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Ear to the Ground

Rand Paul Talks Marijuana Legalization, O’Reilly-Stewart Feud Heats Up, and More

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Posted on Nov 20, 2012

Prying Eyes: A proposed rewrite to a Senate bill could allow federal authorities access to your email, Google documents, Facebook page and Twitter account without a warrant. The legislation was originally meant to protect Americans’ email privacy. Now, it seems to be doing the exact opposite, giving government agencies even more power to snoop through your electronic correspondence. Big Brother is most definitely watching. (Read more)

Stall Overhaul: Senate Democrats may finally take action to reform the filibuster. Currently, one doesn’t actually need to talk in order to filibuster—senators can simply filibuster by expressing their intent to do so. But a reform proposal by Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Tom Udall of New Mexico mandates that 10 senators would have to first sign a petition to filibuster, then take to the Senate floor where they would be required to speak in order to maintain it. Which is to say, they would legitimately have to filibuster in order to filibuster. (Read more)

Paul on Pot: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is already being talked about as a possible 2016 presidential candidate (who isn’t at this point?), voiced his support for relaxing federal marijuana laws during a recent interview with ABC News. Although Paul made it clear he doesn’t personally support legalizing pot, he does say that penalties related to it are too harsh. He also said the decision to make marijuana usage legal should be left up to the states. (Read more )

Marriage Proposals: With big victories behind them in the 2012 election, gay marriage activists are already targeting the next batch of states where they hope same-sex couples will soon be allowed to wed. The seven states that could soon take action on legalizing same-sex marriage—whether through ballot initiatives, court cases or state government—are Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Oregon. One other possible route: the Supreme Court, which will decide next week whether to take on the issue. (Read more)

Fraud Squad: Dean Chambers, the conservative founder of Reskewed Unskewed Polls, has launched a website called “Barack O’Fraudo” in which he claims President Obama won the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia because of voter fraud. This is the same guy, by the way, who claimed his “unskewed” polling showed that Mitt Romney would likely emerge victorious on Election Day. In other words, he’s been wrong before. (Read more)

Video of the Day: The always entertaining squabble between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart is escalating once again, with O’Reilly launching the latest attack on Stewart (or Mr. Obtuse, as he called him) on Monday’s “The O’Reilly Factor.” Stewart had previously mocked O’Reilly for comments he made “lamenting” how “traditional Americans” were not the ones who voted to re-elect President Obama. O’Reilly, never one to mince words, of course had to respond. Watch:

—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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