Thursday, April 30, 2009
This answers a question I had: where does Specter fit in the seniority, given the recently appointed senators have been in the caucus longer? It seems, to the (rightful) annoyance of many, Reid agree to full seniority. This can change after 2010, but probably some middle path would make the most sense. If only the change comes when a real Democrat from PA is elected!
The last day for oral arguments at the Supreme Court included a case involving a trifling matter on one hand -- a tiny area wanting to bail out of federal control of their voting -- and the whole "preclearance" policy as a whole. I discuss it here (with links to expert opinions), including how some middle ground might very well be the right way. The nature of the litigation helps the government here too. More.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Bybee stands by his opinions, but thinks maybe he could have done a better job, upset at how they were used. Former law clerk et. al. not quite sympathetic. Scalia poo poos privacy, law professor uses him as a case study about the dangers of aggregation of "private" info, Scalia is upset. Mets bullpen blows it again.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
And Also: I recently discussed the book A Claim of Privilege, which concerns the Reynolds secrecy case, and the attempt years later of family members to make clear that the government in effect falsely used secrecy (the relevant facts weren't really secret) to cover up their negligence. Cases like this suggest they are making some headway, here involving rendition flights.*
I think the woman here has a hard case to win, including on the emotional distress ground, since the material was not private (she posted it online) and printing what she said should not be "emotional distress" except perhaps in some very narrow case. Still, the principal's actions along with the violent response reaffirms her original sentiments about her hometown. Meanwhile, this is funny.
I'm probably as dubious as Atrios and as unimpressed as Glenn Greenwald on Arlen's move to the Democrats now that there is a good chance he'd lose the '10 Republican primary and can't run as an independent ala his pal Joe. This and this doesn't help. Wasn't there a real chance a real Dem would have won his seat in 2010? With the Bayhs of the world, let's see how "filibuster proof" things will be. Does make the Repubs look even less credible.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
And Also: I found a book on the origins of "reasonable doubt" interesting, including its focus on how the rule helped jurors deal with their own moral concerns with judging others. But, as a certain Bronx book guy notes here, the conclusions didn't quite work for me.
Friday, April 24, 2009
And Also: One of many criticisms of the appointment of Sen. Gillibrand is that it would mean a loss to the Dems since she was from a conservative district. Instead, in a race the Republicans gave some emphasis to, the Dem won the election in a nail-biter. Also out of NY: interesting 2A case not involving guns. Wonder what KG thinks!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
And Also: As part of Earth Day, there were special iCarly and True Jackson episodes last night. The former was decent, which is good given its recent decline, the latter another pretty good episode. The Lulu bf subplot was particularly cute, while the little life lessons TJ learns are handled nicely as well. The show is not gold, but is fun fare, which is fine enough. The minute to turn lights off, I guess, was okay symbolism, but don't many watch t.v. with the lights off anyway? It's not like you need that for the computer either!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
And Also: Because the Cat Purrs: How We Relate to Other Species and Why It Matters by Janet Lembkeis a charming read, written with a nice slightly off-kilter tone. Level-headed article on the FDA accepting a judicial ruling (holding the alternative had no reasonable basis) allowing 17 year olds to Plan B without a prescription. Sounds like earlier can work too.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Mixing politics with Justice Department business is bad no matter who does it. Good reports on Rachel last night too. GG's clip etc. shows it is in flux and a long haul, but we need to understand principles now. Meanwhile, today was election day, for me at least, since a local pol went to the Obama Administration. Democracy in action via 19th Century lever machines!
Monday, April 20, 2009
And Also: Watching the excellent follow-up to Half Nelson (not a sports film), Sugar (on one level a baseball film) adds some gravitas to the baseball season. The unknowns, from the lead down, are as good as the flavor. And, one last chance to see the old Yankee stadium.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Obama administration will boycott "with regret" a U.N. conference on racism next week over objectionable language in the meeting's final document that could single out Israel for criticism and restrict free speech
Some changes were made, helped by U.S. pressure, but just meeting with people, not signing on to anything, still is verboten.
And Also: Yanks had an embarrassing 22-4 loss yesterday while the Mets had a now typical Santana nail-biter, this time a 1-0 win. The bloom is off the rose for me regarding the Yanks, but Wang's troubles give me little pleasure -- he's no hired gun, just a young pitcher that is coming off an injury who is struggling.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Andrew Sullivan (h/t Hilzoy) has a powerful discussion. This includes concerning those memoranda released in 2005, after the 2004 elections, after El Jefe said he was horrified at Abu Ghraib. But, if AS thinks "no one is above the law," the Obama quote is a bit curious. Investigations etc. involve some "spending [of] our time and energy laying blame for the past." And, we will be in "wartime" for years. Will people be above the law for all that time? Painful indeed.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Mid-game, fan interference prevented Reyes from having a chance to score. Keith H. noted he didn't mind that sort of thing, it was natural for the fan to try to get the ball. To be selfish and not let Reyes run? If he was playing, would Keith not care if a fan robbed them of a run? Final score: 6-5, SD. FU Keith. Why don't these guys call games on ESPN? They are oh so neutral, after all.
And Also: GG et. al. discuss release of more evidence that our government is guilty of war crimes and torture. But, it is only "retribution" (bad!) to actually want to investigate and punish that. The preachy tone, the calm reference to "respect the strong views and emotions" [tax policy?], is offensive. But, maybe there is an opening for targeting higher-ups? There is that hope. Show me some evidence he actually supports it. [Comments edited.]
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
AL Leaders: Baltimore, Kansas City and Seattle. The NY teams had such a bad night on Monday, including a 1st baseman pitching, that Rachel Maddow higlighted them the next day. Cute cat visuals. Another thing about the U.S. v. Reynolds (state secrets precedent): the underlining case was not dropped and the government actually settled for a sizable sum.
While GG et. al. talk about how Obama is promoting secrecy, my current reading is Claim of Privilege: A Mysterious Plane Crash, A Landmark Supreme Court Case, and The Rise of State Secrets by Barry Siegel. A personal look at the case that in effect started it all, including the overclassification and lies involved. Meanwhile, Hilzoy reminds us elections matter (worker's safety) and here's a science blog. [SK is just too cute, sorry!]
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Paris [Faubourg] 36 is an appealing French film, something of a bittersweet look at a struggling theater in the midst of mid-1930s Paris. Charming overall, nice singing. Meanwhile, Wang has a 28.93 ERA and the Mets are 0-2 the last few games, the losing pitchers having an 0.00 ERA for them. Two errors were the difference. First batter in Citi Field: home run, Padres. Kill me now.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
One thing notable about Drowning in the Desert is how we learn, at times negatively, the personalities of many of the people a JAG officer in Iraq dealt with in her time there. I wonder if she had any blowback. The Mets are doing it again -- four games, and we had nail-biting, and the bullpen blowing it. Against a team supposedly with a dubious pen. With a fraction of their payroll. Stop it!!!!!
Thursday, April 09, 2009
And Also: The Mets started fairly normally: a 2-1 win for their ace (various opportunities lost), a lot of runs in the other two games, Perez being a head case, the bullpen making it a nail-biter in one, and the fact the competition is at best middle of the road not changing these things. Stressful. Pelfry did show some guts after being behind 4-2 (one unearned) early but lasting five.
And Also: Drowning in the Desert: A JAG's Search for Justice in the Desert by [Captain] Vivian H. Gembara (co-written with her sister, a journalist) is an engaging account of her struggles to help the military "return with honor." The best she could, in the tradition of her father, special forces. I'd add that things like this underline that you can understand both sides, including all the pressures involved, but still fall on a certain side. Such as here, where overturning the conviction is no easy call, but the principle at stake makes Stevens' dissent (note he announced it from the bench) compelling.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, April 06, 2009
And Also: Baseball season begins, but a 2-1 nail-biter with the ace against an at best decent team is too stressful, right out of the gate. Interesting Q&A discussion of Dambisa Moyo's book Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. Probably goes too far, but raises some important questions, the limits of her views notwithstanding.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
And Also: New books on the side panel. I could not find a picture of the Katyn book, but again, I found it very good. The most powerful parts of the book giving us a clear human picture of the suffering -- and ability to survive -- inflicted on Poland. It is a striking story, laid out like a great novel. Suffering, as with many other infamous acts like Nanking, too unknown.