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Inside Intelligence: About Your Privacy...

For this week’s nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about immigration, the federal health care law and about who’s most likely to violate your privacy.

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The federal Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is unpopular with our insiders in government and politics, with 57 percent saying their view of it is unfavorable, and most of those saying their views are “very unfavorable.”

We also asked about immigration this week. Four out of five insiders would support comprehensive federal immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

They also strongly support the idea of granting citizenship to children brought illegally into the U.S. if they do certain things, like enlisting as soldiers (75 percent), going to college (56 percent), working as firefighters (48 percent), working in disaster relief (44 percent) or working as childcare providers (38 percent). When combined with those who “somewhat support” the idea, each of the proposals had a clear majority.

Privacy has been in the news lately, and the institution that most recently got it there — the National Security Agency — was deemed by the insiders as the most likely to violate their constitutional rights or right to privacy. Sixty-two percent said the NSA was very likely to do that; 82 percent said they were very or somewhat likely to violate privacy rights.

Who else was on the “likely” list? Your internet provider (75 percent), your cellphone provider (72 percent), the IRS (70 percent), the CIA (69 percent), the FBI (65 percent), Congress (54 percent), the local police (51 percent) and the president (50 percent). Least likely? The Supreme Court (70 percent unlikely), your bank (55 percent) and the state government (54 percent).

As always, we collected comments along the way and a full set of those is attached. Here’s a sampling:

Please tell us whether you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, neither favorable nor unfavorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).

• "Certain reforms need to happen: 1) eliminating life-time caps; 2) eliminating pre-existing condition exclusions; and 3) providing access to health care to those who truly cannot afford it. We did not need the albatross that is Obamacare to accomplish these reforms."

• "Much better would be a single payer system. As long as it's hybrid with the evil insurance companies, there will be problems."

• "The web site problems are minor compared to the problems this law will create."

• "Since I am one of the lucky ones with a great, employer-based health care plan, I am strongly in favor of others having the same sense of security and protection from financial ruin if they get sick. Is this way perfect? No. Do I trust Congress to pass another bill to replace it if repealed? No."

• "It has good pieces, but it's obviously overall a disaster that probably will just get worse over time until it's dismantled. The interesting issue is whether we'll go back to a modest, less ambitious policy that simply fills holes in the current system, or a more radical single payer system. It would take a D sweep to do the latter. I predict the former."

Do you support or oppose passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul at the federal level that would provide a pathway to citizenship for most illegal immigrants currently living in the United States?

• "If by 'comprehensive' you mean a plan that includes a sensible guest worker program AND truly secures our border, then yes. Otherwise, this was tried in the 80s and it failed."

• "Last I checked - that was the American way and how we have come to be the country we are today. A lot of Mexicans died outside of the walls of the Alamo, but let's not forget the ones that died inside as well. This whole attitude of pulling up the ladder once we have climbed on top ourselves only lowers us all."

• "Comprehensive immigration reform would have to mean meeting somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, the two sides of the issue have no sense of middle. Can't let everyone in. Can't keep everyone out."

• "No citizenship. Allow for a guest worker program."

• "Federal law already provides a pathway for illegal immigrants, namely they return to their countries and queue up like their fellow countrymen and go through the legal process."

• "Illegal=against the law. I'm quite moderate, but I think that maybe we should enforce our laws."

Do you support or oppose granting citizenship to persons brought here illegally as children if they...

• "If an individual is willing to put their life on the line in uniform in service to our country, an offer of citizenship should come with that. Otherwise, which occupations or endeavors result in citizenship should be part of a sensible visa program that makes our country stronger intellectually and economically."

• "We do not punish children for the sins of their fathers."

• "We best not devolve into the Roman model of mercenary armies, but as a path to earned citizenship the idea has merit."

• "The only answer that gives me great pause is 'work as a child care provider.' Seems like affluent people are willing to look the other way for their own personal nannies but not for others brought here illegally who go on to pursue college, professional careers or public service."

• "I wouldn't discriminate on the basis of the work the person does. There ought to be a fair process that applies equally to all."

Do you think each of the following institutions, agencies, or individuals are very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, or very unlikely to violate your constitutional rights or right to privacy?

• "Its not paranoia if they are really after you."

• "Terrorism has provided a green light to 'national security' agencies to run amuck and violate wholesale our constitutional rights, virtually unchecked."

• "We wouldn't know if it weren't for the whistle blowers."

• "Well as you can tell by my responses I think 'privacy' is a quaint little thought from the past!"

• "If the State (generic term) has a legitimate need to examine my phone or email records, and keeps the results of that examination confidential, I don't consider that to be a violation. I'd rather have my Gmail scanned by some federal functionary than allow another 911 event in an American city."

• "Seriously? This is a question?" 

Our thanks to this week’s participants: Gene Acuna, Cathie Adams, Brandon Aghamalian, Jenny Aghamalian, Clyde Alexander, George Allen, Jay Arnold, Charles Bailey, Dave Beckwith, Andrew Biar, Allen Blakemore, Tom Blanton, Chris Britton, David Cabrales, Kerry Cammack, Thure Cannon, Snapper Carr, Janis Carter, Corbin Casteel, Jim Chapman, William Chapman, Elizabeth Christian, Elna Christopher, Harold Cook, Kevin Cooper, Chad Crow, Beth Cubriel, Randy Cubriel, Denise Davis, Hector De Leon, June Deadrick, Tom Duffy, David Dunn, Richard Dyer, Jeff Eller, Jack Erskine, John Esparza, Jon Fisher, Norman Garza, Dominic Giarratani, Stephanie Gibson, Eric Glenn, Kinnan Golemon, Jim Grace, Clint Hackney, Anthony Haley, Wayne Hamilton, Bill Hammond, Richard Hardy, John Heasley, Ken Hodges, Steve Holzheauser, Deborah Ingersoll, Richie Jackson, Cal Jillson, Jason Johnson, Bill Jones, Mark Jones, Robert Jones, Lisa Kaufman, Robert Kepple, Richard Khouri, Tom Kleinworth, Sandy Kress, Nick Lampson, Pete Laney, Bill Lauderback, James LeBas, Donald Lee, Luke Legate, Mark Lehman, Leslie Lemon, Vilma Luna, Matt Mackowiak, Dan McClung, Mike McKinney, Debra Medina, Robert Miller, Bee Moorhead, Mike Moses, Nelson Nease, Pat Nugent, Todd Olsen, Nef Partida, Gardner Pate, Robert Peeler, Jerry Philips, Tom Phillips, Wayne Pierce, Richard Pineda, Allen Place, Royce Poinsett, Gary Polland, Jay Pritchard, Jay Propes, Bill Ratliff, Patrick Reinhart, David Reynolds, Grant Ruckel, Jason Sabo, Andy Sansom, Jim Sartwelle, Bruce Scott, Robert Scott, Christopher Shields, Jason Skaggs, Ed Small, Martha Smiley, Todd Smith, Larry Soward, Dennis Speight, Jason Stanford, Bob Stein, Bob Strauser, Colin Strother, Sherry Sylvester, Trey Trainor, John Weaver, Ware Wendell, David White, Darren Whitehurst, Woody Widrow, Seth Winick, Peck Young, Angelo Zottarelli.

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