The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on less talk, more action for President Obama:
President Barack Obama loves to show off his basketball prowess now and then. His favorite move on the court: the pivot.
The Wall Street Journal wrote this past week that "President Obama made his fourth or fifth, or maybe it's the seventh or eighth, pivot to the economy." By another reporter's count, the president has pivoted to supposedly make the economy a priority 19 times now.
That's a lot of talk with very little action. If it's really a priority, why must the topic be pivoted to so much?
What it all means to you is that this president is more concerned with using the sputtering economy as a talking point to occasionally change the subject. And to somehow blame Republicans for his record. In short, Barack Obama has seen his track record, and he's not going to take it anymore!
Obama claimed in his latest pivot to the economy that he wants to work with Republicans to get things going. But skipping out of Washington to make empty campaign-style, beat-opponents-over-the-head speeches won't get the job done on jobs.
President, for goodness' sake, you are term-limited; stop campaigning and start governing! Meet with Congress and find some common ground on the economy.
Obamacare is a proven job killer, and the worst of it hasn't even been implemented. How can it not be a job killer? It disincentivizes business growth and having full-time workers, and is raising the costs of health insurance drastically. It's so ominous that Obama had to delay full implementation of it until 2015 - and even his hard-left union friends are sending up warning flares about "Obamacare's" potential to destroy the middle class.
Obama's much-vaunted "economic" speech was more about how to distribute the pie, rather than how to grow it for everyone.
Being an inveterate sports fan, you would think the president would appreciate the beauty of a system based on merit and individual ability, achievement and reward.
Why is a meritocracy in sports a good thing, but not elsewhere?
Savannah Morning News on House vote disappointing:
It's disappointing that the U.S. House narrowly defeated a bill recently that was aimed at responsibly balancing civil liberties with the need to protect Americans from terrorists.
In a 217-205 vote, a coalition made up of supporters of President Obama and the Republican establishment rejected a bill that would have canceled support for the National Security Agency's secret and indiscriminate collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records.
Instead, had Congress approved the measure and the president signed it into law, the NSA would have to identify an individual who's under investigation before it could snoop in someone's phone calls and text messages.
To his credit, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who's running for the U.S. Senate, supported this sensible change.
This week's vote was billed as the first showdown on America's surveillance program since former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden skipped the country and leaked classified information last month, which spelled out the government's secret information-gathering activities.
Make no mistake.
House Republican Justin Amash of Michigan, who sponsored the reform bill that was voted down, believed the government overstepped the boundaries spelled out in the Patriot Act.
That's the law, approved in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, that enables the executive branch to carry out its duty to protect Americans from terror attacks while not becoming Big Brother.
Reasonable people can disagree on how this balance is struck. But in the case of the random collection of metadata — phone records of numbers called and the duration of the calls — is the equivalent of hauling in haystacks to look for needles.
The government argues that it's looking for suspicious patterns and doesn't seek names or content of those calls until a court finds probable cause and gives it permission.
As far as data collection is concerned, the sifting of metadata can help authorities confirm the existence of possible terrorists and their terror cells. But investigators shouldn't be able to randomly cull through data sources to root out bad apples. They must be more precise on the front end. That way, the privacy rights of the many aren't butchered, which is what the Patriot Act protects.