Re: What's the mechanism for firing the chair of a committee?
This is where most of the power of Speaker of the House resides - the Speaker controls the assignment of members of his/her party to committees. Senior (majority party) member of the committee is "usually" the chair. In the Senate it is the Majority Leader. The minority leaders assign the "other" openings on the committees.
Of course the day-to-day power comes from controlling how legislation is brought before the respective houses, but you really can't underestimate the power (and payoff) of being able to assign chairmanships.
The Speaker/Majority Leader can take away committee membership pretty much at will, so that is one way a chairman could be removed.
Hmmm seems like Article I Section 6 needs updating...
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, Breach of the Peace, and Copyright Infringement, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place. Article I Section 6
Presuming that the FBI/NSA/TLA know you are reporting that you have not received a NSL/court order [and come on, you have to admit it is likely the NSA will know] -- what is to stop them from including in that court order an insistence that you continue to report that you did not received that court order?
There is certainly something wrong with the pricing of the ZEUS multi-tool -- no wonder they're going slow. $25 for one, $350 for ten? Doesn't quite add up, unless it is $350 for ten personalized tools. On the whole, it just looks clunky.
For the Silverback, I was amused by the "faq"
The Silverback was inspected and approved by TSA
(it's not a question!) I can imagine that statement is worth the bits my browser used to display it -- I'd want something at least referencing a TSA document which can be pointed to when they tell me "you can't take that".
Besides, the only time I had something confiscated when getting on an airplane was a small multi-tool, but it was in England (coming _back_ to America, so the tool went out just fine) so the TSA wasn't even involved.
About a week later they responded with an attached document with the title “press release”. I went through the questions, corrected the horrendous grammar, and organised it so it coherently answered the questions I’d posed.
Sounds like a "Transformative Work" to me, which means it is not covered by their copyright at all (in addition to all the other problems their claim has with "Fair Use").
This Congress is not only "Do Nothing" but "On Holiday" -- since they won't accomplish anything it seems they'd rather not be working at all. I cannot imagine them coming close to dealing with the stupidity in the DMCA.
[NSA] employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.
Shouldn't the correct order be "optimally maintaining the public trust," "minimizing the harm of unauthorized disclosures," while "protecting our national security," and "advance our foreign policy"?
I, personally, don't see how the NSA has the job to "advance our foreign policy," but I'll give it to them if they want it (I thought that was the job of the CIA).
It may be illegal, or even, more likely, unconstitutional; it is not treason. If it were treason, then working to make an amendment to the constitution is treason.
I think a reasonable definition of treason is: The betrayal of one's own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies
The US Supreme Court has said that 1st Amendment Rights are not absolute; falsely yelling FIRE in a theater, for example, can be prosecuted. And on (too) many occasions they have said that National Security can take precedence to hold back speech. Unfortunately, from my perspective, they don't ask for proof that National Security is actually involved.
If you think "they" can't find some statute in the encyclopedia they call the US Criminal Code that could go after them, I think you are sadly mistaken. IIRC there is even a law which says if you break *another* country's law, they can go after you (really! and you don't even need to be in that other country; there's a youtube video called Don't Talk to Police which mentions it...)
There are several instances where the US has made things illegal after the fact -- the laws around the SuperFund sites being one of them, so the "ex post facto" limitation is not 100%.
The simple truth is that every Congress-person who voted no has committed treason.
Unfortunately, No. Article III, Section 3:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
And the action of voting No does not rise to that level (nor does Bradley Manning's for that matter; *or* Mr Snowden). And since it isn't treason, they are therefore protected by Article I, Section 6:
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
But yes, their oath is to the Constitution; I wish they would pay attention to that a bit more.