Democratic "Leadership"

Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace:

Tomorrow, we will be taking up the FISA bill. As you probably know, the bill has been filed. It is a balanced bill. I could argue it either way, not being a lawyer, but nonetheless, I could argue it either way. . . . [It] is again in Title II, an improvement over the Senate bill in that it empowers the District Court, not the FISA Court, to look into issues that relate to immunity. . . . So that will be legislation that we take up tomorrow. We will have a lively debate I'm sure within our caucus on this subject and in the Congress. It has bipartisan support. I commend Steny Hoyer for his important work on this legislation, working in a bipartisan way.

(Emphasis supplied.) What a dishonest statement. The bill "empowers" the District Court to rubber stamp the fact that the President asked the telecoms to break the law. And Pelosi is proud of this. What a disgrace.

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    In a bipartisan way. (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:47:37 PM EST
    Thanks for nothing.

    Aren't you afraid (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by ghost2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:53:35 PM EST
    to leave both the congress and the presidency to this crowd?

    The more I think about it, the more afraid I become.  What is their agenda? Or are they just plain incompetent?

    Perhaps, it's a democratic president who is needed, but it's a democratic congress with a spine.  


    oops! (none / 0) (#126)
    by ghost2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:54:42 PM EST
    should be "Perhaps, it's not a democratic president who is needed, but it's a democratic congress with a spine."

    There is very little time (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by camellia on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:48:23 PM EST
    for us to do anything to prevent this bill.  I have just received an urgent email from the ACLU asking us to act NOW in contacting our representatives in Congress.  I am off now to write emails to my congressman and senators.  For what use that is.

    When the ACLU activates (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:58:18 PM EST
    they can be powerful. But Pelosi is for this, so I think we might not have any impact.

    Best bet: get the liberals to vote AGAINST THE RULE in the House (unless that's already been passed, in which case. . .it's over).


    Just recieved this email from Leahy (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:51:43 PM EST
    Dear *,

    For many months now, the Leahy for Vermont community and online activists everywhere have urged Congress to fix FISA the right way:  by passing a bill that protects both our national security and our civil liberties.  Together, we have had a huge impact on this debate, calling for legislation that protects Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's relentless assault on the Constitution, and we should be extremely proud of these efforts.

    But after months of negotiations, the House today unveiled a new FISA bill that I cannot support
    . While I applaud the fact that this legislation includes some of the important surveillance protections we wrote into the Senate Judiciary Committee bill last year, it fails to hold the Bush-Cheney Administration accountable for its illegal wiretapping program.  

    I will oppose this new FISA bill when the Senate votes on it next week.
    We must do everything we can to protect Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's erosion of our civil liberties and callous disregard for the rule of law -- and this new FISA bill fails that test.  

    Thank you for all that you have done -- and all you will continue to do -- to help America protect our security while honoring our core values and respecting our fundamental rights.  As the Supreme Court wrote in its habeas decision last week, "Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom's first principles."


    Patrick Leahy
    U.S. Senator

    emphasis his.

    Is he going to organize against cloture? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:58:56 PM EST
    I doubt it.

    Yes (none / 0) (#151)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:51:23 AM EST
    Watch what Leahy, Fiengold, etc. actually do.  If they vote for cloture then against the bill they are worse than dishonest frauds.

    What can we do to support Leahy? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jericho4119 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:59:41 PM EST
    Contact our senators, sure, but it seems like more needs to be done.

    There is absolutely no reason to bring this bill up - especially so late in the day for the Bush Administration.  Why hand GWB a victory on the way out the door?


    I usually get an action email (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:05:45 PM EST
    but I was just going to get on my congress critters via email tonight and the phone tomorrow.

    Pelosi is just pathetic.


    Email Feingold, too -- he's angry (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:40:33 PM EST
    at Obama today for the flipflop on public campaign financing, so tell my Senator for me, too, that the new head of the party -- and a Constitutional law "prof," yet -- better get his head out of his posterior on this issue.

    Feingold is glad to hear from everyone. . . .


    Obama has flipped-flopped on some issues (none / 0) (#40)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:50:00 PM EST
    but this whole campaign finance (non)issue is ridiculous. Anyone with half a brain would opt -out with the kind of fund raising he's been doing.

    Obama's words are just words (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:07:20 PM EST
    JUNE 2008: Barack Obama Tells The USA Today That He Would Pursue A Public Financing Agreement With John McCain. "On campaign finance. Obama said he'll accept public financing for his campaign -- which would limit the amount of spending -- only if McCain agrees to curb spending by the Republican National Committee. 'I won't disarm unilaterally,' he said." (Kathy Kiely, "Obama Reaching Out To The White Working Class," USA Today, 6/6/08)

    I honestly have no problem with this. (none / 0) (#57)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:15:14 PM EST
    This is politics. You do what you have to do (within reason, obviously.)
    Not to mention, McCain refused to put limits on 527 spending, which could be a reason why Obama opted out. Or maybe he would have done it anyway.
    All I know is that opting out of public financing could mean the difference between winning or losing states like Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alaska, ect, in November.

    How could Obama or McCain (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:49:11 PM EST
    put spending limits on 527s??
    That seem like another Obama excuse and another rationalization for yet another flip flop.

    It is an excuse (5.00 / 4) (#97)
    by RJBOSTON on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:17:43 PM EST
    moveon already has an ad out. Obama hasn't stopped it.

    I saw it tonight (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:22:15 PM EST
    Does Obama stop anything?

    If that's the one with the mother (none / 0) (#139)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:29:42 PM EST
    and the baby boy, it's a brilliant ad, I gotta say.

    NBC Nightly News (none / 0) (#98)
    by Grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:19:04 PM EST
    ran this story too -- the Obama flip-flop and how McCain is going to do what he said he would do.  

    I thought NBC was the Obama channel?  


    Matthews is pretty hot (none / 0) (#140)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:30:38 PM EST
    about it, too.  Can we expect a KO "special comment" shortly? (Hah.)

    No (none / 0) (#148)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:12:34 AM EST
    KO's head exploded when he heard about FISA.  Fox News has gory pictures of the debris.

    You're saying Feingold has half a brain? (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:25:02 PM EST
    He did denounce Obama for his flipflop today.  I do not make this up.

    Of course, Obama does have to flipflop on this -- since he had to outspend even another Dem by as much as 5 to 1 just to end up with almost as many votes.  So he may have to outspend the GOP by 10 to 1 to win.


    Anyone with half a brain (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:28:37 PM EST
    or half an integrity-- wouldn't have sworn on a stack of Bibles he was going to stick with the public financing system unless He Actually Meant It.

    But (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:55:23 AM EST
    that's the whole point.  He's opting out because he's raised a huge amount of money from the usual suspects.

    That's the way the game's been played.  If you raise a lot of money then you reject public financing and call the system broken. Some beacon of hope and change.  Meet the new boss same as the old boss.


    Obama made strong statement (none / 0) (#64)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:29:59 PM EST
    in February regarding telecom immunity & voted against the bill.  It will be interesting to see if he stands silently by while Pelosi creates an issue (I want this acted on before July recess) for no reason, rather than leaving the issue for the new administration to deal with.

    Write all of your Congressional reps, please.

    It is funny to see how people are flipping out at dailykos over this. Finally realizing they may have no influence on BHO.


    yes, Obamabots are amusing (none / 0) (#83)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:56:31 PM EST
    exposing their naiveté.

    Note, Sen. Leahy (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:02:38 PM EST
    has no suggestions.  Was he not Sen. Obama's earliest endorser??

    Oh, give Obama a break! (5.00 / 9) (#13)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:08:13 PM EST
    He was busy "changing" positions today.

    Changing positions (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:13:07 PM EST
    Yes, Obama was.  I just read on ABC that Obama estimates he will spend 500 million in the last two months of the campaign.  McCain has reaffirmed his promise to stick to campaign refinance and accept the public funds. This makes me so uncomfortable.  

    kind of werid how the parties have switched (5.00 / 12) (#22)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:24:03 PM EST
    now it's the democrats that are the greedy evil corporate corrupt party that lies, cheats, steals, doesn't count the votes, doesn't care about the voters, and could care less about integrity. How did that happen, and why didn't I get a memo about it.

    I was looking forward (5.00 / 10) (#23)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:25:37 PM EST
    to the election,. knowing we'd finally be rid of the Worst President Ever.

    Now I'm not sure what lies ahead.


    lesson: never assume worse ever (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:27:30 PM EST
    because you never know what the future holds. And you know, things can always get worse. Shiver.

    Worst (none / 0) (#156)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:02:53 AM EST
    to date is all anyone can call and Bush is the worst to date.

    Doesn't mean that there won't be a new standard bearer, but whoever wrests last place from Bush will have to make a Herculean effort.


    Coulda told ya so (n/t) (none / 0) (#163)
    by dutchfox on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:10:31 AM EST
    He may find that kind of (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:42:44 PM EST
    decadence is just enough to do him in rather than reward him. I would think the entire midwest right now is wishing they had their campaign donations back in their effort to rebuild their lives.

    The timing of his announcement, and the obvious request for donations, couldn't have been more poorly timed. He's running the most frivolous campaign on record.


    Yep, we've been sandbagged (5.00 / 5) (#38)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:44:22 PM EST
    every which way here, bitter and clinging to our Midwest as we are. . . .

    No he is rewarded with maintaining power (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by smott on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:56:35 AM EST
    Greenwald excellent as always:

    Despite all of this, The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported yesterday that Barack Obama -- who has been claiming to be so emphatically opposed to warrantless eavesdropping and telecom amnesty, to say nothing of the Iraq War -- taped a radio endorsement this week for Rep. Barrow, with the specific intent to help him defeat Regina Thomas in the Democratic primary (h/t sysprog....

    ...This is everything Obama claims so vehemently to oppose, claims he wants to end. And yet the Congress under the control of his party is about to enact a radical bill to legalize vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers and immunize telecoms who broke our country's laws for years. And not only is Obama doing nothing about any of that, but far more, he's actively intervening in a Democratic primary to help one of the worst enablers of all of this stay in power, while helping to defeat an insurgent, community-based challenger.

    None of that is enjoyable to write or accept, but those are just facts. There is a disturbing tendency on all sides to view Obama through a reductive Manichean lens -- either he's the embodiment of pure transformative Good who is going magically to cleanse our polity the minute he takes office, or he's nothing other than a mindless, passive tool of the establishment whose pretty rhetoric masks a barren ambition for power and who is no better than McCain. Neither of those caricatures is remotely accurate, and a John McCain presidency would be an unmitigated disaster on every level.

    But it's critical to keep in mind that Obama is a politician and, like all people, is plagued by significant imperfections. He has largely entrenched himself in, and is dependent upon, the power structure he says he wants to undermine. Uncritical devotion to political leaders, including him, is destructive. Obama needs pressure, criticism, checks, and real scrutiny just like anyone else in power in order to keep him accountable, responsive, and faithful to the principles he claims are the ones driving him.

    Pressure of that sort should include demanding that he take meaningful action against this Draconian and lawlessness-enabling bill. This is, after all, a bill which his own party is seeking to pass and justifying their behavior, in part, by claiming that they're doing it to protect Obama politically from being attacked as Weak on Terrorism. If this bill passes and Obama does nothing to stop it, he'll bear significant responsibility for its enactment. Here's his campaign's phone number: (866) 675-2008 [Dial 6, then 0, on the menu]. I'll post other contact information as people leave it in comments.


    Just got an email saying (5.00 / 8) (#116)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:15:44 PM EST
    I could declare my independence from a broken system by making my first donation to Obama. LOL!~ I already declared my independence from the broken system when I became an unaffiliated voter  ;)

    Yeah (none / 0) (#154)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:56:30 AM EST
    that's what Obama meant by 'change.'

    Leahy, I'm sorry to say (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:32:56 PM EST
    talks good but doesn't actually do much when the chips are down.  He'll vote against the bill, but he's not going to support a filibuster or go any further.  I'm very disillusioned with him.

    Madame Speaker's thoughts may (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:54:53 PM EST
    shed light on why we haven't heard anything from Sen. Obama.

    exactly! (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:11:07 PM EST
    Pelosi is paving the way for Obama on FISA.
    He had her back on "no impeachment" - now she reciprocates on FISA.

    BTD, that is exactly my reading also (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    The bill "empowers" the District Court to rubber stamp the fact that the President asked the telecoms to break the law. And Pelosi is proud of this. What a disgrace.

    That is just what it does do.  I tried to think of a scenario in which a telecom could be held liable, after reasonably relying on a lawful order by a federal official whose job it is to render such orders.  Note, I don't restrict to an order of the President since I don't think it is limited directly to him/her at all.  The only wiggle room I can see is "reasonable."  If the order is ridiculous on its face, then it would not be reasonable.  Now how would any telecom know this?  They are not privy to the grounds or basis for the order at all.  Let's say the order requests the surveillance of all citizens in Boston.  I think that would be held unreasonable. That is not going to happen though.  

    Pelosi is right; she is no lawyer. I guess she can't read either.  

    OK (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:41:43 PM EST
    I'll admit that I have not read the bill or a summary of it. But what I'd like to comment on is the issue of the District Court.

    I'm not sure where exactly one would send the issue of immunity other than a District Court. The FISA Court would not be appropriate. They are not charged to try anyone for anything because their sole charge is to review and issue warrants for surveillance of suspected foreign intelligence agents in the US. Again their sole authority is to issue warrants where warranted, not try people, so I'm not quite sure what problem Armando has with this.

    Yes that particular court 'may be' a rubber stamp but where else would one go? Not FISA. At least with a District Court if one gets a unfair or wrong verdict they could take it to a higher court or all the way to the SCOTUS where Justice Kennedy would ultimately decide.

    What is needed here is an unbiased and tough prosecutor or Special Prosecutor like Patrick Fitzgerald. Then we could get to the bottom of this with Grand Juries and ultimately a trial that  if not in a legal sense, but at least in all intents and purposes, would be a trial of George W. Bush.

    That is what I want to see. And it is possible through a District Court.


    Greenwald has a (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:30:52 PM EST
    good post summarizing the bill today.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#113)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:42:59 PM EST
    for the headsup. That summary was an eyeopener.

    It's Civil. (none / 0) (#63)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:28:29 PM EST
    The Attorneys for the Plaintiffs are EFF and ACLU.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by talex on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:42:08 PM EST
    civil cases can be brought before District Courts as can be criminal cases. This case could qualify as both IMO.

    That said I posted based on Armando's outrage that the district Courts would oversee this case. After reading Glen Greenwald's summary of the bill I now see that if this bill were to pass there would be no trial at all as the AG would wave a magic wand and have all charges dismissed.

    That being the case the only outrage here would be if this bill passes in congress. We have to stop it so start dialing.


    Disgusted (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by KC4847 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:02:39 PM EST
    I am disgusted and angry and demoralized. The Dems wait until the primaries are over and this is how they capstone everything?  Motivating Democratic voters this way?  It is horrible.  And where is Obama?  Hell, where is Hillary?  Where are the Democratic leaders?  Jesus.  

    It's Obama's party now. (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by dk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:09:21 PM EST
    The party leaders gave it to him by refusing to allow 2 states to choose a candidate, and through a closed-door session during that meeting a few weekends ago.

    If they can't be democratic in running their own party, why would anyone expect them to be democratic in this case?  They probably figure that they're going to win in November, and they will have the power to grant immunity to whomever they want.  


    If it's any condolence (none / 0) (#28)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:32:45 PM EST
    a diarist at Kos said he called Obama's office to explain that he was extremely concerned about the FISA compromise and this is the response he got:
    "We hear you loud and clear.  The staff are literally reviewing the FISA issue as we speak.  You'll be hearing from us soon."
    So maybe(?) we'll hear something from Obama. Maybe.

    They're reviewing it NOW? (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:37:55 PM EST

    Well, yeah (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by anydemwilldo on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:11:00 PM EST
    The compromise bill was just released this morning.  It's not like they have a time machine to review bills that don't exist.

    Now, you can still claim that this is an excuse.  But as far as an explanation goes, this is about as good as you're going to get.  Even if Obama is going to come out hard against this bill, fly back to Washington and stage a 48 hour filibuster himself, the response at this point would still be "we're reviewing it."

    Basically: chill, folks.  Call Obama's office.  Call your representative.  Call Pelosi's office.  But don't whine before whining is appropriate.


    I thought he was off the trail and in (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:23:55 PM EST
    DC? And it seems others had time to review and form an opinion.

    Who is whining? (5.00 / 8) (#61)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:25:46 PM EST
    It was released to the public.

    Ostensibly the Leader of the Party would've been given a clue or two before the public. After all, it's not like Hoyer has been keeping it a secret that he was in negotiations.


    BTW... (5.00 / 9) (#67)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:31:59 PM EST
    Feingold and Leahy have had enough time to go over it, come up with positions, write statements, and develop response letters/emails to constituents.

    I see no reason (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by standingup on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:53 PM EST
    that a review is necessary for a bill that compromises on immunity for the telecoms.  It should be a no starter and since he has come out against it in the past, no reason to change positions now.    

    Yeah, my first reaction too... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:21 PM EST
    But honestly, I would far rather they/he did reconsider in response to public outrage, than just ignore the reaction.

    That would be a net positive, in my book.


    At their fancy fundraisers (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:11:48 PM EST
    Sipping some white whine and barking orders at the caterers while talking shop with the telecom lobbyists.  

     Oh look. Another donation solicitation email.  Not today, I think.


    Clinton? (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:13:45 AM EST
    "Hell, where is Hillary?"

    The party leadership did everything possible to destroy Hillary Clinton and you expect her to lead on this one.



    Clinton (none / 0) (#168)
    by daring grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:56:11 AM EST
    I don't particularly care whether she comments on this or not.

    But it's not unreasonable for some to be waiting for her views. Just because she's not the presidential nominee doesn't make her an non-entity.

    She ran a formidable campaign and she's still a senator. My senator, in fact. Why is it unreasonable to want to hear her voice on this? She could very effectively join Feingold and Leahy in denouncing this.

    And, as an added fringe benefit, if she did so before Obama came out on record...it would undercut his silence. (OK, ok, I threw that one in there for Clinton supporters.) But isn't it true? wouldn't her speaking out on the right side of this issue before he does...I don't know, stir up the pot or even shove him into reaction?


    so please tell me why i should (4.33 / 3) (#131)
    by hellothere on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:08:31 PM EST
    work for them in the general and donate funds? waiting?

    hey alex please explain why i should (none / 0) (#143)
    by hellothere on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:34:54 PM EST
    donate and work for the party? waiting? thanks ever so much!

    who will be left (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:07:41 PM EST
    to defend pelosi now?

    Not me.

    I'll defend her in (none / 0) (#15)
    by dk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:10:58 PM EST
    the sense that she's no more guilty than any of the other party leaders.

    if she's a disgrace (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:21:03 PM EST
    then I suppose they all are.

    I cant defend the party either.

    I just think its funny.  For better or worse, the Clinton wing was made up of, in my estimation, a different kind on concerned citizen.  We didn't look at DADT or DOMA and see capitulation, we saw political realities and solutions that weren't perfect but also kept republicans from enacted solutions that they wanted.

    Anyway its just a different mindset, hard to say if its issues based or not.

    I think its funny because of instead of embracing a wing of the party that would be most inclined to hear her out here, she pretty much flipped us off and ran to the corner where the second something goes wrong she's gonna get called all sorts of horrible

    I think its funny.


    Except that it isn't about an Obama wing or... (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:30:13 PM EST
    ...a Clinton wing. It is the Democratic Party members, including former supporters of Senator Clinton's run, such as Senator Feinstein, who are pushing this.  

     DOMA involved no compromise at all, as there was not then a call for a constitutional amendment.  So there was no "win" there, either.

     This isn't about the camps within the party, as it seems to touch every conceivable camp, but rather a very, very bad piece of legislation.  


    There is no Democratic Party (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by FemB4dem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:39:29 PM EST
    anymore.  It's the Obama Party, address:  Chicago, Illinois.

    there is nothing to defend because they (3.00 / 2) (#133)
    by hellothere on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:09:27 PM EST
    are all guilty. peolso deserves every criticism levied at her. she is a disgrace. shame, shame, shame

    that is pelosi. i am tired tonight and (none / 0) (#134)
    by hellothere on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:10:16 PM EST
    am not checking my posts very well.

    hey alex, you want to explain why (none / 0) (#142)
    by hellothere on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:34:07 PM EST
    pelosi is not a disgrace. when you give a 1 it needs to be for a valid reason.

    Pelosi is more at fault (none / 0) (#72)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:37:02 PM EST
    She is the one who issued a veiled command to her troops the other day that she wants this bill acted on before the July recess.  Why?  No reason I can think of other than some in Congress get lots of $ from the telecoms. There is no other reason to support this bill.

    Feingold & Dodd are willing to oppose in the Senate.  But the Dems are investigating Dodd because he got favorable treatment from Countrywide, like most prominent members of a community do with good credit, on home mortgage. I understand points were waived.  So, instead of standing up to Bush admin non-sense, we are investigating Dodd.  If Obama does not take a public stand against this, I will have less and less reason to vote Dem.  This legislation smacks of "politics as usual" in D.C.  We need Obama to show us he means what he says.  If he did oppose this bill publicly, I think he'd win over a lot of the doubting Clinton supporters.


    Whew. Now I feel ever so much better. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:14:12 PM EST
    Emails to Dianne Feinstein, whose office previously informed me why telecomm immunity is crucial, and to Brian Bilbray, who is in a most solid Republican district.

    What exactly happened to Senator Feinstein? (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:23:46 PM EST
    I cannot stand her these days.  The war, the flag vote.

     Sigh.  Guess I need to shoot off another email.


    DiFi chairs the Rules Committee (none / 0) (#137)
    by imhotep on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:28:01 PM EST
    She is supposed to hold a hearing in July on rotating primaries for the next nominating process cycle.  This will be an opportunity to get in your anti-caucus messages.

    No. San Diego is nice. (none / 0) (#43)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:05:28 PM EST
    Bilbray won't care.....

    Rep. Bilbray doesn't have to do a (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:25:07 AM EST
    thing to please Dems.  Talk about a safe seat; all engineered by the Dem.-dominated state legislature.  

    two corporate parties, peas in a pod (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:18:09 PM EST
    which begs the question, why would you think Nancy is a disgrace? Isn't she just a politician doing what they do. Snark. And since Obama is the "head of the party" now, his silence means he's for this too. Which means... say it with me, he is just as much of a disgrace.

    Sure, it's what they all do, it's what all the party leaders do, you shouldn't expect anything but putrid corporate pandering and greed and corruption. Fine. But I won't vote for any of them that have done that or are silent about it. I'm done looking the other way. My votes may be a waste when I vote for others, but I'll be able to sleep at night at least.

    since they're all cartoon characters (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:30:18 PM EST
    I'm thinking it's time to start writing in real cartoon characters. What's Goofie's last name?

    Mickey Mouse always gets a vote (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:42:45 PM EST
    as a write-in from my spouse, with some stoopid local pol alone on a ballot but for whom the spouse cannot vote.

    It may be a first this fall for Mickey to get a vote for president here.


    Minnie Mouse for President (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by themomcat on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:00:11 PM EST
    If I can't have HRC, I'll vote for Minnie.

    I think we've got our write-in. Minnie08 n/t (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:06:49 PM EST
    I think it's Dog (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:47:37 PM EST
    Goofy The Dog

    Or why not (none / 0) (#119)
    by Grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:28:47 PM EST
    Pluto?  The wannabe ex-planet and dog?

    Nice summary and analysis (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:30:12 PM EST
    I had the same bad feeling about Pelosi ... (5.00 / 9) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:36:25 PM EST
    prior to her taking over the Speakership that I now have about Obama.

    But everyone said, "No, she'll be great.  Just wait.  Just watch."

    Fool me once ....

    Mmmm... (5.00 / 7) (#30)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:36:28 PM EST
    That's the smell of Unity Pelosi's been supporting.

    Pelosi and Hoyer as heavies (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by koshembos on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:38:13 PM EST
    It turns out that Pelosi was way too busy harming Hillary and not busy at all performing her Speakership role.

    Postpartnership in action!

    Speaking for me too (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by TChris on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:01:43 PM EST
    on this one.

    There appears to be come big-time Buyer's Remorse (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Gabriele Droz on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:07:29 PM EST
    happening over at Talking Points Memo.  Just read the comments:


    That's okay (5.00 / 7) (#50)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:10:31 PM EST
    As long as it isn't Clinton, they'll still be happy with him.

    That's what this election was about...getting rid of the Clintons.  It wasn't about competence, or doing what's right for our country, it's about ruining the Clintons.

    Didn't seem to work, but we sure got a candidate who ISN'T leading.


    "...appears to be SOME..." (none / 0) (#48)
    by Gabriele Droz on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:08:31 PM EST

    Democratic "Leadership" (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:08:02 PM EST
    is a oxymoron.

    No money, no work and no votes for capitulators.

    Tried of excepting excuses and B.S.


    Secret Evidence (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:11:32 PM EST
    In addition to all the other outrages, Greenwald pointed out today that we won't even know how outraged to be because the evidence the Government provides to the District Court will be secret.  It can't be released or cited in opinions.  So the Government makes a completely secret case, the District Court grants immunity without telling anyone the basis for the grant and it's done.  

    Because, of course, the real point of all of this is so the people won't know what their government is doing in its domestic spying program.

    Messages (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by KC4847 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:23:29 PM EST
    I called and left messages with my local Congresswoman, my Senators, as well as Senators Dodd, Feingold, and Clinton.  Maybe if Obama doesn't stand up, Hillary will (note: I'm not counting on it).  I'm not an overly active political guy--would have voted for either Hillary or Obama--but this whole mess really bothers me.  I'll take Democratic leaders right now anywhere I can get them.  

    I am so curious (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by miguelito on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:33:43 PM EST
    What will happen if Obama wins and the Democrats obtain a real majority in congress?  This Pelosi crap makes me believe that NOTHING will much change. Sure we'll hear more talk of "change" (though thats been walked back like much since the primary ended), but I would bet even with Democrats in complete power, we will never see UHC, an end to the occupation in Iraq, an end to corporate influences, real environmental progress, a real war on poverty, etc etc.  The Democratic party really has become Republican (lite?).  

    Folks, (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:22:07 PM EST
    this is why some of us (in my case, despite initially favoring Obama however slightly) have walked it back.

    People (who I think are sincere) ask what they could say to make us accept Obama. I want to say that you can say nothing: it's up to him. (No comment on you, who may be excellent people!)

    I'm making an effort to keep my mind open. I wish it didn't require an effort, but I am sufficiently close to BTD's "Pols are pols" view that I'm willing to make it.

    But that benefit of doubt is not bottomless. Just sayin'.


    Obama's Illinois numbers, for the AM (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:33:46 PM EST
    District Office- Moline:
    1911 52nd Avenue
    Moline, IL 61265
    Phone: 309-736-1217
    Fax: 309-736-1233

    District Office- Springfield:
    607 East Adams Street
    Springfield, IL 62701
    Phone: 217-492-5089
    Fax: 217-492-5099

    District Office- Chicago:
    John C. Kluczynski Federal Office Building, Suite 3900
    230 South Dearborn
    Chicago, IL 60604
    Phone: 312-886-3506
    Fax: 312-886-3514

    District Office- Marion:
    701 North Court Street
    Marion, IL 62959
    Phone: 618-997-2402
    Fax: 618-997-2850

    If you are (none / 0) (#79)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:48:20 PM EST
    the same Ben Masel I see in other places, I know that you are an Obama supporter, and I appreciate what you are doing to make him more responsive to all of us.  If the situation was reversed, I would hope that we Hilary supporters would have done the same to her.  And if he does come out strongly against it, and she doesn't follow suit, then I will be very disappointed in her.

    Kudos to you (in the form of a five.)



    Uh, Clinton already came out (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:13:35 PM EST
    strongly some time ago.  He could just copy what she said -- again.

    Ben Masel and others (none / 0) (#105)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:30:08 PM EST
    We've got quite a few Obama supporters here who are reasonable people. Pegasus, and Dalton, and others...

    Oh yeah, and BTD and Jeralyn and TChris! ;-)


    Ben, you were for Ron Paul (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:36:11 PM EST
    as I recall?  When did you "come to the light"?

    I thought it was Gravel? (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by nycstray on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:56 PM EST
    Feingold, then Gravel, then Dodd, then Gravel, (none / 0) (#144)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:36:14 PM EST
    finally Obama. His vote against cloture on FISA last time was the decider. Never supported Paul, tho I argued against some attacks on him I saw as not reality-based.

    Feingold's the closest I get to 'true believer,' but even with regard to Russ I'm on record he's disappointed me now 25 times in the 16 years he's represented me in the Senate. (The most recent was co-sponsoring the boost in Byrne grants for Multi-jurisdiction Drug Task Forces.)


    this is funny (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:35:09 PM EST
    Jonathan Turley claims Dems are capitulating on FISA to save their own A**es because they were complicit.

    DKos - http://tinyurl.com/3w9u2x

    But I specifically remember a graphic of Rockefeller's donations from the telecoms zooming up during 2007.

    Hoyer's too (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:41:26 PM EST
    That I Believe n/t (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:14:51 PM EST
    Yep. (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:20:14 PM EST
    I keep thinking they'll surprise me, but I'm waiting in vain, I fear.

    That unity pony is quite ugly.


    This Is Not A Unity Pony Thing IMO (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:00 PM EST
    Unless you are talking about having two parties complicit in approving illegal and unconstitutional activities.

    If Turley is correct in his belief, this is to protect those in the Dem leadership like Rockefeller who were given the information about the illegal activity.

    Obama was not around at the time and his only responsibility now is to not condone the activities by Bush and his colleagues and lead in opposition to this bill.  


    That's (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:35:11 PM EST
    Unless you are talking about having two parties complicit in approving illegal and unconstitutional activities.

    exactly what I mean.  The token resistence by some of the dems is a bit of red meat.  Nothing more.

    Otherwise, show me some different results.


    Yay, Democrats! (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:41:18 PM EST
    Why do I think this is going to be like the vote on the Military Commissions Act last year? There will be some face-saving vote--maybe an effort to remove immunity or a half-hearted filibuster effort. Then the final bill will pass 65-35.

    But at least we know they'll fight for --- actually, I'm having a hard time thinking of something.

    Oh I dunno... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:51:48 PM EST
    But at least we know they'll fight for --- actually, I'm having a hard time thinking of something.

     Money and unearned votes come to mind.  They're lucky they have a closet fascist party running against them.  

     At this point I have two things I am essentially praying for (in that agnostic, secular kind of way):

     1. Obama strong arms them (very unlikely).

     2. Feingold and Dodd fight tooth and nail.



    I justdon't understand (none / 0) (#84)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:57:22 PM EST
    why the dems decidedto let this come to a vote at all.

    Why didn't they wait for the next administra...



    Congratulations, GOP (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by blogtopus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:46:34 PM EST
    You've managed to move the window over to the right significantly. Truly a master stroke. Now we have people who 30 years ago would have been called Republicans being labeled as far left candidates.


    You speak for me also on this (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:08:15 PM EST
    And Pelosi is proud of this. What a disgrace.

    Feh. And I was so ecstatic in January 2007. What a comedown. I was expecting to come down somewhat, but she (and others) have surpassed all my expectations on that count.

    Democrats unite! (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by GMN on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:15:45 PM EST
    Let the protest begin.  Change your voter registration to Independent.  

    The DNC and the Dem leadership will take such issues seriously only when it knows that it must win votes from Independents.

    Please consider this proposal.  

    Why I'm so frackin' outraged... (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:25:31 PM EST
    if I had no other reason, is this:

    The claims that we need this bill, or something like it, to preserve our national security, are clearly a batch of horse pucky, even though I agree that FISA has problems (and the NEXT president should be responsible for solving them, not this discredited one)...

    ...because, we (meaning the POTUS and his advisers) actually had intelligence that would have told anyone paying attention that something was afoot involving airplanes, and that there were plans concentrated near 11 September 2001... and the people in power chose to ignore it. And that's with pre-fixit FISA.

    All the intelligence in the world means nothing if there is no one intelligent hearing it.

    And giving any measure of retroactive amnesty to telecos who violated the law (the Constitution!!! The Fourth Amendment!) is setting a very dangerous precedent, for no good national security reason.

    I got hit by the dust cloud of the first tower going down. I will not forget.

    Sorry, this just pushes all my buttons. End rant.

    Furthermore, (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:05:05 PM EST
    I commend Steny Hoyer for his important work on this legislation, working in a bipartisan way.

    Frack bipartisanship and the ship it sailed in on.

    The R party owns the disaster this country has become.

    Dems have to distance themselves from this, no?

    WTF is going on here?!

    It is now clear to me that the party (5.00 / 5) (#117)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:20:25 PM EST
    that decided that Obama would be the nominee (and please - let's not re-hash the whole "he had the most delegates" argument; he would not be where he is without the concerted efforts and manipulations by the DNC) now has a nominee that mirrors its own lack of leadership in the Congress.

    I have no explanation for why people who showed some signs of leadership - people like Leahy and Feingold and Dodd - put their money on Obama, who now shows all signs of letting them just twist in the wind on this; wonder what they're thinking tonight?

    I am more or less resigning myself to becoming one of those people who just has to pretend we have no representation, since by all appearances, we don't, and pursue some interests that do not make me feel like I am beating my head on the wall.  

    Maybe the key is that we all need to incorporate, merge into one giant corporation, and then maybe we could get their attention.

    don't give up! (none / 0) (#121)
    by A little night musing on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:32:48 PM EST
    Please, Anne (and all who think like her!)

    It's frustrating, it's enervating, but there is nothing more meaningful.

    Realize we'll always have to fight, but the fight... ohhh, it's worth it. It is.

    This is making me rethink my whole blogging presence, which, come to think of it, is the whole reason we exist....


    I'm sure it's not in my nature to just (5.00 / 5) (#123)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:45:58 PM EST
    give up, but honestly - these people are not listening; how much louder do we have to be?  What will it take to get their attention?  We write, we call, we e-mail, we fax.  We write messages on the begging letters we get, explaining why we can no longer give money to people who just take, take, take.  And the result?  A pat on the head.  Dismissal.  Condescension.  Are they kidding us?

    My dogs seem to have a higher capacity to understand plain English than the people we are entrusting to run the freakin' country.  I think the fish in the fish tank understand more.

    And now, we more or less have a nominee who is just more of the same - clueless, deaf, blind, deliberately obtuse - there is no silver lining to us possibly re-living the Carter years, is there?

    Time to call it a day.


    I keep asking WHY? (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by camellia on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 08:02:18 AM EST
    Why did the Dems want Obama?  What is it in him that has led them to manipulate the nominating process to ensure that he is the nominee?  Why won't the dems in congress fight?  The repubs hiss "filibuster" and they shrivel up and die like salted slugs.  Why?  What has changed?  

    People keep telling me that Obama is wonderful.  He is youthful, fresh, with a vision for the country.  Perhaps because I am not very politically sophisticated, I fail to see this and I accept that this is possibly my own fault.  But -- people like Kennedy and Dean and Pelosi and Feinberg have all climbed aboard this train enthusiastically and are sounding the whistle and clanging the bell and shouting "All Aboard!!!".  Why?  For the man who voted "present" umptyump times in the state legislature?  Who hasn't convened a single meeting of his subcommittee in the Senate?   Who doesn't seem to know what is meant by the word "leader"?Who doesn't appear to have a single achievement to his credit except relentless self-promotion.   What is it that they see that I don't?

    I would like to disengage, but I have a kid (adult now) who is disabled and I would like to see her with her very own health insurance some time soon.  When you have her disability, it is very difficult to get good jobs.  The kind of jobs she can get don't carry insurance.  She gets Medicare, for which we are grateful, but if she gets a little job and earns too much money she loses social security and Medicare.    Snake, meet tail.


    I like the corp/lobby idea (none / 0) (#161)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:55:50 AM EST
    actually. If it's too hard to create a third party, one way to go that might actually be easier is if a pile of people in some movement all form a corporation and lobby for what they want. You could have the Clinton Wing Corporation, the Vapid Yuppy Corporation (aka, Obama Wing), and other groups. Was there a snark in there somewhere, I'm not sure. And the new lobbies could take a lesson from Obama and give their money through bundling so their candidate could pretend they don't take money from lobbyists. It seems that lobbying is the one and only way to get what you want, and their money runs all of politics. Maybe that's the way to go.

    No leadership (5.00 / 5) (#120)
    by Prabhata on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:31:17 PM EST
    from the man who voted "present" more than 100 times to avoid taking a stand?  No leadership from the Speaker of the House who chose Obama and became leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives by taking impeachment off the table?  Please tell me again why I should vote or give money to a Democrat?  McCain is not afraid to say 100 years in Iraq is alright by him and drilling offshore is great.  I may disagree with him, but he tells me where he is going, unlike the Democrats who swear to protect liberties and the justice system but then turn their backs on their base.

    Ha! (3.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:03:32 PM EST
    Yeah...and where is McCain on this? At the very least Obama opposes it.  McCain is out there decrying all of the values I cherish, not just this issue.

     There's leadership in the sinking ship sense (Bush, McCain, etc.) and there is "leadership" in the posturing sense.  I am very upset by what is going on, but if you think for an instant I will do anything that might lead to a McCain presidency you are out of your element.



    Obama's not Clinton, Obama's not McCain ... so? (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:08:29 PM EST
    Why isn't Obama affirmatively showing what he has to offer ... as Obama?

    This isn't about Obama... (1.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:15:18 PM EST
    ...in large part because no Democratic president (Bill Clinton included) has managed to strong-arm his party.  

     Jesus, get over yourselves and focus on the real issue here: this is awful legislation, it needs to be stopped, call on Obama to stop it, call on every senator to stop it, put pressure on them, etc.  Your constant attacks on people who are individually opposed to this bill are pointless.  I am not happy that Obama has yet to respond publicly to this bill, although I will settle for quietly working to kill it.  Regardless, if you think Clinton would have done any different at this stage you are kidding yourself.  If you wanted someone to win the nomination who would have you should have put all of your energy into Kucinich.

     So put on pressure on the politicians that matter and stop your incessant bashing of Obama because you are PO'd your candidate lost.  In other words, move on.  



    Obama's no longer JUST a senator here ... (5.00 / 5) (#150)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:42:28 AM EST
    ... and don't insult me by claiming this is about "my" candidate losing. I've supported Constituional rights as my No. 1 issue for years -- and place it above party or personality loyalty.

    My activism (online and off) on restoring full constitutional protections has been considerable, attempting to get Dems to uphold their oaths of office and REPRESENT their voters. Dems have consistently refused to do that.

    I'm typing this
    so Obama apologists will get it.

    He's claimed leadership of the party and the party feels the White House is a lock.

    As the impending President, he should lead on this. There's no rational, moral or political excuse for him not to do so.

    To trivialize my pointing this out as anger that I "lost" is ridiculous.

    What I lost is representation by elected officials and that should be the focus of your outrage, not smacking Obama's legitimate critics in line.


    You have no standing... (1.00 / 3) (#159)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 05:42:15 AM EST
    ...to even criticize Obama as the party leader.  You're uncommitted.

    So...sorry, but you decided to abandon the party.  People within the party get to criticize Obama for his special role as the nominee, and get to ask for leadership.  Your grievances with Obama are now pretty much the same as those you have with every Democrat and GOP senator that supports this.  Even of less consequence, actually, since he opposes the bill.

     You no longer have any basis to single him out for anything.  

     And remember, there is another party out there that pushed this in the first place.  And as I have said, no Democratic president (or nominee, for that matter) has shown an ability to whip the entire party in line with strong arm tactics.

     So spare me your faux outrage and lectures.

     Also, it might help if you read the full thread before you post baiting one liners.  


    ah, that means you can't criticize McCain (5.00 / 3) (#160)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 06:47:27 AM EST
    or republicans then. Oopsie. Guess your idea that independents can't criticizes one of the two main people running for president doesn't make much sense then. Come on, that was about the silliest things ever. Admit it. You'll feel better. :-)

    I said.. (2.66 / 3) (#162)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:04:28 AM EST
    ...no standing to criticize him for party leadership purposes.  I don't criticize what Bush does as "Republican party leader," I criticize what he does as president.  I don't care if he strong arms the GOP or not.  Not my party, not my problem.  

     OTOH, what politicians in their representative capacity do, fair game.  Criticize his actions as a senator all you want.  As a senator, he opposes the bill.  He has made that pretty clear.  

     I won't cede a thing to the baiters who troll this site, btw.  It has become every bit as obnoxious as right wing commentators.    

     BTW, just a few weeks ago all the talk from you people was that he was the "presumptive" nominee, emphasis on "presumptive." And now he needs to show all this party leadership, eh? The party you've spent the last few months trashing?

     What I really want to say to you is not fit for this site, so I will leave it at that.  Good day.


    "Where Else You Gonna Go?" (none / 0) (#169)
    by daring grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:21:23 AM EST
    That's what I've been asked by Dems every time I complained about a lackluster prez candidate or a weak-kneed congressional response to Repub repression.

    For most of my adult life, I was registered as independent or unaffiliated, because while the Dems were closest to my ideology, they still fell waaay short of it most of the time.

    Pragmatically, when Howard Dean was running, I registered as a Dem so I could vote for him in the primary. A joke, of course, by the time the New York primary that year rolled around (in June, I think?).

    Anyway, I am still registered as a Democrat. I've contributed tiny amounts to Dean, Obama and some of those targeted congressional races Kos features. I voted in state and local primaries that had candidates I cared about and for Obama this year.

    But I do not think of myself as a Democrat. The disillusionment with the Dems I'm reading from other people on this site about the FISA issue and others amazes me, because so many here seem like they're old enough to have lived through as many  or almost as many election cycles as I have. This is nothing new.

    But as long as we're cursed with only two parties with any hope of being in power and making decisions, I will be cursed with giving even my half hearted support/criticism to the Dems if I want to have any kind of say in my own government. And that includes how they run their party.

    I guess that puts me and the Obama-adverse in a comical boat together sometimes.


    Obama's leadership can be questioned by anyone (none / 0) (#172)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 11:59:39 AM EST
    What do you mean "no standing"? Who died and made you the bouncer?

    What is he, the dictator? And who are you to decide what individuals can question about public figures, esp in politics?

    I'm an independent voter. I have a direct stake in who's in the White House.

    I can criticize any Dem or Repug, too.

    If Obama can't or won't show leadership AS A DEM I can ask questions about it whether I'm actively one or not.

    If Obama can't or won't live up to his promises and hype, ANYONE can question that.


    The baiters who troll this site? (none / 0) (#173)
    by Ellie on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:07:05 PM EST
    So criticism of Obama's own words, actions and record as presumptive Dem leader and candidate for Prez is TROLLING?

    Are you goin to ban Jeraly and BTD too?


    And why are the Dems kneecapping their presumed (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:09:21 PM EST
    leader by undercutting his opposition to telcom immunity?

    Gee, think he's changed his mind????

    Obama might do that...?

    Unity, Bipartisanship (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:27:11 AM EST
    "I commend Steny Hoyer for his important work on this legislation, working in a bipartisan way.

    Ah, smell the bipartisanship, the unity.  Obama's gang.  This is what Obama meant by unity, bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle.

    The difference bewteen Pelosi and . . . (1.33 / 3) (#114)
    by Doc Rock on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:57:33 PM EST
    . . . a streetwalker?  A streetwalker tries to get something of real value for her asset and she doesn't just give it away! Show me the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations (none / 0) (#170)
    by daring grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:25:17 AM EST
    You just earned my first (and, I hope) only "1".

    For a misogynistic comment that somehow k=just doesn't work as well if applied to say...Rockefellar?


    A new Congress and President (none / 0) (#49)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:09:45 PM EST
    can fix FISA--it's not over.....

    The President-Wanna-Be (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:12:59 PM EST
    isn't saying a word.  What evidence do you have that he'll do any differently once he's in office?  Answer:  You have none.

    It could be done more easily (none / 0) (#58)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:19:14 PM EST
    in a non-election year...The politics on this scare people.

    What happened to all the tough talk (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by ruffian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:28:16 PM EST
    last week about being happy to have a conversation about 9/11 and fighting terrorism?  This is a part of that debate.  Obama does not seem too eager too to have the conversation when it really matters.

    as MKS says (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by miguelito on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:34:44 PM EST
    he's scared

    Courage (5.00 / 5) (#76)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:43:02 PM EST
    is being scared and doing the right thing regardless.

    Didn't Have To Come Up For A Vote Now (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:56:15 PM EST
    they could have kicked the can down the road until after the election if they had chosen to do so.

    No more excuses for me.


    Yes, I agree (none / 0) (#85)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:00:40 PM EST
    I cannot fathom why the sudden push???  This could wait.  Perhaps the Dems think it is better than nothing.

    There are apparently a lot of red state dems (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:04:53 PM EST
    in the House who are very nervous on this issue...

    Didn't Obama 'win' in red states to get the nom? (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:03:37 PM EST
    Why isn't he appealing to, say, his new BFFs, those supportive Dems for a Day, to get his back on this?

    And the backs of skittish House Dems too? He owes downticket Dems that much at least.

    It's what a LEADER would do.


    Hoyer isn't helping Obama (none / 0) (#155)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 02:01:19 AM EST
    Neither is Pelosi....

    Nervous about telecom immunity?? (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:39:35 PM EST
    Sorry, don't buy it.  The public, even in red states, is overwhelmingly against telecom immunity.

    He's Talked About It (none / 0) (#171)
    by daring grace on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 10:36:59 AM EST
    In January, he said, in part:

    I strongly oppose retroactive immunity in the FISA bill.

    Ever since 9/11, this Administration has put forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand.

    The FISA court works. The separation of power works. We can trace, track down and take out terrorists while ensuring that our actions are subject to vigorous oversight, and do not undermine the very laws and freedom that we are fighting to defend.

    No one should get a free pass to violate the basic civil liberties of the American people - not the President of the United States, and not the telecommunications companies that fell in line with his warrantless surveillance program. We have to make clear the lines that cannot be crossed.

    That is why I am co-sponsoring Senator Dodd's amendment to remove the immunity provision. Secrecy must not trump accountability. We must show our citizens - and set an example to the world - that laws cannot be ignored when it is inconvenient.


    Not in 2009, It Won't (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:14:24 PM EST
    Obama could stop this now.  Pelosi and Reid could stop this now.  They aren't going to simply stop it, but come January they're going to roll it back?  McCain won't.

    The only way this gets changed is with a Republican Congress under a Democratic president.  They might do it because they don't want Obama to have the power.    


    Should be "McCain won't either" (none / 0) (#56)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:15:03 PM EST
    Once this legislation passes, they (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:40:35 PM EST
    may not be able to fix the telecom immunity provisions, as -- and I need Jeralyn & BTD here -- the telecoms could argue that a fix would operate as an invalid ex post facto law.

    Telecoms are off the hook (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:09:26 PM EST
    no matter what....

    But I worry more about future domestic spying....


    Then maybe (none / 0) (#92)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:13:33 PM EST
    we're not better off.

    Of course, this isn't about terrorism as much as it is about spying on Americans for all sorts of reasons.

    Big Brother says BOO!!!


    Maybe if she was one (none / 0) (#65)
    by Redshoes on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:30:45 PM EST
     "It is a balanced bill. I could argue it either way, not being a lawyer, ..."

    You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that power concentrated in corporations and the government can't be good for liberty.

    Yeah, what was that cr*p about? (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:07:51 PM EST
    Well, you're a legislator aren't you?  Isn't that what you're supposed to know how to do, lawyer or not?  And if it's a lawyer you need, aren't half of your compadres in the House lawyers?  Aren't there lawyers who work for Congress?

    Not only is this one of the worst capitulations in years, it was one of the worst covers for a capitulation I've seen.  Jeez, if you're going to flip off the U.S. public, at least bother to put some thought into your spincr*p cover story.


    Cop Out (none / 0) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:13:50 PM EST
    I would think that the Speaker of the House would have at least one lawyer on her staff or have access to one for opinions.

    And if they didn't... (none / 0) (#99)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:20:11 PM EST
    ..they'd be incompetent.  I have a hard time voting for candidates without a legal education of some sort, at least in primaries.  Basic competency comes into question.  

     And it has everything to do with understanding the impact of legislation you vote on, down the road.  Similarly, I prefer that most of them have some training in economics.  


    Also (none / 0) (#78)
    by blogtopus on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:47:30 PM EST
    I'm fairly glad I have relatives in Germany. That should come in handy later on down the road.

    The bill apparently (none / 0) (#86)
    by MKS on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:01:37 PM EST
    provides that its terms are the exclusive basis for domestic spying....That's an improvment over the current situation.  

    Instead of 72 hours of spying without a warrant, the government gets one week....

    The provisions as to future spying are more important than the telecom immunity, in my opinion.

    When combined with the Surpreme Court decision this week on habeaus corpus, we are much better off now....

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by Nadai on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:27:00 PM EST
    Keep digging through the cr@p - you'll find that pony eventually.

    Look, just admit it.  The Dems in Congress have screwed us yet again.  Pelosi, Hoyer, and virtually all of the rest of them are more concerned with their own power than they are with the rights of the citizens they supposedly represent.  What exactly do they have to do before you stop making excuses for them?


    More carping (none / 0) (#153)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 01:56:27 AM EST
    I do find it interesting that many here are very upset at the FISA bill, but say they will vote for McCain, or delight in seeing bad polls or bad news for Obama.....

    I am much more a red state kind of guy than most here, and it surprises me how many people who are dyed-in-the-wool liberals really want a conservative to win--just because their favorite liberal did not get the nomination....

    God Gawd, I have acually voted for moderate Republicans, and I'll vote for Obama....McCain is a conservative hawk who will bomb Iran.


    What (none / 0) (#167)
    by Nadai on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 09:46:31 AM EST
    does that have to do with my comment?  I'm not voting for McCain; I'm just not voting for Obama.  And even if I was voting for McCain, that wouldn't make this any less of a betrayal by the Democrats.  Just because one party sucks doesn't mean the other doesn't.

    No, look at current law.l (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:44:51 PM EST
    The Wiretap Act is clear that surveillance may take place only through the standard criminal warrant prolcess, or under FISA authorization, except for the 72 hour emergency provision.

    Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace (none / 0) (#102)
    by sancho on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:22:48 PM EST
    and she is very happy to support Obama to be party leader. Hmm, I wonder why. Could be all the stuff he wont make her sign off on.

    But Clinton was (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:30:54 PM EST
    the establishment candidate!

    Too funny.

    Or not.


    As a Marylander, all I can say is - (none / 0) (#124)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:48:12 PM EST
    thanks, but Maryland doesn't need that headache - Virginia can have DC, if that's okay. :-)

    Speaker Pelosi's statement is enough to drive me (none / 0) (#129)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:07:24 PM EST
    to City Hall to change my registration to independent. Good grief, what's with these Dems? Did BushCo get dirt on everybody? I can't think of any other reason she and the party are selling us out re: our civil liberties.

    Thank goodness these people weren't around in the late 1700's and especially when our Constitution was written.

    Can you imagine the section on taking impeachment off the table?

    I am feeling so pessimistic today. Nite all.

    Call Congress (none / 0) (#147)
    by Newt on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 12:04:52 AM EST

    Time to deluge our Democrats with calls.  This is NOT a compromise, it's an undermining of the Constitution our elected officials swore to uphold.

    Free tele #s for Congress
    800-828-0498, 800-614-2803 or 877-851-6437

    The Democratic Party is a disgrace (none / 0) (#164)
    by bmc on Fri Jun 20, 2008 at 07:45:18 AM EST
    I am sorry to have to say it, but it is true. This party has lost my loyalty. The DISGRACEFUL and brazen disenfranchisement of 2.3 million democratic voters in two states; the arbitrary waivers for some states, and not others, by the RBC and DNC; the secret meeting in violation of their own charter, during the RBC "public" meeting to formulate a way to give delegates to a candidate not on the ballot in the first place; the stunning theft of 4 delegates in Michigan; the Military Commissions Act; the FISA "compromise" which VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES, in direct defiance to the oath taken by the President and the Congress....

    And, the refusal to impeach a president who committed WAR CRIMES...

    The Democratic Party is dead to me. The disgraceful and craven acts of the party leadership have violated the trust of the Democratic Party voters.

    The FISA "compromise" is an utter act of depraved indifference to the CONSTITUTION and the BILL OF RIGHTS. I_am_outraged by it.