Russ Feingold spent nine hours on the senate floor yesterday pleading for an opportunity to add an amendment to the Patriot Act, to no avail, which means that the right will try to cram the bill through without any real improvements. Feingold calls it, "a sham legislative process."
The conference report from two months ago was sternly objected to by many democrats. That is why it was given an extension. It was scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, but they let it continue until Feb 2. Then it got another reprieve. Now the version that the republicans are pushing through, at this moment insisting on a vote for cloture on debate, is virtually unchanged from the conference report, the one that had the dems in an uproar.
So what are the dems doing now? Well, with the exception of Russ Feingold, apparently very little. Feingold seems to be the main force against this very bad, civil rights destroying, Patriot Act. And the other democrats are sitting on their hands. This bill, as I said, is virtually unchanged. Oh, of course, the president agreed to some very wimpy changes to it, but nothing substantial, nothing that would take some of the nasty teeth out of this legislation so that we, the American public, do not have to worry about our public records being pilfered, about sneak and peak, about any number of unconstitutional attacks on our privacy.
We need to get some action going immediately, like we did with the Alito filibuster, or they are going to pass this absolutely horrible bill, and we are going to regret it. Nothing has changed as far as who to contact, just start calling the same senators as before. WE MUST let them hear from us. Poor Russ Feingold, bless him, has talked until he is hoarse. I know he cannot be the only democrat who cares about this, but he seems to be the only one visibly debating it.
Please, all you Vichy people, call your senators TODAY.
As I write, they are calling for cloture on changes to the Patriot Act Conference Report. PEOPLE, tune in to this issue. Let's go. It may alrady be too late.