Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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Post 401 - Bush Knows Who The Leaker Is
Jarrett's Joy Cart
Muslim Sororities
Your Topic
Polling Numbers Don't Look Good for Ky Repubs
What Other Rights Can the Patriot Act Strip
Tookie Williams: Dead Man Walking
Supreme Court to Review Texas Redistricting
Cory Maye: Another Mockingbird
Bill Frist On Torture and Alito


USA Fascist Act Update Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to revise and extend the USA Fascist Act. WaPo covers the events that happened today. The battle now comes in the Senate as Senators on both sides of the aisle have threatened to filibuster the bill as it stands. If they can keep this war going on a little longer, the damned thing will expire. Some people I normally wouldn't root for, like John Sununu (R-NH) are fighting this bill so we can hope they fight it hard. I know our own senators, McConnell and Bunning won't vote against it.

An unusual coalition of Democrats and moderate-to-conservative Republicans in the Senate opposes the bill. Members say they will support a filibuster, promised by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), intended to kill it through long debate. Stopping a filibuster would require 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, where Republicans hold 55 seats.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who supports the bill, told reporters yesterday that he believes that "ultimately we're going to be successful." But top aides said the vote was too close to predict the final outcome.

Frist said he would not accept a "short-term extension" of the existing Patriot Act. But many Democrats and some Republicans want a one- or three-month renewal of the law to allow more time to negotiate the proposed four-year extension after Congress's winter recess. The first votes testing the filibuster are expected tomorrow.

The sharpest debate in both chambers has centered on proposed changes to provisions that allow investigators to demand business records, library logs and other items connected to suspects. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who supports the bill, wrote a seven-page letter to colleagues rebutting claims that the revisions would do too little to protect innocent people from invasion of privacy. Investigators would have to show a special judge "a statement of facts" connecting the documents being sought with an ongoing investigation, he noted.

But some Republicans are unconvinced. The legislation does not spell out a targeted person's right to a "specific judicial review" of the "gag order" that is included in the records' search to ensure secrecy, Sen. John E. Sununu (N.H.) said yesterday. "There are a lot of Republicans and independents and Democrats who believe civil liberties should be protected as you extend the Patriot Act," he added.

Some Democrats have expressed fears that a vote against the Patriot Act extension may be used against them in next year's elections. They note that former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) was accused of being unpatriotic for voting against creation of the Homeland Security Department under guidelines opposed by labor unions. But Sununu said, "I don't believe this is a partisan issue" because so many Republicans oppose the Patriot Act legislation and dozens of Democrats support it.

This is the last chance folks. Contact your senators. Tell them to fight for this one. Our right are in jeopardy. We need to stop this bill or things in this country will get much worse.

posted by Stithmeister @ 11:43 PM

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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