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As Kagro pointed out the latest sob story we've got from Steny Hoyer on why he has to cave into the White House on telco amnesty is because "many Democrats" are forcing his hand. He's even saying that he personally is opposed to the compromise he's trying to ramrod through:

Hoyer said that if a deal was finalized, he would support it, even though he "would not like it." He said he would have preferred the original House version of the legislation which didn't include retroactive immunity for the phone companies.

Here's the thing, he's the majority leader and the majority of his caucus is opposed to amnesty. Nancy Pelosi is supposedly opposed to amnesty. Harry Reid is opposed to it, as is Dick Durbin. Barack Obama is opposed to it. And supposedly, so is Hoyer himself. So who is clamoring so hard from the Democratic party for amnesty? Not a one, so far.

We have seen Democrat Nancy Boyda, who most certainly represents a conservative district, arguing against it.

"Here's the question: Do we want the United States government spying on Americans without a warrant? Ladies and gentleman, that is the issue that's at stake here. I say absolutely no, we do not want the United State government spying on Americans without a warrant. But President Bush says that's ok.... and the Republicans in Congress are sticking with him.... Our democracy depends on open and honest debate, and this is nothing of the sort."

And we've seen Blue Dogs Michael Arcuri and Tim Mahoney arguing against it.

"I am not going to sign it," said Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) a member of the Blue Dogs. "I just don’t think it is necessary."

Fellow Blue Dog Rep. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.) agreed with Mahoney, saying he would not subvert the rules process by signing the petition.

"I like the House version of FISA better than the Senate bill anyway," added Arcuri.

Not one single Democrat has signed the discharge petition. It's a fact. You can look it up.

The majority of the Democratic caucus (House and Senate) and of the leaders don't want telco amnesty. If Hoyer can't stand up to a rump group in his caucus, some 20 members, as opposed to the other nearly 200, then maybe he shouldn't be majority leader.

This leads me to an effort being spearheaded by Glenn, Jane and a diverse group of bloggers and organizations to tell Hoyer and his cohorts that they're not only on the wrong side of their caucus, but on the wrong side of the American people. Here's Glenn:

As a result, there is a major new campaign beginning today aimed at Hoyer and a handful of other key members of Congress who enable telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping. In order to raise as much money as possible for this campaign -- far more than the $85,000 raised (and still being spent) in Chris Carney's district as a result of his support for warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty -- we are working to create an alliance with numerous organizations and factions across the ideological spectrum which oppose civil liberties erosions, as well as with as many blogs as possible....

For the moment, contributions can be made here. All the money raised will be spent exclusively on ad campaigns aimed at the short-term vulnerabilities of those in Congress responsible for delivering this indescribably tyrannical package of surveillance powers to the President and the accompanying corrupt gift to lawbreaking telecoms.

I encourage you to contribute to the effort, and join the more than 3,000 contributors who have raised more than $170,000 for this effort.

That hardly compares to the $14 million spent by the telcos on lobbying just in the first three months of this year. So I guess this lays it out pretty clearly for Hoyer and his pals. Who is going to have more sway? The majority of his caucus, his party leadership, and the party faithful (us), or the telcos?

Update: And while you're at it, tell Congress "No Deal on Telco Amnesty!"

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:54 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have $50 yesterday (9+ / 0-)

    We need to build a domestic constituency against this kind of governmental interference and this is the best way to start doing so.

  •  It looks like Hoyer is now only interested (10+ / 0-)

    in getting a deal--any deal--done, and he no longer cares what the deal looks like.  It's another patented Dem leadership move to take away an issue from the GOP, no matter what it looks like on the ground.

    •  But why? (18+ / 0-)

      Republicans have not gotten any traction on this despite thier scare tactics.  The "facts on the ground" don't warrant capitulation, so why is Hoyer folding?  He is either bought and paid for or being blackmailed.

      "There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration". - Randall L. Tobias

      by MadRuth on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:06:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How much is Hoyer getting from the Telcos? (8+ / 0-)

        We already know that they bought Rockefeller in the Senate...

        •  think. MadRuth nailed it: blackmail. (5+ / 0-)

          "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

          by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:29:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish I could believe that, but (0+ / 0-)

            ... are all the other Dems who plan to vote for this "compromise" also getting blackmailed?

            The only logical explanation for Democrats to sabotage their own earlier efforts is that they truly want more spying power for the government. And immunity for anyone who did (and will) go along with it.

            Everything else, I think, is just fishing in the dark for some way to make this treason comprehensible to us since our "representatives" don't have the courtesy to let us know what's going on.

            •  in the absence of facts all I have is my mind... (0+ / 0-)

              ...and my brilliant 20/200 mind's eye at that. While they think to purport to have a cushy career, all the perks, privileges and immunities from accountability, and the relative security of holding such high offices with impunity from the scrutinity of the rule of law, they have forgotten one unseemly check on their power: the power of the people. For as Jefferson once said, all of their JUST powers derive from the people. They are neither our rulers, nor are we their subjects. They work for us, and earn their daily substinence from our treasury-not theirs. However, therein lies the rub. There's a sinister element in the equation prominently at work here. Actually, four things. The monied interests or greed, the lust of power and the motive, means and opportunity to protect it and they themselves from the rule of law, the fear of an imperial president who has resurrected the dead bones of monarchy our Founding Fathers sought to bury forever, and the arrogance of power which gives them all an air of invincibility. I wrote in a post a long time ago that it may be time for a new Declaration of Independence. It may be too late for even that approach. Shall I be forced in the twilight of my years to witness the death of the dream our Founding Fathers had, and to go to my grave knowing that even though I did all in my meager, humble power to act as their sentinel and guardian, that I have failed miserably? It almost makes me wish that I hadn't been blessed with a gifted brain with the understanding to know the simple difference between the truth and a lie when the evidence is as clear as the nose on my bloody face!

              "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

              by ImpeachKingBushII on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:59:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  What evidence do you have (0+ / 0-)

        of blackmail and/or him being "bought and paid for"?

        •  Logic (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shiobhan, Kentucky Kid, ghett, RenMin

          If there's any other explaination, I'd like to hear it.

          "There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration". - Randall L. Tobias

          by MadRuth on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:18:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nearly $10M in 20 years from PACs (7+ / 0-)

          "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

          by shpilk on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:19:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the proof... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, shiobhan, TerribleTom

 oftentimes in the sheer illogicality of the end result. When an elected official who has nothing to fear from the people when he backs the people, suddenly and for no foreseen or logical reason defies the people, and when everything is weighed in the scales, isn't it a fair assumption that something has gone awry, something is eschew, something just doesn't add-up?

          Do you really believe that Bush is foolish enough to exclude his "worthy opponents" on the other side of the aisle from his warrantless wiretapping program if only as an added insurance policy against being prosecuted by the very same ones whom he is seeking to protect, and in this case to make tow the line? And what if something turns-up in Steny Hoyer's closet during one of Bush's wide-net sweeps of the international telecom systems of the world, that he most definitely doesn't want to reach the light of day? It's his word against Hoyer's and the tapes don't lie! My contention is they're all scared shitless of Bush!

          Wouldn't that alone be enough to silence his opposition, even in spite of all the logic to the contrary? Isn't that recisely why they call it blackmail? I think he's being blackmailed. Where there's smoke there's fire, and right now he's got a 5 alarm fire blazing away in his own backyard, imo.

          "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

          by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:39:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What about Pelosi and Reid? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MadRuth, James Kresnik, maxzj05

        What's their excuse?

    •  Bullshit (8+ / 0-)

      It has nothing to do with taking an issue away from the GOP.  That's the excuse corporate whore Dems always use when betraying the interests of their base, when you have to be a complete dumbshit to think that excuse holds ANY water or that they actully BELIEVE it when Bush has a 24% approval rating and the Republicans in Congress are at pretty low markes themselves.

      It has to do with two things pure and simple:

      1.  A lot of Democrats, especially Hoyer, either like the idea of a fascist police state, and/or
      1.  Democrats like Hoyer are really just whores to the people that pull their strings, i.e., wealthy and powerful contributors (which goes back to point number one and Musoulini's definition of fascism being that of the "corporate state.")
      •  If I hadn't personally watched... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pompatus, shiobhan, RenMin, SPD utter disdain and horror, Hoyer in action last year on 08.04.07, when single-handedly rammed the Protect America Act down Congress' throat, I wouldn't have believed that he stood for a fascist state. He dictated a one-hour debate and waived the MANDATORY THREE READINGS by the clerk, just so he could slide it by the American people, and just in time for their month-long vacation! My thoughts then and they remain to this day: he sold-out our Constitution and the American people on tht day, and I will never forgive him for doing it! Now I'm not so sure if your analysis isn't as valid as it appears on its face. In fact, I recall changing my sigline for a few months to: "08.04.07 It took the Titanic longer to sink than for the 110th Congress to surrender to Bush".

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:56:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's time for Obama to take Hoyer by the (0+ / 0-)

      hand to a corner, the way he did with Lieberman, and give him a stern talking-to.  

  •  What are the odds... (16+ / 0-)

    of an eventual primary challenge for Steny?

    The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:58:52 PM PDT

  •  So, what you're saying is that Hoyer's . . . (8+ / 0-)

    . . . a buffoon.  Check.

    Or, as Shakespeare might call him, a . . . " Poisonous bunch backed toad." (Richard III)


    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:59:36 PM PDT

  •  It's like they've forgotten how... (7+ / 0-)

    to be in charge... if we don't want telco immunity, we don't have to put it in...

    Do what the citizenry of this country wants... represent your constituents-- NOT the telcos!

    Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

    by mommyof3 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:01:22 PM PDT

  •  Obama (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, grrr, James Kresnik, RenMin, maxzj05

    We need to stop all the rah-rah about Obama.

    If he does not stop FISA why exactly would we be enthusiastic about his candidacy?

    •  Why do you want Obama to stop FISA? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Obviously (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, America, RenMin, maxzj05

        because he is the one Democrat with the power to do so.  He is the leader of the party now, and it is time for him to lead.

        "There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration". - Randall L. Tobias

        by MadRuth on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:08:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not just Obama (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MadRuth, ferg, SarahLee, RenMin

          Pelosi and Reid could both stop the "compromise" but choose not to.

          •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            America, RenMin, maxzj05

            that's why it's up to Obama.

            "There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration". - Randall L. Tobias

            by MadRuth on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:16:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. And we'll be able to see (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              what he's made off. Too bad we no longer have Clinton so we can pressure them both. It worked the last time the Senate voted on FISA, since neither wanted to be outdone by the other.

              I swear, if Obama takes the time to speak about fathers and to sandbag (which was both awesome and smart), I fully expect him to take a stand for the 4th Amendment and the integrety of US law. I'm certain he's aware that he can make this "compromise" go away. If he doesn't try, well, then we know...

          •  Pelosi has more power than Reid (6+ / 0-)

            She has a lot more control over what comes to the floor. If the House does it, and Rockefeller can get enough of his people behind him, it'd be pretty hard for Reid to keep it from coming up.

            Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

            by Joan McCarter on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:29:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Both Pelosi and Reid are sell outs too. (4+ / 0-)

              That should have been obvious when Pelosi said that impeachment was off the table.  And, lest we forget, Pelosi has been privvy to some of the more egregious abuses of the Bush Administration behind closed doors.

              The beauty of it is that so many Democrats (including so many on this website) think these people are on their side, just because they have "Ds" after their names and aren't as bad as the GOP.  

              Proving once again that when it comes to politics, the American people are stupid, naive, and gullible suckers.

              Let me tell you something.  If Obama becomes President, and assuming he REALLY WANTS to change things (instead of just talking about change), he's gonna get tons of opposition from members of his own party in Congress.

              Them's the facts.

              •  She and Harmon were privy... (0+ / 0-)

       the infamous torture memos way back in 2003! And that's just for starters. I want to know why? Why didn't she scream about it from the top of her lungs, then? She had nothing to lose, did she? Almost forgot. A nice juicy position lay ahead of her, didn't it, if she just learned to play ball, right? Too bad.

                "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

                by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:51:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  BS (Not to put too fine a point on it) (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ferg, Janet Strange, rdlafond, maxzj05, SPD

              The Senate Majority Leader has virtually total control over what comes to the floor.

              Moreover, Reid is responsible for creating this monster in the first place.  He could have brought the Judiciary Committee version (much better, and no telcom immunity) to the floor in the first place.  He could have honored Chris Dodd's hold.  (He has no trouble honoring colburn's holds.)  He could have helped Dodd's filibuster.  Instead, he did everything he could to ensure passage of Rockefeller's monstrosity, then courageously voted against it when its passage was assured.

              Reid deserves no slack on this one at all!

              "At least the war on the environment is going well."

              by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:17:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  She reminds me of what Einstein said about... (0+ / 0-)

     little of the human brain we actually use. If Madame Speaker Pelosi would stop and think long enough to actually READ & COMPREHEND what the House rules say about the power of Speaker of the House, then she'd stop making excuses to fail; she'd stop talking about all the time about the lack of power she has to restrain this imperial president, who has become no less than a scourge upon this republic, a parasite on our treasury, and the mortal enemy of our Constitution.

              She has all the power, as the 3rd in line to the presidency to stop this madman any time she so desires. She and she alone sets the legislative agenda. She and she alone sets the tone of the debates and indeed if there is going to be any debate. She decides if impeachment is on or off the table. She alone decides if Bush is going to be held in inherent Contempt of Congress for disobeying congressional subpoenas. In short, she single-handedly has the power to bring Bush's government to heel, literally bring him to his knees, begging for Congress' mercy-if she so desires! YES SHE CAN! So I ask, why doesn't she?

              Something besides the inherent lack of power claim is holding her back from standing up for America, and inquiring minds want to know what it is. Indeed, I demand answers from our elected representatives. if not, then we keep firing them until we get ANSWERS!

              "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

              by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:44:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  OH, you mean stop the compromise. I agree. (0+ / 0-)

          I thought you were saying for him to stop FISA altogether.

      •  I think you know what I mean... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RenMin, maxzj05

        And also:

        The focus has been on amnesty for telcoms--

        --it needs to be on warrantless wiretapping--

        that is the main problem: the executive branch wiretapping without oversight.

    •  Don't get confused about the FISA Act of 1978... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the Protect America Act, and the bill that's being proposed. FISA as it stands protects our rights under the Constitution! Why? Because it obeys the 4th Amendment's requirement that mandates that our government must show probable cause in front of a FISA court judge! That judge must approve that the government has proven it's case that a CRIME has been committed by YOU! And it further limits the scope and duration of the wiretaps on your conversations. It outlaws blanket sweeps that violate your rights! That's why Bush hates it so much. In his mind you have no rights; that the Constitution is nothing but "a goddam piece of paper"!

      "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:12:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's Senate Office (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Janet Strange

      (202) 224-2854
      Email Contact form:

      (These days it gets less traffic than the Campaign, so our calls would be more noticed)

      McCain: The best they could come up with.

      Masel4Senate 2012

      by ben masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You have to ask this question? (5+ / 0-)

    $14mm buys a lot of sway.  Why are people surprised that Hoyer would chose $ over the Constitution?

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:02:31 PM PDT

  •  done (5+ / 0-)

    $50 sent. I am sick of this.

    McCain insisted [no union member] would [pick lettuce for $50/hour] for a complete season. "You can't do it, my friends."

    by grrr on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:04:40 PM PDT

  •  Hoyer's a lot like Reid and Pelosi (8+ / 0-)

    They're more effective when in the minority, as it gives them the ability to criticize and talk tough, but without the expectation or obligation of actually having to prevail on the issues.  Now that they're in the majority, they act as though they're still operating under the same paradigm.

    What's the use of being in the majority if you're constantly having to the GOP's lunch?

  •  Keep calling Steny's Office, they aren't happy (18+ / 0-)

    Seems they are getting quite a few angry callers. Keep the pressure up.

    President Theodore Roosevelt,"No man can take part in the torture of a human being without having his own moral nature permanently lowered."

    by SmileySam on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

  •  Yo, Telcos: Don't do the crime if you can't (6+ / 0-)

    pay the dime.

    Call me any ugly name you choose --
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    -- Langston Hughes

    by TheCrank on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:06:32 PM PDT

  •  Mr. 29%....... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, samddobermann, ghett, RenMin

    Why in the world would any sane congressperson give in to a president that has an 29% approval rating, not to mention while they are doing so happens to infringe on our constitutional rights?

    There can only be three reasons: Are they simply being insane, or being bribed by telcos, or being blackmailed by Bush and his illegal wiretapping?

  •  It's time to get rid of these spineless enablers (6+ / 0-)

    Hoyer, Pelosi, Reid, etc.,  etc.    Just ask yourself what FDR would have said about these hacks and sell-outs.  Let's get back to basics.  Mr. Obama are you listening?

    Republicans don't govern, they trickle upward.

    by djohnutk on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:09:02 PM PDT

  •  Boyda's stance hasn't hurt (14+ / 0-)

    In fact, Boyda stance on FISA might even be part of the reason a brand new poll released today show's Boyda with a 68% approval rating & beating both her potential republican challengers

    Read about it here!

    •  Excellent news (5+ / 0-)

      and a great example of how this issue just doesn't hurt our guys. It just doesn't.

      Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

      by Joan McCarter on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:31:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks mcjoan your posts are always... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...exceedingly intellectually stimulating as usual. I've grown fond of your insightful analysis, as well as your strong stands for our Constitution and the inalienable rights of the American people; notwithstanding everything this imperial president has done contrary to everything our Founding Fathers ever fought for, stood for, and died for! If he had his way he would disinter their bones and hang them all in the Rose Garden. He would crown himself King. He would, I have no doubt turn us all into his subjects! Thanks, now I'm off to another thread! Highly tipped and rec'd. Ooops.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:02:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Attention mcjoan! (0+ / 0-)

      Next FP

      McCain: The best they could come up with.

      Masel4Senate 2012

      by ben masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:52:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, since Steny tells us the majority in the (6+ / 0-)

    House are bought and paid for by the telecoms, he has to go along.

    Way to inspire confidence in the Democratic Party, Steny. Great job.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

    by shpilk on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:10:19 PM PDT

  •  What is going on? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, Pompatus, RenMin

    Is Hoyer protecting himself, and others? And Rockefeller too? What is being hidden from scrutiny?

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

    by bumblebums on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:11:12 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, shiobhan, seabos84, ghett, RenMin

    Say what you will about Tom Delay.....
    Granted the guy had no redeeming qualities. But?
    There was a reason why his nickname was the hammer. Why can't the dem's  have someone like him.

    But instead we get stuck with asswhipes like Stenny.

  •  Jim Cooper wanted the senate bill back in March (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, shiobhan, RenMin

    From the email I got back on the subject:

    I voted against the House version of the FISA bill last Friday because I do not think we can risk our national security any longer.  The House version accepted nearly all of the provisions contained in its  Senate counterpart.  It does not achieve more than the Senate
    version, but is instead the product of a partisan political contest.  This contest does not make us safer and it does not protect our liberties.  We should put this false dispute behind us and accept the Senate's language.

    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:17:46 PM PDT

  •  We need to make it perfectly clear (7+ / 0-)

    to Steny Hoyer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Durbin that we understand this "good cop/bad cop" kabuki theater routine quite clearly, and that we are going to hang the ultimate blame for this on them if it passes. That we will work every day from here on forward until each and every one of them is defeated and booted from Congress for this treachery.

    I'm unemployed right now (by choice), but I'm sending $100 to the fund. I won't be contributing one more dollar to Barack's campaign, or ever to the DCCC or DSCC until this legislation is defeated.

    These people are detached from reality, and they don't care about this Republic. We need to show them the door.

  •  Opposed to it? (7+ / 0-)

    Why does he get away with saying he's "opposed to it" when he doesn't, you know, oppose it?

    He's for it.

    Steny Hoyer is for telco amnesty.

    It's like someone saying they're a "Reagan Democrat".

    No. You're not a "Reagan Democrat". You're a Republican.

    No self-respecting Democrat would vote for Reagan, Bush, Cheney ... any of those criminals. Democrats have too much respect for the law.

    Which, when I think of it, may be the problem.

    We keep bringing knives to the gunfight.

    Like not shaking our heads, making a buzzing noise, and going "WHAT!!!!!" when someone, anyone, says Hoyer is "opposed to it".

    Bullshit, Steny.

    If you're opposed to it, freaking oppose it!

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:24:48 PM PDT

  •  I don't understand this at all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, BoydaBloc, RenMin

    The majority of the Dem caucus is opposed to immunity like Obama, Reid, Durbin, Boyda and maybe Pelosi to name a few. But if the Dem caucus is mostly opposed to this, then who the hell in the caucus is forcing Steny's hand on this? I know my rep Chris Carney supports it and wrote a letter to Pelosi telling her to back off on denying immunity to the phone companies but one freshman Congresscritter can't be running the whole show.

    Then who is it, who's forcing Steny's hand.

  •  Where is Stainy from? What district? Who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, RenMin

    can we groom?

    Can anyone get Obama to make 1 phone call and have him eats this sleezes lunch? Geez this is an issue Dems win on. It will cost us if we give it away.

    If it passes can it be undone in 2009? Can people hold off in filing? Drop their present cases and refile later?

    I'll give later on tonight.

    Bush and McCain and their Social Security Privatization Plan.

    by samddobermann on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:26:06 PM PDT

    •  In answer to your question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Ordinarily, once the lawsuits are dismissed, they can't be reinstated -- unless the court dismisses "without prejudice." Undoubtedly the immunity provision in the new law wouldn't permit that.

      "At least the war on the environment is going well."

      by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:57:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who *Should* Be Majority Leader? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, shiobhan, James Kresnik, RenMin

    Talking about Hoyer not being majority leader is empty talk that he will ignore, unless we're talking about an actual replacement who competes with Hoyer. Start a credible replacement snowballing now, among the opinion leaders who are the blogosphere, and later it will have been where the next majority leader came from. Since Hoyer wants to keep the power, even when he doesn't exercise it on (supposedly) unbribed issues he supposedly opposes like telco FISA amnesty, he'll be threatened by an actual rival actually gaining some ground. So he might do something to keep that ground by actually killing amnesty.

    So who is that? I don't even know for sure who should be House Speaker, though I'm sure I don't like Pelosi, who waves the gavel but never slams it home. I want to see Chris Dodd become Senate Majority Leader, and I'm looking forward to Obama presiding over it all. But who should run the House, the chamber supposedly most responsive to the people, as the Majority Leader who actually sets the agenda that the Speaker executes?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:27:52 PM PDT

  •  what's being done to Pelosi, Hoyer, and Reid? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, RenMin

    can't we get good citizen-fearing democrats to run against them?
     It seems like it would be an easy campaign against them: Why didn't X want to impeach Bush? HOw much did X know about the wiretapping, the torturing?

    McSame is a 'don't tax-still spend' repug

    by deutschluz on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:29:13 PM PDT

  •  I'm proud of my Rep, Mike Arcuri... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, shiobhan, James Kresnik, RenMin

    ...Frosh Dem from NY-24 and the first Dem in that seat in decades. He may be a Blue Dog--which fits our predominantly GOP district--but he's been very solid on telcom immunity and anti-war funding.

    "In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

    by LearningCurve on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:32:56 PM PDT

  •  I faxed Arcuri yesterday about this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, shiobhan, RenMin

    Good to know he's not caving and is taking some initiative to stop Hoyer, because taking initiative and speaking out against Hoyer is exactly what I asked in my letter.

    Now we just need to find a new version of Donna Edwards so that Hoyer can meet the same fate as Al Wynn.  

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

    by LionelEHutz on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:35:02 PM PDT

  •  got a Dem fundraising call tonight (6+ / 0-)

    Told them no money until they got spinal adjustments.

    Will continue to donate to individual candidates with good policy platforms, but no money for this party.

    Impeachment is a Civic Responsibility

    •  Me too! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, Pompatus, shiobhan, rdlafond

      I cut the poor telephone solicitor off, said there's no way I could even consider donating to the DCCC while Hoyer is doing everything in his power to force a capitulation to Bush on warrantless wiretapping and telecom immunity.  I then said I bet they're getting a lot of responses like that.  She hung up.

      "At least the war on the environment is going well."

      by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:41:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone Please Contribute (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, Janet Strange, shiobhan

    If you can afford it, even a few bucks is meaningful if enough of us chip in.  I'm proud to say I made a contribution yesterday as soon as I saw Greenwald's post.

    Hoyer, being from Maryland, should be especially sensitive to the Albert Wynn example.  This ad campaign will definitely be money well spent.

    "At least the war on the environment is going well."

    by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:38:36 PM PDT

  •  Just Kicked in Ten Bucks. Better than 2 pints ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, shiobhan, RenMin

    of IPA ... not really ;)

    More important than 2 pints of IPA!


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:40:58 PM PDT

  •  Hoyer's office lied to me (5+ / 0-)

    Just yesterday, when I called, his spokesman swore up and down that all the press reports were false, and "we have no idea why they're printing these stories because they're not true."

    Now Hoyer himself admits that he is working on the "compromise."  

    Moreover, the story confirms Greenwald's information that aftter having ensured passage, Hoyer will personally vote against it so he can claim clean hands.  (Just like Reid did in the Senate.)

    They must really think we're stupid.  Well I've got news for them:  It doesn't work anymore.  Not with the netroots.  If they persist in this course, we'll take them all down.

    "At least the war on the environment is going well."

    by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:45:57 PM PDT

  •  Somebody's gotta have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, Timbuk3, shiobhan

    compromising pictures of Hoyer in a public men's room.

    It's the only explanation that makes sense.

    •  No, the actual answer is much simpler (5+ / 0-)

      Poliical cowardice and lack of any convictions.

      He doesn't care one way or the other about the issue.  All he cares about is enhancing the Democratic party's power.  He and many other congressional democrats are shaking in their shoes at the prospect that the Republicans will use expiration of the PAA wiretaps in August, just at the time of the Democratic convention, as an issue against them.

      Not only is this a craven, unprincipled position; it's stupid politically.  The republicans have already tried that issue, they really turned up the heat a couple of months ago when the House first balked at immunity.  No one cared.  It's a non issue.

      In fact, it would work for the Democrats.  Wouldn't it be nice if Obama could say in his acceptance speech that the Republicans are "even now using scare tactics to try to intimidate us into sacrificing our precious constitutional rights for an issusion of security.  But we will never bend on fundamental issues that are sacred to the meaning of America."  Etc. etc.

      "At least the war on the environment is going well."

      by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:54:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  THANK YOU MCJOAN! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, shiobhan, RenMin, LarryO

    I asked to have this receive more attention today, and I'm glad you guys here are on it.  It's the right move to make, and the growth of this coalition will be remarkable.

    Lawrence, KS - From ashes to immortality

    by MisterOpus1 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:57:01 PM PDT

  •  Why don't we adopt the Hastert rule? (5+ / 0-)

    He had an informal rule that NO legislation would make it to the floor of the House unless a majority of Republicans supported it.  Didn't matter if it would pass, it never saw the light of day.

    If Pelosi had any (metaphorical) balls, she'd do the same thing.

    "At least the war on the environment is going well."

    by RenMin on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:00:09 PM PDT

  •  Sent 'em $50. Barack, where are you? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, RenMin
  •  Steny W. Hoyer :) n/t (0+ / 0-)

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:37:06 PM PDT

  •  Greenwald was Right-Immunity Is A Done Deal (0+ / 0-)

    Some months ago Glenn Greenwald evaluated this issue in terms of traditional Democratic cave in politics only to reassess it when the Democratic House actually stopped the bill in its tracks.
    Now it appears the Glenn's original evaluation was correct.  The Democrats truly are spineless, and the temporary halt in the passage of an immunity bill was traditional political kabuki.

    What actually happened is that the only way Hoyer could get the Democrats to go through with a hard nosed vote defeating the measure was to promise them that it would come up for vote at a later time with cosmetic changes.  The Blue Dogs get their vote in favor of immunity, but have to wait a little while to do it.  It was the only way Hoyer could get the votes to defeat it at the end of last year.  It has to be understood in those terms unless you believe that Hoyer is lying when he says that he is against the measure.  That is, even if he is against it, he as to bring it to a vote because of his promise to the Blue Dogs.  That's the way things work in DC.

    Far from showing themselves Democrats with some spine, it was actually the use of one of the time tested political tricks employed many times over the course of a Congress to get votes for what you want from someone who is against it; those against it that they get their vote later, and Hoyer knowing that their vote plus the Republicans will pass it.  It is a political trade off; everybody gets what they need, and nobody gets hurt because we are only talking about the constitution.  It's not like anybody has to pay any more taxes or anything.  Hoyer can't back off; he gave his word.  if he backs off now, he might as well resign his leadership position, no one would ever believe him again.

    Hate to sound cynical, but that's the way it is, and you heard if first from Greenwald.

    •  I spoke with Feingold Friday (0+ / 0-)

      at the State D Convention. He seemed not hopeful, but not resigned to defeat.

      I left thinking he was going to post a call to arms here last Monday, not sure what to make of its absence.

      McCain: The best they could come up with.

      Masel4Senate 2012

      by ben masel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:01:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think a lot of Blue Dogs have... (0+ / 0-) freaking idea what the vote is all about.  I was shocked to find Rep. Childer's wishy-washy stance on FISA.  He really has no clear idea what's at stake here:
      Childers Unplugged

      But could you see yourself parting ways with the Blue Dogs on some of their philosophies? Take the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Sen. Kit Bond, of Missouri, proposed a FISA overhaul. His compromise includes unlimited warrant-less wiretapping for the executive branch for the next six years—without judicial oversight—and also grants retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that are alleged to have helped the Bush administration wiretap Americans without the warrants required by FISA. The Blue Dogs themselves have supported a Senate version that allows for warrant-less wiretapping and retroactive immunity, but should the House battle this compromise or let it slide on through?
      I’ll be honest with you. I am not as familiar with that issue as I should be, but I imagine I will be familiar with it very soon. I believe in protecting people’s rights. I’ve been taking a stance for that. There was a bill, for instance, allowing some military contractors to administer—I don’t want to use the word "tortureԗ eh, maybe "pressure" is the word?

      Frankly, we need to leave military issues like that to military people. I’m not really that big on subcontractors having unlimited authority over this kind of thing. Then there was another bill that would require the military to videotape every single detainee and every single question that was asked and all that, but I believe the military should have at least some latitude in how it protects us.

      What does that say about your opinion on the FISA issue?
      I’m a pretty firm individual’s-rights person. I’m not so sure I could sign on to giving unlimited immunity to telecom companies who’ve given information on citizens to the government.

      And of wiretapping—does it still need a warrant?
      Yes, yes it does. The Blue Dogs have a fiscal philosophy that I relate to, but I know I won’t agree with them on everything. I’m a Democrat, but I always won’t agree with my Democratic fellows. We agree on many issues, but any person—Republican, Democrat or Independent—if you go up to Washington and vote with one group all the time then you’re just being a follower, and what good does that do your voters?

      So I don't know about his position on any other issues, but he certainly doesn't sound like he's chomping at the bit to vote for whatever Hoyer is ginning up.  We really need to politely educate every last corner of the caucus, especially Blue Dogs that Hoyer thinks he has in his pocket. Let's try to phone him at (202) 225-4306.
      Or if you're really into persuading him, then send him some money but channel it around the DCCC for the time being and be sure to tell them why:
      Act Blue link to Rep Childers in Mississippi's 1st District

  •  yesterday I emailed and phoned... (0+ / 0-)

    the relevant persons on two issues. The FISA compromise and the Rove testimony. I emailed the Obama Campaign and called the Chicago office and expressed my concern and suggested in that Obama was the titular head of the Party it was time to assert himself regarding the FISA compromise.

    In each instance, and with each office, my comments were met with respect. Excluding Speaker Pelosi. The response from that office was cold and I had the distinct impression my opinion, comments held no value.

    Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. - Thucydides

    by JasperJohns on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:02:41 PM PDT

  •  Time to primary Steny Hoyer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No room in the big tent for Democrats who do Bush's dirty work.

    Obama / Mabus 2008:

    by simca on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:17:48 PM PDT

  •  Obama Leadership-Leave Him a message (0+ / 0-)

    I fully agree with replies to this post and others that this is an issue that Barack Obama needs to take leadership on right now.  No amnesty is his position.  As the leader of the party and presumptive nominee and as a powerful senator he needs to have a frank discussion with the leaders and the American people.  He can kill or delay this horrible threat to our freedom until after the election.  He has the power because he has the pulpit.  

    I just posted the following message to the Obama website in three different locations.  I know they have moderators but the volume is high so things get missed.  I posted it as a reply in the open thread.  Then in My Blog and sent it to all my groups.  I don't know how well they are monitored at the national level but you never know who will pick up on something.  Finally you can go to Contact us>Other Questions and there is a message form to fill out.  

    Please take time to let Barack know how you feel.  Some say he play it safe and lay low until after the election.  Given the vast majority who oppose amnesty I see it just the opposite way.  This is one he can win for us and demonstrate his leadership.  

    Dear Barack:

    This is an open plea to you as the head of the Democratic Party and as a powerful senator in your own right to take a leadership position. I call on you to faithfully defend the constitution you have sworn an oath to uphold.

    I call on you to send a strong signal to us, your loyal supporters, that you are the people's leader. The people of our nation strongly oppose retro-active amnesty to tel-cos for unlawful wire-tapping. You know this. Congress knows this yet they continue to dither and deal.

    You Barack Obama have stated that you are against this action as a matter of policy. It is time to lend Congress your strong backbone, to give them some spine. Call the congressional leaders today and highly encourage them to at least put this off until after the election if they do not have the votes to out right kill it.

    We believe in you. We have your back. We need your leadership at this crucial moment in history when our constitution remains under threat. Please make the call for us and for our country. Sometimes yes we can has to be yes you can. We can only do so much. We will follow but you must lead. As the head of the party, the buck stops with you. Make the call Senator. Please make the call.


    1. 224-2854

    Email Contact form:

    (These days it gets less traffic than the Campaign, so our calls would be more noticed)

    McCain: The best they could come up with.

    Masel4Senate 2012

  •  In conjunction with the next FP post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the question gets posed, who's the bigger BS artist, "Curveball" or Steny?

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by ActivistGuy on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 09:48:52 PM PDT

  •  I just gave $100 to Act Blue v. Immunity... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Civil Defiance

    ...match it or you have to clean Alberto Gonzales' house for a year!

  •  Are we in a (0+ / 0-)

    bidding war with the telcos for Congress? You've got to be joking.

    Free university and healthcare for all, now.

    by SoCalHobbit on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 11:45:44 PM PDT

  •  At this point... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the only reason I can think of for retaining Hoyer as majority leader is because they don't want a scandal in the early stages of the campaign. But he's becoming an embarrassment: opposed not only by most of his own party but by the other members of the leadership with these inane quisling antics to Bush and the telecoms.

    Barney Frank would be a perfect choice, and a bold statement in this year, of all years. It's sad that a heterosexual man with his qualifications and intelligence wouldn't just be Majority Leader, he'd probably be president.

  •  $ 30.01 from Civil D (0+ / 0-)

    Core issue, people, pony up what you can. The "leadership" does not hear our voices, maybe they'll hear our $$$. It has worked before.

    It's the Constitution, Stupid!

    by Civil Defiance on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:09:26 AM PDT

  •  Signal the Obama Campaign Here ! (0+ / 0-)

    go here
    and comment.

    if there's enough traffic, the campaign will pay attention.

    let 'em feel the pressure on all fronts



    Tell the DCCC -


  •  I suggest everyone check Glenn Greenwald's (0+ / 0-)

    article, plus update, at Salon.
    It is must reading.
    Things do not look good, but I am still e-mailing etc.
    We should keep the pressure on, regardless.

  •  It is a little frightening to think (0+ / 0-)

    that less than ten years ago we wouldn't have had the infrastructure in place to challenge this ridiculous invasion of privacy. Not only that, but consider the ramifications if we hadn't taken back the Senate and House. We are treading very thin ice here, no matter what polling says for 2008. Republicans are crooked and if they can cheat they will. We must remain vigilant.

    Some say we need a third party. I wish we had a second party. -- Jim Hightower

    by joe m on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:48:28 AM PDT

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