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I wanted everyone to know the latest on where the Patriot Act stands.

I have never done this before, and I know that it's frowned upon, but here is my statement from last night:

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
On the Latest Regarding Patriot Act Reauthorization

"Today is a victory for the American people and the bipartisan group of Senators who have been fighting against efforts to extend the Patriot Act permanently without protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.  I am pleased that the Republican leadership backed down from their irresponsible threat to let the Patriot Act expire and agreed to a 6-month extension of the provisions that would have sunset at the end of this year.  This will allow more time to finally agree on a bill that protects our rights and freedoms while preserving important tools for fighting terrorism.  Those of us who stood up to demand modest and reasonable protections of our liberties never wanted to stop Patriot Act reauthorization.  We just want to get it right this time around.  

We could have avoided these last-minute negotiations if the House had just adopted the Senate version of the Patriot Act that passed unanimously earlier this year.  As we move forward, I hope that the Republican leadership in the Senate and the administration will continue down the path they started on tonight so that we don't find ourselves in this same situation 6 months from now.  One thing is clear - what happened in the Senate over the past few weeks shows that this conference report is dead."

That's right, they backed down, for now.  There was an agreement reached last night to extend the Patriot Act for 6 months so there is more time to finally get things right.  I want to sincerely thank everyone for their support and for continuing to make their voices heard on this issue.  We could not have reached this point without your support.

That said, our fight is far from over.  Continue your efforts, whether it's writing your member of Congress, or talking to your neighbor - I promise I will continue mine.  

Admissions from the President and others in the administration over the past week about illegal warrantless wiretaps are deeply troubling and only underline the need for proper oversight.  Everyone wants to protect America from the terrorists who wish to do us harm.  We just need to have the proper safeguards in place so that our rights are also protected.  

Thanks again.  Please have a happy and safe holiday season.  

UPDATE 5:02 PM: Late today the House agreed to a 5 week extension of the Patriot Act and it looks like the President and Senate will agree as well. I have no problem with this shorter extension - it actually brings us closer to the 3 month extension many on our side had argued for. With a shorter extension, the overly broad parts of the current Patriot Act, will be in effect for less time, and as many have pointed out here today, that would be a good thing. However, the House Republican leadership and the President should not make the mistake of thinking that a shorter extension will make it possible to jam the unacceptable conference report through the Congress. I will fight against that as hard in January as I did in November and December - And our bipartisan coalition has come too far, and survived too many attacks, not to hang together. It's time to get serious about passing a bill that protects our rights and freedoms while also combatting terrorism.

Originally posted to Russ Feingold on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sen. Feingold (4.00)
    Thanks for your leadership on this vital issue.  

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:27:09 AM PST

    •  Thank you Senator! (4.00)
      I am extremely pleased to see this and other recent developments in the Senate, it looks like you're stemming the tide for now. I hope you all can keep up the good work!

      A quick question, is it possible for the Democrats to require that each bill be read out? and if not, would it make sense for the Democratic Senators themselves to read each bill out in shifts as a part of a filibuster effort?

      I ask this because it seems to me that a filibuster based upon the reading of the actual bill would be an excellent retort to Republican steam-rolling, and very difficult to criticize in the media, we could state that it's our policy to read aloud the body of every single bill before the Senate prior to a vote... except in cases where sufficient time has been granted for perusal on their own time, and adequate time for debate has been allocated.

      The Republican Noise Machine is left in a somewhat more awkward position to criticize a filibuster if it has to draw attention to the fact that the bills aren't being given adequate time for review and debate.

    •  Thanks Senator Feingold (4.00)
      We need more Feingolds in the Senate and more Conyers in the House.

      its a non-stop disco betcha its nabisco betcha didn't know
      Auto Transport

      by kharma on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:03:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  had it expired... (4.00)
      They would have to release wrongly jailed people, pronto. So it might have actually been nice to officially let this expire long enough to see through these cases.

      Six months is too much, to make Bush accountable it should be quarterly renewals. Extraordinary circumstances don't remove oversight requirements.

      Three month renewals with a window for audit maintaining power in the meantime and subject to change under such findings.

      It's still better than an all out surrender of rights and procedure.

      This is the first step.

      PS- the helping America Vote Act is helping make touchsreens the norm everywhere but we need to make certain a paper trail is part of this.

      ES&S is presenting it.

      Every state is a diebold/ES&S zone now. This Patriot act being "won" while that item goes unchecked is absolute bullshit.

      Pardon my Francoise.

      In fact the ballot item is every bit as crucial and can be considered worthy of filibuster.

      •  I hate electronic voting (4.00)
        and I'm a techie. Maybe that's why I hate it - I know how absurdly easy it would be to rig the system, and how unlikely it would be that the un-tech election workers would ever know.

        The old voting machines were fine - they were easy to use, the election workers could verify them, and they generated paper.

        Paper. Give me paper and pen/marker. Easy to use, easy to verify, easy to add more stations when needed (you can use a lighted closet if you have to), easy to count.

        Probably cheaper too.

        There is a place for electronic/talking voting machines, for the handicapped/blind/deaf. But that's a small number of votes.

        •  to err is human.... (4.00)
          to REALLY %$!*x#@!?! things up you need a computer :)
        •  The right kind of voting machine would be OK (4.00)
          It would also have some advantages over paper -- easy choice of language is the example I usually use.

          It would have to be done up right, though. Two absolute musts would be open availability of the source code so the code could easily be audited, and thorough testing. And by thorough testing I mean run simulated elections (or non-governmantal elections, like say for student offices at a university or large high school) before the system is widely deployed, and give the system to a set of testers who are promised a monetary reward if they can hack the results of an election.

          Oh yeah, and a verifiable paper trail. My dream system would simply print out Scantron-style ballots for later tabulation. Automatic paper trail.

          But if it can't be done 100% right, and by that I don't mean 99.44% right, I agree -- don't do it at all.

          •  Unless you are dealing with initiatives (none)
            and reforendums, like CA, what is there to translate? Names don't change from language to language...

            And machine translation is horrible. Totally horrible. You would have to have someONE translate it so that it actually made sense.

            So you have somebody do that, and you store the various versions on a computer. You need a Bulgarian ballot? No problem, print it out.

            But once you really think about it, that's less of an issue. This isn't a driver's license, it's a ballot. You have to be a citizen to vote - and to become a citizen, you have to show you understand English (or at least, you used to). If you were born here and never bothered to learn enough English to read a ballot - shame on you.

            •  Translation (none)
              Names can change -- ask someone who speaks Vietnamese what your name would look like when written in Vietnamese. But that's not the point. Take a ballot issue like:

              Shall the state of Washington enact a law mandating that five percent of school money be set aside for bilingual education?

              Granted, an American citizen is supposed to be fluent in English, but some of these measures can get pretty complicated, and if my native language was Chinese and I knew enough English to buy postage stamps and ask where the courthouse was, I'd be a lot more comfortable reading such a ballot measure in my own language.

              And who said anything about machine translation? I would have the local foreign-language departments of the state university translate the measures beforehand, then when a voter got to the booth they could select their language and have the entire ballot, including instructions and measures, appear in their chosen language.

              Sorry if my original post didn't indicate all this; it was just meant to be a brief overview.

          •  As a techie also, I would like to say... (4.00)
            ...auditing source code is nothing. Source code could VERY EASILY and VERY STEALTHILY be replaced on voting day. No problem. None.

            PAPER PAPER PAPER is the ONLY way.  And not only for a recount should there be PAPER.

            This War is about Money. War Money. Oil Money. Oh, and Christian Zealotry and PNAC.

            by nehark on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:06:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As a former techie (none)
              I can't underscore my agreement with this enough.  There are too many ways to get around 'audited, verified source code' including the memory cards that were just demo'ed in the latest hack demonstration.

              In my naive days, I couldn't imagine why people wouldn't want to take advantage of the ease of counting with automated voting systems.  I know better now.

              •  Publicly published cryptographic signatures (none)
                Sign the code with GPG and publish the signature, and it becomes a simple matter to check to see whether the code has been tampered with.

                Distribute the code on and run it from CDs sealed before the election by the elections department and you minimize the risk even further.

                Like I keep saying, there is no such thing as a no risk situation. With paper ballots we've seen where they run out of ballots in strategically placed neighborhoods, people are forced into provisional ballots for the flimsiest of reasons and the like. Ask Landslide Lyndon and his friends in Depression-era Texas about outright theft of ballot boxes. And I'm not arguing that paper is not a good solution -- maybe even the best -- but I think that to dismiss all idea of electronic voting before some of the ideas that are out there have been thoroughly examined because of perceived problems with current systems is foolish as well.

          •  Require Secure Systems, Too (none)
            Diebold, at least, seems to be using Microsoft Access and Visual Basic to cobble together an insecure and easily hacked system.  For a start, how about mandating all software used in electronic voting systems be CCEVS certified?
            CCEVS Objectives
             The National Information Assurance Partnership Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme (CCEVS) Validation Body, hereafter referred to as the Validation Body, is an activity jointly managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA)  and staffed by personnel from those agencies.

            The focus of the CCEVS is to establish a national program for the evaluation of information technology products for conformance to the International Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation. The Validation Body approves participation of security testing laboratories in the scheme in accordance with its established policies and procedures...

            Yeah, it is uncomfortable to have government types certifying software security - but they also certify commercial software.  Big business won't like it if they certify easy-to-hack software as secure, it'd be bad for business.  This at least makes it a wedge issue.

            This is a first-step suggestion only - we really need some high-level data security technogeek to help write a nice, solid specification and then get it mandated for federal elections.

        •  I don't (none)
          I don't have anything against electronic voting, per se.

          But I don't trust the Republican party, their partisan election officials, and their cronies in private industry who build the voting machines.

          •  Trust has nothing to do with it. (none)
            The system itself must be foolproof. Then you don't have to worry about who you do or don't trust.

            This War is about Money. War Money. Oil Money. Oh, and Christian Zealotry and PNAC.

            by nehark on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:07:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Use Machines to Print Paper Ballots (none)
          and report unofficial results.

          If electronic voting is allowed, only the electrons can vote.

          We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

          by Gooserock on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:31:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And who says the machine (none)
            doesn't print one thing and count another? That's dead easy to do, and unless there's a recount, you'd never know.

            Paper. Until our total electoral/district system is overhauled (and it may never be), paper.

      •  Not every state (none)
        Oregon votes by mail, as do 32 out of 39 counties in Washington (I think that's the number I heard). Something like 70% of the citizens in King County, Washington, which includes greater Seattle, vote by mail now and the county executive just proposed moving to an all-mail system, which would make King County the largest county in the country to vote exclusively by mail.

        Of course voting by mail is not a panacea, and the Washington state GOP chair Chris "Irrele" Vance is screaming that this will exacerbate problems with King County's voting system. (Not that there aren't problems, he just likes to hold up a rear-view mirror to them so they appear larger than they really are.) By this he presumably means that if King County goes to an all-mail system and retires its polling places, it will make elections that much harder for Republicans to attempt to steal.

      •  They ignore our votes (none)
        by ignoring our laws.  You can almost bet that they are trying to eliminate our votes too.

        Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

        by d3n4l1 on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:35:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are incorrect (none)
        There is a grandfather clause that any investigations that were initiated prior to Dec. 31 are not effected by the 16 provisions which are set to expire. This may also include crimes which were planned or actually ocurred before Dec. 31, but were not known to investigators until after Dec. 31.

        This renders the expiration almost useless in the not too short term.

        The USA PATRIOT Act sunset provision contains two exceptions. One covers foreign intelligence investigations that began before December 31, 2005, and the other covers particular or potential criminal cases that began before December 31, 2005. The definition of a "potential" offense is unclear. It could mean, for instance, that an offense that occurred before December 31, 2005, but was not discovered until after that date may still be investigated under the pre-sunset USA PATRIOT Act. Alternatively, it could refer to crimes for which preparation began prior to the sunset date, but actual criminal activity did not occur until afterward.
    •  Not only that (none)
      You can count on my vote in 2008. Your leadership on not only this issue but also on the Iraq issue has been some badly needed fresh air. One wishes that Hillary Clinton had your leadership skills and guts.
    •  Thank you Senator (none)
      and Happy Chanukah.  I truly appreciate your leadership on the issue.
  •  Hi, Sen. Feingold. (4.00)
    Thanks for the update. Keep giving them hell.

    Street Prophets: where the cookies live now...

    by pastordan on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:28:23 AM PST

    •  Six months... (3.60)
      They can do much damage with this in six months. I don't see anything les than repeal as a victory, but I do thank you very much for all of your work on this issue.
      •  At that point (none)
        the next war, or whatever desperate strategem they will use to scare people for the 2006 election will just be kicking in. The GOP will use, for example, the recent attempted attack on the Statue of Liberty by Bolivian Narcoterrorists, to prove that secret illegal wiretaps really to stop terrorists. They can, and will do anything. The only hope is for a couple GOP senators to come to their senses and make Reid the majority leader.
        •  To Fthnaysayers (none)
          I don't understand why my comment was marginal. Could you please explain? And why for God's sake do people have to always use this damned system and not have the guts to respond as to why they think a comment is unproductive or marginal? Is it not true that these people can do much damage with this Act in six months? Is it not true that repealing the Patriot Act would be for the best? is it not rue that Senator Feingold has worked hard on this issue despite all of this? Again, there was nothing in that comment but truth. Unless of course, you believe the Patriot Act should not be repealed, that this administration, or should I say, regime cannot do much damage with this in six months, and that Senator Feingold has not worked hard on this issue.
          •  It was marginal b/c of (none)
            I don't see anything les than repeal as a victory

            It is fine and dandy if that is how you feel but it was an unnecessary and poor comment in a thread in which we should be jumping for joy that this act was filibustered.

            If you think that this wasn't a victory then you have a lot to learn about politics.  The Dems are the minority party and they were able to convince some of the members of the majority party to side with them in order to block this Unamerican Act.

            Have you ever seen SNL's Debbie Downer?  Your sentence reminds me of something she would say.

            P.S.  To be honest, I didn't mean to rate your comment at all.  I had it set on unproductive but then  decided not to rate you at all.  Unfortunately, I ended up rating you by accident and I didn't want it to be an unproductive, because I didn't feel you deserved such a low rating, but you most certainly did not deserve a 3 or 4 in my opinion.  And please, don't whine about the hit and run rating when it is a 2.  I didn't rate you a 1 without responding.  I always respond when I 1 rate.

            •  If I don't see this as a victory... (none)
               As long as this bill breathes, there is no real victory. AND I'M NOT A POLITICIAN, and for good reason. I have a lot to learn about politics? Who the hell do you think you are? This isn't about POLITICS to me, this is about OUR LIVES and the LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN. So excuse me if I don't play the "politically correct" rah rah game here just the way you all like it. I assume then you are totally pleased with the ONE MONTH we now got. Yeah, still plenty of time for them to do something to make it permanent...Anything less than REPEAL is capitulation, as  I wrote in my diary today. That opinion isn't changing anytime soon no matter what you rate me.
              •  "politically correct"? (none)
                It has nothing to do with being PC.  The reason I said you have a lot to learn about politics is because this was a victory.

                If you don't you think the minority party being able to get support from some of the majority in order to block a bill that has support from both the WH and the leadership of both the Senate and the House then you have much to learn about politics.  

                If you don't see this as a victory then you are setting the bar way too high.  Now, I agree that it could have gone better, but regardless it was still a victory.

  •  Yes (none)
    Thank you.

    "My own mind is my own church." Tom Paine

    by Snoutboy on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:32:18 AM PST

    •  Thanks from WV too. (none)
      It is difficult to balance the real security needs of our country with our personal freedoms and privacy.  I really enjoyed the Patrick Henry quote, by the way.  You faced political death when you first took these stands in 2001 and 2002.  Keep investigating what is going on with the NSA and make sure Judge Alito is asked about his commitment to the 4th amendment of the constitution.

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:53:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this.. in the future could you.... (4.00)
      please refer to the Patriot Act by its formal name: USAPATRIOT2001.  

      I think most Americans don't realize that this cynical piece of legislation is really called the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001"

      I raise the point because that name is clear evidence this was not a quickly thrown together piece of legislation rammed through Congress without debate while the nation was in a state of shock.  It was well crafted by people with an agenda most Americans do not support.   It was packaged with an eye towards effective marketing.  It was sold using classic propaganda techniques.  The branding campaign worked flawlessly.  Most people have no idea what is in the Act.  Most Congressmen have not read it.  

      Attacking the Act in a thoughtful way is important but the relevant discussion would likely put Charlie Rose fans to sleep.  You have to attack the brand.  Once "New Coke" was blemished, it didn't matter if they went back to the old formula or not.

      Rebranding USAPATRIOT2001 as flawed legislation makes it a lot easier to have a discussion about the merits for two reasons.

      1. It signals "that was THEN" .... "this is NOW"...
      2. Allowing proponents to call it the Patriot Act puts opponents in the position of defending their position against Patriotism.  

      PATRIOTISM is the last refuge of the scoundrel
      -- Samuel Johnson
      •  well played! (none)
        and you are spot on about this abominable act not coming together in the aftermath of 9/11 - the damn thing is over 340 pages long and was passed roughly within a month of 9/11. parts of it were uquestionably in the works well before then.

        Senator Feingold - I envy Wisconsonites their ability to cast a vote for you. They are some lucky, lucky people.

        "I <3 Russ" is the new "I like Ike"

      •  well played! (none)
        and you are spot on about this abominable act not coming together in the aftermath of 9/11 - the damn thing is over 340 pages long and was passed roughly within a month of 9/11. parts of it were uquestionably in the works well before then.

        Senator Feingold - I envy Wisconsonites their ability to cast a vote for you. They are some lucky, lucky people.

        "I <3 Russ" is the new "I like Ike"

  •  President Feingold (4.00)
    2008 is a long way away, but I have already made up my mind: Russ for President. You are more deserving than anyone who's talked about running...than any politician...probably more deserving than anyone in the United States right now. THANK YOU for your principled stands and your work on behalf of all Americans regardless of party. It is much appreciated.

    Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

    by missreporter on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:36:42 AM PST

    •  I'll have to second that. (4.00)
      If there is one Democrat I would most certainly vote for it is you, Senator Feingold.

      I am not even a Democrat and I wouldn't think twice about my vote if you were on the ballot.

      Thank you for fighting this now, and thank you for having the courage to stand alone against this UnAmerican Act when it was first introduced!

      •  Come join our party. We need you! n/t (none)

        Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

        by Susan S on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:19:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  speaking from experience (none)
        change your party affiliation now!  YOU want to make your voice heard in the primaries.  I was registered as a Repug for 20+ years ... won't get into it ... but I procrastinated long enough that I had no voice in selecting who I wanted to be running in my NEW party.  I did it online and my new registration card is in my wallet at all times!
        •  Enhhh (4.00)
          Thanks but no thanks.  I'm a registered independent and I like it that way.

          Trust me, I'm too libertarian to be a Dem. anyways.    

          Though on a good note, I can honestly say that I and many other libertarian now view the Democrats as the lesser of the two evils as a result of these new authoritarian Bush loving Republicans.

          •  Perhaps you should register as a Dem (none)
            for 2008 at least so you are able to vote for the person in the primaries you think is most deserving (Russ).

            It might not be a bad idea, when it's over you can switch your registration.

            Would you not be sore if say someone like Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton won your state (God forbid) and you could not do anything about it?

            Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

            by missreporter on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:42:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Dems (4.00)
              have a lot of temporary friends right now due to the pure evil and incompetence of the Bush Administration.

              But I personally won't be a Dem until the Dem platform is a lot more like the Green platform. Some examples: ending capital punishment, decriminalizing drugs, single payer national health care, downsizing the US military, regulating genetically modified crops... the list goes on and on.

              -4.88, -7.64 | Hey Congress, keep your hands off my Analog Hole!

              by peacemonger on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:24:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Peace takes action.. (none)
                even if it's one step at a time. If a green candidate can overthrow the government we have today, than by all means go for it (and I would too) but if 2006 doesn't have that candidate and you stay home, or throw your vote away, than be prepared to live with the same unchecked government we live with today. Your wishes, as honorable and wonderful as they are, won't happen without getting rid of the majority party that is ruining any chance of making things better.  That's why 2006 is so pivotal in starting this process.  Today we have absoutly no "checks and balance" in our government, and without your participation in 2006, we will continue being the people without ANY voice.  Is this what you want?

                I know you heard the same thing during the 2004 elections and I'm sure John Kerry would not have lived up to your expectations anyway, but government NEVER satisfies every single wish one person has. But,  are you going to have your "list that goes on and on" stop you from getting at least closer to representing part of your list?

                Throwing in the towel for 2006, only makes you a martyr.

                What part of the illegal conduct of this Administration to send our troops to fight an illegal war does the media not understand?

                by hws on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 08:22:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I voted for Gore, (none)
                  and for Boxer, which I don't regret. And I voted for Kerry, which I regret.

                  When a local/regional Green can win, I give them my support, and I grit my teeth and vote for state/national Democrats, when there is no viable Green candidate.

                  The Democratic party is an adult, and the Green party is only a baby. I have different expectations of what each of them is capable of doing. But babies grow up. And adults grow old.

                  -4.88, -7.64 | Hey Congress, keep your hands off my Analog Hole!

                  by peacemonger on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:19:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You can't win if you don't play (none)
                And you can't affect the Democratic platform by just waiting for other people to support you.  If you're simply going to wait until moderate Democrats suddenly see the light and become progressives, you're giving up your voice in state and national politics for a long time.

                I believe in all of the things you mentioned except downsizing the US military (I think it should be radically re-organized, but that's a different debate), but being a Democrat means that I can push for Representatives, Senators, and Governors who share my views and have a chance of winning and I can talk to people who actually can change the state Democratic platform.  I vote for Greens and Rainbows (like my city councillor), but I honestly don't see another game in town other than the Democrats for progressives who are serious about enacting serious national change.  If the Greens infiltrated the Democratic party instead of being the disorganized 3rd party that they currently are, I think we would be better off as a nation.  

                In a perfect world, America would have many parties and coalition politics would be a realistic process, but I'm too cynical and impatient to wait for that America to arrive.  I'd rather deal with the tools I have now because I don't think the social engineers that have the ability/charisma to pull off a third party are willing to do it and the people doing it now don't have the goods.

                •  Oh, I'm infiltrating. (none)
                  I regularly contact my congress critters. I volunteer for the local Dem party as I do for the Greens. I give money to progressive Dems. But my personal alignment will stay with the Greens for now.

                  -4.88, -7.64 | Hey Congress, keep your hands off my Analog Hole!

                  by peacemonger on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 11:12:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Hillary Clinton won your state (none)
              •  yeah, shudders, exactly... (none)
                alls I'm saying is, if by the time 2007-2008 rolls around and you are staunchly in Feingold's corner, you may want to consider it. There is time to ponder.

                Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

                by missreporter on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:40:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed. Senator Feingold has gone to the wall (none)
                  for us. If we're all going to be put up against the wall, I want to be there with someone who has been there for me. NONE of the others, AFAICT, have done the same every time. He's not afraid to stand alone, and is a worthy successor to Proxmire. I think that's saying a lot.

                  There was that time he stood against us, during the impeachment proceedings, alone among the dems. That took a lot of the right stuff as well. I would support him for President whether he was going to win or not. But somebody had better marry this guy. missreporter?

                  •  i'd love to (none)
                    he's brilliant, handsome and type of guy. but I'm afraid I am not quite first lady material...way too many "youthful indiscretions."

                    although, laura did used to sell pot and (allegedly) killed someone with her car, right?

                    i don't think so though...a jewish guy and his half black, half PR wife from New York? I don't know if middle America is ready for that. We'd have beautiful babies though.

                    Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

                    by missreporter on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 08:28:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  The libertarian wing... (none)
            Of the Democratic Party is bigger than you would suspect.  And goes by different names.  Never fear.  We're not trying to get you to abandon your beliefs.  We just want you to represent them in our primaries.
    •  Thank you, Senator Feingold! (none)
      You're not the first jewish guy to shine a light on Christmas, but you're my favorite, too!

      I want everybody here to take note of what it takes to run our enterprise:

      1. Knowing the right thing to do &
      2. Getting it done

      The opposition's barricades have held up amazingly well. I believe that any one of our guys would have been white bones bleached by the sunlight, if painted with even a quarter as much real, legitimate, smelly by any measure misdeeds and misrule. But you, Senator Feingold, have punched a whole through the front lines. If it weren't for you and you alone, we'd all be as naked and alone as they would like us to be.

      I just hope this isn't lost on the rest of everybody here.

  •  You share this with us... (none)
    on a day some would call dark.  Thank you.
  •  Thanks Senator (4.00)
    And thanks for reminding people that Bush is NOT a king.  He cannot do whatever he pleases - he must be accountable to the people.  

    I am glad to see that even the courts are now questioning him - the new information of the Padilla case is big.  The Bushies are finally being explosed for the liars that they are.

    The government should not be in the business of saving souls.

    by LynChi on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:44:26 AM PST

  •  I will suppport you if you run in 2008 (4.00)
  •  Your leadership was a welcome respite (4.00)
    to the continuity of GOP fearmongering.  Thank you so much for fighting for our liberties.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshall

    by bronte17 on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:50:12 AM PST

  •  Hey thanks (none)
    for sticking it to Senator Cornyn, what an azz, that was priceless and heroic.

    "Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by reef the dog on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:50:28 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator (none)
    Your genuine horror and frustration with the Bush administration's inability to act lawfully and with dignity was palpable the other day. It's clear you are as disgusted and horrified as we are. Thank you for that, and for everything you do.

    "As a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world."

    by MissAnneThrope on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:50:54 AM PST

  •  I first saw this at 0352 PST (4.00)
    Senator Feingold is likely in EST.  It must've been posted around 0632, which means he had to be up by at least six today.  After working so hard yesterday.

    Thank you, Senator.  Please get your rest when you can.  The run of your life starts in 22 months--not long, sir, not long, really.

    Good luck.  Please try to get some peace and rest soon, please excuse the impertinence.

    •  Ok, I don't think (none)
      that you should have to apologize for any "impertinence".

      He's just a person, not a king.  Being elected to office does not transform someone into a higher species of being.

      I think he's a great Senator, and I'd definitely vote for him for President, and I think he's done some great work & should definitely get some rest when he can, but I don't think he needs people bowing to him.

      although it's getting late, you still have plenty of time

      by maracuja on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:45:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You Senator. *But* (none)
    I was hoping that somebody, anybody, would cross the aisle and choke Ted Stevens with his damn "Hulk" tie.

    Or are you afraid he'd kick your ass?

    Just kidding. You got my vote if you choose to run.

  •  Me, I'm against a police state, too. (4.00)

    Dear Senator Feingold:

    Thank you for your leadership, Senator.  I believe that you are one of the few patriots left on Capitol Hill.  Of course, those who also voted against cloture are patriots, but whether it's dealing with this matter, or that of President Bush committing the High Crime of blantantly violating the FISA, you seem to be the only real Leader.  That's a shame, I think:  not that you're leading this charge to protect Americans and American Ideals, but that there seems to be little "jostling for the lead" on these grave issues.

    At any rate, I'm also against an Executive unaccountable to the Rule of Law and I'm also against a Police State.  True Conservatives and Libertarians ought to be hailing you, as well.

    Keep the spirit.  Don't give up.

    Kind regards,

    R. N.
    a.k.a. "BenGoshi"


    P.S. -  I've a friend who went to law school with you.  He thinks so highly of you and speaks well of his memories of those days.  But don't we all!


    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:53:24 AM PST

    •  Speaking as a libertarian... (4.00)
      we are hailing him!

      Any libertarian who isn't--isn't really a libertarian.

      •  right on! (none)
        Any libertarian who isn't--isn't really a libertarian.

        Have a 4 for that one.

        No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

        by Page van der Linden on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:11:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeh, that's the thing. (none)
        (Sen. Feingold/Staff:  please note this)

         You  ["Fthenaysayers"]  and I and Neal Bortz could -- and in a dynamic and politically diverse country, should -- go "round and round" about the propriety of regulating Big Business:  you're against it (I assume) and I'm for (boy am I!).  

         But, frankly, right now larger issues dominate.  It would be nice, wouldn't it, for you and I to be able to argue vigorously about such things without having to worry about the Executive or his Minions spying on our argument without having first secured a warrant based on probably cause that our argument was or could be an illegal one.

         Godspeed to you and yours.


        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:22:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can you give me some details? (none)
          Because I agree with you that business (corporations) need MUCH more regulation and taxation.

          despot : 1. A master; an absolute or irresponsible ruler or sovereign. 2. One who rules regardless of a constitution or laws; a tyrant.

          by wrights on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:09:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry.. (none)
            I meant details on the Senators position, or why you assume he is against it.

            despot : 1. A master; an absolute or irresponsible ruler or sovereign. 2. One who rules regardless of a constitution or laws; a tyrant.

            by wrights on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:10:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quickly. (none)

               I've got to run.

               It is part and parcel of typical "Libertarian doctrine" that gov't should practice laissez fair wrt business:  don't regulate.

               My position is that (especially large and powerful) companies like, hmmmm, say, Enron, Halliburton, CitiBank, etc. ought to be regulated, watchdogged and overseen like nobody's business.  Libertarians (understandably) fear big and powerful government with no accountability to the citizenry.  What I believe they fail to take into account is that big and powerful businesses can, in their own way, destroy people's lives just as easily as "big government."  Thus the need for regulation and oversight.

               But, that's another debate for another day.  Today, good Libertarians, Conservatives, Progressives, Liberals, Populists, Greens, etc. ought to be united on the common ground of fear and loathing of Bush's unabashed High Criminality re:  FISA-circumventing spying.


              . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

              by BenGoshi on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:20:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Heh (none)
          I should note that I am a small L libetarian so you'll find that some issues I don't follow the LP party line.

          However, while I do think big government is a bad thing (in just about all areas), I also think that big business has absolutely too much influence over the government.  I also would like to see corporate welfare ended.

          Personally, I like to look at issues where we agree and from your comments I get the impression that you would agree with me that the Supreme court decision which granted the same rights as a person, to a business should be overturned.

          With that said, right now business issues are irrelevant to me.  With each passing day, I see my country become more and more authoritarian and it scares the living shit out of me.  We have to have our priorities and protecting the Bill of Rights right now is vital.

  •  Sleep in today, Senator? :) (none)
    I raise my coffee cup to you, sir.

    I, too, question why an administration cannot abide by laws that it insisted be written on its behalf.

    It gets me fired up and up early in the morning, too. :)

    Defeatism: Defeating Tyranny, At Home and Abroad.

    by cskendrick on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:54:22 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold, (4.00)
    I am somewhat troubled with the extension in light of the recent revelations of the President's personal American spy program. Does the six months allow George Bush time to destroy and manipulate all evidence of his personal surveillance program?  I guess I would have prefered that the sunset provisions be suspended during this investigation.

    Frankly, if they had spent less time monitoring who is borrowing Mao's Little Red Book from a library, they might have found Osama Bin Laden by now.

    Thank you for your leadership and courage on this issue.

  •  Presumably, this legislation will (none)
    have to go back to the house.  I know I will enjoy discussing the Patriot Act with our two Republican Congressmen as they start running for re-election next June.  
    If Republicans were smart, they would have gone for the three months.

    On the other hand, six months allows time for a full course of public hearings on this piece of legislation.

    There should be no more back-room deals and every jot and tittle needs to be reviewed.

    Forget "GOD, GUNS, GAYS, GIRLS & GETS"

    by hannah on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:59:02 AM PST

  •  Senator, (none)
    Frowned upon?  Henh.

    Try congratulated for.

    -6.13, -5.90 The New York Times: All the news that's fixed to print

    by GOTV on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:59:10 AM PST

    •  I think he meant quoting an entire (none)
      piece, but I thought the reason we were against that was to avoid violating copyright (and "to promote analysis" or some such thing).

      Even with our messed up copyright law, I don't think someone can violate their own copyright.

      As they say in the vernacular, you go, Senator.

      Jumping on the bandwagon: (-3.63, -3.03) - Does that make me part of the right wing here?

      by someone else on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:54:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you very much, Senator Feingold, (none)
    for your leadership and for all your outstanding efforts on behalf of our nation.

    God bless you.

  •  Thanks, Senator. (none)
    I'm deeply grateful for your recent leadership in pulling this country back from the abyss. We send all good vibes your way.  Keep swinging . . .   we're watching.  

    Impeach. Convict. Remove.

    by DC Scott on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:04:56 AM PST

  •  And another thank you (none)
    Really, words alone can't express the feeling i have to know that actually SOMEONE in DC feels the obligations he has to the people of this country.  

    and now, Senator, this becomes a campaign issue, so, please, let's HAMMER them on it!!!

  •  You're a true profile in courage (none)
    I couldn't have gotten a better Christmas present than your efforts to derail the Patriot Act train. Thank you, and have a safe and restful holiday season.
  •  Give me liberty (4.00)
    or give me death!  The American people will stand with you when they shake off the shackles of fear that have been clamped around them by this administration.  Give Americans a cause - standing up and fighting against the tyranny of their own government - and they will rally around you.  Americans are slowly opening their eyes and when they realize they have been had and played for suckers by this administration... well hell hath no fury like a people scorned.  Republicans watch out.
    •  I feel that many will be disgusted (4.00)
      When they realize what's been happening while they weren't watching.

      I had a co-worker approach me and say "I'm a Republican, You're a Democrat. We don't agree on a lot of things. But I will never defend that man, ever again"

      He's scared for his country, and doesn't know how to get it back.

      I'll be mentioning the Senators name.

      despot : 1. A master; an absolute or irresponsible ruler or sovereign. 2. One who rules regardless of a constitution or laws; a tyrant.

      by wrights on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:20:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitely! (none)
        I mention Russ and his website to every single person I meet.  Very subtle - just a suggestion for them to check out the only honest man in DC.  

        I've got a dozen Feingold backers so far, all from other states.  

        We love you Russ.  As a resident of WI I have voted for you since your first race.  As a resident of the United States, I am impatiently waiting to vote for you for President.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine Pay attention Georgie - 2160+ dead Americans. Jesus Christ, make it stop already.

        by Miss Blue on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:02:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops... (none)
          ...You might revise to read "One of very few honest people in D.C." I'm thinking about Representatives Conyers, Lee, Kucinich, Nadler, Woolsey, McKinney, etc., Senators Boxer, Kennedy, etc...

          I dream about a Feingold/Boxer or a Feingold/Conyers ticket in 2008.

          This War is about Money. War Money. Oil Money. Oh, and Christian Zealotry and PNAC.

          by nehark on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:15:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  How to get our country back (none)
        Write. LTE, congresscritters, local govt, etc.

        Call. Networks, papers, congresscritters, local govt, etc.

        Finally, vote. If you don't like what they're doing, DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM.

        And, if you really don't like what they're doing and who's running against them, run yourself. Especially for local offices - they're usually the easiest to run for, and it often is very cheap to do.

        We've have too many people in govt now who either bought or inherited their position. We can't let this grand republic be turned into an aristocracy by default.


        •  You can't reiterate this concept enough... (none)
          I preach grassroots activisim to every hand-wringing, pessimistic person I encounter that despairs over the direction our country has taken under the current leadership.

          Wanna see it change? GET INVOLVED!  Bottom line... I know, I know - everyone has to make a living but just a few hours a week can make a difference if EVERYONE could donate something of substance to the cause of true democracy and adopt a self-governing "can-do" attitude!

          I personally carve out a few hours a week to produce a progressive Democratic newsletter that has united the rural counties (and their respective Democratic party affiliations) in the North Georgia Mountains.  We now share our available resources (human, financial and technical) to better our networking, communications and other endeavors.

          The other few hours I have to spare are used to particpate in long range planning and implementing volunteer coordination and voter registration drives, along with other stragetic goals to strengthen the position of a two party system in Georgia which is unfortunately a RED state...

          In a nutshell - GET INVOLVED! like mmacdDE sez!!!!!

  •  Thanks, Senator (none)
    Personally, I hope you continue doing just what you do, and my Senator.

    Go hit a few.

  •  Sen. Feingold............ (none)
    you have made it so much easier to decide who I will promote, and vote for in '08. means YOU!

    Republicans are convinced that government is the problem and as the government, they're doing their damnedest to prove they're right. -Bearpaw -5.13,-5.63

    by rickeagle on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:17:37 AM PST

  •  Thank you for keeping us in mind (4.00)
    but let's just kill that stupid non-Patriot act.  It is unamerican through and through.  

    I see only that it provides a corrupt administration the ability to spy on it's citizenry and destroy American lives.  

    It is time for the 9/11 bullshit scare to end.  That terrible and tragic day does not equate to what we are seeing now with our loss of freedom.  That is something you ALL need to remember.  OUR FREEDOM.

    Bush...THE BIGGEST threat to world peace.

    by Ring Freedom on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:19:28 AM PST

  •  Thank you for your leadership (none)
    Please continue the good fight for what is right. Believe me, we appreciate it.
  •  Thank you Senator (none)
    In a party full of too many sheep, quick to cower the second a Republican says "boo", you stand out for being as brave as a lion, ready to defend our constitutional rights against the pack of hyenas who want to devour them.
  •  The Senate Democrats of this week (none)
    are MUCH different than the Senate Democrats of 2000-2003, in that there was a lot of spirit and fight in them.  The REpublicans thought they could wear you guys down, but you stood hard against them.  Well done.
    •  A movie/politics analogy (4.00)
      First full disclosure, I have a little crush on Mark Johnson of the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic hockey team.  I met him at Skate with the Badgers a few years ago(the public can skate/get autographs with the Wisconsin Badger hockey team and coaches) and he was so nice to my kid and all the kids and he has these sparkly blue eyes and....sigh.

      Back to the analogy, The new and improved Dems remind me of the USA 1980 Olympic Hockey Team.  If you saw the movie "Miracle" the old Dems used to be the team during the scene where after the distracted loss, to I think Norway, where they were mostly watching girls, their coach makes them skate wind sprints back and forth on the ice for about a million times.  The coach, Herb Brooks, keeps asking them "who do you play for?"  They keep replying Boston College or Minnesota ect and the coach keeps them going and going until they are beyond exausted and vomiting on the ice.(this is the Democratic party and America for about the last five years)  Finally, the coach asks Mike Eruzione,the captian,(this would be the part Russ plays)"who do you play for?" and he says "The United States of America" Ding, Ding, Ding, right answer.  The part of coach Herb Brooks is being played by the Constitution of the United States of America

      The wind sprints stop and the team finally realizes they are doing something bigger than themselves.(this is our new and improved Democratic party that has started to realize they have to bring their A game in order to save America)  They start working as a team, believing in themselves, and yeah! winning.

      In my pie in the sky analogy the '06 elections are the victory over the Russians. The gold medal round is the presidential election of '08. Russ Wins! Russ Wins! The scene at the end where Mike Eruzione is on the medal stand and then he motions to his team and they all run up and join him in the celebration-that's us, America.

      I know, I know I watch too much TV :) but if I didn't have my silly hopes then there would not ever be enough liquor to hold back the flood of scorn and despair over what has been done to our country. So USA, USA, USA and thanks Russ for reminding us who we play for.

      Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

      by strengthof10kmen on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 08:25:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  USA via My Town , Our Town (none)
           Great analogy!! I'm not a resident of Wisconsin, rather a neighbor from Minnesota. If some of us are looking for role models, I think we found one. Kind of makes your jaw drop when one sees how Sen. Feingold stands out, rises above... Sen. Feingold is America at it's best, the best of the midwest, growing up he didn't block it out, going forward he doesn't, it resides in him and he uses it. He uses IT, that which is Real and Good. Which leads me to regain some pride and good feeling for this country. Pretty big gift, Thanks, Sen. Feingold, Thank You Very Much!
            Gold Medals and World Championships? Aim high and shoot straight for sure, but roots are important too, ask any farmer.
           AMERICA (Blue Ribbon America) - The American Pie is found at the County Fair where the barkers are barking and the grandstand is creaking from the shifting weight of the crowd. AMERICAN (True Blue) - In a neighboring county or maybe it's in the heart of Washington D.C. : Russ Feingold puts his USA sweater over his head, pulls it down over a grey Wisconsin - Stevens Point t-shirt and heads out the door probably going to do what he can do today, to do what fits who he is, how he grew up, he's going somewhere and he's taking us with him.  
  •  I apologize beforehand, Senator Feingold (4.00)
    You, yourself, are the exception.  You showed that with your vote on the initial passage of the USA SCREW YOU ACT.  And with your continued vigilance and objection -- which I appreciate.

    But, your colleagues, both Democratic and Republican, do not seem to all share your sensitivities to the Constitution, or even "stare decisis".

    I suspect you will win the six-month extension and then continue to haggle.  To what end, Senator?

    The facts are that the act was passed in the heat of passion, and that the Democrats did not wish to look 'weak'.  You had the courage of your convictions, but what of the rest?  I am sure some Republicans have a conscience and appreciation of the Constitution, so what of them?

    The House and the Senate took a bill, written by the administration (does Yoo ring a bell?} which wanted unchecked powers, unread by most members of either chamber, with virtually no debate, and certainly no debate in the public forum, and passed it in the dead of the night!  How disrespectful of the American public and the Constitution is that?  Not to mention damaging.

    You, Senator Feingold, are the lone exception in the Senate.  But even so, I am not sure even you fully comprehend the depth of revulsion that many feel, not only with regards to the provisions of the original act, but also to the way in which it came to be passed.  I am speaking for myself, here, but I reckon, based on the law of averages, there are at least seven others who feel the same.

    I applaud you for stalling and seeking some compromise, just as I applaud you for your rejection in the beginning.  Maybe that is the best that can be done.

    But I will tell you, IMHO, the act, in its inception, was flawed and is flawed throughout, not just in the sunset provisions.  It was passed in haste without due deliberation by either house of the Congress.  It was an emotional and political issue then, neither of which is a valid basis for legislation, neither of which can substitute for a rational debate with careful consideration of all factors, including consequences.

    I would vote for you, Senator, on your stance regarding this issue, alone.  As for your colleagues who voted for it? ... well, I can tell them where to kiss ... Senate and House included.

    Keep up your fight, Senator.  I appreciate your judgement and your willingness to fight for it.

    But in the long run, the whole damned act must be rescinded -- not modified, but rescinded!  That whole realm of legislation is so  cobbled, so screwed up, so ambivalent, as a result of piecemeal measures over the years, that the only thing it is good for is prosecuting 'evildoers', not providing a coherent foundation for dealing with Constitutional issues, not for actually  what is purported to be, not for providing a basis for oversight (which the Congress ignores), not for serving the American people.  It is time to scrap all of the laws relating to foreign intelligence and terrorism and start fresh, hopefully to get it right.

    In truth, I get very weary of the executive and legislative branches trying to categorize crime as 'ordinary crime', 'hate crimes', and 'terrorist crimes'.  It all makes not one tinker's damn what you call it.  A homocide is a homicide -- period!  Does not matter the motive, whether it is 'hate', or 'terrorism', or simple greed or jealousy.  Get back to the basics.  All of this 'pidgeon holing' and application of caveats is superfluous, serves no purpose, changes not basic facts, and distracts all -- the public and judiciary, included.  Only my opinion, of course.

    I appreciate your efforts, Senator, and wish you success.  But even you must see that this issue must eventually come to a head, at which time there will be much pain, both legislatively and judicially.  The situation cannot continue with bandaids, for as it does, the executive has more and more loopholes, confusion reigns greater, and it seems we move further toward a state like the late GDR.

    •  WOW, you are right on (none)
      Motive for a crime, though of evidentiary value in court, has no place in the definition of or as an element of a crime.  These "motive" elements are throwbacks to the star chamber and other religiously based persecutions in which the state of the soul was seen to be important to the "courts".  The modern reemergence is a mistaken response to judicial and prosecutorial lack of attention to crimes against minorities, gays, the politically unpopular, ect.  The inclusion of "motive" elements is an attempt to even the punishment for crimes against the unpopular, but has the inevitable effect of making the proof of crime more difficult, and more subject to irrational considerations.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:27:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  so work on your Senator... (none)
      Senator Feingold has shown the path of courage in opposing the act from the outset. It was evident from the beginning that not many Senators or Congressmen had read the act.  They voted for it out of a knee-jerk response to 9/11.  Perhaps with Feingold as a role model, they will begin to vote their conscience.

      Congregamus ergo sumus.

      by biotecchie on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:30:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How the Patriot Act was originally passed (none)
      I did not realize until yesterday that the Patriot Act was passed while the anthrax scare was at its peak (buildings closed, etc.) and democrats were literally locked out of their offices.  The Act was voluminous, and my understanding is that many (if not all) were forced to vote on it before they had a real chance to review it.

      I somehow missed the details of the whole affair, as many of us did, I'm sure.  We were busy worrying about whether our mail had any traces of anthrax, and such.  Personally, my regional post office (the one my mail goes through) was shut down because anthrax was found on the machinery.  At that time, the media was saying that at least one of the letters came from a place about 50 miles from here.  And of course, there was a World Trade Center, still smoldering, about 90 miles away from here.  So I personally, was distracted.

      The circumstances under which the Patriot Act was passed, and the recent revelation of our President's overreach  with regard to surveillance require that it now be reviewed carefully and perhaps repealed or rewritten.  Senator Feingold explains this very well - that it needs to be structured carefully in order to strike the right balance between civil liberties, and provision of tools to prevent acts of terrorism against our country.  

      Personally, I fear my own government more than terrorism at the moment, so the focus on civil liberties is particularly important.  I wish we were hearing (very loudly) more from the media and our Congress about the circumstances during the passing of the original legislation.

      "Let him that would move the world first move himself." --Socrates

      by joanneleon on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:16:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hate Crimes ARE More Dangerous (none)
      Sorry to disagree, but hate crimes are far more dangerous to society for many reasons and need to be punished more severely.

      English common law routinely handed out greater punishment for criminals based upon that criminal's mens rea or "guilty mind."  The only difference between "breaking and entering" and the far more serious crime of "burglary" in pre-Revolutionary War English common law was the criminal's state of mind: it was only burglary if they broke and entered the dwelling place of another at night with the intent of committing a further crime once inside.  Lacking that specific intent (say, a vagrant seeking shelter), it was not burglary.

      The difference between murder and terrorism goes to the evildoers' motives.  Murders generally want to affect their victim - terrorists target society at large in an attempt to force us to agree to their demands.  El Salvador's death squads and al Qaeda bombers shared the same basic motivation: controlling the general population through fear.  This is far more damaging to society than some scumsucker who decides to kill someone for their insurance money due to the greater scope of the damage. (I'm not minimizing murder - merely noting the far greater damage.)

  •  I am hopeful that this act can be fixed, (3.75)
    but 6 months from now is full-on campaign season for 2006.  I do not believe that just before a campaign that they will opt to fix this Act.  Instead, they will be in full cry about democrats not wanting to protect America.  This problem has only been pushed into campaign season to be USED as a hachett against dems leading up to 11/2006.

    This will be their battle cry for 2006 - dems can't protect America.  Be ready to defend yourself against that kind of swift boating.

    •  Exactly why they wanted a 6 month extension (none)
      Wouldn't have happened with a 3 month extension but since the repugs knew they were btwn a rock and a hard place getting this passed they found the best way to exploit it.  Well, hopefully with all the spying trash coming down around the bushies heads this will backfire on them.

      "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

      by dmac on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:27:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can be fixed? (4.00)
      Somehow I doubt that the act can be fixed, considering both practical and political reasons.  The fact is, the act was, and is, in the first place, seriously a mess, especially when you consider it with the whole batch of other laws already on the books that deal with the same issues.

      No, the act was passed as a fix-all; many of the fixes were for things that were not broken (legislatively) to begin with.

      Frankly, IMHO, it was largely a ploy for other reasons.  But however you slice and dice it, America was sold a bill of goods, so to speak.

      •  Is there a diary or DKosopedia entry (none)
        that thoroughly explains why the Patriot Act is bad legislation? We've all seen brief discussions of "sneak and peek", and the silly library card monitoring, and other oddball items in the Act; shouldn't we bring back out all the discussions that were originally posted, and put them in front of our representatives so that the same thing does not happen again in July?

        I'd like to know what's in there that Republicans so desperately have to maintain that they have to try to make the allusion that a "red light" for the Patriot Act means a "green light" for terrorists to attack - it can't be all just simply fear-mongering.

        -5.25, -2.26 "Free your mind, and the rest will follow..."

        by KilljoyTXinMI on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:14:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  maybe they'll be screaming next election rounds, (none)
      but given the likelihood of Abramoff being flipped for corrupt congressman and sleazy senators, their screaming may well be highly ineffectual.  

      your point is well taken by this Minneapolitan, however.

      And Senator Feingold, Mazel Tov.  Somewhere in heaven, Paul and Sheila are smiling.  

      "Never separate the words you speak from the life you live" - Paul Wellstone

      by vome minnesota on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:46:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live in Minnesota, (none)
        in Wright county, one of the reddest.  And it really depends on how effective our dem leaders can defend against the upcoming attack.  I will grant that with many judges now skeptical, there is ammunation with which to fight back, let alone the pure overreaching of this administration.  But will the dems running next election fight back?  I regrettfully feel that is not a given.

        And with Biden mouthing platitudes (I just found out, or at least someone on another site mentioned it, so take rumor for what its worth, that Biden wrote the FISA Act) about the warrantless searches, I am not sure our pushback will work mid-2006.

        •  Biden can be a real pain (none)
          and he walks a fine line - DE is pretty blue, but there are some red parts (well, more purple).

          If he's seriously considering running for pres, he might be getting some pressure from the rest of the state party. They've got some new blood.

          Besides, Minner is on her last term. If things go the way they have, she's due for a federal position. She's not a lawyer, so they can't give her a judgeship. I can't see Castle giving up his seat, though he might to run for Senator.

          That's how things seem to work here... you go from Lt. Gov. to Gov., to House (Castle) or from state elected position to House to Gov to Senate (Carper). Minner was Lt. Gov., then Gov., so she should be next in line for the House.

          But who knows...

    •  Sununu is a key (none)
      To making sure that the revisions to the act are not seen as Democrats did this to weaken our security. I  respected his statements and perspective on the issue, even though I lean more towards Feingold's defiant stance. Thank you, Russ.
    •  That will backfire (none)
      The Patriot Act is not popular with independents and moderates.  If they attack the Democrats on this issue, we will just have a repeat of the filibuster (with some Republicans like Sununu tagging on our side again).  It won't work-it will backfire on them.

      I agree with Feingold in that portions of the Patriot Act were needed.  It needs to be fixed, not thrown out completely.  If the Republicans refuse to fix it, however, throwing it out is better than keeping it as is.

    •  Dead on. (none)
      Yep.  This is what I thought too.  I think the Democrats really blew this one. I don't doubt that Mr. Feingold did what he could and we appreciate his efforts, but we really needed to fight this fight RIGHT NOW.  Who really know what 6 months will bring?  Another terrorist attack? Maybe the uncovering of a terrorist plan?

      The GOP is on the ropes right now. King George's warrantless search scandal fell right into our hands and WE STILL COULD not affect changes in the Patriot act.  What makes us think that conditions will be better in 6 months?  Proximity to the election is dangerous and will CERTAINLY effect how our spine challenged Democratic leaders handle this issue.

      The American public have a pathetic memory. I think the Republican party do a good job of pushing through their wacko agenda way ahead of elections, then moderate their proposals right before they are (presumably) held accountable at the polls. This 6 month extension plays right into their plan. This will give them ample opportunity to demogogue and yammer on about Democratic weakness.

      Is it better than making this crap permanent? Sure.  But lets not kid ourselves. WE WON NOTHING HERE.  We just put off the work for another time.   I have NO confidence that our Democratic "leaders"  will have more resiliance to fight these unAmerican laws in 6 months.


      •  Any Defeat for Bush Helps US (none)
        I must disagree - Scotty McClellan was busy yesterday whining about how the Democrats were all about weakening America's defenses for pure political reasons.  Today, he must eat those words.  This alone causes still further erosion of the power W and his Bush League minions have to destroy democracy in these United States.

        Discussing the trade-off between civil rights and security helps educate the US voters about why we need the ACLU and how we can be both safe and free.  Every time the FBI is forced to justify why it needs protection from "radical militant librarians" is another red state NRA member asking whether the FBI could use a "business records demand" for obtaining the names of all gun owners - and getting worried.  That helps both us and the US as a whole.

  •  Thanks Senator! (none)
    I'm glad that we have you in the Senate.

    I would vote for you for President in a heartbeat.

    As an aside, I liked the Patrick Henry quote.

    It was a very effective come back, and sound bite.

    Your stock seems to be going up and up..

    despot : 1. A master; an absolute or irresponsible ruler or sovereign. 2. One who rules regardless of a constitution or laws; a tyrant.

    by wrights on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:29:27 AM PST

  •  Thank you (none)
    Senator Feingold for showing trumendous courage and leadership when many whom we trusted have disappointed.

    I also want to take this opportunity to inform you that police force is being used to stalk law abiding people.

    Do you know anything about it? Is it part of the secret intrusive real time surveillance the president talks about?

    Mushroom cloud for mushroom crowd.

    by Ruffledfeather on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:31:32 AM PST

  •  Frankly, Senator, (4.00)
    the Act is an abomination.  That rules this land for a second is a threat to our national Constitution.  Our reaction to the terrorists has done more to undo our great national democracy than any event or collection of events on September 11, 2001.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:32:58 AM PST

    •  Amen!!! (none)
      Brother or Sister, whichever you be!:) -- seriously.
      •  I agree (4.00)
        The patriot act has to go.

        Bush is not to be trusted.


        despot : 1. A master; an absolute or irresponsible ruler or sovereign. 2. One who rules regardless of a constitution or laws; a tyrant.

        by wrights on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:13:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Senator, please tell us (4.00)
      what the good parts are.
      I thought the first few paragraphs were pure snark.  Imagine my surprise to find that some erosions of our God given rights are a good thing.

      W - all boots & hat, no cattle

      by Mosquito Pilot on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:50:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My understanding (none)
        which could be way off, is that the PA changed the wiretap laws so you were tapping the person, not the physical phone line.

        Which makes sense, since tapping a physical phone line in this day and age isn't likely to get you much info... whereas tapping the PERSON gets you their cell phones, their faxes, their internet use...

        And I have no problem with that, AS LONG AS IT REQUIRES A WARRANT. Even if it's a secret warrant.

  •  Senator - I second your sentiment (none)
    "Give me liberty or give me death," and as one whose husband was closely involved in 9/11, I know from whence I speak.

    Thank you - for not allowing them to take our tragedy and use it to take away our civil liberties.

    Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

    by adigal on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:36:37 AM PST

  •  I just bought this bumper sticker (none)

    Stop saying that blue state people are out of touch with the morals and values of the red states. I'm not out of touch with them, I just don't share them.

    by missreporter on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:39:35 AM PST

  •  Senator...repeal this act... (4.00)
    There were already laws to protect us from terrorism.

    This act, from the beginning, and passed virtually without question from a passive and complacent Congress, has meant the errosion of our civil liberties.

    Seven days notice or thirty days illegal search is still that: illegal. But more than that, it is a violation of the spirit of our constitution.

  •  Senator, Please inform (4.00)
    your "esteemed" colleagues like Sen. Cornyn that, in the opinion of someone like myself who has spent 28 years with MI, based on his "civil liberties don't mean a lot if you're dead" comment, I truly believe that if he and his ilk had been around in the mid 1770's, our current national anthem would be God Save the Queen.

    As you so eloquently quoted Patrick Henry, "Give me Liberty or give me death!"

    If they truly want to live in a totalitarian society, please recommend the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to them as a great place to slave and barely live.  Hell, I'll buy them the one-way plane ticket.

    •  And oh yeah, (none)
      Every single year for the past 28 years, I have had to sign a statement acknowledging that I understand the Intelligence Oversight program, and that I understand that I will NOT COLLECT ON AMERICAN CITIZENS WITHOUT COURT APPROVAL UNDER FISA!!

      P.S.  Most of the other "MI weenies" I've talked to feel the same way.

  •  God Bless You (none)
    for your sanity and your courage!

    You are my hero!

    Keep up the good work!

    inspire change...don't back down

    by missliberties on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:51:01 AM PST

  •  Majority of Americans want Patriot Act gone (4.00)
    not extended. It does nothing to protect Americans from the real terrorists and criminals who have hijacked control of the American government.
    •  Exactly (none)
      If Senator Feingold's vote was so crazy and out there, he wouldn't be the Senator from Wisconsin anymore. And he's now far from the only politician to not support the so-called Patriot Act. That's called leadership and that's called listening to the people and not the pundits.
      •  He does support the Patriot Act... (none)
        I hope everyone congratulating the senator realizes this fact.  

        Senator Feingold wants a watered down version of the Patriot ACt.

        For me, it can't be watered down enough. It must be repealed.

        Senator Feingold, I can only assume that your continued support for this bill indicates your support for a top heavy government: executive branch, and a judicial branch with too much power.

        Repeal this act now!

        •  You know, (none)
          There are some things about the patriot act worth keeping.

          I watched a 9-hour debate on C-Span were Feingold effectively removed the baby from the bathwater regarding the Patriot Act.

          Seriously, you need to really get into the guts of the patriot act to see that it fixes some very fundamentally stupid laws that we have on the books. I can't go into details now, but it is regards to the fact that we allow more domestic information gathering under RICO than existing international information collection laws. The Patriot Act is designed to give the FBI,NSA and CIA the ability to gather information on international suspects at the same level of RICO suspects.

          So, to recap, prior to 9-11, it was easier to gather information on domestic suspects that international ones.

          The good parts of the patriot act bring that into alignment, the bad parts are going to get thrown out, and the Senate Intelligence Comittee will be given information regarding usage of the patriot act on a quarterly basis

          That was the thrust of Feingold's argument during the Patriot Act oversight hearings last year, IIRC.

          Someone elase care to expand/correct?

          •  As I understand.... (none)
   of the more useful provisions of the Patriot Act is that it leads to more effective communication between the various intelligence gathering entitites, which I think is an excellent idea. I mean, if turf battles are hurting efforts to keep the USA safe, that's just unacceptable.
          •  Where's the text? (none)
            Through this whole thread I haven't seen a link to the actual, entire text of the "USAPATRIOT2001 Act" (I agree with the poster above that it is worth using the long form.) We keep talking about this provision and that provision etc., but we need it in hand to be able to analyze it.

            I've seen mention of "Article 214" and "Article 216" at least, but we need to scrutinize this sucker from Article 1 to the bitter end, whatever it may be.

            Gratitude in advance to anybody who can direct me to a link....

            Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

            by Xan on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 10:50:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why not pass laws... (none)
            specific to what it is you are trying to correct?

            The entire premise of the Patriot Act, including its title, was to somehow establish a premise for domestic spying on Americans.

            It has even been suggested, since the act was passed, that it is our duty to spy on each other. Repeal this nonesense, then correct those laws for intelligence gathering of overseas suspects.

            •  Dennis Kucinich on the patriot act... (none)
              from his web site:

              The tragedy of 9/11 led to the PATRIOT Act, and then it led to a war against Iraq. Fear and suspicion led the U.S. to roll back our civil liberties and attack a nation that did not attack us.

              "We have become a Nation of leaders, some of whom who have condoned torture and illegal detentions. Fear and suspicion have driven us to that. We need a different type of leadership so the American people could have been spared the effects of 9/11. It could have been different. But, no. We are here today trying to appeal to people to let go of their fear and suspicion because an open, honest review of the FBI's use of the PATRIOT Act would surely find many areas in need of reform.

              "A careful balance between national security needs and protecting American rights must be struck, but that is not what we have here. Today we are set to pass a whole new round of democracy rollbacks. American citizens are losing more of their free speech rights and privacy rights. The authors of today's bill inserted a very weak and loophole-ridden right to judicial review of government actions. The American public is not served by such minimal accommodation.

              "Today, the House will ignore more than 400 local communities and seven States that have passed resolutions asking for PATRIOT Act reform. This legislation fails to provide reasonable sunset provisions that guarantee future congressional review. The bill retains 4-year sunsets for only two of the 16 PATRIOT Act provisions and only one of two expiring provisions in the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act. All other intrusive powers are either made permanent or remain permanent.

              "This bill continues to allow roving wiretaps that permit Federal agents to tap communications of a target where neither the target nor the phone is identified. Criminal wiretaps require one or the other, and the 10-day after-the-fact notice requirement is no substitute for privacy safeguards in the criminal wiretaps.

              "The bill continues to permit sneak-and-peak searches of a person's home or business to remain secret indefinitely. It drops a Senate provision supported by the Chamber of Commerce, conservatives, libraries, civil liberties organizations that set limits on secret court orders for library, medical, and other personal records. Instead, the bill establishes a false right to judicial review. A recipient must challenge before a preselected group of three court judges and go to the expense of hiring a lawyer with a security clearance who the FISA court agrees can appear before it.

              "So people have to essentially fight for their rights to be free of the scourge of wiretaps and to be free of the scourge of having the FBI reach into their library records, their reading records, their medical records.

              "Where are we going with this country? It is not the America it used to be. It has become something that is hard to recognize for many Americans.

              "Vote against this bill."

            •  You have it backwards (none)
              The premise was to make international spying as easy as domestic spying.

              See, they got us (US Citizens) in the bag already with a host of various laws. The Patriot Act serves to extend that reach beyond our borders.

              We are looking through the telescope backwards on some of this. Not all of it, but some of it.

              Yes, there are some provisions that must be removed. Feingold will get them removed with our support.

              And remember, perfect is the enemy of the good. So for what you see as "perfection" for everyone will never come to fruition, and the suffering of the human race will continue. That is why the United States is based on compromise, and like or not, an all or nothing approach with the Patriot Act will get us nothing.

              Feingold seems to recognize this,  though perhaps he should speak for himself on the matter.

    •  YEAH SHUMARD (none)

      You speak the truth!!!!
  •  Thank you, Senator (none)
    You have stood up for the American people and not for the pundits once again. I just want to let you know that if you run for President in 2008, me and my entire family are going to vote for you, possibly even my dad's Rush Limbaugh-listening uncle.
  •  BTW, Senator (none)
    Whether or not you read my earlier comments, let me assure you of this.  Your efforts will receive my support, and I suspect that of most of the DailyKos community.

    The fact is, and there is no other way to put it, I am disgusted with this administration.  And with a few exceptions, I am disgusted with Congress, as well.

    I WANT TO SEE SOME CHANGE, some accountability, by both the executive and the Congress, accountability to the American people -- not 'K Street'.  I want my government, indeed, my nation back!  And for those who would dare to deny that, I can only say ... well, I cannot say it, out of decency ... but it has something to do with mothers and copulation and Dick Cheney and George Bush and the 'ark of intelligent design' he rode in on!

    Drive on, Senator!  And Godspeed, for your own sake and the sake of all of us.

  •  Way to go Russ! (none)
    Your courage in this fight has been remarkable.  You know that we stand behind you.  I am proud to have you as my Senator.

    Congregamus ergo sumus.

    by biotecchie on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:24:33 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold, (none)
    Another section of the Patriot Act that I feel needs to be revamped is Sec.106, Presidential Authority. I am sure you know it by heart, but for those who don't, I cover it in my Diary today.
    Keep up the good fight sir. I live in a state where it seems my senators are selling our rights down the river, Pennsylvania. See what I mean?


    I don't hate my counry, just what they did to it.

    by ABA on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:25:16 AM PST

  •  Something to Think About... (4.00)
    It's arguable, but there are definitely interpretations of the PATRIOT act to the effect of an ISP can be compelled to turn over, not just weblogs, but also entire databases, or significant portions of databases.

    They are also constrained from revealing the fact that they have done so to the owners of these databases. This means that the FBI could contact Voxel, and tell them to export the dkos membership list, at a minimum, and the entire database, at maximum. Markos would not be informed of this.

    Basically, the Feds are authorized to steal private property, and to force ISPs to become their burglars. This is a major reason why ISPs have been so up in arms about this piece of snot-soaked toilet tissue. If it isn't happening yet, I guarantee that it is definitely on someone's to-do list. Abramoff is not an aberration. He is the inevitable by-product of an athmosphere of complete moral collapse. There's plenty more where that came from.

    From what we have seen of the rapacious greed high ethical standards (no BJs in the Oval Office) of the current junta, I fully expect the administration to use the act to steal databases from companies, and to sell that data to the competitors of these companies for RNC contributions.

    Databases are hugely valuable. The company for which I work is very prestigious, and there are many, many people who would love to get their hands on our customer database. They would definitely pay off the RNC to get their hands on it. Since this is also a foreign-owned company, it is possible that it would be more easily excused than if it were a US company.

    This is a nasty, little-publicized fact of the modern Internet. A database is the property of the owner (Markos), but is hosted by a third-party "utility" (the ISP -In this case, Voxel). The ISP almost always has absolute access to the database and the entire server. This is usually the case, even when the server itself is owned by the owner of the database. This is because the ISP needs to be able to service the system. If the server is leased, then this is often a requirement in the lease contract.

    The authorities routinely use this as a "back door" into the private databases of ISP customers. I know, because a friend of mine works as a helldesk tech at a Rackspace-type ISP. He was telling me a story about a Russian customer they were about to shut down for child pornography, but were contacted by DHS, and told to leave it up, and supply the logs and database entries to DHS. Sometime after that, we had all these busts of "child porn networks." I'm sure that the server at his ISP had something to do with that.

    Yes, folks, it CAN happen here, It WILL happen here, and it already HAS happened here.

    I haven't heard of it yet, but I'll bet someone is already trying to figure out ways to force ISPs to install Carnivore-style monitors on their servers.

    The Internet is way too big to just slap on a blanket monitor (ECHELON is kinda cute for a sci-fi novel, but I doubt even the NSA is dedicated enough to waste their Crays filtering billions of penis enlargement emails). You need to have a focus. If you can figure out a server, or set of servers, you have your target. If you couple this with the power to strongarm the server operator (not necessarily the owner) into becoming your snitch, then you have the ideal environment for serious slime.

    One thing I predict: If the PATRIOT act gets squashed or neutered (looking much more likely now), you can expect a flurry of demands for disclosure before the door closes. The feds can browse through this data at their leisure, once they have it. It takes fifteen minutes to make a complete copy of even the largest database, and there is absolutely no trace whatsoever of it ever having been done.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:29:10 AM PST

  •  Ugh (none)
    Feingold, why? Why couldn't you just fillibuster? You wish for our civil liberties to continue to be taken away for six more months?
    •  6 more months (none)
      gives the admin way too much time to build a case for making it permanent.

      Have I become too jaded by the deceit and corruption when I wonder which of the kool-aid drinking cia agents left might have recently "stolen the explosives?"  What else will they do to strengthen their grip on us and their foot in the door of mideast oil?

    •  6 month extention of (none)
      the PATRIOT ACT + the SAFE ACT, which was pass by the Senate unamiously and fixed many of the provisions including the "wiretaping" provisions. What made the last Patriot Act Reauthorization so disgusting is that they eliminated most of the provisions agreed unamiously, and it failed for the Republicans to abuse power like they did - Feingold stopped them.
  •  Thank you Senator (none)
    I believe I have found my candidate for 2008. You have my support.
  •  Thanks, Senator (none)
    I am cheering you on with every interview and speech you make. You are a champion for civil liberties and I applaude you.

    Count on me for some contributions should you decide to run for President.

  •  Thank you Senator... (none)
    Thank you very much.  This is only the beginning, right?

    Just when I learn the answers, they change the question!

    by dazed in pa on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:44:52 AM PST

  •  Thanks for filling us in. (none)
    Boy was I unware about this: "We could have avoided these last-minute negotiations if the House had just adopted the Senate version of the Patriot Act that passed unanimously earlier this year." I think we need to do a much better job of pushing that point. It sure shuts down the "They had 4 years to get it right" argument.
  •  Thanks for your efforts, Senator (none)
    Nice to see them at least forced into a compromise.  So much of the so-called Patriot Act must go...and I hope we're in a better position as a party to kill its most pernicious provisions in June when it comes up for a vote again.

    P.S. I hope you run for prez.  

  •  Thank You, Senator (none)
    I sleep better knowing that you are consistently on the alert in the Senate.  You have the courage to stand up, the intellect to make a strong and logical case, and the persona to be credible and likeable.  

    It is people like you who truly protect this country from our "enemies".  President Bush and Mr. Cheney do not.

    Have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to your thoughtful leadership in 2006 and beyond!

  •  I'm Not Frowning! (none)
    If you keep making statements like the one above, you can repeat them here all you want to.  Thank you for the leadership you are showing and for your courage in standing up to the tyranny of the current administration and its tools.
  •  Thanks Russ.... (none) takes an act of congress to get anything done these day's dosen't it?  Geeze!

    I want my liberties..!!!!!!!

    Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. Author: Groucho Marx

    by JellyPuddin on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 05:57:19 AM PST

  •  The first and the foremost (none)
    Thank you for speaking out as our first and foremost leader. In the progressive tradition, you spoke out when you were a voice of one. Now many people have heard that voice and our numbers have grown. I hope that you continue with all of the skill in framing the issues that you displayed in the interviews that I saw on the Sunday morning press shows. Thanks again for all you do. In these times, you stand out as a hero.
  •  Thank you. (none)
    Thank you, Senator Feingold, for being a real Democrat, a true patriot.  You are so courageous.  What courage it took for you to vote against The Patriot Act in 2001.  You are a role model for all of us.

    Thanks, also, for writing about this on The Daily Kos.  You are the best.

  •  UN Patriot Act (none)
    Thank you Senator Feingold, we must continue to fight to get our country back.  Never surrender!!!
  •  Keep on truckin' (none)
    You give us hope, Senator, that all politicians are not puppets, and that our country does have a chance of defending itself from this administration.

    Let's nail these guys on the Constitutional matters at hand, and elimimate the superficial and hollow arguments they're bringing forward now to defend themselves.

    |>Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

    by The Graduate on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:08:12 AM PST

  •  I'm very appreciative of (4.00)
    all your work in the Senate, calling the 6 month extension of the Patriot Act a "victory" is like a woman who's being abused calling it a "victory" that she's decided to leave in 6 months.  I know it could have been a "permanent" extension, and it was probably the best that could be done under the circumstances given the current makeup of the Congress, but the American people are NOT behind many parts of this legislation.  

    Right wing propaganda outlets like Fox News trumpet overall support for the act, but a recent poll conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut show less than half the American people even know what the act does.

    When asked about specific provisions of the act, support for it falls precipitously for those policies that intrude into our basic liberties, like the gathering of bank records without judicial approval, and conducting secret searches of homes.

    This is bad legislation that gives unnecessary and undeserved power to an adminstration that has many times over shown it's disrepect for laws and long-standing principle.

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

    by MarkinNC on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:10:01 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator Feingold. (none)
    We need more people like you in the Senate.  We will continue to fight the good fight until we win.  

    When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit.

    by CO Democrat on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:10:27 AM PST

  •  Thank You! (none)
    Senator, thanks to all in the Senate who stood up to the White House on this! We are up for the next fight!  
  •  Thank you Senator Feingold ... (none)
    and never fear .... there were many of us watching the Senate proceedings live on CSPAN.  We are watching and recognize those elected officials who are fighting for our Constitution and you, you give us much to wish for in most of our own elected officials.  Your name is mentioned in a lot of calls to other states' Congressfolks.  

    Note:  Your Patrick Henry declaration ... it was a needed reminder and it has resounded across the nation!  Good job and may your winter holidays be sweet and refreshing .... next year there is even more good work to be done!

  •  I admire your Yiddishe Kopf (none)
    You and Charles Schumer are two of my favorite contemporary politicians. It's too bad that nobody truly intelligent will ever be elected president (look what happened to poor Adlai!). Still, keep fighting the good fight. I've been dead since 1861, but I'm rooting for you!

    Economic Left/Right: -6.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.85 That makes me more Gandhi than Stalin

    by TomDuncombe on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:21:21 AM PST

  •  Great to see more... (1.00)
    gladhanding by our trusted politicians on the Hill! Thanks for sharing Senator!

    Glad you all get to go home, key word is HOME here for the long holidays that you all take!

    Hope you and yours give at least a fleeting thought to the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS who are still refugees and victims of KATRINA, WILMA and RITA and have NO HOME, no heat, no food and live in a toxic DUMP LAND known as the GULF COAST....

    Glad ya'all worked hard for them...oh right, you didn't...oh well, just some fellow Americans, but whatever, they'll survive because it is about the FAT CATS on the HILL getting HOME to ENJOY THE HOLIDAY...

    Ooops, sorry I mentioned the MILLIONS who will be suffering!

    Oh, and the homeless in our cities, both adult and children and the unemployed and underemployed that can't afford heat...but Senator, you and your croonies...go to you nice LARGE HOMES (probably what a 2nd or third or fourth home that ya own?!) with the heat blazing and lots of food (probably prepared by hired help and paid for by taxpayers!) and have a great time...

    Some of us will be truly trying to help AMERICANS and not PRETENDING that we did some great thing that makes a recommended diary list on dailykos.


    Barbara, Tirawa and Winston

    •  He doesn't deserve that (4.00)
      Your anger and frustration are genuine, heartfelt, and important to act upon, but you missed the target.

      Some facts about Feingold the "Fat Cat":

      Feingold owns precisely one home, a two-story house in Middleton, Wisconsin, a relatively middle-class suburb of Madison (he rents an apartment in DC). His home is currently worth about $200,000, which is about the median value there. He's paying down a mortgage. He has no "hired help" serving his meals. He has the lowest net worth of all Senators, one of the lowest of all members of Congress, and still refuses to accept pay raises.  No huge investment portfolio, either, just his bank acounts and his state and Federal pension funds. I think he still drives a '98 Buick.

      It's all in his financial disclosures on, and compared to the disclosure statements of other Senators, it's almost funny. He really is Mr. Smith.

      So basically, you aimed your fat-cat accusation at the one guy who doesn't deserve it. True, compared to those who are suffering, he's rich beyond measure. To his colleagues, he's a ridiculous pauper. To his constituents, the people of Wisconsin, well, he's one of us.

      But then again, maybe you aimed well. Of the 100 Senators you could have blasted, I'd guess he's one of the most likely to actually be personally affected by your statement. And maybe you're right -- maybe he hasn't done enough for hurricane victims. How did he respond when you contacted his office about these issues?

      Oh, and being Jewish I'm guessing he doesn't celebrate Christmas.

    •  Heh, I guess every person is to blame (none)
      For Hurricane Katrina + Rita for not doing enough! I mean heck, I don't have the entire city of New Orleans living in my house, I'm not doing enough! Oh dear. Feingold is concentrating his time on our civil liberties. What a monster! Even though it really is not in the minority's power to give money to Katrina victims or the Homeless, heck it's not even in the SENATE's power really. And when you finally lose your voice from yelling at people who don't deserve to be yelled it, think again.
    •  barbara, that was uncalled for and frankly (none)
      not accurate or kind.
  •  well done, sir! (none)
    Thank you, Senator, for your leadership and courage this week, and always.
  •  Thank you President-to-be Feingold (none)
    Happy holidays to you and your family and keep up the good fight.  We got your back.

    -7.38, -5.74 This is your world. These are your people. You can live for yourself today, or help build tomorrow for everyone.

    by DisNoir36 on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:27:53 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator (none)
    I hope that you and your colleagues can make serious progress on the necessary changes to the Patriot Act.  Hopefully, you'll be able to address things like undercover police surveillance on protests (reported in the NYT today).

    Thanks again, and enjoy your break- you deserve it!

  •  Not to demean all the lovely praise (none)
    for the senator, but why is he supporting any version of this piece of shit bill anyway?

    It's my understanding that we could have caught a large percentage of the hijackers before 9/11 if our stupid intelligence agencies had just talked to each other. Not asking much is it? To talk.

    We didn't need the patriot act to catch the terrorists. The existing laws we had were enough. All the patriot act does is decrease our civil liberties. It NEEDS to go AWAY.

    So senator, why do you support the patriot act? Or a reworked version of it? Is it a compromise until we have the power to get rid of it or do you actually support the limiting of our civil liberties?

    Supporting this bill doesn't jive with your requote of "Give me liberty or give me death".

    •  Well (none)
      The current Patriot Act already has the SAFE Act attatched to it, which DOES protect civil liberties much more than the one that was up to vote. Please understand this.

      And yes, we had enough intellegence amongst the Agencies but, thanks to the Patriot Act, the Wall between the agencies are now broken down so they can share information amongst themselves. It's a good provision in the Patriot Act, but a lot of provisions of the Patriot Act are not good.

  •  Dear Sen. Feingold (none)
    You rock.

    Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

    by hrh on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:33:14 AM PST

  •  Bravo from a Fellow CheeseHead! (none)
    Thanks so much for leading the Backbone Brigade.  And for injecting a much needed thread of articulate common sense into the debate.  What a concept!

    We appreciate your hard work and passion.

  •  Dear Senator Feingold, (none)
    Where can I send the check for your upcoming presidential campaign?


    a new supporter

  •  Thank you senator (none)
    I tried calling your office yesterday morning to voice support but of course the line was busy with calls.  Please continue to hold the line.  I agree with everyone that 6 months is really too long but as an alternative to forever, it's a victory.
  •  Great job!! (none)
    accountability to power...we can expect no less!!  Keep their feet to the fire.
  •  We're Proud of You Russ (none)
    here in Wisconsin!

    You are a fine example of the good that elected officials can do for the public, and a reminder of what senators are supposed to be doing.

    As of Jan '09, you'll be a president that America can look to for true leadership, integrity, courage and intelligence.  Please, please, please go for it. We need you.

  •  A Remarkable Year (none)
    Senator Feingold has been the critical figure in stalling the erosion of our civil liberties -- a remarkable performance, and one that may prove pivotal in the history of our country.

    But the outcomes are still in play.  The decay is only temporarily stalled.  There is nothing to suggest we will roll the tide back -- and make no mistake that this fight is not only about civil liberties, but also about the bedrock principle of due process as an underpinning for our Democracy.  

    If we end up losing on the Patriot act in some tie Senate vote next June, if Bush's use of the NSA to spy on Americans is allowed to trudge forward over the inquiries, or even weak objections, of committees and task forces and special commissions, the damage to the very concept of constitutional democracy is incalculable.

    When we fought and won World War II and the Cold War, it was broadly understood that it was because Constitutional Democracy enables superior freedom, individual development, community development, and economic dynamism.

    The Neoconners are now ready to chuck Constitutional Democracy to try and preserve their little borrow and spend, graft and grin, K street-based Ponzi scheme.

    They must be stopped.  It must happen now -- the time is up.

    And it is not just for our sake.  The rest of humanity is watching -- in Europe, in Asia, in Latin America.  The collapse of Constitutional Democracy here bodes ill, in particular, for the prospects of progressive democratic reforms in China -- potentially critical to preventing the next cold war.

    In the United States, future generations will definitely remember this era.  Unless the tide turns, it will be with extreme bitterness about the magnitude of what we squandered.

    So, what will it take to get other Democrats, besides Senator Feingold, to step forward and start confidently, constructively exhibiting the genuine outrage that the excesses of the Bush Administration should prompt?

    However much in the right we are, too many of our leaders are still acting like the timid daisies who have been repeatedly bull-dozed since December 2000 (or arguably 1998 or 1994).

    If you don't believe me, try watching the news channels with the sound off and watch the body language.  Which side in this fight acts like it has the moral authority?

    Democrats are understood to have a "national security problem."  Too many people assume this is because many among us have aggressively opposed the blundering carnage in Iraq.  But I would argue half of the problem is that we come across as milque-toasts when we are overwhelmingly in the right and should be mad as hell!

    So here's hoping that when Congress finally recesses, and members go back to their states, that we are able to track them down and communicate that "business as usual," as it has been defined the last few years -- weak Democratic (or occasional bipartisan) protests that serve only as speed bumps on the road to ruin -- will serve to snuff out the light our founding fathers lit in 1776, and which 10 generations managed to keep burning -- up until our own.

  •  Dear Senator (4.00)
    As long as there are people like you serving, I am able to maintain some faith in the future of this country.

    Stand strong and stay safe.

    Oh, and Happy Holidays, Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry, I think you get the idea.

    When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

    by crimsonscare on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:56:51 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (none)
    Thank you for standing up and speaking your mind.  Keep on rocking!

    Sometimes you cover your ass with the lame excuses you have, instead of the lame excuses you wish you had. (-3.00, -5.49)

    by litigatormom on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:59:07 AM PST

  •  Mazel Tov! (none)
    Mazel Tov, Senator, and G-d bless you for your courage and leadership! Thanks especially for reaching out to us here on DailyKos; it really shows that you care and want to connect with your netroots supporters. This sort of thing is part of why I've become a regular reader of DailyKos and am starting to get friends more involved in politics.

    Happy Chanukkah, Senator! May the latkes be delicious, the presents be exciting, and the candles not burn your tablecloth!

    2006 Dem predictions: +2 Senate, +7 House, +5 Governorships, +2 State Legislatures

    by XStryker on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:01:58 AM PST

  •  Feingold for NH (none)
    Do you have an organization yet in NH for 2008?  I want to volunteer.
  •  Call their bluff (none)
    Thanks, Senator for your courage and determination.

    I would, however, liked to have seen Bush put on the spot of having to actually veto the 3 month extension.

  •  Confused (none)
    I'm a little hazy on the legislative process here. I thought the president threatened to veto this extension. Doesn't that mean the Patriot Act would expire at the end of the year?
  •  Genius move. (4.00)
    I haven't read all the comments, so I apologize if this has already been brought up.

    The PATRIOT Act issue is a BIG WINNING ISSUE for Democrats.  

    By doing a 6 month extension, the Senate will now have to bring all of this up again in June 2006.

    Summer... of 2006.  Do you see where I am going with this?

    Republican Senators up for re-election will, during campaign season, have to either vote for an unpopular PATRIOT Act (voting against liberty..."why do you hate freedom??"), or they will vote AGAINST it to look better to constituents.  Either way, we win.

    "Give me liberty or give me death" should be the Democrats' catch phrase of Summer 2006.

    Absolute brilliance.

  •  Thank you Senator Now about 2008 (none)
    Any chance we will be seeing you on top of that ticket?
  •  I Have Two Words for Feingold (4.00)
    Beat Hillary.

    Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

    by easong on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:21:27 AM PST

  •  Happy Holidays Senator! (none)
    Sen. Feingold, Thank you for your unending devotion to standing up for our freedoms on this incredibly important front. Please keep up the good work and let us know what we can do to help (I'll be writing my representatives again today). Happy holidays!

    "There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action." Johann Von Goethe

    by green917 on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:25:19 AM PST

  •  My Hero (none)
    As one of your fans in Madison, WI, let me just say, from the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

    The violation of our 4th amendment rights is a non-partisan issue. You are officially forgiven for the Negroponte vote, at least in my eyes.

    Don't listen to the people who say you have bad demographics to run for president. That's all bullshit. Just run on principle, and take this country back to the realm of sanity.

  •  Patriot act/civil liberties (none)
    I thank you for your outspokeness.  We need more of your kind in the Senate and the nation who are able to clearly state and effectively protect our liberties.

    "The Dream of reason did not take power into account." Paul Starr: The Social Transformation of American Medicine

    by donag on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:31:50 AM PST

  •  Do you like... (none)
    Roses Senator?  Keep this up and you may be getting a few!  Thanks for standing up for America and her Consitution!  Have a great Christmas!

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:42:11 AM PST

  •  New 2008 Poll request (none)
    I think it's time for a new 2008 poll.  Maybe after the holidays, because I feel like there has been a surge of support and recognition of Senator Feingold's progressive and independant  leadership on so many issues.  Let's see if that is reflected in a poll.
    •  It ought to be (none)
      Russ is the only progressive running for President.  
    •  A Poll indeed! How about 2, right over the top? (none)
      Dig This:
      Russ, for a big shot in your arm, get over and DIG THIS NOW!

      Inclusive 2008 polls

      by NeuvoLiberal
      Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 08:11:17 PM PDT

      Inclusive and fun that is :)

      Here are a couple of 2008 polls with large slates of candidates that I hope you will enjoy participating in and discussing:

         1. A "straight" poll with 18 candidates

         2. An IRV poll with 30 candidates

      Candidates in the first poll: Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Barbara Boxer, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, John Conyers, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Russ Feingold, Al Gore, John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Jack Reed (Sen. RI), Harry Reid, Bill Richardson, Mark Warner

      Additions to the second poll: Mike Easley (Gov. NC), Brad Henry (Gov. OK), Janet Napalitano (Gov. AZ), Ed Rendell, Brian Schweitzer, Dick Durbin, Kathleen Sebelius (Gov. KS), Joe Lieberman, Phil Bredesen (Gov. TN).

      The train is comin' bay-beh.

      ...gleefully connecting dots since 1966

      by arbortender on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 11:28:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if.... (none)
    Finally...someone with guts...We need more people that love america ,willing to fight for her.Hitler controlled the press, hitler destroyed people they he didnt like, hitler killed whoever he wanted to, hitler took all assests from poor and sick for himself,Hitler  believed god told him to do these things and hitler thought he was god too....I want to know who made bush god, that he and cheney believe they and they alone decides who will die,(as  supposed terrorists,over 100,000.00 iraqs so far) Feingold, tell them they are not god, they are conquering and destroying whoever they want to and they will katrina america(take everything they can from them and shoot them in the back of the head)then take all assests for themselves....Our country is not su[pposed to be in one persons hands...What if the rumors are true and bush is back on cocaine?  This is so scarey..Bush is doing to us what he is doing in iraq..As long as we have you Mr. Feingold, we will be alright..
  •  someone should hire me (none)
    I'll go on TV, as a middle aged women I have no fear of calling the President a prevaricator.  Like, you know, when he says democrats (and what about the republicans who joined in)are trying to kill the Patriot Act.  No one is calling him out on that lie.
    The party needs a profesional lie caller.  I'm willing to step up.... just get me on with Wolf or Tweety, I''l sit there and bring the discussion back to what a liar George Bush is, I have nothing to lose since I do not aspire to political office.
  •  Wonderful Job, Senator (none)
    It is nice to see that there is still some integrity left in our government. I would like to thank the voters of Wisconsin for sending a man like Senator Feingold to Washington.
    Here in Colorado we are stuck with Wayne Allard, Bush's rubber stamp republican. He was was of nine senators to vote FOR that aweful torture bill. Embarrassing to say the least.
    •  Yes, thank you Wisconsin (none)
      and thank you Senator Feingold.  We've been watching you and thankful to you and the people of your state.

      I am also very grateful and proud of my Senators from NJ, who in my opinion, are on the right side of every issue - for all of us.  The Congresspeople still need some work, but we have reliable Senators.  We're going to need to remain very vigilant and work to keep it that way.

      Thanks again, Wisconsin, and all states who are working hard to put good people in office.  Please, keep up the good work.  

      "Let him that would move the world first move himself." --Socrates

      by joanneleon on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 08:29:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold. (n/t) (none)

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:51:42 AM PST

  •  Thank you Senator Feingold (none)
    The next President will be someone who stands for all the American People and does not make his decisions based on what is politically correct.
    Notice that I said "his".  Since you are the only candidate that does this, YOU WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  •  Finally! (none)
    You sir, are a true Patriot.  Keep up the excellent work!
  •  From the bottom of our hearts (none)
    out here in California: "Thank you."
  •  Thank you, Senator (none)
    for being brave enough to stand up to the machine and protect our rights!


  •  Thanks for Ithaca, NY (none)
    a mom, equestrian, gardener, wife, environment loving, freedom loving academic thanks you.

    IMPEACHMENT: Its not just for extramarital escapades anymore.

    by Percheronwoman on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 08:53:44 AM PST

  •  You're JImmy Stewart, Senator! (none)
    Dear Senator Feingold,

    I called your Middleton office yesterday on the ANWR issue and asked you staff to relay that this constituent thought you were doing a hell of a job.  Thank you.

    In the last 5 years, I've crunched through the rubble of all my romantic belief in the benevolence of institutions.  (U.S. gov't, Cath. Church, Corporations)  I know better than to retreat to my old childlike ways.  But, I do so want to believe that you are a political hero - someone (like us) who really will do the right thing, regardless of political consequence.

    I'm too old and married to have a crush on you, Senator.  But some adulation and old-fashioned r-e-s-p-e-c-t comes your way from me.  Scoop it all up, and hold it tight.  You'll need it to withstand the swiftboat snakeheads when you run for president.  On Wisconsin!  You may us look so good!

    Living life in an uproar.

    by MilwMom on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:08:27 AM PST

  •  Happy Holidays, Senator Russ! (none)
    Thanks for the gifts!  Would you like a pair of boxing gloves for New Years'?  ;-D  I'm thinking of sending Sens Reid & Boxer shiny new gloves too. LOL!

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Berra

    by x on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:08:32 AM PST

  •  Russ: Let's do lunch. (none)
    I'm in the book.

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:12:42 AM PST

  •  Give me liberty or Give me Death (none)
    Patrick Henry would be as proud of you as I am.  Your work in this area has been like a ray of light on a very dark day.  I didn't expect to get so emotional about your successes with the Patriot Act, but after all that's happened over the past five years, this gave me a lot of hope that maybe we're turning the corner.

    You're a hero, Senator.

  •  I wonder (none)
    When Feingold is elected President, will he be able to get a new member name? Or will he have to continue posting under Senator Russ Feingold? I suppose it's too much to hope for a President to actually have the time to post, but a guy can dream.

    "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
    (-8.63), (-7.03)

    by Perdition on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:21:42 AM PST

  •  mahalo for your work .. (none)
    Please continue to support the constitution and the American people.

    I'm afraid that in order to remove us from further danger you folks need to impeach the president.  He apparently doesn't understand the boundries of law.

    Oh, just for the record, we don't need anymore preemptive wars!


  •  Out-of-Control Executive Branch... (none)
    we have an out-of-control, loose cannon Executive Branch, please save us!

    How long before Bushco files for bankruptcy?

    by mattes on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:25:18 AM PST

  •  Senator Feingold (none)
    Separate but related (and I don't know if you'll read this) - the White House is quietly telling reporters that they think the whole domestic spying issue will die down over the holidays, thereby making it a non-issue come January.  This community is certainly keeping the issue afloat - will Congress stay committed to defending our Constitutional rights??

    HEY - why haven't you visited my blog?

    by RenaRF on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:28:55 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold. (none)
     There are dark days behind us, and I fear darker days ahead. We need people of your caliber to stand for those of us who believe in the Constitution.
  •  I have been waiting (none)
    patiently for a democrat to stand up to the political machine of the president and republicans.  Not just to stand up, but to speak very coherently and with passion and vigor about what we as a country stand for, and what we wil and will not allow our politicians to do in our name.  You (happily) have been that voice lately and I encourage you to continue to speak out.  If you throw your hat into the presidential ring I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and plans for our country!!!! go Russ go!!!
  •  Its nice that a lone voice in the Senate can make (none)
    a difference.

    I have been watching a lot of the Senate action on Cspan 2 the past week or so and I am actually impressed how ya managed to get the majority of the Dems behind you along with the support of a few Republicans.

    Someone upthread said there needs to be more Feingolds. I don't know about that, but the Senate or the legislative branch could use more "mavericks" or people that stand thier ground and do what's right besides the influence of popular political passions of the day, K Street, and lobbyist with thier big money. What we need is leadership. Thanks for showing some on this issue Senator.

    There is no War on Christmas. The right wingers need to get a life.

    by LeftistIndependent on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 09:56:44 AM PST

  •  Hooray (none)
    The Democrats have the ball at their own 40 yard line with 2 minutes to go. They only need a field goal to win the game.

    But wait. It looks like the Democrats are going to punt. That's right Bob, the Democrats have decided to punt.

    Yes, Jim. The Democratic crowd is going nuts. I don't think anyone has explained to them that they only need a field goal to win.

    That's right Bob, or either they enjoy losing. I'm not sure which. But it's clear the audience is pleased with the decision to punt.

    I don't know Jim. The Democrats have given the game to their opponents and the crowd is chanting "Thank You" to the quarterback. I've never seen anything like it. I think we better cut to a commercial now before my tiny TV sports announcer brain explodes.

    •  Not football, KABUKI (none)
      A highly orchastrated peice of traditional, archaic theater.

      "Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.'' - Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations

  •  Sigh! My hero! darn, we sure needed one! (none)
    thanks senator!
  •  Forgive my ignorance... (4.00)
    But I always here Senators and Media talking about the provisions in the Patriot Act.  They say that they agree with most of the provisions (I think Biden said last night he agreed with 12 or 13 and only disagree on 2 or 3), but no one every discusses what those provisions are, or what they mean to everyday ordinary Americans.

    Maybe if we had more discussion about what those SPECIFIC provisions are, then the White House wouldn't be able to portray dissent as being pro-terrorist (or whatever they call it today).

    I ask, because I myself have no idea.


  •  Feingold for president! (none)
    I've been thinking that for several years now, and your latest leadership has only made me more sure.

    Please run.  You are exactly what we need, someone who means what he says, and says the right things, and says them clearly.

    Please please please run in 2008.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 10:48:16 AM PST

  •  I have been in your corner (none)
    for 2008 for several months now Senator.

    That comes to you all the way from one of the  
    most red states as I am in MS.

    Thank you so much for your courage and your devotion to
    what is right.

    Don't blame me, I am still trying to figure out what is on the Blue dress :) eaglecries

    by eaglecries on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 11:03:58 AM PST

  •  Thank You! (none)
    Thank you for your leadership on this.
  •  Thanks to Senator Feingold, but what does sunset (none)
    mean if none of the legislation ever enacted with one is allowed to truly sunset. The only reason these highly dubious provisions passed in the first place was because it was "understood" that they would cease to exist and their odious effects on our civil rights would be gone. The only problem is, no laws are ever allowed to sunset. All future such clauses should be written so that it takes a 2/3 vote by both the House and the Senate to be extended.

     I'm grateful that the Democrats (at least in the Senate) are standing up and finally presenting an alternative to the Republicans, but these provisions in the USA Patriot Act need to go. Let the damned thing die! My prediction: In six months, the whole disgusting thing will pass into permanance.  

    "Anarchy doesn't mean out of control, it means out of THEIR control." - Jim Dodge


  •  Good job (none)
    All this went much better than could have been expected just a couple of months ago. Just goes to show what perseverance in the face of incompetance can acheive.

    it tastes like burning...

    by eastvan on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 12:15:31 PM PST

  •  PLEASE (none)
    run for President in 2008.

    And make Patrick Fitzgerald your VP (if he can be talked into it).

    PLEASE. It's what I want msot for the next 3 Christmases.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 12:31:07 PM PST

  •  "King is to you.... (none)
    Edmund Dauntes".. I mean Pres. Feingold.  You have a snowballs chance in hell of carrying Texas in '08, but I still do not think it would be wasted effort to get the message out even in a state as deep a red a this.  Pretty rough here behind enemy lines, but recent events have been an antidote to some very stiff 180 proof koolaid round these parts.  People are staring to wake from some fancy prestidigitation.  I'll be looking for your Texas offices and will be working for you in Dallas.  Hope we can dust some DLC sellouts ('FlagMama' Clinton, 'MBNA' Biden, etc..) in the primary.  You are the only one on the hill channeling the Spirits of '76.  Keep up the great work!

    -7.13, -5.95; Unbiased journalists are more important for a healthy democracy than any single branch of our government!

    by LoneStarLefty on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 12:45:07 PM PST

  •  Sensenbrenner in House (none)
    Just changed the time frame from a six month extenstion to a one month extension--the date now for this debate to begin is Feb 3--this was planned, of course, to coincide with the Senate's being busy with the Alito Confirmation.

    The Senate now will have to agree with this new time frame, I think, so hold on folks, it's not over.

    It's obvious the Republicans are attempting to rush this through again because they know the more time the people have to learn about that UnPatriot Act provisions, the more the people will not support those sneak and peak into our homes provisons, the endless wiretaps, etc.

    So, get ready for more of a hard ride in the furture!

  •  Thank you Senator (none)
    for all that you do for ALL Americans.  We are so proud of you.
  •  You make me proud to be a Democrat (none)
  •  Thank you, Russ (none)
    Your work on this issue has been stellar.  It's our job now to deliver you a House and Senate majority next year so you can go after BushCo full time.
  •  Thanks! Continue leading on national security. (none)
    Your opponents think locking people up without due process, secret wiretaps and secret prisons make us secure.

    Meanwhile, the annual figures for growth in terrorism are so bad they're now being kept secret.

    In your presidential campaign, please point out that actually meeting with your counterterrorism staff, following up on your daily briefings, and cooperating with other nations has worked in the past and will work again in the future to keep us safe.

    Dare to say that if these simple policies had been followed, 9/11 would probably never have happened.

  •  Senator Feingold (none)
    stand up and take a bow!
  •  Thank you! (none)
    Thanks to you, Senator Feingold, we are seeing a resurrection of bipartisan cooperation, especially on issues such as the Patriot Act. Your hard work paid off. Bless you. Keep working, please.

    "That story isn't worth the paper it's rotten on."--Dorothy Parker

    by martyc35 on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 02:35:05 PM PST

  •  The USA PUSSY ACT (none)
    needs to be abolished, not "fixed".  Brave men and women have given their live for our freedoms for generations.  This law is an act of cowardice.  It betrays the sacrifice of all of those who came before us.
  •  Patriot Act Not Needed!! (none)
    We have Enough Laws on the books to handle Any Type Of Security Problem that may be posed on this country!! [tweak a few maybe]

    We also have enough Intelligence Groups collecting that Intelligence that could/would lead to any type of Danger!!

    If there is a Problem with these Agencies sharing Intelligence it isn't with the Dedicated People that Actually Do The Work, It's with the Higherarchy and the Political Appointed Leadeships!!

    If Political People Were Actually Paying Attention To Those Collecting The Intelligence 9/11 Would Never Have Happened, Especially As To 'How Simple It All Went Down'!!

    Now if Dems want to make Points do as the Opposition Does, like the NRA on Gun Laws, and you can Name Dozens Of Other Blocked Legislation, Already Enough To Cover Any Needs, Tweak Maybe, A Huge Level Of Implied/Won Civil Liberties Given Up, Not Needed!!

  •  Thank you Sen/ Feingold (none)
    One thing to consider when talking about this, and I, nor you, can't stress it enough:

    We could have avoided these last-minute negotiations if the House had just adopted the Senate version of the Patriot Act that passed unanimously earlier this year.

    That is the key point you have to make clear every time you speak out on this issue in the coming hours, days and weeks ahead.

    The Senate passed the correct, sane, reauthorization unanimously
    The Senate passed correct reauthorization unanimously
    The Senate passed correct reauthorization unanimously
    The Senate passed correct reauthorization unanimously
    The Senate passed correct reauthorization unanimously

    Seriously, that is the point that has to be made to the point of being almost pavlovian in the media. The White House is specifically trying to make it about obstructionist Democrats (never-mind opposition to the conference report has bipartisan support). That will be the talking point that will set in cement unless it is exploded immediately, fully, every-time the WH and its propagandist backers and supporters trot it out.


    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:16:57 PM PST

  •  You can count on me, (none)
    Sen. Feingold.

    Anything I can do to help, from calling Congresspeople to writing letters, just post...

  •  kill it completely! (none)
    personally i'd like to see the entire so-called U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act expire and fade into history along with the alien and sedition acts of 1798.  it is an abomination against our american values.

    outside of the beltway and the incestuous corporate media there is no interest in keeping this around.

    while there are surely some useful aspects in the act, these could be re-instated separately, or replaced with better provisions for streamlining law enforcement and counter-espionage after the bad law is removed root and branch from the US code.

    that would be the truly patriotic thing to do.

    and thank you for your heroic stand on this, senator.  you will be one of the few people in government remembered by history as supporting american values in this dark time.

    we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
    — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

    by zeke L on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 03:36:21 PM PST

  •  We're with you, Russ. (none)
    Since I live in WI, you're my senator, and writing to you won't accomplish much. But please let me know if there's anything I can do that would help the effort. This is critical.
  •  Thank you, Senator Feingold.... (none)
    Did you know you have support even in Waukesha County? Well, you do! Aw....I bet you knew there were two or three of us.
  •  This Praise of Feingold Makes me Puke (none)

    The Patriot Act should die.

    All you jerks who are falling over Slimegold for this "extension" might as well go vote for Hillary
    in 08 because you were just sold down the river Clinton syle.

    If Feingold/Slimegold wants to impress me bring down
    Bu$hCo. Tie up the senate so they can do any more harm.


    •  Not true (none)
      The longer the (Un)Patriot Act is debated, the more light shines on it and the more people will oppose the bad portions of it.  It simply wasn't an option to get rid of the whole thing just as congress was leaving now.  Future President Feingold did an outstanding job on this.  Before his leadership, it looked like an indefinite extension of the Patriot Act was going to sail through.  Lumping him in with Hillary/Biden/Joementum is ridiculous.

      It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

      by fizziks on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 07:21:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear Senator Feingold (none)
    I applaud and thank you for your work over the years on the PATRIOT Act.

    But, I'd like to reiterate a couple of points that I have made earlier, and I do so with utmost sincerity. In your 7/29 statement,  regarding the "senate version" (S. 1389) of the reauthorization legislation, you had said:

    Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold on S. 1389, the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act

    July 29, 2005

    "Mr. President, I want to say a few words about the version of S. 1389, the USA PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act, that the Judiciary Committee unanimously reported last week. I am pleased that the Senate is about to pass it without modification.

    The compromise that the Judiciary Committee worked out addresses a number of the concerns that I have been talking about since October 2001 when the Senate first considered the Patriot Act on the floor. We have come a long way since that night, and I am grateful for the efforts of my colleagues to try to deal with the civil liberties concerns that have been raised both here in the Senate and around the country. This is not a perfect bill, but it is a good bill.

    This bill does not address all of the problems with the Patriot Act. But the compromise does deal with the core concerns that I and others have had about the standard for Section 215 orders, sneak and peek search warrants, and meaningful judicial review of Section 215 orders and National Security Letters, including judicial review of the gag rule. It does not go as far on any of these issues as the SAFE Act, but it does make meaningful changes to current law.

    I want to be clear that this will not be the end of my efforts to further fix the Patriot Act. This bipartisan compromise takes a big step in the right direction, and I am pleased that I can support it, but I will continue to push for additional changes to the law.

    I also want to caution that the conference process must not be allowed to dilute the safeguards in this bill. This Senate bill goes much further than the House version in ensuring that Americans' civil liberties will be protected. I urge the Senate conferees to fight -- and fight hard -- for this bill."

    My opinion, Sen. Feingold, is why not make it "perfect" right away (i.e. when the senate takes it up in Jan), instead of waiting for a future time?

    IMO, we do have the political momentum needed to get this done right once and for all, and therefore, I hope that the senate bipartisan coalition will work towards that end.

    And if that is done in open public vision (with open floor/committee debates), many folks will be able to give feedback as the process develops, and that could only help the cause of getting it right.

    On open debates, I have read an excuse by the whitehouse that open debates would "endanger security". I consider it to be a bogus claim since:

    • once the law is written, it will be in black and white for everyone to see and read
    • senate could easily make exceptions for  some sensitive hearings to be held in closed-door sessions.

    Would you agree with me on this point?

    I would also like to reiterate that 2 year review/sunset of the act would be desirable.

    Thank you, and wish you wonderful holidays.

  •  now... (none)
    the patriot act must be repealed period.  no equivacation.  it never should have been passed.  fear is a poor fuel for good decisions.  ever.  the president must be impeached for his abrogation of the rule of law.  period.  get going......

    it is our cares which organize the human mind....

    by wildwisefree on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 06:35:56 PM PST

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