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Tags: al Qaeda, Anwar al-Awlaki, Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Judiciary, Obama Administration, Stephen Colbert, Supreme Court, Terrorism, The Colbert Report, Video, Yemen
Remember how the Obama administration was going to be the most open in modern history and usher in a new era transparency in how the federal government conducts it's business? That all seemed pretty promising, didn't it? Now, more than three years in, how's all that working out?
I'm sorry, but I can't tell you. That's classified information…
"Obama is the sixth administration that's been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work… It's kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There's just no question about it," said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978. "This administration is raising one barrier after another… It's gotten to the point where I’m stunned — I'm really stunned."…
Administration lawyers are aggressively fighting FOIA requests at the agency level and in court — sometimes on Obama’s direct orders. They’ve also wielded anti-transparency arguments even bolder than those asserted by the Bush administration.
The administration has embarked on an unprecedented wave of prosecutions of whistleblowers and alleged leakers — an effort many journalists believe is aimed at blocking national security-related stories.
Yeesh! That's not particularly heartening. In fact, it's pretty scary. And this from a supposedly populist president who was swept into office on a wave of disapproval of draconian tactics of the previous administration. Oh, man, it just makes me so angry, I could… Hold on. The door bell's ringing. I'll finish this thought in a minute…
I'm back. Like I was saying. Barack Obama is the best. He is the greatest president in the history of America. I would never say anything to besmirch his flawless character.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Department of Justice, Obama Administration
Here you are calmly perusing the news, packing and getting ready to visit your family for the holidays, and then…
For the first time ever, a government advisory board is asking scientific journals not to publish details of certain biomedical experiments, for fear that the information could be used by terrorists to create deadly viruses and touch off epidemics.
Oh God, what if that Contagion movie ends up being a documentary for the million people left on earth? Okay. Okay. Calm down. Let's keep reading…
In the experiments, conducted in the United States and the Netherlands, scientists created a highly transmissible form of a deadly flu virus that does not normally spread from person to person. It was an ominous step, because easy transmission can lead the virus to spread all over the world. The work was done in ferrets, which are considered a good model for predicting what flu viruses will do in people.
This article is more terrifying than the one about Barney Frank's nipples, previously the most terrifying thing on the internet today. Not only have scientists intentionally made a deadly flu virus contagious, they think ferrets are a good model for people. It's a sad day for human civilization. Says Ronald M. Atlas, microbiologist at the University of Louisville…
The government "is going to struggle with how to get the information out to the right people and still have a barrier" to wide sharing and inadvertently aiding a terrorist. "That’s going to be hard."
Remember when the scientific community had to resist the Bush administration's call to not publish research that could be used for biological warfare? Apparently the Obama administration may not be any more trustworthy, to say nothing of the potential administrations that would be led by our current crop of GOP candidates.
Although maybe they wouldn't bother suppressing research in a field they don't believe in.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Bird Flu, Obama Administration, Science & Technology
Given the relative decline of American manufacturing, many experts believe that the service and entertainment sectors will provide the jobs of the future.
We already see this in the rise of the reality television industry, where shows like 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom have become important cultural and economic powerhouses. But with the teen pregnancy rate at its lowest level in the 70 years since CDC began recording such data, the Obama administration has been forced to take urgent action to protect this vital industry…
The Obama administration stunned women’s health advocates and abortion opponents alike Wednesday by rejecting a request to let anyone of any age buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves.
For what the Food and Drug Administration thinks is the first time, the Department of Health and Human Services overruled the agency, vetoing the FDA’s decision to make the contraceptive available without any restrictions. Revealing a rare public split, FDA Administrator Margaret A. Hamburg said her conclusion that the drug could be used safely by women of all ages was nullified by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Sure, the medical "experts" at the FDA say there's "adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential," and yes, this ruling also affects adult women who may be unable to access emergency contraceptives when the pharmacy window is closed. But let's not forget about Plan A, which is to do everything possible to ensure the success of Teen Mom 2. And Plan C, shameless pandering to religious groups…
Wednesday's decision came as the administration is trying to defuse rising tensions with the Catholic Church over several issues, including a proposed mandate that private insurers provide women with contraceptives for free and a federal denial of an anti-human-trafficking grant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
I suppose this is all part of Obama's Inauguration Day promise to "restore science to its rightful place." Just so happens that said place is somewhere in the back, behind a counter, guarded by religious conservatives and political operatives.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Catholic Church, FDA, Health, Kathleen Sebelius, Obama Administration
Strict immigration laws can help states cut down on crime, but they pose a significant risk to civil rights and family cohesion. So they’re kind of a double-edged sword.
And in the chaotic, poorly funded public school classroom that is the United States, Alabama is the slow child who cannot be trusted with sharp objects…
The Justice Department has sent a letter to dozens of local law enforcement agencies in Alabama that receive federal money, warning them that they risk losing that funding if they're not careful in how they enforce the state's tough new immigration law.
The Obama administration has already sued the state, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. Now it's keeping the pressure on by addressing how the law is carried out.
The law, HB56 passed by the Alabama Legislature in June, attempts to combat illegal immigration by establishing harsh penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers, requiring public schools to report children and parents who are not legal residents, and forbidding illegal migrants from having any transactions with the government.
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the government let out a long pained sigh and say, "Listen, Alabama. I thought we went through this already. You can't mistreat people just because they have darker skin and funny names."
"Remember the '60s? You beat and hosed down black people. We had to send in soldiers — soldiers, with guns — to make sure you let them vote and go to school. Remember that? It was in the news a lot. There were even a bunch of movies about it. Remember? Don't do that again."
"Now go back to the corner and try not to eat any more sparkly glue."
Tags: Alabama, Civil Rights, Immigration, Mexico, Obama Administration