Obama invites us to respond to Big Brother surveillance
Do we trust DC oversight or not, he asks?

NY Times reports on Obama's 14 minute response in his press conference, originally supposed to be devoted to health care:

Mr. Obama suggested that Congressional debate behind closed doors should offer the public some confidence that the surveillance is not being abused. He said that those members of Congress — and the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court — were watching the process.

“If in fact there were abuses taking place, then presumably, those members of Congress could raise those issues.” Mr. Obama said. “They are empowered to do so.”

“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here,” he said.  

The president also said he welcomed a more public debate over the future of such surveillance programs and what should be the appropriate balance between civil liberties and the need to maintain national security. But he said there “are some tradeoffs involved” in that debate.

We already have some problems here.  Haven't you noticed?  OMG, yes, Mr. President, we have some issues with trusting Congress' oversight.  Have you seen their approval numbers lately?  Or yours?

I hate it when my own folks play the voting public for fools.

Congressional approval ratings:
(for those who don't want to click through, it's hovering at about 15%, and is actually up a little bit since March)

Obama's approval ratings:
48% (which sounds good compared to Congress until you look at the comparisons -- deserves a click-through)

There's no metrics I know of for an approval rating for the federal court system where FISA "lives," although this is the first year that the Supreme Court ratings went negative.

Are we watching the death throes of a republic when the communication lines are either this disjunct or this cynical?

Here is the +Sunlight Foundation section on improving Congressional oversight:


Some  interesting observations from sfgate (h/t EFF):




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