Patriot Act Renewal?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last week the Obama administration clarified some of its positions regarding domestic surveillance. Karen Greenberg, executive director of NYU's Center on Law and Security, discusses the implications of the policy stance.


Karen Greenberg

Comments [17]

Peter from Sunset Park


You are reading it wrong again. Obama is against gays and lesbians because his god tells him to be. Welcome the religious left.

Sep. 26 2009 11:30 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

Peter, peter. If you think it's Obama's god that's "telling" him to be against gay marriage, then you're reading it wrong...again. Unfortunately all national politicians are uneasy touching gay marriage currently just like McCain and H. Clinton and her husband and anyone else you throw out there right now, Republican or Democrat. And no, Kucinich doesn't count.

My main point is that every politician flip flops. That's why the the whole John Kerrey ploy was a lark when everyone knows what he said. Wonder what flip flops McCain would have done? The list probably would have started with the great economy of 2008. Guess we'll never know.

You and I have a right to pressure politicians on what we would like to get done on the country, that's an amazing right. We elect politicians on our always unrequited hopes of what they will do, not what we expect them to do. Peter, the only religion playing here is the religion of reelection. Get with with the tune.

Sep. 22 2009 10:24 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Obama lies and lies and lies. H. Clinton and John McCain were much better candidates. For example, McCain knew all along that releasing the torture photos was the wrong move. Obama promised up and down to do so, then changed his mind once elected. Obama lied.

So you think that Clinton and McCain were the same as Romeny? Wow, talk about a lack of nuance. Someone like hjs might call you dim, I wouldn't, I have more class. I just think we think differently.

Maybe Obama's god will speak to him again and tell him that gays have rights, abortion rights count and remind him to stop lying.

Poor libs, you went crazy over the religious right and now are stuck with the religious left. Before Obama came along I thought gays and lesbians were equal, but Obama is teaching us all that they deserve less. It is so ironic that an African American president has no problem denying equal rights to gays and lesbians.

Jimmy Carter has time to call people racist, maybe one day Carter will look at how Obama treats gays and lesbians.

Man this is going to be a fun four years. A democratic president, a democratic house and senate, and Obama can't get anything done. This can mean only one thing - blame Bush and America is racist!

Sep. 21 2009 04:37 PM
hjs from 11211

some would call me a cynic also but I see myself as a realist. the people get the government they deserve.

Sep. 21 2009 04:04 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

@ hjs - I completely agree that we as progressives must hold Obama accountable otherwise we are reactionary counterparts to the reactionary right.

I'm also willing to admit that I'm a bit of a cynic, although I hope it doesn't sour me too much. That's why I would never give Obama or any politician the benefit of the doubt, just acknowledgment of their downfalls and accomplishments. They're human after all.

That's more than I can say for Peter who shows his unbridled cynicism without any admission whatsoever.

Sep. 21 2009 03:34 PM
hjs from 11211

kai 7
thanks for that link.
I hope we agree that progressives have to hold him to his promises even as we defend him from the irrational right.

Sep. 21 2009 03:28 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

Again, you don't seem to get it: Not everything Obama has done is the best nor is it the worst. It's a mixed bag.

You say that he takes the worst of both the left and the right and I totally disagree. Nuance. He has taken SOME of the best from the right and left (loans to small business & reform on health care) and some of the worst (not tackling gay rights & seeming to continue the wars ad infinitum).

I never agree with any politician on all issues, EVER. Do you Peter? If so, it seems like you have an authoritarian streak. Obama is getting some things wrong and some right, unlike the unmitigated ineptitude and wrongheadedness of Dubya Bush. Sheesh, Bill Clinton did well by the economy until he and his corporatist cronies deregulated the financial markets which were then sped up under Dubya.

Sure criticize Obama all you want. I defend him on what I agree with him on, and criticize him when I don't. The main thing is that he's so much better than what we had the past 8 years or compared to any of the recent candidates save maybe Clinton. (McCain, ha. Mitt Romney? Even better. Looks like Pawlenty 2012. Good luck. Every single one will "flip flop" like like every single politician ever.)

Sep. 21 2009 03:25 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


Exactly my point, President Obama has found a way to endorse the worst of the right and the worst of the left. Abortion, gay rights, god as his co-pilot, Obama acts like a conservative. Big stimulus bills with money flying around, acts like a Democrat. Even the good folks over at Slate think his stimulus bill is a stereotypical Democratic waste of money with little oversight.

We agree, Obama is big on rhetoric, small on action.

Maybe some day Planned Parenthood, women groups and gay organizations will have the guts to speak up. Jimmy Carter would probably just call them racist though. Obama gets to lie, unchallenged, because Jimmy Carter says the same country that elected an African American president is also racist. What a mess you libs are in.

I am watching enjoying you all flop around trying to make excuses for President Obama and his lies. The worse of it all is, you libs can’t even agree long enough to pass a real health care bill.

What a waste of a huge presidential mandate.

Sep. 21 2009 02:48 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

I sure don't believe in god, unless you believe physics is god. If you believe that Obama is right of center on most issues than you are demonstrably foolish. Your argument doesn't even hold up under your own internal logic: You say that "Obama is clearly a conservative and clearly right of center," then in the next sentence that he is "leading the charge of the religious left." Both can't be true since the two camps don't align, showing flawed logic which speaks volumes.

Also, there has been plenty of oversight on stimulus package, which is amazing due to the amount of moeny we're talking about. The governors have even said so and that's one reason why only 20% has been released at this point.

I disagree with Obama on the gay rights issue, just like the his so-far less than stellar record on civil rights with regard to the Patriot Act. Agreed, not good for civil rights.

Obama is unfortunately doing the Bush "compassionate conservative" thing; supplying rhetoric to the left without always going there.

Sep. 21 2009 01:28 PM
Peter from Sunset Park

I agree Kai, you should learn about nuance. Basing political decisions on religious views is not left of center. President Obama has decided that gay people are second class citizens because his god says so. President Obama has decided that gay people deserve fewer rights, such as health rights, because his god says so. Obama is clearly a conservative and clearly right of center. President Obama is leading the charge of the religious left. Very scary for human rights.

The stimulus package you say. Sure, President Obama throws money around with little oversight, like the Democratic stereotype. I just hope there aren't any ACORN like groups in there. Oh wait, President Obama can just represent them again in court.

I like your use of the word "foolish." Don't worry Kai, the BLS show censors tend to allow such rude behavior from the libs.

Are you part of the religious left Kai? Does your god make political decisions for you Kai demanding that you treat gay people as second class citizens? I hope not.

Sep. 21 2009 12:34 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

@ Peter - The funny thing is that in the U.S. of 2009, Obama is left of center when compared to the rest of the political landscape. You would have to go back to the late 80s early 90s to find a point where the majority of US Democratic politicians were to left of him. Again, learn nuance.

Also the list you regaled me with would qualify as some. All means everything, a totality. "Do nothing": foolish.

Whether you like it or not, Obama has enacted/accomplished an energy partnership for the Americas, released huge amounts of formerly unreleased presidential records, lobbying reform, passed the stimulus package, increased EPA mandated automobile requirements, and is as close as has ever come to healthcare reform in the history of the US. If that passses, he has scored one of the biggest political scores in in American political history in a few pen strokes.

So, for everything that left of center Obama has not enacted based on his campaign rhetoric, like every bloody politician in history, there are more that he has followed through on.

If you like the Brian Lehrer show, check here:

Sep. 21 2009 11:46 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Kai, you ask, “How's Obama floundering?”

Because he is flip flopping on this issue and is now supporting Bush’s Patriot Act.

You write, “He [President Obama] has and always will be a (left of) centrist that believes in some forms of limited surveillance and intrusion into civil liberties.”

I disagree, Obama is not left of center, he is a true blue conservative, a Bush Jr. President Obama acts like a conservative – he has done nothing on liberal issues, just like conservatives.

You wrote, “Just like every single politician that has ever existed, Obama campaigned on some items that probably weren't going to happen.”

Some items? Health care reform, gay rights, wiretapping, abortion law, reducing oil consumption, ending the war in Iraq, lobbying reform, and the list goes on and on and on. Obama has been a do nothing president. Pretty soon, the media might even consider saying so.

Sep. 21 2009 11:22 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

How's Obama floundering? He has and always will be a (left of) centrist that believes in some forms of limited surveillance and intrusion into civil liberties. I still think it's too much with little to show for it.

Just like every single politician that has ever existed, Obama campaigned on some items that probably weren't going to happen. Completely gutting the Patriot Act is probably one of them. Sorry to say, but there is no politician above changing his or her mind to suit his/her political agenda.

Sep. 21 2009 10:48 AM
john from office

Brian this woamn is dangerous

Sep. 21 2009 10:45 AM
Robert from NYC

An e-mom?!!!

Sep. 21 2009 10:41 AM

I thought the Patriot Act had been invalidated by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

I would say that Obama should dismantle the DHS and put things back to the way they were, but that would mean putting millions of Government employees, hired by the Bush administration, out of work.

Sep. 21 2009 10:35 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Senator Obama voted for the Patriot Act, Presidential candidate Obama promised to reign in wiretapping and the Patriot Act, and President Obama wants the Patriot Act reauthorized. It seems that Obama has taken every possible position on this issue. It is rather enjoyable to watch President Obama flounder around so much. One might say this is all rather vindicating. Pretty soon the media might even start to question the President in a serious manner. Folks, hell just might be starting to freeze over.

Sep. 21 2009 08:46 AM

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