May 31, 2015

"The Senate opened a rare Sunday night session in a desperate attempt to extend a national security surveillance program... that was on the verge of expiring at midnight."

"Senator Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, criticizing Mr. McConnell on the Senate floor, said, 'The majority leader had five months' to fix the problem through committee work. 'Everyone saw this coming,' Mr. Reid, the Senate minority leader, said."
The session quickly became contentious when Senator Rand Paul, the other Kentucky Republican, whom Mr. McConnell has endorsed for president, fought for the right to speak. After being rebuked by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, for not understanding the Senate rules, Mr. Paul railed against the surveillance program. “We should be upset, we should be marching in the streets,” he said.

Mr. Paul seemed determined to use his procedural weapon — the words “I object”...

75 comments:

damikesc said...

Fuck McCain. Fascist asshole

Louis said...

I am so pleased with Rand.

Michael K said...

Rand Paul has ended his realistic campaign and has chosen to follow his father into irrelevance.

iowan2 said...

I'm at a loss as to the emergency here. End the unconstitutional program. Require warrants to fill in the blanks. Who What When. Pretty simple. If we find down the road this in fact limits the ability of the govt to do its job, come back to congress to start the program as it exists for another 5 years, then sundown it again. NSA has not shown this is a needed program, not a single instance of mega data being used to protect citizens in the US.

traditionalguy said...

Mass surveillance is to protect us from using the government owned money we. Imagine is ours to use. We could be structuring our money to escape the State.. The state will crush the people like that for their own good. Siberia mach Frei.

Lucien said...

Oh no! What will happen to us if the government has to follow the Constitution? (By the way, that's what folks swear an oath to, preserving the Constitution, not maximizing paranoid concepts of national security.) We'll all have to go from our current 0% chance of being killed by terrorists back to the pre-9/11 level of a 0% chance of being killed by terrorists. Better to let everybody keep their shoes on and carry bottles of water into airports and spend 2% of the TSA budget on preventing people from being struck by lightning -- it will save more lives.

Titus said...

I like the fact that he is at least different and says republicans are stupid.

steve uhr said...

Rand Paul is picking the wrong fight. It should/will come back to haunt him in the campaign.

Hagar said...

They have the technology and they have already spent a gadzillion dollars on the hardware. It is not going away regardless of what Congress does.

What we do need is some access and oversight by opponents to keep them as honest as possible, because the systems are going to be misused - if not today, then tomorrow.

TreeJoe said...

I appreciate that Paul is forcing Republicans into the intellectual and philosophical conflict that is small-government vs. big and secret military/intel operations. Too often I hear people railing for limited government but for giving a near blank check to intelligence operations and military spending for prevention programs. The bottom line is that intel operations want blank checks on secretive programs, they need to publicly demonstrate successful prevention/identification of threat.

There is absolutely no reason to keep successes/failures secret. Sure, keep some of your methods secret from the public - but go through full congressional oversight and have a joint bi-partisan committee have to provide annual statements verifying and listing out effect of the program.

To put this in other terms: If the mid-west states invest $5 billion in early tornado detection to add 30 minutes additional time to tornado warnings and with additional accuracy, you'd be damn sure that 3-5 years later they aren't going to continue without clear and confirmable progress.

LYNNDH said...

Reid a pot calling kettle black (wait, is that racist).

Jim said...

It is about time one of those dipsticks in congress stand up for the people vs the state. They can tell where and when and with whom I have had lunch,where I work and how much I make. At what point do people say enough??
Spying on every citizen is what is happening now-and it really doesn't seem to bother anyone but Rand.
The Constitution was about limiting the power of government. It is obvious that too many congress people on either side of the asile are quite happy to take all the power they can grab.

Rae said...

Hillary Clinton will keep the NSA in check. Her minions will never use stored records against her political opponents. Honest.

Hagar said...

They do have the ability to catch content if not yet to store it for everybody, but they will be working on that. However, it is not my privacy I am worried about. I do not matter, but people that do matter had better worry for they will be stored and listened to if and when needed.

So what? Well, did they find out about Dennis Hastert from listening to his phone, and they just put out this bank stuff as a blind? How will we ever know?

Hastert is 73 and perhaps out of politics, but how about all the others?

kcom said...

Harry Reid wouldn't know committee work if it came to his house and broke his face.

Jon Burack said...

I look in here in vain for one single actual fact here (or anywhere else amidst all the shouting about this) showing the NSA program does more than monitor phone numbers in order to identify those that have connected with terrorist suspects. In vain for one fact showing that someone actually listened to someone's conversation. I see a lot of heat and no light - especially from the Rand Paul side. And like a million other comments sections, this one starts off with "Fuck McCain. Fascist asshole," and pretty much stays at that high level. Rand Paul in my view is grandstanding on this, incoherently almost, for a portion of the libertarian base that will fail utterly to get him anywhere in the Republican race. I'd say his goose is cooked, but since I will be happy about that if comes to pass I suppose I could be overly optimistic. I hope not.

Tank said...

Rand Paul runs and acts like Rand Paul.

Unexpectedly.

People will, or will not, like his message.

Refreshing !

khesanh0802 said...

It would be a lot easier to accept the NSA program if we knew whether it is effective or not. If no one can "leak" some successes then I am doubtful that there have been many. I may be ill informed but I have not seen an argument that this program should be continued because it works. Does Congress thinks it's important to continue just because we can? That's not reason enough for me.

iowan2 said...

Jon Burack said...
"I look in here in vain for one single actual fact here (or anywhere else amidst all the shouting about this) showing the NSA program does more than monitor phone numbers"

I came looking for a single claim that the collection of data has resulted in one arrest.

Anonymous said...

Rand Paul is no longer a serious contender for President. A real shame. I liked him and hoped a bunch of his rhetoric was just him looking for votes.

Michael K said...

"It would be a lot easier to accept the NSA program if we knew whether it is effective or not."

Sorry but intelligence is no more simple than police investigation. You knock on 100doors or you look at a thousand all records to see if a connection is there.Too many people get their ideas of intelligence or police work from TV.

Sebastian said...

"I look in here in vain for one single actual fact here (or anywhere else amidst all the shouting about this) showing the NSA program does more than monitor phone numbers in order to identify those that have connected with terrorist suspects. In vain for one fact showing that someone actually listened to someone's conversation."

You mean, you actually expected evidence from Paul et al.?

"a lot of heat and no light"

Rand Paul's election slogan.

Fabi said...

Releasing information about successes and failures could easily compromise intelligence methods. It's unfortunate from a transparency angle, but I doubt there's a work-around that would provide sufficient detail to assuage public apprehension.

Louis said...

Even if I am for 100% surveillance of all people I should still be for a revolution in the way laws are crafted and debated and adopted and renewed. We need a constitutional amendment. Senators and Representatives should be paid four times as much with staffs eight times as large. To exercise any oversight at all there should be more competition for seats and more firepower available to elected officers.

Bay Area Guy said...

I actually give Rand Paul credit. He took a principled stand and he fought for it. He values privacy as much as security - and he makes a forceful argument that the NSA "mega-data" mining doesn't even enhance our security.

I'm not saying I buy it on the merits. If we start getting hit by terrorist attacks, he will get some political blame, and the program will get reinstated. But I respect him and this stand he is taking, even if it hurts him with GOP primary voters.

AReasonableMan said...

There has to be some push back against the surveillance state or we will end up as little more that meat robots. It is good that Paul is doing this.

Terry said...

" . . . we will end up as little more that meat robots."
Aren't you an atheist, ARM?

Meade said...

Louis said...
"I am so pleased with Rand."

I stand with Louis.

Unknown said...

Did the NSA find out about Hastert’s withdrawals, or was that in Hillary’s old files?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_FBI_files_controversy

Unknown said...

------I look in here in vain for one single actual fact here (or anywhere else amidst all the shouting about this) showing the NSA program does more than monitor phone numbers in order to identify those that have connected with terrorist suspects. -----

Late Thursday, details about the illegal snooping were released for the first time in a letter sent by the NSA’s inspector general to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Grassley had asked for details about intentional NSA abuse of its authority following government officials’ acknowledgement in August that there had been “a couple” of willful violations in the past decade. It was previously reported that some of these cases involved snooping on partners or spouses, known internally as “LOVEINT,” for “Love Intelligence.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/27/loveint_how_nsa_spies_snooped_on_girlfriends_lovers_and_first_dates.html

ep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the Republican author of the Patriot Act, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that says he is “extremely disturbed” by reports that the National Security Agency collected phone records from Verizon customers and insists it violates the law.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/jim-sensenbrenner-nsa-violated-law-92348.html#ixzz3bluJZPJV

That said, what may be most interesting is the revelation that James Clapper has now admitted to lying to Congress, in responding to Ron Wyden's questions:
In early June, after the NSA leaks had brought renewed attention to Clapper's "No, sir," Clapper cited the difficulty of answering a question about a classified program and said in an interview on NBC News that he had responded in the "least most untruthful manner."

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130701/12494623683/james-clapper-admits-he-lied-to-congress-even-his-excuse-is-misleading.shtml

Meade said...

I stand with Louis, Rand, and Jim.

Laslo Spatula said...

Look at Pamela Geller to see how -- with all this amazing information -- the Government will use it to protect us from those that mean us harm.

I stand with Laslo.

grgeil said...

The part of this story that captures my attention is that we have a government program that actually has a sunset provision. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every program, regulation, and law had an expiration date, and without Congress affirmatively renewing it, it would have to expire.

jr565 said...

F Rand Paul. If he's the nominee Im Voting Bernie sanders.

The Godfather said...

How difficult is this? The supporters of the program say it doesn't authorize the govt. to intercept the contents of our phone calls, only the "metadata" -- numbers we called, numbers that called us, duration, etc. Critics say the govt. is actually listening in on calls. So if we disapprove of listening in, but think collecting metadata is OK -- and this seems to be what most of us think -- then renew the law with a firm restriction on listening in without a warrant. If you think the spooks are going to listen in anyway, well then they'll listen in if you cancel the whole program, won't they?

wildswan said...

DHS has a program called Big Data to Knowledge, BD2K, which intends to use social media and smart phone data for behavioral studies. The program has quite a few purposes - some legitimate medical studies of cancer genetics. But it also intends to use "biologically-relevant data" such as search histories and Facebook entries that no one pictured the government gathering and using. Admittedly these are not examples of the government spying on phone use but people connected with this initiative carried out a study of how voting in the 2012 Presidential election could be influenced by Facebook messaging/news and they were able to influence how people voted and know they influenced them because they knew how they voted.
Phone conversations are just a small part of communications these days; Facebook is more important and the government is gathering and organizing Facebook converstions.


"In the BD2K initiative, the term "Biomedical Big Data" is inclusive of the diverse digital objects which may have impact in basic, translational, clinical, social, behavioral, environmental, or informatics research questions. Such data types may include imaging, phenotypic, genotypic, molecular, clinical, behavioral, environmental, and many other types of biological and biomedical data. They may also include biologically-relevant data generated for other purposes (e.g., social media, search histories, economic, geographical, or smart phone data). Finally, they also encompass the metadata, data standards, and software tools involved in data processing and analysis. - See more at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-15-006.html#sthash.WyqJeuSf.dpuf

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-15-006.html

Levi Starks said...

Rand is delusional if he thinks any action by himself, or the Senate, or the House will in anyway effect what the NSA does. If anything it will cause them to be even more secretive than they already are.
Open the pod bay door HAL. I'm sorry Jim, I can't do that....

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhythm and Balls said...

Here comes another 9/11, all thanks to Republican laziness and ideological purity.

Thanks, guys! What a wonder that we have a governing party so disinterested in dealing with reality and getting any work done. Otherwise, we might develop too much appreciation for those things.

Archie Waugh said...

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin, 11 Nov. 1755.

jr565 said...

Bullshit Rhythm and Balls it's Rand Paul not republicans. is also Bernie sanders by the way. say that's strange bedfellows, but where is the proof that Rand is a conservative. You lefty scum will of course blame republicans of another 9/11 were to occur, but I also remember how it was the left making movies like V for vendetta when bush was in office and calling the very same Patriot act the mark of a police state.
Suddenly the left is all about security?
I know for a fact that if the next president were a conservative and the patriot act were still in play, that the lefties would pivot and adopt Rand Paul's position, just like they did before.

jr565 said...

Archie wrote:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin, 11 Nov. 1755.

and that is a complete straw man. We had a spy ring as far back as Washingtons days.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

I'll repeat the sentiment again to let it sink in "And he regarded the ability of a community to defend itself as the essential liberty that it would be contemptible to trade." Rand Paul is not Ben Franklin.

jr565 said...

The proper context for Ben Franklins statement:
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/02/390245038/ben-franklins-famous-liberty-safety-quote-lost-its-context-in-21st-century

SIEGEL: And what was the context of this remark?

WITTES: He was writing about a tax dispute between the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the family of the Penns, the proprietary family of the Pennsylvania colony who ruled it from afar. And the legislature was trying to tax the Penn family lands to pay for frontier defense during the French and Indian War. And the Penn family kept instructing the governor to veto. Franklin felt that this was a great affront to the ability of the legislature to govern. And so he actually meant purchase a little temporary safety very literally. The Penn family was trying to give a lump sum of money in exchange for the General Assembly's acknowledging that it did not have the authority to tax it.

SIEGEL: So far from being a pro-privacy quotation, if anything, it's a pro-taxation and pro-defense spending quotation.

WITTES: It is a quotation that defends the authority of a legislature to govern in the interests of collective security. It means, in context, not quite the opposite of what it's almost always quoted as saying but much closer to the opposite than to the thing that people think it means.

SIEGEL: Well, as you've said, it's used often in the context of surveillance and technology. And it came up in my conversation with Mr. Anderson 'cause he's part of what's called the Ben Franklin Privacy Caucus in the Virginia legislature. What do you make of the use of this quotation as a motto for something that really wasn't the sentiment Franklin had in mind?

WITTES: You know, there are all of these quotations. Think of kill all the lawyers - right? - from Shakespeare. Nobody really remembers what the characters in question were saying at that time. And maybe it doesn't matter so much what Franklin was actually trying to say because the quotation means so much to us in terms of the tension between government power and individual liberties. But I do think it is worth remembering what he was actually trying to say because the actual context is much more sensitive to the problems of real governance than the flip quotation's use is, often. And Franklin was dealing with a genuine security emergency. There were raids on these frontier towns. And he regarded the ability of a community to defend itself as the essential liberty that it would be contemptible to trade. So I don't really have a problem with people misusing the quotation, but I also think it's worth remembering what it was really about."

so frankilin was almost saying literally the opposite of what people are suggesting he was saying because they are using his words OUT OF CONTEXT. The same way we use "separation of church and state" out of context.
Credit people not learning history properly, or taking advantage of people's ignorance to use words for propaganda to further an agenda.

Æthelflæd said...

Go Rand. Glad to see the righteous prevail in Congress and actually roll something back. I'm all agog.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Ignorant demagoguery has a friend in both Paul and some putz named "jr565", I see.

At least Paul has an aim in mind, though, and not just a series of rants. Opportunistic and political as hell, to be sure - as were his foreign policy reversals earlier. But an aim, at least.

jr565 just has an angry, grammatically unintelligible rant.

Does anyone know what the hell "jr565" means, anyway? It's interesting that someone who believes he lives in fantasies built on The Matrix dubs himself one of the most inscrutable, code-like names in all of Althouse-Land. He might as well go by a bar code.

You go, JUNIOR565653034958304987520934875209384570293847502938745092384759283745092651--18498234705928734059. Protest the machine that your country has turned you into.

madAsHell said...

I'm sorry Jim, I can't do that....

Wasn't it "I'm sorry Dave"?

Levi Starks said...

Probably....

jr565 said...

Let's not forget that lone wolves linked to ISIS had a home grown attack in Texas. I kind of want an apparatus in place that can monitor such people before they kill people. Some of the things being sunshined deal with lone wolf attacks and the ability to monitor people who keep switching out cell phones.which was a common occurrence for cops dealing with drug dealers. And so it's not a stretch to assume it might also be a useful tool for people planning attacks here in this country.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Rhythm and balls wrote: "Ignorant demagoguery has a friend in both Paul and some putz named "jr565", I see.

At least Paul has an aim in mind, though, and not just a series of rants. Opportunistic and political as hell, to be sure - as were his foreign policy reversals earlier."

contrast that with this -
"Here comes another 9/11, all thanks to Republican laziness and ideological purity.

Thanks, guys! What a wonder that we have a governing party so disinterested in dealing with reality and getting any work done. Otherwise, we might develop too much appreciation for those things."
Classic projection, you sniveling cur. What was it you were saying about ignorant demagoguery? You're blaming republicans for the next 9/11 because... Well frankly I'm not sure where you are coming out on this.
Because you are singling out Republicans for ideological purity it sounds like you were singling out Rand Paul, and not republicans pushing for renewal. Most repubs are not supporting Rand. I just got through talking about how I'm not supporting Rand.
by the way, what was the liberal position on the patriot act prior to Obama taking office? Isnt it Rand Paul's position? So then the default lefty position is the one disinterested in dealing with reality?
It sounds like your argument is, throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. You'll tar republicans if they support or oppose the patriot act.
As for where my name comes from, I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Where does YOUR name come from, Rhythm and Balls? Let me guess... Things you don't have?

Rhythm and Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhythm and Balls said...

So many run-on sentences (and run-on thoughts). So little time. Especially for a creationist like jr. The only cure? The dialectizer!

Classic probuhjeckion, you snibeligg cur. Um uh.What was it you webuhre sayigg bou' ignorant demagoguehy, duh...uh...? You're blamigg republicans f' de next 9/11 cuz... Duh.Webuhll frank I'm not sure whehe you are comigg out on dis.
Cuz you are siggligg out Republicans f' ideological purity it sounds like you webuhre siggligg out Rand Paul, 'n not republicans pushigg f' renewal. Most repubs are not supportigg Rand. I dgust got drough talkigg bou' duh, how I'm not supportigg Rand.
by the, uh, the way, what was de libehal posishun on de patriot ack prior t' Obama takigg office, duh...uh...? Isnt it Rand Paul's posishun, duh...uh...? So den the, uhhh, default lefty posishun is de one disinnerestid in dealigg wid reality, duh...uh...?
It sounds like your argumin is, duuhhhh, drow stuff against the, uh, the wall t' see what sticks. Duh, you'll tar republicans if dey support or oppose de patriot ack.
As f' whehe my name comes from, I'd tell you, but den I'd habe t' kill you. Whehe does YOUR name come from, Rhydm 'n Balls, duh...uh...? Let me guess... Diggs you don't habe, duh...uh...?

chickelit said...

As for where my name comes from, I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Where does YOUR name come from, Rhythm and Balls? Let me guess... Things you don't have?

That barb reminded me of my one and only attempt to capture the essence of Crack EmCee in a chirbit: link

Apologies to the late Geoffrey Holder.

chickelit said...

Cultural context for my chirbit

President-Mom-Jeans said...

As usual, Bitchmo is a worthless cunt.

Good for Rand, I will vote for him if he gets out of the primary.

Mark said...

Walker is for the renewal of the Patriot Act.

So if you stand with Rand you do not also stand with Walker, who is for the surveillance state.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Jr has a point guys, without the NSA spying how could they have stopped the two ISIS pukes attempting mass murder in TX recently?

Oh wait, the NSA had the powers and didn't do jack shit to stop the attempted murders, it was the organizers who planned for and stopped the killing of innocents via armed security ready to kill.

But jr still thinks his point is valid, not self-refuting fascism.




NotquiteunBuckley said...

Derp derp the NSA isn't fascist, it saves us from fascism derp derp.

The NSA isn't part of the state, it is just another name for something we all do together.

They are our friends, and if they want to spy on ex fuck buddies then who in God's name are we to deny them their jollies on our dime?

Buckley was wrong on this: you ought reserve none of your rights for any reason. Piss them away, because otherwise the terrorists win.

Humperdink said...

Do I trust the feds? No.

Do I think the feds are competent enough to connect the dots if handed info on a silver platter? Heck no.

Do I think the feds only want to increase the size and scope of their personal fiefdoms? Well yes, of course.

machine said...

wow...look at all the Democrats up in here.

damikesc said...

wow...look at all the Democrats up in here.

That's a big tent for you. Everybody doesn't agree on everything.

jim murray said...

Let it end. Let the feds get the records on a single number BY WARRANT. Re-visit the method, if required, as required. I think Senator Paul is the only one running who would reduce the size of the federal government.

Mick said...

Of course they won't just let this Unconstitutional POS just die. The criminals spent too much time slowly boiling the frog and employing false flags to instill fear. They even installed an illegal Usurper as POTUS, as the final nail to void your sovereignty, since when there is no legal executor of the laws then there is no law, and the law is only what these criminals say it is.

Rand Paul (and his father) are merely controlled opposition in this theater of the criminal. They have done what they wanted,damn the old piece of paper.

All have committed treason and protect that treason. They are all the same, both the "R" team and the "D" team. They have no allegiance, only a thirst for power and control.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Humperdink said...

What I find hilarious is that some (?) people actually think the feds will suspend the surveillance program over the expiration of this law.

Rusty said...

Originally the act was to intercept communications from overseas to people living in the US that might have terrorist ties. Something that had been going on since the Roosevelt administration. It was expanded to include communications communications originating in the United States to countries considered enemies. It was expanded under Clinton to include all communications. Even those between citizens inside the United States.
Anyone who was paying attention at the time saw this coming. Because what republicans propose as a limit, democrats and rinos see as a challenge.
We have the largest citizen militia in the world. Certainly the best armed. Perhaps we should start training them.

sinz52 said...

jr565 sez: "Let's not forget that lone wolves linked to ISIS had a home grown attack in Texas. I kind of want an apparatus in place that can monitor such people before they kill people."

Such an apparatus must necessarily presume that we're all guilty until proven innocent.

Because there is simply no way to know who is getting interested in radical Islam by what he's reading on the Internet. We've already had cases of young NON-Muslims converting to Islam and joining the jihad.

What YOU want requires a police state in which you have to be suspicious of your own neighbors.

Coupe said...

Oh crap! Now they'll have to get a warrant. This sucks...

Phil 3:14 said...

Finally, a nonpartisan issue!

Kyzernick said...

Man, Rhythm and Balls is either a child or a committed Democrat. Hard to tell.

Seeing Red said...

Open borders is fine!

Levi Starks said...

Sooooo....
Do you really think it's ended now?
Is it possible to know?
I seriously doubt it.

Achilles said...

Jon Burack said...
"I look in here in vain for one single actual fact here (or anywhere else amidst all the shouting about this) showing the NSA program does more than monitor phone numbers in order to identify those that have connected with terrorist suspects. In vain for one fact showing that someone actually listened to someone's conversation."

When I was oversees my job the last two rotations was essentially to hunt people down by their cell phones. The only thing that slowed us down was the number of interpreters. We would go back months on potentials.

I guarantee you they are listening. More likely they have computer programs that are just printing them out and word recognition software.