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Yesterday's New York Times article on the FISA bill had a misleading title and could easily be misinterpreted if it is not read closely.  It implied that the House FISA bill, introduced today, is a capitulation.  It is not.  It is a strong bill that protects civil liberties and provides for oversight.  What the NYT article suggests is that certain Democrats believe that they will ultimately have to give up on that bill because Bush will demand capitulation.  This is worrisome, but we are not there yet.

We have a good bill before the House.  The ACLU and the progressive caucus were consulted, and many in the progressive caucus are comfortable with it.  Congressman Nadler, a strong civil libertarian and progressive, says in that NYT article:

Mr. Nadler said that he was worried the Senate would give too much ground to the administration in its proposal, but that he was satisfied with the bill to be proposed on Tuesday in the House.

"It is not perfect, but it is a good bill," he said. "It makes huge improvements in the current law. In some respects it is better than the old FISA law," a reference to the foreign intelligence court.

We need to fight for this House FISA bill.  It is not over.  The Democrats have not capitulated.  At least not yet.  If we give up now under the false (and lazy) impression that it is all over, we will be doing everyone a disservice.  The game is afoot, and we are players.

ThinkProgress, btw, has the summary of the bill, which I will reproduce in full (since it is a Congressional document):

Summary Of The RESTORE Act
RESTORE Act of 2007
(Responsible Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective)
Bill Summary
Security and Liberty: The bill provides the Intelligence Community with effective tools to conduct surveillance of foreign targets outside the United States but restores Constitutional checks and balances that were not contained in the Protect America Act (PAA–the Administration’s FISA bill.)

The RESTORE ACT:

  1. Clarifies that No Court Warrant is Required to Intercept Communications of Non-United States Persons When Both Ends of the Communications are Outside the United States.
  1. Requires an Individualized Court Warrant from the FISA Court When Targeting Persons in the United States. (Same as current law.)
  1. Creates a Program of Court Authorized Targeting of Non-U.S. Persons Outside the United States. Grants the Attorney General (AG) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) authority to apply to the FISA Court for an order to conduct surveillance of foreign targets, or groups of targets, for up to one year — but RESTORES the following checks and balances that were absent under the PAA:

a. Court Review of Targeting Procedures. The FISA Court must review targeting procedures to ensure that they are reasonably designed to target only people outside the United States. In emergencies, the FISA Court review may take place after the surveillance has begun — for up to 45 days. DNI McConnell told Congress in September that he did not oppose FISA Court review of these targeting procedures.

b. Court Review of Minimization Procedures. The FISA Court must review minimization procedures. DNI McConnell told Congress in September that he did not oppose FISA Court review of these minimization procedures.

c. Court Review of Guidelines to ensure that, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance of a person in the United States, the government obtains a traditional individualized warrant from the FISA Court.

  1. Clarifies Ambiguous Language on Warrantless Domestic Searches. The bill clarifies and eliminates ambiguous language in the PAA that appeared to authorize warrantless searches inside the United States, including physical searches of American homes, offices, computers, and medical records.

In a letter to Congress in September, Administration officials indicated that they did not intend their legislation to authorize such warrantless domestic searches and expressed a willingness to consider alternative language.

  1. A RESTORE ACT Authorization May Not Be Used to Target Any Known U.S. Person. If the government learns that the target of surveillance is a U.S. person (say, an American traveling abroad), it cannot use this new authority.

Assistant Attorney General Ken Wainstein acknowledged to Congress in September that the PAA could be used by the Administration to target Americans abroad without a warrant, even U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  1. Limits Authority to Terrorism, Espionage, Sabotage, and Threats to National Security. The Administration’s bill allowed for surveillance for all foreign intelligence, including a broad category of information related to "foreign affairs." This bill allows the Intelligence Community to deal with the threats facing the United States from terrorism, espionage, sabotage, clandestine intelligence activities, and to collect information related to the national defense or security of the U.S., without authorizing the collection on the broad category of "foreign affairs."
  1. Requires Quarterly Audits and Reports. Requires quarterly audits by the Justice Department Inspector General (DOJ IG) on communications collected under this authority and the number of U.S. persons identified in intelligence reports disseminated pursuant to this collection. These audits would be provided to the FISA Court and to Congress (Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.)

The Administration’s bill contained very limited reporting to Congress. During testimony, DNI McConnell said he did not oppose an Inspector General audit of the program to determine the scope of American communications swept up by this authority.

  1. Requires an Audit of the President’s Surveillance Program and Other Warrantless Surveillance Programs. This audit mandates a report and documents related to these programs be provided to Congress in unclassified form with a classified annex.
  1. Requires Record-keeping of the Use of United States Persons Information. Mandates that the Executive Branch record every instance in which the identity of a United States person whose communication was acquired by the Intelligence Community is disseminated to an element or person within the Executive Branch and that it submit an annual report to Congress on the dissemination.
  1. Adds Resources for FISA. Adds funding for personnel and technology resources at DOJ and NSA to speed the FISA process and to ensure that audits can be conducted expeditiously.
  1. Reiterates the Exclusivity of FISA. Includes House-passed bipartisan Schiff-Flake language stating that FISA is the exclusive means to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans for the purpose of foreign intelligence collection.
  1. No Retroactive Immunity. The bill is silent on retroactive immunity because the Administration has refused to provide Congress with documents on the specifics of the President’s warrantless surveillance program. However, the bill does provide prospective immunity for those complying with court orders issued pursuant to this authority.
  1. Establishes En Banc Review. Allows the FISA Court to sit en banc. The FISA Court requested this, and the Administration does not oppose it.
  1. Provides Sunset, Transition Procedures and Report on PAA. Sunsets this new authority on December 31, 2009, when certain PATRIOT Act provisions sunset. However, the legislation will allow for a transition from the existing warrants to the new ones to ensure that the Intelligence Community does not go "dark" on any surveillance. The Administration will be required to submit a report on U.S.-person information collected and disseminated under the PAA authorities.

Update [2007-10-9 11:27:14 by pontificator]:  Glenn Greenwald is of similar mind:

But at least thus far, from everything I can tell, the picture is more complicated and less depressing than this NYT article suggests, and the defeat is not yet a fait accompli. To begin with, the bill to be proposed today by the House Democratic leadership actually contains some surprisingly good and important provisions.

Update [2007-10-9 17:26:45 by pontificator]:  A representative of the ACLU sent me an email clarifying that they are still working with members of the progressive caucus to further improve the House bill.  The following is a verbatim copy of the email (which I am posting with the sender's permission):

We were consulted. And we appreciate being consulted – but being consulted is NOT enough. Leadership and the committee did consult us, and but they did not make a vital, key change. In the current draft of the bill (the RESTORE act) there are blanket warrants --

blanket warrants are not good enough.  That is the flaw in the house bill. And it will be fatal if it stays in the bill.

We must have individual warrants for any call information collected from Americans.

Also, many progressives are NOT comfortable with it. The progressive caucus is working with us.

We are working with progressive members who want one of two things: the bill to be fixed so there are individual warrants

Or a progressive will introduce legislation that is better.

Keep your eyes peeled for that legislation.......

Originally posted to pontificator on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:10 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Only the Dems... (19+ / 0-)

      ...could spin an improvement (if it is) as capitulation.  Sigh...

      I'm waiting to hear from the ACLU, Greenwald, Christy etc. (people I trust) before I pass judgment.

      You wonder if there's a Democrat left in DC!
      I mean, one honest-to-God Democrat with a full set of balls!

      by Steve in Sacto on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Greewald thinks that this bill (49+ / 0-)

          is possibly a red herring:

          It is definitely possible that this is all just deceit, that House leaders introduced this bill strictly to placate their Progressive Caucus and their base and that they have no real intention of fighting for these provisions, but instead will give Bush what he wants once Mike McConnell starts accusing them of Helping the Terrorists and they begin negotiating in secret again.

          Seul l'incrédule a droit au miracle. - Elias Canetti Road2DC

          by srkp23 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:38:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't true that the Protect America Act expires (14+ / 0-)

          therefore, to revert to the original FISA law requires that the Dems only have to block any new legislation?

          That doesn't seem difficult.  Maybe that is the best strategy.

          With all his noble qualities...man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin--Darwin

          by MadScientist on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:39:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm.. (18+ / 0-)

            You mean like blocking funding for the Iraq war? :)

            --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

            by sterno on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:50:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Reverting to the original FISA would mean (4+ / 0-)

            that there is a loophole in our surveillance. Foreign communication which is passed through the US because of how communications now works (fiber optics etc) would not be under surveilance, as it was intended to be under the original FISA.

            I don't know enough about the technicalities to guage how serious this is, but I think it's clear that it's a genuine issue, one based on changing technology and not on politics.  The pressure brought against Congress in August was because the Bushies could point to this loophole, this gap in coverage, and claim that a serious plot was possibly in the offing and they might be missing important communications.

            Greenwald talks a little about this issue, and concludes that there really does need to be coverage of the gap. See here if you're interested. It's not very detailed, but I do tend to trust Greenwald.

            At any rate, it's likely that this is the reason that congressional Democrats don't consider reverting to original FISA as a good option.  

            •  The summer bill doesn't expire until February. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, dconrad

              Far as i'm concerned, leaving it in place a couple weeks longer is worth it if the extra time for public debate can lead to broader improvements in Communications Privacy law.

              Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

              by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:26:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I don't believe Glen is right on this and Baker (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dconrad

              seemed to actually TESTIFY to the contrary.

              The only thing that says this is the problem (solely foreign to foreign communications that go through a US switchboard not being able to be intercepted without a warrant) is something Boehner said and he didn't sound like he had a clue what he was talking about.  By contrast, Baker - who used to run the requests, indicated that wasn't an issue and if it had ever been an issue - that would have come up a long time ago under FISA and normally activities, not just after "teh program" was submitted for judicial review.

              It is very unlikely that under the "old" FISA a FISA judge found that spoken foreign to foreign communications by foreign powers or agents of foreign powers needed a warrant.  What is a distinct likelihood is that a FISA court found that stored emails or email communications (non-spoken information - bc FISA language makes a distinction for spoken v. non-spoken) require a warrant to access.  This may then have presented a cunundrum for them under "teh program" because they may not have been able to say with specificity whose emails they wanted to look at until AFTER they data mined, and yet the Constitution bars the issuance of general warrants by a US court.  So, to get a  warrant that would allow them to get to the "foreign to foreign" emails when they didn't know whose or what they wanted, they needed to datamine first and go through communications that would include us communications, yet the Constitution prohibits a court from issuing a general warrant to do the data mining when US information is involved.

              But they have never had any revelations or proof, other than Boehner's planted statements, to the effect that the courts are saying that a spoken communication isn't "foreign to foreign" if it goes through a US switching station.  

        •  Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou pontificator (15+ / 0-)

          I am so sick of the whining "democrats are spineless cowards" rants I could spit. If I was a congress person visiting this site and read one, I'd think 'screw you spoiled brats' and vote however I damned well pleased.

          Very relieved and gratifying to know there are still those whose vision of the forest isn't obstructed by the trees.

          •  Wait and see... (26+ / 0-)

            Let's see where this bill ends up.  Does it actually get passed?  Do the Democrats refuse to pass more draconian legislation in the face of a Republican filibuster or veto threat?  

            The strength of their spines is not about whether they put forward good legislation.  Rather, it is about how they fight for it.  Will they cave in after a Republican filibuster or veto threat, passing more draconian legislation so as not to appear weak?

            History does not speak well of them on this.  Past performance is not indicative of future returns, but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

            --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

            by sterno on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:55:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why are you waiting? (17+ / 0-)

              why aren't people talking about actually calling people, finding out where they stand, how far this is from passing?

              History doesn't speak well of the people on this site either if we sit by and WATCH like it's some fucking basketball game. WE are participants, too. If we don't make calls then we are to blame as well.

              My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

              by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:59:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why I'm not... (6+ / 0-)

                This is why I'm not calling people.  The people I would call are:

                *Barack Obama
                *Dick Durbin
                *Rahm Emmanuel

                None of those people is in risk of losing their seat, and all of them are pretty reliable votes in favor of legislation I like.  I have my issues with Rahm, but when the chips are down, he votes the party line.  

                If I was in a more competitive district or had a politician who was a touch more on the fence, I'd probably make more of an effort.  In the end, I do not believe that calling reps is all that effective.

                If you want to really change things you have to change who the people are that are getting those phone calls.  Getting candidates into office who will make the right choices is the critical part.  So I've focussed my energy on helping campaigns and helping to facilitate a place where candidates could find support and supporters could find candidates (I ran registration for both of the YearlyKos conventions).  

                --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

                by sterno on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  weak, lame, spineless, irresponsible (5+ / 0-)

                  do you think the right wing stands by and doesn't bother to call their representatives on legislation? Give me a fucking break. You can do both, you know - campaigning AND calling your reps about issues.

                  My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

                  by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:23:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sure they do... (7+ / 0-)

                    Read this whole thing because this is going to sound like I'm justifying my laziness, but that's not where I'm going with it....

                    And so do many of us.  But how often is a candidate's position changed by such calls.  Sure they log the calls and such, but do those calls lead to changes in votes?  I suspect 98% of the time, the answer is no.

                    I won't deny that there's that 2% of the time, and that really depends a lot on the issue and the candidate.  If I felt my candidate was genuinely on the fence with an issue, then I would call them to sway their thinking.  But I don't waste my time on the other 98%.  

                    I personally think that a lot more is to be gained by becoming personally involved in the campaigns and in the party.  I don't think thousands of phone calls make a difference, but I think 60 seconds of a real conversation with a candidate or elected official can make a real difference.  So that's where I've chosen to spend my energies.  

                    So I've worked on a campaign, and I also spent two years running registration for the YearlyKos convention for similar reasons.  Basically I believe that real change has to come from real personal involvement with campaigns, not through semi-anonymous phone calls and letters.  

                    So it's not that I think people shouldn't bother, but rather, that if they are going to bother, they should be bothering a whole hell of a lot more than a phone call or a letter.  

                    --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

                    by sterno on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:50:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  This is about the bill, not about capitulation in (5+ / 0-)

                  general. This is a sound bill, and supporting your representatives will get it passed.

                  If you want systematic reform, you can do that too, but right now, we need to get the house bill passed.

                  Harry Reid is holding our troops hostage by "waiting" to end the Iraq war so that it may become an issue in the 2008 campaign. Disgraceful.

                  by bhagamu on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:25:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Legislative offices keep track of all calls (10+ / 0-)

                  on each side of an issue. If you expect your representative to vote on the "right" side of an issue, it shouldn't preclude your calling that office and lending the weight of one more voice in favor. It's counted, and it matters.

                  Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

                  by bumblebums on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:31:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Face to Face IS best. (8+ / 0-)

                  Conveniently, my junior Senator has one of his famous listening sessions Thursday.

                  U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will hold listening sessions in Grant and Dane Counties on Thursday, October 11.

                  His Grant County listening session will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Patch Grove Village Hall, 112 West North Street, Patch Grove. The meeting will last up to an hour.

                  His Dane County listening session will be held at 2:45 p.m. in the Community Room at the Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, 2107 Julius Street, Cross Plains.

                  Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

                  by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:24:47 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe telling them you appreciate their votes (0+ / 0-)

                  on the right side of this issue would make them push their colleagues harder.

                  Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

                  by hairspray on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:57:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  There is (0+ / 0-)

                absolutely no point in calling. It is a meaningless gesture which has no impact on the outcome.

            •  Call and support this bill n/t (6+ / 0-)

              Harry Reid is holding our troops hostage by "waiting" to end the Iraq war so that it may become an issue in the 2008 campaign. Disgraceful.

              by bhagamu on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:01:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (8+ / 0-)

              with everything yous aid 100%.  However, rather than "wait and see", I would encourage people to "stand and fight," because it is not over.  The past is not always prologue.

              Netroots Nation: No Passport Required

              by pontificator on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:12:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agree 100% with you also (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hairspray

                The obstacles Republicans pose are formidible considering the slimmest of slim majorities we enjoy in Congress, and believe being supportive of them while they stand and fight as best they can is key.

              •  Inertia and momentum (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NearlyNormal

                I think that what it comes down to is that change is difficult to create spontaneously.  Politics is the result of the choices of millions of people and so, most of the time it is slow to move.  

                The reality is that this bill will likely unfold with little influence from all of us out her in 'kosland.  Some of us will call our congress critters, and many of us will post about our angst here, but by and large it will move, mostly unaffected by our efforts.  That's not how real change happens.

                To affect change in politics, there are two ways that it can happen.  One is the slow application of consistent pressure over time.  So over 20+ years, and multiple elections, slowly finding candidates who better represent your views.  Running primary campaigns, building up think tanks, etc, that can, over time, reshape the politics.  It is an innately slow, deliberate, and painful process.

                The other way to affect change is taking advantage of opportunities during fundamental shifts of the underlying politics.  Witness the 2006 election.  How many long standing incumbents were taken out during that election cycle.  It was about taking advantage of a transient opportunity to shift things in a more dramatic way.  However, due to the lack of long standing application of pressure, many of the candidates that were run in that election weren't as strong as would have been ideal.  We competed with the party we had, not the party we wanted.

                So I guess when I say "wait and see", I mean to suggest that I don't think we're going to have a tangible effect on the outcome of that bill.  That the dice for that bill were rolled years ago, and that we're just witnessing those results now.  That the energy we need to apply is on the changes that will affect how similar bills unfold in the coming years.  

                --- It's always easier to tear down other people's dreams than to build them

                by sterno on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:37:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Don't wait, engage. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, greenearth

              We're not at the "pass or don't pass" stage yet, this is only an initial draft subject to markup. Ask House Judiciary members to use it as a starting point for a review of all the laws regarding Communications Privacy, and fix the gaps going back to Clinton era legislation. Cellphone location tracking for starters.

              Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

              by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:32:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Nancy Pelosi said today on Ed Schultz (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoenix Woman, greenearth

              that this is the House bill.  Then there is the Senate bill, and reconcilliation I believe.  So it may be changed in the process.  Just how badly we will see.  We would do well to contact our senators and ask them to use this bill as their own.

              Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

              by hairspray on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If I was a Representative ... (10+ / 0-)

            ... of the people and a Democrat to boot, I would read this blog and see what informed people thought and take their opinions and critizisms seriously and use them to make more informed decisions for our country.

            All men want to be rich. Rich men want to be king. And the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything. Springsteen

            by howd on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:56:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh I would too (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, hairspray, vcmvo2, cpresley

              but I wouldn't give the harshly critical 'my way or the highway' types a second thought.

              •  Exactly.... (4+ / 0-)

                Why should we be critical when our Dem leadership makes concessions to the republican minority time and time again?  I mean, those nice republicans really have our best interests at heart too.  They'd never steer us wromg would they?  Things have always worked out just peachy in the past when compromising with republicans....

                The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

                by cometman on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:21:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  If I was a member of this democracy (8+ / 0-)

              who was committed to a piece of legislation, I wouldn't wait around for my member of congress to read a fucking blog to figure out how I felt. I'd fucking call them and tell them, and ask them how they're voting.

              My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

              by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And you'd get a form letter..... (6+ / 0-)

                in reply thanking you for your concern on (insert issue of the day  for which your congressperson will not give a straight answer here)....

                The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

                by cometman on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:23:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  PLEASE!! Phone calls WORK!! (5+ / 0-)

                  We are just not angry enough yet to actually MAKE them! Or something!

                  I know I sound like a broken record, but I live near Congress and I go into Congress and I speak to staff and the PHONE CALLS are what makes action happen.  The best thing is personal appearances in their offices and meeting s with staff, but that works best when you are a paid lobbyist and have donated to their re-election campaigns--or know people who did.

                  Since most cannot get those appts. (and believe me, there are thousands of white guys in suits walking around there right now who can, and do), CALL.
                  CALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALLCALL

                  At the end of every day, the staffers gather up the phone calls and give the final numbers to the Member.

                  If 20,000 people from a district or state called on this issue, you would see a response.  It is the only thing that trumps the $20,000 in contributions.

                  Tell your neighbors.

                  I beg all of you to do this.  I live in DC and we have no voting representation, so I have to beat up on all of you to do this!!

                  •  thank you..... (0+ / 0-)

                    My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

                    by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:05:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, to be able to believe you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    3goldens

                    Every time--and I mean, I should have these offices on fucking speed dial--every time I call my local Rethug (Mica) or Dem (Nelson) these days, I talk to some really nice assistant-type people, who are very professional, courteous, etc.

                    And then a few days later, I get a form letter in reply thanking me for my concern on (insert issue of the day). It's not like I'm an asshole about it, either. I'm courteous, state myself well, and it's always a good discussion (I can't even remember a time off the top of my head where it ever went badly, in fact--even calling Mica's office).

                    For what? Thanks for calling, and have a nice day? Look, calling a rep or Senator's office, to express your sentiments as a Constituent, used to work. It did. But don't beat up people for giving up these days--'cuz it don't work anymore, at least not in east-central Florida.

                    If it did, Al Gore would be Commander-In-Chief. Or at the very least, the crooks of BushCo would be bedecked in prison-orange right now, because I've worn the phone lines out over that for quite some time.

                    Sorry, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but my conclusion, drawn thusly from such experience, is that unless I show up with a big, fat, donation,  these people don't even know I'm alive.

                    Then again, I haven't had a fat donation to test this out with. Not that I'd give it to either one of them, anyway. IMO, we all need a different approach.

                    "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

                    by o the umanity on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:26:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You were heard (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Buffalo Girl

                      First of all, your voice WAS heard, and counted.  At the end of every day you called, you were No. __ who called on that topic.  

                      If many called in with an opposing viewpoint (and they DO!!!), your voice was drowned out. If everyone in your neighborhood who agrees with you decides that it is useless to call, it IS.  

                      BUT! if you organize whole blocks of folks, and they are informed about the issue, and they ALL call, it makes a difference!!

                      Barbara Boxer stood up on Jan. ?? 2005 to contest the vote count BECAUSE HER PHONE RANG OFF THE HOOK THE DAY BEFORE.

                      You could not walk through Congress that day without hearing the phones ringing.

                      It is VEWWY QUIET over there these days...

                      Get people ORGANIZED!  And INFORMED!  AND EMPOWERED!

                      •  OK, so who believes that (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        3goldens

                        "impeachment" or "ending the war on Iraq" isn't that popular of a concept?

                        No, really, I'm asking. I seriously wore myself out over that, for an extended length of time, and I was not alone (or so the assistants kept telling me). Yet here we are, still dealing with a bunch of crooks still finaglin' and war-crimin'. So discouraging. I'm too stubborn to give up, but I can see that they haven't listened yet.

                        With that in mind, sometimes I think the whole "extended occupation of DC/general strike" idea is looking better and better. That's worked in more than a few other countries, you know. Not without bloodshed, no, of course not--it would be quite ugly. But how ugly is it that our troops are dying for a lie? How ugly is it that this bunch is dismantling our Constitution right under our noses, with absolutely no accountability whatsoever?  

                        How many calls must we make, before something changes?

                        "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

                        by o the umanity on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 03:09:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  as many as it takes (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          karendc

                          why would you even ask how many, given the stakes?

                          My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

                          by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:20:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I have also been a player in planning several (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Buffalo Girl

                            marches, encampments, protests, actions, lobbying, etc. It is exactly the same problem:

                            NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE!!

                            If we cannot even get 20,000 to make a call, how many will actually show up for an extended occupation?  

                            I can tell you: about 40.

                            We house activists in DC and we take them over to the House and Senate and White House, and we plan actions, and we go into offices with them, and all of that.  We have been doing this for FIVE YEARS.  

                            All I want to see is a concerted effort to CALL. Then I will believe people have what it takes to sit down in the streets, risk arrest and jail time, and do so in numbers that cannot be marginalized or disputed.  

                          •  So (0+ / 0-)

                            you seem to be saying that not enough people participate in the so-called process of supporting (or not) a particular issue, by directly taking it up with their representatives?

                            That, to give one example, these assistants lied to me when they said they were taking a lot of calls on whatever issue I was calling about on a given day?

                            But...I thought ALL of our voices were heard?

                            First of all, your voice WAS heard, and counted.  At the end of every day you called, you were No. __ who called on that topic.  

                            OK so far. Except--well, MY voice just isn't loud enough, apparently:

                            If many called in with an opposing viewpoint (and they DO!!!), your voice was drowned out.

                            You're missing the point: my voice shouldn't be drowned out on impeachment or ending the war, unless all the activists on this site are bullshitting when they say they've participated in various and sundry "action items".

                            And who is this "many" you refer to, exactly? It is important, IMO, to distinguish whether you're referring to "lobbyists" or just plain "other folks".

                            "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

                            by o the umanity on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:25:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry, it does seem (0+ / 0-)

                            that you did already clarify at least that last point I made, upthread:

                            If 20,000 people from a district or state called on this issue, you would see a response.  It is the only thing that trumps the $20,000 in contributions.

                            Which I think really rather supports my point--that the millions of Regular People, just like me--who repeatedly called their reps to demand impeachment of BushCo, and that our Constitution be upheld--were obviously trumped by some "lobby". Must be a really big, powerful one.

                            Heh. I'm sure there's more than one...If I were to look at, say, next year's DoD budget, I could rightly conclude that there just aren't enough American people to trump those lobbyist contributions to BushCo, dollar for dollar.

                            So at that point, why the hell wouldn't I conclude that it's a lost cause to pick up the telephone to let My Rep's Surely-Underpaid Assistant know how unhappy I am?

                            BTW, you might not want to keep equating "They won't pick up the phone and call" to "they'll never stage an occupation". I'm sure it's different where you are, but where I am, I hear anger, and I hear some of it from people who, up until a couple years ago, wouldn't have said  BOO to a goose. You just never know what a very large and very angry population might decide to get up and do, all at once.

                            "There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer

                            by o the umanity on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:21:23 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I speak from experience (0+ / 0-)

                            Every few months I am invited into planning actions for these so-called angry folks who are going to come to DC and not leave until...

                            defunding. impeachment. voting reform, peace. etc.

                            A few come and they are mightily disappointed and they leave. There are not enough of them and there is not enough organization or inspiration to sustain them through the dispiriting process of trying to be heard.

                            And yet, if they organized their districts to call and those calls exceeded the hundred or so a day that our side can manage to get to, if those kids answering and logging the calls were more than impressed by the number, if they were OVERWHELMED, it would make a difference.

                            The teams 'o' lobbyists moving through the hallways of Congress are indeed formidable.  They put a lot of money on the table, and they make compelling cases for the economic benefits of certain pieces of legislation for the home districts; that is their job.  But to believe that a more compelling case cannot be made by the voters themselves is wrong-headed, because then we have conceded totally.  We have then  agreed that we cannot argue effectively for human beings over profits.

                            If 20,000 people from your district lent their voices to yours, over a period of three days, the message would be delivered.

                            Right now the messages are convoluted and sporadic.

          •  than alas you will be sick for some time to come. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot, 3goldens, NearlyNormal

            Congress calling the voters here "spoiled brats?"

            pot meet kettle...

            vision?

            near sightedness...

            "You can't be neutral on a moving train." - Howard Zinn

            by bigchin on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:01:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey, if the shoe fits (0+ / 0-)

              You get back what you put out there; fact of life.

              •  we get who we vote for, huh? n/t (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greeseyparrot, 3goldens, zbctj52

                too bad the folk we vote for so often turn out to be someone else...

                "You can't be neutral on a moving train." - Howard Zinn

                by bigchin on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:16:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've gotten whom I've voted for exactly twice (3+ / 0-)

                  in my lifetime. Bill Clinton, 92 and 96. I haven't in any other election, for anything, ever.

                  In the meantime, my "representation" in Congress is Mike McCaul, who cannot sleep at night for fear that he's missing a chance to suck up to Bush; John Cornyn, of whom you may have heard; Kay Bailey Hutchison, the contemptible Breck Girl who rivals McCaul in her eagerness to please the Usurper. If I call any of them, I guarantee that they will laugh in my face with impunity, thanks to the district gerrymandering that Tom Delay got Rick Perry to push through our state lege, which has delivered my state to the GOP in perpetuity, barring actual armed revolt.

                  "So long as men die, Liberty will never perish." -- Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

                  by khereva on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:55:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I got Jerry Brown twice (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    khereva

                    (voted for him the third time, recently, but not as enamoured as I used to be after he went sucking gooper votes with the Three-Strikes hit piece he did just before the referendum.

                    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                    by NearlyNormal on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:37:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, only spoiled brats..... (9+ / 0-)

            would actually care enough to want to see the Constitution upheld by our elected representatives.

            That thinking is soooooo pre 9-11.  It's all terra all the time now, and our representatives are taking away our civil liberties for our own good.

            The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

            by cometman on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:18:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you from me as well! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            phoenixdreamz, Fiona West

            phoenixdreamz said it best and i couldn't say it any better myself:

            If I was a congress person visiting this site and read one, I'd think 'screw you spoiled brats' and vote however I damned well pleased.

            Very relieved and gratifying to know there are still those whose vision of the forest isn't obstructed by the trees.

            Honestly I am very tired of all the ranting against the Dems as well. I sometimes avoid Daily Kos because of it, it's in no way helpful at time.

            I do read certain diarist like Pontificator because I do want to hear something besides all of the negativity.

        •  have you read the bill? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maxschell, khereva

          have you read the bill? can you give me a link so i can read it myself?

          is this bill going to be used as a bit of political theater (like last time) to get the senate bill passed,  or is it for real?

          sounds to me like you are indulging is some wishful fantasy... which, granted is just as bad as being convinced everything will be horrible w/o enough info. but neither one is firmly planted in reality.

          •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            selise

            Why is everyone trusting this brief synopsis instead of reading what the proposed bill actually says?

            Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

            by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:12:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  ACLU update (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, 3goldens

          do they have recommendations for calls to make on this? To whom? Where do we put pressure?

          My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

          by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:28:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good work, pontif -- Rec'd (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pontificator

          (I'm not sure of the best way to abbreviate your handle, I suddenly realize.)

          I haven't read through the bill, and given the ACLU's continued reservations, I'm not yet sure what I think.  But I appreciate your at least trying to bring the whole story here before rending your garments and declaring that you'll leave the party over it.

          Don't be so far above politics that you can't help clear the snakes down on the ground. (P.S.: my opinions are mine, not my employer's.)

          by Major Danby on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:39:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Here's Feingold (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens

        Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feinogld
        On Efforts to Amend the Protect America Act

        October 9, 2007

        "Congress’s hurried consideration of the Protect America Act was legislating at its worst. Congress must fix the fundamental flaws of that legislation - the utter failure to protect the privacy of Americans at home and abroad, and the complete lack of meaningful judicial, congressional and administrative oversight. Congress must act responsibly and not be intimidated into giving the administration unnecessary powers it could too easily abuse. We can aggressively go after suspected terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets while still protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans.

        "The House Democratic leadership is right to refuse to grant immunity for alleged cooperation with the President’s warrantless wiretapping program -- it would be irresponsible to grant immunity when the Administration still refuses to provide Congress with its legal opinions justifying that program. But any legislation to amend FISA also must protect the privacy of Americans in the U.S. making international communications. Americans are communicating with people overseas more than ever before. If an American businessperson wants to contact a foreign customer, or a student wants to email a friend she met while studying abroad, or a journalist wants to call a foreign source, they should not have to give up the protections granted to them by our Constitution."

        (emphasis mine)

        Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

        by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ahem (0+ / 0-)

        This is worrisome, but we are not there yet.

        I don't know about the rest of you, but I have been here before.

        "Rarely in the history of the law have so few undone so much so quickly" Justice Stephen Breyer - Supreme Court

        by MadAsHellMaddie on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:29:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's quite possible... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nightsweat, vtfinest, zbctj52

      ...that the "capitualtion" angle was whispered as a trial balloon. They wanted to see which way the wind was blowing. And it will blow some Dems out of Congress if they are seen as giving in to the President on this. Their phone lines must have been lit up once this hit the papers.

    •  It isn't what "always" happens. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lurks a lot, Fiona West

      The Democrats have been very good on a number of issues, especially domestic bread and butter issues; the Senate even raised CAFE standards for cars AND SUVs.  The problem is this site concentrates on a couple of issues, and ignores most of the others.  So then it's "the spineless Dems".  I am a dissenter around here as far as Congress and Iraq.  I think they have fought that hard but have hit a brick wall in regards to getting the 60 votes necessary in the Senate.  I don't blame Democrats for Republicans not voting for the timetable.

      As to FISA, there was no excuse for what they did in August, so I am cautious about them getting it right.  I am glad to see this diary, that the battle is far from over.

    •  A lot of the details have proven to (0+ / 0-)

      refute some of the headlines.  Deep breath everyone.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

      by hairspray on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent work! Now let's send (24+ / 0-)

    this puppy to the rec list!

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:15:48 AM PDT

  •  If the ACLU has truly signed off on it... (8+ / 0-)

    ...then I think it's ok.  They're pretty vigilant about this stuff.  Have they issued a release yet about this?

    If they have signed off on it, how can we make sure that this bill is the one that passes?

    •  um (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, vcmvo2

      call members of Congress? You know, the people who can vote for it? We need to get statements from people to find out who is supporting and who is not to figure out how close this is, and then to figure out who to put the full court press on.

      My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

      by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:24:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As of last Friday (5+ / 0-)

      they were still being kept in the dark about it, as was the Progressive Caucus.

      And Reid has been playing so many games lately (e.g., the now it's tabled, now it isn't head fake on Kyl-Lieberman) that I think suspicion remains the order of the day, particularly with the Senate working telecom immunity into the package.  If this thing gets any momentum it will be easy enough to strip out the "transparency" and audits before passage.  Moreover, relying on reports from an administration that refuses to make them or to obey the law we have fails to reassure.

      When the disembodied voice on C-SPAN calls you pussies, you're probably pussies.

      by DelRPCV on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:30:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't see verification that the ACLU signed (4+ / 0-)

      off on it in this diary - only the diarist claiming so.

      Some proof would be appreciated.

      "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Thomas Jefferson

      by PJ Jefferson on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:37:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I changed it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, cpresley

        to the ACLU is "comfortable with it," which is my current understanding.  Sorry I don't have a cite yet, and am looking for one.  I epxect they will be issuing some kind of press release shortly, and will link then they do.

        Netroots Nation: No Passport Required

        by pontificator on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:42:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Changed it again (6+ / 0-)

        I took out the reference to the ACLU being comfortable with it.  I believe it to be true, but I don't have a cite yet, so I removed it, and I'll wait to see what kind of statement they make.

        Netroots Nation: No Passport Required

        by pontificator on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:49:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm curious what they have to say about this.

          "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Thomas Jefferson

          by PJ Jefferson on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:58:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ACLU Link: (5+ / 0-)

          Here

          "The ACLU sees one major flaw in the RESTORE Act. As drafted, the RESTORE Act still allows for the US government to collect phone calls and emails from Americans without an individual warrant...

          This bill is better than the so-called Protect America Act: here are the areas where the ACLU has seen real improvement.

          Overseen by the court. Re-iterates that FISA is the go-to court

          Requires six-month audit and a database to go to Congress for review.

          Telecom companies are not granted immunity from illegal activity in this draft of the bill.

          The scope of the searching has been narrowed to "foreign affairs intelligence and improvement over a more broad definition in the so-called Protect America Act."

          And plenty more at the link.

          Let there be sharks - TracieLynn

          by GussieFN on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:27:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They don't take a definitive position (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN

            they don't tell House members to vote for or against the bill.

            Netroots Nation: No Passport Required

            by pontificator on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:05:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ACLU clearly "troubled"..see NY TIMES article (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishgrease, dconrad

              The article clearly quotes the ACLU spokesperson:

              Caroline Frederickson, director of the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said she was troubled by the Democrats’ acceptance of broad, blanket warrants for the security agency rather than the individualized warrants traditionally required by the intelligence court.

              Broad blanket warrants are per se unconstitutional and specifically violate the 4th Amendment.

              The problem here is that because we're in "FISA" land, no application of this law will ever see the light of day or SCOTUS review.  We are shit out of luck if this passes and is signed.

              It's up to our legislature, which we are supposedly in CONTROL OF, to make sure that our liberties and privacy are not destroyed.

              That's what we put them there for.  At minimum, they should be able to protect our existing Constitutional rights.

              Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

              by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:25:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You, sir, are recommended. Nice work. nt (0+ / 0-)

            "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Thomas Jefferson

            by PJ Jefferson on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:32:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The ACLU's 9/25 statement (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN

            The statement includes a blueprint that can be compared to the pending bill. If it's true that there is only one major flaw, this bill is workable, no?

            The ACLU believes that our nation’s surveillance laws can effectively target terrorists without jeopardizing the rights of innocent Americans. We look forward to working with Congress to make certain America remains both safe and free," said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Tim Sparapani.

            http://www.aclu.org/...

  •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

    But it won't become law.

    If Hillary Clinton wins, the Democratic Party loses.

    by Paleo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:22:37 AM PDT

    •  No shit (0+ / 0-)

      It won't become law because the Republicans will oppose it, and if it did pass through the Senate, Bush will veto it.  If you want to be a cynical nihilist and feel purer than everyone else, thats fine.  I prefer to remember that its the Republicans who are pushing all this crap, and I prefer to work against them.

      Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

      by tmendoza on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:43:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's time to get this straight. (13+ / 0-)

    Call your Representatives in Congress and ask them what the reality is.  Get comfortable with the wording of the legislation and then wow them with your understanding of the issue.  Insist on their answer to your questions.

    Another day, another devalued Dollar. -6.00, -6.21

    by funluvn1 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:22:43 AM PDT

  •  How odd... (0+ / 0-)

    that the bill is being portrayed as a Dem capitulation by the media.  I'm simply astonished.

  •  Greenwald - some surprisingly good & important (9+ / 0-)

    provisions.

    Okay, okay . . .

    STOP the hysteria!

    "Businesses don't own the sky, the public does" -- Barack Obama

    by Bill White on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:25:27 AM PDT

  •  good diary (16+ / 0-)

    on the other hand, Democrats had a good House bill last time, and nonetheless managed to get outplayed by the White House in terms of overall strategy.  I have yet to see that the Dems have a good POLITICAL strategy to avoid getting rolled again, or that the Bush Dogs won't do what they usually do on these matters.  

    The NYT article might be all wrong, but the reason it is believeable to many of us is because it mirrors what's happened so many times before when the chimperor accuses Dems of being soft on terrists.

  •  Panic usually is a waste of time... (8+ / 0-)

    but it's becoming an old friend and I was getting there, so thank you.

    But WTF is this:

    certain Democrats believe that they will ultimately have to give up on that bill because Bush will demand capitulation

    I wonder whether the Dems problem is really fear, or is it a lack of a more compelling direction than the one our DL provides. As a counselor I know that when someone doesn't see other options, they'll keep making the same choices even though they know those choices are bad ones.

    You can make it if you focus on connections, not on differences. -7.00, -6.77

    by sunflight on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:26:40 AM PDT

  •  Very informative, thank you for posting! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sobermom, Cenobyte, cpresley, Niniane

    Its always good to actually read the legislation being debated... this wouldn't be too bad. As long as it doesn't retroactively allow Bush's spying abuses or give greatly expanded powers then I don't have much of a problem with it.

    The world is my country, science is my religion.

    by ReadyForChange on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:27:07 AM PDT

  •  Thank you pontificator. Recommended. (5+ / 0-)

    I didn't realize this. I should have looked at the bill beforehand, and the New York Times article screwed up royally. Thanks so much for your work.

    We have to support them the whole way now.

    Harry Reid is holding our troops hostage by "waiting" to end the Iraq war so that it may become an issue in the 2008 campaign. Disgraceful.

    by bhagamu on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:27:19 AM PDT

  •  why has Nadler become the Petraeus of (0+ / 0-)

    the FISA bill issue?    I have read innumerous times (since yesterday) that we shouldnt question this bill because NADLER has approved it and NADLER is a progressive.....

    isnt that exactly what the right did with regards to Petraeus and Iraq?

    IMPEACH THE CHEERLEADER... SAVE THE WORLD! © ®

    by KnotIookin on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:27:59 AM PDT

    •  no (6+ / 0-)

      ---
      Support progressive writing! Buy a copy of Framing the Debate...

      by Jeffrey Feldman on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:29:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That Compariso is... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, alba

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:55:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i know it was unpopular to say that but (0+ / 0-)

        this has happened many times before.  using one of the members of the progressive caucus as the face (for progressive grassroots) on a particular issue.

        there are a number of diary's about this FISA on DK today and every single one of them has used the Nadler qoute and made the case that if Nadler is for it, its probably OK

        i do not know if this is ok or not but i do feel that I am supposed to accept that it is because my congressman, a strong member of the progressive caucus, has said so.  

        and isnt that what BUSH did when he decided to let petraeus be the face of the IRAQ surge....

        i dont think it is so ridicuolous to ask that question.  maybe some do but I don't.

        IMPEACH THE CHEERLEADER... SAVE THE WORLD! © ®

        by KnotIookin on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:13:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The diaries are based on the NY Times article and (0+ / 0-)

          Nadler is quoted in that article.  Many people have ended up saying, in effect:  "Read the whole article. DOn't just read the first sentences that suggest the Dems will capitulate. Look at the rest of what's there."  So, naturally, the Nadler quote gets referred to.  

          Greenwald is another trusted progressive who thinks well of the House bill.  He's afraid the Dems won't hold their ground, but hopeful that they might, and encouraging people to support/pressure them to stand firm.  See his column here.

          •  last night on Keith Olberman (0+ / 0-)

            someone, it might have been Bruce Fein, said the Bill being offered in the house will do nothing to stop or slow down Bush's illegal domestic spying.

            I have read the bill,
            I have read the diary's,  
            I have read Greenwald,
            I have read moist of the comments....

            i dont know what to believe about this bill...  

            IMPEACH THE CHEERLEADER... SAVE THE WORLD! © ®

            by KnotIookin on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 04:36:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm willing to give this consideration, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcfly, boofdah, sdgeek, pgm 01, MadAsHellMaddie

    but you can hardly blame us for getting pissy.  We've been let down by the Dem leadership so much lately.  We were expecting the worse.

    I've got to reread this, though.

    •  I don't believe anyone here would blame you or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, R Rhino from CT4

      any of us for getting pissy about what has been going on with the Democratic leadership lately.

      However, that is not the point, in the end.  The point is to get off our asses and back some electable REAL progressives and put their asses in Congress and do a complete makeover on the political scene of this once and future lovely country we live in.

      I can just see it now.  The new FOX (hehe) reality show.  "Progressive Makeover!  They got pissed and started a movement away from bullshit and towards reality."  See, .... a reality show!  LMAO!  

      Another day, another devalued Dollar. -6.00, -6.21

      by funluvn1 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:55:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, cpresley

      if people aren't going to be responsible activists about this and find out what the real vote is, who is voting how and how many more are needed, then yeah, I can blame people because then we will have given up our part in this democracy as citizens. There's no crying in baseball, at least while the game is still on.

      My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

      by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:08:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zbctj52, MO Blue, sdgeek, CeeusBeeus

    I completely understand the reaction, though. Vote after vote and bill after bill we've come to expect the worst. That said, maybe the reaction is a positive sign. Maybe it finally says "we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore!"

  •  Thanks very much and also recommended! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, cpresley

    London calling to the underworlds-- come out of the cupboards you boys and girls....

    by yowsta on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:33:53 AM PDT

  •  I called the Progressive Caucus... (17+ / 0-)

    [Originally posted at Corrente]

    I talked to Representative Barbara Lee's office, because she's chair of the Progressive Caucus, who took such a strong, principled, effective stand for Constitutional government, as opposed to Steny Hoyer's never-introduced abomination, permanently gutting FISA and the Fourth Amendment.

    What Lee's staffer said was that they had taken no official position on any bill (i.e., not on the RESTORE bill, which I think is from Conyers), but that they would support a bill from Rush Holt, were it to be introduced.

    Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

    by lambertstrether on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:33:54 AM PDT

    •  useful info, thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

      by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great info...tks.... (0+ / 0-)

      I also say everyone should read the proposed bill described here.  The ACLU is troubled by the fact blanket warrants are still part of the bill.  That is plainly violative of the 4th Amendment and because of the secrecy in which the FISA court operates, it is unlikely to ever get any SCOTUS review.

      Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

      by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:30:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dormaphaea, boofdah, lurks a lot

    We all need to be pragmatic.  We will likely have huge majorities in House and Senate and a Democratic Prez in 2009- so let's do what we can to end the worst of Bush's problems now and finish the job later.

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:34:13 AM PDT

  •  What did you have to go and do that for? (6+ / 0-)

    Introducing facts into a perfectly enjoyable Congress Bashfest...

    People went to a lot of trouble manufacturing this situation so they could get all worked up and point fingers at Congress again...
    and you go and spoil it for them.

    Sniff... you must not love us anymore...

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

    •  Let's see what happens (0+ / 0-)

      and then we can judge.

      But you've got to be kidding if you expect us to get excited about the possibility of Congress doing the right thing and supporting the Constitution and our unalienable rights.

      Might happen. But it hasn't happened yet, and every other time since 2006, this new Congress screwed us like the old one...

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 12:34:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we're so used to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, Wary, sdgeek, KingCranky

    seeing the Democrats capitulate, it's hard to believe they'd actually make a reasoned stand.

    I'm not exactly hopeful, but we'll see.

  •  Nice job! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sarac, HarveyMilk, zbctj52, sdgeek, KingCranky

    I wonder what's driving the meme that Bush's illegal activities are going to be excused or legalized?

    The Crime Against Peace
    Violations of the Geneva Convention
    Violations of Treaties
    Violations of the Laws of War
    Violations of Human Rights
    SERIAL Violations of Federal Law
    POLICIES to violate Federal Law
    Subversion of the checks and balances in the constitution
    Acts of treason both overt and covert
    Subversion of elections (also arguably charges of treason)
    Aiding and abetting several massive racketeering operations
    Bribery
    Conspiracy to commit all of the above
    Conspiracy to commit other crimes, such as perjury and obstruction of justice in the service of the other crimes.

    This is a partial list. And there isn't just one charge for each of the above. In some cases, there are thousands of felony offenses. Several of these crimes carry the death penalty.

    What is it, I wonder, that is driving the meme that Bush will be excused?

    Nancy Pelosi keeps saying that "the Bush Administration will be held accountable." If we assume that she means that the rule of law still applies in this country, then the law says that Bush and at least 33 accomplices should be prosecuted seeking the death penalty.

    So, what could be the motivation to spread the idea that Bush will be allowed to get away with his crimes?

    I can only imagine that the Democrats mean to save all of the "accountability" part for the 2008 election campaign. Perhaps Republicans and Democrats alike will be forced to answer questions on the campaign trail like: "Will you prosecute torturers? What's the penalty for committing war crimes? Is treason punishable by the death penalty?"

  •  Right (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HarveyMilk, howd, adigal, Rayk, sdgeek

    This time, really, the Democratic leadership won't capitulate to an out of control President

    Except they've done it every time before by allowing these bills to be voted on

    What makes anyone think they won't cave again?

    The "hysteria" is as a result of previous surrenders, and I see no reason to think the Dem leadership is going to insist on an all or nothing approach this time

    Let's review

    More US troops in Iraq under a Democratic congress than under the GOP

    More power to warrantlessly spy granted by the Dems to Alberto Gonzales-of all people-and the lying ratbastard DNI Mike McConnell than the GOP

    Just what is it about "The Democratic Leadership does NOT have to allow any bill they don't like to the floor for a vote" that's so damned hard to understand?

    Why doesn't the Dem leadership insist  that before ANY votes take place, DNI McConnell has to step down for his outright and repeated lies to the Congress regarding warrantless spying?

    Just how does ANY of this hold W accountable in any meaningful way?

    I'll be more than happy to apologize if I'm wrong

    But I doubt I will be

    When it comes to Texas Politics, "Stupid" Plays Very Well

    by KingCranky on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:38:08 AM PDT

  •  I am relieved (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, ReadyForChange

    I have gotten so used to spinelessness that I tend to assume the worst.  Thanks for a bit of a reality test.  

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:38:42 AM PDT

  •  great diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, boofdah, Niniane
  •  I read a few articles, etc (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, cpresley

    And was mystified about all the "capitulation" diaries.

    It's a decent bill.  Any funny, but Bush would likely veto it as it currently stands.  

    "Constitutional Crisis Forthcoming"

    by egarratt on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:38:47 AM PDT

  •  This is certainly not what the NYT article... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, maxschell

    suggests.

    Neutralize your personal 7.5 ton/year CO2 footprint.

    by Five of Diamonds on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:39:47 AM PDT

    •  Agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Five of Diamonds

      Everyone should go read the actual bill.

      It clearly still enables blanket warrants.  Plainly unconstitutional, and because of the FISA secrecy, VERY unlikely to ever get SCOTUS review.

      That provision, if not the whole bill, needs to be stopped.

      Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

      by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Support the Dems! (4+ / 0-)

    Don't cut the legs from under them.  Get behind them and PUSH, but do so in a supportive way.

  •  Yup (3+ / 0-)

    As always Ponti brings some needed perspective - away from the Cenk hysteria.

    Thanks...

    Catch NY politics raw and uncensored at GregNYC at The CITY.

    by GregNYC on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:43:46 AM PDT

  •  Even if this is a good bill... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zbctj52, sdgeek, KingCranky

    ...that's one thing.

    But the overall pattern is still capitulation, BIG TIME.  And Dems who vote for full war funding w/o timetables and ignore impeachment should still have to pay for all this with their jobs.

  •  If it's a good bill, Bush will veto it! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxschell, joanneleon, zbctj52, bigchin

    That's how we'll really know if it's good...like we like it!

    VEBO...Vote Every Bum Out

    by ShainZona on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:44:20 AM PDT

  •  Yesterday on Countdown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, KingCranky

    David Shuster, sitting in for KO, ran a devastating story on the "Group of Eight." Shuster reported that none of the Democrats confirm that they were briefed about Gonzales' secret memos to reinstate torture policies.

    NO Democrats confirm that they were briefed. Not one.

    Shuster didn't say whether Republicans have responded to inquiries about the White House's claims to have briefed Congress on it's secret "interrogation" policies.

    We have SEVERAL reasons to seek the prosecution, and execution, of Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Rumsfeld and many others.

    Now would be a good time to inquire what the nominee for Attorney General has to say about such things.

  •  exactly what are the good proposals (5+ / 0-)

    in the bill?  when I read it, all I see is it basically preserving the FISA laws as-is - which means that BushCo. is free to ignore them with impunity and with the collusion of major US companies, with no increased penalties for breaking those laws and no apparent intention of going after them for having broken the laws.  it adds some staff and resources to FISA, apparently so they can print up really nice color fliers decrying the administration when they ignore the courts.  this bill is crafted from a defeatist and surrendered state of mind, as far as I can tell.  i don't feel hysterical about it, but calling it a really good bill is just silly.  its weak.

    Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

    by itsbenj on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:45:11 AM PDT

    •  I disagree. The court review and quarterly (5+ / 0-)

      auditing are an excellent move. The bill also automatically bans the government for warrantless targeting of any United States person, which is huge. (Even though it's stated under the 4th Amendment and, as a result, is redundant).

      Harry Reid is holding our troops hostage by "waiting" to end the Iraq war so that it may become an issue in the 2008 campaign. Disgraceful.

      by bhagamu on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:49:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but that was (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sdgeek, daliscar

        already the law of the land this whole time.  what makes anyone think they'll obey it now?  audits are theoretically good, but this is Bush we're talking about.  he will 'signing statement' them out of existence.  Bush has been committing felonies against American citizens for years now.  all they propose to do about it is hold some powerless, meaningless meetings in which info is requested and not turned over 4 times per year?  i just don't see it doing anyone any good.  

        Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

        by itsbenj on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:25:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Did you actually carefully read (6+ / 0-)

      the bill?  It cuts through the b.s. re: communications between foreigners in a foreign country, protects rights of U.S. citizens here and abroad, denies retroactive immunity, specifically reinforces FISA court oversight, requires audits, etc.  The only problem with any bill is that it will either be vetoed or ignored by this administration.

      My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:57:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i did read it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dionys1, sdgeek

        and it basically sets things back to where they were in the first place - which leaves us with laws that Bush will ignore once again.  what I'm talking about is that Bush has been free to commit felonies with impunity, and the bill doesn't even mention this.  at all.  it doesn't explicitly go after telecoms either, it just had immunity temporarily dropped from the language.  believe me, it will be back in before the end.  as far as "protects the rights of US citizens" - they were already protected under FISA.  what makes anyone think Bush will start obeying the laws now?

        Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

        by itsbenj on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:28:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The real problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        itsbenj

        The only problem with any bill is that it will either be vetoed or ignored by this administration.

        No, the real problem with any bill is that it will be mangled beyond recognition before it becomes law. And in this case, all the onerous provisions will be put back in committee.

        Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

        by sdgeek on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:26:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The point is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itsbenj

      This bill is not the capitulation that the Senate bill is.

      But, I'll rec for your sig, because I love that song.

      Your candidate sucks, mine rules.

      by otto on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:29:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, i don't think (0+ / 0-)

        the Senate bill exists quite yet, but the murmurings about it are not good.  i understand that it doesn't flatly state outright that telecoms who spied on US citizens (and I'm particularly irked about this one because i'm an at&t customer who's locked into a contract - which i will NEVER EVER renew) will have immunity, but there's much more to the whole issue than that.  and there is a bigger picture of flagrant lawbreaking and disregard of basic human rights involved.  for the bill to ignore that this has happened implicitly, and for it to merely say "now you really should get warrants" is not even in the same ballpark as such a bill should be.  its so far away, the ballpark looks like a speck.

        yeah, 'maggot brain' is pretty special...that opening statement (not my truncated one) really sums up the gist of life better than most who've tried, i say...

        Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time - for y'all have knocked her up. ~ maggot brain

        by itsbenj on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 12:04:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What About American Citizens - (5+ / 0-)

    Who are communicating overseas?
    The present bill allows broad, all-purpose-warrant wire-tapping.

    I was under the impression that the constitution guaranteed rights to people - not places.

    •  Here (7+ / 0-)

      A RESTORE ACT Authorization May Not Be Used to Target Any Known U.S. Person. If the government learns that the target of surveillance is a U.S. person (say, an American traveling abroad), it cannot use this new authority.

      Harry Reid is holding our troops hostage by "waiting" to end the Iraq war so that it may become an issue in the 2008 campaign. Disgraceful.

      by bhagamu on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:50:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Constitutional rights only apply on US soil (0+ / 0-)

      That's a long-standing legal principle. A few rights may also apply to US citizens abroad, but most rights don't.

      Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

      by sdgeek on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:28:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So Americans - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maxschell

        In Detroit, Michigan -
        Have no protected rights when calling Windsor, Ontario?

        You point applies to Americans in Windsor calling back to Detroit, but as long as Americans are in the United States - they Constitution applies.

        •  My understanding (0+ / 0-)

          of the way it worked was that all foreign communications could be wiretapped, however if while listening to Joe Canadian he calls Bob the American they can continue to record but they need to get a warrant.  Bush authorized a plan that grabbed all of the communications and sorted through it regardless of where it was coming from or going to. That was illegal.  

          Another issue appears to be that if Joe Canadian was calling Tom England and the communications ran through the US, FISA required a warrant to get at the communications since it was going through US pipes. This is what the update was supposed to be addressing, as I understand it.

      •  But Constitutional limitations apply wherever (0+ / 0-)

        For example, a President can't go on a trip to South America and declare war from there, because the Constitutional apparatus requiring Congress to declare war didn't apply to him since he was overseas.  

        •  Different situation (0+ / 0-)

          You are referring to the form of government. The President represents the United States no matter where he is. Just like diplomats, the President is basically deemed to always carry a little piece of US soil with him.

          But civil rights generally only apply on US soil, and in some cases also extend to US citizens abroad.

          Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

          by sdgeek on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 02:59:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  thanks Jon (10+ / 0-)

    The rush to judgment really confused me.  This appears to be a far better bill than the one in August.  But we have to fight for it, and in particular, resist efforts to retroactively immunize telecoms for their criminal behavior in giving personal data to the NSA, which is likely to be in the Senate version.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:50:21 AM PDT

  •  Progressive stiffening of spine... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, watercarrier4diogenes

    ...is good!  I think we have to keep up the drumbeat, keep pressure on our congresscritters.

    I wrote to Anna Eshoo asking to know why she hadn't signed a letter to Bush written by some 70 other House Dems.  Needless to say, she responded with a long, rambling non-response.  I plan to write another letter asking if she plans to hold the line against any retroactive immunity, and to continue to require individual warrants for wiretapping US residents.

    I wonder if Anna has any primary challengers...

  •  Before I rant about (8+ / 0-)

    what a bill purports to say, I read the bill and not the NYT, WaPo or any other TM spin.

    Thanks for the diary.  Now to check in with Sen. Dodd's office.  Forget Lieberman.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:53:33 AM PDT

  •  Thanks. NYT was misleading. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, vcmvo2, zbctj52, cpresley

    The WaPo piece Sunday was better. Conyers generally does pretty good work.  The summary looks like this is a bill that Bush will have trouble pushing back on because it is so reasonable - addressing the real problems while including measures to ensure safeguards, oversight, and accountability.

  •  The Senate version is said to have Immunity in it (13+ / 0-)

    I have few doubts that once this bill hits to when they have to combine the 2 bills, House and Senate, that Immunity will be added because if it isn't Bush will veto the bill. The veto will only come after hard and spurious attacks on the patriotism of anyone against giving in to Bush. Once this happens, the Dems will fold like plastic grocery bag in a weak wind.

    Of course Pelosi can claim they fought hard but for the safety of Americans they had to pass something, no matter how bad it is and they will change it when Hillary is pres., the problem is she would never sign away Presidential powers either.

    -8.63 -7.28 We all have to be concerned about terrorism, but you will never end terrorism by terrorizing others.~Martin Luther King III

    by OneCrankyDom on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:55:08 AM PDT

  •  It all comes down to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, cpresley

    doing your homework and remembering that it is not as if the msm can be trusted to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If you care then you are responsible for finding out what's really going on and contacting the persons who represent you in Congress and letting them know what you think.

    The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

    by Robinswing on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:58:23 AM PDT

  •  In my post this morning (6+ / 0-)

    ...I took a dim view of this, although I did say, "If they decide to roll over."  Considering the history of this and the ambiguous language, I'm not particularly encouraged.  One example:

    The FISA Court must review targeting procedures to ensure that they are reasonably designed to target only people outside the United States.

    So, they must "review" so they can be "reasonably" sure they're not targeting you or me?  How long will the review take?  Who is defining reasonable?  And that's not the only review of procedures or guidelines that doesn't give specifics (thinking of
    the word benchmarks).  Too many if's, and's or but's.  

    And where it says they will "clarify ambiguous language," they don't say what language they are talking about and how it will be clarified.

    I'm not particularly comforted by this, although the "officially" giving up on the Democrats is stupid.

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:02:27 AM PDT

    •  "clarify ambiguous language" - except their own. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BarbinMD

      "if's, and's or but's" is turning into a party mantra.

      "You can't be neutral on a moving train." - Howard Zinn

      by bigchin on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:12:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but Barb (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think there was any review provision at all in the old FISA law, althought I could be wrong . . .

      Showing up everyday, 'doing my job.' Also, Rudy Giuliani sux

      by taylormattd on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:33:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        The part I addressed is a review of procedures to make sure they're reasonably designed...as I asked, how long do they have to do this review and who is defining reasonable?  The various language choices (from what I've read) are leaving me skeptical.  

        Not to mention the fact that even though the intitial lawbreaking by the administration is being ignored and the subpoenas about this are being ignored with no action taken, we are somehow supposed to be happy that this bill might not be as horrible as the one in August.  Kind of like, yes, my boyfriend still beats me, but he's not hitting me in the face anymore.  Whoo.  

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:44:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Reasonable" requirement strengthens that clause (0+ / 0-)

      Look, any FISA bill will depend on the integrity of the judge interpreting it. The "reasonable" requirement is a tool that a judge could use to strike down a procedure that is assertedly designed to target only people outside the united states, but is actually a sham procedure.

      •  Not necessarily. (0+ / 0-)

        Depends on whether there was a more stringent standard in the original law and upon caselaw.

        Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

        by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:49:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let them filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    to allow spying on Americans right after they filibuster to deny health care to American children.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:08:59 AM PDT

  •  This is all utterly pointless. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    Telling everyone there is a new FISA court it defuncts the purpose of the court immediately.

    The true magic of the old FISA court, was no one knew about it, except people on the executive level of NSA,FBI,CIA,Justice Department and the Executive Branch. The cloak allowed the daggers to operate outside the realm of public knowledge, so the bad guys who paid off cops, public officials or even judges would get caught in the FISA net because they didn't realize the net was there.

    Now since any terrorists (or in the olden days, Mafia, gun runners and big hefes de drogas) know that FISA exists, they will account for it.

    Since before Bush leaked the existence of FISA into the public realm, now they know there is a secondary level of once secret snooping. Instead of just accounting for the usual gumshoes, now the bad guys account for our intelligence branches that use to use FISA. So since they know FISA exists now, it is pointless.

    And this bill is a pointless exercise because a secret court has to be fucking secret. Debating it across the blogosphere and in the halls of congress and across the media landscape of the globe isn't exactly secret.

    How this is lost on everyone is beyond me.

    Your Candidate/Hitler 2008

    by pinche tejano on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:09:16 AM PDT

    •  Security Through Obscurity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limulus

      Security through obscurity is one of the worst security model you can use. K thnx bi.

    •  FISA: Foreign Intelligience Surveillance Act... (12+ / 0-)

      ...of 1978 established the FISA court.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Maybe no one talked about the FISA court much until recently, but it was established in a law that's part of the public record. A secret court isn't necessarily a secret itself, but it's proceedings are.

      And the purpose of the court being secret isn't to keep  the bad guys from knowing about it, but for genuine national security reasons.

      •  Wow, so you knew what was going on in the courts? (0+ / 0-)

        from the same freaking wiki page:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the FISC is a "secret court": its hearings are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public. (Copies of those records with classified information redacted can and have been made public.) Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, only government attorneys are usually permitted to appear before the FISC. Due to the nature of the matters heard before it, FISC hearings may need to take place at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends; thus, at least one judge must be "on call" at all times to hear evidence and decide whether or not to issue a warrant.

        No shit everyone knew the law, but no one knew what happened in the courts. Now the terrorists can adjust.

        And look, genuine national security reasons usually have to do with bad guys under watch by law enforcement if they were dealing with FISA.

        Seriously.

        Your Candidate/Hitler 2008

        by pinche tejano on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:40:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  um (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Feanor, splashy, Mary2002, sdgeek

      Bush didn't leak the existence of FISA into the public realm. The extense of FISA and the FISA courts have been publicly known since the law was enacted in 1978.

      Showing up everyday, 'doing my job.' Also, Rudy Giuliani sux

      by taylormattd on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:35:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you know of the classified FISA information? (0+ / 0-)

        Because of the sensitive nature of its business, the FISC is a "secret court": its hearings are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public. (Copies of those records with classified information redacted can and have been made public.) Due to the classified nature of its proceedings, only government attorneys are usually permitted to appear before the FISC. Due to the nature of the matters heard before it, FISC hearings may need to take place at any time of day or night, weekdays or weekends; thus, at least one judge must be "on call" at all times to hear evidence and decide whether or not to issue a warrant.

        What was not known was how they operated, the rules within the court and how they executed their directive.

        Now, now we are debating that bullshit on Daily Kos.

        Clap Clap

        Your Candidate/Hitler 2008

        by pinche tejano on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:41:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  whatever dude (7+ / 0-)

          of course I don't know about any secret information being presented to FISA judges, but that's not what your comment says:

          The true magic of the old FISA court, was no one knew about it

          This is totally and utterly untrue. The existence of judges that reviewed intelligence gathered under FISA has been public knowledge ever since the statute was enacted. We had discussions about its constitutionality when I was in law school - before Bush was in office.

          In fact, you could have figured this out yourself with a simple google search. For example, here is a opinion from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, issued in 1991 that not only talks about FISA, but discusses in detail evidence obtained under the auspicies of FISA.

          Showing up everyday, 'doing my job.' Also, Rudy Giuliani sux

          by taylormattd on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:19:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh Please - what made it a "secret" court (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dconrad

          is that, contrary to almost every known concept of law and fairness, all proceedings in front of the court solely involve lawyers for the prosecution/gov and there is no advocacy of any kind for the "other side."  And never will be.  

          It's a Star Chamber and talking about the fact that it exists doesn't change that.

  •  Thanks for posting this (2+ / 0-)

    Too many people are ready to dump on the Democratic House at the drop of a headline.  

    It's important to be reminded which party is most likely to save portions of the Constitution, and which party is always ready to eviscerate it.  

    We have to play the hand we have.  Not the one we'd like.

  •  so it's being proposed today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sdgeek

    does that mean the vote is today?

    My candidate was virgin-born out of an apple pie left to cool in the shade of an American flag. - Hunter

    by Buffalo Girl on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:21:28 AM PDT

    •  Hopefully, not. It would be nice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Buffalo Girl

      if Congress actually debated it on its merits.  I suspect there are a few votes against it amongst the Progressive Caucus, so it would be preferable if we found out WHY rather than just get a list of who voted in which direction and assume that we somehow know all the thoughts that went into their decision to vote that way.

      Vastly different in concept from the Republican El Foldo's we were treated to for 6 years and the Dem versions we've had to endure of late.  Trying to get a Dem to explain their position to you seems to bring out the hack politician in many of them.  Witness this comment by amitxjoshi, above.

      Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
      I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

      by watercarrier4diogenes on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It still allows for warrantless wiretaps (4+ / 0-)

    It is in the first numbered point from its excerpts.

      1.  Clarifies that No Court Warrant is Required to Intercept Communications of Non-United States Persons When Both Ends of the Communications are Outside the United States.

    The U.S. Constitution does not delineate between Citizens and non-Citizens.  It does not delineate between borders.  It says that:

    Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    I understand that some may feel that the U.S. Constitution is a quaint document that does not reflect upon our times.  If that is your belief than there is a process within the Constitution to change it to do so.  Until that change has been made, the U.S. Constitution is still the highest law in the land and is a compact that all office holders within the United States are sworn to faithfully uphold.  That includes Congress and the Court system.  That also includes the President of the United States, no matter how many paid sycophants tell him otherwise!

    A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

    by Tempus Figits on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    watercarrier4diogenes

    I'm glad the Dems are standing for the Constitution again!

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:29:02 AM PDT

  •  Destined for the shitcan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, npb7768

    Yeah, OK, the House bill is ok.  So?  Here's the deal, the Senate bill is essentially the summer FISA abortion re-writ all permanent and shit, with the added candy of immunity for Telcos.

    Oops!  The two bills don't match!  What to do, what to do?  Oh, Conference!  Yeah, that's the ticket, a conference bill that hammers out the differences.  Let's see, let's hammer the shit out of the House bill part that DOESN'T have immunity for Telcos.  Oh, and hammer the living shit out of the House part that requires warrants, oversight, etc.  There!  The bills match!  Send it to Bush for signature.

    Ta-da!  The House Bill is not going to make it.  Let's just accept that right now, especially not with the Democrat Senate breathing down House necks to fall in line behind der Fuhrer in the White House.  All that tasty goodness in the House bill will amazingly fail to survive the conference committee and the resulting abortion will have the stamp of approval of both the Democraps AND the Rethuglicans.  Bipartisanship!  Yeeeeehaw!

    "Events are in the saddle and ride mankind." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Terminus Est on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 09:44:16 AM PDT

  •  I really don't see how (7+ / 0-)

    one unconstitutional bill is "better" than another.

    Less catgegorically offensive and unacceptable, perhaps, but not "better."

  •  Two problems I have with it (one's a BIG one) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary2002, watercarrier4diogenes

    are that not enough of the terms are defined well enough (strict definitions can strip away much of the power of the Administration to abuse the system and use any legislation as a fig leaf in unilaterally redefining terms to meet Executive policy desires) and, the not so big one, I don't necessarily like the idea of internal audits and think, thanks to the abuse of this White House, that IGs are no longer independent and we therefore should get external auditing, or at least review of the audit process, i.e., not just the outcomes of the audit.

    Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

    by lgrooney on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:06:38 AM PDT

  •  Not yet a GOOD Bill (5+ / 0-)
    if not as bad as some projections.

    A good bill would clean up gaps in the Privacy regime that preceded the summer's FISA capitulation, notably establishing clear lines on Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agency access to the location field for cellphones and other wireless devices.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

    by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:11:36 AM PDT

  •  definately a shift in the right direction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, Fiona West

    No, its not a great bill perhaps, but its so much better than the darkness of the administration's current policy that we should be celebrating rather than beating each other over the heads.
    Thanks for the diary pontificator, good perspective and advice. Rec'd highly.

    •  Yes, Pontificator is bringing some light into the (0+ / 0-)

      discussion, which has been marked by an incredible amount of blind emotion and over-reaction.

      Reading Glenn Greenwald's whole column is also a good idea. He's far from blindly optimistic -- he knows the good aspects of the House bill may not survive. But he gives sound information about the various provisions and encourages us to pressure/support the House Dems.  See here.

      Greenwald also offers links to some groups working on primary challengers for weak Dems.  So he hits both sides:  support, and prepare for revenge.

  •  This looks good (4+ / 0-)

    I have some questions on the details and await the text of the actual resolution itself but I support what I am reading here.

    Particularly item #4... I want to read the actual language. The summary statement is vague.

    One objection... item #9... it talks about info about U.S. persons being shared with entities within the executive branch need to be reported.

    This language should be expanded to make clear that info about U.S. persons is not to be shared with anyone... regardless of government branch or non-government entity or other country... without spelled out, court authorized purpose and subsequent detailed reporting.

    Otherwise this is good and we should all be working hard to encourage our representatives and senators to support it regardless of party affiliation.

    We also need to ensure an SCHIP veto override before moving forward with other battles such as this.

    Let's set the precedent of overriding the president and re-establishing legislative branch power sharing in the U.S. government.

    Peace,

    Andrew

    "Parlimentary inquiry Mr. Speaker... does whining come out of my time?"

    by Andrew C White on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:26:57 AM PDT

    •  Rather than trying to read it yourself, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      rely on trained minds to interpret what it says. This Bill has a huge hole.

      http://www.aclu.org/...

      •  While I think your 'trained minds' slap was... (5+ / 0-)

        an unwarranted putdown of Andrew (do you know what his mind has been trained to do? Might be he's a constitutional lawyer, like Glenn Greenwald), I highly recommend everyone follow the link you've provided to the ACLU statement.  They seriously object (as in Constitutionality!?!) to one provision, the blanket/basket/bucket/nom du jour warrants it seeks to provide the NSA (Admiral Mike 'the weasel' McConnell, to be specific) and DoJ (whoever the suck-up is that we fear more than letting Mukasey take it over without any restrictions).  Here's a teaser:

        The Fourth Amendment has several requirements before a search or seizure is constitutional -- that a judge is involved, that there is probable cause, that the search or seizure is reasonable and most important for this discussion -- the things searched or seized have to be stated with particularity. Particularity was written into the Fourth Amendment due to past abuses by King George, whereby the government would issue blank warrants that allowed government officials wide discretion to rifle through personal belongings or search people, without particularized suspicion, to look for anything illegal. No description was actually given of the illegal behavior that was being investigated, because the government was on a fishing expedition. This abuse of power was one of the injustices that led to the American Revolution. Statutes and even individual searches and seizures have since been held unconstitutional in the past because they violate the particularity requirement.

        The Protect America Act and the RESTORE Act allow the government to issue these broad program warrants that state neither the targets of the search, nor the facilities that will be accessed. They do not describe what is going to be seized, and eventually used, by the government. They are virtually a blank check that only requires the surveillance be directed at people abroad, which may very well be unconstitutional.

        Very well written and thorough analysis, the kind the Rush Limbreilly cretins of the world wouldn't dare allow to appear in their 'comments' sections.

        Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
        I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

        by watercarrier4diogenes on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:44:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Everyone CAN and SHOULD read this bill. (3+ / 0-)

          Then you can see that blanket warrants are STILL part of it.

          Bullshit.

          Unconstitutional.

          Our countrymen and ancestors have fought wars to defend our 4th Amendment rights and this Congress would give them away.

          They must be stopped.

          Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

          by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:55:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, watercarrier4diogenes

          Steve and I are friends from the Dean campaign but he hasn't seemed to be happy with me in the last year or so. That's unfortunate as I still like and respect him but that's ok. Politics is a tough business and all the crap the bushies have pulled the last few years  make for a lot of frayed nerves and hard feelings.

          I am not a constitutional lawyer but I am trained at understanding complex systems of thought and have found (to my surprise) during the last few years of in-depth political immursion that I can understand legal and legislative frameworks... when they are well designed... and can recognize when they are designed to have Mack trucks driven through them.

          FISA was good solid legislation. Unfortunately most of the stuff I've read from the last couple years has been garbage designed to cover up and confuse previous garbage.

          We really need to get some politicians serious about efficient and productive government elected.

          Most of these jokers....

          Peace,

          Andrew

          "Parlimentary inquiry Mr. Speaker... does whining come out of my time?"

          by Andrew C White on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 03:12:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the ACLU link (0+ / 0-)

        I'll read it.

        But I still want to read the legislation itself. I read the entire FISA legislation when this all first starting coming up because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about when I accussed the administration of breaking the law... which they were.

        Personally I think FISA was and is perfectly good legislation as is. It provided all the room a respectable government should need to handle emergencies.

        If we are going to provide updated legislation from our side I want to read it and be happy with it... or urge everyone to oppose it.

        In any event... thanks for the link.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        "Parlimentary inquiry Mr. Speaker... does whining come out of my time?"

        by Andrew C White on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shell game after shell game after shell game (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, shpilk

    Here are the words I hear:

    "Capitulation . . ."
    "Not so bad . . ."
    "D's voted against earlier bill . . ."
    "R's will force something more draconian . . ."
    "Good provisions in the bill . . ."

    The words I don't hear are from the Dem leadership:
    "Here's where we stand and why."

    What else is left for us to do except speculate? The best we can do is fill in the blanks. And there are lots of blanks.

    Is the D leadership leading? I dunno.
    Is the D leadership capitulating? I dunno.
    Is it a good bill? I dunno. I can't believe anything in the NYT, the D's say nothing and reputable bloggers (the only ones I feel I can trust) are not of a common mind.

    BTW, I appreciate this diary very much, pontificator. All the research is helpful and reflective of how much you care.

    But, as I look out of the black hole of mistrust and betrayal that this administration, possible only with the enabling of the D's, created, my head spins.

    It's a purposeful shell game, IMHO, intended to keep us watching all the false moves and remain in "I dunno" mode.

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:40:10 AM PDT

  •  ask yourself this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sdgeek

    ask yourself, why arent our allies screaming about us tapping their citizens phone calls?

    I'll tell you why, because projct Echelon has us tapping thier lines, and they tap ours, and they simple trade info.

    SO if Big brother USA aint listening in and reading ou email, you can be assured big brother of in jolly england and/or Australia certainly is.

    IMHO FISA is a big to do about nothing I am sorry to say.  

    Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

    by pissedpatriot on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:44:18 AM PDT

  •  House Bill needs individual warrants... (0+ / 0-)

    for US citizens caught up in the surveillance. Not PROGRAM warrants which are big nets for all fish. US citizens' privacy rights are NOT protected until this change is made.

    Read the analysis at www.aclu.org

    The problem here is that untrained eyes and minds tries to read the Bill and then pronounce "it's good" without knowing the issues or context.

    And then, of course, when this Bill gets into the meatgrinder of Conference, who knows what will come out.

    •  Thank you IndySteve. (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone should read the ACLU analysis and read the section of the bill that enables program, a.k.a. "blanket" warrants.  These are plainly unConstitutional, and because of the FISA secrecy, we can never expect the SCOTUS to step in and review this (like they MAY do with the Habeas issue).

      Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

      by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:58:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I believe it when I see it... (0+ / 0-)

    Great diary, Pontificator, but in all honesty, we are talking about a bill, not a law.

    Given recent history, I see no reason to believe that the final version will be as benign as this first draft may be.

    Army 1st Lt. Ehren T. Watada, Lt. Cdr USN Matthew Diaz, SPC Eli Israel: true American heroes.

    by sdgeek on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:49:51 AM PDT

  •  Illustrative of how the corporate media plays us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, Buffalo Girl

    The NY Times publishes a story about a perfectly good Democratic bill, but spins it in such a way that we become divided before the battle is even joined.

    •  Yeah, it's because we're divided... (0+ / 0-)

      Doesn't matter. The vast majority of WE THE PEOPLE are against the Bush administration and it's policies. But everyone in power...including the Dems...support every possible violation of the Constitution and enhancement of the power of the government to harm us.

      The media is pretty irrelevant, because the government doesn't care whether we're for them or against them. They're holding power either way.

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:12:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this bill isn't evil enough for Bush (0+ / 0-)

    the Dems will revise it and pass whatever the f%ck he wants. Like they always do.

    Haven't you learned yet?

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:09:38 AM PDT

  •  DOES TEAM BUSH GET ANYTHING IT WANTS (2+ / 0-)

    in this bill?

    If it does, it is a failure by the Democrats, plain and simple. And I imagine the Bush Admin DID get what it wants. And that the Dems didn't do ALL THEY CAN to fight it.

    Again.

    I am not interested in entertaining some Nuanced strategy for giving Bush a rubberstamped dictatorship...like the one he's a few capitulations short of.

    Aren't they supposed to like...oppose the GOP on SOMETHING?????????

    GreenState Project: Democratic Talking Points for Cannabis Reform.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:28:13 AM PDT

  •  So when the conference committee caves (0+ / 0-)

    or the House version goes to President numnutz and he vetoes the legislation, and then they cave by offering up a piece that gives Mr. 25% whatever he wants, do we get to say "I told you so."    Their track record on this subject is horrible, that's why I am not overly optimistic about the final result.

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 11:48:42 AM PDT

  •  Not a good bill, but an acceptable one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, ReadyForChange

    A good bill would not allow warrantless wiretaps of anyone. Constitutional protections are intended to apply to everyone, including foreigners, because they are limitations on government power and not rights granted to individuals.

    However, this bill has a sunset provision so that it will cease to be the law near the end of the first year of the next presidential term. With a Democratic president and Congress, there will be little support for a renewal of this legislation.

    The protections of the legislation (everything but the ability to listen in on foreign communications) are all important improvements over the status quo.

    We need to keep the pressure on the Democrats so that they do not renew this legislation in 2009. It's quite possible that Bush would veto this bill because of its good provisions, and if so, then we'd have to stop bad legislation from following. But if this passes in the short term, it's not the end of the world.

  •  And in the Senate?!? (0+ / 0-)

    Nadler, who agrees that the House bill is a good one, says that what he's hearing from the Senate is not good and does involve some pretty serious capitulation.

  •  A GOOD bill. Don't make me laugh. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, maxschell, LillithMc, PeckingOrder

    Has it got any provisions for enforcement when a member of the Executive Branch, under color of authority, orders warrantless wiretaps?

    I think not.

    We've already got that going on right now.  And the enforcement mechanism is . . . Alberto Gonzales . .  or the empty chair where Alberto Gonzales USED to sit????

    That's what you call a good bill??

    How about writing in a Special Prosecutor who is empowered to investigate and convene a FISA Grand Jury should violations occur?

    Have they got that in there??

    No???

    Then it's NOT A GOOD BILL.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:29:24 PM PDT

    •  exactly bob--let them try and get around that one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo

      Bushco has grabbed th DemWhips again by the nutsacks and got them to capitulate. No accountability for nefarious missteps--something Bushco has become renowned for--then no good bill.

      "The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent." John Edwards 08

      by PeckingOrder on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:51:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, but some people here need a whiplash (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, maxschell

    of cold water in their faces to wake them the fuck up--do ANY OF YOU really, truly believe we are under any credible, serious, authentic threat of a "terroist" attack? This, the greatest rightwing talking point of all time? Say it isin't so. Tell me, when did you guys drink the cool aid? who sneaked it into your morning coffee when you weren't looking?

    "The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent." John Edwards 08

    by PeckingOrder on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

  •  Umbrella warrants (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, maxschell, PeckingOrder

    Someone please tell me how the umbrella warrants in the stupidly named RESTORE Act are constitutional?

    "Everything's shiny, Captain. Not to fret."

    by rmwarnick on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:51:11 PM PDT

    •  warnick--I don't even think people recall what (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, maxschell

      the fucking constitution is anymore. They'll keep on capitulating even when they'll be placed in internment camps and examined rectally for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Blackwater "force-protected" prisons. They'll keep saying: "Hey, this is great, at least I'm not getting terroized by muslim terroists, we have to do this for our national safety". And then they'll bend over once again for rectal duty.

      "The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent." John Edwards 08

      by PeckingOrder on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone should read the actual bill.  It still authorizes blanket warrants, which are plainly unconstitutional

      Revise FISA in the dead of night? This is Worse than Watergate. I used to say "IMPEACH! Now" but now I realize the problem is bigger than that.

      by maxschell on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 03:01:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fear .. they work by fear (0+ / 0-)

      Constitution?

      What's that?

      socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

      by shpilk on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:46:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pecked To Death By Ducks (4+ / 0-)

    The GOP keeps whittling away at basic rights knowing that they will eventually destroy them. Why not let people chip off little pieces of the Lincoln Memorial?

  •  If this contains ANY retroactive legalization for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dconrad

    past crimes I don't give a flying shit how good the rest of the bill is!

    Remove that retroactive crap and we can talk, but until then no dice.

  •  The ACLU has problems with it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, shpilk

    ACLU Statement on RESTORE ACT, ACLU Urges Congress to Include Individual Warrants for Americans (10/9/2007)

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: media@dcacluorg

    Washington, DC – Today the Democratic leadership unveiled the RESTORE Act. What follows are the ACLU’s comments on that draft.

    The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:

    "The ACLU sees one major flaw in the RESTORE Act. As drafted, the RESTORE Act still allows for the US government to collect phone calls and emails from Americans without an individual warrant.

    Program warrants - sometimes called basket warrants, sometime called blanket warrants - included in the draft bill are a crucial sticking point. There is no specific target when you use basket warrants, which contradicts the heart of the Fourth Amendment. Essentially, a basket warrant really means no real warrant.

    Program warrants are the 21st century version of King George’s heavy-handed intrusions on individual privacy. We would not tolerate allowing government agents to sit in our living rooms recording our personal conversations, so why would we permit it to monitor us remotely and without our knowledge? The Fourth Amendment requires individual warrants if Americans are involved and without them, the RESTORE Act won't pass constitutional muster."

    This bill is better than the so-called Protect America Act: here are the areas where the ACLU has seen real improvement.

    Overseen by the court. Re-iterates that FISA is the go-to court

    Requires six-month audit and a database to go to Congress for review.

    Telecom companies are not granted immunity from illegal activity in this draft of the bill.

    The scope of the searching has been narrowed to "foreign affairs intelligence and improvement over a more broad definition in the so-called Protect America Act.

    What follows is an explanation of why we oppose the year-long program warrants in the bill.

    Baskets, Buckets, and Blankets? What's wrong with these so-called "warrants"?

    Called baskets, buckets or blankets, the new warrants created by the Protect America Act, and maintained in some form by the RESTORE Act (Conyers/ Reyes) are most commonly known as "program" or "general" warrants that have been held unconstitutional for violating the Fourth Amendment. They may have a new name this go-around, but they are the same program warrants believed to be used the in the President's illegal spying program after 9/11 and codified in the FISA modernization bill introduced by Rep. Wilson that Democrats opposed in the 109th Congress.

    The Fourth Amendment has several requirements before a search or seizure is constitutional -- that a judge is involved, that there is probable cause, that the search or seizure is reasonable and most important for this discussion -- the things searched or seized have to be stated with particularity. Particularity was written into the Fourth Amendment due to past abuses by King George, whereby the government would issue blank warrants that allowed government officials wide discretion to rifle through personal belongings or search people, without particularized suspicion, to look for anything illegal. No description was actually given of the illegal behavior that was being investigated, because the government was on a fishing expedition. This abuse of power was one of the injustices that led to the American Revolution. Statutes and even individual searches and seizures have since been held unconstitutional in the past because they violate the particularity requirement.
    The Protect America Act and the RESTORE Act allow the government to issue these broad program warrants that state neither the targets of the search, nor the facilities that will be accessed. They do not describe what is going to be seized, and eventually used, by the government. They are virtually a blank check that only requires the surveillance be directed at people abroad, which may very well be unconstitutional.

    The RESTORE Act does not require individualized court orders for anything collected under the new surveillance program. The program can collect any communication as long as one leg of it is overseas, leaving open the distinct possibility--and probability-- that the other leg is here in the U.S. and is an American. If Americans’ communications are swept up by this new, general program warrant, there is no requirement that a court actually review whether those communications are seized in compliance with the Fourth Amendment.
    The RESTORE Act, as currently written, allows the Attorney General to negotiate secret guidelines with the secret FISA court about how to use US information, and whether to go back to the court for an individualized warrant to access US communications.

    There is no requirement in the RESTORE Act that individualized warrants be issued before the government collects communications to which an American is a party. If a US phone call or email is picked up in these general warrants -- not based on any suspicion of wrongdoing, or even based on a link to terrorism -- they can be saved and used by the government without any court review. The procedures for this court have always been secret and no one, save a few Intelligence Committee members, know how well they work or how they are really implemented. Something so fundamental as whether the government can listen to our phone calls or read our emails should not be left to be decided in secret by a handful of people. These issues have to be written into statute so there is no question about our privacy and so there can be accountability when the rules are broken.
    Attempts to find a procedure that gives the government flexibility while respecting the constitutional requirement of particularity have been rejected. It is perfectly reasonable to allow program warrants to collect calls and emails among foreigners, but Americans deserve -- and the constitution requires -- that their communications be treated differently when swept up in the new dragnet.

    Even if one believes that the government really can't tell where each end of a communication is in "real time," or at the time of collection, they will be able to eventually. As the Director of National Intelligence testified last month, the heart of these programs is about storing communications and accessing them later. The government should be forced to go back to court to get a particularized warrant that meets Fourth Amendment standards before it can access American communications that have been swept up in these new blanket or general warrants. Just because the program is directed at people overseas, it doesn't mean that the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans who have contact with them have been respected. There has not been a surveillance program since FISA was created that allows massive, untargeted collection of communications that will knowingly pick up US communications on US soil without any suspicion of wrongdoing. This creates novel and fundamental Fourth Amendment problems that Congress should seek to avoid instead of sanctioning. Going back to the court may be inconvenient, but doing so is just a matter or resources and protecting our Fourth Amendment rights is worth the cost.

  •  We need to support house bill (0+ / 0-)

    It may not be perfect, but until we can get a Democratic president that can trully reinstate civil liberties and the constitution it's what was have to go with. If Democrats cave and make consessions than we have to make noise and hold their feet to the fire.

  •  What about the black helicopter provision? (0+ / 0-)

    Is that still in there?

    ---
    If you have a boss, you need a union.
    --Steve Earle

    by VelvetElvis on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:27:55 PM PDT

  •  I am really sorry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, greenearth

    but I don't agree with the premise.

    1st off, 9/11 should have changed nothing inside our legal system.

    The gross incompetence of the Bush administration should not have been used as an excuse  to strip search senior citizens and children at airports, deny transport to legitimate citizens going about their business.

    Osama and his 19 fanatics with box cutters have won. They have eroded the basic foundations of our national psyche.

    We had the mechanisms to address all aspects required to address the threat from fanatics.

    All the rest of this is garbage, driven by hysteria about boogeymen in the night.

    socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

    by shpilk on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 04:44:12 PM PDT

  •  Its a PR nightmare at the very least (0+ / 0-)

    "Dems intend to make wiretapping, evesdropping program permanent" totally overshadows any wrong the proposed Bill might right. Looks like the Repubs get an A in perception building once again.

  •  Feingold weighs in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, 3goldens, Mary2002

    Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feinogld
    On Efforts to Amend the Protect America Act

    October 9, 2007

    "Congress’s hurried consideration of the Protect America Act was legislating at its worst. Congress must fix the fundamental flaws of that legislation - the utter failure to protect the privacy of Americans at home and abroad, and the complete lack of meaningful judicial, congressional and administrative oversight. Congress must act responsibly and not be intimidated into giving the administration unnecessary powers it could too easily abuse. We can aggressively go after suspected terrorists and other foreign intelligence targets while still protecting the privacy of law-abiding Americans.

    "The House Democratic leadership is right to refuse to grant immunity for alleged cooperation with the President’s warrantless wiretapping program -- it would be irresponsible to grant immunity when the Administration still refuses to provide Congress with its legal opinions justifying that program. But any legislation to amend FISA also must protect the privacy of Americans in the U.S. making international communications. Americans are communicating with people overseas more than ever before. If an American businessperson wants to contact a foreign customer, or a student wants to email a friend she met while studying abroad, or a journalist wants to call a foreign source, they should not have to give up the protections granted to them by our Constitution."

    (emphasis mine)

    Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

    by ben masel on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:55:12 PM PDT

  •  It seems data mining is not opposed (0+ / 0-)

    Which is the real goal anyway.

    The dems won't oppose it because they see the utility in it too.

    Honestly, how many serious terrorists will be communicating on the phone?

    I was happiest as a heathen.

    by MouseOfSuburbia on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:27:40 PM PDT

  •  It's a good bill if Bush threatens to veto (0+ / 0-)

    or actually vetoes it. My fervent hope (or is it fevered hope?) that Bush will sign a bill that gives the government what they need while protecting our rights but not what he wants and that if he doesn't sign, he'll look like a hypocrite or shudder weak. And monkeys might fly out Cheney's ass.

    "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed."   —Marvin, The Paranoid Android

    by londubh on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:43:05 PM PDT

  •  As per your last update -- re: ACLU (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    We were consulted. And we appreciate being consulted – but being consulted is NOT enough. Leadership and the committee did consult us, and but they did not make a vital, key change. In the current draft of the bill (the RESTORE act) there are blanket warrants --

    blanket warrants are not good enough.  That is the flaw in the house bill. And it will be fatal if it stays in the bill.

    We must have individual warrants for any call information collected from Americans.

    Also, many progressives are NOT comfortable with it. The progressive caucus is working with us.

    We are working with progressive members who want one of two things: the bill to be fixed so there are individual warrants

    Or a progressive will introduce legislation that is better.

    Keep your eyes peeled for that legislation.......

    Doesn't sound to me like the ACLU is okay with it, as you said they were, Pontificator. Doesn't sound like that one tiny bit. Also, doesn't sound like the "House FISA Bill is a Good Bill" as it says in your title.

    Yet you called two other diaries "misleading"?

    What's up with that?

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:54:40 PM PDT

  •  Bruce Fein's take (0+ / 0-)

    After watching Keith Olbermann and hearing Bruce Fein, he doesn't think the proposed bill is good, and he gave his reasons why.  I agree with him.

    I think the FISA should be simple:  Have at it overseas -- listen to, record, surveil anyone you want.  

    BUT if the person whom you are investigating lives in the United States, someone from another branch, i.e., the Judiciary Branch must approve your intended efforts of surveillance.

    If the surveillance needs to be done immediately, FINE.  BUT subsequent paperwork or oral testimony under oath must be presented to a member of the Judiciary for approval.  Period.

    Anybody from the Executive branch can do what they want... providing it's approved by another branch.  Simple.  Work out the details of the time before and after submitting the information, but the motto is: Checks and Balances.

    As with an exit strategy, I hope the Articles of Impeachment are already written. There will be no time to waste on paperwork.

    by gooderservice on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 07:41:31 PM PDT

  •  You might want to retract a bit... (0+ / 0-)

    the ACLU does not support the so-called "basket warrant" idea contained within this bill.

    "The ACLU sees one major flaw in the RESTORE Act. As drafted, the RESTORE Act still allows for the US government to collect phone calls and emails from Americans without an individual warrant.  

    Program warrants - sometimes called basket warrants, sometime called blanket warrants - included in the draft bill are a crucial sticking point. There is no specific target when you use basket warrants, which contradicts the heart of the Fourth Amendment.  Essentially, a basket warrant really means no real warrant.

    http://www.aclu.org/...

    Personally, I think this is the kind of thing that everyone ought to oppose.

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