To add a twist and clearly lost in the "noise" of the week, President Obama has formally threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013, or CISPA. According to the
Los Angeles Times, President Obama will not sign the Bill into law until Congress amends it to provide broader protections to American's Civil Liberties. Seems the President finds the Bill gives the government unnecessarily broad powers to share information considered not central to the intelligence originally being monitored. Certainly not Ollblamer right? According to the Times, "In addition to better privacy protections, the statement calls for further changes to reflect that information about such breeches would be handled by civilian agencies rather than the military, and that exemptions from legal liabilities would be much narrower." Wasn't it just a few days ago some in the Media (again) were claiming Obama was hell-bent on ripping the Constitution apart?
Despite Obama seeking to protect Americans' civil liberties, he is currently under attack from Conservatives for not paying "due respect" to a former British Prime Minister and close ally to Ronald Reagan. Oh, the humanity! According to Politico, Conservatives in Great Britain and America are riled because Obama is not attending Margaret Thatcher's funeral and is not sending Vice President Joe Biden to attend either. Now Politico was quick to point out that Obama declined the opportunity to personally attend prior to the Boston Bombing, so that cannot be the basis for his refusal to attend. Nor can the excuse be used for Mr. Biden. So the complaints take the form of a a whirlwind in the Conservative media. But who is representing the United States at the "Iron Lady's" funeral? None other than President Reagan's former Secretary of State George Shultz and Jim Baker, Reagan's Chief of Staff. Both of these distinguished men actively engaged in work with Ms. Thatcher. None of the members of the current Administration did. What former Presidents should be going? Carter? He was no fan of Thatcher. H.W. Bush is in ill-health. Clinton? Not exactly a fan of Thatcher either. G.W. Bush? Attending a foreign funeral as a representative of the Obama Administration? After all of the flack doled out about the First Lady being "over-exposed" no one should be surprised she is not going! So what is the problem, really?
But what else has been happening that might keep both the President and Vice President busy? Oh let's see...have we already forgotten last week's story involving North Korea? Does anyone with half a brain think the President of the United States should be "out of country" when a rogue nation is making public proclamations about attacking American assets? Add to it the dishonest and successful purchase of U.S. Senate votes by the NRA with today's frustrating defeat of the Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill. Wasn't Vice President Biden engaged in every effort to bring the bill successfully to the Floor? NRA sponsored Amendments and Riders in the Senate forced the bill back to the "Filibuster stage" and Cloture "suddenly" failed a second time around with the defection of Democratic Senators from their original support of the Bill. Once again, an interest group has paid off our elected officials and Americans stand either in disgust or denial. The NRA does not vote in elections, they merely buy their candidates and use their supporting media to sway Americans with distortions and lies by selling emotionally based talking points and narratives. And just today, Rand Paul (R-KY) publicly stated his distaste over families of Sandy Hook victims being used as "props" Senator Rand Paul, a modern demagogue straight out of the mold of Huey Long! Don't know who Long was? Learn some history then!
As President Andrew Jackson wrote, "Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges, you will in the end find that...the control over your dearest interests has passed in the hands of these corporations." As any student of American history can relate, we are a nation in flux, constantly being shaped by modern events. Our challenges remain large, but as Americans we have always overcome these obstacles. We will eventually overcome the overbearing influence of Interest Groups, the manipulation exercised by ideologically oriented for-profit media, and the scorn of those not sharing our ideals and sense of morality. We can, we must, and we will!