Thursday, April 27, 2006

News: Sen. Wyden filibuster causes Domenici freakout... also: Save the Internet!

Senator Ron Wyden took a bold stand today against gas price gouging and unprecendented corporate subsidies going to Exxon (and other companies) at this time they are reaping record profits. Wyden's amendment would start to undo the more than $14 billion in subsidies promised to U.S. oil companies by the Republican controlled Congress in the last year... some Republicans can't handle it:

Before bolting from the Senate chamber, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) shouted at Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR,) "I just violated the rules!"

Domenici had interrupted Wyden's introduction of an amendment under the pretense that he was attempting to ask a question. Rather, he blasted the Senator's plan, after doing so announcing, "I just violated the rules! I didn't ask a question, I gave a speech. I hope you listened."

Wyden had been on the Senate floor for nearly five hours. Under Senate rules, a lawmaker can push a vote on his or her amendment so long as they can stand on the floor. (Read more of this article from The Raw Story)

Apparently Wyden didn't get the Republican memo about how Democrats need to be afraid, very afraid, of the Republican threat to use the "nuclear option" against filibusters. Either that or Wyden had the insight to realize all they would respond with is temper tantrums and out of order speeches.


From an e-mail about Network Neutrality:

Yesterday afternoon, a House committee caved to the narrow interests of telecom companies and voted to strip Net Neutrality from a bill moving through Congress.

Network Neutrality is the Internet's First Amendment -- without it companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast will move to control what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

The vote was an outrage, but the fight for Internet freedom is far from over. More important votes are coming in Congress -- and we have the momentum.

You are one of more than 250,000 people who wrote and called Congress in the past five days. Because you raised public awareness of this threat to Internet freedom, no member of Congress can in good conscience vote with the telecom cartel.

Politicians take action when they realize the public is paying attention. Yesterday's vote was much closer than predicted. Call your members of Congress to let them know that no bill should become law without meaningful protections for Network Neutrality:

Sen. Mark Dayton: (202) 224-3244

Sen. Norm Coleman: (202) 224-5641

Tell them that the public is now watching this issue, and we will not stand for any law that threatens Internet freedom. Network Neutrality must be protected by Congress.

We have ignited a prairie fire of protest. In less than one week, our Coalition has lit up the phones in Congress. We've rallied more than 600 blogs to write about this issue. We've formed a diverse, bipartisan coalition of more than 75 organizations banding together to fight for a free and open Internet.

Congress needs to hear from you right away. Please call and send a letter to your elected representatives. And don't forget to spread the word to your friends, colleagues and family:

Stop Congress from Selling Out the Internet

The fight has just begun. We've already proven that people can make a difference by simply speaking out. Now, let's win.


Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press

P.S. Stay up to date on breaking developments. Visit

P.P.S. To learn more about yesterday's Committee vote, see the vote tally and call your representative.

Network Neutrality is important. If we can't maintain it, dissenting voices (and non-commercial voices) can be effectively priced out of participating in democracy on the internet.


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