Monday, January 28, 2008



McConnell blockage fails

Bush and Cheney aren't getting their retroactive immunity. McConnell needed 60 votes-- he wound up with 48-- to do his obstructionist song and dance and Arlen Specter voted with the Democrats. The only Democrats crossing over to the Dark Side were Ben Nelson (NE), Mary Landrieu (LA), Blanche Lincoln (AR) and Mark Pryor (AR), 4 of the most most consistently reactionary Democrats in Congress. Glenn Greenwald doesn't think this little victory today will amount to much more than a hill of beans.
In one sense, this is an extremely mild victory, to put that generously. All this really means is that they will now proceed to debate and vote on the pending amendments to the bill, almost certainly defeat all of the meaningfully good ones, approve a couple of amendments which improve the bill in the most marginal ways, and then end up ultimately voting for a bill that contains both telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping. Moreover, it seems clear that Senate Republicans deliberately provoked this outcome and were hoping for it, by sabotaging what looked to be imminent Democratic capitulation so that Bush could accuse Democrats tonight of failing to pass a new FISA bill, thus helping their friend Osama.

Still, in another sense, this is significant. Preventing a vote today means that there is more time to work on opposing immunity, including by working on ensuring that the House stays firm behind its relatively decent bill. It also means that the Senate -- for once -- has refused to capitulate to brazen White House pressure tactics, whereby the President demanded that the Senate give the administration everything it wants before the Friday expiration of the PAA. Also, the presidential candidates responded to public pressure by joining in the filibuster, which is encouraging.

And, perhaps most significantly, this slight stirring of resolve might carry over into the next vote, to extend the PAA by 30 days and thus force Bush's hand either to veto the extension or back down (they will need 60 votes just to vote on that proposal). Again, anything that prevents quick and quiet resolution of telecom immunity and new FISA powers is a real benefit.

They will now vote on the 30-day extension. Reid just said the House was sure to vote in favor of it. That means the Republicans can either allow this "Critical Intelligence Tool" to continue (by voting for a 30-day extension) or deprive our intelligence professionals of the ability to Keep Us Safe.

Let the absurd and inherently dishonest Bush regime fearmongering begin! No one believes anything he says anymore anyway.

The two heroes of the whole FISA bill were Chris Dodd and Russ Feingold, who consistently stood up to the Bush machine and to their own weak, confused leaders. Dodd's remarks on the floor of the Senate are worth reading. Here are some highlights:

So much hinges on the bill before us; so many of my colleagues have come to this floor to tell us just how vitally important it is. It will set America's terrorist surveillance policy well into the next presidential term, and beyond. Depending on the outcome, it has the power to bring that surveillance under the rule of law-- or to confirm the president's urge to be a law of his own. It has the power to bring the facts of warrantless spying to light and to public scrutiny-- or to lock down those facts as the property of the powerful. It has the power to declare that the same law applies to all of us, rich or poor, well-connected or not-- or to set the precedent that some corporations are too rich to be sued, that immunity can effectively be bought.

And yet-- the Senate is frozen today. I've objected passionately to retroactive immunity—but I did not shut out debate. Republicans have frozen the Senate since debate began last week.  And they unwittingly created a perfect microcosm of retroactive immunity right here in this body. Because both flow from the same impulse: shutting down the organs of government-- the courts, or the Senate-- when you are afraid you won't get your way. That's why President Bush wants his favored corporations saved from lawsuits. And that is why the Republican Party wants this bill saved from any and all amendments-- saved from serious and thoughtful discussion.

...Tonight, President Bush will come to Congress to speak to us, and to the American people, about the state of the Union. I hope he will use that opportunity to realize that the Senate needs more time to do its constitutional duty to debate and consider this important legislation. 
However, I am concerned he will instead continue to threaten to veto this legislation unless it includes retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies.
The President has said that this bill is essential to 'protecting the American people from enemies who attacked our country.' So why is he trying to stop it? Why did he promise to veto it? Why would he throw it all away to protect a few corporations from lawsuits?

Seantor Feingold's statement is also the kind of thing all Americans should look at so they can hold their representative to a higher standard than the the overly partisan and clueless Insiders have come to think they can get away with.
“Today’s vote against jamming a deeply flawed FISA bill through the Senate is a win for the American people and a rejection of the bullying tactics of the administration. We all agree that FISA needs to be updated so our government can go after the foreign communications of suspected terrorists. But we must not provide overly broad and unnecessary powers that infringe on the rights and privacy of law-abiding Americans, especially to an administration that has proven it cannot be trusted. I hope that Republicans will now allow the Senate to consider and vote on amendments to improve the FISA bill, such as adding privacy protections for Americans and stripping immunity for telecom companies that allegedly participated in the president’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program.”

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At 3:41 PM, Blogger George Vreeland Hill said...

The Republican Party is a sick joke, and the people of this country are fed up with them.
From Nixon to Bush, and from Scooter to Larry "Toilet Stall" Craig, the Republicans have proven themselves to be a bunch of lying, corrupt, evil, perverted, over-spending crooks.
When you look at all the money Bill Clinton left this country, it makes us all cry to know that Bush spent it all.
When the money was gone, Bush went to China for help.
Just think, we owe money to China!
That is the Bush way.
Cheney is no better.
You can't trust either of them.
No one does.
Why are we in Iraq?
The war should be on terror, not in Iraq.
Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and yet Bush has spent all that money to fight "his" war.
Yes his, because many Republicans have backed off from the war.
By the way, the war in Iraq has cost the U.S. almost five hundred billion dollars.
Forget Rudy.
Rudy Giuliani is no hero.
While he is often called the hero of 9/11, the truth is that Rudy was a terrible leader during his years as mayor of New York City.
He made bad decisions and took a girlfriend while being married.
In fact, he even wanted his lover to live in the same house with his wife.
Most people would call this perverted.
New Yorkers were so sick of his antics, that they wanted him out of office.
Then came 9/11.
The only reason people call Giuliani a hero today, is because he just happened to be NYC's mayor during that bad time.
Any mayor would be looked at as a hero if they showed their face under those circumstances.
If there was no 9/11, Rudy would have become a joke.
This is not the kind of leader we want in the White House.
In closing, the New York Post reported in their paper on April 23, that Giuliani spent more than 48,000 dollars of campaign money on posh hotels while claiming to have spent the least of all the Republican candidates.
Rudy is a good time leader, and does it with other people's money.
Forget Mitt.
His ads look bad.
He can't seem to get his facts right, and will say things to make himself look good.
Red flags go up around him.
I spoke with his son Tagg at the New Hampshire debates back in June (2007), and while he seemed like a nice man, Tagg could not get his facts right either.
The worst Republican as of late, though, is Larry Craig.
He is a lying pervert who wanted gay sex with a strange man on a dirty toilet seat.
He pled guilty, then said he was not guilty.
Say what?
He is another Republican moron.
Did you hear about Washington State Republican Rep. Richard Curtis?
He offered $1,000 to a young man for unprotected sex while dressed in women's lingerie.
This sort of thing just goes on and on with them.
Remember Mark Foley?
Here is a letter I wrote that was in many newspapers and Web sites:

Once again, the Republicans have turned my stomach with shocking and repulsive behavior.
Mark Foley, a Republican member (now ex-member) of Congress, has sent many e-mails with perverted sexual content to a sixteen year old boy.
This is the same man who while in Congress, backed a bill that was meant to protect children from child predators.
Foley himself, is a man who preyed on a child with lust.
What is also incomprehensible, is the fact that some Republicans knew of Foley’s behavior, and yet, did not take a hard stand against this until it became public news. If I had a teenage son and/or daughter, I would not want them to go near any Republican leader for fear of either or both becoming a victim of a sick Republican pervert.

George Vreeland Hill

There were more than three hundred such letters in newspapers in 2007 alone.
Many of them in New Hampshire.
There are thousands on the Internet.
No lie.
This does not even include articles, ads, radio, TV and other areas where the public takes notice.
In fact, one Republican in California wanted me stopped once, because I was hurting some Republicans in their elections.
I just want to do my part in helping to get rid of every Republican scumbag.
From phone scams to the Union Leader (NH) covering up for Republicans, the garbage never ends.
But the Republican Party will end.
Did you know that George W. Bush once made fun of the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction?
He did, and in front of some shocked people during a black-tie event in 2004.
He said.... (While looking under a piece of furniture) "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere."
Then, while pretending to look out of a window, Bush laughed as he said..... "Nope, no weapons over there."
While he was laughing, there were men and women fighting and dying in Iraq because of WMD.
George W. Bush should be removed from office because of that alone.
Face it, Bill Clinton lied about having sex, and was impeached because of it.
George W. Bush however, did far worse, as he laughed at the very people who are fighting for the United States of America!
That about sums it all up!
(By the way, this Bush/WMD was part of an article and letter I wrote as well.)
This leads us to John McCain.
All he seems to do is attack other candidates.
His Woodstock ad against Hillary Clinton was boring and without the facts.
He tells of Hillary wanting to spend a million dollars on a museum while he (McCain) supports spending more on the war in Iraq.
He wants you to believe that the Democrats are the big spenders, while it is McCain's Republican Party that has spent all the money Bill Clinton left us to a point where Bush had to borrow money from China.
Think about that again.
We owe to China.
That is the Republican way.
Also, it must be noted that McCain even laughed at war.
Remember when McCain changed the words of a Beach Boys song to Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran?
McCain even laughed when he was done.
He thought starting a war with Iran was a laughing matter.
That is the real John McCain.
He just can't be trusted.
He is another George Bush, and you know what we got with him.
The Republican Party is a mess, and getting worse.
People do not trust any of them, and we are all tired of their act.
I am doing my best to make sure that no Republican wins an election.
Thank you for your time.

George Vreeland Hill


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