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Guys, this is significant:

Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

"When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information," said Barr. "However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism."

The following can be attributed to PRCB members:

"I believe that our executive branch cannot continue to operate without the checks of the other branches. However, I stand behind the President in encouraging Congress to operate cautiously during the hearings so that sensitive government intelligence is not given to our enemies." -- Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO, Free Congress Foundation

"Public hearings on this issue are essential to addressing the serious concerns raised by alarming revelations of NSA electronic eavesdropping." -- Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform

"The need to reform surveillance laws and practices adopted since 9/11 is more apparent now than ever. No one would deny the government the power it needs to protect us all, but when that power poses a threat to the basic rights that make our nation unique, its exercise must be carefully monitored by Congress and the courts. This is not a partisan issue; it is an issue of safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of all Americans so that future administrations do not interpret our laws in ways that pose constitutional concerns." -- David Keene, chairman, American Conservative Union

Much of the wingnutosphere has rallied behind Bush because, well, that's what their Pavlovian instincts tell them to do. The rest of the conservative media has done the same.

Yet here are some of the key figures of the conservative movement essentially calling foul on the administration's egregious overreach. Norquist is literally the central figure of the VRWC. Weyrich, another key figure in the VRWC, was the founding president of the Heritage Foundation and founded the American Legislative Exchange Council. Keene's credentials are self-explanatory. Barr is no surprise. He's an old-school libertarian who has been consulting with the once-hated ACLU.

This should never have been a partisan issue, despite the knee-jerk defense of the indefensible by those who think Bush can't do any wrong.

So what do the Bush apologists do now? Do they acknowledge the severity of Bush's actions and join their conservative overlords colleagues in demanding legitimate hearings into the illegal spying, or do they cling to a president who is losing friends and allies by the day?

We'll see soon enough.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jan 17, 2006 at 11:58 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Three Cheers for the Leaders of the VRWC ! (3.88)
    God, that really hurt - I think I sprained something.  
    •  Triangulation (4.00)
      Between this and the possible plan to remove Hastert as House Speaker, the crumbs are just covering their a**es for the run up to elections. This is a core issue for libertarian/types and they need every excuse in the book to make sure those types make it to the polls come November.

       It probably has taken them 2 weeks of polling to figure if this was the right thing to do.

      •  Probably (4.00)
        But they did it.  And as much as it pains me, I have to applaud the fact.  We'll skewer them later if, or more likely, when, their motivations prove false.
        •  Stealth Bill Makes Daily Kos Illegal! (none)
          Why haven't we heard anything about this bill, passed December 16, 2005, that makes it illegal to annoy someone using a website, if you do so under a pseudonym?

          How long until we are all prosecuted for annoying the Republicans?

          Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

          by TomDuncombe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:28:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Screw (none)
            the republicans.
          •  woo-hoo! (none)
            For once I feel fortunate that I used my real name for my username.


            by odum on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:01:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Don't even worry (none)
            The statute is unconstitutionally vague and in direct violation of the 1st Amendment.  Let's face it - the only kind of speech that gets prosecuted ever is speech that annoys someone.  Ditto with anonymous speech.  While they can make campaign finance rules requiring identification of donors, they cannot prohibit paper or electronic leafleting on the grounds that it annoys at least one member of the human race or has an anonymous publisher.

            The statute is dead; go ahead and buy tickets now to its funeral.

          •  Have you read the Bill? (none)
            UIt doesn't make it illegal to annoy, rather, to post or write solely with intent to annoy.

            It's badly worded, tho, and thus subject to broader, if tortured, interpretations. The real problem is it grafts regulation on the net onto the telephone harrassment statute, without accounting for the differences between one to one on the phone ststem, and one to many on the net.

            A Senator YOU can afford
            $1 contributions only.
            Masel for Senate
            1214 E. Mifflin St.
            Madison, WI 53703

            by ben masel on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:44:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't care WHY they're doing it (none)
        If one looks to washington to find people with completely altruistic and genuine reasons for doing anything good, you really need to seek counseling.  If, in an effort to cover their asses, Grover (near?  far?) and the gang manages to bring some sanity back to our government, I'm all for it.  I have no illusions that Grover's interests do not align with my 98% of the time, but it's reasonable to conclude that the President's recent actions are squarely within that 2%.

        Now, having said that, my suspicion is the VRWC will get together and find a way to defuse this situation.  They'll tell Bush he can't keep doing that sort of thing, and more than likely, he'll back down when he realizes what's aligned against him.  He'll make some sort of public Mea Culpa on it, the Republicans will give him kudos for doing the right thing.  Then he'll get right back to spying on anybody he feels like.

        --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

        by sterno on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:29:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Careful... (4.00)
      you'll need to favor that muscle for a bit. But it should heal.

      Oh...and a 4 fer your pain.

      "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

      by kredwyn on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:13:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It Hurt for a Reason (4.00)
      We demonize Democrats for being too weak on one hand, and then we lionize Republicans for somewhat condescending to our side an inch on the other.

      No, don't go there.  These are Reaganites, these people are Gingrich-lites.

      At this late hour I deplore Markos's approach to finding resolution to this debacle that has been going on since oh, 2000.  I seek resolution in revolution.  At this late hour I wish that the rats find no escape route, no consolation, I give them no quarter and ask no quarter.

      These are the very same people who willingly blinded themselves to reason to impeach an effective and well-loved presidential president.  These are the people who would destroy and lay waste your future, your pensions and your soveriegnty, if such is bought on the good will of friendly nations.  These people need lessons learned, they need to beg forgiveness, they need to disband, disassociate, begone from the realm of political discourse.

      To speak nice of them is a Chamberlain-esque appeasement of them.  I dare not go there, for the succeeding political climate must of necessity be an admixture of the Gingriches and the Gores, and the price they owe us is banishment from the public sphere.

      Yes, I prefer they were politically dead.  So sue me.  But fuck them.  I don't care that they are finally getting it.  They brought us here, and they are the ones who once cried 'let loose the dogs of war', as they still do, daily on every goddamned radio station I can tune it to.  As if we had no spine, as if we would quail.  Now they seek compromise.  Well, I ally myself with Gore.  They have gone too far to seek compromise!  They have gone too far.

      They don't belong in the political sphere.  Their ideas are anathema to American ideals.  Let them peddle their wares somewhere else,perhaps in the churches, perhaps in the VFW halls.  Not in the halls of Congress, not in the White House, and not in the newspapers.  Don't ever forget how much they have trashed this great nation, how they have discarded our ideals and shat on the memories of our forefathers.

      Ok, it's a rant.  So be it.  I hate this "watching republicans to see what they're up to".  I really don't give a flying fuck.  Kos when you do the "GOP watch" you really do the left - America - a disservice, IMHO.

      One American's opinion.

      •  oh yeah... (none)
      •  Well said (none)
        When you see Grover Norquist supporting this, you have to realize that he is only trying to save his own ass.  The evil secret rat leader is jumping ship.
        •  I thought it had to do with Abramoff wearing a (none)
          wire?  Hand in hand with wiretapping?  If he can get this ruled unconstitutional, there's hope what Abramoff caught on tape, may be thrown out?

          Or to have this issue resolved, by a group stacked in their favor, before November?

          I agree - it's to cover his own arse.

          •  I Think "They" Simply Fear (none)
            a future Democratic president who might feel like spying on "them."

            The "danger" posed by rag-tag disenfranchised guerillas here and abroad is infinitely small when compared to the danger posed by power-wielding rightwing political operatives inside and outside of huge multi-nationals and various governmental positions. That is danger to political systems, the environment, innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire

            Spying is great for the big boys when they are in total control, but ultimately the US is a publicly held company. They are working on that little problem (see Diebold) but in the meantime . . .

            •  Indeed, I agree (none)
              This is the easiest point to get the Bushies on: What if Bill Clinton was doing this?

              They like to pretend that they will always win elections, and some of them seem to truly believe this, but most know, it's only a matter of time before a Democrat eventually wins back the presidency.

              The problem, however, is that they also know that most Democrats are too moral to blackmail.  So some of them aren't that scared even if Dems do have this power.

              Shit, Republicans are proving that they can say one thing and do another, and that's okay.  They have no moral problem with doing that.  

              They seem to know others would have a problem doing it.  What a bunch of self-righteous pricks.

              He not busy being born is busy dying.

              by jarrrettg on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:26:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  too bad the ocean's on fire. (none)
          Norquist doesn't givena  rat's ass (even if it's his own) about this issue.  Grover is joined at the hip w/Rove... been written WH makes no economic/budgeting decisions w/out consluting Norquist.  

          ALERT: Grover's concern is not to be believed...  ever, under any circustances!!!  Ditto for Weyrich.  Be not decieved, o'ye faithful.

          Rethug's oft repeated pattern is a whitewhash hearing followed by R's hosanah group praise for Junior's leadership.  

          "My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted." -- Steven Wright

          by jdmckay on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:32:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The enemy of my enemy... (4.00) not my friend in this case.  I don't know about Bob Barr, but Norquist and Weyrich are completely without consciences.  If they are jumping aboard the anti NSA spying bandwagon, you can bet they see something in it for themselves.  If spying could be used to their advantage, they'd defend it to the death.  For all we know, the only reason they're pissed is because the Bushies didn't let them in on it so they could manipulate congress to their hearts content.
        If I were Bob Barr, I's dissociate myself from these guys like they had smallpox.  I don't trust them.  We have to harden our hearts so we don't accept help from those people who are out to murder us.  
        Don't accept candy from strangers.

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:11:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bob Barr (none)
          Whatever Bob Barr's other sins (and there are many), I get the feeling that he's sincere about this and this isn't just a rat fleeing the sinking ship.  Other than reproductive rights, Barr has been pretty good on civil liberties issues, and I think he's acting out of principle here.  

          Keene is an old-school crony of Buckley, and he may see this as anathema to his conservative values.  He may also be seeing this in political terms.

          As for Weyrich, he's the godfather of the theocons.  He may or may not be seeing this in purely political terms.  Bush has probably outlived his usefulness for Weyrich.

          Norquist has his own problems with the Abramoff scandal.  Strange that he is anti-wiretap - remember this is the guy who compared bipartisanship to date rape and the progressive tax system to the Holocaust.  This is a guy who's in deep trouble on other fronts and for him this is either political (throw Dubya under the bus) or an image makeover attempt.

          "We will not walk in fear, one of another." -- Edward R. Murrow

          by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:52:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Barr excluded... (4.00)
            ...these are the same people who plotted a coup in the nineties to take down Clinton by any means necessary.  And they nearly succeeded.  These are the people who for the past 5 years have been working this K Street Project in an effort to deprive Americans of their rights to representation.    These are the people who enriched themselves at our expense and the expense of native Americans.  Norquist's idea of a perfect American is one who is self-employed, self-sufficient, home schools his kids and owns a gun so he can protect his property.  There's nothing wrong with any of these things but together it comes close to anarchy and leaves millions without a safety net or protection from thieves and criminals.  
            True conservatives will reject these guys if for no other reason than they have managed to make congress and our government completely useless and have caused us to regress 1000 years politically.  Theirs is a new aristocracy of their own creation.  They are brutal thugs and we should want no part of them.  

            -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

            by goldberry on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:22:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I smell a rat too (none)
          I recall reading on TPMCafe not too long ago that Bush had endorsed the idea of an investigation, because Rove thinks that they can make the mem "the preznit was protecting you from terrible terror" rather than "the president may have exceeded his authority under a rather technical violation of the law".  Given the Democrats total inability to deliver a message around Sam Alito, I'm pretty afraid of this possibility.

          My guess is that Norquist and whatshisface are just footsoldiers in that effort.  Having it come from "libertarians" avoids having the strategy hang to obviously in the open.  The Dems need to take the fight straight to the underlying message of "strength against the Communist - ahem,  terrorist menace" and defeat it.  Otherwise the noise machine will run roughshod over them.

      •  Having them eat their children is a good way out (none)
        I disagree that Kos shouldn't post this information, since the best way for us to get out of the position that we are in at the moment is for the Republicans to begin eating their own ideological children, as it were. Refer to the Goya painting of Saturn eating his children for some serious inspiration on this.

        Again, I refer everyone back to Watergate. The resignation of Nixon was not possible without the cooperation of the Republicans. The impeachment of Bush and wholesale discrediting of the Administration will not happen without at least some of the Republicans turning on them too. We don't have to cooperate with them to make that happen--they will do it on their own, to protect themselves--but we cannot strategize without knowing what they are up to.

        Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

        by TomDuncombe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:38:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree, Tom! (none)
          I say welcome aboard, you bastards!  Join us as we hoist you all on your own petards!  Rats leaving a sinking ship usually drown, don't they?  But leaving the ship is the key.  If enough Rethugs abandon this executive body (as Al Gore so eloquently refers to these thieves and murderers in our White House), then we have some hope. When those in control lose their own supporters, the gig is up.  

          I always remember that scene from THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, when the priests discover Sean Connery's character can bleed.  His pal, played by Michael Caine, alerts him to his bleeding face and tells him it's time to go.  They both suffer horribly for their sins and these bastards will be no different.

      •  Absolutely!! (none)
        I posted my suspicions of this group farther downthread, but I give them no kudos for this.  THEY created this juggernaut that is taking us all down.

        Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

        by adigal on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:16:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My kind of rant (none)
        I'm having to restrain my bloodthirsty desire to see them all hanging in the town square with the crows eating their eyeballs.

        If we find that these swine bastards are suddenly marching in the same direction as we are for the moment, fine, but remember, while we're marching and singing and preparing for liberation, this little group of Wormtongues is planning on leaving us dead in the ditch with our throats cut, our wallets and watches gone, and our mission unfulfilled.

        These guys are even more mercenary than I thought.  As any soldier will tell you, use a merc if the need arises but never, ever trust one.

      •  They don't get it! they are just covering their (none)
        suddenly bared rear ends. The only one who gets it is McCain and he is such a chameleon willing to sell his soul to Bush for a vote he is not to be trusted.
    •  Er... Kos... science police here... (4.00)
      Much of the wingnutosphere has rallied behind Bush because, well, that's what their Pavlovian instincts tell them to do.

      Pavlov's experiments on dogs investigated what is now called "classical conditioning", or the "conditioned reflex"... By definition this cannot be instinct, which is behavior that arises naturally without conditioning... Pavlovian Conditioning would be the correct phrase that I believe you were looking for...

      Perhaps an example of Republican instinctive behavior(not really, just joking!) would be Grover Norquist blending chameleon-like into the shadows of the illegal wiretapping issue to avoid being seen by the blinding light of justice after the Jack Abramoff boulder was rolled over... ; )

      Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

      by Dood Abides on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:52:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  At least you (none)
      didn't say Norquist for president.

      'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

      by stevej on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:17:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cautious optimism... (4.00)
    ...this could be really great news, but I have developed a fear of ulterior and hidden motivations. I ask, what do these people gain by taking such a stance? And what do they stand to lose?

    We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. - William Gladstone

    by mtibb0910 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:06:33 AM PST

    •  I have a guess (4.00)
      This is something no Republicans seem to realize:
      If you set the precedent now, even during a Republican presidency, it will remain set during a Democratic presidency.

      FISA protects the VRWC just as much as the VLWC. It seems like many within the administration believe that it will never end, and for all I know they're planning on it, but perhaps the VRWC reps listed in the story/letter realize that there may, in fact, at some point in the future, be a Democrat president again.

      Somebody really needs to tell the White House that "1984" is a cautionary tale, not a political guidebook.

      by jabbausaf on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:23:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  how to make Repubs crap in their pants (3.66)

        As I've said a few times recently, this is how to give Repubilcans a real Kaopectate Moment:

        Tell them that if the unitary executive theory manages to stick, it will also stick around when there's a Democrat in the White House.

        •  Yeah, but these are the architects of (none)
          the "permanent Republican majority," and probably do not feel that there will be a dem president for the forseeable future.

          I look at it and think they're nuts, that things always swing back.  But then I remember, the heads of Diebold are republicans.

          -9.25, -7.54

          Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

          by Marc in KS on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:04:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They (none)
            could not be more wrong when they say the Republican majority is permanent.

            Diebold or no Diebold.

            •  I believe that you're right, (4.00)
              but I don't believe they don't believe in a permanent Republican majority.  (Sorry about the construction; it's early.)

              They're certainly acting like they believe it, what with their destruction of the republic and institution of dictator-like powers in the president.

              -9.25, -7.54

              Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

              by Marc in KS on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:07:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  and Dubya might make it happen (none)
        It might be because they realize their golden boy, who they supported because they felt he was completely devoted and loyal to their ideology, has turned out to be such an incompetent leader he might just bring about an end to the new 1000 year Riech.  That there might be a causal relationship between the ideology and the incompetence would never occur to them, only the previously unthinkable possibility of a Democratic president with a Democratic congress in 2008.  

        It would have to be both both branches in order for there to be any danger to them.  A Republican congress would have no problem ingnoring the precedent set by a Republican president for 8 years.  In fact, they could get some good spin out of a newfound love for the constitution and checks and balances since maintaining a cult of personality would no longer be the priority.  Remember, the constitution can only be ignored when the Right people are in control.  The real threat is if the congress and presidency changed hands at the same time, allowing the unlimited power of the executive to be turned against right wing groups as threats to national security, and justified by a Democratic congress using Republicans' own words.

    •  Maybe... (4.00)
      One of em found out that their own phones were tapped..Heh, Heh, Heh.

      I prefer DKos News to Google News

      by inetresearch on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:29:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Christopher Hitchens (none)
        is a named plaintiff in the ACLU suit. Interesting that he thinks his phone has been tapped. I thought he just wuv'd W. But of course, he must make foreign phone calls.

        "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:00:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Believe it or not (3.80)
      there are conservatives out there who really do care about the Constitution and the balance of power.  Sure they have different interpretations of several parts of it than we do and those disagreements will continue.  

      However, these people realize that the very foundations of our government; indeed the very stability of our government depend on the balance of power in co-equal branches.  Unlike the neocons and their recent converts, these republicans have a long term view and they don't like the idea of any president, especially a political enemy of theirs, in the future having the ability to spy on Americans without any checks.

      I risk getting destroyed for saying this, but there are actually conservatives out there who really care about our country and won't put an opportunistic power grab of those with whom they are politically friendly above the future of our country.  Sadly they are a dying breed these days, because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      •  No Risk (4.00)
        I hope you are right, for all our sakes. Somethings got to give.

        Reading the all the great comments posted so far, it occurs to me the corporate media standard of he said/she said reporting gets blown out the water if both sides are saying the same thing. Ever hopeful, maybe we will see some real reporting on this issue from the mainstream press.

        I still feel like I am waiting for the other shoe though....

        We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. - William Gladstone

        by mtibb0910 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:45:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but... (4.00)
        These people are not conservatives.  Grover Norquist has been a leader in this radical neo-con movement and has been instrumental in their rise to power.  Remember, he's the one that wants to drown the government in a bathtub.  It's not the Constitution or the country he wants to preserve, it's his own sorry ass he wants to save.
        •  Beg to differ (none)
          Grover Norquist is part of the modern conservative movement, not a part of the neoconservative movement.  Bush has pandered to both groups while in office, but there are distinct differences.

          The modern conservative movement, as embodied by the people like Grover Norquist, is almost exclusively focused on domestic policy.  They are anti-tax, anti-government-programs, they hate anything that would be considered social.  They are what I would call radical business conservatives.  Their primary goal is eliminating government from taking any of their tax dollars and they could care less what effect that has on the country as a whole.

          The neoconservative movement on the other hand is almost exclusively focused on foreign policy.  They are embodied by all the members of the PNAC.  If you read all the stuff that PNAC writes, it has absolutely nothing to do with domestic policy.  It's all about American domination in the world.

          One is motivated by greedy business interests, the other is motivated by chickenhawks and religious nutcases.

          Grover Norquist doesn't want a loss in the checks and balances of government because he knows someday the tables will be turned and he'll be damned if some future Democratic President is going to use their new found executive power to do what they please with the companies he's invested in the name of "national security."

          Neoconservatives, however, are actually happy the President is spying on them and other Americans because they are more comfortable living in a dictatorship who dominates the world.

          •  Another Split... (none)
            OK, so we have the following:

            1. "Modern" Conservatives, like Barr and Norquist who want to reduce the size of government, cut taxes, and get government off the back of big business.  These guys like the Bush tax cut but not the NSA spying, and would therefore presumably disagree with the "unitary executive" idea supported by Alito.

            2. Neo-conservatives, like Rumsfeld and Cheney who want to secure the United States through a program of world domination, presumably would like the idea of the "unitary executive" because it helps them avoid congressional interference with their radical foreign policy.

            3. Religious Right, like Dobson, DeLay, and Abramoff, who seem to support the neo-conservatives as long as world domination is good for Israel, and as long as outlawing abortion and gay rights are top priorities, were powerful enough to derail the Miers nomination.

            All of these seem to be marriages of convenience.  I thought that the Democrats were supposed to be the loose collection of ragtag misfits, what with our famous troubles keeping our labor, environmental, civil rights, and feminist constituencies happy.  If the Democrats can find wedge issues that can split the Republican party like they are so fond of using against us, we might be able to exploit these divisions.
        •  I don't understand how the conservatives (none)
          in Congress, whether old line Republicans or Neo-Conservatives, can so willingly give up their own power.  I can understand why they don't want to cede the power to police the president to the courts, which they instinctively distrust (maybe they don't realize they're on the road to owning the courts), but I can't fathom how they're able to abandon their own constitutional power of oversight of the Executive, even if they don't exercise it.

          Seems like their pride, if not their understanding of the constitution, would keep them from giving up their powers of checks and balances.

          Both of my senators and my representative in Washington are Republicans.  I send them hand-written letters often, but I know they won't pay any attention to me if I call them names or show outrage at their conservatism.  So I try to appeal to their self-interest - not by threatening to work to unseat them (almost an impossibility after the gerrymandering re-districting here in Texas), and not by calling on the higher angels of their nature (since they have none) - but by reminding them that they are giving up the power that the constitution gives them by continuing to rubber-stamp the actions of the Executive branch.

          I don't think there is any other way to get them to act differently in the face of the Executive juggernaut.  Being from Texas, they all live in mortal fear of Karl Rove.

          (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

          by SueDe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:29:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Handwritten letters may not help (none)
            Because they don't get to the congresscritters. My Rep. (Boozman) told me that they are still "screening" Congressional mail for anthrax. So letters to congress go to a big warehouse outside of DC and emerge (or not, depending on your take on the VRWC) several months later, long after it will help.

            They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Franklin

            by carolita on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:43:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I know that e-mails don't help, (none)
              unless a whole host of other e-mails with the same perspective are received on the same topic, and petitions don't help, unless half a million people sign one (and then only if the petition is basically non-partisan).

              So what's a concerned citizen to do?  I give $$ to organizations that lobby on behalf of my values, but I don't have bushels of money to throw into the lobbying game, and my senators (not to mention by troglodyte representative) is even going to give the time of day to an environmental lobbyist or one from Planned Parenthood.

              (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

              by SueDe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 08:07:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Principled conservatives (none)
        Yes, there are a few principled conservatives/libertarians out there.  But I would reserve that term of honor for those who have opposed Bush's lawless excesses from the start, such as those at

        The motivations of Norquist and these other Johnny-come-latelies are much more suspect, but I still agree with Kos that this is a signficant and encouraging developement.

        We need more information to get to the bottom of Bush's lawbreaking.  If the Right was able to hold firm and stonewall against any meaningful investigations, it's possible the true nature of his crimes could be hidden indefinitely.

        That the Right-wingers are breaking ranks, for whatever reason, is to be welcomed if it opens the way for real investigations.

        "To initiate a war of the supreme international crime" - Nuremberg judgment, 1946

        by grassroot on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:21:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The grinding of gears is becoming too loud (4.00)
     as their brains receive conflicting signals.

     Seriously? This is all preelection manuvering. Norquist et. al. don't care about this issue, if they can get a President who will remove all taxation.

    I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

    by Anderson Republican on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:07:01 AM PST

  •  Still waiting for them hearings. (none)
    It's been about a month, and I still have yet to see a hearing on this.

    Our rights don't end for holidays, why should hearings.

    If it's such a big deal as alot of people are saying, why hasn't anything been done yet?

    Yes, I am ranting, and worried that any hearings that will be held, won't amount to anything.
    Doesn't seem like anything is sticking to BushCo, and holding him accountable for everything he has done.

    •  Agreed!!!! And, even when they start (none)
      they'll say much of it will have to be in executive session because of "classified" info possibly being revealed.  It will be a sham.
      And, half the witnesses will be Administration people telling us how "legal" it all is.
      This Congress thinks "oversight" means "out of sight"!!!
      •  I think you misunderstand (none)
        what the congressional hearings will be investigating.

        The Republicans want to investigate, not the acts of the president in wiretapping communications without a warrant, but rather who leaked the information that he was doing so.  They're looking for a boogeyman, but not the boogeyman who lives in the White House.

        It will be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

        (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

        by SueDe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 06:35:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite (none)
          Bush is the one who wants to investigate who leaked the information in question.  Sen. Arlen Specter R-Pa., the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to investigate the wiretapping and has even uttered the dread word "impeachment".  On the other hand Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Ks)has been a leader in covering up for this administration on the so-called intelligence "failures" prior to the start of the Iraq war and until recently blocked any probe of how the Adminstration manipulated or cherry picked the intelligence regarding Iraq WMDs.  

          The focus of the investigation will depend on who is heading the investigation.  We should push hard for a Judiciary Commitee investigation.

          George W. Bush -- a president in the grand tradition of Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce!

          by dietznbach on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:58:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  They cling (none)
    for a while. Cheney will make it so. Look for more speeches from him.This one is causing them problems though.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:09:21 AM PST

  •  Grover f***ing Norquist?! (4.00)
    goin' all Mr. Libertarian now that he's neck deep in Abramoscam?
  •  whoa. (none)
    Barr, Norquist, David Keene, Paul Weyrich and Alan Gottlieb???

    that's fucking serious. that's gonna leave a mark, kids.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    check out Drum Major Institute Blog. it's bitchin'.

    by lipris on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:11:26 AM PST

    •  Whoops (none)
      I swear I refreshed before my comment downthread. I must be a slow typist.

      The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

      by PatsBard on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:13:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Norquist? Opportunist, non? (4.00)
    Why am I having this urge to hide under the covers and wait for the Rapture to hurry up?

    What the hell?

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:11:34 AM PST

    •  of course... (4.00)
      Bush has outlived his usefullness. Now is the time to build "credibility" for the next elections.

      I predict a few of the Repug Presidential hopefuls will follow suit soon. Certainly after the 06 elections.

      (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

      by Florida Democrat on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:37:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't Norquist (4.00)
    Part of the Abramoff scandal and assorted shady deals? I can see where he might get nervous about being wiretapped, warrant or no warrant.

    The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

    by PatsBard on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:12:11 AM PST

  •  Don't suppose the NSA (4.00)
    netted some dirt on these boys? Why the sudden concern? Are we witnessing a cover-up?

    Parties divide, movements unite.

    by Gegner on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:15:38 AM PST

    •  Twofold (none)
      These guys are on the Libertarian side of the Republican family.  Norquist in particular has been active in free speech groups.

      But Norquist also has the most potential dirt; he's had a number of acquaintances and colleagues who could be affiliated with Islamic fundamentalists.

      Hope ole "Bathtub" Norquist is rethinking the size of government and the protections it offers as he tosses and turns sleepless each night.

  •  Also, Cato Institute (4.00)

    Robert Levy, Cato's senior fellow in constitutional studies, argues: "The executive order is, according to Mr. Bush, based on classified legal opinions stating that the president's authority derives from his Commander-in-Chief power and the post-911 congressional authorization for the use of military force against Al Qaeda. That pernicious rationale, carried to its logical extreme, renders the PATRIOT Act unnecessary and trumps any dispute over its reauthorization. Indeed, such a policy makes a mockery of the principle of separation of powers....

    Not surprising given Cato's outlook, but it's more evidence of support for the rule of law out of certain quarters of the VRWC.

    •  And here's another (none)
      The Independent Institute. Robert Higgs, Ivan Eland, and Paul Craig Roberts have been especially critical of U.S. foreign policy, Iraq in particular.

      Every Saturday, there's a new weekly roundup of Michigan politics here on Daily Kos.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:39:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (4.00)
      I am part of a Missouri lawyers forum that has been in a running argument over this issue since Gore's speech. It seems that nearly all of the lawyers agree with me that the President's position lacks any Constitutional support, but some of the real koolaid drinkers (this is the home state of Roy Blunt, and Rush Limbaugh after all) have circled the wagons around Bush. They have been arguing that Gore's speech was another example of the left hating the right for winning elections and that the entire scandal is Republican v. Democrat. Kos's initial article helped a lot, but the CATO Institute put the Republican v. Democrat thread to bed.

      I suggest everybody argue this issue with your Republican friends. It is just that important.

  •  Fascinating (4.00)
    These guys (other than Barr) have absolutely no principles other than trying to gain more power. I don't understand this move on their part.
    •  Try this (4.00)
      Three little words.

      President Hillary Clinton.

      Not that she will be, but at some point some of them must have realized that's what's good for the Republican goose is good for the Democratic gander.    I suspect there's also strategic thinking.  If the Republicans lose the House or Senate, or both, and there's a Democrat in the White House, they can't allow the precedent of the minority being helpless to stand, not the untouchable president.

      A while back, maybe even two years ago, that sort of situation seemed so unlikely that it wouldn't cross their mind.

  •  I agree with Norquist on this??? (4.00)
    Oh, something inside of me hurts somewhere.

    "In war, the moral is to the physical as three is to one" - Napoleon

    by John in Norway on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:16:29 AM PST

  •  Wow (4.00)
    I'm shocked that there are conservatives who prefer democracy and liberty over corporate profits. Maybe the End Times are near...

    A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

    by Tux on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:18:44 AM PST

    •  Well (4.00)
      not these guys.

      I just think Bush WAAAAAY overreached and now they have to scramble to keep their libertarian base happy.

      In other words, election-year maneouvering.

      But I'll take it nonetheless.

      •  Kos, brilliant discussion this morning (none)
        on the Diane Rehm Show, with another excellent example of conservative criticism of the overreaching of BushCo:

        "10:00 Presidential Power
        Critics charge that this administration has extended its power beyond Congressional oversight and judicial review.  We talk about the limits of Presidential authority and ongoing caoncerns regarding domestic surveillance.


        Lee Casey, lawyer in private practice, for Justice Department official in the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration.

        David Cole, professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and author of "Enemy Aliens" and "Terrorism and the Constitution"

        Bruce Fein, former associate deputy attorney general, Republican counsel during the Iran-contra hearings, and founding partner with the Lichfield Group"

        --Fantastic illumination of the central arguments, I think, and well worth a listen.  I hope someone diaries this (hint, hint).

        Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble, for you are made of stars. Serbian Proverb

        by station wagon on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 08:24:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  they do (none)
      if it starts to impinge on those same corporate profits. Something about the government watching you tends to make you less likely to spend and consume as usual and they damn well know it.
  •  CYA-ism (3.87)
    This is interesting.  I'm looking at Norquist and wondering how motivated he is by his own troubles.  Back when One-Party Rule was all hunky-dory, everyone got along.  It truly was a Grand Old Party.  Now people are desperately trying to get on the right side of whichever scandal is going to crest first, hoping that it provides just enough lift to survive the fetid maelstrom of their own malfeasances.

    Don't get me wrong.  I'm encouraged that there are conservative voices that still find value in operating within the boundaries of the Constitution.  But I'm cynical.

    BTW - what have these folks said about Alito, given his robust views of executive power?  Did their concern for our constitutional rights compel them to be critical of his nomination?  Hmmm.

  •  Oddly enough, include John Birchers (none)
    Strangely, one of the harshest critics of the administration, from John Bolton to the USA PATRIOT Act to the NSA wiretaps, has been William Norman Grigg, a John Birch Society-affiliated publisher of the ultra-right "The New American" magazine.  He's likewise not a fan of the incipient US police state under the Bush administration.

    Florida Democrats: Learn how to WIN at the polls!

    by JR on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:19:01 AM PST

    •  Oddly enough, (4.00)
      you don't have to go that far to the right to find Bush critics.   Bob Barr isn't a Bircher.  Buchanan, while being in his own camp, isn't as right as them and I'd say at least 80% of his weekly national columns have been destroying the Bush administration up and down.

      You seriously do not have to go that far to the right to find hardcore bashers of Bush.

      You simply have to find REAL conservatives, which Bush isn't anything close to.    Bush and Republicans (and faux conservatives will stay together in their orgy of "those with no spines, souls, or idea what the fuck they're about besides mooney and power").   Real conservatives abound.  Go to anti-war.comm.    You'd think many of the main writers are liberal anti-war voices.   Nope...not even close.   The majority are conservatives who couldn't stand Clinton or Democrats and oppose Bush for the same reason many of us do....his imperialistic stand against the constitution and federal laws that make him a confessed felon and impeachable president.

      FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

      by tlh lib on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:30:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Birchers are screaming (none)
        about the illegal war in Iraq as well......
        •  Well of course they are (none)
          They're hardcore conservatives ideologically.  

          (before i continue....i will confess that my post above is one of the most grammatically incorrect bunch of thrown together thoughts that i've ever witnessed...after the fact, albeit as i figured "preview?  yeah ok i'm gonna wait for that to load"

          yeah im an idiot lol)

          back to the comment.  of course the birchers are against the war.  that was the point of my post.   buchanan is to the left of birchers.   nobody in this administration is actually conservative.  the conservative movement to the extent that they support bush isn't conservative.


          Anyone who supports Bush is de facto not a conservative.

          Why be surprised that the real far right conservative groups opppose him.

          AFA isn't a conservative group.  They are a wingnut Bush cult group.    If they were a conservative group they'd oppose 99% of what Bush has done.  

          Get it? Got it? Good.  :p

 ..... wanna watch arch-conservatives rail against Bush?   to be fair, antiwar is a collective of opinions that range a lot but for the most part, starting with the owner, it's a conservative lot?

          FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

          by tlh lib on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:46:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmmmm (4.00)
    I think this may be an escape hatch. They know that the entire Fright-WingTM movement could unravel over this shit because it is outright illegal nd an impeachement would mortally wound their movement for decades (alal Nixon). I suspect that this "oversight" suggestion is the bread-crumb trail they are trying to lead the administration towards, in order to extricate themselves (as a movement) from.

    What I find troubling, and not to drift too far off-topic, is that some of these same key movers who founded much of the Fright-WingTM infrastructure are also behind foundations that our jack-off traitor Holy Joe is a part of, that is doing enemy list by recruiting students to spy on their UCLA professors if they are "too liberal".

    Spy Cams on Campus

    Fromt he linked article:

    Cheney's contribution to academic freedom came in the form of a scandalous report issued by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a Washington DC-based group she co-founded in 1995 -- with Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman -- as the National Alumni Forum. The publication slammed faculty on college campuses for being "the weak link in America's response to the attack" of September 11.

    That is Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney's wife, and our favorite turncoat, Joseph Lieberman, happily joined in a campus thought-control project.

    Check out this google-cache about the funding for that group. Those are some of the same foundations that created Heritage, CATO and numerous other Fright-WingTM "think-tanks" and lunatic-GOPer mills.

    Think about that. The Olin and Bradley foundations (along with other Fright-WingTM funding sources) funded the con-founding of an "alumni association" by Lynne Cheney and Joe Lieberman. The 200 VP candidate who was debating Dick Cheney and basically puckered up and kissed his ass in the 2000 VP debate, folded the tent in the Florida recount, as been Iraq cheerleader #1 and the go-to Democrat to slag off other Democrats on Fox News.

    Holy Joe/Cheney project FUNDED by the Olin foundation, Bradley foundation and others on the far-wrong.

    I wrote a lengthy diary a couple of years ago ("Creating the anti-Gay/far-right Movement") about the genisus of the Bradley, and Scaiffe foundations and how they are/were 2/3rds of the funding source that built the Fright-WingTM abomination we see today. The other third being the Coor fortune and the Olin foundation.

    And now these key players and same snakes in the grass are tossing BushCo. a lifeline. Interesting times indeed.


    Mitch Gore

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:19:32 AM PST

  •  Holy shit (4.00)
    That's definitely unexpected given Grover's incessant desire to be a part of The Republican Machine of Corruption while still claiming his putrid title of The Ultimate Bathtub Lover of America.

    Whoa I'm pretty shocked that he signed onto this.

    The others....not so much.   Good for all of them.   They must be realizing that:

    1.  The GOP is gonna sink deep on this as it shows signs of snowballing out of effect.

    2.  The conservative philosphy actually occurred to them for the first time since Bush took office....and #1 was the reason so forget you read this bullshit lie you'll be hearing (conservatives are opposed to big government......).....yeah conservative bush asslickers are opposed to big government just like my wallet is opposed to money.  

    What a clusterfuck of cognitive dissonant brain explosions on the right put down in black and whit text in every single one of those links and statements.

    No flower or sunset has ever matched that beauty.   Never. :-)


    Demoratic represenatives in both houses, is there a reason that  some of the most ridiculous conservatives in the past two decades have spoken out and beaten you to the punch on our president being a motherfucking felon and admitting to and vowing to continue committing an act that gets up to 5 years in federal prison?

    Just wondering bitches.  

    Anytime now would be nice, Democrats.  


    No, I heard what you were saying, Joe.   February of 2009 won't be the time for you to speak out on the past president being a convicted felon.   Get the president thing out of your gourd you moron.   Then we'll work on the rest.

    (comment wasn't really about Joe as it's a given that he truly loves the idea of spying on americans.....but we'll hold judgement until joe has a chance to gauge the polls and gauge the whitehouse's demands.....just had to throw him in for good measure)

    Democrats, you hearing the nation?   This isn't about partisans.....this is about constition lovers.   Whose side are you on, Democrats?   You're either with the constituion lovers or against us.   There is no middle ground motherfuckers.

    FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

    by tlh lib on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:19:56 AM PST

    •  TOTALLY OT (none)
      But tlt lib, you really formatted that post well - and made maybe the best use I have yet seen of almost always abused bold text.

      Oh yea, and I agree with your comments.

      •  LOL (none)
        That was funny.

        But I must say that reading it again, I well abused the mighty boldenizer.   Shoulda used it a bit more selectively as that paragraph is way too long to bold the whole thing (even though it deserves bolding in the mind).

        The saddest part is actually seeing all the typos and mind melts within the post lol.  

        Glad someone took it at its essence though lol.


        FILIBUSTER RADICAL ScALITO NOW- Demand a Mainstream nominee who will LET the Constitution protect ALL Americans.

        by tlh lib on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:16:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two words. (4.00)

      I have two words for the types of Democrats you describe, who sit idly by while the flames of tyranny burn:



      •  Suggest (none)
        that you read up on your European history, the nuanced, messy complex version not the Hollywood linear over simplified version.

        Chamberlain was far from perfect but the reiteration of his name to invoke cowardice at every turn is ridiculous. It is a right wing frame.

        The unsaid part of this is the implication that the opposite of Chamberlain is Churchill - that comes with many problems that a non-nuanced teaching of history always overlooks. Churchill was a very mixed bag to say the least.

        'Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it'. - GBS

        by stevej on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:32:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, and..? (none)

          Sure, understood.  And the war to end all wars, and all of that.

          However the fact remains that "Neville Chamberlain" has become a brand name for the concept.  The brand has stuck.  

          Tell you what.

          I have a passionate dislike for "newspeak" and all the evils that go along with it:  truncated thinking, abbreviated writing, and the destruction of deliberation and thoughtfulness in the name of speed and quick impressions.  

          Yet that, unfortunately, is the milieu we find ourselves in.  The most urgent task facing us today is to dethrone the one-party state and the unilateral executive.  It's as urgent as war, and the only limits we should observe are those of ethics and law.  

          If, in a debate over economic issues, we have to quote Henry Ford that workers deserve a fair wage so they can buy their employers' products, we do it, regardless of the fact that Henry Ford was a vicious Nazi who even got a medal from Hitler.  

          If, in pushing Democrats to get some spine, we neglect the historic nuances around the name Neville Chamberlain, well that's tough too.  

          Whatever works, empirically, as long as it's not unethical or illegal.  

  •  "This is significant" (none)
    And it wasn't when the Dems said the same thing?

    Not that that's what your implying. It's just that I'm a bit disappointed when this crap is seemingly given serious weight only when the right joins in.

    At least that's my sense of it..

    If we gotta rely on folks on the right in order that serious issues be given a deserved and serious attention paid to them - and the gravitas needed to make them real - then we're hooped.

    When Democrats can bring this kind of weight to bear on such an important issue on their own, it will be then and only then that I will sleep easier.

    I'm glad prominent members of the right wing are speaking up. Lord knows too few members on our side are speaking up, and doing so with the kind of fire that this issue begs.

    That just has to change.

    •  Significant 'cause it doesn't fit a nice media box (4.00)

      Why is it that "This is significant?" Unfortunately, right now the bulk of the media is all too easily sidetracked into a liberal vs. conservative theme. When Al Gore gets up and lays down the legal reasoning for getting a special prosecutor the media start in with, "It's an election year, and he's a Democrat," "Maybe it's sour grapes," "Is he trying to get back into the game for 2008?" Very, very few addressed the facts he was putting forth. Rather they accept the idea that with a Republican House and Senate no real investigation (special prosecutor or otherwise) is likely to occur.

      So when high profile Republicans start to call for thorough investigations (whatever their motivations might be), the mass media loses the simple "It's partisan," retort they reflexively fall back on. Now they have to do their jobs and really look at the issue. It's really sad that that is how the media operates, but it does.

      That is why "This is significant." It ain't about the seriousness of the players, it's about making the media stop futzing around and get busy with some real reporting.

    •  Hmm. (none)
      If we gotta rely on folks on the right in order that serious issues be given a deserved and serious attention paid to them - and the gravitas needed to make them real - then we're hooped.

      Well, if you consider the fact that anytime a dem brings these issues up, the republicans and the media treat it as partisan sniping, then it does matter.  Coming from the right, this cannot be partisan, and must mean something, even to the dunderheads who do "news."

      Second, the democrats have essentially no power in Washington.  In order for things to move, we have to have some Republicans pushing, too.  Democrats cannot bring this sort of weight to bear on the issue, because they can simply be ignored by the media and the republican establishment.

      It is signficant that some of the right-wing power brokers are speaking out, saying the same things that dems are saying.  It moves the discussion into an area it likely wouldn't have gone -- or at least, it moves it a lot faster.

      -9.25, -7.54

      Who's a guy got to deny having sex with to get impeached around here?

      by Marc in KS on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:13:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  signs (none)
    All the signs are there that the conservative coalition is cracking, as it should be right now.  Bush is acting in direct defiance of every limited state and separation of powers principle.

    I'm convinced the real reason Bush did not go to Congress to authorize his activities is because he was worried about his own political coalition fracturing as limited state and civil libertarians dissented to the new presidential powers.

    In other words, Bush hid this out of political expediency, and hid it for as long as he could out of political expediency.  If this was known earlier, Bush likely would have lost in 2004.

    Now that the cat is out of the bag, the predictable result is occurring, but safely after 2 elections have already gone by, though dangerously at the same time as the huge corruption scandal threatens to tear the GOP apart itself.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:28:06 AM PST

    •  Yep... (none)
      I think that's right...listen, the whole NSA thing is a complete 180 reversal of the anti-big-"New World Order" government that the VRWNM was built around - please do not forget:

      • Waco
      • Ruby Ridge
      • Janet Reno
      • Hillary & Healthcare

      All of this was built up to be the abduction of heartland children by BATF Agents re-purposed as UN "New World Order" troops flying black helecopters under the command of Janet Reno who was executing Hitlery's plan to re-program and indcotrinate those children to be athiestic homosexuals under the guise of instituting universal health care.

      The only thing that slowed down this particularly nasty rabble-rousing was McVeigh and OKC.  That was precisely the kind of incitement to violence that lands people in the American CIA Gulag these days.  

      The 'Conservative Coalition' is not built around true principles - at least not truly popular ones - it amounts to empty rhetoric and sloganeering.  

      I have been scoring cheap points on Redstate - with an open disclosure of who I am and how I lean - and they are noting, without a hint of irony, how any number of GOP policies, both Legislative and Executive, are really scary - precisely the same kinds of anti-government crap they have always spewed - without a hint of awareness of the irony.

      - The same people who leapt to the defense of
      Bush over the NSA spying were in high dudgeon about the cell-phone-records issue.  They cannot even connect the obvious dots about the ease (and therefore danger) of the creation of a surveillance state to individual privacy with this  abuse.  And, even pointing out that this is a slimy kind of profit-motive-based abuse, get upset that anyone would critize a corporation - even as they are pissed off about their records being up for sale!.  

      - The same yet again yesterday on a thread bemoaning how BellSouth was going to try to squeeze money out of content providers for bandwidth to consumers.  This is very much a result of a business friendly FCC and the '96 TCA.

      They fail to see what is going on, yet whine about it being done.  

    •  I hope when readers of this site (none)
      read the posts of freelixir and others who write things like  "Bush thinks" or "Bush hid" or "Bush acts" that they are actually using shorthand for Cheney/Rove or the White House Cabal.

      Bush doesn't think, and Bush doesn't act.  He reacts to what he's told to think and he does what he's told to do.  Bush is not a political conniver - he doesn't have that depth of thought.  The best job he ever held utilizing the limits of his abilities was cheerleader.

      He's a shell, a marionette.  If he were turned out in the cold, he couldn't find his own coat - Laura or his mama would have to bring it to him.  I admit it would be highly entertaining to hear him testify in front of some panel, as his inability to speak extemporaneously makes his daddy look downright articulate.

      Just as long as everyone understands the shorthand being used here....

      (-5.25, -7.95) "Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price." - Joan Didion

      by SueDe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:05:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely correct. (none)
        Bu$hCo's a hand-puppet who rides his bike, clears brush, makes cheerleading speeches to his closest supporters/KoolAid drinkers, and signs whatever he's told to sign and does whatever he's told to do.  When he's not told what to do and a crisis occurs, he's a deer caught in the headlights (see:  MY PET GOAT on 9/11 and "Brownie, you're doin' a heck of a job!" after Hurricane Katrina).  The biggest problem is, he actually believes his staff's reviews of our Constitution when they tell him he has the power to be king "in a time of war!"  Let's not disregard the fact that this clueless idiot can LAUNCH NUCLEAR WEAPONS!!!  That's one of the most terrifying things about this guy.  He's dim enough to do it if someone (KKKarl Rove?) convinced him it was necessary to "keep the peace."
  •  Sweet baby Jesus! (none)


    I am baffled.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:29:03 AM PST

    •  He and Bob Barr (none)
      Are very close friends.  Barr was at Grover's wedding party last year that featured a blessing from Abramoff's favorite Rabbi(Lapin). The only other public figures I noticed in the pictures (I know the photographer they hired) were Peggy Noonan and Newt Gingrich, though I'm sure there were loads of DC power elite in the group as well.

      I guess we all tend to give Barr a pass when it comes to examining his motivations on privacy issues because he seems so consistent on it, but I'm guessing Grover's motivations aren't nearly so pure.

      When the world was born, it was born on fire, and I'm watching it burn.--RealWest

      by hillaryk on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:39:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The indicted.... (none)
    will remain the indicted regardless of their "I wanna save my ass" positions of the day.

    That being said, "Welcome One and All!" The sooner Shrub and his co-conspirators are cooked the better.

    Hmmm, maybe they all saw Al's speech?

  •  i assume what kos meant was simply ... (4.00)
    what he said - that it is significant, and in fact it is, very important.

    there is ZERO chance that there is any sincerity on Norquist's part here.  he has always been a hypocrite.  he wants to shrink 'government' (meaning government of-by-for the people) till he can fit it in the bathtub and drown it, so that the REAL government - the consensus view of big corporations - can be totally dictatorial, stealing the public wealth for an elite caste.

    he is smart enough now to see his project threatened. gore's speech may have accelerated his plans to distance himself from the splatter that is beginning to hit the fan.  this even gives me a tiny bit of hope that alito can be helf off.  i believe that the political environment, because of the communications intercept scandal, will in just a couple weeks be one in which the confirmation of alito might be much harder

    if norquist were even a bit sincere, he would have to apologize for his role in things coming to where we are now.

    this is very significant, because it shows a fissure being forced in the monolith that is oppressing us.

  •  Oh my, is this what passes for allies these days? (4.00)
    Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

    Barr I can understand. He's been coming around slowly for the past few years. But Norquist?!? Keene?!? Weyrich?!? Are these the people we're going to ally ourselves with to take down BushCo? Are we so sure about their real motives and intentions?

    Norquist, after all, has been directly implicated in the Abramoff scandal and could well come under direct investigation or indictment himself. And he's recently been seen making nice with liberal types, such as inviting Fightin' Al Gore to lecture his group about global warming. Hmm, has he suddenly seen the light, or has the thought of wearing an orange jumpsuit made him suddenly sing a different tune? I mean, if we've had a more vicious and effective enemy in the past 20 years, I can't come up with a name.

    And Weyrich? Wasn't he right there on the dais at the "Salute to Tom DeLay because the horrible Democrats hate him so much" dinner last year? Mr. Heritage Foundation locking arms with liberals in common cause against the Prez? I don't know whether to laugh or be very, very afraid. What next, Jackamoff, DeLay, Ney and the rest of the K Street gang lining up to join the ACLU and demand that their NSA files be deleted? Hmm, maybe they're hoping that the gathering evidence against them might be thrown out because it was illegally gotten without a warrant?

    I'm not saying that we shouldn't make limited tactical alliances with such people when it's the right and smart thing to do. But this just reeks of something not good, and I think we need to be really careful before we get too close to them.

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

    by kovie on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:35:55 AM PST

    •  There's an old saying (4.00)
      "In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side." That used to be my sigline here.

      Every Saturday, there's a new weekly roundup of Michigan politics here on Daily Kos.

      by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:39:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Libertarians vs. the Neocon Theocrats (none)
      This split pops up all the time.  I keep thinking it will cause the downfall of the Republican party, but it never happens.  The corporate I-hate-taxes-and-regulation people and warmonging religious wingnut faction really don't have much in common.  Examples: The corporates see porn as $$$ to be made; the wingnuts see sin.  The corporates see turmoil and war as unstable things that hurt the economy; the neocons see America exterting it's God given dominance.
  •  simple reason (4.00)
    Ship sinking...
    Rats everywhere...

    In the unlikely event someone steals Amendment 1, please refer to Amendment 2.

    by BrimStone on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:42:42 AM PST

  •  Cindy Sheehan isn't alone (none)
    Letter writers to Stars & Stripes have been calling "foul" on Bush for the last 3.5 years.  The dismay over his frightening lack of qualities to lead, the lies and failures that are the bulwark his administration, and outcry over the resulting corruption, has not abated.

    Now the DoD is having to offer $90,000 in bonuses to maintain its reenlistment numbers, which dropped 12% from 2003 to 2004.  The huge jump in reenlistment bonuses, from $5,000 two years ago, is evidence that the 2004 - 2005 reenlistment figures have not improved, and there's nothing Rummy's control over those figures can do to change reality:  he has no boots.

    Congressmembers, whether R or D, need to get off their over-indulged asses and come to the realization, as so many writers to "Stripes" have, that the Bush administration is gutting US security.  They need to get serious about stopping it.

    "Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people."--Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox

    by lebkuchen on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 12:44:12 AM PST

  •  You notice they are calling for hearings... (4.00)
    Hearings controlled by their fellow repubs.  If things follow as they have before in this maladministration, they'll keep the Dems from calling witnesses, etc, etc.  They are calling for a whitewash.  You notice that they ARE NOT calling for a special prosecutor.

    Don't be so surprised.  

    •  BINGO! (none)
      We have a winner.

      This is their fucking escape hatch to pull their movement out of the ditch that the NSA spying shit has driven them into with the monkey-chief behind the wheel.


      Mitch Gore

      A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:22:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question... (none)
    In many ways - there are elements of the Republican agenda which should make it unsurprising that some Pubs would be against Bush's power grabs.

    One thing that crossed my mind that I haven't seen discussed - with all the talk of who should be the next Dem nominee for Pres - who are the REPUBLICANS talking about? I get the feeling the WH is remaining mum on this and leaving numerous Republican congresspeople to twist in the wind whilst dreaming of the day THEIR shoulders are tapped as lucky ones chosen to inherit the Bushco empire.

    But doesn't it seem to SOME people that Bush is acting like somebody who has NO intention of EVER giving up everthing he has attined?

    It's all very strange - Cheney can't run in '08, Karl isn't a politician the only person Bush himself seems to like is Condi and I can't see her being a viable Presidential candidate even WITH a large portion of the voting machines fixed in her favor....

    I bring this up as a shout out to some of those ambitious Republican congresspeople out there - if THEY ever want a chance to step out of the king's shadow and maybe become president themselves some day - they better realize it is their own best interest not to let Bush go too far with all the crap he's trying to pull.

    I will regretfully add, however, that as things stand today (who KNOWS about tomorrow),  I think a lot of Bush's BASE would be delighted to see him crowned "President for Life" and the let the rest of the Republican party be damned.

  •  Ot, but is it really? (none)
    Does anybody else besides me, see Bushes intrepid and "little-noticed provision" to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as "disruptors" reminding anybody else of Stalins, Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code).

    Just wondering.

    " The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances as though they were realities" -- Machiavelli

  •  Barr's no libertarian (none)
    old-school or not. he's an old school conservative, so he has stronger libertarian inclinations, but he ain't no libertarian.
  •  Whydunnit: We still don't know why (none)
    Glenn Greenwald:
    It's axiomatic that if someone provides a completely incoherent reason for why they did something, they're not disclosing their real motive. The need for "speed" in eavesdropping is plainly not why the President ordered FISA to be violated, because FISA expressly allows for immediate eavesdropping, and it doesn't get any speedier than "immediate."
    We still don't know why the Administration broke the law here, what motive it had in refusing to comply with FISA. There don't seem to be that many possibilities. It could be that the President simply believed that he should not be required to get permission from a court to eavesdrop on whomever he wants. It could be that the Administration wanted to install its theory of the President's wartime law-breaking powers. And it could be that the Administration wanted to eavesdrop for reasons which the FISA court would not endorse. What is clearly the case, as demonstrated by Gonzalez's answer, is that whatever the Administration's motives were for violating FISA, we have not yet learned what they are. (01/17/06 / Glenn Greenwald)

    Josh Marshall:

    Parsing this out can just be an exercise in high school civics. And at the margins it may be a fine point. But there's something big going on here.
    This is the executive invading the territory of the Congress and to an extent also the judiciary. Now, I know I'm not the first one to say or realize this. There's a body of literature and debate about this theory of the unitary executive.
    But this bunkum about 'signing statements' is a good example, a good opportunity to point out how these theories are solecisms in the scheme of our constitutional structure. For all their chatter about originalism and the constitution, these folks are trying to import alien ideas into the fabric of our republican system of government. (01/17/06 Talking Points Memo / Marshall)

    We believe the children are the future:

    Parents cannot remove their children's names from a Pentagon database that includes highly personal information used to attract military recruits, the Vermont Guardian has learned.
    The Pentagon has spent more than $70.5 million on market research, national advertising, website development, and management of the Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies (JAMRS) database -- a storehouse of questionable legality that includes the names and personal details of more than 30 million U.S. children and young people between the ages of 16 and 23.
    The database is separate from information collected from schools that receive federal education money. The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to report the names, addresses, and phone numbers of secondary school students to recruiters, but the law also specifies that parents or guardians may write a letter to the school asking that their children's names not be released. [...] (01/17/06 Vermont Guardian / Kathryn Casa)

  •  I am going to venture a guess (4.00)
    and we may never know the answer, but here goes:

    Daddy has reached his limit with the kid. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, we're losing money and face, and W won't listen to reason; he's drawing a bead on Iran, and god knows what else he might do, so it's time to pull up the wagons, both right and left, and knock some sense into him. Tried getting Brent Skowcroft to tone things down, but that didn't work. So Barr introduces Gore, Gore makes great speech, WH pulls usual dumbass shit including lies, and Gore counters. Then Barr and these other righty dudes, guns pulled, come out from behind the OK corral, and now W is surrounded.

    "Just come along peacefully, Sonny, we got a nice little jacket with strings over here for you. Whatd'ya mean, you had a bug in Dad's office? Well, wasn't that clever of you, now? Don't you think dad was smart enough to figure that out? He WAS the head of the CIA, or did you forget?"

    "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:49:49 AM PST

    •  Bush's widdle own greek tragedy? (none)
      or The falcon cannot hear the falconer? Your comment has frightened me to the core, and reactivated my clinical PTSD, which realistically prolly says more about me than the Bush greek tragedy.

      However, I could imagine, Bush spying on poppy, can't you? Or am I just spooked at the moment and jumping at ubiquitous sounds and my own wounds?

      •  Sorry. (none)
        I didn't mean to frighten you. I should go to bed earlier, but this damned imagination...

        Thanks for the Yeats. Now, that is scary. Z'wounds!

        "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:03:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Prot a noblem.. ;-) (none)
          I have an over reacting imagination myself:


          The Portuguese word "saudade", loosely translated,denotes "longing", "melancholy", or "nostalgia." In the context of Portuguese, however, the term connotes a meaning that is irrevocably lost in translation. In his book In Portugal of 1912, A.F.G Bell makes a few disquisitional remarks on the meaning of "saudade" given its intended context:

          "The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness."

          Whereas a decontextualized reading of the "saudade" insinuates a rather dreary and destitute nostalgia for an impossible object, Bell's recontextualization posits saudade's meaning as a nostalgic yearning for an impossible object, only slightly tinged with the hues of melancholia.

          Finally, Saudade is something you feel about somebody or a special place. Maybe it is some kind ill erotographomania I get on bourbon filled lonely nights, that pains me to watch as my ideals of this country becomes what I fear. It is sad when we lose our illusions. The bottom drops out and leaves us disenchanted. When German movie director Wim Wenders wrote of America, in that, "America" always means two things: a country, geographically, the USA, and an idea of that country which goes with it. [The] "American Dream", then, is a dream of a country in a different country that is located where the dream takes place... "I want to be in America", the Jets sing, in that famous song from West Side Story. They are in America already and yet still wanting to get there. (Wim Wenders 1989, quoted in Morley 96, p. 94)., it make me want to weep. The dark night of the soul or chapel perilous, as it's sometimes know as, shouldn't be something one gets stuck in. The great W.H. Auden said "The so-called traumatic experience is not an accident, but the opportunity for which we all have been patiently waiting - had it not occurred, it would have found another- in order that life come a serious matter." "My American" now reads a death certificate. It presents itself now as a cautionary tale, as a list of ingredients in a witches' brew, it reads as a coroner's report, or a message on a sandwich-board worn by a wild-eyed man who states, "The end of the world is at hand." It is a hoarse voice in the dark that croaks, "Beware . . . beware . . . beware."

    •  Worth remembering... (none)
      when Bush I was elected, someone asked CIA operative Mike Timpani what he thought about the former head of the CIA being elected President. Timpani just smiled and said, "George Bush is one covert motherfucker.  He is still running the CIA. He never stopped running the CIA."

      17+ years later, it's probably going a bit far to say that Daddy Bush is still managing the daily affairs of the CIA, but he's got plenty of pull in Langley.  I've been wondering how long it would take before Widdle Bush's attempted tarring of the CIA over the prewar Iraq intelligence would come back to haunt his skanky ass.

  •  just want to throw this in (none)
    talked to an intelligence agent the other day. he totally defended bush and blamed clinton. who the hell even brought clinton up? he said bush was defending our civil liberties. then he told me some stuff about kim jong il. weird.

    If you don't visit my website, you are aiding the terrorists. Why do you hate America?

    by OrangeClouds115 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 01:51:57 AM PST

    •  Obviously (none)
      Your acquaintance is an un-intelligent agent!:)  BTW, what is his or her parent agency, DFA  (Dumb Fucks of America)?

      It is difficult to get the right answers if you don't ask the right questions!

      by wgard on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:12:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Norquist and others realized.... (4.00)
    Norquist and his cohort may have realized that if the warrantless wiretaps become accepted law of the land, that when Bush is replaced by a Democrat that individual could use those powers to send all of them to the slammer, without passing Go, without collecting one-hundred million in bribes (sorry, fees) and without legal recourse.

    To cast this as a matter of "principle" is perhaps a bit of a stretch, except insofar as our nation at its core places its faith in the principle of one being innocent until proven guilty, which the NSA Wire-fishing adventure stands on its head.

    What strikes me so forcefully about the wiretapping escapade is what it tells us about this President, and perhaps more so, about Dick Cheney and what he believes is the proper role of Government.

    By their fruits ye shall know them.  Let's look at the Bush fruits:

    1. Unchecked oil prices

    2. Loss of our civil liberties

    3. The enmity and fear of most of the world

    4. Squandering the budget, running huge deficits

    5. Cronies and corporate lobbyists appointed to head agencies

    6. Involvement in a pointless war that is sapping the spirit and equipment of our armed forces

    7.  A weakening of the economy, military and diplomatic might of our nation

    8. The creation of a nation where citizens fear arbitrary government surveillance and punishment, in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union

    As Trent Lott put it, "We have met the enemy, and it is us".  Worse, it appears that we have contended with Soviet-era repression, with success, only to have our own government apparently become infected with the same illness.  This will be the lasting historic assessment of the Bush Presidency.  The only good thing to say about it all is that Jeb will never become President.  But what a terrible price to pay!
    •  Even if I don't like the guy (none)
      I have to disagree when you say that the realization that a Democrat with these powers would be dangerous is not a "matter of 'principle'".  Isn't this one of the well-established methods of defining moral principles?  Remember Kant's categorical imperative which says "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law."

      I can't believe that I'm really making the argument that Grover Norquist is "principled", but the supposition that the shoe could someday be on the other foot is, really, a classical ethical test.

  •  Trying to take control of the investigation (4.00)
    The know the cannot allow an INDEPENDENT investigation so the best strategy is to make a lot of noise about how they'll get the bottom it.

    HONEST they will cuz darn it it's really serious.

    Hope I got your attention with the headline.

    The Republican controlled hearings will coincide with the '06 election campaign and will be used to paint the Dems as soft on terrorism and defense.  The hearings will be used to show that the illegal spying was necessary to protect "real americans" and that only whiny libruls would try to stop it.  These hearings will be the equivalent of the Homeland Security department bill in '02 into which an anti-union poison pill was inserted to force the same whiny libruls to oppose it and therefore appear weak on national security.  The hearing will also have the added benefit of undercutting calls for a special prosecutor.

    Time to wise up.  Try to remember the immortal words of Dear Leader:  "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."

    "Men...think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles MacKay

    by mstein on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 02:22:16 AM PST

  •  It's tempting to rant (none)
    And why not rant? Kos is tossing out Norquist and kin as somehow helping Dems?

    As noted elsewhere, they are not calling for a special prosecutor or even a real investigation. Yes, they are positioning for the election but they are also slowing this NSA stuff down, perhaps long enough to work the judges and get Alito in place. Perhaps to call a bunch of Times reporters and slow down the mess behind a national security wall of lawyers and gagged journalists.

    •  I just re-read the whole post (none)
      and I can't see where "Kos is tossing out Norquist and kin as somehow helping Dems." Is that more of a perception thing maybe?

      (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

      by doorguy on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:00:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why is Patrick Fitzgerald so busy elsewhere? (none)
      Part of the stalling until after the 2006 election is the keeping of Fitzgerald out of DC, busy with the trial of a crime boss who owns a bunch of newspapers.  That seems a little too convenient to me because I'm certain that once Fitzgerald indicts KKKarl Rove, Bu$hCo will come apart at the seams.  The faux king will probably pardon KKKarl immediately, ignoring any shock and dismay from Dems, since they still will have no power, thanks to Diebold.  

      It's all about KKKarl, folks, because it's all about the image.  If the crap doesn't get spun into gold by that evil genius and the PRESS is set free, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO RETRIEVE OUR COUNTRY. Without KKKarl, Al Gore's speech would have been the top of every news story on TV and cable and on the front page of every paper.  With KKKarl, that speech was relegated to C-SPAN and a link on this blog.  Pitiful and the reason we're faced with this faux king dismantling our Constitution.

      •  Fitz (none)
        is working on another case that requires his attention at this time, per press reports (no source right now). He was already working on that case in Chicago when he was appointed to do PlameGate. Just keep checking his web page every few days. I looked this morning--nothing yet.

        "That story is not worth the paper it's rotten on"--Dorothy Parker

        by martyc35 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:21:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmmm (none)
    I am not so sure that conservatives, even the ones who spoke out (with the exception of Barr - a distinct libertarian) are against 'illegal' spying.  I think it more likely that what they are truely against is getting caught at it!

    It is difficult to get the right answers if you don't ask the right questions!

    by wgard on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:06:15 AM PST

    •  And I agree w/ prev posters who have said (none)
      There will be no real investigation -- that is the whole purpose of offering a 'pretend' one.  While Joe Six-pack is drinking in that sop, you can bet Karl et. al. are busy in the back room this very moment mixing up the whitewash!

      It is difficult to get the right answers if you don't ask the right questions!

      by wgard on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:09:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  First of all, these people (none)
    are into power.  When they see power under attack, they pile on to be sure to get their share.

    Secondly, if indeed plotters were foiled, then those that were foiled already know that their communications were intercepted.  So, this rationale that things have to be done in secret so the bad guys won't know what hit them is ludicrous.  Never mind that plotters were able to communicate effectively long before there were electronic systems.  Just think, the Native Americans used smoke signals.

    Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

    by hannah on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:11:11 AM PST

  •  i'll believe it.. (none)
    when krauthammer and kristol say it on fox!


    watch the gop scurry to keep their tent-dwellers happy, and as more and more realise they are wrecking the foundation of the nation in order to keep the tali-thugs in power.

    all that money won't help them much if the country comes unglued.

    plus they are probably thinking of all their cell phone records on sale for $100, and what dirty little secrets are on some gvt hard drive, possibly to be used by the next administration.

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 03:19:38 AM PST

  •  A smokescreen within a power grab (4.00)
    These guys are smart enough to see there's a real problem and they just trying to get out in front before the Democrats can get any traction.  

    Norquist and Weyrich are founders of the conservative movement; could it be they see their life's work in jeopardy?  Not to mention Norquist's problems with Abramov.

  •  This is Good (none)
    Keep these kind of stories coming...
  •  Indeed (none)
    I was quite surprised that the Liberty Coalition (one of the groups Gore was speaking to Monday) consisted of ATR and FCF, as well as MoveOn.  

    I'd like to trust that all involved are rising above politics...really, I would, but it's difficult given what I've seen in the past.  

  •  Stooge (none)
    The WH wants to stop the illegal part of the spying and they can't without a Norquist stooge.
  •  I'm Skeptical As Holy Hell! (4.00)
    If Norquist and Weyrich want to jump on board of this thing, they will somehow assist in finding ways to screw up the investigation or sweeping it all under a rug.  Weyrich and Norquist are much too tied to the upper levels of the GOP to piss them off.  I believe they did it to gain cover but only after consulting with those in the GOP and gaining their approval and finding a way to spin it all.

    Barr I trust more than the others.

    I'm waiting to hear...

  •  My take on it (none)
    is that these conservatives know this is the one thing that can bring them down as a party. They know that their future welfare depends on somehow legalizing this issue. Perhaps they feel a little twinge of conscience, but their actions are driven by fear not principle. Grover Norquist is the key--he really has no qualms about destroying America, if only there can be a legalized way of doing so.

    What I really like about the President is his wonderfully uncluttered mind. - Tony Blair

    by agincour on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 04:28:05 AM PST

  •  Grover Norquist? (none)
    Like, the Grover Norquist? "Drown government in a bathtub" guy?

    I don't care why they're doing it.  It's enough that they are doing it.

  •  No way I trust Norquist (4.00)
    Barr and Keene, maybe. Weyrich is a bit of a nut, so whatever. But bloody Norquist--when the heck has he ever given a rat's ass about civil liberties, so long as he can get his damned tax cuts?

    Part of me thinks he's a mole--but I guess the simpler (and more cynical) answer is that Grover needs to rehabilitate his reputation, while the group needs the money and the structural/organizational leverage.

  •  ROPE A DOPE! (4.00)
    Watch out, guys.  Bush said he's OK with hearings, Grover is OK with hearings, and the Republicans will run the hearings.

    I sense a Rope A Dope strategy here like they are doing with the Ethics Committee, like they did with the funding $86B funding for Iraq, like they did with the Homeland Security Dept.

    Make the rules and scope of the hearing so egregious that there is no way the truth will come out, and then blame the Democrats for balking and not really wanting hearings.  Works almost every time.

  •  And you expect a speedy result? (none)
    Following President Lincoln's assassination, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act to prevent removal of cabinet officers withour senate consent.  Johnson fired Stanton (Secretary of War), was impeached and acquitted - and the law was repealed in 1887. Source URL is:

    Jump ahead to 1920 - The President, provisions of an 1876 law prohibiting same, fires Myers, a postmaster of the first class in Portland Oregon.  The case was decided by the USSC in 1926.
    Myers lost and the court said: "For the reasons given we must therefore hold that the provision of the law of 1876 by which the unrestricted power of removal of first class postmasters is denied to the President is in violation of the Constitution and invalid." See opinion at URL:  The opinion discussed the earlier Tenure of office act as well.

    What's the nexus - Clearly, Congress cannot prohibit  a president from exercising authorities vested by Article 2 of the Constitution:

    So before you can substantiate a claim of illegal action by the President, you must first adjudicate several items:

    1. Does the FISA act unconstitutionally bind a president regarding any Article 2 powers.

    2. then, if FISA is fully constitutional, did a subsequent act - the post 9/11 resolutions supercede FISA provisions when the purpose is to prevent and preempt future attacks against the United States.

    Those questions could make their way through the courts, reaching the USSC as early as 1010 or 2012.
  •  Norquist just trying to redeem himself (4.00)
    Sorry that I don't have time to read what others have said, surely someone has already come to this brilliant conclusion, that Grover Norquist's name is mud and he is just trying to do something noble and against the bulk of the GOP to try to salvage his reputation.  I would distance myself from anything he does.  Why do I not feel so badly towards Bob Barr, after his bad acts in the past?  I think it's because he has been establishing some credibility on these issues over the past few months, at least that I've noticed.  I will not give Norquist any credit whatsoever.
  •  Paul Craig Roberts says Gore is Right! (none)
    looky here
    Dogs & cats laying down together--end times for the kleptocracy?

    W - all boots & hat, no cattle

    by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:02:30 AM PST

  •  Ok, call me cynical (none)
    but when Grover Norquist, the representative of all that is craven and overreaching about this administration, calls for hearings, I wonder what is really going on?? Was he spied upon on by Cheney, that most paranoid of paranoiacs??  Is he hiding something even more egregious??

    I don't take this at face value at all.  Something else is up.

    Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

    by adigal on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:15:18 AM PST

  •  I have been up for nearly 24 hours........... (none)
    which is to say, a "normal Navy life", but did you just mention Norqist, Weyrich, and Barr calling Bush on the carpet??????????

    Oh's the fucking apocolypse....

    or maybe I'm asleep and dreaming........

    -5.13,-5.63 IMPEACH...IMPEACH...IMPEACH...

    by rickeagle on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:22:21 AM PST

    Let's put on a show (that will fail).
    1. plan the show.
    2. song and dance arrangements.
    3. cast tryouts.
    4. rehearsals.
    5. no advertising.
    6. opening night, preferably at 3 am.
    no one remembers what this is all about.  huh, what.....

    "welcome to the monkey house" vonnegut

    by realheathen on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 05:22:51 AM PST

  •  Bitter (none)
    Perhaps Norquist is just a little bit pissed at the administration for allowing the destruction of his beloved K Street Project. Just a little maybe?
  •  Conservatives against illegal spying (none)
    This is all very interesting and apalling. The problem, as I see it, is that the general public is largely unaware of these issues and developments. The media will not cover them and if they do, the issue is spun in such a way as to garner ratings and little else. They become the "issue of the day" to be trumped and left behind.
    We of the "blogosphere" are well informed and connected but sadly the masses are not, and that's why Bush and Cheney and the others continue to get away with this crap. I dont know what the solution is but I feel the media will have to be involved.
    •  The solution is to get rid of KKKarl Rove. (none)
      He's your smoking gun with the press, folks.  Unless he's passing kidney stones in a hospital, he's in total control of the spin, the image and the entire MSM (sorry Kos).  I'm not sure how he does it, but he does it.  And he knows a few things for sure:  42 hrs. is all he has to wait for the public to forget and while we're all talking about history, he's making more history for us to talk about.  He's an evil genius of the highest order and as long as he's in command, this country is sleep-walking right into the ovens.  Al Gore was yelling wake up!  But he was relegated to C-SPAN and KKKarl Rove was chuckling through the entire speech because he knew he had made sure that NO ONE, besides those already savvy to this cabal's schemes, WOULD HEAR IT.  Unless KKKarl Rove is removed all is lost.
  •  please (none)
    these guys can whine all they want. they voted for the guy, bend over for him on everything else, even accept his "we hope that Congress will be careful not to release national security info" bullshit frames.
    Remember, they SOUND smart, but you know who they voted for.
  •  Convinces me even further.... (none)
    that Congressional hearings will be a whitewash. This gives them "legitimacy" if they are called for by Bush allies.

    They will have a month of controlled "testimony" with all the crucial stuff behind doors due to national security concerns, and then emerge and say Bush is a boy scout.

  •  Ask yourself... (none)
    Are we willing to let those who created the K Street Monster now define the reform that should take place?

    "The Stupids" design an intelligence test...


  •  This is big! (none)
    It gives political cover to those conservatives who were privately uneasy about the wiretapping but leery of alienating Bush's base, and completely undermines the Bush line that this is a partisan withchunt.

    Like it or not, until we regain our majority, we need Republican allies to be successful in getting congressional investigations done.  And you have to take your allies where you find them.

    Even the likes of (ick) Norquist.

    George W. Bush -- a president in the grand tradition of Warren Harding and Franklin Pierce!

    by dietznbach on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 07:41:57 AM PST

  •  I appreciate their support? (none)
    ewww...I feel so.....dirty
  •  Good start but (none)
    "the federal government" does not equate the "executive branch" in this illegal wiretapping. I don't want the American people to hear the words "federal" and "government" and link those words with the ugliness of this Republican power grab.  

    Let's not forget that this arose from those unitary executive signing orders by George W. Bush.  And, his cronies at DoJ are providing the "cover" of legalese for this usurpation.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 08:27:22 AM PST

  •  My own wingnut friend is still clinging. (none)
    "It's a new world since 9/11 and no one gets it but the President!"  "We must give up some of our freedoms in order to be safe."  "If the President goes too far, we'll just pull him back."  That last one is my favorite.  How, pray tell, does one pull back an out-of-control despot once he's succeeded in overthrowing our government?  At least they haven't resorted to wholesale slaughter of Americans "to keep us safe at home" while dismantling the internet and turning off the phones.  

    I thank God most loyal Rethugs are very wealthy business owners who can't be too pleased that their private dealings can be monitored by a small group of oilmen gone mad.  I actually think this issue could bring Bu$hCo down, because the really wealthy have real power and they have to want these people in charge or they'll be shown the door.  

    Some blogs today are actually giving me a glimmer of hope, but it's really just a glimmer.

  •  true conservatives dont like this (none)
    The only people that like it are members of the Bush Cult like Assrocket and Michelle Malkin. The abuse of power present here is EXACTLY why conservatives are, well, conservative!

    What is new, though, is that real conservatives stop letting those idiots speak for them.

  •  Dont' Fall For It (none)
    They're only trying to seize the high ground in the debate and co-opt the issue.  

    These folks in particular need to be crushed absolutely and NOTHING they do, in my opinion, should be trusted or accepted without suspicion.

    Since they profess common cause with us I say use them, squeeze every ounce of political benefit we can from their stance, do our best to pit them against other conservatives -- but do not give a millimeter when it comes to nailing Norquist over the Abramoff business.

    Do NOT make the mistake of trusting them for a second.  


  •  The turning point: (none)
    Grover: "Isn't it great we're in charge and can do whatever we want now?"

    Dubya: "We?"

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. So damn, if I won't.

    by benheeha on Wed Jan 18, 2006 at 10:24:21 AM PST

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