Law and Public Policy

Well said

owen over at Bayosphere says something very nicely that I've been thinking. The comment is longer but the last paragraph is quite important:

The black holes of Nixon's psyche have become modern Republican policy. Ike and Barry Goldwater must be pirouetting in their tombs over the loss of what was once a finely developed civic conscience. How sad that the legacy of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, of Eisenhower and Goldwater, Rockefeller, Lodge, Taft and so many other honorable Republicans of many philosophies has been erased.

Snowboard maker found not-liable

In the first such case to go to trial a civil jury found that Swiss snowboard maker Nidecker was not liable for the 2002 death of 22-year-old Kate Svitek. Svitek's estate had asked the company be held liable because the snowboard's bindings were not release bindings. The company at one time had offered release bindings but stopped because of poor sales. No studies have been done to measure the impact of release bindings. Proponents of the status-quo suggest that the fixed bindings prevent additional injury from a situation where one foot releases and the other foot is still attached to the board.

New bankruptcy law

After several years of trying the credit card industry has the new bankruptcy law they've been after. Tomorrow morning on CBS's Sunday Morning there will be a segment on the new law and community education classes on bankruptcy at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.

I'll have to depend on TIVO to capture it as I'll be gleaning the latest from a high tech company at the NAB Convetntion. G5 Powerbooks anyone? I wish. Surely there will be some great HD TV features of Tiger demoed.

Our family values

In an interview with the Washington Times Speaker DeLay continues the Republican assault on families. Asked whether he agrees with the White House on guest worker and immigration issues DeLay responded:

I've talked to the president about this. He thinks the country of origin is a good idea. He's open to other ideas. He's a little tough on bringing your family. But the key here is you don't want to bring your family, don't allow it - they go home anyway now illegally. They go back and forth all the time. It's not a matter of breaking up families, it's a matter of good sense. If they bring the family and they get established here, they'll never go home.

In other words it's about family values as long it is not one of those families. This kind of subterfuge just makes my blood boil. Congress has proven, very recently in the Schiavo, case that they are willing to throw their traditional family values out the window for a few political points. So if I am to understand correctly the only families that deserve to be together are those of United States Citizens and those who can come on programs that aren't guest worker programs? How does one expect that the immigrant families of guest workers are any different than students? Foreign students can have their families stay with them in the United States and they are expected to leave the country when the visa expires. What is it that would cause Mr. DeLay to expect something different of blue collar workers and their families? This sort of insidious racism and classism is thoroughly disgusting, all the more so in national leaders.

Filibusters are wrong when we disagree

Recently I received an email from Senator John Ensign, (R- Nevada), in which he states "I believe the
use of the filibuster in approving or disapproving judicial nominees is unconstitutional. Please be assured we are looking at every option to stop this practice including legal action."

Interesting. It is worthwhile taking a look at where the tradition of filibustering judicial nominations originated. At least six judicial appointments by President Bill Clinton were held up with filibusters in the previous administration. Although the practice started with the Republicans in the Senate using filibusters to block nominations they found objectionable that is not a basis for determining its constitutionality or not.

Many of the pieces of propaganda on this matter suggest the Senate is somehow duty bound to vote using a simple majority on nominations. However, the founding fathers, in the Constitution left no such guidance. The Constitution says that the President makes appointments with the "advice and consent" of the Senate. It is notably silent on how the chamber is to arrive at its consent. Perhaps they will one-day choose a 90-vote super-super-majority. That, it seems, would be equally constitutional and would likely lead to many centrist appointments.

Are many centrists better than a mixture of extremists? A question for another day...

AARP uses Google Ads to get the word out on Social Security

It is interesting to see the AARP has placed ads with Google's Ad-Sense. The site which the ads take readers to suggests "Strengthen Social Security Don't Destroy It."

In the context of last evening's post it is interesting to see large mainstream organizations like the AARP move into the realm of advertising on weblogs.


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