This should come as no surprise to our readers and to listeners of No Agenda, but in case it is…

Two senators claimed on Thursday that the Justice Department had secretly interpreted the so-called Patriot Act in a twisted way, enabling domestic surveillance activities that many members of Congress do not understand.
[…]
During the debate, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and a member of the Intelligence Committee, said that the executive branch had come up with a secret legal theory about what it could collect under a provision of the Patriot Act that did not seem to dovetail with a plain reading of the text. “I want to deliver a warning this afternoon: When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry,” Mr. Wyden said. He invoked the public’s reaction to the illegal domestic spying that came to light in the mid-1970s, the Iran-contra affair, and the Bush administration’s program of surveillance without warrants.

Another member of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, backed Mr. Wyden’s account, saying, “Americans would be alarmed if they knew how this law is being carried out.”
[…]
The Obama administration declined to explain what the senators were talking about.

Didn’t Obama have something to say about Patriot Act abuses when running for office?




  1. Dallas says:

    #25. Awesome! We’ve established that Obama has not renewed the old Patriot Act but rather signed off on a different Patriot Act with less Spanish Inquisition aftertaste. We’re on the same page.

    #28 Nope. No crush on Obama but I did see this drop dead gorgeous blonde guy at Q Bar on Castro street wed night I’m still dreaming about!

    #29 That has to be your longest post yet I don’t read!

  2. bobbo, Democracies "reflect" what the people actually care about..... says:

    #31–Dallas==I’m struck by how much you and Pedro are posting in unison: “I like….” “I don’t like…..” all in reference to other people. Very 12 year old girlish of you two doing that. Pedro has but one note. At least you provide some insightful political analysis and humor, and that is a good thing. Not as uniformily idiotic as Pedro, but approaching it asymtotically.

    “#29 That has to be your longest post yet I don’t read!” /// Ha, ha. Meaning what? Exactly or otherwise? All I see is that you are as effective on this blog as you are at a Castro Street Meat Market. Ain’t you got no game?

    No game at all?

    Pedro?

  3. msbpodcast says:

    Unjust, unfair, uninterpretable and unenforceable laws will continue to be enacted as long as some idiot out there thinks that they’re above them.

    Laws are about “I” and not about “you” or even “us“.

    All laws should be enacted with a sunshine clause and revisited every 7 years. (The statute of limitations is 7 years.)

    No law on the books could be older than seven years old and should only be renewed if its found to still be applicable.

  4. eighthnote says:

    Anyone in congress who voted for this piece of legislative garbage only has themselves to thank. As seasoned politicians, they of all people should be well acquainted with the notion that government takes *every inch* it can get. There is no self-imposed moderation, because that’s what the courts and electorate is for. Unfortunately, the general public is too stupid to accept this responsibility, much less carry it out with any degree of consistency or competency.

  5. Dallas says:

    #32 meh, readers of this blog are no different than any other blog – cherry pick information that reinforces their viewpoint.

    Don’t get your panties in a wad. We agree on m

  6. Dallas says:

    … On most things

  7. bobbo, Democracies "reflect" what the people actually care about..... says:

    Well Dallas==per my own memory which is pretty good but not perfect, we agree on everything “that is relevant.”

    And I will further assume that we both have posted what we really think. To limit the potential damage of that thought, … at least as set forth in this thread.

    How do you think we agree most of the time if you aren’t reading my posts? Why all the hating? Lack of humor about irrelevant things I would say.

    I am just the opposite. I’ve read everything you have posted. Going off topic to personalities is not relevant. and I do wonder why you did not go up to the Blond Guy at the Q Bar. Its the same the world over: nothing ventured, nothing gained. ain’t you got game?

    Why not? As stated, rhetorical, but I do enjoy taking apart firmly held beliefs that make no sense. The very best when they are my own.

    Religion, PUKES, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Hope and Change, Democracy, Hopes and Fears==a full orchestra of divine notes to appreciate.

  8. bobbo, student of the haiku says:

    It struck me that as the fates allow, that I had stumbled onto a rhyming couplet. Then I marveled at a natural haiku:

    Its the same the world
    over: nothing ventured, no
    thing gained. ain’t you got game?

    but on setting it forth above, “over” is two syllables, destroying the traditional haiku. Now we only have the couplet:

    Its the same the world over: nothing ventured, nothing gained
    Aint you got game?

    Hmmm. Unequal length. It ain’t Shakespeare, but what you gonna do?

    There are several more formal rules about haiku–subject matter is supposed to be about nature, but I think personal love/failure/hopes/dreams come in pretty close. Then more rules about the internal structure comprising a premise followed by a contradiction or surprise.

    Just fun with words. Kinda like insults.

  9. MikeN says:

    Dallas, nothing like what you say has been established. What I’m saying is the original Patriot Act had say 300 provisions, 250 of which were permanent. So the new act now has just 50 provisions. So it is not a different law being signed with a new title, but an extension of the parts that were expiring. In other words, the things that were objected to then by candidate Obama, are what he is signing now.

  10. bobbo, the love guru says:

    Its the same the world over
    Gay, Straight, or Bent
    You spot a tempting lover
    Tarry, and opportunity spent.

    Still not Shakespeare, but getting closer. I met my true love in a bar, but she walked up to me. “Love is a stranger, in an open car…..”

  11. Somebody says:

    Now that we’ve discussed whos fault it is,

    WHAT ARE _YOU_ GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

  12. LDA says:

    Huberous stems from the failure to hold these people accountable for their crimrs against the Constitution and the People for decades.

    Now, let the (self defeating) partisan bickering continue.

  13. Dallas says:

    #39 Agree and you are correct. Evidently, both house and senate agreed by a wide margin to extend and was signed soon after the NRA gave the Republicans the final OK. Rand Paul of Kentucky allowed the bill to proceed at the 11th hour.

    Under the circumstances, where both houses of Congress voted in favor by nearly a 2:1 margin, I would sign it as well. I agree this is one of those no wins situations a president has to make which delights the GOP.

    Would you vote yes or vote no to suspend the government from further terror investigations?

  14. MikeN says:

    Frankly I don’t know the details of the provisions at issue here. I would probably have been with Rand Paul and voted no, but maybe not.
    Nearly a 2/3 margin? It got less than that? That means if the president vetoes, there is no chance of an override. I figured that was the case as most Democrats would stick with him, but I didn’t think it had that many no votes to begin with.

  15. bobbo, the love guru says:

    Doesn’t “the constitutional issue” come down to whether or not a warrent is issued by a court and when such court order were sought in the past they were provided 99.99% of the time?

    And the other situation I think is that there is usually some “overseas” link like an American who is making a phone call INTO the USA. Almost a foreigner in most people’s book.

    More invasion of privacy every day when google targets you by side bar ads===and if we are going to have to put up with ads, I prefer to be targeted, so what you gonna do?

    Beyond that, the real ABUSE of government is not privacy rights invasions that none of us feels, but those more directly targeted like DOMA or Abortion Restrictions or Killing Medicare, or Privatising Soc Sec, or offshoring jobs and on and on and on.

    Prioritize your real concern, and only bitch, gripe, and moan ineffectually about the first 20 on your list…….and blogs all across America die.

  16. LibertyLover says:

    #28, Nope. No crush on Obama but I did see this drop dead gorgeous blonde guy at Q Bar on Castro street wed night I’m still dreaming about!

    I didn’t say you had a crush on him. I said you were behaving like a teenager with one when it comes to Obush.


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