Bill Scher's LiberalOasis

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Month: October 2007 (page 1 of 3)

Buffett isn’t paying enough in taxes

Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the world, has been an outspoken critic of the Bush tax cuts since back in 2001 or 2002. He is one of the few billionaires who are honest enough to admit that they aren’t paying as much in taxes (proportionately) as you or I. This is the problem in America. We have been sold a bill of goods and the goods are terrible.
Let’s start with the Death Tax. This is dumbest argument but the Republicans sold it to the American people. The story goes like this – So poor family farmer would lose his farm if we continued the Estate Tax. The second part of the argument was that folks that make a lot of money should be able to keep their money. If we tax it again, it will be double taxed and that’s not fair. (I’m getting nauseated while I type this. I think that I’ll need some Pepto Bismol.) We get “double taxed” all of the time. When we buy gas with our money that has been taxed, we pay gasoline tax. When we pay sales tax on a shirt, it is double taxed. The purpose of the estate tax was to prevent the formation of entitlement or royal class. The thought was that everyone should have to work for a living. The Republicans turned that idea on it ear and they pushed to repeal the Death Tax. Let’s go back to that poor family farmer. No one has been able to show one incident where a family farmer has lost his farm secondary to the Estate Tax. All of the Republicans arguments were bogus.
Tax cuts have never worked to boost an economy. They have worked to pad the pockets of rich Americans but they have never put money in the pockets of the average Joe and Joan. Here’s what Lee Price from the Economic Policy Institute has said about the tax cuts back in 2005.

Since 2001 President Bush and congressional leaders have promised that enacting each of a series of tax cuts would strengthen the economy by bringing faster growth, more jobs, and greater investment. With Congress again debating whether to extend past tax cuts and enact new ones, it’s time to review how much the last four years of tax cuts have affected the U.S. economy and budget outlook. Unfortunately for most Americans, the tax cuts since 2001 have not made today’s economy stronger. Over the last five fiscal years, the tax cuts have had a direct cost of $860 billion and (with interest costs) a total effect on the deficit of $929 billion. By creating excessive permanent deficits, they have lowered our future standard of living.

So, that brings us back to Warren Buffett. Maybe he understands that the average Joe or Joan needs a break. They are the ones that need tax relief. How about a tax cut for the everyone who makes between $30,000 – $100,000? How about that? And then to offset this we need to increase taxes on the top 1% of households. This isn’t class warfare as some Republicans have stated. Instead, it is equality.
Update: A.L. has written about a Wall Street Journal op-ed which sang the praises of Bush’s tax cut. A.L. took a different route but came to the same conclusion as I did above, tax cuts do not pay for themselves. They never have and never will.
Buffett interview (video) with Tom Brokaw where he clearly states that he doesn’t pay enough in taxes.

Let’s keep our eyes on the ball – Iraq

We are going to have to multi-task. We have to beat back the craziness over Iran and we have continue to work to get our troops out of Iraq. Every day more of our good soldiers are dying and for what? The Iraqi’s are not closer to any oil sharing deal. Without an oil sharing deal there will be no peace in Iraq. The Sunni’s, the Shiites and the Kurds all have a difference agenda. They don’t trust each other. Several Sunni cleric have spoken out stating that they are not interested in sharing power with the Shiites. They want to control the country. We know that the Kurds want an independent state but the state that they dream of includes territory of Turkey. So, what are our troops doing there? They are keeping the oil pipelines open. That’s what they are doing there.
3822. That’s the current number of Americans that have died in Iraq.
More terrible news from Iraq – A suicide bomber killed 28 Iraqis yesterday. The bomber targeted policemen as they assembled for morning roll call. This attack occurred outside Baghdad in Baqubah. In another story Washington Post reporter Joshua Partlow is embedded with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division. He quoted a soldier saying, “I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life.” The article goes on to describe how the landscape has changed from bustling shops and women in western clothing to a ghost town with bombed out or boarded up shops and houses. Finally, the Iraq government, who really can’t do anything without the approval of the US, is slowly moving toward stripping the Contractors of their immunity, including Blackwater USA. Reports have stated that the State department has been on both sides of this fence. The first reports said that the State department had granted immunity. Reports lately have stated the opposite.
Bottom-line. Iraq is a mess. It is a disaster. It is a cluster and it will remain a mess for quite some time. We don’t have the troop strength to really control the country. Therefore, we continue to move from one hot spot to another hoping that one day the Iraqi Police will step to the plate and take control.
On another note, last week a Medal of Honor was given to the Navy Seal Lt.Michael Murphy family. The video of the medal ceremony is here. The story of he incredible courage is here. I salute his service and his family.

Limits

When my six-year-old son wants something that he can’t have, we remind him that he has limits. And he understands this. That is, the idea of limits is not some foreign concept inside his fragile eggshell mind. We are always hearing, from the right-wing virtues crowd, about how liberal, permissive parents don’t set enough limits, that the hands-off, namby pamby approach has created a nation of irresponsible monsters.
These blowhards have been talking this jive since Dr. Benjamin Spock published his Child and Baby Care book in the late 1940s. They can’t stand it that he suggested parents stop beating their kids and start listening to them. The right wing scolds see that approach as “coddling.” They prefer the “way it used to be,” to quote that paragon of virtues, the thrice-married, Hillbilly-heroin-addicted, former welfare recipient, draft dodger, Rush Limbaugh.
Ever since Spock–who was also a leader of the antiwar movement and a political progressive–they have been angry that we “liberals” actually treat our kids like human beings, listen to them, don’t physically assault them every time they fart or belch and, by supplying them with paper, crayons, books and other self-entertaining low-fi paraphernalia they don’t become addicted to TV. So why don’t these same rules apply to grownups? These same right-wing virtues protectors have sold the American grown-ups on the lie that you can have everything without having to pay for it.
But you can’t have everything you want. You can’t eat ice cream and stay slim. You can’t eat beef three times a day and avoid cancer or Mad cow disease. You can’t eat chicken three times a day and avoid getting arsenic in your system. You can’t drink corporate made, FDA-approved sodas ten times a day and avoid drinking benzene. You can’t tattoo yourself head to toe and then decide, ten years later, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. There are limits to your behavior. Limits. The only thing on which there are no limits is your imagination.
An exchange in a 2004 conversation between Gary Groth and Ralph Steadman, the great artist who accompanied Hunter S. Thompson on some of his fear and loathing forays (from Drawing The Line: The Comics Journal Library, Fantagraphics, 2004) pretty much nailed it:
GG: It’s a bit of a paradox, because conservatives are usually pretty big on limitations, like sexual or social constraints, but they place no restraints on the economic life.
RS: Well, maybe they channel it all to that, to the hunger for money: all the sexual appetites become money, they become placebos for money, money placebos. That’s probably what it is. I know that for some reason they don’t like the arts, anything that smacks of an uncontrollable freedom–that is, one that they cannot put a regulation around. You see, they cannot put a regulation around imagination. It seems that the one place we can still expand in this world is in the mind.

Let’s use our imagination then. You can’t build a “gated community” (an oxymoron?) on top of a sand dune and not have the ocean in your living room ten to twenty years from now. You can’t create greenhouse gases on a sustained basis and not have the cumulative impact melt the polar ice caps. You can’t drive a Hummer and sport a “Save The Planet” bumper sticker. You can be self-righteous and money grubbing, but that only means you will make a better looking corpse when the Big Blow comes a calling. As the Jefferson Airplane once put it, “Compared to your scream the human dream doesn’t mean shit to a tree.”
Likewise, you can’t invade other countries for no reason and not suffer some catastrophic consequences. You can’t allow two elections to be stolen and expect the person inserted in office to be loved, or even effective. He didn’t win, he didn’t earn it, and yet he rules like a limitless despot. (Here is a person, indeed, whose parents didn’t set limits for him). You can’t intercept the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans and then tell them you are not spying on them. You can’t laugh at the people you kill and call yourself a Christian.
There are limits to what language can bear. There are limits to what the planet can bear. Limits. My six-year-old son understands this.

Watch the Global Warming debate

If you don’t really pay attention to the news, you might get confused on the issue of Global Warming. On one hand, you have the environmentalists telling us that the sky is falling (or at least getting warmer). On the other hand, you have those that support Big Business tell us that everything is fine.
First, let’s look at the science. First, let’s take Global Warming. To quote Cheney or more correctly misquote him – There is no doubt that Global Warming is occurring. The National Academy of Sciences has said so. In a 155 page report, they clearly show that Global Warming is occurring. There is a large consensus report in which the leading experts on Climate got together and their conclusion is that Global Warming is a fact. I’m not an expert on the science of climatology. I’m a trauma surgeon. I do know something about the scientific process. Anyone who says they don’t believe in Global Warming needs to be asked if they believe in molecules or bacteria. Heck, even Newt Gingrich admitted that Global Warming is real.
The second question that needs to be asked is if Global Warming is being caused by man. Or to put the question another way, what is the cause of Global Warming? Some of those who are kind of smart on the Right have said that this is just the normal cycle of our planet. It is clear that the Earth goes through cycles of hot and cold. By using this logic, the Right is showing that they don’t completely deny science. They are just having a problem with its conclusions. Nice. Unfortunately, for the Right, the data is overwhelming. Man is causing this warming trend. One of the neatest experiments that just brings it home was an experiment that was done on 9/11 (yep, 9/11 changed everything but the neocons weren’t talking about this). The scientist looked at temperature readings across the United States on 9/12. On 9/12/2001 there were almost no planes flying. None. Therefore, he could measure the effect of the condensation trails that most jets leave behind on temperature. He found that we were significantly cooler on the day without planes than on the day before and the day after. This small little experiment clearly showed that man can influence temperature across a continent.
Just for a second let’s look at the other side of this argument. Let’s look at those who are speaking against Global Warming. Well, there’s Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck who can’t really put together a thoughtful argument for his position. Next. There are several scientists who have written that Global Warming is a crock and there is no consensus in the scientific community. Many of these scientists are on the payroll of Big Oil and as such have a huge conflict of interest on this subject. As a matter of fact, Big Oil has offered $10,000 to anyone who writes an article and gets it published that bashes Global Warming.
A nice simple paper that everyone can read can be found here. It has references to all of the major papers in the field. This short summary basically says that several large groups of scientists came together, they worked for a long time and reviewed all of the current literature. Their conclusion is that Global Warming is a fact and it is being caused by man. Here’s the rub – this debate has been poisoned by the Right. Unless, the public is going to read these scientific papers we aren’t going to make headway on this subject. So, we need a new strategy to achieve the same goal. Michael Shellenberger was on the Thom Hartmann program today. He has a new book called Breathrough. He argues that this is a National Security issue. Bingo, he has the hook because this is a National Security issue. If we had an endless supply of clean energy would we be in Iraq? Would we give a hoot about Iran? NO!! This is a National Security issue and we need to convenience the public. Republicans would never argue against our National Security. If they did they would lose the only weapon that they have over the Democrats. National Security – that’s the ticket.

Iran 24/7

Just like the run up to the war with Iraq we have the constant drumbeat of war or at least bombing Iran. It is as if the Bush Administration is egging on radial Muslims. The best way to make sure that Iran moves farther away from the west is to bomb them. Yet, just as with the build up for War with Iraq, no information has deterred this administration from talking about bombing Iran.
On CNN this morning, Mohammed ElBaradei of the IAEA said, “I very much have concern about confrontation, building confrontation, Wolf, because that would lead absolutely to a disaster. I see no military solution. The only durable solution is through negotiations and inspections.” He was 100% right about the weapons of mass destruction leading up to the War in Iraq. Why wouldn’t he be the voice of reason now?
The folks who we know are not the voice of reason are the neocons on Fox. In my opinion, whatever they say we should probably do the opposite. William Kristol has been wrong so many times it is unclear to me why he is allowed back on any TV show that isn’t a comedy. Today he said, “useful for Iran to believe that this administration will stop at nothing to keep it from getting a nuclear weapon.” Also, today, Brit Hume who is the neocon’s neocon said, “Doesn’t it make sense that you want Iran to believe that if you keep this up, they might be the subject of a devastating military strike of the kind that only the United States of America can mount. I would think so. And it seems to me when you have Democrats running around, wringing their hands about alleged saber rattling that it makes them look terribly weak, and in the end if you’re the head of Iran, you think, ‘well, we want those people in charge.'”
Let’s just quickly review history. Not ancient history, just history of the past 6 – 7 years. The Clinton administration through direct discussions with North Korea got North Korea to allow nuclear inspections. The North Koreans had stopped their nuclear program (sort of). The Bush administration comes in and calls the North Korean leadership untrustworthy and liars. Inspectors are kicked out. North Korea begins to build a nuclear bomb. They enrich enough nuclear material to make 4 – 6 weapons. They explode something. It is unclear if it was a nuclear explosion but it was something. Only then does the US begin direct talks with North Korea. The direct talks have worked and inspectors are going to be let in again. We only allowed them to build 4 – 6 bombs because the Bush administration’s failures. Now, why hasn’t the Bush Adminstration learned from their mistakes?

Sunday Morning Air Sickness Bags

Bill Scher should win a National Tolerance Award–or at least get battle pay–for his ability to, week after week, watch the Sunday morning gasbag shows and deconstruct them for us by Monday morning. He and Gene Gaudette at American Politics Journal http://www.americanpolitics.com/ watch the likes of Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox Pokes You In The Eye With A Stick, etc., so we don’t have to.
While Bill is on vacation, though, I am going to take this opportunity to, uh, duck out of the job. It’s not because I am irresponsible or lazy, necessarily, but I just can not physically and psychologically do it. I am not half the man that Bill is, I guess. I can not look at Tim Russert’s gigantic lying head or George Stab-em-in-the-back-polis try to act serious or the same old worn out blabbermouth guests saying the same old worn out cliches to some grinning doofus like Bob Schieffer or Larry Lickspittle.
Instead, I would encourage everyone to get the October issue of Vanity Fair and read Evgenia Peretz’s “Going After Gore.” It really is a tutorial on the state of the national press corps. It shows you what a bunch of harpies and sheep and high school-level gossipmongers they are (and those are only the descriptions I can use without lapsing into scatology).
Thanks to Vanity Fair, it is now on the record. The national press corps is a national disgrace. They collectively and gleefully went after Gore in 2000, while portraying George W. Bush as the no-nonsense gunslinger, charmer, glad hander, beer buddy, etc.
It is almost as sickening to read as this article as it is to watch Tim Russert but at least you don’t run the risk of putting your foot through a glass tube.
The usual suspects are rounded up by Peretz: Katherine Seeleye, Frank Bruni, Maureen Dowd and (yes) Frank Rich at the New York Times, Ceci Connolly at the Washington Post, Margaret Carlson of Time magazine, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, Dan Rather and, of course, Tim Russert as The Beaver.
I can not do the article justice by trying to digest its salient points, but the most egregious Gore-basher was Maureen Dowd. Her crimes and misty-meaners were particularly loathsome because they came marinated in her own psychodramas. The never-married late-middle-aged-but-trying-desperately-not-to-be-frumpy Dowd so clearly has “issues” with men. It shows up in every column she writes, even to this day.
But here’s a snippet from a 2000 column about Gore, when the Love Story urban myth began circulating: “Does he think, going into 2000, that this will give him a romantic glow, or a romantic afterglow?” (You wish, MoDo!). I am not a psychiatrist but I have been around my share of them and I believe they call language like this “projecting” (or “projectile vomiting”).
Ah, but the great unwritten story is that Dowd clearly had the hots for George W. Bush. How else to explain how the man she cluckily called an “amiable idler” later inspired this: “You don’t often get to see a Presidential candidate bloom right before your eyes.” (Dr. Freud, your slip is showing!).
Final amusing note: The New York Times’ Frank Bruni, whom Bush adopted as his favorite lapdog, even nicknaming him Poncho, may have been more responsible than anyone for depicting Bush as “presidential.” Never in the anals (sic) of the Times has any correspondent sucked up so shamelessly to the person about whom he was assigned to write. Bruni even got the lucrative job, once he successfully helped put Bush in office, of writing the official hagiography (Ambling into History, now available below the remainder table).
Guess what Bruni is doing now? He is the restaurant critic for the Times. Perfecto! This is exactly where he deserves to be. And yet, would you patronize any restaurant to which Bruni, the man who raved about Bush, gave five stars?
Bone appetite, Poncho!

What are we, Americans, about?

As I look around and I try to interpret domestic and foreign policy, one question keeps nagging at me, what are we, as Americans, about? Let’s look at recent events. The failure of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-Chip) was extremely interesting. Several facts, no matter how badly the Republicans try to twist them, are still facts. 6 million children are not covered by any government program or private insurance. This is a fact. The current program will be an increase in funding just a cover the same number of kids as the program has been covering. The Bush administration has proposed a cut in funding. Furthermore, the Democrats met the Republicans half-way and closed the loophole where some states had enrolled adults. Also, Democrats excluded economic refugees (illegal aliens). Even if you became a citizen, you had to wait 5 years before qualifying for the S-Chip. As most of you know, the S-Chip program was unable to override a veto. The Democratic led Congress is trying to devise a bill that may be more suitable to more Republicans.
The wildfires in California demonstrate the overwhelming power of nature. At one point over a half a million people had evacuated the region and over a thousand homes have been burned. Why? The Southern California wildfires are completely predictable. We know that wildfires will erupt in late August or early September. So, these wildfires were late in the season but still, why haven’t we adopted some plan to protect a city as large as San Diego. Estimates of damage currently hover around $1 billion. Couldn’t we have spent $1 billion and constructed some sort of protective barrier just east of San Diego? The barrier could be an area of desert that is devoid of vegetation. We could construct some sort of rock formation that makes it difficult for the fire to skip over the rocks. Although I believe a lot of Katrina references are inappropriate, I think pre-disaster planning or more correctly, the lack of pre-disaster planning is seen in both instances. The levies in many areas of New Orleans were laughable if we are serious in protecting the city.
Over the last several months there have been several outbreaks of food poisoning. Time and time again we are told by food processing companies that they are doing “all that they can.” We’ve also had several different toy recalls because the toys were painted with lead paint. Lead paint! This is the year 2007 not 1967. Lead paint?

The Iraq invasion and occupation has been a complete disaster. Everything that thoughtful experts were saying about the region is coming to pass. Ethic violence – Check. Interference from Syria, Iran and Turkey – Check. Destabilization of the region – check. Everything that the smart people said was true (maybe that’s why they are smart.) Now, the Bush administration has imposed sanctions against Iran. Sanctions that are specifically designed to get under Iran’s skin. It is clear that without corporation from Russia and China the sanctions have little or no meaning. Yet, we do this very aggressive act to what end? To pick a fight, that’s all that it could be.

Finally, looking at the way that we have treated captured detainees. We have tortured prisoners. We have tortured prisoners. I can’t get over that. (Isn’t that a great recruitment tool for Al Qaeda!) We, well, Bush has twisted the law so that he becomes all 3 branches of government. He was about to design, legislate and preside over these extra-legal proceedings called military tribunals. Bush’s own Republican Supreme Court struck it down. So, Congress wrote a law that substitutes this unconstitutional court with another one that looks almost exactly the same.
So, what are we, as a nation about? Are we the home of the free and land of the Brave? Are we about the idea of freedom and liberty? Are freedom and liberty just a slogan for the good times? Or are we about the Bush doctrine of my way or the highway, corporate greed and more corporate greed (I repeated greed because there is just so much of it.)

Playground Bully

Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail are getting hammered by the playground bully Republicans. At this point, though, the bully is toothless, scab-covered, disease-riddled, ruptured, bald, fat, gimpy-kneed, gasping for breath and nearly unanimously despised. One swift blow would end his reign of terror on the playground. And when it is delivered, the whole world will jump for joy, just as they did when Dorothy poured the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West.
And yet.
The widely-seen photograph of Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and George W. Bush surveying the smoky rubble in southern California was another case in point. She was HOLDING ON TO HIS ARM! Mark my words. This photograph will be the new Lieberman Smooch Image to be endlessly shown on the network news as proof that the Democrats are now “reaching out” to Republicans and are “moving on” and “getting over their anger” and “moderating their message,” and blah blah blah. No image that I have seen has ever captured the complete gelding of the Democratic Party. And, it is a ready-made and perfectly appropriate image for GOP propaganda ministers.
In my column this week for the Advocate http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=3741 I mentioned how Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) have raised their profile on the Internet by going after the bully.
Will someone please remind the rest of the members of Congress that, to defy this bully, is a winning strategy. Will someone tell Sen. Feinstein that this is the man who started a needless, and illegal, war in order to protect and preserve his and his friends’ stake in Iraq oil futures. This is the man who sent all of the able-bodied National Guardsmen who should have been in California (or New Orleans or Minnesota or…) to help Americans HERE AT HOME. This is the man who turned his back on your state during the Great Enron Price Gouging Bubble. And so on.
If you can’t hit the Republican Party bully with the one blow that will finish him off, at least hammer him with the following series of punches for:
* Destroying our economy.
* Looting the U.S. Treasury.
* Ignoring the climate crisis.
* Spying on American citizens.
* Torturing.
* Killing our children in Iraq.
* Denying our children health insurance here at home.
* Turning America into a rogue nation in the eyes of the rest of the world.
* Flouting international treaties.
* Shooting old men in the face while hunting drunk.
* Taking a wide stance in men’s rooms stalls all over the nation (Sen. Craig).
* Buggering teenage interns in Washington D.C. (Rep. Foley).
* Whoring (Sen. Vitter)
* Snorting crystal meth (Ted Haggard)
* Shoplifting (Bush aide Claude Allen)
* Race-baiting (George Allen)
* Troop-hating (Limbaugh).
* Hating, inc. (Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Malkin, etc.) (the list is, literally, endless).
* Senile (Fred Thompson).
In short, the vast majority of Americans are just waiting for the Democratic Party to run the bully off the playground.

Continue reading

Domestic Spying is legal, isn’t it?

First of all, let me say that I am really truly honored to be a guest blogger on LiberalOasis. Early in 2004, something just seemed rotten. I was living in Tyler, Texas (that wasn’t the rotten part). Everyone, I mean, everyone was jazzed about the prospect of George W. Bush being reelected. It seemed as if I was in some Twilight Zone episode. I began to look around and try to find something to read that was liberally biased. One of the first blogs that I found was the LiberalOasis. It was like taking a breath of fresh air after being underwater for too long.
So, what should my first post be about? Mercenary contractors? Condoleezza Rice was on Capitol Hill trying to defend the indefensible. Her argument, which should sound familiar, is that mistakes were made (it is always understood that she didn’t make any mistakes) and that they’re working to correct those mistakes. Richard Griffin who was the Director of the Diplomatic Security Bureau resigned yesterday. Sound familiar? New rules which are not enforceable are being talked about in Washington. I have a fundamentally larger question, should we have guys with high powered rifles and assault weapons running around a foreign country in the name of the United States? These same men do not seem to be responsible to any government entity. Oh, and another question, when have we ever farmed out some task to a private company and the cost actually decrease? I’m not talking about decreasing for year or two but I’m talking about over the long haul. Whether it is prison systems or road construction work or anything?

No, what I really want talk about is the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The US Congress is looking at this act not for the third or fourth time but yet if I’m not mistaken this the eighth time this law has been amended since 2001. Someone please help me understand why it takes eight times to amend the law. Unless, the administration never asked for exactly what they want. Instead, and I believe this to be fact, the administration comes back and asked for a little bit more every time. They want a little bit more leeway. They want a little less oversight. That is what’s going to make us safe. That is the administration’s argument. Thankfully, a recent article has highlighted the lies and deception that the Bush administration has perpetrated not just on the American people but also on Congress with regards to this law. Their argument has always been we needed to strengthen FISA in order to fight Al Qaeda. It turns out that domestic spying started both for the attacks on 9/11. This has been part of the neocon agenda. Answer to no one. Do what you want.

Over the last two weeks we’ve learned that Verizon and several of the other telecom companies have handed over information without a warrant. They have been over backwards to give the Bush administration everything it wants and more. Now, the Bush administration would like to give Verizon, MCI, Qwest and AT&T immunity. At first glance, this is laughable. But Democrats have had a track record of complaining in front of the cameras while quietly capitulating on the floor of the Senate and the House. The Senate Intelligence Committee led by Jay Rockefeller (Democrat — West Virginia) voted to give the administration and the telecommunications companies their immunity. Why? What are we gotten in return? Late yesterday there appeared to be some deal. Deal? I think I’m going to vomit.
An unlikely hero has emerged during this debate — presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd. He vowed to place a Hold on the legislation. It is a tradition of the Senate that any senator can place a Hold on any legislation. This is supposed to promote centrist bills. It has been reported that Senate majority leader Harry Reid may use some procedural maneuvers in order to bypass the Hold. Late last week, Senator Dodd upped the ante. He said that he would filibuster any bill that included immunity for the telecom companies. He was joined by Senator Joe Biden, also a presidential candidate, in this filibuster threat. Senator Obama has also pledge to join the filibuster.
My larger question is why would any Democrat support immunity for companies who, at least on the surface, seem to have broken the law. They seem to have blatantly broken the law.

For Your Reading and Listening Pleasure…

I’m taking a two-week vacation, and while I’m gone, LiberalOasis has some real treats for you. Hartford Advocate columnist Alan Bisbort, and Asheville radio host Errington Thompson (also blogger at Where Is The Outrage?) will be blogging away. Alan’s first post is below.
Also, the LiberalOasis Radio Show will be helmed in my absence by Valley Free Radio’s David Pakman. He’ll have audio podcasts up at his Midweek Politics site.
See you in November.

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