Tag Archives: #FISA702

On the media and #FISA702

My latest post looks at the horrible job the media did on covering #FISA702 earlier this month (they basically ignored it until after the fact). Here’s an excerpt from Hot Air.

The reauthorization of FISA was a blip on the radar in DC last week, with most of the media discussing the votes after the fact, or in reference to Sara Carter’s story on a possible House Intelligence report looking into FISA abuse. It’s an extremely frustrating and irksome reality for privacy advocates who have been discussing the problems with the spying program in the days leading up to the votes. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Elizabeth Warren, and Ron Wyden should have been all over the media on Monday and Tuesday explaining why it was awful Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t allow amendments on the bill. The fact the Senate barely approved the legislation via procedural vote should have been the lead, or at least warranted greater discussion, especially since the White House had to send National Intelligence Director Dan Coats to Capitol Hill to twist arms.

But that didn’t happen. The focus Monday and Tuesday was on whether Trump actually said “sh*thole countries,” and then whether Trump was physically and mentally fit to be president. CNN had Dr. Sanjay Gupta discuss Trump possibly having heart disease, while Sean Hannity crowed on Fox News Trump was healthy and it was the media which needed to have its heads examined. The debate was on whether Trump weighed what he claimed to weigh, instead of issues which were more important…

The rest can be read here.


Why Mitch McConnell should allow amendments on #FISA702

My latest piece at Hot Air looks at why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should allow amendments on FISA reauthorization. Here’s an excerpt:

FreedomWorks, which has really been involved in the #FISA702 debate and reform, is also prodding the Senate on amendments.

“Regular order should always be the standard in the Senate,” Vice President of Legislative Affairs Jason Pye told me, in a statement. “With such severe Fourth Amendment implications at stake, Leader McConnell, who swore an oath to the protect and defend the Constitution, has a responsibility to allow amendments offered by Sens. Lee and Paul that would eliminate the backdoor search loophole and ensure that ‘abouts’ collection can never come back.”

I’ve written about the FISA reauthorization over the last week, pointing out the Fourth Amendment issues, and what civil libertarianish groups are saying about the House passage. You’d think the upcoming Senate debate on the bill would be a bit of a hotter topic in the press, and with the American people.


Read the rest here.


What civil libertarian(ish) groups are saying about #FISA702 reauthorization

My latest at Hot Air looks at the House’s decision to reauthorize FISA, and the upcoming fight in the Senate on it. The piece features comments from FreedomWorks’ Jason Pye and Cato’s Patrick Eddington. Here’s an excerpt:

It appears the focus on killing the bill will be in the Senate, where Paul, Lee, and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden have been fighting for reforms for years. Paul and Wyden have promised to filibuster, while Lee is teaming up with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy on the USA Liberty Act. The latter are hoping Mitch McConnell will let them offer amendments to the bill, including their bill.

Ed pointed out this morning that Senate leadership may do their best to avoid another messy fight on FISA by connecting it with the omnibus spending bill. It’s good strategy but shows just what’s wrong with Washington by using cheap tactics to get something passed. Before people say, “Drain the swamp! Only Trump can save us!”, it should be pointed out the president endorsed the bill this morning despite an earlier tweet suggesting he wasn’t in favor of it. My guess is Chief of Staff John Kelly got in Trump’s ear and told him how “important” the bill was to Trump’s campaign promise of keeping terrorists out, even if it’s debatable whether NSA spying has really saved America from attack.

You can read the rest here.