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House Votes For Telco Immunity; Obama Will Support? 436

Posted by kdawson
from the now-we-will-never-know dept.
We discussed telecom immunity yesterday ahead of the House vote. It passed by 293 votes to 129. Only one Republican voted against the bill; Democrats were evenly split. It now goes to the Senate. Reader Verteiron points out that Glenn Greenwald has up a post titled "Statement of Barack Obama supporting Hoyer FISA bill." It says that Obama will try to get the immunity provision removed, but failing that will vote for the overhauled wiretapping bill anyway. I couldn't find this on Obama's official site. Anyone seen a position from the McCain camp?
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House Votes For Telco Immunity; Obama Will Support?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:42PM (#23887143)

    no change

  • by truthsearch (249536) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:46PM (#23887179) Homepage Journal

    6) Lawsuits lost because of this law may be appealed and this law will hopefully be found unconstitutional (because it is).

  • by Leftist Troll (825839) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:47PM (#23887191)

    Spin in however you like, no matter how you look at this, the Democrats caved. Pathetic.

  • Again. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:48PM (#23887199)

    I can't think of anything profound to say. I hate to be the bearer of hopelessness, but I think that the US is too far down the road to being a police state. There is no way this will get reversed. I don't see this thing being defeated in the Senate. There are too many powerful lobbies behind it. Sorry.

  • by Compholio (770966) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:49PM (#23887219)

    6) Lawsuits lost because of this law may be appealed and this law will hopefully be found unconstitutional (because it is).
    Even after they take out the retroactive immunity? That's the only unconstitutional part I've heard people talking about.
  • I'm done with giving Obama money. I want a return to constitutional governance, and supported him because I thought that's what he stood for. Apparently not. This has nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with the betrayal of rule of law by both political parties. They have eviscerated the fourth amendment without so much as a peep from the Supreme Court.

    This is getting very ugly. At this point the only hope for citizens to return to constitutional governance nonviolently will be for mass general strikes throughout the United States. Otherwise, everything our founders stood for in the creation of the Bill of Rights will be diluted to nothing before our eyes. I do not wish to live in a totalitarian United States of America.

  • by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:52PM (#23887229) Journal
    Obama will try to get the immunity provision removed, but failing that will vote for the overhauled wiretapping bill anyway.

    This is just another case where multiple issues are stacked into one bill, forcing legislators to either support something they don't want or vote against something they do want. Yes there is supposed to be a solid connection between all the parts of a bill, but legislators can't vote yea on one line item and nay on another and often time the connections between items on a single bill are tenuous. Tagging unpopular items to otherwise popular bills is one of the more common forms of corruption in our legislative process.
  • Immunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:52PM (#23887231) Journal
    You know, as much as I don't like seeing the telco companies getting of completely, I must admit I blame the government more than the companies themselves.

    It was the government that started this whole ball rolling and the telcos were (more or less) just following orders.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2008 @02:52PM (#23887235)

    It was pointed out that this bill makes investigating what happened illegal. In order to bring a lawsuit, you need evidence don't you? If it's illegal to obtain evidence with an investigation wouldn't they attempt to throw out any lawsuit brought to them due to illegally obtained evidence?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:00PM (#23887325)

    While I applaud you for taking a principled stand, I do think that maybe you should wait until the bill's actually been voted on in Senate before you declare Obama to be traitor before the people.

  • by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:01PM (#23887339)

    Intelligent people make decisions once a fact is confirmed. A blog post is not a fact nor is it confirmed. Try waiting for the vote.

  • Re:Immunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tshetter (854143) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:01PM (#23887341)
    The government may have been the ones that asked, but the phone companies did their bidding, they though it was a good idea and went through with it. Only Qwest denies the requests, IIRC.

    I always hate the comparison...but 'i was just following orders' is not and never will be an excuse to do wrong.

    You say no, tell people what was wanted of you and keep saying it is wrong.

    This isnt some 3rd world shithole where this deal took place.

    There were phone calls and meetings between business men and US government officials. No one was going to be beaten, families raped, or killed for not following orders of the government.

    The worst threat anyone in the administration or government had was to TRY to threaten a loss of government contracts. I could also see planting of stories in the media possibly but not really likely...

    There was no down side to saying no to questionable requests. NONE.

    What the hell ever happened to Question Authority?


  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:12PM (#23887461) Homepage Journal

    Why anyone thought Senator Obama was different is beyond me. Maybe it's just his incredible charisma and oratorical skill. He's a product of Chicago politics yet people act like he's the second coming. I'm sure I'll get modded down for this. Please note for the record that I have consistently said that both sides were dirty as hell. I'm a registered Independant who wanted to believe that someone different would come along. Obama isn't that someone. Neither is McCain. They are both politicians plain and simple. The rest is smoke and mirrors.

  • Here's the thing. I look at a lot of Obama supporters today and I see in them a lot of the same things I saw in myself when I was big into the Republican Party.

    The moral of the story is that you can't buy into any single party's message, and that you need to make either political party work hard for your vote. Nobody gets screwed over by a political party more than its most loyal supporters...

    We need to get past the game that we are being worked towards, where we see Democrats and Republican as enemies, and re-learn to appreciate each other as citizens. We need to tell ourselve that it is as ok to be a redneck with his cars up on blocks (that's me), as it is to be a gay couple getting married, that a man has as much right to own rifle as he does to burn the flag, that, we together have natural rights that encompass not just the bill of rights, but beyond them. And, we need to understand that when someone else is trying to get us caught up in a civil war of even a political sort, they are only doing so that in the cause of protecting us from these imagined fellow citizens as enemies, that they are taking the rights of everyone.

  • by stinerman (812158) <[nathan.stine] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:23PM (#23887575) Homepage

    You (and others) are of the belief that this proof doesn't exist. I assure you it does and it is widely believed it does. Fmr. AG Gonzales testified to this fact and the telcos have used such arguments in their legal cases.

    Congress said "yeah, we'll get your back if you can prove Bush asked you to do it" knowing full well that the telcos have such proof. It was a compromise in name only.

  • Meet the new boss (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sa1lnr (669048) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:32PM (#23887657)

    same as the old boss.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:36PM (#23887691)

    I'm done with giving Obama money. I want a return to constitutional governance, and supported him because I thought that's what he stood for.

    He's only running for president, he ain't president yet, and it's out of his hands. If you're in his position, you've got the two options:

    1. Oppose the bill, giving McCain talking points and opening a rift in the Democrats, on account of the fact that Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and a majority of Democrats support the 'compromise.' Even with his opposition, the bill will still pass the Senate, and he will have handed the Republicans red meat for no gain whatsoever.
    2. Support the bill and live to fight another day. Politics is the art of the possible and occasionally you can't win. You just have to listen to his argument on why he doesn't like it and if you think he's a liar, and he DOES secretly want to listen in on your phone calls, than you probably shouldn't vote for him either. I don't think this is the case; if you read "Dreams from My Father" on living in Suharto's Indonesia you get a visceral sense for how he really doesn't dig police states.

    The simple fact of the matter is that Presidents, be they Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon or FDR, can and do routinely break the law and violate the spirit if not the letter of the Constitution, and the only thing that really brings that to a halt is getting them out of office. So worst case, you only have 4 years of tyranny.

    Of course a lot of people don't seem to mind tyranny as long as gay people five states over are forbidden to marry, but that's a separate issue.

    Of course, as others have pointed out, this law just formalizes Bush's arrangement for his successor, so who would you rather have running such an empowered Justice department? Neither is best, but no strong majority of Americans choose "neither," and no amount of righteous Jefferson-quoting seems to change that. The Democrats did the math and they don't lose as many votes over this as they'd lose if they handed Bush another veto, again accomplishing nothing. I don't question their commitment for a second, it's just impossible to get anything past a President without 2/3 majority in the House and 60 votes in the Senate.

  • Scapegoats? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xelios (822510) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:41PM (#23887745)
    The Bush Administration are the real criminals in this case, why aren't they being held accountable? Everyone is gung ho about crucifying the Telco's, what about the people who ordered them to do the spying?

    While I don't agree with what they did, I can understand why the Teclo's agreed to the situation. The Bush Administration probably assured them that were the program ever exposed, they would be granted immunity, and in the mean time they made a fair bit of money off the illegal activities of the government. Both groups should be tried for their actions, but people should be much more upset with the government over this.
  • True BUT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snarfer (168723) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:42PM (#23887749) Homepage

    BUT it only gives immunity to wiretapping that started after 9/11. The program started before 9/11 - a few weeks after Bush took office, in fact. This was when the Bush people were ignoring terror threats so it was not about terrorists.

  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:42PM (#23887753) Journal

    Spin in however you like, no matter how you look at this, the Democrats caved to a bill overwhelmingly supported and started by Republicans. Pathetic.
    There we go - fixed.

    I don't know if that's a swipe against Democrats in general... but at least about half of them stood up and said no.
  • by n0-0p (325773) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @03:45PM (#23887787)

    He didn't show up: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll437.xml [house.gov]

  • by Blackhalo (572408) <jmattj@i[ ]etcom.com ['x.n' in gap]> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:06PM (#23887987)
    "a man has as much right to own rifle as he does to burn the flag"

    The way the U.S. government is going, I suspect that in due course, a man will have neither of those rights nor many others. The publics apparent view, that we only have the rights enumerated in the constitution, is appalling.

    On the one side you have the Democrats working to take away second amendment protections and bolstering copyrights to corporations by eliminating fair use and public domain, while on the other side you have the Republicans working to take away those pesky privacy rights and freedom of speech.

    Neither of these parties seem to represent the public in general and always they strive to expand government powers. It's a lose-lose.
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:07PM (#23887993) Homepage
    What about 9/11/2001 is legally relevant? Ie, what makes wiretapping (or whatever it is being called) okay after that date?
  • I prefer no spying on US citizens at all, without a signed warrant.

  • by SnapShot (171582) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:30PM (#23888205)

    There's a lot of cliches being bandied about in this conversation so let's add on more: don't let prefect be the enemy of the good.

    As the parent mentioned, the only group willing to stand up for freedom is a fraction of the Democratic party. The entire Republican party has arrayed themselves against the Constitution. Remember that on election day.

  • by Holi (250190) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @04:56PM (#23888499)

    Never have, we live in a representative republic.

  • by Stew Gots (1310921) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @05:13PM (#23888685)

    (1) Obama turned down federal financing the other day.

    (2) He is totally reliant on private contributions to carry the campaign to the White House.

    (3) It is the internet fund raising that has brought in huge dollars for him.

    (4) Stop being adoring fans and start thinking like empowered citizens

    (5) Get on Reddit, Digg, twitter, Facebook, etc.: NO FURTHER CONTRIBUTIONS until Obama proves leadership on Telecom Immunity

    (6) Learn what it feels like to have real power.

  • by Sabz5150 (1230938) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @05:13PM (#23888693)
    IMHO there is only one way we can help Obama be in a position to make good with his promise to remove immunity.

    Elect him president.

  • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @05:25PM (#23888791) Homepage

    Then I fail to see your point since a JUDGE decides what is and is not legal.

    Then you continue to fail epically at this conversation, since the entire purpose of this bill is to hand off the immunity choice to the AG. All he has to do is send a letter and the telco is given immunity by Congress. Sure, a court might overrule that provision, but we're discussing the legislation right now and that's what the bill just passed by the House says.

  • Re:Scapegoats? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @05:57PM (#23889103)

    Because a way of getting to the Wnauts is through these lawsuits.

    Do you really think W is fighting this out for the telcos ?

  • by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @06:54PM (#23889513) Journal
    It has been posted on /. before, but you might be interested in the Read the Bills Act. [downsizedc.org]

    "America was founded on the slogan, "No taxation without representation." A similar slogan applies to this situation: "No LEGISLATION without representation." We hold this truth to be self-evident, that those in Congress who vote on legislation they have not read, have not represented their constituents. They have misrepresented them. And since Congress has repeatedly committed "legislation without representation," strong measures to prohibit these Congressional misrepresentations are both justified and required. To this end we have created the "Read the Bills Act (RTBA)."
  • by TerranFury (726743) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @07:12PM (#23889635)

    Everybody wants a Messiah!

    "Obama! Obama! Rescue me! You are the Anointed One, and perfect in my sight!"

    Yet he's just another politician. In fact, I think his campaign has been the most calculatingly PR-driven of the bunch. The man doesn't even have a platform (yes, I've read his website), just a bunch of slogans involving abstract nouns.

    People say Obama's a great orator, too, but I don't even see that. Honestly, I think they just think "black man = good speaker" (It's part of the stereotype, if you haven't noticed, along with being good at basketball). But have you actually listened to him? He uses more "verbal junk" -- "umms" and "uuhs" and the like -- than the other candidates, and really the only thing he has going for him is his voice (which, yes, is good; it's a nice tenor. Hillary sounded too treble. Blame women's smaller Adam's apple.)

    I saw Obama speak firsthand at the beginning of his campaign before I knew about him, and since I had heard so many people raving about him I was expecting good things. Let me tell you: I was incredibly disappointed. He was ushered on stage on cue, gave an empty speech about "not cowtowing to special interests" and "change" (Good god, can it get any more cliche? The man's speeches are the political equivalent of Hallmark cards.) and then left while some bubbly, upbeat alt-rock played ("Suddenly I see!") before anybody could ask him a single question. The whole thing was, so transparently, a scripted show.

    For a comparison: When I saw Wesley Clark a few years earlier (when he was running for president), he gave a speech in which he outlined specific policy objectives, and reserved time at the end to answer questions. He understood what he was talking about!

    I feel reasonably confident that I know what I would be voting for if I voted for McCain. Unfortunately, I don't like what that would be: A president focused on foreign policy to the neglect of domestic issues, who would tend to support the use of military force, even in situations when it might not be needed. But what about Obama? The man is an actor; which concrete policies would he advocate? He just hasn't said!

    And what he has said, I don't believe. Let me give you a concrete example for why that is. Obama had maintained for most of his campaign that it would be his strategy to reach out to the groups that we, the U.S., currently refuse to talk to, and that, moreover, he would try to do so in a way that would make the U.S. be respected as a fair arbiter. In particular, he had spoken of the need (1) for a Palestinian state, and (2) to engage the Palestinians. Yet recently at AIPAC, he swore he would not talk to HAMAS (exactly contradicting his previous promises of engagement) and that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided" -- thereby immediately displaying a partiality which has lost him almost all of his credibility with the Arabs with whom he has been telling us he will be uniquely able to negotiate.

    We have just had eight years under a president who didn't know what the hell he was doing. Do we really need four more?

    But what choice have we got? McCain isn't exactly appealing himself.

    "Democracy." Heh! It's just the process by which the idiots you went to high school with run the country. And by "run," I mean, "are told what to decide by television ads."

  • Re:Revolt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TerranFury (726743) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @07:40PM (#23889835)

    This is where the 2nd Amendment comes into play.

    This is why the current weapons laws are completely backwards. The weapons that are illegal are exactly the ones we need to protect democracy, and the weapons that are legal are exactly the ones we should ban.

    For instance, there is no reason for handguns to be available. They are not tools of war so much as of murder.

    Antitank weapons, RPGs, and heavy-caliber machineguns, however, we should have. You can't arm a rebellion with the "Saturday night specials" used to rob take-out pizza restaurants.

    I know that at first glance this sounds absurd, like I'm trying to write satire -- but I'm not. It's true that I'm not sure that I'm entirely serious, but I really do think that the logic is there.

  • by DoctorFrog (556179) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @08:38PM (#23890193)
    I am directing my money toward those candidates who genuinely fight this absurd bill. I'm still hoping Obama will rejoin those ranks, but until then there is no shortage of campaigns I can contribute to. The 128 House Democrats who voted against it, for example.

    (Oh, and I am noting who voted which way [house.gov] on this one. In two years I will be picking amongst about 105 primary challengers. Pelosi, Hoyer, I'm looking at you.)

    All that said, voting third party is more effective than not voting at all, and whoever modded you flamebait is an idiot for doing so.
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @08:50PM (#23890267)

    "IMHO there is only one way we can help Obama be in a position to make good with his promise to remove immunity.

    Elect him president."

    Revealing your fundamental misunderstanding of how the US government works. As a senator, Obama could put a hold on the bill, do a REAL filibuster (think Strom Thurmond), or use parliamentary tactics. His leadership won't stop him, because an internal fight right now is the last thing the Dems need.

    As President, he would be faced with a bill that has ALREADY passed, and....what? He can't retroactively veto it. He can demand Congress change the bill, but Presidential demands are variable in power - is he really willing to burn up that much clout over something that, now that he is in power, will be SOOO attractive to use?

    If he cared about that provision, he could stop it now, instead of mouthing platitudes in January 2009.

  • by Khaed (544779) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @08:55PM (#23890303)

    That really doesn't make me like her any more, but rather, less. That basically means she bought/bribed her way to being speaker.

  • by Khaed (544779) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @08:59PM (#23890339)

    Okay, I don't usually do this for posts not my own, but who the hell moderated this as flamebait and why? It's a genuinely good point. At some point, if the two big parties are pissing you off, then you can do two things: Vote third party, or don't vote.

    Personally, I'd rather someone vote if they're at least somewhat up to date on the issues, as GP appears to be. It's a LOT better than just wasting your vote*. There's nothing flamebaitish about asking someone to at least consider an alternative.

    * I only consider not voting as a waste; even if you write in your own name that's at least something. Yes, third parties have a serious uphill battle. But if the people sitting out voted for them instead it would make an impact. And I get a feeling a lot of people will sit this one out.

  • by weston (16146) * <westonsd@canncen ... g minus caffeine> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @09:30PM (#23890527) Homepage

    Yet he's just another politician. In fact, I think his campaign has been the most calculatingly PR-driven of the bunch. The man doesn't even have a platform (yes, I've read his website), just a bunch of slogans involving abstract nouns.

    Abstract nouns like "network neutrality"?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/#open-internet [barackobama.com]

    Or "review of existing uses of our wireless spectrum"?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/#modern-communications [barackobama.com]

    Or "a credit card rating system," and "Prohibit Interest on Fees"?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/#credit-cards [barackobama.com]

    Or "exemption in bankruptcy law for individuals who can prove they filed for bankruptcy because of medical expenses"?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/#bankruptcy [barackobama.com]

    How about "new Teacher Service Scholarship"? Or "American Opportunity Tax Credit"?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/#teachers [barackobama.com]

    I think it strains credibility to say he "doesn't even have a platform." Or to claim that you've read his website.

    People say Obama's a great orator, too, but I don't even see that.

    That's fine.

    Honestly, I think they just think "black man = good speaker"

    Really? Do you have any evidence to back this up? I mean, yeah, people find certain famous ministers, MLK in particular, inspiring, but I'd be willing to lay down serious money that a decent poll on a significant set of the US population would *not* show a general perception of black males being better public speakers than white males.

    I'd be very interested to be pointed to information to the contrary.

    I feel reasonably confident that I know what I would be voting for if I voted for McCain.

    If my acquaintances who've worked in the senate are any indication, you probably don't. Several of them went in with respect for him, and found that when the cameras are off, he's a very different person. At minimum vindictive and tyranical, and quite possibly unstable.

    This is commentary from senate staffers who worked for *Republicans*, not democrats.

    Of course, this is a random guy on the internet saying stuff, and there's no way to verify it really, unless you have access to acquaintances in the same circles, or until somebody there risks upsetting their position in that circle by standing up and saying something about it.

    For a comparison: When I saw Wesley Clark a few years earlier (when he was running for president), he gave a speech in which he outlined specific policy objectives, and reserved time at the end to answer questions. He understood what he was talking about!

    I like Wesley Clark, and everything I've seen leads me to believe think he'd be a good choice in the White House, and I don't doubt he understands some policy domains (particularly the obvious foreign and military ones) far better than Obama does.

    Obama has his own domains of policy expertise, however -- community economic development in particular -- and I think he's shown he knows how to pick people with real knowledge in underlying domains (see, for example, his choice of tech advisor vs McCain... and MIT prof vs an industry lawyer).

    he need (1) for a Palestinian state, and (2) to engage the Palestinians. Yet recently at AIPAC, he swore he would not talk to HAMAS (exactly contradicting his previous promises of engagement) and that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided"

    The AIPAC speech was a disaster, I think necessarily because Obama simultaneously doesn't want to abandon the Jewish constituency (and to some extent, zionist Christians) to McCain,

  • by rpillala (583965) on Saturday June 21, 2008 @09:34PM (#23890547)

    The idea is that in the immediate days after the attack, things were so confused and frenzied that legal protections may have fallen by the wayside. The idea is to protect people who were overzealous due to the heat of emotion. That doesn't explain why HR 6304 provides lawsuit dismissal for a period of six years following the attack.

    That's the only thing that makes any kind of sense to me (I've read it in a few places.) Eliminating the basic principles that make America the land of the free seems more like capitulation to terrorists than what the current administration thinks.

  • Obama (Score:3, Insightful)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday June 21, 2008 @11:53PM (#23891341)

    If Obama wants to get the money and support of the democrat party

    Obama doesn't need party funding. He's got the largest war, er campaign, chest by collecting millions of dollars off of individuals over the net. Actually he went back on his pledge to use public financing because he's doing so well fund raising. McCain is starting to use that as an issue.

    Falcon
  • by uncqual (836337) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @12:06AM (#23891413)
    Voting Libertarian (esp. for U.S. President) is not a vote for the Libertarian candidate (after all, no Libertarian candidate for POTUS has any chance of being elected).

    Instead, a vote for the Libertarian candidate is among the clearest messages one can send to the Dem/Rep parties of where there is a pool of voters they can actually attract if they adjust their approaches (or at least pretend to).

    A libertarian voter should be realistic -- the best they can do now or in the near term is sway the views/actions of the mainstream candidates by voting for the Libertarian candidate.

    Send a message to the losing party (Dem or Rep) in November by voting Libertarian. A vote for the Libertarian candidate is a vote for libertarian principles, not for whatever idiot the Libertarians picked this time around.
  • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday June 22, 2008 @01:05AM (#23891727)

    Did they really? Because there was a lot of discussions surrounding how the administration thought they had the authority to do it.

    I'm no constitutional authority, but nowhere in the Constitution of the USA does it give that power to the executive branch. And the Constitution is a limit on what government can do. It doesn't seem like it today but that's how it was written.

    If they knew, you would think they wouldn't have bothered writing legal opinions and such to do it.

    It just as possible any "legal opinions" were written to cover their asses. "See we wrote these to show we believed what we did was legal."

    Would you want el Duce, Hilter, or Stalin to have the same power? How about Pol Pot? Idi Amin?

    Totally irrelevant. Nothing this administration has done is remotely close to those people and going after the telecoms has no relation to any of it either.

    It's very relevant, not even the NAZIs did everything at once. Instead they slowly whittled away. Hitler wasn't even given all the power he had until after the Reistag fire. And going after the telecoms will show they can be made to pay if they do anything illegal.

    Would you prefer a government willing to go all the way when those people decide to invade?

    What people invading where?

    Or how about when your shopping at a mall and terrorist decide to blow it up for 72 virgins.

    I'm more concerned about the Christian Talibans [spiritplants.org] And Reconstructionists and Theocratic Dominionists [tylwythteg.com] who want to dictate how I live, if I don't live the way they dictate I'm stoned to death [sullivan-county.com]. Or how they are trying to get rid of science in school and teach Creationism, ID, instead. I still recall having an elementary school teacher in a public school forcibly apply a ruler to children's hands and arms, including my own, because we wouldn't say the pledge of allegiance with "under god". In a public school.

    Falcon
  • by Lost Engineer (459920) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @02:29AM (#23892055)

    Why exactly is Bob Barr an "idiot?" I'm asking because I've looked at his positions, and, while we aren't going to agree on everything, I fail to see anything disingenuous much less idiotic.

    Somebody here considers you insightful so please do elaborate on what's wrong with the party's candidate.

  • by Atario (673917) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @03:57AM (#23892371) Homepage

    Didn't you hear? Something magical [americanfreepress.net] happened and the rule of law ceased to exist.

  • by Findeton (818988) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @08:22AM (#23893383)

    As perfectly as invasion has worked for iraqui people, i guess. You know, these new tools are trashing your civil liberties, and therefore are unpatriotic tools. I'd even say that those who support those tools are TRAITORS to their country.

  • by owlstead (636356) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @08:24AM (#23893393)

    I do think it is more the American people that are to blame. You wouldn't even vote for a president if he would have a slight blush on his face, because it doesn't look "presidential". Do you know that most people in my country wouldn't know the wife of the president? She could walk right through Amsterdam and only draw a few looks.

    That said, I do think that at least Obama is to be believed when he says he wants change. Maybe that's naive, but we'll have to wait and see. Keeping the current status quo is the stupidest thing to do. It only benefits some already rich people and literally disregards all others.

    When I see the circus surrounding your elections, do you really expect in depth analysis and questions? That won't hit the "whoo!" crowd. You'll have to be behind the scenes to do that kind of thing. Besides it not hitting the right brain centers, it would also be very tiring. Thinking uses lots of energy. Energy you need for looking spiffy - if you look that, you've already lost.

    I could never be president, I sleep too irregular for that :) One day with eyes black from sleep deprivation and I would be mincemeat.

  • by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Sunday June 22, 2008 @02:29PM (#23896085)

    Umm... Israel talked to Hamas. If the people that are at a real threat from the group talk to the group, then perhaps you need to rethink your diplomacy stance.

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