Dick Cheney on government surveillance looks an awful lot like Barack Obama on government surveillance.
Don't believe it?
Let's cue the tape.
Here's former Vice President Cheney on the massive National Security Agency surveillance program known as Prism, which has scooped up communications from some Americans without a warrant in the name of national security:
"The program obviously from what's now been released is still in operation. I think it's good that it is in operation. I think it has, in fact, saved lives and kept us free from other attacks," Cheney told Fox News.
Here's Obama telling Charlie Rose:
"The one thing people should understand about all these programs though is they have disrupted plots, not just here in the United States but overseas as well."
So Obama and Cheney are on the same page. Just don't tell Obama that.
Let's talk about Edward Snowden.
The former CIA techie and ex-government contractor who exposed the National Security Agency's massive surveillance program and is now the subject of international attention has been been called everything from a traitor who deserves to be jailed, a misguided narcissist who suffers from delusions of grandeur, and a patriotic whistleblower who has shined an unwanted spotlight on a government that has turned against its citizens.
So who's right?
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is back in the national spotlight. He's running for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank Lautenberg.
Booker, of course, is one of the most visible mayors in the nation along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. His profile was elevated, among others things, by an act of sheer heroism in 2012 when he saved a woman from a burning house.
Naturally, the Cory Booker memes spread by the mayor's favorite form of communication: the social media platform Twitter. Twitter users immediately elevated Booker to hero status, writing that he could "win a game of Connect Four with only three moves" and that "super heroes dress up as Cory Booker on Halloween."
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Your Google searches, emails, instant messages, goofy Facebook pictures - all of them may have been scooped up by a once-secret government computer system called PRISM in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States.
So reports The Guardian and The Washington Post in revelations that are downright Orwellian.
What's the government's response? Ho-hum. Get over it.
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- Obama's Second Term Agenda
You know that whole IRS scandal?
The one in which Internal Revenue Service workers paid a little too much attention to conservative Tea Party groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney?
How much trouble could they be in? It turns out that IRS workers found to have discriminated against taxpayers can lose their jobs. But in the future they could also be locked up under legislation proposed in the House of Representatives.
Let us remember back a few short weeks, to President Barack Obama's second inaugural address. He spelled out a very specific agenda for the next four years in office, vowing to tackle big-ticket items such as climate change, gun control and immigration reform.
Since then, three separate controversies have erupted, over:
- How the administration handled the Benghazi terrorist attack;
- The IRS targeting conservative groups before the 2012 presidential election;
- And the Justice Department's secret snooping on the press.
With hearings already underway and the level of scrutiny intensifying on these controversies, even the casual observer of Washington politics should wonder: Can the president accomplish anything between now and his last day in office? And how do these controversies compare to major political scandals of the past, including Watergate?
Talk about pressure.
President Barack Obama and his administration are expected to weigh in soon on whether to issue a permit to the Canadian pipeline company TransCanada for a $7.6 billion oil pipeline stretching 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska.
But many of his wealthiest donors are pressing him to reject the plan, and they're laying it on pretty thick. In a letter to Obama they describe his decision as being comparable in "urgency and importance" to that of President Abraham Lincoln's fight for the 13th Amendment to end slavery.
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- Obama's Second Term Agenda
Being the White House press secretary must be one of the most thankless jobs on the planet.
On one hand, your duty is to protect and defend your boss, the president of the United States. On the other, you're expected to provide timely and accurate information to the media and answer to your 312 million other bosses, the citizens of the United States - even if that information is embarrassing and potentially damaging to the president.
Which brings us to President Barack Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, who is coming off of a really bad week.
So how much does Christie weigh, and what's he doing about it?
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Can Congress bypass President Barack Obama and his administration's lengthy environmental review of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline project?
It's not clear, but that uncertainty isn't stopping those who believe construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline will create thousands of jobs and reduce the nation's reliance on oil from the Middle East.
They're pushing legislation that would allow the $7.6 billion project to proceed without a presidential permit so that the pipeline can carry tar sands oil across 1,179 miles from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, and eventually down to the Gulf of Mexico.