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For once, I wish the Dems did have balls

The House and Senate have reached an compromise on the controversial provisions of the PATRIOT Act. And, in true congressional form, compromise is a synonym for screwing everyone a little:

Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., announced that the negotiating committee had reached an agreement that would extend for four years two of the Patriot Act’s most controversial provisions authorizing roving wiretaps and permitting secret warrants for books, records and other items from businesses, hospitals and organizations such as libraries. Those provisions would expire in four years unless Congress acted on them again.


The Republican-controlled House had been pushing for those provisions to stay in effect as long as a decade, but negotiators decided to go with the GOP-controlled Senate’s suggestion.

Most of the Patriot Act would become permanent under the reauthorization.

If you don’t think it’s a good idea to make these provisions permanent, how the Hell can you think it’s a good idea to have them at all? Feingold says he’ll stop it:

“I will do everything I can, including a filibuster, to stop this Patriot Act conference report, which does not include adequate safeguards to protect our constitutional freedoms,” said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who was the only senator to vote against the original version of the Patriot Act.

If it weren’t for that horrendous campaign finance reform bill, I’d actually like Feingold. He’s also pro-gun.

3 Responses to “For once, I wish the Dems did have balls”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    Campaign finance reform aside, Feingold is one of the best in the Senate. And personally, I think campaign finance reform is a good idea executed poorly. What we really need to do is get rid of the bullshit standard that says money = speech.

  2. persimmon Says:

    You have to admire him just for trying on campaign finance reform. Getting Congress to change those rules is like trying to get a hippie drum circle to pass a resolution in favor of marijuana prohibition. Even if you had a really good argument for doing so, you’d still have to get a bunch of stoned people to shut up, pay attention, remember what you just said and cast their votes.

    That’s why I favor tiny, discrete steps like running all elections as non-partisan races and implementing full and rapid disclosure.

  3. _Jon Says:

    Given all that, I wonder how bad the campaign finance bill would have been if Feingold hadn’t been involved?