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White House Wins On Spying, Telecom Immunity 658

Posted by kdawson
from the running-scared-of-being-called-soft-on-terrism dept.
EllisDees sends in a Washington Post report that Senate Republicans have outmaneuvered Democrats, who withdrew a more stringent version of legislation to control the government's domestic surveillance program. The legislation that will go forward includes a grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program.
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White House Wins On Spying, Telecom Immunity

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  • Scumbags (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:40AM (#21024689)
    Attention to those who shared our data illegally: Legal immunity doesn't mean you're not scumbags. That is all.
    • Re:Scumbags (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:56PM (#21028289) Homepage Journal
      Legislation granting legal immunity also does not mean that you are legally immune.

      Governments can pass whatever laws they like, but if those laws are later found to be unconstitutional, then they are rendered void, and so are immunities granted under them. Admittedly there is no chance of that happening in this case, but still... that's the theory. Pity about the practice.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dpilot (134227)
      >Legal immunity doesn't mean you're not scumbags.

      No, but it means that they don't have to care.

      To paraphrase, "Legal immunity means never having to say you're sorry."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:40AM (#21024691)
    (In case anyone is watching)
  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:44AM (#21024771) Homepage
    So is it fair to say that when Bush "wins", that's a loss for the Bill of Rights?

    I'm not sure how immunity can be granted when it clearly go against the US Constitution, given that the president takes an oath "to uphold the United States Constitution", doesn't this mean he's in breach and therefore liable of contempt?
    • by varmittang (849469) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:48AM (#21024829)
      Yeah, but as far as I know its congress that has to hold him accountable. And by the looks of this, they just don't care. All the people can do is vote at elections, which makes us powerless when the people we voted for wont do anything.
      • by courtarro (786894) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:23AM (#21025451) Homepage

        The most confusing part about all this is that any members of Congress continue to support the president on these matters. The broad wiretapping program is part of a serious (and so far successful) campaign by Cheney and his compatriots to expand the powers of the executive branch. While Congress continues to have their efficacy whittled away by the administration, they sit back and let him do it!

        Why?

        Do they need to align themselves with the president to enhance their image to the public? He's certainly not winning popular approval right now.

        Do they need the approval and agreement of the president to achieve useful goals? He has yet to approve anything that doesn't fall into his specific ideology.

        Do they expect the president to return the favor and compromise on other matters? He certainly hasn't so far.

        So what's left? Why is Congress bowing down to this monster at their own expense? I can't understand why the Republicans in Congress support such an unpopular tyrant, much less the Democrats. Congress looks like a bunch of whipped dogs. Do none of them have the balls to start giving our government some semblance of repair and restoration?

        • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:45AM (#21025837)
          Because the Democratic Party is made up of a bunch of spineless, undisciplined pansies who run in fear at the slightest threat of a showdown, even when in a position that should give THEM the power?

          They're like a guy who plays chicken in an SUV and runs off the road the second the other driver starts his compact car.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ciggieposeur (715798)
            Because the Democratic Party is made up of a bunch of spineless, undisciplined pansies who run in fear at the slightest threat of a showdown, even when in a position that should give THEM the power?

            Given their history of trashing rights and the social safety net throughout the 90's, yes, they are spineless. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", "The End of Welfare as We Know It", bankruptcy "reform", student loan "reform", etc.

            But they are also triangulating for 2008. They are allowing the current status quo of trashi
        • by mbone (558574) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:10PM (#21026247)
          Because they are compromised (either bought off, or blackmailed, or both).

          We no longer have a Republic. Maybe we can win it back.
      • by neoform (551705)
        Actually, I think congress is allowed to, but it's the people's job to keep their government accountable.
    • by BlowHole666 (1152399) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:50AM (#21024859)
      The Dems control congress so SOME dems had to vote for this bill to get it passed. It is simple math.
      • How they did it (Score:4, Informative)

        by sammy baby (14909) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:25AM (#21025499) Journal
        You're right - some Dems did vote along with the immunity-carrying version. And I'm afraid that the ultimate story of what happened on this bill makes the GOP look like childish assholes, and the Dems look like brainless, spineless pansies.

        So far, the best collection of linkage and summary I've seen on this has been at The Mahablog [mahablog.com] (Warning: liberal. Like me, so, deal.)

    • This quote: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:52AM (#21024893)

      "There is absolutely no reason our intelligence officials should have to consult government lawyers before listening into terrorist communications with the likes of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and other foreign terror groups," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

      Of course not. That would be stupid.

      That's why you're allowed up to 72 hours AFTER to file the correct paperwork with the FISA court.

      It's called "checks and balances". It was a key point in the founding of our government. It WAS a key point. And it was agreed to by people who had put their own lives on the line when they signed our Declaration of Independence.

      There's more risk of corrupt officials using this to further their own agendas than there is that it will stop any terrorist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by l2718 (514756)
      If Bush failed to uphold the Constitution, he can be impeached (that is, tried) by Congress. I doubt that this will happen. In this case though it's not Bush but rather Congress that is enacting inappropriately. The solution here is to vote them out in the upcoming election. The constitution prohibits "ex post facto" laws, but this clearly refers to laws which criminalize what was not criminal at the time, not laws which de-criminalize what was criminal at the time. This "immunity" law enhanced the pro
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by huckamania (533052)
        "not laws which de-criminalize what was criminal at the time"

        According to FISA, they have 72 hours after tapping a thing, to get a warrant. The phone companies, for FISA to work, must allow the NSA to tap the lines 72 hours in advance of a warrant. The phone companies, have done nothing wrong. The NSA, in this instance, has done nothing wrong. It is only after 72 hours of tapping something that the NSA could have possibly done something wrong. The NSA cannot be expected to also provide the phone com
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by smurfsurf (892933)
          In that case: If the telcos did nothing wrong, they don't need a law extempting them from prosecution when they won't be found guilty, don't they?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DigiShaman (671371)
      SCOTUS can still review the issue.
    • by N3WBI3 (595976) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:14AM (#21025299) Homepage
      given that the president takes an oath "to uphold the United States Constitution", doesn't this mean he's in breach and therefore liable of contempt?

      Yes and the same can be said of the Democrats who went along with this travesty...

    • by kalirion (728907) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:13PM (#21026297)
      Stephen Colbert: "This is the famous pocket constitution... did you shrink this down yourself?"
      Dennis Kucinich: "No, no, no. George Bush already did that."
  • Game Over (Score:5, Funny)

    by varmittang (849469) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:46AM (#21024791)
    Game over man! Game over!
  • ex post facto (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:46AM (#21024793) Homepage
    1) Congress does not have the power to grant pardons
    2) The US constitution forbids ex-post-facto laws [wikipedia.org]

    This is above-and-beyond the obvious fact that it is perhaps the most illegal and immoral thing I've ever heard of congress doing.
    • Re:ex post facto (Score:5, Informative)

      by Raul654 (453029) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:01AM (#21025077) Homepage
      "The US constitution forbids ex-post-facto laws" - the generally accepted interpretation of the prohibition on ex-post facto laws is that Congress may not make something illegal after-the-fact; this does not, however, prevent them from retroactively making it legal.
    • by Speare (84249)

      I think that every Republican who worked toward this should be tarred and feathered in their districts. Especially after they whine and bitch and holler about how bad it would be giving "amnesty" to all those illegal immigrants who have been actively supporting their agricultural state economies for years. This wiretap immunity is corporate amnesty.

    • Re:ex post facto (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:09AM (#21025213)

      This is above-and-beyond the obvious fact that it is perhaps the most illegal and immoral thing I've ever heard of congress doing.

      Apart from failing in their duty to remove an unethical President from office?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by courtarro (786894)
      I recommend watching Frontline: Cheney's Law [pbs.org], which aired on Tuesday (the 16th). It's an eye-opening look at the broad expansion of powers that has taken place under Cheney's guidance. This issue of Frontline discusses the wiretap program as well as torture. What surprised me most is that it makes John Ashcroft look like the voice of reason during his years in the administration.
      • I always liked Ashcroft- he was (and probably still is) a just and honest man, who actually believed in minor details like upholding the constitution and following laws. (Now, he also believed in passing laws most slashdotters disliked, but he waited until he had the legal authority before doing something questionable, and was open about what he was doing). I always felt that he resigned because he disagreed with the administration about how the 'War on Terror' should be handled. Certainly he seemed to t
  • Democrats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlowHole666 (1152399) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:46AM (#21024801)

    Senate Republicans have outmaneuvered Democrats


    Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by imadork (226897)
      Not necessarily. The funny thing about the US Senate is that there are plenty of "parliamentary maneuvers" which require 60 votes to overcome. But the Democrats only have a slim 51-49 majority, and that's just because there are two independants that caucus with them. As the Majority party, they have a majority in all the committees and can basically control what gets to the floor in the first place. But once something is on the floor for the full Senate to consider, there's all sorts of mischief that can oc
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yes, but not getting your own legislation forward, as a majority, does not mean that the minority gets to pass whatever legislation they want. Here you have the democrats rolling over, again, acting as though they're compelled to pass the legislation that the minority wants.

        If the MINORITY has so much power to pass legislation, why doesn't the MAJORITY? [Answer: empty excuses]

    • Slight correction: (Score:4, Informative)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#21025049)

      Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.

      In a Democrat controlled Congress, the Republicans can still use "soft of terrorism" to get certain Democrats to vote however they want them to.

      http://picayune.uclick.com/comics/trall/2007/trall071001.gif [uclick.com]
      and
      http://www.workingforchange.com/webgraphics/WFC/TMW08-15-07Large.jpeg [workingforchange.com]
      • "In a Democrat controlled Congress, the Republicans can still use "soft of terrorism" to get certain Democrats to vote however they want them to."

        So the Democrats who voted for this bill are too cowardly to vote for what's right instead of what's politically convenient.

        Yeah, I'd say you're exactly right about that.

    • Translation: In a Democrat controlled congress the Democrats could not convince their own people to reject this bill. Thus the bill passed with the help of some Democrats voting for this bill.

      Re-translation: When Congress has little internal oversight, it's easy for the telecom companies to buy votes.

    • In a Democrat controlled congress

      Democrat is a noun, Democratic is an adjective, despite what Rush tells you.
  • Manuvers? What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:48AM (#21024833)

    Disclosure of the deal followed a decision by House Democratic leaders to pull a competing version of the measure from the floor because they lacked the votes to prevail over Republican opponents and GOP parliamentary maneuvers.
    Oh please. -1 Flamebait. Democrats have a majority vote. Maybe not enough to counter a veto but certainly enough to pass the hockey puck up to the Prez. Implying it was "GOP parliamentary maneuvers" is kinda like saying I don't have the money to buy a stick of gum because they moved the shelf.

    The Dems caved. I'm not sure why though. The people have spoken and put them in trusted seats of power and they CAVED. I'm sure there are lot of home teams cheering from the stands only to have the players go, "ah, well, it's a lot of work to play the game. Let's concede."

    I'm disappointed.
    • by debilo (612116)

      The Dems caved. I'm not sure why though.
      Because in a couple of months there will probably be a Democrat Administration that can thoroughly enjoy all the new uncontrolled powers that have been passed into law or simply seized during the past few years, while at the same time being able to pin the blame on the Republicans by saying "It wasn't us, it was them."
      • by tbannist (230135)
        Actually they caved for a number of different reasons:
        1) Progressive Democrats didn't like the bill because it wasn't strict enough.
        2) Conservative Democrats didn't like the bill because it was too strict.
        3) Republicans didn't like the bill because they could end up in jail.

        In the end, spite didn't win out, and a couple of the conservative Dems were convinced that it could hinder the performance of the foreign espionage and, more importantly, their personal re-election campaigns.
    • by pzs (857406)
      Why are they caving quite so much? I genuinely don't understand it. Politicians are most concerned about re-election and appearing weak in front of the electorate but by capitulating over and over again, they must know that they are making things worse for themselves.

      What I also don't quite understand is how much of the country is now spitting nails about just how clueless these dipshits are and yet there is absolutely no movement or change whatever. What do people have to do - march on Capitol hill?

      Is this
    • by pi_rules (123171)

      Oh please. -1 Flamebait. Democrats have a majority vote. Maybe not enough to counter a veto but certainly enough to pass the hockey puck up to the Prez.


      No, they can't get something to the president alone. You need 60 people to call for cloture in the senate before a vote can be taken.

      Yes, I'm one of the 8 people in America that watches CSPAN.
      • by parcel (145162)
        It's a little scary that people don't understand that. Especially after all the Republican hubbub about removing filibuster power a couple years back.
  • outmaneuvered (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:49AM (#21024839)
    Outmaneuvered again! That seems to happen every day to these brave Democrats we elected; despite their sincere wishes to do the right thing, they just get outmaneuvered every time and have to surrender rather than risk... well, I'm not sure what, exactly, but it must be something.

    It's like the burglar who smashed my window the other day. I politely asked him to leave, yet he refused. I threatened to call the police, but he said that I shouldn't. Well, you can't argue with that! He outwitted me fully and truly!

    I let the burglar ransack my house because, let's face it, I had no choice. Sure, I had a gun and a cell phone, and he was unarmed, but he kept outmaneuvering me at every turn. I said I would shoot if he raped my wife, but he preempted me! Before I knew it, he was raping my wife, and it was just too darned late to stop him, so I put down my gun and wrote a press release (which I intend to publish EVERYWHERE to let the world know how this burglar has wronged me).

    • This is obviously fiction!

      Everyone knows someone on /. could NEVER have one of those WIFE thingies!

      In Red-state Amerika, the Gub'ment watches You...

  • by timon (46050) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:50AM (#21024879) Homepage
    Any wonder why they have such low approval numbers, even lower than Bush? Do you think stuff like this just might be why? Do they ever think this might be why?
    • The approval rating for Congress as a whole doesn't mean dick. Most of the individual members have pretty good numbers among their constituents (otherwise, they wouldn't have gotten elected in the first place).
  • its not like it makes millions of dollars for the government or aides them in anyway, why should they give a shit about it?
  • Save your selves? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:55AM (#21024947)
    Because of this, no further investigation can be done on who and what and why and those were most likely the same people who did not want an investigation in the first place.

    As a non-American I think Americans have serious issues. To lie about a blowjob: BAD! To lie to go to war and rape your rights: let's re-elect him.

    Mmm. TV might have to do something with it. See a nipple or say fuck, scream. See people killed, daytime TV.

    And you still think that terrorirst want to desroy your way of living? I would say it is bad that you don'[t want to destroy it yourself.
  • A Good Thing (tm) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jennifer York (1021509) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:57AM (#21024975) Homepage
    It is not new, and not ever going to change: The government agencies responsible for knowing what people are planning to do domestically and abroad must be able to gather information. Where is the info? How is it transmitted? Who owns the network?

    They will do it anyway they can, and have been doing it for over 60 years. It's just now, when we are so digitally integrated, that is has become so much easier for them.

    You either trust your government or you dont. If you dont trust the current admin, elect a new one.

    I recommend reading "A Man Called Intrepid [amazon.com]". It details the beginning of the spy game, and how it dramatically turned the second world war around. The burden on our intelligence forces is great. The responsibility even greater. Have you elected the government you trust to use this intelligence infrastructure properly? Don't blame the telcos, blame those who are abusing the info.

    • by visualight (468005) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:20AM (#21025403) Homepage

      You either trust your government or you dont. If you dont trust the current admin, elect a new one.

      What? No, these options are unacceptable. I choose to not trust any administration and insist that the power to break the law and then provide yourself with retroactive immunity should not be granted to government.
    • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:41AM (#21025773) Journal
      The problem with your argument is singular, and profoundly intuitive despite the fact that you and the current US government want you to not see the simplicity of the truth.

      No one has yet shown why pre-9/11 intelligence infrastructure was not or is not good enough. The simple fact is that it is and was a workable and competent system, replete with oversight and check and balances. The current government failed to utilize it correctly, or twisted the information that it fed them in order to create public support for a war that was not needed, and to create support for taking away our rights and freedoms. This is how repression works.

      The more that you and others begin to believe that this illegal intelligence system is 'needed' the easier it is for the government to take away even MORE of our rights.

      You must be new here? The news agencies are reporting lately of more and more intelligence that was ignored or twisted into lies to mislead the public, and not just the US public, but the world public. They could have bought Saddam off. They had multiple chances to arrest Osama. They KNEW there were not WMDs. Is the picture becoming any clearer? This current Administration twisted the truth, manipulated the news, and broke the law to create an environment where you, and others like you would simply roll over and let it happen. There are more than a few scary comparisons to pre-WWII Germany.

      The pre-9/11 intelligence infrastructure was and is functionally good enough. More is not needed, and only erodes the rights they claim to be protecting. You are a FOOL to believe the claims of the same people that lied to you to get you to support a war that is illegal, and was TOTALLY unnecessary.
  • by Xochi77 (629021) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:58AM (#21024997) Homepage
    but then I remembered I'm not American! Seriously, I'm over the whole horror of your brutal invasion of Iraq, trampling of civil rights, endorsements of torture. I'm now just watching news about american politics like its an episode of 24. Try it sometime, its actually pretty enjoyable. You had the regular spies, corrupt politician etc. But now you have mercenaries with cool names like Blackwater, unnamed gov. agencies tracking every piece of digital data, hidden detention centers... I'm waiting for the nex big twist. Maybe, it comes out that the drug war was a move by the CIA to push up drug prices, so the gov could make more money to fund their secret mercenary wars by smuggling in drugs, while at the same time filling up the prisons with second class citizens unable to vote, but conscriptable! hmmmm, I can't even tink up insane conspircy theories that aren't plausable anymore... cool!
  • by murderlegendre (776042) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @10:59AM (#21025027)

    Well, here's why their approval rating is flat on its back at 11%.. cozying up to big telecom, while the people scream for their 4th amendment rights. Take that, rule of law. What's an industry-wide get out of jail free card cost these days, anyway?

    Now that this is over, they can go back to offending Turkey and China.

  • by olddotter (638430) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:01AM (#21025057) Homepage
    I did.

    You have to be vocal. "./" the congressional in boxes!!
  • by swatter (105610) * on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:05AM (#21025133)
    Please contact your representative FIRST, then post to Slashdot(*). Otherwise, save your (metaphorical) breath...

    It's easy. If you don't know who to contact or how to phrase your objection use this link:
    https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=727&page=UserAction [aclu.org]

    Note that you can modify the letter template before you hit send if you don't agree with all of the text or wish to add points of your own.

    There is another informational article on Salon [salon.com].

    (*) Does not apply to non-US citizens. (Although nothing actually stops you from mailing them anyway.)

  • Republican = Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cc_pirate (82470) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:09AM (#21025223)
    And just six short years ago I used to be a republican... Never voted for GWB though. I could see his fascism coming with his campaign speeches "There ought to be limits to freedom" - GWB.

    Well, he sure made that one a reality.
  • by Eternal Vigilance (573501) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:18AM (#21025373)
    BushCo don't really give a rat's ass about Congress, except when they've been tied up and begging for abuse a little too long and someone from the Administration has to go to the Hill and spit on them.

    The courts, however, especially at the level of the Circuit Courts, are a different story.

    The telco immunity provisions in this legislation are to keep the White House from being found (as part of some telco trial) to have broken the law. It's got little to do with protecting the telcos other than as a way to sell it to the public.

    Glenn Greenwald over at Salon had a good interview with the EFF's lead counsel in the ATT/NSA/let's-just-snoop-the-whole-backbone trial [salon.com] that explains this quite well.

    This is all about closing off the courts to examination of Executive Branch violations of the Constitution. Which is why it's actually a much, much bigger deal than most people seem to understand.
  • Open season on Republican.

    Kill every one of the cowardly treasonous bastards.
  • Do you think it might have included members of congress?

    Historically, this is one corrupt group of people. Has Bush got the drop on enough key players, that he can win the push-and-shove when he needs to?

  • OK, we have a Dem Majority in Both Houses. Elected mostly as a rebuke to Bush/Fortune 500 company polices for the last 8 or so years. They have done NOTHING on Iraq. They give in to spying, give a free pass to companies who have grossly violated rights without any shred of probable cause or, god forbid, a Judges' Order. There is, in Berlin, the site of the old Gestapo headquarters. There, the history of Nazi Germany is told. The second and third parts of the display concern the Holocaust, and the usual
  • by hasbeard (982620) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @11:30AM (#21025593)
    What is the right balance between freedom and protection? During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus (not just for "foreign combatants" either). He also ordered Confederate sympathizers held without trial. His view was that he was doing what was necessary to preserve the Union. I invite those who read this post to do a bit of searching on Lincoln's handling of personal freedoms during the Civil War, compare his actions with President Bush's, and then tell me what you think. Is it ever justified to limit personal freedoms (even though guaranteed by the Constitution) in time of war? Lincoln was reviled by many (most as you would expect in the South, but many in the North). Why do we now see him as one of our greatest presidents? What is the difference between what Lincoln did during the Civil War and what President Bush is doing right now?
  • in favor of encrypted, Anonymous P2P.

    Those of you wanting real tinfoil hats, should download Waste, I2P, and install them in a hidden truecrypt volume.

    But protesting against this abuse and voting for a privacy-supporting candidate is mandatory.
  • Dear Congress, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dracos (107777) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:05PM (#21026143)

    Start doing your jobs.

    Sincerely,
    The Citizens of the United States

  • Key quote (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @12:17PM (#21026373) Homepage Journal

    extends our Constitution beyond American soil to our enemies who want to cut the heads off Americans,

    Actually, that's more like extending our laws beyond American soil. The Constitution can't even be extended past the executive branch these days, much less beyond our borders.

  • No susrprise. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @01:08PM (#21027367)
    I thought things were supposed to "change" now that the Democrats were in power?

    No, it seems like it's business as usual for the rubber stamp Congress. Just another obvious sign that we're really under single party rule.

    The Republicans and Democrats create a good illusion of opposition by criticizing each other verbally, and staging a few bitter debates about BS issues like flag burning, prayer in schools and abortion. When it comes to important issues like civil liberties, imperialistic military crusades, out of control government spending, immigration and globalization however, they happily work together in the noble spirit of bipartisanship to screw over the average U.S. citizen.

    The only wasted vote is one cast for Republicans or Democrats. It's a vote against civil liberties, a vote to endorse the wars, and a vote to continue all of the other disastrous policies that our government is pursuing.
  • New terrorism tool (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HTH NE1 (675604) on Thursday October 18, 2007 @02:28PM (#21028923)
    Oh great! Now to terrorize Americans al Qaida can just cold-call random numbers in the US from a tapped foreign number to have random families hauled off to Guantánamo for association with a terrorist group. Checking the Caller-ID won't save you either.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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