Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, the favorite holiday of Republicans who depend upon spreading fear to promote their irrational views. Next comes Thanksgiving, when they can remind themselves of all the things they are hateful for.

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Republican Pollster Says Republicans Need To Stop Pandering To Racism–Unlikely To Happen In The GOP

The Republican political strategy, whether it is the southern strategy or the current appeals to the fears of low-information white voters, is to pander to fears of people of other races. The New York Times has an article on race in politics which contains one significant passage. A Republican pollster for both Presidents Bush acknowledged how Republicans pander to race (emphasis mine):

Fred Steeper, a Republican pollster who advised both Presidents Bush, worries about renewed attention to racial divisions for two reasons.

One is that it could taint what he calls the Republican Party’s “legitimate argument” in favor of self-reliance and smaller government. The other is the difficulty of winning national elections if the Republicans’ hard-line on immigration continues to alienate Hispanics.

“Racism may be a part of it,” especially among working-class whites, Mr. Steeper said of the immigration stance. “The Republican Party needs to stop pandering to that.”

He added, “The Republican Party needs to throw in the towel on the immigration issue.”

Even if they were to give up on immigration, racism would still dominate Republican views. How many Republicans, with an exaggerated view of the dollar amounts, are easily upset by the prospect of minorities receiving welfare or foreigners receiving foreign aide?  With Republicans losing the support of virtually all groups other than low-information, easily scared white males, there is no Republican Party without such appeals to the widespread racism and xenophobia in their ranks.

The Nation recently reminded us of how the Southern strategy works in quoting Lee Atwater:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

As if nobody outside of the right wing doesn’t realize that the demands of the Teabaggers are largely about race.

Quote of the Day

“A new survey found that 25 percent of Americans will spend less on Halloween this year because of the government shutdown’s effect on the economy. Which explains that new party game – ‘Bobbing for Ramen Noodles.'” –Jimmy Fallon

Why Sensationalistic Reports Of People Being Dumped From Their Insurance Plan Are Misleading

Republicans have been doing everything possible to avoid real discussion of health care reform. They are sometimes aided by journalists who do not understand the complexity of health care policy, and who want to report a scandal when none exists. Recent misleading media reports on people being “booted” from their health care plan is encouraging Republicans to make a lot of nonsense noise leading Greg Sargent to conclude, correctly, that normal debate about Obamacare is impossible. He wrote, “the GOP outrage about Americans supposedly “losing” coverage is largely just more of the same old misdirection. It’s a subset of a larger Republican refusal to have an actual debate about the law’s tradeoffs — one in which the law’s benefits for millions of Americans are also reckoned with in a serious way.”

The question of whether people can keep their current insurance is comparable to the faux controversy I recently discussed over whether people can keep the same doctor they now have. The real point in these arguments is over whether people who are happy with their coverage will continue to have the same type of insurance care and medical coverage (with added protections they do not have now). Conservative groups have been spreading all sorts of misinformation to make people think that there would be a drastic change under Obamacare. I’ve had heard from numerous Medicare patients who believed that Obama was ending Medicare. (No, it is the Republican plan which would wind up doing that). One patient emailed me recently asking if she had to give up her Medicare and sign up for Obamacare, upset that she would have to give up having me as her physician. Many with private insurance also believed that they would lose that coverage and be forced into a government run health system. None of these scare stories are true.

It is with this backdrop that reassuring people that they can keep their current type of insurance and continue to see their current doctor has been important. This does not mean everyone will have exactly the same insurance plan and that nobody would every wind up changing doctors. It is a fact of life in the old system that a variety of factors would cause insurance plans to change, and people could wind up having to change doctors. Only seventeen percent of purchasers on the individual market typically purchase the same plan for two or more years. Short of total government control of all medical practices, which nobody wants, it is impossible for the government to guarantee that nothing will change. What is different is that people will no longer lose their insurance, or access to their doctor, because of issues such as insurance companies dropping them when they get sick or not being able to afford insurance if their financial situation changes.

As many others have, I recently received a letter from my insurance carrier that my current policy will not be available as it does not meet the requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The insurance company had the option of grandfathering subscribers and continuing the old plan versus offering another policy from the same company. When I went to check on line I found that they were also offering several other plans. I never had this choice before. There are also more choices from other companies. I purchased my current plan when my previous plan decided to get out of the individual market in the area by raising their rates to levels which were exorbitant even by the standard of health insurance costs. At the time there were no options available which included routine office calls and prescription drugs. Coverage of both are now required, which is why my current plan is no longer offered. Instead I will wind up with another policy from the same company which covers more at a modestly higher price.

I am probably one of the biggest losers in this situation, but I’m not complaining. I will have to pay more for insurance, but not an outrageous amount. I do not qualify for subsidies, and I do not have significant medical costs, so I will wind up a bit behind. Many others will benefit from the added coverage while paying far less than current premiums thanks to the subsidies. Other people will also wind up saving more money due to the increased coverage, making up for the increased premiums.

My new coverage won’t cost that much more. Some people will probably see a bigger jump in premiums, until the subsidies are taken into consideration. Some insurance plans cover so little they should barely even be considered insurance. Via Steve Benen, Erik Wemple presented  a misleading example from Fox from someone complaining about having to change to a more expensive policy. More information gave a different picture than what was presented on Fox.

More coverage may provide a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of Barrette’s situation: Her current health insurance plan, she says, doesn’t cover “extended hospital stays; it’s not designed for that,” says Barrette. Well, does it cover any hospitalization? “Outpatient only,” responds Barrette. Nor does it cover ambulance service and some prenatal care. On the other hand, says Barrette, it does cover “most of my generic drugs that I need” and there’s a $50 co-pay for doctors’ appointments. “It’s all I could afford right now,” says Barrette.

In sum, it’s a pray-that-you-don’t-really-get-sick “plan.” When asked if she ever required hospitalization, Barrette says she did. It happened when she was employed by Raytheon, which provided “excellent benefits.” Ever since she left the company and started working as an independent contractor, “I haven’t been hospitalized since then, thank God.” Hospitalization is among the core requirements for health-care plans under Obamacare.

Maybe at present this is all she can afford, but she will be able to afford more due to the subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, and will really save a lot of money if she winds up in the hospital again. As bad as this policy sounds, I have seen people with even worse.

While it might come as a shock to some reporters and Republicans that some people will have to change plans due to meet the current core requirements, this was never a secret. There is nothing misleading about this. Think Progress has cited several sources which discussed this during the initial health care debate. It is only a surprise to those who failed to understand the law, or those who want to make misleading attacks.

As for the Republicans, the problem is that they were intentionally absent from the debate, deciding to vote against any health care reform and refusing to take part in framing any form of bipartisan plan. It is a valid argument that perhaps people should be able to purchase more limited plans. I, and many Republican voters, are capable of paying for out-patient services not covered by our insurance and perhaps we should be able to purchase less expensive plans. (Of course there is also the option of the bronze plans for those who do want to reduce insurance  premiums and can afford to take on more risk, and people under thirty can purchase inexpensive catastrophic plans). If Republicans felt more choices should have been available, they should have brought it up during the health care debate. Republicans could have exacted plenty of compromises in return for passing a plan with greater bipartisan support. As Republicans failed to participate in the process, it is hard to take their complaints seriously now.

Update: I initially left out the fact that insurance companies could grandfather subscribers who had old plans and were not forced under the Affordable Care Act to have people change plans. Initially I left this out to keep the discussion simpler, not thinking it was important that this option existed if insurance companies chose not to offer to continue the old plan. As discussion of this issue is increasingly turning into the accuracy of old statements versus whether insurance companies are at fault. More in this post.

Almost Two Thirds Of Conservative Republicans Support Basing Policy Decisions On Religious Views

There’s a lot of other issues in this poll, but here’s the question I was most interested in from this ABC News/Fusion poll:

Fewer than half of all adults, 45 percent, say political leaders should rely somewhat or a great deal on their religious beliefs when making policy decisions. But again the range is wide: Six in 10 conservatives, as many Republicans and 65 percent of conservative Republicans hold this view. That falls sharply to 39 percent of Democrats and independents alike, four in 10 moderates and 32 percent of liberals.

Not much of a surprise, showing both the theocratic viewpoint of the Republican Party and how their view on this differs from the views of Democrats, independents, and the founding fathers of the United States.

Rand (Mr. Misinformation) Paul Spreads Scare Stories Against Scientific Advancements and Eugenics

Faux libertarian Rand Paul just can’t help it. Most of his ideas are so off the wall that he has no choice but to make things up to support them. Even when he takes the right position on civil liberties issues, if you listen to him long enough (such as during his filibuster on drones) it becomes apparent that this is a guy who just has no idea what he is talking about. On top of that, despite claims of being a libertarian, Paul supports increased government intrusion into the private lives of individuals when it comes to reproductive rights. He is supporting this with scare stories about eugenics unless conservatives stand up against abortion and stay away from scientific advancements:

Tea party hero Rand Paul warned scientific advancements could lead to eugenics during a Monday visit at Liberty University, looking to boost the political fortunes of fellow Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.

During a visit to the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Paul looked to energize conservative supporters by warning that genetic tests could identify those who are predisposed to be short, overweight or less intelligent so that they could be eliminated. With one week remaining before Election Day, Cuccinelli is hoping the joint appearance with the U.S. senator from Kentucky will encourage the far-right flank of his party to abandon third-party libertarian spoiler Robert Sarvis.

“In your lifetime, much of your potential – or lack thereof – can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek,” Paul said to a packed sporting arena on Liberty’s campus. “Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”

Some states ran eugenics programs that sterilized those considered defective in the 1900s, though all were abandoned by the 1970s after scientists discredited the idea.

Just the fact that he was speaking at the erroneously named Liberty University was a dead giveaway that he would be spouting nonsense such as this.  Regardless of where he is, this is his typical tactic. As Paul has stated, misinformation works, and he continues to practice this philosophy

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who; Sherlock; Atlantis; SHIELD; Arrow; Last Week’s Revelation on Homeland; The Blacklist; Once Upon A Time In Wonderland; Star Trek; Star Wars; American Blackout; X-Men; Time Travel; Dealing With A Zombie Apocalypse


Matt Smith and David Tennant worked very well together during filming of The Day of the Doctor according to Steven Moffat:

Matt Smith and David Tennant got on so well while filming the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special that they hatched a plan to continue working together on the show, says Steven Moffat.

“They got on like a couple of old women. They just say in the corner and gossiped the entire time,” revealed the Doctor Who showrunner.

“By the end of it, Matt told me that he’d worked out this plan that they’d both continue in Doctor Who: do five individual episodes each and three together – would that be ok? It was a nice plan. I think if I’d said yes they’d have gone for it.”

However, Moffat admitted that neither star had started out completely confident about bringing their two Doctors together.

“David and Matt, I think… were both quite apprehensive of the other,” Moffat told the audience at a Radio Times event earlier this month. “David’s continued to watch Doctor Who like the sad old fan he is and so as far as he’s concerned Matt’s the Doctor. And of course for Matt, you don’t believe yourself you’re the Doctor, you just think David’s the Doctor. So they were both slightly nervous and slightly apprehensive.”

Steven Moffat also told Radio Times that John Hurt would steal scenes with his eyes:

“It was great fun,” said Moffat. “You’d have David and Matt, they’d be leaping around the set and doing every form of physical comedy with each other – and, you know, slightly competing about who could be slightly more insane than the other – and then John Hurt would come along and do this [tiny movement] with his eyes and you go ‘That’s it – he’s got the scene now hasn’t he?'”

Moffat has also discussed the return of the Zygons:

Steven Moffat says bringing back the Zygons has been an ambition since he took over Doctor Who – and that the classic monsters are so well designed he hardly had to change a thing for their return in the 50th Anniversary Special.

“Every year since I took over I’ve been trying to get the Zygons in,” says Steven Moffat, “and then I thought ‘Well, it’s the 50th…’

“The Zygons are beautifully designed monsters, they are so wonderful… We barely changed the design at all because it was so good.”

The classic Who foes have appeared just once before, in 1975 adventure Terror of the Zygons, yet remain a firm fan favourite.

Cult Box interviewed Doctor Who composer Murray Gold. H:ere is just one question on the show’s theme, which has changed with the lead actor:

Have you started thinking about what the 12th Doctor’s theme will sound like? Are you going to miss using the 11th Doctor’s wonderful theme?!

“I’m not 100% certain they will let me drop that theme entirely… but yes, I have started to think about it. I really need to see Peter in the role to get it all firing up.”

Peter Salus looked at the history of computers in Doctor Who.

Sherlock season 3 will premiere in the United States on PBS on January 19 at 10 p.m. This means it will air back to back with Downtown Abbey, which starts on January 5 in the United States. Downton Abbey is already well into the season on ITV (with a rather major event for Anna at one point during the season so far). The BBC has not announced when Sherlock will return in the U.K.

Atlantis (the replacement for Merlin) will premiere in the United States on November 23, after The Day of the Doctor.

black canary arrow

Agents of SHIELD and Arrow are extending further into the Marvel and DC universes respectively. SHIELD has come up against Centipede, plus expect more connections to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. On Arrow, Oliver was saved by the Black Canary, who turns out to have been working in the past for Ra’s al Ghul, ultimately tying into Batman. We will see more of this Black Canary next week, and will have to wait and see  how things play out regarding the discrepancy with her identity in the comics. Situations and characters do tend to evolve gradually on Arrow.

Arrow, while well-done and quite entertaining  for its genre, does trace back to the teen/young adult form of genre common on CW. In this vein, CBS is considering a reboot of Charmed.

Anastasia and Will Wonderland

I think that Once Upon A Time would have worked better if they stuck to the first season’s story as opposed to trying to stretch it out into a conventional multi-year television series. American television often is of a lower quality than British television due to the usual format requirements in the US.  Once Upon A Time In Wonderland shows promise partially because it is planned as a single season story. Last week Alice learned more about the White Rabbit but the story is not limited to Wonderland. Any Disney fan has to just love to see Robin Hood and his Merry Men rob Maleficent’s  castle, as occurred on last week’s episode. Then there was the revelation that Will’s girlfriend Anastasia becomes the Red Queen.

I was happy to see that last week’s episode of The Blacklist delved more into Elizabeth and her husband, with implications that more is to come next week. I do hope the series concentrates more on this mythology as opposed to being a villain of the week series. According to E!, episode eight is also major:

Episode eight is a big one. Don’t miss it. Oh, you want more than that? Fine. Not only does someone on the team get severely injured in the episode, but Red comes face to face with one of his mortal enemies. Someone Red is scared of? This we can’t wait to see!

Episode 304

Showtime has renewed Homeland and Masters of Sex. The big revelation on Homeland last week didn’t come as very much of a surprise. In many ways it is more plausible that Saul and Carrie are working together consider the past working relationship between the two and the fact that Saul knows that Brody’s confession tape had to be a set-up. On the other hand, Carrie sure played her role at all times she was seen on television. I would have to go back to past episodes to verify this, but I believe this includes times in which there was nobody else watching her beyond the television audience. Alex Gansa discussed the revelation with TV Guide:

In your mind, when did Carrie and Saul hatch this master plan?
Alex Gansa:
 I think they decided the very next day after the bomb went off. Carrie and Saul were culpable in what happened, and they were looking for some way to make good, to make it right, to get the guy who was ultimately responsible. They began to hatch the plan right then to figure out how to lure the bad guy of the season, Javadi, out of his anonymity in Iran.

So, Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) don’t know about this?
Gansa: For the first four episodes they were totally outside the circle. This was a ruse and a plot that was hatched just between Carrie and Saul.

There were a lot of machinations to this plot. Saul continued to pursue Javadi on his own, for example. Was that just to throw the audience off or was it a backup plan?
 One of the things that our intelligence officer consultants [told us] is that the most effective intelligence operations are 95 percent true. Carrie and Saul were largely to blame for what happened and [they knew] the CIA would be looking for a scapegoat to take the blame. How would they turn that into a silver lining? This was a huge gamble, and Carrie was asked to sacrifice a lot in that gamble. It’s not a sure thing, so Saul was really playing all sides of the equation here. And you will see that he’s got a Phase 2 of the operation in mind, which he is not sharing with Carrie. Saul is very much the puppeteer here. He’s the maestro.

Why would Carrie react the way she did to Saul “outing” her during his senate testimony if she knew this was all a scam?
Saul is the one who leaked the idea that she was having a sexual relationship with Brody to the committee. Carrie was aware that he was doing that. However, it doesn’t diminish the reality of it when it’s actually presented in front of you. When we were shooting it, we were talking to Claire about, “This moment is going to have to play two ways. It’s going to have to play one way if the audience is watching it for the first time not understanding that this is a ruse.” But when you go back and look at it again, you’ll understand that she’s not surprised by what she’s hearing. She’s amazed at how it affects her to understand that she is to blame for what happened. That’s where the emotion catches up with her in an unexpected way.

There’s more at The Hollywood Reporter, including how Brody will fit into the storyline:

How will Brody figure in to all of this?

I will say that Brody becomes a principal player in the architecture of the last sweep of episodes. His predicament down in Caracas and his separation from Carrie and Saul is really paramount as we move into the next two movements of the season.

Did you have any reservations about having an episode (“Tower of David”) that was almost exclusively from Brody’s point of view?

It was really a function of how much story was to be told there. Just anecdotally, some people felt we were with him too much and others felt we were with him too little. It felt right to us to establish his predicament and to parallel his plight with Carrie’s. These are two people in some very desperate circumstances. The show has paralleled their stories before and some of the most successful episodes that we have done have drawn comparisons between their predicaments.

I just saw this commercial from May. It has to be the best car commercial ever. Spock v. Spock. May the best Spock win.

I don’t find it to be a good sign when there is a need to change writers for Star Wars VII.

The National Geographic Channel is airing a fictionalized account of the consequences of a catastrophic ten day cyberattack:

As the power grid goes down across the country, the streets quickly descend into chaos while consumers ransack stores for bottled water and canned goods.

Those without sufficient cash handy are quickly in dire straits, since no electricity means no credit cards or ATMs, either.

Meanwhile, the heroes of the day are “doomsday preppers” who have had the foresight to stockpile a couple years’ worth of bottled water, batteries, and military-style meals-ready-to-eat in secret underground bunkers.

This is the scenario explored in “American Blackout,” the National Geographic Channel’s fictionalized account of a 10-day-long power outage precipitated by a cyberattack.

What Culture has ten alcoholic drinks from Mad Men which you must try.

Screen Rant reports that X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Trailer Preview Includes a Time-Traveling Wolverine

Is time travel even possible? See the above video from TED-ED. No X-Men but it includes plenty of scenes with a TARDIS. It only deals with time travel into the future. No hope we will be visited by Kiera Cameron of Continuum.

Some people think that TED Talks fail to deal with real problems. The above DED Talk might be more practical after a zombie apocalypse.

The Implosion of the Republican Brand and Control of the House

Greg Sargent had a useful interactive graph posted here which demonstrates the implosion of the GOP brand based upon recent polling numbers. Key findings are that, compared with September 2012, Republican unfavorability ratings have increased among women, people over age 65, independents, and white college grads. Among other problems, losing the young can have implications for years to come as early voting habits often persist. We know that Republican favorability among minorities is pretty low. The graph does leave out white voters without college degrees. Republicans have generally done the best among low-information white males, but there just aren’t enough of them to win national elections.

Sargent summarized the results:

Observers believe that over the long term, the GOP will have to do a better job winning over college educated whites, who are an increasingly important constituency, along with young voters and minorities, in the Democratic coalition of the future. (Ron Brownstein has dubbed these groups the “coalition of the ascendant,” arguing they are increasingly important in statewide races, not just national ones.)

Among white collar whites, the GOP’s unfavorability rating has shot up by a startling 21 points, to 70 percent. Among college educated women – who may be more critical to the Dem coalition than college educated men – the spike in GOP unfavorability has been somewhat more dramatic than among women overall, jumping 15 points, to 74 percent. If this trend continues, it could fuel future Dem gains among women.

This makes it difficulty for Republicans to win a national election, and if these numbers hold will also hurt them in state-wide races, possibly leading to Democratic pick-ups in the Senate. Of course these numbers are undoubtedly different geographically, and presumably the Republicans will remain strong in more authoritarian-oriented regions such as the south. Republicans continue to benefit from gerrymandering and concentration of Democrats in a fewer number of urban districts, making it more difficult for control of the House to change. There are a number of different projections as to how large a lead the Democrats must maintain in the generic Congressional ballot to flip control of the House. I previously cited an estimate of around seven percent. Yesterday Steve Benen quoted a couple of other views on this yesterday:

Political scientist Nicholas Goedert made the case this week that if Democrats go into the 2014 midterms with a lead on the generic ballot of 5 or more percentage points, they stand a pretty good chance of winning back the House. Nate Cohn, however, recently argued the Dems’ advantage would have to be closer to 10 points.

There are many variables, including whether the Democratic lead on the generic ballot persists, whether this improves Democratic recruitment of candidates and inhibits some Republicans from running, and how it affects fund raising.  Battles over immigration might further harm Republicans.  Republican rooting for the failure of Obamacare might backfire against the Republicans as initial computer SNAFU’s are forgotten and people see that the law is far different from what Republicans have claimed. Demographic changes will also help tilt many districts as each year passes.

Democrats are also likely to do better in the 2016 presidential election (assuming events between now and then don’t radically change the election landscape) when more young and minority voters are likely to turn out. Even if the Democrats fall short of taking control of the House in 2014, they might make gains that year making flipping of House control more likely to occur in 2016. Regardless of who controls the House in 2014, it is doubtful Obama will be able to accomplish much in the final two years of his term as long as the Republicans can use the veto in the Senate. I suspect we will have to wait until 2016 to see further change in how Washington works.

CBO Finds That Raising Medicare Eligibility Age Does Not Save As Much Money As Previously Estimated

It is much less likely that raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 will be on the table now that the CBO has dramatically decreased their projection as to how much money would be saved. The CBO  estimates that raising the Medicare age gradually from 65 to 67 would save just $19 billion over 10 years. In 2012, the CBO had estimated that this would save $113 billion in the first 10 years. The change in the projection is because people in this age range cost Medicare less than older beneficiaries and because more 65 and 66 year old individuals will be eligible for employer-sponsored insurance for their primary coverage, costing Medicare less as a secondary policy.

It is also possible that delaying Medicare coverage could wind up costing more money for some individuals should there be people who fall through the cracks in the Affordable Care Act and do not receive other coverage. Delaying treatment of chronic medical problems which are common at this age could lead to shifting cost of treatment until a later age, and possibly costing more as untreated problems have become more severe.

NSA Monitored Phone Conversations Of Thirty-Five World Leaders

Following recent complaints by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that her phone was being tapped by the NSA, it now appears that she was just one of thirty-five world leaders according to a report in the Guardian:

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its “customer” departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their “Rolodexes” so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.

The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately “tasked” for monitoring by the NSA.

The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the US and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused the US of tapping her mobile phone.

After Merkel’s allegations became public, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that said the US “is not monitoring and will not monitor” the German chancellor’s communications. But that failed to quell the row, as officials in Berlin quickly pointed out that the US did not deny monitoring the phone in the past.

The NSA memo obtained by the Guardian suggests that such surveillance was not isolated, as the agency routinely monitors the phone numbers of world leaders – and even asks for the assistance of other US officials to do so.

The program has provided intelligence to add additional world leaders to those under surveillance but beyond this has provided “little reportable intelligence.” I imagine that to those who have the mentality that records should be kept on every phone call made in the United States, a program which increases the number of world leaders they can spy of is of value.

This report has led to protests from the European Union, including Germany, France, and Italy. I wonder how much useful intelligence might be denied to the United States in the future if other nations should be come wary about sharing intelligence with the United States.