I. Repression

From a friend:

This Washington Post article just goes to show any reasonable person that by using a police state to create a climate of fear, Bush effectively silences dissent in the short term to promote his reactionary Christo-Fascist agenda. Are you willing to get arrested, ruin your career, be humiliated? Remember this: 19 of the 56 signers of our Declaration of Independence lost everything so we could oppose any future tyrant. Now is the time to fight the confirmation of Alito – If he’s on the court, free citizens may lose our day in court to peacefully oppose the lunatic living in the White House.

Suit Turns D.C. Arrests Into Free Speech Victory

By Paul Schwartzman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 26, 2005; B01

Joe Mayer attended the demonstration downtown that morning in 2002 to protest what was then a brewing conflict in Iraq. He also went to ensure that his daughter Alexis did not get arrested and potentially harm her fledgling career as a lawyer.

What transpired was what the retired Army colonel most feared: He and his daughter were among a mass of protesters arrested, handcuffed and detained for as long as 36 hours, an ordeal that included hours confined on a bus and many more hours on floor mats at the Police Academy before they were released.

“It was frightening, the police charging at you in their riot gear for no apparent reason,” said Mayer, 71, recalling yesterday the clash at Pershing Park. “I’m thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ “

Read more.

II. Surveillance

White House Dismissed ’02 Surveillance Proposal

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 26, 2006; A04

The Bush administration rejected a 2002 Senate proposal that would have made it easier for FBI agents to obtain surveillance warrants in terrorism cases, concluding that the system was working well and that it would likely be unconstitutional to lower the legal standard.

The proposed legislation by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) would have allowed the FBI to obtain surveillance warrants for non-U.S. citizens if they had a “reasonable suspicion” they were connected to terrorism — a lower standard than the “probable cause” requirement in the statute that governs the warrants.

The administration has contended that it launched a secret program of warrantless domestic eavesdropping by the National Security Agency in part because of the time it takes to obtain such secret warrants from federal judges under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Read more.

III. Two editorials: Buzzflash and the Times agree!

This Isn’t A “Vote Of Conscience” Concerning A Filibuster; It’s A Vote To Save Democracy. And If Reid Can’t Cajole And Bluster 41 Democrats Into Saving Democracy, He Should Resign His Position.

Read this vital BuzzFlash Editorial at:

Senators in Need of a Spine

Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation’s basic philosophy of government – and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.

Read more.



Harry Reid met with progressive lobbyists on Tuesday and told them he has nearly 44 votes against Alito, but there are 8 Democratic Senators who will not support a filibuster.

Only 41 votes are needed for a filibuster. If Reid has nearly 44 votes against Alito, every one of those Senators should support a filibuster or their vote against Alito is meaningless.

So call the Democrats who are leading this battle and demand a united Democratic filibuster:
Harry Reid (NV)
Dick Durbin (IL)
Chuch Schumer (NY)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Pat Leahy (VT)

Use these toll free numbers to call the Capitol: 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641. If you can’t get through, look up the Senator’s District Office number in your phone book or here:

Reid would not name the “Alito 8” who are blocking a Democratic filibuster – so we need to identify them and tell them not to betray the Democrats who funded them and voted for them.

The most likely suspects are the “Red State” Democrats:
Tom Carper (DE)
Kent Conrad (ND)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Mark Pryor (AR)

Also call these “Blue State” and pro-choice Republicans:
Lincoln Chafee (RI)
Susan Collins (ME)
Lisa Murkowsky (AK)
Bob Smith (OR)
Olympia Snowe (ME)
Ted Stevens (AK)

For extra credit, call all the 2008 Presidential candidates who are sitting Senators – Evan Bayh, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Russ Feingold, and John Kerry – and tell them to either LEAD THE FILIBUSTER or FORGET ABOUT YOUR SUPPORT.

You can also send that message to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (202-224-2447) and the Democratic National Committee (202-863-8000).

Share what you learn with Democrats.com members here:

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