Saturday, May 12, 2007

Intelligence Authorization Act and Schiff Amendment

Someone in the comments pointed this out... I had missed it, but it's interesting.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted on HR 2082, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. Here's the bill description:
To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
It passed, 225 to 197.

As is often the case, Tim Walberg voted No. But that's not the interesting part.

Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, offered an amendment yesterday.
An amendment numbered 10 printed in House Report 110-144 to state that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) shall be the exclusive means by which domestic electronic surveillance for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information may be conducted, and makes clear that this applies until specific statutory authorization for electronic surveillance, other than as an amendment to FISA, is enacted.
In other words, no more warrantless wiretapping by the Bush Administration. For those that have forgotten, President Bush has asserted in the past that the FISA court, which allows the government to secretly conduct domestic surveillance with only a handful of people knowing, was too slow. Instead, the president felt that he was justified in ordering the wiretapping of anyone, anywhere, at any time without a warrant from any court, and without any oversight. We were supposed to trust that he'd only watch the terrorists, of course.

That's my biased explanation, and some out there might disagree with how I characterized the warrantless wiretapping program. But-- here's the thing that has me shocked and amazed-- it looks like Congressman Tim Walberg, for once, agrees with me.

Tim Walberg voted Yes on the Schiff Amendment. A total of 23 Republicans joined 222 Democrats to pass the amendment, 245 to 178. In addition to Congressman Walberg, Michigan Republicans Vern Ehlers (MI-03) and Fred Upton (MI-06) voted to support the amendment.

Although I still think Congressman Walberg should be voted out of office, this was a very pleasant surprise this morning. Thank you, Congressman, for asserting that the executive branch does not have unlimited powers, and that even the president must follow the law.

Now, as long as you're voting like Russ Feingold, there are some other issues on which I'd love to see you embrace the liberal position.

Tim Walberg and Russ Feingold. Heh. I never thought I'd type that.

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He also voted yes on another amendment to that same bill (roll call vote 337). That amendment, proposed by Hoekstra, would have removed a requirement for the governement to compile a national intelligence estimate on global climate change.
Bravo Mr. Walberg, he's showing a lot more bi-partisanship then I ever thought... Great lakes, alternative fuels, that Liberian bill with Kennedy, standing up to the Bush administration on No Child Left Behind and now defending civil liberties... I have to say I'm starting to change my opinion on Mr. Walberg, he seems to be a principled conservative instead of just towing the Bush's line... I'm still waiting to see how the year develops, but I'm just saying he's NOT what I expected at all...
If a Walberg staffer is going to blog here, he might want try to make it a little less obvious. But that's about what I would expect from the "Jesus Campers."
It's interesting that his staff is so eager to portray Walberg as a moderate on low-profile issues. Seems they see the country has changed but it smacks of hypocrisy... Will Club for Growth be starting
It's interesting that his staff is so eager to portray Walberg as a moderate on low-profile issues. Seems they see the country has changed but it smacks of hypocrisy... Will Club for Growth be starting

Heh. I dunno, I kind of have the urge to start that website myself, now. It might be kind of fun to see what his reaction would be.

Of course, then the danger becomes a primary challenger even further to the right... if that's even possible.
Just received in an email. (I trust this person's info.)

Levin Folding Like a Lawn Chair.

A friend of mine was sitting at a coffee place for mother’s day in DC when loe and behold, Jim McGovern saw her (it was the color pink that drew his attention).

At any rate, this is the important ‘intell’ she relayed to me.

Her news via Rep. McGovern was that Russ Feingold called him personally to thank him for his efforts that placed the bill to end the Iraq Occupation in the House last week. This bill did so much better than anyone expected with 171 votes in favor of Peace. Furthermore, Russ Feingold told him that it helped the cause quite a bit! But he also told Rep. McGovern that “Carl Levin is close to folding” on ending the occupation.

My friend and I think that Carl Levin needs our input before he makes the wrong decision to stick with Bush and the wrong policies in Iraq. So we need to make lots of calls and send thousands of faxes to Levin’s office. Heck… if you want to camp out on his doorstep and really bring it home to him, or camp out in front of the media, then do this too. We can not allow Levin to fold!

According to McGovern, “The tide is turning.”

Let’s make sure that we are pushing the tide the direction we want it to continue to go.

Please help with this action alert!

Contact info:


202-224- 6221

Fax 202-224-1388

Here are his offices where you can call, fax, or camp out!

Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building
477 Michigan Avenue
Suite 1860
Detroit, MI 48226-2576
Phone (313) 226-6020
Fax (313) 226-6948
TTY (800) 851-0030
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map > TRAVERSE CITY
107 Cass Street
Suite E
Traverse City, MI 49684-2602
Phone (231) 947-9569
Fax (231) 947-9518
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map >
524 Ludington Street
Suite LL-103
Escanaba, MI 49829-3949
Phone (906) 789-0052
Fax (906) 789-0015
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map > SAGINAW
515 N. Washington Avenue
Suite 402
Saginaw, MI 48607-1370
Phone (989) 754-2494
Fax (989) 754-2920
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map >
Gerald R. Ford Federal Building
110 Michigan Street, NW
Suite 720
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2313
Phone (616) 456-2531
Fax (616) 456-5147
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map > WARREN
30500 Van Dyke Avenue
Suite 206
Warren, MI 48093-2109
Phone (586) 573-9145
Fax (586) 573-8260
9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
location map >
124 W. Allegan Street
Suite 1810
Lansing, MI 48933-1716
Phone (517) 377-1508
Fax (517) 377-1506

~~~Well, we know if Levin is the lawn chair then Walberg is the @$$ sitting in the lawn chair and will do nothing. So please take action on this!
I don't see how this is a surprise Congressman Walberg is known to be a civil libertarian. This seems to go to his strict constructionist stance, not just a rubber stamp...
Strict constructionist my foot...

Where in the strict sense of our constitution are the rights of a zygote?

And, how can Walberg throw out the separation of church and state?

He also uses his silly aregument of convenience when he claims the department of education is unconstitutional.

He holds extreme beliefs. Sometimes they allow him to vote and appear mainstream, but never forget where he is coming from and never fail to question his personal ambition and socially opressive motives.
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