Obama's support for the FISA "compromise"

Discuss

114 Responses to “Obama's support for the FISA "compromise"”

  1. Takuan says:

    poor showing Greg, you’ve disappointed me.

  2. Takuan says:

    We need a new model for government. How about this: The best and brightest are watched carefully by a cabal of king makers. These king makers are selected for material success and ruthlessness (learning don’t count). They tap some individual for leader. The deal is this: You’re picked for king. After your term we kill you. Give up now, you’re dead, might as well make the best of it. You Are Dead. Here’s the rub: At the end of your term we hold an de-lection. People ain’t happy, they vote for the slooow death. They really, really liked you? Bingo! You go happily drugged out of your head at feast and orgy. All up to you, Kingy. Oh, and if you do a really good job, your relatives live and you get a statue. As for the king makers, well, if the king gets the hard death: so do you. Your only chance is a happy populace. Choose well. Cuz just as soon as you blow it, you’re dead.

    People want to run other people’s lives? Let ‘em play for keeps. I’ve got a similar idea for judges and lawyers. It involves an arena.

  3. Takuan says:

    insert Ike quote here

  4. ponzo says:

    #18 – Jesse M raises some interesting points, but I think that they give too much credit to the government to do the right thing. SF novels such as those by Stross often feature ubiquitous surveillance, but there is an assumption that the entities doing the surveillance are benign in intent (such as a benevolent technological singularity). There is no evidence from human history or experience that such powers would not ultimately be abused in favor of a tiny elite, and even a non-human intelligence might abuse those powers (consider a singularity arisen from a botnet).

    As for Obama, I was so pissed off on Friday that I wrote several long and overwrought posts on the topic. To be honest, I still feel numb. This not only impacted my opinion of him, but of the Democratic Party in general. I was shocked at how quickly the rationalizations and excuses started: how a FISA bill that was evidence of Bush’s evil was suddenly not so bad after Obama came out in support of it. I think part of it was a grieving process on the part of passionate Obama supporters; they were still in the denial phase, whereas I went pretty much straight to vein-popping anger.

    I have decided that, however I vote in November, it will be based entirely on pragmatics. There is no way that the laughably inept John McCain would ever get my vote, and I won’t be voting for a third-party. Maybe I can write in “Big Brother” and satisfy my inner 14-year-old.

  5. cocacola says:

    And apparently after his “Change” of heart on this issue the domain has gone up for auction on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Obama-Supports-FISA_W0QQitemZ140266734404QQihZ004QQcategoryZ102543QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

  6. GregLondon says:

    Yes, Takuan, I’m familiar with the concept and definition. I would agree that we are definitely having a conversation. It just happens to be about conspiracy theories, among other things.

  7. SarahFenix says:

    i LOVE that i got disemvoweled! hahaha!
    a BoingBoing first! Which leads me to believe two things:
    1. it’s obvious what the political views are of the admins; and
    2. they’ve already had a “sip”

  8. Takuan says:

    people survived Stalin, The Red Guard, The Stasi, so what if Obama’s the new boss same as the old boss? Until things get really,really desperate for the bulk of the population, nothing’s going to change much. At least Obama’s somewhat less likely to leap into new, really stupid foreign wars. And you won’t have to look at the chimp’s shit-eating little smirk anymore.

  9. Cowicide says:

    Welp, here we go again…

    LESSER EVIL 2008

    Kinda funny how Skull and Bones keep slithering thier way into Presidential races… Austan Goolsbee is Obama’s appointed economic advisor. Sheesh, you’d almost think you’d have to have the help of the Skull & Bones or be a bonesman yourself to be President nowadays…

    Yay, more cronyism… :\

    source:
    http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/21789

    I don’t expect to garner a ton of freedom from any election the way the system is rigged. If McCain wasn’t so batshit crazy, I’d say give a protest vote to Nader…

  10. zuzu says:

    Hillary Clinton could still be selected as the Democratic Nominee.

    Except that she doesn’t satisfy the defined criteria by which the Democratic Party elects their presidential nominee.

    Is it still possible to have her be selected by the Democratic Party?

    So, no, she can’t. She lost. Really.

    How is she voting on this bill?

    Excellent question! However, I wouldn’t expect much as her political history places her a stone’s throw away from Joe Lieberman (who now campaigns for McCain). Do you see her doing anything like what Senator Dodd has done to resist this mass-surveillance?

    (Feel free to send a copy of Enemy of the State to Obama, Hillary, and your elected representatives!)

    Democrats are cowards for worrying about looking “soft on terror”. Anti-terror legislation is the problem. “Terrorism” is a canard. ( Get over it already, morons!) Compared to the statistical death toll caused by traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer, AIDS, oh and the military occupation of Iraq, the casualties of 9/11 warrant a low priority. (c.f. triage; simply put, we have far more important problems to worry about!)

    Why don’t the Democrats take the position of debunking this culture of fear?

    Why don’t the Democrats support civil liberties and right to privacy?

    Why don’t the Democrats support repealing the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, and the Military Commissions Act, and the CALEA, and the REAL ID Act, etc. etc.???

    Why don’t the Democrats help roll the United States back to a pre-9/11 state?

  11. nikos says:

    You mean this one Takuan:

    “A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial-[congressional] complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

  12. Xopher says:

    I asked them to stop, Antinous, but they wouldn’t. I guess that’s because I don’t have the keys to the disemvoweller.

  13. GregLondon says:

    Takuan: Whether this new legislation has official wording restoring requirements for warrants etc. has no bearing on what will actually happen in progress.

    That is conspiracy theory. Vague references to some parallel universe that operates in the background, unobserved, undetectable, all powerful, and that this world, the world we see, the things actually before our eyes, are smoke and mirrors that mean nothing, to the point that the law itself means nothing.

    This is the argument used by people to claim how Gore and Bush are indistinguishable from one another, tweedle dee and tweedle dum, and that there’s no point in voting.

    That Bush and Kerry are indistinguishable from one another, and that there is no point in voting.

    This is the sort of argument that is used by people to claim that there is no point in doing anything at all within the process of government, except bitch. Because God knows, they have to bitch about how there isn’t anything they can do about it.

    There is a bill before us, the options are to approve, refuse, filibuster, and renegotiate. That’s about it. You, Takuan, didn’t select any of those options. Instead, you spout off from your tin-foil lined bedroom about how all is for naught, we’re all doomed, and it doesn’t matter what happens.

    If you truly believe that it doesn’t matter, then it really won’t matter if you shut up. Those shadowy figures will still be in power, and you will still have done nothign about them.

    If you truly believe it doesn’t matter, then going through a fruitless exercise trying to fix the law is just as pointless as sitting on your ass and bitching.

    Oh, and are you an American citizen? Or do you refuse to answer because shadowy agents might use that information to track you down?

  14. Takuan says:

    there there, I was thinking of you the whole time. In a platonic way, thank you very much.

  15. Antinous says:

    Your efforts were noted, Xopher. Perhaps some of these less focused interchanges should take place on the IRC channel.

  16. Takuan says:

    nahh, that’s for hacks

  17. leriseux says:

    What is the purpose of using this? Please explain. Is it supposed to be difficult to read? (yes, I know all the vowels are missing) An inside joke?

    “wn’t sy thr rn’t thngs t dslk bt FS bcs thr r f crs… bt th vry fct tht y wrt tht Cry, tr pnly, nd hv yr mg nd s yr nm shws tht Bsh s n fct NT dcttr. Gd grf… srly mn f yr trvls dsn’t hv hs hd s fr p hs kstr t nt th dffrnc. Shw m whr ny nt-wr prtstr hs bn rrstd fr nythng thr thn crm lk dsrdrly cndct — ftr vltng th prmt thy prmsd t bd by. Shw m whr dssnt s bng crshd. Y cn’t bcs t n’t tr. Dslk th mn ll y lk, bt chck th wssy vprs….”

    Back on topic: a torrent of email and phone calls have started. I’m ready to be annoying!

  18. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Takuan, Greg is earnest, and always will be. You disengage and make jokes when you fall into political despair. He’s taking you literally.

    Greg, two steps back and a deep breath. Takuan’s off balance and needs some recovery space.

    You’re both punching each other’s buttons. Please stop it.

    Enochrewt, with George Bush’s approval ratings still in the mid-twenties, why are we even talking about other politicians having blind followers? Besides, every major politician has some of ‘em. It’s not a particular characteristic of Obama supporters. They’re small potatoes compared to the Ronpaulistas at the height of their enthusiasm.

    Xopher, please don’t pout. If it weren’t for you and Avram and people like you, by now this place would look like the comment thread on Mrvgtrvfg: Gur Zbivr.

    Antinous, please tell me to stop thinking about running this entire thread through a Swedish Chef filter.

    A general comment to the thread: Want to talk about conspiracies of entrenched power? I’ll give you one: decades of work, and the money to pay for it, have been spent on pounding the idea into your fuzzy little heads that all politicians are sleazeballs, political action is hopeless, no one goes into a public service career for idealistic reasons, democracy isn’t a thing to be proud of, and your vote doesn’t matter.

    Are you aware that most elections in the United States are decided by fairly narrow margins? I am amazed that an online population that’s watched Flickr, Digg, YouTube, FaceBook, and Twitter grow up out of nothing can doubt its own potential political clout.

    The powerlessness-and-despair trope is one of the two or three nastiest headtrips the bad guys run on you. And why do they do it? Precisely because it isn’t true. Your votes do matter. Political action can change the world. Faith and hope aren’t private vices. They’re forces to be reckoned with.

  19. GregLondon says:

    it’s called disemvoweling. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

  20. Takuan says:

    my my, what an inappropriate display of pique. I’ll leave you to reconsider the more regrettable points of your outburst and repent at your leisure.

    To the main point: There is no “conspiracy”, just business as usual. Why this should upset some I do not understand. Especially since their workplace or school or whatever operates under the same principles of primate social politics. Ask any person who has spent time in any military if I am right. As to “not mattering”, of course it matters – it is just not being sensible to imagine that process of “choice” is really a choice. Obama could only get as far as he has by making deals. Every single step of the way. The political process has become so elaborate, so complex and so utterly corrupt that it begs any credibility to imagine he is not behooven to someone, somewhere. I suppose you could stick to ultra-rich candidates …oh wait, that didn’t work either. It does not help to pretend otherwise;

    Oh, and if you persist in your tone, I shall have to call you a saucy fellow.

  21. Enochrewt says:

    #71 AVRAM: I generally hold BB readers in a higher regard, and wouldn’t expect them to. But go check out Digg and read a few Obama story comments. You’ll be shocked and dismayed at the blind following.

  22. Antinous says:

    I can’t help you on that one. I’ve been fingering my Pink Pearl.

  23. leriseux says:

    Thanks. I have some clarity now:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disemvoweling

    From wiki:

    “Regarding the use of disemvoweling to police internet blog comment sections, Xeni Jardin, co-editor of Boing Boing, says of the practice, “the dialogue stays, but the misanthrope looks ridiculous, and the emotional sting is neutralized.”[2] Also, Boing Boing producers claim that disemvoweling sends a clear message to internet forums as to what behavior is unacceptable.[3][original research?]“

  24. buddy66 says:

    Mr. London,
    I’m not a pinch hitter for anyone, but your crude chauvinism disturbs me. I’m wondering when you’ll ask, ‘Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of…’ I’ve experienced your sort of patriotism before and it’s unattractive to say the least. I am both an American citizen and a military veteran, and I counseled draft resistance and encouraged desertion during the Vietnam war. And I would do the same damned thing today. A person doesn’t have to be either a veteran or a citizen to point out the folly of war and service to the war machine. Any help, from any quarter, should be welcomed. You are off base, sir, and in danger of being tagged out.

  25. GregLondon says:

    a bomb that assassinated Obama and most of the sitting congress would instantly create a legal means to declare a permanent Protectorate.

    conspiracy theory. unactionable.

    g: Oh look, fisa bill in congress. What exactly does it do? Does it return the law to due process?

    t: Who cares! The Freemasons and Illuminata and SkullAndBones rule the world anyway!

    g: Any evidence of that? Anything specific I can do?

    t: Absolutely not! That’s the point! Don’t do anything!

  26. Takuan says:

    I wanted kneecapping…but noooooo!

  27. Xopher says:

    Teresa, I switched from pouting to whining a while back. Didn’t you notice? :-)

    Nontheless, I shall depout and dewhine from this moment.

  28. Takuan says:

    “High office teaches decision making, not substance. It consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it. Most high officials leave office with the perceptions and insights with which they entered; they learn how to make decisions but not what decisions to make.
    Henry A. Kissinger”

  29. buddy66 says:

    #98:

    “how can someone who has killed counsel others not to kill without being a hypocrite?”

    “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

  30. Takuan says:

    gee Greg “Goddamn it! I’m an AMERICAN!” London, read the post again. The whole point is a conspiracy ISN’T needed, just one action. I take it you never ran a revolution before? Childish whining about the sheer unfairness of the situation does nothing to redress it. You must see with clear eyes before you can even begin. You do not have to be a True Believer to do the right thing. Just objective and practical.

  31. GregLondon says:

    There is no “conspiracy”, just business as usual. Why this should upset some I do not understand.

    Because you don’t believe it yourself, for one. If you did, then you’d realize the futility of pointing it out.

    Shorter Takuan: “Nothing anyone says matters!”

    Well, if true, that would include waht you just said.

    there’s a thing in the intelligence community called “actionable intelligence”. It’s a concept used to separate complete fucking voodoo from something that can actually have something done about.

    One of the things the Bush administration has done over the last few years is conflate the Voodoo with the actionaable intelligence. There used to be a vetting process by which real intel got separated from the chaf before it went to the white house. Bush implemented something that the intel folks call “stovepiping”, where raw intel, which could be completely false, is sent directly to the president, and turns into national policy.

    You’re arguing for something that is non-actionable intelligence. If true, nothing can be done about it. Or, at the very least, if true, you provide no course of action which could change it.

    What we have with the FISA bill is something actionable. Something real. What you’ve got is some conspiracy theory voodoo that in completely inactionable.

    The only thing you can possibly get out of proporting your voodoo is that because it is completely unfalsifiable, you get to assert it from the safety where no one can ever prove you wrong. Even if you can never possibly be proven right (because it isn’t actionable, remember?)

    So, you’re sitting on your ass, with some stovepiped, non-vetted intel about some conspiracy theory, and I’m having a hard time distinguishing you from Bush Jr. The only difference I see is Bush was convinced Saddam had something to do with 9/11 and you’re convinced of some alternate universe.

    Oh, and again, are you an american citizen?

  32. Xopher says:

    This bickering is pointless. Vader, release him!

    Um, I mean…Greg, don’t argue with Takuan. He’s one of the good guys, and besides he’s an absurdist and will just keep goading you until everyone, including you, dissolves in helpless laughter.

    Takuan, please don’t argue with Greg. He’s one of the good guys, even if he does have a tendency to be Very Serious on occasion.

    Lay off please. There are too many enemies for allies to fight one another.

  33. Takuan says:

    but I fear for his very soul! The Dark Side almost has him. Absurdist? We ARE talking about American politics here now.

  34. Takuan says:

    restraint, always restraint.The alternative is the horror.

  35. tomaq says:

    I’m disappointed in Obama. I think he has a good chance of winning. If he he wins we will have to pressure him do certain things, as somebody has already pointed out.

    For that we need more and better Democrats in Congress. We unseated a Bush dog congressman in Maryland and replaced him with a real Democrat. (And I helped!) This will have to happen many more times before people get the message, I suspect.

    Obama creates high expectations, so disappointment hurts. He’s not perfect and you will never find the perfect candidate.

    Watching Al Gore accept the Nobel Prize on C-Span, though, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Imagine how different the world would be now if he had assumed the Presidency in 2000.

    Act, criticize, organize, but please don’t jump to the conclusion that they are all the same, that it makes no difference who you vote for.

    One registered Democrat’s opinion, FWIW…

    Oh, and as Atrios pointed out:

    …Democrats will regret embracing the expansion of executive power because a President Obama will find his administration undone by an “abuse of power” scandal. All of those powers which were necessary to prevent the instant destruction of the country will instantly become impeachable offenses. If you can’t imagine how such a pivot can take place then you haven’t been paying attention.

  36. GregLondon says:

    I’ve experienced your sort of patriotism

    Whatever you think you saw, you invented.

    I am both an American citizen and a military veteran, and I counseled draft resistance and encouraged desertion during the Vietnam war.

    You may have missed this, but I don’t have a problem with draft resistance. In your rush to defend Takuan, you’ve identified the wrong issue.

    I will assume that since you thought I was attacking draft resistance, you thought I was attacking you, which is why you’re suddenly involved in this thread for the first time.

    But let me be clear with you: I have no issue with draft resistance.

    And all I can tell you is you’ve missed the point entirely.

    Any help, from any quarter, should be welcomed.

    Help? Here are a few excerpts from Takuan’s posts from this thread alone:

    32: “lost cause”

    37: “nothing’s going to change”

    48: “”due process” means having the money and social position whereby you can purchase it.”

    51: “this new legislation … has no bearing on what will actually happen”

    59: it is just not being sensible to imagine … “choice” is really a choice.

    I disagree with my country a lot. But at least I remain engaged in the process. I think if people are engaged in the issues, then maybe we can make things actually, measurably better in some incremental way.

    Takuan has done nothing in this thread but preach the sermon of disengagement. But he remains engaged just enough to preach it. This isn’t the sermon of “passive disobediance”, this isn’t the sermon of “nonviolent resistance”, this isn’t the sermon of “draft evasion”, and this isn’t the sermon of “leave the country”.

    This is a sermon of “There’s no point in doing anything at all”. And if that’s the sort of “help” you want, well, I guess you found it.

    I pointed out this Lament of the Disenfranchised to Takuan. He made it clear that he either is unable to see it or unwilling to stop it. Either way, I gave up. I told him I would label his LotD posts as such in the future, and was prepared to leave the discussion at that.

    it was about this time that you perceived a nonexistent attack against draft resistance, accused me of beliefs I don’t hold, accused me of positions I didn’t assert, and conclude by telling me how off base I am, sir, then make oblique threatening gestures in my direction.

    And all I can tell you is you’ve completely misidentified, misconstrued, misinterpreted, your target.

  37. cyberoid says:

    Three brief points, as a party to the ACLU’s lawsuit in California against AT&T (nee SBC, a Texas company) and Verizon:

    1. I allege that telcos knowingly broke the law. That they actually suggested and then abetted the well-documented Federal intrusions. The telcos and those who work for them in policy positions should be shunned for being rabidly anti-American and anti-democracy. Its my word against theirs, absent a court hearing.

    2. Sen. Barack Obama pledged to oppose the FISA and in particular the provisions granting immunity to the telcos. I have been an Obama supporter, in the pocket as well as online. My continuing support is conditional at the moment. It may be true that he doesn’t need my vote to win — who believes McCain has a chance? — but I need to maintain the integrity of my vote. The ball’s in Barack’s court.

    3. If FISA passes, it will be a major blow against Constitutional government in the USA and a spur to foreign intelligence services to follow suit and diminish democratic institutions in their own nations. Intelligence services, as much (or more) than elected officials, run the global foreign policy show and in many cases, direct domestic politics, too. Sweden, a paragon of communications freedom, last week passed a FISA-like law with right-wing lawmakers citing FISA as an example of “what’s needed.” This is concrete damage that FISA will do, in addition to eroding our national spirit, our liberty.

    I am sorely disappointed at the Democratic Party for its capitulation to the telco duopoly. But on reflection, not surprised. My bags are packed. Seriously.

  38. Takuan says:

    “a spur to foreign intelligence services to follow suit and diminish democratic institutions in their own nations.”

    did it occur to you that America is catching up with the rest of the world?

  39. pooklord says:

    #3

    If you ever decide to visit Earth, let us know.

  40. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    decades of work, and the money to pay for it, have been spent on pounding the idea into your fuzzy little heads that all politicians are sleazeballs, political action is hopeless, no one goes into a public service career for idealistic reasons, democracy isn’t a thing to be proud of, and your vote doesn’t matter.

    Truer words were never spoken. It’s alarming how we’ve been conditioned to view Politicians as a class as bad guys, fools or dupes. Listen to people talk about politics and you’d think that the people running our country were a hostile occupying force keeping is under control at gunpoint. They’re US! We selected them and hired them, and we can toss them out if they’re unresponsive. They’re not a separate ruling class. I’ll concede that the process of elections tends to skew the population of elected officials away from plumbers and artists and toward lawyers and business people. But the filthy little idea that they’re all somehow the enemy has been brought to you by the Neocons as part of their continuous and highly successful campaign to convince us that government is bad, wrong can’t work and should be abandoned in every possible way.
    My stepmother was a legislative aide in the office of a state rep. This guy was the polar opposite of me, and of her. An old fashioned pol who served 20 terms in the house. I often disagreed with him and many people thought he represented the kinds of problems caused by career politicians. But one thing he was known for was taking care of constituents or at least hearing them is there was nothing to be done.
    Don’t believe people who tell you government can’t do anything right, and for goodness sake don’t vote to put them in charge of it.

  41. flamingphonebook says:

    #2:If that means declaring Bush, Cheney, FoxNews execs and Rush Limbaugh national threats (no evidence needed anymore, thanks!) and jailing them incommunicado for a year or two, then so be it. If they are allowed to walk free, then democracy means nothing anyway.

    #12:Shw m whr ny nt-wr prtstr hs bn rrstd fr nythng thr thn crm lk dsrdrly cndct — ftr vltng th prmt thy prmsd t bd by. Shw m whr dssnt s bng crshd.

    Wow. Summary suspension of liberty for journalists: ok. Pointing out that phone tapping isn’t the same as crushing dissent: bad.

  42. Takuan says:

    I will accept that some young and foolish do go into politics intending to help instead of prey on their fellow man.

    I maintain they become like those before them after they get in because the meme is greater than it’s holders.

    All you can do is make the best choice, hound them mercilessly through their term and then throw them out at the first chance – before the rot sets in.

  43. Steaming Pile says:

    I think Barry Obama just wants to see the Republicans jump clear through their asses reversing themselves on this issue next year when the Republicans are out of the White House. I’d let ‘em whine for awhile, till Memorial Day, then say something like, “I’m glad you agree with me – it sure would have been nice if you were this careful with the Constitution when my predecessor was in office.”

  44. buddy66 says:

    #90:
    “you perceived a nonexistent attack against draft resistance, accused me of beliefs I don’t hold, accused me of positions I didn’t assert, and conclude by telling me how off base I am, sir, then make oblique threatening gestures in my direction.”

    1. I saw no attack against draft resistance.

    2. I accused you of a ‘crude’ chauvinism. Are you not patriotic?

    3. I make no mention of any ‘positions.’

    4. This last is a baseball metaphor, tying up my opening ‘pinch hitter’ image, not an ‘oblique’ threat. Perhaps I should ask if YOU are an American. :)

    In fact, my admonishment was directed at your McCarthyist hectoring of Takuan about his citizenship. It does not speak well for your otherwise excellent mental qualities to speak in an inquisiter’s voice about what is, finally, an irrelevant matter. One does not need to qualify by birth, creed, or gender (age, maybe) to either criticize or encourage the masters of War and their pursuit of folly. Citing my anti-war credentials, although immodest, was merely an attempt, however clumsy, to answer an earlier opinion of yours that a man with no military service has no moral right to encourage a soldier to desert. As you see, I strongly disagree. I have accused you of nothing but employing a witchunter’s paradigm.

    Concerning your engagement in what is left of the American democratic process, allow me to congratulate you. I repeat: We need all the help we can get.

  45. Rick says:

    I’ll probably vote for Obama in November, but only grudgingly. It is a false claim that he represents fundamental change, or that he will remove or resist the power of “special interests” expressed through lobbyists, or that he is somehow outside of the military-industrial-congressional complex Eisenhower warned us about so many years ago. By “industrial” I include the ever more powerful oil and energy lobbies, the Saudi and Gulf State lobbies, the Israeli lobbies, and the financial and securities lobbies, as well as an unfathomable tree of lesser mafiosi stumbling over each other to suckle at Lady Liberty’s bounteous breasts. These Janus-like organizations offer employment and prosperity with one face, and death, destruction, and entrenched organized crime with the other.

    I would argue that not only is Obama nothing like a savior from these sociopathic organizations, but that he will be as much their lapdog as any of his predecessors. It is worse than we think, folks. Much worse.

  46. GregLondon says:

    Teresa: The powerlessness-and-despair trope is one of the two or three nastiest headtrips the bad guys run on you.

    I have an allergic reaction to the powerless/despair trope. Probably because long ago I was completely submerged in the powerless/despair mentality, now know it’s false, and know that I do NOT want to go back there ever again.

    Morbid curiosity has me wondering what you list as the other two tropes that are as bad as that.

    Your votes do matter. Political action can change the world.

    It’s good to hear it stated so directly once in a while.

  47. jansob says:

    Actually, Bush went so far, and did such damage to the country, and caused so much death and evil that I think some chickens need to come home to roost before we are so hasty in unempowering the President.

    The right needs to be taught a lesson so they will never even think of trying this kind of coup again. If that means declaring Bush, Cheney, FoxNews execs and Rush Limbaugh national threats (no evidence needed anymore, thanks!) and jailing them incommunicado for a year or two, then so be it. If they are allowed to walk free, then democracy means nothing anyway.

    THEN in a couple of years renounce the powers and send them to the Hague.

    Obama is the only man I’d trust with these powers…he’s really above the kind of politics the Repugs created.

  48. amuderick says:

    This is seriously bad news. With the party rallying behind Obama, his support of this bill is terrible news for our country. How many Senators will cling to his side of this vote to display ‘unity’ and for future favors?

  49. crazymonk says:

    I would never trust a single human being on issues of this magnitude, so I’m more concerned about oversight than anything else. Here’s one question you should consider: between McCain and Obama, who is more likely to nominate Supreme Court candidates who will rule unconstitutional overreaching laws passed by Congress? Based on the type of justices each candidate has said they would mold their decisions on (e.g., McCain basically said more Scalia’s), I think the answer is Obama.

    Here’s another question: which party has a more vocal minority strongly against the FISA bill? The answer right now is the Democrats, lead by such members as Feingold and Dodd. Whose ear are Feingold and Dodd more likely to get next year? Obama’s or McCain’s?

    I am a member of the ACLU, I support drug legalization, and I believe in full marriage equality, and yeah, Obama does not fall in line with me on these issues. But when I think about which environment will be more conducive to change in my preferred direction, my presidential choice is clear. I will vote for Obama, and then on day one of his presidency, I will fight against many of his policies. Welcome to the real world.

  50. noen says:

    Please also take a look at what Jack M. Balkin has to say (below). There is a great deal on Balkinization on FISA and on other issues that I think some here would find interesting.

    Why Obama Kinda Likes the FISA Bill

    “Given these facts, why in the world would Obama oppose the current FISA compromise bill? If it’s done on Bush’s watch, he doesn’t have to worry about wasting political capital on it in the next year. Perhaps it gives a bit too much power to the executive. But he plans to be the executive, and he can institute internal checks within the Executive Branch that can keep it from violating civil liberties as he understands them. And not to put too fine a point on it, once he becomes president, he will likely see civil liberties issues from a different perspective anyway.

    So, in short, from Obama’s perspective, what’s not to like?”

    Marcy Wheeler at Emptywheel is also a good one to keep tabs on about legal issues.

  51. Takuan says:

    were the bushie Supremes sending Obama a message with the DC hand-gun ban reversal? You can have the office but we’ll make sure you can’t sleep easy?

  52. disarticulate says:

    Why do we quote old politicians as if they weren’t speaking from a political point of view?

    I imagine obama would have said the same popular opinion back then as he says now.

  53. Takuan says:

    Instead of worrying about what Obama might and might not do, it would be better to look at the forces acting upon him and predict what he will be compelled to do. A change of rulers is a joy of fools, it may be satisfying to have a new radiator ornament but the issue will always remain: what do the big boys think they can get away with with the immediate situation. The accounts are dry, the storerooms empty, the cannon fodder used up. McBush is publicly bruiting the idea of a draft and therefore Obama must be secretly entertaining a similar solution. Now would be a good time to try to nail him to promises to the contrary. He’ll break them of course, but getting official “commitment” before will buy a month or two perhaps.
    Americans should be working on their damage control.

  54. meowdip says:

    Time to move to Forvik.

  55. Falcon_Seven says:

    @ #3
    “Obama is the only man I’d trust with these powers…he’s really above the kind of politics the Repugs created.”

    “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. -John Adams”

    John Adams didn’t trust himself, or any of the other founding fathers with the type of power Bush has bestowed upon himself and the office of the President. What makes you think Barack Obama is above ‘all men’?

  56. FotoVerite says:

    its worse then that though. I mean all of this happened on Friday and nobody is really talking about it. Hoyer, Pelsoi they betraying the people that elected them. I don’t care a lick if Obama thinks he can use the powers magnanimously. And even if I did, this bill basically lets off bush from all his crimes in regard to illegal wiretapping. My party is basically just rolling over and agreeing to whatever the GOP wants.

    I don’t think the presidency even matters at this point. We are so complacent. Where is our outrage. THe blogosphere should be blazing from the fallout and yet nobody really cares. TNR basically said piffle to the whole thing.

  57. akatsuki says:

    Obama’s position has fully disillusioned me. I even donated a decent sum to his campaign that I am now regretting entirely. He is the Democratic party leader, and if he can’t quash this bill, he is obviously just another hack on the order of Pelosi…

  58. Troy says:

    wn’t sy thr rn’t thngs t dslk bt FS bcs thr r f crs… bt th vry fct tht y wrt tht Cry, tr pnly, nd hv yr mg nd s yr nm shws tht Bsh s n fct NT dcttr. Gd grf… srly mn f yr trvls dsn’t hv hs hd s fr p hs kstr t nt th dffrnc. Shw m whr ny nt-wr prtstr hs bn rrstd fr nythng thr thn crm lk dsrdrly cndct — ftr vltng th prmt thy prmsd t bd by. Shw m whr dssnt s bng crshd. Y cn’t bcs t n’t tr. Dslk th mn ll y lk, bt chck th wssy vprs….

  59. jere7my says:

    Fotoverite, people are talking about it. Have you been reading the progressive political blogs? Daily Kos has been all-FISA all the time ever since Obama said he (with reservations) supported it. I’ve seen similar entries at MyDD and elsewhere — the blogosphere is pretty toasty right now, actually.

  60. zuzu says:

    In other words, power isn’t given; it is seized!

    Or, the question is not “Who will let me?” but “Who’s going to stop me?”

    (ew, I was just quoting Ayn Rand… regardless, the juxtaposition of her with Obama is… intriguing. John McLaughlin has been trashing on Obama for a few months now; trying to cast him as a Democratic George W. Bush. I wonder if he’s onto something afterall…)

    Anyway, who’s got a VoIP mixmaster with ZRTP voice encryption working yet?

  61. HollywoodBob says:

    To everyone freaking out about this:

    Does it really matter? We’re either going Obama or McCain. Regardless of Obama’s support of this bill, he’s still a far better candidate than his out of touch, war mongering, nutcase of an opponent.

    Frankly, I’d rather take my chances with Obama’s potential misuse of wiretapping powers, than McCain’s assured continuation of the Bush regime.

    Rather than complaining that Obama supports this bad news bill, maybe you should spend your time writing your Senator and Congressperson asking them to not support it. Obama’s just one Senator, he won’t swing it’s passage if we convince all the other members of congress to vote it down.

    It’s time we reminded them that this is a government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people. It’s time we take back our government from corporations, and if our elected officials can’t/won’t resist their influences it’s time to throw them out of office. And next time there’s a local election, get off your couch, and vote for the guy that has the most good ideas, not the most SPONSORS.

  62. zuzu says:

    Does it really matter? We’re either going Obama or McCain. Regardless of Obama’s support of this bill, he’s still a far better candidate than his out of touch, war mongering, nutcase of an opponent.

    However, it’s precisely those epic fail qualities of McCain that might make the water heat fast enough for the frog to finally jump out of the pot.

    Seems like Obama lacks the conviction to actually turn the burner off.

  63. FotoVerite says:

    JERE7MY I agree there is outrage, as shown above. But thats’ for people who are really keeping tabs. The regular media hasn’t said a word. And yes I know they’re pretty kowtowed but it’s just heart breaking.

    And I think the outrage about Obama is because he represents the party. It doesn’t matter that he’s better then Mcain. The Dems are not respecting our interests. Even if they are not bad as the Gop killing our liberties is killing our liberties.

  64. Jesse M. says:

    I don’t agree with Obama on this, but I am a little ambivalent, because my attitude towards privacy laws is similar to my attitude towards copyright laws: they’re a necessary evil for the time being, but I think technological changes will make them seem more and more outmoded as time goes on. Read David Brin’s Transparent Society, or this talk by Charlie Stross–is a fundamental right to privacy really going to make sense in a future where tiny, cheap recording devices with unlimited memory proliferate, and many people choose to record every minute of their life, including all their interactions with other people? (and if the modern internet is any guide, people would probably become increasingly shameless about sharing whatever they record with the public) Not to mention technologies that increase the ability of individuals or small groups to do huge amounts of harm working in secret, like homegrown genetically engineered viruses or dangerous nanotech or running a torture chamber for uploaded human minds on their private hard drive.

    My ideal world would be one in which there was no law against the government violating your privacy in passive ways like reading your email (as opposed to physically disruptive ways like barging into your house and turning it upside down), but the constitution would guarantee that any information they obtained from warantless searches could only be used in violent felony cases, they would have no right to arrest you for things like drug use or filesharing based on what they found. Likewise, in my ideal world the law would mandate that anyone in a position of authority (police and politicians alike) would have to agree to have their every action recorded as long as they were in that position, with these records being reviewable by judges to make sure they weren’t abusing their authority (though the records wouldn’t be used as evidence in crimes unrelated to their position, like taking drugs or lying about sex with interns).

    Obviously this is all a bit pie-in-the-sky, like I said I do oppose warantless wiretapping in the present because we don’t have the kind of guarantees I suggest above, just like I do agree there should be some basic copyright laws in the present because creative types need to be able to make a living in our pre-postscarcity economy. But I do think that one’s policy attitudes in the present are naturally going to be affected by one’s thoughts about the direction society is headed in the future, and as such, being really zealous about protecting privacy seems kind of reactionary to me, just like being really zealous about copyright.

  65. holybuzz says:

    Obama has to get elected first. His people have run an amazing campaign thus far. They must have looked at the FISA impact and decided that it wasn’t worth it to them at this point. Yes, that really sucks, idealistically speaking. But my guess is that they’ve done the math and have decided that this is something that they can fix (not sure how, but somehow) later on.

    Still, I get indignation, especially since this ex post facto ensures that the Bushies get their get out of jail free card. But given the country’s problems, I’m not sure I want the day-one agenda to include going after the neo-cons. We elected them. We screwed up. Let’s, ahem, move on.

  66. phillamb168 says:

    I have to agree with HollywoodBob… Obama is very, very much the lesser of two evils. I personally think that this is just a case of picking his battles.

  67. Rick says:

    There is too much blind faith in politicians, Obama included.

    What is taken away today may never be recovered. It is naive, irrational, and devoid of historical memory to believe that Obama or anyone else will put on the presidential crown with its new dictatorial powers and be some sort of benevolent philospher king. It is not going to happen! He is a politician, and he will play ball with the same old players. Let’s not shut our eyes so tight or make up childish narratives. It is and always has been about money and power. Obama is not playing a different game.

  68. Clay says:

    This and Obama’s rejection of public funding to allow his campaign to seek unlimited private contributions may have a lot of Obama believers questioning their idealism.

    So, uh, it’s probably too late now to vote for Kucinich, right?

  69. GregLondon says:

    Obama must be secretly entertaining the idea of a draft?

    Didn’t we just have that conversation about conspiracy theories? Here. Read some xkcd.

  70. GregLondon says:

    Well, folks calling for a fillibuster, the math doesn’t add up. 49 republicans, 49 democrats, 2 independents. You need 60 to filibuster.

    If he filibusters, he’ll imediately get shot down, and then get framed as a “windbag” trying to endanger americans.

    Unless I’m missing something.

  71. Takuan says:

    con·ver·sa·tion Audio Help /ËŒkÉ’nvÉ™rˈseɪʃən/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[kon-ver-sey-shuhn] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun
    1. informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk; colloquy.

    note the “interchange”. Do work on that.

  72. sleze says:

    #21 – yeah, you’re missing something. You need a supermajority (60 votes) to STOP a filibuster.

    And for all those here who are screaming bloody murder…I hope you all write/call your senators and complain and ask them to join the filibuster.

  73. Zuato says:

    What else is attached to this bill that Obama supports? Is it this particular issue he supports or other parts of it?

    The thing we really need to change is the way bills are handled now. They need to make it so that only one thing can be on one bill – no more adding a million and one things to try to get something everyone knows is crap to pass, but then again neither party really wants that or they’d never make the lobbyists happy.

    I don’t like this bill, but it seems people are singling certain parts out to try and make Obama look as bad as the current administration when in fact he is not.

  74. Antinous says:

    The Wikipedia article for filibuster is quite entertaining.

    According to Newsweek, “They used to call it ‘taking to the diaper,’ a phrase that referred to the preparation undertaken by a prudent senator before an extended filibuster. Strom Thurmond visited a steam room before his filibuster in order to dehydrate himself so he could drink without urinating. An aide stood by in the cloakroom with a pail in case of emergency.”

    A filibuster is basically a hissy fit. Can’t we find a more dignified way of running the country?

  75. bardfinn says:

    I want my Constitution and Bill of Rights back.

  76. GregLondon says:

    You do not have to be a True Believer to do the right thing. Just objective and practical.

    What is objective and practical about you hypothesizing about Obama and most of congress being assassinated and it’s after effects?

    Is there anything at all practical that you can do to defend against it occurring?

    Meanwhile, the thread is about an actual bill before congress. And when people are discussing the practical matters of it, whether it is something to support or not, whether they should write their senator or whatever, you come in with “Whether this new legislation has official wording restoring requirements for warrants etc. has no bearing on what will actually happen”

    That is neither objective nor practical advice.

    There is nothing measurably objective about it and there is nothing practical to do.

    It is the “lament of the disenfranchised”, de-inspiring others to be equally disenfranchised. So, while others are encouraging people to engage, you’re encouraging them to disengage.

    And if it doesn’t really matter, then you shouldn’t feel so compelled to encourage people to disengage. You wouldn’t have to make a public spectacle of how disempowered you are. You wouldn’t argue so adamantly that “Childish whining about the sheer unfairness of the situation does nothing to redress it” if you’re arguing against people doing something to redress the sheer unfairness of something.

    In a thread about specific legislation, you wouldn’t be arguing “this new legislation … has no bearing on what will actually happen”, unless you want people to do nothing. You certainly offered nothing objective or practical to do in its place, just “don’t bother doing that”.

    You want to mope, go ahead. You want to encourage others to disengage in an objective and practical matter in their government, something that’s very important to me, then you can expect me to point out your Eoyore routines when you do.

    And yes, I’m still curious as to whether your an American or not. You strike me as someone who is either not an American citizen, or someone who is American but feels extremely disenfanchised for whatever reason. Maybe you were wronged by america in some way. Whatever it is, you show no identification in favor of America or Americans in any way. None. At all. And I’m wondering what I’m dealing with. That you can’t even indicate your nationality seems to indicate slight paranoia. You wouldn’t even acknowledge I asked the question until you called me “Greg “Goddamn it! I’m an AMERICAN!” London”, which seems to indicate it’s an even more loaded topic than I first thought.

    If you’re not an American, and you’re encouraging Americans not to engage in their government, then something’s not quite right about that.

    Tell you what, if you don’t want to talk about it, I’ll just post “lament of the disenfranchised” in response to your “don’t bother doing anything” posts, and we’ll leave it at that.

  77. pyroPrints says:

    @CLAY This and Obama’s rejection of public funding to allow his campaign to seek unlimited private contributions may have a lot of Obama believers questioning their idealism.

    Not the public funding thing for me. But this FISA thing? Yeah, a little. “Not mad, but just disappointed” kinda feeling.

  78. bardfinn says:

    Hypothetical:

    Hillary Clinton could still be selected as the Democratic Nominee.

    How is she voting on this bill?

    Is it still possible to have her be selected by the Democratic Party?

  79. Takuan says:

    some McBush hack mentioned how nice a “terrorist event” (ie: dead Americans) would be for their campaign. Why not toujours audace? The emergency powers law on the books now would mean that a bomb that assassinated Obama and most of the sitting congress would instantly create a legal means to declare a permanent Protectorate. The chimperor could gracefully swing down from the tree and pass the executive banana to the annointed McBush by means of a show-election. Think of it as a pageant.
    There is plenty of precedent and the critical Saudi backing would be there. The beauty is they don’t even need a conspiracy, one explosion and the pieces would all fall into place automatically. Well, maybe they would have to leave camel dung on the scene or something – you wouldn’t want to insult the intelligence of the media. The military would gratefully seize the chance too, an emergency would eliminate the need for a draft as millions of deluded “patriots” would step forward. Think about it.

  80. Rick says:

    Here is a possible letter to our senators (ripped off from the ACLU site):

    Dear Senator Arf Arf,

    There has never been a more urgent need to preserve fundamental privacy protections and our system of checks and balances than the need we face today, as illegal government spying, provisions of the Patriot Act and government-sponsored torture programs transcend the bounds of law and our most treasured values in the name of national security.

    Please vote AGAINST the passage of the Senate version of H.R. 6304, which grants sweeping wiretapping authority to the government with little court oversight and ensures the dismissal of all pending cases against the telecommunication companies. Most importantly:

    • H.R. 6304 permits the government to conduct mass, untargeted surveillance of all communications coming into and out of the United States, without any individualized review, and without any finding of wrongdoing.

    • H.R. 6304 permits only minimal court oversight. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) only reviews general procedures for targeting and minimizing the use of information that is collected. The court may not know who, what or where will actually be tapped.

    • H.R. 6304 contains a general ban on reverse targeting. However, it lacks stronger language that was contained in prior House bills that included clear statutory directives about when the government should return to the FISA court and obtain an individualized order if it wants to continue listening to a US person’s communications.

    • H.R.6304 contains an “exigent” circumstance loophole that thwarts the prior judicial review requirement. The bill permits the government to start a spying program and wait to go to court for up to 7 days every time “intelligence important to the national security of the US may be lost or not timely acquired.” By definition, court applications take time and will delay the collection of information. It is highly unlikely there is a situation where this exception doesn’t swallow the rule.

    • H.R. 6304 further trivializes court review by explicitly permitting the government to continue surveillance programs even if the application is denied by the court. The government has the authority to wiretap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use whatever it gathered in the meantime.

    • H.R. 6304 ensures the dismissal of all cases pending against the telecommunication companies that facilitated the warrantless wiretapping programs over the last 7 years. The test in the bill is not whether the government certifications were actually legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is public knowledge that they were, all the cases seeking to find out what these companies and the government did with our communications will be killed.

    • Members of Congress not on Judiciary or Intelligence Committees are NOT guaranteed access to reports from the Attorney General, Director of National Intelligence, and Inspector General.

    Please vote AGAINST the passage of the Senate version of H.R. 6304.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Citizen

  81. GregLondon says:

    When this whole illegal wiretapping, wiretapping without a warrant, and Patriot Act, mess came out, I wanted three things: I wanted it to stop, I wanted the law to be changed back to require warrants for searches (wiretaps), and I wanted Bush impeached for flaunting due process.

    I’m not sure if this new compromise bill stops wiretapping without a warrant. I read part of it that said it allows wiretapping without a warrant for two weeks, but also requires a warrant be obtained after the fact. I don’t know if that’s acceptable or not. I don’t know if there are enough safeguards or not.

    Obviously, there were safeguards in 1991, but Bush and co were determined to jump over them. And at the end of 1991, Bush’s approval rating was 91 fricken percent, so part of me wonders if all those shouting about how bad this bill is were all in the few percentile who disapproved of Bush’s handling back in 1991, or if you approved back in 1991, and since changed your mind.

    As for impeaching Bush, it’s a distant, probably not going to happen, mess, so, I redirected my rage at the telecoms for going along with Caligula’s orders. But really, I’m pissed at Bush way more than the telco’s.

    I want the telcos to get the message they shouldn’t surrender American’s rights simply because someone jumps due process and tells them to do it. Part of me wants them to pay for it. But I’m not entirely sure if I need it.

    I need due process. I need warrants to be required for searches. I’m not entirely sure that this new bill does that or not, but I’m getting the sense that maybe it does. And I’m mad enough to want the telcos to be punished via lawsuits, but, in the end, I don’t need it.

    If there is anything I sense from Obama, it’s that his focus on getting what we need, moving forward, and less focused on punishing telcos for the misdeeds of the Emporer Caligula.

  82. Enochrewt says:

    “Obama is the only man I’d trust with these powers…he’s really above the kind of politics the Repugs created.”

    It’s comments like this from Obama zealots that make me think that Obama could be just as dangerous as the current administration.

    I honestly don’t know who I’ll vote for yet, Obama hasn’t earned my vote until he starts laying down specific action plans and strategies. Same thing with McCain. I want to see specific plans for problems, not some nebulous “Hope, Change, yakkity yak” I may think McCain is a crazy coot right now, but when it comes time to get to the specifics and his sound more reasonable, he’ll get my vote. Same for Obama.

  83. SarahFenix says:

    m qt mzd t th blnd fth bm’s spprtrs hv fr hm!
    Mght s wll drnk th Kl-d!

  84. Xopher says:

    Nobody listens to me. I shall pout.

  85. nikos says:

    If Obama does vote this way and fails to filibuster as he promised MoveOn not only will he be breaking his word to a powerful ally, he’ll be missing the opportunity of a lifetime to truly distinguish himself as a leader, the kind of vanguard type his party desperately needs.
    As a former Dem and now registered Green this apparent reversal doesn’t hurt as far a my party affiliation is concerned. As it concerns my respect for the man if he chooses to betray his word and the spirit of the constitution, once it’s gone, it’s gone, and so is my vote.

  86. GregLondon says:

    buddy: answer an earlier opinion of yours that a man with no military service has no moral right to encourage a soldier to desert

    Buddy, there was a thread somewhere where Takuan started talking about military desertion. I asked if he had been in the military. He said no. I told him that when I give advice about something, I generally include what experience I have with the topic I’m giving advice on and offered that he might give people the same courtesy. i.e. tell people what experience he had relating to military, desertion, anything in that ballpark. So that people who might be listening can get a sense of what that advice is based off of.

    Not that he had to list his experience. Not that he had no moral right to say whatever he wanted to say even if he had no experience. But that anyone who might be listening would then get a proper sense of what the advice is based off of, where it is coming from, etc. As a courtesy to the listener.

    Somewhere along the line, that got twisted into something that I never actually said.

    In this thread, Takuan has been rendering judgements about americans and american politics, and I thought it fair to ask how much experience he has in the matter. Has he even been to america? Granted there are biases that come from living somewhere too long, but there are also problems of bias when someone has lived their whole life in, say, North Korea, and get all their opinions of America through state run media.

    Again, it isn’t that he has no moral right, its more a question of what experience is his statements based on? Not that he has to, but as a courtesy to the people he’s handing his judgements and assessments to. Because right now, what he’s saying makes absolutely no sense to me and I have no idea where he’s coming from. If he doesn’t want to say where he’s coming from, that’s his choice, but I don’t think it unfair to ask. If you want to turn asking about that into McCarthyism, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  87. Takuan says:

    ah! I see now. You were personally stung by my counseling young people to desert before they were trapped into killing the innocent for the profits of the elite and few. I stand by my words. Blood does not wash off. I feel sorrow for those who learned this too late or the hard way, but that in no way justifies the perpetuation of their error.

    You make much of the type of paper one might possess. As if “citizenship” is of any real meaning in a world where it can be bought and sold or even granted to jannisaries. What was the citizenship of those children killed under American bombs ijn the invasion of Iraq? Should they have been given the vote? When the attack was announced I posed the question immediately: How many of these hordes of soon to be created refugees will be granted citizenship in the land that is about to destroy their country in the name of freedom? No answer. Still no answer because the answer is “none”.

    You persist in your efforts to put words in my mouth and ascribe false meanings to those I have actually said. Where did I counsel surrender to evil? I fear you protest far too much, Greg London.

  88. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Teresa; nihilism is tedious.

    Antonius, I suspect that very few people can write “I’ve been fingering my Pink Pearl” without fear of ambiguity.

    –Charlie

  89. nikos says:

    It’s not a hissy fit if he stands and speaks with dignity about any number of things which need to be addressed anyway.

  90. Rick says:

    Easy way to email your representatives. Go to their websites:

    http://.house.gov
    http://
    .senate.gov

    e.g.

    http://boxer.senate.gov/
    http://speier.house.gov/

    Write, write, write!

  91. So-Called Austin Mayor says:

    “I agree with you. I want to do it. Now make me do it.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt to a group of progressive reformers.

    To get the government that we deserve, we must DEMAND that our political representatives do the right thing, not just wish and hope and expect them to magically do the right thing.

    Sen. Obama’s phone numbers:
    D.C.: (202) 224-2854
    Chicago: (312) 886-3506
    Springfield: (217) 492-5089
    Marion: (618) 997-2402
    Moline: (309)736-1217

    Light up those phones — MAKE Barack Obama do the right thing!

    – SCAM

  92. Takuan says:

    how can someone who has killed counsel others not to kill without being a hypocrite?

  93. Anonymous says:

    You can contact obama by email:
    http://obama.senate.gov/contact/index.php

  94. JCD says:

    “If anyone expects President Obama to roll back Bush’s illegally-gained dictator powers, they are smoking rope. From Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. ”

    Ww, th zr crdblty Sck Pppt gts smthng rght fr nc.

  95. Xopher says:

    Takuan 96: By admitting that it was wrong when they did it. Simple, really. Describing their enlightenment experience will help make it more believable. Revealing their own guilt could actually help drive home the point.

  96. GregLondon says:

    It’s comments like this from Obama zealots that make me think that Obama could be just as dangerous as the current administration.

    But does the new bill even have the same powers that Bush abused?

    Are people pissed because the new bill still allows searches without warrants? Or are they pissed because telco immunity means they won’t be able to harness their anger towards Bush and take it out on the telcos?

  97. Takuan says:

    hmmm, I suppose kissing up to Little Kimmie in North Korea is another little “gift” for Obama too.

  98. Takuan says:

    due process? You never lost it and you still have it. So long as you understand “due process” means having the money and social position whereby you can purchase it.

  99. Dizbuster says:

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  100. stratosfyr says:

    Hey, what a surprise. A politician disappoints.

    Never saw that coming.

  101. Avram says:

    Sarahfenix, how did you miss noticing that most of the Obama supporters in this thread don’t have blind faith in him?

  102. GregLondon says:

    takuan, you keep bitching until you get that perfect society. Me, I’ll be happy with an imperfect thing called rule of law, due process, some kind of democratic process, and all the messy things that come with it. One messy thing being that I don’t get my way all the time. And if I can get due process back, at the cost of not being able to sue some telcoms, then I might just take it.

    What I wanted to know was whether or not the new bill restores the requirement for warrants for searches or not. tin foil hat theories about money and position are red herrings.

    Oh, and out of curiosity, are you an american? I am.

  103. Takuan says:

    If this is turning into a lost cause, why not just get ahead of the curve and start working hard on educating more people about cryptography?

  104. GregLondon says:

    You were personally stung by my counseling young people to desert

    Don’t flatter yourself. I don’t like people talking about something they have no actual practical or objective knowledge about. And you don’t know what you’re talking about there.

    killing the innocent for the profits of the elite and few. I stand by my words. Blood does not wash off.

    Yes, that’s very practical and objective advice.

    sheesh.

    You make much of the type of paper one might possess. As if “citizenship” is of any real meaning in a world where it can be bought and sold

    Is there anything that doesn’t eventually involve some sort of conspiracy theory with you?

    Are you an American? Because you’re giving American’s advice on American politics.

    Which, given you’re history of giving military personel career advice without ever having been in the military yourself, I wouldn’t put it past you.

  105. zuzu says:

    Hey, what a surprise. A politician disappoints. Never saw that coming.

    KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

    ;)

  106. MaximusNYC says:

    “Obama is the only man I’d trust with these powers…he’s really above the kind of politics the Repugs created.”

    And thus democracies fall.

  107. zuzu says:

    I am quite amazed at the blind faith Obama’s supporters have for him! Might as well drink the Kool-Aid!

    mmm… almondy.

  108. Antinous says:

    I’d like to mention that this post is about Senator Obama’s position on FISA, not a forum for debating his position on every imaginable topic. Please keep comments reasonably close to the original subject. Thanks.

  109. Antinous says:

    This would be a good time to stop making off-topic comments and personal attacks.

  110. Takuan says:

    how very good for you. I fail to see how you derive “perfect society” from the indisputable observation that “justice” and legal process has always been something the wealth have access to by simple purchase. All Obama is doing is perpetuating the system. What can anyone expect from him? I do not see how you could get due process “back’ for yourself unless you are already rich and connected, in which case you still have it.
    Whether this new legislation has official wording restoring requirements for warrants etc. has no bearing on what will actually happen in progress. The only difference will be whether it is open or not. Is there a special prison somewhere where they keep the corrupt congressman? I don’t seem to remember any ever really going away. Ever.

  111. nikos says:

    Fascism just isn’t fascism without corporate collusion. If the retroactive immunity provision isn’t stripped by Reid, Feingold, Dodd, Obama and whomever else in the Senate sees the provision for what it is, then we will be setting a new precedent for the naked and indubitable class of fascism which can only be destroyed from the outside.
    I hope I’m wrong.

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