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United States Security Politics

FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose 539

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the security-trumps-law dept.
schwit1 writes with news that the FBI has altered their declared primary function from "law enforcement" to "national security." From the article: "Following the 9/11 attacks, the FBI picked up scores of new responsibilities related to terrorism and counterintelligence while maintaining a finite amount of resources. What's not in question is that government agencies tend to benefit in numerous ways when considered critical to national security as opposed to law enforcement. 'If you tie yourself to national security, you get funding and you get exemptions on disclosure cases,' said McClanahan. 'You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don't get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.'"
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FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:21PM (#45883539)

    We are a police state regardless of what the Obamaites would have you think.
     
    And this isn't to say that the right was any better but Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to. The silence from the left is deafening.

  • by wbr1 (2538558) on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:22PM (#45883543)
    ...until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?
  • Re:they had to... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:36PM (#45883617)

    There's no money in law enforcement anymore but national security agencies get a blank check.

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:37PM (#45883623) Homepage Journal
    Just own the fact that the cancer is more Progressive than it is partisan. The two-party gag is merely a ruse.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:37PM (#45883627) Journal

    Bush & Company was a lot more honest about what they were up to

    Oh really? Most of the snooping programs people are complaining about now began or expanded under their watch (just after 9/11), and it took forever to find out where the waterboarding orders came from. You can thank Snowden, not W, for our current knowledge.

  • by drnb (2434720) on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:38PM (#45883635)

    we will not be happy until the fear mongering military industrial complex bankrupts this country. Rome was not built in a day, but neither did it fall in a day. We are falling now, will we catch it?

    I'm no fan of the military industrial complex, nor a fan of an major source of government waste. We could get a more effective defense for less money. That said ...

    The military industrial complex did not destroy Rome. It was the free bread and circuses and other freebies designed to buy the votes of the citizenry. This not only racked up the debt but it undermined the concept of citizenship. Undermined the idea that citizens (both patricians and plebeians) should contribute to the greatness of their country, not that the greatness of their country entitled them to freebies.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Monday January 06, 2014 @08:43PM (#45883665)

    The degeneration of the federal government is really amazing to watch.

    I hesitate to put blame on anyone for it because we're so politically divided and I think everyone is so factional that we can't get past that. If I say X is responsible then people from X camp will automatically defend them or vice versa.

    Regardless, there are serious problems here and the country could well trend towards tyranny.

    I have even seen editorials in major newspapers calling for a King or the repeal of all sorts of rights past generations risked their lives to protect.

    Its really sort of amazing. Its like a different country altogether. I'd expect to see this sort of thing in the developing world... some unstable backwater. But in the US? Really sort of amazing.

    I'm not sure what is causing it... I just think its in everyone's interest if we take a few steps back and carefully consider what we are doing to ourselves.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:04PM (#45883827)

    Two parties? Apologies, maybe it's the distance, but from over here in Europe it looks like the US has only one party with two slightly differing wings.

    Seriously. If the main problem for the moderator in a political debate is to find some kind of tiny semantic difference in the position of the two biggest candidates, you know something is not going right.

  • by bob_super (3391281) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:08PM (#45883853)

    Externally, the USA peaked right around 2000.
    The economy was bubbling like crazy. The tech was spreading everywhere. The USSR was long gone. We just mopped the floor with a dictator, proving that we could when nobody else could. Everyone else was marveling at the super-weapons, stealth planes, and wondering what else was in secret store. USA domestic issues were trivial and the biggest problem _seemed_ to be in the pants of the president.
    Remember that time of bliss? Not superpower, unchallenged hyperpower.

    In 2001, the tech bubble burst, the lost jobs to outsourcing became obvious and painful, we pissed off our friends one after the other until late summer, and when they came to offer help, we started behaving like an angry bully who got punched back, as we underestimated what turned into a 13-year war, and planned another one against their best advice. And everyone foreign and domestic became a threat, from 2-year-olds in Iran to wheelchair-bound grandma. Some people got very rich. They probably don't only have assets in dollars.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:09PM (#45883857)

    You know the old saying, if voting could change a thing it had been outlawed ages ago.

    Voting is nothing but the ancient art of legitimation. Every government needed some kind of legitimation to make its rule "acceptable", internally as well as internationally.

    In the good ol' times, the emperor ruled as the son of some god, or as the appointed one of some god. However that appointment came to pass. He was the strongest, the best, the big warlord or simply the son of his father, who in turn was the strongest, best or his father's son, etc. Others ruled right in the name of some God, or in the name of some higher goal or ideal (the latter was especially popular after some kind of revolution). The latest fad now is appointment by the people. Which by itself sounds like a great idea, but let's face it, look around amongst your peers, notice just how stupid the average idiot is an realize that half of the people out there are even stupider. You could just as well let some kind of celestial fairy appoint your leader.

    The crap about it is simply that those that want to rule the world are also the ones who are the least fit to do it. And until that changes, it doesn't matter at all how you appoint your leaders. They'll all suck.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:12PM (#45883881)

    What is the nature of this so called "police state"?

    Does being the world leader in imprisoning people count? We have more people in prison than China, North Korea, Iran, etc. -- and that is more people in prison period, not merely per capita.

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:17PM (#45883925)

    There are 'papers please' sty;e checkpoints a hundred or more miles inland from your borders, in zones which the fourth amendment does not apply. Warrantless search and seizure has just been confirmed as 'legal' again last week. There are 'free speech zones'. The NSA ans possibly other agencies spy oin the people of the country and have threatened to blackmail 'extremists' with the information they find. Call it what you want, but I'm calling it a police state.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:23PM (#45883979)

    "Police State" does not necessarily mean oppressive to the point where you don't dare to raise your head because you fear to lose it. All a good police state has to do is to ensure that whoever is in power stays in power by using just enough intimidation on those that would consider changing it a good idea.

    A police state doesn't need to get overly oppressive as long as the majority of people accepts its rule. Nazi Germany felt like a fairly ok state to most of its people. No, seriously. Yes, it was a veritable nightmare if you were communist, or a yew, or gay, or ... well, or any kind of minority. It was simply the most extreme form of petty bourgeoisie. Think far right bible-thumping conservatives getting their way. It may surprise many that Germany was a very modern, liberal state in the 1920s. A bit like the US today, where we're currently moving out of the liberal years into the bible-thumper years.

    And yes, a lot of people thought that the liberal "craze" went overboard and that the Nazis are ... well, not right, but hey, they're not THAT wrong, ya know? I mean, that liberal bull has gone TOO far and we need to get back a bit towards more sensibility and morals.

    Sounds familiar? Maybe a little bit?

    The police state of today is certainly not German 1934. It's far more subtle. First of all, the situation is not as dire (yet) to make people accept such drastic cuts into their private life as they had to back then. It's also far from necessary. People are much more easily directed today, as they are far less politically active than they used to be back then. People have a lot more to lose, and people who have something to lose are far easier cowed and steered. You needn't threaten someone with prison if you can threaten him with the loss of his job.

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:26PM (#45884003) Homepage
    It's the distance.

    The US parties may collude on a variety of things (like counterterrorism, or if you prefer, "counterterrorism") but they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy. For instance, on the national level, the US Democratic party has been pushing for things like the recent health-care reform laws (for good or ill), additional environmental regulation, increases in the minimum wage, and other increases in taxes and spending which see the government taking a larger role in the economy, including transfer payments (welfare, etc). They also resent military spending as a rule. The Republican party pushes for less government involvement in the economy, lower/flatter tax regimes, market solutions to issues like healthcare and wages, and a regulatory regime which is not simply less stringent, but also more streamlined where it is in fact present (and they do not resent military spending, at least not as a rule).

    Things are different outside the economic arena, true, but 2008-2016's top issues were, in order: the economy, the economy, and the economy. So.

  • by Kielistic (1273232) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:27PM (#45884007)

    A nation being termed a "police state" generally is associated with political oppression.

    If by generally you mean: when convenient for cold fjord's trite arguments. That's not the definition of police state at all and you know it. You are obtusely trying to redefine police state to rely on something that you think you can deny.

  • by melchoir55 (218842) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:28PM (#45884017)

    I think this is a big part of it. US citizens are basically complete idiots (including myself) compared to other countries I would want to vacation in. I was "really smart" in elementary school, high school, and college. When I traveled to Europe, met foreign exchange students, or engaged with family friends who were from other countries, I was consistently impressed by their casual grasp of mathematics, history, and philosophy. And these are just the subjects you run into on a day to day basis! My "raw intellect" (my biology) is usually more than a match for who I meet, but the breadth and depth of my intellectual development didn't come close to competing with my foreign friends until I was well passed grad school with plenty of time to do catch-up after leaving the US school system.

    The USA mostly doesn't care about its children. It doesn't even know what it *means* to care about children. The country burns resources other countries protect for their progeny. It gives education a token budget (compared to war, or law enforcement, or you name it) and the budget it does get is squandered by educators who are clueless about education.

    There is a lot of bad in the USA. It has been in a tailspin since the 80s, and it was in decline before that. Our clear shift to a police state is the most obvious evidence of that, though it is the tip of the iceberg. There is always hope... but we are at the level of hope Gandalf had for Frodo getting to Mount Doom. When I think of what it would realistically take to get the USA into shape, I am struck by a profound sense of dread.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:37PM (#45884071)

    With FBI withdrawing from "Law Enforcement", who is in charge of interstate criminal activities, racketeering, and so on ??

    No need for that. The more crime (real or imagined) there is, the more people are afraid, stupid and easy to manipulate. That has been a top priority of the US administration since 9/11 gave it the prefect pretext to implement measures planned long before.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:39PM (#45884091) Journal

    What took you so long? We've known it's a police state for over a decade already. What is wrong with you?

    USA is a police state, but USA is *NOT* the only police state.

    Many of the so-called "Western Democracies" have turned into police states.

    Take United Kingdom, for example.

    What has GCHQ been doing for the past few decades ?

    And when "The Guardian" newspaper printed the revelation from Edward Snowden files, what did the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom do ?

    He threaten the paper with censure.

    Let's not forget the contribution of "Great Firewall of UK", aka the "David Cameron Porn Filter" which filtered out many non-porn site, including Slashdot.org

    It's also England which has blocked out the Pirate Bay.

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:50PM (#45884161) Homepage Journal

    they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy

    The debate between R's & D's is not "Should we get our Thelma & Louise on?", but, rather, who gets to drive.

  • Wait a minute. . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by physicsphairy (720718) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:54PM (#45884187) Homepage

    'You get all the wonderful arguments about how if you don't get your way, buildings will blow up and the country will be less safe.'

    Isn't it usually the terrorists who make this argument?

  • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @09:56PM (#45884205)

    How exactly do you explain the Republican passing Medicare D? That was there Obamacare, though it was more a scheme to throw money to their backers in big pharma than anything. Obamacare is a market solution to Health care.

    The mammoth TARP bailout of big banks was a one one of the most massive interventions in the economy ever and it was Republican lead. Your thesis simply doesn't hold.

    Democrats are throwing just as much money to defense and intelligence since 9/11 as the Republicans. Feinstein, a Democrat, and Leibermen a former Democrat were point men in giving away our civil liberties to the NSA and DHS. In case you haven't noticed most of the big wars in the 20th century were started/fought by Democrats, Vietnam being the worst of the lot.

    There are a bunch of wedge issues the two parties differ on but they are mostly designed to herd people in to the two parties and make them think they have a choice wben really they don't. The wedge issues are unions, abortions, guns, gays. They are emotional hotbutton issues designed to divide people but yhey have very little to do with the stuff that really matters, who controls the power and the money (with the possible exception of unions). Reagan mostly broke the backs of unions and they matter less and less every day outside of government employee unions.

    Republicans are traditionally friendlier to plutocrats but I seriously doubt there is much difference between the two in pandering to rich people. Dems tend to pander to Hollywood celebs and trial lawyers, Republicans to Texas oil men, but they are just pandering to which ever group of rich people will fill their campaign war chests.

  • by drnb (2434720) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:05PM (#45884267)
    And why were mercenaries guarding the frontier? Because the concept of citizenship transformed from one heavy on responsibility to one heavy with entitlement. Romans no longer felt the need to personally defend their frontier, as compared to their ancestors who effectively had universal conscription. All of military age were expected to be ready to serve in time of war, even the "seniors" and "juniors" may be called up to serve in more severe times of crisis. Although these later were usually assigned to the defense of the city itself in order to free up those of military age to be part of the mobile forces.

    The emperors were a symptom, not a cause. Again, I think the underlying cause is the transformation in beliefs about the responsibilities and entitlements of citizenship. Emperors were a resurrection of the Roman kings, and the kings were destroyed by those of the older mindset.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:12PM (#45884325) Journal

    The two-party gag is merely a ruse

    How many governmental agencies are in charge of "National Security" ?

    Navy
    Army
    Air Force
    Marine
    Coast Guard
    NSA
    CIA
    FBI
    TBA ...

    How many governmental agencies are in charge of "Law Enforcement" ?

    SEC (for financial/security)
    DEA (for drugs)
    ATF (for guns)
    Marshall (for witness protection)

    With FBI withdrawing from "Law Enforcement", who is in charge of interstate criminal activities, racketeering, and so on ??

    My guess is they are going to start classifying various crimes as terrorist acts. Thus the FBI will still get to go after them but with better funding and the ability to say they are protecting America from "terrorists".

  • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:18PM (#45884373)

    "It's why communism spread like wildfire in Europe but couldn't get so much as a toehold in the United States"

    The U.S. was pretty left leaning during the progressive era and the Depression.

    World War II and the permenent ascendence of the miltary industrial intelligence complex aided and abetted by J. Edgar Hoover, McCarthy, Reagan and friends who engaged in no holds barred witch hunt to kill communism, socialism, progressivism and unions. Back in those days "communists" played the scape goat role Muslim "terrorists" play today. In the World War I era it was "anarchists".

    The problems with liberals and leftists in the U.S. were they were pretty much all pussies and they couldn't counterpunch with a master like Hoover. Hoover also had the power that comes from knowledge, and he had more knowledge than anyone thanks to all the files he had the FBI build on all of his enemies. If you think the NSA surveillence state isn't dangerous just look back at what Hoover did with a tiny fraction of the information the NSA has.

  • by Eskarel (565631) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:37PM (#45884523)

    Defeatist bullshit.

    Voting works perfectly well, it's just not simple. Voting and policy have a related relationship. If policy will change voting then voting will change policy. If people won't change their vote over an issue then politicians won't change the issue based on votes. The core reality is that the vast majority of Americans don't give a crap about the NSA, certainly not enough to change their vote in the current political climate where the two parties are pushing contradictory world views.

    For the most part this isn't surprising, the vast majority of the news time on the NSA scandal has been manufactured outrage about legitimate foreign targets and the repercussions of revealing the monitoring of those targets. There's been bugger all discussion about what metadata actually is, what it can reveal to the government, and what that means for regular people. People are also perfectly entitled, even if they actually understand all that, to not give a flying fuck.

  • by demachina (71715) on Monday January 06, 2014 @10:54PM (#45884589)

    "But what DHS deals with ? "

    Anything and everything? It should be a source of concern that they have a massive budget and you don't actually now what their overarching mission is.

    You should be worried about them at least as much as the NSA and DOJ. If there is another big excuse (i.e. Katrina, Occupy or 9/11) there is a fair chance their VIPR teams are going to be the ones frisking you if you try to travel.

    One of the things you should be most concerned with is they are pumping large quantites of money in to local police departments all over the country in order to miltarize them (i.e SWAT teams, military grade weapons, armored vehicles, surveillance)

  • by InterGuru (50986) <[moc.urugretni] [ta] [dhj]> on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:16PM (#45884689) Homepage

    In the last dozen years we have had about two dozen victims of terrorism and 100,000 victims of gun crime. Yet we are devoting so many more resources to terrorism. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. Bin Laden's strategy [seattletimes.com] was to bankrupt the United States and we are helping him succeed.. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. With this, NSA and Iraq he is on the way to success,

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:21PM (#45884719)

    but they have significantly differing views on the relationship of the role of government to the citizenry and the economy.

    You're seriously out-of-date. That was the OLD government, 20 years ago.

    Today, they're both a bunch of namby-pambies. The Democrat party gives lip service to the idea of reducing military, but they are now responsible for expanding our military presence around the world more than anybody else, ever. The Republican party has been giving lib-service to the idea of smaller government, but when it actually came to any kind of a fight, they simply caved. If you actually believed the lies on either side, these things would be an absolute mystery to you. But if, like most of us, you don't believe ANY of it any more, it all makes perfect sense and there is no more mystery.

    And don't give me Tea Party guff, either. They aren't a subset of Republicans, and Republicans aren't really Tea Party. GOP has strictly prohibited support for Tea Party from all the major elections, and (as was all over the U.S. newspapers recently) they decided that if they want to win more elections they'll have to reject Tea Party even more, and run on the wishy-washy platforms they were running on 10 years ago. What a laugh.

    It used to be, Democrats were the party of civil rights and social tolerance. Today, they have become extremely INtolerant. (Say anything about gays that isn't genuinely flattering in a crowd of them today, for example, and see how fast you get tossed out. That's not "tolerance", that's intolerance of anything but their pet points of view.) Obama has violated more civil rights than any President in history.

    It used to be, Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility and small government. But they haven't done anything serious about the budget, and grudgingly allowed Democrats to "force them" (haha) to put this nation in twice as much debt as it was in just a few years ago. They haven't fought Obama's monetary policy. They haven't actually been trying (or not hard, anyway) to reduce government. They have just been going through the motions, so they can pretend that they did.

    The only solution is to shitcan both parties. They have been WAY more trouble than they're worth.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:44PM (#45884811)

    there is one party: rich, mostly white, mostly men, entirely well connected and ultra wealthy.

    they look out for themselves. the rest be damned.

    yes, the two-party system is a hoax. its there (now) to keep us in-fighting and to distract us.

    it mostly works, too ;(

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday January 06, 2014 @11:51PM (#45884853)

    funny: america was CREATED by a bunch of 'terrorists'.

    the english viewed the yanks as such (some still do, to this day).

    the american revolution would not be allowed to happen, if it were today. and many people believe we need a reboot of america, but if we try to change our own government like we did 200+ yrs ago, we'd be arrested and locked away for years without access to lawyers or due process.

    contrary to what some may think, the role of the gov is NOT to keep itself going! they think so, but that was not the original intention of the constitution.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:17AM (#45884949)

    Then I have two questions for you:

    1) Why the heck are you still here? If you truly believe that the US is an oppressive police state, yet they are still clearly letting people freely travel across their borders (I just got back from Canada a couple weeks ago) then why are you not getting out now? If you really believe that the US has fallen in the police state, but it hasn't figured this out in isn't restricting the populace from leaving, then the logical thing to do is get the hell out before they do. That you would stay yet believe this is rather odd.

    2) Why are you posting things against the government online? Again, if you believe that this is a police state and that the government goes after those that speak against it, why would you tempted by speaking against it online? It's not like a post like this on Slashdot is going to do any good, it won't start a revolution, or even change anybody's mind for that matter, so the only possible result would be the you would get in trouble. As such it makes no sense that you would call attention to yourself, with no gain it all.

    Or, maybe, like so many people online you just like to whine and bitch, and you lack any real worldwide or historical perspective. If that's the case, please do us all a favor and quit it. It gets rather old hearing people cry that the US is evil, a police state, fascist, a dictatorship, whatever, and yet do nothing about it.

    If you truly believe that this is the case, then you need to do something. If you want to stay, then you either need to keep your head down, your nose clean, and try to make yourself as invisible to the state as possible so you don't get in trouble. Or, you need to rebel you need to fight against the power, you need to try to make things better. If neither of those appeal to you, then leaving is the logical conclusion, since they aren't stopping you.

    If I believe that the US was as bad as many of the whiners online do, I would leave. I wouldn't want to live in continual fear, I wouldn't want to live in a society where I couldn't speak freely, so I get out. I don't believe that's the case, as is evidenced by the fact that I speak freely online, so I'm happy to stay.

    So please clarify what you believe, and don't just whine online.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @01:58AM (#45885335)

    Voting works perfectly well

    In the absence of Gerrymandering, perhaps it might work sometimes -- depending on who counts the votes, how susceptible they are to manipulation by the powers that be (Oh goodie! digital votes, why not ask the NSA directly who should win? [vimeo.com]), how un-tainted the media is [youtube.com], etc. You're silly for using the term "perfectly". Voting hasn't ever worked perfectly well, or even reasonably well.

    The congress critters are in someone's pocket, and it's not we the people, those that aren't compromised are marginalized by the media, there's just too much evidence to ignore that. Really, if you look to see the root of any great political change it comes from public outrage, not election day votes. Go be an activist. Oh, right, they know how to handle those folks too [wikipedia.org]

  • by EzInKy (115248) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @02:17AM (#45885393)

    Yep they got you too! Either you believe the government dictates to you to protect others particular beliefs or the government dictates to others to enforce your particular beliefs. It seems no one follows the government exists to protect "life, liberty, and happiness" ideal that this nation was founded on.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:04AM (#45885703)

    Defeatist bullshit.

    Idealist bullshit.

    Voting works perfectly well

    It's simply not. The western world is dominated by democracies without democratic outcomes. 60% of the Canadian public votes against the Tories, yet they dominate the government. In the United States, massively popular policies like the Public Option are strangled in the crib by the very politicians who ran on supporting them, while deeply unpopular policies like telecom immunity and military detention sail through Congress.

    You can say voting works when the corrupt motherfuckers are losing elections in droves, to be replaced by people who have some respect for the public and the rule of law.

  • by demachina (71715) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:35AM (#45885989)

    Last I heard establishment politicians redistricted Kucinich out of Congress. Kucinich was an outlier and the establishment finally figured out a way to get rid of him because they didn't want to hear his inconvenient truths, or worse have Americans hear them.

    If anything Kucinich is proof that in fact we do have a one party state posing as two. Establishment Democrats hated him as much as anyone.

    The Tea Party is probably the only actual second party we have and its been coopted by a bunch of crazy, opportunist, demagogues like Palin, Beck and Bachman so its regrettably turned in to kind of a bizarro train wreck. It was completely despised by our establishment one party state, and if it hadn't been completely derailed it would have been the greatest threat to that one party state since the Progressive movement a hundred years ago.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:40AM (#45887211)

    Instead, he wasted precious time on disastrous health care reforms

    I wish people would stop repeating this. It's not true. He wasted precious time on disastrous health insurance reforms. He (and the Democrats) didn't do shit when it comes to health care. Insurance companies do NOT provide any kind of health care. Try going to a Blue Cross/Blue Shield office and asking them for a medical procedure. Why this distinction matters is that the problem with our healthcare isn't so much the insurance, but the out-of-control costs for the care itself (ridiculously expensive hospital bills, compared to what it costs to get the same procedure done in western European private hospitals, for instance). Obamacare didn't do anything at all to fix the problem of these out-of-control costs, it just changed the rules for the insurance that most people use to pay for them, basically spreading the cost out to more people and increasing most peoples' monthly premiums greatly.

  • by pnutjam (523990) <slashdot@ b o r o w i c z . o rg> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:02AM (#45887429) Homepage Journal
    A Doctor visit for a cold or flu (aside from being entirely unnecessary and useless) is a major expense that many people cannot absorb. If I need to get 4 people (typical family) tested for strep, that is $80 / with most insurances. Without, as you advocate, it's at least $280.

    Many American family's do not have an extra $100 in their budget.
  • by brianwski (2401184) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @12:04PM (#45888637) Homepage
    I'm not for or against Obamacare, as a software engineer it simply does not affect me. (I kept my same health insurance I've always had.)

    > there has been no law that forced citizens to sign up for.... Jail time

    Nonsense. Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security/FICA/Unemployment Insurance - all these are itemized on my pay stub. Again, I am not for or against Obamacare, but there are lots of other government programs I am forced to participate in.

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