Another test of the power of the purse

During reign of Obama, attempts by the house of reps to exercise the power of the purse have been universally condemned as ultra extreme far right wing rightingery, and these attempts have invariably failed, rendering the house of reps similar in legal status to the Oklahoma University Student Debating society.

The NSA has been spying on Americans in massive and flagrant violation of the spirit of the fourth amendment, the letter of the fourth amendment, and recent legal interpretation of the fourth amendment by the Supremes. The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose this, so the house of reps has attempted to use the power of the purse to reign in the NSA in various ways, among them

barred the N.S.A. and the Central Intelligence Agency from using funds in the bill to “request or mandate” that an American corporation alter a product to permit surveillance of it.

Often the NSA has perfectly reasonable and compelling grounds to spy on a particular individual who is using a service of American corporation. The NSA then demands all information about everyone who has ever used this service, but, hey, promises that after all the information has been handed over, will only look at that particular individual for whom they have legitimate grounds and will piously close their eyes to all the other information that they have demanded. Scout’s Honor!

What makes this legislation less impressive is that this is the second time the reps have passed it. Perhaps they going to pass it a third time and add “But this time we really mean it!”

12 Responses to “Another test of the power of the purse”

  1. Alrenous says:

    I take it Fox News is therefore demonstrating it isn’t right wing, it is slightly less left wing?

    • jim says:

      So what has Fox News been doing?

      They seem to have been reporting that the NSA has exceeded what is permitted by law, custom, and public expectations.

      The secret courts rubber stamp anything the NSA does, and are applied against communication and software companies to force them to backdoor their products. It kind of sucks that a secret court can issue a warrant to search or spy on someone. It sucks a lot more that it can punish a private corporation for not cooperating with the NSA in ways that arguably illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional. That kind of question should be settled in the open, before public courts – which problem no one proposes to fix.

      • Alrenous says:

        So does that mean my cynicism has finally exceeded the cynicism of reality?

        Well, I said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy has obviously failed, any idiot can tell it isn’t working, if they try. I guess that means panem et circenses really is basis of all order. What does it take for the ‘American People’ to call a vote of no-confidence in the government entire? The Cathedral should at least have to paint the house of reps as failing to represent the people, but apparently not.

  2. red says:

    To really make a go at it the house wohld have to defund the entire NSA.

  3. Dave says:

    The Republicans show their true colors when they piously call for a balanced-budget amendment, then roll over and vote to raise the debt limit. They already have the Constitutional authority to starve the President into submission, as Senator Obama wanted to do in 2006, but they won’t because they’re Washingtonians first and Americans second.

    Break up the country and let Darwin decide which form of government works best. Whoever takes DC inherits the national debt.

  4. Glenfilthie says:

    I am beginning to think the time is high to write off the Constitution and America with it. Those days are long gone and our gov’ts are past the point of no return. I would keep my head and my ass down in the days ahead, and keep the guns and ammo handy.

  5. fnn says:

    “Funny” how powerful the Congress seemed in the era of Watergate.

  6. Thales says:

    [[[Perhaps they going to pass it a third time and add “But this time we really mean it!”]]]

    What they really need is a “Make Them Follow the Law” law. That’ll fix everything because they’d never break the law after that.

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