Monday, August 19, 2013

Questions, Questions

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is excited to invite us to her town hall meeting on Wednesday evening. I've been to three of the last four town halls. One hour is not enough time to get a lot of questions in. Plus, the odds of getting your number drawn to ask a question are not that good. And if your number is drawn, you only get to ask one question. She invited us to post questions on her Facebook page. So I did. I look forward to her answers.


Aunt Judith said...

Eagerly awaiting answers to all your questions.... I may be living in your district sometime in the future.

Anonymous said...

The NSA also has a question: What did Snowden take?

This "sources said" makes sense, given the the desparate moves like detaining Miranda and the official statements quickly contradicted by the next release. Everyone is sloppy--even the NSA. They can't even track their docs.

It would really make sense at this point for an official Congressional process, or processes. Intelligence committee members should reveal illegal structural secrets on the floor of the House and Senate, before Greenwald does. Impeachment proceedings against Roberts and Obama would help bring evenhanded bipartisan order to investigating these crimes.

Mostly though, we need an Ervin/Church style investigative committee. Obama has proven unequal to the challenge of owning the uncertainty of what Snowden has, probably because he himself has comitted crimes he still hopes to conceal.

Congress should be asking the questions.

Q said...

"We can audit the actions of our people 100 percent, and we do that." --Alexander

If we ask questions, the elites reply with lies and rhetorical bluster. "100 percent" behavioral audit? What would that even reasonably mean? And, obviously, they can't and don't.

Why all the hoopla about destroying specific physical storage devices?

Conversely, why all the assumption of file download as the only possible content transfer for the originals? Snowden could've filmed screens with a hand held super 8 for all we--or the NSA--knows. The screenshots we've seen so far are less than high def...

Isn't it counterproductive for the NSA to go after the physical storage devices and human couriers? Don't they only encourage more copies, or worse, deposit on the open web? Why doesn't the NSA find the restrained publishing by the Guardian preferable than exposing docs on the web, Wikileaks style? Snowden appears to have taken more precaution than the NSA against full disclosure.

The NSA and White House are engaged in magical thinking, trying to set the clock back to before the disclosures.

Look forward not back, maybe? Enough with Father-knows-best NSA generals wagging fingers and complaining about kids these days and their thumb drives and gay partnerships! One day it's sanctimonious "his girlfriend is a stripper" and the next here comes General Hayden boasting he gets more action than a twenty year old. I suspect the only thing rigid about that dried up pervert is his overly starched collar.

If our leaders have so much time for narcissistic buffoonery, it kinda begs the question if they really see these leaks as a national security threat.

If the President can't deal realistically with the Snowden leaks because of the obstacle of his own self-regard, then Congress must act. Even if action requires first replacing its own complicit and preening leadership.

How do we get past the generational leadership failure in all three branches, in both major parties, as well as the anti-journalism blowhards in our media?

Pi said...

It's odd to me that aging Democrats are ridiculing young people at the exact moment that they expect 20 somethings to pick up the burden of Medicare AND Obamacare while earning shitty wages and forced to pay outrageous student loan debt.

Oh, and is student debt included in the calculation of ACA affordability™?

Why can the wealthy evade healthcare taxes with deductions while the mandate allows none?

Why will millionaire Paul Krugman get more benefits and pay less for health coverage than Young Joe Poorman?

If the individual mandate is a tax, then it is a tax that peaks in cost at the lower to middle class.  There is some progessivity for several multiples of the poverty level, but that pales beside a defacto diminishment of percentage taxation for the wealthy. It's lipstick on a flat tax.

9.5% of household income hurts a middle class person more than a millionaire, particularly considering the millionaire's effective rate will be under 1% of income at current premium levels.  Even with the subsidies and Medicaid expansion that Republicans hate, it's hard to see the mandate as anything but very regressive.  Democrats keep trying to make the regressiveness the Republicans fault, but even if all states expanded Medicaid and even if the subsidies remain in place, the regressiveness is fundamental to the structure that Democrats set up when they held Congress and the White House. "Not one thin dime."

The real problem is the simplistic notion of calculating affordability as a percentage of household income, without a clculation for household fixed costs.  This sets up the unreal spectacle of (wealthy) lawmakers and nudge economists telling citizens that net premiums are cheap. 

ACA has become a payday loan sales job.  Just because an $800 TV is $200 off doesn't mean you can afford it if you have $100 and a $500 student loan bill. Yes, we all need insurance and we don't need TVs.  We all pay sooner or later.  But forcing people to buy an eventually needed product doesn't change their immediate lack of funds to purchase it.  Hucksterism is not going to change the dollars in the mark's pocket.

 Telling them it's for the good of the system isn't going to gain them more money.  Telling them they are immoral or breaking the law is laughable when the wealthy regularly break laws with impunity, get all the rewards, and pay a pittance of social costs they incur.

But hey, appoint the corrupt academic Larry Summers to the Fed, hell why not Democrats? Give him another whack at stealing from the young to give to his Wall Street cronies. He did it so well in 09.

And old Democrats wonder why Obama's popularity has plummeted by double digits among the young.

Maybe it's time Democrats stopped asking questions and start answering some.

Pho said...

If UK gov is to believed, either the Miranda held files were not encrypted or they easily cracked the keys. The devices were password protected, but that's not much.

Interesting. I wonder if lavabits demise led to memory stick delivery.

It will be interesting to watch if Greenwald and Poitras move in together again. Airgap across continents and jurisdictions is awkward.

NSA strategy remains quixotic if they intend to track down and destroy every physical device, but the Greenwald team should have encrypted if they didn't.

The NSA spin on the audit seems to have succeeded in the media, but sample size and methodolgy are still murky. Obviously not independent . The audit-Fisc interaction seems a bit of an ongoing dog and pony show.