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Senate Cybersecurity Bill Stalled By Ridiculous Amendments

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-is-why-western-society-collapsed dept.

Government 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."

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Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (5, Insightful)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857249)

I know this is the way our government works, tacking on all sorts of stupid shit but it still seems absurd.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (5, Funny)

Zobeid (314469) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857267)

Those who love sausage and respect the law shouldn't watch either being made.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857409)

Sausage at least has nutritional value. However, in this case, perhaps we should be thankful for all the ludicrous amendments, because they appear at least to have stalled this ludicrous, farcical, and absurd piece of legislation.

Congress mandating "security performance requirements". It'd be a joke if the wrong people wouldn't be going to jail as a result of this stupidity.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857417)

This congress can choke on my love sausage.

they're useless, downright harmful to the nation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857609)

shut 'em down, grind them up, make sausage with 'em and sell them to the Chinese.

CyberSecurity Bill by Lieberman? (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858049)

Join me in celebrating the defeat of this additional intrusion of police-state power. Let's hope it's blocked FOREVER!

This is not about any "Security" I know of - unless you mean the kind of "Security" that the DMCA offers toward corporations.

The bill focuses on restriction of tools and activities used to manage, diagnose and secure network connectivity. Users of Wireshark or even ping can be treated like DMCA circumventors, under the provisions of this proposed act.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/05/frequently-asked-questions-about-lieberman-collins-cyber-security-act [eff.org]

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857549)

I know this is the way our government works, tacking on all sorts of stupid shit but it still seems absurd.

Not everywhere. In Canada (and probably many other Westminister systems), each bill has a particular topic.

Something that includes everything and the kitchen sinks is called "omnibus", generally discouraged, and isconsidered 'bad form' to use (though that doesn't stop them from happening of course):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnibus_bill

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858377)

Some American states have explicit prohibition on these kinds of shenanigans. E.g. Washington State Constitution:

SECTION 38 LIMITATION ON AMENDMENTS. No amendment to any bill shall be allowed which shall change the scope and object of the bill.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857665)

We should lobby to have a bill that makes this type of stupid shit illegal. Just pass a law stating all amendments must be directly related to the bill, and the bill can only be about one thing.

On another note what happened to the Checks and balances, we have managed to screw up the government from the original point. Now it's basically RNC vs DNC, sorry to tell you but the US was never meant to be a democracy, but instead a republic, we f'd that up when we allowed winner takes all electoral colleges and populous elected Senators.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858269)

But how do you define 'directly related' and 'one thing?'

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (5, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857671)

I wish they would change the rules to allow only amendments related to the legislation in question. It would seem such a simple thing would make congress much more efficient. Then again, I seriously doubt that was ever a priority for them.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (4, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857797)

And the bill to get that passed would have 100 amendments having nothing to do with outlawing amendments!

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858025)

Or how about no amendments... pass or fail by the bill alone.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (2)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858351)

Amendments are often how compromise is reached. Without amendments, the Constitution would never have passed.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858355)

Amendments in and of themselves aren't inherently evil. If they introduce legislation that has a gap, or isn't clearly defined, an amendment can be used to shore up weaknesses and to address various concerns.

That said, allow anyone to introduce ANY amendment, related or not, just seems asinine. Limiting the scope only to related amendments makes sense.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (4, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858327)

If the Founder Fathers wanted efficiency, they would not have created the federal system with a bicameral legislature. Stupid shit like this slowing down the process is there by design - to protect our rights. If government were efficient, they would just erode our rights faster.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857767)

It's like government by obsessive-compulsive sufferers. "I can't concentrate on this bill, I can only keep my obsessions front and center."

Government for the morons, by the morons and of the morons.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (3, Funny)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857935)

It's not absurd. If you cyberRTFA you'll see that they are talking about cyberabortions of cyberpregrancies, cybergunreform and cyber-repealing of cyberhealthcare.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (1, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858187)

I solved this problem ages ago, but nobody listens to me. I guess it's a curse: I'm some kind of miraculous oracle, I solve the world's problems on the backs of napkins, and nobody fucking cares. It's what I do.

Look, maybe if I say it enough somebody will listen. When you make a bill, you add a mission statement. A statement of purpose. It's legally binding. This bill has the purpose of ... improving the robustness of the economy of the United States of America by means of regulating the trading of securities. That's a statement of purpose.

Does banning abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy improve the robustness of the US economy? Does it do so by means of regulating the trading of securities?

No?

Well THAT LAW IS INVALID.

When you go to court, it should be a sound legal argument that the law is BULLSHIT and has nothing to do with what it's supposed to be about. It can be as far as showing that the intent of the law was to solve a particular social injustice and that the "criminal behavior" engaged in did not in fact perpetrate such injustice; or it can be as simple as showing that the law was intended to attack one problem and the section of the law in question has absolutely nothing to do with whatever the fuck it was supposed to address. These are actually the same thing. If you want a law against gun control, create a bill about controlling guns.

On the other hand, the law prescribes HOW to address the problem it seeks to control. That the law attempts to address "the proliferation of marijuana use" doesn't mean you can arrest someone for a clear case of marijuana use. The law must specify something about marijuana that is now illegal. If it's illegal to smoke marijuana, but not to grow and sell it, you can grow and sell it. If it's illegal to traffic marijuana, you can still PRODUCE it, and CONSUME it, but apparently you can't sell or trade it. If you want it to be illegal, you better say so. And if you say something that's not related to marijuana is suddenly illegal, THAT'S NOT FUCKING RELEVANT SO IT'S NOT ENFORCEABLE IN COURT.

Yes, it will cause problems with the legal interpretation of laws down the road. You know what? THAT HAPPENS ANYWAY. I've actually just suggested that we make INTENT more clear, so fuck off, this actually makes things work as expected. It, of course, takes power out of certain peoples' hands--in theory. In reality legislature has no power, and they're too stupid to utilize the power they do have to any effect. Still it's effectively binding the legislative body, and they'll never pass such a resolution so as to bind themselves.

Re:Business as usual, but it still seems absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40858203)

This is partially why it ISN'T working anymore.

Ridiculous all over (3, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857287)

There's no reason the amendments should be any less ridiculous than the bill itself.

Re:bill itself (4, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857363)

Well, here's the summary links to the bill itself.

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.2105 [loc.gov] :

I'm a little out of my depth but "comprehensive legislation" these days makes me nervous that there aren't sneaky things in there.

Re:bill itself (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857389)

p.s. the link won't work with a final : symbol on the end, Slashdot doesn't like the link.

Re:bill itself (1)

ep32g79 (538056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858215)

I'm a little out of my depth but "comprehensive legislation" these days makes me nervous that there aren't sneaky things in there.

Unfortunately it happens far too often.
Take the Hughes Amendment [youtube.com] for example, If you pay attention, you'll notice the amendment that Mr. Hughes brings to the table fails to pass, but is instead inserted into the bill as passed by the gavel of Mr. Rangel.

You mean to tell me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857307)

You mean to tell me that they use bills as "asdf" / "misc" folders? I though I was the only one.

the bill already failed, what is this article abou (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857343)

??? the bill failed a vote on the senate floor minutes ago

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-cybersecurity-act-fails-to-pass-in-the-senate-20120802,0,1649471.story

Re:the bill already failed (4, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858013)

Looks like you're right. The bill was reintroduced as S.3414 [loc.gov] which was voted on [senate.gov] and rejected a few hours ago.

How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857345)

An amendment making the proposal of amendments to a bill - which are not directly related to said bill's specific subject - matter a crime punishable by being forced to watch at least 72 continuous hours of Barney the Friendly Dinosaur.

Who decides? (4, Insightful)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857407)

And who decides if the amendment is related to the bill or not? The majority party? Luckily our congress would never act in a petty & partisan manner by randomly punishing their political opponents just because they can.

Re:Who decides? (4, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857485)

And who decides if the amendment is related to the bill or not? The majority party? Luckily our congress would never act in a petty & partisan manner by randomly punishing their political opponents just because they can.

Believe it or not, Congress is not made up only of Congressmen. There are various nonpartisan offices whose job is to analyze everything brought to them - for example, the Congressional Budget Office. This could just create the Congressional Relevance Office.

Re:Who decides? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857653)

I'm not sure I like that. If we had an Congressional Relevance Office it might need to dissolve congress due to lack of relevance. Inept and corrupt government is better than no government at all.

Re:Who decides? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857697)

And who decides who's on that office?

I really like the idea, I'm just worried about what the implementation would be.

Re:Who decides? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857973)

And who decides who's on that office?

I really like the idea, I'm just worried about what the implementation would be.

A normal hiring process. Using the CBO as an example again, here's [cbo.gov] their "career opportunities" page.

Re:Who decides? (4, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858065)

Extra info [wikipedia.org] on the leadership positions. Possible to be corrupt, but difficult.

Re:Who decides? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857741)

Pretty sure it is the Senate Parliamentarian, who is charged with interpreting the arcane rules of the Senate. Presumably, these would include whether an amendment is germane. Unlike the House, the Senate doesn't have a strict requirement on germaness for amendments, however.

Re:Who decides? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857497)

And who decides if the amendment is related to the bill or not?

Logic, maybe?

Oh, we're talking about Congress; no logic allowed.

Re:How about... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857423)

An amendment making the proposal of amendments to a bill - which are not directly related to said bill's specific subject - matter a crime punishable by being forced to watch at least 72 continuous hours of Barney the Friendly Dinosaur.

For a second offense, maybe. First offense? 48 hours of The Brady Bunch. Course, they'd probably throw it out as cruel and unusual punishment, but hey, if it's not cruel and unusual, how can it be punishment?

Re:How about... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857859)

Noone will propose that amendment, as it won't be directly related to that bill subject, so will be condemned to see the Barney marathon. Anyway, should exist a bill against such kind of inhumane punishments, but didnt got approved because the cybersecurity addendum to it.

And that would be pretty close to a paradoxical bill, not that having logic or any pretention of making sense matter for most already approved ones anyway.

Holding pattern until the election (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857349)

At this point Congress is in a holding pattern until the election. You'd be lucky to get through a resolution expressing condolences to the Colorado shooting victims.

Re:Holding pattern until the election (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857397)

I'm sure there is a pay raise bill somewhere that can get passed.

Re:Holding pattern Since the election (1)

PraiseBob (1923958) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857469)

They've been in a holding pattern for 3 years now from what I can tell...

Re:Holding pattern until the election (0, Troll)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857517)

You'd be lucky to get through a resolution expressing condolences to the Colorado shooting victims.

Indeed; the NRA would never allow that.

Re:Holding pattern until the election (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857603)

Why not? Expressing condolences for the victims does not mean you believe that there should be more gun control or a ban on guns.

Gridlock (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857351)

It's probably a good thing in this case, like so many others.

"Cybersecurity" 101 (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857361)

"Cybersecurity" 101, don't have critical infrastructure facing the internet. Use strong encryption for sensitive files. Deploy security patches promptly. Use the right tool for the job, sometimes that means using a commercial OS, sometimes it means developing a new OS, sometimes it means taking an existing OS (*Nix) and tweaking it.

Re:"Cybersecurity" 101 (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857573)

don't have critical infrastructure facing the internet.

There are other ways to get malware onto a target PC, especially if the target is specific enough

Use strong encryption for sensitive files.

Keys can be lost or stolen. I think we've learned the lesson by now and 'strong' encryption means unbreakable for the forseable future, but there was a point where strong encryption was only secure for a decade or two.

Deploy security patches promptly.

Doesn't help any of the multitude of zero day exploits in the wild.

Use the right tool for the job, sometimes that means using a commercial OS, sometimes it means developing a new OS, sometimes it means taking an existing OS (*Nix) and tweaking it.

Sometimes you just can't afford to in terms of time or budget. Sometimes the available developers have a limited skill, sometimes you're contractually limited in your choices.

Not that any of your recommendations are bad or wrong. They're absolutely right. I'm just pointing out that cybersecurity 101 is not enough to build an ironclad system. And I'd argue that proper training and compensation for your users is at least as important as any of them. All the security in the world won't mean a damn if someone will pick up a USB drive off the parking lot, plug it into your secure machine, open docs and files looking for contact information, and offer to return it.

Re:"Cybersecurity" 101 (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857753)

All of those are excuses, and while one or two might be valid for a specific part, one of the things about security is that you should be doing ALL that stuff, to minimize your risk should one of the other facets fail.

Especially the budget one. I'm sorry, but good security costs money. And until there are very real penalties for not doing it, many cheapasses will simply choose not to.

Re:"Cybersecurity" 101 (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857735)

Unfortunately, there are too many people out there who either don't know any of this stuff, or simply don't care, or find it "too expensive".

Re:"Cybersecurity" 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857963)

If the internet was completely free, without ANY kind of regulation, there wouldn't be any need for stupid laws like this.

Whenever you pass a law to regulate something on the internet, you centralize, you create choke points, weak spots ripe for exploitation by either side. So, they add some more laws to counter the failings of the previous on. And they keep adding and adding, until, the only solution remains to give complete control to a single central authority and trust in their ability.

Re:"Cybersecurity" 101 (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858095)

"Cybersecurity" 101, don't have critical infrastructure facing the internet.

OK, let's start with our most critical information infrastructure. I guess that would be the banking system and the stock market. So, I guess we will just go back to mailing checks around and good old authentication techniques like writing your name on a piece of paper or calling your broker and sounding like yourself.

Feel better yet?

kent brockman: (1, Troll)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857367)

i've said it before and i'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work.

Re:kent brockman: (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857441)

i've said it before and i'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work.

It's worse than everything except everything else.

The best government would be an enlightened despot, but there's no way to me sure your despot stays enlightened. Nor to ensure the succession.

Nor to get everyone to agree on what 'enlightened' means.

Re:kent brockman: (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858209)

So two cheers for Democracy: one because it admits variety and two because it permits criticism. Two cheers are quite enough: there is no occasion to give three.

— E.M. Forster, "Two Cheers for Democracy"

Re:kent brockman: (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857447)

That's not a bug, that's a feature.

Re:kent brockman: (1)

TheScarryKitty (2585471) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857663)

Yes to that. I think there should be a Constitutional amendment so both chambers Congress and the Presidency can't be controlled by the same party. That would keep all kinds of stupid crap from passing.

Re:kent brockman: (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857795)

And it would keep good things from passing, and it would make anything that does pass into complete and utter crap.

Re:kent brockman: (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857661)

the only problem with democracy is the people who participate

yfw americans clap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857377)

after failing to pass a bill

What would it take... (4, Interesting)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857381)

What would we need to do to make this kind of shit illegal? A law? A constitutional amendment? I don't think it would be too hard to get 2/3 of Americans to agree that any amendment or rider to a bill should be relevant to that bill's stated purpose.

Re:What would it take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857425)

2/3 of Americans, sure. 2/3 of congresscritters? Good luck!

Re:What would it take... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857451)

It wouldn't matter. The constitution is routinely ignored, there are so many laws on the books that its impossible to be sure that you are following them all.

Even if they did follow the constitution they'd use political doublespeak to prevent it from working as intended.

Re:What would it take... (3, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857477)

The problem is figuring out how to craft a law demanding that. What does it mean to be "relevant" to a bill's stated purpose? For that matter, how does one define the "stated purpose" of a bill?

Common-sense legislation is a nice idea, but it turns out that common sense is actually quite difficult to describe in a manner suitable for law. That goes double in common-law systems, where precedent becomes a law unto itself and so interpretation becomes extremely important.

Re:What would it take... (4, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857553)

The problem is figuring out how to craft a law demanding that. What does it mean to be "relevant" to a bill's stated purpose? For that matter, how does one define the "stated purpose" of a bill?

But the same thing applies to many parts of the existing Constitution. What constitutes a "reasonable search"? What kind of punishments are "cruel and unusual"? And so forth. The answer, in practice, is that the federal courts decide these things. If there was a Constitutional amendment barring irrelevant additions to bills, the deterrent to Congress would presumably be that the addendum could be thrown out by the courts and therefore there would be no point in trying to pass it. Even if the benefit of the doubt was given to the legislature in corner cases, the most blatant abuses like the ones mentioned in this article might be avoided.

Re:What would it take... (1)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858329)

The problem is figuring out how to craft a law demanding that. What does it mean to be "relevant" to a bill's stated purpose? For that matter, how does one define the "stated purpose" of a bill?

The obvious answer is, whoever wrote and introduced the bill gets to decide which amendments are relevant.

If a bad bill is introduced and the submitter stonewalls any amendments to improve it then it'll just get voted down.

/greger

Re:What would it take... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857571)

You can't do anything. The alpha sociopaths are in complete control of everything. People like you raging on about the constitution or changing the system are just a giggle to them.

Re:What would it take... (1)

msk (6205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857617)

Summary ejection from the office in question and banishment from ever again holding elected office.

Re:What would it take... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857619)

What would we need to do to make this kind of shit illegal? A law? A constitutional amendment? I don't think it would be too hard to get 2/3 of Americans to agree that any amendment or rider to a bill should be relevant to that bill's stated purpose.

At this point we're left with few options, although these [wikipedia.org] devices [wikipedia.org] have classically proven effective at eliminating political corruption.

now, if only we can find a way to convinced the doped-up masses to actually use them...

Re:What would it take... (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857857)

Those devices also have classically proven effective at removing the other guy's corruption, while increasing the power of your own corruption.

Re:What would it take... (1)

iamgnat (1015755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857681)

I don't think it would be too hard to get 2/3 of Americans to agree that any amendment or rider to a bill should be relevant to that bill's stated purpose.

Too bad the general population doesn't make laws then (though there are plenty more cases where it is a damned good thing they don't). In this case the people you are trying to restrict are the ones that are creating such laws. Just how likely do you think it is that they will curb their potential of abuse of the system to suit their own ends?

You know the answer (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857747)

What would we need to do to make this kind of shit illegal? A law?

Great idea! We can append it to the Senate cybersecurity bill.

Re:What would it take... (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857825)

Really, it would just take an adjustment to the rules of the relevant chamber of Congress. A law would make it a little more concrete, as the House and Senate determine their rules at the seating of the new Congress (or something along that timeline).

Precisely the problem. (5, Insightful)

unr3a1 (1264666) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857399)

This is one of the fundamental reasons why we have the issues we have. Including amendments or clauses that have absolutely nothing to do with the main content of the bill itself should not be allowed. It has historically and currently used to sneak in laws that are not openly discussed with the public in order to pass those laws without public knowledge. This is because they know it is harder to eliminate a law after it has passed than it is to block a law before it passes.

While arguments could be made that legitimate laws that should be passed would take too long to get passed, this ability is abuses far more frequently than being used for legitimate laws. And for that reason, things like this need to stop.

R.I.P. (1)

some old guy (674482) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857411)

It was voted down, largely due to business objections to more regulations, but I'm sure the usual petty bickering was involved as well.

The actual bill had no teeth anyway. The proposed standards were voluntary. It will take a technological 9/11 - like event to goad the government into concrete action, and given our legislative track record, the response to an IT Pearl Harbor will probably be both over-reaching and misdirected.

It is pretty pathetic when we can trust neither the government nor business to do something reasonable and effective. One is incompetent, the other is greedy. We're hopelessly screwed.

Re:R.I.P. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857607)

That's ok. Now, we can have adds like "Senator So-n-So Voted against a bill that would have prevented the sale of large capacity clips....putting YOU and your family at risk the next time you go anywhere in public" and " Whosy-Whatsits voted against a ban on abortion..he actually loves the idea of killing babies "

Ulterior Motives with add-ons? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857415)

Either Senators are all assholes (probable, either way) and they just strap on whatever they can to fast-track legislation (should be illegal, tbh) or they really don't want this bill to go through but don't want to vote "no". Really? Addition to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act? That's not gonna pass and has absolutely nothing to do with cybersecurity...

Cybersecurity and magazine clips? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857427)

Shouldn't they be concerning themselves with restricting WoW magic swords and stuff like that?

I mean, come on folks. Put the stuff about real weapons in a physical security bill.

Oh I see (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857473)

...wait no, he's not talking about high capacity clips in online video games? Then maybe that amendment should GTFO of that bill! I should run for senate, introduce a law that requires amendments to be directly related to bills, then leave lol.

Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857475)

Has anyone ever actually made a high capacity clip?

I am well aware of high capacity magazine, but I have never seen stripper clips more than 5 rounds, and moon clips are for revolvers.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857561)

LOL RATE 10 FUNNY HE CLARIFIED THE MAGAZINE TERM WITH SARCASM!11! 11!!

Honestly nobody gives a shit. Really.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857587)

I am well aware of high capacity magazine, but I have never seen stripper clips more than 5 rounds, and moon clips are for revolvers.

Don't worry. Most other men can't go five rounds with a stripper either. Nobody's that high-capacity.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (1)

Push Latency (930039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857611)

The M1 Garand could fit EIGHT in the clip!

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857707)

Has anyone ever actually made a high capacity clip?

I am well aware of high capacity magazine, but I have never seen stripper clips more than 5 rounds, and moon clips are for revolvers.

10 round stripper clips are common for loading 5.56 NATO and 7.62x39.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857919)

I doubt anyone would call 10 rounds high capacity.

I was not aware of those, don't most of the firearms that shoot that use removable magazines?

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857733)

Do en-bloc clips count? I know of one that holds 8 rounds.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858059)

Garand does that, but still not hicap.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858037)

I am not aware of any but it would be nice if they made them so we wouldn't have to see these kinds of posts any more.

Re:Has there ever been a high capacity clip? (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858297)

In fairness to the Senator, the amendment bans "transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices". It's the reporter who doesn't know a clip from a magazine.

It's actually a pitifully toothless law, as it excludes any extended magazines already in existence in the country. It would take decades to have any effect. Not that it has any chance of passing in the first place.

Democracy in the US is a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857501)

You americans are so proud of "democracy" and yet fail to have one of democracy's most important tools : the abrogative referendum.
Sure some states have referendums, but you lack one at the federal level to repel some of the most insane fedreal laws and power trips that Congress and the Supreme Court have passed in the last decades. Referendums are useful, especially when neither party has the people's will at heart.

So both parties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857507)

amend a bunch of shit I don't support to a bill I detest then argue over which to pass. Get all the rats on one ship then pull back and nuke it from orbit. I am ok with this.

Just gotta laugh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857509)

Banning abortion and high capacity clips in one bill - bipartisan rejection!

And both are distraction issues along with this bill.

Why aren't they addressing the fiscal problems? Or more pressing problems?

Oh yeah, the meaningless distraction issues are the ones that get people out there to vote.

In the meantime, businesses and investors are like deer in headlights wondering what's going to happen to the economy.

So, while your personal finances are being decimated along with your employment security, those people in Washington are making sure that large ammo clips and poor people in DC can't get abortions. I mean let's face it; the well to do people will just go out of DC to get an abortion and if you really want a high capacity clip, just buy from a private citizen. That's what we did when they were banned before.

easy peazy.

There's always a way around the law - especially if your rich.

But government finances? Congress are the only ones who can take care of it. But no there wasting their time appeasing stupid people.

Re:Just gotta laugh! (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857889)

You act like Congress can only act on one issue at a time. That's simply not true.

Government procedural fail (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857531)

The rules allow them to introduce any kind of irrelevant crap into any bill. There's no filtering process because there's no binary way to assess relevance and politicians apparently can't deal with ambiguity well enough to set up even simple heuristics, approved by vote.

There's little evidence of intelligence in congress, even on the intelligence committee. After all, Michelle Bachmann is on it.

One Subject at a Time Act (5, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857551)

This is a great reminder to contact your Representative and ask them to support the latest iteration of the H.R. 3806 One Subject at a Time Act [govtrack.us] in the House and Sen. Paul's version S. 3359 One Subject at a Time Act [govtrack.us] in the Senate. Both bills are endorsed by DownsizeDC, which is one of the originators of the idea [downsizedc.org] , according to their site.

Re:One Subject at a Time Act (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857915)

I love the idea of keeping amendments relevant to the bill at hand. But the question is, who decides the relevance? Do you think Michelle Bachmann would vote that the amendment to repeal the ACA would be irrelevant to this bill? Hardly.

The Courts (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858353)

The same people that interpret all the rest of the vague, subjective, conflicting law that comes out of congress - the courts. Sen Paul's bill states that any provisions in a bill which are not related to the subject of the bill will be void. Thus if the government attempts to enforce any sections of law introduced by such bills, it will be appealed and potentially struck down by the courts.

Any self-restraint by the congress is highly desirable, but they are not the final authority.

Re:One Subject at a Time Act (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858385)

Sen. Paul's version S. 3359 One Subject at a Time Act

Would this be the same Senator Paul who insists on tacking abortion riders onto flood insurance bills [thehill.com] ?

I note that even the official summary of the bill has the phrase "and for other purposes" tacked onto it.

Code Re-Use (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40857583)

A much more versatile and generalizable title would be "[% legislative_chamber %] [% legislation_name %] Stalled By Ridiculous Amendments." Used as an HTML template, it would be almost universally applicable around the world.

Don't forget the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40857615)

I wonder which is worse, the U.S. Chamber or the business community. It's pretty sad when you make participation voluntary... and that's still not good enough. What's it going to take?

sh1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40858223)

here's an idea... (1)

just another AC (2679463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40858387)

Just an armchair expert (on the other side of the world no less) but...

maybe try pass an amendment stating that no amendments can be considered if not directly related to the bill (or infrastructure etc needed for it's enforcement). Seems it would fix an awful lot of problems. Allow the public to decry individual evils without harming the occassional good bill.

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