** update...August 13 -- almost a week later and still no response to an email I sent to Sen. Feinstein's office. Shameful. I did get an unsolicited email fron Sen. Boxer about her sponsoring of legislation to prevent illegal spyware downloads. I'd like to know from Sen. Boxer how she could let her colleague vote for a bill with more pernicious spying capabilities than any software.
I can't begin to describe how disappointed I am in Democrats on Capitol Hill for capitulating to the fear-mongering and pressure from the Bush administration and passing a truly excereble piece of legislation, the update of FISA legislation. Twelve Senate Democrats, including one of my Senators, Dianne Feinstein, voted for it. Shame on you. Forty-one House Democrats voted for it (thankfully NOT my Rep. Nancy Pelosi). Shame on the 41 of you. Glenn Greenwald does his usualy masterful job of explaining why this is bad, so I won't rehash. Suffice to say that the party has control of Congress and thus the upper-hand in crafting legislation that would safeguard civil liberties without weakening security. All they had to do was pass that legislation and either let the GOP filibuster it or let Bush veto it and turn the "weak on national security" argument against them. As is the Dems now get painted as weaklings who bowed to pressure when things got heavy. It's like they forgot that they *won* in the fall precisely because people are fed up with current GOP policy in just about everything.
The legislation sunsets in 6 months. One can only hope that Congressional Democrats will grow a spine between now and then.