Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) showed again on Thursday that the freshman Republican isn't scared to throw sand in the gears of the Senate - or delay the rush out of town by fellow lawmakers - as he forced a lengthier debate on extending three provisions of the anti-terror Patriot Act.
Despite the opposition of Paul and others, the Senate easily broke a filibuster to force final action on the bill, paving the way for final approval by the Congress of a four year extension of three different expiring provisions of the law.
The interesting part about the final votes in the House and Senate was that many more Democrats voted against the plan than Republicans, as it's obvious the opposition to the anti-terror law's specifics are rooted much more on the liberal side of the Democratic Party than the Tea Party side of the GOP.
"National security vs. personal liberty is almost always a false choice," said Rep. Chris Murphy, a House Democrat running for Senate next year.
As for the three provisions at issue, which were never made permanent by the Congress after Nine Eleven, they cover:
surveillance of 'lone wolf' terrorists
secret access to business records
That last provision was in Section 215 of the original law, and it is what attracts a lot of attention to this day.
Paul tried to amend the Patriot Act extension with two different plans, both of which centered on the question of FBI access to business records.
For one, Paul wanted firearms records to be off-limits and wanted to fine tune the requirements for how financial insitutitions can be required to file "suspicious activity reports" with the federal government.
Democrats were a bit nervous about the gun amendment, worried that it might draw a lot of votes in both parties.
But the National Rifle Association sent word that it would not take any position on the procedural vote to kill the Paul amendment - that paved the way for its defeat by a vote of 85-10.
Paul's other amendment was scrapped 91-4.
In the end, all Paul had done was to delay the start of the Memorial Day weekend for members of both parties.
A Lawrenceville pastor wants his congregation to know the good news about the Gospel of Mark. Dean Sweetman, senior pastor of the C3 Church, has challenged his members and anyone else interested to read the New Testament book in its entirety over the next year and post Instagram photos of their notes.