While most of the country has been focused on the battle over the gay marriage, DOMA, and California's Proposition 8, last Tuesday President Obama signed into law an Agriculture Appropriations Bill which contains a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.
Dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act by its opponents, the bill is the most recent example of the power of lobbying and special interests and highlight many of the problems behind federal legislation.
The passage of this bill is eerily similar to some of the most unconstitutional pieces of legislation in American history that have been passed with little or no media oversight, rushed through Congress, and signed by the president in the last decade. The Patriot Act was thousands of pages, each one of them shredding the Bill of Rights, yet it was written before 9/11. Quietly, on New Year's Eve fifteen months ago, President Obama codified the right of the U.S. military to kidnap (excuse me, "indefinitely detain") American citizens without trial.
For all of the laments over gridlock and a supposed lack of bipartisanship and compromise in Washington, there is little that moves faster through the halls of Congress and on to the president's desk than a bill that restrains liberty, expands state power, or protects corporate interests.