Gidney N Cloyd
Gidney N Cloyd's Journal
Hometown: Elk Grove Vil, IL
Home country: USA
Current location: Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 03:07 PM
Number of posts: 14,541
Hometown: Elk Grove Vil, IL
Home country: USA
Current location: Duchy of Grand Fenwick
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 03:07 PM
Number of posts: 14,541
(from the 'History that makes you go hmmm' files.)
Scalia Was Cheney Hunt Trip Guest; Ethics Concern Grows
February 05, 2004|David G. Savage and Richard A. Serrano | Times Staff Writers
PATTERSON, La. — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia traveled as an official guest of Vice President Dick Cheney on a small government jet that served as Air Force Two when the pair came here last month to hunt ducks.
The revelation cast further doubts about whether Scalia can be an impartial judge in Cheney's upcoming case before the Supreme Court, legal ethics experts said. The hunting trip took place just weeks after the high court agreed to take up Cheney's bid to keep secret the details of his energy policy task force.
According to those who met them at the small airstrip here, the justice and the vice president flew from Washington on Jan. 5 and were accompanied by a second, backup Air Force jet that carried staff and security aides to the vice president. ...Cheney and Scalia were whisked away in a heavily guarded motorcade to a secluded, private hunting camp owned by an oil industry businessman.
Several experts in legal ethics questioned whether Scalia should decide the case. "In my view, this further ratchets it up. If the vice president is the source of generosity, it means Scalia is accepting a gift of some value from a litigant in a case before him," said New York University law professor Stephen Gillers. "It is not just a trip with a litigant. It's a trip at the expense of the litigant. This is an easy case for stepping aside."
Aides to Cheney say the vice president, like the president, is entitled to travel to vacation spots on government jets and to take along guests at no cost. Judges are bound by different rules, however. Federal law says that "any justice or judge shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might be questioned."
When asked about the trip last month, Scalia confirmed that he had gone duck hunting with Cheney, but said he did not see a need to withdraw from the case.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Tue Feb 16, 2016, 12:38 PM (4 replies)
Kind of a fun read. Rauner's ham-fisted quest to union-bust his way to a capitalist paradise in Illinois is itself-- the mere goals-- tearing the state to pieces. Somehow I don't think the Tribune will be picking this up off the wire...
Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar — who last year campaigned for current Gov. Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican — comes pretty close to savaging the rookie governor in a new interview out this weekend regarding the state's budget impasse.
In the interview with the Springfield State Journal-Register, Edgar says state government is in the worst shape he's ever seen it, and he lays a big part of the blame on Rauner.
Among other things, he says, Rauner is wrong to hold the budget "hostage" over non-budgetary policy goals; that his confrontations with Democratic legislative leaders have been counter-productive and unwisely focused on "personalities"; that the impasse is having real human consequence and endangering the state's vaunted higher education tradition; and that even Rauner's stated top goal — making Illinois more business-friendly — is being thwarted by his administration's actions.
"He does not come from government," Edgar said of Rauner, a venture capitalist before winning his first-ever political campaign in November to become governor. "He doesn't even really come from mainstream business. He comes from (being an) entrepreneur where you buy a business, you tear it apart and you sell it. ... I don't think you're going to tear apart the state and sell it. He might want to, but you can't do that."
In what probably qualifies as the worst thing anyone can say about an Illinois governor these days, Edgar said Rauner's government is, in some ways, worse than the government was under now-imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. While Edgar stressed in the interview than Blagojevich, a Democrat, wasn't "anything close to being a better governor" than Rauner, "at least Blagojevich ... was off doing his crazy things and state government kind of continued to move along. I don't think state government's moving along right now. I mean, I just think too many things are at a standstill."
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Mon Oct 19, 2015, 01:24 PM (7 replies)
Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign handed out thousands of dollars in gift cards to people who helped get supporters to the polls during the November election, prompting questions about transparency and whether recipients should be considered volunteers or campaign staff.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the campaign says it bought 5,145 Visa prepaid gift cards in denominations of $25, $50 and $75. The gift cards weren't mentioned in campaign finance reports filed with the state until July 13, when the Republican's political committee noted that it received $54,713 in April and May through "liquidation of previously purchased asset — redemption of gift cards." The campaign hasn't disclosed who got the cards or whether anyone received cards totaling $150 or more — the level at which Illinois campaign finance laws requires that compensation to workers be reported.
Sarah Clamp, spokeswoman for Rauner's campaign, said the campaign reported the gift cards correctly. "The campaign is only responsible for reporting when the campaign makes an expenditure and did this by reporting the purchase of gift cards," she said.
His campaign said it considered the gift cards property and that transferring them to workers didn't need to be reported. Larry Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, said debit cards are "as good as cash," and the campaign should have reported which workers got the cards. While campaigns often reward volunteers with pizza or coffee, Noble said giving gift cards "definitely is odd."
Rauner is like having Scott Walker and the Koch brothers rolled into one person.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Sat Jul 25, 2015, 03:05 PM (7 replies)
I'd really like to get back into biking but since my last knee operation I'm left with a knee flexion of maybe 90 degrees on a real good day. I'd rather retrofit my Trek 7300 if such parts exist but when I asked at my local bike shop a couple years ago they looked at me like I was from Mars (which I ought to be used to by now, wherever I go...).
I've stumbled across a couple of more technical articles on the web about benefits of different lengths, which tell me that such a mod must be possible, but little information along the lines of "I made this change for my bad knee, it helps a lot, and this is where I got the parts."
So if anyone here has any advice I'd love to hear it.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Fri Jul 10, 2015, 01:47 PM (5 replies)
WVRevy Donating Member (225 posts) Thu Feb-28-08 08:34 AM
This infighting is stupid. We have two good candidates!!!
I honestly don't get the infighting between LIBERALS here and all over the net. As an Obama supporter, I have said from the beginning that I would be proud to cast my vote in November for EITHER of these candidates, and I know many Clinton supporters who have said the same. Yet we seem to have a large number of Hillary's supporters on this board slamming not the candidate, but me and others like me who happen to have given our support to her opponent. I'm sorry, but I think that is just WRONG.
Look, it is my opinion that Hillary would make an excellent president, probably right along the lines of the type of president her husband was (and I consider that high praise). It just so happens that THIS year, she is running against someone that I think could be a GREAT one. Is that because I've "drank the kool aid?" No, and I'm offended by the implication that I'm incapable of making a rational choice that does not result in voting for Hillary Clinton. The difference seems to be that I can fully admit that someone could make their OWN rational decision and choose Hillary over Barack, even though I disagree.
The attacks on supporters of BOTH sides really need to stop, or we're going to be so divided come November that we're going to hand the country another 4 years of failing policies in the Bush clone the Repugs are running. If you disagree with my candidate, then by all means, point that out, just as I will with yours. But we need to remember that we're all on the same team...we just haven't picked our quarterback yet.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Tue Jun 2, 2015, 04:16 PM (2 replies)
In Bruce Rauner’s Illinois, the common villain behind crushing pension debt, municipalities sliding toward bankruptcy and businesses bypassing the state is organized labor.
In February, he tried to use an executive order to prevent the state’s largest employee union from collecting fees from workers who aren’t members. The money is “a critical cog in the corrupt bargain that is crushing taxpayers,” Rauner said Feb. 9. A coalition of 26 unions sued in March to block the order.
This month, the governor took a swipe at Illinois Supreme Court justices considering a pension-restructuring bill, saying they’re part of a “corrupt” judicial system influenced by the same forces that created the financial mess.
The governor’s approach has drawn criticism from labor leaders. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis calls Rauner “Scott Walker on Steroids.” Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, which represents about 35,000 state employees, calls it “hatred” of unions.
“Here’s a guy who made $61 million last year,” Lynch said, referring to Rauner’s income reported in 2013 tax filings. “And he has a deep-seated revulsion that average working people make decent salaries.”
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Wed Apr 29, 2015, 10:41 AM (4 replies)
Meet the real villain in the public pension crisis
by Jeff Spross
Critics of the defined-benefit plans often assert this is necessary because governments use the more generous packages as cover for fiscally deceptive political games, promising workers future benefits while not properly funding the plans and instead spending the money in the here and now.
This argument is largely bogus. The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) recently looked at the management of 112 state-administered pension funds from 2001 to 2013. They found the plans received an average of 89 percent of their required annual contributions, and only six states — New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, Kansas, and Colorado — averaged less than 75 percent. Half the plans got 95 percent of the needed amount.
"There is a perception that many plans and states have failed, when in fact it's only a handful of states," Keith Brainard, NASRA’s research director, told Business Insurance. With the exception of a handful of outliers, "most states have made a reasonably good effort."
A 2011 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) came to the same conclusion. What went wrong, in a nutshell, was the 2008 financial crisis. The plans NASRA looked at were just beginning to close a modest gap opened up by the 2001 recession, plus some changes to benefits, when the latest crash expanded the combined shortfall of all the plans from $5.8 billion in 2008 to $17.8 billion in 2013. It hit a nadir at $19 billion in 2012.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Tue Mar 24, 2015, 05:03 PM (2 replies)
Home for a snow day and stumbled across this. I used to watch the series in first run and I taped (yes, taped) the finale, set it aside and never wanted to watch it cuz I knew this would happen.
“I just like to see you happy." Ahh, shit.
Now I have to go do something manly...
I just realized I implied I watched this on the tape I recorded years ago. That's no longer around. While I was home on the snow day I was flipping channels and landed on ABCFAM or some such thing. They happened to be running the last episode. It was pretty much the first time in years I'd seen the series and the finale was about the only one I'd missed. Kismet.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 02:14 PM (4 replies)
From TVtropes.org: (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TortureAlwaysWorks)
In the magical world of fiction, if torture isn't being just used to prove that the Big Bad is indeed big and bad (or that the Anti-Hero is indeed anti), it works as an instant source of 100% reliable information. The information extracted under torture is always accurate and important, even if the interrogator himself starts with no information at all and so has no way to know if the prisoner is telling the truth or lying. The possibility of having the wrong person, who will say anything under torture whether they know anything or not, will be excluded. Often as not, the victim is then released with no consequences to them if they lied.
The only times when torture doesn't work is when the tortured is just too Badass to be broken, and doesn't say anything at all. When characters object to torture, they are often portrayed as weak liberal Strawmen who "don't have what it takes" or "don't realize what's at stake". They only make moral criticisms, and never bother to point out that it's unreliable, presumably because they too know that it Always Works. Even when it doesn't work, characters who should know better assume that it will.
Some of their many, many examples from film, TV, and literature:
In Dirty Harry, San Francisco Police Department Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan presses down on the Scorpio killer's badly wounded leg (he was just shot with a .44 revolver) until he tells him where to find a girl he had kidnapped and left to suffocate. Naturally, he finds out where she is, only to discover that she has already died. The killer promptly walks away from the law by crying "police brutality", much to Harry's disgust.
In The Dark Knight, Batman uses it on a mob boss by dropping him from two stories up (conventional Batman interrogation techniques involve dangling the perp from twenty or thirty stories up until he talks) and breaking his legs.
LOST: The flashbacks of the Ben/Sayid torture episode, One Of Them, saw Sayid successfully torture a former superior officer of his to get the location of US soldiers. He used pliers to great effect it seemed.
Used on Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Buffy's interrogation subjects are usually demons, whose loyalties are extremely weak. Once she has someone at her mercy, it rarely takes more than a minute for them to start talking.
Played with in an early episode of Angel. Angel is tortured, and doesn't reveal what the bad guy wants. However, it's revealed afterwards that he was THIS close to do it, but the gang saved him before that point.
In his James Bond novels, Ian Fleming (who had prior experience in British intelligence) refers now and then to agents being tortured, on the implicit assumption that, indeed, anyone — even a trained agent — will eventually give up what they know given enough time and pain.
How many times have comedies worked in a line like "Ve haf vays of makink you talk"? That wouldn't be funny if it hadn't been a cliche already.
It's no surprise then that Americans largely believe that torture works. The explanation of why it doesn't is rarely presented and even more rarely heard. We're not exactly a nation of critical thinkers, either, so until media begins to portray torture honestly, until we make a point of educating ourselves as a society somehow, we have no reason not to continue to side with our own baser instincts, nodding our heads when our leaders casually tell us torture was the only way to get the information they needed before the next bomb goes off.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Thu Dec 11, 2014, 12:17 PM (14 replies)
I honestly think a lot of them were shocked at the blowback they got when they naturally sided with Darren Wilson. Usually they can do that with impunity and it surprised them. So they doubled down, got louder, and generally looked like even bigger, less rational assholes than normal (see Joe Scarborough's rant as exhibit A: http://www.mediaite.com/tv/scarborough-rants-against-rams-dems-for-hands-up-gesture-you-know-its-a-lie/), going so far as to rail against the Rams players' rights to express an opposing view.
But Garner in Staten Island? Virtually to the last bloviating RW commentator they're saying it's a miscarriage of justice. They're bending over backward to look reasonable. This is not evidence of evolving sensitivity, this is making a deposit on cover for the next time they express their true opinion on the inevitable next cop-executes-black person event.
Posted by Gidney N Cloyd | Thu Dec 4, 2014, 12:07 PM (19 replies)