Friday, October 19, 2007

Telephone line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight

Chris Dodd has shown some real leadership, unlike the actual leadership in the Democratic Party. While he is a long shot for the nomination, Dodd has certainly won some serious points with his latest move to filibuster the deeply flawed Telecom Amnesty FISA bill:

From an email
Dear Stephen,

Are you willing to go to the mat to restore the Constitution?

Just last night, we heard there are plans to disregard Senator Dodd's intention to place a hold on a FISA bill that includes amnesty for telecommunications companies.

That would be a pretty extraordinary move, but Chris Dodd has pledged to stop this horrible bill any way he can.

So if the hold is not honored, he is prepared to go to the Senate floor and filibuster.

Rolling back the Bush Administration assault on the rule of law has been a major focus of Chris Dodd's work in the Senate -- and it's also a centerpiece in his campaign for President.

Commentor Shoephone adds:
Chris Dodd is a real man. Harry Reid is a diseased little weasel.

I would be quite happy with an Edwards/Dodd ticket.

Meanwhile, the Courage Campaign and Act For Change issue a challenge to another Senator from here in CA:
In August, California Senator Dianne Feinstein helped the Bush administration push through Congress a bill that made the warrantless wiretapping of Americans legal. Many Democrats -- with Feinstein leading the way -- voted for the bill because they feared they would be seen as soft on terrorism if they stood up for the Constitution.

The bill only authorized warrantless wiretapping for six months, and now Bush is pressuring the Congress to renew the bill and add language that would grant retroactive immunity to the telecom companies who were complicit in his illegal spying program.

Bush wants amnesty for the telecom companies to thwart civil liberties lawsuits and cover-up his own lawbreaking. If these lawsuits aren't allowed to go forward, we may never know the extent of the Bush program to spy on Americans.

Urge Senator Feinstein to stand up for civil liberties and not let the telcos off the hook.

DiFi always takes the side of Big Business against the people's interests, so let's see what this does to move her closer to reality. But is it all really about cash?

Wired has this about Jay Rockefeller's principled position vis-a-vis telecom immunity:

Top Verizon executives, including CEO Ivan Seidenberg and President Dennis Strigl, wrote personal checks to Rockefeller totaling $23,500 in March, 2007. Prior to that apparently coordinated flurry of 29 donations, only one of those executives had ever donated to Rockefeller (at least while working for Verizon).

In fact, prior to 2007, contributions to Rockefeller from company executives at AT&T and Verizon were mostly non-existent.

But that changed around the same time that the companies began lobbying Congress to grant them retroactive immunity from lawsuits seeking billions for their alleged participation in secret, warrantless surveillance programs that targeted Americans.

So Reckefeller is willing to sell us out for $23k? I had no idea Senators could be bought that cheaply.

And Jane at FireDogLake adds this:
Harry Reid himself took $22,000 in contributions from AT&T between 2001-2006. OpenSecrets reports that he also owns between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of stock in Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Sector Index Fund, the largest holdings of which are AT&T and Verizon.

Seems too cheap. Maybe we can figure out a way to funnel some $$ to these idiots to insure some loyalty.

Bastards. (Not Chris Dodd, he's riding a white horse right now).