Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stand Up(right).


     U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin said Thursday that the Senate likely will not vote this week on authorizing electronic surveillance powers for the president.

     Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters Thursday that Democratic leaders plan to wait until July take up the bill, which rewrites the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Durbin said that Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a leading opponent of the bill, has asked that the Senate delay consideration of the bill.

     "Sen. Feingold wants additional time, and he would like to postpone it until after the Fourth of July," Durbin said.

     The FISA bill is the result of a compromise between Democrats and Republicans on immunity for telecommunications companies. Lawmakers had differed on whether phone companies that are believed to have cooperated with government requests to access customer phone calls and e-mails should be granted immunity from civil lawsuits.


     When former Sen. John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race, the progressive Netroots took their affections to Barack Obama, defending him against attack from Hillary Rodham Clinton and others.

     But with his support of a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies - a bill that he vowed last year to filibuster - the honeymoon has ended.

     Disappointed over his position on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the online activists feel jilted and betrayed and have taken to questioning his progressive credentials. One prominent blogger, Atrios, has even given him the moniker “Wanker of the Day.”

     “He broke faith,” said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and blogger at “Obama pledged to filibuster, and he is part of that old politics, in this case, that he said he wasn’t. It will spur us to challenge him.”

     The FISA debate marks the presumptive Democratic nominee’s first serious break from the liberal Netroots in the general election. He is still their candidate, but the FISA issue has reignited skepticism among major bloggers, who had largely pushed aside doubts about Obama when Edwards, their favored candidate, ended his bid in February.

     Obama says the bill has changed, hence the backtracking on his earlier opposition.

     I say that's presumptive nominee bullshit, and hope his feet are held to a crackling, roaring fire.

     The phone companies allowed the government to spy on our calls and e-mails without our knowledge.

     Hey, Barack: I hear that you are a Bruce Springsteen fan. Take the Boss's lead:

     "No retreat, no surrender."   


     According to former Nixon White House Counsel--and current fervent Bush White House critic--John Dean, the revised FISA bill doesn't preclude future criminal prosecution of the telecoms, only future civil suits.

     Maybe that's why Obama felt it's "change" was acceptable.     



Anonymous said...

"As Obama continues his drift to the center (one that's not likely to end until he's just right of center)..."


JohnnyRussia said...

And that surprises you? It happens every election cycle. Nothing new about it at all.

The goal for supporters is to stay on his ass if he's elected and then hold him accountable. His goal is to get elected.

Otherwise, what's the point of running?

Anonymous said...

Oh I am not the one who is surprised.

Can't wait until his base actually starts paying attention to his plan for healthcare. That'll be another foot blistering opportunity.


JohnnyRussia said...

Oh, I say build a bonfire square on his ass.

Anonymous said...

It will be worthing watching to see if Barack has absorbed the Hillary healthcare plan as part of gaining her support in his campaign. I think that would go a long way in building party unity and pulling him back to center.


JohnnyRussia said...

I'd like to hear him announce that today during their NH waltz. She's talking about it right now, live on the tube, so that's a very strong chit.

Anonymous said...

Keep me posted or blog it...