From France, Obama Forces His Robot To Sign Patriot Act Renewal

  robots running everything

'Hi there, I wrote the Constitution!'Republicans and Democrats came together to oppose the renewal of the Patriot Act — which lets the government do literally whatever it wants to anyone, anywhere — and then other Republicans and Democrats came together in bigger numbers to approve the renewal of the Patriot Act. So if you were planning on doing anything vaguely terrorist-y like talking on the phone or using public transportation, rest assured that you are still under surveillance. But the interesting part of this story is that President Obama couldn’t sign the bill because he is in France, having a very lovely vacation. Couldn’t Joe Biden sign off? Apparently not! Plus, he is super busy returning Obama’s calls. So Barack Obama ordered his handwriting robot to sign the bill into law, and that’s apparently okey-dokey with the Constitution. A robot! Let’s hope it was at least assembled in the USA.

This little bit in the Los Angeles Times story gave us the chills:

Obama, attending an international summit in France, awoke early Friday to review and approve the bill, directing that it be signed in Washington by automatic pen before the provisions expired at midnight Thursday Eastern time.

Is this the same “automatic pen” that signs thousands of presidential photo prints every week? Does it even know what it signs? If you went on a White House tour and were all, “Just gotta run to the bathroom be right ba-a-a-ck” and then you swiped the Automatic Pen (it is probably about the size of a toy Wall-E, we imagine) and took it home and wrote a declaration of some kind (“I am the president of the world now and my castle shall be called El Mumbalumbia and I get $1 Billion a month in salary for being awesome”) and made Otto the Autopen sign it, would it be law too?

What if, just before those trained seals lasered the super-villain in Pakistan, the super-villain at the very last second pulled out Auto the Ottopen and had it sign a United States Executive Order giving asylum and a new motorhome to the super-villain?

Where are the so-called constitutional scholars when real world troubles like this are happening in Washington? What would our Founding Fathers say about this? Would they just say, “Oh hello, Le Ottopen,” because Benjamin Franklin invented this device in the 1780s (also in France) and maybe it actually wrote the whole Constitution? Even the floofy signatures? (Which we guess are more famous on the Declaration of Independence, which was also conceived and written by the Autopen.) [Los Angeles Times]

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158 comments

  1. SorosBot

    Great, now I'll have "No disassemble autopen! Autopen alive!!" stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

        1. horsedreamer_1

          The Dems are Autobots, the GOP are Decepticons*, & the Tea Party is that weird tribe started by the cast-off Decepticon (using vintage WWII tanks & people-movers).

          *Not to be confused with DC ska band, the Decepticonz.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Hey, if they're perfectly rational and programmed to make logical decisions, let's replace all Republicans with GOP-Bots. That'll solve 90% of our troubles, at least.

      1. WhatTheHolyHeck

        Screw rational, just replace all the GOP members of congress with robots that only know how to say "Fuck You" and we'll save millions in federal salary without affecting congressional effectiveness.

        We wouldn't save on their health care, obvs, since it's already free.

        1. tessiee

          "We wouldn't save on their health care, obvs, since it's already free."

          It's free for them, not for us.

      2. tessiee

        We could replace 90% of them with colorful rocks, and it would be an improvement. At least colorful rocks wouldn't do any harm.

    2. SorosBot

      Let's see – Optimus' slogan is "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Nope, that doesn't sound like our government. But Megatron's "Peace through tyranny!" pretty much sums up 2001-2009.

  2. Barb

    Soon there will be no unions, health care will consist of people just praying not to die and the GOP will get their wish of having sharks with laser beams. We're so screwed.

    1. Negropolis

      It'll get to the point where we'll just be praying to die, praying for sweet, contented surrender.

  3. noodlesalad

    Glad to see that, a decade after 9/11, and with OBL is dead and aquaburied, America still finds itself equipped with robot pens and neuticals.

  4. easynewz

    Reports are being received that President Obama's signing-robot broke free of its restraints and went on a rampage, destroying White House property, terrifying the staff and threating all of mankind. Fortunately, the threat was curtailed when an alert Vice President Joe Biden disabled the cyborg by running it over with his Firebird. Witnesses say that Mr. Biden was heard shouting "You just got Bidened!" A grateful nation sends its thanks tonight to 'The Delaware Devil.'

  5. YasserArraFeck

    This explains how a retard like GW managed to add more than an "X" to so many bills.

    1. tessiee

      His auto-pen was modified to cross out anything he didn't like and write, "NOT!!" in the margin.

    1. chicken_thief

      Her and Jerome Corsi were locked in a mutual masturbation celebration over their – it's isn't the birth cert, it's Vattel's Law of Nations delusion!!!!

  6. BaldarTFlagass

    They supported disapproval of the Patriot Act before they approved it. Where have I encountered this before?

  7. Numbat_Dundee

    He's in France. He could have got Le Pen's daughter to sign it. She's both a fascist and (by definition) a Bic.

  8. Badonkadonkette

    What if, just before those trained seals lasered the super-villain in Pakistan, the super-villain at the very last second pulled out Auto the Ottopen and had it sign a United States Executive Order giving asylum and a new motorhome to the super-villain?

    I think we just found the premise for a new season of 24.

    1. tessiee

      "trained seals lasered the super-villain"

      ???

      I thought the sharks had the lasers.

  9. Arken

    Apparently automatic pens actually were what "the founders wanted"

    From the wikipedia article on them:

    The first autopens were developed by an Englishman named John Isaac Hawkins. Hawkins received a United States patent for his device in 1803. In 1804, Thomas Jefferson began using the device extensively.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopen

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      So, this is part of an English conspiracy to take back our nation. They're still bitching about this Revolutionary War thingy, huh? Could Limey Liz be part of this, a plant in Wonketteistan to gain our plans for defense? Fuck you, John Isaac Hawkins, terrorist!

  10. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Was it assembled in the USA? I want to see the long form Assembly Certificate!

  11. gurukalehuru

    The whole autopen thingie is quite comical, in a teleprompterish sort of way, but I'm seriously pissed that this handy dandy little piece of fascism got renewed, whatever the mechanics of the process.

  12. Oblios_Cap

    Ken, go ahead an hire this writer so that we can find out who she/he is.

    Unless all these posts are being written by an autopen.

  13. wok3

    Weird that banks get into trouble for robo-signing mortgages, yet here it is just fine. I'm not saying that banks shouldn't get shafted 6 ways from Sunday, but it's still strange.

    1. Oblios_Cap

      Banks should get shafted 6 (or more) ways from Sunday. Particularly Investment Banks.

      There- I said it!.

  14. KeepFnThatChicken

    Does Tom Servo & Crow read Wonkette? Gypsy cannae read… she has too much stuff to do.

  15. GuyClinch

    The auto-pen added a signing statement, a la' Bush, indicating that it understands the provisions of the Patriot Act to guarantee vodka-infused ink forever.

  16. Dudleydidwrong

    Is Otto the Ottopen the same Otto who gave Julie Hagerty the blow job in Airplane!? That sucker gets around. First a sexy bit in a film and now signing stuff in the White House. Tomorrow–The World!

  17. Limeylizzie

    Is Wonkette Jr going to get the gig, Ken? The poor, wee thing has been working very hard this week and all the Wonketteers are over the horror of last week's "impending demise" of the Wonkette so maybe you could give us a spanking new editor.

    1. prommie

      "Impending demise?" I missed that, I was on a bender. Whats this all about? Ken, you need money or something? I'll send money, if you want.

      1. UW8316154

        Jack trolled everyone into a weekend of panic in his goodbye post, darkly mentioning Ken's "tough decisions about the future of Wonkette". It was a horrible time, the trolls were delirious, and I rather not say any more.

        /shudder

          1. horsedreamer_1

            I was going to pay the domain service, but then I got high. But then I got high. But then I got high.

  18. ttommyunger

    Once again, this begs the question whether to submit to arrest peacefully in this Country. In the past, one could be fairly assured of a properly handled investigation, a prompt judicial hearing in front of a Magistrate and a set of charges to answer to. Now, all bets are off. You can be "disappeared" on the strength of one Official naming you a "Lone Wolf Suspect" (no ties to any illegal or terrorist activity), never charged and never again seeing the light of day. The G. Gordon Liddy solution (Shoot for the head) is looking more and more attractive; and I take no pleasure in saying so.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      In defense against tyranny, we will use all possible tyrannical methods! Freedum isn't free, ya know. So ya lose yer freedums? So what! We gotta protect freedum!

      "Stand away from that Ottopen!" "But, sir, I'm just looking…" "Stand away, bastard terrorist, or you are a dead bastard terrorist!" "But, sir, isn't this the Smithsonian?" "BLAM!" "Clean up on aisle 12!"

      1. tessiee

        Nigel Tufnel: This one has incredible sustain.
        Marty DiBergi: Really? I…
        Nigel: Don't touch it!!
        Marty: I wasn't touching it.
        Nigel: Don't look at it, either!

      2. tessiee

        "In defense against tyranny, we will use all possible tyrannical methods! Freedum isn't free, ya know. So ya lose yer freedums? So what! We gotta protect freedum!"

        http://www.theonion.com/articles/freedoms-curtail

        "We … are now under siege by adherents of a fundamentalist, totalitarian belief system that tolerates no dissent," Attorney General John Ashcroft said. "Our most basic American values are threatened… That is why I call upon all Americans to submit to wiretaps, e-mail monitoring, and racial profiling. Now is not the time to allow simplistic, romantic notions of 'civil liberties' and 'equal protection under the law' to get in the way of our battle with the enemies of freedom."

    2. V572..whatever

      If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.
      If you haven't had any thoughts of doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.
      If you haven't visited any Web sites containing inappropriate ideas, you have have nothing to fear.

      They never arrest the wrong guy, so you have nothing to fear.

      That is all. Now get back to work.

      1. HistoriCat

        "If you haven't visited any Web sites containing inappropriate ideas, you have have nothing to fear. "

        Would that be sites which have declared the president to be morally weak? Or sites which have used Trig's name in vain? Or sites which mock Trucknutz?

    3. DashboardBuddha

      Family history (mythology?) has it that a long ago ancestor in Cork was hung for singing the wrong song.

      I'm an amateur musician…

      Uh oh.

  19. PsycWench

    So if Obama writes a book under a pseudonym, it would be an autopen name?
    Can this autopen be directed to stab problematic congressmen?? with votes of course.

  20. Mumbletypeg

    "my castle shall be called El Mumbalumbia"

    Almost fitting for a castle abode name, except for the "-lumbia" part that summons memories as appetizing as the besmirched legacy of our land's founding explorer; or of the over-churched part of South Carolina where I lived for 6 months before realizing freestyle Assemblies-of-God "fitness centers" outnumbered YMCA's by about 25 to 1.

    1. tessiee

      "the "-lumbia" part that summons memories as appetizing as the besmirched legacy of our land's founding explorer"

      I assumed that the name was an *hommage* to Patrice Lumumba.

  21. SorosBot

    Is everyone else taking the day off for a four-day weekend? Things are really quiet here.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      I'm home. Just killing a few minutes here until my concrete contractor shows up to pour me some hot sexy slab action. Then the stump pulling guy will be here at noon. But I am drinking already and anticipate that this will continue throughout the day.

    2. Bonzos_Bed_Time

      Not so much "taking the day off" as being forced into a non-paid furlough day to by an underfunded bureaucracy that balanced it's budget on the back of the proletariat workers while the Kocks buy another Gulfstream.

      So yeah, five day vacation, whoo-hoo!

      1. SorosBot

        Ouch. That's no fun; my mom worked for the city until she retired a few months ago and for her last year and a half was"gifted" with several extra vacation days – mandatory, unpaid vacation days.

        1. Bonzos_Bed_Time

          At first it was kinda' cool (the whoo-hoo part), but they're starting to add up financially… fuck it, I still have a job!

        2. tessiee

          The artiste who does my hair spun off her own shop a few weeks ago.
          When she ran into some of her former co-workers, she was told that they showed up at the old shop one day to find a padlocked door and a sign to the effect of, "Gone out of Business; you guys don't have jobs anymore".
          That took care of any guilt she had about leaving.

    3. UW8316154

      I've got the day off too, thanks to a "mandatory business closure day" (e.g. unpaid day off). This is the third year we've had them over Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. The employees got to weigh in: layoffs or business closure days, and everyone overwhelmingly went for the time off.

      So, I'm sitting at home watching the Seattle rain.

  22. James Michael Curley

    How many p-points does the Autopen have? I haven't seen him here this week.

  23. Panty_Buns

    Robo-signing takes rubber-stamping the Bush assault on the Bill of Rights to a whole new level. Now Barack doesn’t eben have to look at the crap he approves. Pray the robo-pen short circuits and gets a conscience, because most Senators don’t seem to have one.

  24. bflrtsplk

    Obamabot wouldn't be somehow related to Wonkbot, now would it? In such a case, a scenario could exist for Wonkbot to somehow grease Obamabot's gears and find a convenient way to send the Patriot Act down the memory hole.

    1. Ken Layne

      We keep trying, and god knows we send Wonkbot to Auto the Ottopen all the time, at night, using Jeff Gannon's old overnight pass from the Bush Administration. But Wonkbot is a bottom.

  25. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    Never question their Crimes.
    trust government trust media
    Pretend to believe everything.
    dōmo arigatō misutā Robotto

    Thank you very much Mr Roboto
    どうもありがとうミスターロボット

    1. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

      In honor of Rae Abileah.

      Truther …
      Noun- Term of abuse used by establishment supporters against anyone who is openly disbelieving of the Bush Administration's heavily propagandized 9/11 fairytale. The term is used most often in a derogatory way as an ad hominem by trolls in order to avoid dealing with the facts, commonsense, and supporting links presented by 9/11 skeptics.

      Troll: Often you will find a troofer wearing tin foil on their head.
      Skeptic: I've noticed that the only people talking about tinfoil all the time are nutters like you. What's this obsession of you crazies with tinfoil hats?

  26. UW8316154

    I like this mysterious "Wonkette Jr". No names, either – I like my snark anonymous.

  27. AddHomonym

    "PDF it, email it, print it, sign it, scan it, email it back. What a pain! Just autopen the son of a bitch."

  28. neiltheblaze

    I hope that automatic pen doesn't get all high and mighty now and starts randomly signing off on bills. I'll bet Diebold is involved somehow.

  29. DemonicRage

    I want the robot to be booked on "Ellen" and come out dancing. I have to compare this to the real President, and see if he is really an Obama-equivalent in all domains of endeavor.

  30. carlgt1

    wow, this is one of the most "liberal commie African lion" acts Obama has done — I'm sure the reich-wing nutjobs will be flipping out over this yet-again-extending-Bush-policy!

  31. TheMeatmaker

    Nixon's autopen hanged itself in shame.
    W.'s couldn't master cursive and had to be taught to print its name clearly.
    As for Clinton's, it was never found. Rumor is Monica keeps it in her nightstand.

  32. PhilippePetain

    I love that there are some Republicans that just hate Obama so much that they will vote against a law that they love and possibly get it overturned just to score some points. Sure, it was fine when their fuckhead had the reins, but oh no, not Obama, now they're trying to be all "Oooh, individual rights!"

    Fucking, go back to Berkeley, assholes! Love it or leave it!

    Remember that shit?

    Oh well, a vote against this shit is a good vote regardless of motive I guess.

  33. ttommyunger

    I know of no kind of life that begins at 70 except the high life my Doctor's are living at the expense of our VA on my behalf. I am an unbelievably simple man (I fear in every sense) and as partial proof, I offer a recent tutorial I just posted on my fb (ttommyunger) on Stealth Camping. I take your reference in good faith, since I am not a well-read person and I'm too lazy to google the author.

    1. ShaveTheWhales

      Hints — Blade Runner (book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), Minority Report, Total Recall (book: We Can Dream it for You Wholesale).

      Probably several other movies "based on" Phil Dick novels or short stories. The guy was a concept junkie.

      If your library has it, I believe you might enjoy "The Zap Gun". It's probably not one of his best, but I think it has a special resonance for anyone who has ever worked for the gubmint, or a gubmint contractor. (Note: it's a little disjointed, but it's short).

      1. easynewz

        Fans of the ubiquitous Mr. Dick's writings may enjoy the 2006 animated version of A Scanner Darkly with Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and a host of other stars doing the voices. It's one of the best animated films that I've seen and honors the story very well I think. Try the trailer at the above IMDB linky.

  34. calibrit

    And of course (says the father of small children) the evil computer in Wall-E is actually called Otto the Autopilot…

  35. tessiee

    I fully intend to live to be 107.

    How I'm going to make the dollar-three-eighty in my bank account last until then — now that's another question — and not a pleasant one.

    1. ttommyunger

      Start robbing banks, no weapons, just notes. You'll either pay your way to 107 or get caught, either way you're fixed for life :)

  36. tessiee

    The first time I watched that movie, I was so young and naive that I didn't get that joke.

  37. Negropolis

    which lets the government do literally whatever it wants to anyone, anywhere

    Often times, these exaggerations are written for comedic effect, but in this case, that's not even an exaggeration. I have no snark to give to this; this is truly one of the darker kabukis we indulge.

  38. Negropolis

    I want whatever Wonkette, Jr. is dropping or smoking. That thing veered so far from its original intent I think we just ended up in Oz, man.

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