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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Edward Snowden, the exile who leaked the National Security Agency's domestic espionage secrets, some 1.7 million documents, explained himself a bit more in an interview with NBC last night. “Sometimes to do the right thing," he said, "you have to break a law.” He also said he'd like to leave Russia, where he's found asylum, and come home.

Snowden's leaks wound up swamping the NSA with a flurry of federal records requests from reporters, conspiracy theorists, and advocacy groups. Emails obtained by the Guardian show NSA officials freaking out over how to handle them. Normally the feds would cite the secret nature of the materials sought. But by then, Snowden's leaks had already stripped away that secrecy.

Who needs Congress? On Monday, President Obama is expected to go it alone and unveil the toughest caps on carbon dioxide emissions in American history, royally annoying power-plant operators and the well-paid politicians who do their bidding on Capitol Hill.

Marriage equality in Oregon will make at least a brief pit stop at the US Supreme Court. Presented with a request to stay Oregon's new reality by the National Organization for Marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy has asked for more information instead of telling NOM, kindly, where it can go instead.

The US economy actually shrank, a little bit, during the previous quarter—marking the first such contraction in three years. Another wimpy quarter, and we'd technically be back in recession. But no one's terribly worried. Not yet. So far, the slowdown's been blamed on an our exceptionally lousy winter.

The so-called "Obama Doctrine", guiding the president's military policy and diplomacy, has grown ever crystallized. Instead of us warring with anyone and everyone who offends, "the threshold for military action must be higher," the president told West Point graduates in a landmark speech this week.

Upshot? Maybe the deepening scandal at the Veterans Affairs Administration, besides just ending the career of its cabinet secretary, will actually force real improvements in the care of the people we've sent off to die and be wounded, physically and emotionally, in the name of war.

Fighting in Ukraine didn't take much of a break after last weekend's presidential election. Pro-Russian separatists just shot down a military helicopter, killing 14 people, including a general.

Two girls from a small Indian town were found hanging from a mango tree after they were gang-raped. It's the latest instance in a scourge of sexual violence—and police apathy—that's grown increasingly public after stories two years ago about a gang-rape on a bus that no one bothered to stop.

Over in enlightened Utah, meanwhile, school officials have been caught Photoshopping yearbook photos here and there, covering up things like shoulders and clavicles, apparently to make them the girls seem less "sexy."

LET'S CALL IT ALL OFF. TODAY. LET'S CALL TODAY OFF.

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