Friday, June 27, 2008

show Joe how tired you are. . .

. . . of him.

Senator Lieberman (Party of One – CT) was asked his reaction to this video petition; his response: “I think most people in this country are really tired of this kind of partisan politicking.”

Tired of partisan politicking? You bet your soft, wrinkled ass we are, Joe—but not of the kind above. We’re tired of your kind of partisan politicking, Senator.

Joe Lieberman has been lashing out at real Democrats ever since we had the temerity/good sense not to give him anything resembling meaningful support during his pathetic, short-lived 2004 presidential bid. Since then, he has touted the Bush foreign policy agenda at every turn, even lobbying for a hot war with Iran.

Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to dissuade Lieberman from running against the duly elected Democratic nominee, Ned Lamont, in the fall of 2006, and then, to his everlasting discredit, Reid gave the ex-Dem a committee chair. As head of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Lieberman has failed to investigate—no, make that actively opposed investigating—the Bush Administration’s catastrophic failures in the face of Hurricane Katrina.

Now he spends his days performing as John McBush’s shadow/handler/attack dog because it gets a bunch of hatemongering rightwing talk show hosts and unimaginative establishment journalists to show him their pale simulacrum of love.

And yet, strangely, he still has all of his seniority inside the Democratic Caucus.

Joe’s convinced that Democrats are out to get him, so, I think we should show him that just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean he’s not legitimately the object of our derision.

Do something. Sign the petition.

(cross-posted on The Seminal)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

FISA: watch, read, phone

First, as if you needed it, here’s a little pep talk, courtesy of Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), on why this FISA fight still matters.

With that impassioned defense of the Constitution still in your head, filling you with a warm and fuzzy feeling about what it means to live in an active Democracy, you then might turn your attention to this:

House Democrats who flipped their votes to support retroactive immunity for telecom companies in last week’s FISA bill took thousands of dollars more from phone companies than Democrats who consistently voted against legislation with an immunity provision, according to an analysis by 

In March, the House passed an amendment that rejected retroactive immunity. But last week, 94 Democrats who supported the March amendment voted to support the compromise FISA legislation, which includes a provision that could let telecom companies that cooperated with the government’s warrantless electronic surveillance off the hook. 

The 94 Democrats who changed their positions received on average $8,359 in contributions from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint from January, 2005, to March, 2008, according to the analysis by MAPLight, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the connection between campaign contributions and legislative outcomes.

. . . .

The 116 Democrats who remained opposed to telecom immunity received an average of $4,987 from the telecoms during the three-year period, the analysis showed.

. . . .

The members who voted yes on June 20 received, on average, $9,659 from the big three phone companies while those who opposed the bill received an average of $4,810, MAPLight found.

Of course, that was the House; now this egregious FISA legislation is before the Senate—often called “the millionaires’ club.” But, why should a bunch of millionaires care about a measly five thousand bucks. . . or even four or five times that? Is it really worth the relative pocket change to side with a greedy corporation and a corrupt administration over the people and the Constitution they swore to protect?

Let’s find out.

The Senate is likely to vote on cloture at about 10am (what happens after that is somewhat dependent on the progress of other pending legislation). Why not give your senators a call and tell them what you—part of “we, the people”—want: A “no” vote on cloture; should cloture pass, a “yes” vote on the Feingold/Dodd/Reid amendment to strip retroactive immunity from the legislation; and, should that specific amendment fail, a determined effort to stop this bill at all costs.

And, while you’re at it, phone Senator and possible next president Barack Obama and demand the same things.

You only have a little time, so pick up that phone!

(cross-posted on The Seminal and capitoilette)

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Friday, June 20, 2008

cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom

“Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom.”

That was said in a February speech by the same guy that just released this statement:

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on FISA Compromise

Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year's Protect America Act.

Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

That’s the entire statement—I wanted to make sure I gave you the whole thing—and I gotta say, nothing says “change” like rewriting the Fourth Amendment after an hour’s debate on a summer Friday after the primary season is over.

Obama does say that he is opposed to telecom immunity, and that he will “work to remove that provision” when the bill gets to the Senate, but he also says that he supports the "compromise," and this "compromise" includes immunity. Will Obama vote against the “compromise” if he fails in his attempt to remove retroactive immunity? From the way this statement is phrased, I sincerely doubt it. Will you see Obama take a lead role in any attempt to stop this bill if it includes immunity? Not on your life.

Obama proudly invokes the grassroots in his statement, but to be clear, by supporting this so-called compromise, the grassroots and Barack Obama are on opposite sides on this issue.

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pick up the phone!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

early morning show tunes: Cyd Charisse

Not to worry, I don’t plan on making this a regular feature, but I wanted to note yesterday’s passing of musical legend Cyd Charisse.

Here’s my favorite part of the New York Times obit:

Looking back on her work with Kelly and Astaire during a 2002 interview in The New York Times, Ms. Charisse said that her husband, Mr. Martin, always knew whom she had been dancing with. “If I was black and blue,” she said, “it was Gene. And if it was Fred, I didn’t have a scratch.”

Though the clip above is with Gene, I usually prefer Fred. And you?

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Cindy McCain is to the Cookie Monster as John McCain is to Dr. Frankenstein.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

memo to McCain everyone: never stand in front of a green screen—ever!

Hats off to The Jed Report for this one:

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

McCain on Iraq war:
“I’m running out of funny lines”

Presidential wannabe John McCain took Bush’s his economic “plan” to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) on Tuesday. McCain wanted to talk about out-of-control government spending, but it just seemed that something was missing. . . .

What could it be, what could it be? A big government boondoggle sucking billions upon billions out of the American economy. . . oh, yeah, that would be Iraq.

McSame didn’t want to talk about his support for Bush’s war and occupation, but enquiring minds in the audience at NFIB wanted to know: when was Johnny Mac going get the US out of Iraq?

Some might call it heckling, I suppose, but McCain just wasn’t getting to the heart of the matter. The Arizona Senator was interrupted repeatedly by protestors wanting him to speak about the occupation.

“I’m tempted to use my favorite line from President Reagan, ‘There you go again,’” McCain said with his characteristically creepy forced laugh.

Yeah, OK, John. Not sure what that has to do with anything exactly. Were you expecting Iraq to just get lost in a summer of rising unemployment and soaring gas prices? Yeah, oh, well, um, talk about being caught between Iraq and a hard place.

Does this “devil or the deep blue” problem that he has while running on Bush’s record bother McCain? Just maybe. After being interrupted yet again by questions about the Iraq war, McCain, exasperated, declared, “I’m running out of funny lines.”

Watch it:

Again, just to get this, uh, you know, straight—John McCain’s final answer after being repeatedly challenged on his support for Bush’s Iraq fiasco was, “I’m running out of funny lines.”

So, I’m wondering, John, what’s so funny? Is it the 4,094 dead US troops? Or is it the 30,333 that have come home wounded?

Maybe it’s the 90,000 - 1.2 million dead Iraqi civilians. Or the 2.2 million Iraqis displaced by your beloved war.

Or perhaps you are laughing about the thousands of suicides among Iraq war veterans—or the thousands more to come. Or maybe you just can’t help but smile when you think about the 320,000 brain injuries or the estimated 300,000 now suffering with PTSD or major depression.

Or might it just be the trillions of dollars that you won’t have to spend on the things that could help Americans in this time of economic desperation—because you helped squander all that money in Iraq—that’s gotta get a guy like you whose “never run a small, struggling enterprise” all giggly, right?

Maybe, but nothing could be more wrong. The Bush-Cheney-McCain Iraq war is not a cheap laugh for a septuagenarian’s presidential campaign; it’s an expensive disaster that has scarred a generation.

Memo to John McCain: You’re not running out of funny lines. When it comes to Iraq, there are no funny lines. There never were.

(cross-posted on capitoilette, Daily Kos, and The Seminal)

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a follow-up on the weak feminism of the Clinton campaign

I can’t help but be a bit amused by this week’s evaluations of Hillary Clinton’s Saturday speech, in part because they fit a very old pattern, and in part because they fit a brand new one.

I am hearing two themes: 1) It was the best speech she has ever given, and 2) it was the first time she sounded like a feminist.

To the first point, it may or may not have been her best speech (though it was certainly better than her generally underwhelming mean), but it was a speech that struck a different tone. That was to be expected because it was made from a place of concession. Also to be expected, most every pundit and talking head would praise it.

I think it was Hubert Humphrey who said, in the last weeks of his life, as he received a litany of accolades from former friends and enemies alike, that they always praise you once you are no longer seen as a threat. Many of the encomia bestowed upon Saturday’s speech sounded like they would have made Humphrey smile.

As for the second idea, it reinforces what seems to be an emerging consensus (or, if not a consensus, at least a common talking point), one that was expressed last week in Meghan O’Rourke’s Slate post, “Death of a Saleswoman.” O’Rourke’s opening proposition can be summed up in the quote, “Her problem wasn’t that she was a feminist. Her problem was that she wasn’t feminist enough.”

I wrote about that piece last Thursday. In my post, while not completely disagreeing with O’Rourke, I felt that other important issues—specifically, many positions taken by Hillary Clinton—were given less than their due by such an identity-driven analysis.

After I wrote my brief analysis, O’Rourke and others hosted a chat over at the Washington Post, so I turned my post into a question. . . and that question got a pleasantly affirming response:

New York [me]: It wasn't just that what HRC did to inoculate herself against the sexism inherent in the system made her seem more like a man -- it made her seem more like a Republican.

To my eyes, while it seems like a plausible argument to say that Hillary Clinton failed to cast her campaign as a sufficiently transformative endeavor, and though it might have been harder for Clinton to seize the day than her male competitor, HRC could have avoided many of the pitfalls of identity politics if she had not spent her time in the Senate and on the campaign trail trying to split the mythical difference between core liberal Democratic positions and what she thought were the ones that made her more electable.

What do you all think?

Meghan O'Rourke: I agree with you -- she spent a lot of time trying to split the difference on issues, and it harmed her. George Lakoff, who just wrote a book about political rhetoric, and what's behind it, was on NPR yesterday talking about the differences in how Obama, Clinton, and McCain use the word "bipartisan." And his point was that when Hillary uses it, she uses it in a way that downplays - or tries to paint over -- the difference between her and those who disagree with her positions, in order to imply the disagreement isn't that profound. Obama, on the other hand (according to Lakoff) uses it to acknowledge there ARE real differences, but to stress that he'll be open to compromising when it comes to policy.

If that makes sense--Lakoff explains it much better.

I happened to hear that George Lakoff interview (or one just like it on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show), and I think what Lakoff actually said about bipartisanship was a little different.

At about the 10:50 mark of the segment, Lakoff moves to refute the idea that McCain is a bipartisan, and throws in HRC for good measure. Lakoff argues that someone like Hillary believes, as McCain does, that when you need to, you adopt conservative positions on specific issues. It doesn’t mean that McCain is moving to the left, it means that he finds conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman to bolster his claim of bipartisanship. Similarly, Clinton would move to the right to achieve her notion of bipartisanship.

Obama, says Lakoff, doesn’t do this. According to Lakoff, Obama looks for shared values on specific issues. Certain conservatives might value the environment (like hunters and some Christian evangelicals, for instance), so Obama might reach across the aisle to work with those people on environmental problems. On different issues, Obama might look for others with different common values. Obama doesn’t move to the right himself, he just works with the right when he can find common ground with them.

I don’t find the examples that Lakoff presents on McCain and Clinton to be exact parallels, thought I think I get the gist of what he is saying. Certainly, McCain’s solidly pro-Bush voting record refutes any assumption that he is a bipartisan maverick. Clinton, on the other hand, spent years trying to triangulate or split the difference between grass-roots Democratic values and the positions that she thought would be necessary for her to hold in order to triumph in a general presidential election. Whether the triangulated positions mirrored Clinton’s deeply held beliefs is sometimes hard to say, but the impression left by her fence-straddling was of a candidate that was less than transformative, and, at times, less than sincere.

As for what George Lakoff has to say specifically about Obama, I remember thinking as I listened the first time: I sure hope he is right. It is too early to tell if Obama’s political allegiances are free of expedience, but I have my concerns on some topics.

What I am sure of, however, is that John McCain has spent his whole career pandering, glad-handing, and claim jumping to get ahead. What represents a “core value” to John McCain is defined by his own personal ambition.

As to the original issue of Senator Hillary Clinton and her failed campaign, I feel vindicated in my long-held belief that her political calculations not only did her ambitions no good, they sold her constituencies short, as well. I look forward to a post-presidential candidate Clinton taking to heart some of these lessons and emerging as a more progressive and more effective legislator for years to come.

(cross-posted on capitoilette, Daily Kos, and The Seminal)

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Friday, June 06, 2008

McCain on warrantless surveillance: the more he McFlip-flops, the more he’s McSame

Memo to John McCain: Republicans run to the right in the primaries, and to the left in the general.

That would be the usual pattern, anyway, but this is not a usual year, and because John McCain stands for little more than getting himself elected, he is still trying to shore up his rightwing base long after he clinched the Republican nomination. Which leads to articles like this:

Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps

WASHINGTON — A top adviser to Senator John McCain says Mr. McCain believes that President Bush’s program of wiretapping without warrants was lawful, a position that appears to bring him into closer alignment with the sweeping theories of executive authority pushed by the Bush administration legal team.

Review this week, the adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said Mr. McCain believed that the Constitution gave Mr. Bush the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor Americans’ international phone calls and e-mail without warrants, despite a 1978 federal statute that required court oversight of surveillance.

Mr. McCain believes that “neither the administration nor the telecoms need apologize for actions that most people, except for the A.C.L.U. and trial lawyers, understand were constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001,” Mr. Holtz-Eakin wrote.

OK, then, if you vote for McCain, you are voting for four more years of the Bush Administration’s illegal domestic surveillance programs. That seems clear enough. Except that just six months ago, McCain said something kind of different.

In an interview about his views on the limits of executive power with The Boston Globe six months ago, Mr. McCain strongly suggested that if he became the next commander in chief, he would consider himself obligated to obey a statute restricting what he did in national security matters.

Mr. McCain was asked whether he believed that the president had constitutional power to conduct surveillance on American soil for national security purposes without a warrant, regardless of federal statutes.

He replied: “There are some areas where the statutes don’t apply, such as in the surveillance of overseas communications. Where they do apply, however, I think that presidents have the obligation to obey and enforce laws that are passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, no matter what the situation is.”

Following up, the interviewer asked whether Mr. McCain was saying a statute trumped a president’s powers as commander in chief when it came to a surveillance law. “I don’t think the president has the right to disobey any law,” Mr. McCain replied.

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that while the language used by Mr. McCain in his answers six months ago was imprecise, the recent statement by Mr. Holtz-Eakin “seems to contradict precisely what he said earlier.”

While McCain’s imprecise language probably represents his incomplete understanding of the issues at hand, McSame’s recent voting record pretty much tells you where his ambitious, pandering, and (for a man who’s been through so much) remarkably empty heart lies:

In February, for example, Mr. McCain voted against limiting the Central Intelligence Agency to the techniques approved in the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which complies with the Geneva Conventions. Mr. McCain said the C.I.A. needed the flexibility to use other techniques so long as it did not abuse detainees.

He also voted for legislation that would free telecommunications companies from lawsuits alleging that they illegally allowed the N.S.A. to eavesdrop on their customers’ phone calls and e-mail without a warrant. The legislation would also essentially legalize a form of surveillance without warrants going forward.

As the Times article notes, the folks at the National Review are thrilled no end that McCain has obliterated any daylight that might have existed between himself and George W. Bush. And, as Glenn Greenwald says in the same article, the new McCain spying doctrine is a “complete reversal” designed to “shore up the support of right-wing extremists.”

The misadventures of some McCain surrogates over recent weeks (again, detailed in the article) seem to show that their standard-bearer lacks a clear understanding of all that the current illegal surveillance debate encompasses—or likely doesn’t care to know much beyond whatever it takes to get McCain’s big money telecom donors off the hook. But the “evolution” of McCain’s position on warrantless wiretaps does teach an important lesson about McCain’s broader instincts: First, check with the interested corporate lobbyists; if still in doubt, just do the same as Bush.

(cross-posted on capitoilette, The Seminal, and Daily Kos)

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

“her problem wasn’t that she was a feminist. her problem was that she wasn’t feminist enough.” discuss.

(I have several things to say about this, but less time than I’d like to say it—so please bear with my drive-by analysis.)

I am mostly on board with the observations of Meghan O’Rourke in her Slate post, “Death of a Saleswoman”. . . mostly.

In the coming days, as Hillary Clinton moves to the sidelines and Barack Obama takes the stage alone, many people will suggest that America just wasn't ready for a female president. This may be true. But we'll never entirely know, because Clinton did not invite us to spend much time contemplating the momentous fact that she was the first female presidential candidate with any chance of occupying that position. Her problem wasn't that she was a feminist. Her problem was that she wasn't feminist enough.

Shorter me: It wasn’t just that what HRC did to inoculate herself against the sexism inherent in the system made her seem more like a man—it made her seem more like a Republican.

I will also add: Unlike O’Rourke, I am going to wait until after November (perhaps long after) before I give Barack Obama a grade on how “transformative” he and his campaign turned out to be.

And: I think that the issue of age deserves more analysis—or more weight in the analysis—than O’Rourke has given it. (Though, to her credit, MO’R does acknowledge her Gen X POV, and also concludes that some of Clinton’s troubles had opened the author’s younger cohort’s eyes to the pernicious persistence of sexism.) Second wave feminists probably see HRC’s signals through a different lens than their daughters. And, for the candidate, it is not just a tough nut to gauge how to position one’s self as a woman, it is perhaps (perhaps) tougher as a woman of a certain age.

In conclusion, to my eyes, while it seems like a plausible argument to say that Hillary Clinton failed to cast her campaign as a sufficiently transformative endeavor, and though it might have been harder for Clinton to seize the day than her male competitor, HRC could have avoided many of the pitfalls of identity politics if she had not spent her time in the Senate and on the campaign trail trying to split the mythical difference between core liberal Democratic positions and what she thought were the ones that made her more electable.

(cross-posted on capitoilette, Daily Kos, and The Seminal)

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

“that was pathetic!”

Jeffrey Toobin had the line of the night—and the line that best summed it up, really—as far as assessments of McSame’s Tuesday evening brand re-launch.

In case you missed it, presumptive Republican nominee John McCain tried to steal the Democrats’ thunder by scheduling a “very important” address to the nation around 8:30 PM EDT—and it was pathetic, indeed.

First there was the opening line/lie: “Greetings form the great city of New Orleans.” Yes, New Orleans is (or at least was) a great city. . . but John McCain wasn’t there. McCain was in Kenner, LA. Now, Kenner might be convenient to the New Orleans airport, but it is a good 20 – 30 minute drive outside of New Orleans proper.

I’m thinkin’ that doesn’t really bode well for the McCain response to the next levee disaster.

Then there was the weirdly stiff crowd—which could be counted in the dozens (contrast that with the 17,500 that turned out to see Obama in Minnesota). They had all the enthusiasm of a live studio audience for a third-tier sitcom that hadn’t been loosened up by the warm-up comic. . . or even a production assistant.

Of course, McStiff, himself, didn’t help. Keeping to his now predictable and unbearable sing-song teleprompter recitation, as always, sincerity free (“In my own words, I saw results after just one week.”), but now peppered with weird, sinister, and completely inorganic laughs. As a friend remarked, it was like a Mike Myers impression of an evil pol. Just plain creepy.

But, not to worry, McCain didn’t need words. . . or a warm smile. . . or eyes with life in them. . . for he had the Awesome! New! Green! Backdrop! The candidate used tough-guy black through most of the primaries, but now that his background is the same color as a green-screen, McCain not only signals his completely superficial nod toward being an environmentalist, he gives himself the option of digitally replacing what’s behind him with scenes of, I don’t know, cheering supporters, maybe?

Oh, and I can’t let pass the fulsome praise McPander had for “his friend,” Hillary Clinton. Did you know that it was the “pundits and party elders” that had anointed Obama the victor of the Democratic race? Take that, you voters!

Of course, the best part of this national nightmare was when it was declared over—by the networks. Imagine the quality of planning that went into a speech that dragged on past the hour at which the polls closed in South Dakota—and by “quality of planning,” I mean “poor quality.” Honestly, even I—a far more even-tempered guy than the oft ready to blow McCain—would freak if my handlers didn’t schedule my speech to wrap up before I was embarrassed by a network interruption.

Wake up, Johnny Mac! Today is the first day of the rest of your campaign! You only get so many chances to flip-flop on your image and beliefs!

Of course, it was, in one way, a perfect speech. For as a badly run, superficial, out of touch, disingenuous, marginal, and deeply nasty event, it served as a perfect thumbnail of what a McCain presidency would be like. . . starting (to borrow a phrase) on day one.

(cross-posted on The Seminal)

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

exposure of warrantless wiretap program by NYT did not damage national security, says McClellan.

I know what you’re thinking: You are certain that in the 29 gazillion press availabilities that you have watched, you have heard everything that former White House press flack Scott McClellan has to say about George W. Bush’s great American truth killing machine. But there he is, on the radio, on the TV, up in the sky. . . and you find yourself looking and listening again.

OK, I didn’t see him up in the sky, but I did see and/or hear three additional interviews with Scotty Mac on Monday, and there are the odd interesting moments that are differently interesting enough to keep you coming back. For instance, McClellan’s appearances on both Fresh Air and The Daily Show each had moments where he was challenged more than he was during any of what I heard or saw last week.

Also interesting was McClellan’s appearance Monday afternoon on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show (and no, I’m not talking about the two times that Leonard tried to out Scott). Lopate asked McClellan about White House attempts to silence what it saw as bad or inopportune publicity (just after the 24 minute mark on the audio):

Lopate: Didn’t the administration forcefully threaten the press, especially when the New York Times revealed the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program?

McClellan: Well there were certainly some strong words there that if you do this you’re going to expose some national security secrets; I can’t find any that would be harmful to our national security. I can’t find any evidence that it has been with its exposure. And in fact those investigative reporters did a great job and their article was delayed for about a year because of the pressure that the president and other top people put on the editors of the New York Times.

With Congress gearing up for another go at new FISA legislation (or, more like, Republican fear mongers and their BushDog enablers gearing up for another attempt to force retroactive immunity through the House), it would be good to add Scotty’s words to the overwhelming consensus of opinion (and the overwhelming lack of countervailing arguments that can site, you know, facts) that revelations about the administration’s illegal wiretaps did not harm our national security, and that warrantless surveillance does nothing to make us safer.

And now you don’t have to take the word of former intelligence officials, first amendment lawyers, federal judges, and scores of freedom-loving activists for it, you have the testimony of the guy that was fully briefed on the program the night before he had to go out and defend it.

(Which, of course, means that several folks at the Times knew about this program a year before the Press Secretary did. . . but that’s a whole other issue.)

(cross-posted on The Seminal)

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