Tuesday, February 12, 2008



The Senate has started voting on amendments to the FISA bill. Halfway down the list was the #3907, the Dodd Feingold Amendment that would strike retroactive immunity for Bush's criminal telecomm cronies. Early this morning Glenn Greenwald was very pessimistic:
The Senate today-- led by Jay Rockefeller, enabled by Harry Reid, and with the active support of at least 12 (and probably more) Democrats, in conjunction with an as-always lockstep GOP caucus-- will vote to legalize warrantless spying on the telephone calls and emails of Americans, and will also provide full retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, thus forever putting an end to any efforts to investigate and obtain a judicial ruling regarding the Bush administration's years-long illegal spying programs aimed at Americans. The long, hard efforts by AT&T, Verizon and their all-star, bipartisan cast of lobbyists to grease the wheels of the Senate-- led by former Bush 41 Attorney General William Barr and former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick-- are about to pay huge dividends, as such noble efforts invariably do with our political establishment.

...Chris Dodd went to the Senate floor last night and gave another eloquent and impassioned speech, warning of the consequences for our country from telecom amnesty. He specifically focused on the permanently and comprehensively suppressive effect it will have on efforts to investigate what the Bush administration did in illegally spying on Americans.

You want to get an idea how the kind of blatant and deliberate governmental/corporate lawbreaking  (definition of fascist) was just protected by a gaggle of unresponsive and unaccountable senators, most of them heavily bribed, watch the clip of Dodd from last night:

Here's the list of the evil-doers:

Every single Republican (including Lieberman), of course. There isn't a single one who stood up for the rule of law-- but they never do. They have lizard brains. Today's list of Democratic traitors:

Evan Bayh (IN)
Daniel Inouye (HI)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Claire McCaskill (MO)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
DiFi (CA)
Herb Kohl (WI)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Ken Salazar (CO)
Tom Carper (DE)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Kent Conrad (ND)
Jim Webb (VA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)

Hillary didn't bother to show up; even McCain dragged his rotting, decrepit carcass into the Senate today for this one. Obama voted for principle and with the American people.


What stands between us and warrantees spying and dictatorial powers for a chief executive run wild? Our representatives. Every Democrat should contact his or her congressman and tell them flat out that they will never vote for them if they support retroactive immunity and warrantless wiretaps on American citizens. Democrats in the Senate failed us. Rahm Emanuel will be pushing for reactionary House members to do the same. This is what the ACLU has urged it's membership to say to their representatives:
1. Vote NO on any spying bill with telecom immunity. Lawsuits must be allowed to proceed or we’ll never know the truth about what laws were broken and how many Americans rights were violated.

2. Vote NO on any spying that allows the government to spy on Americans without getting a warrant. America doesn’t need a bill that needlessly expands the President’s ability to spy on innocent Americans without a warrant.

3. Don’t let the Senate or President Bush steamroll the House of Representatives. Any bill to regulate spying on Americans must respect the Constitution and must not let phone companies off the hook for warrantless spying.

You can also sign the FDL petition aimed at the House-- but calling your representative first is far more effective. Dodd is still unbowed by the fascism and vows to keep fighting.


If this is any indication of what we can expect from an Obama presidency vs a Hillary presidency, there is NO CONTEST. I'm sure Hillary was out pandering to all kinds of corporate special interests instead of voting; she needs the money since ordinary grassroots Democrats are donating way more to Obama. Here's what Barack had to say after he stood with the people:
"I am proud to stand with Senator Dodd, Senator Feingold and a grassroots movement of Americans who are refusing to let President Bush put protections for special interests ahead of our security and our liberty. There is no reason why telephone companies should be given blanket immunity to cover violations of the rights of the American people – we must reaffirm that no one in this country is above the law.

We can give our intelligence and law enforcement community the powers they need to track down and take out terrorists without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties. That is why I am proud to cosponsor several amendments that protect our privacy while making sure we have the power to track down and take out terrorists.

This Administration continues to use a politics of fear to advance a political agenda. It is time for this politics of fear to end. We are trying to protect the American people, not special interests like the telecommunications industry. We are trying to ensure that we don't sacrifice our liberty in pursuit of security, and it is past time for the Administration to join us in that effort."

And Obama is far from alone in this perspective. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers says there is no justification for the Senate's amnesty provision. Conyers is correct and every single Republican senator plus Lieberman and 19 renegade Democrats are dead wrong. Remember when Susan Collins (ME), John Sununu (NH), Lamar Alexander (TN), and Norm Coleman (MN) make the preposterous claim to be moderates and defenders of basic American values in November that they voted to make sure the criminal Bush cronies would never even be investigated. And, to be fair, you may be receiving a solicitation in your mail box from the DSCC begging for money to help save the seats of reactionary Democrats Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, and Tim Johnson. Just say no. They don't need your money; let the telecom executives they just gave immunity to pay for their campaigns.

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At 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's with Webb's vote?

At 9:17 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Never fully trust an "ex" Republican. You never know what's lurking down beneath the surface.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Webb's such an asshole.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger SharonRB said...

Glad to see Carl Levin's name isn't on this list -- hopefully his omission means he voted the right way.

I'm also glad to see that Obama voted with the people.

It really does matter what kind of Democrats we elect.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger waxwingslain said...

Did Lieberman actually get this one right? Or do we just not count him under Democrats?

At 10:56 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Lieberman, as always with important votes, stuck with his Republican buddies.

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. I was part of the 300,000 plus Moveon.org calls for Webb who won by about 2000 votes beating ALLEN, and I am uncomfortable being on the other side of his vote. BUT they still broke the law, without these super double secret pre-emptive trumped up war powers.

So you might be right Howie, maybe my ex-Republican feathers are showing as well. I'll go look for Webb's explanation.

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whooeee! Here's a 532 comment ALREADY post on Kos, topic. "Jim Webb disqualified from VP"...


I put a polite post on his senate link under CRIMES, Not Homeland Security and asked that he please put out a statement for us ex-Republicans who had admired him...I am not holding my breath.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have that feeling you get when you're driving behind someone going 15 miles under the speed limit; you know, you wish you could get out and slap them silly. Same feeling about the GOP and the Democratic lackeys being leash-held to follow along. What the heck is with Feingold (is she old enough to be senile)? Thank God Durbin and Obama still care about the Constitution and the American citizens. I wish I could read the "minds" (if that's what they can be called) of those senators who voted for immunity. There must be something in it for them to abandon their Country and its people. And Lieberman, he is so easy to dislike even without his voting record.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Rick Rodriguez said...

Hillary is a total disgrace for not voting on the (FISA) Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It makes all too much sense that Bill and Bush Sr. became such good friends. It now appears that the Clintons and the Bushes cover themselves with the same blanket.

Liebermann is nothing more than a republican spy and a proud member of the Zionist Federal Reserve Banking System and a One-World Government Neocon. It now seems official that we actually have a one party political system in this country whose agenda is to destroy our middle class and bring the American People to third world status(Slavery). And our Constitution is, well….

"I don’t give a goddamn. I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.... Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!"

(1946- ) 43rd US President, Yale Skull & Bones Society

At 2:02 AM, Blogger unlawflcombatnt said...

Hillary is a total disgrace for not voting on the (FISA) Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Just a brief reminder for all the Obama-ites here--Obama didn't vote on the FISA bill either. The implication that only Hillary didn't vote is wrong. Obama couldn't find the time in his own busy day of pandering to vote on the final bill himself.

Economic Populist Forum

At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just a brief reminder for all the Obama-ites here--Obama didn't vote on the FISA bill either."
-Unlawfulcombatnt (sic)

I think you're laboring under a misunderstanding here... Obama didn't vote on the 7:30 AM vote to approve the FISA Amendment Bill (2248), because its passage was assured, and because many progressives support ammending FISA. Obama did show up to vote at 11:03 AM on the Dodd amendment (3907) that would have stripped immunity from the tele-cons.

Until now I was on the fence. I think this is one non-vote that's going to hurt Hillary.

But how about these big government, appropriate and spend, soft on crime repugnicans? Boy, howdy.



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