Obama: Hey, we’re not spying on Americans … much

posted at 8:41 am on August 7, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Last night’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno went about as well as normal for Barack Obama, apparently.  Leno brought up some uncomfortable topics, taking the President off of his economic campaign speech, and into unchartered waters — literally, as Joe Biden would say. When pressed about the NSA’s widespread collection of domestic telephone and Internet records, Obama insisted that the NSA wasn’t spying on Americans … just keeping their records handy, or something:

President Obama on Tuesday defended the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs in a wide-ranging interview on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” arguing that the agency doesn’t target U.S. civilians.

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama said, according to the media pool report. “What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack…That information is useful.”

Obama called the surveillance programs “a critical component to counterterrorism,” but acknowledged that they’ve “raised a lot of questions for people.”

This comes down to what people define as “spying,” apparently.  Most people would define it as collecting their communication records and storing them for data mining, while Obama defines it as only listening in on calls and reading e-mails.  That’s a thin edge of semantics on which to dance, and given the amount of information contained in metadata, even the edge might be illusory.

Obama then suggested that the US might have problems with the Olympics in Russia — not because they granted asylum to Edward Snowden or the suppression of political dissent, but because of Vladimir Putin’s treatment of the LGBT community.  Obama seemed a little unclear what the Russian role in the Olympics will be, too:

During an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” Obama told host Jay Leno said he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgendered persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”

“I have been very clear that when it comes to universal rights, when it comes to people’s basic freedoms, that whether you’re discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country,” he declared.

He also seemed to believe that Russia’s controversial new laws curbing apparent advocacy of homosexuality could cause problems at the 2014 winter Olympics in southern Russia.

“I think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure the Olympics work,” he said.

“I think they understand that for most of the countries that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn’t tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently — they’re athletes” he said. ”If Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track or in the swimming pool or on the balance beam and people’s sexual orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with it,” he said.

Er, perhaps Obama doesn’t watch the Olympics after getting his personal bid for Chicago snubbed, but the Russians don’t judge all the events at the Olympics. The laws passed in Russia suppressing LGBT “propaganda” don’t have anything to do with judging a dive or the clock on the track … and neither of those sports take place in a winter Olympics anyway.  Neil Munro points this out in a dry aside for his Daily Caller article:

However, there’s no indication from Russia that the new rules would change the grading system for downhill skiing and other other events.

Finally, Obama talked about economics, but it was mainly the same patter as we’ve heard since 2007 — boosting government spending on infrastructure and distorting labor markets in wage laws.  Obama insisted that we need to invest in shipping infrastructure, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently by moving the south Atlantic seaboard there (at the 3:05 mark, via Twitchy):

If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else.  And we’ll lose jobs.  Businesses won’t locate here.

Maybe they’ll go to the actual Gulf of Mexico — you know, New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and so on. Twitchy offers this map to anyone confused about the location of Georgia and South Carolina, especially the White House:

map-atlantic

And this, unlike the other topics on which Leno pressed Obama, was part of the President’s prepared pitch on economics.

Kudos to Jay Leno for actually asking about a few topics other than the President’s own agenda, by the way.  As it turns out, Obama wasn’t even prepared for his own priorities, but Leno couldn’t have known that until the rest of us found out.


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I may be anti-semantic, but spying is spying no matter what the commie clown says.

Flange on August 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

maybe we should just make the entire east gulf deeper….

chasdal on August 7, 2013 at 8:46 AM

…. Gulf Cities like Charlotte, Memphis, or whatever cities are down there in Jesusland.

boone on August 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Maybe they’ll go to the actual Gulf of Mexico — you know, New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and so on. Twitchy offers this map to anyone confused about the location of Georgia and South Carolina, especially the White House

But you see, Ed, Obama has decided to relocate the Gulf because of the irresponsible behavior of BP. Try to keep up with the sheer brilliance of Dear Leader.

Doughboy on August 7, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Gulf ports? His IQ number must be the same as his shoe size.

tru2tx on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Did anyone notice that Obama had harsher words for grads at Morehouse than for Russia’s Holocaust-like rounding up of gays and lesbians?

libfreeordie on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

So he has a problem with Russia because of teh gays but those muslim countries and the muslim brotherhood are way cool to women and christians…yeah, ok.

BeachBum on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Did he mean golf cities?

Flange on August 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here.

Remember 57 States? or was that 58? The man is not really an American. He doesn’t know jack sh!t about this country except his hatred for it. He is stupid to boot. A smart person would make it a point to read up on a subject before attempting to talk about it.

But this illustrates the man clearly. He doesn’t know anything and he really doesn’t want to know anything.

As for spying on us, they are and everyone knows it. Zero is a liar and a very poor one at that.

dogsoldier on August 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

This is just another appearance to mesmerize his idiot supporters of how cool he is for showing up on their favorite tv shows. He’ll probably be singing on Jimmy Fallon next week.

gsherin on August 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

gsherin on August 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Didn’t he do that once?

dogsoldier on August 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Dang Mexicans! Now they’re taking over the Atlantic Ocean too?

geojed on August 7, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Did anyone notice that Obama had harsher words for grads at Morehouse than for Russia’s Holocaust-like rounding up of gays and lesbians?
libfreeordie on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

How’s that reset button working out for ya?

nobar on August 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

So Russia is going to ask every athletes if they are gay?
C’mon

cmsinaz on August 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Hahahahahaha, Obama must be getting geography lessons from moveon.org.

Rode Werk on August 7, 2013 at 8:56 AM

If Palin had said this about the ports in the Gulf………….well we all know what would have happened.
‘Smart Power’

RUReadingthis on August 7, 2013 at 9:03 AM

As a person who grew up in Lancaster County, PA.
we have long been the laughingstock of Presidents.
James Buchanan hailed from here.

This man is such a blithering Idiot, Buchanan is starting to
look adequate by comparison…

ToddPA on August 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

“What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack…That information is useful.”

But the “mechanism” is essentially collecting it all in the off chance that some terrorist is talking to a collaborator. Collecting it all is not a method. And it is domestic spying no matter what the filthy rat-eared coward says.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

This guy has done more talk-show appearances than any other president while the country flounders, especially lower and middle-income families and “minorities.” The “Kardashian President” indeed. 5 years into it, he’s still in way over his head. But is he still “cool?” That’s all that matters to Dem voters.

visions on August 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

What a dope…

PatriotRider on August 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here….” – President Obama

This is your brain on drugs.

workingclass artist on August 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Uh. I would say it’s probably – he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.

–Historian of the American Presidency Michael Beschloss

Athanasius on August 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

This man is such a blithering Idiot, Buchanan is starting to
look adequate by comparison…

ToddPA on August 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Buchanan was smart enough to be a bachelor. The blithering idiot is married to a shaved Yeti. That fact alone puts Buchanan higher up the list.

And BTW, I don’t think Buchanan’s political career was as bad as you suggest.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama said,

I believe him. What Dear Liar’s regime has is a global spying surveillance program. Domestic vs. foreign are just artificial constructs created by a patriarchal system intended to keep the masses down. But under The Whine’s benevolent direction we will only have an International Order.

rbj on August 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Geography is raaaaaacist!!

mel23059 on August 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Crickets from lsm

They rather focus on perry saying Florida while speaking in Louisiana. now that is a gaffe according to the mj crew

cmsinaz on August 7, 2013 at 9:22 AM

“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here….” – President Obama

This is your brain on drugs liberalism.

workingclass artist on August 7, 2013 at 9:10 AM

FIFY

Patriot Vet on August 7, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Well, it’s not spying spying. Why is it okay for the gubmint to know everything about us and what we’re doing, but we can’t see a stinkin college transcript or an actual birth certificate?

chewmeister on August 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

What a dope…

PatriotRider on August 7, 2013 at 9:09 AM

But at least he isn’t that guy out of Big Love, Mitt Whatshisface.

claudius on August 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Wow, he really did lower the oceans! I can’t believe it!!

hip shot on August 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Obama: Hey, we’re not spying on Americans … much

This is why Obama is known far and wide as the Dear Liar.

Galt2009 on August 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Bark’s new economic jobs plan is to saw Florida away from the continent thereby making the Atlantic and Gulf seaboards one continuous line. Dog Eater will then issue an executive order to call it the Gulflantic.

So Barky was simply getting ahead of himself while talking to Leno, you bozos just can’t understand his genius.

Bishop on August 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

George Costanza – “It’s not a lie if you believe it”.

bill glass on August 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Did anyone notice that Obama had harsher words for grads at Morehouse than for Russia’s Holocaust-like rounding up of gays and lesbians?

libfreeordie on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

What now, leave a scathing comment at Obama.org or something?

Still, it’s an internal matter for the Russians, we have no right to critique or criticize them and feel all culturally superior.

Bishop on August 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I made it as far as the second segment. They must have put Obama’s campaign staff in as the audience and I thought it was unseemingly watching Leno felate Obama on camera.

DanMan on August 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Bark’s new economic jobs plan is to saw Florida away from the continent thereby making the Atlantic and Gulf seaboards one continuous line. Dog Eater will then issue an executive order to call it the Gulflantic.

So Barky was simply getting ahead of himself while talking to Leno, you bozos just can’t understand his genius.

Bishop on August 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Bbbut…Then Florida would tip over & capsize wouldn’t it? – Hank Johnson

workingclass artist on August 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

The World’s Largest Extortion List

The phone has been around for 100 years, and Obama is the first President to collect and store your phone logs (the number you called, what time, how long)

Plus, he knows every website you visited, every link you clicked to see that funny picture or video, every chat you made, every Google search you made for those weird medical problems.

He can see this info without a warrant.

Every GOP candidate, Tea Party member, pundit (yes, you Ed/Allah/Erika/etc), and donor is a likely target.

faraway on August 7, 2013 at 9:42 AM

“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. ” – President Obama

Red Dawn?

faraway on August 7, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Obama should just go “Full Carter” and boycott the Russian Olympics. It worked out so well for Jimmah.

RSbrewer on August 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The jury was out a long time deliberating whether OBozo was a crafty Marxist or just another 60′s liberal dope, but they are back.

He’s a dope.

Jaibones on August 7, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I thought it was unseemingly watching Leno felate Obama on camera.

DanMan on August 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

What other possible outcome was there? It’s Jay Leno. It’s Barack Obama. It’s 21st century America.

There are no surprises anymore in American popular culture. It is the deadest dead zone in the history of human existence.

rrpjr on August 7, 2013 at 10:04 AM

All 57 states. Prezzy mulligan was talking to his peeps and they probably know as much US geography as he does. If there was a dire need for deeper ports, the shipping companies and port authorities would find a way to deepen them. Heaven help us if the Army Corp of Engineers gets involved.

Kissmygrits on August 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM

“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. ” – President Obama

Maybe geography not big priority at Harvard these days? Let’s see if anybody else mentions this. If Sarah Palin or George W. Bush said something like this, the press would eviscerate them.

TarheelBen on August 7, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Geography not his expertise? Go figure.

Bmore on August 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Evidently, The Chosen One thought this was going to be a simple “I love Obama festival”. No one told him there would be questions.

GarandFan on August 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Schools in Indonesia don’t teach a whole lot of American geography. Just another illustration of the massive holes in the REB’s knowledge due to his second-rate education.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

…has anyone ever seen JugEars sit…without crossing his legs like he’s protecting his bagina?

KOOLAID2 on August 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama said, according to the media pool report.

He Lies. Why is every other domestic agency so PO’d that the NSA won’t share its information?

DaveDief on August 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I made it as far as the second segment. They must have put Obama’s campaign staff in as the audience and I thought it was unseemingly watching Leno fellate Obama on camera.

DanMan on August 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I watched Letterboy for the first time in ten years. Salma Hayek, mmm.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

“I am absolutely certain that five years from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and 2013 will be the moment we need to deepen our ports as a result.”
–stuff Obama (almost) said, June, 2008

hit and run on August 7, 2013 at 10:50 AM

So, in other words, Yes, we’re spying on Americans.

SailorMark on August 7, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Does this mean Transgender Ice Skating has been canceled? I was looking forward to seeing that.

IndieDogg on August 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Hey, I’m going to The Gulf in a couple of weeks. I’ll be going through Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and on up to Brookings, Coos Bay, and Eugene.

SailorMark on August 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Where else are those ships going again? Cuba? Is there some other option along the Eastern Seaboard that he knows about and we don’t. By the way, those ports actually had a clue long before President Clueless came along. They’re run by people whose brains are in the north end of their bodies.

IndieDogg on August 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Hey, we’re not spying on Americans

Much.

Bmore on August 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama said.

Certainly not.

In other news:

New York woman Googles ‘pressure cookers,’ gets raided by police

Perhaps Obama meant ‘mostly’.

Dr. Mercury on August 7, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Does this mean Transgender Ice Skating has been canceled? I was looking forward to seeing that.

IndieDogg on August 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Forget it. The Russian star Ivana Lopmhadikov has it in the bag.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

“I have been very clear that when it comes to universal rights, when it comes to people’s basic freedoms, that whether you’re discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation you are violating the basic morality that I think should transcend every country,” he declared.

Oh the outrage! Our president has no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgendered persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them. Not so much as a peep of outrage from him, when his own government violates our “basic freedom” from illegal searches.

Hill60 on August 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Well, with all this global warming…things are changing all the time.

It could be the new 7 states we added back in 2008.

Just in case you missed that quote:
“I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.” –at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon.(2008)

-west

mr_west on August 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Not to sure how anyone bans gay athletes from the Olympics, will they be wearing signs,but it does give the little fool something to preach about.
As for the NSA, difficult to beleve there isn’t some real & illegal snooping going on in this most obscene of administrations.

arand on August 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Not to sure how anyone bans gay athletes from the Olympics, will they be wearing signs

arand on August 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Come on, the Russkies have gay-dar.

faraway on August 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Hey, I’m going to The Gulf in a couple of weeks. I’ll be going through Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and on up to Brookings, Coos Bay, and Eugene.

SailorMark on August 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Unless we have another Glacial Lake Missoula Flood, Eugene will not be part of your Gulf.

And unlike Barky, I’d bet that you know it’s Eugene/Springfield anyway. ;P

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Did anyone notice that Obama had harsher words for grads at Morehouse than for Russia’s Holocaust-like rounding up of gays and lesbians?

libfreeordie on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

“They, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, are/were democracies” — every propagandist leftist

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Listen, this is a Clinton moment. When he said “we” he meant himself and Leno. They were the only “we” there. So in a sense of “depends on what is..is.” Obama is correct.

As to the spying.

Well he’s lying, along with a whole bunch of others.

archer52 on August 7, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Did anyone notice that Obama had harsher words for grads at Morehouse than for Russia’s Holocaust-like rounding up of gays and lesbians?

libfreeordie on August 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Yes, because banning teaching children about homosexuality is the exact same thing as arresting people at gunpoint and herding them into trains in the middle of the night to take them to labor camps where they were separated from their families, deprived of the most basic necessities and subjected to cruel experimentation until they were finally burned alive in giant ovens.

Exactly. The. Same.

Sockpuppet Politic on August 7, 2013 at 1:30 PM

“Awww, you see?! He’s just trying to protect us.”
– Every stupid liberal who voted for this putz.

Sterling Holobyte on August 7, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Not to sure how anyone bans gay athletes from the Olympics, will they be wearing signs,but it does give the little fool something to preach about.

arand on August 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Also gives him something to divert attention away from the NSA thing. He knows his homosexual friends will forgive him for that since he mentioned them.

Sterling Holobyte on August 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Does this mean Transgender Ice Skating has been canceled? I was looking forward to seeing that.

IndieDogg on August 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

How about same-sex couples ice dancing? I can hardly wait to see it.

jclittlep on August 7, 2013 at 5:10 PM

So. Spying isn’t really spying. It isn’t “Rape” rape, right?

And “The Gulf” now extends to damned near Wilmington. ahh, what the Hell…just go ahead and say “All them Cracker-infested states”

If you asked Dennis Miller, he’d probably say, “Obama’s on Leno this week, fighting Biden for the IBF and WBC “Mental Light-Weight World Championship”

a5minmajor on August 7, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Schools in Indonesia don’t teach a whole lot of American geography. Just another illustration of the massive holes in the REB’s knowledge due to his second-rate education.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

You have a point — most of us learned the “basics” in elementary and middle school; by HS, and certainly in colleg,e a certain amount of foundational information is simply assumed to be part of your knowledge-store, and is not “taught” again.

Obama missed that schooling and never caught up — and hasn’t bothered to learn it now.
That said, his staff is just as abysmally ignorant or more so, and doesn’t fulfill its own basic function of keeping the President from spouting nonsense (assuming he asks them, of course; he may not).

AesopFan on August 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM