MorganRants

Things I am passionate about. Injustice, stupidity, intolerance, bigotry and small-mindedness. Oh and there might just be some humor to offset the whole thing.

Posts Tagged ‘FISA’

Pelosi Supports ‘Fairness Doctrine’

Posted by morganwrites on July 5, 2008

The speaker of the House made it clear to me and more than forty of my colleagues yesterday that a bill by Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) to outlaw the “Fairness Doctrine” (which a liberal administration could use to silence Rush Limbaugh, other radio talk show hosts and much of the new alternative media) would not see the light of day in Congress during ’08.  In ruling out a vote on Pence’s proposed Broadcaster’s Freedom Act, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-CA.) also signaled her strong support for revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” — which would require radio station owners to provide equal time to radio commentary when it is requested.

Experts say that the “Fairness Doctrine,” which was ended under the Reagan Administration, would put a major burden on small radio stations in providing equal time to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative broadcasters, who are a potent political force.  Rather than engage in the costly practice of providing that time, the experts conclude, many stations would simply not carry Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other talk show hosts who are likely to generate demands for equal time.

At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, I asked Pelosi if Pence failed to get the required signatures on a discharge petition to get his anti-Fairness Doctrine bill out of committee, would she permit the Pence measure to get a floor vote this year.

“No,” the Speaker replied, without hesitation.  She added that “the interest in my caucus is the reverse” and that New York Democratic Rep. “Louise Slaughter has been active behind this [revival of the Fairness Doctrine] for a while now.”

Pelosi pointed out that, after it returns from its Fourth of July recess, the House will only meet for another three weeks in July and three weeks in the fall.  There are a lot of bills it has to deal with before adjournment, she said, such as FISA and an energy bill.

“So I don’t see it [the Pence bill] coming to the floor,” Pelosi said.

“Do you personally support revival of the ‘Fairness Doctrine?’” I asked.

“Yes,” the speaker replied, without hesitation

Pelosi to Senate:  Filibuster FISA

Although Speaker Pelosi would not specifically call for Sen. Barack Obama to lead a filibuster against Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation in the Senate, she did send a strong signal that she was positive about the talk of filibuster against the surveillance measure by Democratic Sens. Christopher Dodd (CT.) and Russ Feingold (Wisc.)

Recalling that there were many issues before the Senate that she felt deserved but did not get a filibuster — on the war in Iraq and expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) that the Administration vetoed, for example — Pelosi voiced her opinion that “a filibuster focuses on a very important issue” and that the importance of FISA “justifies that.”

The Speaker pointed out that “if the Senate has the ability to filibuster, and “I think there is a great appetite in the public for such a debate on [FISA] to take place.  And I think it would be healthy and wholesome.”

Of her own unusual vote for the surveillance bill coupled with an admonition to colleagues that they were not obliged to do the same, Pelosi was pressed by nationally syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

“It’s better than the underlying FISA law,” Pelosi told Novak, “It’s better than what the Senate had sent us.  It’s not good enough, as far as I’m concerned.  But I did for it because, again, we have our choices to make and I viewed my role as saving the world, the House, the Congress, from the Senate bill, and  the Protect America Act, the Administration’s bill.  But it isn’;t the bill I would have written.”

I truly wish Obama would actually throw this bitch under a greyhound.  I might vote for him if he did. Let’s all say a prayer…..

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Ever-Malleable Mr. Obama

Posted by morganwrites on July 4, 2008

“To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”
— Obama spokesman Bill Burton, Oct. 24, 2007
That was then: Democratic primaries to be won, netroot lefties to be seduced. With all that (and Hillary Clinton) out of the way, Obama now says he’ll vote in favor of the new FISA bill that gives the telecom companies blanket immunity for post-Sept. 11 eavesdropping.
Back then, in the yesteryear of primary season, he thoroughly trashed the North American Free Trade Agreement, pledging to force a renegotiation, take “the hammer” to Canada and Mexico and threaten unilateral abrogation.
Today the hammer is holstered. Obama calls his previous NAFTA rhetoric “overheated” and essentially endorses what one of his senior economic advisers privately told the Canadians: The anti-trade stuff was nothing more than populist posturing.
Nor is there much left of his primary season pledge to meet “without preconditions” with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There will be “preparations,” you see, which are being spun by his aides into the functional equivalent of preconditions.
Obama’s long march to the center has begun.
And why not? What’s the downside? He won’t lose the left, or even mainstream Democrats. They won’t stay home on Nov. 4. The anti-Bush, anti-Republican sentiment is simply too strong. Election Day is their day of revenge — for the Florida recount, for Swift-boating, for all the injuries, real and imagined, dealt out by Republicans over the past eight years.
Normally, flip-flopping presidential candidates have to worry about the press. Not Obama. After all, this is a press corps that heard his grandiloquent Philadelphia speech — designed to rationalize why “I can no more disown [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown my white grandmother” — then wiped away a tear and hailed him as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln. Three months later, with Wright disowned, grandma embraced and the great “race speech” now inoperative, not a word of reconsideration is heard from his media acolytes.
Worry about the press? His FISA flip-flop elicited a few grumbles from lefty bloggers, but hardly a murmur from the mainstream press. Remember his pledge to stick to public financing? Now flush with cash, he is the first general-election candidate since Watergate to opt out. Some goo-goo clean-government types chided him, but the mainstream editorialists who for years had been railing against private financing as hopelessly corrupt and corrupting evinced only the mildest of disappointment.
Indeed, the New York Times expressed a sympathetic understanding of Obama’s about-face by buying his preposterous claim that it was a preemptive attack on McCain’s 527 independent expenditure groups — notwithstanding the fact that (a) as Politico’s Jonathan Martin notes, “there are no serious anti-Obama 527s in existence nor are there any immediate plans to create such a group” and (b) the only independent ad of any consequence now running in the entire country is an AFSCME-MoveOn.org co-production savaging McCain.
True, Obama’s U-turn on public financing was not done for ideological reasons, it was done for Willie Sutton reasons: That’s where the money is. It nonetheless betrayed a principle that so many in the press claimed to hold dear.
As public financing is not a principle dear to me, I am hardly dismayed by Obama’s abandonment of it. Nor am I disappointed in the least by his other calculated and cynical repositionings. I have never had any illusions about Obama. I merely note with amazement that his media swooners seem to accept his every policy reversal with an equanimity unseen since the Daily Worker would change the party line overnight — switching sides in World War II, for example — whenever the wind from Moscow changed direction.
The truth about Obama is uncomplicated. He is just a politician (though of unusual skill and ambition). The man who dared say it plainly is the man who knows Obama all too well. “He does what politicians do,” explained Jeremiah Wright.
When it’s time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.
Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia — only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama’s fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.
Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he’s finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.

Posted in Barack Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »