Late Night: Choosing and Losing (FISA Edition)

And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson....

....Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
Going to the candidate's debate.
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you've got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose.

This is an open thread. [Hat tip to jawbone in the FISA comments]

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    So JimWash....when shall we start planning (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 09:42:03 PM EST
    the party?

    I Really Want To Start Now :-) (none / 0) (#30)
    by JimWash08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:50:00 AM EST
    See, it's 4:45AM right now and I couldn't sleep. I keep thinking about what a travesty this has become as we see one of the best people we have in politics slip away as much of the country wraps their dirty hands around another who's turning out to be quite the baffoon. It really makes my stomach turn!

    And if his vote yesterday wasn't enough, this should do it to you too.

    Who The #$*^ Do They Think He Is?


    O. M. F. G. n/t (none / 0) (#32)
    by Ellie on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 05:43:13 AM EST
    Filibusters (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 09:54:24 PM EST
    I read this comment in PW today and it really set me off:

    "Republicans have frustrated Reid by launching dozens of filibusters to slow Senate business... As Election Day nears, however, it has become clear that Democratic leaders have little desire to keep their members away from the campaign trail during what some analysts predict could be a windfall election for their party."

    (I also read where Cochrane of OK has put a hold on over 100 bills in the Senate).

    So the Republican's can block the Democrat's but the Democrat's haven't figured out how to block the Republican's?

    The leadership for the Dem's is worse than pathetic.

    The dems know very well what to do; (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 10:08:37 PM EST
    they choose not to for no good reason....time for new leadership!

    The Nancy & Harry Show (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by weltec2 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 10:35:58 PM EST
    The Repugs are in charge even when there are fewer of them. I've got to believe that our leadership really don't know what to do. Either that or they have been bought. A lot of money has simply been "lost" under this administration, billions actually. Still, I prefer to believe the former rather than the latter explanation.

    Remember that clever play brought about (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 10:46:50 PM EST
    by Reid when the Repubs were in the majority, where they went behind closed doors, etc.  The dems know what to do; and as sad as it is to say, some may have been bought off.  Look at today's FISA vote.  The markers were being called in and the dems caved.

    I think there is a lot of truth (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by weltec2 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:11:14 PM EST
    to the common argument that the Telecoms are dumping so much money in their campaigns that they simply bought them out in that way... also, by giving shares to their family members. Sadly, you're probably right.

    FISA supporters were bought, IMO (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by aquarian on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:25:35 PM EST
    Monied interests are equal opportunity employers.  BTD has been diligent in knocking down all the phony explanations for voting in favor of the FISA legislation.  No one has given a rational explanation for voting in favor of this bill -- this is the best we could do with a bad bill?  Uh, why?  The only response to a bad bill is thumbs down -- unless you are getting paid to look the other way.  It's ugly, but I have yet to hear anything plausible.

    can we please help Cindy Sheehan to oust Pelosi (none / 0) (#33)
    by suzieg on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:06:30 AM EST
    you can contribute at: cindyforcongress.org

    How's it looking for Cindy out west? (none / 0) (#36)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:40:47 AM EST
    Ya think she has a shot?  I'd love to see her in the Senate raising hell.

    Craven (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by aquarian on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 10:57:49 PM EST
    I went to yourdictionary.com to make sure I was using "craven" in its proper sense and I got a kick out of the usage examples -- they all seem to fit the FISA debacle:

    surrender: First, a craven surrender to the public sector unions on the retirement age.
    fear: Another part of the reaction to United 93 is a certain craven American fear of looking at terrifying or unpalatable moments in history head-on.
    capitulation: This was only made possible, however, by the craven capitulation of people who ought to have known better.
    opportunism: I must, I repeat, note with regret that both these comrades have landed in the quagmire of craven opportunism.

    Co Sponsor (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Little Fish on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:03:55 PM EST
    I just noticed that Sen Clinton signed on as a co-sponsor on the Feingold-Dodd Ammendment. Bonus!

    Good for her (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:19:15 AM EST
    Let's nominate her!

    Random Thoughts (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Jane in CA on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:10:56 PM EST
    on FISA and Caroline Kennedy ... I'm wondering how Obama's FISA vote squares with what I recall was CK's strong commitment to privacy as expressed in the book she co-authored, The Right to Privacy.  Havent' read her book in years, but IIRC, it attacks the government for chipping away at fourth amendment rights.  I'd think it would be a little difficult to reconcile Obama's FISA vote with the viewpoints expressed in her book.

    I didn't like BTD's post today (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:34:51 PM EST
    Because, if it's my own fault, it's only because I have had a lot of experience with Obama supporters who, when Obama has done something wrong, they invariably reach for what they consider to be their trump card.

    The AUMF vote.

    This was a day when Clinton should have been congratulated for doing the right thing.

    I believe an artificial dynamic was created by which one considered sins balanced out.  Clinton failed on the AUMF.  Obama on FISA.  Now they're even.

    Well.  First of all, if one does agree with Karl Rove that Democrats are responsible for the war, then one would have to conclude that Clinton's failure far outweighs Obama's just in terms of practical impact to the country, but no matter.  I don't agree with Karl Rove on this.  I think George W. Bush and his cronies are responsible for the war.

    I think they are both votes that give too much authority to a president.  The authority to wage war.  The authority to spy on citizens.  Etc.

    It can be argued that both votes decidedly go against every discernible intent of the constitution.  Even though it has been considered a precedent for congress to cede authority to a president to conduct war, there is still a very principled argument to be made saying that precedent should have never happened, and should be rescinded.

    That is Feingold's view, actually.  On both counts.

    But what this dynamic did is it gave Obama credit not only for making a speech, but for actually voting 'No' on the AUMF.  And he never did that.

    On that count, we should not play the What If game.  No blame for voting 'yes.'  But no credit either for voting 'no.'  

    But yes, some credit for a speech.  But in my view not much more than that because I feel I have a pretty good impression of how events played out and I simply don't remember the 2002 anti-Iraq war activist Barack Obama.  Do you?  I don't even remember the 2004 anti-Iraq war activist Barack Obama.  Do you?  What I remember is a speech suddenly surfacing AFTER the war was deemed a failure and Obama decided to run for president.  If anyone remembers that differently, do let me know.

    I want to give him credit for that speech.  He clearly articulated all the ways it would go wrong.  A lot of these things were also articulated by folks who warned against them, but still voted to give Bush authority.  So if one wants to play a What If game, one could just as easily say Obama would make the same 'yes' vote with the same kinds of warnings.

    But What If games are a waste of time.

    No blame for voting 'yes.'

    BUT..... no credit for voting 'no.'

    What I will add to this discussion is that, unless someone in NY can say otherwise, I don't believe Clinton ran a Senate Campaign in New York promising to stop war.  I don't believe she made a promise to make sure we never go to war with Iraq.  Now if you lived in New York and that's what you wanted from a candidate, a promise to vote against an Iraq war, then you'd have a right to look elsewhere for a candidate.  Instead of making promises they knew they wouldn't keep, both Bill and Hillary refused to court a voting block that turned into the netroots because of this.

    Now in contrast, we do know that Obama mis-represented himself in the primary.  We now have proof of that.  He courted that group of voters.  And now he has taken a crap on them.

    In the end, is there any difference between a candidate who deals with people directly and doesn't give false expectations BUT doesn't make the promises you want, is there any real difference in the end between that and and politician who gives you the impression he's listening, makes certain promises and then goes back on that promise?

    In the end, it might not make a difference.

    But Obama said something interesting a day or so ago.  He requested that his supporters, and any others inclined to do so, please refrain from ascribing a political motivation to his PRINCIPLED SUPPORT OF FISA.

    I think we should do that.  Not that he believes it was a principled compromised.  But that he believes that spying on Americans is a legitimate way to stop a terrorist attack.

    That a president SHOULD have that authority.  

    Excellent summary and rebuttal n/t (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:46:50 AM EST
    To clarify some things (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:16:06 AM EST
    I'm not rebutting BTD playing the "AUMF card", per se.

    After my first visceral reaction to the post, my reaction to him bringing up the AUMF was conditioned NOT by him, but by my interaction with other Obama supporters, tepid or otherwise.

    Just to make that clear.  I should blame myself for once again projecting the bahavior of other Obama supporters onto BTD.

    But I do think it is wrong to give Obama too much credit for being against the war from the beginning.  In all my dealings with even the most passionate of Obama supporters, the most they ever came up with was:

    1.  An interview on Charlie Rose.
    2.  A radio interview.
    3.  The notorious speech.  The one he over-dubbed.

    And those things, what little there was, though correct, was also offset by his more moderate "I can't say how I would have voted" comments during the convention.

    And every Obama supporter will swear up and down that he didn't want to show up Kerry, the nominee (wonder if that logic would have applied to Clinton had she voted for FISA, I doubt it).

    Everything else happened after the war was deemed a failure and he was running for president.

    He was no Dean/Wellstone/Feingold on the issue.

    I don't think he planned it, but if he did plan it he couldn't have any better.

    I think he was lucky.  Either way, he gets all the political benefit of being against the war from the beginning without taking on one ounce of the polarization that would have been dumped onto any politician that advertised that position too loudly and too soon.  The kind of polarization that was dumped on Dean on that issue.

    There is a real rebuttal there, and I stand by it.


    Nicely done Edgar08 (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by weltec2 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:21:31 AM EST
    Every time I hear an argument like this on this site or MyDD or theDemocraticDaily or wherever, I feel less and less enclined to vote for anyone. That's not your fault. I just mean that I keep looking for a reason to vote for someone... and I just can't find one. Thank you though.

    Obama has never been a challenger (none / 0) (#23)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:17:21 AM EST
    like Jesse Jackson used to be. He is the opposite and works hard at it.

    The anti-Iraq war activist Barack Obama?
    Didn't exist but someone will write some really bad history making the case .... maybe even BO himself.

    Ah, were are Thomas Jefferson and John Adams when we need them. What would they have to say about THESE TIMES.

    Just finished the brilliant John Adams HBO series over the weekend. Bad History drove John Adams wild.  


    Which BTD post was that, Edgar? (none / 0) (#24)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:23:37 AM EST
    I am still trying to catch up with all the latest blog news and comments :-)

    This one (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 01:26:13 AM EST
    Ah yes, I did see that one, thank you n/t (none / 0) (#39)
    by bridget on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:00:09 PM EST
    I blame Blair for coming over here, over and over (none / 0) (#34)
    by suzieg on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:12:08 AM EST
    again to make the eloquent case for going to war while Bush stood silently next to him because he couldn't articulate it as well as Blair could. Tony Blair, in my eyes, is the most responsible for making the case for war, without him I don't think it would have been as easy as it was for voting for the resolution. Blair gave them the perfect excuse to do so!

    I wrote on another post that (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by zfran on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:53:39 PM EST
    Campbell Brown reported that on Obama's website, some were very upset that Obama voted yes on this bill. They said that today was his first opportunity to show the american people how he would uphold the constitution....and today he didn't vote that way. I think that says alot.

    It speaks volumes about obama, but (4.00 / 4) (#16)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:03:52 AM EST
    many of us already figured out what he is about...it must be quite a letdown for some of his followers; but it is to be commended that their eyes have opened to the bait and switch so common to his campaign.

    But, will it change anything?! Me thinks (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:19:33 AM EST
    not. Too many people are not paying attention (which is probably one reason this vote came before the convention).

    We have to keep thinking positive.... (3.00 / 2) (#21)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:55:00 AM EST
    I watched Larry King (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by LoisInCo on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:37:25 AM EST
    grilling poor Ingrid Betancort on CNN tonight. It was so disturbing I had to change the channel. Larry really needs to retire, or find a suitable substitute for sensitive subjects.

    I think I hear something... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 02:52:09 AM EST
    ... a voice in the wind, calling from the east. What is it saying? If I listen carefully, I can just make it out.


    Yeah, I hear that (none / 0) (#28)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:20:24 AM EST
    "Suckers" thing too.  Loud and clear.  

    How does Jesse Jackson get away (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Grace on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:36:33 AM EST
    with making racist remarks?  

    NYT:  Jesse Jackson Apologizes for Remarks on Obama

    Why isn't he under the bus with the rest of us?  Isn't that discrimination?  

    Mr. Jackson's comments apparently were a reaction to a speech Mr. Obama delivered on Father's Day, when he told a Chicago church congregation that "we need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn't just end at conception." Mr. Obama often tells his audiences that absentee fathers are, in part, to blame for some of the problems afflicting black Americans.

    That message prompted Mr. Jackson to accuse Mr. Obama of "talking down to black people." Mr. Jackson said other issues should be highlighted, including unemployment, the mortgage crisis and the number of blacks in prison.

    Bill Clinton goes under the bus for "fairy tale" yet Jesse Jackson gets to remain away from the bus with "talking down to black people"?  I really don't get it.  

    Millions of us have been thrown under the bus for suggesting far less than "Obama is talking down to black people."  

    Jesse!  You get down here!  We're holding a spot for you!!  ;-)  

    If you apologize immediately (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:46:20 AM EST
    You get to hang on to the running boards for a while.

    3G iPhone for $75, and $77 per month. In Mexico!? (none / 0) (#12)
    by jerry on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 11:42:33 PM EST
    iPhone debuts in Mexico at half its US price

    Jul. 8, 2008 04:52 PM
    Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY - Apple Inc.'s next generation iPhone lands this week in Mexico as part of its global debut, selling in Latin America's second-largest market for less than half its planned U.S. price.

    America Movil will sell the 8-gigabyte 3G iPhone for as little as 773 pesos (US$75) in Mexico for buyers who agree to a two-year, 799-peso (US$77) monthly plan that includes 400 minutes of calls and 200 text messages.

    Its 16-gigabyte version, with double the memory, will sell for 1,877 pesos ($US182), according to an announcement by America Movil, Latin America's largest mobile phone service provider, which is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

    The price of the phone rises with cheaper monthly plans.

    In contrast, AT&T plans to sell the 8-gigabyte model in the U.S. for US$199 and the 16-gigabyte model for US$299. Its cheapest monthly plan will cost US$70 per month, including 450 minutes of calls and unlimited e-mail and Web browsing.

    The new iPhone - which has a faster 3G, or third-generation, Internet connection and GPS navigation options - was unveiled by Apple in June and debuts Friday in 22 countries, including the U.S. and Mexico, where Apple has never before officially sold the phone.

    So... having never roamed internationally before, is it a bad idea fiscally to drive to the border, buy an iPhone and bring it back?

    You'd still have to get an ATT contract (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:42:12 AM EST
    (or other carrier contract) for use in the USA, or else pay roaming charges or get an International plan. Not sure you would save much money in the long run.

    Question for Cream City (none / 0) (#17)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 12:14:49 AM EST
    I caught just a bit of an item on the news tonight about Wisconsin and same-sex marriage. The reporter said that it is illegal in Wisconsin to travel to another state to get married if you (the marrying couple) cannot legally marry in Wisconsin. There is apparently some concern that this law could be used to criminally prosecute same-sex couples who go to California to marry and then return to their lives in Wisconsin.

    Have you heard about this?

    Paul and Art.... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:34:46 AM EST
    nailed that one eh?

    "Every way you look at this you lose"

    The story of this (or any other) election season.