FISA Hits the Senate. Again. Sigh.

That whistling you're hearing is the slow release of air from the ACLU's tires. As the moments tick by, the grim reality is we're headed towards a total capitulation on FISA and telecom immunity. Well, I hope you weren't too attached to the Fourth Amendment. Or really any sense of justice at all.

As the debate moves forward today, we'll keep you up to speed on the latest from our nation's capitol. I wanted to point out a few hotttt stories, though.

  • First up, MapLight also did a great job at tracking the money telecom companies invested in trying to sway votes on immunity. Politico has a great rundown.
  • Next, not sure if you caught Pelosi's irritatingness yesterday. So. Irritating. Ms. Pelosi, a request: Please do not schedule bills for a vote if you a) do not want to vote for them and b) plan on encouraging your colleagues in the Senate to stand up so you don't have to. Love the necklace, btw.
  • Then we have Madison Powers, writing for CQ. If I was a better writer, I would have written something as lovely and intellectually satisfying as he did with today's column. A taste:

Democrats want to remove the issue from the fall campaign, and Republicans rarely miss an opportunity to hyperventilate over scary things, for which fewer civil liberties seems to be the prescription. Democrats, including ones who should know better, capitulated in fear of being blamed for not doing enough to stop a terrorist attack because of an overly developed concern for civil libertarian niceties.

Finally, did you know I'm in love with Russell Feingold? He's a senator from Wisconsin. He's constitutionally dreamy. And he's my homeboy.

The ACLU WLO will be glued to C-SPAN all day so I encourage you to head back here for surly commentary, highlights and a post-game wrap-up.

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Hi Amanda. I posted all the House "yes" votes with home page links over here and will do the same with the Senate if it passes. Thanks for all the work on this.


I'm watching, too, and I was blown away by Dodd's speach last night -- one of the most eloquent defenses of the Constitution in my lifetime. At the moment, Bernie Sanders is doing a mighty fine job of blasting the Cheney-Bush administration on civil liberties. It looks to me like we MIGHT have a chance of stopping this thing until February at least.

But if we don't, I wonder if it would be such a horrible thing. Bear with me.

If this Congress defeats the bill, it's a win for us in the short run, but there's nothing to prevent some subsequent Congress from doing the same thing again.

On the other hand, if Congress passes the bill and it becomes the law, a challenge before the SCOTUS should (even with the current court) reinforce the fact that Congress lacks the power to suspend the Constitution whenever they feel like it. A result which OUGHT to establish a precedent for our Congress-critters never trying something like this again. (One can hope.)

I would hate to see the bill pass with immunity still included, and I hope that we can defeat that section, at least, since unlike the rest of the bill, immunity can be granted retroactively, but liability can not.


Whoops, Sanders is finished and Orrin Hatch is talking. I threw up in my mouth a little.


Called my senators offices:

Sen. Obama will be voting yes on FISA bill;

Sen. Durbin "probably NO" on the FISA bill.


grr. I'm really sick of hearing about how they're capitulating on this. Previous events had me hopeful it'd see the end by now.

And major respect for Sen. Feingold's comments!


Don't know if this has been covered or not. Found this post while searching, but the FISA bill is also going to redefine what WMD means, as well as foreign power and a few other things. Would this not also help with possible future illegalities that might arise as a result of lying us into war?

Regardless, the text of this bill is downright spooky.


Nancy Pelosi has got to be the worst House leader in recent times. Has she done anything to confront Bush at all? I mean, one of her first statements has Leader was that impeachment was off the table. I don't think she has a backbone at all. Obama should ask Feingold to be VP, but that'll never happen. And why would Obama support this bill? That baffles me. What kind of change does that represent?


This is a minor blip on the radar considering all the things going on in the world, but any opression is worth investigating. In Boise Idaho the police have been given free reign to harass us as if it's a police party. Any slight transgression results in a stop, search, and or a full blown test, assuming everyone has been drinking.
The Police/City have realized that a DUI is the biggest money maker for them. As well it has happened that they will test you by telling you that you were were speeding when u were wern't just to write a ticket ! The issue is that the police try to intimidate drivers day or night. I liken it to the theory of "throw it against the wall and see what sticks"
It's all about money and politics. They are jack boots in action ! ! HELP Thank You(spell check not working)

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