The President himself this morning dramatically intoned: "At the stroke of midnight tonight, a vital intelligence law that is helping protect our nation will expire." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gravely pointed out: "What will happen at midnight tonight is much more significant than stump speeches, steroids or superdelegates. On Sunday, the terrorist tracking program . . . no longer will be fully operational." National Review warrior and all-around tough guy Andy McCarthy fretted: "When the Clock Strikes Midnight, We Will Be Significantly Less Safe."
This is one of the most bizarre propaganda dramas ever, even when weighed against other Bush Terrorism propaganda dramas of the past. There is one reason, and one reason only, that the Protect America Act expired. Its name is "George W. Bush." That is who refused to agree to the Democrats' offer to extend the law by 21 days (or longer), then repeatedly threatened to veto any such extension ("US President George W. Bush on Wednesday vowed to veto another temporary extension of a domestic spying law"), then directed the always-obedient House Republicans to vote unanimously against the extension, which they (needless to say) did. This vital-to-our-safety piece of legislation expired only because George W. Bush repeatedly blocked its extension. It's just that simple.
In order to let you folks at home keep track of how long we've been dead*, The Heritage Foundation has helpfully put up a countdown clock, which, when Glenn last looked, confirmed that we'd all slipped the surly bonds of Earth some seven hours beforehand. This prompted commentary from some very shaken Greenwaldians, including rupert_c, who wrote:
Are you all insane? They have already flown passenger jets into American buildings before and they can do it again!!! Better give him what he wants. Anyone have a crown we can offer him?
According to Heritage, it's now been 7 hours, 6 minutes, and 39.55 seconds since expiration of the FISA "extention" (sic -- who can stay calm enough to spell correctly during a Doomsday crisis?). Is there anyone out there? Is there anyone left?
And if being dead for seven hours (and counting, and counting) hasn't got your, uh, dead-person's goosebumps a-rippling, perhaps Lee can get the message through your thick librul cadaver-skull: The world is a scary frickin' place:
*Via GG commenter Sailmaker, who asked: Does the clock go negative so that we can see how long we have been dead?
Also at Cogitamus.