Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


January 23, 2006

"I agree that we ought to have a special counsel investigate. I agree that we ought to have an independent commission because this Congress has proven itself unwilling to do what's necessary to perform its responsibilities," Sen. John Kerry said about his view that the National Security Agency is acting illegally.

"An argument can be made that the president, by virtue of his office and his role and responsibility, is to prevent attacks on the United States. The more specific authority he has right now was the Congress authorized the use of military force. And, in that use of military force, it was to wage war against those who have declared war on us, specifically al Qaeda."

"The point of the matter is that this is what you would expect," Sen. George Allen (R-VA) said in response to Sen. John Kerry. "Wouldn't you want us to know what the enemies are plotting against us? This is focused. These intercepts are focused on calls from phones that are related to al Qaeda that may come into this country."

"A lot has happened in the last year and a half. Katrina stripped away the veneer of competence of this administration," Sen. John Kerry said about the ability of President Bush to keep America safe. "The curtain got pulled aside, and there's not even a wizard behind it. And they found out that these people are incompetent."

The National Security Agency's "terrorist surveillance program is targeted at al Qaeda communications coming into or going out of the United States," White House press secretary Scott McClellan responded to attacks on the Bush administration. "It is a limited hot-pursuit effort by our intelligence community to detect and prevent attacks."

"I would never suggest that the president should break the law," Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) said about NSA spying. "My guess is, my assumption is, he did not break the law. The president has a responsibility to follow the law, which I believe is likely to be found, but he also has a primary responsibility to protect the American people."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Iowa boy

The Washington Post provides an interview with Jeff Link who is from Iowa and moved in high circles of the Democrat Party and campaigns. The interview not only backgrounds Link, but also offers insight from his perspective of the Iowa Democrat presidential scene in Iowa:

Kerry, who came from behind to win the caucuses in 2004, will likely run into a "fair amount of reluctance to go down that road again," he said. As for Edwards, who placed second in Iowa in 2004, his future appears considerably brighter. "People have good feelings about John Edwards in Iowa," said Link. "A lot of people think if the caucuses had been a week later he might have won."

California boy

Michael Murphy of California has left Governor Mitt Romney’s staff just as Romney begins his exploration for president according to the Boston Globe:

Governor Mitt Romney's chief political strategist has left his payroll, just as the governor enters a new phase of his exploration of a possible presidential run.

Michael Murphy, a nationally known political strategist based in California, had served as Romney's political adviser since his successful run for governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

A key element in the decision was rising friction over potential conflict because of Murphy's close ties to both Romney and Senator John McCain of Arizona, another potential GOP candidate in 2008, according to two national political operatives familiar with the situation.

Abortion Showdown?

Today, President Bush calls the rally against abortion in Washington, D. C. from Kansas City where he is hoping to boost the National Security Agency’s spying program. The LA Times reports on state efforts that are hopeful of a new Supreme Court Justice changing the law of the land:

Taking direct aim at Roe vs. Wade, lawmakers from several states are proposing broad restrictions on abortion, with the goal of forcing the U.S. Supreme Court — once it has a second new justice — to revisit the landmark ruling issued 33 years ago today.

The bill under consideration in Indiana would ban all abortions, except when continuing the pregnancy would threaten the woman's life or put her physical health in danger of "substantial permanent impairment." Similar legislation is pending in Ohio, Georgia and Tennessee.



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