Wonder of wonders

Dear John Hood.

Imagine my surprise today to discover you're defending George Bush and his wire-tapping scheme for domestic spying.

In the domestic-spying case, I tend to side with the Bush administration, albeit warily. As I understand it, no one doubts that the president has the inherent right as commander-in-chief to assign personnel to spy on the nation’s enemies abroad without obtaining a court’s permission. It would be absurd to suggest that the president can order a terrorist killed but can’t order his phone tapped. The difficulty lies when a suspect communicates with someone within the United States. I think the world of modern communication makes it impractical to operate as if Sarah were still operating the switchboard in Mayberry.


The difficulty does NOT lie with any of the half-assed justifications you're piling up around this issue. The difficulty lies with the fact that FISA was legislation passed specifically by Congress to address the question of wiretaps -- and George Bush chose to ignore it.

You know, John, you often present yourself as a rule-of-law kind of guy. But it's clear that's just bullshit too. Because when it comes down to it, you're choosing party over people . . . and fear over freedom.

The rule of law. Just another hypocritical Republican talking point.


I read this trash

so you don't have to. You'll thank me for it in the morning.

The big problem with this argument:

If Bush was doing what he says, he could have gotten a warrant really quickly. The paperwork is a formality.
What he was doing was fishing thorugh domestic calls. Either that, or purposefully listening to domestic calls. If he wanted to include calls between Americans and KNOWN terrorist suspects he could have gone to Congress and our DINOs would have sided with the Administration. Have we forgotten that Bush has gotten EVERYTHING he has wanted from the Republican Congress?
It just doesn't add up.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Litening to John excuses why he loves to listen in here?

Way to go John! Your neo-con support is noted finally! Can we listen in
on your phone between you and Art why you were so stupid to put
it in print about gutting the Constitution and the bill of rights apart
in the name of phony libertarism and fake conservatism. We know
you stay glue to this site, so don't worry that it might be censor
like you do at your Pope rope a dope foundation site.

...if it weren't so sad.

I was thinking today about the 4th Amendment and Katz, and how the effect of the Supreme Court's test means that the 4th's protection can only get smaller over time.

Katz was the opinion that said the 4th protects people who: (1) have a subjective expectation of privacy; and (2) whose expectation is reasonable. Think about it: the more invasive the government is, the less reasonable your expectation of privacy is. If your expectation isn't reasonable, then you don't have a 4th Amendment right.

Anyway, that's depressing, but even under a narrow reading of the 4th/Katz, Bush's program has gotta fall. I want this one in the federal courts ASAP. (Like it's up to me.)

For all you legal types...

I love Josh Marshall's site. He was one of those bloggers I latched on to because he has a voice of reason and when there's snark it's subtle and very effective. WAYUL, he started a new spot called The Grand Ole Docket so we can all mark our calendars with significant dates and prepare for new holidays like Fitzmas, Happy Fitzentine's Day and well...Happy St. Patrick's Day (We'll let that one stand as is!). I linked it above. Take a look and check out the mugs of the two indicted co-conspirators of Tom DeLay's. They don't look to happy, eh?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

A, Thanks for reading the trash...

I will read the The Charlotte Observer for you. Today there is nothing, and I mean nothing to report.

....Except, that all 7 Republicans filing for County Commission are announcing today ahead of the Feb. 13 filing date and they are all endorsing each other. Now THAT's news.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Flash! John Boy comes out fighting against you communists

John Boy just confirmed that you have his attention at NCBlue by updating his undefense of the constitution and the Bill of Rights. John define " left-leaning readers?" Is that another secret code Orwellian neo-con word for communist?

Update: Welcome, left-leaning readers. I understand from your emails that this piece has been bouncing around the blogosphere, for which I am always grateful. I welcome challenge, of course, but one point you might want to avoid repeating is that regardless of the wisdom of the NSA spying program, President Bush should have sought congressional action to change the FISA statute. I wasn't commenting on the specific way that Bush went about getting the policy in place, which deserves a column by itself (and about which I am critical, at least of the administration’s clumsiness) but I will say that no statute can trump the constitution. If you believe being commander-in-chief under the constitution means being able to spy on enemies during wartime without having to seek a court’s permission, as I do, then no statute enacted by Congress can take away that power. It was not legally required, in my view (and according to a number of constitutional scholars, conservative and liberal), to seek a revision of the FISA statute. But it would probably have been wiser even given some risk of disclosing information to terrorists about our methods and practices.

He says she says yada-yada-yada

Funny, a guy who purports to value principle and integrity above all sees "clumsiness" as Bush's main shortcoming? In other words, the main problem is Bush got caught. That is just too rich.

The other thing I've been wondering about is all this pandering to expansive executive power for the Commander in Chief. As near as I can tell, the War on Terra will last for, say, the next ten generations at least. Does Dear Leader get to do whatever the hell he wants to combat "enemies" for-frigging-ever? And what if he decides that your old friend Anglico is an enemy because I call him an incompetent fool everyday? Does that make me fair game?

For people who've spent all of their adult lives distrusting government, wingers sure have a big blind spot when it comes to AWOL George.

I actually agree with John.

I think the Commander-in-Chief should have all the power vested in him by the Constitution. When 2008 rolls around and Wesley Clark, or Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards, or some other Democrat ends up in the White House, I plan on quoting his own words back to him. I'm sure his tune will change then.

John, imagine it is 1985, the days after Oklahoma and we found out that fringe militia groups were responsible for the bombing. Should President Clinton have started tapping the phones to record and check every reference to "militia, NRA, gun, rifle, bomb"? Do you think your readers would have supported his right to do that? Throw out this example to your readers, I'm sure they will come up with some mincing of words to explain why this is different. Republicans are good at that, being legalistic instead of principled.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Where the Cato Institute stands . . .

And just to put one more nail in the coffin of our local Libertarian-lites, here's the definitive word from the mother of all wingnuts:

The overriding issue that's at stake in these hearings is the stance of the administration that they're going to decide in secrecy which laws they're going to follow and which laws they can bypass," said Timothy Lynch, director of Cato's project on criminal justice.