Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Letter to Sen Cantwell and Sen Murray


Sen. Chris Dodd gave an eloquent speech last night and I support his call to deny cloture on the FISA bill. Telecom amnesty and warrantless eavesdropping demolishes the rule of law. What is the difference between a police state and a free society – a free society that respects the constitution and eavesdrops when they have reason to suspect I am doing something wrong. A police state collects all my communication and then decides if I’m doing something wrong. This country is becoming like East Germany in the 1960’s and 1970’s. But YOU can draw a line in the floor and say NO MORE.

We need to defend core Constitutional liberties, enforce the rule of law among the political and corporate elite, and battle the surveillance state. But stopping telecom amnesty -- which means, that the lawsuits will continue, ensures discovery of what the Government did and a judicial ruling as to whether they broke the law. This would be a significant blow to the lawless surveillance regime.

Please support Senators Dodd and Feingold and reject the FISA bill.

UPDATE 7-9-08:
Yeah! They BOTH voted against FISA! Yippie!!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rep. Brian Baird (WA03) -- EUCK!

The campaign committee for Congressman Brian Baird e-mailed me with a request for a contribution to his campaign.


Here's my response:
I was extremely disappointed in your vote this week on FISA. You are not fulfilling your oath to protect the Constitution. So in the future, please don't request campaign contributions from me -- you don't work for me. Get your campaign money from AT&T and the other telecoms you decided to protect instead -- you obviously work for them.

And I sent his primary challenger some money. Cheryl Crist is struggling in her campaign but I'd prefer her to have my bucks than Blue Dog Baird. If you want to join me in supporting a worthy progressive Democrat -- go to her Act Blue page.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits

George Carlin died this morning.

(HT to for the pix)

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Congressman Enables Bush's FISA Immunity

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Congressmen Baird and Smith both ignored this Amendment and voted this morning to pass the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The FISA Amendments Act provide legal immunity to telecommunications companies who helped the federal government with a warrantless surveillance program during the Bush administration, which gathered information about the phone records of American citizens.

According to a May 11, 2006 report by USA Today, "The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime." ... 60 Minutes did a segment on Mark Klein, a veteran telecommunications technician and computer network associate at AT&T, who described a secret room he says the National Security Agency had set up on the sixth floor of an AT&T building in downtown San Francisco. Klein said his employer was colluding with the federal government to siphon a copy of billions of domestic Internet communications into that secret room, every second of every day -- and all without a warrant.

Proponents of the surveillance program say it is in response to the attacks on 9/11, they only eavesdrop on terrorists, and it’s necessary to combat terrorism. However, the Washington Post reported on Oct. 13, 2007 that former Qwest executive Joseph Nacchio said in court papers, "the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

Qwest is the one telecommunications company who reportedly refused to cooperate with the NSA on the grounds they believed doing so would have been illegal.

Thanks to Congressmen Baird and Smith we will never have a private conversation again. They will claim that “new” exclusivity provisions in FISA mean no president will ever be able to ignore the established surveillance laws ever again. But these “new” provisions do not really differ from the old "exclusivity" provision of the old FISA law that was on the books when George W. Bush instituted his illegal programs:
[P]rocedures in this chapter or chapter 121 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance, as defined in section 101 of such Act, and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.

Bush’s lawyers -- people like John Yoo -- said Bush that the president had the "inherent power" to ignore the FISA provisions in the name of "national security." So Bush did it -- despite the existence of the exclusivity provisions.

I think we now can see why they have both been against the impeachment of George Bush – they have been complicit by enabling and covering up Bush’s crimes and that might come to light if there was a real impeachment inquiry.

Shame on you Congressmen!

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Monday, June 16, 2008

McCain's Betrayal

BarbinMD over at Daily Kos has a great post about the hypocrite McCain who pretends to support the troops but all the while is stabbing them in the back. Here's the money quote:

But as the saying goes, "facts are pesky things," so instead of relying on McCain's rhetoric, let's look at some of those facts:

McCain has repeatedly voted against amendments in the Senate that would have...covered such important services as improving care at veterans’ hospitals, providing mental health services to soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse problems. [2006 Senate Vote #7, 2/2/2006]

In 2006, McCain voted against the Kerry amendment that would eliminate increased fees and co-payments for veterans in the TRICARE health care program by raising the discretionary spending limit by approximately $10 billion. The provisions would have been fully offset by eliminating creating corporate tax breaks. [2006 Senate Vote #67, 3/16/2006]

McCain was one of only 13 Republicans to vote against an amendment that added over $400 million for inpatient and outpatient care for veterans. [2006 Senate Vote #98, 4/26/2006]

McCain voted against increasing funding for veterans health care by $2.8 billion in 2006. [2005 Senate Vote #55, 3/16/2005]

McCain joined his Republican Senate cohorts in opposing exempting all military personnel and veterans from means testing in bankruptcy cases. [2005 Senate Vote #13, 3/1/2005]

McCain opposed an amendment that would reduce from 60 to 55 the age at which certain members of the National Guard and Army reserves could receive retirement benefits. [2004 Senate Vote #136, 6/23/2004]

Senator McCain opposed $322 million in funding for "battlefield clearance and safety equipment for U.S. troops in Iraq." A reduction in Iraqi reconstruction funds would have funded the additional protection for troops in the battlefield. [2003 Senate Vote #376, 10/2/2003]

McCain voted against an amendment that would increase spending on the veterans health care program TRICARE by $20.3 billion over 10 years to members of the National Guard and Reserves. The increase would be offset by a reduction in tax cuts. [2003 Senate Vote #81, 3/25/2003]

McCain opposed an amendment that would have increased veterans spending by $13 billion from 1997-2002 to be offset by closing corporate tax preferences and reinstating expired taxes. [1996 Senate Vote #115, 5/16/1996]

The reality and the rhetoric of John McCain are at complete odds, yet the fact that McCain is a champion of the military is the unchallenged, conventional wisdom in the traditional media.

Add to the list his opposition to Webb's Veteran's bill, torture votes, etc.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


McCain, speaking about his use of the veto pen to eliminate wasteful spending, declared, "I will veto every single beer, um, bill with earmarks."

Well that locks up the beer drinker vote for Obama!

tee hee

Friday, June 06, 2008

Why did Hillary Lose

I wasn't a Hillary fan butto begin with the reasons I had to oppose her didn't seem to matter to the other voters. So what happened?

From my perspective she had a poor strategic plan. It was a huge mistake to ignore the caucus states. I the days before the WA caucus, I had numerous calls from Obama people but none from Clinton. The caucus site was plastered with Obama posters and there were a number of folks in Obama t-shirts available to answer questions. Nada from Clinton. Maybe it was due to poor advisers. Maybe she just felt she was inevitable and therefore didn't have to try. But it was a HUGE mistake.

The other thing did wrong was poorly manage her money. Other candidates dropped out when the money dried up. I am insulted that she expects us to bail out her poor money management situation but maybe her die hard supporters feel they owe it to her but to me it seemed poor form to still be trying to raise money last Tuesday.

They can blame Bill, blame women supporters, blame misogny -- but she was a poor strategic and financial manager.