What the HELL is going on in DC?
Frickin' weird set of priorities you've got there, guys:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House late Saturday night approved the Republican version of a measure amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by a vote of 227-183, with most Republicans and conservative Democrats supporting the bill.
"Last night, the Senate passed this bill at about 9:30. Now it's almost 1 o'clock. We should have had the FISA bill on the floor the first thing this morning," Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan told reporters in the early afternoon.
"We could have passed a rule and passed this bill by 11 o'clock this morning, and it could have been on its way, and the president could have signed it," said Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.
What's the hurry there, Mustang Sally? I know DC in August is not exactly a grand vacation spot but why such a rush?
House Democrats rearranged the schedule so the FISA bill could be considered ahead of a measure dealing with Defense Department funding.
So, um, we gotta fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here, but it's okay to delay spending any money to fight them over there until we've pushed through a bill to allow spying over here. Ooooo-kay.
Democrats had objected to provisions in the GOP bill that grant the attorney general and the director of national intelligence the authority to approve all wiretaps, even if one party is in the United States, with minimal court oversight.
Whee, 'cause what possible reason could we have these days to doubt the honesty of the attorney general? (Remember, kids - it's not perjury if you didn't MEAN to do it!)
Back on this earlier story (FISA "upgrade" - editorialize much, CNN?) there's a couple pertinent points that didn't make it into this morning's version:
Senate Democrats reluctantly voted for a plan largely crafted by the White House after Bush promised to veto a stricter proposal that would have required a court review to begin within 10 days.
Democrats agreed the law should not restrict U.S. spies from tapping in on foreign suspects. However, they initially demanded the FISA court to review the eavesdropping process before it begins to make sure that Americans aren't targeted.
By the final vote, Senate Democrats had whittled down that demand and approved a bill that largely mirrored what the Bush administration wanted.
So basically the White House wrote the legislation, handed it to Congress and DEMANDED that they sign it. And the Democratic-controlled Congress, far from telling an unpopular Preznit who's ignored or abused legislation they've passed before to go stuff it, rolls over and asks for their furry belly to get skritched, like it was still 2002 or something. It's like al-Qaeda had goddamn airplanes in a holding pattern over America and the only thing preventing them from attacking would be this legislation.
"Ach, Abdul! Plan Falafel must be aborted! They can intercept phone conversations between us now with minimal FISA court oversight!"
"DAMN them, the dogs! Now we shall NEVER force them all to wear burqas and wash before praying! Quick, Achemed, to the escape pod!"