I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

David Blaine invades Congress - Makes bill disappear

Or at least that's the only explanation I can figure. Not all that long ago, John from AMERICAblog found out that there is very little security or privacy in our cell phone records. To prove his point, he purchased the cell phone records of General Wesley Clarke on the internet for less than 100 dollars. In a rare act of rational response, Congress got a bipartisan movement going and introduced legislation to protect our cell phone privacy. (HR4943 in the House) The House approved such a bill unanimously (??!!??) only two weeks ago. But now, on the same day that it was revealed that the Bush administration has been collecting everyone's phone records in the country with no rhyme or reason, the bill has disappeared.

...there have been a number of bills in the House and Senate to address this problem. The House recently passed one bill unanimously, and a second bill was coming up in the House today. But it suddenly disappeared without a word right when the story broke about the Bush administration illegally spying on all of our phone records.

Coincidence? Not according to what Representative Markey may be hearing. He wrote to House Speaker Denny Hastert today asking what happened to the bill:
"With no notice or explanation, H.R. 4943 summarily disappeared from the House floor schedule that day and it has not been seen or heard from since. I am concerned about reports that some intelligence agency or interest had a hand in the bill's disappearance. . . Is it currently in some legislative 'Guantanamo Bay'?"
Legislation that no one disagreed with - legislation to protect your cell phone records - suddenly disappears from the House floor on the very day that we find out George Bush is spying on - what? - our phone records!
Where would such a popular bill go? How could it just vanish off the face of the Earth with no notice or discussion? This is another typical "release on the weekend" story which we probably won't see much solid news on until some time next week. (Assuming we even get an answer then.)

Welcome to your new and improved country, folks.

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