Maggie Ybarra, The Washington Times: FBI agents can't point to any major terrorism cases they've cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations. read more
"Let's let college students deduct the entire cost of their educations over their working careers. Let's make college tuition entirely deductible," Rand Paul said Friday.
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: It's correct to say that few Americans identify as libertarian. Only 11 percent said the term "libertarian" describes them well, according to a 2014 Pew Research poll. Nor do very many Americans self-identify as socially liberal but economically conservative. Just 3 percent did so in a 2012 Gallup poll, in fact. Even fewer Americans -- just 1 percent -- fall into the category Krugman calls "hardhats," that is, people who are socially conservative but economically liberal. But how people label themselves is one thing. Americans sometimes leave a different impression when polled about specific issues. Often, their views are reasonably heterodox and not well represented by a one-dimensional political spectrum. read more
JOHN BRESNAHAN and LAUREN FRENCH, Politico: Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had "sex parties" with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a new inspector general report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.
In addition, Colombian police officers allegedly provided "protection for the DEA agents' weapons and property during the parties," the report states. Ten DEA agents later admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days
Julie Borowski, Freedom Works: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) have introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act that would end the NSA's unconstitutional domestic spying. I can say without hesitation: this bill is the real deal. "The Patriot Act contains many provisions that violate the Fourth Amendment and have led to a dramatic expansion of our domestic surveillance state," said Rep. Massie. "Our Founding Fathers fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. It is long past time to repeal the Patriot Act and reassert the constitutional rights of all Americans. I am proud to co-sponsor Congressman Pocan's bill and look forward to working with him on this issue."