Senate Passes Surveillance Reauthorization, Health Department to Protect Religious Objectors, Seb Gorka Allegedly Wanted in Hungary: P.M. Links

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  • Gorka
    Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom

    After previously shutting down efforts by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to reform the law to better protect Americans from unwarranted surveillance, the Senate today approved, 65-34, renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years. The version of the bill actually allows the feds to access Americans' data collected without their knowledge for a whole host of domestic federal crimes. It heads to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

  • Opposition is growing to a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government operating through Feb. 16. Will we see a shutdown?
  • The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.
  • Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka is allegedly wanted in Hungary (and has been for years) for some sort of gun charges, but Gorka is disputing the report's accuracy.
  • The death toll of the cold and snow and deep freeze that has struck the entire Eastern side of the United States is up to 15.
  • Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers. Details are sketchy.

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  1. Senate Passes Surveillance Reauthorization

    Fuck off slavers

    1. Hello.

      “The death toll of the cold and snow and deep freeze that has struck the entire Eastern side of the United States is up to 15.”

      What’s need is cold-control.

      Too soon?

      HELL NO!

        1. That’s a good thing, right?

          1. As someone who lives in a place that sees a seasonal ‘migration of people fleeing their shithole states instead of fixing them’ – no.

            Regular snowbirds jam up traffic, the ones from hell are more like these guys:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te_uu5n_Aus

      1. Is it just me, or does it sound completely idiotic when people report a “death toll” for a cold, wintery week? I imagine it must be car crashes for the most part.

        1. Climate Change!!

        2. Homeless freezing to death

          1. This would be a great Jeopardy clue.

            1. What is Hilary’s lunch?

        3. You get a lot of people freezing to death in houses too. They probably don’t count homeless, but the elderly do.

          1. I don’t count the elderly either.

            It’s just incomprehensible to me, as someone who lives with winter as a matter of course, that people would freeze to death in their own houses. And the number is really small. Are we sure they didn’t die and then freeze?

        4. Cars sliding on icy roads is the weather’s fault just like weapons being discharged is the gun’s fault. Who could possibly have guessed that freezing temperatures would cause wet road surfaces to freeze?

  2. Opposition is growing to a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government operating through Feb. 16.

    And still it will be reported the GOP shut the government down.

    1. If they do it on purpose, I’ll applaud. If they keep it closed, they have assured my vote.

    2. Don’t you remember? All the people who died because they turned off the FDA?

      1. Well, without the FDA there would be neither food nor drugs.

    3. Seems like a fair conclusion since the GOP has the majority in both chambers and the White House, but apparently can’t muster enough of their own members to pass the CR. And that’s putting to the side Trump’s bizarre tweets and constantly changing positions on what he wants or doesn’t want in it.

  3. The death toll of the cold and snow and deep freeze that has struck the entire Eastern side of the United States is up to 15.

    Maybe they’ll think twice next time they vote Trump.

  4. It heads to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

    At which point, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen.

    1. Quick, someone tweet that Trump is scared to veto this because he has a small penis.

  5. Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers.

    To settle a bet that Newsweak was still a thing.

    1. Don’t try doing that at Hooters.

  6. the Senate today approved, 65-34, renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years.

    In Soviet Russia.. oh wait.

    1. So even more Senators voted for it.

      1. Where’s the new shitlist?!!

        I always wonder (but never follow up on) what goes on in cases like this. I mean, it’s not like these are votes that actually affect actual debate anymore, like there’s some Senator who says, “I support this bill but I think that those who oppose it have brought up questions about it I’d like to hear; I think they should have their say and not be cut off.” No; the floor is for grandstanding; everyone knows everything they need to know through other means; the cloture vote has no actual effect on the amount of debate that will be had either way; the cloture vote is the real vote; if it fails, so does the bill, if it passes, so does the bill. So why exactly did those five change their votes on this meaningless follow-up? (Especially since they’ll have no particular need for a “fake” vote in favor of the bill to take home to their constituents; most people are indeed appallingly frightenable into security-state measures, but an opponent is unlikely to get any meaningful traction on this issue.)

        1. Is there a new shitlist? Is Citizen X still #6?

        2. You raise a good point. If I had to speculate, I guess it’s so they can have it both ways? If someone calls them out for being anti-privacy, anti-constitution, or giving Trump more power, they can use their vote against cloture to downplay it. If someone calls them soft on terror they can point to their vote in favor during the final vote.

  7. The version of the bill actually allows the feds to access Americans’ data collected without their knowledge for a whole host of domestic federal crimes.

    Allows if you don’t count the 4th Amendment.

    1. Your audience can only remember three things… or is it you have to tell them three times?

  8. The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.

    More Christian theocracy Handmaid’s Tale stuff from the Drumpf Administration. Disgusting.

    1. Leave it to the government to appoint a task force on NOT interfering.

      1. Don’t doctors need to specialize in these fields? If I was inclined to get a sex change I don’t think I would ask my podiatrist to handle it; let alone try to make the government force them to do it.

        1. “Doctor, I still have my penis!”
          “Yes, I don’t believe in unnecessary removal of tissue. Now, if your feet start to feel heavy, remember what I said about not walking around in open-toed shoes, especially not on the beach!”

        2. Don’t doctors need to specialize in these fields?

          Transgendery? LGBTOBGYN? Psycho-social construct endocrinology?

          1. Off-and-oncologists.

  9. Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka is allegedly wanted in Hungary (and has been for years) for some sort of gun charges…

    Gun charges, eh? He’s got my vote.

      1. Damn you, again!

    1. You know who else was wanted in Hungary?

  10. The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.

    Won’t someone please think of the cake bakers?

    1. Cake artists you mean.

  11. Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers.

    And I bet they didn’t leave a tip.

    1. The police were black?

      1. Racist stereotypes! As though Jews can’t be cops!

    2. Luckily, Newsweek didn’t have a dog or make any furtive movements.

    1. The other oldest profession?

    2. Hey, Longtorso’s back! From prison, presumably.

      1. My super hot Canadian girlfriends have been keeping me busy.

        1. They sell heated body pillows now? I guess those would sell like poutine in Canada.

        2. Is that what they’re calling it now?

    3. Is lying about taking the pill actionable? If you can prove it?

      1. They spoke under conditions of anonymity. Nobody would fess to it publicly.

        1. So, the next question would be, will the journo go to jail for a liar if subpoenaed?

          1. There’s no journo. It’s a website where you can anonymously share secrets.

            1. Similar to sending a letter to Penthouse.

      2. No. It’s your sperm and you put it in there. Caveat spermtor.

        1. If a man ‘stealths’ a woman who lied about being on the pill they can both collect alimony from their children, right? Asking for a friend and his wife.

    4. Um, this is a news story about people posting on the site… Whisper. The veracity of every one of those meme-based comments is zero.

      1. The only thing worse than Whisper is using Twitter as an original source.

      2. It’s not a news story, it’s a Daily Mail story. There is a huge difference.

        1. Well, The Weekly World News is sadly defunct, and so we make do.

      3. You’re sure that every single one is a lie? Or do you not know what that word actually means?

        1. Until any of them can be proven is true, I assume all of them are lies posted by 4channers.

  12. Will we see a shutdown?

    We have never seen a shutdown.

    1. If Ryan and Mitch doth frown, you must shut down.

  13. Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers. Details are sketchy.
    Police showed up and started photographing people just doing their job.

    1. How long have you worked there?

      1. A-ha. Took me a bit to figure out what you meant. Miscommunication. “Just doing their job” was meant to be sly. Completely written communication seems to lose a fair bit in translation.

    2. Details are sketchy?

      Did they send the sketch artist instead of the photographer by mistake?

      1. Newsweek demanded that any raid maintain the class and style for which their publication has become known.

    1. To simulate the continent destroying waves that will be making landfall in the next 5 to 50 years?

    2. To simulate the continent destroying waves that will be making landfall in the next 5 to 50 years?

    3. Watch. The Yellowstone Supervolcano is gonna start spewing carbon dioxide and all this will be irrelevant.

  14. I finally saw The Last Jedi yesterday:

    Goddamn nerds, man. It’s not a Great Film or anything, but what the fuck does a SW nerd have to complain about? Though I do feel like the blue green milk scene is intended as a middle finger to obsessive fanboys, which is why it’s great.

    1. Is that still in theaters? I’m waiting for the paperback.

    2. What is everyone’s deal with the damn milk scene! I laughed when I saw it cause it’s meant to be light and it takes place in a montage that’s whole point is to show that Luke is living in the old ways, native american style, he’s at one with nature.

      He’s simply living like a monk at the Temple of the First Jedi — which is cool, great warriors living peaceful lives at temples is rarely a trope that misses the mark.

        1. I always ask “or what?”

          1. Increasingly strident internet comments, is what.

      1. I truly do not understand the irritation at it. I didn’t even note that scene as weird until I saw how many people were upset by it.

        But, I hate SW fans. They are just such a shit fanbase. All fans are the worse things about their respective topic.

        1. The people throwing a fit about it were all secretly turned on by it and are blaming the movie because they have a weird fetish.

        2. Is there a difference between young SW fans who never saw the original SW in the theater in 1977, and the new ones that saw it first on DVD or cable? Serious question.

      2. I was hoping for a 36th Chamber of Shaolin style training montage, not one meditation lesson followed by Mary Sue Rey becoming the greatest Jedi master of all.

        1. She kept making the wrong decision, and her greatest achievement was lifting some rocks. Greatest Jedi of all?

    3. It’s not a Great Film or anything, but what the fuck does a SW nerd have to complain about

      I don’t think you need to be a SW fan to recognize exactly what was wrong with this and “The Force Awakens”. Watching them wasn’t necessary, the titles told you exactly why they were going to be terrible. I’d say this guy nails it down pretty well if you have 15 minutes.

      If not, the basic point is: Through even a little theater class in school you should learn the basic rule of improv: Never say No to what came before you.

      1. Return of the Jedi was the last of the original films. The name tells you what to expect: the Jedi return to power, ending the reign of the “Dark Side”.
      2. The Force Awakens is the Sequel to RotJ. From the name: No, the Jedi did not return, they did not end the reign of the Dark Side. The name tells you TFA says no to RotJ. This is a terrible idea.
      3. The Last Jedi is the sequel to TFA. From the name: Double down on the “No”. Not only did the Jedi not return, not only did they not defeat the Dark Side, but they are extinct. This is an even worse idea. Because it says no to everything that came before it.

      1. I actually found The Last Jedi hilarious because of these mistakes. I knew what to expect going in, and the writers did not disappoint.

        Basically, I expected the writers to put together a script that says “The Social Justice Mob owns your stupid little series. We’re in charge now. And we’re crashing this plane with no survivors.” And not only did they deliver exactly what I expected, they were so openly contemptuous of what came before them that they inserted the commonly repeated mantra throughout the movie: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to” just to drive home that yes, in fact, We are in charge now. And we’re crashing this plane with no survivors.

        1. At least one of the big 3 got to go out in a blaze of glory.

      2. The nerds seem to have loved TFA, at least upon its release, which is where my confusion lies. I do think that set up a boring expansion of the saga, though in terms of the broader story, TLJ did a lot of what I wanted to happen given what was established by JJ.

        I’m satisfied viewing the sequels as expensive fan films*, as the story was done when everyone was singing Yub Nub. But Johnson and Disney made a fun bizarro version of ESB, and fan complaints about THE LORE!! are stupid. Probably. I haven’t actually delved into them yet, since I was avoiding spoilers.

        *the prequels are expensive fan films made by a 16 year old aspie

        1. TFA was good and well done, but basically just a remake of Star Wars, which they call “A New Hope” now.

          TLJ is actually a pretty good movie, but it takes the previous 7 films and throws them in the trash.

          1. How so? This is the criticism I don’t get. My biggest problem with it is that it’s too reverential of what the series.

            I wish cranky Luke had been vindicated.

      3. 600 views? Is this your Youtube channel? 😛

        1. Nope. Just one of a bunch of small channels I enjoy. Honestly, I don’t remember how I came across him. Might have been recommended when I was listening to some Chesterton audiobooks on YouTube a couple years ago.

          I would wager that Christopher and I have drastically different politics.

  15. It heads to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

    Maybe Judge Nap can get him to do another 180 right as it lands on his desk so he’ll veto it. ///aManCanDream

  16. Has the Jacket been put out to pasture?

    1. The Jacket is being lent out for stud services.

  17. Will we see a shutdown?

    God willing. I’d like to see DT mention that all non-essential federal employees are non-essential and use that to, um, ‘phase out’ their employment. ///you’refired

  18. Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka is allegedly wanted in Hungary (and has been for years) for some sort of gun charges, but Gorka is disputing the report’s accuracy.

    Do you know who else was wanted for gun-crime in Hungary?

      1. I thought he was Czech.

  19. Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers. Details are sketchy.

    And fake.

  20. Sorry for the mistake, we’re looking for A Glock, not Gorka.

  21. The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.

    This seems like a very unlibertarian policy to me. It has the potential to force employers to retain employees who refuse to do their jobs. Which is as much a violation of people’s freedom of contract and association as forcing people to make gay cakes is.
    I suppose if the employer is a government entity it might be a bit different.

    1. It’s silly. What should have happened is nothing. The government should step back and let things happen. It may be messy and there may be infighting with medical staff and their jobs, but that should be allowed to happen. That’s life.

      Instead, we got a task force. Which I agree is unlibertarian.

    2. It’s almost like all those people blathering about freedom of association really didn’t mean it and just want to force their religious views on the rest of society by whatever excuse applies in each particular situation.

      1. I don’t think “all” is accurate, but it’s certainly true of some.

        I favor businesses being able to refuse to serve anyone for any reason, and employers being able to fire employees who can’t or won’t do the job that is asked of them.

      2. It’s almost like all those people blathering about freedom of association really didn’t mean it and just want to force their religious views on the rest of society by whatever excuse applies in each particular situation.

        It’s almost like all those homosexuals who sued hospitals with standing orientation-based non-discrimination policies for not discriminating against them took things too far.

        Not serving = forcing? Fuck off you leftist twit.

  22. (from the weather link) Other parts of the South continued to struggle, including Louisiana, where interstate highways remained closed in the capital city Baton Rouge.

    My brother lives in New Orleans (but we both grew up in MN) and he called to vent about the stupidity of southern drivers in the snow… like a woman who stopped her car halfway over a bridge, while traffic backed up behind her, apparently deciding she’d wait for the ice to melt before going any farther.

    1. If only I were there, I could have melted that ice with my smile.

  23. The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.

    Note this applies to individual employees, so even if the business owner is fine with whatever, they’re now hostage to the whims of whomever their most religious employee is.

    1. At 8:51, “because that means that the people who are the loudest, the most vociferous, or the bullies, or the people with the most money are the one’s who get to say what they want.”

      In that specific order always or can the loud and vociferous beat out the monied bullies (and vice versa/other permutations)? Are you championing some manner of free society where the loudest, most vociferous, wealthiest bullies a nation can muster can’t say what they want? I can only imagine the “freedoms” that the silent poor and passive downtrodden in *that* society endure.

      1. We can’t let speech be controlled by the loud, vociferous, moneyed bullies, so instead it must be controlled by the government, the greatest loud, vociferous, moneyed bully of them all. Flawless logic.

  24. Are there many medical professionals who find themselves accidentally performing abortions or sex change operations against their will?

    1. Every year, millions of them are forced to leave the medical industry. Most end up as bakers.

    2. I suppose their are nurses and technicians who just get assigned to certain tasks. But if you work at a place where they do sex changes and abortions, that’s kind of the job. It would be a kindness for an employer not to ask people to do jobs that offend their conscience, but I don’t think they should be obliged to do so. If you don’t like the work, find another job.

    3. Are there many medical professionals who find themselves accidentally performing abortions or sex change operations against their will?

      From my interactions in the gay rights community, several members of this forum among them, there are, apparently, neanderthal white supremacist doctors all over the country just itching to keep the gays out of operating rooms and separated from their partners.

      Now, my rather intimate and first hand interactions with the medical community told me that culture, education, policy, and professionalism all colluded to make medicine one of the most gay-friendly fields now, then, and possibly ever… but you know rabid homophobes, they’re sneaky, well-educated, and incredibly stupid. Just lying in wait behind every corner so they can not serve you.

      1. Doctors can be oddly conservative, but with all the male nurses prancing around these days you’d think the culture would be quite gay friendly.

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