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Open Wide, Here Comes the New FISA Bill!


I seem to recall Nancy Pelosi promising that Congress would really hop-to after they came back from recess to “fix” the shitty FISA bill that they supposedly got “hoodwinked” into by Mike McConnell:

Many provisions of this legislation are unacceptable, and although the bill has a six-month sunset clause, I do not believe the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken.

So according to Stoller, this is what we get:

I just got word from the ACLU that a new and bad FISA bill is about to be unveiled tomorrow at 1:30pm by Steny Hoyer in a press-only briefing. Telecom immunity is not in the bill, but the Senate is pressing hard for that to be included.

The dynamic in the House is really odd. Hoyer and Emanuel seem to be pushing for a FISA capitulation to ‘protect the freshmen’, even though the freshmen understand their constituents don’t want a FISA capitulation. No one will go on the record on any of this, and Emanuel and Hoyer aren’t voting for the capitulation, only orchestrating its passage.

This is not a surprise, though it is amusing that Pelosi’s promises to ‘fix’ the temporary FISA bill passed in August are as worthless as they appeared at the time.

What’s weird is that no one wants this capitulation except Hoyer and Emanuel. The Bush Dogs are going to vote for it, since that’s what they would do, but they would vote for a better bill. The freshmen don’t feel politically threatened by a better bill, and know that standing up to Bush is popular. It’s like the House is operating on conservative autopilot.

“Let’s do it for the freshmen?” Right. And I’ve only had two beers, officer, and I’ll love you in the morning.

The ACLU was completely cut out of the process — which indicates that when the bill shows up there’s probably going to be some real bullshit in it. Doesn’t leave them (or us) any time to organize against it.

And just so folks won’t forget what a brilliant strategist Rahm Emanuel is, I’m resurrecting the YouTube above. An oldie but always a goodie.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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