Political Web, page A1 … for 2:10 AM ET, December 17, 2005
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Top Items:

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)...***
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.
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A single, fiercely debated legal principle lies behind nearly every major initiative in the Bush administration's war on terror, scholars say: the sweeping assertion of the powers of the presidency.
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.
Fox News:
Senate Blocks Vote to Extend Patriot Act  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday blocked a vote to reauthorize 16 expiring provisions of the controversial USA Patriot Act.  —  As Congress raced toward adjournment, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to garner the 60 votes necessary …
Discussion: GOP Bloggers and
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 …
Byron York / The Corner on National Review Online:
Associated Press:
Patriot provisions set to expire
Discussion: JunkYardBlog and protein wisdom
Nico / Think Progress:   Video: Feingold Convinces Senators to Block Patriot Act Extension
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 …
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
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Bush Authorized Domestic Spying
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 …
ReddHedd / firedoglake:
Guess Who's in DC This Morning?  —  MSNBC reports that Patrick Fitzgerald is back before the Grand Jury this morning.  Am trying to track this down from other sources as well, and will update as I get news.  —  UPDATE: As of 11:20 am ET, MSNBC has not repeated their report.  (Neither has CNN that I have seen.)
Discussion: Eschaton
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
New York Times:
Ban Torture.  Period.  —  It should have been unmitigated good news when President Bush finally announced yesterday that he would back Senator John McCain's proposal to ban torture and "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment at United States prison camps.  Nothing should be more obvious …
Discussion: The Mahablog
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: Sirotablog, MyDD and Daily Kos
Iraq vote 'met global standards'  —  International observers have praised the organisers of Iraq's parliamentary election, which they said generally met international standards.  —  A spokesman for the International Mission for Iraqi Elections conceded that there had been minor problems, but said the vote had generally gone well.
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
In survey of ten US presidents, Bush fares badly  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last ten U.S. presidents, according to a new survey.  —  Only nine percent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favorite among the last 10 presidents.

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