Posts Tagged: email


16
Dec 10

Disinformers defend Foxgate email saying unequivocal warming of the climate should always be disputed – Discredited WattsUpWithThat blogger makes up more stuff, while scientists and media critics slam Fox News

Fox News managing editor Bill Sammon was widely condemned yesterday for an email telling the network’s staff not to report on even the most widely accepted scientific facts without immediately challenging them, as I reported here.
The only ones defending Fox News are, predictably, the originators and repeaters of the very disinformation that FoxNews reporters are […]
Climate Progress


15
Dec 10

Court Rules e-mail Protected By Fourth Amendment

Score one for the good guys.

In a landmark decision issued [Tuesday] in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.

EFF filed a similar amicus brief with the 6th Circuit in 2006 in a civil suit brought by criminal defendant Warshak against the government for its warrantless seizure of his emails. There, the 6th Circuit agreed with EFF that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected expectation of privacy in the email they store with their email providers, though that decision was later vacated on procedural grounds. Warshak’s appeal of his criminal conviction has brought the issue back to the Sixth Circuit, and once again the court has agreed with EFF and held that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their email accounts.

More from EFF.


The Moderate Voice


15
Dec 10

Leaked email reveals Fox News boss Bill Sammon ordered staff to cast doubt on climate science

From:  Sammon, Bill
To:  169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc:  Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent:  Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject:  Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…

we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

This morning, MediaMatters released the bombshell e-mail “sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon … less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was ‘on track to be the warmest [decade] on record.

Well, okay, this would be a bombshell email coming from any other news organization in the world (see Howell Raines: “Why has our profession … helped Fox legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt?”)

So maybe the only bombshell is that Sammon was foolish enough to put this egregious Fox News policy into an email.  What follows is an extended excerpt of the MediaMatters story, including a video of the story that triggered the email:

This latest revelation comes after Media Matters uncovered an email sent by Sammon to Fox journalists at the peak of the health care reform debate, ordering them to avoid using the term “public option” and instead use variations of “government option.” That email echoed advice from a prominent Republican pollster on how to help turn public opinion against health care reform.

Sources familiar with the situation in Fox’s Washington bureau have expressed concern about Sammon using his position to “slant” Fox’s supposedly neutral news coverage to the right.

Sammon’s orders for Fox journalists to cast doubt on climate science came amid the network’s relentless promotion of the fabricated “Climategate” scandal, which revolved around misrepresentations of emails sent to and from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

At the time of Sammon’s directive, it was clear the “scandal” did not undermine the scientific basis for global warming and that the emails were being grossly distorted by conservative media and politicians. Scientists, independent fact-checkers, and several investigations have since confirmed that the CRU emails do not undermine the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet.

Contrary to Sammon’s email, the increase in global temperatures over the last half-century is an established fact. As the National Climatic Data Center explains, the warming trend “is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change” and “is also confirmed by other independent observations.”

*     *     *

On the December 8 edition of Happening Now, one of Fox News’ daytime straight news shows, Fox White House correspondent Wendell Goler delivered a live report from Copenhagen and was asked by host Jon Scott about “U.N. scientists issuing a new report today saying this decade is on track to be the warmest on record.”

Goler accurately reported that, indeed, 2000-2009 was “expected to turn out to be the warmest decade on record,” following a “trend that has scientists concerned because 2000-2009 [was] warmer than the 1990s, which were warmer than the 1980s.” Goler went on to explain that “ironically 2009 was a cooler than average year in the U.S. and Canada,” which, he said, was “politically troubling because Americans are among the most skeptical about global warming.”

When Scott brought up the “Climategate” emails, Goler explained that although people had raised questions about the CRU data, “the data also comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and from NASA. And scientists say the data of course across all three sources is pretty consistent.” Watch:

Less than 15 minutes after the segment, Sammon sent the following email to the staffs of Special Report, Fox News Sunday, and FoxNews.com, as well as to other reporters, producers, and network executives, instructing them to “IMMEDIATELY” include objections of “critics” when reporting on climate data:

From: Sammon, Bill
To: 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc: Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent: Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…

…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

That night’s Special Report with Bret Baier – Fox’s flagship news program — featured another report by Goler on the Copenhagen conference. Anchor Bret Baier introduced the report by saying that as “‘climategate-fueled skeptics continued to impugn global warming science, researchers today issued new and even more dire warnings about the possible effects of a warmer planet.”

Goler’s report featured a clip of Michel Jarraud of the World Meteorological Association explaining the recent finding that 2000-2009 “is likely to be the warmest on the record.”

Appearing to echo Sammon’s orders, Goler immediately followed this by saying that “skeptics say the recordkeeping began about the time a cold period was ending in the mid 1800s and what looks like an increase may just be part of a longer cycle.”

After running a clip of American Enterprise Institute scholar Kenneth Green questioning the “historical context” of the WMO’s climate findings, Goler then brought up the climategate emails:

GOLER: Meanwhile, the hacked or leaked e-mails from East Anglia University pushed the U.N. to once again defend its data. Scientists say it’s consistent with that from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, and the U.N. secretary general says nothing in the e-mails cast doubt on the basic scientific message.

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL (video clip): That the climate change is happening much, much faster than we realized and we human beings are the primary cause.

Watch:

That night, on the same Special Report broadcast, correspondent James Rosen advanced the wildly misleading claim that climate scientists “destroyed more than 150 years worth of raw climate data.”

By the time Sammon sent his email on December 8, it was already clear that “Climategate” was not only overblown, but also had no bearing on the validity of scientific theories about climate change.

  • In a letter to Congress sent four days before Sammon’s memo, 29 prominent scientists — including 11 members of the National Academy of Sciences — stated: “The body of evidence that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming is overwhelming. The content of the stolen emails has no impact whatsoever on our overall understanding that human activity is driving dangerous levels of global warming.”
  • On December 2, the prestigious science journal Nature stated: “Nothing in the e-mails undermines the scientific case that global warming is real — or that human activities are almost certainly the cause. That case is supported by multiple, robust lines of evidence, including several that are completely independent of the climate reconstructions debated in the e-mails.”
  • On November 25, the American Meteorological Society released a statement saying: “For climate change research, the body of research in the literature is very large and the dependence on any one set of research results to the comprehensive understanding of the climate system is very, very small. Even if some of the charges of improper behavior in this particular case turn out to be true — which is not yet clearly the case — the impact on the science of climate change would be very limited.”
  • On November 23, Peter Frumhoff, the director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a “lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report” by the IPCC said: “[O]ur understanding of climate science is based not on private correspondence, but on the rigorous accumulation, testing and synthesis of knowledge often represented in the dry and factual prose of peer-reviewed literature.”

Several subsequent inquiries into the climategate emails did not find evidence of scientific malpractice that damages the credibility of CRU’s climate science and also cleared the scientists of deceptively manipulating climate data.

Shortly after Sammon’s memo, numerous media outlets, including the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact.com also analyzed the emails and concluded that they did not undermine climate science.

Nonetheless, Fox’s news and opinion programs relentlessly hyped the supposed scandal in order to cast doubt on the scientific case for climate change, both before and after Sammon’s memo. Some lowlights:

  • Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace repeatedly pushed climategate distortions, both before and after Sammon’s directive.
  • On December 3, America’s Newsroom host Bill Hemmer falsely claimed the emails showed scientists hiding “evidence of a decline in global temperatures.”
  • Online, Fox’s website Fox Nation characterized the emails as “Global Warming’s Waterloo.”
  • Neil Cavuto, Fox’s “Senior Vice President of Business News” and host of Your World with Neil Cavuto, interviewed a filmmaker dressed as a polar bear during the Copenhagen conference and joined him in promoting “Climategate” distortions.

A month after Sammon sent his memo, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies released data confirming that 2009 was the second warmest year on record and marked the end of the warmest decade on record.

After spending weeks hyping the Climategate non-scandal, Special Report never mentioned the NASA report.

Media Matters contacted Sammon and Fox spokespeople for comment and we have not received a response.

Jocelyn Fong and other Media Matters staff contributed to this report.

Kudos to Media Matters for unearthing this story from the anti-earth folks at Fox News.  See also the Politico story, “Fox editor urged climate skepticism.”

Climate Progress


14
Dec 10

FBI rushes to investigate veiled email threat to Cincinnati mosque, ignores open threats to anti-jihadists

There is no excuse for threats of violence sent through emails to people with whom one disagrees. It is noteworthy, however, that there have been no arrests and no FBI investigation of these emailed death threats and others like them that I have received, although I have contacted the FBI repeatedly and do so whenever a new death threat comes in. Yet the Cincinnati mosque email is not even as clear a threat as these below, and the FBI is all over it. Why the double standard?

“Robert Spencer has his right to speech. But someday he will slip up, he will visit a place that doesn’t honor such infidel ‘rights.’ And what a day they will have with him. You’ve heard of head cheese and blood pudding? See, modern hip Muslims like me like to be look different than everybody else in Western society. And we don’t like to believe Islam has any real enemies left. But Robert Spencer, well, he will see the sacred text come to life…’fuel the fires of hell…’ only when they are done with him. Peace and Love.” — September 29, 2010

“Robert Spencer the Second, born on February 27, 1962, is a hairy man who…currently lives on [specific street] in [specific city] with [specific relatives]…” — July 28, 2010, from Greenbelt, Maryland

“Killing of this man is a model… SPENCER-Model..Spencer himself deserves the same? he should be sloughtered like that man. Silencing the EVIL.” — April 4, 2010

“THIS IS AN OPEN THREAT TO YOU AND YOUR ORGANIZATION TO STAY AWAY FROM MUSLIMS AND ISLAM IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. YOU SON OF A BITCH . YOUR MOTHER WAS A C**K-SUCKING WHORE . IF YOU GOT THE GUTS AND BALLS PRINT THIS ON YOUR WEB SITE AND TELL PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE BEING THREATENED. U FILTHY C**K-SUCKER HAVE A NICE DAY” — December 8, 2009

“Yes. Yes..We finally reached out him. Ka’ab Binu Ashraf has been traced. He will be soon found. Will this be like VAN-Goooordhd. I am not sure. Allah Knows.. But Spencer you will pay the price…Just wait to pay the price.” — September 28, 2009

“Robert….It was really good I found you in a local supermarket. and I followed you.. so i know your address now..tell you fool followers you are going to be deceased very soon… any one taking your seat and getting killed? I am sure most of your followers are cheeky cowards.” — September 28, 2009

“Do me a favor Spencer and put this as a blog post like you do to all those threatening mails. Be careful, I am very near to you. I located you and I know you have little security around you. I am coming to slit your throat with a bland knife.. and it will pain a lot.. since you misled a lot of people and became a fitnah on earth.. it is a duty of a good muslim to kill you! go report this to FBI or CIA..And don’t worry, I won’t attack you unguarded.. but i will surely kill you in the most easy manner possible because I don’t like to slaughter human beings.. Die and go to hell.. for sure..and yea I have a new name for you…Robert ‘hawknoseinhell’ spencer.” — September 28, 2009

I’ve received many, many others. Here is just one more, a classic from a few years back:

“YOu are the most f**king person I have ever seen. Enrooted in islamic hatred, you think your personal statements on Prophet Muhammed will be deemed appropriate. Motherf**ker, I am coming to kill you. I will hack the head off your face and i will kill your family. Wait for your doom. From A mujahid” — October 2, 2006

“FBI investigating mosque threat,” by Dan Horn for the Cincinnati Enquirer, December 14 (thanks to Andrew):

The FBI is investigating a threatening e-mail sent to a Clifton mosque that was the target of a pipe bomb attack almost five years ago.

FBI officials say they have no evidence the e-mail is connected to the previous attack, but they are taking no chances.

“That’s certainly something we will investigate,” said FBI spokesman Mike Brooks.
The e-mail was sent Saturday from an anonymous Yahoo account to the Islamic Association of Cincinnati, which oversees the mosque.

“You should know that you are not wanted in Cincinnati,” the e-mail states. “We don’t want you here. Mohammad is a joke. Go back to your desert. Beware. We may just declare jihad on you.”

Officials with the [Hamas-linked] Council on American-Islamic Relations said that although the e-mail does not contain a direct threat, it is a concern because of the previous attack on the mosque and because of growing animosity toward Muslims in the decade since the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

“I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, but we don’t want to dismiss it and assume it’s nothing,” said Karen Dabdoub, executive director of [Hamas-linked] CAIR in Cincinnati. “You just don’t know.”…

Indeed you don’t — especially given the fact that Hamas-linked CAIR and other Muslims have not hesitated to stoop even to fabricating “hate crimes,” including attacks on mosques. CAIR and other groups like it want and need hate crimes against Muslims, because they can use them for political points and as weapons to intimidate people into remaining silent about the jihad threat.

So what happened in Cincinnati is anybody’s guess. And it’s good that the FBI is on it. I just wish that the FBI were as proactive and energetic in investigating the many death threats that anti-jihadists such as Pamela Geller and I have received as they are when they rush to investigate allegations of threats against mosques and Muslims.

Jihad Watch


14
Dec 10

Federal Court: E-Mail Entitled To Fourth Amendment Protection

In what could turn out to be a landmark case, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that email held on an ISP server is subject to the protections of the Fourth Amendment:

In a landmark decision issued today in the criminal appeal of U.S. v. Warshak, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and search emails stored by email service providers. Closely tracking arguments made by EFF in its amicus brief, the court found that email users have the same reasonable expectation of privacy in their stored email as they do in their phone calls and postal mail.

EFF filed a similar amicus brief with the 6th Circuit in 2006 in a civil suit brought by criminal defendant Warshak against the government for its warrantless seizure of his emails. There, the 6th Circuit agreed with EFF that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected expectation of privacy in the email they store with their email providers, though that decision was later vacated on procedural grounds. Warshak’s appeal of his criminal conviction has brought the issue back to the Sixth Circuit, and once again the court has agreed with EFF and held that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their email accounts.

From the decision:

Email is the technological scion of tangible mail, and it plays an indispensable part in the Information Age. Over the last decade, email has become “so pervasive that some persons may consider [it] to be [an] essential means or necessary instrument[] for self-expression, even self-identification.” Quon, 130 S. Ct. at 2630. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise, the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve. See U.S. Dist. Court, 407 U.S. at 313; United States v. Waller, 581 F.2d 585, 587 (6th Cir. 1978) (noting the Fourth Amendment’s role in protecting “private communications”). As some forms of communication begin to diminish, the Fourth Amendment must recognize and protect nascent ones that arise. See Warshak I, 490 F.3d at 473 (“It goes without saying that like the telephone earlier in our history, e-mail is an ever-increasing mode of private communication, and protecting shared communications through this medium is as important to Fourth Amendment principles today as protecting telephone conversations has been in the past.”).

If we accept that an email is analogous to a letter or a phone call, it is manifest that agents of the government cannot compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of an email without triggering the Fourth Amendment. An ISP is the intermediary that makes email communication possible. Emails must pass through an ISP’s servers to reach their intended recipient. Thus, the ISP is the functional equivalent of a post office or a telephone company. As we have discussed above, the police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call—unless they get a warrant, that is. See Jacobsen, 466 U.S. at 114; Katz, 389 U.S. at 353. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement absent some exception.

(…)

Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication [like postal mail and telephone calls], it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection…. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve…. [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call-unless they get a warrant, that is. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement….

In the case at hand, which involved a criminal fraud prosecution of the owners of the company that sold the “male enhancement” produce Enzyte, the Court went on to find that the facts indicated that a good faith exception existed to the failure to obtain a warrant for the search at issue. As a result, the criminal convictions were sustained. Nonetheless, the Court’s finding that the Fourth Amendment’s protections extend to email kept on a third-party server stands and given the prevalence of web-based email today, it’s an important one as well. Conceptually, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why an email provider like, say, Google, should be treated any differently than a delivery service or a post office. The expectations of privacy of the average citizen are similar, and the fact that someone chooses to store email on a web server rather than downloading it doesn’t strike me as a relevant distinction for 4th Amendment purposes. Besides, the idea that the Federal Government would be able to access electronic mail without any need for a showing of probable cause that a crime has been committed strikes me as so offensive to American concepts of liberty that the outcome here seems rather self-evident.

But, of course, nothing in the law is self-evident. This holding only applies in the Sixth Circuit for the moment and it will be up to other courts across the country to apply the holding. Hopefully, they’ll do the right thing.




Outside the Beltway


14
Dec 10

Sixth Circuit Rules that E-Mail Protected by the Fourth Amendment Warrant Requirement

(Orin Kerr)

In the last three years, three federal circuits have published opinions on whether the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail (dividing 2–1). In all three cases, the initial panel opinions were withdrawn or overturned on other grounds, leaving the issue surprisingly unsettled. This morning, the Sixth Circuit handed down an opinion by Judge Boggs that addresses the question directly and concludes that the Fourth Amendment protects e-mail held by an ISP with a full warrant requirement. The case is United States v. Warshak, a criminal appeal following conviction involving the same set of facts that were the subject of one of the earlier circuit court cases later overturned en banc. I expect today’s decision to stick around: Because the Court concluded that the good-faith exception applied in light of the government’s reliance on the Stored Communications Act, the court affirmed the conviction, meaning that only Warshak can seek review at this point (and further review seems unlikely). Here’s the key passage:

Email is the technological scion of tangible mail, and it plays an indispensable part in the Information Age. Over the last decade, email has become “so pervasive that some persons may consider [it] to be [an] essential means or necessary instrument[] for self-expression, even self-identification.” Quon, 130 S. Ct. at 2630. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise, the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve. See U.S. Dist. Court, 407 U.S. at 313; United States v. Waller, 581 F.2d 585, 587 (6th Cir. 1978) (noting the Fourth Amendment’s role in protecting “private communications”). As some forms of communication begin to diminish, the Fourth Amendment must recognize and protect nascent ones that arise. See Warshak I, 490 F.3d at 473 (“It goes without saying that like the telephone earlier in our history, e-mail is an ever-increasing mode of private communication, and protecting shared communications through this medium is as important to Fourth Amendment principles today as protecting telephone conversations has been in the past.”).

If we accept that an email is analogous to a letter or a phone call, it is manifest that agents of the government cannot compel a commercial ISP to turn over the contents of an email without triggering the Fourth Amendment. An ISP is the intermediary that makes email communication possible. Emails must pass through an ISP’s servers to reach their intended recipient. Thus, the ISP is the functional equivalent of a post office or a telephone company. As we have discussed above, the police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call—unless they get a warrant, that is. See Jacobsen, 466 U.S. at 114; Katz, 389 U.S. at 353. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement absent some exception.

I think that is correct, for reasons I have explained before. Under the Court’s reasoning, then, 18 U.S.C. 2703(b) is unconstitutional at least in most applications– which, again, I think is correct. This is a very important opinion, and there’s a lot in there, but based on a first read it strikes me as quite persuasive and likely to be an influential decision going forward.




The Volokh Conspiracy


13
Dec 10

On Day Of Tax Cut Vote, Sen. Mark Kirk Wants Constituents To E-Mail Him What He Should Do

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) has only been in office for a matter of weeks, but he has already helped lead the Republican Party’s charge to protect tax cuts for the very wealthy. Days after being sworn in, Kirk delivered the Republican response to the weekly White House radio address, in which Vice President Joe Biden pushed for an extension of middle-class tax cuts. Kirk defended an extension of all the cuts: “Americans already pay some of the highest taxes in the world. By raising taxes in order to fuel higher spending, we threaten to restart the recession, pushing millions of Americans out of work,” he said.

Today, Kirk’s office sent out an e-mail to constituents soliciting their opinion on the Obama-McConnell compromise, which the Senate will vote on this afternoon. Kirk writes that he’s not sure how he will vote; “I will tell you where I stand when I hear from you,” he writes. His e-mail explains the issue like this:

In 2001 and 2003, Congress passed tax relief measures helping taxpayers across the board. Rates were lowered for low-income, middle class and upper-income Americans to help the economy recover from the downturn caused by the “Dot-com” and September 11th blows to our national income. Unfortunately, this relief is scheduled to expire New Year’s eve, triggering one of the biggest tax hikes in U.S. history.

If allowed to occur, tax rates would go up for nearly all Americans who pay taxes. Low-income Americans would see their taxes go up from 10% of income to 15%. The top rate would go up from 36 to over 39%. The marriage tax penalty (charging married couples more than two singles filing independently) would reappear, along with the death tax jumping from 0% to 55%. The capital gains rate would increase from 15% to 20% coupled with dividend tax rates more than doubling for some taxpayers – hurting seniors and Americans nearing retirement most.

As the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet notes, Kirk frames the issue dishonestly, suggesting that the only two choices are whether all the tax cuts go up, or none of them do. Democrats have repeatedly proposed, and put up for a vote in which Kirk participated, a measure that would keep the tax cuts for earners under $ 250,000. Kirk also fails to mention the payroll tax cut, and other features of the compromise.

By suggesting to constituents that his only choice is to vote for the compromise package (because all tax brackets will see an increase otherwise), Kirk appears to be gaming a certain result. The question is why Kirk pretends an e-mail campaign will decide his vote on an issue that he’s already stated his opinion on, only hours before it is to take place. As Sweet writes: “[S]ending out this e-mail to solicit input-when Kirk does not even provide the varied elements of the deal, including a cut in payroll taxes for a year — an item that will impact everyone who gets a paycheck — makes this e-mail gambit by Kirk even lamer.”

ThinkProgress


11
Dec 10

Email threat before Stockholm bombings called on mujahedin: “Now is the time to strike, don’t wait any longer. Step up with whatever you have, even if it is a knife, and I know you have more than a knife”

“The person claimed to have been to the Middle East and asked family for forgiveness for lying to them. ‘I didn’t go to the middle east to work,’ the writer wrote. ‘I went there for jihad’.”

He asked forgiveness for lying to his family. But the deliberate, calculated targeting of infidels for mass slaughter, well, that’s all in a day’s jihad. And now, stay tuned for the ritual head-scratching about what “radicalized” the undoubtedly “troubled” individuals behind the attack.

More on this story. “Explosions in Stockholm believed to be failed terrorist attack,” by Per Nyberg for CNN, December 11:

(CNN) — A failed terrorist attack in a central Stockholm district full of Christmas shoppers could have been catastrophic, Swedish authorities said late Saturday.

Police are investigating whether two explosions in Stockholm, an e-mail threat sent shortly before the attack that mentions Afghanistan and the body of a man who was apparently killed in one of the explosions are related.

“Most worrying attempt at terrorist attack in crowded part of central Stockholm. Failed — but could have been truly catastrophic,” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said in a Twitter message on Saturday.

A Swedish news agency and police said they received e-mail threats against the Swedish people 10 minutes before the explosions, which killed one person and injured two others on Saturday.

“We have not taken any decision to increase the terror threat level,” said Swedish Security Police spokesman Mikael Gunnarsson. “And apart from the e-mail we didn’t have any other indications or threats that this would happen,” Gunnarsson added. […]

Police said the explosions were in a popular pedestrian shopping area.

“One explosion happened at the intersection of Drottninggatan and Olof Palmes Gata,” two busy streets in central Stockholm, said police spokeswoman Petra Sjolander. “This was the car that exploded multiple times.”

A second explosion occurred about five minutes later, at the intersection of Drottninggatan and Bryggargatan streets, Sjolander said. […]

The e-mail writer ended the message with a call for action “to all Mujahadeen in Europe and Sweden,” TT said.

“Now is the time to strike, don’t wait any longer,” the message read, according to TT. “Step up with whatever you have, even if it is a knife, and I know you have more than a knife. Fear no one, fear not prison, fear not death.”

TT said that it was not clear from the e-mail or the audio files if the person belongs to any specific organization.

The person claimed to have been to the Middle East and asked family for forgiveness for lying to them. “I didn’t go to the middle east to work,” the writer wrote. “I went there for jihad.”

Jihad Watch


11
Dec 10

Sweden: Suicide bomber injures two after news agency receives email threats over Motoons

Barbarism in the form of attempted murder for a cartoon comes to Sweden: “Our actions will speak for themselves, as long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks.”

Eurabia Update: The jihad bomber screamed “Allahu akbar” before setting off his bomb. “Blasts linked to Afghanistan kill one in Stockholm,” by Mia Shanley for Reuters, December 11 (thanks to PRCS):

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Two explosions killed a man and injured two people in a busy shopping area in Stockholm on Saturday evening after an email sent to a news agency threatened retaliation for Sweden’s military presence in Afghanistan.

Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said it was possible that the dead man had blown himself up, but this had not been confirmed by investigators. Swedish media reported that he had killed himself with a bomb.

Lindgren said police were also investigating whether other, unexploded bombs were on the scene.

The Swedish news agency TT said it had received an email warning 10 minutes before the blasts, which took place either side of 5 p.m. (12 p.m. EST), with a threat to Sweden and its people.

It said the threat was linked to Sweden’s contribution to the U.S.-led NATO force in Afghanistan, where it has 500 soldiers, mainly in the north.

TT said the warning, which was also sent to Sweden’s Security Police (SAPO), also referred to caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks.

The email had sound files in Swedish and Arabic.

“Our actions will speak for themselves, as long as you do not end your war against Islam and humiliation of the Prophet and your stupid support for the pig Vilks,” TT quoted a man as saying in one of the recordings.

Vilks depicted the Prophet with the body of a dog in a cartoon in 2007. Most Muslims consider any depiction of the founder of Islam as offensive….

Police spokeswoman Petra Sjolander said the first explosion had been in a car containing gas cylinders. The dead man was found at the site of the second blast about 300 meters away.

“It looked as if the man had carried something that exploded in his stomach,” Pascal, a trained medic, was quoted as saying on the DN.se website. “I removed a Palestinian scarf from his face to free up the airways, but it was too late ….

Jihad Watch


9
Dec 10

Leaked email: Fox bosses ordered anchors to slant ‘public option’

For the few remaining people who still think Fox is a “news” channel, a leaked email makes it plain: the network’s Washington editor directed his on-air staff to skew its coverage against the healthcare public option. From Media Matters, which is stepping up its focus on Fox in a big way: At the height of […]
The Reid Report


9
Dec 10

White House launches e-mail push for support

(CNN) – The White House and the Democratic National Committee have mounted an aggressive e-mail push to the political press corps in an effort to sell the tax cut deal President Obama made with Republican leadership.

Since the president’s news conference Tuesday afternoon – in which he struck an impatient tone with some of his fellow Democrats as well as some frustration about negotiating with Republicans – the White House press office and the DNC have sent at least 68 emails to reporters pushing the deal, a highly unusual amount in the normal ebb-and-flow of the political day.

Typically, White House e-mails to the press corps are usually guidance on the president’s schedule, news-of-the-day presidential statements or forwarded notes from reporters traveling with the president. But on the tax deal, the White House has been on offense. Along with some White House fact sheets and informational notes, the e-mails have been a steady procession of statements from officeholders supporting the deal. Many of those officeholders are mayors and governors who have no vote on the legislation.

Although the Democratic Party is currently deeply divided over the new deal, the national committee has not shied away from sending an onslaught of e-mails to reporters, at least 28 since the president’s news conference. The DNC e-mails are typically clips of a policy wonk’s endorsement of the plan or newspaper opinion pieces endorsing the deal.


CNN Political Ticker


9
Dec 10

Email Of The Day

A reader writes:

A point that I keep coming back to over the past couple of days is something that Obama understands and lives out. Despite his own ideological bent, he knows he is the president of everyone and not just democrats.  He seems to take that idea very seriously and I think it has and will continue to stand him in good stead.

I agree – which makes him the polar opposite to the current GOP, epitomized by Palin. They govern and will govern solely for those who voted for them. Because they regard everyone else as fake Americans. Obama? An altogether more serious and responsible figure.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


7
Dec 10

Email Of The Day

A reader writes:

Dude, you're killing me!  Keep it coming with the dog videos. I wrote you over 2 years ago when I was deployed, and as I write this, I find myself in Iraq yet again. I log-on to The Dish this morning at 4am (our time) and what do I see?  More cool/heartwarming/badass videos of dogs.  I love it … motivational as hell.  Totally made my day, man.

Take care.  And keep rocking the beard – I live vicariously through you, since we military guys can't have them!





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


3
Dec 10

Email Of The Day

A reader writes:

Thanks for the early Christmas gifts. I love the t-shirts. But if I buy one, does that make me part of a clique?

You got us there. Well, yes, a clique whose other members you do not personally know.





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The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan


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