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The House currently stands in recess, subject to the call of the chair. That means nothing's going on on the House floor right now, and that's the case because the Rules committee is meeting to work out the procedure under which the Iraq war supplemental will come to the floor later this afternoon.

It's already late afternoon on Thursday, with just one more week in session for the Congress before it breaks for its July 4th recess. Still pending are the supplemental and the FISA bill, two enormously important pieces of legislation that the Congress definitely wants to dispense with before it breaks.

That puts us in a similar position to last December, when Senator Chris Dodd's filibuster of the FISA bill backed the Senate up against the recess wall, and the bill was eventually pulled so that they could finish up other pressing business before their recess.

Under ordinary circumstances, the deals that have been cut on these two bills would pretty much make them a done deal, especially in the House where there's very little capacity to significantly delay a bill for which there is the support of a determined majority. In the Senate, of course, a 60-vote majority can overcome even the famed filibuster power.

But sometimes, all you really need is a delay, and that is something that an equally determined minority -- even a very small one -- can almost always provide, if they're willing to endure varying degrees of the scorn of their colleagues.

In the House, the ground rules of the debate will be set by the Rules committee, as usual. But within the usual procedure used by the chair to put the Rules committee dictates in place are often numerous opportunities to cause delay, none of which are enough by themselves to significantly slow down important legislation, but which together can buy an hour here, an hour there, and pretty soon, you're talking about real time.

For instance, the House is asked for unanimous consent for various procedural and ministerial functions dozens of times during any given day. Most of them are merely requests routinely granted out of courtesy to colleagues, such as unanimous consent requests to insert written material in the record. But others, though equally routine, are requests for things like dispensing with the reading of bills, which can sometimes take hours all by itself. That's a huge waste of time (even though most Members haven't read the bills), and it's routinely dispensed with... unless somebody's pissed off. And then they utter the magic words, "I object." And then we either sit through hours of bill reading, or have to call everyone out of their meetings and onto the floor for a vote authorizing the dispensation of the reading, or whatever it is that's been objected to.

With two highly controversial bills coming down the pike in two days in the House, and the Senate poised to take them up immediately after, the serial objections of Members who want to slow things down can really add a significant burden to the work of passing them. What's more, you don't even really have to object in the end (though you might force a vote if you do, and that's 15 minutes by itself right there). Instead, you can rise and "reserve the right to object," and sometimes go on at some length about why you're thinking of objecting, casting about for some sort of concession or accommodation from the other side before withdrawing or finally asserting your objection. And if you're not the only one with potential objections, well, this can go on for some time.

But in end, House rules make it nearly impossible to hold matters up for much more than a few hours or a day. Twice that, though, if you've got two bills facing the same threat.

And that brings us to the Senate, where the power of a very small minority to delay is considerably greater, though also limited. But if the supplemental were delayed for a day in the House, thus delaying the FISA bill for another day in the House, you'd find FISA not reaching the Senate until early next week -- unless the Senators gave up their weekend to get to it, which is a distinct possibility.

But if FISA and/or the supplemental didn't get to the Senate until next week, and one Senator attempted to "hold" the bill, the bill's supporters would make a motion to proceed, which can overcome the "hold" (which is itself just another form of objecting to unanimous consent). The motion to proceed, however, is itself subject to a filibuster. And if a Senator did in fact begin a filibuster of the motion to proceed, although a cloturemotion could shut him or her down, the Senate by rule must wait two days before voting on cloture, and even if cloture is invoked, it still allows for 30 additional hours of debate before calling things to an end. That's more than three days that it would take just to get to a vote on the motion to proceed.

And if that weren't enough, the underlying bill may be subject to a filibuster as well, though it's possible that the particular procedures used to move these bill could conceivably preclude it. But if not, you'd be looking at another three days. That puts them right up against their recess.

Now, if that were to happen with both the supplemental and FISA (and no, I haven't heard of any combination of Senators who were willing to do that to either one, let alone both), then you could find yourself approaching the end of next week with neither bill complete, and that recess looming. Could they just wait until after the recess and take it up then? Sure. So what's the value of that?

The only value there is that from early July through early August is the last five legislative weeks before the Congress breaks for the national party conventions. The last chance for the parties to frame their issues going into the big show. And the last chance for Barack Obama to be a Senator.

At this point, Barack Obama is the nominal leader of the Democratic Party. He's opposed to retroactive immunity for the telecoms, and everyone who was opposed to it before this so-called "deal" was struck is, you'll notice, still opposed to it, though some have opted to throw up their hands and pretend they're being forced to vote on it.

But a word from Barack Obama at this point would have the potential to change everything. A word from him saying that this "deal" stands in direct contradiction to the agenda he's bringing to the presidential race would weigh heavily on Majority Leader Harry Reid, who's really only getting heavy pressure from Intelligence committee chairman Jay Rockefeller on this, and thus is likely to be inclined (despite his own opposition to immunity) to grease that particular squeaky wheel. There could be a counterbalance from Judiciary chairman Pat Leahy, but so far, we haven't heard that squeak. He's issued a statement saying he opposes the "deal," but he's not pushing the way Rockefeller is pushing. And though Reid is the Majority Leader, that's as much a service position as it is a leadership position. His membership just isn't telling him no. The voices that are speaking with conviction are the voices saying yes.

Barack Obama, though, is the heavyweight in the arena right now, and his voice, properly applied, could be worth a dozen chairmen. But he's not using it, and in fact, there's no guarantee he ever will.

But get us into next week, pitch a fight in the Senate, back the Congress up against the recess wall, and call in the biggest gun we have, and we just might have that snowflake's chance in the hot place.

UPDATE: And here comes the rule for the supplemental, on the floor now.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:29 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •   Being Silent is like being for it (12+ / 0-)

      Unless Barack comes out strong against this bill/vote we must assume he supports it. This is not the time to be wishy washy.

      Stand up and be count Barack, or step aside and we will run new primarys.

      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 Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:37:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  past time (12+ / 0-)

        to show some real leadership and put to use the office and authority he already has.

        •  This bill is an attack on freedom. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eaglecries, Skid, BonzoDogBand, ZAP210

          In my book, that's a pretty basic issue that isn't going to be trumped by anything else. I understand the urge to rush to the "center" in general elections, but the "center" isn't particularly keen on having this country deteriorate into a police state. Please point out to me the ordinary voter (not the Fox Noise drone) that is in favor of this, and I will understand the abject fear our Democratic majority has on this issue.

          This is truly a test of leadership. So far, Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have failed. Senator Obama has an incomplete. Don't let that turn into a "F", Barack.

          Pie corrupts. Absolute pie corrupts absolutely.

          by Pastry Assassin on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:04:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hoyer is blaming the Blue Dogs. (7+ / 0-)

            link

            A potential revolt by a group of Democrats pressed party leaders into compromising on a rewrite of electronic surveillance rules that could come to a House vote by week’s end, a top Democrat said Wednesday.

            Asked why Democrats don’t put aside the surveillance legislation until a new president is elected in November, Hoyer said he would prefer to do so, but can’t because so many House Democrats are prepared to vote for the Senate bill that he and other top House Democrats oppose.

            "Clearly enough Democrats have indicated in the House they would vote for the Senate bill if it came to the floor. The alternatives are either the Senate bill or a bill significantly better" reached through negotiations with the Senate and the White House, he said.

            Bullshit. Pelosi can just not allow the bill to ever come to the floor.

            Pelosi and Hoyer want this crap bill to pass, period.

            I hope this site soon formally calls for the replacement of Pelosi, Hoyer, and Reid.

      •  Just called Obama's and Hoyer's offices (14+ / 0-)

        urging the first to speak against it, the second to back down from pushing it.  This shit has to stop.  Smiley, you are absolutely right.  There is no middle ground on this question.  Silence is cowardice.

      •  Maybe our "star" Obama isn't ours... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skid

        ... but he's already been "brought" by some other powers... No one on this site could really bring up a single issue where he as a Senator stood up and demonstrated any leadership. Not even trying to filibuster the Alito nomination. Now, the Constitution and 800 years of western legal precedence of individual rights and liberties hands by a single precarious vote on the SC...

        Obama may be the "pretty face" that allows the perpetrators of war crimes and the looting of our treasury to get away with it all. He's Wall Street "B team" choice since the A team screwed up so badly...

        •  You mean he's not the Messiah he's worshipped as? (0+ / 0-)

          I have supported Obama, but I have also cringed at the over-the-top expectations many have had of him too. Believe me, for whatever progressive issues Barack supports he is still a politician, not Jesus. I really would like him to speak up here and now against this, but so far I hear little to nothing that is substantial.

          "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

          by Skid on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:23:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't take a messiah (0+ / 0-)

            to do the right thing.

            He's careful with his political capital, both with voters and with D.C. shit-bags like certain speakers of certain houses. I think here he's estimating the fallout with us will be less damaging than the fallout with the fuckers he will have to work with down the road.

            Let's face it, no matter how pissed off we get that he didn't stick his neck out for justice, we still have to vote for the guy.

            But if he doesn't do something soon he won't see another fifty bucks from me.

    •  If this is the knife fight, (9+ / 0-)

      where's the gun?  

      Time to put money where the mouth is, O.  

    •  Don't hold your breath... (10+ / 0-)

      He's not going to make any move against this other than to state his position when asked that he's against it.  He won't object, and he won't filibuster, and I seriously seriously doubt he'd try to use his leverage as the nominee to get other people to stop this.  

      He's running for President now and he's not going to take a chance on some daring thing like this backfiring.  I guarantee it.  

      He's a better than average politician, but he's still a politician, don't fool yourselves.

      •  He's no Chris Dodd--it's clearly not his style (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skid

        Confrontation wasn't Obama's approach before, and it's even less his approach now.  He'd put HRC on his ticket before he raised holy hell in public on FISA.

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

        by RFK Lives on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:50:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So where's Chris Dodd then? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, Skid, Alan Arizona

          Or Leahy or Feingold?

          John McCain--he's not who you think he is.

          by Mimikatz on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:56:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I spoke with Feingold Friday (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk, Skid, Alec82

            He and Dodd were going to "do everything possible" to kill this bill. His tone and bodylanguage were not particularly hopeful, but not surrendered either.

            McCain: The best they could come up with.

            Masel4Senate 2012

            by ben masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't vote for HRC (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Skid

              But her campaign is a model for what I want progressives to do to the FISA bill:

              - Never, ever concede anything

              - Use every single available procedural tactic, even questionable ones, to defeat or slow the bill. Make bill proponents pay dearly for every step forward they take on the bill.

              - Question the motives of those who oppose you and make their lives miserable until they concede

              - Hold hostage the priorities of proponents of the bill: if they want a school or highway named, object, complain, hold it up

              - Never admit it's over, ever, keep fighting until you're absolutely overrruled in a floor fight

              •  She didn't even show up for FISA vote (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew

                last big FISA vote during early primary, she didn't even bother showing up.

                She only fight for her own presidency.

              •  They'll throw the kitchen sink at each other, but (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk

                capitulate the Republicans and their thralls with little more than a grumbling.
                Sad day for America. Again.

                "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

                by Skid on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:29:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Feingold 6/19/08 (0+ / 0-)

            The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration."
            http://www.wispolitics.com/...

            •  Like a sternly written letter though? (0+ / 0-)

              Thats what gets me. Mnay say they're against it, but what are they really DOING about fighting it?
              Talk is cheap, moreso now than ever.

              "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

              by Skid on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:31:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Just got email from Leahy... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skid

            ...saying he'll oppose the bill when the Senate votes next week.

            Now, we all know that "oppose" doesn't necessarily mean "throw oneself on the tracks".

            Remember Hillary's campaign? That's what I want against the FISA bill, a total kicking and screaming war against it using whatever tactics are available against the opposition and a total disregard for the fact that everyone knows it's over.

            Hillary's campaign (though I opposed it) was all about never surrendering, damn the torpedos, do whatever's necessary to win. Where are the Dems now?

        •  Right now I'd settle for... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, LostInTexas, Skid

          ... a statement from David Axelrod saying that gutting the Fourth Amendment makes Obama frowny-faced.

          Silence = tacit endorsement. No way around it.

      •  So, why should I send him some money? N/T (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skid

        " Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution." Sen Rob't. Byrd 10/11/02.

        by LEP on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:38:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well that's easy... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Possibly Intoxicated

          Because as President he'd be a hell of a lot better than McCain.  Maybe Obama won't raise a finger to stop this, but he's also not likely to push for 4-8 more years of these kinds of shenanigans.  McCain on the other hand...

          •  Well, you're logical (0+ / 0-)

            but I am so disillusioned after the 2006 elections. How could it have been any worse if the Republicans had held Congress?

            " Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution." Sen Rob't. Byrd 10/11/02.

            by LEP on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:47:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Two words (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LEP, eaglecries

              Donald Rumsfeld

              Whatever else has happened, the land slide election and the political climate insured the ousting of Rumsfeld.  There are many many things still wrong, but getting somebody in as SecDef who knows what he's doing and isn't itching to bomb Iran has been a huge blessing.

              Furthermore, recognize that the majority we have is somewhat of an illusion.  The Senate majority is razor thin and only held because Lieberman caucused with Democrats.  In a body where you need 60 votes to really get much of anything done, that "majority" isn't going to get you very far.  How many good bills have been sundered by that?  A lot.

              In spite of that we've actually seen a fair amount of good things happen.  Yeah we keep the Iraq war going, but in the mean time, they've managed to push through good things.  When they have a real majority, they'll likely do even better.

              But let's keep it real here.  There's still a ton of blue dogs who happily undermine a lot that we want to do.  Also, as Democrats gain power, the temptation to corruption will grow for them and we'll have to work hard to weed them out.  

              2006 made a huge difference, and 2008 will make things even better.  It doesn't mean we'll get to sit back on our laurels and that our country will become a utopia overnight.  We will have to work hard and keep them honest, and they'll still disappoint us routinely.  That's the nature of the beast.  

        •  Send a photocopy of an unsigned check (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LEP, Skid

          with an attached note indicating you're holding it, pending his actions on the wiretap bill.

          McCain: The best they could come up with.

          Masel4Senate 2012

          by ben masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:01:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Come on Barack (13+ / 0-)

    Do the right thing.

    We got your back.

    "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" - Al Gore

    by racerx on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:33:00 PM PDT

  •  This must be how Sisyphus felt. (17+ / 0-)

    Rolling the same giant rock pointlessly up the same giant hill, over and over and over ...

    Who knew enforcing the Constitution was so unlikely?

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:33:48 PM PDT

  •  Can you expound? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IngeniousGirl

    ...everyone who was opposed to it before this so-called "deal" was struck is, you'll notice, still opposed to it, though some have opted to throw up their hands and pretend they're being forced to vote on it.

    I have the impression this isn't so. Can you set me and a hundred others like me straight, please, by adding some detail here?

    •  that is Stenys excuse lately (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skid, Norbreacht

      He claims he can't stop it and so is being forced to let it come to the floor. It's bull but that's his story and he's sticking to it.

      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 Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:38:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Even Steny Hoyer... (10+ / 0-)

      says he's only reluctantly for it because he feels it needs to get done, and because he brokered the deal. The way people who want to switch will do it is by hanging their hats on a naked assertion that "this bill is different."

      They won't be able to explain why, because it isn't really different on the question of immunity. Yes, the decision is moved from the FISC to district court, but the nature of the "decision" hasn't changed. Either court would merely be asked to "decide" whether or not the president said it was OK.

      Not whether he was allowed to say that, but whether he did.

      But because something changed, they will bet everything on no one noticing that it was the location where the whitewash will be performed and nothing else.

      •  so... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heimyankel, smintheus, Hiro, Skid

        The only thing that has changed is their desire to try to fool us and pass a giveaway?

        That's probably just as bad as if they truly changed their minds, beyond Falstaffian.

      •  Aren't the Bushies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skid

        Trying for their own immunity here?  Isn't that what it's really about, as much as the telecoms?  

        I've called Hoyer (when it first went up this am, got a real person), and Pelosi, Feinstein and Obama's DC office a little bit ago, got a staff person.  I always stress that people back there have no idea how upset people in the country are about this, that it will make a ral difference, and that this year of all years they don;t have to capitulate.

        What's with Rockefeller?  What's he afraid of?  Did the telecoms tap his phone and get something?  With his money I'd think it has to be something more than campaign donations.

        John McCain--he's not who you think he is.

        by Mimikatz on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know what it is with Rockefeller, exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, Skid

          It's ego, he's invested in it.

          And it's his Tom Clany fan-boy obsession with the "coolness" of intelligence.

          And it's his misunderstanding of the leeway he has as a sitting Senator to really have put up a public fight about this from the very beginning, rather than timidly lock away his handwritten missives to, of all people, Dick Cheney.

          He's always been under the impression that because this had to do with "national security," he couldn't get the input and assistance he needed from legal experts, or reveal his concerns to a wider circle than just Darth Cheney. But the "speech and debate" clause has been there all along, waiting to cover his ass if he'd just use it. And he didn't even know it.

          What's the Bush "administration" want out of this? The least amount of trouble possible. Although if they're lying awake at night worried about being prosecuted, I don't think they've been reading the papers. It ain't happening.

        •  Rockefeller is my Senator and I'm convinced that (0+ / 0-)

          he is complicit, or at least believes that he is. I believe that he either thinks his ass needs to be covered by immunity, or else it actually needs to be covered by it.

          I'm also convinced that he was complicit in the ordering of torture of detainees, and this immunity thing will help cover his ass on that one as well.

          He was on the Senate Select Oversight Committee for Defense Intel and they briefed him on all this stuff, as well as the complete pre-Iraq invasion NIE which stated flatly that Hussein wasn't a threat to the U.S. But he voted to give Bush the power anyway.

          There used to be a term limit for serving on his committee but when his time was almost up, the Repubs curiously got rid of the term limits so he could stay on. He's used his "intel insider" status to influence a lot of these civil liberty giveaway bills.

          I call him Jay RobberBaron because it's in his DNA to be so elitist that he doesn't give a rats ass about what we peons think about forking over our rights.

      •  Kagro, it is time for the DKos FP to formally (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eaglecries

        call for the replacement of Reid, Hoyer, and Pelosi.

        Every journey begins with a first step.

        Use your power.

        Reid, Hoyer, and Pelosi are about to allow Bush to write law from his desk by just issuing a letter, as regards domestic spying.

        What is that, the power of imperial decree?

        WTF, Reid, Hoyer, and Pelosi love to placate the Blue Dog wing; hey, what about placating OUR wing?

        •  What power? We've been against this crap (0+ / 0-)

          since day 1 and it still gains momentum with our so-called representatives in government.
          They just want you to get on the Feel Good Obama-palooza train and let them do whats best for themselves us.

          "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

          by Skid on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:41:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here is Russ Feingolds position today (0+ / 0-)

      The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration."

      This diary about Wexlers position was posted earlier.
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Writing to Leahy right now, (4+ / 0-)

    I'll be asking him to fight this abomination anyway he knows how. His opposition is nice, but I want more, Bernie Sanders will be getting a note too.

  •  Do the right thing Obama. (6+ / 0-)

    The American people will support you but only if you do the right thing.

    Take a stand on FISA and withdraw your radio as in support of Barrow.

    Do the right thing Barrack, justify our faith in you.

    John McCain "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

    by notquitedelilah on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:35:56 PM PDT

    •  (202) 224-2854, Fax (202) 228-4260 (0+ / 0-)

      Call Obama's office: (202) 224-2854, Fax (202) 228-4260.

      Tell him that you know for a fact that enough Hillary supporters will vote for McCain to deny Obama the election, on the idea that if he doesn't have the spine to come out and speak/act now to stop telco immunity, he doesn't have the guts to stop the Iraq War.  (Add that if he has the power to move the DNC to Chicago, he has the power to kill telco immunity.)

      This should get his office staff's attention.

      John McCain will end Roe v. Wade if he's president.

      by Phoenix Woman on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:08:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats: Stand up for our Consitutional rights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, IngeniousGirl

    We are watching.

    It does make a difference.

    We won't forget.

    Do the right thing.

    Do it now.

  •  Man it would be nice (5+ / 0-)

    to hear Obama talk in detail about privacy for a change. Pardon the pun. It's a winning issue.

    Electronic Data Mining is Bi-Partisan.

    by plok on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:36:14 PM PDT

  •  I called his campaign. The box was full. (5+ / 0-)

    I sent him an e-mail and told him I would hold him accountable.  I don't have to donate, and I don't have to vote.    I called Pelosi and complained to high heaven.  Told her I would take it out on every Dem within my reach.   I don't think any of it will do a lick of good.  As I've being saying, hope and two bucks will get buy you a cup of coffee.  The proof is in the pudding.  Step by step, we'll see who Barack Obama is.

    Republicans don't have 60 votes, and it doesn't seem to bother them one bit.

    by dkmich on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:38:04 PM PDT

    •  same here on my Pelosi call, dumped I mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich

      unceremoniously dumped into the "comment" mail box.

    •  Good luck (6+ / 0-)

      I hope he does the right thing. But the following news from TPM does not make me optimistic:

      Barack Obama has cut a radio spot for conservative Dem Rep. John Barrow of Georgia, who favors staying in Iraq and favors immunity for the telecom companies, and he's taking a beating from liberal bloggers over it.

      Barrow is loathed by the Netroots, and not without cause: During his 2006 reelection campaign he ran an ad saying that "we can't cut and run" from Iraq. And he was one of the House Dems who sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi demanding that they be permitted to vote for the recent Senate bill giving amnesty to the telecoms.

      Obama's helping Barrow, one of the fuckwit blue dogs hankering for this piece of shit legislation. How likely is it that he steps up against it expending that ever so precious 'political capital'?

      Color me jaded. If he steps up, great. But I'm not holding my breath.

      You can lead a conservative to facts--but you can't make him think.

      by DelicateMonster on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:43:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow another long pause to consider the unity pres (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno, dkmich, DelicateMonster

        idea, and what does that truly mean for individuals vs. corporations... this does not bode well in my mind for US.

      •  It is kind of a mixed bag of worms. The (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DelicateMonster
        problem here as regarding Georgia is that no liberal Democrat would ever get elected in Georgia. I would think that Obama is trying to get a Democrat elected in Georgia.

        I agree that if Obama could say or do anything that would stop the FISA bill I wish he would do it.

        I am completely disgusted with our Democrats in Congress for even thinking about putting this bill through.

        Peace
        :)

        June 3rd 2008 America is at last started on the road to long awaited recovery

        by eaglecries on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:44:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama MUST take a stand! (6+ / 0-)

      Yes Senator, WORDS matter. In this case, YOUR words may be the only thing standing between what's left of our constitution, and the shredder. Do what you, a constitutional scholar, know is right. We are watching.

    •  Obama's Senate Offices in Illinois (0+ / 0-)

      District Office- Moline:
      1911 52nd Avenue
      Moline, IL 61265
      Phone: 309-736-1217
      Fax: 309-736-1233

      District Office- Springfield:
      607 East Adams Street
      Springfield, IL 62701
      Phone: 217-492-5089
      Fax: 217-492-5099

      District Office- Chicago:
      John C. Kluczynski Federal Office Building, Suite 3900
      230 South Dearborn
      Chicago, IL 60604
      Phone: 312-886-3506
      Fax: 312-886-3514

      District Office- Marion:
      701 North Court Street
      Marion, IL 62959
      Phone: 618-997-2402
      Fax: 618-997-2850

      McCain: The best they could come up with.

      Masel4Senate 2012

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:03:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BARACK - TIme to Step Up! (7+ / 0-)

    And show us what kind of Leader you will be!

    Show us! Do the right thing! Protect our privacy! Defend our Constitution!

    Make us proud you're our man!

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias - Stephen Colbert

    by edfreeze on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:39:14 PM PDT

  •  I believe this was the "deal" all along to lull (6+ / 0-)

    everyone in the "public" into a sense of false security that this issue had been put to rest.  I feel that this is a deliberate attempt of Congress to slip it past us now, after we used energy and activism on the original bill - it is just bait and switch program.

    I don't believe for one moment the Barack will weigh in, and I believe that Pelosi, Reid and others wanted this taken care of.

    Why?  No just campaign donations, but I believe they had a direct involvement in granting immunity to the telecoms somehow some way, and they cannot be embarassed in court when the telecoms waive that evidence in front of us.

    I feel cheated and angry at our Dems and Reps both sides.

    Why?  Because once again they put the Corporation's interests above the Individual's interest.

    A very frustrated Blue Star Mom

    •  and Pelosi still has to worry about being a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hiro, eaglecries

      co conspiritor along with Bushco on war crimes. She and others had knowledge of waterboarding, wiretapping etc, so of course they don't want impeachment brought up.

      Disgusting.

      If we cannot elect this man, we don't deserve him.

      by lisastar on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  patience!!!! he's reviewing it now!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paintitblue
  •  Obama's Senate voice mail box is full (5+ / 0-)

    The campaign volunteers are citing his co-sponsorship last time around of the Dodd bill.  So Obama has no policy reason for stopping this ill designed "compromise" - that just tries to dress up the capitulation Obama already opposed by having Federal judge's be the beards of the Congress and President.  As my Senator, Obama should stop this bill.  As the candidate for change Obama should stop this bill.

    If anything untoward happened to the Republic,  it would either have nothing to do with FISA or, if it did, would be the result of the misfeasance of the current President.  There is no down side Senator Obama.

    •  My fax went through (0+ / 0-)

      Didn't the DLC-ers scoff when Howard Dean and the DNC put money into Mississippi?

      by Bill White on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Illinois office numbers (0+ / 0-)

      District Office- Moline:
      1911 52nd Avenue
      Moline, IL 61265
      Phone: 309-736-1217
      Fax: 309-736-1233

      District Office- Springfield:
      607 East Adams Street
      Springfield, IL 62701
      Phone: 217-492-5089
      Fax: 217-492-5099

      District Office- Chicago:
      John C. Kluczynski Federal Office Building, Suite 3900
      230 South Dearborn
      Chicago, IL 60604
      Phone: 312-886-3506
      Fax: 312-886-3514

      District Office- Marion:
      701 North Court Street
      Marion, IL 62959
      Phone: 618-997-2402
      Fax: 618-997-2850

      McCain: The best they could come up with.

      Masel4Senate 2012

      by ben masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:07:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who can give us the delay- Wexler, Kucinich, (11+ / 0-)

    someone else?

    And for those opposed to this type of crap, Glenn Greenwald and Firedoglake are running a fundraiser to go after those who are most responsible for it (Hoyer, Barrow, and to my utter disappointment, Chris Carney)

    http://www.actblue.com/...

    And they've partnered up with some prominent Ron Paul supporters (including the guy who engineered the $6 million in a day money bomb) here:

    http://thestrangebedfellows.com/

    John McCain: Healthcare for kids? Not in the Bush-McCain America.

    by bosdcla14 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:42:28 PM PDT

  •  Maybe Obama Wants This New Power (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe he wants to be able to eavesdrop on every Republican and Democrat. One can only assume since he is now the Head of the Democratic Party that if this goes forward, that he gave it his blessing.

    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 Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:42:42 PM PDT

  •  I called Henry Waxman's office in LA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jbearlaw, MantisOahu

    his staffer said he had not taken a position on the FISA bill. She offered to pass on my message and I urged him to vote against it.

  •  http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, Jbearlaw, high coup haiku

    Email the campaign

    •  Senate office (0+ / 0-)

      Here's a link to his senate office contact form:  

      Link

    •  Just did - here's my message (0+ / 0-)

      Dear Senator Obama,

      If the proposed "bipartisan" "compromise" FISA legislation unveiled by the House of Representatives and scheduled for a vote in the House on Friday is passed the terrorists will truly have won. The fourth amendment of our Constitution will have been eliminated and corporate wrong doers in the telecom industry will be given retroactive amnesty.

      The signers of our Declaration of Independence would be spinning in their graves if they were aware how our "leaders" have perverted the heart of our country - our system of justice - using the evil politics of greed and fear to effectively destroy our tripartite form of government.

      Please do everything in your power to stop this legislation from being passed if it does reach the Senate. Please show me that you are worthy of becoming our next President.  Please show me that you are able to obey the oath of office that you will take by having the will and ability to protect and defend our Constitution.

      Thank you,

      Trod softly through the amusement park of life.

      by mzinformed on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:30:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  LET US NOT BE TOO HASTY! Read the damn bill! (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    contains just a couple of good points, but frankly, this bill is a compromise, and there are some protections that used exist BEFORE the era of Bush, and have been replaced.

    I have a PDF of the entire 114 pages, it makes for interesting reading. PM me if you want a copy.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:44:49 PM PDT

    •  The problem is (4+ / 0-)

      When we compromise our freedom, where does it stop?
      Poisoning our water supply?
      Being imprisoned?

      It's a shame we have to fight for our basic civil liberties in this country.

      •  this bill returns protections that (0+ / 0-)

        gonzo and ashcroft took away from us in practice. Not all of them, not completely, but it is better than the status quo.

        I do not like the immunity any more than anyone else here, but read the whole bill.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe you should read it. (5+ / 0-)

          It specifically says that a federal judge can grant immunity if they can show that Bush told them breaking the law is okay. What's to keep him from telling the local police to arrest you for being subversive because he thinks it's okay? Grow up.

        •  So we are supposed to give up our right (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eaglecries

          to privacy so that we can have a couple other rights back that were taken away. Sorry there is no compromise for my rights.

          Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by ryan81 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:00:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is NOT what this bill does. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bawbie

            It provides the authorities some limited room to act, within 7 days, and if their evidence is insufficient to support a foreign threat to the US, everything they gather can no longer be used.

            That is not the state of the law at the moment.

            Instead, minor drug offenses, white color crime, and other things are being gathered up by the feds with no supervision, control, or defenses available. Worse yet, the really bad guys (Enron, Haliburton, etc) could afford to fight their actions on constitutional grounds, but practically speaking, those defenses are not available to the little guy.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:05:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You're wrong (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          patginsd, LostInTexas

          This is a horrendous bill.
          It destroys our Fourth Amendment Constitutional protections.

          Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

          by cybersaur on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:08:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  An act of congress CAN NOT destroy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            agnostic

            Constitutional protections.

            They can pass a bill that contradicts the Constitution, but then that bill is unconstitutional and our Constitutional protections still exist.

            "They're trying to fool you. They're trying to scare you. And they're not telling you the truth." Obama '08

            by bawbie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:32:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that point will be made, but only during an Obama (0+ / 0-)

              administration.

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:45:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  But an act of congress CAN (0+ / 0-)

              reduce or even purport to remove the ability of federal courts to review cases claiming constitutional protections have been violated.

              Ultimately, courts can decide to review even the jurisdiction stripping language, but it takes a pretty pissed-off and determined court to do that.

              And that's what's happening in this bill.

        •  No it is NOT better than the status quo (0+ / 0-)

          It is better to let all the FISA modifications die and go back to the original bill.

      •  Compromise? Ha! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MantisOahu, paintitblue

        "It looks like it was all give from the Democratic side and all take from the Republican side," ACLU's Frederickson said.

        WaPo

    •  Why pass this bill before the case is made to us? (4+ / 0-)

      If there is a good compromise it will remain a good compromise in January 2009 as well as today.

      It is MORE important that Congress not be hasty.

      Didn't the DLC-ers scoff when Howard Dean and the DNC put money into Mississippi?

      by Bill White on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't even pretend to understand why (0+ / 0-)

        they have this rush on. They could easily extend the existing approach for 90 more days, or longer.

        I suspect that hoyer and pelousy want to show some suckcess, and getting a compromise on some return of constitutional rights will be viewed as a victory.

        Is this bill a case of where doing nothing is worse than passing a bill with obvious flaws?

        I dunno. But, passing this bill defangs the GOP's biggest weapon - we are against protecting the US. Yes, we need a hell of a lot more, but we also have to get into office.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:52:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why not have the clerk read it to all of us? (14+ / 0-)

      At least to start with.

    •  I trust Greenwald on this one. (10+ / 0-)

      Further, all the reporting says the same -- that immunity is all but guaranteed under this bill.  That's a deal-breaker, there can be no compromise on the principle of equality before the law.  If the rule of law was important enough to impeach Bill Clinton, it's important enough for the telecomms to face their day in court.  

    •  yes, but this is Congressional Trickery we were (0+ / 0-)

      led to believe no immunity, then out of the blue Hoyer hits the House with a bunch of Hi Fives, yeah right they reall meant it the first time, that's what they all say.

    •  a good bill, huh? (6+ / 0-)

      According to Siobhan Gorman, the bill has these provisions in addition to a path for retroactive immunity.

      The new agreement broadens the authority to spy on people in the U.S. and provides conditional legal immunity to companies that helped the government eavesdrop after the 2001 terrorist attacks, according to congressional aides in both parties.

      The deal, if adopted, would bring the spy activities of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program permanently under the law. That would allow the government, in certain circumstances, to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens without a specific warrant. It would also expand government spy powers to monitor communications between the U.S. and overseas to collect intelligence on topics beyond terrorism.

      Eavesdropping without a warrant on US citizens. I would have thought that violates the Constitution.

      And Eric Lichtblau describes those provisions this way:

      The deal would expand the government’s powers in some key respects. It would allow intelligence officials to use broad warrants to eavesdrop on foreign targets, and to conduct emergency wiretaps on American targets without warrants if it is determined that important national security information would be lost otherwise.

      So, how do you prevent a determined president such as Bush from declaring that any delay needed to obtain warrants would mean important national security information was being lost?

    •  Read page 14? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LostInTexas

      The particularization requirement, that the reasonableness standard is based upon, has been stripped.  This guts the 4th amendment, in addition to tying the hands of the judicial branch.  I believe in the Bill of Rights and co-equal branches.  Don't you?

      •  here is page 14 (0+ / 0-)

        amended certification in accordance with subsection
        1
        (i)(1)(C) to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
        2
        Court for review pursuant to subsection (i).
        3
        ‘‘(4) LIMITATION.—A certification made under
        4
        this subsection is not required to identify the specific
        5
        facilities, places, premises, or property at which an
        6
        acquisition authorized under subsection (a) will be
        7
        directed or conducted.
        8
        ‘‘(5) MAINTENANCE OF CERTIFICATION.—The
        9
        Attorney General or a designee of the Attorney Gen-
        10
        eral shall maintain a copy of a certification made
        11
        under this subsection.
        12
        ‘‘(6) REVIEW.—A certification submitted in ac-
        13
        cordance with this subsection shall be subject to ju-
        14
        dicial review pursuant to subsection (i).
        15
        ‘‘(h) DIRECTIVESANDJUDICIALREVIEWOFDIREC-
        16
        TIVES.—
        17
        ‘‘(1) AUTHORITY.—With respect to an acquisi-
        18
        tion authorized under subsection (a), the Attorney
        19
        General and the Director of National Intelligence
        20
        may direct, in writing, an electronic communication
        21
        service provider to—
        22
        ‘‘(A) immediately provide the Government
        23
        with all information, facilities, or assistance
        24
        necessary to accomplish the acquisition in a
        25

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:33:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LostInTexas

      Don't give up another right.  I don't care if they are "giving" some back to us.  They are our fucking rights, and we're going to take them back.  I'm not giving up rights to get others back.  It's stupid.  We are Americans dammit.  

      "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." -RFK

      by jfarelli on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:11:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we WERE americans. now we are sheep. (0+ / 0-)

        and that is the most damning thing of all.

        Look folks, many here seem to think that I support the entire bill. I do not. But, at least READ THE DAMNED THING before you assume things that may or may not be in there.

        Am I happy with it? no
        Did I call durbin and obama? yes.
        Did I write and call Bobby Rush? yeah, but he is dying of cancer and may not even vote.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology and understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:35:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama needs to act like a president. (4+ / 0-)

    If he doesn't weigh in on this, then his "new politics" really is just something for the rubes. Sure, I'll vote for him anyway, but I'll hold my nose when I do it and I'm not parting with my hard-earned money for someone spineless, no matter how charismatic.

    "Every vote must be counted before the superdelegates overrule the result and give me the nomination!" -- Hillary Clinton

    by expatjourno on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:46:18 PM PDT

  •  Does anybody have a list of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious, divineorder

    the Reps and Senators who might buy into the delay tactics?  Just getting the bills read for the record (and C-span) might not only slow the process down, but bring some more opposition out of the woodwork.  If I knew who might be amenable to simple calling for the bill to be read, I'd make that phone call.

    •  Commerce committee guys? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wittg1, SPD

      House Committee Leaders Unite to Oppose Immunity for Telecoms

      But in today's letter -- written by John Dingell, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Ed Markey, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet; and Bart Stupak, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations -- the congressmen argue that the president is creating a "false choice" for lawmakers.

      "By tying the question of lawsuit immunity to questions of national security and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform legislation, the President has created a false choice for Congress," the letter states. "The issue of immunity for phone companies that chose to cooperate with the President's warrantless wiretapping program deserves a separate and more deliberate examination by Congress. No special urgency attaches to the question of immunity other than the present Administration's general eagerness to limit tort liability and its desire to avoid scrutiny of its own actions, by either the courts or the Congress."

      This comment has been crossposted at AT&T: 611 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA - Room 641A.

      by ManahManah on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:57:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have doubts... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texanomaly, divineorder, Menikmati

    I'm about as probama and anti-capitulation as they come, but some signs that Obama might let this one slip by:

    1. Jay Rockefeller is a supporter of Obama.
    1. Obama wants to play nice with Bush enough to ensure that a transition of power takes place next Jan.
    1. Laura Bush defended Michelle

    Now, none of these are any real evidence that Obama will capitulate or stand by silently while this atrocity ensues.

    However, I think that combined with the herculean task of strong-arming his colleages and the fact that Obama's focus is to avoid unneccessary confrontation (with the WH on this issue), I am not hopeful that the delays will happen.

    Like Rachel Maddow, I pray that I'm wrong.

    --
    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:29 PM PDT

  •  Which House members are key to the vote? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious

    Didn't the DLC-ers scoff when Howard Dean and the DNC put money into Mississippi?

    by Bill White on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:32 PM PDT

  •  Agree with the diarist 100%. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33

    I didn't support Obama in the primary, but he has a solid chance to win me over with his strong leadership and ACTIONS on this issue, rather than quiet words.

    We're about to find out if all the amazing support he's received from the netroots was well-placed.

  •  Why didn't Al Gore win? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    limpidglass, MantisOahu, pylonsound, Losty

    This is a damn crime.
    Who would've thought we'd be talking about increasing nuclear energy, drilling in ANWR and protecting Corporations from being held accountable?
    What a country. What a congress. What a miserable failure.

  •  Obama not taking calls (0+ / 0-)

    Obama's phone lines were not taking messages, either with humans or machines, the several times I called.  Is anyone getting through?

    Where is Obama?  THis is really disappointing, and if FISA passes while he remains on the sidelines it will be beyond disappointing.

  •  Clinton (13+ / 0-)

    She's still $30 million in the hole, right?
    She steps up, I think that debt goes down. Quickly.

    jaiapprovedthis - Because I am right about things.
    Abolish Superdelegates by 2012

    by Jaiwithani on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:52:52 PM PDT

  •  Block this FISA travesty.. Barack where are you? (5+ / 0-)

    Any of you Congresspeople or staffers reading this, listen to your constitutents and BLOCK Amnesty.

    Barack Obama, where are you?  You say it's time for a change?  Show some change NOW and show leadership!!

  •  Time for Obama to lead (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Here Lies Democracy

    I haven't heard from Obama yet. Is he the change we can believe in or is he just as DNC as I've always tried to point out, (and have been attacked here for)? We'll know very soon. As the leader of the Democratic caucus, he has to stand up now. I hope to be able to support him enthusistically in November rather than voting for the lesser of two evils. I'm not holding my breath

  •  No Retroactive immunity for violating rights! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hiro

    Don't Scooterize the phone companies.

  •  KO we need you tonight, more than ever! (7+ / 0-)

    i sure hope KO addresses FISA tonight in a Special Comment. That could turn the tide here. I am imagining KO's steely glance, his headshakes of disgust, his voice firm and direct, the entire gamut of emotions none of which are contrived but rather directly from the heart. KO, we need you move than ever tonight of this FISA capitulation.

    People power = LGBTQ marital rights = OBAMA '08!

    by kevinspa on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

  •  Politics is a chess game (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Texanomaly, divineorder, Niwind

    ...not an arm-wrestling match.

    It's a mistake to assume that Obama is the 900-Lb gorilla in the room. He's not...The Telco's are.

    Every action by a candidate undergoes a cost-benefit analysis. Obama is, and should be, wary of giving another national-security issue to the Pubs to club him with.

    All the Reps in Congress are sizing up their next re-election campaigns and deciding if they want to piss off AT&T... or the minority of voters who follow Washington news.

    Stopping the PAA may just be a pawn that they're willing to sacrifice while working toward a full checkmate of the Republican Party in November.

    BushCheney Inc. - They lied to me, they lied to you, they lied to our troops.

    by jjohnjj on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:03:12 PM PDT

  •  Just In .. Senator Patrick Leahy (6+ / 0-)

    " ..
    For many months now, the Leahy for Vermont community and online activists everywhere have urged Congress to fix FISA the right way:  by passing a bill that protects both our national security and our civil liberties.  Together, we have had a huge impact on this debate, calling for legislation that protects Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's relentless assault on the Constitution, and we should be extremely proud of these efforts.

    But after months of negotiations, the House today unveiled a new FISA bill that I cannot support. While I applaud the fact that this legislation includes some of the important surveillance protections we wrote into the Senate Judiciary Committee bill last year, it fails to hold the Bush-Cheney Administration accountable for its illegal wiretapping program.  
    I will oppose this new FISA bill when the Senate votes on it next week. We must do everything we can to protect Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's erosion of our civil liberties and callous disregard for the rule of law -- and this new FISA bill fails that test.  
    Thank you for all that you have done -- and all you will continue to do -- to help America protect our security while honoring our core values and respecting our fundamental rights.  As the Supreme Court wrote in its habeas decision last week, "Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom's first principles."
    .. "
    Sincerely,
    Patrick Leahy
    U.S. Senator

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:04:06 PM PDT

  •  This bill will sail thru quietly and quickly (0+ / 0-)

    without much (if any) objection from Obama...

    Obama and the Dems will talk about how they have "restored protection for pivacy to all Americans".. blah blah blah

    meanwhile, the Repubs will crow about keeping tough on terrorists..

    What the Repubs won't get, however, is an Obama who appears weak on national security that they can use against him in the general.

    I could be wrong.. but I don't think so..

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:05:34 PM PDT

  •  Come on Obama. Kagro X, thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for reviewing the guts of how things could work.
    Time to make some calls!

    Top Dems Cool To FISA Deal  

    (The Politico) Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Thursday he could not support a compromise on controversial electronic surveillance legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is also cool to the proposal, making it unclear how much support the legislation will get in the Senate.

  •  Sen. Dodd hasn't been speaking out on this this (4+ / 0-)

    time, has he?  Even though he vowed to filibuster this kind of thing before.

    I wonder if the information about his loan was leaked to get him to shut up this time.  And I wonder if someone found out about his loan through the unlawful surveillance.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:06:54 PM PDT

  •  Nice try KagroX but the mule is at the water.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..it doesn't want to drink.  I think this is all a charade to mask their intent to let bush off the hook.  They know where we stand, they don't care.  I wrote and called every key congressman and senator I could.  The strongest response I got back is from forked tongue Specter. Just strong worded letters.

    "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having." --V

    by moondancing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:08:01 PM PDT

  •  This is not going to help the GOTV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    campaign if these BS bills are given the stamp of approval by the dem congress we fought so hard to put in place.

    Don't let it unravel Obama, voice your opposition.

    Even if it does no good at least you stood on principle and the fight can go on with no loss of face.

    Do not ignore this, it's too important.

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power." B. Franklin

    by istari5th on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:08:50 PM PDT

  •  Is Obama's office being called constantly? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    Be nice but make it clear that he is expected to be the Progressive candidate and to stand up to this nonsense... "presumptive" nominee is the key word.

  •  Don't Scooterize TELCOS! No to FISA compromise! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    apostrophe
  •  Where is Obama!??!?!?!?!? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    First Light

    Ok, so for all you people who thought Obama would be our saviour.....where the heck is he now!??!?!

  •  Vote for Democrats -- they're not AS bad. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    First Light

    Ha.  I'm tired of being taken for granted...

    Whatever the motives, which they certainly have, the democratic leadership believes that progressives and liberals and independents will still vote for democrats basically no matter what they do... up to a point.

    They have made me so angry now, that I just reached that "point."

    If they do pass this bill, at this moment in time I am not inclined to vote for any democrat, (nor a republican.)

    Where are the democrats standing up, fighting, yelling, screaming against this bill?  Where is Chris Dodd who vowed not to let this happen?  I don't care about 1 point less in his mortgage.

    And it's seeming like crap to me to elect "better" democrats, because I don't see any of the "better" democrats I financially contributed to standing up against this.  Sure, they'll vote no, full-well knowing it will pass.  BFD.

    •  Goodeservice expressed my feelings exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      The last time I campaigned for a Democrat was in 1968. I went door to door for Eugene McCarthy because he said he would stop the war in Vietnam. Then he turned around after losing the nomination to then Vice President Hubert Humphrey and endorsed him.  Humphrey was 2nd in command of the administration that had massively escalated the war on Vietnam!  A lightbulb went off in my head then. I realized the Democratic Party was just as much an obstacle to peace and progress as the Republican Party.

      I've voted socialist ever since and felt darned good about it. And I've found there are lots of other ways to be involved in politics like building demonstrations, supporting alternative media, you name it...

  •  Called my Rep and both Senators (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    El Zmuenga, divineorder

    Told them that this awful bill cannot be passed.

    I think my rep (Tammy Baldwin) is already against this.

    I told Sen. Feingold's staff that this is one that deserves a real filibuster, the kind where you read the phone book and block the bill. I am so sick of Stern Words and no action.

    Senator Kohl's office called it the "Telecom Immunity" bill so I hope that means that they don't support it. Otherwised I would think that they would call it the "Keep America Safe" bill.

    Everyone needs to call their reps and senators. Really. This bell cannot be unrung by the Obama Administration in January.

    "It's better to have a bleeding heart than none at all." --- Robert Elisberg

    by JanF on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:13:09 PM PDT

  •  Obama's office answered my call (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, paintitblue

    Just now! (202) 224-2854

    •  They answered my call too..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, paintitblue

      I actually spoke to a person and expressed my concerns about the FISA compromise in the House.  I told the rep that Senator Obama needs to make another public statement expressing his opposition and the need defeat this proposal.  I referred the rep to the dailykos.com website where there are multiple diaries and the Glenn Greenwald articles at salon.com.

      The rep said the campaign is currently reviewing this matter.  I got the impression they were getting a lot of calls. It took many tries to get through.

  •  He'll be there. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, paintitblue

    Barack Obama will step in at exactly the point his presence can make the biggest difference.  

    We've seen it time and time again this cycle; Obama seems to be stalling, we can't understand why, and we get up in arms about how he needs to act NOW.  Then, after we think the moment has passed, he steps up and does exactly what needs done and it has twice the impact it would have when we wanted it done.

    The man's team is full of political geniuses and true believers.  Let them handle this.  There's no way he won't weigh in on this.

    Obama/Clinton '08; Because having two people I would happily vote for on the ticket would just be too much to ask.

    by Capt America on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:13:30 PM PDT

    •  I'm not convinced that he has as much power (3+ / 0-)

      as people seem to think he does.   Keep in mind that he is a freshman Senator and he became the party nominee a couple of weeks ago.  Sure, he can speak out against it, but he still probably has limited pull, especially in the House.  Reed and Pelosi are the ones that need to shut this down.

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

        What power did Reid and Pelosi wield to help Obama get the nomination?  I don't know the answer, but if they did help, then he owes them now.  So... I don't know.

        Politics sucks.  We need public financing NOW.  (and no 527s)

      •  It doesn't matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan

        He is the leader of the caucus and he should lead. If he won't now, when will he? He's going to be attacked by the GOP no matter what he does. Even if in the end he can't prevent a vote, he should still stand up and lead

      •  The man is going to be the next president. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paintitblue

        Whether you want to describe what he has now as political power or not, he's got a bigger megaphone than has ever existed in this country.  If he steps up publicaly (not just on the floor) he can focus the American people on this issue in a way that just hasn't been done so far.

        It's just a question of how he's going to do it.

        Obama/Clinton '08; Because having two people I would happily vote for on the ticket would just be too much to ask.

        by Capt America on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:25:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. (3+ / 0-)

          I agree that he should speak out bc he does have a tall soap box.  However, a lot of people here seem to think that he can stop this whole bill on his own.  That is not going to happen.  As popular as he is outside of Washington, he does not have the Lyndon B Johnson like power in Congress to shut it down singlehandedly.  We have to remember that he is 1 of 435.

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      Sure he voted the correct way earlier this spring, but he didn't persuade many to move along with him.  McCaskill and Webb voted for the Rockefeller travesty.  (I don't even want to hear another word about them as VP candidates if they don't reform their stance on this issue.)  Obama needs to do more than mumble a "nay" to the bill on the floor.  He needs to stand up and put his constitutional scholarship to good use.  He needs to lead his supporters in the senate, at the very least.  Making a public statement on this bill before it gets to the House floor would be even better.

      •  I expect him to do exactly that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paintitblue, krwlngwthyou

        Making a public statement on this bill before it gets to the House floor would be even better.

        Or once it's on the floor.

        Or make a statement to the national press about the issue, since he's currently standing at the biggest podium in American history.

        Patience.  If he fails to step up, I'll eat my words, but I don't see that happening.  He's just going to do it in a way that I'm not bright enough to see, that's what he does.

        Obama/Clinton '08; Because having two people I would happily vote for on the ticket would just be too much to ask.

        by Capt America on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:23:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This may sound lame (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, IvanR, gooderservice
    just grasping at straws here, ANY straw. What about some sort of a donations strike? What if we could collectively communicate to the "leadership" that we will withhold all contributions to the DNC, Obama, Congressional campaign committees etc if this bill passes? Or withhold contributions from anyone who does not actively oppose it? Money seems to be the only thing that gets their attention.
      •  I really admire (0+ / 0-)

        this effort and the work Greenwald especially has put into this. But I'm not sure I understand what running ads this late in the game accomplishes if they are voting on this tomorrow. If their money faucets dried up, they'd notice. But I fear it's even too late for that. This is going down tomorrow.

        Hate to be a whiner but this is depressing. I actually thought we had won this one. I'd love to get in Hoyer's face and ask him why WE have to beg and plead for these corporate whores to protect the Constitution. It's their FUCKING JOB.

    •  Yes, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kimoconnor

      I believe, though, they mistakeningly believe that people will still vote for them anyway... since they're the lesser of two evils.  In my case, their thinking would be wrong.  I'm too pissed.

      Plus, in this instance, "immunity" doesn't have as much impact on everyday voters as 4+ dollars for gas does, or religious stuff, or healthcare, or Iraq.  That's why they think they can get away with it.

    •  I'm calling you out Markos. (0+ / 0-)

      where is our leadership in the blogosphere? A broad based donation strike coordinated across the major blogs is the way to go, but we need Kos to lead this fight. I've donated thousands of dollars myself and I will be done if this goes through.

  •  Obama can shine through here right now... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rasputin, lilsky, paintitblue

    Obama can stand up against this and tell the American people that he believes in the rule of law, which Bush didn't.

    Tell the people that if he or anyone in his administration did what Bush did, thinking that the law didn't apply to them, then he would want transparency and accountability.

    Tell the people that Americans have a choice:  Everyone abides by the law, including the President and his administration.... or the American people can change our Constitution and give the President Imperial Power.  It's up to them.  

    Obama chooses living within the law, and will put a hold on immunity so we can learn the details about the lawbreakers and hold them accountable, as it should be.

  •  From Dodd's website: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, IvanR, divineorder, apostrophe

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) today made the following statement in response to the compromise reached on the legislation that would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):  

    "I cannot support the so-called ‘compromise’ legislation announced today.  This bill would not hold the telecommunications companies that participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program accountable for their actions.  Instead, it would simply offer retroactive immunity by another name.  

  •  What happened to that Constitutional law Prof? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, IvanR, divineorder, DFH

    The one I thought we were nominating.

    "Every vote must be counted before the superdelegates overrule the result and give me the nomination!" -- Hillary Clinton

    by expatjourno on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:24:07 PM PDT

  •  The New World Order is making its big push now... (0+ / 0-)

    They just forced a similar piece of shit through the Swedish Parliament.

    It's happening all over the world now.

    All I know is, if this is passed by the US Congress,

    1.  It constitutes an unauthorized and unconstitutional sub silentio amendment to the 4th Amendment;
    1.  It tacitly and erroneously acknowledges that the President can (a) order civilians about (he can't, he is only Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces;  WE the people (and in light of what I believe to be an erronous interpretation of SCOTUS decisions, sadly this seems to include private for-profit organizations like telecoms) are the President's soverign, not the other way around; and (b) assuming the foregoing, the President can also authorize a civilian to BREAK THE LAW
    1. The same flaws that attended the now-thankfully defunct portions of the MCA also burden the proposed FISA legislation;  to wit, the legislation unconstitutionally invades the province of the courts to provide meaningful review;  and reduces it to a rubber stamp whereby legal immunity MUST BE GRANTED if the court finds that the President provided the telecom defendant with in effect, a permission slip"

    I am sickened and devastated that the US Congress could, would, and will consider and likely pass, legislation that absolutely eviscerates the 4th Amendment to the Constitution on this, the week-eve of the celebration of America's independence.

    Woe betide us all.

  •  Silent Capitulation We Can Believe In . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFH, Losty, First Light
  •  The New World Order is Making its big push now... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolandzebub, dallasdave, DFH

    They just forced a similar piece of shit through the Swedish Parliament.

    It's happening all over the world now.

    All I know is, if this is passed by the US Congress,

    1.  It constitutes an unauthorized and unconstitutional sub silentio amendment to the 4th Amendment;2.  It tacitly and erroneously acknowledges that the President can (a) order civilians about (he can't, he is only Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces;  WE the people (and in light of what I believe to be an  erronous interpretation of SCOTUS decisions, sadly this seems to include private for-profit organizations like telecoms) are the President's soverign, not the other way around; and (b) assuming the foregoing, the President can also authorize a civilian to BREAK THE LAW
    1. The same flaws that attended the now-thankfully defunct portions of the MCA also burden the proposed FISA legislation;  to wit, the legislation unconstitutionally invades the province of the courts to provide meaningful review;  and reduces it to a rubber stamp whereby legal immunity MUST BE GRANTED if the court finds that the President provided the telecom defendant with in effect, a permission slip"

    I am sickened and devastated that the US Congress could, would, and will consider and likely pass, legislation that absolutely eviscerates the 4th Amendment to the Constitution on this, the week-eve of the celebration of America's independence.

    Woe betide us all.

  •  Sorry for multiple posts but they get deleted?!#$ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, DFH

    The New World Order recently forced through a similar piece of shit through the Swedish Parliament.

    It's happening all over the world now.

    All I know is, if this is passed by the US Congress,

    1.  It constitutes an unauthorized and unconstitutional sub silentio amendment to the 4th Amendment;
    1.  It tacitly and erroneously acknowledges that the President can (a) order civilians about (he can't, he is only Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces;  WE the people (and in light of what I believe to be an  erronous interpretation of SCOTUS decisions, sadly this seems to include private for-profit organizations like telecoms) are the President's soverign, not the other way around; and (b) assuming the foregoing, the President can also authorize a civilian to BREAK THE LAW
    1. The same flaws that attended the now-thankfully defunct portions of the MCA also burden the proposed FISA legislation;  to wit, the legislation unconstitutionally invades the province of the courts to provide meaningful review;  and reduces it to a rubber stamp whereby legal immunity MUST BE GRANTED if the court finds that the President provided the telecom defendant with in effect, a permission slip"

    I am sickened and devastated that the US Congress could, would, and will consider and likely pass, legislation that absolutely eviscerates the 4th Amendment to the Constitution on this, the week-eve of the celebration of America's independence.

    Woe betide us all.

  •  Kagro, you're a wiz at this! I stand in awe! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  McCain and Obama both in agreement again. (0+ / 0-)

    McCain of course has no problem with the government breaking the law with illegal wiretaps. That is just par for the Republican course. But Obama, given the guaranteed media attention he now commands could make a huge difference if he stood up and fought against this sell out of our civil liberties.

    On a person level Obama probably is a lot nicer guy than McCain. But
    unfortunately, despite people fervently wishing it to be true, Obama is not the agent of change. The Democratic and Republican parties are loyal to the ultra-wealthy corporations. The two major parties only do progressive things when ordinary people mobilize for progress. That was true in the battle to form labor unions, true for the civil rights movement, and true with the struggle to end the war in Vietnam.

  •  Obama's a good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DFH

    Security State Dem, bobbing along in the bubbling brook of Bushco techno-fascism, keeping us safe of terrists and accountability with the best of them!

    That's what Security State Dems do!

    Thanks Barack!  Doin' a heckuva job!
    --
    GWB

    Security State Dems: fine perveyors of CYA to Bushco since 2003.

  •  Don't blame Obama. He can't stop this (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is not the president yet. He is just one senator.

    This diary is about a futile gesture which will accomplish nothing. Apparently there are 60 votes for cloture. This bill has already been debated over several months, and the Senators have made up their minds to proceed.

  •  Rule for Consideration - HR 6304, the FISA bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kagro X

    The Rules Committee website has information relating to the procedure for considering the FISA capitulation bill.  In brief, it blocks amendments and waives all points of order except for earmark disclosure.

    However, the motion to recommit (of course) is permitted.  While this is traditionally the prerogative of the minority party, Rule XIX(2)(a) only specifies that

    For such a motion to recommit, the Speaker shall give preference in recognition to a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who is opposed to the measure.

    I wonder if we could attempt to recommit the bill with instructions to remove telecom immunity?  It seems like it would be worth a shot.

    Also, I don't think the rule (H. Res. 1285) will come up until tomorrow.  The same-day waiver granted by H. Res. 1281 isn't broad enough to cover it.

  •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

    So they can all change they're minds on it in the next bill?

    Come on people!  Act like you're not Republicans licking Bush's shoes!

  •  Hoyer Out (0+ / 0-)

    We've a pretty comfortable majority in the House. I'd be willing to sacrifice Hoyer over this one - one term of a repub in his seat... at least it gets rid of him. Then in 2010, we can support a good candidate. I'll look at the race a little, and if it's at all close, I think I'll drop a couple of buck the way of his opponent.

    Who is Olive, and why is Olive running to an anagram?

    by Run to Olive on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:59:49 PM PDT

  •  Let's Just Dump a Few of Them (0+ / 0-)

    Let's just put up the money to dump Speaker Pelosi if this bill goes through. By knocking off one of the tepid almost-Democrats in Congress (a key one, I'll wager), we can stop this kind of abject presentation of derrières to the Republicans.

    Here's how: Getting Rid of Pelosi in the Next Election.

    By the way, they are discussing this on Countdown right now.

  •  Shame on the House Dems! Sickening. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bartcopfan

    Thank God the Democrats won control of the Senate... otherwise, think of how different everything would be. -G.Greenwald

    by Gorette on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:36:54 PM PDT

  •  Obama wanted this bill for his next 2 elections (0+ / 0-)

    "Barack Obama, though, is the heavyweight in the arena right now, and his voice, properly applied, could be worth a dozen chairmen. But he's not using it, and in fact, there's no guarantee he ever will."

    1. Within a month of Obama winning the nomination this new FISA bill appears.
    1. The bill has a sunset clause of 5 years, which would be after Obama's second election.

    Given these 2 remarkable co-incidences, I believe this bill was engineered by Obama to improve his electoral chances on the presumption that the media would blast him on security if its telcos subsidiaries or bosses were not granted immunity.

    Obama needs to weave a new narrative on security i.e. that we shouldn't change America in response to terrorism.

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