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58° Good Afternoon

Up on the Board: NSA phone records, Cuomo’s casino plan, taxis in the outer boroughs

The editorial board is surprised at revelations that the National Security Agency is collecting the phone records of private citizens through Verizon. The Obama administration’s apparent interpretation of the Patriot Act seems too broad a sweep.

Board member Alvin Bessent says he’s somewhat reassured that the NSA sought a warrant and is only looking at phone numbers, not the content of the conversations. However, he says, “I’ve always been troubled by the secrecy of it all.”

Editorial page editor Rita Ciolli asks, “How can we have a decent conversation in this country about whether this Patriot Act is what we want, if we don’t know what they’re doing?” She notes there's an Alice-in-Wonderland quality about the debate, and that these phone record revelations come just two weeks after President Barack Obama’s speech about ending the global war on terror.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s newly released proposal to authorize three casinos upstate unwisely omits downstate facilities. We think it will be difficult to pass.

And a ruling by the state Court of Appeals allows a new class of livery car service in the four city boroughs outside of Manhattan, a victory for Mayor Michael Bloomberg – and taxi riders. “If they raised the number by 20,000 out there, it would suit me just fine,” says editorial writer Joe Dolman. The established yellow cab industry dislikes the ruling.

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Up on the Board is the editorial board's blog about what we just discussed at our weekday morning meeting. These meetings are where we talk about the news of the day and hash out our positions for the opinion sections of Newsday, Newsday Westchester and amNew York.


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