Most Noxious Senator Awards

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Competition is stiff, of course, but Jeff Sessions (R-Alab.) has been putting up a good fight to take home the prize in the "Most Shameless Fellating of Friendly Witnesses in Hearings" category. Every time Alberto Gonzales appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as he is now, Sessions plasters a smarmy, indulgent grin on his face and tosses out as many variants as he can cook up of: "Aren't people silly to suggest you want to spy on innocent Americans?"

His most recent round involved a tangent in which he shook his head at the poor confused souls who imagine that the PATRIOT Act authorized warrantless searches of any kind. Which would be a terribly confused thing to say… except that it happens to be true: National Security Letters, whose scope was expanded by PATRIOT, are administrative subpoenas for records not subject to judicial oversight. And the number of NSLs issued has risen dramatically in recent years.

NEXT: First They Came for the Vegan Protesters of HoneyBaked Hams and I Did Not Speak Out Because I Was Not a Smiths Fan...

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  1. The decision to skip swearing in Gonzalez, even though he volunteered to be sworn, kind of takes the cake. Was it Ted stevens who let oil execs testify without being sworn?

    Sessions was smooching up as payback for switchgrass fed pork maybe? That’s good pork!

  2. As a citizen of Alabama, all I can say is: no duh!

  3. The cover story in the Onion’s weekend edition was the 100 Worst Senators.

  4. Who would you say is the best Senator? I like Feingold for his balls in the Patriot Act fight.

  5. Not Feingold. True, his opposition to Patriot is sublime, and he’s the only prominent Dem running for Pres who’s calling for our troops to leave the Iraq disaster right now. But he’s way too much of a big spender. Also; two words: McCain-Feingold.

    Despite his ridiculous positions on Patriot, Jeff Sessions is too frugal in his spending votes to be the most noxious:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=76

    I suggest Lieberman as most noxious. Does he have any redeeming aspects?

  6. Subpoenas usually are not searches, in the literal sense (the information is already held by third parties, so there’s no privacy interest). The standard is essentially relevance to an investigation, not probable cause to believe evidence of a crime will be found, and they are authorized in drug cases, to investigate health care fraud, and in hundreds of other contexts far less important than counterterrorism. That may have been Sessions’ point.

  7. Feingold just said, “The president seems to have a pre-1776 view of the world”, in response to the King Karl talking point that democrats have a pre-911 view of the world.

    And Russ wants to slaughter ALL the pork right out of government spending! Couldn’t have a better presidential candidate in ’08.

  8. Feingold just said, “The president seems to have a pre-1776 view of the world”, in response to the King Karl talking point that democrats have a pre-911 view of the world.

    And Russ wants to slaughter ALL the pork right out of government spending! Couldn’t have a better presidential candidate in ’08.

  9. Listening to some of the testimony on the radio I wish someone in the executive branch would come out and say the obvious:

    We are intercepting conversations between known al Qaeda operatives outside the US and suspected operatives inside the US.

    Even though a statement like this brings up more then a few questions: If you know about al Qaeda operatives outside the US, why aren’t we doing something about them? If there are active al Qaeda operatives in the US, why haven’t we arrested them? Why is al Qaeda still using phones, when it is obvious that that’s the easiest way for us to intercept their conversations?

    I was most surprised by Ted Kennedy’s assumption that we are going to arrest Osama bin Laden and put him on trial where these secret wiretaps will then get the case thrown out of court. If we come close to figuring out where Osama is, we’ll be more likely to shoot a few anti-tank missiles at him than try to “arrest” him.

  10. “If we come close to figuring out where Osama is, we’ll be more likely to shoot a few anti-tank missiles at him than try to “arrest” him.”

    Here’s the problem with that. (Accentuated by the “cartoon riots”.)

    The last botched predator/hellfire bombing almost handed Pakistan over to quaeda. That would have given them their own country and make them a nuclear power simultaneously.

    Are queada operatives all over Pakistan’s border region now running to each village they can find with tapes of osama and friend’s voices playing them into satelite phones in order to get the NSA to ID false predator targets?

    A few more screwups like this and Pakistan’s jihad faithfull (reportedly 99% of the population, including the army!) will riot the US puppet regime there right out of power.

    It’s a mess. Rove and Cheney have been out maneuvered by queada, and poor Bush just plays the clueless front man hung out to dry. They are no “A team”. (“Ahh pity da foos”)

  11. “If we come close to figuring out where Osama is, we’ll be more likely to shoot a few anti-tank missiles at him than try to “arrest” him.”

    Here’s the problem with that. (Accentuated by the “cartoon riots”.)

    The last botched predator/hellfire bombing almost handed Pakistan over to quaeda. That would have given them their own country and make them a nuclear power simultaneously.

    Are queada operatives all over Pakistan’s border region now running to each village they can find with tapes of osama and friend’s voices playing them into satelite phones in order to get the NSA to ID false predator targets?

    A few more screwups like this and Pakistan’s jihad faithfull (reportedly 99% of the population, including the army!) will riot the US puppet regime there right out of power.

    It’s a mess. Rove and Cheney have been out maneuvered by queada, and poor Bush just plays the clueless front man hung out to dry. They are no “A team”. (“Ahh pity da foos”)

  12. Rick: so Feingold’s a big spender. Since Bush is also, that disqualifies him how?

  13. Feinfold rerun on C-span now.

  14. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is one more reason why when I go out of state people look down at my feet to see if I’m wearing shoes, and wonder if I’m familiar with indoor plumbing.

    Unashamedly pro-torture. Not a real conservative either, but a statist – as long as his party’s running the show.

    Also known for his cute little joke about thinking the Klan wasn’t so bad until he learned that some of them were potheads.

  15. Mr. Burns, your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?

  16. I love how when they do roll calls in the Senate on CSPAN for Conrad Burns (R-MT), they say “Mr. Burns.”

  17. Please read and circulate this US Supreme Court concurrence from the most famous wiretapping case:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/ supct/ html/ historics/ USSC_CR_0389_0347_ZC.html

  18. b-psycho,

    Feingold’s voting for big spending gets him disqualified from any consideration for best Senator even though Bush is also a big spender cuz Bush’s big spending disqualifies him from any consideration for best president (or good president, or even satisfactory president for that matter). In congress, there are lotsa Republicans and some Democrats who are far more fiscally frugal than Bush. We shouldn’t let Bush lower our standards.

  19. Re: Feingold. No libertarian could possibly support the man who gutted the First Amendment for President. Feingold lacks any commitment whatsoever to the idea of limited government.

    On spending, he may have it in for corpo-pork, but he also supports tax increases and bigger entitlements.

    Try to keep up with the news, drx, even when it departs from your preferred belief system. That “botched” Hellfire raid apparently killed several bona fide terrorists, and the intel saying that the biog AQ honcho would be there was solid in spite of his last-minute change of plans. Was it worth the collateral casualties? Reasonable minds can differ.

  20. Sessions is positively lovable compared to our other senator, Dick Shelby.

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