The House, after briefly failing to do so last week, has passed an extension of the so-called Patriot Act, which defies the Constitution to allow government to investigate, arrest, detain, and hold without most rights previously recognized as sacrosanct anyone it considers to be problematic.

This act was urged by Bush, voted for by members of both parties, extended many times by congresses dominated by first one party, then the other, and now is extended for a shorter time than the current occupant of the White House would like.

I would prefer gridlock.