A 12-year-old boy was shot to death through a front door while trick-or-treating with his family, shocking residents of a South Carolina neighborhood where most people know each other well.
At their rallies McCain and Palin have been encouraging the worst from the Republican base. Accusations of “palling around with terrorists” and causing the financial crisis, and you-name-it they’re accusing. Jack Turner says what needs to be said, at Jack & Jill Politics,
Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. Their positions on health care no longer matter. Their tax policies are irrelevant. Their talking points made moot. Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness.
America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now.
History awaits moments like these. We are on the brink. When a society’s pent up frustration and anger searches for an outlet, it is a leader’s job to step up and focus those wild emotions away from destruction and toward something productive. At least that is what a good leader would do. [emphasis added]
Go read the rest.
Harold Ford and Markos held a discussion on stage at lunch here at Netroots Nation. I didn’t catch all of it, but at one point Ford was talking about FISA and telecom immunity, along the lines of “If you have a company, and the government comes to you and says ‘If you do this for us it will help national security’ then what can you say?”
I’ll tell you what you can say. You can say, “DO YOU HAVE A WARRANT?”
President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.
[. . .] All of the judges who would have denied Mr. Marri any relief — Judges Wilkinson, Karen J. Williams, Paul V. Niemeyer and Allyson K. Duncan — were appointed by Republican presidents; all who would have granted him full relief were appointed by Democrats. Judge Traxler [the swing vote] was appointed to the appeals court by President Bill Clinton. [emphasis added]
Naturally the Times gets it wrong, implying the last judge is a Democrat: “In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Traxler for a Federal trial judgeship, on the United States District Court for South Carolina.”
“I no longer believe.”
The issue of our Congress giving the big telecom companies immunity from being sued for illegally enabling the Republican Party to listen to our calls and read our emails is a very, very big deal to non-Republicans. Republicans, of course, are happy as clams about it. (They are also happy as clams that America now tortures people.)
I have talked to a number of friends who were major Obama supporters during the primaries, and not one of them is happy today because of Obama’s reversal on telecom immunity in FISA. He had pledged, promised, sworn, committed to oppose telecom immunity — then after securing the nomination reversed himself and voted for it.
So today I’m cruising the internets and come across Dave Winer, another Obama supporter. He articulates my own thoughts well. Obama’s FISA screwup (Scripting News),
First, the conservative pundits who say that Obama turned his back on the extreme left by voting for the new FISA bill have it wrong. He turned his back on people of all persuasions who believe in our form of government.
. . . He was right if he assumed he had our vote. I will not vote for McCain to prove this point. But I’m also not going to give him any more money. I’m going to save that for causes I believe in.
I no longer believe there is a cause to Obama other than getting Obama elected. It’s up to him now to prove otherwise. The FISA vote can be undone, but he has to actually do the undoing.
And go read the discussion as well. Some excerpts:
“I no longer have any confidence in my understanding of who Obama really is.”
“I have never seen a lucid explanation of why Obama voted this way. What does he hope to gain?”
“I too lost a lot of (maybe all) respect for Obama when I heard about his FISA vote.. Even Hillary voted against it.”
“If Obama loses his base, the steam will go out of his campaign with a great rush. There are strong indications that this has already happened.”
“His campaign would have been elevated and energized by doing the right thing. Instead, now survey the ruin among his base and his declining contributions.”
This was about the Constitution, not politics. I think many of us are just sick of the kind of “Impeachment is off the table” political calculation that got us into this mess. I think Obama can turn this around but only if he commits to solid principals and demonstrates that he means it.
Click the ad/link on the left about the Strange Bedfellows Money Bomb August 8. This is a group of bloggers and organizations upset with the FISA bill giving retroactive immunity to telecom companies. When “little people” violate laws they are prosecuted. When big corporations violate laws they can purchase retroactive immunity.
August 8, 2008—this is the date for our Strangebedfellows MONEYBOMB on behalf of constitutional rights and civil liberties in America. Let’s remove from power the key enablers of the tyrannical and lawless FISA ‘compromise;’ we can end the Patriot Act—and so much more. Join with us by pledging now—right here at AccountabilityNowPAC.com. Become a part of our transpartisan alliance of freedom lovers! Be a Strangebedfellow!
In the LA Times today, A good-enough spy law,
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the White House directed telecommunications carriers to cooperate with its efforts to bolster intelligence gathering and surveillance — the administration’s effort to do a better job of “connecting the dots” to prevent terrorist attacks.
No, it started a few weeks after Bush took office – a time when the Bush administration was ignoring the terrorist threat. So it was about something else, and was a high enough priority to plan out during the transition. (Can you say “political spying?”)
One telecom company, Qwest, refused because it was flat-out illegal. The Bush administration punished them, blocked federal contracts, and in an early indicator of what was to come from the politicized Bush Justice Department, they prosecuted Qwest’s CEO on trumped-up charges.
The combination of the telecoms letting Bush illegally spy on us BEFORE September 11, and the politicized Bush Justice Department punishing the company that refused – refused because it was illegal – is the reason so many of us are so adamant that Democrats should not be passing a law giving these companies immunity. The President can’t spy on people without warrants, and the telecoms knew that. They knew it was illegal to spy on us without warrants but they went along with it. Why? Why didn’t they ask the Bush administration to just get warrants? And why would Democrats vote to let them off the hook?
Don’t forget that Watergate was about Republicans illegally wiretapping Democrats. Don ‘t think they don’t do it.
People do idiotic things. Not too long ago Republican Senator David Vitter turned up on a list of prostitution customers. How did the Justice Department respond? Well, it didn’t. It helped keep his name secret. And good for them for doing that.
But this time it was a Democratic Governor who has been going after securities fraud cases. And the Republican Justice Department responded very differently. First of all, there are questions about how they found out about this at all — questions that bring the letters FISA to my mind. Next, they organized a major prosecution of the Governor. Then, they gave his name to the press. Then they included details of wiretapped conversations intended to drive a press frenzy.
There is no question that this is another political prosecution. The Justice Department would not have gone full-steam into this if it were a Republican, and if it were not a Democratic Governor. A federal task force because a guy was seeing a prostitute?
Firedoglake has Some Questions About the Spitzer Incident. Please go read.
I have warned that political prosecutions are going to accelerate as election-time approaches. Watch your backs.
People take their queues from the top. A torture-accepting mentality trickles down. Over time America becomes more ruthless, less humane and people get used to it. It happens in little ways that add up. But add up they do…
Pam’s House Blend:: The police state continues: quadriplegic dumped from wheelchair. Just go see for yourself.
And then go read This is your police state – woman violently strip searched and The Blend TASER brutality files
Pam is sounding a warning, and she’s right.
Watch your backs.
Never mind what I wrote Thursday, there has been a new announcement. See Firedoglake – Hillary Clinton To Vote “No” On Cloture Tomorrow UPDATE: Barack Obama Will Be There Too
Hillary Clinton will be in the Senate tomorrow to vote “no” on cloture on the Intel version of the FISA bill. The vote is scheduled to take place at 4:30 pm tomorrow.
I’ve also been trying to confirm whether Barack Obama will be there. His campaign people have not gotten back to me, but Obama does have a 4pm fundraiser scheduled in Washington DC.
Bravo, Senator Clinton. Well done.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign confirms that Senator Obama will be there too, and voting “no.” Way to go, Senator.
Senator Clinton will not come to the Senate to help save the Constitution. At Firedoglake, FISA Debate In Senate, Part VII:
UPDATE: — According to Howard Wolfson of the Clinton Campaign, Hillary Clinton will not be taking the 1 1/2 hour trip from South Carolina to Washington DC to join the Dodd filibuster
Ewards has already said he supports Dodd on keeping telecom immunity out of the FISA bill.
I am not aware of any statement from the Obama campaign. Obama so far is not even voting “present” on this one.
Please read this DKos diary: Daily Kos: Must Read: McConnell Ignores Navy Veteran, Then Gets Her Fired
If they can get away with denying jobs to people who oppose the Iraq war, people will be afraid to speak out.