08.02.08 Topic Updates: Spy-Gate & Presidential Politics
One of my complaints up until now has been the lack of commitment from any Maryland political leader to do whatever is necessary to make sure something like this never happens again. Hearings on what already happened are fine (and necessary!), but by themselves do not protect anyone in the future. Therefore, I was relieved to see the following in an email blast from Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Silver Spring/Takoma Park) earlier this week:
I am . . . working on legislation to make it impermissible to select citizens to investigate based on their political views and also to define what level of reasonable suspicion is required before undercover criminal investigations are initiated against groups that have no history of violent or illegal action.
In another development, Gov. O’Malley has finally taken action, appointing former MD Attorney General Stephen Sachs to lead an investigation of the matter. The ACLU applauded the move, declaring, “We believe that this important investigation of serious infractions of Marylanders’ most basic freedoms is now in good hands.”
In appointing Sachs, O’Malley said his aim would be to adopt “the proper guidelines and protocols in order to safeguard this sort of waste of resources ever happening again.” There’s nothing wrong with this goal, but I find it amazing that the governor still has yet to say anything publicly about the civil liberties angle. For him, it’s all about duration and cost and (apparently) nothing about First Amendment rights.
(Note to ActionJack: Please find me a quote that contradicts my impression of O’Malley. I would be delighted to be wrong about this!)
Obama and McCain
Today’s Post includes an interesting discussion of McCain’s recent attack ads and Obama’s responses.
McCain’s tactics are disgusting and put to lie, once and for all, his claims to straight talk and integrity. But early indications are that it might be working.
In other news, Huffington Post reports today that Obama may reverse himself and back offshore oil drilling. Looks to me like another incident of Change We Can’t Believe In and another indication that Obama thinks pretending to be a Republican is the way to win.
Count me worried.