s skippy the bush kangaroo: telecomm immunity is dodd in the water

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, November 16, 2007

telecomm immunity is dodd in the water

sen. dodd sent us this email:


i am about to hop on a plane back to d.c. from last night's debate, but i'd be remiss if i didn't take a moment to thank you first.

this retroactive immunity fight, and yesterday's result, were different than most we've had since our party took control of congress. not because we won one, but because of the unprecedented cooperation with the grassroots.

we didn't allow the bush administration to shape a false debate -- security vs. constitutional rights -- both nationally and within our own caucus.

it took the kind of leadership and action delivering results that is easy to talk about, but increasingly hard to find.

and with your help, that's the leadership you'll have in the white house.

your contribution will help us do the things we need on the ground to get us there. january 3 is getting real close.

please make a contribution now.


thank you again,

booman tells us that, contrary to what you've heard, sen. feinstein did not reverse herself and vote against immunity:

here is what happened. the intelligence committee marked up a fisa amendment bill that provided for telecom immunity. then that bill went to the judiciary committee. the judiciary committee couldn't agree on the issue of immunity and if chairman leahy had allowed a vote both sheldon whitehouse and diane feinstein (who along with russ feingold sit on both the intelligence and the judiciary committees) would have voted for immunity. actually, whitehouse and feinstein are looking at a compromise offered by ranking member, arlen specter.

senator arlen specter of pennsylvania, the ranking republican on the panel, is pushing a plan that would substitute the federal government as the defendant in the lawsuits against the telecommunications companies. that would mean that the government, not the companies, would pay damages in successful lawsuits.

senator sheldon whitehouse, democrat of rhode island, said in an interview after the vote thursday that he would support a compromise along the lines of the specter proposal.
so would feinstein, who opposed feingold's effort to strip immunity.

senator dianne feinstein, a california democrat who also opposed mr. feingold’s measure, pleaded with mr. leahy to defer the immunity issue because she wants more time to consider several compromise proposals.
so, don't go calling feinstein's office thanking her for anything. she's running interference for her corporate backers with all her might.

leahy simply deferred the issue of immunity and moved the bill to the floor without it. the situation, as it now stands, lies in the hands of majority leader harry reid.

because the two committees could not agree, senator harry reid of nevada, the majority leader, will determine which proposals will be considered by the full senate, said a spokeswoman for the judiciary committee.

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posted by skippy at 11:38 AM |


Sen Feinstein did the politically expedient thing, not the right thing; the committee simply ducked the issue. She is a consummate inside player, a power broker, not an idealist. If you count on her to do the right thing, you will be disappointed every time. I certainly have been.

So, based on her past performance and that of Senator Reid, I predict that the full Senate will add Title II, granting retroactive telecom immunity, and pass the bill with token Democratic opposition. Sen. Dodd will not be allowed to conduct an actual filibuster; if he makes the attempt, Sen. Feinstein will vote for cloture.
Remember, you read it here second. (This comment is recycled from Avedon Carol's marvelous Sideshow.)

Boy would I love to be wrong about this -- but Sen. Feinstein has accumulated a truly amazing record as the most effective and least accountable of Bush 43's Democratic enablers in Congress. In every instance -- Military Commissions, Roberts, Alito, Southwick, Mukasey -- she has offered token opposition, has paid lip service to the rule of law and the role of Congress under the Constitution -- and then, when the parliamentary maneuvering finally gets thick enough to give her some cover, she quietly folds and gives the Republicans yet another "compromise" that is everything Bush demands.
commented by Anonymous joel hanes, 7:41 PM PST  
Thanks for this clarification. Feinstein is not winning any voters in California with her latest bushiness. Personally, she makes me sick. I am tired of hearing about all the good she has done in the past in order to justify all her currant deceptions. It is probably a lost cause to hope she is replaced, though the progressives are promising to try. She gives Dems a bad name these days.
commented by Blogger gbreez, 7:26 PM PST  

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