Obama Voted No On Immunity & Got FISA Right

It's time to put the "Obama Caved On FISA" talk to an end.

Obama may have promised to support a filibuster of an earlier FISA bill that contained retroactive immunity for telecoms. But we all know that it takes 40 votes to sustain a filibuster. Obama may be the de-facto leader of the party, but ours a fractured party. And with so many conservative red-state-Dems in our party's caucus, plus others like Feinstein who are apparently too beholden to the powerful telecom companies in their states to vote the right way on this, a filibuster on this FISA bill was simply not a realistic possibility. The Dems could barely muster 40 votes for even the most watered down of all the immunity amendments. Obama and Senator Clinton both voted the right way on all three of them, and we should all be proud of them for that.

The FISA bill is obviously imperfect, but I do not believe that a serious Presidential candidate can afford to vote "no" on legislation that is intended to help prevent terrorist attacks. If Obama were to oppose the bill as a whole, he would be handing McCain--who didn't even bother to show up and vote today--a huge opening to scare voters and paint Obama as weak on terrorism.

The "Obama turning rightward" media coverage has gone on long enough as it is. We don't need to fan the flames of that storyline anymore.

Respectfully, I ask Mike Stark to change the name of his MyBO group. I am all for having a MyBO group that expresses the feelings of Obama's progressive supporters. But I hope that it will not remain a group whose only purpose is to criticize Obama for voting the way that I believe he absolutely had to on the overall FISA bill.

Cross-posted at My.BarackObama.Com

FISA, A last effort

Senate democrats are preparing to capitulate to the republicans on yet another issue. No wonder the democrats are seen as the weaker party.
While Senator Obama has the excuse of not wanting to appear too liberal, what happened to the other democrats? Where is "the fighter" that many of us supported? Some, including me, thought that it would look like Senator Clinton is undermining Barack Obama if she opposes FISA. But is how you appear to some Obama supporters more important than protecting the constitution? I hear that Senator Clinton has released a statement opposing retroactive immunity(couldn't find a link to it anywhere though), but I am sure that Senator Clinton could sway at least a few other senators if she comes out strongly against it (call Senator Clinton).

Today's NYTimes editorial starts

Congress has been far too compliant as President Bush undermined the Bill of Rights and the balance of powers. It now has a chance to undo some of that damage -- if it has the courage and good sense to stand up to the White House and for the Constitution.

This is a real opportunity for Senator Obama. Senator Obama can show that he is strong, if he stands by what he said in January, rather than capitulating to a minority republicans (some of whom may not be there next year) and a president with 23% approval rating.

But, while they decide on capitulating so easily, we can still continue our efforts. Here's what you can do

Call your senators using the simple tool
http://tools.advomatic.com/7/fisa
or
https://secure.eff.org/site/Advocacy?ale rtId=389&pg=makeACall

Tell them to:
  • Support the rule of law and vote YES on the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy and Bingaman amendments.
  • Oppose expansion of government surveillance powers and vote NO on the FISA bill

If you would like to join us, please call your Senator, join the group on myBO and Facebook, and help get the word out!

Check out the new discussion forum at getfisaright.com!

There's more...

Newest Addition to Protecting Our Asses: Steve Kagen

Two weeks ago, I posted a diary on DailyKos, MyDD, Open Left, and the Swing State Project announcing the creation of the ActBlue page Protecting Our Asses.  The goals of this page are as follows:

  • To reinforce vulnerable and potentially vulnerable incumbent members of Congress with cash.
  • To reward good, progressive behavior from these incumbents.
  • To diminish or replace the need for these incumbents to seek fundraising dollars from less progressive sources such as corporate PACs and "moderate"/conservative groups.
  • To send the message that the Netroots will have your back if you have ours.

    More over the flip.

    There's more...

  • Chris Dodd Steps Up...Again

    Via e-mail, Chris Dodd is asking for our help in stopping retroactive telecom immunity.

    This is it.

    Today the Senate will be debating FISA and retroactive immunity.

    By tomorrow, it's likely that voting will be done.

    And what we do together over the next 24 hours will determine what the legislation looks like.

    I've offered an amendment to strip retroactive immunity from the FISA legislation.

    On Monday you joined thousands of Americans online by calling your Senators (with the help of our friends at FireDogLake) and asking them  to vote "NO" on any bill containing retroactive immunity.

    There's still time for more calls to be made.

    http://tools.advomatic.com/7/fisa

    I promise you that your voices are being heard in the halls of the Senate.

    I promise you that I will continue to fight alongside you until the last vote is counted.

    Help me now to ensure that my next email to you will be a celebration of our commitment to the rule of law.

    Thank you, Senator Dodd for standing with us once again.

    Make the calls, everyone. Until the vote, every call and every bit of pressure counts. Remember, the only reason this isn't law already is because of us. Let's try to keep it that way.

    Update [2008-7-8 11:25:41 by Todd Beeton]:Senator Feingold will be speaking on the floor of the senate in a few minutes about his, Senator Dodd's and Senator Leahy's amendment to strip telecom immunity. Get on the horn, people.

    Update [2008-7-8 11:31:59 by Josh Orton]: You can use Blue America's call tools (the ones Dodd links to) to contact your Senators right here.

    There's more...

    Obama Fiddles While the Constitution Burns

    The mainstream media love showmanship more than they love anything except low corporate taxes, so it isn't much of a surprise that the networks and old media outlets like the Washington Post are on exactly the same page as the unprincipled showman Barack Obama.

    Forget about those "FISA Follies," says the Washington Post. Don't worry about what the Senator Chris Dodd called "abandonment of the rule of law" in a great speech announcing his filibuster of the FISA bill.

    "Mr. Obama nailed it the other day when he explained his new position -- "that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people," says the Washington Post. And why is Mr. Obama so right about the FISA bill?

    Because "no one can claim with certainty that his or her communications were monitored," says the Washington Post.

    Harharharhar!!! Those fascist clowns at the Washington Post are incredibly funny! Don't worry about burning the Fourth Amendment and abrogating your right to privacy, because the whole operation is so secret you won't ever know it happened!

    So the mainstream media are disappearing the destruction of the Bill of Rights and Google News couldn't even find enough news about it to make the Top 50 stories this morning, but Barack Obama's plan to turn the Democratic National Convention into a political Super Bowl was all over the networks.

    Only hours after Obama announced he would make his speech at the 76,000-seat Invesco Field at Mile High instead of the Pepsi Center, executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News Channel held a conference call to discuss how it affects their carefully considered plans to pool camera coverage of the event.

    There it is! The absolute essence of corporate news in America! Forget about the destruction of the Bill of Rights and get those cameras ready for the humongous spectacle of the coronation of Brack Obama!

    But however much Mr. Obama may have already won the nomination in his own mind, it all depends on non-binding expressions of preference by super-delegates, and it isn't absolutely impossible that those same super-delegates might suddenly discover a vestige of reverence for the Bill of Rights in their miserable souls, and insist on nominating a Democrat with real principles like Chris Dodd, instead of Barack Obama, no matter how much all the Obamabots in the peanut gallery may scream when the ring-master of their little circus is passed over.

    There's more...

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