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Like someone to blame 11-08-2001 02:27 AM

Another example of arrogant, pompous Republican legislators doing stupid things
Let's see...caught the distinguished Senator from North Dakota, Byron Dorgan-D, on C-Span 2 yesterday afternoon addressing his fellow Senators. He informed his colleagues that since 1988, the U.S. has had a law on the books re: foreigners entering our country via airlines. Basically, since 1988, all airlines have been required to furnish U.S. Customs, Immigration, and FBI officials a passenger list of all flights entering our country from abroad. These officials than use that list and cross reference the names in a centralized database which is utilized to look for known or suspected terrorists, criminals etc. These officials can than meet any of these suspected or known terrorists and stop them from entering our country.

Unfortunately, for some reason unbeknownst to me and the fine Senator from North Dakota, not EVERY country was required to submit passenger names to our law enforcement officals for screening. This is where the story gets completely ridiculous. Senator Dorgan mentioned that the U.S. does NOT require flights originating from Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, OR Afghanistan to submit passenger lists to us ahead of time...or even AT ALL!!! He went on to mention that this practice continues today, even after the shocking events of Sept 11th! Since then, he said, over 178,000 individuals have entered this country from those Arab countries without more than a standard security check! In other words, because of a glaring omission in the 1988 law, the individuals on these flights have been just waltzing into our country without any background or security checks!

So, Senator Dorgan and his committee in the Senate proposed changing that law. Basically, it would eliminate this loophole and mandate that flights coming from these countries submit a passenger list to U.S. law enforcement officials within 24 hours of the flight's arrival in the U.S. Therefore, U.S. officials would be able to check the names for possible terrorist threats or related activities. This sounds like a common sense, well thought of idea. One that should have been required YEARS ago, right?

Not so fast! Apparently, according to the honorable Senator from North Dakota, a number of Republican legislators in the House think this is a BAD idea. Why, when considering that Dorgan's amendment re: this topic passed the Senate 100-0? Because the modern day poster children of arrogance, pompousness, and egoism, Tom Delay and Dick Armey, are holding the amendment hostage in the House. Why? Well, the short answer in my opinion is because they are extreme right wing whackos who portray themselves as patriots but are nothing more than self-centered and self-serving idiots. Of course, the REAL reason according to Dorgan is because Delay and Armey don't think this amendment should have originated or been offered in the Senate. Huh? Are you kidding me? Delay and Armey are holding a common sense amendment hostage which would close a loophole in the law and strenghthen our national security because they don't think the Senate should be the ones offering this legislation up? Wow. Simply unbelievable. American lives are at stake here and we have two arrogant egomaniac's holding up an amendment with broad bi-partisan support in the Senate over politics!

Delay and Armey should be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity over this! There attitude on this is pathetic but par for the course for these two political nuts. We need to save lives here and shore up our homeland defense, yet as Senator Dorgan has pointed out, the Republican leaders in the House would rather risk more American lives and let this loophole stand while arguing with the Senate over semantics.

This, my friends, is just ANOTHER example in a long line of arrogant, pompous Republican legislators doing stupid things! In this case, one that is potentially costing more American lives each and every day the loophole in the airline law exists. One cannot possibly defend their actions as legitimate...for their actions are based solely on the size of their enormous egos.

Just ridiculous.

tiny dancer 11-08-2001 12:42 PM

My brother works for a major airline and they Want the goverment to take over security,and not the airlines. They feel that you would have better trained people handling our airline security. It was the House that voted this down.The whole majority of the Senate voted yes for government regulation.

TheU2 11-08-2001 12:59 PM

I know that it is the nature of this forum to talk about politics and whatnot but this severe lack Bi-Partisonship is annoying.


PS Long Live Bubba

Achtung Bubba 11-08-2001 01:09 PM

So, Dorgan proposes a bill in the Senate, Armey and DeLay decide to "hold it hostage," as you put it -- a story so HUGE that I can't find a single mention of it on FOXNews.com or Yahoo's news service -- and you only go to Dorgan for an explanation of Armey and DeLay's actions?

That seems a bit unfair. You're free to listen to who you wish, of course, and regard one opinion over another, but I would at LEAST try to find out what DeLay and Armey say their reasons are.

Also, I noted this:

You referred to Dorgan as an "honorable", "fine", and "distinguished" Senator. But you then call DeLay and Armey as "modern day poster children of arrogance, pompousness, and egoism", "self-centered and self-serving idiots", "political nuts".

Just what do you have against the House of Representatives? https://forum.interference.com/u2feedback/biggrin.gif

(And, I *HOPE* you're joking about the "crimes against humanity" bit.)

- Achtung Bubba

What did you find, Dad?
Me? Illumination.

Like someone to blame 11-08-2001 01:10 PM


Originally posted by tiny dancer:
My brother works for a major airline and they Want the goverment to take over security,and not the airlines. They feel that you would have better trained people handling our airline security. It was the House that voted this down.The whole majority of the Senate voted yes for government regulation.
Agreed, tiny dancer, but you are referring to a topic that while related to what Senator Dorgan is referring to is at the same time different. I'm all for airline security employees being federal employees...I mean, day after day security breaches continue and these large, privately owned security companies just can't seem to get it right. This legislation ALSO passed the Senate 100-0, but is, like the amendment Senator Dorgan offered up, being held hostage by a couple of arrogant, self-serving right wing whackos named Armey and Delay.

Like someone to blame 11-08-2001 01:24 PM

I'm NOT surprised you can't find anything about this on FOX news since that is the biggest right-wing channel on TV! You really think they are going to talk about this issue.

Their reasons, Bubba? What POSSIBLY could be a LEGITIMATE reason for blocking this amendment that NOT ONE SENATOR OF EITHER PARTY OBJECTS TO IN THE SENATE! NOT EVEN NUTS LIKE ORRIN HATCH OR JESSE HELMS OBJECTED! The reason is because they are out of touch with reality and are completely out of their right wing minds! Their is NO LEGITIMATE REASON...I REPEAT...there is NO LEGITIMATE REASON for blocking this legislation! It's common sense! Heck, it's a subject that shouldn't be partisan at all, but these control freaks are making it one.

Anyways, this issue IS newsworthy and WILL be picked up by major news organizations soon...just you wait and see. The longer these right-wing whackos continue to block meaniful legislation aimed at SAVING American lives it will not go unreported.

And yes, I DO mean what I said about "...crimes against humanity" for as long as insane individuals hold up legislation that could save American lives than they are potentially COSTING us further lives, and THAT is unacceptable behavior from ANY elected official!

[This message has been edited by Like someone to blame (edited 11-08-2001).]

Achtung Bubba 11-08-2001 05:29 PM

You know, I've got a feeling someone should tell you this -- I have no evidence to the fact, but it should still be said:

If you keep hitting the keys on the keyboard that hard, you gonna hurt yourself. https://forum.interference.com/u2feedback/wink.gif

And while I don't know specifically what reasons Armey and DeLay have for blocking this bill, I'm not at all confident that "there can be no legitimate reason".

One reason to not vote for a bill requiring a passenger list from planes leaving Afghanistan is that we may not trust the validity of the list. If our cameras and our internal security measures indicate that a terrorist was on board - and their list says otherwise - the list is not only useless, but it becomes a diplomatic liability.

(Again, that's conjecture of one possible reason, not necessarily Armey's reasons.)

More than that, a 100-0 vote from the Senate doesn't mean that the law should necessarily instantly become law. After all, the Senate is only one half of ONE of our branches of government. We have checks and balances for a reason.

And I do not subscribe to this opinion whatsoever:

And yes, I DO mean what I said about "...crimes against humanity" for as long as insane individuals hold up legislation that could save American lives than they are potentially COSTING us further lives, and THAT is unacceptable behavior from ANY elected official!

It seems to me that you're saying, any official that costs lives through action or inaction is guilty of crimes against humanity.

One obvious counterexample is the speed limit. For simplification, let's assume there is proven to be a direct, linear relationship between top speed limit and fatalities.

(A lot of people think that's obvious - that "speed kills". I think it's more complicated than that, but it works as an approximation.)

A few years ago, Congress loosened its restrictions on speed limits, which resulted in many states upping their limits to 70 or higher, and Montana even dropping the notion of a speed limit for its empty highways under good conditions.

One can jump to the conclusion that this act has lead to American fatalities. Are the Congressmen then guilty of crimes against humanity?

And, in 1941, Congress declared war, which probably cost more American lives than having the U.S. surrender or negotiate with Japan (who bombed us on December 7th) and Germany (who declared war on us on the 8th). Was Congress guilty of a crime against humanity?

I'd say no on both counts.

Why? Because I believe the preservation of human life is important, but not all-important. There is a school of thought that says there are times (such as reducing the speed limit to 5 MPH in all circumstances) in which the attempt to save lives simply gets too far in the way of freedom.

At VERY least, while you may disagree with that school of thought, you must recognize it as a legitimate alternative. I do not think you can really dismiss it as "crimes against humanity."

Finally, in reference to the other unanimously passed bill, there's this from National Review Online (my own emphasis added):

While a conference committee tries to come up with a compromise between competing House and Senate versions of an aviation-security bill, several Republican senators are now backing away from their earlier support of the Senate bill, which calls for full federalization of the nation's 28,000 baggage screeners.


But yesterday 17 Republican senators sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Commerce Committee and House Transportation Committee saying they never really wanted full federalization. "While we supported and the Senate unanimously passed S. 1447 [the Aviation Security Act], we had strong misgivings with respect to the federalization of airport screeners," the senators wrote. "In addition to the urgency of passing an aviation security bill, our support of S. 1447 was largely due to other important security provisions such as reinforced cockpit doors and an increased presence of federal air marshals." The letter was signed by Jesse Helms, Mitch McConnell, Don Nickles, Phil Gramm, Kit Bond, Craig Thomas, Jim Inhofe, Larry Craig, Bob Smith, John Ensign, Judd Gregg, Mike Enzi, Wayne Allard, Jeff Sessions, Jim Bunning, Mike Crapo, and George Allen.

Even though the letter indicates the senators now oppose a key proposal that they voted for less than a month ago, Republican sources insist there has been no flip-flop on the issue. The GOP explanation is this: At the time of the unanimous vote on aviation security, Republican senators knew they could not win and also knew that the House would pass what Republicans viewed as a much better bill. Thus, GOP senators voted for the full-federalization bill in hopes that an acceptable compromise would emerge from a conference committee. Therefore, the explanation goes, the new letter does not mean that Republican senators have changed positions. "I wouldn't consider it a backoff," says one Senate aide. "You shouldn't read anything into unanimous support in the Senate. Everyone knew the House would pass a separate version."

Interesting. It at least causes me to pause and wonder whether the same thing happened with your "common sense" legislation.

- Achtung Bubba

What did you find, Dad?
Me? Illumination.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 11-08-2001).]

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