Sen. Pat Roberts R-KS: Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee

Via Think Progress, a special report on Pat Roberts, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS): Chairman of the Senate Cover-up Committee
Some highlights:

Roberts Believes In Virtually Unlimited Presidential Power.

Roberts Flip-Flopped, Then Flipped Again On Domestic Eavesdropping Legislation.

Roberts Blocked Vote On Domestic Wiretapping Investigation.

Roberts On The Constitution: ‘You Really Don’t Have Any Civil Liberties If You’re Dead.’

Roberts Attempted To Absolve White House From Prewar Intelligence Blame In Phase I Report.

Roberts Dismissed Need To Examine Administration’s Use Of Prewar Intelligence.

Roberts Reneged On Promise To Hold Hearings On Plame Leak.

Roberts ‘Willing To Excuse And Help To Cover Up’ Bush’s Intelligence Record.

update: The Death of the Intelligence Panel 

The wrenching debate in the 1970’s over the abuse of presidential power produced two groundbreaking reforms aimed at preventing a president from using war or broader claims of national security to trample Americans’ rights.

One was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which struck the proper balance between national security and bedrock civil liberties, and the other was the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a symbol of bipartisan leadership. They endured for a quarter of a century — until George W. Bush and Dick Cheney left FISA in tatters and the Senate Select Committee on its deathbed in just five years.

The Senate panel has become so paralyzingly partisan that it could not even manage to do its basic job this week and look into President Bush’s warrantless spying on Americans’ international e-mail and phone calls. Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman, said Tuesday that there would be no investigation. Instead, the committee’s Republicans voted to create a subcommittee that is supposed to get reports from the White House on any future warrantless surveillance.

It’s breathtakingly cynical. Faced with a president who is almost certainly breaking the law, the Senate sets up a panel to watch him do it and calls that control. This new Senate plan is being presented as a way to increase the supervision of intelligence gathering while giving the spies needed flexibility. But it does no such thing.

The Republicans’ idea of supervision involves saying the White House should get a warrant for spying whenever possible. Currently a warrant is needed, period. And that’s the right law. The White House has not offered a scrap of evidence that it interferes with antiterrorist operations. Mr. Bush simply decided the law did not apply to him. 


and he knew Your Father knew the political situation from A to Z


Gallup: More Than Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Back Bible . When was it exactly that the validity of any scientific truth was determined by popular opinion. If more then half the population decides the particle theories of physics are false, that electrons as such do not exist, that neutrons are orbited by tiny green gnomes, will we as a society then base our nation’s education standards on the gnome index. I forget who said it, but we’ll all entitled to our own truths, but not our own facts. Want to see a society in chaos, just turn us into one that totally rejects the idea of rational empiricism.
I make a good faith effort to visit both my regular blog list and click on blog rolls to explore new blogs. Admittedly without benefit of a careful study and relying on casual observation, almost without exception the posts that recieve the most comments are about abortion, evolution, and women. If I had comments I’d probably catch hell from all sides about this story. Some background, I see stories like this from a sociological perspective. Whether it was youthful indecision or undisciplined mind ( probably the later) I had three minors in college – sociology, art history, and chemistry. To me the whole world is up for observation and critique. Some of, though certainly not always, the most interesting things to observe are off the beaten path. Not everything is political no matter how much the right or some on the left may think so. Sometimes there is just a personal story, good, bad or in between its about an individual and their life narrative. Psychology of stripping

Dita Von Teese is, undisputedly, the woman of the moment. Responsible for igniting the passion for burlesque that has swept through Britain and the States, and the muse behind fashion’s return to hourglass femininity, she confirmed her A-list status in December by marrying her rock star paramour, Marilyn Manson.

With every shiver of her marabou and shimmy of her tassels, Von Teese has found herself at the centre of debates concerning a host of F-words: not least, femininity, feminism and fetishism; burlesque, as it becomes clear, providing something of a crash course in psychology.

Yea I know that first f-word is politically loaded, but there is a personal aspect to someone’s quest for personal fulfillment that did not originate as part of a political narrative.

In the flesh — rather less flesh than she has revealed during her 14 years performing — Von Teese, 33, is a bashful presence. I have read articles that describe her as wisecracking, profanity-hurling, and can only imagine that this is some sort of showgirl fantasy on the writer’s part. “I could get up in front of 50,000 people and do my show and not be shy at all,” she confides, all hesitant, midWestern cadences. “But I would never be at a party, have a few drinks and be on the table dancing topless. Not in a million years. When I meet people I feel a little bumbling and funny, and don’t really know what to say.” Perhaps it is her diminutive stature (5ft 4in), perhaps it is her consumptive cough (stripping in a British winter has called for antibiotics), but she inspires protective instincts.

Where other people have nightmares about appearing naked in public, so Von Teese’s concern is public speaking. She addressed the Oxford Union earlier this week and is still quaking. “When I was a little girl I was the one at the back of the class praying that no one would look at me or talk to me.” But this reticent little girl concealed a flamboyant secret: a passion for lingerie.

In her new book, Burlesque the Art of the Teese/Fetish the Art of the Teese, she describes her disgruntlement on being presented with her first bra at the age of 13 and its lack of similarity to the outfits worn by her idols in her father’s glamour magazines. “I wanted to grow up and be a big girl so that I could wear those things. Not because I wanted to be sexual. I just thought it was the most feminine thing.”

A Rebellion in the G.O.P. on Security, a Signature Issue

In the case of the port deal, the political considerations are clearly paramount for Republicans and are compelling. Public opinion appears to be strongly against allowing an Arab company to manage some port terminals in the United States, Democrats are hammering Republicans on the issue, and the White House has been unable to provide much political cover to its allies on Capitol Hill

This is a Potemkin rebellion if anything. Republican pollsters saw that they were getting absolutely killed in the polls on the ports deal, end of story. Actuall we’ve managed to pull the cover off of another manufactured reality, the perseption that there are moderate Republicans. Hagel and Snowe have both lips firmly attached to Bush’s buttocks, while Arlen Specter has managed the neat rick of only attaching one and a half lips.

In a memorandum to Senate Democrats that quickly made its way to reporters, a pollster reported Wednesday that the opposition to the port proposal and uncertainty over Iraq have significantly eroded Republican advantages among voters when it comes to security concerns.

What can Republicans really say at this point, that its more important to have committed to spending 1.6 billion dollars a week to remove an impotent secularlist rather then upgrading our hurricane tracking satellites that might save lives should we have another Katrina. There was or still is something to be said for the port deal, but conservatives just couldn’t afford the political capital to argue the merits. So they folded. Would that be a rebellion or poll pandering. The polls would suggest that a plurality of Americans think that the president should obey FISA laws when spying on Americans, the consensus here is not as lopsided as the ports issue so they’ll risk assuming that most Americans are scared little bunny rabbits and treat them as such. All politicians are poll watchers, but Republicans continue to worship at the Temple of the Great Wet Finger and the Wind. The saddest epitaph which can be carved in the memory of a vanished liberty is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while yet there was time.— Thomas Jefferson
I guess we’ll see how acting like good fellas to Bush’s mafia don plays in the mid-terms.

3 Students Held in Church Fires Set in Alabama, this story begs the question; will the right-wing blogs swarm all over it claiming that America continues to be in danger from upper-class southern white trash with too much money and free time on their hands. They could call them the red-neck jihadists.

“Well, Your Father just looked at him and said, ‘I certainly shall do nothing of the sort. I don’t like his politics,’ he said. Well, the man—Captain Smith they used to call him, and heaven only knows why, because he hadn’t the shadow or vestige of a right to be called ‘Captain’ or any other title—this Captain Smith said, ‘We’ll make it hot for you if you don’t stick by your friends, Major.’ Well, you know how Your Father was, and this Smith knew it too; he knew what a Real Man he was, and he knew Your Father knew the political situation from A to Z, and he ought to have seen that here was one man he couldn’t impose on, but he went on trying to and hinting and trying till Your Father spoke up and said to him, ‘Captain Smith,’ he said, ‘I have a reputation around these parts for being one who is amply qualified to mind his own business and let other folks mind theirs!’ and with that he drove on and left the fellow standing there in the road like a bump on a log!”

from the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis 1922