We earlier blogged that legislation authorizing the NSA’s wiretapping program was nearing passage. That now appears not to be the case. Senate and House versions of the bill may be too far apart to be bridged before Congress recesses next week.
ThinkProgress lifts the lid on a weekend “Values Voter Summit” conference attended by the likes of Tony Snow, Alberto Gonzales and Sen. George Allen. One speaker, the founder of a ministry (for God’s sake), reminisced about the halcyon days of his youth when he lambasted weak-kneed people as “faggots.”
This version of the president’s warrantless eavesdropping bill—which appears headed for passage—will apparently still allow Bush the option of submitting his surveillance programs to a court for review.
The Washington Post reports that Bush’s new bill on military commissions could be a “precedent-setting Congressional endorsement for the indefinite detention” of anyone the president deems an enemy combatant—including American citizens far from foreign battlefields.
The World Economic Forum has demoted the United States in its ranking of economic competitiveness, explaining that spiraling debt and persistent budget shortfalls forced the downgrade. Switzerland now holds the top spot, followed by much of Scandinavia.
Even scarier than the 12,000 figure: Earth is within one degree Celsius of the maximum temperature of the past million years. (Above: Richard Branson pledges $3 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative to fund research into alternative energy sources.)