‘Lack of time’ is sometimes the answer, but all too often it’s because . . . drum roll . . . you don’t enter, or mis-enter, your e-mail address. So I can’t. This is particularly frustrating when you’ve written something I want to thank you for, or have a quick question I actually (rare!) know the answer to.


Or TV from anywhere else in the world? Click here. (Thanks, Alan.)


As you know, Democrats who question our policies in Iraq or with warrantless wiretapping* have been accused by the Administration of having a ‘pre-9/11’ view of the world.

*Everyone favors court-approved wiretapping, and would allow that approval to be obtained retroactively.

‘The real problem,’ said Senator Russ Feingold at the Alberto Gonzales hearing Monday, ‘is that the president seems to have a pre-1776 view of the world.’

King George.

It is the view of the current Administration that the President is above the law in times of war. And the war on terror, President Bush has told us, may never end.

From the American Progress Action Fund:

The Washington Post writes, “Fortunately, a bipartisan group of senators expressed the view that the warrantless surveillance is either legally or politically untenable as currently practiced. While agreeing that intelligence agencies should have the authority to monitor suspected al Qaeda communications both in and outside the United States, Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Sens. Mike DeWine (R-OH), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among others, pressed Mr. Gonzales to consider reforms.” Specter told Gonzales, “You think you’re right, but there are a lot of people who think you’re wrong,” adding later that the administration’s position “defies logic and plain English.” Graham called the administration’s legal argument “very dangerous in terms of its application for the future.” Graham added that the danger of the spying program is that there seems to be “no boundaries when it comes to executive decisions in a time of war.”

‘Now, by the way,’ the President told America in 2004, ‘any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires – a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way.’

One might conclude he was lying (which he’s allowed to do because we’re at war), or he was telling the truth and wiretaps do require a court order (but he’s allowed to break that law because we’re at war).

During the hearing Monday, Senator Feingold confronted Gonzales about his own misstatements to the committee in January 2005, when he dismissed the warrantless wiretapping authority of the president as a ‘hypothetical situation.’ In fact, Gonzales was authorizing the use of the program at the time.

There will be those – not, apparently including Republican Senators Specter, DeWine, Brownback and Graham – who would just as soon we expanded the powers of the Leader at the expense of Congress and the courts.

But there will be those who, when they first encountered this list of 14 criteria, thought it was silly even to consider . . . yet who now wonder whether it isn’t a list worth reviewing periodically, lest we tilt too far. Click on the list and decide for yourself – if you can pull yourself away from Mongolian Idol.


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