Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Despite Bush's 65% DISAPPROVAL rating, Dems COWER, grant Bush UNLIMITED, NO OVERSIGHT, no restraints spying...

To show just how stultifying, ossifying, coroding, erroding, and DEGENERATING the inside-the-beltway "CONVENTIONAL WISDOM" is on Democratic 'leaders,' note that even Senator Jim Webb - Vietnam combat hero, Reagan administration Secretary of the Navy, and fightin' candidate who took on entrenched Republican incumbent Senator George Allen despite a Democratic campaign advisor telling Webb at the outset of his naescent campaign that he only had a 15% chance of ousting Allen - SIGNED ON TO Bush's "spy on anyome, anywhere, WITH NO OVERSIGHT surveillance bill.

Once again we reiterate: The WASHINGTON CONVENTIONAL WISDOM as espoused by Washington grey-beard 'reporters' such as DAVID BRODER and GEORGE WILL, is NOTHING MORE THAN RUSH LIMBUAGH's TALKING POINTS, with an rough academic/intellectual/bureaucratic polish administered by the DC press corps.


Democratic "leaders" WHO FOLLOW Limbaugh, Rove, and Murdoch TALKING POINTS are _NOT_ PROVIDING LEADERSHIP - they are FOLLOWING the LOWEST COMMON, BASE DENOMINATOR in American politics, the politics of FEAR & SMEAR.

Democrats CLAIM that they are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the OVERWHELMING RIGHT-WING BIAS in the 'major media.' This is a con-job, for EVERY YEAR (and especially every campaign/election year) the Democrats REQUEST MONEY of Democratic voters and activsts - PLEDGING to PROVIDE _OPPOSITION PARTY LEADERSHIP_ - and then, predictably, every year the Democratic Party leadership FOLDS in the face of Right-Wing "conventional wisdom" as presented by the Broder/Will/NY Times/Wash.Post spin.

THIS IS FRAUD, Democrats! IT IS _YOUR RESPONSIBILITY_ to PROVIDE SOME INFORMATION to American citizen, to CONTROL THE MESSAGE, to DEMAND SOME FAIR COVERAGE from the cable and media networks if not the Limbaugh Righty talking-heads.

You can NOT GO OUT AN PLEDGE to provide an OPPOSITION PARTY every campaign season, and then return to Washington and say "THE PRESS MADE US DO IT" (sign into law another egregious violation of American rights, another wimpy letting Republican criminals and liars off the hook.)

by Dan Fromkin, the last (for now) honest reporter left at the Washington Whore Post:

<< Despite his 65 percent job-disapproval rating, Bush was able to cow congressional Democrats over the weekend into granting him unprecedented authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants. >>


Who's Afraid of George W. Bush?
By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We won't have President Bush to kick around anymore in about 18 months. But until then, Bush has someone he can still kick around: the Democratic Congress. At least when it comes to terror issues.

Despite his 65 percent job-disapproval rating, Bush was able to cow congressional Democrats over the weekend into granting him unprecedented authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

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Now, having beaten the Democrats into submission with the threat of looking weak on terror, a re-emboldened White House is aiming at the media, hoping to bully journalists into making the new law sound innocuous.

The 'Protect America' Act


Here's the bill in question; a White House " fact sheet," and Bush's remarks upon signing it into law on Sunday. Here's are the roll call votes in the House and Senate.

Jim Rutenberg writes in the New York Times: "Until last weekend, President Bush had repeatedly fallen short in seven months of battles with a Democratic-led Congress that would not give him what he wanted on immigration or education, health care or energy policy.

"But the Congressional vote that authorized eavesdropping without warrants on international communications, including those involving Americans within the United States, has shown that there is at least one arena in which Mr. Bush can still hold the line: terrorism. . . .

"For a president who has played defense most of the year, relying on veto threats and, in terms of Iraq, almost plaintive pleas for time, it was a rare, winning use of offense. The victory points up an enduring challenge for Democrats, even as they have gained other advantages over Mr. Bush and his fellow Republicans. . . .

In interviews, Democratic leaders and their aides acknowledged being outmaneuvered by the White House, which they accused of negotiating in bad faith, and portrayed the bill as a runaway train. . . .

"Everybody was afraid they might be branded as soft on terrorism,' Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Monday while speaking to Iowa voters."

James Risen writes in Monday's New York Times: "President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

"Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government's ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.

"They also said that the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens. . . .