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(Guardian)   Microsoft and Yahoo are deeply concerned that they've been sleeping with the NSA   (theguardian.com) divider line 75
    More: Amusing, NSA, encryption  
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2366 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Sep 2013 at 12:57 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-08 01:04:45 PM
Oh, gimme a break.  Anyone who thinks that the government wasn't given the encryption keys to both companies' security is a fool
 
2013-09-08 01:05:39 PM
i.qkme.me
 
2013-09-08 01:14:34 PM
Not surprised by any of this. DARPA was the basis for the creation of the internet. That the government would have its claws dug deep into the workings of the internet seems like a natural thing.
 
2013-09-08 01:16:06 PM

skinink: Not surprised by any of this. DARPA was the basis for the creation of the internet. That the government would have its claws dug deep into the workings of the internet seems like a natural thing.


It seems to be a mind-blowing shock to some folk.
 
2013-09-08 01:16:15 PM
Maybe they should visit the local free clinic for a check-out?
 
2013-09-08 01:28:15 PM

Infernalist: skinink: Not surprised by any of this. DARPA was the basis for the creation of the internet. That the government would have its claws dug deep into the workings of the internet seems like a natural thing.

It seems to be a mind-blowing shock to some folk.


You mean that the email I just sent to my sister telling her about the MRI done on my right shoulder on Friday is being read by the government? ZOMG!!!!11!!!
 
2013-09-08 01:31:19 PM
 
2013-09-08 01:45:59 PM
i273.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-08 01:58:04 PM
I just don't care any more.
 
2013-09-08 02:00:10 PM
It's that damn George Bush again.  If only he had allowed an election and someone like Barak Obama would have won.
 
2013-09-08 02:09:03 PM

paygun: It's that damn George Bush again.  If only he had allowed an election and someone like Barak Obama would have won.


The problem is that President Obama defeated Candidate Obama.
 
2013-09-08 02:09:14 PM
I'm pretty sure they don't give a fark and will sell everyone out.
 
2013-09-08 02:11:00 PM

alice_600: I just don't care any more.


Well, we do.  This is part of the debate your masters say they welcome.  Begone, one who tried to distract the prior NSA thread by claiming to be suicidally depressed.
 
2013-09-08 02:24:01 PM
Tomorrow the Senate has a confirmation hearing for Valerie Caproni to become a federal judge.  She became the top lawyer at the FBI under Bush II, was kept on by Obama's team and helped build the legal framework, such as it is, underpinning the current agency practices in domestic surveillance.  She pushed the FISA court repeatedly to expand surveillance powers.

There is little reason to think that, as a judge, she would suddenly discover an adequate regard for the constitutional rights of the people.
 
2013-09-08 02:26:57 PM
No need for the government to spy when they can pretty much buy all the information from tech sites, carriers,  and ISP's for dirt cheap.
 
2013-09-08 02:30:04 PM
"Hey! I told you were only allowed to stick in just the tip!"

Really? It's too late, you friggin' morons, to protest. You gave the government access to your cloud storage systems, your email systems, your networks, and now you're surprised that the government took that inch & went a mile with it?

Fark you. You were fine with handing over our data - what you're now afraid of is that you may be handing over your data, you farking hypocrites, and so you're protesting. "It's OK if you fark up our the lives and businesses of our customers - but now you're farking with our business, and that's got us clutching our pearls!"

Next time, assholes, learn to speak up for everybody instead of just yourselves.
 
2013-09-08 02:38:59 PM

FormlessOne: "Hey! I told you were only allowed to stick in just the tip!"
Really? It's too late, you friggin' morons, to protest. You gave the government access to your cloud storage systems, your email systems, your networks, and now you're surprised that the government took that inch & went a mile with it?

Fark you. You were fine with handing over our data - what you're now afraid of is that you may be handing over your data, you farking hypocrites, and so you're protesting. "It's OK if you fark up our the lives and businesses of our customers - but now you're farking with our business, and that's got us clutching our pearls!"

Next time, assholes, learn to speak up for everybody instead of just yourselves.


We didn't protest? Really?

We kicked the entire Republican party out of power. We replaced them with the guy who swore to put an end to this and restore the rule of law in America.

We shut down Bush's Total Information Awareness program. Congress explicitly defunded it.

We shut down Clinton's government mandated encryption chips before that.

The problem isn't the people. It's lying ass politicians like Bush and Obama.
 
2013-09-08 02:42:05 PM

4tehsnowflakes: alice_600: I just don't care any more.

Well, we do.  This is part of the debate your masters say they welcome.  Begone, one who tried to distract the prior NSA thread by claiming to be suicidally depressed.


Snicker. Also the posting in the thread to claim to not care. If you don't care then don't waste your time. Seriously.

I do care that our government is following in the footsteps of some very nasty folks by using a tragedy to wage war on it's own people.  I care because where that path leads is a very dark place and I, for one, don't want to go there.
 
2013-09-08 02:42:49 PM
I say if we are going to live in a totalitarian society we should get some benefit other than nebulous "TEH TERRORISTS!!!11qqq".

Maybe:

- As some mentioned: data backup services
- 411 style directory assistance, but expanded ("Hi, where'd I leave my car keys?")
- Keyword categorization of all our communications
- Phone call transcriptions
- Family locator ("Hi, where exactly is my soon-to-be grounded daughter right now. Really? Is she pregnant?!" "Whew!")
- etc
 
2013-09-08 02:42:56 PM

Ivo Shandor: paygun: It's that damn George Bush again.  If only he had allowed an election and someone like Barak Obama would have won.

The problem is that President Obama defeated Candidate Obama.


President Obama seems like he's sleepwalking there. I wonder if he believes himself.
 
2013-09-08 02:47:41 PM
Google said it was not aware of any covert attempts to compromise its systems.

There's several ways to take that statement. 1) It's happening, but we're too stupid to notice, 2) It isn't happening, 3) There's a bunch of government guys with tons of equipment and lots of wires hanging out in our server farms on a permanent basis, and they're very candid about what they're up to.
 
2013-09-08 02:53:17 PM
Fascism is as fascism does.
 
2013-09-08 03:00:05 PM

jjorsett: Google said it was not aware of any covert attempts to compromise its systems.

There's several ways to take that statement. 1) It's happening, but we're too stupid to notice, 2) It isn't happening, 3) There's a bunch of government guys with tons of equipment and lots of wires hanging out in our server farms on a permanent basis, and they're very candid about what they're up to.


#3.  It isn't a compromise when it's agreed upon.
 
2013-09-08 03:00:37 PM
"If you have nothing to hide then... derp... derp.. derp".
 
2013-09-08 03:16:05 PM

jjorsett: Google said it was not aware of any covert attempts to compromise its systems.

There's several ways to take that statement. 1) It's happening, but we're too stupid to notice, 2) It isn't happening, 3) There's a bunch of government guys with tons of equipment and lots of wires hanging out in our server farms on a permanent basis, and they're very candid about what they're up to.


Why limit yourself? You know they are legally allowed to lie, right? In fact, they're pretty much required to -- they just have a little flexibility in the lie they tell.
 
2013-09-08 03:31:57 PM
When you lay down with dogs, you rise up with fleas.
 
2013-09-08 03:35:38 PM
The administration is trying to counter the negative publicity the Snowden files have caused and continue to cause as they dribble out.  They seem to have figured out that they are not going to be able to make those files disappear by detaining Greenwald's partner or raiding some newspaper's offices in London.  They have gone to plan B which is trying to work with the news outlets to encourage them not to publish, or failing that to redact and then publish.  Plan B includes the strategic release of selected, redacted FISA opinions.  The WP story linked by Bullbear links to a 2011 opinion by a FISA court judge finding some aspects of proposed revised minimization and targeting guidelines for NSA, CIA and FBI unconstitutional.  It's 85 pages so may take a while to digest.
 
2013-09-08 03:46:24 PM

BullBearMS: You should have known that dude was noting more than a liar.


Even if this were true, which it is not from many perspectives, so what?  Who you going to call?

I don't know a single person who voted for Obama last year that would change their vote to Romney if the magic time machine could roll the date back with their knowledge of this issue intact. At least with Democrats we can argue and cajole them into more responsible behavior -- witness DoJ's recent decision to cooperate with FOI request to declassify many categories of data dumps.

The blunt truth is that if you vote for the GOP you are voting for late 1930's style statist fascism, complete with religious intolerance, a roll-back of women's rights, disenfranchisement, etc. No farking way I will vote for that. I'll take the imperfections of Democratic Party rule any day.
 
2013-09-08 03:54:38 PM
what a crock of crap.  Microsoft was been working with the No Strings Attached for years.   common knowledge.  now, suddenly, they're shocked i tell you!!


Microsoft is just being Politically Correct.  shocking!
 
2013-09-08 03:59:15 PM

Stone Meadow: BullBearMS: You should have known that dude was noting more than a liar.

Even if this were true, which it is not from many perspectives, so what?  Who you going to call?

I don't know a single person who voted for Obama last year that would change their vote to Romney if the magic time machine could roll the date back with their knowledge of this issue intact. At least with Democrats we can argue and cajole them into more responsible behavior -- witness DoJ's recent decision to cooperate with FOI request to declassify many categories of data dumps.

The blunt truth is that if you vote for the GOP you are voting for late 1930's style statist fascism, complete with religious intolerance, a roll-back of women's rights, disenfranchisement, etc. No farking way I will vote for that. I'll take the imperfections of Democratic Party rule any day.


They say that single issue voters are stupid. What about wedge social issues voters?

And I'd love to see democrats cajoled into rolling back the security to pre-drug war. I'll even settle for pre-9/11 at this point.

Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

/face it, "the people" are to be managed
 
2013-09-08 04:00:12 PM

sendtodave: Stone Meadow: BullBearMS: You should have known that dude was noting more than a liar.

Even if this were true, which it is not from many perspectives, so what?  Who you going to call?

I don't know a single person who voted for Obama last year that would change their vote to Romney if the magic time machine could roll the date back with their knowledge of this issue intact. At least with Democrats we can argue and cajole them into more responsible behavior -- witness DoJ's recent decision to cooperate with FOI request to declassify many categories of data dumps.

The blunt truth is that if you vote for the GOP you are voting for late 1930's style statist fascism, complete with religious intolerance, a roll-back of women's rights, disenfranchisement, etc. No farking way I will vote for that. I'll take the imperfections of Democratic Party rule any day.

They say that single issue voters are stupid. What about wedge social issues voters?

And I'd love to see democrats cajoled into rolling back the security to pre-drug war. I'll even settle for pre-9/11 at this point.

Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

/face it, "the people" are to be managed


Security state even.
 
2013-09-08 04:01:28 PM

skinink: Not surprised by any of this. DARPA was the basis for the creation of the internet. That the government would have its claws dug deep into the workings of the internet seems like a natural thing.


I said that two days ago you Internet thief!!!
 
2013-09-08 04:11:59 PM

sendtodave: Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?


LOL.

How about they let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire?

Oh, wait. They just worked with Republicans to make them a permanent part of the tax code instead.

Right after running a campaign on how terrible it was that rich people paid less in taxes as a percentage than secretaries.

But, of course, it's totally OK when they lie to us for years and then betray our trust when the time comes.

/OMG!! If we let the Bush tax cuts we always claimed to oppose finally expire as scheduled, it's the FISCAL CLIFF!!!!
 
2013-09-08 04:44:44 PM
And now of course MSFT would like for you all to go buy an XBOne for Christmas. Remember it has an always-on Internet connection and requires the Kinect camera to be connected at all times, and that Microsoft has handed their keys to the NSA.

In unrelated news, when I read 1984 I didn't consider how those telescreens happened to be everywhere.  Maybe I assumed they were put there by big brother's government.  I certainly didn't think folks went out and bought them for $500 apiece.
 
2013-09-08 04:46:25 PM

JerkyMeat: I'm pretty sure they don't give a fark and will sell everyone out.


Yeah. I mean, their business model is spying on you and then selling direct advertisements based on your profile.
 
2013-09-08 04:47:48 PM

PullItOut: And now of course MSFT would like for you all to go buy an XBOne for Christmas. Remember it has an always-on Internet connection and requires the Kinect camera to be connected at all times, and that Microsoft has handed their keys to the NSA.

In unrelated news, when I read 1984 I didn't consider how those telescreens happened to be everywhere.  Maybe I assumed they were put there by big brother's government.  I certainly didn't think folks went out and bought them for $500 apiece.


lol console gamers
 
2013-09-08 04:53:13 PM

sendtodave: Stone Meadow: BullBearMS: You should have known that dude was noting more than a liar.

Even if this were true, which it is not from many perspectives, so what?  Who you going to call?

I don't know a single person who voted for Obama last year that would change their vote to Romney if the magic time machine could roll the date back with their knowledge of this issue intact. At least with Democrats we can argue and cajole them into more responsible behavior -- witness DoJ's recent decision to cooperate with FOI request to declassify many categories of data dumps.

The blunt truth is that if you vote for the GOP you are voting for late 1930's style statist fascism, complete with religious intolerance, a roll-back of women's rights, disenfranchisement, etc. No farking way I will vote for that. I'll take the imperfections of Democratic Party rule any day.

They say that single issue voters are stupid. What about wedge social issues voters?

And I'd love to see democrats cajoled into rolling back the security to pre-drug war. I'll even settle for pre-9/11 at this point.

Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

/face it, "the people" are to be managed


I don't know; our distaste for involvement in Syria has certainly slowed things down on that front, and our elites have really wanted a war with Iran for a long while, and even seemed to think they were about to get it over the nuke issue, but they've been thwarted every time by the people's disinterest in such an endeavor.

You're right to say that the wealthy, the powerful, the military, and the presidency have gotten too powerful and that things need to change to bring the US back in-line with its democratic principles(hell, we'd have had universal healthcare since the 60s or 70s if what the people wanted immediately translated into policy), but to say the People don't matter and have no voice in policy at all is inaccurate.
 
2013-09-08 04:57:47 PM

4tehsnowflakes: The administration is trying to counter the negative publicity the Snowden files have caused and continue to cause as they dribble out.  They seem to have figured out that they are not going to be able to make those files disappear by detaining Greenwald's partner or raiding some newspaper's offices in London.  They have gone to plan B which is trying to work with the news outlets to encourage them not to publish, or failing that to redact and then publish.  Plan B includes the strategic release of selected, redacted FISA opinions.  The WP story linked by Bullbear links to a 2011 opinion by a FISA court judge finding some aspects of proposed revised minimization and targeting guidelines for NSA, CIA and FBI unconstitutional.  It's 85 pages so may take a while to digest.


That, and trying to show how useful it is. For example, claiming their "proof"(which they refuse to share publicly) for Assad's involvement in those recent chem attacks came from the NSA. They can say they've got it dead to rights all they want; what I see is the entire rest of the world, including our closest allies, being unwilling to take even minor military actions on the basis of whatever intelligence they've been shopping around, sans a UN resolution.
 
2013-09-08 05:09:44 PM
Oh, really? So, all of a sudden these big tech companies care about their paying customers....the always spied upon American citizen.....and they are now pushing back against the US Govt? Wow!

Yeah, way to go guys.....after you made sure that we could not sue in open court with class action lawsuits for providing all of our info at any and all requests that were previously put forth by the NSA and the FISA court. Plus....including the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, ATF.....etc. They "ask" and you willingly tell.

That is wonderful.....these "people" (ie : Corporations) really care about me.....so I should buy their product or service. Oh, now I trust them.....NOT! Remember that the only thing the tech corporations care about is the public's all mighty dollars. That is it......end of story.
 
2013-09-08 05:13:48 PM

FormlessOne: "Hey! I told you were only allowed to stick in just the tip!"
Really? It's too late, you friggin' morons, to protest. You gave the government access to your cloud storage systems, your email systems, your networks, and now you're surprised that the government took that inch & went a mile with it?

Fark you. You were fine with handing over our data - what you're now afraid of is that you may be handing over your data, you farking hypocrites, and so you're protesting. "It's OK if you fark up our the lives and businesses of our customers - but now you're farking with our business, and that's got us clutching our pearls!"

Next time, assholes, learn to speak up for everybody instead of just yourselves.


Actually... No. I mean yeah; Yahoo and Microsoft have been doing that, no question. But this story is about the new revelations that the NSA has been, without their knowledge(and without legislative authorization btw) forcing those who make electronic devices to include backdoors and killswitches in their hardware, forcing smaller firms to write what amounts to malware and worms into their code to infect the software of larger firms with snooping programs, writing their own malware and spreading it around to undermine their systems, and running brute-force cracking efforts to break the standard encryption programs which ensures you don't get robbed blind every time you buy something off the internet with a credit card. They aren't protesting what the gov's done with the access they've been granted, but the access which, they are claiming(perhaps to cover themselves), the gov obtained themselves by undermining the security of the big corps.
 
2013-09-08 05:20:20 PM

Jayberrysparklesalot: Oh, really? So, all of a sudden these big tech companies care about their paying customers....the always spied upon American citizen.....and they are now pushing back against the US Govt? Wow!

Yeah, way to go guys.....after you made sure that we could not sue in open court with class action lawsuits for providing all of our info at any and all requests that were previously put forth by the NSA and the FISA court. Plus....including the FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, ATF.....etc. They "ask" and you willingly tell.

That is wonderful.....these "people" (ie : Corporations) really care about me.....so I should buy their product or service. Oh, now I trust them.....NOT! Remember that the only thing the tech corporations care about is the public's all mighty dollars. That is it......end of story.


Not just class action, but any suit at all. Most contracts now include "arbitration" clauses that essentially require you to give up your right to a trail if you want to use the product in question. How can a contract that makes you give up the fundamental right to legal redress be legal? What's worse are the clauses which allow the corp to change the term of the contract at anytime, without informing you, or allowing renegotiation. The fundamental idea of a contract is that both parties enter into it as legal equals, that both parties have rights that must be respected and obligations that must be fulfilled, and that both neither party can change or exit said contract without the consent of the counter-party, or paying a penalty. Not only are such clauses inconsistent with legal theory; they undermine the very legal concepts of "contract" and "consent" themselves.
 
2013-09-08 05:26:48 PM

BullBearMS: sendtodave: Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

LOL.

How about they let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire?

Oh, wait. They just worked with Republicans to make them a permanent part of the tax code instead.

Right after running a campaign on how terrible it was that rich people paid less in taxes as a percentage than secretaries.

But, of course, it's totally OK when they lie to us for years and then betray our trust when the time comes.

/OMG!! If we let the Bush tax cuts we always claimed to oppose finally expire as scheduled, it's the FISCAL CLIFF!!!!


I notice neither of you actually...you know...like, addressed my points. But nice goal post moving.
 
2013-09-08 06:04:01 PM

Stone Meadow: I notice neither of you actually...you know...like, addressed my points.


Both sides are bad, so ignore the fact that my side is bad is a point so retarded as to not need refuting.
 
2013-09-08 06:58:38 PM

Stone Meadow: BullBearMS: sendtodave: Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

LOL.

How about they let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire?

Oh, wait. They just worked with Republicans to make them a permanent part of the tax code instead.

Right after running a campaign on how terrible it was that rich people paid less in taxes as a percentage than secretaries.

But, of course, it's totally OK when they lie to us for years and then betray our trust when the time comes.

/OMG!! If we let the Bush tax cuts we always claimed to oppose finally expire as scheduled, it's the FISCAL CLIFF!!!!

I notice neither of you actually...you know...like, addressed my points. But nice goal post moving.


Not holding democrats feet to the fire just because they could be worse is truly admitting defeat.

"We're not going to get anything better, so we should takevwhat we can get!"

I mean, common, democrats have been the lesser of two evils party since, what, Vietnam? That's not progress.
 
2013-09-08 07:00:43 PM

Heron: Jayberrysparklesalot: Oh, really? So, all of a sudden these big tech companies care about their paying customers


I'm halfway through that 85 page opinion and the big points are shaping up to be (1) the FISA court was not as much of a rubber stamp as has been supposed, and (2) the court accused the agencies of not telling the court all of what they were actually doing.  So the release of this document may be a sign that the administration will try to distance itself by saying in effect "Hey, we thought FISA had the whole privacy thing under control, turns out there was some miscommunication between the agencies and the judge, so some of the things the agencies thought were OK turned out not be OK but no worries, it is all fixed now."

Then how do you blame the governmental agencies and their agents -- after all, their job is to gather intelligence, not to protect the people's privacy, and they will always choose more effective methods of doing that job over our civil rights.  Blaming Clapper and his ilk for trying to be the best damn spies they can be is a little like being angry at a lion for killing an antelope.  On the other hand, anyone entrusted with that kind of power should be able to understand the responsibility to exercise it lawfully or not at all, just as a police officer has a responsibility both to catch the bad guys and to follow the law.  And I do blame President Obama and his civilian advisors for not stopping the excesses, as candidate Obama led me to believe he would.
Corporations exist to make money from us and they monetize the personal information that we volunteer.  A for-profit tech company, faced with a choice between making more money and giving customers more privacy, will choose the money unless customers demand the privacy.  That is its nature.   As the proponents of domestic surveillance like to point out, social media is in some sense antithetical to privacy.  Social media platforms build privacy protections and people don't use them because the whole point is for everyone to see that sammich she made you, or the picture you took in the bathroom mirror.  This social phenomenon is not an argument for weakening the 4th Amendment.

I don't like that the tech companies cooperated, but I understand.  The agencies made them a series of offers they couldn't refuse.  Some of them even fought back a little.

Not just class action, but any suit at all. Most contracts now include "arbitration" clauses that essentially require you to give up your right to a trail if you want to use the product in question.  How can a contract that makes you give up the fundamental right to legal redress be legal?

Policy of the US (Federal Arbitration Act) is to encourage private arbitration to relieve stress on the courts, and a properly neutral arbitrator can still find for you same as a judge or jury.  But a plaintiff's lawyer will usually be less eager to take a case on a contingency basis if she has to arbitrate it.  Agree that arbitration clauses and prohibitions against class actions do not serve the interests of the little guy.

 What's worse are the clauses which allow the corp to change the term of the contract at anytime, without informing you, or allowing renegotiation.

Right, but these are actually unenforceable on their face.  You can't agree to agree to whatever the other guy says in the future.  The revised terms get enforced if they got you to click for the new terms.  Otherwise, new terms probably unenforceable because you never agreed.
 
2013-09-08 07:11:55 PM

offmymeds: Infernalist: skinink: Not surprised by any of this. DARPA was the basis for the creation of the internet. That the government would have its claws dug deep into the workings of the internet seems like a natural thing.

It seems to be a mind-blowing shock to some folk.

You mean that the email I just sent to my sister telling her about the MRI done on my right shoulder on Friday is being read by the government? ZOMG!!!!11!!!


IF YOU GOT NOTHING TO HIDE, YOU GOT NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!
 
2013-09-08 07:16:26 PM

Stone Meadow: BullBearMS: sendtodave: Start cajoling. I'll wait. Shouldn't take long, right?

LOL.

How about they let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire?

Oh, wait. They just worked with Republicans to make them a permanent part of the tax code instead.

Right after running a campaign on how terrible it was that rich people paid less in taxes as a percentage than secretaries.

But, of course, it's totally OK when they lie to us for years and then betray our trust when the time comes.

/OMG!! If we let the Bush tax cuts we always claimed to oppose finally expire as scheduled, it's the FISCAL CLIFF!!!!

I notice neither of you actually...you know...like, addressed my points. But nice goal post moving.


Defending the Democrats over this? You are special kind of stupid. How can you defend this shiat? Everyone knows the Republicans suck. Democrats pretend to be better than this and campaigned that they were. Democrats should be more pissed than Republicans if they aren't being fanboys (which it appears you are)
 
2013-09-08 07:19:22 PM

sendtodave: "We're not going to get anything better, so we should takevwhat we can get!"


People really need to wake the fark up and stop making excuses for our betrayal.

Bill Moyers has been a liberal icon for decades on PBS. He was one of the founders of the Peace Corps under Kennedy and served as Johnson's press secretary.

Listen to what he has to say today:

We are so close to losing our democracy to the mercenary class, it's as if we are leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon and all that's needed is a swift kick in the pants. Look out below.

The predators in Washington are only this far from monopoly control of our government. They have bought the political system, lock, stock and pork barrel, making change from within impossible. That's the real joke.

Sometimes I long for the wit of a Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. They treat this town as burlesque, and with satire and parody show it the disrespect it deserves. We laugh, and punch each other on the arm, and tweet that the rascals got their just dessert. Still, the last laugh always seems to go to the boldface names that populate this town. To them belong the spoils of a looted city. They get the tax breaks, the loopholes, the contracts, the payoffs.

They fix the system so multimillionaire hedge fund managers and private equity tycoons pay less of a tax rate on their income than school teachers, police and fire fighters, secretaries and janitors. They give subsidies to rich corporate farms and cut food stamps for working people facing hunger. They remove oversight of the wall street casinos, bail out the bankers who torpedo the economy, fight the modest reforms of Dodd-Frank, prolong tax havens for multinationals, and stick it to consumers while rewarding corporations.

We pay. We pay at the grocery store. We pay at the gas pump. We pay the taxes they write off. Our low-wage workers pay with sweat and deprivation because this town - aloof, self-obsessed, bought off and doing very well, thank you - feels no pain.

The journalists who could tell us these things rarely do - and some, never. They aren't blind, simply bedazzled. Watch the evening news - any evening news - or the Sunday talk shows. Listen to the chit-chat of the early risers on morning TV -- and ask yourself if you are learning anything about how this town actually works.

William Greider, one of our craft's finest reporters, fierce and unbought, despite a long life in Washington once said that no one can hope to understand what is driving political behavior without asking the kind of gut-level questions politicians ask themselves in private: "Who are the winners in this matter and who are the losers? Who gets the money and who has to pay? Who must be heard on this question and who can be safely ignored?"

Perhaps they don't ask these questions because they fear banishment from the parties and perks, from the access that passes as seduction in this town.

Or perhaps they do not tell us these things because they fear that if the system were exposed for what it is, outraged citizens would descend on this town, and tear it apart with their bare hands.


We have been sold out by both parties and here is no reason whatsoever for liberals to make excuses for our betrayal.
 
2013-09-08 07:27:31 PM
FormlessOne: "Hey! I told you were only allowed to stick in just the tip!"
Really? It's too late, you friggin' morons, to protest. You gave the government access to your cloud storage systems, your email systems, your networks, and now you're surprised that the government took that inch & went a mile with it?

Fark you. You were fine with handing over our data - what you're now afraid of is that you may be handing over your data, you farking hypocrites, and so you're protesting. "It's OK if you fark up our the lives and businesses of our customers - but now you're farking with our business, and that's got us clutching our pearls!"

Next time, assholes, learn to speak up for everybody instead of just yourselves.

-=-
They wont. They are the sheep of Fox News. (Liked the eye catcher.)
Everybody should have seen this coming when they passed the Patriot Act. But noooooo.
 
2013-09-08 07:31:19 PM

BullBearMS: We have been sold out by both parties and here is no reason whatsoever for liberals to make excuses for our betrayal.


That's because they are, and have been the same party for at least 50 years.

/See my profile for details.
 
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