Sunday, February 19, 2006

Editorial: No spine on no spying

Senate Votes 96-3 to Reject Sen. Feingold's Effort to Stall Patriot Act Renewal
In other news from Capitol Hill, the Senate is moving closer to renewing the Patriot Act. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is leading the effort to block renewal but he is receiving little support even from fellow Democrats. Feingold wants to set a four-year expiration date on provisions within the Act that allows government agents to force banks, libraries, Internet providers and others to hand over private records without a warrant. On Thursday, the Senate voted 96 to 3 to reject Feingold's efforts to stall the legislation. Only independent Senator Jim Jeffords and Democrat Robert Byrd backed Feingold.

The above is from Democracy Now! Remember on and around December 16, 2005? It wasn't that long ago. The Senate was actually standing firm. That pased. Faded. They can't stand, they can't even hold their heads up high. A lack of spine will do that to you. It'll reduce opposition to the Patriot Act down to three members.

Once again, it's an election year and Dems mustn't look "weak."

It's a funny thing how "weak" isn't defined by whether or not they cave on promises to their constituents, but instead on whether or not they support the Bully Boy.

When you let him set the terms, he gets to decide what's "strong" (invading a country illegally) and what's weak (attempting to have checks & balances).

After the shameful performance in the NSA hearing where they pandered and kept pushing the Bully Boy's terms ('I support spying on terrorists' and other such nonsense) it's been all downhill. Before signing on/off what they support, next time, how about waiting to see what's happening as opposed to what Bully Boy or his mouthpiece Gonzales says? And when Bully Boy is falsely justifying on it the grounds of need the protect the nation, don't call Gonzales "General." He's not a general, he's not in the military. Our society's been militarized enough, we don't need to start saluting the general.

But there it was, "General Gonzales" as though Tommy Franks himself had plopped his fat ass down before the committee. Is there any hope at this point?

Well we thought maybe there was when Nancy Pelosi sent out an e-mail entitled "Got Constitution?" . . . and then we read it.

What's got Nancy Pelosi's dander up? Not warrantless spying on American citizens. Not the threat of extending the Patriot Act. Let's let Nancy tell it:

Once again, Republican leaders have burned the book on how our laws are made. Every elementary student knows that the exact same bill must pass the House and the Senate first before it can be signed into law by the President. But on February 8th, the President signed a bill that did not pass the House.
On February 1st, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Reconciliation Spending Cuts Conference Report by a two-vote margin, with every Democrat voting against it. Yet, when the President signed the bill into law, he signed a different version of the bill than the one passed by the House. This bill has been voted on five times, passing by very narrow margins each time, with the Republican leadership twisting arms to ensure passage. The bill signed by the President had been altered in a way that cost the Medicare program $2 billion dollars. The Republican leadership knew about the error two weeks in advance, but deliberately chose to withhold that information, instead allowing the House to vote on an incorrect version of this legislation. Because Republican leaders chose to ignore House rules, precedents, and even the Constitution itself, Leader Pelosi introduced a privileged resolution demanding an immediate investigation into the abuse of power surrounding the inaccuracies in the process and enrollment of the Budget Reconciliation legislation. The motion failed along party lines.

Nancy's shocked. We're bemused by her shock. She still thinks the Bully Boy feels he's governed by laws and rules as he enters year five of his war on America?

When are they going to stop making nice? When do the gloves come off because we're not seeing it. Russ Feingold comes out swinging and instead of cheering him on, they're rooting for his opponent. Last time, when the Patriot first passed the Senate, Feingold stood alone. Now he's got two with him -- a Democrat and an Indpedent. At this rate, in 125 years, we just might be able to do away with the Patriot Act. Until then, anyone's shock, at this late date, that the Republicans aren't playing by the rules, is a bit misplaced.

This crap has been going on for five years and for five years Democrats have backed down. One or a few will step up and the Democratic Party plays, "Don't call on me! I don't know the answer! Dear Lord, please don't let the teacher call on me! I'll just sit here quietly until the bell rings!" Each time they've refused to stand up, Bully Boy's come on stronger.

So this shock, at this late date, that he and his Party won't play by the rules seems a bit of a put-on. Unless we're to believe that you were in a coma during the 2000 recounts.

The Democrats are letting him get away with spying on Americans without a warrant. What's his next move? To do the Full Padilia? Will he start designating enemy combatant to various Americans the way he's already done to Jose Padilla? When that happens, will Nancy Pelosi still be shocked?

No Spine on No Spying makes this and much more possible. Bully Boy, he brings bad things to life.
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