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Party Leaders Sell Out Our Rights in a Backroom Deal on the Patriot Act

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On Thursday Rep. John Boehner, Sen. Mitch McConnell and Sen. Harry Reid announced that after a secretive backroom meeting they had agreed on a plan to renew the PATRIOT Act for four more years — to ram it through the Senate and then the House with little or no debate before anyone can really organize any opposition. The Senate is expected to vote on Monday and the House by Wednesday.

Why did they take this route? It seems obvious. They are more aware than we realized how strongly opposed the grassroots of both parties are to any further extension of the remaining provisions of the act. They know we’re fed up. They saw the anger when they tried to force a long-term renewal back in February, and they .don’t want to take any chances this time. By this action they are clearly declaring that their personal loyalties are not to their parties and not to their constituents, but to the bipartisan ruling elite who control Congress and the federal bureaucracy.

The three sections of the PATRIOT Act which are up for renewal override longstanding privacy protections in common law and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Historically it has been necessary to go to a judge and show evidence to justify a warrant before searching a location or carrying out surveillance. The sections of the PATRIOT Act they are trying to renew take away that fundamental protection. They allow roving wiretaps of phone and data transmission without even identifying the target being investigated, the seizure of private and professional records without due process, secret surveillance orders against any individual without evidence of a crime and blanket search warrants called National Security Letters.

These provisions are contrary to the most basic principles of individual rights on which our country was founded and are blatantly unconstitutional. They violate the privacy of millions in the hopes of catching a few terrorist associates who could have been caught by more traditional means, as has been the case with almost every terrorist arrest since 9/11.

We fought the Revolutionary War to protect the rights which these parts of the PATRIOT Act have taken away from us. One of the chief concerns at that time was the right of citizens to be protected from abusive government prosecution, including secret courts and blanket warrants called Writs of Assistance which were very similar to these National Security Letters. The PATRIOT Act has brought back these tyrannies of autocratic misrule and it is past time to do away with it.

Some of the Senators and Representatives who opposed renewing the PATRIOT Act in February are going to try to raise opposition and delay the process. Rand Paul. (RLC-KY) will get first crack at it in the Senate. Then it will be on his father Ron Paul (RLC-TX) and allies like Justin Amash (RLC-MI) to oppose it in the House. Their best hope is to delay the process while citizens frantically call and email their representatives to try to organize more opposition, with the goal of gathering enough votes to either block the renewal or at least limit it to a shorter term as was the outcome in February.

If you want to add your voice to the protests, the Republican Liberty Caucus has organized a call-in and write-in campaign which you can join.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://tmackorg.com/ Tommy Mack

    The American Civil Liberties Union understandably opposes S. 1038, that will extend the provisions until June 1, 2015. The ACLU also has a site to help oppose the extension of the Patriot Act.

    Tommy

  • Dillon Mawler

    This is an outrageous move in the direction of secret government, and Dave is 100% right to be pissed.
    Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention, and as Tommy says the ACLU is opposed and offers a place to protest.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I just listened to your interview with Thom Hartmann (whom I agree with a little over half the time)…and you made some good and interesting points. I had to stop the car and park so I could listen to you.

    You know, when you stay away from making statements like “the real problems are civil rights” (which make you seem extremist) and stick to talking about actual problems like the Patriot Act which many on both the left and the right can agree on, you do make a good deal of sense. I hope you take that as the constructive criticism as it’s meant to be.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    When the ACLU and the Republican Liberty Caucus agree that something is an outrageous abrogation of rights, you can bet that it is.

    I’m glad to see bipartisan opposition rising up against “the bipartisan ruling elite who control Congress and the federal bureaucracy.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    When the ACLU and the Republican Liberty Caucus agree that something is an outrageous abrogation of rights, you can bet that it is.

    Quoted for truth.

    Actually, that’s one of my longstanding principles – when two strongly opposing sides agree on the benefit or the danger of something, they’re probably right.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Strongly opposing sides have their place, yes, Glenn. I hope more people look beyond “the sides” to get “the big picture.”

    If the renewing of the Patriot Act happens on President Obama’s watch, there is a sector of “the Left” (or those who are cowed by it) who will claim that opposition to it is racially tinged Obama-bashing.

    Neoconservatives on “the Right” are unlikely to provide opposition to the renewing of the Patriot Act, since they were all about it the first time it went through. To oppose the renewal of the Patriot Act will be considered “unpatriotic.”

    The illusion of a fundamental, even MORAL, difference between die-hard Democrats and dyed-in-the-wool Republicans keeps WE THE PEOPLE bitch-slapping one another instead of uniting with real power to oppose these who want all of us under their heel.

    Those who are too indolent to care about the direction the country is going with the Patriot Act renewal, should get out of the way and stop throwing around terms like “delusional and paranoid.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    That said, why then does Obama now apparently support the Patriot Act (as Bush did) even though he originally opposed it?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    The answer might mean more coming from you, Glenn. Go for it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    As always with this president [and most of the time with any president], the reasons are likely political. His newly burnished tough image on national security should actually give him cover to suggest judicial reforms of the Act [he has never actually called for its full repeal], reforms he supported as a senator and a candidate.

    But if McConnell, Boehner and Reid are all in favor of extension, I think the answer is that everyone wants to avoid haggling over the details. It’s not clear that there is a majority in Congress right now to repeal or reform the act.

    Boehner doesn’t want another fight with the Tea Party, especially a long one; and the GOP would not be likely to go along with reforms if they originated with Obama.

    So who is going to vote for a reformed act? And who is going to let it expire? If they think there is a political price to pay, no one.

    I definitely object to the act in principle, but somewhat less so in practice. If it really is restricted to suspected terrorism cases, then have innocent citizens been harmed? I’d be interested to hear of concrete examples.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Eric McDavid was entrapped and branded an “eco-terrorist,” and sentenced to twenty years in prison.

    I don’t know why this link to Will Potter’s blog “Green is the New Red” won’t post. but you can google it easily.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Russ Feingold (Dem.) said there were abuses related to the section 215 of the Patriot Act in a “sensitive collection program.” The then Senator Feingold was on the intelligence committee, and he opposed the reauthorization of the Patriot Act in 2009.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    …I’m culling the sources that you might consider too conservative handyguy…

  • zingzing

    “If the renewing of the Patriot Act happens on President Obama’s watch, there is a sector of “the Left” (or those who are cowed by it) who will claim that opposition to it is racially tinged Obama-bashing.”

    ahhhh, the preemptive race card race card. well played, senorita. let’s just see how many leftist attacks of rightist attacks on continuing the patriot act play the race card, knowing that the preemptive race card race card has already been shown. at that point, the ridiculousness of american politics will be all the more ridiculous.

    i can’t fathom the reasons why obama would continue the patriot act. but he has before. maybe it’s pure politics. maybe trying to shut it down would be political poison, or maybe it would be a giant waste of time. maybe it is profoundly useful in “the war on terror,” but i don’t really like that nebulous thing, so i don’t care if it is or not. maybe it saves american lives and isn’t a threat to our rights. but fuck if it’s not one step away from that. it may be a line of defense, but it’s also a potential weapon, and there’s no way i can abide that, but maybe the guy with the power can (hopefully in the service of protecting his constituents, but trust only goes so far).

    i’d hope that obama will give a detailed explanation of any continuance of the act, but that would probably undercut its usefulness. at any rate, it sucks not being president sometimes. i’d like to know what he knows.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Rachel Maddow 2009. Entertaining!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Rachel Maddow 2011, not so much. What happened to Rachel, I wonder, between 2009 and 2011?

    What’s happened to you, handyguy, and you, ZingZing?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think if you compared the 2009 Irene to the 2011 Irene you’d have similar questions.

    So what happened to you, Irene Athena?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Specific to the Patriot Act? Nothing. I was against it when Bush was president and I’m against it now. So the ball is now in your court again. Don’t be evasive.

  • zingzing

    to be fair, obama was saying that there needed to be strict (albeit nebulous in the speech,) reasoning for detentions. maddow, as she does, went off. i hope obama was arguing for limitations, not the opposite, but such is the nature of politics. if you want to take the 24-hour news cycle as the truth, this will be the first time. not that you or i won’t again. but are you really believing the “lame stream media” this time? if so, why now? i like maddow as much as i like anyone, but she’s a firecracker. she’s generally stable, but she’s a member of media, selling. it’s hard to make the loot agreeing with everything. she took a stance, then she stood off it.

    if it’s possible for you to change your mind, never do it. because you criticisms will only haunt you. or maybe they won’t. i dunno. probably not. meh.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Of course I change my mind. Not about this though. Why did you change your mind about this. “Because never changing your mind is bad” is no kind of an answer.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Why was it OK for the liberal elite to speak out against the government in 2007, but in 2011, only EXTREMISTS do that sort of thing? Extremists who deserve to have their phone lines tapped, and their library records turned over for review, their privacy invaded with or without search warrants, the latter served with SWAT if the records show they own guns with which they might defend themselves.

  • zingzing

    really, history will tell what obama meant by that, and the history so far is not quite in keeping with maddow’s doomsaying. yes, gitmo is still open, much to (hopefully, by now,) everyone’s chagrin, but what trials have been held were held in civil courts, and there is a significant lack of large amounts of civilians being incarcerated and tried on anti-gov’t charges. the nwo hasn’t begun because of obama’s speech two years ago. if it was going to happen, it should have happened by—OH SHIT, OBAMA IS COMING TO TAKE ME AW—

  • zingzing

    “Extremists who deserve to have their phone lines tapped, and their library records turned over for review, their privacy invaded with or without search warrants, the latter served with SWAT if the records show they own guns with which they might defend themselves.”

    but do they, irene? do you hear clicks on your phone? no, you do not? why is that?

  • zingzing

    “Why did you change your mind about this.”

    i didn’t. gitmo and patriot are things i can’t understand. they shouldn’t exist. i don’t know why they ever did, and i don’t know why they do.

    do you understand them?

    if not, are you willing to let them stand?

    if not, what the fuck are you going to do?

    i can’t imagine taking up arms against something i don’t know how to defeat, much less something i don’t understand on any real level.

    i’m not admitting defeat so much as i am ignorance. you seem to think you know it all. i’ll not wait too long, but i hope to be in a position of knowledge and understanding before i try to take on this kind of thing. (we are talking about the patriot act here. shouldn’t fuck around with that.)

    it has to go. but it will have to make a really bad move first. once some politician fucks up and plays the patriot act’s hand a little to hard, it’ll crumble. right now, the controversy over it is at a low simmer. let it boil up again.

  • Clavos

    America:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    Or, en Anglais:

    SSDD

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I remember a meal on board that was called ‘SSDD’…and we washed it down with bug juice – red bug juice, orange bug juice, purple or green…but of course the color had nothing to do with the actual flavor, which was why we called it by its color and not by ‘strawberry’ or ‘lime’ or whatever.

    And when we wanted to clean the rust off deck plates down in the engine room, what did we use? Bug juice – great for removing rust and quenching your thirst!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The speech Maddow objected to two years ago was about justifying continued incarceration of Guantanamo detainees. No one, certainly not the president, has proposed applying ‘prolonged detention’ [without charge or trial] to American citizens. It’s a distinction Irene ignores.

    I share Maddow’s misgivings, but I recognize that the administration has decided some people incarcerated by the Bush government can neither be tried nor released, because of the probability of dangerous consequences. And no additional detainees have been sent to Guantanamo during this administration.

    The tortured logic [pun intended] of justifying ‘prolonged detention’ comes from a good place: attempting to ensure that there is a rule of law underlying our actions as a democracy. The Bushies often just didn’t bother with such niceties.

  • Leroy

    I suspect that the Military/industrial complex has a powerful core in DC that survives all administrations and trivial changes like partisan majorities in congress, and that their constant message is fear and threat that can only be met by more weapons and more restrictions on mere civilians.

    That core is non-partisan and well-trained in leadership and aggressive collection of power. Also very paranoid. No one can resist their power and challenges.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Furthermore, the 2011 Rachel Maddow has not changed her mind and become a fascist. As much as she fears and abhors domestic terrorists [people who murder or threaten murder for political ends], she is not calling for their indefinite detention.

    What Irene objects to is the idea that violent antigovernment extremists are used to tar all ‘liberty’ groups. I think this is paranoid silliness, but at any rate we can all tell the difference between foreign nationals detained in Cuba and domestic advocates of violence against minorities and abortion providers.

    Instead of knee-jerk paranoia, Irene should explicitly condemn violence and violent rhetoric even when it comes from within her beloved and far from innocent ‘liberty’ movement.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    No one can resist their power and challenges, Leroy (#27)?

    We have to keep trying. Despite the intimidation efforts of people like ZingZing and handyguy, who brand it as “paranoid”, a BIPARTISAN (heck, tripartisan, quatripartisan) resistance movement is growing.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Even if the very worst happens in the short term, Leroy, if it all goes to total hell in the United States (yes, yes, Elie Wiesel’s “Moishe the Beadle” was considered a paranoid crazy in Transylvania, 1944) we can avoid branding our neighbors as “extremist suspects.” Resist, resist, even if it means resistance against becoming inhumane in your own little corner of the world.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Irene, your 29 and 30 are irresponsible. This is rhetoric and distortion, not reasonable discussion. What zing and I object to is your wild over-generalizations, and we have certainly expressed our own misgivings about detention without charge [even if applied only to the non-citizens in Guantanamo]. Your refusal to acknowledge any such distinctions does not raise the quality of your ‘argument.’

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    In #28, there is a request for me to apologize for a guy who bombed an abortion clinic, because it came from my “beloved and far from innocent ‘liberty’ movement.

    That’s not an invitation to continue “reasonable discussion.” It’s a sleazy accusation.

  • pablo

    handguy 26
    “No one, certainly not the president, has proposed applying ‘prolonged detention’ [without charge or trial] to American citizens. It’s a distinction Irene ignores.”

    You are so right Handguy. Instead what Obama does is to target for assassination american citizens without ummmm due process.
    Your hypocrisy as usual is overwhelming.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Irene, I said nothing of the kind. [Did you even read what I wrote?] I said you should denounce violence and pro-violence rhetoric, wherever it may come from.

    You repeatedly insist on taking separate issues, putting them into a Waring blender, and then commenting on the resulting confused mess as if it were meaningful.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Pauly: I know of one American citizen targeted for assassination: Anwar al-Awlaki. If you know of others, maybe you have a case.

    The administration justifies this stance because al-Awlaki has relocated to Yemen, joined al Qaeda, and advocates violence against Americans. I don’t agree with this particular government stance. But I don’t describe it as you do: as if the White House has a death list of people in the US. I don’t know whether you’re a hypocrite, but you are frequently quite ridiculous.

    Say what you mean, mean what you say, stop throwing meaningless verbal grenades.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I posted, AT YOUR REQUEST, handyguy, links (on the other side of the wretched “Previous 25 Comments” break) to an article describing Democrat Russ Feingold’s objections to the Patriot Act because of section 215 abuses he’d seen when he was on the intelligence committee, and to a site where Progressives are justifiably worried over the…here’s the latest…War on Green.

    I posted a link to a Rachel Maddow show ripping into Obama over the Patriot Act, and another one to an article about how her enthusiasm for defending the rights it took away waned once the Tea Partiers got involved. That was the point: there is no way “just the Right” or “just the Left” is going to get the sun to set on the Patriot Act.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    28 – handyguy May 24, 2011 at 8:24 am “we can all tell the difference between foreign nationals detained in Cuba and domestic advocates of violence against minorities and abortion providers. Instead of knee-jerk paranoia, Irene should explicitly condemn violence and violent rhetoric even when it comes from within her beloved and far from innocent ‘liberty’ movement.”

    34 – handyguy May 24, 2011 at 10:05 am “Irene, I said nothing of the kind. [Did you even read what I wrote?] I said you should denounce violence and pro-violence rhetoric, wherever it may come from.”

    Shouldn’t we all? That’s why I’ll keep on speaking out against the Patriot Act, with Conservatives who haven’t sold out, and with Progressives who haven’t sold out.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Maddow’s two statements were about two different things, neither of them the Patriot Act.

    One is the continued detention without charges or trials of Guantanamo prisoners. She has separately expressed concern about US citizens who advocate violence and who often conflate the violent words with anti-government diatribes.

    Some, NOT ALL, of these folks overlap with the ‘liberty’ movement. And neither Maddow nor myself advocate the use of the Patriot Act against citizens, whether they commit acts of violence, or threaten them, or just use vehement anti-government rhetoric [note that I am naming three categories, and that I am not claiming they are identical]. But we do find the violence and the talk of violence disturbing.

    You take these various items [only indirectly related to the Patriot Act] and use them to accuse Maddow, zing and myself of ‘selling out.’ You are completely mistaken.

  • Clavos

    Haven’t read this whole thread, but I continue to wonder why Obama, progressive that he purports to be, has not rescinded the Patriot Act?

    Is it too useful to him, perhaps?

    Apologies if I have repeated a previous comment.

  • zingzing

    watching irene’s vision becoming increasingly black and white and her eyes crossing to form conglomerate issues has been rather troubling. that’s what blind rage does to you, i guess.

  • zingzing

    and clavos, i wondered just about the same thing up in #13. if that’s the case, hopefully he thinks he can use it for good rather than evil, but that line is so thin, i wonder how he would know if he crossed it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Haven’t read this whole thread, but I continue to wonder why Obama, progressive that he purports to be, has not rescinded the Patriot Act? Is it too useful to him, perhaps?

    Actually, I’m not sure. I’ve always borne in mind what I once read, that once someone is given power, that person is loath to give up that power. It could be that, or perhaps someone has convinced him that it is necessary for our national security that we keep the Patriot act in place, if only for now.

    That means that either Obama was seduced by the power he wields through the Patriot Act…or he thinks it is still necessary, if only for now. Personally, because no president wields the power of a dictator, and because Obama has not evinced an overriding desire to impose his will upon others, I think it’s the latter.

    So while I really, truly don’t like the Patriot Act, perhaps it was and still is necessary. I’m not eager to trust the government, but having seen firsthand how the government DOES know things we don’t, it’s a judgment call on whether he really wants the best for America, or not. I think he does, so I’ll trust him on it. I hope he doesn’t betray that trust.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    There’s an opportunity for a new president to be elected in 2012. How can we trust HIM (or her) with the “temporary” extra control given to him by the Patriot Act, when we don’t even know who that will be?

    What if it ends up being someone like Bush? Can we expect handyguy and ZingZing to begin raising objections again then, rather than calling those who do “delusional”, “paranoid,” and “blind with rage?” Perhaps it will happen when a Republican President sits in office IN A CRITICAL THREE DAY PERIOD SUCH AS THE ONE WE ARE CURRENTLY IN NOW, DESCRIBED IN THE ARTICLE we’re commenting on.

    I hope so. I guess it’s as much as I can reasonably expect from them. I hope it isn’t too late by then, though.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Atta girl!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    And BTW, look forward to my upcoming article, “Of Mice and Men and Other Things” sometime next week, I project.

    I promise you’ll find it interesting.

  • Costello

    What I don’t get is how the Congressional leaders stay as the leaders? Do Dems like Reid and Pelosi? Do Repubs like McConnell and Boehner? Forget seniority, We need new blood in these positions.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Hey, Roger! I was just about to sign off for like…forever…We both know how long those sojourns last. Happy writing!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I admit there is an element of trusting a 21st century liberal Democrat not to abuse these powers, more than I would trust a post-Cheney Republican. This may well not be rational or fair of me.

    But Cheney-Bush seemed to relish this sort of Big Stick stuff; Obama accepts it without embracing it.

    Being branded, however falsely, weak on national security is strongly imprinted on the minds of a lot of Democrats, especially any who have run for president in the last several decades.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Please don’t do that, Irene. I’ve always valued your input.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And, Irene, objecting to the Patriot Act is not the part of your repertoire that comes across as extreme and shrill. It’s your refusal to deal with nuance and detail. For you, everyone is either For Liberty or Against Liberty. There are 300 million people in this country, and many different shades of belief. Add a few more categories to your worldview, and don’t be so defensive and quick to condemn.

  • zingzing

    “How can we trust HIM (or her) with the “temporary” extra control given to him by the Patriot Act, when we don’t even know who that will be?”

    well, that’s true. i dunno. keep in mind that it wasn’t the entire act that was up for a vote, only specific parts of it. and, from what i’ve read, it seems that every one of those specific parts requires a court order.

    it passed initial voting 74-8 in the senate. that’s a big hill to climb by “later this week,” when the final vote is held. however, there does seem to be an amendment to the bill making the rounds, which would “impose limitations and oversight,” whatever that really means. it looks like it may just be a delay tactic.

    in february, similar extensions of legislation were defeated, mostly by the dems. now it seems that nearly everyone is on board. what’s changed? is it the specific bits of the bill? or were they told something different this time? i dunno.

    it’s hard to know exactly how the patriot act has been used, as that’s all kept under wraps, for obvious reasons. but that’s what makes people despise it so. it’s too secretive and obviously a potential threat to real civil liberties. but this is one of those powers that you can’t just hand to somebody and then say “well, you’ve got to hand that back to me now.” then they say, “make me.” it was a pandora’s box that never should have been opened.

  • Clavos

    I would venture to say that everyone on these comment threads who has in any way demonstrated disgust, dislike, or opposition to any of the governments in this country is on at least one secret law enforcement list, myself included.

    I don’t know this but I believe it — firmly.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Call 202-224-3542 Sen. Harry Reid’s office. Remind him that the Congressional Record shows him promising (bargaining for the 90-day extension back in February) an open amendment process and a week of debate when that 90 day extension was over.

    Hold Reid’s feet to the fire to hold up his end of the deal, or at least part of it. And encourage your senators to press for that, too. What’s changed in the last three months, besides the story that Public Enemy #1 Osama bin Laden has been executed.

    Next, you can call the Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121, give the operator the name of the state where you live, and they’ll put you through to an aide from one of your senators, and at least call for a FULL and OPEN amendment process, and to vote against a cloture vote/final passage that would bypass debate.

    That’s of course, if you are more inclined to see the process continue out in the open, than to have it happen behind closed doors, for reasons only your President (or the military industrial/corporate complex pulling his strings) knows for sure.

    Others have posted links to the ACLU upthread and Dave has posted a link to the Republican Liberty Caucus on page 2 of the article. I’m posting here to the Campaign for Liberty. There ARE thinkers, who, while disagreeing on a number of issues, agree that it’s time for the sunset of the Patriot Act, promised ten years ago.

    But their opinions won’t mean anything to Congress unless we the people convey that message to them.

    I’m trying to relight a fire that was once under you both, ZingZing and handyguy. Go to a cooler place and think it over if you find my voice too heated.

    The more the merrier, Clavos :)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    That’s a good point – however good Obama’s intentions may be with the Patriot Act, there’s a REAL good chance that it would be used for ill in the future. Can we imagine what Nixon might have done with it? Or Joe McCarthy, if he’d ever become president?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Now pick up that phone and dial, Glenn :)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    For those who aren’t following this closely, the fight goes on for at least another day in the Senate because of Rand Paul’s heroic 7 hur filibuster, so make those calls and send those emails.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Okay, Irene, will do.

    *walks off grumbling about yet another woman telling him what to do and he can’t argue about it because just like his wife, she’s got that annoying habit of being right….*

  • zingzing

    hey irene– i’m dialing the number right now… shit, it went on for 20 rings without an answer. i guess that’s what you get at 4 am. at least i wanted to leave a message. maybe i’ll try tomorrow.

    ..so i called the other number and got ahold of the guy from new york’s message service. i left a message saying i thought the continuance of the patriot act shit was disturbing.

    although the chances of him listening to that are minimal, i have done my part. i don’t like any more than you do.

    however, i’ll admit i don’t know everything that’s going on. i’m sure you would as well. and now my number is in a federal databank as opposed to the patriot act. thanks. i’m sure i won’t be audited now. damn it. shit.

  • Clavos

    Hell, zing you were already on every list the feds have.

    They needed a “z” to close ‘em out…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    202-224-3121 does work, and thanks for calling it, ZingZing.

    For those who haven’t called your Senators, do at as soon as you can grab a minute–Wednesday is one more day that you can let your Senators know the people want a FULL and OPEN debate over the amendments to the Patriot Act. My calls to the aides for both of the Senators from my State, from dialing to hang-up, took about two minutes each. The switchboard will patch you right over to the Senators from your state.

    Thank you also, Glenn.

  • Cindy

    Roger!!!! smooooch! :-)

  • Cindy

    Wow another pack of doods criticizing Irene. She MUST be saying something I will like!

    Gonna read now. :-)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    They started being nice to me toward the end, though, Cindy. Hiya! by the way, and bye-ya, too. Someone just walked in the door.

  • Clavos

    Someone just walked in the door.

    Someone you know (and not in law enforcement), I hope.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Well, Irene can be very nice or she can go into zealot/attack mode, which she has done more frequently lately. We were responding to that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    I’m good, Clavos. It was not a foe.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Except for sometimes, Clavos, and then we take his cell phone away.

  • zingzing

    cindy: “Wow another pack of doods criticizing Irene. She MUST be saying something I will like!”

    yeah, reading the thread would have helped… disappointed?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    *sigh*

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    If she chose to tell me that she was, if she was, she would’ve ZingZing.

    She’s a Pa Poof Gool and we try to disagree civilly when we do.

  • zingzing

    irene: “If she chose to tell me that she was, if she was, she would’ve ZingZing.”

    what? disappointed? or what what? cindy is a nice person, and i value her contributions as much as that means to people around here, but that statement at that time was kinda like a open door. you can’t blamed me if i walked in and robbed the place. you know that was wide open, and it needed to be plundered.

  • zingzing

    but thanks for defending me on another thread, irene. that won’t be forgotten. fair play.