Let me point out a couple of facts. This thread has again developed into the usual hatefest directed at the President. The contract that forms the centerpiece of the story kempo linked to -- the one to provide steel cable and prefabricated steel tower segments and roadbed units for part of the Oakland Bay Bridge -- was entered into in 2006. The story makes it look like Chinese contractors are actually building the bridge, but that isn't the case. Nothing about this story is new. There was a thorough article about it last year that can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/busin ... wanted=all
. You might call it a victory for states' rights: California decided not to apply for federal funding because the federal government probably would have required the use of domestic steel. My favorite quotation from the story is:
Despite the American union complaints, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, strongly backed the project and even visited Zhenhua’s plant last September, praising “the workers that are building our Bay Bridge.”
Since the bridge contract is pre-Obama and strongly opposed by the unions, perhaps some of those commenting will decide that this is just free enterprise at work after all.
I would also like to point out that the source of the following stories is "Russia Today," which is a real propaganda mill full of questionable reporting aimed at making civil liberties in the U.S. look just as bad as those in Russia.
Russia Today offered a tortured and implausible interpretation of the federal bill (it isn't law yet) to explain how someone innocent could get into trouble, but that isn't what was intended or how I would expect the courts to interpret it. Considering that the Senate passed the bill unanimously and the House passed it 399-3, if it is nearly as bad as Russia Today thinks, then Congress has officially reached 99.4 percent evil. I pulled up the Illinois law. It is an old anti-eavesdropping statute that has, in a couple of cases, been used to prosecute people who have secretly recorded their conversations with police. To the best of my knowledge, no one has used it against open video recording of the police. ACLU is fighting this use of the law, which I agree is inappropriate; however, if ACLU hates it maybe some will decide this must be okay too.