Wednesday, March 29, 2006

President Bush Broke the Law

And Senator Russ Feingold is the lone Democrat standing up and saying he should be held accountable.

Our own Senator Arlen Specter, head of the Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings this Friday on Senator Feingold's call to censure the President for wiretapping without warrants. Could Senator Specter actually be making a sincere effort to do the right thing? Or, will these hearings be held just to make it look like he gave the resolution a fair hearing, and then bury it?

Here are his comments about censure in this brief New York Times article:
March 25, 2006
Senator Sets Hearing on Censure of Bush

WASHINGTON, March 24 — The Senate Judiciary Committee has set a hearing for next Friday on the call by Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, to censure President Bush for his approval of a program to allow electronic eavesdropping without warrants.

Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the panel, said he had decided to schedule the session after Mr. Feingold, in a television interview, pressed for hearings on the censure proposal.

Mr. Specter said his intent was not to use the session as a political forum but to explore issues surrounding the proposed censure. He said he believed the proposal was baseless.

"I am prepared to deal with it," Mr. Specter said. "I am sure not going to sit back and have Feingold spout off."
It's interesting that he says his intent isn't to get political and will look at the facts around the censure, and then in the next breath he calls the proposal "baseless". He then proceeds to take a potshot at Senator Feingold. A precurser that fairplay may not be the tone set by Senator Specter in these hearings? Pennsylvanian's and all American's can watch the hearings on Cspan and see if Senator Specter stands up for the American people, or covers up for a president who broke the law. Let's call or write and tell him we support holding the president accountable.

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In an exerpt from a March 17, 2006 editorial in the Capital Times, a Wisconsin paper from Senator Feingold's home state, the error of Bush's actions is explained clearly:
Feingold's argument is a fundamental one: "What the president did by consciously and intentionally violating the Constitution and the laws of this country with this illegal wiretapping has to be answered."

There is no serious debate on this point. Bush did what he did. The president initially tried to lie about it, but when his actions were exposed, he acknowledged that he had authorized the eavesdropping and said he would continue to do so. That was a direct affront to the Constitution and the Congress that enacted rules regarding wiretaps.

Of course, it is unlikely that this Senate will stand up to Bush on warrantless wiretapping. It refused to stand up for civil liberties in the initial Patriot Act fight of 2001 and again when the law was reauthorized this year. It refused to stand up for common sense and the long-term national security interests of the United States in the debate over whether to allow the president to go to war with Iraq, and it has refused to do so in the debate about how long this country will remain in the quagmire of Bush's creation . . .

Feel free to comment and express what you think.
Mr. President, Meet Your Censurer
The high political stakes of the NSA domestic surveillance program

A well written article exerpt from MSNBC's site:

By Tom Curry
National affairs writer
Updated: 8:08 p.m. ET March 28, 2006

WASHINGTON - As Sen. Russ Feingold urges the Senate to censure President Bush, the alleged misdeed that moved the Wisconsin Democrat to propose censure continues: the Bush administration keeps conducting surveillance of calls by suspected al Qaida operatives to and from people in the U.S.

Feingold had to leave early from Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on how to legalize the National Security Agency surveillance program -- he had an appointment at the White House to meet with the man he wants to censure.

Just back from Iraq, Feingold was part of a group of senators who went to discuss their findings with President Bush.

Would this meeting be awkward?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Join The Feingold Revolution

The Feingold 50 Blogs Strategy

A grassroots revolution is taking place, and you're invited to take part.

The conventional wisdom is that it's too early to be working towards the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. We should focus solely on the 2006 elections, and take the presidential race as it comes.

There is, unquestionably, some wisdom in this approach. But hasn't history taught us some harsh lessons about waiting to long to take action?

Unless progressive activists take strong, early action, Hillary Clinton will be our next presidential nominee. She's got the money. She's got the name recognition. She's got a fair amount of affection from the Democratic rank and file.

Hillary in the White House isn't the worst thing that could happen, but it's certainly not the best.

So, what can we do to stop this?

We can organize. We can set goals. We can meet them. We can help him start his campaign in November from a stronger position. Stronger name recognition. Stronger understanding of his positions. Stronger knowlege of his history of service to this country. And as the campaign ramps up, he'll already have the advantage of connections in the fifty states. Volunteers who have the advantage of knowing their peers across the country. Volunteers who are already battle-tested and ready to do what it takes to put him in the White House.

We already have blogs in 15 states -- we're almost a third of a way there. We need a blog in each state. We also need more contributors pumping their ideas and articles into the blogs. Change history: join the revolution today.

Here are some ways to start:

1. Join the Feingold08 Mailing List.
2. Get active at the Russ Cafe.
3. Stop in at the Progressive Patriots Fund, Russ's Leadership PAC.
4. Start a state blog. If you want, you can use the templates here.
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