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Meet the four horsemen of the Constitutional apocalypse: Republican Senators Mike DeWine, Olympia Snowe, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Hagel.  "Apocalypse, what hyperbole!" you say.  But how else to label the fact that these four Senators will bring to the Senate a billowing white flag of surrender, and a crown for their King?

Yesterday, these four Senators introduced the "Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006."  The bill would legalize the President's crimes.  It would allow this Congress to rubber-stamp the administration's violation of FISA and the Fourth Amendment by condoning warrantless spying.  According to their ass-backwards approach to oversight, the President can continue to spy on Americans without a warrant for 45 days.  After 45 days, the President has three choices:

    1. "Stop" the spying: Because naturally, we can trust this government to cease and desist on demand, given its amazing track record of self-restraint;
    2. Ask the FISA court for a court order: Because naturally, this President has shown great respect for the FISA court process and would dutifully follow Congressional directives when it comes to applying for a FISA order; or
    3. Inform the Intelligence Sub-committee:  Because, of course, the President has proven he can be trusted to follow the law and notify intelligence activities about warrantless spying.

The bill is co-sponsored by four so-called "moderates" in order to hide its radical and catastrophic nature.  What these four extremists accomplish with their bill is to amend the Constitution unilaterally--without the consent of the states--by nullifying the Fourth Amendment.  Warrant? Reasonable cause? Psssh. Remnants of a pre-9/11 world, my friends.

Their bill, by making congressional notification optional, also effectively repeals the National Security Act of 1947, which requires the President keep the House and Senate Intelligence Committees "fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities."  If the administration does chose to inform the Intelligence Sub-Committee, the members on that committee cannot disclose any abuses they may learn of.  They can't order the government to stop the spying and they can't hold the government accountable for any abuses.  Their mouths are sealed shut. Their hands are bound with inaction.  They can do nothing but serve as audience for an all-powerful King.  As Senate Judiciary Chairman Specter commented, this bill lets the administration "do whatever the hell it wants."  And this is "oversight"? The sadder question that needs to be asked is is this America anymore?

So, let's review, shall we? Striking out part of the Bill of Rights? Check.  Unfettered Executive authority to conduct massive, intrusive spying on Americans in secret? Check.  A paralyzed Congress bound, blindfolded and gagged? Check. Establishing the precedent that the President can flat-out ignore the law of the land? Check.  A Congress filled with Rubber-Stamp Republicans who couldn't give a shit about the rule of law as long as they make this scandal go away? Check.

A constitutional catastrophe doesn't look to hyperbolic now, does it?

CONTACT YOUR SENATORS and tell them to reject the DeWine bill, and to support censure instead.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:40 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This has to be filibustered (16+ / 0-)

    Assuming its allowed to reach the floor.  Which I guess it will, since all the Rethug tools on the Judiciary Committee are going to vote for it.

    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 Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:38:16 AM PST

    •  Over at Glenn Greenwald (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k2winters, matt2525, irate

      someone said the same thing, although seeming to belive that a filibuster would happened. Fearless prediction: it won't get filibustered because the Vichycrats are too scared and the Republicans are too extreme. Fearless predicion #2: It will get passed. See above.

      •  And if it does pass, then it is our duty (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        norm, doug r, irate, yojimbo

        as people with principles to challenge it in the courts and on the streets.

      •  Probably (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, november3rd

        Yeah, this is too easy to spin.  The president says he needs the tools to fight terrrists.  If the Democrats go so far as to filibuster it, they can talk about how the Democrats are trying to halep Al Qaeda.  Ugly but then that's the Republican spin machine.

        I hope to god that the Dems find their spine on this one.  What the hell is the point of passing this law?  Putting rules on what the President is permitted to do makes no sense given we know, for a fact, that the President has chosen to do what he wanted to in the past regardless of the law.  If he doesn't feel like informing congress, he won't, just like he didn't do so before.

        This is why the president must be impeached.  That is the only rule of law available anymore.  Had the president asked for this law BEFORE he started wiretapping, no problem.  But now, he must be held accountable for his actions.

        --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

        by sterno on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:54:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Surrender (0+ / 0-)

          The Dems can spin it:  "The Republicans want to surrender to terrorists."

          "The fourth Amendment guarantees our security.

          Without Congressional oversight our rights are not secure.

          So the Republicans are threatening not just our physical security, like the terrorists, but the security of our very freedom itself, which is an inherited wealth beyond calculation."

          F*ck the "Four Horsepersons."

          The so-called, "Global War On Terror" IS Terrorism!

          by november3rd on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:14:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He did ask and was shot down (0+ / 0-)

          Had the president asked for this law BEFORE he started wiretapping, no problem.  But now, he must be held accountable for his actions.

          The admin did ak for this in the first (un)patriot act. They were told NO NO NO!

          Shameless plug
          Save AAR Phoenix

          "As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together, we make a mighty fist" Watanka Tatanka (Sitting Bull)

          by Tinfoil Hat on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:26:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Greenwald's calling it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        matt2525, profh

        the Nixon Law, which is a great frame.

    •  Dems have to support Feingold - fast! n/t (7+ / 0-)

      If you consider using for your image hosting - save $5 - use my coupon on the 'Referred by' mYYrlt9brzUDE

      by Blue in VA on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:44:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have nothing but scorn... (12+ / 0-)

      for every single one of these Senators. I plan on calling today and letting their staffers know of my scorn for their position, too.

      Switchboard: 1-888-355-3588

      Call Dewine, Snowe, Graham and Hagel.

      Talking Points:

      1. They Suck!
      1. They have no respect for the constitution, specifically the 4th Amendment
      1. They support a dictatorship, rather than defending the republic.
      1. By supporting such a bill, they have implicitly violated their oath of office to uphold the constitution.
    •  We need to come out and admit... (6+ / 0-)

      ...the terrorist in this picture is the present administration. When Republicans say Democrats treat the President like he's the terrorist, Democrats should be responding, "Yes. Exactly. Now you get it"

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:00:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Joe Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, irate

      Might as well be a Republican...

    •  Wishful thinking. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      normal family

      Our congress no longer has the capacity to act as the third branch of government. They forgot how. They ignore the constitution, they ignore the laws, they simply go with the White House flow of effluent and sewer water. Why? Fear.

      They fear Bush, Rove and themselves. They fear standing up for principle, laws, rights and what is ethical. They fear losing their seats because they might be called traitors.

      The German Parliament of the 1930s had the same problem. They handed some crumbs to Dolphie, a weird guy they hoped to control. Adolph never looked back. Just like Team Bush.

      The chances of this Senate having a filbuster are as remote and likely as my winning the lottery.

      In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

      by agnostic on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:48:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know, of course that Hagel... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, buckhorn okie

    ... is considering a 2008 presidential bid.

    Throw this in his face over and over and over again.

    Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish.

    by Page van der Linden on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:40:09 AM PST

    •  Well he is looking for a crown not a (4+ / 0-)

      Presidency then isn't he?

      King Hagel.  I'll bet he likes the sound of that.

    •  The Coming Showdown (10+ / 0-)

      I thought the decline in Bush ratings would end the nightmare scenario, but I see now it is in fact exacerbating the risk of a civil war in the United States.

      We have on the one hand a party in command of the instruments of power, with no intention of ever relinquishing it.

      We have on the other a party that won't act as it should to lead the opposition to such perversions of the Republic for partisan gain.

      If the current generation of Democratic leaders will not fight now, peacefully and with the full moral weight of the Constitution at their back, the American People will have to fight this battle later, for the fight is already being waged against their rights, their privacy, their prosperity and with this latest attack, on their freedom.

      How soon until their very lives are at forfeited for the sake of convenience or contempt?

      Oh, silly me. New Orleans, its people scattered to the four winds.

      I hear the GOP is holding special elections there next month, while 70% of the city is somewhere else.

      We're being conquered already.

      The question of the day: When do we start to push back?

      The sooner we do so, the more lawful and peaceful the opposition shall be.

      The longer American leaders tarry in the Republican aggression, the higher the price will be.

      It's not that they don't know Jack. It's that they don't know him on a first-name basis. :)

      by cskendrick on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:55:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're being conquered already. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie

        Too true.

        The question of the day: When do we start to push back?

        I dont think we will have any kind of good old fashioned general work strike until gas is above $4/gal and people start to default on their balloon ARMs...

        •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's all economic - believe me, if interest rates were through the roof like the early eighties and inflation was out of control, on top of all this shit, there'd be riots in the streets.

          "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

          by fishhead on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:08:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nah (0+ / 0-)

          Nah, because at that point, it will all just be the fault of the Jews ... ooops, excuse me I meant (pick one) liberals, homosexuals, terrorists.

          Remember, even in 1944, when their cities were being destroyed from the air, their armies were being chewed up by that advancing Russians, and stuff like oil was becoming non-existent ... the german people still supported their Furhrer.

          "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

          by COBear on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:23:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's been one of the biggest problems... (0+ / 0-)

          related to waking up and activating enough Americans against the Bush agenda (expensive war and military aggression, tax cuts for the rich, borrow and squander economic policies).  Nothing like an economic shock or a military draft to create citizen stakeholders.  In the 70's and the early 80's we could not ignore these facts...they were in our homes every day.  Bush has been very careful to defer the inevitable negative impacts of his policies into our future; it keeps the noise down now.

      •  I wrote a diary about this very subject (4+ / 0-)

        not two weeks ago.  My conclusion: Americans better start getting comfortable with the idea of forceful - even violent - forms of protest and dissent.

        The consensus: I was summarily bitch slapped.  Pacifists indeed.

        God forbid we do anything more assertive than typing on our keyboards.  Or dailing the phone.

        •  It's that 'even violent' part (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doug r

          that's the problem there.

          Not sure what you mean by forceful, but if this doesn't get us gathered in Washington, don't know what will.

          I assumed Feingold's "forceful" call for censure came because we've known they were writing this law up and later would be too late.

          We need people who can frame this issue far better then it has been. Most won't care if he is listening to terrorists without a warrant but this is so much bigger then that.

          •  It is NOT a problem (2+ / 0-)

            The problem is the knee-jerk reaction of the flower-child contingent any time the word "violent" enters into the conversation.  I'm not talking about aggression here, I'm talking about defending the rights and liberties that we possess while they still exist.  Rights and liberties - by the way - that other, braver, more honorable men and women than ourselves have fought and died to secure.

            At some point you and the rest of America need to wake up to the fact that this fight is nothing like those struggles we faced in the past.  This is NOT a battle for Civil Rights, or voting rights - as important as those struggles were - this is a fight for the continued existence of our democracy.  If politics fail us, if peaceful protests fail us, then what are you going to do?  What are you willing to do to protect this country, to preserve democracy?  

            Before you answer that question, ask yourself where you'd be today if not for the violence of revolution, which gave you the freedoms you presently enjoy.

      •  I have this sinking feeling (0+ / 0-)
          that in the next 30 to 60 to 90 days the whole picture is
        going to get really f---ed up, really different than what we see and know today. Cornered by worsening events the Republican's aggression may expose their frothing fangs and snarling for all to see and fear.How could it not get ugly? It will. But Joe Q. Public is waking up and will be joining up in some kind of a way to push-back. Leaders will rise up from the crowd. The
        sooner the better, no doubt about that. Hell, I think you're probably one of those leaders.  
      •  How many are thinking about the future (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I have often wondered how many contemplate the thought that civil war may someday become necessary here.  What happens if there isnt enough democracy left to defeat this new brand of fascism.  I truly think there is one election left, 2006.  Maybe, maybe 2008.  But after that if the Dems havent gotten it together we are toast.  That means all liberals need to work togethjer for the common good and stop fighting the battle against the two party system and work together to fight the radical right.  A fascist radical right wing has got a stranglehold over our government, thats what we are dealing with here.  Its important for everyone to understand what that is, not nazism, but fascism.  Naziism was fascism but fascism isnt nazism.  Too many are afraid to say the word because somehow it always gets spun around to 'How dare you compare the evils of the past to what we face today.  All those Jews roll in their graves at the mere equating of the two'.  I'll say the word, Bushism is the newest form of Fascism.  And so here we are.  We are faced with a fascist government, albeit a fledgling one still finding its footing.  We are only fortunate in that those in charge of it are idiots.  What happens if Dems dont pull it together and finally get a backbone?  Are you guys still prepared to take away a citizens right to bear arms?  

        I'm mostly a liberal but on one issue I am strong.  Thats the need for citizens to bear arms.  Not for hunting and not just in the police force.  No, real citizens that choose to do so should maintain arms to protect this nation from itself.  Im not out in the woods training to fight this government, I don't hunt, and I have every hope that democracy is still strong enough.  In the event that someday this fledgling fascism grows up into something truly nasty is there anyone here that suggests wee shouldn't fight it?  Its a big IF Ill grant you, but does anyone here think it impossible now?  Does anyone here think it CANNOT happen here?  And if you think it can happen here, if you think it may very well be happening here, what do you plan on fighting it with IF it truly turns nasty?  Oh yes yes, the work stoppage.  That will do the trick.

        Lots of ifs, hopefully enough democracy left that this whole new idea of fascism will die a quick, relatively speaking, death.  But I hope there is at least an inkling now in the heads of all those that would so quickly remove our right to bear arms for the seeming beauty of fields of daisies that the next time something comes up there is at least pause.  

        Our founding fathers left us this right because they didn't know if what they were doing would work.  They were justifying what they had just done to overthrow a government and were leaving that right in the hands of future citizens, regular citizens and not the state, federal, or even local police force to protect us.

        I see plenty up in arms about the 4th amendment here.  How many understand the true nature of the 2nd?

        •  the (0+ / 0-)

          The 2nd Amendment was written by a revolutionary generation that had just fought a civil war / war of rebellion to get their freedom.

          How many people know why Lexington and Concorde happened?  The King's governor in MA had 'intelligence' that said that the colonists had some guns and powder cached at these towns.  So he sent the redcoats off to go seize those weapons.  (Gee, that sounds a lot like what the Pentagon is saying about Operation Swarming.)

          Is it any surprise that after that war was over, the colonists insisted on an admendment that guranteed thier right to keep and bear arms?

          Of course, the firepower levels have gotten way out of balance.  Back then, armies were largely armed with the same sort of muskets that the citizens could have.  Today, it would be the citizens with pistols and hunting rifles against a government armed with tanks, helicopters, machine guns, precision guided airstrikes etc.  

          "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

          by COBear on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:28:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Even if this law passes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmin, cskendrick, buckhorn okie

    It will and should be challenged in the courts. Congress cannot pass a law that abrogates the rights granted by the 4th Amendment. If this passes, I hope that they realize that it will not be effective in silencing the wiretap issue. It will simply move it to the courtroom.

    •  move it to the courtroom (11+ / 0-)

      where it will take YEARS to make it all the way up the Supreme court.  

      filibuster it now. That should be the plan.

      tracking the domestic spying scandal here.

      by Georgia Logothetis on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:42:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alito and Roberts... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xerico, doug r, irate


      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:42:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um (7+ / 0-)

      Congress cannot pass a law that abrogates the rights granted by the 4th Amendment.

      Ever heard of the USA PATRIOT Act?

      That's snark, of course... not attacking you.

      I need a drink (and it's beer hour in my time zone, so maybe I'll go for it).

      Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish.

      by Page van der Linden on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:43:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've never heard that patriot did so... (0+ / 0-)

        I know it allows library records searches, but without a warrant???

        I've never heard 4th Amendment issues raised in connection with Patriot. Please explain.

        And, if so, is someone out there challenging it?

        •  How about (0+ / 0-)

          Well, there's the National Security Letters for a start.  The FBI doesn't have to go to a court to do this.  They just have to get some higher up to sign off on it.  

          The FBI has been issuing about 30,000 of these national security letters a year since the Patriot act went into effect.

          IIRC, some key things were changed to "administrative review" in the Patriot act.  That means no warrant froma court is neccessary.  Just get someone higher in the FBI or DOJ to sign off.

          "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

          by COBear on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:32:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I was sick when I first read this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      To believe that this administration will keep our legislators in on this, to think they will follow the rules, is the most foolhardy move on the parts of these Republicans.  These "moderates" republicans are enabling the lawbreaking of the President of the United States - and they will still be hailed as "Moderates."

      I am going to fax all of them this afternoon with this message:


      I truly am coming to loathe all of the republicans in Congress, with no exception. What the hell kind of representation is this???

      The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

      by adigal on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:57:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who would have standing? (5+ / 0-)

      Anyone who tells you that you've been spied upon would be breaking the law.

      "So let me get this straight- they believe in Social Darwinism, but not um, actual Darwinism??"

      by bonobo on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:10:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't this also an unconstitutional delegation? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      Without having read the actual bill yet, but assuming that it validates the "unitary executive" theory, I would think that this bill would violate Article I, insofar as it essentially grants the president the ability to declare wartime powers for himself at such time as he declares them necessary.

      I mean, I know it's just a bunch of words, but I would think that the phrase "Congress has the power... to declare War" is pretty clear, and that any law that purported to give the declaration power, or some significant subset of it, to the Executive Branch, is in direct contravention of Art. I.

      •  If you (0+ / 0-)

        are going to declare and assume wartime powers - I don't recall having a declaration of war presented to Congress. Ya, the "war on terror", but that's just Bush speak for the justification of doing what I want when I want too. Screw Congress and the Constitution. Either declare war, or abide by the rule of law.

        He shit on me, then slapped me for stinking!

        by Arkydem on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:43:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  right but (0+ / 0-)

          the basis for "wartime powers", is the idea that the executive can perform certain extra-constitutional acts because the nation is in a state of war.

          the President can't just go around wiretapping people because it's a 4th Amendment violation.  however, the GOP spin has been that the President can do this if we are in a state of war, and every iteration that I've seen has basically said that this unitary executive idea is predicated on the notion that the President can effectively declare a state of war (thus justifying his wartime powers) without an actual declaration of war by Congress.

    •  Do you think the current..., (0+ / 0-)

      Supreme Court will uphold this law or the constitution? I hope that the SCOTUS is in favor of the constitution.

      "I am the pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity." G W Bush

      by irate on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:34:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But we didn't (0+ / 0-)

        filibuster Alito.  Because the dems were saving the filibuster for a rainy day.  So we've got a bunch of extremists on the court who just love that "unitary executive" garbage, and who sneer at civil rights in general.  If this passes and somehow miraculously goes to the courts, there's no guarantee SCOTUS will even take the case (Roberts is the Chief Justice) or that it will not be upheld.  

        "Silflay hraka u embleer rah!" --Bigwig

        by Reepicheep on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:23:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm glad I'm seeing 'V for Vendetta' tonight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, Omen

    I'll be in a fighting mood for sure...

    Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

    by Cheez Whiz on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:42:02 AM PST

  •  Arlen will cave in too n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, buckhorn okie, matt2525

    -8.63 -7.28 When Bush is in your face, may the wind be at your back.

    by OneCrankyDom on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:42:17 AM PST

  •  Uniforms (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maybe they should add new grey uniforms for the military as part of this act.

    •  Flektar (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      Was invented by the Nazis, and eschewed by all armies of the world in the interim because of that association, despite being the most effective type of camera pattern.

      Well guess what?  Last year the US military put that all in the past and adopted it, it's now standard issue.

      Not that it means anything.  Just one little tile in the mosaic.

      9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

      by NewDirection on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:18:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's Camo Pattern (0+ / 0-)

        Not camera pattern....

        Anyway, further, Vonnegut pointed out in Timequake I think that we have adopted kraut helmets.  Of course they look like plain old US helmets now because we are used to them....

        9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

        by NewDirection on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:19:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Helmets (0+ / 0-)

          We've had the 40's German Army looking helmets for a long time now, since at least Clinton, maybe before.  It doesn't mean anything at all, unless you've seen Bush walking around in one of those pointy Col. Klink helmets, but then I'd just say you were confusing it with the point on his head.

          •  We Also Starting Calling Military Operations (0+ / 0-)

            Things like "Storm" and "Lightning" and "Eagle."

            And practicing the strategy known as Blitzkrieg.
            Oh, and also the strategy known as "invading other countries."

            It didn't mean anything that the heinies had heiny helmets either....

            9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

            by NewDirection on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:42:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure what your point is... (0+ / 0-)

              I hope you're being facitious, because none of this stuff is unique to Nazis or the U.S.  The helmet, for instance, is ubiquitous...

              WWII German Helmets

              U.S. Marine Helmet

              NATO Helmet

              U.N. Helmet

              Israeli Helmet

              Wingnuts Helmets

              Blitzkrieg probably wouldn't apply to a phased invasion where we announced our intent with a deadlined ultimatum, softened up a country with air power, then disbanded the military instead of capturing or destroying it.  Blitzkrieg isn't even a Nazi term, it was made-up by Time Magazine.

              You don't see military stuff like "Operation Comfy Chair".  We had a plane called the "Lightning" in WWII, the RAF had a line of fighters called the Hawker "Storm" Fighters (Hurricane, Tornado, etc.).

              And you can't be serious about the word "Eagle" having some Nazi link.  It's not only our national bird, but it's been on the Great Seal of U.S. since the 1700s.

              •  I Guarantee (0+ / 0-)

                If you look back over the history of American warfare, even just the names of operations, that you will see a stunning and sudden change occur at the time of the first Gulf War.

                I am not making a mountain out of a molehill.  But that doesn't mean there is no molehill.

                Your helmet pictures are all present-day.  The design is better.  Like flectarn camo.  But it was taboo before the US broke the taboo.  Broken taboos in retrospect are perhaps less important, and there are a lot more dead people to whom WWII was personally important now, than there were in 1991.

                9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

                by NewDirection on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 03:54:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I thought you were talking about modern helmets. (0+ / 0-)

                  Helmets all changed when they went from steel helmets with liners to integrated "composite" ones.  I don't ever remember a Nazi-like American helmet other than ones similar to my picures.  I can't speak to the camo.

                  Grenada (Reagan): Operation Urgent Fury.
                  Panama (Bush I): Operation Just Cause.
                  Gulf War I: Operation Desert Sheild/Storm
                  Gulf War I Service Pack 1.0: Operation Southern Watch
                  Gulf War II Media Edition: Operation Southern Focus
                  Gulf War II Professional Edition: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Desert Fox (ok, you win on that one), Red Dawn, Swarmer, eh, I don't have time to look all this up.

                  There's probably a complete list somewhere, but to me, they just don't evoke Nazi Germany.  Rather, they evoke happy, fun wars -- which may even be worse.

                  I do think Rove plays from the Nazi handbook ("Homeland" really doesn't sound like a traditional American term), and W has pretty much said being a dictator would be a lot of fun, but I guess where I disagree with you is in some kind of long term, concerted symbolic Nazification of our military.  I just don't see it.  Be clear, I'm not justifying anything, it really doesn't matter what you're dressed like if you act like a Nazi. But I just don't see the symbolic links.

  •  If your not GOP, you're a terrorist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This bill will give this dishonest and corrupt administration a green light to wiretap at will. Political adversaries will be tapped. "Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006." is unamerican and unpatriotic.

  •  This is bullshit (4+ / 0-)

    If I recall correctly, the Congress cannot - repeat CAN NOT - pass an 'ex post facto' law.  That's in the Constitution.  
    These four traitorous assholes are wanting to close the barn door after the horse has escaped.  Well, that's illegal on its face.
    The conservative controled Supreme Court, on the other hand, might decide to endorse the Bush Dictatorship by saying that it's okay.

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      I was about to point out- Bush is still liable for his spying on Americans before the passage of the law.

      Seriously, is there a reason we can't jail the Senators who introduced this bill? They're obvious threats to America.

      •  Well, if we have leadership worth a damn... (0+ / 0-)

        they'll go on tv and suggest that these senators should resign for signing on to such a proposal, as doing so implicitly violates their oaths of office to uphold and defend the constitution. That would be the "hardball" line to take with this.

        These guys should be scorned. Publicly. Completely. and on an ongoing basis. Can't jail them, but the hypocrisy of their position should be pointed out.

        Now, whether our leadership will do so is another matter entirely.

    •  Ex post facto... (0+ / 0-)

      Good catch... I hadn't thought of that angle.

      So, the law violates the 4th Amendment and the section of the constitution that forbids ex post facto laws.  usually, ex post facto refers to charging someone with a crime committed before the law was passed and made it illegal. This is the reverse situation (making something legal that was illegal at the time), but I'd think ex post facto rules would still apply.

    •  no.. (0+ / 0-)

      Ex post facto "loosening" of the law is permitted. The case Calder v. Bull (1798) outlines the four types of illegal ex post facto laws.

  •  On Point #1 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, Reepicheep

    So if there is no independent record of when they start spying, how will the actions in points #2 & #3 be invoked?

    I'm just sayin'...

    I mean how can one really define 45 days if we don't know when it starts?

    •  And of course (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And of course, the records they've got have to be kept secret because their release would endanger national security.

      "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

      by COBear on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:35:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those 'records' will probably be (0+ / 0-)

        kept in that empty filing cabinet in West Virginia where Bush showed us the IOU's for Social Security.

        Come to think of it - the records will probably consist of udated PostIt notes that say "IOU a report on who were're spying on and when we started.  Be right back".


  •  Note the irony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, Omen

    V for Vendetta opens today.

    •  Apologies to Cheez Whiz (2+ / 0-)

      I hadn't noticed your V for Vendetta reference before I jumped in with mine (great minds, etc.). At the risk of putting too fine a point on it (not to mention riaisng a red flag to the homeland security forces), allow me to try and freshen up my unoriginal observation by ripping off someone else:

      "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. "

  •  but would a president be able to have a blow job (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Omen, leo joad

    in the oval office under this law?

  •  I have a question about the law (0+ / 0-)

    If you can't prosecute someone for something they did that was legal before a law making it a crime was passed, doesn't that mean that what Bush did was a crime even if they passed a law afterward making the same action legal in future?

    Yes, I know politically it makes the crime look less serious, but in simple law wasn't it still a crime?

    <strike>And we know Republicans are all about the Rule of Law.</strike>

    Finem respice et principiis obsta—Consider the end, and thwart the beginning

    by Del C on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:53:26 AM PST

  •  I hope everyone goes to see (0+ / 0-)

    'V for Vendetta' to see what this country is becoming. How long will it be before this fiction mirrors fact?

  •  And of course The Almighty President Bush, (0+ / 0-)

    if He so wishes, can ignore this law like all the others.

    Its a good thing our President is so wise and benevolent.  It would be terrible if a real tyrant were allowed that kind of power.

  •  I'm not calling anymore senators (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, buckhorn okie, Black Max, bablhous

    I have taken the "Texas Democrat" sticker off my Texas truck and I'm arming myself. Preparing for the big one. The second American Civil War.

    At some point the president actually said "I want to punish POWs more sadistically than the law will allow."

    by LandSurveyor on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:55:06 AM PST

  •  And they think Americans are stupid enough ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... not to see through something this sheer?

  •  This plane won't fly (0+ / 0-)

    This is called NO INTEGRITY. This is like the airplane with the hole in the fuselage sucking out air, that keeps getting bigger and bigger until the damn plane crashes. Gotta patch the hole first or what's the point of adding new seats on the plane?

    "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

    by Hollywood Liberal on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 07:56:23 AM PST

  •  Help the ACLU Defend US (5+ / 0-)

    Please do contact your senator. But please also consider joining the ACLU. It's not always as effective as we'd like, but it's the only organization that seems to follow through and go beyond talk to try to get people their rights under the US Constitution.

    The ACLU gets papers released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The ACLU worked to get the Iraq prison abuse photos released--Bush ignored the law anyway, and is keeping his pictures private.

    But the Senate and Congress just came up with a bunch of BS about these pictures and many other Bill of Rights issues, and figureheads like Warner and Harmon have actually done nothing.

    The ACLU goes out and gets court orders. When the orders are defied now and then, it's time for members of Congress to step up--but they usually stand down.

    We need more ACLU chapters all over our country. The local chapters sometimes can achieve more for individuals than the national one, which is more focused on big-ticket issues.

    If you happen to be a lawyer, please consider being the one to start an ACLU Chapter in your town or your county.

    I'm not a shill for the ACLU--in fact, I'm a lapsed member. But I've become so dismayed and so disgusted by what's going on in our name that I am rejoining today.

    I hope you will join or rejoin too.

  •  If we know they are terrorists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, Omen, leo joad

    why are we just listening-in and not arrresting them? This sounds like a Terrorist Protection Act to me.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:00:35 AM PST

  •  I never want to hear how... (7+ / 0-)

    Olympia Snowe, or Chuck Hagel are "good" Republicans who care for the regular folk.

    This bill is the shabbiest piece of totalitarian rubbish to be seen in my lifetime.

    It mneeds to be called the "Foul Deeds Made Fair Act of 2006."

    Snowe, Hagel, and Graham have demonstrated that once you don the mantle of the Republican Party, you become a freedom and liberty hating PIG!

  •  Called Hillary and Chuck (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, OLinda, joynow, buckhorn okie, Annalize5, Omen

    Girl at Hillary's office didn't know what it was.  Lady at Chuck's office had heard of it, and both said they would pass along my sentiments.  UGH!  It feels like banging my head against a wall.  Will they ever stand up to these PUNKS!!!!!

  •  WTF Vol. 2191 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yesterday, these four Senators introduced the "Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006."  The bill would legalize the President's crimes.  It would allow this Congress to rubber-stamp the administration's violation of FISA and the Fourth Amendment by condoning warrantless spying.

    Pardon my french, but... fuck that.

    "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -7.28

    by solesse413 on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:09:47 AM PST

  •  And if the Executive is found to be in violation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    of the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006, they face the immediate and merciless passage of a new law (TSA 2006b, relaxing these provisions.

    "So let me get this straight- they believe in Social Darwinism, but not um, actual Darwinism??"

    by bonobo on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:12:43 AM PST

  •  Rename Censure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leo joad

    The Terrorist Extermination Act.

    That way it trumps the Terrorist Surveillance Act, making those who support it in lieu of the stronger Terrorist Extermination Act look weak.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:14:13 AM PST

  •  This new bill goes beyond what Bush was doing (0+ / 0-)

    If I understand correctly, Bushco was claiming that they were surveilling calls where one end was in the USA and the other end was outside.  The new bill just talks about surveillance of Americans in general.  This is a humongous step away from the constitution, so much so that I can't imagine even today's Supreme Court, or any Supreme Court, letting it stand.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  The bill is a Fig Leaf (0+ / 0-)

    for Congressmen.  The Prez has the authority to conduct the NSA program with or without Congressional approval.  Much like censure motions and other empty gestures, this bill has no teeth and its purpose is simply to let our representatives feel better about themselves.

  •  'The Rule od Law' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    If a Republican breaks the law they just change it. It would be funny if it weren't so outragous.

    "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

    by Mike S on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:19:55 AM PST

  •  Reply from DeWine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, OLinda, joynow, buckhorn okie

    Here's a reply I actaully got back from Sen DeWine.

    Thank you for contacting me regarding President George W. Bush.  I support President Bush and his  administration, and do not intend to call for his

    Again, thank you for writing to me. If you have any additional concerns, please feel free to contact me anytime.

    Very respectfully yours,


    United States Senator


  •  Sick of this shit? (8+ / 0-)
     Is everybody here as sick of this as I am?  The President tramples on the Constitution and the Congress lets him and the Court won't stop him.  Well, it seems to me that in a democracy the people have the final say. We have the right to change our government anytime we want.  They can make all the rules they want but they don't run this country, we do.  I think we have reached the "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." moment. I suggest that we chose a day, let's say Flag Day, June 14th and all call in sick to work.  Not the essential workers like, cops and firemen and doctors, but the rest of us.  If we could shut the machine down for just one day I think it would remind them who has the power.  We have the power!  We can make them listen.  Let them know that we are sick of the abuse of our Constitution and we are sick of the destruction of our environment and we are sick of the attacks on a woman's rights to her own body, and we are sick of watching our children die in illegal wars, and we are sick of seeing people tortured in our name and we are sick of watching our economy go in the toilet and we are sick of watching the least of those amoung us be treated with contempt.
      Are we sick enough to call in sick on Flag Day?  Can we take back our flag? The flag that generations fought and died for?  I for one will not be going to work Wednesday June 14th.  I will stay home and read the Constitution and remeber what the duties of a citizen are in a democracy.  Will Kos join me, will Will the labor unions join?  Will Greenpeace join?  Will Howard Dean? Will some Democratic Senators and Congresspeople join?  Will you join me? I'm sick of this shit!
  •  terrorist surveillance act my ass (10+ / 0-)

    I refuse to call it the "Terrorist Surveillance Act." THERE IS NO PROOF THESE SPY PROGRAMS EVEN WORK.  ZERO.  

    How about the "Republican Presidential Crimes Cover-Up Act"? Or the "Republican Congressional Pigfuckers Allow Spying on Innocent Americans Without a Warrant Act"? No, I know, how about the "Government Can Do Whatever the Fuck It Wants So Shut Your Bitch Ass Up Act"?

    Who are the four "moderates" who support this? The article doesn't say.

    This pisses me off beyond belief. Not only are they trying to give Bush a "get out of jail free" card, they are trying to make whistleblowing on misuse of the spy programs....A CRIME.  

    The bill would also severely undermine the ability of the American public to learn more about the spying or other illegal activity. The proposal would impose harsh penalties on whistleblowers who make any unauthorized disclosures about the illegal program by allowing such whistleblowers to be fined up to $1 million and imprisoned for up to 15 years. The ACLU said that while no one who violated the law would be prosecuted, those brave Americans who blow the whistle would be - further insulating the administrationâ€TMs wrongdoing.

    Great. These Four Bags of Shit have Bush's crimes covered before, during, and after the illegal spying.  

  •  Nancy Pelosi is a Damn Coward (7+ / 0-)

    And a loser. has her whiney remarks about Feingold's censure resoution.  Read her chicken shit comments and get ready to be pissed off - again.

  •  V for Vendatta is disturbingly timely (0+ / 0-)

    and scary in light of this bill and the overreach of executive power more generally that this president execises.  Its no wonder the right wing has started condemning it (I saw it last night), because it pulls no punches and is an obvious strike against Bushco.  Its also a pretty good movie, although they are right about it endorsing terrorism.  The hero is undoubtedly a terrorist and represented as pure of heart and purpose.  I'll leave the moral judgement of whether such "terrorist" actions are justified to the audience, but I definitely recommend seeing it.  It was better than I expected and aNatalie Portman is really extraordinary.  Sorry if I diverged too much from the thread topic.

  •  How will Hagel, Snowe, DeWine and Graham..., (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, joynow, matt2525, bablhous, Sassy

    feel about warrantless spying when there is a Democrat occupying the Oval Office.

    "I am the pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity." G W Bush

    by irate on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:29:15 AM PST

    •  I thought the same thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joynow, bablhous, irate

      then my tin foil hat jumped on my head and made me think that maybe they're planning on there never again being another Dem president.

      Georgie, you're doin' a heck of a go FEMA yourself.

      by Sassy on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:46:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amazing how that tinfoil hat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sassy, irate

        fits so snugly these days, isn't it?

        And, just to ask a questions we already know the answer to...where the hell are all those Republicans who were crying and bawling during the Clinton administration about UN black helicopters and DEA/ATF agents storming into our bedrooms and so forth and so on?  I guess the shoe's on the other hand now.

  •  DeWine Press Release on the Bill (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, joynow, georgia10, leo joad

    Here's a link for the press release DeWine's office issued yesterday for the introduction of the bill, S. 2455.  The full text of the bill is not available yet from Thomas, but it's reasonable to suppose that the press release describes the salient points in the light most favorable to Bush and his Senate enablers.  The key point would appear to be this:

    Every 45 days, the Attorney General must also review the surveillance of any individual targets under the program. -- If, at any time, the Attorney General determines that he has sufficient evidence to obtain a FISA warrant, he must seek a FISA warrant to continue surveillance on that target. -- If the Attorney General determines that he does not have sufficient evidence to obtain a FISA warrant, but nonetheless wants to continue surveillance, then he must certify in writing and under oath to the Terrorist Surveillance Subcommittees the following four things: 1) that all previous surveillance complied with this Act; 2) that there is insufficient evidence to obtain a warrant under FISA; 3) that the President has determined that continued surveillance of the target without a court order is necessary to protect the United States, its citizens, or its interests; and 4) that continued surveillance is being undertaken in a good faith belief that it will result in the acquisition of foreign intelligence information.

    No target may be subject to surveillance beyond the 45-day reauthorization period unless the Attorney General obtains a FISA warrant or files a certification, in writing and under oath, with the Terrorist Surveillance Subcommittees.

    Unlike how the proposed legislation was portrayed by most of the traditional media, it seems clear that warrantless surveillance of an individual can continue beyond the 45-day "limit" without the explicit approval of the rubber-stamp subcommittee, but merely with the filing of a certification by the Attorney General.  Some oversight.

    •  The AG? Isn't that the guy... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, The Maven, bumblebums, leo joad

      ...who trots out to the Senate Judiciary Committee periodically, lies to their faces, and then sends them letters saying, "I lied to you last time, and I'll do it again. So there!"

      What is this, some kind of bastard version of Chicken in which both sides demur: "We won't ask you not to lie" "Oh yeah? We won't admit your oversight is a legitimate duty!" "Hah, you think we think our oversight is a legitimate duty!"

      I think this ends with Bush declaring martial law as a sign of how powerful he is, and Congressional Republicans declaring that he can't declare martial law, because they're going along with all of his unconstitutional actions, so they are Constitutional. I wonder what he'll do then.

  •  thought (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone think that maybe Democrats knew this was coming down the pike and that the censure motion steals thunder from the knock down dragout that fighting this will require? This is going to be nearly impossible to defeat, given who the sponsors are.

    "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

    by Hollywood Liberal on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:34:30 AM PST

    •  That's *WHY* censure is important (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumblebums, Black Max, bablhous

      I don't care if Democrats knew this was coming and thought it would "steal thunder" from an upcoming fight on this issue; the issue should be - and Feingold's censure motion gets at this in the way the Beltway Dems' "let's keep our powder dry for later" and "let's show we're tough by not fighting" arguments do not - presidential abuse of power, and congressional acts of enabling.

      These are two peas in the same pod: George W. Bush wants unlimited power to do what he wants, and Congressional Republicans are inclined to give it to him. If they want to push this bill at the same time he's at 33% in the polls, botching just about everything he does, and declaring himself above the law, THEY ARE MAKING OUR POINTS FOR US. (Ideally, of course, Democrats would then also go make their points for themselves, to keep the heat on)

      (I will admit, though, that I am concerned you may be right about the odds of defeating this bill, though, given the sponsors, who are charter members of the Eunuch Caucus, and unfortunately not seen as such by enough of the Fighting Democrats caucus)

      •  heh- Eunuch caucus (0+ / 0-)

        I'm just concerned that it splits the fight. You know, I'm against this bill, but don't support censure, that people should JUST be talking about this bill and not about censure. I wish they had SOME strategy, though. It ain't lookin' good. They've got a real deer-in-the-headlights thing going on.

        "Why can't you and the idea of separation of powers just hug it out, bitch?" Wonkette

        by Hollywood Liberal on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:03:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wrestle with that myself... (0+ / 0-)

          It has the potential to split the fight, but so does everything else. I think the two trends that fork us here are message discipline and the need for news: if you want to get heard, you have to say the same thing over and over again, but if you want to get on TV, you have to say something new and interesting.

          The thing about strategy is harder: is the silence or calm about some things a strategy, or inertia? I've hoped it was strategy and been wrong too many times to put much faith in the "Be vewwy quiet, I'm hunting a Wepublican!" plea, though I realize it may sometimes be the plan. The thing I'm starting to put a lot of faith in is the idea of having action that reinforces the arguments, so Feingold standing up against Bush and daring Democrats to join him fits that. Basically, it's like that old Wayne's World line: "Asphinctersayswhat?" - if you don't want to self-identify as a sphincter, don't say "What?"

          Also, I think there's one fight: against Bush's corrupt power-grab and its enablers. I don't know if Democrats are capable of consolidating their message and tactics around that, but they should, and I like this because I think it moves us further in that direction.

      •  Sure they are, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rambler american

        they don't give a fuck anymore, if they ever did.

        Polls are meaningless to these pigfucking bastards, because they don't give a fuck what the American people think of them.  We're talking a Mad King Ludwig or Theodore of Abyssinia kind of detachment from the people being ruled -- "apres moi, le deluge."

        The laws of the land don't mean fuckall to these people.  Laws are for the little people.  These sons of bitches shit on the Constitution, shit on the judiciary, shit on the American people.  The entire world is their litter box.

        I'm telling you, the time is coming FAST when the American people are going to have to make the same kinds of decisions made by the Sam Adamses and George Washingtons of the 1770s.  When the rule of law becomes meaningless to those in power, then they cannot be controlled by legal means.  What does that leave us?  You know.  I'm not going to go any farther, in consideration of Markos and my own ass, and because I am devoutly hoping for a less severe -- one might say radical -- solution that somehow can indeed function inside the structure of law.

    •  I'm sure they knew it was coming (0+ / 0-)

      I did, we've been reading about it for a while now.

      I assumed that was why feingold made his move and I was sure it was why he would get so much support. Sometimes I am wrong.

      It was important someone stand up and say THIS IS ILLEGAL. If Feingold had just said it, no one would have paid attention. To say it as part of a motion for censure got attention. Just not enough, not the right kind and not long enough.

  •  Why wasn't Lieberman a sponsor? (0+ / 0-)

    This kind of faux-bipartisanship / Democratic cave-in has all the makings of a Lieberman. And yet, he isn't listed as a sponsor?

    Must be the heat in Connecticut is keeping his name off this bill.

  •  Violating their oaths of office. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't expect much from Republicans, but I do expect them to be less enthusiastic about destroying American government and democracy than Al Qaeda.

    At what point does the cowardice of people like Snowe, DeWine, Hagel, and Graham become a violation of their oaths of office? Aren't they supposed to uphold the Constitution, or at least not actively sabotage it because Karl Rove tells them to?

  •  Sliding every day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumblebums, normal family, Reepicheep

    It has been over a decade since I came to this country in search of open spaces and the opportunity to be what you want to be (the American dream). I was looking forward to the optimism and generosity of Americans, and to experiencing the beautiful natural wonders this country harbors.

    I generally found what I had been looking for, although obviously the youthful picture one paints from afar does not necessarily match the reality. There is no paradise on earth, certainly not in this country either.

    But here I am in 2006 and not recognizing the country I came to not that long ago. It's a country so scared of all the 'evildoers' (how I hate this word!) beyond its borders that it's willing let its government spy on the people resembling more and more the well studied system of the former Soviet Union. Secret enemy lists, surveillance of dissidents, interception of correspondence and communication. This country started an unprovoked war (yes, it was the government who started it, but the people let it happen, I'm sorry). This country has been increasing its blatant favoritism of large multinationals and the military industrialists to the detriment of the environment, small entrepreneurs, the working class, even global development. America first. America has been blessed. How about the rest of the world? Separation of church and state? The government openly ignores the Constitution and once again, the people let it pass. The increasing militarism scares me. The cold war is over. Time to reduce the military budget in line with other developed democratic countries. Instead, the opposite has happened. I don't know what it is, but the people seem to be sleeping through these times. Only very few will wake up. The rest will keep on spending their borrowed money, driving their SUVs, buying from WalMart, ignoring illegal workers being employed for less than minimum wage and treated like dirt and only watching local news in the evening if following any news at all. As a result, they know very little about the world, about their own government, have no savings, but will keep believing that they live in the best system in the world.

    I have been following Daily Kos for a while now, and it cheers me that there is a vocal minority here that will challenge the status quo. However, I am afraid the entrenched interests have too much influence and such a pervasive climate of fear has been created that it will be very very hard to change it in the near future.

    At least I have a place to go if I choose to. I have been comtemplating it for a while, and every step in the wrong direction makes it more likely. If this thing passes without major changes, it will help me quite a bit in my decision. The clouds over the United States seem to be darkening.

    •  shoulda gone to Canada (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We hold these truths

      The open spaces are wider and the dreams are dreamier.  I've lived in both countries, and while I'm a biased Canadian, I always felt a certain tension and negative intensity in the air in the US that I never felt in Canada.  That, and so few people seemed to be aware or concerned with what was going out in their country or their world.  It creeped me out, frankly.  I was also creeped out by all the broadcasters and politicians wearing those flag lapel pins like it was Moscow, circa 1972.

      I hope Americans here don't take this the wrong way.  I made many American friends during my time in the US, and the hospitality of individual Americans was just outstanding, but there seems to be a certain malaise in the culture.

      "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

      by fishhead on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:21:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know (0+ / 0-)

        Honestly, I never thought much about Canada before making the move, but in retrospect I should have. With no contacts, though, it would be very hard to find a high tech job in Canada, from the information I have. I think Canada still welcomes immigrants in general as long as you can score enough points. It's one option that would let me stay on the continent and yes, you're right, experience more of the virgin lands for a bit longer. Plus, you can still travel to U.S. on occasion without hassle (at least until they seal the borders...)

      •  Oh Canada (0+ / 0-)

        My wife and I recently purchased propery in New Brunswick. While our motives were not entirely political, (we could not have`afforded 3 acres of ocean frontage in the US), the Bush administration gave us the final impetus. We hope to start building this summer and then retire to our new home next year. Hopefully everything falls into place before Karl has`the borders sealed.

        "No matter how cynical I get it's impossible to keep up." -Lily Tomlin

        by rambler american on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 02:40:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It embarasses me.... (0+ / 0-)

    to live in Ohio with a moron like De"Whine" as a senator. I could just puke!

    a splendid time is guaranteed for all

    by KBueno on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:38:23 AM PST

  •  when your dog's been digging up the roses... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous, leo joad

    ...the solution is not to give him a longer leash.

    censure: if not now, when?

    by jethropalerobber on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:42:01 AM PST

  •  The Pale Patriots Cower another Democrat (0+ / 0-)

    The pale patriots who hide behind the flag bellowing treason to smother dissent and to intimidate opponents have claimed another democrat.

    Senator Ron Wyden (D) Oregon has released his position on the censure. Shorter Wyden: He wants more investigation before supporting censure even though he knows that Bush is breaking the law and that the republican controlled congress will not do the investigation he is calling for.

    It is time to take steps beyond calling the cowering Dems. I wrote a letter to the editor to the Oregonian denouncing Wyden's position and have also decided to limit my contributions to Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots Fund and to individual candidates like Ned Lamont. No more money to the DSCC, the DCCC, and even the DNC. The democratic establishment is failing us in the one thing that matters most now. Backbone!

  •  Allow me a Moment. (7+ / 0-)

    1.  Everything G10 says.

    2.  "Terrorist" Surveillance Act?  See, thing is, if the subjects of the wiretaps, monitoring, email intercepts, etc. are, indeed, "terrorists" then:

          a  there would be NO problem getting a FISA
               warrant, now would there?

          b  why haven't they already been arrested by
               the U.S. or one of our allies overseas?

    Of course, the point is that this whole thing is a (yet another) Lie.  It's simply that simple.


    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:43:56 AM PST

  •  What happened to Hagel? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, leo joad

    Are they wiretapping Chuck Hagel now, too?  What do they have on him?  Good grief, what a turn around from just a few weeks ago, when Hagel was talking tough against this illegal program.  If the so-called "moderates" won't fight this, we are in trouble.  

  •  anyone know where that 45 days comes from? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joynow, Reepicheep

    this could not be a matter of time consuming peoper work. they clearly want to use that time to gather evidence to support the warrant.

    this turns the 4th amendment completely on its head....
    warrants no longer allow for searches; searches allow for warrants.

    censure: if not now, when?

    by jethropalerobber on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 08:53:37 AM PST

  •  This changes nothing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

      Bush can still be prosecuted with enough political will. Just because the law changes, doesn't mean you didn't break it when it was the operative law.

      I mean, Tom DeLay is not escaping this fact, why would Bush be immune?

  •  Thank you Feingold! (0+ / 0-)

    Your call to action has got me all into the Senator-calling thing. I now have no problem bothering staffers about this shit.

    Bill Nelson's office staff was so noncommital, so cool about a serious inroad into basic freedoms. It made me sick. Mr. Martinez's staffer sounded downright sheepish though, gave me hope. That little Young Republican couldn't argue that FISA hadn't kept us relatively fucking safe. For a second I felt myself get through. But I'm sure two minutes later he was back to la-la land. And of course Martinez will be pro-evil.

    You know what, being politically active is depressing. I change my mind. Fuck you Mr. Feingold!


  •  Post Cards (0+ / 0-)

    Send post cards to your Senators ... it's better than letters, cause everybody reads them.

    Just get some 5x7 cards and write the address on one side and your message on the other.

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:04:44 AM PST

  •  Asswipe Dewine is my senator.. (0+ / 0-)

    a lot of good it will do for me to ask him to fight this bill.
    We've gotta get him out of office.

  •  Well, the good news (0+ / 0-)

    is that once a Democrat gets elected president, he or she can secretly wiretap former pres George W legally since he has obvious ties to terrorists.  Then, he or she can label him as an enemy combatant do to his family's business relationships with terrorist entities and get thrown in a cell in cuba.  Then it will go something like that Shivaree song "I close my eyes".  

  •  Hi. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We hold these truths



  •  Obviously (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously, Mr. Brown is making a huge amount of noise about this, and making this a key issue in his campaign against Mr. DeWine.

    And without a primary race, Mr. Brown is of course getting massive statewide coverage of his opposition to this bill.


    "Everyone should go back to Africa, especially black people." -- Richard Pryor

    by COBear on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:19:07 AM PST

  •  personally (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think anyone should have to write their senators on this one - it's so heinous and clearly un-American. Any senator voting for it should be dragged out of office and sent to guantanamo bay for attempting to overthrow the US government.

    Our country is disappearing beneath our feet, man.

  •  In a sea of noise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that ordinary people cannot hear through, America is drowning. The Constitution, to which we cling as our life raft, is disintegrating into water-logged tatters. Oh, my beloved country.

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 09:35:14 AM PST

  •  Before passing a law, investigat 'OTHER PROGRAMS' (0+ / 0-)

    How about a full investigation of ALL the illegal warrantless surveillance that's going on before passing a law to make it MORE LEGAL!  All we know about so far is the program that involves a foreign caller with "suspected Al Quaeda ties" on one end of the line.  Yet, Gonzales has already alluded to "other" domestic surveillance programs.  Let's find out the full extent to which existing laws and Constitutional statutes have been violated before we pass laws to decriminalize them!

    ARRRGGGHHHH! It doesn't matter HOW LOW Bush's poll numbers are if the enabling Press and Congress are going to roll over and let them finish off what's left of our tattered nation.

  •  This is a license for political spying. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    These Republicans know this.

    And they're doing this so they can spy on upcoming political opponents and win the upcoming critical elections.

    Snowe is not an ethical person. And Hagel, certainly not. People need to get real.

  •  Fight... (0+ / 0-)

    The most effective way to fight this right now is for those who have Senators on the Judiciary committee.  S.2455 is in that committee...usually there is fewer politics to kill it in a committee.  It will be a far bigger fight if it gets out of the committee.

    Here are the Senators that should be contacted (if it's your Senator, your call will mean more):

    Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania
    Orrin G. Hatch, Utah
    Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont
    Charles E. Grassley, Iowa
    Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts  
    Jon Kyl, Arizona
    Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Delaware
    Mike DeWine, Ohio
    Herbert Kohl, Wisconsin  
    Jeff Sessions, Alabama
    Dianne Feinstein, California  
    Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
    Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin  
    John Cornyn, Texas
    Charles E. Schumer, New York
    Sam Brownback, Kansas
    Richard J. Durbin, Illinois  
    Tom Coburn, Oklahoma

    "Everyone wishes to have truth on his side, but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth" - Richard Whately

    by unbound on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 11:48:26 AM PST

  •  'the Constitution trumps a statute' (0+ / 0-)

    This doesn't have to be complicated.  It's quite simple.  To quote Senator Specter on the floor after Senator Feingold introduced his move to censure, "doesn't the Constitution trump a statute?"

    The Bush Administration asserts that the President has Constitutionally assigned rights to do what they are doing.  They assert that they have not broken the law, using this very argument.  Republicans use this argument to defend the President.

    The exact same argument would be used to ignore this DeWine law.  The "safeguards" DeWine is trying to put on the books would be unconstitutional according to the Republican argument for why the President hasn't broken the law, and therefore the President would again have no obligation to follow it.

    So. Angry.

    •  Republican heads exploding... (0+ / 0-)

      Man, I feel sorry for the poor Senators' assistants I just posed the above scenario to.  I think their heads exploded.

      Republican Senator Arlen Specter basically screwed the Republicans by posing the question "doesn't the Constitution trump a statute" on the Senate floor.

      It leaves two options:

      Their new statute, the "Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006," is also trumped by the Constitution, and therefore their "oversight" is completely bullshit.


      The President broke the law.

      And, I don't think they would be fond of either.

  •  Dear Senator Dewine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    georgia10, Reepicheep

    Dear Senator DeWine:

    It was brought to my attention that you have submitted a bill to the Senate, specifically, S.2455.
    Title: A bill to provide in statute for the conduct of electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists for the purposes of protecting the American people, the Nation, and its interests from terrorist attack while ensuring that the civil liberties of United States citizens are safeguarded, and for other purposes.

    May I bring to your attention another bill you submitted to the Senate during the 107th Congress - S. 2659. A bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion.

    May I also bring to your attention the commentary made by Mr. Baker in response to this bill,

    (GFO - Sorry, I ruthlessly stole the following from ReddHead @ FDL)

    There are emergency provisions already written into FISA which allow for surveillance to begin -- and for the government to be able to wait up to 72 hours before obtaining the warrant, after they have already been doing the surveillance.

    There are very good reasons for third party oversight by the judiciary -- the power that the government has to do surveillance is enormous. And it has the potential for misuse, because that temptation is great.

    The fundamental question that every citzen in this nation ought to be asking themselves is this: do I trust the government to make appropriate choices each and every time they decide to surveil someone, and to not misuse this power to spy on their political enemies or on people who criticize them or for some other wholly inappropriate purpose?

    And then ask yourself this question: would I trust the government not to misuse its power if it were being run by the person on the opposite side of the political chasm that I distrust most?

    (GFO - End of theft)

    At the moment, this 109th Congress has seen fit to ignore its inherent oversight duty by failing to either censure or adequately investigate the Executive violation of the 1978 FISA statute. Clearly, oversight and the separation of powers is not a priority for this body, whether codified by the Constitution or pending legislative action.

    I encourage you to review the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.


  •  Why we are fucked (0+ / 0-)

    Here's why we're all fucked even if the Democrats somehow manage to re-take both the House and Senate later this year...

    There will still be no serious investigation of BushCo's crimes.
    They will not revoke the Patriot Act.
    They will not revoke the DMCA.
    They will not consider the removal of wingnut SCOTUS judges (you know what's coming).
    They will not press for REAL campaign finance reform.
    They will not pass the draconian restrictions on lobbying that are so badly needed.
    They will not consider a resoned energy policy.
    They will not hold war profiteering companies and Vice Presidents of the U.S. accountable.
    No comprehensive reform of the patent system.
    No legislation to shut down FISA (if the Preznit isn't using it, why waste money on it?)
    No federal legislation on electronic voting standards and auditing.

    And that list doesn't even go anywhere near Iraq.

    There are things a Democratic congress would push for, good things, things I am not against per se, but things which I don't see as critical to saving our Democracy.  We're in a bad way and I increasingly get the feeling that nobody speaks for me in Washington.

    A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

    by Paper Cup on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 01:04:08 PM PST

    •  I forgot to add..... (0+ / 0-)

      ... at the very end....  except for maybe Senator Feingold, but I'm not even one of his constituents.  No, I get Schumer and Clinton.  Yippee.

      A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

      by Paper Cup on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 01:06:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will continue to allow mass murder in Iraq (0+ / 0-)

      They will continue to allow the torture and disappearnace of anyone falling victim to BUSHCO.

      "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

      by normal family on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 02:14:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  repubs make admission of bush guilt (0+ / 0-)

    isn't offering any legislation along these lines a tacit admission by these senators that bush did not have legal authority to conduct his "terrorist surveillance program?"

    the republicans in congress maintain the president's actions were legal. if they were legal, then this legislation is redundant and totally unnecessary.

    which is it repubicans?

  •  what is the bill number? (0+ / 0-)

    ummm, I checked THOMAS, and couldn't find the bill number for this.  Checked DeWine and the most recent bills filed... I don't doubt it exists, but I'm not writing my senators asking them to oppose something without having a specific bill number to oppose.
    So, someone more savvy with THOMAS (or whatever) research, please respond.

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