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Obama's NSA 'Reform' Panel Headed By NSA's Biggest Liar
by Karl Bode 09:03AM Tuesday Aug 13 2013
Last week the Obama administration tried to put some PR fluff out in front of the continually evolving NSA surveillance scandal by promising a suite of intelligence reform few believe they're actually going to seriously implement. As part of those reforms, the President promised an "high level group of outside experts" would be assigned to review and recommend changes at the NSA. As it stands, the government has announced that panel is going to be led by the NSA's James Clapper, a guy who has spent the lion's share of the last year lying to Congress and the public repeatedly (without penalty, I might add) about the NSA's practices and capabilities. As such, Obama's NSA "reform" will be much like the FCC's version of reform: oodles of theater, with little substance.

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DataRiker
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Government scares me.

I'm much more scared of the government than any terrorist.

That is not some theoretical sense by any means. Ever known anybody prosecuted over something trivial? Prosecutors can bury you in related charges without consequence. Our militarized police are the same way.

Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
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Re: Government scares me.

said by DataRiker:

That is not some theoretical sense by any means. Ever known anybody prosecuted over something trivial? Prosecutors can bury you in related charges without consequence.

Yes, I know a woman who spent a year in jail even though she was innocent and was technically the victim, because the prosecutor threatened her with many years in jail if she didn't take the plea bargain. She had a crappy public defender, so that didn't help.

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09
said by DataRiker:

I'm much more scared of the government than any terrorist.

That's exactly what they want.
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
The american government invented the word terrorism, now they live it.

StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
kudos:2

Consequences?

Well these days if you lie to Congress etc you get promoted, keep getting paid (without having to work), or suffer no consequences at all.

You get what you vote for deserve.
--
Don't feed trolls--it only makes them grow!

Markie
Still Living Free

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1 recommendation

But thank Gawd

Obama isn't Boosh
criggs

join:2000-07-14
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1 edit

Re: But thank Gawd

I'm an Obama supporter. But this issue could prove to be President Obama's Vietnam. He has yet to realize its dangerous historical implications. And the Christian Science Monitor report at »www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchan···llection gives us an ominous additional glimpse of the directions he has given this panel:

"[T]he letter [given to Clapper, describing the portfolio of this group] appears to focus on the risk of leaks and counter-intelligence by enemies, more than on concerns that the Constitution is being violated by NSA dragnets."

So President Obama has now made matters worse by giving this "outside" group a mandate that is clearly at odds with that which he outlined last Friday. You're screwing up, Mr. President; get a clue.
Rekrul

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Re: But thank Gawd

said by criggs:

I'm an Obama supporter. But this issue could prove to be President Obama's Vietnam. He has yet to realize its dangerous historical implications.

What historical consequences? He's the first black president. That's all history should remember or all anyone should care about!

(yes, that's sarcasm, why isn't there a "sarcastic" smiley?)
criggs

join:2000-07-14
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Re: But thank Gawd

Well, it's definitely not all I care about. From universal health insurance access to Start II to financial reform, this president's record is one of innovation and progress, and I would hate to see that record negated by his insensitivity, so far, to constitutional liberties. Any president runs the risk of being captured by the pressure to protect the accumulated power, at all costs, of the office which he temporarily holds. In Obama's case, we know he's smart enough to understand those pressures, and smart enough to see and understand the arguments against over-preoccupation with maintaining, and against abusing that power. The question is whether he will be able to break the bureaucratic inertia which attempts to force him further down that primrose path to hell. So far, the verdict is out; we do not know where he will eventually land. In Johnson's case, we know he landed hard on the wrong side of history. President Obama is easily capable of making the same sort of disastrous mistake. Right now, there is hope that he will not; but not certainty by any means.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT

Re: But thank Gawd

There have been a few things I like, Obamacare is not one of them, they made a serious mistake not including clauses instituting a single payer system if the ACA doesn't pan out. It will be near impossible for that to happen later, for at least a decade at which point the coming demographic apocalypse destroys the republican party and a single payer system becomes possible.

But Obama has made a serious mistake adopting the Bush Doctrine on foreign policy and spying. He's bought hook line and sinker the CIA and DOD narrative that results in massive budget and staff increases. Terrorism is one of those things you can't fight like we are. Terror will always exist, the best offense against Terror is to not let it effect your society. Al Queda has proven adept at alienating Muslim support in record fast times after they take control. When they seized cities in Yemen they alienated the population in less than a month by publicly crucifying someone on a telephone poll and leaving the body to rot in public. That event cost them almost all of their public support and within weeks they had to abandon the cities.

Spying on ordinary Americans isn't the solution. I have no problem with foreign espionage and tracking foreigners engaged in hostilities against the US nor do I have a problem with (very) limited drone strikes on high value targets that aren't american. But the NSA spying isn't going to be used for terrorism, it's going to be used for the war on drugs and blackmail and all the other bullshit this country dealt with during Hoover's FBI. That Obama doesn't see that means he's blind to something he made a campaign promise to stop. That means he's either a patsy, a liar or just plain stupid. Though he'll never reach the mismanagement of GW Bush he's proven he's incompetent in regards to this issue.
Rekrul

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said by criggs:

Well, it's definitely not all I care about. From universal health insurance access...

Yeah, his healthcare program is great... Or so he says. Nobody I've talked to has the faintest idea who qualifies for government assistance, or how to get it. All I know is that because I can't afford to pay for health insurance, this oh-so-helpful administration is going to fine... oh sorry, tax me to death.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT

Re: But thank Gawd

There are only three solutions to health care costs in this country. We either force everyone to buy insurance, institute government run insurance (AKA medicare for everyone) or we let people die who can't pay. The first two involve you paying more (to cover what you actually cost the system), the last one involves letting you die in the ER without assistance because you don't have insurance.

You would prefer the later I take it? Because frankly that's what you are advocating. We can't continue in a system where people like you don't buy insurance then get sick go to the ER and then don't pay your bill because it's $50K and you "can't afford it". Honestly people in your situation should be supporting single payer Medicare for all. Medicare taxes go up a bit, everyone pays and everyone has coverage so a medical emergency doesn't put them in bankruptcy and forces the hospital to eat the costs.
Rekrul

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Re: But thank Gawd

said by rahvin112:

You would prefer the later I take it? Because frankly that's what you are advocating. We can't continue in a system where people like you don't buy insurance then get sick go to the ER and then don't pay your bill because it's $50K and you "can't afford it".

So instead, I should be forced to pay $200-300 a month for health insurance, which I can't afford, then when I eventually run out of money, I can go on welfare and the state can not only pay my medical bills but also my living expenses? Saying that everyone needs to buy healthcare doesn't magical make people able to afford it. You think I like not having any insurance and living with the possibility that a major medical expense could leave me broke?

Here's an idea for healthcare reform: Change it so that a two-day in the hospital for a minor injury doesn't cost $50-100K. Or so that an out-patient procedure performed in an afternoon doesn't cost in excess of $100K. Or so that medications that people need to stay alive don't cost $500-600 a month.

A local dentist charges as much as $800 for a "full" cleaning. Blood tests can easily run $300 or more. A few years ago, I joined a study for an arthritis drug because my ankle hurt so much that I could barely walk (I started developing a form of arthritis when I was in my 20s). It helped a lot and it hasn't come back since the study ended. The out of pocket cost of the drug I was given is about $4,000 per month! If it hadn't been for taking part in the study and getting the drug for free, I probably wouldn't be able to walk without crutches today.

Everyone is so focused on how to get people to pay their healthcare bills that they just seem to accept that healthcare in the US is ridiculously expensive to the point of being unaffordable for many people.

said by rahvin112:

Honestly people in your situation should be supporting single payer Medicare for all. Medicare taxes go up a bit, everyone pays and everyone has coverage so a medical emergency doesn't put them in bankruptcy and forces the hospital to eat the costs.

Do you understand Obamacare and its rules and requirements? Because nobody I've talked can tell me much about it other than that it decrees everyone must have insurance and fines you if you don't.

badtrip
I heart the East Bay
Premium
join:2004-03-20
Albany, CA
Forcing everyone to buy auto insurance sure as hell didn't reduce the price of automobiles. How, pray tell, will forcing everyone to buy health insurance reduce health care costs?

The highest cost of providing health care is paying SALARIES. Forcing everyone to buy health insurance will not reduce administrative or clinical salaries one cent. The ACA was moronic when Dole suggested it and it's moronic now.

Medicare for all is the only real health care reform.
criggs

join:2000-07-14
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said by Rekrul:

Nobody I've talked to has the faintest idea who qualifies for government assistance, or how to get it.

It's actually rather simple, right-wing propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding. While the operations vary slightly from state to state, the typical arrangement is as follows.

Obamacare applies to those under 65. Those 65 or older stay on Medicare.

Secondly, Obamacare does not significantly change the operation of health insurance for those who have it through their employer.

Those two caveats aside, here's how it basically works.

You are covered by Medicaid up to 133% of poverty.

Above 133% of poverty you are eligible to purchase insurance on the exchanges.

Between 133% of poverty and 400% of poverty you are eligible to purchase subsidized health insurance off the exchanges. There is a sliding scale of subsidy, the highest being for those closest to 133% of poverty, the lowest being for those closest to 400% of poverty. Above 400% of poverty there is no subsidy.

That's basically it. There are a lot of variations, of course.

For example, some Republican-governed states have opted not to expand Medicaid so those between 100% and 133% of poverty are being left high and dry. However that probably won't last long since hospitals will be forced to pick up the difference and you can be sure they will be screaming bloody murder about a state's refusing to implement the Medicaid expansion. Eventually, because of that pressure, Republican governors like Florida's Scott will almost certainly be forced to accept the Medicaid expansion (the 100% shouldering of the cost by the feds during the early years, with the insignificant drop to 90% in the out years, ain't a bad inducement either).

Another example of the variation relates to the poverty definitions. 400% of poverty for a single person is a lot lower than for a family of two versus a family for three, etc. etc.

But basically the structure is as I have outlined it above. One good site to visit to get a more in-depth understanding is »www.healthcare.gov/ .
Rekrul

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Re: But thank Gawd

said by criggs:

It's actually rather simple, right-wing propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding. While the operations vary slightly from state to state, the typical arrangement is as follows.

Call me dumb, but I didn't understand any of that.

Here's my situation;

I'm 46, never been married and have no children. I'm the only member of my "household". I'm currently unemployed with some money in the bank. I own my own home and I rent a room to a guy for a whopping $600 a month. That just barely covers the monthly bills... Most of the time. I have to pay the taxes, house insurance and other expenses out of my savings. I don't receive any kind of welfare or state aid.

The $600 is just slightly over the limit for full medicaid coverage in my town in CT, so I have a "spend-down". Until I've spent about $570 of my own money on medical bills (to providers who accept Medicaid), I have no coverage. After I reach that amount, Medicaid kicks in and covers the rest. Until that happens, I'm considered to be uninsured under Obamacare, and will have to pay the fine. Or I can spend the $570 out of pocket, have medicaid kick in and then I believe I'm considered insured and won't get fined. Either way I have to pay a good chunk of money. Oh, the $570 is every six months, not yearly.

So how do I get cheap(er) insurance under Obamacare and avoid being fined for not having insurance?
criggs

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Re: But thank Gawd

Keep in mind that Medicaid will start covering persons earning up to 133% of poverty once Obamacare takes effect on January 1st, 2014. So that $570 limit is going to be raised significantly at that point. I seriously doubt that you will not be one hundred percent eligible for full Medicaid once that kicks in. Incidentally, are you sure you didn't mean $507? Might that be a typo? I just checked the Connecticut Medicaid web site at »www.huskyhealth.com/hh/cwp/view.···q=421548 and it states that Husky D, which I gather is your category, currently cuts in at $507.74, not $570. Of course, as I say, that $507 limit will be raised to the equivalent of 133% of poverty on January 1st.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT
Reviews:
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Re: But thank Gawd

said by criggs:

Keep in mind that Medicaid will start covering persons earning up to 133% of poverty once Obamacare takes effect on January 1st, 2014. So that $570 limit is going to be raised significantly at that point. I seriously doubt that you will not be one hundred percent eligible for full Medicaid once that kicks in.

That would be nice.

said by criggs:

Incidentally, are you sure you didn't mean $507? Might that be a typo? I just checked the Connecticut Medicaid web site at »www.huskyhealth.com/hh/cwp/view.···q=421548 and it states that Husky D, which I gather is your category, currently cuts in at $507.74, not $570.

The way it was explained to me is that if your income is over the amount listed for your town, in my case $507 (which is gross, not net), then your spend-down is based on how much income you make. Since I get $600 in rent money, my spend-down is around $570. Actually, I think they raised it some since I initially applied. I know someone else who had Husky D and his spend-down was about $800. He's a self-employed contractor.
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY

Re: But thank Gawd

Obamacare now has an 800 number: 800-318-2596.
Rekrul

join:2007-04-21
Milford, CT
Reviews:
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Re: But thank Gawd

said by criggs:

Obamacare now has an 800 number: 800-318-2596.

Thank you.
dra6o0n

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said by Rekrul:

said by criggs:

I'm an Obama supporter. But this issue could prove to be President Obama's Vietnam. He has yet to realize its dangerous historical implications.

What historical consequences? He's the first black president. That's all history should remember or all anyone should care about!

(yes, that's sarcasm, why isn't there a "sarcastic" smiley?)

He's the first black president to fail if he didn't get shot.

EUS
Kill cancer
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canada

Disgraceful and embarrasing

Yet typical.

TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
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What do you expect?

The Constitution means nothing! Only fear rules today.
said by U.S. Constitution Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight :
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Protect and defend what??? Not the "people", not the "children", not the "buildings", not the "corporations", but THE CONSTITUTION!

said by U.S. Constitution - Amendment 4 :
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The entire federal establishment has egregiously violated this oath, and stripped us of the very freedoms which came under attack on 911. It seems that our own corporate fear and cowardice has allowed a cave-dwelling, camel-riding, deceased terrorist theocrat to accomplish the very mission he set out to accomplish!

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=amNpxQANk0M


Whatever happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

--
"Remember, remember the fifth of November.
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot."

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people"

Rekrul

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Re: What do you expect?

said by TamaraB:

Whatever happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

It got sold to special interests.

TamaraB
Question The Current Paradigm
Premium
join:2000-11-08
Da Bronx

Re: What do you expect?

I could buy that if all this NSA spying were making some corporation lots of bucks. The corporate/Advertising sector is far more restricted in what they can spy on, that's where the money is.

This is all about fear and cowardice!
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON

Re: What do you expect?

It's not all about money, but power.
dra6o0n

join:2011-08-15
Mississauga, ON
You do realize a oath is an oath, it doesn't mean whoever says it is 100% likely to uphold it.

Never trust what humans creates or say 100% of the time, always doubt first and find reasons later.

ACUser

@qwest.net

2 recommendations

Not quite

"As it stands, the government has announced that panel is going to be led by the NSA's James Clapper, "

As a point of order, that statement implies Clapper worked/works for the NSA. He has, that I can see, never held any position of authority at the NSA. He has been the USDI, and now the DNI, both which oversee the NSA, but to call him "the NSA's" is a bit of an overstatement. The NSA reports to him, not the other way around.
Rekrul

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Re: Not quite

said by ACUser :

As a point of order, that statement implies Clapper worked/works for the NSA. He has, that I can see, never held any position of authority at the NSA. He has been the USDI, and now the DNI, both which oversee the NSA, but to call him "the NSA's" is a bit of an overstatement. The NSA reports to him, not the other way around.

So he's basically going to be doing the same thing he's been doing all along, just with a different title? Yeah, because that's worked so well in the past...

ACUser2

@verizon.net

Re: Not quite

I'm not sure what you're referencing here... "the same thing"? He was just pointing out that Karl has, incorrectly, painted Clapper as an NSA employee, which he is not now, nor has he ever been. How is that 'the same', and what is it the same as? What is your point to this post?

Metatron2008
Premium
join:2008-09-02
united state

What is this? Is this like having...

A gang banger oversee criminal reform?