How to win enemies and influence your friends
The Bush administration is rebuffing requests from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for its classified legal opinions on President Bush's domestic spying program, setting up a confrontation in advance of a hearing scheduled for next week, administration and Congressional officials said Wednesday.In other news, one day after President Bush announced plans to increase funding for research on energy from wind and biomass (think ethanol), the "Energy Department [announced it] will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.” The cuts will “be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol.”
But the legality of the program is known to have produced serious concerns within the Justice Department in 2004, at a time when one of the legal opinions was drafted. Democrats say they want to review the internal opinions to assess how legal thinking on the program evolved and whether lawyers in the department saw any concrete limits to the president's powers in fighting terrorism.
Several Democrats and at least one Republican have pressed the Justice Department in recent days to give them access, even in a closed setting, to the internal documents that formed the legal foundation of the surveillance program. But when asked whether the classified legal opinions would be made available to Congress, a senior Justice Department official said Wednesday, "I don't think they're coming out."Seriously, gigantic manimals right over there! Look!
The operation was approved by President Bush, to allow the National Security Agency to conduct wiretaps on Americans' international communications without a court warrant. Mr. Specter said his view was that the operation "violates FISA — there's no doubt about that."
Via Brad Delong, Knight Ridder reports:
Bush vowed to fund research into better batteries for hybrid vehicles and more production of the alternative fuel ethanol, setting a lofty goal of replacing "more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025." He pledged to "move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."But there are manimals right there! Right now! Manimals!
Not exactly, though, it turns out.
"This was purely an example," Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.
That will be funny forever.