Cheney passed his first hurdle to getting retroactive immunity. The Senate voted 80-15 to begin debate on H.R. 6304; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Fifteen is a long way from the forty-one we need to stop this bill. The actual vote should be posted at the above link any time now.

Good Democrats: Biden (D-DE), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Menendez (D-NJ), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Wyden (D-OR)

Sick or absent Democrats: Byrd (D-WV), Clinton (D-NY), Kennedy (D-MA), Obama (D-IL)

Bed Democrats: Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Bingaman (D-NM), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Johnson (D-SD), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Levin (D-MI), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO), Stabenow (D-MI), Tester (D-MT), Webb (D-VA), Whitehouse (D-RI)

In fairness, not all of these Bad Democrats are going to vote for the bill, and some of them may vote against cloture to proceed to a vote on final passage. But this gives up a good starting point, because those opposed to closing debate should have been opposed to opening debate.

Oh…McCain missed the vote. All other Republicans voted to open debate. And Clinton inexplicably failed to vote even though everyone has been celebrating her ‘triumphant’ return to the Senate for two days.

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