Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tough talk (yawn)

Well, it appears that -- to no one's great surprise -- the White House 'missed' its 2:30 PM deadline to turn over documents providing legal justifications for the NSA's eavesdropping program to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Of course I can't imagine why they would have bothered. There are apparently no consequences for failing to do anything Congress demands. I'd be yawning too if I were the White House. This is all beginning to feel like a game: a game that has gone on so long that fans have either left the stadium or fallen asleep in their seats.

Senator Patrick Leahy has really had it this time. He's obviously hopping mad. He's going to start calling people names pretty soon if... oh wait; he's saying that the White House is in contempt of Congress?

No not exactly.

More talk. He's saying that their behavior; their stonewalling is in fact "contempt of the valid order of the Congress," and added that the subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes.

And the consequences? Well... no word on that. Wake me up when we get to that part, will you?

Leahy pointed out that the Senate Judiciary Committee in the prior, conservative-led Congress, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), also attempted to ask questions about the program's legal justifications, but Cheney personally barred him from issuing subpoenas:

In fact, we were about to issue subpoenas then and one of the senators came to our meeting and said that the vice president had met with the Republican senators and told them they were not allowed to issue subpoenas.

Not quite sure that’s my understanding of the separation of powers, but it seemed to work at that time.

The funny thing is, I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference here. Once again the White House is saying 'no,' and nothing is happening.

So golly gee -- lay it on me Senator. Tell me what you're going to do for us next. Then tell us why we should believe it.

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