White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Tuesday that Senate Democrats “put off a lot of work” when they left town last week without passing several pending bills.
“They’ve been in session for a long time, and some very critical pieces of legislation got put off for yet another recess,” Fratto said. “And now this last session is getting pretty close to the August recess. So the Senate is running out of time to get work done.”
“This place is abuzz with expectation,” said Bee excitedly. “It’s no longer a question of if the president will break the record, but when.”
“Most vacation days taken by a sitting president,” Bee explained when Jon Stewart asked what record she meant. “People said that Reagan’s 436 would stand forever, but right now, as you can see, this president stands on 423, meaning his record should fall less than two weeks from today. And they said it shouldn’t be done.”
Liberty called for an overhaul of RIPA yesterday after the European Court of Human Rights slapped the UK government over the way it applied the UK’s previous interception legislation.
But the Home Office today said it did not see that the judgement had any implications for the UK’s current suite of laws covering covert investigations.
The court ruled that the UK had violated article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, by tapping communications of Liberty, along with British Irish Rights Watch and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties between 1990 and 1997. Article 8 quaintly demands the right to respect for private and family life and correspondence.
The three human rights groups had claimed that the MoD’s Electronic Test Facility had eavesdropped on their phone, fax, email and data comms between 1990 and 1997.
The three had first lodged complaints with the UK’s Interception of Communications Tribunal, the DPP and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, to “no avail” with local courts ruling “there was no contravention to the Interception of Powers Act 1985”.
The Home Office was less vocal, saying it did not think the judgement had any implications for RIPA. While yesterday’s judgement concerned the 1985 Act, a Home Office spokesman said there were no legal challenges against RIPA.
Then it’s about fucking time the European Court of Human Rights starts taking less than 9 years to do their job – what’s the point if a government can say “we’ve got new laws now, so fuck off”?
The latest from Pixar, a hit with critics and audiences, is set a eight or nine centuries in the future. Wall•E paints a picture of a planet destroyed by a thoughtless humanity in the thrall of a consumer culture that eventually overwhelms the earth with… junk. Garbage, refuse, crap—everywhere.
But look what we got on the way into the theater…
That’s a watch. A cheap plastic watch. According to the instruction card that comes with it, my son’s Wall•E watch was made in China, it’s not water resistant, and it’s batteries are not replaceable. So basically it’s a disposable watch brought to us by a movie about the dire consequences of thoughtless over-consumption, a watch that is just one of many—tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands—that will be coming soon to landfills near you.
You might want to turn off your irony meters for this one: Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition says that if Muslims are allowed to claim the same kinds of religious exemptions that Christians do, it will lead to Sharia law being implemented in the US:
All over the United States, radical Muslims are pushing companies to bow to Islamic law known as Sharia. They are doing this under the guise of religious freedom, but the political and cultural ideology of Islam recognizes only Allah as the supreme ruler over the world.
Efforts are already underway here in America to introduce Sharia enclaves in some communities. In these enclaves, Constitutional concepts like one person/one vote would be replaced by Sharia concepts which values a woman’s vote at half that of a man. In many instances, Sharia law allocates rights based on gender and religion (Islam is the only legal religion) rather than individual rights. In the United Kingdom and France, such enclaves exist and have caused conflict between Islamists and the country’s civil law.
What Muslims are doing has been referred to as “creeping Sharia” – that is, getting companies, communities and states to change policies in order to force everyone to obey Sharia law, a totalitarian system of regulations that govern Islamic theocracies.
Hmmm….I seem to recall that Sheldon supports Christian pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and for doctors who refuse to perform medical procedures that violate their beliefs.
You see, when Christians make such claims that’s an important fight for religious freedom; when Muslims make such claims it’s just part of their evil agenda. Sheldon also supports the right of employers to refuse to hire gays and lesbians, of course. It’s all about whose ox is being gored.
General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the biggest auto retailers in the U.S., said June sales plunged as fuel prices above $4 a gallon drove consumers away from gas-guzzling trucks.
GM sales fell 19 percent, Ford was down 28 percent and Toyota dropped 21 percent. Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, which rely on cars for the bulk of their sales, each rose about 1 percent.
The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”
What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.
The 1957 article from which the chart was copied was entitled “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War” and written by Alfred D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force, who died in 2003. Mr. Biderman had interviewed American prisoners returning from North Korea, some of whom had been filmed by their Chinese interrogators confessing to germ warfare and other atrocities.
Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said after reviewing the 1957 article that “every American would be shocked” by the origin of the training document.
“What makes this document doubly stunning is that these were techniques to get false confessions,” Mr. Levin said. “People say we need intelligence, and we do. But we don’t need false intelligence.”
Correct, but they weren’t after “false intelligence”. They were after news headlines saying terrorists were captured and convicted.