The draft bill revealed yesterday – but not yet introduced in the U.S. Senate – falls far below the standard set by the Surveillance State Repeal Act. [...]
It is a time of fear in the face of freedom, a time of an emptying country and swelling cities, a time for the widening of previous roads and the opening of new paths, yet a time when these paths are mined by knowing algorithms of the all-seeing eye. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection. These are the times when maps fade, old landmarks crumble and direction is lost. Forwards is backwards now, so we glance sideways at the strange lands through which we are all passing, knowing for certain only that our destination has disappeared. We are unready to meet these times, but we proceed nonetheless, adapting as we wander, reshaping the Earth with every tread. Behind us we have left the old times, the standard times, the high times. Welcome to the irregular times.
As time passes, the usefulness of the party labels “Democrat” and “Republican” as a reliable shorthand for policy preference seems to be falling away. Bipartisan coalitions for bills are there in the 113th Congress, if you look beyond the headlines for them.
Consider the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act (also known as the “GPS Act”), [...]
As you may know, eight days ago Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged to Senator Ron Wyden that the actions of the government to spy on Americans had exceeded the limits set by the FISA Amendments Act and the United States Constitution.
At the beginning of the summer, only Senator Wyden was willing to [...]
There is no public evidence that the FISA Amendments Act is being conducted constitutionally, or even that it is genuinely targeting terrorists. The time has come for the FISA Amendments Act to expire. Years have passed in which reforms of the law could have been crafted. Yet, no reforms are even being proposed by the White House or Congress. Therefore, the only responsible vote for any member of Congress on any legislation that extends the FISA Amendments Act in any way is NO. [...]
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:
Federal News Radio seems to be the only journalistic enterprise in the nation to have picked up on this exchange, in which the nominees for the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis (Caryn A. Wagner) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (Philip Goldberg) attempt to reserve for the [...]
The 5 Democrats who defected to the Republican side to defeat Obama’s public option are: Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln, Kent Conrad, Bill Nelson and Tom Carper. [...]
The U.S. Outdoor Act is clear in its practical effect: by lowering import tariffs on “recreational performance outerwear” (high-tech pants and jackets made for outdoorsy activities), the bill would lower the cost of making those products in factories overseas. But in trying to justify those lowered import tariffs, the bill (S. 1439 in the Senate, [...]
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 [...]
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