FROM Daniel Gallington
How Much Surveillance Will Americans Tolerate? Section 215 of the Patriot Act expires at the end of next month. It authorizes the bulk collection of American telephone records by the National Security Agency — part of what was revealed by Edward Snowden two years ago. President Obama says it's not really needed to keep America safe and that he's willing to let it expire . But Congress is divided. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants it renewed , a House Committee wants it amended to require the NSA to take court action before collecting some information. With time for action running short, do most Americans understand what's at stake for their privacy? Do they really care?
Crunch Time for Reforming the NSA Since Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency tracks every American phone call, President Obama has been under pressure. In a speech Friday, he'll try to balance demands for privacy against the rule that, when it comes to acts of terror, intelligence agencies can't be wrong — even once. But, while the NSA claims its massive collection of "metadata" has made America safer, both a White House panel and independent research are suggesting otherwise. We look at the President's options, including increased oversight by the courts and Congress and limits on the who, when and why of NSA spying.
Is the United States losing its moral authority in the world? American support for human rights has often been criticized as more about words than it is about action. President Trump is creating more skeptics than ever. What are the consequences for America's role in the world?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."