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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Patrick J. Leahy
"Climate change" historically polls very low, so the Republicans seem not to have noticed that an attack on the American energy revolution is going to be a hot political issue in at least the 2014 elections and probably 2016 as well.
If a politician or government official takes a direct monetary bribe for granting a favor or sweetheart contract, do you think he should be sent to prison? Such an activity is despicable, but it is usually far less costly to society than the legal forms of corruption.
Long before there was a Sen. Ted Cruz filibustering Obamacare on the Senate floor or a Sen. Rand Paul demanding answers on government drone policy, Sen. Jeff Sessions was holding the Senate floor for hours on end, espousing classic tea party stances against higher spending and expanding presidential powers.
President Obama says the NSA's snooping programs need changes — but he tossed the biggest decisions to Congress, where the tide appears to be running against letting the government continue to scoop and hold Americans' phone data.
Key lawmakers announced a rewrite of the Voting Rights Act on Thursday, creating a test to judge which states are still so discriminatory that they need federal scrutiny of their voting decisions — moving to revive the iconic law just months after the Supreme Court declared part of it unconstitutional.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts used his year-end report on the federal judiciary to remind Congress about the financial belt-tightening going on in the courts, saying they have been strained by across-the-board spending cuts and flat budgeting in recent years.
Members of Congress remain divided on whether to rein in the National Security Agency's broad collection of phone records, with one Democrat saying the Founding Fathers would be "astounded" by the snooping program, while an outspoken New Yorker insisted that the program is fine and could have prevented the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
President Obama's internal review panel has accused the government of abusing the Patriot Act and said many of the intelligence community's key tools should be reined in, including the NSA's phone-snooping program.
Senate Democrats pushed through committee President Obama's pick to become the No. 2 official at Homeland Security on Wednesday, dismissing warnings about an ongoing probe of the nominee's role in a visa program that has raised security concerns about politically connected foreigners using it to buy citizenship.
Even as it is under fire for lack of accomplishments, the House struck a bipartisan note Thursday, easily passing a bill designed to crack down on bogus patent lawsuits that lawmakers say are sapping innovation.
Even as it is under fire for lack of accomplishments, the House struck a bipartisan note Thursday by easily passing a bill designed to crack down on bogus patent lawsuits that lawmakers say are sapping innovation.
A federal law banning firearms that cannot be detected by walk-through metal detectors expires in less than a month, but Congress has yet to act despite the rise of new technologies that can produce "3-D" plastic guns.
Sen. Leahy undermines the agents who protect Vermont
The Senate intelligence committee voted Thursday to officially affirm the NSA's ability to collect records of Americans' telephone calls, but imposes new restrictions on federal authorities who want to sift through the data.
Senate Republicans on Thursday filibustered one of President Obama's nominees to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that although the woman is well-qualified, confirmation would allow Democrats to shift the political balance to the left on the country's second most important court.
"Debo is careful, he listens, and he understands the importance of building consensus," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat. "Anyone who knows him understands that he is a man of the utmost integrity."
"I'm not out just to hang a lot of scalps on the wall. I want to know exactly what happened so that it won't happen again," Mr. Leahy told reporters Wednesday at the Capitol.