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United States

House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary 932

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in United States political history, the House Majority Leader has been defeated in his primary election. Long time Republican congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated by 10 percentage points in the Virginia primary by Republican Tea Party challenger Dave Brat. This shocking defeat is likely to upset the political balance of power in the United States for years to come."

Rand Paul Starts New Drone War In Congress 272

SonicSpike (242293) writes with news that the ACLU and Rand Paul both think every Senator should read David Barron's legal memos justifying the use of drones against an American citizen before he is confirmed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. From the article: "Paul, the junior Republican senator from Kentucky, has informed Reid he will object to David Barron's nomination to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals unless the Justice Department makes public the memos he authored justifying the killing of an American citizen in Yemen. The American Civil Liberties Union supports Paul's objection, giving some Democratic lawmakers extra incentive to support a delay to Barron's nomination, which could come to the floor in the next two weeks. Barron, formerly a lawyer in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, penned at least one secret legal memo approving the Sept. 2011 drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric whom intelligence officials accused of planning terrorist attacks against the United States."

Tesla's Fight With Car Dealers Could Help Decide the Next Presidential Election 282

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marcus Wohlsen writes that the most recent ban against Tesla selling cars directly from the company instead of through third-party dealers was enacted in New Jersey with the support of Gov. Chris Christie, a possible contender for the GOP nomination. That prompted Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Christie rival, to heartily defend Tesla's direct sales model. 'Customers should be allowed to buy products that fit their need,' says Rubio, 'especially a product that we know is safe and has consumer confidence beneath it.' Perhaps even more surprising is the love shown by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the once and possibly future presidential hopeful whose oil-rich state bars employees in Tesla's two showrooms from even telling potential customers how much the Model S costs. 'I think it's time for Texans to have an open conversation about this,' says Perry, 'the pros and the cons. I'm gonna think the pros of allowing this to happen outweigh the cons.' The sudden GOP embrace of an electric car company once reviled as a symbol of Northern California enivro-weenies might seem ironic says Wohlsen, but the real irony is that conservative politicians ever opposed Tesla at all.

'The widespread franchise rules giving car dealers virtual monopolies in their territories epitomize the government-controlled marketplace Republicans purportedly despise,' writes Wohlsen adding that possible presidential contenders realize there may be political capital to be gained in supporting Tesla. But the real winner is Tesla. If the company can manage to associate its brand with all the positive qualities Rubio and Perry hope rub off on them, few politicians will want to take the risk to stand against them. Mitt Romney called Tesla Motors a 'loser' company during his 2012 run for president. In 2016 running against Tesla might seem about as smart as running against Apple."

Congressman Introduces Bill To Ban Minting of Trillion-Dollar Coin 1059

Dainsanefh writes with news that the new Congress isn't wasting any time getting back to work. From the article: "Lawmakers are still positioning themselves for a debt ceiling fight in a few months, but one Republican congressman wants to snuff out a particular idea immediately: the U.S. Treasury minting $1 trillion platinum coins to avert a debt ceiling showdown. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has introduced a bill to specifically ban President Barack Obama from minting the coins. The trillion-dollar coin has been previously discussed on Slashdot:"

US Congressman Wants To Ban New Internet Laws 205

SchrodingerZ writes "Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California, has drafted a bill for the internet. The bill, aptly named the Internet American Moratorium Act (IAMA), is, 'a two-year moratorium on any new laws, rules or regulations governing the Internet.' In short it hopes to deny any new government bills related to lawmaking on the internet for the next two years. The bill was first made public on the website Reddit, and is currently on the front page of, a website advocating internet rights. 'Together we can make Washington take a break from messing w/ the Internet,' Issa writes on his Reddit post. The initial response to the bill has been mixed. Users of Reddit are skeptical of the paper's motives and credibility. As of now, the bill is just a discussion draft, whether it will gain footing in the future is up in the air."
United States

US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here 706

The second U.S. Presidential debate kicks off in about a half-hour (9PM ET, 6PM PT, 0100 UTC) from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will take questions from an audience of allegedly undecided voters. A live stream of the event will be available from a number of sources (C-SPAN, CNN, ABC, and PBS), and it will be broadcast nationally on the major networks. The flash-less and television-less can use rtmpdump to catch the debate from C-SPAN. It won't preempt the more important telecasts, like playoff baseball. Candidates from smaller parties again went uninvited (e.g. Gary Johnson from the Libertarians, Jill Stein from the Greens, Virgil Goode from the Constitution Party, and Rocky Anderson from the Justice Party). In fact, Jill Stein was arrested for attempting to enter without credentials (her side of the story). Assuming she's out of jail by Thursday, she and Gary Johnson will be participating in an online debate hosted by While tonight's debate is in progress, Politifact will be fact-checking the candidates in real-time (while CNN has demonstrated their journalistic capabilities with a debate drinking game). Feel free to weigh in with your commentary on the debate below — it would be helpful to provide timestamps or other context when referring to particular statements. As before, we're posting this here in a vain attempt to keep the political discussion out of other story threads tonight. If either of the candidates spontaneously concedes the election or catches fire, we'll do our best to update you.

Study Shows Tech Execs Slightly Prefer Romney Over Obama 461

redletterdave writes with an excerpt from IB Times that should be met with a bit of skepticism: "A new study released by international law firm DLA Piper Monday morning shows that among technology companies and their executives, Republican nominee Mitt Romney is the preferred presidential candidate for improving and advancing the technology industry. The study surveyed thousands of entrepreneurs, consultants, venture capitalists, CEOs, CFOs, and other C-level officers at technology companies, asking them their opinions about the 2012 presidential election and the issues facing their particular industry. The majority of respondents said Mitt Romney would be better with the technology industry, with 64 percent favoring the former governor from Massachusetts, and only 41 percent favoring the incumbent president. This is a complete turnaround from 2008 when the numbers were heavily in favor of Obama, with 60 percent of respondents saying then-Sen. Obama would be better for the sector than the Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain." There's a whole lot of number stretching going on: the results more or less indicate only a slight preference for Romney; a healthy chunk of responses were that his policies would be "neutral" and Obama's would at worst be slightly bad. Would you like six politicians, or half a dozen? One thing is universal: everyone hates SOX.

House Representatives Working On NASA Reform Bill 188

MarkWhittington writes with good and bad news about NASA's future budgets. From the article: "Rep. John Culberson, along with Rep. Frank Wolf, are developing a bill that will attempt to rationalize NASA's budget process and provide some long term continuity in its administration. First, a NASA administrator would be named to a ten year term. The intent is to provide some continuity in the way the space agency is run and to remove it, as much as possible, from the vagaries of politics. Second, NASA funding would be placed on a multi-year rather than annual cycle. This is of particular importance to the space agency because the majority of its high level projects take several years to run their course. If funding were fixed for a number of years, the theory goes, money could be spent more efficiently. NASA planners would know how much they have to spend four or so years going forward and would not have to worry about being cut off at the knees by Congressional appropriators year after year." But is it more than political grandstanding in an election year? There might be a few problems: NASA could get stuck with a bad administrator, multi-year budgets might be a bit unconstitutional, etc.

Senate Cybersecurity Bill Stalled By Ridiculous Amendments 233

wiredmikey writes "Despite a recent push by legislators, it remains unclear whether the Senate will manage to vote on the proposed comprehensive cybersecurity legislation (Cybersecurity Act of 2012) before Congress adjourns at the end of the week for its summer recess. Once all the amendments (over 70) have been dealt with, the Senate could decide to vote on the bill immediately, or wait till after the summer recess. As usual, the Democrats and Republicans have been unable to agree on which amendments will be considered, effectively stalling the bill. And most interesting, is that in typical U.S. political fashion, some of the amendments have nothing to with the topic on hand (cybersecurity): ... Sen. Frank Lautenberg has filed a measure to ban high-capacity ammunition clips as part of a gun-reform proposal. And Sen. Mike Lee filed a bill that would ban abortion in Washington, D.C. after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Sen. Michael Bennet and Tom Coburn filed an amendment to expand the Office for Personnel Management's federal government's data center consolidation initiative. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested an amendment to repeal the Affordable Care Act."

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe