Political Web, page A1 … for 12:50 PM ET, December 21, 2005
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Washington Post:
Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest  —  Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel  —  A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.
New York Times:
Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 - A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations …
Senators members seek spying probe
Knight Ridder:
Senators call for probe of Bush's domestic-surveillance program
Discussion: Done With Mirrors
Richard A. Posner / Washington Post:
Our Domestic Intelligence Crisis  —  We've learned that the Defense Department is deeply involved in domestic intelligence (intelligence concerning threats to national security that unfold on U.S. soil).  The department's National Security Agency has been conducting, outside the framework …
John Schmidt / Chicago Tribune:
President had legal authority to OK taps  —  President Bush's post- Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents.
Marty Lederman / Balkinization:   Judge Posner and "Ad Hoc Initiatives" (i.e., Presidentially Sanctioned Felonies)
TQA / The Questionable Authority:
Kitzcarnival  —  As most of you are undoubtedly aware, Judge Jones has handed down his anxiously-awaited decision in the Kitzmiller v. Dover lawsuit.  This post is (I hope) a one-stop for those interested in commentary on the ruling.  I've done my best to incorporate a wide range of blog posts and some more conventional news articles.
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
Judge Rejects Teaching Intelligent Design
Discussion: Althouse and Big Lizards
Nina J. Easton / Boston Globe:
US judge rejects intelligent design
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and BuzzMachine
Anne E. Kornblut / New York Times:
Lobbyist Is Said to Discuss Plea and Testimony  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 - Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates …
Susan Schmidt / Washington Post:
Abramoff Reportedly Negotiating a Deal in Which He Would Plead Guilty, Testify  —  Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, facing trial on fraud charges Jan. 9 in Florida, is negotiating a possible deal with the Justice Department, in which he would agree to plead guilty and cooperate …
Discussion: firedoglake
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Cheney Breaks Senate Tie on Spending Cuts  —  WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote.
Los Angeles Times:
Spending Cuts Would Barely Trim Deficit
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
In Still-Busy Senate, Showdown Is Today
Discussion: Simianbrain
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
In Final Hours, M.T.A. Took a Big Risk on Pensions  —  On the final day of intense negotiations, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, it turns out, greatly altered what it had called its final offer, to address many of the objections of the transit workers' union.
Max Boot / Los Angeles Times:
'Plame Platoon' is AWOL on new leaks  —  Highly classified programs have been revealed, which could provide real aid to our enemies.  So where's all that outrage now?  —  IT SEEMS like only yesterday that every high-minded politician, pundit and professional activist was in high dudgeon …
Lebanon questions US demand to hand over hijacker  —  BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon criticised on Wednesday U.S. demands that it hand over a Hizbollah hijacker released by Germany after nearly 19 years in jail for murdering an American.  —  "Originally they (the U.S. government) could have requested that Germany hand him over.
CNN:   Germany frees killer of U.S. diver
Washington Post:
Clash Is Latest Chapter in Bush Effort to Widen Executive Power  —  The clash over the secret domestic spying program is one slice of a broader struggle over the power of the presidency that has animated the Bush administration.  George W. Bush and Dick Cheney came to office convinced …
La Shawn / La Shawn Barber's Corner:
Do You Hate Black People?  —  I get e-mail from black people (and a few whites) asking me if I hate black people.  I usually don't dignify the question with an answer, but I get the point.  —  I am more critical of blacks than I am of whites because, no offense, I care more about what happens to blacks.
Larry Neumeister / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Anti-terror squad created prosecution plan  —  NEW YORK — Prosecutors across the country now have a large arsenal of laws to pursue people suspected of ties to terrorism, but that wasn't the case when Ramzi Yousef decided to try to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993.
Discussion: Kesher Talk
Josh Meyer / Los Angeles Times:
Officials Fault Case Bush Cited  —  Internal breakdowns, not shortcomings in spy laws, were at play before Sept. 11, they say.  —  WASHINGTON — In confirming the existence of a top-secret domestic spying program, President Bush offered one case as proof that authorities desperately needed …
Discussion: War and Piece
Richard Morin / Washington Post:
Majority of Americans Support Alito Nomination  —  A majority of Americans now support the confirmation of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Samuel A. Alito to the Supreme Court to fill the seat of retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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