The Truth Hurts….But It’s The Truth

truth--the truth hurts, but it heals.preview


TPM: In response to a report by the Guardian about the National Security Agency collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers, a senior Obama administration official provided this statement to TPM: The article discusses what purports to be an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court under a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorizes the production of business records.  Orders of the FISA Court are classified. On its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls.  The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber.  It relates exclusively to metadata, such as a telephone number or the length of a call.

Information of the sort described in the Guardian article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States.

As we have publicly stated before, all three branches of government are involved in reviewing and authorizing intelligence collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  Congress passed that act and is regularly and fully briefed on how it is used, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizes such collection.

There is a robust legal regime in place governing all activities conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  That regime has been briefed to and approved by the Court. And, activities authorized under the Act are subject to strict controls and procedures under oversight of the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FISA Court, to ensure that they comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties.




Igor Volsky: Warrantless surveillance began shortly after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The Bush administration began a secret surveillance program in 2001, asking AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth to turn over communications records to the National Security Agency (NSA). The agency’s goal was “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders, the USA Today reported in 2006.

Program fell under court supervision in 2007. Following public uproar, the administration placed the program under the surveillance of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In 2008, Congress expanded the Act to allow both foreign and domestic surveillance “as long as the intentis to gather foreign intelligence.” The measure also provided “retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration.”

Congress extended the law through 2017. In December of 2012, Congress voted to reauthorize The FISA Amendments Act until 2017. The Act “allows federal agencies to eavesdrop on communications and review email” with a warrant from the secret FISA court.

More here


116 Responses to “The Truth Hurts….But It’s The Truth”

  1. 1 4morefor44
    June 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm


  2. 2 Layla
    June 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Congrats 4more!

  3. June 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    you all are fierce…keep it coming 🙂

  4. 4 Allison
    June 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Great Post UT! Congrats 4MF44!

    They prefer to be IGNORANT of facts.

  5. 5 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:12 pm



    • 6 anniebella
      June 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      No one remembers or gives a dam about Al Gore, what is obscenely and outrageous is Al Gore.

    • 8 Linda
      June 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm


      I saw on the timeline that Sen. Lautenberg’s casket will arrive at the Capitol at 1:45 today

  6. June 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Greenwald is worried that his source of classified information will be uncovered. Ironically, he just made it more likely that will happen.

  7. 10 hopefruit2
    June 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you UT. It’s one thing when we have to fight the GOP and MSM memes. But it’s quite another thing when we also fighting PBO supporters on the SAME damn memes….

  8. 11 Allison
    June 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  9. 12 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

  10. June 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Uhm, ok.

    After just having a couple of social workers tell me that my team would discuss this with me or include me in the discussions, a nurse just came in and said my discharge date is 6/18 – this is a tentative date and could change. She just came out of nowhere and told me this. Also, I must exercise (bend) my leg from time to time (HUH??!! no kidding.)

    After she walked away I talked to someone else who made me less anxious. Then the doc came in and reassured me that if I wasn’t physically ready then they’d look into another rehab facility.

    So yep, June 18th might be my last date here at the hospital and then off to Florida.

    • June 6, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Wow, that must feel pretty confusing. But glad it got straightened out by your doctor. Hang in there, GoB.

    • 15 Layla
      June 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Hey GB the 18th is 12 days away. Look at the progress you have made in just the last couple of days and just try and imagine your progress 12 days from now. Keep your positive attitude. Everything will work out. Lots of prayers for you.

    • June 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Just wanted to add this tidbit:

      My hospital roommate doesn’t have any family. She had no children and she is the last of her siblings. Her mom had 3 sets of twins. She’s the last one left. Not sure of her age but I overheard that she was born in the 20’s.

      Anyways, I just thought it was very sweet that her two neighbors alternate when it comes to visits. One neighbor came by with her kids and brought pizza. The other was here last night. They’ll keep doing this until she’s discharged.

      Isn’t that wonderful?

      • 18 utaustinliberal
        June 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

        It really is. Hope her spirits continue to be lifted by such wonderful acts of kindness.

        • June 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

          Yep, she’s quite happy. In fact she was asking about them all morning. Her nurse got so excited to see them enter the room because she was not looking forward to telling the patient that no one was coming for a visit.

      • June 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        Thank you so much for this incredibly sweet story. Thank goodness her neighbors are so attentive and caring. Wonderful and heart-warming for all!!

    • 21 jackiegrumbacher
      June 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      GB, I’m glad they’re looking forward to a release date, but please insist on clarity from everyone involved. My sister went through a confusing time in the hospital not understanding what was planned for her and it made her very anxious until my tenacious niece fought like a bulldog to get clarification. Can you get your social worker or a relative to fight for you?

      • June 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        I’m going to talk with my social worker some more and then enlist my older sister if I feel she can help. She’s a nurse so maybe she has some insider info that I can use.

  11. 23 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm


  12. 24 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

  13. 28 hopefruit2
    June 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    So now the NSA hysteria is about to go snuff, it’s back to the FLOTUS -bashing….

    • 29 anniebella
      June 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Do anyone remember Sasha and Malia?

      • 30 anniebella
        June 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        The article sounds like China is going to want to go to war cause FLOTUS will not show up. How dam stupid. Protocol is very important to the Chinese someone n the article said. I say it’s to bad their citizens human rights aren’t just as important.

  14. 31 desertflower
    June 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    sfpelosi @sfpelosi
    Most of #GOP demanding #Obama answers on #NSA voted for PATRIOT Act business records provisions. If they’d like to repeal, please proceed.
    about 1 hour ago

  15. 32 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Another side of the coin. It’s metadata not your phone conversations.

  16. 33 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    There’s video at the link.


    MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe told anchor Thomas Roberts dismissed the notion that the news that the National Security Agency has been collecting the records of every Verizon subscriber’s phone records was a scandal. He said that the outrage that greeted similar infringements on civil liberties by President George W. Bush’s White House resulted from the fact that his administration was conducting “warrantless” surveillance.

    “I’m kind of scratching my head over the outrage on this one,” Wolffe began. “What was outrageous under the Bush administration, what really troubled people, was that there was warrantless. They were doing this without going to court. That was the key principle here.”

    He added that President Barack Obama is not pursuing a hypocritical policy because he confirmed in 2008 that he would pursue appropriate surveillance practices to keep Americans safe so long as they are approved by a judge.

    “You could disagree with it. You could say it’s all wrong and any of this is an intrusion in privacy, but he has been explicit about it and it is now under court supervision,” Wolffe concluded.

    • 34 Cman
      June 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Most people did not listen to Obama. They just heard what they wanted and now scream betrayal at everything, violating the definition of the word. Epidemic Obama derangement syndrome.

    • 35 theo67
      June 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      This is a good one to retweet, but the tweet is “forbidden” or “protected”. Not sure if it’s just for me, but please do retweet the story.

  17. 36 Vicki
    June 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Surely we know by now……the “news” is the Propaganda of the day.
    Most, if not all of it, is irrelevant to the effective governing of our country.
    Most, if not all of it, should be ignored.
    Personally, I’m going to continue to follow what I consider the news. Actual events in the real world, as best as I can, anyway.
    And read TOD early and often.

    • 37 nathkatun7
      June 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      “Personally, I’m going to continue to follow what I consider the news. Actual events in the real world, as best as I can, anyway.”

      Vicki, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since March 2009. It saves me from raising my blood pressure every time I watch these propagandists pretending to be journalists.

  18. June 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    The only little quibble I have with the article is that it makes it sound as though domestic surveillance was added in 2007. The fact is that the FISA Court was established after the Church Committee investigated Nixon’s warrantless wiretapping scheme. The FISA Court was always able to approve domestic surveillance. It was established to prevent what happened under Nixon: namely that he surveilled his political opponents.

    • 40 nathkatun7
      June 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Go ahead and teach, MomSense! What took place in 2007-Amending the Patriot Act to include the need for administration to get approval from FISA Court before conducting surveillance. The Amendment was in response to the Bush administration conducting surveillance without a warrant.

  19. 41 hopefruit2
    June 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Jovie, I see that there are tornado warnings for the Tampa FL area…hope you and family and pet lab are all safe.

  20. 42 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

  21. 46 Linda
    June 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    An analysis of a list of groups approved for tax exempt status, released by the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of its admission to targeting conservative groups for heightened scrutiny, determined that of the groups approved, more than two-thirds were conservative.

    The analysis, by Martin A. Sullivan of Tax Analysts, examined a list of 176 advocacy organizations that were ultimately approved for tax exempt status by the IRS during the period when the service admits to having targeted certain conservative groups with inappropriate criteria.

    According to Sullivan’s analysis, 122 of the groups were conservative, 48 were liberal or non-conservative and 6 remain of unidentified ideology.

    The IRS released the list on May 15, after senior official Lois Lerner announced that the IRS had been inappropriately targeting conservative groups in its review of groups seeking tax exempt status for political activity.

    The inappropriate targeting included the appearance of keywords like “tea party,” “patriot” and “9/12” to sweep up groups for further review. Among the approved groups, 46 had names that include those words, according to Sullivan.

    Sullivan’s analysis, however, does not illuminate much about the targeting scandal. It shows that conservative groups were reviewed and approved more often than liberal groups, but it does not state the total number of conservative and liberal groups that applied for tax exempt status during that period. The analysis also does not identify the ideological breakdown of groups that applied and have not been approved, since the IRS is prevented by law from providing the names of groups still being processed by the service. All of these caveats are noted in the analysis.

    At least one error was readily identifiable in the Tax Analysts’ analysis. A group named U.S. Health Freedom Coalition is listed as a liberal or non-conservative group, when it was in fact created by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity as the principal funding mechanism for ballot initiatives opposing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Arizona and Ohio. The group is run by Eric Novack, a former Americans for Prosperity fellow and known conservative activist.


  22. 47 Virginia
    June 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    In other words, are we talking about information–phone numbers, that you could get from the phone book?

    • 48 forus50
      June 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      No. If they do anything at all with the phone records (number, place, time, duration) then they analyze calling patterns using complex computer technology. 99.99% of all phone calls don’t even make it into the 1st pool. The .01% that does go for analysis has some pattern of concern that they would then analyze further. If something looks like terrorist activity then they would get a warrant or whatever to determine exact person.

      • 49 57andfemale
        June 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        this may be the most helpful piece of information I’ve read all day on this. This explains the context of the broad sweep. Why isn’t this being explained?

        • 50 hopefruit2
          June 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

          Because the MSM and emoprogs do not want you to have this information. They want to you be outraged and upset at PBO so you can donate $$$ to their causes, or engage in self-defeating behavior like sitting out elections thereby allowing GOPers to be elected. This is the ultimate goal of these media-manufactured crap.

    • June 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Well, not quite. What we’re talking about is data mining. Basically, NSA gets metadata—numbers called, length of call, and so on. It then does analysis on that metadata. It’s NOT a wiretap. No conversations were listened to. It’s a search for information and patterns. And, it’s something that you’re subjected to EVERY DAY by corporations to whom you give your information, like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and so on. And, again, this is all done with warrants. What Bush did from 2001 – 2007 was warrantless.

    • 53 utaustinliberal
      June 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Here. This will help answer your questions.


  23. 54 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

  24. 55 forus50
    June 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  25. June 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Good Afternoon Chipsticks, TODers…Everyone!

    UT, the Rise and Shine was UTerrific!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 There is so much noise to filter through. The information that you and the other blog tyrants provide, as well as the input from TODers helps to make the filtering process less tedious. It definitely reduces the feelings of anxiety and anger and frustration and every negative emotion we get being exposed to the noise. The Obama Diary brings some level of relief and and comfort and peace. It recharges us so that we are able to deal with another day of noise. I can never completely express how grateful I am for this site and all its participants.

    Going back now to read through the Rise and Shine comments…once you get behind, it takes a while to catch up. 😉

  26. 58 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  27. 59 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

  28. 60 Cman
    June 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    One thing that pisses me off is the hand the media plays in dumbing down the masses or at least giving voice to the idiots when it comes to particular substantive policy debates. This happens over and over again. When I saw this story yesterday I held my words and read more about what was done. So what did I learn? HP’s screaming headline was OBAMA SPYING ON YOU. Actual facts; metadata were collected under approval from a judge for investigation purposes, especially after the Boston Bombing. So numbers were collected. No wiretaps, no warrent-less listening in on private conversations. In essence, no spying. Yes, all this information is going to come out and people will learn the truth eventually, but the majority of idiots who saw the first hyperbolic headline will run with it from now till the end of time. And each successive story will be seen through a coated lens. Meanwhile, little by little the ability to debate important issues is being eroded.

    This is why we can get the horrendous cabal of nominees from the republicans last year and they are not all run out of town. Seriously, Michelle Bachmen and Hermain Cain were serious contenders for president of these United States! (Let that sink in for a moment)

    This infuriates me to no end. Argh. 😡

    • 61 57andfemale
      June 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      The story is, and has always been since PBO became President, is – how can we manufacture this to hurt PBO? Who can we talk to that will fulfill our narrative? It’s not just dumbing down, it is rendering us incapable of functioning as a country in a complex world.

      Because Republicans have ginned up this game with lies, our knee-jerk response is to defend our President from this onslaught of outrageous lies. It was all PBO’s fault and the failure of his foreign policy that the Boston bombing happened. Then when he tries to gather information that might inform us of past and future threats, all of a sudden Republicans discover ‘privacy’.

      What is lost in this exhausting charade is that we SHOULD have a sensible, objective debate about surveillance. Frankly, even if it’s meta-data or whatever it is a broad sweep of data collected that is disturbing. What no one can answer is – how do they examine that data? I recall that under Bush their ‘analysts’ were using it to find racy material about soldiers and their families. It’s so much information and is the collection of us meaningful enough to justify such a broad sweep? I would be disturbed if Bush did it and I also fervently believe that this President (believe me, certainly not Hillary) would welcome this debate and will weigh intelligently this delicate balance.

      That being said, it is a difficult dilemma as a proud Obama supporter that I can’t have a sensible discussion on this; because if I voice my concerns and questions, I could do damage to my beloved President. I also am uncomfortable that I will be lumped with GG and the other insane Obama-haters. Where this country should be a beacon for discussion of many different approaches and solutions, we are left with deranged screamers who define us on both sides.

      I’m exhausted. Intellectually, politically, morally exhausted today.

      • 62 Nena20409
        June 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        Since the era of Mr. Obama, the media will spin more, agitate, distort, mislead, use propaganda, will doctor emails, misquote texts, etc then feign fake lukewarm apology on page 18, or never at all and move right on to the next dreamt up SCANDAL.

        It is No longer…..Facts, Accuracy, Truth, substantiated by Raw data. It is who gets it out first. Then who regurgitates the “first” report and the Herd stand firmly, repeating, playing the video and never doing any investigative reporting. Shamefully, pathetically, sad.

        • 63 57andfemale
          June 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

          As I said, today I’m exhausted by it all. I’ll never quit fighting, but right now I’m just drained.

          • 64 theo67
            June 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm

            One other thing, 57. I believe your example of the Bush folks being able to spy on private conversations for the military was because they weren’t just looking at meta-data. They were actually conducting surveillance on content (i.e. eavesdropping), without warrants, under the cover of the Patriot Act. What President Obama’s group is doing is truly just looking at meta-data (phone numbers, time of call, call duration, numbers dialed), to analyze for patterns that could inform a context, and support a request for a warrant. Two very different things.

            You’re absolutely right. We have to be able to debate, otherwise, we can’t learn and grow. And there may actually be a very good debate to be had on whether any President – even this one – should be able to use this meta data to protect the public and head of attacks. Whether any organization should be able to use personal information without express consent to determine your patterns of activity – like Google or credit card companies or advertisers. You shouldn’t worry about expressing your concerns or opinion – especially here. Even if people get hot under the collar, it’s good to ask and question and challenge. This is a good place to do it. I don’t think you have to worry about hurting the President. He’s a Constitutional scholar, and I’m pretty sure he’d welcome a healthy debate, as you said. 🙂

            • 65 57andfemale
              June 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

              I’m completely aware of the differences between what Bush was doing and would have continued to do. It is still an issue worthy of debate. I have seen such a volcano of Stupid today – the hair-on-fire left will not even entertain any nuance or facts. We are being spied on — all 145M Verizon subscribers and there is no room to discuss. Yet these same idiots use their smartphones and public wi fi’s, and GPS in their cars, and credit cards and all the stuff that is tracked. But God damn it, the left and ALL of them should be aware of these important distinctions of what was done, how, and why and what was gleaned. If this President sat on their idea of Principles and didn’t factor in the very need for national security that uses all of the technology available, he would be derelict in his duty. Should we have not used technology in order to find whatever nut jobs Tsarnev was working with?

              Besides surveillance has been legal since the Church Commission and the creation of the FISA court.

              It would be nice to have a decent debate on the balance without fearing destruction of this President. It’s just infuriating.

      • 67 Cman
        June 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        I see your point. But I do think this collection of data is a balanced position on adhering to our values and being vigilant against terrorists. A judge approved collection of meta data which include phone numbers,time and location when call was made is a balanced way to go about this. This information is readily available to all phone companies. It is certainly not spying or “warrant less wiretapping” of phone calls. If this is spying then all phone companies are essentially spying on their clients 24/7.

        What gets me is that the media conflates it all and everyone goes into partisan mode. After, the Boston bombing when we knew nothing about the plan, culprits or network behind the attack, this does not seem all that radical an action to me. It was limited April to July and approved by a judge while done under the auspices of a law passed by congress.

        You are right when you say it is an Obama attack focused mentality that contributes to this craziness. It is frustrating to feel the attacks on the president strains potentially useful debates but we must keep trying no matter how difficult to have those debates or the country will suffer for it.

      • 68 theo67
        June 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

        Me, too, 57. But, that’s their end-goal, isn’t it? Make the environment so toxic that we all just switch off and disengage. We abdicate the power we have, which is: our voices shouting for justice. If people get so turned off, they stop paying attention to the details, and they just hear the soundbites propagated by the media. And then those soundbites become truth, and people become cynical. They think things will never change and they decide not to vote, not to care anymore. This is their game – they use it all the time. And, unfortunately, it works.

        The truth is: they’ve done nothing for several years – decades, in fact. They played no part in the economic recovery. No part in ending the wars. No part in investing in infrastructure and education. No part in restoring Americans’ faith in their government. No part in restoring America’s image around the world. No part in true transparency in government.

        They have nothing. They are nothing. And that’s why they do this.

        • 69 hopefruit2
          June 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

          Very well-stated theo. The media is manufacturing scandal after scandal after fake bloody scandal to get people tired, drained, sick, with the hope that the apathy, anger, will be directed at PBO/Dems and will negatively impact the 2014 election.

        • 70 57andfemale
          June 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

          The truth is: they’ve done nothing for several years – decades, in fact. They played no part in the economic recovery. No part in ending the wars. No part in investing in infrastructure and education. No part in restoring Americans’ faith in their government. No part in restoring America’s image around the world. No part in true transparency in government.”

          This is an excellent frame. They have refused to take part in anything positive that has happened. Excellent. Thanks.

  29. 71 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    THIS is an outrage and why we need Democratic strongholds in 2014. Not the NSA nonsense.

  30. 72 Bill
    June 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Mrs Greenspan is trying to pin down Robert Gibbs as to has the more power, Susan Rice or John Kerry. What is Mrs. Greenspan’s problem about power?

  31. 74 JER
    June 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

  32. 77 4morefor44
    June 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    now if only a “whistleblower” from within will reveal glen greenwald’s source, then glenn would be all cool with that, correct?

  33. 79 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    • 80 99ts
      June 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      “It also comes at a time when Republicans are working to attract more Latino voters; an op-ed on the “American dream” from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was published in Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion hours before the vote.”

      Well they sure haven’t won any latino voters – fools and liars – all of ’em – any of ’em

  34. 82 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    O….k. Now’s he’s kinda flipped his position.

  35. 83 Bill
    June 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Christie appoints his AG as Senator until October election..

  36. 84 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

  37. 85 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Info: Jeff Chiesa is a republican.

    • 86 COS
      June 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I really hope that the Dems in NJ, take time out to thoroughly check under Christie’s hood, and find out that he is a true republican. No matter what these republicans say about him, when the election is held they will vote for him. Limbaugh will change his tune also. Republicans are hypocrites and cannot be trusted. Christie may like PBO, but he is also using him to gain Democratic votes. He is all about self interest. I never liked him and I have not changed my tune. He is a bully and I detest bullies.

      • 87 57andfemale
        June 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        If the “people of NJ” are supposed to choose Lautenberg’s replacement, then it would have been intellectually honest to choose a Democrat for the interim period, since that was the will of the people of NJ when Lautenberg was elected.

        Trying to mend fences with the Republicans who were so pissed at him for calling the special election.

    • 89 Lovepolitics2008
      June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I find this absolutely revolting. I would be equally outraged if a democratic governor named a democrat in replacement of a republican senator. Many many voters take the party of the candidate into consideration when they vote. This was a democratic senate seat.

      The best solution would have been to name a high staffer of Senator Frankenberg. His chief of staff for example. The message it sends is that there is an effort to respect the voters who voted for Frankenberg, an effort to continue on the dead senator’s legacy , until there is a new election.

      I hope Christie pays a price at the polls for that. I hope democrats and even independents that want to vote for Christie because he is supposedly “moderate” or “bi-partisan” finally see the guy for what he is: a partisan republican who just talks a good game to win elections.

  38. 91 japa21
    June 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm

  39. June 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

  40. June 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

  41. June 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    As noted last night ….

    It’s been illuminating to observe how naive and truly uniformed many folk are about the law, metadata, their terms of service agreements with Facebook, Google, Apple iTunes, etc. If you’re going to participate in the 21st Century, …….


  42. June 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

  43. 97 desertflower
    June 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    What PBO is doing in NC

    President Obama is headed to North Carolina to see firsthand how one middle school is developing a cutting edge curriculum that embraces technology and digital learning.

    We’re hosting a national virtual “show and tell” with high tech schools and James Kvaal, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Poilcy Council. And we want you to be part of that discussion.

    What: National Show and Tell on connected classrooms

    When: Thursday, June 6th at 3:30 PM ET

    Where: Right here, at WhiteHouse.gov/Show-and-Tell

    Note: The National Show and Tell will begin at 3:30 PM ET. If you’re not seeing it make sure to refresh this page in your browser.

  44. June 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    • 99 4morefor44
      June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      stay far, far away from this guy “shoq value.” i would read his twitter feed for a while, and starting noticing his nasty fighting with other people on twitter, and he’s a mega-creep. really weird. i don’t want to see him try to attach himself to the people’s view or here.

  45. June 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  46. 101 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

  47. 102 desertflower
    June 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm


    President Obama and the White House were not going rogue. The Senate had been briefed on, and has known about the program for years. Glenn Greenwald’s big story has turned out to be nothing that wasn’t already known in Washington for years. A 2011 letter from the White House to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) notes that members of Congress have been briefed on this program in multiple ways since 2009.

    The mainstream media is already rejecting Greenwald’s drama by asking if this is really a scandal. People are quickly concluding that this isn’t a scandal.

    It may not be a scandal, but a Patriot Act is an important policy issue. The bigger scandal is that congressional Republicans and Democrats continue to support a piece of law that gives any president such broad powers.

    Verizongate may turn out to be the shortest Obama scandal in history.

    • 103 theo67
      June 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      I’m starting to enjoy these silly scandals (not). It’s like a game: how long they can last, how much they can twist reality to support their flawed positions, and what real scandal is being covered up. If only these faux-scandals weren’t costing taxpayers much needed Congressional time and money that could be better spent actually working for the people. If only the media didn’t choose to cover these faux-scandals rather than actually covering real news that would benefit the people. If only these faux-scandals didn’t malign and harm real people who get caught in the middle of them.

  48. 104 Ladyhawke
    June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    How the NSA uses your telephone records

    By Marc Ambinder


    (h/t Roger Simon via tweet)

  49. June 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    • 107 Nena20409
      June 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      You Nailed it Doc. Yes, sir.

      Today’s Journos, easily fooled when the Name Pres Obama is mentioned. They report and when challenged, then sheepishly ask questions later.

  50. 108 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

  51. June 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

  52. 110 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

  53. 111 utaustinliberal
    June 6, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Here is how we THINK this program works, based on several calls.
    The National Security Agency, with approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, goes to the phone companies and says: Every day, pump your data about phone calls into our big government tank — only phone numbers (not names), along with other data about the calls, such as where they came from, how long they lasted, what numbers were dialed, and so on.
    The government does this for two reasons. First, the phone companies themselves retain this data only for 30-90 days. Second, having this data aggregated in one place avoids the need, when checking out a specific number, to have to go get a court order for each phone company to track a specific number, when the government does not know what company handled that number.

    Part two, however, involves the authority to dive into the government’s big tank of phone data to check out a specific number. It does this under protocols and internal controls that are approved in advance and must be reviewed by the FISA court periodically. This means that the tank can be accessed only for specific reasons — not to generally roam through.
    So, for example, when the police in London bust up a terror cell and find a U.S. number was on one of their cell phones, the U.S. government can then check that number against its big tank of phone data, without having to go to every carrier.


  54. June 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    We as a nation are guilty of wanting our cake and eating it too. We like the conveniences derived from the internet, smart phones, etc. We like the entertainment we get from social web sites or sites where we can download movies and music. On-line banking? On-line shopping? On-line medical diagnosis? We gotta have it and pay very little attention as to what it is costing us.

    How often do we download software or sign up for an on-line service and pretty much just automatically click “I agree” to accept the terms of the user/privacy agreement; assuming that we know what’s in the agreement? How often are we annoyed when we buy something online or visit a site and every time we turn around, there’s an ad for the site we’ve visited? And oh yeah…what is generating all that spam email?

    We are aware that our legislators often do not read the bills on which they vote. Their vote is based on what they have been told is or is not in the bill. We recently saw this occur with the votes for the gun control legislation. And with regard to FISA, how much of their outrage is not feigned because they really are not aware of what all was included in the bill for which they voted in favor?

    As others have stated, we expect our government to keep us safe. And we, through our elected officials, accepted the terms of that user/privacy agreement because we want our government to do whatever it takes for the sake of our national security. And now, it is becoming more apparent the cost to us in terms of our privacy.

    So we have to decide… do we want the “cake” or the “eat it too”. Sometimes you can’t have both.

  55. 114 forus50
    June 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    This question from the guy who exported more jobs with his pal Bill Clinton with his wondrous NAFTA program than even the odious Mitt Romney ever exported. Friggin fool.

    • 115 nathkatun7
      June 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      It’s really amazing that even seemingly intelligent people, like Robert Reich, never bother to ascertain the truth before being outraged. It seems that all they care about is finding something negative to use against President Obama. I thought that Liberals were more interested in facts and truth than the right wingers we routinely make fun of.

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