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28 Feb 2012 21:59


Politics: President Obama exempts US citizens from indefinite detainment

  • then On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which, amongst other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism.
  • now Obama signed a policy directive today that exempts US citizens from that provision in the bill (Section 1022, if you’re keeping track). Here’s the fact sheet released by the White House. source
  • » Some nuance: Although the language in the bill as signed did permit for US citizens to be indefinitely detained, it did not mandate this. Obama actually said at the time that he wouldn’t implement the law such that US citizens would face this possibility, so his signing today of this directive is in line with what he’d pledged. Our take: While this development will surely please Obama’s base, we’re scratching our heads as to why the White House announced it on the day of what’s become the most important primary in the Republican nominating contest so far (Michigan). It’ll likely get completely lost in the news cycle amidst all the primary coverage, which would seem to blunt its political utility. Color us baffled.

14 Feb 2011 20:13


U.S.: PATRIOT Act renewal passes House – with simple majority in tow

  • last week It appeared a far-right uprising had sidelined the PATRIOT Act’s renewal in the House, with the bill falling short of the two-thirds total it needed to succeed.
  • this week By passing the bill with rules that only required a simple majority, the extension will go over to the Senate. The vote totals were nearly the same as last week. source

08 Feb 2011 21:07


Politics: PATRIOT Act renewal not sure thing … thanks to the Tea Party

  • renewal The House is going to vote on whether or not to permanently extend the PATRIOT Act, that uber-controversial privacy-exploiting leftover from the Bush era.
  • denial Unfortunately for the GOPers pushing the bill’s renewal, this isn’t the same Congress that passed the bill, and the party’s Tea Party backers may not support it. source

02 Nov 2010 23:42


Politics: Russ Feingold: Poor fella. Down goes an incumbent.

  • Russ. Sigh. This is a race that was clear from the polling, but still a depressing loss. He was one of the country’s better Senators, and was more willing to go with his gut than the lot of them, most famously when he voted against the PATRIOT Act – he was the only one to do so. But Wisconsin has spoken, and Ron Johnson, a once-unknown who was against the health care bill, will take his place. That feeling is one of a dagger hitting the hearts of liberals everywhere. source