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October 31, 2007

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Just how many times is Harman going to allow herself to be completely rolled by Hoekstra before she gets it through her thick head that Pete Hoekstra is not to be trusted and a danger to the United States Constitution?

Dear Jane,

Since now I know you're reading... If you want to work with Republicans to cobble together a majority to put impeachment back on the table, well that's the kind of bipartisanship I can get behind. Otherwise dear, save your breath, 'cause your kind of bipartisanship is destroying the country I love.

Thanks,
phred

At least we know that Harmon and her office can use the word 'rubbish.' If only she refrained from emailing protest letters to dkos and thenexthurrah she would have the time to lob that word 'rubbish' at the Republicans in the Congress and the White House.

As mentioned on dkos, Harmon fails to mention that sunset provisions return us to pre 9/11 FISA law--veto proof majority be damned. What is Harmon up to?

I look forward reading Jane Harmon's clarification here on thenexthurrah. I'm pleased to know her staff reads blogs that discuss issues we care about and responds.

EW, thanks for the live blog you did on the hearing over at FDL earlier today. I was surprised at how short the second part was, it seemed a rather abrupt end. Any idea why? Other hearings? Votes?

One other thing, I find it telling that all she is trying to achieve is to bring the spying in line with the Constitution. At no point does she even mention the question of immunity, whether for telcos or government officials who approved the illegal spying.

So, yes Jane, I DO have a better idea. Let PAA lapse and let the legal chips fall where they may. Let Bush veto every single piece of legislation that crosses his desk if that's what it takes for Congress to uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law. Let Bush hold his breath, stamp his feet, turn blue, if necessary. Pass legislation banning the use of signing statements. And once you have all seen that Bush would rather derail government than play nicely with the other two branches, then maybe you will see that your time would be better spent on impeachment. After that we can begin the rebuilding of the government after the manmade (not at all natural) disaster of Bush.

I e-mailed her withmy response to her post.
It was pretty much:
'veto-proof majority' - no (it isn't part of Congress's job).
'support and defend Constitution' - yes (she swore that oath, and hasn't been released from it).
Otherwise, she should get out of the way.

(This is the opinion of a senior member of the House? We really are in trouble.)

slightly OT for the Harman angle, but very pertinent for wiretapping: I saw Elden Rosenthal (one of Brandon Mayfield's lawyers, in his case challenging the lack of probable cause in PATRIOT act searches) speak at the University of Oregon law school last night. He said that the PATRIOT act amendments to FISA are the most egregious example of the federal government violating individual people's rights that he has seen during his lifetime, and that the changes to FISA attempt to turn back the clock of American law to a time before 1791, when the Bill of Rights did not yet exist.

People in the audience were in tears afterwards- they were so moved by his willingness to come out and say in public what so many of us have been thinking in private over the past six years.

So maybe this is on topic after all- Representative Harman, perhaps you should try Mr. Rosenthal's technique. Call the so-called PATRIOT act what it is- an abominable and intolerable offense against our Constitution. Clearly disavow any support for illegal searches and illegal wiretaps, and agree that those who violate the most sacred privacy rights of American citizens deserve no shelter from civil and criminal punishment for their wrongdoing.

The question of retroactive immunity has already been considered and decided. It was decided over 200 years ago, when the Framers of our Constitution wrote that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

It is your solemn duty as a Representative to uphold that decision- your oath of office requires it. You violated that duty when you voted for the PATRIOT act, first in 2001, and then you violated it again when you voted for PATRIOT reauthorization in 2005.

It is not too late for you to correct the grevious injury you have helped to inflict on the Constitution. But in order to redress the wrongs that have been done, we must put a stop to efforts to destroy evidence and deny that any injury has occured. Your Constitutional duty here is clear- your oath of office requires you to reject any efforts to grant civil or criminal immunity to any person or company seeking absolution for their illegal violations of the 4th Amendment, and you must support any efforts to bring violators to justice.

I know very little about Ms. Harman, but whenever unauthorized back channel communications take place, it is usually to buy favor of some kind or make onesself look good to get something in return. In other words, Ms. Harman must be a "wannabe" of some kind -- does she "wannabe" a Republican maybe?

In response to her statement and question, "That's why I'm working with Republicans. Got a better idea?," yes I do. Actually, there are several:
1) Stop it because you apparently are doing nothing but causing problems
2) Read Phred's comment @16:01
3) If you think the fact that you were cited in the WaPo article is "rubbish," just know that there is no negotiation on Constitutional matters -- and that is what you are doing. The Constitution is not a bi-partisan document, so who are you to try to negotiate it or weaken it?

EW, slightly OT, but in her questions today, DiFi mentioned in passing a letter signed by Ashcroft, Comey, Philbin, and Goldsmith that I've never heard of before -- as you live-blogged it:

With my belief that Admin proceeded illegally, I’m aware that Exec assured companies, those assurances may have been wrong. These were the assurances that the companies were given. I understand tenor within the country. Letter dated October 29, signed by Ashcroft, Comey, Philbin, and Goldsmith makes this comment.

October 29 of what year? Do you know what this letter is, or what occasioned it?

"What rubbish!" is just throat clearing; her way of demanding attention and announcing that she's special, while denouncing critics for whatever-they-said. Hence the cut and paste.

And I'm with Phred. Nicely stated.

BTW, outstanding liveblogging today, Marcy. Informative, a little snarky, and perfect spelling. A+

skdadl

That's a letter they sent on Monday, I presume. I'm sure it'll show up at SJC shortly, or TPMM, or maybe I'll try to get it. But it was introduced into the congressional record, so it's public now.

Ms. Harman's definition of "bipartisan" is the same as Kneepads Lieberman's and Dick Cheney's: abject submission. This administration has long shown that it regards negotiated concessions as contemptible, not as the oil in the political gearworks. To coin a phrase, there is no there there, no one with whom to negotiate, no one in authority who will make promises, much less keep them.

Whatever Harman is negotiating for in exchange for her stamp of approval, it is not a better statute, better oversight, or more and fuller cooperation. It is Ms. Harman seeking an exchange of "something good" for her, not for her constituents.

Judas Harman (D-Ca) Stealth GOP member of the Gang of 8 Constitutional Thieves who stole America at Bush's bidding.

Anyone remember the movie Stalag 17? Peter Graves plays a downed American flyer POW (Price) who says all the right things to his fellow prisoners - but he's really a snitch for the Guards.

Rep. Harman - YOU sold US out, and then hid your participation with Bush from US. I guess there will be no Prison Break from BushCo's illegality as long as you're around, huh?

Not on your 'watch'.

What did you get that was better than protecting our Freedom?

What was your Price, Jane?


Last year following the election when Rep.Harman was returned to her office for a repeat term there was a widely attended conference attended by 400 lawyers in Washington DC. Friday December 1 Rep.Harman delivered the luncheon keynote. I find miscellaneous papers in the ABA website and some blog comments on the web but have yet to locate a transcript of her remarks at that lengthy presentation. It was a proximate turning point, following Hamdan but still in the thick of the "modernization" of FISA effort, the latter a theme reportedly central to her talk at that event. As for the electoral challenges and the compartmentalization of communications between WhiteHouse and G8, I think several individuals who were part of that process in the 109th congress have alluded to some measure of willingness to contribute to a congressional effort to improve that channel; indeed the current leadership in both chambers in the 110th congress have attempted to broaden and deepen participation in those conduits of information. It is perhaps too easy to interpose telco politics from Republicans' and Democrats' perspectives into the issue of G8 access to contemporary information to provide checks and balances. As for the opening remark about a $1000. penalty for litter, such are the vagaries of the blogosphur; but the diary ew wrote seems a fair alternative view of what has become a peekaboo effort to keep congress out of the thick of executive governance, a dilution of democratic processes which likely could stand some fresh air even if emanating from rubbosh, ahem.

This is not just about Protecting US telecoms. Israeli based telecoms companies Comverse Insofys and Amdocs and just who else had access to the wiretapping and data mining is the question. They do not want the American people to know that the wiretapping and datamining program may have been compromised and infiltrated by other countries.

What do you expect? When you call a liar on something they alway sputter. In this case they've got her and a number of senior dems by the proverbial short ones. As I am always saying the TSP program with only english speaking ( not Arabic ) speaking monitors implies only domestic political spying and blackmail ( the MATH )

bille

H.R. 1955... need i say more...?

Dear Jane Harman -

Hoekstra?? Really?? Have you been missing his sarcastic, sexist leadership of the Intelligence Committee that much?

For what it's worth, I think your presence, knowledge, and hard-won experience is probably badly missed right about now on the House Intelligence Committee, given the paucity of competency on that committee on the Democratic side, especially among the most senior members. But come on: Rush Holt and John Tierney seem to have this issue absolutely nailed - that's who you should be working 'back channels' for and with - to convince your own leadership for a start, to get the Holt bill a fair hearing in committee and on the floor. [Holt bravely pointed out that Pelosi et al won't even allow him to speak to the issue on the House floor - what kind of "democracy" is that?!] What's with the blind allegiance to the RESTORE Act? That bill already contains a gross compromise of Fourth Amendment protections, yet the Democrats are ready to give even more ground beyond that, for the sake of "bipartisanship"?

Question: Where's the "bipartisan" cooperation and compromise from and by the federal Republican Party on any issue, never mind FISA, that accommodated Democratic concerns, at the expense of the Republican agenda (or at least accommodated the concerns of the American people, since I have no idea if there are any actual principled concerns held by the Congressional Democratic leadership beyond taking over the Executive Branch of government next year, for their own private reasons)? Why is this a one-way street, of Democratic capitulation gussied up in the fancy dress of "bipartisanship"? Are you really saying that only Republicans (and the President) know how to responsibly exercise and deploy our Armed Forces and spying assets, and it is the subservient "job" of Democrats (and Congress) to defer to their wisdom in that (gigantic) arena, at all times?? That seems to be the effect of the actions of today's Congressional Democrats, who passionately keep only issues of the minimum age and "children" for themselves (while passing lots of spending bills without forcing Bush to fund the expenditures), to the exclusion of all else, despite empty rhetoric to the contrary.

I'm really concerned that Congress is not having an open, public discussion and debate [or even a private debate that is publicly summarized] about the 'program warrant' provision of the new FISA legislation, which would enable link analysis data compilation, such as has been publicly reported, and confirmed (in effect) by the House Judiciary Committee's RESTORE report (Page 16, Footnote 27). Does such 'link analysis' and its sophisticated software 'surfing' not represent an obvious Fourth Amendment violation? If not, how has Congress satisfied itself that it is not such a violation (see Whitehouse, see Harman, see Feinstein, see Conyers, see Reyes, see Pelosi, etc.) - because on its face, the language of these bills does not seem to preclude wholesale spying on innocent Americans in America by our $40+ BILLION dollar a year, largely privatized, federal spying apparatus.

There is, and will be, no substitute for forceful opposition to the tyrants in the White House, Rep. Harman, much as Nancy Pelosi may "pray" that there will be a way to avoid such 'unseemliness' and the resultant ugly peer pressure from Republicans. None. Someone has to get their hands dirty to put the brakes on the runaway Executive Branch train, because it will not self-correct on its own. That's reality, that's fact, that's the bitter fruit of experience. The longer the Democrats (i.e., Members of Congress) delay and postpone the inevitable, the harder their task will be, and the more destruction will be done and lives will be lost, as a result of their dithering and self-delusion. I heard Nancy Pelosi reading her lines today, playing her role, on the House floor, immaculately fitted out, but with zero conviction behind her scripted words. The time for play-acting is over - if she hasn't got it in her, there are hundreds of other souls under her 'command' and at least one of them is ready to step up to the plate to deliver for the American people and our Constitution. Pelosi must be convinced to unleash her caucus, or else she must be worked around, in any way possible. That's my "better idea" for a Constitutional way to enhance the well-being of this nation and its people.

How much telco $$ does she get compared to Jello Jay??

i hate to short circuit all this fine analysis -

actually, i'm delighted to short-circuit it.

look at jane harmon's face;look at the woman's picture.

she isn't all there.

i don't know what her problem is, but she does not have a composed, thoughtful face.

of the following, i'm not so sure,

but i am beginning to feel that many members of our congress simply aren't all there.

domenici, feinstein, cunnignham, and rockefeller come to mind immediately.

as does rep jane harmon.

by putting cunningham in the group, i am NOT implying the others are similarly corrupt.

what i am saying is that cunnigham went off off the deep end, presumably from dementia and/or alcoholism, and then became prey.

harmon's appearance suggests to me she might be in a similar category.

i think the solution to this "problem" of democrats and republicans who make repeated bad judgments about what is in the nation's best interest,

is to work assiduously to replace them.

give jane harmon a medal or a pension.

but first,

give her a competent primary opponent.

my overall view is becoming, increasingly strongly,

that we have a morally and politically worn-out congress - democrats as well as republican.

those sitting now,

and i except the likes of arthur davis, hank johnson, sheldon whitehouse, jim webb,

and fellow-travelers displaying like moral and political energy.

lest anyone imagine that age is the key factor here, rather than political and moral intelligence,

i exempt

that very old man

who speaks with the simplicity, directness, and eloquence that exemplifies the best of american political rhetoric

sen robert byrd.

for the most of the senate and the house, however, democrats as well as republicans,

i think they have simply spent way too many years together in the cafeteria and the gym - in short, way too much time with each other.

these long established friendships can be carried on in retirement.

the sooner,

the better for the nation.

FWIW, phred @16:01, you beat me to it.

But here's my edit of the email, FWIW:

What rubbish! For those like me who insist that the a President’s domestic surveillance program must comply fully with the Constitution and the 4th Amendment...

Harmon needs to stop talking about 'THE' president; it's not simply about GW Bush.
Mistaking 'the presidency' for G.W. Bush is extremely erroneous.
It also makes GW Bush think that 'it's all about him'. It's not.

However, significantly, this is precisely the error that I've watched the Republians make repeatedly. For Hoekstra, and the Republicans, it's clearly about 'THE' president; meaning, 'this particular corporate shill named GW Bush.'

The Republicans always fool themselves by confusing their own personal loyalties and relationships with Constitutional powers. (See also: Siegelman, Donald; fired USAGs, etc.)

Harmon should point out THEIR error.
Then, she should stop repeating it.

EW.
I think she may be under the impression we are a sock puppet. At least we know someone she works for reads the blogs and can recognize a bullseye when they see one.

correct "who works for her"

Ms Harmon asks if anyone has a better idea. so since she is posting the same comments on here as on DK I am going to suggest the same BETTER IDEA here that I suggested there...PUT IMPEACHMENT BACK ON THE DAMN TABLE and USE IT!

Marcy, since your work is so widely read and appreciated, and since it's picked up at many other sites, please consider correcting the grammatical error in this post:

"...sending the same response to both drational and I..."

...sending the...response to...I...

Thank you for your deep thinking otherwise.

treep

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