What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Where to Start...

As I said in my last post, I'm not really sure where to start, so I guess I'll start where I left off two weeks ago on Thursday.

Feingold and Sensenbrenner had a showdown...

Round 1: Sensenbrenner won round one with a solid attempt to pass the PATRIOT Act in the House with ridiculous and outrageous changes that made the bill as Unconstitutional as possible.

Round 2: The changes then went to the Senate where my guy, Roudy Russ rallied a Bi-Partisan group of Senators to filibuster it (I did get a kick out of watching some of the filibuster live in the back yard of a relatives house that Friday afternoon, although the mosquitoes ate me alive!). One Republican Senator particularly got my funny bone when he started reading NCAA football scores and touting his favorite teams :). The Senate filibuster had Frist running back & forth between a stubborn White House and a powerful group of Senators. Senators win and send an agreement back to the House of Reps to extend the PATROIT Act for six months AS IS...

Round 3: Sensenbrenner in the House was having none of that, and after having to return from a vacation taken too soon, he finally agrees to extend AS IS for about 6 weeks (about a week or so after they return from a vacation that was extended in the hopes of getting Delay out of trouble before they have to vote on a new leader for 2006...don't we all wish we could extend our vacations by a month on a whim?).

Results: The PATRIOT Act is extended AS IS for a very short period of time. This was no loss for the Democrats who rallied like they haven't done in years to stop the neighborhood bully GW from rewriting the rules forever. It WAS a big loss for the Republicans who lost several members of their party to the filibuster, were not able to get the measure passed with the horrible changes they wanted, and now have to refight the battle now with President Bush looking impeachment straight in the face for spying on Americans (more on that in the next post).
Note the "AS IS" is important here. As it stands, it is bad legislation, the changes would have made it worse and the fact that the changes were soundly rejected is extremely significant and not to be taken lightly. This in itself is a huge loss for the White House and Republican leadership. In addition, they cannot even get consensus anymore on making the original 16 provisions permanent. Not only have the changes been stopped, it is becoming clear that they now will have to justify the original act before any more bad stuff will even be considered.
Congratulations to all of you who wrote, called and emailed your Congressional officials! Your voices and concerens were hear loud and clear. It's not over yet though...

The more noise the public makes in the next few weeks, the better chance we have for real victory in getting the horribly mistitled PATRIOT Act to comply with the Constitution.

Final in the first bout is:
Sensenbrenner: 1 & 1/2 - Feingold: 2 (for stopping the fast track idea and making clear the changes were not going to fly on either side of the aisle)

Hang on to your seats folks, the next bout in January 2006 is going to be a doozy....

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