Daily Archive: 06/20/2013

Jun 20 2013

US Government and Corporations Cooperate To Create Your Dystopian Future

The US government works closely with thousands of corporations to bring you everything from national security to the drivers of climate change.  The connections between these entities are diverse and often quite opaque making it difficult for citizens to tell who is really in charge.  Is it the corporations with their ultimate responsibility to make a profit for their owners and shareholders, or is it the government with its ultimate responsibility to the electorate?  Do the principles of government or business apply to joint decision making processes when government invests in businesses and sits on their boards, or when government agencies have representatives of business sit on task forces and decision making structures?

The economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith wrote, “people of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

What happens when the interests of business and government so align, that they are fundamentally, “in the same business?”

Cooperation

Disclosures by whistleblowers have led to a heightened interest by the press in these government-corporate linkages particularly in relation to intelligence gathering.  Bloomberg recently posted this article which describes in some detail cooperation between government spies and industry:

Thousands of technology, finance and manufacturing companies are working closely with U.S. national security agencies, providing sensitive information and in return receiving benefits that include access to classified intelligence, four people familiar with the process said. …

Makers of hardware and software, banks, Internet security providers, satellite telecommunications companies and many other companies also participate in the government programs. … Along with the NSA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and branches of the U.S. military have agreements with such companies to gather data that might seem innocuous but could be highly useful in the hands of U.S. intelligence or cyber warfare units, according to the people, who have either worked for the government or are in companies that have these accords. …

Some U.S. telecommunications companies willingly provide intelligence agencies with access to facilities and data offshore that would require a judge’s order if it were done in the U.S., one of the four people said. [hmmm. think carefully about the ramifications of that statement, could the spy agencies just maybe be evading the law on collecting our information by collecting it from outside of our borders? pfffttt]… The extensive cooperation between commercial companies and intelligence agencies is legal and reaches deeply into many aspects of everyday life, though little of it is scrutinized by more than a small number of lawyers, company leaders and spies.

The article also points out the minimal oversight that these programs receive and quotes Senator Rockefeller’s cybersecurity assistant explaining that most congresspeople and their staffs charged with overseeing these programs lack the technical background and expertise to fully understand what they are responsible for overseeing.  Further, the article notes that within the companies that are entering into “arrangements” with the government, knowledge of these agreements is very closely held, suggesting that corporate governance structures are undermined and unable to perform their duty to oversee the activities of their corporation or withhold consent in behalf of the (kept in the dark) shareholders for actions taken by management. The secrecy involved creates a situation where loosely supervised government officials are allowed to compel or conspire with corporate chieftains to hijack corporations and undermine democratic governance structures.

Many of the corporations that have cooperated with the government are now, since being exposed, struggling with the public relations fallout that has come from customers finding out that the corporations have helped the government spy on them.  Surely they understood this risk, which is why many of these corporations demanded legal immunity for their cooperation.

So what made it worth the risk, because, as the Bloomberg article reveals, much of the participation by these firms was voluntary?  From the same article:

Michael Hayden, who formerly directed the National Security Agency and the CIA, described the attention paid to important company partners: “If I were the director and had a relationship with a company who was doing things that were not just directed by law but were also valuable to the defense of the Republic, I would go out of my way to thank them and give them a sense as to why this is necessary and useful.”

Ah, there was a corporate rewards program…

One is left to speculate about what sort of rewards might be handed out to corporations from a government with trillions of dollars to spend.  They probably aren’t just giving out key chains and coffee mugs.  Hmmm… Facebook cooperates with the NSA.  Was its precipitous rise in the market due to Zuckerberg’s ideas and business acumen or… something else?

Jun 20 2013

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

New York Times Editorial Board: Prying Private Eyes

Whatever one thinks about Edward Snowden and his revelations about government snooping, the case has been a useful reminder of the extent to which the government has outsourced intelligence work to the private sector and the risks in doing so. [..]

It is highly doubtful, however, that American taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. The basic justification for outsourcing government work is to get a job done better and cheaper. Outsourcing intelligence does not appear to achieve either aim. At a Senate hearing on intelligence contractors in September 2011, a witness from the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, cited research from 2008 showing that the government paid private contractors 1.6 times what it would have cost to have had government employees perform the work.

Eugene Robinson: This Will Not End Well

In Syria, the Obama administration seems to be stumbling back to the future: An old-fashioned proxy war, complete with the usual shadowy CIA arms-running operation, the traditional plan to prop up ostensible “moderates” whose prospects are doubtful and, of course, the customary shaky grasp of what the fighting is really about.

This will not end well.

It is tragic that more than 90,000 people have been killed in the bloody Syrian conflict, with more than a million displaced. But I have heard no claim that President Obama’s decision to arm the rebels will halt or even slow the carnage. To the contrary, sending more weapons into the fray will likely result in greater death and destruction, at least in the short term.

E. J. Dionne: Immigration: Time to Choose Sides

The future of immigration reform is, for now at least, not up to House Speaker John Boehner. It is in the hands of a group of moderately conservative Republican senators who have to decide whether their desire to solve a decades-old problem outweighs their fears of retaliation from the party’s right wing.

These senators are clearly looking for a way to vote for a bill that is the product of excruciating but largely amicable negotiations across partisan and ideological barriers. But these Republicans-they include Bob Corker, John Hoeven, Susan Collins, Dean Heller and Rob Portman-want enough changes in the measure’s border security provisions so they can tell tea party constituents that they didn’t just go along with a middle-of-the-road consensus.

Jared Berstein: CBO Scores the Immigration Reform Bill and Finds… (Wait for It)… It Reduces the Deficit

Well, would you look at that: CBO just released their analysis of the fiscal impact of the immigration reform legislation from the Senate and it turns out that the bill is expected to lower the budget deficit by $197 billion over the next decade.

That means that opponents who wanted to make the case that comprehensive reform of our current “system” would be a net cost — e.g., the Heritage folks — just got some pretty bad news. [..]

What’s going on here is that the budget agency expects immigration to generate more costs but even more revenues. Between health programs, entitlements, SNAP, etc., they expect spending to go up about $260 billion over the next ten years. But they estimate revenues to go up about $460 billion. The net difference, about $200 billion, is the projected impact on the deficit.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: The Looting of Detroit

Nearly 100 years ago two young Detroit girls visited a now-vanished island park that had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, and swimming, and wrote that they were “having fun” on a piece of paper. Then they put the paper in a bottle and tossed it into the St. Clair River, where a diver found it last June.

They wouldn’t recognize the place today. Detroit, which grew and prospered for much of the last century, has become a wasteland of abandoned buildings, lawlessness, and municipal debts.

Somebody’s going to pay for that.

It’s not going to be the politicians whose decisions undermined Detroit.  And it’s not going to be the industrial and financial executives who made bad decisions, yet retired with their full pensions and portfolios.

Robert Sheer: The Terror Con

For defense contractors, the government officials who write them mega checks, and the hawks in the media who cheer them on, the name of the game is threat inflation. And no one has been better at it than the folks at Booz Allen Hamilton, the inventors of the new boondoggle called cyberwarfare.

That’s the company, under contract with the National Security Agency, that employed whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the information security engineer whose revelation of Booz Allen’s enormously profitable and pervasive spying on Americans now threatens the firm’s profitability and that of its parent hedge fund, the Carlyle Group.

Jun 20 2013

The Grover Pledge

I have thought about the following for several years and I still cannot wrap my head around this as legal.  If elected to congress, this is the oath one must take:  The current oath was enacted in 1884:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Now I always thought that taking that oath would preclude one from signing a pledge with anyone or any organization that would curtail any of one’s duties in regard to the Constitution.  Why then is it permissible to sign the following pledge with Norquist?(2)

Taxpayer Protection Pledge

I,________, pledge to the taxpayers of the ___ district of the state of ___________ and to the American people that I will:

One, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and

Two, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.

I think that if an elected official to the Congress or Senate said that oath, then they would be required to uphold the Constitution.  Article I, Section 8 states:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Currently there are 219 representatives and 39 senators in this 113th Congress and added together make 258.  The House and Senate together have 435 officials.  The majority of each, 218 and 51, equal 259.  The majority in the House is 218.   The pledge signers start with a one vote advantage for any bill that attempts to raise any taxes in any form.  Raising taxes is dead in the water.  What about taxes to replace bridges, schools, fire and police protection, etc. etc. etc.?

Why is this allowed?  A professor at Columbia, Robert Thurman, thinks the Grover Pledge as Seditious and treasonous.(1)  I wholeheartedly agree.  Any pledge to any individual or group that prevents one from upholding one’s oath, especially as serious as being a representative of the people, should not be permitted.  One could argue that the Grover Pledge is to the people of his/her district/state and is legal.  How can that be?  The oath of office comes first and foremost.  Any pledge outside the Constitution that contradicts the fulfillment of that oath simply should not be allowed and therefore illegal.  That’s what I think.

Now, some have argued that if one did not sign the Grover Pledge, then they would be taking money away from the people that would give them money for campaigns.  The more money donors get to keep means the money more they will have to give to the pledge signer.  That sounds like quid pro quo to me.  I have tried to work this out logically and to no avail, I have yet to understand why this is allowed.

If anyone has any suggestions or thoughts in regard to showing me that this pledge is legal for our elected officials to sign, then please comment.  I’m pretty set in my ways on thinking that being, legally correct and morally wrong, is not right.  Simply put.  Thank you.

(1) http://www.mediaite.com/online…

(2) http://s3.amazonaws.com/atrfil…

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com…

Constitution

Jun 20 2013

Historian Rick Perlstein Uses the Nation to Whine About My Tweet

I have to admit, I was surprised to be notified that Historian Rick Perlstein of Nixonland fame, devoted an entire column in the Nation to two tweets replying to him; one from myself and one from another commentator on twitter. It’s also surprising, because I have been a fan of some of what Perlstein has written in the past, and I have cited him before. However, after this, I and certainly a lot of other people surprised at this lack of professionalism from an established writer, won’t do it again.

After all, one doesn’t normally read columns by established historians devoting entire pieces to complaints about tweets they received or people on twitter. Especially, one tweet that was merely a question about a widely cited article at CNET. I certainly don’t know why Rick Perlstein was so offended by that to devote an entire piece in the Nation to mine and one other tweet he received. I have to wonder if he realizes how unprofessional he looks by doing so. The excellent responses to Perlstein’s shoddy piece in the comments section certainly speak to that.

On Glenn Greenwald and His Fans

Read another tweet:

“NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants cnet.co/1agOFCy via @CNET What say you, @RickPerlstein ?”

I think we can detect here an accusatory tone, especially given the way the tweeter, “therealpriceman,” fawns over Glenn Greenwald generally. (Though you can never be sure on the Internet, and besides, why do people pursue political arguments on Twitter anyway? I’ll never understand how, for instance, “When u talk gun violence lk in mirror PA here we cling to guns-apologz to PRES O”-another tweet directed my way, apparently somehow meant to respond to this-could possibly contribute anything useful to our common political life.) I detect in this message: even the NSA says you’re wrong about Glenn Greenwald, so when are you going to apologize? And if I’m reading right, that’s some really smelly stupidity. Because the whole point of my original post was that there was plenty Greenwald had “nailed dead to rights” in his reporting. What I had in mind when I wrote that (I should have specified this, I think) was the stuff on Verizon turning over metadata to the NSA. And yet what therealpriceman links to is an article suggesting something that Greenwald has not (yet?) claimed, and which still remains controversial and undetermined: that the NSA has acknowledged that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a claim sourced to Representative Jerrold Nadler, which Nadler based on a classified briefing he and other Congressmen received, but which it has since been established Nadler probably just misunderstood.

{…..}

And given that perspective, I would love to know why Glenn Greenwald thinks the establishment cannot do to him, a relative flyspeck in the grand scheme of things, what they did to Dan Rather, a towering giant of Washington reporting going back to Watergate. Which is: consign him to the outer darkness, where the only people who care about what he has to say are the likes of my good friends @therealpriceman and @runtodaylight.

He starts out by assuring the audience that he has thick skin, but then goes on to prove just how thin it really is.  By whining for 13 paragraphs or so about criticism, criticism from a couple of tweets he received days ago, it really doesn’t show the maturity he was initially hoping to espouse. So since I apparently hurt his fee fees so bad, in 140 characters or less, I’ll go ahead and put his suppositions to the test.

Jun 20 2013

formed of thick

burberry shoes for men     well, as far as the darkness of the night permitted, what took place around. Close by, ran a winding path which had always seemed mysterious to me; it coiled like a snake under the fence, which at that point bore traces of having been climbed over, and led to a round arbour formed of thick acacias. I made my way to the pine-tree, leaned my back against its trunk, and began my watch.

cheap michael kors handbags    The night was as still as the night before, but there were fewer clouds in the sky, and the outlines of bushes, even of tall flowers, could be more distinctly seen. The first moments of expectation were oppressive, almost terrible. I had made up my mind to everything. I only debated how to act; whether to thunder, ‘Where goest thou? Stand! show thyself – or death!’ or simply to strike. . . . Every sound, every whisper and rustle, seemed to me

discount jimmy choo handbags    half-an-hour passed, an hour passed; my blood had grown quieter, colder; the consciousness that I was doing all this for nothing, that I was even a little absurd, that Malevsky had been making fun of me, began to steal over me. I left my ambush, and walked all about the garden. As if to taunt me, there was not the smallest sound to be heard anywhere; everything was at rest. Even our dog was asleep, curled up into a ball at the gate. I climbed up into the ruins of the greenhouse, saw the open country far away

I started. . . . I fancied I heard the creak of a door opening, then the faint crack of a broken twig. In two bounds I got down from the ruin, and stood still, all aghast. Rapid, light, but cautious footsteps sounded distinctly in the garden. They were approaching me. ‘Here he is . . . here he is, at last!’ flashed through my heart. With spasmodic haste, I

cheap air max 2013    pulled the knife out of my pocket; with spasmodic haste, I opened it. Flashes of red were whirling before my eyes; my hair stood up on my head in my fear and fury. . . . The steps were

in a dark cloak, and his hat was pulled down over his face. On tip-toe he walked by. He did not notice me, though nothing concealed me; but I was so huddled up and shrunk together that I fancy I was almost on the level of the ground. The jealous Othello, ready for murder, was suddenly transformed into a school-boy. . . . I was so taken aback by my father’s unexpected appearance that for the first moment I did not notice where he had

cheap michael kors wallets    is it my father is walking about in the garden at night?’ when everything was still again. In my horror I had dropped my knife in the grass, but I did not even attempt to look for it; I was very much ashamed of myself. I was completely sobered at once. On my way to the house, however, I went up to my seat under the elder-tree, and looked up at Zina?da’s window. The small slightly-convex panes of the window shone dimly blue in the faint

dolce gabbana shoes for cheap     light

them – I saw this, saw it distinctly – softly and cautiously a white blind was let down, let down right to the window-frame, and so stayed.

‘What is that for?’ I said aloud almost involuntarily when I found myself once more in my room. ‘A dream, a chance, or . . . ‘ The suppositions which suddenly rushed into my head were so new and strange that I did not dare to entertain them

Jun 20 2013

On This Day In History June 20

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

June 20 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 194 days remaining until the end of the year.

On leap years, this day usually marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.

On this day in 1789, Third Estate makes Tennis Court Oath.

In Versailles, France, the deputies of the Third Estate, which represent commoners and the lower clergy, meet on the Jeu de Paume, an indoor tennis court, in defiance of King Louis XVI’s order to disperse. In these modest surroundings, they took a historic oath not to disband until a new French constitution had been adopted.

Louis XVI, who ascended the French throne in 1774, proved unsuited to deal with the severe financial problems he had inherited from his grandfather, King Louis XV. In 1789, in a desperate attempt to address France’s economic crisis, Louis XVI assembled the Estates-General, a national assembly that represented the three “estates” of the French people–the nobles, the clergy, and the commons. The Estates-General had not been assembled since 1614, and its deputies drew up long lists of grievances and called for sweeping political and social reforms.

The Tennis Court Oath (French: serment du jeu de paume) was a pivotal event during the first days of the French Revolution. The Oath was a pledge signed by 576 of the 577 members from the Third Estate who were locked out of a meeting of the Estates-General on 20 June 1789 so they made a makeshift conference room inside a tennis court.

In 17 June 1789 this group, led by Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, began to call themselves the National Assembly. On the morning of 20 June, the deputies were shocked to discover that the chamber door was locked and guarded by soldiers. Immediately fearing the worst and anxious that a royal attack by King Louis XVI was imminent, the deputies congregated in a nearby indoor real tennis court where they took a solemn collective oath “not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established” It later transpired that the most probable reason why the hall was closed was that the royal household was still in mourning the death of the Dauphin (the king’s oldest son) two weeks earlier; ordinarily, political matters could not be conducted until the King had emerged from mourning. The oath is therefore a contentious point in French political history, since pro-monarchists then and now characterize it as a duplicitous and hysterical over-reaction which deliberately made capital out of a private tragedy in the royal family. Other historians have argued that given political tensions in France at that time, the deputies’ fears, even if wrong, were reasonable and that the importance of the oath goes above and beyond its context.

The deputies pledged to continue to meet until a constitution had been written, despite the royal prohibition. The oath was both a revolutionary act, and an assertion that political authority derived from the people and their representatives rather than from the monarch himself. Their solidarity forced Louis XVI to order the clergy and the nobility to join with the Third Estate in the National Assembly.

The only deputy recorded as not taking the oath was Joseph Martin-Dauch from Castelnaudary. He can be seen on the right of David’s sketch, seated with his arms crossed and his head bowed.

Jun 20 2013

The Most Powerful Man You Never Heard Of

Meet the most powerful man you’ve never heard of until recently, Gen. Keith B. Alexander,  Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA)and Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) since August 1, 2005 and Commander of the United States Cyber Command since  May 21, 2010. He is a four star general in the United States Army and, according to Wikipedia, plans to retire in 2014, which may not be soon enough for some. Did I mention that he is also a proven liar? So, when he says, as he did, without any evidence, before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, that 50 terrorist attack were thwarted by the contested programs of the NSA take it with a large grain of salt.

Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s “All In,” looks at Gen. Alexander’s tenure over the NSA with James Bamford and explains why he may be the most powerful man in Washington that you have yet to hear of.

Transcript can be read here

“We jokingly referred to him as Emperor Alexander, because whatever Keith wants, Keith gets.”

The Secret War

by James Bradford, Wired

Infiltration, sabotage, mayhem, for years, four star general Keith Alexander has been building a secret army capable of launching devastating cyberattacks. Now it;s rady to unleash hell.

Inside Fort Meade, Maryland, a top-secret city bustles. Tens of thousands of people move through more than 50 buildings-the city has its own post office, fire department, and police force. But as if designed by Kafka, it sits among a forest of trees, surrounded by electrified fences and heavily armed guards, protected by antitank barriers, monitored by sensitive motion detectors, and watched by rotating cameras. To block any telltale electromagnetic signals from escaping, the inner walls of the buildings are wrapped in protective copper shielding and the one-way windows are embedded with a fine copper mesh.

This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.

Jun 20 2013

In Memoriam: Michael Hastings 1980 – 2013

Investigative reporter and author, Michael Hasting died in Los Angeles, CA. His death in single vehicle car crash has shocked his friends, colleagues and those of us who admired his work. His article in Rolling Stone, The Runaway General which  profiled US Army general Stanley McChrystal, then commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in the war in Afghanistan. It was Michael’s report on the remarks by McChrystal’s staff that were overtly critical and contemptuous of White House staff and other civilian officials that ended with McChrystal being relieved of command by President Barack Obama.

Michael said in a Today Show interview with Matt Lauer, “I did not think Gen. McChrystal would be fired. In fact, I thought his position was basically untouchable, I thought it would give them a headache for maybe 72 hours.”

It put Michael on all our maps.

Amy Goodman has a look back Michael’s interviews on Democracy Now!

Here are two of the many tributes at Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed where Michael was a contributor, followed by Rachel Maddow’s tribute, who met Michael when she was working for Air America Radio.

Michael Hastings, ‘Rolling Stone’ Contributor, Dead at 33

by Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

For Hastings, there was no romance to America’s misbegotten wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had felt the horror of war first-hand: While covering the Iraq war for Newsweek in early 2007, his then-fianceé, an aide worker, was killed in a Baghdad car bombing. Hastings memorialized that relationship in his first book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.

A contributing editor to Rolling Stone, Hastings leaves behind a remarkable legacy of reporting, including an exposé of America’s drone war, an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at his hideout in the English countryside, an investigation into the Army’s illicit use of “psychological operations” to influence sitting Senators and a profile of Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl, “America’s Last Prisoner of War.

Matt Farwell is a veteran of the Afghanistan war who worked as a co-reporter with Hastings on some of his recent pieces. He sent this eulogy to Rolling Stone:  “My friend Michael Hastings died last night in a car crash in Los Angeles. Writing this feels almost ghoulish: I still haven’t processed the fact that he’s gone. Today we all feel that loss: whether we’re friends of Michael’s, or family, or colleagues or readers, the world has gotten a bit smaller. As a journalist, he specialized in speaking truth to power and laying it all out there. He was irascible in his reporting and sometimes/often/always infuriating in his writing: he lit a bright lamp for those who wanted to follow his example.

Missing Michael Hastings

by Ben Smith, BuzzFeed

Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write – often his subjects; occasionally his editor. While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave. And he was warm and honest in a way that left him many unlikely friends among people you’d expect to hate him. [..]

Some of that was Michael’s warmth, charm, and charisma. Some of it, I think, was the opposite: His anger and fearlessness made working with him, or against him, something more than the usual journalistic transaction. There’s a relief in dealing with someone and knowing where he stands.

In a way, Michael was born too late: He wrote with the sort of commitment of the generation of reporters shaped by the government’s lies about Vietnam, not by the triumphalism of the 1990s or the reflexive patriotism of the years after 9/11. He was surer than most of us that power is, presumptively, not to be trusted. Writers of his courage and talent are so rare, and he was taken way too soon. There are few like him. We will miss him terribly.

I wrote an article recently about Pres. Obama’s defense of his secretive drone war that featured Michael’s appearance on the Up with Steve Kornacki panel. I re-watched those videos last night admiring how forceful and accurate Michael was in his criticism.

Michael, you will be so missed.