Friday, February 15, 2008

Have the Democrats Found a Spine?

Sorry I've been off for the last couple of days, but I've actually been doing work, believe it or not. Anyway, I was meaning to post up a surprising developing story about the House passing contempt charges against Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers, both of whom had ignored Congressional subpoenas to testify before them about White House abuses of power. The resolution passed 233-32 after the Congressional Republicans staged a walk out, complaining that the Democrats were "grandstanding". This of course was said in front of a camera crew on the steps of congress.

House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers also included in the resolution a recommendation for his committee to sue the White House should AG Mukasey refuse to prosecute the the contempt charges.

But wait--there's more.

The House also looks poised to let the Protect America Act lapse, should they not pass the Senate Immunity bill (which includes Telecom immunity) by midnight. While pragmatically this may not mean much,

"It might have something to do with the fact that the lapsing of the Protect America Act (PAA) won't substantially affect things at all. The old FISA law will kick back into effect. And authorizations granted under the PAA in the last six months to wiretap entire terrorist groups will stick for an entire year. In the words of House intelligence committee Chair Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), "Things will be fine.""

It would be a symbolic loss to Bush, who for the last couple of days has been putting the full court press on Congress to pass it, most recently stating that House Democrats were, "jeopardizing "the lives of countless this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning new attacks on our country."

This type of fear-mongering has worked in the past, but it looks like the Dems, so far, look confident enough to fight back. We'll be following this situation closely...

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