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Saturday, December 17, 2005

a look back

While I was looking to reference the Snow Baby entry, I ran across this (dreadfully misspelled) entry about Tom DeLay. Once again, I feel warm and fuzzy knowing that he's looking at the very real possibility of removal from office and a prison sentence. The fact that the Supreme Court is reviewing his diabolical redistricting in Texas only intensifies the feeling. The republican scandals substitute nicely for the lack of a roaring fire on winter's day.

Just a few weeks after the election of W for a second term, the world looked very bleak indeed. Nearly a year later, things are still pretty screwed up with the US leading the screw ups internationally and the ethically-challenged White House driving us further into soviet style central policing, but I feel a bit better as the Bush downward slide seems to be picking up steam. With the recent revelations that W authorized domestic spying in direct disobeyance of legal prohibitions, do we dare hope the slide ends in impeachment?


At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to editor:

NSA's job is to do exactly what it was doing. This happened with ongoing oversight from congress and justice. Not only is there no law against it, it is the primary responsibility of the president to protect the citizens of this fine nation. To not use every legal tool available would cause me far greater concern.

Get the facts straight before heading off in a lather.

By the way, you find no happiness and cheer in the whole world? Even in this holy season of Kwanza?

Yours in Christ,


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Not Scott said...

Oh right, this was completely routine. Which is why the NY Times bothered to write a story on it and while various senators and congressmen are upset.

I quote:

Arlen Specter, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said: “There is no doubt that this is inappropriate.” He said that there would be hearings into the NSA programme early next year and that they would have a “very, very high priority”.

John McCain, the Republican Senator from Arizona, said that if the report were true, “I obviously wouldn’t like it. We should be informed as to exactly what is going on.
Just routine work for the NSA and totally legal.

My friend, I do have the facts straight. The NSA is prohibited from domestic spying except in very narrow circumstances with specifically authorized oversight. The President ordered the NSA to do so _without_ explicit prior approval from the justice department. This program did not have the proper oversight.

I quote again:
"Some agency officials wanted nothing to do with the program, apparently fearful of participating in an illegal operation, a former senior Bush administration official said."

Yes, it is the primary responsibility of the pres is to protect US citizens. But the president is not above the law. This is another instance of the white house skirting and subverting laws when they feel US laws interfer with their work. There are provisions for domestic spying in circumstances that threaten the country. Bush chose to ignore those.

This man has a cavelier disregard for civil rights that is frightening.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Dearest Scott,

I was a bit hungover when I tore that off this am. Sorry if I came off harsh.

That said, both our responses probably say more about our own bias than a deep seated understanding of the facts. An issue of more heat than light being shed if you will. I still havn't seen where this is outside the constitutional powers of the president, but will agree to restrain myself until the full facts are on the table rather than continue the tirade.

Look forward to seeing you guys in January.

Yours in YHWH,


At 8:00 PM, Blogger Not Scott said...

And you, a doctor. You should know better than to blog before a strong cup of coffee.

In this instance, I will concede that the pres probably thought he was doing what was necessary to prevent another attack. I don't doubt that he's committed to preventing another attack on our soil.

That said, he does so many things incompetently or with a disregard for the general welfare that he does make it hard to be patient when these stories break.

Can't wait to see you guys as well.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger $sh said...

He most certainly is doing anything within his power to stop the terrorists. 2 concerns:

1. Is it ok to do whatever it takes to stop a potential terrorist attack with no credible threat, even if that stomps all over the civil rights of U.S. citizens?

2. If he is willing to operate outside the law for this rationale, doesn't that imply that he will break the law as long as he has what he deems to be a good reason?

I'd suggest that W is heading down the slippery slope, but he is clearly already well towards the bottom of the icy crevasse, with no end in sight.

At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I would believe that there is a credible threat when you find someone in the US on the Queda roll-a-dex.

2. I still haven't convincingly seen where this is outside the law.

Yours in Krishna,



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