Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Doddering... Ass-kicker!

Chris Dodd was the lone angry voice standing up for principle this week--albeit with the able assistance of Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, and others--and his threat of a protracted filibuster forced Harry Reid to pull the FISA reauthorization bill that would have included immunity for telecom companies that were complicit in warrantless wiretapping of US citizens.

"Today we have scored a victory for American civil liberties and sent a message to President Bush that we will not tolerate his abuse of power and veil of secrecy," Dodd said in a statement released after Reid pulled the bill. "The President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecom companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I want to thank the thousands of Americans throughout the country that stood with me to get this done for our country."

The 64-year-old Connecticut senator indicated he would have been willing to keep the floor all night if needed to prevent the immunity provision from moving through the senate.

"I rarely come to the floor with this much anger," Dodd said. "I've never seen contempt of the rule of law such as this."

And good on him for it. AT&T may have jumped into bed--aw, who we crappin'--rather, hit its knees for Bush within two weeks of his inauguration, (h/t Top!Secret G-woman) setting up a system for combing all the phone and e-mail traffic routed through its New Jersey hub. Qwest, bless their crappy customer-servicing, rate-hiking souls, apparently told Bush to bugger off.

Reid is claiming Dodd's filibuster threats had nothing to do with him pullng the bill, saying instead that the year-end crunch caught up with him and left too little time to get the bill properly gift-wrapped and packed in peanuts. I mean, have you tried getting anywhere close to the post office this late in December?

Whatever, Harry. Thanks, Chris. Sorry for you that your presidential campaign never really got off the blocks, but glad for the rest of us since that allows you to have the courage to prove that, occasionally, Democrats can show some spine and challenge the administration in the service of what is right.

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