USA PATRIOT Is Here To Stay

|

The United States Senate votes 89-10 to renew the USA PATRIOT act. This follows some last-minute scrambling, including a filbuster-softening amendment that contains several points designed to mitigate civil liberties infringements:

Give recipients of court-approved subpoenas for information in terrorism investigations the right to challenge a requirement that they refrain from telling anyone.

Eliminate a requirement that an individual provide the FBI with the name of a lawyer consulted about a National Security Letter, which is a demand for records issued by investigators.

Clarify that most libraries are not subject to demands in those letters for information about terrorism suspects.

As Hafez Assad knew, when only a handful of people vote against you, there's only one more thing you could want. So the names of the Nay voters are:

Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Nay
Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Jeffords (I-VT), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Inouye (D-HI), Not Voting

Full results here. Results of vote on filibuster here.

Last week, John Berlau wrote about scourge-of-meth provisions in the new PATRIOT.

NEXT: Harry Browne, R.I.P.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hmmm…no (R) nays.

    Instead of “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!”, I think someone needs to write “Help! Mom! There Are Republicans Under My Bed! And they’re recording my conversations! And they’re taking my picture! And they’re strip-searching me! And they’re detaining me at an undisclosed location for an indefinite period of time!” It’d be a bestseller!

  2. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

  3. What warren said.

    (pours him a generous double drink)

  4. Yay!!!
    That’ll show them commi, I mean terror, I mean meth cookers who’s boss.

  5. Anyone wanna “Cathy Young” this decidedly partisan result?

  6. Clearly there’s not enough difference between the two wings of the ruling party to justify ever voting Democrat. However, if you feel like voting Republican, go right ahead. After all, Akaka would have been worse!

  7. Yes, I’m noting the large majority of Democrats who voted against the Patriot Act renewal. Oh, wait. . . .

    Once again, we have no real choice on any issue that matters. When it comes to impinging on civil liberties or the government continuing to grow, both parties are happy to accommodate us 🙁

  8. Hmmm…no (R) nays.

    Nope. Not even fan-favorite McCain.

    Anyone wanna “Cathy Young” this decidedly partisan result?

    Forgive me if ten “Nay” votes and one guy not bothering to show don’t strike me as much of a partisan display of superiority. These matter rather more in the end:

    Baucus (D-MT), Yea
    Bayh (D-IN), Yea
    Biden (D-DE), Yea
    Boxer (D-CA), Yea
    Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
    Carper (D-DE), Yea
    Clinton (D-NY), Yea
    Conrad (D-ND), Yea
    Dayton (D-MN), Yea
    Dodd (D-CT), Yea
    Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
    Durbin (D-IL), Yea
    Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
    Johnson (D-SD), Yea
    Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
    Kerry (D-MA), Yea
    Kohl (D-WI), Yea
    Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
    Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
    Lieberman (D-CT), Yea
    Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
    Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
    Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
    Nelson (D-FL), Yea
    Nelson (D-NE), Yea
    Obama (D-IL), Yea
    Pryor (D-AR), Yea
    Reed (D-RI), Yea
    Reid (D-NV), Yea
    Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
    Salazar (D-CO), Yea
    Sarbanes (D-MD), Yea
    Schumer (D-NY), Yea
    Stabenow (D-MI), Yea

    Republicans, your party just shat on America. Democrats, your party just shat on America, to, and you’ll spend the next two election cycles explaining how the Republicans are really responsible for all this shitting, despite your merry rush to the toilet at the time.

    I’m unimpressed on so many levels with so many people at the moment.

  9. There is a lot of chicken shit whiny slimy motherf**kers that will do anything to cover their own asses in order to win another term in office.
    I?m sorry to say that I just about lost complete confidence in our government. I used to think that there was hope that some politician will help stop the damaging status quo decisions that plagues our government and our entire political system. I also think that the Bush Administration deserves for the third of the blame, but I also put the 2nd third on the Democrats for the trying to play the same game the Republicans are playing. Last but not least, I put the last third of the blame on the citizens (myself included) for our current state of the country.
    It seems for every good thing a single politician does, we have to endure a million screw ups from all the others.
    Maybe some of the older Hit & Runners (I?m only 24 years-old) can answer a question for me: Is it just me, or are things getting exponentially worse?

  10. “…Hit & Runners (I’m only 24 years-old) can…”
    “I’m sorry to say that I just about…”

    I wrote my post in MS Word and forgot to change some things…Sorry

  11. Zeiner, I’m not that much older, but I wouldn’t say “exponentially”. I’d say the last six years have had a seriously worse trend than the six years prior. The key thing to remember is that this sort of shit, so to speak, has always been happening to some extent or another. Officials abuse their power and build on the abuses of their predecessors. Sometimes they build too fast and get reined in.

    Bush & Co. have been building faster than usual. I hope they build too fast, incur a backlash, and get checked…but it certainly hasn’t happened yet.

  12. Is it just me, or are things getting exponentially worse?

    No, some thing are just getting incrementally worse. Others are getting better.

  13. “Others are getting better”
    David –
    I’m trying to think what’s getting better but I seriously can’t (seriously). Can you give an example?

  14. “David –
    I’m trying to think what’s getting better but I seriously can’t (seriously). Can you give an example?”

    Sexual/gay rights (?)

  15. Sadly, I can even understand why the Democrats who voted “Yea” did so — because none of them wants to run for re-election against ads saying, “Senator X voted to make the country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.” Doesn’t excuse it, but I understand it.

  16. Clearly there’s not enough difference between the two wings of the ruling party to justify ever voting Democrat.

    True Dat, but it’s amazing the perceptions of the Asses-Masses as to there being differences between Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Just-As-Dumb.

    For example the same silly African Americans who say “George Bush Hates Black People” will be the first ones to defend Obama’s vote for extending Neo-COINTELPRO police powers.

    If there’s a heaven, hopefully one day Obama will get a hereafter ass beat-down by Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King ….

  17. George Bush really does hate black people. I knew him at Stanford and he turned down a BJ from a hot ass colored girl just cause she was black.

  18. What Warren said: FUCK to the 48th power! If the founders of our republic knew, they would cry bitter tears.

    Mark my prediction; there’s a future scandal brewing in this. The act will be used to punish dissent. The press will describe this scandal as “An abuse of the Patriot Act”, assuming that the press is still free to do so…

  19. “Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead” – Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

    If Bunning and Patrick Henry ever shook hands they would annihilate like matter and anti-matter.

    In regards to whether things are getting better or worse, I’m reminded of a (I believe) Russian saying:

    “Today is an average day, worse than yesterday, better than tomorrow”

  20. Blame those 89 senators all you want, but all they were doing was representing their states. The actual blame belongs to the majority of Americans. This is a democracy (for better or worse) and The Republic is long gone–the people killed it.

  21. This is a democracy (for better or worse) and The Republic is long gone–the people killed it.
    Plato is dead and McCain is not McAble.

  22. “Yes, I’m noting the large majority of Democrats who voted against the Patriot Act renewal.”

    Yeah…that’s nothing compared to the 0 percent of the repubs who voted against it.

    “Forgive me if ten “Nay” votes and one guy not bothering to show don’t strike me as much of a partisan display of superiority.”

    Right you are. The dems in this case are only 20 something percent more superior. Forgive me, I thought that numbers mattered here.

    “Democrats, your party just shat on America”

    The republicans just double evacuated and let fly a money shot and engaged in quite a bit of watersports on America. They threw, let me repeat it again, 100 fucking percent into this. Absolute unanimity! Every last one!

    “Sadly, I can even understand why the Democrats who voted “Yea” did so — because none of them wants to run for re-election against ads saying, “Senator X voted to make the country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.” Doesn’t excuse it, but I understand it.”

    I don’t know, I think the American public may finally be out of their scared and retarded phase. I don’t think that strategy holds water anymore.

    “but I also put the 2nd third on the Democrats for the trying to play the same game the Republicans are playing”

    Here here! That’s the rub. They should have stuck to their guns like Feingold.

  23. zevatron: “If Bunning and Patrick Henry ever shook hands they would annihilate like matter and anti-matter.”

    That was just a great line.

  24. I remember voting for Bill Nelson (D-Fl.) in 2000 because McCollum (R-Fl.), the incumbent at the time, had voted for an FBI wiretap program – I think it was called Eschelon.

    I hadn’t voted for a Democrat in a long time (and very few Republicans, for that matter), but I thought the egregious infringement of civil rights in that matter justified the ouster (of the 5 term “pro term limits”) McCullom.

    Now Nelson has voted for Big f’n Brother. What did Warren say? Oh, right. FUCK FUCK FUCK

    I’m going to go get drunk.

  25. I’ll give credit where credit is due. These 10 Democrats are my heroes for today.

    I’ve had my differences with them before, and no doubt I’ll disagree with them again, but for today they are my heroes.

    Credit where credit is due. And shame on all the others.

  26. For shame!

  27. Sadly, I can even understand why the Democrats who voted “Yea” did so — because none of them wants to run for re-election against ads saying, “Senator X voted to make the country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

    Sometimes it seems like “politics” is its own self contained little sphere. A hermetic sphere.

    Everybody does something (usually dumb ass) because they think everybody else thinks it should be done that way. Yet if you talk to people at large it’s hard to find many who really, in fact, think the dumb ass something is really right.

    This of course doesn’t change the momentum of the leadership stampede, who plunge over the edge en mass.

    After the fact when everybody now knows it was a dumb ass thing to do and nobody really wanted to do it anyway, leadership is intensely resistant to over turning the stupidity. I guess they’re afraid of looking wishy-washy.

    I’ve seen it happen inside large companies, just as much as in politics state and national. There ought to be a name for it. Somebody’s phenomenon.

    There ought to be a law against it to. Oh wait…..

  28. Phil, how do you explain Kennedy voting yes? Nice to see that Feingold voted no again.

  29. It used to be that the two major parties sat down and carved the constitution in little pieces, and then fought over who got which pieces of the puzzle. The deal was that you got to go around fucking up whatever pieces of the puzzle the other guy had.

    Now, they’ve thrown all the pieces up on the table and they both fuck up the whole thing. It’s got to be much more fun than that old fashioned arbitrary rule where you could only fuck up the other guy’s yard.

    These Democrat dissenters just aren’t with the times. If the Democrats are really going to keep up with the Republicans, then these dissenters are going to be drummed out of camp. Come next election they’ll find their party isn’t supporting them.

  30. I’m unimpressed on so many levels with so many people at the moment.

    What the hell. They probably were never impressed with you, I suppose.

  31. Is it just me, or are things getting exponentially worse?

    Yes, things are getting exponentially worse, and I think it’s you — you are the cause.

    By the way, have you seen these new iPod things the kids are walking around with now? Goddam punks, in my day we’d have ripped them off their heads and taught them a friggin’ lesson or two.

  32. Right you are. The dems in this case are only 20 something percent more superior.

    So you’re saying the Dems in the Senate are only 80% as committed as the Republicans in shitting on us? There’s a motto for you to hang high.

  33. “I’m unimpressed on so many levels with so many people at the moment.”

    What the hell. They probably were never impressed with you, I suppose.

    Of course not. I’m just a citizen, they’re the people who are carving up my rights…and you’re a odd little fellow sucking up to them.

  34. Maybe we do need a revolution…

  35. They’ve shit on America and wiped their sorry asses with the Constitution. I hope when they finish flushing it that it plugs up their damned toilettes and the overflow fills their pants while they’re sitting there.
    They’re selling this country down the river just as surely as the Senate of Rome sold out to Julius Caesar!

  36. thoreau PhD:

    I’ll give credit where credit is due. These 10 Democrats are my heroes for today.

    Yeah, kudos to those 10 Democrats on this! And it’s pretty frickin rare when I’m occasioned to use the words “kudos” and “Democrats” in the same sentence.

  37. They’re selling this country down the river just as surely as the Senate of Rome sold out to Julius Caesar!

    Maybe that’s not such a great analogy. Rome was probably better for it. Their senate had become inept, incompetent, corrupt, useless…..

    Well, come to think of it, maybe it is a good analog.

  38. …and as long as I’m feeling magnanimous; extra kudos to Feingold for leading the charge against the Patriot Act in the senate, and also for being the only prominent Democrat running for Pres who advocates bring our troops home from Iraq right now.

  39. …not that there’s much good about most of the rest of his voting record.

  40. Of course not. I’m just a citizen, they’re the people who are carving up my rights…and you’re a odd little fellow sucking up to them.

    You can call me odd, but I take umbrage at that little fellow remark. Sucking up I don’t do, more like spitting down.

    If you’re going to be an adult living in a democracy you’re going to have to develop a little perspective on things. Just look at what a pain in the ass it was for them to renew this thing this time around, in spite of the final vote. I really doubt they’ll be able to get this thing done again, whenever it comes up for renewal, short of an atom bomb going off in Manhattan or something like that.

  41. I’m trying to think what’s getting better but I seriously can’t (seriously)

    Second amendment rights – the spread of concealed carry laws, the expiration of the assaut weapon ban, the defeat of the manufacturer liability lawsuits (so far).

    The economy is really in pretty good shape. Unemployment continues to be low, inflation continues to be low, interest rates continue to be low. My investments are up a decent 15% over the last year (let’s hear it for the energy sector!).

    The extraordinarily high rate of technological innovation and application continues. This has been such a constant that it tends to fade into the background, but there it is nonetheless.

    There. Maybe that will prime the pump.

  42. Phil, how do you explain Kennedy voting yes?

    COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF GIN.

  43. There seems to be some confusion around here. The Senate did not impose this obscenity upon the people for fear of loosing re-election. As Reason pointed out, voting against PATRIOT is just peach with voters. No matter what one votes for or against can be favorably spun in the next campaign. No, this vote was about what every vote is about; power. The more power the government wields, the more Jack Abramhoffs come bearing gifts.

    This also doesn’t say much about whether Democrats are better than Republicans. The list of Nay voters isn’t exactly teaming with what might be called “friends of liberty”. True, the list is all Dems, because the Dems are in the minority, and minority members don’t get to play as much golf with Jack Abramhoff as committee chairmen do. So a few senators were permitted to vote in opposition to the Republicans, but they actually did so only because they knew they would loose.

  44. RC,

    There. Maybe that will prime the pump.

    The issue here is, what’s happening on net average? I think both sides of this thread are right.

    On average, life is actually getting better for the average person in this country. And on average, the government is getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

    For the average person the buearacrats are just another pain in the ass, rather than a real hamstringer. But the laws and agencies have more bite every year, and at some point it really is going to start hamstringing us.

    The fact that the government keeps growing, and yet the average person is still better off, is something I attribute directly to the constant technological advance.

    My hope is that technology keeps growing faster than Uncle Sam.

    There’s my gut feel for it. Sorry, no studies or links to back it up. Just arm-chair empirical observation.

  45. First PATRIOT bad, very bad.

    With that out of the way I will simply make the observation that those who think that the republic is in greater peril now than at any other time are ignoring history.

    This is something that will pass. Yes, the greater cumulative weight of bureaucracy will remain, but that is only to be expected.

  46. The issue here is, what’s happening on net average? I think both sides of this thread are right.

    Its just completely imponderable, in my opinion. On the one hand, the total sphere of human potential and action is growing, and on the other, the scope of government is growing. The question is, which is growing faster.

    On different days, I have different opinions.

  47. Wah, poor widdle libertarians’ pot smoking is endangered by Patriot Act. Better we should all risk being slaughtered by terrorists than you should have the government know what library books you read.

    Selfish paranoids.

  48. mh,

    Fear of government is not paranoia, it’s understanding the lessons of history. And not to fear the “Patriot” Act is foolish.

  49. “Yeah, kudos to those 10 Democrats on this!”

    That would be 9 Democrats and 1 independent, flashy brain. 🙂

  50. Hi Janeen! Good to see you here. (ya sneak!) Right you are. Umm well, thoreau said it first! You should join us here more often.

  51. Kahn,

    Everybody does something (usually dumb ass) because they think everybody else thinks it should be done that way. Yet if you talk to people at large it’s hard to find many who really, in fact, think the dumb ass something is really right […] I’ve seen it happen inside large companies, just as much as in politics state and national. There ought to be a name for it. Somebody’s phenomenon.

    Actually, there is a name for it. It’s called the Abilene Paradox (though there’s some argument as to whether it’s a “proper” paradox at all). You can find a description at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abilene_paradox

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.