Rep. Mike Rogers is retiring at the end of his term, but he is not resigning early from his position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — despite a news report Thursday evening saying the Michigan Republican would.
The Hill had reported Rogers would serve an abbreviated term as chairman. His spokeswoman quickly denied that report. “He is not stepping down as Chairman of the House Intel Committee,” Susan Phalen said via email Thursday night.
Rogers, in a surprise move, announced early Friday morning that he would retire in November to begin a new career as a talk radio host.“They may have lost my vote in Congress, but you haven’t lost my voice,” Rogers told WJR-AM radio this morning, according to Detroit News.
Before Rogers departs from the helm of the powerful congressional committee, he is seeking some major legislative reforms to the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of U.S. phone calls.
Rogers has been a highly visible figure in the recent debate over the NSA’s once-secret surveillance programs. Earlier this week, Rogers introduced a bill along with the panel’s top Democrat, Dutch Ruppersberger, to allow the agency’s vast database of phone records to stay in the hands of the phone companies. House Speaker John Boehner indicated he plans to allow a vote on that legislation.
Rogers has been a fierce defender of the NSA after former contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the once-secret surveillance programs — and sparked widespread concerns about Americans’ privacy. Rogers, according to the Detroit News, said the program was being changed “based on a perception, not a reality.”“We think that we have found a way to end the government bulk collection of telephone metadata and still provide a mechanism to protect the United States,” Rogers said.
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.