Senate Democrats Cave - Agree To Give Bush More Power To Spy On Americans Than Ever Before

But: OMG what a great photo.

Previously, previously, previously, ad nauseam.

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31 Responses:

  1. autopope says:

    Who is that alien and who is he planning on using the invisible cattle-prod on?

  2. cortejo says:

    Do architects cover buildings with circles for such halo opportunities?

  3. bdu says:

    Because they can't help but cower in fear of the pundit class threatening them with many lashings if they don't hand over anything the president throws a tantrum for?

  4. mackys says:


    Because they are stupid, useless, Dubya-cock-sucking fuckbags who deserve a bullet in the face.

  5. dasht_brk says:

    Why do they keep doing this? Three reasons:

    a) it keeps actually working for stopping serious crimes/terrorism

    b) um, the surveillance is happening, government or no government. Government can't stop it, it can only join in the game. I don't like either socializing surveillance or privatizing it because, frankly, I don't like surveillance. But, until it becomes a social norm for professionals to just refuse to do it -- and that's a long way off -- I'll pick the socialism version. I'd rather have my government 0wn3rize that space than some anonymous billionaire, wouldn't you? (We take the "it's the same thing!" cynical response as read.)

    c) and, yes, as is often reported: the "old" laws in this area struck certain hotly debated balances and drew careful lines. Said lines simply stopped making sense as technology changed so that, in order to preserve the intent of the "old" laws, legislators have to update that intent for the new environment and then write down what they think.

    The progressive action here isn't obviously to stop expansion of government surveillance. The alternative -- probably more effective, as I see it -- is to work to increase government transparency in ways specifically aimed at building trust bridges and citizen-initiated verification probes. I.e., you should have some idea of who is surveilling, have reason to trust them, and should at least be able to find some tight-lipped people outside of government that you trust who government also trusts enough to let them stick their noses in, poke around, and possibly whistle-blow.


    • mackys says:

      "It works" is not now, and never has been, an excuse to trash the Constitution. It would "work" if we legalized tearing people's intestines out with a backhoe when they were convicted of littering. Boy would THAT stop people from throwing their cigarette butts out the window! The fact that something "works" does not in any way, shape or form make it ethical or right.

      But even putting that (bleedingly obvious) point aside...

      a) it keeps actually working for stopping serious crimes/terrorism

      O RLY?? Can you please tell us what terrorists plots mass wiretapping has foiled? Or are they all "classified"?

      Well then, since you can't present any evidence at all that all this blatantly unconstitutional wiretapping actually accomplishes anything, can you at least tell us why we need to abandon the FISA court system, which has denied only 4 tap requests in the last 30-odd years?

      b) um, the surveillance is happening, government or no government.

      Total and complete bullshit, you fucking Quisling. AT&T wouldn't allow an NGO into the major NAPs to tap all Internet traffic, but they let Dubya's guys do it. (And then lied and tried to cover it up when they got caught. Of course.)

      c) and, yes, as is often reported: the "old" laws in this area struck certain hotly debated balances and drew careful lines. Said lines simply stopped making sense as technology changed

      Once again, I ask you to show me why the FISA court system is insufficient to examine and authorize taps on new tech as well as old...

      The progressive action here isn't to stop expansion of government surveillance.

      Actually, yes. Yes it is. The progressive action is to restore oversight and accountability to wiretapping. Which this law that the bottom-dwelling carrion feeders in Congress just approved will most certainly NOT do.

      Now please go fuck yourself gently with a chainsaw, you proto-fascist apologist.

      • dasht_brk says:

        I'm sorry for playing the geek straight-man on jwz's blog on this issue because you raise plenty of concerns I'd be happy to lazily pick over with you but.... it just don't fit in the context of this blog, sorry.

        Now please go fuck yourself gently with a chainsaw,

        Chainsaws can make pretty flashy and adrenaline-pumping vibrators. The trick is to keep the actual chain well away from body parts. I heard a rumour that some of the sexclubs were thinking of starting chainsaw/zombie nights. Actually I didn't, I just made that up.

        you proto-fascist apologist

        Oh, you misread me. No, I don't defend the left wing of the Democratic party.


        • mackys says:

          Your response just screams "I've got nothing", so I'm happy to call your bluff.

          • dasht_brk says:

            Will this make me gay?


          • jwz says:

            You missed possibly the most important rebuttal to our protofascist friend: that the Bush administration's approach to all of these issues is 1) blatantly break the existing laws; 2) deny everything; 3) when caught, only then try to change the laws to retroactively protect themselves and their collaborators from prosecution.

            If our apologizing little friend thinks that's how democracy is supposed to work, I hope he enjoys the feeling of a boot stamping on a human face forever.

            More simply: if the laws are bad, change them. You don't get to just blithely ignore them and issue yourself a get-out-of-jail-free card after you get busted. Jackass.

            • diapholom says:

              But I wouldn't have listened, because I'm a dumbass. -jwz

            • dasht_brk says:

              I'm not sure I have any definitive overview of "why Bush sucks" but if I did it would *resemble* what you're saying.

              I don't think they've strayed as far out of bounds as some do -- not nearly -- in terms of their official conduct. Where I think they might have screwed the pooch, badly, is in what seems a very two-faced approach towards public relations and transparency. They've done real harm that way not least by provoking reactions like yours.

              For example, and gosh I don't hope to provoke a big long war thread here but maybe I won't since I'm agreeing with a lot of opinion that prevails here...... for example: I think if you look at a lot of under-reported stuff the case for entering Iraq was actually quite strong. Within that case, the WMD concerns were both wildly uncertain and, really, not the biggest reason on the table. But the WMD fears were easy to understand -- one good reason to pimp them. And the wild uncertainty, given its causes, and contrary to popular opinion, actually strengthens those concerns as a causus belli.

              So, my impression is that a classist and cynical administration pimped the WMD stuff, rather poorly, because they thought people in general were to dumb to deal with the lengthier explanations and because they hoped that maybe people would be led to "dig in" to the bigger issues if they contemplated the significance of the (then Saddam-enforced) uncertainty about the issues.

              In other words, there was this very bogus hypocracy where Saddam's hostility towards transparency in some vital matters became a part of a causus belli, but to try to explain this, the Bush admin took on its own hostility towards transparency. (And you can see how this would happen, given the angle at which Cheney emerged from the whole Nixon thing -- feeling like it was the world vs. the presidency -- and in that perception, he pretty much made the reality he feared was already there.)

              Blah blah blah.

              It's all a big mess. I'm sorry. I wish I could change it. It's just that it's a big *mess* -- it's not the overly simplistic good guys v. bad guys shit we hear so much about. That nonsense is just going to make the mess worse. Sorry. I wish I could change it.


              • strspn says:

                Nobody wants a war thread, I guess, but, where are you getting this? When Hans Blix told the UN, "no evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found," there isn't a whole lot of ambiguity.

                • dasht_brk says:

                  I don't want to get on jwz's nerves so, please just write to me privately or ping me to a different forum. ("Blix [....] self conscious of the context of his remarks [....] spin [....] Saddam's active evasion of Blix's efforts [....] modern technology [....] chaos theory [....] 4gw [....] 'there's a man over there with a gun' [....] 'sometimes, we all must become naked'" or words to that effect).


  6. besserby says:

    Senate photographers really like that background...

    • jkow says:

      must be because that's the only shots they can take from their seats. But I wouldn't know.. I'm from the country that had the fascists kicked out by yours.. today they'd probably ally.

  7. bifrosty2k says:


    Same shit, different name.
    At least the republicans are generally pro-2nd amendment :)
    Do you see where I'm going with this?

    My dad is having lunch with Nancy Pelosi tomorrow, I'll have him mention how unhappy you are.

    • belgand says:

      Seriously. Pelosi is doing fuck-all for her constituency here. We passed a referendum calling for Bush and Cheney to be impeached and she sits around and says no, that it's not right. Fuck her. We want it, she should do it. I realize that at some points a politician needs to do unpopular things for the greater good, but this roll over and get fucked by the Republicans shit is well beyond anything the electorate wants and the only needs being serviced are those of the politicans afraid of upsetting their jobs.

      Cindy Sheehan is planning on running against her (or so she claims) and while I doubt she'll win, she deserves to on the strength that she won't take this shit and will actually try to do what she was elected for rather than claim she won't even try.

      So yeah, if she doesn't straighten-up and do what her constituents want, we'll vote her Pac Heights ass out of office and get someone who will.

      • bifrosty2k says:

        So yeah, if she doesn't straighten-up and do what her constituents want

        What planet are you on? Politicians almost never do what their constituents want, especially not in the PRK. They know their supporters are morons, for christ sake they supported them, so they don't pay attention to them.

        We passed a referendum calling for Bush and Cheney to be impeached and she sits around and says no, that it's not right.

        Heh, its the smartest thing she ever did. If she went for it, it would've marginalized her even more than she already is. Its sheer lunacy.

  8. luvcraft says:


    according to the article, most of them didn't.