Feingold & Dodd Amendment fails on FISA

Their amendment went down. I believe the final vote was 32-66...

Specter's was rejected too.

Here's some voting information. It's just coming out now.

Please Donate here to help fight back against these actions. Blue America has been leading the way to fight for our rights and to elect new candidates that will uphold

UPDATE: (Logan) The only two Senators not to vote on FISA today? One with a brain tumor and McCain. Priorities.



Blue America's FISA dollars at Work: Full page ad at the Washington Post

Check out the new full page Blue America ad placed in the Washington Post today. Thank you all so much for donating to our Blue America/FISA fund so we're able to get our message out far and wide. We believe in the Constitution and so should you! We also bought ads to run against Barrow and to support Regina Thomas in the upcoming GA-12 primary on July 15th. I'll write about that later. When Bush got together with Congress to grant retroactive immunity, that was just unacceptable to many of us.

Donate here to help elect better Democratic candidates to represent our values. Blue America has had great success so far. And you know, a major reason that Blue America exists is to push a progressive message into districts where it's never heard regardless if we win or lose a seat. We still win by getting that message out into the atmosphere.

Howie sez:

Almost 6,000 people have donated so far and we have run TV, radio, and newspaper ads in Chris Carney's Pennsylvania district, newspaper ads and patch-thru calls explaining to Steny Hoyer's constituents (and colleagues) his odious role in this massive betrayal of Democracy. ...we are running the following full page ad in the Washington Post and the day after we will explain our efforts to hold John Barrow (GA-12) accountable for his outrageously anti-American votes

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Keep making your calls because the vote is coming tommorrow.

UPDATE: Here's Blue America's Andrew Rice:

"Congress must remain vigilant in order to protect Americans from another terrorist attack. However, the bill that is before Congress this week bargains away the privacy of law-abiding American citizens while protecting the companies that allegedly participated in the President's illegal wiretapping program. The Senate should stick to the narrow fix it set out to accomplish by making it clear that the government does not have to obtain a warrant to listen to foreign-to-foreign communications. Instead, this bill allows a significant expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act so that government can eavesdrop on the international communications of innocent American citizens. Since losing my brother on 9/11, I have vowed to improve America's anti-terrorism capability without sacrificing the freedoms that so many Americans have died to protect."
--- Andrew Rice, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, OK

(You can see the full page ad under the fold.)

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Blue America launches FISA Whip count call tool: Let them know!

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You spoke and we listened. You donated intensely and we are taking action. We've run ads and now we're hitting the phones. Blue America has just launched an interactive tool that will allow you to call your Senator and demand accountability on FISA.

Christy has more:

Blue America is launching a call tool today to help you get in touch with Senators regarding the FISA bill. We're trying to make it as easy as possible for everyone to talk with their Senators about the importance of standing up for the constitution, the rule of law -- and standing against telecom immunity.

We have been working hard to put together some tools to make your voice heard -- and there is more to come today.

This first tool allows you to directly contact Senators to tell them to stand up for the rule of law and vote in favor of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy amendment. (That's S.A.5064 to H.R. 6304 which will come up for a vote on July 8th, 2008.) Not only will this tool help you phone your Senators -- including connecting your call -- but it also gives us the ability to track positions on FISA given your input on what you ascertain during your conversations...read on

Digby and Howie also are part of the Blue America family and will have similar posts up soon. Glenn Greenwald has been a big part of this FISA fight also....We will not back down. Please make your voice heard. We're all taking part in the process...Thanks for the help.

Here's Howie's post...



Update on FISA: Obama, Harry Reid, Calls to Hoyer

Here's a quick update. There was a vote today on the floor in favor of cloture on the FISA bill 80-15, which means there will be 30 hours of debate on FISA. A lot is happening so please post about it in the comment section. Obama has fallen on the wrong side of the debate. It doesn't look good.

"The bill has changed. So I don't think the security threats have changed, I think the security threats are similar. My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people."

Schumer has come out against FISA. Reid is obviously juggling a few bills at once and that is coming into play. This is from a rough transcript of a statement he gave on the Senate Floor yesterday announcing his opposition to the FISA bill:

Reid: I am not going to vote for the FISA bill. There are people, Mr. President, who have worked on this FISA matter for three months or more and again the Administration worked with them. Did they, on the FISA bill, move enough to make me vote for the bill? The answer is no.

Reid is joining Dodd and Feingold on their efforts to strip out immunity from the bill.

Blue America has placed some robo calls to Steny Hoyer's house on Telecom Immunity.

On Friday we told you about ads going up in the Washington Post that hold Steny Hoyer accountable for brokering this horrible bill, paid for by these donations. Today Color of Change and Blue America have robocalls going out to Hoyer's constituents, recorded by Reverend Lennox Yearwood who is from the district.

Emptywheel brings up some good points.

As you look at Reid's comments, remember that Reid is dealing with all three of these playing pieces, not just the one we're most focused on, FISA. And to the average American, the other two pieces are way more important than the FISA piece. As well-versed as I've become in FISA, frankly, I can't imagine telling my neighbors facing foreclosure that defeating immunity is more important than them keeping their house.

I'm just making an outtamyarse guess, but I'm guessing that Reid's delay comment last night may be tailored to get action on the housing bill, by holding the two things the Administration wants--FISA and the supplemental--hostage until a hold-out Republican and Bush agree to the housing compromise...read on



Turn Up The Heat On Congress Over FISA

Run, don't walk...

Christy at FDL has all the pertinent numbers.

There has always been a tension between individual liberty and governmental power. National security issues are a natural fault line, given the difficulty of protecting the nation while simultaneously upholding the values of freedom and liberty. And politicians, bless their hearts, always try to find ways to consolidate their power while pretending to do so in the public interest -- and not their own and that of their cronies who benefit in some way from their decisions.

They miscalculated this time regarding how many people in America are paying attention to civil liberties concerns these days. And it is our job to make certain that they learn just how badly they have misjudged this.

It is one of the many reasons we are working so hard to build incentive through our Blue America FISA actions. (You can donate here.)

UPDATE: Sen. Russ Feingold has a factsheet on FISA and why it's a bad deal for Americans.



Blue America's Steny Hoyer FISA ad

Since we started our campaign to hold Steny Hoyer and other members of Congress accountable for conspiring with Bush against the Constitution, almost 5,000 patriotic Americans-- regardless of political party-- have donated to our drive. You've seen our thermometer rising and now it's approaching $300,000. Our first batch of advertising, including a full page ad in the Washington Post goes out next week.

Here's a sneak-peak at the Post ad: (click on above graphic to make larger)

None of the progressives who voted against Hoyer's disgraceful capitulation to Bush today will go on record advocating for a new Majority Leader and many of the candidates are too frightened to do so. There's even a cousinly split. The two House Udalls, Tom from New Mexico (the progressive one) and Mark from Colorado (the more establishment one), are each running for the U.S. Senate against rabidly right-wing Republicans. Mark (CO) voted with Hoyer, Bush, the Blue Dogs and the GOP to trash the Constitution. Keep it in mind when the DSCC send you an e-mail begging for money. The better Udall, Tom (NM) voted with us and had this to say to New Mexico residents:

The FISA bill we considered today would compromise the constitutionally guaranteed rights that make America a beacon of hope around the world. Today's vote was not easy. I stood up to leaders of my own party and voted against this bill, because I took an oath to defend Americans and That duty is most important when it is most difficult. We can protect our nation while upholding our values, but unfortunately, this bill falls short.

That sounds like real change. Mark? Not so much.



Blue America Welcomes Judy Feder (VA-10)

Our Blue America candidate today is Judy Feder from northern Virginia in the 'burbs outside Washington, an area that used to be dependably Republican but... well no more. Judy joins us at Firedoglake today at 2pm (EST) for a two-hour discussion of the issues in her campaign, particularly health care policy, her field of expertise. But just because she is the dean of Georgetown's Policy Institute and has spent an entire career trying to figure out how to make universal health care work for all Americans, that doesn't mean she isn't paying attention to the other issues important to us all. This morning Judy sent me two things, the video intro she shot for us last night and the answer to a question about FISA and if she would be any different from the rubber stamp incumbent, Frank Wolf, who has been a big backer of warrantless wiretapping and retroactive immunity. Judy's response:

No one in this country should be above the law and saying Alberto Gonzales told me it was okay is hardly an excuse. I oppose retroactive immunity for the telecoms who engaged in illegal surveillance. Unfortunately, Frank Wolf has again sided with the President on this issue voting in favor of immunity for those who circumvented the FISA courts and our legal process.

If you decide to donate to Judy's campaign today-- or to any Blue America candidate you want to see elected-- don't forget that this is the end of our Air America contest and if you add in a penny it goes as a vote towards that candidate. Donate here at our Blue America page.



$45,000 and counting

Blue America's FISA fundraiser is doing incredible. Thanks so much and keep contributing if possible so we can take swift action against the Bush Dogs. Donate here.

Jane at FDL sez:

What can I say. In a little over 24 hours, much to our surprise, we raised almost $42,000 to go after Bush Dog Democrats who are joining with the Republicans to try and pass retroactive telecom immunity. Woof.

So the question is still -- who do we go after? You can still vote.

As Glenzilla says, "The goal is to raise as much money as possible to run local ads against one or two of them, alerting as many possible voters in their districts of their endless complicity with the most radical, corrupt aspects of the Bush administration's chronic lawbreaking and illegal domestic spying."

Thanks to you, we have a lot of options. Let us know who you think deserves to be the target of our efforts for joining with the Republicans to try and pass retroactive immunity for Dick Cheney and the telecom criminals.

Cast your vote here.



Blue America PAC against FISA Retroactive Immunity: Targeting Bush Dogs

Donate if you can to our new FISA page. The Blue Dogs for retroactive Immunity are stomping their feet and writing letters to Nancy Pelosi:

In a January letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 21 Blue Dog Coalition members made it known they supported granting immunity to the telecoms, and urged Pelosi to move quickly to pass the Senate version of the bill. (The 21 members who signed the letter are listed below.)

Members of the Blue Dog Coalition were integral in the passage of the highly controversial Protect America Act (PAA), a Republican-backed bill that greatly expanded spy powers in August 2007. The PAA was allowed to expire in February in the face of stark warnings from the Bush administration.

Rep. Boehner is threatening to shut down the HOUSE at this moment over the bill because these crybabies aren't getting their way. From the comments: John Boehner and the Repubs have just brought a 4th motion to adjourn on the House floor, in yet another tantrum to “shut down the house” until their FISA BS is voted on.

Jane Hamsher says:

These are the same House members who do this again and again when it comes to any legislation that isn't horribly corporatist and regressive. They hold the Democratic party hostage, and can effectively passing legislation most any time they want to join with the Republicans to do so...

Glenn Greenwald writes: Targeting Bad Democrats

The only real prospect for changing any of that is to attach a political price, some form of meaningful punishment, when they do things such as vote to abolish habeas corpus or to vest new warrantless eavesdropping powers in the President or to grant amnesty to telecoms. That needs to be done even if it means weakening the bad Democrat in question. Last October, when six House Democrats announced that they would vote to sustain Bush's veto of SCHIP legislation, a group of blogs -- including FDL and C&L -- raised funds to run negative robocalls in the districts of all six, and five of the six ended up switching their position.

Howie has a great quote form John Hall (D-NY), twice endorsed by Blue America on FISA. And we were successful in our efforts on SCHIP. Here's what we did..... Jane set up a poll and the top two Bush Dogs picked will be the targets of our newest push against them so go and vote. We need your help in fighting back so please give what you can to our Blue America PAC against FISA page

We've had great success fighting against these Bush Dogs and will not back down now...

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