Obama Speaks with Forked Tongue on Surveillance

Does he think we're stupid enough to believe ever-changing official claims about the NSA?

It’s bad enough the federal government spies on us. Must it insult our intelligence too?

The government’s response to Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s secret monitoring of the Internet and collection of our telephone logs is a mass of contradictions. Officials have said the disclosures are (1) old news, (2) grossly inaccurate, and (3) a blow to national security. It’s hard to see how any two of these can be true, much less all three.

Can’t they at least get their story straight? If they can’t do better than that, why should we have confidence in anything else that they do?

Snowden exposed the government’s indiscriminate snooping because, among other things, it violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and he had no other recourse.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says Snowden should have used established channels to raise his concerns, but there are no effective channels. Members of the congressional intelligence committees are prohibited from telling the public what they learn from their briefings. Two members of the Senate committee, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, for years have warned — without disclosing secrets — that the Obama administration is interpreting the Patriot Act and related laws far more broadly than was ever intended by those who voted for those pieces of legislation. Their warnings have made no difference.

A court challenge wasn’t open to Snowden either. Glenn Greenwald, who published Snowden’s leaks in the Guardian, notes that for years the ACLU has tried to challenge the surveillance programs in court on Fourth Amendment grounds, but the Obama administration has blocked the effort by arguing that the ACLU has no standing to bring the suit. It’s a classic Catch-22. Since the surveillance is secret, no one can know if he has been spied on. But if no one knows, no one can go into court claiming to be a victim, and the government will argue that therefore the plaintiff has no standing to challenge the surveillance. Well played, Obama administration.

The administration should not be allowed to get away with the specious claim that telling its secrets to a few privileged members of Congress is equivalent to informing the people. It is not. It’s merely one branch of government telling some people in another branch. Calling those politicians “our representatives” is highly misleading. In what sense do they actually represent us?

Equally specious is the assertion that the NSA can’t monitor particular people without court authorization. The secret FISA court is a rubber stamp.

When Obama ran for president in 2008, he said Americans shouldn’t have to choose between privacy and security. Now he says that “one of the things that we’re going to have to discuss and debate is how are we striking this balance between the need to keep the American people safe and our concerns about privacy? Because there are some tradeoffs involved.”

What do you take us for, Mr. President? Do you say whatever serves your momentary interest?

It’s outrageous for Obama to say he welcomes this debate — when his regime is plotting to capture and prosecute the heroic whistleblower who made it possible.

The debate would be bogus anyway. No one has a right to make a security/privacy tradeoff for you. Our rights should not be subject to vote, particularly when a ruling elite ultimately will make the decision — out of public view!

Americans have learned nothing from the last 40 years if they have not learned that the executive branch — regardless of party — will interpret any power as broadly as it wishes. Congressional oversight is worse than useless; it’s a myth, especially when one chamber is controlled by the president’s party and the other chamber’s majority embraces big government as long as it carries a “national security” label.

Obama says, “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

That’s wrong. If the politicians’ only response to revelations that they’re violating our privacy is to ask for trust, then we already have problems.

This column originally appeared at The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Do you say whatever serves your momentary interest?

    Duh.

  • Ted S.||

    If the NSA is doing nothing wrong, the NSA has nothing to hide.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Gneiss.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Excellent point, Ted! If the NSA is doing nothing wrong, then surely they won’t mind if a bunch of TV reporters, TV cameras in hand, roams their HQ, and a citizen’s committee is allowed to set up wire-taps all over their HQ as well. Excellent idea! Put it in to the Obama administration, I bet they will get right on it! “If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander”… Except, perhaps, when Government Almighty disagrees…

  • Teaching Student||

    Nice I'm borrowing this one. It's amazing that people can't make that connection. So many are willing to simply say "I don't have anything to hide," without so much as batting an eye. Yet they can't turn the idiom around at those who are exercising Force over their lives stealing their privacy.

  • Mike M.||

    Whenever someone says to me "I have nothing to hide", my response is "Why does your house have windowshades and curtains?"

  • ||

    +100 Orwells

  • Dweebston||

    A measure for authoritarian creepiness. I like it.

  • Ted S.||

    Thanks for the compliments everybody, but there's nothing particularly original about them. It's more or less the same thing people say about filming the police.

  • igotnuthin||

    The IRS scandal has shown us a tiny example of what happens when big government gets ahold of our information.

    Now we find out the government has basically recorded our entire digital lives.

    NSA+IRS+EPA+Obamacare = complete control

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    One of the big problems is that there is no remedy other than impeachment or elections. Impeachment is so serious that it is only used when the stench gets too high for even their fellow statists. There should be something lesser. One idea I have thought of is letting ANY state attorney general bring real criminal charges to be tried by the supreme court, with the proviso that if the attorney general loses his case, he is out of office.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, it is remarkable that Fox News Americans suddenly care about warrantless wiretapping. Just now - all of a sudden out of the blue.

  • Jerry on the boat||

    How does one spell cognitive dissonance?

  • Ted S.||

    R-O-L-A-I-D-S?

    Er, wrong commercial

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I don't think Buttplug read the article considering he's using one of the dissonant positions (old news) mentioned there.

  • John||

    Such are the wages of being illiterate.

  • Ted S.||

    I don't think Buttplug read the article considering he's using one of the dissonant positions

    34?

  • Sevo||

    Jerry on the boat| 6.16.13 @ 9:23AM |#
    "How does one spell cognitive dissonance?

    Shreek.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    BUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!1!!11

  • fish_remote||

    ...needs more CHRISTFAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you're off your game shreeeky .....is your new handle crammed up your back passage?

  • hotsy totsy||

    And that MSNBC Americans suddenly think it's totally cool! All of a sudden out of the blue.

  • ||

    What does Fox News Americans have to do with people here?

  • Rich||

    There should be something lesser.

    Million Pitchfork March

  • Live Free or Diet||

    PSA about how to counter NSA Wiretapping.

  • ||

    The idea is not particularly fresh: at least since 1999, on Echelon Day (21st of October) people of good will were invited to copy into the bottom of their emails a line about bombs, coke, gunpowder, blasting caps, money laundering and such.

  • Rrabbit||

    The setup should be different:
    a.) Government officials and members of Congress have immunity
    b.) Congress can with a two thirds majority lift immunity for any individual for any criminal charge
    c.) Once immunity has been lifted, the normal court system is used
    d.) Congress then should routinely lift immunity whenever there is evidence of an actual crime, rather than merely poor political decisions.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Step d is the problem. It has to be taken out of federal hands, into either state or individual hands.

  • ||

    OT: Classical statutes dressed as hipsters. Get your hammers out.

  • Hash Brown||

    Americans have learned nothing from the last 40 years if they have not learned that the executive branch — regardless of party — will interpret any power as broadly as it wishes.

    Most Americans have learned nothing. Some of us have learned something -- but are there enough of us to make a difference?

  • ||

    You know nothing, Americans.

  • bmp1701||

    Do they know the one thing Jon Snow knows?

  • ||

    It would be a shame if someone gets shot full of arrows.

  • Dweebston||

    Aw. The sads, I has them.

  • Art Vandelay||

    "Do they know the one thing Jon Snow knows?"

    The joy of banging redheads?

  • John||

    http://www.wtrf.com/story/2258.....ar-in-jail

    We are so screwed. You are only as free as your society wants to be. And there is a large section of our society that just doesn't want to be free anymore.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How is that legal?

  • John||

    It is not. The judge should have thrown it out. I have no doubt this kid will fight it and win eventually. But the judge, the DA and the police are fine with doing something completely illegal.

  • crashland||

    Prosecuting attorney Michael White refused to respond to any questions, because he's an asshole.

  • ||

    There is a huge section of society that doesn't want anyone else to be free, and never has.

  • John||

    Maybe the section is no larger than it ever has been and they just have more power now.

  • John||

    But I think there is something more sick and different now than in the past. In the past people generally left kids alone. Now, they love to throw kids in jail. Part of it is the break down of the family and the total disrespect for family autonomy. It used to be people respected parents' rights to raise their kids. Now they don't. And so they think nothing of punishing kids in school and criminally.

  • ||

    My great great great great great grandfather (give or take a few greats) was hired to be a land surveyor in Ohio, in exchange for which he'd get to keep some acreage for himself. So, at 17 years old, he left his wife behind and WALKED from New York to Ohio. After he'd done his job and built a small house, he went back to New York and picked her up, and the two of them lived happily ever after on their farm. In today's society, doing such a thing would require breaking several laws, untold building codes, and cause the clutching of countless pearls. I can imagine what he'd think of how infantalized modern society is, and how enraged he'd be hearing the president tell him, "You didn't build that."

    Surely there are hundreds of reasons why modern society is so co-dependent in comparison, but it sure seems like there's a bias away from freedom as time moves on.

  • Rich||

    If the kid *really* wants to be a "fighter", he should just opt for the prison sentence.

    The media coverage would be awesome.

  • fish_remote||

    I suspect he'd be made example of....a carton or two of smokes....and they'd hurt him for contempt of cop/court.

  • Rich||

    I suspect it'd never make it that far.

    Call their bluff and let the chips fall.

  • Ted S.||

    The next time people bring up bullying in schools, we ought to throw stories like this back in their faces. Stories like this show how many people think it's perfectly acceptable to use agents of the State to bully people who have the wrong political views.

  • John||

    We joke about politicians being street criminals in suits. But it is no joke with Putin. He stole Robert Kraft's super bowl ring.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesi.....pYT6tQxUGO

  • ||

    If you buy the guy's story.

  • General Butt Naked||

    How the fuck is this story back?

    This is the exact same story told years ago, there is basically no change. The guy said before that Putin took it, but mistook it for a gift and that it wasn't a gift. Every time I see this story linked, I feel like one of those people in a movie that knows the truth, but everyone thinks is crazy.

    This story has to be a fucking distraction.

  • Wendell||

    Yeah, the timing is pretty shady. The same time that Russia starts rattling sabers about US intervention in Syria.

  • General Butt Naked||

    From the 2005 AP story:

    BOSTON - Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring during a recent meeting with U.S. business executives.

    But not to worry: Kraft says the ring was a gift to Putin, presented out of “respect and admiration.”

    Earlier, The Boston Globe had speculated that Kraft hadn’t meant to give away the ring.

    ...

    Putin met with the businessmen Saturday at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia. Near the end of the meeting, Kraft took off the ring, and handed it to Putin. Putin tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, according to Russian news reports.

    Everybody figured that he just took the ring, but then Kraft only said it was a gift later on. The speculation was that it was either a diplomatic or face-saving move on Kraft's part. I figured that Kraft was embarrassed that the Napoleonic judo champion straight up ganked his ring and that's why he later said it was a gift. I mean, it was pretty fucking obvious that Putin stole the ring. It's not like it happened in private.

    Bringing BOOOOSH! into it, is mighty convenient for Obama. It also gives the sycophantic press a non-story to focus on so they don't have to talk about all the scandals that Dear Leader has following him at the moment.

  • Ted S.||

    Not only years ago; it just showed up in an H&R comment thread within the past few days.

    Every time I see this story linked, I feel like one of those people in a movie that knows the truth, but everyone thinks is crazy.

    Now you know how I feel reading H&R :-)

  • Mr Whipple||

    Candidate Obama debates President Obama on Government Surveillance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BmdovYztH8

  • Nooge.||

    Holy fuck.

  • Rich||

    Word.

  • JWatts||

    That's hilarious. Hypocrisy thy name is Obama.

  • John||

    Anyone else have issues with Google Chrome and Hit and Run? I can get hit and run to run properly on Google Chrome about half of the time. It seems to be the only website Chrome has issues with.

  • Jerryskids||

    About half the time you're getting some sort of strange interference in the data going back and forth between your computer and the Reason servers when it's routed through Google?

    Hmmmm......

    Would that be the same half the time you're reading or posting about the government keeping tabs on the internet?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Johah Goldberg's response to Michael Lind's ‘Why are there no libertarian countries?” nonsense at Salon.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....h-goldberg

  • John||

    I read that. He destroys Lind. Granted that is not much of a feat. But he takes an easy task and does it very well. I especially like the part about how there is nothing new or futuristic about a few people with better weapons running everyone's lives.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How come conservative Goldberg writes the best defenses of libertarianism.

  • fish_remote||

    Because Jonah is more libertarian than he can acknowledge and still make a nice living from NR.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    There's a blogginheads of him debating brink lindsy or will wilkinson (I forget which) where jonah comes across as a persuasive reasonable libertarian and the other one sound like a whiny wanna be proglodyte.

  • RightNut||

    Don't read the comments on that piece unless you want to get angry. I really don't see why libertarianism is so hard for some people to grasp.

    Just a sample...

    "Oh wait, India is libertarian: You have the freedom to not pay taxes, legal rules hardly apply unless you hurt somebody or unless it was a serious crime. Other than that you can do whatever you want. Drive on the wrong side, ride four people on a scooter, scare others by dressing up as a ghost etc etc. It had to be this way, given they had so many different religions, ethnicities and languages that India has...."

  • Xenocles||

    He wasn't always this way. In college I remember him constantly ridiculing us (well, not me, since I wasn't really with the Reason camp then). His little neologism "libertoid" comes to mind.

    Maybe he's moving in the right direction. He's certainly eloquent.

  • Dweebston||

    Would this have been during the early years of the Bush administration, when realpolitik rationalizations for endless defense spending was in vogue, peaceniks treated with kid-gloves condescension, and Dr. Paul was maligned as an isolationist nutter? I can imagine libertarians would be persona non grata in the Goldberg camp about then.

    Not to Shreek myself, but Republicans are given to their own flavor of millennialism, and I don't think it has much to do with Christian conservatism. It's statist power ploys all the way down.

  • Xenocles||

    Yes, that's right. My college years were 2001-2005, during which I was a Bush supporter. From 2005-2007 I was too busy with my job to really pay attention to anything, and by 2008 I was pretty disgusted with everything.

    I was swept up in the whole "let's make the world better; all we need to do is free them from their oppressors and they'll do the right thing" mindset. I swear it made sense at the time.

  • Dweebston||

    I was too young to be anything other than a reactionary prog, so I can't claim the moral high ground on that front. I didn't come around to a libertarian perspective until 2009, strangely enough, after voting Democrat but before Obama's anti-war/anti-corporatist mettle had been tested. Needless to say four years of watching this administration punt the important issues hasn't soured me on libertarianism.

  • fish_remote||

    My college years were 2001-2005, during which I was a Bush supporter.

    Bettlejuice, Beetlejuice....shreeky....err I mean Bettlejuice!

    Really? You should know better.

  • Killazontherun||

    Even Joe Sobran started out as a pretty much straight up rock ribbed Republican. In his last decade he was an individualist anarchist. Truth is something you stalk patiently.

  • Dweebston||

    I don't mind the patient stalking, it's garroting and leaving it sprawled behind a dumpster that I find distasteful.

  • Hash Brown||

    "If socialism is discredited by the failure of communist regimes in the real world, why isn't libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world? Communism was tried and failed. Libertarianism has never even been tried."

    Is this a typical example of this Lind guy's reasoning?

  • ||

    Wait a minute! I thought libertarianism that was ruining the world!

  • Dweebston||

    We are everywhere and nowhere. We are exactly where progressives need us to be.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    So I'm like Batman? Sweet.

  • Nooge.||

    Manned aerial flight? Nobody's tried that shit before. Clearly, it cannot work!

  • Xenocles||

    Nobody has ever set foot off of this world, and nobody ever will.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Marco Rubio is channeling his inner Bill Kristol on This Week

    "We've got to arm the Syrian rebels because we're running out of options" No we're not, stay the fuck out of it.

    "The Syrian rebels aren't ideal but we they're the best we've got there - WTF

    "We'll help them build a better Syria WTF???

  • Mike M.||

    Rubio is a fucking lightweight and a mental midget. He obviously doesn't know that almost eighty percent of the rebels are Islamists, and many of them are dangerous radicals who are deeply tied to Al Qaeda.

    And if he doesn't know that, he has no business being in his position.

  • crashland||

    I'm so confused. I thought we were at eternal war with Al Qaeda. Why would we arm them?

    So the 4th amendment has been rendered because of TERRORIZ and we are paying to arm those same TERRORIZ...

    America Fuck Yeah!

  • Rrabbit||

    We have been at war with the terrorist Assad regime forever. And Al Qaida has always been our trustworthy ally in this war.

  • Killazontherun||

    Its rather noble of the American spirit. We like to kick ass, but sometimes we have to arm you to make your ass worth kicking.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Well, Obama has thousands of US troops at the Syrian border, poised for "action". Don't worry. He won't invade until the Homeland Scandals start bubbling over. The pricks and cunts of the warmongering wings (i.e. majority) of the Demonicrat and Rethuglican Parties will support him.

    NO FLY ZONE!@!!!!OBOMBS AWAAAAAYYYY!

  • ||

    Well, Obama has thousands of US troops at the Syrian border, poised for "action". Don't worry. He won't invade until

    what

    I know we've deployed some Patriot missiles and presumably some support troops (communications, supply, etc.) to Turkey, but I'm pretty sure I would have heard of it if here were any combat brigades.

  • Jerryskids||

    Is 4500 troops conducting exercises a brigade? Or is 4500 support troops normal? And they're in Jordan, not Turkey.

  • fish_remote||

    Marco Rubio is channeling his inner Bill Kristol on This Week

    "We've got to arm the Syrian rebels because we're running out of options" No we're not, stay the fuck out of it.

    "The Syrian rebels aren't ideal but we they're the best we've got there - WTF

    "We'll help them build a better Syria WTF???

    STAND BY FOR MORE PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM.......Marco Rubio-Boy President!

  • Killazontherun||

    To be honest, I just absolutely hate the guy. There is no way in Hell he would ever get my vote.

  • Ted S.||

    Thankfully I didn't see that. The few minutes I saw of the Sunday news shows while I was clicking through the channels was the regular batch of talking heads giving a tongue bath to the NSA. :-(

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The NSA/FBI/DHS etc etc etc along with the politicians of all rank will now be spying on each other as well as on the tax serfs.

    BUT: most politicians are not the least bit ashamed when exposed for malfeasance and corruption. It's always the other guy's fault....

    NOR: are agency bureaucrats subject to dismissal or prosecution for lying, cheating, assassinating and thieving.......

  • The Late P Brooks||

    From the "NRA t-shirt kid" story:

    Prosecuting attorney Michael White refused to respond to any questions, as did Logan Police.

    Banana republic thugs.

    Go ahead and tell me those fuckers would not eagerly participate in a violent suppression of American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I'm pretty sure they already are.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Go ahead and tell me those fuckers would not eagerly participate in a violent suppression of American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.

    I think it depends on the resistance they face. These fuckers are cowards if they're anything. If they felt that doing this shit could get them killed, or hell, even fired, or hell, even looked down upon they'd quit doing this shit post-haste. But when 45% of the population are law and order morons, and another 45% are neo-puritanical retards, these guys thrive.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There's no need to bring Elizabeth Warren into this.

  • ||

    BTW, that whole thing has been whitewashed from her Wikipedia page.

  • fish_remote||

    No more Fauxcohontas....?

    Ahh.....fish make sad face!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Wikipedia took back that information? There's a name for that.

  • fish_remote||

    How come you weren't first today?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Too busy jerking off or something.

  • General Butt Naked||

    You know you can put it back up, right?

    Unless the decision was made higher up.

  • ||

    You can try. Take a look at the talk page. There was a 'consensus' that it is not relevant, or something.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I caught the tail and of Meet the Press, just in time to hear D Gregory channel his inner David Brooks: "How dare this young kid think he knows better than the Top Men?"

    OMFG CHAOS!

  • Eric Bana||

    It's nice to read Sheldon Richman.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Ooh, E-Verify! That's what this country needs, is an internal passport system, and a comprehensive Total Surveillance State tracking system for every fucking person in the country. We can let the IRS run it.

    In fact, we should just put the IRS in charge of Homeland Security.

  • John||

    Don't worry, Libertarians will stand in the way. It is not like they won't totally sell out for open borders or anything.

  • Agammamon||

    Yeah! Wait, that makes no sense whatsoever.

  • John||

    If an amnesty bill comes with E-Verify would Libertarians stand up against it or would they agree because they love open borders more than they fear E-Verify?

  • Agammamon||

    Uh, *amnesty* is NOT open borders. The scenario you describe is just a play to get E-Verify accepted by making all the illegals *currently* in the country legal. Meaning that *future* illegals would still be just as illegal while *I* get E-Verify shoved up my arse.

    So I'm thinking that no, libertarians won't support E-verify in exchange for a one time amnesty.

  • John||

    Dalmia loves the immigration bill, although in fairness, she might not be a Libertarian.

  • Rhywun||

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm with Milton on immigration. In principle open borders mean free trade in labor, with is a good thing. But not in a welfare state.

  • crashland||

    That's easy to solve by changing to a welfare world. We spend the money to defend most of the world, might as well hook them up with food stamps, healthcare and a free cellphone.

  • Agammamon||

    Well we can either

    1. get rid of the welfare mentality that's draining our economy and make the world a bit freer and more prosperous.

    or

    2. Close our borders to the world and jack up taxes to support scroungers.

    I prefer option 1

  • Killazontherun||

    Illegals are less of a drain on the welfare state than legal immigrants and native citizens. We should all live in the shadows built from the gray economy to save the nation from the ruin of the welfare state.

  • Virginian||

    Or the photo tool that's in the current draft of the bill. Because having a digital face mapping database is so libertarian.

    The current bill is not libertarian.

  • Agammamon||

    But, but, but . . . its got AMNESTY! All those horrible criminals will GET AWAY WITH THEIR HORRIBLE CRIME of crossing the border without permission.

  • Killazontherun||

    It also dolls out public monies to advocacy groups. That I fucking hate. That is how shadow governments get formed in banana republics.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah! Wait, that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Hush! Red Tony is slaying a strawman!

  • John||

    You say that right after you agree with me. Can you pick of a fucking meme and stick with it?

  • sarcasmic||

  • Agammamon||

    Yeah, I still don't know why she *has* to do fetish work to pay for this. She does have a day job right? She's not living on benefits in council housing, right?

  • fish_remote||

    In fact, we should just put the IRS in charge of Homeland Security.

    No doubt! An old friend was harassed incessantly of absolute chump change for years....the DHS couldn't find the Tsarnaevs with a cheat sheet and a tip from the Russians.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Chris Christie for President!

    Bipartisan consensus, here we come!

    Now my ass hurts.

  • John||

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....5573.story

    The poor IRS workers are just having such a hard time.

  • Rich||

    Great photo of Miller.

  • Rhywun||

    "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

  • crashland||

    Oh the horrors


    Everson said a distraught taxpayer once rang his doorbell at home on a Sunday evening, but the incident ended uneventfully. He said he also got phone calls at home from people hoping to vent their tax troubles to the agency's top official.

    My lord, the peasants dared to question the king's man on the phone?

  • Agammamon||

    That stuff isn't in his job description. He'd complain to the union if he weren't management.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hillary's on twitter now.

    [fapfapfapfapfapfapfapf] ahhhhhhh.

  • Agammamon||

    Hillary: How to write on tweeter.
    Hillary: How to put something on Twitter.
    Hillary: How does Twitter work?
    Chelsea: Mom stop typing ur goodle searches n twitter

  • Sevo||

    Looks like the stupid is contagious in the SF Bay Area:
    "Now the city hopes to pioneer a drastic new plan: use the power of eminent domain to seize some of those mortgages from the private investors who hold them in mortgage-backed securities, then slash tens of thousands of dollars off the principal, making them affordable."
    First, it's not gonna fly once it hits the courts, and then, fat chance there'll ever be another mortgage for property in Richmond.
    http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2013/06/16/6285/

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Three hundred million people in this fucking country, and ABC promotes (in a completely unsubtle way) the wife of a former President and the son (and brother) of a former President as potential candidates.

    But there is no aristocracy in America.

  • fish_remote||

    Fuck you Brooks....Chelsea says; "It's time for a woman in the White House.

    And who are you to doubt a 27 year old woman who has no specific achievements in her life and stands to benefit greatly if Mother Harridan can dupe the electorate this cycle.

    HATER!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Chelsea says; "It's time for a woman in the White House.

    Chelsea is supporting Sarah Palin for president?

  • fish_remote||

    That depends on what your definition of "woman" is?

    /Bill Clinton

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    !! RUN, CHELSEA, RUN !!

    Love to see that gal in the WH!

  • General Butt Naked||

    She's actually perfect.

    Another tabula rasa with zero accomplishments that the nation can project their hopes onto. Hell, she probably went to Harvard or Stanford or somewhere equally prestigious that produces our masters.

  • Rich||

    Chelsea says; "It's time for a woman in the White House.

    What is Valerie Jarrett, chopped liver?

  • fish_remote||

    In my estimation...yes...yes she is! Evil lefty chopped liver! The wurst kind!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I think she meant a human female not a lizardess.

  • Ted S.||

    I'm sure all those people who say it's time for a woman in a position of power loved Margaret Thatcher.

  • Inigo M.||

    Nope. Doesn't count. A woman must be on their side to be worthy of any respect in their eyes. Just like it doesn't count when a black person is not also left-wing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    use the power of eminent domain to seize some of those mortgages from the private investors who hold them in mortgage-backed securities, then slash tens of thousands of dollars off the principal, making them affordable.

    Yay, social justice!

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • Rich||

  • Killazontherun||

    You either stand with Iran, or you are with the Al-Qaeda terrorist.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The current bill is not libertarian.

    Unlike all those other Bills floating around Capitol Hill.

  • ||

    Once your government starts spying on its citizens, terrorism is the least of your concerns.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama: All Your iPhone Are Belong to Me

    AT&T has started to push out a carrier update that will now allow owners of various versions of Apple's iPhone to receive important Wireless Emergency Alerts. The update itself is mandatory, in that users have no way to decline it once they get the message that the over-the-air update has been installed.

    The only alert that users can't technically opt out of are "Presidential Alerts," which are exactly what the phrase sounds like – alerts issued by the President or a designee. That's one of the caveats of the Wireless Alert and Response Network Act that established the national emergency alert system starting in 2006.

    Don't worry, sheep. Barry will keep you current on his latest fundraising dinner, Michelle's vacation schedule, and the latest sightings of kulaks, wreckers, subversives, and dissidents.

  • Xenocles||

    Surely you must have wondered where he got the Obamaphones from.

  • Jerryskids||

    One little problem with that story -

    "The alerts – mandated by law, notes AT&T..." are not mandated by law, hence the words appearing two sentences later, "participating wireless providers", which also appear in the very cite noted by AT&T, which is a FCC factsheet on the alert system, and in Subpart B — Election To Participate in Wireless Emergency Alerts System of Title 47 of the CFR. Participation in the alert system by wireless providers is voluntary.

    Not that it means much, but I just find it curious that AT&T would go out of their way to emphasize that they are required by law to update your phone when the very statement they make says it's not true, the source of their statement says it's not true and the law itself says it's not true.

    I just have this mental picture of a POW making a statement prepared by his captors while his eyes blink out a Morse code message not to believe a word he says.

  • TonyM||

    It was comical to hear the Irish minister for justice tell us that because Eric Holder had said we had nothing to worry about, it was all ok. It seems America's "friends" are quick to believe the crap that comes out of Washington. Or more worryingly, they're quick to believe that we'll believe it.

  • ||

    How could anyone believe an Irishman anyway? Everyone knows they're the ones behind all this.

  • wendy31||

    my roomate's sister makes $78/hr on the laptop. She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her paycheck was $21857 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here..... www.Pro76.com

  • Captain Kirk||

    Dear Leader is just doing whats best for the People's Republik of Amerika. All you haters need to go home.

  • John Galt||

    Well, Sheldon, is there really any need to get their stories straight since a) Americans are too concerned about who's winning American idol, or which celebrity is boinking which other celebrity -and- b) Barack and Michelle are our Mom and Dad and we must do as they say, to give damn about whether or not their right to privacy is being violated?

  • Inigo M.||

    "Americans have learned nothing from the last 40 years..."

    Unfortunately, it's true about a hell of a lot more than unchecked executive power. I can't think of ANYTHING that has been learned, quite honestly. And that even includes the lesson of Vietnam. If that lesson was learned, there would have been no involvement in Iraq, Libya, and certainly not the impending involvement in Syria. Then there is Johnson's Great Society and Nixon's War on Drugs -- both 40+ year-old failures and both still ongoing. It seems American government (and the public) is just like that forgetful fish from "Finding Nemo."

  • Anders||

    "It’s bad enough the federal government spies on us. Must it insult our intelligence too?"

    What's more striking is that the response to anyone taking exception to this stuff is now, STFU PEONS.

    Or as Hilldoggie said about the death of 4 Americans in Benghazi, what difference does it make?

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