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September 20, 2006


In the immortal words of Clancey Wiggum, Aw, crap.

Maybe this is just me, but how much of a defeat is it if the thing gets to the floor anyway?

Um, but the bill goes to the full House anyway? I'm no expert on Congressional manueverings/rules of order/Ouiji boards, but that sounds like a "make it sound like we voted against it before we vote for it" kind of thing.

Ugh: See Andrew's link. The Committee voted against it before they voted for it.

And I swear I saw neither Bruce's nor Andrew's comment before posting mine.

Andrew: Good lord. Wonder which Admin heavy leaned on the House Committee...

Words fail me. What selfish cowards they are.

I think it was getting to floor anyway through Armed Services.

So, putting the two stories together:

The House Judiciary Committee, in a surprise move, rejected the measure 20-17.

Embarrassed Republicans then summoned absent members, called for another vote, and approved it 20-19.

- at least one of the 20 opponents either buckled under pressure or was absent for the second vote. Do names get published?

More from AP:

The tug-of-war on the House Judiciary Committee was evidence of the difficulty Bush is having in lining up support for his terrorism-fighting proposals weeks before the November elections.

Democrats sat on the sidelines "watching the catfights" among Republicans on surveillance and detainee legislation, said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

He noted that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., was forced to postpone consideration of those bills this week and that senators are debating border security "because they have nothing else to do."

To win a largely symbolic endorsement of the White House's detainee proposal, committee Republicans performed a series of procedural gymnastics. After an initial vote resulted in a 20-17 count against the measure, GOP aides wrangled two absent members — Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois and Elton Gallegly of California — for four more votes to turn the rejection into an endorsement.

The proceedings confused some lawmakers as the chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., asked them to repeat their votes.

"I voted no, yes," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said at one point.

"I voted no, yes," Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said at one point.

That reminds me of an old song. Presumably that means Gohmert owned up to being the one who first voted against, then for?

'Confusion' seems to be the name of the game atm.

According to the previously linked AP article, the two Republican representitives who voted against the legistlation were Bob Inglis, R-S.C., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

(PS Yes, I'm humming the old New Order song.)

It's not a secret ballot, so there's no 'owning up' -- I'd heard after the first vote that Gohmert had voted against the Admin, and it looks like he changed his vote. I guess Nacogdoches is going to be getting something extra in the next federal budget . . .

He's a former judge, and ought to have stood up. Then again, he may have just voted to let the bill out of committee (and get Hadley off his back), and maybe he'll vote against it on the floor. Anyone with friends in Tyler TX ought to think about reminding them that they have a real shot at making a difference here.

Well, I think this does settle one question: whether the disagreement between Bush and the leadership on the one hand, and Warner, McCain, Graham et al on the other, was real or apparent. I thought real, as I said somewhere, but I took pretty seriously the fact that Digby disagreed. -- But this is too obviously a meltdown of some sort to be "kabuki". I mean: they'd have to be working off a script in which not only do people get to boldly distance themselves from Bush, but in addition lots of them look like idiots (e.g., the leadership, which is rather obviously not in control of its members.) And no politician wants to look like an idiot.

Maybe some are doing kabuki while others are melting down. The question is how many are in each category.

Finally, the NYT notices the habeas-stripping provisions of both detainee bills:

"Although the effort has been partly obscured by the highly publicized wrangling over military commissions for war crimes trials, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress are trying to use the same legislation to strip federal courts of their authority to review the detentions of almost all terrorism suspects.

Both the legislation introduced on behalf of the administration and the competing bill sponsored by a group of largely Republican opponents in the Senate include a provision that would bar foreigners held abroad from using the federal trial courts for challenges to detention known as habeas corpus lawsuits. If the provision was enacted, it would mean that all of the lawsuits brought in federal court by about 430 detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would be wiped from the books."

And it answers a question I've had, about the vote on Meehan's amendment to remove that part of the bill:

"On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee rejected an effort by opponents to strike that provision from the House bill by a party-line vote, with all 15 Republicans present voting to leave it in and all 12 Democrats voting against it. Then, after some initial difficulty in getting approval for the bill, the committee passed it on to the full House."

Just in case anyone needs any more reasons to support Democrats.

the bill eliminates HABEUS CORPUS...as do ALL versions of the torture legislation, even those proposed by the "three gop rebels"

the elimination of habeus corpus renders IRRELEVANT the issue of what kind of torture American should allow its government to perform on people.


Because if you have no right to be produced in court, you can simply be DISAPPEARED...BLACK BAGGED, DEEP SIXED. Without the right of HABEUS CORPUS, you have NO RIGHTS AT ALL.

Therefore, even assuming torture is absolutely prohibited, who the fuck would ever know once you have been taken into custody, what is being done to you.


ALL OF THIS "debate" is a fucking dog and pony show.

Soon no one on EARTH will be safe or have any rights at all. BUSH wants to rule the world. Any doubts that Bush is the anti-christ?

I have none whatsoever, it is clear as day. American chrisitians have lost their fucking minds, abandoned EVERY principal Jesus Christ stood for and we now stand on the brink of transforming this once-democratically ruled Republic into a medieval torture chamber run by religio-fascists and usurpers.

The democrats exist SOLELY to split the progressive vote and keep progressives out of power. This is why they DO NOTHING whatsoever.

The November election will be stolen by DIEBOLD once again, returning the highly suspicious 50.0000001% in favor of GOP candidates. When that happens, the Democrats will again DO NOTHING AT ALL....but that is their job.


the future of the entire PLANET depends on it because these people plan to start a nuclear war.

Y'know, it's generally regarded that people who break out into all-CAPS are NUTCASES.

And of course people who violate posting rules are...people with short attention spans.

Of course we could break out the rant-to-english translation booklet...

To clarify the above, marblex: use of the f-bomb is strictly prohibited. You should know better, and probably do.

Gary: Oh REALLY?

Breaking -- Deal between President and McCain reached?

Well, I thought marblex made a wonderful, if illegal, rant and there might be some exception handling provisos to enable similar future spectacular enhancements to these threads that afterall do need occasional exercises of somewhat less spectacular enforcements.
Maybe something like: Ok, marblex that was a Homer alright. And strike one.

I wonder if anyone can come up with an autobleeper plugin?

I'm all about the form, you know.

Side note to Slarti:

As David Luban points out, this bill marks a definitive rejection by the US of the validity of international law. You've always been skeptical of the idea and mildly derisive toward those so naive or utopian as to find it an ideal worth pursuing. I hope that the new era is much more to your liking. For myself, I miss the idealism, and suspect its absence will usher in a new era of thoroughly bad stuff that didn't need to happen. But I certainly hope that your scorn for it will be vindicated.

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