248 Small Government Party Members Vote “Yea” on CISPA


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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92 Responses

  1. Tom Van Dyke says:

    Nobody wants to get out-demagogued on this one.  There are better hills to die on.Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      It would be nice if there weren’t so many hills to die on.  Also if they (Congresscritters in general) didn’t keep running back to the same hills, over and over.

      Hey, the Senate might pass it and then I can bitch about that too.  Team Red has plausible deniability on that one.Report

    • greginak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      So its okay and dokey to demagogue the R’s on their voting to increase gov power, stick its nose in our privates lives and trying to significantly harm freedom on the web. ummm check, if that’s what you really want to say. That is what they voted for and your excuse is that they didn’t want to be demagogued by, what, voting with Dems? huh , this makes no sense Tom.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to greginak says:

        I was thinking that was more of a comment that Tom doesn’t want to resign himself to participating overmuch in the comment thread, because he expects to be fending off more partisan-based arguments than real liberty ones.

        Which is okay by me.

        Now, Ward’s comment I don’t get.Report

        • greginak in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

          Maybe. Of course just saying your side screwed up and/or is bad on some issues is also an alternative. It’s really not that hard to do.Report

        • wardsmith in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

          It was a joke, sheesh gotta spell it out?

          Meanwhile Carnivore (and its progeny) have been in place since 1997. How much do you really think is left that is secret? The “law” is meant to provide “cover” to expose information already known. Of course gathering dirt on opponents and using it later is nothing new, the Clinton imbroglio with FBI dossiers is certainly well protected down the 1984 memory hole device.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to wardsmith says:

            there are plenty of secrets still out there. You’re a businessman. you oughta know — the easiest way to bury a secret is in a pile of data too big to sort through.Report

          • Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith says:

            How much do you really think is left that is secret?

            Honest answer?  Quite a bit.  It’s security by obscurity, though.  It passes through channels where it could be read, but only the machines really look at it and they only look for certain things, which already generates enough false positives as it is.

            The “law” is meant to provide “cover” to expose information already known.

            Yeah, that part doesn’t make sense.  Because nobody would vote for it, if that were the case.  Do you really think a Congresscritter of either party is going to vote on a law that makes it okay for the Executive branch to publish all of their electronic communications?  That only makes sense if you think 248 people are totally stupid 🙂Report

            • wardsmith in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              Patrick, the way it will work is the way it always works. AFTER the fact all kinds of dirt can be dug up on the latest crazy (viz: France). Gleaning it in a useful manner in real time will continue to be virtually impossible without a tremendous amount of luck or foreknowledge. It is all indeed “security by obscurity” (the title of a presentation I gave almost 20 years ago coincidentally).On the other hand, the right (wrong) word or phrase might place you on a “watchlist” that will be anything but obscurity from then on.

              Congresscritters exist in a bubble of their own. Remember the cold cash congressman who made the National Guard fly him to his home in Louisiana to “rescue” $90K from his freezer? Then during the investigation the FBI raided his office at the House. Remember what the Congress did then?

              These guys are (almost) all crooks one way or another. They are also the ONLY ones who exist in a Democracy. We don’t (really) get to vote, THEY do, we just live in a Republic. Their laws don’t apply to them.Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith says:


                Theoretically, yes.  In practice, I imagine that which finally winds up here is a subset of what is filtered out of the general internet by those Narus machines, which is, itself, a machine algorithm’ed subset of what passes through the general internet.

                How much of a subset remains to be seen, I guess.Report

        • Thx, PatC, and quite so: we saw the dreaded laundry list come out immediately, the politics of the bedroom, or the internet, whatever.  It’s all grist for the mill.

          Mostly, I’m saying this handout of lower interest rates for student debt is going through regardless, just like Medicare Part D, the prescription entitlement for seniors, did [both parties had promised one].  Nobody’s gonna get left holding the fiscal responsibility bag on this one.

          There’s a difference between standing athwart history yelling stop and standing across railroad tracks.


    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

      There are better hills to die on.

      Which implies that casting a vote against this bill would have been fatal, at least in some sense.

      Care to explain why?Report

      • Jason, the GOP hustled up a competing bill, rather than voting down a Dem one.  This handout is inevitable, esp in an election year.  [That the legislation upping the interest rate is a Democrat one from 2007 is one for the memory hole, of course.]



        • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          I guess I’m still not following.  I fail to see any connection between this bill and the other, and why, were I a Republican, I couldn’t still have voted no on CISPA regardless.Report

          • Appy-ologies, Jason, wrong bill.  From what I gather though, until the president stepped in, this was a bi-partisan thing.


            The bill enjoyed strong bipartisan support before the administration issued a veto threat and sided with privacy advocates who argue the bill does not do enough to protect consumers’ private information. The White House also wants regulatory mandates for critical infrastructure providers, which are not contained in CISPA.

            Ruppersberger said earlier Thursday that Obama’s veto threat of his bill was like a “kick in the solar plexus“.

            It also seemed to have the effect of peeling Democrats off the bill, as several Democrats took up Obama’s arguments during floor debate.

            Why he had to wait until the 11th hour to turn it into a partisan streetfight, I dunno.  Well, actually we do.  Out-demagogued agin.Report

            • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              From this article:

              Ruppersberger said he actually agrees with many of the White House’s complaints. But he said that new regulations for critical infrastructure and tougher privacy protections will not make it through the GOP-controlled House.

              “I’m in the minority, and I’m doing the best that I can,” Ruppersberger said.

              He emphasized that if Congress fails to pass cybersecurity legislation, the nation could suffer a devastating attack.

              “We weren’t ready for 9/11. But we have an opportunity to be ready for this,” he said.

              CISPA would tear down legal barriers that prevent companies sharing information about cyber threats.

              The White House and privacy advocates argue the bill should require companies to strip out personally identifiable information, such as names and birth dates, from the data they turn over to the government. But Ruppersberger said Republicans will never support such a minimization requirement because they think it would be too onerous for businesses.

              Looking at the record, I’d guess the Administration will claim they were hoping one of those amendments was going to go through, and a bunch of stuff happened there at the 11th hour.Report

              • A bill that’d basically declare the 4th Amendment void, and their concern is whether the businesses that comply in enforcement are inconvenienced. Good freakin grief…


              • PatC, I’d feel BHO pulled the rug out from under me.  I find the Game of Thrones part of this the most interesting.  I haven’t followed the issue: since it was originally a bi-partisan deal, I assume they actually think something needs to be done, and have proceeded in good faith.  Until BHO’s curveball.Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Oh, I imagine that’s how Ruppersberger feels, all right.  And based upon the NSA wiretapping program and the Patriot Act and everything else civil liberties related that Barry was against before he was President, it’s a stretch to say the veto threat is a principled stand on Obama’s part and not part of his re-election strategy.

                (personally, I think this law is a pile of shit, so Ruppersberger’s hurt feelings bother me not in the slightest, but there is certainly political shenanigans going on here)Report

  2. wardsmith says:

    Wonder how many porn links and “escort” services will show up on Secret Service records now?


  3. To be fair, this doesn’t technically increase the “size” of government, just its power.  I think it thus provides a pretty good example of why I despise the use of “small government” as something approaching a synonym for “liberty.”Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson says:

       I think it thus provides a pretty good example of why I despise the use of “small government” as something approaching a synonym for “liberty.”

      Those who use the two terms often use them interchangeably, which was the point of the post title.Report

      • Believe me, I got that.  I’m just noting that this bill actually can be justified if one takes “small government” as one’s guiding principle.  It quite obviously cannot be justified if one takes “individual liberty” as one’s guiding principle.Report

        • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          I’d even somewhat dispute the small government angle, as it certainly increases the technical requirements of the current infrastructure, and somebody has to pay for that.  If “we can’t afford what we do now”, adding capabilities needs to be justified as a reasonable expenditure, and I haven’t seen anybody do that lifting.

          Now, you could argue that this is going to be offset by something else, but in order to make that fly you’d have to have either a revenue spending stream in mind, or something cut inside the bill itself.


          • True enough, but I’m assuming that this bill doesn’t do much in the way of allocating any funds, which would presumably get taken care of in an appropriations bill.  Frankly, “make the government do more with less/the same” is not a terribly difficult approach to take to these things.  To the contrary, such an approach creates ready justifications for intrusion on individual rights – laws become more difficult to apply equally, so they need to be applied arbitrarily, with priorities set by the whims and values of those in power.  Suddenly, you’ve got laws restricting the freedom of welfare recipients, a War on Drugs that can be waged entirely against one class of socially disfavored people, etc.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    Those tea partiers need to be tea partied. Hard.Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think it’s pretty firmly established now that the Tea Parties turned out to be largely a bunch of indignant old people who didn’t want to be branded with Bush Minors stigma so instead varnished themselves with some convenient libertarians instead.Report

      • North in reply to North says:

        Sorry correction, indignant old republican people.Report

        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to North says:

          “Tea Party supporters are actually fairly close to the overall national average in terms of their age, education, employment status, and, to a degree, racial and ethnic backgrounds.

          The finding on employment is important. A recent piece in The New York Times highlighted Tea Party activists who were able to find time for their activism because they were unemployed. (Of course, being unemployed also generates a lot of angst and anger, which can be displaced onto social movements.) But our data on Tea Party supporters shows them to be no more likely to be unemployed that the average American. About half are employed full-time and a quarter retired — both figures that are very close to what we found for all Americans we interviewed.”


          • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            I absolutely make a distinction between tea party supporters, generally, and the Tea Party Caucus, which is a specific animal.

            I don’t have much of a beef with the general tea party supporter’s  public sentiments (some of their practical operational goals, yes, but that’s a whole post in and of itself).

            However, the Tea Party Caucus seems not to line up with what the general Tea Party supporter claims they want the Tea Party to do.  Which is another point of the post, really.  Although the Senators lined up against SOPA in the beginning were highly correlated with Tea Party sympathizers.

            I think maybe the Tea Party isn’t getting quite the representation they think they are.Report

            • Will H. in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              Personally, I would liek to see more about the Tea Party on these pages; what they get right, and what they don’t.
              The thing is that for so many, the casual observer, the Tea Party is now the Face of libertarianism.
              Which is a serious step in the evolutionary process from objectivism, for better or worse.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Will H. says:

                The Tea Parties are the face of populism.   Based on some extended contact with them, I’d say they’re more congruent with classic liberals than any other label, and just as varied, all the way from JS Mill to Andrew Jackson along the spectrum of classic liberals.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            brownshirts have employment these days? omg. who knew?Report

        • Scott in reply to North says:


          Yup, just us pathetic losers who are still clinging to their religion, guns and constitution.Report

          • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Scott says:

            Apparently not the 4th amendment part, though.Report

            • Scott in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:


              If folks think it is unconstitutional then they can take it up with the S. Ct., that is what they get paid to do.  Just like folks did with Obamacare.Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Scott says:

                So, Scott…

                … Do YOU think it is constitutional?

                If not, why not?  If so, why?

                I mean, if you’re “clinging to the constitution” I think you’d have at least a clear opinion on this bill…Report

              • Scott in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:


                Honestly, I don’t know enough about the legislation to make or to have an informed opinion about it’s constitutionality.Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Scott says:

                (note: unlike PPACA, which has passed the standing hurdle, I don’t see this bill getting over that hurdle, just like another notable case before it.)Report

              • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Scott says:

                If I were in Congress, and if I thought a bill was unconstitutional, then my oath would command me to vote no.  Don’t you agree?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                Bush signed McCain Feingold despite having, and let me quote him here, “reservations about the constitutionality of the broad ban on issue advertising”.

                I argued (and still argue) that this is grounds for impeachment.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Jaybird says:

                We’ve passed jillions of unconstitutional laws over the years.  SCOTUS has acted on many of them, but not until they’ve been passed and not until there’s a case brought.   I’m quite willing to be wrong on this, but that’s what I’ve been told by others…..Report

              • Will H. in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Yeah, those were the cases brought by people with enough financial backing to see it through, that didn’t get thrown out in the lower courts for lack of standing, proximate cause, insufficient pleadings, etc.
                They basically free to railroad a guy for years, like Rampart. It’s only illegal once they get caught.
                Not every cop is Serpico.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Frank Serpico ended up going to the press with his allegations.   The role of the press in uncovering Wickedness in High Places seems paramount.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to BlaiseP says:

                We’ve passed jillions of unconstitutional laws over the years.

                Normally the government has the decency to scream “INTERSTATE COMMERCE” or “GENERAL WELFARE” as they do it rather than saying that they have reservations about the constitutionality of the law in question.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Trying to squeeze adjectives like Normally and Decency into any sentence where Government is the subject noun is always a fool’s errand.   Not that you’re a fool… just sayin’Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                … and they scoff at Liberals who try to use the word Fair.   (rolls eyes to heaven)Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Jaybird says:

                I wouldn’t think that mere reservations would be grounds for impeachment myself.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Jaybird says:

                Issue advertising my hind leg.
                Look, I had written a song that was actually declared to be illegal. (only for one year, but still…)
                You would have thought they would have went for the punk version of ‘Freebird’ or something, but NOOOOO….
                They went for a peppy little pop/punk tune. I think of the crap that Marilyn Manson got away with…. It’s all about the money.
                I need some goons, man. Lawyers, guns, and money.

                Here’s another that was banned— when it was #34 on the UK charts.
                (I would be remiss were I not to include the Mudhoney cover as well.)Report

              • Will H. in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

                I would have to review the oath.
                I know the military is sworn to oppose it if it’s unconstitutional, but that’s another round, so to speak.Report

              • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Will H. says:

                Here it is:

                I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

                I can’t square “true faith and allegiance to the Constitution” with “passing stuff that I know violates it.”Report

  5. wardsmith says:

    While everyone is currently focusing (rightly) on our individual rights, the reasons behind the legislation are being obscured in the rhetoric. Can no one recall that just two days ago Congress heard testimony from a bunch of military and intelligence folks scaremongering about the NEXT BIG THREAT?Report

    • Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith says:

      Cyberwar hysteria is hysterical.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        Well, I for one am ready to buy some Cyber War Bonds.  And watch a fabulous, virtual, USO show.Report

        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kolohe says:

          Cyber War Bonds.  Too funny, Bro Kolohe.  Plus it’s too plausible an idea for a cybertax. I could actually go for that one.

          Lotsa cybermiscreants out there.Report

          • Yes, there are.

            Cyberwarfare, however, depends on controlling the big pipes.  It (likely) worked for the Russkies going after S. Ossetia.  It might have worked against the Iranians, to a degree.  It probably won’t work going after the U.S., if you’re talking about doing it as part of an overall military strategy.

            Cyberespionage, on the other hand, yeah, that works.

            If Y2K taught us anything, it taught us that our infrastructure is such a goddamn mess it’s going to work in spite of itself.Report

            • BlaiseP in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

              The TCP/IP protocols were meant to decentralise the networks.   They’ve only gotten more centralised.   The original use case was Washington DC being nuked:   how would the data flow.   I’m sure you know all this:  forgive any apparent condescending, etc.

              The nexus of control is about three dozen NAPs and cable onshore drops.   The NSA has control of all of them.   They’re now fully duplicated and soon enough it will all be routed to Bluffdale, Utah.    All yer bases are belong to us.   No point in getting upset about it or running around in little circles, flapping our wrists and screaming in falsetto like a dozen third grade girls looking at a garter snake.   It’s already a fact, NSA is tracking every phone call and has been for years and there are laws on the books which forbid the telcos from even saying so.

              Yes, our infrastructure is a mess, but thanks to outfits like Narus, that doesn’t matter as long as the NSA has access to the big pipes.   The first manifestation of the American Great Wall is just about to poke its dorsal fin out of the water when the FBI shuts down the DNSChanger folks.Report

              • Pat Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

                What the National Security Apparatus (and the entertainment industry) forget is that the cat is out of the bag.

                The Internet has massive value from the network effect.  The more you screw with it, the less valuable it becomes.  And right now, using commodity off the shelf hardware, it’s possible to build a standards-compliant peer network that depends upon the commodity internet… not at all.  You can’t even make it illegal without ending Internet commerce.

                Fifty years, maybe, present course and heading.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                The Internet was a great idea… designed by a bunch of trusting pie-eyed folks who never thought through the security implications.   The Net is going through an evolutionary cycle, learning to grow an immune system.Report

              • Will H. in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                That sorta reminds me of the history of television.
                The government did several studies to see how they could use it for mind control.
                Then they figured out that as long as you have everybody staring dumbly, unblinking into a little box, you really don’t have to do much else to control them.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Will H. says:

                That’s what people thought for a long while.   Then along came the Vietnam War.   That changed Da Gummint’s mind about television.   Nobody paid any attention to the military’s press briefings:  the press started calling them the Saigon Follies.   The reporters would climb on the next helo into Pleiku and would talk to the guys coming back inside the wire.

                Thereafter, wars were covered quite differently.   Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were completely censored.   The war media coverage features Big Square Heads on split screens, chewing the Bunny Bits so helpfully squinked out of the ass end of those rodents in the Pentagon.Report

              • James Hanley in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

                @Pat C.

                it’s possible to build a standards-compliant peer network that depends upon the commodity internet… not at all.

                Would you mind explaining that a little more for us luddites out here?  E.g., I’m assuming that you mean we far-flung members of the League could do this, but how would it operate?  How would the information flow without use of the internet?  Or am I misunderstanding you completely?Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to James Hanley says:

                No, you’re understanding me.

                Hm; this is complicated.  There’s a lot of gunk involved.  I will add it to the pile of things to work on, unless you’re really curious and then I’ll put it at the top of the pile.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to James Hanley says:

                Other networks such as the EDI Value Added Networks, appeared before the Internet.   Consider how cable television is delivered to your home.    Consider also how the RIM network operates:   I wrote some of the first data-oriented drivers for the RIM modems, long before the Blackberry appeared.

                The old pager networks do a fine job of this.   Down in Phoenix, I did a little gig on the side which used a cheap Motorola Flex pager to transmit data from weather balloons.   There’s the Mobitex network, too.

                Here’s how to think about it:   all the data is defined in terms of messages.   Think postcards.  Each message has a producer and one or many consumers.   Some messages are simply responses to other messages, but we can list all these messages in some catalogue for the benefit of every developer.   As long as everyone on this network agrees to send messages with their own participant ID and message type, other participants can register to receive messages of a particular type.

                There are various topologies for implementing such a network:  the simplest is a hub and spoke network.   To implement this website over an alternate network,  we’d make arrangements for everyone involved to produce and consume messages from each other.   Information science has a working set of descriptions called the OSI Stack for how we’d parcel out the functionality.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

                So it’s possible to replace the Internet without using the Internet, but the first step is to build another Internet and use that one instead.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Erm, no need to build anything.   As Patrick pointed out, these networks already exist and use off-the-shelf technology.Report

              • Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

                You can do this now, really.  In our neighborhood, you’re never outside of 802.11 range of an access point or five.  If they were all disconnected from the Internet, there’s nothing preventing everyone that uses one from just connecting it to the 2-5 others that are within range and everyone building a network of peer-to-peer relationships.  Getting over longer distances can be done without using the commodity telecommunications grid, but there are implementation problems there.  But there are implementation problems in the commodity Internet, too, so you’re just trading existing problems for a different set of problems.

                Mesh networks have been used in all sorts of applications.

                It’s even possible to build such a thing and still have it connected to the commodity Internet, if you wanted to do so, until the point where you didn’t need to do that any more.  Virtually all of the pieces are in place; TCP/IP doesn’t require a backbone (it actually is extremely inefficient on the backbone), OSPF doesn’t require a backbone, etc.

                There’s only one technical hurdle to overcome – DNS – and to be honest everyone’s known since forever that DNS is hugely brittle and we should get rid of it anyway, so a PGP-like peer signing naming scheme is actually much less insecure than what we have now, anyway.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Hm, perhaps we could work out some kind of plan to get all of America On-Line.Report

    • Scott in reply to wardsmith says:


      I didn’t realize that Barry was so concerned with our civil rights.  Sure he made a lot of noise about how bad Bush was and the hope and change he would bring but when he got the job he continued Bush’s policies.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Scott says:

        If Bush43’s policies have been continued, you may thank an intransigent Congress which has kept Gitmo open.  Gitmo is a fine gift to our enemies, the greatest recruiting poster for terrorism ever invented.Report

        • Scott in reply to BlaiseP says:


          So you are really trying to blame Congress for Barry continuing Bush’s policies?  Is Barry responsible for anything done during his admin?Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Scott says:

            In the case of Gitmo, yes, absolutely.   Are you trying to say otherwise?Report

            • Scott in reply to BlaiseP says:


              Yes to Gitmo.  However that is only one small aspect of the rest of his policies. Why are you only focusing on that one small part of his policies when there are other policies that he alone is responsible for like expanded drone strikes and extra judicial killing of American citizens. Are you trying to say otherwise?Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Scott says:

                Abolishing Gitmo is a large part of his policy.   You’re the one who said he was continuing Bush’s policy, without making any caveats of what he has done.   Obama has eliminated DADT, another huge step forward.  Lily Ledbetter Act, equal pay for women

                Obama did seem to eliminate torture.   He has closed the secret prisons. He has repealed the Ashcroft Doctrine on FOIA.   All huge huge improvement.   It’s difficult to say what he’s doing with internal reforms to CIA, NSA and the like, that’s all 99 data.

                As for the drone strikes, that’s not really a civil rights issue:   we’ve shot Americans in wartime, lots of them in the service of our enemies.  We executed the Rosenbergs.  Awlaki was under a death sentence from Yemen, that’s not an American problem.   The drone strikes are considerably less troubling than the problems we’re getting into with troops on the ground in Afghanistan, posing with corpses.   That’s horrid.

                It’s not a perfect record, but to say Obama is continuing Bush’s policies is simply too broad a brush to use.Report

  6. Will H. says:

    You know, maybe it’s because I’m not in IT, but I really don’t see what the fuss is (like SOX).
    The structure of the federal government is so bureaucratic, it’s amazing that they can get anything done.
    It’s the state officials and the county sheriffs you really have to worry about. Those are the good guys, no matter what; even if they do happen to be running a prostitution ring out of the probation department.
    The feds have solid floors where they won’t investigate. The DOJ won’t get involved, but will be happy to tell you that it’s a state matter.
    For example: The DOJ investigates fraud provided it meets the $60k threshold. Otherwise, it’s a state matter. In effect, you’re free to violate federal law all you want to, up to and including $59,999.

    If everybody is going to go hating on the feds, then clue me in.
    I want to hate on them too.Report

  7. Anne says:

    Erik and I crossed the streams”

    Dr. Egon Spengler
    : Don’t cross the streams.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.Report