Jeb Bush, a probable Republican presidential candidate, defended the "hugely important" NSA data collection program in a speech today in Chicago:
"You must be prepared for a long term commitment to fight this battle," Bush said of the fight against radical Islamic terrorism.
"These attacks require response on many levels but most of all we should focus on preventing them. That requires responsible intelligence gathering and analysis, including the NSA meta data program, which contributes to awareness of potential terror cells and interdiction efforts on a global scale.
"For the life of me, Ido not understand -- the debate has gotten off track, where we're not understanding and protecting -- we do protect our civil liberties. This is a hugely important program to use these technologies keep us safe."
For those of us who believe in the market system, there is something unsettling about the thought of the billionaire bosses of Google, Apple, Adobe, Intel, two Disney subsidiaries, and Intuit sitting around a table and agreeing not to compete for staff. Facebook declined an invitation to join the conspiracy. These are the self-styled “disrupters”, believers in the virtues of a market system that allows them to compete for customers even if, especially if, that competition destroys existing enterprises.
There are two ways to look at the profits reports that are emerging from corporate boardrooms, often after a brief stop for an added shine at the office of the firms’ accountants. One is to find out just how this or that firm has been doing in the past quarter, compared with a year ago and with analysts’ expectations. I leave that to security analysts, whose job it is to move from that information to a guess as to what it portends for the future, and from there to a “buy,” “sell,” or “hold” recommendation. With some 80 percent of companies thus far reporting exceeding analysts’ (modest) expectations, and their earnings increasing by 40 percent compared with last year, there is cheer in the counting houses.