Morning Links

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
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38 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  zero | 

    Please, I’m playing Civilization 5 right now. Universities are good for cultural and scientific growth only. They produce no gold.

  2. #2 |  Dave Krueger | 

    More than 18 months later, Fairfax Police Department fires the cop who killed David Masters.

    “Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh ruled that the shooting did not warrant criminal charges…”

    Oh, I am just so surprised I can barely contain myself. Who would have thought?

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Democrats find a portion of the Constitution they’d actually like to enforce.

    You can’t help but laugh at the argument that borrowing money equates to “paying our bills”. No wonder we’re in fuckin’ trouble.

  4. #4 |  marco73 | 

    Concerning the Emily Good case, apparently the local police union (The Locust Club) doesn’t feel that an “internal review” of the officer, or of the retribution parking tickets, is even warranted.
    Someone needs to tell this union spokesman: the internal review will turn up nothing, the police will file some meaningless paperwork, and everyone will move on. Just shut up, and let the bureaucratic inertia work its magic. By talking to the papers about this case, you just keep the public’s attention on the case.
    I think Emily has a pretty good civil rights case, and if anyone had any brains in city government, they’d write her a settlement check right now so they can buy this embarrassment.

  5. #5 |  Thom | 

    Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo says he’ll lobby for changes in the law to protect officers and allow them to do the job for which they are trained.

    “We have people with agendas out there and we can’t allow these agendas to, God forbid, allow one of our officers or another individual to get hurt,” said Mazzeo. “That’s the issue.”

    Sounds like it’s the police training that needs to change, not the law. It’s surprising to me that police officers are not trained to deal with people who they may encounter who have “agendas”.

  6. #6 |  Joe | 

    I am no fan of John Edwards, but I do not like politics being criminalized (at least not for what he is alleged to have been doing). Creepy and wrong to be sure, but these U.S. Attorneys creep me out more. Blago was engaged in the worst sort of corruption, and I felt sorry for him when I saw Patrick Fitzgerald’s smug mug on TV.

  7. #7 |  M | 

    “An officer stood in front of the Blazer as it was stopped at Fort Hunt Road, another stood behind, and Ziants was alongside Masters”

    So, they train these storm troopers to stand in front of and behind a possible stolen vehicle so that way if it moves an inch they can blast away…..

    Seems like the police are at war with the serfs…..

  8. #8 |  Roho | 

    I like this quote from the Cooper shooting piece. Sums things up nicely:
    “They were met with deadly force and had no alternative other than to return fire.”

    Just more evidence in the ‘police are bullies’ pile. Wherein a victim hitting back or defending himself against aggression is all that’s needed to open the floodgates, and just go to town. There was no alternative, he hit me back!

  9. #9 |  Irving Washington | 

    Re.: Cooper. Anyone else find it heartwarming that a group typically advocating for black victims of police misconduct doesn’t care that Cooper was white? I’ll feel good about that all day.

  10. #10 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Guys with video equipment get stranded at an airport. Hijinks ensue. Interview with them here.”

    This is outrageous. I don’t see in these hooligans any of the fear, guilt, or shame that is required for air travelers in this post 9-11
    zombie world.
    Remember, hijinks and hijacks are only a few letters apart.

  11. #11 |  Mattocracy | 

    If only life could be explained thourgh more Civ 5 analogies.

  12. #12 |  omar | 

    Universities are good for cultural and scientific growth only. They produce no gold.

    With the new patch, check your policy options:
    Rationalism Finisher: +1 Gold from Science buildings

    /n3rd

  13. #13 |  boomshanka | 

    o/t

    A good piece by the village voice debunking the claim that 100,000-300,000 children are lost to prostitution in the US every year.

  14. #14 |  Mattocracy | 

    It was my understanding that John Edwards asked for money from people specifically cover up his affair and that it wouldn’t be going towards his campaign.

    Are his campaign…er, mistress cover up… donors backing up the assertion?

  15. #15 |  hamburglar007 | 

    Isn’t “improper use of deadly force” just a euphemism for murder?

  16. #16 |  Sean L. | 

    “Democrats find a portion of the Constitution they’d actually like to enforce.”

    Oh, except for all that “authorized by law” nonsense.

  17. #17 |  Pablo | 

    #14 hamburglar–I think it is interesting that the prosecutor didn’t pursue charges because there was no “criminal intent.” I take that to mean the prosecutor belived the cop did not intend to kill the man so it wasn’t murder. But there are other degrees of homicide which do not involve an intent to kill. E.g. in most jurisdictions, if someone is killed, it is foreseeable, and the result on reckless behavior, that is involuntary manslaughter. Such a charge I think is applicable in many of the sordid examples we see on this web site.

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    Everything about John Edwards “looks increasingly shallow”
    He does have nice hair, but

  19. #19 |  Highway | 

    Hey, again, we have those great guys in the DA’s office doing someone, in this case Emily Good, a huge favor by not prosecuting her. What awesome folks. See? No harm, no foul. She didn’t have to go through any actual trouble, like harassment by the cops, or some time in the lockup, or a free police car ride, or people up and down the street getting ticketed. That’s not any *actual* problem.

    What a nice group of folks!

  20. #20 |  qwints | 

    The “lack of criminal intent” the prosecutor referred to is presumably not the lack of an intent to kill, but rather the prosecutor’s conclusion that the officer reasonably believed Masters was about to kill or inflict serious bodily harm on the officer in front of the car. It’s also possible the prosecutor knew that it would be impossible to obtain a conviction based on the potential jury pool. Both of those beliefs would justify the prosecutor in the case not bringing charges (the former would be unethical, the latter a waste of state resources).

  21. #21 |  Aresen | 

    The feds’ case against John Edwards is looking increasingly shallow.

    Seems appropriate, considering how shallow Edwards is.

    He helped pass the campaign finance law; it is nice to see him getting tangled up in it.

  22. #22 |  the innominate one | 

    If you follow Radley’s link for headline of the day, you are taken to an article titled, “Supreme Court video game ruling: Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence?”, which is an oddly bland title to give the honor to.

    However, on Slate’s front page, the article is being promoted as Bush v. Gore, which is a bit more noteworthy.

  23. #23 |  croaker | 

    Winning comment on fired Fairfax County cop:

    “This guy has a police job waiting for him at PG county.”

  24. #24 |  fwb | 

    Radley,

    Did you see this one?

    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/16-year-old-charged-murder-after-police-kill-15-year-old-companion?wpisrc=obinsite

    What’s next?

    FWB

  25. #25 |  Cyto | 

    The Democrat’s argument that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional due to the 14th amendment is laughable. Here’s the text:

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Ok – so it says the US government will pay back all debts, but it won’t pay back any debts that were used to rebel against the US or for any losses suffered by slaveowners.

    Err…. exactly where does that say that the government can run up unlimited amounts of debt? It says existing debts will be paid back. I don’t see even the slightest hint that the legislature cannot prevent the government from taking on additional debt.

    Of course, what with the makeup of the high court; the fact that an argument is laughable is not a guarantee that it won’t show up in a supreme court ruling as the law of the land.

  26. #26 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #13 boomshanka

    A good piece by the village voice debunking the claim that 100,000-300,000 children are lost to prostitution in the US every year.

    Village Voice Media is calling out these anti-prostitution crusaders because they own backpage.com which came under attack after criagslist was forced (yes, forced!) to close its adult services section because of a government, media, and NGO harassment campaign.

    The claims of 100,000-300,000 child prostitutes as well as a host of other ridiculous claims have been thoroughly debunked for years by a number of smaller operations including my blog (sexhysteria.com) and Maggie McNeil’s blog (maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/). Prostitution prohibitionists are fully aware that their numbers don’t hold water, but they also know that the media repeats the numbers far more readily than they repeat stories about the numbers being a total hoax. In other words, the ends (shutting down discussion of decriminalizing the consensual “crime” of prostitution) justify their unethical and fraudulent means.

    I noticed that CNN is once again broadcasting a new special all about this topic and, not wanting to let facts interfere with a sensationally tantalizing story, they willingly shovel the same kind of bullshit as we’ve been hearing, proving that the mainstream press should no longer be considered a source of news so much as a pusher of popular fiction.

  27. #27 |  johnl | 

    From the Cooper story, the police spokesman is paraphrased:
    The reason for forced entries, he said, is to prevent people from destroying evidence.

  28. #28 |  Aresen | 

    @ fwb | June 29th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Radley covered that one a couple of weeks back.

  29. #29 |  Cyto | 

    From the Cooper story, the police spokesman is paraphrased:
    The reason for forced entries, he said, is to prevent people from destroying evidence.

    And the appropriate followup question which I have yet to hear asked in these circumstances:

    “So, if you were to observe a suspect flushing pills down the toilet, would you shoot him if he failed to stop when commanded?”

    If the answer is “no” to that question, then why would you believe it is OK to create a dangerous situation that will predictably result in death in a certain percentage of cases in order to prevent a chance that someone might attempt to flush some pills.

  30. #30 |  Aresen | 

    Cyto:

    “So, if you were to observe a suspect flushing pills down the toilet, would you shoot him if he failed to stop when commanded?”

    Far too many cops would answer “yes” to that question.

  31. #31 |  Chuchundra | 

    Cyto:

    Congress has authorized a certain level of spending and a certain level of taxation. Since the taxes don’t cover the spending, the government must borrow the difference. Now, since the government can’t borrow any more because it has hit the debt limit, what’s going to be done?

    The President can’t simply spend less. If Congress directs the government to spend money, it must be spent. There’s clear case law on this.

    He can’t raise taxes or otherwise raise revenue without Congressional approval. He can’t default on debt obligations because the 14th amendment prohibits that. There’s nothing that can be done at this point that doesn’t violate some statute or the Constitution. Since the Constitution trumps statute law and the last bill passed authorized the spending of the money, the debt limit legislation gets overridden.

    The truth is, the debt limit law is all nonsense anyway. If Congress doesn’t want the government to borrow any more money, it can pass a balanced budget. It’s ridiculous to set some arbitrary “debt limit” and then do a kabuki dance every couple years because it needs to be raised.

  32. #32 |  Cyto | 

    The truth is, the debt limit law is all nonsense anyway. If Congress doesn’t want the government to borrow any more money, it can pass a balanced budget. It’s ridiculous to set some arbitrary “debt limit” and then do a kabuki dance every couple years because it needs to be raised.

    Well, it’s pretty hard to argue with that.

    Unless you are a professional politician. Then it sounds like a great idea! You get to have an on-the-record, up-or-down vote that says “I oppose more debt!” while at the same time running home to take credit for all of the pork you wheel-and-dealed back to your district. Win-win, baby! Win-win.

  33. #33 |  Cyto | 

    #31 | Chuchundra |

    Oh, and your point about previously approved spending and debt service is salient. And the legal analysis is “the 14th amendment requires us to meet our debt obligations” therefore servicing the debt trumps statutory spending requirements.

    What this means is they cannot issue more debt and they cannot fail to pay the interest owed on the debt. Therefore they either take action (reduce spending requirements, increase revenue or approve more debt), or they will be unable to meet their statutory spending obligations. What happens then, I haven’t a clue. They seem to suggest across the board cuts – but as you point out, that still violates the statutes.

    The 14th is clear though – debt obligations have to be “authorized by law”, so they can’t issue any more debt without authorization.

    Of course, we are living in the era of “important policy implications” being deciding factors in constitutional arguments. So they could easily rule that the 14th requires repealing the Bush tax cuts.

  34. #34 |  qwints | 

    To be fair, some Republicans are taking the position ought to avoid raising the debt ceiling by passing a balanced budget – I honestly don’t see the hypocrisy there. It seems a reasonable position that some level of government debt is so high that it is better to drastically and immediately cut spending rather than accrue additional debt.

    The Republicans, however, are as bad as the Democrats when they set some types of spending (e.g. subsidies) off limits.

  35. #35 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    The President can’t simply spend less. If Congress directs the government to spend money, it must be spent. There’s clear case law on this.

    The President has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s willing to completely ignore clear laws when they are inconvenient for him (Libya, for example). What’s one more?

  36. #36 |  paranoiastrksdp | 

    Emily Good had her house broken into, her ipod that contained the videos was stolen. Paid “confidential informants” at work?

  37. #37 |  albatross | 

    I would very much like to know how many people with agendas (ahem) were sitting on the story of Edwards’ mistress and child, and what they were planning to extract from him to keep from publishing it.

    Indeed, it strikes me that hitting donors up for hush money in this case is a kind-of self-enforcing agreement that you’ll stay bought. You can refuse to return the phone calls of the guys who wrote you a $100K check to your campaign, but you’re simply never going to refuse to return the phone calls of the guy who wrote a $100K check to your mistress.

  38. #38 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @26 – They weren’t “forced”. They decided it was a losing battle and got out before they were forced into anything. They’re saving quite a bit of cash on working with the appropriate charities, and the same adverts are still up.

    They’ve done quite well from this, bluntly. The losers are the charities.

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