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Live Chat with Russ Feingold in 30 minutes... what should I ask him?

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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:06 AM
Original message
Live Chat with Russ Feingold in 30 minutes... what should I ask him?
http://www.progressivepatriotsfund.com/content/365

I don't know if that link will get you in, I had to sign up through an e-mail...

So, what questions do you have for the next President of the United States? :bounce:



Feingold won big after voting against the Iraq war and Bushs tax cuts, and having cast the lone vote in the Senate against the Patriot Act
-Chicago Tribune

Russ Feingold is an independent voice in the United States Senate. Best known for leading the fight for campaign finance reform in the Senate with Republican Senator John McCain, Feingold has been a tireless leader in bipartisan efforts to restore fiscal discipline in Congress and reduce the federal deficit. Senator Feingold also cast the lone vote against the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001 and has continued to be a leader in the bipartisan effort to protect our rights and freedoms and fix the flawed provisions of the Act.
When he first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1992, Senator Feingold pledged to hold town hall style listening sessions in every one of Wisconsins 72 counties every year. To date he has held over 900 listening sessions. These listening sessions provide the people of Wisconsin an opportunity to discuss issues directly with Senator Feingold without an appointment, without making a political contribution, and without having to go to Washington, DC. These town hall meetings have been the foundation and driving force behind Feingolds legislative agenda, and in the last year he has brought his signature listening sessions outside of Wisconsin to states such as Alabama, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd ask him why he thinks so many fellow democrats won't stand up to Bush
I want to know. Does he think they've been threatened? Are they stupid, and don't care about winning? What is the fear of standing up to a president with a 34% approval rating? It can't be political, so have dems been strong-armed, threatened, or worse? Why do we have 66 democrats voting for The Enabling Act II?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. You got it. Good Question!
:)
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Kierkegaard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. I second that question.
I really would like to understand what's behind the odd behavior of our representatives. They certainly haven't been acting in OUR best interests and I want to know why!
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timbnyc44 Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
32. No kidding!

And how can he help bring them along? They're all so short-sighted - the worm is turning, and they'll be left behind by their own constituents.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. How much worse will it have to get before
Congress makes a concerted effort to discuss impeachment?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Should one of us copy and paste the session into this thread?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Were you able to get onto the site?
and logged in?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Yes, I'm in. I can c/p chunks of it here, if anyone is interested.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. Please!
You're so cool. :)
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Okay. And I just submitted this...
Will you continue to push for an investigation of the NSA's wiretapping activities and air the truth about the illegal "compromise" made by the Senate Intelligence Committee?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. Rats! My browser won't let me copy and paste from a java applet window.
:(
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Kierkegaard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #21
58. You don't need to copy right from the chat window,
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 10:11 AM by Kierkegaard
there is a 'save chat text' button at the bottom...
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Kierkegaard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. Please do.
Thanks!
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #19
23. Damn, I can't. My browser won't let me.
See #21 above.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Great first question: Will Congress press for wiretap hearings.
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Kierkegaard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #23
61. I'm going to let the Q&A run its course from this point on and
then post the transcript here.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
7. First---please thank him for his hard work on the PA (he worked so so hard
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Brilliant!
:hug:
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jane_pippin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. I've got one to pass on from a friend about the Patriot act:
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:19 AM by jane_pippin
He was a little confused about what it meant for the Patriot Act to become "permanent," and he wants to know if there's anything that could be done in the future by Congress or the next President to "undo" it, (and if so, what), or if we're really stuck with it forever.

I wasn't sure what to tell him so may as well ask Russ. :D

Thanks!
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
69. He said if we can take one of the houses in 2006 or
install a dem pres. in 2008 we can do something about it then. That's a long time. :(
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
11. I'd like to know if he plans to push for the Senate Intelligence Committee
to investigate the NSA wiretapping scandal. I know he's damn mad about the compromise, which he believes actually breaks the law.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. Ask him about his thoughts on achieving energy Independence and
easing global climate change.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
20. Another good one!
It will be question #2

Question #1 is a combination of posts 1,6,7 and 13 :)
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
13. Why aren't more Democrats like you? n/t
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pstans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
15. I will be there
Come to the Progressive Patriots Fund, join in the chat, and then head to www.russforpresident.com .
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
17. Is he afraid of getting *anthraxed*?
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reichstag911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
18. Here's my question:
Since Bush has overstepped the authority granted to him by the AUMF, and most Americans (and even more troops) want us out of Iraq, when will Congress 1) use its "power of the purse" to end funding for this ongoing war crime? and/or 2) retract that authorization since its grant of authority (going after planners, etc. of 9/11) was exceeded by the Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal?
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harpo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
22. ask him who he is going to work with in the house to impeach bush?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
25. Great first question: Will Congress press for wiretap hearings.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. And Russ sez he's not optimistic without pressure from the public.
Sez we Dems must be aggressive in pushing for hearings.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Next q: do you plan to seek the party's nomination for prez?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. He's still evaluating that idea, very consumed by his work...
...determined to see a Dem prez in 2008
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. cut and paste not working with Java!
:(
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. I know.
:( :( It would be easier. I'll try to recap some of the Q&As here.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Does U.S. need universal health care and what does that look like to you?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. he supports single payer but likes the idea of fed govt. guaranteeing...
...coverage and letting the states figure out how they want to do it, whether by a single payer system or some other means.
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leyton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
28. Can anyone just type in a question?
I don't want to be the guy who interrupts everything :D
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. Yes... the moderator is screening them...
Mine haven't shown up yet...
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
31. Defend your vote for the bankruptcy bill please.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #31
67. Feingold did NOT vote for the bankruptcy bill. Check it out yourself.
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r...

NAYs ---25
Akaka (D-HI)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Question: On Passage of the Bill (S. 256 As Amended )
Vote Number: 44 Vote Date: March 10, 2005, 06:12 PM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Bill Passed
Measure Number: S. 256 (Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 )
Measure Title: A bill to amend title 11 of the United States Code, and for other purposes.

Vote Counts: YEAs 74
NAYs 25
Not Voting 1

Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 1
Clinton (D-NY)
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #67
72. Ack - you're right...
Maybe it was Biden or someone I was thinking of...

My bad.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
36. LOL! Meryl from NYC asks...
Is the NSA recording this listening session?

:rofl:
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Good sense of humor. He sez "hi" to all his NSA buddies.
He also sez it's not NSA's fault the the prez has ordered illegal activity.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #36
39. Russ: I'd like to say Howdy to all my buddies at the NSA.
Quite seriously I admire and support the work they do to stop terrorism. It's not their fault that the president ordered an illegal version of their otherwise legal and appropriate activities. :)
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
40. A q about coming to New Mexico...
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
41. a q about real, beneficial campaign finance and lobbying reform
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:51 AM by Fridays Child
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #41
44. Russ sez: Only real long term answer is public financing as in AZ and ME.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
42. I want to know what he thinks about our voting systems being privatized &
the loss of transparency in our eletctions?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #42
51. Done!
:)
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #51
71. What was the response? Is there a transcript somewhere?
THANK YOU!!!
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
43. Vince in GA
I believe that the current system of financing political campaigns and basically unregulated lobbying are the fundamental reasons that the public good is so ill served. Do you think it is possible to enact any policy or legislation that would be significantly beneficial to the people of this country without first making major reform to campaign finance and lobbying?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #43
46. Russ: It would be extremely difficult.
McCain-Feingold got rid of the most extreme abuses in the form of 100,000 and million dollar contributions raised by members of Congress. That's now illegal. But the only long term answer across the board is public financing of all campaigns as they have in Maine and AZ.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
45. Can we hold this admin accountable w/o winning majorities? Russ sez...
...almost certainly not.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
47. More than 70 Dem vets are running and in places where no Dem has won...
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:56 AM by Fridays Child
...in recent memory. Should we focus on only swing races or challenge the GOP everywhere?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. Russ sez he regrets the Paul Hackett affair and he's met many of the...
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:59 AM by Fridays Child
...Dem vets who are running. He understands the value of targeting certain races but he doesn't want to write any of these vets off.
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Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
48. was able to log on
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:58 AM by Mel
here's the question I submitted.
Do you think the USA will ever get Universal Health Care and do you support it happening?
my signature- Melanie from North Carolina
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
50. Ask him: What Do We Need To Be Doing?
the grassroots are still in the wilderness - and spred thin as we scatter from fire to fire.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
52. Oh my question just came up!!!
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 10:02 AM by Fridays Child
Will you continue to push for an investigation of the NSA's wiretapping activities and air the truth about the illegal "compromise" made by the Senate Intelligence Committee?
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. Mary - Yes, but we are going to have to take other measures to turn...
...up the temperature as well. I'll have more to say about this on "This Week" this Sunday with George Stephanapolous.
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Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #54
60. I read it
good question! Mine hasn't came up yet fingers crossed.
I like the fact that he also agreed to have these chat sessions on the weekend.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. lucky you! I've asked 3...
perhaps I'm being greedy. :)
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. I was shocked!
:)
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
53. He'll be on "This week" Sunday to talk about
to talk about the illegal compromise made by the Senate Intell Committee (wiretapping)
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. LOL! That was me!
:woohoo:
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
59. Brian from WI
How do you feel the US should address energy independence?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. Russ: The way my constituents usually say it is best,
that this country is ready for a Manhattan style project that will achieve energy independence. First and foremost, conservation must be our central concern. President Bush is right when he says we are addicted to oil, though his policies don't reflect that statement. This is not a partisan issue, and there are tons of good ideas out there including the principles in the Apollo project. All kinds of things should be on the table, from renewable energy portfolios, to wind turbines, fuel cells. We just need to make the investment. It will pay off in the long run in a major way.
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Kierkegaard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
63. Selected transcript:
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 10:23 AM by Kierkegaard
Jason_from_Wisconsin: Did you have fun on Bill Maher's show Real Time?

Russ_Feingold: Jason - I had a great time, even though I had to leave on a plan for Southeast Asia four hours later and didnt get to sleep in a bed again for 35 hours.

Brian_from_Wisconsin: How do you feel the US should address energy independence?

Russ_Feingold: Brian - The way my constituents usually say it is best, that this country is ready for a Manhattan style project that will achieve energy independence. First and foremost, conservation must be our central concern. President Bush is right when he says we are addicted to oil, though his policies dont reflect that statement. This not a partisan issue, and there are tons of good ideas out there including the principles in the Apollo project. All kinds of things should be on the table, from renewable energy portfolios, to wind turbines, fuel cells. We jut need to make the investment. It will pay off in the long run in major way.

mike_from_new_york: Someone asked the President this awhile ago, and he turned it into a joke. Just for a comparison- Did you see Brokeback Mountain?

Russ_Feingold: Yes I did. And I thought it was a tremendous, tragic movie that everyone should see.

Ben_from_Wisconsin: I realize these questions are going through a moderator so I realize that this will probably not make it onto the screen but it is with my best regards that it makes it to Senator Feingold. I, being a retired disabled veteran or war am honored that you had the courage to stand alone against this war from the beginning and continue to do so. Despite the media, thousands of our fighting forces do as well. That being said when is enough, enough? When can our brothers and sisters come home?

Russ_Feingold: We did get your post, and thanks for what you said. Democrats need to be firm in advocating the termination of our military presence in Iraq. I have called for the withdrawal of our ground forces by the end of this year, and I regret that too many of my colleagues are timid about talking about redeploying our troops where they would be more effective in the fight against al Qaeda.

Rick_from_Wisconsin: I saw you on Real Time with Bill Maher, is there a chance we might see you on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

Russ_Feingold: I'm awaiting an invitiation.

On edit: It was just posted that this will appear on the website in its entirety, so I won't bother posting any more excerpts
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
64. A transcript will be avail immediately following the session!
good. I'm wearing my fingers to the nub!
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Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
65. A transcript will be posted
on his website as soon as the session is over for those who missed it! Cool!
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
66. the last 10 questions are from East coast voters... wtf?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 10:33 AM by Viva_La_Revolution
I thought this would be national. :(
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:43 AM
Response to Original message
68. Unanswered questions...
Senator Feingold, first Thank You so much for all your efforts on the Patriot Act, youve consistently stood up for us, and we are grateful.
My question has to do with your fellow Democrats. Why do you think so many of them are not standing up against Bush and his administration? Are they afraid? Complicit? When 66 of them vote to renew the PA, we dont feel like they are working for OUR best interests!


What are your thoughts for achieving energy independence, and easing the effects of global warming? (the first half of this question was addressed)


Our voting system has been privatized. As the primaries last week showed us again there are serious issues with electronic voting systems. How can we get back the confidence that our votes will be counted?


What can we do to convince the 50% of eligible voters who dont go to the polls that it is important?
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
70. Transcript here...
http://www.progressivepatriotsfund.com/content/367

Russ_Feingold
Welcome and thank you for participating in my first ever national online listening session. I have held over 950 listening sessions in Wisconsin, and also held 4 listening sessions in other states over the last year. These town hall type meetings are one of the favorite parts of my job because they give me the ability to hear first hand about the issues people are concerned about. Im excited that so many people are here today, so lets get started so I can answer as many questions as time allows. Please feel free to ask a question, say whats on your mind, or just feel free to read what others are saying.

Alyce_from_Rhode_Island
Will Congress press forward with hearings regarding the NSA Illegal Wiretapping on Americans, apparently there is much more to this than what was told by the media to the American people.

Russ_Feingold
Alyce Im very concerned that what began as a series of potentially useful hearings in both the judiciary and intell committees, Im a member of both, have been disappointing at best. In Intell, they have appeared to make every effort not to tell us anything useful and the administration has refused to allow any key witnesses from the justice department who oppose the wiretapping program to appear before the Judiciary committee. Im not optimistic that without real pressure from the public, more hearings will be held. Thats why we as Dems must be aggressive in pushing for hearings and especially accountability on this illegal program.

Meryl_From_NYC
do you plan to seek our partys nomination for President?

Russ_Feingold
Meryl Thanks for the question. I’m still trying to figure that out. I have truly been so consumed with my work on Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Intelligence and Budget Committees, as well as going to places like Colorado and Vermont to try to elect Dem members of Congress, that I think its best for me to evaluate whether I am the right guy for 2008 sometime after the November elections. I am thoroughly enjoying doing my 72 Listening Sessions in WI but let me assure you that I am absolutely determined to have a Dem President in 2008.

Maggie_from_Wisconsin
Do you think this country needs a universal health care system and what does this look like to you?

Russ_Feingold
Maggie I support a single payer system, but one idea that has gone over well is the idea that the federal government pass a law guaranteeing health care for all Americans, but give states some flexibility on how to do it, whether it be single payer or some other approach. No one should be allowed to fall through the cracks. This push for guaranteed health care should be central to our 2006 strategy.

Meryl_From_NYC
is the NSA recording this listening session?

Russ_Feingold
Id like to say howdy to all my buddies at the NSA. Quite seriously I admire and support the work they do to stop terrorism. Its not their fault that the President ordered an illegal version of their otherwise legal and appropriate activities.

Barb_from_New_Mexico
Will you be coming to NM anytime soon to support Patricia Madrids run against Bush rubberstamp Heather Wilson? We just had Amb. Joe Wilson and John Edwards here recently. As you know, this is one of our key races.

Russ_Feingold
Barb Im happy to say that Patricia Madrid was one of the first candidates that the PPF helped out with a contribution. She was one of 11 Dem Congressional challengers that participated in our first Pick a Progressive Patriot contest and we will continue to help Patricia in any way we can. By the way, a new Pick a Progressive Patriot contest with new contestants from around the country will be coming up soon.

Vince_in_GA
I believe that the current system of financing political campaigns and basically unregulated lobbying are the fundamental reasons that the public good is so ill served. Do you think it is possible to enact any policy or legislation that would be significantly beneficial to the people of this country without first making major reform to campaign finance and lobbying?

Russ_Feingold
Vince It would be extremely difficult. McCain-Feingold got rid of the most extreme abuses in the form of 100,000 and million dollar contributions raised my members of congress. Thats now illegal. But the only long term answer across the board is public financing of all campaigns as they have in Maine and Arizona.

Fran_in_MD
Do you believe that we can hold this administration accountable without winning a majority in either house of Congress?

Russ_Feingold
Almost certainly not.

howardpark_from_DC
Russ, over 70 Veterans are running for Congress as Democrats this year, many in Districts where Democrats have not even contested in recent memory. Do you think the party establishment should target just a few swing races or do we need to challenge the GOP almost everywhere?

Russ_Feingold
Howard Apart for the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Paul Hacketts getting out of the Senate race in OH, which I regret, I am extremely excited about the many veteran candidates. I met a lot of them recently at a reception here in Washington and the PPF contributed recently to VETSPAC which is helping them. Although I certainly understand the value of targeting certain races, it is too early to start writing off some of these excellent veteran candidates who may come on strong later in the year, even in extremely red states.

Jason_from_Wisconsin
How do feel about public financing of elections?

Russ_Feingold
Jason As I indicated earlier, not only is this the way to go but it is working like a charm in Arizona and Maine.

Lou_from_VT
Russ, what do you have to say about President Bush signing the extension on the Patriot Act?

Russ_Feingold
Lou I believe that this battle will ultimately be won. Senator Specter is introducing a bill that includes exactly the changes weve called for. All we need to tip the balance is win one house in 06 or get a Dem president in 08, all of which is before the provisions sunset again.

Mary_from_Arizona
Will you continue to push for an investigation of the NSAs wiretapping activities and air the truth about the illegal "compromise" made by the Senate Intelligence Committee?

Russ_Feingold
Mary Yes, but we are going to have to take other measures to turn up the temperature as well. Ill have more to say about this on "This Week" this Sunday with George Stephanopoulos.

Meryl_from_NYC
Senator Finegold, can you hold one of these online listening sessions on a weekEND morning when so many people are not at work?

Russ_Feingold
Yes we can and we will!

ellen_in_il
Are there any plans to amend or impove the medicare drug plan? As it stands, it is little or no help to many seniors.

Russ_Feingold
Ellen Its quite a mess. And it is a serious question of if it can be fixed but at a minimum we should allow the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices, allow cheaper medicines to come in from Canada, seriously address the problem of so called "dual eligibles", and come up with a better answer than the huge doughnut whole that people face in their coverage.

Jason_from_Wisconsin
Did you have fun on Bill Mahers show Real Time?

Russ_Feingold
Jason I had a great time, even though I had to leave on a plan for Southeast Asia four hours later and didnt get to sleep in a bed again for 35 hours.

Brian_from_Wisconsin
How do you feel the US should address energy independence?

Russ_Feingold
Brian The way my constituents usually say it is best, that this country is ready for a Manhattan style project that will achieve energy independence. First and foremost, conservation must be our central concern. President Bush is right when he says we are addicted to oil, though his policies dont reflect that statement. This not a partisan issue, and there are tons of good ideas out there including the principles in the Apollo project. All kinds of things should be on the table, from renewable energy portfolios, to wind turbines, fuel cells. We jut need to make the investment. It will pay off in the long run in major way.

mike_from_new_york
Someone asked the President this awhile ago, and he turned it into a joke. Just for a comparison- Did you see Brokeback Mountain?

Russ_Feingold
Yes I did. And I thought it was a tremendous, tragic movie that everyone should see.

Ben_from_Wisconsin
I realize these questions are going through a moderator so I realize that this will probably not make it onto the screen but it is with my best regards that it makes it to Senator Feingold. I, being a retired disabled veteran or war am honored that you had the courage to stand alone against this war from the beginning and continue to do so. Despite the media, thousands of our fighting forces do as well. That being said when is enough, enough? When can our brothers and sisters come home?

Russ_Feingold
We did get your post, and thanks for what you said. Democrats need to be firm in advocating the termination of our military presence in Iraq. I have called for the withdrawal of our ground forces by the end of this year, and I regret that too many of my colleagues are timid about talking about redeploying our troops where they would be more effective in the fight against al Qaeda.

Rick_from_Wisconsin
I saw you on Real Time with Bill Maher, is there a chance we might see you on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

Russ_Feingold
Im awaiting an invitation.

Pam_from_Mackinac
Senator Feingold: I admire you very much and hope you will do this again. It has taken me the past half hour to get on here so Ive missed it all. I hope theres a transcript. Thank you for being an inspiration.

Russ_Feingold
Yes there will be. A transcript will be posted on the website immediately following this Listening Session.

Peter_from_Michigan
Do you prefer to support the winner of a primary vs endorsing one particular dem in a primary race?

Russ_Feingold
As a general rule, I do.

Andrew_Vermont
I saw you in Vermont a few weeks ago when you visited here. We welcome you back here again soon Senator.

Russ_Feingold
I would love to come back and campaign for Bernie. And we need to win the House seat up there.

Matt_from_Tennessee
Not a question but a suggestion. It would be great if Russ could answer some of the unanswered questions on the next PPF podcast

Russ_Feingold
Good suggestion. The turnout has been tremendous today. Its great to see so many questions, and Ill try to answer some of them in a podcast or on the website in the future.

Marty_from_Wisconsin
Let me give this another try. Senator, do you believe that the Dubai ports issue has been solved by Dubai "formally" pulling out, or do you think some behind the scenes action is going on? If you dont know, I would like to know that too. Thanks.

Russ_Feingold
Wed better continue to inquire given this Administrations abysmal record on candor.

Joseph_from_Wisconsin
Would you support term limits?

Russ_Feingold
Absolutely not. Its a good way to make sure that people like George Bush and Dick Cheney are not effectively challenged by experienced legislators.

Enid_from_Connecticut
Senator, can you tell us about your trip to Southeast Asia? (And Happy Birthday! Hope you had a good one.)

Russ_Feingold
A tremendous opportunity to explore the real issues in the fight against al Qaeda and associated groups. Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand could be exploited to broaden the terrorist influence. In Indonesia, there is some hope that the human rights record there could improve which would go a long way in taking away fuel for radical violent elements in the country.

Russ_Feingold
Unfortunately that will have to the final question for todays listening session. Ive really enjoyed answering your questions and listening to your concerns and wish my schedule allowed more time to continue this dialogue. Thank all of you again for sharing in the first of what I hope will be many online Listening Sessions. Before I go I want to remind everyone that we will be holding our 2nd "Pick a Progressive Patriot" online voting event starting March 20th, so be sure to check www.progressivepatriotsfund.com so that you can help make recommendations for what candidates we will financially support in the future. Thanks again for being a part of our first ever national online listening session.

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