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Issued here, where there is an ongoing discussion with policy advisors taking place:

I want to take this opportunity to speak directly to those of you who oppose my decision to support the FISA compromise.

This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year. The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court. In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility

The Inspectors General report also provides a real mechanism for accountability and should not be discounted. It will allow a close look at past misconduct without hurdles that would exist in federal court because of classification issues. The (PDF)recent investigation uncovering the illegal politicization of Justice Department hiring sets a strong example of the accountability that can come from a tough and thorough IG report.

The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer.  Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I’m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

   Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this side and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions. No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this Administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens. That holds true -- not just on wiretapping, but on a range of issues where Washington has let the American people down.

   I learned long ago, when working as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, that when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable. I'm not exempt from that. I'm certainly not perfect, and expect to be held accountable too. I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support to change the country. That is why we have built the largest grassroots campaign in the history of presidential politics, and that is the kind of White House that I intend to run as President of the United States -- a White House that takes the Constitution seriously, conducts the peoples' business out in the open, welcomes and listens to dissenting views, and asks you to play your part in shaping our country’s destiny.

   Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok.  But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have. After all, the choice in this election could not be clearer. Whether it is the economy, foreign policy, or the Supreme Court, my opponent has embraced the failed course of the last eight years, while I want to take this country in a new direction. Make no mistake: if John McCain is elected, the fundamental direction of this country that we love will not change. But if we come together, we have an historic opportunity to chart a new course, a better course.

   So I appreciate the feedback through my.barackobama.com, and I look forward to continuing the conversation in the months and years to come. Together, we have a lot of work to do.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not ideal, but not bad (46+ / 0-)

    Makes so fair points, doesn't lie, doesn't equivocate.

    I still disagree, but find it easier to move on and focus on helping Obama and going after the guys like Hoyer who made this deal.

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

    by bosdcla14 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:47:32 PM PDT

    •  My comment: (29+ / 0-)

      Sorry, BO campaign. This explanation doesn't cut it.

      The mechanisms required for FISA to operate have ALWAYS BEEN THERE. They ARE necessary, but there's always been 3 day retroactive warrants, always been recording options available that do not curtail the flexibility of law enforcement to do its job.

      I've been an ardent Obama supporter since 2002. I've given everything I can to the campaign, from time and money to organizing, calling, fundraising, what-have-you.

      But Barack's note up there is horse hooey and you damn well know it.

      FISA has always worked. What HASN'T is the telecoms and the Bush administration. Besides, it isn't even about that. This issue isn't about supporting anti-terrorism efforts.

      It's about accountability. You know...a new kind of politics. :/

      You all have blown it on this one. It's so transparent, even the media is starting to pick up on the stench.

      There is only one presidential candidate.

      by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This has nothing to do with FISA. (5+ / 0-)

        That's become clear.

        •  You're right: it's about politics (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          daisann, ExStr8

          The only explanation for his Oct 2007 FISA stance? Principle. He stood to gain nothing otherwise from it.

          The only explanation for his current stance? Political necessity.

          The only problem? It's not necessary. We're getting played, here, folks. This explanation is crap. He's using several of the very same frames used by other capitulators and moderate Rs.

          We're. Getting. Played.

          There is only one presidential candidate.

          by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:11:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, Obama's trying to play you (13+ / 0-)

            That's what this is about. Brilliant analysis.

            Has this site always been so insane or has it really, really jumped the shark recently? I don't belong here anymore.

            •  Jump the shark? (7+ / 0-)

              Has this site always been so insane or has it really, really jumped the shark recently? I don't belong here anymore.

              That's how I feel Like I don't belong with the net roots anymore.  Even TPM has been hammering Obama

              It's not just a shark that's been jumped - it's Jaws

              •  It's making me really sad (7+ / 0-)

                as well as angry. I honestly don't think I can be a part of it. I'm dreading Netroots Nation, and if I didn't have commitments there, I would cancel.

                •  I wonder how many of us feel this way? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bethcf4p, casperr, user1000, PalGirl2008

                  I don't recognize these people anymore.  Hate to say it but now I know why Alegre left.

                  •  I totally agree - sad (12+ / 0-)

                    I'm a lifelong progressive and LIBERAL.

                    Yet I feel very disappointed by the mob mentality over this FISA. While I agree it's bad and appreciate the activism, I don't appreciate some of the fanaticism/intolerance/cynicism all directed towards Democrats.

                    I think this is splitting and hurting the progressive movement. Hopefully people will come to their senses, but I am nervous about a 2000-style meltdown.

                    We have big problems in the world -- health care, global warming, Iraq. Please keep your eye on the ball. The GOP must be drooling over this.
                     

                  •  I know (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kitty, casperr, dmh44, jclausen, FishHead Dem

                    People (including Kos) say this makes them less enthusiastic for Obama, but the efforts to bash Obama on this do much more to dampen enthusiasm. My focus is on electing a Democrat, and that takes enthusiasm. I am inspired by Obama--certainly more so than the other candidates.

                    Yes, he's not perfect, and the pressure is good, but the bashing and language about capitulating on what were my favorite web sites is more deflating than Obama's statements to me.

                    •  I still ask where were all these people (8+ / 0-)

                      when their representatives in Congress voted for the war or the Patriot Act?  Where is all the outrage at the poverty rate in this country?  The erosion of our environment and the living wage?  The drumbeat for war with Iran?  The fact that Iraqis live in a hellhole thanks to our actions?  Yes, there is opposition, but nothing like the outrage I see over this.  The Constitution has already been gutted.  Non passage of this bill will do little to repair it.  There is a chance that a Democratic President and Congress might begin to repair it, but, of course, everyone would prefer to scream that their candidate has sold them out on everything because of one issue.  Oh yes, that's because all of the rest of our candidates in the past and our candidates wannabe this time around were perfect in every way, and we got stuck with the worst one?  I would bet that very few people's lives will  be changed in any way if this bill passes.  The dreadful has already happened and most of our representatives in Congress colluded with it.  It is time to take our country back and every day spent on concentrating on this one bill is time lost.

                  •  Alegre left because she wrote (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FishOutofWater

                    diaries that smeared Obama and couldn't deal when people called her out for copyright violations and using right wing sources.

                  •  You don't recognize them, (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kitty, FishHead Dem, sillycilla

                    because they're not the same people.  This is another "operation chaos" style invasion to create a wedge among Obama's supporters.
                    The sad part is that Markos from Kos and Arianna from Huffpost, indirectly sparked the idea when they criticized FISA.
                    While criticism and accountability should be welcome, those in a position of influence such as Ko and Arianna should use it more responsibly, knowing that Rove, Limbaugh and right-wing nuts are out there ready and desperate to use any tactic to diminish O's support base.

                    My suggestion?  Don't fall for it!  The real supporters, while disappointed on one issue, see the bigger picture, seek more information, agree to disagree, move on and continue their support.
                    Those who suddenly withdraw support and vote and scream betrayal?  They were NEVER REAL supporters to begin with. IMO.

                    So, let's keep the faith, the support and stay strong!

                    OBAMA 08!

            •  You may not think so (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ExStr8

              But I can't think of another explanation that fits. The only other one that gels with today's explanation is that he actually changed his mind.

              In which case, we're still getting played: this is about upholding the constitution and holding accountable those that don't.

              I am still working just as hard for the campaign. I am still giving money as often as I can. I won't slack in the least because I disagree with, what in my mind, is capitulation.

              But I think that holding our favorite leaders to the fire WHILE working hard for them is both justifiable and ultimately, democratic.

              And, I hope, Democratic.

              There is only one presidential candidate.

              by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 05:20:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Glad I stumbled across you here (0+ / 0-)
              Coming to you from Budapest. You try typing on a Hungarian keyboard sometime!

              I realized after we left that I can volunteer all day Thurs in Austin, until the keynote . If there's any way you can sign me up for that, please do so. I might not get to a computer again until I'm home, 7/13, so I'm gonna trust you and do whatever Im asked (registration would be fine). Thanks in advance, whether or not you can. I'll e-mail you when I get home. See you in TX.

              The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

              by sidnora on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 02:45:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  PS (0+ / 0-)
              Don't get too down about NN. For months before HRC conceded I felt the way you do now. Afterwards I was relieved that I hadn't given away my registration.

              Go back and look at the schedule, especially all the stuff that has nothing to do with the presidential campaign, and maybe it'll make you feel better. I know I did.

              The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

              by sidnora on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 02:52:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  5 guys against entire corrupt senate? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            big deal. because we know all the asshole in congress will say "no removal"

            and the bill will pass intake.

            This is exactly like the firs time around last year. The asshole in senate passed everything that Bush asked for. Then they played stupid about it until house killed it.

            Majority in the senates are in the pocket of lobbyist. Half of democrats are happy to get down on their knees and please their master.

          •  He's not lying now. He was lying then. (0+ / 0-)

            The only explanation for his Oct 2007 FISA stance? Principle. He stood to gain nothing otherwise from it.

            No.  He had the nomination to gain from it.  He had to run to the left of Hillary to pick up the netroots.

            He was always in favor of something like FISA.  Anyone who actually wants to govern this country IS.  They always have been.  Look back at the great Democrats of the past.  Until Carter, they had Herbert Hoover's private army, ready to wire tap anyone that annoyed them.  Do you really think Bill Clinton, with thousands of raw-data FBI files (NOBODY is supposed to see the raw interviews, otherwise people wouldn't be candid) wasn't willing to wiretap terrorists?  He was willing to wiretap members of Congress!!

            He knows wiretapping suspected terrorists is the President's responsibility.  He's not going to give it up to satisfy some principal purists.  

            For heavens sake, look at your cell phone.  It can be re-programmed from the central office to sit there transmitting every thing you say, taking a picture once a minute, even sending your lat and long if it's GPS endabled.  You think the Feds won't do it if they think you're mixing explosives?  Of course they will.  Any President, from any party, will.

            But Obama couldn't admit that.  He had to lie to the left to get the nomination.  He's not moving to the center, he's just admitting that he understands the necessities of power.  

            You're not getting played now.  You were getting played then.  Remember when he seemed perfect?  That should have been your first clue.  Nobody is perfect.  Anyone who says he is, is lying.  

        •  I don't see how (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irmaly, ExStr8

          it could be about the law.  This bill is clearly bad.
          So, he must be pandering to some group.
          It isn't us, so who is it?
          I see either big money contributors or complicit democrats in congress.
          I would guess he is covering for Reid,Pelosi,Rockefeller,Harman/Reyes.

          •  You people do know... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dmh44, Akonitum

            he hasn't got the nomination yet, and his fellow congressmen and women hold more power over him, at the moment, than vice versa.

            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:46:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  JOIN "OBAMA PLEASE VOTE AGAINST FISA" (8+ / 0-)

        http://my.barackobama.com/...

        At last count, nearly 18,000 Obama supporters have -- which seems to have at least pushed him to both the statement and rejection of one amendment.

        How many more will it take for him to actually uphold the Constitution?

        Hey, you may be the tipping point!

        •  Pushed him to a statement but not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, opinionated

          the rejection of the amendment...he said previously, prior to the creation of the "against FISA" group, that he was going to fight that portion of the bill.

          "The Great White Hope" is half Black!!!

          by in2mixin on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:03:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, his statement is just more equivacating (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ExStr8, corvo, Incaficious

            Apparently, Obama needs to hear from 36,000 -- or more -- supporters to do his job of upholding the Constitution. And of leading, instead of triangulating.

            Pile on, Kossacks!

            http://my.barackobama.com/...

            •  He has always said this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bethcf4p, dmh44

              This was not an easy call for me. I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power. It grants retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that may have violated the law by cooperating with the Bush Administration's program of warrantless wiretapping. This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes an important tool for the American people to demand accountability for past abuses. That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

              I would hope this would be a deal breaker for him, but I'm not holding my breath.  At the same time I refuse to add my name to the few thousand vocal "progressives" and some sheep who refuse to see the bigger more important picture of getting a Democrat into the office.  I respect the initiative from the founding few, but the mob style, no compromising, it's my way or the high way tactics are bullshit.

              We're talking about 18,000 people out of over a million plus active volunteers and supporters.  

              "The Great White Hope" is half Black!!!

              by in2mixin on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:28:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  No (18+ / 0-)

          I actually want to elect a Democratic President more than I want to flatter myself about my Constiutional hard line.

          But thanks for the offer.

          Fuck your purity.

          by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:04:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not do both? (5+ / 0-)

            Um, free speech, ya know?

            Pushing your nominee to do the right thing, ya know?

            Get him in the habit of upholding the Constitution -- those things are not mutually exclusive, or shouldn't be with a Democratic candidate.

            •  Can't do both. (21+ / 0-)

              Not now.  Not for the next 4+ months.

              We only have one horse in this race, and we need him on offense - not defense.  Especially not on defense from friendly fire.

              It's myopic in the most profound way possible to think that we can register this much acrimony at our candidate and not have it hurt his chances of victory.

              Fuck your purity.

              by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:10:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then he should do his damn job as a Senator (10+ / 0-)

                and uphold the Constitution, and the basic rights of the citizens of the United States.

                What we don't need -- and I don't believe will elect Obama -- is more of the same Republican lite cowering before the idea of terrists as a (bad) reason to destroy the core of the law in this country.

                Obama will be elected on courageous change, not cowering more-of-the-same.

              •  It doesn't hurt. Think about it. (0+ / 0-)

                It may even help. It shows the middle and the right that he stands up to the left.

                It also shows that he listens, but won't be held to the standards of others.

                Before you use a word like "myopic", maybe you had better think through what you're saying, no offense.

                There is only one presidential candidate.

                by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:26:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  frankly then you never will (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, Incaficious

                the reality of electoral politics is that if you don't do it now, then he has no reason to do it later.

                •  Do you assume bad faith on his part? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dmh44

                  Sounds like it.  

                  Fuck your purity.

                  by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:39:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I assume he's a politician (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sue, Incaficious

                    I understand that we live in a representative democracy that elects our president every 4 years. I see what happened with Bush when he was elected, versus how he then re-ran for office in 2004. I saw the same with Lieberman in 2006. Faith, that is to say, doesn't enter into it. I trust what I can verify. If this is what he's showing us now, there will be even less incentive once in office to be anything other than what he's showing us. There will be more DC CW pressure pushing him then, than now. Indeed, because he's not going after our dollars he will need to not focus on us for at least 3 years. What I also see is that some of you are so far gone that you are nothing but apologists for whatever he does. That's a dangerous combination.

                    I would have a little more 'faith' if you weren't acting as you are now acting. That tells me that he can do no wrong in your mind because the ends always justify the means.

                    Even when the ends don't affect the means. I remain unconvinced that he would lose just because he doesn't support FISA, or for that matter, he would lose if he were not back peddly on NAFTA (given the states in which are swing states right now- several of these things might actually help). I can certainly go on- but to be quite frank- reading either the denials I see here or the chicken little syndrome wherein he loses because people ask him to follow his own word on the matter- makes it very difficult.

                  •  It has nothing to do with faith (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bruh1, Incaficious

                    and everything to do with the powers he'll be dealing (and cutting deals) with if he actually becomes President.

                    •  more succint but exactly (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      corvo

                      now is the time to hold his accountable, not once in office. also- here's the kicker with folks like snout. i've already seen the trial ballons of 'well, but obama isn't the leader of progressives, he's the leader of the country' being thrown out there. so the same b.s. we are seeing now, we can expect to here it for 4 years. This is Clinton without the 15 years of baggage.

                      •  This is ridiculous. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dmh44, Adept2u

                        If you believe he's unanswerable to those who voted for him once he's elected, then it matters absolutely zero what he says during the election.  This attitude seems totally cynical and self-defeating to me.  

                        We can't elect a president based on individual issues or votes.  The job is too complicated and the future choices are largely unknowable.  The best way to choose is based on attitudes, judgement, and character, i.e. who we want to be making those unforseeable choices.  Most of us here are appalled at the state of our country, and the ravaging of the Constitution over the last 7 years.  Some of us realize that the Constitution has taken a beating going back a lot further, and that there have been far worse crises of liberty in this nation's past.

                        There has never been a perfect president in this country's history.  If you ask me, there are less than a handful that I would even call "good".  I think Obama has a chance to be one of the best.  But it's up to us, the progressives, to maintain a friendship with him.  Not to follow him blindly, or suppress our dissent, but at the same time, not to criticize him so harshly that we alienate ourselves from him, and him from us.  President is the hardest job in the world.  There are so many competing forces acting upon this man, I wonder how any of us would stand up to the pressure?  Is he making a mistake on FISA?  I think he is.  Can any of us say we would do better at walking the tightrope to the White House?  Well, if you say yes, please run...either you'll earn more wisdom, or we'll get a great President.

                        One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                        by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 05:12:24 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  whatever you need do to rationalize your denial (0+ / 0-)

                          you should keep doing it. but don't expect others to buy it. good luck.

                          •  I don't need to "rationalize" my "denial". (0+ / 0-)

                            I've studied American history, so I know how many more serious Constitutional crises we've been through and survived more or less intact.  
                            How about 100+ years of slavery?
                            How about the Alien and Seditions Act?
                            How about Dred Scott?
                            How about the internment of U.S. citizens during WWII?
                            How about "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?"

                            Just some greatest hits, there are countless more.
                            The fight for the Constitution is an ongoing one.  For people to frame this debate as "Are you willing to base everything on this one issue, or are you going to let the Constitution become 'just a goddamn piece of paper', the end the America as we know it?" just seems damned simplistic and naive to me.
                            Fight for it.  Obama says himself, you should continue to fight for it.  But don't become like the pro-lifers.  Don't lose the forest for the trees.  There's too much at stake.  If this seems like rationalization to you, well maybe you should try being more rational.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 05:56:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  whatever (0+ / 0-)

                            being able to regugitate history isn't the same as understanding it. I know a plenty of conservatives who are able to regurgitate it too. It doesn't impress me. Wisdom from it impresses me.

                          •  My point... (0+ / 0-)

                            is that it's unwise to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Being progressive, as opposed to revolutionary, means taking the hard road to change, as opposed to the easy, romantic, all-or-nothing path, where every setback becomes an excuse to throw up your hands and exclaim. "The whole thing's fucked!  Let's scrap it all and start again."  The problem with that, for any who claims to "understand" history, is that it's a historical miracle that the Constitution and Bill of Rights exists at all, and that slow, stuttering progress is truly the best hope for those outside of the power structure.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 07:55:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  my point is your rationalizing your behavior and (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            adrianrf

                            that others by a) arguing strawmen and b) trying to minimaze what others are saying to you. For example, as I mention below, you use history, but then the irony is that you don't understand the history you use. You talk about all these incidents without realizing the significance of them- in each case  what ended these events was a result of people saying 'no' rather than just going along. You would be on the side of those who would say shut up and go along. You may not think so, but your behavior says otherwise. You also seem to think history is progressive. It's not. All it requires to not move forward is what you are doing right now with me- denying and rationalization. That's how Jim Crow happened, and that's how alot of things events occured. There is no natural state of progress- that's why the Constitution exists. The founders understood that. Apparently some of you do not. So you cn talk until you are blue int he face- I still say you have no underestanding of the irony of you listing the things you did.

                          •  My list was of past offenses to the Constitution. (0+ / 0-)

                            It was meant as a response to those who say that the passage of the FISA bill will be the death of the Constitution and America as we know it.  I agree that eventually people said "no" to these disgraceful policies, and that is sort of my point, that people will right these privacy imbalances too, once the "terrorist" hysteria dies down and people get their priorities straight.  

                            Living in a democracy, though, particularly a representative one, means often dealing with defeat.  My sense, as far as Obama's position in this, is that he is on our side, against these invasions of privacy, but realizes that the game is up, for now, and instead of grandstanding-posing to the progressives despite knowing the opposition was doomed-he kept us in the loop, told us why he's decided to vote the way he has, and asked us to view him not through the prism of one vote, but to place this vote in the larger context of a whole man and his life's work.

                            As far as you're continued descriptions of my "rationalizations", I don't need to rationalize this election beyond a binary choice.  Obama or McCain.  It is only by being irrational that I could ever not vote for Obama, under the circumstances.  This is true for any progressive.  So anyone claiming they'll stop supporting Obama because of this or any single issue is transparently masochistic, or transparently full of shit.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:31:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                            So this present problem is "okay" because we overcame other problems? This is why this is rationalization.  It's an argument that can easily be picked a part just by revising it to succintly make the point you are making.

                            I know what we live in- it's a constitutionally based representative democracy (a liberal democratic republic). This is the same sort discusion I get into with Christian Conservatives  about equal protection when t hey want to talk about "democracy."

                            The discussion of Obama v McCain is more rationaliztion. As is the voting stuff. Completely irrelevant fear mongering meant to deflect from the rationalization. It's easier when its history to say "we can overcome" but a little bit harder when you are living it, isn't it?

                          •  incidentally (0+ / 0-)

                            a lot of you are going on what I can only assume is faith. These rules and structures are in place because power and humans aren't about faith. Obama can be the best president we have ever had and still the flaw here is not understanding where hte line should be drawn because of the limtiations of power that he and other presidents should have. It's really that simple. Either you understand why those limtiations exist or you make excuses about how this isn't the worse we've ever seen. No it's not. But I really don't want to wait for the worse given human nature. These structures and rules exist for a reason. When they didnt' we saw what could happen. This sets precedent for a time when we don't have Obama in place and some REpublican  President can point to the words and actions of a candidate Obama and future President Obama. Again- this is understanding the weight of history.

                          •  You claim to be concerned... (0+ / 0-)

                            about the investment of too much power in one man.  Yet your criticism of Obama (instead of the other 99 senators and 438 representatives) suggests you think his vote is more important than all the others.  You say I don't know why the limitations of individual power exist, but you're the one who's claiming one senator has the power to coerce all the others to vote with him.  I don't understand this disconnect.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:36:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I find your post odd (0+ / 0-)

                            How does their wrong make his action right? Also, are you seriously arguing that they wouldn't feel pressure if the Democratic nominee for President said he was fillabustering this? Serioulsy, you think so little of him>?

                          •  I never said his action was right. (0+ / 0-)

                            Just that people shouldn't judge him as if he has the power to change the workings of American government with an act of will.  He could filibuster.  And you know what?  The filibuster would fail.  And he'd come out of it looking like a dewy-eyed dreamer with the animosity of the telecom industry, two things that would only work against him getting elected.  I don't think the presumptive nominee, who is still dependent on the votes of his congressional colleagues to get the nomination, has any power over their votes.  In fact, I think it's the opposite.  That's the way congress works, and should work.  It's the separation of powers.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 10:35:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I really not interested in working off (0+ / 0-)

                            of your set of assumptions and fears. This post more than anything gets at your truth. Which is about what you are afraid might happen. And that's why DC won't change, Obama when elected won't change anything, and you a year from now will be still making excuses.

                          •  Look, I don't think our difference on this is... (0+ / 0-)

                            all that large.  I just don't think that presidential politics, especially during a campaign, is where these changes will emerge.  The pressure for these kinds of essential changes needs to be aimed at each and every member of congress.  Expecting too much from one man is naive.  So it's not in the goals that we differ, just the best method for getting to those goals.

                            If a democratic victory in November were in the bag, that would be one thing, but there are all kinds of historical and cultural forces lined up against Obama, and I think it's important for the soul of this country that he win, so I think it's worthwhile to support him, warts and all.  If nothing else, he's more in touch with the experiences of a normal person than any candidate for president ever, and that counts for a lot in my book.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 11:20:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Pressure occurs with whom ever you can exert it (0+ / 0-)

                            And a Democratic victory won't matter because the same excuses you are making now will be made next year, and the year after (even if you aren't the one making them).

                            But, you say one true thing that I agree with- you are a fraid. Most Americans are. It's what drives behavior now.

                            Below, I cut and paste something I wrote to someone else who was using fear based analysis:

                            "At 9/11, I lived in Brooklyn. I was suppose to meet someone in the towers, but woke up to see they were coming down. For 2 days, if you lived here, they were telling us to be afraid. There were these bomb threatens and everyone was numb and afraid.  On Thursday, I got on the subway- although it was hard to do so because I made up my mind that I was going into Manhattan.

                            I had nothing to do over there, but I knew I had to go. I had to confront  my fear of being over there. I wasn't going to be free if I was afraid. If it takes over your mind- you can't think straight.  I went, and there was nothing that happened to be me. My fears were just that-  my fears.  

                            By being here, I was able to work through it. Ironically, if you ask many NY'ers they are some of the most liberal Americans on many of these issues. Its the people far away who live in terror of the unknown. You start to listen to whatever people throw at you and rationalize anything. I am saying all this to say I get it. But it's dangerous. What made Bush possible is this fear. What would make another bush possible is the continuation of this fear. Even if Obama is a saint in office, he's got two terms, and then what? "

                            My point here is that you seem to think it ends once he's in office. The kind of stuff I am seeing has been happening now for a very long time. It will continue after he's in office. If you justify it now, it willb e justified then because fear is what drives this. That's irrational and will seek its own justification even when there isn't any.

                          •  I live in NY too. (0+ / 0-)

                            I was here on 9/11, saw people walking by my window like zombies covered in white dust.  I know what you mean about overcoming the fear and paranoia of those days.  But you're wrong about me.  I'm not afraid, not of terrorism, at least, if that's what you mean.  I am afraid of war without end, and America growing ever more imperialistic and militaristic, and of millions of people losing their homes as heating and food costs go through the roof, and McCain works to privatize every social service we have and do away with what little safety net exists for people.  These things and others do scare me, and they should scare you, too, and they place this one issue in a larger context that I think is important to remember.  If there were a candidate available who was on our side on this issue, chances are I'd vote for him/her.  As there isn't, and since I believe there are significant differences between the two candidates on a lot of other important issues, I can't but continue to support the better of the two.
                            Keep pressuring our leaders.  Fine, good.  Withdraw your support of Obama.  Excellent, well within your rights.  But remember that we wouldn't be in the boat we are now, if people hadn't played the same game with Gore in 2000.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:07:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  fear is human (0+ / 0-)

                            So you don't fear any of these things?  But you clearly fear the FISA bill.  You fear for the 4th Amendment, right?

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:20:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that's not fear- thats about the reality of what (0+ / 0-)

                            it does. yours is about things you think could possibly happen if you do anything now to rock the boat. not the same thing at all because what you fear can possibly happen is itself just fear. do you see the difference? you are afraid of abstractions without weighing of any probability at all. it's like someone being afraid of  lighting striking them when they live in a place  that doesn't get much rain and another person being afraid they won't make their mortgage payment because they lost their job and have no savings. One is an abstraction and removed from probability, and one is not. fear is fear here refers to the abstraction of your fear with those you would seek to replace. in both cases you use it to limit freedom.

                          •  gore, by the way, didn't lose because of people (0+ / 0-)

                            playing games with him. he lost be gore , as he probably would say now, didn't fight to win enough. it should never have been close. it only was because he too was afraid, and thus allowed bush 'mr compassionate conservative' to destroy any real difference between them. the same as obama is doing now slowly but surely.

                          •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                            I share your fear that this will happen.  But the character traits that drew me to Obama in the first place, (After supporting Edwards), lead me to hope that after this rough stretch, he'll gain some confidence and become more and more of a fighter as the year moves along.  I agree it's been a tough month, but I haven't given up on the man.  Maybe that's because I never expected him to the savior of the left to begin with.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:29:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  never said I've given up (0+ / 0-)

                            I just don't think its healthy to allow candidates to think they are making the right decisions when they aren't. I didn't that in my support of both Kerry and Gore. Not going to do that again.

                          •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                            Gore likely won despite several extra-ordinary handicaps of the 2000 race that were not of his making (by the Clinton scandal fatigue, media smears and the Nader factor): Notes on the 2000 election.

                            Al Gore's progressive 2000 GE Democratic Platform:
                            Prosperity, Progress and Peace

                            by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 02:13:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  okay whatever I dont really talk to you. Good (0+ / 0-)

                            luck.

                          •  have a happy 4th of july! (0+ / 0-)

                            Al Gore's progressive 2000 GE Democratic Platform:
                            Prosperity, Progress and Peace

                            by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 08:53:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  read huffington's article (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tom Rossen

                            obama is destroying his brand, and therein lies the problem. you are doing him no favors here. he's falling into the kerry 2004 syndrome.

                          •  This was a great conversation - for a while (0+ / 0-)

                            It was civilized! It was actually about real stuff!

                            Here's my two cents. When you two were talking about fear, I don't think you got to the core fear here: that "the lefties"/"people who care about the Constitution" "attacking Obama"/"holding his feet to the fire" will somehow hurt his chances in the election.

                            I don't see bruh1 or even judy browni threatening to vote for McCain or <shudder> Nader or sit on their hands. This isn't the fake/Fiorina offended feminists picking up their marbles after Hillary lost to O.

                            I'm a Chicagoan (grew up in Hyde Park). I was inspired by O's 2002 speech at a rally downtown against the war (before it started) - Jesse Jackson's speech looked like he was phoning it in, reading off a yellow legal pad: it was O that preached the classic "tell it like it is" sermon.

                            I have serious doubts about O's ties to Rezko, Lieberman and the corporatariat. I voted for Edwards in the primary. But I'll absolutely vote for O in the big one.

                            And ... I followed the link and joined that feet-to-the-fire group. As somebody suggested above, this may be good for Obama's image as willing to stand up to anybody, including his base.  There's no downside!

                            So yes, I agree with bruh1 that the problem is fear, and that it's not really justified. But I want to make it clear that I (along with, I hope, the other "lefties" on this issue) am not threatening "violence" (i.e., electoral defection) here. I'd like to believe we're carrying on the Gandhi/King tradition of speaking truth to power, appealing to conscience.

                          •  they have to believe that you are, or else (0+ / 0-)

                            then what? where is there to go other than addressing the issue at hand from there?

                          •  I respect where you're coming from. (0+ / 0-)

                            Thanks for the dialog.  You've got me thinking.

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 08:02:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  A agree. (0+ / 0-)

                            I thought it was a quality conversation, too.  

                            One of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.-James Baldwin

                            by DuChamp Fitz on Sat Jul 05, 2008 at 07:56:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  by the way almost every example you give (0+ / 0-)

                            at the time was rationalized as you are doing now. that's the lesson you didn't apparently obtain from the little list you gave.

                  •  Judy brown is not a liberal (0+ / 0-)

                    There is no way I believe this person was ever an Obama supporter.  She is around to sow dissent.  Ignore her.

              •  He broke it (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irmaly, Incaficious

                he owns it!

              •  I agree with you--this is about priorities (0+ / 0-)
            •  How many Democratic candidates have upheld (0+ / 0-)

              the Constitution lately? All of the Senate except Feingold voted for the Patriot Bill.  I hope all the Obama detractors here shouted as loudly at that time to their Senators; though if they did, it certainly didn't do any good.

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            judybrowni

            This is my stand as well.

            Please help Michelle's cookies! Her lead is in danger! You can vote every day.

            by jenontheshore on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do both, Mr. Smug (5+ / 0-)

            I will work my tail off until November, just as I have. I will continue to donate just as I have.

            But I WILL SPEAK OUT when my candidate is violating his principles.

            There is only one presidential candidate.

            by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:24:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "there's always been 3 day retroactive warrants," (5+ / 0-)

        which are already unconstitional enough, aren't they?

        •  Excellent point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Indexer, pigsfly77586

          That's true! They are. But those, at least, I understand. The logistics involved, I could see, might require a mechanism like that.

          But what was WRONG with that, I ask? The only reason it didn't work was because a bunch of criminals circumvented it entirely.

          What we need is oversight, transparency, and accountability. And THAT has nothing to do with this FISA bill.

          There is only one presidential candidate.

          by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:05:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What's wrong with something unconstitutional? (0+ / 0-)

            Do I understand you correctly?

            •  Sorry, this is clearer: (0+ / 0-)

              3 day retroactive wiretaps are, given that they've been in practice for 30 years, and given that we don't want to slow down a move that will keep us safe, are acceptable.

              Yes, technically that's a constitutional violation, but the founders didn't have phones. And they certainly couldn't have anticipated the level of global communications available to all, including those who would do us harm.

              My point is that that's where the line is. Any more pushing of it, like, for instance, the FISA bill BO apparently now supports, is beyond my explanation. It's just plain wrong.

              There is only one presidential candidate.

              by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:23:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Umm, (0+ / 0-)

                your first paragraph is unacceptable.

                Yes, the Founding Fathers didn't have phones, but if the government wants the privilege of denying us constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, there's one way of acquiring such powers that's consonant with the Constititon:

                It's called "constitutional amendment process."

                •  True, but laws also interpret the constitution (0+ / 0-)

                  Some laws aren't weighty enough that we should hook 'em onto the daddy documents.

                  Either way, I'm more inclined to agree with you than Obama. The only thing in this nation that should have any sanctity is the constitution.

                  There is only one presidential candidate.

                  by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:28:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  look i like the Constitution, too (0+ / 0-)

              but some of you seem to think that we've ever had a time in the U.S. where it was actually followed to the letter. we haven't. it's unrealistic to expect Sen. Obama to fix all the problems we have when he is not even prez, even then it will take many years to undo all the wrongs.

        •  exigent circumstances (0+ / 0-)

          have a long history of being used to justify warrantless searches.  While the Supreme Court has generally held that a warrant is required before a search, there are a myriad of exceptions to this on lines along those included in FISA.  In the end, the central requirement of the 4th amendment is reasonableness and where a warrant is impractical for a specific situation (e.g. there is the risk of imminent harm to someone and no time to get a warrant), the 4th amendment has been interpreted not to require a warrant

          •  The verb tenses (0+ / 0-)

            in the Fourth Amendment are quite clear.

            Everything else is authoritarian equivocation.

            •  everything else (0+ / 0-)

              is how the Supreme Court has interpreted the 4th amendment.  In fact, no language in the 4th amendment explicitly requires that the government obtain a warrant before executing a search.  The 4th amendment only protects your right against an unreasonable search and seizure and the lack of a warrant is simply not unreasonable in all situations.

              •  What part of (0+ / 0-)

                "to be searched" and "to be seized" do you not understand?

                The Founding Fathers were smart enough to have written "to have been searched" (etc.) had they been so inclined.

                And don't give me the usual load of crap about how what SCOTUS has done to pervert the Constitution for authoritarian and/or corporate interests is somehow magically consonant with the ideals of the Fourth Amendment.

                •  not sure (0+ / 0-)

                  what copy of the 4th amendment you are looking at, but the phrases "to be searched" and "to be seized" do not appear anywhere therein.

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

                  The right involved is only that to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.  There is nothing controversial about this interpretation of the constitution.

                  •  should clarify (0+ / 0-)

                    the phrases don't appear in the operative clause of the 4th amendment where the right is being described.

                  •  Okay, so now I know (0+ / 0-)

                    you can quote the Fourth Amendment without reading it.

                    nice job.

                    How can a warrant describe the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized, when the search/seizure has already taken place?

                  •  Except you left out (0+ / 0-)

                    of your interpretation "but upon probable cause".  You can't just pick out a part of a complete sentence to make your point the way this BushCo bunch does.  I'm no lawyer but I do know that probability implies like something greater than one in a trillion.  Maybe greater than 50% chance of finding incriminating evidence.   How can monitoring trillions of international phone calls of mostly inocent Americans be constitutional?

                    Everything is a matter of interpretation!

                    by mogul456 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:55:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't he address accountability? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dmh44

        Just wondering what you thought of his pledge to strike the immunity clause and to investigate as president?

        Obama: Ending John McCain's 100-year-War.

        by yaddab on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:04:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good pledges, but now vs. later (0+ / 0-)

          How many times have we had a candidate who said "well, this is what I'm doing now, but LATER, when I've wrangled the independents I need to, and am elected, I'll do the right thing on the issue".

          Well, call me a cynic. I don't buy it. I sure as heck hope he DOES do what he's describing.

          But that's a little beside the point. What's most frustrating is that in Oct 2007 he stood on principle, and I cannot find a way in which this explanation or his position now is consistent with those principles.

          There is only one presidential candidate.

          by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:30:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Geez... (7+ / 0-)

        you guys are unbelievable. He just told you guys to keep it up, to keep pushing. He said the bill you hate so much wouldn't even exist if you guys hadn't sounding off to start with.

        He wants the people to have the power, and you doesn't see a new kind of politics?

        I didn't get into politics because of any single issue. I got involved because I saw democracy threatened, and that's why I got behind Dean, an unabashed "moderate Democrat". But a Democrat who believed passionately in democracy, and wanted to restore it.

        Obama just proved he is that kind of Democrat too, and I couldn't be happier.

        That's why I am here.

    •  Agreed (7+ / 0-)

      Just happy Obama spent the time to explain himself a little better.

    •  Thank you for an honest assessment, Mr. Senator. (10+ / 0-)

      Explanations such as this are one of the reasons I'm proud to have voted for you once, and will be proud to vote for you once again in November.

      •  Amen! (5+ / 0-)

        I don't think anybody is going to do what I want all the time, or let me as an individual dictate what they will do.

        All I want is someone who will listen to me, who does care about what I think, and who will do what I want if I can help build the political will for it.

        I haven't seen anything like this for along time.

        It was like living in the USSR for awhile in this country.

    •  The disturbing part about his response is this... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mzinformed, CryptoPolitico

      explanation:

      I do so with the firm intention -- once I’m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

      This assumes that Obama will be elected president although there seems to be little doubt that he will be elected.

      However, as Grannydoc pointed out, what if he is not elected?

      This also assumes that if he were not running for President that he would do what? Vote against it?... for it?...

      So... Is this not a purely political maneuver to get the conservative vote?

      I thought that we are going to head past this type of old style politics.

      This type of bill is not the kind to speculate on like buying stock or futures.

      Sorry, Barack, I cannot buy into this type of investment.

  •  I can sum it all up with the following sentence. (14+ / 0-)

    The Boogeyman Republicans will run ads saying I am soft on terror this fall.

    Guess what Obama policy makers....it doesn't matter...the narrative has already been written.

    Go back to teaching constitution law.

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:47:35 PM PDT

    •  Yup (18+ / 0-)

      So much for the transformative campaign - McCain has hired Rovians, Obama is running the Kerry playbook - we're gonna party like it's 2004.

      God help us all.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:49:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if it was 2004... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbeach, kitebro, snout, NYFM

        The number of Democrats has increased incredibly.  Even if Obama won only the same percentage of Democrats as Kerry, he would win the election.  So put those muppet-arms down.

        •  Muppet arms? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          Do I look like Kermit the frog? I mean, I'm skinny, but my skin isn't green...

          Re-running the 2004 campaign might work - but that basic method hasn't produced a single Democratic presidential election victory I can imagine, with the possible exception of 1996.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
          Neither is California High Speed Rail

          by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:51:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A win is not enough! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nokkonwud

            A narrow victory isn't going to cut it anyway; just look at the 2006 results to see what a small win will bring.  Obama needs to stay strong and look like a winner so everyone, except the no-nothing wing of the GOP, jumps on his bandwagon.  Playing it "safe" might assure a win but it probably won't deliver the crushing blow that is needed in November.

            --- January 2009: A time to mend!

            by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You forgot 2000 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joehoevah

            This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

            by GreenSooner on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I am not a big fan... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bethcf4p, v2aggie2, JeremiahRosemont

            Of the FISA capitulation.  At all.  But I find the drama surrounding it, particularly of the 'OMG NOW WE LOSE O NOES' or even worse the 'OMG BOB BARR 4 FREEDOMZ' variety to be distasteful.  

            Did I urge my Senator to vote against the bill?  Yes, and he has every time it's come up.  Did I sign up for the anti-FISA group on MyBO.com?  Yes, and I have also sent a number of emails and signed other petitions and such on the issue.  

            But I refer to 'muppet arms' because of the running around with hands waving all akimbo overhead, shouting about how the end is nigh.  (This is not intended as a personal criticism of you - you were only very mildly entering that territory).

            •  its not just FISA (0+ / 0-)

              if it were I doubut you would see this reaction. Its the feeling that he's abandoning what he said he stood for during the primary whether on this issue, or NAFTA  or any number of things. You can pretend its just about FISA, but that's not true.

              •  I can 'pretend'? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                v2aggie2

                So now you're accusing me of dishonesty too?  Heh.  It might be better to adopt a more accomdating tone in discourse - not everyone in the world is automatically going to agree with you, and some people might actually be open to reasonable exchange of knowledge, if it isn't dipped in vinegar and snark first.  

                •  more silliness (0+ / 0-)

                  and denial. i responded to your claim that this is solely about FISA. Indeed, I gave you examples to demonstrate the falsity of your claim. What do i get for the favor- more silliness and denial. You can't handle he's not what you thought so you make this about everyone else who sees his changing positions.

                  OH yeah- it's one thing to argue what you just said to me if he had been clear from the start. Then that's disagreement. But how can you have disagreement where they start off saying oen thing, and then another. That's not disagreement except in some really fucked up sense of the word.

                  •  Uh. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bethcf4p

                    I am not an Obama-is-always-right cheerleader.  God, your brush is so fucking huge, and you've painted the whole world with it.  

                    I disagree with the FISA thing, I just think dramatics (like those demonstrated above) are not really intelligent things for adults to be doing with their time.  

                    I think I'm done talking to you, if it's all the same to you.  If you're just going to assume I am your Worst Ideological Enemy (a 'cheerleader') because it's easier for you to get outraged, it's clear to me that you're just looking for a reason to be outraged.

                    •  You made an over the top statement in which (0+ / 0-)

                      you claimed something that was factually false. you can continue to personalize as much you want. You are still living in denial if you think this is about one issue or another. I don't care if you talk to me. I don't liek talk to Bush-like supporters now any less than I did when I canvased in 2004. Your thought process is the same. Denial,denial denial.

          •  How would you do it if (0+ / 0-)

            you were the candidate?

        •  Man, stop jinxing. This will be hard. (0+ / 0-)

          Obama still is more progressive than Clinton. He's still a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama. This will be a difficult win.

      •  Meet the new Boss (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cthulhu, corvo, Spoonfulofsugar

        Same as the old Boss

        That new politics line is pure bullshit!

        Obama’s a triangulating hack.  Better than Bill Clinton.  

        Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. Harry S. Truman

        by deepsouthdoug on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:55:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo

          It's sad that we're now reduced to "well he's just like Bill Clinton, except maybe less triangulating and able to keep it in his pants."

          16 years and nothing changes.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
          Neither is California High Speed Rail

          by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, okay, this is over the line (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbeach, maizenblue

          I agree with the sentiment, but that's going too far.

          He's just doing what every other politician does. But, he's cut from better cloth. I think this is bad, but "triangulating hack" is Big Guns....and this ain't a big guns target.

          There is only one presidential candidate.

          by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:57:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK he's just a liar (4+ / 0-)

            He lied in the primary season on the FISA bill to get votes, and now he's telling us what he really thinks.  

            "YES WE CAN
            LIVE WITHOUT THE FOURTH AMENDMENT"

            Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. Harry S. Truman

            by deepsouthdoug on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:01:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that's excessive (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yoshimi, byteb, OutOfManyOne
              •  Ok, he's a hypocrite...is that better? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                deepsouthdoug, limpidglass

                Wht explanation do you offer for his change of position, given that the new bill is even more odious than the old bill?

                •  I don't (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  robertlewiws

                  but then I don't have to.

                  From my point of view, I think that the government is essentially the guilty party here. It has a lot of power over telecommunications companies through the FCC. I think that, if the government asked you to give them information about what went on in your workplace, and at the same time reminded you that they could have you fired or simply arrested and charged with some bogus crime, you might think long and hard about giving them at least some of what they wanted. So, for me, retroactive immunity is simply a recognition that a Company or an individual that can be victimized and pressured by its government either directly or by inference is really rather less responsible for what happens than is the government.

                  •  OK. Except... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irmaly, corvo, adrianrf

                    The telecoms got indemnified for their actions.  

                    This means that they said to the government "Hey, whoa, we will do what you want us to do, because you have all this scary and terrible power, but if we get sued, you need to pay."  The government said "sure."

                    So now...the telecoms did get sued, by people whose rights got trampled and who are entitled to compensation for the tort done to them.  And what does Congress do?  It says...it will make the telecom companies completely immune from suit.

                    This is the problem with telecom immunity. It means that there will never be a true shot at exposing this program and stopping it, and it means that people whose rights were trampled will have no right of recovery against either the telecom company or the government.

                    Its not like some poor telecom company is going to get crushed because it treid to "do the right thing."  Instead, the only people who get crushed are those whose rights got trampled.  

                    And if that is OK with you, how far shall we go?  How about a drug company that makes drugs for children but the drug kills them (as in E-Ferol, c. 1983).  Should Congress then give retroactive immunity for that tort, just because the company was pressured by the government to bring its products to market, or because the drug industry is "important"?

                    Follow this to its final conclusion and we get to a world where no citizen has any rights vis-a-vis big companies or the government.  This is a very bad precedent.

                    •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't really know the story. But I also do not agree with the use of civil law to impose penalties on individuals or Corporations. Punitive sanctions are the task of criminal law, not civil law. That said, if the government agreed to indemnify a corporation, then that agreement should stand, I agree. Retroactive immunity is something I abhor.

                      Another question: who are the people trying to file suit against telecoms, and what specific claims of economic harm are they claiming? Isn't that a key part of a civil suit?

                  •  That's right if you don't believe the telco's (0+ / 0-)

                    were eager to spy for the president, or were already spying on americans for their own purposes. Maybe the gov't paid them to do what they were already doing, gathering information on americans and selling it to other companies or using the information themselves. the government would use this information to a similar end: to control the american populaton. you seem to assume that the telco's were innocent victims instead of the victimizers.

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

                ..but it does seem to be TRUE, doesn't it?

                He did oppose it then, he doesn't oppose it now, and that long empty statement up there doesn't even try to tell us what's changed since then and why that change has forced him to change positions.

            •  Close, but let's be fair (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              deepsouthdoug

              I think he's taking a raw political stance now.  He is, on this issue, putting politics above principle.

              His stance in Oct 2007 was principled. Like Russ' position the entire time, no other motive would explain it.

              Given the deception in this "explanation", it's clear that Obama isn't post-political after all.

              The new politics is simply a slightly improved version of the old politics. Hooray.

              There is only one presidential candidate.

              by OutOfManyOne on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:08:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This is so fucking depressing!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bethcf4p

              Obama's vote isn't going to stop the bill from passing the Senate.  There are 99 other Senators.  I suppose many FISA issue voters here want him to vote NO so it will pass anyway (the writing is on the wall), then he gets attacked as soft on terror in the Fall and his face is morphed into Osama in one of the many 527 groups working for McCain.  Yeah, that fresh? Huh???

              •  I think Obama knew what was coming down the pike (0+ / 0-)

                From the House from the very beginning.  The House DemoHACKS would not have released the bill without the 'new leader' of the party knowing about it and agreeing with it.  

                If he would have opposed it from the beginning he would have killed it and he would won the debate on the merits of protecting the Constitution.  

                Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. Harry S. Truman

                by deepsouthdoug on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:46:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  NOr would the blocking of his bill (0+ / 0-)

                restore many of the rights we have already lost.

        •  You disagree on this and now he's Clinton (0+ / 0-)

          Oh man, we need perspective.

    •  Why is it impossible for Obama... (29+ / 0-)

      ...to care about things just as much as you, and still see them differently?

      I'm so tired of the "holier-than-thou" comments by people acting like they're the only ones who have a valid argument on this subject.

      Respect. Empower. Include. Yes We Can!

      by The Great Gatsby on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:55:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  plainly the ability to disagree (12+ / 0-)

        on important issues in an adult way is something we as a nation have to work on from all sides of the ideological divide.

        "I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it." Zoe (Firefly)

        by geejay on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:57:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Huckabee cares for things just as (5+ / 0-)

        much as I do. I still oppose his policies.

        When I no longer oppose the policies I disagree with, I'm no longer engaged in democracy. I don't support a person as leader. I support leadership in a person.

      •  but he doesn't... (0+ / 0-)

        He specifically lays out some of the concerns we have, but seems to be willing to let the law lose meaning than challenge this administration on anything...he knows that the people most upset by this have no better recourse than voting for him.  And this is supposed to be change...this is the kind of triangulation that has convinced people the Democrats will do nothing to help the republic, help the people, and move this country forward.

      •  He's running for President, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        seeking votes and dodging attacks from the Republicans and the MSM, and therefore he's in a very different position than those of us here. And that's largely why he has staked out the position he has.

        No, I think we all understand why Obama is backtracking from his previous position and compromising on the FISA bill, despite the fact that immunity is opposed by a majority of his constituents in Illinois, a majority of his supporters in the Democratic party, indeed a majority of the citizens of the United States.

        There's nothing "holier than thou" about  the criticism levied here at Daly Kos. It's not only valid, it's necessary, because:

        A) it's such a terrible and shortsighted strategy to "compromise" on protecting the Bill of Rights and preserving the privacy of the citizens of this country.  
        and...

        B) Blogs like this actually can apply some political pressure to the candidates for whom they raise money and gather votes.

      •  Demonizing the opponent (0+ / 0-)

        As Obama has said many times--he doesn't want to demonize those with whom he disagrees. Of course, that's deformed into Clintonian triangulation by many here.

        Love your sig line! It's appropriate!

    •  And you would be 100% wrong (5+ / 0-)

      Because all Obama is saying is, that he is not going to lose this one.  He'll win where he think he can win (Bingaman Amendment, maybe cut down the retro immunity) but he's not going to be made to look weak.

      We must love one another and die.

      by Tybalt on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:57:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh grow the hell up. (20+ / 0-)

      The guy is taking fire from all corners.  So say you are right?  Say he saw that the votes were there and the bill was going to pass anyhow - and he had a choice between handing the GOP another club to use against him or trusting us to understand.

      Maybe he made the right call, maybe he made the wrong call.  But put youself in his position and tell me it's as clear as you folks seem to want to pretend it is.

      Elect him first, perfect him later. The stakes are too high to fuck around my friends.

      by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, the big disagreement there, I think, (6+ / 0-)

        is this: "a choice between handing the GOP another club to use against him ..."

        Many people, myself included, think that's a completely specious argument. The GOP doesn't rely on us for clubs. They'll club him with anything and everything, with absolutely no relationship to his actions.

        So he might as well do the right thing. (Clearly, here, he thinks he has. That's fine. Maybe he's right and I'm wrong. But just as clearly I think I'm right and he's wrong, and exactly as he's acting on his beliefs, I'm acting on mine.)

        •  No doubt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitty

          But if he and his folks think it's a real club - maybe they know the politics of it better than you and I.  They have demonstrated some chops in that area.

          People talk a lot in "battle" terms around here.  Well the next 4+ months is THE battle.  The main event.  It wouldn't hurt to be unified and trust our general's judgement for just that long, would it?  

          Fuck your purity.

          by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:07:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe they do, maybe they (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irmaly, adrianrf, sunny skies

            don't. Certainly I don't agree that we should never question the Obama campaign's decisions, if that's your suggestion.

            He's not a general, and I'm not a soldier. He's a politician and I'm a citizen. My job isn't to follow his orders. My job is the same as his; to serve the country.

            Now, I am absolutely convinced that Obama must be elected president. But I think that for that to happen,  and for him to serve well, he needs the full-throated support when deserved and opposition when deserved of the larger progressive movement.

            I think our opposition will help him both get elected and govern wisely. Especially if he actually listens to us, which I see little evidence of, on this issue.

            •  Hmmm.... (0+ / 0-)

              Now, I am absolutely convinced that Obama must be elected president. But I think that for that to happen,  and for him to serve well, he needs the full-throated support when deserved and opposition when deserved of the larger progressive movement.

              So which is it?  Areyou convinced that he "must be elected"?  Or are you convinced that he "must be elected ONLY if he can convince progressive that he's worthy"?

              If he doesn't meet your standards, are you cool with a McCain Presidency?

              Fuck your purity.

              by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:25:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Maybe I wasn't clear. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                irmaly

                I am absolutely convinced that Obama must be elected president, and I think that for that to happen, one thing he needs is full-throated opposition, when deserved, from the larger progressive movement.

                I think we do Obama a disservice if he turn ourselves into obedient little yes-men. Not just him personally, but his campaign, and his chances to win.

                If he gets your unquestioning support, are you cool with a McCain Presidency?

                •  How does that work Gussie? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GussieFN

                  How does our opposition help him?  Give me some examples of how his campaign gets a boost from it.

                  As for being a yes-man - I've got no problem with a bit of criticism when needed.  But we're WAY beyond that here.  This is not constructive, and we have a duty to our country to be constructive right now.

                  Fuck your purity.

                  by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:49:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, I think it works in at least two ways. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irmaly, snout

                    One: I believe that the country is largely hungry for progressive change. So if our opposition pushes the Obama campaign in that direction, I think that's electoral gold.

                    Two: I believe that even in case like this, when it appears Obama will do the wrong thing, the fact that a loud, large contingent of his supporters oppose him fucking up will, somewhat counterintuitively, protect his left flank. Because if people who disagree with Obama from the left yet still support him are visible, then I think that draws in others who are to his left (the ones who even I would label purity trolls! Or Nader-fodder ...), and gives them 'permission', sorta, to support him as well.

                    Finally, a bonus number 3 I'm not too sure about, given that Obama will never meet with our complete approval those segments of the country that aren't hungry for progressive change (read: the Big Corporate Media) will see Obama 'standing up to the fringe lefties' and that'll position his as a centrist. Which whatever its flaws, is a strong position to be in vis a vis the media.

                    Bottom line, I guess, is that we disagree on a single thing: is the criticism here constructive or not. You  think we're way beyond that. I think--and I think the Obama campaign agrees--that this is a tempest in a teapot. I'm actually hoping we'll grow this tempest all the way into, say, a gravy boat!

                    •  I think the Obama campaign... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...is pretending this is a tempest in a teapot because that's how they want it seen.

                      The fact that he responded directly to the netroots at all is a sign that he thinks it's a real problem.

                      As for your reasons: Numbers one and two do not add up to a very large net gain for Obama in my opinion.  So he picks up the Naderites at the cost of an equal or greater number of indy voters.  As much as we want to beleive that the country is dying for progressive change, the numbers simply aren't there.  Edwards and Kucinich ran on that idea and neither made the waves to support the notion that it's a feasable strategy.

                      As for #3 - I don't think it helps him to be seen as a centrist to be called names by the left.  I think taking centrist positions (or at least using centrist language) generally is a better way to acheive that.  

                      Fuck your purity.

                      by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:12:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  This criticism hurts support more (0+ / 0-)

              That's my concern. I think the responses here do more to cut "full-throated support" than Obama's actions. People are making this the entire campaign focus. It is depressing enthusiasm, donations, etc. That is the goal and I fear it succeeding.

      •  and further more (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitty, snout, Elise, jenontheshore, Capostrophe

        for the sake of argument, let's say he's wrong. Now what? he's still the nominee, and we have to win.

        Even if he's fucking up, we have to hoist his ass into the seat anyway. even if he plays into the hands of the enemy, we need to fix it, distract the media, spin the news, say "hey look over there" and tidy the scene before the MSM looks back. We have to be the adults in the room and make this happen, even if its over his own  mistakes, even if its over ours. It just has to happen.

        "I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it." Zoe (Firefly)

        by geejay on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:05:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Taking the easy way out? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, adrianrf

        That's the same logic that apparently led a lot of folks to vote for the war in Iraq back in '02.  

        --- January 2009: A time to mend!

        by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:12:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No doubt. And they were wrong then. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise

          And Obama may very well be wrong now.  And I don't fucking care.  

          He's our nominee.  His track record speaks to who he is.  I'll file this away and once he's President, I'll be vigilent.  Not now.  For the next 4+ months he's the fucking messiah as far as I'm concerned.    

          Fuck your purity.

          by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:18:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hasn't BO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        said that about other unpopular actions [legislation, confirming appointees of bush] taken by the Senate?

        Is that going to be his perennial excuse for everything?

        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:13:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can sum it up better : picture Stephen Colbert (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      doing his child-like routine whereby he sticks his fingers in his ears and chants "lalalalalalalalalalalallala..."

    •  agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      typical weak democrat

      "The Audacity of pragmatists and concern trolls" - Barack Obama

      by proverbs for paranoids on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But as we learned today (26+ / 0-)

    Exclusivity already exists.

    This is a pretty weak defense - they're not admitting any error, don't appear to understand the issue well (as Greenwald noted yesterday) and and hoping that sweet words about community organizing will convince us to look past this senseless sellout.

    Some think this is a diversion from the election. I don't. It's the first - and necessary - battle of the Obama Administration. There will be MANY more of these to come.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
    Neither is California High Speed Rail

    by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:48:24 PM PDT

    •  Hopeless. I mean you. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Oh really? (5+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry but the price of gas and milk are far more pressing issues when he takes office. This is why we lose elections because you guys pout about stuff that can be dealt with later on.  

      Will FISA help me pay my bills? I didn't think so.

      •  Right (6+ / 0-)

        Because my post mentioned how I'm going to go out and volunteer for McSame...

        Get a clue.

        The only people who will solve the price of gas and milk are you and I. The sooner we recognize that the better off we are.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
        Neither is California High Speed Rail

        by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:55:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm going to solve problems? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitty

          Please explain to me how I'm going to lower the cost of milk. Can I produce milk in my backyard?

          Our economy is in the tank and that is the issue that I am worried about. I'm sorry but FISA is not at the top of my list and outside of Dailykos, it isn't for a bunch of folks.

          Most of you around here are retired, wealthy, etc and can fret all day long about FISA while the rest of us worry about how we are going to fill up our tank and pay our bills.

      •  Later on??? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, irmaly

        And if McCain wins, which, with the overwhelming support of the MSM to boost him, seems more and more likely.

        Obama isn't impressing as many as he is disillusioning.  Again, making it more likely for McCain to win.  

        If you don't believe me, explain how it is that so many races are so close or even have Obama trailing?  

        And, please, CAN the "you're weakening our chances/emboldening the enemy/not supporting our troops" bullshit.  This is democracy, EAT IT.

        -4.63, -5.59 The Right-wing Noise Machine is SOOO much better at controlling the debate than we are.

        by Divertedone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where is he trailing? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kitty

          No seriously please point to one poll where Obama is trailing. Guess what, come election day if Obama's 5 point lead holds, that is a serious win.  

          All of this huffing and puffing around here is ridiculous.  

          FISA ISN'T IMPORTANT TO THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS. GET OVER IT.

      •  So that we can wrap up this argument (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, irmaly, Cthulhu

        How much will it cost to buy your Constitutional protections? I'll make an offer on all of them at once. We can talk about giving them back later if I feel like it.

      •  Obama's not going to fix that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, corvo

        If you expect Obama to significantly bring down the price of milk or gasoline, I think you're in for an unpleasant surprise in January.  Demand for energy appears to be on a permanent rise and only the advent of alternative energy is going to reduce the demand enough to lower the prices though the cost of alternative energy is likely to still be high as viewed from our current perspective.  And food prices are being driven up by the cost of energy so they aren't likely going to come down all that much either.

        If we can change how things work in this country, perhaps we can get wages on the march again so that we can keep pace with the rising costs; that's going to be a slow and difficult change as well.

        --- January 2009: A time to mend!

        by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:21:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wages need to be higher (0+ / 0-)

          An effective President can help with that so we don't have to choose between gas and food. I'm not expecting him to save the world but I do believe that my economic situation will get better under a dem president.

          This is why FISA is not at the top of my list. I'm sorry  but I'm not losing sleep over FISA and I won't.

    •  He doesn't understand (17+ / 0-)

      If I'm correct, the portions of the release

      In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people.

      and

      The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer.

      seem to ignore that the old FISA law allowed government officials to tap first then seek a warrant later.  

      It appears he is playing the fear card, an unhopeful tact.  Otherwise, I agree with those who see him as afraid of being attacked.

      -4.63, -5.59 The Right-wing Noise Machine is SOOO much better at controlling the debate than we are.

      by Divertedone on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Exactly. (6+ / 0-)

        And here I thought Obama wasn't afraid of being attacked, that he had the necessary confidence to run a bolder campaign.

        Oh well.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
        Neither is California High Speed Rail

        by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:57:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Fundamentally the Same Logic as the War $ (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf

          The hostage is just different.

          Obama refused to deny funds "to the troops in the field" ignoring the fact that no funds means that the President is obligated to bring them home. At best Obama could argue that Bush would leave the troops in the field to die to get his way.

          Same logic here, just replace troops with the American populace.

          This is why you don't negotiate with a madman. You impeach the fucker and have the secret service, FBI, sergeant at arms, or whomever is the appropriate enforcer drag his ass out of the oval office by force if necessary.

          The mistake the dems made in 2006 was assuming that Bush was a reasonable man and his cronies would obey Congressional subpoenas, etc.

    •  This is not a battle of the Obama Administration (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anne Elk, jenontheshore, on board 47

      He ain't president.

    •  If you want Obama onside (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, Elise

      Then you have to put the Senate in a position where we get the votes.  Pure and simple.  That's what the statements about organizing are all about.

      I'm appalled at how few people seem to understand that Obama isn't the Magic Miracle Pixie of Liberalism.  Obama can't win this all by himself - he needs the political cover that only a massive groundswell of support can provide.  He's not about to get hived off from a group of Democratic senators and lose this vote, so that he can look weak in front of the whole country.

      That groundswell doesn't exist.  The only really functioning lobbying effort on FISA started less than two weeks ago - there is no base for this.  It's great for us to say (as is true) that once anyone understands the Constitutional principles at work here, this ceases to be a right/left issue, or stuff like that.  But the fact is, there is little popular support either way here.  If Obama dives into the FISA scrap, as things stand, he's going to lose.  He shouldn't put himself in that position.

      We must love one another and die.

      by Tybalt on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:03:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well there are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, Larry Bailey, corvo

    A whole bunch of questions but not many answers.

    If you are in DC see Man of La Mancha at the Church Street Theater opening 7/10/08

    by BDA in VA on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:48:24 PM PDT

  •  Hear Kos on Rachel Maddow's radio show (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcmom, Dinclusin

    Here.

    And speaking of progressive radio stations (where you find rachel) support them here.

  •  What does he mean by this?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Great Gatsby

    Democracy cannot exist without strong differences.

    We all know that nobody disagrees with us except out of fear or outright dishonesty.  No alternate opinions exist - only excuses and lies!

    </snark>

    •  Someone oughta reply (6+ / 0-)

      "That may be, but the Bill of Rights cannot exist without the Fourth Amendment."

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:50:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see how that logically follows (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, joehoevah

        I support the Fourth Amendment and oppose the FISA cave (and Obama's decision to support the FISA cave), but the individual amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights aren't particularly intradependent. It's pretty easy, for example, to imagine a Bill of Rights in which freedom of religion is guaranteed, but there is no protection against cruel and unusual punishment. I don't see how the Fourth Amendment is some necessary anchor to a larger concept that the Bill of Rights stands for, even assuming the PAA would vitiate Fourth Amendment protections (which I'm not sure it would). Privacy, for example, is an important value of the Fourth Amendment that is not necessarily implicated by free speech or judicial due process protections. The protections the Fourth Amendment offers against police misconduct similarly are coextensive but are not necessary preconditions for other protections against such misconduct, e.g. the prohibition on coerced testimony.

      •  and of course it has not been established (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joehoevah

        that the FISA compromise is unconstitutional - there is what we think the 4th amendment should be interpreted to mean and then there is how the courts will construe the 4th amendment. Its possible that the FISA compromise survives constitutional scrutiny, in which case the Bill of Rights has not been infringed. So the compromise it's not really an assault on the Bill of Rights - just an assault on what some people think the Bill of Rights should mean . .

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

      For saying what I'm constantly trying to get across.

      Respect. Empower. Include. Yes We Can!

      by The Great Gatsby on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  disappointing (19+ / 0-)

    to say the least. from a con law scholar, even.

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit"

    It's time: the albany project.

    by lipris on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:48:48 PM PDT

  •  I love the way he responds...it's like he (31+ / 0-)

    actually respects our opinions, even when they differ from his.  So unlike bush and McCain.

    Thanks, Barack...we've got your back.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:49:22 PM PDT

  •  Sen. Inhofe (7+ / 0-)

    would have stopped this bill if he didn't like it.

    You mean to tell me that Sen. Inhofe is more powerful than you?

    Senator Feingold, Senator Dodd, is Sen. Inhofe more powerful than you?

    Who in the hell is in the majority may I ask?

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:49:27 PM PDT

  •  Or maybe you'd rather (8+ / 0-)

    he permit himself to be blackmailed into flip-flop-flipping, and open himself to claims that he's held hostage by the radical left?

    Seems to be the popular opinion around here...

    •  Granted, doing the right thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chaboard

      the first time around would've been better, I very much hope (though that hope is dimming) that the fear of appearing weak will influence Obama's actions less than the desire to do right.

      (Erm, I should've said the 'second time around'; he got it right the first time.)

    •  Well he's already flip flopped... (0+ / 0-)

      ...so if that's the issue, the damage is done.

      Instead the problem is more basic: the Village has always bought the Bush administration's FISA narrative, hook, line, and sinker.

      The problem Obama faces now is the same one he faced before caving: the Fourth Amendment is a lot less popular than Big Brother in our nation's capital these days.

      This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

      by GreenSooner on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:10:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's less popular than it seems... (0+ / 0-)

      but it's still way too popular.

  •  Obama believes in compromise. (15+ / 0-)

    Maybe too much. But "no compromise" is not an option in a democracy. I believe that Obama is making this compromise in good faith.

    And I will do everything I can to move the overton window, and hold our president accountable. ... after we elect him.

    It's not a campaign. It's a movement. Will you stand up?

    by danthrax on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:50:02 PM PDT

  •  this new statement (11+ / 0-)

    is the same as the old one, with a few words rearranged, and a few flattering remarks to soothe our egos:

    For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions.

    Well-perfumed horseshit, but horseshit nonetheless.

  •  That's much too thoughtful...we need red meat! (9+ / 0-)

    Damn it, he's too...thoughtful. Can't stand this. I want some blood. Some peasants with pitchforks. I want to lose 49 states again. This surely wont help.

    Come on people. Rally. Let's bring this motherf*cker back down to earth!

  •  It might be helpful (8+ / 0-)

    For Obama or someone within his campaign to list the portions of the Constitution which are or are not up for negotiation. We can avoid nasty dust-ups like this in the future.

  •  From Montana again... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, nokkonwud

    .... It may indeed be a deal breaker when coupled with the revisions to his Iraq policies.  And his willingness to turn a blind eye to the separation of church and state.  

    I admire Senator Obama, and believe he is a great politician, but he should not take his support from those of us who care about Iraq, the Constitution, and the rule of law for granted.  

    "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies ... the soul of America dies with it." E. R. Murrow

    by avrds on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:51:40 PM PDT

    •  What revisions to Iraq? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigOkie, Elise, echatwa, jenontheshore, nwgates

      It's clear this afternoon that was an invention of MSM, looking for news or creating it.

    •  blind eye to separation of church and state? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, glynis

      you must not have listened to anything he's said about the matter...

      •  Faith-based initiatives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        adrianrf

        I will admit to not having bothered to learn much about his faith-based programs, because it's not an issue I care very much about. But if it's some kind of separate fund that only religious organizations can apply to, even if the money drawn from it can only be spent on secular programs, I see a church-state separation violation there. All community-based programs should be forced to compete on an equal basis for federal funding, and evaluated using neutral criteria. Only the most effective programs should receive funding. If religious organizations are more effectively able to offer community services due to their central importance in the social landscapes of some communities, particularly low-income communities, then fine, that's a valid consideration. But religious charities and programs should not be receiving money, or preferential treatment in the process of applying for money, just because they are religious.

    •  There are no revisions to his Iraq policy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, glynis, jenontheshore

      that's a McCain talking point. Today, anyway. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

      "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected." - Barack Obama (3.18.08)

      by lapis on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:01:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Get rid of the middleman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irmaly

      Perhaps the thing to do is to channel any money you might have given to the Obama campaign to various key Congressional races.  This increases the likelihood that we'll end up with a progressive Congress that is not directly beholden to Obama.  Controlling the funding spigot is supposed to be what gives that Bush-dog Hoyer so much power over the "Democratic" majority in the House.

      --- January 2009: A time to mend!

      by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:46:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Same tired non-response. (13+ / 0-)

    What is the real reason he's voting for this atrocious affront to civil liberties?  Is he afraid the Rebublicans will call him (gasp!) a liberal?  They will anyway.

    Is he afraid the multinational telcoms will turn against his bid?  They are already.

    Or, worst case, does he himself want to keep the ability to spy on Americans without a warrant?

    This response is insulting to my intelligence.

    All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:52:10 PM PDT

  •  Well, that's that.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, KingBolete, Yalin, Perfektion

    And Obama won't get one dime from me. I'm sending that donation instead to Darcy Burner. I'll still vote for Obama because the state of The Supreme Court is so important but I'll be holding my nose while doing it.

  •  Asked and answered (7+ / 0-)

    Let's get over the FISA battles, and let the circular firing squad move on the next thing.

    FWIW - I emailed the campaign threatening to withhold future donations over this. That was the pressure point I needed to exert myself against. Now...this is enough for me-I'm ready to resume working my ass off to get our man elected.

    •  'Cause once they vote on this... (0+ / 0-)

      ....we can just move on.

      Nobody really minds being spied on until at least 2012.

      This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

      by GreenSooner on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:17:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's a little fascism between friends? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        --- January 2009: A time to mend!

        by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:49:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Point taken, but.. (0+ / 0-)

          it's just a matter of picking my battles. While one can argue (compellingly, I might add) that Obama should have picked this battle (of course, one could also argue that he wisely chose not to), the battle I choose is to get the man, warts and all, elected. That, as opposed to choosing to fight Obama on this particular decision.

          It's about outcomes - which battle would I rather not lose? For me, President McCain is a more unacceptable outcome than this flawed bill passing under an Obama presidency.

          And if it seems like a false dichotomy, it's not. I have a finite amount of time energy to expend; I choose to use it to get Obama elected.  

  •  Oh my. How strong. I quiver. (12+ / 0-)

    make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    How about a DOJ investigation into wrong doings, followed by prosecution.  THAT would be leadership.

    Let me spell it out for the Obama apologists; The White House and the telecoms broke the law the first time. Making a new law won't prevent them from breaking that one too once they are back in power. What does actually work, however, is the disincentive of prison time and law suits.

    That's not purity... That's reality and pragmatism at its highest.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:52:38 PM PDT

    •  They were flat out bribed to do it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, cardboardurinal, adrianrf

      We have ample evidence that this started long before 9/11. In any public statements that Obama makes, he needs to point this out. Specifications for switch system for small LADAS were changed in early 2001 to require the ability to data mine. Congressional testimony documents that it started then.

      If Obama could at the very least correct the MSM "meme" that this is a post-9/11 phenomenon, some good would be done.

    •  Did the telcos break the law? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      How?

      •  Data mining (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner, corvo, cardboardurinal

        NOT tracking individual calls, but mining all the calls for key words and key contacts...long before 9/11.

        •  And you're sure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, mikolo

          they weren't presented with an AG letter?  And which law does data-mining break if they were?

          •  I'm not sure about that irrelevant fact, no. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            714day, corvo, cardboardurinal, adrianrf

            But thanks for the attempted diversion. The AG just presented me with a letter authorizing me to murder someone.  Well, I'm off with my axe and rope now!  Tata!

            What's that you say?  You say that a member of the executive branch requesting an illegal activity doesn't make it legal?  Wow, who would thunk...

            Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

            by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:05:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why don't you ask the telecoms why they (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            714day, corvo

            think it is illegal. They are the ones who want amnesty, after all. Now why on earth would they want amnesty for a legal activity?  I am not an attorney, but a little bit of common reasoning is far more powerful than getting diverted into the nuances of telecommunications law.

            Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

            by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:07:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Do you seriously want me to go find the damn law? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            I mean, its been posted about a gazillion times over the past year.  You could read Glenn Greenwald, for example, to find it.

            But if I can show you the statutory basis for holding the telecoms liable, will you simply agree that they are liable and drop this point?

            •  I've been frustrated too this week (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cthulhu

              by people who should have seen the same links over and over, popping in and demanding we find more...

              I'm thinking that there are a new kind of trolls out there, demanding time and attention to divert discussions.

            •  yes, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise

              I'm aware of the tort provision.  A statutory basis is not a factual basis.

              •  Oh, you need a *factual* basis! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                adrianrf

                OK.  Here's your factual basis.  In the case of Al-Haramain v. Bush, the government inadvertantly disclosed to the plaintiff (a muslim charity) transcriopts of the plaintiff's telephone conversations -- conversations obtained by wiretap without a warrant.

                Don't take my word -- read Glen Greenwald today:

                That lawsuit was brought against the Bush administration by an Oregon-based Muslim charity and two of its American lawyers, alleging that the Government violated FISA -- i.e., broke the law -- by eavesdropping on their telephone conversations without the warrants required by law. The warrantless eavesdropping occurred as part of Bush's NSA spying program, which entailed spying on Americans' international communications without warrants (the lawyers were in London when they spoke on the telephone to their client in Oregon). What makes this case unique is that the lawyers and charity know for certain that they were spied on as part of the secret NSA program because the DOJ accidentally produced transcripts of those calls.

                So, let's see...we have a statute (which you appear to be aware of) AND we have an admission by government attorneys that they have transcripts of telephone conversations which they obtained without a warrant AND we have testimony from telephone company employees who explained how the telephone calls were intercepted.

                So....you knew about the statute...you knew about the factual allegations....and yet, you felt it necessary to ask people to explain ONCE AGAIN FOR THE BILLIONTH TIME "how the telecom companies broke the law"?

                So, there's your factual basis.  Satisfied?

              •  Whoa! You can't ask people questions... (0+ / 0-)

                and then offer them facts rooted in reality! That upsets them too much!! They've got this all worked out for themselves...Republican talking points bashing Obama and all...it's only a matter of time before we lose again - and then they'll be happy to repeat how they told us so...and all that crap - and then they'll whine for 4 more years about how McCain is destroying the Constitution...

          •  Data mining is clearly illegal. (0+ / 0-)

            It's phone tapping, flat out, without a court order...but it's phone tapping on a massive scale.

        •  Data collection in the absence of court orders (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenSooner, 714day, corvo

          or search warrants by any court, including.... wait for it now... the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court created under the  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Hence this being a whole "FISA" thingy.

          Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

          by bigtimecynic on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:01:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  While I disagree I appreciate (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooch, RenaRF, marina, joehoevah, geekygirl602

    the respect the policy team gives this community by spending time here. It's the right way to disagree.

    Obama needs to give a floor speech on his position on retroactive immunity, clearly with his characteristic thoughtfulness. While it may not pass, it is an important statement to make.

  •  After reading that statement, (8+ / 0-)

    I feel like I've just been lectured to like a silly little child.

  •  Believe Obama or kos? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, Elise, loree920, jenontheshore

    I'll choose Obama.

    •  That's funny. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, smkngman, KingBolete, echatwa

      I didn't hear him answering any of Kos's questions.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is a politician... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, smkngman, limpidglass, echatwa

      ...put between a rock and a hard place.  Kos is absolutely correct on this.

    •  Believe Obama or Kos? (5+ / 0-)

      I'll choose Obama.

      How nice for you that your politics is based on belief and not reason.

      It's different for me. My relationship with public officials who I elect is a business relationship. They are doing the people's business.

      I'm not going balls out for Obama either. He'll win my state (WA) handily, and I have plenty of other work to do right here, like re-electing Governor Gregoire, and electing Darcy Burner, John Ladenburg (Attorney General) and Peter Goldmark (Land Commissioner).

      My expectations for Obama aren't any higher than they were when Edwards was in the race. Obama has plenty of potential and plenty of upside, and I want him to be president. But I'm not a fanboy and you shouldn't be either. My support is not unconditional for any candidate on this earth, and yours shouldn't be either.

      I don't "believe" in him any more than I believe in the Easter Bunny. I don't want him bargaining away my civil liberties or yours. I'm not shy about speaking up for our liberties to anybody, and you shouldn't be either.

      "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

      by Ivan on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:10:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thnak you! (4+ / 0-)

    Sen Obama, thank you for at least talking to us as adults, most pols do not even dare to address concerns of voters in this type of forum. I may not agree with your decision, but I see the big picture. Not only do you still have my vote, I will continue the work I've been doing in Charlottesville, VA for the campaign.

  •  sorry to be cynical, but... (12+ / 0-)

    'I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns...'

    Yes, I am sure President Obama will 'listen to my concerns' - because he will be doing the phone tapping.

    It doesn't make me feel more secure to know that a 'good president' has these powers anymore than a 'bad president.'

    The reason the government 'needs' these powers is to maintain the empire.

    I do not believe America should be an empire.

    I welcome a President Obama as a lesser of two evils - and as evils go, Obama is very cool!  But please everyone, let's not kid ourselves about what is happening here.

  •  This is bullshit: (23+ / 0-)

    Passing this bill or "losing important surveillance tools"...

    If this bill vanished tomorrow, FISA would remain intact.

    Shame on you, Barack Obama, for fig leafing behind this false choice.

  •  What do people expect? He is just another human (9+ / 0-)

    being, not a messiah.  That is a very honest statement.  I disagree with his judgement but not with his motives or sincerety.  We need a leader like him even when he goes his own way.  He said he was going to unite this country.  That takes some doing.  He will not unite it by taking all my precious positions.  I will go on holding them as I have for so many, many years.  meanwhile I want to see what he can do.  If he accomplishes a small percentage of his goals the country will have been bettered a lot.

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:55:28 PM PDT

  •  It seems the way Obama escapes FISA (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, BigOkie, Cthulhu, mcmom, echatwa, Yalin

    is if immunity is stripped by passing the Feingold-Dodd amendment.

    •  I'd buy that as the best solution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigOkie

      at this point!

      •  but.... (0+ / 0-)

        how much leadership is there from Obama on stripping immunity?  Sure he has made passing mentions of it...but there is no leadership and the lack of leadership in his senate job (not just FISA) gives me cause to doubt his leadership as President (of course he will be better than McCain or Bush...but compared to shit, everything seems better).

    •  Of course, that would be lovely (0+ / 0-)

      Except that it's not gonna happen.  The only reason this bill exists at all is to give immunity to the telecoms.  The Republicans are hardly going to allow stripping the entire raison d'etre from the legislation.  

      Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

      by Dinclusin on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Main Street before Wall Street." (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, baxxor, corvo, smkngman

    Someone should remind Mr. Obama that Verison's main headquarters are just a few blocks from Wall Street.

    All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:55:56 PM PDT

  •  I am going to withdraw my support (12+ / 0-)

    for Obama because he is far too conciliatory to Kos and the other critics of his position on this FISA bill. Until his behavior improves and he tells all you sanctimonious mugwumps to fuck off, I am withholding my support.

  •  There is an assumption here. . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, corvo, jallen, Yalin

    that Obama will be elected, and so the problems with this bill, and the surveillance currently being  conducted, can be reined in.  But what if McCain wins the election?  

    This explanation is not enough, and I am puzzled why so many are mollified by it.  I will still vote for Obama.  But I will not contribute money to an empty suit.  

    All politics is class-warfare.

    by dhfsfc on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:56:06 PM PDT

    •  My thoughts exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dhfsfc

      It is not a given that Obama will win.  And if there is no accounting now there sure won't be if McCain wins.

    •  Stop mouthing the talking points (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, jbeach, Elise

      "Empty suit" is a pharase we shoudl never hear here again.

      Criticize his statement all you want.  But refrain from making negative pronouncements on his character while we still have to elect him.  

      Elect him first, perfect him later. The stakes are too high to fuck around my friends.

      by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:59:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How finely tuned your judgment is! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, jbeach, Elise

      You realize that it's important who the president is, at least, unlike most of the mouth-breathing self-appointed rights guardians here. Then you say that Obama is an "empty suit." What's McCain then? An emptier suit? An orangutan?

      And if Obama's an empty suit, what the hell does that make you, genius?

      •  It makes me. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        someone who doesn't like to be played.  Period.

        Look, I'm voting for the guy.  I'm not an idiot.  But I don't have to contribute.

        All politics is class-warfare.

        by dhfsfc on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:36:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, you don't have to contribute. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sillycilla

          You don't have to do ANYTHING. God forbid you should take a chance that Obama might NOT be something other than an "empty suit"--an "empty suit" who was president of the Harvard Law Review, a professor of Constitutional law, and a community organizer. I'm sure he was just setting us all up for a big con when he passed up all those 6-figure corporate law jobs out of Harvard to go back to the streets of Chicago.

          This guy is the best candidate this party has had in a million years, and you're worried about being played.

    •  Twist that around (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, dhfsfc

      Matthew Yglesias has speculated that one reason Obama isn't offering full-throated opposition to this bill is that he expects to become President, and thus to fall heir to expanded and unaccountable electronic spying powers. I don't believe Obama has any plans to misuse the authority as egregiously as the Bush gang has, but is it so surprising that he believes it's not such a bad idea to give himself (to his way of thinking, understand) more flexible tools to combat terrorism and crime?

      That's one reason why it's important that his supporters are holding his feet to the fire over this now, when he needs them most, thus keeping the (remote) possibility open that the bill will be improved before passage. Once Obama gets into office (which I think we'll all agree is more likely than not), he'll be captured in some important ways by the institutional interests of the Presidency and the federal government, including the decidedly illiberal intelligence community and military establishment.

    •  Sorry, you already tried this trick a year ago! (0+ / 0-)

      This is like threatening to hold your breath until someone does something. Anyway, a year ago, you posted this diary entry. You don't have anything to contribute!

      "This is what I plan to say the next time I get a call from the DNC, the DSCC or the DCCC.  Take me off your list.  No more money.  From now on, I will give money only to specific candidates who voted against funding the Iraq War.

      Please limit your comments to two things.  Either Recs, or suggestions on how to spend my newly-recovered monies.  Charities, the arts, etc.  And I don't want to hear that I have no choice but to continue throwing money at these clowns."  

      •  I kept my word! I don't give money. . . (0+ / 0-)

        to these organizations.  And when they call, I tell them that I give money to Democratic candidates who I agree with, but not to those organizations.  I gave generously to John Edwards, and then started to give money to Obama when Edwards dropped out.  I am not holding my breath, but I don't HAVE to give money to politicians, or organizations, just because they have a Dem. next to their names!  

        And when people like you criticize my refusal to give money, I would like to know whether YOUy give money and HOW MUCH!  I gave plenty!

        All politics is class-warfare.

        by dhfsfc on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:35:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, he certainly doesn't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, marina, corvo, Yalin

    cringe (or was it 'cower') from the left, I'll give him that!

    And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok.

    Very weak statement. Extremely disappointing.

  •  I could understand this (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu, chuckvw, marina, Treg, Indexer, sunny skies

    if it didn't come from someone who taught Constitutional Law.

  •  Paragraph 6 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu

    Won't work for bots at all.  8 will make them gag, too.

  •  So... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, Cthulhu, chuckvw, marina, echatwa

    He states why he supports the bill.  He doesn't state why he can't vote against.  He reminds us all once again that he used to be a community organizer.  And he tells us why we can't vote for McCain.

    All I want to hear is an HONEST answer about why he won't vote against the bill.

    •  Go on over to his website (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day, chuckvw, limpidglass

      and watch him try to tamp this down.  No honesty, just horseshit.

      Jesus:  it's like he's regressing to a 19th centruy politician.

      Obama--please get back in the zone.

      •  I went over to the website (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        714day, Cthulhu, chuckvw

        The discussion was pure bullshit.  No substance there.

        I understand the reason he is giving for voting for the bill.  I really, really just want him to say "I can't vote against this bill because it might cost me the election.  It might give the Republicans something to use against me in TV ads".  I know he won't say this but that is exactly why he won't vote against the bill.  Even if his vote was symbolic it would mean something to a lot of us.

        •  Is this a sign of weakness? (0+ / 0-)

          It's a shame that he feels his electoral position is so weak that he has to "politic" like this. Probably there's a cadre of "Democratic" Wormtongues standing at his shoulder these days.  A lot of his actions seem to be aimed at running away from any issue that he doesn't want to deal with (e.g., leaving his church, flip-flopping on PAA, inartfully attempting to dodge the Clark "controversy").  Obama really needs to learn to stand up for himself and fight back rather than just trying to hid from the issues.  As candidate and President he can call all the shots and if he uses the duck and dodge technique too often he'll develop a bad reputation that will make it hard to govern.

          --- January 2009: A time to mend!

          by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:07:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  weak (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smkngman

    "Do not go where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path - and leave a trail " -Epicitetus

    by JadeZ on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 02:59:21 PM PDT

  •  I want a damn apology from all those (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, Cthulhu, limpidglass

    who have been calling people purity trolls and demanding we shut up.

    Now, I understand why some of you feel differently about the current bill, and I'm happy to take my lumps on this side and elsewhere. For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions.

    We have been doing exactly what Obama asked us to do in the primaries.

  •  this is a bunch of crap (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cthulhu, baxxor, limpidglass, bhagamu

    meet the new boss, same as the old boss

    •  Come on. The old boss is GWB. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm all for criticism of Obama's stance, and hard work  against the passage of this bill or any form of Telco immunity.

      But there's no need to go from there to "Screw everything, he's no better." It reminds me a bit of how progressives and liberals loved to bag on Clinton - and it resulted in short shrift for Gore, and 7 years of misery to date.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:07:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  O is just not as different as some hoped (0+ / 0-)

        If someone actually bought all that stuff about Obama's "new politics" it probably would seem like the new boss will be much like the old boss.  Those who believed to well, if not too wisely will come back though somewhat lacking in enthusiasm.  However, if McCain weren't such an awful prospect I think that the collateral damage Obama is inflicting on those who should be his most ardent supporters would cost him the election.

        --- January 2009: A time to mend!

        by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:15:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what?! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, Elise, KingBolete

      Seriously?! You're saying that Obama is just like GWB? Give me a break. That sounds suspiciously like Nader announcing that Gore and Bush were the same. Look how that turned out.

      This is ONE issue. We face so many horrific hurdles over the next few years, don't narrow your focus and throw in the towel over ONE issue.

  •  All this hostitlity? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigOkie, jbeach, Indexer

    Two months ago he walked on water, or so it seemed around this site.  We now know that Sen. Obama is a typical politician, and I am shocked, shocked that such a thing is possible.  If our candidate (and he is our candidate despite my best efforts) is found to have feet of clay, well, it's too late to complain now...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:00:06 PM PDT

    •  I don't think he was ever quite that popular (0+ / 0-)

      It's just a bit disappointing to find out that rooting against the triangulating Clinton has left us with the triangulating Obama.  He's still the better choice, just not as good as I had hoped.  

      --- January 2009: A time to mend!

      by KingBolete on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:17:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smkngman, jarhead5536, Alec82

    Obama is a politician. Politicians do what they think is necessary to obtain and keep power. Add to that the obvious truth that politicians, being pursuers of power to begin with, will always choose to increase rather than decrease their power.

    So... a favorite in the race for the Presidency is voting to enhance the power of the office he expects to hold. Why am I not surprised?

    I don't support the Democratic offerings because I expect enlightenment, but to deny power to the proverbial Hun.

    barn's burnt down; now i can see the moon - Basho

    by sfgary on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:00:52 PM PDT

  •  I notice a lot of people rushing to defend him (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baxxor, smkngman, limpidglass

    How very pathetic. Has it occured to any of you that his vote will help to so gut the forth ammendment that most legal scholars are appalled by it? And raise your hand if you think there is any chance that immunity will be stripped from the final version. There are progressive lemmings too....but they are still lemmings.

    •  Is that the only issue that matters to you? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, jbeach, Elise, Populista

      Jeez, you'd think this legislation was causing the ice caps to melt, energy costs to rise, the environment to be destroyed, children losing education, health care costs to balloon, the Iraq war to continue, and the Iran war to begin.

      Some people's opinions of a politician don't begin and end with one stumble.

      Obama/Clinton 2008. The likeliest ticket to win that won't happen, but it was nice to think about while it lasted.

      by alkatt on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:04:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blah, blah, blah..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smkngman, bigchin

    who amongst the regular [non-political junkies] people is going to read or understand BO's justifications for his waffle?

    Really, after he overanalyzes something, with his constant 'on the other hand' stuff, he should boil down his message succintly for mass consumption.  

    Regular people just aren't going to grasp all of his nuanced garbage.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:01:29 PM PDT

    •  Anyone troubled about FISA can be... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Populista

      ...assumed to have the needed attention span.

      Fuck your purity.

      by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To clarify, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        I think the notion that he waffled will stick with regular people rather than his lengthy explanation regarding his waffle.

        I guess it takes a lot of words to triangulate.

        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:27:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Possibly (0+ / 0-)

          Is the McCain camp even hitting him on this? I know it's getting some play in the MSM, especially the aspect about dissent within the ranks/"when bloggers attack," but I just don't see it being built into any kind of waffling/flip flop narrative effectively when just describing the issue he reversed himself on is going to cause the average voter's eyes to glaze over.

          •  I don't know.... (0+ / 0-)

            we're always hitting McCain on flipping, so I would think his campaign would use the issue eventually.

            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:57:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but (0+ / 0-)

              We're mostly hitting him on flip-flops that are easily digestible. Bush tax cuts, offshore drilling, torture ban (don't actually know that I've seen that last one getting so much play from the Obama campaign). All issues that anyone can grasp both sides of, and understand where McCain used to be and where he is now. I don't think the FISA/telecom immunity flap meets that essential criterion for defining the public's image of a candidate.

        •  None of it would stick (0+ / 0-)

          If we on the left weren't being drama queens about this.

          Fuck your purity.

          by snout on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:40:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But BO's already (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo

            being hammered in the media for flip flopping on different issues. [and I don't even watch the MSM much--but I've seen the issue out there with my limited viewing].

            Without getting into the issue of the media's ability to influence political discourse, how can you say that the flipping issue won't stick, when it's already being reported?  

            Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:55:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Yes! Screw Obama! (7+ / 0-)

    Lets Vote nader and teach the dems a lession. It worked so great in 00'

    "I love my progressive brothers/sisters but they cannot be counted on."

    by AdamND on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:01:54 PM PDT

    •  Hey Obama's the one snatching defeat... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      from victory...not us.

      Whether we support him after this or not is one thing, (I will, of course) but he's ignoring the ammunition he's giving to the braindead media and right-wing lie machine.

      All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting. - George Orwell

      by Five of Diamonds on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:06:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What agreement? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, jbeach, Populista, rsmpdx, RidleyGriff

    But I think it is worth pointing out that our agreement on the vast majority of issues that matter outweighs the differences we may have.

    You're kidding, right?  Your position on one issue is the only thing that matters!  Even when the sea levels rise, the economy is brought to a standstill because of the looming energy crisis, the Supreme Court finds homosexuals illegal, and we're stuck in fifteen different wars for one hundred years, all we'll ever care about is FISA!  That's all that matters!  EVER!!  GET IT STRAIGHT!!

    Obama/Clinton 2008. The likeliest ticket to win that won't happen, but it was nice to think about while it lasted.

    by alkatt on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:10 PM PDT

  •  My favorite part (0+ / 0-)

    Democracy cannot exist without strong differences. And going forward, some of you may decide that my FISA position is a deal breaker. That's ok.

    Can't please all of the people all of the time. So FISA die hards, find the perfect politician who represents ALL of the people and start your write-in campaign!!! Goodbye KOS as this will be my last post. No need to reply, I will never visit this site again.

  •  Oh well. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbeach, emeraldmaiden, Populista

    Ok so I don't agree with his decision here, but I am not going to piss and moan like a bunch of other people here when the alternative (McCain) is HORRIBLE for this country in nearly every way. Nobody agrees with everyone on everything. I have bills to pay.

  •  Perhaps this is why... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigOkie, chuckvw, smkngman

    ...nominating senators proves dicey.  It also proved to be an issue when Senator Kerry was nominated.

  •  This is parting of working with a candidate (0+ / 0-)

    I think Obama was not expecting this level of outcry on this. I think it can't be expected for candidates of any party, to come out and say they've changed their minds because their base complained. But I also perceive, reading between the lines, that Obama realizes things are different than he thought at first - and that he will act differently on this in the future.

    My own subjective perception, but that's what I see.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:02:49 PM PDT

  •  100% bs! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baxxor, smkngman

    either we have to obey the laws or we don't.

    Obama is an idiot.

  •  At least he didn't insult our intelligence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    withthelidoff, bigchin

    ...this time.  I do appreciate that.

    Vote John Edwards and break the corporate media stranglehold on American politics.

    by Subversive on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:04:20 PM PDT

  •  O HAI! I FIXT UR COMENTS! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smkngman

    "This potentially weakens the deterrent effect of the law and removes THE PROTECTIONS OF THE FOURTH FUCKING AMENDMENT.

    "But I also believe that the compromise bill is far better than the Protect America Act that I voted against last year SO IF YOU ASK ME TO DO SOMETHING REALLY BAD I'LL SAY NO BUT THEN I'LL SAY OK TO SOMETHING NOT QUITE AS BAD."

    "Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and SUPPORTING AND DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, I've chosen to roll over like a good neocon bitch."

    Stop trying to run as a fucking Republican, Sen. Obama. NO ONE wants the fucking Republicans in office. Clinton made this mistake in 1993. And 1994. And 1995. And so on. Pay attention to Olbermann.

  •  Again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Populista, Alec82

    I can't understand why it is so hard to have reasoned discussions on this.  The majority of these responses are childish.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised--after all, an internet discussion is still an internet discussion.  I guess I expected a little better.  Oh well.

    •  Some of this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...is the result of having a politician who campaigns on hope, change and altering the ground rules.

      People should have been aware of the disappointments that were certain to follow from Obama.  It seems that some were unprepared for the inevitable compromise that would follow, into the GE and the presidency.  

      •  Activism meets politics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gruvkitty, Alec82

        I agree that people should have expected this sort of thing. If one is willing to approach this business somewhat more objectively, and to study it academically, you get disappointed less often. That doesn't mean you can't have opinions, and very strong ones, but it's helpful to always keep firmly in view the structural features that essentially preclude the most extreme positions on either side from becoming reality. (Please note that "extreme" is not a synonym for "radical" or "bad," but rather is a descriptive term describing where that issue falls in the spectrum of public opinion. Please also note that I have seen the polls showing the public supports protecting civil liberties, and opposes expanding government spying powers, but that I agree with the Obama campaign's predictive judgment that he will not be able to successfully frame a vote against PAA that way, and that it will cost him votes, while at the same time disagreeing with their tactical judgment that that makes the bill not worth fighting.) Remember that politicians don't rise to national prominence and a shot at the Presidency without being shrewd compromisers who are generally willing to horse trade or set aside principle when they think the issue is of low salience to the general public.

  •  A long winded rationalization imo. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, dfarrah, chuckvw, Treg, sunny skies

    The constitution is non-negotiable and unconditional. It should not be subject to the President's conscience or lack there of, nor to the security concerns of a government unwilling or unable to to protect it's citizens by means that are with in the bounds of the law.

    The ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counter-terrorism tool, and I'm persuaded that it is necessary to keep the American people safe -- particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer.  Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I’m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    The constitution is the map not the navigator.

    I am thoroughly disappointed.

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

    by notquitedelilah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:05:26 PM PDT

  •  ...and then, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, bigchin, limpidglass

    BO sets up a false choice saying that this legislation is better than the legislation he voted against, as if this legislation is now the final chance for congress to pass legislation related to FISA.

    Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:06:13 PM PDT

    •  Excellent point (0+ / 0-)

      n/t

      "It's been headed this way since the World began, when a vicious creature made the jump from Monkey to Man."--Elvis Costello

      by BigOkie on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:12:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well PAA (0+ / 0-)

      is set to expire in August...  Last chance to keep that bolus afloat.

      •  Let it expire... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        the authorities already have the surveillance tools they need.  

        And apparently, they never needed the fisa court or the about-to-expire legislation to obtain records from the phone companies or anyone else anyway.

        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:31:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It expired in Feb. - the taps (0+ / 0-)

        on individuals last for 6 months with reauthorization.  The old FISA law is working fine right now.  So what if the DOJ is complaining that
        they are not generating all those bogus leads that the FBI was too busy to investigate anyway!  The comments by BO was more CYA.

        Everything is a matter of interpretation!

        by mogul456 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:27:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My bottom line is.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, chuckvw, Elise, itsolivia

    despite the fact that I do not agree with him on this issue, and I think he has changed his mind on how high a priority this is, I cannot be like some people on Kos and other sites.  I cannot turn my back on him or hold support for him as blackmail to get EVERYTHING I want from him.

    He is running for President for all citizens of the United States.  He is by far the superior candidate and the only one I would ever consider at this point. Some of you seemed to have forgotten what this election is about.  It is about moving forward, it is about making some positive changes and trying to pick up the pieces of the last 7 years.  

    Even with all of his faults and mistakes and mind changes, can anyone say he is not our best hope for change in this country?

  •  "surveillance tools"... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, chuckvw, Treg

    I don't like the sound of that term.

    No matter the context it's placed in.

    It takes a heap of blind loyality to government to think "surveillance tools" will always be used honorably and for good, instead of dishonorably & for evil.

    "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."--Padmé Amidala

    by wyvern on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:07:55 PM PDT

    •  Yes, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day, chuckvw, corvo, wyvern

      I would like to consign the terms, surveillance tools, homeland security, enhanced interrogation methods, terrorist surveillance program, etc., etc., to the dustbin of history. They sound too much like the euphemisms used by totalitarian states like the USSR and Nazi Germay. Another great legacy of the Bush administration.

      •  Totally agree.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, Treg, corvo

        ...all those designations reek of a Totalitarian regime where individuality & personal freedoms are a distance second to "sacred & protective government."

        It's amazing how the last 8 years have been so vehemently un-American.  And if you don't believe it, look at the titles of the Bushian government agencies.  They  are overtly suggestive of blind loyalty to a 'protective womb' government.

        "So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause."--Padmé Amidala

        by wyvern on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:22:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, wyvern

          It also shows how radical the current crop of Republicans are. This belief in the benevolence of a huge government security apparatus that is answerable to no one but the President completely contradicts their claims of a belief in small, limited government. It's hard to imagine that even their patron saint, St. Ronald Reagan, for all his many faults would countenance some of this crap. But most of the Dems have gone along over the last 8 years with barely a whimper.

    •  I think you can assume the (0+ / 0-)

      surveilance tools ie. the fiber optic taps, the fiber optic switches, the secure rooms in the central switching stations, the secure networks for the data and computers to analyse it at a cost of millions would all be preserved even if this Bill failed to pass.  Because this program is now pretty much exposed to the world an no real terrorist will ever be caught by it you can assume that the future use for it is going to be evil.

      Everything is a matter of interpretation!

      by mogul456 on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 12:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This statement reinforces my enthusiasm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, rsmpdx

    despite my misgivings concerning this and other issues.  He is attentive and responsive to these concerns, but not intimidated.  And frankly, I trust Obama's judgment over a great many others,including anonymous posters.

    As usual all this "Obama is moving right" stuff has gotten excessive.  Suddenly national service is a Bush program, when the Peace Corps and Americorps were cherished programs initiated by Presidents Kennedy and Clinton respectively.  And few have paid any attention to Obama's announcement that he opposes the California proposal to ban same sex marriages.  That didn't fit into the narrative.

    I am convinced that the future depends on electing President Obama, and that his presidency will bring the change we need, well beyond party and ideological politics.  

    "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

    by Captain Future on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:08:36 PM PDT

    •  Please! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      I'm for Bush-be-gone am much as anyone, but this.....

      As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility

      Is utter Bushit!

      He seems to be a dimwit when it comes to law.

      US District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker confirmed that the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is the "exclusive" means for domestic intelligence collection.

      "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."T.J.

      by smkngman on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you! (0+ / 0-)

        for your considered opinion of the legal acuity of our presidential candidate who taught constitutional law for ten years.  Even a dummy like me knows that the opinion of a District Court Judge can be overridden.  Obama supports this law partly because it states more strongly the preeminence of the FISA court, so there is less chance of willful misinterpretation, which is what the Bush lawyers have provided.

        "The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

        by Captain Future on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:18:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're Welcome (0+ / 0-)

          Your reply indicates how much crap you're willing to swallow!

          FYI, THREE courts have supported FISA as written!

          Your bullshit....

          Obama supports this law partly because it states more strongly the preeminence of the FISA court, so there is less chance of willful misinterpretation, which is what the Bush lawyers have provided.

          Please spare me the IDIOCY!

          Greenwald replied(after I posted)....

                   But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited. As I've said many times, an independent monitor must watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people. This compromise law assures that the FISA court has that responsibility. OBAMA

          Greenwald reply

             This is just false. The new FISA bill that Obama supports vests new categories of warrantless eavesdropping powers in the President (.pdf), and allows the Government, for the first time, to tap physically into U.S. telecommunications networks inside our country with no individual warrant requirement. To claim that this new bill creates "an independent monitor [to] watch the watchers to prevent abuses and to protect the civil liberties of the American people" is truly misleading, since the new FISA bill actually does the opposite -- it frees the Government from exactly that monitoring in all sorts of broad categories.

          "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."T.J.

          by smkngman on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 09:31:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Validating the Bush premise (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, dfarrah, chuckvw, Treg, TNThorpe

    In the post at MyBO, Mike Stark points out that FISA has and always has had exclusivity as upheld by the courts. The official response to the comment was that even though Obama agrees and thinks Bush has been wrong, he's going to change the law anyways.

    That's not exactly standing on the rule of law. It's allowing yourself to get bullied by Bush's contempt for the rule of law.

    •  I think you're misinterpreting that response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      withthelidoff

      I also read that exchange. Stark points out, correctly, that the courts interpreted the old FISA law as requiring exclusivity, an interpretation which the Bush administration ignored. He inquires why this new exclusivity provision will be any different. The response is that Obama believes that the court's interpretation was correct, and that Bush has been violating the law. He hopes that the new exclusivity provisions will offer both a rebuke to the Bush administration's prior lawlessness (this is, as I see it, implied but not stated; it's impossible to reasonably infer the opposite from the staffer's statement) and make it less likely that future Presidents will ignore exclusivity provisions and operate outside the FISA framework anyway. You may see the latter hope as naive (I certainly do) and you may think Bush won't care about a Congressional rebuke (I think the evidence is pretty clear on that point), but I can't see how supporting a stronger (but still ineffectual) exclusivity provision is somehow a result of being bullied by Bush.

      Now, if you were talking about telecom immunity, I would agree he has knuckled under to bullying, both on the part of Bush and on the part of a hypothetical future McCain campaign. But the exclusivity provision is really in a different boat; it's a fig leaf covering the immunity cave, and is not a bad thing in and of itself.

      •  You might well be right (0+ / 0-)

        But even so, it comes off as saying that the President can't do this, the courts affirmed that the President can't do this, so the response is to tell the President again he can't do this (even though the courts have done that already) but overlook the times he's already done it.

        It seems to me that if Obama is seriously arguing that the only available course of action is to reiterate Senate and/or Judicial impotence vis a vis Bush and FISA, it's a demonstration that Bush has bullied his way to what he wants yet again.

        •  As I see it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          withthelidoff

          The problem is precisely that exclusivity and immunity are inseparable in the minds of many politicians--which is to say, they both have to be part of a bill that will pass Congress. If they just wanted to pass a joint resolution reaffirming exclusivity, that would be ok--it would sort of draw attention to the fact that Congress is sort of powerless to do anything about the situation, but there'd be nothing wrong with it in principle.

          But since exclusivity is the fig leaf under which immunity is being brought in, the entire package is indeed a craven capitulation to the Bush administration, and a reaffirmation that he's essentially allowed to get away with whatever he wants, so long as he is sufficiently aggressive about questioning his political opponents' commitment to fighting terrorism after he does it.

          In short, I think you and I agree.

          •  My point (0+ / 0-)

            Is that the notion that reiterating exclusivity is somehow necessary is flawed and a failing in itself.

            We shouldn't have to be talking about it in the first place just like we shouldn't have to pass legislation to reaffirm other established law again. Obviously something needs to be done since Bush has ignored this, but reaffirming exclusivity does not in my mind qualify as "something." Thus anyone holding that out as some sort of positive "get" or victory here is disingenuous.

            There shouldn't be any need to make concessions to maintain existing, established law.

  •  This FISA thing is a bit over my head (0+ / 0-)

    I guess I am just not smart enough. What exactly was the Bush Administration requesting of phone companies? I thought at one stage that they were asking for phone records of calls made into and out of the USA to specific locations. Is that right? And is the objection based on the idea that this is an unreasonable search activity? I guess I would like to see some kind of dispassionate analysis of the arguments around this question. I am not too sure what all the yelling is about.

    •  As best I can tell (0+ / 0-)

      And I'll admit to not having made a thorough study of the issue, but to at least following it somewhat, the issue actually has nothing to do with the Fourth Amendment as such, except at the level of common principle. Bush violated, as I understand it, a federal statute by operating outside the FISA framework. His intelligence officers were supposed to be securing warrants for the FISA courts, and they decided not to do that. Now the dispute is whether the telecom companies, who cooperated with the government by agreeing to pass on information about their subscribers' calls (and maybe allowing government agents to use their infrastructure to directly monitor calls?) will be immunized from civil liability under a separate federal statute that prohibits revealing confidential information or intercepting electronic communications without proper government authorization. (I suspect that in the end, the courts would find that the DoJ letters saying that the telecom companies were authorized to comply would be sufficient to get the telecom companies off the hook, and that the state secrets privilege would prevent any useful evidence from coming to light about the actual details of the program. But I suppose I am willing to stand on principle in this case, even if I anticipate no practical gain for doing so even if I got everything I wanted from this new FISA bill.)

  •  They are pretty smoke rings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin

    but he is still blowing smoke.

    I'm supporting him with cash and my vote, but this takes the joy out of it.

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:11:01 PM PDT

  •  Just cements my belief that he'll be (7+ / 0-)

    a fantastic president.  Not a perfect one, just a fantastic one.

    I don't know what to say to those of you holding fast to your disappointment, except I hope you can find room for imperfection in others and yourselves.

    Eyes on the Prize - JedReport

    by juslikagrzly on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:13:00 PM PDT

  •  Mature response (7+ / 0-)

    Even if some of you disagree with him, you have to admit he responds with respect and depth.  I think he has a great temperament for the presidency.

  •  oh jeez, not again Obama (7+ / 0-)

    here we go again...

    The exclusivity provision makes it clear to any President or telecommunications company that no law supersedes the authority of the FISA court.

    The "old" FISA law was insanely clear as to the "exclusivity" provision and it obviously did not deter the President from completely ignoring the law so this new law changes nothing!

    That's why I support striking Title II from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.

    ...but Obama won't filibuster a bill with Telecom Immunity as he previously promised...that is until he got the nomination.

    The Inspectors General report also provides a real mechanism for accountability and should not be discounted. It will allow a close look at past misconduct without hurdles that would exist in federal court because of
    classification issues.

    Allowing civil suits to proceed is the unquestioned best mechanism for bringing the truth of this administration's criminal acts to light.

    particularly since certain electronic surveillance orders will begin to expire later this summer

    There's no reason why the old law can't be extended for a year.

    I've chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention -- once I’m sworn in as President -- to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    So, nothing about promising to tell the people about ALL the crimes that have been committed in the name of protecting the country. Great.

    For the truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions.

    Please don't patronize me. Any bill that shreds the Constitution is not "better."

    and that is the kind of White House that I intend to run as President of the United States -- a White House that takes the Constitution seriously, conducts the peoples' business out in the open, welcomes and listens to dissenting views, and asks you to play your part in shaping our country’s destiny.

    Call me skeptical. Oh, and thanks for not listening to us.

  •  Maybe Pigs will Fly (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raboof, irmaly, daisann, chuckvw, zett, corvo, bigchin, Yalin

    Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report says:

    Barack Obama offers absolutely nothing new except well executed political strategy. The grand political rallies/come to Jesus meetings were nothing more than political theater and viral marketing on an off the charts scale. It is true that thousands of people became involved in politics through the Obama campaign, only to be told now that he represents the same old same old and that they had better accept it and shut up.

    . . .

    The supposedly mysterious flip-flop on FISA legislation is anything but. The same man who promised to support a filibuster of legislation that gave law breaking telecoms immunity now tells us to just forget we heard him say those words. Just follow the money and the mystery is solved. Is his decision to contradict himself a result of not wanting to cross ATT, Verizon, Comcast, Sprint and all their corporate buddies? Unless two plus two no longer equals four, the answer is a definite yes.

    . . .

    It is easy to berate Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership for their craven behavior, but it [is] time for Obama supporters to also be called to account for their complicity in the charade.

    . . .

    As has happened throughout the campaign season, his supporters either say nothing or succumbed to torturous mental gymnastics to defend him. Maybe he has a secret plan to undo the FISA legislation. Maybe his Attorney General will take care of it. Maybe he is counting on other senators like Christopher Dodd and Russ Feingold will do the heavy lifting. Maybe pigs will fly.

    . . .

    So we now have the Al Gore and John Kerry campaigns all over again, albeit with more charisma and a better campaign. The fact that Obama has a better campaign means that he is more likely to win. The fact that he is just another bought off Democrat with a constituency who refuse to make demands means that his term will be like that of the last Democrat. In January 2009 we will have an even slicker Willie in the White House.

    Sad to say, but foreseeable.  This is pure lip service by the campaign.  And Iraq policy is next.

    For pointing out these things since back in 2007, one gets called a troll, even a cockroach.  But at least Kos took a step back this past week, to his credit, when he said:

    But there is a line between "moving to the center" and stabbing your allies in the back out of fear of being criticized. And, of late, he's been doing a lot of unecessary stabbing, betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician. Not that I ever bought it, but Obama is now clearly not looking much different than every other Democratic politician who has ever turned his or her back on the base in order to prove centrist bona fides. That's not an indictment, just an observation.

    Now I know there's a contingent around here that things Obama can do no wrong, and he must never be criticized, and if you do, well fuck you!

  •  unprincipled dissembling, n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, corvo

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

    by bigchin on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:16:52 PM PDT

  •  i really need to remember names around here (4+ / 0-)

    so i can dismiss the comments of people who are as extreme as the religious right.

    i swear to god some of these comments sound like anti-abortion rants from the religious right.

    grow up and realize that the world is GRAY!!

    it's like I'm in church all over again.  fuck.

    a bunch of people who think they know everything and that those who disagree are bad or at least cowardly.

    here's my response to that bullshit.

    Obama is black.  he's running for president of the country that used to enslave people like him... that didn't allow people like him to vote... that still treats people like him... including him... like he's half a person.

    you tell Barack Obama that he can't compromise... you tell him that... you tell the black man running for president that compromise is cowardice... you tell the black man living in a country in which liberty for black people may be law but isn't practiced that he doesn't care about people being able to get away with getting around the law by stepping on the liberty of americans.  EXPLAIN to Obama what that concept is.  please.  he REALLY needs you to explain that to him.  

    open your fucking eyes.   Obama KNOWS that liberty isn't being enforced in this country despite the laws... HE'S BLACK.   but do you think he got as far as he did by raging like a bull about it?   NO.  

    Rent the film Revolver. It's an intelligent movie for intelligent people. The critics loathed it.

    by AntonBursch on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:20:13 PM PDT

    •  what a patronizing comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, corvo

      and flat-out wrong.

      He can't make the CORRECT argument that the FISA amendments are poison why? It's not like other Democrats aren't making them. It's not like the Republican security at the cost of the Constitution just got beaten back in 3 special House elections.

      He can't compromise on the Constitution and be a leader. I've told him that via email, phone and I'd tell him to his face if I could. Disgusting.

      •  sigh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, user1000

        amazing.  the constitution was compromised the day it was adopted.  liberty for all except natives, slaves, women and children.   but of course... those leaders are justified because....?   because?   what is the reason you justify them?  of course, we don't have to justify them because they wrote the constitution after all... the holy scriptures of our nation... it's ok if they were monsters who allowed slavery and genocide and sexism and child labor, because, you know... they compromised.

        Rent the film Revolver. It's an intelligent movie for intelligent people. The critics loathed it.

        by AntonBursch on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:58:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, anti-abortionists (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise

          and NRA nuts = absolutists, one-issue voting fanatics.

          Have you ever had the pleasure of debating with those folks?

          You try to make a subtle point or engage in debate and probing questions, and they just trot out the slogans and cant and call you a murderer.

          I'm disappointed that if you question the FISA dogma you get called a rightwinger or told you "hate the constitution".

          Is this turning into an ugly stupid mob?

          God, I totally fucking hate mobs. People are way better one on one.  

        •  What on earth are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

          You still haven't shown me a SINGLE reason why Obama can't make the correct, the necessary, the strong argument against the FISA amendments. Not a single idea in your posts, not that there are many, suggests that there are strategic, political, or any sort of p.r. benefit to Obama's decision to support a bill he had previously said he would filibuster.

          What's 'amazing' is that you don't see how Obama's position is an abdication of responsibility that won't gain him votes, makes him look weak, and won't prevent the Republicans from attacking him hammer and tongs anyhow.

          The right thing to do with the FISA amendments is to stand against the lawlessness they represent. There's the strong argument.

          I find your 'crumbs from the table' attitude typical of leftists unused to power. It's a sure fire way to lose the upcoming election.

          As for you ramblings about the Constitution, there's not much there there. The point for Obama is that you either support the rule of law and stick to what FISA and the Constitution say and therefore hold lawbreakers accountable, or you decide that it's men, not law, who determine what's right in the year 2008. If you think that's a matter for compromise, well, good luck with that.

    •  Aint that the truth brother... (0+ / 0-)

      Of course, having gone through the primary, I am well aware of the two-sided nature of our liberal friends.

      Of course he knows what its like being deprived of equality. In a way most people in this blog certainly do not.

      With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

      by brooklynbadboy on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 07:35:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Barack Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, chuckvw, corvo

    Who else are you going to vote for?

    I'm decidedly unimpressed at this refusal to stand up for the Constitution and the retrospective exoneration of Bush's law breaking.

    As for the boilerplate, "Democracy cannot exist without strong differences," I beg to differ. Our leaders either respect the obligation to protect the Constitution or they don't. They either pursue impeachment, stop the illegal war, and hold the law breakers in the Bush/Cheney/Rummy war machine accountable or they don't.

    If they don't stand up for the law, there is no democracy, there's just  flags and fireworks and falsehood.

    This is the change we're supposed to believe in, what a pile of steaming .....

    •  You have plenty of voting options. (0+ / 0-)

      There will be other options on your ballot. If you find a candidate who best suits your principles, vote for him or her. Obama made it clear that if you chose not to vote for him, he could live with it. SO, move on.

      I think Nader's position on FISA is absolutely down the line perfect. And, he could use some votes right now.

      You DONT have to vote for Obama. But guess what, he's going to win anyway!

      With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

      by brooklynbadboy on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 07:39:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama LISTEN!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, corvo, TNThorpe

    You don't answer to Republicans threats. You answer to the PEOPLE! You haven't even been voted in yet. You can still lose this election by pulling shit like this. So MAYBE, just maybe you should go by what the PEOPLE want. Not what a dying political party wants to scare you with.

    Boy, I started to actually believe what you had to say.

    Hey dude, The constitution is way more important than gas, economy, etc. Without a constitution we cant have the rest. I think you might have read that somewhere when you were teaching it.

    •  I am a people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      and to this people, at this stage of the game, getting him elected is more important.

      Maybe you won't be bitching about the 4th ammendment but the whole damn Bill of Rights . And do you think you will even have a voice with McCain and the Bush henchmen in office.

      Good Luck.

    •  I consider myself people. (0+ / 0-)

      I think his position is completely reasonable, and understandable, given his predicament of trying to broaden his coalition and not give McCain any ammo.

      I don't agree with him on FISA, but I also wasn't expecting that everything I want done will get done.

      If I did, I'd be running for president of the united states and not blogging about people who do.

      With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

      by brooklynbadboy on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 07:41:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  FISA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, on board 47

     I really don't know what to think on FISA and hurts thinking about each sides of it.. I see a lot of my fellow "progressives" up in arms about this and I just don't see it as cut and dry as them and it's complex.. Trust is something I would never imagine giving to a politician but for Obama at least for now it's different..  I have confidence he'll look at both sides and make the best call he can at the time.  If not, we got a place like this place that will will make your time in office difficult but for now I trust you to do the right thing..

    "Don't let the fear of the thorns keep you from the roses." Groucho Marx-GO Cubs!

    by ebbinflo on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:24:49 PM PDT

  •  At least he bothered to respond (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, on board 47

    There are a lot of upset people out here, but the choice is clear. Do you think McCain gives a rats ass about us and what we think? Can we trust Obama to do something about this when he is in office? Should we give him the chance? Why not? Really people, what other choice is there? McCain?

    •  Yes, Liberals would actually prefer McCain. (0+ / 0-)

      Because then you be responsibly outraged, rather than having to responsibly govern.

      As we all know, elections have no consequences. Proper outrage is whats important.

      With him from the beginning, with him until the end.

      by brooklynbadboy on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 07:33:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good enough for me n/t (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, Elise, brooklynbadboy, on board 47

    He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire ::Winston Churchill::

    by Jeremy10036 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:28:19 PM PDT

  •  He's full of it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, bhagamu

    "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

    by Bartimaeus Blue on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:31:02 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, and you could see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LEP, corvo

      it coming just by reading his 'hope' book.

      He's argued so many issues from right wing assumptions. So instead of challenging their assumptions, he ends up practically supporting their positions.

      On this legislation, he's just assuming that something is needed, which is bush's position, and this assumption may not even be true.  Same with funding the faith based initiatives--he's just accepted the conservative assumption that these 'initiatives' are necessary.

      Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:48:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  After reading through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, on board 47

    Most of the comments I have only one thing to say. Thank God most of you aren't South African. Truth and Reconciliation would never have happened. Because you wouldn't have been happy with out your pound of flesh and all those that practiced and promoted apartheid were hanging from the nearest tree.

    What's more important getting FISE right so it stays within the 4th or you freeking pound of flesh from the telecoms.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:35:21 PM PDT

    •  Did the Truth (0+ / 0-)

      and Reconciliation completely absolve those who had committed crimes?

      Furthermore, part of the purpose of the Truth and Reconcilation was to get to the truth of the matters.  By providing amnesty for lawbreakers, we will likely never get to the truth.  How does that provide any reconcilation for the US on this issue?

      Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 03:39:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're 100% wrong...let me explain: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      baxxor, corvo, robertlewiws

      The "Truth and Reconciliation" act in South Africa was brilliant. At it's core was the condition that there would be no amnesty without a full telling of the truth!

      What I want, first and foremost, is the full truth and nothing but the full truth.

    •  it's not about a pound of flesh from the telcoms (0+ / 0-)

      it's about the "truth" part of truth and reconciliation.  We'll never know who the administration was spying upon illegally if immunity goes through, the ACLU/EFF cases are thrown out, and the telcoms never asked to produce evidence, during discovery, of lawbreaking.  You completely misunderstand the strategy of the ACLU/EFF lawsuits, which is to put on the record evidence which could result in criminal prosecution of Bush-Cheney after 2009.  Obama is saving Bush and Cheney's asses, nothing less.  Beautiful words, Barack.  No dice.  Deal breaker.  

  •  Overexplained, Underjustified? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly

    This was not an easy call for me.

    [Apologies in advance if the list below is inaccurate in some way.  Doing this off the top of my head.]

    With all the other political options available to a senator:

    fillibuster (your original position);
    hold (it's not just for Republicans, you know);
    oppose cloture (join forces with Sen. Wyden of OR);
    support Dodd/Feingold (amend to remove provision granting retroactive immunity);
    counter with bill that is an easy call for you (scrap the old);

    why not take any one of them instead of this?

    OK -- I do appreciate that it might be a little late for the last one now.  But it wasn't once upon a time.

    But hey!  It was neat to get such a quick and frank response to citiznes' concerns after only two days pressure.  Certainly not what we've been used to the past 8 years.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 04:11:05 PM PDT

  •  Senate bill violates 4th, BUT harm is hard (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u

    to find.

    If that evidence is out there, I could perhaps get fired up to more strongly support defeating the bill than I have.

    Are homes being searched without warrants?  Which innocents have had their phones tapped? Of those, what harm has come to them?  Do we know innocents whose phones or emails have been tapped who have been targeted because of conversations overheard or emails read?

    I understand that "if the 4th amendment is violated, it's violated", but some would have us believe we are living in a police state.  Are there massive cover ups of harm?  

    Think of serious prior civil rights problem periods:  the McCarthy-era where everyone was watching their back, anti-Vietnam protesters whose phones were tapped, civil-rights activists whose phones were tapped. During these periods, sympathizers and activists had good reason to be scared.  The 4th amendment and other violations were blatant, pernicious, and frequent.  Much harm was caused as a result.  People lost jobs, they got shamed in public, and they had their homes and property assaulted.  If you don't remember, you saw the tapes or read about it.

    Sure would like to know which people are running in fear now because of wiretapping.  Maybe there are lots of people being targeted, abused - and it's all being covered up.  Really?

    I am NOT (repeat NOT, repeat NOT, repeat NOT) excusing the violations.  Rather, I'm asking the question: assuming you agree that surveillance to combat terror threats are needed, do we cut ANY corners to make sure we get all the needed info?  To what extent do AG review and "minimizing" of info gathered on innocents ameliorate the constitutional violations?

    I"m sure I'll get flamed for this. But, what I'm really after is a reasonable examination at the seriousness of constitutional violations.  

    Flame away ...

    •  CREEP (0+ / 0-)

      I guess it would be nice to know if any CREEP style violations occured.  You know we will never find that out with a McCain presidency.  We may find out under an Obama Presidency.   Even if we can never prosecute people, it would be nice to make sure that some staffers who would become future Rumsfelds or Gonzaleses might have their careers cut short.

      Stagflation, here we come

      by smoosh21 on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 08:27:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's just too bad (0+ / 0-)

    that we have to start with such SMALL baby steps back toward legality and accountability. That's how VERY bad the Bush Criminal Administration has been, and how VERY complicit this Congress and the Corporate Media have been with it.

    Too bad, too, that they will probably all be allowed to get away with their crimes, in the name of "healing" and "moving forward" - and in another ten years, more or less, we'll be dealing with the same criminal mindset, attitude and deeds all over again.

  •  The Capitulation and What to Do About It (0+ / 0-)

        Franklin Roosevelt was maybe the most popular president in the history of the country, and with the greatest degree of congressional support, even in the politically toxic atmosphere of the 1930s.  Nevertheless, when the Supreme Court (on questionable constitutional grounds) struck down a number of programs of his that were helping a lot of people, and he responded by trying an end run around the Court by unconstitutional means, it took almost no time for his supportive congress to smack him down on that point, without blinking.
        All that's lacking at this point in time on the FISA issue is a similarly clear thinking and uncowardly congress (including Senator Obama) and Democratic Party, and a meaningful legal mechanism with which to address the issue; and so all that clear thinking people can do to attack this substantively meaningless and utterly capitulative "compromise" is to keep screaming, and keep growing, like the baby whom it is society's highest obligation to nurture so that it can grow up to fix the structural weakness and corruption which this affair reveals and which the current generation is apparently too morally weak to address.

  •  The FISA bill is going to pas (4+ / 0-)

    whether Obama votes for it or against it. He and or Feingold could try to filibuster it and it would STILL pass.

    That being the case, the choice is obvious: Who do you think would be more likely to seek future revision/repeal of the bill -- President Obama or President McCain? Who would be more likely to respect not just the letter of the law but the spirit of the Bill of Rights -- President Obama or President McCain?

    Figure out your answers to those questions, then go out and support the candidate and the party of your choice.

    Anything else is just childish tantrum throwing, a complete waste of time, or both.

    •  Fine, let's just wait to January (0+ / 0-)

      surely we can make a clearer decision on whether this is a good bill once we know who is going to be in the White House.

      What kind of traitor puts the Constitution first and the candidate second? :)

      by cskendrick on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 11:10:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WOW... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, ocdemgal49, Adept2u

    In all my years of following politics, that is easily one of the most profound and convincingly real statements I've ever seen.

    He hadn't lost my support over FISA or the other bumps in the last week--not even close--but he had disappointed me.  This statement erases about 99% of the disappointment.  

    I'm ready to move forward behind Obama, and I'm feeling as "fired up and ready to go" as ever before.

  •  We Can Agree On Quite A Lot Actually (0+ / 0-)

    This is an offensive piece of legislation and I agree deeply with the sentiments behind the uprising on Obama's site. If everyone of those folks who signed on to persuade Obama to change his position ALSO wrote a letter to their own senators, that would be a VERY useful show of solid opposition to this crap bill.

    But look, Obama has now made it clear he's not going to budge. Fine -- he's not my senator. Right now I'm more concerned with stopping H.R. 6304 (despite Obama's lack of help), so I'm more concerned with
    making my displeasure known with the people who actually, CURRENTLY represent me.

    So come on! Forget about Obama for a damn minute, people. Who's with me?  Can we at least agree this legislation is shit and deserves our opposition?

    Find your senator's contact info right now and ask him/her to oppose H.R. 6304 because it fails to protect innocent Americans against government surveillance and grants retroactive immunity to companies that allegedly participated in President Bush's illegal wiretapping program.

    Stop arguing with each other, democrats, and ACT ON BEHALF OF YOUR CONSTITUTION!

  •  Read Glen Greenwald (0+ / 0-)

    Please take a few minutes to read Glen Greenwald's comments about today's Obama statement about FISA.

    http://www.salon.com/...

    Be sure to follow the update  links especially the last one about today's events.  

    I've decided to stop reading and posting about FISA.  I'll contact my senators again and of course I'll keep working for Barack Obama.  At least he know we are watching and won't be denied a voice at the table which may temper further moves on his part that paint him in a corner.  At this point he really can't just give in.  He would appear weak for doing so.  

    What I really want to know is what they are hiding?  Is it about money?  Is it blackmail?  
    All the obfuscation is too patent, too obvious.  This whole deal is not about protecting you and I and Barack Obama is too smart not to know that. WTF?  Sigh.......

    "Vote Your Hopes Not Your Fears."

    by YellerDog on Thu Jul 03, 2008 at 09:55:36 PM PDT

  •  He doesn't seem to get why we so strongly oppose (0+ / 0-)

    this "compromise".  The opposition has little or nothing to do with the clarifications as to who has authority to do what and when and the exclusivity of the FISA court.

    It has EVERYTHING to do with the retroactive immunity portion of the bill.  Not only does it eliminate the ability of Americans, whose rights were violated, to seek a redress for the violations of their rights. This bill also keeps hidden from the public exactly what rights were violated and to what extent; information that would have seen the light of day during the discovery process of these lawsuits.

    For any American who cares about the integrity of the Constitution of the United States of America, this retroactive immunity should be a deal breaker.  Furthermore, there is no reason why this has to be rushed through Congress.  Rather, Democrats ought to be sitting on this bill until they have more control over the government and can push it through Congress without the retroactive immunity clause.

    It won't keep me from voting for you Senator Obama.  It will just make me think less of you as a person.

    Feingold is my hero.

    by Marc in CA on Fri Jul 04, 2008 at 05:04:10 AM PDT

    •  spot on, it's the discovery process (0+ / 0-)

      It has EVERYTHING to do with the retroactive immunity portion of the bill.  Not only does it eliminate the ability of Americans, whose rights were violated, to seek a redress for the violations of their rights. This bill also keeps hidden from the public exactly what rights were violated and to what extent; information that would have seen the light of day during the discovery process of these lawsuits.

      Thank you intelligent Kossack.

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