Mike Lofgren Ties It All Together; Politics, Surveilance, etc.

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default Mike Lofgren Ties It All Together; Politics, Surveilance, etc.

Post by RBM on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:13 pm

The title of Mike Lofgren's book is The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted

About the Author
Mike Lofgren spent twenty-eight years working in Congress, the last sixteen as a senior analyst on the House and Senate Budget committees, which gave him ringside seats on TARP, Hurricane Katrina disaster relief, debates on the Pentagon budget and the amazing antics of various deficit–reduction commissions. He holds two degrees in history and received a Fulbright scholarship. He lives in Washington, D.C.

He was a Republican, for what it's worth.

Here's a Bill Moyers piece, Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State:

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.
...
As I wrote in The Party is Over, the present objective of congressional Republicans is to render the executive branch powerless, at least until a Republican president is elected (a goal that voter suppression laws in GOP-controlled states are clearly intended to accomplish). President Obama cannot enact his domestic policies and budgets: Because of incessant GOP filibustering, not only could he not fill the large number of vacancies in the federal judiciary, he could not even get his most innocuous presidential appointees into office. Democrats controlling the Senate have responded by weakening the filibuster of nominations, but Republicans are sure to react with other parliamentary delaying tactics. This strategy amounts to congressional nullification of executive branch powers by a party that controls a majority in only one house of Congress.

Despite this apparent impotence, President Obama can liquidate American citizens without due processes, detain prisoners indefinitely without charge, conduct dragnet surveillance on the American people without judicial warrant and engage in unprecedented — at least since the McCarthy era — witch hunts against federal employees (the so-called “Insider Threat Program”). Within the United States, this power is characterized by massive displays of intimidating force by militarized federal, state and local law enforcement. Abroad, President Obama can start wars at will and engage in virtually any other activity whatsoever without so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, such as arranging the forced landing of a plane carrying a sovereign head of state over foreign territory. Despite the habitual cant of congressional Republicans about executive overreach by Obama, the would-be dictator, we have until recently heard very little from them about these actions — with the minor exception of comments from gadfly Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Democrats, save a few mavericks such as Ron Wyden of Oregon, are not unduly troubled, either — even to the extent of permitting seemingly perjured congressional testimony under oath by executive branch officials on the subject of illegal surveillance.

On that Moyers page is this Vimeo clip of an interview by Moyers of Lofgren:

http://vimeo.com/87243281

Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for 28 years, joins Bill Moyers to talk about what he calls Washington's "Deep State," in which elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war," Lofgren tells Moyers.

It's a good precursor the the Essay, by the way. That Essay is chock a block full of details connected to consequences of how the Surveillance State came to be.
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RBM

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