I don’t know about you folks, but your humble observer here at Asylum Watch is very much enjoying the fallout from the NSA scandal. Polls are showing that not only is the country split in their opinions on whether what the NSA is doing is good or bad, the polls also show that there are splits within both the Democrat Party and in the Republican Party. I think this is a good thing. Whether you personally think Mr. Snowden is a hero or a traitor, what he has done may turn out to be the spark that sets off the first genuine public debate about the power that has accumulated to the overreaching federal government in over a century. In my opinion, that debate will be healthy for our country.
On The Democrat Side
There are plenty sycophants that support President Obama no matter what. so, we are not surprised when hear from such brilliant and erudite minds like Maxine Waters telling us we can trust Mr. Obama. But, here are some comments from equally brilliant and erudite minds emanating from Hollywood, as reported by Fox News,
Actor and liberal activist John Cusack tweaked the administration, tweeting “Prism the name for electronic prison – all have to wear lojacks,” in reference to the PRISM data mining program revealed in leaks by former NSA employee Edward Snowden last week.
Cusack also re-tweeted “Obama is becoming the next Nixon.”
Prominent writer/director Judd Apatow of “Knocked Up” fame also took to Twitter to blast the administration: “What is this, North Korea? We are so inundated with so much info and so many problems – we have given up caring.”
Apatow also drew attention to reports on the scandal, calling it “an outrageous breach of the privacy and rights of American citizens.”
And even Michael Moore
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore also hopped on the bandwagon, tweeting “the administration has now lost all credibility” while spotlighting a 2007 Obama quote: “that means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more (spying) on citizens… No more tracking citizens…”
On The Republican Side
Rand Paul and a few other Republicans are very upset over the NSA invading the privacy of millions of Americans but, in some cases, they think freedom of the press is overrated. Here are three articles from Hot Air you may find interesting:
And, here is a rebuttal from Democratic Senator, Jon Tester
Finally, it seems, we have a scandal that has created a bipartisan split in our country rather than the more typical split along party lines. To be clear, one national bipartisan discussion on the issue of privacy is not going to turn this country around. But, it is a start. Maybe, just maybe, that one national discussion will spill into discussions on other important issues like Jobs, National Debt, Tax Code, and etc. Wishful thinking? Probably. But, I do think it is quite remarkable that we have found even one issue that has Americans thinking and debating that isn’t split along party lines. That is a good thing!
An Aside: The Office of Inspector General
A number of the scandals that have rocked our federal government over the years have come to light due totally to the work of Inspectors General. I’m thinking this may be one area where I would like to see more money spent for more inspectors General. From this source we learn:
Established by the Inspector General Act of 1978, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) examines all actions of a government agency or military organization. Conducting audits and investigations, either independently or in response to reports of wrongdoing, the OIG ensures that the agency’s operations are in compliance with the law and general established policies of the government. Audits conducted by the OIG are intended to ensure the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation. Misuse of agency funds or equipment are often revealed by OIG audits.
However, from this source we learn:
“Over the past few years Barack Obama has attempted to starve the beast by refusing to fill vacancies in the ranks of Inspectors General as they have arisen. The White House been routinely chided for years over its negligence. Timothy Smith of theWashington Post reported in May of last year that “there were 10 IG vacancies, including five at cabinet-level agencies. Four of them had been vacant for more than 3 years.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/…#ixzz2UaYB6yNQ
So, I have a couple of thoughts on the Inspector General Office. First, as watchdogs over the Executive Branch, they should be appointed by Congress or an appropriate committee of Congress and not by the President. Secondly, aside from being well paid, maybe they should recieve bonuses depending on the egregiousness of the misconduct or fraud they uncover.
Just a thought.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?