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)

It was a matter the Justice Department considered in 2005, determining then that the word “sign” does not necessarily mean an active signature by the president himself. Rather, the Justice Department stated, “a person may sign a document by directing that his signature be affixed to it by another.”

“So long as the president retains this decision-making function, his instruction to a subordinate to affix the President’s signature to a document does not amount to a delegation of presidential authority in any meaningful or legally significant sense,” the department concluded in a 29-page memo.

But at least one congressman disagrees. Georgia Republican Tom Graves sent a letter to Obama Friday, stating he believes the use of an autopen in this context sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“Any number of circumstances could arise in the future where the public could question whether or not the president authorized the use of an autopen,” Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

Graves is also requesting the president provide “a detailed explanation of his authority to delegate this responsibility to a surrogate, whether it is human, machine, or otherwise.”

Perhaps the issue does require more legal interpretation. After all, could the framers of the constitution have possibly anticipated such newfangled technology as a pen that automatically signs a name?

Actually, the device traces back to the early 1800’s and was reportedly used by Thomas Jefferson, though not necessarily to sign bills. It’s also been widely employed by senators and congressmen for decades on the Hill so staffers can easily lend their bosses name to several documents daily.

And, the fundamental technology isn't that advanced: the person's signature is merely engraved, allowing a machine-powered pen to follow the lines of the engraving to replicate the signature.

Still, Thursday may just mark a new frontier in the two-century life of the autopen.

Topics: President Obama • The News

soundoff (579 Responses)
  1. DJ SMPS

    Barack Bush Obama couldn't even wait to come home to sign away our civil rights. It would be nice if he would act on our deficit with such speed.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • DC_Jen

      Did you just seriously make that comment? Or did you just simply forget who signed out the Patriot Act?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • Jesse

        Obama extended the Patriot Act, He also added the far worse NDAA, he also targeted American Citizens (even if they are scumbag terrorists for assassination). Bush expanded an old law that was used to spy on the Mafia, Obama took it to the nth degree, what's next is a slippery slope. Not that Obama will go all Janet Reno and kill a bunch of people (even Bill Clinton said Janet was overly aggressive) but it open the door for more and more laws. Meanwhile from it causes more people to rally for the enemy of America. You get the government to attack their own people and force them to rise up.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • RC Roeder

        Of course he did. Why lets facts confuse the issue.

        January 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • bannister

        And did YOU forget that it was Barack Obama who UPHELD the Patriot Act and actually EXPANDED it? This guy is just as bad as Bush, just a different party and different skin color.

        January 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
    • israel

      the government needs to deal with unemployment first....get more workers that will pay taxes=more revenue for the government to allow them to deal with the deficit and debt

      May 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
      • O'Connor for President 2050

        No one is going to want to pay higher taxes. Washington needs to cut social spending; the entitlement programs are going to exhaust future generations. No one wants to pull the plug on Grandma, but it is costing the government a fortune to continue financing it. Not to mention, we are all in deep with social security. Finally, another policy alternative that would be instrumental (but certainly not politically-feasible giving the gridlock of Congress) would be to restore bankruptcy on those college students sacked with student loan debt; instead of getting killed on the interest alone, these recent graduates would then be able to divert funds towards financing a homeowner's mortgage and thus, contributing more to the economy.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
      • Aaron

        Getting rich people and corporations to pay some taxes might be a good start since their 10 year tax holiday hasn't resulted in many jobs through the less than respected trickle down theory.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • Eric of Reseda

        HERE, HERE, Aaron, The MYTH that the GOP sells it's constitutents, that by giving corporations and rich people massive tax breaks, those savings will "trickle down" and become jobs for the rest of us. So...where are the jobs? Reagan will someday go down as the greatest salesman of the biggest bamboozle, "trickle-down economics", which immediately lead to the Recession of the 80's, since years of Republican leadership under Harding & Hoover sold Americans on the idiotic policies that lead tot he Great Depression. In fact, the three worst economic events of he last 100 years have been immediately preceeded by 4-8 years of GOP leadership, which gave it away to Big Business and the super-wealthy, while leaving the rest of us and the economy in fragile, unsustainable, doomed condition. As FDR did, as Clinton did, and what Obama is trying to do amid a fierce battle with corporate-lead opposition, is fix yet another ruined economy. If you want a robust economy AND a strong military, vote Democratic.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • Matt Williston

        No kidding. The people screaming about it are ignorant of American history. They've been used presidentially for over *50 years*. Even President Truman used them. As recently as 2005, the legality of using an autopen was addressed by a deputy Attorney General in the Bush administration, who maintained they were perfectly legal. By all means, look it up if you think I'm pulling your leg.

        This is a VERY bad attempt at a distraction when Congress needs to focus a little more on people, and a little less on party lines and empty rhetoric.

        May 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
      • BigBoyBC

        Got news for you, people collecting unemployment also pay income taxes on those benefits.

        May 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
      • Ramrod

        To Aaron: there is no trickle down economy. Remember when George H Bush called it voodoo economy? It is trickle up economy. Reagan learned it from the politics of water in California when he was governor here: water flows up-hill towards money. Same as money flows up to the rich from the poor.

        May 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
      • Glenda


        May 28, 2011 at 1:10 am |
      • really

        Glenda, Hopefully you have been able to finds some meds to deal with your condition.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Larry

      Thank you. America really needs more snide remarks on the Internet. Keep up the good works.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Josh

        Actually yes we do need these t ype of remarks. Without them we all become an autonomous robots and do whatever we are told.

        His point is that the President like his predicesor throws away our constitional rights so they can be more repressive. Its happening more and more.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
      • Larry C Cramer

        Yes we do!!!!!

        May 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
      • Kman821

        Wouldn't "keep up the good works" qualify as a "snide remark" and isn't this the Internet?

        May 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
      • DAVID

        hey Larry, just because you don't want to listen to another view, you want us to be silent, this country was founded on dissent, revolution, and the way things are going, the sheeple may have to rise up once again to regain what we have lost.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • Whatever

        It's a perfectly legitimate comment about the Patriot Act and it's renewal. If you have read it you would know it is anything but patriotic. It infringes on our rights that are protected by the constitution in multiple ways, and is slowing turning this nation into a police state to protect us from a threat that is less risky as it would be to die drowning, fire, auto accident, or to be murdered by a common thug. Heck doctors kill more people each year via malpractice than terrorists. It allows the government to invade your privacy by collecting your bank, credit card, and other information and keep it on file indefinitely. Protesters and activists in many instances have been put on watch lists for simply exercising their first amendment rights. It enables the TSA to illegally search men, women, and children at airports, which we will soon see at other public venues. Personally I am more scared of my government than I ever was of terrorists....

        May 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
      • Larry

        @Josh: "Actually yes we do need these t ype of remarks. Without them we all become an autonomous robots and do whatever we are told."

        Sorry, but the kind of people who post these kinds of stupid, thought-free sarcastic remarks are autonomous robots, criticizing the president on autopilot.

        "His point is that the President like his predicesor throws away our constitional rights so they can be more repressive."

        His point seems to be that he doesn't like Obama, as the stupid comment about acting on the deficit has nothing to do with constitutional rights. Care to explain how this bill makes government more repressive? Please offer a real answer, not meaningless rhetoric.

        "Its happening more and more."

        Feel free to support this with specifics.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • Max Peck

        "Protesters and activists in many instances have been put on watch lists for simply exercising their first amendment rights"-----–

        Sources please

        May 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
      • Larry

        @Whatever: "It's a perfectly legitimate comment about the Patriot Act and it's renewal."

        Sorry, but it nothing more than bellyaching about Obama. Sarcasm about the Patriot Act is pointless. Intelligent criticism of specific provisions might actually be useful, but these kinds of generic "I'm not happy about blah" comments that fill the Internet are nothing but narcissistic noise. And anyone who thinks a comment about "acting on the deficit" is a legitimate comment Patriot Act is a complete idiot.

        Don't misunderstand, I have real issues with the Patriot Act, not just because of the infringements on our rights that it allows, but also because of the mentality of easily frightened Americans that allows such a thing to exist in the first place. But if the only thing someone can offer is sarcasm it tells me he doesn't know enough to criticize the provisions intelligently, and I think that does more harm than good by sending the message that the people who oppose the Patriot Act don't understand it.

        As you suggest, our response to the threat of terrorism is way out of proportion. We lost 3,000 people on 9/11, and since then we've lost more than 100,000 to alcohol-related traffic accidents. We obsess over "protecting" ourselves to the point of treating innocent people like criminals while completely ignoring the reason terrorism is a problem in the first place: our policies and actions in the Middle East.

        Too many people in this country foolishly believe thought-free, fact-free grousing about issues or the president constitutes useful political debate. It does not. If you want to be taken seriously and influence people's opinions you need to discuss issues knowledgeably and intelligently. If you just want to indulge in some narcissism then his kind of comment is up to the task.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • Doug

        Oh Larry, you just have all the answers. You are quite the armchair philosopher.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
      • Brad Wright

        Meh, nothing to see here, move along... nothing to see here, move along.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
      • Whatever

        While my sentence structure may not have been as artfully crafted as yours, it seems we agree on the points you made about the Patriot Act. In my post I tried to inform people with the knowledge I have obtained by reading countless articles and the bill itself. I want to encourage people to educate themselves on this topic and look into my claims. Granted most people wouldn't want to waste their time doing so, but I put it out there none the less.

        The only issue I have is when people attack others for their perceived political views or opinions. No matter how short the comment or trivial it may seem to you, someone else, or even me, it is important that we are able to communicate our thoughts and feelings on any topic.

        May 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
      • Glenda

        You said it. I totally agree. iI make snide remarks in retaliation to these Obama buffoons who know nothing else except to come on here to voice their opinion on matters they know nothing about. To them they can only see the color of ones skin as to he has to be right. What idiotys while the man destroys this country. We are so tremendously in debt but he is in Europe God knows wht he is doing but surely will not help America. In the meantime he is racking up billions of dollars in debt on the Budget that is ALRADY MAXED OUT FOR THIS YEAR. IF THIS BUDGET IS PASSED TO UP IT, IT IS TIME FOR US Patriots to march to Washington and take our Capital back. If our soldiers want to shoot us then go ahead for it is you who will not be paid for the act. Thank Obama. OH YEAS, OBAMA YOU HAVE THREE DISASTERS HERE THAT NEED ATTENTION. WHATS UP WEASEL. I GUESS BUSH DID THIS ONE TOO.

        May 28, 2011 at 1:19 am |
      • randy

        For those who care corporations don't pay taxes only the consumer does. So if your asking for more taxes on business your simply saying raise your prices or leave town and take your jobs with you. Sounds like a great way to improve the economy.

        May 28, 2011 at 9:11 am |
      • Scrod

        " Without them we all become an autonomous robots and do whatever we are told." Speak for yourself, doofus. Some basement-dweller thinking up new racist ways to say "Obama' has no effect on my independence of mind.

        January 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Dave

      He would like to solve it this minute but he's getting a lot of push-back on raising taxes. Thank God.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
      • Larry

        I'm betting you're not really prepared to knowledgeably discuss taxation.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
      • regis990

        Dave, like all the other sheep, doesn't have any specifics, evidence, or facts to back his claim, Larry. BTW, your comment above is well thought out and stated, kudos.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

      Congress sets the budget.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
      • Rich in CO

        Unless Bush is in office, in which case Bush is to be blamed.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Jay

        @Rich in CO
        Bush might not have set the budget, but he directly floundered the economy by engaging on this stupid war on terror, in which case.. yes, he IS to blame.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
      • Larry

        @Rich in CO: So the Bush tax cuts really didn't have anything to do with Bush? Was Bush just unsuccessful in efforts to impose a tax to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Who sold Congress and a lot of the American people on invading Iraq?

        May 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
      • Hmmm

        More specifically the House has to initiate all legislation with spending. Good luck reducing the deficit under that condition.

        May 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
      • Scrod

        Is Dubya trying to make a comeback or something? All the Dubya-bots are out today mooing that Bush never wasted our money on a WMD-hunt. It isn't going to work, fellas. He was the worst president ever.

        January 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      I am sure he will sign a jobs bill if Cryin' John and Mumbles McConnell ever get around to passing one. Just like he will sign a budget if they ever get around to passing one of those, too!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • ck1721

        Republicans passed one in the house and voted for it in the Seante, but since the Senate still has a Democratic majority, it's the Dems responsiblity to complete passage. Obama wouldn't have signed the Ryan plan, even if they did get it passed in the Senate.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
      • Larry

        Ryan's plan is a really bad plan.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • electricgrendel

        ck1721: Calling the Ryan "Budget" a jobs bill is like calling cancer a weight loss regimen.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • runswithbeer

      This article and the debate over the technology of the PEN used is as dumb as it gets. The President of the United takes Legal and POLITICAL Responsibility for this bill. PERIOD. Go DEBATE the BILL. And get a life while your at it.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Vee

        Honest to God–can our society get more frivilous and petty...Its a pen!

        May 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • vr13

        Isn't it the same as banks automatically signing foreclosure papers? Somehow it created an outcry when banks were stamping exactly identical papers, and on this technicality alone, the entire process of processing and eventually trying to recover distressed properties was stopped. But this technicality doesn't bother anyone when a president signs an important bill? A bit hypocritical perhaps?

        May 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
      • Larry

        @vr13: "Isn't it the same as banks automatically signing foreclosure papers?"

        No, not even close. Stupid question.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
      • Rick

        vr – that was a TOTALLY stupid analogy. 3rd grade comprehension at work perhaps?????

        May 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • real

      Ya, "I love the thought of "Having Terrorist Plotting my Murder?? Use the head for thinking instead of hat placement! Please?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • mfhpr

      Are you serious? It was set to expire at midnight tonight. Get a life...

      May 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • asdf

        He should have been here, in the US, to sign the bill. So, now a President can live in France and direct that his auto pen in D.C. sign all the bills for them? Why do we have a V.P. if the President can essentially do their job from the moon? I support Pres. Obama in general but I do think this is not acceptable. I do expect the president to – at the very least – have the actual bill in front of them (whether they read it or not) and actually choose to sign it. We may have a disabled president in the future that may need to direct a machine to sign a bill, but they should be here in the US and do something on their own to direct a machine to activate.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • Third Wheel Man

        When Bush signed this bill, the libertarians in the Republican party and the civil rights/social freedoms wing of the Democratic party were up in arms. The bill was viewed as an intrusive, authoritarian assualt on our rights and a push to nullify parts of the Constitution. Where is the outrage today? Absolutely incredible that this passed with bipartisan support or that it even passed at all. The fact that Obama didn't physically 'sign' the document is the least of the issues around this bill.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Larry

        @asdf: "So, now a President can live in France and direct that his auto pen in D.C. sign all the bills for them?"

        No. Stupid question. What's wrong, can't think of anything legitimate to criticize.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
      • Rick

        asdf – This comments section is littered with the ignorant this evening... if you can't think of something intelligent to comment, why bother?

        May 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
      • Sean Sequar

        Simply put people are afraid of technology. I enjoy the benefits of signing legal documents electronically.

        May 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
      • Scrod

        " Where is the outrage today? " Well, I don't like the thing, but it needs to be dismantled, not simply defunded. Shutting down would throw people out of work, etc, and strand some operations we need.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Wzrd1

      First, oh brilliant one, BEFORE you comment about politics and the president, LEARN ABOUT YOUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT.
      Obama is a President, NOT AN EMPEROR.
      The budget, hence the deficit, is MADE BY CONGRESS. The President either approves of it or vetoes it. Period. He does not WRITE THE BUDGET, dolt.
      Now, on to the autopen. Either it's legal as an affixed signature or nearly every paycheck in the land is illegal and void.
      So, your choice, either you accept that a signature can be delegated, as IS USUAL in business and government or get used to rubber paychecks, because the CFO most certainly won't be able to keep current on all paychecks.
      The President is an ocean away, doing President stuff that is too complicated for your simple little mind to understand, hence why the biggest decision that you get to make is when to flip a burger.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
      • Wumpus

        I soiled my pants. 🙁 Will you give me a hug?

        May 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
      • pete


        May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Third Wheel Man

        I could barely comprehend him playing ping pong with PM Cameron. It blew my mind.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • emperorobama

        I BEG YOUR PARDON!!!

        May 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
      • Sean Sequar

        Perfect! Well stated!

        May 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
      • wheresthebeef

        My first thought exactly! Back in the day managers had rubber stamps made of their signatures so that documents in bulk requiring the signature could be processed in a common sense manner, either the manager used it, or delegated the stamping task to another.

        @Larry: I was appreciating your commentaries until you started name calling. Tsk, tsk...any self respecting, educated and articulate adult knows better than to, and should not feel a need to resort to ad hominem. FAIL

        May 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Patrick O'Riley

      since he didn't grow up in Ameica he don't understand it. when bush had high gas prices it was his fault/per o'bama.

      it don't matter what it is when one party is in the other one bitches get over it. we will have years to bottom out o'bama.

      worse than carter, bush, johnson, ford all put together.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
      • Kevin K in Texas

        Stop listening to you old uncle Bill, Bill-O is getting old and senile.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Larry

        What an idiotic comment. Obama is 49 years old and has lived in America all of his life expect from when he was six to ten years old. Maybe you gained your understanding of America as a eight-year old, but most people are not so limited.

        I know the point of your comment was to indulge the hatred Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have taught you to have for Obama, and it did that. But it also demonstrated you aren't prepared to intelligently discuss the issues facing our country Obama's presidency. Duly noted.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
      • Michael

        Patrick you might want to learn how to form a sentence, learn to spell, and brush up on your grammer before you make anymore comments.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
      • Will

        @MIchael – " grammer" – I think you should bone up on it as well before commenting 😉

        May 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • Another Patrick

        Michael – Really? "grammer"? "anymore"? Maybe you ought to take your own advice.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
      • Rick

        Patrick – I take that back.... the comments section is being invaded by 1st graders. Obviously you cannot read or think on your own.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
      • nate


        May 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
      • Scrod

        "since he didn't grow up in Ameica" Where the scrod is AMEICA? How does it feel to be thick as a brick, Patty?

        January 3, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Patrick O'Riley

      Yes , a sad day when Bibi has to come over and offer assistance to Tornato Victims before the President of the US. Oh
      he never recognized the floods in Tenn. Seems like he vacations and sends the US his best from a foreign country as usual with the oil spill, panty bomber, Gm vote, Congress coming back in session and it goes on and on and on and on.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        I live in Tennessee, had close friends and family members affected. Why does he have to acknowledge it? Does that fix it? Most got FEMA money, which is what they needed. A pat on the back from any President won't fix anything. Not to mention we aren't whiners like NOLA, we just rolled up our sleves and got down to business fixing it.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • PackerState

        Did you mean "Tomator victims" or "Tornato victims?"

        Just askin'–reading incoherence is not my specialty.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
      • Larry

        More anti-Obama drivel from someone whose been brainwashed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Thought-free comments like yours are a dime-a-dozen on the Internet.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
      • Jane

        Actually, consoling survivors of natural disasters is a good PR move, but considering how busy the President of this enormous country must be, is it really that vital that he do it?

        I'd much rather he spend his time working things he can DO something about and leave condolences to spiritual advisers, counselors, and kindly neighbors.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
      • Mark

        Congrats on your ability to play both sides of Dueling Banjos all by your lonesome.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
      • Scrod

        "family members affected. Why does he have to acknowledge it?" Declaring some place a disaster area is the first step.

        January 3, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Wise1Speak

      Dr. DJ SMPS,
      Can I assume you are aware that Congress presented the bill to President Obama just before midnight; and after midnight the law would have been terminated? Therefore, through no fault of President Obama, he was forced to sign the bill last night so there would not be a gap in the legal perseverance of terrorist supporters. The law would have lapse if he waited until he got home to sign it. Try to keep up.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • Jennifer

        Yes, we must make sure that the stripping of our civil liberties continues. Heaven help us if a vile and repressive document doesn't get signed in time.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • Larry

        Jennifer, which of your civil liberties are you missing?

        May 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
      • dave

        Larry, for the most part you and I think similarly on most of the points you've brought up in this thread. However, our freedom to travel, freedom to be free of unnecessary searches and seizures, freedom of speech and our privacy (one of the 'unenumerated rights' in the 10th amendment) are whittled away in the name of security under these measures.

        TBH, I am tired of supporting the corporate/wealthy plutocracy. We are under these threats because of them, we are suffering through a budget crisis because of their greed and exploitation, and they just get to keep stuffing money into politicians pockets. We don't need the security theatre- the only people who benefit from it are those who are making money off of it and the 'terrorists' themselves.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
      • Scrod

        " Try to keep up." But I went to Rush's website for the real information and he said if Obama used an autopen, it meant the UN owns my house now. And then Bill O'Reilly said it was just a trick to get our guns and shoot Santa Claus with them. What are we going to do?

        January 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • DERFRM

      It amazes me the advances that we have now and granted, things are far from perfect but at least there are attempts to make things better faster and easier, it is definately change. But what doesnt change is the whining that we do, no one likes it but how many have stepped up to try and run for president hmmm well maybe to ambitious, how about local dog catcher? not many. No one likes change but no one wants to step up and fix what is wrong, when did americans sink to the the level of being whiny little babies instead of leaders and thinkers ? Reading tese posts not only on here but other sites shows me that eeryone has the answers but only step up here on tese sites.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
      • Scrod

        "when did americans sink to the the level of being whiny little babies" 1946

        January 3, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Larry

      Act how? Use is magical deficit powers?

      May 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • DAVID

        Larry, crawl back underneath your rock.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
      • wheresthebeef

        Larry – take a break dude. Your powers of logic combined with keyboard manuervering are fading fast...you are sounding lamer by the post. Perhaps you should sleep your rightousness off, and come back tomorrow and see if you can't maintain...

        May 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Joel

      Personally, since the bill was NOT signed by the president personally, with his real signature, my opinion is that it expired and should be no more. This act was the worst response America has ever had to an unfortunate (tragic) event and should never have been passed in the first place,

      May 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
      • makak

        So is your issue that he "signed" the bill with the auto-pen, or the bill itself? Because I'm pretty sure that if he signed a bill stating that every US taxpayer was to get a refund of $5000 with this same signing tool, you wouldn't have any objection to that.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
      • Scrod

        "my opinion is that it expired and should be no more." I am sure that your opinion will carry a lot of weight in this discussion. What court are you the judge of?

        January 3, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Kman821

      Unfortunately, too often Obama does seem to be serving GWB's third term.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Chumlee

      You did see the margin by which the extension passed the House didn't you? It wouldn't have mattered if he had vetoed the extension, they would have been able to overide it.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mke

      What civil liberties are you referring to? Are you a terriost? are you plotting to kill massive groups of people? The only people that are complaing about this bill in the private sector are the people that this bill is targeting. If you dont like it run for President. President Obama's new campaign slogan should be "Stop complainng and Fix it". Thats all people like you do, complain complain complain.... We are glad you have an opinion, but thats all it will ever amount to because people like you refuse to get up and do anything. At least the President is multi-tasking. You want to know how to fix the budget? Go back in time and tell George Bush not to invade IRAQ because our intel is wrong. That will save BILLIONS in nation building, that can be thrown into the economy.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • neonazibuster

      our deficit? you mean you are one of the wall street parasites who is responsible for the debt. certainly it's not my debt!

      May 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Ken

      Sorry folks, the Bill isn't law to me until a human signs it. The autopen was never intended for this purpose.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • Scrod

        "Sorry folks, the Bill isn't law to me until a human signs it. The autopen was never intended for this purpose."

        How about you let us grownups decide that?

        January 3, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Derek

      Although I firmly agree that any bill should physically be signed by the President himself, aren't you being a little dramatic, like most Conspiracy Theorists and Tea Partiers? Signing away your civil rights? Give me a break. Tell me how exactly your life is going to be any different with this bill.

      May 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • c

      Totally agree, however I wouldn't mind borrowing that pen to fill in a few blank checks, with Biden's permission of course wouldn't want to take over his job.

      May 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • zotquix

      People over react to what is a big piece of legislation that does many good things, including protect national security. It is good for business which is good for the people. Read this article for more: http://bpr.berkeley.edu/?p=1937

      May 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
      • dave

        No, it is good for BIG business, which is NOT good for the people. Small business is the lifeblood of our nation, but these things only pander to the will of the corporate behemoths that shouldn't be receiving help.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Ann

      There is something America needs to wake-up and realize: behind closed doors the Dems and Reps are all on the same side. Political debates and elections are about as real as WWE. Your vote probably matters more on American Idol than it does at the polls. If we all stood up more then we would overcome all the $h!t we deal with.

      May 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • gary davis

      must be a republican tea bagger . anti Obama nut job . keep bad mouthing the democrats and the president and the republicans will again get there way . and if you are going to want to enjoy retirement or any other social programs you can kiss them off . I will vote again for Mr Obama because with out republican helping he has done great things . and if the party of NO continues down the path they have chosen ., then we will only read about them in the history books as just plan stop stupid and greedy puppets working for the few corporate ceo's . this is a special time in our nations history . stand with the president and take back america from coprorate greed . say NO to the republicans and I hope Palin actually gets indorsed by them . she is what will finish off the republican party talk abolut stupid . the only thing she has is a good handler and her talking points are hate and racist bigotry more of the tea party racist crap

      June 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
      • Scrod

        " I will vote again for Mr Obama because with out republican helping he has done great things ." As soon as the GOP turns away from the dark side and stops hurting Americans in the hope of getting votes, this country will soar high. Or they can keep fighting economic recovery in the vain hope of blaming Obama; it's not working. We can see you Republicans denying relief to NJ. Turn back to the light.

        January 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Stop Whining and EVOLVE

      You will undoubtedly be the very first person to scream and yell that the "government" didn't do enough to protect you when al-Qaeda or the Chinese hack your credit card. Can't have it both ways, junior.

      January 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Approved and endorsed by the Bush-43 Justice Department, and many Republicans don't like it.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Busted2010

      Lets not get ahead of ourselves, republicans are now against it because it's Obama. This is a tired and boring response by the republicans and has been ongoing since Obama was elected.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • ElPasoan

        @Busted – i couldn't agree more. The racist republicans are showing their colors ever since he took office. What hurts me the most is the fact that some people in the media will not even call him Mr. President. So sad.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • Wumpus

        My nuts were also tired and boring. I tried putting battery acid on them to liven things up. Now I don't have any.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • JP

      A lot of us Republicans didn't like it when Bush signed it into law.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Chumlee

        Well then, why didn't you speak out against it instead of cowering behind your leader and repeating the same tired, old mantra? If you're not with us, you're against us.

        You cowards left it up to the left to complain and then labels us America hating hippies. Nice work!

        May 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • Ryan A - Florida

        And most children "don't like" to eat their vegetables, and that's what most Americans are like, big children.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
      • David

        Yes JP, but it's easier for the uneducated to just make a stereotype and follow the groupthink of the other drones. You see it on both sides though.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
      • Scrod

        "A lot of us Republicans didn't like it when Bush signed it into law." You'd have been attacked if you said that at the time.

        January 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  3. Joshua

    "Despite what we you learned in school"............Brilliant!

    May 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Mario Gomez


    May 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  5. BobnLA

    More pettiness. If technology had been advanced in 1776- there may have been all kinds of changes to the wording in The Constitution.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Joshua

      The Constitution was written in 1787. The Declaration of Independence was in 1776.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz


      May 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  6. cindy

    What difference does it really make?

    May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • maine liberal

      In a reasonable sane world it means nothing, to the Obama haters it means everything

      May 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • newton

      I suppose potentially it could mean that if Obama is not there they could get his signature on any bill without actually getting his approval... at least there is a potential conspiracy theory in there somewhere....

      May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      By logical extension of the idiot objecting in congress' reasoning, over 99% of all paychecks in this nation are void, because the CFO of the corporation didn't personally sign them.
      To include that idiot's paycheck.
      And to include all direct deposit transactions for paychecks, as they're also autosigned transactions.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
      • gromit801

        Except that the US Constitution doesn't say anything about check signatures, and everything about Presidential signatures on bills.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
      • Johnny DC

        Please tell me you know the difference between an average paycheck process and the procedures in place to dictate policy and law in the greatest nation ever conceived. Yes?

        For the exact reasons provided by the senator from GA, this sets a very dangerous precedent. Of course, just like when the lunatic fringe of the Right hate on everything Obama does, you fringe lefties ignore clear and valid points provided by the Republicans. If a president decides that machinery can be used to enact law, what's to stop a coup from occurring with a hidden, incapacitated president in office? The autopen doesn't immediately make us susceptible to this scenario, but it is step 1 on the way toward it – which is the reason it sets a dangerous precedent.

        May 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  7. Josh

    Gee, I thought it was some kind of more hi-tech device, where Obama signs a blank piece of paper while in Europe, and a robot arm with a pen attached back in the White House actually puts the pen to the paper.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • kman02

      I did, too! Kind of a let-down if you ask me. Don't see the contraversy though.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • USA117

        I don't think this is a big, big problem, but the concern was made clear in the article with the quote of congressman Graves:
        "For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?" Thinking through the ramifications of a policy is exactly what the founding fathers did and would want us to continue to do. Let's not outlaw the use of technology, but let's make sure we keep our checks and balances.

        May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • Henry Miller

        What if, in the President's absence, some secretary uses the autopen to sign a bill the President would not have signed?

        May 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        It would probably be pretty easy in this day and age to prove it was forged.....

        May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • Busted2010

        @Henry – read the article again

        May 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
      • Richy Rich

        @Henry. You're kidding, right?

        May 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
      • Larry

        @Henry Miller: Do you honestly believe someone could use the president's autopen to sign legislation the president wouldn't have signed and get away with it?

        May 27, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
      • Heywood Jablome

        @Henry- Yeah so, so, what if a secretary tells the Joint Chief of Staff that the autopen told her to fire missiles on Cuba. Yeah, so.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
      • Diana

        Hmmmm, i always thought that if the president was in the hospital and unable to communicate that was what we had a vice president for..........

        May 27, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • ADude

      I was thinking the same thing. This just seems like a forgery to make illegal laws "legal."

      May 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • jumbled

      Now that would've been good. Thumbs up to you

      May 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bas

      Ditto. In this day and age, he could have a robotic pen that mimics a remote pen that he holds...anywhere in the world. A live feed camera allows him to ensure that he is signing the actual document. Hmmmm, maybe I can get rich off of this.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
      • dave

        Sorry, but you probably can't. That kind of thing would be covered under some of the pre-existing patents for remote controlled manipulation, i.e. telemedical surgery.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  8. Margo

    Sorry, Tom. The 'precedent' was set in 2005 (and we all know under whose watch that was). Ask *him*.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  9. son1

    Hey CNN are you there ?? So, you don't think the G8s decision to give Arab countries 20 billion dollars most of which will be US money borrowed from China is worthy of front page news ?? Or any page on your stupid partisan website ?? Hey all you liberals out there ?? Are you there ?? Just curious, are for giving 20 billion to Arab countries is more important than helping US Citizens ?? You got what you voted for you fools.

    May 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  10. The Lunatic

    Why can't they just send him a fax, have him sign it, and mail it back?

    (ok, I'm joking ... but there are plenty of situations where the use of such technology is appropriate. As much as I'm against this particular bill, this is one of them.)

    May 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  11. chibidw

    No animal shall sleep in a bed.....with sheets.
    No animal shall drink alcohol......to excess.
    No animal shall kill any other animal.....without cause.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  12. vic

    Silly..silly ..another goofy statement from a Georgia Republican. Are you really that ignorant? Still riding your horse to work?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  13. iamthefredman

    This is EXACTLY what the crybabies were yelling about when the "Big Mean Banks" used robo-signers to sign off on foreclosure approvals for their deadbeat mortgagors. Ok, so where's the rage now? I worked in a Big Bank foreclosure dept. for years. I would know about the file and the mortgagor and their problems and it's all in the file. The person who signs off (VP or above) does NOT need to personally see, touch, feel, meet with ,and speak to the mortgagor to foreclose. It's all in the file. VPs are very few and they need to sign every one of the foreclosures as per the stupid law. (I should have been allowed to doit since I did all the investigationon the file myself.) Of course hteyneed to "robo-sign" to get it all done on time. So Obama, why is this signing legal and why can't you be working in your office? Don't you have conference calling and video conferencing in D.C.? Face-to-face meetings are from the dinosaur age. Get back to work.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • kman02

      Chill out a bit. You'll give yourself a coronary bitching about petty crap.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • bill

      You don't get laid much, do you?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • Fish

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.... breath.... hahahahahahahahahahah! That was good!

        May 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
      • cajr

        i have it on good authority that he does. Hey tell your wife I said hi.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
      • alison

        Ha... oh snap...

        May 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Kelvin Readling

      He is at the G8 summit you flakweed.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Jeff

      You sir, are a scumbag who has ruined countless lives.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Sanity

      II'm pretty sure the "world" wouldn't like it if you "dialed-in" via T-con to a G8 summit. "What, you have better things to do, like stay chained to your office because your country hasn't heard of a fax machine?"


      BTW – i agree with Bill – you need to get laid.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Wes

      Hey relax alittle bit.The president is doing his job, you know foreign affairs, G8 summit and so on. No president has to be in his office 24hrs a day and........wait....Wait.......its usless to try to explain it to you.Glad you were also up in arm when Bush was out of the country and not in his office...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • mfhpr

        Or on his ranch at LEAST 1/3 of the time he was in office...

        May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
      • Johnny DC

        @ mfhpr – Yes, working on his ranch. How much work does Obama get done from the golf course, exactly?

        May 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Easy dude, or you are gonna need a robo doctor to sew up that hole in your gasket you just blew.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      First off, Obama is at the G8 Summit where leaders of the world's major industrial nations to meet to discuss the issues facing the world in an informal setting. This is very important for the US if we want to continue to be a LEADER of nations. This Summit will/has focues on nuclear SAFETY, global economy, climate change, the internet, Arab Spring and Africa. These are all important issues that the US must take part in. Now, as far as the Patriot Act goes this was up to be passed back in March, but unfortunately people like Rand Paul have held up the vote until now. Obama cannot stop current plans because our Senate and Congress are too slow at vetting through legislation! Now, I get it – I am no Patiot Act fan. However, most of the Patriot Act was all ready covered in other laws dating back to the 1970's. The major difference was the the Bush Patiot Act law gives the government authority to spy on innocent citizens – something I personally do not agree with. The real issue here is that there was not enough time to modify the Patriot Act to remove language (that not everyone agrees with – many GOPer's still back the warrentless spying on innocent americans) before the Patriot Act expires. There are many details (pre-Bush Patriot act) that we cannot let America live without. We have to have a safe and secure nation and keep our best interestes at heart. With more time, hopefully it can indeed be changed.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
      • MikeofLA

        Thank you for being a sane and metered voice in this room of shouters and cry babies.

        I agree with you.

        *slow clap*

        May 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
      • yaa_think

        If that's the case and Obuma is there then we all are in deep do do.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • vfr800cr250@yahoo.com

      You publicly admit that you used to work in the foreclosure dept of a big bank, then rant about how stupid the foreclosure laws are and expect what? Sympathy? What do you do now for a living, deny health insurance coverage to children with pre-existing conditions? Develop reports detailing why it's still a good business decision to manufacture cancer causing chemicals but only for distribution to third world countries? Put the dogs down that are at the pound too long? Say hey to Hitler and Stalin when you see them in the next life.....

      May 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Mike

      You worked for a Big Bank? That Says ALOT!! What a LOOSER! The Only cry babies I see are the Bankers who are loosing their asses over their gambling bets and crying for bailouts from the poor! Awwww, whats da matter iamthefredman, did`nt get that billion $$ bonus this year? We`ll see who cries when THEY loose their home/savings/ect WHEN the crash hits! Yeah, WHEN it hits!! Pathetic and an Un-American! Say Fred, What do you do for a living? ME? Oh I PHUCK people over by stealing lil old ladies/ poor/sick peoples homes! How do you sleep at night? Me? I sleep fine! I own my home and have 0 credit cards or loans and have real money "SILVER Bullion" in savings= Not a slave of the Banks! YOUR PATHETIC!!!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • B. Rad Li

      Two things here. Number 1): The banks robo-signers WERE people signing things. They just weren't reading them or even qualified to understand what they read had they actually read it. Read as temp agency hirees branded as VP to sign papers all day. Despite the buzzword, banks didn't buy japanese super-robots to sign pieces of paper when it's waaaaaay easier to pay $5.75 an hour to temps. Number 2): Do you really think the POTUS wouldn't read one of the most hotly contested pieces of legislature before signing it?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • PL

        In reply to the comment that POTUS surely read the bill before he signed it.... Actually I believe that very few Presidents or members of Congress actually read the bills they sign/vote on. They are written/reviewed by staffers and summaries are given to the officeholders. So they can use their time in a more productive fashion – like working on the re-election campaign.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Larry

      Nonsense. This is nothing like that.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Neal_T

      Your reasoning is completely incorrect. The issue with robosigners had nothing to do with electronic signatures; it had to do with the alleged practice of bank officers signing affidavits, claiming to have reviewed the bank's business records in order to verify the information being sworn to, without actually having verified anything. Purely an evidentiary issue which defaulted borrowers try to take advantage of while, with very few exceptions, never claiming that the information in the affidavit regarding default and amounts due is actually incorrect. So, actually, it is NOTHING like the same thing. He knew what he was signing since the law has been on the books for about 9 years now. Grow up Fredman.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • Charlie

      Perhapts you need to get a life.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • The Elephant In The Room

      You are kidding right? EVERYBODY that works in a bank, or the financial services industry in general, has the title of VP.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • K3Citizen

      All the VP has to do is sign his name and you call that working? No wonder people hate bankers! Their not only greedy, they are lazy!! Big whoopty doo, signing your name is sooooo hard to do. You sound like a sixth grader complaining about having to tie his shoes. Suck it up and do some real work for a change.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • RF

      The difference is that your activities bordered on the criminal! Obama is not signing fraudulent documents that overestimate the value of a property and conveniently dodges wage and income requirements so that a misguided individual or individuals can purchase something that they cannot afford and will loose to the rotten banks that put them into the houses in the first place. get it?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • real

      You need to get your rabies shot,but it sounds as though your to late. Our President is not a "Couch Tater" Dah?

      May 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Jesse

      The issue about bankers not seeing the documents is that they will use that very excuse to avoid responsibility for the thousands of illegal foreclosures.

      Obama will take responsibility for what he signs or authorizes to be signed on his behalf by a machine. Your banker friends would be better people if they followed his example...but then, if they were better people, they wouldn't have duped people and acted illegally in the first place.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  14. Brandon


    May 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  15. Mac Bran

    Did the congressman have the same concerns during the Bush years?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  16. Paul

    Presidents have been signing things with autopens since at least FDR's day. Are the "journalists" at CNN really so uninformed that they think this is "news."

    May 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  17. Elspeth

    Can't wait for the Supreme Court ruling on this one...since the Act involved contains an invasion into our most fundamental rights I can imagine there will be any number of opportunities for a challenge or to to come up.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  18. JW

    This isn't really an issue. Think about it, is the Supreme Court, or any other court for that matter, really going to take this issue up? Nonsense. And if they do, it is just going to come out that the Constitution doesn't specify how he is to sign it. Next they will be saying he has to sign it with his right hand because historically bills were always signed by the left hand. Or that he has to use a feather and ink. Or some other nonsense. Truth is, the Constitution doesn't specify how he is to sign it, just that he signs it. It is broad enough to encompass an autopen, and narrow enough to not cover fraud if someone were devious enough to fake the President's signature.
    The example given by the congressman where the President is incapacitated and someone deviously manipulates a gesture into an approval, well, that is simply fraud. That could be challenged, if we ever found out about it. But if they were that devious, what would stop them from just forging his signature and saying he signed it himself during a moment of clarity? How would we ever know?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  19. Rethink

    "their bosses' names"

    May 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  20. Leo56

    Exactly how are we assured that he gave permission?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  21. Angelique

    Yeah, I can totally see us giving powers to make a major decision to a President who can only wink or squeeze hands.

    Republicans are amazing. Don't disagree with him though! He'll get angry because you're saying the stuff he makes up in his head isn't real! How dare you!

    I see.. straw men.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  22. Sarah Palin

    I don't approve of the french toilet paper the President used this morning.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  23. JerrynFlorida

    I respectfully ask: Why can't this 'dunderhead" act with such expediency with the REAL problems facing America (the economic crisis, the housing crisis, the unemployment crisis. the immigration crisis, the healthcare crisis, etc., etc.; you get the idea. I hope!) Also, why is mainstream media slobbering all over this president when he really has achieved nothing of real substance? Now, now NObamites; RELAX! I am just asking! I still do have that right; don't I???

    May 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Angelique

      You are dumbing down the issues as though he can just solve everything with a signature. I respectfully tell you that you need to take a step back and recognize the complexity of the problems we face. We can't just solve everything on principle, that is entirely ridiculous. There are so many aspects of our economy and our way of life effected by each of the things you mention, we can't just say, illegals are bad, deport them all, and expect that

      May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • mkjp

      you really think he can single-handedly make laws don't you? go back to middle school civics class and learn that the body of people called Congress are the ones who need to vote on everything. Obama has put forth so many ideas that Congress has either maimed or killed.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Thank you! Finally someone who made a reasonable comment. They all forget Congress sets the budget too.

        May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Kelvin Readling

      You dont read the news do you? Oh I get it you listed to what Foxnews tells ya. Bet you have drudgereport as your homepage?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • O

      You still have the right to remain silent, idiot! What did your mom teach you about name calling?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Rick From LA

      How can one act with any expediency when everyone of the opposing politcal faction is standing in the way of progress?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
      • Henry Miller

        Define "progress."

        May 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • jeromy

        Progress = Something that hasn't happened since Clinton was in office.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • me

      You do have the right to ask just as others have the right to let you know how wrong your statements are.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • JLI

      Are you truly so naive that you think solving a country's problems are so easy? People keep telling President Obama to "fix" the economy and "solve" or deficit. America is not some convenience store where debt can simply be repaid and money made. There are over 400 lawmakers in Washington, plus the countless stakeholders around the world who influence policy decisions either publicly or behind closed doors. Politics is a powergame, and regardless if a person is the POTUS, he or she can't simply "solve" something. Passing a health care bill (regardless if you agree with it), and some form of financial reform in 3 years is quite the accomplishment, regardless of the country it occurs. Why don't you take some courses, read some books (over 100 pgs) and return when you can make an intelligent comment not fueled by prejudice. You do have the right to questions, just don't waste our time with stupid ones.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Wes

      Jerry you have the right to ask and i have the right to answer you. First, President Obama saved many jobs, car industry and many other jobs have been created. American was loosing 750k jobs before President Obama came into office. (read something other than Fox propaganda).. As far as the housng crisis, he cant be responsible for people who got themselves into ajustable rates and bit off more than...Also there was a plan( I used it) to reduce the rate that I paid, I had a good one, got a better one now. And if like all bubles it burst b/c of the Bush admin lack of common sense policies and everytime Pre.obama tried to take on corrupt bankers and lenders, the republicans tried to block it. Healthcare crisis: You already forgot the healthcare law, oh wait....wait...U like republicans trying to kill Medicare. Ok you are little confused..immigration crisis.. really? Oh Yeah Reagan, Bush, Bush solved it and under Pres.Obama it came back. Geez..How can we deal with immigration because when ever the subject come up, people start yelling and shouting over eachother. And E-verify is still voluntary, make it mandatory and the jobs go away and than..Oh wait.oh wait...we need immagrants b/c i doubt you will be working on some farm doing what they do and of course you are not willing to pay for the increase in price of food. Yeah President Obama has done nothing...hmmm..Bin laden...ending war in Iraq....Saving the car copmpanies...Puttin more money in education and of course, tax breaks for workers and trying to stop republicans from throwing gran-ma off the cliff......

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • dollface

        @ Wes, well said.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Sean Sequar

        Well said Wes!
        I love our president.
        People seem to ignore the history and facts of why our country is in the condition that its in. I blame the deficit on the Bush family both Bush's put our country on war paths. Do your homework and research Prescott Bush the founder of the Bush Political dynasty. The late US senator was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The profits from this involement is the foundation of the Bush family fortune and political dynasty. This was the beginning of of a new destructive mind set that "War can be profitable". How a document is signed should be the least of our worries in the larger scheme of things.

        May 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mike

      Get ready for 4 more years of "Change" He SHOT Bin Laden!! Who cares about ANYTHING else?

      May 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Larry

      "I respectfully ask: Why can't this 'dunderhead" act with such expediency with the REAL problems facing America (the economic crisis, the housing crisis, the unemployment crisis. the immigration crisis, the healthcare crisis, etc., etc.; you get the idea. I hope!)"

      I get the idea. You let Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck tell you what to think, fear, and hate instead of thinking for yourself. Act how? He's not a dictator and he doesn't have magical powers. Turn off your radio and spend some time learning how our government actually works. We have this thing called Congress and laws have to be written by this thing called Congress.

      Congress consists of two houses and the House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans who got elected by campaigning on jobs. Why aren't the dunderhead Republicans acting with expediency to address our real problems? The first thing they did when they took control of the House was to take turns reading the Constitution aloud from the floor. Then they passed the childishly named Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act knowing it would never pass in the Senate or be signed by the president. But where is their jobs bill?

      Oh yeah, they're definitely committed to addressing our real problems.

      "Also, why is mainstream media slobbering all over this president when he really has achieved nothing of real substance?"

      You people are a sad bunch of brainwashed drones. You all make the same stupid comments to insult and attack the president because you're just regurgitating what you've been told. Not one of you dunderheads is capable of intelligently discussing any issue.

      "Now, now NObamites"

      Grow up. I know this kind of childish behavior makes you feel superior to those who don't buy into what you've been told about Obama, but in reality all you're doing is making it clear you're not prepared to intelligently discuss any of the issues you listed, or any other issue for that matter.

      "RELAX! I am just asking! I still do have that right; don't I???"

      Oh, absolutely. Your right to act like a brainwashed Rush Limbaugh drone is still very much intact. Try not to be so anxious to make yourself look foolish, if not for your own sake then for the sake of the people who raised you.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • civilguy

        I've got news for you DS...the Republicans only have control of 1/3 of the House/Senate/President...... they couldn't get a bill passed to buy grandma a cup of coffee....... your side had full control for 2 years and even they fought like dogs and cats...... the Republicans could have left the building and played golf or visited their homeland and it would not have matter one bit....... you had the FULL HOUSE AND SENATE..... now we have a stale mate!....Thanks God for that!

        May 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • JonnyBeCool

        Larry, Not everyone watches and listens to Rush and Glenn. I'm tired of you writing about them. I got your point on your first post.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • Larry

        @civilguy: "I've got news for you DS...the Republicans only have control of 1/3 of the House/Senate/President...... they couldn't get a bill passed to buy grandma a cup of coffee"

        Republicans are nothing if not whiners about how the Democrats won't let them do anything. They could at least try. Republicans in the House managed to pass that idiotically named H.R. 2: Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. Where's their jobs bill? They stopped talking about job creation on Nov. 5. They have nothing viable to sell and it's their own fault, because they're determined to pander to ideologues instead of pursue legitimate, workable ideas.

        "your side had full control for 2 years and even they fought like dogs and cats"

        Don't embarrass yourself by attacking people based on stuff you fabricate about them. I have no side. I've never been a Democrat. I used to be a Republican, but I left the party after they sold their souls to chase after the far right fanatic vote.

        "the Republicans could have left the building and played golf or visited their homeland and it would not have matter one bit....... you had the FULL HOUSE AND SENATE..... now we have a stale mate!....Thanks God for that!"

        You're obviously another idiot who isn't really prepared to discuss any issue intelligently. Thanks for playing.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
      • larrysmom

        Larry – i told you it's time to go ni-nite now. Go be a good boy and leave the nice, first amendment protected people alone. Remember what I told you, you have a right to be wrong, and so does everyone else. It's called an "opinion" and in THIS country everyone is entitled to their own.

        If you can't handle opposing opinions, stay off of the BIG people toys (a.k.a. the Internet)


        May 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Really?

      Basically, people are upset because they do not understand American politics. The right wing cries all the time about the Constitution, but do they actually care about it? Undermine it by buying elections (money equals speech! Why not give corporations a vote per dollar they earn in profit? They already act like they own the country), undermine it by outlawing or condemning dissent, undermine it by legislating morality (seriously, the family has been doomed for a long time because our economy is in the tank thanks to greedy banks and companies and because we do not value education penalize high achievement).

      You want to see who's undermining America? Don't think it's just the liberals. Conservatives who pretend to care about their fellow Americans while selling them into wage-slavery after denying them good education are the real culprits. Well, them and the 'middle America' that had to get everything cheaper and cheaper and letting companies outsource labor to third world countries. Thanks for turning your back on America, people. Now go fly your flag this Memorial Day.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Phreakwars

      And what would YOU have him do... NOW NOW, sorry Obama hater, I was just asking.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • NeilsInSeattle


      In his first two years, President Obama:

      Passed stronger Wall Street reform than expected

      Passed credit card reform

      Passed a tax cut for 95% of working Americans (as part of the stimulus bill)

      Passed FDA reform that finally gave them recall powers

      Passed repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell legislation, putting the military in charge of if/when the policy would actually end

      Passed tax cuts for up to 3.5 million small businesses to help pay for employee health care coverage

      Eliminated subsidies to private lender middlemen of student loans and protect student borrowers

      Expanded hate crime law in the US to include sexual orientation through the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

      Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees

      Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history

      Saved the US auto industry

      Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years

      Promoted social responsibility through creation of serve.gov, a national database of volunteer opportunities

      Reversed the 'global gag rule', allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions

      Ended major military operations in Iraq

      Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time

      Signed New START Treaty – nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia

      Deported more illegal aliens in 2009 than any previous administration had in any previous year

      Increased average fuel economy standards from 27.5mpg to 35.5mpg, starting in 2016

      Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers

      Provided travel expenses to families of fallen soldiers to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB

      Reversed the policy of barring media coverage during the return of fallen soldiers to Dover Air Force Base

      Launched recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing transparency and allowing the public to report fraud, waste, or abuse

      Signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides health care to 11 million kids - 4 million of whom were previously uninsured

      Issued executive order to repeal Bush era restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research

      Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis

      Signed the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the defense procurement and contracting system

      May 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
      • civilguy

        Man you drink a lot of cool aid! And you think these are good things....... As I pay $4.00 for a gallon of gas...I just spent $250 last week on gas! That is a good thing if you are a true Lefty...... GMAFB!

        May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • mfhpr

        NeilsInSeattle: Good post and all true. There's more...but people like Jerrynflorida don't want to hear it. They'll say where are the jobs without recognizing that most of what the REP controlled house has focused on since Jan 6 is limiting abortion rights and complaining about Obama.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • civilguy

        How many millions were spend watching shrimp walk a treadmill....... get you head out of the sand you moron.... transparency...... you are really falling off the deep one now...how many read the health care bill prior to passing....(They hired a speed reader and even he didn't have the time to read the whole thing let along understand it..... how many in Pelose's district now have waviers......YOU HAVE NO CLUE... this guy could say the sky was purple and you would agree.....

        May 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
      • civilguy

        @mfhpr WHAT JOBS ARE YOU REFERING TO??????? Maybe Govn jobs but sure not private sector jobs.....what part of 9% umemployment rate don't you understand? Take off the dark shades and see the light! What a bunch of left wing nut jobs.....or better known as IDIOTS>>>>>

        May 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • Third Wheel Man

        Since Jan 2009:
        Gas prices up. Oil company revenues up.
        Race to the Top instead of NCLB
        Corporate Welfare in the billions
        Rich richer, poor poorer.
        Tax cuts for the wealthy.
        Biggest government expansion of healthcare since Bush's Medicare expansion.
        Patriot Act signed (for our protection)
        Unemployment up.
        Made war on an Arab country.

        The Republicans like to call Obama a socialist. With this record, I'd call him George W II. I guess it cuts both ways. When George W. had this same record, the Democrats said he was the worst POTUS ever.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Larry

        @mfhpr: So true. GOP before November 2010: Jobs and deficit reduction.

        GOP after taking control of the House:
        Try to preserve crappy health care status quo.
        Restrict abortion rights.
        Bust unions.
        Pursue strategies to reduce the deficit that only ask the lower and middle classes to sacrifice and shield the top 1% from any semblance of sacrifice.
        Go after Muslims.
        Prevent gay marriage

        May 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • jeromy

        You forgot – Killed the worlds most notorious terrorist.

        May 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
      • David

        Great cut and paste. One day you'll be able to come up with your own ideas!

        May 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
      • jean2009

        Still the highest recorded national average for gasoline was in June 2008 at $4.11 per gallon.

        May 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
      • Diana

        Hey people you complain about 9% unemployment rates going up? Did you ever stop to think that we have had so many natural disasters here in the U.S. Tornado's, flooding, ect. Do you really expect the unemployment rate won't rise?? So many business have been destroyed, this puts people out of work, look at the big picture!

        May 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • real

      Hey, "What dah you think about your Governor???? You vote in a CEO of a huge Hospital Chain, and he was made to pay 1.7 billion dollars for Medicare Fraud? Theres not much room for your opinion sir????

      May 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • mfhpr

      If you were as smart as you pretend to be you would understand he and/or his staff is working on those items all the time. You'd also know that to correct such a huge economic failure will take YEARS, not just a couple years.

      And lastly, you'd understand that no matter what he's tried to do to get the country going, the REPs have done everything in their power to block him. EVERYTHING! They didn't want the US automakers bailed out and now that it's been a success, they're claiming credit for it. Sounds like something you'd do...

      May 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • greatbrit

      I can tolerate the fact that Obama chatted through the National Anthem while toasting our Queen. I can't understand how you easily pleased Americans can idolise a President who has broken virtually all his election promises and seems to gallivant an awful lot for someone who has massive problems at home. I loathe the fact that he made a keynote speech supposedly to "Pro Israel supporters when most of the real ones were allegedly unable to attend the meeting since it was the Jewish Sabbath and they couldn't set out until after 12 noon [the attendees being mainly Liberal Jews ]. If this is true it is disgusting media manipulation at it's worst and not worthy of a Statesman or his organisers

      May 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  24. dutspup

    Isn't that called plausible deniability?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  25. RoadRunner, Albuquerque, NM

    Sign of the times. All of our Constitutional Rights are on "autopilot" as well. In free fall as some might say.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  26. mkjp

    the republicans (whose guy came up with these laws in the first freaking place) are mad now that the bill was auto signed, and they would have been mad if someone had flown the paper to Obama personally to have his own hand sign it. can't win.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • kman02

      President Obama can't do anything right in the GOP/TP's eyes. They are a bunch of hollow, bought and paid-for, angry people. They are devoid of real solutions. These bullies don't understand checks and balances in goverment give cause for compromise. It's their way or it's NO! NO! NO! They will get spanked like back-talking children in 2012.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • Scott

        The fact is that due to the ignorance and naivety of the vast majority of conservative supporters, their politicians can say anything negative, completely devoid of fact or context, and they'll just latch on to it and repeat it verbatim. After many long years, I realized how the Republican party works after starting to investigate much of their positions and distractions they set forth. I don't feel like I'm being to strong when i say they are similar to the abusive spouse who manipulates to maintain control and they've proven it – they'll say/do whatever is required. My only hope is that somehow even the most isolated souls in the US will start to simply ask questions and do basic hypocrisy checks instead of being swept up in nationalistic/political rhetoric. It worked for me (after about 15 blind years following from Reagan through GHWB) so it can work for everyone.

        May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Well said!

        May 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
      • civilguy

        So how's it feel with the shoe is on the other foot! It was ok for he left to holler and scream at Bush..... but don't tread on the the Mesiah.....OMG........ GMAFB! Grow some kahunas! Limp Richard....

        May 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Larry

      Doesn't the article just mention one Republican?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
      • Roy

        Actually, yes, it does, quite literally a Republican from Georgia...

        May 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        True, but that's one too many.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  27. Stacey

    Vote Ron Paul in 2012!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  28. ITGuy

    If we ever had a president with no hands, (possible if not likely) then this sort of thing would be required. Obama still has the presidency. The robots have not taken over. (yet)

    May 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  29. foronceIagreewithaGArepublican

    Let me state that again: for once, I actually agree with a GA republican. This is a dangerous precedent. Can you imagine a scenario where there's a bill that the president won't sign, any someone says, we don't need him, just get his autopen...

    May 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  30. Mike

    If the GOP want to be picky about such things, then really, if you read the Constitution and take it completely literally without interpretation, then a woman could "never" be President. Read it again: 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”?...HE shall sign it....This implies the President is a male and thus no woman could hold the title of President. Get real people, the Constitution, like the Bible, must be interpreted and not taken literally.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  31. Kenny

    President Bush approved it and nothing was said. I guess the next time President Obama takes a leak, Republicans and Obama haters will want to know if he raised the seat. I guess they feel that they have lost control since a Black man is in the position of making decisions and they can't handle the truth. Get over it. He is as smart a President as we have had in a long time.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Kenny

      To show just how much truth there is to my statement, check this out.

      Kenny is spot on. People need to get over his color and accept the fact that like it or not, he is their President too. He is the President of America and that covers all Americans any where in the galaxy.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
      • civilguy

        I thought Clinton was the smartest President....ever......and that wasn't too long ago.... Let's all bow now to the great one........the Mesiah.....how many states are there? What year is it?....... oh how smart he is ....... when compared to his followers..... DS...

        May 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  32. ELH

    In this digital age where a photo may be altered in such a manner that the changes be undetectable, it is at least somewhat comforting to know that the auto-pen is no more than a mechanically-linked pen and stylus following groves engraved in a platen. I expect that a counterfeit engraving would be fully as detectable as a forged signature. Unless, of course, you had access to the original engraving and a computer-controlled engraving machine. Oops, there we go again, delving into the digital stuff.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  33. Alex

    This is the silliest controversy I've ever seen. Technology – that this article proves is perfectly legal and legitimate – is allowing the president to be in two place at once. I don't see the problem. It's the same as those complaining that he's in Europe for the G8 (a visit known about for a year) while the (unscheduled) tornadoes hit the midwest, who clearly aren't aware of the concepts of e-mail, videoconferencing, and any number of newfangled gadgets (including one called the telephone) that allows the president to keep tabs on what's going on in the midwest and direct action if warranted.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  34. Matt

    I thought he was going to sign it in blood when I read the title 🙂

    May 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  35. hobbes

    Awesome. It's a sad commentary on the US public when a bill that strips away otherwise guaranteed constitutional rights gets less coverage than what pen the president uses to screw us over.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  36. me

    There are many requirements of the President and some of them take him overseas. While the job of the President is 24/7, it doesn't necessarily mean it's entirely spent in the oval office. I can see it now..."this bill needed immediate signing but the President was in China signing the peace agreement and we did away with the autopen process. It's Obama's fault."

    May 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  37. Rick From LA

    That is silly. We live in a age where socalization has moved from the local coffee house to a digital hub linking the world together. Why should we maintain 18th century practices in a 21st environment?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  38. The Elephant In The Room

    Anyone claiming that a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution has been violated by the President in taking this approach consider –

    The Constitution does not call for an Air Force; only a Navy and and Army. Why? Well, airplanes were not invented until 1903.

    So, do all you "constitutionalists" want us to eliminate the US Air Force?

    May 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  39. Don

    JerrynFlorida: You listen to/watch a lot of Fox News huh? The "immigration cirisis" the "healthcare crisis". Until you learn to think for yourself, you should be banned from speaking, or writing, your opinion. And speaking of a "REAL" problem, you could start solving this country's No. 1 problem right now by shutting your mouth. Idiots parroting hate mongers only leads to more hate, and more misunderstanding. Please stop yourself. Turn off your radio and/or TV and stick your head back in the sand.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  40. KDS

    So a automatic pen... This all makes sense now.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  41. CEL1

    some a++ho++ will find something to complain about and try to use fear to get his voice heard. This guy from Georgia is likely a Southern Baptist, too.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  42. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Auto-pin is actually the same as a facsimilie, you know, just like the signature on your payroll check that is cashed at the bank making it as good as fold.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • EarnYourOwn

      The use of Automated signature devices is common place in the Free World, but it should never be used when signing laws that affect over 300 million people.

      The comparison to getting your payroll check signed by a machine versus "The Patriot Act" being signed by one is a complete failure in scope, importance or relevance.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Why does it matter if he signed it in pen or authorized the auto-signature? Seriously, does it make the law any different? Does it make it "less" of a law? Does it have any impact on how it is enforced?

        May 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • Larry

        "but it should never be used when signing laws that affect over 300 million people."

        Why not?

        May 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
      • sbp

        Utter nonsense. It's not as if he was unaware of it's contents or that it was being approved under his direction. What if he had no hands. By your thinking (or lack thereof), he could be standing in front of the paper and say to his aide "sign this for me, I have no hands), but that would not be good enough? Dumb.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
      • alison

        He still had to give the okay man.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  43. Rickote

    I can see what a can of worms this can open. If the president really need to sign in that time frame how he can't use a remote robotic arm to sign. These are not such high tech devices anymore and certainly afordable for the WH. That would be his real unique and intended signature for that document as if he was there. They use high end versions of this every day at hospitals to perform surgery that is much more critical. They could have plan this, he could do that even from AF1 if needed.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  44. George Ayub

    It is absolutely disgusting that the person we all fought so hard to get elected will create such a bad precedence. I can see some one trying to remote control Presidency from far and putting out some dummy person as president upfront. This sounds far fetched. But, this can certainly happen. President Obama needs to hand sign everything. Not, use some computerized pen. That's absurd!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' I can see some one trying to remote control Presidency from far and putting out some dummy person as president upfront. This sounds far fetched. But, this can certainly happen'
      really? and how can it happen? some robot or clone version of the president whilst the real one is held captive in a secret volcano lair?

      May 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  45. EarnYourOwn

    Ok so Liberals valiantly defend Obama for anything he does and Right Wingers adamantly bash him for anything he does. So somewhere in the Middle 65% of the country falls and this precedence is a very bad one. Like the author tried to portray with the Hospital Bed scenario, this now sets a dangerous precedence for the delegation of duties by the President, which should never be allowed.

    There are countless possibilities where the President could now "Authorize" the use of this practice and it could be devastating to everyone. I see a possible "Appointed" President, not one who was elected.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Larry

      Please detail a specific scenario where this could happen.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      I am an idependent who thinks he did the right thing. This bill should have been passed in March when it first came up and its been stalling ever since. The G8 summit is incredibly important, especially since this one will cover nuclear SAFETY. What did you expect for him to do...fly across the world and sign it and go back? Then people would be b!tching that he spent too much $$ and resources signing a document. People have to get real!

      May 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
      • civilguy

        Maybe he should be at home working! And not on his upteenth monthly vacation visiting his homeland (s)..making jokes about his birth certificate......maybe they could just set aside a couple of days a months that this joker could be in the White House doing his job signing bills....then he could spend the rest of the month rubbing elbows with the Worlds rich and famous.. I don't know about you but I get X days of vacation each year.....not X months like the Mesiah does....

        May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Really?

      Well, you do realize that Gerald Ford was appointed, not elected, right? Spiro Agnew resigned and Gerald Ford appointed as VP, then Nixon resigned, leaving Gerald Ford as president.

      Seriously, how would this be used incorrectly on a law? If someone were to sign it without presidential consent, all the president would have to do is come out publicly against it. Strange! And if you're worried about shady things being done, I don't think the government needs to forge the president's signature to do them.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • mkjp

      I'm not sure this is as slippery a slope as you'd like it to be. Obama, being in full capable mind and body calling someone up and saying so ahead and make that bill law is WORLDS away from he is comatose in a hospital bed and some advisor decides the twitch of a finger means we should bomb some country.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • sbp

      What you fail to understand is there is no delegation of DUTIES. Just of the hand holding the pen and making wavy motions. He knew what was in the bill, he knew he wanted to approve it, he knew the autopen would cause it to be approved. What if he had a prostethic arm? Would you say he was not signing it because the pen did not touch his flesh? Well, pretend the autopen is part of his prosthetic arm but with a wifi connection to his brain.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
      • greatbrit

        He's only been away a week? This signing from miles away shows eiither, a lack of planning and continuity within the Administration, or Mr President is showing off his grasp of all things technological???? Seriously this looks like just another PR photoshoot opportunity.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  46. Robert

    I think rather than asking Obama for his interpretation of the law, someone should bring suit to the Supreme Court for their determination (since it's their job to interpret the laws; the executive branch carries out the laws only) on what "sign" should mean in this current time period.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Kenny

      Robert, I think you need to go back to your civics class and learn how a case goes to the Supreme Court. A suit cannot be brought against a person to the Supreme Court. It must be filed within the jurisdiction where the alledged offense took place. When the case is herd and a decision is handed down, if either party does not agree with the decision or the process that lead to that decision,ie, procedural error(s), then they appeal to the next higher court and it goes through the court system in that manner. Once a decision is handed down in a Federal Appeals Court it can then be appealed to the US Supreme Court and that court will first decide if it will even hear the appeal. If the Supreme Court decides not to hear the case, then the ruling of the last Federal Appeals Court stands. That is basically how a case goes to the Supreme Court. Now take that information and go back and re-write your article.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • jean2009

      The Justice Department gave the ruling for the use of the Autopen in 2005. Look it up. I'm sure you are also one of the people who whines about trips made by the current President, so think of the expense for sending a plane to Europe and back with the document for him to sign as a savings. Oh who was President in 2005?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  47. Alan

    No one seems to be focusing on the real problem, which is that the bill was filibustered so long and passed so close to the deadline, there was no way to get it to a President halfway around the world.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      and he could not let it lay there for the 10 days to become law???? was congress about to adjourn? Think!

      May 29, 2011 at 3:16 am |
  48. bailoutsos

    It was robo-signed like all those bank foreclosures? Let's get proof that he actually knew what he was signing.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

      You could pose that question for ANY law ANY president signed.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Larry

      I want proof you actually know anything.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  49. Peter

    The radical right never stops whining. They made a big deal about getting this law extended, now they are complaining about HOW it was physically signed. Babies.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Norm

      Interesting, though, since when it was GWB who did this the entire Left was crying. Now, apparently, they're ok with. So how's that change working out for you?

      May 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  50. Henry Miller

    How appropriate! An unconstitutional law signed by an unconstitutional method!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      No, more like an unconstitutional law signed IN A unconventional method. There is nothing constitutionally wrong with this. Get real.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        So if a legal question arises and the law is struck down ... will we sue the robo pen?

        May 29, 2011 at 3:13 am |
    • EarnYourOwn

      He could have signed the bill over where he was or is. The use of e-mail is not new or a fax machine, but the Presidnet should have to physically sign a bill. A Scanned copy could be sent back for processing.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Why? Does it change the law? Does it change how it is enforced? Does it change anything???? NO! Get over it!

        May 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
      • EarnYourOwn

        Stupid, you fit the definition of lemming, you know that right? You are valiantly defending this President without thought of the situation to which is at the heart of the debate. And that is Precedence.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • mkjp

        you seriously want us to believe that in your mind autopen is unconstitutional, but faxing a bill is? yea right, had they faxed or emailed the bill and he had faxed or emailed it back, your panties would still be in a bunch.

        May 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Larry

        "Stupid, you fit the definition of lemming, you know that right?"

        You need to grow up. You know that, right? Disagreeing with you doesn't make someone stupid or a lemming.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        "You are valiantly defending this President without thought of the situation to which is at the heart of the debate. And that is Precedence."

        First, I am defending the use of AUTOSIGN, not the PRESIDENT. Second, if the Supreme Court ruled that it is acceptible, what more precedence do you need? Third, where is the precedence that you CAN'T use the autopen if you authorize its use to sign?

        May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bruce

      It's nice that the Obama haters want to make this about the auto-pen and they can't, for some reason, debate the substance of the bill itself (well, except for Rand Paul, apparently).

      I'm extremely disappointed by Reid and other Democrat lawmakers, plus the President, in that they missed yet another opportunity to revisit the Patriot Act and ask some tough questions of it BEFORE the expiration deadline loomed.

      I don't like Rand Paul at all, and most of what he says is pure crrr@@p, but I will give him props for at least feigning a principled stand against the Patriot Act. Why don't we hear from Michael Moore this time around? Or, is he being consistent and the media is ignoring him this time?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Larry

      Oh look, another armchair constitutional expert offering his legal opinion on the Internet. Shocker.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • real

      Henry, I guess you don,t care if "AL-Queda" Freely Plots our murder? These people want to kill you,man! Do you think the CIA or FBI is interested in you calling for a Pizza Delivery? I doubt it???

      May 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  51. anon

    Autopen? Why waste the money. We used to call the autopen a STAMP!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  52. The Truth

    The Congressman is right it is a dangerous precedent. Autopen matches the signature style very closely but it can not duplicate how the signer adjusts pen pressure on the paper while signing. A trained person can spot an autopen vs actual signature because of this and determine an authentic signature. The issue is when you start mixing actual signatures with autopen did the President actually approve of it or was it a staffer. Now granted major high visibility legislature would not escape the President's attention, but what about the smaller stuff? This is basically a rubber stamp for staffers to approve little known bills that may escape attention, and could impact anything. Worst case is what was discribe in the article were the President can not communicate effectively with his staff and they interpret what he wants and start cranking out signatures.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'This is basically a rubber stamp for staffers to approve little known bills that may escape attention, and could impact anything.'
      sorry but you actually think a staffer can forge a signature and get a bill passed into law without anyone knowing huh?

      May 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  53. fixfoxfacts

    Whatever happened to true digital signatures? Clinton signed the law that made them acceptable for all purposes (with a pen) but we were supposed to have true digital signatures by now. If we did, he could have signed it that way and the fact that he had "authorized" it would not be in question.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  54. Henry

    Well, businesses long pushed for the ability to use electronic signatures, and they are not considered to be legally equal to you physically signing something with a pen. They are now used thousands of times a day for all sorts of official documents. This is no different than that.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  55. Henry

    My last post should have read "...and they are now considered to be... "

    May 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  56. Rob

    Kenny, I am fine that we have a black president.My question is when are the blacks going to admit that they got what they have been wanting, equaliy! Now quit throwing the race card every time something doesn't go their way.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  57. Wabascha

    Maybe we can do away now with this idiotic signing each letter with a different pen. If auto-signing is legal, so be it. I feel it is dangerous, but the powers that be think they now better.To all those GOP haters out there: Members of both parties take bribes, lie to the public, promise everything under the sun (and do not keep it), look only out for Numero Uno and try to amass as much power, money and influence as they possibly can. Both parties are in the pockets of big business, financial giants and the unions (the latter actually Democrats). Would be nice if our government sometimes would think and work for the good of the country and the people who put them into office.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  58. nokikiniatoll

    Do you suppose Rep. Graves REALLY believes this sets a dangerous precedent? With global climate change, 3 wars and an economy still in the toilet for most of his constituents (the drowning-in-slow-motion middle class), you'd think he could find more productive ways to justify his $174,000 annual salary.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      You don't even want to start on that ..... not at all .... are your assets worth 2 to 11 million ... do you make 450 k per year.... and those assest are book royalties ,,, LOL

      May 29, 2011 at 3:11 am |
  59. mercenary76

    There seems to be no end to the illegalities perpetrated by this administration , no one left alive that cares most probably . If there was anyone that cared , could anything be done by an ordinary citizen ? Those that make the laws are above the law and even if they get caught up with nothing is ever done or they are pardoned by another of the elite .

    May 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  60. Dale

    Regardless of what a news story is about, you can bet the haters will try to spin it to be anti-Obama.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Why would liberals do that?

      May 29, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  61. Lol k.

    robert: "I think rather than asking Obama for his interpretation of the law, someone should bring suit to the Supreme Court for their determination (since it's their job to interpret the laws; the executive branch carries out the laws only) on what "sign" should mean in this current time period."

    Generally speaking, even in wills and trusts, a signature is any mark a person intends to "be" his signature, whether made by himself, with the help of another, or made at his direction.

    Being worried about a "wink" or a "hand squeeze" being interpreted as a "yes" to signing a bill is a question about evidence, not the use of the auto-pen. Requiring clear and convincing evidence of intent is enough to get over the problem.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  62. Lol k.

    rob: "I think rather than asking Obama for his interpretation of the law, someone should bring suit to the Supreme Court for their determination (since it's their job to interpret the laws; the executive branch carries out the laws only) on what "sign" should mean in this current time period."

    Generally speaking, even in wills and trusts, a signature is any mark a person intends to "be" his signature, whether made by himself, with the help of another, or made at his direction.

    Being worried about a "wink" or a "hand squeeze" being interpreted as a "yes" to signing a bill is a question about evidence, not the use of the auto-pen. Requiring clear and convincing evidence of intent is enough to get over the problem.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  63. MIKEI


    May 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  64. jean2009

    Jefferson actually used an older device similar to the Autopen as early as 1804, but not to sign presidential papers. It is believed that Harry Truman was the first president to use the Autopen but for non-legislation papers. In 2005, the Justice Department ruling was that the President does not necessarily need to preform the actually act of signing legislation but must give the directive that his signature be affixed to the legislation.

    I agree with Kenny, this is the usual waste of time by the party of No...complain and whine is all they know. They have made a full time job of being petty and childish.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • David

      /yawn...oh, I mean wow! Political rhetoric, I've never seen that before!!

      May 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      I wonder, then, why the founding fathers worded it that way?
      I wonder, then, why the current democrats tell us not to worry about it?

      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

      May 29, 2011 at 3:08 am |
  65. the_dude

    Thanks Obama! You just made a whole mess of democrats look extremely stupid with your extension of the evil patriot act. Right now bush and cheney are smiling and the butthurt democrats are looking for some preperation h for thier sore bungholes.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Larry

      Grow up. Hating Democrats is not the answer to America's problems.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Seriously....hate in general isn't going to solve a damn thing.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        So Larry ... why do you hate Republicans?

        May 29, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • alison

      Actually no. Parts of this act were in place years before Bush. And this needed to be signed to keep certain procedures in place to keep Americans safe. The controversial parts, signed into law by Bush, are what you should be p!ssed off about.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  66. MIke

    e-signatures, conformed signatures, and signature stamps are all in wide use for the execution of legal documents such as contracts... this really isn't a big deal to anyone who works for a large company or practices law

    May 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  67. EarnYourOwn

    The President should have to Physically sign a Bill by his own Free Will and not forced or coerced to do it. I know htat does not make allot of sense to allot of people on here.

    The fact that the president can now use a machine to sign bills, he may have never read or even understand, from half the world away is a really bad precidance.

    There have been several movies and books that have touched conspiracy theories behind the replacement of the Presidnet, that you don't have to look far to see real scenarios that could actually take place.

    I have no problem with him signing this bill, but he should have signed it where he was and scanned it and e-mailed it back or faxed it back to Washington for processing. The original could return for the archives with him when he returns.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Really?

      How would you know the president wasn't coerced in the Oval Office? A burly agent forcing him to sign a bill he was against? C'mon now, this is dumb. Real life isn't Hollywood- real life doesn't have nearly good enough endings.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • mkjp

      And how exactly do you propose they get the original bill to him to sign in the first place?

      and by the way, it's "a lot" not "allot"

      May 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Time Bandit


      He signed the bill of his own free will and was neither forced nor coerced.
      What makes you think that signing a bill in the traditonal way guarantees that the signed bill was either read or understood by the person signing?
      Why should we take your Hollywood-inspired paranoia seriously?
      If he had signed it the way you preferred, in what way would the outcome be different? I can dream up any number of conspiracy theories about intercepting scans and emails.
      You support the bill. What if signing it your way or the traditonal way meant there had been a lapse in our ability to use the Patriot Act? Would you have shouted from the rooftops, "Obama did the right thing!"?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Lance

      I think I just sprained my eyes reading your ridiculous rant! Maybe you should type your post in Word first and use the spellchecker. Not only does your argument not make any sense but your bad spelling just accentuates your ignorance.

      Just because the president signs a bill in person does not guarantee that he has actually read it anymore that signing it with an auto-pen.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Larry

      "The President should have to Physically sign a Bill by his own Free Will and not forced or coerced to do it. I know htat does not make allot of sense to allot of people on here."

      Why are you capitalizing so many words that shouldn't be capitalized? Why are you commenting on what makes sense to people here?

      "The fact that the president can now use a machine to sign bills, he may have never read or even understand"

      How would signing a bill in person ensure he's read a bill and understands it? Oh, right. It wouldn't. News Flash: The president relies on staffers and members of Congress to know what's in a bill. He doesn't read them himself. There really wouldn't be much point in that. He has staffers to do that kind of thing. He has far too many responsibilities to read all the legislation that comes across his desk.

      I supposed they could have flown the bill to him for him to sign in person. I guess it's a matter of personal opinion whether or not the cost would have been justified.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        Once again, Larry hits the nail on the head!!!

        May 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • sbp

      Boy, each post is a variation on the same theme: incoherence.

      How does the act of physically moving a pen with his own flesh rather than directing a piece of metal to accomplish the same thing bear any relationship to "the President should have to Physically sign a Bill by his own Free Will and not forced or coerced to do". You are saying if he directs the metallic extension of his arm that signs for him, it is coercion? That he lacks free will thereby? This makes absolutely no sense.

      He is doing everything he would be doing with respect to causing a bill to become law if he were to physically sign it EXCEPT holding the pen in his fingers and moving it.

      You might as well say that if the Constitution requires him to read something, he can't use glasses because there has to be a direct path from his eyeballs to the paper.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • alison

      Because scanning and faxing are completely reliable technologies? If you believe that, Zack Morris called. He wants his cell phone back.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • jean2009

      I would assume since this is the renewal of a previously passed piece of legislation (specifically The Patriot Act of 2006) which would have expired had this action not been taken, that the President who was a senator in 2006 would know the wording of the bill.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  68. undead

    Another half news article. People might have found it interesting to know that celebrities have been using autopens to signs fan mail, and other mass produced items for decades. Do people actually believe that Lady Gaga or whoever, actually hand signed every one of the first 100,000 or however many of her latest cd releases were 'special limited editions'

    How about a photo of one? Or an in depth paragraph or two? 5,000 words on celebrity skank baby bumps and 5 paragraphs on a Presidential decision that could actually have Supreme Court hearing ramifications. Sheesh~ I'm so glad CNN doesn't charge for this slop.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  69. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    Much ado about absolutely nothing.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  70. guest

    "I DID NOT SIGN THAT....WHO USED MY PEN??? wink...nod....congressional investigation.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  71. Stephen Salazar

    I have no problem with Obama doing this. I would have had no problem with Bush doing it, and I have no problem with the next guy doing it. This is a practical solution that works. Why are we complaining? Far less counts as a signature these days.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  72. From the party of NO

    To the party of I don't like it even i I supported it becuase Obama agreed to it.
    Tax breaks for millionaires, but no pennies for the poor.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      liberals again .. the party of no ...

      No I won't raise your taxes ... but I will raise the taxes on goods and services you use.... there for raising the price for you ....

      Yep the good old party of No ... Democratic Socialists

      May 29, 2011 at 3:02 am |
  73. Joe

    Yeah, and soon John Boehner will cry foul play and ask where's the real signature you promised mr. president. But president Obama does need an autopen because with so much to be accomplish domestically and abroad, time is of the essence. First, the president had to sign the economic stimulus package to stabilize the American economy and fix the economic crisis the GOP created. Then there was healthcare and financial reform. A Jobs bill to get struggling and unemployed Americans back to work. Legislation to begin the withdrawal of our troops from the GOP's illegitimate Iraqi war. Signing of an a anti-nuclear non-proliferation threaty with Russia to reduce strategic arms and ensure that nuclear weapons do not end up in the hands of terrorists like OBL who GW and the GOP protected in Pakistan. Then there was a signed appeal to the Arizona supreme court to dismantle the unconstitutional SB1070. Then there was legislation with the UN to force Moammar Ghadaffi to step down. Something that the Russian president Medvidev finally decided to agree with at the G8 summit today. Then president Obama had to authorize our Navy seals to go after and finally kill Osama Bin Laden. Sothehing the GOP and GW didn't know how to do. Yeah, when you have a president in Obama who knows how to lead, hence, the best president in US history, you do need an autopen.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • guest

      Not sure if you are serious here or concerned the young president may get carpal tunnel syndrome for all that writing over two years?

      May 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • CD

      Let the love fest begin....give me a break!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • joeisfullofshit

      Joe, great to see you've kept up with the Rachel Maddow talking points. Good work. Actually there was a special on TV about Barney Frank drove Fannie and Freddie into the ground so "poor" people could get houses and democrats votes. Get your facts straight before you make a total jackazz of yourself.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  74. guest

    perhaps they can use a machine for toasts at state dinners to know what to say, when to say it and when to simply shut ones mouth while another nations national anthem is playing?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  75. Apushprof

    Remember that a bill becomes a law without the President's signature after ten days.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • jean2009

      That is if congress is in session, but if Congress has adjourned their second session and the President pockets the bill for10 days without signing, it can become a "pocket veto".

      May 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        at last ... a person in the know!

        May 29, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  76. Rmax

    As for as i am concerned, this extension is not law in accord with the constitution of the united States of America. The justice department has it all completely wrong. Remember what was said in the article, and i quote "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)". If it is NOT signed by the president it is NOT law period. We have to hold this corrupt government of ours accountable. If they will not abide by the constitution of the united States of America then we need to abolish it. And if that is what we need to do then let me be the first to call to abolish the government of the united States of America. How many want to support me?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  77. Alex in NJ

    I can see both sides of the argument and I don't think it's that big a deal. I do though think that auto-signing a bill should be reserved for emergencies. I think the President should sign it himself. I do however have a larger problem with the piece of legislation itself. I hope this country wises up and elects Ron Paul in 2012 however that probably won't happen because a. his age and b. both Left and Right leaning media will tear him down since he is bad for the special interests on both sides.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      "and I don't think its that big a deal"

      Exactly why we have the problems that we do have today. Nothing is ever a big deal .... especially following the rules

      May 29, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  78. Flint Rock

    Every time Obama is attacked for the sake of being attacked
    the clearer it becomes that the man is doing his job quite well.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      If that job is to flush this country down the dumper .... then I concur

      May 29, 2011 at 2:56 am |
  79. Richy Rich

    The President doesn't need to sign a Bill to make it law. A bill will become law after a certain number of days unless Congress vetoes a bill 2 to 3.

    Mr. Graves needs to go back to school and learn about the government he's supposed to represent. Better yet, just go back from whence you came.


    May 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      And so ... this is the case then why did the president use that stinkingpen?

      May 29, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • Bill in STL

      The length of time is 10 days .... If congress adjourns during those 10 days the bill is then killed ... that later part is called a pocket veto

      May 29, 2011 at 2:54 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Mr. Richy Rich needs to be a little more thorough when researching.

      May 29, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  80. JC

    The essence of democracy is personal responsibility. Has our country become so evasive of individual accountability that even our elected officials must adopt a strategy which, carried to the extreme, could be considered plausibly deniable? Has our radar gun and traffic camera mentality now reached the legislative and executive levels? Have our bills become so numerous that the executive responsible for signing them no longer has the capacity to do so? A man should put his ink to that which he agrees, and should withhold it from that which he does not, because in doing so, he must physically take responsibility for his decision. Where is the personal responsibility of an electronic pen?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Two words

      Pluasable Deniability

      May 29, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  81. whiskeyjack3

    Dear Congressman Graves,
    First, kindly calm down, you'll give yourself a heart attack, and second, if the President is hospitalized and not fully alert, I would hope that the Vice President is making decisions for the country, not zealous cabinet members.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I was saying the same thing. If the president is unable to function in the first place then the VP takes over so this whole thing is a non-issue.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      There is only one problem with your assumptions... please look at the statement of Secratary of state Alexander Haig when Reagan was shot and Bush was in transit....

      May 29, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  82. Nigel

    "Despite what we you learned in school"... Really? First line?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  83. Bruce

    It's nice that the Obama haters want to make this about the auto-pen and they can't, for some reason, debate the substance of the bill itself (well, except for Rand Paul, apparently).

    I'm extremely disappointed by Reid and other Democrat lawmakers, plus the President, in that they missed yet another opportunity to revisit the Patriot Act and ask some tough questions of it BEFORE the expiration deadline loomed.

    I don't like Rand Paul at all, and most of what he says is pure crrr@@p, but I will give him props for at least feigning a principled stand against the Patriot Act. Why don't we hear from Michael Moore this time around? Or, is he being consistent and the media is ignoring him this time?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      You actually posted this twice?

      May 29, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  84. Randy

    What color is Arab Spring? I want to decorate my home in Arab Spring. Or is Arab Spring soap for Arabs.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I think its a kind of very pale blue.

      May 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  85. Bruce

    It's nice that the Obama haters want to make this about the auto-pen and they can't, for some reason, debate the substance of the bill itself (well, except for Rand Paul, apparently).

    I'm extremely disappointed by Reid and other Democrat lawmakers, plus the President, in that they missed yet another opportunity to revisit the Patriot Act and ask some tough questions of it BEFORE the expiration deadline loomed.

    I don't like Rand Paul at all, and most of what he says grates my nerves something fierce, but I will give him props for at least feigning a principled stand against the Patriot Act. Why don't we hear from Michael Moore this time around? Or, is he being consistent and the media is ignoring him this time?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  86. LoLOpenYourEyesPeople

    I wish people would see the bigger picture here... The president was absent in the signing of a bill that strips away your freedoms. You know, I am getting to the point that I couldn't really care any less. People are so willing to let this slide it just seems like a waste of breath/finger movement.

    THEN there are those "concerned citizens" who know there should be something wrong with what is going on but lack the mental capacity and reading comprehension skills to realize what the problem really is. These are the tools bickering over partisan BS... Just lay down and Die America... You care too little to be free.....

    May 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  87. boble

    I came in and wrote that I get 1 million dollars right before the auto pen did the deed. Thanks Obama

    May 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Could someone get say Bill Gates signature that way?

      May 29, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  88. Sara

    Mountain out of a mole hill.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  89. the_dude

    Hey democrats no words of praise for obama? I remeber not too long ago you turds were frothing at the mouth because of the evil patriot act conceived by the neo-cons to spy on americans. Now not even a whimper of protest as obama signs their privacy away.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • joeisfullofshit

      Exactly! Liberals are the biggest hypocrites of all time.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Larry

      These kinds of comments do nothing to help this country. If you can't make an intelligent comment about a real issue consider being more mature than to post this kind of divisive comment that serves no useful purpose.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • the_dude

        Larry so good to know you are all for the patriot act now that the great deciever oblunder has signed it. I bet you were out protesting the patriot act when bush / cheney devised it. You are the problem larry you are the one who does nothing to help the country.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
      • the_dude

        c'mon liberals...not one word of criticism for obumma the great? I guess it is ok for democrats to spy on americans but not ok for republicans? Makes a lot of sense douchebags.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
      • Larry

        @the_dude: "Larry so good to know you are all for the patriot act now that the great deciever oblunder has signed it."

        Why would you waste your time making such childish, idiotic comments? The issue here is how the bill got signed, not the nature of the bill, you twit. If you weren't so obsessed with attacking Obama and anyone who doesn't share your views you might have figured that out.

        "I bet you were out protesting the patriot act when bush / cheney devised it."

        Why are you so obsessed with attacking people? Does it make you feel like a real man to insult people from the safety of your keyboard hiding behind an anonymous handle on the Internet?

        "You are the problem larry you are the one who does nothing to help the country."

        Blah, blah, blah. Keep hating. Keep attacking. Keep insulting. Keep thinking that's what America really needs to address the challenges that face us.

        Why would you post yet another comment that demonstrates you lack the ability to discuss actual issues? All you have here is a baseless personal attack. Apparently that's the best you can do. Duly noted.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Larry

        @the_dude: "c'mon liberals...not one word of criticism for obumma the great?"

        This is beyond childish.

        "I guess it is ok for democrats to spy on americans but not ok for republicans? Makes a lot of sense douchebags."

        Lots of hate, no intelligent thoughts about either the Patriot Act or how this was signed.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
      • boyamidumb

        We don't have intelligent discussion among our "leaders" why would you ever expect it among the people who voted for them??????

        Get ready. What's coming next will be worse than what came before.

        It is a time of "wreckoning" for the people of this country.

        We ARE the Romans.

        May 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        I can picture it ..... Larry looking down his nose at most everyone that does not hold his beliefs and then being viciously maligned because by vicous conservatives .... grow a pair ....

        May 29, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      Yeah, ironic that someone who calls himself "The Dude" actually calls others, "turds."

      May 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Time Bandit

      This particular bill was held up by Republicans such as Rand Paul, who are also concerned about parts of the Patriot Act. Though you might want to know, in case you were actually curious about the issue.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  90. biggal195

    Next thing you know, it'll be "put the check in the box next to the word agree and click submit, Mr. President."

    May 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  91. SecondHalf

    it took 29 pages of memo for DOJ to offer their opinion. Good grief.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  92. herrsonic

    Obama looks like he's filling out a credit card application.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  93. jean2009

    This is just like the brouhaha that Teanuts make about whether the President lays a wreath at Arlington, or at another national cemetery on Memorial Day when Bush senior didn't lay a wreath at Arlington once, and Reagan skipped Arlington Memorial Day honors 4 times. Last year, the President attended Memorial Day observance at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, and I hope he picks a different national cemetery for each of the years he is president. I'm sure as part of his duties President Obama and every other president have been part of more wreath laying ceremonies than most heads of state.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • joeisfullofshit

      isn't Obama and his fat azz wife flying to Kenya for Memorial day? I thought they still had a few tens of millions of tax payer money to spend.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • jean2009

        Is your moniker a summation of the truth?

        May 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  94. Joe

    While most sensible and educated Americans agree that the GOP needs to grow up and show bi-partisan support to help move the country forward and maintain our long held position of leader of the free world, we can also agree that the mainstream media needs to grow up too and stop the propaganda and the misleading and lying to the American people. A few weeks ago president Obama traveled to New Mexico to address the immigration and border security situation. Then shortly thereafter, on the Cafferty Files, CNN's Jack Cafferty stated that "you can tell that an election is approaching when all of a suddent the president finds himself in New Mexico to shore up the Hispanic vote." Similarly, CNN's contributor Ruben Navarette expressed the similar sentiment saying that with an election approaching, he was surprised that the president aactually knew where the boarder was located and he accused the president of neglecting the hispanic community when it comes to the immigration situation. However, let's review: First of all, when president Obama took office, he inherited two wars, the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression, and an unemployment epidemic spreading across America like the Bubonic Plague. Then the president has had to deal with the constant roadblocks from the GOP who's goal from day one has been to ensure that this administration does not succeed in moving America forward. Then an entire year got exhausted on the healthcare legislation as the GOP deliberately deployed all sorts of policy delaying tactics so that 30 million Americans do not get affordable health insurance. And this is just the tip of the iceburg. And with that said, was it feasibly possible for the Obama admiistration to address and pass comprehensive immigration reform within his first two years in office? Was it really possible? Furthermore, is there a law that says that an American president must accomplish or fulfill all of his administration's agenda within the first two years of his first term and that any leadership beyond the first two years is deemed political and only a means of winning votes for an upcoming election? Let's face it, when Jack Cafferty and Ruben Navarette say that president Obama's addressing of the immigration issue at the beginning of his third year in office is only political in nature, then these incompetent a-holes are implying that the president must halt leadership after his second year in office because any leadership after that is not leadership but politics. To me that is just plain bulls–t. So what must the president do in the remaining two years of this term? nothing? Let's face it, you incompetent idiots need to be taken out to the Indian ocean and get tossed off the Carl Vincent.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • joeisfullofshit

      nothing better to do today than tell lies? Obama's action in Libya is illegal according to the US Constitution. Of course the only time you lying liberals care about that is when it suits you.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
      • NOLY972

        Irrelevant & immaterial (not to mention immature).

        May 27, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Larry

      Although I completely agree with your assessment I can't for the life of me see how it's relevant to this article.

      May 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • CD

      In the NY Times there was an article as to why Latinos in particular will need more convincing to vote for Mr. Obama in 2012 ( I posted before and it got deleted!):

      "As a candidate, President Obama promised Latino voters that he would aggressively push for passage of a comprehensive immigration bill during his first year in office." (NY Times)

      “What I can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that I strongly support and that I’m promoting,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision in 2008. "

      So, when you make promises that you can not keep, people will argue that you are pandering for votes...can you blame them for thinking that? Now he comes and tries to revive an issue that he has not paid attention to in three years, and wants to sound like he cares!
      And every president carries some sort of luggage from the previous administration (s), that should not be used as an excuse.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
      • Time Bandit

        CD –
        He didn't guarantee an immigration bill would pass. No one running for office does that. He said he would promote a bill. And he did. Republicans bloked it. Critical skills for good citizenship include the abilities to read and comprehend.

        BTW, the expression is "baggage," not "luggage."

        May 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  95. Chris

    Obama is a crook. If Dem's thought Bush was bad, I can't comprehend why you love the O so much. He has been a Bush promoter in action, continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving Gitmo open and torture continued, starting a war in Libya (without Congressional approval... And extending the Patriot Act. You D's are some SERIOUS hypocrites. You don't give a damn about the travesties politicians are doing to our Country and rights unless the perpetrator is on the other team. I am no Republican, I am Libertarian, I believe in Constitutional law. And if you Republicans think you get a free pass on this one, think again, all of you who support people who whittle away our rights deserve to have your rights taken. Too bad the Constitution doesn't see it that way, lucky for you, ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL WITH UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, whether you have enough sense to appreciate that or not, that's up to you. Might I note Rand Paul made a healthy attempt to preserve our 2nd ammendment in this act, although everyone fought him all the way. Ron Paul 2012 – Take America Back!

    May 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Time Bandit

      You're clearly not reading these comments carefully. Plenty of Democrats voiced opposition to the Patriot Act. This thread is about auto-signing.

      BTW, your quote is from the Declaration of Independence.

      May 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  96. derek

    well america welcome to the no democracy and nazi new world order.. you let it happen cause youve accepted there rap music tv celebrity people magazine brainwashing ...congrats!! now you have 1 of two choices be slaves for ever and let your kids recieve the worse of it or quit your jobs pickup your guns and fight for freedom... because lets face it back in 1776 if the british had tv's they would of broadcasted our patriot forfathers as being terrorists... get it? wake up

    May 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • jean2009

      Derek, you nailed it. Those loyal to King George were loyalist and those who were not were considered traitors...and the later were the most liberal people ever while the loyalists were the conservatives who wanted to keep the king in power.
      Thanks for pointing that out.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        The loyalists can change depending on who is in power .... the loyalists are at this time liberals ... since it is they who wish to keep the current "king" in power

        May 29, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  97. John Hancock

    So besides "birthers" and "deathers" we now have "penners"?

    May 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  98. Duke

    when the patriot act was first signed, the left went crazy.
    now this leftist president auto-sign's the same bill and they the left starts calling names.
    have you ever noticed how the kids calling names on the playground are usually
    the insecure bullies trying to hide there ignorance or shortcomings.
    freedom and this republic are actually fragile things held in balance by the genius works
    of the original framers.
    bush was a progressive rep. and did great damage to the republic.
    this president is a progressive dem. and with his own words said they would
    "fundamentally transform America'
    i read these blog's and i see children calling each other names as there
    world is transformed into something they don't recognize or like.
    if you want to be governed from the top down move to europe.
    but if you don't start working together to hold on to what you have,
    you will lose it.
    a house divided will surly fall

    May 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  99. Chance's Grandma

    Oh, grow up, people. Is there NOTHING some people won't whine and moan about? Sigh. And all the campaign BS on the part of everyone is not yet under way. I am a card-carrying, PROUD and patriotic Democratand I am sick and tired of all the sniping and noise making by people whose main enjoyment in life is hearing themselve yak and yak and not take any responsibility for the consequences.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  100. April Showers

    Bush used an autocrayon, am I right? Sorry, stupid joke

    May 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  101. Peter E

    So what? To this day Congress votes on bills they never actually read. Laws are written by lobbyists and special interest groups. Much of the Patriot Act was written by private contractors, and much of our national security is determined by what private contractor gets to fatten their pockets on taxpayer money. Recall the controversial airport scanners? Michael Chertoff, head of homeland security just happened to have a financial stake in the manufacture and delivery of said machines. Remember all the Pentagon budget controversies and the F-35? Those are written by private contractors such as Lockheed and Boeing. Much of the overpricing of government is caused by outsourcing of government functions to private contractors who write the contracts for themselves and have their Congressional puppets put them into law.

    May 27, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  102. Duke

    surely : for those that will call a missing "e" proof of stupidity

    May 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  103. JerrynFlorida

    Hey Larry, since you think only your opinion counts, you, sir, are a "dunderhead", too!

    Also, are you jealous/afraid of Mr. Beck? You shouldn't be! He's just expressing his opinions, like everyone else. Including YOU

    Finally stop playing with yourself; depending on the "dole" and get a job so you can stay happy/content/occupied.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Larry

      "Hey Larry, since you think only your opinion counts, you, sir, are a "dunderhead", too!"

      Where did I say I think only my opinion counts? Oh right. I didn't. Get your brain back from Glenn Beck. You need it desperately.

      "Also, are you jealous/afraid of Mr. Beck? You shouldn't be! He's just expressing his opinions, like everyone else. Including YOU"

      I am neither afraid of nor jealous of Beck. The man's a pathologically dishonest fraud who plays his audience of fools like a cheap fiddle to make tens of millions of dollars a year.

      "Finally stop playing with yourself; depending on the "dole" and get a job so you can stay happy/content/occupied."

      What's sad is that you don't see just how pathetic it is to attack people with the kind of nonsense you have in this comment. You utterly failed to address any point I made in my comment. You tried to portray me as jealous or afraid of Beck when neither is the case. And now you've stooped about as low as you can go making these kind of utterly baseless insinuations about me. You're not making me look bad with these kinds of comments because your words only tell us something about you, not me. And what your comments tell us about you, and about the people who raised you, is not good. Not good at all.

      I know what you're doing, and it won't work. People like you are Internet bullies. Lacking the ability to intelligently discuss issues you have to resort to bullying people who challenge you in the hope you'll make things unpleasant enough for them that they leave you to spew your nonsense unopposed. It often works, which is why you do it. But it doesn't always work, and it won't work with me.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  104. supprimer

    I am sick and tired of defending the president, his family and the current administration. I feel there's absolutely nothing they can ever do right where the GOP is concerned. Frankly I wish it was 2016 already and I can finally relax...

    May 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • paulbark

      Yes...we'll have to hear these whiners for 6 more years, at least. And, then, if Hillary wins in 2016, we'll hear them for another 4 or 8 years.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Larry

      I understand. Obama's most rabid opponents been brainwashed to believe a lot of nonsense about Obama being a socialist communist Marxist leftist Muslim terrorist lover who hates white people, America, and capitalism (and probably puppies) and wants to establish Sharia law. They also believe liberals suffer from a mental disorder, hate America and must be defeated at all cost.

      They let sources they trust — Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and their ilk, right-wing web sites, Fox News and so on — tell them what to think, fear, and hate, and those sources endlessly spin everything to demonize Obama. I used to think their irrational behavior could only be explained by racism. That is, they couldn't acknowledge the real reason they hate him (race) so they had to resort to attacking him with all manner of lies and bogus criticisms, some of which are downright laughable.

      But over time I came to believe the real problem is that they hate Obama because he's the villain in fairy tales they hear from Rush, Glenn, Palin, and even a lot of Republican politicians. Note how they all parrot the same bogus arguments; how they can't support their positions with valid arguments; how certain lies come up again and again.

      If you expose their lies and ignorance they either run away or they respond as Rush has taught them to respond. They try to bully you by ridiculing you, insulting your, calling you a liberal and accusing you of telling liberal lies. Ask them to show where your logic or information is wrong and they'll either ignore you or claim they don't have time to correct the errors in your comments because unlike you, they have lives.

      They really do believe all this crazy stuff they say, even the stuff you can debunk in 10 seconds with a Google search. And even when you show them they're wrong they still cling to what they believe. So they really have been brainwashed.

      The result of all this is a conviction that opposing Obama and liberals at any cost is justified to save America, and that includes every form of dishonesty, from flawed logic to blatant, outright lies. You can't shame them into behaving with integrity because the talking heads on the right have convinced them they're in a war for survival, and "In war, truth is the first casualty." — Aeschylus

      You can't reason with them because part of the brainwashing process conditions them to assume any information that contradicts what they believe is a lie put out by liberals. Any argument that doesn't support what they believe is a liberal argument and hence must be too stupid to take seriously or warrant an effort to rebut. Any source that doesn't reflect their ideological bias is bogus. All of this combines to create an shell that makes them impervious to any attempt to reason with them and insulates them from the reality that they're incapable of discussing issues knowledgeably.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

        BINGO!!!! Could not have said it better myself!!!!!

        May 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • Norm

        The same exact thing can be said about liberals and their relationship with GWB.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • Lol k.

        larry: "Obama's most rabid opponents been brainwashed to believe a lot of nonsense about Obama being a socialist communist Marxist leftist Muslim terrorist lover who hates white people, America, and capitalism (and probably puppies) ... They let sources they trust — Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and their ilk, right-wing web sites, Fox News and so on — tell them what to think, fear, and hate, and those sources endlessly spin everything to demonize Obama. I used to think their irrational behavior could only be explained by racism. That is, they couldn't acknowledge the real reason they hate him (race) so they had to resort to attacking him with all manner of lies and bogus criticisms, some of which are downright laughable."

        It's amazing how you write so much and yet say so little. So far your posts on this page have been one ad hominem after another, and always center around fallacious, overgeneralized statements about Republicans or conservatives. Your "argument" consists of blanket assumptions about how you're right and your opposition is wrong. It borders on a false dichotomy of epically stupid proportions.


        "But over time I came to believe the real problem is that they hate Obama because he's the villain in fairy tales they hear from Rush, Glenn, Palin, and even a lot of Republican politicians. Note how they all parrot the same bogus arguments; how they can't support their positions with valid arguments; how certain lies come up again and again."

        Do you ever write anything of substance?

        It's cute how you criticize people for using ad hominems, and your posts are full of them.

        "If you expose their lies and ignorance they either run away or they respond as Rush has taught them to respond. They try to bully you by ridiculing you, insulting your, calling you a liberal and accusing you of telling liberal lies. Ask them to show where your logic or information is wrong and they'll either ignore you or claim they don't have time to correct the errors in your comments because unlike you, they have lives."

        Alas, once again you've merely said you're right and your opposition is wrong without proving it. Can you make a cogent argument that doesn't boil down to "you're stupid and you're wrong"?

        Probably not, eh?

        May 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
      • NOLY972

        Larry – Right on! I've gotten to the point that I feel that responding to them is an exercise in futility. Well said.

        Speaking of futility:
        Norm – Not the exact same thing. I never heard anyone demanding to see GWB's birth cert. I never heard any blatantly racist things said of GWB. When the Dems gained power in Congress in 2006, they didn't concentrate on wedge issues such as abortions & gay marriage. They didn't use every ruse in the book to block everything GWB tried to accomplish, then complain that he wasn't doing anything.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        You are right about fairy tale villian and repeating stuff they heard. Heck even today I still see people spouting about how he claimed student aid as a foreign student in the US despite the fact that the story that comes from was actually a damn April Fools gag from a couple of years back. They repeat it as fact.
        My wife's cousin keeps going off on all these things hes supposedly done that are nonsense and Im left asking him that once told that he can ignore all of that what is he left with to actually dislike the guy for?

        May 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Larry .... According to The Rev. Al Sharpton ... y'all knew that a vote for Obama was a vote for socialism.... You can google it ... it is there .... then look up Maxine Waters and her statement to the oil companies .... So according to party members he is a socialist....

        As far as hate .... just read your post ... you will see it ... NOT ....

        May 29, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  105. Deb

    Yep . . . time to tear down the White House and whoever gets elected President can just do business from their own home. Would save taxpayers a bundle, and would make it more convenient(for example) for homeless people and gypsies to become our leader! What a crock!

    May 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  106. Hackwin

    I hope he said 'excuse me while I whip this out'

    May 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • NOLY972


      May 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  107. Ryan

    Why couldn't the bill have been PDFed to an aide in Europe, with Obama putting his original signature on the PDF? Even if it required waking him up at 4 in the morning to sign, I'm sure that would be preferable to dealing with this issue. There's no Constitutional requirement on where (geographically) a bill must be signed, so the only thing I can think of is that the version that's finally signed also requires original signatures from someone at Congress. But I worked on the Hill and don't remember any such requirement.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • jean2009

      Ryan, my version of Adobe PDF won't pump out a 300 + page Fax without shutting the system down.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  108. Jan

    I believe there is a federal law about signatures, isn't it in the CFR 21. I thought it had to be an electronic signature or in-person signature. There are federal laws for corporations on this kind of thing. Think the feds would follow there own rules........

    May 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  109. jleb

    This bill is not law.. this is not a legal signing.. given the immense impact of this legislation on the privacy of american citizens, we should not stand for this illegality!

    May 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • jean2009

      This is a renewal of The Patriot Act which has been law, in one form or another with a few amendments, since 2001; it was extended in 2006 and again in 2009. This is another extension.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  110. Joe

    I think we're missing the point here – the fucking Patriot Act might be extended! I'll take freedom over lies about safety any day.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  111. paulbark

    From the article: But at least one congressman disagrees. Georgia Republican Tom Graves sent a letter to Obama Friday, stating he believes the use of an autopen in this context sets a “dangerous precedent.”

    Why didn't the Congressman object when the Bush justice department said this was okay, back in 2005? Oh, maybe because it's only a problem when a Democratic president is involved? What a typical GOP hypocrite!

    May 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  112. Acspore

    Another mountain out of a molehill:
    " Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

    And what if the President is alive and kicking and fully aware and serious and extremely competent and instructs his subordinate to, yes, go ahead and sign the legislation into law? wooooooo, that's too much to contemplate, idiot CONServatives.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert'
      Then the VP takes over of course.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Except in the case of the reagan assination attempt ..... the veep was in transit and Alexander Haig had the helm 😛

        May 29, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Welll it has already happened once .... Reagan was shot the veep was in transit and out of touch .... Alexander Haig was in control....

      May 29, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  113. Om

    Obama can sign the bill(most important thing) 1000s of miles away (withour reading it) but try getting driver license or any other federal related task by signing from 1000 miles away and see what you get.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Bill in STL


      May 29, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  114. MauiBear

    If a President is in the hospital and not fully alert, the Vice President takes over, even temporarily.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Except in the case of the reagan assination attempt ..... the veep was in transit and Alexander Haig had the help 😀

      May 29, 2011 at 2:16 am |
  115. HRLevine

    hopw naive are we and this is a first??????????????????????????????

    May 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  116. Andy Frederick

    It is a simple matter in this case to determine if the president authorized the signing of the bill. The whole point of a signature is that it indicates a person's approval. If we know the president gave his approval, then what's the issue? His approval was given, and the signature represents that approval. If a situation ever arises when it cannot be determined if the president authorized the signing of a bill, then clearly any such signing should be rejected.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      A thought ..... what did they do in the 1850's when the president was unavailable ... and there was no robot????

      May 29, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  117. Brooktrout 2010

    I am a white male 55 years old. I I am convinced that all this petty nonsense directed at Obama(his birth certificate, bin Laden death photos, now the legitimacy of his signature) is because of his race. Think I am being unfair? How many people know that John McCain was born in the Panama Canal zone? Why wasn't that a big issue during 2008 campaign? Race – pure and simple.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Larry

      I used to think that too, and I'm sure race is a factor to some extent, but over time I came to believe the real problem is that they hate Obama because he's the villain in fairy tales they hear from Rush, Glenn, Palin, and even a lot of Republican politicians. Note how they all parrot the same bogus arguments; how they can't support their positions with valid arguments; how certain lies come up again and again.

      Obama's most rabid opponents been brainwashed to believe a lot of nonsense about Obama being a socialist communist Marxist leftist Muslim terrorist lover who hates white people, America, and capitalism (and probably puppies) and wants to establish Sharia law.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • jimmymax

      Brooktrout: Next they'll be questioning whether a left-handed signature is acceptable, because ya know, he holds his hand kind of backwards and it looks "sinister". It never fails that a minority is held to a higher standard than the majority; there is an added onus on him to prove he's "OK".

      May 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        Ok I Jimmy, I loved the whole 'left hand' and 'sinister' thing though I think there are some that won't get the joke.

        May 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • mattmchugh

      I honestly don't think so. Sure, there's some racism directed at Obama kicking around the U.S., though anytime I've heard it, it's be pretty unmistakable.

      Most of the criticism - be it ideological or nit-picky - directed at him is political. Conservatives and Republicans would be just as persistently critical of a white Democratic president. Actually, when you look at the kind of comments about Obama that appear in the media from political rivals, they're extremely careful to avoid any racial overtones. That may not be true of some of the general population, but it's certainly true of public figures.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • Larry

        "Sure, there's some racism directed at Obama kicking around the U.S., though anytime I've heard it, it's be pretty unmistakable."

        Overt racism is not the only kind of racism. Race affects almost everyone's perceptions of other people. We live in a society full of stereotypes, including stereotypes about blacks. Even if you don't buy into them consciously they can affect your thinking at a subconscious level. This notion that either you're a white supremacist or colorblind, with nothing in between is beyond naive.

        Our stereotypes of various groups originate from and are reinforced by what we hear and see, such as humor or the roles we see people play on TV. People tend to perceive blacks differently than they do whites, and it's almost universal. Every study done to examine the effect of race on perception bears this out.

        People may not hate Obama because he's black, but they may be less willing to trust him, which would explain obsessions with wanting proof he was born here and seeing his college records. You don't have to hate blacks to think of them as less trustworthy, less intelligent, lazy, welfare abusers, or believe they hate white people. Glenn Beck wouldn't have said he thinks the president hates "white people or white culture" if he thought his fans wouldn't embrace that belief.

        Racism is pervasive when considered in all its forms. Because it exists at so many levels it's impossible to discern exactly what role it plays in people's opposition to him, but here's one think I've seen consistently for at least three years now. People who rabidly oppose Obama claim their opposition is only based on his policies. Yet when pressed they are almost universally incapable of discussing any of his policies intelligently or knowledgeably, their "facts" and information are wrong more often than not, and the logic on which their arguments are based tends to be full of holes big enough to drive a truck through them.

        May 27, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
      • TruthBTold

        Well written, Larry; nonetheless, I part company with your statement that "Racism is [so] pervasive when considered in all its forms. Because it exists at so many levels it's impossible to discern exactly what role it plays in people's opposition to [Obama]".

        In fact, I have every reason to believe "racism" will establish a quick jurisdictional qualifier and process of elimination in the afterlife as God will NOT be so tolerant, then, in His judgment of those who think they can surreptitiously engage in the practice – not just with immunity – but in secrecy; until the veil of deception is removed and their eyes are opened to see themselves just as they are, i.e., corrupt and cowardly and undeniably unworthy of a heavenly inheritance; consequently, the role "racism" plays in opposition to the least of them (especially those made righteous by faith) has, already, been discerned though many go on deceiving and being deceived God truly sees it all.

        May 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • StoopidIzAzStoopidDuz

      While I think parts of what you say are true, the difference is that people acknowledged McCain's actual place of birth. With Obama, they say he was born someone completely different than he actually was. Not to mention, during the campaign it was Hillary Clinton's supporters who started that rumor.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        and you are living proof ....

        May 29, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Norm

      No, its wasn't an issue because he was born on a US Naval installation which is considered US territory. Nothing to do with race.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
      • Larry

        How does that prove race has no role in the birther thing? With McCain being born on a naval base was good enough, but Obama was born in Hawaii and that's not good enough. Obama released a valid birth certificate in 2008 and over two years later people are still looking for any excuse they could find to claim he wasn't born here.

        May 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • Lol k.

        larry: "How does that prove race has no role in the birther thing? With McCain being born on a naval base was good enough, but Obama was born in Hawaii and that's not good enough."

        Did you even read his post? He said McCain's birthplace wasn't an issue because he was born on a military base, which is considered American soil. So even if his parents weren't American citizens, his citizenship would never be an issue.

        "Obama released a valid birth certificate in 2008 and over two years later people are still looking for any excuse they could find to claim he wasn't born here."

        More over-generalizations, eh? Less than 25% of the general public believed Obama wasn't born in the U.S. After the original certificate was released CNN reported the number to be somewhere around 3%.

        Much less, Obama released a "reissued" birth certificate. Just because a reissued certificate is sufficient proof to get a driver's license doesn't mean it's sufficient to prove he was actually born in the U.S. Proof in the law is a sliding scale that's dependent on the needs of the situation, remember.

        There was no doubt in my mind that Obama was born in Hawaii, but pretending that his refusal to release the original certificate didn't fan the birther flames is dishonest.

        But, then again, from the general tone and character of your posts, honesty isn't quite your forte, is it? You sound like a liberal Glenn Beck.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • jean2009

        Some report that John McCain was born in Colon, Panama not in the Canal Zone and not on the Naval Base...which is beside the point, since he is an American born of American parents abroad. President Obama is also an American citizen born of an American mother (born in Kansas) who was living in the great state of Hawaii. The fact that his father was not an American national is unimportant.

        May 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'No, its wasn't an issue because he was born on a US Naval installation which is considered US territory.'
        Actually Norm, contrary to popular belief, being born on a US base does not in fact automatically confer US citizenship, its his parents being American that gives him his citizenship.

        May 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Llarry.... Senator McCain released a Valid birth ceertificate... President Obama used a certificate of live birth ... there is a difference ... why did it take 2 years to present it..... I am not a birther but I am a skeptic...

        To prove it ... tell me where Peter O'toole was born..... 😛

        May 29, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Well I am a 58 year old white make and I can tell you what I think. FIrst and foremost the panama canal at the time of his birth was US territory with a military base there as well ... .you are old enough that you should remember the time when it was returned to Panama. Citizenship is not in question and enator McCain presented the long form to start with.

      As far as Racisim goes ... .for me the answer is not on you life.... as a matter of fact I find your statement to be racist in nature and certainly in poor taste. My objections to this sitting president are idealogical in nature and have nothing to do with the color of his skin. You should ask Liz if you can use here statement.... she told us all once that :It is about race because I say it is"..... This time you are wrong.....

      May 29, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  118. joe groanin

    Please...is it really that slow a news day? 1% of legislators took exception. Where I come from, that rates a "shut up"

    May 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  119. Andy Frederick

    This situation is a prime example of what is wrong with politics in this country (or everywhere, for that matter). The problem is that people identify too strongly with their parties, to the point that they throw reason out the window. What I mean is, if a Republican president (call him President X) had used the autopen to sign a bill, the people criticizing Obama now would be defending President X, and the Democrats defending Obama now would be criticizing President X. Of course, this is no different than any other sort of fandom; fans of Team X will always object to penalties called against their team, for example. But i will never understand how these people can have any self-respect. If you automatically defend your guy and automatically attack the other guy, regardless of the circumstances, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself and consider whether you are a human being or a mindless robot. Do you REALLY think that the other party is so evil that everything it does is wrong? How could that possibly be? The next time the other party does something, stop and ask yourself what your opinion would be if your party had done it. And if you can think of any rationale for defending your side in that situation, you might want to consider keeping your mouth shut. Stop being a sheep and have the guts to criticize your own side, or praise the other side, every now and then.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • TruthBTold

      I hear ya, Andy; in fact, my first comment to the aforesaid article points out that I agree with "Georgia Republican Tom Graves [who] sent a letter to Obama Friday, stating he believes the use of an autopen in this context sets a '“dangerous precedent.”'
      Nonetheless, I voted for Obama; though I don't see myself necessarily rubberstamping that vote in the next election. Far more, I do believe that the majority of opposition against him has to do with the color of his skin as opposed to the true content of his character, whether we agree with his policies or not.

      The fact is, despite some of the most adhorrent policies over the years, including centuries of human rights abuses, there has never been a president so disrespected. Seems to me, in the failure to show cause, there is only one thing left – in the words of representatives for Mitt Romney, he thought of it first (yet) – the black guy did it!

      Ergo, you can take a note from Newt Gingrich who said, "Judge me by what I can do for America now, rather than only by my mistakes in the past", yet, that other guy – Obama – should be judged differently, i.e., starting with where his mother might or might not have given birth. Otherwise, you can take one from an old, yet, defiant American script of contempt for humanity and judge a man based, solely, on the color of his skin and especially that of his ancestry; who have been held in bondage by the stronghold of stereotypes, which defy not only the true content of one's character as a minority, but any sense of reality.

      Consequently, my vote will be for the individual who does not struggle with Norman Psychosis.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  120. jimmymax

    That's ok, Reagan wasn't there even when he was there, and he signed plenty of documents.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  121. Engineer

    Wow, what a waste. They couldn't have faxed it to him to sign and fax back?

    May 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jesse

      But faxes aren't in the Constitution!


      May 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  122. Billy


    May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  123. boyamidumb

    All robots.
    All bought and paid for anyway, so if they are there or not it doesn't matter
    Thought he brought hope.
    He is just another ambitous Clinton of another shade.

    Too bad.

    1912 All over again.

    Read a little history and you will see what I mean.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Jesse

      1912 all over again? So Sarah Palin or Donald Trump will run as a 3rd party candidate, splitting the Republican vote and electing a Democrat to the presidency with over 400 electoral votes?


      May 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Larry



      May 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  124. Carol

    In order that the autopen power not be abused, there should be legislation regarding the use of the autopen stating such circumstances that if it is used to sign a document then there should be sufficient evidence brought before a small committee before it can be used and have that committee approve the use of the pen. I know that this process is something that may slow down the process of using the autopen when in fact the autopen was created to be used in when the President cannot physically sign the document in which one could consider its duty to allow the President to take time elsewhere rather than at his desk, but the power of the autopen shouldn't be abused. In this case, I believe the power wasn't abused because of an impending deadline, but things could have been more purposely planned so that the President could sign it ahead of time to take in effect.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • alison

      By the time all that legislation goes through, the President would be back in the White House and could sign it in person. Pointless waste of time. People are making a mountain out of molehill.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Time Bandit

      A reasonable idea, but really, here's the point: the president's signature is a symbolic formailty. It signifies that the president approves the bill. Everyone seems to be hung up on the possibility that a bill might get signed that the president did not approve. If anyone thinks that may have happened, why not just ask the president?

      May 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      We don't need common sense anymore .... we have enough laws that cover everything

      May 29, 2011 at 1:57 am |
  125. lills

    Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

    ...So what the heck does the VP do?

    May 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Jesse

      More importantly, why does a congressman think it's any of his business how the President exercises his Constitutional duties?

      Maybe Obama should tell the Speaker of the House how to do his job. I'm sure that won't be objectionable, right?

      May 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • TruthBTold

      Darn good question! That's all I have to say...

      May 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Remember Alexander Haig ....

      May 29, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  126. Norm

    Don't care which party it is really, but given that we're talking about the Constitution, I would feel better if the SCOTUS weighed in sooner rather than later when there would be political points at stake. Make the call now and settle the matter.

    May 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Some one has to bring the case to them for evaluation .... they don't jump in all that often with out a case......

      May 29, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  127. joe

    This bill is sad. It strips us of our right to privacy and is being used as a tool to bring charges against individuals for non terrorist activities.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • A.Linoge

      Is it? Or COULD it? There's a distinction there.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  128. darla

    Sometimes I feel the same way too. The best thing I knew how is to NOT read or hear anything they say.
    President Obama has set a higher standard of presidency in this country. that whoever has the ambition to follow him must either equal his ability and intelligent or surpassed it no matter what party they may belong.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • glyder

      dear darla,you do not have enough COMMON SENSE to vote.please stay home,always.do not pass go do not collect someone elses 200 dollars.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • David

      Hahahaha...."President Obama has set a higher standard of presidency in this country"...thanks, I had been kind of having a bad day and this gave me a good laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine!

      May 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Sputter sputter ... choke, cough ,,,, okay lets try that again.....

      Choke ... cough..... wow ..... appearently no child left behind did not work all that well,.....

      May 29, 2011 at 1:46 am |
  129. Richard Allen

    I say we all go and have sex. Not together, but with our respective partners if you all have one. Post sex you tend to be more relaxed. Or could it be that most people who comment and make ridiculous remarks on these forums think for two seconds that anyone actually gives a crap about what they have to say? We don't care. In fact, I think instead of posting such comments, just go have sex. It feels better and at least its a decent workout. This on the other hand, is pretty pointless. Now, i am off...to have sex...cause it feels good.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Good idea ... but good sex does not fix stupid

      May 29, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  130. Grover

    Next the Teapublicans will question Obama's right to be left-handed. For them southpaws are socialists anyways. What's next in this wacko world of US politics?

    May 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • jimrytwn

      After all, the left hand is considered the sinister hand. Perhaps they take their lead from this fact. My family crest has, as a part of it's field, three sinister crescents. Even though my surname-sake fought under King Richard, the Lion-Hearted during the crusades (hence the sinister crescents) the baggers would take a look at the existance of crescents and irresponsably and incorrectly conclude I am of Muslim descent. Then repeat it amongst themselves incessantly in an attempt to have a fallacy become truth through malicious repitition. It is much the same tactic used to enforce the fallacy of the inferiority of Natiive Americans by the North American European interlopers, of African Americans by the aparthied pre and post civil war racists, of the Jewish race by Nazi Germany, of Aparthied South Africa, and of other places and times when unadulterated bigotry has crept in and attempted to force common sense out the window.

      May 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      I hope that is your sarcasm ... I really hope you don't believe that.... ..BTW there was a time in this country when a majority of the people thought that being left handed was a mark of the devil... liberals were included in that number.

      May 29, 2011 at 1:43 am |
  131. Kenneth

    The problem with Congressman Graves arguement is that if the President is incapacitated, The Vice President immediately assumes the Presidency for the duration of the incapacitation, under Article II of the Constitution. Mind you this man was required to be in the House at the opening of the 112th Congress when they READ THE CONSTITUTION. Please, voters of Georgia, remove this incompetent man from office in the next election.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • JCH

      Sir, you should re-read the Constitution yourself. No where in Article II does it provide that the Vice President shall immediately take office upon the incapacitation of the President. It is simply not there. The 25th Amendment concerns the presidential succession, but the Vice President's assumption of office is not automatic upon incapacitation. Death, resignation or removal from office is the only "immediate" assumption of the office by the Vice President. Incapacitation is not in that list. In the event that the President is not able to carry out the duties of his office, two things can happen (1) he can submit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate, or (2) the Vice President and the cabinet can find that the President is unable to carry out the duties of the office and submit a written declaration to the Speaker and the President pro tempore. To say that the transition is "immediate" or even automatic at incapacitation misses the mark.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      The problem with your argument is that you assume that you will be kept in the loop regarding the level of incapacitation,,, Remember FDR .... people ar first wanted that sickly fool in the wheel chair removed from office ... they thought he wuold not be able to do the job...

      May 29, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  132. Alex

    Like his predecessor, not much of a president or intellectual...but he will make a fantastic Idol judge when he's done in 5 years.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  133. fokjou

    Obama phones in the most anti US vote ever? Douchebag...

    May 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • alison

      Except it was already signed into law years ago by Bush. It was set to expire so he signed it from over there at the last minute. Wah.

      May 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        after it was voted for by the house too.

        May 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  134. neonazibuster

    knowing the "patriot act" is criminal, obomber wants maximum deniability. the international criminal court will soon issue arrest warrants for obomber, satanyahoo, zarko, shrub, clinton whores, LIEberman, and finesteinites.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  135. A.Linoge

    The singularity is getting closer...

    May 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  136. DA

    This seems to be what all Republican do, is sit around and just think of stupid stuff to bring up about the President. I mean seriously, this was really stupid to even talk about dude. This guy knew that if this bill wasn't signed we would have had a hole in getting intel to combat Terrorism, therefore if the President hadn't take the measure to use this autopen, the first thing he and the rest of the Republicans would have been crying is that the President was too busy to sign an important bill. These guys need to stop trying to gain political favor and really start doing some work!! This guy needs to be voted out, he is playing games and what happens to one of us when we play games on the job, we get fired, time to go dude

    May 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      So I am still not clear on what your point is... The constitution (which you liberals use when convienent) says that the president must sign or return the bill....so he uses a robot signing mechanism???? So you are calling this rediculous to debate????? Lets see the extension that was signed by a robot, for the democratic president, to extend republican led initiative called the parriot act????

      May 29, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • Bill in STL

      It was so obvious ... its called plausible deniability ... you just can't trust thos robot pens .... 😉 that appears to have been a republican plant!

      May 29, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  137. glyder

    hey alex,are you kidding.have you not been told to think he is oh so smart andwill make the world like us?

    May 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  138. Fernando1958

    A wink is never going to indicate "please sign this bill with the Autopen".
    also, if the President is in coma the VP will be in charge so he will sign any bill.

    May 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  139. Michelle

    When is someone going to stop Hitler?

    May 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  140. Expose1

    LOL @ distraction from the main story, now the story is what pen he used to sign away US civil rights rather than being about signing away US civil rights

    May 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  141. Chicago

    Very slick Barry...now you can make the claim that you didn't actually sign the Act you campaigned against day after day a few years ago! But I'm thankful your auto-pen signed it...at least we know that thing has a brain.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  142. Direct Voice

    It has been my view to read all of a document before signing it, how can this happen when one don't have the papers in front of them to read. Bad idea!

    May 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  143. Larry Fortenski

    Not only THAT, I heard that the president went and used one of them dag-nab-bit telephones. WHAT is this world coming to!! He should be expected to talk IN PERSON if he is going to talk with someone. Good grief, an autopen! No wonder those Repubs are wetting their pants and crying like little girls!

    May 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  144. LouieD

    So Georgia Republican Tom Graves takes issue with autosigning, as the President did not literally "sign" the document. I wonder if he took similar issue with George W. Bush being called "President", as was not literally elected.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  145. JamesX

    Why is that republican congressmen so up in arms? Reagan's staff already had to do this and nothing bad happened. What about that precedence?

    May 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  146. Ron Paul

    Next Mr Obama will be using AutoTune to address world leaders and delegates

    May 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  147. neonazibuster

    don't get fooled by neo-con / neo-lib shills on CNN, huffpo, moveon, or even "progressive" sites like common dreams and democracy now. they are everywhere trying to misrepresent public opinion and intimidate the public.

    i meet hundreds of real people every week at work. they see through the BS, and they are ready for real change.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  148. Really?

    We all know that we don't have the technology to fax the bill to where ever the president is, so he could personally sign it right.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  149. Ifuckedyourrepublicanwife

    This article is ridiculous.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  150. FauxNews

    "autopen" must be the new word for "rubber stamp"

    May 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  151. Bill

    In other words the president did not sign the bill.

    May 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  152. Peter Wolfe

    These republicans like any biased partisan group attack the president or any cause blindly without thinking of the ramifications of their action. I mean other peple surely have or will have done this in a similar position that President Obama has stated and the Georgia conservatives are just wanting to attack Obama on anything not perhaps cause they aren't racist jst cause the general american is ignorant to politics. What if the President was in a bunker overseas an culdn't sign a document? Then, the article is completely misleading in the first place with the fake concerns cause everyone knows in Basic 1010 political science civics that f the president is in a coma, etc that the vice president would immediately take over control lik chain of command people duh? Come on these republicans think we are stupid don'tthey?

    May 27, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  153. ChrisSeattle

    maybe he can give this to the unions so whenever they need money he won't actually have to be their stooge in person. viva la auto workers

    May 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  154. Max

    Use of an agent or machine is allowed for any document or deed. The right to refuse the agent is upto the authority to rescind. If you didn't know someone signed something for you, then you can refute it. The "seal of the office" is a signature/mark of sorts too. It's artowrk, just like a signature is artwork. A sign. Cheers

    May 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  155. dew

    this so call pres. will do anything to get out of work, to him this means more time playing golf and more vactions.he don't call one bit about the american people, now he will go to well all the storms hits and tell them he feels there pain. worst pres. ever. and bush is not the pres. i no some of ya'll keep forgetting so i will keep reminding ya'll

    May 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Larry

      Fact-free nonsense. This president spends no more time playing golf or taking vacations than presidents have in the past and less than many. You obviously couldn't discuss issues intelligently if your life depended on it because all you know is what Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have told you to think, fear, and hate.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • NotSoSilent Observer

      Why don't you go get yourself an education. You obviously dropped out in the 8th grade. You do not know basic grammar.

      May 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Larry look at your post .... do you see the hate there? I do .... You have no tolerance of people that dare to believe differetnly than you do. You stand there and cry see how holy I am .... I hate all of you that are not like me,... You believe exactly what the democrati leftwing nuts have told you to .... and you spew it incessently

      May 29, 2011 at 1:30 am |
  156. gromit801

    Well, this just handed the ACLU a valid challenge to the bill on a Constitutional basis.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  157. Kevin

    Maybe I'm a little off here, but in regards to the whole worry about the president being sickly and near incoherent so the autopen could be abused. Isn't that when the V.P. is supposed to step in and act as President? Maybe I'm wrong, but I seem to remember learning that somewhere. If that's the case, it wouls seem to make that particular argument a bit moot.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  158. Martha

    Wait a second... The constitution says "“[i]f he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it”? "He"? Anybody think that's a problem?

    May 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  159. Mark

    So much more would be done and we would be much farther ahead if the obstructionist Republicans would keep the good of 98% of the Country ahead of worrying about catering to the top 2%. You really want to blast away the deficit? Let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires expire when they were scheduled to. Cut subsidies to major oil companies and corporate mega-farms. Monitor the financial markets so they can't manipulate commodities and screw the average citizen at the pump. Tax rates will return to the days of Reagan and things will get back much closer to the good old days.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  160. mikes

    The feds have ignored the Constitution for a long, long, time. Why would they stop ignoring it now?

    May 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  161. lizzy10

    It reminds me of the West Wing. Margaret "If that ever happen's again, I want you to know, I'm able to sign like the President". Leo "What do you mean"? Margaret "I've been practicing his signiture, and I'm really good at it". Leo "You do know that it's illegal, not to mention a Coup d' etat to forge the President of the United States signature"? Margaret "So I could get in trouble, huh"?

    May 27, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  162. Russell Jeffords

    Why shouldn't an autopen be used by this President?

    After all, the machine is smarter than he is!

    May 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  163. Diana

    Can u stupid people get anything more stupid to talk about than the use of a pen? I'm on medicare, how about the republicans trying to take away the only SMALL income and medical care that i do pay a premium on! And are you people so stupid to think that Sarah Palin can run this country? Just because she did in my opinion a small job as govener of alaska? What really is their to govern in alaska, a bunch of ICE? LOL....and as for her calling the media, the lame stream media, does she not realize or care that she is talking about WORKING AMERICANS, who are doing a job? It is their job to report the news. If you appear stupid is that their fault? Is it our fault she got made to look as stupid as she is by Couric? Heck i doubt they even get the new york times in alaska. Alaskan people please don't take this as im putting you down that isnt my point and not my intention. But if someone like her was to try and run this country, you think we are in trouble now???? And one more point i would like to make. Anyone running for president can make you all these promises to try to get elected, but stuff has to pass the senate and congress before it ever gets to the president. And when an actual new president then gets into office, they actually find out that they cant do all these things they promised because of things that are already placed into action before they get there, promises made to other countries and allies and ect...so any of you that are fooled into thinking that things are going to change just like that if and when a new president gets into office are seriously delusional. If you want a faster moving system maybe you should read and understand things that are on a ballot before you go and vote for someone and something, and get all these 70 and 80 year olds voted out of office and get new people in there that aren't stuck in the past and want to move forward. I also think their should be a time limit on the years people can spend in the senate and in congress, just like the presidents position. Thats my opinion and i'm entitled to it.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • jean2009

      You are right Diane, but as you have noticed the Teanuts on here have no intention of discussing any solutions to the existing problems, and probably haven't even researched the fact that a tool similar to an Auto pen was first used by Thomas Jefferson. Nor would they know that the Justice Department stated a right for the President to use the Auto pen "with his approval" during the Bush Administration. Also, can you imagine the outcry about waste had a special plane been sent to the president with the document for his signature. These are truly the people that can't be pleased even when the cost of what this president does is what they cry about. Had they only griped as loud about the last president we wouldn't currently be in such a mess.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  164. JohnnyR1ingo

    I'm a little curious as to where all of the Bush Patriot Act Criticizers/Obama supporters are during a time like this.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  165. Woowho

    “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

    Wouldn't the Vice President then operate as the President if such a situation should occur, ya Dingus?

    May 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  166. MashaSobaka

    I'm way more concerned about the Patriot Act being extended than I am about any use of autopens, personally.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  167. john

    Well its a document that violates and renders useless the constitution why stop there why not sign it illegally to keep in the spirit of it.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  168. Jenn@FFP

    Why would this be any different than my electronic signature on my tax return? If it's legal to accept payment or other digital signatures for online transactions, it should be acceptable for the President to do the same in the event he cannot be physically presented the hard copy bill for signing.

    May 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  169. BrainWashedDrones


    Good job!!. We need sensible and logical people like yourself to call the republicans on their hypocricy. If the law would have expired then it would have been, "President Obama leaves America vulnerable while he hobnobs with European socialists" or something to that effect. Keep up the good work. The way to beat them is to call them out for specifics which of course they don't have any

    May 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  170. BrainWashedDrones

    @Andy Frederick Superbly put. I totally agree. People don't seem to notice the fact that in either case the other party does not consist of all crazies. Most people can understand both sides of the coin, and therefore should voice to their fellow republican/democract. People (Yes, you reading these comments), we still have more in common than not! Don't throw sensible ideas under the bus just because it is coming from the other side.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  171. bs

    A illegal president who is not even suppose to be president signs a illegal bill with a illegal autopen. Wake the fu*k up america.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Your tag .... well it says it all.... You need to take a real large chill pill!

      May 31, 2011 at 12:31 am |
  172. Josef F

    Have you ever noticed that, whenever a Republican is speaking, and regardless of what Obama does, he is 'setting a dangerous precedent'? It's almost as if they've decided what their reaction will be before they know what he's done.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  173. Shawn S

    So people are raising an issue NOW all of a sudden? Our Presidents and Congressmen have been using it for DECADES and DECADES but people only question it now? Do you know how much JFK used an autopen? A HECK of a lot of times while in office and even as a senator. So do people think now that he's in the wrong as well? I'm sure every single President in recent history has used it. Stop complaining people...the autopen has been around for a very long time.

    May 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  174. matt stl.

    If he were hospitalized it would fall to the vice president... idiot.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  175. NotSoSilent Observer

    Mr. Graves, this is where you show your ignorance in how the line of succession works. If the president is incapacitated in anyway... and this includes laying in a hospital bed not fully alert... the vice president will become president until the elected president can resume duties, as written in the Presidential Succession act of 1792 (founding fathers), and amended in 1947. For pete's sake, we make 8th graders take a US constitution test, why do congressmen/women not have to take it, and pass, as a requirement of holding office

    May 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  176. NickB5

    I'm not really comfortable with the concept of a President using or authorizing an "autopen". The need for such a device seems voided by proper scheduling and prioritizing. Further, I would agree that there are some valid constitutional questions this raises and I think the citizens of this country are right to fear future abuses and misuses of this device.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  177. Brad8888

    The Patriot Act is one remaining vestige of the Bush administration's attempt to destroy the Constitution of the United States.

    Most people don't recall that the Patriot Act and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was already being debated in Congress in the spring of 2001, and by the summer that year it had been soundly defeated in a bipartisan fashion due to the fact that it violates the Constitution and distorts the checks and balances designed therein to a level that potentially threatens our democratic republic.

    During the second term of the Bush administration, there was also an attempt to declare that the Vice President was no longer part of the Executive Branch of our government, but would be a member of the Legislative Branch instead, and that the Vice President would actually control the actions of the Senate, which is completely against the intent of the founding fathers of our nation, who had the foresight to only allow the Vice President to break ties in the Senate, and otherwise have very little role there so as to seperate the two branches as much as possible.

    In the interests of our nation going forward, the Patriot Act needs to be abolished so that the ever increasing power of our government can be stopped prior to someone taking even more interpretive license through selection of favorable justices on the supreme court and destroying our Constitution completely.

    This is not a Republican vs. Democrat vs. Libertarian vs. Tea Party situation. This is a situation such as the one where Lincoln during Civil War times in the Gettysburg Address, stated "It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

    May God bless America and those who respect the Constitution.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  178. Susan

    This is not a technology issue. The possibility that the President could deputize someone else to sign for him was around in 1787. For goodness sakes, the Great Seal of Great Britain was around before 1066, so there's precedent for a doohickey that could be used and potentially transferred to symbolize a ruler's approval. Our Constitution specifically says that the President - and not some deputy - must sign a bill for approval. It's the act of signing that's important, and not the exact scratch marks that are made on the paper. I don't care if he signs on paper or electronically, but someone else making his signature just doesn't count. An autopen is just a glorified rubber stamp.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  179. Aaron

    It's doubtful there will be any problems with Obama authorizing the autosigner. However, it could be dangerous in cases like senile old Reagan, whose cabinet was filled with proven criminals, or W, who had Cheney and Rove pulling the strings to make all the money they possibly could on the lives of American soldiers via the war machine.

    May 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • jean2009

      Ah Aaron you are a man after my own heart....LOL! Yours is truth to ignorant rants. Not signing the bill before it expired meant that surveillance of lone wolf terrorist would immediately have to stop. Can you imagine the damage to our country had we missed information that could have stopped another 9/11. The Patriot Act of 2001 was revised in 2006, and extended in 2009, and again in 2011 for 4 more years. My feeling is if you aren't planning damage to our country then you shouldn't have a problem.

      June 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  180. Martin (Germany)

    It's a plot! Obama will call the ACLU and they will sue him and Holder will give in and the bill we become undone and all the evidence gained will have to be destroyed and the terrorists will walk free and there will be a mosque on every street corner within a year and and and...

    I miss Glenn Beck 🙂

    May 28, 2011 at 6:07 am |
  181. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Well stated Larry. Thanks, I agree.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      That does not make it right ... then or now ....

      The fact is that most Americans don't get that much time off .... nor do they make the money he does ... nor can they list the assets he does ... but he sure seems to have you hoodwinked into believing he is of the people!

      May 29, 2011 at 1:27 am |
  182. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Glenda, I'm sure you.re one of the ones whom, if pressed couldn't discuss not one of Pres Obama's policies intelligently and with full knowledge of the pros and cons or intent, to save your life! Personally, and being honest, I'd have to study them more thoroughly myself to really argue. My main reason for defending this PRESIDENT is that I believe in his love for this country, I believe in his intent and I truly believe in his heartfelt efforts, whether they be 'the ultimate fix' to rebuild this nation.

    May 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      What is his ultimte fix Liz, since you are privy to that please let us know.... We would all love to hear it....

      And you argue just to hear your jaws flap!

      Oh and yes I am jabbing you just like you jab people that don't think the way you do ..... Giving you as much respect for different positions are you give.... Liberal=intolerant

      May 29, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  183. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You have sat here an read exerpts of others negative positions and personal nasty comments, and continually try your hand at spewing them out. Not including listing your Fox News/Teabagger/Gop talking points; Ooooops, I should say lying points! You all need to start trying to check the clowns who claim to want to run against Obama in 2012, like Gingrich and Romney; The Republicans Greatest Flip-Floppers, already! What is going to happen if they ever get in? Bachman, Palin? God help us!

    May 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Talk about Flip-Floppers, GTMO is still open for business.

      May 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Hi Liz .... see you are up to your same old level ..... Personal attacks are still the order of the day with you...

      May 29, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  184. TruthBTold

    I'm with Georgia Republican Tom Graves on this one. He's got a really good point!

    May 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  185. Brad

    There are more signatures than just the President's that go on a bill. I believe the Speaker of the House (and/or the Clerk of the House) and the President of the Senate (and/or Clerk of the Senate) (possibly pro tempore) must sign the bill when it passes each respective chamber. So, if you want ink signatures on the bill, you could not fax the bill or email it for the President to sign. Just a thought!

    May 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  186. Bill in STL

    Domi Arigato Mr. Roboto 😉

    May 29, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  187. bill

    Looks like technology has replaced the rubber stamp

    May 29, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  188. Liz Carter in Georgia

    And a 'howdy do' to you too, Mr Bill in STL. Seems to me you're back up to your old self again too; calling people out for the exact thing you have always done! Who did I attack personally? Yes, like you and everyone else blogging to specific people, have the right to voice my disagreements and agreements of opinions anytime I choose to. Isn't that what you're doing to Larry and me? You even personally attacked the late Franklin D Roosevelt! Left-handed people were one time percieved devils?!? My goodness!!

    May 29, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Glenda for one Liz,, seems she has more courage than you do ... you don't debate the point,,,, you invoke the libeal rant against people.... you call conservative liars in general and where do you go when a valid point is broughtup ...you return to the play book ... you have a sterotypical image of a conservative person programmed into to you by your party.... But you are oh so very wrong....

      May 29, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Oh my Liz you really are in defensive mode. I have re-read my poss and find that I stated that people wanted him removed from office because he was in a wheel chair ... The sickly fool comment was from a newpaper article. To put it simply, people of that era were far more likely to be what you accuse me of being. As far as left handed, that simply stated is a known fact from our countries history. My father is left handed... he was forced by parents and teachers alike to learn to do things right handed for fear of that stigma...

      No where did I malign FDR for being left handed... Nor President Obama.

      May 31, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  189. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Bill, to tell you truth all of your blathering rants above are soooo twisted and confusing, I don't know what to comment on. You are still a riot! Liberals.....the party of no?!? LOL!

    May 29, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Liz ... thre or four sentance hardly consitute a rant.... get real! You on the other hand are so blind that you can't see past the end of your ideaology.

      May 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  190. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Bill, will you leave us alone. You are guilty of everything you claim I'm guilty of. Personal attacks? That's your thing all the way. You need to go back and read even your first post to me, not to speak of the ones you wrote Larry. I can claim the same against you and most of the conservatives that post on this blog; you have a stereotypical image of a liberal programmed into you all by your party, which has already proven to be wrong and you blindly do exactly what GWB told you to do, 'Stay the course'!

    May 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      How little you understand conservatives ... especially me. You don't see me poking at both parties. Radical either way bothers me. Liz you are one of the most radical liberals I can see on the blogs here and I will poke at you just like I do any other radical individual..... You are a special case ..... Your comment in one the threads .... when you told me and many others that it was about race because you said it was earned you a very special place in my heart. You are the flag bearer for all progressive liberals, you are to be lampooned just as much as any other progressive liberal AND any totally right wing nut job. You must live a very sad life with all the conspiricys you see....

      May 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  191. Liz Carter in Georgia

    When I addressed Glenda, I was also making a valid point. That was exactly what I thought about her post. Like most of the OBAMA-hating posts, they aren't really worth debating; they are just spin and halftruths, if not lies. They seem to be copy cat posts. BTW, I even put myself out there to her by acknowledging that I too needed to brush up on a few of the resolutional decisions myself before I could truly argue 100% effectively. Is that not courage? It's at least honesty. Why don't you try it sometimes?

    May 30, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Liz Courage is not brushing up after the fact, courage is not attacking Glenda about her ability to converse and debate Obama policies when you yourself are not clear on all of them. Your passion to protect this president is, in my opinion, over the top. You seem to think that I have a personal beef with the president, I don't. What I have a problem with is his economic policies, the un funded mandates, the IRS meddeling in our lives in an unprecedented manner. Having never met the man, I can only assume that he is a very personable fellow. But I do take exception to his policies ... thats all.

      May 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  192. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh, one more thing, I know if I could just have a change of heart, change of views, and change my mind, period about BARACK OBAMA; ultimately start repeating the uncuffed things that you folk perpetually throw out to the world against him, as if he is the only one up there in WASHINGTON working; no administrational advisors, no congress; he's taking care of everything all by himself; you wouldn't debate me, nor require anyone else to debate me. I'd be in the 'incrowd' then! It'd be accepted at face value!

    May 30, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Yes Liz I would.... This proves what I said .... I poke at radicals on both sides ... SOOooo I would still be poking at you .... What we need are people that have a balanced view .... people that can see the value on both sides of the socio spectrum, Sometimes you have to be able to see both sides to make a cogent decision...

      May 30, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  193. Bruce Eder

    Why didn't he simply authorize Joe Biden, who is constitutionally the Acting President when Mr. Obama is out of the country, to sign the bill?

    May 30, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Was the president incapcitated? No.... Would congress have adjourned before the 10 day period was up? No... Why did he need to be so contreverial about then.... It would have been assumed signed if he did nothing ... By Law! pocket veto is only applied when a congress adjourns ... not during a recess. What is considered to be adjournment is the end of a congress or a seasonal break.... this was neither.....

      May 31, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  194. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Bill; thankyou for holding a special place in your heart for me, but in 2011, sad is the reason you say I've earned it. I truly don't remember making the statement that 'it is about race because I said it', but it may have been something more like...I don't care what you folks in denial say, I know most of the blatant anger and complaining against this PRESIDENT is stemming from his race! This much attitude, bitterness, complaining, and utter disrespect has NEVER before been waged against a US PRESIDENT!

    May 31, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Oh it has Liz, how short is your memory.. did anyone line the p[residential parede route with disrespectful signs when president Obama was driven to the white house. When GWB was elected for his second term why did liberals sing hail to the thief???? Why was Ronal Reagan called Ronald RAY-GUN, for fun? I think not. There is a reason for this but I think you don't understand it.... That is what is said .... How abou tricky Dick???? Or Lyndon No-Brains Johnson... and it happens all the way back through out history... And you did post that comment ... Look in your profile ... it shows what you have posted... If you like I will get thearticle for you

      June 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  195. Liz Carter in Georgia

    As to your claim that I'm the most radical liberal supporters of the PRESIDENT you see on here, I'm really not alone. There are many others on here who see through the smokescreen too! You must have missed them being so focused on me. Some of them just sit back and let me say what needs to be said and let me know that they agree. Now, there have been many to come out after me about it, to coward me down; that we were passed it! But such attempts to shush the voices of 'the movement' also had to be endured.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Bill in STL

      How corageous of them ... and these are your fellows? Thos with you in a common cause? I habe been meaning to ask you how you justify an increase in Limos ... from 238 to over 400????SInce 2009....

      June 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  196. ObamaOUREnemy

    There is a reason we have laws and a Constitution, Obama is evil and could not care less about our laws. There is a reason for the President signing laws in to effect. That reason is that it is his signature. This guy will do anything to avoid being responsible if it is the political thing to do.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • GaryOh

      No. You are evil. You are a troll. Trolls are evil. Therefore, you are evil.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:09 am |
  197. Liz Carter in Georgia

    I have never called a president out of his name. The most I can say is there have been times when I have reerred to BUSH as 'W'. That name was given to him by hollywood. I liked Reagan; never heard a soul nor even read anything that referred to him as 'Ray-Gun'. I did hear about 'Tricky Dick', but I never referred to him as that! I had a place in my heart for NIXON because he stopped the VIETNAM WAR, finally and he was from a QUAKER family. Johnson was a soldier who tried but was kept from stopping the war.

    June 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  198. Jay in NC

    Here are some nicknames of presidents from http://www.classroomhelp.com/lessons/Presidents/nicknames.html

    George Washington Father of His County, The Sage of Mount Vernon
    John Adams His Roundity, The Atlas of Independence, Bonny Johnny
    Thomas Jefferson Long Tom, The Pen of the Revolution, Apostle of the Constitution
    James Madison Father of the Constitution, Little Johnny, Sage of Montpelier
    James Monroe The Last of the Crooked Hats
    John Quincy Adams Old Man Eloquent, Publicola
    Andrew Jackson Old Hickory, The Old Hero, King Andrew the First
    Martin Van Buren The Red Fox of Kinderhook, O.K., The Little Magician, Little Van
    William Henry Harrison Old Tippecanoe, The Cincinnatus of the West, Old Granny
    John Tyler His Accidency, Young Hickory
    James K. Polk Polk the Purposeful, Napoleon of the Stump
    Zachary Taylor Old Rough and Ready, Old Zack
    Millard Fillmore The Accidental President, the Wool Carder President
    Franklin Pierce Hansome Frank, Purse
    James Buchanan Old Buck, The Do-Nothing President
    Abraham Lincoln The Great Emancipator, Honest Abe, The Rail Splitter
    Andrew Johnson The Tailor, Sir Veto, Father of the Homestead Act
    Ulysses S. Grant American Ceasar, The Galena Tanner, Useless S. Grant
    Ruther B. Hayes His Fraudulency, Old 8 to 7
    James A. Garfield The Canal Boy, The Preacher President
    Grover Cleveland Grover the Good, Old Grover
    Benjamin Harrison Young Tippecanoe, Little Ben, The Centennial President
    William McKinley Liberator of Cuba, The Idol of Ohio, Wobbly Willie
    Theodore Roosevelt The Rough Rider, The Cowboy, Rough and Ready, T.R.
    Woodrow Wilson The Professor, The Phrasemaker
    William B. Harding W.G.
    Calvin Coolidge Silent Cal
    Herbert Hoover Chief, Grand Old Man
    Franklin D. Roosevelt F.D.R., The Boss, King Franklin
    Harry S. Truman Give'em Hell Harry, Haberdasher Harry
    Dwight D. Eisenhower General Ike, Kanasas Cyclone, Duckpin
    John F. Kennedy J.F.K.
    Lyndon B. Johnson L.B.J.
    Richard M. Nixon Tricky Dick, Richard the Chicken-Hearted
    Gerald Ford Jerry, accidental president
    Jimmy Carter The Peanut Farmer, Cousin Hot
    Ronald Reagan The Great Communicator, Dutch, Ronald the Right
    George W. Bush W.

    I call Barry, Barry, because that is what his mother called him, it is a term of endearment.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • jean2009

      And I call him Mr. President, because he is. He prefers Barack ,which is his given name. As the mother of sons, I know sons prefer to be called their given name, not their nickname once they are older. I doubt if George Bush would have wanted to be called Georgie regardless of how immature he sometimes came across.

      June 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  199. Liz Carter in Georgia

    YOU GO Jean2009. Tell'em about it. I've always learned something from every one of your posts. I heard about the approval of the use of the 'auto pen' during the Bush Era, but all the way back to Thomas Jefferson? Thanks.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      You do understand that we are talking about the Patriot Act, right? This means that Barry just signed, had a robot sign for him, a law that allows habeas corpus denials, warrant-less searches and carte blanche wiretapping.

      What happed to the Democrats of the 1960 and 70's you know the ones that were willing to protested the government about these very issues. Heck, what happed to the Democrats from just 4 years ago that said that President Bush was trashing the Constitution? Hypocrites, I do not see how you all can face your self on this issue.

      June 2, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  200. Alex is Hoover

    OMG, do you see whats happening in Syria? In spite of a brutal government crackdown, the manifestations continue

    December 19, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  201. humax hdr-fox t2

    Terrific work! This is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the web. Disgrace on the seek engines for no longer positioning this put up higher! Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thanks =)

    April 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  202. Bad Puns

    I thought an Autopen was where they kept towed cars.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  203. Yes1fan

    Jefferson's auto-pen at Monticello is very cool!
    They say HE invented it, on the tour.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  204. GaryOh

    There are many ways to "sign" something. In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly common to electronically "sign" a document in your web browser. I know that we electronically sign things from my company's home office, like when they send us the "code of ethics" that we must agree to every year. The important thing is that we know that the president is the one reviewing the bill and signing it into law. I really don't care if he has his own personal hedgehog which he has walk across the paper with ink on his feet.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  205. Shirley Boatwright

    Louzy Pres.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  206. Vivek Chaudhary

    If GWB had signed using this autopen, media would have crucified him terming him as an illiterate. Obama is cool.

    January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  207. macthek9

    “Any number of circumstances could arise in the future where the public could question whether or not the president authorized the use of an autopen,” Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

    Ha, Graves, you are certainly a fool! The Vice President would be in control of the country at this juncture... Incapacitated?

    January 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  208. macthek9

    “Any number of circumstances could arise in the future where the public could question whether or not the president authorized the use of an autopen,” Graves said. “For example, if the president is hospitalized and not fully alert, can a group of aggressive Cabinet members interpret a wink or a squeeze of the hand as approval of an autopen signing?”

    Ha, Graves, you are certainly a goof! The Vice President would be in control of the country at this juncture... Incapacitated?

    January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  209. Mr. X



    MY CHILDHOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  210. Capone

    I actually have to agree with Sen. Graves on this one.

    The whole point in having the President physically sign legislation is to insure that it is, in fact, the President signing a bill into law.

    I'm all for technology, but not in this regard.

    January 4, 2013 at 1:19 am |