Ongoing traveling prevented posting yesterday and may do so again today, but I will try at least to watch and, if possible, write about the FISA votes in the Senate. The first of the many Democratic amendments to fail yesterday was Sen. Cardin's amendments to change the sunset provision of the current bill from 6 to 4 years. Needing 60 votes, it received only 49. Thus, whatever warrantless surveillance atrocity the Congress and President Bush jointly produce will -- unless re-visited -- endure through at least the next president's first term.
Under the perfectly calibrated agreement reached in the Senate -- whereby each amendment needs the number of votes it is certain not to receive -- this pattern will repeat itself over and over today. The only real remaining question with all of these issues appears to be the extent to which the House can mitigate some of the worst provisions in what will soon be the Senate's warrantless surveillance and telecom amnesty bill.