Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mutiny on the Republican Bounty…

The jig is up, the roosters have come home to roost, and it’s time to pay the piper his overdue bill; in other words, the White House is in deep "caca."

The New York Times reports GOP legislators are leaving the Bush sinking ship by droves. Contrary to Cheney and poor demented Rove, congressional leaders have grown increasingly tired of White House bullying during the last five years, and with the president’s latest approval hovering at 40 percent, they are proclaiming, no mas, for favor!

The Post writes that Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter plans to introduce legislation “to put the issue in the hands of the intelligence surveillance court [and] have judges rule on the constitutionality of the program.”

Previous stories about administration threats to withhold campaign funds for anyone who votes for “legislation” that had yet to be mentioned now make perfect sense. Specter must have been whispering about the capitol that he was not a happy shipmate and Rove was trying to keep Congress as scared as the rest of Americans to keep them from jumping ship.

In doing a little research about FISA, I recently came across a gem of an article that neatly tied FISA, Specter and Libby’s big-shot money bag lady, Barbara Comstock. Unfortunately, the March 3, 2003 article by the Post-Gazette is not available online. But as far back as three years ago, Specter, Leahy and Grassley had huge misgivings about FISA and the Justice Department’s ability to correctly interpret the law, corroborating on a 58-page report.

Ms. Comstock, who at the time was a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, summarily dismissed the senators’ report. Concern about FISA was “old news,” she scolded. Why “well-received reforms had already been put in place to ensure that FISA procedures [were] handled properly.”

And she was such a successful spokesperson and “political operative,” as Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake calls her, that she has now been entrusted with ensuring yet another procedure is handled properly. That is, Aspen-Libby’s defense fund must have enough cash to keep him afloat until the end of Bush’s term and a presidential pardon.

The old Post-Gazette story reports that in a late winter prescient moment, the “trio of senators introduced legislation…that would give Congress more oversight of federal law enforcement surveillance powers.” But alas, the Patriot Act eventually trumped every other piece of legislation and nothing became of it.

With the gathering storm from congressional Republican outcry, the administration has to be running out of loyal foot soldiers. I mean, who can they trust to carry their message of fear and more fear? People are getting tired of seeing and hearing Victoria Toensing, her hubby, diGenova, and Ken Mehlman, please.

Even Orrin Hatch of Utah chimed in and said "Congress had to have more oversight." Not too many senators seem to be eager to defend the White House now that the ship is on fire. Stay tuned, though. See-No-Evil Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Intelligence Committee will be on “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

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