The Note: Won't Be Lame

Per the AP's Hope Yen, Assistant Attorney General William Moschella sent Sen. Feingold a letter on Friday, saying that what Gonzales was referring to as "hypothetical" in last year's testimony is the idea that Bush would allow warrantless monitoring that was illegal. LINK

"That statement is accurate, Moschella wrote in a letter obtained by the AP, because the administration's position is that Bush had legal authority under the 2001 congressional resolution."

In a Sunday must-read, the Washington Post's Barton Gellman, Dafna Linzer and Carol D. Leonnig reported that "intelligence officers who eavesdropped on thousands of Americans in overseas calls under authority from President Bush have dismissed nearly all of them as potential suspects after hearing nothing pertinent to a terrorist threat, according to accounts from current and former government officials and private-sector sources with knowledge of the technologies in use." LINK

More from the Washington Post: "Valuable information remains valuable even if it comes from one in a thousand intercepts. But government officials and lawyers said the ratio of success to failure matters greatly when eavesdropping subjects are Americans or U.S. visitors with constitutional protection. The minimum legal definition of probable cause, said a government official who has studied the program closely, is that evidence used to support eavesdropping ought to turn out to be 'right for one out of every two guys at least.' Those who devised the surveillance plan, the official said, "knew they could never meet that standard -- that's why they didn't go through" the court that supervises the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA."

Time Magazine reports this week that some Senators are considering a constitutional amendment to limit presidential war powers. If you caught "This Week," you know that RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman doesn't think too highly of the effort. LINK

Attention television producers: You may want to have a PA start pulling archival footage for your spot tonight. The New York Times' Scott Shane writes up the debate over domestic wiretapping from 1975 that eventually led to the creation of the 1978 FISA law. LINK

In Sunday's Boston Globe, Charlie Savage quoted the usual conservatives uncertain about the legality of the President's warrantless wiretapping program. LINK

The program that included cooperation from AT&T, MCI and Sprint, reports Cauley and Diamond of USA Today. LINK

Sen. Specter and Gen. Hayden's Sunday talk show appearances provide a helpful primer to some of the rhetoric we will likely hear today. Here's the Los Angeles Times' Drogin with more. LINK

"The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday said the Bush administration does not have congressional authority to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on overseas phone calls," according to Washington Times' Audrey Hudson. LINK

Big Casino budget politics:

Will there be the most coverage of the cuts or the deficit reduction, or the lack of deficit reduction? And which does the White House want?

Bloomberg Notes that borrowing costs are about to go up. LINK

President Bush's pledge to cut the deficit in half will "likely become a casualty of election-year politics and his own policy goals," Bloomberg's Dodge and Faler report. LINK

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