Patriot Act

Rand Paul Temporarily Stops PATRIOT Act Reauthorization Dead in its Tracks


Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Senator Rand Paul 30 hours of debate, and now Paul is refusing to yield back his time. From the Wall Street Journal

Sen. Rand Paul has single-handedly stopped the extension of three key provisions of the Patriot Act until after they expire at midnight Thursday. Unless he folds. The Senate voted to end debate on the measure, but Sen. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, is insisting the Senate debate the measure for a full 30 hours, which would extend beyond the midnight expiration. Mr. Paul's tactic is procedural: By not agreeing to a request for unanimous consent to yield back debate time, he can insist the debate continues until 7a.m. Friday, past the midnight expiration of the provisions. Mr. Paul, a libertarian who opposes the Patriot Act, could change course and allow a vote before the provisions expire.

As I wrote earlier in the week, allowing the act to sunset won't jeopardize national security.

NEXT: Mitch McConnell Comes Out Against Rand Paul's Gun Amendment

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  1. “Why does Rand Paul hate our freedoms?”

    1. Because Jesus and Obama are black.

      1. “Wait. I’m what, now…?”

  2. Do it, Rand. Don’t back down.

    1. I cannot STAND these types.

    2. Rand Rand he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can.

      Maybe not but its still damn awesome he’s trying…

  3. Principles? Nooooooooo!!! it can’t be true!


  5. Paul Ryan/Rand Paul 2016?

    Slogan: “We don’t have any other choice”

    1. Fuck Paul Ryan.

      Ron Paul/Sarah Palin
      Slogan: “Liberty and freedom have to be more than just words.”

  6. As an aside, I’ve noticed that reason is about the only remaining journalistic outlet that still correctly refers to this atrocious piece of legislation by its all-caps acronym and not as some invented proper noun that the rest of the media seems to have taken to. Thank you for this.

    1. It’s the USA PATRIOT Act: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.

      1. win-the-future?

        I wonder why I don’t feel united and strengthened by government’s insistence that they need to spy on my for my own good. I love this nation and the freedom I have. I suspect anyone who supports USA PATRIOT Act does not.

        What a peversion.

        1. Isn’t that the first rule of acronym’s for shitty legislation?

        2. “”win-the-future?””

          But Mulder and Scully told me to fight the future.

  7. It’s not so much that Reid “promised 30 hours of debate” to Rand Paul, it’s that the Senate Rules as adopted this year provide for 30 hours of debate whenever cloture is achieved. Rule XXII, bitches!

    1. Can we use Rule XXXIV too?

      1. In the outer darkness, SugarFree lies dreaming, waiting for the stars to be right.

        1. I thought you were holed up in R’lyeh, squamous and rugose.

          1. I have a timeshare in the outer darkness.

      2. For congresscritters? Ewww.

        1. A threesome of Waxman with Mikulski and Rosa DeLauro.

          That would stop death in its tracks.

        2. This cries out for a Rule 303 joke, but that would be eliminationism so I guess we can’t.

  8. I’ve sent emails to both Bitch McConnell & Paul just now, castigating and encouraging (respectively). Please please please don’t change, Rand.

    And please, people of KY, when the next elections come up, see both your senators for who they really are, and act accordingly.

  9. I have to admit being wrong about Rand Paul so far. I thought he would turn out to be a sell out, but so far he has done a pretty good job.

    1. Compared to everyone else in the Senate, he rocks

  10. This Rand guy is just a supertroll in the best way possible, a principled supertroll. Who’d have thought there would be a father/son combo in politics that I actually like?

    Such a relief that somebody in DC is resisting the statist overlords.

  11. It’s safe to say Rand Paul has exceeded all of my expectations, this is brilliant.

  12. I can’t wait to hear Pelosi whine about ‘unfair political practices’.

    1. If the sounds she makes end up being high-pitched enough, will her kabuki mask of a face finally splinter and shatter like like fine Waterford crystal…?

      1. Maybe, but ye gods, what horror, what terrible horror will finally be revealed beneath?

  13. Rand Paul is more awesome than I could have hoped for. How often do we get something in politics that’s not a disappointment?

    1. It’s disturbing.

      …to find myself liking a politician.

      I can’t remember the last time I liked an elected politician.

      1. I’ve always loved Ron Paul, but he’s so marginalized that I don’t really think of him as a politician. He’s more just a cranky guy who tells Congress that it sucks.

        His son, however, has enough power to really annoy the people I hate, and that is awesome.

        1. Yeah, that’s what I was saying last year, the power of a single Senator is so much more than a Representative.

          I was more willing to give Rand Paul a chance than some other people, but he’s still exceeded my expectations and bumping up to the limit of my hopes.

          1. Hopefully, you did not say that during the Marsha Coakley and Scott “I’ve been in the public sector my whole adult life” Brown campaign.

            1. Marsha Coakley is unremitting evil, a Democrat who actively is terrible on civil liberties; Scott Brown for all his faults is clearly better than she is. He may the best possible result in Massachusetts, eh, I suppose.

    2. I’m sure he’ll disappoint eventually, but so far he’s been awesome. I guess we have to take the incredibly rare positives when we get them, dude.

      1. That day will come, but I’m riding the happy-happy train until then.

      2. From the budget that runs a surplus in 5 years to this he’s been a joy to behold. But it was worth an entire senate campaign just to get to go to that first Energy Department hearing where he asked Kathleen Hogan if she was pro choice (yes, she is) and then lowered the boom.

        You’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item that you listed. Lightbulbs, refrigerators, toilets you name it. You can’t go around your house without being told what to buy.

        I really find it troubling this busy body nature that you want to come in to my house. My bedroom, my bathroom, my laundary room. I just find it really insulting. All of your arguments for energy efficiency you’re exactly right. We need to conserve energy. But why not do it in a voluntary way? Not where you threaten to fine me or put me in jail if I don’t accept your opinion. In America, we believe in trying to convince our neighbors but not trying to convince them through the force of law.

        That’s not the best part though… I laughed out loud when he told the committee “sorry, I’ve waited 20 years to get here to say that and I just had to get it off my chest”. That’s just brilliant and perfectly human. Kinda like Bush the elder’s “I don’t have to eat broccoli moment”, only about real government policy. Give ’em hell, Rand!

        BTW, I noted with pleasure that Rand’s crackpot budget garnered 7 more votes than the President’s budget. That’s a low hurdle though. My budget plan did just as well as the President’s. Actually, I could claim it did better. We have the same number of ‘yea’ votes, and nobody voted against my budget, putting me ahead by 97 in the loss column…

  14. I know he’s a politician, but it’s getting harder and harder not to like Rand Paul.

  15. OK. So I’m willing to be fooled one more time.
    Go Rand Paul!

    1. I’m young enough that Rand Paul is the first elected official I have ever had an ounce of faith in. C’mon Paul don’t crush my dreams, crush Reid’s!

  16. Let me guess; the WSJ editorial board is in a frenzy of hysterical pants-shitting.

    1. pants-shitting

      I enjoyed that particular noun-ing. Thanks.

      1. I believe the plural to be pant-shittings which brings even greater enjoyment. I only hope there are many being had near Capitol Hill as we speak.

  17. two most powerful words in the senate “i object”

  18. At this point, anything — ANYgoddamnthing — short of a Steve Smith/Tony ticket gets my vote next year, if it means booting this Chicago cabal of autocratic gunsels and grifters the holy living fuck out of MY White House.

    1. I dunno. At least President Steve Smith would be honest about government-sponsored rape.


        1. Jesus Christ, enough.

    2. Yeah, sometimes it’d be easier for me to get along with those that like to tax the fuck out of everyone if they were just more honest. None of this “we’re doing it for your own good” type of bullshit. Rather “we’re doing this because we don’t trust anybody to do anything ever, we never want you to live better than us, and since we went to college we deserve to tell you what to do regardless of how awful our orders repeatedly turn out. In short, fuck you, and give me your money or you will go to prison and probably get raped. Have a nice fucking day, suckers!”

      Reprehensible? Yes, but at least its not a bunch of kumbaya bullshit.

      1. Kumbay aqua buddha…. kumbaya

  19. Awesome! So, how long till he get assassinated? Any takers?

    1. That’s not how it works. The Senate/MSM cabal will dig up or invent some career-ruining scandal and threaten to run with it if Paul declines to play ball.

      1. psst! He’s an Aqua Buddhist!

        1. Aqua Buddha: The God Who Works For America

        2. Is that the same thing as worshipping the Drowned God? I mean with how libertarian Rand has shown himself to be thus far we can only conclude he must be a first rate Viking.

    2. Due to the USA PATRIOT Act I decline to comment on the assasination of anyone, anywhere. I could be a terrorist and not even know it. Not gonna take that chance.

    3. Aren’t most of the Dems on his side, though?

      1. Ha, ha, that is a joke right? Some of them are, but not “most.” They’re team players.

        1. The cloture vote for the Patriot Act passed 74-8.

          The 8 nays were:

          Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democrats Jeff Merkley, Mark Begich, Max Baucus, and John Tester, and GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, and Dean Heller (GOP Sen. Mike Lee announced he’d vote NO but missed the vote due to inclement weather).

          (That’s per Glenn Greenwald, for the record).

          So, yeah, not a whole lot of Democrats who want to stick their necks out and vote against the Patriot act. Obviously, the real vote hasn’t taken place yet due to Paul’s delaying tactic.

          But yes, I’m feeling dangerously positive about Paul. I’m sure that he’ll eat babies soon or something.

          1. You say that as if it were a bad thing.

            1. Well, not if they were Irish babies.

              1. Can’t waste those oats in libertopia.

          2. That’s the last Friday vote on the previous bill that was withdrawn to substitute the shell bill.

            The cloture vote on this bill was 79 to 18. Still trying to find the rollcall.

            1. More people missed the previous vote, plus when the previous vote was made there still seemed to be a chance that Rand’s amendments would actually get a vote.

              1. For example, Leahy voted for cloture last Friday, back when he believed his amendment (written with Rand Paul) was going to actually get a vote, but he found the “no amendments” thing a little too much BS to put up with apparently.

            2. Here we go. The Nays on cloture are mostly Democrats (and Sanders), plus Lee (R-UT), Heller (R-NV, temp. replacement for Ensign), Paul, and Murkowksi (R-AK).

              1. But 14 isn’t “most” of the Democrats.

                1. Indeed. Thanks for the update, John. I knew that that old cloture vote wasn’t technically for the same bill, but I’m surprised that the newer cloture vote picked up 6 nays.

                  Obviously, still the overwhelming number of Senators from both parties are pro-Patriot Act, sickeningly enough.

                  1. Math: clearly my strong suit. Picked up 10 nays, not 6.

                    1. Mike Lee of Utah had already announced that he was a Nay, but couldn’t make the first vote.

                      There’s a few like Leahy that were willing to go to cloture in exchange for being able to offer and vote on amendments.

      2. Yeah, the Blue’s are totally anti-PATRIOT act. As long as there is a Red in the White House. And even then, not really.

        1. Hugh, we all know that the Democrats will only ever use the powers of the Patriot Act for good, don’t we?

        2. Keep in mind that on the initial vote in 2001, it passed the Senate with a single “nay.” I believe it was 98-1. Granted, 100 percent of the opposition was Democratic, but not exactly evidence that the Dems have ever been against this bill.

    4. Was just about to post the same thing in response to Ken’s comment above. Along with a few cracks about the tin foil in my hat causing my scalp to itch.

      Sad, isn’t it? He certainly has been fantastic so far.

    5. I had this same thought, and I let my mind wander through a terrible scenario where a “crazed loner” walked up to Rand and shot him.

      As my sadness and rage just at the thought of this rose, I slowly started thinking about what would happen if that happened.

      I would be motivated to jump on an airplane and go to Washington to stop this shit once and for all. It could be a catalyst that would start a real revolution.

      Of course, that in no way means I want it to happen.

      What event will start a real revolution? You know, the complete collapse of the Federal government, peaceful or otherwise?

      1. Yeah, you and the other 80 nutballs on the internet that think freedom is important. Everybody else will be too busy watching “Dancing with the American Idol Kardashian Housewives of the Jersey Shore” to notice.

        1. That cuts both ways, though.

      2. Cyto, yes, you’re probably right that killing Rand Paul would not yet cause a major uprising.

        I guess the only thing that would get the people up in arms is if laws like the USA PATRIOT act start regularly being used against them or people they know, and not “others”.

        We know that it’s the grant of power that’s the problem, but the vast majority of people only perceive the use of power.

        1. Your fellow pussy Americans don’t care. They don’t care when they’re scanned by the porn machines and groped at the airport, they’re not gonna care about this. As long as it makes them “feel” safer. It’s “worth it”. I hate people.

          1. Don’t worry. Just watch “Dancing with the American Idol Kardashian Housewives of the Jersey Shore” – it cures that feeling.

            Stay Asleep.
            Marry and Reproduce.
            No Independent Though.
            Watch TV.
            Do Not Question Authority.

            Ha, figures it’d be something like this. – Nada

            1. I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.

              I just saw that movie last year for the first time. Good stuff.

    6. So, how long till he get assassinated?

      Let me get back to you on that.

  20. At 12:01 AM Friday, I will be submitting an email to everyone with details on my plans to overthrow the government and replace it with a Urkobold Despotism. Please read carefully and follow the instructions. If we don’t act prior to 7:00 A.M., the fate of our revolution will be compromised.

    1. are you trying to piss of the USA PATRIOT Act?

      1. It will be replaced by the I LOVE AMERICA SO MUCH Act:

        Initiative to Limit Overpopulated Vermin through Eradication of All Material Enemies Regarded as Illegally Coexisting by Authority of Sudden with Oversight Maintained by Urkobold to Conceal Heavyhandedness.

        1. Try voting against that one fuckers.

          Oh wait, votes will be irrelevent.

          1. Well I for one would never vote against a law named “I love America So Much”. I mean who doesn’t love America so much.

    2. *or off, fuck it, I’ll do real work.

    3. I, for one, welcome our new bouncy bouncy overlords.

  21. So they can’t vote on the extensions until 7 hours after they expire? We could all be dead by then!

  22. Fucking A.

    Aqua Buddha FTW!

  23. Incumbants are almost undefeatible if they choose to run for re-election. And here is a guy that got elected with his own party leadership working against him.

    I think Rand is nearly immune to the traditional pressures that the Senate leadership uses to keep “mavericks” in line. And I am so incredibly pleased to see him mucking up the process.

  24. Best filibuster since Jefferson Smith!

    Unfortunately, he’s facing forces far darker than Jim Taylor.

    Let us all pray in front of the great Aqua Buddha!

  25. A procedural question:

    If the act does expire, can it immediately be extended by being brought to the floor?

    Or does it have to start all over again from scratch?

    1. If the provisions expire (sadly it’s not the whole act, only three provisions Dick Armey got sunsetted), they can be restored easily by passing the same law. Won’t even affect current investigations, only new ones.

    2. The delay will only mean a gap of a day or two in new uses of those provisions.

  26. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Mr. Paul’s fellow Kentucky Republican, also expressed dismay at the delay in a Senate floor speech Thursday morning, saying that it is “absolutely imperative” that the Patriot Act provisions are renewed. “Nothing in this extension has ever been found to be unconstitutional,” he said. “And most of these authorities haven’t even been challenged in court ? ever.”

    So, if a government court fails to rule that some other part of the government is violating the constitution, and somewhere over half of the provisions of a law haven’t been challenged in court as unconstitutional, then the whole thing is constitutional?

    Primary challenge, please.

    1. It will be tough. Mitch is dug in like a tick and has a lot of money. He’ll have decades of pork-drenched favors to call in.

      Remember… the only reason Rand even got a chance was because Bunning was pissing himself in his office most days.

      My prediction… Mitch will run liberwise just enough to undercut a TEA Party candidate, and then decimate whatever brain damaged Democrat they run against him.

      I would be overjoyed to be wrong.

  27. are you trying to piss of the USA PATRIOT Act?

    I’d rather piss on it.

  28. The delay will only mean a gap of a day or two in new uses of those provisions.

    But, when the world doesn’t actually end in a fiery cataclysm, they’ll say “Who gives a shit?” and forget the whole thing, right?

    1. No…I’m sure some bastards somewhere will claim this will cost them their unnecessary jobs unless Rand is stopped, hence providing the dickless shits in Congress the initiative to ensure this atrocity gets perpetuated. To these bastards I will say once appointed dictator, “Well, that’s okay since we seem to have perpetual openings in the SALT MINES. Get to work, leeches.”

    2. It’s possible that it could be blamed for a future attack if something critical was going on with that plot during the time the Patriot Act was null and void.

  29. Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
    in a world that keeps on pushin me around
    but I’ll stand my ground
    …and I won’t back down

    Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
    hey I will stand my ground
    and I won’t back down…

  30. Update:

    Reid was willing to give Rand exactly two amendments. But then Leahy objected and said that while he would accept no amendments, if two were getting voted on, his had damn sure be one of them. The GOP responded that if Leahy’s amendment was getting a vote, then they’d like more amendments to get votes, including more of Paul’s. Fun stuff.

    1. John Thacker|5.26.11 @ 2:57PM|#
      Reid was willing to give Rand exactly two amendments. But then Leahy objected…”

      GREAT! Using their own rules to tie ’em up in knots!

  31. The only thing I know is that if there is ever a terrorist attack on the US, or even perhaps an attack on US interests overseas, the official story will identify the hours from 12am to 7am on Friday, May 26, 2011 as the most crucial ones when the plot could have been stopped — IF ONLY IT WEREN’T FOR THAT MEDDLING OPTOMETRIST.


      Trying to figure out if the reason you said optometrist instead of ophthalmologist was a:
      1) Mistake
      2) Bit of irony at the mistake / insult that the official story would make
      3) Because ophthalmologist is annoying to spell.

    2. You can bring this prediction to the bank. Even if that event doesn’t happen for a decade.


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