My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


So Many Titles, So Little Time . . .

I toyed with a lot of possibilities for a title for this post. First was "And the Democratic nominee for President . . .Chuck Hagel!!" Then there was "Wouldn't It Be A Great Irony If Al-Qaeda Blew Up The Senate?" Then was "Would One Serious Senator Please Stand Up?" And, of course, "How To Snatch Defeat Right Out Of The Jaws of Victory." Plus, as well, "I Hate To Play Politics With Something As Serious As This."

But, finally I couldn't settle on just one, so I waffled. Hey! I could be a Senator!

So, to review the days' news, or at least the important parts of it:

:The NYTimes reveals--in front page bold--that the Bush administration approved rules for, and has executed, eavesdropping on civilians for the last few years.

:Among the fruits of that labor, the interdiction and arrest of a bad guy.
Several officials said the eavesdropping program had helped uncover a plot by Iyman Faris, an Ohio trucker and naturalized citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to supporting Al Qaeda by planning to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blowtorches. What appeared to be another Qaeda plot, involving fertilizer bomb attacks on British pubs and train stations, was exposed last year in part through the program, the officials said.

:Let's not forget, in the four-plus years since 9/11, there has not been a single successful attack on American soil.

:The Senate move to renew the Patriot Act--which had the support of a majority--was blocked by a Democratic filibuster, aided and abetted by four Republicans.

So we do A, with the knowledge of both parties on the Hill, and it leads to a success; in addition, we have in place B, which is obviously working. So as soon as A becomes public knowledge we have a public meltdown (with calls from Specter for an investigation), and on the same day the Senate waffles on B and refuses to allow a vote.

How do you lose a war? Take whatever you have that's working, and stop doing it.

Oh, yeah, and all this just a day after what should be regarded in later years as the pivotal event of the early 21st century, which was relegated to afterthought in one grand sweep of the Times' pen.

Stray thoughts:

:Chuck Hagel needs to stop sniffing the product of the ethanol subsidies. If he thinks he has a PRAYER of being a serious player in the GOP Presidential race in 08, he's deeply--I would say dangerously--delusional.

:I applaud Senator Frist for forcing a vote on this today, and for also not caving in on calls for a temporary renewal. I think he should call for a vote on it every day for the next six months, so that the record is unequivocal and let that record ride into the mid-term elections. Note the two Dems who sided with the GOP on this are from red states, one with a re-election looming: Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Johnson of Nebraska.

I must admit, I had some worries about the Patriot Act when it was first proposed, mostly because of the distinct possibility that at some point it would have been an Attorney General Clinton deciding how to enforce it. But, given that there's NOT ONE single case on record of an abuse of the Act, I'm confident that the administration is using it strictly to enforce the GWOT, and I now support it.

But more importantly, I am appalled at the utter lack of seriousness of the Senate, and in particular Senate Democrats (with their strange dupes), given the state of perpetual war the US finds itself in now. One would have hoped they would have a longer memory, but, apparently, part of the 'progressive' mindset is a purging of anything over four years old.

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