Habeas Debate

The debate is on C-Span 2 here.  The Levin substitution failed 43-54, and Lindsay Graham is speaking.  Here are more specific instructions on what to say to the Maine Senators.

Call Senator Collins/Snowe and urge her to vote against S. 3930 .  This unAmerican bill betrays our constitutional tradition and costs us what little moral authority we retain, not to secure the country -- torture doesn't produce useful intelligence -- but because desperate politicians want something to brag about on the campaign trail.  Tell Senator Collins/Snowe that no cheap partisan stunt is worth exposing our troops to torture, alienating our allies, and abandoning the Constitution.

Susan Collins
461 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2523
Fax: (202) 224-2693

Olympia Snowe
154 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5344
Toll Free: (800) 432-1599
Fax: (202) 224-1946

Update: As is indicated in the comments, the phones are getting pounded. Regardless of what happens, we're on the record against this.

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Do You Trust George Bush?

The issue with NSA spying and the FISA court is very simple.  Do you trust Bush?  If so, then let Arlen Specter's bill (S2453) empower him with limitless authority to spy on you and your family.  The FISA legislation Specter authored completely neuters any oversight the courts have over wiretapping.

If you don't trust Bush, call the Senators on the Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote against Specter's proposed legislation on FISA.  Here are the phone numbers for the Judiciary Committee.

Senators aren't expecting a lot of feedback on this bill, since it's a hot July and few people are paying attention.  Well-placed phone calls can matter here.  The House will take up the bill eventually as well, so we'll have to go to the House if we can't stop it in the Senate.

Oh, and candidates that are challenging incumbents - now's a good time to go on the record about this legislation.

Arlen Specter, Chairman - Pennsylvania - Fax (202) 228-1229
Orrin G. Hatch - Utah - Fax (202) 224-6331
Patrick J. Leahy - Vermont - Fax (202) 224-3479
Charles E. Grassley - Iowa - Fax (515) 288-5097
Edward M. Kennedy - Massachusetts - Fax (202) 224-2417
Jon Kyl - Arizona - Fax (202) 224-2207
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. - Delaware - Fax (202) 224-0139
Mike DeWine - Ohio - Fax (202) 224-6519
Herbert Kohl - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-9787
Jeff Sessions - Alabama - Fax (202) 224-3149
Dianne Feinstein - California - Fax (202) 228-3954
Lindsey Graham - South Carolina - Fax (864) 250-4322
Russell D. Feingold - Wisconsin - Fax (202) 224-2725
John Cornyn - Texas - Fax (972) 239-2110
Charles E. Schumer - New York - Fax (202) 228-3027
Sam Brownback - Kansas - Fax (202) 228-1265
Richard J. Durbin - Illinois - Fax (202) 228-0400
Tom Coburn - Oklahoma - Fax (202) 224-6008

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Why Pat Toomey Lost and Why Ned Lamont Will Win

There have been some excellent comparisons between Pat Toomey's 2004 primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter and Ned Lamont's 2006 primary challenge to Joe Lieberman. DavidNYC has written two great posts comparing the poll numbers (1& 2).

Now that there are new campaign finance numbers through the end of June, we can also look at the amount of spending in these two races.

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Focus on the Family's New Advertisements

Focus on the Family will air advertisements in 13 states in an attempt to pressure Senators who have opposed or have expressed opposition to the federal Marriage Protection Amendment.  Here is Focus on the Family's list of advertisements and the Senators they plan to target:

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Senator Specter

Senator Specter, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Anyone who tries to use legislation to legalize hate and discrimination embarrasses themselves, those they represent and the Constitution itself.

If this is genuinely a serious issue confronting all Americans, and not a slick political move to stir up a restless base, why did you choose to have the debate essentially behind closed doors?  The American people have a right to know what their representatives are doing in their name.  If this is a bill that you truly oppose, why let it even reach the Senate floor?  Assuming you do not vote for this bill, 12 Democrats have to vote for it to pass.  Good luck.  You know for a fact this amendment has less than no chance of passing the Senate, let alone being ratified by 3/4 of state legislatures.  Why waste the Senate's time?  So you can continue to do nothing and continue to flush more hard-earned taxpayer money down the toilet?

It has been my experience that when people get as mad as you did yesterday (saying "good riddance" to a fellow Senator during a Senate hearing), it usually means you know you are on the wrong side of the argument, even though you may not have had a choice in the matter.  It must be frustrating to be forced into supporting such embarrassing legislation, though Jim Crow did fly for quite some time.I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures.  How does it feel, knowing you will be remembered as the Senator who allowed this hateful amendment to reach the Senate floor?  I didn't think you could sink to the level of the other Senator from your state, and right now, he knows the meaning of desperate. A few more stunts like these, and you might have the same problem as Senator Santorum in a few years.  Do Republicans really stand up for what they believe?  I don't think so.

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