Political Web, page A1 … for 9:50 PM ET, December 16, 2005
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Hilary Bok / The Washington Monthly:
Above The Law, Take 2  —  I just wanted to echo what Shakespearer's Sister said about the report that Bush signed an order allowing the NSA to spy on US citizens without a warrant.  —  This is against the law.  I have put references to the relevant statute below the fold; the brief version is …
Michelle Malkin:
RED ALERT: CHICKEN LITTLES ON THE LOOSE  —  ***scroll for updates...The ACLU wants a special prosecutor (but not for the leakers)...Some on the Left aren't happy with the Times, either...Arlen Specter says the Judiciary Committee will investigate (the Bush administration, not the leakers)...***
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Bush Authorized Domestic Spying  —  President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.
Bush declines comment on NSA spying report  —  Specter vows to hold hearings on alleged eavesdropping without warrants … MSNBC TV  —  MSNBC staff and news service reports  —  NEW YORK - President Bush refused to say whether the National Security Agency eavesdropped without warrants …
Drudge Report:
NYT 'SPYING' SPLASH TIED TO BOOK RELEASE  —  Newspaper fails to inform readers "news break" is tied to book publication  —  On the front page of today's NEW YORK TIMES, national security reporter James Risen claims that "months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized …
Hindrocket / Power Line:
LET'S SEND THESE GUYS TO JAIL  —  The Valerie Plame case has established that any leak of classified information from an intelligence agency is a serious matter, regardless of how trivial the information may be, and must result in criminal investigation and prosecution.  Fine.
Will / Attytood:
The Big Stall: How Bush gamed the media to get re-elected in 2004  —  "Nothing gave us more trouble during my years on [the paper] than the conflict with the government over what should and should not be published during periods of war or threats of war."  — James Reston, New York Times columnist, in his autobiography, "Deadline."
Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
Shocked Lawmakers Demand Spy Program Probe
Discussion: Mathew Gross
ReddHedd / firedoglake:
Erm...Yeah...Completely Believable...  Roy Blunt, acting Majority Leader …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and TalkLeft
Jeff Bliss / Bloomberg:
U.S. Senate Rejects Bush Plea to Advance Patriot Act (Update1)  —  Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Senate, rejecting pleas from its Republican leaders and President George W. Bush, refused to end debate on legislation to renew the anti-terror USA Patriot Act.
Charles Babington / Washington Post:
Senate Deals Setback to Bush on Patriot Act  —  Bipartisan Group Says Proposed Revision Does Not Adequately Protect Civil Liberties  —  Backers of a proposed four-year extension of the USA Patriot Act failed to shut off Senate debate today, preventing a vote on the matter and dealing a setback …
Associated Press:
Patriot provisions set to expire
Discussion: JunkYardBlog and protein wisdom
Nico / Think Progress:   Video: Feingold Convinces Senators to Block Patriot Act Extension
Byron York / The Corner on National Review Online:   FRUSTRATED, ANGRY REPUBLICANS
Eamon Javers / Business Week:
Op-Eds for Sale  —  A columnist from a libertarian think tank admits accepting payments to promote an indicted lobbyist's clients.  Will more examples follow?  —  A senior fellow at the Cato Institute resigned from the libertarian think tank on Dec. 15 after admitting that he had accepted payments …
Brian /
FLASH: Bob Novak Becoming Fox News Channel "Contributor"  —  This story suddenly becomes more interesting: As soon as Bob Novak's contract with CNN runs out on Dec. 31, he will become a contributor to the Fox News Channel, the AP scoops.  FNC spokesman Brian Lewis confirmed his signing with the network to David Bauder.
Media Matters for America:
Media Matters for America Delivers Nearly 5,000 …
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
Jim Romenesko /   View Forum Post
Murray Waas /
Why Novak Called Rove  —  On July 9, 2003, senior presidential adviser Karl Rove was well prepared as he returned a telephone call from columnist Robert Novak.  On his desk were talking points and other briefing materials that then-White House Political Director Matt Schlapp and other staffers …
ReddHedd / firedoglake:   Guess Who's in DC This Morning?
Crooks and Liars:   The other Valerie Plame
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Pelosi Hails Democrats' Diverse War Stances  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.
White House:
Press Briefing by Scott McClellan and Senior Officials on Levee Reconstruction  —  MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon, everyone.  Happy holidays.  I look forward to seeing everybody this evening at the White House holiday party for the press.  We just concluded a meeting in the Oval Office with the President.
Washington Post:
Bush Pledges $1.5 Billion for New Orleans
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Time to pass the baton, Sen. Burns - Friday, Dec. 16, 2005  —  SUMMARY: Seeking re-election amid scandal is a recipe for a shrill, shallow, one-sided campaign.  —  Montana Democrats have got the perfect candidate to help them take the U.S. Senate seat up for election next year away from the Republicans.
Discussion: Swing State Project
Jennifer McKee /
Burns to return Abramoff money
Discussion: MyDD, Sirotablog and Daily Kos

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