Democrats & Liberals Archives

FISA Cave-In

The first FISA bill gave communication companies immunity from prosecution for Bush-Administration-requested civil-rights crimes. The House valiantly opposed it and it did not become law. I cheered. But now a so-called “compromise” is going through the House. It may very well pass.

The new FISA bill says:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be promptly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that...the assistance alleged to have been provided by the electronic communication service provider was in connection with an intelligence activity involving communications that was authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007.

Where is the "compromise"? Not all companies get immunity. Only those approved by Attorney General Mukasey. I wonder which one Mukasey will not approve. Pure window dressing!

Accordig to the ACLU:

This bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans’ communications.

What happened to the Democrats in the House? They were on the right track before. Now they are allowing themselves to be seduced - by communication companies' contributions to their election campaigns, no doubt.

This is wrong. This is bad. This makes a mockery of the constitution. A citizen should not be under threat of survellance for no reason other than Mukasey says so.

The big distinction between this bill and the original bill is that instead of basing everything on the word of Bush we base everything on the word of Mukasey. Aren't they the same thing?

This FISA cave-in can still be prevented if enough people write their congresspersons asking them to vote against the "new" FISA bill.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 19, 2008 5:08 PM
Comments
Comment #256178

They did the right thing. Good for the moderate Dems. Terrorists around the world are less secure and we are safer.

BTW - Bush won’t be president next year, so if you don’t trust Obama with this power that is fine, but stop using Bush as the boggie man. His time is almost done.

Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2008 2:44 PM
Comment #256182


“Where is the “compromise”? Not all companies get immunity. Only those approved by Attorney General Mukasey. I wonder which one Mukasey will not approve.”

I wonder which one Obama’s Attorney General will not approve.

Posted by: jlw at June 20, 2008 2:59 PM
Comment #256184

The House of Representatives just voted down the Fourth Amendment. When the Senate passes this (and they are sure to do so) the President will henceforth have the authority to violate the Fourth Amendment by wiretapping Americans for any reason at all. He can also order any government employee to violate our Constitutional rights, and issue “get out of jail free cards” to any private entity, authorizing them to violate our rights, on his behalf.

Pelosi, Hoyer and Reid, and any Democrat who votes or voted to do away with the Fourth Amendment now needs to be booted out. None of these people deserve to get a dime from the Democratic base of the party again.

Basically what is happening here is that the Authoritarian Bush Regime, much like Stalin, now officially has it’s own Politburo and Central Committee.

It’s a complete outrage.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 3:31 PM
Comment #256189

A new coalition has been formed over the past week to stop this attack on our Constitutional rights and civil liberties, and to fight this bogus “compromise” on telecom immunity. It’s comprised of BreakTheMatrix, Rick Williams and Trevor Lyman, who organized the moneybombs for the Ron Paul Republican presidential campaign, in conjunction with the ACLU, and a whole bunch of left-wing blogs, including Kos, Glen Greenwald and Firedoglake. Here is the link:

thestrangebedfellows.com

Things like this may well be what the future of American patriotism is going to look like. We may have varying ideological and political differences, but we can damn well come together to protect and defend our Constitution whenever our “leaders” refuse to do so.

Also, since Glen Greenwald over at Salon has been doing such a great job with this topic all this week, I thought I’d provide the link if anyone is interested:

Glen Greenwald’s Unclaimed Territory

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 4:12 PM
Comment #256190

For all the Ron Paul folks out there, here also is the link to BreakTheMatrix blog:

BreakThe Matrix.com

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 4:19 PM
Comment #256194

An excerpt from the begining of the movie BRAZIL.

An interview with the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information.

Interviewer: What do you believe is behind the recent increase in terrorist bombings?

Deputy Minister: Bad sportsmanship, a ruthless miniority of people seems to have forgotten certain good old fashioned virtues. They just can’t stand seeing the other fellow win. If these people would just play the game, they’ed get a lot more out of life.

Interviewer: Never the less Mr. Halpman, there are those who maintain that the Ministry of Information has become to large and unwieldy.

D. Minister: David, in a free society, information is the name of the game. You can’t win the game if you are a man short.

Interviewer: And the cost of it all Deputy Minister, 7% of the GNP.

D.Minister: I understand the concern on behalf of the taxpayers. People want value for money. That’s why we always insist on the principle of information retrieval charges. It’s absolutely right there, that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and for the information retrieval procedures used in their interogation.

Interviewer: Do you believe that the government is winning the battle against terrorists?

D. Minister: Oh yes, I’d say their nearly out of the game.

Interviewer: Mr. Halpman, the bombing campaign is now in it’s 13th year.

D. Minister: Beginners luck, ha ha ha.

Interviewer: Thank you Deputy Minister.

Deputy Minister: Thank you David and a very merry Christmas to you all.

Of course, the reality portrayed in this movie is fictional and could never happen in the United States of America.

Obama’s response to the passage of this bill can be read at TPM—Talking Points Memo.

Posted by: jlw at June 20, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #256199

I don’t understand how this bill can be considered constitutional. I don’t understand how Americans would even be willing to consider it for a moment.

Are there secret laws in place to which I am not privy? Did someone repeal or abolish the Constitution while I wasn’t looking, and it turns out a lot of people were happy to go along?

Cowards and whipped curs…

Posted by: phx8 at June 20, 2008 7:26 PM
Comment #256203

Paul, Obama said today he will work in the Senate to remove the House Bill provision granting immunity to Telecoms. I suspect the other Democrats there will too. Well, let’s just say they had better if they want any credibility on the issue.

I highly recommend Democrats incensed over the House Bill’s granting of immunity, look up how their Democrat Representative voted and consider voting for a challenger instead in November.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 7:47 PM
Comment #256209

This is so confusing. A slightly to the right democrat (read moderate) who faces a rogue White House with an obscene Justice Department, a Supreme Court that’s not so supreme with social justice and a media that has done it’s brainwashing job since the early 80’s very, very well, and then add to that a rabid pack of blue dogs and what do you expect?
We’re wondering if when Obama takes office he’ll get permanant tap warrants against some well known war criminals, thieves, liars and the usual gang of operators and scam artists. Sure would be interesting to hear the conversations on broadcast media. WHAT ENTERTAINMENT!!

Posted by: Stephen Hines at June 20, 2008 9:03 PM
Comment #256211

David:

Obama said today he will work in the Senate to remove the House Bill provision granting immunity to Telecoms. I suspect the other Democrats there will too. Well, let’s just say they had better if they want any credibility on the issue.

Working to remove the telecom immunity alone is not good enough here. Changing the definition of our Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties isn’t the kind of Change I Can Believe In, personally.
Even with the removal of telecom immunity, passing this bill is giving Bush immunity for the lawlessness of his entire administration, and for violating the Constitutional Rights of the American People. That fact alone, should have made it a dead issue. This is a vote that should never have been allowed to even be voted upon until after November.
This is not to say that giving immunity to these telecom companies for breaking the law on Bush’s behalf isn’t extremely important also, because it is. But this whole issue also hinges on whether trials can ever move forward — in which case at least some of the Federal Judges could compel discovery about all the illegalities they’ve been pulling in the name of national security. If they pass this bill we are passing up a chance to gather yet more proof of Bush’s completely criminal conduct. We simply cannot allow Bush to get away with what he has done.
We also cannot allow Democrats to get away with capitulating to him on the basis that some of them could possibly be prosecuted for war crimes themselves — that they were aiding and abetting, and obstructing with full knowledge of the illegality — and just to save their own asses because they weren’t allowed to speak out on this without the threat of revealing “national security secrets” — as defined by the Criminal Bush Whitehouse.

This is precisely the kind of issue where we desperately need a courageous voice to speak out against the Bush Doctrines of Corruption and Constitution Shredding — and it appears as though Obama is about to fail the first test.

Btw, I’ve been reading that this capitulation — immunity for Bush and the telecoms — is going to be tied into the Iraq funding bill that is going through Congress today and tomorrow. They have also conveniently tied into that bill, immunity (for all) from prosecution for War Crimes and torture.
Nice huh?
Isn’t this a sad day for the Constitution and the Rule of Law?

I highly recommend Democrats incensed over the House Bill’s granting of immunity, look up how their Democrat Representative voted and consider voting for a challenger instead in November.

Yes, it’s definitely time to dump a lot of these politicians since they obviously don’t understand their job description. Time to start calling them to inform them that you’re going to stop giving any of your money to the DCCC and the DSCC — since they can give your money directly to all these Democrats (mostly Blue Dogs) who are refusing to stand up for our Constitution.
Money has become the only thing these people understand and are afraid of losing.

Actually, it’s far better for Liberals and Democrats to send their money directly to candidates who do the right thing. Such as Russ Feingold’s Progressive Patriots Fund. Now there’s a guy who hasn’t ever been afraid to stand up for the Constitution, for what is right, and for We the People.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 9:15 PM
Comment #256213

Stephen Hines:

This is so confusing. A slightly to the right democrat (read moderate) who faces a rogue White House with an obscene Justice Department, a Supreme Court that’s not so supreme with social justice and a media that has done it’s brainwashing job since the early 80’s very, very well, and then add to that a rabid pack of blue dogs and what do you expect?

Seriously. Like it take so much enormous courage to stand up at the moment against the Blatant Criminality of the Bush Administration and do the right thing. Makes me so sick at heart.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 9:32 PM
Comment #256214

Vertas, I don’t see it that way at all. FISA with judicial overview via warrants intact, was and is a good law, which achieves a balance between security needs of the nation and individual liberties with checks in place to insure individual liberties and due process remain intact.

Now, I confess, I have not read the Bill, so, I may be uninformed about provisions that retain the President’s ability to surveil Americans without due process and judicial oversight. My reading of comments of those who have read it, however, indicate the Bill restores FISA to its balanced position with safeguards in place for 4th Amendment protection: “against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,”.

Perhaps you could quote passages in the Bill that contradict the 4th Amendment language, so I can be better informed about its deficiencies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 9:35 PM
Comment #256215
Perhaps you could quote passages in the Bill that contradict the 4th Amendment language, so I can be better informed about its deficiencies.

I haven’t had a chance to read the bill either. Congress certainly did their best to ram it through so fast that few would have that chance. However, I happen to trust Russ Feingold and Johnathan Turley to give me the straight dope:
Countdown: FISA Capitulation by the Democrats

Since it’s pretty clear that these men don’t stand up in public only to lie in the faces of the American people, I am comfortable with taking both of them at their word.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 9:56 PM
Comment #256216

I know this might be slightly off topic, but does everyone here understand that Nelson Mandela is still on the “terrorist watch list”?

I just wonder why I haven’t seen any comment on this.

Perhaps I’m just living in a cave.

Posted by: Rocky at June 20, 2008 9:57 PM
Comment #256223

Rocky Yes while hunting for a news article on the FISA issue I seen a small article on Mandela the terrorist on Yahoo, tough time finding any information from the MSM on the vote on the corporate amnesty bill being discussed here though. Reuters had an article but that was it. Seems it dont take much to get on but a heck of a lot to get off this list. Makes you wonder who the enemies really are though.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 20, 2008 11:59 PM
Comment #256232

Veritas, sorry, but you really should have paid attention to the You Tube you linked to. If you had, you would have recognized that Feingold, a person I also respect, objected NOT to the concept of the FISA law, but to the telecom immunity contained in this bill.

Just because you trust someone does not mean you don’t have an obligation to learn what and why they are taking the position they are taking. Feingold does not have a problem with the FISA law. He has a problem with the Bush administration sidestepping its provisions and with the Telecom Immunity in this revision bill.

And I agree with him entirely.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 1:36 AM
Comment #256241

David:

Veritas, sorry, but you really should have paid attention to the You Tube you linked to.

Oh, I did. That’s was just the cliff notes version of what Feingold had to say on this issue. I gave that to you since you obviously didn’t want to read the Glen Greenwald link I put up earlier that spells out exactly how this bill gives the entire Bush administration immunity — past, present and future immunity — from wiretapping American citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment at will, and simply because they claim it’s necessary.

If you had, you would have recognized that Feingold, a person I also respect, objected NOT to the concept of the FISA law, but to the telecom immunity contained in this bill.

Actually, he rejects the whole bill entirely.
Here is the full statement he put up on his website:

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
On the FISA Deal

June 19, 2008

“The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.”

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 21, 2008 2:11 AM
Comment #256252

Veritas, everything he complains about centers on the immunity stipulation of the current Bill.

He speaks of the courts in terms of the immunity provision.

The one exception is his point on keeping international communications records without a connection to terrorists. Have to agree with him on that one too!

I disagree with him on surveilling international communications in which Americans may be a party. That is one of those essentials for security that comes with the information technology of today. The spying and selling of secrets to the Chinese by a person here in America may not have been uncovered without international communications monitoring. Leaving that door wide open without a guard at the door is an open invitation to harmful agents to predate upon Americans without pause.

But, my question was to quote which part of the Bill violated the 4th Amendment. The provisions for warrants and judicial oversight are compliant with the 4th Amendment. The immunity conditions are NOT compliant with the 4th Amendment nor the intent of the Constitution as a whole for checks and balances over the power of officials in office.

So, again, I reiterate, the current FISA Law is Constitutional. The reform Bill just passed byu the House has problems: the Immunity and I will add the record keeping without probable cause.

Obama, Feingold, and many other Democrats if not all in the Senate, will fight this reform measure inclusion of immunity, as they should. I suspect you may even see a couple Moderate Republicans fight the immunity provision too.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 5:25 AM
Comment #256268

I may be wrong, but watching c-span last night, all but one republican voted for the house bill, and 105 democrats voted for the bill, the rest of the democrats voted against the bill, over half the democrats voted against the bill, I forget the number.

Posted by: womanmarine at June 21, 2008 10:09 AM
Comment #256275

Sounds right, womanmarine. The cost of Democratic victory in 2006 was more Blue Dog Democrats, who tend to be more fiscally responsible than Republicans in office, in theory, and side with them on security issues as well.

All but 1 Republican? I would have guessed at least 5 would have resisted. Guess that lockstep mindset and conditioning is really tough to break. Republicans remind me a bit of the Chinese or Russian Politburo walking in step with whoever is the authoritarian in their Party at the time.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 11:01 AM
Comment #256280

David:

Veritas, everything he complains about centers on the immunity stipulation of the current Bill.

I strongly disagree. If Feingold meant that only that the immunity stipulation of the current bill was wrong, he wouldn’t have used a blanket statement on “the FISA deal”. He means that the whole deal is a capitulation, and that is exactly what it is, because as Glen Greenwald wrote in his blog:

In the course of criticizing the “compromise” bill, Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday that he’s “not as livid as” I am because “at least the White House appears to have conceded that the Congress has the final say on what is and what is not legal in eavesdropping.” But that’s actually not true, and that really underscores the key point here.
This whole controversy began because George Bush, in December of 2005, got caught breaking our spying laws for years. He did so because he embraced a radical and un-American theory that asserted he has the power to break all of our laws provided such lawbreaking is, in his view, related to “defense of the nation.” That lawbreaking theory is at the heart of virtually every major controversy of the last seven years, and it remains entirely in tact and preserved:
At the meeting [with the DOJ], Bruce Fein, a Justice Department lawyer in the Reagan administration, along with other critics of the legislation, pressed Justice Department officials repeatedly for an assurance that the administration considered itself bound by the restrictions imposed by Congress. The Justice Department, led by Ken Wainstein, the assistant attorney general for national security, refused to do so, according to three participants in the meeting. That stance angered Mr. Fein and others. It sent the message, Mr. Fein said in an interview, that the new legislation, though it is already broadly worded, “is just advisory. The president can still do whatever he wants to do. They have not changed their position that the president’s Article II powers trump any ability by Congress to regulate the collection of foreign intelligence.
This scandal began by revelations that the President broke the law — committed felonies — when spying on our calls and emails without warrants, because he believes he has the power to break the law. The scandal all but concluded yesterday, with the Democratic Congress (a) protecting the President, (b) permanently blocking the lawsuits which would have revealed what he did and would have ruled that he broke the law, and (c) legalizing the very illegal spying regime that he secretly ordered in 2001. Only in the twisted world of Washington can that be described as a “compromise.”


Furthermore, and just like with the Patriot Act, a bill that Feingold also voted against, they are ramming this bill through Congress without any sort of a reasonable debate. And as we all know, whenever they do such a thing, it is always a very serious mistake. To quote again from Glen Greenwald:

This article from Dow Jones, celebrating that the telecom industry is completely off the hook as a result of this bill, has the full quote from Sen. Bond, which is even better:
“I’m not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I’m sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do,” Bond said.
Even when the Government is wrong, even when it orders you to do something illegal, your role is not to question but to obey. That’s what he is saying explicitly.
When Democrats took over the Congress, they issued a document vowing to “end the ‘dead of night’ special interest provisions that turn bills into special-interest giveaways” and proclaimed: “Lawmakers must have the opportunity to read every bill before they vote on it. It’s common sense.”
Today, the House leadership has set aside a grand total of one hour to debate the FISA/amnesty bill, and gave its members less than 24 hours from the time it was released yesterday until they have to vote on it today. That’s the same bill which the NYT this morning calls “the most significant revision of surveillance law in 30 years.” They’re going to enact massive changes to our spying laws without having the slightest idea what they’re voting on. All they know is that the President demanded this, and that’s enough, because — as Kit Bond says — “when the government tells you to do something, I’m sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do.” In this formulation, “the government” means “The President.”
Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 21, 2008 11:56 AM
Comment #256283

As it’s members explain, “the Blue Dog moniker arose because they’d been choked blue by liberals in the Democratic tent.”

It would appear that some liberal writers on this blog prefer the old “Yellow Dog Democrat”, so loyal to the party that they would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot with a “D” after its name.

I find it odd, and somewhat gratifying, that as the liberal dominated Democrat party shrinks its tent the moderate dominated Republican Pary expands its tent.

I’ll pose a query that I am certain some of you can answer for me. Few would argue that polling reveals more Americans are of the moderate variety rather than at either end of the liberal or conservative scale. Why then, are some liberals writing here so anxious to drive the party even more to the left. Some say the Blue Dogs should be voted out of power.

How foolish is this logic. Many of these Blue Dogs were elected in 2006 as they ran against liberal Republicans and were praised by many writing here. Now, these same members are being castigated for voting their conscious and for the very values that got them elected.

Sounds to me like many of you libs would like to return to the good ole “yellow dog” days.

Posted by: Jim M at June 21, 2008 12:38 PM
Comment #256285

The vote results:

Democratic FOR: 105 AGAINST: 128 NO VOTE: 3
Republican FOR: 188 AGAINST: 1 NO VOTE: 10

Posted by: womanmarine at June 21, 2008 12:49 PM
Comment #256288


David Remer: Veritas has done an excellent job of explaining what is happening. He champions Senator Feingold as do I. However, this FiSA bill was a House bill, not a Senate bill, that comes next week. So, who led the fight against this bill in the House? Representative Dennis Kucinich led the fight against this weekening of the Fourth Amendment in the House. He has also accumulated a mountain of impeachable evidence against Bush and Cheney and he has consistently championed that cause as well.

Here’s the rub. Many on this post are trying to blame this on blue dog Democrats. Are there blue dog Democrats representing the Democratic party in Congress, primarily from red states like Texas? Yes there are. They comprise about 15 or 20 percent of the Democrats. This does not explain why nearly half of the Democrats in the House voted for this bill.

Nancy Pelosi ramroded this bill through the House. Kucinich led the opposition. Pelosi is not a blue dog Democrat. She is a San Francisco liberal. That bears repeating, Pelosi is a liberal. This goes to the heart of my argument that the liberals are in cahoots with the conservatives, that they are partners, that they enable each other.

When the liberals regained control of the House in 2006, They could have championed Kucinich’s cause. they could have impeached this President and VP. they could have forced the Senate to try them. Pelosi and the liberal leadership in the House chose not to do it.

Feingold and Kucinich are not liberals. They are Progressives. Look at the causes that they champion and you will find this to be true.

Liberals like Barrak Obama love to steal Progressive ideas and put them in their election platforms. Example, Obama is championing a progressive idea, a living wage. I guarantee you that if the liberals pass anything even resembling a living wage, they will conspire with the conservatives to fill the bill with many loopholes that will negate the effectiveness of that bill.

The results will be the same for another progressive idea, universal or national healthcare. Obama’s healthcare plan is not universal and it does not address the reason why the American people are paying double the cost for less healthcare than many other developed nations. His plan represents the limit of where the liberals are willing to go and that’s before they subject it to compromise.

I appologize for getting off the topic of FISA but, IMO, FISA is only one part of the overall picture of what is going on in Washington.

You can blame blue dogs for this if you wish, but, sooner or later people are going to have to realize that there are major differences in liberal and progressive policy and that, for the most part, liberals are not progressives, they are enablers of the statis quo.

Posted by: jlw at June 21, 2008 1:46 PM
Comment #256291

So go ahead and impeach Bush with exactly seven months left on his term. I’m sure that it would take the USHOR longer than that to do anything. We’ve had this discussion before, and I still don’t get why people are so bent on prosecuting those who cooperated with the government. It makes more sense to prosecute the people in the government, and use the telecoms as witnesses.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 21, 2008 2:24 PM
Comment #256293

jlw:

Veritas has done an excellent job of explaining what is happening. He champions Senator Feingold as do I.

Thanks, and btw, I’m actually a She, not a He.

So, who led the fight against this bill in the House? Representative Dennis Kucinich led the fight against this weekening of the Fourth Amendment in the House.

Of course he did. Because Kucinich is another Democrat who always fearlessly stands up to do the right thing.

He has also accumulated a mountain of impeachable evidence against Bush and Cheney and he has consistently championed that cause as well.

We the People should sue Nancy Pelosi for abandoning the duties of her position.
Officially this is called a Writ of Mandamus.

Here’s the rub. Many on this post are trying to blame this on blue dog Democrats. Are there blue dog Democrats representing the Democratic party in Congress, primarily from red states like Texas? Yes there are. They comprise about 15 or 20 percent of the Democrats. This does not explain why nearly half of the Democrats in the House voted for this bill.

Nancy Pelosi ramroded this bill through the House. Kucinich led the opposition. Pelosi is not a blue dog Democrat. She is a San Francisco liberal. That bears repeating, Pelosi is a liberal.

Personally, I lump Nancy and Steny and Harry together with the Blue Dogs. Basically these are all politicians that don’t know how to stand up to the Republicans, and as a result, sell out our liberal and progressive values constantly — and most often it has a lot to do with their being bought and owned by the corporations and lobbyists and special interests who buy and own the Republicans — at the expense of We the People.

This goes to the heart of my argument that the liberals are in cahoots with the conservatives, that they are partners, that they enable each other.

Well, since I’ve always thought of myself, and politicians like Kucinich and Feingold as liberals/progressives, I’m inclined to disagree with the way you are framing this. But I won’t argue with the basic premise. There are clearly a lot of powerful “Democrats” who are in acting in concert, or cahoots, with the lockstepping, authoritarian, unitary executive-enabling GOP.

Feingold and Kucinich are not liberals. They are Progressives. Look at the causes that they champion and you will find this to be true.

I guess under your definition then, I am a progressive rather than a liberal.

Liberals like Barrak Obama love to steal Progressive ideas and put them in their election platforms.

I think Obama will offer far more progressive (using your definition) leadership than Hillary Clinton would have, had she won the nomination. The fact that progressive ideas are being injected into his platform is a plus in my opinion, even if he isn’t as solidly on the left as I am.
Also, as I tried to explain to you in my post in the Green column (which was deleted) the enormous movement of people who have gotten behind Obama is comprised of a great many liberals/progressives (by my own definition), who are intent on taking back our party and make it represent our values and principles again. It’s really a populist revolution happening from within our party.

Actually, all of the people supporting Obama, including Independents and former Republicans, seem to be doing so for Populist-based reasons. While you may prefer to look down your nose at all of this because you don’t want to support the Democratic party in any way, I myself consider this a very positive development.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 21, 2008 2:42 PM
Comment #256297

Veritas Vincit:

I’m not trying to justify Obama’s sell out to the all powerful power mongers and control freaks. It’s only my twisted perception that leads to a plausibe explaination that may be based in error.
If I get out of the way of a runaway locomotive bearing down and someone calls me a coward for doing so, then that’s just water off a ducks back. If I have the strength and the where-with-all to catch up to the impending disaster and and prevent it from happening I will do so. If someone calles me a hero for doing so I will disagree 100%. Did you ever stop an occupied baby stroller from rolling into traffic? Where was the risk to one’s life in that situation? How much brains or physical effort did it take?

Posted by: Stephen Hines at June 21, 2008 4:18 PM
Comment #256348

Stephen Hines:

I’m not trying to justify Obama’s sell out to the all powerful power mongers and control freaks. It’s only my twisted perception that leads to a plausibe explaination that may be based in error.

I don’t think there exists a plausible explanation for any Democrat supporting this bill.
Hunter over at Kos put up a great post yesterday on why this sell out is so egregious. Here’s a quote from it:

So, why have activists spent so much effort opposing retroactive corporate immunity as part of new FISA legislation, when there are so many other things in the world to be outraged about? Why do so many people care so much about a mere technical issue such as whether such-and-such is legal or illegal?

I can count three reasons.

1. It goes to the heart of illegal actions by this administration. The Bush administration has broken law after law, and been enmeshed in scandal after scandal, and been met with no substantive actions. There are investigations that never end; there are stern letters that are never answered; there are subpoenas that are simply ignored. So to respond to a clearly illegal act by, of all possible things, writing legislation that offers retroactive immunity for those acts, maintains the secrecy of those acts, and declares that the Bush administration itself will be responsible for the future integrity of those acts — it is patently asinine. It is an insult. It demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the law, and for the very responsibilities of each branch of government. In this, it is symbolic of the entire current Congress, which has proved itself all but nonfunctional when it comes to checking abuses by the executive branch — or even by their own branch.

2. It is a Constitutional question, and of a sort that the administration has fought long and hard to cripple. Among the more basic premises of the Bill of Rights is the notion of probable cause; your government may not conduct searches or seizures without a warrant, and the judicial branch shall judge the merit of those warrants. But the Bush administration wishes simply nullify that entire concept, if those searches are electronic in nature. It takes no imagination at all to observe that once one type of widespread, warrantless, causeless electronic search is deemed to be outside of 4th Amendment protections, an entire series of other electronic searches will follow. That is, after all, the entire reason the Bush administration pursued these searches illegally, rather than attempting to change FISA law in advance; they have every intention of creating a precedent for future searches, and they now have been given exactly that.

3. It was easy. I mean, Jesus H. Christmas, it has been the easiest thing in the world — all they had to do was not do it. It’s not freakin’ rocket science — but thanks to the efforts of a number of Democrats, not just Rockefeller and Hoyer but people like Reid and Pelosi, they just couldn’t not put immunity in. We were never told why it was so all-fired important — they would never grace us with any non-childish, non-condescending, non-flagrantly-insulting explanation. But instead of just not passing bills granting immunity, we had Reid treating Dodd more shabbily than he ever treated any Republican, and Hoyer apparently going around Pelosi, and all manner of prodding and dealing by Democrats to get immunity for these acts. It is baffling, and the only rationale available seems to be the most cynical one — it is merely doing the bidding of companies that provide substantive campaign contributions. No other explanation would seem to suffice.

So those are the reasons. Because of all the issues we’ve faced, in the last few years, this one was an absolute no-brainer, the one thing that the Democrats, no matter how stunningly incompetent, humiliatingly ineffective or bafflingly capitulating they may be, could manage to win simply by sitting on their damn hands. But no; it took serious work to lose on this one. Serious, burning-the-midnight-oil work to manage to quite so cravenly negate their own oversight duties.

You can read the rest of the post here:Why Do We Care About FISA?
by Hunter
Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 06:45:10 PM PDT

Also, check out Glen Greenwald’s post on the subject of Obama’s apparent support for this travesty:

Obama’s support for the FISA “compromise”

If I get out of the way of a runaway locomotive bearing down and someone calls me a coward for doing so, then that’s just water off a ducks back. If I have the strength and the where-with-all to catch up to the impending disaster and and prevent it from happening I will do so. If someone calles me a hero for doing so I will disagree 100%. Did you ever stop an occupied baby stroller from rolling into traffic? Where was the risk to one’s life in that situation? How much brains or physical effort did it take?

Indeed. Well said.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 10:37 AM
Comment #256358

While Congress has been so busy trying to remove our Fourth Amendment rights, protecting the president from accountability for all of his lawbreaking past, present, and future, and making sure that the telecoms get off the hook, their own computers have been hacked.

More congressional computers hacked from China

Bloody amazing. Don’t we all feel so safe the way they’re protecting us from danger?

Btw, John McCain doesn’t even know the difference between a PC and a Mac, and doesn’t know how to use a computer at all.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 12:56 PM
Comment #256379

VV, you are reading into Feingold’s statement what you want to see.

In January of this year, Feingold issued a statement about the FISA REFORM bill, which clearly indicates he has NO problem with the FISA bill of the last 30 years, but, with the proposed REFORM provisions in the new FISA bill. Do your homework VV, and your arguments will be more convincing. As you will read below, IT IS the record keeping, the absence of judicial oversight, and the immunity provisions of the NEW FISA bill that Feingold has a problem with. NOT the FISA law of the last 30 years.

It’s Not Just About Immunity When the Senate reconvenes next week, legislation to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will be among the first issues we address. I am as determined as ever to use all procedural tools at my disposal, including a filibuster, to try to stop the FISA legislation if it doesn’t protect the privacy of law abiding Americans or if it includes immunity for telecom companies. I am also deeply grateful for the energy this community has put behind stopping this assault on the rights and liberties of Americans - it gave a huge boost to our successful effort in December to stop a bad FISA bill being rammed through the Senate. But while we had some temporary success last month, we face an uphill battle to fix the bill, particularly since the Democratic leadership still seems intent on bringing the flawed Intelligence Committee bill to the floor, rather than the better version approved by the Judiciary Committee.

Much of the debate so far has focused on the issue of granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that allegedly participated in the president’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program. But as this legislation moves forward, a critical part of our battle is going to be making people understand how dangerous and flawed the proposed FISA legislation is, even beyond the issue of immunity.

Don’t get me wrong – the inclusion of any amnesty provision for telecom companies is a deal breaker for me. Senator Dodd and I will offer an amendment to strike retroactive immunity from the Intelligence Committee bill likely to be taken up by the Senate. Granting this kind of amnesty is totally unjustified since these companies already receive immunity if they follow the law. And it’s not as if these companies don’t have lawyers to tell them what’s legal and what’s not – especially when these laws have been on the books for 30 years. It is particularly outrageous that companies think they deserve immunity for allegedly participating in an illegal program when we found out last week from the DOJ Inspector General that telecom carriers are perfectly willing to shut off wiretaps – including a foreign intelligence wiretap – when the FBI doesn’t make its payments on time. But immunity is only one of the very serious problems with the Intelligence Committee FISA bill. We all agree that when foreign terrorists are communicating with each other overseas, the U.S. government shouldn’t need a warrant to listen in. But both the so-called Protect America Act (PAA) – the law we passed last year - and the Intelligence Committee bill go far beyond addressing that issue. They grant unprecedented powers to the executive branch to engage in widespread surveillance involving Americans, with virtually no judicial involvement. There is a better alternative in the Senate, and that is the Judiciary Committee bill. It is vastly preferable not only because it does not contain immunity, but also because it provides for meaningful, independent judicial oversight of the new wiretapping authorities, and more protections for the communications of Americans that get swept up in these broad new surveillance powers. Here are some of the serious problems with the Intelligence Committee bill:• The PAA and the Intelligence Committee bill allow the government to acquire communications between foreigners and Americans inside the United States, without a court order and regardless of whether anyone involved in the communication is under any suspicion of wrongdoing. There is no requirement that the foreign targets of this surveillance be terrorists, spies or other types of criminals. The only requirements are that the foreigners are outside the country, and that the purpose is to obtain foreign intelligence information, a term that has an extremely broad definition. No court reviews these targets individually; only the executive branch decides who fits these criteria. The result is that many law-abiding Americans in the U.S. who communicate with completely innocent people overseas will be swept up in this new form of surveillance, with virtually no judicial involvement. Even the Administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program, as described when it was publicly confirmed in 2005, at least focused on particular suspected terrorists. Not even the Judiciary bill adequately addresses this very serious problem.• The role of the FISA court is also at issue. The Intelligence Committee bill doesn’t give adequate authority to the FISA court to do what it is supposed to do - operate as an independent check on the executive branch. The bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee does give the court authority to assess the government’s compliance with its wiretapping procedures, to place limits on the use of information that was acquired through unlawful procedures, and to enforce its own orders – all of which are critical checks and balances.• The Judiciary Committee bill also does a much better job than the Intelligence Committee bill or the Protect America Act of protecting Americans from widespread warrantless wiretapping. It ensures that if the government is wiretapping a foreigner overseas in order to collect the communications of the American with whom that foreign target is communicating – what is called reverse targeting – it has to get a court order on that American. The Judiciary bill also prohibits bulk collection – that is, the sweeping up of all communications between the United States and overseas, which is something the Director of National Intelligence has admitted is legal under the Protect America Act. So we have a lot of work to do on the Senate floor to fix the Intelligence Committee bill, not only by stripping the immunity provision, but also by adding back the protections from the Judiciary Committee bill and by addressing the broader problem of adequately protecting Americans’ privacy rights. Rather than acquiesce to another Bush administration power grab, the Senate should stand up for the rights of Americans and fix the bill.It won’t be easy. Already we’re seeing grossly misleading rhetoric, if not outright falsehoods, coming from the White House in another attempt to intimidate Congress into quickly passing bad legislation – the same old Administration play from the same old Administration playbook. We must not be intimidated by this fear-mongering. I will continue to do all I can to urge my colleagues to stand up to this administration and fix FISA so we can go after suspected terrorists without robbing law-abiding Americans of their rights.

Discourse.Net

I bolded a passage that is particularly relevant, pointing to Feingold’s supporting a FISA bill alternative. I.E. Feingold is NOT opposed to FISA law of the past, only the changes made under the Bush administration.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 3:31 PM
Comment #256380

David:

VV, you are reading into Feingold’s statement what you want to see.

No I am not. I’m taking Feingold at his word in his statement that: “The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation,”
And I agree with him — everything about this bill is a capitulation — to the Criminal Bush Administration, and to the telecoms who aided him in breaking the law and violating the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens without probable cause, and without the judicial oversight of our FISA judges.

In January of this year, Feingold issued a statement about the FISA REFORM bill, which clearly indicates he has NO problem with the FISA bill of the last 30 years,

I never said he had a problem with the FISA bill of the last 30 years.

but, with the proposed REFORM provisions in the new FISA bill.

Right. Because:

“The proposed FISA deal is not a compromise; it is a capitulation. The House and Senate should not be taking up this bill, which effectively guarantees immunity for telecom companies alleged to have participated in the President’s illegal program, and which fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans at home. Allowing courts to review the question of immunity is meaningless when the same legislation essentially requires the court to grant immunity. And under this bill, the government can still sweep up and keep the international communications of innocent Americans in the U.S. with no connection to suspected terrorists, with very few safeguards to protect against abuse of this power. Instead of cutting bad deals on both FISA and funding for the war in Iraq, Democrats should be standing up to the flawed and dangerous policies of this administration.”
Do your homework VV,

I’ve done it. Btw, I don’t appreciate the patronizing tone you’re attempting to pull here.

and your arguments will be more convincing.

If you refrain from trying to put words in my mouth, I’m sure your arguments will be more convincing, too.

As you will read below, IT IS the record keeping, the absence of judicial oversight, and the immunity provisions of the NEW FISA bill that Feingold has a problem with. NOT the FISA law of the last 30 years.

Right. The NEW FISA bill. I never said he had a problem with FISA as it has stood for the last 30 years — and I find it totally bizarre that you are attempting to claim that I did.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 3:54 PM
Comment #256400

VV, “Everything about this bill” as you put it, includes the provisions of the FISA Law extant for 30 years, with additions. Your comment is just plain illogical.

“I never said he had a problem with the FISA bill of the last 30 years.”

Wrong! You said: “He [Feingold] means that the whole deal is a capitulation, and that is exactly what it is,”

The whole deal includes the previous FISA law with new additions. Feingold CLEARLY is referring to the changes in the Reform Bill, not the whole of the FISA Law as your comment suggests.

If we agree that Feingold has no 4th Amendment objections to the extant FISA Law, then we have no further reason for debating this issue, because I agree with Feingold, that the proposed CHANGES to the FISA under Bush’s presidency, are an affront to the checks and balances of the Constitution and the 4th Amendment.


Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #256401

VV:

” Do your homework VV,

I’ve done it. Btw, I don’t appreciate the patronizing tone you’re attempting to pull here. “

Then don’t discount the evidence I provided demonstrating that FeinGold has no problem with the FISA law predating the Bush administration. Take his words of Jan. of this year at face value as well.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 6:38 PM
Comment #256404

David,
Your comments are illogical since there would be no new bill for Feingold to make statements about, or vote upon, without there being new provisions to the “proposed FISA deal” that he’s rejecting as a “capitulation” that is “bad” in his opinion.
You may be having fun splitting hairs here, but I find it pretty ridiculous.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 6:56 PM
Comment #256407

VV, what part of my words:

“Feingold CLEARLY is referring to the changes in the Reform Bill, not the whole of the FISA Law as your comment suggests.”

do you not understand? There is NOTHING illogical about what I said. Your response however claims the obvious is illogical.

Let me reiterate for you ONCE AGAIN: “Feingold CLEARLY is referring to and objecting to the changes in the Reform Bill, not the FISA Law itself.

It is not splitting hairs when you make statements indicating Feingold objects to FISA. He objects to the proposed changes in FISA and the changes made last year. Period. Nothing MORE nor LESS. It is a very important distinction, especially in a debate in which others object to the entire FISA concept in their comments.

It is a point of needed clarification. Call it what you will.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 7:58 PM
Comment #256410

Feingold is one of the Dems with a spine and one of the Dems that isn’t trying to pull a CYA like Pelosi and Jane Harmon (among others) who probably knew what was going on with the telecom companies and were in this post-911 hysteria that consumed Congress for long enough to let Bush shred the Constitution and lie us into a stupid war that is destroying our military capacity and our economic future. I have no problem with FISA as it stood pre-Bush - this new bill not only makes it way too easy for a President to use any excuse he or she wants to invade the privacy of American citizens and to give blanket immunity to all the telecom corporations who caved in and let the Bush Admin rifle though anyone’s phone calls that they wanted.

Government power should never be trusted, this mistrust was wisely built into the Constitution by a far wiser group than are operating this country today. No branch of government should be allowed to do anything without oversight of some sort and this bill moves way to close to allowing an executive to act with impunity. Even if you trust George Bush (why anyone would trust this guy is beyond my comprehension) do you trust every president that is going to come after him to have this same authority?

This issue gets to the crux of this whole debate on how to deal with terrorism. Bush’s way has been to do anything he sees fit in the name of fighting terrorism whether it be wiretapping people without a warrant or probably cause, torturing people, waging war without provocation, faking incidents to whip up fear, and the list goes on. OR do you take a rational approach to the issue and let us work within the Constitution to handle anything that our enemies can throw at us. Ben Franklin’s words have been overquoted but very applicable that you can’t sacrifice liberty for safety ever, not even a little bit because when you do you lose everything that this country was built upon and you let people like Osama Bin Laden win.

The GOP tries to use the lame and wrong argument that if you believe that the Constitution shouldn’t be ignored so we can get the terrorists and that we are a nation built on laws and having our government adhere to these laws then you are weak.

I would argue the opposite, by caving in to fear, giving up your liberties, and committing all sorts of criminal acts like torture is weak and cowardly. A hundred 9/11s aren’t going to kill this country not even a thousand. These people who attacked us do not have the capability to destroy this nation not even if they got a nuclear weapon and detonated it in Washington D.C. It would be horrible and tragic if it happened but it wound not be the end of this country. What will kill this country is to disregard the Constitution, to torture people, to wage destructive wars that are unnecessary, and to act above the law. George Bush is a much bigger danger to this country than Osama Bin Laden could ever dream of.

This FISA bill is just a symptom of the problem and it isn’t just the Bush Administration that is at fault - the Dems that cowered to this man and let him run slipshod over them without a peep are just as to blame as Bush - you can easily pick out the guilty parties with who in the Democratic Party voted for this bill and are on the House Intelligence Committee - they all knew and gave approval to this nonsense when it happened and are continuing to let it happen to save their own butts. The next level of guilt are the sheep (or sheeple) that go along with the herd and vote for things like the bill because they are afraid of being called weak on terror and it might hurt the single most important thing to them - getting re-elected.

Personally, I would rather be called weak on terror than weak on freedom. That is the choice too many have made in the last 7 years.

Posted by: tcsned at June 22, 2008 9:43 PM
Comment #256411
“Feingold CLEARLY is referring to and objecting to the changes in the Reform Bill, not the FISA Law itself.

Right. Feingold objects to the new FISA BILL that intends to change the existing FISA LAWS.

It is not splitting hairs when you make statements indicating Feingold objects to FISA. He objects to the proposed changes in FISA and the changes made last year.

I think it’s splitting hairs because I never said, and didn’t mean to imply that Feingold has had a problem with the concept of FISA or with the existing FISA laws as they have now stood for the past thirty years. I also think it’s pretty obvious that without new provisions that will make changes to the old laws, there would currently be no need for them to be voting on this new BILL.

Period. Nothing MORE nor LESS. It is a very important distinction, especially in a debate in which others object to the entire FISA concept in their comments.

I did no such thing, but obviously that is the way you’re choosing to view what I have said.

It is a point of needed clarification.

Okay. If you say so…

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #256412

tcsned,

Terrific post.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 22, 2008 9:49 PM
Comment #256436

VV, there is that reading deficiency again. You said: “I did no such thing, but obviously that is the way you’re choosing to view what I have said.” in response to my words: “It is a very important distinction, especially in a debate in which others object to the entire FISA concept in their comments.”

Do you NOT understand the meaning of the word OTHERS? My comment was directed to you, using the word OTHERS, which means NOT YOU. I am a capable writer. If I had meant YOU, I would have used the word, ‘YOU’.

Man you make dialogue difficult.

I will reiterate hopefully so you will finally understand. You made the statement, and I quote directly: ““He [Feingold] means that the whole deal is a capitulation, and that is exactly what it is,…”

You statement uses the words “The Whole Deal”, which by definition includes the entire FISA Reform bill, which INCLUDES the FISA law provisions of the last 30 years which have not been modified by the Reform Bill.

And as I quoted Feingold, he does NOT object to the FISA law provisions of the last 30 years, including those reiterated in the new REFORM bill. Ergo, Feingold DOES NOT object to everything in the new FISA reform bill, only the changes differentiating it from the older FISA law.

It is an important distinction to make, because saying Feingold objects to the WHOLE of the Reform bill implies he objects to the entire concept of FISA law which is also included in the Reform Bill.

It is not splitting hairs, it is a point of clarification. And we agree now on What it is that Feingold objects too, and we are both on the same page and of the same opinion that what Feingold objects to, we also object to.

So drop the defensiveness that is apparently causing you to misinterpret words like ‘others’ as you. When someone is talking to you and uses the word others, trust them that they are referring to people OTHER than you.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 23, 2008 5:27 AM
Comment #256477

David, you seem in your above comments to be intent on being as snarky and insulting as possible. Why I have no idea, but I’m not interested in rising to the bait.
I had (wrongly, I suppose) assumed you were directing some of your comments to me, since I didn’t see anyone else still responding to your posts in this thread. You now say you were referring to “others.”
Okay, fine. Whatever.

And as I quoted Feingold, he does NOT object to the FISA law provisions of the last 30 years, including those reiterated in the new REFORM bill. Ergo, Feingold DOES NOT object to everything in the new FISA reform bill, only the changes differentiating it from the older FISA law.

Personally, I’m still inclined to take Feingold directly at his word here. He says this whole “FISA deal” is a “bad deal” and from what I can gather so far, it truly is. Because the changes this new bill will affect appear to be vast ones. Changes that have the potential to effectively render provisions of the old FISA law meaningless.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 23, 2008 2:00 PM
Comment #256495


VV: I appoligize for the gender mistake, especially in light of, after the fact, remembering that you had mentioned it before to one or more others.

David Remer: Shouldn’t you have said, mamm you make dialogue difficult? Just joking.

But seriously, I don’t get your point about Feingold. Is it important that Feingold does or doesn’t believe that the pre Bush FISA law has adequate provisions to cope with terrorism, when obviously, a majority of Congress agrees with Bush that they are not?

IMO, what will probably happen, considering how corporate centric the Congress is, the Senate will pass a beefed up FISA law that doesn’t include corporate immunity. The bill will go to conference where the immunity clause will remain in the bill or be slightly altered to give the appearance of no immunity.

Also IMO, the old FISA law weakened the Fourth Amendment and the new law weakens it furthur without totally destroying it. It provides a more intrusive invasion into the private lives of Americans by the government and the corporations, and it may open the door for even more intrusion in the future.

The government may say it is dealing a blow to the terrorists but, what the politicians are really doing is trying to cover their own rears from reprisal by the voters if another attack occurs, and doing it is such a manner that they are dealing a blow to American freedoms while they actually hand the terrorists another victory.

It might be harder for terrorists to plan and execute future operations if they can’t openly use the communications networks and the banking industry but, it’s certainly not impossible, especially in light of our new open borders policy.

Speaking of the open borders policy, that 5 dollar per gallon price for diesel fuel certainly is convenient for that policy.

Posted by: jlw at June 23, 2008 4:06 PM
Comment #256663

jlw, the majority siding with Bush is in the House. Whether the majority of Congress sides with Bush on this bill, remains to be seen until the Senate votes on it.

The old FISA law DID NOT compromise the 4th Amendment, your opinion on the matter is irrelevant. The old FISA law precisely observed the conditions stated in the 4th Amendment, probable cause, warrants, judicial oversight, and due process.

The 4th Amendment never intended, nor did our Forefathers who wrote it, to immunize our enemies from surveillance or spying upon their activities. Spies on the British were part and parcel of our Founding Father’s Revolutionary War.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 24, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #256664

VV said: “You now say you were referring to “others.” “

Reread what I wrote, VV. I said ‘others’, NOT YOU! And you responded AS IF I had used the word ‘You’.

The record is there in this thread for everyone to see. I said then, and I say now, my reference to others, meant OTHERS, as in, NOT YOU!

If I am snarky, it is due to the minor frustration I feel when folks play word games like you are doing now by saying: “You now say you were referring to “others.” “, implying that I did NOT use the word ‘Others’ in the first place.

You interpreted my words wrongly, you defended yourself against your wrong reading of my words, and you continue even now, to imply the error is mine, and not yours.

Yeah, snarky, I agree; I am being a bit snarky here. Justified too, I might add.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 24, 2008 6:24 PM
Comment #256696

I now know the world is going to end. I was reading a Supreme court ruling yesterday involving Sprint and some toll phone companies when I came across this quote in John Roberts dissent.

“The absence of
any right to the substantive recovery means that respondents
cannot benefit from the judgment they seek and
thus lack Article III standing. “When you got nothing, you
got nothing to lose.” Bob Dylan, Like A Rolling Stone, on
Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia Records 1965).
To be sure, respondents doubtless have more than just a…..”

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 24, 2008 11:29 PM
Comment #256707

jlw:

VV: I appoligize for the gender mistake,

Not a problem. Besides, Watchblog is such a boys club, maybe I should be flattered.

Also IMO, the old FISA law weakened the Fourth Amendment and the new law weakens it furthur without totally destroying it. It provides a more intrusive invasion into the private lives of Americans by the government and the corporations, and it may open the door for even more intrusion in the future.

What was really a killer on the Fourth Amendment even before this new bill was proposed was the second installment of the Patriot Act — which negated some important protections that existed within the old FISA laws. Another problem is the huge amount of our personal info that has been stored on government (as well as commerical) databases, which are completely accessible to government agencies without warrants.
To truly restore our Fourth Amendment rights, what will need to go is most of this new FISA bill (if it passes) AND many of the unconstitutional provisions in the Patriot Act, AND the warrantless accessibilty of those databases that have been compiling so much information on US citizens — often for invalid reasons.

Btw, check this out (though it’s what so many of us already understood): Report: Telecom Companies Gave More to Dems Who Switched on FISA

David:

Yeah, snarky, I agree; I am being a bit snarky here. Justified too, I might add.

I guess you’re happy now.
Any thoughts on that link I gave in my last post? Or is the main topic totally unimportant beside getting to score snark points?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 25, 2008 3:02 AM
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