Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 17, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at or with the radioPup App.

1. Special Election Set

On November 5, voters in District 1 will head to the polls to cast a ballot. They will decide whether or not to recall Councilman Victor Hernandez. If the recall is successful there will be a special election within 120 days. Hernandez isn't going down without a fight though. Hernandez plans to not only fight the recall, but even run again for the seat if the recall election is successful.

You could already say that the recall has gotten dirty with reports that Ysidro Gutierrez threatened to target the political career of Hernandez's wife. I expect the recall to get even dirtier as the election gets closer and closer.

With this hanging around the Lubbock City Council's neck and elections coming up next May, I don't expect the council to tackle the most pressing issues facing the city.

2. Syria is Just a Mess (link)

After confirming that the Syrian Government used chemical weapons on it's people and against rebel forces, the United States has decided to get involved. Though no one is really sure what the U.S. role should be. Over the weekend, Senator Marco Rubio claimed that President Obama failed Syria.

"In politics or in foreign policy, timing matters," the Florida Republican said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"These were options that were there for us a year and a half ago, before things became this chaotic," Rubio said, but President Obama "failed" to seize any of those opportunities. "The fact that it's taken this White House and this president this so long to get a clear and concise policy on Syria has left us with the worst possible scenario right now."

If he had been making decisions, Rubio said, he would have taken action months or years ago. "We would have identified elements that we could have worked with and we would have made sure that those elements, not the Al Qaeda elements, were the best armed, best equipped and best trained," he said.

The big question going forward is, how involved should the U.S. be? Do we really want to arm the Syrian rebels? Many of whom are backed by Al Qaeda? Should the U.S. be involved at all? A lot of debate will happen moving forward.

3. The NSA Did Listen to Phone Calls (link)

Remember last week when the NSA wasn't listening to phone calls? Well, that was last week.

The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed "simply based on an analyst deciding that."

If the NSA wants "to listen to the phone," an analyst's decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. "I was rather startled," said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA's formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.

James Owens, a spokesman for Nadler, provided a statement on Sunday morning, a day after this article was published, saying: "I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans' phone calls without a specific warrant." Owens said he couldn't comment on what assurances from the Obama administration Nadler was referring to, and said Nadler was unavailable for an interview. (CNET had contacted Nadler for comment on Friday.)

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, being able to listen to phone calls would mean the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.

So how do you feel about that?

Other Top Stories:

Today's Guest:

Matt Mackowiak

Matt Mackowiak: GOP Strategist & Co-Founder of at 9:35am

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at