Two great outtakes from the article:“Unsustainable conspiracy
theories undermine the credibility of legitimate complaints.”And“The [insert name of current president here]
administration is currently handling its responsibilities badly enough that
there is plenty to talk about without making things up. The best way to be
effective in criticizing it is to stay with the facts and away from challenges
to its motives.”Good advice for all sides, no matter who is
Well written.... Criticize Obama and his administration all you
want, it is part of the constitutional process that makes this country vibrant
and free.... but stick to facts, not web based blogs nor schlock rating driven
political radio shows.Every presidency will do things wrong - they
are led by people who make mistakes and laps in judgement. We need to be
diligently keep out politicians honest. But lets leave the hate driven
political rhetoric out of the process.
Bailout Bob says, "The best way to be effective in criticizing it is to stay
with the facts and away from challenges to its motives."However...At some point we have to come to grips with what the
facts reveal about those motives.When the facts about Benghazi, IRS,
AP, etc., reveal that the president misuses power, and lies routinely to the
American people, we know that his motives aren't right. This calls for a
course correction, even if it's only to stop following him blindly to where
he wants to lead us.
Let me be the first to tell you Senator that if the IRS situation, Benghazi
situation, and the AP happenings had any scandalous validity the NSA
"revelations" would only be fodder for the left. However, they
don't so here come the Obama haters with one more fantasy to heap on the
pile of desperation. Besides it beats the hard work of legislating. I
understand that all the political talk shows have nice treats for their guests.
Let's stick to the facts. The 4th Amendment requires a warrant signed by a
judge after the judge has seen probable cause before the government can search.
The biggest mistake that Americans can make is letting Mr. Bennett or any other
politician cite prior court cases as "proof" that the government can
overlook the restrictions placed on searching by the 4th Amendment. NO court
can legally ignore the Constitution when it rules on any case. Using a case where the court decided that recording names and addresses found
on the outside of an envelope was "public" is much different than
recording information about email or other electronic communication. Because I work in the computer field, I know that inspecting the contents of
electronic communication is no more difficult than inspecting the headers. The
government cannot guarantee that it is only looking at the header information.
If the government thinks that we can trust it to NOT look at the the
contents of that information, the government must think that we are all
fools.All of us must demand that the government show us the warrant
signed by a judge that allows it to look at our electronic communications.
The 4th Amendment protects against "unreasonable" searches. The question
of what is reasonable is up to Congress and the courts. Doesn't seem
unreasonable to me for the gov't to ask a phone company to share a record
that a phone call was made. Too many people are getting into a tizzy because
they forget that key word "unreasonable." Either that or they're
just Obama haters.
I am curious Bob,, just how do you know for certain that this is all that is
going on at the NSA? Are you still being briefed? I find it
difficult to swallow that your quotation of law from 1979 gives this
administration the right to do as it pleases.. If Snowden's claims are
false,,, our administration has nothing to worry about do they.... If his
claims are correct,, the government has overstepped itself and violated the
trust of the American public,, protected under the constitution and 4th
amendment.With all of the scandal / reporting / hatred,, call it
what you want.. it is difficult to determine what is a fact and what is
fiction,, until someone tastes the pudding... So let us hear what Snowden
has... then we can see what is fact or fiction.There are 2 sides to
the story,,, then there is the truth...... these are the only facts that we
should be considering..
Having just finished reading "The Republican Brain" Sen. Bennett seems
to have gotten the message. Republicans need to quit believing the wrong made up
stuff to justify their arguments and use correct facts to show their ideological
differences. It only makes sense to those that think.
Mr. Bennett demonstrates once again - his co-authorship of the Wyden-Bennett
healthcare bill is by far the best example - why he is no longer in the Senate.
His conservative mindset combined with a grownup’s perspective
and pragmatism make him a pariah in a party that is increasingly made up of
folks that resemble the menacing children in Lord of the Flies.
Problem is... with most "Controversies" (especially the recent ones)
part of the "Controversy" IS THE LACK of facts, and an air of secrecy
about them.So how are you supposed to only rely on "Facts"
when discussing secret surveillance program... or government collecting
information about those in the media, or a program to use the IRS to hold down
groups that don't support big government, or other controversies
surrounding questioning big government? For good reason these programs need to
be kept secret (or they don't work). So how are we to only stick to
"Facts" when discussing controversies involving secrecy in our big
Irony,You acknowledge the 4th_Amendment. That's great that you even
know what it is. And you even know the historical context. There may be hope
for you yet.But then you say its "Reasonable" for the
government to ask for all phone records for all citizens... How does that seem
"Reasonable" to you? Do you also think it would be
"Reasonable" for the government to search EVERY house in the United
States?... because there COULD be evidence of terrorism in ANY house in the
United States you know.You say "Too many people are getting into
a tizzy because they forget that key word "unreasonable." Either that or
they're just Obama haters"...Is it POSSIBLE that they
remember the key word "unreasonable"... and just don't agree that
requesting EVERY phone record (regardless of suspicion) is the definition of
"reasonable" search?Is it POSSIBLE that people who
don't agree with you are not "Obama Haters"?I think it
is.It's the coolaid that tells you that anybody who disagrees
with you (if you are an Obama apologist) is an "Obama Hater". You CAN
acknowledge a problem... and NOT be an Obama Hater.
@Nate..... so please expound on the abuse of power that happened in Benghazi.
I am dying to hear the enlightenment on that one. If failing to prevent a
terrorist attack is grounds for gross incompetence, the line is long and deep
before you get to Obama. Some of these other issues - particularly if the IRS
was being as a political club.... that isn't very good. But then again,
lets not forget Bush fired a bunch of season lawyers who had served under
multiple administrations.... because they belonged to the other party.This revisionist history being created so that we can frame the present as the
worst ever is getting us no where. It is getting a bit old.
"There are no facts. Only interpretations." -- Nietzsche
UtahBlueDevil,Speaking of "revisionist history". Did you forget
Clinton firing 93 U.S. attorneys when he took office in 1993? And that Obama
also replaced a batch of US Attorneys when he took office?Google
"Obama to replace US Attorneys".or google "Clinton opens up
about U.S. attorney firings"When asked about it in 2007, Hillary
said, "That's a traditional prerogative of an incoming president,"
Clinton said in an interview with The Associated Press. She conceded that
should she win the presidency in 2008, she likely would replace all of the U.S.
attorneys appointed by President Bush. She said that's merely following
traditions in which presidents appoint prosecutors of their own party".So lets get this straight... It's an evil conspiracy when Bush
replaces 9. But no big deal when Clinton dismissed 93?I agree
it's getting a little bit old when people accuse others of revisionist
history and putting the President in the worst light possible... and then
criticize Bush for dismissing 9 but totally leave out that the president before
him dismissing 93 (because Bush was a Republican and Clinton was a Democrat).
That sounds like the ultimate in revisionist history to me.
"...poison the political dialog...".Since the advent of
Limbaugh and Gingrich, poisoned political dialog has become the rule.Others of the Republican, Democratic or Libertarian persuasion dabble in the
art...However, Limbaugh and Gingrich clearly own the patent.And when the Republicans return to power, Democrats will forget what the
Republicans have done to them?Last night on FOX, Greta asked a
Republican Congressman from South Carolina if all the noise coming from the
Republican Party was simply payback for what the Democrats did to the
Democrats.The Republican Congressman responded in the affirmative.
The real IRS scandal is that we have conferred tax exempt status to
organizations who engage in political activities using 49.9% of the funds
donated to them. Career IRS employees--who've served under multiple
administrations--were just going after low hanging fruit. The Tea Party was a
well recognized political organization, so the IRS, attempting to look for the
most obvious red flags, first focused on organizations named Tea Party. (The
smarter organizations used less obvious political names). It's
what the IRS does. For ex. certain types of tax returns, schedules and
deductions can increase the likelihood you may be audited because they are areas
tax cheats commonly use. R-Darrell Issa knew about the IRS audit by the
Treasury Dept. before anybody in the Obama Administration. And tellingly, Issa
won't release the full transcripts of independent interviews he conducted
of IRS employees.Bennett is right on these issues. Despite many
wasted hours/taxpayer dollars and numerous hearings Republicans have failed to
prove their conspiracy theories and connect them to Pres.
The legal standard established by the Supreme Court to interpret what
constitutes an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment is whether a
search's subject had a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is
well-settled constitutional law. Bennett cites Smith v. Maryland because the
Court held that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy where a telephone
company keeps records of numbers dialed, and therefore no warrant is
required.I invite anyone to show why the principle of Smith v.
Maryland is inapplicable here. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy
where information is shared with third parties (like internet providers). One
might complain that the case's age makes it moot, but one can do the same
with Marbury v. Madison. The holding has not been overturned and appears to be
guiding here. To label Bennett's citation of the case as "the biggest
mistake Americans can make" either disregards a large body of law
established by the High Court under its constitutional powers, or displays a
complete ignorance for how legal precedent works under our common law system.
Don't like what's happening? Get standing before SCOTUS
and convince it to reverse its prior holding.
Re:2bitsThe difference between Clinton firings and Bush firings:Clinton fired attorneys serving under the previous administration-- as
customary.Bush fired attorneys serving under previous
administrations, appointed his own (as Clinton did) and THEN fired his own
appointees--highly unusual, and unprecedented in that several had received high
performance reviews. A subsequent report by the Justice Department
Inspector General in October 2008 found that the process used to fire the first
seven attorneys and two others dismissed around the same time was
"arbitrary", "fundamentally flawed", and "raised doubts
about the integrity of Department prosecution decisions". In July 2010, the
Department of Justice prosecutors closed the two-year investigation without
filing charges after determining that the firing was inappropriately political,
but not criminal, saying "Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable
criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of David Iglesias. The
investigative team also determined that the evidence did not warrant expanding
the scope of the investigation beyond the removal of Iglesias."
One reason to just stick to the facts is that you're never going to get
people outside your own base to work with you. For instance, supporters of Obama
who don't care for this NSA stuff and long opposed the Patriot Act and FISA
expansions are not going to want to align themselves with people they think are
drifting off the facts just to make partisan attacks for political gain rather
than actually addressing the issue.
Watergate was for a long time a "conspiracy theory" until it became fact
based. The reason this, and any other Obama scandle won't go anywhere to
get the high up people is because the law that allowed Congress to appoint a
special prosecutor has expired. Now the only person in the country that can do
that is Holder. Don't hold you breath. Nevertheless, I feel as an
American more scared of this current administration and their real motives than
I ever have in my life, including Watergate, or Iran-Contra times because I knew
then that the Press would watch out for me. Not now.
@UtahBlueDevil "so please expound on the abuse of power that happened in
Benghazi."Okay. Do you want me to talk about the politicized
decision that left two men to die on a rooftop, or would you prefer we talk
about the lies told to the American people? We can go either way.
@two bits....I'll play that game if you want to go there....
Libya - 4 US dead.... 9/11 - 2,996 dead not including
hijackers..Ok, your turn.My point was not to castigate
Bush.... though evidently some have very thin skins around here... but to point
out that ALL administrations have had issues. We can go on. Iran Contra.
Lebanon Marine base bombing, The failed rescues under Clinton... Watergate...
the hearings on UnAmerican activity.... bay of pigs.... it goes on and on and
on. There are plenty of R's and D's involved in this. So lets step back, take off the partisan glasses, and look at these events
without a political agenda... I know... . its not going to happen.
Party loyalty trumps all.... i get it.So ple
"Okay. Do you want me to talk about the politicized decision that left two
men to die on a rooftop, or would you prefer we talk about the lies told to the
American people? We can go either way."Yes I do, since you seem
to have knowledge beyond the rest of us. Please, tell me how having two people
die furthered the Presidents agenda.Or we can discuss the
"lies" as well. Please expand on how we Knew beyond a shadow of doubt
this attack was terrors driven in those 24 hours after, and not the
responsibility of the local militia, or loyalist to the former regime. Please
show us this evidence that this was known beyond any doubt - despite similar
events that happened concurrently in Tunisia and Egypt... that were not
terrorist driven. I am sure you can point to testimony that confirms this.IT has been state department protocol for decades to not proclaim any
event terrorist driven until there was confirmed evidence to that fact. Even
the Boston bombings were not officially proclaimed as terrorist acts until
photographic evidence was in... and this happened on American soil. Lets not
confuse politics with facts.