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Congressional leaders agree to extend the Patriot Act for four more years

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Great news for outraged, bandana-wearing college students and bad news for the rest of us resigned to the gradual erosion of our rights: the Patriot Act looks like it's going to be extended for another four years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner are calling for a vote before May 27, when parts of the current act expire. This eerily mirrors the haste with which the original Patriot Act was railroaded through Congress — those bureaucrats sure can move fast when they want to, eh, Comrades?

As The Huffington Post points out, the irony of extending a law that dramatically increases the powers of government by a freshman group of lawmakers elected on claims they would reduce government power is substantial and, one would think, sobering. Some left-wing smart-asses have pointed out that, with the death of Osama bin Laden, we've lost the bogeyman that prompted the original over-reaching legislation. Right-wing smart-asses, well, they just say the exact opposite of that, reaching out for the time-tested "splinter group" and "lone wolf" arguments.

"Now more than ever, we need access to the crucial authorities in the Patriot Act," Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

You know, this whole thing could be solved if every terrorist just had an iPhone. Then the government could just buy their whereabouts from Steve Jobs.