Friday, May 27, 2011


Omigod! Omigod! The Kenyan usurper/Republicrat Bush-third-termer used an autopen! Everyone in the politi-sphere seems to be freaking out about this, though I'm not sure why:

Obama Won't Personally Sign Patriot Act Extension

Congress officially passed an extension of the Patriot Act tonight, just hours before key provisions of the national security law were due to lapse at midnight.

President Obama, currently on an overseas trip, is not at the White House to sign the bill, a requirement for the measure to become law.

So the White House will use an autopen –- a machine that replicates Obama's signature -– to sign the extension, according to White House spokesman Nick Shapiro....

Apart from the fact that there's a 2005 Office of Legal Counsel opinion approving this practice (PDF), it's something that was first done back when Milli Vanilli were still on the charts. I'm setting the wayback machine to June 1989:

JUST THE FAX, MA'AM: White House staff chief John Sununu threw a curve to reporters when he quipped President Bush's minimum-wage action "may be the first faxed veto in history." Inferred by many: Bush faxed his veto message as he flew to Nebraska Tuesday. Not so: Bush told aides in Washington to send- it to Capitol Hill. He didn't even sign the accompanying letter; aides used the "auto pen" employed for most of Bush's signatures.

(That was a bill to raise the minimum wage to $4.55 an hour. Bush eventually went along with an increase to $4.25, months later.)

Um, it's 2011. Shouldn't we have an established, agreed-upon procedure for this use of not-particularly-new technology?

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