May 12, 2006

WA Dems: What Have You Done For Me Lately?

72 Democratic congresscritters filed an amicus brief on the NSA spying scandal along with Rep. John Conyers regarding two cases that have been brought over this massive and illegal invasion of privacy. Among them, Washington's own Jay Inslee and Brian Baird. Inslee is also a cosponsor of a House bill that supports net neutrality by forbidding ISPs from charging websites for visitor access or blocking competing content.

Rep. Jim McDermott got an amendment added and passed in a recent House bill that will study the effects of depleted uranium on U.S. soldiers and their families.

Rep. Adam Smith has urged fellow members of congress to take measures to protect the nation's ports with better inspection protocols and additional funding for the Coast Guard and Customs to carry out their jobs. All our state's Democratic representatives joined in voting for a Republican-defeated bill that would have mandated electronic screening of containers being shipped to the U.S., as well as stricter ethics and lobbying laws to apply to members of Congress and in favor of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into price gouging by petrochemical companies.

Sen. Maria Cantwell has come out against the NSA wiretapping program, put the force of her encouragement behind a proposal to build the country's largest biodiesel plant in Grays Harbor and recently tussled with Rick Santorum over gas prices.

Sen. Patty Murray joined Senators Reid and Clinton in demanding that contraceptives coverage be protected against proposed changes to federal law that would void state rules mandating equal protection for contraception and family planning services by insurers.

Both of our senators have come out in opposition to Sen. Enzi's bill that would strip consumer protections from patients and voted against the sixth tax cut for the wealthy in six years, though the wider Senate does not share their sensibilities and voted to screw us.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon isn't one of ours, obviously, but he's introduced a Senate bill to safeguard internet neutrality and it currently lacks cosponsors. So perhaps we should gently urge our state's senators to add their names and tell the country that the Northwest loves us some internet access; it shouldn't be a hard sell.

Posted by natasha at May 12, 2006 05:12 AM | WA Politics | Technorati links |

Please do. It's definitely a bill that needs a co-sponsor.

Posted by: wet pants at May 12, 2006 11:05 AM

So Maria finally came out against the Bush criminality of spying on Americans. Where was she 6 months ago when the James Risen story first broke in the NYT? She was nowhere to be found, and when it comes to the Constitution, that's generally where you will find her - nowhere. Iraq War Vote? Unconstitutional. It's the resposibility of Congress to declare war, not to give to give that authority away to the president. Patriot Act? Total infringement of our rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th and 8th ammendments. And she voted for it twice. I think Maria needs to reread the document she swore an oath to uphold in January 2001.

So now, after the entire WA State Democratic delegation and the majority of American citizens are crying foul on the Bush thugs, Maria finally comes out in favor of our Bill Of Rights. Too little too late, I say. She values one thing only - keeping her Senate seat warm. And she can do it without my $ contribution and without my vote. I hear nasty things about the way her campaign staff operates. It will all come back to bite her in the ass.

And you forgot to include Jim McDermott's name on the list of WA State Dems who signed the resolution (with 71 other signatories) questioning Bush's right to use the NSA against us. Quite an omission, I'd say.

Posted by: Michele Horwitz at May 14, 2006 12:44 PM

Doesn't it occur to anyone that the net neutrality bill would actually make it MORE likely, NOT LESS that we could be spied on?

I know that if I was the government and I wanted to know what everyday US citiz... um, I mean terrists were doing, then I'd want more oversight over how the Net is run. All the easier to muddy things up without anyone knowing.

So I think we have this backward. Net Neutrality laws are just going to be an excuse to deprive us of our privacy even more.

Posted by: I.F. Rock at May 15, 2006 07:39 AM

Michele - Sorry about the omission, these things happen now and again, it wasn't intentional. Thanks for pointing it out.

I.F. - No, the net neutrality laws would be preserving what we essentially have right now. They regulate in the sense that they require network carriers to treat all content equally, instead of, say, altering the system so that content from independent websites who hadn't paid the telco dues downloaded more slowly. They don't mean that the government is doing anything to the network, they're about insisting that private companies don't restrict access to information that they don't have a financial stake in.

I suggest you read a lot more about net neutrality, including the comments of people like Vint Cerf who was one of the 'fathers' of the internet and is a net neutrality supporter, before making wild claims like this.

Posted by: natasha at May 15, 2006 11:32 PM