Wiretap: Knocking out the Patriot Act – at least for now

Taking credit

Rand Paul declares short-term victory on the Patriot Act. The victory may last only a few days, but it has earned him the enmity of a long list of GOP Senate colleagues. Via Bloomberg.

Dragon slayer

Who really killed the Patriot Act? It wasn’t Rand Paul. He was a late-comer. The blame, or the credit, goes to Edward Snowden. It’s not hard to find a senator or congressman to say that the reforms were coming without Snowden. But Rep. Justin Amish, a libertarian-style Republican from Pennsylvania, put it this way: Without Snowden’s leads,  “we wouldn’t be here. There is no doubt about that.” Via The National Journal.

Theater of the absurd

Timothy B. Lee writes in Vox that the government’s fear-mongering on Paul’s “filibuster” is “absurd.”

Moving on

Joe Biden is known for his bright smile, for his not always appropriate hugs, for his buoyant personality, for the tragedies that he has overcome throughout his political life. He is also known for his speeches, and in the days after the death of his son Beau to brain cancer, this 2012 speech on dealing with grief is especially poignant. Via Vox.

Closet skeletons

Denny Hastert kept a dark secret for more than 40 years. But once he was charged by the FBI with fraud, the secret didn’t last a day. Via The New Yorker.

Secret history

Speaking of secrets not lasting, law professor Orin Kerr writes in The Washington Post of the Clinton impeachment and those who would be in line to lead the House that brought the charges against him. Yeah, you can guess.

Which direction?

Clinton’s opponents: Martin O’Malley, once a Clinton Democrat, is now running to her left. If only, writes Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, he could do it with even a hint of authenticity. Bernie Sanders, never a Clinton Democrat but a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, is running to her left, and drawing big crowds. What could that mean? Via E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post.

Grim history

For the first time, the wreckage of a slaving ship that sank with slaves aboard has been recovered. The Portuguese captain and crew and half the slaves survived the 1796 shipwreck. Two hundred and twelve slaves did not. Via The New York Times.


Photo credit: D.C.Addy, Creative Commons, Flickr

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