All Bush Wants for Christmas Is a Cloture Vote, a Cloture Vote, Yes a Cloture Vote

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But it looks like someone's on Santa's naughty list, because on PATRIOT Act reauthorization, he just got handed a lump of coal.

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  1. Happy Holidays, Mr. President! This must be our Friday fun link. šŸ™‚

  2. Yes, the GOP leadership has consistently proven itself to be as spineless and effeminate as the Dems.

    Eric in Hollywood

    – convinced he should just move his production company to Baja and get it over with.

  3. The first nice present we’ve had for a while.

  4. Yes!! The Act has been used in things that aren’t even germane to terrorism. And today we find out that the administration has been using the NSA to monitor communications of citizens sans a warrant!

  5. Of course, if they go ahead and do whatever they think they need to do whatever the law says, why do they care about the Patriot Act so much?

  6. Hurray!

    Of course, if they go ahead and do whatever they think they need to do whatever the law says, why do they care about the Patriot Act so much?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.

    I suspect some of these guys have their fingers in the air, and they’re concerned about the mood of the electorate. …also, I suspect the mood of the electorate has something to do with those who feel like they can disregard the law.

    If the Security Moms show sign of turning back into Soccer Moms, the Republicans are gonna be in a lotta trouble come the next Presidential election, especially if they can’t run as budget and tax conservatives. Yes sir, this is a very good sign. Loyal Opposition, I almost feared you’d left us for good–welcome back to the party.

  7. Why, I almost believe Sen. Sununu has been reading the little notes I’ve been sending. Well, some of them anyway.

  8. I love the part about how Frist changed his vote at the last minute so that he would be able to call for a new vote at any time. What a hypocrite.

  9. The Frist vote change is actually a standard DC maneuver with a long history behind it. There’s nothing particularly hypocritical about it… well, nothing more hypocritical than the usual congressional politics, that is. šŸ™‚

  10. Here’s an interesting question to ponder… any chance that Bush Junior will issue an executive order to keep those provisions intact indefinately?

  11. So, is there any chance that Bush or someone else in DC could light a fire under the Senate and snatch victory against the Bill of Rights from the jaws of apparent defeat? That kind of thing has happened before. We thought we had killed the REAL ID Act, for instance, and they slipped it in as an amendment to a so-called “must-pass” bill, in the dead of night.

    Can we be sure that this thing is dead, really dead, until next year at least?

  12. Yes, Virginia, REDACTED.

    Anon

  13. JAM

    no.

    fuck….

  14. Thank God, for now anyway. I really do feel change in the wind. We need it.

  15. It’s a sloppy victory, but I’ll take it. In a righteous world, angry mobs would be demanding recall votes and/or nooses for anyone who voted for the “PATRIOT” Act. We’ll have to settle for killing it with parliamentary maneuvers.

    It’s interesting that the White House won’t allow an extension because it fears opponents “chipping away” at the Act. Is half a loaf not better than none? Their logic seems to be, “it’s a great law as long as we don’t consider it too carefully.” Three more months of debate apparently will not convince anyone to vote for it, but rather they fear more defections as we approach the campaign season.

    Who would have guessed that little Russ Feingold would turn out to be such a scrappy streetfighter when essential liberties were at stake? Contrast this with Hillary Clinton’s shameful pandering to the jingoists over flag-burning. Feingold was the only senator to vote against the “Patriot” Act in 2001 and was promptly declared toast. But he’s still here and he’s WINNING. Right now he’s the only democrat I can stomach.

  16. “We have more to fear from terrorism than we do from this Patriot Act,” Frist warned.

    If:

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself
    We have more to fear from terrorism than from the “patriot” act The “patriot” act arose out of fear,
    We should fear terrorism and the “patriot” act equally

    QED

    “Those that would give up essential liberties in pursuit in a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security,” said Sen. John Sununu, R-New Hampshire.

    I think it’s kind of sloppy that they didn’t give proper credit for Sununu’s quote; perhaps the reporter has never heard it before?

  17. Have fun, people. Let’s hope the party continues unabated.

    I SINCERELY hope that this doesn’t come back to bite us on the ass. I was no great fan of the damned law anyway, and if we can get away with national defense without it, than fantastic, right? BUT, if something were to happen within our borders, and some enterprising young investigative reporter can connect that the act could’ve been prevented by now-defunct aspects of the Patriot Act, the shit’s gonna hit the fan.

    Eric in Hollywood

  18. “Yes, the GOP leadership has consistently proven itself to be as spineless and effeminate as the Dems.”

    there’s a barebacking metaphor to be worked in there somewhere, but i’m not quite sure how; something about the “prostate of tyranny” and the “slippery shaft of freedom,” etc.

  19. hey i have an idea…i know that the FBI can wire tap and it is easy for them to get one…but just for the fuck of it am going to give a secret executive order for the NSA to wire tap…fuck an a…what is even funnier is the fact that they expected it not to leak.

  20. Whatever disappointment awaits us. The news today is good.

    Mazel tov

  21. I think it’s kind of sloppy that they didn’t give proper credit for Sununu’s quote; perhaps the reporter has never heard it before?

    You’re probably right about the reporter, but it’s also strange that Sununu didn’t explicitly mention it (“As Ben Franklin said,…”), as is customary when repeating a quote that the person you’re talking to might not recognize.

    Then again, it would be interesting (and not at all surprising) if one of the administration’s shills in Congress attacked Sununu for saying such left-wing nonsense when WE’RE AT WAR, DON’T YOU KNOW!

  22. What makes the administration look even more stupid, is that they think that they have the authority to spy on fellow countrymen in the first place.

    Now… if we could only get the joint CNN / Army Psy-ops propaganda operations exposed at this level.

  23. “BUT, if something were to happen within our borders, and some enterprising young investigative reporter can connect that the act could’ve been prevented by now-defunct aspects of the Patriot Act, the shit’s gonna hit the fan.

    I think this is the sort of thing Welch was talking about the other week, when he talked about the Constitution as death pact meme.

    …Personally, even if there was an attack, I’d have more respect for those who stood up for the Constitution regardless. I have a word I use to describe those who would sell out the Constitution in the name of security–“coward”. I use the word “patriot” to describe those who would defend the Constitution.

    Also, I give the American people a little more credit, I think. There’s a thick vein of people who would stand up for the Constitution; it’s part of our national character. A better leader would mine that vein of patriotism rather than play fear monger to the cowards in our midst.

  24. The Filibuster Song (with apologies to The Coasters)

    The PATRIOT Act goes in the trash
    The Bill of Rights you will not smash
    Show that wretched bill the door
    Or it dies right here on the Senate floor
    Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

    I ain?t gonna run out of breath
    I?m gonna talk that bill to death
    Get that law out of my sight
    Killing it is just and right
    Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

    Don’t you give me no dirty looks
    I?ll spend Senate time reading phone books
    Just tell your friends in the FBI
    The Constitution must be their guide
    Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

  25. BUT, if something were to happen within our borders, and some enterprising young investigative reporter can connect that the act could’ve been prevented by now-defunct aspects of the Patriot Act, the shit’s gonna hit the fan.

    The question to ask is not whether it could have been prevented with the Patriot Act. The question to ask is whether it could have been prevented if the government had used limited tools more intelligently.

    The last thing we want is a government that uses big tools stupidly. That scenario is to be avoided at all costs.

  26. But Thoreau, the government is, is run by and consists almost entirely of, big stupid tools. It’s in their nature, but then it isn’t that hard to housebreak a cat so maybe there’s hope. Although it would be easier to just change the party mascots from jackass and elephant to left and right handed tools.

    To [mis-]quote Michael Jackson “It doesn’t matter who’s left or right. Just beat it, beat it”

  27. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    All I want for Christmas is a nice set of Articles of Impeachment.

  28. All I want for Christmas is a nice set of Articles of Impeachment.

    You know Raymond, I’ve been thinkin’ about that too. …in regards to the domestic spying thing, it looks to me like the President violated the law. …and that’s the way you handle somethin’ like that.

    …but what I was thinking is that both the Republicans and the President would do well to get it over as quickly as possible. It’s far enough ahead of congressional elections, and if you’re the President, you’d rather deal with this while the Republican control congress.

    I’ll eat my hat if the President gets removed from office for doin’ this at the time he did for the reasons he’s given, but it would the Republican Party, himself and the country best if we got this over with as quickly as possible…

    …like before it even starts. …but I’m not gonna shut up about this. …until they deal with it. …and I know that’s got ’em shakin’ in their boots.

  29. All I want for Christmas is a nice set of Articles of Impeachment.

    Offhand, I can’t think of a better way to guarantee that the Republicans hold on to Congress.

  30. Sooooo……. GeoBush has had empty tumblers against the walls of Americans in Amerika!
    Just knew the neo-cons would move their Amerika further away from ‘freedom’, not closer to it.
    The guy is federal con awaiting arrest.

  31. Article II – Section 4. The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. [emphasis added, of course] text source: U.S. Constitution On-line at Cornell Law

    The revelations about Presidential orders to the NSA certainly sounds like “high crimes” to me, and I’d even agree with a charge of Treason, for violating the “…Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States…” part of his oath. I doubt, however, that a Republican controlled House would impeach Bush, let alone the Senate convict him, even if further investigation provides uncontravertable evidence. Especially not during an election year.

    Still, one can hope šŸ™‚

  32. Offhand, I can’t think of a better way to guarantee that the Republicans hold on to Congress.

    …and as important as that is–or…um…however important that is–I think demonstrating, once again, that the President isn’t above the law is even more important.

  33. Impeachment?! C’mon, it’s not like he lied about a blowjob!

  34. Exactly, Col. Dubois. Sure, he’s taken our already tattered Constitution and pissed on what little remains. And he’s got a hell of a lot of blood on his hands. And lies to account for. And total incompetence to account for. And innocent people in prison to account for.

    But none of this is a crime, because for it to be a crime it would have to be against the law. And if he is the law then whatever he does can’t be a crime.

  35. BUT, if something were to happen within our borders, and some enterprising young investigative reporter can connect that the act could’ve been prevented by now-defunct aspects of the Patriot Act, the shit’s gonna hit the fan.

    the implication being, we should simply scrap the law — all law — altogether right now, and coronate bush as holy american emperor, empowered by god to do whatever it takes to make us completely safe? because something could happen? i mean, really, why limit his powers to even the lower standards of the PATRIOT act?

    he’s a good guy, yeah? trustworthy. he’ll do right. won’t he? he’ll “save lives”?

    i’d rather we experienced a 9/11 every year and lived under law.

  36. i’d rather we experienced a 9/11 every year and lived under law.

    gaius, I get what you’re saying, but the way you say it grants legitimacy to one of their false dichotomies.

  37. You can read FISA in regards to electronic surveillance here.

    It looks to me like he broke the law.

  38. I love the part about how Frist changed his vote at the last minute so that he would be able to call for a new vote at any time. What a hypocrite.

    I guess now he can say he was against it before he was for it.

  39. If we are going to impeach people based on them violationg the constitution, lets go and impeach several presidents including some dead ones.

    Lets start with Clinton, and some of the gun bans. And then the retroactive tax thing, and the law that says that you can’t handle a gun base on a misdemeanor that you did before the law was enacted.

    Then we can go to ‘McCain-Feingold’.

    We can look at welfare, the current US Army. The IRS, and all presidents that had anything to do with those things. The drug war (involving Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2 and more)

    I would LOVE for us to start impeaching based on treason, and failing to uphold the constitution.

    But really is that going to happen right now? So all you are trying to do is fall into the hands of the left wing wingnuts and put pressure on a president that they don’t like.

    If you are going to fall for beliefs of wingnuts, go for the right wing ones. At least they are equal opportunity impeachers.

  40. If you are going to fall for beliefs of wingnuts, go for the right wing ones.

    Sixty million Americans did that. And look where it’s got you.

  41. Raymond,

    Bush is far from a right wing wingnut. Bush though very respected in many right wing circles, in the wingnut circles they think he is a traitor just much less so than Clinton. Go to a gunshow and see these people.

    Bush increased Medicare, he has not eliminated; welfare, public school, spoken spanish in the US, the immigration problem, gun laws, the ACLU, ZOG, the UN, The FBI, IRS, ATF (I generally don’t think they care about the DEA or CIA), Evolution taught in school.

    There is a whole bunch more that I just can’t think of right now. I’ll have to pick up a panflet at the next gun show I go to.

    60 million Americans voted for this guy because he was less of a trainwreck than the other guy, and because the special interests supporting him did better than the special interests supporting the other guy.

    And maybe because the voters that wanted a tax cut outnumbered this time the ones that wanted a clean environment.

    I voted for this guy because my two base concerns are low taxes and gun rights. This guy hasn’t dissapointed me a whole lot on either count.

    On that note, the only person I see on the horizon who I would vote for in 08 is Condolezza. If she doesn’t run, and the guy running doesn’t give me confidence on those two counts, then I’ll vote libertarian. (not like my vote really counts, nor is counted if I vote while overseas)

  42. kwais,

    None of the laws you listed is a crime. They’re just laws you don’t like, laws that some legal theorists claim violate the Constitution, and that others (the majority of the, btw, including a majority of the Supreme Court) do not.

    Wiretapping people without a warrant, at the behest of the President, with no Congressional authorization, and no oversight by the courts, on the other hand, is a criminal act that other executive officers have gotten in trouble for.

    “Offhand, I can’t think of a better way to guarantee that the Republicans hold on to Congress [than to impeach George Bush].” You mean like how the GOP took over Congress in 1976?

  43. They’re just laws you don’t like, laws that some legal theorists claim violate the Constitution, and that others (the majority of the, btw, including a majority of the Supreme Court) do not.

    Hmm, so as long as 51 percent of the population can be convinced that it is OK, then it is OK.

    So even if the 1st ammendment says whatever about freedom of speech, you can still have the McCain-Feingold if you have enough supreme court judges on your side?

    Or even though the 2nd ammendment is pretty damned clear, it doesn’t really matter.

    From there is is just a small step to roving wiretaps and the NSA and all that.

    It will only matter if you can get a majority of the public to care. And you only will if your publicists are better than theirs. If they can convince people that it really wont affect them and that they are capturing terrorists, then it will be ok.

  44. Hmm, so as long as 51 percent of the population can be convinced that it is OK, then it is OK.

    I think the point you’re missing is that you gave a list of legislative actions that the executive signed into law. I don’t think that a president can be impeached on the grounds that he didn’t veto a bad law. Also, it isn’t bloodly likely that congress is going to turn around and say “Ohh, well all those laws we passed are unconstitutional, so we’re going to start impeaching presidents for not vetoing them.” If they did something like that then the executive could end up actually checking the power of the legislative as a whole as opposed to just the half he doesn’t like.

    What Bush did, on the other hand, was a completely executive action. It appears that it is also a crime. That makes it solid grounds for an impeachment proceeding.

    Not that i’d support an impeachment at the moment. President Cheney with a pissed off activist conservative base is not exactly my idea of a good time in American politics.

  45. President Cheney with a pissed off activist conservative base is not exactly my idea of a good time in American politics.

    As unlikely as I think that scenario is, I find it enticing. …It sounds like gridlock to me–oh, how I long for gridlock.

  46. So, which of the 47 senators who are, despite these revelations, still supporting making the Patriot Act permanent, would vote to convict? You’d need at least 14 of them.

  47. I think it unlikely that more than a handful would vote to convict. …not a President who claims he broke the law to protect the American people.

    …The President would play Oliver North, but better.

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  49. Hey I wonder how likely it is that if I click on one of the links in the above message that my computer will get a virus?

  50. Brian Terrel,

    I suppose you are right. I read somewhere, NRO I think, about how congress initially used some silly loophole to restrict Marijuana, and since then they have abandoned the pretext of following the constitution. Also mentioned on this site I think, how congress used to try to ammend the constitution when they where doing f’ed up things, now they don’t care so much anymore.

    It would seem that this is the logical next step. Clinton took the first step, where it didn’t matter that there was evidence against him, and that their was a reason to impeach him, all that mattered was popularity.

    Also, I don’t just hold the president that signed the screwed up bill into law responsible, I hold every president that has upheld it since. On taxes and the IRS, that is quite a few of them.

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  52. Time to update the anti-spam filter, Reason.

  53. I think those links go to Finnish porn. No other explanation. Damn those Finns!

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