Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Breeze is Picking Up

Roper: "So now you'd give the devil the benefit of law?"

More: "Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the devil?"

Roper: "I'd cut down every law in England to do that."

More: "Oh, and when the last law was down, and the devil turned on you, where would you hide, Roper, all the laws being flat? This country is planted thick with laws from coast to coast, man's laws not God's, and if you cut them down -- and you're just the man to do it -- do you really think that you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

"Yes, I'd give the devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety's sake."

---A Man for All Seasons


TPM Muckraker has the list of the Teleco Ten, the "Democratic" Senators who voted this afternoon to kill a FISA bill that did NOT give amnesty to lawbreaking telecommunications companies.

The final tally was actually 60-36, not 60-34, and the full list of Dems voting to kill were: Sens. Evan Bayh (D-IN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Ken Salazar (D-CO).

Now comes the "debate" on the FISA bill that hands Smirky-Darth dictatorial powers and gives amnesty to the telecommunications companies who illegally wiretapped innocent American citizens.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a great analysis, and FiredogLake is liveblogging the debate.

Meanwhile, Salon commenter Jim White reports that John Edwards is finally stepping up on this issue:

I just got this email from Edwards. He stops short of calling for Obama and Clinton to go to Washington but he does say all of the right things otherwise. I think those calls and emails are helping.

Dear Jim,
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. You can call your Senators here:

Mel Martinez, (R): (202) 224-3041

Bill Nelson, (D): (202) 224-5274

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.

UPDATE, 6 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected Mitch McConnell's motion to end debate - which would have handed Smirky-Darth their victorious execution of the Rule of Law - and postponed further debate until Monday.

That gives us all day tomorrow to call and email our Senators to warn them about the comming hurricane.

Cross-posted at BlueGrassRoots.