The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reported on June 3 that U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has dismissed dozens of lawsuits charging illegal spying on Americans through warrantless surveillance. The EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plan to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
President Barack Obama tried to strike a conciliatory tone with his June 4 speech at Cairo University. The president referred to such developments as algebra and the magnetic compass as being part of “civilization's debt to Islam.” He included verses from the Koran and the traditional Muslim greeting meaning “peace be upon you” (“Assalaamu alaykum”). He said: “I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
“President Obama, in a pivot from some of his harshest campaign rhetoric, told Democratic senators [on June 2] that he is willing to consider taxing employer-sponsored health benefits to help pay for a broad expansion of coverage,” the Washington Post reported on the following day.
Will Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, be for Republicans and for conservatives in general what many have dubbed Vice President Joe Biden? Biden has been called “the gift that keeps on giving” because of his tendency to stick one and Sotomayor may have some of the same rhetorical tendencies.
“George R. Tiller, the nation's most prominent provider of controversial late-term abortions, was shot and killed yesterday in the lobby of his Lutheran church in Wichita, where he was serving as an usher,” the Washington Post reported on June 1. Tiller specialized in performing abortions during the final stages of pregnancy, when the baby is far along in development and, in most cases, could survive outside the womb with proper medical treatment.