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1301  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: May 02, 2012, 12:23:57 PM
"The other explanation is that the idea was pushed forward by Bill Clinton, a political genius, but in intentional sabotage.  Funny how he is right in the middle of it - while his wife is leaving the administration, not going to the convention.  No one is that cynical."

Who says Sec. State Clinton is leaving the adminstration?  She can't go to the convention, because the SecSt is meant to be a non-partisan position, and it is inappropriate to attend. 
1302  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: May 02, 2012, 06:48:51 AM
Both the NYT and the USA Today have fallen troops section of their front section.  That isn't silence or ignoring.  And, the thing about news is the "new."  Old news is an oxymoron, though I think we should debate/discuss the wisdom of this situation. 
1303  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fire Hydrant: Howls from Crafty Dog, Rules of the Road, etc on: May 01, 2012, 07:34:43 AM
Welcome home.  And good luck catching up!
1304  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mom's Facebook photo pops up on porn, dating sites on: April 30, 2012, 04:43:56 PM
http://digitallife.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/30/11471856-moms-facebook-photo-pops-up-on-porn-dating-sites?lite

Rahim, it seems, is the victim of photo-jacking — the exploitation of photos scraped from Facebook and other Internet outlets. And Rahim isn't the only victim of image exploitation. The Straits Times reports there are at least two other women in Singapore whose social media photos showed up on the same sites where Rahim's picture appeared.
1305  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / insteresting study and video! on: April 26, 2012, 11:08:21 AM
http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2012/04/hillsboro_police_and_force_sci.html
1306  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CISPA veto threat on: April 26, 2012, 07:13:52 AM
http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/223737-white-house-threatens-to-veto-cybersecurity-bill-cispa


"Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held legally accountable for failing to safeguard personal information adequately," the White House said.

The administration emphasized that a civilian agency such as the Homeland Security Department — not military spy agencies — should have a central role in handling the cyber threat information.
1307  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / The real war on women is in the Middle East. on: April 24, 2012, 02:54:33 PM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/why_do_they_hate_us

But let's put aside what the United States does or doesn't do to women. Name me an Arab country, and I'll recite a litany of abuses fueled by a toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend. When more than 90 percent of ever-married women in Egypt -- including my mother and all but one of her six sisters -- have had their genitals cut in the name of modesty, then surely we must all blaspheme. When Egyptian women are subjected to humiliating "virginity tests" merely for speaking out, it's no time for silence. When an article in the Egyptian criminal code says that if a woman has been beaten by her husband "with good intentions" no punitive damages can be obtained, then to hell with political correctness. And what, pray tell, are "good intentions"? They are legally deemed to include any beating that is "not severe" or "directed at the face." What all this means is that when it comes to the status of women in the Middle East, it's not better than you think. It's much, much worse. Even after these "revolutions," all is more or less considered well with the world as long as women are covered up, anchored to the home, denied the simple mobility of getting into their own cars, forced to get permission from men to travel, and unable to marry without a male guardian's blessing -- or divorce either.

1308  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The incumbent death matches on: April 23, 2012, 08:17:16 PM
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75443.html



Two down. Nine to go.
 
Tuesday’s Pennsylvania showdown between Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz marks the beginning of a seven-week period of primaries that will feature a handful of the rarest and most exotic political contests: the incumbent vs. incumbent primary death match.


1309  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously on: April 23, 2012, 08:10:51 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/23/education/robo-readers-used-to-grade-test-essays.html?_r=1&ref=us


A recently released study has concluded that computers are capable of scoring essays on standardized tests as well as human beings do.

Mark Shermis, dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, collected more than 16,000 middle school and high school test essays from six states that had been graded by humans. He then used automated systems developed by nine companies to score those essays.

Computer scoring produced “virtually identical levels of accuracy, with the software in some cases proving to be more reliable,” according to a University of Akron news release.
1310  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / NJ Troopers High Speed Escort Service on: April 23, 2012, 01:06:47 PM
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/04/nj_state_troopers_face_probe_f.html

The State Police are investigating complaints that two troopers escorted a caravan of luxury sports cars at speeds in excess of 100 mph down the Garden State Parkway to Atlantic City last month. The occupants included former Giants running back and sports car enthusiast Brandon Jacobs, according to a source with knowledge of the trip.

In the complaints, obtained by The Star-Ledger, witnesses said that in the early afternoon March 30, they saw two State Police patrol cars with their emergency lights flashing driving in front of and behind the southbound caravan, which included dozens of Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other vehicles, all with their license plates covered with tape.

1311  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Why are homeschooled kids so annoying? on: April 21, 2012, 05:26:09 PM
http://catholicexchange.com/why-are-homeschooled-kids-so-annoying/2/

About a year ago, when I first started considering taking my kids out of public school, I wasn’t met with the kind of incredulous questioning that I expected after suggesting something so reckless and foolhardy.  For the most part people were excited and supportive and helpful.  Many thought we were already homeschooling, in fact.  What surprised me most though is that folks who were concerned about the prudence of such a decision weren’t worried that my children might not learn enough or the the right things.  They didn’t wonder how my kids would know how to be quiet when they were supposed to or to wait in lines when they have to.
 
No, the biggest concern among the concerned was: SOCIALIZATION.  Ahhhh!  Socialize those kids!  Learnin’, schmlearning- those kids need to be among herds of other kids their exact age in order to learn how to be normal.  In other words: homeschooled kids are annoying and weird, and you don’t want your kids to be annoying and weird, do you?
1312  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Romney found missing girl on: April 20, 2012, 06:21:37 AM
Brought to my attention by my uncle, and worth seeing if you've not already:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/search.asp
1313  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China-- Rotting from Within on: April 19, 2012, 01:29:45 AM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/16/rotting_from_within?page=full

In many fields of international competition, China is less sanguine about its abilities than outsiders. Chinese leaders often remind Westerners that China is a developing country, with hundreds of millions of people living in poverty, an unbalanced economy, and high social tensions. What should most worry Beijing, and provide some comfort to those who fear Chinese military expansionism, is the state of corruption in the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

True, the world underestimated how quickly a four-fold jump in Chinese military spending in the past decade would deliver an array of new weaponry to prevent the United States from interfering in a regional military conflict. Top American generals have worried publicly about "carrier-killer" ballistic missiles designed to destroy U.S. battle groups as far afield as the Philippines, Japan, and beyond. Last year, China tested a prototype stealth fighter and launched its maiden aircraft carrier, to augment new destroyers and nuclear submarines. What is unknown, however, is whether the Chinese military, an intensely secretive organisation only nominally accountable to civilian leaders, can develop the human software to effectively operate and integrate its new hardware.
1314  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Patriot Games on: April 19, 2012, 01:18:03 AM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/18/patriot_games?page=full

In 1990, the FBI began picking up on rumors about an effort to reconstitute a notorious terrorist-criminal gang known as The Order.

The group's name was taken from the infamous racist 1978 novel The Turner Diaries, which told the story of a fictional cabal carrying out acts of terrorism and eventually overthrowing the U.S. government in a bloody, nihilistic racial purge. The book was an inspiration to a generation of white nationalists, including Timothy McVeigh, whose path to radicalization climaxed in the Oklahoma City bombing 17 years ago Thursday.
 
During the 1980s, extremists inspired by the book began robbing banks and armored cars, stealing and counterfeiting millions of dollars and distributing some of the money to racist extremist causes. Members of The Order assassinated Jewish talk radio host Alan Berg in 1984, before most of its members were arrested and its leader killed in a standoff. Less than 10 percent of the money stolen by The Order was ever recovered, and investigators feared members of the group who were still at large would use it to further a campaign of terrorism.
 
To prevent the rise of a "Second Order," FBI undercover agents would become it.
1315  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The absent beard in politics on: April 19, 2012, 12:58:06 AM
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/04/beards_in_politics_there_hasn_t_been_a_bearded_major_party_presidential_nominee_in_almost_100_years_why_.html



Though the gentlemen who vied for the Republican presidential nomination disagreed on many things, from tax policy to contraception to the feasibility of establishing a colony on the moon, there's one critical issue on which they were firmly in accord: facial hair. This was true of the eventual nominees in the last election, and the one before that, and in every other presidential contest going back to 1916. One hundred years ago, two of the four men running for president were proudly hirsute, as were two of the four vice-presidential candidates. Today, the sitting president can't grow whiskers and his challengers wouldn't dare try. When did the beard lose its political prestige?


 
In his delightful 1930 monograph Concerning Beards, Edwin Valentine Mitchell notes that "the fortunes of the beard have always fluctuated through the ages. It flourishes for a time in full splendor, then diminishes in size, and finally disappears altogether, only to burst forth once more in all its former glory." In much of the premodern era, a healthy beard connoted influence and high status; Mitchell says that "one ancient king actually made a terrible scene because the reigning head of another state sent a beardless youth upon a political errand to his court." The opposite is true, too: Men pressed into servitude were often shorn of their beards as a sign of subjugation.
1316  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DOJ 'peacemakers' helped Sanford stay cool amid rising tensions on: April 18, 2012, 02:11:25 PM
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-15/news/os-trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-justice-departm-20120415_1_federal-workers-racial-tensions-peacekeepers

When racial tensions flared in Sanford, a league of secretive peacemakers reached out to the city's spiritual and civic leaders to help cool heated emotions after 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in February.

When civil-rights organizers wanted to demonstrate, these federal workers taught them how to peacefully manage crowds.

They even arranged a police escort for college students to ensure safe passage for their 40-mile march from Daytona Beach to Sanford to demand justice.

1317  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack on: April 18, 2012, 02:04:49 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/17/us-afghanistan-women-idUSBRE83G0PZ20120417

About 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned on Tuesday after drinking contaminated water at a high school in the country's north, officials said, blaming it on conservative radicals opposed to female education.
1318  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Zimmerman affadavit on: April 17, 2012, 05:43:50 PM
walking-papers-the-incredibly-thin-speculative-zimmerman-affidavit

Zimmerman was merely reporting suspicious behavior, just as our own Department of Homeland Security advocates with its “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign, which has been created and promoted by cabinet officials appointed by the Obama Administration. Zimmerman saw someone acting suspiciously, and did precisely what DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano wants citizens to do in that situation.
1319  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fake Orgasms and the Tea Party: Just Another Political Science Convention on: April 17, 2012, 05:25:46 PM
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/fake-orgasms-and-the-tea-party-just-another-political-science-convention/255909/#.T42jCE6oZc0.facebook

You can't find a Food Network stew any richer than when political scientists gather: vector autoregression analysis, word of growing cheating on political surveys, talk of faked orgasms, and microscopic parsing of President Obama's speeches meld with revisionist takes on the Tea Party.

It happened again when the Midwest Political Science Association drew 5,000 attendees from around the globe to an annual Chicago gathering. The high-brow feast concluded Sunday but not before hundreds of panel discussions and the surfacing of 4,239 academic papers.

Yes, 4,239, and with lots of footnotes, graphs and vector autoregression analyses. Closing my eyes and randomly picking just four papers in the event's 574-page, phonebook-like program, I give you the following:

 "The Effects of Teachers' Race on Adolescent Risky Sexual Behaviors," "The Impact of State Politics and Policy on Fossil Fuel Plant Construction," "Out of Africa: Electoral Failure and the Future of Political Islam in West Africa," and "Political Knowledge of Local Courts: Are Rural Voters More Informed than Urban Voters?"
1320  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / cyber Terry stops on: April 17, 2012, 09:01:51 AM
An article written by the National Security Division of the DOJ:

http://www.jnslp.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Virtual-Checkpoints-and-Cyber-Terry-Stops.pdf
1321  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 16, 2012, 07:06:03 AM
An interesting reply Doug, especially the note about the third economy. 

A new article:

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/221557-racing-hand-in-hand-toward-a-fiscal-cliff

Republicans and Democrats are hurtling toward a fiscal cliff, and neither side wants to take the plunge.

In less than nine months, Bush-era tax rates are scheduled to expire, hiking rates for the middle class as well as top income earners. At the same time, automatic spending cuts will kick in. The combination, coupled with the expiration of the payroll tax cut and other factors, would constitute a blow that analysts say could imperil the economic recovery and send America crashing back into recession.
1322  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / report shows air force gearing up for Iran attack on: April 16, 2012, 07:00:55 AM
http://www.timesofisrael.com/iaf-plans-for-iran-attack/

A major Israel TV station on Sunday night broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike.
 
The report, screened on the main evening news of Channel 10, was remarkable both in terms of the access granted to the reporter, who said he had spent weeks with the pilots and other personnel he interviewed, and in the fact that his assessments on a strike were cleared by the military censor.
1323  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Wounded warriors take stage as motivational speakers on: April 15, 2012, 07:12:29 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-03-05/wounded-veterans-iraq-afghanistan-life-at-home/54223324/1

He was inducted on Sept. 11. The boy who had not yet turned 20 spent seven hours in a bus full of strangers headed to basic training on that day that changed America. His nation's challenge had become his story. He was scared and confused, but also proud when the mood of the young men and women on that dark bus evolved into defiance.

Four years later, Anderson was on his back on a Baghdad sidewalk, both legs and his left hand blown off when the truck he was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device. Frantic buddies saved his life. "My mom's going to kill me," he remembers thinking.
1324  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / SCOTUS oath on: April 15, 2012, 06:01:03 AM
http://www.supremecourt.gov/about/oath/textoftheoathsofoffice2009.aspx

The oath below, as noted, is the second oath taken by a federal judge, including the USSC justices.  More (interesting) discussion is found by clicking the link.


The Judicial Oath

The origin of the second oath is found in the Judiciary Act of 1789, which reads "the justices of the Supreme Court, and the district judges, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices" to take a second oath or affirmation.  From 1789 to 1990, the original text used for this oath (1 Stat. 76 § Cool was:

 

"I, _________, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the constitution and laws of the United States.  So help me God."

 

In December 1990, the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990 replaced the phrase "according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution" with "under the Constitution."  The revised Judicial Oath, found at 28 U. S. C. § 453, reads:

 

"I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as _________ under the Constitution and laws of the United States.  So help me God."


it's constitutional if it"contributes toward reaching a social end"

GM, my point was that if they violate their oath of office which I assume includes swearing to uphold the constitution, then the elected branch already has a recourse available.

For the sloppy reader false quote guy, make sure you read the word IF in that statement.  And nowhere does anything I wrote suggest impeachment for disagreeing with me.  The lying cheapens the board and the discussion.
1325  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Rome police vs. Centurions on: April 13, 2012, 06:19:25 PM
http://now.msn.com/now/0413-rome-police-centurion-battle.aspx
1326  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / School shooters share traits on: April 13, 2012, 01:29:17 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-04-10/school-campus-shootings-oikos/54158470/1

When the first headlines hit online news sites about the recent shooting spree at Oikos University, a small and previously obscure school in Oakland, my mind immediately considered the possibilities. The gunman could very well be an older student — or perhaps former student — with a grudge against the school. Within hours, reports surfaced that the alleged murderer of six students and one staff member was a 43-year-old man who had been enrolled in the nursing program.

I don't claim to be clairvoyant. I'm just someone who has studied the 20 campus shootings that resulted in multiple fatalities over the past two decades. The average age of these assailants exceeds 35, with several being well into their 40s. Unlike a traditional-age college student who might dismiss a failing grade or an expulsion as a temporary setback, older students often view their pursuit of a college degree as their last hope for success. Failure at this stage of life can leave them feeling that they are simply out of options.

1327  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Two Economies on: April 12, 2012, 08:04:56 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/opinion/brooks-the-two-economies.html

"If Cowen’s case is right, the U.S. is not a nation in decline. We may be in the early days of an export boom that will eventually power an economic revival, including a manufacturing revivial.  But, as Cohen emphasizes, this does not mean that nirvana is at hand."
1328  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Bring the Justices Back to Earth on: April 12, 2012, 07:59:27 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/opinion/bring-the-justices-back-to-earth.html

"GIVEN the very real possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn the Affordable Care Act, liberals are concerned that the right-wing tilt of five justices and lifelong appointments ensure a decades-long assault on the power of Congress. This is especially likely given the relative youth of the bloc’s conservative members: an average of 66 years old, when the last 10 justices to retire did so at an average age of 78.

The situation brings to mind a proposal voiced most prominently by Gov. Rick Perry during his run for the Republican presidential nomination: judicial term limits.

The idea isn’t new. High-ranking judges in all major nations, and all 50 states, are subject to age or term limits. The power to invalidate legislation is, in a sense, the ultimate political power, and mortals who exercise it need constraint. So why not the highest court in the land? "
1329  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Student Athletes?!? Nah. on: April 12, 2012, 07:58:24 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/opinion/nocera-football-and-swahili.html

"In playing for the team, the athletes are giving their schools more immediate value than anyone else in the student body. They are also doing something that requires at least as much skill as playing in a university orchestra. Even putting aside the question of pay, surely the university ought to feel a moral obligation to return the favor by giving the players the tools to succeed in life.

Instead, universities do the opposite. With their phony majors and low expectations, they send the unmistakable message to the athletes that they don’t care what happens after their eligibility expires. It’s a disgrace."
1330  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How China Steals Our Secrets on: April 11, 2012, 02:46:52 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/opinion/how-china-steals-our-secrets.html

"FOR the last two months, senior government officials and private-sector experts have paraded before Congress and described in alarming terms a silent threat: cyberattacks carried out by foreign governments. Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., said cyberattacks would soon replace terrorism as the agency’s No. 1 concern as foreign hackers, particularly from China, penetrate American firms’ computers and steal huge amounts of valuable data and intellectual property.

It’s not hard to imagine what happens when an American company pays for research and a Chinese firm gets the results free; it destroys our competitive edge. Shawn Henry, who retired last Friday as the executive assistant director of the F.B.I. (and its lead agent on cybercrime), told Congress last week of an American company that had all of its data from a 10-year, $1 billion research program copied by hackers in one night. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, head of the military’s Cyber Command, called the continuing, rampant cybertheft “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.” "

....

1331  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: 9/23/12 Dog Brothers Open Gathering of the Pack on: April 10, 2012, 04:22:43 PM
I second Gibby on this: "Poi-Dog is one of the nicest folks you will find and he often saves a dance or two for newbies, he is soo good he will push you to the limit but not break you ." 
1332  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Power and Constraint on: April 05, 2012, 09:44:12 PM
Jack Goldsmith on The Daily Show.  Worth a look...

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-4-2012/jack-goldsmith
1333  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can Brazil Stop Iran? on: April 05, 2012, 07:46:06 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/opinion/can-brazil-stop-iran.html

"BRAZIL, the saying used to go, is the land of the future — and always will be. But when Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, visits the White House next week, she will come as the leader of a country whose future has arrived.

With huge new offshore oil discoveries and foreign investment flooding in, Brazil’s economy, growing twice as fast as America’s, has surpassed Britain’s to become the world’s seventh largest. As a member of the Group of 20 and host of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is an emerging global leader.

But there is one area where it has an opportunity to lead and has failed to: preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. Brazil should take the bold step of voluntarily ending its uranium enrichment program and calling on other nations, including Iran, to follow its example."
1334  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Men in Black on: April 05, 2012, 07:43:09 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/opinion/dowd-men-in-black.html

"How dare President Obama brush back the Supreme Court like that?

Has this former constitutional law instructor no respect for our venerable system of checks and balances?

Nah. And why should he?

This court, cosseted behind white marble pillars, out of reach of TV, accountable to no one once it gives the last word, is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history."


1335  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Agency Trip to Las Vegas Is the Talk of Washington on: April 05, 2012, 07:39:23 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/us/politics/gsa-las-vegas-trip-is-the-talk-of-washington.html

"When a vast but little-known government agency spent $822,000 in taxpayer money to fly 300 bureaucrats to a luxurious spa and casino outside Las Vegas for a conference in October 2010, its leaders had a goal: to make it “over the top,” according to a government report that has set Washington abuzz."
1336  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A Taste of Hope in Somalia’s Battered Capital on: April 05, 2012, 06:23:12 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/world/africa/somalis-embrace-hope-and-reconstruction-in-mogadishu.html

"Up until a few weeks ago, all visitors who landed at Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu were handed a poorly copied, barely readable sheet that asked for name, address — and caliber of weapon.

No more. Now visitors get a bright yellow welcome card that has no mention of guns and several choices for reason of visit, including a new category: holiday."
1337  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Goldberg on Kennedy as swing vote on: April 05, 2012, 06:19:46 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-04-02/supreme-court-obamacare-kennedy/53953470/1

"Justice Anthony Kennedy is, in a sense, the king of the United States of America. As the deciding vote on the U.S. Supreme Court in dozens of important cases where the liberals and conservatives are evenly divided, he has become, in effect, a jurisprudential monarch (hence columnist Mark Steyn's nickname for him, "the Sultan of Swing"). He has been the final word on everything from the 2000 Bush-Gore presidential election to partial-birth abortion and terrorist detention. And now he will, in all likelihood, decide the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— aka ObamaCare."
1338  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: April 05, 2012, 03:08:34 PM
Probably, at least due to the appearences.  And, yes, those matter: "Two sections of Title 28 of the United States Code (the Judicial Code) provide standards for judicial disqualification or recusal. Section 455, captioned "Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge," provides that a federal judge "shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned." (citation below)

However, this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_disqualification discusses the history of recusals, and offers one (and the implication) that I had not heard of. 

Understood.

I'd like to ask you to take it a step further.

SHOULD Kagan have recused herself?

Would an appellate or trial judge with similar connection to a case have to recuse?
1339  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: 5th Circuit calls out Obama/DOJ on: April 05, 2012, 02:49:34 PM
And the letter:

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/doj_letter_smith.pdf



  is this unprecedented?
« Reply #876 on: Today at 02:12:44 PM »     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504564_162-57408827-504564/appeals-court-fires-back-at-obamas-comments-on-health-care-case/

Appeals court fires back at Obama's comments on health care case

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."

Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise -- despite the president's remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

The panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.

The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.

Smith then became "very stern," the source said, telling the lawyers arguing the case it was not clear to "many of us" whether the president believes such a right exists. The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick--both Republican appointees--remained silent, the source said.

Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don't have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama's comments yesterday about judges being an "unelected group of people."

I've reached out to the White House for comment, and will update when we have more information.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care Reform 
1340  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama v. Romney begins on: April 05, 2012, 06:35:51 AM
http://atr.rollcall.com/obama-vs-romney-the-campaign-begins/


If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defeats President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, his road to victory might lead all the way back to the speech he delivered Friday in Appleton, Wis.
 
In that address, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee presented his philosophy on the economy and its relationship with the federal government as a vision. And more importantly, he provided a moral underpinning for his viewpoint that attempted to connect his ideas to average Americans. Voters might reject Romney’s vision and opt for Obama’s. The president has been quite adept at framing his policies on taxes and government spending in terms of “balance” and “fairness” for the “middle class,” and polling data has shown that voters have reacted favorably.
 
But for perhaps the first time in a while, Republicans are attempting to equalize the playing field. Romney in the Friday speech went beyond the clinical talking points often employed by Republicans on Capitol Hill that raising taxes on the “rich” should be rejected because they depress job creation. The ex-governor and former venture capitalist offered a moral defense for smaller government and keeping taxes low on wealthy earners — and attempted to explain why doing so is good for everyone else.
1341  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: April 04, 2012, 12:01:04 PM
Recusal is completely up to the justice to determine.  There have been many recent examples in which Democrats/liberals called for a conservative justice to recuse himself.  DMG notes but one.  There were calls for Scalia to recuse himself when his hunting partner, VP Cheney, had a case before the court about extended executive privilege to the vice president.  According to former Chief Rehnquist, "There is no formal procedure for court review of the decision of a justice in an individual case," Rehnquist said in a letter to Democratic Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. "That is so because it has long been settled that each justice must decide such a question for himself" (see http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jan/27/nation/na-duck27 for citation).  In the end, unless there is a written rule, it is up to the justice to decide.  While I sometimes disagree vehemently with justices' decisions in this regard, I like it being up to the justice.  By the way, the decision in Marbury v. Madison, which seems to be getting a good deal of reading in the wake of the president's comments about the USSC ACA case, is a very fine example of when recusal should have occurred. 
1342  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / 5th Circuit calls out Obama/DOJ on: April 03, 2012, 04:33:38 PM


  is this unprecedented?
« Reply #876 on: Today at 02:12:44 PM »     

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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504564_162-57408827-504564/appeals-court-fires-back-at-obamas-comments-on-health-care-case/

Appeals court fires back at Obama's comments on health care case

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."

Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise -- despite the president's remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

The panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.

The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.

Smith then became "very stern," the source said, telling the lawyers arguing the case it was not clear to "many of us" whether the president believes such a right exists. The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick--both Republican appointees--remained silent, the source said.

Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don't have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama's comments yesterday about judges being an "unelected group of people."

I've reached out to the White House for comment, and will update when we have more information.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care Reform 
1343  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / is this unprecedented? on: April 03, 2012, 04:12:44 PM

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504564_162-57408827-504564/appeals-court-fires-back-at-obamas-comments-on-health-care-case/

Appeals court fires back at Obama's comments on health care case

In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president's bluff -- ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.

The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president's comments yesterday about the Supreme Court's review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was "confident" the Court would not "take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."

Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented -- since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise -- despite the president's remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.

The panel is hearing a separate challenge to the health care law by physician-owned hospitals. The issue arose when a lawyer for the Justice Department began arguing before the judges. Appeals Court Judge Jerry Smith immediately interrupted, asking if DOJ agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law.

The DOJ lawyer, Dana Lydia Kaersvang, answered yes -- and mentioned Marbury v. Madison, the landmark case that firmly established the principle of judicial review more than 200 years ago, according to the lawyer in the courtroom.

Smith then became "very stern," the source said, telling the lawyers arguing the case it was not clear to "many of us" whether the president believes such a right exists. The other two judges on the panel, Emilio Garza and Leslie Southwick--both Republican appointees--remained silent, the source said.

Smith, a Reagan appointee, went on to say that comments from the president and others in the Executive Branch indicate they believe judges don't have the power to review laws and strike those that are unconstitutional, specifically referencing Mr. Obama's comments yesterday about judges being an "unelected group of people."

I've reached out to the White House for comment, and will update when we have more information.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care Reform
1344  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Swing States Poll: A shift by women puts Obama in lead on: April 02, 2012, 09:05:33 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-04-01/swing-states-poll/53930684/1?csp=hf

President Obama has opened the first significant lead of the 2012 campaign in the nation's dozen top battleground states, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, boosted by a huge shift of women to his side.

In the fifth Swing States survey taken since last fall, Obama leads Republican front-runner Mitt Romney 51%-42% among registered voters just a month after the president had trailed him by two percentage points.
1345  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Joe Gray on: March 31, 2012, 12:34:25 PM
"If y'all come to get me, bring body bags."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-03-30/anti-government-militia-groups-freeman/53873496/1


Sequestered on a 50-acre, wooded compound in East Texas since jumping bail more than a decade ago, Gray and his clan have effectively outlasted the administrations of four local sheriffs, all of whom have decided that John Joe's arrest is not worth the risk of a violent confrontation.

"The risk of loss of life on both ends is far too great," said Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, who first sought to prosecute Gray for the alleged Christmas Eve 1999 assault of Texas Trooper Jim Cleland. "I believed it then; I still feel that way."
1346  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: March 31, 2012, 07:19:06 AM
http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/an-idea-with-tentacles/28982

Rafe Sagarin trained as a marine ecologist but was working as a science adviser for a member of Congress when Washington began to take on strange traits.
 
It was 2002, and as Sagarin walked the sidewalks and Congressional corridors in the post-9/11 city, he saw it sprout uniformed police officers, Jersey barriers, and metal detectors. Mail arrived late after being screened for bombs and anthrax, and chemical masks were stored under desks. He saw Washington as an ecosystem, not that different from the tidal pools he had studied near Monterey, Calif.
 
“Frankly, I was becoming quite alarmed at what I was seeing,” says Sagarin, now an assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment. What bothered him was not the heightened security, but the rigid nature of it. When he viewed the federal government as an organism, he saw it reacting to a past threat rather than increasing its ability to adapt to new threats. The government was doing a bad job in its given ecosystem.

Sagarin eventually assembled a working group with biologists and social scientists of different stripes alongside warfare experts, security analysts, and spies. He asked a simple question: “What can we learn about security in society from security in nature?”
 

1347  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Supreme Court May Be Most Conservative in Modern History on: March 31, 2012, 07:15:01 AM
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/supreme-court-may-be-most-conservative-in-modern-history/#more-29973


"If President Obama’s health care bill is stricken by the Supreme Court, liberals will take it as evidence of judicial overreach, or at least that the court has shifted far to the right. One statistical method for analyzing the Supreme Court, in fact, already finds that the current court is the most conservative since at least the 1930s.

The method, called the Martin-Quinn Scores for the two scholars that developed it, Andrew D. Martin of the Washington University School of Law and Kevin M. Quinn of the Berkeley School of Law, estimates the court’s ideology by evaluating the combinations in which different justices vote with one another and how this changes over time. Their technique is similar to the well-regarded DW-Nominate method that is used to estimate the ideology of members of Congress based on their voting records."
1348  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: March 27, 2012, 02:32:49 PM
Since there are clear lines, they must have been followed.  Therefore we can deduce that all of things that you dislike about Obama never happened.   cheesy
1349  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 01:06:44 PM
GM, I am responding to an exact point in a specific article, with a particular title.  Nothing more.  Don't get too excited. 
1350  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Blurred Lines on: March 27, 2012, 01:05:19 PM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/26/blurred_lines?page=full

When he was at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael Hayden was fond of comparing the laws that limit agency operations to the white sidelines of a football field. CIA agents should operate so close to legal boundaries, he remarked, that they get "chalk on their cleats."

Unfortunately, those chalk lines today are too faint for either intelligence officers or the public to see. Although Congress instituted intelligence reform in 2004, and a hallmark of President Barack Obama's first term has been his aggressive approach to fighting terrorism, there has never been a real debate in Congress or in the public square about the intersection of our values and our requirements for gathering intelligence.

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