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Long before Edward Snowden’s revelations about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was concerned about the scope and oversight of American data gathering, both foreign and domestic. At the end of the sixth minute in the video above, he asks Director of National Intelligence James Clapper if the NSA gathers data on millions of Americans. Clapper’s answer, “Not wittingly,” has become central to the controversy about Congress’ ability to oversee our intelligence agencies, especially the NSA.

Our Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason spoke to Wyden earlier this year and the two will speak again next week. Before that, we want to know: What would you ask Senator Wyden?

Post your questions in the comments.

Other points:

My Family, Our Cancer, and the Murderous Cruelty of Conservatives” by Vanity Fair‘s Kurt Eichenwald is a touching story of the author’s wife’s battle with cancer and a bitter indictment of the cruelty of conservative state governors who are denying their residents health care for no conscionable reason.

North Carolina’s new voter law is “harsh,” says The Nation‘s Ari Berman, and clearly designed to break the political momentum of Democrats opposing the all-Republican state government every Monday at the Capitol.

This speculation about the 2016 GOP field has been called “Twitter’s finest hour” by the great Rob Delaney.

What case does Liz Cheney have to make for setting off a GOP civil war? The American Prospect‘s Matt Duss tries to figure it out.

After wasting millions, House Republicans are finally getting out of the fighting same-sex marriage business, reports BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner.

What’s on your mind? What are you reading?


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