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I'm reluctant to post a diary that draws attention away from Traitorgate, which I believe should be our central focus these days, but there are developments on the Senate floor today that reinforce one of the central themes of Traitorgate:

Republicans put politics before national security and our troops.

Here are the basics:

  1.  The Senate started debating the Defense Authorization Bill last Wednesday.

  2. In order to get a vote on the NRA's gun liability bill before the August recess, Frist filed a cloture motion on Friday to prematurely end debate on the Defense Authorization Bill and close the window for amendments (last year the Authorization Bill received 5 weeks of debate, and it usually gets between one and two weeks of debate).  

  1.  Just a few minutes ago, the Senate voted not to involve cloture and end debate on the Defense Authorization Bill.

  2.  Rather than continue the debate on the Defense Authorization bill, Frist is pressing a motion to immediately proceed to the Gun Liability Bill.  And he won't even agree to Reid's proposal that they immediately proceed to DoD Authorization after the Gun Liability bill is completed.

  3.  In the debate just prior to the current vote, Boxer nailed Frist by asking the obvious question:

Does [the Republican leader] think [the gun liability bill] is more important than the defense authorization bill in a time of war?


The answer, of course, is "yes."  Because, as Kos says:

For the Republican Party, the elephant always flies above the Stars and Stripes


Update [2005-7-26 13:59:4 by QWQ]: Although Frist failed in his effort to end debate on Defense Authorization, he succeeded in delaying debate until the fall and moving immediately to gun liability. The AP story is out, with a nice lede:
The Senate put off until fall completing a $491 billion defense bill in order to act this week on the National Rifle Association's top priority: shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from liability suits stemming from gun crimes.

Update [2005-7-26 16:16:9 by QWQ]: Several new reports have followed the initial AP report, with the most interesting coming from the Army Times. Here are the first two paragraphs:
Senate Republican leaders decided Tuesday that a gun manufacturers’ liability bill is more important than next year’s $441.6 billion defense authorization bill.

With Democrats expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons’ purchases and research, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate Republican leader, decided Tuesday that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority.

Also, several folks have noted in the comments that pandering to the NRA is not the only reason the Republicans wanted to delay the Defense Authorization bill -- the White House also wanted to avoid showdowns on detainee treatment and military base closings. The new AP story has that angle, as does this CBS edited version of the original AP story.

Originally posted to QWQ on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks (none)
    Thanks for this diary, I had to step away and missed the cloture vote ... any idea what the roll call was?
    •  I seem to recall it being something like (4.00)
      50-38, but that adds up to 10 votes less than on the subsequent gun liability cloture vote, so I could be wrong.

      The vote should appear here sometime soon.

      •  Yeah (none)
        Hopefully it'll be posted soon, I figured I'd make it back in time since it usually takes them so long to vote. Thanks for the posts. I've been following along at Charging RINO too - Frist is getting more and more ridiculous with each passing day.
        •  Thanks for the link (none)
          I've never been to that site before -- looks like an interesting perspective from a fed-up Republican.

          That said, the post on McCain's This Week appearance was clearly written with rose-colored glasses:  no mention of the devastating Larry Johnson clip; no mention of McCain confirming Johnson's "apologist" accusation by defending Rove with the "he was just correcting a mistake" talking point; and no mention of McCain's "I don't know what the definition of negligent is."

          •  It's me (4.00)
            Yeah I'm Charging RINO - I am indeed a fed-up Republican, but one who admittedly wears rose-colored glasses when it comes to McCain. As I think someone noted in comments to that or another post, I think McCain's playing it safe for now with Rove ... it does him no good to be out calling for Rove's head right yet, and I think he can be more effective later if something does come of the investigation by playing the "well I said I hoped the president would do the right thing. The right thing would clearly have been to fire Karl Rove" card.

            Who knows. As I've said repeatedly over there, I'm not pre-judging the Rove business, since I'm not at all convinced we're to the bottom of it yet. I'm gonna wait until all the muck's out of the hole (and I trust Fitzgerald will dredge it up) before I go wild with it. I think McCain is probably taking a similar view at the moment.

            I think one thing that people of all sides forget is that nobody's ever going to be with you 100%. I completely disagree with McCain on Bolton, for example - but that doesn't mean I automatically dismiss anything else he does because of that one disagreement.

            •  Thank you for (4.00)
              at least a thoughtful reply from "the other side".  I'm glad you read here and glad you feel free to post here.  I wish there were more like you who are willing to read all sides before coming to a conclusion.  Maybe I wouldn't agree with you on all issues (or possibly even none! :0), but if your conclusions at minimum, involve some THOUGHT, there can be a reasonable debate.
              •  Thanks in return (4.00)
                You're welcome - I try. I do read here, often (it's typically the quickest place to get breaking news if I missed it, actually, like today), and post sometimes. Most of the time I get responses like yours. Sometimes they're not nearly as pleasant, or even civil. But that is to be expected, sadly.

                I'd invite you to check out Charging RINO, my blog. I think you'd probably be surprised by how often we might agree ... and even when we disagree, I hope that I do provide the kind of thoughtful analysis that I am going for.

                A reasonable debate is precisely what I'm looking for. One of the major issues I think we've got to tackle in America today is getting people on opposite sides of the issue to discuss and debate, without resorting to the kind of name-calling, automatic-motive-impugning and nastiness that has come to infect our political discourse today. As a young person, that kind of non-discourse really bothers me, so I'm doing all I can to try and combat it.

                It's fine to disagree - that's healthy. But we've got to be able to do it without being disagreeable, or both sides just end up in the mud.

                •  Thanks (4.00)
                  couldn't agree more - sometimes it seems both ends of hte ploitical spectrum have become rabid these days - and in the end this should be about ideas, about waht's right, not just about spin.
                  •  The reason why Frist... (4.00)
                    delayed voting on the Defense Authorization Bill is because it had language in the bill on the standard of treatment for detainees.

                    Frist is delaying the bill so that they can continue to torture prisoners. I just heard this from a reliable source on capital hill.

                •  We have got to get back to respect (4.00)
                  for one another. Both sides! When one side is consistently bashing the other just for the shock factor and to keep us off balance for political game then we are not working in a democracy that represents us all.

                  When and how can we convince our representatives that we all have a voice and that it should be heard?

                  •  I'm all for respect, as a rule... (4.00)
                    And I hope we can achieve a more respectful political climate in time.

                    But I'm no longer willing to act "civil" while Republicans are out there trashing, sliming, lying, and working their secretive dirty-tricks on anyone who diagrees with them.

                    The burden is on the Republican Party to prove they want civility, and to begin undoing the filthy politics they have created very consciously and methodically over the years.   I reject any suggestions of an equivalent brand of politics on our side of the political spectrum.  That's simply convenient propaganda.  

                    I'd never say there weren't plenty of rude, underhanded and dishonest people in and around the Democratic party.  I live in the real world.

                    But the GOP has INSTITUTIONALIZED the dirty, divisive politics we see today.  It planned them out, and has happily embraced them, again anfd again.  Furthermore, its main proponents and practitioners are in positions of enormous power.  A few are in the White House.

                    If and when the Republican party is truly sincere about a more civil and respectful society, they are free to act on it.  There's nothing stoppin them.  I'm guessing a few honest moves in that direction would go a long way towards healing and unifying this nation.

                    But they simply AREN'T interested in real civilty.  Nope, not in the least.  In fact, the modern GOP's survival depends on it, like junkies depend on heroin.

                    They've won a lot of easy power through their trash politics.   When Democrats have tried to remain civil and respectful in the face of this Nixon-Gingrich-Atwater-Rove-Coulter-Dick "Go Fuck Yourself" Cheney-Fox News-Jeff Gannon GOP, they are trashed all the more for being wimps.

                    Well, this is one Democrat who is done with one-sided disarmament.  

                    I'm through even TRYING to be civil to this Republican party.  The burden of proof is on THEM to show some real respect and honesty, after years of filthy, un-American actions and words.

                    To put it more bluntly...

                    Here's my message of civility to today's bunch of treasonous, lying GOP scumbags:

                    Fuck ME?  No.  Fuck YOU.

                    If anyone wants to argue this, I'm ready.  But you better be ready to back up your argument well, because I can.  I'm loaded for fucking bear.

                    •  Amen, Chumley (4.00)
                      The "Both sides are just as bad" argument is absolute fucking bullshit.

                      When a Repug chimes in (as they almost all do eventually) with one of the lamer Reug rationalizations (The Liberal Media, Kerry says it's OK to kill babies, God says homos are evil so I'm not homophobic when I say fags should die, the left is helping the terrorists, evolutionists hate God, Rove was just trying to help, the media doesn't report the good things in Iraq, he flypaper theory, the insurgency proves we're winning, we could have killed more, etc, etc., ad infinitum) I point out that they are repeating SHIT to me and that it is not respectful for them to try to argue for life-and-death domestic and foreign policy when all they got is SHIT.

                      How can you talk to people who get angry when you challenge the first ten or twenty falsehoods they throw at you, falsehoods that they accept on faith, falsehoods that form the foundation of their nonsensical beliefs?

                      I have to uncategorically dismiss the argument that "both sides are just as bad." As soon as conservative leaders can some to the table with a little less "godless liberals are helping the terrorists" rhetoric, THEN we can talk.

                      And please, anyone who wants to challenge this by saying, "both sides ARE just as bad," please provide an example, and not one of those typical vague conservative examples that thinks that "Well, all those articles in the NYT and the WAPO and CNN" is the same thing as an example of liberal media bias.

                      America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                      by Tony Seybert on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 05:41:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (none)
                        OK, so I thought about it, recent examples of true political slime coming from the Democrats?  It took no time at all to come up with one, it was instantaneous.  It was also targeted at a fellow Democrat;  the Dean/Osama ad from "Americans for Jobs, Healthcare & Progressive Values," Torricelli, Feighan & ???  The more I think, I can come up with other examples of Dems using dirt politics on Dems, but as for dragging the fight against the Republicans into the gutter on anything of national significance, you have to go back to the 60s as best as I can recall.  When, I also have to note, Democrats routinely won elections.

                        So the challenge you posed raises a wide range of interesting questions of its own.    

                        •  Never heard of the Dean/Osama (none)
                          thing you are talking about.

                          Part of the problem with dealing with these pigs is that their minions in the MSM spread their SHIT far and wide within hours.

                          When did Democratic leaders ever spearhead anything that even begins to compare to stuff like the Swift Boat Veterans, the fundamentalist smear machine, the lying personal attacks on Terri Sciavo's husband, the relentless and idiotic attacks on Hillary Clinton, the ad on the Bush Campaign site that compared Kerry, Dean and Michael Moore to Nazis, Ashcroft's statement that opposing the PATRIOT Act was helping the terrorists, Cheney's statement that a vote for Kerry was a vote for the terrorists, Bush's statement that you have to be religious to be patriotic, etc. etc. etc.

                          There is no comparison to be made by any but the most pathetically brain-washed Kool-Aid drinker.

                          America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                          by Tony Seybert on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:24:17 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Dean/Osama ad (none)
                            CNN Story

                            The story does mention that "former aides" to Gephart and Kerry were on the staff of "Americans for Jobs..."; what came out later when the 527 filing were released (after the damage done) was that the main bagman for the operation was none other than the inimitable Bob Torricelli.  

                          •  Seriously. (none)
                            That's the best you can do?

                            Looking for the part where the Democratic Leaders say that everybody who votes for the Republicans is responsible for the next terrorist attack.

                            It was a stupid ad, but to lay it next to the Swift Veteran smear is ... lame.

                            America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                            by Tony Seybert on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:41:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're entirely missing the point (none)
                            First, the Democrats involved were saying exactly that about a fellow Democrat, that if Dems voted for Dean they were voting for mopre terror attacks by al-Qaeda.

                            But you're missing the point entirely.  The point is:  the Democrats are entirely willing and able to carry out smears--against fellow DXemocrats that go "off the reservations".  They are not constraned by limited ability to develop smears, nor are they overburdened with scruples in engaging in them.  What they lack is the willpower to smear Republicans.

                            Think aobut it.

                          •  What was the point? (none)
                            Looking back at what I said, my point was that the idea that "both sides are just as bad" is absolute fucking bullshit.

                            You can bring up one example, that hasn't been heard for a year, and you can make up your own brand new point "See, the Democrats do bad things too! See? See?"

                            But it's not the original point. I still stand by my original statement. Dems = Repugs? Not even close.

                            America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                            by Tony Seybert on Thu Jul 28, 2005 at 12:17:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Amen to you too, brother (none)
                        As soon as conservative leaders can some to the table with a little less "godless liberals are helping the terrorists" rhetoric, THEN we can talk.

                        You speak the truth.  

                        But I'm in no damned rush to talk to any of them.  

                        Let them come to me, once I've beaten them senseless again and again.  'Til they cry for their Mommies.  Republicans are chickenshits when someone puts up a real fight, and always run from it.

                        Then maybe when they're hiding behind theyir Mommy's skirts, pissing their pants, they'll finally realize that their old shit isn't gonna work any more... because not only do I know their playbook, but I have a counter-offense.  And that I'm stronger, smarter, and a lot fucking meaner when I have to be.  And right now, I HAVE TO BE.  

                        Besides, I'm enjoy kicking their pathetic asses, so I'm in no rush to stop.

                        So yeah.  Let them come to me, begging for a little mercy.  Then MAYBE I'll listen.

                        (thanks for responding, Tony)

                    •  hmmm (none)
                      i am totally with you on the outrage...

                      but i think the instructive, but not explicit, point about these posts is that it's always going to come down to individuals.  i know that the rethug bullshit is being fully integrated into political culture, and our institutions as a consequence.  but there's still a difference between sitting down with karl rove and sitting down with your neighbor's son.    

                      i definitely don't want to try to have conversations with the extremists who seek out talking points from good ol' ken.  but what about the people who have been genuinely convinced they were right... until now?  no conversations?  they've passed the point of no return?  do not collect $200?

                      it's easy and almost cathartic to wholly swallow generalizations.  but it's not entirely productive all of the time.

                      and just in case you're still online and ready with this response:

                      i want to spit in the face of people who have run alongside the wingers up until this point, for sure.  but if (and hopefully when) they turn, how long do we continue to be angry?

                      •  good question (none)
                        "but if (and hopefully when) they turn, how long do we continue to be angry?"

                        My answer:  wait until WE BELIEVE them, in our guts.  And they've shown it for a while through their continuied words and actions.

                        Don't do it as soon as they ask / demand it.  That's just being suckered.

                        Like I said, the burden of proof is on them.  For a long time to come.  And we have no reason to rush forward with open arms.  When we've done that in the recent past (like right after 9/11), they've used the opportunity to aim coldly and kick right us in the 'nads...metaphorically speaking, of course.

                        So I appreciate your question.  Thanks for responding.  The best answer I can give is to wait until our gut feelings give us the all-clear....and then wait a little longer.

                •  Your blog is excellent (none)
                  You're a conservative.. as opposed to the wingnuts who call themselves conservatives now. And you're honest. Kossacks in general have always respected honest conservatives.

                  Remember: there's no sense in talking to them. Talk to your base first, the middle second, and the amoral and lying right never.

                  by cdreid on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:45:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There are honest conservatives? (none)
                    If by "honest conservatives," you mean conservatives that oppose the Bush Administration, then you are not hip to the NEW political lexicon. COnservatives that oppose the Bush Administration are now known as "atheist, tree-hugging, terrorist-loving liberals."

                    Get with it!

                    America: It's a good IDEA for a country ...

                    by Tony Seybert on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 05:44:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I always wonder what... (none)
                      ...Bush and the Neocons think of Ron Paul (RINO-TX).  He has a R by his name, but he's really a Libertarian (and was the Libertarian presidential canidate in 1988).  On things involving Iraq, or stupid shit like investigating steriods in baseball or Grand Theft Auto or brain dead women in Florida, he's on our side more than most Democrats not named Feingold.  Of course, when it comes time to pay for stuff, he's, um, not.
                  •  Thanks (none)
                    I very much appreciate your comments. Glad you like the blog, stop by and visit anytime, of course.
            •  Welcome (4.00)
              Glad you're here.  

              On McCain, something you write is exactly why I'm so disappointed with him (and Graham).  You write:

              I think McCain's playing it safe for now with Rove.

              I agree -- I think McCain is playing it safe, but what our country desparately needs are Republicans who are willing to look beyond safe politics for the good of the nation.

              True, we don't know all the facts.  But we do know:

              1.  Senior White House officials, including Karl Rove, leaked the identity of a CIA agent to the press.

              2.  The CIA, the DOJ, and four federal judges have all concluded that the leak had serious national security implications.

              3.  The White House misled the American people by flatly claiming that Rove and Libby were not "involved" in the leak, and they now refuse to comment on that earlier claim.

              4.  The White House has taken no action to comply with its duties under the Executive Order (reaffirmed by Bush himself in 1993) that governs violations of Classified Information Nondisclsure Agreements.  (More info. available here).

              Whether or not criminal indictments are issued, what Karl Rove did was wrong.  What the White House said to the American people two years ago was dishonest.  And what the GOP is doing in response to the revelations (slime Wilson as if that justifies outing his wife) is disgraceful.

              Somebody in the Republican party should be willing to say as much.  At the very least, they shouldn't be repeating the GOP talking points (i.e., McCain saying that Rove was just "trying to knock down what he thought were some inaccuracies" and sending the message that it's fine to disclosure national security secrets so long as the disclosure is not intentional).
              •  Agreed (4.00)
                I second your points. I think Rove did do wrong, and I hope that Bush holds him accountable. And if Bush doesn't, you all better keep pushing it. I personally am sort of hoping that the press keeps asking about this day after day after day ... sooner or later the White House will get sick of talking about nothing else. Make it happen.
                •  "you all"???? (none)
                  No, JBD, you all had better keep pushing it. We all are not in the majority in the Senate or House.

                  Quit deflecting responsibility away from your party.

                  You made the mess. You clean it up.

                  Unless, of course, you think that the Republican party is more important than national security. ;)

                  •  Alright how about "we all" (none)
                    I'll join you, but we centrist Republicans (all five of us ...) can't do it by ourselves. I think the left has been very effective so far in pushing this Rove story and keeping it front and center; don't let up - and when we do get the bottom of all this, I'd be very surprised if we don't see a serious bout of "righteous indignation" from the non-lackey wing of the GOP: McCain, Hagel, Warner etc. don't like being taken for a ride, and if they find out there's as much to this story as we think there is, hang on Karl, that rail's gonna be pretty uncomfortable.

                    I know the "wait and see" approach isn't enough for some - but understand the political ramifications of taking this on right now. McCain, Hagel, any of the usual suspects to be out in front on this are thinking about running for Pres (as Republicans, for the moment) - going all fire and brimstone on Rove right now would be incredibly dumb from a GOP-based political standpoint. If they were thinking about going third-party, it would be perfect ... but clearly that's not in their thinking right now.

                    I'm not deflecting at all, I'm just stating what I think is happening. Take it or leave it :-)

                    Keep up the pressure, that's all I'm sayin' - but keep it up where it's needed: Bush and Rove.

            •  Nice to See Some Civil Disagreements (none)
              and agreements, something that has long been absent from the political discussion. One could blame Gingrich or LBJ, but either way it's been a total disaster for the country.

              That said, permit me to disagree with you on McCain. And I "speak" now as one who was hoping to see him as someone I could, if not support, then live with. Much as I disagreed with McCain on some (not all) of his views, I respected his personal courage and willingness to work for what is best for the country (and also to work with Democrats such as Kerry).

              No longer. He may have had some spine once, but he sold it to Bush & Co. for a mess of pottage. Rove's attack on him in SC in 2000 reached what was then a new low in viciousness, and yet McCain brushes it off. As was said of Kerry when he ignored the Swift Boat liars, if a man won't stand up to personal attacks, how is he going to defend the country?

              I also vividly remember that scene of McCain with Bush on Air Force 1. He looked very much like a man who had one arm twisted behind his back. And remember that the SC slime wasn't Bush's only denigration of McCain; he has belittled him ever since the 2000 election. If McCain went along with him willingly in 2004, then he forfeits any respect I had for him. (He did not need Bush's help to win reelection in Arizona.) If he went along unwillingly, then I have to wonder what hold Bush has on him, and what pressure he could then bring to bear on McCain if he does get into the WH. After all, we need to clean out all vestiges of Bush's mess, and we can't do that if he can blackmail his successor.

              You might be able to persuade me to take another look at Chuck Hagel or Voinovich, perhaps. But not McCain.

              It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

              by Dan K on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:57:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair (none)
                It's an understandable position - one I don't happen to share, but I understand it. Watching McCain hug Bush last summer was physically painful. But I've tried to move beyond it, and while recognizing that I don't and won't agree with McCain on everything, I'll take him over another Bush anyday ...
            •  I agree with you on McCain's intent. (none)
              But his strategy and tactics suck to high heaven.  If he really is playing "wait and see" then shut up while you're waiting.

              Going on the chat shows just solidifies your position as appologist.

              Rove doesn't need McCain's support.  He already has Bush's support.  So my advice to John would be that when you get that phone call asking you to one more time help balance the rhetoric on the talk shows, just say that  you think you'd do more good staying silent.

              I think what amazes us lefties the most about McCain, is the "Stockholm Syndrome" nature of his relationship with Rove.  Rove attacked his service, his patriotism and his private life in order to get Bush elected.  I find it hard to believe that McCain truly believes that Bush is doing a better job than he would have done.  So why all the love now?

          •  i emailed mccain (none)
            the definition of negligent.  how many others did too?

            hopefully his staff greeted him mon am with the definition in large, bold print on posterboards.   but wouldn't it be great ...

        •  Excuse me, but... (none)
          you are aware that RINO means "Republican In Name Only and is a disparaging term the right uses for your wing of the party.  Why are you buying into the frame that you aren't a real Republican, just because you are smart enough to see the truth?

          I would be equally surprised if someone set up a "Charging DINO" site.  

          I've read a few of your pieces, and I really respect your position on a number of issues, and by the way, if your boys win back the Republican Party, it is going to be very problematic for Democrats.  I don't believe there's a Democrat in this country who could beat John McCain in 2008, and if he becomes the face of the GOP, we're screwed.

      •  50-48 (none)
        That makes more sense.  See here for the roll call.
      •  Thank you for the diary, (none)
        and you merited the 4 I passed your way just for using Kos' line: "For the Republican Party, the elephant always flies above the Stars and Stripes."

        This is a line that we all need to work into our language -- in variations, this has real power, I believe.

    •  50 to 48, 2 not voting (none)
      you probably already saw this, but just in case, thought i'd post

      7 republican nayes: allard, collins, graham, lott, mccain, snow, thund

      3 dem ayes: conrad, nelson-fl, nelson-ne

      not voting: craig and rockefeller

  •  Hill Article; Post Editorial (4.00)
    You can read more about the background of the DoD Authorization v. Gun Liability debate in this article from today's edition of The Hill.

    The Post weighed in this morning on the Gun Liability bill with an editorial entitled, No Gun Dealer Bailout.  Here's the first paragraph:

    WITH THE SNAP of its fingers, the National Rifle Association has caused Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to halt debate on the critical Defense Department appropriations bill today so that the Senate can take up an NRA-sponsored bill immunizing gun dealers from civil lawsuits for the carnage wrought with their products. The NRA legislation that Mr. Frist and Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) are hawking would create a unique and unwarranted exemption for gunmakers and dealers from the normal rules of liability. A more unfair and irrational special-interest shield from civil justice is difficult to imagine.
  •  thank you (none)
    i was wondering what this was and boxer was GREAT!  the lady knows her FRAMING!   I'll be looking for Martinez and Nelson's vote ... if they do vote.  Haven't seen either of them lately.
  •  Cloture Invoked on Gun Bill (none)
    66-32

    Sad.

  •  Hmmmm... (4.00)

    I'd bet that Frist's rush for cloture on the DoD Authorization has more to do with trying to slam the door on the proposed "detainee" amendments, actually. Cheney's cloakroom arm-twisting tactics didn't work this time so Frist is trying to shut it down early. Just a guess...

    As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

    by kingubu on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:21:16 AM PDT

    •  Righto (none)
      Yes - that, and Frist brought up guns to keep from discussing stem cells. It's filler, as one Dem aide is quoted in the Hill saying today.
      •  Yes and No (none)
        I agree that there may be additional reasons that Frist wanted to end debate on DoD Authorization, but I think it's underestimating the NRA's influence over the GOP to think that the NRA was not the primary force here.

        The reality is, First did not succeed in limiting debate on DoD amendments, he only succeeded in delaying that debate.  By contrast, he did succeed in moving the Senate to the gun liability bill, which is what he promised the NRA.

        •  Good point (none)
          Very true. I think between the NRA, the White House, and Bill Frist's presidential aspirations (asinine as they are) this was a pretty likely occurrence.
          •  Priceless (4.00)
            JBD writes:

            Bill Frist's presidential aspirations (asinine as they are)

            I think that parenthetical should be required anytime someone at DKos writes about Bill Frist's presidential aspirations (asinine as they are).

          •  Just wondering... (none)
            Which Republican's presidential aspirations do you regard as not asinine at this point?  I'm genuinely curious.

            Lies are the new truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:28:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well ... (4.00)
              Good question. I'm not sure what things will look like in two or three years, but I think as of right now, the only viable GOP candidates (and I mean 'able to get anywhere,' not 'I think they'd be good candidates') are Giuliani, McCain, Allen, Barbour, Huckabee, and Jeb if he gets in. I think Romney, Frist, Santorum, Pataki have minimal chance. Brownback is a wild card, as is Pawlenty.

              I may have forgotten some; if so, forgive me.

              •  Thanks for the view (4.00)
                I'd like to think Giuliani's too crooked and Allen's too stupid, but the current occupant has cruelly murdered those illusions.

                McCain's going to be awfully old, and hasn't aged well.  Hope the melanoma doesn't get him before then, much as I despise his recent sell-out.

                Barbour's a truly frightening thought....

                Lies are the new truth.

                by Dallasdoc on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:45:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Thinking of Barbour as Presnit... (4.00)
                ...causes this Mississippi boy serious gagging.  The man has seriously devestated this state in the short time he's been here.  I can barely imagine what he would do to the whole country - especially if the Dems don't control at least one house of congress (can anyone say "Diebold"?).

                But, on the up side, haveing barbour as presnit means he won't be governor of Mississippi.  Maybe this is true to the republican way - failure in a job gets you promoted and moved on?

              •  Interesting list... (4.00)
                Have to agree with you on most of those except Haley Barbour, the American public would never elect someone like him.  As for Guliani, he's a crooked philanderer, something which most Americans don't know and will wipe the 9/11 glow right off him.  I am worried about McCain, George Allen, a strong Southern Governor like Huckabee, and I agree with you about the no-chancers.  As for your wild-cards, Sam BROWNBACK?  We'd Goldwater him so easily it would make the country's head spin.  Yeah, Pawlenty would be a pretty good candidate for the GOP to help swing the Upper Midwest, which would screw the Dems over.
                •  Absolutely (4.00)
                  I hope you're right about Barbour - the question is, would the GOP base back him in the primaries? I can't quite rule him out just yet. I think you're on target re: Giuliani (unfortunately, it would be nice to have another decent strong centrist in the mix).
                  Brownback is, like I said, a wildcard. The right really likes him, and he's been playing for the Dobson crowd bigtime lately (and they have waaaay too big a role in our primaries). You'd Goldwater him, for sure, and it would probably split the party - but the right wing would lap it up like candy.
      •  Yup (4.00)

        I saw Sen. Harkin (D-IA) on Washington Journal this morning shaking his head about how his version of the stem-cell bill (identical to the one that passed overwhelmingly in the House) has more than enough bi-partisan support to pass in the Senate but Frist won't let it come to the floor. Meanwhile, Hutchinson and others in the extremist faction are busy cooking alternate bills to try to muddy the waters. Feh!


        That Frist can still call himself an MD with a straight face while trying to block one of the most promising avenues of medical research in decades-- over purely political/ideological reasons-- says all there is to say about the GOP "leadership". Someone ought to hold him down and beat his sorry pandering ass with a rolled up copy of the Hippocratic Oath.

        As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

        by kingubu on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:50:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's sad (4.00)
          Frist is trying to save himself from the complete and total embarrassment of voting against a bill to do something that he explicitly endorsed back in 2001: "provide funding for embryonic stem cell research only from blastocysts that would otherwise be discarded. We need to allow Federal funding for research using only those embryonic stem cells derived from blastocysts that are left over after in vitro fertilization and would otherwise be discarded." (from a 7/18/01 floor speech). Much more on that here and here.
          •  Well, let's just forget about stem cells, then (none)
            Wouldn't want to embarrass Bill Frist.

            Lies are the new truth.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:30:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, Great Links... (4.00)

            Thanks.


            Man, could he possibly be more of a puppet?


            You know, it all makes me worry a bit, though. The extremist types have been pushing people up the GOP ladder for decades now and they have just about everything one could ask for in terms of American politics-- party control of both houses (with loyalists in key leadership positions) and a POTUS that at least talks the talk-- yet, despite all of this, they still aren't getting what they think they want and are just about out of rope in terms of tightening the noose. Where do they go from here? I don't know. It could be that the rank and file will throw their hands in the air and their power will wane, but that kind of "we tried everything" frustration is the stuff that violent movements are made of.

            As long as the prerequisite for that shining Paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate... I say the Hell with it. --Inherit the Wind

            by kingubu on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't beat his ass with the oath... (none)
          (to paraphrase RA Heinlein)
          ...fold it until it's all corners and shove it...well, you get the idea :)
    •  My first thought (none)
      as I sat slack-jawed watching. Hope the Boxer soundbite gets some airtime.

      I think it was just handy that the Gun bill was hanging there.  Can't let the defense bill go through with any anti-torture mumbo jumbo it it!

    •  That or something like it, definitely (none)
      This is an unnecessary avoidance, that to me screams of wanting to just not look at the DoD Authorization at all right now.

      I think this is worth pressing as a question - "Is that the real reason why First chose the NRA over the Dod?" Sets up the question nicely.

      After all, he definitely made that choice - and what the reason is, is a very good question.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would rather (none)
    link ALL of the "puzzle pieces" to NATIONAL SECURITY
      ie:  roce, libby, treason, traitors, dod spending, halliburton, etc.  We are at War and this wot, what's the new gpo frame?  it all ties in with it for the next 10+ years.
  •  So Frist & Co's yellow ribbons should say... (4.00)
    "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS - Eventually."
  •  Dumbo not withstanding (none)
    For the Republican Party, the elephant always flies above the Stars and Stripes

    We all know how well elephants fly...

  •  A (none)
    better meme, whatever you want to call it, might be

    Republicans are more interested in amassing power for themselves than the safety of the country.

    •  True, however... (none)
      This is definitely true, but you want to stick to the facts at hands.  Such a statement would be great when combined with a laundry list of proveable items of questionable priority, today's is just one.

      I do think it works well to say they put the rights of those who bear arms for sport over those who bear arms for our freedom (their words, not ours!)

      "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
      "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

      by Stymnus on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the idea (none)
        is to have something you can say that encompasses many different events and fits them to an easily identifiable theme that Americans can relate to. having a pothy saying for each individual event makes it harder to get any one message into the public consciousness.
      •  Little problem with your framing (none)
        The second amendment wasnt put into the constitution to protect the right to duck hunt. It was put in to protect freedom... from tyranny. Read the patriot act lately? Heard of Guantanamo, Abu Gharaib?....

        Remember: there's no sense in talking to them. Talk to your base first, the middle second, and the amoral and lying right never.

        by cdreid on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:53:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  One problem (none)
        I do think it works well to say they put the rights of those who bear arms for sport over those who bear arms for our freedom (their words, not ours!)


        The gun nuts where I live always quote about "The Second Amendment isn't about hunting" in response to the democrats who say they support hunting.

        To them, they are supporting freedom.

        John Kerry carried a union card. He's more of a man of the people than spoiled rich kid Chimpy will ever be.

        by John Lane on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 06:07:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Could it be.... (none)

    that, in lieu of a draft, Frist intends to have the IRA and various malitia go to Iraq to replace and/or relieve those who are being held there beyond their dates to be brought home?

    That's the only reason I can see for this move.

    What "leaders" we have!!!!

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:35:43 AM PDT

  •  Could it be.... (none)

    that, in lieu of a draft, Frist intends to have the IRA and various malitia go to Iraq to replace and/or relieve those who are being held there beyond their dates to be brought home?

    That's the only reason I can see for this move.

    What "leaders" we have!!!!

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:36:15 AM PDT

  •  Choosing party over national security, yet again. (none)
    Appalling, unbelievable arrogance of power, now beginning to be flavored with fear.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:39:26 AM PDT

  •  I hope somebody's taking notes so that (none)
    when they start in on their lying about how much better they are at protecting us then the Dems we can bring all this out and show how it really is "party before country".

    According to the 9/11 Commission there was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

    by txbirdman on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:02:31 PM PDT

  •  Recap of this year (4.00)
    First, what concerns me most about taking up the gun liability bill now is that the Senate still hasn't passed all its appropriations bills.  (Here is a link to the status of the appropriation bills.)  The Senate still has to pass difficult appropriations bills such as the Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and Housing and Urban Development appropriations, which contains really contentious issues such as Amtrak, veterans' health care and Section 8 vouchers and the Labor, HHS bill which contains Medicaid, PBS, and other essential programs the Bush Administration would like to cut.

    Compounding to the appropriations bills, the Senate Judiciary Committee has to take ample time in considering Judge Roberts for the Supreme Court.  Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is also chairman of the Labor, HHS appropriations subcommitte, so he has his plate full.

    Now, let's go back to the appropriations' bills.  Once the appropriations' bills pass the Senate, the Senate still has to negotiate with the House, and create a conference report for each bill.  And the appropriations' bills are all due on 1 October, and Congress is in recess all next month.  There's no way the appropriations' bills can be completed on time in addition to disposing of the Roberts nomination.

    What I wanted to say, though, was look at what this Republican Senate has done all year.  Republicans have intervened in the most private matter of the life of a severely brain-dead woman who had absolutely no hope of living on her own.  They've debated three completely unqualified judges U.S. circuit courts and the effects of removing the filibuster on judicial nominations.  Now they want debate giving gun manufacturers immunity over gun liability suits -- something exceedingly rare.  Republicans are just proving how government can be so wasteful.

    •  Great point (none)
      And hopefully we can nail them when the inetivable story comes of Congress trying to close the session but having to stay late to finish the work they didn't get done while they were trying to resuscitate a dead woman.

      Whoever gets the nod for the Dems in '08 will have the distinct advantage of being able to run against a decade of failed right wing government resulting in a world war that we're quickly losing, a gigantic deficit, urgent matters like global warming ignored while Congress and the President did the bidding of corporate interests that have left the American people without the ability to pay for all the large houses and cars they were given for "free" from all the predatory lenders that bought the government while our jobs were sold off to the Chinese who will then be poised to face off against us while we were swatting gnats in Iraq and outlawing gay marriage. We can nominate Dennis Kucinich and win against that pathetic record! No offence to DK...

  •  my goodness (none)
    the opposition ads just really write themselves with this crew.

    photoshoppers - we need you.  a graphic depicting the gop elephant flag flying above old glory is just begging to be made.  i would, but photoshop is not my forte.

  •  Is this a Fristian Gun Run or an Abu Grovel? (4.00)
    I suspect the NRA is serving as a stalking horse for something worse than gun crimes. Several Republicans have said they will add riders to this bill to (a) require an independent investigation of prisoner treatment at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, and (b) establish standards for treatment of prisoners captured or held by our military. Postponing discussion of the bill also closes off discussion on this topic, at least for the time being.

    I used to live in the United States of America. Now I live in a homeland.

    by homeland observer on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:20:50 PM PDT

  •  REPUBLICANS USE THE TROOPS LIKE TRASH!!!! (4.00)
    I'm pissed today

    Mostly because of this (sorry for blatant diary whoring... I posted this late last night and I think it might have gotten missed:

    USA TODAY: Brain Cancer linked to Gulf War

    "...an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!"

    King Lear

    by Norwell on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:26:43 PM PDT

    •  Die for your government (none)
      Anti-Flag: Die For Your Government
      You've gotta die, gotta die, gotta die for your government?
      Die for your country? That's shit!
      There's a Gulf War vet, dying a slow, cold death
      And the government says, "We don't know the source of his sickness."
      But don't believe what they say, because your government is lying
      They've done it before and don't you know they'll do it again
      A secret test, government built virus
      "Subject Test Group: Gulf Battle Field Troops"
      You've gotta die, gotta die, gotta die for your government?
      Die for your country? That's shit!
      First World War veterans slaughtered, by General Eisenhower
      You give them your life, they give you a stab in the back
      Radiation, agent orange, tested on US souls
      Guinea pigs for Western corporations
      I never have, I never will
      Pledge allegiance to their flag
      You're getting used, you'll end up dead!
      You've gotta die, gotta die, gotta die for your government?
      Die for your country? That's shit!
      I don't need you to tell me what to do
      And I don't need you to tell me what to be... FUCK YOU!
      I don't need you to tell me what to say
      And I don't need you to tell me what to think! What to think!
      What to think, what to think, what to think, think, think, think!
      You've gotta die, gotta die, gotta die for your government?
      Die for your country? That's shit!

      In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

      by jabbausaf on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is this hat 1770 troops died for? (4.00)
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050720/wl_mideast_afp/usiraqconstitution_05072007 5918

    "WASHINGTON (AFP) - A draft of     Iraq's new constitution would greatly curtail women's rights, imposing the Sharia or Koranic law in personal matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance, as well as their representation in parliament, The New York Times said. ...."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
    snip
    Take Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's lovefest visit to Tehran on Sunday, where he laid a wreath on the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini and hailed what he called "a new chapter in brotherly ties" between Iran and Iraq. Now, by all rights, this should have been a major story in the U.S. Here you have the leader of the new government we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars creating in Iraq making very nice with the terror-funding and nuke-building mullahs in Iran

    Stop Corporate Influence; buy DEMOCRACY BONDS!!! http://www.democrats.org/democracybonds.html

    by timber on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:31:00 PM PDT

    •  umm.. no (none)
      The USA did NOT got to Iraq or anywhere else for Women's rights, not sure where you got that idea.  The same repugs who force us to go to war (can you say profit?) are the same types who are degrading Womens Rights HERE AT HOME.

      I am not surprised about the "loss" of womens rights in the new consititution.  Its their world, not ours.  It is their fight, we do not have any true mechanisms to wage that fight, sitting here in cozy America.

      I suggest we focus on what we CAN do something about: fighting for our rights here where they are most certainly under attack.

      The SM-62 Snark was a USAF intercontinental nuclear cruise missile that was operational in 1960-1961.

      by nika7k on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 05:39:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this Defense Authorization is delayed, (4.00)
    ammunition and weapons won't be bought.  Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan won't be paid for.  While some out here in Kosland might like that idea, it also means that troops won't get paid.  Retired veterans won't get their pensions.  External medical facilities will not get reimbursed, and the money that pays for US military support of the UN will not be available.

    The fiscal year ends on September 30.

    The arrogance of the pricks knows no bounds.

    Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

    by soonergrunt on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:03:14 PM PDT

    •  Fuckers! (4.00)
      I want my paycheck, dammit!

      I'll tell you what else this will do, it will make it a hell of a lot harder to pay for essential parts and maintenance to keep our military machine running.

      In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

      by jabbausaf on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:16:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Something as prosaic as batteries (4.00)
        can stop training and operations.  Basically, if it uses electricity at all, it uses batteries.  Infantry units go through a LOT of batteries of varying types, and I'm damned if I'm paying for the ones I can buy.  How will we pay for the ones that are use-specific, like radio batteries?

        Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

        by soonergrunt on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:55:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I get what you're saying (none)
      and think it's BS what Frist is doing. His motives are evil.

      However, all of the billins we pour into the military industrial complex and we still have not been able to accomplish properly arming our troops, re-building what we destroyed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all the oother items in your list.

      The Democrats should use your post as talking points, still we throw way to much money at DoD contractors at the expense of our fighting men and women. And nobody has the balls to cut defense appropriations waste, fraud and abuse where it's needed.

      •  So... (none)
        ...propose the defence authorization bill be SPLIT and passed in segments. Veteran's benefits and soldiers' pay to come first, of course.

        "We can pass the pay packet in one day, no one disagrees with that!" Imagine the Pugs trying to argue against that line.

        "Salvation is by way of the truth, not by way of the fatherland" -- Chaadaev

        by sagesource on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:19:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well just dandy (none)
    This is on top of White House threats to block the same defense authorization bill if a trio of Republican senators insist on adding amendments that will require greater control and oversight over detention centers.

    Between Frist and the White House, how is it that the Democrats are the ones portrayed as weak on defense?

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

    by jabbausaf on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:10:59 PM PDT

  •  Unbelievable. Unconscionable. Again. n/t (none)
  •  They are All Tied Together............... (none)
    "I'm reluctant to post a diary that draws attention away from Traitorgate, which I believe should be our central focus these days"

    Don't be Reluctant, any and all that is happening can easily be written to tie into what is going on Especially as to Benedict Rove!!!

    If something Pops up that seems off Point, just think abit and it can be Tied Right In with just a few sentences!!!

    •  Don't worry, QWQ, (none)
      about Traitorgate -- that story will be simmering on and off for a long time and boil over again and again.

      If you remember Watergate unfolding around Nixon in the early 70s, there were lulls in that story too, but the evidence kept growing and getting substantiated until it overtook the national consciousness.  It wasn't sudden or steady.  It was intermittent until it rolled over all of us.

  •  Whoring (none)
    Man, he is not to be believed.  You whore for creeps like that though, it isn't too long before you catch something fatal.

    Peace in a world free of Religion, Peace in a world where everyone gets Heaven... -- Toni Halliday

    by Wintermute on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:10:31 PM PDT

  •  Military papers (none)
    Go Army Times.  The military papers are often willing to take on tough issues that the civilian press doesn't, apparently for fear of offending the Pentagon.  And they tend to do it with some depth and a regard for the objectivity of fact rather than the "balance" of he said, she said.  Exhibit #1,729 demonstrating that we now live in bizarro world.
    •  Except ... (none)
      in this case, the Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, and Marine Corps Times are part of the Military Times Media Group, a subsidiary of Gannett Co. Inc.

      So it's Gannett, publishers of USA Today.

      Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. - Heinrich Heine (1821)

      by Caneel on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 09:05:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding the NRA: (none)
    There already are laws protecting gun manufacturers against gun death lawsuits. A month or two ago, there was a highly-publicized lawsuit in Florida in which someone sued a gun manufacturer and lost.

    I don't think the courts are sympathetic to such suits, from what I can tell.

  •  The urgency (none)
    A noteworthy fact about the gun bill is that not only would it bar certain lawsuits, but it requires that if such lawsuits are pending on the date the statute is enacted, they must be instantly dismissed.

    Is there a big-money gun lawsuit in danger of reaching a verdict in the next month?  Could this be the reason the NRA needs this passed now?

    •  Interesting (none)
      That was also true of the fictional NRA bill that was at the center of Richard North Patterson's novel last year.

      Unlike in the book, I'm not sure there are actually any high-profile suits pending, but it would be a neat and tidy way for the NRA guarantee complete assurance against gun-maker accountability.

    •  Possibility? (none)
      I had C-span on through this debate, but wasn't paying enough attention to be able to recall the details now.

      However, Levin kept bringing up the DC sniper case. Apparently, the weapon the snipers used was stolen from an outlet that kept such lousy records that they had over 200 weapons they could not account for--and, the manufacturing knew they could not account for all the weapons received, yet continued to supply them with new product.  Levin used the term "willfull negligence" IIRC.  I wonder if one or more of the families of those victims has a suit pending?

  •  PBS NewsHour - Gonzales (none)
    Gonzales to be interviewed shortly, or depending on your PBS local schedule on the 'NewsHour' by Jim Lehrer!!!!!!!

    If you miss it, don't know what he'll be saying but should be interesting after Sunday, the Transcripts, Video, and Audio should be up Later or Tomorrow at the PBS Site under the 'NewsHour"'s show Pages!!

  •  Update 3: Back to Traitorgate (none)
    Time magazine has a new article on its webiste with a few interesting developments:

    1. "The Senior House Intelligence Committee Democrat has asked the State Department to hand over copies of a memo that has become a hot potato in the criminal investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA officer said to have been operating under cover."

    2. "Some Republicans have questioned whether Plame--who had in recent years worked out of CIA's Langley, Va., headquarters--was really undercover. But a U.S. official told TIME that the CIA still considered her to be under covert status, under a 1982 covert agents protection law, at the time her identity was disclosed in a July 14, 2003, article by columnist Robert Novak."

    3. The Wilsons like Springsteen.
    •  Update 4: McCain v. Frist (none)
      Knight Ridder has its article out on the Defense Authorization debacle.

      Here's the lede:

      The Senate's Republican leader on Tuesday derailed a bipartisan effort to set rules for the treatment of enemy prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other military detention camps by abruptly stopping debate on a $491 billion defense bill.

      And here's McCain on Frist's decision:

      "It just doesn't make sense to leave defense authorization," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a leading sponsor of the interrogation-standard amendment.
  •  The NRA has the GOP by the balls (none)
    I don't like them, but they are damn good in their lobbying. Damn good. I'm in a blue county thanks to Lansing, but I live in an "NRA" stretch of Michigan which is closer to Livingston County in views. In fact, the Michigan Militia used to be active right down the road from me. I hear talk over and over about "democrats taking our guns away."

    And the biggest mistake we as democrats made is to try and have it both ways on gun control. This DLC crap on this pisses off EVERYBODY. The suburban moms who hate guns don't like our halfway job, and the NRA member won't even listen to us on that since they don't trust us. The only democrat they like is John Dingell.

    The most I was able to do was convince one Chimp voter to presumeably vote libertarian since he was pissed off at him for the Patriot Act, but that's it.

    Let's just quit the gun pandering, especially on a national scale. Fuck the NRA. They won't vote for us anyway. Let's go ahead and continue our suburban push with gun control.

    John Kerry carried a union card. He's more of a man of the people than spoiled rich kid Chimpy will ever be.

    by John Lane on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 05:55:21 PM PDT

    •  I favor going the other way (none)
      If we want to win any non-coastal western state ever again in a presidential race, our canidate must be pro-gun.  Maybe not enough to have the NRA endorce them, but at least enough that they don't endorce the other guy.  If the NRA did endorce them, they would be guaranteed of the presidency if they weren't brain dead otherwise and thier opponent wasn't named McCain.

      A liberal (or libertarian) Democrat with an NRA endorcement could (and probably would) win Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Montana, without losing any current blue state.  It would help in the rest of the red states, as well.

  •  I saw nothing about this on cable tonight (none)
    CNN had nonsense, Matthews had soldiers talking about how swimmingly the war is going (proving Matthews is doing his part for the propaganda effort) and Olbermann had the space shuttle and tow wrestling with his replacement lady.  

    This is a big freaking deal and it should be noticed.  

    "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention."

    by adigal on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:20:25 PM PDT

  •  Reuters Article - Durbin Quote (none)
    Here's Reuters' report, with a great Durbin quote:

    It appears that the Republican leadership is more concerned about the gun lobbyists in three-piece suits than the men and women who are serving our country in uniform.
  •  This is a ruse (none)
    The neocons are NOT progun, just like values, they mouth it but don't do it.

    This is a stalking horse or a distraction from other issues.  Bush had done some major behind the scenes anti-gun things that have the majority of gun owners (most gun owners are not hunters) feeling a bit betrayed.  This is NOT enough to fix that feeling of betrayal.

    I know I am going to get slammed for saying all this but Frist is doing this for some other reason.  

    •  Name one anti-gun thing Bush has done (none)
      •  Easy (none)
        Bush promised to roll back gun control, the NRA promised it was going to be working out of the white house.

        So, they control all three branches of government and the one big thing they did was NOT renew the silly Assualt Weapon Ban.

        There are numerious anti-gun Executive Orders signed by Bush Sr. and Clinton that Bush could kill with the stroke of a pen but hasn't.

        Other than Ashcroft talking about the 2nd Amendment being an individual right, they have done nothing about it.

        Look at how pissed us progressive are that our leaders in congress who are out of power, can't even hold a hearing, haven't DONE anything.  Republicans CAN do things but HAVEN'T and people have noticed their silence on gun issues.

        Recently, and most importantly, the ATF killed importations of most surplus gun barrels, sounds like a small issue but it isn't since most gun owners (despite the myths) are NOT hunters.  This is a clear betrayal of gun owners and combined with the above is calling for things like reregistering Democrat and sending pictures in to representatives, and people posting pictures of themselves peeling of W stickers.

        Trust me, Bush and his pals do NOT want an armed populace out there!

  •  Media Roundup, Round Two (none)
    I've just finished up another long post on the coverage this story is getting in various papers around the country. It's here if you're interested.
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