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America’s Librarians Call for Patriot Act Surveillance Reform in Congress

Don’t mess with librarians; they’re organized and they take notes.

The American Library Association and California Library Association have released statements in which they decry the current regime of government surveillance and call for significant reforms to the Patriot Act before any reauthorization of its powers this year.

The CLA’s resolution articulates multiple areas in [...]

Get FISA Right: Good Source for Info and Activism on Surveillance Politics

As government surveillance reform takes a new turn, there’s been very little notice of it: WIRED outreported the Washington Post, which has failed to even mention yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee markup of a bill to extend Patriot Act authority for four more years. As the papers give short shrift (or no shrift) to warrantless surveillance [...]

Homework: Read and Reflect On S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act

Homework, O ye irregularities adrift in a regular world:

1. Read S. 1686 — the JUSTICE Act, a bill introduced late last week by Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. It’s such a new bill that the Library of Congress hasn’t yet processed it and posted it to its THOMAS database system: the full text [...]

8 Months Wasted: Resign, Senator Kennedy, Resign

Head to the Boston Globe to find the full-size photo of Senator Edward Kennedy receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom. But Senator Edward Kennedy is not there; he’s back in Massachusetts, suffering from brain cancer. The most his son Patrick can tell President Obama after the ceremony is that “he’s understanding everything that is going [...]

The Principled Opposition to Health Care Reform

Republican webshop TheRightWing is selling these postcards like hotcakes:

You know, some people say that opposition to Barack Obama’s agenda has an element of racism. But I don’t think so. No, no, no. Why do people jump to conclusions like that?

[...]

Al Franken: At the Start, he's Senator Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

Without the responsibility of attending committee meetings or hearings over the past six months, without any ceremonial duties to attend to, and with the responsibility of his lawsuits to gain office delegated to his lawyers, Al Franken has had a lot of time on his hands… certainly a lot more time than any other member [...]

Rep. Carson Joins Call for Congressional Torture and Wiretap Inquiry

This week, Rep. AndrĂ© Carson of Indiana added his name to the growing list of members of the House of Representatives who formally support H.R. 104, John Conyers’ bill to establish an independent investigative commission, complete with subpoena power, to look into the torture, extraordinary rendition and surveillance without warrants that took place during the [...]

LGBT Equality Caucus Expands, Constrains Members to Varying Effect

Since its re-registration as an official Congressional Member Organization of the 111th Congress, the LGBT Equality Caucus has expanded, welcoming additional members Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Steve Israel of New York and Chellie Pingree of Maine. The caucus boasts 79 members now, nearly one out of five members of the House of Representatives. By the [...]

Feingold Fails "Few Weeks" FISA Followup. Fight Fizzles.

Number of weeks since Senator Russell Feingold told activist Ben Masel that he’d give President Obama “a few weeks” to roll out a proposal to reform warrantless wiretapping under FISA, then introduce his own FISA reform bill: Eight

Number of Obama administration proposals to reform FISA rolled out since then: Zero

Number of bills introduced [...]

Feingold Fails “Few Weeks” FISA Followup. Fight Fizzles.

Number of weeks since Senator Russell Feingold told activist Ben Masel that he’d give President Obama “a few weeks” to roll out a proposal to reform warrantless wiretapping under FISA, then introduce his own FISA reform bill: Eight

Number of Obama administration proposals to reform FISA rolled out since then: Zero

Number of bills introduced [...]

For Torture and Surveillance Commission via H.R. 104, Target The Congressional Progressive Caucus

H.R. 104, a bill to create an independent investigative commission on U.S. practices of torture and warrantless surveillance, has got some momentum, gaining 14 new cosponsors in recent days. But in order for H.R. 104 to be moved to the floor of the House for consideration, indication of support for it through cosponsorship needs to [...]