Congress, Once Again, Looks To Extend Patriot Act With Little Or No Debate

from the the sun never sets dept

When the Patriot Act first passed, there were (quite reasonable) concerns from many folks in the civil liberties world, who were worried about aspects of the bill that seemed to go well beyond reason, in a hysterical knee-jerk reaction to the terrorist attacks of 2001. In order to mollify those concerned, Congress put in some “sunset” provisions, which would have certain aspects of the Patriot Act expire at a particular time. Last year, parts of the Patriot Act were set to expire, and many people hoped that it would open up some opportunities to better protect basic civil liberties. However, with it being an election year and no one wanting to look “soft” on terrorism, Congress had little discussion about the matter and simply decided to re-up the entire Patriot Act, saying they’d really (no, really) review the provisions this year. Amusingly, in a typical Congressional obfuscatory move, the extension of the Patriot Act was buried in the “Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act.” Yeah.

So here we are in 2011, and where’s the debate and the promised effort to sunset the worst aspects of the Patriot Act? After all, in the past year, there’s been even more evidence that the feds have massively abused their ability to get information on people without proper oversight. And while it hasn’t been reported on at all in the press, Julian Sanchez’s eagle eyes spotted the fact that Rep. Mike Rogers has introduced yet another one-year punt extension, which basically just takes the text of last year’s extension and moves everything out by one more year. It’s looking like this will easily get approved with little debate.

So, it’s now appearing that those “sunsets” in the Patriot Act — which should actually go into effect, given the tremendous evidence of abuse by the feds — were a mere fiction, that Congress will just paper over each and every year.

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Comments on “Congress, Once Again, Looks To Extend Patriot Act With Little Or No Debate”

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One and two year “punts” are what passes for political action in Washington at this point, the Republicans have made it very clear that Obama isn’t going to get anything done, they are trying to get him out of office in the next cycle (hello President Palin), so there is little agreement on Washington on anything.

Tax cuts expiring? Punt 2 years. Government spending? Punt 5 days, then punt some more. Patriot Act? Punt another year or two and call it a day.

Republicans know if they control both houses and / or the whitehouse next time around, the Patriot act will be safe for that term.

Small minded politics from the people who brought you the chemical weapons version of “Where’s Waldo?” in Iraq. (Answer: There is no Waldo).


Re: Re:

No, I think you are wrong on this one. He could veto it if he liked, but there is little upside to doing it. Politically, it would make the Republican’t upset. It would likely deadlock / gridlock the house and senate some more as they debate it endlessly and use various procedures to keep everything else from being passed until it is addressed, and so on.

Just as importantly, it’s a loser with the electorate as well. While many here squeal about their rights, many people prefer the idea that the government is taking at least some form of action to get to terrorists. I am not debate if it is effecient, only the view that many people have.

You can just imagine the Republican’t election commercials for 2012: “Obama, so friendly to terrorists, that he veto’ed the successful Patriot act, setting back law enforcement efforts years. Barack Hussein Obama, he’s not on your side”.

It’s a punt. After he gets re-elected and no longer has to face the electorate again (term limits) he will then take tougher stands on this stuff. Until then, it isn’t politically very good for him.


"Temporary" acts

The original enactment of the 1662 Licensing Act (14 Car.II. c.33) was limited to two years.

Provided That this Act shall continue and be in force for two yeares to commence from the Tenth of June One thousand six hundred sixty and two and no longer.

The act was successively renewed until 1679. After a lapse, it was renewed again in 1685 for a further seven years. Then, later, it was continued to the end of parliament.

In 1695, it finally expired without renewal.

This example is not a solitary one.


Re: Re: "Temporary" acts

Quote: I wish more people were familiar with the English Civil War and its aftermath events (of which this is one). Our founding fathers were acutely aware of the abuses of rights which occurred during that era. This history is the foundation upon which the American Revolution was built.”

Yeah, and the powers that be at this time are going to do their damndest to make sure we can never have another revolution. No guns, no rights, no talking… just shut up and give us your money and be a good little sheep.


I live in Mike Rogers’s district.

The biggest employer around here is the Anniston Army Depot and various defense contractors. We also have a lot of DHS training on local bases, of which there are several.

Mike Rogers is trading our personal liberties for pork.

Anyone in this district should find someone else to support.


Re: Re:

Have you tried popping the cap in his ass, as the kids say?

The people who showed up for Mr Obama’s campaign rally in Arizona last night were not overcome with grief. They were not in shock and mourning over the shooting of a representative, and the death of a judge. Instead they were whooping it up, yelling, ?Hooray for our side.? Clapping and cheering.

Whether you approve or disapprove of arguing politics with guns, the mood of last night’s fourteen thousand in Arizona ?shown on the TV nationwide? was not somber, and reflective.



I think what will happen is that people will value jobs more than liberty (Hello fascist corporatism). They will vote for their ever shrinking wallet thinking that corporations should not be held accountable for poor wages or job prospects, yet the government should secure them their livelihoods and reduce taxes on those who willingly pay less.

The Mighty Buzzardsays:

Re: Re:

I really love socialist corporation haters who bitch about the wages/job prospects/etc… from corporations and think the government should Do Something about it. Oh wait, no that was bacon that I love. Those fools make me want to lobby for 183rd trimester abortions.

And seriously, if you think corporations are the way to go for employment, you’re the cause of the problem you’re bitching about. Work for one of the small businesses that employ half of the nation. Start your own business.

Do not, however, whine because you get paid minimum wage for a job that I could train a retarded monkey or even a teenager to do in an evening. If you’re not smart enough to gain the skills or education for a better job, the only value you have to society is as an example to others of what happens when you’re abysmally stupid.

I think I’ll stop this rant now before I say what I really think of tools like you.


Re: Re: Re:

And seriously, if you think corporations are the way to go for employment, you’re the cause of the problem you’re bitching about. Work for one of the small businesses that employ half of the nation.

Just a minor point, “corporation” and “small business” are not mutually exclusive. I have worked for two corporations with about 7 employees each.


Re: Re: Re:

“Do not, however, whine because you get paid minimum wage for a job that I could train a retarded monkey or even a teenager to do in an evening.”

I hope you realise that you don’t have to be highly skilled to work hard. I guess the distinction doesn’t matter to someone who apparently has the knowledge to train monkeys to do their bidding.


Constitution? What Constitution?

If the U.S. Constitution was the American Flag, it would be tattered, muddy, burned, hanging upside down, and flying at half mast in mourning over its own demise. Too bad, really – there was much to love in that wonderful document before greedy, gutless politicians started finding ways to pervert it, ignore it, and shame it in the eyes of the whole world.


"...Looks To Extend Patriot Act With Little Or No Debate"

It’s a Republican congress. Of course, they’re going to keep the patriot act (with a few extra poison-pills tucked smartly between the pages). What the hell, right? Democrats and Republicans rarely read any of the bills and acts introduced anyway. Especially the ones up for renewal. I would say: “Well, there goes are freedom and civil liberties again”.. but we lost most of those during the Bush administration. }8P ….Long Live Wikileaks. ­čśë


Different Party, Same Story...

You can’t blame this just on the right OR the left. The right pushed this bill through when it might have had some merit, the left continued it despite having full control of both houses and the presidential office. Both were wrong in my opinion and willing to trade freedoms for safety (or more rightly, control) – never a good bargain in my world.

It seems the reason is simple as to why this will continued to be renewed. If you vote against it and there is another attack you will be directly blamed for it. It is blatant CYA. Most politicians don’t stand on principle and definitely aren’t going to put their necks on the line for principles.

The Patriot Act will only go away when the government does something so bad that it will then get politicians that stand up for “rights of the people” and USE the event as a method of them gaining further political power.

Sadly, until there tide shifts and there is some benefit for not renewing it, they’ll continue to take the safe/CYA route.



I see the government still can’t catch a real terrorist. It’s pathetic really. We spend billions of dollars on security and Jared Loughner shoots 13 people before being suppressed by two civilians.

Keep trying, maybe one day you’ll catch a real criminal. In the mean time keep pretending to look useful by continuing to catch people who go over the ridiculously low speed limit and by going after people who break ridiculous laws that shouldn’t exist (ie: IP laws). Such petty “police work” is much easier and safer I suppose, it takes courage and effort to go after and stop real criminals.


patriot act

Throughout history mankind has been ruled over by juveniles. Todays ruling class is the poster child for leaders that do not possess the maturity to make decisions that will benefit the majority. They cannot even comply with a dictate from the majority on hoards of issues. Most of the elected people that serve in various official capacities are not capable of making mature adult decisions, in my opinion, or they would. The simple solution would be to vote out the “children” and elect adults but it just so happens that our system for doing that has been hijacked by those that we seek to replace. This in and of itself presents a huge problem to the average adult voter in that the only way to seemingly correct the problem is by taking on the mindset of an insanely dysfunctional juvenile so that a solution may be spawned. Clearly,our best and brightest do not govern us.

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