Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bush and Rove are daring the Democrats to turn the nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden as head of the CIA into a fight over the president's secret eavesdropping program. That's a fight they think they can win politically, by turning a legitimate constitutional issue into another Us v. Them morality play.

--Howard Fineman at Newsweek Online yesterday

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

--lead story in this morning's USA Today

I find myself having the half-mad thought that Rove et al. actually leaked this story to USA Today -- that these guys have spent so much time in the bunker they actually think it will be a political plus for them.

And, well, the dwindling numbers who are still in the bunker with the Bushies are, in fact, expressing support.

This issue is a loser for the Dems. It only hops up their trust-fund dope-head 'base'. I hope they run with it.

And National Review Online's Stephen Spruiell, citing perfectly sensible posts from AMERICAblog, Kos, and Atrios, sniffs at their tone:

one thing we know for sure is that the left will not be joining us in a rational debate.

One can only assume that if concentration camps were being set up in this country, National Review Online's chief concern would be the fact that some blogger on the left used the word fuck while denouncing them.

Meanwhile, this is what America is reading in the sidebar to the USA Today story:

Q: Does the NSA's domestic program mean that my calling records have been secretly collected?

A: In all likelihood, yes.

I'm usually a great pessimist, but I don't see how this could go over well with a public that doesn't trust the administration to do anything right.

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