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  • beowulf commented on the diary post Perspective on the debt-ceiling crisis by wigwam.

    2013-10-07 18:10:27View | Delete

    I know that sounds a bit flippant but its rather irritating that while the Administration has not exactly been a stellar guardian of civil liberties in the war on terror, at the same time it completely ignores the wide discretion the Constitution and federal law give it in economic policy.

  • beowulf commented on the diary post Perspective on the debt-ceiling crisis by wigwam.

    2013-10-07 17:53:16View | Delete

    We’re talking about actions the Secretary of the Treasury can take in interpreting an Act of Congress which is vague. We don’t need the best answer, only a legally permissible one. :O) if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the court is whether the agency’s answer is [...]

  • beowulf commented on the diary post A Case Study in Awful: The 8 Worst Parts of the Recent Naval Academy Rape Hearing by RH Reality Check.

    2013-09-14 07:47:26View | Delete

    The flyboy beat me to the punch but it seems that Sen. Gillibrand’s effort to reform the UCMJ , while commendable, really should be unnecessary. The Commander-in-Chief has the authority to do this unilaterally. In UCMJ Article 36, the President is given authority to set pretrial, trial and post-trial procedures for court martials. He could [...]

  • Loretto has its own prison handbook.

    INCOMING PUBLICATIONS: FCI Loretto permits inmates to subscribe to and
    receive publications without prior approval. The term “publication” means a
    book, single issue of a magazine or newspaper, or materials addressed to a
    specific inmate, such as advertising brochures, flyers, and catalogs. An inmate may receive soft-cover publications (paperback books, etc.) from any source. An inmate may receive hardcover publications and publications from a publisher or bookstore only.

    Hmm, his is interesting…

    Every inmate will have an established trust fund account out of which they can withdraw funds to make purchases or to satisfy family and/or legal obligations.

    Any outside source(s) who wish to send an inmate money can do so via a U.S. Postal Money Order to the National Lockbox (refer back to page 32 for the address). The inmate’s name and registration number must be shown on the money order. Failure to do this will result in the money order being returned to the sender… All monies or negotiable instruments must be sent to the National Lockbox Location at the following address:

    Federal Bureau of Prisons
    John Kiriakou

    Post Office Box 474701
    Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Why the DREAM Act Should’ve Been the Superman Act

    2013-06-17 09:52:24View | Delete

    Not exactly.

    “The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth… (f) a person of unknown parentage found in the United States while under the age of five years, until shown, prior to his attaining the age of twenty-one years, not to have been born in the United States…” 8 USC 1401

    If the Kents keep that spaceship hidden until Clark’s 21, he’s home free. As a natural born citizen, he can run for president.

  • Administration officials confirmed in interviews that the skinny plans, in concept, would be sufficient to avoid the across-the-workforce penalty. Several expressed surprise that employers would consider the approach.

    Ha, idiots.

  • beowulf commented on the diary post Trade Sell-Out: Out of the Mouths of Citizens…. by Alan Grayson.

    2013-05-16 07:30:44View | Delete

    Grayson, you’re a first round pick. Trade is such an important issue and it seems to be neglected by everyone in Washington except the lobbyists. Any American trade policy that is not focused on eliminating the trade deficit is, at best, a waste of effort (and is usually much worse). Meanwhile that Warren Buffett has [...]

  • Kinds of unfair to John Ashcroft. He only delegated power to his Deputy AG when he was in the hospital and very ill.

    “Within minutes,” Gonzales and Card came barreling in, carrying an envelope. Inside was the reauthorization for the surveillance program, which they wanted Ashcroft to sign. Ashcroft raised his wan head from the pillow and clearly said he wouldn’t, adding, “I am not the attorney general. That’s the attorney general.” He pointed to Comey.

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Hostage Taking Is an All or Nothing Game

    2013-05-09 12:07:28View | Delete

    The Republicans should go back to the well on the drone issue (I think it took everyone by surprise how much Rand Paul’s filibuster resonated both inside and out of the Republican party). Condition debt ceiling hike on a law banning drone strikes against US citizens.

    1. The base will love it.
    2. The Republicans the base hates (McCain and Graham) will denounce it.
    3. It will split Democrats between Obamabots and, well, Democrats.
    4. Puts the monkey on the President’s back, is HE willing to crash world economy just so he can keep his power to extrajudicially execute Americans?
    5. It’d actually be good government policy.

    ts because of the fifth point that it’ll probably never happen. :o)

  • The odd thing is, I’m not sure its even a legal appointment. The CIA Director is no longer the head of an independent agency in that he now reports to the Director of National Intelligence. This reminded me of something I once read.. Oh yes.

    The Constitution’s Appointments Clause requires that inferior officers (say, the Director of the National Clandestine Service) must be appointed by either the President himself or by a Department Head (reporting directly to POTUS). When the CIA was an independent agency, its Director counted as a Department Head. However, since the CIA director reports to the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan shouldn’t be appointing the the D/NCS, either the President or the DNI should be. Presumably Congress has waived the requirement for Senate confirmation (“The Senate will now take up the nomination of Anonymous”) but this is rather similar to the sticky wicket USPTO got tripped up by a few years ago.

    “From 1999 to 2008, a change in the statute governing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) permitted a number of judges of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to be appointed by the USPTO Director. This arrangement was challenged as unconstitutional under the Appointments Clause because the appointing party was not the Heads of the Department.[8] In order to avoid the crisis that would result from new challenges to many BPAI and TTAB decisions made in that period, Congress passed a 2008 amendment to the statute which specifies that the Secretary of Commerce is responsible for such appointments, and permitting the Secretary to retroactively appoint those persons named by the USPTO Director.”

    This legal wrinkle is only there because Congress unwisely created a new Office of the Director of National Intelligence instead of simply clarifying the duties of Director of Central Intelligence. Carter’s DCI Stansfield Turner was the voice of reason here.

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Massachusetts Special Senate Race Is Surprisingly Close

    2013-05-04 08:39:13View | Delete

    It would be kind of awesome if Gomez ran against chained CPI. :o)

  • beowulf commented on the diary post Stirring the Pot: Authorities Leak More of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s “Confession” by E. F. Beall.

    2013-05-03 16:55:13View | Delete

    I’m actually suspicious of most conspiracies, they tend to confuse incompetence with design. The problem here is unless you get a confession and a quick guilty plea its not smart to use a foreign intelligence tool (i.e. using CIA and DOD interrogators– pity there aren’t laws restricting CIA and DOD in domestic law enforcement) in [...]

  • beowulf commented on the diary post Stirring the Pot: Authorities Leak More of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s “Confession” by E. F. Beall.

    2013-05-03 12:01:40View | Delete

    Oswald was on the first floor! OK, back on topic. It will be very interesting to see videotape of hospital bed interrogation. For one thing, I’d like to see the interaction between the federal agents and the medical personnel during those 16 hours of interrogation. It will be even more interesting if no recordings [...]

  • beowulf commented on the diary post Would a White Girl Be Prosecuted for a Botched Science Experiment? by Jesse Lava.

    2013-05-02 21:15:22View | Delete

    The elected State Attorney (Jerry Hill) will dismiss the charges. Tammy did some sloppy lawyering here. She didn’t look up the definition of “destructive device”. Destructive device” does not include: (a) A device which is not designed, redesigned, used, or intended for use as a weapon… Does anyone really think Kiera’a intent was to build a [...]

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Why the Gun Lobby Defeated Background Checks

    2013-04-29 11:19:45View | Delete

    Why on Earth does the Administration keep throwing itself against the Senate’s 60 vote brick wall instead of just attaching proposals to a filibuster-proof reconciliation bill? Just reframe the proposal as a revenue measure.

    Pay Moynihan had the right idea when he was Senate Finance Committee chair 20 years ago– he proposed a 10,000% excise tax on hollow point bullets (sales to govt agencies exempted). You could put a 10,000% excise on all gun sales and then give a tax exemption to seller if he did an instant background check. Likewise Congress could levy a stiff excise on magazines larger than 10 rounds or assault weapons or whatever else they want less of. Why would anyone fight for 60 votes (and come up a few short) when they could instead fight for 50 votes (and have a few to spare)?

  • It’s an effort to fix a drafting error that prevents the federal government from paying into insurance exchanges on behalf of congressional staffers who got caught up in a political controversy.

    “A drafting error”, that’s a wonderful euphemism. Looks like the Hill Dems are running for the tall grass on this one.

    Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson flatly denied a report that the majority leader had sought an exemption for lawmakers and their staffers.
    “There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members of Congress or Congressional staff from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care,” Jentleson said.

    As Obamacare’s start date approaches, you’re going to see those guys on the Hill freaking out like a cult sweating an approaching comet.

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Schumer Draws Line in the Sand Over Pathway to Citizenship

    2013-04-25 18:44:44View | Delete

    When you say this…
    “Our concern should be for the immigrants who are already here – some of them for 20 or more years.”

    I think about this…
    “a brother or sister of a U.S. citizen from the Philippines applying for a family-sponsored visas may have been waiting 24 years, as those visas have been oversubscribed, according to the State Department’s latest figures.”

    Putting illegal immigrants ahead of line those on that waiting list tells them and us that in America, if you play by the rules, obey the law and wait your turn… you’re a sucker.

  • beowulf commented on the blog post Senate Gang of 8 Finally Releases Immigration Reform Bill

    2013-04-17 11:48:06View | Delete

    OT Jon but this headline is 100% win.
    “Baucus warns of ‘huge train wreck’ enacting ObamaCare provisions”

    It can’t be design flaw because that would make it his fault, his defense is blaming “pilot error” (i.e. implementation).

  • Allowing these same people to be covered by Medicare would be much more costly to the government than allowing them to purchase their own health insurance.

    Statistical illusion. Mandatory insurance premiums have the same economic impact as mandatory tax payments. The difference is the cost of providing coverage is off-budget (for the govt) in the first case but on-budget in the second.

  • Needless to say, Obama hired the wrong Harvard economist.

    “Last year, Harvard School of Public Health economist William Hsiao was commissioned by the Vermont state legislature to design three options for reforming the state health care system. Hsiao, who helped design a single-payer system for Taiwan and has advised eight other nations in their health system reforms, presented his findings before the legislature on January 19, 2011.”

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