Is there something about occupying the Oval Office - getting all those intelligence reports from around the world about suspected terrorist plots, etc., plus the fear of not having "another 9/11" occur on your watch - that transforms whomever becomes President?
The NEW YORK TIMES' Peter Baker chronicles the about-face by one Barack Obama when it comes to surveillance...
Do they "transform" or do they betray the base that elected them?
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 11:09am
Bill, your question is the real issue that keeps confronting us. Was he just trying to sound like an idealist during the campaign? Did he know all along that he would actually increase spying after taking the White House?
The NY Times piece does nothing to resolve my inner conflict. The question is important as it impacts the freedom of all Americans.
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 1:28pm
The article gives a clear representation where we will go. If it weren't for George Washington's network of spies, we'd have lost the revolution. Spying is necessary for self-preservation.
However, it has gotten out of control. Obama will come out saying spying will continue, but with more controls...
Essentially, if one reads Snowden's documents correctly, they all spell that no one is watching over the NSA... If one owned a grocery store and held no one accountable, the same antics would happen there, just with groceries instead of our personal communications.
Removing the corporates' immunities from lawsuits, would create an environment where everyone would work hard to police it themselves....
If Al Mascitti asks Verizon's Bill Allen for secret information on Rick Jensen, and Rick finds out, he should be able to sue both Al and Bill...
Right now, Bill can comply with impunity. But if he gets sued for 800 million dollars, he will change his mind the next time he gets asked. As will every other corporate internet carrier....
It gets policed without police.
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 1:35pm
On another tack, picking up off your "syndrome", in the corporate world, the good ones shake things up every 3 years. "Because after 3, one has to pee" the saying goes, meaning that one gets bored and looks to gratification in other ways.
The President does not get that option. So yes, he bears down for the next 2 years, keeping scandals (and ones we do not dream of yet will arise), and the last year then becomes a lame-duck year of adulation where we all worship all that he has done.
Most of us complain every time we find ourselves in a crises. "Oh my gosh", we say, "it was terrible; glad it is over." He is in one for 8 years 24/7. I don't think people older than 55 should become president anymore. It is too much.
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 1:45pm
Kavips: That's why the parliamentary system is much better than the mess we've got.
People complain about spying but they love spy movies.
- Bond, James Bond
- Jack Ryan
- Mission Impossible ("the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions")
- Person of Interest ("you are being watched")
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 2:18pm
I thought I was done for today, but after stepping away from the last post, it occurred to me that the exact same syndrome you described affecting Obama, has done in Jack Markell as well.
I'm not sure if you have been too busy to notice, but the blogs have been replaying his campaign debate against Carney and Protack, (which I believe Allan himself hosted?)
Markell's stance on education
Markell's stance on environment.
Markell's stance on jobs.
All were directly opposite his tack this past year.... I mean, Markell IS Protack.
(allowing for of course for author's discretion)...
One, the economic environment was very different back in the spring of '08 as opposed to today.
Two, the problem of attracting jobs to Delaware has become impossible. Every state is underbidding every other state.
Three, the campaign issues which carried him over Carney in the primary are directly opposite of what is required to entice jobs into the state....
With that said, unless things change, it appears he suffers the exact same syndrome you put on Obama; i.e. reality reared its ugly head into his campaign promises...
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 6:57pm
Unfortunately, America hasn't had a real president since Reagan.
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 8:44pm
Pizza, I can think of four..
What dimension do you live in?
Thu, Jan 16, 2014 9:16pm
Sorry Kavips, but the four you mentioned aren't real presidents. I appreciate that you mentioned the Bush's, but not even they measure up to the Gipper.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 4:14am
Pizza: He wasn't "The Gipper." He played him in a movie. Just like he played "the president" while corporate interests, represented by George Bush, ran the country. And yes, that administration betrayed its base all over the place. Shows what suckers you tea baggers are.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 9:10pm
bill: You rant against everyone (especially Tea Party-types & Christians)...I think the only person/political party of which you speak positively is the Queen of England and the British political system...is that why you have such contempt for the Tea Party? Reminds you too much of the Boston tea party and the victory over the Royals for America's freedom?
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 12:51pm
Any civilization that stops at 4 and drinks a cup of tea, is worthy of adulation.
That is my humble opinion.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 4:43pm
Gee, Earl. You a fan of civil disobedience? By Harvard students even. Who'd have thought it? Sounds like Occupy to me.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 10:14am
bill: Yes I am a fan of Civil Disobedience like the examples shown by Jesus, Gandhi and MLK Jr. (peacefully, like the Tea Party) but am not for the OWS-style civil disobedience model (violent/destructive)... OWS does not follow the peaceful approach of the TEA Party or MLK Jr.
I have great respect for Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK Jr., but none for OccupyWallStreeters.
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