The Note: Focused on Winning

Appearing on "This Week" after Sen. Feingold, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called the proposal "a crazy political move" that would weaken the United States during wartime.

Sen. Feingold was asked about Sen. Frist's criticism while appearing Monday on CNN's "American Morning" and said: "I think Bill Frist knows better than that."

Sen. Feingold argued that many Senators on the Republican side of the aisle have said that the President's surveillance program is not legal and that some have said it's illegal, so he would like to make it legal. He also argued that what President Bush has done is a lot more serious and a lot closer to an impeachable offense than what former President Clinton did.

When CNN's Soledad O'Brien told Sen. Feingold that she didn't understand why he was pushing forward with a censure while the jury was still out, Sen. Feingold said: "Actually, Soledad, the jury has been dismantled," in a reference to the Senate's decision to forego an investigation.

Sen. Feingold said there is a lot that is unknown about the surveillance program but he said the Senate knows enough at this time about the law to know that the program is illegal.

Sen. Feingold did not mention him by name but one Senator who has made the "it's not legal but let's make it legal" argument before is Sen. McCain.

Here is what the Arizona Senator told Chris Wallace while appearing on "Fox News Sunday" on Jan. 22:

WALLACE: But you do not believe that currently he has the legal authority to engage in these warrant-less wiretaps.

MCCAIN: You know, I don't think so, but why not come to Congress? We can sort this all out. I don't think -- I know of no member of Congress, frankly, who, if the administration came and said here's why we need this capability, that they wouldn't get it. And so let's have the hearings. Let's have the administration come to Congress. I think they will get that authority, whatever is reasonable and needed, and increased abilities to monitor communications are clearly in order."


When it comes to campaign advertising in 2008, Time Magazine's Josh Tyrangiel says "forget about television ads. In 2008, candidates will watch your Web searches and cozy up to your friends." LINK

"From now on," says RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, "a smart candidate will reach you through your cell phone, your friends, the organizations you belong to and the websites you visit.''

2008: Republicans:

On the op-ed page of the New York Times Paul Krugman writes with selective facts that John McCain is not a maverick, a moderate, nor a straight talker. If you have Times Select, here's the link: LINK

For Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Ron Brownstein had Sen. Frist about his intention to focus on "a fundamental revision of healthcare." LINK

Sen. Frist's most controversial idea with regards to Medicare is to "allow private insurers to compete more directly with the government in providing healthcare to seniors."

"Frist says that approach, which he's been touting since Bill Clinton's second term, will increase 'choice . . . value and quality' while restraining costs. Critics say it would convert Medicare from a program in which Washington guarantees seniors a defined benefit to one in which it only guarantees them a defined contribution that could leave many with inadequate care."

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