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Democrats Government Privacy United States Politics

Telecom Amnesty Foes On the Move 363

Posted by kdawson
from the one-week-and-counting dept.
ya really notes a blog posting up at Wired reporting that foes of the Telecom Amnesty Bill have mounted a campaign on Barack Obama's own website. Though the group was created only days ago, on June 25, it has grown to be the fifth largest among 7,000 such groups, just short of Women for Obama. Although it is widely known that Obama changed his stance from opposing telecom immunity to supporting it, many have not given up hope of getting him to switch once again. Meanwhile, left-leaning bloggers and libertarian activists have joined forces to raise $325,000 in the fight against the legislation. "Their Blue America PAC is already targeting House Democrats who voted for the bill, including placing a full-page ad in the Washington Post [an image appears in the Wired story] slamming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who claimed credit for creating the so-called compromise bill. The coalition plans to follow-up with a Ron Paul-style money bomb, which will be used to target key Senators..."
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Telecom Amnesty Foes On the Move

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    A slashdot story where *Democrats* are the bad guy? Did I wake up in the Bizzaro universe???

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dolohov (114209)

      If it makes you feel any better, the inherent assumption is that the Republicans are too far gone to be worth trying to convince.

  • Barack Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PakProtector (115173) <cevkiv AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:06AM (#24014027) Journal

    This is what happens when someone promises intangible things and bases their entire campaign upon promising 'change' and 'hope,' two things which mean whatever you want, and mean different things to different people.

    Too bad he couldn't actually give real promises and expectations other than 'hope' this and 'change' that.

    Bloody sheep. You all deserve the hell you're creating for us.

    • Re:Barack Obama (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aurispector (530273) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:28AM (#24014171)

      It was bound to happen. Reading the "walks-on-water" posts by supporters on various websites has been a laugh. Who really believes in election-year promises anyway? The democrats walked away from their traditional base of labor and minorities during the Clinton administration, but the younger voters don't remember that. Both parties are now firmly tucked into their respective corporate pockets and neither one represents the interests of the average voter. Oil and finance on one side, media and entertainment on the other, both marching in lockstep toward corporate-controlled fascism.

      The only thing Obama (or anyone else) could do to impress me is tell the far left/right to f*ck off, but since they're the ones controlling their respective parties, it ain't gonna happen. The other parties are non-entities locked into unrealistic idealism. Until we get a viable 3rd party that actually considers the constitution a relevant document and the needs of the individual voters over special interest groups, it's all downhill from here.

      In the meantime, grab the popcorn and keep filling out your bullshit bingo cards. Actually, can anyone suggest rules for a fascism bingo game? That would be fun. Papers please!

      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:34AM (#24014225)

        If you are calling pelosi and dean the "far left" you need to go back to your comfort zone reading Ann Coulter and watching the Oreilly factor.

      • Yeah right. You got extreme right and extremist right and that is it.

        Far left in the US, what a joke.

        Oh and what you are basically saying is that Obama should become yet another middle of the roader, neither left nor right. That doesn't work, it only leads to the slow ruin the US is currently experiencing.

        It doesn't really matter if a country is run by the left or the right as long as they stick to it. Try to appease everyone and you end up with a complete mess.

      • by us7892 (655683)
        Reading the "walks-on-water" posts by supporters on various websites has been a laugh

        Agreed. Somehow, he's "the one".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by doojsdad (1162065)
        First you say that the parties are controlled by corporations, then you say they should tell the far left/right to fuck off. Which one is it? From my perspective it's the far left that is trying to *prevent* the corporate fascism... (see WTO riots). What you said doesn't make sense.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by monxrtr (1105563)

        In the meantime, grab the popcorn and keep filling out your bullshit bingo cards. Actually, can anyone suggest rules for a fascism bingo game? That would be fun. Papers please!

        It could be similar to "BLING BLING"

        http://www.blacknews.com/pr/blingblinggame101.html [blacknews.com]

        "Players become adventurers in an inner city setting, trying to gather up as much money and property as possible in the 30 to 60 minutes that it takes to play."

        Change that to "power" and "information", and there you go.

        Or you could just play the college ghetto version of fascist interrogation.

        Player1: "What is you name?"
        Player2: "..."
        Player1: "LIAR!"

        Player 1 thus wins a free /slap at Player2.

      • Re:Barack Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ActusReus (1162583) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:44AM (#24014929)

        Both parties are now firmly tucked into their respective corporate pockets and neither one represents the interests of the average voter...

        The other parties are non-entities locked into unrealistic idealism. Until we get a viable 3rd party that actually considers the constitution a relevant document and the needs of the individual voters over special interest groups, it's all downhill from here.

        Your post illustrates perfectly why nothing will ever change. You understand that the two major parties are hopeless, but this healthy cynicism doesn't translate into any form of action whatsoever (even simply pulling the lever for another party).

        You criticize third-parties for being "too idealistic"... but then describe your desired alternative in terms of idealism! So what does "viable" really mean, then? The Libertarian Party over the past 10 years has streamlined its platform to cut out the extreme elements, and has built to the point of this year having former a U.S. congressman and senator debating for its Presidential nomination. They'll have ballot access in 49 if not all 50 states.

        If that's not "viable", then I suppose your definition of "viable" is really, "They must be one vote away from winning, so that I can jump on the bandwagon at the last second and take credit for it all along". Even that might be too generous. It's more likely that "viable" means, "They've already won, and now I'm going to focus on criticizing why they suck now."

        It's the same mentality as a pirate saying that they would of course pay for all their video games, if only publishers would completely do away with all copy protections. That's a disingenuous argument, because you: (1) know that they won't, and (2) wouldn't really pay for all your games even if they did. You likewise set the bar for supporting a third-party at some level unlikely to be met, and would probably just criticize any third-party just like the big two if they ever did meet it.

    • Re:Barack Obama (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HungryHobo (1314109) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:30AM (#24014189)
      It's all very easy, when the time to vote comes around you just consider the candidates, all of them, and vote for who you would actually like to run the country.
      Forget this "lesser of 2 evils" crap and vote for someone who you like.
      The goal isn't to vote for who you think will win, you don't get points for picking the right one.
      Yes the guy you voted for probably won't get in but he might get say 5%.
      and next election people saw that he got a noticeable percentage and some of the sheep who think voting for someone who isn't going to win is somehow a waste might throw in their votes as well.
      Then the next perhaps someone who you'd actually like to see in charge might get 10%, the next election even more.

      If you vote for someone you don't really want to see in charge then you're screwing up the system.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zappepcs (820751)

        This idea might work if so many people did not rely on the nightly news to tell them what the candidates are about. I am resigned to taking the slow route as you describe and spreading the words about candidates that are going to be good for the country or whose beliefs are good for our government and the people. It won't be until MSM is doing the same things that we'll see change in the US political system.

        When we can show who got contributions and who changed their votes on immunity for telecomms and how

      • Re:Barack Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

        by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:17AM (#24014585)
        Exactly. Proponents of the "lesser of two evils" line of thinking forget that elections are not a single round game. There is an election every four years. Unless people think that voting for the lesser of two evils makes the difference between having future elections at all or not, the sound strategy is to vote for who you think represents your interests the closest. Btw, google for "douglas adams lizards"
      • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @11:12AM (#24017091)

        You'll notice that none of the people who are angry at Obama over this scrap are trying to get McCain to change his position. For most of those people, it's because they support Obama. They don't consider their vote for him to be a waste, but they consider this move to be a bad decision. "If you vote for someone you don't really want to see in charge then you're screwing up the system." Well, these people want to see Obama in charge, and so they want him to hear what they think. Except for the real hypocrites here, of course: the McCain supporters, who look for any way to paint Obama as not being true to his message, while McCain has been flip-flopping so much in the past three months that he could almost try out for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.

        So what are they doing now? They're doing kinda what you're supposed to be doing in a Democratic society. Rather than sitting around whining about the evils of the two parties, they mounting a strong campaign to let their selected nominee know that he is not representing their interests with this decision and are trying to get him to see the light. You know, they're participating in government. Rather than just putting in a vote for some libertarian candidate and saying, "Well, my guy didn't win, so you can't blame me," they're actually trying to change the landscape. That's what activists do, y'know - they're active.

        To keep spouting this adolescent "lesser of two evils" crap is getting tiresome. In this election, there is A LOT OF FUCKING DIFFERENCE between the two candidates. There is a lot of difference in the way they want to run the war, there is a lot of difference in the way they want to run domestic issues. I apologize that Americans are still a bunch of sheep who can't get John Wayne or Eric Cartman or whoever your perfect candidate is supposed to be elected to the White House, but in this election, a vote for Obama against a vote for McCain is seriously going to mean something, and I'm sorry that the 25%-less-of-a-tool candidate that the DNC is running still isn't enough for your tastes.

    • John Lennon (Score:4, Informative)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:37AM (#24014249) Journal

      This is what happens when someone promises intangible things and bases their entire campaign upon promising 'change' and 'hope,'

      John Lennon nailed it:

      Im sick and tired of hearing things
      From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
      All I want is the truth
      Just gimme some truth
      Ive had enough of reading things
      By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians

      All I want is the truth
      Just gimme some truth

      No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of Tricky Dicky
      Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
      With just a pocketful of hope

      Money for dope
      Money for rope

      No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
      Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
      With just a pocketful of soap
      Money for dope
      Money for rope

      Im sick to death of seeing things
      From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little chauvinists
      All I want is the truth
      Just gimme some truth now

      Ive had enough of watching scenes
      Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
      All I want is the truth now
      Just gimme some truth

      No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
      Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
      With just a pocketful of soap
      Its money for dope
      Money for rope

      Ah, Im sick and tired of hearing things
      From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
      All I want is the truth now
      Just gimme some truth now

      Ive had enough of reading things
      By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
      All I want is the truth now
      Just gimme some truth now

      All I want is the truth now
      Just gimme some truth now
      All I want is the truth
      Just gimme some truth
      All I want is the truth
      Just gimme some truth

      • I really don't like John Lennon. He was an idealist, and like all other idealists, forgot that reality did not allow his beautiful utopian plans to come into existance, and he is responsible for a great deal of vapid people running around spouting politics that were great fourty years ago but are stagnating now. And I'm not even sure half of what the hippies had to say was even worth listening to, let alone good.

        • by zifferent (656342)
          Idealists can be good or dangerous. Our forefathers were idealists.
          Of course they started a war.
          I don't think people have that kind of intestinal fortitude anymore.
          I blame television.
          In the end I think John Lennon understood that the odds against his utopia were stacked against him, I think that's exactly why he was so vocal. Besides who else was better schooled in the power of music to bring about change.
          To be completely honest I feel that if John were alive today he'd be a conservative. Don't ever
    • by beh (4759) *

      Ah - so you'd rather have a politician who promises specific things and breaks them after the election (e.g. 'No more taxes!')?

      Wake up and smell the coffee - the only difference is that someone has the honesty of saying in advance he doesn't know how much CAN actually be changed past all goings on on Capitol Hill.
      The other candidate may promise whatever specific things (like, say, 'No more taxes!' - but you don't have any recourse if he breaks them after the election.

    • Never thought the day would come when a professional wrestler would represent our best hope as President.
    • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:26AM (#24014707)

      ...if you weren't reading his books or listening to his speeches (as opposed to the sound bites), I suppose you could miss it. The "new kind of politics" he discusses isn't a change in what he as a Democrat supports; the change is in how he goes about supporting it.

      If you've been paying attention to American politics lately, you'll notice that you've got the Left and the Right, and they pretty much hate each other. The Left paints the Right as being a bunch of religious war-mongering nutjobs who hate people having freedoms their religion proscribes, and the Right paints the Left as being a bunch of new-age peacenick nutjobs with no regard for personal accountability who hate their religion.

      The 'change' Obama speaks of isn't in terms of what he votes for, but how he gets support for it. No more using religion as a wedge -- or trying to avoid it altogether. No more using fear to try to drive votes ("but the terrrorists will get you!"). Read A Call To Renewal [barackobama.com], and appreciate how its message different from the way Democratic politicians have behaved in the past. Obama is promising a presidency which is serious about the "uniter, not a divider" thing, even while still effectively backing the Democrats' agenda -- by coaching that agenda in terms that speak to more than just the Democratic base. For someone young enough to have never seen American politics that aren't divisive, that's genuine change.

      The 'hope' Obama speaks of is getting past all this petty divisiveness and reversing the actions which have destroyed our reputation in the world. Except for the getting-past-the-divisiveness part, that's something all Democrats want to do. This is neither unrealistic or poorly defined.

      So there you are -- real promises and expectations, described by 'hope' this and 'change' that.

  • From what I can tell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:08AM (#24014047) Homepage

    it's now the fourth largest.

    If you believe in this, go join the group. It takes about thirty seconds to sign up, and there's only 2000 more people needed to make it the third largest. I've seen more comments than that on many political posts, so I have little doubt that we can, in theory, rustle up that many people.

  • Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Campaign, fight, target, bomb... it sounds like a war for our liberties.

    On an unrelated aside... 7,000 groups? That's a lot. Someone let me know when the group count IS OVER 9000!!!!!

  • As a person who grew up in a democratic household, i would be remiss if I didn't request you put the proper party logo for today's democratic party. The Elephant with 3 stars.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:29AM (#24014177)

      As a person who grew up in a democratic household...

      You got to vote for who would be mom and dad?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      How about the mythical beast with an elephant's head on one end and the head of an ass on the other? Because since the corporations own both the Democrats and Republicans, we now have a one party system with two wings, the Democrat wing and the Republican wing, both of which are beholden to the multinational (foreign) corporations and neither of which is beholden to "we, the people".

      When someone who can't vote has more influence over a representative than a voter he is supposed to represent, you no longer h

  • Widely Known (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sangreal66 (740295) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:15AM (#24014091)
    It is widely known that slashdot summaries are completely inaccurate. As Slashdot [slashdot.org] previously reported, Obama has not switched his position to be in favor of telecom amnesty. He has said he will try to have that provision stripped from the compromise bill. Now don't get me wrong, he has taken a weak position and plans to vote for the (bad) bill even if they aren't able to have the provision removed, but that doesn't make the summary any less bullshit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by akzeac (862521)
      So basically he'll vote for a bill that gives telecom amnesty and hasn't done anything to date to actually strip the immunity except for a vague promise. And you still say he hasn't changed his position?

      Or are you one of the people who think it's all part of a Secret Master Plan (TM)? That Obama works in misterious ways?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sangreal66 (740295)

        So basically he'll vote for a bill that gives telecom amnesty and hasn't done anything to date to actually strip the immunity except for a vague promise. And you still say he hasn't changed his position?

        Yes, because he has not said or done anything in support of telecom amnesty. Disappointing people by not taking an active role in the fight is not the same as supporting something.

        • Re:Widely Known (Score:4, Interesting)

          by plasmacutter (901737) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:39AM (#24014265)

          So basically he'll vote for a bill that gives telecom amnesty and hasn't done anything to date to actually strip the immunity except for a vague promise. And you still say he hasn't changed his position?

          Yes, because he has not said or done anything in support of telecom amnesty. Disappointing people by not taking an active role in the fight is not the same as supporting something.

          Actually, guilt by negligence is punishable in many cases by sentences equally harsh to active participation in a crime.

          In this case the crime is high treason (im not talking about the immunity, i'm talking about the fact this "stops the illegal spying" by making it legal and letting it continue)

        • by wellingj (1030460)

          Disappointing people by not taking an active role in the fight is not the same as supporting something.

          And that's the moral high ground you hold your presidential candidate to? No wonder the US is scrapping the bottom of the barrel any more. You are aware of the term complacency? Last time I checked it wasn't a virtue.

      • by LehiNephi (695428)
        No kidding. I'm starting to wonder if one can really know where Obama stands on a lot of issues. He used to be for an immediate pull-out from Iraq, now he's backing away from it. He used to be against telecom immunity, and now he's backing away from that, too.

        Granted, McCain has switched sides on some issues, but at least the waffling has been over the course of years (or decades!), rather than months. He at least can plausibly claim "I know more now than I did then"
    • Re:Widely Known (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:34AM (#24014223)

      Although it is widely known that Obama changed his stance from opposing telecom immunity to supporting it, many have not given up hope of getting him to switch once again.

      Now don't get me wrong, he has taken a weak position and plans to vote for the (bad) bill even if they aren't able to have the provision removed

      Before he had said he was absolutely against retroactive telecom immunity. Now he says he will vote for the bill even if it has the immunity in it. It is that simple. He flip-flopped and is exactly what the summary says. Did I miss something?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AySz88 (1151141)

        He flip-flopped and is exactly what the summary says. Did I miss something?

        Yes. The summary says "supports telecom amnesty", which is (at best) an exaggeration. The spin makes things sound more like maliciousness than ambivalence or incompetence. (I don't like his lack of backbone on this issue, but it's 'just' a lack of backbone, i.e. it's not like he would start campaigning in support of telecom amnesty.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Well, that's exactly what I'm looking for in a strong leader--someone who makes a vague promise to oppose something, then doesn't really do anything, then quietly votes FOR it when the rubber hits the road. I guess that's what passes for a strong leader in the Democratic Party. Truly a profile in courage.
  • but I'd rather not give money to a "Democrat" PAC. I wouldn't give money to a Republican PAC, either. If they separated this issue out from the rest of their position I'd be all over it.

    I hate politics.

  • This is a great idea, but can it really work?

    A lot of times, when laws are o the verge of being passed, these groups pop up to try and get them shot down. However, how often have they ever really worked? In a lot of cases, either the politician doesn't listen/care or there isn't enough support to make anyone's head turn.

    Not to mention, we look back at the story about having evidence that Representatives that took kickbacks to change their votes and have to wonder if they will listen when they have com
    • the so called "moderates" (Fox News's word for crypto-fascists) he's trying to woo by quietly supporting this bill will not pay his bills.

      This group draws attention to his outright lies, and has already resulted in announcements by several people that they will cease giving money, time, and votes to his campaign.

      When you're financed by your party's base, and you give that base a golden shower, don't be surprised if they leave for greener pastures.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:24AM (#24014151) Homepage
    It looks as if he has accepted the line peddled by those who have an interest in exaggerating the security issues:

    Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike

    Sad, I thought that he was brighter than that.

  • AT&T's take (Score:5, Interesting)

    by giminy (94188) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @07:38AM (#24014255) Homepage Journal

    AT&T took down their ad, but it was pretty funny in a sick sort of way. If you didn't catch their new ad, it was on their bill-pay site last week. I kept a little archive of it here [readingfordummies.com]. Enjoy.

    Reid

  • My view of Senator Obama has dropped considerably after he said he will vote for the bill giving the telecoms immunity. Perhaps he feels that he can piss on lot of people and still have their vote-- who else are they going to vote for now? Perhaps he thinks he an piss on the people who believe in him and convince them that it is only raining.

    Senator Obama's promise to "fix this" when he becomes president is grossly illogical and pompous (not elitist). What if he loses the election? Then what will he be

  • I can't beleive this (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wellingj (1030460) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:08AM (#24014497)
    This is retarded. How is giving more money and rewarding more vote switching going to solve anything. We need to look a little farther than in front of our noses here. I'm sick and tired of these people in office and we need to implement a scorched earth policy and vote out every incumbent we can.
  • by jdp (95845) <<jon_near_seattle> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @08:56AM (#24015115)
    There's a lot more information about the Senator Obama - Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity - Get FISA Right [barackobama.com] my.barackobama.com campaign on the Get FISA right [wetpaint.com] wiki. Check it out, and please join the group! Mike Stark's Will Obama feel the sting of social networking? [openleft.com] on OpenLeft gives some great context on the campaign. And there's a Facebook group too [facebook.com]. Are we web 2.0 or what?
  • by scorp1us (235526) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @09:17AM (#24015433) Journal

    I've got to take issue with raising money for senators so they will vote a particular way. Our taxes pay their salaries so they will vote according to the electorate AND the constitution. Since when did obeying the constitution become a la carte? These people took an oath to uphold it. Now it only applies for the highest bidder.

    I think a much more cost-effective measure would be to exercise our constitutional freedoms.

    I am a huge patriot, even an Eagle scout. In scouts we took oaths and we held them. We were told our leaders were doing the same. We were told to hold the constitution high, and to believe in our government.

    I draw the line at a bidding war for votes. If that really is the situation, then we need to clean house. And senate.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @09:27AM (#24015583) Homepage Journal

    McCain has been in favor of it all along, and is kind of stuck. If he votes for it, he keeps in with the Republican party but loses credibility with the conservatives and "tough on crime" folks. If he votes against it, he gets the conservative and "tough on crime" support, but loses some Republicans. No matter what he does, it's approximately a wash.

    If Obama votes for it, he loses in pretty much every way. Republican voters still won't support him over McCain. But if he votes against it, he'll get some credibility with the hard anti-crime, rule-of-law folks. He'll pick up some conservatives, possibly (no guarantees, but it could happen) even the few conservatives remaining in the Republican party.

  • by doomicon (5310) on Tuesday July 01, 2008 @09:38AM (#24015735) Homepage Journal

    Brewster's Millions "None of the Above" option when you really need it?

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