The Patriot Act contains what pretty much everyone who isn't speaking in legalese calls "sunset provisions." Such things are, of course, written into laws when circumstances might change and making something only temporary is considered the wiser choice.
This is a dual-use entry. Firstly, I would like to point out that it might not be in the U.S.'s best interests to make everything in the Patriot Act permanent. I'm certainly no expert on that Act, but if I were I think I'd say the same thing.
Secondly, this entry is here because I believe Our Leader has said one of the dumbest things I've ever heard Our Lider say. Considering that I live-blogged the presidential debates, that is truly saying something. Over to our homeland security president:
Some people call these sunset provisions. It's a good name because letting that...those provisions expire would leave law enforcement in the dark.
It's good to know that Bush (aided and abetted by his speechwriter, of course) has managed to reduce such an important debate down to a folksy, third-grade-educated, attempt at a joke.