Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why do they hate America?
Dianne Feinstein edition

At first glance, there is much to admire about California's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein: first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's first female mayor, first woman to serve in the Senate from California, first woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee.

During the 1990's she led the fight to ban semi-automatic weapons and supported a number of environmental issues, including bills to protect the California desert.

Lately she seems to have turned to the dark side.

In August 2007, she voted with Republicans to modify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) making it easier for the government to monitor phone calls and email messages of American citizens. In February 2008, she again joined Republicans in voting to grant immunity to telecommunication companies for illegal wiretapping for Government agencies.

In December 2005 she stated, "I believe the Patriot Act is vital to the protection of the American people," and was later a cosponsor of a bill to extend the USA PATRIOT Act. Some members of the California Democratic Party went so far as to attempt to censure her for this bizarre behavior.

Where is the real Dianne Feinstein and what have they done with her?

Her latest goose step towards rich and powerful interests is in her repeated attempts to undermine the principles of Net Neutrality: the idea that on the internet all content and traffic is treated equally.

Under the cover of the 2009 Stimulus Bill, she's introduced a network management amendment with language to allow "reasonable network management practices" - code for permitting broadband providers to act as content gatekeepers, charging more for some content than other. Your ISP would decide what web content you got to see and how much you paid to see it.

Love your cable company now? Just wait.

All this points to her cozy relationship with California's Big Media and her siding with them on intellectual property issues. While the justification for her support on opposing net neutrality is couched in language about battling child pornography, it's really designed to protect Hollywood's profits.

How this ties into economic stimulus is yet to be explained. On this, my illustrious debating partner, the Whited Sepulchre is encouraged to bang the gong as loudly as he can.

To hell with pork -- this is baloney.

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