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Bush just held another fear-mongering press conference in yet another attempt to scare the living daylights out of the American people for no good reason. He coordinated this with Congressional Republicans to time their little temper tantrum over this issue.

Let's just remember Sen. Kennedy's summation of Bush's position on FISA:

The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA.  But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity.  No immunity, no FISA bill.  So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.

That's essentially the message he sent today, too, by making telco amnesty once again the crux of what he says is so critical to the nation's security. And that's the message the Republican members of Congress sent today, too. Their temper tantrums and political posturing are more important than the Constitution, more important than creating legislation that both addresses national security and protects the most basic Constitution rights of Americans.

Let's get this straight. If the Protect America Act expires, we're still safe. Don't believe me? Believe them:

Richard Clarke, Former Chief National Security Council Counterterrorism Advisor: "On one issue in particular - FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) - the president misconstrued the truth and manipulated the facts... Simply put, it was wrong for the president to suggest that warrants issued in compliance with FISA would suddenly evaporate with congressional inaction." [Philadelphia Inquirer, February 1, 2008]

Mort Halperin, Director of U.S. Advocacy for the Open Society Institute: "Even if the President permits the PAA to temporarily lapse, the intelligence community will have the authority not only to continue on-going surveillances for a year but to add other surveillances as long as they are consistent with the existing procedures." [2/7/08]

"Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said in an interview that if the August bill was allowed to expire in 10 days, intelligence officials would still be able to continue eavesdropping on already approved targets for another year under the law." [New York Times, 1/23/08]

Kate Martin, Director of the Center for National Security Studies: "If the government learns of new individuals apparently plotting terrorist activities, it can immediately surveil such individuals — whether they are here or calling here from abroad — by obtaining a FISA court order... As officials have confirmed to the Congress, the court can issue an order within literally minutes of being asked and such order can be implemented within minutes. Or the government can start surveillance without a court order under the always existing FISA emergency authority." [2/7/08]

Because this is a message that can't be stated enough: Don't fall for it again, Dems. The House of Representatives is doing something that it has needed to do since Dems got the majority last year. They are standing up to the White House. With the contempt votes that Kagro has been writing about, and now with their refusal to be bullied and to let the Protect America Act expire.

This is a very welcome development, and should be applauded and encouraged. So a big Huzzah! to Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Conyers, Steny Hoyer and all of the Dems finally willing to play hardball over the issues that matter most.

It also puts those Blue Dogs who have said they will vote with Bush and the Republicans in a it of a bind. Will they support their leader, their caucus, their party and the Constitution? Call and ask them.

  • Rep. Leonard L. Boswell, D-Iowa -- Phone: (202) 225-3806, Fax: (202) 225-5608
  • Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark. -- Phone: (202) 225-4076, Fax: (202) 225-5602
  • Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark. -- Phone: (202) 225-3772, Fax: (202) 225-1314
  • Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. -- Phone: (202) 225-2611, Fax: (202) 226-0893
  • Rep. Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, D-Ala. -- Phone: (202) 225-4801, Fax: (202) 225-4392
  • Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Ill. -- Phone: (202) 225-3711, Fax: (202) 225-7830
  • Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. -- Phone: (202) 225-6401, Fax: (202) 226-6422
  • Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga. -- Phone: (202) 225-2823, Fax: (202) 225-3377
  • Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla. -- Phone: (202) 225-5235, Fax: (202) 225-5615
  • Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif. -- Phone: (202) 225-6161, Fax: (202) 225-8671
  • Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla. -- Phone: (202) 225-2701, Fax: (202) 225-3038
  • Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-4714, Fax: (202) 225-1765
  • Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah -- Phone: (202) 225-3011, Fax: (202) 225-5638
  • Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-4311, Fax: (202) 226-1035
  • Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn. -- Phone: (202) 225-6831, Fax: (202) 226-5172
  • Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind. -- Phone: (202) 225-4636, Fax: (202) 225-3284
  • Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa. -- Phone: (202) 225-5546, Fax: (202) 226-0996
  • Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La. -- Phone: (202) 225-4031, Fax: (202) 226-3944
  • Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan. -- Phone: (202) 225-2865, Fax: (202) 225-2807
  • Rep. Christopher Carney, D-Pa. -- Phone: (202) 225-3731, Fax: (202) 225-9594
  • Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio -- Phone: (202) 225-6265, Fax: (202) 225-3394

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 10:58 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  FU Bush (8+ / 0-)

    American lives might be lost if my civil liberties don't stop disappearing.

    Jesus is not a marketing tool. Anyone who uses religion to sell his/herself is a liar and not to be trusted.

    by marknspokane on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 10:58:55 AM PST

  •  Exactly. (10+ / 0-)

    This is a very welcome development, and should be applauded and encouraged. So a big Huzzah! to Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Conyers, Steny Hoyer and all of the Dems finally willing to play hardball over the issues that matter most.

    Call them, encourage them, say that this is what America needs.  Let them know we have their back if they continue defying Rethug media spin and doing the right thing for the country.  We can't always just complain; we have to let them know we support them when they do right.

    •  Let'em know you approve, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      also let it be known that this is more than overdue. I'm not willing to cheer  about it. Why should I get excited over somebody actually doing the job they are supposed to?

      "'Politics' is made up of two words. 'Poli,' which is Greek for 'many,' and 'tics,' which are bloodsucking insects." Gore Vidal

      by Kairos on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:51:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He does this... (6+ / 0-)

    ... because it works. Because they keep letting it work.

    We may not like it, but we can't deny it.

    2008 -- Yes We Can vs. McCan't.

    by droogie6655321 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:00:34 AM PST

  •  Yes! (8+ / 0-)

    Applause in the House, love it! Rep. Slaughter giving back Cry-baby Boehner his OWN words during 1998: "White House is stonewalling."

    •  CALL PELOSI AND HOYER NOW! (10+ / 0-)

      Pelosi Phone: (202) 225-4131
      Hoyer Phone: (202) 225-4965

      Let them know we are watching and support them if they stand up for the Constitution.

      I just got off the phone with Nancy Pelosi's office and Steny Hoyer's office. I thanked them for standing up to the Republicans on FISA and charges of contempt for Miers and Bolton. I told them to let the Republicans live in the streets for a while.

      I hope they don't prove me wrong, but I wanted to give them a positive message.


      •  I called (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, Duke S

        the 4131 and got Hoyer's office...

        GI Rights Hotline - free legal info based on UCMJ re discharges, AWOL, discrimination, et. al.

        by gypsy on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:08:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  EMAILED PELOSI & J BOEHNER (scum) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, Duke S

        I told Pelosi to stand her ground, we're with her!

        Told Boehner: he cant fool us anymore, the rep. congress & Bush admin have to respect for law & order & have to resort to this 'comical' scene.
        Shame on them!

        **  light at the end of the tunnel ? **  

        Where people fear the government there is tyrany: "Where the government fears the people, you have liberty." Thomas Jefferson

        by ROADRUNNER DEM on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:22:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I called Rep. Barrow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Duke S

        and told the staffer I spoke with that it would be a sad day for the country if an unprecedented retroactive legal immunity were rammed through the Congress by way of fearmongering, and that passing an immunity that prevented the American people from even learning whether their 4th Amendment rights were still in existence would be reprehensible.

        She said, and I quote:  "I agree, and I'll pass along your message."

  •  Thanks for hammering this, McJoan. Bush's (11+ / 0-)

    fear mongering is so easy to counter with facts, but it seems too hard for the MSM to get.


  •  That Ted! That's the best argument I've heard (6+ / 0-)

    about Bush's veto threat! Making it crystal clear what it's all about. Immunity first for the telecos then for them.

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

    by Gorette on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:00:52 AM PST

  •  House GOP walked out (6+ / 0-)

    GOP to hold press conference.

    Pelosi holding her own right now.\ C-SPAN

    Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:01:49 AM PST

  •  Americans seem to die frequently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, CParis

    for corporate interests, (think of all the CIA coups), this is just more out in the open.

    Capital punishment is the result of the mind-set that governments may kill without the presence of imminent threat, for a theoretical benefit to society. Sarge

    by sailmaker on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:01:54 AM PST

  •  Romney endorses MacCain (14+ / 0-)

    And he's preempting the theatrics in the House. Rethugs are losing their 15 mintues to the Robot. Networks are cutting to him now.

    Thank You Mitt!

  •  This week has got me all spun around (11+ / 0-)

    i haven't even gotten over my grieving the loss in the Senate and we are already getting some gumption from the House? Am i going to have to be proud to be an American again by the end of the week? Damn i hope so!

    Guil: So there you are. Ros: Stark raving sane. - T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

    by eco d on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:02:26 AM PST

  •  Ellsworth is the only one from Indiana (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Conressman Hill and Congressman Donnelly are not on the list.  That is a nice sign.

  •  Also call Pelosi (5+ / 0-)

    give support to stand firm THIS TIME.

    GI Rights Hotline - free legal info based on UCMJ re discharges, AWOL, discrimination, et. al.

    by gypsy on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:04:09 AM PST

  •  Watching Pelosi now... (0+ / 0-)

    She seems so weak and unsure. Toughen up Nancy, goddammit!

    If we continue to accumulate only power and not wisdom, we will surely destroy ourselves. -Carl Sagan

    by LightningMan on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:07:36 AM PST

  •  Pelosi giving a good presser right now on C-SPAN (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, Duke S, LynneK, Spiffarino

    Laying it all in the lap of the GOP and bush.

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

    by darthstar on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:08:15 AM PST

  •  Bud Cramer will do whatever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Senator Richard Shelby says he should do. Cramer is nothing but a DINO. The only reason he gets re-elected is because he is strongly in favor of the space program, which benefits his district (the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center is in his district.) I seriously doubt that calling him will do any good.

    "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by LynneK on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:10:43 AM PST

  •  Remind shrub to pay the damn phone bill (12+ / 0-)

    before the patriotic phone companies cut off the FISA wiretaps for non payment

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:11:57 AM PST

    •  The telecos are patriotic alright... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, JML9999

      patriotic to money, money, money.  If the rest of us don't pay our phone bills guess happens... phone service it cut off.  Guess GWB didn't get the phone bill yet.

      On a visit to the west a reporter asked "Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization"? Replied Gandhi, "I'm all for it"!

      by MacJimi on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:42:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is their chance. (4+ / 0-)

    The choice is clear.  Either you support the Constitution and your constituients, or you support Bush and the Telco giants.

    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 Feb 14, 2008 at 11:12:01 AM PST

  •  Pelosi is doing one too saying w can only offer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spiffarino, JeffW


    Looks like the gop are not voting.

  •  Jumped the Shark (11+ / 0-)

    The Republicans have jumped the shark on this one.

    It is a perfect time for a showdown.

    While they are out, we should do a kind of reverse filibuster, spending the time highlighting all the stonewalling, voting as a bloc like in some totalitarian state, signing statements, and finally the bullying and babylike behavior that is so clear in the actions of this Republican Party and this President and this administration.

    Make it perfectly clear that there are absolutely no SPECIFIC reasons that we need to rush through unpopular and simply bad legislation, particularly when there is perfectly good legislation available to be had.

    Perfect time for a showdown, and time to man the phones, to every Democrat and in particular blue-dog Democrats, and possibly to Republicans as well, scolding them for their babyish, bullying behavior and their apparent lack of love for their country, the Consitution, the governing body in which they serve, and so many principles it is hard to list them all here.


  •  Just why oh why would he care so much (16+ / 0-)

    about telecom immunity?

    Could it be that if these lawsuits go forward, we might see what all that domestic spying was REALLY used for?

    Naw, Republicans would NEVER use things like illegal wiretaps for partisan political purposes.

    •  I think one reason he cares (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cyber Kat, mayim

      is that if telecom immunity passes, it would help to establish the impression that as Chief Executive, he can basically nullify any inconvenient law at will. And/Or interpret it to mean whatever he says, making the Supreme Snort as irrelevant as the legislature. In effect, a significant step toward an absolute "elected" monarchy like the late Roman Empire.  

      Even at the time of the American Revolution, George III was subject to the rule of Parliament. If he had waltzed around doing whatever he pleased, like Shrub, George III would have been deposed. That's what the whole thing with Oliver Cromwell and chopping off the head of Charles I was all about. Cromwell was not an unqualified success, however, so Britain let the monarchs back in -- strictly on condition they accepted limits on their power.  

      Also, if Shrub fails to protect their a***s, I think the affected telecoms will be really angry at the Republican Party, don't you?  Too bad most of them didn't get angry at the right time, when they were asked to break the law.

  •  I just tried Pelosi's office and got no answer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duke S, Clio2, MacJimi, rhutcheson

    I hope this means their phones are ringing off the hook.

    Please, God, let her stand firm on this one.

  •  Related... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, operculum, Spiffarino

    here's a little leverage against Boswell.

    From the email:

    Ed Fallon is the next DFA-List endorsement and he's taking on Bush-Democrat, Rep. Leonard Boswell in IA-03.

    The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

    by robroser on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:14:55 AM PST

  •  Suggestions? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duke S

    None of these people is from my district or even state.  They always ask my address.  Since I choose not to lie, I tell them, and they lose interest.  I then tell them that I'm very politically active and give to Congressional races, including primaries, across the country, including, e.g., the Donna Edwards win this week.  Generally, they don't seem to be that impressed even by this.

    Any suggestions for other approaches for out of district Reps?

    The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

    by Upper West on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:15:16 AM PST

    •  Perhaps robroser (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KLM, Boorad, Brooke In Seattle, Spiffarino

      (next comment over) has an answer. I'm paying attention, and willing and ready to donate to your primary opponent. That works for those that have primary opponents. A handful of them (Bean, Space, Shuler, Carney) got support from us. They need to know that those days are long, long over. Of course, the telcos can make up the difference in fundraising, but they'll also know their names will be mud on the pages of blogs (national and local) from now until November.

  •  Fear Mongrel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lary Waldman

    Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to. We interrupt this Presidential nursery rhyme as the President skips towards Marine One, for another stunning warning, that in the event the Democrats do not see a North Korean under every nut sack in the nation, and allow the eavesdropping of anybody, anytime, for no intelligible reason, the country has fallen into a circumstance of great terror. This bully pulpit, it's kind of like an elevator to space, that Mr. Bush thinks he still commands, is built on very rotten timbers. Now that the Democrats have shown some life, in an attempt to perhaps punish Meyers and Gonzales, the President thinks, well that's an overstatement, feels perhaps, which he cannot go running to Daddy to fix this one. If he a Dick broke the law, ow my god, what could happen, if they prove it? Oh my god indeed George. Lame duck doesn't due your circumstance justice.

    Lary Waldman

  •  Again - Reid's fault (6+ / 0-)

    This entire bill lies at the feet of Harry Reid.  He is sorely wrong and solely at fault.  He had the opportunity to let this die and he, for reasons only his bribers know why, didn't let it die because it is obvious to me that there is something that they have on him and he is caving not to have it come out.  I think he is dirty.

    Not only did we beat the British now we have to beat the Bushes.

    by libbie on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:16:07 AM PST

  •  So if an idiot like me... (0+ / 0-)

    can understand this, someone elected to Congress cannot?  I don't think they don't understand it...I think they're spineless.

    If we Americans analyzed our social problems as much as we analyze pro football, there would be no more AIDS, homeless people, or pregnant teens...

    by wry twinger on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:17:40 AM PST

  •  No. No. NO. (12+ / 0-)

    Boehner, standing on the Capitol steps, repeated the Bush canard that their number one job is to protect the American people.

    Meanwhile, on the House floor, Louise Slaughter is stating that when they come to Washington they take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and that is what they are doing.

    This dichotomy of "job descriptions" should be made loud and clear.

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - A. Einstein

    by FWIW on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:18:00 AM PST

  •  Pelosi is talking to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terminus, Duke S, Clio2

    the press now. She won't use the word lie, but the Republicans never hesitate.

  •  and the vote wins a majority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Simple Man

    It's at 221 with 3 repubs in favor and only 1 dem opposed.

    "Use Jesus as a body shield while you rob the country blind" - Jud Caswell, The Men behind the Bushes

    by eparrot on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:19:32 AM PST

  •  Representative: Are you joining with Pres. Bush (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, gotalife, Duke S, Clio2

    to try to pass a law to protect companies who broke the law and illegally spied on American citizens?

    I am calling and asking this of every Representative on the list.

    There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always." - Gandhi

    by Rachel Griffiths on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:19:47 AM PST

  •  If it's so important to our safety that the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Duke S, JML9999, Clio2

    President have this authority, why is Bush vetoing its extension?

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

    by lysias on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:20:35 AM PST

  •  NOT ALL Blue Dogs! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, xxdr zombiexx, Ellicatt, Duke S

    My Blue Dog Rep., Marion Berry, continues to stand against Bush on FISA. He did in 2007, and he still does. I just called his office to double-check.

    "This chamber reeks of blood." -- Sen George McGovern, 1970

    by cotterperson on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:20:43 AM PST

  •  Bush is such a major asshole. (9+ / 0-)

    He's just insufferable.

    There's no money for your issue so long as we're squandering $50 billion a year on the DrugWar. Ben Masel

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:21:48 AM PST

  •  That wasn't fear-mongering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stillrockin, Duke S, Clio2

    he was offering a compromise. He is willing to put off that trip "long-planned" to Africa that he's been so looking forward to for so long... Hell, he'd probably even postpone the Easter Egg Roll on the WH lawn...

  •  GREAT FRAMING, Kennedy! (9+ / 0-)

    Bush is "willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies."

    Shout that from the as-yet-unremoved mountaintops!

    There is a lot more that can be done along these lines to show, in terms the average American can understand, how Bush and Republicans are loyal to corporations over citizens.  Just watched this issue ad and while it's not perfect, it's got the right idea.

    We have to focus on those experiences with the arrogant, bloated, cold, faceless, bureaucratic business world that average Americans deal with every day and say "THAT's who the Republicans work for! When they talk about free enterprise and free markets and small businesses, THAT's what it cashes out to:  gigantic, unaccountable HMO's, Big Box retailers hawking chinese-made American flags, predatory credit card companies, etc. etc. etc.

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:28:14 AM PST

  •  Robert Byrd is Speaking Out on Iraq Corruption (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snazzzybird, CParis, Duke S, Clio2

    And he is brilliant!

    Where has the taxpayer's hard-earned money been going?

    He's holding hearings.

    •  "Where has the taxpayer's hard-earned money been (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snazzzybird, MacJimi, DavidW


      To faith-based reconstruction initiatives in Iraq - I'm a Bu$hco crony and I have Faith that you will give me a megamillion no-bid contract that I won't bother to fulfill and that no one will come looking for the money that I have stashed in my Caymans account.

  •  listening to the house repub press conference (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat, cybersaur, Duke S, BehereBenow

    god these chickenshits are full of shit. They really have no shame.

  •  Called Heath Shuler's office yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ezdidit, Rachel Griffiths, rhutcheson

    I told the woman who answered that I was ready to "primary" Shuler if he continued to support telecom immunity. I also said:

    - I will support any opponent with time, money and a loud angry voice.

    - I will tell every person I know that Heath Shuler is a Bush tool who needs to be run out of office.

    The poor woman seemed a bit distressed...

    •  more on Heath Shuler (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cyber Kat, Clio2, mayim

      I've been calling Shuler's office too.  At first, they didn't know that Heath Shuler had signed the letter to Pelosi.  The woman I was talking to asked me where I had gotten that information, and I told her on the DailyKos, and she said she hadn't looked there yet today.  Hmmmm.  They're watching DailyKos regularly?  Good for them, if so.  

      I also came up with a framing for talking to his office.  Shuler sponsored a bill with Tom Tancredo (ugh) about immigration that's very law enforcement-based.  

      So I said, if immigrants are supposed to follow the law, why are the telecommunications corporations, who have lots of money and lots of lawyers, and who have no excuse for not knowing the relevant law about this, going to be given amnesty for breaking the law?  

      And I should have added -- and how do I explain this to my 12 year old son who's been a big Shuler supporter?  Laws are only for poor people?  Laws are only for people that the administration doesn't want to use?  

      Drowning for knowledge in a sea of information?

      by Quaker Warrior on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:02:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thanked him for the aye vote on contempt (0+ / 0-)

        I just called both of Shuler's offices to say thank you for the aye vote this afternoon on contempt of Congress.  I checked the voting roll on the House web site -- I was so afraid he was one of the 30-something that voted against it but he was right there in the aye box.  Whew.

        I'm calling so often I'm gonna have to put the two numbers on my speed dial.

        At least calling him feels more useful than calling Dole or Burr, our two lovely R Senators.  (Burr may be on the short list for McCain VP ... that would be interesting....)  

        Drowning for knowledge in a sea of information?

        by Quaker Warrior on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:26:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I left NY & went to NC to stump for him in 10-06 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I want him to stand up for the Constitution. That's his primary obligation, and he cannot be allowed to forget that he must represent his constituents as well. He can keep his head down to trade off earmarks on other issues, but this indefensible pay-to-play has got to stop on fundamental issues!

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

      by ezdidit on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:04:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]


    He left a message on the answering machine, but we delted his useless ass.

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

    by bobdevo on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:33:46 AM PST

  •  Stand up to His Petulancy, Dems (10+ / 0-)

    Pass a FISA bill he doesn't like and watch him throw a hissy fit in public. That will cement his legacy as the worst president this country ever had.

    John McCain's Straight Talk Express runs on fossil fuels.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:34:31 AM PST

  •  Thanks (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, BehereBenow, Clio2, mayim, rhutcheson

    Thanks for these articles.  I called BlueDog Matheson (Utah) this morning.  I had been told by someone who called his office that he was "neutral."   I asked his staff person if that was the case and was told "yes."  I then asked that he support the House version of the FISA bill, the RESTORE Act (as was stated in FISA Fight:  Responsibility posting of 2/13) and reject immunity for the telcos under any circumstances.  I then asked him if he had heard Ted Kennedy’s quote, and, when he said "no", asked if I could read it to him.  I could tell he appreciated it by his laugh.

    Thanks, mcjoan, for the ammunition.

  •  Immunity is a critical issue for (12+ / 0-)

    Bush/Cheney.  They need to set a precedent, otherwise they are f*****.  The demise of "sovereign immunity" has left every office-holder liable for damage that results from illegal or unlawful acts.
    The distinction is important because there's a difference between something being contrary to law--i.e. illegal (what the ordinary person commits)--and something not having been permitted by the law--i.e. extralegal or unlawful (what the agents of government can commit).

    Now, it's possible for the law to make behavior that for an ordinary person is a crime (manslaughter or murder) a lawful act (execution) for an agent of government.  The problem Bush/Cheney have is that they ordered behavior that wasn't permitted to them--i.e. unlawful behavior--and anyone who was injured as a result will be able to make a claim or even file a criminal complaint.  Because the agents of government are not immune from being held criminally liable if their behavior was not lawful to begin with.  (An executionary can not, for example, off people willy nilly because his official job is to kill people).

    The Constitution gives special powers to the agents of the state in exchange for them complying with very specific rules and regulations and procedures.

    Bush/Cheney are looking for a retroactive validation of their illegal acts, sort of like they managed to get with the military commissions act.  (Though the latter may not hold up in the Supreme Court either in those cases where they are trying to apply it to people who were taken captive BEFORE the law went into effect).  

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:37:02 AM PST

  •  Pelosi reads dKos (0+ / 0-)

    Or at least she must have seen it. In  the press conference she had, she mentions the very same individuals that are saying the PAA expiring is crap and fear mongering. Although she didn't say it that way.

    "'Politics' is made up of two words. 'Poli,' which is Greek for 'many,' and 'tics,' which are bloodsucking insects." Gore Vidal

    by Kairos on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:45:57 AM PST

  •  You can fool some of the people, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    some of the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.
    Same applies to scaring people.
    Someone PLEASE make Bush accountable.
    Lies, lies and more lies, when does it end?

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

    by Lilyvt on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:46:39 AM PST

  •  Boyd staffer proudly stated Boyd supports (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clio2, LaFajita

    the President's drive for retro-active immunity.

    Also Davis and Ellsworth's offices say "yes" they still support retroactive immunity.

    My response: History will remeber the Representative as trying to  pass a law that protects companies who violated the Constitution and broke the law.

    There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always." - Gandhi

    by Rachel Griffiths on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:48:59 AM PST

  •  Should we take bets on when they will cave? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

    if the telecoms are not given immunity, and they lose the lawsuits, can they, will they, end up suing the government, i.e. us, for recompense? I would rather see George and Dick pay out of their own pockets.

  •  Are we so starved (0+ / 0-)

    for a congress that does it's job that we become ecstatic when they finally do their job? A guy dying in the desert from thirst thinks piss is a good drink.
    Let's keep this in perspective. We have a lot more to be mad about than we do to cheer about. I'm glad they finally have stepped up to the plate, but I suggest tempering that cheer with some reality.

    "'Politics' is made up of two words. 'Poli,' which is Greek for 'many,' and 'tics,' which are bloodsucking insects." Gore Vidal

    by Kairos on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:57:53 AM PST

  •  How about Patrick Murphy (D-Awwwwww)? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you, mcjoan, for your insistence (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat, Clio2, LaFajita, eco d

    that coverage of this issue rise to the height of the odiousness of this criminal cadre of unitary subversives in the White House! It is time!

    And there is yet time enough to impeach Cheney and Bush in order to help our nation heal!

    These are issues that matter. They matter for whoever is in the White House, and the precedents that have gone unchallenged must be confronted, not for politics, but for the sake of progress.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 11:59:44 AM PST

  •  Just remember, (0+ / 0-)

    the people behind 9/11 hate us for our freedoms, so they passed the [un]Patriot Act and shredded our Constitution.  They now consider support for conservation and ecological activists in the US to be "terrorists."  Now instead of letting the sunset clause allow it to expire, they want to renew their right to remain political criminals and authors of war crimes.  I spit on these leaders, both Republican and Democratic.

    We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

    by Silverbird on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:01:02 PM PST

  •  one call (0+ / 0-)

    If Pelosi is the "leader," we should just call her.  If she is powerless with these DINOs, she should be replaced.  It's very evident she can't do the job, for whatever reason, and we must get a new speaker.  Calling Barney Frank--we need you!

  •  Please call Heath Shuler. The person answering (0+ / 0-)

    there didn't seem to be anywhere near frazzled enough for my taste.

    She will ask you where you are calling from.  It's up to you.

    Be sure to tell her, this country does not agree with the President in this situation and we will not forget who votes with him against the American people.  That sure seemed to get a rise out of the young lady.  

    Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C. -- Phone: (202) 225-6401, Fax: (202) 226-6422

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

    by funluvn1 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:07:11 PM PST

  •  To Quote Ted Kennedy: Don't Get Mad; Get Even (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clio2, mayim, Purple Priestess, eco d

    I just called Boswell's office and told his aide that in 2004 at Howard Dean's request, I'd donated $50 to Boswell's campaign.  The aide thought a minute and then remembered HoHo's pitch and said, "that's right."  I then told him that I was disappointed that Boswell was standing with Bush on FISA and trying to buffalo the House into enacting the Senate's version of the PAA and that I would be contributing $100 to Ed Fallon, who is running as a progressive in a primary fight against Boswell.

    The aide said he'd pass the message on to the Congressman.

    I encourage others to do the same.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:07:46 PM PST

  •  is CNN's _avoidance_ of the issue intentional? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clio2, eco d

    Seriously? CNN just reported on the walk out, had Pelosi rambling something about  protecting the Constitution, Bush canceling a trip to Africa to deal with this legislation...

    ...but they wouldn't mention the immunity portion, which is the heart and point of the dispute, the reason for the fight.

    I mean I know the news is infotainment, but is CNN actually trying to be obtuse, or just a really stupid correspondent?

    They can't be this incompetent, right?
    It is intentional, right?

    This crap is driving me crazy. The sooner cable/tv dies the better.

    •  Normally, I'd agree (0+ / 0-)

      but in this case, the less coverage this gets the better for us, seems to me. Without real coverage that the repubs walked out, it just looks like contempt was passed and things moved along. Even with more coverage, it happened so fast that it just looks like it was a momentary hissy fit and didn't have any effect and may have actually helped the House do its business. That last part is what i'd actually like to see in the news, that the walkout helped the House.

      Guil: So there you are. Ros: Stark raving sane. - T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

      by eco d on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:14:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yikes, and now to address your point... (0+ / 0-)

      sorry i've been jumping around stories so often i'm getting lost. Same answer, though. Lack of coverage means that the deadline could just come and go with little fanfare, which helps us. Especially if the prez keeps whining and come monday we are, OMG!, magically still standing and haven't been terra'ed to the ground.

      Guil: So there you are. Ros: Stark raving sane. - T. Stoppard, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

      by eco d on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:28:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  From someone who has been working all week, (0+ / 0-)

    and not following too closely:  What's next?  Will the FISA come up again tomorrow, and if so, what is the Dem objective here?  To push for an extension?  Can they "extension" this until the next POTUS is in office?  Someone 'splain, please, and I'll try to pay more attention in the future.  Thanks!

    "This whole world's Wild at Heart and weird on top.".....Lula

    by anninla on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:11:30 PM PST

  •  The Great Manipulator (Bush) (0+ / 0-)

    Bush only says frightening things to manipulate people.

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:16:25 PM PST

  •  would it be wrong to send the Blue Dogs a copy (0+ / 0-)

    and paste or a link like say... this one?

  •  I do not understand -- (0+ / 0-)

    Wasn't FISA written and passed to limit the security apparatchiks (and the president, their boss) from conducting surveillance without the blessings of a court? So the new law, which modifies FISA, limits the president's actions. Now, some say that FISA will still be in place if the new law lapses, and some say it won't (scholars bicker).

    But the surveillance can continue, even legally, for up to a year, and if FISA, which limits the authority, were to lapse, the president would be unfettered and could do damned near anything he wanted (not that he doesn't already).

    What's the problem with that for the madministration? NO law limiting his power vs. a slap-on-the-wrist law that (barely) limits his power? Which would you choose?

    It's like if someone said the Biblical injunction against taking more than an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth were lifted, the result would be more power for those whose idea of retaliation is to go nukular immediately. What's the downside?

    I don't get it. He must be sure the telcos will lose in court (which is unlikely, given the "out" in the present law and original FISA, too. I wonder how much they are paying him (not to mention the contributions to the several lawmakers involved)?

    I don't understand.

    But then, I'm not in favor of unopposed spying on citizens, so what do I know?


    I do not belong to an organized political party -- I'm a Democrat. [Will Rogers]

    by Ed Drone on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 12:31:43 PM PST

  •  Please say Democrats not Dems (0+ / 0-)

    Dems is like Repubs and Rethugs. We have the most excellent public relations name - Democrats, lets use it proudly!

  •  Blue dogs (0+ / 0-)

    Do these boys believe in evolution or they are just another bunch of creationists? Or are these Republicans that are not ready for prime time? remember Zen miller And Lieberman.

  •  Why not two separate bills? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cyber Kat

    I don't see why the House can't carve the bill into two. Make a single issue of telecom amnesty. Bring it up first. It passes and gets vetoed or it fails: either way is political gold because Bush can't conflate the two things like he is now.

    Then, after that vote, vote on what remains of the re-authorization.

    Is that just too simple?

  •  Does anyone know the next steps? (0+ / 0-)

    I want to be alert, and let my friends know what's happening.  Does anyone know what's going to happen next with the Senate and House bills?  What's the best way to find out what's up for consideration tomorrow in the House and in the Senate?  

    Drowning for knowledge in a sea of information?

    by Quaker Warrior on Thu Feb 14, 2008 at 01:12:24 PM PST

  •  No one's really scared. (0+ / 0-)

    Certainly not the fascists, who have been playing the terror card for domestic political gain since day one.

    That's the game.

    Dems are chumps for playing along for so long.  Kennedy is a chump for even suggesting that US lives are immediately at stake over FISA.  Nice one, Ted.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Dems could come up with a political thrust that isn't securely rooted in dumbass Bushco propaganda?  

    But then, they wouldn't be Dems, would they?

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

  •  Or... They can go ahead and break the law (0+ / 0-)

    Why is the Bush administration complaining about this?

    The ultimate alternative for them is always to simply break the law and conduct surveillance in any way they see fit irrespective of the law.

    I don't see what the problem is here.

  •  Americans now ignore these scares (0+ / 0-)

    don't they? I mean - who listens to the news?

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