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    21 December 2005

    Judge on surveillance court resigns in protest and more...

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    - A honorable protest
    U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John D. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

    This is big. It might be time to let lawyers other than those loyal to the administration sort this out. I'd imagine that Bush and friends will fight this tooth and nail; their political life is on the line.

    Here is another oopsy from Bush in 2004
    For years, law enforcement used so-called roving wire taps to investigate organized crime. You see, what that meant is if you got a wire tap by court order -- and, by the way, everything you hear about requires court order, requires there to be permission from a FISA court, for example.
    In other words, terrorists could switch phones and we couldn't follow them. The Patriot Act changed that, and now we have the essential tool. See, with court approval, we have long used roving wire taps to lock up monsters -- mobsters. Now we have a chance to lock up monsters, terrorist monsters. (Laughter and applause.)

    Both parties are upset about this, mostly the Dems though with their conscience and all. This is an important point, as my mom pointed out, if you just listened to Bush and Cheney you would think only a few Dems were outraged. That, of course, is not the case.
    Republican Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Olympia Snowe of Maine joined Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan, Dianne Feinstein of California and Ron Wyden of Oregon in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees into whether the government eavesdropped "without appropriate legal authority."

    They forgot my Senator Lindsey Graham (SC).

    I wish they (the president and his men) would stop 'protecting' me. Because they have done nothing but fuck up the great qualities of this country. Please keep the ridiculous 'but we haven't been attacked' argument to your self.

    - The WaPo is reporting Scalito has the support of the majority, Fox News refutes that. I'm confused. In honesty I'd say the Fox poll is in error. Only 35% sounds awfully low. I doubt Fox News has these results on its site still, I can't find it.

    - Back to 'snoopgate,' one talking point for Republicans is to say that Clinton and Carter spied on Americans. Acting responsibly, Think Progress actually looks at the law most right-wingers are citing and finds that in both cases the law clearly states that the surveillance will not contain "the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party." So no U.S. citizens were involved. Nice try boys and girls.

    - 4 pesky Senators are 'blocking' the PATRIOT ACT, 4 GOP Senators.

    - Secular's and Sunni's demand new vote in Iraq. This is impossible under the new Iraqi constitution, but would probably be a good idea less we give Iraq to the Iranians.

    - Bye-Bye Republicans (and, yes, some Democrats), Abramoff is seeking a plea deal.
    Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, facing trial on fraud charges Jan. 9 in Florida, is negotiating a possible deal with the Justice Department, in which he would agree to plead guilty and cooperate in the wide-ranging political corruption investigation focused on his dealings with members of Congress and executive branch officials, people familiar with the talks said last night.

    Abramoff would provide testimony about numerous members of Congress and their staffs if he and the Justice Department reach an agreement, the sources said. Negotiations have been ongoing for several months, people knowledgeable about the discussions said, but pressure is mounting because of the pending trial.

    - A huge defeat was handed down to the intelligent design crowd yesterday, along with ammo for coming cases for the evolution (truth) bloc.

    - Evo Morales, Bolivia's new president, called President Bush a "terrorist." I agree.

    - Seven states went around Bush and his ignorance when it comes to anything to do with the atmosphere by introducing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Led New York Gov. George Pataki, the initiative will "curtail CO2 emissions and spur development of new technologies to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil." This is an oil mans worst nightmare. Membership is open and group includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont.

    Posted by Geoff

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