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Madfloridian's Journal
Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Aug 09th 2007, 10:46 PM
Nothing I am reading makes me feel any better about this issue. It does not make sense...why it was bought to vote..why so many voted yes. None of it makes sense.

Why the Democrats Caved

Shortly before noon last Saturday, about 20 House Democrats huddled in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office to decide what to do about a surveillance bill that had been dumped on them by the Senate before it left town.

Many of the Democrats were furious. They believed they had negotiated in good faith with Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence. They sought to give the Bush administration the authority it needed to intercept communications involving foreign nationals in terrorism investigations while preserving some oversight.

But the administration held out for granting McConnell and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales more power while seriously circumscribing the role of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Senate's Democratic leadership, lacking the votes to pass a measure more to the House's liking, gave the administration what it wanted. At one point, according to participants in the Pelosi meeting, the passionate discussion veered toward the idea of standing up to the administration -- even at the risk of handing President Bush a chance to bash Democrats on "national security," as is his wont.

..."Several members from swing districts -- including Reps. Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania -- expressed openness to having Congress stay in town to fight if important constitutional issues were at stake.

But the moment passed. Even some very liberal Democrats worried about the political costs of blocking action before the summer recess. That Saturday night, the House sent the president a bill that, as a disgusted Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) put it, with just a touch of exaggeration, "makes Alberto Gonzalez the sheriff, the judge and the jury."


They knew exactly what they were voting for.





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madfloridian
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