February 11, 2006


GOP accepts Patriot Act compromise (Stephen Dinan, 2/11/06, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

[President Bush] also defended the National Security Agency surveillance program, telling the Republicans: "I wake up every morning thinking about a future attack and, therefore, a lot of my thinking and a lot of the decisions I make are based upon the attack that hurt us."

After weeks of rejecting calls for greater congressional oversight, Mr. Bush has agreed to allow briefings for all members of the intelligence committees. Previously just the "gang of eight" -- the top Republican and Democrat on the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as the Republican and Democrat leaders in each chamber -- were briefed.

Rep. Heather A. Wilson, New Mexico Republican and a member of the House intelligence committee who had sought disclosure to the committee, stood up and thanked the president.

Mr. Hastert told reporters the expansion of the briefings was the right step, and when asked whether Congress would take action to rein in the activities, he defended them.

"It really comes down to what we do to keep this country safe," he said. "Somebody in this country, whether it is a foreign national or a citizen, talking to al Qaeda, somebody ought to know about it and why it is happening."

Republicans described the session as very open and extremely friendly. Rep. John T. Doolittle, California Republican, said Mr. Bush delivered "the equivalent of a post-graduate seminar on world diplomacy." [...]

Mr. Bush tossed in a number of jokes, including several at his own expense: "If any of you are ever president, make sure you surround yourself with smart, capable people -- people smarter than you; in my case, it wasn't all that hard to find."

He also said he will not be swayed by low approval ratings.

"If I worried about the polls, I'd be laying on the ground in the fetal position," Mr. Bush said.

Also known as the Democratic strategy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2006 8:40 AM

Or, he would be lashing out at opponents, real and imagined (eh, Mrs. Clinton?). Rolling on the ground in the fetal position - too much.

Bush is an amazing guy. Let's hope Senator Ego has learned from watching him. Unfortunately, each follower seems hell-bent on staking his own ground, which in the D.C. mind-set means repudiating a lot of what made the predecessor great. Bush 41 walked down that road, and then Al Gore sprinted it (and hasn't stopped yet).

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 11, 2006 10:21 AM

The opponents based their objections on specific, narrow, inconsequential (and factually erroneous things) like the whole "library records" hyperventilating. Take those distractions away, because they don't matter, and what do the Dems have left on which to object, or even rally their supporters? What exactly are the librarians gonna squawk about now? They won.

It's just another side effect of the Dems following along with the Wacked Out Left's infatuation with finding that "magic bullet" that will bring down the whole Cheney-Bush Cabal.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 11, 2006 1:42 PM

W is the precursor. the real Leader is yet to make an appearance on the stage. closer closer closer.

Posted by: toe at February 11, 2006 8:13 PM