February 12, 2008

A List of Shame (updated) [4:09 pm]

Here’s why the Democratic Congress is so reviled — and why it’s really not possible for me to even consider giving money to the party. From today’s shameful series of Senate votes giving the telcom companies amnesty, as reported by Glenn Greenwald: Amnesty Day for Bush and lawbreaking telecoms

The Dodd/Feingold amendment to remove telecom immunity from the bill just failed by a whopping vote of 31-67 — 20 votes shy of the 50 needed for a passage. A total of 18 Democrats joined all Republicans in voting for immunity: Bayh, Inouye, Johnson, Landrieu, McCaskill, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Stabenow, Feinstein, Kohl, Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, Carper, Mikulski, Conrad, Webb, and Lincoln. Obama voted against immunity, and Hillary Clinton was the only Senator not voting.

Time to start brushing up on the use of GPG

Later, as the US Senate formally ushers in the end of the rule of law in the US: Senate Moves to Shield Phone Companies on Eavesdropping; Senate OK’s immunity on wiretaps (pdf); Senate Votes for Expansion of Spy Powers; Senate Authorizes Broad Expansion Of Surveillance Act (pdf)

So, the Washington Post includes the following bit —

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the president “will not sign another extension” of the temporary law, a decision that could force congressional leaders to reconcile their differences this week.

Here’s my question — given that this President argues that he can break the law with impunity when he feels like it, how is this a threat for any kind of action at all on the part of the conference? What difference does it make anyway whether they reconcile the two bills at all? It seems to me that the logical avenue for opponents is simply to fight in conference up until the recess and let the current law expire.

Also - a clever editorial cartoon from today’s Globe

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