Internet Catches Texas Senate Fudging Time-Stamps On Abortion Bill

from the isn't-that-a-crime? dept

What with all that's going on in the world, you may have missed the news that the state of Texas was attempting to introduce a controversial bill that would close down a ton of abortion clinics. The bill had first failed to pass the state senate, but Governor Rick Perry demanded a special 30 day session which would bring the bill back up for debate. There was a deadline for the bill, which would have had to be voted on and passed on June 25th to become law, leading to a fairly impressive filibuster effort by Senator Wendy Davis. The entire thing was internet-y already, with scores of people tuning in live on YouTube to watch Davis go on, while Texas Republicans attempted to find procedural methods for ending her filibuster. It was all the more impressive due to various filibuster rules in Texas law, such as when Republicans complained that she had had someone assist in putting on a back brace, since by rule she wasn't allowed any assistance in standing straight up without leaning during her filibuster. #StandWithWendy trended on Twitter, a portion of the internet poured through Texas legislative rules for discussion points, and even President Obama was reportedly glued to YouTube.

In the end, Davis' efforts paid off, with her pushing her filibuster just long enough to delay a hurried vote from being taken before midnight. Liberals rejoiced, conservatives lamented. And then, dear friends, things got really strange.

In a desperate effort to pass a controversial bill that would shutter hundreds of abortion clinics in Texas, a slew of Twitter sleuths, including Circa's Anthony De Rosa and former Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys, discovered that the state legislature altered official state documents to show that the vote was passed before the midnight deadline.

In actuality, the Texas state senate did not pass the bill, SB 5, in time—thanks to defeaning cheers from the gallery from supporters of State Senator Wendy Davis, who spent more than 10 hours filibustering a vote.
De Rosa and Keys managed to get screen grabs from the Texas Senate's page that detailed the proceedings of that particular bill. In the immediate aftermath, it listed the date of the vote being recorded as 6/26, which was past the deadline. Shortly after, and as of this writing, the page has been altered to show the vote being taken on 6/25, which would have been within the deadline. As Gawker notes, this is an extremely serious matter.
So what happened? Did someone tamper with official state documents? It would seem so, and that's a crime.
And no, according to experts like tech policy analyst Kathy Gill, this is almost certainly not an innocent accident.
In order to change something like this, someone has to change the database. And things like votes and official times, they’re often (usually?) automatically generated also.

In other words, changes like this are deliberate.
Now, you may not like abortion and you may not care for filibusters, but no matter what your ideology you had damned well better be against the bullshitting of the constituents. The internet certainly is, having already sprung an official White House petition to defend the filibuster and preserve proper voting procedure. But the real beauty of this story is that it's thanks to the internet that this was found out so quickly and spread in such a viral fashion.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    It is at least possible that the automatically generated date/time was wrong. Servers do not always exactly match the correct time, and it takes at least SOME time for information to be inputted. So if the bill was passed at 11:59:55 and someone hit the "bill passed" button at 12:00:03, it would absolutely be proper to correct it.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:23am

      Re:

      Servers do not always exactly match the correct time

      $ ntpq -p
      remote refid st t when poll reach delay offset jitter
      ==============================================================================
      oGPS_NMEA(0) .GPS. 0 l 30 64 377 0.000 0.026 0.001


      Twenty-six microseconds! WTF!

      I'll say they don't always match the correct time. Stupid computers.

       

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        identicon
        jackn, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:27am

        Re: Re:

        Servers usually don't change the time after its been recorded.

         

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        identicon
        DCX2, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re:

        In AC's defense, the Texas legislature might not be using NTP. They could be using Kerberos. Kerberos is known for being off by a few seconds.

         

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          identicon
          DCX2, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I may not have been perfectly clear, allow me to elaborate just in case.

          Kerberos only requires +/- like five minutes. Typically a Windows system will be using the "Windows Time" service to keep computers synchronized. The Windows Time service was designed primarily to make Kerberos happy. Therefore, Windows Time doesn't synchronize to better than a few seconds.

           

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Kerberos only requires +/- like five minutes.

            snipped to essentials

            $ cat /etc/krb5.conf
            [libdefaults]
                   clockskew = 15

             

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              identicon
              DCX2, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I love how this AC has responded to a post which clearly says "Windows system" with output that is clearly not from Windows.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 10:40am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I love how this AC has responded…

                You stated, “Kerberos only requires +/- like five minutes.”

                Do you understand that your statement was inaccurate?

                 

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:40am

      Re:

      Servers do not always exactly match the correct time


      If you find this to be true on your servers, you desperately need to replace your IT guy. Failing in even the trivial task of keeping a server's time correct indicates massive incompetence.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        I concur, completely. And by "replace your IT guy", I think it would be appropriate to fire them RIGHT NOW -- not an hour from now, not tomorrow, not next week. RIGHT NOW.

        Correct timekeeping in the age of NTP is trivial.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, give or take a few seconds, if it's this IT guy.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The non-trivial part is determining how much accuracy your network really needs. If you've got extended timestamps in logs recorded in microseconds, it's very, very tempting to say that therefore you necessarily want microsecond accuracy. And, of course, microsecond accuracy is absolutely 100% doable these days.

            Personally, I'll be really happy when the affordable equipment starts getting close to planck time accuracy. Then everyone can just throw up their hands and say, “Physics!”

             

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        Mr. Applegate, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Absolutely agree!

        Any IT person worth anything will keep all systems under his control in time.

        Every system I manage has the same time. I have two tier three NTP servers that tap several tier two servers and serve time to keep all systems I administer in time. I am alerted anytime they are more than 1 second apart. The only time that happens is when they are rebooted or shut down. Even then they are typically back in time in less than 5 minutes.

         

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      Anonymous coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:58am

      Re:

      I agree with your premise, but unfortunately it is not an issue of a few seconds as you propose. The vote occurred at 12:03. Several *minutes* past midnight. Indeed, the vote was *called* after midnight, as was pointed out by a Democratic Senator (possibly West? he was holding his phone(?) above their heads in an attempt to draw the Senate's attention to the current time).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:13am

        Re: Re:

        Then the bill did not pass in time and should be voided. Changing the date under those circumstances is unacceptable, and this should be investigated for possible criminal charges.

        But just because I feel like arguing something... if it's true that the vote was not called until 12:03 and that this was "thanks to defeaning cheers from the gallery from supporters of State Senator Wendy Davis", I would also say that THIS is not appropriate. The gallery, perhaps purposely, disrupted the proceedings to the extent that a vote could not be taken? There's almost certainly a law against that, and minor charges would also be appropriate against the offenders. (Minor charges only. Nowhere near the charges appropriate for falsifying the date on the bill, of course.)

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you're asking the refs to put time back on the game clock? What do you think this is? The NBA Finals?

           

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          - Maybe they should have called a recess or whatever the Texas state legislature allows in that situation.

          - Maybe they should have thought about the peanut gallery as a potential problem before they acted on it.

          - Maybe they should have had a better prepared lt. gov. who actually understood the procedures better to avoid as much wasted time on finding that information.

          - Maybe they should have called for an extention of the voting to avoid a single filibuster being what stood between Ahab and his whale.

          - Maybe they should have ignored what happened in the peanut gallery and proceded instead of waiting for absolute peace.

          It is clear that the falsification of the date is a very serious way of subduing democracy. An unruly lot of people watching the process is either a problem they should have foreseen given the subject and the rules of the place (they are appearently very lax...) or something they should be able to ignore or avoid due to specifics of existing laws.

          If the senate do not know the laws, how the hell can they make them or even have an opinion on them?

           

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            Argonel (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Perhaps they should have had their vote earlier in the session, or even during the regular session. This was the last day of a 30 day emergency session.

            If I don't get my work done on time I am out of a job, not given an extra month to continue to work on it and still not get it done.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You apparently still don't know the difference between government and the private sector. In the private sector if you do a poor job you get fired. In government doing a poor job gets you a promotion.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah the standard blame the citizens when the government fucks up defense, works every time.

           

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      zerostar83 (profile), Jun 28th, 2013 @ 8:25am

      Re:

      Good thing there were MANY eye-witnesses watching it, all with synchronized clocks thanks to our wonderful technology.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2013 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      Except that the article states that they got screenshots of the page showing the correct date of 6/26 immediately after the vote, and it has been changed since then. The first dates would have been the automatically generated ones, the current dates would have to be manually altered.

       

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    Paul Brinker, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    I was watching this happen, People had screen shots, printed logs, and some guys even refreshed the web page to see the date change.

    We (the internet and those in Austin) saw the Texas GOP do some really bad things, ignore there own rules, use every trick in the book to end the filibuster. Since this happened with live coverage it was really doubtful this was going to pass.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      I'm surprised that even Texas politicians were stupid enough to think they could get away with this when so many people were watching.

      Everything's bigger in Texas, even the stupidity and hubris.

       

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        lars626 (profile), Jul 14th, 2013 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re: Texas

        You have to look at all this from the perspective of so many Texas legislators. They do not understand how things work. Especially not computers, those nasty little boxes that contain porn and other evil things. Things like a description of a 'rape kit'.

        They think that in order to win when you loose you just have to fudge the paperwork like the good old days.

         

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    A Monkey with Attitude, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Dont like Abortion, Not a fan of Filibusters, But I do think each person has a right to make a choice, so I have to applaude Wendy Davis for doing the right thing, it took some courage, and I applaude the internet for fighting to keep the others honest as well... When your argument must be passed thru trickery and last second swindles- give up its not worth it.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Filibuster

    Reading some of the comments in the linked article gave me a chuckle. All the folks calling Davis a 'hero' for her 'courageous' filibuster are the same sort of folks who scream bloody murder and call Republicans 'obstructionists' and 'anti-democratic' whenever they use the filibuster to block something.

    The filibuster is unique in American politics in that it brings out hypocrisy in people like nothing else.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:34am

      Re: Filibuster

      At least she had to actually filibuster.

       

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      Wally (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:44am

      Re: Filibuster

      The best thing about a filibuster is that it also exposes what someone truly believes in. The truth of the matter is that whether or not you may like it, a Republican State Senator stood up for what she believes in to block a bill that very likely most Texan civilians were truly against.

      Here's the problem...this isn't political. It's never a good thing when one side stands up for things they believe in and do everything within their power to stop something they believe isn't right only for the side that lost to be all butthurt and HACK a government computer to change the time stamp on a document.

       

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        Wally (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:45am

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        *Texas State Senator

         

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        PRMan, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        If you think most Texas civilians aren't against abortion, I don't think you've been to Texas...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Filibuster

          A bill allowing less restrictions on Abortions was fillerbustered. Wally never said Texans were for abortion, he was saying they'd likely be against one that has less restrictions on it...like allowing minors to have an abortion without consent of their parents.


          Wally's point is that it's far better to stand up for your beliefs and block something legally than it is to illegally change the time stamps on the to the previous day to make it look like a bill passed. Politically abortion may or may not agree with some people...but this article has nothing to do with that. It's how the loss was handled by one side who was for it.

           

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      That One Guy (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:45am

      Politics in a nut-shell:

      Where X is a given action, and A and B are opposing political parties:

      When A does X, X is considered 'good' by A, and 'bad' by B.

      When B does X, X is considered 'bad' by A, and 'good' by B.

      Conclusion: X doesn't matter on it's own, the only determination as to good/bad is who is bringing it up at a given time. Also, politicians are hypocrites.

       

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        Wally (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:47am

        Re: Politics in a nut-shell:

        Yes but when B decides to tamper with a database to win....X can adversely affect A in the negative. B prefers imaginary numbers in stead of solid ones.

         

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      silverscarcat (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:45am

      Re: Filibuster

      The way I see the filibuster is this...

      If you actually get up and talk and do your filibustering with words like Davis or Senator Rand Paul did, then you're doing it correctly. If you just use the threat of filibuster and don't do anything about it, then it's being used incorrectly and you need to be shot for doing that.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        I don't understand you. People should be able to filibuster but not to threaten to filibuster? The only difference between "filibuster" and "threat of filibuster" is if the OTHER side decides to test it.

        In my opinion, filibusters should not be allowed at all. Members should be able to reasonably debate the bill at hand, but not to speak for hours for the purpose of obstruction.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

          Re: Re: Re: Filibuster

          Except that would utterly undermine everything a filibuster is supposed to be -- a way for people, indeed senators, to block a bill going through that, in their mind or opinion, would be extremely dangerous or otherwise harmful. In fact, if this filibuster HAD NEVER HAPPENED, the bill would be passed, and we wouldn't have it, ON RECORD, that people tried to cheat the system to get the bill passed.

          Filibusters are needed, but filibuster reform is also needed. Filibusters SHOULD be about standing up and TALKING your way to obstruction, not just 'threatening' to do so.

           

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:00am

      Re: Filibuster

      Sigh, when the republicans in the Senate actually have to do what Wendy Davis did then they can have some respect. Saying I am filibustering is not the same.

       

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      bjg007, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:23am

      Re: Filibuster

      You're right, but the difference is that she didn't perform the republican "silent" filibuster where they just have a staffer call in and say they're filibustering then go about their day. She stood up and argued her point for over 10 hours on the floor of the Texas house with no food or bathroom breaks while staying on topic. That takes more then just a political whim to perform such a feat. The closest the republicans have had to this is when they sat and read Alice in Wonderland on the House floor. I would say there IS a difference here.

       

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        RyanNerd (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        I would say that a close second is Rand Paul'S filibuster as a protest to not having his question answered: "Can drones be used to kill American citizens?"
        He however did have help from two democrats that would take over the fillibuster giving him a break from time to time.

         

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:14pm

      Re: Filibuster

      Uh, the issue with the GOP in Congress is they are filibustering EVERYTHING. And not actually having to do what Ms. Davis did by actually standing up behind their 'principles' in the bright spotlight.

      The GOP prefer the dark anonymous corners. It's why they claim to not have voted no on anything they filibustered. It was never technically voted on, only whether to stop debate and vote.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

      Re: Filibuster

      "Reading some of the comments in the linked article gave me a chuckle. All the folks calling Davis a 'hero' for her 'courageous' filibuster are the same sort of folks who scream bloody murder and call Republicans 'obstructionists' and 'anti-democratic' whenever they use the filibuster to block something."

      The so-called "fillibuster" in the Federal Congress is merely a procedural matter. Republicans elminiated the actual performance feature of it.
      In the Texas Legislature, you actually have to perform the fillibuster and keep talking to hold on to the floor.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        > > "Reading some of the comments in the linked
        > > article gave me a chuckle. All the folks calling
        > > Davis a 'hero' for her 'courageous' filibuster
        > > are the same sort of folks who scream bloody
        > > murder and call Republicans 'obstructionists'
        > > and 'anti-democratic' whenever they use the
        > > filibuster to block something."

        > The so-called "fillibuster" in the Federal Congress
        > is merely a procedural matter. Republicans elminiated
        > the actual performance feature of it. In the Texas
        > Legislature, you actually have to perform the
        > fillibuster and keep talking to hold on to the floor.

        Yes, and if next year the Txas Republicans do the same thing Davis did and filibuster some bill that the Left considers a sacred cow, the same people who mooned with admiration when Davis filibustered will be gnashing their teeth in fury about how the Republicans have tarnished democracy itself with their obstructionist behavior.

         

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      mowgli (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Filibuster

      Pretty big generalization there. Also I'd point out filibusters in the US Senate and those in the Texas Senate are different to the degree the "filibusters" in the US Senate aren't actually filibusters. Basically US Senators just get to threaten them and that's good enough. To me THAT's obstruction.

      That alone makes Ms. Davis 'heroic' in my opinion. And I applaud Senator Paul's and Senator Sanders' filibusters from a while back for the same reasons.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        > Also I'd point out filibusters in the US
        > Senate and those in the Texas Senate are
        > different

        Why does everyone here assume I was talking about the federal Congress when I made my comment? The article is about the Texas legislature and that's what I was referring to. Nowhere did I indicate that I'd suddenly switched the topic to filibusters in the federal Congress.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 6:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Filibuster

          All the folks calling Davis a 'hero' for her 'courageous' filibuster are the same sort of folks who scream bloody murder and call Republicans 'obstructionists' and 'anti-democratic' whenever they use the filibuster to block something.

          You must have been talking about the federal congress because you used the present tense and Republicans in Texas haven't filibustered a bill during this election cycle.

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Filibuster

            > You must have been talking about the federal
            > congress because you used the present tense and
            > Republicans in Texas haven't filibustered a
            > bill during this election cycle.

            Why do you assume I was only referring to this election cycle?

             

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Filibuster

      I'm sure you know this for sure, like you're personally aware of when these exact people said those exact things, and you're not just making shit up and generalizing.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

        Re: Re: Filibuster

        > I'm sure you know this for sure, like
        > you're personally aware of when these exact
        > people said those exact things

        What does the phrase "the same sort of folks" mean to you? Because it apparently means something different to you than it does to the rest of us in the English-speaking world.

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

      Re: Filibuster

      Have there even been any talking filibusters (as opposed to silent anonymous filibusters or threats of such) for liberals to complain about?

       

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      David Hoffman (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 8:25pm

      Re: Filibuster

      Unlike the filibusters in the US Senate, this lady actually had to stand and deliver a continuous speech. Bring back the requirement for that to occur in the US Senate, and it would be interesting to see how much obstructionism the Republicans engage in.

       

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    allengarvin (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Whitehouse petition to veto bill

    I didn't realize Obama had replaced Perry as our governor.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Whitehouse petition to veto bill

      You are right. Obama and the federal government have absolutely nothing to do with Texas state law UNLESS by some means the law in question violated federal law and THEN it wouldn't be the Executive Branch's place to do something about it but rather the Judicial Branch's place to do something about it and for that to happen the other side would have to file a lawsuit that reached the federal courts. Texas has it's own judicial system for this (which is where this is likely to be headed) that is perfectly capable of striking down a state law that was not passed legally.

       

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      btr1701 (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

      Re: Whitehouse petition to veto bill

      > I didn't realize Obama had replaced Perry
      > as our governor.

      Now that we have the Lightbringer to guide us, we have no need for minor officials like governors.

       

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    jackn, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:28am

    the 'hypcrisy' is not over the fillibuster. The problem is changing official records.

     

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    jackn, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    I dont understand Texas. I mean they want teenage prostitutes, but they wont let them have an abortion. If texas wanted to get a longer useful life from its child prostitutes, it should allow them to get abortions so the girls can get back to the club and turn the tricks.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      I guess the statesmen were unsatisfied with the turnover rate at their local "massage clinic" or club.

      Gotta have some new blood on the dancefloor!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    and, like so many other underhand and really bad things, this is why governments keep doing their best to take control of the Internet. when it is being used to champion or promote a particular cause, the internet is the dog's bollocks of tools. when, however, it brings things like this to light, to the attention of the masses, it is the worst tool every invented! it also works when somewhere like N.Korea is up to no good and it is spread world wide via the 'net. when USA or somewhere similar is up to dirty tricks, it has to be shut down immediately and the information contained!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Was 175k people on that youtube stream near the end, was amazing to watch

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    As much as I hate abortion and want to see it go away but going about it this way is unforgivable.

    You cannot have a free people if a branch of goverment can just break whatever rules it wants (or has none in the first pace)

     

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      CK20XX, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      It's especially bad since this incident gives citizens yet another reason to not trust their governments.

      As for abortion itself... well, my mom faced near-fatal illness when she was having my siblings, but she chose to carry them through to the end anyway. As a result, she now has three children she loves and that have raised her as much as she's raised them. I do wish most people would pause a moment to think about how things might be if they had never been born and that they could muster up the bravery my mom did.

      But... the issue is also very nuanced and personal, like marriage and other such things, so it's not like you can force any single view of it upon a whole nation, especially if it's "for their own good". Perhaps it should always be one of those things where people should have the freedom to make their own decisions. Hopefully they'll learn from their decisions as well, whatever they are, and become better people for it.

       

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        Berenerd (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re:

        I am against abortion as a means of birth control. (I have known women who have had 7-8 abortions because they don't like birth control). I have also known a girl, 13, raped by her father, and got pregnant. She would have died giving birth. She had an abortion. This is ok by me.

         

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          CK20XX, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Aye, there's the rub. It's possible most people don't like abortion because of its potential for abuse. It lets people have lots of sex without ever dealing with any of the responsibility sex is supposed to entail. But then what about those life-or-death situations?

          And what do all those abortion clinics say about us as a society? Are there really that many life-or-death pregnancies that we need to have entire clinics devoted to undoing them as opposed to abortion being a supplementary service offered by standard hospitals? Am I missing something here?

           

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            That One Guy (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 12:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            'And what do all those abortion clinics say about us as a society?'

            That despite society being absolutely horrified at any mention of sex/sexuality, leading to 'abstinence only' being widespread as the 'standard' sex-ed, it's doing a horrible job?

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:57am

      Re:

      Not to mention it's just unrealistic to outlaw all abortions over half a century after it was legalized, people would never stand for it. Studies show over 1/3 of all women have had an abortion by the time they're in their mid 40's.

      Studies also show that outlawing abortion is like outlawing drugs. It doesn't work at reducing the number of abortions, it just makes abortions less safe, and throws countless people in jail who are otherwise law abiding citizens.

       

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        Anonymous, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re:

        But apparently people WILL stand for NSA spying, Obamacare, checkpoints, and other government intrusions in our lives.

         

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      art guerrilla (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

      Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

      do i own my own body or not ? ? ?

      (answer that question honestly, and you've answered the abortion 'question'...)

      art guerrilla
      aka ann archy
      eof

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

        It's not thqat simple

        You do own your own body, but the baby also has a right to life that is worthy of protection that conflicts with your rights to choose and you have a resposablity to protect it.

        If you do not wish to take care of the child after birth there's always adoption

        Further, with the exception of rape you already have a choice on whether to have a baby without even needing to factor abortions into the mix.

         

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          jackn, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

          answer this. Do I own my own children?

          You have your answer

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

            Do you THINK you OWN your children? If you do then maybe you need to rethink your position. I HAVE a daughter that I love dearly, care for, and provide for that I am also responsible for and I am raising with the help of my wife to the best of our abilities. But I do not OWN her. People are not property. If you do indeed have children, I truly feel sorry for them and hope that they end up more enlightened than you.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

            So, are you arguing that it's okay to kill your ten year old child?

            No, you don't own a child. You have some rights as to how to raise that child but that's not the same thing.

            You do not have the right to "break" a child like a plate

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

          the baby also has a right to life that is worthy of protection


          And there is the crux of the biscuit. We cannot, as a society, agree at what point a fertilized egg becomes a baby. As a society, we will probably never agree what point that is, because such a single point does not exist.

          I think that the compromise test that the Supreme Court used (viability outside the womb) is a very imperfect one in many ways -- but I am hard pressed to come up with a better one.

           

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          Sunhawk, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

          Can you be compelled to risk your life for another? Must you give someone one of your kidneys if they need it? Or let's say someone needs a blood transfusion and only I'm available - can you tie me down and take a couple pints (or even more, to the point of putting my life in some amount of danger) to save their life?

          Because that's the flip side of the "the fetus has a right to life" argument - *even granted that* (for the sake of argument), does any human being have the right to live through unwilling sacrifice of another's health?

          The reason for the 'viability' limit is because at that point the fetus can gain what is needed without demanding further risk or sacrifice from the woman in question.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

            If a doctor finds there's a likely harm to the mother then abortion would be acceptable, but only then

             

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        Anonymous, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

        Ask Obama and the congress, who passed a law requiring you to insure that body or face a hefty tax penalty.
        Th "my-body-my-choice" crowd is deafeningly silent on that one.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

        Re: Re: "As much as I hate abortion..."

        Sooooooooo... what's your stance on suicide?

         

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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    And of course with such a clear-cut case of actual, intentional hacking of government computers, I'm sure the DOJ will get right on investigating and prosecuting those involved, both the hackers themselves and the ones who ordered it done. /s

     

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    Ben (profile), Jun 26th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    Slightly off topic

    My understanding of Texas law (and this based solely on what I've heard) is that the special session (such as the one this happened in) is supposed to be called for emergencies, and because it is an "emergency" the rules for passing a law get amended to allow simple majority passage (instead of 2/3s).

    So, what was the emergency? Was it just this stupid anti-abortion bill? Was it an emergency because they couldn't get it passed during their normal session? That doesn't sound like much of an emergency.

    What is to keep them from just doing away with the "normal" legislative session, and just do everything in 30 day "emergency" sessions?

    And lastly, how much do these "emergency" sessions cost? If I were a Texan, I'd be asking why we needed to pay for this travesty.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Some b*tch got up and talked for hours on end. What's so impressive about that?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      Someone is just butthurt because women won't give him the time of day and is clueless as to why when it is painfully obvious to everyone else.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Update

    According to Democracy Now, the lt. governor announced at 3am that the vote had not followed procedure and therefore did not pass in time conceding the victory to the opposition. However, he blamed the fact that it failed due to the "Occupy Wallstreet tactics" of the activists that were in the building disrupting the proceedings.

    Furthermore, according to Pacifica radio, the governor has already called a second emergency session to begin July 1st to reintroduce the issue.

     

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    The Bouncy One, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 2:03am

    The Whitehouse Petition

    Visiting the petition link above I get this:

    The petition you are trying to access has been removed from the site under our Moderation Policy because it is in violation of our Terms of Participation.

    Anyone any more info on this?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2013 @ 5:08am

      Re: The Whitehouse Petition

      I suspect it is this part of the TOP that they used to justify pulling it.

      "You agree not to create petitions that fall outside this limited purpose—for example, petitions that advertise or call for the endorsement or purchase of commercial goods or services, petitions that expressly urge the support or opposition of candidates for elected office, petitions that do not address the current or potential actions or policies of the federal government, or petitions that address a topic not included in We the People at the time the petition was created."

      Since it is a matter of state law not federal law it does not "address the current or potential actions or policies of the federal government."

       

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    Squire James (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Filibuster Beside the Point

    To throw my 2 cents in, I think both filibusters and midnight special sessions are pretty shady tactics, and both sides use them frequently for really important stuff that could really wait another day or two (e.g. Obamacare).

    Placing a deadline at, say, 7 PM rather than midnight would help curb this behavior, as would allowing calling/making votes electronically so protester noise is not an issue.

    That being said, the person who actually altered that date and the person who ordered him/her to do it needs to lose their job. I don't care which party they're in. Obviously it's likely an R in this case, but I'm sure a D or two has done this in other states or at the federal level at some point.

     

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    jsf (profile), Jun 27th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Official Clock

    The date/time on the web page may not matter in this case. Most, if not all state legislative bodies have a single clock that represents the official time. Usually this is within the voting chamber and visible to all members. By either law or parliamentary ruling this is the only clock that counts.

    Based on the videos it would seem that the big clock in the chamber is the likely official time and that indicated it was past midnight.

    As far as recorded dates and times on bill passages fudging has been a relatively common place thing for as long as the USA has been around. It has become much harder to do without notice since legislative proceedings have become televised.

     

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    dan, Jul 3rd, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Republicans are Fascists

    This just proves the point. They are evil bastards who do not believe in democracy--they want to rule over us and tell us what we can and cannot do irrespective of the constitution.

     

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