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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:17PM   Printer-friendly
from the first-time-for-everything dept.

For the first time since President Obama took office in 2009, Congress has overridden his veto.

The U.S. Senate voted 97-1 to override President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which would allow victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. The lone dissenting vote was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who has "always had the president's back":

In a letter Monday to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter warned that allowing the bill to become law risked "damaging our close and effective cooperation with other countries" and "could ultimately have a chilling effect on our own counter-terrorism efforts." Thornberry and Smith both circulated letters among members in the last few days, urging them to vote against overriding the veto. CIA Director John O. Brennan also warned of the 9/11 bill's "grave implications for the national security of the United States" in a statement Wednesday.

The House of Representatives voted 348-to-77:

Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot.

Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government.

See also: The Risks of Suing the Saudis for 9/11 by the New York Times Editorial Board and this article in the Saudi Gazette.

Previously: President Obama to Veto Bill Allowing September 11 Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. President to Visit Saudi Arabia; Arms Sales Expected 51 comments

Ahead of the US president's visit to Saudi Arabia, a series of multi-billion-dollar arms deals have been outlined. The previous US administration suspended some supplies because of human rights concerns.

Deutsche Welle

When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.

Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.

After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. “They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,” a senior White House official said.

[...] The most concrete part of the idea is a mammoth U.S. arms package for Saudi Arabia that Trump will also announce in Riyadh. Final details are still being worked out, but officials said the package will include between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales. Over 10 years, total sales could reach $350 billion.

The sales include huge upgrades for the Saudi army and navy to include Littoral Combat Ships, THAAD missile defense systems, armored personnel carriers, missiles, bombs and munitions, officials said. Some of the production and assembly could be located in Saudi Arabia, boosting MBS’s project to build a Saudi domestic defense industrial capability. But most of the items would be built by American defense contractors.

The Washington Post

Additional coverage:

President Obama to Veto Bill Allowing September 11 Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia 45 comments

President Obama plans to veto a bipartisan bill that would create an exception to the sovereign immunity doctrine, allowing victims of state-sponsored terrorism to sue foreign governments:

President Barack Obama will veto a bill that would allow terror victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, to sue Saudi Arabia, the White House said Monday. "That's still the plan," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said when asked if the President planned to veto the bill. The White House had previously suggested Obama would not sign the bill when it first passed the Senate in May saying it would complicate diplomatic relations. [...] Lawmakers are expected to attempt to override the veto, and if successful, would mark the first time in Obama's presidency.

The bill passed in the House and Senate unanimously.

Also at The New York Times , Reuters.

S.2040 - Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

Previously: Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sell $750 Billion in US Assets If 9/11 Bill Passes


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:36PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:36PM (#407888) Journal

    "lame duck"?

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    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:45PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:45PM (#407894) Journal

      Well, considering the hate Obama has had to deal with from the other side of the house during his administration, I think he's done well to get almost all the way through 2 terms without a single veto. As I understand it no president has made a full two terms without being vetoed in decades.

      I can see why he wanted this to pass, and why his opponents thought it would be fun to block it, and I now eagerly anticipate the blowback when other countries decide that turnabout is fair play, and they can sue the US govt for illegal invasions / bombings / drone strikes / miscellaneous war crimes.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:15PM

        by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:15PM (#407906)

        The precedent is terrible, but that's long term consequences and this is congress. They're like... complete opposites.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by isostatic on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:48PM

          by isostatic (365) on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:48PM (#408006) Journal

          The precedent is terrible, but that's long term consequences and this is congress. They're like... complete opposites.

          I thought the opposite of congress was progress?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:52PM (#408171)

            I thought the opposite of congress was progressive?

            ftfy

            despite obama's rhetoric, the purpose of congress isn't too "compromise" at all but to put the brakes on over-regulation

            if someone wanted to invade your home, would you compromise with the invader?

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:04PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:04PM (#408099)

          I agree that the precedent is economically terrible for the US government, and by extension us as the tax payers. But, I'm not so sure it's actually terrible going forward - having to face, say, hundreds of thousands of private lawsuits for our crimes in the Middle East might serve to discourage reckless military and covert interventions in the future. Both by the US and other nations. Why should governments get a free pass for committing crimes that would send any private individual through the wringer?

          • (Score: 2) by tynin on Friday September 30 2016, @12:39AM

            by tynin (2013) on Friday September 30 2016, @12:39AM (#408185) Journal

            You and I came to the same realization. No amount of lawsuits will amount to the kind of treasure we burn through every week waging our little wars all across the globe. I hope this ends up being a net positive and not just the new cost of "business as usual". Oh fuck... I think it might just be the new cost.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Friday September 30 2016, @05:05PM

              by Immerman (3985) on Friday September 30 2016, @05:05PM (#408442)

              It may indeed just be the new cost - but every increase in cost discourages partaking in more marginal activities, so it's still a win. And the course of the world is change by many small victories - for all the hoopla, the large victories usually prove to be more form than substance.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Friday September 30 2016, @08:12AM

          by driverless (4770) on Friday September 30 2016, @08:12AM (#408283)

          The precedent is terrible

          The current precedent isn't really that bad, if you consider the precedent before home, or whichever of Trump or Hillary will be the next precedent.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:24PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:24PM (#407914) Journal

        We do all understand that the House of Saud is no ally of the United States? Saud is an ally of Saud, and no one else.

        That blowback? Maybe it's time, or even past time for some blowback. "We the People" have little to no interest in killing brown people scattered around the world. Every bit of that is done for corporate interests, and shady government interests. Blowback. If Dick Cheney could be prosecuted for his idiotic justifications for torture, I'd be behind that 100%. Put Bush on trial for being a malleable idiot, and for invading Iraq. Get all the executives of Haliburton too. We're to stupid to clean house for ourselves, so let the world have our criminals. Let them go after the entire military industrial complex. Maybe it's time for us to do some penance.

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        • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:39PM

          by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:39PM (#407924) Journal

          No disagreement here.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:32PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:32PM (#407990)

            You know what they say about a broken clock...

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:02PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:02PM (#408013)

              The kind that display 88:88:88, the kind that displays nothing, or the kind that would fetch just enough at the pawn shop to afford on last hit?

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:07PM

          by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:07PM (#408018) Journal

          If Dick Cheney could be prosecuted for his idiotic justifications for torture, I'd be behind that 100%. Put Bush on trial for being a malleable idiot, and for invading Iraq. Get all the executives of Haliburton too. We're to stupid to clean house for ourselves, so let the world have our criminals. Let them go after the entire military industrial complex. Maybe it's time for us to do some penance.

          There's a difference between criminal trials and civil suits. No country at present is going to try to indict a major U.S. leader for war crimes or something. Maybe it could be possible in a few decades, if trends keep going the way they are. But for most countries business interests will hold sway even if there was some political will to try something like that.

          And that latter point goes for civil suits too. Most countries have a lot more to lose by attacking U.S. business interests than they'd get in return for attacking them legally. I could potentially see a well-targeted lawsuit aimed at a U.S. corporation (which makes clear that the blame is being placed solely on clearly illegal actors of that corporation, to avoid spooking other business interests). But suing people like Bush and Cheney? It might get cheers from lots of people, but again, most countries would probably lose a LOT more financially than they could ever gain in a lawsuit.

          So, unfortunately, I don't think this is going to be the way to bring down the "entire military industrial complex." Not when the U.S. continues to wield so much political and corporate power. Eventually, that may change, but it's not likely to be soon.

          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:33PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:33PM (#408033) Journal

            Well, of course we'll just ignore any judgements against us, anyway. But, I do look forward to getting sued next time we accidentally drone-bomb a wedding.

          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:02PM

            by Arik (4543) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:02PM (#408066)
            "It might get cheers from lots of people, but again, most countries would probably lose a LOT more financially than they could ever gain in a lawsuit.

            So, unfortunately, I don't think this is going to be the way to bring down the "entire military industrial complex."

            Which means the objection was disingenuous BS now doesn't it?
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          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:11PM

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:11PM (#408159) Homepage

            No country at present is going to try to indict a major U.S. leader for war crimes or something.

            And that's a problem, because according to treaties the US has signed, the US should be indicting major US leaders for war crimes. The simple fact is that the US is effectively a "rogue nation" that cannot be trusted to hold to any of its agreements.

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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:25PM (#408055)

          The US loves to suck Saudi cock because it's the only way they can keep the Cash ---> Oil Weapons ----> Cash pump going. If Saudi stops buying expensive US military toys OR decides not to sell oil to the US again like in the 1970's the US is royally fucked.

          • (Score: 2) by weeds on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:13PM

            by weeds (611) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:13PM (#408074) Journal

            Top 5 US oil imports:
            Canada................40%
            Saudi Arabia.........11%
            Venezuela..............9%
            Mexico...................8%
            Colombia................4%

            http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6 [eia.gov]

            But it's way more fun to just spout off about Saudi Arabia and guns and the corruption of the US government. All the while we were paying $140 for a barrel of oil, it was our best buddies in Canada that were making all the $$.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:06PM

              by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:06PM (#408100) Journal

              Is it sustainable? A lot of Canada's oil is in oil sands, which is only economic at high oil prices. And fracking in the U.S. is similar. Saudi Arabia and OPEC have been keeping prices low in order to hurt Iran or the United States, depending on who you ask. It was only a couple days ago that OPEC agreed to the possibility of a tiny production cut.

              U.S. oil, gas industry sheds 100,000 jobs in slump: Kemp [reuters.com]
              Oil companies face worker shortages after 350,000 layoffs [usatoday.com]
              Texas has lost 84,000 oil and gas jobs in the oil bust [fuelfix.com]
              Cheap oil has killed nearly 200,000 U.S. jobs [cnn.com]

              Women make up vast majority of those leaving Alberta, Statistics Canada data suggests [www.cbc.ca]

              Before the recession hit, many women were moving into the construction industry as men filled the plentiful jobs in the oil and gas sector, said Pallavi Banerjee, a sociologist at the University of Calgary. "Now, with the economy tanking, men who have been laid off from oil and gas are re-entering construction. Jobs are anyway scarce in construction, so women are probably being driven out of the industry," Banerjee said. Many immigrant women who came to Alberta and Calgary during the boom for jobs in the service industry are also now probably returning to Ontario, B.C. and Quebec, she added.

              Canadian hiring rebounds but 'economic lethargy' still a concern [theglobeandmail.com]

              Weak oil prices and wildfires in Alberta have contributed to Canada’s sluggish economy and tepid job creation. The country’s economy shrank 1.6 per cent in the second quarter, its worst performance since the Great Recession.

              OPEC production deal greeted with skepticism in Canada [thestar.com]

              But many analysts noted that the deal by the 14-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algeria on Wednesday was merely an agreement to look at possibly cutting production to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels a day. That would be down from August’s production rate of 33.2 million barrels a day – but it would shave only 700,000 barrels a day, some 2 per cent of overall production. Crude oil was selling for more than $100 (U.S.) a barrel in the summer of 2014, before bottoming out below $30 a barrel in January. That fall largely came from a boom in U.S. shale oil production and countries like Saudi Arabia choosing to continue to pump to hold onto market share.

              The economies of oil-producing provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have suffered amid persistent low prices. Oil producers have shuttered projects and eased off on production. Workers have been laid off, with tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs lost. Alberta’s current recession looks like it will be the longest and worst in the province’s history.

              Petronas to review Canada project [nst.com.my]

              Early this year, Petronas announced it would cut spending by up to RM50 billion over four years in response to the oil price slump. On the possible second wave of layoffs in Petronas, Wan Zulkiflee said: “We always look at the business and the opportunities for optimising, and of course we will do that.” In March, Petronas announced the layoff of about 1,000 employees whose positions were made redundant under its transformation exercise. It was the first major decision it made since oil prices began to plummet in June 2014. It is learnt that the company is undergoing another manpower restructuring exercise involving its non-performing staff in coping with the prolonged low oil prices.

              So maybe users should be spouting off about Saudi Arabia.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday September 30 2016, @02:09AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @02:09AM (#408204) Journal

                Is it sustainable? A lot of Canada's oil is in oil sands, which is only economic at high oil prices.

                Well, are low oil prices sustainable?

                • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday September 30 2016, @02:23AM

                  by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday September 30 2016, @02:23AM (#408207) Journal

                  Possibly. Production is very high, and demand growth is weak [cnbc.com]. Green energy mandates and emissions targets could drive demand down even further. Places like Alberta will experience a yo-yo effect with any price increase/decrease cycle.

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                • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday September 30 2016, @02:47AM

                  by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday September 30 2016, @02:47AM (#408216) Journal

                  Saudi Arabia could also play a little game where they keep production high enough to price out certain sources like the oil sands and U.S. fracking, with the intent of eliminating all of their oil reserves over a certain timeframe.

                  Let's say that Saudi Arabia has about 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil in reserve. That is their proven oil reserves and a little extra undiscovered. Production has fluctuated between 8-11 million barrels a day over the years. At 15 million barrels per day of production, they would have just under 55 years of supply. If they can get that supply out of the ground and invest the profits in solar, fusion, playgrounds for the rich, land, etc. then they may be able to get out of the oil business around the time demand has hit rock bottom. 2071 is a pretty aggressive target for the world to be using lots of electric cars, solar, and fusion, but it's not completely unrealistic. Apparently, Saudi Arabia wants to try 12.5 million barrels a day. That would yield 65.7 years and another decade to wean the world off oil.

                  The gamble is to not leave any oil in the ground by the emergence of a post-oil planet, while forcing Alberta, Canada and others to leave their oil in the ground throughout. Strategic investment can help the Saudis or others buy a stake in the next energy boom. The obvious problem here is that you have to believe fusion, etc. will become viable within 50 years. The situation should become more clear soon. [nextbigfuture.com]

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              • (Score: 2) by weeds on Friday September 30 2016, @12:46PM

                by weeds (611) on Friday September 30 2016, @12:46PM (#408351) Journal

                Your point is that when oil prices are low those who produce a lot of oil are hurt.
                OK, but you forgot - when oil prices are high, those who produce a lot benefit.
                This applies to the US, Brazil and any other oil producing country (don't forget Russia). The ups and downs are controlled by a cartel, not a free market and certainly not by a perfect market.
                The fact that Canada has been financially disadvantaged by low oil prices doesn't change that fact that they send us the huge majority of our oil. They made gobs of money selling oil to the US when prices were high. I don't begrudge them that, hey, it's a free market, oh wait, no it's not, it's a cartel. You don't like the cartel, don't buy their oil. We don't! we buy Canadian oil and guess what? They charge cartel prices. I might have some sympathy for them if they sold us oil under the cartel rate, but they didn't. If your are going to play in that sandbox, then be prepared.

      • (Score: 2) by fnj on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:45PM

        by fnj (1654) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:45PM (#407929)

        As I understand it no president has made a full two terms without being vetoed in decades.

        Are you really that ignorant? A president is not vetoed. A president vetoes a bill passed by congress.

        I can see why he wanted this to pass

        WTF? Wanted what to pass? The bill? He blocked it with a veto, which has now been overridden by wiser heads. That's the whole point.

        • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:54PM

          by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:54PM (#407934) Journal

          OK, sure. I am somewhat ignorant of the finer points of the political system of a country half a world away. So sue me (subject to relevant dumb legislation).

          So it wasn't Obama's legislation, it was his veto that got vetoed... whatever. My point still stands: This something that happens to most presidents. The last president to make it through two terms without congress overriding a veto was Kennedy half a century ago. Calling Obama a "lame duck" because of it is not accurate. That is all.

          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by art guerrilla on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:52PM

            by art guerrilla (3082) on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:52PM (#407966)

            sigh
            when you dont do shit, you dont get shit vetoed...
            virtually the only thing of any significant opposition was the health insurance profit guaranteed monopoly bill, which was essentially a rethug bill repackaged as a trojan horse to force us to buy shit insurance...
            and yet that crap passed, too...

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:38PM

              by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:38PM (#408037) Journal

              when you dont do shit, you dont get shit vetoed...

              Barack Obama sponsored 137 bills from January 4, 2005 until November 16, 2008. Two became law. [wikipedia.org]
               
              Looks like he got 135 thing vetoed. I'm sure the Republicans' well documented strategy of unprecedented obstructionism had nothing to do with that.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday September 30 2016, @04:15AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @04:15AM (#408237) Journal

                Looks like he got 135 thing vetoed.

                Veto means a right to reject a decision of a group, particularly a legislature.

                I'm sure the Republicans' well documented strategy of unprecedented obstructionism had nothing to do with that.

                I think it's more Obama and the Democrat Congressional leaders' remarkable incompetence. They had a window of two years in which to do just about anything they wanted. And the end result is a bunch of complaints about "unprecedented obstructionism". Oh well, it wasn't like they were going to pass anything I'd approve of anyway so I'm just not feeling your disapproval.

          • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:29PM

            by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:29PM (#407987) Journal

            The last president to make it through two terms without congress overriding a veto was Kennedy half a century ago.

            Huh? Kennedy? Two terms? You do know he was inaugurated in 1961 and assassinated in 1963? He wasn't even president for three years.

            • (Score: 2) by AthanasiusKircher on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:39PM

              by AthanasiusKircher (5291) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:39PM (#407998) Journal

              FYI - the last President to go a full two terms without a veto overridden was Andrew Jackson in the 1830s. (Also, it should be noted, at that point in history there had never been a veto override yet in the U.S.; vetos in general were quite rare under the first few presidents.)

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by lcklspckl on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:39PM

            by lcklspckl (830) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:39PM (#408088)

            Technically Obama is not a lame duck as his predecessor has not been elected, however in the minds of some Obama is not/was never president and they were waiting for the next president to take the seat and so colloquially it's correct. It doesn't mean ineffectual president or president that has had his veto over-ridden.

            Here's a short instructional video on how bills become bills and then laws in the great ole U.S. o' A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0 [youtube.com] :P

            • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday September 30 2016, @12:26AM

              by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @12:26AM (#408179) Homepage Journal

              Here's a short instructional video on how bills become bills and then laws in the great ole U.S. o' A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0 [youtube.com]

              Thank you, sir! I'll see your Schoolhouse Rock and raise you a primer on amending the constitution [youtube.com]. ;)

              And here's something for those who really want to see the sausage making in progress [youtube.com].

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              • (Score: 1) by lcklspckl on Friday September 30 2016, @01:16AM

                by lcklspckl (830) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @01:16AM (#408192)

                Very instructive indeed. :)

                I did mean successor in my original post about lame-duckery. Nothing like completely mucking the pedantry with the completely opposite word choice.

            • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Friday September 30 2016, @08:27AM

              by TheRaven (270) on Friday September 30 2016, @08:27AM (#408290) Journal

              Technically Obama is not a lame duck as his predecessor has not been elected

              I'm pretty sure Bush was elected in 2004, even if the 2000 elections were somewhat dubious.

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              • (Score: 1) by lcklspckl on Friday September 30 2016, @06:26PM

                by lcklspckl (830) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @06:26PM (#408484)

                Touché, human! You are correct, of course. I tried to correct myself, but it was too late.

                • (Score: 3, Funny) by TheRaven on Monday October 03 2016, @12:10PM

                  by TheRaven (270) on Monday October 03 2016, @12:10PM (#409365) Journal
                  I suspect that there is a universal rule of the Internet that whenever you italicise a single word in a sentence, that will be the one that contains the typo. If not, then please name the rule after me.
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          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:08PM

            by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:08PM (#408156) Homepage Journal

            OK, sure. I am somewhat ignorant of the finer points of the political system of a country half a world away. So sue me (subject to relevant dumb legislation).

            So it wasn't Obama's legislation, it was his veto that got vetoed... whatever. My point still stands: This something that happens to most presidents. The last president to make it through two terms without congress overriding a veto was Kennedy half a century ago. Calling Obama a "lame duck" because of it is not accurate. That is all.

            Since you're from elsewhere, I'll provide you with a little information.

            Actually, Kennedy didn't even finish *one* term. He was assassinated before finishing his first term. Lyndon Baines Johnson (who was Vice President) finished Kennedy's first term and was elected to his own first term in November, 1964. Johnson did not seek re-election in 1968.

            Calling President Obama a "lame duck" is unrelated to this particular event (the override of his veto). I'll explain.

            First, a little background: Since we do *not* have a parliamentary system, we don't immediately form a new government after an election. Members of Congress who are elected (or re-elected) are sworn in to office on 1 January of the year following the election (terms are two years for members of the house of representatives, and six years for members of the senate) and the newly elected (or re-elected) president (who is limited to a maximum of two four-year terms) is sworn in on 20 January of the year following the election.

            Since election day is on the first Tuesday of November, that means for about two months both the current president and the current congress are still in office, but given that the president (assuming it's a new president, as it will be early next year) and the congress will turn over, those folks don't have a whole lot of political capital during that time. Both the president and congress are generally referred to as "lame ducks" (more accurately, congress is termed to be in "lame duck session") for this reason.

            However, the term "lame duck" is (IMHO) slightly misused here. Traditionally, it's used to describe a Congress (or a president), *after* the election, that is still in power until a new president or a new congress is sworn in. Given that Obama cannot run for a third term, the appellation is correct, but as I said, it's generally used after the election in November.

            --
            No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:16PM

        by Arik (4543) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:16PM (#408077)
        "Well, considering the hate Obama has had to deal with"

        Hate, really?

        Having people disagree with your position and vote against it occasionally is hate now?

        Or did something really crazy happen there in DC that I missed?

        --
        Friends dont let friend enable ecmascript.
        • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:18PM

          by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:18PM (#408162) Homepage Journal

          Having people disagree with your position and vote against it occasionally is hate now?

          That's stretching the truth, even for you Arik.

          Or did something really crazy happen there in DC that I missed?

          Yes, you did. [youtube.com] Only [pbs.org] the last eight years [newser.com].

          Sigh.

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
          • (Score: 1) by Arik on Monday October 03 2016, @12:39AM

            by Arik (4543) on Monday October 03 2016, @12:39AM (#409199)
            The birther retardation was not something I ever gave any credence.

            If he had been born in Kenya it would have absolutely zero impact on his legal status. His mother was a US citizen, he is therefore natural born.

            The best I know this meme originated from the Clinton campaign during the primary fight before the first Obama nomination. Yes, I know someone dug up a forum post from a few months earlier that may well be where they got the idea, but it's clear they were the ones that kept pushing it trying to get it to stick. I've heard this meme for years and years in the media as an example of the horrible hatred of Republicans but everyone I know is a Republican and none of them bring it up. Only the demonicrat media seem to even remember it, and only as a stick with which to beat us all indiscriminately, which hardly seems fair at all.

            I'm really not sure how that translates into 'hate' or at least into significantly more hate than other Presidents have dealt with in the past. Still looks like bullshit to me.
            --
            Friends dont let friend enable ecmascript.
      • (Score: 2) by J053 on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:21PM

        by J053 (3532) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{xc. ... s} {ta} {enikad}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:21PM (#408124) Homepage
        Uhh - President Obama was opposed to this bill - that's why he vetoed it. The Congress overrode his veto, thus causing the bill to become law over his objections.

        Seriously, does anyone think that any real ties can be shown, especially after all this time, between the Saudi government and the 9/11 hijackers? I really can't imagine that the Saudi government was in any way connected to these attacks - besides, they were an inside job by the Bush Administration anyway, weren't they?
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:46PM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:46PM (#407895) Journal

    They're an oil buddy, not a friend. If they were really friends, they would:

    be a democracy
    separate church and state
    practice equality for women
    not be the homeland of most of the 9/11 terrorists

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:22PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:22PM (#407912) Journal

      The U.S. doesn't even have the first 3 on that list (or all 4 if you are a "truther").

      --
      [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:23PM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:23PM (#407913)

      Now that we don't need their oil can't we just tell them to STFU and GTFO. If other countries want to buy their oil let them deal with the sadistic barbarians.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:38PM (#408038)

      Don't be naive.

      The US has helped overthrow more democracies and install military and other dictatorships than anyone.

      This includes in Iran where they replaced a democracy with Sharia law to help Saddam (who they praised at the time) for fucks sake, so there goes your church and state.

      Equality for women? Are you high?!

      But good on the BRAVE and HEROIC politicians for stand up against the saudis at this time when 99.9% if the public hate them.....and the US no longer needs their oil.

      Very brave...I guess they are the good guys now....

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:55PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:55PM (#408095) Journal

        Yes, you're right, the Shah of Iran was the doing of WWII allies determined to never suffer another oil shortage in time of war by overthrowing a democracy of an oil rich nation and installing a monarchy of all things, to be Western puppets. The US has screwed with Latin America time and time again, even both Iran and Latin America in the same act with the whole Iran-Contra scandal. I really winder about the folly of our leaders for so often choosing an expedient course that values immediate "stability" and profit over our stated values of freedom, equality, and justice. The explanation is typically a sordid story of corruption, with some special interests who stand to benefit from a regime change bribing the politicians to hoke up whatever excuses they can for a violent overthrow. Every time, the consequences of such venal stupidity have haunted us.

        Iraq pushed it too far, and perhaps things are changing. During the Arab Spring, the US stood with the people of Egypt and not Mubarak, whereas in the past our leaders would have opted to back our puppet.

        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:25PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:25PM (#408139)

          > whereas in the past our leaders would have opted to back our puppet.

          Maybe. Depends on how loyal the puppet is, and how good a chance he has of staying in power. If things have destabilized too far, too fast, then the expedient course would be to let the puppet fall, and throw your effort into tying some strings onto whoever's going to replace him.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:32AM (#408181)

      They're an oil buddy, not a friend. If they were really friends, they would:

      be a democracy
      separate church and state
      practice equality for women
      not be the homeland of most of the 9/11 terrorists

      So it's "Friends don't let friends run repressive regimes," eh? That makes so much sense! I see a *huge* pay raise coming your way!

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday September 30 2016, @01:16PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @01:16PM (#408356) Journal

        It does make sense! Why did the US side with the Allies instead of the Central Powers in WWI? Ideology played a large part in that decision. The Central Powers were monarchies, the Allies were democracies. We didn't have anything particularly against the Germans, or at that time any special love for the Brits. Many of our citizens were of German descent, including my grandparents. The feds put the entire county where my grandparents lived under surveillance during WWI because it was so heavily populated with German immigrants.

        The thinking is that a democracy is a more enlightened, wiser nation, less prone to violence and making trouble. And especially, less prone to resorting to war as a solution. Why did Europe have WWI? Because one heir to one monarchy was assassinated? Talk about going way, way over the top. The Emperor of Austria didn't even like the Archduke and was actually not displeased that he was dead! But he was very old and left the official response to some younger, less experienced nobility, and they concocted an ultimatum that the Emperor thought very strong, perhaps too strong. He was also concerned that the Russians would intervene, as indeed they did. What a hell of a way to go to war-- bumble and stumble into it. The Tsar wasn't particularly smart, but the Kaiser of Germany was a hotheaded war enthusiast. If they had been democracies, perhaps they would not have gone to war. Not to say that democracies can't blunder-- consider George W. Bush going to war in Iraq-- but it is less likely.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:48PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:48PM (#407896) Journal

    It is remarkable because for the last 50 years Saudi Arabia has had almost as tight a secret lock on the US government as Israel does. The winds of change are blowing, and the Age of Oil must surely be on its way out. It will be interesting to see if the end of that age will also cost Israel its stranglehold, because their relevance too only ever stemmed from their proximity to oil-producing nations. If the entire Middle East falls off the American geopolitical radar because they're no longer relevant to the energy economy, then how relevant could a country of 8 million people that doesn't do anything useful continue to be?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Snotnose on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:29PM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:29PM (#407919)

      Doubtful. Israel just wants to be a peaceful democracy. Too bad it's surrounded by nutjobs who dedicate their lives to it's destruction. And yeah, I'm including the Palestinians in that group.

      I understand Israel takes a hard line on Palestinians, but IMHO it's well deserved. When you have a bunch of nutjobs in your midst who want to shoot Israeli citizens for no reason when they aren't lobbing missiles towards cites, and you vote their leaders to be your leaders, well, fuck you.

      Saudi Arabia on the other hand is a bunch of sadistic barbarians who happened to be sitting on something we needed for 50 years.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:56PM (#407937)

        who want to shoot Israeli citizens for no reason

        no reason? the land is occupied and disputed. I don't know for sure but from what i've seen it seems palestine is actually the true "owner". Just because the controlled media wants to act like god gave it to his chosen people and some terrorists are killing his children doesn't meanm you have to believe it.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by jmorris on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:30PM

          by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:30PM (#407954)

          Disputed how? The entire Arab world declared war and lost, when you lose wars you tend to lose lands. By every law we recognize that regulates how Nation States behave, that land is now Israeli. Because the U.N. is an anti-Semetic Parliament of Tyrants with more than a few allies in the Democratic Party here in the U.S. we are required by P.C. to pretend there are two legitimate sides because they are still butthurt over the outcome of that war. They have every right to do like all of those Arab states did at time when they forcibly ejected every Jew they could lay hands on from their lands without compensation and simply toss the so called "Palestinians" out, thus ending this long festering low level war. Which is the solution I recommend since it is pretty obvious this thing won't end until one side is gone and genocide is so out of fashion these days. Since the Jews are currently pretty rich, they could even offer a fair price for the developments on the land.

          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by JNCF on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:03PM

            by JNCF (4317) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:03PM (#407971) Journal

            Because the U.N. is an anti-Semetic Parliament of Tyrants with more than a few allies in the Democratic Party here in the U.S.

            TIL: Palestinians aren't Semitic.

          • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:05PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:05PM (#407972)

            You do realize that Jews are there in Israel because *EUROPEANS* threw them out? Something about a genocide, may be, could have been a reason, you think? You know, the actual jews are supposed to be brown people, not the fake jews of europe who think speakig yiddish gives them the right to land they have not seen in several thousand years.

            In fact, jews don't think that - and that is the point. It was the Christian White Majority that told jews in clear terms - get lost and we will help you defeating the brownies, or else.

            • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:16PM

              by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:16PM (#407977)

              Your point would be? The Arab world was again on the losing side in WWII, so the victors were free to dispose of the losers territory in any way they saw fit. So to solve everyone's problem they gave the Jews a homeland, it being clear they would never be at home anywhere else. And whadda ya know, they are fleeing Europe yet again as the old hate begins to flow and the Arabs come pouring into Europe. So if not there, where exactly do you want them?

              I'm a Nationalist, so why would I oppose the Jews being Nationalists in their own land? I do wish a few here in the U.S. (Soros, Bloomberg, half the staff at National Review, most of the Weekly Standard....) would go there. I don't care if the Arabs are Nationalists in their lands, they can do their thing, oppress all they want so long as they keep it in their borders. I'm all for that kind of Diversity.

              • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:06PM

                by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:06PM (#408017) Homepage Journal

                I don't care if the Arabs are Nationalists in their lands, they can do their thing, oppress all they want so long as they keep it in their borders.

                Hypocrite much? Did you just forget what I said in middle of the paragraph? What is this? Are you talking to a mirror? Arabs don't care what you "Nationalists" do in your land either. Hey hey - you can ponder the 'great question' all day long about what to do with jews, and sell the nazis all your tech while they get rid of the 'pests' too. The problem is that you think you own the world because you were on the winning side of WW2. "we won why are people not just bowing to my majestic appetite for their stuff"? Yeah and they plonked your twin towers why won't you accept that, why are you suing saudi arabia then, Mr. Judge and Jury? What are you doing in Iraq or Syria or Israel for that matter anyway?

                • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:58PM

                  by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:58PM (#408047)

                  I'm assuming you were in a hurry or something? I'm the one who was agreeing with Obama.

                  But yea, at the end of WWII the Allies pretty much did own most of the world. That is what War is all about. Two sides enter, one side leaves and their view is then the only one that counts. After enough time passes the sides can shift as new disputes arise.

                  • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:38PM

                    by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:38PM (#408087) Homepage Journal

                    You own up, you mess up, you lose. If you want to raise metaphysical points, you can have them and then come back to the original point. Which is this - either you debate on logic or you debate on power. There is no such thing between lit and unlit and the same way if you raise the point of power even once, you lose the argument on point of logic. That's the deal. Now you bring up the issue of Allied winning wars hence they get to chose where will their problems (jews) go and live. Great. But you can't then turn around and say Arabs are fighting Israel on a illogical basis.

                    After enough time passes the sides can shift as new disputes arise.

                    No. The disputes remain same, and the kind of disputes USA has created you are going to pay for it for many hundreds of years. And so are millions of people.

                    That is what War is all about.

                    And war is not a reality of life, it is a failure of foreign policy. And USA has the worst possible foreign policy because of the arrogance of power it has. Fucking Russia has better foreign policy than that and Russia is a dictatorship. Imagine that. The only country that is going to be worse than USA is China.

                • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:30PM

                  by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:30PM (#408140) Journal

                  Arabs don't care what you "Nationalists" do in your land either.

                  Yeah. Maybe they just blow shit up for no reason.

                  --
                  jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
                  • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Friday September 30 2016, @08:29AM

                    by cubancigar11 (330) on Friday September 30 2016, @08:29AM (#408291) Homepage Journal

                    Depends what you mean by Arabs and where they blow things up. Could we just agree than some issues are simply more complicated than easy one-liners of propaganda?

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:36PM

            by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:36PM (#408035) Journal

            Disputed how? The entire Arab world declared war and lost, when you lose wars you tend to lose lands.

            So basically, all Arabs have to do to get their land back is kill and drive off the Israelis. Got it.

            Maybe they should get better at doing that.

            --
            [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:55PM

              by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:55PM (#408045)

              Exactly. We live in a world governed by force. Accept that. The only laws governing sovereign nation states are force and self interest. But the Arabs do not have the power to win another war with the Jews any more than they could win the several attempts made since the Allies refounded Israel. And if they try again they should be prepared to lose a lot more land and possibly have their capitals reduced to radioactive wastelands. The Jews went easy on em before because they couldn't afford to lose our support. If, just saying, a President Trump took the choker chain off em there probably isn't much in the Middle East could stop them. And when it was over there would be peace in the Middle East because the surviving Arabs would be, to borrow a line, satisfied with less.

              Sooner or later somebody will figure out that intractable problems can only be solved when one side loses badly enough that they can't afford to care about the problem anymore. Sometimes you just have to give war a chance.

              • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:34PM

                by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:34PM (#408166) Homepage Journal

                Heinlein was, as usual, correct in his assessment [goodreads.com] that "violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”

                That said, just because it's true, that doesn't mean that violence is a positive or desirable thing.

                As Salvor Hardin [wikipedia.org] pointed out, "violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." With all due respect to the memory of Mr. Asimov, I'll go the same way as Ambrose Bierce [bartleby.com] did with Samuel Johnson [samueljohnson.com] regarding patriotism, and submit that it is the first.

                --
                No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:19PM (#407949)

        If Israel didn't want to have kids throwing rocks, molotovs, and occasional mortars at them perhaps they should stop stealing Palestinian land and cluster bombing the hell out of the West Bank every four years...

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:12PM

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:12PM (#408073)

          Wouldn't work. The troubles go back to before the Israelis were powerful enough to steal Palestinian land. The original Israeli settlers bought the land, but that didn't keep violence from happening. The neighbors didn't want them there.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:03PM (#408014)

        Israel is rather stupid for being established in that area to begin with but then religious people do lots of stupid things for "holy reasons". One wishes they'd be like the Martians in Futurama when they discover how rich they really are "You keep Mars, we'll just go buy a new planet and call that our holy land."

      • (Score: 3, Troll) by Phoenix666 on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:49PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:49PM (#408092) Journal

        Doubtful. Israel just wants to be a peaceful democracy. Too bad it's surrounded by nutjobs who dedicate their lives to it's destruction. And yeah, I'm including the Palestinians in that group.

        They want the Palestinians to peacefully submit to being ethnically cleansed, that's what the Israelis want. But even now with pushback from the Whitehouse on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem still builds more there. Personally, I think the real mistake the Israelis made was to choose the US as their patron instead of the USSR. They could have accomplished complete eradication of the Palestinians in a handful of years without having to worry about namby-pamby American public opinion. As it is they've had to go to enormous trouble to subvert DC and said American public opinion over years, and go mega-slow-mo with the eradication campaign. Russians, on the other hand, don't give a crap about such niceties.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by julian on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:00PM

          by julian (6003) on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:00PM (#408151)

          In 1990 the population of Gaza and the West Bank was 2M. Today it's 4.3M.

          It's a strange sort of genocide that sees the target population more than double in a generation.

          --
          I am expecting written apologies from all Trump supporters when the indictments start
        • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:53PM

          by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @11:53PM (#408173) Homepage Journal

          I think the real mistake the Israelis made was to choose the US as their patron instead of the USSR. They could have accomplished complete eradication of the Palestinians in a handful of years without having to worry about namby-pamby American public opinion.

          That would have been quite unlikely, given the history between the USSR and the Jews, and most of that was Stalin's doing [wikipedia.org]. As such, I suspect that BenGurion, Begin and the others were deeply suspicious of Stalin and would not have sought to ally themselves with the USSR.

          --
          No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:43AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:43AM (#408188)
          The only problem with that is that Josef Stalin seems to have killed at least as many Jews as Hitler.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Snotnose on Friday September 30 2016, @01:37AM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Friday September 30 2016, @01:37AM (#408197)

        Flamebait, huh? Every-farking-state in what will become Israel lost in WW2, so Israel got some land. Get over it, that's what happens when you lose.

        20 some odd years later every-farking-state within 1,000 miles decides Israel is evil and must be destroyed. They lost.

        Continuously, since the '67 war, the arabs have not only maintained their goal is to wipe Israel off the map, but have done everything in their power to do so.

        They've lost each time.

        Now Israel has a bunch of proven violent asshats on the other side of a wall that are pissed at being on the other side of the wall. How pissed? Every chance they get they kill an Israeli citizen. Every chance they get they launch rockets into Israeli cities. Every chance they get they vote for the terrorists in charge of this BS to be the leaders of their disgruntled group.

        IMHO, Israel needs to deport every fucking Palestinian to Syria, tear down the walls, let the wanna be peaceful Jews move into the contested areas, and be done with it.

        tldr; went to high school in the 70s, learned about this shit, for 40 years the palestinians have been the bad guys and the jews the good guys.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Bot on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:54PM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:54PM (#407935)

      I tend to agree.
      Or, possibly, they want the next POTUS to start his term with a hot potato like a terrorism trial against Saudis. A bit far fetched but I am used to Italian politics where all blows are low like that.

      • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday September 30 2016, @02:35AM

        by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @02:35AM (#408211) Homepage Journal

        I tend to agree.
        Or, possibly, they want the next POTUS to start his term with a hot potato like a terrorism trial against Saudis. A bit far fetched but I am used to Italian politics where all blows are low like that.

        Note that the new law allows *American citizens* (those affected by the events of 9/11/2001) to sue the Saudi government (and certain government officials individually) in *civil court* for damages (loss of life, pain and suffering, medical expenses, the usual stuff).

        The US government will not be holding criminal trials against the Saudi government or its officials.

        The upshot is that you're talking out of your ass and it smells that way too.

        --
        No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:17PM (#407979)

      Because MUH SIX MILLION!!!

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by LoRdTAW on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:48PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:48PM (#408063)

      I wouldn't say they don't do anything useful. Intel's Haifa lab is the team that designed the core architecture which put Intel firmly back on top of the x86 heap. There are also numerous other companies there like Galil Motion and ACS motion.

      Though, I agree, I don't support their continued occupation of land that hasn't been theirs for 1500 years. They used terrorist tactics to get their way and after Israel became a state, the terrorists were given medals. Ironic, isn't it? Everyone felt bad for them after the holocaust and now they can do no wrong. Just saying you don't support Israel is enough to get you labeled an antisemitic and/or Nazi. It's amazing how such a smart group of people can be so fucking stupid.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:29PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:29PM (#408082) Journal

        Everyone felt bad for them after the holocaust and now they can do no wrong. Just saying you don't support Israel is enough to get you labeled an antisemitic and/or Nazi. It's amazing how such a smart group of people can be so fucking stupid.

        They learned some bad lessons from the Nazis. One was lebensraum, which they have rebranded as "Eretz Israel [wikipedia.org]." Another was ethnic cleansing (the curious can google maps of Palestinian land in the West Bank over the last 30 years). Still another was propaganda, and how effective it is in getting smart people to do dumb things.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:07PM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:07PM (#408071)

      Israel does many useful things. They are the source of numerous technical advances. Unfortunately, they also have a severe social problem that they seem unwilling to address. In their defense, I don't see how they could address it. They are a very small country surrounded by hostile foreigners. This has more than once lead to "captivity" or "diaspora". And you can't really blame it on their being Jews, because the folk calling themselves Jews today have only moderate connection with the historical Hebrews. Many of them became Jews by an act of government. (S.a. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130116195333.htm [sciencedaily.com] , but I believe the Khazar theory.), and their cultural connection is also indirect.

      However, they are a small ethnically distinct group with a different culture than any of their neighbors, and the neighbors have been hostile to them since the days of the British protectorate. This tends to breed militarism and intolerance as a matter of survival.

      FWIW, Israel is smaller than New Jersey, and less fertile. And it's surrounded by neighbors who, before they concentrated on Israel, spent much of their time fighting with each other. This is common in areas with lots of small independent nations, and what constitutes a small nation depends on speed of transportation and communication, so the governmental territories have been getting "smaller". With modern communications and transport I expect that North America is the proper size of a nation to reduce friction. (N.B.: Everywhere here where I used "nation", I originally used the term "government", but people misunderstand "large government" in a different way that they misunderstand "large nation"...I'm talking about a government controlling a large or small ares. The size of the bureaucracy is almost irrelevant to this point.)

      I don't see a good answer. I expect that Israel will eventually collapse, with many refugees. And I trace the roots of this back to some stupid (or, possibly, evil) decisions made at the end of WWII.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:47PM (#408145)
        What israel is today would make hitler green with envy.

        "You mean i could have killed whoever i wanted if i just screamed 'help i'm being oppressed!' the entire time?!?!?"
        Well shit.
  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by tisI on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:52PM

    by tisI (5866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @01:52PM (#407897)

    Historically, the saudis have been the rich uncle for all republicunts desiring the rise to power.

    Makes me wonder who they will whore themselves out to now that they have bit the hand that has been feeding them for generations.
    Even Dubya took piles of cash from them while he was a whore.

    I guess the most powerful corporations will take the sleaziest as their bitches to pass all sorts of unfair laws onto the dolts of amerika.
    You poor stupid bastards. You have NO idea what this will lead to.

    --
    "Suppose you were an idiot...and suppose you were a member of Congress...but I repeat myself."
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by termigator on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:10PM

    by termigator (4271) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:10PM (#407903)

    IANAL, but is the bill more symbolic than practical? How can those who were affected by the 9/11 attacks receive any compensation from a foreign, sovereign state?

    This seems more political in nature where congress critters gets brownie points with the electorate, but they know there will be no real effect to Saudi Arabia. Obama veteos the bill as a message that the U.S. government has folks that will still work with Saudia Arabia. Obama loses no local political capital with the veto since he is a lame duck.

    • (Score: 1) by Francis on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:16PM

      by Francis (5544) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:16PM (#407908)

      The Saudis have a large number of assets in the US that could be seized by court order.

      The really question here is whether or not the appellate courts would accept US courts as the appropriate venue for these cases. But, the sticking sticking points are typically jurisdiction and the ability to enforce the order. They can definitely enforce it as the Saudis do have a ton of investments in the US.

      Still, it seems a bit short-sighted. The correct way to get vengeance against them would have been to fix our energy policy and get us off of oil. Let them return to poverty if they refuse to adhere to some semblance of reason.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:21PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:21PM (#407911) Journal

        To follow up on that, Saudi Arabia is apparently threatening to start selling off those assets in advance of the lawsuits... to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

        --
        [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by fnj on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:39PM

          by fnj (1654) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:39PM (#407925)

          Saudi Arabia is apparently threatening to start selling off those assets in advance of the lawsuits

          Threatening? WTF? Am I supposed to be afraid? Who in the hell cares who owns the assets? Let them run like scared rabbits.

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:27PM

            by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:27PM (#407953) Journal

            Well in the case of buildings, they just sell. But if they have businesses, they might shut them down and move them, and a lot of Americans could lose their jobs in the process. I'm not too well informed on what the Saudis own in the United States, so you'll have to look around to find out how potent the threat is.

            They could also seize U.S. assets in Saudi Arabia in retaliation for any seizures here. I don't think they can do anything with oil that would particularly hurt the U.S., especially without disrupting their focus on Iran.

            --
            [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:42PM

            by jmorris (4844) <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:42PM (#407964)

            This bill doesn't just name and shame the House of Saud, it won't stop with them. What happens when China starts divesting. I'm afraid, though it burn my lips to say it, that Obama is right on this one. I'm about tired of the 9/11 widows and orphans wanting ever more payout. When is it enough? We have already fought two wars, killing maiming far more good people in revenge for a few thousand banksters.

            • (Score: 1) by Francis on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:02PM

              by Francis (5544) on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:02PM (#408117)

              The Chinese can't sell their assets fast enough to hurt us without destroying their economy. They'd have to find investments elswhere as repatriating the money would result in massive inflation and civil unrest.

        • (Score: 2) by Kromagv0 on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:29PM

          by Kromagv0 (1825) on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:29PM (#407986) Homepage

          The question then becomes who would buy them? People are kind of dicks and I'm sure there would be plenty who want to see them get screwed.

          --
          T-Shirts and bumper stickers [zazzle.com] to offend someone
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:32PM (#407955)

      it also conveniently keeps the families from asking too many questions about their own government's involvement or suing for answers and compensation. Also, why would you(not you, but a person) blame some camel humpers for 9/11 when you're the one letting planes get hijacked and flown wherever and into whatever by any monobrow with a box cutter. Or letting buildings get rigged with military grade explosives (that takes time, expertise and money). If you can't protect your buildings from your own (or allies) black ops demolition teams then suing the monarchy of some random pawns is not going to make a difference. This is just a smoke screen to keep the old dumb ass bootlickers believing the government lies so said dumb asses don't realize their government is complicit in the death of their loved ones. Even if Saudi Arabia was involved they were not alone and not without major help (or direction) from elements within the US. Clean up your own backyard before you go knocking on your neighbors door.

    • (Score: 1) by OrugTor on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:25PM

      by OrugTor (5147) on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:25PM (#407983)

      Finally, someone gets it. The bill is about re-election. It's a feel-good measure that few congressmen have the confidence to vote against. The ayes will present their vote as a "a vote against terrorism."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:40PM (#408041)

      The better way: sue US government instead.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:16PM

        by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:16PM (#408076)

        You need the governments permission to sue them. The US govt. could just refuse to allow itself to be sued in a US court.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:24PM (#408104)

          Which means you fire them. Easier said than done, I suppose.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:14PM (#407904)

    These dummies just hamstrung US covert operations. We have a long history of supporting violent groups in other countries. Bay of Pigs for example. Then there are all the rebel groups in Syria today. And, in the ultimate display of hypocrisy, 28 senators who voted for this veto over-ride immediately published a letter that basically says to ignore their votes. [senate.gov] That right there is a list of the most craven people in the Senate, politicians in the worst sense of the word who want to have their cake (get their flag-waving, grandma-and-apple-pie vote on the record) and eat it too (have it not actually count).

    Personally, I think I am in favor of this law passing. Not because I'm a brainless jingoist, but because of those unintended consequences. Maybe this will cause the CIA to have second thoughts about meddling in other countries.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:32PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday September 29 2016, @02:32PM (#407920) Journal

      The other unintended consequence, of course, is that foreign governments and investors might be a little less confident in holding assets in the US if those assets are suddenly subject to forfeiture in the event of some random lawsuit. It will be interesting to see if there is a sudden exodus of Saudi cash from the US to other markets when this legislation passes.

      In a way I guess this is not so different to what the US authorities have been doing for decades: Grabbing darker skinned people off the street, accusing them of crimes[1] and using it as a pretext to take all their cash and valuables.

      [1] Not that I am entirely convinced the Saudis are blameless in 9/11, but that's hardly the point. This is not the right way to go about it.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by isostatic on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:41PM

      by isostatic (365) on Thursday September 29 2016, @04:41PM (#408002) Journal

      28 senators who voted for this veto over-ride immediately published a letter that basically says to ignore their votes

      Don't worry, history has been rewritten

      "You don't have permission to access "http://serve-403-cf.www.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/d8eee900-5ffc-4204-a4f1-8072c104d9c2/Bipartisan%20Senate%20JASTA%20Letter%20092816.pdf" on this server."

      https://www.scribd.com/document/325673727/Bipartisan-Senate-JASTA-Letter-092816 [scribd.com] has a copy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @05:02PM (#408012)

        The link in the OP still works for me. Its pulling the PDF from corker's server at the senate which is a different one from your error message.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:37PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:37PM (#407958) Homepage Journal

    What a stupid precedent.

    If the US acknowledges that countries can be sued for financial damages to foreigners, how about a class action suit on behalf of all citizens of Libya who have suffered in the chaos of the last few years? Add in the citizens of Iraq, who also used to have a functioning country. Oh, Afghanistan and Syria, both of which the US also pushed into chaos.

    What would it cost to reimburse the entire population of four countries? That's more than 90 million people, say an average reimbursement of $10k each, so around $9 trillion should do it. Oh, Europe would like some compensation as well, since we've absorbed millions of the people displaced by US actions. We'll just round up to $10 trillion. Wire transfer will be fine.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:38PM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @03:38PM (#407961) Homepage Journal

      Oops...dropped a decimal place somewhere. Still, the point stands.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:21PM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @07:21PM (#408080)

      You need the permission of the US govt. to sue it in a US court. They could already sue in Libyan courts, but that would only affect US govt. assets in Libya.

      The interesting thing is what would be the effect on suing in some non-US court of a country where there were significant US govt. resources.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 1) by lcklspckl on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:00PM

        by lcklspckl (830) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:00PM (#408097)

        I have a lot of questions. Mostly about what unscrupulous U.S. citizens might do with the law. How does a U.S. court expect to enforce a ruling? Can a winner of such a suit then sue the U.S. to enforce the ruling through diplomatic policies or force? This sounds to me like congress (the people) opening a can of unintended consequences. This is the first I've heard of what court would rule on such a case. I'm genuinely interested in the enforcement vehicle. Does this include seizing assets or humans from another country that visit the U.S.A. if ruled against? How about allies? Can I personally sue, say for example, Denmark or France for releasing a human from prison known to have engaged in blowing up innocent and unsuspecting humans, who then does just that in the U.S.A. sometime after release, but who is now dead and so offers no recourse of punishment?

        I suspect that this will backfire, but I'm willing to change my mind once some the questions are answered. I'm just not sure there's a lot of precedent for this.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:16PM

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:16PM (#408135)

          I don't think it's any worse than ordinary. And the government is likely to arrange that the verdict of the suit suites their desires. Since it's a suit rather than a case of criminal law, the suer will only need to show "the preponderance of the evidence", but showing that a foreign government knew anything about what's going on rather than certain individuals will be difficult, and the individuals probably won't have any local assets.

          So I think that the effect will just be PR and some employment for lawyers.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:48PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday September 29 2016, @10:48PM (#408146)

          >How does a U.S. court expect to enforce a ruling?

          The same way they would against anyone else who refuses to pay a fine while owning assets in the US - seize the assets to pay the debt. The Saudis own a *lot* of assets in the US - and have threatened to sell them off if this bill passed in order to avoid presenting such a convenient target.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @08:03PM (#408098)

      Europe? Yeah, well, maybe we'll start sending them bills for their part of NATO they've never upheld for the last 60 years.

      Fucking Eurotards love to sit on their hands and have the US do their messy work, then have the gall to act indignant and moral and criticize the US for doing that dirty work.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @09:19PM (#408123)

        Europe? Yeah, well, maybe we'll start sending them bills for their part of NATO they've never upheld for the last 60 years.

        You overlook that the US role in NATO was in their post-war self-interest as the natural ally of Europe would have been Russia. Speaking of Russia; The resurgent nationalism we're seeing throughout the West is a reaction to emerging globalist oligarchs who fancy themselves above the rule of law.

  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:11PM

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:11PM (#408049) Journal

    Litigation hasn't been enough to hold our own gov accountable, but let's try using it against foreign govs too. More litigation is always a win. For lawyers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 29 2016, @06:47PM (#408062)

      Litigation hasn't been enough to hold our own gov accountable

      The hands of justice move sloooooowly.

      Trust me. I have re-written many bits of code because of random lawsuits against the gov. Then it usually turns out 'oh you did not do it right re write the law again'. It took them nearly 17 years to get one bit right. I got out 10 years ago.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 30 2016, @12:01AM (#408174)

    What's the process for suing the Saudi government from America anyway?

    Has the US government suddenly taken over the whole world and we're all subject to US law now?

    I'm thinking this is more just some bullshit token legislation and that Saudi Arabia doesn't give a shit about what victims of 9/11 do in US courts, and that there's absolutely fuck all the US can do to force Saudi Arabia to comply with any court decisions. If they try, Saudi Arabia will spend all their US treasuries on Russian missiles, close the oil taps, and stock up on popcorn for the economic collapse triggered in the US.

    • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Friday September 30 2016, @02:23AM

      by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @02:23AM (#408208) Homepage Journal

      What's the process for suing the Saudi government from America anyway?

      Presumably, one would file a lawsuit in Federal court.

      Has the US government suddenly taken over the whole world and we're all subject to US law now?

      No. Not even close. If (and that's a big if) a plaintiff were to prevail in Federal court and damages were awarded, presumably the Saudis would claim that this is ridiculous (and it is), and that they weren't going to pay. The next step would be for the plaintiff(s) to petition the court to seize Saudi assets in the US. Apparently, the Saudis currently have ~USD$100 Billion in assets that are physically in the US. The court could so order, and assign someone to oversee the sale of said assets to pay the damages awarded.

      And that's is where things get really stupid. If we (the US government) actually seize Saudi assets (assuming they don't liquidate them and move them offshore before any lawsuit concludes), we would put US assets (and we have those all over the world) at risk to any country that decides we wronged some of their citizens.

      What's more, if your country held assets in the US (say a Sovereign wealth fund or other governmental investments), wouldn't you be really leery of keeping them in the US, should the US now decide that *your* country can now be sued by American citizens?

      This is really stupid and President Obama was right to veto the bill.

      Congress overrode the veto as a symbolic gesture to "show" voters (since it's only a little more than a month until the election) that they are "looking out for the American People." It's a cynical political ploy by the members of Congress to improve their standing with their constituents.. If this weren't an election year, the veto would never have been overridden, as the Democrats would have supported the president and 2/3 majorities are required in both houses.

      Frankly, it's disgusting. Another Soylentil has a sig that goes something like "Write your Congressman. Tell him he sucks!" Now is a good time for that, IMHO.

      --
      No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
  • (Score: 2) by jelizondo on Friday September 30 2016, @04:12AM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 30 2016, @04:12AM (#408236)

    It appears that it was all about grandstanding and fighting the terrorists with the same vigor as they did with the TSA.

    It came to my attention via the Washington Post (White House accuses Congress of ‘buyer’s remorse’ on 9/11 bill [washingtonpost.com]) and Al Jazeera (The truth about the Saudi bill" [aljazeera.com]) so I decided to check the actual bill.

    Surprise! The bill [congress.gov] does indeed allow the State Department to stay (i.e. not allow to proceed) and action in court "Indefinitely" as Al Jazeera reported it.

    SEC. 5. Stay of actions pending state negotiations.
    [...]
    (b) Intervention.—The Attorney General may intervene in any action in which a foreign state is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of the United States under section 1605B of title 28, United States Code, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, for the purpose of seeking a stay of the civil action, in whole or in part.
    (c) Stay.—
    (1) IN GENERAL.—A court of the United States may stay a proceeding against a foreign state if the Secretary of State certifies that the United States is engaged in good faith discussions with the foreign state defendant concerning the resolution of the claims against the foreign state, or any other parties as to whom a stay of claims is sought.
    (2) DURATION.—
    (A) IN GENERAL.—A stay under this section may be granted for not more than 180 days.
    (B) EXTENSION.—
    (i) IN GENERAL.—The Attorney General may petition the court for an extension of the stay for additional 180-day periods.

    As the reporter for Al Jazeera put it

    If I was a betting person and there was a bookie who took political bets, I would guess that after Congress members know their individual jobs are safe, they will dramatically change the bill or even throw it out in its entirety.

    And now we have the chicken-hearted McConnell having second thoughts about it, as reported by Reuters [reuters.com]

    "I do think it is worth further discussing," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, acknowledging that there could be "potential consequences" of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, known as JASTA.

    Lovely fucking Congress as always. As Mark Twain put it: Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.