19 Very Surprising Facts About The Messed Up State Of The U.S. Economy

(by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse) -- Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve are lying to you.  The "economic recovery" that we all keep hearing about is mostly just a mirage.  The percentage of Americans that are employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession, the labor force participation rate is at a 36 year low, the overall rate of homeownership is the lowest that it has been in nearly 20 years and approximately 49 percent of all Americans are financially dependent on the government at this point.  In a recent article, I shared 12 charts that clearly demonstrate the permanent damage that has been done to our economy over the last decade.  The response to that article was very strong.  Many people were quite upset to learn that they were not being told the truth by our politicians and by the mainstream media.  Sadly, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is being done to our economy.  For those out there that still believe that we are doing "just fine", here are 19 more facts about the messed up state of the U.S. economy...

#1 After accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when the last recession started in 2007.

#2 The number of part-time workers in America has increased by 54 percent since the last recession began in December 2007.  Meanwhile, the number of full-time jobs has dropped by more than a million over that same time period.

#3 More than 7 million Americans that are currently working part-time jobs would actually like to have full-time jobs.

#4 The jobs gained during this "recovery" pay an average of 23 percent less than the jobs that were lost during the last recession.

#5 The number of unemployed workers that have completely given up looking for work is twice as high now as it was when the last recession began in December 2007.

#6 When the last recession began, about 17 percent of all unemployed workers had been out of work for six months or longer.  Today, that number sits at just above 34 percent.

#7 Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

#8 According to a new method of calculating poverty devised by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state of California currently has a poverty rate of 23.4 percent.

#9 According to the New York Times, the "typical American household" is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

#10 In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall.  But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealthas the average household overall.

#11 In an absolutely stunning development, the rate of small business ownership in the United States has plunged to an all-time low.

#12 Subprime loans now make up 31 percent of all auto loans in America.  Didn't that end up really badly when the housing industry tried the same thing?

#13 The average cost of producing a barrel of shale oil in the United States is approximately 85 dollars.  Now that the price of oil is starting to slip under that number, the "shale boom" in America could turn into a bust very rapidly.

#14 On a purchasing power basis, China now actually has a larger economy than the United States does.

#15 It is hard to believe, but there are 49 million people that are dealing with food insecurity in America today.

#16 There are six banks in the United States that pretty much everyone agrees fit into the "too big to fail" category.  Five of them have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.

#17 The 113 top earning employees at the Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington D.C. make an average of $246,506 a year.  It turns out that ruining the U.S. economy is a very lucrative profession.

#18 We are told that the federal deficit is under control, but the truth is that the U.S. national debt increased by more than a trillion dollarsduring fiscal year 2014.

#19 An astounding 40 million dollars has been spent just on vacations for Barack Obama and his family.  Perhaps he figures that if we are going down as a nation anyway, he might as well enjoy the ride.

If our economy truly was "recovering", there would be lots of good paying middle class jobs available.

But that is not the case at all.

I know so many people in their prime working years that spend day after day searching for a job.  Most of them never seem to get anywhere.  It isn't because they don't have anything to offer.  It is just that the labor market is absolutely saturated with qualified job seekers.

For example, USA Today recently shared the story of 42-year-old Alex Gomez...

"I've had to seriously downgrade my living situation," said Alex Gomez, a 42-year-old with a master's degree in entrepreneurship. Gomez lost his last full-time job in 2009 and has been looking for work since a short-term contract position ended in 2012.

Gomez's home was foreclosed on, so the Tampa resident lives with three roommates in a college neighborhood. He drained his 401(k) trying to save his house, and he has around $150,000 in student loans. His mother is tapping her 401(k) to pay his rent. Gomez subsists on that and about $200 a month in food stamps.

"I have been applying and looking for pretty much anything at this stage," he said. Although he's looking for work in engineering or data management, "I applied to a supermarket as a deli clerk because I used to be a deli clerk as a teenager," he said. He was told he was overqualified and turned down.

Does Alex Gomez have gifts and abilities to share with our society?

Of course he does.

So why can't he find a job?

It is because we have a broken economy.

We are in the midst of a long-term economic decline and the system simply does not work properly anymore.

And thanks to decades of very foolish decisions, this is only the start of our problems.

Things are only going to get worse from here.

BREAKING: Possible ISIS Terrorist Attack in Canada, Authorities Investigating

(TPNN) -- Both Sun News and CJAD 800 AM in Canada are reporting on a possible terrorist attack by the Muslim terrorist group ISIS near Canada’s Department of National Defence. Two members of the Canadian military were hit by a car leaving one in critical condition. The suspect, 25-year old Martin Couture-Rouleau was shot and killed by police after moving towards police with a knife.

Sun News reports that authorities were alerted by a family member about the terrorist leanings of Couture-Rouleau. CJAD adds that the man actually went inside an office at the Department of Defence and made a terrorist threat before leaving the building and subsequently hitting the two Canadian military members.

Saskatchewan Tory Member of Parliament (MP) Randy Hoback asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to keep the MPs updated about the “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack” against two members of the Canadian Forces.

In response to this request and reports that this incident is a terrorist attack, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said,  “We are aware of these reports, and they are obviously extremely troubling. We’re closely monitoring the situation, and of course, we will make available all of the resources of the federal government.”

The New Democratic Party MP or St. Jean, Tarek Brahmi said in a statement, “The allegations surrounding this hit-and-run are very serious and I have complete faith that the Sûreté du Québec investigators will shed light on the full set of circumstances surrounding this event.”

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Jindal on Ebola: This President Has Shown His Incompetence—‘It’s Going to Be ‘The Republicans’ Fault’’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was on “The Kelly File” tonight to discuss the four stages of what he calls President Barack Obama’s “School of Crisis Management.”

The New York Times today reported that Obama is seething about the Ebola response.

Read the full Twitter exchange from Governor Jindal at FOX News Insider

Read the full story at FOX News Insider

Tens of thousands of federal workers on extended paid leave...

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(by Lisa Rein, The Washington Post) -- Tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at least a month — and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more — while they wait to be punished for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to work, government records show.

During a three-year period that ended last fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in salary alone.

The extensive use of administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct.

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Divers claim 'Baltic Sea Anomaly' shuts down all electronics within 200m (PHOTOS)

Baltic Sea Anomaly on Wikipedia

(RT.com) -- A strangely-shaped object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has been interfering with the electrical devices of the Swedish diving team that is trying to film it. But critics are growing more skeptical about the long-running mystery.

The Swedish Ocean X treasure-hunting team first discovered a mystery object reminiscent of the Star Wars spaceship Millennium Falcon last year.

But they didn’t have the resources to investigate. Now, they have returned with top-of-the-range 3D seabed scanners and a submersible – all funded by a secret sponsor.

They are trying to film it but as soon as they get close, they are foiled.

“Anything electric out there – and the satellite phone as well – stopped working when we were above the object,” Stefan Hogerborn, the expedition’s lead diver, told Swedish channel NDTV.

“And then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again, and when we got back over the object it didn’t work.”

The discovery itself is described as a round object resembling a “huge mushroom.” On top of it is an“egg-shaped” portal. The team said that a 300-meter trail that “can be described as a runway” stretches out from the site of the “spaceship.”

The team has not been shy to speculate about what they have seen.

“It's a meteorite or an asteroid or a volcano or a base from, say, a U-boat from the Cold War which has manufactured and placed there – or it is a UFO. Well honestly, it has to be something," says Dennis Asberg, one of the Ocean X team.

The electric interference seems to confirm that the object is by no means ordinary.

Skepticism grows louder

The original sonar (image from oceanexplorer.se)

The original sonar (image from oceanexplorer.se)

Not everyone appears convinced.

Critics have accused Ocean X, who are professional wreck-hunters, not oceanographers, of poor science and incessant attempts to court publicity in order to secure funding.

Hanumant Singh, a researcher with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, told US magazine Popular Mechanics that the original “Millennium Falcon” image that sparked the media firestorm was taken using a cheap and incorrectly-calibrated sonar.

Charles Paull, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, told the same magazine that bizarre but relatively common formations can be created by gas and fluid leaks from underneath the seabed.

As to the signal interference, it does not appear to have been a consistent phenomenon, since there appears to be extensive footage taken within several feet of the mystery object. And even if it did occur, there are plenty of underwater materials that interact with sensitive electronics.

Ocean X denies charges of publicity-seeking.

“First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else. And since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea the find becomes even stranger,” claims Peter Lindberg, the Ocean X team founder.

Ocean X is currently planning commercial trips for tourists to see the “underwater UFO” in its new submersible.

Ebola Czar Misses His Second White House Meeting Since Being Appointed

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(by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller) -- New Ebola czar Ron Klain was not in attendance at a White House meeting of the Ebola response team on Saturday night, the second powwow he’s missed since the appointment was announced on Friday.

After a day of golfing, President Barack Obama convened a meeting with the task force to apprise him of any developments in the treatment of the two domestic Ebola cases and to discuss emergency preparedness nationwide, according to a White House pool report. Attendees included Vice President Joe Biden, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden, several cabinet members and other White House aides. Klain was not there.

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Monica Lewinsky: I Was ‘Patient Zero’ of Cyber-Bullying

(KYW CBS-3 Philadelphia) -- More than a thousand twenty-somethings were taking over the Pennsylvania Convention Center early this week for the Forbes Under 30 Summit, a gathering of young entrepreneurs and those whom the magazine calls “game-changers.”

But the show-stopper so far was a woman who made her name as an intern.

“I fell in love with my boss — in a 22-year-old sort of way,” Monica Lewinsky told the crowd.  “It happens.”

But because Lewinsky’s boss was President Bill Clinton, and their White House affair happened to coincide with the rise of the web, she says, “I was patient zero” — the first victim of cyber-bullying.

Read the full story at CBS-3 KYW Philadelphia

Medical Society of New York Tells Doctors to ‘Follow Twitter’ to Stay Informed on Ebola

By: Cortney O'Brien (TownHall)

In its weekly update for New York State physicians, the Medical Society of the State of New York wanted to ensure that the doctors within their network were well informed on the threat of Ebola. So, MSSNY President Andrew Kleinman, M.D., told them to make sure they were following the society on Twitter.

MSSNY is here to help you. As we communicate regularly with key New York State officials, and closely monitor the worldwide and U.S. efforts regarding efforts to contain the outbreak, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest scientific and other important information. Continuous updates are being posted to our Twitter and Facebook feeds when important new information arises, which is many times per day.

If you are not on Twitter or Facebook already, you need to follow us! (If you need help setting up an account, please contact ssachs@mssny.org). And please “re-tweet” and “re-post” these important updates to those physicians and other care providers who follow you.

How reassuring to know that the MSSNY is taking necessary precautions to keep their patients safe by telling our respected doctors they must rely on social media. Are you telling me this is the best way the organization is keeping in contact with our physicians -- by assuming they're following their Twitter and Facebook accounts? Scary.

Read the full story at TownHall

Ebola Czar Ron Klain and Solyndra

By: Andrew McCarthy (National Review)

Ron Klain is a sharp-elbowed Democratic political operative with no medical expertise. Tapping him as “Ebola czar” may not be the president’s best move when, as it is, no one can believe a word the Obama administration says. And that’s not just because Mr. Klain is yet another lobbyist recruited despite Mr. Obama’s vow that his administration would shun lobbyists.

Klain was also a central player in the president’s Solyndra fraud, which soaked taxpayers for over half a billion dollars for the benefit of Obama cronies.

At the time, Ron Klain was chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden. Hot to become the face of Obama-administration green initiatives, Biden planned to announce the Solyndra loan during a much-publicized September 2009 energy speech. Officials at DOE and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had major qualms: They realized that the company was hemorrhaging money; even with the loan, Solyndra would lack the necessary working capital to turn that equation around. Yet the loan was approved in time for Biden’s speech.

For an initial public offering of stock, SEC rules require the disclosure of a company’s financial condition.

In Solyndra’s case, outside auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) found that condition to be dire. “The company has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception, and has a net stockholders’ deficit,” the PWC accountants concluded. Even with the gigantic loan, Solyndra was such a basket case that PWC found “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

The administration was not only aware; it was worried. 

Klain, in turn, consulted with DOE before downplaying Solyndra’s problems in reporting back to Jarrett:

Sounds like there are some risk factors here — but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.

Jarrett said she would rely on Klain’s assessment, notwithstanding that it conceded the very real possibility, if not likelihood, of catastrophe. As Klain elaborated in a follow-up e-mail to Jarrett:

The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few would be belly-up by election day 2012 — but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting edge, new economy industries.

I can hear him now: Ebola? There may be some risk factors, but hey, we’ll be promoting cutting-edge treatments . . . 

Read the full column at National Review Online

MASTER DEBATER: Wendy Davis Attacks Abbott With Dildos

(by Alex Griswold, The Daily Caller) -- Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis earlier this month was pilloried in the press for her attack ad that prominently highlighted the fact that her Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott uses a wheelchair. Davis took her attacks to a new level on Monday by strongly implying Abbott would support an interracial marriage ban, despite the fact that Abbott is married to a Latina. But less than three hours later, Davis again topped herself by forwarding an attack on Abbott about an unlikely issue: dildos.

In an emailed press release, Wendy Davis For Governor passed along an article from progressive magazine The Texas Observer entitled “Greg Abbott: Dildos? Against ‘em. Interracial Marriage? No Comment.” The piece attacks Abbott for his supposed reluctance to say whether he’d defend interracial marriage and his defense of Texas’ ban on the sale of sex toys.

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Vile image of baby girl being ‘beheaded’ found on phone taken from dead Islamic State fighters

Sickening image shows child pinned to floor with knife held to her throat Feared she and her family may have been beheaded for being Alevi Muslims Group have previously been targeted by Islamic State militants in Kobane  Other images of phones show jihadis playing football with severed heads  

Sickening image shows child pinned to floor with knife held to her throat

Feared she and her family may have been beheaded for being Alevi Muslims

Group have previously been targeted by Islamic State militants in Kobane 

Other images of phones show jihadis playing football with severed heads

 

(UK Daily Mail) -- An horrific image has emerged of a baby girl moments from being beheaded by IS.

The picture is among several recovered by Kurdish soldiers from the mobile phones of dead fanatics in the Syrian town of Kobane.

It shows the child being pinned to the floor, in clear distress as a knife is held to her throat. 

It is feared she may have been beheaded along with her family for being an Alevi Muslim, a branch of Islam whose followers have been targeted by IS. 

Horror: The harrowing image of the 'beheaded' baby girl was found on the phone of a dead Islamic State militant. Others images showed beheadings and jihadis playing football with the severed heads of victims

Other pictures show beheadings and jihadis playing football with the severed heads of victims.

They were found by Kurdish YPG fighters defending the besieged town, where more than 1,100 are thought to have been killed since last month. 

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MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry More Afraid of Police Than Ebola, ISIS

(CNSNews.com) – In a segment of her self-titled MSNBC show on Oct. 12, Melissa Harris-Perry said she was more afraid of the police than Ebola or ISIS.

“At this point, I feel much more terror every time I see blue lights than when I think about Ebola or ISIS,” said Harris-Perry. “It feels to me – and it could be, not blue lights coming for me, but just anywhere on the street – I feel like, ‘Please God, don’t make me have to interact here,' because these videos make it feel like there is nothing that makes you safe."

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#Ebola Czar’s top leadership issue: overpopulation (Video)

(by Charles C. Johnson, GotNews) -- Ebola’s ebola czar called overpopulation the top leadership concern of the world, Gotnews.com has learned.

Democratic operative Ron Klain and his wife, Monica Medina, spoke with a Georgetown interviewer in 2008.

“I think the top leadership challenge issue in our world today is how to deal with the continuing, growing population in the world and all the resource demands it places on the world and burgeoning populations in Africa and Asia that lack the resources to have a healthy, happy life,” Klain said.

“We’ve got to find a way to make the world work for everyone,” Klain said. “Climate change is an issue that impacts [sic] that greatly by making it harder for people to live where they live, by causing disruptions, and lack of resources.”

Klain also cautioned America to stay engaged in the world, a view that might color how he deals with America’s ebola response. “I think that the days when Americans could just be focused on America and not really be engaged in the world are past us. Our economies too dependent on events overseas, our political system is dependent on events overseas.”

Disturbing Report: CDC Tweaks Language on ‘Airborne’ Ebola

(TheBlaze) -- A review of officials’ statements and tweets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the last three weeks reveals several subtle but important changes to the language the CDC has used when discussing Ebola.

Some of those changes seem to indicate the CDC may itself be learning on the fly about the virus, even as it seeks to reassure the American public that it fully understands the situation.

For example, one key change that emerged last week is on the question of whether Ebola could become airborne. CDC Director Tom Frieden indicated on Thursday that the answer to that question may not be as clear as the CDC has said since early October.

At best, the changes to various CDC messages may just indicate an inconsistency at the public affairs level, and may not indicate holes in the CDC’s knowledge about the virus. But even if that’s the case, the changes could be a factor in the growing distrust some have in the CDC to give people the straight information they need about the virus.

Based on a review of CDC messages, tweets, testimony and other statements over the last three weeks, the CDC’s language has changed as it relates to four key questions.

Is Ebola Airborne, or Has It Become Airborne?

When Thomas Duncan became the first U.S. patient ever in the U.S. to be diagnosed with Ebola, health officials said immediately that Ebola cannot be spread through the air. Edward Goodman, an epidemiologist with the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, said “Ebola is not transmitted by the air.”

For the first few weeks, that message was backed up by a few CDC tweets as well. And even after it was announced on Oct. 12 that nurse Nina Pham had the virus, Frieden assured the public that Ebola is not airborne. “[I]t is not a disease that spreads through the air,” he said.

But on Oct. 16, in testimony before a House subcommittee, Frieden’s prepared statement made a subtle but possibly critical change. He was far less definitive in his prepared remarks, and instead addressed the question by saying, “Evidence does not suggest Ebola is spread through the air.” Notably, that testimony was delivered after a second nurse was diagnosed with Ebola.

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Family Says Their Home’s Secret History Led to a ‘Demonic Infestation’ That Terrorized them for Years — and Here Are Some of Their Terrifying Photos

(Bob Cranmer)

(Bob Cranmer)

(TheBlaze) -- It’s an eerie story of a so-called “demonic infestation” that seems so terrifying that it is perfectly suited for the pages of a horror novel. But Bob Cranmer, a former commissioner in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, insists that it was a horrific and life-altering reality for him and his family.

From a mysterious, blood-like substance coating the walls of his home to crucifixes purportedly snapping in half on their own and scratches randomly appearing on his body, Cranmer told TheBlaze earlier this year that something profoundly evil was terrorizing his family.

He claims that the demonic force was eventually expelled, but only after the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Fr. Michael Salvagna, a local priest, Protestant pastors and Adam Blai, a self-described demonologist, spent two years fervently battling its presence by repeatedly holding Mass and blessing the home.

Following the release of his new book in August detailing the purported horrors titled, “The Demon of Brownsville Road: A Pittsburgh Family’s Battle with Evil in Their Home,” Cranmer recently shared with TheBlaze photos and additional details of what unfolded.

He claims that the images, which show a range of the purported activity in the home, capture only a tiny portion of the chaos that raged.

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Drunk Woman Says Cop Sexually Assaulted Her, Cop Shuts Her Down With Video Evidence

(by Zach Noble, TheBlaze) -- She may act charming, but Deanna Griego was apparently willing to do anything to get out of trouble — including accusing a cop of sexually assaulting her.

Thankfully for Albuquerque police officer Jared Frazier, he was recording the whole encounter, KOB-TV reported.

When Frazier pulled Griego over on suspicion of drunken driving earlier this month, she tried to explain her slurred speech as a “speech impediment” and seemed to be trying to buddy up to the officer, telling him, “I’m going to school for being a cop.”

But the 23-year-old bombed the roadside sobriety tests, so Frazier cuffed her and took her to a police station, where she took a Breathalyzer test.

That’s when she said she had to pee — and things got weird.

Frazier heard her talking in the bathroom, and realized she had slipped her cellphone inside her bra back on the side of the road.

Frazier went to the bathroom door and told her she couldn’t be on the phone, and that’s when she claimed sexual assault.

But since Frazier was secure in the knowledge that his lapel camera had recorded his interactions with her, he was able to chuckle as he dutifully called EMTs to investigate Griego’s claim.

“Basically the whole thing’s on video,” he tells the paramedics in the video. “She’s accusing me of touching her.”

An official investigation exonerated Frazier, showing Griego’s sexual assault claim to be baseless, KOB reported.

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Pentagon Says Ebola Strike Team Does Not Violate Posse Comitatus

(by Kurt Nimmo, IW) -- Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, on Monday dismissed constitutional concerns over the decision to deploy the military in response to the Ebola virus in the United States.

“We actually do have the legal authority to do this,” Kirby told Morning Joe. “This is nothing more than potential support, and I stress, potential support to civilian medical authorities if and only if they ask for that.”

“This isn’t going to violate Posse Comitatus,” he added.

On Sunday Obama’s Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, announced the formation of a “quick strike team” to “provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States.”

Despite Kirby’s remarks, the move in fact represents a serious violation of Posse Comitatus.

The Posse Comitatus Act became law in 1878 at the end of Reconstruction. It is intended to prevent the federal government from using troops to enforce state laws.

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BOSTON GLOBE: Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

(by Jordan Michael Smith, The Boston Globe) -- THE VOTERS WHO put Barack Obama in office expected some big changes. From the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping to Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, candidate Obama was a defender of civil liberties and privacy, promising a dramatically different approach from his predecessor.

But six years into his administration, the Obama version of national security looks almost indistinguishable from the one he inherited. Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

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