The [Monday] Papers
1. Snowden Was Here.
2. President's Pants On Fire.
3. McKinsey 4 Kids.
4. Edward Snowden's Motives, Personality, Ex-Girlfriend And GED Are Irrelevant.
"Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? I don't care," Ron Fournier writes for the National Journal.
"You read right: I don't give a whit about the man who exposed two sweeping U.S. online surveillance programs, nor do I worry much about his verdict in the court of public opinion.
"Why? Because it is the wrong question. The Snowden narrative matters mostly to White House officials trying to deflect attention from government overreach and deception, and to media executives in search of an easy storyline to serve a celebrity-obsessed audience."
5. Rahm's Sacks.
"Perhaps more than even his predecessor, Richard Daley, Emanuel is leaning heavily on a corps of successful business leaders, many of whom make their millions in Chicago, raise their families in tony suburbs and lead a variety of the city's most high-profile charitable causes and institutions," the Tribune reports.
"They are often white, male and Republican, called to serve a business-friendly Democratic mayor out of some combination of civic and professional responsibility."
6. This Really Is Big Brother: The Leak Nobody's Noticed.
"Leaks to the media are equated with espionage," McClatchy reports.
"'Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,' says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy."
7. Where Did Our 'Inalienable Rights' Go?
'I envy the commentators who, after a few days of vague discussion, think they have heard enough to strike the balance between liberty and security," Max Frankel writes for the New York Times.
"Many seem confident that the government is doing nothing more than relieving Verizon and AT&T and Facebook of their storage problems, so that government agents can, on occasion, sift through years of phone and Internet records if they need to find a contact with a suspicious foreigner. Many Americans accept assurances that specific conversations are only rarely exhumed and only if the oddly named Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allows it. Such sifting and warrants - in unexplained combination with more conventional intelligence efforts - are now said, by President Obama and his team, to have prevented several dozen potential terrorist attacks, with elliptical references to threats against New York City's subways and stock exchange.
"Even if true and satisfying, these assurances are now being publicized only because this huge data-gathering effort can no longer be denied. Whatever the motive for the leaks by Edward J. Snowden, they have stimulated a long-overdue public airing. Although the government's extensive data-hauling activity was partly revealed by diligent reporters and a few disapproving government sources over the last seven years, the undeniable proof came only from Mr. Snowden's documents. Until then, the very existence of the enterprise was "top secret" and publicly denied, even in Congressional hearings. Even now, the project remains a secret in every important respect.
"As those of us who had to defend the 1971 publication of the secret Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War have been arguing ever since, there can be no mature discussion of national security policies without the disclosure - authorized or not - of the government's hoard of secrets."
8. BP BS.
"Faced with public outrage and congressional pressure, the oil company BP vowed six years ago to develop cutting-edge technology that could sharply reduce toxic mercury discharged into Lake Michigan by its massive refinery about 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago," Michael Hawthorne reports for the Tribune.
"BP enlisted scientists at Argonne National Laboratory and the Purdue-Calumet Water Institute to come up with methods that company officials said could set a model for factories and sewage treatment plants throughout the Great Lakes region. But despite promising results from two options tested, a new draft permit from Indiana regulators allows BP to avoid installing the mercury-filtering equipment at the Whiting refinery.
"Under the terms of an earlier decision by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the BP refinery can legally discharge an annual average of 23.1 parts per trillion of mercury - nearly 20 times the federal water quality standard for Great Lakes polluters. The proposed new permit would allow that special exemption to continue indefinitely."
9. Handball Hardball.
"The fact that Illinois and Missouri's prisons have become a farm team of sorts for Forest Park only explains part of the reason why the crowd here - sometimes 30 or 40 deep, drinking beers, smoking, shelling peanuts between games - stands out compared to the preppy joggers trotting past," Jessica Lussenhop writes for the Riverfront Times.
"Beyond the former inmates, the courts have always attracted an eclectic mix: restaurateurs, doctors, lawyers, Imo's delivery drivers, construction workers, entrepreneurs, prison guards and the unemployed. Forest Park even (very occasionally) lures the man some consider the greatest handballer to ever live, St. Louis' own David Chapman. And no matter what their background, handballers universally describe the game the exact same way:
"'It's an addiction,' says Terry Huelsman, the owner of the Break Billiards in Cahokia, Illinois. 'It's a poor man's country club.'"
10. NSA Leaks Don't Help Terrorists.
"If a person in government says the sun will come up tomorrow, it's sensible to believe that person - but not until the first rays seep over the horizon," Steve Chapman writes for the Tribune.
"Skepticism is even more justified when the government has been caught hiding something from the public and needs to excuse the secrecy."
And even more so when public officials making outlandish claims refuse to answer simple questions like those Chapman put to them.
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Posted on June 24, 2013
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