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1351  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.
1352  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
1353  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.

1354  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."
1355  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? "
1356  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."
1357  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.” "

....

1358  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 ." 
1359  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
1360  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."
1361  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."


1362  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."
1363  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."
1364  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."
1365  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?
1366  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 
1367  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.
1368  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. 
1369  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 »     

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

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 
1370  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
1371  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.
1372  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."
1373  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?”
 

1374  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."
1375  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
1376  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. 
1377  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.

1378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 12:57:14 PM
That's fine Doug, and I take your point.  My point, however, was taken from the title of the article I was responding to, which is "Op-Ed: Obama's Executive Order, business as usual?"  And the author claims that President Obama has moved beyond business as usual.  I disagreed.


"If this is power centralization by a president, it is business as usual."

True but business as usual is exactly what the Obama phenomenon opposed.  Now the bumper sticker has no meaning or a very different meaning if you even see one.  Being hip and aware and progressive and open to the public and power to the people populism with the sticker on your Prius in 2008 became business as usual in a Washington DC cynical sense.  Today the logo and mantra of hope only means that our czars are better than your czars, our mandates are better than your mandates, our guys in the revolving door of advisers and influence peddlers are smarter than your guys selling influence, our backroom cornhusker exemption deals to get healthcare done are better than your back room deals, and our national security back room negotiations are conducted better when we don't have to face the scrutiny of another election.  

Open microphone comments give a small window into what he is thinking, where the teleprompter and carefully crafted interviews do not.  He will govern better without the burdens of oversight and accountability and that is front and central on his mind - is my read.  Yes, Pres. Obama is not the first or only elected official to think that thought but this was in the context (my take) of him having more flexibility to negotiate more terms away to the perceived liking of the Russians - after giving up missile defense for them to the surprise of committed allies previously.  It brings to mind these other examples like the back room deals for one state here and another there on healthcare.  Of course we should not presume to know his meaning or context; he could have playing mind games to our advantage with the Russians.  But the question was opened, what will the policy shift across the board be when the electoral accountability ends?  Having independents ponder that question is to the conservatives' advantage and having conservatives ponder that question brings fire and passion to the campaign.
1379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Can the Supreme Court Survive a Health-Care Decision? on: March 27, 2012, 08:31:42 AM
http://www.miller-mccune.com/legal-affairs/can-the-supreme-court-survive-a-health-care-decision-40598/?utm_source=Newsletter206&utm_medium=email&utm_content=0327&utm_campaign=newsletters



After it rules on the health-care debate and makes other momentous decisions this term, will the U.S. Supreme have sufficient stores of legitimacy to weather the inevitable backlash?

Legitimacy is for losers.

This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce one of its most important decisions since its ruling in Bush v. Gore. The decision in the cases — all having to do with the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act — likely will have vast political consequences, perhaps well beyond health care itself. The court will also decide a number of other blockbuster cases in 2012, from the highly polarized Arizona immigration legislation (whether people can be stopped by the police and interrogated about their immigration status) to the question of whether 14-year-olds convicted of heinous crimes can be incarcerated for the rest of their lives without any possibility of parole.

If the smear of partisan decision-making tars the unelected U.S. Supreme Court after these decisions, the fundamental legitimacy of the institution may become precarious.

Why exactly is legitimacy so important?

cont'd
1380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: After Obama's "last election" on: March 27, 2012, 04:40:34 AM
1.  If this is power centralization by a president, it is business as usual.
2.  Would anyone really rather that the president wait until war or emergency to plan the reaction?  That seems like a recipe for disaster to me.
3.  The Defense Production Act, as amended, has been used, in peacetime.  As an example, "Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush invoked DPA powers, in conjunction with those granted in the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-621, 92 Stat. 3350), to ensure that emergency supplies of electrical power and natural gas continued flowing to California utilities, deflecting threatened
electrical blackouts" (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RS20587.pdf, p. 2).  
1381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Administration Staffers Head Out the Revolving Door on: March 26, 2012, 07:14:39 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_115/Administration-Staffers-Head-Out-the-Revolving-Door-213388-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12587:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"Just as President Barack Obama has intensified his anti-K Street rhetoric with the November elections in view, several of his administration’s senior aides have decamped for jobs along the influence corridor.
 
And many more are eyeing such a career move, sources say, despite Obama’s effort to curb the revolving door between government and advocacy."
1382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dems' Feathers Ruffled on: March 26, 2012, 07:13:12 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_115/supreme-court-ruffles-democrats-feathers-213392-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12587:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"When the Supreme Court begins to deliberate President Barack Obama’s signature health care law Monday, it will serve as a bitter reminder to Democrats of the blows leveled at their causes by the conservative Roberts court."
1383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Waiting (and Sleeping) in Line, for View of Health Care History on: March 26, 2012, 07:11:08 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/us/waiting-in-line-to-see-supreme-court-argue-health-law.html?_r=1

"Heading into the first of three days of Supreme Court arguments on Monday, the pavement occupied by the approximately 15 people in line Sunday morning was among the most coveted real estate in Washington. Tickets are scarce even for those connected to the case. And for everyone else, there’s the line.

It started with two people who were in line by 9:30 a.m. on Friday, waiting to score one of at least 60 seats made available to the general public for each day of arguments, said Kathy Arberg, a Supreme Court spokeswoman."
1384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Thomas Symposium on: March 23, 2012, 08:34:43 AM
This is a link to a law review symposium on Justice Thomas.

http://www.law.udmercy.edu/index.php/print-edition
1385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Maddow on Romney on: March 23, 2012, 08:32:55 AM


Is Mitt Romney a liar? 
1386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Six Big Lies About How Jerusalem Runs Washington on: March 23, 2012, 07:03:41 AM
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/21/big_lies_about_jerusalem_washington_jews_White_House?page=full
1387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / AZ in 2012 on: March 22, 2012, 08:51:25 AM
http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_114/Expect-a-Nasty-Arizona-Member-Vs-Member-Battle-213298-1.html?ET=rollcall:e12560:80133681a:&st=email&pos=eam

"When an Arizona Republican consultant was recently asked whether he was backing a candidate in the state's banner Member-vs.-Member race between Republican Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert, the operative simply said, "We're not. Thank God."

That is because those who know Arizona politics well are prognosticating a nasty, costly race between two up-and-coming freshman Members."
1388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / When the good do bad on: March 21, 2012, 07:58:15 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/opinion/brooks-when-the-good-do-bad.html?_r=1&ref=davidbrooks


"According to this view, most people are naturally good, because nature is good. The monstrosities of the world are caused by the few people (like Hitler or Idi Amin) who are fundamentally warped and evil.

This worldview gives us an easy conscience, because we don’t have to contemplate the evil in ourselves. But when somebody who seems mostly good does something completely awful, we’re rendered mute or confused.

But of course it happens all the time. That’s because even people who contain reservoirs of compassion and neighborliness also possess a latent potential to commit murder."
1389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / HLS Founding conference: Constitutional Convention on: March 21, 2012, 12:45:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL39308EF707CA1C46&feature=plcp

These videos may interest some of you.
1390  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA 2012 Summer Camp on: March 21, 2012, 11:09:45 AM
Thank you.  I am going to try to get there.
1391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Goldsmith on use of drones on: March 21, 2012, 07:25:53 AM
Jack Goldsmith makes excellent points.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/19/fire_when_ready
1392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cato says "A re-elected Obama wouldn't be the end of liberty" on: March 20, 2012, 03:15:38 PM
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2012/03/re-elected-obama-wouldnt-be-end-liberty/387856

"I yield to nobody in my conviction that Barack Obama's presidency has been a disaster for the Republic. Last week, in this space, I even suggested that some of his offenses rose to the level of impeachable "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Yet, try as I might, I can't convince myself that the 2012 election is a "hinge of history," and it's "game over" for liberty unless he's defeated. If Obama wins, the fight goes on; if he loses, don't pop the champagne corks just yet.

Consider that, since FDR, few second-term presidents have been capable of great mischief. Obama may have done most of the real damage he's capable of already."

1393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Robert Bales was no ‘lone gunman’ on: March 20, 2012, 03:12:14 PM
This article touchs on many themes, but strikes me as, at root, a plea to support the troops.  So it it here.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/robert-bales-lone-gunman-article-1.1046802

"Our country today is in the enviable position of being able to fight a gritty multi-front counterinsurgency far away in unfriendly and inhospitable terrain. And we’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. The average American hasn’t felt so much as a bump in the road for it. There has been no draft, no fuel rations, no chocolate shortages. When I served in Iraq, we used to say “the military is at war: America is at the mall.”

Since the recent murders committed by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in Afghanistan, the perpetrator as has been called “troubled,” “crazed” and other such adjectives. The military is probing for alcohol involvement. He received a medical exam prior to deployment but, no surprise, was given a clean bill of health by military doctors. He was injured twice and witnessed fellow soldiers maimed and killed on previous deployments. He was also reportedly having family troubles back home.

They’re looking for the reasons why Bales did it. Yet, none of these single things caused this incident on their own. All of these circumstances were caused by yet another circumstance: sending a man to Iraq three times and then to Afghanistan for a fourth tour."
1394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Newt now and then on: March 20, 2012, 10:22:39 AM
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/216867-newt-wont-exit-thought-others-should

"Newt Gingrich is refusing to swallow his own medicine.

The former Speaker of the House (R-Ga.) rejects calls from Republicans to drop out of the presidential race, but he has a long history of telling other GOP White House hopefuls to do so."
1395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Santorum in Illinois on: March 20, 2012, 10:17:11 AM
http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/rick-santorum-stokes-gop-divisions-in-run-up-to-illinois-primary-20120320

"Santorum sees opportunity in the Southern and Western areas of this blue state, the regions far from the urban and suburban enclaves of Chicagoland. He has forfeited 10 delegates up front by failing to get his allies onto some ballots, and polls show him 4 to 15 percentage points behind Romney, but even a loss could help Santorum. If he outdraws Romney among fervent conservatives and rural voters, it will give him more fodder for his argument that Romney is out of touch with the base of his party and the heartland of the country.

The former Pennsylvania senator constantly berates President Obama for trying to divide the country. But he seems to have no problem setting up an us-versus-them proposition within his own party."
1396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Holly Petraeus on: March 20, 2012, 10:11:57 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-03-19/holly-petraeus-wife-protect-military/53657242/1

"When 18,000 members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division flew back to Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2004 after a year in Iraq, Holly Petraeus was there to meet them, no matter the hour, the weather or her other duties.

As wife of the division commander, Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, she had to attend some of the scores of arrivals. But she was almost always there — often in hat, scarf, and boots, stamping her feet against the cold and hugging the soldiers like they were her children."

1397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Science and libertarian ideals on: March 19, 2012, 09:55:59 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/story/2012-03-18/ron-paul-libertarians-science/53617108/1

What is it about Ron Paul that so many people find intellectually appealing? Perhaps it is his frankness and candor, a rare trait in politicians. But I think it goes far beyond that. Paul — and libertarian philosophy in general — tackles government policy the same way a researcher tackles an experiment.
1398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / empirical data and state judicial elections on: March 19, 2012, 01:11:05 PM
Chris W. Bonneau

http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/detail/a-survey-of-empirical-evidence-concerning-judicial-elections

"In this paper, I evaluate the arguments made by opponents of judicial elections. Focusing primarily on state supreme court elections (since that is the level of court where most studies have been conducted), though also discussing intermediate appellate courts and trial courts where appropriate, I evaluate the arguments of judicial reform advocates in light of empirical evidence. This paper presents a synthesis of the existing literature in this area, integrating the disparate findings by scholars into a single publication."

1399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: SB county is kind of deserty, right? on: March 19, 2012, 04:57:04 AM
That was very, very cool.

1400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / J. Thomas discussed at USC on: March 18, 2012, 12:45:29 PM
http://lawweb.usc.edu/news/article.cfm?newsID=3848

"One of the tenets of academia is the encouragement and cultivation of a variety of ideas and opinions for open discussion and debate.

 So imagine being shunned by academic institutions for writing a book on a figure unpopular with one political group, however large.  Now imagine that some of these institutions are law schools and the figure in question is a United States Supreme Court Justice.

 This is the quandary in which Scott Douglas Gerber has found himself over his entire academic career.
“For good and bad, I’m forever linked with Clarence Thomas,” Gerber told a classroom full of USC Law students recently...."
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