Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fear Politics

By Tim Starks, CQ Staff

The Senate on Thursday will renew efforts to move legislation that would overhaul the ground rules for electronic surveillance, amid numerous political and procedural challenges.

In floor remarks Wednesday evening, lawmakers began to debate the measure (S 2248). But late Wednesday night, Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , R-Ky., still had not agreed on floor procedures for consideration of the bill, which faces a filibuster threat from Christopher J. Dodd , D-Conn., who opposes an immunity provision for telecommunications providers, and from other critics of the measure.

Both factors contributed to Reid’s decision to pull the bill off the floor just before the holiday recess in December.

Some familiar political pressures are mounting, too, as the clock runs out on a temporary extension (PL 110-55) of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA, PL 95-511). The extension expires Feb. 1.

In a speech Wednesday, Vice President Dick Cheney called on Congress to give the executive branch the expanded spying authority he said it needs to defend the nation against terrorists. The administration pressed a similar argument in August, persuading lawmakers to enact a temporary law authorizing expanded spying powers.

With little chance of Congress reaching agreement on a FISA overhaul by Feb. 1, Democrats in both chambers are urging a one-month extension of the temporary law. Republicans have resisted until now, but they have not ruled out an extension entirely.

Reid said the Senate would work through the weekend if necessary to complete action on a full rewrite of the law.

@ CQ


My question is; why is this even a question?

If The Constitution means anything the "probable cause" part should more than make the decision.



DEN said...

Evil stinking Badgers are shredding the Constitution while we all watch as though there is nothing we can do.


Grow some and stand up to those that would kill us while we sleep and drag us into the abyss of fascist policy.

Enforce the law written in 1776 as the law of the land, not some tinhorn 'Dick' and his money grubbers.

micki said...

...something else in politics (again!)

Obama and his brochure in S.C.

More on the brochure

Some will say this brochure is totally justified because of the false Muslim accusations. Others will say the brochure is a blatant attempt to appeal to a certain segment ("Committed Christian") of the electorate in South Carolina (otherwise whyI has this brochure only been distributed in S.C.?)

For those of us who prefer more secularism, and less religion, in politics (me, for one), it's disturbing whatever his purpose is.

DEN said...

Anyone wishing to monitor the Senate debate on the FISA issue, go HERE

carey said...


From yesterday, the George Carlin joke about change. Classic.

Carol, I use plastic bags as kitty poop bags to clean the catboxes. I use them over and over.


The nuclear plants and drought. Things are going to be popping out of the woodworks to kill us off. We'll be expendable soon.

What a lovely morning thought.

Waiting on the police here at home because they have a red tape thingie they need to do. I don't know. I don't think I'll be getting any insurance for this. They are sooooo finding reasons not to pay. I'm a little screwed.

The problem is, fellow comrades, I have a high-falutin' policy. This is high end stuff--it used to belong to the magazine. It was part of the showy office decor. (My mom's baby.) They still won't pay out--that's insurance now.

It is not insurance anymore.

David B. Benson said...

Den --- Constitution wasn't written in 1776. Wasn't ratified until ??

micki said...

The United States Constitution was written in 1787, adopted in 1788, and took effect in 1789, replacing the Articles of Confederation.

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was completed in Philadephia, and the new government it prescribed came into existence on March 4, 1789, after fierce fights over ratification in many of the 13 states.

Was it really and truly "ratified?"

micki said...

Carey -- it used to be that insurance was basically coverage by a contract binding a party to indemnify another against specified loss in return for premiums paid.

Pretty simple, eh?

Not any more. Now claims adjustors are paid bonuses if they can figure out a way to NOT pay a claim.

DEN said...

OK I did not get the date EXACTLY right, is it critical to my statement?

Support and enforce the Constitution and it's amendments whenever it was written.

Picky picky!

DEN said...

...or ratified.

Car♥l said...

Carey, I use the plastic bags I end up with for stuff I can't recycle. I cancelled our garbage pickup years ago because I rarely had a bag to put out there. Got rid of a bill that way. I recycle, burn or toss scraps in the compost but I can't get rid of chicken skin, fat, meat stuff, so I put that in a plastic bag and Bob takes it to work and drops it in the trash. I love it when the lazy janitor doesn't empty the trash and my meat scraps start to stink. Glad I don't work there anymore. :)

Carey said...

I hate badgers, they frighten me. Ever since 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride' at Disneyland when I was five.

Carey said...

Now Den, don't get snippy about it. The date of the Consititution is actually an important

Sometimes one hits the key "enter" by accident with a stray baby finger and it deletes the whole copy.

I think that's what I've been doing everytime I lose my copy. Still, how does one avoid stray babies?

Does that sound correct? Or is it another key my baby finger is hitting, I can't tell?

Carey said...

Yes, I think I'm screwed. God, I'm screwed. All they care about, I do believe, is that there is no property damage from the break-in.

You know what that means--they won't pay. Poo-poo butt, I'm screwed.

Man, that's a huge ouch.

Carey said...

Okay, what the hell happened there?

I was teasing Den one minute, didn't finish the joke the next because it wasn't funny enough and it still comes up posted.

Ignore please.

Carey said...

You've always got things worked out well, Carol. Such a practical lady.

Carey said...

I just experimented with the keyboard. Forget the question, I don't think we'll get that solved.

DEN said...

These Senate BOZOS are pissing me off!!

Probable cause, probable cause, probable cause, probable cause!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They have NOT had probable cause NOW or in the PAST to rake in phone and internet data for every American!!!


Probable cause!! JEEBUS!! The law(FISA) is there use it and quit trying to dig up dirt on your enemies and ripoff the financials in the name of fighting terrorism!!

STOP THE CHIMP FROM SHREDDING OUR CONSTITUTION YOU HOPELESS BUREAUCRATS!! O-V-E-R-S-I-G-H-T and protecting the Constitution from foreign and DOMESTIC enemies is your OATH and your job, get to work!

Carey said...

Kucinich is out.

Carey said...

That sounds awful Den, I should turn it on if it's still there. I'm waiting on the cops, just waiting.

I feel inhibited. But then, in this house, what's new?

DEN said...

Dear Den,

When it comes to protecting the rule of law, words are not enough. We need action.

It's wrong for your government to spy on you. That's why I'm asking you to join me today in calling on Senate Democrats to filibuster revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would give "retroactive immunity" to the giant telecom companies for their role in aiding George W. Bush's illegal eavesdropping on American citizens.

The Senate is debating this issue right now -- which is why we must act right now.

Granting retroactive immunity is wrong. It will let corporate law-breakers off the hook. It will hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program. And it will flip on its head a core principle that has guided our nation since our founding: the belief that no one, no matter how well connected or what office they hold, is above the law.

But in Washington today, the telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press for retroactive immunity. George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing everything in their power to ensure it passes. And too many Senate Democrats are ready to give the lobbyists and the Bush administration exactly what they want.

Please join me in calling on every Senate Democrat to do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity and stand up for the rule of law. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price.

Thank you for taking action.

John Edwards
January 24, 2008
Glory be, someone with a BRAIN being used for something beside an ear spacer!!

Where are Hill & Obama??

*crickets chirping*

micki said...

Carol -- how did you type that HEART?

micki said...

Den -- down boy. You're gonna give yourself a cardiac event!

But, I understand your pain! :-)

Carey said...

We know full well how Den feels. It's so apalling to watch, right in front of us.

I love that heart too. It's just perfect, not too cute, just right.

DEN said...

From my e-mail:

Longshot Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his second bid for the White House.

Carey said...

Actually--Obama's perhaps apealing to blacks across the nation in general with that Christian message. They are a fairly religious group as we all know. I was trying to piece that all together a while ago.

I've heard him do this spiel. I watch him but I get bored. That's not entirely his fault. I get bored with all the candidates like the rest of us. It's so repetative and stupid.

But then we are talking about attracting the higly cultured American audience.

I know we'll all be rapt with attention tonight. The Repug debate, it's to laugh at--buzz required.

Carey said...

darn transitionals--highly

micki said...

Well, if that's what Obama is doing, he should just knock it off, IMO.

We're not a Christian nation. We may have a lot of Christians living here and there, but, I repeat we are NOT a Christian nation.

But, more to the point, since black Americans are by-and-large Christian, then why does he have to appeal to them on that basis? They know he's a member of his Christian church in Chicago, so why bring it up?

And if, as some people claim, he's doing it because he's been falsely accused of being a Muslim, well, he should figure out a better way to disabuse those of that erroneous claim.

I HATE all that religious crapola in politics! If one reads the flier, Obama's making the same religious-fueled claims that GWB did! I don't want another president who gets to the Oval Office making an appeal based on his relationship with his god!

Period. Been there....done that....look where we are.

micki said...

Oh, there's a debate tonight?


micki said...

I guess I should calm down, too.

being taken for a ride said...

Could always hire a lawyer...

Carey said...

Micki, two words--Swift Boat.

That's why, offensive defense.

Rachel Maddow says Bushco took the war completely out of the official budget for this year ('08). So it will come as a surprise, altogether--no planning ahead. "We'll just itemize it for you after the fact." Last year it was included in the official Dem budget. Before that, "emergency spending" in the Repug's budget.

Smart considering our economic situation. Whaaaat?

micki said...

That's why, offensive defense.

Are you referring to the use of the Committed Christian flier? The religious baloney in his campaign?

If so...yes, it is an OFFENSIVE defense. Very offensive, causing a lot of unpleasant feelings.

micki said...

Perhaps, Kucinich decided it was time to "transition out" of his presidential run because he's facing FOUR primary challengers from his own party in his re-election bid.

Could be a factor, eh? Survival and all that...

micki said...

U.S. to Insist Iraq Grant It Wide Mandate in Operations TNYT

With its international mandate in Iraq set to expire, the Bush administration will insist that the government in Baghdad give the United States broad authority to conduct combat operations and guarantee civilian contractors immunity from Iraqi law, according to administration and military

David B. Benson said...

Another potential future risk, especially for those living near an ocean:

Large asteroid to fly past earth

Carey said...

He's black. That's could mean any number of things to your average, (sigh) American.

It's the Repetition strategy Obama is fighting. The one the asses always use. If you repeat something over and over, it will become so.

Muslim, Muslim, Muslim: "Well yeah," an American thinks, "some blacks are that like that icky Farrakan. OOh, I don't like that, aren't they Islamos terrorists?

Obama, Osama. Hussein, Saddam. If Obama doesn't do something utterly repulsive like this, he won't get his message across. People'd be way too busy drumming up all kinds of stories about that black, terrorist, pagan wild man.

He's nipping it solidly in the bud.

David B. Benson said...

But this is a real, serious problem for everybody right now:

Geophysicists urge steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions

Carey said...

A tsunami sounds quick and painless at least. I mean if you're going anyway.

Himalaya Harry said...

Reason for earthquake season revealed

If that large asteroid hits the Sea of Tethys in the monsoon season and there's a huge tsunami, then does that mean the Himalayas will experience a seasonal earthquake?

What is the answer to this question?

David B. Benson said...

I doubt this will make much diffeence to the SOTU address speechwriters, but

Group releases climate State of the Union

seems to indicate we are 39th in doing something.

That's scary...

David B. Benson said...

If that large asteroid hits the Sea of Tethys ...

Errr, there hasn't been a Tethys Sea for many millions of years now.

What was the question again?

Himalaya Harry said...

there hasn't been a Tethys Sea for many millions of years now.

That's the answer. It was intended as a trick question.

himalaya Harry said...

The Himalayas were formed when the two huge land masses were pressed together (Smith 39). The gigantic mountains were not yet formed, thirty thousand centuries back in time, when the Eastern European and Western North American ranges had already emerged. At the location of the Himalayas, millions of years ago was an enormous body of water. This was the Sea of Tethys.

micki said...


Vice President Dick Cheney received a sustained standing ovation from fellow conservatives on Wednesday, prompting the often-criticized vice president to joke about himself.

“A welcome like that, it’s almost enough to make me want to run for office again,” Cheney said, drawing laughter. “Almost, almost.”

Carey said...

Thank you Himmy.

Don't you wish Cheney would just go away? But then, he wouldn't be impeached.

He must be impeached. Both of them. We won't be able to surmount this debacle otherwise.

C♥rol said...

You liked my heart, eh? I tell ya, it shocked me that it worked.

It's that old alt/number combo. In this case, alt 259. ♥ ♥ ♥

I don't think the alt thing works on your computer.

C♥rol said...

On Micki's computer.

Carey said...

alt/259 What do you mean? I haven't tried any of your tricks. What do you specifically do on the keyboard. press the alt key, then what...?

Hajji said...

Micki, and all Y'all!

I think you are all too intelligent to NOT see how gods-awful it is down here.

In the grocery, in the doc's waiting room...some of the nurses I thought too intelligent for absorbing such, but....

...pssst, pssst...I want to vote for him, but my MOMMA sent me an e-mail and if SHE's convinced he's really a MUSLUM ...ah, just can't...jes' CAINT be votin' for no MUSLUM...and he don't put his hand on his heart durin' the StarsMangled banner and he got swore in on the CoreRAN, and ommighod HIS momma's an ATHEIST! and and and and and and...

Stupidity, bigotry and religious intolorance run rampant in these latitudes and have since (probably before) europeans lightened the faces of this continent.

It is distracting and terribly difficult to try and un-do some of the more blatant damage. Refusing to get one's self "swiftboated" takes a lot of work, time and energy. John Kerry's inattention to countering such tactics was one of the big mistakes of 2004.

The pamphlet is, indeed, a direct response to all that. Nobody SHOULD tell you it is not.

Tom Daschle discussed this with us after the MLK commemoration in Anderson Monday night. Obama's Truth Squad is out to counter every lie, rumour and innuendo that gets circulated, no matter how trivial. It is, unfortunately, what needs to be done just now and will have to continue right through the national elections.

We'll see how effective it is... and it IS looking pretty good for Barack, at least in SC right now. Seems people hate Hillary more than they fear MUSLUM Manchurian Candidates.

It has been a door-to-door, block-by-block and precinct by precinct effort by some of the hardest working, talented and caring young (and decidedly NOT so young!)people I've met.

Tomorrow afternoon it will all be reflected in the waters of the fountain at the Ampitheater of Clemson University, the last big rally before people go to the polls. I have to admit I'm not only looking forward to an exciting event, I'm eager to get the voting started and I also hope my role as a Poll Observer is repeated in hundreds in thousands of precincts across the state.

(a side note to Carey...the security at the Furman event was VERY tight...but I, too, am a bit worried about the outdoor venue tomorrow... But I take a bit of solace in my belief that the treasury dept is pretty good at this one thing, at least!)

Trust me, Ffolks, it has brought a lot of warmth to me to see so many people standing with, cheering for and passionately supporting a man with darker skin who's not holding a basketball or football in a place where I though such to be impossible.

The message is hopeful, Micki, and while that's something I'm probably too cynical to realize myself, HOPE is good for people, in general. While HOPE may seem like a pipe-dream to those of us who pour over the follies of our goverment's ineptitude on a daily, hourly basis, HOPE is needed in the hearts of people, if they're to survive.

My hope is that whatever happens Saturday, February 5th...and on to November, WE, THE PEOPLE, get some of our government, some of our selves, some of our HOPE back!

No matter who it is who survives the election carnage.

Big day tomorrow...I'll be working right through Poll Closing on Saturday, I think...I've been invited to HQ in Columbia for the returns on Saturday night.

After all these years and all those miles, funny that I might return to the city of my birth, looking for the RE-Birth of hope!



Alan said...

Carey, hold down the alt key, then type the number on your numeric pad. There's a long list of 'alt' keys. Here's a few...
© --- copywright symbol is 0169
™ --- trademark is 0153
® --- registered trademark is 0174
½ --- one/half is 171
¼ --- one/fourth is 172
° --- temperature is 248

DEN said...

From Firedog:

McConnell has called for a cloture vote on the SSCI Bill (the one that gives the telecoms--and therefore Dick Cheney--immunity). The vote is scheduled for 4:30 PM on Monday, just hours before the State of the Union. If the Republicans win the cloture vote, then the SSCI bill will almost certainly become law--and you will have fewer protections against improper government surveillance.


Carey said...

Hajji writes so eloquently. He puts it well. You must be running the gamut of emotions over this campaign. It is something so wonderfully historical, I just can't believe it's happening.

Above all, remember we are making huge steps here. We are children us Americans, us humans.

Hajji is very intuitive about the effect this kind of campaigning has. Especially in places like the Carolinas. Obama has to counter many obstacles being who he is. So does Clinton. This is a whole new ball game.

Tactics remain the same. Obama is using his noggin. We wondered about his experience? Obama may be so smart he don't need it.

In fact, I've been meaning to write something along those lines. I have a feeling Obama might have incredible smarts. But then, they all do.

It's a joyful ride to watch this trio. Wish they'd stop being so playgroundish.

micki said...

Well, thanks Hajji for putting the focus on the dumbfuck, Micki, who just doesn't seem to get it.

I am not convinced that's why he's going all religious -- and if that's how he handles the false accusations of being called a Muslim, then I dread how his Department of State will conduct itself. I think he sent that flier out in S.C. because it's all about pandering to the fundies -- he's trying to reel in some of the white fundies.

There's a heckuva lot of Muslims out there in the world who are really good folks, who want the same things for their families that you or I do. Most of them have nothing to be ashamed of.

Hajji sez: Seems people hate Hillary more than they fear MUSLUM Manchurian Candidates.

Hating Hillary has been the red-meat sport of the rednecks and general misogynists for decades -- hate is not a hopeful word.

Of course, Obama is going to win in S.C., approx 50% of the voters expected to turnout are black -- and I hope that John Edwards comes in 2nd, with Hillary 3rd.

If Edwards is 2nd place winner, he's still viable.

Go, John!

micki said...

259 -- that's what I get if I do the alt thing.

Thanks, Carol, for the instructions tho.

Darn. I like that little heart.

Can you make it red?

Carey said...


Thank you mucho. I cut and paste that for my information.

Hajji said...

Wow, Micksters, pretty harsh.

I wish you the best of course, and in no way was "dumbfuck" implied.

I kinda feel like I'm just here to observe and report back to the mother ship!

"...Of course, Obama is going to win in S.C., approx 50% of the voters expected to turnout are black..."

C'mon know as well as I do that MORE than 50% of the turnout will be women... and the racial background of the majority of the SC women who vote Saturday
is? What?!! White women seduced by the "Jungle Drums"? C'mon

Where TF!!!? is THIS coming from?

I dunno...but it seems rather unlike you...or maybe I'm mistaken.



Carey said...

Stop calling yourself names, it doesn't become you. My mother said that sometimes. Or was it my grandmother?

Darling Micki,

If Edwards is 2nd place winner, he's still viable.

I have a hunch. I've had it all along. We don't know exactly what to expect, but it might turn out just fine.

Edwards, well I don't know. I don't know. It hasn't quite all settled yet or maybe I'm just hoping against hope. See cuz I always kind of wanted Edwards and Obama.

I have a way with words. See cuz?

Alan said...

you can google for Windows alt key numeric codes. Here's one site...

Windows alt key numeric codes

Hajji said...

I, too, expect (and hope for) a good showing from John Edwards.

I've voter for Edwards twice in my life already...and am hoping for a chance to do it again!

Obama/Edwards Edwards/Obama...doesn't really matter to me....


Carey said...

White women seduced by the "Jungle Drums"?

Very funny. Nicely timed and worded.

Hajji said...

To explain.

I wish for, and expect, to be volunteering for a democratic national ticket for the pleurality of my days off of work for the rest of the year.

I do not think I could be convincing in campaigning fo Hillary because I believe that no family (or TWO Families) should ever be invested with the kind of power that emanates from the oval office.

I do, believe that I could get pretty darn close with Obama (remember where I am, and guffaw at will at my HOPE) I don't think Edwards has any chances outside the southeast, or I might just be driving HIS bus! But If I can help get Obama close HERE, then the rest of this perilously unbalanced spin-cycle of a country should be a walk in the park, for all you 'progressives" out there, non?

So I'll do my bit here...and y'all do your bits out there and we just might make a little PROGRESS, unless Cheney figures out a way to bomb Iran before then.

Dissect my Southern-Comfort logic at will... is the sleep champber for me.

Camelot AWAITS!!!


Hajji said...

actually, carey, I regretted that joke just after hitting "Post"...

But you can't take back words once they're said.

peace and goodnight to all...

I hope for a beautiful day for everyone and everyone beatiful IN their day!


Alan said...

actually, carey, I regretted that joke just after hitting "Post"...

But you can't take back words once they're said.

actually, you can delete the whole post though... use the delete icon at the bottom of your post... though I dunno how long it's an option

Carey said...

The humor value is what I was looking at. Yes, a little racially cynical, but sometimes that's so funny.

And we are all friends who speak uncensored.

Carey said...

From the War Room in Salon tonight:

In the NYT primary, it's Clinton and McCain

The New York Times has just published its endorsements for the two parties' presidential nominees: Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and John McCain for the Republicans.

In the Democratic race, the Times' editorial board says the experience Clinton brings trumps the excitement Barack Obama offers. "The potential upside of a great Obama presidency is enticing, but this country faces huge problems, and will no doubt be facing more that we can't foresee," the Times says. "The next president needs to start immediately on challenges that will require concrete solutions, resolve, and the ability to make government work. Mrs. Clinton is more qualified, right now, to be president."

The Times' editorial board is more enthusiastic about Clinton than it is about the campaign she is running. "As strongly as we back her candidacy," the Times says, "we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband's administration and the so-called permanent campaign." The Times warns that "Bill Clinton's overheated comments are feeding those resentments, and could do long-term damage to [his wife's] candidacy if he continues this way."

The Times notes that it once doubted Hillary Clinton's ability to present herself as a national candidate. However, the Times now says, "Her ideas, her comeback in New Hampshire and strong showing in Nevada, her new openness to explaining herself and not just her programs, and her abiding, powerful intellect show she is fully capable of doing just that. She is the best choice for the Democratic Party as it tries to regain the White House."

On the Republican side -- where the Times' endorsement may be less than helpful -- the editorial board paints McCain as the best of some bad choices.

"We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president," the editorial board says. "The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice. Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field."

What about New York's own Rudy Giuliani? Don't ask. The Times declares Giuliani to be a "narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man" whose "arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking."

― Tim Grieve