YOUR CONGRESS AT WORK: Thanks, guys: “The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought. . . . It is possible that some of the changes were the unintended consequences of the rushed legislative process just before this month’s Congressional recess, rather than a purposeful effort by the administration to enhance its ability to spy on Americans. ‘We did not cover ourselves in glory,’ said one Democratic aide, referring to how the bill was compiled.”

Is it too much to ask that they read and understand legislation before they vote on it?

UPDATE: “For a crew that claims a huge advantage in ‘competence,’ this is a rather extraordinary unforced error.”


Plus this: “I admit that I’m completely at a loss to describe accurately the quality of American political life today.”

MORE: Mark Kleiman is suprised that I disapprove, because I’m “a founding member of the partisan lynch mob devoted to forcing such errors.” Actually — as Mark would know if he actually paid attention to what I write, instead of the gibbering voices inside his head — he’d know that I’ve opposed the Patriot Act from the beginning. (See this, too). Nor did any “partisan lynch mob” or the gang at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue force Congress to give the Bush Administration more power than it asked for, which was the whole point of the story. Oh, well — I guess I should just be glad that Kleiman’s not engaging in tabloid speculation about my sex life. So far, anyway . . . .