Obama to Us: Make My Day

In or near Silicon Valley today, just a short copter ride away from Harry Callahan’s SF, President Obama said he was tired of all the fear-mongering over Obamacare. Then he let all of us know that he did not “want the whole day to be a bleeding press conference.” And then he took a question or two about secret surveillance and told us that if we did not realize that “the folks you all vote for as your representatives in Congress” were on top of this, and that if they weren’t there were federal judges with life tenure looking over their shoulder, and that “if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.” Kind of makes me feel (to switch movie references) like I can’t handle the truth!

President Obama says “I welcome this debate.” (Ezra Klein asked if Obama might actually be the leaker. Very funny? But the creepily named Palantir operation is right down the road from where he was speaking–coincidence?) Furthermore Mr. Obama is within his rights, as it were, to point to “tradeoffs” between safety and privacy, whether or not he thought he could transcend such tradeoffs when he was a younger man or younger President. But when he complains about information being leaked “willy nilly” he reminds us precisely why there is a trust problem. We are mature, serious, conscientious blah blah. . . Those leakers are infantile, unstable, DSM-5 material. Is that so? Problems indeed.

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