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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 43,204

Journal Archives

"These New SAT Questions Are A Little TOO 'Relevant'"

Thomas Jefferson re: "Our Monied Corporations"

REAGAN: "No reason why on the street today, a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons."


Justice Stevens: John Roberts Really Wants To Protect Rich

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens is taking aim at the Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision to eliminate the limit on a person's aggregate expenditures to political candidates and committees in an election cycle.

"The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate," he told the New York Times, criticizing what he views as the premise of Chief Justice John Roberts' controlling opinion. "It's really wrong."


Stevens tore into Roberts and the Supreme Court's conservative tilt in a separate interview with New Yorker legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

"Sam Alito replacing Justice O’Connor was a very significant change," he told the magazine in an article for its forthcoming issue. "He is much more conservative. And, as for John Roberts, he is much more in the direction of protecting the rights of very rich people to donate money to campaigns than former Chief Justice Bill Rehnquist ever was."



Warren's World - Leave the White House to some other sucker.

Warren’s memoir reads a bit like The Payoff,

Jeff Connaughton’s story of his lobbying career and the two-year Senate
residency of Delaware’s Ted Kaufman. Both books contain head-shaking
anecdotes about banks attempting to rebut decades of studies with junk
data that they paid for; both portray members of Congress as gibbering
ideologues. Connaughton concluded that the system was, well, rigged.
Warren decides that the people running the system are so blatant in
their venality, laziness, and graft that they can be beaten. That’s the
battle. Leave the White House to some other sucker


Honor the Hare, why not?


Fox guest mocks liberals on Keystone pipeline: Cars don’t run on ‘unicorn tears’

but you should see what a unicorn fart can do:

“I mean, I’m all for alternative energy, but until we come up with something that actually works and is efficient, we have to live in the real world,” Hunter said. “We’re not to the point where we can have car that runs on unicorn tears, and hopes and dreams.”


Justice Stevens’s Solution for ‘Giant Step in Wrong Direction’ (suggests amendment to override)

Source: New York Times

“Essentially,” he wrote, “five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.”

The occasion for our talk was Justice Stevens’s new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” One of those amendments would address Citizens United, which he wrote was “a giant step in the wrong direction.”

The new amendment would override the First Amendment and allow Congress and the states to impose “reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”

I asked whether the amendment would allow the government to prohibit newspapers from spending money to publish editorials endorsing candidates. He stared at the text of his proposed amendment for a little while. “The ‘reasonable’ would apply there,” he said, “or might well be construed to apply there.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/22/us/politics/justice-stevenss-prescription-for-giant-step-in-wrong-direction.html?hp&_r=0

Obama plans clemency for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of (non-violent) drug offenders

Source: Yahoo News

Thousands and thousands of people like Scrivner are serving punishingly long sentences in federal prison based on draconian policies that were a relic of the "tough on crime" antidrug laws of the '80s and '90s. Thirty years after skyrocketing urban violence and drug use sparked politicians to impose longer and longer sentences for drug crimes, America now incarcerates a higher rate of its population than any other country in the world. This dubious record has finally provoked a bipartisan backlash against such stiff penalties. The old laws are slowly being repealed.

Now, in his final years in office, Obama has trained his sights on prisoners like Scrivner, and wants to use his previously dormant pardon power as part of a larger strategy to restore fairness to the criminal-justice system. A senior administration official tells Yahoo News the president could grant clemency to "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of people locked up for nonviolent drug crimes by the time he leaves office — a stunning number that hasn't been seen since Gerald Ford extended amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers in the 1970s.

The scope of the new clemency initiative is so large that administration officials are preparing a series of personnel and process changes to help them manage the influx of petitions they expect Obama to approve. Among the changes is reforming the recently censured office within the Justice Department responsible for processing pardon petitions. Yahoo News has learned that the pardon attorney, Ronald Rodgers, who was criticized in a 2012 Internal watchdog report for mishandling a high-profile clemency petition, is likely to step down as part of that overhaul. Additional procedures for handling large numbers of clemency petitions could be announced as soon as this week, a senior administration official said, though it could take longer.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-plans-clemency-for-hundreds-of-drug-offenders--162714911.html


Justice Department Expands Clemency for Drug Offenders
Todd Ruger, Legal Times
April 21, 2014

"The White House has indicated it wants to consider additional clemency applications, to restore a degree of justice, fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety," Holder said in a video message. "The Justice Department is committed to recommending as many qualified applicants as possible for reduced sentences."

Holder's statement did not detail which prisoners might benefit from the changes. But he referenced the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, which reduced the sentencing difference between crack and powder cocaine. The law did not apply to drug offenders sentenced before the law took effect.

"But there are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime—and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime," Holder said. "This is simply not right."

Deputy Attorney General James Cole is expected to announce more details on expanded criteria for clemency later this week.



We decided not to invite CNN to our Easter egg hunt.

from a few days ago:

We decided not to invite CNN to our Easter egg hunt.

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