Prosecute the torture.

October 18, 2007

No One Hearts Dubya or Congress

From Reuters:
Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush's approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
And
Bush's job approval rating fell to 24 percent from last month's record low for a Zogby poll of 29 percent. A paltry 11 percent gave Congress a positive grade, tying last month's record low.
Now we all know why dubya's numbers are in the toilet (his illegal war, the un-American domestic surveillance, and so on), but Congress? Perhaps this is the reason. Yesterday, the FISA bill passed last August (and rushed through Congress with more lies of terrorist threats) was to be voted on again. Congressman Jason Altmire was on Lynn Cullen's radio show to talk about the vote.

The vote never happened.

The GOP effectively threw a wrench into the works late last night. From The Politico:

Democratic leaders in the House were forced to suspend consideration of legislation updating the laws for warrantless wiretapping Wednesday after Republicans threatened to offer a procedural blockade.

Aides to Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) notified Republicans Wednesday evening that the bill, which had been scheduled for a vote that afternoon, would not come to the floor after Republicans advertised their intent to offer a motion that would essentially kill it.

The motion was a simple declaration that nothing in the bill would prevent intelligence officials from conducting surveillance on Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda or "any other terrorist organization" from attacking the United States or its citizens.

The problem is that Republicans wrote the motion in such a way that it would kill the overarching bill if Democrats helped them approve it.

And since most members of Congress would rather not vote for something that could be construed on the campaign trail as a vote to defend bin Laden, al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, Democratic leaders could not bring the overarching bill to the floor.

TPMElection Central has some more details. Eric Cantor, GOP House member from the New York, posted this on his website:
Today, we will be offering an amendment to the legislation to clarify that nothing in the bill "shall be construed to prohibit the intelligence community from conducting surveillance needed to prevent Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, or any other foreign terrorist organization…from attacking the United States or any United States person."
The only problem is that the FISA bill already had such provisions. Rep Jerry Nadler (D-NY):
It also includes emergency provisions, including the ability to get a warrant after the fact, to ensure that the government will never have to stop listening to a suspected terrorist plotting an attack.
As Greg Sargent writes:
...it would appear to make it very obvious that Cantor's amendment was simply about scuttling the bill and nothing else.
Even the AP said that:
The measure would have allowed unfettered telephone and e-mail surveillance of foreign intelligence targets but would require special authorization if the foreign targets were likely to be in contact with people inside the United States, a provision designed to safeguard Americans' privacy.

The Republicans scuttled a bill that would protect our privacy. But when have they ever believed in the right to privacy?

All this while polls show that voters oppose warrantless wiretaps. Somewhere around 60% of them.

The people are against the war, they voted in a Democratic Congress to stop it. It can't or won't. The people are against warrantless wiretapping, the Democrats in Congress can't stop the minority party in the House from scuttling the bill.

Is there any wonder why the numbers for Congress are so frickin low?

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Republicans in Congress have been "smart," if you can call it that. They have continued to stone wall and to play games with legislation -- purely for political reasons. They know that '08 is shaping up badly for them and they desperately need "something to run on."

Enter games like this.

You hear it on conservative talk radio all the time, "Well, Bush's poll numbers may be low, but no one likes this Democratic Congress either!"

Like I said, this is smart if you are a GOP lawmaker or a political consultant. But, as we know, it's bad if you're citizen of the United States...

I can only hope that people like Jason Altmire will make the GOP's manuevering an intregral part of his campaign, because I can guarantee you that Hart will trash him and this Congress for their "lack of action."

Piltdown Man

Whigsboy said...

Cantor's from Virginia, so you might want to do a quick fix...

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Democrat congress at 11%. Peace activists pooping on the front lawn of Nancy Pelosi in SF. Sheehan challenging her for her seat. Sen. Clinton saying she can't promise we won't be in Iraq till 2013. And of course the Democrat leadership of the Senate solves all these problems by attacking a radio talk show host. (Bid on the Reid letter at $105,000+)
This is just so funny I want you to join me a hearty guffaw. Ready 1-2-3 LMAOOOOOOO. And locally the Democrats running a city into bankruptcy with a 27 year old kid at the helm. Blame it all on Bush! LMAO

xranger said...

Maybe the Dem leadership tying up Congress this week trying to push through a meaningless statement against the Ottoman Empire adds to the public's distate of their performance.

Whigsboy said...

It's all very sad for this country: an incompetent Democratic congressional leadership and an incompetent and corrupt Republican minority.

And John Koward's biggest concern is the "attacks" on Druggie.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Maybe the Dem leadership tying up Congress this week trying to push through a meaningless statement against the Ottoman Empire adds to the public's distate of their performance.
Maybe, X, but their approval was very, very low before this issue came up. Reason? They've been unable to stop the Abomination, er, Administration from abusing the troops and pushing the country into bankruptcy for no good reason in Iraq.

I agree with them, and I'm sure you, that this Congress does not have the competence to blow its own nose, the perception to know when to blow it, nor the integrity not to blow the snot into the soup.

Sherry said...

that's about how i feel. s s

xranger said...

John S., I am dismayed at my lack of respect I have for any politician right now, of any party, of any governing body.

We all have our own principles and political views. I have no faith in the Republican party right now, state or federal, because I don't see anyone doing what's right for their constituents but, rather, what they feel is right for their own damn self.

The money and power in politics today must be like a narcotic, and when these political hacks get hooked they all lose their way.

John Schmuck said...

My attitude about politicians in general is similar to yours, X; although I do retain a modicum of respect for a very few of them.

But my contempt is probably much broader than yours, because mine extends deeply into the electorate, who vote for people on the basis of fear, hatred, I've-got-mine-so-screw-you politics, short-sighted prosperity at our kids' expense, and bumper-sticker slogans.

I know you think I'm either insincere or mentally ill for saying so, but I think the era of Great America is coming to an end. I blame the Reagans, Vigueries, Norquists, Scalias, and Bushes who have manipulated the sheep; but it's the public who is to blame at the root for buying the easy, simple, too-good-to-be-true propaganda.

EdHeath said...

It would be nice if the elected democrats trusted those who elected them not to be fooled by Republicans trying to pin a label on them.

"And since most members of Congress would rather not vote for something that could be construed on the campaign trail as a vote to defend bin Laden, al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization, Democratic leaders could not bring the overarching bill to the floor."

They didn't want to vote against the simplistic motion, so they abandoned the whole bill. They have to trust us, maybe just a little bit.

Sherry said...

more than trusting us. they all have to really love this country just a bit more than they love their power and position.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: You Democrats need to get on board. Moveon.org bought and paid for Rep. Altmeyer and he hasn't come thru on anything. And Rep. Murtha is changing his tone. Did you hear what he said about the genocide ammendment? He said we have to support our allies in Iraq. Yah, no kidding he said that LOL. Murtha can read the writing on the wall and wants to be in front of the victory in Iraq celebrations. He can see that the surge is working. You Democrats got nothing. Except for some anti-war activists defecating on Nancy Pelosi's front yard LMAO. You got nothing!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John, do you actually get some kind of sick pleasure from displaying your ignorance and hate, or do you do it just to keep us entertained? Whatever reason, don't stop, or the Right Wing might gain some credibility.

And if you don't mind, we'd love some more Glenn Beck quotes.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Charles Gibson (ABC) "The news from Bahgdad is there is no news." No car bombs, nothing. We are winning and as I stated in the last post Rep. Murtha sees it and is beginning to jump on board. He doesn't want to miss out on the victory celebration. And all Gibson can do is whine, like some left wing kooks in here, that there are no suicide bombers to blame on Bush. And now the left wing kooks in here are in a bind. You lefties are so invested in defeat and how you hate the troops you cannot accept (just like Gibson) any semblance of success. Lefties you lose. Our troops are winning and you kooks need to get on board. Or go have a four course dinner, and forget about the environment, with Gore in Scotsdale, Az. LMAO Hey that last line was funny.

jaywillie said...

You know what really sucks, John K.?

For as bad as Congress's numbers are, the Republicans are still going to get their asses handed to them again in '08.

Whigsboy said...

Yeah, it’s all wine and roses in Iraq these days. Nothing to see here.

Or here.

And these are only kids, so nothing here.

It’s all like a game of Monopoly. We will “win,” you will “lose.” There are no real people. Troops and civilians are like game pieces – the thimble or the race car. Children are a like a few houses on Mediterranean Avenue. If you can’t afford health care coverage for them, no big deal. Just sell a house or just go bankrupt. It’s all just play money anyway, eh?

And the endless polls, IMO, make it all sort of seem like a game, reinforcing the dehumanizing way dickheads like John Koward view everything. Where do things stand today? What does the populace believe? But how were those questions framed? And just how big was the survey anyway? What were the political affiliations of the respondents?

Perhaps the news organizations should put less money into polling and more into reporting on news, as opposed to whether Fred Thompson is a lazy piece of crap or Obama is wearing a flag on his lapel.

Feh.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Yep, only 21 dead Americans so far this month! Isn't that great? Only four dead Americans this week! And what a glorious victory they died for!

Here are the names of some of the brave young men and women whose deaths you enjoyed so much this month:

* Micheal D. Brown
* Thomas M. Martin
* Kenneth J. Iwasinski
* Justin S. Monschke
* Jason B. Koutroubas
* Nathan Z. Thacker
* Donald L. Munn II
* Eric T. Duckworth
* Samuel F. Pearson
* Lillian Clamens
* Jason M. Lantieri
* Frank L. Cady III
* Jeremy W. Burris
* Benjamin C. Dillon
* Gilberto A. Meza
* Rachael L. Hugo
* Joseph B. Milledge
* Jason N. Marchand
* Vincent G. Kamka
* Ricardo X. Rodriguez
* Avealalo Milo
* Shayna Ann Schnell
* Herman J. Murkerson Jr.

The parents of 1LT Thomas Martin, who died in Baghdad on Sunday, will really appreciate the way you laugh at his death. They will be so pleased to know that you Wingnuts can declare victory now, as they bury their son. If you get in touch with them, maybe they'll even let you piss on his coffin.

No news from Iraq, huh?
10/18/07 Reuters: Five bodies found in Baghdad
10/18/07 Reuters: Gunmen kill 3 tribesmen in a drive-by shooting in Dhuluiya
10/18/07 Reuters: Iraqi solidier killed, 3 others wounded by IED
10/18/07 Reuters: Three hurt as foreign guards fire on taxi in Iraq
10/18/07 Reuters: Car bomb wounds 3 Iraqi soldiers in Hawija
10/18/07 AFP: Security guards kill three Iraq civilians
10/18/07 Reuters: Five bodies found in Baghdad on Wednesday
10/18/07 Reuters: 2 policemen, 1 civialian killed by IED in Mosul
10/18/07 Reuters: Five students wounded by grenades in Basra
10/17/07 AP: 8 Guard units to get war duty
10/17/07 dpa: US patrol injures two Iraqi civilians
10/17/07 Reuters: Clashes erupt between 'al Qaeda' and Islamic Army
10/17/07 Reuters: Iraqi army kills five gunmen
10/17/07 Reuters: Police kill 3 gunmen, arrest six others in Baiji
10/17/07 Reuters: Policeman'd body found in Riyadh
10/17/07 Reuters: Suicide truck bomber hits Peshmerga checkpoint in Jalawla

For everybody except our Laughing Chickenhawk: It's now just about midnight in Baghdad. Do you know where your children are?

Whigsboy said...

This was just too much to pass up. My understanding is that Druggie Limbaugh's sudden hearing loss a few years back was chocked up to an autoimmune disorder. But lo and behold look what the FDA is reporting today:

"FDA informed healthcare professionals of reports of sudden decreases or loss of hearing following the use of PDE5 inhibitors Viagra, Levitra, Cialis for the treatment of erectile dysfunction..."

Oh, Druggie, were all of those trips south of the border so you could hoist your adiposity on some desperate underage hookers worth your hearing? Good thing medical science bailed your ass out.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Oops Insert Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif) San Fran area and you see the face of the Democrat party. Let's see if any lefty calles for the resignation of Rep. Stark. I am betting not.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: So some people in here think war should be bloodless. Just like watching TV. We have been telling you, if you have no stomach for the fight go to the mall or just pretend it isn't happening. As the President said, stay out of the way because we are not really interested in having you interfere with the fight. You get in the way and your whining is just annoying.
Hey, remember all those terrorists Bush recruited in Iraq. We killed them all. Just ask Charlie Gibson of ABC and Rep. Murtha.

Anonymous said...

Pete Stark?

jaywillie said...

What is with this "Democrat" party stuff?

People who use that sound like ignorant children. Is it supposed to be offensive, because to me the ones who use it just come across as illiterate, intellectually dysfunctional morons?

John K. if you think this war is a good idea, why don't you enlist? If this is the greatest challenge of the 21st century(which seems a little premature just a few years into it), it seems to me that people such as yourself should be willing to give up their jobs or school and get their asses on the front line instead of hiding out in America as little more than a cheerleader for something they don't understand.

For all your bluster about war and supporting the troops, John K., you come across as someone who knows very, very little about war. But I'm pretty certain your happy enough to remain a member of the 101st Fighting Keyboardist...a genuine chickenhawk through and through.

Wave your flag, shout that you support the troops louder than everyone else...if that's what passes for patriotism these days, then I don't want anything to do with it.

Here's the deal, folks. You can't argue with a person like John K. He's uneducated, he's obtuse...he lives in a fantasy, much like our President. As Bob Weir once sang, "You ain't gonna learn what you don't wanna know."

People like John have made a choice to live in a bubble, insulated from reality on the ground in Iraq and America. They have no intellectual substance beyond cheap, bumper sticker slogans and specious reasoning.

Anonymous said...

Why would Rep. Stark resign, all he said was Bush gets his cookies off having innocent people getting their heads blown off. Well? He already gave you that answer a year ago when asked if he loses sleep over this war, He said hell no he sleeps like a baby. It doesn't matter to him whether it's an 18 year old straight out of high school or a 2 month old Iraqi baby, as long as it isn't him or members of his family...shit happens.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: I don't have time to respond to your comment. I'm about to leave for the closest mens room, peek into some stalls, tap some shoes and hope to snare some hunka hunka burnin love. LOL LOL LOL Oh baby...