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Posted by torque on 12-16-2005 06:09 PM:

Patriot Act renewal defeated in Senate.

CNN Story.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.

In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a threatened filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.



_______________________________


Fantastic news. I'm going to send thank you emails to Feingold and Craig this afternoon, thanking them for their support of freedom and privacy.


Posted by Smug Git on 12-16-2005 06:15 PM:

Interesting stuff. I'm pretty much behind this, in principle. Frist has to bend some arms or else give up his 'no compromise' position. Good stuff.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by memdink on 12-16-2005 06:42 PM:

Hopefully the rewrite will be a more cautious.


Posted by CHiPsJr on 12-16-2005 06:49 PM:

I am amazed. And in a good way. I had thought that privacy was an interest without a constituency, and that nothing could stop the encroachment of government in the name of crime control. Apparently not.

Bravo to the Senate for standing up for the constitution, even in the face of potential political consequences.

How much does this help Feingold with his primary constituency, I wonder?


Posted by Smug Git on 12-16-2005 07:24 PM:

Feingold was the only Senator to vote against the initial Patriot Act, so I don't think that he's chasing popularity over this; he's been on record as concerned all the way through.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by CHiPsJr on 12-16-2005 07:35 PM:

Wasn't my implication at all. I've remarked in the past that I'm fond of Feingold's stance on the issue and of his adherence to principle in general.

What I'm wondering is whether this doesn't help him in the same sense that the torture business helps McCain, to wit: here is a man whose adherence to principle, combined with his leadership skills, produces actual results.

If I'm a liberal voter in the Democratic primaries, then surely I'm recognizing that Russ Feingold is a man who actually saved me from meaningful restrictions on my civil liberties; whereas I don't know what the other candidates have to offer me in terms of actual concrete benefits from their "leadership". What has Hillary Clinton achieved in eight years working on my behalf? Or Joe Biden in thirty? Paint: what's the buzz on this at kos?

McCain vs. Feingold: a race between two leaders who actually, you know, LEAD, as opposed to staking themselves to a hot button issue and pumping out promises and rhetoric. What a remarkable abnormality that race would be, eh?


Posted by Smug Git on 12-16-2005 07:39 PM:

How much money is he likely to be able to raise for the primaries?

If Bush can't put the smackdown in the Senate soon, he's going to end up jumping through their hoops. I think that he has to crush this stuff, if he can, as soon as he can. Maybe he can't really take McCain on, but he has to do something to re-assert himself.

Frist is looking like a sorry loser at the moment; given that he is done with the Senate in 2006, he must desperately need some success if he's even to bother throwing his hat in the ring for 2008.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by CHiPsJr on 12-16-2005 07:45 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by Smug Git
How much money is he likely to be able to raise for the primaries?


Not a whole lot right out of the chute, I'd imagine; but should he finish second or better in Iowa, or third or better in New Hampshire, I'm guessing his coffers would start to swell in a big hurry. His causes strike me as the sort that could catch a lot of support from the Hollywood wing of the party--at least those not irrevocably committed to Clinton.

A right-of-center Dem nominee (as Clinton is trying to pretend to be) would certainly have to be very, very interested in offering the VP spot to someone like Feingold who could balance the ticket and deliver the base.


Posted by lucidnightmare on 12-16-2005 08:18 PM:

Now if we are attacked again we have someone to blame other than just the terrorist.

__________________

Trenchant_Troll
I hope you run out of butter too, Dane.


Posted by Smug Git on 12-16-2005 08:30 PM:

So long as you blame every politician who opposes warrantless searches by the police. Because, let's be honest, more police powers would make the police a lot more effective in preventing crime and the fact is that more Americans in America are killed by other Americans than by Islamic terrorists. It's just more important in terms of human life to have the police catch American criminals. And yet why do we tie the hands of the police?

Ah, now I remember. Because they can't be trusted with relatively unlimited powers and nor can the Federal Government, as has been demonstrated before.

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by Talarohk on 12-16-2005 08:42 PM:

[tinfoil hat]
It occurs to me that a substantial attack within the US, following closely behind these events (ban on torture, expiration of portions of Patriot) would probably not just reverse the events, but lead to a massive willingness to grant *even more* powers to law enforcement.
[/tinfoil hat]

__________________


Posted by Trenchant_Troll on 12-16-2005 08:53 PM:

No, it will lead to another commission.

__________________

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


Posted by lucidnightmare on 12-16-2005 08:59 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by Talarohk
[tinfoil hat]
It occurs to me that a substantial attack within the US, following closely behind these events (ban on torture, expiration of portions of Patriot) would probably not just reverse the events, but lead to a massive willingness to grant *even more* powers to law enforcement.
[/tinfoil hat]



I thought that you all already had your tin foil hats on about the government watching you.
__________________

Trenchant_Troll
I hope you run out of butter too, Dane.


Posted by Talarohk on 12-16-2005 09:42 PM:

This is my extra-special tinfoil hat, reserved for those times when I not only distrust the government, but consider the possibility that it could actually commit deeds of great evil to increase its own power. It's blue and sparkly.

I made sure to put it on so you'd know that I don't actually think it *will* do such a thing, but rather that I consider the possibility that such a deed could work to its advantage.

__________________


Posted by Mordecai on 12-16-2005 10:12 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by lucidnightmare
I thought that you all already had your tin foil hats on about the government watching you.


I just think it looks so much better than blinders.

-m
__________________

-m


Posted by lucidnightmare on 12-16-2005 10:16 PM:

Tell me a motive for why the government would be after me and I will be paranoid too.Or a motive for them to want power just for the sake of it?

__________________

Trenchant_Troll
I hope you run out of butter too, Dane.


Posted by Trenchant_Troll on 12-16-2005 10:17 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by lucidnightmare
Or a motive for them to want power just for the sake of it?


You are kidding, right?
__________________

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


Posted by Mordecai on 12-16-2005 10:24 PM:

I certainly hope he is.

-m

__________________

-m


Posted by lucidnightmare on 12-16-2005 10:29 PM:

Not at all.In the areas that the patriot act affects there is no benefit to them to abuse it.Be specific to that kind of power,not just any power.

I would think that there are policies that give them far more power over my personal life,with less benefit to me.Policies that all these people support.

That the government is out to get us is a hypothetical.That there are people on the outside trying to attack us is a fact.

__________________

Trenchant_Troll
I hope you run out of butter too, Dane.


Posted by Paint CHiPs on 12-16-2005 11:19 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by CHiPsJr
Paint: what's the buzz on this at kos?



Feingold has always always always been hugely popular with the liberal grassroots crowd. Even when it was Dean catching fire with those types, Feingold was always the senior leader figure they looked to. It's Feingold and Reid, not Kerry or Kennedy or Clinton, who tend to command their respect as "party leader" figures.

Anyway, in the dkos straw poll--a poll about 2008 presidential preferences they've been doing every month or so that tends to return between 11k and 13k results, Feingold usually comes in second (to Clark). He outpolls Edwards, Kerry, Bayh, Biden, Warner, and Clinton regularly for that crowd--I think Clinton and Edwards come closest (and lately Warner), maybe 3 or 4 points behind him.

But you're right, this is very similar to the McCain thing, and in part because again, this is something that Feingold had to PERSONALLY build with his own two hands. He literally started out as the single voice of dissent on this issue, and has now built a bipartisan coalition strong enough to block the renewal and likely force massive concessions from the White House and GOP Congressional leadership. It's another victory that was by no means a foregone conclusion, and was won in large part on sheer force of will on the part of a single Senator.

Man, what a great legislative month.


Posted by Paint CHiPs on 12-17-2005 12:16 AM:

Incidentally, the roll call from the cloture vote is here. The only Republicans to side with Feingold so far are Hagel, Sununu, Murkowski, and Craig (Frist voted on Feingold's side also, for procedural reasons).

I bring it up not to point out that the Democratic party are the ones currently fighting for civil liberties (though that is true--and worth noting) but because this is a case where writing your Senators, if they voted yay, would be really helpful. Feingold pulled out a victory, but its a temporary one--a procedural one. Reason for optimism, but also reason to put some pressure on your representatives who are right now considering where they want to fall when the shit hits the fan (as it will). What pressure Feingold was able to put on needs to solidify behind him if it's going to actually translate into a legislative victory.

So, look at that list, and if your Senator is on the wrong side of this issue, write them. This link will give you the email addy (in many cases, an online comment template) for every single Senator in Congress. I'll give you a sample letter--mine to Senator Specter, written in my bathrobe. Not the best, but it'll do.

quote:

Dear Senator Specter,

I write to urge you, as my representative, to follow Senator Feingold's lead and block renewal of the USA Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act has obviously been a thorny issue nearly since its first passage (or rather, since Senators woke up with a legislative hangover the next day and realized what it was they had rubber stamped the night before). But I believe that there are a number of specific, recent revelations that give added creedence to those of us who have worried that the Act might be used as a go-around to stifle our civil liberties in very real and very destructive ways.

We now know, for instance, that President Bush has repeatedly signed NSA orders authorizing the breaking of US laws to spy on its citizens, as the recent revelations from the New York Times attest.

We also know that the Defense Department has been using its expanded powers to such national security ends as snooping around Quaker educational meetings in Florida and peaceful anti-war protests everywhere, among other things.

Defense department employees are stationed WITHIN THE UNITED STATES to spy on Americans without a court order. And many of your own colleagues think it might be illegal.

This is not conduct befitting an executive structure that has our best interests at heart; that has our civil liberties as their first and foremost concern. The War on Terror, and initiatives designed ostensibly to help fight it, has already been used as cover to expand executive authority and stifle hard-won civil liberties. That hypothetical is no longer an open question.

Time and again, the conduct of our domestic and international intelligence agencies regarding the rights of privacy for our citizens has been questionable at best, and this administration specifically has time and time again used 9/11 to simply ignore whatever laws they don't agree with, or to pass new acts obliterating those old laws. The White House attitude is quite simple - we know we're right and we're going to do it no matter what the law. There is nothing at all "patriotic" about the US military and NSA illegally spying on citizens. Average Americans most certainly wouldn't reward the Bush administration with a permanent extension of the Patriot Act in response to these issues, and Congress shouldn't either.

This is a critical time in the history of our nation, when we are quietly (and sometimes loudly) re-calculating the balance between security and civil liberties. I believe that those willing to recalculate too far in deferrence of the former are going to find themselves on the wrong side of history--indeed, that process is already well underway.

Politically, I think it's time to bring leverage against President Bush and the Patriot Act's blind supporters in Congress, to demand accountability--real accountability--and to require critical compromises on the USA Patriot Act that will concretely put the civil liberties of honest, law-abiding Americans above all else. Already, forward-thinking Senators such as Feingold and, within our party, Hagel, Sununu, Murkowski, and Craig are putting appropriate legislative pressure on proponents of the Patriot Act, and it seems that through their example, and with a weak lame duck White House, at last, something might get done on this issue. I don't believe that Nebraska, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Indiana are unique in that their Republican constituents have a libertarian bent in how they view privacy and civil liberty concerns. I believe we Pennsylvanians equally have such concerns at heart.

I voted for you against Pat Toomey in the primaries last year precisely because I felt--or hoped--that you were a Senator who would not be a rubber stamp on issues including this one. I felt, and hoped, that you were a Senator who would not fear getting out in front on an issue or question, who would even break with the party in situations where the party is obviously putting politics and loyalty to the president above the interests of the people it was elected to represent. I believe this is one of those times were, on that, it's time for you to prove your mettle.

I urge you to join the side of Feingold, Sununu, Craig, Hagel, and the rest, and not allow Congress to hand President Bush a blank check on civil liberties. The time for real accountability, real leadership, and real compromise, is at hand.

I thank you for your time.

Brad Porter


I don't have a handy form to give you like on the flag burning issue (though if I come across one I'll post it), but like that, this is a good issue where a little bit of public pressure at a critical time might well work, or at least have an effect.


Posted by Trenchant_Troll on 12-17-2005 04:33 PM:

You are going to be the DNC Chairman, I tell ya. Once you get your own place that is.

__________________

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


Posted by Smug Git on 12-17-2005 06:37 PM:

Incidentally, they did offer a 3 month extension while a deal was worked out, but Frist said that Bush wouldn't sign that. Be interesting to see what becomes of all this, although apparently some of the clauses still have effect after they expire (if investigation is already ongoing, or if the crime in question occurred before the expiration).

__________________

I want to live and I want to love
I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of


Posted by squee on 12-19-2005 10:25 PM:

quote:
Originally posted by lucidnightmare
Not at all.In the areas that the patriot act affects there is no benefit to them to abuse it.Be specific to that kind of power,not just any power.

I would think that there are policies that give them far more power over my personal life,with less benefit to me.Policies that all these people support.

That the government is out to get us is a hypothetical.That there are people on the outside trying to attack us is a fact.

After reading your last few posts on this forum I am nearly speechless at the level of douchebaggery you have reached. No matter how much you, personally, are able to delude yourself into thinking that the government does not amass power for its own sake, the fact remains that it does, is doing so right now, and will continue to do so unless the citizenry stop it.

It is my professional opinion that the Patriot Act grants us no additional security as a nation. Furthermore, it is ripe for abuse and has been abused over and over and over again.

It is so painfully obvious that you have never embarked on the most superficial study of history...why are you so willing to believe the lies you are fed? Wouldn't you rather live in a great country than in a shitty country where someone tells you it's not shitty--but if it is, it's someone else's fault?

It baffles me completely that a man under the yoke would try to tell everyone that he is not already a slave.
__________________

What does polite society know of the secret hearts of men?
What shows the shuttered window but all the evil you can imagine?


Posted by CHiPsJr on 12-19-2005 11:58 PM:

Ease up. Wrong forum to talk smack. Besides which, I think each of us here is equally blinded by our own ideological blinkers.


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