PATRIOT Act Showdown
Hey everyone...I really feel like I've been negligent in not posting earlier, but I had my first law school finals, and it was just one of those times where the whole outside world seemed to cease to exist, even our favorite senator. So, now for the news you already now...
PATRIOT Act: The House-Senate conference committee's final compromise on the PATRIOT Act renewal was not much of a compromise but rather abandoned all the reforms Russ and his Senate colleagues passed to improve that act...so now it's filibuster time. The vote on cloture should be later this morning, and according to the AP, Russ has the votes to sustain the filibuster.
Russ has been all over the media as a leading spokesman on the issue, including the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer debating the reauthorization with Senator Jeff Sessions; and blogging about the issue over at TPM's Table for One (the Senator seems to be becoming a more regular blogger than me!) I'm glad that it seems like the Senator's efforts will pay off, at least in defeating the motion for cloture today, and I would like to thank him, Senator Durbin, Senator Salazar, and especially Republican Senators Craig, Sununu, and Murkowski for standing up to the White House and the Republican leadership in Congress, and for standing up for our civil liberties! As Senator Feingold said, this is not a partisan issues, it's an American issue.
Also, as much as we like to talk about Russ' status as the only Senator to oppose to the PATRIOT Act in 2001, it is important note that he had some company: 66 members of the House of Representative opposed the PATRIOT Act originally, and they don't necessarily get the recognition they deserve so here they are:
Baldwin, Barrett, Blumenauer, Bonior, Boucher, Brown (OH), Capuano, Clayton, Conyers, Coyne, Cummings, Davis (IL), DeFazio, DeGette, Dingell, Farr, Filner, Frank, Hastings (FL), Hilliard, Honda, Jackson (IL), Jackson-Lee (TX), Johnson, E. B., Jones (OH), Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), McDermott, McGovern, McKinney, Meek (FL), George Miller, Mink Mollohan, Nadler, Ney, Oberstar, Olver, Otter, Owens, Pastor, Paul, Payne, Peterson (MN), Rahall, Rivers, Rush, Sabo, Sanchez, Sanders, Schakowsky, Scott, Serrano, Stark, Thompson (MS), Tierney, Udall (CO), Udall (NM),Velazquez, Visclosky, Waters, Watson (CA), Watt (NC), Woolsey, Wu
My appreciation to them all.
Naturally some of the coverage about the PATRIOT Act debate and Russ's role in it have talked about it's impact on the 2008 primaries. I personally think the best summary about this was Schwompa's December 9th post over at Tennesseans for Feingold.
And speaking of state blogs: Yet another great new state blog for Feingold has been created, check out Ohio for Feingold. That makes five state blogs that I know of (New Jersey, Michigan, Tennessee, and Illinois as the others) so we are one tenth of the way to having Feingold supporter blogs in all 50 states! Let's keep going forward with this! Trust me, creating a blog isn't hard (having the time to update it, well, that's another story).
Happy anniversary: This Monday it was one year since my first post here. As far as I know, this was the first Feingold for President website out there; shortly after that DraftRuss.com came out and now there are all those great state sites in addition to the wonderful national efforts of RussForPresident.com and Friends of Feingold. This site is no longer "the" Russ Feingold for President site, as it was back when John Nichols mentioned it in his column a year ago today. And I couldn't be happier about that.
I am so thrilled and excited by the enthusiasm I've seen for Feingold on the netroots...from the state blogs, to his great performances in the MyDD and DailyKos straw polls, to the appreciation shown when Senator Feingold blogs...I find it incredible. When I started this site, I had no idea it would be possible that a year from then Senator Feingold would be considering a presidential bid and that he'd be mentioned as a possible candidate in almost every news story written about him. I would have seriously been happy if I just had a dozen or a hundred regular readers...instead I'm able to play a small role in a great movement, a movement that could help make Russ Feingold the next President of the United States!
I thank everyone who has read this blog, especially everyone who comments or emails me, and most especially everyone who's started their own blog, joined a Feingold yahoo group, made pro-Russ comments on MyDD or DailyKos or done anything else to help this movement.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to get online much over my break, so let me just repeat: Thank You! And let's keep going Forward in the new year!