HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Divernan » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... 22 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,728

Journal Archives

Fortunately, you don't sit on the Supreme Court!

Seriously, and I say this as someone who is now retired but, over the course of my professional career was first a trial lawyer, then a law professor and finally a government attorney - this is an outrageously stupid and futile position for Obama and his Justice Department to take, and an egregious waste of taxpayer money - witness the fact that the justices across the political spectrum from Roberts to Sotomeyer have excoriated the Justice Dept. in oral argument.

And please, no more puffery about Obama being a constitutional law scholar.

He was NEVER a SCHOLAR on ANY legal topic, let alone Constitutional Law - i.e., he never published a scholarly paper, let alone book; never participated as a panel member at scholarly conferences; was known for NOT engaging in scholarly discussions/debate with fellow faculty members; wasn't even on tenure track. He was a "senior lecturer" - that's the lowest level of teacher at a law school, below Full, Assistant, Associate, Adjunct and or Visiting Professors -
- at University of Chicago. They are not on a tenure track. He never taught the basic, traditional course in Constitutional Law, required of all first year law students, and covered in detail in state bar examinations. He taught three courses:

At the school, Mr. Obama taught three courses, ascending to senior lecturer. His most traditional course was in the narrow constitutional area of (1) DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION of constitutional law. His (2) VOTING RIGHTS class traced the evolution of election law, from the disenfranchisement of blacks to contemporary debates over districting and campaign finance. His most original course, a historical and political seminar as much as a legal one, was on (3) RACISM AND LAW.

Nor could his views be gleaned from scholarship; Mr. Obama has never published any.

Very interesting article on his years as a part-time instructor at the University of Chicago Law School. He was a popular teacher, but refused to intellectually engage with his fellow faculty. One sentence particularly sticks with me as showing that even at the beginning of his political career, he identified his future success and power as dependent upon wealthy whites.

Before he helped redraw his own State Senate district, making it whiter and wealthier, he taught districting as a racially fraught study in how power is secured.

He was a part-time, adjunct instructor - NEVER a professor at any level (assistant, associate or full), but merely given the courtesy title of "professor" by students addressing him.


His publications page lists his two autobiographical books, but no academic work of any sort, much less any academic writings on constitutional law. Now, given his relatively strong academic credentials and the extent of affirmative action in academic hiring, if Obama had written articles about, well, pretty much anything, he would undoubtedly have been able to get hired at an elite law school in a tenure-track position. But he didn't.

She'll be a hawk against Americans as well.

She's been building up an enemies list of everyone who crossed her, according to her close friend and confidant, the late Diane Blair, as documented in the recently released "Hillary Papers" - records kept by Blair. The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was “tough and mean enough.”

Blair also noted a 1994 conversation in which the first lady asked her for advice on "how best to preserve her general memories of the administration and of health care in particular." When asked why she wanted to keep the documents, Clinton replied, "Revenge."


On top of that, the Clintons are stalling on releasing tens of thousands of additional documents/records from the Clinton presidency.
Yet more records are still being held back, according to Politico: "The Clinton Library has not published a comprehensive list of the materials held back from prior document releases. However, information posted online indicates that a number of the withheld records come from Hillary Clinton’s office.

What is Hillary hiding? I doubt that records of decisions on redecorating the Oval Office or selecting menus for state dinners would trigger a claim of executive privilege. Who knows what fresh hell will be brought to light concerning either or both of the Clintons, should she be the nominee. I have no doubt the GOP's own opposition research is saving a few bombshells to release in the event she is the nominee.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/clinton-white-house-library-records-103959.html#ixzz3056cfEVP

And that level of rage and vengeance was BEFORE she suffered international humiliation with the whole Ken Starr/Lewinsky/impeachment nightmare.

Electing Hillary would effectively give the Clintons a THIRD presidential term.

and would constitute an end run around the 22nd amendment. The Clintons said it in Bill's campaign - you get two for the price of one, i.e, Hillary was the co-president. And in fact, she was heavily involved in all policy matters and decisions.

Hillary's reign would definitely be Bill Clinton redux, only nastier, given her thirst for revenge and her enemies' list, as documented in the recently released "Hillary Papers" - records kept by her close friend and confidant, Diane Blair. The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was “tough and mean enough.”

Blair also noted a 1994 conversation in which the first lady asked her for advice on "how best to preserve her general memories of the administration and of health care in particular." When asked why she wanted to keep the documents, Clinton replied, "Revenge."


Yet more records are still being held back, according to Politico: "The Clinton Library has not published a comprehensive list of the materials held back from prior document releases. However, information posted online indicates that a number of the withheld records come from Hillary Clinton’s office. What is Hillary hiding? I doubt decisions on redecorating the Oval Office or selecting menus for state dinners would trigger a claim of executive privilege.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/clinton-white-house-library-records-103959.html#ixzz3056cfEVP

Twenty-second Amendment, amendment (1951) to the Constitution of the United States effectively limiting to two the number of terms a president of the United States may serve. It was one of 273 recommendations to the U.S. Congress by the Hoover Commission, created by Pres. Harry S. Truman, to reorganize and reform the federal government. It was formally proposed by the U.S. Congress on March 24, 1947, and was ratified on Feb. 27, 1951.

22nd Amendment
Amendment XXII
Section 1.

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
Section 2.

This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

Emanuel cuts pension benefits, raises prop. taxes, subsidizes corp. donors TO THE MAX.

Nation of Change/David Sirota has a scathing article about how Rahm Emanuel has embraced old-style Chicago corruption by diverting property taxes each year into a half billion dollars a year slush fund which he as mayor controls absolutely.

Immediately after taking office, he doled out a $7 million subsidy to benefit a grocery chain, the CEO of which gave Emanuel's campaign $25,000. That's a 280% return on investment/bribe/"campaign donation".

Another $29 million subsidy went to support a new skyscraper development plan, i.e., "a very expensive corporate plaza" for the building. I know you join in me in being shocked, I say, shocked to learn that the building will house the new Chicago headquarters of a law firm whose employees have "given" Emanuel's campaign $125,000. That's a 232% return on investment/bribe/"campaign donation".

The final example is Emanuel's $55 million subsidy for a new hotel near Chicago's convention center. The investment company which owns a major stake in the construction firm gave Emanuel's campaign $31,500.


According to a report by the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First, the supposedly budget-strapped Windy City — which for years has not made its full pension payments — has mountains of cash sitting in a slush fund controlled by its poverty-pleading mayor. Indeed, as the report documents, the slush fund now receives more diverted property taxes each year than it would cost to adequately finance Chicago's pension funds.

Yet, Emanuel is refusing to use the cash from that slush fund to shore up the pensions. Instead, his new pension "reform" proposal cuts pension benefits, requires higher contributions from public employees, raises property taxes — but also quietly increases his slush fund.

Why, you ask, would Emanuel refuse to relinquish some of the half-billion dollars a year that is going into his slush fund? Perhaps because he has been using it to enrich Chicago's corporate class, including some of his biggest campaign donors.

Not to sound like a broken record, but again: This same thing occurs in states and cities across the country. The wealthy corporate interests who bankroll politicians have for years convinced those politicians to not make required pension payments and to instead spend the cash on taxpayer subsidies — the kind that happen to go to those politicians' donors. Now that the bill for such irresponsibility is coming due, those bankrolled politicians are trying to protect the subsidies their donors so cherish by trying to balance budgets primarily through punitive measures against taxpayers and public employees.

Documents show Margolies turned to own charity in time of need.

This expose of Congressional candidate Marjorie Margolies (in a crowded primary field of Dems for a congressional seat) has a tremendous amount of disturbing detail - my conclusion after reading the entire article(which I urge all to do) is that she and her ex-husband, ex-con, ex-Congressman, Ed Mezvinsky were two birds of a feather. No surprise that their son makes his millions from hedge funds. Both parents were very slick at scamming the system. She wouldn't stand a prayer of getting elected if she weren't now a Clinton in-law. There are several other candidates much more deserving of both respect and votes. But in such a crowded primary, sometimes the good guys divide the votes, and the least deserving ends up winning.

According to documents obtained by The Huffington Post, as Ed Mezvinsky's fraud was exposed, Margolies doubled her own salary as head of a small, largely taxpayer-funded charity into the six figures, attempted to have the charity renovate and lease a mansion in which she would live, billed the charity for her automobile lease and other expenses, and required charity staff to assist with her other responsibilities as a faculty member at a local university.

The Huffington Post earlier reported that over the past several years, Margolies was paid an unusually large salary given the size of her charity, Women's Campaign International, whose revenue in recent years was in the very low millions. In defending that salary in December, WCI noted that the charity's board of directors determines compensation -- not Margolies, who still runs the charity.

That explanation, however, elided one critical detail: For the first three years of WCI's existence, and at a crucial board meeting at which the decision about her salary was made, Margolies was herself the chairman of the board.

On Dec. 9, 2001, Margolies, as chairman, convened a meeting of WCI's board to discuss salary. Previous minutes date her chairmanship to Dec. 7, 1998, the charity's first meeting -- one month after she lost a bid to become Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor. For WCI's first three years, its only board members were Margolies, Fredrica Friedman and her husband, Stephen Friedman. Nonprofit watchdogs consistently warn charities that a husband and wife should not both serve on a board, that they certainly should not make up two-thirds of it, and that the head of the charity should not also be the board's chairman.

How TPP Would Harm You at the Drug Store and on the Internet

I don't care how much Obama and either Clinton have benefited or expect to benefit from past or future campaign contributions and/or board appointments from Big Pharma or other giant, monopolistic corporations. We know, thanks to Wikileaks that this secretly negotiated trade agreement and the fast track approval process Obama is pushing for are the antithesis of our government's balance of powers and what we progressive Democrats are all about, and it can prove lethal for the citizens of the USA or any other country affected by the TPP. When it comes to drug patents and prices, we're talking life and death.

One example of the way the intellectual property provisions favor giant, multinational corporations over smaller, innovative corporations and regular people around the world is in pharmaceutical prices. A company with a drug patent is granted a monopoly to sell the drug at any price they choose with no competition. Currently a drug might be patented for a limited number of years in different countries. When the patent runs out other companies are able to manufacture the drug and the competition means the drug will sell at a lower cost.

Leaked documents appear to show that TPP will extend patent terms for drugs. Countries signing the agreement will scrap their own IP rules and instead follow those in TPP. So giant drug companies will have the same patent in all countries, for a longer period, and the patent will prevent competition that lowers drug prices.

Currently smaller, innovative companies can produce “generic” drugs after patents run out. Because of competition these drugs can be very inexpensive. Walmart, for example, sells a month’s supply of many generic drugs for $4, while drugs still under patent protection can cost hundreds or even thousands. This is of particular concern to poor countries that will be under TPP rules
This would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit consumers’ access to cheaper generic drugs. This would include extensions of monopoly drug patents that would allow drug companies to raise prices for more medicines and even allow monopoly rights over surgical procedures. For people in the developing countries involved in TPP, these rules could be deadly – denying consumers access to HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer drugs

As to the Internet, the IP section of TPP gives corporations power in deciding what regular people can see, do or say on the Internet. It would override our current rules and regulations, even imposing laws like SOPA and PIPA, which Congress has specifically rejected. More detailed information is provided at the above link.

If Obama and the global corporations gain fast track approval, it will be one-bribe(oh, excuse me/campaign "contribution")-fits-all on this straight up or down vote, and it appears Obama/Corporate interests wouldn't be pushing so hard for this unless they were confident they can buy enough Congressional votes to win this vote, no matter how horrific the provisions of the TPP.

Fast Track
An Undemocratic Path to Unfair “Trade”

Fast Track was an extreme and rarely-used procedure that empowered executive branch negotiators advised by large corporations to skirt Congress and the public and use “trade” agreements to rewrite policies that affect our daily lives – from the stability of our jobs to the safety of our food. Past “trade” deals rammed through Congress under Fast Track have empowered foreign corporations to attack domestic health and environmental policies, enabled pharmaceutical firms to raise medicine prices, and equipped banks with a tool to roll back financial regulation.

Because Fast Track’s dramatic shift in the balance of powers between branches of the U.S. government occurred via an arcane procedural mechanism, it obtained little scrutiny – until recently. Its use by Democratic and Republican presidents alike to seize Congress’ constitutional prerogatives, “diplomatically legislate” non-trade policy, and preempt state policy, has made it increasingly controversial.

A president cannot obtain Fast Track empowerment without a vote of Congress. President Clinton, renowned for trade expansion, only had Fast Track authority for two of his eight years in office due to congressional opposition. The last time Congress authorized Fast Track was in 2002, with a 3:30 am vote before a congressional recess in which the antiquated mechanism was approved by just three votes. Since 2007, Congress has refused to authorize this extreme procedure, even after its proponents tried to escape Fast Track’s bad reputation by renaming it “Trade Promotion Authority.”

As a candidate, President Obama said he would replace this anti-democratic process. But now he is asking Congress to grant him Fast Track’s extraordinary authority – in part to try to overcome growing public and congressional opposition to his controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) deals. To prevent an expansion of this unfair “trade” model, Congress must not allow the executive branch to once again gain Fast Track’s undemocratic powers.


Chicago actor, writer & director Harold Ramis dies at 69

Source: WGN-TV, Chicago

Harold Ramis was one of Hollywood’s most successful comedy filmmakers when he moved his family from Los Angeles back to the Chicago area in 1996. His career was still thriving, with “Groundhog Day” acquiring almost instant classic status upon its 1993 release and 1984′s “Ghostbusters” ranking among the highest-grossing comedies of all time, but the writer-director wanted to return to the city where he’d launched his career as a Second City performer.

haroldramis2“There’s a pride in what I do that other people share because I’m local, which in L.A. is meaningless; no one’s local,” Ramis said upon the launch of the first movie he directed after his move, the 1999 mobster-in-therapy comedy “Analyze This,” another hit. “It’s a good thing. I feel like I represent the city in a certain way.”

Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.

Ramis’ serious health struggles began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease, his wife said. Ramis had to relearn to walk but suffered a relapse of the vaculitis in late 2011, said Laurel Ward, vice president of development at Ramis’ Ocean Pictures production company.

Read more: http://wgntv.com/2014/02/24/chicago-actor-harold-ramis-dies-at-69/#1VEUbP4tRzvgAGaA.01

Wee Donald, defeated in Scotland, faces Irish wind farm battle.

US TYCOON Donald Trump could find himself again plagued by a wind farm near one of his signature golf courses – but this time in Ireland rather than ­Aberdeenshire.

Just days after announcing his £12.4 million investment in a County Clare centre instead of a second course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, it emerged that a plan for nine wind turbines two miles south of Mr Trump’s newly acquired resort in the town of Doonbeg will be considered by the Irish local authority in the coming weeks.

Mr Trump lost in the Court of Session last week against the Scottish Government over an offshore 11-turbine wind farm near his luxury golf course on the Menie estate. He withdrew plans for the second course after the defeat.

The billionaire has repeatedly spoken out against the £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay. Last week, he declared that wind farms were “a disaster for Scotland”.


The funniest part of this article is the comment section. Various Scots tear Trump to shreds. Here's a wee sample.
Ireland will rue the day if they let this arrogant balloon dictate to them.

His history in Aberdeen is sickening, with boast after boast, distortion of the truth time after time. His shameful attacks upon our planning system when it doesn't suit him.

But the very worst of it all was his disgraceful treatment of the residents who lived on or around The Menie Estate. He behaved like an 18th century "Clearances Lord" who used intimidation to try to evict them. Beware Ireland, Trump is a Bully--full stop !!!

Build your Windfarms and turn his next " world class golf course " at Doonbeg into BrigaDoonbeg, or BigBalloonBeg. If It all fails, Trump will blame you anyway !

From Roy Linton,
an Aberdonian who supported the Menie Golf Course at first, but then was sickened by Trump's stupid arrogance !

Many thousands of men have falsely claimed to have been Navy Seals

Interesting book on the topic:

No Guts, No Glory - Unmasking Navy Seal Imposters
Paperback – January 1, 2002
by Former US Navy Seal Steve Robinson (Author)
Those who undertake to impersonate US Navy SEALs, for whatever purpose, are a disgraceful insult to every man and woman who ever served honorably in any branch of America's armed forces..."

With these words the author begins his account of the fight to uphold the honor of his fallen Teammates. Detailing some of the most ludicrous claims imaginable, former Navy SEAL, Steve Robinson, catalogs a wild array of bizarre tales and outlandish stories recounted by SEAL imposters in their attempts to manipulate family and friends, influenced employers, and impress employees. Including police officers who have used false claims of SEAL experience to gain positions on SWAT teams, teachers who have regaled their students with fraudulent tales of daring combat encounters, and con artists who have swindled women out of thousands of dollars and taken advantage of their trusting nature, these stories seem beyond belief, yet every one of them is true!

The book contains 97 case studies from the most simple false claims to the most complex and bizarre fantasy stories of heroics that never happened and more.

I ran into one of these bogus SEAL wannabes when I signed up at a local diveshop to take PADI classes to get my certification. I found myself sharing the high price "private" class with 4 other people and the final qualification dives were a joke - done in a 20 foot deep pond, with about 10 feet of visibility. For the written examination, we sat around a picnic table while the instructor read the questions to us. We students took turns orally guessing at the multiple choice answers until we lucked upon the correct answer and then all were instructed to fill in the appropriate blank.

What did I know? I was a total newby. Off I went on my first dive trip, to Belize, and a near drowning experience on a night dive. By talking to other experienced divers, I learned that my classes had neglected some vital information on dive safety. On returning home and researching my dive instructor, I learned that PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) had pulled his license for rushing people through the course/fudging the tests, and he had only recently been re-instated when I contacted him. He also advertised himself as a former Navy SEAL.

I contacted a Navy SEAL group which maintains a Wall of Shame for bogus SEAL claimants. They looked him up and informed me he was never a SEAL, but he had done underwater construction for the Navy as a "non-combat" diver. I'm not sure what they did to follow up, but within the year he closed the dive shop and was working strictly as a commercial diver. I found a reputable dive shop and retook the entire certification course and went on to further certifications/diving experience in wreck diving, night diving, drift diving, underwater propulsion vehicles, rescue diving, equipment repair, etc. and many fantastic dive trips. The best was Truk Lagoon in Micronesia (central Pacific) diving on wrecks of Japanese ships from World War II. Scuba diving is a fantastic experience - just make sure you get good instruction and good, well-maintained equipment and a very reliable person as your dive buddy.

Company Responsible For West Virginia Chemical Spill Skips Congressional Hearing

Source: Think Progress

Exactly one month and a day after 10,000 gallons of chemicals spilled into West Virginia’s water, members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure committee on Monday traveled to the state’s capital city, ostensibly to ask state leaders the still-unanswered questions surrounding the leak. There are many.

Perhaps the most important party that could provide answers would have been Freedom Industries, the company whose chemical storage tanks leaked a coal-cleaning chemical called crude MCHM into the water. Company president Gary Southern had been invited to testify, but in the end, did not show up.

“I find that extremely telling,” said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). “Freedom Industries’ decision not to testify today compounds its gross misconduct, and is an absolute affront to every person impacted by its spill.”

Freedom Industries’ decision not to show up to a hearing that otherwise housed every party that should be held accountable for the spill (Representatives from West Virginia American Water, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board showed up, to name a few) is depressingly typical, and a painful reminder of the company’s non-presence throughout the month-long ordeal.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/10/3273201/freedom-chemical/

Duh-uh! Congressional investigative hearings include the power to subpoena witnesses. Whomever organized this really screwed up in failing to subpoena Gary Southern. Since he insulted the House Committee by ignoring the invitation and not appearing voluntarily, I trust the Committee will now subpoena his sorry a** to Washington. It should be a subpoena duces tecum, i.e, translates to "bring with you under penalty of punishment" and obliges the recipient to appear and bring with him/her all documents or other tangible evidence for use at hearing or trial. The subpoena can spell out a description of such documents.
Subpoenas and depositions:
Most individuals respond favorably to an invitation to testify before Congress, believing it to be a valuable opportunity to communicate and publicize their views on a question of public policy. However, if a person will not come by invitation alone, a committee or subcommittee may require an appearance through the issuance of a subpoena (Rule XXVI, paragraph 1). Committees also may subpoena correspondence, books, papers, and other documents. Subpoenas are issued infrequently, and most often in the course of investigative hearings.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 ... 22 Next »