The Note: Cowboy and Indians

The CIA is expected to file an affidavit in the case today describing how long it will take them to collect the PDBs Libby and his defense team have requested.

Clintons of Chappaqua:

Robert Novak wonders if the Clintons' public parting on the Dubai ports issue is a sign of trouble ahead for the Senator, who "plays politics by the numbers", in contrast to her husband's "freewheeling, intuitive style." LINK

The New York Post's Deborah Orin picks up on the Financial Times report that Bill Clinton advised Dubai to submit to a 45-day review to quell the opposition to the ports deal and on Bob Novak's reporting that Clinton recommended Joe Lockhart to be a spokesman for Dubai Ports World. LINK

The Financial Times story: LINK

Lloyd Grove also looks at the Bill Clinton/Dubai relationship and wonders if Ron Burkle's private investment firm is a conduit for that relationship. LINK

Politics of surveillance:

The Washington Post puts on A1 details of a Saudi charity that claims it has evidence it was spied on as part of the NSA's domestic surveillance program. The Post Notes that, if true, this would represent the "first detailed evidence of U.S. residents being spied upon" by the program. LINK

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) tells the Los Angeles Times that GOP Senators are working on an oversight plan, but "we can't bring anything to the floor until we have agreement among the core senators, which we don't have yet." LINK

Patriot Act:

ABC News' Zach Wolf reports that the Senate is scheduled to vote at 3:00 pm ET on the conference report that went to both chambers last year. It is expected to pass overwhelmingly. That conference report, as well as the Sununu ride-along bill to increase civil liberties protections in the Patriot Act, which passed 95-4, will then go back over to the House. The House has already passed the conference report, and will need to pass the Sununu bill before the two bills go to the President. The House is expected to take up the Sununu bill sometime next week.

The loudest voice of dissent over this compromise (only four voted against the Sununu bill, which is essentially the compromise) has been Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). While the Senate voted overwhelmingly to cut off debate on the Patriot Act conference report today, Sen. Feingold vowed to use all the remaining debate time he could to voice his dissent. Under parliamentary rules, he can only have about 7 of the 30 hours allocated after cloture was filed today.

He spent some of that time hopping off and on the Senate Floor to read various letters and municipal resolutions against the Patriot Act from around the country.

At about 2:10 pm ET, he read from the Constitution itself.

USA Today comes down squarely on the side of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) and others who oppose the renewal of the Patriot Act. An editorial board leery of civil liberties abuses asks, "What is it about the Fourth Amendment ('The right of the people to be secure ... against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated') that Congress doesn't get?" LINK

Patriot Act supporter Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) rebuts with an argument for the legislation's effectiveness in fighting terrorism, and the legality of its provisions: "Despite many challenges, no federal court has declared unconstitutional any of the Patriot Act provisions Congress is renewing." LINK

Politics of mining:

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