Archive for foia

A Bucket of Ice Water

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Nicole Sandler

When Homer Simpson joins in, you know you've gone viral.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness about the disease and a lot of money, there's so much we still don't know about it - thus the need for a campaign like this one.

Homer challenged Donald Trump who actually dumped water on that thing on his head, proving that his hair really looks like that! I hope that dump also included a hefty donation!

My favorite is still this 2-year old

I'm pretty confident in guessing that most people didn't know what ALS was before this month of ice water dumping. Sadly, I knew. I knew about ALS because someone I knew and admired fought the disease and, eventually, succumbed to it.

I first met Eric Lowen in the early 1990's. He was the "Lowen" half of the duo Lowen & Navarro who wrote amazing songs and sang beautiful harmonies together. Eric was diagnosed with ALS in 2004, and lost his battle in March of 2012. 

For the past few months, I've been running interviews and performances from my music radio days on Friday mornings as a bridge to the weekend. Today, as ALS is in the news and Eric Lowen is on my mind, I reached out to my dear friend Dan Navarro and invited him to join me to talk about all of it, and share in listening to one of our in-studio sessions from December of 1999 too.

Dan Navarro has continued as a solo artist, and has worked to educate others about ALS with the goal of someday helping to eradicate this awful disease. He's also fully immersed himself (figuratively and literally) in the ALS ice bucket challenge. You can see some of his work on his Facebook page. 

It was a busy first hour of the show too. Jim Dean joined me to talk about the great work Democracy for America is doing. They've recently endorse Shenna Bellows in her race for the US Senate against Susan Collins of Maine, Mary Burke for Governor of Wisconsin (vs the evil Scott Walker), and more.

And Jason Leopold, who couldn't get to Guantanamo Bay this week through no fault of his own (damned weather gods) but has landed firmly and deservedly at Vice News, joined me to talk about his reporting on Gitmo, national security issues and the fact that his persistence in filing FOIA requests has put him squarely inside the story about Sen. Dianne Feinstein trying to delay the release of the CIA torture report. 

And with that, it's the end of the week, the month and, sadly, the summer. I'll be taking Monday off for Labor Day, but will return Tuesday to kick off the fall with GottaLaff... cuz we gotta laugh, or else we cry... and whatever else the weekend brings. Talk to you then, Radio or Not.

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President Obama's secrets

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This is one of those posts that I hate writing, because I keep wanting to fall back in love with President Obama without reservation. That won't happen, and this L.A. Times editorial describes one of the main reasons.

By the way, as I said here, I will still vote for him because the alternative is unthinkable, but I have been very concerned about proposals and/or policies like these:

One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

At present, if the government doesn't want to admit the existence of a document it believes to be exempt from FOIA, it may advise the person making the request that it can neither confirm nor deny the document's existence. Under the proposed regulation, an agency that withholds a document "will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."

This policy is outrageous. It provides a license for the government to lie to its own people and makes a mockery of FOIA.

As unpleasant as this is to read, it must be acknowledged, and as the president suggested himself, we must hold him accountable when we feel he's on the wrong track.

However, compared to the disturbingly inept, unprofessional bunch of right wing nut job misfits who are running against him, well, 'nuff said.

You can read the whole piece here.

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Palin's office tried to "sell" emails for $15 mil

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Once a grifter, always a grifter. Via Taegan-

As we wait for Sarah Palin's emails to be released by the State of Alaska later today, Politico notes that when media outlets first requested them during her 2008 vice presidential campaign, Palin's office "pegged the price for producing them at $15 million. The fee eventually fell to $725.97."

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Obama Sr’s Immigration File Offers More Evidence Of Obama’s Birthplace

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Heather Smathers, a reporter for the Arizona Independent does actual reporting. Huge kudos to her!! Go to the link to read about the "questions" the INS had about Obama Sr's marital status et al. Bet Trump says the INS faked it. Via Julie Gulden.

By Heather Smathers – Independent Staff Writer

– Documents obtained from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service through a Freedom of Information Act request offer evidence that President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

A memo dated Aug. 31, 1961 from William Wood of Immigration and Naturalization Services indicates that Barack Obama, Sr., was attending the University of Hawaii on a student visa and that a son, Barack Obama, II, was born in Honolulu on Aug, 8, 1961.

The memo refers to Obama Sr.’s plans to attend the University of Hawaii for one more year to obtain his bachelor’s degree in economics, and that his spouse, a United States citizen, plans to work at the university.

“They have one child born Honolulu on 8/4/1961 – Barack Obama II, child living with mother (she lives with her parents & subject resides at 1482 Alisteastre St.),” the memo states.

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