“Where you’ve been, whom you’ve talked to and even what you’ve been saying — police can get it all from your cell phone company, and frequently without a warrant. The big wireless carriers received more than 1.1 million requests from law enforcement for customer data in 2012, according to letters to Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that his office released Monday.”
It’s not a problem unless you have something to hide.
via Cops Asked For Cell Phone Data More Than 1 Million Times Last Year.
“One of the most controversial provisions in the [12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade] talks includes new corporate empowerment language insisted upon by the U.S. government, which would allow foreign companies to challenge laws or regulations in a privately run international court. Under World Trade Organization treaties, this political power to contest government law is reserved for sovereign nations. The U.S. has endorsed some corporate political powers in prior trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the scope of what laws can be challenged appears to be much broader in TPP negotiations.”
via Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal.
Bill Bratton, who helped Rudy Giuliani take credit for New York City’s crime reduction in the 1990s, is returning to the Police Commissioner’s job under incoming mayor Bill de Blasio. The first thing he should tackle is environmental lead.
According to Cecil Adams (“the only man smarter than the Bitemaster”) and Kevin Drum (a writer for some blog), the rise and fall of crime in the US in the 20th century closely tracks the rise and fall of environmental lead.
Yup, Bratton and Giuliani owe their careers to the lead paint and leaded gasoline bans enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Environmental Protection Agency.
The Straight Dope: Does no more lead in gasoline = less violent crime?.
Google is working on robots that will soon replace delivery personnel and factory workers
‘An Oxford University study from last year predicted that 45 percent of U.S. jobs were “at high risk” of being lost to computerized machines. Some of the fields most most vulnerable, according to the researchers, including transportation and production.’
And you’re next.
Google Wants To Build An Army Of Robots To Replace Factory Workers.
After Pope Francis released a new Apostolic Exhortation entitled “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), calling for church reforms and criticizing certain ideas of capitalism, Rush Limbaugh took to the airwaves to blast the pontiff, saying “It’s sad because this pope makes it very clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth . . . somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him . . . This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope.”
If Rush hates it, it must be good.
via Rush Limbaugh blasts Pope Francis’ latest statement – NY Daily News.
“A New Mexico law forbids businesses open to the public to discriminate against gay people. Elaine Huguenin, a photographer, says she has no problem with that — so long as it does not force her to say something she does not believe.”
Your Bitemaster has no problem with blogging — or not blogging — about gay people. But he sure wouldn’t want to government to tell him which to do.
via Weighing Free Speech in Refusal to Photograph Lesbian Couple’s Ceremony – NYTimes.com.
“The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to consider religious objections made by corporations to a provision of the 2010 federal healthcare law requiring employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control. . . .
“The key question before the court in the two cases it agreed to hear is whether corporations should be treated the same as individuals when making free exercise of religion claims under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and a 1993 federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”
via U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Obamacare contraception cases – NY Daily News.
December 24, 2004
- If the Senate Republicans aren’t prepared to end the unprecedented use by Senate Democrats of the filibuster rule against the president’s judicial nominees, the president will have a very tough time getting these re-nominated judicial candidates — and for that matter, Supreme Court nominees — confirmed.
- The so-called “nuclear option” — which should be called the Constitutional option — would end the use of the filibuster for judicial nominations. The Democrats are warning that if the Republicans change the filibuster rule, then all hell will break loose. I cannot think of anything worse than what they’ve done, and will continue to do — which is prevent the president from appointing judges to the federal court.
- The Senate rules have never been used to block presidential judicial appointments. By threatening to use the filibuster, or actually invoking it, the Senate Democrats are requiring that a super-majority of 60 senators must, in essence, confirm a judge. There are 7 instances in which the Constitution provides for super-majority votes — convictions related to impeachment, adoption of treaties, expelling members, overriding vetoes, amending the Constitution, 14th Amendment, and 25th Amendment.
- The Senate has, under the Constitution, an “advice and consent” role. But it cannot use that role to impose a super-majority requirement on the president’s nomination function or on the rest of the Senate. After all, all senators have a right, under the Constitution, to provide their advice and consent, which means the right to a simple majority vote on the Senate floor.
- At no time in over 200 years, until the prior Senate, did senators contend that the filibuster could be used against judicial nominees. The point is that is was understood that the Constitution did not grant 41 senators the power to thwart the president’s judicial appointment power. The way we conservatives read the Constitution is to try to determine what the words mean, what the framers intended — we don’t assign broad meanings to words or look for loopholes.
- One last point – if the Senate, which has the constitutional right to make its own rules, decides that it wants to require a super-majority vote to pass certain bills, such as tax bills, that’s perfectly fine. Such a rule would NOT infringe on a presidential power. But to do so when it affects a presidential power, such as the appointment of judges, that would be unconstitutional.
via Rush’s Bullet Points on Judicial Filibusters – The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Five sound trucks promoting Joe Lhota cruised the city before the recent mayoral election, saying, among other things, “Bill de Blasio says he doesn’t believe in churches — and he doesn’t believe in God either,” reports the NY Daily News.
Joe Lhota told reporters at the NY Daily News that he did not authorize the sound trucks, which appeared to be organized by Dany Esquilin, who paid $2,000 for the campaign. However, the Daily News reported that Campaign Finance Disclosures showed that Team Lhota had paid one Dany Esquilin more than $26,000 in two payments last month.
Mayor Elect Bill De Blasio Quashes Atheism Rumors, Says He’s Spiritual But Unaffiliated.
Now that Boeing workers have rejected a contract, Boeing is threatening to move production of the 777X jet out of state.
Your Bitemaster is torn here: On the one hand he believes that unions are necessary to push back against the blood-sucking bosses; on the other hand, you gotta know when your opponenent is going to call your bluff.
Boeing may shift work from Seattle after union ‘No’ vote – Nov. 14, 2013.