the US supine legislative branch has once again proved its utter worthlessness and complete subservience to the security-state oligarchs by rushing the ironically named "patriot" act through both chambers for a rubber-stamp, 4-year extension.
after the demise of the "leader" of al qaida, mr. osama bin laden, you might think that they'd chopped the head off the snake, and otherwise emasculated terror, inc. this would've satisfied the objectives of the authorization to use military force, upon which the several military adventures of the bush years -- and beyond -- have been based.
about that, you'd be sadly, sorely mistaken.
and the same with this "patriot" horseshit that unites democrats and republicans behind an ever-expanding web of federal government control over ever facet of our lives. and this is hardly an exaggeration. even if 9/11 wasn't a false flag operation used to legitimize the expansion of the reach of the national security state, it has been liberally used in pursuit of control by the ruling class ever since. the patriot act, rather than making us safer -- to say nothing of freer -- has instead made us a little more than cowering slaves, who serve our corporate masters through our labor and aggregation of debt.
without rand paul in the senate, with his threatened filibuster unless he was allowed to offer 4 amendments to the act as proposed, this would've been a legislative slam-dunk -- with leaders on both sides of the aisle wishing to push this turkey through quickly, quietly and without debate. this should tell you all you need to know about how both parties are just two sides of the same coin, and the differences between them are mostly for show. regardless of the posturing and melodramatic freak show the legislature puts on when it comes to things like the debt limit, they truly all work for the same people, and play on the same team.
nothing in the "war against terrorism" precludes its tactics and methods from being used on the homeland. and this, unfortunately, is where the drone warfare and midnight smashing in of the front door is eventually coming -- to terrify a community near you!
the government exists to feed the beasts of corporate and military control over the planet. when you observe the rituals of congress playing out, focus instead on the results instead of the process. where there is the most conflict and consternation is over cutting budget on social programs -- being whatever government can do to benefit common citizens. the expansion of military spending, or the bailouts of mega finanacial institutions to the tune of trillions of dollars, seem to happen without a hint of division or disagreement between the two parties.
these are the actual constituents of the congress and government generally, and the rest of us are tolerated only to the extent that our labor provides the liquidity for the other side to squander. the fight over the budget is a mirage; the smooth sailing of the patriot act reauthorization is where it's really at.