It was probably inevitable that the hearing before the House Intelligence Committee would leave many, indeed most, questions unanswered. Indeed, far too much time was taken up asking questions “for the record” that the interrogators knew would not be addressed in an open hearing. But the most curious aspect of the proceeding was a question[…]
We were drafting some comments on the most recent GOP debate and the troubling questions as to the direction of the Party. We expect to post those comments in a day or so, but when the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris began to come in, those comments seemed for the moment considerably less urgent.
Whenever a mass killing in this country occurs, and prompts cries for gun control, those demands are met with a reproach not to “politicize” the event. Yet politicizing—a call for political action—is exactly what we believe is called for in response to such tragedies. So […]
In Rinocracy.com, we generally avoid giddy optimism, but we may have gone slightly astray in our recent Special Bulletin titled “Surprise: Republicans May Know How to Govern After All.” On the positive side, the Senate did pass and send on to the House the Trade Promotion Authority as we had urged. On the other hand, the Senate has created yet another serio-comic drama over the NSA Metadata program. And it has again settled for kicking the can down the highway in funding the Highway Trust Fund. […]
It is still early days, but there are some encouraging signs that Republican leaders in the Senate and House have found the ability to get things done—actually legislate—despite Democratic opposition and the Oozlums of the right gnawing at their ankles.
The first major milestone came two months ago when Republicans abandoned the quixotic attempt to block the President’s executive actions with respect to immigration. While we had disapproved of those actions, the response of holding up funding for Homeland Security seemed to us to make as much sense as treating a toothache by hitting yourself on the head with a hammer. […]
As illustrated by the 1872 cartoon from Harper’s Weekly, the Aesopian fable of a mountain laboring to bring forth a mouse has long history in political commentary. It may never have seemed more appropriate than after President Obama’s speech on NSA surveillance. The speech was long on rhetoric and short on substance, addressing only a few of the 46 specific recommendations of his advisory panel. That panel and its recommendations, it appears, may have an even shorter shelf life in Presidential consideration than the Simpson-Bowles commission he created to solve the problem of the federal deficit. […]
Part I of the Blog focused principally on the decisions of Judges Richard J. Leon and William H. Pauley III. This Part will discuss the Report of the advisory panel appointed by President Obama and its recommendations with respect to both the NSA metadata program and the protection of all classified data held by the NSA. […]
On June 5, a British newspaper, The Guardian, reported the existence of a National Security Agency program active in collecting data on telephone calls made within the United States. The report was based on documents and information provided by one Edward Snowden who also furnished information and documents for a story in The Washington Post the following day on a second NSA program, PRISM, that intercepts communications of overseas internet users. The stories created sufficient uproar that on June 7, that President Obama felt obliged to address the matter while attending a healthcare conference in California. […]