President Obama says that, when it comes to surveillance, he’s no Dick Cheney. Surveillance is not Dick Cheney’s strong suit. This is a guy who was hunting for pheasants and ended up shooting his fellow hunter. Obama said we need a debate “Not only about these two programs, but also the general problem of data, big data sets, because this is not going to be restricted to government entities.” It isn’t restricted to them now! At least the government is keeping tabs on us ostensibly as a way to protect us. Private companies keep tabs on us as a way of making money off of us. I’d rather be snooped on by an NSA employee looking for terrorists than by an Amazon.com employee looking for customers.
Former NSA whistleblowers that went through the approved channels to complain ended up in legal trouble. They went through proper channels... and nothing changed. That may well be the purpose of those proper channels. The “proper channels” just function to channel the information away from the public or anywhere it would do anyone any good.
We need to bring our intelligence services in under one roof. And I don’t mean Booz Allen’s roof. 70 percent of the intelligence budget goes to private contractors. You couldn’t intentionally design a system to be more liable to waste, fraud, and abuse. And when you’re talking about our national security, waste, fraud, and abuse are the best case scenarios! We can’t be fighting terrorism for a profit—because the profit becomes more important than fighting terrorism. And we can’t have this revolving door between people working as government officials and executives at private intelligence contractors. Divided time means divided loyalties.
House Republicans are pushing bills that would enact the most restrictive abortion bans in decades. Luckily, these bills have as much chance as the dozens of bills they’ve passed repealing Obamacare… for now. The House Republicans seem intent on voting for their impossible dream legislation over and over and over… until their dreams come true. The frightening thing is that their dreams are coming true on a state level.
A Republican Congressman defended abortion bans on the grounds that male fetuses masturbate. Congressman Michael Burgess said that a male fetus of 15 weeks “may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?” OK, we all know men. If male fetuses could feel pleasure from touching themselves there... that’s all that any male fetus would ever do! Heck, if male fetuses could derive pleasure from masturbating, no woman who was pregnant with a male child would ever get a moment’s rest.
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