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FISA Debate: Not So Much a Debate as a Death March for the Fourth Amendment

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June 20, 2008

Depressing, I know, but it’s the truth. Get ready to lose all faith in government. Maybe an overstatement. Maybe not. To get our official line on this bill, read our letter to the House.

Watching the debate on the floor has given a few memorable moments. Some infuriating, some hysterical, some make me want to kiss Barbara Lee. Here’s a wrap up of my favorite and least favorite moments.

  • Lame Duck Heather Wilson (R-NM) did her usual spiel and claimed that, after the New York Times revealed the NSA program, Congress conducted “extensive oversight.” All due respect, Ms. Wilson, but it really didn’t.
  • A few notes for Darrell “Viper On!” Issa:
    1. You are wrong. “Both sides” have NOT been working on this. The White House and those seeking to appease it have been working on it. Everyone else has been shut out.
    2. A “no” vote is a “play to special interests”? How interesting you bring up special interests… *cough*telecomlobby*cough*. “Hello pot” “Oh, hey, kettle”
  • Barbara Lee perhaps said the best thing I’ve heard throughout this debate: “This bill scares me to death and I urge a no vote!” Amen, Barbara. Amen.
  • Pelosi made her Oscar acceptance speech, handing out thank yous and faux-compromise spin. (P.S. if the Protect America Act was so “unacceptable” why did you schedule it for a vote?) Someone should send her today’s San Francisco Chronicle editorial, no? She’s not asking anyone to vote for this bill? Strong leadership.

By the way, President Bush made a few comments on the bill today saying that it “ensures” telecoms will be shielded from courts. Neat. I love that he and Congressman Blunt and Senator Bond aren’t even attempting to pretend this is a compromise. I guess that’s the Democrats’ job?

Hoyer’s making his Oscar acceptance speech now. He’d like to thank the Academy, the telecom lobbyists, and the White House. As he says, in the legislative process “no one gets everything they want.” Especially the Constitution, Steny.

Vote will be coming up shortly. Start drinking now.

Oh god. It’s over. 293 – 129. Continue drinking until next week’s Senate vote…