Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Pissed .... Again .... Still
Via Froomkin regarding the Republican Congress's cave-in to the White House on NSA oversight:
David D. Kirkpatrick and Scott Shane write in the New York Times: "Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that they had reached agreement with the White House on proposed bills to impose new oversight but allow wiretapping without warrants for up to 45 days.

"The agreement, hashed out in weeks of negotiations between Vice President Dick Cheney and Republicans critical of the program, dashes Democratic hopes of starting a full committee investigation because the proposal won the support of Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine. The two, both Republicans, had threatened to support a fuller inquiry if the White House did not disclose more about the program to Congress."
Once again, all the nonsense about Cheney having his wings clipped is just that, nonsense. I wonder what it costs to buy off Hagel and Snowe? Cheney is still quite powerful and active in running the government. His so-called "losses" like the McCain torture bill really weren't losses at all. And despite his recent problems, Deadeye Dick is still firmly in charge.

If you want the gory details of the Senate deliberations (I use that term loosely), visit Glenn Greenwalds post on the details. It's a shameful indictment of how the system is not working and the legalities of possible future investigations.

My favorite analogy for this situation was done by a blogger (sorry, don't remember which one). The NSA illegal domestic spying oversight is like someone who is caught speeding by a cop. Instead of being ticketed, the cop then re-writes the speed laws to comply to your speeding and admonishes you not to go faster than that. This is the Republican government in a nutshell.

I know I'm stating the obvious. But, please, indulge me. It is so ironic that the political party of personal responsibility and "values" is the party that has none. It's an indication of just how effective conservatives have been at branding.