Monday, February 14, 2005

Patriot Act II: Electric Boogaloo

President Bush called on Congress to renew all of the provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire when he gave a speech at Alberto (not Antonio! Freakin' Katrina vanden Heuval) Gonzales' swearing in.

A number of measures in the act that expand the government's ability to conduct secret surveillance and use other law enforcement powers will expire at the end of the year unless Congress extends them. Many Democrats and some Republicans have voiced skepticism or outright opposition to an extension, and some lawmakers have offered competing proposals that would restrict the ability of federal agents to demand records from libraries and use other powers granted by the act. Mr. Bush's renewed call for an extension met with skepticism from the American Civil Liberties Union, which called on "cooler heads" in Congress to scrutinize and fine-tune the law to meet civil liberties concerns. "The president and the attorney general must realize that security and liberty are not - and cannot be - mutually exclusive," the group said in a statement. The White House, however, has signaled that it will veto any effort by Congress to rein in counterterrorism powers.
I bet they will. Why on earth would they want to limit their power? You know, he's threatening to veto an awful lot lately. Maybe he should have thought about excercising that power sometime before we reached record deficits and recession. But that would have been too easy. My guess is that if he sees that congressional Republicans are not going with him, he won't veto. If he does, I think that will piss some members of his own party off. I mean, he makes them do what he wants to do and when somebody else wants a turn, he says no? There's no way that doesn't blow up in his face. If he is resigned to constantly vetoing what his own party wants, he will quickly lose favor. He'll cave and cave fast.

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