My favorite thing about the bill to give telecommunications companies immunity for their crimes is its title- the Protect America Act. This way, if one of the Democratic candidates votes against it (this would assume that the candidates do their job while running for a job with even more responsibilities) their opponents could say “Barrack voted against protecting America.” At least Chris Dodd doesn’t fall for it; he was the only candidate (Obama, Clinton, and Biden all released statements from Iowa) to try and stop the bill. The way Dodd originally went about his mission – as explained previously and today by Glenn Greenwald – was to put a stop on it. There have been numerous Republicans (and I’m sure other Democrats) who have put stops on bills throughout Harry Reid’s control of the senate and they all worked. It’s kind of common knowledge that stops are a way to end the life of a bill, no questions asked. So, what happened when Dodd put a stop on the Amnesty bill? Reid refused to acknowledge it and proved himself to be even worse than the Democrats who simply agree with the president- he went directly against a 25-year veteran of the senate. That – to me – proved that Democrats aren’t just weaklings who bow to the administration, they would rather continue to receive their checks from the big companies than stand up for the rights of US citizens. Just when it looked hopeless, the good side gets sort of a victory. Dodd (and a couple other senators) objected to needing 60 votes to add an amendment, which stalled the vote. That, plus is upcoming filibuster threat, caused Reid to put the bill away until congress comes back from their break. It’s not quite a victory, but it is still better than a loss.
The Anonymous Liberal doesn’t take any kind of positive road, instead saying that it doesn’t matter if the bill was tabled; Democrats will still back down in the end. He points out that if a new bill is someone won by Dodd and his followers, the president will veto it- claiming that the Democrats are being weak on terror. Like Marty in Back to the Future when someone called him a chicken, the Democrats constantly feel the urge to prove themselves to not be weak on anything, and instead back down to a president with insanely low ratings and nothing to lose. The president gets what he wants and then a couple weeks later, the Democrats are called weak on something else. This bill should be getting covered every day by every media outlet and every Usian should be aware by the time congress gets their lazy asses back to work in January.
You know it’s getting back when the right-wing newspapers are calling the Democrats weak. Politico had an article today listing the important things the Democrats have backed down on since taking over “power” of the senate and house. The talk about how the liberal side of the left is getting frustrated with the ineptitude of the “opposition”. They even quote some Democratic lawmakers who say that they spend months working out a deal and writing a bill, only to back down when the president says boo. Would it really be much worse if we had a Republican majority in both houses and a Democrat president? I would be willing to deal with their bullshit for two years in order to send a message that there needs to be an opposition. Even if the Democrats honestly plan to be less weak once they have control of all three branches, they are still costing lives every time they back down to George, and that is unacceptable.
In (sort of) world news, the British troops have left Basra in control of the Iraqis. This article in the Guardian explains just how fucked up things are. Over 45 women have been killed in the past three months for not dressing right; sometimes their children are killed along with them because the killers think they are from an adulterous relationship. It is really hard to imagine how people like George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld can sleep at night knowing that they caused this. It would be hard enough if they did it for noble reasons, if they honestly thought that some kind of god had chosen them to go into this lawless country and save them, but that’s not the case. These criminals lied and manipulated in order to get ignorant people to kill strangers just so they could line their already overflowing pockets. A million people have died, and now we’re slowly giving their country back to the rightful owners, but it’s a country that looks nothing like the one that was taken from them. Where is the outcry? What has stopped us from being human?
Sometimes I understand why everyone isn’t reacting with extreme anger towards the war in Iraq. Sometimes I feel that it’s hopeless; troops are over there, troops will continue to be over there no matter what we do or who we elect, and why waste energy and time in trying to change things. However, we are witnessing a slow progression towards Iran. What are we doing about that? As Chris Hedges points out today, the NIE report that came out a couple weeks ago has not only not slowed this imminent war, but has increased the poop coming out of the white house. If something happen here, it is our fault. We know that attacking Iran is the plan, we know that we have troops over there doing covert operations, we know that our elected officials are not going to do a thing to stop it from happening. If we just sit around for the next few months and then act surprised when shit starts hitting the fan, we deserve whatever we get.
Bush claims that if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear technology that it will lead to world war III, but I wonder if Iran getting bombed by the US and then retaliating would actually be what leads to it. Venezuela not only is doing everything they can to oppose the US, but also has a very tight relationship with Iran, and who knows how many other Latin American countries they can bring along for the ride. Other Middle Eastern countries also might not react with celebration, should the US increase its presence. Most importantly (as I’ve said before) is Russia, who yesterday sent nuclear fuel to Iran probably just to piss off the US. The real questions are, which countries will not be destroy by a third world war and how soon can I establish residency there? Maybe we should all move to Cuba, where Fidel is talking about stepping down after almost fifty years in power. That should be a fun time.