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I recall once watching President George Bush explain his personal and somewhat warped opposition to stem cell research. His 'logic' was he wasn't going to take a human life to try and save a life.

It was warped, but I understood where he stood.

Just like I understand where Ron Paul is on the war the other night when he was on CNN, clear and simple.

So last night, the United States Senate voted on whether or not Michael Mukasey should be our next Attorney General.

The problem with Mukasey, in a nut shell, is that he is going to be the top law enforcement officer in the United States, and he is unwilling to commit that waterboarding, clearly illegal and clearly torture, is something that he will stand up against and persecute those guilty of doing it.

I don't always agree with my friend John Kerry, but he was absolutely right in his post the other day,

let's stand up as country and decide whether you are for torture or against it?

Well, it's hard to stand up as a country to have a moment like that when your United States Senators can't stand up.

Not Voting - 7

Alexander (R-TN)  Biden (D-DE) Clinton (D-NY)
Cornyn (R-TX)     Dodd (D-CT)
McCain (R-AZ)     Obama (D-IL)

Hmm, I notice a pattern here. Anyone else?

You're going to be President of the United States? You're going to answer the call of duty and make the tough decisions?

Prove it.

Stand up and vote.


Hey tbetz has a great point. Next time one of our soldiers is getting tortured somewhere in the world, ask him or her if this is an "extraordinary circumstance" that might have warranted a FILIBUSTER.

Damm it.

Originally posted to jamesboyce on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 05:36 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar and I forgot hat tip (17+ / 0-)

    sorry, I got the results from front page diary here and I gather standingup found them so hat tip.

  •  Plausible Deniability (5+ / 0-)

    "But...but...but...I didn't vote for him!"

    Yep, I noticed who was missing, too. Surprised to see Dodd on that list, though. WTF??

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

    by o the umanity on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 05:44:52 AM PST

  •  Fuck "Stand Up And Vote"... (4+ / 0-)

    ... how about "Stand Up And Filibuster"?

    Even Dodd wussed out.  Damn.

  •  just pathetic (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chesapeake, Guadalupe59

    humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human foreign to me) --Terence

    by astraea on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 05:52:42 AM PST

  •  did any of these Senators explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    their decision not to vote?

    •  haven't seen any excuses yet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, chesapeake, el vasco

      I am sure vote surprised them, but c'mon, it's a Thursday vote (not Friday) so they should still be in DC.

      I'm sure some, if not all, were at fundraisers somewhere but they should have been there

      No, if anyone pulled an Obama with the MoveOn vote and was actually on the Hill and didn't vote, I will go nuclear.

    •  I watched the C-Span of the entire... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfred, Fabian, chesapeake, el vasco

        discourse (I refuse to call what the Senate does a debate). Dodd, Clinton, Biden and Obama were not in the chambers. In fact, few Senators, were in the chamber during most of the speeches. I assume the Dems and Republicans were closeted in a conference room having cocktails and holding hands.
         I was not surprised that a few Democrats broke ranks after Schumer and Feinstein proved they had no spine. I was somewhat surprised that NO Republican broke rank and voted against torture. Both in his statement in the Judiciary Committee and on the floor last night, Graham from SC talked the right talk about torture but like Mukasey, he refused to speak truth to power when it involved Bush and Cheney. I also thought maybe Warner or Hegel, would have flipped. I guess this shows what I know.
        I wish someone could explain the difference in tone and sharpness of the testimony of Mukasey from Day 1 to Day 2. Most people would say it was a night and day difference. Here, in NC, we sometimes think of it as the difference in Carolina Blue and Duke Blue. With night and day, they blend together at dusk and dawn. With the Blues, they never blend.
        Mukasey claimed he was at home at the conclusion of day 1 and had a quiet dinner with his wife. He refused to say that he had met with someone after his first testimony but it was immediately reported that he couldn't pronounce "waterboarding" as torture because it would put high officials in legal/criminal jeopardy. I will pay high $$ to someone who could prove who got to him that afternoon or in the evening. His new positioning was evident to all that watched both days of his testimony. The Blues will never meet.  

      Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

      by NC Dem on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:11:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NC DEM (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NC Dem, chesapeake

        You know, I am getting more and more inclined just to get rid of all of them, this reminds me of the Iraq War vote when only 6 Senators TOTAL could be bothered to go  down and read the classified intelligence,


        PS - we might be on the opposite sides of this, because I bleed Duke Blue


  •  At least Gore & Kucinich had an excuse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NC Dem, chesapeake

    They aren't Senators!

    Missing the vote on the Attorney General of the United States?  Missing a chance to flip the bird to the Moron in Chief?  Missing a chance to stand on your principles?

    I'm about ready to skip the rest of their voting records to ask about this vote.  Forget Iraq, why didn't you bother to vote one way or another on Mukasey?

    No more lies - IMPEACH!

    by Fabian on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 05:57:26 AM PST

    •  I don't pretend to speak for Al Gore but.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, chesapeake, Guadalupe59

      I helped a bit with the roll out of his book last summer and had the chance to speak with him about torture, it's in his book and he talks about George Washington standing up and stopping soldiers from torturing pow's.

      he would vote no - bet on it.

      •  I'm sure Kucinich would have voted (0+ / 0-)

        against Mukasey as well.

        That's what people are looking for this time around - people they can count on.  They'll even take nutjobs, as long as they are honest, consistent nutjobs.  Ron Paul has started to equivocate on his abortion stance though.  See what a little time in the limelight will do to even the most fervent zealot?

        No more lies - IMPEACH!

        by Fabian on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:02:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How come they didn't need 60 votes to pass? (0+ / 0-)

    Every other time we hear "we don't have the votes" because they need 60.
    What gives?

    •  Because thats the way it is supposed to work (0+ / 0-)

      Just because the Rethugs corrupted the process doesn't mean we should too.

      Remember, our folks ran on an ethics platform... you can't do that and continue abusing the system.

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

      by Niniane on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:16:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Got no problem with the skipped votes (0+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't have mattered anyway... why make them paint themselves into a corner unnecessarily?

    At least they all hung together this time.

    But I'm sure the Edwards folks will try to make something out of this. He would so be a different candidate if he was still in the Senate.

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

    by Niniane on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:19:17 AM PST

    •  why? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ken Camp, Fabian, chesapeake

      because you need to stand up and be counted

      this is a clear issue to me, are you for torture or against it? it's not something where you say "i'm in the middle on this one"

      the call for a vote is yeay or nay

      or you for or against?

      there is no c)

      •  Not when it hurts you (0+ / 0-)

        or your party in the long run.

        A vote either way could cost our nominee votes in the general. I'm pretty sure our folks were all voting "no", and that McCain was voting "yes".
        I don't need a fucking confitmation that might cost us votes down the road.

        We do still want to win next November, don't we?

        A "no vote" on something like this when it doesn't count anyway is just good sense.
        I'm sorry if it offends your delicate sensibilities, but it makes sense to those of us who actually understand the process.

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

        by Niniane on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:27:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Confirmation, sorry... (0+ / 0-)

          There I go making up words again.

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

          by Niniane on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:29:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How COULD it hurt? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bam bam

          A vote for says "Hey, I have no problem with torture!  Torture is okay by me.  And the Unitary Executive?  Sign me UP!".

          A vote against says "Nice try, Mister President, sir.  Now why don't you find us a nominee who will swear to uphold the Constitution without question?".  

          Nothing wrong with rejecting a nominee.  Presidents have suffered defeat of their nominees before without catastrophic consquences.

          No more lies - IMPEACH!

          by Fabian on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:33:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tbetz, Guadalupe59

          A "no vote" on something like this when it doesn't count anyway is just good sense.
          I'm sorry if it offends your delicate sensibilities, but it makes sense to those of us who actually understand the process.

          So you wise ones who "understand the process" believe that the American people are in favor of torture?

          What possible harm could come from a "no" vote on Mukaskey?  That's something you don't explain -- instead, you brag how about politically smart you are.


          IMPEACH Dick Cheney. "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

          by chumley on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:58:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      This really tortures the hell out of the meaning of "We must all hang together, or we will assuredly hang separately."
    •  Yeah, and they said Jimmy Carter was (0+ / 0-)

      wishy washy.

      That's the problem with an up-er-down vote - you can't triangulate with it.

      No more lies - IMPEACH!

      by Fabian on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:28:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, Guadalupe59

      the one advantage those candidates have over Edwards, is that they can prove themselves on the floor of the Senate.

      But a move like that, requires genuine toughness.

      So let me see, when you oppose torture, that is unnecessarily painting yourself into a corner?


    •  I got a problem with skipping votes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tbetz, edgery

      on issues like confirming the damn Law Enforcement officer of the Land.  This isn't voting on a resolution to rename a street or a Post Office in honor of somebody; it's confirming the Attorney General and hopefully picking someone that will not continue the politicizing of the Justice Department.

      If they can't stand for issues like this, how the hell can we expect them to run the damned country?

      "Washington, DC: Where Corrupt Officials are discovered daily."

      by The Truth on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:56:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dodd?  Really?  Let's face it - there is no leadership in Washington with the exception of Dick Cheney.  None.

    "Frankly, you epitomize weak. Your every pore exudes feebleness. You *are* surrender monkeys." - Meteor Blades to Capitulation Dems

    by RichM on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:49:55 AM PST

  •  Not surprised about Obama (0+ / 0-)

    He had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the chamber to vote against cloture on Alito, and he voted in favor of Roberts' confirmation.

    They dont' want Kucinich or Edwards beating them over the head with their vote on Mukasey; if Kucinich is smart, he'll beat them up about not showing up to stand and be counted.

    "Washington, DC: Where Corrupt Officials are discovered daily."

    by The Truth on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 06:54:46 AM PST

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    Not one leader in the lot of them.  I can't stand it anymore.

    * 3858 *

    by BDA in VA on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 07:09:14 AM PST

  •  More than just talk...? (0+ / 0-)

    This was their chance.. they are senators, they could have made a statement on the record, they could have put their vote on the record, but they didn't.

    That tells me it's all talk.  They can't be bothered taking time out of their busy schedules to oppose something, especially not a foregone conclusion.

    That's not the actions of someone who will come out fighting when the chips are down.  It's not the actions of someone who will fight the good fight even though they're gonna lose.  It's the actions of a spineless #$%#$% who rolls over, just like they did before and will again.

    I'm disgusted with all of them.  They talk the good talk, but when push comes to shove, they don't lay it on the line.

    What did Kos say?  Complain loudly then capitulate?  Sounds pretty accurate to me.

  •  Which candidate spoke out 1st? Richardson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ken Camp, Chadshue, VeniceDave

    On October 19th, prior to any statements by the other Presidential candidates, Richardson stepped forward and criticized Mukasey for refusing to say whether waterboarding is torture:

    "Waterboarding is torture, and anyone who is unwilling to identify it as such is not qualified to be the chief legal officer of the United States of America. If I were in the U.S. Senate, I would vote against Mukasey unless he denounces such specific forms of torture.

    "Torture does not work. Mistreatment backfires and destroys our international leadership, as we saw with Abu Ghraib. Torture also endangers our own troops. The standards we adopt may well be what our own troops are subjected to.

    "Anytime one makes a person think he or she is being executed, the very nature of waterboarding, it obviously is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, international law, and basic human decency.

    "ABC News has described waterboarding as follows: 'The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face, and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in, and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.'

    "If another nation engaged in waterboarding against American citizens, we would denounce that country and call the practice barbaric, and rightly so.

    "We must stand against torture without equivocation, without compromise, and without exception. Torture is a violation of everything we stand for as Americans and as human beings."

    Shame on the Democrats that voted for Mukasey and those that didn't show up at all.  This was not a vote on one person.  It was a vote on whether the U.S. government or agents acting for our government may commit torture in the name of national security.  

    Persons without a moral compass should not hold political power.  And no surprise here - people under torture say what they believe their interrogators want them to say.  The result is we get false and misleading information when we practice torture.  

    The results can be devastating.  We went to war with Iraq in part because of intelligence based on the torture.  I suggest everyone read Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes.  It is a fascinating history of the CIA.  At page 487, he states:

    [CIA Director George] Tenet provided his own grim warnings in a secret hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on September 17:  'Iraq provided al Qaeda with various kinds of training - combat, bomb-making, and chemical, biological, radiological and nucler.'  He based that statement on the confessions of a single source - Ibn al-Shakh al-Libi, a fringe player who had been beaten stuffed in a two-foot-square box for seventeen hours, and threatened with prolonged torture.  The prisoner had recanted after the threat of torture receded.  Tenet did not correct the record.

    Bill Richardson: "Get out now. Get all our troops out now. It is the only right and responsible choice."

    by Stephen Cassidy on Fri Nov 09, 2007 at 07:35:05 AM PST

  •  I had a campaign event (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chadshue, VeniceDave

    is not a valid excuse for not standing up on the Senate floor and voting against Mukasey and torture.
    By not voting Clinton, Biden, Dodd, and Obama reaffirmed my support for Bill Richardson for President, because he has the experience and understands these issues better than anyone else.

    Now why has it been 40+ years since a Democatic Senator was elected President?

  •  Too bad Georgia isn't an early state primary.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ken Camp

    all these Senators who wanna be President could meet at the Waffle King!

    I am tired of hearing senatorial spin; of saying they are against the war while espousing plans that keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq; of calling for diplomatic negotiations while labeling the military of a sovereign nation a "terrorist organization"; of calling themselves environmental friendly while passing a pathetic 35mpg cafe standard and giving subsidies to the coal companies; and of having the audacity to hope that managing a small senate staff is akin to managing the federal government.

    How about a new constitutional amendment?

    No citizen who is a member of the United States Senate shall be eligible to hold the office of President of the United States.

    Works for me!!

  •  RIP - Rule of Law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Oh wait, Rule of Law died when Bush became President.

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