Reason Morning Links: FCC Follies, Frivolous Takedown Notices, and the Senate Rape Caucus

• General Motors is still trying.

• More details emerge about the coming overhaul of the immigrant detention system.

• This just in: Central planners fear shortages.

• Ralph Lauren tries to censor sarcastic bloggers.

• The Senate passes a bill to bar companies from getting defense contracts "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." Thirty legislators vote no.

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  • ||

    Wow, that is downright scary when you think about it isnt it??

    RT
    www.anon-web.int.tc

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    http://www.click2houston.com/n.....etail.html
    Officer Shoots Woman, Pit Bull Playing

    LA MARQUE, Texas -- A police officer shot a woman and a dog that were playing when she thought the dog was attacking the woman, witnesses told KPRC Local 2....

    ...The officer heard people playing and screaming, witnesses said. A 23-year-old woman and her friend were playing with a pit bull.

    Witnesses said the officer got out of the car and fired several shots toward the dog.

    "The young lady started hollering and just at that time a police officer was coming down and thought the dog was attacking the lady," witness Dennis Wallace said. "I can't say that I would do anything different. The lady (the officer) drew down and started shooting. I couldn't say I wouldn't have done that."

    The woman suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. She was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital in stable condition....

  • ||

    I think La Marque just found it's new Peace Officer of the Year candidate!

  • Mango Punch||

    Holly shit... While this is a tragedy, and the cop was most likely not trained well... at least it seems her intentions were to protect and serve.

  • Mango Punch||

    It's pretty sickening that 30 Republicans voted against Frankens proposal. Who'd have thought it: Special interests trump values.

  • Rich||

    Is it true that when a congressman votes "nay" he really means "yea"?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Depends on what he's wearing. And how much he's had to drink.

  • Mango Punch||

    Surprising NAYs:
    McCain
    Gregg (R-NH)

  • The Gobbler||

    What's sickening is that this bitch is a senator. Were it not for ACORN, he'd still be spewing shit on Air America.

  • ||

    Guess this one was unresponsive. That'll get ya in trouble every time.

  • anonymous||

    Was the amendment even legal? I vaguely recall that specifically targeting ACORN for defunding would be considered a "Bill of Attainder"; the amendment here specifically named Halliburton, although it also said "and anyone else that does this".

  • ||

    It would only be a bill of attainder if an entity were being singled out for fines or criminal prosecution. Denying federal funding to a specific entity doesn't count.

  • ||

    ROBC! FRBUNNY! Lock your doors!

    Steve Smith spotted in Kentucky!

  • Xeones||

    The Gobbler, admit it, you just want to be able to sexually harass Al Franken without losing your sweet, sweet defense contracts.

  • Kolohe||

    Yeah, 30 senators are objectively pro-rape.

    Or maybe a vote *against* the amendment, whose purpose was:

    "To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims"

    was a vote *for* companies to be able to use binding arbritration in contract disputes.

    Which both in general unions and trial lawyers are against.

    And thus so is the Democratic Party and the Center for American Progress.

    Here it is in full:

    Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention


    emphasis added to the part that's a trial lawyers dream. (esp the 'retention' part. How can you be negligently re-hired?)

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    THANK YOU, Kolohe, for being the first to spot the real reason for this bill. It has nothing to do with rape. It is an attempt to aid trial lawyers by barring arbitration of discrimination claims. And it is the proverbial "foot in the door" for several bills currently pending that would outlaw any employer from having discrimination claims arbitrated, a longstanding goal of trial lawyers.

    And note...the bill goes beyond sex discrimination and covers any form of prohibited discrimination. And on top of that, it applies to independent contractors as well as employees.

    Anyone who calls the Republicans who voted against this "pro-rape" has been taken in by Democrat propaganda.

  • ||

    Interesting story from an Edwards, Clinton, and Obama health care speechwriter who discovered upon moving from DC to Massachusetts that all the things she'd been praising in speeches she wrote-- guaranteed issue, community rating, mandates, etc.-- meant that her insurance was two to three times as expensive as in DC.

    Thanks to the Corner folks for pointing this one out.

  • ||

    The Gobbler, admit it, you just want to be able to sexually harass Al Franken without losing your sweet, sweet defense contracts.

    Nobody wants to sexually anything with Al Franken.

    Punch out his weasel face? Sure. But sexually harrass the unfunny idiot, nobody would go there.

  • Xeones||

    But sexually harrass the unfunny idiot, nobody would go there.

    STEVE SMITH WOULD, AND DOES REGULARLY

  • ||

    Herta Müller, the Romanian-born German novelist and essayist who has written widely about the oppression of dictatorship in her native country and the unmoored life of the political exile, on Thursday won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10.....=1&hp;

  • ||

    @Wicks Cherrycoke:

    I'll grant that the democrats probably cynically used this situation to get some pet-projects added into the legislation. However, it's flat out wrong to say that this bill "has nothing to do with rape" when it's written right in the bill that contractors can't demand that employees settle rape through arbitration instead of court. I'm sure you're right that republicans aren't "objectively pro-rape" but I haven't heard anything about them submitting a similar bill minus-the-objectionable-portions that would address the situation. When they controlled Congress they pretty much sat by idly while the Bush Justice Department washed its hands of the whole affair.

  • Ass of Catalonia||

    How about people not join a company that restricts their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court if they don't like that?

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    Employers cannot demand that employees "settle rape" in court or otherwise. Rape is a criminal offense that is tried in court and is prosecuted by the state, the federal government where the federal government has jurisdiction, or the military in areas under military control. If there are rapes that are not being prosecuted, it is the government's fault, not the employer's.

    And if any employer asks an employee to waive the protection of criminal laws as a condition of employment, the "agreement" would be unenforceable.

  • ||

    However, it's flat out wrong to say that this bill "has nothing to do with rape" when it's written right in the bill that contractors can't demand that employees settle rape through arbitration instead of court.

    Don't forget this is just the civil claim, the criminal claim is still going to be settled in court as usual.

    When was the last time you heard of a rape at a workplace? This isn't a problem that needs correcting. Why is Congress even voting on this bill, surely there are more pressing matters it should be attending to.

  • Jesse Walker||

  • ||

    Thanks , Jesse

  • ||

    @Bob Smith:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/.....amp;page=2

    "Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

    Legal experts say Jones' alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law."

    Try again.

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    ""Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

    Legal experts say Jones' alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law."

    What does that have to do with the employer asking employees to arbitrate discrimination claims? If you object to rapists going unpunished, eliminate the loophole so that they are subject to prosecution.

  • ||

    It really doesn't have anything to do with asking employees to arbitrate discrimination claims. It was a response to Bob's assertion that the criminal claim would be settled in court as usual.

    I don't have a problem with arbitration in general contract disputes. I do have a problem with using it as a shield against lawsuits stemming from egregiously criminal actions, i.e. locking your employee in a shipping container and placing armed guards in front of it so as to hamper what little criminal investigation there was, namely, the rape kit.

  • Mike Laursen||

    The United States will review the procedures under which it detains about 380,000 illegal immigrants a year, exploring the use of converted hotels and nursing homes...

    Wonder if they'll end up with one set of illegal immigrants that have been caught in custody, alongside another set who haven't been caught cleaning the converted hotels and nursing homes.

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