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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shocked!…Not Really

I should be used to the selective memory of Joe Scarborough and other conservatives when they are outraged by a story accusing the Obama Administration of spying on its citizens.  The Guardian broke a story about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting all of Verizon’s phone records under a top secret court order.  I bet if we wait a little longer, we will find out that all the telecommunications industries have cooperated with the government. And if we polled it,people wouldn't care.This story will benefit those who like to keep the pot stirring, and will tie this  to the IRS, and Benghazi so-called scandals and for good measure throw in an Obamacare scare.

Let's go back a few years and all of those of you that know me, have read where I have railed against this intrusive practice for a long time. I wrote a blog about being disappointed in presidential candidate  Barrack Obama voting for  legislation granting legal immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants.  While it's true that this program now goes through the FISA Court, Congress, and the Supreme Court, doesn't make it any more right for me. The program gathers all the digits from the telephone number but does not get the content. If a terrorist blows up a hotel in Italy and leaves behind a cell phone  or a telephone number on a napkin, we would, then be able to trace back that number to a customer in the United States.  It's all right there in the Patriot  Act which gets renewed in a bipartisan manner. To act shocked or to try to use this for political purposes is shameful. Did a candidate Obama run against the Bush policy? Of course, he did and in many ways he has doubled down on a few of them, and he should be called out on it but nothing will change unless Congress repeals the Patriot Act.

Democrats, progressives, and liberals have to accept the fact that President Obama now owns our foreign policy. The president has put in his people in all the key positions, so good or bad, it’s officially the Obama Doctrine.

I wonder if anyone who thinks the IRS controversy amounts to anything but a case of questionable labeling read the  excellent column by Will Durst in this morning’s Advocate? How about the article on page B5, titled “Conflicting IRS Rules Confuse All?” I’m afraid some read the first paragraph, found out it contradicted their opinion, so they went on to something else. The reader does not have to agree with the article, but they could at least share the points where they disagree and give their opinions or better yet, argue the merits or intent behind the law..

There are so many myths that are taken for fact. I got out of my recliner last night to applaud Lawrence O’Donnell  for some points he made. OK, I symbolically got out of my chair. Anyway, he went after Tennessee Congressman Stephen Fincher, who wants to make drastic cuts to the food stamp program. Congressman Fincher has received millions in government assistance in the form of farm subsidies.  As Lawrence pointed out, only in American can a farmer/legislator sit a committee to benefit himself. It didn’t stop there;Congressman Fincher quoted scripture to justify cutting the food stamp program by saying into the congressional record. “the one unwilling to work shall not eat.” To which Lawrence replied, "what jobs would you have the children, elderly and disabled perform?" However, more importantly he gave the proper context of that passage. 

How long are we going to allow problems to persist because we are unwilling to accept that we may not always be right? Just this morning,Fox’s Ed Henry asked  Jay Carney why Susan Rice was appointed to head the NSA after being mired in the Benghazi scandal. Jay Carney said"And I welcome the opportunity to correct the record, especially for some news outlets who persist in misrepresenting the facts."


Mike said...

This is exactly the hypocrisy I'm talking about.

"WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), one of the authors of the Patriot Act, said in a Thursday letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that he is "extremely troubled" by the National Security Agency's seizure of the phone records of millions of Verizon customers through a secret court ruling.

It's OK if we do it.

Mike said...

Congrats Halletsville baseball state champs.