Senate Shoves Updated Patriot Act Down Our Throats

The Senate passed two key votes yesterday intended to ensure that the Bill of Rights remains as useless as soiled toilet paper. From The Chicago Tribune:

Two overwhelming votes virtually assured that Congress will renew President Bush’s anti-terrorism law before its expiration date, March 10. The Senate is expected to pass the two-bill package, renewing the law with the added protections, on Thursday. The House was expected to pass the legislation next Tuesday.
The law’s opponents, who insisted the new protections were cosmetic, conceded defeat.
“The die has now been cast,” acknowledged the law’s chief opponent, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), after the Senate voted 84-15 to end his filibuster. “Obviously at this point, final passage of the reauthorization bill is now assured.”
[…]
The White House and GOP leaders finally broke the stalemate by crafting a second measure–in effect, an amendment to the first–that would limit somewhat the government’s power to compel information from people targeted in terrorism investigations.
That second measure passed 95-4. Voting “no” with Feingold were Sens. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

Bipartisanship at its best…