Countdown: Spying on us + Feingold questions Holder

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firedoglake
June 17, 2009

Countdown – Author James Risen discusses U.S. spying on us
06_17_09 visit: http://firedoglake.com

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Senator Feingold Can’t Get Straight Answer From Attorney Gen Holder On Warrantless Wiretap Program Continue reading

Senator Feingold Has Constitutional Opportunity by Joel S. Hirschhorn

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
www.foavc.org
March 14, 2009

Like others promoting constitutional amendments, Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat, Wisconsin, apparently is unaware of the refusal by Congress to obey Article V of the Constitution. He has a fine idea: every senator must actually be elected rather than appointed to that position. In 1913 the 17th amendment created the potential for governors to make appointments to fill Senate seats until the next regular scheduled general election and 38 states allow this; there have been 185 such appointments. Feingold is right to condemn “decisions being made solely by the powerful, without the consent, or even the input, of the people.”

Congress is unlikely to propose the desired new amendment, however. All of the existing constitutional amendments were proposed by Congress. But many worthwhile ones have never been proposed and sent to the states for ratification. There is an alternative. Article V provides a convention route for proposing amendments. Interest in amendments has triggered over 700 applications from state legislatures to Congress for a convention of state delegates that could propose constitutional amendments. However an amendment is proposed, it still must be ratified by three fourths of the states and the constitutional limitations on Congress limiting it to propose amendments to our present constitution equally apply to a convention.

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Confronting Foreign Intelligence and Information Gaps + Feingold on the 4th Amendment

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NewAmericaFoundation

A copy of the Senator’s remarks can be found here: http://www.newamerica.net/f…(pdf)

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Democracy Now!

June 24, 2008

“One of the Greatest Intrusions, Potentially, on the Rights of Americans Protected Under the 4th Amendment”–Sen. Feingold Blasts Telecom Spy Bill

It’s being described as the most significant revision of the nation’s surveillance law in three decades. The Senate is preparing to vote on rewriting the nation’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and giving immunity to phone companies involved in President Bush’s secret domestic spy program. We speak with Senator Russ Feingold (D–WI), who has been the leading congressional voice against the Bush administration’s warrantless spy program since it was exposed nearly three years ago. [includes rush transcript]

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HR 6304 – A Bill to Abolish the 4th Amendment

The Hedonists of Power By Chris Hedges

Hearing on Bush’s Secret Laws (video)

Dandelion Salad

April 30, 2008
C-SPAN

2 hours

Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee Hearing on Secret Laws

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the Bush administration’s increasing reliance on secret law and the threat it posed to democratic and accountable government. Witnesses testified about the use of executive orders, signing statements, justifications for classification, and use of undisclosed legal opinions to create and form policy in various areas.

Watch via http://www.c-span.org/video/?205112-1/secret-law

Congress Quietly Approves Billions More for Iraq War by John Nichols

Dandelion Salad

by John Nichols
The Nation
Posted 09/28/2007 @ 11:48am

The Senate agreed on Thursday to increase the federal debt limit by $850 billion — from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion — and then proceeded to approve a stop-gap spending bill that gives the Bush White House at least $9 billion in new funding for its war in Iraq.

Additionally, the administration has been given emergency authority to tap further into a $70 billion “bridge fund” to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

Translation: Under the guise of a stop-gap spending bill that is simply supposed to keep the government running until a long-delayed appropriations process is completed — probably in November — the Congress has just approved a massive increase in war funding.

The move was backed by every senator who cast a vote, save one.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the maverick Democrat who has led the fight to end the war and bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, was on the losing end of the 94-1 vote. (The five senators who did not vote, all presidential candidates who are more involved in campaigning than governing, were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Republicans John McCain and Sam Brownback.)

Said Feingold, “I am disappointed that we are about to begin the 2008 fiscal year without having enacted any of the appropriations bills for that year. I am even more disappointed that we voted on a continuing resolution that provides tens of billions of dollars to continue the misguided war in Iraq but does not include any language to bring that war to a close. We need to keep the federal government operating and make sure our brave troops get all the equipment and supplies they need, but we should not be giving the President a blank check to continue a war that is hurting our national security.”

In the House, the continuing resolution passed by a vote of 404 to 14, with 14 other members not voting.

The “no” votes in the House, all cast by anti-war members, came from one Republican, Ron Paul of Texas, and 13 Democrats: Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, Missouri’s William Clay, Minnesota’s Keith Ellison, California’s Bob Filner, Massachusetts’ Barney Frank, New York’s Maurice Hinchey, Ohio’s Dennis Kucinich, Washington’s Jim McDermott, New Jersey’s Donald Payne, California’s Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey.

That means that, of the 2008 presidential candidates, only Republican Paul and Democrat Kucinich voted against giving the Bush administration a dramatic — if not particularly well publicized — infusion of new money for the war.

“Each year this war is getting more and more costly — both in the amount of money spent and in the number of lives lost. Now this Congress is providing more funds so the administration can continue down a path of destruction and chaos,” said Kucinich, who noted the essential role of House and Senate Democratic leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in passing the continuing resolution. “The Democratic leadership in Congress needs to take a stand against this President and say they will not give him any more money. That is the only way to end this war and bring our troops home.”

h/t: Malcolm

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