Cardoza's Corner

National Security Agency deserves credit for our safety

One of the great things about being a member of Congress (only a few of those left), is we get to tour our national security facilities and interact with the fabulous patriots that keep America safe. Recently I toured the NSA headquarters at Fort Mead, Maryland. I got a top rate tour, and a renewed respect for those who work behind a cloak of strict secrecy protecting our national interest.

I’m not unaccustomed to living near top-secret military installations, as I grew up near Castle AFB in my home state of California. The security inside and out of the NSA building is greater than I have ever witnessed. It’s no wonder -- the clients they serve are a virtual “who’s who” of our security services.   NSA gathers, interprets data on national security threats of all kinds and, with U.S. Cyber Command, secures our government's communication networks.  They are like the “tech crew” on a stage play: they work behind the scenes, but there would be no production without them.

It can also be dangerous work. There is a black granite memorial inside the NSA headquarters recognizing those who have perished in the service of our country. Clearly, they are not just a bunch of computer geeks who sit behind desks and move joysticks.

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Loss of moderates is damaging Congress

Favorability ratings don’t lie. In politics, when your approval rating is below 50 percent, you’re on shaky ground. When you’re between 4 and 13 percent -- as this Congress consistently is -- you’re in revolution territory! Congress is officially broken due to extreme partisanship on both sides. The real question, however, is who is left to step up and fix it?
 
Over 40 percent of the voters in the nation identify themselves as “moderates.”  However, less than 10 percent of the current members of Congress would self-identify the same way. Congress was designed to represent a cross section of America. This is no longer the case. 
 
Lately, the media has made much of the fact that centrists are leaving the Senate in droves, with the departures of Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and Jim Webb (D-Va.) at the end of this year.

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Stephen Colbert is right on the money

The latest plot twist in the soap opera that is the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest came this week when Jon Huntsman decided to drop out of the race. With comedian and faux-candidate Stephen Colbert thrashing him by one percent in a South Carolina poll, is it any wonder? 

Huntsman was the last sane, faithful, intelligent, non-flip flopping, non-rightwing nut still standing. Given that Huntsman is gone, I now endorse Stephen Colbert for the Republican nomination for President!
 
Colbert gets the nod because he has the gumption to challenge the bogus “Citizens United” decision handed down by John Roberts’ less than Supreme Court. Creating an “independent” Super Committee controlled by his buddy and business partner Jon Stewart, Colbert mocks the fraud that is campaign finance today in America. He is a “comedic crusader” for an open and fair electoral process.  Colbert is more than a candidate that just wants to give an equal voice to every single billionaire in America; he cares about the millionaires and multi-millionaires too!

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My last year in Congress

“Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free” Republicans could be in “Dire Straits” if better candidates don’t come forward.

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