Forty-four House Democrats voted yes on renewing the Patriot Act July 21. And those 44 made the difference between it being renewed or being killed, barring some toned-down version.

As Yahoo reports:

The House reauthorized the act by 257-171. In the Republican-controlled chamber, 44 Democrats supported the bill while 14 Republicans opposed it.

If every Democrat voting had opposed the issue while the 14 Republicans in opposition had all held on, it would have failed by a 215-213 margin.

Those 44? That's more than 20 percent of House Democrats.

Yet another reason to reconsider kneejerk political support of Democrats vs. available third-party candidates, in my opinion.

And here's another:

"Republicans also added a new provision to apply the federal death penalty for terrorist offenses that resulted in death and another establishing a new  crime of narco-terrorism to punish people using drug profits to aid terrorism. These offenders will now face 20-year minimum prison sentences."

Great. Democrats aid and abet the pseudo-war on drugs.

Oh, but we get this sop:

"House Republicans agreed last week that this clause -- perhaps the most  contentious -- and another allowing so-called roving wiretaps, which permits  the government to eavesdrop on suspects as they switch from phone to phone,  would be renewed for only 10 years instead of being made permanent."

Well, lucky us. Fortunately the Senate is only extending those provisions for four years in its version of the bill.

Skeptically progressively blogging

Originally posted to steverino on Thu Jul 21, 2005 at 09:14 PM PDT.

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