Rise of the machines: Autopen puts bill into law, and touches off debate
Will scenes like this -- where the president actually signs a bill -- someday seem quaint?
May 27th, 2011
12:16 PM ET

Rise of the machines: Autopen puts bill into law, and touches off debate

Despite what we learned in school, the president doesn’t actually have to sign a bill before it becomes a law. An automatic pen perhaps can do it for him.

That’s what happened Thursday evening when it came time to put President Obama’s John Hancock on the extension of the Patriot Act, a controversial set of anti-terrorism and law enforcement measures passed in the wake of 9/11 that was set to expire Friday.

With Obama an ocean away in Europe and time marching toward the stroke of midnight, the White House determined it was easiest to have his autopen get the job done - a tool that exactly mimics the president’s signature and is more commonly used to sign Christmas cards and letters to schoolchildren. Indeed, this is the first time the Obama administration has ever used the unique device for such weighty purposes as putting laws on the books.

But what about the Constitution’s pesky clause in Article I, Section 7, providing that a bill must be presented to the president and “[i]f he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it”? (emphasis added)
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News
Medvedev now backing Gadhafi exit
May 27th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Medvedev now backing Gadhafi exit

DEAUVILLE, France - Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told President Obama privately on Thursday that he now believes Libyan dictator Gadhafi must go, according to a senior US official.

That is a big shift for Russia, which has been deeply skeptical of the UN-backed military action in Libya.
FULL POST


Topics: Dmitri Medvedev
With a stroke of the (auto) pen
May 27th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

With a stroke of the (auto) pen

President Obama, still in Europe, directed the use of an autopen late Thursday to sign key provisions of the Patriot Act that were due to expire at midnight.

By a 250-153 vote, the Republican-led House agreed to extend the expiring provisions of the law passed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

More details HERE


Topics: President Obama
POTUS Schedule for May 27, 2011
May 27th, 2011
04:36 AM ET

POTUS Schedule for May 27, 2011

President Obama's marathon schedule in Europe continues in full force Friday, kicking off the day with a bilateral meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy before attending further working sessions at the G8.

Then, it's off to Poland for the president where he will participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw. He will then participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial before hosting a dinner with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski for Central and European Union Leaders at the Presidential Palace.

Full schedule after the jump:
FULL POST