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October 29, 2007


Meanwhile, Rockefeller's S.2248 - FISA amendments, has been placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 453.

Marcy if you gonna watch it (I'll be at work) pay attention to Wainstein as well. He like so many of the "names" today started out in the same Geneeral Crimes Class at AUSA SDNY with PatFitz, Dave Kelley, Miguel Estrada, and his career has sorted followed the trail of Comey's. (ie, going from NY to Va then to Main Justice)

Wainstein knows where a lot of bodies are buried.


Yeah, but unlike Comey, he's lying about whether there ARE bodies. He made some pretty ridiculous claims in his earlier Congressional testimony.


Nice of Harry Reid to do that, huh? Just in case Scottish Haggis decides that, for once in his life, he's going to take a stand.

Link to Selise is still giving me Scottish haggis? (btw, I am a great lover of haggis, and this metaphor is causing me some pain. Haggis is great with chutney.)

We are still missing testimony from:
David Ayers- Ashcroft's COS who called Comey in the first place;
John Ashcroft- why did he sign off every 45 days on an illegal program, and what changed his mind?
Janet Ashcroft- who called the room? Was classified information discussed in front of her?

But Philbin testimony should be important. SJC: please ask what was done to change the program to stop the DOJ resignations.

As a minor sidenote, in Goldsmith's book (which is a masterpiece), he observes, without elaboration, that Philbin and others were derailed by Team Cheney after the DoJ mutiny.

cboldt - posted this over at fdl too:

called senator reid’s office on this -

at first i was told that the bill was not on the calendar and it was going first to the senate judiciary committee. i replied that that is not what’s in thomas. luckily i got a nice person who answered the phone and he was willing to look the bill up.

he then said, “you are, in fact, correct.”

i asked why that was done (if i was a suspicious, cynical person it would look like there was an attempt to bypass the sjc)… he said he did not know. asked me if i could wait while he investigated further.

bottom line - i was told that this wasn’t done by reid’s office, in fact they knew nothing about it and i’d have to ask the senate intelligence committee, since it looked like they were handling this one.

i called the intelligence committee, but there was no one available who could answer my question - apparently they’re in a meeting. i left a voice mail and will call back after 12.

i have no idea if the information above is true… only that it is what i was told.

skdadl - you can use the link at my name.

Sure would be nice to have Wainstein asked how it was that he was not authorized (read in) for such a long time to do that which his job was, you know, designed to do. Be nice to know a little more about the "ten hour gap". Or I guess we could just listen to a bunch of self aggrandizing pompous speechifying by the Senators and get no evidence at all....

Thank you, selise. Got it.

I don't think Philbin will give us anything new on the Hospital Visit itself, but I expect fireworks over the Gonzo Authorization.

Philbin will say under oath that the President's Counsel, against the Legal advice of the DoJ's Legal Staff, 'authorized' the Legality of the Program.

That's as clear-cut an example of the checks-and-balances trampling, Unilateral Executive as we'll find.

Nevermind that Ashcroft had been renewing the Legal Certification of The Program for dozens of 45-day periods previously - relying on the 'wink and nod' use of A Cloaked Yoo-Addington-Cheney Rigged OLC Opinion - literally 'playing ball' and Just Signing Them. This time, at the time of the Hospital Visit, Bush, Cheney and Addington put down all pretence at even asking for the veneer of 'approval' - they just did it themselves.

If Congress doesn't call them on that clear Foul over the line of Constitutionality, the game has no Refs anymore.

What Gonzo may have certified - and our Congress may Ratify through Omission of Duty - is The End of the Last Best Hope for Mankind.

"So, this is how it ends? With a whimper, not a bang? You're kidding, right?"

"My fellow Americans, it is with great regret, that I must dissolve the Congress of the United..."

christy says the general order is just a procedural matter. that the bill is really has to go to the sjc.

The link to Selise's calendar should be fixed.


We don't have Ashcroft's testimony, but Congress (at least HPSCI and, I think, SSCI) has John Ashcroft's testimony.

But you're right--it'd sure be nice to know for sure whether Cheney called Ayres himself, or whether Card did it.

Another issue that could play at this SJC hearing: Wainstein was Mueller's Chief of Staff in March 2004, and was apparently at a March 9, 2004 briefing between Mueller and Fedarcyk, Pistole and Caproni on the warrantless wiretap issues, per Mueller written testimony to HJC.
I am wondering if scheduling Philbin right behind him is meaningful with respect to 2004?

-- at first i was told that the bill was not on the calendar and it was going first to the senate judiciary committee --

Its appearance on the calendar isn't marked with the usual "read a first and second time" entries in the Congressional Record. S.2248 just shows up as introduced, and at the same time, placed on the calendar. That entry is on Friday - Introduced Bills. One can read a variety of dispositions there, for other bills.

I don't think the fact that it's on the legislative calendar has much, if any significance -- except as an indicator that taking up the subject is likely to be expedited, and its presence on the calendar may put pressure on the Judiciary Committee to move its proposal forward quickly. It's not uncommon for multiple versions of a bill to be "on the calendar" at the same time, and Senate majority leadership picks which version to start with, whether or not to allow amendments, etc.

Senate judiciary may come out with a competing bill, e.g., the same language minus the retroactive immunity clauses -- or somebody may be given the right to introduce and amendment to accomplish the same thing, where the amendment is voted on before voting on the bill as a whole.

-- christy says the general order is just a procedural matter. --

Everything is procedural, up until the Congress votes on statutory language.

I've never heard of "putting on the legislative calendar" being part of the procedure for passing a bill between Committees that have joint jurisdiction. It is common for a bill to be read and referred to Committee.

Rockefeller's bill didn't get on the legislative calendar by accident. The "normal" steps of first and second reading were expedited.

Mundane Senate trivia ...

See Congressional Action on S.1547 for an example of a bill with a sequential referral.

It appears that a bill reported out with a written report is placed on the Senate legislative calendar at the time the bill and report emerge from the first committee. S.1547 was placed on the legislative calendar TWICE, having emerged from committees twice, with the second placement effectively wiping out the first one. The same or similar pattern (reported out with written report and placed on the calendar at that time, referred to another committee) holds for S.1538 and S.372.

A slightly different example can be seen in S.1548, also sequentially referred, but out of the first committee without a written report. This bill was not put on the legislative calendar between committees.

I've seen at one example of a bill reported out without a written report, placed on the calendar at that time, and then referred to another committee: S.445 in the 108th Congress.

I have to learn to read more carefully -- S.1548 was also put on the legislative calendar when it came out of the first committee, even though it did not come out with a written report.

Skdadl - Not being a lover of haggis by any means, I think it is a great metaphor for Specter, but I favour calling him Magic Bullet Specter, since he was the staffer on the Warren Commission that endorsed the single bullet theory that struck both Kennedy and Connolly - he's an old hand at concealing the truth!


I think I said I'll stop calling him Haggis if he sustains his opposition to retroactive immunity. So if you can get him to show more spine than he has, ever, than I'll happily stop calling him Haggis.

so -- no one else sees the irony?

a hearing into abuses by spooks, on halloween?

c'mon people -- these are the jokes!

seriously. dude.

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