Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Invite Must Have Gotten Lost ...

Image credit: National Archives

Via Taylor Marsh, MoveOn has this to say:

In a move that will up the pressure on Hillary and Barack Obama to stand firm against the Senate telecom immunity FISA bill, MoveOn and a dozen top progressive blogs will launch an all-out campaign tomorrow to pressure the two Senators into publicly declaring their support for Chris Dodd's threat to place a hold on and filibuster the bill, Election Central has learned.

MoveOn And Top Bloggers To Launch Campaign Pressuring Hillary And Obama To Back Dodd On FISA

Hmmm, I must have just missed the cut. Hey, sometimes you have to sacrifice popularity to maintain your artistic integrity, right? Anyhow, if you need to be reminded about the FISA issue, go here, go here, and then go here. Or just go read everything Glenn Greenwald has written in the last two weeks. Follow the links. After you've done that, you'll understand why I'm writing this:

Senator Chris Dodd, who is also a Presidential candidate, believe it or not, has threatened to filibuster the new FISA bill if it comes out of committee with amnesty for telecomm executives who violated the current version of FISA attached. He did that because the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid has threatened to ignore the hold Dodd placed on the bill. So far, neither Senator Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama, who are also Presidential candidates, have made their positions on this filibuster known. Tomorrow, all those "important" blogs are going to be asking them why they haven't done that yet.

So, purely in the public interest, and not out of any spirit of self-promotion or spite, here are the contact forms for the esteemed Senators:

Senator Hillary Clinton:
Presidential campaign: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/help/contact/
Senate office: http://clinton.senate.gov/contact

Senator Barack Obama:
Presidential campaign: http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2
Senate office: http://obama.senate.gov/contact/

When you tell them where you read about this, just remember that "Spittle" is spelled with two t's.

Not sure what to write? I posted an e-mail I wrote to my Senators on the issue. It wasn't all that well received, but I'm starting to think that's a good thing. You could also check out this Greenwald column on Robert Kennedy and a plea for retroactive immunity in his day:

Just as now, the lawbreaking banks insisted that they must be protected from the devastating consequences of their lawbreaking -- claims that Kennedy and Katzenbach easily destroyed. After all, the banks -- like the telecoms now -- were the ones who chose to break the law, knowing that it was illegal, because they perceived there to be great economic benefit in doing so. To then grant them amnesty would be to reward lawbreaking.

Robert Kennedy speaks out against Retroactive Immunity

Or, you could just ask why don't they stand up to the Bush Administration for real, just this once?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Cujo, could you email me offline?


I was going to find some info for you about the changing numbers of contractors for the US gov't... I think that I agreed to do this over a year ago, and the topic came up at FDL on a thread.

Well... I gave myself about an hour to start collecting the data, I ran into some very odd, very confusing stuff. It just felt like I'd walked into a tar pit and I simply didn't have the time nor energy to figure it out. With that said, I have to tip my hat to the NYT because they've put together an article that must have taken quite a lot of research, and it's definitely linked to the topic raised at FDL -- what are the underlying social, cultural, economic shifts that favor contractors over... 'employees'. Expedience over loyalty, as it were.

Check this out today:

In even the preliminary stages of my research to answer the questions that you'd posed -- how many jobs had shifted from 'civil service' to 'contractor' -- it was clear that there were 'employment categories' that I couldn't correctly interpret on the gov websites. I was so confused by it all that I didn't follow up with you -- because I felt certain that any statistics I offered were likely to be extremely unreliable and misleading.

I definitely saw the need for a crackerjack researcher to take this whole subject on. Looks like the NYT has put some resources behind trying to unferret the questions that you posed at FDL -- HOW MANY contractors are there? What were their previous (civilian) employment categories and budgets?

The NYT article is one piece of this very large puzzle; but the latest Economist also has a very small item about how Ugandans are being recruited to work for American contracting companies in Iraq -- 'security' contractors.

According to the Economist blurb, the Ugandans make $1000/mo working in Iraq for the US, which is ten times what they'd make at home. Which allows them to 'start businesses' in Uganda (that is certainly a possible scenario, so I withhold judgment).

Anyway, I didn't get the info for you because it turned out to be far larger, more confusing, and more time-consuming than I had time to ferret out. If I'd been more confident about my results, I've had sent something along to you. As it was, I just kept thinking... "Huh???!"

Add up the NYT article, with the Economist info about Ugandans... then add on a piece (in a prior Economist) about Columbians, Venezuelan's, etc also working for US 'security firms' in Iraq... it becomes more clear why at least some of our current 'contractors' are NOT civilian employees. They aren't U.S. citizens.

Surprise, surprise.