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March 09, 2006

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No, you should say caving. "Accommodating" is too ... accommodating. As for Senator Feingold, hear, hear. But putting him there would stir up as much noise as when Ron Dellums made it to the House Armed Services Committee, and, I suppose, appointing someone who might actually be willing to raise his effing voice once in a while would not be seen as playing fair.

Daily, I become more and more infuriated with these Dems. As someone asked me on another subject last night, when do we stop mealy-mouthing everything and throw down?

Great title btw, only caught the significance after I finished. It may be that Feingold told Rockefeller that the "seven-member-subcommittee" solution was a trap laid for the three Dems. Once you're on that special subcommittee, the WH will "bury" you in paper. That enables the WH to always claim going forward from March 2006, "we ALWAYS had Senate oversight." This "accomodation" probably also cripples the leverage the Judiciary had, before it. Perhaps Feingold remembers Rove playing all those clips of Hillary and Kerry about pre-war intelligence, after "Harry hijacked the Senate" more clearly than the rest of the Senate. Evidently Rockefeller and other Dems forgot that if ANYTHING from the never ending document dump to the seven subcommittee Senators from the WH/NSA "leaks," the Democratic Senators are going to be the first indicted for treason, or at least suspected of it. Perhaps Feingold understands that Congress legitimately needs some "altitude," from the day to day operations in order to properly oversee it. Bush surrendered that "altitude" in his public, video-taped statements that he knowingly broke the law to "protect the American people." Now Rockefeller and other Dems have in theory surrendered the same "altitude" as well as their ability to to "leak" anything to the Press. I think you and Glenn have it exactly right, certain issues require the Dems to "draw a line in the sand." The "Dubai" Ports issue gave Dems the perfect cover to fight this and there are a lot of very conservative Republicans who wanted the Dems to force the WH to tell us more about this program. In the context of secret prisons and torture, without realizing it, Rockefeller sent a way beyond chilling message to all the whistleblowers and all those who might consider it in the intelligence communities.

Jay Rockefeller is Jay Rockefeller. He's on the intel committee for other reasons than committee independence or fair play;he just has to be able to give lip service to the concepts now and then.

I gave credit to Diane Feinstein for being the only one to bring up the 'other' question at the AGonzales wiretap hearing; that is, she asked if Gonzales' evasions were only depicting the wiretapping of foreign calls or if he knew of 'other' programs; he said he was not saying whether there are others and that his remarks only pertained to the one program about which the hearing was held. She is interesting on civil liberties.
I urged Feingold to filibuster Alito, but, talk about quixotic; he, to use the Feinstein cliche, 'kept his powder dry', and voted against but without joining the Kerry-EGK filibuster. Feingold also earned my respect in the Graham-Levin habeas court stripping matter; my impression, he was a well educated lawyer who realized what a setback that was for our system of government; it would be interesting to hear his views on G-L's likely impact on appellate courts, though much of the docketing of the immediately affected cases is underway; so we will find out how the courts juggle congress' instruction about habeas. It seems to me tradeoffs are part of the barter; as some of you observe above, there are multiple concomitant threads in the Senate barter system.
One of the interesting debates happening in congress in the wiretap area is the reconfiguration of the intelligence committees; appropos of which, several former Group-of-8 members no longer in office had some embarrassing things to say, or, rather, vague allusions to proffer, regarding the impact of compartmentalization by which each member of the group may not discuss any briefing even with the private office employees of that group member, effectively rendering the briefings pro forma. But, Rockefeller has a long memory, and has used the leverage of years of briefings to negotiate for more clout.
On the house intelligence committee side, it would be interesting to hear if Jane Harman has any commentary about the compartmentalization effect on the balance of power among the branches, should she be out of office in 2006; check out the webpage of her challenger, a political leader in the LA area affiliated with schools, who helped organize highschool teach-ins to teach students to seek peace not war. JaneHarman has done a lot of good, too; so, it is a difficult choice for people in that district, I would imagine. Yet, MarcyW has a delightful stridency.

Hey, I'm MarcyW too! I thought I was running for Congress for a second.

EW,

Big John is only planning to hold the seat for a few more years.

How are you at sucking up to big auto companies? Assuming there will be any left when Big John retires, of course.

Dont know Rockefeller well. Though I have a tough time swallowing when EMK sends me, and/or dKos publishes an animate ad for, reelection of a Byrd. The Senate is theater.
And, sorry, EW, I forgot for a moment. I had planned a joke, but that was completely innocent; must have been instinct.
The week after Diebold had hired the former DNC exec as its West Coast Public Relations Man, yet before the CEO of Diebold quit, there were hearings in Sacramento during a time before CA's republican interim appointee Secretary of State's recertification of the Leon-County-FL touchscreen apparatus; MWinograd was onsite lobbying all in the CA legislature who would listen. CA has an interesting election feud approaching on the Secretary of State office, as well, though that is another topic; check Brad news from yesterday; what a hassle in FL this very week; and look at the Debra Bowen site for more news of the saga. Maybe sometime I will write on this; it is complex and I am still researching.

Sen. Rockefeller has been an abject failure in his role as Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. His inability to lead the Democrat opposition to illegal and unConstitutional spying on U.S. citizens has allowed the Republicans, time and time again, to outflank the Democrats on one of the most important issues of our time.

I do not understand why the other Senators who do understand the paramount importance of this issue do not take Sen. Rockefeller to the proverbial woodshed. Should he continue to fumble on this issue, then they should consider removing him from his post. Sure, it would cause upraised eyebrows, but these are not ordinary times. We simply do not have the time nor can we afford the luxury of the incompetence of Sen. Rockefeller on this issue. The effect of his accomodationist statement is to not only allow the Republicans to gain political cover, but more importantly, it gives rise to Democrat acquiescence in the illegal spying itself. If the "NSA spying" is illegal and/or unConstitutional, then why would the Democrats agree to oversight on it? Either you're for it or you're against it. One cannot say that they are opposed to "spying on U.S. citizens" while at the same time engage in oversight of it.

jwp

Egads!! Things are already ratcheting up here for the replace Big John sweepstakes. I'll stay the heck away, thanks. Once I'm done my term at the county party, I'm done with elected office, until I move to Sligo, Ireland, and run for EU parliament.

Jon

It's that seniority again. Can't name Levin Co-Chair, because he'd have to give up Armed Services. DiFi wouldn't be much improvement. Besides, the name Rockefeller and Intelligence have been synonymous for so long ... nevermind.

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