A Landmark Vote to Limit What the NSA Is Allowed to Do: As the Guardian reports—it seems right to link to the Guardian here, after all they originally broke the story of the Snowden disclosures—"Surveillance reform gained new congressional momentum as the US House of Representatives unexpectedly and overwhelmingly endorsed stripping a major post-9/11 power from the National Security Agency late Thursday night." The vote was 293 to 121.
The Legislation Would Ban the NSA from "Backdoor Searches": Sounds dirty. And it is dirty. What exactly is a backdoor search? As Vox explains, "In this technique, the NSA engages in wide surveillance of communications that involve both Americans and foreigners. So long as the foreigners are the official 'target,' this is permitted under the FAA. The NSA sometimes stores the information it has collected in a giant database. And the agency has taken the position that it can search this database for information about Americans without running afoul of the no-targeting-Americans rule."
And These Lawmakers Are Saying, "Um, Not So Fast": So what happens next? "The amended bill needs to be approved by the House, companion legislation needs to be approved by the Senate, and President Obama would need to sign the legislation. The Senate could refuse to approve the amendment, or President Obama could veto legislation that included it."
Speaking of President Obama and Things He Shouldn't Do: Let's talk about Iraq and that gloomy press conference yesterday. "Obama talked in a soft, almost resigned voice, giving the impression that he’d rather do almost anything else than direct Americans soldiers to return to Baghdad and northern Iraq. But despite his description of the U.S. mission as one of advising and supporting the Iraqi government forces rather than doing the fighting, that’s what he’s done."
Speaking of Leaders Saying Things That Don't Make a Lot of Sense: The Pope is high if he thinks that legalizing marijuana is about marijuana use. It's about the social and economic costs of incarceration.
Speaking of Being High, New York Is Set to Become the 23rd State to Legalize Medical Marijuana: Although weirdly you won't be able to smoke it. Yet another reason not to move to New York.
King County Sheriff's Deputy Arrested and Charged with a Variety of Crimes: He's a 19-year veteran of the force, and he's charged with "one count of second-degree promoting prostitution, one count of first-degree theft, and one count of violating a drug law," Seattle Times reports.
What Did Argentine Literary Legend Jorge Luis Borges Think of Soccer? “Soccer is popular, because stupidity is popular.”
Fremont Solstice Parade & Celebration Is This Weekend!! You should know there's a whole weekend of stuff to do at the Fremont Fair, starting today. But if you're just interested in the parade, it starts tomorrow at 3 pm. If you're just interested in the naked bike ride, that always happens right before the parade. If you want to get naked and paint your body and ride your bike tomorrow, you should! Follow that link for the info. Click on one of these butts for a bunch of full-frontal photos from last year.