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11:30 AM on 07/09/2008
I watch the Fisa issue on Verdict last night and the more I hear about this fisa issue the more I wonder if people really have a clue about the particularls of this issue. I'm glad that Rep Adam Smith clarified some points for me. Fisa is NOT new this law has been on the books so why are people acting like it is this new law that was enacted by Bush after 911. This law predated 911 so where people concern about it them or are then concern now.

Its sad when Republcians have to use the talking points of liberals to attack democrats. No wonder this country is going to hell its not our leaders ITS US. We are the problem. We create our own hell.

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12:26 PM on 07/09/2008
You clearly do not understand the issue. The very point many are trying to make is the OLD FISA law was just fine. It's the changes to FISA, including immunity for companies agreeing to break the law that brought this about. They had FISA, there were legal means to accomplish their goals through the existing FISA laws, they broke those laws because they knew the FISA courts would not permit the illegal aspects of their spying program. They asked the telcoms to break the very laws put in place to prevent them from spying on US.
Now they want immunity from civil (and criminal)lawsuits stemming from their violations of the existing FISA laws, and the 4th amendment.
Any questions?
Fall seven times, stand up eight
03:19 PM on 07/09/2008
I watched the Verdict and Rep. Adam Smith said that this was a different bill that does not give immunity to those telecoms.

In fact, it says it protects our rights more than ever compared to the previous FISA bill.

I don't know, but I'd like to see more clarity on the truth rather than some of the knee jerking reactions thats going on in here.
11:24 AM on 07/09/2008
Of course the GOP will try and help us shoot ourselves in the foot. Well, we asked for it by attacking our candidate on a losing issue and not seeing the forest for the trees. McCain's picked up on it and is trying to get our votes because we disagree with Obama on FISA. The question is, are we going to let him do it?
12:56 PM on 07/09/2008
Yup, we must never hold our candidate's feet to the fire, not even -- especially -- if he flip flops, goes back on his word, and is willing to vote to gut one of the more critical amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Winning uber alles!
12:53 AM on 07/10/2008
Yep, we're all DLCers now. Compromise any principle, no matter how big or small. . . trash the constitution.. just win win win.

Sickening. This country is dead.
11:09 AM on 07/09/2008
Well, what can we say. McBush is right on this one. And because of O'bama going back on his promise on FISA I am no longer contributing to his campaign and I am no longer volunteering for him. I will vote for him, but not with the enthusiasm I had hoped for.

On the other hand, as of now this is his ONE AND ONLY flip flop. Here's a link to McBush's 49 flip flops:
11:22 AM on 07/09/2008
McCain is NOT right on this. Obama said he would vote "no" on the original FISA bill. This bill is NOT the original. This is a "compromised bill that says FISA would be involved exclusively at overseeing that warrantless searches would NOT be acceptable". Check out the link below from MSNBC and hear Representative Adam Smith from Washington explain the bill that Obama and he first agreed to vote "NO" on. So Obama is within his right to change his mind on this "compromised bill" because it gave him what he wanted --- no warrantless searches. That put the bill which has been in existence for the past 30 year or so back on the table with oversight to protect the constitutionality of it. That's why we must realize the intricacies involved in this FISA before speaking like McCain who knows nothing about it period. He just wants to complain, not dig for the truth or even tell the truth if he knew it. Verify what I'm saying in the link below. Please!
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12:05 PM on 07/09/2008
Spin on. He said he would filibuster the immunity provision, he said no one is above the law. Now, not so much.
Don't blame McCain for Obama's problems. Obama could have avoided all of this by sticking to his guns on opposing the immunity provision. When appearing with Sen. Feingold in the primary season he wooed progressives with this 'no retroactive immunity' position. Now he thinks, on balance, immunity is not so bad. McCain would have been on this with or without the outcry from progressives.
And I viewed your msnbc link, and I am not convinced, because if they already had immunity under FISA, what's all the hurry to give them more retroactively?
12:11 PM on 07/09/2008
FISA was already the *exclusive* means by which the Executive branch could (temporarily) bypass warrants to spy on Americans for national security matters.

That's one of the fallacies about this new bill that gets me all steamed up: it adds absolutely *NOTHING* new in accountability, and at the same time gives the telcos (and by proxy the Bush administration) a "get out of jail free card" for anything they might have done.

This bill isn't the same bill; you're right about that.

It's worse.

And I would have expected a Constitutional scholar like Obama to see that.
In Search of Sanity
11:25 AM on 07/09/2008
Why in the world is the MSM not attacking McCain for all the flip-flops he's committed?????????????

Can somebody explain this to me?
11:58 AM on 07/09/2008
Because the media is backing McCain.
11:07 AM on 07/09/2008
I urge all who really want to know about the FISA bill to go here:
12:39 PM on 07/09/2008
Um, actually, that video was not terribly good support for the FISA changes.

I've asked Glenn Greenwald (a Constitutional law scholar) to comment on the substantive legal changes Congressman Smith describes. I suspect that the argument that "the telcoms are already immune if they do this in response to the AG's request, therefore this doesn't grant immunity [really? what's Title II all about then, and why did Obama say that it might be the one part he'd like gone from the bill?] so Obama's pledge to support it even if we can't get Title II out isn't a flip flop" is pretty specious.

I'll see what Glenn says, but you might not want to consider this video to be any kind of slam dunk. It looks more like a hatchet job of questionable truth.
12:57 PM on 07/09/2008
And if you want the rest of the story, go here:
01:06 PM on 07/09/2008

Moving the discussion away from Obama for a moment, it's amazing to me that our entire Democratic apparatus is so unwilling to stand up for even the most basic principles of the rule of law (namely that the law applies to EVERYONE, regardless of whether or not that person is working for the government... ESPECIALLY if that person is working for the government).

It's stunning to me that those of us who want something simple -- respect for the Constitution and a return of the rule of law -- are being, rather successfully, painted as a bunch of radical crazies who only care about one trivial issue.

Are we living in the Twilight Zone here?
03:08 PM on 07/10/2008
Opposing the bill does not wipe it out. It has been in existence for over 30 years. Obama can't wipe it out. He has to make a stand one way or the other and he took the road that would cover all Americans against terrorist.
...a curmudgeon from So. Arizona
11:02 AM on 07/09/2008
RNC note to 0bama: Please stand over here on the "X" so the geezer can hit you, OK?
10:59 AM on 07/09/2008
Aw Mccain is trying to agitate to Obama supporters....let's see if they take the bait....
12:15 PM on 07/09/2008
As an Obama supporter, McCain is right about this one point -- Obama flip flopped on FISA. Big time. Stunningly.

That doesn't mean that McCain hasn't flip flopped about a thousand more times, and that doesn't mean that you should consider voting for McCain.

It just means McCain is right about ONE thing. He says a lot of stuff... being right was bound to happen eventually, even if just by chance.
10:59 AM on 07/09/2008
Flip flop charges are meant to distract the public from the real FISA threats - the dangers of allowing private contractors unrestricted access to all our telephone and email communications.

FISA facilitates intellectual property theft by private government contractors operating with immunity and impunity.

Payments to private government contractors consume 60-70% of our $60 billion annual National Security budgets. Some of those contractors are corrupt.

Wake Up! Focus on the real dangers - allowing private contractors to invade your home or business, search and seize what they wish without a warrant or recourse. Doesn't that bother you?

That's what FISA allows and protects.
10:57 AM on 07/09/2008
why would mccain blasts obama when they both supported this FISA bill. McCain needs to find something else to go after obama on because this FISA thing is getting old
11:11 AM on 07/09/2008
Because O'bama went back on his word. On this one McBush is right.
11:27 AM on 07/09/2008
It has nothing to do with him going back on his word, and he is not right. It has to do with trying to win Obama's more fairweather supporters by taking yet another hypocritical stance and hoping he can scrape away a few votes.
11:33 AM on 07/09/2008
No, he's not. Listen to this video, please.
...a curmudgeon from So. Arizona
10:54 AM on 07/09/2008
If you have nothing to hide, why would you be worried about having the federal government search your papers and communications? Don't you want us to defeat East Asia.... er... Oceania? Homeland security needs your cooperation. You do want to cooperate, don't you?

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
12:20 PM on 07/09/2008
I suspect that some won't get your sarcasm there, so let me point it out for the few who'll miss it: those last three quotes are taken directly from George Orwell's 1984.

I love Big Brother!
12:35 PM on 07/09/2008
I don't like the FISA bill, but it is highly unlikely that the government will be search through the papers and communications of very many people out in the blogosphere.
12:58 PM on 07/09/2008
Methinks you haven't been doing your homework.

The government has, in fact, been agitating to do exactly what you claim it is "highly unlikely" that they will do, for about ten years now. Google "Echelon" or "TSP" or "Omnivore" to see how monitoring EVERYTHING we say and do is a high priority for our national surveillance apparatus.

Their promise to "only pay attention if you're a bad guy" somehow rings false when the definition of "bad guy" seems to be wavering dangerously close to "anybody who holds an outspoken, opposing opinion."
The election's over, so get over it.
10:50 AM on 07/09/2008
Backtrack Obama promised "Change."

Watch, as he changes the Constitution!
10:55 AM on 07/09/2008
Yes, changes it back to what it was before Bush.
01:27 PM on 07/09/2008
Before the FISA flip flop, I would have agreed with you enthusiastically.

Now, I'm not so sure. He seems to be a "business as usual" and "go along to get along" Democrat, rather than the fierce defender of the Constitution that I had originally hoped for.

So... although I would like to believe you, I'm not so sure.
10:58 AM on 07/09/2008
Is that a new Republican talking point
10:48 AM on 07/09/2008
Old man shoots self in foot, story at 9
10:41 AM on 07/09/2008
AAhhh , the vapid vacuous one has more flips and flops before he gets the nomination than Kerry ever had
10:45 AM on 07/09/2008
Yes, McCain certainly did!
10:55 AM on 07/09/2008
You're right, McCain has has more flip-flops than any candidate in recent memory. Probably more than one combined.
10:36 AM on 07/09/2008
Oh the temerity!

I'll never privatize Social Security. The only way to save Social Security is to privatize it.

The Bush tax cuts are wrong. The Bush tax cuts stimulate the economy. The Bush tax cuts need to be extended.

The surge is not the right strategy. The surge is the right strategy. The surge is working.

Jerry Falwell is an agent of evil. Thank you Jerry Falwell. Thank you Regents Univerity.

That's not change we can believe in.
Don't know much micro-bio-logy
11:14 AM on 07/09/2008
More temerity:

How DARE the Democrats filibuster anything? This from the party that has MASTERED the "gentlemen's filibuster".
01:08 PM on 07/09/2008
Yes, you're right. Without giving Obama free pass for his one (huge) flip flop on FISA, we shouldn't lose track of the fact that McCain himself is sort of the king of flip flops. In fact, apparently there's almost as much anger from the right about these as there is from the left about Obama's colossal misstep.

We should still vote for McCain in November. AND we should hold Obama accountable to his word. Those two facts are NOT, despite what some "you're either for us or against us" folks claim, mutually contradictory.
10:34 AM on 07/09/2008
What will McCain being doing about FISA. Does he have no responsibility????
10:46 AM on 07/09/2008
He'll be voting for the bill. As will, I suspect, Hillary Clinton.
11:12 AM on 07/09/2008 He's not in Washington today. He is keeping his perfect record for avoiding voting for the last six months. He has the worst voting record in the Senate right now. It's even worse than Tim Johnson's (he was out with a brain hemorrhage).
Facts have a known liberal bias.
10:47 AM on 07/09/2008
He's for it. His side wins.
10:26 AM on 07/09/2008
What most people don't realize is that Obama didn't fudge on his words. This bill is a completely different bill than the one Obama said he would vote against. This one Obama felt was more in line with protecting our constitutional rights than the other one and that's why he said he would accept it. People are getting confused about the two different legislations and holding Obama responsible for the old bill, not the new one the congress pushed through. So everyone who feels Obama has gone back on his word is incorrect and so is McCain.
Facts have a known liberal bias.
10:45 AM on 07/09/2008
Ummm, no. Actually Obama said he would support a filibuster of "any legislation that provides retroactive immunity to the telecoms. No one should be above the law." You are probably referring to the Protect America Act that did not go through. This is different from that, but still terrible legislation that provides immunity to the telecoms and covers Bushco's @ss from discovery. He is wrong to support this, and if it's criticism from the right he is trying to avoid, he needs to forget about that. They will criticize whatever he does. He should stand on principle and explain it. What did he have to lose? He could stand next to Feingold and Dodd and fight this thing and look like a hero, or he can capitulate and look like a weenie. Pass the mustard.
10:54 AM on 07/09/2008
I am sorry. I have been a huge supporter travelling to my neighboring state to campaign for him. He promised to filibuster telecom immunity not specifying the particular legislation it was in. He said he would keep his word. He lied about that. I have never been more distraught about a politician I admired than I am about Obama. His word is meaningless now and I used to defend him daily on this site.
11:27 AM on 07/09/2008
All you guys need to listen to this video and hear the truth.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
10:46 AM on 07/09/2008
He said he would filibuster ANY bill that provided immunity to the telecoms. It doesn't matter that this is a totally different bill. It still has telecom immnity and he's voting for it.

I'm sorry... but you are the one who is incorrect.
11:25 AM on 07/09/2008
It doesn't have the telecom immunity Bush wanted and he's threatening to VETO it if it doesn't come with that retroactive immunity. It only gives immunity from this point on and that isn't the same because "warrants" would be mandatory in this bill whereas they were not before. So immunity in the future would not be the same as immunity from the past. Bush is NOT getting what he wants. Obama is! Go to this link and learn more about the two bills and you'll understand what I was saying.
11:36 AM on 07/09/2008
Look at this video and hear for yourself.