Thursday, December 22, 2005

I’m going to go to every one of your states, and I’m going to tell them what you’ve done

WaPo: “Senate Approves Cuts, but Not Drilling.” How about rips, are rips ok?

I like the vote because Ted Stevens is so cute when he’s seething with impotent rage: “I’m going to go to every one of your states, and I’m going to tell them what you’ve done.”

Sounds like the budget deal has all sorts of mean-spirited provisions that snuck under the radar: blocking foster-care assistance for grandparents taking in family members, cutting enforcement of child support, increasing the cost of student loans, all sorts of Medicare and Medicaid cuts, shielding doctors and hospitals from lawsuits from Medicaid patients turned away by emergency rooms.

I’ll bet every other lefty blog will quote this by morning, but here goes anyway:
Sources knowledgeable about the program said there is no way to secure a FISA warrant when the goal is to listen in on a vast array of communications in the hopes of finding something that sounds suspicious. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said the White House had tried but failed to find a way.

One government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the administration complained bitterly that the FISA process demanded too much: to name a target and give a reason to spy on it.

“For FISA, they had to put down a written justification for the wiretap,” said the official. “They couldn’t dream one up.”
I love the writing in that second paragraph. Elsewhere in the WaPo, Bush’s story about how the Washington Times alerted bin Laden to the fact that his satellite phone was being monitored in 1998 is comprehensively dismissed as an “urban myth.” I hadn’t realized that the article appeared the day after the US fired missiles in an attempt to kill bin Laden, which, it is suggested, might have been the more proximate cause for his decision to stop using a phone he must have figured had been used to locate him. The Moonie Times story, and others that profiled bin Laden, including one two years before, mentioned that he liked his sat phone, not that the US was listening in.

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