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1.) USA keeps breaking records – The unemployment rate may still be high, but that hasn’t stopped America from continuing to break records. TheDC’s Caroline May reports:
“The number of American households on food stamps reached a new record high in March, according to new data released by the Agriculture Department. The March numbers the USDA released Friday reveal 23,116,441 households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, each receiving an average monthly benefit of $274.30. The number of individuals on SNAP did not break any records but remained high, with 47,727,052 people enrolled in SNAP, receiving an average monthly benefit of $132.86.”
To those who argue these are not the type of records the U.S. should want to break, TheDC Morning responds, “that may be true, but — yea, that’s true.”
2.) Out of the shadows he goes — First he leaks and now he attention seeks. TheDC’s Katie McHugh reports:
“Former CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden revealed himself as the NSA data-mining whistleblower to The Guardian Sunday, explaining that the National Security Agency’s infrastructure monitoring of nearly every form of communication disturbed him enough to act. ‘If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards,’ said Snowden. ‘I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded.’ The NSA makes no distinction between friendly and hostile countries, according to Snowden, and its reach is essentially unlimited.”
The leaker is currently hanging out in Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China. And while Hong Kong remains far more open than China, it is still a part of China. And when you think of freedom and transparency, you naturally think of China (unless you’re not drunk and crazy.)
3.) Mr. Clueless – Some Republicans and Democrats are pushing back against the leaker, saying he has endangered America. TheDC’s Jeff Poor reports:
“On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos,’ Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took a shot at Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who last week revealed the federal government had been collecting data on phone records. Rogers questioned Greenwald’s knowledge of the program and said there were checks in place to prevent abuses of this intelligence program. ‘I absolutely believe that someone did not have authorization to release this information,’ Rogers said. ‘And why that is so important, George, is because they didn’t have all of the information, I know your reporter that you interviewed, Greenwald, says that he’s got it all and now is an expert on the program. He doesn’t have a clue how this thing works. Neither does the person who released just enough information to literally be dangerous.'”
4.) Floor fight – For weeks there was a lot of jaw-jawing. Now, the immigration bill comes to the floor for war-war. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“The Senate begins its floor debate over the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill this week, and both sides are rolling out polls and endorsements to win public commitments from the many uncommitted senators. New Hampshire’s Republican senator, Kelly Ayotte, announced Sunday she would back the bill, giving bill backers a fifth GOP vote. ‘In addition to fixing our illegal immigration problem, the bill …. [ensures] our hospitality and agricultural sectors are able to fill jobs that Americans won’t perform [by creating] a new guest worker visa program,’ she said in a Sunday statement. The 1,000-page bill needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, but its complexity allows senators many opportunities to posture as critics or supporters without finally committing themselves to either side.”
Senators, please know: The eyes of the world — seriously, probably the world — are upon you.
6.) Today in North Korean News – BREAKING: “Kim Il Sung’s Feats Praised by Personages of Benin”