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Thanks in part to Rand Paul. Thanks Gilligan for the video tip.
N.S.A. and Other Matters Leave McConnell’s Senate in Disarray
By Jennifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman | The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The sleepy United States senators thought they were done voting. But then, around 1 a.m. on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky and presidential candidate, marched spryly to the Senate floor to let it be known that, no, he would not agree to extend the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records program. Not even for one day.
With that, Senator Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentucky Republican who only a few hours before was ebullient with the passage of a major trade package, was reduced to ordering his colleagues back to Washington next Sunday to try again to prevent the act from expiring.
The unexpected legislative collapse on the Senate floor, and Mr. McConnell’s morose departure, pointed up the quandary that has emerged since Republicans took control.
Conservative internet mogul Matt Drudge unleashed on the Republican Party Friday after the GOP Congress gave Barack Obama sweeping new powers
Posted by Jim Hoft on Friday, May 22, 2015, 11:24 PM
MATT DRUDGE ✔@DRUDGE
BOEHNER: We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It...
7:02 PM - 22 May 2015
MATT DRUDGE ✔@DRUDGE
Twisted DC: Electing Republicans is guarantee of MORE powers for Obama... Of course none of them read 'secret' bill!
Greg Hunter gets upset and tells it like it is on this edition of his weekly news wrap up. I certainly don't agree with his views at the end of the episode about the Bin Laden raid and Iran's supposed association with Al-Queda...but his analysis of the TBTF and TBTJ banksters is spot on.
A measure to end the bulk telephone data collection and replace it with a more targeted program is narrowly blocked by the US Senate. Bill fails for the second time after vote in the small hours of Saturday morning, but Rand Paul thwarts Republican leaders’ attempts to extend Patriot Act
by Ben Jacobs and Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington and Spencer Ackerman in New York
The Guardian | May 23, 2015
Republican whip John Cornyn, a strident supporter of extending the Patriot Act, divided the Senate into three groups on Friday.
As he put it, there are those who want a “straight extension, those who like USA Freedom and those who like nothing”.
Those who want a straight extension of the Patriot Act are in a distinct minority and supporters of the USA Freedom Act still cannot muster the necessary super majority to advance the bill. The result means those who are more than happy to simply let Section 215 expire on May 31 are in the driver’s seat.
PATRIOT Act on life support after Rand Paul stymies renewal efforts
Liberals, libertarians block short-term reauthorizations, leaving a tiny window of opportunity next week for a deal.
By Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett
5/22/15 10:50 | Updated 5/23/15 3:32 AM EDT
The Senate plunged into chaos Saturday as Republicans found themselves tangled over the PATRIOT Act, Rand Paul repeatedly stymied his leaders, and senators left town with critical national security programs about to lapse.
In a rare early morning Saturday vote, the Senate blocked a popular House bill that would rein in controversial government surveillance programs. The vote was 57-42, and it needed 60 votes to advance. Immediately after that vote, the Senate also rejected a straight 60-day extension of the Bush-era national security law on a 45-54 vote — leaving the Senate with no immediate options to ensure the programs don’t expire before the end of the month.
Paul, the libertarian firebrand and GOP presidential hopeful, pushed the Senate into the wee hours of Saturday to protest the bulk collection of phone records, as weary and recess-hungry senators trudged through a packed to-do list — finishing trade legislation but getting stuck on the PATRIOT Act issues.
“It’s not about making a point, it’s about trying to prevent the bulk collection of data,” Paul told reporters after the Senate floor drama. When asked whether his objections were a fundraising tactic, Paul responded: “I think people don’t question my sincerity.”
It is the book Scrabble players turn to when disputes arise over whether particular words are allowed, whether enjoying a sociable – or not so sociable – evening with friends or taking part in the world championships.
Now a new version of Collins Official Scrabble Words has been published, adding 6,500 new words to the popular board game’s approved list – which already runs to 250,000 – including modern slang, technological terms and “onomatopoeic interjections”.
by Adrianne Jeffries | May 22, 2015
It’s hard to believe that Bitcoin, the digital currency that approximates cash on the internet, turned six years old in January.
I started learning about Bitcoin in the summer of 2011. I first read about it in an article on Gawker about the druggie e-bazaar Silk Road, which required payment in Bitcoin because of its semi-anonymity. “Bitcoins have been called a ‘crypto-currency,’ the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash,” Gawker wrote.
It’s funny to go back now and read these early stories, as the media tried to wrap its head around just what Bitcoin was. “The name ‘Bitcoin’ is derived from the pioneering file-sharing technology Bittorrent,” Gawker wrote, which I’m not sure is true (BitTorrent isn’t mentioned in the white paper that launched Bitcoin).
“Bitcoins are snippets of code that use encryption to prevent counterfeiting and double-spending,” is what I wrote a little later for the New York Observer—a mangling because Bitcoin is actually a ledger system, and there is no “snippet of code” to correspond to a single coin.
Yesterday, for the very first time in the history of the United States, the Senate voted on medical marijuana reform. What spurred this gaggle of politicos into action on a long-avoided subject? One could presume that it’s a combination of culture shift, overwhelming evidence in support of the medical benefits of marijuana, and the plight of America’s veterans. And it’s about damn time.
From the Drug Policy Alliance:
The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bipartisan amendment today, 18 to 12, allowing Veterans Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. The vote is the first time the U.S. Senate has ever moved marijuana law reform legislation forward.
“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. “They have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors.”
The Veterans Equal Access Amendment was sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. It was added in committee to a must-pass military construction and veterans affairs spending bill. The bill is certain to pass on the Senate floor.