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Patriot Act Extension By Autopen Raises Questions for Congressman

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the great-and-powerful-oz dept.

Government 247

Okian Warrior writes "Congress passed the [Patriot act extension] bill Thursday night, shortly before certain provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire. However, Mr. Obama could not sign the bill right away in person, since he was in Europe for the G8 Summit. In order to sign the bill before the measures expired, he authorized the use of the autopen machine, which holds a pen and signs his actual signature. Republican Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia sent President Obama a letter today questioning the constitutionality."

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I for one... (3, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269398)

I for one welcome our new law-signing robotic overlords.

... I'm... I'm sorry.

Re:I for one... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270140)

Dont make me go upside your head!

Questioning the constitutionality... (5, Insightful)

ChrisMounce (1096567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269414)

I'd like to question the constitutionality of a lot more than just how it was signed.

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269468)

I'd like to question the constitutionality of a lot more than just how it was signed.

My thought too. He's got no problem with the law, but doesn't like the mechanics of getting it signed?

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269512)

Yep. Deep, weird, shit. It's not like this was the first law signed by autopen in the absence of the signee, but with his spoken consent. But hey, these days, shit-stirring about technicalities seems to be the agenda. Saves you from discussing content.

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (5, Informative)

iceperson (582205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269564)

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269616)

Welp, cause of how it's signed, I guess we gotta throw it out. Thanks Rep. Graves!

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269646)

Me too, but in the principle of autopenning bills so long as it is the president's true authorization, the signature is a formality.

Re:Questioning the constitutionality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269950)

Obama likely wanted to be able to deny having signed it at a later point publicly - glad the congressman at least made it known that Obama did in fact read and understand what he was signing, and that he did authorize it. Maybe we will get really lucky and Santa will bring us an impeachment.

What? (1)

citoxE (1799926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269420)

What the hell is this autopen machine? Wouldn't this amount to some sort of forgery, at the very least?

Re:What? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269444)

This autopen machine is pretty much standard procedure. Why it gets dug out now is beyond me.

Re:What? (2)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269472)

How did this Rep. Graves vote on the act? (I know it says "R" but might as well ask for the sake of thoroughness). If it was a "Nay" then it might be getting "dug out now" as a last-ditch effort to DTRT.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269574)

Hm... very interesting. He actually seems to have voted against it. "Graves said he believes the act gave too much power to the government, a problem cited by many of the people who helped elect him." Source here [timesfreepress.com]

Re:What? (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269724)

He's one of only 31 Republicans to have voted against it. And since this is his first term in federal government, he has never voted on it in the past. So I guess he deserves credit for the vote. Of course, he also voted to end Medicare, prevent the FCC from enforcing Net Neutrality, shut down Planned Parenthood, and keep troops in Afghanistan for longer.

So fuck him.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269746)

Nobody's perfect!

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269952)

He voted to shut down Planned Parenthood?

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270076)

You're not serious, supporting Planned Parenthood, FCC censorship of the internet and ending one of the largest and increasingly untenable financial boondoggles this side of socialism, right?

Now, I heard someone suggest that some here are 'conservative', but you sir are not. If anything, you're just another supporter of big-government dream-planning.

I guess conservatism here extends no farther than the pleasure of keeping all your money.

Re:What? (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269502)

The Autopen -- or things like it -- have been around a LONG time. They look kind of funky and almost rube-goldbergish in design. It basically allows one to "write" once, but what one writes will appear on several copies via levers and pivots.

Several past presidents have used them, but I believe this is the first time it was ever used to sign a bill in to law -- and I haven't seen what Mr. Obama used yet. Still, I really cant find any question if it's unconstitutional to sign this way.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269578)

Unless the constitution outright states that the President must sign with pen-and-ink in person, I think there's enough precedent for many levels of government, foreign governments and extranational institutions accepting autopen signatures to render the constitutionality of the question moot.

This is what Article I Section 2 says:

2: Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

All it says is that the President has to sign the bill for it to become law (except where Congress gets the 2/3s to override a Presidential veto). Since autopens have for a long time been seen as legitimate signatures, I doubt very much that there is any question as to the constitutionality of this particular signature.

Re:What? (1)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269982)

All it says is that the President has to sign the bill for it to become law (except where Congress gets the 2/3s to override a Presidential veto). Since autopens have for a long time been seen as legitimate signatures, I doubt very much that there is any question as to the constitutionality of this particular signature.

But why use the Autopen. US Law allows all kinds of documents to be signed via a digital signature, which doesn't require the signer to be in any particular place. And this type of signature has already been used to sign a bill into law - Bill Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act using a digital signature.

So why didn't President Obama follow this precedent, signing via digital signature?

The President should be required to digitally sign the text of the bill, and then, if someone wanted a dead-tree signed version, the Autopen could be used, after the text of the digital version and the paper version had been compared to insure they are the same.

I know this whole question is just a bunch of legal hair-splitting. And I would be quite happy if this technicality got that abomination of a law thrown out. I'm not holding my breath on it, though, as certain elements of our government have become quite fond of the powers that were granted to them via the Patriot Act, and won't give them up without a fight.

Re:What? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270114)

Since Congress isn't actually going to adjourn over the Memorial Day holiday, his failure to sign it within ten days would still see it enacted as law.

Re:What? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270414)

Not necessarily. The provisions would have expired before then, raising the issue of the legality of an extension that goes into effect after a provision has lapsed. The bill cannot be effective before it is signed (no post facto laws), and depending on the language of the bill it could (arguably) have been rendered null and void.

Re:What? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270356)

I want the digital signature to be embedded into the autopen signature so that the autopen signature can be digitally verified.

I just made that up, but could they do that?

Re:What? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269752)

Maybe there should be an official presidential robot. The secret service could make a new one for each new president. The robot would be humanoid in appearance and could stand in for the president in situations where he might be in danger such as public appearances and sleeping with the first lady (the robot would of course be anatomically correct). The robot would be teleoperated from special rooms in airforce one and the whitehouse. This would enable the president to use telepresence to sign bills like this as well as providing a "Buster" like capability to survive serious incidents. Come to think of it there could be a whole fleets of president shaped robots, so that the president could attend events in different parts of the world, separated by only a few minutes.

Re:What? (1, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269800)

You're on to the truth. The Autopen is the real president. Obama is the mannequin.

Re:What? (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270282)

Wait, so now the Autopen is Kenyan?

Re:What? (4, Funny)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270396)

Of course not. However, this "Made in China" engraving makes me seriously question that the Autopen is a natural born citizen.

Re:What? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270250)

What the hell is this autopen machine? Wouldn't this amount to some sort of forgery, at the very least?

Just think. President Kennedy could have signed it.

Revoke the whole damn thing! (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269428)

I ain't following no law signed by a robot!

Forest/trees problem? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269448)

I'm sure this is important. But given the bill in question, it seems a lot like complaining about the color of shirt the rapist wears while they're pounding you in the ass.

Re:Forest/trees problem? (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270404)

Sounded to me more like getting Al Capone on tax evasion.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269474)

So what if his signature is unconstitutional. The constitution states a bill becomes a law after a week if it unsigned. This is a non issue.

Re:So what (4, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269522)

Because you can't extend a law which has expired. The provisions would have expired at midnight this morning, before the bill could have become law by default. This would have (arguably) rendered the extension null and void.

The comments are full of hilarity (3, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269484)

More nitpicking and stupidity from the GOP that's all it is.

What, you whiny republicans would rather he hadn't signed it at all, and let the act expire?

YES

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269542)

Tell that to your party, then. Clearly they don't represent you.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (2)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269872)

Tell that to your party, then. Clearly they don't represent you.

A fair chunk of Dems voted yes, too... and our Dem president signed it remotely immediately after passing the house, remember? [opencongress.org]

Just because Republicans are the ones that introduced the PATRIOT Act doesn't mean that your beloved Democratic party opposes it.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270056)

House Dems votes against by more than a 2-1 margin. If Republicans didn't control the House, the Patriot Act would have expired this morning.

Source: http://politics.nytimes.com/congress/votes/112/house/1/376 [nytimes.com]

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269550)

I do recall the PATRIOT act being one of the issues Teleprompter Jesus ran on. He and his democratic minions bitching about eavesdropping on Grandma's phone calls. Now our Dear Reader is renewing the law he railed against so he could get elected. Nice. Real nice.

The democrats took Bush, painted him brown and put a D behind his name.

O=W

O is merely continuing every policy Bush initiated...

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270468)

I wish he managed to do that well, he also seems to have borrowed every bad policy from Jimmy Carter along with the Bush's flawed ones.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269596)

More nitpicking and stupidity from the GOP that's all it is.

What, you whiny republicans would rather he hadn't signed it at all, and let the act expire?

YES

Then why did 196 republicans in the house vote for it and only 31 vote against it if republicans are so opposed to it?

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269832)

The question was put to Republicans, not to Congressmen. There is some overlap, but less than there ought to be, and it isn't the public that should conform.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270430)

The Republican who raised the question voted against it. The other Republicans can go defile themselves thoroughly for all I care.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269770)

No, you and I might wish he hadn't signed it at all, but the "whiny republicans" definitely do not share our wishes. They voted for the extension by a six-to-one margin. The democrats were two-to-one against the extension. If the masses hadn't been deceived into giving the GOP control of the House, the Patriot Act would have expired this morning.

Thanks, assholes.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270126)

You assume that the Democrats would not have voted differently had they been in the majority. Don't assume that.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270294)

That's sort of the thing, technically it didn't matter how the Democrats voted the first time as there were enough Republican votes to pass it considering that the President wasn't going to veto the bill. However, considering how few Democrats voted against it, I do think they deserve to be smacked upside the head for not at least symbolically voting against it.

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (2, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270376)

And the President is not a Democrat? The President could have vetoed the law yes? He could have let it sit around and not extend the PATRIOT act correct? What did our Democratic President do -- he went to great lengths to make sure it was signed.

If you think it makes a difference whether we have Democrats or Republicans in WA DC, you are deluded. Together they form a monoparty hell bent on shredding every word in the Constitution as we hurtle toward an Imperial Presidency.

Bush, Obama -- no difference except that even Bush didn't publicly suggest he could execute American citizens on his say so alone without even a show trial. Obama owns that.

The only "people" who have any power are the mega-corps. For example, the Supreme Court has consistently screwed humans with the State Secrets Doctrine, but when Boeing is on the chopping block, the Supreme Court tells the Feds to back off:

OK to invoke when torturing people (Obama's stated preference to the court): http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/California/News/2011/05_-_May/U_S__Supreme_Court_allows_Boeing_CIA_torture_suit_dismissal/ [thomsonreuters.com]

but the Feds can't get any money out of Boeing if the feds are going to invoke State Secrets with respect to one of Boeing's defenses:

http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/2011/05/23/boeing-says-its-happy-with-suprem-courts-a-12-ruling/ [seattlepi.com]

Re:The comments are full of hilarity (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270438)

The 'whiny republican' (the one questioning the constitutionality of the autopen) in question voted against the bill.

a better solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269490)

Have the president sign a piece of paper using a device that transmits the motion to a similar pen holding machine. You could even have him sign a facsimile of the original bill then they could be filed together. The original bill with his transmitted signature and the facsimile copy with is original signature. (the only problem would be having someone swap pens for every letter of his name as happens for some of the bills he signs. Of course, then you;d have two sets of commemorative pens for the bil. l:)

I can't remember the name of the device but they used to be used in libraries and such to transmits little written notes from the reference desk to the stacks so the staff could retrieve books.

Re:a better solution (3, Funny)

Jhon (241832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269520)

I can't remember the name of the device but they used to be used in libraries and such to transmits little written notes from the reference desk to the stacks so the staff could retrieve books.

The device is called an "undergrad".

What a microcosm of what's wrong with us (-1, Flamebait)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269562)

A bill that rapes citizens of their rights gets renewed yet again with "thunderous applause" and the only opposition point getting news coverage comes from a partisan hack bitching about the way it was signed?

Re:What a microcosm of what's wrong with us (4, Insightful)

iceperson (582205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269600)

Hmm, interesting that you call one of the few who stood up and voted against the law a "partisan hack". It would seem you can't see past the D or R next to a person's name. There's a name for that I think. It's right on the tip of my tongue...

Re:What a microcosm of what's wrong with us (2)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270000)

News-anchor?

Re:What a microcosm of what's wrong with us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270160)

Hmm, interesting that you call one of the few who stood up and voted against the law a "partisan hack". It would seem you can't see past the D or R next to a person's name. There's a name for that I think. It's right on the tip of my tongue...

MSNBC journalist?

Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269584)

Of all the things to take issue with regarding the Patriot Act, he's going to nitpick on the way it was signed?

Does anyone read the constitution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269614)

It really doesn't matter if the signature is valid or not. If he doesn't explicitly veto it, it becomes law after 10 days. So worst case here, the PATRIOT Act renewal didn't take effect but will soon.

Article 1, Section 7 of the US constitution.

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Re:Does anyone read the constitution? (3, Informative)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269912)

So worst case here, the PATRIOT Act renewal didn't take effect but will soon.

A bill that extends a law doesn't copy the law into a new law, it merely amends the expiration date that is written in the existing law. You can't amend a law that has expired, and a bill that is implicitly signed due to sitting for 10 days is not retroactive to when it was forwarded to the President, so it would have effectively become useless had it not been signed last night.

President Obama (3, Insightful)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269620)

Look, I'm not into the whole "political" thing.

But it isn't "Mr." Obama; it's Mr. President or President Obama.

You could also use The President or POTUS.

Saying "Mr." Obama isn't just disrespecting him, it's disrespecting The Office of the President. It's tacky.

Re:President Obama (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269738)

Gosh, I thought the thing was that the president works FOR US.

We've had more than enough of putting more power and gravitas than was intended into the role of the presidency, doncha think?

The whole point was to not have kings.

Re:President Obama (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269852)

Which is why it's "Mr. President" rather than "His Elected Highness" or similar

A rose by any other name ... (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270152)

Language is very maleable.

For instance, choosing to be called "Dear Leader" can be sold as an act of self-abasement.

Re:A rose by any other name ... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270314)

It's not that malleable. This isn't like Bush who failed to get elected in the standard fashion his first term. President Obama did manage to win the electoral votes necessary to be elected President without having the SCOTUS have to rewrite the constitution.

Referring to him as Mr. is an insult to him and probably motivated on some level by racism.

Re:A rose by any other name ... (0)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270408)

I refer to him as ScumBucket Obama, successor to ScumBucket Bush. Considering Obama's attacks on the 4th and 5th amendments, and mixing in the fact he is a constitutional scholar, he is way more scummy than that Tard Bush.

Re:President Obama (0)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269776)

For the teabaggers, "Mr. Obama" is amazingly respectful.

Re:President Obama (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269780)

Yea I don't know where that started, but it was not just Obama. Some time in the middle of the last Bush administration all news articles, from all political persuasions, started saying "Mr Bush" (and then "Mr Obama"). What happened to "President Bush" and "President Obama"?

In fact it would help if they did this for historical reasons. Most presidents get in the news when they are not president, and future readers of news articles could tell immediately if the action/statement/whatever was from the person while they were president or when they were out of office.

Re:President Obama (1)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269792)

Look, I'm not into the whole "political" thing.

But it isn't "Mr." Obama; it's Mr. President or President Obama.

You could also use The President or POTUS.

Saying "Mr." Obama isn't just disrespecting him, it's disrespecting The Office of the President. It's tacky.

I believe the accepted journalistic standard is "President Obama" on the first mention in an article, but "Mr. Obama" in the rest of the article. But there's no hard-and-fast rule - just "Mr. Obama" is itself an indicator of respect (at least more so than just referring to him as "Obama").

Also consider that this is the United States - disrespecting our elected officials is part of that whole "freedom of speech" concept...

Re:President Obama (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270328)

Which means that we don't throw people in prison for insulting the President. Which is probably a good thing otherwise most of the citizens would be in prison. It doesn't mean that it's acceptable behavior or respectful to address him as such.

Re:President Obama (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270456)

George Washington is rolling in his grave over how much of a pretentious jackass you, and the others you're parroting, are.

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269836)

Mr. is still a correct salutation for the President.

Mr. Obama
Mr. Bush
Mr. Clinton
Mr. Bush
Mr Regan... I could go on. Honestly, I find PoTUS (really, the 'of" should be lower case) FAR more objectionable. Of course if you have a legitimate complaint, you might consider some of the things his predecessor was called...

When he become king we can call him "Your Royal Highness" and your objection will have merit.

Re:President Obama (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269904)

Honestly, I find PoTUS (really, the 'of" should be lower case)

But not "the"?

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269964)

Good point, I stand corrected, if you MUST use this horrid abbreviation, it should be PotUS... maybe even PotUSoA, actually it should start with "the" too: tPotUSoA. I really hate this acronym in general. How long has this been in the journalistic mind, anyway? I only really noticed this showing up during this administration.

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269882)

Honestly, kind of like Bush, the more you screw up, the more your title diminishes. In the end, we just called are last president "Dubyah". I guess "Mr. Obama" is better than "O'BAM" or "the Bammer".

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269896)

Am I a bad person for always thinking of a scene from "Blazing Saddles" whenever I read about Pres/Mr. Obama?

http://youtu.be/upvZdVK913I
"The sheriff is a N(bong)!"

Re:President Obama (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269916)

In defense, the office of POTUS hasn't been all that respectable in the 3 decades I have personally witnessed, either.

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270010)

Saying "Mr." Obama isn't just disrespecting him, it's disrespecting The Office of the President. It's tacky.

An American "President" acts for his nation and not against the constitution. My respect for Obama ends with not intentionally misspelling his name "Osama".

Re:President Obama (1)

the_bard17 (626642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270032)

That might just give you some insight about how much respect the position has these days... then I'd suggest pondering a bit on why it's shown that much respect.

Re:President Obama (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270176)

No. He is addressed directly as "Mr. President" as a sign of respect for the office. He is referred to as "President Obama" or "Mr. Obama" in news stories, largely depending on the style manual of the outfit doing the reporting. Extensive historical precedent for this, for Democrats and Republicans.

As long as we're talking about official etiquette, one does not retain the honorary use of the title "President" after leaving office. Clinton and GWBush are IIRC both officially styled "Governor", since most states permit the honorary use of that title after leaving office. "Former President" is also in common use.

Re:President Obama (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270342)

It's hardly just Clinton and Bush that have retained the honorific, in recent decades that's become the style for all Presidents living or deceased.

Re:President Obama (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270572)

I've not watched a lot of TV news, but in the parts I have, it's always "former President". NPR is quite careful to make the distinction, FWIW.

Re:President Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270186)

disrespect is bullshit. just like blasphemy is bullshit.

lets talk about what matters. and this isn't it.

government folks are not worthy of our respect. so I, for one, won't give it anymore.

next subject, please.

Mr. Jefferson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270380)

President Jefferson founded UVa, where students refer to him as Mr. Jefferson. [virginia.edu] .

Re:President Obama (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270394)

I'm having a hard time thinking of an office that deserves more disrespect than POTUS. Between Obama and Bush who've been doing everything they can to convert the P to an E ("emperor"), our current rash of presidents deserve less respect than gutter rolling crack whores.

Re:President Obama (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270416)

This is America. I can call him what I damn well please.

You think being tacky is a deterrent to Americans? You ever been to a theme park?

Re:President Obama (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270446)

George Washington is rolling in his grave over how much of a jackass you are.

Bravo Rand Paul. (5, Interesting)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269644)

"Congress bumped up against the deadline mainly because of the stubborn resistance from a single senator, Republican freshman Rand Paul of Kentucky, who saw the terrorist-hunting powers as an abuse of privacy rights. Paul held up the final vote for several days while he demanded a chance to change the bill to diminish the government's ability to monitor individual actions. The bill passed the Senate 72-23."

- from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/05/26/politics/main20066686.shtml [cbsnews.com]

Re:Bravo Rand Paul. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269954)

I will admit, in all the posts about "Rand Paul" I thought they were talking about "Ron Paul" and being "4chan-clever," like Xbox fanboys calling Nintendo's offering the "GayCube"...

Re:Bravo Rand Paul. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269958)

Well... bravo Rand Paul, 3 other Republicans, 18 Democrats, and Bernie Sanders.

It was signed? (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269650)

Go Skynet go!

Typical goverment efficancy. (1)

umask077 (122989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269762)

Apparently our government has forgotten about fax machines. Instead we probably spent half a million on that autopen device. For 8 bucks a month you can straight from your computer. DHL does overnight deliveries if it has to be there fast. Really the application of the autopen device seems futile. DHL would charge about 50USD each direction.. Seems like both of these are better options. That being said, its really unfortunate that he was allowed to do this. The patriot act should be expired.

Re:Typical goverment efficancy. (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269866)

The concept of the autopen means that it's not the hand that signs it that matters, but that a pen inscribed the President's signature correctly. A fax machine only fulfills half of that deal.

it's like this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269804)

..They gave you a wedgie, they took all your stuff, they kicked you in the nuts, they shoved your head in an unflushed toilet, they shoved a watermelon up your ass, they tied your dick in a knot, and sure enough they'll coming around smiling come voting season

Autopen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36269812)

Ridiculous, if he agrees.... consider it signed.
People are so whacked out about formality.... what a joke.

Skynet's power base made official (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269848)

Last night marked the day a robot granted the same powers as the President authorized other robots (wiretapping machines) to have control over some part of citizens' lives (to covertly monitor them without their consent).

Obama; still an idiot... news at 11 n/t (0, Flamebait)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36269924)

n/t

Might as well have used a stamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270012)

so yeah, not a real signature. That's the whole point of signatures, to verify that the person physically signed it. If he doesn't, then hell yes, it's a forgery. If he really cared about the law he could have had it brought to him, or took the red-eye back.

Re:Might as well have used a stamp (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270436)

Actually, the only point to a signature is to offer a degree of nonrepudiation. It doesn't matter what it is, really, or how it came to be as long as it provides some assurance of an agreement. (In this case, the assurance that the President did intend to approve the law.) If it's reasonably difficult to forge, that's great, that makes it a better signature. But most real signatures are easy to forge as an autopen signature. Lots of signatures these days are digital -- and not the cryptographic kind, but the "you signed on a digital input device" kind. Back in the day, lots of signatures were just an "X". As long as it can successfully be used to argue that the person showed intent, it's a reasonable signature.

This is 2011 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270098)

Why couldn't they send him a PDF via the Internet, print it out, and have him sign it in France?

Or go to a shop to get a print made if they need something fancier.

Maybe he just didn't want his picture taken while signing this bill.

Re:This is 2011 (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 3 years ago | (#36270338)

Maybe he just didn't want his picture taken while signing this bill.

Can you blame him? Shit like this makes me think that we're losing the so-called war on terror

Game of Thrones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36270280)

And the Hand of The King being portrayed in real life?

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