The post-​​Bush pep talk back­lash appears to be leav­ing veep Dick unfazed, as well as “senior” Republican shills morons con­gress­men. Even though the sane two-​​thirds of the nation is protest­ing it, the Washington Post tells us that Il Duce’s wire­tap­ping bill is being manip­u­lated just as he wanted.

The bill, set for Judiciary Committee con­sid­er­a­tion today, would have forced the admin­is­tra­tion to seek a war­rant for sur­veil­lance within 60 days and bol­stered con­sul­ta­tions with Congress on the pro­gram. But last-​​minute changes pushed by senior Republicans may allow war­rant­less sur­veil­lance to largely con­tinue with­out those controls.

Maybe senile is what the Post meant to write.

Bill pro­po­nents claim there will be “checks”, after a fash­ion, in place, but the meth­ods are dis­turb­ing, say­ing they

[W]ould allow but not require the admin­is­tra­tion to sub­mit the pro­gram to a secret court for a con­sti­tu­tional review.

Given the admin’s track record for telling the truth, is any­one really stu­pid enough to believe the White House would be up-​​front about any­thing? I mean, come on — if Il Duce went on the air claim­ing the sky was blue, I’d have to check just to be sure.

But appar­ently some really are that dumb:

I do not think it is our intent to … ‘rein in’ the NSA,” said House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-​​Ohio) […] “I lis­ten to my Democrat friends, and I won­der if they’re more inter­ested in pro­tect­ing ter­ror­ists than in pro­tect­ing the American peo­ple,” Boehner said.

I guess I can under­stand the worry. We know how hard Ohio was hit on 11 September.

Apparently this “Boner” guy doesn’t under­stand that the con­sti­tu­tion trumps his polit­i­cal cause célèbre. Or maybe Mr. Bonehead just flat doesn’t give a shit about the oath he swore to uphold hat con­sti­tu­tion and defend the US against all threats, for­eign and domes­tic … includ­ing, obvi­ously, himself.

Hey, Boehner: It doesn’t mat­ter what your intent is. It is your duty to rein in the NSA.

Not sur­pris­ingly, Dick “Dick” Cheney is also push­ing for more con­trol with less over­sight, try­ing to get his kan­ga­roo courts hopping.

The biggest stick­ing point, [sen­a­tors] said, was how nar­rowly to define prac­tices that might sub­ject CIA inter­roga­tors or oth­ers to charges of com­mit­ting war crimes.

Torture, in other words. They’re try­ing to set things up so inter­roga­tors can’t be charged with torture.

Given the joke that is air­port and sea­port secu­rity, given the hor­ror we have become in the eyes of our allies, given that any person’s chances of being killed in a “ter­ror” attack are still one in a mil­lion (lit­er­ally), is it worth it? Are we actu­ally safer? Do we sleep more soundly? Do we balm our con­science about Abu Ghraib by mum­bling, “Well, at least our kids are safe; there’ve been no attacks since then…”?

How these peo­ple live with them­selves is totally beyond me.

Speaking of air­port “secu­rity”, NPR passed along an inter­est­ing tid­bit this morn­ing. There’s a cap on the num­ber of screen­ers that can be employed nation­ally; that num­ber is 45,000. That’s why you see two of them work­ing a line that’s 500 peo­ple deep. And it’s why so many pas­sen­gers are suc­cess­fully get­ting banned items on board aircraft.

[M]any peo­ple are inad­ver­tently tak­ing banned liq­uids and gels through secu­rity in their pock­ets and carry-​​on lug­gage, accord­ing to inter­views with sev­eral dozen trav­el­ers at local air­ports and with pilots and secu­rity officials.

Some pas­sen­gers are delib­er­ately smug­gling items aboard, such as lip balm to han­dle the too-​​dry air inside air­craft; some sneak body lotion or cologne or per­fume on board. It’s their way of stick­ing it to the Fed, I guess. Most seem to be get­ting away with it.

Security is (sur­prise!) not amused.

Travelers must real­ize this isn’t a game,” [TSA spokes­woman Ellen] Howe said. “The threat is real and it con­tin­ues, and we appre­ci­ate the public’s coöper­a­tion. Is it the per­fect sys­tem? No. But does it make it right to sneak things through secu­rity? No, it doesn’t.”

She’s right. It isn’t a game.

It’s a fuck­ing joke.

Last and cer­tainly least, Il Duce is once again giv­ing props to his Sky Daddy, pre­dict­ing a “third awak­en­ing” (which I guess fol­lows a “sec­ond com­ing”, if I’m any judge of men), her­alded by a

[R]eligious devo­tion in the United States that has coin­cided with the nation’s strug­gle with inter­na­tional ter­ror­ists, a war that he depicted as “a con­fronta­tion between good and evil.”

He defended this idea by telling “a group of con­ser­v­a­tive jour­nal­ists that he notices more open expres­sions of faith among peo­ple he meets dur­ing his trav­els” — mean­ing he hears them say things like, “Oh my God, here comes Bush,” and assumes it to be prayer.

But I think the most egre­gious over­step of that par­tic­u­lar hor­ror came here.

Bush noted that some of Abraham Lincoln’s strongest sup­port­ers were reli­gious peo­ple “who saw life in terms of good and evil” and who believed that slav­ery was evil. Many of his own sup­port­ers, he said, see the cur­rent con­flict in sim­i­lar terms.

You read cor­rectly. Il Duce is seri­ously com­par­ing him­self to Abraham Lincoln, who is prob­a­bly the great­est pres­i­dent this nation ever had.

Where is Lloyd Bentsen when we need him?

Probably wait­ing to get through his flight check-​​in, caught with a tube of toothpaste.


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