The Jeff Sessions-BushCo Mutual Protection Racket

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emptywheel
Jeff Sessions is helping the Administration evade the Presidential Records Act. That shouldn't be a surprise, though, because Sessions and the Administration have been protecting each other for some time.
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Bush Would Forgo New FISA Programs to Make Sure Dick Gets Immunity

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emptywheel
Bush says he wants a new FISA bill, and he wants it now. The White House told Democratic congressional leaders Saturday that President Bush opposes a 30-day extension of an expiring eavesdropping law and instead wants an expanded version to be passed by Friday. “The president would veto a 30-day extension,” a senior administration official said.
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Mukasey, Orwell, and Bradbury

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emptywheel
Keith Olbermann notes, with great dismay, that Michael Mukasey chose to hang a portrait of George Orwell in his office (the other portrait is Chief Justice Robert Jackson, which makes me quite happy). I'm willing to take Mukasey's word that he admires Orwell for his writing (and his thoughts on language). Yet I don't know how to square that with Mukasey's endorsement of the Bradbury renomination.

Bush's Secret Cyber Initiative

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emptywheel
I'm all for being more proactive about protecting our country from cyber-attack. But I get really uncomfortable when Bush signs off on such plans in secret, particularly when the details suggest the plan is inadequate and has too little oversight.
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How to Lead: Chris Dodd Edition

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emptywheel
While Hillary and Obama were leaving the work of legislating to others, Chris Dodd stepped up to lay out the stakes for the FISA debate. Senators are not entitled to see their amendments pass. But they are entitled to this: a good-faith debate, honest criticism, and, ultimately, a vote. Last night, they didn’t get it.

Hillary, YOU Don't Get to Decide to Seat Our Delegates

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emptywheel
Hillary's call to seat MI's and FL's delegates is a reckless ploy that threatens to do real damage to the party. And as a MI voter, I'm incensed that she would suggest SHE gets to decide whether our delegates get seated.

Reid on FISA: It's Up to the President

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emptywheel
Harry Reid says it's up to the President whether he gets a FISA bill or not. It's a good message. But it's one we need to repeat all weekend long.

Bye Week Trashtalk: The Mystery of Brady's Boot

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emptywheel
I'm beginning to believe the whole Brady Boot thing is a plot, cooked up by Bill Belichick, to seriously mess with the press and possibly even the Giants pre-game planning.

The Gazan Jail-Bust and Middle East Dynamics

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emptywheel
While we were all glued to CSPAN on the FISA fight yesterday, Hamas engineered a massive jailbreak that may have redefined the dynamics of Middle Eastern politics.
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Anti-Immunity Porn

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emptywheel
Feingold and Dodd are still working hard to defeat immunity for the telecoms.
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How to Establish an Empire without Congressional Approval

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emptywheel
Charlie Savage has a great article summarizing Bush's threats to establish a security relationship with Iraq without consulting Congress. President Bush's plan to forge a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could commit the US military to defending Iraq's security would be the first time such a sweeping mutual defense compact has been enacted without congressional approval, according to legal specialists. After World War II, for example - when the United States
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Reid: The President and the Republicans Want Failure

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emptywheel
One of the things we're fighting for now on FISA is to make sure the Republicans get pinned as the obstructionists here. The key is explaining that the Republicans don't want to protect our country, they want failure.
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What Ever Happened to "Upperdown Votes"?

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emptywheel
Say what you will about Senator Reid. But right now, he's in a giant showdown with Mitch McConnell (and, disgustingly, Jello Jay Rockefeller), and I guarantee you'd rather have Reid win than McConnell. The Republicans have refused to allow an "upperdown" vote on any amendment since the Leahy substitution amendment went through.

Fieger Judge: Prosecution "Unusual;" Government Must Explain Recusal

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emptywheel
The federal prosecutors prosecuting Geoffrey Fieger are going to have to reveal to him why the top lawyers in Detroit's US Attorney office recused themselves from the investigation--seven months after it began. Judge Borman has judged that, "the reason for the November recusal – is essential to permit the Defendants to argue their claim, of Government misconduct."
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Did Bush Re-Nominate Bradbury to Control Mukasey?

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emptywheel
Mind you, I'm sure Bush re-nominated Steven Bradbury, the second incarnation of John Yoo, because Bradbury has dutifully shredded the Constitution on demand, and Bush would like to reward him. But the National Journal's coverage of the Bradbury re-nomination raises an interesting point. It notes, as does everyone else, that Bradbury's nomination is a big "Cheney yourself" to the Democrats who have refused to approve Bradbury's nomination in the past.
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Dick Wants His Immunity, and He Wants It Now

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emptywheel
Dick Cheney decided that he would be a good person to exhort Congress to pass telecom immunity and that the Heritage Foundation would be a good venue for doing so. It's laughable on its face. The pity is, it'll still probably work.

"The 9/11 Commission Wants Internal Emails"

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emptywheel
I found something rather interesting in Scooter Libby's notes for July 8 (here's the transcription of his chickenscratch). At the tail end of a conversation about the 9/11 Commission (which may have taken place at the White House's Senior Staff Meeting that morning), and at the beginning of more obsessive notes about Joe Wilson, Libby wrote: 9/11 Commission wants internal e-mails, mark-up drafts of President's speech, materials for President's discussions with Blair,

Two Reminders: Not an Agency and Search Terms

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emptywheel
We've been discussing whether the amazing disappearing emails disappeared for nefarious reasons or not. While I still can't answer that question, there are two data points it's worth remembering: the White House suddenly decided that Office of Administration was not an agency, just so it could avoid responding to any FOIA requests about its missing email. And

Brent Wilkes "The Leader of a Criminal Enterprise"

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emptywheel
The Probation Office has recommended that Brent Wilkes receive a sentence of sixty years. You think this virtual life sentence will get the attention of all the other Bush cronies getting corrupt contracts through bribes?
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