March 14, 2008

Telecom Immunity Now Unlikely

Today the House approved a new FISA bill, by a vote of 213 - 197, which does not contain retroactive immunity for lawbreaking telecoms! This is a major victory for the rule of law and progressive politics. The bill must now be sent back to the Senate to be voted upon, and if the House Dems can pass this thing, then I am hopeful that the Senate Dems can as well. There has been a huge push among progressive bloggers and activists against immunity, and it is extremely encouraging to see our elected officials respond. The other provisions of this bill, reaffirming Congressional oversight of intelligence gathering and the necessity of warrants for surveillance of US citizens, are obviously positive developments, but are ultimately superficial. Bush has long promised to veto any legislation which does not provide the legal immunity for those corporations he has been throwing hissy-fits over. The point is, due to some artful and confident maneuvering by Congressional leaders, the anti-immunity amendment will not be vulnerable to Republican attempts to strip it from the bill in the Senate. Translation: Immunity for the Telecoms (read: Bush's) illegal activities will not happen.

Been a while since we've had some good news on this front, and forever since we've had much praise to throw at the D's in Washington, but Democrats in Congress, YOU ROCK!! Well done folks, kinda makes me feel good to call myself a Democrat again. Thank you.

Feels kinda good to stand up to all that noise about the "Terra-ists" and Other Scary Things coming from the Right, doesn't it? Remember that feeling, and keep up the good work.

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