Friday, December 16, 2005

What Planet Do they live on?

Truly amazing nonsense from Troy's Newspaper.
The (Troy) Record - News - 12/16/2005 - Sweeney acts wisely with vote In a bold, possibly risky and we believe wise move, Rep. John Sweeney broke ranks with the Republican Party Wednesday and voted no to the amended, 'improved' Patriot Act. The representative from Clifton Park and its environs has gained the reputation - and clout that goes with it - of being a staunch administration ally.
(If he truly had clout, why did he have zero impact on the whole issue? )
The administration considers the Patriot Act a foundation of the war on terrorism, but opponents believe that it is a very expensive program that never accounts for how it is spending its money. We agree with those who say the Patriot Act costs us a lot in terms of financial resources and personal rights while only marginally improving our safety.
(Very strange way to hide the real problem with the Patriot act. Our rights to be left alone are now simply the price of fight the war on Terra.)
Sweeney voted no, he says, because a practical amendment that he and Westchester County Democrat Nita Lowey crafted disappeared from the version of the bill to renew the Patriot Act that passed in the House Wednesday. That provision would have provided more money to areas highly susceptible to attack - such as New York City - and less to rural areas less likely to be a target of terrorists. It passed the House overwhelmingly when introduced, but disappeared in the Senate/House final draft that had been engineered in closed negotiations. Although Sweeney did not say so, there seems to be an implication that too much Patriot Act money has been turned into pork-barrel grants. It strikes us that the slices of this pie should be served to the hungriest areas rather than spread so generously around. That is something Sweeney tried to accomplish, so he is to be commended for sticking to his guns and voting "no," knowing it could cost him a chunk of political capital. As mentioned, the extension of the 16 Patriot Act provisions due to expire shortly did pass the House, with only 18 Republicans voting against it. The Bush administration is worried about its fate in the Senate, however, where a move is afoot to simply extend the existing Patriot Act intact, with no changes, which would be a defeat for the president. Ideally, the Patriot Act would be scrapped and a new formula for anti-terrorism funds and legal practices worked out, but that is unlikely.
(Umm, what's the rush?)
In the meantime, living with the current Patriot Act is preferable to adding muscle to a program not yet proven to work. And if Congressman Sweeney plays even a small part in that outcome, he is to be commended."
Are they joking?


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