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One-Two Punch to Balance of Power this Week: Patriot Act and Perpetual War

While we were watching the train wreck of Patriot Act passage last week, the House of Representatives quietly passed a bill that grants the President of the United States the right to engage in perpetual war. Together, these bills concentrate power in the hands of the man who is already the single-most powerful person on […]

Senate Tea Party Roll Call Vote on the Patriot Act, May 2011

16 members of the U.S. Senate have a concrete tie to the Tea Party from some combination of three sources:

1. 2010 endorsement by the self-proclaimed “Tea Party HQ” organization FreedomWorks 2. 2010 endorsement by the Tea Party Express organization 3. Current membership in the Senate Tea Party Caucus

In the first meeting of the […]

Roll Call: How Tea Party in House voted on Patriot Act, May 2011

A number of politicians running for Congress in 2010 were endorsed by the organizations Tea Party Express and FreedomWorks (which refers to itself as “Tea Party HQ”). Dozens of politicians elected to the U.S. House of Representatives chose to join the Tea Party Caucus as official members.

Reflecting the rhetoric of the broader Tea […]

In Roll Call Votes, Who Switched on the Patriot Act from Feb-May 2011?

In February of 2011, the House and Senate voted to reauthorize Patriot Act surveillance powers for three months without making any reforms. At the end of May 2011, the House and Senate voted to reauthorize Patriot Act surveillance powers for four years, again without making any reforms. The outcome of these votes didn’t change from […]

Obama Embraced Politics Of Fear By Signing Unreformed Patriot Act Extension

Last night, Barack Obama signed another extension of the Patriot Act, once again without any reforms. Are Democratic voters going to just roll over for Obama, and continue to give him their support, even though he has spent his first term defending and extending the political agenda of George W. Bush? […]

Which Senate Democrats Voted for the Patriot Act? (Final Roll Call, May 26 2011)

Just before dinner on the night of May 26 2011, the United States Senate voted 72-23 to preserve the most audacious government surveillance and seizure powers of the Patriot Act. Groups like No Labels and Americans Elect which judge the value of policy by the bipartisan nature of their support should be happy with the […]

Bizarre: Obama Admin sez Hurry with Patriot Act Re-Up, or we won’t be able to use Power we’ve never used

The reasons for quick reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act have moved past dubious, through the paper-thin wall between rational and irrational, and straight into the land of the bizarre.

In a letter written yesterday to Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper provided the Obama administration’s justification for […]

13 Democrats, 4 Republicans and 1 Independent Vote to Stop Patriot Act Reauthorization

18 votes against the reformless reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act weren’t enough to stop the legislation from moving forward in the Senate, but the 13 Democrats, 4 Republicans and 1 Independent who made a stand to halt the reauthorization process on May 26 2011 should be recognized for their efforts to defend constitutional government:


Patriot Act Has Failed America

The Patriot Act has failed America… unless what you define as success is the seizure of huge amounts of personal information from the private accounts of millions of Americans. […]

Senator Harry Reid Contradicts Himself to Push Patriot Act Surveillance

A tip of the pen to Spencer Ackerman of Wired for uncovering Senator Harry Reid’s bald hypocrisy on the use of fear to push reformless reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, May 25 2011, explaining why the Patriot Act must be reauthorized immediately without amendments or reform:

If the Senator […]

Jeff Merkley Echoes House Warning about Blank Check Surveillance in the Patriot Act

In a speech on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon spoke in support of amendments to reform the Patriot Act, just before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a sudden move to forbid all such amendments and force the reauthorization of the Patriot Act to move forward.

In his speech, […]