Law School Discussion

Presidential Hopeful ...

« Reply #330 on: January 27, 2009, 08:30:06 AM »

It is really a shame that black community leaders (quite obviously doing it deliberately) are rallying against Obama now that he's so close to becoming President, the latest instance being Jesse Jackson.

Jesse Jackson has been jealous of Barrack since he ran for Senate. Jesse Jackson is the east end of a horse going west.

Jesse is JEALOUS of Obama. Obama is one of many African Americans born to a teenage mother and raised without a father. It has nothing to do with being upwardly mobile or bougie. It has to do with recognizing that you are more than your environment. It is the person who decides that he deserve better. Jesse isn't saying that the boys to impregnate women and abandon their families need to step up. He coddles and perpetuates the mentality that it is okay to be a deadbeat. It is okay to not own up to the responsibility. Well, it isn't okay. And a new generation of black leadership needs to continue to say that you can do better. You own your destiny. You create the paths. And as long as you stay in the barrel you will remain with the crabs, each pulling you down. Obama sets the example that you can achieve what you believe you can do. You define your destiny, by tooth and nail. Michelle Obama and her brother are also believers in this mentality.

Jesse's statement shows his GREEN EYE OF JEALOUSY. The root cause of Jesse's statement is based upon his "legacy" and self-created position as a leader in the black community who just could not make it to become President as Barack appears to be on the way to.

So Jr. was the "Candidate 5," was he not?

The Blagojevich Circus Comes to the State Senate
« Reply #331 on: January 28, 2009, 12:42:19 PM »
For all the ridicule that the state of Illinois has suffered since the corruption scandal of its governor was first revealed, for all the jokes made at the expense of the Land of Lincoln's long, sordid history of graft, there is one thing that is often overlooked: Rod Blagojevich is the first governor of the state to be impeached. Today's start of the feisty Chicago native's state senate trial, which will determine whether he is thrown out of office, is therefore a historic occasion. And like any media-savvy politician, Blagojevich isn't about to let history pass him by. Sure, technically he won't be in attendance, and the betting is he could be ousted within a week. Blagojevich has made no secret of his disdain for the proceedings, calling the trial (which is separate from the ongoing federal criminal probe) the equivalent of a lynching and his inability to call witnesses a "trampling of the Constitution." But his outrageous media appearances and unpredictable moves have kept Blagojevich the unrivaled star of his own reality show, making the jury of his peers in state government look feckless by comparison. In fact, Blagojevich's circus-like behavior since he was charged has angered and dismayed his colleagues in Springfield almost as much as the acts he is accused of committing, most notably trying to sell President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat. Not only did he refuse to go quietly by resigning, but he has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, accusing legislators of plotting to overthrow him so they can push through tax hikes and generally bully all future governors. Blagojevich then surprised all observers by going ahead with an appointment to replace Obama; his choice of Roland Burris, a veteran African-American politician of impeccable credentials, turned out to be a shrewd move that Senate leaders in Washington reluctantly had to accept. And his stunning press conferences, during which Blagojevich has quoted poetry and presented himself as a defender of the ill and infirm, have made the entire impeachment process seem like a joke.

Blagojevich followed the same kamikaze strategy on Monday, appearing on Good Morning America (where he said he had briefly considered appointing Oprah Winfrey to Obama's Senate seat) and The View. In a pretaped interview for NBC's Today Show, he tossed out names like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., saying they gave him "perspective" in the storm that has erupted around him. "Cuckoo" was the response of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley after Blagojevich's latest news conference on Friday, the same day that Blagojevich's top defense lawyer, Ed Genson — never one to give up a fight — threw in the towel on the governor. "I have practiced law for 44 years," Genson said to reporters. "I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require clients to listen to what I say." Among other things, Genson said he wasn't being included in key decisions on whether to file suit to attempt to block the impeachment trial. Still, for all the governor's antics, some serious business will take place on Monday afternoon. The 59 members of the senate — 37 Democrats and 22 Republicans — will gather to begin considering the 13-point article of impeachment, with 40 votes needed for conviction. Some of the alleged offenses have nothing to do with the case laid out by federal prosecutors, including ignoring hiring laws to put political buddies in nice jobs and ignoring the will of the legislature by going ahead with expanded health-care programs. The senate has set aside 10 days for the trial, but given that the defendant isn't likely to show up, it could be much quicker.

David Ellis, the chief attorney for house speaker Michael Madigan, will prosecute the case. He was scheduled to call as many as 13 witnesses, including an FBI agent who has been allowed to testify, and he will likely play tapes of recorded conversations with Blagojevich — from some of the thousands of hours of often crude conversations that the government has recorded to pursue its criminal case against Blagojevich for allegedly engaging in widespread pay-to-play politics. "We have taken this very seriously. We've looked to the Clinton impeachment to figure out what's fair. But it's time to be statesmen," said Republican Matt Murphy. "This is about a lot more than just one guy, even if these last days have been pretty consistent with the way he's been acting the past six years. This is no joke. It's especially no joke to the people of Illinois."  Of course, grudges could come into play, and this is still a political, not a criminal, trial. But senate president John Cullerton was equally blunt, saying that playing politics with the trial could come back to bite the same senators sitting in Blagojevich's judgment. "We take it seriously, and the rules we have adopted are fair," said Cullerton on Sunday night, adding that the proceedings were most closely matched to the Clinton impeachment hearings, with the exception that there will be a prosecutor instead of house managers. "I don't talk about the case or the outcome, just the rules. And the governor said the rules were unfair; we disagree with that. We could potentially be victims of impeachment if this was done in a political manner and not a professional manner. The rules could be used against us.",8599,1873946,00.html?cnn=yes

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #332 on: January 29, 2009, 12:02:01 PM »

Reading this thread and watching Obama's rise brought to my mind Spiro Theodore Agnew, the 39th Vice President of the United States (and the first Greek American in that capacity) serving under Nixon. He is noted for his quick rise in politics -- going in 6 years from County Executive to Vice President of the United States.

As Richard Nixon's vice president, Spiro Theodore Agnew served from 20 January 1969 until 10 October 1973, when he resigned over matters unrelated to the Watergate scandal. Agnew, the son of Greek immigrants, grew up in Baltimore, MD, where he began practicing law in 1949. From 1962 to 1969 he served as a county executive in Baltimore before being elected governor in 1967. As Nixon's vice president he was not closely involved in policy decisions, but he was a media favorite for his staunch defense of the Vietnam War and his colorful attacks on war protesters, the press and political dissidents. Agnew's fiery rhetoric became legendary: he famously called the press "nattering nabobs of negativism" and referred to war critics as "an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as 'intellectuals.'"

After Nixon and Agnew were elected to a second term, Agnew became the focus of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Maryland for financial irregularities while he held state office. Rather than face trial, Agnew resigned and entered a plea of no contest to charges of evading income tax. He was sentenced to three years probation and fined $10,000. After he left office Agnew avoided publicity and went into business as an international broker. In 1981 he was ordered by a Maryland court to repay more than $248,000 to cover bribes he took while in state office.

Nixon chose Spiro Agnew because he would deliver the South. Afterward, Spiro's function as a VP was to deliver speeches attacking any challenges to Nixon's administration. He did this by delivering meaningless speeches with obscure terms and phrases such as, "naddoring nabobs of negativism", which always grabbed media attention. He was left out of both foreign and domestic policy decisions by the White House because, DESPITE HAVING BEEN THE GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND FOR 2 YEARS AND THE BALTIMORE COUNTY EXECUTIVE FOR 4 YEARS (with a 1967 population of over 500,000 compared to Wasilla's population of less than 10,000), the White House did not think he had anything to contribute. My favorite bumper sticker of all time is still, "eschew obfuscation" Spiro T. Agnew - the irony being that creating confusion about real issues in his speeches was his primary function.

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #333 on: January 30, 2009, 07:56:57 AM »
Wow, Nisi, Spiro Agnew appears to have been a piece of * & ^ %!

Merkel warns U.S. over auto bailout
« Reply #334 on: January 31, 2009, 09:45:42 AM »

[...] Just when we thought we couldn't squeeze out one more drop of righteous indignation. Just when continuing big executive financial sector bonuses and automaker private jet rides threatened another one of those stupid "Death Of Irony" moments [...]


DAVOS, Switzerland -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Friday that U.S. efforts to prop up its failing auto industry with bailout money amount to a form of protectionism that threatened to distort the global economy. In a keynote speech on the third day of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Merkel said that open markets had to be protected and urged governments to work together to build a more robust and responsible global financial system. Calling for an "open world economy," Merkel said: "We must not allow market forces to be completely distorted. For instance, I am very wary of seeing subsidies injected into the U.S. auto industry. That could lead to distortion and protectionism." Merkel said the central task facing politicians was to restore the ability of markets to function and said the crisis required "exceptional measures."

She also said that Germany's "social market economy" could serve as a model for a future international financial system in which governments guarded both the "social and economic order" and proposed the creation of a U.N. economic council modeled on the Security Council. "We want to have an eye firmly on the future so that we get out of this crisis stronger than when we went in," she told delegates. "We have to have a clear idea of where we are going to go so that we don't make the same mistakes as in the past." Despite the scale of the crisis, Merkel said that "incredible opportunities" were opening up, adding that growing up in East Germany to become the chancellor of a unified German state had proved to her that nothing was impossible. Earlier, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged global political and business leaders to work together to fix the financial system as the economic crisis returned to the top of the agenda in Davos. Brown is due to host G-20 leaders in London in April and told reporters that he would use the economic summit to press for concerted international action and tougher global financial regulations. "Politicians and business leaders have an urgent requirement to rise to the challenge of leadership," Brown said. "History is not destiny. We have a choice about what happens next. This is not only a time for analysis and retrospection but a time for action. This is a time not just for individual and national measures to deal with the global financial crisis. This is the time for the world to come together as one."

Brown, whose government has acted to prop up the UK's ailing banks with a rescue package of partial nationalization and this week announced a £2.3 billion ($3.3 billion) bailout for the country's auto manufacturers, urged countries to avoid retreating into protectionism, warning that restrictions on global trade would only worsen the economic crisis. Delegates have already heard from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao -- two of more than 40 heads of state or government attending this year's forum. Also on Friday, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates urged leaders not to allow the economic crisis to distract them from African development. "Put simply, aid works," said Melinda, who now co-chairs the philanthropic Gates Foundation with her husband. "We must continue foreign aid assistance. It's difficult to keep this on the front pages right now but it's never been more important." Meanwhile former U.S. vice-president and environmental campaigner Al Gore warned that a consensus on tackling climate change was needed between developed and developing nations before this year's talks in Copenhagen on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. "What is most important is that this year is not wasted. We are running out of time," Gore warned.

Obama's half brother arrested on charge of marijuana possession
« Reply #335 on: January 31, 2009, 10:18:32 AM »

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama's aunt, a Kenyan woman who has been quietly living in public housing in Boston, is in the United States illegally after an immigration judge rejected her request for asylum four years ago, The Associated Press has learned. Zeituni Onyango, 56, referred to as "Aunti Zeituni" in Obama's memoir, was instructed to leave the United States by a U.S. immigration judge who denied her asylum request, a person familiar with the matter told the AP late Friday. This person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to discuss Onyango's case. Information about the deportation case was disclosed and confirmed by two separate sources, one of them a federal law enforcment official. The information they made available is known to officials in the federal government, but the AP could not establish whether anyone at a political level in the Bush administration or in the McCain campaign had been involved in its release. Onyango's refusal to leave the country would represent an administrative, non-criminal violation of U.S. immigration law, meaning such cases are handled outside the criminal court system. Estimates vary, but many experts believe there are more than 10 million such immigrants in the United States.

The AP could not reach Onyango immediately for comment. No one answered the telephone number listed in her name late Friday. It was unclear why her request for asylum was rejected in 2004. Onyango is not a relative whom Obama has discussed in campaign appearances and, unlike Obama's father and grandmother, is not someone who has been part of the public discussion about his personal life. A spokeswoman for U.S. ICE, Kelly Nantel, said the government does not comment on an individual's citizenship status or immigration case. Onyango's case—coming to light just days before the presidential election—led to an unusual nationwide directive within Immigrations and Customs Enforcement requiring any deportations prior to Tuesday's election to be approved at least at the level of ICE regional directors, the U.S. law enforcement official told the AP. The unusual directive suggests that the Bush administration is sensitive to the political implications of Onyango's case coming to light so close to the election. Kenya is in eastern Africa between Somalia and Tanzania. The country has been fractured in violence in recent years, including a period of two months of bloodshed after December 2007 that killed 1,500 people. The disclosure about Onyango came just one day after Obama's presidential campaign confirmed to the Times of London that Onyango, who has lived quietly in public housing in South Boston for five years, was Obama's half aunt on his father's side. It was not immediately clear how Onyango might have qualified for public housing with a standing deportation order. The campaign said it was returning $260 that Onyango had contributed in small increments to Obama's presidential bid over several months. Federal election law prohibits foreigners from making political donations. Onyango listed her employer as the Boston Housing Authority and last gave $5 on Sept. 19.

Mr. Obama - either send her back per the deportation order issued, or push for her to be able to live in the US legally, in an apartment of her own, like a normal human being, half-aunt of the US president.

long tandem, U.S. is all about laws and respect for laws. Take a look here:

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, has been arrested by Kenyan police on a charge of possession of marijuana, police said Saturday. Inspector Augustine Mutembei, the officer in charge, said Obama was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as Bhang, and resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said. He is being held at Huruma police post in the capital of Nairobi. CNN Correspondent David McKenzie talked with George Obama at the jail where he is being held. Speaking from behind bars, Obama denied the allegations. "They took me from my home," he said, "I don't know why they are charging me." George Obama and the president barely know each other, though they have met before. George Obama was one of the president's few close relatives who did not go to the inauguration in Washington last week.

In his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." Barack Obama's trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known. McKenzie tracked down George Obama in August 2008 and found him at a small house in Huruma, a Nairobi slum, where he lives with his mother's extended family. His birth certificate shows he is Barack Obama's half brother. The two men share the same Kenyan father. In the memoir, Barack Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left him and his mother when he was just a child. Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was just 6 months old. Like his half brother, George hardly knew his father. George was his father's last child and had not been aware of his famous half brother until he rose to prominence in the Democratic primaries last year. Unlike his grandmother in Kogela, in western Kenya, George Obama had received little attention from the media until reports about him surfaced in August 2008. The reports sprung from an Italian Vanity Fair article saying George Obama lived in a shack and was "earning less than a dollar a day." Those reports left George Obama angry. "I was brought up well. I live well even now," he said. "The magazines, they have exaggerated everything. "I think I kind of like it here. There are some challenges, but maybe it is just like where you come from, there are the same challenges," Obama said. Obama, who is in his mid-20s, said at the time that he was learning to become a mechanic and was active in youth groups in Huruma. He said he tried to help the community as much as he can.

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #336 on: February 01, 2009, 10:02:38 AM »

Wow, Nisi, Spiro Agnew appears to have been a piece of * & ^ %!

1998, couldn't you be a bit more civilized not to express yourself in such a manner?

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #337 on: February 03, 2009, 05:10:14 PM »

The case against Blagojevich just gives a glimpse of the gangsterism and money-grubbing that characterize official politics in the U.S., involving both big business parties. Democratic and Republican officeholders routinely trade government favors for cash, whether in the form of campaign contributions or outright bribes. While it appears that the governor of Illinois is a particularly crude, foul-mouthed and stupid practitioner of capitalist politics, he is not an aberration. Conversations similar in substance, if not style, to those made public in the Blagojevich probe will be taking place today in government offices and political headquarters in every state and throughout Washington DC.

In actuality it appears withdrawals of this type are pretty common nowadays:

Obama Team Feels Richardson Wasn't Forthcoming About Investigation Before Being Offered Commerce
January 04, 2009 4:15 PM

Sources tell ABC News that officials on the Obama Transition Team feel that before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor. Once the investigation became more widely known through national media reports last month, sources tell ABC News, the Obama Transition Team realized the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean political bill of health before the new administration is ready to send his nomination up to the Senate for confirmation. The Richardson camp says the governor was forthcoming, with sources close to the governor noting that there had been reports about the controversy in local media such as the Albuquerque Journal as far back as August 2008. The governor discussed the investigation with the Obama team, they say, and believes that he and his administration have done nothing wrong.

From 2004 to 2005, CDR Financial Products, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company founded and run by David Rubin, received nearly $1.5 million through the New Mexico Finance Authority for advising the state in a complex highway funding project pushed by Richardson. In roughly that same time period, CDR and Rubin gave approximately $100,000 to political organizations run by Richardson, including one that paid for his and his staff's expenses at the 2004 Democratic convention. Neither the grand jury nor the FBI has interviewed Richardson. President-elect Obama did not ask Richardson to withdraw his name from consideration, sources from both camps say, but the fact that the confirmation seemed untenable in the short term was apparent to everyone involved. There were some discussions about whether the confirmation process could be delayed a few months until the investigation concluded, sources say, but it became clear that wouldn't happen any time soon, and no one wanted to be seen as pressuring law enforcement officials to wrap up their investigation. The governor spoke with the president-elect several times over the weekend, their last conversation being Saturday, when Richardson told Obama he was withdrawing his name from consideration.

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #338 on: February 03, 2009, 05:15:26 PM »
Pressure on Daschle reaches tipping point

(CNN) -- The White House insists that it was entirely former Sen. Tom Daschle's decision to withdraw his nomination, but some observers say he didn't have a choice. Despite the controversy over his tax records and his work in a field that some consider lobbying, Daschle was expected to be confirmed. His withdrawal shocked Capitol Hill, and Democratic colleagues expressed regret over his decision. "I think one of the major factors had to be that the political climate has changed radically just in the last couple of weeks," CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry said. President Obama ripped Wall Street executives last week for their "shameful" decision to hand out $18 billion in bonuses in 2008 while accepting federal bailout money.

The next day, news broke that Daschle hadn't paid his taxes in full. Daschle said Monday that he was "deeply embarrassed" for a series of errors that included failing to report $15,000 in charitable donations, unreported car service and more than $80,000 in unreported income from consulting. Daschle recently filed amended tax returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest for 2005-07. "That, in this political climate, really tripped up Tom Daschle because it looked awful politically for this White House," Henry said. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, press secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that the White House did not pressure Daschle to step down. Pressed on whether Daschle was given any sort of signal to resign, Gibbs said, "I don't know how much more clear I could be. The decision was Sen. Daschle's."

A Daschle ally familiar with his thinking said Tuesday that he was not aware of any White House pressure on the former Senate majority leader to withdraw his nomination. Asked whether Daschle was pushed, the source said, "things don't work that cleanly." The issue was not whether Daschle could "survive"; it was what that process "would do to Obama" and his health care reform and economic agenda. It's a question of the "price of that confirmation," he said. The source said Daschle read the Tuesday New York Times editorial urging him to withdraw from consideration but would not say whether that might have played a part in his decision. "Tom has been a politician for a very long time," the source said. "He understands this town. He made a mistake; he apologized, but timing matters. There was a critical mass building." Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said he thought Daschle made the decision Tuesday morning.

"I have to believe that Sen. Daschle having spent as many years as he has up here had a clear picture that there was going to be a delay, and I think he didn't want to contribute to that.  In announcing his withdrawal, Daschle said it was an honor to be chosen to lead the reform of America's health care system. "But if 30 years of exposure to the challenges inherent in our system has taught me anything, it has taught me that this work will require a leader who can operate with the full faith of Congress and the American people, and without distraction," he said in a statement. "Right now, I am not that leader and will not be a distraction. Mark Preston, CNN's political editor, pointed out that Daschle has a "history of making 11th-hour decisions." Six years ago, Daschle made a last-minute decision not to run for president after he had been all set to go. "I think that the Tom Daschle we saw yesterday was all set to go, and then the pressure started mounting ... and then he decided to pull out," Preston said.

Although he was expected to be confirmed, it was also expected that he'd have to undergo a bruising confirmation hearing that could have led to negative headlines for Obama. As news broke of the withdrawal, some senators said they were sad to see Daschle step aside, but others said it was the right thing to do. "I'm in shock. I didn't know that. I don't know what happened," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "I talked to him ... the night before last, and he showed no signs of withdrawing." Feinstein praised Daschle as rare person who could get something like health care through the Senate and said she wishes he had not withdrawn. "I have great faith in him." Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Daschle "did a service to President Obama" by stepping aside. "I think it really would have looked bad for the Senate to close ranks around a fellow member and sort of reinforce the idea that they were going to protect a member as part of the good ol' boys club," he said.

Daschle has a lengthy history with members of Congress. He represented South Dakota in the House of Representatives for four terms, and he served in the Senate for three terms. He was the Senate majority leader from June 2001 to January 2003 and served as the minority leader before losing his re-election bid in 2005. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, said Daschle "saved the president from being embarrassed" by withdrawing. Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he was "a little stunned" by Daschle's decision. "I thought he was going to get confirmed. I thought -- he's a good man, and I thought he'd be confirmed. I'm surprised," said Baucus, D-Montana. Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, insisted that Daschle had owned up to his mistakes. "He's made his decision, I respect his decision, and we go on from there," Kerry said. Daschle's resignation came hours after Nancy Killefer's withdrawal as Obama's chief performance officer, a new post in the administration. Officials said privately the reason for Killefer's withdrawal was unspecified tax issues. The much-touted post was designed to scrub the federal budget.

Re: Presidential Hopeful ...
« Reply #339 on: February 12, 2009, 05:33:39 PM »

Wow, Nisi, Spiro Agnew appears to have been a piece of * & ^ %!

1998, couldn't you be a bit more civilized not to express yourself in such a manner?

Civility appears to be a trait that even many law students and lawyers lack, Koci, indeed!