They showed some spine for once:
After its first secret session in a quarter-century, the House on Friday rejected retroactive immunity for the phone companies that took part in the National Security Agency’s program of eavesdropping without warrants, and it voted to place tighter restrictions on the government’s wiretapping powers.
The decision, by a largely party line vote of 213 to 197, is one of the few instances when Democrats have been willing to buck the White House on a matter of national security. It also ensures that the monthslong battle over the government’s wiretapping powers will drag on for at least a few more weeks — and possibly much longer.
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that Bush is simply lying about the impact this has on our security, and it is nice to see the Democrats stand up to him.
Now we gotta get the Senate to do likewise.
If we have a working system of government with checks and balances it isn’t as soul-crushingly IMPORTANT who gets to be president…
That might presuppose an executive of one party and a congress of another. Easier said than done.
What we need is reforms that put the thing back into alignment with the Constitution. We could start with the declaration of war, that would be a great rollback of the damage done in the last 60 years.
That might presuppose an executive of one party and a congress of another.
I read it as presupposing a distinction between a Democrat who voted to invade Iraq and a Democrat who did not.
Nice to be positively surprised for once.
Good show, and all that.
Not likely. A number of old-guard Dems – like Rockafeller – are completely bought and paid for by the telecomm companies. Notice how the last time the Senate voted on amendments, we only got upperdown votes on those we didn’t have the vote counts to win, but needed to break the filibuster threshold on all the votes we had 50+ on?
Even TZ’s “it’s the votes that count” argument doesn’t hold up against serious leadership problems.
J. Michael Neal
In fairness, the House has been showing spine on this one for weeks now.
It isn’t about leadership problems, it’s about the screenplay that directs the game. See my post to an adjacent thread, but …. the game being played behind the scenes is not the one they let us see.
And by “they” I mean the entire machine, Dems plus GOP, the master machine of power, what antiwar.com calls “the War Party.”
No players on either side will do anything that actually threatens the master machine of power. These kabuki moves in congress are mostly theatrical. I don’t take any of it at face value, except, as you point, that knowing the vote count as the vote approaches is the one and only way to understand the outcome of the vote. How those vote counts are arrived at …. that’s a process we are not allowed to see. Seriously, it is all kept out of view. You don’t hear the members talking about, ever.
Here I come to save the day!
Mighty Mouse is on his way!
your tax dollars at work …
Yeah, $300 bucks. Whoo-hoo. That’s less than a quarter of our rent but we’ll spend it on a big old economy boosting paartay!
Specifically, his pals who own several homes in exotic locations.
Looks like George Bush is applying his Katrina Doctrine (Helping is Hurting) to you all!
I saw a pretty good DKos discussion on how Reid and Pelosi foiled the procedural moves of the Bushbots … um, here.
Yeah, God forbid any of those homeowners swamping in debt should be able to get out from under… although I’m sure that if Congress came up with some scheme to bail out banks, brokerages and finance companies, too (or better yet, instead)- he’d be fine with that.
Seriously, who comes up with this shit? Channeling the ghost of Herbert Hoover?
Housing is my industry, not the retail end, the building end. I’ve watched over the past 7 years or so as the average size of a mid-value house climbed. A couple hundred feet here and there adds up, especially with costs running $100 per sq ft and much higher. I also watched as people with moderate incomes went into McMansions. Appreciation is a real thing, to a limit. When it explodes warning signs should go up all over.
It is very realistic to ask where and who do you help? The fast profit players are already out and doing something else with their profits. Now you’ve got various invesment bank holding junk and homeowners with payments they can’t make. I’m not in that boat if I can keep my company limping along but who gets help and how? This is not a period of sky rocketing rates, I’ve been through that.
There has been about every sort of behavior going on in this market, from wishful thinking to outright fraud. How do you actually address it? This question doesn’t begin to touch on an idea of equitably addressing it.
Sitting on your hands sure isn’t a solution.
Chuck, nothing is going to happen until Bush is out, that’s for sure. Or nothing useful, anyway. Afterwards, it’s hard to say. It’s going to depend on the subsequent administration and Congress. We could take this as an opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock, perhaps.
Actually, we don’t. The House passed a good bill, but FISA is just fine as it is, so the important thing isn’t that the House’s good bill passes, it’s that the Senate’s bad bill doesn’t pass.
My hope now is that we can just run out the clock on this and let the next president and Congress deal with it.
So the ‘rabble’ in the House were able to do what the ‘gentlemen’ of the Senate could not? Go figure. I only hope that they stand their ground in the house, and in doing so they will make the Senate look like the weak fools they are. We need to ditch Reid and get someone who was born with a spine in his place. I would love to see Chris Dodd get it as he is one of the few Democrats who still have some spine left.
There would be no need for immunity if nobody broke the law. If the law was broken, then someone needs to be held accountable for it. The purpose of granting immunity is to prevent anyone from being held accountable for their actions (read: Bu$h). This immunity is more for him and Darth Cheney than it is for the telecoms.
As the right is so fond of saying, if you did nothing wrong then you have nothing to be afraid about.
It’s $600. Unless you make less than about $3500.