Monday, 6/10/13, Public Square



by | June 10, 2013 · 6:00 am

26 responses to “Monday, 6/10/13, Public Square

  1. I remember those years on TBTSNBN. We tried to warn people that once something like unfettered surveillance was sanctioned and implemented, those powers would also be used by the next preznit. All those warnings fell on deaf ears or were shouted down by the “terror, terror” fearmongers.

    Now? It’s all a poutrage that Obama is continuing shrub’s policies. WTF? Those numbnuts really believed no Democrat would ever be president again and that KKKRove’s permanent republican majority would be a reality?

    Every time I hear about this stuff I think about Elliot Spitzer. He may have been an idiot to think he’d never get caught in Hookerville, but I really believe he got caught by surveillance and eavesdropping. He was getting too close to busting Wall Street’s racket, and they took him down using those tools.

    Let that be a lesson. And that means you, Anthony Weiner.

    • I agree, when it happened I was so aware of the very concept would not be stopped once the Genie was out of the bottle. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. The taste is so great that it is not just desirable it is addictive. Any ideology no matter if it is left or right craves that kind of power since either one feels their is the right one.

  2. Yes, it’s a blog, and it’s also a blog post that makes sense to me.

    (from the link): Conservatives have two options here. One is that they can admit that they don’t care about uplifting the middle class; that their first principles are not utilitarian and not aimed at benefiting the broad public. That would be principled, but I don’t think it would be good, and most voters would agree with me.

    The other is that they can come up with a new agenda that aims at today’s middle class economic concerns. This agenda would have to accept greater fiscal progressivity in response to economic changes that have raised pre-tax income inequality. It would have to accept that we have not defeated the business cycle, and deep recessions like the one in 2009 make a stronger safety net morally necessary. It would have to address the question of how the government should best interfere in markets like health care and banking, rather than repeating mindlessly that it must get out of the way.

    Republicans lack the principled fortitude required to ever admit that they’ve been wrong on so many issues (mostly economic), so the first option won’t be happening anytime soon ever. As for the second, Republicans will eventually have to come up with a new agenda, but it won’t come naturally. It’ll be forced upon them after they lose the next few presidential elections. Then and only then will it register that the problem has never been the messenger. It’s always been the damn message.

    Conservatism IS the Problem

    • When the blogger above writes, “It would have to address the question of how the government should best interfere in markets like health care and banking, rather than repeating mindlessly that it must get out of the way,” it reminds me of a topic I’m becoming more and more convinced about. I think the extremes of what is often referred to as Libertarian has already become a very big danger to our society and our government. I’m not sure whether today’s Libertarians are also today’s Religious Nutjobs, but if not, I’m convinced the so-called Libertarians are a bigger threat to our form of government than even the religious nutjobs. I suspect they’re comprised of the most extreme of both groups. I’m also convinced the whole bunch of them doesn’t have two brain cells among them. You know, the ones who think Fox News is about news. [eye roll]

      These people who seem to have little clue about history, our country’s form of government, her Constitution, science, or much of anything actually, are easily swayed and easily manipulated. In that way, they’re like the religious nutjobs, but the big difference is they’re all about no government and willing to go to extremes in their attempt to cut off their nose in order to spite their face. There is nothing kind or good or moral about them.

      • It’s a short hop from Libertarianism to Anarchy. They have no idea where the dividing line is, and those that do see the line stand to profit by having it erased.

        I wonder how the folks in West, Texas feel about a wild wild west with no laws or regulation. John Wesley Hardin must be rolling in his grave.

  3. When conservative columnist George Will suggested on Sunday that a recent National Security Agency (NSA) scandal was made worse because President Barack Obama could not be trusted, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was ready with a column Will had written in 2006 to make the point that it was not just an “Obama problem.”

    Ellison reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out Will’s 2006 column excoriating President George W. Bush’s administration for using the NSA to spy on Americans’ phone calls without a warrant and without congressional oversight.

    “You were talking about George Bush at that time,” Ellison pointed out. “You know, George, I actually don’t disagree with much you said. My only problem is, you can’t make this an Obama problem. This is an executive problem.”

    Keith Ellison smacks down George Will with his own words from 2006 on NSA spying

    • It truly is an Executive (Branch) problem, not limited to the current or prior holders of the office.

      • Agreed, completely. I am no happier about my government spying on her citizens now than I was before. I have nothing to hide, and that doesn’t make any difference or make it easier to tolerate! The U. S. Constitution ensures every citizen’s right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion.

      • 6176, you’ve paid attention longer than I have so I wonder if you’ve seen such hatred of a president before now? I do know there were those who felt as strongly negative against both Clinton and Bush2, however I don’t remember the hate being quite as open. Is that because in the days of Clinton I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a blog, and in the days of Bush2 I felt each and every criticism was deserved (I was part of the problem)? People on blogs do seem capable of untold nastiness as a result of their anonymity.

      • Yes, I have. It was more hidden, due to the lack of social media. JFK comes to mind (readily and rapidly) for a whole varity of reasons. From history, FDR, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Pierce.

      • We’ve been debating the Imperial Presidency since the beginning of the Republic.

      • Well, one could argue before, if the Republic began with the Constitution. Federalist Papers 36 and ?, debate between Hamilton and Madison.

  4. This week, Fox & Friends Sunday claimed that “56% Of Carmakers Who Got Federal Help Fizzled,” citing a Daily Caller story on the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. Co-host Tucker Carlson, who also serves as editor-in-chief at the Daily Caller, later opined “If I run a venture capital firm … and in four years, 56 percent of the companies I invest your money in go bankrupt … I would be in deep trouble.” He concluded, “the government should not be in the venture capital business. They’re not good at it.”

    However, Fox News reversed the success of the program: 56 percent of the identifiable car companies that applied for loan guarantees have ceased operations, but most of the car companies that received these loan guarantees are up and running. Venture capitalists, on the other hand, expect a successful investment strategy to yield a 70 percent failure rate.

  5. These are the 98 U.S. senators who voted in favor of the US Patriot Act of 2001 (Senator Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote) Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin was the only senator who voted against the Patriot Act on October 24, of 2001.

    But this sort of data collection — along with what the NSA is doing through its PRISM program — is exactly what then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) warned about when he was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001.

    From his speech:

    One provision that troubles me a great deal is a provision that permits the government under FISA to compel the production of records from any business regarding any person, if that information is sought in connection with an investigation of terrorism or espionage.

    Now we’re not talking here about travel records pertaining to a terrorist suspect, which we all can see can be highly relevant to an investigation of a terrorist plot. FISA already gives the FBI the power to get airline, train, hotel, car rental and other records of a suspect.

    But under this bill, the government can compel the disclosure of the personal records of anyone — perhaps someone who worked with, or lived next door to, or went to school with, or sat on an airplane with, or has been seen in the company of, or whose phone number was called by — the target of the investigation.

    And under this new provisions all business records can be compelled, including those containing sensitive personal information like medical records from hospitals or doctors, or educational records, or records of what books someone has taken out of the library. This is an enormous expansion of authority, under a law that provides only minimal judicial supervision.

  6. Maybe I am naïve – or too trusting – but exactly what has Obama done that George W. Bush as not done?

    Besides – getting FISA approval before actually wiretapping?

    I suspect this entire NSA spying scandal is nothing more than yet another Tea Pot Republican blown-out-of-proportion throwing of red meat to the minions so the House Republicans and Senate Republicans can continue to obstruct any and all legislation that might just create any jobs – such as those these same folks promised in 2010.

    Bottom line – if you expect full privacy of your phone calls – then might I suggest you stock a full supply of cans and very long string?

    We do live in a digital world……..paper trails are left all the time…

    • This expose’ and the questions about whether Snowden is a hero because he let the public know what the overlords wanted to remain secret is interesting to me. Remember these activities are legal and beg the question of whether or not the criteria we use to evaluate such actions has to go beyond mere legality. It’s hard to know whether the public knowing a program exists and strongly opposing it means anything anymore. I don’t think WE THE PEOPLE use the only power we have — the vote — and the Corpocracy knows we don’t use that power so we’re getting pretty much exactly what we deserve. A small percentage of Americans eligible to vote actually do, and many of them don’t mind casting an uninformed ballot.

      (from the link): The American government, and its democracy, are flawed institutions. But our system offers legal options to disgruntled government employees and contractors. They can take advantage of federal whistle-blower laws; they can bring their complaints to Congress; they can try to protest within the institutions where they work. But Snowden did none of this. Instead, in an act that speaks more to his ego than his conscience, he threw the secrets he knew up in the air—and trusted, somehow, that good would come of it. We all now have to hope that he’s right.

      Edward Snowden Is No Hero

    • To answer your question, Indy — nothing. But he is a black man and he is a democrat and the sore losers are whiny butts.

    • Andy Borowitz says (and I whole heartedly agree!) —

      SERIOUSLY: I think those who are trying to make the domestic surveillance issue a question of Bush versus Obama are missing the point. The question should be: what kind of society do we want to live in now?

      • Exactly…….what kind of society do we want to live in now?

        A society where the wealthy corporatists are in charge…..or a society that at least We the People have a fighting chance to survive..

  7. Speaking of all this spying ……..what would our country and our allies have done during World War II if there was no spying?

    How many times have we heard or read about the phrase – loose lips, sinks ships?

    Wasn’t that about telling secrets and putting fellow Americans in harms way?

    I don’t want to know everything President Obama needs to know on a daily basis.

    But I do know one thing – I trust Obama more than I would trust a President Romney…..

    And these Progressives who are out for Obama’s head on a platter had better think long and hard before they join forces with the likes of the Tea Pots and Rand Paul.

  8. These folks who are trying to stir the Obama hatred pot (which is what I suspect is really behind this guy Snowden’s motivation) will not be happy until we are at numerous wars.

    Haven’t you all wondered who is really behind these so-called scandals?

    Just like the IRS scandal – Republicans were aware of what was going on for a long time before they suddenly showed their moral outrage.

    This NSA an PRISM thing is no different – Congress has known about it for quite some time.

    So…who do you think is really behind all this sudden push and fake moral outrage at Obama spying on us?

    Let’s see…..2014 midterms are coming and if Republicans lose again this time……their political party will be wandering in the desert for 40 years.

    Can you imagine these Corporate Sugar Daddys to these Tea Pots sitting idly by and watching that happen to the party they have bought and have installed all those puppet politician strings?

    I don’t think so……these folks have made a huge investment and they expect a huge profit…….nothing less than Obama’s head on a platter will satisfy these folks – IMHO.

    This guy Snowden fled to Hong Kong…….but don’t you have to wonder where this guy is getting his money to pay his bills?

    He is 29-yrs-old and apparently is not independently wealthy…..who is his Sugar Daddy?

    One last point – this Snowden guy was an ex-CIA technical assistant and then he went to work for a private contractor doing CIA-related work.

    Perhaps our policy of privatizing everything needs to be looked at more closely?

    Why should a private contractor be privy to all that classified information?

    I heard a report on NPR today. The larger threat to our national security is not foreign terrorist. It is insiders who are willing to leak certain documents.

    Hmmm……what was the old saying about a foreign terrorist can never do as much harm to our country as an inside job?

    • I’ve grown accustomed to whiny-butt, sore-loser republicans. They don’t have anything else, and haven’t had anything else for quite awhile now. Complain, obstruct, investigate, exaggerate, alienate, wage war, impeach and undermine government is their play book.

      Here’s the deal: If an elected republican does it, it is fine and dandy; if an elected democrat does it, it is an impeachable offense. You know it follows the same logic as a Christian God being different than a Muslim God — the evangelinuts have drawn up the rules for who is and isn’t worshiping the ‘correct’ way, and they sit in judgment.

      What was the last, or your favorite, republican legislative accomplishment that benefited the American populace? Can you even remember one? Just one? Was it those tax cuts that benefited the wealthy the most and weren’t funded? Maybe it was the unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or the unfunded Medicare expansion? Fiscal conservatives, my ass.

      And, I almost forgot. BENGHAZI!!!!!

      • My hypothesis on Snowden. he left the CIA to get a better job. His new employer became unhappy with him, or the NSA became unhappy with him, or for some other reason his job was in jeopardy, so… Paybacks are a bitch. Just my musings.