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I gave thousands of dollars to help elect +Barak Obama  and voted for him twice, but it's becoming clear that he has betrayed our trust and tarnished the liberal principles of openness and freedom that he pretended to espouse.

Mr. President, you owe us an explanation, at least, of why your administration has chosen to become the most paranoid since Nixon's. 
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Liberal principles of openness and freedom?  Sounds more like those are conservative / libertarian principles if you ask me, +Leo Laporte. :)  But I otherwise agree with you that he does owe the American people an HUGE explanation.
I agree but is there a better alternative? everyone that gets trotted out to be voted for in elections are evil.
+Barak Obama has become the best right wing conservative to be elected.  Thanks, Mr President, for expanding on the seemingly unlimited power that George W granted to your office.  
After seeing two justice departments (Bush and Obama's ) go completely off the rails, I would like to know what the heck has these administrations so locked into monitoring the populace. It's unfathomable to me that both administrations are so lock-step in their abuse of the people.
This is an aspect of president Obama we don't quite see from abroad (I'm in Europe).
+Leo Laporte what prompted this G+ post?

Was it the court order to seize Verizon phone records or something else?
+Steve Heistand nailed it on the head. Really, no matter who you voted for, you'd get this crap at this point. It really has become a case of trying to figure out who is the lesser of two evils these days.
You'll never get it. But you'll get free health care if you lose your job and have 23 kids.
Ask you self what did BUSH do that we don't know about... at least BO is transparent
Leo we'll never be able to truly trust any Democrat or Republican when they rise through the typical political channels.  We need an "outsider" from the tech world that really understands the power of openness and freedom if we want to have it in government.

Maybe #leolaporteforpresident  or #mattmullenwegforpresident  would make a difference?
Google "Bill Hicks the puppet on the left" quote.
I am not convinced we can, or should, blame the Obama Administration for this.  Much of the foundation of this is based in Bush-Era, post 9/11 insanity when we were not only willing to hand away our rights for the promise of security, but practically screamed for it.

No, this is not a Right or Left issue.  This is a Government issue.  Congress has been briefed on these orders and the results of them for years.  They have been hinted at a number of times, but only now with this apparent leak do we actually have proof of what happened.

We should not let partisan bickering shroud this issue.  This is a problem with the entire government and the freedoms we gave away.  Focusing on only one part does nothing to fix the issue.
Lots of people took "Change" to mean reversing the worst parts of the Bush administration and making government work more smoothly. Apparently, what he really meant was that he would take Bush's worst traits, amplify them, and try to occasionally appease his liberal base to make them notice or care about it less. 
Unfortunately the Republican alternative is worse. Welcome to politics!
+Ameer Robinson Transparent? Ha! He's taken steps to shut down transparency more than Bush did. He didn't come out and tell us he was doing this.
Liberals don't have values of openness and freedom, (neither do conservatives generally) libertarians come closest to that ideal.
I think it is time everyone woke up and realised neither party give a flying fig about the average citizen anymore.
It's high time to toss out the tossers in both parties and start anew.
To me a bigger issue is to talk about transparency and then hide behind carefully chosen works. When your AG can’t tell what truth looks like you have a really big problem. On my next Tax form I will be checking the “Taking The 5th” box.
+Joshua Hocieniec The liberal version of openness and freedom is tempered by care for others, as in you can do what you want as long as you don't hurt anyone or keep them from having the same rights.

The conservative version is that you can do whatever you want, but those people you don't like can't. 

The libertarian version is that you can do whatever you like and if someone else gets hurt in the process, tough, because government big enough to prevent the harm is a bad thing.

They are traits of all three, but each has a different definition of them and different priorities. Libertarians care about the self. Conservatives care about the in-group. Liberals care about society as a whole.
+Leo Laporte We must demand the White House release all information on their data collection. Almost everything Google, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft collects could be interpreted under the blanket category of "metadata". 
I KNEW there was something about Leo I liked other than the tech stuff...
JC Dill
Simple question - do you think McCain or Romney would have been a better POTUS?  Because while I'm not happy with some of Obama's decisions, I firmly believe they are - on average - MUCH better than the decisions that McCain or Romney would have made.
+JC Dill, simply put...neither McCain nor Romney espouse truly conservative thinking.  As such, I have little to no doubts that they would essentially be doing the same thing (or very similar) to what Obama is doing.  They may roll it out more subtly or slowly, but it would be the same in the end re infringing on our civil liberties.
Don't blame me, I voted for Stewart Alexander.
It does seem like a paranoid administration. It seems like everyone in politics, Republican and Democrat, is paranoid these days. They can all hear the words in each others heads, and that is very bad.
Public figures who are expert in certain areas should consider public political pronouncements. Leo, this is one of those times.
Your private lists are better for this sort of thing.
Sometimes we should not only consider our rights, but our responsibilities as well.
You're our tech guy, don't muddy the waters. We already have Alec Baldwin. ;)
+JC Dill Nope, time to start voting libertarian, give another party a chance to screw us since we know both the Dems and Republicans will. I'm not surprised carriers are ratting us out, I'm surprised that it leaked. 
For this and other breaking affirmations, go to "Things I ignored for some reason because, well, Barack Obama!"
+JC Dill I think your answer is part of the problem. As people we should not measure ourselves by who would do worse but how we could do better. The President has failed both himself and the country on transparency and frankly honesty. Saying, well someone else would do worse, is a bad way to excuse him.
I haven't voted in the last 3 elections because I have not had confidence in ANY of the candidates and refuse to lend my support to them. I mean a country that even gives some of these people that have been nominated a CHANCE at political office frightens me. As a combat vet who has lost friends and shed blood in the name of this country, that makes me very sad and worried for my children's future.
The course was obvious after his first term. Did you think they were funding the NSA data center just for fun? That unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers would stop once he's elected the second time? That PATRIOT act support from the administration would cease?
Since Nixon or just George W. Bush? Troubling but nowhere near Nixonian.
Can't blame me... I didn't vote for him... OR Romoney!
I think we need to relax and find out the details before we start the gnashing of teeth.
You got what you voted for Leo.  A freshman Senator from one of the most politically corrupt cities in the country with no voting record to judge him by.  
He has enforced every policy Bush made that he said he would repeal while running.  He only wins because the Republicans keep running wack-jobs.
I bet it's because he let DHS into any cabinet and oval office meetings. Those douches should be left out of policy decisions, they shouldn't even be allowed to give advice.
Ouch.  Reading these comments, from both sides, makes my head hurt.
+Stephen Gulick If we start voting for Libertarians, they might start winning elections. We already have a far right party and a very slightly left leaning centrist party. We don't need a party that alternates between left centrist and far right. We need an actual party of the left for the Progressives to go to since the Democratic Party left us behind. I'd prefer that to be the Socialist Party USA, but the Green Party is good too. Unfortunately, the two parties gaming  the system and the winner take all, first past the post electoral system have made it is almost impossible for anyone else to win.
A Presidential candidate lied? No way!  I'm only surprised at how many people voted for him again after he proved in his first term that he did not have any plans to do what he said he would do.  Fool me once...
I voted for Obama the first term, but by this last term I voted for Julius Ceasar and Brutus has his VP. The whole thing is a sham anyway. None of us have any real control over who they present to us as choices. 
What +Jason Ansaldo and +Jeff Pritchard said. The Obama administration deserves blame for this, but it's fairly nonsensical to single them out.

This is simply an extension of the "post-9/11" environment and the paranoia of the American people writ large in the wake of it (hence why every single topic, whether it be BitCoin or immigration, always manages to somehow involve overblown concerns about terrorism). The administration isn't paranoid and certainly nowhere near of the variety of the Nixon administration (which was very much political paranoia). At worst, they've simply been intent on preempting flak from Republicans about national security ad nauseam -- just look at the response he's gotten from suggesting closing Guatanamo and reigning in the breadth of drone attacks (and, similarly, look at the lack of public support on those positions).

People piss and moan about privacy, but most people don't act or vote on it. They don't call their reps on it. The ACLU still lacks the heft of the NRA. And so on.

The administration deserves some blame here, and I'm not defending their actions here, but let's not pretend all of this is new by any means and have a little context.
Lulz at all the comments. Meanwhile every Senator with an (R) and a (D) next to their name knew this was going on and let it happen.

your politician is complicit. your vote did this. All of you.
+Leo Laporte you have no idea of the horror this gov is doing.
I knew Obama was no good since the beginning.

+JC Dill I also thought that Barack Obama would have made better decisions as POTUS than Barack Obama has in the White House.
Let me know when he starts his term.
+JC Dill Totally agree. We were well on the way to becoming a police state under Bu$h. What we REALLY need are real Progressives in office. Obama is pretty much a Centerest. 
This is an odd post from you, +Leo Laporte .
What did the POTUS do or not do that you felt compelled to advocate and vote for him a second time?
This seems like a case of: "Fool me once; shame on you, fool me twice; shame on me."
It's past time to drop the appearance and pandering of being perceived as "pragmatic" and start advocating civil liberties as I suspect you really want to.
Start advocating bitcoin, open decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges and creation / adoption of mesh networks.
Thanks, Leo.

BTW, there is a Ripple Meetup in SF this evening - come on down.
Well said, Leo, though you've opened yourself up to the worst sort of editorialization.
You needed to vote twice for him to see that? It was pretty clear after his first term... 
+Leo Laporte because there is a difference between a liberal and a progressive ...  Obama is the later.  
Those people who voted for Obama and a republican house should check their brains.   Whether they are still there or have been eaten by zombies.

And to those who think "Libertarians" have liberal values: From a German point of view, libertarians are cryptofashists. We know when we see a Nazi, we had enough of them.
We can only vote for those who are on the ballot, or who attempt to mount a write-in campaign. It's always a choice of the lesser evil, and it will continue so until we get big money and slushy collusion out of the process.
There were other alternatives, but you all chose to vote for lesser of two evils. And even lesser part is not that clear, isn't it? 
+Bernd Paysan Very few people actually voted for Obama and a Republican House. The House is Republican because they gamed the system and designed the districts so they couldn't lose. It is called Gerrymandering and has been going on in some form since very early in our history. Gerry was one of the people involved in drafting the Constitution.
+Thom Miller where did I say Romney. I didn't vote for either of those as they looked exactly the same in their actions. 
+Gofoul Abedpan Many states have write-in rules so that you can't just mount a write-in campaign. They only count votes for registered write-in candidates. These are people who were able to organize, but not enough to get on the ballot, so they almost can't win.
"it's becoming clear that he has betrayed our trust and tarnished the liberal principles of openness and freedom that he pretended to espouse."

Don't they all?
"I gave thousands of dollars to help elect +Barak Obama  and voted for him twice"  That was your first mistake.  TWIT indeed...
I have 3 words  about this , " All Politicians Lie." with no moral absolute, from a certain perspective all his actions and inactions are valid.
+Robert Grimm, I have never read something so full of garbage in my life.  The government is the problem, not the solution nor cure.

Here's a more accurate description:

Libertarian - live and let live; government should only get involved to provide basic security (i.e., fire dept., police dept, military defense) and enable commerce; respects the individual's right and ideologies; advocates for liberty and capitalism

Conservative - same live and let live attitude, but with the stipulation of providing some safety net through government for those who can, but choose not to help themselves (e.g., welfare); advocates for authoritative capitalism; advocates using some degree of force to achieve goals

Liberal - advocates for authoritative socialism; believes that individuals need to be protected by the government (e.g., Obamacare, Social Security), and the government can do so by extreme force; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

Now that's more accurate.
The records collections have been going on by the NSA since nearly 9/11. Obama is in a catch-22: stop "anti-terrorism" program x and get that action blamed for the next guy who sets of a dry ice "bomb" or continue program endorsed by most of the Congress and get vilified by partisans for actions they endorsed until 4 years ago.

The problem is the law and the terrorized mindset. He is the first major public official who has called for the end of things like the AUMF and the Patriot Act. One must target the policies and those who oppose changing those policies.
The president is only a figure head - like Zaphod Beeblebrox. The corporations own the governmental process. Fear makes too much money. Follow the contracts.
+Matt Lucas Agreed.  I think anyone whose job is to constantly be interviewing to get re-elected learns quite a bit about lying.
+Thom Miller But which is worse
Obama: Hope and change, with no improvement in life unless you were a banker or in the TSA.
Romney: A sad but true realisation you would be getting screwed continuously his entire term?
Well, +Leo Laporte, I did not vote for him (and no, I did not vote for the Republican candidate either - I 'wasted' my vote on the Libertarian :)), so I am (unfortunately) not surprised. In many ways, I think this administration is worse than the Bush one...
What's sad, is that he's still better than the alternative.. 
"Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control, we have assumed control......
+Dejan Jancevski That sounds like a point of faith to me. Yes, this government is the problem. Is all government the problem? Absolutely not. Some governments function well and get things done to improve the lives of their people. See Norway and modern Germany as great examples. 
Actually, Norway and Germany are quite lousy examples.  Their spending alone is proof that they are far too big for their own good.  You really should refer to something more like Switzerland or St. Croix. Far smaller governments and much lower spending per capita.

The problem with most governments is that they take away your civil liberties.  Some do it quickly (think communism or fascism) while others do it slowly (think democracy).  But make no mistake, the minute you have a large government, your freedoms go out the window.  And our own is proof of that.
Never voted for him. (libertarian leanings)  A black man I met at a waffle house told me he is a crook.

As for fight terrorist, do it within our normal laws.  Do not need special ones for this.
Respect.  Any govt. transgression should be called out.  Enough of this guy did that that guy did this.  Tired of it.  All I know is who's in charge now and the stuff that's going on lately is insane.  People that call people ignorant and offer no actual response are the definition of ignorant.  I hope Verizon suffers badly from this.  They gave this up voluntarily probably to get sweet deals on wireless spectrum or less paperwork or a green light.  Whatever the reason this smells to high heaven.  
"Government is always the problem," is the cry of a person who has never looked beyond the United States or who has but only at fascist and totalitarian countries.
+Robert Grimm, your assumptions are based on pointless talking points.  The reality is history. History has proven time and time again that a government that tramples on ones liberties is a government that fails its people.  And that's what has been happening to the U.S. since the Civil War.  Simple as that.
+Dejan Jancevski You're operating under the misconception that large government is always bad. Sometimes large government is effective. Yes, Germany and Norway have large, expensive governments. Those governments are also very effective at providing basic services that promote the general welfare of their people far better than ours does.
+Jason Ansaldo Really??? Almost six years since Obama was elected and we're still blaming Bush?? Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+Robert Grimm, wrong.  They do so at the expense of the elderly and the working class.  They also have far fewer freedoms/liberty in Norway and Germany.  Or does liberty mean nothing to you?
+Randy Fortier, I like it...but I doubt "Club Gitmo" can truly be least not anytime in the near future that is.
Close Guantanamo, stop drone strikes, stop spying in its citizens without a court order.   Do I need to go on?  Terrorists replace communists in Red Scare 2.0.
+Dejan Jancevski Where have I once proposed trampling liberties? I've done the opposite. We need more liberty than we have in the US right now, but we're trending the opposite way. 
+Thomas Profant No, I blamed them all.  And more importantly I blamed us, the voters who were so scared at the time we let them do this.

But thanks for playing "Lets blame Obama"  Now can we get past the Obama hate and actually talk about the true problem?
It's fairly obvious he seriously misrepresented himself. He's a moderate right-winger in just about everything he's done, up to and including the Affordable Care Act - a moderate Republican program copied almost verbatim. As far as foreign policy goes, he's more a hawk than a dove; thousands upon thousands dead in drone murders, including several bearded American citizens... really, he hasn't looked even slightly like a liberal since the very early days of his reign, back when people were so incredibly relieved to get Bush out of there they handed him a Nobel basically for not being Bush. Then, it turns out, he was essentially Bush, and has kept chipping away at civil liberties on an on-going basis with barely a hiccup.

I have no idea how liberals in America aren't frothing at the mouth with rage at the total betrayal they were handed by him. The right-wing have done a masterful job of amping up the crazy I guess and making lots of noise about insane nonsense so that people will think there is some sort of controversy involved, while the country proceeds with the march to the right and the paramilitarization of the police force.  
To see LEO post something like this is major... i mean.. you don't get too much more liberal.   

Hopefully this will spread.
The only way to convince most voters to choose a third party or independent candidate is to prove their votes won't be "wasted" by succeeding without them. Which is impossible. 

But breaking that unfortunate cycle is the only path out of this mess. So we need some thought leaders (probably from outside of politics) to find a way.
I know you're a busy guy and I love the programing you give us but. I have to say..."It's about time Leo". Thanks for having the balls to say something. Now get ready for IRS audit coming your way.
I don't think we have seen the worst yet out of this man!
+Dejan Jancevski Maybe you just don't know what words mean. Elderly people are people who are assisted by social programs in those countries. The working class is a group that is generally better off there. Again, I suggest that maybe you haven't really looked beyond our borders.  You sound like someone who heard they had elements of socialism, then, rather than finding out what that meant, you had a knee-jerk reaction and fell back on the fallacious Cold War-era understanding that the capitalists used to keep American labor from organizing in a way that would weaken their power.
+Donnie Clapp, I would disagree.  Prior to Lincoln, the Whig party (and several others) were losing left and right to the Democratic party.  Soon, some of those "losing" parties got together, and formed the what is today the Republican party.

So, perhaps the answer is to offer up candidates from a party that truly espouses freedom, individual civil liberties, and fiscal responsibility. I think if we did so, most people would vote for such a candidate...and the current 2-party system would be broken.
I don't really get the "Libertarian"  it seems to be based very much around untrammelled free market capitalism which in turn leads to servitude for the masses.
I love how libertarians act like they have a monopoly on believing in "liberty". It's a cute, and predictable talking point.

I'm with you on this, btw, Leo.
I agree that this should be a non-partisan issue.  Both sides have participated in the erosion of our personal freedoms.  Neither party stands for what I believe in.  I think things would have been even worse with Mitt Romney in office, but that is beside the point.  Being better than your opponent doesn't excuse immoral behaviour.

I agree that Guantanamo is a mess and will not be easy to close.  People were put in there who did nothing wrong, on suspicion of them being terrorists (along with a whole whack of terrorists and sympathizers).  Now, some of them probably are terrorists. That doesn't make it right to keep people there.
Funny how the intelligence gathering by Homeland Security has been going on for 7 years but they are trying to spin it as if Barack Obama now works for Verizon
JC Dill
+Stephen Gulick "time to start voting libertarian, " only if you want to throw away your vote.  I'd MUCH rather have Obama appointing new judges to SCOTUS.  If you think  recent rulings (e.g. Citizens United) have been scary, imagine what the court would look like if we had more Republican appointed judges on it!  Because, ultimately, this is where our most important liberties are established or taken away.
+Leo Laporte  be careful what you demand of the POTUS and what he owes us!  They have your phone records and GPS data.  One of those "black, windowless, unmarked vans" will be picking you up soon!
+Ron Jackson A world restricted by an artificial and arbitrary requirement of "specializing" in an area of human activity in order to be able to muse upon it is ludicrous. We need thinking coming from all sectors on all ideas and everyone has the right to talk about anything, while the rest of us have the right to ignore them if we choose. Responsibility as a concept is dependent upon underlying philosophy, feeling, and biological or cultural prejudice. We are all going to differ on that amorphous entity.

These thoughts represent my prejudices, and I have nothing objective to really base them on. But that is the nature of all thought outside of mathematics and measurement.
Why get on here and start badmouthing republicans vs democrats vs libertarians.  This  is typical gov't intrusion that has happened under every president ever.  So saying so is pointless everyone already knows this.  We are finding out about this stuff more frequently now due to this very thing I'm typing on.  the internet makes things easy to leak.  Take a look at the actual transgression here and can't we just agree what is happening is wrong and not make equivalence to past people/politicians and insult other people's beliefs?  Everyone is always right it seems.  Just like these leaks this is another byproduct of the internet.  Never have so many people been so right simultaneously.  
I am entirely sick of danger being used as an excuse to erode my freedom.  The TSA, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, and other initiatives have done nothing to make me any safer.  The only two things that have made us safer are intelligence and vigilance.  Intelligence is possible by showing a judge that there is a good reason to investigate them.  Vigilance is possible without vigilanteism through education about cultures.  Your average US citizen still believes that anyone who wears a hijab (or a turban for that matter) is a terrorist.
JC Dill
+Nigel Dessau "I think your answer is part of the problem.".  NOBODY is perfect.  We choose among the candidates, and no matter which candidate we choose there will be issues we do not 100% agree on.  IMHO the other choices were far worse and we would have had far worse outcomes than we have now.  Do I like what we have now?  WRT liberties, not so much.  But I know that the "conservatives" are even worse when it comes to liberties - they talk about liberties but what they really mean is "liberty for those who think like we do" - and they can't keep their hands off of issues that should remain private (e.g. a woman's right to determine what she does with her own body, or a couple's right to marry the person they love).
A fool and his money...
Next time you feel political, Leo, just make the check out to your nearest soup kitchen for the homeless. It'll be put to much better use.
+Kimmo Jaskari, are you serious? Obama a right winger?!? PLEASE!  In what world are you living?!?  He's as left wing as left wing gets!  He is a liberal's liberal!  

How is Obamacare a moderate republican idea?  It's a liberal idea that was tweaked by the most liberal Republican governor in order for it to work for a few years...and now it's killing he MA economy.  Obamacare will be just like it, only worse!  It's a liberal idea...and liberal ideas simply don't work long term.

As for a war hawk, how so?  Obama is bending over backwards allowing countries to treat visiting Americans and our diplomats as they see fit.  This is the same guy who left 4 Americans that could have been rescued to die in Benghazi, while he boarded Air Force 1 to campaign in Vegas.  And that's a warhawk?!?

Trust me...liberals only care about their OWN status, nothing more.  If they push their liberal candidate into power (i.e., Obama) and that candidate doesn't do what they want (i.e., grant those liberals more power), they complain that the candidate was a conservative. WRONG!  Your candidate is exactly what you elected....a liberal that takes away the rights and freedoms of others.  Simple.  You elected should be proud!  He's doing exactly what you wanted!

BTW, I don't recall the Bush administration ever being accused of spying on DOMESTIC citizens calls, only in international ones.  So don't blame Bush (again).
+Edward Polack Bollocks, Polack. Bush covered this stuff up too. It was found out. He didn't come out and tell us about it. That's the point of FISA, to be able to keep it a secret.
+Robert Grimm, wrong again.  The problem in all of those countries (as it is the case here too) is that the baby boom generation is HUGE compared with the generations after it.  As such, the working class (and those generations yet to come) are being destroyed financially to enable some government programs to prop up the elderly.  It is a massive attempt to re-distribute wealth.  And that's always proven to be a HORRIBLE idea (see French Revolution, Spanish Inquisition, WWI, WWII).
He is a puppet to big banks and corporations just like the rest of Congress. I don't blame him for doing what he is told. Fighting the Federal Reserve got JFK in trouble.
+Raymond McGinlay, how is that?  A libertarian knows that the free market dictates how any company can succeed...and fail.  And the free market does so far more swiftly and harshly.  The problem is that the government has gotten involved by passing bills into law that make competition nearly prohibitive.  This ensures that any true competition cannot take place, and as such, such servitude that you describe COULD be enabled without any check or balance to it.  

So...the government is the problem once again, not the cure.
As if Romney would have done differently? 
The best we can hope for in a two party system is the lesser evil. We got that, so thanks for your contribution in that regard, Leo. 

If we want to change the role government plays in our lives, we need to pay more attention to the all-too-neglected, but much higher-contact and more malleable local and state level. The more we turn directly to the Federal Government for things we should be seeking locally, the more power we give it.
+Sean Curtin, I'm going to disagree re lesser of 2 evils.  Romney (at his worst) is Obama lite.  

The focus on local and State government, though, I totally agree with you on.
+Leo Laporte what is your solution to prevent terrorism since this country has become paranoid enough to have our government forget about the rights we as citizens supposed to have......I agree with you but what is the solution we can't have both.....a liberal president and a president that fights terror in the US.
+Shane Girodat Exactly.  The sad thing is, it is the economy which is our most vulnerable area.  Terrorists have never really affected our well-being (at large), aside from an emotional reaction.  However, that is where all of our money has gone.  Do we feel any less safe getting on a plane since 9/11?  Of course not, despite all of the sacrifices made by our soldiers abroad, and sacrifices made by ourselves at home.

Trillions spent in the name of safety with no tangible improvement, and yet people (even in this thread) are still pissed about providing poor people with free health care, which economists say will actually cost about the same as what we currently spend (although cost distribution will change state-to-state).
+Fernando Gutierrez Screw terror!  It is exactly us paying so much attention to it that makes it so powerful!!  If we just went on with our lives and accepted terrorism as a risk (like a plane crash, train derailment, or car accident), it would quickly lose its power and terrorists would be out of a job.
Certainly an explanation is called for. I am disappointed. I think this is a matter of precedent. As each administration puts into place policies, the next one thinks of the new poicy as only and incremental change. It's an automatic response of any big organization and has to be consciously worked against.  Having said this, I think "most paranoid since Nixon" is a little bit of a stretch though.
Liberals seem to have forgotten the Democratic Congress insisted Bush implement The Patriot Act after 9/11. What did you think Obama was going to do when you voted for him? Didn't you pay attention to his past and listen to anything he was saying during his campaigns?
I guess it's time to have a President other then Democrat or Republican since either side is not happy with who is in office.....

FDR once said " only thing we have to fear is fear itself." So true even today....

+Randy Fortier you r so correct.....
The word is infestation not administration
It is sad to see that you voted for Obama twice little alone once. You helped elect a community organizer as President with no history in the Senate of any achievements other than voting present. The good news is that you have put together a good set of technical news broadcasts that I really like. So as a businessman, you would make a good conservative that spends less than than you earn (makes a profit) which I cannot say for our current President. You two do have one thing in common and that is being good presenters. The only difference is President Obama reads from a Teleprompter and you don't have a hidden agenda. You have created real jobs for people and the real unemployment rate shows that our President has not.
L Brown
Can someone explain what happened recently for Leo to say this?
I voted for the other guy. I saw bad things coming, but not this.
Nixon and Clinton were impeached for doing less than what Obamas doing.
Positive side, his last term. I would have rather had Hillary instead.
I'll admit I wasn't a fan of Obama from day 1, but every year he's been in office he has proven to me that my apprehensions were correct. I wish he was truer to his word because I feel we'd be better off today but alas it isn't the case.
+Serafin Silva Really? You voted for the guy who wanted to "double Guantanamo"? Who wanted to expand our military engagements in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Pakistan? The guy who wanted to expand the surveillance state we are in and thought the Patriot Act didn't go far enough?

What are you calling "bad things"?
Glad to see the willingness to levy criticism where it's clearly due. I'm with you, Leo.
Says one thing to get elected (twice) does the other after elected... Hmmm, par for the course I'd say.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
D'uh. Now, if only more Liberals would start copping to this, PLEASE. Because the blind "we have to love this guy" crap is really starting to annoy the hell out of me.
the NSA thing was started under bush, although it is a shame the president did nothing about it
The only good liberal is a dead liberal. All you do is blame Bush administration for everything. Shut up and live that piece of shit you elected.
I'm just surprised they bothered to get a court order to do this.
Everything in Obama's past pointed to this type of behavior.  It's the Chicago way.  sorry you let idealism trump reason.
Sigh, so tired of the left vs. right nastiness. We can deal with the facts without constantly slipping into the ideological hatred. If you don't like left or right wing policies argue on the merits...not on who you don't like or who you consider unattractive. 
+William Cowger Thanks for being a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Appreciate it.
You know, this might be the most civil discourse on politics to ever appear on the internets.  You all deserve a pat on the back.  Having said that, I don't think we're ever going to be able to roll back some of the more egregious privacy changes made since 9/11.  It has been my experience that the "internet generation" is almost wholly unconcerned with privacy in any form.  They, along with the older members of society, have also become complacent to letting the Federal government try (and mostly fail) to make us feel safer.  

Once that cat's out of the bag, it's going to be hard to put it back.  Does anyone here think they'd be better off without social security?  Because it's a relatively recent innovation in the US, but it's been around long enough that we can't imagine being left to fend for ourselves at retirement.  We went from the individual liberty and freedom of "You're on your own when you get old, so plan ahead," to "Don't worry, the government will help you save for retirement, then give you more than you put in."  The thought of government forcefully taking part of our income to save for own old age would likely enrage our founding fathers, but times and attitudes have changed. 

It won't be long before Leo's generation is dead and gone, and with them the notion that who we call and text and where we use our phones should remain private and out of the hands of government (except in criminal cases, with issued warrants.)

I have a feeling that in 25 or 30 years, those of us who value privacy in the digital age will be seen as a curios relic of a less 'progressive' past, much like buggy whip makers are seen today.
Well, liberal, conservatives, and libertarians, will never agree on everything, so most of the 'discussion' between these factions here are rather pointless (on this thread at least,) but it seems that one thing everyone can agree on is this was a big overreach by the government ... and maybe the other 'differences' can be put aside for a bit and everyone concentrate on getting THIS government to fix THIS problem, and we can get back to arguing over the other stuff  after this issue is dealt with.
If I may, +Leo Laporte perhaps it is because the nsa, cia and fbi easily manipulated Bush into new powers, that if he was to retract, he would be called a traitor by his detractors, to be against the nation's "security" and even a socialist.
I wouldn't give any of them one red cent if I had a choice.
Put someone up for election that is worth voting for and maybe I would vote. Its the same non sense with both parties where money controls what they do and say. These elections have become meaningless 
Anyone who thinks that any of his opponents would have been any better, are merely deluding themselves. This is a systemic illness with our political system as a whole, not an issue limited to one or a few individuals. 
There were so many red flags during the election that Obama would be like this. I just wish the American people would stay better informed to prevent these things in the future. 
You vote for a Liberal Democrat, you get one. More, larger government control, less freedom. Nothing new there.
Both parties work for the same masters (Bankers).  They just wear different masks to fool the people into thinking they have a choice.  The sooner folks wake up to this trick the sooner things can change for real.  I'm afraid we have a long long way to go.
+Leo Laporte are you only now pulling your head out of the sand? Where have you been since he was first elected? He's essentially been Bush part two. Romney would have been no different either. Maybe next time you should take your thousands of dollars (of which Obama needed none to win anyways) and look beyond the two party system.
Every time I hear Americans discuss political views (conservative, liberal, socialist, libertarian) I am reminded of "1984" where (what was it?) a Ministry of Education, was busy redefining language into Newspeak.

A conservative is just that: Someone who wants things to remain "the way they have always been".

A libertarian is obviously someone who values freedom (and hopefully is willing to grant other the same freedoms).

A communist is the opposite of a libertarian, one who thinks the needs and wishes of the many (the commune) overrules the wishes of the individual. And is willing to use force to achieve it.

A socialist is the same as a communist, except for the change by force part.

As for a liberal, I have no definition, except that he/she is a crypto-variant of one of the above.

+Dejan Jancevski
+Robert Grimm 
You Americans have lost the Democratic party. The Democrats have become the Republicans and the Republicans are a radical right wing fringe group.

The fact is both parties are owned by their corporate masters. You need to ban corporate funding to political parties before anything changes. Otherwise, you will be seeing the same policies over and over, and over again. 
I feel the same way. This is sad. 
What I keep wandering is why the true liberals are not out in the streets protesting. 
+Leo Laporte Don't usually don't comment here, too many voices at once, but you have a point. However, few people realize that in the second term, presidents are forced to play the bench.
+Alvin Brinson because some people are so busy working and managing their families they don't have time to go and protest all the crap that's happening.
I think people are starting to wake up and realize that republicans and democrats are the same, just different letters. Obama signed the NDAA Bill that both John McCain and Graham - two Republicans that now say that the US is a battlefield and that you can be arrested without access to a speedy trial, access to a lawyer, or family until the US Military decides that you can have such rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments in the Bill of Rights. The Patriot Act was expanded and today we now know that every Verizon Customer's phone and electronic history has been collected and will be collected every day for classified reasons by a man who helped murder two border patrol agents in operation fast and furious to blame gun owners. We now are starting 37 military operations in Africa, we have troops in over 30 countries including Afghanistan ( we have been there longer than the Soviets and Alexander the Great), Iraq ( no yellowcake, no aluminum tubing, and no mobile WMD Trucks) that Colin Powell with CIA Dir Tenet was behind him as he stated the lies at the UN Security Council. We were in Libya and replaced the government, we are in Syria - which the Russians are setting up since they have the only base accessible to the Mediterranean Sea unless Cyprus makes a deal. With my city going into marshal law and we shutdown Boston and 100 square miles of Massachusetts for a 19 year old that was unarmed while assaulted in the boat - which eye whiteness said it was never searched and after the ' state of siege' was lifted - the owner of the house noticed blood and movement at the boat and then the police came. The iPhone 5 videos show massive gunfire being viewed by a second floor Watertown citizen - but they said he was unarmed, so what were they shooting at? With police powers in place and the scandals including the IRS attacking the Tea Party and the FBI announced today that they want a software back door to all software. This is not the country I served in Iraq as a MP in the Army and I was taught at the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council about how important rights are. I wish Ron Paul had the support :-/ 
Don't expect anything else from his administration. You and the others who supported him have given him everything he needs, those two votes. He doesn't need you anymore. It will only get worse. BTW, the same would (and has been) true with a GOP Pres. All professional politicians must be voted out of office. The job wasn't supposed to be a career, it was supposed to be service for a short time, followed by a return to the life/career. Greedy people have made it a career unto itself. Our fault, our duty to change.
I completely agree Leo which is why I never voted for him. He's not transparent and misleads Americans. 
I find all of this assuming actually.
Dear Leo Laporte, I'm sorry that keeping the base at Guantanomo Bay open thoughout his first 4 year term despite his solemn pledge to close it as his first act as President didn't tip you off.
+Leo Laporte Welcome!  You'd learned that our two party system is an illusion, not a choice.  Any ideas on how to shake up our current system and get fresh ideas, and fresh blood into our political dualopoly?
Never give a politician your money. EVER.
I hoped he would bring major change. However, Whistleblowers are treated worse than the criminals they expose, the military prison he said would be closed is still open, and the USA has gone down the wrong fork in the road related to the spirit of the Geneva convention.

It is now common currency to measure military objectives in terms of how many foreign lives are equivalent to a dead American. Hint: it's 1:1, and you'd go nuts if drones of a foreign power operated like yours in your own air space.

The land of the free is, in many ways, showing signs of being stuck in reverse gear and accelerating away down unfortunate paths. I hope it's not too late to pull it back and restore the respect of the rest of the world.
Both Barack and Michelle have forgotten that they work for the people and have let power go to their heads. I am disappointed in how they have both handled the dignity of the US presidency 
+Kevin Gossett Couldn't agree more, Kevin. It's hard to believe ANYBODY would be so naive to buy into the hollow promises that come out of the mouths of these jackals... on both sides of the aisle. 
Well, this thread declined rapidly. It's like Digg all over again.
They're all politicians. What did you expect? Ignore them all and get on with your own life and do the right thing for YOU.
Okay ask yourself would you rather have Mitt?
+Marsha Lin Right now I trust no one..  Very disappointed in federal government in total.  Enforce term limits, vote them all our of office. 
+Dejan Jancevski  I suggest you look at the vast  human cost of the Industrial revolution to see what an untempered  "free market" does. Only the  a couple  of World  Wars  rise of the unions brought an end to that.
But isn't he helping you on the patent law front?
The author of the Patriot Act - Jim Sensenbrenner - has come out and stated that the phone records collection from Verizon is excessive and goes beyond the scope of the law. Another Obama unraveling screw up... 
By definition, the word liberalism (without a qualifier) means liberty and equality. The problem is how it's interpreted. Hence, why we have classical liberalism, social liberalism, neoliberalism, etc.
I believe President Obama labeled himself a progressive, not a liberal.  Ultimately, I would consider him a statist.  The problem here is not one of party identification; it is the rise and consolidation of the administrative state in the US since at least WWII.  This has been a progression through both Republican and Democrat administrations.

Bureaucracies by their nature attempt to extend their power over individuals.  And, since these bureaucracies and the state offer benefits in the form of services we, as citizens, continue to be enticed into extending the state into more of our lives.  Fundamentally, we have been derailed from the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the notion that a government that governs least governs best.  For a recent exposition on this, one might try reading I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism from Kesler

This is made all the more precarious given the nature of modern education which assumes that all values are equal and therefore there is no “good”, “true”, or “just society”.   If all values are equal, then the values of the tyrant are a valid as those of the democrat.  For an elucidation on the folly of this thinking, I would point one to Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind.

Both of these political philosophers present arguments worth consideration and debate.  What sort of a society do we want and will a continuously expanding administrative state get us there?
I Assume that this is a result of the NSA/Verizon story? Kinda thought that this would cause a flap. I rarely pay any attention to conspiracy theories. But I do notice when they are of a nature to lead a loud, faithful flock into the packing plant. So far, nothing from this administration has caused me to lose much sleep, except for the frets about what the next bunch might escalate to. 

NSA was not listening to our calls, they were doing traffic analysis. Our criminal and intelligence agencies have been doing that for a long time. After 9/11 there was a huge public outcry over the lack of cooperation among CIA/NSA/FBI. But before that time, the same public would have had a hissy at those violations of Posse Comitatus (sp?) Makes me wonder if our leaders allowed the WTC attacks to happen just to get the public behind more intrusive govt. I guess not, at least it does not seem to be working. At least not under the Obama administration. Would anyone like to bet that the same thing did not happen under the Bush administration, but they were just good at hiding it?

In a Democracy, we get the government we deserve.
Yeah and us none believes of what he promised are painting for your vote
Abolish the Patriot act! reinstate the constitution! The fourth amendment seems to have been thrown out to benefit some administration officials not the electorate.
+Leo Laporte The loss of liberties has been a gradual boiling of the pot and we are now experiencing the heat more than ever. The founders had names for it. It is worth while reading those who influenced the founders, such as Jefferson and Adams. Writers like James Otis and John Locke who you may even find on Audible. 
He is only doing as his corporate pay masters are telling him.
If you want an education on the intelligence community, read Top Secret America. Also for the current administration fans, before Mr. Obama took office there were between 36-39 planned operations in the works and the intelligence community was very concerned. Not only did he not cancel any but approved every operation. This current situation cannot be laid strictly at the foot of the Bush administration.

We won't get who we elect nor who we want . . . but, will get who we deserve! That being said, we still have the best Congress money can buy!!
+Leo Laporte, I'm not sure freedom and openness should be attributed to any one political party if you're stating liberal = democrat, but either way I appreciate your statement because I think openness/transparency/freedom is lost on all political parties republican, democrat, or otherwise.
Welcome to the majority Leo.  
"liberal principles of openness and freedom that he pretended"
Let's play the which words belong together game!
First group: principles, openness and freedom.
2nd group: liberal and pretended.
We. Have. A. Winner!
Love all the Bush bashing based on speculation.  Those of you doing so might be right, but you have no proof, so can you really go out on that limb?  And seriously.  BO is the president.  If Bush started it, couldn't BO just call up the IRS, the CIA, the Secret service, and the defense dept. (and any of his other corrupt dept.'s) and said "Stop it".  Seriously folks.  Seriously?
Once was understandable but what in his first term made you think he would keep his election promises.   Low information voting. 
I trusted him too. But he just proved that it doesn't matter which person you voted for of the 2 popular parties... They both would do the same thing. 
This was initiated and renewed multiple times BY CONGRESS under the Patriot Act during the Bush administration. That's ridiculous for you to be mad at Obama for a program that was already underway before he took office. He also has no power to end the program which is authorized as law of the land by Congress.

Go ahead and be outraged, but your outrage should be at those who actually did it... Congress!
Yeah, because every president uses the IRS and EPA et al to target the other party right?  WTF are you people smoking?  If all of this was done under a president with an R after his name you would be screaming for him to be strung up.
+Mike Sussman It was a Democratic Congress and they pressured Bush into implementing it. Who ordered the recent blanket monitoring, Congress? No, it was the Obama administration. 
If anyone have any suggestions in combating terrorism and preventing future attacks (keep in mind that the terrorists could be your neighbor), please share it with our government.

Knowing now how much info our administration have at their fingertips, it is evident that Benghazi is sheer incompetence and a total breakdown.

You all know, this conversation is being monitored.
Doesn't every president do this? At least that's what I've noticed.
A nice selling point for a smallish telco : we refuse to give data to acronym bound government agencies. 
I'd like to comment here, but every time I start writing, it always starts out "Dumbass" or "Bullshit!".  Doesn't really lend itself to civil conversation.
You got what u voted for... Bad Social experiment, many of us were never fooled by this joker.
I am shocked Leo that you find the NSA collection of call records in the US to be the Obama's betrayal of America.  This was all covered under the PATRIOT act, and you didn't vote against Obama or the Congress when they passed that treasonous legislation.  And you had no problem with Obama executing Americans overseas without due process?  Or breaking his promise to close Guantanamo?
So what finally opened your eyes Leo? Spending us into oblivion, a 5 year recession or maybe higher taxes possibly. I was wondering what it was going to take for you to realize this guy is not looking out for the average guy.
+Dejan Jancevski No he doesn't he was elected to a second term and basically answers to no one. So, If like +Leo Laporte you voted for him twice, you have no right to complain. 
Ive known NSA had offices in ATT and Vzn for ages, nothing new really. And i dont even live in the US.
+Neal Gilbert, what on God's green earth would make you think that I would have ever voted for a liberal candidate, let alone the most liberal candidate ever to run for the office of President?!?  I voted for the Libertarian in both elections...not the goof the majority of this country have us stuck with.

Secondly, you are DEAD WRONG!  Even in a 2nd term, the President is not "untouchable".  He can be impeached, and then put on trial for crimes against the country.  So, he still answers to the people!  Please go and read, read again, and re-read one more time the Constitution of the United States.
+Jeff Chaney Why do the poster and you misspell the name of the US President? Is that on purpose? Because it is Barack Obama, not Barak. Irony? 
Vote Libertarian. Save the Constitution. Protect individual liberty. Seems fairly obvious in the year 2013...
Fuck this noise. We, as Americans have just been defeated. 
Of all days to wear my twit shirt. :( politics are the capacitors of society.
I completely agree with +Steve Heistand in voting for someone to public office, we're simply voting for the lesser of two evils. 
took this long for people to question the taste of the Kool-Aid?
Thank You Leo for posting this!  It's been a long time coming.... I'm happy your spider senses went off on this one!  :)
Lol, and the jfk conspiracy rears is ugly, and unfounded, head. Sigh.
Tom Bos
And this is just what has come out in public so......
Welp, you got what you voted for.  It ought to tell you something about what your voting choices are, or rather, should be for future elections.

BTW, Mr. Laporte, I don't know who Barak Obama is,  but I don't think you plus-mentioned who you think you did.  Just conjecturing....
Ron Jackson that is a copout.
+Dejan Jancevski I was referring to +Leo Laporte, not you.  I could tell from your posts that you did not vote for Obama.  

Regarding the second term, of course he is not untouchable, but because he cannot be re-elected, a second term president has more freedom to pursue his ideology, which is exactly what we are seeing right now.
Neil Gilbert. And that ideology is?
It's the usual case of "I am going to vote for my guy over your guy!" and then a while later.. "hey! My guy sucks too!". They all suck, just a little differently than the last guy. Once you realize that, then you will realize that the two party system is broken, and parties are meaningless. Politicians affiliate with a party to appeal to a demographic. They spew the chosen party lines and get all the support they need to get elected. Then, once in office, they do what they please anyway, regardless of the public interest. Am I generalizing? Sure. Sadly, it's an extremely accurate and broad-sweeping generalization.
so I guess we vote for the lesser of two evils (palm in face)
Or instead of being "fat, dumb, happy" citizens too complacent to do anything about it other than complain on the internet, we rise up and invoke our right to fix the very system we've built and let slip into disrepair. Oh wait... my favorite television show is starting.
I am surprised you were so suckered. Why does anyone want the government to be the biggest business with powers no entity should ever have had? 
+Drew Bannister Vote Libertarian.  Collapse the economy after they've dismantled the Federal Reserve and tried to put the US currency on a Gold standard.
This is why I DIDN'T vote for Obama twice. He's not any different than any politician before him, all talk and B.S. 
Sry Leo i love reading but, damn :) 
It's all about money. Follow the money and that's where you wilk find everything. Ever wonder why we can't get the gun control we really want? Ever wonder why our defense budget is so high and public schools are closing down? Follow the money..
Jason N
Leo. Wait to convict until you know if this is true. I'm not saying it isn't, but it could be B.S.
These rules were instituted when the country was in a fever over being attacked. Those of us who complained were ridiculed. Benjamin Franklin said it best--Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither. We are reaping what we sowed. 90% supported the Patriot act, and the then President without question. People who called for GW Bush to be impeached were laughed at. 

Now it hits home, and now you're upset. The internet community did not care when someone else was being jerked around. Only now does it raise a voice of protest, against a President who is doing what is permitted by law.

Just in case you haven't noticed, President Obama has had his hands tied by an obstinate Congress. He advocated changes, but they went nowhere. 

This not to say that this is alright. It is not, but the problem existed long before Obama, and nobody said boo. 
Thousands of dollars!? You fucked up bro 
Well there's a few of you i wouldn't mind seeing unsecured ;)
I don't know how to ensure the people we vote for will say what they mean, and do what they say.  I wish there was an app for that.
Comment bait achievement awarded!
Seeing he signed the NDAA and over rode the SCOTUS on the unconstitutional provision saying you can hold Americans without charge or limit, kept Iraq an Afgan going for more then a year, helped shove the Health Care act down the Americans throat, Bhengazi, Fast and Furious, helped write and signed the Sequestion bill into law then blamed the Republicans when it went into effect. Yep, this President has show himself to be trandparent and a champion of liberty. 
And Obama will never give a real explaination. he will just blame and deflect. I have never heard this President take responsibilty for anything under his watch. He has blamed everyone else though. 
Leo you do realize the American people don't vote for President, United States Electoral College is the institution that officially elects the President. Take away Congress power of voting , give the power of congress back to the people so we the people vote on every bill . Let any American run for the office of President. RNC & DNC run the show now keeping everyone else out with crazy state laws.
+Alan Abentrod bingo! You even had Michigan straight out come out and say they gave their votes to Obama for kickbacks. 
can't believe anyone is stupid enough to donate to a political party/candidate (unless they are looking for a good ROI in cash)
+Leo Laporte Thank you for your honesty. And, for those who are saying that the other guy would be worse, you can't know that. It's also a terrible way to excuse the behavior we're seeing from our government today in reality. Why don't we stay out of the hypothetical and try to deal with what is in front of us? Unfortunately, it's looking pretty bleak right now.
What i would like to know is how they get our data? Direct acces? What if our data got stolen? If the gouverment can get it from there servers. Identity theft? How do they store it? What is there data policy? 
Nixon didn't corrupt the IRS the way the Obama admin has (though he wanted to).

"Russell George, the inspector general whose audit confirmed the targeting of conservative groups, mentioned, as we all do these days, Richard Nixon's attempt to use the agency to target his enemies. But part of that Watergate story is that Nixon failed. Last week David Dykes of the Greenville (S.C.) News wrote of meeting with 93-year-old Johnnie Mac Walters, head of the IRS almost 40 years ago, in the Nixon era. Mr. Dykes quoted Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, who told him the IRS wouldn't do what Nixon asked: "It didn't happen, not because the White House didn't want it to happen, but because people like Johnnie Walters said 'no.'" "
Leo, conservatives have been warning about Obama's history of being a politician in the HIGHLY corrupt Chicago political culture since around 2006! It appears that Americans are now finding out that the President is turning into a national version of William Magear "Boss" Tweed (who "ran" the Tammany Society "political machine" from 1852 to 1870; Tweed's political misdeeds are legendary in American history).
Wow. Talk about saying what we were all thinking. Thanks Leo, from a fellow liberal tired of Obama lies and double standards. 
I hope your taxes are in order, sir!
Leo, I've heard you say many times that everything you do is public, so what's the difference? Is it ok for Facebook & Google to mine your data to make money, but not ok for the gov to mine your data for terrorists? I'm not taking one side or the other, just asking.
Leo it's clear you haven't been a supporter of the president, and that's fine. But it's a bit disappointing to me that you try to criticize Obama under the guise of a supporter. I've followed you since Tech TV, and all the pod cast shows, and I can remember many little moments when the mention of Obama would cause you to say you "just don't like the guy". 
Don't worry. NEXT time it'll be different. Next time will be better. Right?
Also people please I implore you to read a little history and learn a little about how our government works before spouting off a comparison to Nixon. There's an important distinction here and it has to do with legality.

Nixon did in fact create an illegal and unwarranted group, known as the S.S., within the IRS to target his "enemy list". These were not enemies of the state mind you - just people who Nixon didn't like. This was sanctioned directly by Nixon himself. The Oval Office tapes back that up.

The patriot act, whether you agree with it or not, is the law of the land. It's legal, and if you have a problem with it, I suggest you take your grievances to the one branch of government that could actively overturn it - Congress. The President cannot sign an executive order, and despite what you may believe the NSA has been tracking calls for many years.

Finally one last point. I am not a fan of the Patriot Act, I want it gone. However it is important to know what actually the NSA is and is not allowed to do with this information. The Patriot Act extends the NSA's ability to collect information, not how they may use it. In other words they can now gain access to more information, such as, in this case, telephone numbers, duration of calls, etc, however they cannot use this information without cause. Same as it was and has always been.

For some time telephone companies, like Verizon, have had to keep these transaction logs for several years to comply with the law. The government can and does make request of these companies to turn over their logs if there is just cause to do so. However, it seems the government's problem is that they do not want to trust the national security to the privately held telephone providers - most of which operate in other countries. Additionally the companies have been complaining about the costs that they take on and that are associated with keeping these log files for their term. The government capturing this data may allow for the companies to scale back in their obligation, although I do not know of any measure to do so at this time.

I hope you have all your receipts for the upcoming IRS audit ;-)
July 4th 2013 flood the internet with as many posts on every social network, lets put our tax dollars to work and let them read it all.
Libertarian, not liberal. Teeny difference. But I agree.
The world is different and our openness is used against us. One should be paranoid and vigilant. 
I've been hearing this for over 20 years since I've started following politics. Clintons evil , bush is evil , now Obama is evil. Honestly, I don't have the energy to care anymore. Like everything else the truth lies somewhere in the middle. 
Leo, I have done the same thing and even got a license plate with his name as a sign of respect. Now days I'm extremely disappointed with the blunt violation and threat to our constitutional rights, not just privacy. Explanation WILL NOT suffice, we need meaningful corrective actions and only then apology.
It's been a long time since we were actually given a choice in presidential elections.  The game is rigged and only "players" are eligible.
I've registered Independent since the Nixon-Ford debacle.  I'm not quite Libertarian, but with each administrations mismanaging the U.S. I get a bit closer.  Think about it?!  For all we know the NSA (or other agency) is mining comments like mine and yours.
There is no doubt the NSA is trying to build profiles of every citizen all through whatever communications they can get their hands on. That info would be invaluable for future "insurrection management".
+Leo Laporte, even if Nixon was more paranoid at least he only tapped his own phones.
+Dejan Jancevski Leo is correct that classical liberal is what the libertarians represent today.  The neo-liberal is the classification you have a problem with and what a liberal seems to represent these days.  
I think +Michael Washington is correct to imply the NSA has probably always done this.  I am sure this has been happening since the 90's.  
+Jeff Chaney, I disagree that this is a conservative point of view but definitely a neo-con one.  Seems as if the neo-cons and neo-libs have the same hunger for control and fascistic ambition.
+Ameer Robinson = Obamaton
+Vito Cassisi name any difference between the Bush to Obama presidency?  Obama in every way has made worse what Bush started.  The Bush-Obama combo has been devastating.
+Kimmo Jaskari Obama definitely isn't a right of center guy but you're right to say liberals should be furious.  Where are the anti-war demonstrators that were out in force when Bush was president?

On the next ballot I would like a third option called "No Confidence" so I can express my dislike for the anyone TPTB put in front of us.
I refused to vote for him because he already had a history of this. In the entire 200+ year history of of the U.S.A. exactly two people had ever been prosecuted for leaking "Secrets" to the media. One under Clinton and one under Bush. In Obama's first term, Six!! What more do you need to know about his ideas of freedom?
Wow, more libertarians acting like they're the only ones who care about freedom. Sigh.
+David Litton, um...libertarians don't have to act...they genuinely ARE the only ones that care about freedom.  The neo-conservatives don't.  Today's liberals couldn't give a darn.  So...yeah...the libertarians DO. :)
Leo I'm a little paranoid myself with the craziness going on here in Mass.
+Dejan Jancevski you are a member of a cult if you believe that only people who share your particular ideology care about freedom.  If you think you hold the monopoly on any concept due to your ideology, you are part of a huge problem in our society.
+David Litton, simply put...I'm a [r]epublican.  And if you have to ask what that means, then YOU are part of the problem.
The cognitive dissonance of liberals is amusing. How many more years into the future will you continue blaming George Bush when your hero BHO could have changed everything with the stroke of a pen? His administration, and much of the Democratic party is more corrupt and power-hungry than anything in recent American history. Shame on you all. This is the government you voted for, and the government you deserve.
I almost prefer Bush as his agendas were more obvious and less deceptive.  Not that I agreed with much Bush tried to do...
I'm glad that you've finally come around.  Even if you thought Obama would make a good President back in 2007, almost everything he's done since being sworn in should disappoint you.  Honestly, I think he should resign.  It's an embarrassment to have him up there constantly lying.
Unfortunately, with our current system, it comes down to voting for 1 of 2 people (for POTUS).  Neither is going to really represent you, and both are going to be corrupt, but you have to choose the one that you feel will do the least amount of harm.  You made the right choice.
That might be true in a perfect world but not the one we live in.  We are given two flavors of the same poison.  Every year we have less and less of what made this country great.   Grand Experiment = FAIL
+Dejan Jancevski again, only a person who looks at their political position the way cult members look at their particular belief structure would think that they have the monopoly on something, in this case "freedom" simply because they hold a particular ideology.
Leo, I love all the Twit podcasts but you start to lose me when you talk about politics .
Let Jeff Jarvis start YWIP This week in Politics. That would be a great show!
Yes because Jarvis agrees with you ideologically, right +Mark Bergquist ?  I'd actually LOVE a show with Leo and John C talking politics... They disagree a lot but have been friends for a long time, so I think they could manage to keep it civil.
Leo!! You laughed at JCD every time he warned you, and your answer was if your not doing anything wrong...and your other answer was but look at all the free services we're getting!!!
I think it's time for you to donate to NO AGENDA SHOW!! :)
I did not vote for him !!  But, I still agree with what Leo said here.  Clearly the worst man won this time !!!  
Unfortunately the paranoia comes with the position. Many people in high places tend to become paranoid because they think everyone is trying to take their position.
It is truly amazing liberals are still blaming Bush. You get what you deserve. Santa Claus says thanks for the one thousand donation.

Jeff Go
We warned and warned. The Democrat Party is full of Marxists (of whatever variety) and any freedom loving Liberal better take back their party, because the freedom, Constitutional loving Conservatives are tired of being ignored, ridiculed, and attacked.
"We told you so." And I'm not happy to say that.

Had you all been smart, voted for Romney, this government would have started the cleanup process back in November with a President who actually knows how to work. 
You get what you deserve for voting for a criminal
I would have to agree - however, I wonder how much of this is a carry-over from the Bush administration and Homeland security?
Ron K
If he (Obama) cared for the people then he should have stood up and demanded changes to the NSA and intelligence community. 
Yeah, this administration read Orwell's 1984...I'm seeing the book unfold before my very eyes for gosh sakes. It wasn't supposed to be an instruction manual O.o
I'm pretty sure it was GWB's administration that signed the Patriot Act into law.
Liberal principles? Ha! He also needs to "explain" or be prosecuted over his Benghazi lies and IRS activities. 
C'mon now +Leo one betrayed anything. These LAWS were passed under the Bush administration with the "War on Terror" agenda. Now all of a sudden people are blaming this President for not being transparent? LOL was passed into LAW and has been practiced ever since!!! If you want transparency, start paying attention to what your Congress has passed and has known about for over a decade! READING is fundamental. Maybe you should hit up Audible to start reading Laws that are passed and maybe then people will actually start to pay attention BEFORE something "leaks". Lol!
Before the 2008 election President Bush 43 said in an interview about whoever was elected when they read the daily briefings they would basically make the same decisions as he had to make for the nation.

It has been expanded under the president who claimed to be transparent and the anti bush. Obama himself admits his new policies with the NSA is "the right balance." Your boy is absolutely responsible... take the blinders off. Not to mention Obama has no issue ramming thru legislation based on a single party's votes (see obamacare). Why didn't he address this then? Answer is because he was a wolf in sheeps clothing the whole time relying on his tongue, image, and color to dupe his supporters.
When Congress renewed the Patriot Act in 2011, Sen. Sanders opposed the measure because he felt the law gave the federal government too much authority to monitor private phone records. Sanders told Vermont Public Radio that he is dismayed that President Obama expanded the surveillance program started by former President George W. Bush. “Am I deeply disappointed that Barack Obama, who among other things taught and studied Constitutional law, believes he has the authority or that it makes good public policy to do this? Am I disappointed? Absolutely."
And now the Obama admin. Bush was bush, we get that. That is no longer an excuse for the candidate who bitched and moaned about Bush only to expand his policies. Why do people have such a hard time admitting their boy is absolutely responsible? Come back to reality. He's the president and has been for quite awhile now lol
I voted for Obama too. And I feel let down big time.  I don't really care about losing privacy, I'd just like to adhere to the Constitution and actually change it if needed.  For me it's about following the rules.

There has been far too much stuff "out of whack" as Holder put it.  It's not really possible to trust this administration very much with so many failures which seem to squarely contradict their stated principles and appear almost like Bush in some ways.  Obama is on Youtube saying he would reverse stuff like this as the "first thing" he would do.  Instead, he's accelerating it.
 Blame for the Patriot Act falls on the American people for consenting to it 12 years ago. If Americans are unwilling to learn from history.  Abuse committed by previous governments.  You will continue to repeat same mistakes.
Would a Mit Romney Administration done any better? I still am glad I voted for Obama. Question is: what are we willing to give up for safety? I don't care if they look at my phone records or internet searches, there is nothing there of interest. I am willing to let the government have access to these if it prevents another 911 attack. I want to walk down the street or get in an airplane or attend a public event without wondering if it will be my last. Democracy is a give and take system so we have to figure out what we are willing to give and what we are not willing to give.
The problem with a lot of this is that challenges to this stuff have been prevented on the grounds of state secrets.

Jewel vs NSA is still pending.

The only way you can challenge Congressional actions that are contrary to the Constitutional amendments is through SCOTUS.  If you can't go through SCOTUS the Congress can pass stuff that is un-Constitutional without having to ratify stuff.

The Obama administration is actively fighting cases going to SCOTUS on the grounds of state secrets.  They're actively working against a case even being heard to see if this is Constitutional or not because they think the world will crumble if it is. 

It's an admission to a hypothetical.
maybe now you gonna stop poking fun a curry and dvorak 
How many comments not aligned with big government have been removed from this thread since google is a big part of the problem. 
I hate to say it but Leo is right. I still believe but it's getting harder every day.
In your chatroom, during the first election, many of us warned that he was not up to the job (based on his 138 days of senate time) and would depend on his Chicago style of operation-- w/ no accountability. There was never any qualification based on his experience, but everyone wanted "change". There's nothing to tarnish when there are no principles. If it feels good, do it. He's as bad now as he was 6 years ago. Next up.... the ever-lying Clinton Mark II.
I respect you for admitting that the man you supported lied to you & are now holding him accountable. Hopefully the Presidents' other supporters will follow suit. The President is without excuse for violating his oath of office.
He was a liar while he was in the Senate,  nothing new here... he just pulled the wool over others eyes a little longer... no more,  I predict an election catastrophe next fall for the Democrats.
I don't think we have the time to wait for an election. 
Oh boy Leo, Prizm is going to catch this and then an IRS audit! Isn't that the real problem - the same govt that runs Prizm has already proven that they will use all the tools they have to make the lives of their "enemies" difficult - regardless of whether they are US citizens or not.
Boy Leo, this sure reads like one of those "spam all your friends" messages. Mr. Obama is no liberal or conservative. He is a man without principle and unfortunately without a clue as well. I'm glad you finally saw the light. I'm sorry the light bill was so high.
I really hate to see you making political statements of any kind that aren't related to helping computer users. I know it's a staitjacket, and you have a right to say whatever you wish but we're here for your computer stuff!
I heard the fox was taking a $$ 100 M dollar vacation.. Wow.. 
I DISAGREE--respecfully, Leo. As far as paranoia goes please let us not forget September 11th 2001. Let us NEVER forget!! He has done a fine job balancing the weight of the world on his shoulders ( and then some).
LOL REMEMBER 9-11?? remember the outrage over the patriot act from the left in response to 9-11? NOW WHO IS ABUSING THE VERY ACT THEY SO DESPISED? 
Why, it's not the presence of abuse that's terrible, it's WHO is the one doing it! lol
+JC Dill the theoretical town in state assumption sure is a nice place to live..
+Leo Laporte so you're one of the fucking asshole Socialists that helped put this piece of shit BACK into office once again.

Vote for Obama once, and I can almost get it.  You were taken in by his charming demeanor.  A second time?  Even after he proved he was no better than the piece of shit Bush before?  Come on!  Guess you need "dumbass" tattooed on your forehead.

Keep on marching to the idiots that have tried to implement Socialism for so many years before, and ALL have failed.  Good luck with that.  And the definition of insanity is...

Too bad we have not lived in a Capitalist system since 1913 when the Federal Reserve took over our banking system.  That is when we took the turn towards a horrible mix of Socialism and Fascism.  But hey, you keep marching, lock-step, with the fools that have gone before you.  Let's see it is only different this time, oh insane one.  LOL
Well, that was kind of uncalled for, wasn't it?
Actually voting for a loser twice is uncalled for.  Thinking that Socialism might just worn this time is uncalled for. Perhaps you should rethink you litmus test.
No thanks. I'm a conservative. Conservatives believe in civil behavior. When you're right you don't have to call people profane names, so if you'll pardon me I choose to be nice. Personally I'd rather have a civil socialist as a friend than a profane conservative.

Name calling, profanity, nastiness and assault are the last refuge of those who are wrong. They do it when they can't make a good argument for their case. It's a real shame seeing someone who is on the right side so clueless that his first tool out of the box is a jack hammer.

So no, I'm not the one who needs to rethink anything, thank you very much.
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