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What The F*!k Is Up With FISA

bush-idiot.bmpI would just like to clarify my understanding of what’s happening with the FISA debate.

The Democrats were ready to give George Bush everything that he wanted on FISA. They used Senate procedure to tank the Judiciary bill, paving the way for the Intelligence Committee bill (negotiated by Jay Rockefeller and the White House) with retroactive immunity for the telecoms. They were all lined up to vote for it save for a few meaningless tweaks; Dodd was going to filibuster but eventually that would end and Bush would get everything he wanted.

The Republicans decided that wasn’t enough. They decided they would filibuster the "meaningless tweaks" just to humiliate the Democrats even further, then filed for cloture on the Intelligence Committee bill and scheduled the vote right before the State of the Union address. The Democrats either swallow the Intel bill whole or George Bush gets up there on Monday night and screams about how the Democrats are letting the terrorists win.

The Democrats are now lined up to block cloture on the very bill they were ready to pass yesterday. George Bush will publicly humiliate them for it in the SOTU, and with the Protect America Act ready to sunset on Friday February 1st, the Democrats will either find a way to extend it for another 30 days or give the Republicans everything they want anyway out of fear of being called soft on terrah.

Ah bipartisanship.

Neither of the Democratic Senators currently running for President will commit to be in the Senate for the vote on Monday (I’ve contacted both campaigns — the Obama campaign says he’ll be in DC but aren’t sure of his schedule, and the Clinton campaign hasn’t responded.)

Am I missing anything?

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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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