Breakthrough on Patriot Act Will Probably Allow for Quick Passage Before Expiration of Key Provisions

By: Thursday May 26, 2011 6:10 am

It appears that Rand Paul has reached some kind of deal on his insistence to get votes for his amendments to the Patriot Act. There will now be votes on the amendments, with a likely 60-vote threshold. But the expectation is that the amendments will fail, and final passage will be secured Thursday. That will [...]

Rand Paul Facing Torrent of Fearmongering Over Holding Up Patriot Act Passage for One Day

By: Wednesday May 25, 2011 1:45 pm

Rand Paul is using the tools at his disposal to keep the debate going on extending three provisions the Patriot Act, by insisting on all post-cloture time and insisting on votes on his amendments. The provisions lapse on Friday, which means that Paul’s gambit could cause them to temporarily expire for new investigations. Check out [...]

Paul, Leahy Team Up on Amendments to Patriot Act Extension

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 6:50 am

As I noted yesterday, the Senate passed cloture, by a 74-8 margin, on the motion to proceed for a four-year extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act. Final passage is expected Wednesday, so for a seminal civil liberties issue that has been in place nearly ten years, we will see essentially one day of [...]

Republicans Threaten NLRB After Boeing Decision

By: Wednesday May 11, 2011 8:35 am

The Boeing/NLRB dispute, which concerns a second jet production line Boeing wants to move from unionized factories in Washington state to right-to-work state South Carolina, and a labor board injunction against that, has brought in members of Congress on both sides as well as interest groups. Rand Paul summarized the argument of the far right [...]

Striking Lightning Twice: Why House Republicans Would Pass a Debt Limit Bill Under an Open Rule

By: Thursday April 14, 2011 9:05 am

The expectation that the 2011 budget deal will pass today got better when Rand Paul announced he wouldn’t filibuster the bill. Harry Reid shortly thereafter announced he had secured a unanimous consent agreement to move forward on it. We finally know the limits of Rand Paul’s ideology: “If you’re going to lose the battle and [...]

Enough With the Rationalizations; The 2011 Budget Deal is No Prize

By: Wednesday April 13, 2011 6:10 am

I don’t want to keep fighting this, but people really want to believe that Democrats and the President didn’t get played on the 2011 budget deal. They’re clinging to this notion that the cuts are mostly smoke and mirrors and won’t affect anyone personally. Kevin Drum exemplifies this take in at least a slightly more [...]

The Incredible Shrinking Congressional Assertion of Authority in War Powers

By: Wednesday April 6, 2011 11:13 am

Yesterday, the Senate voted to table Rand Paul’s “motion to commit” the small business bill to the Foreign Relations Committee, with the instructions to add language expressing the sense of the Senate that “the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve [...]

Libyan Civil War Stalemates, Shiny New Military Toys on Display

By: Tuesday April 5, 2011 12:17 pm

It’s kind of hard to get a handle on the Libya operation at the moment. A series of surges and counter-surges has resolved to a front established around the oil city of Brega. NATO claimed that bad weather restricting air missions was the reason for the rebels being pushed back. But we’re several days out [...]

Paul, Lee Criticize “Problematic” Indefinite Detention Order

By: Tuesday March 8, 2011 7:50 am

There’s no surprise in the ACLU criticizing a policy on Guantanamo and indefinite detention like what President Obama ordered into law yesterday. ACLU President Anthony Romero told supporters in a statement that “The detention of Guantánamo detainees for nine years without charge or trial is a stain on America’s reputation that should be ended immediately, [...]

Patriot Act Extension Whittled Down to Three Months; Senate to Vote Tonight UPDATE: Extension Passes

By: Tuesday February 15, 2011 2:29 pm

When the House passed a 10-month extension of key provisions of the Patriot Act last night, it was assumed that the Senate would follow suit quickly. And they will vote on the measure tonight. However, they will narrow the extension to three months, in a move with bipartisan support. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chair of [...]

Hoyer Continues to Keep Retirement Age Increase “On the Table”

By: Wednesday February 9, 2011 11:51 am

Richard Shelby came out yesterday and said that we should raise the retirement age “every several years,” which is a great way to eliminate both Social Security and people who have to work into their 70s and 80s. I know that in Shelby’s mind we’re all days away from becoming cyborgs who can resist any [...]

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