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Gary Johnson calls for repeal of the Patriot Act

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Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson called for the Patriot Act to be repealed Sunday night during a national American Civil Liberties Union conference.

The controversial counter-terrorism legislation was approved by Congress following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“Ten years ago, we learned that the fastest way to pass a bad law is to call it the ‘Patriot Act’ and force Congress to vote on it in the immediate wake of a horrible attack on the United States,” Johnson said. “The irony is that there is really very little about the Patriot Act that is patriotic. Instead, it has turned out to be yet another tool the government is using to erode privacy, individual freedom and the Constitution itself.”

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Civil liberties advocates have condemned the law because it allows authorities to conduct surveillance without identifying the person or location to be wiretapped, permits surveillance of non-U.S. persons who are not affiliated with a terrorist group, and allows law enforcement to gain access to “any tangible thing” during terrorism investigations.

“Benjamin Franklin had it right,” Johnson continued. “‘Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.'”

“Absolutely, protecting the American people from those who would do us harm is the federal government’s most basic duty. Everyone gets that. But when harm is done, as on 9-11, it is the nature of government to ask for more power and more authority in order to protect us. That’s how we get laws like the Patriot Act.”

In May of 2011, Obama signed into law a four-year extension of the Patriot Act.

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“In fact, we now know that intelligence ‘failures’ of the sort that perhaps allowed 9-11 to happen were not due to a lack of authority, but were most likely the result of dysfunction,” Johnson said. “We can and should fix the dysfunction, but that can be done without granting the government broad new powers to dig in to American’s lives, demand financial records from banks and businesses, and monitor your cell phone because your kid goes to school with a kid whose father might be associated with what might be a terrorist-supporting organization.

“Thoughtful review and actual experience over the past ten years under the Patriot Act have given us the wisdom of hindsight. That hindsight leads me to the firm conclusion that it is a law that we do not need in order to protect ourselves, and that is itself a threat to the very constitutional guarantees of freedom it purports to preserve.”

Johnson, a long-time libertarian, had begun his 2012 presidential campaign as a Republican candidate. But after being barred from participating in GOP debates, he announced his intention to become the nominee of the Libertarian Party in late December.

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Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing

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"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.

"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.

I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"

The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.

"Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference, it's a one man show," he explained. "If you liked 'Fleabag,' you'll love Donald Trump in 'Douchebag,'" he said.

[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]

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Texas Republicans are abandoning the state’s GOP Speaker: ‘We no longer support him’

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Some of the most powerful Texas House Republicans said Monday they no longer support GOP Speaker Dennis Bonnen, marking the biggest blow yet to his political future amid the fallout from a secret recording released last week by a hardline conservative activist.

Five Republicans considered senior members of the lower chamber issued a statement withdrawing support for him: State Reps. Four Price of Amarillo, Dan Huberty of Houston, Lyle Larson of San Antonio, Chris Paddie of Marshall and John Frullo of Lubbock.

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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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