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Wed Jun 25, 2008 at 04:15 PM PDT

John Kerry's Statement on FISA

by BriVT

Hey folks, Senator Kerry is still working in the Senate so he can't do this himself, but I wanted to post his statement on FISA. Sorry for the short diary, but we've got a lot going on today, and I wanted to make sure y'all saw this.

Congress has an obligation to protect both the American people and the Constitution.  That’s the oath we take.  Supporting the current version of the FISA bill is tantamount to asking Congress to cover up President Bush’s blatant assault on our basic freedoms.  Congress shouldn’t effectively be granting immunity for abuses to the Constitution or rubber stamping the Administration’s warrantless spying program. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a bill that gives the President the tools to protect Americans, while also safeguarding the freedoms that define us as Americans.  We must effectively gather intelligence to stop those who would attack us.  But, we weaken – not strengthen – our ability to do that when we undermine the Constitution.


Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 01:29 PM PDT

John Kerry Asks For Help

by BriVT

I'm John Kerry's Internet Director (and a Kossack since 2002, btw)

Sometimes the Bush Administration just outdoes itself and gives us another stark reminder of not just what a disaster the Bush Iraq policy has been, but how cavalier they are with our country’s soldiers.

Here’s an email John Kerry wrote this morning:

Want a reminder why we still need more people in Congress who know what war really is, and the obligations we owe those who bore the burden of battle?

Just last week, Vice President Cheney was asked about the burden of the Iraq War on our military. His answer? George Bush bears the greatest burden of the war.

4,000 American troops who gave their lives? The Vice President summed it up: "They volunteered."

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I know how heated the primary wars have gotten here, and I first came here in October of 2002, so, believe me, I lived through the same wars last cycle.

But with all of the charges flying here online and in the broader primary campaign, John Kerry thought it was important to give a platform to people who, like him, support Barack Obama, so they could get back to the real issues of why they have decided on Barack Obama for President.

We’ll be sending them out to the email community, but I wanted to make sure this community that I’ve been a part of for so long got a chance to see it as well. This is not an effort to denigrate anyone else, or put down your candidate. It’s simply a forum for some of Barack Obama’s prominent supporters to declare why they support his campaign. [note: I'm John Kerry's Internet Director]

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Alright, I’m the Online Communications Director for John Kerry, and I wanted to jump in here to let all of y’all know about what happened yesterday at the University of Florida event. JK himself wanted to stop by, but he’s stuck in Senate business all day and won’t have a chance to respond to any comments. And, since he never likes to come here for a drive-by ... I thought I’d give all of you the scoop.

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Why should The Report Formerly Known As Petraeus be allowed to frame this entire September debate? It's written by the White House, with "input" from General Petraeus and many others, and we all know what will come out. We've known since spring.

It's the GAO report that matters, and live today is a Senate Foreign Relations hearing on it. But, even here on the Great Orange Mothership, no attention to the hearing. Anyone want to make a bet that won't be the case for Petraeus's testimony next week? This hearing is going on at 2 PM and will be covered live on C-Span 3 (how much you wanna bet Petraeus is on C-Span1 at the very least).

UPDATE: The report is out, and the headline conclusion: for all the surge, violence against Iraqi civilians is UNCHANGED. ThinkProgress also reports that the Iraqi government met 3 benchmarks, "partially met" 4 (White House pressure obvious there), and failed all other 11.

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Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 01:46 PM PDT

Help Wanted Sign Is Out

by BriVT

I come from these pages, so when I'm looking for someone to help, I come back to these parts ...

My boss, John Kerry, is not running for President. But he is running a national campaign. More to the point, he’s running multiple national campaigns. But they are not to get him elected; they are campaigns for causes, campaigns for our country. He (with our support at is running a campaign to get a new direction in Iraq and set a deadline to start bringing our troops home, a campaign to get solutions to our world’s energy and climate crises, a campaign to get our veterans the fair shake they deserve ... and other campaigns to get our country on a more sensible, progressive footing. And we need help to achieve all of this. This is a classic "get paid while you do work you believe in" situation.

We need someone expert in online communications to coordinate and produce our blog and email writing. This is a full-time position, based in our office in Boston. More detailed descriptions below the fold ...

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Wed May 16, 2007 at 06:04 AM PDT

Beyond Iraq

by BriVT

Today, the Senate votes on the future of our country’s failed foreign policy. So it seems fitting that today sees the launch of a new effort, a high-profile attempt at building a new foundation for our foreign policy. And, unlike many efforts of the past, this is not a closed think-tank of elites ruminating in back rooms to later present its vision to the world. This is a gathering of elites, no doubt, but they are here to open a conversation, to build a wide consensus among activists, academics, and others about our shared future. It’s up to all of us to build the foundation for a foreign policy for the 21st century.

Details below the flip ...

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Fri May 04, 2007 at 09:41 AM PDT

An Email from Ned Lamont

by BriVT

Hey, some of you know that I'm now the Online Communications Director for John Kerry ... it's an odd experience going from chatting about politics as an activist/commenter on Daily Kos to chatting about it with legislative directors on the Hill. But it's not as different as you might think ...

I was on Capitol Hill yesterday; I'll update you on how things look in there on the Iraq fight. But the main thing I saw was this: it's a very fluid situation, and any pressure activists can put on the GOP, especially, to get any movement on that side is absolutely critical. And our friend Ned Lamont is jumping into the fight at this important time ... I'll print the email he's sending out below.

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I took a job with John Kerry. Let’s get that fact out front, in the clear, etc, etc ... I’ll explain why I did it in a bit, but that’s not my main point here. My main point is this: when my wife and I were thinking about reasons why we should uproot our family, move it hundreds of miles, take our son out of school with only two months left in the school year, I thought of one blindingly obvious fact I’d never really noticed before.

We can be proud of the people we support as Democrats. It sounds sort of corny when spoken like that, but follow me below the fold, and you’ll see what I mean. When you put the recent history side by side, the difference between the two parties stands out in such stark contrast, I’m surprised I never noticed it before.

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Kos is wrong. I'm not normally one to get all argumentative, but, on this one, Kos is endorsing the path that makes worse the very things he wants to avoid.

This primary calendar makes the early states the absolute arbiters of who will be the nominee, and it does a lot of other bad things besides ...

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Wow. Just ... wow. I don't know if it's the Democratic takeover, or the complete unraveling of their pet war, or just the final stages of a congnitive dissonance so bad as to induce utter insanity, but ... the right wing blogs are just completely off-the-rails, cheese-has-slipped-off-their-crackers, out-there-where-the-buses-don't-run ... crazy. Nuts. And any other word/phrase you got for crazy.

There was a diary the other day showing the hilarious graphic RedState put up about the "Democrat-Socialist Majority," a ridiculous mishmash of outdated, Vietnam-era smears which made me think oddly of Biff's "make like a tree and get out of here" from the old Back to the Future. But the real point of departure from reality, the real crashing of their Barbara Bushian Beautiful Minds, comes in the reaction to Jamil Hussein.

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This is just pathetic. The Bush Administration has a foreign policy touch that rivals the gentleness of Lennie, the giant from Of Mice and Men who could barely touch anything without killing it. Even the North Koreans are so fed up, they're turning to a Democratic Governor for someone to talk to. Look, when the North Koreans think you're too obstinate and arbitrary to even talk to ... well, that's like being called ugly by a frog, as the old saying goes.

The story and some discussion of the embarrassment/disaster/dark comedy that is the Bush foreign policy below the flip ...

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