Sunday, November 11, 2007

TWO DEMOCRATIC SENATORS-- JON TESTER AND DIANNE FEINSTEIN-- ONE WHO CAME TO DINNER AND ONE WHO SPENDS TOO MUCH TIME INSIDE THE BELTWAY

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A couple nights ago Jane reminded me that we were having dinner at our friend Rick's house which is up all these winding roads in the hills with no signs so I called to get directions. I soon realized that dinner with Rick and Shawn was actually dinner with Rick, Shawn, 20 of their friends and Senator Jon Tester. In the excitement of getting this stunning new black dress and amazingly sexy shoes she had forgotten we were getting to meet one of the first candidates we had endorsed at Blue America, a populist firebrand state senator who then went on to win first an impossible primary against the Establishment Insider hack and then the general against an entrenched Republican in a red state.

Senator Tester in person is exactly the same as the Senator Tester on paper-- a very comfortable in his own skin, straight-spoken, good-natured, outgoing man. Every person who met him instantly felt at ease around him. We talked a lot about organic farming-- he and his wife turned their farm organic decades ago and Jane and I do our best to eat organic food-- and about music (Senator Tester is a trumpet player) and about some of the problems, most of them created by the excesses of the Bush Regime, facing the country. One of those problems was the FISA bill and Bush's push for retroactive immunity for his allies at the big telecoms who broke very serious laws in illegally-- and massively-- spying on the American public, even before 9/11.

Senator Tester pointed out, in a way that may sound counterintuitive, that one of the reasons he was elected over a Republican incumbent in a state that gave Bush 59% two years earlier is because he campaigned on repealing the misnamed Patriot Act. People in Montana aren't interested in Big Government gratuitously snooping into their lives. The Republican Party has become the Party of gratuitous snooping by Big Government. Unfortunately, not all Democrats show quite the same disdain Senator Tester does for this kind of authoritarian, even Orwellian, behavior.

It was kind of ironic that our host, Rick, is one of the centers of opposition to a Democratic Senator who has come to symbolize collaboration with the Bush Regime on all of its worst policies and agendas. Dianne Feinstein's name was invoked more than anyone else's last name, and no one had anything positive to say about her. This morning I woke up to an updated piece by Glenn Greenwald on how Feinstein has become Bush's key Senate ally in support of telecom amnesty.
Two months ago, Dianne Feinstein used her position on the Senate Intelligence Committee to enable passage of Bush's FISA amendments, granting the President vast new warrantless surveillance powers.

Last month, Feinstein used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure confirmation of Bush's highly controversial judicial nominee Leslie Southwick, by being the only Committee Democrat to vote for the nomination...

This week, Feinstein used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to enable confirmation of Bush's Attorney General nominee by ensuring that the frightened Chuck Schumer didn't have to stand alone (Fox News: "Schumer's and Feinstein's support for Mukasey virtually guarantees that a majority of the committee will recommend his confirmation").

And now, Feinstein is using her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee-- simultaneously-- to single-handedly ensure fulfillment of Bush's telecom amnesty demands, as her hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, reports.

In the process, her campaign coffers have filled with corporate bribes and her war profiteering husband's business has thrived-- to the tune of many millions of dollars.
Senator Tester is too much of a gentleman to badmouth one of his colleagues, in her own state, no less. He may have even been a little surprised to hear the degree and intensity of dislike this roomful of Democrats felt for their senior senator. But, unlike Feinstein, Senator Tester is very much concerned with the same things that concerned out Founding Fathers about the growth of Big Government's ability to exercise unchecked authoritarian domination over a free people. Bush, almost all Republicans, Lieberman and Feinstein and a handful of reactionary Democrats are on one side of that divide; most of the American people are on the other side. I can't imagine that there was a person at Rick's dinner party who would ever consider casting a vote for Dianne Feinstein again, and I suspect that, unlike myself, most of them had done so many times in the past. My guess is that most of the people in the room last night will be on board when the Courage Campaign launches its grassroots actions to hold DiFi accountable for her anti-democratic/anti-Democratic behavior next week.


UPDATE: IF WE CONTINUE ALLOWING DETRITUS LIKE BUSH AND FEINSTEIN INTO PUBLIC OFFICE, WE CAN EXPECT THE END TO PRIVACY AS WE KNOW IT

Donald Kerr a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States changed their definition of privacy. Because it's time to let authoritarian Big Government Republicans, Lieberman and like-minded Democrats-- like Ben Nelson and Dianne Feinstein-- decide for us? Throw the bums out-- the bad Democrats with the Republicans.


BOMB BOMB BOMB, BOMB BOMB IRAN-- ANOTHER BAD IDEA FROM BUSHCO

Jane just put up the issue-oriented meat'n potatoes version of our dinner with Jon Tester, all the stuff I left off, like how he thinks Bush is going to bomb Iran before the next general election. It's a must read.

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2 Comments:

At 5:44 PM, Anonymous soyinkafan said...

Hey, Howie,

Remember the lovely people you met in the desert? They're hopping mad about Feinstein, and the most mild mannered among us is talking road trip at this point. Beware the truly incensed elderly, they'll kick her ass.

I want an intervention (ideally run by artist/activists) for Feinstein, that was my suggestion for Courage Campaign. Let's have Harold Pinter describe the torture she's OK with to her until she crumples. Elie Wiesel can come, too.

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Tester vote for FISA abuse just a few months ago? How come he gets a pass?
http://d2route.wordpress.com/

 

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