawmakers aren't arguing over whether Bundy has broken laws or violated grazing agreements. They're more concerned with what they perceive as government heavy-handedness and how officials are restricting protesters to 'free speech zones' near the closed off federal land."
... AND from CNN:
... Ian Millhiser of Think Progress: "Bundy, for his part, claims that 'our Constitution didn't provide for anything like the federal government owning this land.' He's wrong. The Constitution provides that '[t]he Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.'" ...
... Digby weighs in. ...
... CW: As for me, I'm tired of subsidizing the methane-gas producers. Can't the government garnish Bundy's cattle sales?
Katie Fretland of the Guardian: "Oklahoma officials on Friday said the state had obtained manufactured pharmaceuticals from a secret supplier for use in the executions of two men later this month, avoiding concerns over the use of compounded drugs but leaving unanswered questions about how it obtained them."
Re: the discussion in today's & yesterday's Comments:
AP: "A man in his 70s opened fire Sunday outside of a Jewish community center [in Overland Park, Kansas,] and nearby retirement community, killing three people, authorities said."
Extremely Creepy News. ABC News: "A woman has been arrested on six counts of murder after authorities found the bodies of seven infants packed into separate cardboard boxes at a home in Utah, police said. Police arrested Megan Huntsman, 39, of Pleasant Grove, on Saturday following a gruesome discovery at a residence formerly occupied by the woman who they say moved out in 2011."
Washington Post: "Ukrainian authorities launched an 'anti-terrorist' campaign Sunday morning against pro-Russian gunmen who had occupied a police headquarters in a small city in the tense eastern part of the country. Simultaneous assaults on government buildings in several towns in the restive region on Saturday had led officials in Kiev to believe that a coordinated operation directed by Russia was underway." ...
It's professional, it's co-ordinated, there is nothing grass-roots-seeming about it. The forces are doing, in each of the six or seven cities they've been active in, exactly the same thing. Certainly it bears the tell-tale signs of Moscow's involvement. -- Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations
... AP Update: "Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with a pro-Russia militia in an eastern city Sunday, according to the interior minister, who said one Ukrainian security officer was killed and five others were wounded." ...
... Reuters: "U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Kiev on April 22, to demonstrate high-level U.S. support for Ukraine, the White House said on Saturday after expressing concern about escalating tensions in the eastern part of the country. The White House warned Russia against further military action in Ukraine...."
Guardian: "The war crimes trial of two sons of Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi begins amid tight security in Tripoli on Monday, in a case causing sensation at home and controversy among rights groups. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his younger brother Saadi are accused of orchestrating a campaign of murder, torture and bombardment of civilians during Libya's eight-month civil war in 2011."
AFP: "Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are to convene on Sunday in the latest attempt to save teetering peace talks, a Palestinian official told AFP."