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Sen. Carl Levin: Only way to hold James Clapper accountable is to ‘fire him’

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The head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday the only way to hold the top U.S. intelligence official accountable for lying to Congress was to fire him.

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stopped short of himself calling on President Barack Obama to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

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“I’m troubled by that testimony,” he said. “I don’t know how he has tried to wiggle out from it, but I’m troubled by it, so how do you hold him accountable? I guess the only way to do that would be for the President to somehow or other fire him. I think he made it clear he regrets saying what he said and I don’t want to call on the President to fire him, although I’m troubled by it.”

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) specifically asked Clapper if the National Security Agency collected “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper denied the NSA amassed such data, but that testimony was later proven false by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Clapper has said he provided the “least untruthful answer possible.”

Levin said he felt adequately informed about the NSA’s surveillance programs with the exception of PRISM, a program that intercepted foreign Internet communications. Though “in principle” the NSA was doing what intelligence services had done for decades, current technologies allowed for levels of surveillance that were previously unthinkable, the senator added.

“They can’t look at the substance of my conversations, but they can find out a heck of a lot about me by what phone calls I make,” Levin remarked. “If this technology were in the hands of [former FBI director] J. Edgar Hoover, would I feel comfortable? No. But, on the other hand, I wasn’t comfortable with J. Edgar Hoover with his technology.”

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Watch this video from C-SPAN, broadcast July 16, 2013.

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2020 Election

Trump’s efforts to overturn the election are clumsy and petulant – but it’s still treason: historian

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We are now witnesses to the most dangerous act of selfishness from the King of the Self. Trump knows the evidence for any form of election fraud is silly fantasy. His electoral deficits are beyond challenge--74 Electoral College votes and more than 5 million popular votes. Yet he repeats his denunciations of American elections, the bedrock of any democracy, that began when he was only a candidate. In October 2016, he called the election “one big, ugly lie”.

His disastrous character flaws are obvious to everyone. We, and here I mean all those who care about the real world around us, must now go beyond psychological analysis to political clarity. Trump is a traitor.

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‘Dangerous’: Mitch McConnell just engineered a lifetime judgeship for an ‘unqualified’ 33-year-old

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast examined the "dangerous" record of 33-year-old Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, one of the final judicial nominees to be forced through by Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans — and her complete lack of qualifications for the job, beyond her high-powered conservative connections.

"One of five judicial nominees waved through by the lame duck Senate in a final vote before lawmakers left town for Thanksgiving, Mizelle’s confirmation is the most galling," wrote Eleanor Clift. "Mizelle is only eight years out of law school (University of Florida), and the ABA’s standard for a lifetime seat is 12 years of legal experience. She has had four distinguished clerkships, including one for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, but her only trial experience is as an intern before she graduated from law school. She will take her seat on the Eleventh Circuit for the Middle District of Florida having never tried a case — civil or criminal — as a lead attorney or co-counsel."

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‘A massive increase’: This reliable pandemic forecasting model says cases will nearly double by Inauguration Day

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ACOVID-19 forecasting model that accurately predicted the coronvirus' spread over the summer anticipates that the number of people who will contract the disease will nearly double between now and President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

In a paper published on Monday in the scholarly journal Scientific Reports, three researchers from Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School describe how their COVID-19 forecasting model projects there will be an explosion of new cases after a major "contagion event or right after a reopening" before settling into a period of stable and slightly declining disease spread.

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