Here are some choice quotes from this New York Times article today about the Hayden hearings and the NSA program:
"It would be very difficult to have a confirmation hearing for General Hayden when half the committee knows what he's been doing and the other half hasn't," said Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri.
"This is something that should have happened, frankly, long before now," said Senator Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican of Maine who serves on the Intelligence Committee. "Congress should be an ally in the war on terror, not an adversary."
Asked if Wednesday's session might prompt Democrats to tamp down their questions during Thursday's confirmation hearing, Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, said: "I hope it does. It should."
Mr. Lott was among a handful of committee members previously briefed on the program. But he said: "I've never been comfortable with this administration's reluctance to give us proper briefings."
The confirmation hearings are going on now. The article also points out that John Rockefeller it recovering from major back surgery so Carl Levin is acting as the ranking Democrat on the committee. John says this is a good thing and I feel the same. Levin is definitely a man to stick by his guns and this is one instance where we really need that.
Now let's head over to the House. Things are even heating up there, but this time it is over Bush's plan on dealing with immigration:
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who has pushed a tough border security bill through the House, accused President Bush on Wednesday of abandoning the legislation after asking for many of its provisions.
"He basically turned his back on provisions of the House-passed bill, a lot of which we were requested to put in the bill by the White House," Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., angrily told reporters in a conference call. "That was last fall when we were drafting the bill, and now the president appears not to be interested in it at all."
Sensenbrenner chairs the House Judiciary Committee and would be the House's chief negotiator on any final immigration package for Bush's signature. He said it was the White House that had requested two controversial felony provisions in the bill the House passed last winter.
Now when you got James "take his gavel and run" Sensenbrenner complaining about the White House then there is problems. Of course Sensenbrenner's plan is the harsh one which caused all the protests so if we had to pick between the two we might actually have to go with Bush on this one.
But the article does get better when it talks about the meeting Karl Rove held with House Republicans:
Sensenbrenner did not attend a closed-door meeting between Bush political adviser Karl Rove and House Republicans, but said that some members complained to him that Rove didn't stay around for many questions or hear what lawmakers had to say.
"The overwhelming majority of those that I talked to who were at the conference believe that he dissed the House Republicans," Sensenbrenner said.
Now if this comes as a shock to Sensenbrenner or anyone else in Congress then they have been asleep for the past 5 years. Bush DOES NOT "confer" with people - he tells people. Rove is the same way. Considering Bush has decided to add "signing addendums" to 750+ bills that have passed the Republican controlled Congress is proof enough he would rather break the law than do what they want.
Still, it looks like the Republican party is falling apart from the inside out even more now and this is something I will love to sit back and watch.