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U.S. Increases Its Share of Worldwide Arms Market

Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar.

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TVNL Comment:  The military industrial complex thrives on war.  Deal with it.

 

Michael Hirsh: Madoff Report Indicts Entire Regulatory System

The scariest thing about the report, perhaps, is that it isn't about what happened in the past as much as it's an indicator of what our future looks like. The Madoff Ponzi scheme was a relatively simple scam: all anyone in enforcement ever had to do over the years was to obtain documents showing that wily old Bernie wasn't doing any trading at all. They never did. This is the same agency, slightly tweaked, that we're going to depend on to root out fraud in the mind-bogglingly complex world of over-the-counter derivatives that is even now resuming its old habits.

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Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

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Gonzales defends Holder's decision on CIA

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on Tuesday defended the decision of his current successor, Eric H. Holder Jr., to investigate alleged prisoner abuse by CIA interrogators over President Obama's desire to look forward.

"As chief prosecutor of the United States, he should make the decision on his own, based on the facts, then inform the White House," said Mr. Gonzales,

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TVNL Comment:  A perfect example of CYA strategy.

Bush's Search Policy For Travelers Is Kept

The Obama administration will largely preserve Bush-era procedures allowing the government to search -- without suspicion of wrongdoing -- the contents of a traveler's laptop computer, cellphone or other electronic device, although officials said new policies would expand oversight of such inspections.

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Group that backed Prop. 8 focuses on reinstating Iowa's gay-marriage ban

Opponents of same-sex marriage launched a campaign today to re-ban gay marriage in Iowa.

The National Organization for Marriage, which was active in getting Proposition 8 approved by voters in California, sent out an appeal for donations to run advertisements on behalf of political candidates who oppose same-sex marriage.

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New Unit to Question Key Terror Suspects

President Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects, part of a broader effort to revamp U.S. policy on detention and interrogation, senior administration officials said Sunday

The interrogation unit will be housed at the FBI but will be overseen by the National Security Council -- shifting the center of gravity away from the CIA and giving the White House direct oversight.

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