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White House Pressures Legislators Into Gutting USA FREEDOM Act

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the too-bad-everybody-moved-their-indignation-over-to-net-neutrality dept.

Government 284

The U.S. House of Representatives has substantially reduced the effectiveness of the USA FREEDOM Act, a surveillance reform bill that sought to end mass collection of U.S. citizens' data. House Leadership was pressured by the Obama Administration to weaken many of the bill's provisions. The EFF and the Center for Democracy & Technology had both given their backing to the bill earlier this month, but they've now withdrawn their support. CDT Senior Counsel Harley Geiger said, "The Leadership of the House is demonstrating that it wants to end the debate about surveillance, rather than end bulk collection. As amended, the bill may not prevent collection of data on a very large scale in a manner that infringes upon the privacy of Americans with no connection to a crime or terrorism. This is quite disappointing given the consensus by the public, Congress, the President, and two independent review groups that ending bulk collection is necessary."

Robyn Greene of the Open Technology Institute added, "We are especially disappointed by the weakening of the language intended to prohibit bulk collection of innocent Americans’ records. Although we are still hopeful that the bill’s language will end the bulk collection of telephone records and prevent indiscriminate collection of other types of records, it may still allow data collection on a dangerously massive scale. Put another way, it may ban ‘bulk’ collection of all records of a particular kind, but still allow for ‘bulky’ collection impacting the privacy of millions of people. Before this bill becomes law, Congress must make clear—either through amendments to the bill, through statements in the legislative record, or both—that mass collection of innocent people’s records isn’t allowed."

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Glimmer of hope, squashed (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47058565)

For a second I thought they were "gutting" it in a good way.

How naive of me :-(

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#47058991)

The typical White House approach to any threat like this (and both GW and Obama have used this approach many times) is to call together all the parties involved (especially the politicians) and ask them "Do you really want us to have to blame you if there is another terrorist attack?" Scares the shit out of any politician.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (1, Troll)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#47059007)

Fuck you and your moral equivalency. This is now, and the Obama administration is doing it. You obviously voted for the guy, it's time for you to admit your mistake and call it for what it is.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#47059075)

Listen, Republican. President Dick Cheney's himbo proxy was bad. Barak "No Change" Obama is bad too. Fucking deal with it.

As for me, I don't vote for either party, and haven't for a long time. I despise them both. I also hate people like you, who think that everyone is bad except YOUR party. People like you are the problem. You're just the dumb asshole wearing the "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kodos!" t-shirt.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (0, Troll)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059111)

You seem confused, and confused people look really bad when they lash out at their betters like you just did.

Do you not realize that the system is rigged, so our only other option was a Republican, and they've gotten really wacky on religion and science denial?

We can't allow Republicans anywhere near power until they marginalize their far-right extremists and foolish religious conservatives. Obama was by far the better choice in both elections.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059397)

This is a choice?????

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059421)

Yes, human. Choose Kang or Kodos.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#47059425)

It's funny that whenever someone points out what a terrible mistake a lot of people made voting for Obama, they always become a Republican. It's also strange that I can't seem to find anyone who voted for Obama in 2012, even among my reliably left-wing friends.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059267)

You imply that the alternatives were any better....

Do you really think Mccain or Romney would do any differently?

Rupublican and Democrat are 2 sides of the same coin.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059091)

>Scares the shit out of any politician.

Which is totally understandable. I sure wouldn't want to be the person who got a bunch of people killed by limiting surveillance. I'd have to be very, very sure that the surveillance was truly inappropriate, and it would be very easy to doubt yourself with that kind of pressure on.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (4, Funny)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#47059165)

I sure wouldn't want to be the person who got a bunch of people killed by limiting surveillance.

Wouldn't matter if you "got them killed" or not. The powers who want to stop your reforms would still blame you.

An attack *IS* coming, regardless. And they *WILL* blame you for it if you don't do what they tell you to. Now fall in line, bitch.

Re:Glimmer of hope, squashed (5, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059069)

I understand your assumption, usually a bill with a name like the USA FREEDOM act is about taking away freedom.

But, but, BUT! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058597)

Only the RIGHT is evil! OBAMA is our Lord and Savior! This must be a ploy by the right to make him look bad!

Re:But, but, BUT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058923)

Repugs control the House.

Re:But, but, BUT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058973)

Repugs control the House.

True:

House Leadership was pressured by the Obama Administration to weaken many of the bill's provisions.

Bush III loves wielding power, errr, his pen. And his phone.

Re:But, but, BUT! (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#47059005)

It is kind of strange that the headline mentions the white house adding pressure, but the summary doesn't at all...

Re:But, but, BUT! (3, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#47059239)

Because it doesn't make any sense. When has Obama had any influence over the Republican controlled House?

Re:But, but, BUT! (1)

coldfarnorth (799174) | about 5 months ago | (#47059337)

Yeah, aren't we talking about the same house that voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act some 2,527 times now? (No wait, this just in: we're up to 2,528!)

Re:But, but, BUT! (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 5 months ago | (#47059515)

It's when the senate votes next year that it will matter.

Then we can gradually dismantle the Obama regime.

He's going to make such a cute lame duck, after all his power has been taken away.

I can't wait for his speech appearances in 2017.

Re:But, but, BUT! (0)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059129)

I've only seen right-wing lunatics call Obama our lord and savior. Do you self-identify as a right-wing lunatic? Just checking if the pattern is still holding up.

Re:But, but, BUT! (3, Informative)

ichthus (72442) | about 5 months ago | (#47059389)

Right-wing lunatics like, say, Jamie Foxx [huffingtonpost.com] ?

Re:But, but, BUT! (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47059155)

If only we had some conservatives in congress who would dare to stand up and go against Obama. /s

What does Obama know that we don't? (5, Insightful)

rritterson (588983) | about 5 months ago | (#47058613)

There is an apparent and obvious change between pre-Presidential Obama's and Presidential Obama's actions and opinions on surveillance. What's the cause? Is it:

1. Lobbying money from parties that gain from the intelligence industry?

2. Access to top secret data that still hasn't been released showing a compelling need for this information gathering?

3. Some sort of extortion/blackmail information on Obama possessed by someone in intelligence?

4. A realization that most Americans don't actually care about the scope of surveillance, so he wants to appear "tough on terror"?

5. Something else (fill in your own blank)

Recall that he stated strongly that he thought AT&T should pay a legal penalty for the NSA/San Francisco wiretapping mess, then reversed his position and supported immunity for AT&T almost immediately after taking office. That suggests he either learned whatever it was very quickly, or was deceiving us as a candidate.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47058641)

I think you listed them in ascending order of likelihood.

Maybe 5 is "he was just playing us for suckers on the campaign trail."

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (2)

drpimp (900837) | about 5 months ago | (#47058909)

I think you listed them in ascending order of likelihood.

Maybe 5 is "he was just playing us for suckers on the campaign trail."

Isn't your suggestion what ALL politicians do? Obammers isn't any different.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47059193)

Not all of them. For example I think Newt Gingrich honestly believes the things he says :-P

He Knows Power (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47058715)

Recall that he stated strongly

Recall that he states everything strongly, often against something he stated strongly before. Therefore only pay attention to what he does and you'll see the true picture.

Extensive surveillance is not just great for catching terrorists, but finding out who is a conservative and what they are doing you can use the keep them quiet.

Re:He Knows Power (-1, Flamebait)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 5 months ago | (#47059109)

Extensive surveillance is not just great for catching terrorists, but finding out who is a conservative and what they are doing you can use the keep them quiet.

Tell me, SuperKendall, why in the fuck would Obama want to keep conservatives quiet? Obama is more conservative than Reagan.

Really, it's not that complicated. Follow the money.

Re:He Knows Power (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47059217)

Obama is more conservative than Reagan.

It's interesting that you think so but really you are just self-rationalizing so that you can bring yourself to vote for another person just like him.

Re:He Knows Power (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 5 months ago | (#47059235)

Recall that he states everything strongly

Barry says "MAKE NO MISTAKE!" and libtards planet-wide get a tingle. He was doing it again this morning with the VA scandal, amped up so high he was clipping. They're so impressed with his political theater they bounce around the Internets with weasel words like "stated strongly" and are astonished when people point and laugh.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47058717)

there really wasnt much of a change in reality. the only difference is th posturing involved. Pre president obama LOVED to talk about how X is bad and Y is wrong, but when it came time to vote, he voted present, rather than pick a side over 100 different times. The things obama said back then (raising the debt ceiling is unamerican) definitely go against what he has done since taking office

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (2)

zlives (2009072) | about 5 months ago | (#47058743)

he is a politician and lied like they all do. Nope to Change was the actual slogan, we just misread it.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058949)

"We"? Speak for yourself, kemosabe.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 5 months ago | (#47059041)

No we misinterpreted it. he was looking for spare CHANGE.
Most of his funding came from "micro" donations. He was asking for Change as in small bills and coins.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (5, Informative)

somedudegeekman (3660883) | about 5 months ago | (#47058765)

I agree with your points, and I would add:

5. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I apologize for the cliche, but I think the kind of narcissistic tendencies one needs to have in order to be a successful politician can't turn away from the ability to find out everything about your political enemies. Even from a practical standpoint, that kind of leverage is just too good to resist if you're owned lock/stock/barrel by your campaign contributors and you need to deliver legislation favoring X industry or Y company.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058955)

I am sorry, but I hate that cliche. It is used by people that are tricked to let them think that they were not tricked.

"Why no, that guy I voted/elected was not always a douche, he just became one after he got into power."

Bull.

Power and lust for more power attracts the corrupt, it does not cause corruption.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#47059323)

The meaning of the statement is that the more power someone has, the harder it can be to resist the urge to abuse that power. Suppose you could throw anyone you didn't like into jail without fear of reprisal. You don't like what someone says and they're in jail indefinitely. No chance of them suing you for false imprisonment at all. At the start, you might only your power for really bad people in cases with a lot of proof. "That murderer killed fifteen kids, everyone saw him do it, and there's a video showing it." As time wore on, you might start requiring less and less proof. Eventually, you'd realize that you could get something you wanted by threatening to jail the person unless they gave it to you. You might not give in to the temptation this time or the next time, but how many times could you resist before you gave in?

Politicians have a lot of power every day of their terms. They might not abuse it today or tomorrow, but it's almost inevitable that many of them will give in at some point. It gets even worse when they can rationalize that their abuse of power is in the best interests of the people they are supposed to serve. Going back to the "jailing" example, this would be akin to you jailing someone convicted of a crime pre-trial because "everyone knows they are guilty" and you are "saving the tax payers money." You've rationalized that you're doing a good thing and might not even notice that you've abused your power.

The more power you give someone, the harder it can be to resist the temptation to abuse it or even to recognize when abuse happens. Give someone absolute power and they will be "absolutely corrupted" even if they think they are still acting as a good guy. This is why were are supposed to have checks and balances on our government. It's not perfect, but it's intended to keep each branch of the government in line and away from abuses.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058789)

5. Something else (fill in your own blank)

This about politicians and fear. Fear of being blamed (and losing ones elected position) when "the next event happens". And it will, eventually (pretty much everyone agrees on that). And no politician wants to be the one that voted to prevent the possibility of stopping that attack. Regardless of whether massive surveillance will prevent it, when the next successful attack occurs, if real restrictions are put in place, someone will claim "if only had not taken away our ability to prevent this...". Leadership and risk management is dead. CYA is the name of the game.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47058797)

Try:

6. Like all politicians, he told people what they wanted to hear, so they would vote him into power, after which (again, like all politicians) he put his real agenda into action.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (5, Insightful)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 5 months ago | (#47059061)

No, it's worse than that.

Obama never really said anything of substance. He said many things that led people to believe they heard what they wanted to hear; a classic move by a flim-flam man.

A friend of mine used to be in the stock market and people would ask him, "What's the market going to do tomorrow?"

His stock reply was, "A lot of people are going to be surprised."

The number of people who thought he actually told them something was shocking. Obama was the same. He said a lot of things were bad but never said what he would do instead. He used the ultimate echo-chamber, a biased media, to say things for him that he never said.

Simpler: Obama is a lying scumbag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058883)

Obama wanted to be President, and lied about caring about civil rights right up until taking office. Then they got in his way of maximizes his power and the power of his political cronies.

You know, just like the American left claimed they cared about "tolerance," "free speech," "due process" and "diverse opinions" until they came into positions of power. Now all of those are hindrances to exercising their power, to be discarded when they become inconvenient to wielding the power of the state to further their goals.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (2, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about 5 months ago | (#47058907)

He's just a politician, not a saint. They're all like that no matter which party they're in. Government's main concern is government; they couldn't care less about you or anybody else.

The best you can do is vote for the lesser of evils. And please vote incumbents out of office. The longer they stay there, the more power hungry and corrupt they get.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

naasking (94116) | about 5 months ago | (#47059123)

2. Access to top secret data that still hasn't been released showing a compelling need for this information gathering?

If that were the case, he would only need to release some of that information to justify those actions. More than likely the bulk surveillance infrastructure is to maintain a political and economic advantage over other countries.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47059131)

6. He was lying

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

hirundo (221676) | about 5 months ago | (#47059141)

It could be as easy as a credible threat that he must play ball or they'll have one of his daughters (add nasty bits here). Does anyone think that's beyond the moral capability of an intelligence community willing to indiscriminately kill anyone near a drone target? Based on such recent actions I think that there are plenty of such people in the permanent bureaucracy who would consider that to be an act of courage and patriotism.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059237)

I've always said 2.

The day you become CIC, you get the 'book of secrets' (that is probably not an actual book, or one particular piece of information).

You finally have 'all' of the pieces (all that can most likely be had) and now you've got the JOB to take the course that will, for lack of better words fark up the nation in the least.

I wasn't terribly concerned about the election, even though I'm leaning Democrat; Romney would have been a mildly less liberal president than Obama. Just like Obama was a less-hawkis, lots-less-crazy president than GWB.

At the end of the day, it's not the President's job to "make it all right", it's to keep the boat from sinking.

Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 5 months ago | (#47059459)

I'm pretty sure he voted in favor of telecom immunity prior to being elected into office, while he was still in the senate.

Get used to disappointment... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058615)

...or rise up.

Normal channels aren't working, but things aren't 'bad enough' for a sufficient number of people to do anything (yet).

I hope I get to see a peaceful revolution in my lifetime.

Re:Get used to disappointment... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47058657)

I'd say if you have another 10-15 years of life left in you, you will, no matter where you live.

Re:Get used to disappointment... (3, Insightful)

Anon-Admin (443764) | about 5 months ago | (#47058873)

I'd say if you have another 10-15 years of life left in you, you will, no matter where you live.

I have heard that statement made many times over the last 30 years. It has yet to happen and I dont think it will.

The truth is that Bush Sr, GW Bush, and Obama are all the same. There is no difference between Dem. and Rep. It all boils down to money and power, nether gives a S**T about the people.

  I only hope that some day enough people wake up and say F*** IT, then vote third party. I would love to see a three way tie or even a race between three parties that comes down to less than 1% difference.

Re:Get used to disappointment... (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47059097)

The difference is that now we have a whole generation that is unemployed on a massive scale, with inequality and automation sqeezing the populace ever tighter, and computer models telling us that the shit is indeed going to hit the fan:

http://www.wired.com/2013/04/c... [wired.com]

If you even skim defense news you'll also see that the US military is putting a lot of priority on "handling" unrest inside the US.

Re:Get used to disappointment... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47059173)

Addendum: Whoops I didn't notice the "peaceful" part...no guarantees on that.

99 Rise (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 5 months ago | (#47059463)

I was in San Francisco a few months ago, and ran into a protest from 99 Rise [99rise.org] . As best I can figure out, they're what happened to Occupy San Francisco. (this was right after the supreme court decision that allowed corporate spending on elections)

I have no idea what the other Occupy groups are doing now, but they're still out there.

Pressure? (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 months ago | (#47058637)

House Leadership was pressured by the Obama Administration to weaken many of the bill's provisions.

Pressured how? They sent lots of Emails with "RE:" in the subject title? Many phone calls were made? The people who took you to lunch chuckled at public "hysteria"? Somebody insinuated they might have the ability to strike a committee to consider, in the fullness of time, whether pork due to your constituency -- if any -- might be placed under a possible pending review?

Would the house leadership describe the "pressure" placed by the Administration as "Overwhelming", "Compelling", or merely "Gentle but Firm"? Which one of these do Legislators consider as an excuse to justify gutting the Act?

The story is BS, and pure optics. The house leadership had no intention of passing the bill ungutted.

Re:Pressure? (4, Insightful)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 5 months ago | (#47058677)

Why would the House cave to the White House? Particularly the House Leadership? To Obama? Nahh... methinks they're using this as an excuse to gin up support, plus set up things for a Republican President.

Re:Pressure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058787)

And the defense of the Holy One, anointed on on high, He who can Do no wrong, Obama...starts...rather quickly. Maybe Obama just sucks?

Re:Pressure? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 5 months ago | (#47059355)

For the record, the GP was in no way meant to be a defence of the Obama Administration, who are even more to blame for this and several other problems. I didn't feel the need to state this in the post because I presume by now everyone is more of less aware of the homogeneous nature of those in power in the US.

Re:Pressure? (1)

somedudegeekman (3660883) | about 5 months ago | (#47058837)

The story is BS, and pure optics. The house leadership had no intention of passing the bill ungutted.

Solid gold cupie doll...

Re:Pressure? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#47059227)

I have to agree. If "pressure" from the White House could make a difference, it would make a difference in more legislation than this, but it hasn't.

Re:Pressure? (1, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47059255)

1. The president wont endorse you in the next election.
2. The president will veto all your bills
3. The president will blame future terrorist attacks on you.
4. The president will move future defense contracts out of your state.
5. The president wont invite you to the whitehouse for photo ops.
6. The president will show up in your home town next time you're supposed to give a speech before an election, stealing the show and making all your voters forget about you.
7. Maybe you'd like to see YOUR NSA file Mr Congressman?

I could go on, but I'm tired of typing. He's the most powerful man in the world. He could literally ruin the careers of most congressmen, especially democrats, on a whim. The more powerful members of the House and Senate maybe not, but the rank and file? It'd be a joke.

It's the presidents job to do this. I don't blame him for that. I do, however, blame him for being wrong.

Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47058653)

Just in case you still thought the roots of fascism came from anything other than claiming to care about those they rule over - as the news about the freedom act being gutted shows.

Liberal Fascism [amazon.com]

Also think strongly on this the next time you do not vote Libertarian because it's a "wasted vote".

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (0, Flamebait)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47058721)

Or if you can't afford the book, just read everything on conservapedia.com!

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059207)

Yes, everyone should go to conservapedia. It's one of the best examples of absurd conservative alternate-reality out there. We need to marginalize these kooks, and reclaim the Republican party for people with IQs over room temperature.

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#47059491)

It's also fun to Play Conservatroll [uncyclopedia.co]

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059043)

do not vote Libertarian because it's a "wasted vote"

As are any of them.

This is post "Minority Report Days", baby.. profiling through surveillance could be helpful to pinpoint one who is not just likely commit a despicable act, but when!

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059187)

Only people who don't understand what "Liberal" or "Fascism" mean think that Liberal Fascism is a thing. Jonah Goldberg is a kook, just like everyone involved with the conservative grift. Why do you fall for conservative nonsense and paranoia? Have you not noticed how dishonest it all is?

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#47059349)

Have you not noticed how dishonest it all is?

He says in a story about how a liberal president is gutting improvements to a Freedom Act that actually bring freedom...

Read the book. It's not dishonest at all, its a revealing trip through history

Re:Never a better time to read "Liberal Fascism" (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 months ago | (#47059303)

Liberal Fascism [amazon.com]

Save your money. If you want it, you can probably pick up a cheap copy at your local thrift store.

House != White House (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47058671)

The title and summary appear to conflate House of Representatives and White House. Am I reading it wrong?

Re:House != White House (1)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 5 months ago | (#47058709)

I read it the same way.

Re:House != White House (4, Informative)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 5 months ago | (#47058781)

Am I reading it wrong?

Yes. The White House (Obama's administration) convinced the House Leadership (legislative members of the House of [pseudo]Representatives) to gut the bill.

Re:House != White House (1)

nigelo (30096) | about 5 months ago | (#47058867)

Is there any evidence supporting your assertion, apart from the summary?

Thanks,

Re:House != White House (1)

nigelo (30096) | about 5 months ago | (#47058893)

Actually, isn't it just the title that is getting it wrong?

" This is quite disappointing given the consensus by the public, Congress, the President, and two independent review groups that ending bulk collection is necessary."

Re:House != White House (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 5 months ago | (#47059229)

Since when did they listen to Mr. O? They generally try to do the opposite, often seemingly out of spite. They even turned down certain tax-cuts in a few cases!

Hmmm, maybe he's using reverse psychology now.

Re:House != White House (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059253)

As if Obama could have any influence over House Republicans. They're way too full of hatred of our president to even communicate with.

When the Hell Has the GOP Done What Obama Asked? (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | about 5 months ago | (#47058691)

The House Leadership is all GOP. They've claimed that their number one priority is stopping whatever Obama wants. Mostly they've done that -- except on this one single thing, namely freedom online, they decide to roll over. So this serves as a pretty good test for both parties as to what their true priorities are.

Obama's a pretty terrible President, but when push comes to shove it's a good check-in that the reason for that is that he really wants the same things as the GOP.

Re:When the Hell Has the GOP Done What Obama Asked (4, Insightful)

qeveren (318805) | about 5 months ago | (#47058739)

Well, political-spectrum-wise, Obama sits right where Saint Reagan does, so this isn't all that surprising.

Re:When the Hell Has the GOP Done What Obama Asked (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 5 months ago | (#47058977)

You need to get another spectrum. Yours seems to be broken.

Re:When the Hell Has the GOP Done What Obama Asked (4, Interesting)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 5 months ago | (#47059297)

No, his is correct. Republicans used to be a lot more sane than they are now. And Democrats are more sane than they used to be. Both parties moved to the right, and the Republicans went so far right as to be unrecognizable as the party of Lincoln, or even Eisenhower.

Oddly, many of the more conservative Republicans still claim to be the party of Lincoln, when really they're confederates who want to break up the US because our president isn't 100% white. They think they can take credit for Lincoln, as if the conservative takeover of the party didn't drive every progressive like Lincoln out.

Re:When the Hell Has the GOP Done What Obama Asked (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#47059045)

political-spectrum-wise, Obama sits right where Saint Reagan does

I'm surprised how many people refuse to admit this...

On what planet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059481)

Reagan=ProLife, Obama=ProChoice

Reagan=Gays banned from military (same position as JFK), Obama=Gays in military

Reagan=No gay marriage (same position as JFK), Obama=Gay marriage

Reagan=Women not in combat (same position as JFK), Obama=Women in combat

Reagan= "Peace through strength", Obama=Carter-style unenforced "red lines"

Reagan=600+ship navy, Obama= fewer than 300 ship navy

Reagan=Staunch opponent of national healthcare, Obama=ObamaCare

Reagan=private reasonable student loans, Obama=Nationalized student loads driving tuitions through the roof

Reagan=America as an exceptional "Shining city on a hill", Obama=America not exceptional

Reagan="Government IS the problem", Obama=government is solution to all problems

Reagan=Build another space shuttle(after Challenger), Obama=Get rid of all shuttle assets so program could not be saved or re-started

Reagan=Proud NRA member (post-governor years), Obama=gun control for Americans, but machine guns for Mexican drug gangs

Reagan=Cut taxes and cut government (to the extent possible with Democrats running house and senate), Obama=more taxes, more government

Reagan knew we had 50 states, Obama thought we had 58

Reagan knew what a Navy medic was and knew the difference between memorial day and veterans day, Obama failed boith tests - rather publicly

Reagan did NOT snoop on the phones of all Americans

Reagan did NOT think he had the right to re-write laws on his own, Obama does and pretends to have done it

Reagan did NOT think he could kill American citizens without any trial, Obama does and has done it

Reagan knew a President could not declare the Senate in recess and then make recess appointments, Obama has done this and been spanked by the courts

Reagan supported ALL American energy and gas = $1.25 a gallon, Obama opposes fossil fuels says he will make coal unaffordable (nearly half our energy) and gas is $4.00 a gallon

Need I go on showing just how stupid and/or dishonest you are????

Hope and change! (1)

SSCGWLB (956147) | about 5 months ago | (#47058737)

How is that working out?

Re:Hope and change! (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47058831)

The slogan was "yes we CAN". Nobody said anything about DOING anything.

Besides, nobody who managed to rub two brain cells together expected any change for real. Why should the one side of The Party change what the other side implemented?

Re:Hope and change! (1)

SSCGWLB (956147) | about 5 months ago | (#47059427)

I conceed your point. Maybe the printers left off the second part of the slogan:

"Yes we CAN ... do exactly the same thing as the other guy"
"Yes we CAN ... keep the status quo"
"Yes we CAN ... screw up everything we touch"

I certainly didn't exact anything to change. I just enjoy poking the people who did. I have to admit, they aren't fighting as much as they used to. Now they just twitch a little, I guess the realization has finally set in, shame it took them this long.

Re:Hope and change! (0)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#47059023)

1) We got healthcare, a major political reform the Democrats worked on for over 30 years.

2) We killed Osama Bin Laden after Bush failed to do so for 7 years

3)We stopped insulting every other country and going to war on bad information.

So most Democrats consider that a big success. The only things we dislike about Obama are when he continued GOP programs (programs they started and did not object to when Bush did them), such as the NSA and the drone killing of Americans.

So in general, Hope and Change got us exactly what we thought it would, if not quite so much as some of us desired.

General grade B+/A-, vs Bush D+/C-, and Clinton's A-/A.

Re:Hope and change! (1)

nwaack (3482871) | about 5 months ago | (#47059273)

1) We got healthcare

We got a badly implemented form of mandatory health insurance (notice, I said 'health insurance,' NOT healthcare) that further penalizes the poor for not being able to afford it.

2) We killed Osama Bin Laden after Bush failed to do so for 7 years

Yep

3)We stopped insulting every other country and going to war on bad information.

This is purely some well-spun subjective opinion which means absolutely nothing in terms of hope and/or change.

SO basically the only hope and change that occurred was that Bin Laden was finally killed; and it wasn't like Obama had much, if anything to do with that directly. If you rate that as an A- I have some choice real estate to sell you.

The truly scary thing about all this is that you, along with so many others, have actually convinced yourself that he's a good president.

Re:Hope and change! (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 5 months ago | (#47059489)

The question was not how does the GOP feel about Obama, but how do the people that voted for Hope and Change feel about Obama.

Your insults and personal opinions about Obamacare belong to the far right, not to the people that voted for it. For example you talked about mandatory health insurance, rather than the many positive things like no refusals for being already sick.

We, the Americans that are in the far majority, LIKE 99% of Obamacare's provisions. So your personal dislike of the things we like does not in any way affect how we feel about it. we

So basically the hope and change we got was Obamacare - something we the people that voted for Obama love and you, the people did not vote for Obama hate. That is the major reason we gave him an A.

The fact that you personally dislike the thing we love does not mean I am foolish enough to fall for blatantly false lies - such as real estate that you want to sell. Instead it means you are not competent enough to realize that other people disagree with you and are happy with the result.

Killing Bin Laden was a real decision made by Obama that was NOT made by Bush. Bush's people knew about Bin Laden's suspected location but did not have the guts to go after him.

Stopped invading other countries is not well spun subjective opinion. It is a real fact. You called it an objective opinion because again, you don't like that we did it. But we, the people that voted for Obama LIKED that we did it.

The truly scare thing is not that I believe he is a good president but instead that:

1) You do not understand that the things you hate are the very things we love.

2) That anyone that disagrees with you must be wrong.

3) You are so arrogant as to think that I must be lying when I say I like the president, as opposed to actually intelligently liking the things he has done,

Let me ask you a question. Assume that a president gets elected and institutes a flat tax at 20%, makes abortion illegal, and makes it legal to conceal carry or open carry any gun - from a pistol to an ak-47. You personally would consider that man a great president, correct? Do you honestly think that Democrat would agree? Are sentient enough to realize that everything I just said is a GOP dream come true but also a DNC nightmare? A president that you would love is one we would hate.

Now for the big intellectual jump on you side. Don't you think the reverse is also true? That a president you personally hate is one the other side might love? That every single thing he does that you hate is in fact the very thing we love?

President Obama has successfully delivered multiple large victories to the left. Yes, if Congress had been more liberal, he could have got more done - but you personally would have hated him even more. That is WHY you hate him - and also why we love him.

The fact that you personally can't understand that the people that voted for Obama love him for the very things you hate him is what makes me ask - am I talking to a real person or just some bot paid to insult Obama by the GOP.

Liberals like the things you hate. That is why we are Liberals. If you can't understand that basic fact, than I can't sell you any real estate because I don't cheat the gullible..

Re:Hope and change! (1)

SSCGWLB (956147) | about 5 months ago | (#47059351)

We? Have a mouse in your pocket?

#1) By healthcare reform you mean forced to buy insurance? I don't see a lot of reform going on, so far it hasn't exactly been a stunning success (and major parts of it have been delayed repeatedly). More signs of awesome I am sure.

#2) So 'we' found Osama? Or years of work (started while Bush was in office) finally bared fruit? It's not like Obama was out there with a flashlight.

#3) 40% of Democratice Representative and 58% of Democratic Senators voted for the Iraq war. Both parties own that war. I realize that 'we' have a short memory.

I really hope you can come up with some bigger wins then that. Maybe the fact that Obama has added more debt then any other president in history? Go him!

Re:Hope and change! (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 5 months ago | (#47059529)

we got HC - which is broken according to anyone who has anything to do with it, it cost us as much as the 2 wars did and arguably is causing more problems then before implementation. Not to mention new taxes imposed on americans who choose not to participate in the scam

we killed bin laden. ok thats great, and what has that done for us? Hell we couldnt even see the proof that it even happened! and we still got attacked in boston eventhough we were told about the bomber by other countries. Bin laden was a pawn in the larger game called jihad

we stopped insulting every other country? ok, and instead now they all insult us based on the information that snowden leaked, on top of all that there is the issue of us not having any balls on the international level anymore. we just straight up allowed russia to invade another country and take some of its land and we didnt do jack shit about it (the sanctions imposed are a joke)

if the democrats consider this a big success, Id hate to see what you call a failure

As November approaches... (1)

ChilyWily (162187) | about 5 months ago | (#47058749)

Everything will be done by shrewd politicians to distance themselves from Obama/Obamacare etc. to appease or confuse voters (in the short and perhaps long term?) that Obama is at fault here... Meanwhile, all of them secretly never wanted to do this...

Don't worry! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058801)

Obama will put a stop to all these Bush abuses of our rights once he's President!

TFA: "cooperated" TFS: "pressured" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058899)

House Leadership was pressured by the Obama Administration

I couldn't even find a mention of Obama in the EFF link

For the CTD one, the closest I found is somewhere down the middle:

"Today, House Leadership, acting through the Rules Committee and in cooperation with the Obama Administration, approved a managerâ(TM)s amendment to USA FREEDOM
that makes significant changes to the bill it comes to the House Floor for a vote."

Apparently that passes for King Obama pressuring the powerless righteous folks in Congress again to do his bidding.

captcha: jokers

Re:TFA: "cooperated" TFS: "pressured" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47059259)

Its all semantics. "The Obama Administration" includes entities like the NSA, CIA and FBI who may very well be blowing smoke up Obama's ass w.r.t. their activities. Technically, he is in charge and could knock some heads together about such goings-on. But the last president that tried that got a limo ride through Dealey Plaza.

Vote Republican in 2016 (0)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | about 5 months ago | (#47058917)

so critics of NSA spying can be called commie Islamofascist America-hating terrorist sympathizers again.

Re:Vote Republican in 2016 (1)

nwaack (3482871) | about 5 months ago | (#47059285)

No. Vote Libertarian, Green Party, etc. If enough of us do this eventually it won't be a wasted vote.

It's probably the name (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47058931)

When you call something by a clear propaganda slogan "USA FREEDOM ACT" as opposed to an informative act, it makes you look like a douchebag trying to hide a vile piece of crap who thinks people are too stupid to actually read the bill.

Call it something descriptive, like "Restrict Espionage Against Americans Act" and people respect it a lot more.

Pressure (1)

niado (1650369) | about 5 months ago | (#47058975)

Yes, I'm sure their arms were twisted.

NSA understands NO only when you shout (2)

RandCraw (1047302) | about 5 months ago | (#47059079)

Unless this law explicitly and forcefully disallows bulk warrantless data collection of the public, NSA's top creeps (like Clapper and Alexander) and unprincipled gov't lawyers (like John Yoo) most certainly will crush the Constitution underfoot at their earliest convenience.

Anything else is just rearranging deck chairs...

Re:NSA understands NO only when you shout (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 5 months ago | (#47059371)

NSA understands NO only when you shoot

I'm very confused by this story (4, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | about 5 months ago | (#47059451)

The GOP has made it very, very clear that anything that Obama favors will automatically receive a negative from the House of Representatives that they control. They have done this multiple times. They have openly stated that their primary objective is to oppose Obama on everything.

Now I'm supposed to believe that Obama pressured the GOP to weaken the bill? That seems... laughable. The GOP would never bow to Obama's requests - they have their image to consider. It seems more likely that the GOP revised the bill because Obama said he supported it in its original form.

It's also strange that the mainstream press doesn't seem to have picked up on such a monumental achievement by Obama. I'd have expected that any such successful pressure from the White House on the GOP would be a major headline in most newspapers that cover US national politics. But the best we get is a press release from the Center for Democracy and Technology. The EFF also had a press release about the amendments to the bill but they don't suggest that the White House or Obama was generating any pressure for the changes.

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