A top House Republican is planning to propose that Internet service providers be required to store information about their customers to aid police in criminal investigations, CNET has learned.
But a recent draft has one huge exception: wireless companies aren't included.
That appears to be the result of lobbying from wireless providers, which don't want to have to comply with any new governmental mandates. But the exemption has already drawn the ire of the U.S. Justice Department, which says it doesn't go far enough and is likely to attract strong opposition from cable and DSL providers that would be the ones singled out for regulation.
CTIA, the wireless trade association, declined to answer questions about its involvement in drafting the exception, saying through a spokesman only that "we are committed to working with the committee on the legislation."
The committee preparing the bill is the House Judiciary Committee, headed by Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who has previously expressed support for mandatory requirements governing the retention of user data. The bill will be part of a larger measure dealing with strengthening criminal sanctions against child pornography.
Elizabeth Warren has been one of the most sound voices during this financial crisis. Republicans and Democrats have both looked up to her analysis of the problems plaguing our economy and have touted her as one of the brightest minds when it comes to economics.
Tim Geithner – not so much.
So this story should come as no big shock to those that follow the soap opera filled world of economics:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has expressed opposition to the possible nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a source with knowledge of Geithner's views.
The financial reform bill passed by the Senate on Thursday mandates the creation of a new federal entity charged with protecting consumers from predatory lenders.
But if Geithner has his way, the most prominent advocate for creating the agency may not be picked to lead it.
The last thing we need is someone heading another economic unit of the federal government, who will fall into the “good ole’ boys club”. We need differing views and opinions, because that is the basis for the best ideas. To me that is an awesome reason to give Warren the job. Let the powers disagree and argue it out. Then we might start getting sound policy to turn this train wreck around.
Obama’s announcement yesterday of opening offshore drilling was met with strong opposition, and not just from the left, but even the right.
But what if there is something more sinister at work here? Chances are that Congress won’t go for the plan, so there really is no chance of it surviving without Republican support, yet Republicans are appearing to be more against the plan than Democrats.
Now flash forward to October. I can see the political ads now. We have views from the 2008 campaign trail, complete with chants of “drill baby drill” and then come back to present day showing Republicans opposing a plan to do just that. Talk about making the “party of NO” meme sticking.
Yes this could be a brilliant political move by Obama, but it is also a very risky one. Hopefully he is sacrificing some of his popularity to boost that of the Democrats. If they oppose the bill , then they will attract more of the base, while if Republicans oppose the bill, well that will be a big turn off for the “drill baby drill” crowd.
Make no mistake about it. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the GOP slowly implode since the 2008 elections. Sure they have had what appears to be little upticks, but overall they have been suffering a very slow and painful death. But there is a danger in all that and we are now seeing it.
Today Eric Cantor took to the television cameras to proclaim that the violence aimed at Democrats is the same thing he has been undergoing the past few days. In this instance he highlighted that someone shot out the windows of one of his campaign offices. As more details come out from the local police, we quickly learn that Cantor wasn’t telling the actual story. If this was deliberate or not is something to be debated at a later date, but what we do know is that the bullet that broke through Cantor’s window was a stray, randomly fired in the air and with just enough force to penetrate the window, but not the blinds behind the window.
Then you have John Boehner out there trying to weasel his way out of his “dead man” comment about Rep. Steve Driehaus (and to add a little more interest to that, I literally live on the boundary between Boehner’s district and Driehaus’).
This is the problem with today’s GOP – they have no leadership. Everyone is vying to be the defacto leader of the Republican Party, so they all go out and make their own absurd statements. Imagine if the GOP had a true leader that exhibited common sense. This would be a person that would say “let’s stand beside the Democratic leadership and jointly denounce this activity”. That would have a real impact, but instead we have various high level Republicans making statements that is only worsening the situation.
There has been a lot of focus on the Massachusetts Senate race to replace the late Ted Kennedy and some are trying to paint it as a repudiation of President Obama and health care reform. One of the key findings in the new PPP poll released last night was that those planning on voting oppose the health care bill 48% to 40%.
This morning on Morning Joe, Chris Matthews brought up a really interesting point about this. He said that maybe the people of Massachusetts feel like they are getting a double punch by health care reform. They already have their own reform in the state, which they pay for through taxes, so having a federal system to them would end up leaving them feeling they are paying for others. There really could be a lot of truth for this.
So is the opposition to health care and the reason Brown is doing so well in Massachusetts because they already have their own reform? I’m sure not all people of the state feel or believe this, but there is a really good chance that enough of them do to propel Brown ahead and maybe even deliver him to the Senate. If that’s the case it will be a crappy deal for the rest of America.
Well everything except for minor things like trying to pressure Joe Lieberman into it:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted once more that President Obama did everything he could to get a public option through the Senate, even if the administration never talked to Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) about his opposition to the provision.
On Tuesday, Gibbs reiterated that President Obama "absolutely" did everything he could to ensure that a government-run insurance option was part of the final legislative product. Pressed by the Huffington Post as to why no one from the administration ever reached out to Lieberman to alleviate his concerns about the proposal, the press secretary said he didn't want to "rehash" the past.
Just now on MSNBC, Eliot Spitzer said, “this isn’t health reform, it’s health expansion”. That is exactly right. Reform failed in Congress, but expansion is currently on its way to becoming law. And, as Spitzer says, expansion isn’t a bad thing, but stop trying to sell it as reform.
Of course the Democrats will never admit that. Their platform has been reform, and if they try to call it “expansion” then that gives the opposition fuel for one of their favorite claims – socialism. However there is a bad side to that. The Democrats trying to bill this as “reform” is putting off the base, the people who have fought for real health care reform all their lives. They are left with the feeling that this is it. Once this is done we won’t get anymore, and that’s a sediment that can very well be true as I have laid out over the past few days.
If Democrats had a problem getting the votes to pass the most progressive parts of the bill now, it sure won’t be easier later when their numbers aren’t as great. I certainly hope the people out there pushing the “fix it later” meme aren’t really expecting the Senate to see a 65 or 66 seat Democratic majority. We’ll cure cancer and most diseases before that happens.
An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D. Mich.) coordinated opposition to a Senate compromise on the place of abortion in health care legislation this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, the Conference Catholic Bishops, and other anti-abortion groups, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.
The emails show that Stupak — who has so far remained silent on language accepted by Senator Ben Nelson (D. Neb.) and faces intense pressure from the White House to accept it — is already working behind the scenes to oppose the compromise.
They also demonstrate a previously unseen degree of coordination between Stupak and the office of Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
This brings us to something that crossed my mind this morning – will this bill pass the house? A lot of progressives are going to be turned off by it as it is, then add into it the reduced abortion language from the Stupak amendment, which was needed to bring enough votes on for the House, and you are looking at a scenario where the House could end up voting down the final. I can’t wait for the whip count to start on that.
Senator Casey has been a vocal supporter of health care reform and voted for the HELP Committee bill in July. He supports the public option to increase competition and reduce costs. And he is offering amendments to improve health care for children. Senator Casey thinks that health care reform should not be used to change longstanding policies regarding federal financing of abortion which has been in place since 1976.
He continues to work with his colleagues in the Senate and with the White House to ensure that the Senate health care reform bill protects existing federal and state conscience protections, existing state abortion laws and contains strong language to prohibit federal funds from being used to fund abortions. He voted for amendments in the HELP Committee that would maintain neutrality on abortion. Until Senate bill language is released it is premature to discuss next steps.
Hopefully Casey has opened the door for other pro-life members of Congress to give opposition to the Stupak amendment.
Teabaggers are descending upon Capital Hill:
Thousands of Tea Party activists descended on Washington Thursday to protest the trillion dollar health care bill and government spending, holding signs protesting Barack Obama’s agenda while aiming chants of “you work for us” at the Capitol building. .
The gathering was organized by local Tea Party groups around the country, who are arriving in Washington this morning by the busload. Conservative leaders in Congress, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), have taken to the airwaves to encourage the activists to show up on the Capitol steps and demand meetings with members of Congress. The crowd grew to about 10,000 by noon. Bachmann has promised to lead some protesters to a press conference inside the Capitol to express their opposition to the health care bill in person to members of Congress.
It’s Thursday and the cal went out for this rally on Monday. Who are these people that can just pickup and head to some big protest in the middle of the week? Seriously. We have a major recession going on and unemployment is extremely high, meaning employees are more expendable. So how do these people just get to up and leave in the middle of the week and head to some protest? My guess are the retired and unemployed, and just think of that demographic – mostly a massive majority living off the government teet right now.
Adding..Why doesn’t anyone in the mainstream media ever ask this very basic question?
This is making a lot of news right now, so I got to ask this – are you shocked? Boehner didn’t hold a single townhall during August. Instead he chose to speak to a gathering of tea baggers. Yeah there is a lot of support there.
How about Boehner’s constituents contacting his office? Well I am one of his constituents and contacted his office numerous times in the past. What do I end up with? Talking points and asking to give to his reelection. This guy does absolutely nothing for the people of his district – NOTHING.
So no, it’s no shock what so ever that Boehner hasn’t met anyone. He is a coward that hides from opposition, even if it’s the very people he is supposed to represent.
That’s the news catching on like wildfire this morning – that President Obama has dropped his support for a public option in the healthcare bill. Like most on our side I was at first really upset over this, but instead of starting my screams of anguish, I sat here and thought about it.
When you start looking into the story you quickly realize that there is mixed messages going on. Kathleen Sebelius was the one who brought us the news of no public option yesterday, but Robert Gibbs basically denied it. Is the Obama White House this confused on message, or is it part of a bigger plan?
Democrats are losing the message war during the August recess. Townhalls are turning into shouting matches thanks to the right wing opponents of health care reform, and now the two big things they have complained about, a public option and end of life counseling, are rumored to be gone. That takes away their two biggest complaints, while the loss of these items should ignite our base.
Perhaps this is a way for the administration to regain control of the message war in August. We are at the halfway point of the recess, and now the White House can see what happens at the townhalls with these two items off the table. If they start seeing outrage from the left about it then they can come back in September and reinstate the options, citing a public outrage over the removal of them.
On top of that, if there is visible outrage from the President’s own party, that will be much more meaningful than opposition from a bunch of McCain/Palin supporters. That will also help to push the Blue Dogs over to our side that much more. After all once the recess is over they need to start their campaigns for the 2010 elections.
Yesterday a right wing extremist shoots and kills a doctor who provides abortions. Greg also reminds us that it wasn’t that long ago the right was in an uproar over a DHS report talking about right wing extremists:
One passage from the DHS report that provoked nonstop outrage said that right wing extremists “may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”
Some on the right read this passage and decided it was a reference to them. Top conservative blogger Michelle Malkin warned that it meant you’re being targeted by Obama’s big brother government “if you are a member of an active conservative group that opposes abortion” or if you are active on other issues.
This wasn’t a fringe interpretation of the report, by the way. RNC chair Michael Steele for instance, blasted the report for labeling peaceful dissenters on issues “as terrorists.” Other Republican members of Congress sounded similar tones.
Maybe we need to take another look at that report now.
Sadly though what they are recycling is old talking points:
RNC chair Michael Steele has unleashed a new attack on Obama, sending out a mass mailing attacking the President as part of the “blame America first” crowd, an apparent effort to prove to critics that he’s getting tougher with the opposition.
But this might be the most interesting part: The mailing links Obama’s claim that America has shown global “arrogance” with those infamous comments in Pennsylvania, charging that Obama “indicated disdain for small town and working Americans who ‘cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.’”
As it happens, Obama made those comments almost exactly a year ago.
When you have nothing then you must resort to trying the old tactics. Unfortunately for the GOP these tactics didn’t work for them on the first go around. Obama ended up winning Pennsylvania by an 11 point margin over McCain. Even with this so-called “mass insult”, the people of Pennsylvania still thought Obama was a better choice than their man.
So what does this say about Michael Steele and
his Rush Limbaugh’s party? That they have absolutely nothing to go on. They have no new idea, no new ways of thinking, and now they have no new attacks. Watching the slow death of the GOP is so painful, yet so entertaining.
I posted about it last night. It’s where Republican Eric Cantor tried to say that the Democrats voted to let AIG keep their bonuses. Well now that the actual bill is coming up today, the one that gets back the bonuses and prevents this from happening again, Cantor isn’t sure if he will support it or not.
Again – the Republicans think that these bonuses are fully justified. They are just acting outraged because the people are outraged. During this entire TARP fiasco, right from its onset last year, Republicans have continually blocked legislation to prevent these kind of bonuses. Perhaps people need to start asking the GOP about their opposition to such safeguards up until now.