Jun. 10th, 2005 03:32 pm
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Chairman silences Democrats at a hearing on the Patriot Act by cutting the microphones

"Earlier this week, the Chairman, scheduled a series of hearings on the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, however, many of the hearings were on non-controversial parts of the Act. The hearings did not address some really obvious and important issues like section 215, which authorizes FBI access to library records and racial profiling. In an amazing slight, the only witness the Chairman would allow was the Deputy Attorney General of the United States who, of course, supports the permanent enactment of the Act. THE MINORITY DID NOT GET TO CALL A SINGLE WITNESS.

In response, the Judiciary Committee Democrats invoked Rule11 of the House rules allowing us to request our own hearing, which the Chairman held this morning, on a Friday, even though the House adjourned on Thursday and most members had returned to their districts

But the hearing was shut down. CSPAN lights and microphones were shut down, and it was declared adjourned soley by Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, in violation of the Rules of the House.

This is not something likely to hit the evening news. Read more and watch the video here
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Reporter to Bill Clinton: What would you do if you were President at this time?

Clinton: The important thing is that I'm not the President.
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So I went for a drive early this morning, in the vain hope that there might be a place open where I could get my alignment and wheel balance checked. Yeah, right, on July 4th. I know. I took a different route back home, along M Street. Now I didn't even realize there was an M Street in Sacramento, since in my part of town, it goes L, Capitol, N. It was a nice drive. The houses are beautiful, and at 10 am on a holiday, the road was full of people biking and walking. Couples, families, all being together. A few kids were in the street setting of fireworks already... more of the noisy kind than the visual, I imagine. I drove past a nice park that I never knew existed. Then I started seeing people with patriotic themed hats. It makes me wonder if they felt truly patriotic or if they were just into the holiday hype. I remembered watching Pearl Harbor some weeks back and being awed over the patriotism of that era. People going to war because they felt a duty to their country, they felt they had a country worth fighting for. People proud to be American. I've never felt that way. Is it just that they didn't have the media deluge that we have today that kept them blissfully ignorant of the state of the country and the shortcomings of the President? I remember hearing that FDR's wheelchair was never seen on film, he was always photographed sitting behind his desk, or he would go to the effort to stand so as not to appear weak. These days, we're suspicious of a President sitting behind a desk for other reasons. The respect that was once given to the executive office is gone. Anyone who thinks George W is given his due respect needs to tune into Comedy Central at 10:00 on a Thursday. Now I'm not a big fan of the man, but I seriously think that this is indicitave of some of the major problems with our country. Do I have a solution? Do I know what might make the US a country I can be proud of? No. I'm still plotting to run away to Ireland. But maybe it's something worth thinking about.


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