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Republicans, Democrats both support measure to expand federal power, but Ron Paul leads minority opposition

In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, a newspaper published by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS), President Obama laid out his opinion of why poor cybersecurity is such a dire threat to the nation and his opinion on what should be done about it.

I. President Obama Calls Out Businesses for Poor Security

In the piece he describes the results of a recent wargames simulation by nation defense and intelligence agencies, recalling, "Across the country trains had derailed, including one carrying industrial chemicals that exploded into a toxic cloud. Water treatment plants in several states had shut down, contaminating drinking water and causing Americans to fall ill."

The scenario was fictional, but President Obama warns it could happen, if safeguards are not put in place.

Train derailed
President Obama claims terrorists could use cyber-attacks to derail trains.
[Image Source: Zimbio]

He blames poor security partially on the corporate sector, calling out the glaring incompetence security-wise of decision makers at some utilities and other vital infrastructure firms.  He writes:

Yet simply sharing more information is not enough. Ultimately, this is about security gaps that have to be filled. To their credit, many of these companies have boosted their cyber defenses. But many others have not, with some lacking even the most basic protection: a good password. That puts public safety and our national security at risk.

The American people deserve to know that companies running our critical infrastructure meet basic, commonsense cybersecurity standards, just as they already meet other security requirements.
 
 
Obama speaking
President Obama wants to expand the federal gov't to "solve" the cybersecurity "crisis".
[Image Source: U.S. Aid]

President Obama is proposing an amendment National Security Act of 1947 [PDF], which is ostensibly targeted at promoting information and expertise sharing between U.S. government agencies and key civilian-sector contractors/infrastructure providers.

II. Bill to Expand DHS is Backed by Both Parties, But Has a Few Vocal Critics

The bill, S.2105 [PDF], is a redraft of earlier House bill H.R. 3523.  

The new bill is dubbed the "Cybersecurity Act of 2012".  The key change from the earlier house measure is that the Senate bill funnels the information shared by private sector firms through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  President Obama vocally opposed the earlier House bill, which put the DHS in more of a backseat role.

Homeland Security
The bill would expand the scope of the DHS. [Image Source: CyTalk]
 
The new bill enjoys a fair measure of bipartisan support in the Senate.  It is sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R- Maine), Joe Lieberman (I/D- Connecticut), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), and J. D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D- West Virginia).

However, the bill has a couple of vocal opponents among the more liberal and more conservative members of the House.  Among those opposed to expanding the DHS's role is Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).  Rep. Paul called the bill "Big Brother writ large."

Ron Paul
Rep. Ron Paul is one of the few opponents of the measure to expand federal government.
[Image Source: AP]

Rep. Paul has suggested that the Department of Homeland Security is poor in talent, offensive to civil liberties, and redundant, commenting [source]:

Before 9/11, we were spending $40 billion a year, and the FBI was producing numerous information about people being trained on airplanes, to fly them but not land them. And they totally ignored them. So it’s the inefficiency of the bureaucracy that is the problem. So, increasing this with the Department of Homeland Security and spending more money doesn’t absolve us of the problem. Yes, we have every right in the world to know something about intelligence gathering. But we have to have intelligent people interpreting this information.

President Obama is urging Democrats and Republicans to come together, as they oft do, to overlook civil liberties and debt concerns and pass a bill to expand the federal government.  As with many such expansions of federal government pushed by America's two ruling parties in recent years, there will likely be large price tag to this measure.  And as usual the justification is "national security".

Sources: WSJ, U.S. Senate



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By Reclaimer77 on 7/21/2012 2:41:16 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
In fact, Obama is nothing more than a moderate Republican in Democrat guise.


LOL, an insult to moderate Republicans. Are you suffering from a mental break? While it's true that Obama extended most of Bush's policies, to claim this makes him anywhere close to a Republican is insane. He's FAR left of most Democrats. Wtf are you smoking?


RE: Oh, so he wants to nationalize everything now?
By Ringold on 7/21/2012 3:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
to claim this makes him anywhere close to a Republican is insane. He's FAR left of most Democrats.


All a matter of perspective apparently.. He didn't eradicate insurance companies, coal power plants, surrender to the Taliban, annihilate banks, or institute a wealth tax, 90% top marginal rates or 100% death taxes. Charter schools haven't been shut down. So sure, CPUSA.org members probably think he's awfully moderate. :P


By Reclaimer77 on 7/21/2012 4:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah it's just scary to me that there are people so radical out there they actually view Obama as some kind of moderate or centrist.


By foolsgambit11 on 7/21/2012 5:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
It scares me that there are people who can look at Obama's record, platform, and public statements and see a radical leftist. The pull out of Iraq? Already planned by Bush. PPACA? An idea straight out of a right-wing think tank. Supporting gay marriage? He's in the majority. About the only thing I can think of is wanting to close Guantanamo, and he wasn't planning on releasing anybody Bush wasn't releasing.

Ineffective? You can make an argument there, maybe. But the argument seems to be if Obama proposes a policy, it must be socialist, based on some erroneous preconceived notion of the man.


RE: Oh, so he wants to nationalize everything now?
By Ringold on 7/21/2012 9:18:27 PM , Rating: 3
Easy. He tried to use the commerce clause to, in effect and by extension, be able to mandate any and all economic behavior. Supreme Court can rule all it wants, I suspect most liberals know ObamaCare is grossly unconstitutional, liberals just don't think that's a bad thing.

Then business leaders that've met with him from day 1 have come away saying he doesn't understand business or job creation, which recent off-teleprompter comments only reinforce. In his world, sweat-equity doesn't exist; success of any individual belongs entirely to the collective.

If we combine the 'red' and 'green' folks in a 21st century unified group, as is some times the case in Europe, he's been about as tough on energy as possible. Shale gas has boomed but no thanks to him -- all development has been on private land. He's not released, to my knowledge, any federal land to unconventional natural gas drilling. He promised the LA Times he'd go to war with coal, and has largely succeeded.

Meanwhile, like any good statist, he's tried his hand at state-run venture capital -- and failed, abysmally. GM's stock would have to about double for the state to be in the black, and the GM and Chrysler deals will go down in history as one of the biggest government take-overs and abominations of standard bankruptcy procedures in this countries history.

The guy wants to go back to Clinton era tax rates, but not Clinton era size of government (hint: MUCH larger as a % of GDP). He obviously has no concern for the economic impact, either; Ernst & Young released analysis last week that showed a long term loss of 710k jobs and 1.8% lower growth for the middle class by raising the top income bracket rate. It's a price he's happy to pay for his version of fairness.

If you can't see the radicalism, you're not looking. Jesus, even admits in his books he was a Marxist in college, and recently it was uncovered who his mentor/pal 'Frank' was (hint: card-carrying member of CP USA). What makes you think he changed his core convictions?

I've said it before. Joe Lieberman is what the Democrat party pretends it still is, and look what the Democrat party did to him: attempted political assassination.


RE: Oh, so he wants to nationalize everything now?
By Samus on 7/21/2012 9:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I really wish Ron Paul had a chance...he's the only one that actually "gets it."


By inperfectdarkness on 7/23/2012 1:21:07 AM , Rating: 2
"Gets" what, exactly? He doesn't stand a chance because for every great idea, he has an insanely stupid one to match. He wants to close all overseas US military basing. Seriously. I mean, I'm all in favor of centralizing some of our basing and closing smaller satellite units, but "pulling out" altogether?

It's like the man makes basic logical blunders that a high-school student with any working knowledge of the military wouldn't make.


By steven975 on 7/23/2012 9:17:26 AM , Rating: 2
What function do those bases serve exactly?

Are we making sure the National Socialists don't come back to power. Korea's about the only one I can think of that makes sense.


By wempa on 7/23/2012 4:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
How many Ron Paul books have you actually read ? He does not want to close all overseas bases. He just wants to close the ones we don't absolutely need. Do we really need 30000 troops in Germany ? What exactly is going on there ? Our country is falling apart and we are wasting billions of dollars keeping these bases in over 100 countries. I'm sorry, but we clearly don't need to be in all of them. We could probably easily cut them by half.


By foolsgambit11 on 7/22/2012 8:23:35 PM , Rating: 1
Here's the problem. It isn't that liberals think PPACA is unconstitutional. It's that you apparently have no idea what is and isn't constitutional, but think your ideas of what is in the Constitution are more valid than those of a President who specialized in constitutional law and five (of nine) of the most knowledgeable constitutional specialists in the country. And again, since the plan was one advanced by a conservative think tank (the Heritage Foundation, I believe?), it is strange that conservatives have now decided it's a radical leftist policy, apparently solely because it was passed by the Fount of All Socialism </sarcasm>.

I'm not sure why you give the opinions of business leaders regarding job creation higher than those of economists and bureaucrats. You wouldn't ask a carpenter about civil engineering. And that's being generous with those business leaders - their interests are at least partially in conflict with job creation: higher unemployment reduces wages and increases retention, helping maximize profits. And either way, the question wasn't whether Obama is an effective president, the question was whether his actions or words demonstrated a radical left ideology. I can understand why his recent speech highlighting the fact (and I emphasize, fact) that all businesses benefit from government programs causes some radical libertarians to squirm. After all, the cognitive dissonance produced by encountering facts that directly clash with your world view is unnerving. But it's hardly radical leftist thinking. It's a fact embodied in conservative legislation like the Eisenhower interstate highway system.

The investment in GM wasn't about making money, it was about preserving American private industry. In that sense, it has been a success. And I think you're misusing the term "statist", unless you're arguing for anarchy, but then why would you worry if any policy is unconstitutional, since you'd be opposed to the Constitution as well. So I have to assume you're using it as a stand in for socialist. But if Obama's bailouts make him a radical leftist, then Bush's bailouts would do the same for him, which would seem to be patently false. Ergo, our original assumption, that Obama's bailouts make him a socialist, looks to be false.

The size of government is not a question of left or right. It is a question of libertarianism versus fascism. Left or right is about how the state should use whatever power it is vested in it. As for the economic impact of changing the current tax structure back to the one that made America great in second half of the 20th century, it is certainly a policy that is up for debate (considering the E&Y analysis contradicts several other analyses, including the one by the CBO), but if anything, it shows a radicalization of the right, not of the left, considering that those tax rates were considered acceptable by Republicans for generations.

Again, as to your final point, I am looking for policies, actions, or speeches that show that Obama is a radical leftist. I briefly thought Marxism was a good idea in college, too, though I am decidedly against it now, barely a decade later. I was at the Seattle WTO protests in '99. It was stupid childish petulance. People change. Obama did cocaine when he was young, too, but he isn't a cokehead now. His previous beliefs may be a reason to be on the lookout for crazy radical ideas, but it doesn't make everything he does Marxist, and there are only a couple of policies a moderate politician of either stripe wouldn't undertake, and those exceptions are hardly radical, and the reasons they wouldn't be undertaken have more to do with politics than political philosophy. Republicans can't touch social programs without being accused of destroying them (see the Medicare Part D hoopla).


By Reclaimer77 on 7/23/2012 1:24:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, as to your final point, I am looking for policies, actions, or speeches that show that Obama is a radical leftist.


Do you watch the news? Do you have a radio? Have you been living in a cave?

There's really no point in even talking to someone who actually requires "proof", almost 4 years later, of Obama's leftness. Wtf, are you serious?

I guess his latest Marxist diatribe about business leaders and entrepreneurs wasn't leftist either, right? Come on, take the blinders off!


RE: Oh, so he wants to nationalize everything now?
By Ringold on 7/23/2012 10:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's that you apparently have no idea what is and isn't constitutional


If you've read a great deal of the works of the founding fathers as well as the philosophers who inspired them and came away thinking that the framers would view Obamacare is constitutional, then you're either a poor liar or there is something wrong with your brain. Seriously. It's that obvious.

I'm also a member of the Heritage Foundation, and can assure you they'd sooner hang themselves then ever submit anything like that.

quote:
I'm not sure why you give the opinions of business leaders regarding job creation higher than those of economists and bureaucrats.


Thank you for the Marxist world view of job creation. Business leaders understand the growth of business leads to expansion to enable higher sales, and that job growth is the publicly beneficial side-effect of the business worlds profit-motive. Adam Smith understood this, Hume before him did, and all non-Marxist economists since have as well.

The fact that you even consider bureaucrats a source of information on job creation is hilarious. WTF does someone who has spent their lives working for a government agency know about how the private sector creates jobs?

quote:
I can understand why his recent speech highlighting the fact (and I emphasize, fact) that all businesses benefit from government programs


Listen to his whole speech. You and him are trying to engage some sort of reality distortion field around what he said to make it sound like he was talking about roads and bridges. No. He was denigrating hard work and intelligence, implying success was collective success and down to luck, presumably. Every form of government around the world builds roads and bridges, ffs. Libertarian sorts do not often complain about that, though there's plenty of economic evidence to suggest greater roles for privatization or public-private partnerships. It was the rant against individual achievement that bothered people.

quote:
In that sense, it has been a success.


We won't know until years down the road. We've bailed out Chrysler before. The historical record for government bailouts is pretty poor; they tend to come back again and again until it's clear the party is over.

Further, Bush was no ideal leader on bailouts either. He combined the worst of both parties in some ways, I don't deny that. But I know clinging to Bush helps your side, even if its now irrelevant in the current election since Bush isn't running for office.

quote:
As for the economic impact of changing the current tax structure back to the one that made America great in second half of the 20th century


Typical. Classic difference between left and right. To a liberal, its government policy that made America great. To the right, it's American individuals who made America great. The gap is one that, IMO, can't be closed, ever, so again I'll say we'd of been better off if the North had let the South go on amicable terms.

quote:
that those tax rates were considered acceptable by Republicans for generations.


Not entirely true, but perhaps you know that. Democrats held the House for about fifty years before Newt Gingrich lead them to victory in the 90s. Prior to that, Reagan tried to be a tax cutter.

quote:
People change.


You haven't budged much, since your views line up pretty well with the hard-left and their 'living constitution' notions, agreement with Obama's collectivist view of achievement, state-sponsored bailout of industry (GM), and the hilarious notion businessmen and women can't speak to job growth but academic ivory-tower economists (academic economists are disproportionately Marxist, as many universities had moved and shielded their Economics departments not in the college of business but of liberal arts) and, even better, bureaucrats. But some people do change, but many don't. He was a Marxist as a young adult and as an older adult wrote about his mentor, a card-carrying Communist Party USA member, in every single chapter of his last book. You see everything he's done as moderate because you're so far left you don't realize that the left in America post-Vietnam has radicalized itself, but looking at his proposals and speeches from a classical perspective, he fits the bill and offers no evidence of reform from Marxism.


By foolsgambit11 on 7/24/2012 6:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
If the Founding Fathers didn't want PPACA, they shouldn't have given Congress the power to tax. Besides, the idea that the Founding Fathers' views would be absolute, and not adaptable to the facts of the world we live in, is absolutely asinine. That's why they entrusted a branch of the government with interpreting the Constitution.

The Heritage Foundation wasn't the source of the individual mandate idea? http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/10/20/how-a-...

Have you ever read Adam Smith? The entire wealth of nations is a diatribe against government working hand in hand with business to promote business interests. Businessmen favored protectionist trade restrictions, local monopolies and cartels, because they were good for their business. But they were bad for the nation. Your understanding of Adam Smith is apparently only rivaled by your understanding of the Constitution. You might want to check yourself here, because you also don't know what the hell Marxism is either. Apparently for you, anything but trickle-down capitalism is Marxism.

A bureaucrat whose job it has been to study public sector job creation and implement government policies to promote it has a lot more experience in what works and what doesn't, what the limits of government capabilities are, etc., than a guy who has spent the past 20 years focused on their narrow little world in business. I used the word bureaucrat specifically because I knew it would rile you up. Sorry. But it's true, bureaucrats aren't all the useless wastes we associate with the DMV.

Arguing that someone who has become successful should be thankful for the help they received along the way isn't denigrating their hard work. Reminding them that they owe society something back for everything they've received isn't denigrating their hard work. Again, this is a case of you trying to assign the worst motives to Obama because you have preconceived notions of who he is.

Reagan was the beginning of the drive to cut taxes, a philosophy that began taking roots in the Republican party a decade before he took office thanks to the efforts of people like William F. Buckley. Prior to that, the Republican party was very different. Conservativism was very different. Remember, it was Nixon who created the EPA.

And by the way, the difference between conservatives and liberals isn't whether the government or individuals are responsible for American success. We both think it's American individuals who are responsible - but which individuals? Conservatives seem to think it's Donald Trump. Liberals think it's the everyman, and promote government policies which give the average American the best chance at being successful.

You can throw around labels all you want, but it's pointless when they mean nothing. That's my point. When the policies of Obama don't differ qualitatively from those of Bush, how do you justify applying a moniker to one but not the other? I'm not bringing Bush up to try to bash him, or promote Obama's popularity. I'm just trying to demonstrate many conservatives' hypocrisy in considering Obama's policies.

And finally (though I'm pretty sure you won't even come back to read this), your attempt to paint me as some kind of radical from a handful of statements demonstrates a lack of acceptance of nuance. This may be the reason that you've decided Obama is a Marxist - anything less than a doctrinal adherence to a libertarian conservative ideal is radical socialism to you.


By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2012 12:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
Getting tired of that argument. I love how Liberals quote from the Heritage foundation on this one thing, then on the other hand call it a "Right wing extremist" group on every other point that they prove the utter failure of Liberalism. You can't have it both ways.

But here's a hint, I don't care what the Heritage Foundation thought about it. Why? They aren't lawmakers. They aren't Congress. They can have whatever opinion they want, it's Obama and his radical thugs that passed Obamacare.

quote:
Arguing that someone who has become successful should be thankful for the help they received along the way isn't denigrating their hard work. Reminding them that they owe society something back for everything they've received isn't denigrating their hard work. Again, this is a case of you trying to assign the worst motives to Obama because you have preconceived notions of who he is.


Telling people they "owe society" is usually the first step in some Marxist/Socialist agenda. Obama want's higher taxes on the rich, higher fees for everything, mandated Obamacare...then scratches his head why his job creation plans have failed and unemployment still sucks and we still have a sluggish economy.

quote:
And by the way, the difference between conservatives and liberals isn't whether the government or individuals are responsible for American success. We both think it's American individuals who are responsible - but which individuals? Conservatives seem to think it's Donald Trump. Liberals think it's the everyman, and promote government policies which give the average American the best chance at being successful.


LOL oh that's classic! Well if that's what you believe, Obama has been a perfect example of why that Liberal ideology doesn't work.

In essence you believe you can redistribute wealth better than the free market can, for the betterment of everyone. Not just a "select few" rich.

The problem is the Government doesn't have it's own money. It has OUR money. The money the Government spends is essentially taken out of the peoples hands. So when Obama increases spending by 300+%, and claims he can "stimulate" the economy with it, how is that possible?

Liberals destroy the wealth of the populace with reckless spending. The money Obama and the Liberals are spending, WE assume the responsibility for paying back. Fools, how can you give Americans the best chance of being successful, when you're reaping money from them and incurring debt that's MORE than our GDP? The collective American public, rich and poor and middle class alike, cannot even sustain this debt.

Who have you bettered? Who's been helped? Ask the African American community, who saw Obama as their savior, how they've been helped. Nearly 20% unemployment rates for that demographic. But by god, they'll keep voting those Democrats in because they want to "help" them. Please. It's a sham. Liberal ideology helps nobody, and scaled up to a national level, does MUCH harm to all of us.

quote:
If the Founding Fathers didn't want PPACA, they shouldn't have given Congress the power to tax.


First of all, they didn't. Even Roberts said they cannot use the Commerce Clause to impose such a tax. The Commerce Clause CANNOT be used to compel entry to a market.

Secondly, it's not a "tax" at all. But a penalty. And just because you Liberals now pretend you don't know what the difference is, the Founders sure as hell did.


By ScotterQX6700 on 7/25/2012 2:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
Here is a list of some of the freedoms we have lost since Obama has come into office. I've been working on this for a year or so. I'm all ears if you have an item to add.
http://www.clearsay.net/freedom_erosion_chart.asp?


By Reclaimer77 on 7/21/2012 10:29:23 PM , Rating: 1
Apparently you don't know what "left" even means, since none of those things are indicative of their beliefs, so I don't even know why you're speaking.


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