Watch 2013 Obama debate 2006 Biden on NSA surveillance

Watch then-Senator Joe Biden from 2006 directly refute each point made by his now-boss, President Barack Obama, about the NSA surveillance program at a news conference last week.

Dave Maass and Trevor Timm at the Electronic Frontier Foundation write:

After a leaked FISA court document revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) is vacuuming up private data on millions of innocent Americans by collecting all the phone records of Verizon customers, President Obama responded by saying "let's have a debate" about the scope of US surveillance powers.

At EFF, we couldn't agree more. It turns out, President Obama's most formative debate partner over the invasiveness of NSA domestic surveillance could his Vice President Joe Biden.

Back in 2006, when the NSA surveillance program was first revealed by the New York Times, then-Senator Biden was one of the program's most articulate critics. As the FISA court order shows, the scope of NSA surveillance program has not changed much since 2006, except for the occupant in the White House.

Watch this video, as Senator Biden from 2006 directly refutes each point President Obama made about the NSA surveillance program at his news conference last week.


  1. The modest encroachments on privacy that are involved in getting phone numbers or duration without a name attached and not looking at content … that … on … you know … net … it was worth us doing

    I’ve never seen the President look so uncomfortable.  He can’t even finish the phrases his mind is formulating.

    But he fesses to encroachment.  Good political move, plain honesty, whatver – he didn’t speak scheming words.

    1. He’s been such a massive disappointment on this. It dwarfs all of the other disappointments of his presidency, for me.


  2. The difference here is, liberals will hold Barack Obama’s feet to the fire,  whereas conservatives would not do the same to George Bush.

    Admitting mistakes takes character.

    1. would that that were the case.   yet drones are still directed to kill without due process, Guantanamo is still open for business, and where are those feet fire wielding liberals?

      1. where are those feet fire wielding liberals?

        Here? On the blog that you’re reading right now?

          1.  We do, but for the most part we’re scared of trying a real change. With Obama we have spent more time convincing ourselves that we were voting in change.

             I want to point out it’s the perfect time to organize, to point out that we can find and build a candidate. But hey, “that’s not how it works” and “you’d never get him/her in” are still the battlecries. Which breaks my heart…

    2. I’ll believe there is a difference between the left and right when I see it.  If Hillary is the democratic choice, it means the liberals didn’t do shit.  She knew about all of these programs.

      There is very minimal amount of feet being held to the fire.  You basically have a few vaguely libertarianish Republicans who have worked themselves up into a froth and who were already foaming because Obama is a muslim atheist communist, and a handful of lefty democrats who are kind of pissed because the hypocrisy has been cranked to 11.  

      Nothing is going to change.  Next election, barring Paul Ryan (who is a horror for countless unrelated reasons) winning the Republican convention, you are going to have the choice of a rabidly pro surveillance state democrat, or so rabid that they are clawing their eyes out pro surveillance state Republican.

      The only real hope I have is that some politician finds a pair, points his finger at the pro-police state people, and declare them god damn mother fucking cowards for being afraid of something that ranks right up there with bathtub attacks.

      I’ll do my best to spread the gospel of, “you are a fucking coward if you are afraid of terrorist”, but I’m not holding my breath, and I sure as shit am not holding out for democrats to suddenly decide that they don’t love executive power when they have it.

      1. Based on this video, maybe Joe Biden should run for president – if he sticks to his views from the old video…

        1. Power corrupts. 

          Obama and his image, is the best demonstration I think I’ve ever seen of that fact.

          1.  Power corrupts?  Not so sure in this case. He hit the ground running in terms of back tracking on promises and  showing himself to be extremely willing to compromise on his stated principles.  The list is pretty damning.  In so many instances, he didn’t even try to deliver on what he professed to believe in. 

            A better statement in his case would seem to be: To obtain power, you don’t need to be sincere.  You just need the ability to fake it very, very  well.

          2.  He didn’t even need to fake it well – look at his cabinet choices. He just had to give some vaguely liberalish speeches – because no one pays attention to what he does (largely).

        2. Joe Biden is a slightly less stupid left wing version of Sarah Palin.  Like Palin, he can spew sound bites out to the party faithful, but he is a moron.  There are more than 300 million Americans.  You could think in that pile of humanity you could find two presidential candidates who are not evil or stupid.

          1.  That observation completely denies his abilities and intelligence. If Biden is as stupid as you contend, he wouldn’t have gotten half the distance he has politically, considering his constituency.

      2. The left has plenty of libertarians too, you know. Despite the best efforts of authoritarians to promulgate the misconception that all libertarians are anarcho-capitalists and all anarchists are indiscriminately anti-government thugs, they cannot erase two centuries of insightful political dialogue and writing. Authoritarians on either side of the political spectrum will always work to hide their libertarian counterparts, and that is one area where left and right authoritarians are consistently complicit with one another.

    3. Admitting mistakes is all Obama ever does these days. At some point you have to do something about it.

    4.  lol, Bush again. He’s been out of office for so long already, there’s no need to mention him. We’re talking about Obama. It’s taken over four years of him destroying the economy beyond what his party began in 2006 when they took over both the Congress and Senate, and there has been no criticism of his failed policies, one after another, nor has there been any criticism of him over a number of his other scandals like Benghazi by the Left. If this blog is “holding him accountable”, then kudos, but you certainly won’t see it from the left-leaning mainstream media, so talking about Bush is neither here nor there.

      1.  Stay on topic. And as for destroying the economy: any evidence for that assertion?

      2. there has been no criticism of his failed policies, one after another,

        Yes, there has been plenty, you just choose not to pay attention.

        nor has there been any criticism of him over a number of his other scandals like Benghazi by the Left

        That’s because Benghazi is only a “scandal” in the confines of the same right-wing echo chamber that you can’t hear the Left’s legitimate criticism in.

  3. He’s been such a massive disappointment on this. It dwarfs all of the other disappointments of his presidency, for me.

    1. Undeclared drone war against Pakistan, Guantanamo still open, Nothing done about Climate Change, No single payer healthcare, No prosecutions against banksters, Appointing the same crooks that caused the crash to financial leadership positions, No leadership on jobs, Destruction of constitutional rights, Marijuana prosecutions, sure this NSA stuff is disappointing, but it is just more of the same. The man is a liar and has no moral compass at all.

  4. “Dear U.S. government (since you’re apparently reading this), despite being a big fan of George Orwell, I barely give a shit as to your surveillance. If you have some sort of interest in when I called for my ride home from work, or…I don’t know…how I rated a Netflix movie, than I hope it helps.” For the record, (for those who aren’t in the US Gov know) Dark Skies sucked. But that’s basically the pinnacle of my week, hating that movie, so I hoped they learned something. 

    I’m not doing anything stupid, so I’m not concerned.Of course, this is ultimately a problem due to a continuous give and take situation. We let a little watchfulness happen and they’ll take more, but then I look at the people I know who have facebook and twitter accounts… frankly, if people are concerned over privacy, they’re doing it wrong. People are generally willing to give up privacy and society is adapting. I’m about as liberal as it gets, but I’m also very realistic. The government is going to do stuff we don’t like, but that’s what they’ve done for hundreds, even thousands of years. If they didn’t do stuff common people didn’t like, then what would we have to hate?

    I’m an average person, or so I like to think sometimes, and without much of a guilty conscience…I just…don’t care.

    1. the actions you see as innocent and benign, could possibly be viewed as criminal at a later date.. think of all the things you could do 12 years ago that are now criminal offenses at this point.. so, continue to think that your “not doing anything stupid”.. where you will be at a later date..

      1. Don’t give me that @…shit. I’m not twitter keyword here. I’m a person, and a disqus account. I partially kid, but that’s actually annoying.

    2. What if you see something you want to buy on craigslist.  You then call this person you don’t know, maybe 3 or 4 times to arrange a purchase.  What if this person, unbeknownst to you, is considered to be a terrorist?  Now you could be seen as connected to this person.  And apparently they don’t need a warrant to find this info.  It will hit home – you don’t have to be doing anything wrong to be targeted.  Do you think the authorities are perfect?  Just look at innocent people on the don’t-fly list or 90-year-old grannies getting their adult diapers inspected by the TSA.

    3. A man or woman without guilt is either a saint or a sociopath. You, however, are merely foolish if you think that laws and their enforcement do now or ever will entirely align with your personal conscience. Either that, or your “conscience” is bent to whatever the law and its enforcers demand, in which case you are a tool in the literal sense of the word.

      Your self-centered naïveté betrays either your ignorance or your utter disregard for those that lack the privilege of not being the target of discrimination that can range from making their life difficult to baring them from gainful employment to landing them in a black site prison, even if they did nothing worse that have a distant relative that threatened criminal acts. Ask any American minority who lived through the Civil Rights Movement how universal your comfortable little apolitical island of Boca burgers and Playstation games and blind acceptance of authority is.

      Sell your neighbors down the river and you’ll have no one to speak out for you when you become expendable and your kowtowing fails to protect you, your loved ones or even your bubble of creature comforts from an unaccountable security apparatus that records every transgression you didn’t even know you’d committed. Grow up, read history, and take responsibility for your government.

      1. You are now my hero. Not being sarcastic but literal. That’s the comment I wish I’d written myself.

      2. My situation is that, as an average person, there is nothing to be afraid of. I’m not naive, but rather unparanoid and undelusional. I offer no significance to the government because I live in a generally unobtrusive society that doesn’t hinder my beliefs or practices. I’m fortunate to live in America and I’m not scared because I’m not in a position putting me in jeopardy. I acknowledge people in other place are unfortunate enough to live under different circumstances, but I’m not. I work at a grocery store, dabble in graphic design, play video games, read books. I’m not being spied upon by people looking to disrupt my way of life. My life is secure. If, under some circumstances, somebody else’s way of life is being hindered by these vague surveillances, there’s likely a reason. And if there isn’t a reason, I fully support opposition. My point is, as a general citizen, the paranoia is ridiculous.

        Telling me I need to grow up, when I’m the one who isn’t looking over my shoulder for the boogeyman, is rather ridiculous. I’m realistic and maybe being a part of the boingboing conspiracy theory playground isn’t my place. I think if this is how we’ll be I’m no longer subscribing to this news feed.

        1. I offer no significance to the government because I live in a generally unobtrusive society that doesn’t hinder my beliefs or practices. I’m fortunate to live in America and I’m not scared because I’m not in a position putting me in jeopardy.

          You should pay more attention to keeping it that way. America wasn’t made the land of the free by people who sat back and watched the liberty that makes it so be torn down one right at a time, believing anyone disadvantaged by the deprivation of those rights must have done something to deserve it. Even the most heinous criminals deserve constitutional rights, including due process. If you think liberty and justice for are only due those that don’t draw the suspicions of overzealous law enforcement, please move somewhere where two horrific civil wars weren’t fought to obtain and extend those rights to all, you are a disgrace to America.

          It’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s codified in the US Code of Laws. It’s not even a conspiracy. It’s what your Congress and Executive did openly, largely unchallenged and often encouraged by the voters. Democracy does not trump the Bill of Rights in a republic, and there is a reason amending the Fourth Amendment out of force is tremendously more difficult than electing a president or senator.

          Believing that you will not be punished so long as you do no wrong is a naïveté borne of the privilege of never being marginalized for how, where or to whom you were born. It is a privilege everyone should enjoy, but many do not because governments are as imperfect as the individual beings that constitute them, but far more powerful. Some with that privilege may believe that they will never be unjustly targeted, and do not worry about the preservation of due process.

          Removing due process is abuse of power. That’s why it’s called due process, as opposed to privileged process or maybe if your lucky process. Removing that cornerstone civil right that we’ve fought tooth and nail for a hundred years to bring to every American regardless of creed, color or sex, would vastly lower the barriers preventing further abuses of power. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t cease to apply just because the Founders didn’t call information about information metadata.

          That’s history; no paranoia required.

        2. maybe being a part of the boingboing conspiracy theory playground isn’t
          my place. I think if this is how we’ll be I’m no longer subscribing to
          this news feed.

          I’m holding you to that because frankly, you’ve exceeded your bullshit quota for one human lifetime.

          1. I used to have the site on my Google Reader feed. I brought it over to Feedly after things happened with Reader. I deleted my BoingBoing Feed after I said I would. It’s a shame because they offer some good leads sometimes, but BoingBoing is ultimately just an arrow to other things that I otherwise hear (read) about. As far as your comment on bullshit level, the fact is I’m shedding the bullshit myself. You feel free to wade in it.

          2. You’ve already announced that you’re leaving.  Begone before somebody drops a house on you.

        3. Okay lets assume the average person has nothing to worry about.  Now explain to me why average people deserve more protection than non-average people.

      3. I’ve been fighting a legal battle for the last few years regarding my child. I know how the court system works. It’s unfair. It was so decades before I was born and will be long after I’m dead. The courts need to be over-hauled before any national government changes can happen. Bitching about highly ambiguous surveillance is essentially a witch hunt that does nothing. Matters are  only effectively resolved by dealing with them at a cause level, and this stupid “gov is spying” effect thus becomes meaningless. I know national government over-rules anything state or local, but like most changes, they start smaller. Run for office if you want change. Or at least volunteer. If you expect anything massive you’re overstepping logical expectations and being ridiculous. Most people live with large ideals, but die with small dreams.

    4. It doesn’t matter if you’re guilty of anything, Rob.  Occupy protesters weren’t guilty of anything either, but it sure didn’t stop the police harassing or injuring them at the banks’ orders.

      (And if you think that’s too limited, try “Muslims”.  Or “gay people”.  Or “climate change activists” or “war protesters”, since the government in both our countries has a long history of screwing over people based on vague “association with” any of the above.)

      In a surveillance society, everyone the government persecutes is an average person without much of a guilty conscience.   And most of them didn’t care about surveillance… until it hits them and the ones they love.  That’s why everyone needs to care. Now.

    5. So you have never pirated anything, never tried an illegal drug, never trespassed, etc?  I know that if I was convicted of all the crimes I have committed (all of which were victimless), I would owe enough money to pay off the national debt and be in a jail for a few decades.  If either Bush or Obama had been convicted off all the crimes they had committed growing up, both of them would be in jail for life.  Perfect enforcement in an unjust system is fucking scary.

      Beyond that, even if you happen to have lived a fantastically dull life that has not violated any of the literally countless rules, you should still be scared shitless of a surveillance state.  Go to youtube and type in “police abuse” or “police brutality”.  The US police system is considered to be pretty non-corrupt as far as world standards go, yet it is a complete shit show.  Our police system technically has oversights, checks on power, works through courts, etc, and accounts of police abusing their power and getting away with it is legion.

      Now, imagine a surveillance state.  Strip away all of the checks on power, all of the oversight, all of the accountability, remove the court system, and give these people infinite ability to spy.  Even saints should now piss themselves.

      And for?  To defend against one of the most absurdly rare ways to die?  Bathtubs murder more Americans each year than terrorist.  Choking on the food you shove into your own maw is vastly more likely to kill you than terrorist.  Lets say nothing of cancer, heart attacks, or just falling over, which kill multiple orders of magnitude more people.  The only people who are okay with a surveillance state are cowards.

      1. I’m not going to commit to saying I’ve done anything, but I will say that I believe – know – all of those things can be done without Big Brother tapping on my shoulder. You people are simply getting terrified over something that won’t really change anything. This watchfulness has in fact been ongoing and that’s not effected a single person I know. Of course the internet gets in an uproar- and OH NO! shit’s happening.

        1. If you’re so unconcerned about persecution, why are you reluctant to admit you’ve broken laws?

  5. Meanwhile… companies like Microsoft inform the NSA of exploits within their own software so the NSA can exploit them.


    The National Security Agency (NSA) has used sensitive data on network threats and other classified information as a carrot to gain unprecedented access to information from thousands of companies in technology, telecommunications, financial, and manufacturing companies

    Of course, offering the public less security by sharing exploits before they’re fixed is all done in the name of “security”.

    That’s Orwellian “security” policy in action, fellow Americans. It’s just wonderful that many of our small business computers are often wide-open to quasi-governmental corporatists to pluck valuable business secrets and plans from at will.

      1. Ummm… this stuff is often used to suppress commercial competition in favour of the big companies that can afford to buy government help.  (That’s a gross simplification of a complex capture process, but it will do for discussion.)  Short form: everything you buy is more expensive because small firms can’t compete with this crap at the government level, so there’s less competition.

        And this isn’t “speculative assuming”, Rob – despite the secrecy, we already have known cases of actual innocent people just like you who’ve suffered massive injustice.

        (And if you think a cop couldn’t harass you armed only with the knowledge of your bank account… you must not know many cops.)

        Not to mention what happens if you’re ever the victim of “identity theft” (for which read: “money theft, but we don’t want to be responsible for actually securing your account”.)

        1. You’ve offered the only legit argument, for me. Partial.Access to non-gov interests is a risk. One that needs to constantly be opposed as positions of gov officials and members of corporate America become blurred. But, where I differ is that an officer could almost never, at least under today’s law, accuse me of a crime according to my bank account. That is….essentially above the pay grade. Those sort of matters are situated amongst investigations and such. I know police officers. I know law. I was assigned to the police dept. as a journalism student and lived it regularly in college.

          1.  I think the place where you, Rob, and everyone you deem to be “paranoid” differ is basic human empathy.  Because you, personally, have structured a life where only your bank account is susceptible to scrutiny – a claim that is dubious but let’s say it’s an accurate assessment for the time being – you believe that fearing for the well being of other human beings whose lives are more “connected” and socially and culturally active is mere paranoia.  The more one engages in the social and cultural sphere, especially politically which includes protests and civil disobedience, the greater the risk of being targeted.

            And that’s not the only situation where government can erroneously, no matter the uncertainty of their actions, target the innocent:

            It isn’t a question of whether we can eliminate all authoritarian surveillance – yes, certain organizations will always try to get away with whatever shortcuts and power-mongering they can.  The point is to make it as difficult for them to do this as possible, and keep open the recourse for victims to challenge these abuses.  That requires us to say that it’s “wrong” and keep it technically illegal and unconstitutional.  There is an enormous difference between what will occur if we make it SOP and what occurs when any abuse of this nature would never be upheld by a court or even by our three branches of government as a whole.

            The fact that you remain “unparanoid an undelusional” because you can’t imagine this effecting you personally, is pretty asinine.  You may very well be safe (also highly dubious), but if that’s all you care about, you are the definition of unempathetic.  And I think that’s also the definition of sociopathic.

      2. Ever put a vibrator on your debit card?

        Ever pick your nose in traffic while you happened to be within range of a security camera?

        Ever say anything risque to any romantic partner?

        Are any of those things that you’re comfortable having on your Permanent Record?

  6. I want to sincerely congratulate the posters to this thread.  Not one comment about how “Romney would have been worse”.  Perhaps you’ve all realized that we don’t have to vote for a lizard??

    1. Romney would have certainly been worse, or at least the same.  Unless you can point to a quote of Romney saying that he disapproves of domestic spying post these revelations, I think it is a safe assumption.  Romney didn’t exactly run on a up with civil liberty and slash the spy agency budget platform.  Romney was as much of an authoritarian as Obama and vowed to fight extra wars in the name of ‘murica.

      The fact that Romney would have been worse is irrelevant though.  Obama is the asshole we have.  We should be pissed.  Pointing out that Romney was probably going to be worse is just rationalizing.  The proper response is to show enough anger and rage that the next candidate at least considers running on a platform of civil liberty and rule by (non-secret) law.  It is no sure thing as Obama hilariously ran on that very platform, but it is the best we can do.

      1. The proper response is to vote for third party candidates, keep doing so, and keep telling others to and (particularly) make sure the Democrats are well aware of why they’ve lost your vote. Every time you hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils you perpetuate this bullshit duopoly of false choice.

        1. Nah, we’re screwed. Read The Authoritarians- the only leaders in politics are all Double Highs. The only thing we should do at this point is vote for a p’r ignorant farmer who doesn’t participate in politics, cuz “they’re all corrupt, I tell ye.”-

          – Or a quaker. Heck, yeah. We should totally do that. At least a Quaker won’t blow things up*

          * That’s what we said about Democrats, too. They simply outsourced it.

        2. Every time you hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils you perpetuate this bullshit duopoly of false choice.

          On the other hand, every time you vote for a third party candidate and help to usher in a greater evil you perpetuate greater evil that ironically nails the door shut for third parties down the road.

          We have very little experience with voting in lesser evils consistently over time.  Two consecutive G.W. Bush terms (almost entirely with a rubber stamp Congress) and many other greater evils consistently voted into the House and Senate.

          Maybe don’t knock voting in a lesser evil over time until we’ve actually tried it?  An Obama administration laden with Republican filibusters doesn’t cut it.

          1. Don’t blame me man, I don’t get a vote at all. Well, not in this country, anyway.
             Actually, I think glorious revolution is the way to go.

          2.  When you examine most of the really evil stuff Obama has done, it’s strictly executive branch actions, subject to no Congressional action, filibuster or not.

          3. You may need to construct a “lesser evil” case for voting Hillary in 2016.

            Have fun with that.

          4. Since she’ll almost certainly run against a loudly racist, sexist, homophobic candidate who vows to make abortion illegal and repeal all gay rights, that won’t be very difficult.

          5. I’m confident there will be at least one candidate on my ballot who will be better than Hillary on both the social issues and the security state issues.

          6. And you voting for Pat Paulsen will be doing your part to elect Sarah Palin or whomever the right-wing puts up as a candidate.

          7. I’ll sleep just fine after doing that. Better than I would after voting for a continuation of who we’ve got now.

          8. You may need to construct a “lesser evil” case for voting Hillary in 2016. Have fun with that

            That’s the thing, voting in the lesser evil isn’t fucking “fun”.

            The reason we’re still seeing all these political dinosaurs from the 90’s is because we haven’t voted our way past them yet.  We just had TWO G.W. Bush terms with a rubber stamp Congress in tow.  Think about that.

            Building a functioning, representative Democracy that’s overrun by corporatists isn’t a “fun” video game with quick results.  Like I said, it’s going to be a long, slow process with painful setbacks along the way.  It’s going to take decades to dig ourselves out of this grave.  By voting in greater evil all this time, lesser evil choices get worse and worse when people FINALLY do get their heads out of their asses and vote against greater evil.

            Don’t blame me, blame yourself and other Americans who haven’t consistently voted out greater evil all these decades within all branches of our government nationally and locally.  All you’ve accomplished by voting in greater evil (by throwing your votes away) is usher in new and unimproved layers of corruption that’s caked onto our republic like thick limescale.

            Throwing away votes is infantile and harmful.  It’s what Republicans did in 2012 that helped vote in Obama by proxy.  Do you really want to follow in the footsteps of Republican idiots?

            Our republic is diseased.  We need to treat it and continue to nurse it along by voting in lesser evils.

            Corporatists have been working on average Americans for a very long time.  At this point, corporatists have broken many Americans and are riding them hard.  And many just ask for more hay.

            You’re not going to get a cowed American public to change overnight and vote in a third party; That’s fantasy.  Look at the non-reaction to the NSA leaks and all the other ongoing scandals.

            Don’t be surprised when the improvement over greater evil is a shitshow like the Obama administration after two G.W. Bush terms.  What else did you expect?

        3. The proper response is to vote for third party candidates, keep doing so, and keep telling others to

          And in the interim, those of us who aren’t heterosexual, white men will see our rights denied and rolled back.  But please do continue to skate on you privilege while patting yourself on the back.

          1. I live in Seattle. Even if I got a vote, it’s not like it would make a damn bit of difference who I voted for. Not exactly a marginal.

            Bollocks to that. I won’t be criticized for suggesting that real progressives shouldn’t vote for authoritarian hypocritical douchenozzles like Obama. He talks a lot of good, but he doesn’t seem to do a great deal. Ask Ellen Sturtz. Even that long overdue annoucement on gay marriage only came because Joe Biden backed him into a corner.

          2. Because everyone who is opposed to massive NSA surveillance and dropping drones all over the world and the coddling of Wall Street obviously is also opposed to gay rights.  Didn’t you get the memo?? :-)

          3.  As opposed to voting for Obama, whose position was opposition to gay marriage until May 9, 2012 when he apparently judged it most politically expedient to change his views

          4. Yes, but did change his position. And his party almost universally supports gay marriage now.

            Your comments strongly suggest that you don’t give much weight to reality in your political calculations.

      2.  There were third party candidates on the 2012 ballot who had a clear track record of opposing civil liberties violations.

        And there were candidates in the 2008 Democratic primaries with the same.

        In 2008, we wound up with the king neo-con versus a glib empty suit.  And in 2012 we wound up with two versions of the Bush fourth term. 

        I chose to vote Libertarian one year and Green another.  You don’t have to vote for a lizard.

        1. You don’t have to vote for a lizard, but until certain circumstances change, you’ll only be helping the T-Rex win by not doing so.  UNLESS a third party candidate can compete on a level playing field with the other two.  If you want to do something worthwhile, promote the third parties, volunteer for them, fund them, run with them, whatever.  But until they step up their games and/or grow to the point they can make a positive difference, vote for the lizard, because otherwise it’s only a negative difference being made.

          “Voting for a third party” is a simperingly simplistic answer to our two party predicament, like “recycle your soda cans” is an answer to our environmental woes.  We DO need a third party.  However, voting for them before they’re a real contender is merely symbolic.  Obviously none of the third parties have connected with the American public yet in a meaningful enough way.  Maybe help try to make that happen, but until it does, let’s keep the T-Rex’s out of office and make certain there’s an democratic enough system left for a third party to maybe one day win.

          1. You don’t have to vote for a lizard, but until certain circumstances change, you’ll only be helping the T-Rex win by not doing so.

            Only if you live in a swing state.

          2.  Not entirely true.  If the practice of voting for a third party picks up steam, then even in “solidly” blue states, you could halve the number of democrat votes with a third party, while the rest remain Republican votes, and the majority goes to the Repubs.  In most cases in wouldn’t require close to half.  The predicament is what to do when any third party is virtually guaranteed to not appeal to conservatives, who in practice are more loyal to their party than liberals.

  7. The thing that scares me about this is the gradual public forgetting. Witness how much “corporations are people, too” was right on or near the top of “public awareness” 30 months ago, vs. today.  How long will it take for the current invasion to become, “don’t worry about it, it’ll take care of itself” ?

  8. The thing that’s constantly left out of the discussion is the fact that most of this work is done by private contractors. Capitalism. Will these companies care about citizens or escalating these practices and improving the bottom line?

    You know the answer.

    1. Precisely.  No one gives a good god damn about being a stickler about our safety when there’s lucrative gov’t contracts to be handed out.  The fact that a private contractor was handling just about the most sensitive and secretive element of our government’s most secretive and sensitive organization says a lot about why these programs were bankrolled.  It’s only when those contracts are threatened to be exposed, and questioned, that there’s a problem.

    1. So, your saying that we are stuck on a treadmill and not getting any closer to the finish line (or finishing the line as it may be for Charlie)?

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