A Juxtaposition

The Senate, yesterday:

After more than a year of wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory on Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers and to give legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants.

One by one, the Senate rejected amendments that would have imposed greater civil liberties checks on the government’s surveillance powers. Finally, the Senate voted 68 to 29 to approve legislation that the White House had been pushing for months. Mr. Bush hailed the vote and urged the House to move quickly in following the Senate’s lead.

The Senate, today:

N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell will travel to Washington on Wednesday to meet with Senator Arlen Specter for a discussion about the league’s investigation into the Patriots’ spying on other teams.

“I have a lot of questions,” Specter said. “I’m hoping to get some answers.”

Specter, of Pennsylvania, is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He first requested a meeting with Goodell in a letter in November. Specter wanted to know why the league had destroyed all evidence in the spying case and whether there was any indication that the Patriots had cheated when they played the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and lying about it.

*** Update ***

And now I am riding the exercise bike and watching congresscritters grill Roger Clemens over steroids use. No administration official, in seven years of lying, crime, and outright perfidy, has ever been subjected to such a hostile interrogation.

Worthless bastards, the whole lot of them.






34 replies
  1. 1
    dslak says:

    I think we can be sure which of these two investigations Americans consider to be more important. If only we could find some way to bring together politics and football . . .

  2. 2

    There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and lying about it.

    I was wondering when these spineless, doddering old fools were finally going to draw a line in the sand. Thank the gods they found a cause to gin up some genuine faux rage about. Enough with the strongly worded letters!

  3. 3
    TheFountainHead says:

    Dslak has me thinking….maybe we throw out the current congressional rules, and let votes be passed based on football games. It would have about the same level of arbitrariness and have the added benefit of being interesting to watch.

  4. 4
    Kallisti says:

    I’m twenty-eight and can’t help but wonder, “Has it always been like this?” Didn’t you all get, like, a Watergate or something? I get football? Seriously? Weak sauce.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    by voting to broaden the government’s future president Barack Obama’s spy powers

    why does the GOP continue to give the executive broader powers over our constitutional rights knowing full well that an evil dem will be in charge eventually? as always, the party of the stupid and short sighted.

  6. 6
    taodon says:

    Dslak has me thinking….maybe we throw out the current congressional rules, and let votes be passed based on football games. It would have about the same level of arbitrariness and have the added benefit of being interesting to watch.

    To watch Senators Reid and Pelosi get their blocks knocked off would be a treat that will entertain the masses for generations!

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    why does the GOP continue to give the executive broader powers over our constitutional rights knowing full well that an evil dem will be in charge eventually?

    so they can impeach the Dem who tries to use those powers.

  8. 8
    tas says:

    Did I miss the memo that football somehow isn’t the most important thing ever in the history of America? Does everyone forget learning about the Boston Football Party that helped launch the Revolutionary War? And what about the battlecry “REMEMBER THE PIGSKIN!” that led us to war against Spain in 1898? Were y’all sleeping through high school history class or something?

  9. 9
    timb says:

    The House can still stop this. My representative was nice enough to die a few months ago, so I have no representation in the House, but this bill goes to conference and you can encourage your Representative to try to force the Senate to accept the House bill. I hate to place such a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” naive call on a message board so wonderfully full of cynics and realists. But, we could stop them.

    I know I wrote my Senator expressing my outrage. He’s such a fine Democrat. Never has Dick Cheney had such fine representation in the Senate than Evan Bayh….oh, hold it, Cheney is from a different state AND a different party? Wow

  10. 10
    TheFountainHead says:

    by voting to broaden the government’s future president Barack Obama’s spy powers

    IT’S A TRAP!1!!1

  11. 11
    k says:

    Is Goodell a republican?

  12. 12
    Fe E says:

    Serious question: what the fuck is up with that anyway?

    How in the name of dog do the Dems try and pretend that this is anything at all that the majority of the country thinks is necessary?

    Being spineless is one thing, being spineless and retarded, well, that’s two things. And the total is much worse than the suim of the parts.

  13. 13
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Now hold on just a second here. It may look as though the Senate is largely a bunch of amoral assholes who belong to a party of one and who would blow a dead pig if that assured their re-election. Not so. Once a Democrat becomes president they will magically change into a pack of cut-rate Donald Byrds, each waving a little copy of the Constitution and viewing with alarm the excesses of the Executive Branch.

  14. 14
    stinky mcgee says:

    When did it become Congress’ job to defend the integrity of professional sports leagues?

    I thought their job was to defend the constitution.

  15. 15
    4tehlulz says:

    Shorter Senate: It is delicious Verizon cock, must eat it!

  16. 16
    cleek says:

    4tehlulz kills me dead

  17. 17
    Dungheap says:

    There is an underlying link between the two: the Telcos. Specter gets a good deal of money from Philly-based Comcast as well as its lobby shop. Comcast is in a pissing match with the NFL over the NFL Network. So, Specter uses the prospect of publicly humiliating Goodell and the league as a means to leverage concessions for his pals at Comcast. It’s all of a piece.

    Will Bunch wrote about it here.

  18. 18
    Neal says:

    The irony here kills me. Just FUCKING kills me.

    Is Goodell a republican?

    Yeah, probably. From Wikipedia:

    “Goodell is the son of the late United States Senator Charles E. Goodell, a Republican from New York…Goodell is married to Fox News Channel anchor Jane Skinner and they have twin daughters…”

    Not sure how that pertains to the conversation, but since you asked…

  19. 19
    Wilfred says:

    The House can still stop this

    The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is busy investigating whether Roger Clemens took steroids. The people don’t want reform or oversight, they want Cheetos and Circuses.

  20. 20

    Kallisti, don’t get too sentimental for the old days.

    Watergate wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Woodward turns out to have been an inside player (ex-Office of Naval Intelligence, getting his info from an FBI bigwig, to undermine Nixon). There were a lot of Congressional investigations (Church Committee, HSCA, et al) and lots of illegality was discovered (COINTELPRO, CHAOS et al), but every investigation pretty much got shut down before doing anything. And no one of any importance ever goes to jail (see FISA). Essentially, by the 70s there were people in our government that were above the law, as there are now.

    Arlen Specter, Mister Magic Bullet from past investigations, might have wanted to find out what happened to that nine and a half billion dollars sent to Iraq on pallets that just disappeared.

    You’d think, anyway.

    If Arlen Specter wants to investigate something about the NFL he might want to find out why Mike Nolan is still the coach of the Forty-Niners. Now there’s ipso facto evidence that a crime took place.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    Shorter Senate: It is delicious Verizon cock, must eat it!

    well, what would you do if you were walking down the street and stumbled over a bag of dicks? you’d eat it, of course.

  22. 22
    NonyNony says:

    Watergate wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

    Ain’t that the truth. The amount of shennanigans and criminality that was going on during Nixon’s tenure in office and they get him because – his loyal group of idiots were stupid enough to bug the opposition party’s headquarters. And he was too dumb/loyal/pig-headed/up to his ears in easily blackmailable garbage to cut them loose and let them dangle. Had his loyal group of idiots been slightly less stupid, Nixon would have finished his term in office and would probably be remembered somewhat more fondly than he is now.

    That’s it. If we had some kind of evidence that Bush’s gang of thugs were using the telcos to tap the phone conversations of prominent Democratic Party operatives and leadership, he’d probably be impeached by now. But as far as I can tell, it doesn’t rise to “impeachable offense” until you either get caught tampering with the other Party’s gravy train, or you get caught having sex in your office.

  23. 23
    Caidence (fmr. Chris) says:

    4tehlulz Says:

    Shorter Senate: It is delicious Verizon cock, must eat it!

    Ahh, my fellow /b/-tards, you make my morning just a bit brighter.

  24. 24

    Around the Web: Vigorous Nodding Edition

    John Cole assesses the Senate’s asinine behavior in passing the anti-liberty FISA bill with telecom immunity and pursuing the NFL over Spygate perfectly:There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying …

  25. 25

    Great moments in total and utter crippling depression about the state of this country

    John Cole: There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and…

  26. 26

    well, what would you do if you were walking down the street and stumbled over a bag of dicks? you’d eat it, of course.

    So.. funny story. One of our servers demanded a side dish be remade because it didn’t look proper, at which time our chef (who was a bit overwhelmed at the time) advised him to “eat a bowl of dicks.” West of Houston lies Hong Kong Market, Houston’s second Chinatown. There is a market there where you can buy (you guessed it ) a bowl of dicks. Unfortunately no one ate them when I brought them in the following week.

  27. 27
    gypsy howell says:

    The real feat here is that Arlen and the rest of his merry band of congresscocksuckers can pull this off without exhibiting the slightest bit of shame.

    You have to admit – there is something awe-inspiring about that.

  28. 28
    gypsy howell says:

    Unfortunately no one ate them when I brought them in the following week.

    Good. You can ship them off to Specter’s office. It’s lunch time.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    I think we can be sure which of these two investigations Americans consider to be more important. If only we could find some way to bring together politics and football .

    Sacking the Republicans would take on a whole new and more enjoyable meaning.

  30. 30

    […] UPDATE: This sardonic observation from Balloon Juice: “There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and lying about it.” […]

  31. 31
    Johnny Pez says:

    I’m sure that if Clemens was blackmailing the leaders of Congress he’d be getting the kid gloves treatment too.

  32. 32

    chopper skrev:

    why does the GOP continue to give the executive broader powers over our constitutional rights knowing full well that an evil dem will be in charge eventually?

    Some people suspect the question is a wrong one, because it assumes they mean to let a Dem be Preznit sometime before the end of this katun (December 21, 2012 — mark your calendars now). On certain days, I’m one of those people.

  33. 33

    Thanks for this, John. Is it too early to have a drink? Make mine mimosa, please.

    When I think of people like Barbara Jordan — “My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total.” — and the people in Congress now, I could just cry at how far we have fallen in thirty years.

  34. 34

    […] Where Congress is concerned, John Cole speaks for me. So does Ornery Bastard. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Where Congress is concerned, John Cole speaks for me. So does Ornery Bastard. […]

  2. […] UPDATE: This sardonic observation from Balloon Juice: “There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and lying about it.” […]

  3. Great moments in total and utter crippling depression about the state of this country

    John Cole: There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying on practice squads and covering it up than the telecoms and this President will face for spying on the citizenry and…

  4. Around the Web: Vigorous Nodding Edition

    John Cole assesses the Senate’s asinine behavior in passing the anti-liberty FISA bill with telecom immunity and pursuing the NFL over Spygate perfectly:There is a very real and perverse possibility that the NFL will face tougher sanctions for spying …

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