Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

A Civil Libertarian is a Congressperson who got Wiretapped

Greenwald on Harman. Read the whole thing.

Sample:

when the U.S. Government eavesdropped for years on American citizens with no warrants and in violation of the law, that was “both legal and necessary” as well as “essential to U.S. national security,” and it was the “despicable” whistle-blowers (such as Thomas Tamm) who disclosed that crime and the newspapers which reported it who should have been criminally investigated, but not the lawbreaking government officials. But when the U.S. Government legally and with warrants eavesdrops on Jane Harman, that is an outrageous invasion of privacy and a violent assault on her rights as an American citizen, and full-scale investigations must be commenced immediately to get to the bottom of this abuse of power. [links in original omitted; emphasis his]

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The Mukasey Rules: Schools not to send your children to

The traditional annual list of Party Schools now has a jump-start. In no particular order, except the way CNN listed them:

    Duke
    Dartmouth
    Ohio State
    Syracuse
    Tufts
    Colgate
    Kenyon
    Morehouse
    Middlebury College
    Rhodes College

The reasoning is such that Only the Current Attorney General could love:

“This is a law that is routinely evaded,” said John McCardell, former president of Middlebury College in Vermont who started the organization. “It is a law that the people at whom it is directed believe is unjust and unfair and discriminatory.”

“Is routinely evaded” is College President-speak for “The system is broken, so I’m not responsible.”

Since this reasoning also applies to most recreational drug consumption, including but not limited to marijuana, crack, cocaine, and Ecstasy, I expect the Amethyst Initiative to move on to those areas next.

It falls to a former Clinton Administration official to tell the truth and shame the Devil,* in around the 16th or 17th graf:

But some other college administrators sharply disagree that lowering the drinking age would help. University of Miami President Donna Shalala, who served as secretary of health and human services under President Clinton, declined to sign.

“I remember college campuses when we had 18-year-old drinking ages, and I honestly believe we’ve made some progress,” Shalala said in a telephone interview. “To just shift it back down to the high schools makes no sense at all.”

And it is even later in the piece that they point out that the researcher whose work the Amethyst Initiative cites not only disagrees, but sees through the facade:

McCardell cites the work of Alexander Wagenaar, a University of Florida epidemiologist and expert on how changes in the drinking age affect safety. But Wagenaar himself sides with MADD in the debate.

The college presidents “see a problem of drinking on college campuses, and they don’t want to deal with it,” Wagenaar said in a telephone interview. “It’s really unfortunate, but the science is very clear.”

To coin a phrase, “Why, oh why, can’t we have a better press corps?”

*Yes, I have been reading and re-reading Stephen King recently. Why do you ask?

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The Rule of Law: Compare and Contrast

The Most Trusted Name in News:

Former secretaries of state James Baker III and Warren Christopher say the next time the president goes to war, Congress should be required to say whether it agrees.

The co-chairmen of a bipartisan study group have proposed legislation that would require the president to consult lawmakers before initiating combat lasting longer than a week, except in cases of emergencies.

In turn, Congress would have to act within 30 days, either approving or disapproving of the action.

The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8:

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Good to know it’s not just the Fourth Amendment that doesn’t matter.

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