I didn’t think i could get any angrier about the Republicans’ zeal to ban internet gambling; I was wrong. Now Bill Frist is trying to get that ban passed as part of a defense authorization bill so that it can’t be voted against:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is trying use a bill authorizing U.S. military operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, to prohibit people from using credit cards to settle Internet gambling debts.
Frist, R-Tenn., and his aides have been meeting with other lawmakers and officials in both the House and Senate to get the measure attached to a compromise Defense Department authorization bill, according to a Senate GOP leadership aide.
Mind you, he’s trying to attach this to a conference bill. When the House and the Senate pass different versions of the same bill, there’s a conference committee that meets to reconcile the two versions of the bill and come up with a compromise final version. In this case, neither of the versions passed by either chamber said anything at all about internet gambling (because, obviously, it’s a military authorization bill). Neither chamber voted for this. This is as sneaky and underhanded as politics gets.
He is trying to take away the rights of millions of Americans, and he doesn’t even have the balls to do it out in the open and accept the political consequences of it. If an anonymous Senate aide hadn’t blown the whistle, we would never have found out about it until after it was signed into law. All the more reason to pass the Read the Bills Act and require that the public be made aware of every single provision in the law before it gets voted on. And all the more reason to target the reelection campaigns of every single legislator that allows this to happen.