Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here and There: The News

Today’s edition of quick hits.

* The RESTORE Act, with FISA revisions backed by most House Dems, cleared a major hurdle today: “In 20-14 vote today, the House Judiciary Committee passed the RESTORE Act, which seeks to update the hastily-passed Protect America Act and restore a balance between civil liberties and security. Upon the passage of the bill, Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said in a statement that the bill gives “the Director of National Intelligence everything he said he needed” while still protecting the ‘vital rights of Americans.’”

* AP: “Thousands of Chrysler LLC autoworkers walked off the job Wednesday after the automaker and the United Auto Workers union failed to reach a tentative contract agreement before a union-imposed deadline. It is the first UAW strike against Chrysler since 1997, when one plant was shut down for a month, and the first strike against Chrysler during contract talks since 1985. Negotiators stopped talking after the strike began, according to a person briefed on the talks who requested anonymity because the talks are private.”

* Alberto Gonzales is still worried about the legal questions surrounding him: “No sooner did Alberto Gonzales resign as attorney general last month than he retained a high-powered Washington criminal-defense lawyer to represent him in continuing inquiries by Congress and the Justice Department…. The top concern for Gonzales, and now [George] Terwilliger, is the expanding investigation by Glenn Fine, the Justice Department’s fiercely independent inspector general, according to three legal sources familiar with the matter who declined to speak publicly about ongoing investigations.”

* CNN: “The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday. ‘I don’t think it. I know it,’ Carter told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. ‘Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights,’ Carter said. ‘We’ve said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we’ve said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused.’”

* Barack Obama criticized Hillary Clinton by name today. That’s a little unusual.

* If Col. Robert P. “Powl” Smith, the chief of operations for the Standing Joint Force Headquarters, U.S. Northern Command, wants to tout the Bush war policy, that’s entirely his call. But doing so at Republican Party events seems like a bad idea.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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