Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Damn. Helluva week wasn't it?

I'll have more in a day or two but just wanted to jot down a few thoughts in no particular order:

The NRA actually did the right thing. Of course they waited till right before the vote to make up their mind to do the right thing, & odds are that they acted out of self preservation as many people would have left them in a heartbeat if their gamble had backfired. But still they did the right thing in the end.

Something screwy was going on. There were enough votes in the Senate to pass the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. A filibuster might have been attempted but then again considering how many voted for cloture it's not certain it would have succeeded. So what do they do? They get the motion for cloture passed & then announce a deal at 11 p.m. EST that instead of 30 hours with limited amendments & Frist being able to shoot down an amendment all by his lonesome, they're gonna chat about things for 4 days & allow damn near any & all amendments to be proposed. WTF?!?!?!? I don't know who's coming up with the strategies for our side, but I'd love to play some poker with them.

It may not be over. DiFi wants the AWB extended & expanded. She thinks (& she's probably right) that she has enough votes in the Senate to pass it & it very well could pass the House. Bush hasn't vetoed anything yet & I doubt he'd veto something he promised to sign. So don't be surprised if DiFi soemhow gets the AWB on the table again. I doubt it would be on its own as offering it to a bill that everyone wants would be the way to do it, but then again proposing it by itself might happen. Don't mean to rain on anyone's parade but unless I'm missing something in the Senate rules we have to accept that it's possible it'll be voted on again.

The AWBextension didn't pass. I've heard Senators, gun control advocates & even a news story on some AM radio station say that it passed (actually the AM radio station was real screwed up - it claimed the AWB extension was passed as in it was now law & the AWB itself wasn't going to sunset in September). What passed was the AWB extension being added onto a bill that was yet to be voted on. Not that we shouldn't punish those who voted to add it on at the polls this &/or any November or that it doesn't have support in the Senate, but adding something onto a bill you want to see voted down is not the same thing as passing a bill outright.

Y'all made a difference. You called your senators & you called the NRA. It got the NRA to address accusations of treachery for the first time ever & it pressured them into doing the right thing. With the Senators we may or may not have been as influential as some were lost causes. But we let them know that we were not only watching, but we were reacting.

Blogs, internet message borads, Forums, non-mainstream news sites & C-Span2's streaming feed = a whole new world.

10 years ago we wouldn't have known what was going on unless we were in DC watching the Senate in person or had a friend who was a lobbyist &/or Senator. Now we can cuss the bastards out in real time & call "bullshit" as they lie - not merely afterwards. whent hey figure this out I'm sure they'll try to figure out a way to shut us down: politicians don't like being watched in action. But for now we have the most useful tool weapon that we've ever had that doesn't spit lead: connectibility. we can watch what's being said & done while looking up the Senate rules ot make sure it's legal & then e-mail each other & post on Forums & Message Boards to let eveyone know something's wrong (or right).

10 years ago you needed a full time lobbyist to know what was going on & why. Now a lobbyist is still a good asset to have, but a lot of the info we'd have been missing is now right here on our screens.

Schumer is an irreversible ass.

So what will happen? Who knows? But it's much easier to keep track of things & much, much easier to organize & carry out actions that could sway things.

Go read SayUncle & GeekWithA.45. The Countertop Chronicles & Triggerfinger have some interesting stuff as well. was & is an irreplaceble source of news. The High Road had play by play posts & really helped spread the word. Alphecca was doing his best a susual making sure we knew not to trust everything we read in the papers, as well as spreading the idea that action beats inaction everytime. & for their (& many others') efforts to keep us all informed hit their tip jars &/or wish lists. If they don't have them, write them & tell them to get one or the other if not both.

I'll have more in the next few days. Right now I need to catch up (& clean up) with the mess I left untended while I was watching what was going on in the Senate.

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