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Chad’s Morning Brief: NSA Collecting Non-Terrorism Related Emails, Lubbock City Council to Meet Tonight, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 22, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

1. NSA Collecting Non-Terror Data (link)

There are many who haven’t cared about the NSA data collection story because in their mind, it’s only tracking the “bad guys”. Yesterday we learned that isn’t necessarily the case though. According to Politico, the NSA has been gathering data from emails that have no links to terror at all.

The National Security Agency began improperly collecting Americans’ electronic communications that had no connection to terrorism in 2008, but the government didn’t learn of the problem until 2011, senior administration officials said Wednesday.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper will release three documents that reveal the extent of the error, posting them on a new tumblr page.

The NSA revealed the improper collection of emails to the FISA court in 2011, which demanded a halt to the practice. The officials said the problem was technological and not malicious.

Congress, the administration officials said, knew when it authorized the surveillance programs in 2008 that some Americans would inadvertently have their communications intercepted.

Lawmakers “clearly knew that there would be inadvertent collection of U.S. person communications,” an official said. “This is not a back door or a surprise. That is why they put in a requirement that there would be minimization procedures, because they knew that if you’re targeting foreign people, those foreign people are occasionally going to be in contact with U.S. people. So this is not some back door or anything.”

The problem began as soon as the program launched, officials said on a background conference call with reporters Wednesday. The NSA would collect broad batches of e-mails that were to, from or mentioned an e-mail address of a foreigner NSA was tracking. One official said the NSA would collect entire inbox screengrabs of emails even though the targeted e-mail address may have appeared in only one of the messages.

“For technological reasons, NSA was not capable of breaking those down, and still is not capable, of breaking those down into their individual components,” the official said. “So if you had a situation where one of those emails may have referenced your targeted email in the subject line, you’d nonetheless collect the whole inbox list. Its like a screenshot, you get whatever is popping up on your screen at the time.”

The NSA gathers the emails as part of a program known as upstream collection, which an official described as “communications that are transiting the Internet, as opposed to communications that collected at either end by the Internet service provider.”

Upstream collection amounts to about 10 percent of all electronic communications the NSA gathers under Section 702 of the Patriot Act, the official said.

Thoughts?

2. Lubbock City Council Meeting Tonight (link)

It’s going to be a busy city council meeting and we get things started on the show this morning as Mayor Glen Robertson will be in studio at 9:35am. Cole Shooter has a great preview of tonight’s meeting.

In their closed-door executive session, they will discuss the City of Lubbock’s lawsuit against Lubbock Omni Office, Inc. regarding a downtown building that poses a risk to citizens in the area.

The Council will also hold the first public hearing regarding the fiscal year 2013-14 proposed tax rate. The FY 2013-14 proposed tax rate is $0.50441 per $100 of home valuation.

The proposed tax rate is 1.23 cents higher than last year’s rate, meaning that if the rate is ultimately approved, a Lubbock homeowner with a $100,000 home would pay another $12.30 in property taxes.

The first public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday and all Lubbock citizens are welcome to come voice their thoughts on the tax rate to the Council.

The second public hearing regarding the proposed tax rate is scheduled for Thursday, August 29th at 6:15 p.m. The first public hearing over the City’s proposed budget is also scheduled for Thursday, August 29th at 6:15 p.m.

According to documents from the City, the average taxable value of a residence homestead in Lubbock last year was $114,840, and the average value will grow to almost $116,000 for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

If the proposed tax rate is approved by the Council, the amount of taxes imposed on the average home by the City would be $584.73, up from the current fiscal year’s $568.81.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson has proposed a half-cent cut to the funding for Market Lubbock in the budget, which would cut their proposed funding by $612,000.

During their work session, the Council will discuss a number of items regarding the search for a new city manager, including a possible decision on whether the search will be done by a private firm or by the City’s Human Resources department.

They will also hear the quarterly presentation on financial activities by groups such as Market Lubbock, Inc. and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, Civic Lubbock, Inc., three tax increment finance reinvestment zones, and the 2009 bond election committee.

Lastly, the Council may also discuss and possibly take action on the City’s emergency response plan and its early warning systems for severe weather alerts to the general public.

Will you be there? This council is prepared to raise taxes on the citizens of Lubbock but they could still cut spending. Show up tonight and take a stand. Give ‘em hell!

3. Shocking Gallup Job Numbers (link)

If this is true, and Gallup doesn’t typically have wild swings, then the nation is in for a shock unemployment.

Outside of the federal government’s Bureau of Labor statistics, the Gallup polling organization also tracks the nation’s unemployment rate. While the BLS and Gallup findings might not always perfectly align, the trends almost always do and the small statistical differences just haven’t been worthy of note. But now Gallup is showing a sizable 30 day jump in the unemployment rate, from 7.7% on July 21 to 8.9% today.

At the end of July, the BLS showed a 7.4% unemployment rate, compared to Gallup’s 7.8%. Again, a difference not worthy of note. But Gallup’s upward trend to almost 9% in just the last three weeks is alarming, especially because this is not a poll with a history of wild swings due to statistical anomalies. Gallup’s sample size is  a massive 30,000 adults and the rolling average is taken over a full 30 day period.

Gallup also shows an alarming increase in the number of underemployed (those with some work seeking more). During the same 30-day period, that number has jumped from 17.1% to 17.9%.

Thanks Obamacare.

Other Top Stories:

LGBT Debate in San Antonio

How Americans Feel About the States

Stealth Dorms in Texas

Fast Food Workers Urged to Strike

Jindal Withdraws Request for Obamacare $$

Vote Early, Vote Often, Go To Jail

Scott Walkers 2016 Campaign

Paglia Doesn’t Believe in Hillary

Racist Tweets From Black Teen Who Killed Jogger

Jesse Jackson on Jogger’s Murder

Asian Airline Has Child-Free Zones

Oregon to Rehab Anti-Gay Marriage Businesses

Colorado County to Vote on Secession

Siri’s New Favorite Sports Teams

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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