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Operation FirstFruits : NSA spied on Dissenters and Journalists?

Apparently, they've also been spying on other members of the government who may have been potential  whistleblowers,  journalists and even members of Congress.

NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, and their journalist and congressional contacts. WMR has learned that the National Security Agency (NSA), on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA and DIA -- and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices.

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Obama limits ex-presidents' discretion on records

President Barack Obama issued an executive order Wednesday that limits the ability of former presidents to block the release of sensitive records of their time in the White House. Obama's action in his first full day in office overturned an earlier order issued by George W. Bush that prompted a federal lawsuit.

Obama said former presidents may ask to have certain documents kept private, but they no longer may compel the National Archives to do so. Obama's executive order also makes clear that neither former vice presidents nor relatives of former presidents who have died have authority to keep records private.

Bush's executive order was issued in November 2001. A federal judge ruled parts of it invalid in 2007. Obama's order revoked it entirely.

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7 States Sue Over Bush Rule on Health Workers

Seven states sued the federal government Thursday over a new rule that expands protections for doctors and other health care workers who refuse to participate in abortions and other medical procedures because of religious or moral objections.

They claim the federal rule, issued by the Bush administration last month and set to take effect Tuesday, would trump state laws protecting women's access to birth control, reproductive health services and emergency contraception.

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ACLU challenges secrecy provisions of US whistleblower law, says gag orders hide Iraq fraud

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the constitutionality of a law that requires whistleblowers with allegations of war profiteering or other contract fraud to file their lawsuits in secret.

The secrecy requirements of the federal False Claims Act violate freedom-of-speech protections and have kept war fraud complaints in Iraq and elsewhere hidden from public view, the ACLU says in its lawsuit.

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14 Percent of U.S. Adults Can't Read

Statistics released by the U.S. Education Department this week show that some 32 million U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skill. That means they can't read a newspaper or the instruction on a bottle of pills.

The figures are for 2003, the latest year available. State and county results are available here.

"The crisis of adult literacy is getting worse, and investment in education and support programs is critical," said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy, in response to the finding.

TVNL Comment: Now you know why American's believe the most unbelievable claims made by our government. It is because they are idiots! They believe that 9/11 was conducted by cave dwellers and that George W. Bush has kept us safe! This explains a lot!

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Did the Reagan Revolution actually win? Local and State Governments are Selling Off Public Property and Services

Reagan's economic target was to drown government in a cocktail of lowered government spending, deregulation and reduced tax rates. However, in order to shrink government to bathtub size, the role of private business had to expand to fill basic needs, which was totally fine with Republicans.

But another consequence of Reaganomics, one that doesn't jive so much with traditional Republican values, is the reduction of states' powers. Local governments are beginning to see the real meaning of trickle-down economics: dwindling federal funds make it harder for states and cities to meet annual budget requirements.

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More Groups Than Thought Monitored in Police Spying

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored -- and labeled as terrorists -- activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

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