New Train Wreck Coming on FISA

by: Matt Stoller

Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 18:02

I just got off the phone with Caroline Fredrickson from the ACLU, and the news is about what you'd expect if you have witnessed Democratic House behavior over the past six months.  The bottom line is that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are disorganized and giving no signals to members on the FISA wiretapping expansion and retroactive immunity to telecom companies, which is going to result in horrific legislation.  In the Senate, Jay Rockefeller is once again inviting Mike McConnell into closed hearings on how to fix the FISA law, and the markup is next week.  There are no drafts of legislation around, which is a bad sign.  The Senate Judiciary Committee is hamstrung by Dianne Feinstein, who prevents a majority, and by the instincts of Democrat leaders who, in a conflicts between Judiciary and Intelligence, will go with Intelligence because of a perceived fear of national security weakness.

Rockefeller, in order to get something 'bipartisan' that can pass the Senate, is working with Kit Bond to draft something that can get to 60 votes.  Bond of course is close to McConnell, and so it's likely that the bill coming out of the Senate Judiciary is going to contain retroactive immunity for telecom companies (thank you lobbyist Jamie Gorelick) and a permanent fix to FISA that expands executive power.  Reid and Pelosi, ironically, by ordering Democrats to move quickly so as to fix the problem they caused in July, are just accelerating the process of crafting this horrendous bill.  This is complicated of course by the millions that telecom companies give to members on the Hill to prevent things like net neutrality from passing, though of course here too there's no logic since much of that money goes to Republicans.

In the House, the Intelligence Committee is slightly better, but we have no drafts of legislation and it's going to be marked up next week.  Conyers on Judiciary, though opposed to FISA expansion, isn't doing anything about this through his committee.  The alternative to 'fixing' this legislation is to simply let the six month FISA extension of authority expire in February, and go back to the regime we had prior to August.  There is literally no reason to do what the Democrats are about to do in the House and Senate.

The DCCC and DSCC need to be aware of what's going to happen when this legislation passes, which is that online fundraising is going to drop as it did in July.  Only this time we're going to organize around it and try and actively seize those revenue streams to pursue primary challenges, since it's obvious that Democratic leaders are simply out to lunch.

Caroline's going to be blogging on this on Open Left.  If the Democratic leadership doesn't step up and stop this, we have to figure out a way to react that creates pressure, real pressure, on them.  Any suggestions?

Matt Stoller :: New Train Wreck Coming on FISA

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I suggest (4.00 / 1)
that John Rockefeller be put out to pasture. May 13, 2008.

Beyond that (serious) suggestion, can we organize 40 Senate Dems to stand up and be counted? People like Mark Pryor, Max Baucus, Tom Harkin, Tim Johnson, Carl Levin, and Dick Durbin need to understand that loyalty is a two-way street, especially with them all up for re-election.

Feingold, Wyden, and Whitehouse are all on the SSCI. Feinstein, Bayh, Nelson, and Mikulski are potentially problems. Hagel and Snowe are fine on Iraq now, but they'll toe the line on this deal, no question.

It seems to me that we need Feingold to lead on this, and find a way to get the presidential candidates to get ahead of this issue.

I live in Va, I'd be happy to help out in a coordinated fashion to try and help find a way to get Webb on board. He's getting in front of the Iran issue smartly, he could be a leader on this, as well.

Solutions and Questions (4.00 / 2)
A primary challenge solution could look something like this. The reality is that we're not going to be able to take down every Democrat who votes badly on the FISA Bill. But we don't need to. All we need to do is to pick a relatively high profile Democrat who casts a bad vote, scapegoat them, and make an example of them by defeating them in a primary.

1) Pick a long-serving Democrat who is partially responsible for this legislation.
2) Declare open season on this Democrat. The blogosphere should rip this person a new a-hole and attempt to push this criticism into the MSM.
3) Flood their office with calls, letters, and emails attacking them for their vote and telling them they are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party.
4) Recruit a primary challenger to run against above Democrat and flood them with netroots money.
5) Declare that progressives are going to "make an example" of the incumbent Democrat by showing what happens when they defy the will of the people to vote with the corrupt Washington establishment and big business.
6) Continue to bash above Democrat no matter how they vote or campaign subsequently.
7) Defeat incumbent Democrat in the primary.

Some questions:

- Why aren't we hearing from Howard Dean on this issue? I mean, for gawdsakes, we're talking about retroactively legalizing dictatorial/fascist powers...surely the head of our party has something to say about this, even if the party leader speaking out on legislation goes against precedent. Weren't the netroots the people who put him on the map? Isn't now about the time to be calling in the favor?
- Is a drop off in netroots funding for the committees a substantial enough chunk of their cashflow for them to notice?
- Does it ever make any sense to try targeting the staff of elected officials who are voting badly? Does such a strategy have a realistic chance of making a difference in how an elected official votes?
- Is there any possibility of mobilizing a pre-emptive strike against Pelosi and Reid, for example, flooding them with calls and emails NOW as opposed to later?
- Can we target candidates who had netroots support in 2006 and make it clear to them that this support will vanish in 2008 if they vote badly?
- And finally, has anyone actually attempted to sue the telecom companies yet? If not, would doing so help raise the profile of this issue?

EFF is suing telecoms (0.00 / 0)
On your last question, it appears that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed suit against the telecoms.  This Newsweek piece has some more background: http://www.msnbc.msn...
It suggests that the perceived liability risks are part of what's pushing action on the bill and, not surprisingly, spurring telecom lobbying to get it passed.

While the mobilization ideas in this thread sound great, I also wonder if there's a simple yet powerful message and messaging strategy that can help make crystal clear and easy-to-understand the difference between fear-based reactionary legislation and effective action to bolster our real security.  It seems that the Dem leadership lacks this, and tends to repeatedly succumb to fear-mongering (fear of terror compounded by fear of being seen as soft on terror, etc.). Unfortunately, fear tends to breed more fear, though it can also spark courage.  We need the right mix of tasty carrots, strong sticks and clear and strong messaging, and this thread seems to be pointing in that general direction.

[ Parent ]
Close The ATMs--Better Sooner Than Later (0.00 / 0)
The upside on going to hell--a chance to work on your tan.

Trying to be ever the optomist, I see an upside in all this--it's a chance to get way out in front on turning off the cash spigots for the DC Dem establishment.

The DCCC and DSCC need to be aware of what's going to happen when this legislation passes, which is that online fundraising is going to drop as it did in July.  Only this time we're going to organize around it and try and actively seize those revenue streams to pursue primary challenges, since it's obvious that Democratic leaders are simply out to lunch.

This really should be a major turning point.  Selling out the Constitution is one thing.  But we already know that if they sell out the Constitution, they'll sell out the Magna Charta.  And if the Democratic Party can't stand up for the Magna Charta, well, they really have no one to blame but themselves....

Just Say No To The Pre-1215 Mindset!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Actually (0.00 / 0)
Sotheby's is auctioning off the Magna Carta for the Ross Perot Foundation. Really. Apparently that's the kind of world we live in.

Got to laugh as we dribble down the toilet of history.

Can it happen here?

[ Parent ]
Who Says The Universe Doesn't Have A Sense of Humor? n/t (0.00 / 0)

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I'm not so optimistic, but I'll riff on this anyway... (4.00 / 1)
I do think, like Paul, there's an upside to this. It's a long-term upside, in terms of building towards a new Progressive Era, but not so much in terms of the next couple election cycles. Things will get worse before they get better.

To wit:

FISA, the Patriot Act(s), etc., all represent a full-court press against the constitution and our RIGHTS AS CITIZENS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but our RIGHTS are starting to move up in polls that bother to ask about this. I think it was Pew that showed majorities of Dems AND Indies that think this is a big, BIG issue.

To me, this represents a collossal organizing opportunity. This isn't a partisan issue. I know Republicans, including my bosses, who now actually listen to me about this stuff and nod yes 90% of the time now. These are people who voted for Bush TWICE, but now have neighbors (wealthy Republicans in Carlsbad, CA, no less) who have young children and are thinking of emigrating to Australia because they are worried about a draft in 12 years time!

Many independents are more vociferous about these issues than anyone. This is the much mythologized "swing voter" DC Bubble Kidz endlessly froth over, yes?

No one here needs reminding how Dem "Little People", as we are apparently viewed by our so-called "leadership," think about this.

Does anyone else here smell a monster coalition ready for the making?

As much as I dig the netroots and all it portends, assuming we aren't censored out of existence by ATT et al, the netroots won't mean much in such broad terms if there isn't a solid ground game.

Net Street needs a much bigger presence on Main Street. We have to knock on doors, talk to people and listen to them. We have to organize on a physical plane to be effective in REAL TERMS. We also need lawyers. Probably lots of them.

The netroots has to raise more money than it is. It has to create JOBS for people who want to do organizing. Data, messaging, framing, all these things are relatively easy compared to that. The netroots has to primary LEADERSHIP,  forget Bush Dogs. The LEADERSHIP are the biggest Bush Dogs of them all!

You want to shake things up? Find someone to run against Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid... and make sure they have the money and staff to make it serious. Reid's probably untouchable, but any House race is still a House district. Ground games matter in those races. But it takes time, money and lots of people to do.

Having said all that, some issues are better than others. The effing Constitution is one of those things. Tradition, values, history... not to mention an easily digestible set of ideas created by the DFHs we refer to as "Founding Fathers."

So while I'm not very optimistic, I have enough to see the potential here. No one likes to be spied on. No one likes to be VIOLATED. No one that grew up being fed anti-Soviet propaganda (and that's everyone born before 1985, realistically) wants this country to become that which we were raised to despise. Yes?

Maybe it's time to have the argument about Democracy and whether WE, as a nation, really want one. It's possible we may  lose the argument. It's also possible we may win it decisively.

Thus far all three branches of government are in blatant breach of their oaths of office. At some point, that has to mean something. Or not?

Jeebus. This really did turn into something of a diatribe, didn't it?

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
I Mostly Agree (0.00 / 0)
Not about primaries against leadership, necessarily.  But about pretty much everything else.  We already know that online donors can raise a shitload of money.  Now it's about making much better, more strategic use of it.  And ground games really aren't that hard to pull off.

I was part of nearly 1000 precinct grassroots coalition back in 1988.  It could have easily been turned into a permanent organization, since once you've knocked on that many doors, you're in a positiont do direct fundraising from the people you contact.  And that was without any online infrastructure at all.

So, a major jump in organizing levels is definitely possible.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
It may be incomplete (0.00 / 0)
But one fundamental element has to be that the netroots gets pledges on fundamental issues and is perfectly willing to abandon folks if they break their promises. This doesn't have to be ideological stuff, just FISA, Iraq, maybe healthcare.  Keep the focus on new blood and not worry about loyalty to those who show none to us.  Unfortunately, a not-insignificant amount of this change is just waiting for retirements.

John McCain opposes the GI Bill.

No free pass for leaderships! (0.00 / 0)
A replacement for the temporary FISA act (S 1927 of beloved memory) will not hit either floor without the deliberate action of the Dem leaderships.

Just as S 1927 didn't move except under with the say-so of Nancy and Harry.

(Not that Nancy didn't try to deny responsibility in a roundabout sort of way.)

So I'm not clear how 

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are disorganized

stacks up with their pressing for this way-early rush to process a replacement (which is also what I had picked up just before the end of the recess).

The leaderships should be clearly on the hook for the contents and timing of any such bill.

Just running my eye over the RCVs on S 1927, in which 41 Dem reps and 17 Dem senators voted in favor, it's notable that there were a high number of no-votes in each (23 reps, 12 senators).

(Though the House vote passed with ease, the Senate vote (a 60 vote shootout) only just made it.)

These no-voters, if they vote next time, could have a marked effect on the result, depending on how they break.

Feinstein said in her floor speech that she only supported S 1927 to ensure that some FISA bill was passed (the alternative bill in the shootout was way short of 60 votes).

Now the hurry-up is coming from the leaderships, not so much the WH, perhaps some senators who supported S 1927 could be persuaded to throw some sand in the machine - even if their motive is to offer their own refinements to the text!

They're getting what they want (4.00 / 3)
The rush to accomodate the Republicans over and over and over again gets to make the whole idea that the Democrats actually oppose these things simply no longer believable.  The only conclusion that fits the facts is that they are putting in place exactly what they want.  Why they want it, who knows.  But the fact is that they've been given chance after chance after chance to stand up for basic American liberties, and have participated in the destruction of our liberties every single time.  There are two authoritarian parties, working hand in glove, and no one in DC at all to stand up for our traditional rights and freedoms.  No one at all.

Iraq Moratorium Day

House Judiciary? (0.00 / 0)
Rep. Baldwin told me on Labor day that rolling back the FISA changes was her highest priority for this session in her Judiciary work. Are you sure this stuff won't have to pass through Judiciary?

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

it will (0.00 / 0)
That is one weakness of this analysis.

[ Parent ]
Membership (0.00 / 0)

Hon. Berman
(D) California, 28th

Hon. Boucher
(D) Virginia, 9th

Hon. Nadler
(D) New York, 8th

Hon. Scott
(D) Virginia, 3rd

Hon. Watt
(D) North Carolina, 12th

Hon. Lofgren
(D) California, 16th

Hon. Jackson Lee
(D) Texas, 18th

Hon. Waters
(D) California, 35th

Hon. Delahunt
(D) Massachusetts, 10th

Hon. Wexler
(D) Florida, 19th

Hon. Sánchez
(D) California, 39th

Hon. Cohen
(D) Tennessee, 9th

Hon. Johnson
(D) Georgia, 4th

Hon. Sutton
(D) Ohio, 13th

Hon. Gutierrez
(D) Illinois, 4th

Hon. Sherman
(D) California, 27

Hon. Weiner
(D) New York, 9th

Hon. Schiff
(D) California, 29th

Hon. Davis
(D) Alabama , 7th

Hon. Wasserman Schultz
(D) Florida, 20th

Hon. Ellison
(D) Minnesota, 5th

Hon. Baldwin
(D) Wisconsin, 2nd

Hon. Sensenbrenner Jr.
(R) Wisconsin, 5th

Hon. Coble
(R) North Carolina, 6th

Hon. Gallegly
(R) California, 24th

Hon. Goodlatte
(R) Virginia, 6th

Hon. Chabot
(R) Ohio, 1st

Hon. Lungren
(R) California, 3rd

Hon. Cannon
(R) Utah, 3rd

Hon. Keller
(R) Florida, 8th

Hon. Issa
(R) California, 49th

Hon. Pence
(R) Indiana, 6th

Hon. Forbes
(R) Virginia, 4th

Hon. King
(R) Iowa, 5th

Hon. Feeney
(R) Florida, 24th

Hon. Franks
(R) Arizona, 2nd

Hon. Gohmert
(R) Texas, 1st

Hon. Jordan
(R) Ohio, 4th

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

[ Parent ]
+Chair, Ranking Member (0.00 / 0)
Hon. John Conyers, Jr.
(D) Michigan, 14th

Hon. Lamar S. Smith
(R) Texas, 21st

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

[ Parent ]
Linking the ACLU with the high-trafficked liberal blogs -- FAST! (4.00 / 1)
Matt should be congratulated on providing an early warning system on what could be a  hijacking of our Constitution with the potentially quick passage of a permanent FISA warantless eavesdropping bill, with the backing of the Democratic leadership. And for offering a blogging outlet to the ACLU's Caroline Fredrickson.

But several quick steps are needed by the leadership and readership of this blog, and the ACLU. I also suggest that this website and the ACLU should work together to offer links to the ACLU contact-your-Congressmen alert website on this criical topic in this website, and to leading progressive bloggers.  [Here's one of the ACLU contact web pages, part of a broader "We can't Wait for '08" campaign:

  It all seems like a replay of the dynamics I described in the "Behind the FISA Flop" at the American Prospect on Aug. 31 (Here's link to that article: http://www.prospect....

It seems like the ACLU is being kept in the dark, yet again, about the Democrats feeble "alternatives" to the administratiion's proposals, so it's important to work up a quick campaign linking the ACLU's 600,000 member lists with leading blogs and, possibly's list (if they can move swiftly enough and aren't too tainted as an effective force in Congress because of the "General Betray Us" flap). All that should be linked to the ACLU's contact-your-congrssmen contact and letter info, flagged prominently and permanently on major blogs' home pages, urging that the Dems aren't stampeded into passing a really bad bill.  Tying this issue to the threat of potential primary challenges to Bush Dog Democrats might work too, but it's too vague and long-term a threat to have much strategic impact in the short run.

Learn from the strategic mishaps of late July and early August, and spur the leading liberal blogs and traditonal advocacy groups to work together --rather than just wringing our hands and complaining about spineless Democrats.

Here's a place to start: the stop-FISA legislation resource page at the ACLU:
But what's the primary link on the ACLU's homepage driving visitors to respond to these latest developments -- it's still not made clear.

Here's the top of the latest email alert from the ACLU.
"Don't Wait for '08" is the headline -- and they're correct. It's from executive director Anthony Romero:

It's time for Congress to stop caving in and start standing up to the Bush Administration.

Our "leaders" in Washington keep telling us to wait for a more politically expedient time to restore our freedoms. Well, I have a message for them: Don't Wait for '08! That's going to be the ACLU's rallying cry during our critical 100-day campaign demanding immediate action from Congress to restore our constitutional rights.

With your help, we are going to put all 535 members of Congress on the record by asking a simple question - Will you defend the Constitution? And will you defend it now? Answering yes means standing up on four critical issues: ending warrantless wiretapping, shutting down Guantánamo Bay, restoring habeas corpus, and stopping torture.

Ask your member of Congress: Will you defend the Constitution?

Over the next 100 days, we'll bring the full force of the ACLU's membership and activist base to bear on targeted members of Congress who fail to defend freedom. This includes local newspaper and radio ads, billboards and online strategies, and grassroots pressure both online and offline with millions of Americans coming together to demand action on these fundamental freedoms.

Our legislative advocates will work behind the scenes to press members of Congress to commit to key legislation to restore habeas corpus, close Guantánamo Bay, reverse the Military Commissions Act and fix the so-called "Protect America Act" that allows warrantless searches of innocent Americans. And, every time Congress acts - or fails to act - we'll mobilize our more than half-million ACLU members to take action.

So, please, ask your member of Congress: Will you defend the Constitution?  Here's the link to the write-your-congressperson page: https://secure.aclu....
Yes, some of your readers -- and Matt in the past -- have been suspicious and critical of of the ACLU, but this isn't a time for strategic nit-picking over past failures, but a time to work together in a smart, quick way to avert disaster. There's no time to lose....

Full Court Press (0.00 / 0)
Could we organize something along the lines of what the right did on the immigration bill?

. . . permit me to offer a recent example, an instance where activism on the part of a large number of "ordinary" Americans did in fact change an outcome of some significance.

In terms of substance, I view the example as a profoundly unfortunate one, for it has to do with the defeat of the immigration bill. . . .

Here's what they did (h/t Arthur Silber):

1. Full-Court Media Press

. . . conservative talk radio shows during both recent periods when the immigration bill came up for consideration . . . all . . . talked about the immigration bill all the time. They discussed what they viewed as its inevitable awful results, why it was "unAmerican," how it would destroy our country, and included the other standard rightwing talking points on this subject.

2. Constant, Sustained Pressure on Congressional Dems

And they all did something else: they told their listeners to call and email people in Congress, and to call and email various Republican organizations, including the Republican National Committee, and to take all these actions repeatedly. They provided phone numbers and email addresses, and they indicated the general message that should be conveyed. They didn't do this only once in one show: they did it throughout their shows, on every show, for over a week both times. The message was unceasing and unrelenting. It was repeated over and over and over. You couldn't listen to one of the major conservative talk shows without hearing it within five minutes of tuning in. It went on all the time.

3. Make Clear We Will Withdraw Support from Dems Who Oppose Us on This

One part of the message deserves particular note, and all of the shows I heard made the same point: they condemned those Republicans, including Bush, who supported the bill without mercy. They told people to inform the RNC and all the appropriate Congressmen and Senators that they would receive no further support of any kind, including financial support, unless the bill was defeated. In their view, support of the bill was a betrayal of core conservative principles. They therefore maintained that any such alleged "conservatives" did not deserve to be in office. As one, they said that these betrayers of the conservative faith should not hold power any longer -- and that the principles they believed were imperiled were more important than the continuation in power by the Republican party.

A similar strategy might work for us on the FISA bill. We would have to get out in front of things and really frame the issue as a gross violation of our basic American values and freedoms, just as the right did on immigration. No serious progressive should be caught dead supporting this, and those who do will pay the price in terms of lost support, funding, and votes.

Most importantly, there would have to be a coordinated, sustained campaign on our part incorporating the blogs, what progressive radio there is, and getting the ACLU on board would be nice. But it must be all FISA all the time when this thing comes up. Call, write, email, visit our congresspeople in such numbers that they have to get the message.

Is such a thing possible?

Here's my idea (0.00 / 0)
Certainly any Dems who support an extension of this horrible bill should be primary challenged. But Dems can delude themselves about that for now since primaries are still several months away and they can go into denial mode. And, of course, this is precisely why the administration is putting the rush on this bill right now (as Keith pointed out on Countdown tonight when talking to Jane Harmon). So we need to do something NOW.

My idea is to have or some other progressive organization with the money to do this to launch a print, radio, tv and direct mail ad campaign to make the public realize that one of their basic and most cherished constitutional rights is about to be taken away, possibly permanently, and that if they don't call their congressman or senator and make a big stink about it, it will likely happen.

I wouldn't begin to know how to word or design such a campaign for maximum effect and so it doesn't come across as something that the right will paint as an example of far-left loony paranoia or terrorist-loving. I'll leave that to the experts. But since the media isn't going to do this nor are Dems going to take a stand, I see no other alternative.

This would also tie in nicely with potential primary challenges since every call to a Dem objecting to this extension is going to make them think twice about casting a vote that might subject them to a serious challenge in a few months. But the public MUST become involved or else this is going to happen, and the only way to do that is to reach out to it directly.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Too avoid "far-left loony paranoia" frame (4.00 / 1)
work with LP, Bob Barr, Cato.

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

[ Parent ]
Good idea (0.00 / 0)
We really need to establish some sort of working coalition on this and other, related issues on which we share a common antipathy towards BushCo policies. There's strength in numbers of course, but this would also help win over some indies and Repubs (and nearly all libertarians, I would imagine), as well as innoculate us against "far-left" accusations (which shouldn't stop us in any case, but if we can preempt such an attack or at least diminish its effectiveness and avoid a pointless diversion from the real fight, all the better).

One thing's for sure, which is that expecting elected Dems (let alone Repubs) to do right is suicidal. We've got to take over these issues from those who will do nothing to meaningfully deal with them. They're almost not worth getting upset over at this point since they're clearly hopeless, time is running out, and it would just be a waste of time and needless distraction, like screaming at whoever started or will not help put out a fire, when the priority is to first put it out, and only then deal with them. We basically need to do an end run around our party and get this directly to the public, and have THEM move the party to do the right thing.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Temporary v permanent (0.00 / 0)
I Imagine we can get more House Republicans to vote against permanent extension than the 3 who voted against the 36 month bill, if only because the permanent powers would be available to (cue scary music) Hillary's Attorney General.

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

[ Parent ]
Get rid of DiFi (0.00 / 0)
I just listened to her at a Rules Committee hearing on Hans von Spakovsky and she didn't know is name, let alone what the hell the issue was.  So she let a man whose hackery deprived people in swing states the right to vote (and was a key figure in the US Attorney purge) go through without a recommendation. 

Another in a long litiny of her spinelessness and idiocy.  She is not a conservative or moderate Democrat, she is a moron who is easily bamboozed by Republicans.  Get her off the Judiciary Committee and out of the Senate.  Isn't her term up this year?

Truth over balance, progress over ideology

Nope, just re-elected. (0.00 / 0)
We're stuck with this policestate enabler until 2012.

This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

[ Parent ]
The Democrats are giving up a tremendous strategic advantage if they grant retroactive telecom. immunity (0.00 / 0)
Do the Democrats in Congress and running for the Whitehouse not realize that this Telecom. issue provides them with an Historic opportunity?

If they hold-off on immunity until after the next administration takes office, they can use the Telecom's complicity in illegal activities as a way to gain information with which to prosecute Bush administration members who have violated the law for the past 8 years.  It is an opportunity to convict the entire pantheon of Neocons of serious felonies.  This could ensure a Democratic government for generations.

If they give immunity to the Telecoms, they pave the way for all the misdeeds of the Bush administration to be swept under the rug, to the detriment of our nation and the Democrats.

Isn't there anyone in the Democratic party thinking strategically regarding this?  Is this not even being discussed privately by our elected officials.

I fear our democracy is lost.

Jim Barna


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