Obama Replied

To my letter to him. He told me to fuck off.

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on FISA Compromise

Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year’s Protect America Act.

Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President’s illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

In case you couldn’t parse the three bolded sentences yourself, here’s my take on them.

  1. I will make a showy effort in the Senate on Monday to get them to take out immunity. I will lose that effort 32-65. But hey! I can say I tried!
  2. But don’t worry, little boys and girls, Inspectors General are an adequate replacement for our third co-equal branch of government!
  3. Nice little bloggers! Aren’t you cute! After you demanded accountability we gave you piggy lipstick and fig leaves and told you it was time to move on while we important Senators told you–in polite terms–to fuck off.
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442 replies
  1. JThomason says:

    It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.

    He doesn’t even call on others to join him.

  2. Professor Foland says:

    So I’m trying to think ahead, and I am very unhappy. This is a really troubling dynamic.

    Digby quotes the WaPo as saying:

    the negotiations underscored the political calculation made by many Democrats who were fearful that Republicans would cast them as soft on terrorism during an election year.

    I was told flat out by my (extremely blue, extremely against immunity) congressman’s staff that this was exactly why it was happening, and (again, just flat out told) it was (rough quote) “because the leadership thinks you, and people like you, learned a lesson from voting for Nader.” This is one of the congressmen on our side; one of the 30 who joined the Republicans to throw a wrench into the leadership’s PAA extension last year.

    So, as I asked at Digby’s–Is this going to keep happening? Every time between now and November that the Republicans say “Boo”, will this be the response? Are we going to see the Blue Dogs pushing the Democratic leadership into capitulation on an Iran War Resolution?

    How long does Obama plan to wait before fighting this dynamic? Or will we be treated to a firm pledge to conduct the Iran War with due oversight?

    • Peterr says:

      The next time you talk to your extremely blue, extremely against immunity congressman’s staff, mention these two words to them and see what they say:

      Al Wynn.

      If they don’t get it, ask them to walk down the hall and ask Donna Edwards to explain it to them.

      Then tell them to politely take their Ralph Nader and stuff it. That’s old news.

    • Nell says:

      What the fsck are they thinking? Did 2004 show them nothing? Did anyone bolt, or sit on their hands? They’re still freaking sulking about Nader? I can’t handle this.

        • Minnesotachuck says:

          As I commented yesterday on Marcy’s “The FISA Bill” thread:

          Anyone who thinks that SCOTUS will save the Constitution’s ass on this bear this in mind: four of the five justices in the majority on the Boumediene decision are over 70, starting with Stevens at 88 and Ginsburg (a cancer survivor, so far) at 75. The youngest, Souter, is coming up on 69. If anyone of them croaks it will almost certainly be a 4/4 split on a lower court ruling in favor of the law as written, in which case it is upheld.

          If I’m wrong on this, I’m sure one of the lawyers here will not hesitate to correct me.

          • bmaz says:

            Here is the thing. I love Marcy’s argument based on Boumediene; it is really good. But I think there is enough distinction between the fundamental liberty issue of Habeas and the application of the 4th Amendment to a civil damages claim to give Kennedy plenty of cover to side with the Federalist Four, and I think he will. If it was a criminal case, I would like the odds better; but in a civil, there is just too much wiggle room and the history of deference to the sovereign/executive in civil damage cases is too ingrained and established. The principles sound great here, but the history once you are really in those trenches is quite the opposite. I have some scars to prove it.

        • Russron says:

          Don’t be so sure. Many of us didn’t think he’d sell us out on this issue. My rage has me shaking now and I’m done with DemoCorpRATes. What makes you think Obama won’t sell us out in terms of the Supreme Court for some kind of sickening middle ground? I just went over to the Obama website, told them to unsubscribe me and why. I suggest we all do so. He wants to run an internet campaign; well, we can withdraw from that campaign. I’m really thinking Green. What the heck, if we’re going to loose anyway, we might as well loose with folks who are not CorpRATe Whores. Yes, I now include him in that category.

        • mostest says:

          two more words…”advice and consent” oh but wait a minute it will be a democratic senate…nevermind.

        • cal1942 says:

          Not so fast. The Roberts confirmation is the Rosetta Stone to Barrack Obama.

          This has been coming all along, expect it to get worse. Too bad Obama worshippers were too blind to see.

          • PetePierce says:

            Ah do not unnerstan whot you done meant there. An ah done have had a nearly 24 hour day puncuated by Republican morons on HJC trying to protect Bush and Cheney and Republican morons in the House and Democratic morons pissing on your Constitution. Ah don’t understand why a chip is not inserted into every live body in the US that will track every move they make.

            Do you mind clarifyin’ your perception of the Roberts confirmation and Barack Obama and the blindness of Obama worshippers. Maybe ah ain’t had enuf book learnin’ to make the extrapolation and connections but I did like being reminded of Rosetta Stone–the Egyptian one not the software.

            If recent memory serves there were two choices after very few weeks into the primary due to DNC Rules. Mah frien on leave from Harvard Law school to help Joe Biden folded his tent the night of the Iowa primary. We both don’t see much of a connection with the Roberts or Alito confirmation (I’m going to assume you mean the Roberts on Scotus) and Barack Obama.

            Barack Obama voted against Roberts.

            The Senate vote on Roberts is here.

            My memory is as to Roberts that the Senate voted 78 to 22 to confirm Roberts.

            Just who were those 22 Senators who voted against his nomination?

            Akaka (D-HI)
            Bayh (D-IN)
            Biden (D-DE)
            Boxer (D-CA)
            Cantwell (D-WA)
            Clinton (D-NY)
            Corzine (D-NJ)
            Dayton (D-MN)
            Durbin (D-IL)
            Feinstein (D-CA)
            Harkin (D-IA)
            Inouye (D-HI)
            Kennedy (D-MA)
            Kerry (D-MA)
            Lautenberg (D-NJ)
            Mikulski (D-MD)
            Obama (D-IL)
            Reed (D-RI)
            Reid (D-NV)
            Sarbanes (D-MD)
            Schumer (D-NY)
            Stabenow (D-MI)

            There are currently 44 Democrat Senators. Half of them voted against Roberts, and half voted in favor of him.

            – All 55 Republicans voted in favor of Roberts.

            – The one Independent (who generally sides with the Democrats) voted in favor or Roberts.

            – There are 14 female Senators. Of this number, 8 of them voted in favor of Roberts, and 6 against.

            – There is one black Senator. He voted against Roberts.

            – Both Senators from Hawaii voted against Roberts. So did both Senators from Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and California. That’s 14 of the 22 total votes against Roberts just from those 7 states.

            All 55 Republicans, half the 44 Democrats and independent Sen. James M. Jeffords (Vt.) voted yes. SJC voted 13-5 to confirm Roberts with 3 Democrats voting for Roberts. To quote a paragraph from NYT on the confirmation by SJC:

            Aside from Mr. Leahy, those votes belonged to two Wisconsin Democrats, Senators Herb Kohl and Russell D. Feingold, who said Judge Roberts had persuaded him that “he will not bring an ideological agenda” to the court. For liberal advocates, Mr. Feingold, a possible presidential candidate in 2008, was the biggest shock.

          • PetePierce says:

            There were 44 Democratic Senators in 2006 when Roberts was confirmed. Obama did not vote for Alito or Roberts. He wouldn’t have put any of the 5-4 conservative majority on that Court. He would not have put O’Conner or Kennedy on that court. Obama believes that Thomas is one of the dumbest lawyers in the US and I share that belief.

            That’s the most compelling reason for his not ever asking a question at oral argument. He doesn’t know what the fuck the on point issues are and his law clerks write tha vast majority of the content of his opinions and memorandums and have to explain them to the dumb fucker.

          • PetePierce says:

            Lets take an Alito stroll down memory lane:

            SJC Voted Along Party Lines for Alito or Against Alito

            The committee vote, with all 10 Republicans voting to confirm and all 8 Democrats voting to reject the nomination, sets the stage for equally contentious if predictable debate beginning Wednesday on the Senate floor. Many Democrats have indicated that they are unlikely to seek to block the nomination with a filibuster, virtually guaranteeing that Judge Alito will be confirmed by a majority vote.

            Grouped By Vote Position YEAs —58
            Alexander (R-TN)
            Allard (R-CO)
            Allen (R-VA)
            Bennett (R-UT)
            Bond (R-MO)
            Brownback (R-KS)
            Bunning (R-KY)
            Burns (R-MT)
            Burr (R-NC)
            Byrd (D-WV)
            Chambliss (R-GA)
            Coburn (R-OK)
            Cochran (R-MS)
            Coleman (R-MN)
            Collins (R-ME)
            Conrad (D-ND)
            Cornyn (R-TX)
            Craig (R-ID)
            Crapo (R-ID)
            DeMint (R-SC)
            DeWine (R-OH)
            Dole (R-NC)
            Domenici (R-NM)
            Ensign (R-NV)
            Enzi (R-WY)
            Frist (R-TN)
            Graham (R-SC)
            Grassley (R-IA)
            Gregg (R-NH)
            Hagel (R-NE)
            Hatch (R-UT)
            Hutchison (R-TX)
            Inhofe (R-OK)
            Isakson (R-GA)
            Johnson (D-SD)
            Kyl (R-AZ)
            Lott (R-MS)
            Lugar (R-IN)
            Martinez (R-FL)
            McCain (R-AZ)
            McConnell (R-KY)
            Murkowski (R-AK)
            Nelson (D-NE)
            Roberts (R-KS)
            Santorum (R-PA)
            Sessions (R-AL)
            Shelby (R-AL)
            Smith (R-OR)
            Snowe (R-ME)
            Specter (R-PA)
            Stevens (R-AK)
            Sununu (R-NH)
            Talent (R-MO)
            Thomas (R-WY)
            Thune (R-SD)
            Vitter (R-LA)
            Voinovich (R-OH)
            Warner (R-VA)

            NAYs —42
            Akaka (D-HI)
            Baucus (D-MT)
            Bayh (D-IN)
            Biden (D-DE)
            Bingaman (D-NM)
            Boxer (D-CA)
            Cantwell (D-WA)
            Carper (D-DE)
            Chafee (R-RI)
            Clinton (D-NY)
            Dayton (D-MN)
            Dodd (D-CT)
            Dorgan (D-ND)
            Durbin (D-IL)
            Feingold (D-WI)
            Feinstein (D-CA)
            Harkin (D-IA)
            Inouye (D-HI)
            Jeffords (I-VT)
            Kennedy (D-MA)
            Kerry (D-MA)
            Kohl (D-WI)
            Landrieu (D-LA)
            Lautenberg (D-NJ)
            Leahy (D-VT)
            Levin (D-MI)
            Lieberman (D-CT)
            Lincoln (D-AR)
            Menendez (D-NJ)
            Mikulski (D-MD)
            Murray (D-WA)
            Nelson (D-FL)
            Obama (D-IL)
            Pryor (D-AR)
            Reed (D-RI)
            Reid (D-NV)
            Rockefeller (D-WV)
            Salazar (D-CO)
            Sarbanes (D-MD)
            Schumer (D-NY)
            Stabenow (D-MI)
            Wyden (D-OR)

      • Bushie says:

        Join the club. If this is how Obama reacts before the election, why should we expect any change after? My fax to his campaign headquarters @ 10:00 pdst.

        Obama for America June 20, 2008
        233 N. Michigan Ave
        Suite 1100
        Chicago, Illinois 60601

        RE: Barack Obama and the Constitution

        Obama stated some time ago, I believe before he beat HC, he’s against Telecom immunity. Yet he has remained strangely silent since Bond/Hoyer resurrected a dead horse. He had to know what would happen in the House and said nothing. He knows he had the power, just by holding a news conference or an interview, to have House DINO’s face the consequences of their vote. He did nothing. I suspect he will not use his new powers to make Senate DINO’s vote down immunity. So much for the 4th amendment!

        I may not vote for him after all.

        Change we can believe in, and don’t get!

  3. perris says:

    barak is already a disappointment

    and already too late for us to do anything about it…what the frig is going on here, I was actually excited about this campaign and his presidency, now I don’t give a flying frig

  4. amilius says:

    What can I say? Anyone who competed in Speech tournaments in the 70’s gave Obama’s speeches on a weekly basis. Most Democrats bought it. What else won’t he stand up to or are ‘cute bloggers’ the only focus of his resistance?

  5. sporkovat says:

    a big shout out to Joe-Bama, doing what he does best!

    At least if he wins the Presidency, the Illinois senate seat will be open for one of your “better” Dems to run for in a primary, and hopefully maybe a brave, quixotic 3rd party or Independent run.

    glad more people are finally seeing through the Audacity of the Hype©™

  6. PJEvans says:

    How do we get through to ‘Mr Next President’ that he’s about to lose a whole lot of potential votes?

    (I haven’t sent him much money, but I’m inclined to ask for it back. I can use it. It’s two tanks of gas for my fuel-efficient car.)

    • looseheadprop says:

      Do that. Literally. Ask for it back. You may not get it back, but MONEY speaks the loudest in modern politics.

      • RevDeb says:

        sent a reply to Sestak’s campaign that asked for money a few days ago:

        After today’s vote to shred the 4th amendment of the Constitution, not another dime.

        And you may not get my vote either.

        Got a reply back saying she would pass it along to Sestak. He knows me and thinks I’m his friend. Well not any more.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      What’s really going to hurt Obama and all the federal and state candidates holding on to his coattails is losing thousands of party volunteers.

  7. PJEvans says:

    BTW, this is what I wrote at Mr Majority Leader Steny-the-fink’s place:

    FISA ….
    What can be said at this point?

    It’s unconstitutional – it abrogates the 4th amendment.

    It’s a sham – it takes away the ability of the FISA court to judge the legality of whatever warrant applications this administration will feel like sending it.

    It abets criminal activity – it gives RETROACTIVE immunity to companies that either already had liability protection or knew they were breaking the law (and thus should not be protected).

    Those who voted for it, after hearing all the cries from the GOP of ‘9/11 9/11 – terra terra terra – evil brown people – evil Muslims’ should be apologizing to the people of the US tonight, should be prostrate on the floor in front of the Constitution or at the Jefferson Memorial, begging forgiveness for the sins which will surely come home on them.

    But they won’t be doing the right thing. They’ve been seduced by ‘good ol’ boy’ Bush and mock-hunter Cheney and no longer hear their constituents. They only hear the sound of checks being written by lobbyists.

    They are lost to us, as democracy is now lost, as freedom is now lost. The checks and balances that kept the three branches of government in proper balance are gone. We are a rogue nation, outside civilized law as the USSR was outside civilized law. We will meet the same fate. The world is already turning against us; should any of our creditors call in our debts, we will collapse.

    Look to your own actions, for these are their results.

  8. ThingsComeUndone says:

    We learned after Nader? Nader would never have happened if the Dems had a spine.

    • JThomason says:

      Right, Nader was the result of Gore’s pussy footing around and failing to campaign on any true issues of change, or even in a way consistent with his true positions, instead using wardrobe changes to court votes. We know he had some fire in his belly. Just look at his speeches condemning Bush. He was wrapped up in electoral politics and manipulation he lost himself.

  9. looseheadprop says:

    It’s a good thing I didn’t eat luch today or I would have ralphed it up.

    Not another dime. Dry up his money. and the next time some Obamabot gets all dreamy about how their demi-god is “transformative” I am going to vomit on that persons shoes. While their feet are in them.

    He is a two bit Chicago politcal hack–and he has conned the democratic party with a nice suit and pretty speech.

    He sure is good at talking the talk, but he is utterly incapable of walkingthe walk.

    Somebody may owe Big Dawg an apology. He may have been right all along.

    Yo! Edwards! Yeah you! Time to unsuspend that campaign of yours. The convention vote has not been cast yet

    • LS says:

      I agree with you. A couple of the other things he’s said lately have given me whiplash, and I don’t trust him — globalization, NAFTA, now FISA; plus, I didn’t care for him lecturing people on Father’s Day. Maybe he’s a Puke hack.

      What can we do? Like you say, the convention vote has not been cast yet. There could end up being an August surprise.

      I am not happy.

      • looseheadprop says:

        I think we have to a) keep reminding him that the convention vote has not happened yet.
        b) DRY UP HIS MONEY

        The most important “polling data” is $$$$$$.

        If his online contributions drop off dramtically between now and the FISA vote and WE KEEP YELLING ABOUT IT, he will get them message.

        Of course tha’s just FISA. We stillhave the problem of what do do with him once he’s elected. Unless some super delagates reconsider.

    • ralphbon says:

      It’s a good thing I didn’t eat lunch today or I would have ralphed it up.

      Please select a more RC (Ralphically Correct) synonym for “vomit” next time. Thanks.

      (PS: Avoid “upchuck,” however, or you may hear from Senator Hagel’s people.)

      • Minnesotachuck says:

        I, too, would prefer you avoid “upchuck.” I had a co-worker once named John who would get bent out of shape when you said you were going to the John. It was hard to tell whether he was kidding.

  10. prostratedragon says:

    “because the leadership thinks you, and people like you, learned a lesson from voting for Nader.”

    Oh! Well, let me see now, does this tear it for me? I think it does. Yep.

    And, I didn’t even vote for Nader.

  11. puravida says:

    We have GOT to find a way to tell our “esteemed” Congressmembers and Senators, “no, FUCK you!” Phone calls, faxes, emails, ballot box are all fine…but is there nothing else short of blackmail that’ll work?

    I suppose ads in the WaPo are a start, but it’s going to be a long, long time before the words “rule of law” actually mean something again.

  12. jimbo says:

    Fuck off, Barry Ballless. Doesn’t make much difference to me tho, I won’t vote for him regardless. Send him to the shitpile, along with hoyer, pelosi, dean and more.

  13. feral1 says:

    Not Happy.

    However, I think the productive response to this news is more contributions to the Act Blue FISA project. Obama’s actions in this are very disappointing, but I don’t regret supporting him over Clinton. And this doesn’t even come close to justify voting 3rd party or sitting it out in November.

    • mostest says:

      give it time…you will.

      Obama has stood for nothing. Public funding – NO. Universal Health Care- NOt so universal. Ending the war in Iraq – you can’t hold senator Obama to a campaign promise (Powers). No lobbyist money but people who use to be lobbyist working in in lawyer firms that employee lobbyist is okay. No immunity for the telecoms.

  14. MFMC says:

    The next time he asks for a donation, he gets 0.01 with the polite suggestion that he can ask the telcos for the rest. If enought people do it, he might get a message that we are a bit pissed.

  15. drational says:

    This is really no surprise.
    I am sure Obama and his team PUSHED for this to come up now rather than later.
    He pisses off 10% (max) of the electorate who cares about this but who will vote for him anyway, and he takes it off the plate as a wedge issue.

    This is triangulating, capitulating politics.

    • Mauimom says:

      He pisses off 10% (max) of the electorate who cares about this but who will vote for him anyway, and he takes it off the plate as a wedge issue.

      I don’t get this as a “wedge issue.” Is there really ANYONE who’s going to be scared into voting for Repubs by the “Democrats are soft on terror” meme? The Repubs tried it in 2006, and it didn’t work so well.

      Christ, if the Dems are going to be cringing in fear at everything they imagine the Repubs might say about them . . . well, crap, just CRAP/

  16. perris says:

    there is indeed a chance obama lost the swing voters and those that were energized for something differant

    he might indeed lose the election because of this, and I will no longer be able to say he might lose because of bigotry, now I will say he might lose because he has no spine, because he is a sellout, because he deserved to lose

    he is a puppet, just like mccain is a puppet and I will never be excited with anything he does ever again

  17. MarkusQ says:

    How do we get through to ‘Mr Next President’ that he’s about to lose a whole lot of potential votes?

    That’s not exactly the question for me. He’s pretty much got my vote at this point.

    The question is, when I vote for him will I be holding my head up high, or holding my nose? Will I be work phones and driving people to the poles, or just stopping off to vote when I can fit it in my schedule?

    And, ultimately, will I be taking my “Impeach” sticker off my car the day he’s sworn in, or deciding to leave it there?

    That’s where were at, as far as I’m concerned.

    – MarkusQ

    • pmorlan says:

      I too will be voting for him come November but I will be voting for him as a registered Independent. I would encourage other Dems to change from Democrat to Independent because that will show up in the numbers and might put a scare into them because they won’t know if we are voting for Obama or not.

  18. BayStateLibrul says:

    I dream of the 60’s…
    Was it my imagination or did the generation kick some arse.
    The only problem is that some grew up, and lost their fucking way.
    Is it Corona time, or can we indulge in a big fatty…

  19. kirk murphy says:

    Obama sure loves Con Law…for the wealthy defendants.

    No wonder he chose his buddy Eirc Holder to vet veeps: he’s looking for the Spiro Agnew demographic.

  20. al75 says:

    All of us are disappointed by BO’s stance. I have to disagree with EW and many other posters here on this one: I think BO is calculating on how to win and hold the white house, and govern. He made a pragmatic, arguably cynical decision.

    That’s what leaders do. That’s what Lincoln did when he held off on emancipation – to the fury of our political ancestors, the abolitionists. That’s what FDR did when he bonded with the dixicrats – to the (justified) fury of Elenore.

    We can and should hold BO to account on this one, but I hope that all of you will consider what it means to be president, and the constituencies – many very different than us, and many hostile to us – that any effective president has to serve.

    Peace

    • Peterr says:

      Lincoln did it without lying or deception. When he spoke, he meant it. When he did something for pragmatic reasons, he said so.

      You may think Obama is calculating on how to win and hold the white house; I think he is miscalculating.

      Badly.

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s a reasonable answer too all of this bill, EXCEPT the immunity provision. There is no dialing back immunity. Once it’s done, it’s done. And then we have a precedent that corporations will be protected any time our government asks them to assist them in breaking the law against its own people.

      • perris says:

        There is no dialing back immunity. Once it’s done, it’s done

        maybe not

        obviously not this supreme court but some in the future could easily find this law unconstitutional

        • emptywheel says:

          I do think there’s a decent chance of that. But if I were a Con lawyer who believed this aspect of the bill was unconstitutional I migth say that, to help the Courts out on this issue. I think, given his opinion in Boumediene, Kennedy might agree. But it has to get there first.

          • perris says:

            for instance, how could congress tell me that the telecoms are allowed to keep property they stole from me?

            that denies me due process, I am certain as we all are this retroactive immunity can not stand without an amendment

            however that challenge really would have to come when alito and roperts are off the bench

          • strider7 says:

            evidently,there was a scotus decision made some years ago that the telcos could intercept numbers,NOT CONTENT.When mark klein revealed the scope of things about the hub in SF and other sites the ninth circuit determined that ATT was after content and that contenetion is the basis for the class action suits against ATT.MCI and Verizon are different.So the fourth amendment applies to ATT but not to MCI/Verizon.Consequently,once these suits are dropped EFF and ACLU are going to bring constitutional(fourth amend) charges against ATT.
            This is what my atty for the telco suits told me anyway.
            Also Marty has some comments that attest to this
            So maybe all is not lost
            By the way my atty was ptretty impressed with your articles about about all this.I sent him links to your atricles so does that mean you have to charge me for the links?

        • triozyg says:

          I’m not a lawyer, but those who are more informed about the law might be able to give us some idea of whether there really is some possibility that the Supreme Court could actually do something.

          I mean, doesn’t there have to be some controversy? And if everything is secret, how could a person ever bring a case?

      • ThingsComeUndone says:

        There is no dialing back immunity.

        What if the immunity was given not for the reason given but instead to prevent the immune person from testifying about acts that they were forced to do? Then wouldn’t that be witness tampering?

          • Synoia says:

            Obama, FISA and Telecom immunity.

            If this is change one can believe in, than I don’t want it.

            If I’m going to get screwed I might as well get lower taxes too. I was hopeful. Now I’m voting for McCain, contributing for McCain and working on Rorabacher’s re-election.

            Obama, Go back to Chicago. Stay there Fuckwad.

            As for the constiution? It’s just a piece of paper. As for the US? It’s just a corrupt (failing) empire. Shining beacon on the hill? Don’t make me vomit.

    • dakine01 says:

      I thought it was the Clinton’s who were supposed to be the triangulators and so very calculating each vote and position?

      I thought Obama was supposed to be something new and different?

      Looks to me that Obama learned his lessons well from both Bush and Clinton.

    • Professor Foland says:

      Oddly, I agree with everything you said, and come to conclusion that’s exactly why we have to be as hard on Obama as we (credibly) can be.

      Because there are so many constituencies and pulls, we have to push very hard, too, to get motion from him in the direction that we see is best for the country.

      • al75 says:

        I agree with you professor, and with EW and many others who responded to my post: the immunity provision is baffling, and painful – and we should and will hold BO’s feet to the fire. Unlike W., he needs us, and I believe fundamentally understands and even shares our views.

        What I disagree with is the notion that, based on this one instance, BO is like Clinton, or Gore. The man spent years of his life as a community activist, and returned to that job after leading the law review at Harvard Law School – he walked away from multi-million dollar salaries to persue what we on this site believe in.

        It’s my sense that we have no idea of the range of back-room pressures in play on a president or would be president.

        Carter (whom I deeply admire) bucked the system – e.g. I cheered when he cancelled the B-1 bomber, and railed against the US arms industry.

        It cost him. The Dems in Congress turned on him. Ed Kennedy ran to destroy him – ostensibly at the head of a “liberal” crusade – and helped bring on Reagan.

        My position is this: I’m not ready to relinquish my trust in BO, or see him as hostile to our shared desire to see a restoration of the democratic process in the US.

        Personally, I’m braced for an “october surprise” possibly in the form of a bloody terrorist attack. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I have (like most of you) no illusions about how ruthless Cheney et. al are prepared to be.

        BO’s campaign has put them in a desparate fix. They were all geared up for a run against Hillary. I think all the Dem leadership is worried about this – I certainly hope they are.

        I’m not defending the FISA obscenity. I merely think BO needs our support – and our watchful dissent.

        • selise says:

          we should and will hold BO’s feet to the fire. Unlike W., he needs us, and I believe fundamentally understands and even shares our views.

          if obama needs us then we can legitimately pressure him and he will respond.

          if he calculates that he doesn’t need us then we can sit on our hands – no blogosphere push back against mcsame, no money, no volunteering and no votes from those of us who care about this issue – and he will still win.

          i say pressure, hold his feet to the fire. let him calculate if he needs us or not.

          • RevDeb says:

            he doesn’t need us and he knows it. Otherwise he would have acted differently.

            Marcy got it right. He told us to fuck off.

            Bob Barr, anyone?

              • RevDeb says:

                Bob Barr may be an asshole but he does care about the rule of law. Something that our current several branches of government don’t seem to.

              • PJEvans says:

                Not Nader. He’s worse.
                If he truly believed what he says he does, he’d show up more often than every fourth year. He’d be building a long-term base, not trying to steal votes from Democrats (even if it’s from bad ones) and never from GOoPers. He knows what he’s doing, and has admitted it.

                • selise says:

                  i disagree. but let’s save that for another day. put in any other name you like. i’ve never voted for nader and if there are better alternatives, i’m interested in hearing about them. but today it’s not, for me, about alternatives – its about what to do with the dems we have to work with.

          • looseheadprop says:

            i say pressure, hold his feet to the fire. let him calculate if he needs us or not.

            I doesn’t matter if we win or lose, if we don’t try we lose anyway.

            Freedom is just aonther word ofr nuthin ‘ lef tot lose.

            If he won’t stand with us on something this fundamental we have no influence over him to lose.We are free to do our damndest

        • Minnesotachuck says:

          Carter (whom I deeply admire) bucked the system – e.g. I cheered when he cancelled the B-1 bomber, and railed against the US arms industry.

          Actually, the B-1 was killed when the late USAF Col. John Boyd and his merry band of bureaucratic insurgents did a rigorous, best-case cost analysis that showed that fixing the B-1 BomberTurkey would push almost everything else out of the Air Force procurement budget. When the 3 and 4 stars were finally forced to admit defeat, they managed to pin the tail on the incoming Carter administration donkey.

          The fact that the B-1 could be resuscitated during the Reagan era proved not only that administration’s profligacy, but also the concept that large DoD procurements could be made politically invulnerable if the prime contractor’s subcontracts were spread around as many states and Congressional districts as possible, even if it meant selecting less qualified subs. This was a conscious strategy on the part of the B-1 project managers in view of the anti-military feeling in those late Vietnam War years.

          The brilliant, iconoclastic Boyd was one of the great but unsung Americans of the 20th century. Even now, a third of a century after his retirement and eleven years after his death, his name is radioactive among most USAF brass.

    • looseheadprop says:

      This would not have cost him votes. In fact, it would have gained him votes.

      I said way back when there was still herd running inthe primary, that those who fell in love with his whole “messiah” were in danger of being turned off and disaffected and that he could end up backlashing

      When worshipful followers find out thier god has feet of clay, they don’t turn out to vote.

      He could, not only cost us theh elction with cheap craven shit like this, he could cost us a geration of of people registered Democrat. Of course Pelosi et al have a great deal of blame to share for this as well

      • MysteriousTraveller says:

        100% right.
        0% wrong.

        Everybody that was calling into CSpan was against this.
        Even the wingnuts.

      • Jim Clausen says:

        It is nice to know via Glenzilla that 23% Repugs approve of this congress and only 13% of democrats do. BO could screw this 1932(once in a lifetime) opportunity for signifigant progressive change. DAM!

        • sporkovat says:

          Joe-Bama and the other (D)’s were already setting themselves up for a fall in November by going along with all of Cheney’s neo-con talking points about the non-existent ‘threat’ from Iran.

          Cheney orders an attack on Iran during the height of the election campaign, with or without a staged provocation, the media goes red-white & blue 24-7 and runs dozens of pentagon provided generals who all say McCain is the man you want, not someone whose middle name is Hussein >snicker

          The way to prepare for this would have been for Obama to use his vaunted eloquence to make a case that a further attack based on lies against a country that poses no threat to the USA would be a bad idea, to say the least.

          Instead he made the very same case as Cheney, Clinton, McSame before AIPAC recently.

          The powers of the dictatorial executive that Bush seized, and the (D) Congress is now legitimizing in ‘Law’ (sic) kind of make the Supreme Court Justice nominations coming up in the next few years moot, anyway.

          This point is disputable, of course, but if it falls then there goes the Least-Worsters last feeble reason why anyone should guilt-trip themselves into an obligation to vote (D).

    • Bushie says:

      Hold on there Padre. Why on earth do we want or need another politician running on one platform to get elected then bring out their true agenda during their administration. Cheney stated that was how Bushco ran the 2000 campaign that way. Tell them what they want to hear and after election, do what we want to do. Never again.

      Obama needs to be held accountable now, and sign a pact on how he will govern after the election.

    • bmaz says:

      I think BO is calculating on how to win and hold the white house, and govern. He made a pragmatic, arguably cynical decision.

      That’s what leaders do. That’s what Lincoln did when he held off on emancipation – to the fury of our political ancestors, the abolitionists. That’s what FDR did when he bonded with the dixicrats – to the (justified) fury of Elenore.

      Um, in my book, leaders fucking honor the Constitution. Especially ones that sell themselves as being expert “Con Law Professors”. You may not know me, but those around here that do know exactly what else I would like to be adding here. Because this is a nice family thread and all, i will leave it at that.

    • BooRadley says:

      I’m sorry more people didn’t read your excellent comment.

      Your explanation of how Lincoln adroitly used emancipation was a bullseye.

      I would just add that to finish the war, Lincoln used conscription. Draft eligibles could buy their way out for ??$500. That’s what caused the draft riots in New York City.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      I think BO is calculating on how to win and hold the white house, and govern. He made a pragmatic, arguably cynical decision. . . That’s what leaders do.

      In general you’re right. However. Perhaps the most important term in the equation you’re calculating is that you don’t do something during the campaign that will royally piss off one or more of the primary sources of your electoral strength, whether it be an interest group that provides foot soldiers on the ground or one that puts megabucks into your bank account. Obama has just blown a big Fuck Off kiss to what could have been his most motivated volunteers. He’s going to lose at least a few megabucks, too, from tens of thousands of the small-potatoes donors he’s just bet his farm on. The Congressional Republicans’ advocacy for the religious right’s hot-button issues such as legalizing forced birth and gay discrimination may sometimes be Kabuki theater, but you don’t see them dissing the theocrats during the campaigns.

      In short, this was not only a strategic blunder on Obama’s part, but a tactical one as well.

      • PetePierce says:

        I don’t agree with Obama’s position and I am still going to have to catch up on reading the events of today this weekend having just gotten home but the cynical truth is the majority of the contributors to Obama wouldn’t know FISA from Ne-Yo, Alisha Keys or Obama girl. Most of them know the latter two but not the former. That’s the realistic level of education in your Yoonited States.

  21. ThingsComeUndone says:

    This is stupid immunity for the telecoms just keeps them from testifying that Bush threatened them if they did not go along with his illegal scheme.

  22. Mary says:

    Hey – maybe he can negotiate the same cool deal with Bin Laden?

    Let’s have the IG of terrorism, who will be appointed by Bin Laden, do a thorough investigation for a secret sharia court. Meanwhile, as long as bin laden gives the courts of this country a note from a mullah that they had declared the mass killings to be “legal” we’ll just let that one pass and walk away happy, knowing we can be confident of accountability going foreward.

    Someone has to put the pee in yippee. Glad there was a volunteer.

  23. ffein says:

    Is this something that the ACLU will take on? If so, should we be sending them donations instead of candidates?

    • looseheadprop says:

      Send the donations to the Stange Bedfellows program tha tis going to target Steny et al and put negative ads intehir districts.

      AND DRY UP OBAMA”S FUNDRAISNG.

  24. placton says:

    I will work as hard for Obama, as I did for Hillary. We simply cannot have McCodger in the White House. That said, Obama will govern to the right of Bill Clinton. This “running toward the middle” crap is “running for the right” IMO>

  25. MysteriousTraveller says:

    He is who we thought he was.

    HRC would have triangulated in much the same fashion.

  26. kirk murphy says:

    I’ll never vote for a Rethug because the GOP undermined our Republic. For the same reason, I’ve no reason to vote for the telcomms’ servant Obama.

    I’m in CA – Obama will win here. So the Supremes don’t factor in my personal choice. I just can’t vote for those who swear – and are paid – to uphold the Constitution, and then use their power to destroy the Constitution and the Republic.

  27. 1970cs says:

    What has this community been wrong about since 2001? Yet the ‘cute little bloggers’ are treated with the same disdain as the fundementalists by the Reich.



  28. Mary says:

    42 – and not just corporations. Individuals who tortured and even tortured and killed detainees get to say, “hey, if the President tells me I can, it’s legal”

  29. punaise says:

    Glenn:

    Obama has obviously calculated that sacrificing the rule of law and the Fourth Amendment is a worthwhile price to pay to bolster his standing a tiny bit in a couple of swing states.

    ouch.

  30. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I do not think the telecoms have anything to worry about if they were threatened or even if they thought they would be threatened by Bush. This FISA immunity prevents them us from getting them to testify about whether Bush did indeed threaten them.
    This Bill should be called the Protect Bush from Squealers Bill. Can a bill be legal if its main purpose is to protect someone else from testimony about their illegal acts that they forced others to do?
    Can a bill be legal if that person had a hand in creating a bill to protect himself from others testimony?

  31. Albatross says:

    Senator Barack [email protected]:

    Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike

    Why? The U.S. intelligence service was aware that Bin Laden was going to strike prior to 9/11, it was the failure of government to act on that information that resulted in the attack’s succcess, NOT a failure of intelligence that would call for expanded legislation.

    while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.

    With all due respect, Law and Civil Liberties come FIRST, since they are what is being protected. Destroying civil liberties in the name of protecting them is absurd.

    I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

    After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year’s Protect America Act.

    By what measures? Unless there are markedly fewer typographical and grammatical errors, I cannot see the difference.

    Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue,

    You have not demonstrated that this tool was in jeopardy of NOT continuing. As a matter of fact, it was not in any such jeopardy, so what is this legislation for?

    but the President’s illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over.

    If the President has been conducting an illegal program of warrantless surveillance (your words, Senator), why is the President not being impeached for this high crime?

    It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.

    Excuse me for saying so, sir, but “trust me” is not a sufficient guarantee from ANY politician.

    It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay.

    This is a lie. There is no hurry, existing laws and procedures already provide all the intelligence needed.

    So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.

    And if you DON’T become President, you just traded our civil rights to John McCain for nothing, while indemnifying the communications companies who (with the notable exception of Qwest) cooperated with illegal surveillance of everyone… including you and your family.

    Like I said, Senator, “trust me” doesn’t cut it.

  32. beth meacham says:

    In a not-very-funny development, I have a fund-raising email from the Obama campaign in my inbox.

    I think not.

  33. victoria says:

    Same We Can Believe In

    I agree, LHP. It will cost him votes, and support. I don’t feel much like volunteering for him any longer.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Yes
      Yes and if Obama held a press conference and put it on the line, the Senate would vote it down

    • kirk murphy says:

      Yep. From Kagro X yesterday at the great orange satan:

      [If] one Senator attempted to “hold” the bill, the bill’s supporters would make a motion to proceed, which can overcome the “hold” (which is itself just another form of objecting to unanimous consent). The motion to proceed, however, is itself subject to a filibuster. And if a Senator did in fact begin a filibuster of the motion to proceed, although a cloture motion could shut him or her down, the Senate by rule must wait two days before voting on cloture, and even if cloture is invoked, it still allows for 30 additional hours of debate before calling things to an end. That’s more than three days that it would take just to get to a vote on the motion to proceed.

      And if that weren’t enough, the underlying bill may be subject to a filibuster as well, though it’s possible that the particular procedures used to move these bill could conceivably preclude it. But if not, you’d be looking at another three days.

      • ThingsComeUndone says:

        Good Catch we need time to mobilize on this we need to get media coverage, voter reaction to this issue and polls. The DLC loves polls they ignore us until the polls say that America is listening to us. I do not know what Obama is thinking the blue dogs, DLC hate him going along to get along will not work if you are trying to become top dog it wasn’t to long ago that Obama would not have been let in the pack.

      • maryo2 says:

        This avenue seems worthwhile to me. We should contact our own Senators and ask that they place a hold, and perhaps a nice blog could organize a concentracted effort on 1 or 2 Senators to get them to place a hold.

        Holding off on voting on this for two days could not be a bad thing.

        Perhaps Sen. Obama could be encouraged to place a hold on the bill.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Yes they can what about Dodd? It would embarrass the Senate to beat back a filibuster on this issue.
      It would embarrass the Democrats if they have to pull procedure games to close a filibuster or *cough* compromise more with the GOP to get the votes to beat a filibuster.
      After all Obama is the head of the Democratic Party now he can stop this if he wants to a filibuster from his own party would embarrass him.
      Now if Hilary wants to give Obama a shiv cause she knows that she is NOT going to be VP now would be the time to filibuster and prove us Obama people that we wrong about her.
      I fight for issues not people!

      • perris says:

        I think we need to charge dodd with one more stand for this land and her constitution

        we must make a last stand and though we have asked too much of dodd we must ask once more

      • drational says:

        I wonder if they dug up the Dodd Mortgage issue now to immobilize him on FISA.
        As in no ethics investigation if you back off on FISA. Betcha we get a strongly worded speech but no Filibuster from Dodd.

        • ThingsComeUndone says:

          Yeah that is funny because the GOP is a lot tighter with the financial companies yet not one of them got special treatment on a loan?
          I’m sure we will find out later that they did hopefully before the election. This smells like Karl. Still the secret is in the open they might threaten to prosecute Dodd but that would establish a precedent the Senate Dem and GOP would not like. Not with people loosing their homes and banks soon to be asking for bailouts.

          • cboldt says:

            Yeah that is funny because the GOP is a lot tighter with the financial companies yet not one of them got special treatment on a loan?

            There were five Senators who voted “present” on a motion to commit the bill to Committee for review of the net benefit to Countrywide. Isakson up and SAID

            Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, as a member of the Ethics Committee and in consideration for what may or may not happen, I am going to vote “present” so there will be no prejudice in any way, one way or another, in any decision that might have to later be made regarding the mortgage business and Countrywide in particular.

            Five Senators voted “present”: Boxer, Cornyn, Isakson, Pryor and Salazar. They are all members of the Ethics Committee. The sixth member, Roberts, was one of 14 who did not vote at all.

  34. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I like Obama I have supported Obama I will vote for him and encourage others to because I despise McCain but I will not do that for a long while.
    As far as Cash goes well I need to see something Obama has to make this up to me, National Healthcare would be nice.

    • Tross says:

      I can’t even look at this as a compromise in exchange for something in the future.

      At what point with our house on fire will these asshats just grab the frackin’ hose and put out the fire!? Who stands around and says, “well your house maybe on fire, but on the brightside dinner will be done early”?

      We have so much work to do as citizens. Ultimately it is our responsibility to make them accountable for this travesty.

      • bigbrother says:

        Absolutely
        The question is what did they get for our Fourth Amendment Rights? What prize is worth that. Please tell folks. I at least deserve to know the Judas reward they recieved for selling Americans out.

  35. Mary says:

    55 – no they don’t. That’s the argument floated, but it’s not correct. Just like this legislation is attempting to do something that is just not legally valid – to have a court be required to rubber stamp the legally incorrect proposition that a permission slip from the President trumps the Constitution and cuts off judicial review of massive violations of the 4th amendment.

    OTOH, by the time anyone ever gets to really seeing anything about ‘teh program’ history will have been rewritten or sanitized or destroying into it being an innocuous little thing, with no proof to the contrary available. This has all been an invitation for the telecoms to engage in massive document destruction – but hey, why not – no penalty for such a thing, because we’re only worrying about ‘the future’ Which Obama Democrats always make “a day away”

    lhp – the money issue would probably work, but it will never happen. I had numerous contacts with congressional offices yesterday and got lots of emails yesterday and today. The problem was that all the emails had a contribute button and were about Obama not taking public financing. The message from Pelosi was that this was just about the MOST IMPORTANT thing she could think of to correspond about.

    • looseheadprop says:

      I got that email too and I now think that Obama timed that cmapign finance announcemnt to provide a bright shiney object that all the MSM (and even the bloggers) would cover instead of all FISA all the time.

      • tejanarusa says:

        actuall, that won’t do any good at all.
        Unsusbscribe is an automated function – it will **never get read.**

        • PJEvans says:

          Not that kind of list.
          This is the one they get from the donations and anyone else whose e-mail address they have.
          If they ask for an (optional) reason why you want out, I say – let ‘em have it!

          • Twain says:

            I got a “make a donation” e-mail from Heath Schuler – sent back an e-mail saying that I wanted to be removed because he is a Blue Dog and sold out the Constitution today.

  36. PJEvans says:

    I had a letter from Mr O’s campaign, wanting money. Instead I hit ‘unsubscribe’ – it’s in the fine print at the bottom – and told them exactly why I was unsubscribing. First word: FISA. Also said I wanted my donation back, and I’d be giving only via ActBlue.
    BETTER Democrats, not just MORE Democrats.

  37. AKASamurai says:

    First post here . . . be gentle.

    In the end, what it means is that we can’t get discovery from the Telcos. Nobody was really hoping to sue them for billions anyway. I have no problem with this approach from Obama at all . . . IF he plans to pursue legal actions after he takes office. His administration should have access to all the information needed to pursue those actions after he takes power. If he actually tasks his AG (Fitz or Edwards I hope) to get to the bottom of things, it will be a much broader and deeper investigation than we would get now, and we all know there is no way there will be an impeachment of this President under this Congress.

    This isn’t an approach that makes me happy now, but it might make me real happy later. I can only hope.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Welcome. I hope, but don’t expect, that you are right. It would be a fucking miracle, and I could really use a miracle

    • matutinal says:

      I think that getting discovery from the Telco’s is what this was all about (the political positioning issue is a red herring). The Democrats obviously feared the facts getting out as much as the Republicans do. What would have been uncovered (and now never will be)? It must be even more grotesque than we’ve guessed so far.

      So at least now we know that Obama sides with those who would place the protection of our corporate and political masters over the preservation of the Constitution. It was comforting to think otherwise, but now we’re all back out in the cold.

  38. dmac says:

    peterr at 29–
    i mentioned donna edwards everywhere i called today, and yesterday…every single intern knows who she is–called maybe thirty offices or so in the last two days……..and told them about the actblue money to be used against dems who vote for this travesty…….that a whole lot of money was raised in a short period of time, that maybe more people care about this issue than they are aware….that they’d better become aware….gave them the web page so they could verify it and see the ’money thermometer’ go up as this went through the house…..

    ============posted this earlier today========

    made more calls again today. to add the actblue info to the issue……

    told them all about the money being raised on
    http://www.actblue.com/page/fisa
    and why. and about firedoglake, i always do that…….the interns really like the new info.

    here’s some of them i called again today with the new info…

    hoyer
    space-who’s going to have tight race this fall. he can’t afford to step on a sidewalk crack at this point.
    charlie wilson

    leahey to thank him
    kuchinich to thank him and gave actblue fisa fund address so he can tell the dems voting for it what’s going on in their honor and what is going to be happening to them if they back this bill, thought he would like giving them the news! intern said he probably would like doing that.

    sen brown
    sen rockefeller
    sen obama and requested a written response on why he hasn’t spoken out about this-got machine.

    pelosi’s office has been busy since this am, i ask for her office first, then the others….busy busy busy…hurrah.

    oh and brought up donna edwards to each and every one of them and the fact that she is a blue america candidate….every single intern knew who she is and what state she’s going to be representing….think maybe they’re noticing a possible trend in the making?….lol……

  39. FrankProbst says:

    The only way today could be more depressing is if Obama announces he’s chosen Sam Nunn as his running mate.

  40. clbrune says:

    Obama is so clearly off on this issue. As are all the politicians supporting immunity.

    Even the basis for immunity is flawed. The absence of immunity can in no way make telecoms “unwilling” to surveil communications running through their wires. If the government says “we need you to spy on XYZ, and here’s a document certifiying this is legal,” they HAVE to DO it. They don’t have a choice.

    The fact that Obama surely understands this, yet is willing to ensure that the law only applies to poor people–not wealthy, not corporations–is appalling.

    On the plus side, this is saving me a small bundle–I already stopped contributing to the DNC because of FISA. Now Obama doesn’t get a dime either.

  41. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Despicable. Demented. Craven. Sell Out. The Bush Dogs just added another public official from the State of Illinois.

    Exactly what dirt has Karl accumulated over the past seven years that it elicits this response from the next President of the United States? Or is this mere hubris, the Democrats are so fat and happy, convinced progressives have no other option, that they are already telling us to Go Cheney ourselves?

    WTF are they not telling us? And if we don’t know, why is it not fair to consider this sabotaging the Constitution and representative democracy.

  42. NMRon says:

    So I’m supposed to support (as in give money I worked my ass off to get) to someone who at the first opportunity spits on the constitution? Fuck that.

  43. victoria says:

    [email protected]:

    Welcome. You said, “If he actually tasks his AG (Fitz or Edwards I hope) to get to the bottom of things, it will be a much broader and deeper investigation than we would get now,”

    I’d love to see Fitz or Edwards as AG. I am afraid that Obama will choose to ‘move forward’ rather than calling for investigations of Bushco. I hope I am wrong. It has become, under this congress, an empty phrase, but I would dearly love to see them truly held to account.

    • clbrune says:

      I too have the distinct feeling that Obama will simply want to “move forward,” rather than investigating the “politics of the past.”

      It’s bullshit, but it’s easy for the media to understand–afterall, who wants to talk about yesterday’s news when there are just TONS of bright, shiny, NEW objects to look at!

      Besides, if Obama is president, he’ll want to keep all those powers for himself. All in the best interests of the Nation, of course.

  44. Peterr says:

    Two more words grew in importance today: Blue America.

    Local races like US Representative may not be as sexy as presidential races, but today proved that they matter a great deal. Donna Edwards was needed today, but more than that, we need more like her.

    Steny, not so much.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      When programs like Blue America evaluate candidates for Congress, they should get publicly announced commitments from them that if they are elected, they will not support Pelosi and Hoyer for leadership positions in their caucus.

  45. UnconventionalConventionist says:

    Not a DIME! And tell the O campaign to take you off their email lists and never ask you for money again.

  46. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I suspect the Democrats have considerably underestimated the loss of momentum they have just inflicted on themselves. Why fight the Republicans when you can join them and party with a little, or a lot, of that money and power they’ve been swimming in these past seven years. Wouldn’t they be pissed, and the country up the creek, if they started partying too soon and St. John the Senile crawled into the White House? Stupid buggers.

  47. LS says:

    Now, I understand why W said with a smug little smile that he is confident that a Republican would be elected President.

  48. SouthernDragon says:

    I’m going to work to get my Dem Congressional candidate elected. And I’m going to get involved in organizing for an independent party. Obama can kiss my ass in the county square at high noon. I knew either or both of these corporatist candidates would sell us down the river. I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Fuck you, Obama.

  49. Mary says:

    84 – that’s probably what I will do with the next one (they keep coming)

    For this most recent one, I responded to Plouffe:

    Hello David and thank you for your email.

    It was one of several that I received about the Democratic party’s most important message of the week – how they will be collecting money. Unfortunately, despite a raft of emails on Obama’s decision about campaign monies, I’ve received no emails from any of the many Democrats I have contacted about the FISA atrocity in progress.

    I was particularly sad to see that the DCCC & Nancy Pelosi’s email to me was not about the FISA legislation, but instead about raising money to put more and more Democrats just like “impeachment is off the table and amnesty is there instead” Pelosi and “lots of time for fundraising but no time to deal with my oath of office to defend the Constitution” Obama.

    I finally, understand what I can expect to see what to expect from Sen. Obama as chief law enforcement officer of this nation. Thank you for helping in that regard.

    Since the DCCC email from the Speaker gave the less-than-auspicious reply address of “[email protected]…” when I tried to respond, and since I don’t live in California and members of the House manage to effectively screen all email from non-direct constituents, perhaps someone there be someone with the Obama campaign who has access to a super-secret “real” email address for the Speaker and who would be willing to pass along my response to her – which in effect summarizes my response to you as well.

    ******
    ******

    Thank you for your email. As Speaker you have managed to convince me that the last thing I want to be going forward is a Democrat and the last thing I want to do is vote for more Democrats like yourself.

    After your briefings on illegal surveillance programs and torture and your failure to require compliance with the National Security Act by the Bush administration, you have proceeded to use your position and influence to repeatedly block any investigation of the crimes; and to grant amnesty and encourage violations of the law and the Constitution even to the extent that those violations result in deaths and ongoing physical and mental disabilities for the torture victims involved.

    Despite the clear and convincing evidence, you have repeatedly failed to address the fact that most of these torture victims were innocent of any crime against America and were not members of al-Qaeda.

    Depsite the clear and convincing evidence, including statements by Intelligence Czar McConnell of telecom liabilities running into staggering amounts (which could only result from staggering violations of law and staggering unchecked domestic surveillance) you have also chosen to promote telecom amnesty in efforts that only make sense if you and Jay Rockefeller are more interested in covering for yourselves than protecting the nation.

    One of your first acts as the first woman Speaker was to make me very ashamed, as you unconditionally took impeachment “off the table.”

    In the midst of your preparations to once again betray the rule of law and this nation, I can think of no more specious and contemptuous message to receive from you than that “we” somehow “need” more Democrats.

    As you and your actions have defined them, that is the last thing we need.

    Sincerely,

  50. victoria says:

    I just unsubscribed, as well. My message was, “I gave you my support, you spat on my Constitution. Please do not contact me again.”

  51. phred says:

    Just a quick drive-by to say that this is not really unexpected. As Charlie Savage points out in his book, presidents of both parties have pushed for more power since the end of the Second World War. Not to fret boys and girls, Obama will be a benign dictator. Gosh I feel so much better…

  52. earlofhuntingdon says:

    And who advised would be President Obama that that letter represented his best response to a Democratic sell out to the Republicans about seven years of lawbreaking? Who wrote it? Which of his advisers win and which lose? They need to be monitored and their nominations for future positions of authority — eg, the NSC, DNI, State, Chief of Staff — need to be opposed.

  53. selise says:

    to explain better (i hope) where i am coming from, here is an answer i gave and question i asked this morning in response to the question: “When Obama is elected President, who will the D’s in congress cave in to?”

    oh, that one is easy. they will:

    1) do stupid things to take advantage of their position, privileges and perks.
    2) get caught
    3) loose congress to the Rs

    and then obama can spend the next 6 years caving to the R congress.

    see ‘92-’00, clinton administration.

    here’s what i don’t know…. and it’s quite an important question….

    are we going to do the ’90s redux and spend all of our time defending obama from baseless or stupid attacks, or are we going to work to hold the dems accountable and ONLY defend those dems who defend us and our values?

    • clbrune says:

      are we going to do the ’90s redux and spend all of our time defending obama from baseless or stupid attacks, or are we going to work to hold the dems accountable and ONLY defend those dems who defend us and our values?

      I won’t support any candidate’s actions if I perceive them as inappropriate to the office and/or illegal.

      I was never bothered by President Clinton’s sexual activities. I *was* pissed off that he lied about them.

      But I won’t defend Obama when he does wrong, like he’s doing now.

      • selise says:

        my point is that i won’t even defend him when he is unfairly attacked. not because i don’t think he should be, but because i think there out to be some benefit given to those pols who do stand up for what is right. and if we defend them all, what do any of them have to gain by doing right?

        i have better things to do with my time. we are facing serious threats – not just to our constitutional system but to the planet and it’s habitability with the climate crisis and the energy crisis. it just doesn’t make sense, imo, to waste our energy defending politicians who are not part of the solution.

          • selise says:

            I’m very interested. What politicians are you talking about?

            in the house of representatives, any that are not on my list (note this is a tentative list and will be updated/corrected, please leave corrections at the link)

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      Yep if he chooses a DLC Lieberman centerist we might as well update our passports.

  54. Mary says:

    126 – not to me any more. Bob Barr and even a Ron Paul write in are looking better and better. I’ve never done a write in – I guess if it opens the universe, I’ll put Feingold in there.

  55. sanandreasfaults says:

    My brothers and sisters,
    they will not stop our rights, our determination. Here of late I coasted on your coattails. This defeat is our battle cry. I’m sorry for laying back when I believed the war was won. No more!

    The line has been drawn. Please forgive me for my stupidity. It won’t happen again. All ideas are welcome.

  56. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I kept saying that if Hilary wanted to beat Obama she had to go Left on the issues which I hoped would pull Obama Left as well todays reaction shows I was right.
    Hilary tried to get the Center when there is no Center and the 30%ers hated her. Today Obama is picking up exactly where Hilary left off, did Obama just hire Mark Penn and Rahm Emanuel to plan campaign strategy?

  57. kirk murphy says:

    Even the BBC sees through this…they just stated today’s Democratic FISA vote effectively gives immunity for illegal secret wiretapping conducted by the Bushies.

    crap, crap, crap.

  58. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Maybe Obama will discover bipartisanship in other ways, too, and ask Holy Joe to be his running mate. He has the relevant experience and a network of friends in the Republican Party that Obama will need in order to be able to follow all of the instructions that Mr. Cheney will leave behind.

  59. dopeyo says:

    AFAIK, Nader never voted to suspend the Constitution. That puts him one up on BO in my book today.

        • Twain says:

          Don’t disagree but just wanted to make the point that the Senate did not vote on this today. I suggest that we now start pounding away at our Senators to do whatever they can to stop this.

          • DefendOurConstitution says:

            I will do so (I’m in MA, so my senators are both against it anyway), but when you get capitulation statements from Obama – even before debate – you know it’s as good as over.

            Next will be for lawyers to challenge constitutionality, but not much hope there because it will make it to SCOTUS where Kennedy will side with Scalia, Scalito, Scaroberts and Scathomas to let this prevail.

            One thing I don’t understand: Republicans want king-like powers for Bush, but would oppose the for Obama (or any D Pres). With things looking so dire for McCain, are Republicans deluded thinking McCain can win or are they really OK giving king-like power to Obama?

            • Twain says:

              When have Repubs made sense. I think they might have wanted to think this over a little more but nooooooo.

            • dosido says:

              One thing I don’t understand: Republicans want king-like powers for Bush, but would oppose the for Obama (or any D Pres). With things looking so dire for McCain, are Republicans deluded thinking McCain can win or are they really OK giving king-like power to Obama?

              Repugs will open investigations on Obama immediately on any little thing accusing him of abusing power (if he’s “elected”) and usurp our points about balance of power.

              • ThingsComeUndone says:

                Sure the GOP can open investigations but with the power to listen to phone calls like Senator Vitter’s calls to whomever his new girl friend is those investigations won’t go anywhere.
                Kind of like the way no Democratic investigation or drive to end the war has gone anywhere this year.
                I wonder what dirt Bush has on Steny , Nancy and Harry?
                Maybe that should be our new ad?
                Steny supported FISA perhaps because of what Bush heard him say on the phone?

              • jdmckay says:

                One thing I don’t understand: Republicans want king-like powers for Bush, but would oppose the for Obama (or any D Pres). With things looking so dire for McCain, are Republicans deluded thinking McCain can win or are they really OK giving king-like power to Obama?

                AFAIC this is motivated by telecom campaign $$, not power… or maybe it is.

  60. JoeBuck says:

    Perhaps we can organize a petition drive to hold Sen. Obama to his word.

    He’s no longer a single Senator. He’s the leader of his party. If he sincerely wants immunity to be dropped from the bill, he can let the caucus know that this is his priority, and insist that the caucus back him. He can place a hold on the bill until immunity is involved. To get rid of the hold, 60 senators are needed, so if he can hold onto the votes of 40 of his colleagues the bill is stopped.

    If we could drum up tens of thousands of signatures from Democrats demanding that Obama (as well as Clinton and all other senators) block any bill that provides immunity, the heat will be on.

  61. DefendOurConstitution says:

    Disapointing. Unless Obama can actually work a way to get immunity out of deal, our honeymoon is over.

    • bmaz says:

      He ain’t even going to try. Don’t be mistaken, if he was serious about that, he wouldn’t start the negotiation off with saying how beautiful everything in the bill is. He is selling a crock of dung with that promise and line. Totally.

  62. RevDeb says:

    My husband thought I’d no longer need my “Josiah Bartlet is MY President” shirts.

    It seems that I will be making fresh ones.

  63. wrensis says:

    Sorry those links failed
    Go to Commondreams.org and see the Pelosi/Hoyer article on bipartisanship.

    The other one a report that the DNC moved it’s headquarters out of DC and into Chicago. This was reported last week on Politico and CNN’s blog site.

    I think we are seeing the direction Obama will be taking. If change meant avoiding “old politics” and bringing new government the reply to your letter and the bipartisan bill passed today seem to be going in the wrong direction.

    I also took offense at Patti Doyle being hired by Obama to take the Chief of Staff job for whom ever they pick for VP.
    It appeared to be a blatant insult to Hillary.

    • prostratedragon says:

      That move to Chicago is being handled oh so very, very quietly. As a Chicagoan —no, a South Sider— I find that downright sinister.

  64. RevDeb says:

    I’ve been writing this over and over Obama isn’t the messiah and he will disappoint us.

    Didn’t think it would happen before he even gets elected (if he does).

    • DefendOurConstitution says:

      Maybe the trapings of power are already seducing him? (if not Larry Sinclair’s limo!)

  65. Mary says:

    143 – there’s no way that, several days back when Durbin announced he wouldn’t whip against the FISA “let’s compromise the Democratic Party” legislation, that his pal Obama wasn’t made aware of that before the public announcement.

    If Obama had demanded it, Reid would have made it a caucus issue and Durbin would have done his thing.

    • bmaz says:

      Correctamundo. However, it is my understanding that Durbin was trying to work Obama for the cover to whip count it. This is not on Durbin, it is on Obama.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I have to agree. Sen. Durbin’s announcement would not have been made except in conjunction with a pre-agreed policy with Obama and his campaign. This was a done deal some time ago. That’s why they call it politics.

  66. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Let’s make abundantly clear that the Democrats cannot treat this as an isolated issue. An issue that will have no affect on any other policy, any other candidate, any legislation, fund raising or get out the vote work. It affects them all because it demeans the law and the Constitution, and the integrity of the Obama administration even before there is one.

    • dosido says:

      Let’s make abundantly clear that the Democrats cannot treat this as an isolated issue. An issue that will have no affect on any other policy, any other candidate, any legislation, fund raising or get out the vote work. It affects them all because it demeans the law and the Constitution, and the integrity of the Obama administration even before there is one.

      Yep, it’s the Constitution, stupid.

      It’s about the process. I’m sick of taxation w/o representation and having our civil liberties eroded away.

      Shall I call the Queen and tell her we take it all back? I mean, why did the colonists bother?

  67. Minnesotachuck says:

    If the election were tomorrow I’d be sorely tempted to stay home. It would be the first time I did so in four decades plus of eligibility.

    Just last week I started volunteering in my Congressional District DFL office. I left a phone message for the District Coordinator saying in effect, “Don’t call me; I’ll call you.”

  68. dosido says:

    I know longer recognize Dem or Rep. It’s now Oil, Military & Wall Street vs. the rest of us.

  69. JoeBuck says:

    Maybe we could start a rumor on the right-wing sites that President Obama is going along with this so he can tap the phones of Republicans with impunity.

    While of course this is not true, that’s the effect the law would have, though I am puzzled as to why Republicans want to give so much power to the office of the president just as they are about to lose that office.

    I don’t want a king, even if it is King Obama.

    • victoria says:

      “why Republicans want to give so much power to the office of the president just as they are about to lose that office.”

      I don’t think they plan to give it up. They may lose it, but that won’t matter, they will find some way to cheat and steal it.

    • ThingsComeUndone says:

      I like the way you think! Maybe we start a rumor that Obama is going to listen to healthcare lobbyists and the insurance industry in order to get an edge when he tries to pass National Healthcare.

  70. nahant says:

    I just posted this on Obama’s blog and I thought you might want to see what I posted up there:
    Tags: FISA debate

    Today I was very disapointed with our candidates stance on the FISA bill! I cannot fathom why anyone who represents us could possibly support this COMPROMISE on FISA. It is in direct conflict with our 4th admendment rights. When will our constitution be fully supported by our representatives, it has stood the test of time and now to just thows it under the bus is very disturbing to me. I did serve our country during the Vietnam conflict though I never saw conflict personaly I still served my three years and I did so knowing that our constitution and country were the main driving force for me to serve. I sincerly hope that MR Obama will change his stance on this FISA bill which grants immunity to both the big Telco’s and this decrepit administration. Why oh why should we accept such a compromise giving away the rule of law and allowing these criminals to usurp our constitution.

    I was on the verge of donating to his campaign but unless he changes his stance on Immunity I in good conscience cannot donate my hard earned money to him at this time. I will still vote for him come November because I do see the big picture and we must have a Democrate in the White House but as of today I cannot/will not donate any money to him.

    I know some of you will have fun making fun of my beliefs and that is your right under our constitution. But I feel I had to speak out on this Constitutional issue and state my objections to the FISA bill as passed in the House today.

    I hope all of you do know what this means… All of your electronic communication will be monitored and I do mean all of it. In San Francisco that splitter is just what it implys every thing that travels over those back bones are copied over to the NSA… I know the tired old statement of “If you don’t have anything to hide what are you worried about”. But that is not the point, it is that that violates OUR FOURTH ADMNEDMENT RIGHTS. And makes a mockery of the Constitution.
    Link

  71. victoria says:

    Yes, allan!

    When Hoyer was fawning all over Blunt this morning, my husband walked in and asked why he was thanking Blunt so effusively. For using lube this time, I said.

  72. Mary says:

    Here’s something that would perhaps get some attention and wouldn’t really prevent anyone who wants to vote for Obama from doing so.

    Re-register as something other than a Democrat.

    You can still vote for any Dem you want and primaries are over (mostly)

    It may not be worth the effort, but I’m doing it for the worth to me. And I think it was a wise man named Arlo Guthrie who said – if enough people do it, it’s a movement.

    • DefendOurConstitution says:

      I am, have always been, registered unenrolled (independent).

      I am not a Democrat even if I support them sometimes.

      • phred says:

        I consider myself an independent, but in MA once you vote in a primary they consider you either a Dem or a Repug. I’m travelling now, but when I get home I’ll head over to town hall and go “unenroll”.

        I also just unsubscribed from Obama’s e-list, with a few choice words that ended with “no more money, no more time, no more vote”. Bastards.

        • DefendOurConstitution says:

          Used to be that way in MA. You had to re-register to be unenrolled, but it has changed (at leat in my town); you automatically go back to unenrolled.

    • wrensis says:

      I did just thatm several weeks ago. I registered Green Party and cancelled all of my Dem newsletters. When one asked why I said ” I do not care for the direction this party is taking”.

  73. behindthefall says:

    We may elect ‘em, but it sure as h*ll is a funny kind of ‘representation’ they perform. Does anybody know whom they DO ‘represent’?

    • sporkovat says:

      as has been demonstrated recently,

      voting (D) is doing nothing.

      building alternatives to the false choice offered by the two branches of the War Party, that is doing something.

  74. dosido says:

    Now I sound crazy, but I’m going to walk around naked, I mean, without clothes, to show I have nothing to hide. Clothing privacy and constitution is so pre 9/11

  75. Dakinikat says:

    gosh, can i poke my head in here without getting it chomped off now? Can I say the FISA compromise is a sell-out of our constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms and ANYone who does that is not worthy of a vote?

  76. BillE says:

    A question for all the lawyers out there.

    Can the circuit court ignore and not follow these rules for immunity?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The courts would have to conclude that this FISA legislation, like the MCA but in a different way, violated the Constitution in order to void their obligation to enforce it. For instance, by holding that the process it mandates violates the Fourth Amendment. That’s a long road that would end in the Supreme Court.

      • Peterr says:

        And Kennedy is the one who stood up for Marbury v. Madison in the MCA cases, declaring (again!) that the Courts, not the Executive, get to decide what is legal and what is not.

        Maybe I’m just a little more optimistic than bmaz, but SCOTUS seems to be more protective of *their* turf than Congress is of theirs.

  77. BobbyG says:

    Anyone know yet what name/number the this bill will have in the Senate next week, the H.R. 6304 “FISA Amendments Act of 2008″ that just passed?

  78. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Why do I get the feeling that the Dems – in the House and Senate – just spent months of work to manipulate their base, in cooperation with the Republicans, in order to pass this reprehensible legislation. Effort directed to keep and hide the authority acquired by Dick Cheney, in violation of the law and what a considerable majority of American voters want.

    On this issue, we’ve just been had, intentionally, purposefully. “Honest, honey, I won’t have another affair again. It was just this once. Please forgive me.” Something tells me Steny and Durbin, Pelosi and Obama, won’t really keep that promise. Time to elect a few real Democrats, not clone more Villagers.

    • bmaz says:

      Earl. Baby. You been here all along. You knew what the score was and what was going on with the Democratic Leadersheep.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I knew that Australia was proverbially a land where men were men and sheep were afraid, but not that the Dems would work so hard to piss on the voters they count on to retake the White House over an issue on which it would be so easy to oppose the Republicans. So how do we elect another couple hundred Donna Edwards, for a start.

        • bmaz says:

          Got to grin and bear it this time around and gear up for 2010. As stinky as it is, if we follow Pelosi, Reid and Obama and go ahead and re-elect them and give them their precious big majorities, it will give us the cushion to weed em out in the next election. We must make their goal the basis of their undoing.

          • UnconventionalConventionist says:

            Their goal the basis of their undoing.

            That is literally the best thing I have heard today. It will help me hold my nose to vote.

          • selise says:

            i disagree (i think) the bigger their hold on congress, the more difficult it will be to challenge them – even at the margins.

          • Bushie says:

            Wait my ass.

            How about supporting Cindy Sheehan in her fight against Pelosi, as I did yesterday, in anticipation of the rollover. I like the idea of renouncing the “Democrat” party affiliation and letting Obama know it’s because of his lame stance. And why not contact the DINO’s who represent you and state you’ll vote against them this cycle as a matter of conscience

            • bmaz says:

              DINOs?? I am represented by the Three Toilets. Er Johns I mean. John McCain, John Kyl and John Shadegg. They already know i am voting against them.

  79. peterboy says:

    jane harman in the wapo:
    “My constituents are saying ‘don’t cave in’,” said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), the former chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. But Harman noted that the standoff with Bush last year over FISA had resulted in the Protect America Act, a temporary bill without several key provisions that today’s legislation contained.


    but I said, they can screw themselves and voted for it.

    • selise says:

      here is his conclusion:

      So, let’s sum up: Congress gives the President new powers that Obama can use. Great. (This is change we can believe in). Obama doesn’t have to expend any political capital to get these new powers. Also great. Finally, Obama can score points with his base by criticizing the retroactive immunity provisions, which is less important to him going forward than the new powers. Just dandy.

      It should now be clear why the Obama campaign has taken the position it has taken. And given what I have just said, Obama’s supporters should be pressing him less on the immunity provisions and more on the first part of the bill which completely rewrites FISA. Because, if he becomes president, he’ll be the one applying and enforcing its provisions.

      If you really care about civil liberties in the National Surveillance State, you have to recognize that both parties will be constructing its institutions. The next President will be a major player in its construction, as important if not more important than George W. Bush ever was. That President will want more authority to engage in surveillance, and he’ll be delighted for Congress to give it to him officially.

  80. rootless says:

    “because the leadership thinks you, and people like you, learned a lesson from voting for Nader.”

    And the correct answer is: Didn’t your boss learn a lesson from Al Wynn?

    • selise says:

      silly me – i would have thought that the dems should have learned a lesson from nader. piss off the high information dem to your peril.

  81. Hugh says:

    BTW ABC news led with al Qaida training European looking terrorists. They then segued into Bush wins victory when Congress gives him tools he says he needs to combat terrorist.

    Obama also got a quick early mention for what ABC News has now called for the last two days his “flip flop” on public campaign funding. No mention of McCain breaking the law and FEC rules opting in and then out of the public financing system after receiving beneits fom it because errr, that would be too much like journalism and they didn’t receive it in their daily download of Republican talking points to use.

  82. Twain says:

    What a great thread – lots of info and ideas.
    The post went up a 1:12 and we are still going. In fact at one point there were 4 active threads going – hard to keep up with these pups.

  83. BooRadley says:

    There is no traction on national or state issues outside the Democratic party.

    Ask the native American tribes and the descendants of the slaves about all the times The US government, federal and state, has routinely failed to hold corporations accountable for criminal actions.

    The immunity issue may be new? Perhaps Congress never granted the railroad or any of the other 19th Century robber barons retroactive immunity.

    The unions and the Black Caucus are not following a bunch of limousine liberals out of the Democratic party. If you want traction on our ME occupations, nationalizing campaign finance, the falling dollar, bank failures, the trade imbalance, renewable energy, universal health care and other life threatening issues, you have to wade into the moral cesspool known as the Democratic party.

    1. Net roots can’t afford the infrastructure to start a new party.
    2. Even if we could, we couldn’t finance the legal battles to get candidates on the ballot. Democrats and the GOP would unite through the FEC and campaign finance reform to crucify any attempt at a third party.
    3. Liberals who are registered Democrats, active in their state parties have infinitely more influence over local, state, and national issues than the Presidential candidate of a third party.

    Presidential candidates always run to the middle. Democrats busted Obama for not being “electable.” Congratulations lhp, Barack heard you. He’s proving that he knows what it takes to be elected. As a matter of fact, that’s precisely what we as Democrats and Americans need him to do. It is positively irrational to hold the Presidential candidate to the same standard as you hold elected national officials, who aren’t up for re-election. HRC and all her collegues are much more responsible for the Senate’s failures today than Barack.

      • BooRadley says:

        Much appreciated.

        I do not in any way want to diminish the obscenity of what the House did today (and what the Senate appears to be enabling) or its absolute seriousness.

    • RieszFischer says:

      HRC and all her collegues are much more responsible for the Senate’s failures today than Barack.

      That’s it! I know it was Hillary’s fault!

      • BooRadley says:

        Neither of them are liberal candidates. I sent Edwards $100 in 2007. I’m sorry it wasn’t more. I sent Obama $25 after Hillary conceded and he said he wouldn’t take money from lobbyists.

        How is HRC and less responsible than Obama?

        • RieszFischer says:

          No, you said “HRC and all her collegues are much more responsible for the Senate’s failures today than Barack.” (emphasis mine)

          So the question should be “How is HRC not much more responsible for this than Obams?”

          • BooRadley says:

            Barack is the PRESIDENTIAL candidate for the Democratic party.

            It is irrational to hold the PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE to the same standard as US Senators who are not up for re-election.

            Ronald Reagan was elected, because pro-lifers went “big tent.”

    • Rayne says:

      These points you made are exactly those we discussed as grassroots/early netroots activists in November 2004 after the election with Howard Dean:

      1. Net roots can’t afford the infrastructure to start a new party.
      2. Even if we could, we couldn’t finance the legal battles to get candidates on the ballot. Democrats and the GOP would unite through the FEC and campaign finance reform to crucify any attempt at a third party.
      3. Liberals who are registered Democrats, active in their state parties have infinitely more influence over local, state, and national issues than the Presidential candidate of a third party.

      We believed in 2004 that 1) Howard Dean could not make a successful run in 2008 given the facts on the ground; 2) that NO Democrat could make a successful run in 2008 if the facts weren’t changed; 3) it was easier to take the party back and change the facts on the ground than to start a third party from scratch.

      The facts on the ground have been changed; we have managed to shift them so that a Dem can win (although we had plenty of help from the fuckwits in the White House). But we are still at a point in time where a candidate like Howard Dean cannot win, and a third party doesn’t yet have enough defectors from either of the two major parties to win.

      In other words, we still have a LOT of work to do. This is a war; we’ve lost another battle, but we are winning more battles as time progresses. Donna Edwards is one more example of taking back the party and rebuilding from within; we have to focus with laser-like intensity on seating as many of her kind as possible, so that we have a veto-proof majority no matter who is president.

      This is still the real mission at this point; this is going to take us at least two generations, and we need to be absolutely clear on this, that there will be set backs and there must continue to be forward progress in the trenches.

      How many years did it really take for this country to become a republic, after all? It didn’t happen in a year or two years, or even a presidential term of office.

      How long did it take women to gain the right to vote? it took lifetimes against constant, chronic set-backs.

      We are only in year 5 of this movement, if we count from when Dean finally began his run for the White House in 2003. We have a LONG ways to go.

      And we also do not know all the facts, do not have perfect knowledge. Imagine running for president, with the impediment of being the first African-American, knowing that every single thing you say and do has been taped and recorded and can be reproduced against you at any time. What would you do to win?

  84. ralphbon says:

    Consider this Obama’s Friday evening progressive dump.

    As I’ve said before, we’re all Sister Souljahs now.

  85. klynn says:

    I was told point blank by his headquarters yesterday that he was backing Dodd and Feingold on this.

    I was lied to; thus, Dodd and Feingold have been lied to.

    BTW, what will Obama do to “fix” all of this should he not be elected President?

    I don’t think he thought about that when he sent his answer to EW.

    I would like to see the legal eagles here pick apart his response and send him a counter response.

    Wonder what Dodd would say to Obama’s response to EW…

  86. pmorlan says:

    Based on Obama’s statement I can see why he is no longer a Constitutional Law Professor.

  87. maryo2 says:

    I do agree that thousands of democrats re-registering as Independent over the next week would help us control the Bush Democrats. I’ll be doing that.

  88. BDBlue says:

    Of course he told you to fuck off. Most of the blogosphere backed him unconditionally during the primary, he doesn’t need any of you now.

    Ask nothing for your vote and nothing is what you’ll get every time.

    Obama’s in GE mode. The chance to move him leftward was in January. Now, he’s more about independents and Republicans.

    Welcome to the world of us Hillary supporters. First they tell you to go fuck yourself, then they tell you to fall in line. So, fall in line! Don’t dare ask for anything before you do so or else you’re secretly a Republican who loves McCain and hates Change.

    Schadenfreude is so much more enjoyable when it doesn’t come about from gutting the Constitution.

    • RieszFischer says:

      Now now– no schadenfreude. Hillary voted for the war and that’s all that matters. Besides, this is all Hillary’s fault. See above.

    • rootless says:

      I’ve somehow missed Hillary’s more progressive and brave stand. Can you post a link?

      The fact is that the progressives in the race ran sucky semi-serious campaigns and didn’t get many votes – I’m looking at you Dennis. I’m unhappy with Obama’s punk stance here, but I doubt many of his supporters are surprised.

  89. Dakinikat says:

    Very nicely put BDBlue … can we talk about the ripped up pledge on using public funds now?

    • rootless says:

      Very nicely put BDBlue … can we talk about the ripped up pledge on using public funds now?

      Is it discuss dishonest Republican talking points time again?

      • Dakinikat says:

        go to my 279 …

        republicans talk … democrats talk …

        It’s the damned walk that counts!!! show me the impeachment papers!!! Show me the spines that took on ALITO?

        Roe is sunk 5-4 now … all kennedy has to do is spend a cozy moment with his priest or Scalia …

        puleeze!!!

        Dennis K puts impeachment on the table … where is NANCY on that?

        • rootless says:

          I must have a very different analysis of the political situation than you. In my analysis it is 5 minutes to midnight on the fascist coup clock. The media is totally in the bag. The public has been very effectively indoctrinated on all sorts of crap. So minor, compromised, tenuous victories are the best we can do – and against all odds. I’m very happy that the centrist corporate candidate we have is not tone deaf, is running a 50 state strategy, and is not allowing Mark Penn to work the switch so there can be a narrow lost to the candidate managed by Penn’s boss in November. You may be hoping for a sudden revolutionary change of personality on the part of our governing class.

          • Dakinikat says:

            you’re right, my analysis is it’s a few minutes past midnight and to reward people that just let it happen on their watch is a treasonable action …

            • rootless says:

              “Reward”? You have delusions. Progressives are able to selectively hurt some marginal congressmen. When you have political power you can “reward”. When you are weak, you can stamp your little feet and hold your breath until you turn blue.

  90. KayInMaine says:

    The republics have created this slippery slope (along with some of the Democrats), so I’m sure they’ll all be fine with Barack Obama giving himself signing statements to break the laws of our country just because he feels like it.

    By the way, I’ve not jumped aboard the sled on this slippery slope, so I’ll just stand aside and watch those who support George Bush & Dick Cheney atrocious policies scream as they go by. Okay?

  91. TomR says:

    It’s interesting how corruption spreads like a wave or a disease and forces each individual to confront it as it filters down through our society. First, the Republican Executive branch decides it’s okay. Naturally, the Republican-run Congress then embraces it. Also, the Democratic minority leadership, out of fear or some other motivation, goes along with it, perhaps thinking it’ll never get exposed.

    Then, after becoming the majority, the Democratic leadership, taking its cue from the Republican administration’s abuses, decides to abuse its power in order to cover up its own complicity. A big chunk of Democrats in the Senate and House follow their leaders and corporate paymasters. Next the presidential candidates try to triangulate their way through this fairly black and white issue. And now, we citizens have to confront it when deciding which, if any, candidate we’ll support for president.

    In each and every case, the individual reveals his/her own moral compass. We’re playing The Ungame all across the country, only it’s not a game.

    – Tom

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, she has cover now. She will vote against it and make a show to needle Obama. And as craven as it is, i will be cheering her for doing so.

      • KayInMaine says:

        Well, if she’s only voting against it to piss Obama off or to show him up, then my continued outrage against her continues. I have a feeling Obama will vote against this bill, but it will pass anyways because Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Johnny McTeleprompter will make sure of it! What a team they are! Spit.

        • bmaz says:

          No, I don’t think she will vote against it because of Obama; I think she will vote against it because she has nothing to gain by voting for it, and without something to gain, and it going to pass comfortably anyway, she will vote her conscience which is no. But she will make sure everybody sees her voting no and will make a little show of it. That will be to needle Obama.

  92. lokywoky says:

    I was looking at the total list of who voted and how on this bill, and I noticed something interesting.

    There are 51 Dem and 22 Rep women. The Reps all predictably voted in favor with their caucus.

    On the Dem side, 37 Dem women voted against with 13 in favor (including Pelosi and Harman). I don’t know how Donna Edwards voted since she was not on the list – she’s so new!

    So, when we go looking for candidates, I would suggest looking for some more GOOD, STRONG, WOMEN!

    Nancy is not strong. She is being run by Hoyer and his crew of Bushdogs. Harman is bucking for Speaker if Pelosi gets run over or something. Most of the women voting AYE on this mess are in leadership/high seniority positions – in other words, they knew what was going on while they lied to us and said they didn’t.

  93. Dakinikat says:

    oh, come on!! both of the parties are Corporation bought and sold … the DNC gives reproductive rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, AA rights, all of that lip service just so they can position themselves as less than evil to the republicans … when it comes to voting and doing something —they do nothing …

    Nothing on ALITO, noting on SCHIAVO … NOTHING … Nothing NOTHING …

    Impeachment OFF the table … how about this?
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed a section from a bill passed by Congress which would have barred the U.S. from going to war with Iran without a congressional vote at the behest of the leadership of Israel and AIPAC.

    Where are the principles in the DNC? And how is axelrod that much different from rove?

  94. Neil says:

    It never crossed my mind that Obama would respond the way he did an I’m disgusted by it.

    I think crazy Dr. Ron Paul will get my vote.

    Digby quotes the WaPo as saying:

    the negotiations underscored the political calculation made by many Democrats who were fearful that Republicans would cast them as soft on terrorism during an election year.

    I was told flat out by my (extremely blue, extremely against immunity) congressman’s staff that this was exactly why it was happening, and (again, just flat out told) it was (rough quote) “because the leadership thinks you, and people like you, learned a lesson from voting for Nader.” This is one of the congressmen on our side; one of the 30 who joined the Republicans to throw a wrench into the leadership’s PAA extension last year

  95. Mary says:

    216
    You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t want him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t want either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in, deregistering as Democrats over the FISA vote and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in and deregistering as Democrats over the FISA vote and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

    And that’s what it is, the Deregistering as an Anti-Law Democrat Movement …

    Or not.

    • PJEvans says:

      A little background music there?

      I’m thinking about this, and how he’ll be asking for our votes and our help in a couple of months, and we can tell him where to go with a clear conscience … because when we needed him to stand up for us, he told us where to go.
      I don’t know what Clinton will do – she’s keeping awfully quiet – but by voting against she could get a little credit back, and if she can see her way to putting a hold on this piece-o-crap bill, she can get a lot more from us. (Not a nomination at this point, I don’t think, without a major scandal, but money and some respect.)

  96. rootless says:

    Obama’s in GE mode. The chance to move him leftward was in January. Now, he’s more about independents and Republicans.

    Snort. Obama is what he is. Compare Bill Clinton’s very progressive GE campaign in 1992 with his disgraceful first term record. The time to move Obama left is now – by electing progressives to downticket offices and after the election by hammering him on the inevitable “compromises”.

    • RieszFischer says:

      Hi Millineryman! I suggest you keep your powder dry– there’s a lot of time between now and November, and a lot of “independents” for Obama to pander to. Remember, Obama already had a very mixed record on GLBT issues.

    • Dakinikat says:

      the supreme court was sunk with the Roberts and Alito thing … they’re just waiting for the right bill to come up … maybe the california decision will rise to that …

  97. WilliamOckham says:

    I offer the following, not as advice, but as a different point of view on today’s happenings. I’m deeply disappointed with the Dem leadership in the Congress and somewhat less disappointed with Obama. Obama is in a far weaker position than most here seem to think. He won the nomination by a whisker against someone who was running to his right on national security. His margin of victory is dependent on superdelegates, including the Congressional Dems. Honestly, the people who say Obama will have the “advantage of a Democratic Congress” are ignorant of the last 50 years of American history. None of the foregoing excuses Obama’s desertion on this issue today.

    As a committed pacifist, I’ve had a long time to come to grips with working within a system where literally every politician opposes the issue that is most important to me. You can be pure and never vote for any candidate who has a chance to win or you can support candidates who like war less than the other guy. I’m going to take the same approach here. In the Presidential race, Obama’s not where I want him to be (or even where he could safely be), but he’s much less a threat to the Constitution than John McCain.

    • wavpeac says:

      I agree, but would it hurt to register Independent as a show of protest?

      I could never vote McCain, but we should pressure Obama to take a stand. What are our options here?

      • WilliamOckham says:

        I live Texas. We register by voting in the primary. I’ll be a Democrat for the next two years whether I like it or not. I’m not trying to tell people what to do. I want people to realize the fact that either Obama or McCain is going to be the next President. Any choice you make (voting for Obama, McCain, Nader, Barr, somebody else, or not voting) will have an impact on that outcome.

  98. Dakinikat says:

    well, my congressman William Jefferson may not have any committee appointments at the moment, but at least he did the right thing and voted no

  99. Dakinikat says:

    No President can threaten the constitution without the explicit or implicit consent of CONGRESS …

    This bunch of democrats are basically a band of enablers to that

  100. lokywoky says:

    I noticed the entire MA delegation voted no. Other states did that as well, but most of them only had 2-5 reps each. (ME = 2, OR = 5, 4 Dems voting nay, CT = 5, 4 Dems voting nay, HI = 2) Massachusetts has 10. So, how did Barney Frank whip them to all vote no?

  101. pmorlan says:

    Another thing we should be doing is posting on all of the websites to counter all the Obama worshippers who think that anything he does is ok. I just posted several comments on HuffPo and they need many more comments. The more people we have that will challenge him on this the better.

    • lokywoky says:

      Yeah, I was all defending him last night, saying wait, give him a chance. He’ll come up with something brilliant. He’s a constitutional scholar so just needs a little time. etc etc etc.

      Boy, what a waste of time that was.

  102. lokywoky says:

    I wonder if Ted Kennedy got out of his sickbed and came to the Senate for the vote and made a speech first about how wrong it is and how it would be a ‘personal favor’ to him and his family to vote no, if they would. Hmmm. Maybe someone needs to call him…

  103. ubetchaiam says:

    ““because the leadership thinks you, and people like you, learned a lesson from voting for Nader.” -from one of the first posts.
    This just goes to show how the leadership’ won’t act upon what has been proven and that is the 2004 election was ’stolen’(remember Ohio?)
    I had hopes for Obama changing the Democratic Party but after the Forbes article re NAFTA and his unwillingness to use the ‘bully pulpit’ on this issue, indeed, he is but another corporate captive supporting more war expenditures. Note that he is a lawyer and said NOTHING about the travesty of Section 802 of the FISA bill, only ‘I’m against amnesty’; if he REALLY was against amnesty he would have pointed out how this bill subverts the judicial system.
    I’m voting for Nader NOW and letting Obama know why. And if the Supreme Court becomes a ‘conservative’(read fascist because true conservatives would NOT have allowed what has occurred to occur) redoubt, TFB.
    One party-the corporate party- with two leagues, red and blue.
    So yeah, especially since he has now forsaken public financing, hit him where it really hurts.

  104. pmorlan says:

    Someone at HuffPo posted that Obama was supposed to come out with another statement tonight. Don’t know if that’s true but thought I’d pass it along.

  105. rootless says:

    how many of the purists are deluded or irresponsible solopsists and how many are republicans? Always a question.

  106. Dakinikat says:

    if you’re referring to me, rootless, i’m a registered democrat at the moment, but the minute I get downtown that changes to independent …

    • rootless says:

      if you’re referring to me, rootless, i’m a registered democrat at the moment, but the minute I get downtown that changes to independent …

      i’ve been a registered democrat for 20 years, but i can no longer support the party of barbara lee and dennis kucinich and barney frank because it is no longer the pure progressive movement it was back in the days of Scoop Jackson and Dick Gephart and Tip O’Neil, so I have to either vote for the insane right wing pro war candidate or urge others to sit it out because of the sincerity of my opinions.

      etc. etc.

      • pmorlan says:

        Some of us are changing to Independent to show the Dems that we are no longer walking in lock step. It has nothing to do with voting in November.

      • lokywoky says:

        Well, Barney Frank, Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinish ALL voted NAY on the FISA bill – so you are supporting the right kind of people. The Dem party doesn’t have ALL useless people in it. Most of our new Blue America candidates voted correctly as well (Joe Sestak disappointed).

        Don’t give up – more and BETTER Democrats and MORE GOOD WOMEN!

    • BooRadley says:

      Obama doesn’t need money. No one is asking netroots to contribute to Obama’s campaign.

      If you want to make Republicans in your state more powerful, by all means leave the Democratic party. It’s not that you can’t have a positive impact as a registered independent. It’s just that you diminish your leverage. The Democratic party needs more liberals working as registered Democrats. If your sanity will permit it, I’d invite you to consider staying in.

  107. pmorlan says:

    pmorlan June 20th, 2008 at 3:50 pm 250
    In response to MarkusQ @ 34 (show text)
    I too will be voting for him come November but I will be voting for him as a registered Independent. I would encourage other Dems to change from Democrat to Independent because that will show up in the numbers and might put a scare into them because they won’t know if we are voting for Obama or not.

    I posted this earlier and still think it’s worthwhile to try.

  108. Mary says:

    “You can be pure and never vote for any candidate who has a chance to win or you can support candidates who like war less than the other guy. I’m going to take the same approach here. In the Presidential race, Obama’s not where I want him to be (or even where he could safely be), but he’s much less a threat to the Constitution than John McCain.”

    I understand that point but just don’t agree and haven’t seen anything worthwhile from the Democrats to make me agree. What I see is one set of Republican propaganda (scarey terrorists, gays, abortionist, funnynames different color people speaking funny language – scarey DEMOCRAT) and another set of Democratic propaganda (scare warmongering, anti-gay, anti-abortion, homogenous whites wanting to destroy everyone else) and two parties both equally committed to corporate interests.

    Both Bush and Obama had the rhetoric right, but the pragmatic, practical aspects wrong. Because there is no true requirement for a two party system. There is no requirement that you have to “support candidates who like war less than the other guy” (Obama wants to expand the bejeebus out of the military too IIRC and if he can get enough gang members interested in filling the ranks) You actually can vote for someone who does believe in what you believe in.

    But there both parties use the same fearmongering – that is “throwing away” your vote. Horrors – what if the “other” evil guys get a landslide because you threw away your vote?

    Well, back when it really mattered, I tried to buy into that. And it was the wrong decision. It hasn’t gotten us anywher. If all the people really upset in 2002, 2004 and 2006 had voted 3rd party instead and the two majors had bleed, even if they still won all the seats between them, they’d have to begin to change or begin to see the 3rd parties grown. And yes – it would be painful. Is there anything, though, about the last 8 years that hasn’t been painful?

    All the politicians preach change because they know we are all too sheepish and scared to demand it. What we do need is change. But it hurts and you have to realize that a lot dies on the battlefield before you reach the goal. The “elect better Dems” part is just not working. I really and vividly remember Sherrod Brown’s vote on the MCA, right after Howie had sold me on contributing to him. And there were a succession of other failures as well. It’s always going to be way easier for the Dem party to convert the Reps and Senators sent up. And it will always be easy for them to take a base for granted with the propaganda spiels they have each locked in.

    It’s only if you reject the false premise of only two choices and are willing to take the punches that you will make it to change.

    • rootless says:

      who says that the premise that there are only two choices (for president) is false? As Molly Ivins said, the lesser of two evils is less evil.

    • BooRadley says:

      Things take time and frequently we learn things we’d rather not know.

      Jesus of Nazareth did not start a new religion. He died a good and pious Jew.

      Jesus and his followers also predicted his imminent return from the dead in a glorious second coming. In fairness to Jesus, he never thought he was God. Jesus wasn’t particularly fond of Gentiles, but he tolerated Samaritans. He certainly didn’t think God loved Gentiles in the way he (sic)loved Jews.

      It was Paul, (who gets a completely undeserved rap as a misogynist (the truth is he was much more contemporary in his attitudes about women than most of his epoch) who shifted to a “realized eschatology” no imminent second coming, and the position that Jesus’ preaching could be given to Gentiles without circumcision. None of Jesus’ followers agreed with Paul, especially Jesus’ brother James the Just (not one of the 12), who was running the outfit after Jesus’ death. They gave in, because Paul promised to send them money from the rich Greeks he was converting.

      If it weren’t for Paul, it’s likely, no one would have known who Jesus was after the first or second century. Paul isn’t as critical to Xtianity as Jesus was (Paul’s words and I believe him) but he is damn close. Paul was as mystified by the meaning of “eat my flesh, drink my blood,” as anyone else, but he said them anyway, out of respect for Jesus.

      You are Mary.

      I don’t evaluate your posts the way I do others. IMO, you can do whatever the hell you want. I cannot begin to repay the debt I owe you for reading your wondrous posts over the last few years. It’s a terrible insult to call you a moral pillar.

      I have no trouble understanding how YOU would find it difficult to vote for Democrats. This FISA debauchery is the retelling of getting thrown out of the Garden. We all think our world is pretty good and all of a sudden we find out that it isn’t. As we grow older it gets worse. People we thought we could trust let us down. It’s the wisdom of the doctrine of original sin. Occasionlly , we get some victories. Brown was not. Maybe Edwards will surprise us.

      As a practical matter, however, I get concerned that others will follow your lead.

      That’s my problem.

      I would never ask you to be silent on any issue. You have a rare genius which transcends intelligence and ethics. I’m confident you frequently find it as much of a blessing as a curse.

      The only tragedy would be if you stopped writing about the issues that concern you. The rest of us can read your work and move forward as best we can.

      Despite our disagreement over tactical issues, I am confident you know what a privilege it is for me to read whatever you write.

    • phred says:

      Well said Mary, i could not agree more. The public, both left and right, have been held hostage by the false choice presented by our two parties. I refuse to participate in their rigged reindeer games from now on.

    • pmorlan says:

      I’m referring to the fact that so many want us to ignore what happened today because there are only two parties that we can choose from right now. They’re pretty much telling us to quit squawking and get over it. For those of us who will vote for Obama in the Fall the one thing we can do is to change to Independent. It at least let’s the Dem leadership know that we are on the verge of telling them to stuff it. If something better comes along in the next election or in a current congressional election, like a charismatic Independent candidate right on the issues, they know that they will not be able to count on us sticking with the Dems. because they pretty much told us FU.

      • rootless says:

        I think replacing loser Dems with decent ones is a more productive strategy. The defeat of Al Wynn was a good model.

        • pmorlan says:

          As an Independent I can certainly choose to vote for a decent Dem. So I don’t think changing to Independent next week will harm that strategy in the least. And I might add that at some point I may re-register as a Dem. Who knows. But right now I’m going to register my disgust over the FISA/immunity fiasco by changing to an Independent.

  109. Jonathryn says:

    That’s it. Obama will never get my money, he will never get my vote. I will organize like minded people against him.

    • Dakinikat says:

      i’m already there with you on that one. I did enough background work on Penny Pritzker and several of his finance committee folks to wonder why they weren’t perp walked yesterday with the Bern Sterns slime that enabled this mortgage fiasco.

  110. prostratedragon says:

    From SSRN:

    ‘I’ve Got Nothing to Hide’ and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove

    SSRN has been collecting social science papers since about 1990. This paper is no. 2 all time in downloads (well over 54,000), though it was posted just 11 months ago.

    The abstract:

    In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: “I’ve got nothing to hide.” According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.

    The background in the intro refers explicitly to the present nastiness, e.g. TIA, SWIFT, etc. No doubt there will be a revision in coming weeks.

  111. Mary says:

    293 – “I have a feeling Obama will vote against this bill”

    After reading his statement that the “safeguards” are “too important to delay” and that he supports the compromise, you think he’ll vote against it?

    Pretty empty gesture after his statement has pretty much told the other dems to go ahead, he’s given them cover.

  112. KayInMaine says:

    *shaking head* I know everyone is upset but throwing ALL DEMOCRATS under the bus is not the correct reaction. Be pissed off at Nancy Pelosi & Steny HoBag for even bringing this bill up for vote. FISA worked on 9/10/01 (Michael Hayden of the CIA reported that he intercepted a call between 2 of the 9/11/01 hijackers and did nothing. He said he didn’t figure out what they were saying until 9/12/01. Interesting…but he knew on 9/10/01 that he was listening to a phone convo between 2 of the bad guys!) and is still working today. It’s just the White House is and has ignored it.

    Put the blame where it belongs.

  113. Cujo359 says:

    Amazing all the crap I took here for saying this was exactly what Obama was. How do you like your Audacity of Hope now?

    P.T. Barnum had nothing on Obama. They both knew you should never overestimate the intelligence of the American public.

    Meanwhile, if you want to do something useful with your money, there’s a good place to put it. I notice I haven’t matched the average donation yet ($57.65), so I’m going to amend that now.

    $282K and counting, BTW.

  114. greenbird4751 says:

    please, folks–don’t take your ball and go home.
    there are four very tough months to go.

    i can express my opinions, but i’m no candidate and don’t have to look for, or make, the tiny cracks that will bring about the change obama is talking about.

    if i am to give up, it will have to be later than this.

    • Dakinikat says:

      just when is it okay to sell out principles engrained in the constitution of our country and for what end?

      • rootless says:

        FDR illegally put Japanese Americans in concentration camps. LBJ immorally mudered millions in Vietnam. Yet, winning WWII and getting the voting rights bill passed are both still worthwhile accomplishments.

  115. Mary says:

    347 – Ummm, I said it. Did you truly not get that? Molly Ivins wrote a lot and said a lot of wonderful things, among them that during WWII, when Americans felt entitled to go around kicking Dauchsands because they were german dogs, no one used that same logic on Alsatians.

    And what happened today was not only lesser evil, it was the same evil coupled with the evil of betrayal. So yeah – there are other choices. OTOH, the choice of registering in another party isn’t the same as saying don’t, ultimately, vote Dem. It says that while Dems are pandering to pick up everyone NOT in their “base” it behooves you to be not in that base.

    And with respect to your 322, of “how many of the purists are deluded or irresponsible solopsists and how many are republicans” I have to kind of wonder if “your kind” of response would go something like: how many of those supporting the majority Democratic party passing unconstitutional surveillance laws are bootlicking, imperialist wannabes and how many are republicans”

    But that isn’t really the universe of choices, is it? There are lots of takes for lots of reasons and you know that – there’s a difference between being an idiot and being a twit.

    344 – I don’t think anyone is saying to be unhappy with ALL Democrats, are they? But to put the blame where it belongs, it absolutely belongs with the Democrats and not the Republicans, because the Democrats are the majority and set the agendy and have shown they can block this nonsense anytime they want. If they want.

    I buy a lot of what Balk said, btw, re: the link above, but I also think it is colored by what Turley said. Real discovery and real hearings and real investigations of any kind – either in courts or for impeachment – will show one embarassment after another for the Dems, especially Pelosi and Rockefeller and Reid and the Clinton family. Acquiescing in torture, kidnap, forever detention of innocents, being briefed on torture tapes and letting them be destroyed, being briefed on illegal programs in ways that on their face violated the National Security Act, Clinton’s first extraordinary renditions and the deaths accompanying those, Clintons warrantless Latin American wiretap program and on and on and on.

    Obama owes Pelosi and Rockefeller and Clinton and this is a painless way for him to pay them off and get lots more power while he’s at it. What’s not to like?

    • KayInMaine says:

      Well, maybe it’s time for you to switch to the republic party? Not sure what to tell you, except you’re overreacting to something Obama hasn’t done yet.

      Pelosi & Hoyer brought this bill up for a vote today. FISA of 1973 was still working fine 6 hours ago before the vote! Blame them and not the whole entire Democratic party for the past 200 years. If you can’t do that then it’s time to switch parties. Hell, the republic party needs more Dem haters anyways because a lot of their members are now Democrats after 8 years of George Bush.

    • rootless says:

      And with respect to your 322, of “how many of the purists are deluded or irresponsible solopsists and how many are republicans” I have to kind of wonder if “your kind” of response would go something like: how many of those supporting the majority Democratic party passing unconstitutional surveillance laws are bootlicking, imperialist wannabes and how many are republicans”

      The parallel does not work. I don’t think anyone could be more disgusted with the behavior of the Democratic leadership today than I am. The question is not whether it’s a moral fiasco. The question is what reaction to take. The “purist” response that says to walk away from the majority of Democrats in the House today who voted against this crap because the Democratic leadership is corrupt, is not morally tenable in my ever so humble opinion.

  116. KayInMaine says:

    Obama did NOT say he was going to vote for the House’s version of the FISA bill that includes immunity for the telecoms. He’s saying he will work hard to get this part of the bill removed.

    I think the Democrats should vote “present”, so if it passes the republics will own it by voting for it overwhelmingly.

  117. MadDog says:

    Totally OT, but this thread has been going on it seems forever (350+ comments on an EW thread. WTF? *g*) – from CREW:

    Court Orders White House To Temporarily Retain Documents

    Today, after receiving Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)’s motion for a stay pending appeal in CREW v. Office of Administration, which was filed this morning, District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued a minute order requiring the White House to retain all documents that are the subject of CREW’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests until the Court resolves CREW’s request for a stay…

    Order here.

  118. Mary says:

    358 – Here’s what he said: “It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise …”

    See how well he uses that Bush rhetoric? Not only is he a *uniter* he can do the *be afraid, be really afraid, we have to have this now because it is too important to delay it or we’ll all die.*

    You won’t find me having a big long record of ripping into Obama and to the contrary, I’ve supported the snot out of him in many situations but I’ve told those who I know who really are committed to him and are volunteers that I’ve never been a believer and I’ve never contributed. And I’ve always had torture, the war and the Constitution at the heart of my major issues. I also got to hear Obama reassuring everyone the other day that, while he wants to shut down GITMO everyone can rest comfortable that he doesn’t want to give a 15 yo sold to the US and disappeared from his home the same rights as American Citizens.

    You know neither he, nor Levin, nor Clinton, nor almost anyone I can think of, even the Dems I generally admire most, has come right out and said what McClatchey has give them all cover for saying – what the Canadian report on Arar gave them all cover for saying – what the el-Masri case gave them all cover for saying, what the Kurnaz case gave them all cover for saying, what Taguba and Mora and others all gave them cover for saying:

    That the US had tortured and tortured people who had no affiliation with al-Qaeda.

    I’m so tired of the parsing and gamesmanship.

    So Obama didn’t say he was voting “for” the compromise, just that it was too important to delay passing it and that he supported it. Yeah. And did you see him demand that the immunity issue become a caucus issue and that Durbin whip for it?
    Notsomuch.

  119. pmorlan says:

    John Dean says (Olbermann) that the bill is not clear on whether Obama could go after the telecoms criminally. In other words the private suits may not go forward but it is conceivable that Obama may be able to go after them with the Justice Dept. Unfortunately that has nothing to do with the rest of the bill.

  120. Mary says:

    363/358 – Whether Dems vote present or for it, THEY own it bc they are the majority and they put the bill on the calendar as a done deal. But as to your other comment, explain that too me in a little more detail Kay. Why is it you think I should become a Republican? Because I cannot support someone who votes in favor of retroactive immunity? That’s your take on it. If you are against retroactive immunity then you should vote Republican? That’s an interesting take.

    365 – it absolutely works in that it is the same kind of nonsense comparison you made, but once it is pointed out to you how that kind of two premise, neither correct, approach works, then you can see the holes in it. Just not when you are making it. Lots of people who may not be willing to stay in the Dem party if they ultimately vote for Obama; and lots of people who may not want to vote for Obama even if they stay in the Democratic party, are neither Republicans nor are they “deluded or irresponsible solopists”

    The responses taken are no more a subset of “purist” and “not purist” than they are bootlicking imperialists or Russ Feingolds. You will only admit to a range of reactions, though, to the extent they suit you.

    With that – night. Nice to see the purists show up and demand party allegiance no matter what, and manage to make bizarro world analogies that it is better to be in the Republican party if you are against illegal surveillance. Advil must love threads like this.

    • rootless says:

      lots of people who may not want to vote for Obama even if they stay in the Democratic party, are neither Republicans nor are they “deluded or irresponsible solopists”

      That needs some support. Since, in practice, either Obama or McCain will become President. And since, McCain is a lot more evil. I don’t see an easy out here.

        • rootless says:

          it’s the subtle things like
          A. Says we need to get out of Iraq asap versus says 100 years is no problem
          B. Says we need to eliminate the SS tax cheat and keep benefits versus says let’s privatize
          C. 100% Naral rating versus 0% NARAL ration
          D. High rating from ACLU versus low rating from ACLU
          E. Endorsed by Barabara Lee versus endorsed by Darryl Issa

          etc.

    • cboldt says:

      Advil must love threads like this.

      I’m not trying to pile on praise, honest, but you are a true gem. As you know, you and I are quite different in social and political inclination – often in strong opposition. But still, I deeply respect, appreciate and admire your clarity and honesty. It is rare, too rare. And on the point of expecting and requiring an honest and transparent government, you and I are in lock step agreement.

      Thanks for all your comments. Carry on!! (sleep tight — I’m doing bier instead of advil)

  121. Mary says:

    OK -one last quick nonsequitor. Apparently Hezbollah is on the move, wanting to make a “splashy” response to the assassination of one of their top operatives that Bushco made a point of crowing about to provoke them.

    As has been noted often, Hezbollah is the “A-Team” and is widely viewed to be much more efficent and chillingly diverse and spread out in cells everywhere. So there may have also been some “if Hezbollah kills a 1,000 people right after this vote, do you want to have voted againts it” crap going on.

    Real “nite” now.

  122. bigbrother says:

    Obama’s site feels fascist. It sucks up your info couldn’t leave not message.
    The new powers given in FISA are not constitutional. He is not stopping torture and war. He is preventing a better person from leading the country.
    In a few weeks after gainig the Dem nom he has broken a promise to oppose telecom immunity. He is another …

  123. CalGeorge says:

    I’m going Independent and have said that I would do so for months. I decided a while back that a FISA fold would be the last straw for me. And I still feel that way.

    I will wait to do the switch until the Senate caves.

    I look forward to being a California DTS voter.

  124. Dakinikat says:

    Actually, he’s saying we need to get out of IRAQ asap now … but i have a video saying just the opposite and the Iraqi foreign minister said he had a conversation with him a couple of days ago and that he felt Obama was not that much different from McCain

  125. Dakinikat says:

    Also, Obama has said all the right things to NARAL, but he’s never voted prochoice … he’s only voted present

    • rootless says:

      well, if you want to explain your position by trotting out flat lies, i think the conclusion is obvious.

  126. MadDog says:

    Oh, if only we could register for a pity-party…sigh.

    “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to. Cry if I want to. Cry if I want to. You would cry too if it happened to you.”

    /snark

  127. Dakinikat says:

    He signed a pledge that said he’d take only public funds in the general if McCain did … McCain is still taking public funds …Obama’s site just took down the scanned copy of Obama’s signed pledge

    • rootless says:

      He signed a pledge that said he’d take only public funds in the general if McCain did … McCain is still taking public funds …Obama’s site just took down the scanned copy of Obama’s signed pledge

      Are you going to start telling us about the “whitey” tape now?

  128. Dakinikat says:

    Plus, I’m an economist, Gooslbee and Furman are well known for wanting to bring the corporate tax WAY down … they publish on it all the time … neither of them are progressives

  129. Dakinikat says:

    i can’t even follow Obama’s votes in the senate frankly, for the last few years his vote is mostly NOT voting

  130. Dakinikat says:

    I do have an interview of him from a chicago tv station in 05 saying he doesn’t believe in time tables and that he’s said nothing about pulling troops out of iraq while his website says he supported time tables in 2005

  131. Dakinikat says:

    i’m not voting for McCain or Obama at this point … I’m not sure what options are reasonable at this point …

    • Twain says:

      Neither of those people has a clue. At least Bob Barr has some legislative experince. As I said earlier – SUPREME COURT.

  132. Dakinikat says:

    plus what can McCain shove through without Senate support? In a speech last week he said he admired Sandra Day O’Connor … sheesh, who knows

  133. 4jkb4ia says:

    I am very sorry, EW. Obama had to make a tough choice to overcome his own tendency to be a compromiser. If he votes against the bill if it has immunity in it, that is all he has to do to draw a bright line between himself and McCain.
    You were one of the few bloggers I know who were emphasizing the civil liberties issues besides immunity.

    Candlelighting time, 5 minutes.

  134. Dakinikat says:

    sheesh, okay, i’ve now been called a republican … i’m going out to dinner … at the moment, I’m thinking of voting for Nader … that’s all I got to say

  135. kirk murphy says:

    Dakinikat, thanks for you thoughts and work.

    (sorry for extending thread, but Kirk didn’t always listen to Scotty)

    Hey – is that antimatter I sme

  136. greenbird4751 says:

    “It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses.”
    Does he say he will work “to try” to remove it?
    No. I take it to mean that he expects it to be removed–and moved forward.

  137. cboldt says:

    “I will work in the Senate to remove” = “I will try”

    It’s unreasonable to expect any single Senator to obtain an outcome, unless that outcome has the support of 59 other Senators. The most the public can expect is “try,” and the extent of “try” is highly variable. Obama will “try,” but not so much.

    In the end they are all political calculations.

  138. orionATL says:

    jesus –

    400+ comments.

    the server cpu’s and fans must be working at max.

    thanks, ew.

    and thanks, jane hampsher, for putting this all together and keeping it going.

  139. maryinbelltown says:

    I thought all this time that it was the Republicans screwing up the country – how wrong can I be?

  140. maryinbelltown says:

    So, we can’t claim to be a democracy anymore. We’re a corporate run nation that hold elections – privately run elections.

  141. lukasiak says:

    puhleez….

    I’ve been telling you all along that the guy was a fraud.

    and now you finally figure it out? Sorry, but you have NO ONE BUT YOURSELF to blame for this. YOU gave us telecom immunity — because YOU supported someone who preferred slogans to actual leadership.

  142. helena says:

    I was for John Edwards and I’m still for John Edwards.
    Obama is a compromiser and that was obvious from his endorsement of Joe Leiberman.
    The blogosphere, much of it, blew it BIG TIME in not working its ASS off for John and Elizabeth Edwards.
    Just sayin’–

    • PetePierce says:

      My experience is that John Edwards was an exponentially more zealous advocate for causes as a tort attorney than he was in opposition to warantless wiretapping, monitoring of your emails, monitoring of your movements via satellite, the placement of over one million people on a secret no-fly list with no significant redress as to list placement except for a long red-tap laden process.

      I have seen most TV appearances by Elizabeth Edwards and followed their websites. I have hopes that she will fight a successful battle against her advanced breast cancer, and a lot of respect for her.

      I have seen no statement by the Edwards’ that is significant as to a panoply of Constitutional crushes like the one below or the illegal bill the House passed today, Calea or a wide range of tracking tools that this administration has in place.

      National Dragnet Is a Click Away

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