Thursday, December 08, 2005


Props for Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. He is promising to filibuster the hell out of a compromised Patriot Act.

The AP reports that House and Senate negotiators have reached a deal to extend the USA Patriot Act, the government's new-found tool against terrorism, before it expires at the end of this month. The deal would extend the act's most controversial, rights-stripping parts, including:

~ Authorizing roving wiretaps.

~ Permitting secret warrants, without a judge's approval, for books, records and other items from businesses, hospitals and organizations such as libraries.

Feingold is the only Senator with the brass ones to stand up to his colleagues. He was also the only one to vote against the original act, passed hastily after Sept. 11.

"I will do everything I can, including a filibuster, to stop this Patriot Act conference report, which does not include adequate safeguards to protect our constitutional freedoms," he said.

Proponents of the deal say it adds congressional and judicial oversight, while preserving the provisions of the original act. But critics, including the ACLU (you know, that group that likes to protect our rights), say that the deal is bunkum, because it allows too far an invasion into our personal privacy rights.

Most scary about the deal: Most of the act would become permanent.

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