Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dammit, Amy!

Spot is pretty tired of your votes on some significant stuff: funding for the Iraq war, censure of Moveon.org, the FISA bill, and now your refusal to join Chris Dodd's filibuster against the bill giving the telecoms retroactive immunity for handing over records about millions of customers to the government without a warrant. Spot's been fuming about this, and was going to write about it, but now he doesn't have to. Lynnell Mickelsen, writing at Norwegianity, has already done it very well:

Why do the telecoms want retroactive immunity? Because they broke the law and they know it. And if we're ever going to get our Constitutional rights back, we're going to have to hold them accountable. So at some point, probably in 2008, the telecom companies ARE going to be sued and/or called in front of Congress and asked why they allowed the federal government to illegally spy on millions of Americans for the past five years. (By the way, the Bush administration first asked the telecom companies for access to Americans' phone, e-mail and internet records before September 11th, 2001. What's up with that?)

If called into court, the telecoms are expected to say they illegally handed over access at the request of the Bush administration. At which point, they will be asked to testify who in the Bush administration made such a request and how this violation of both the FISA law and the U.S. Constitution was justified. The proposed legislation to grant them retroactive immunity is an attempt to make sure the telecoms NEVER have to answer those questions.

I have no idea why the Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and far too many other Democrats supported this bill except that the telecoms have lobbied everyone ferociously for it and too many Dems are spineless.

Spineless is one of the more charitable descriptions. Spot might say Quisling, or perhaps collaborator.

Even though the filibuster failed. Harry Reid pulled the bill at the last minute:

The good news is.....this small, patriotic action by Dodd and nine other Democratic Senators at least slowed down this atrocious piece of legislation. Yesterday afternoon, Harry Reid pulled the bill off the floor and said the Senate would vote on it when they return in January. The bad news is......in January, the telecoms and their supporters will be pushing very hard again for retroactive immunity.

So, everybody contact Amy Klobuchar's office and give her a piece of you mind about this. Lynnell Mickelsen tried to do this, and here's her report about it:

Anyhow, I called her office and asked what legislative aide on Sen. Klobuchar's staff deals with the FISA bill. The guy who answered the phone said the aide was Jonathan Becker. I asked if Jonathan Becker was available.

The receptionist asked what group I was with. I said I was simply an ordinary citizen from Minneapolias who wanted to let Jonathan Becker and the Senator know why this legislation was so important to so many of us. The receptionist said Becker did not take calls or comments from people like me----I apparently needed to be a lobbyist or spokesperson for a larger group---and that it was the receptionist's job to take calls from ordinary citizens.

So I explained the stuff above. The receptionist argued that since plenty of other Democrats had voted for it too, I should let Sen. Klobuchar alone. (The old, "But Mom! Everyone Else is Doing It!)" I told him this was one of Klobuchar's many votes that had been disappointing and if she kept up like this, she could be facing a primary challenge in five years from Democrats who expected better of her. He said he would pass my comments on---but tone is important and at this point, his tone was definitely along the lines of "Go f--- yourself". I started to say, "But you haven't taken down my name or----" But he hung up on me.

And be sure to ask for Jonathan Becker when you do call.

Here's Spot's curse for you Amy: every time you say the words "Paul Wellstone," may they burn in your mouth.

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