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Dodd's Filibuster Threat Stalls Wiretap Bill

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the talk-until-blue-in-the-face dept.

United States 483

otakuj462 sends in an important followup to this morning's story on telecom immunity legislation. "Senator Chris Dodd won a temporary victory today after his threats of a filibuster forced Democratic leadership to push back consideration of a measure that would grant immunity to telecom companies that were complicit in warrantless surveillance... [T]he threat of Dodd's filibuster... persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, to table the act until January. A compromise on the immunity will ostensibly be worked out in the interim period."

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483 comments

cock block! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734140)

haha, telecoms are a bunch of filthy niggers.

they better not get immunity!

Political Compromise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734160)

What, you don't want us to chop off your head and cut your body into little pieces?

Let's compromise: we'll just cut off your head.

And so it goes, on and on...

Chris Dodd's voting record. (4, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734180)

You can find Chris Dodd's voting record on this site [votesmart.org]. I live in CT, by thw way.

Re:Chris Dodd's voting record. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734206)

Here is another version different site [myminicity.com]

Re:Chris Dodd's voting record. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734300)

That's a good site. Check this link [myminicity.com] I found

not exactly a good record (4, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734524)

Let's see...

He seems to like the Thought Crime concept. Rather than merely punishing people for bad actions, he supports the idea that we should try to guess if a criminal might hate his victim. Extra years in prison for Thought Crime makes sense to him.

He's OK with the government taking people's legally owned firearms during an emergency or major disaster. (as in Katrina... where the cops were followed by thugs preying on the now-unarmed residents) Got a disaster? Time to steal from the people!

He somehow thinks that firearm suppliers should be held liable for the actions of firearm users. If this seems sane to you, consider applying it to computers or vehicles. (on the plus side, that kind of liability would put Microsoft out of business and solve all our traffic problems)

He likes the PATRIOT act. Oh dear...

He's a CAN SPAM kind of guy.

He's OK with shovelling money to sugarcane growers.

Re:not exactly a good record (4, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734564)

Your post is exactly the reason I like to encourage people to look at the whole spectrum of a politician's activities, instead of focusing on a hot special interest issue. A lot of Slashdotters spend a lot of time complaining that special interests in Washington control everything, but are quick to support a politician on the merits of a single day's "work."

Thank you for your post; it's just what I'd hoped for in a reply.

Now only (4, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734182)

Don't you wish the rest of congress could grow a spine?

Re:Now only (1)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734250)

You should investigate the voting record of Ron Paul... and he's running for President.

Re:Now only (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734352)

You should investigate the voting record of Ron Paul... and he's running for President.

Oh fer crying out loud. Look, I'm a RP supporter, but this is a Senate battle, and Dodd is doing the Right Thing(tm). Let's let him have his moment in the sun.

Re:Now only (0)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734406)

Voting republican is treason.

Katrina, Iraq, Unaccountability.

That pretty much sums up the republicans party's domestic, foreign, and fiscal policies. They had complete control of the government. That is their legacy.

Ron Paul needs a new party, the one he choses to identify with has a lot of baggage.

Re:Now only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734424)

Too bad his sterling voting record also comes with an equal dose of libertarian insanity. Gold standard, private militias, no dept. of education; are you really backing this guy? Do you want to just do away with the last hundred years of social welfare programs we've fought so hard for? I know most of them are broken now but that's because we've never had someone in there with the balls to do it right, then they just let those broken programs stagnate for half a century. He'd make sure we never have a national health care system.

His foreign policy and excellent record of protecting personal liberty are to be commended and it's good to have a small government leader in a mid level position, but I'd rather not elect someone to the highest office in the land who wants and has the power to throw our economy to the corporate wolves while plugging his ears saying FREE MARKET! FREE MARKET! FREE MARKET!

Re:Now only (2, Interesting)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734550)

You should investigate the voting record of Ron Paul...

You should also investigate his postition on Roe v. Wade - he'd do everything in his power to overturn it, and allow state legislatures to control women's bodies.

Ron Paul is no friend of liberty.

Re:Now only (2, Interesting)

Poppler (822173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734660)

his postition on Roe v. Wade - he'd do everything in his power to overturn it, and allow state legislatures to control women's bodies.
He has also voted in favor of federal legislation restricting abortion. He's only in favor of "leaving it to the States" when it suites his purposes.

finally a guy with brains and balls (1)

akirapill (1137883) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734186)

I read on Slashdot just about every day people saying "Democracy may not be perfect, but if you don't like what your elected officials are doing just vote them out and vote in someone competent!" This might be a sign to put our money where our mouth is...

Re:finally a guy with brains and balls (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734570)

I read on Slashdot just about every day people saying "Democracy may not be perfect, but if you don't like what your elected officials are doing just vote them out and vote in someone competent!"

I read that on Slashdot every day too, and I'm getting pretty sick of it.

It's not even possible to find "someone competent" if we're going to insist they do things that cannot possibly be done competently.

Show Apprectiation (5, Informative)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734192)

If you like Dodd's move, be sure to contact his office and express your support. Let him know he is doing the right thing.

Re:Show Appreciation (4, Insightful)

toofishes (1096147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734258)

Don't look at this as a permanent victory either guys- the pressure needs to be kept up on all of the members of the Senate, especially those that may be on the fence (the other spineless democrats). Calls and emails made a difference today- Orrin Hatch was livid about "the blogs" spreading misinformation, and Reid obviously heard by the end of the day that his constituents were not happy that he was going to try and ram this bill through. When this comes back up in January, be heard. And better yet, contact your senator between now and then and let them know you won't accept retroactive immunity.

Re:Show Apprectiation (2, Insightful)

BuddyJesus (835123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734580)

If you like Dodd's move, then don't just contact his office and express support, vote for him in the Democratic primaries.

The telcos dont deserve immunity (5, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734202)

They used filters and monitors and logging to spy on all traffic passing through key peering nodes on the say-so of the white house and the intelligence agencies even though such spying was illegal at the time it happened. I say we should hang AT&T, Verizon and the others out to dry for what they did. If it means they make less profit this year, tough, its their own fault for following the directions of G.W.Bush and his cronies instead of following the law (and demanding warrants for the spying)

Re:The telcos dont deserve immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734284)

The problem is that they'll just raise rates to cover the expenses. Unless somebody ends up going to jail, there's not really any way to punish a corporation that doesn't ultimately end up punishing the consumers.

...not that I'm against sending some CEOs to prison.

DoS against Democracy (4, Interesting)

Blancmange (195140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734208)

Despite the favourable outcome in this case, isn't a filibuster a kind of Denial Of Service attack on democracy?

Re:DoS against Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734278)

Meh. A representative republic is a redefinition-of-rules-of-the-game attack on democracy. Remember, america isn't a democracy.
(Actually, simple democracy is unlikely to work on large scale anyway - tyranny of the majority).

Re:DoS against Democracy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734302)

I believe the Senate can override filibuster with 60 votes. It is not a DoS of democracy - it is a part of our version of democracy.

Yours is more a dumb post than an interesting one.

Re:DoS against Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734330)

Exactly. It is a measure to protect Democracy by preventing those with a slight minority from screwing over those in the minority. It can be bypassed (via cloture) by a vast majority -- formerly 66 senators, although I think it might be only 60 today.

Filibusters are commonly used to buy time to persuade other senators, not stop a bill permanently.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster [wikipedia.org] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority [wikipedia.org] for good background on why the bfilibuster is an important part of our democracy.

Re:DoS against Democracy (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734316)

To be clear, the US isn't a Democracy. It's a Republic. That means once the people are in office, they can do pretty much what they want regardless of what 'the people' want. So after the public election, it's all up to the elected as to what happens next. There is no ability for 'the people' to vote for an individual law or any such thing.

Now that said, a filibuster is a kind of interruption to the flow of legislative activity. But it's sometimes necessary since there are times when majorities take advantage of minorities in the process. The filibuster helps to ensure that the minority is heard even when the majority would rather not listen to them. I have watched some pretty atrocious stuff happening on C-SPAN where the majority was simply ignoring proper procedure during legislative activities giving no voice at all to the minority side or their interests. When the gang or the mob is in control, the filibuster ensures that a minority can be heard.

Re:DoS against Democracy (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734434)

That means once the people are in office, they can do pretty much what they want regardless of what 'the people' want. So after the public election, it's all up to the elected as to what happens next. There is no ability for 'the people' to vote for an individual law or any such thing.


That may be true for the Federal level but not the State or Local levels where laws are more likely to affect the electorate more directly. Voter referendums happen all the time. I'd love to see a national voter referendum for various laws myself especially on long term ones that will affect whole generations. That would be interesting.

wouldn't be any better (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21735022)

The average person is easy to sway with a great big ad campaign. If the latest pop star says to vote YES on #42 for the children, well, people sure will. This may be the least-bad problem though!

Where would the laws come from? Imagine them all filled with vague non-lawyer language that will be difficult to interpret and full of holes.

As it is already, laws have both a bad part and some bait. It's purposely complicated.

Most people are clueless about basic economics. A lot of people would try to set price limits, just print more money, or massively screw with interest rates. We'd be totally sunk in no time.

It's likely that everybody would give themselves welfare without taxes. At best, jealosy would result in something crazy that wipes out all the business owners.

Re:DoS against Democracy (1)

Blancmange (195140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734436)

Ahhh, right! So, in situations like this, filibusters don't actually deny anyone else a voice because the whole process is not subject to the sort of useless time limit you'd find on a TV interview, then.

Hehe. I like "flywheel of democracy" allusion.

Re:DoS against Democracy (3, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734498)

Yes, and a pine is not a plant - it's a tree.

Representative Republic is _a_ _form_ _of_ _democracy_.

The US a Republic and a Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734522)

To be clear, the US isn't a Democracy. It's a Republic.

Not again! Why does this inane crap get modded insightful? Democracy is that system of government where the People (however that is defined from time to time) are periodically consulted as to whether an incumbent government should be removed from office or not. Most republics are in fact democracies. There is simply no use case for the word 'democracy' to mean a system where the people vote on each piece of legislation - it has never existed, and hopefully it never will. The only sense in which the US is not a democracy is that it is the manufacturers of voting machines rather than the People who are being consulted.

Re:The US a Republic and a Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734764)

Hrrrmmm. [wikipedia.org]

Re:DoS against Democracy (3, Insightful)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21735040)

democracy, which is pronounced \di-mä-kr-s\

Its a noun, which means:

1 a: government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
We are a democratic republic. We *are* a democracy, even though we use representation. We are a republic, even though the supreme power is vested in the people.

Re:DoS against Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734318)

No, the US Congress was designed to have two houses, one very responsive to constituents and the other more deliberative and resistant to change. This goes back at least as far as Edmund Burke and his book "Reflections on the Revolution in France", when the Jacobins enforced change at a rate faster than society's ability to absorb it, in the opinion of many British observers. Also the British Parliament is designed in a similar fashion.

So the fact that the Senate is housed with crusty old politicians on both aisles who are adept at the tactics of delay, is not a bug, but a feature. Think of it as the flywheel of US government.

Democracy Sucks (3, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734858)

The problem is that democracy sucks. Democracy leads to countless evils. Slavery in the US was democracy in action, as were Jim Crow Laws. The South splitting from the US was democracy in action. Hitler rising to power was democracy in action. There is nothing "good" about democracy other than it leaves a way to kick someone who is utterly incompetent out of power. Democracy is less likely to cause brutal oppression than a dictatorship due to the electorate having the ability to remove the government, but it is by no means a guarantee.

The US constitution, something that is generally revered as being as a model constitution is an example of an UNDEMOCRATIC document. The constitution sets in place limits that a democratically elected government must follow, irregardless of what the will of the people is. It sets in place a method of changing the constitution that demands far more than a "democratic" majority vote. The Supreme Court which upholds the constitution is an example of an undemocratic institution. In fact, I would say the things I like best about the American part are its undemocratic parts, not the democratically elected pieces of it.

So, is a filibuster an example of an anti-democratic purpose? Hell yes, and I love it! The best thing about the American system is the fact that a simple majority can't impose its will upon the minority. In order to get even the simplest of things done, you need a majority of 60%. To get truly earth shattering done (like changing the constitution), you need a super majority well over 2/3's. This is a good thing. This is one of the reasons why despite Europe being far more liberal than the US, the US still has much strong free speech laws. It isn't because Americans are hippies, it is because the non-democratic aspects of the American government make it virtually impossible to pass anti-free speech legislation, and even when it is passed, it promptly gets struck down.

I say hurray for the non-democratic institutions. I think we need MORE of them. This world needs more liberal (liberal as in liberty, not leftist) institutions and less democracy.

Yay for Dodd, but how'd we get here? (5, Insightful)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734260)

Democrats want immunity for big business. Republicans want big government.

Are the parties flip-flopping again or are they finally coming into parity with the fact that they're just one big party with two masks so the people get a sense they they're getting a change every 4 or 8 years?

The threat of a filibuster shouldn't have even been necessary if the government was really for the people by the people.

Mod parent up! (1)

godless dave (844089) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734360)

I'm out of moderator points or I'd give you some. Why the hell is this immunity even being considered by politicians from either party?

Re:Mod parent up! (4, Insightful)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734426)

I'm out of moderator points or I'd give you some. Why the hell is this immunity even being considered by politicians from either party?
Money

Re:Yay for Dodd, but how'd we get here? (4, Insightful)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21735032)

Democrats want immunity for big business. Republicans want big government.

"Small government" was only ever a marketing slogan for the GOP. It didn't mean cutting the size of government at all, it meant cutting regulation and social spending - but baby, bring on those military and pork barrel projects.

Sell out Dems like Reid, Hoyer, Feinstein, and Rockefeller need to be kicked to the curb just as soon as they can be primaried. As for the Republicans - well, their party needs a complete enema as Nixon would almost be a communist in today's GOP.

Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (2, Interesting)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734268)

If you search for writings and speeches by US Rep Dr. Ron Paul (who is running for President) you'll notice that he wouldn't allow secret wiretapping etc...

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734420)

You'll also notice that he claims to support a non-interventionist foreign policy, which any Congressman knows god damn well isn't anywhere near possible. Stop sucking at his teat just because he's less offensive than other politicians.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (2, Insightful)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734440)

Ron Paul also wants to pull out of the UN, remove the constitutionally protected women's right to choose, remove public education and has a number of other insane ideas of how government should be runned. I don't like wireless wiretapping or our foreign policy much, but there more important issues out there which Paul loses most voters including this one on.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734590)

What has the UN really done since it's inception? Are we closer to world peace?

Yes Paul wants to make abortion illegal, not because God said so though, because he thinks it's ethically wrong. That argument is much more reasonable to me, than using a book that doesn't even say abortion as a basis.

Paul also wouldn't be the first to try and dump public education. I don't think it would be a bad thing either. If you look at the private schools, they do more with less as far as actual education goes and they throw out anyone who doesn't want to be there. Insane, not really.

What's really so insane about him? Because he wants to do things that haven't been done? Sure some of his ideas are a little far-fetched like going back to the gold standard, but lets face facts, I doubt Congress would let him do all that he's talking about, but it would be the biggest middle finger to the establishment that the country can give. What's the worst that can happen, he acts as a proper check on Congress? Is that so bad?

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734740)

Are you sure you know where Paul derives his ethics from? Here's what Paul wrote about on the alleged "secular left's war on christmas [lewrockwell.com]". As for your arguments about public vs. private education, we really could go back and forth on that discussion all day. But what the discussion will eventually boil down to is that I believe every child deserves a fair chance of moving up the social ladder and public education gives him that chance. A child wouldn't have the same right to an education like he currently enjoys if the DOE was eradicated.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734782)

Alright I will succeed you Paul's view on abortion, but as President he can't outlaw it anyway.

Every child does deserve the chance, but if they don't act on it, why should I feel sorry for them? Today's school systems just rubber stamps a kid to the next grade without learning anything. Failure is indeed a viable option for today's students.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

zzatz (965857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734846)

The UN has stamped out smallpox. The WHO is part of the UN.

Made any international phone calls? The International Telecommunications Union is a UN agency.

Like any large organization, there are parts that work well and parts that work poorly. If the US were to withdraw from the UN, you can be sure that the working parts would work less well or stop working at all. The parts that don't work, the mismanagement, the corruption, would go on with even less oversight.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (4, Informative)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734594)

Ron Paul also wants to pull out of the UN

While I don't favor this, you would be hard pressed to argue that the UN has had a very productive impact in most of the activities they have undertaken. And even when their stuff has worked, it has usually been with the US doing most of the legwork. The UN is mainly an organization that allows its members to say they support international partnerships, while performing relatively few useful functions of its own.

remove the constitutionally protected women's right to choose

Last time I checked a woman's right to choose was protected by a Supreme Court decision, not the Constitution. Whether or not one supports abortion is another matter, but lets be clear on that.

remove public education

Not a bad idea considering the Constitution provides no basis for the federal government to be involved in education, and our schools are failing anyway. Plus, our students did better comparatively against other nations before the US Dept of Education was instituted.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (2, Informative)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734796)

Last time I checked a woman's right to choose was protected by a Supreme Court decision, not the Constitution. Whether or not one supports abortion is another matter, but lets be clear on that.
Last time I checked the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution, that is to say, tells us what it says. Whether or not one supports it is another matter, but lets be clear on that.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734864)

And the court can and has changed its opinion on things in the past. IMO saying "Constitutionally protected X" implies there is something in the Constitution regarding X, as in Constitutionally protected free speech.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734830)

"While I don't favor this, you would be hard pressed to argue that the UN has had a very productive impact in most of the activities they have undertaken. And even when their stuff has worked, it has usually been with the US doing most of the legwork. The UN is mainly an organization that allows its members to say they support international partnerships, while performing relatively few useful functions of its own." How much have you really studied the UN to be qualified to make such a judgment? I don't want to come off as snobbish but I've found that people who say such things have done very little actual academic research in this field of study. Here I'll rip off some of the basic arguments for why international government organizations (IGOs) such as the UN can be forces of good from my International Relations 101 textbook (International Politics on the World Stage). These are just the claims of the arguments, if you want to read the reasoning behind them you can find the textbook in any college library. The UN creates and fosters norms against violence. Provides a debate alternative towards violence. Intervenes diplomatically to assist and encourage countries to settle their disputes peacefully. Promotes arms control and disarmament (IAEA). Provides peacekeeping forces. Promotes economic development (UNDP, World Bank, IMF, etc). Advocates human rights (UDOHR of 1948). Advances international law and norms. Advocate for the environment. Encourages independence. "Last time I checked a woman's right to choose was protected by a Supreme Court decision, not the Constitution. Whether or not one supports abortion is another matter, but lets be clear on that." I want you to follow me here. A document is meaningless unless it is interpreted. The Supreme Court is the final authority on who can interpret the constitution. The Supreme Court has decided that the 4th amendment of the constitution protects a woman's right to choose. "Not a bad idea considering the Constitution provides no basis for the federal government to be involved in education, and our schools are failing anyway. Plus, our students did better comparatively against other nations before the US Dept of Education was instituted." I bet those other nations that you are comparing the US to also have public education.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (2) (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734840)

"While I don't favor this, you would be hard pressed to argue that the UN has had a very productive impact in most of the activities they have undertaken. And even when their stuff has worked, it has usually been with the US doing most of the legwork. The UN is mainly an organization that allows its members to say they support international partnerships, while performing relatively few useful functions of its own."


How much have you really studied the UN to be qualified to make such a judgment? I don't want to come off as snobbish but I've found that people who say such things have done very little actual academic research in this field of study. Here I'll rip off some of the basic arguments for why international government organizations (IGOs) such as the UN can be forces of good from my International Relations 101 textbook (International Politics on the World Stage). These are just the claims of the arguments, if you want to read the reasoning behind them you can find the textbook in any college library on pages 192-194.

The UN creates and fosters norms against violence.
Provides a debate alternative towards violence.
Intervenes diplomatically to assist and encourage countries to settle their disputes peacefully.
Promotes arms control and disarmament (IAEA).
Provides peacekeeping forces.
Promotes economic development (UNDP, World Bank, IMF, etc).
Advocates human rights (UDOHR of 1948).
Advances international law and norms.
Advocate for the environment.
Encourages independence.

"Last time I checked a woman's right to choose was protected by a Supreme Court decision, not the Constitution. Whether or not one supports abortion is another matter, but lets be clear on that."

I want you to follow me here. A document is meaningless unless it is interpreted. The Supreme Court is the final authority on who can interpret the constitution. The Supreme Court has decided that the 4th amendment of the constitution protects a woman's right to choose.

"Not a bad idea considering the Constitution provides no basis for the federal government to be involved in education, and our schools are failing anyway. Plus, our students did better comparatively against other nations before the US Dept of Education was instituted."

I bet those other nations that you are comparing the US to also have public education.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734604)

try reading the US Constitution.

You know that crazy old document that covers the responsibility and limits of Federal Government?

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734694)

ideas of how government should be runned.

G.W., you are going to get in trouble if Dick finds you playing on the computer again.

Seriously though, how did you fit so many misleading statements about Dr. Paul in one sentence? I can only assume it was done in malice.

pull out of the UN
The American taxpayers fund more for the United Nations than ALL of the other 177 member nations COMBINED. Yet the decisions the UN makes regularly go against all of our recommendations. What would any right minded individual do if the charity that they are the largest benefactor for was doing things they didnt like, and strictly forbid?

constitutionally protected women's right to choose
Which article of the constitution was that again? I forgot.

remove public education
Almost right, but you missed the KEY point. You mentioned the constitution before, so let's stick with that. Where in the constitution does it provide ANY type of federal oversight or governance for education? I going to have to say nowhere. He doesnt want to remove public education, smart-guy, he wants to rightfully turn it back over to the states.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (2, Informative)

Sergeant Pepper (1098225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734842)

The American taxpayers fund more for the United Nations than ALL of the other 177 member nations COMBINED.
No, they don't. The UN receives 22% of its funds from the USA and 20% from Japan.

Which article of the constitution was that again?
The 14th.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734848)

True, power of the states. But what happens to the education when you have assholes right and left trying to force their garbage religion down the throats of students in science? Unfortunately a few states have allowed their board of educations to get away with this crap, much to my chagrin. But I hope if that happens that the whole 'religion and state' section is upheld and the stupid crap is thrown away like it rightly deserves to be.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

alphasubzero949 (945598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734884)

This is modded insightful?

I don't know whether you're trying to troll or are simply misinformed. RP's 'insane' ideas boils down to states' rights. For instance, don't you believe that schools are better managed locally than the likes of No Child Left Behind? Or would you rather have a one-size-fits-all approach to everything? Given how diverse this nation is, good luck with that one.

Then again, considering what has happened to our nation in the last seven years, maybe returning the federal government back to its proper role would be an 'insane' idea to those who have slept through their U.S. History classes.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734962)

But if Ron Paul is such a large supporter of the constitution, then why does he want to betray that constitution with removing a woman's right to chose? Correct me if I'm wrong but the 10th amendment only defers to states in cases where the constitution doesn't have something to say about it.

Re:Ron Paul won't allow warentless wiretapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734454)

Ron Paul for President 2008 - voted against: REALID,Patriot Act,IRS, FCC, Iraq,Echelon..etc
Don't forget he voted against net neutrality and against impeaching Cheney.

Let him know how you feel (0, Redundant)

Faaln (1004586) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734326)

If you feel strongly enough about this, send him a message; let him know how you feel about it. And if you're like me, you'll let him know how much you appreciate that he has some balls. http://dodd.senate.gov/index.php?q=node/3128&cat=Opinion [senate.gov]

Re:Let him know how you feel (2, Interesting)

Themer (994454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734990)

Done.
Here is my message to him.

Even though I am not in your constituency, I felt the need to write you and tell you how proud I am of how you stood up today in congress and demanded that the telecoms be held accountable for their actions.

I only hope to be represented by someone of your stature in my state.

Watching it on CSPAN... (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734332)

It was quite refreshing to listen to Dodd describe in fair detail the crap that's been going on:

The installation of systems poorly suited to specific taps but ideally suited to dragnet surveillance. In major fiber exchanges that aren't where the main foreign fiber trunks or satellite dishes are (i.e. the San Fransisco case that started it). And now we learn that Qwest balked because they wanted to put a dragnet on a switch center that handled almost entirely local traffic.

Then Orrin "destroy their computers" Hatch started speaking. About how the American government didn't do {the bombings in Beruit, the Bali nightclub bombing, the bombings in Kenya, the London tube bombings, the Madrid train bombings, and (of course) 9/11}, the Turrists did. And I'm sitting here trying hard not to scream "And how would dragnet surveillance of domestic calls have stopped a single damn one of those things!?!?"

Glenn Greenwald reports on Harry Reid's duplicity (4, Informative)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734342)

Glenn Greenwald had a good report on this [salon.com] today; incredibly, only 10 senators voted against this bill. Reid allowed the bill to proceed despite Dodd's hold (the only one Reid has disallowed). You'd think Reid was bought and paid for by AT&T [opensecrets.org] or something.

nitpick (2, Informative)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734484)

the 10 votes were against cloture, not against the bill itself. But it's still bad - some Dems try the cop out of voting for cloture but then voting against the bill/nominee.

Re:nitpick (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734720)

Yeah, that is one of my senators (Mr. Webb-D-VA). I'm gonna give him hell for it tomorrow. The staffers need to know that we aren't stupid. We know that cloture is as important as the bill itself. Some of us learned parliamentary procedure in high school government.

Re:nitpick (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734960)

Webb? I was more pissed at him than anyone else when the Dems first caved on FISA this summer. I was actually in DC at the time and wanted to go to his office, demand he return my campaign contribution and resign for violating every oath of office he ever took (protect the Constitution). But they all went home for vacation quick as a wink.

Re:Glenn Greenwald reports on Harry Reid's duplici (2, Interesting)

Nefarious420 (883303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734722)

Wow, Poor Harry Reid, I wouldn't even cut off my hair for 22k, who knew senators were so cheap to buy. Soon they will probably be available on Ebay.

Thank you, Sen. Dodd. (1)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734358)

For standing up for our rights.

I haven't said a thank you like that with such heartfelt gratitude to a politician in a long time.

A ray of light in an era where the "threat of terrorism" is the darkness where our rights and freedoms are taken away one law, one amendment at a time.

(Yes, I did call my Senator today - not him. Yes I belong to the ACLU, the EFF and MoveOn.org)

THANK YOU Senator Dodd (1)

hackysak (727003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734428)

For being the ONLY Democratic Presidential candidate to take the time to show up in Washington to stop this insanity (or at least give more time to get RID of the retroactive immunity for the telcos who broke laws when spying on US citizens).. I'm not sure what they rest of the Dems are smoking but a whole HECK of a lot f the voted YES to pass this bill.

Immunity is illegal anyway (4, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734438)

In the Constitution, See Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

Which means no retroactive anything is legal. I'm amazed that the media continues to overlook this critical bit.

On second thought, no I'm not. There can be no compromise on this. The telcos colluded with Bushco to perform illegal acts, and granting them immunity after the fact is not allowed.

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734492)

Since when did that matter? Unconstitutional things can get passed and then not be challenged in court for a long time, especially if it benefits the people in power. For obvious proof, just look at the Federal Reserve Act.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5232639329002339531 [google.com]

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (2, Informative)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734546)

The telecoms and their advocates in Congress like Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and apparently Harry Reid (D-NV) argue that they're not changing anything from illegal to legal, rather they're filling a legal vacuum and the telecoms benefit as a result. How convenient and timely. Also as I understand the term, ex post facto usually refers to laws that make something newly illegal, subjecting people who had committed no crime to criminal penalties.

The most egregious senatorial hijinks of this affair has been Reid's ignoring Dodd's "hold" on the bill. He doesn't ignore holds on bills requested by republicans, but someone from his own party can't expect to have his honored. Glenn Greenwald [salon.com] at Salon has been documenting this case for a while. That link goes to today's installment, but when the hold was first requested weeks (months?) ago, Greenwald had that story too.

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734560)

After all of the shamed telcos are strung up at the gallows, all cases and convictions which relied on the illegally gathered evidence should be thrown out.

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (2, Informative)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734606)

IANAL, or constitutional authority, but I seem to remember from school that an Ex Post Facto law is one that makes some illegal retroactively. This is not the case here. This is a forgiveness of an illegal act, in the same vein as a presidential pardon perhaps. Not that I agree with this in any sense. I fully support Senator Dodd.

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (1)

ZOmegaZ (687142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734614)

Can't Bush issue a presidential pardon? But then I suppose that would be admitting it was illegal in the first place.

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (5, Informative)

worthawholebean (1204708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734650)

No - ex post facto applies to criminal law, not civil law. Here are the four types of laws considered "ex post facto" in the U.S., established in Calder v. Bull:

"1st. Every law that makes an action , done before the passing of the law, and which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes such action.
2nd. Every law that aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed.
3rd. Every law that changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law annexed to the crime, when committed.
4th. Every law that alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony, than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in order to convict the offender."

Ex post facto laws are only those which punish people who were formerly innocent - not the other way around.

Disclaimer: IANAL

Re:Immunity is illegal anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734754)

To answer your question the reason the retroactive clause doesn't apply is because the legal penalty against the defendants decrease rather than increase.

Now that I've answered your question perhaps someone can help me understand why effectivly bypassing judicial review of possibly unconstititional actions are not contrary to separation of powers?

Contact Dodd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734452)

For those wanting to voice their support you can contact Dodd here [myminicity.com]

Reid is a tool (2, Interesting)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734460)

Dodd put a hold on this bill; under Senate traditions that should have killed it. And under Harry Reid's turn as majority leader, that's still the case...if you're a Republican [blogspot.com]. Lindsey Graham placed a hold on a bill to prevent the CIA from using torture. Or when Tom Coburn placed a hold on a nondiscrimination bill. But when a Democrat wants to place a hold on a bill to protect our rights, he is simply ignored.

Standard Political Tactics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734494)

Reid postponed it to after January so that the Democrats can get their primaries over without being attacked as being "soft on terror". That way, Hillary and Obama and co. don't have to go on record as going against the bill. This undermines Dodd's position, so come January, Dodd might have a harder time finding supporters.

philistines threaten to stall planet/population... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734500)

rescue. remember, evile never sleeps, & it's running more scared now than ever in yOUR history, because of all the awareness of its' life0cidal intentions.

in the end game, the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in.

some 'races' we'll wish we lost;

for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it?

we're intending for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

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meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continues on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

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all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

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At least the lawyers will get paid... (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734530)

So really, what's at stake here is not actually ending the practice of wiretaps, its about a bunch of lawyers wanting to cash in and sue the people that did it. What's the net result to any single plaintiff? 50 cents per email read? Yet, a bunch of telecoms will go belly up so lawyers can get rich.

Way to go, Democrats. One of the few industries we have left in the USA not destroyed by litigation, and now, that's all going down the shitter to. I think its obvious that the issue here is not the companies that obeyed a request from the guy in the oval office, its the guy in the oval office. What's even more amazing, at the end of the day, is that Democrats will ultimately create a legal framework that says a corporation doesn't actually even have to listen to the government at all, unless the government provides legal immunity for lawsuits. So... from here on out, we will have to immunize firms for complying with every other federal act, which is to say everything.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

how's that Kool-Aid, stork? (2, Insightful)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734788)

So really, what's at stake here is not actually ending the practice of wiretaps, its about a bunch of lawyers wanting to cash in and sue the people that did it.

Ah ha ha ah ha. No. It's about massive, serial lawbreaking and attempts to sweep it under the rug. And who gives a shit if it ends up in the hands of lawyers! Give it to Britney Spears, burn it, open a mime school - the point is that it's out of the hands of those who conspired to violate our Constitutional rights.

One of the few industries we have left in the USA not destroyed by litigation, and now, that's all going down the shitter to.

AT&T's market cap is 425 BILLION DOLLARS [yahoo.com] Yes, poor beleaguered AT&T REALLY needs legal protection here.

What's even more amazing, at the end of the day, is that Democrats will ultimately create a legal framework that says a corporation doesn't actually even have to listen to the government at all

When you're done drinking the Kool-Aid, try reading up on the Nuremberg trials.

Re:how's that Kool-Aid, stork? (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734832)

the point is that it's out of the hands of those who conspired to violate our Constitutional rights.

No its not. It's just a socialist joke. The Democrats HAVE had companies do the same things themselves, and, in point of fact, demanded legislation to allow far more draconian searches than Bush has ever envisioned. You do recall Clinton's insistence that the FBI have all keys to any crypto system.

So, searches are going to go on. They aren't going to stop. And what's going to happen is that Dems are going to kill two birds with one stone - first, they'll keep the power of the government, because at the end of the day, that's what they want, and they'll eliminate another business and create yet another class of sheeples dependent on government services, to gain even more power.

It's just about power, and if you think its anything else, about "your constitutional rights", then, the proof is very simple: Let's see Democrats introduce legislation to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act. WHERE THE HELL IS IT? WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR A F--ING YEAR FOR IT.

Re:At least the lawyers will get paid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21734996)

you mean one of the few industries that so blatantly abused their monopoly position that the govt, enraged with jealousy, decided to step in.

perhaps the telcos can spend some of the money they are busily using to "leverage" their monopoly positions lobbying for the end of net neutrality and hire some lawyers to prove before the judicial branch of our government that what they did was not a violation of the laws as ratified by the legislative branch of our government (more succinctly, if you are innocent and you can afford big scary lawyers then you dont have to be afraid of getting sued)

when corporations misbehave the only way to spank them is to take enough of their money that they remember how much it hurt the next time they consider doing something shady

Sent a message! (-1, Flamebait)

Abalamahalamatandra (639919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734556)

I don't normally believe much in donating to campaigns, and I'm rather doubtful that I want to see Dodd as our next president... But I did want to send a message to some people, so I sent $25 his way.

Billary and Osama, on the other hand, get bupkiss from me. I'm not impressed. Her Highness the Pre-Crowned is just Repugnican Lite as far as I'm concerned.

I kinda hope Edwards pulls a Kerry, frankly.

I wrote my Congressman, and he replied (2, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734684)

In short: yay!

(Reply follows)

----

Dear Mr. InvisiblePinkUnicorn:

Thank you for expressing your views on legislation that would provide retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that participated in the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless surveillance program.

In December of 2005 it was first reported that President Bush had authorized the NSA to monitor communication between U.S. citizens and terrorist suspects outside the United States without first obtaining a warrant. Some telecommunications companies participated in this program and provided the government with access to phone records. Serious questions arose about the legality of this program and its compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).

In August 2007, Congress passed revisions to FISA, which I opposed, expanding the authority of the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to conduct surveillance of foreign targets. Under this legislation telecommunications companies that assist the government in the future implementation of this program were granted immunity from criminal and civil action.

This legislation expires in early February, and Congress is currently considering further revisions to FISA. President Bush has requested that any further modifications to FISA contain retroactive immunity for any telecommunications company that participated in the program since its inception. While developments in technology may require modest modifications to our intelligence laws, I will oppose efforts to provide retroactive immunity for illegal wiretapping as it is inconsistent with our democratic principles. All citizens must have legal recourse when their rights are infringed upon, and companies must bear the responsibility for breaking the law.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sincerely,
Sherrod Brown

The Dodd Gambit (5, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734686)

The Dodd Gambit is a success.
And as he reluctantly tabled the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was heard muttering "Dodd Gambit" under his breath.

checks y balances (1)

genican1 (1150855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734736)

Thank dog for the filibuster. It's nice to know that the founding fathers had a little foresight. I never really appreciated this little piece of magic until now. Good to see that it can be used for good too.

nice Youtube clip (5, Interesting)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21734826)

Of Sennator Kennedy [youtube.com] protesting immunity. Money quote:

The President has said that American lives will be sacrificed if Congress does not change FISA. But he has also said that he will veto any FISA bill that does not grant retro-active immunity. No immunity, no FISA bill. So if we take the President at his word, he's willing to let Americans die to protect the phone companies.

To table? (1)

thirty-seven (568076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21735016)

... persuaded Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, to table the act until January

Why does American English use the verb table in this way? Yes, I know, different dialects of English are equally valid, but I'm just curious about how it makes sense to use to table to mean to set aside and not consider?

When I say "he will table the bill tomorrow", meaning "he will submit the bill for active consideration, tomorrow", I picture a metaphorical table that everyone is sitting around while discussing things. When an American English speaker says "he will table the bill tomorrow", meaning "he will remove the bill from consideration, tomorrow", what do they picture? Is a metaphorical table in a dusty corner of a basement being pictured?

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