I actually expected Obama to deliver some excuse for that vote at the Democratic convention where his nomination was confirmed, as while I predicted his win, there was no way I could even /consider/ voting for him (and certainly no way I could vote for the party that was asking for it all in the first place) without at least /some/ semblance of "apology" for his "mistake", but it wasn't to be, and since then he has demonstrated time and time again that he was the "Bush lite" that he accused McCain of being.
The fact is, after 9/11, both parties handed the spooks pretty much anything they asked for, including immunity for those cooperating with them where it broke the existing law, with the barest hint of limits even for appearance-sake. And the sheeple public lapped it up as they were trained to do.
I'm glad Snowden happened altho I have my doubts it'll ultimately change much except dispel a few myths the sheeple might have had previously, but it's not like anyone who thought about it had any myths dispelled by his revelations in any case.
Meanwhile, this particular additional revelation is only surprising in that they're going /that/ far and that it actually got out. Given the timing it's unlikely that this pressure occurred post-Snowden, however. I guess it's likely that'll encourage them to lower the pressure a notch for the time being, but unless laws changing the status quo get enacted, I expect they'll be back at it pretty quickly.
As for the (anti-)patriot act, etc, I've long held that (as the US Declaration of Independence states, but the US Constitution unfortunately doesn't fully backup) if it's a right, it's a right for everyone, not just US citizens. Other nations may or may not support that right and the US may or may not in practice be able to do anything about that, but the US *CAN* and *SHOULD* control its *OWN* actions in accord with the human rights it asserts for its own citizens, for ALL people, and any hint that it's failing to do so is simply a hint of what it's going to doing to its /own/ citizens in a few years, if it's not doing so secretly already. Once it's not held to be an inalienable right for all people everywhere, the barrier's gone, and it's only a matter of time.
There's nothing recent events have demonstrated better than the truth of the above.
 As political pundits have pointed out, with very few exceptions at the POTUS level, it's the candidate with the most firmly optimistic message that wins, and from well before the Democratic primaries narrowed to Clinton/Obama, it was apparent Obama had the most optimistic message of any major candidate on either side, so I was predicting he'd take it. Bill Clinton used that too, but Hillary couldn't use it so easily given her gender and that she had to demonstrate sufficient decisiveness, etc. Still, that was far closer than I expected it to be.
 FWIW I was so disillusioned with the choices available in 2007 that I didn't bother voting, but then I had to live with the personal guilt and shame of that for four years and vowed never again, so in 2011 I was watching Ron Paul, and when that didn't pan out, I ended up voting Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate and former governor of New Mexico. Not that I fully agree with the Libertarians either, but they'd hardly be worse than the choices the major parties seem to offer, and given 6-year Senate terms, I figure it'd take more than a 4-year presidential term to reverse the now over a decade old situation even if by some weird fluke it was a Libertarian clean slate win everywhere they ran.
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