Adam in the News


Coalition hopes to pave the way for alternative to 710 Freeway tunnel

A coalition of organizations and elected representatives from Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena and South Pasadena announced Thursday a transportation initiative they hope has enough merit to unseat plans for a multibillion-dollar 710 Freeway tunnel. Members of the newly formed advocacy group Connected Cities and Communities held a press conference on the front steps of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters in downtown Los Angeles to launch their "Beyond the 710" … Continue Reading


The Surveillance Debate Shifts As Patriot Act Nears Expiration

Following an unusual Friday-night session of Congress ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, Senators will reconvene in another rare holiday-recess vote on May 31 in the hopes of salvaging legislation that would end the NSA's bulk call data collection program and rein in its powers of surveillance. The USA Freedom Act, passed in the House earlier this month by a 338-88 vote, and backed by the Obama administration, would reauthorize surveillance powers under the Patriot Act while ending a National… Continue Reading


Congress Pursues Deal on Phone Data Collection in Rare Talks During Recess

WASHINGTON - Senior lawmakers are scrambling this week in rare recess negotiations to agree on a face-saving change to legislation that would rein in the National Security Agency's dragnet of phone records, with time running out on some of the government's domestic surveillance authority. Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said a series of phone calls and staff meetings over the weeklong Memorial Day break should be enough to… Continue Reading


Congressional Inaction Threatens NSA Spy Program

WASHINGTON-The National Security Agency's surveillance efforts lurched onto an uncertain new path during the weekend after lawmakers left town for a Memorial Day recess without agreeing on how to modify a program that sweeps up telephone records from millions of Americans. The spy agency's leaders ordered that the bulk phone-records program begin winding down operations after the Senate fractured about whether to overhaul the program or simply renew it on a short-term basis. The congressio… Continue Reading


Defense Secretary Carter: Iraq’s forces showed ‘no will to fight’ Islamic State

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Iraqi forces "showed no will to fight" as the Islamic State militant group captured the city of Ramadi, and he rejected calls by Republican lawmakers to commit ground troops to the conflict. "What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter said in a CNN interview that aired Sunday. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight. They withdrew from the si… Continue Reading


Push grows to add Rim of the Valley lands to national recreation area

As a graduate student at California State University Northridge in the mid-1970s, the late Marge Feinberg began rabble-rousing for a "green belt" of wildlife habitats, parks and recreational areas encircling the San Fernando Valley. She even copyrighted the title she devised in her master's thesis - the Rim of the Valley Parks - a moniker that evoked the romance of the West's rugged peaks and sage-scented canyons. Over the years, politicians and conservationists took up Feinberg's cause, a… Continue Reading


The Escalation of Unauthorized Wars

It seems like ages ago now. But it's worth remembering how America's latest war in the Middle East began. In early August, shortly after militants from the Islamic State had taken over Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama authorized a volley of airstrikes. The goal then was to save Yazidis, an ethnic minority, who were being slaughtered and displaced by Islamic State militants, and to prevent the terrorist group from slipping into the semiautonomous Kurdish region in the north. … Continue Reading


GOP division puts Congress on brink of ending NSA surveillance program

Congressional Republicans remain sharply divided over the fate of the federal government's bulk collection of private telephone records. As a result, national security officials are preparing for the possibility that the legal authority underpinning those collection programs could expire in less than two weeks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who favors a long-term continuation of the existing phone-data surveillance program, said Tuesday that he plans to allow a vote on a Hou… Continue Reading


White House Won’t Upend ISIS Strategy

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday defended President Obama's strategy for countering Islamic State militants in Iraq, arguing that while the group's capture of the provincial capital of Ramadi had been a setback, it should not be taken as a broader sign that the American approach is failing. As Mr. Obama assembled his national security team to discuss the latest developments in Iraq and how to retake Ramadi, the largest city in Anbar Province, administration officials said that Mr. Obam… Continue Reading


Top Dem Blasts Iraq's ISIS Strategy As Baghdad's U.S.-Friendly Leader Struggles

WASHINGTON -- Days after it lost a vital provincial capital in its fight against the Islamic State group, Iraq's fragile government is now seeing setbacks in another battle: the struggle for U.S. approval and support. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a prominent congressional voice on foreign policy, blasted Baghdad in a Tuesday morning Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. "If Iraqis aren't willing to fix the security … Continue Reading


U.S. Rethinks Strategy to Battle Islamic State After Setback in Ramadi

WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama, under growing pressure after a setback in the war against Islamic State, is poised to accelerate the training and equipping of Sunni tribal fighters so they can try to reverse the extremists' recent gains, administration officials said. Mr. Obama met Tuesday with top national-security advisers in the aftermath of a humiliating defeat of Iraqi security forces in the city of Ramadi. The Sunni extremists of Islamic State seized the capital city of volatile Sunni-… Continue Reading


Push to write new war powers for Obama stalls in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) - A move to write new war powers to authorize the Obama administration's 9-month-old battle against Islamic State militants has stalled in Congress. It might even be dead. President Barack Obama doesn't seem to mind. And while lawmakers say they don't want to give up their check on a commander-in-chief's authority to use military might, they have little interest in having what would be the first war vote in Congress in 13 years. Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Forei… Continue Reading


House Democrat: US raid that killed ISIS leader a 'risky success'

The U.S. military raid in Syria that left an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader dead was a "striking and risky success," a key House Democrat said Sunday. "Our intelligence was good. But nonetheless, this was an extraordinary risk," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union." Schiff raised the possibility that a member of the U.S. team that carried out the raid inside the ISIS stronghold could have be… Continue Reading


Lawmakers applaud raid that killed Islamic State leader

Republican and Democratic members of Congress appearing on Sunday morning news shows praised the U.S. operation in which Islamic State operative Abu Sayyaf was killed. However, Republicans generally qualified their praise by pointing to larger concerns about national security. "Well, for now let's just say it was a successful raid," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on "Fox News Sunday." "And it's good news. Obviously, anytime you can degrade or take away top leadership of an organization, it… Continue Reading


House Votes to End N.S.A.’s Bulk Phone Data

WASHINGTON - The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to end the federal government's bulk collection of phone records, exerting enormous pressure on Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, who insists that existing dragnet sweeps continue in defiance of many of those in his Republican Party. Under the bipartisan bill, which passed, the Patriot Act would be changed to prohibit bulk collection by the National Security Agency of metadata charting telephone call… Continue Reading


New push to give Pentagon the lead on drone strikes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The deaths of an Italian and an American in a covert CIA drone strike in Pakistan - and the rhetorical contortions required of the president when he informed the world - have breathed new urgency into a long-stalled plan to give the Pentagon primacy over targeted killing of terrorists overseas. President Barack Obama announced two years ago that he wanted the armed forces, not a civilian intelligence agency, to be in charge of killing militants abroad who pose a threat to … Continue Reading


Appeals court rules NSA phone dragnet is illegal

The National Security Agency does not have legal authority to collect and store data on all U.S. telephone calls, ‎a federal appeals court has ruled. The decision, the first by an appellate court on the government's sweeping data-collection program, says the Patriot Act does not give the NSA the authority it claims to collect so-called metadata on calls by people who are not specific targets of investigations. The ruling comes as Congress debates whether to reauthorize the parts of the… Continue Reading


Does Congress know we're at war?

When President Obama announced nine months ago that the United States was going to war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Congress reached an unusual near-consensus on two big points: Entering the fight was a good idea, but it was also important that the legislative branch formally authorize the campaign. Republicans and Democrats disagreed on the details: Should the authorization be open-ended or come with an expiration date? Should it limit Obama's freedom to use ground forces or give… Continue Reading


Adam Schiff Believes Washington Is Finally Ready To Reform America's Spy Programs

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), was sworn into office just months before the Sept. 11 attacks. He matured as a legislator as the government's intelligence machine, charged with safeguarding the nation in the era of terrorism, amassed sweeping power. Now, nearly a decade and a half since his arrival in Congress, Schiff has grown accustomed to the spy grind of daily closed-door briefings, hushed overseas trips, and visits to places the American people -- and many of his colleagues on… Continue Reading


Debate is renewed on control of lethal drones operations

The revelation last month that a CIA drone strike in Pakistan had killed an American hostage has reawakened a long-running debate on whether the intelligence agency should be in the drone business at all, or if such lethal strikes are best left to the military. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, said last week that he would use this year's defense authorization bill to promote such a shift. The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee i… Continue Reading

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