Warrantless Wiretaps Possible in U.S.: "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales left open the possibility yesterday that President Bush could order warrantless wiretaps on telephone calls occurring solely within the United States -- a move that would dramatically expand the reach of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program."
This really amazes me. If conservatives allow this to happen, our democracy really is doomed. And the tragedy of it? All we want is for him to get a warrant.
Since this has been the week of Tom DeLay, why stop now?
Daily Kos: State of the Nation: "Just a day after Tom DeLay has the chutzpah to threaten filing an ethics complaint against against Cynthia McKinney (yes, right on the heels of his resignation announcement) he sends out his attack dogs to disrupt a Nick Lampson press conference and assault little old ladies. Marsha Rovai, the 70 year-old victim, a retired CPS caseworker, describes the attack.
'I can't believe my Congressman, Tom DeLay, would organize this type of assault,' Rovai said. 'I was assaulted by two different people. One of the men hit me and another shoved his sign into my face, and then when I pushed his sign away he violently pulled my hat down over my eyes and pushed me. I'm considering filing an assault charge. This is just very upsetting and I'm so disappointed in Tom Delay for organizing this attack.'
And organize this attack he did. Here's the e-mail attributed to Chris Homan, DeLay's campaign manager:
We would meet tomorrow morning at 9:45 am on the first floor of the parking garage attached to the Marriott. Please get folks to call our campaign office 281.343.1333 and let us know they can do it - or e-mail Leonard Cash (in the cc field above) so that we can get some head count. Let's give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference."
I keep asking my conservative evangelical friends about this guy, and they now like to distance themselves from him. Who wouldn't? Well, actually:
Is Christianity under attack? - Hardball with Chris Matthews - MSNBC.com: "SHARPTON: I think everyone said that at this meeting this weekend that was cited when we came on. He was introduced as a man that was being persecuted because he stood up for Jesus. Tell me how Jesus and being accused of embezzling funds is the same thing. What chapter did you get that out of the New Testament?
PERKINS: What you find is that just in this case or whatever, there is a concern that those that identify with evangelical Christianity, and Tom DeLay was very closely affiliated with that as the House majority leader. And there are those that say that was part of the motivation for going after him because he was an effective leader, in particular on issues as related to pro-life."
Oh right. He is being persecuted because he is a good Christian. I think evangelical Christians seriously underestimate the damage they do to their faith and their witness everytime they defend a scumbag like DeLay. Or Perkins for that matter.
Ok, one more political number. Yesterday, our President appeared at yet another town meeting. Isn't it interesting? His approval rating is in the 30 percent area, but his forums usually include a majority who loves him and asks him stupid questions like, "how can I help," or even more ridiculous "just want to tell you that we are praying for you." Prayer is fine. But that is sucking up.
Anyway, even the President's little bubble gets perforated occassionally, and someone who disagreed was allowed in. Here is where it gets interesting. On one hand, Bush treats the man well. He shushes the crowd and tells them to allow the man to speak.
On the other hand, he pulls an almost Clintonian moment. He completely avoids the substance of the man's critique and focuses on one element that he can reject out of hand (with loud applause).
Bush faces harsh critic of spy program - U.S. Security - MSNBC.com: "A man who identified himself as Harry Taylor rose at a forum here to tell Bush that he's never felt more ashamed of the leadership of his country. He said Bush has asserted his right to tap phone calls without a warrant, to arrest people and hold them without charges, and to revoke a woman's right to an abortion, among other things.
He was booed by the audience, but Bush interrupted and urged the audience to let Taylor finish.
"I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administraiton," Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. "And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself."
Bush defended the National Security Administration's surveillance program, saying he authorized the program to protect the country.
"You said would I apologize for that?" Bush told him. "The answer is absolutely not."
Of course the president can't apologize for that. If he did, that would mean that he knew it was wrong. But again, someone has suggested that Bush lacks humility and compassion. He conveniently avoids that.
Oddly enough, this exchange makes me think a little better of the President. He shows some humanity. The lackeys who cheer him, on the other hand....