Viewsday

Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.

Bessent: Barack Obama needs to get the NSA under control

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care

(Credit: Getty Images)

Buffeted by diplomatic blowback, President Barack Obama now says he may order America’s spies to stop tapping the phones of our allies' leaders.

Sen. Diane Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday that’s what White House officials told her. But as usual with espionage, there’s enough wiggle room in that declaration for a Miley Cyrus twerk-fest.

The administration...

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Bessent: In the surveillance game, are U.S. allies collaborators?

The controversy over the United States' surveillance of phone calls has gotten personal for some of the world's heads of state.

The leaders of Germany, Mexico, Brazil and France yowled in protest recently when they discovered U.S. intelligence operatives may have swept up their call data. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Barack Obama directly and angrily demanded to know if...

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Bessent: It's time for President Obama and Congress to grow up

President Barack Obama speaks about the government shutdown

(Credit: AP)

House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday called the president’s offer to negotiate a budget, but only if Republicans first reopen the government and abandon the threat of default, “a demand for unconditional surrender.”

What an Orwellian spin from the party that, in order to work its will, is demanding concessions from President Barack Obama on a list of issues from Obamacare to spending, entitlements...

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Uberti: Gov't transparency via Tumblr? Seriously?

National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies on Capitol

(Credit: AP)

When President Obama announced last week that the intelligence community would create a website to serve as a “hub for further transparency” of the nation’s surveillance programs, I didn’t expect much. Even in the digital age, throwing government information online doesn’t mean a lot. But I assumed the site would be a bit more ambitious than a blog on Tumblr.

For everyone reading who’s over...

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Bessent: Barack Obama's speech on national security is welcome and overdue

President Barack Obama reacts to a woman yelling

(Credit: AP)

The case for a fundamental shift in the nation’s approach to combating terrorists that President Barack Obama laid out Thursday — including a call for Congress to refine or even repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force — was both welcome and overdue.

The nation is still threatened by terrorists. Boston and Benghazi made that painfully clear. But the existence of a few individuals...

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Bessent: IRS owes answers for targeting conservative groups

The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political

(Credit: iStock)

IRS officials owe the nation more than a canned apology. It must provide honest answers about who is responsible for letting politics creep into it process.

The agency made a chilling admission Friday, acknowledging that the tax collectors singled out conservative political groups for unfair scrutiny between 2010 and 2012. An agency with privileged access to the intimate details of our financial...

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Up on the Board: Immigrants on probation, caffeinated gum and Obama on Syria

In this Feb. 1, 2012, file photo President

(Credit: AP)

To make immigration reform more palatable to those who call it amnesty, there’s a bipartisan proposal being floated in the House of Representatives. Undocumented immigrants would have to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in federal court and serve some time on probation. The editorial board is wary of flooding the court system with this burden. We’re watching the issue to see if it gains support, but...

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Bessent: In Israel, Barack Obama offers visions of peace and war

President Barack Obama speaks to Israeli students at

(Credit: Getty Images)

President Barack Obama’s speech before a young Israeli audience in Jerusalem Thursday was in part a throwback to his “yes we can” days as a candidate. It worked then. Maybe it will again.

His call for a two-state solution with Palestinians had the feel of a political rally. And the response was enthusiastic.

His words won't change the hard political realities that have repeatedly thwarted...

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Bessent: It's time for Barack Obama and congressional Republicans to stop flirting and hook up

President Barack Obama and Senate Sergeant At Armes

(Credit: Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans have been dating lately, but they haven’t decided whether to hook-up and consummate a budget deal. They should.

Reacting to criticism that he’s too aloof, Obama went to Capital Hill today to see Senate Republicans. He stopped by Wednesday to visit with House Republicans. And last week he took a few GOP Senators out to dinner at a posh hotel...

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Gorman: Rand Paul is filibustering John Brennan's nomination, but is anyone listening?

Sen. Rand Paul speaking on the floor of

(Credit: AP)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been babbling since midday, filibustering the nomination of John Brennan to be the new director of the CIA with a little help from his Senate colleagues.

Beginning with a promise to “speak until I no longer can,” Paul says that he will not “sit quietly and let President Obama shred the Constitution” with drones. So far, Paul has gone through an entire binder of notes....

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