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goaliechica

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5660 on: November 16, 2008, 07:56:34 PM »
http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/11/11/The-End-of-Wall-Streets-Boom

The End
by Michael Lewis   Nov 11 2008

The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its excess in Liarís Poker, returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong.

"To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall. The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capitalóto decide who should get it and who should not. Believe me when I tell you that I hadnít the first clue."



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A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5661 on: November 16, 2008, 10:41:12 PM »
I read that this morning.  Long, but a very good read.

greenplaid

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5662 on: November 20, 2008, 08:17:30 PM »
Connecticut Post

Lawyer: Alcohol testing device is racist

By DANIEL TEPFER
Staff writer
Updated: 11/20/2008 12:17:25 AM EST

A lawyer representing a man arrested in Fairfield for drunken driving says the state's breathalyzers discriminate against black people.

"They are KKK in a box," said lawyer James O. Ruane of Shelton. "We really have some racist machines here."

Ruane represents Tyrone Brown, 40, of Burritt Avenue, Norwalk, who was arrested April 9 by the state police on Interstate 95 in Fairfield and charged with drunken driving.

A breath analysis administered at state police Troop G in Bridgeport found Brown had a blood-alcohol content of 0.188. The legal limit is 0.08.

In a motion filed Tuesday in Superior Court, Ruane asked a judge to suppress his client's breathalyzer test results, contending the device used by the state police, and most other local police departments, the Intoxilyzer 5000, discriminates against blacks. Brown is an African-American.

Assistant State's Attorney Mark Durso declined comment on the motion.

Ruane claims the lung capacity of a black man is 3 percent smaller than a white man and, therefore, black men's test results vary from the sobriety standard set by the device.

He said Dr. Michael Hlastala, a lung physiologist at the University of Washington, examined research of other lung physiologists and, based on his studies, has determined the Intoxilyzer 5000 does not effectively test the blood-alcohol content of black men.

"He looked at all the research and came up with the bigger picture and found the common
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thread," he said.

Ruane said he intends to have Hlastala testify on Brown's behalf.

"The data is very clear," he said.
http://www.connpost.com/ci_11021578?source=most_viewed

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5663 on: November 21, 2008, 11:11:16 AM »
I don't like their registration fee suggestion:

November 21, 2008
EDITORIAL
Hard Times and the Right to Counsel

Forty-five years after the Supreme Courtís landmark ruling established a defendantís constitutional right to counsel in state criminal proceedings, that crucial right is hanging by a tattered thread.

Public defendersí offices always have been underfinanced and overburdened. With state revenues in free fall, the problem is reaching crisis proportions and creating a legal and moral challenge for the criminal justice system, state legislatures and the legal profession.

Statewide public defenders in Kentucky and Minnesota and in cities such as Miami and Atlanta have been forced by budget cuts to fire or furlough lawyers. In at least seven states, public defendersí offices are refusing to take on new cases or have sued to limit them. They argue that budget cuts and rising case loads undermine their ability to provide adequate representation.

In a disturbing example of legal triage, a Florida judge ruled in September that the public defendersí office in Miami-Dade County could refuse to represent many poor defendants arrested on lesser felony charges so that its lawyers could provide a better defense for other clients. Behind the ruling were some chastening statistics: Over the past three years, the average number of felony cases handled by each lawyer rose from 367 annually to nearly 500. Misdemeanor case loads rose from 1,380 to 2,225.

Public defendersí offices all over the country are reporting similar problems. The immediate result is that innocent defendants may feel pressure to plead guilty. There also is an increased risk of wrongful conviction, which means that the real offenders would go free.

With states struggling to come up with financing for schools and hospitals, we fear politicians are unlikely to argue for significantly more money for public defendersí offices. To solve the immediate crisis, new sources of support would have to be found ó quickly.

One approach would be for states to increase the registration fees charged to lawyers. The private bar also must significantly expand pro bono representation. Such efforts alone cannot fill the gap. Ultimately, government must take responsibility. All defendants, rich or poor, have the right to competent legal counsel.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/21/opinion/21fri2.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

Miss P

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5664 on: November 21, 2008, 01:20:06 PM »
::yelps::
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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Eugene Young

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5665 on: November 21, 2008, 02:56:26 PM »
 I saw this earlier and thought most of that editorial was a real crock of *&^%.  First of all, why should the bar be expected to help fund PD programs? They would never whatever the bar equivalent is in medicine to help fund Medicare/Medicaid programs or similar state programs. They didn't make the AICPA donate money to stockholders who invested in Enron and WorldCom.  Stockbrokers don't have to make donations to all those folks who have lost thousands in their 401(k) funds recently. They make it seem like it's the legal profession's sole responsibility to provide indigent defense. That's not the holding of Gideon.  Again, no one requires the medical community to provide medical care for the indigent. Then the editorial says the State bears ultimate responsibility. If the State was really interested in helping out PD offices, they could start by decriminalizing drugs, st least misdemeanor possession.  That would probably clear half of most courts' criminal dockets. They could have more DAs really committed to the pursuit of justice instead of improving their conviction rates for their political gain. But we know that's not going to happen.

Secondly, the editorial board the legal community hasn't done anything to help indigent defense. The private criminal defense bar has stepped up to the plate repeatedly to help PD offices, and defense of the indigent generally. The very nature of private criminal defense makes a lot of attorneys give low bono or inadvertently pro bono work frequently, certainly much more than the civil defense bar.

The Times dropped the ball on this one, not that I'm surprised.

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5666 on: November 21, 2008, 08:07:57 PM »
Yeah I agree that it was a pretty poor editorial.

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5667 on: November 21, 2008, 09:19:04 PM »
Four Found Guilty in Attempted Citizen's Arrest of Karl Rove
Amy Lorentzen
November 24, 2008

A jury on Friday returned guilty verdicts against four people who attempted to arrest former White House adviser Karl Rove during a fundraising appearance earlier this year in Iowa.

Found guilty of trespassing are retired Methodist minister Chet Guinn, two members of the social welfare group Des Moines Catholic Worker Community, Edward Bloomer and Mona Shaw, and former group member Kirk Brown.

The four were cited after attempting a citizen's arrest of Rove on July 25 at the Wakonda County Club in Des Moines, where he spoke at a Republican fundraiser. They were stopped at the country club's entry gate.

Shaw said she was disappointed by the verdict, especially since the judge instructed the jury that a citizen's arrest was justification for being on the grounds if jurors thought the defendants had reasonable cause to believe that there was someone there who had committed a felony.

"I'm surprised that there are six people in the United States who don't believe Karl Rove should be suspected of committing felonies," Shaw told The Associated Press after the verdict.

She said their attorney will file a motion to set aside the jury's verdict.

The chief of staff at Karl Rove & Company said the office would have no comment. Polk County attorney John Sarcone also didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

In the citizens arrest complaint, the defendants accused Rove of felony murder, election fraud, conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States leading to the war in Iraq, as well as treason, sedition and subversive activities.

It said Rove submitted and promoted false information leading to the war, the illegal detainment and torture of prisoners and "other fraudulent acts leading to the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel as well as approximately 300,000 Iraqi civilians."

Shaw said the defendants were each ordered to pay a $65 fine and court costs. She said Brown refused to pay the fine Friday and was taken to jail for a day.

Two of the four defendants -- Brown and Shaw -- attempted a similar arrest earlier in the year when Rove spoke at the University of Iowa.
Harvard Law: What, like it's hard?

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5668 on: November 22, 2008, 07:54:55 AM »
Oh noes!:

Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution
The courts are poised for a takeover by the judicial left.
By STEVEN G. CALABRESI

One of the great unappreciated stories of the past eight years is how thoroughly Senate Democrats thwarted efforts by President Bush to appoint judges to the lower federal courts.

Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh.

Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats, the seats of two older Clinton appointees who will retire, and most likely the seats of four older Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointees who may retire as well.

The net result is that the legal left will once again have a majority on the nation's most important regulatory court of appeals.

The balance will shift as well on almost all of the 12 other federal appeals courts. Nine of the 13 will probably swing to the left if Mr. Obama is elected (not counting the Ninth Circuit, which the left solidly controls today). Circuit majorities are likely at stake in this presidential election for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. That includes the federal appeals courts for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and virtually every other major center of finance in the country.

On the Supreme Court, six of the current nine justices will be 70 years old or older on January 20, 2009. There is a widespread expectation that the next president could make four appointments in just his first term, with maybe two more in a second term. Here too we are poised for heavy change.

These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.

Speaking in July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, he said: "[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."

On this view, plaintiffs should usually win against defendants in civil cases; criminals in cases against the police; consumers, employees and stockholders in suits brought against corporations; and citizens in suits brought against the government. Empathy, not justice, ought to be the mission of the federal courts, and the redistribution of wealth should be their mantra.

In a Sept. 6, 2001, interview with Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, Mr. Obama noted that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." That is to say, he noted that the U.S. Constitution as written is only a guarantee of negative liberties from government -- and not an entitlement to a right to welfare or economic justice.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Obama can in good faith take the presidential oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" as he must do if he is to take office. Does Mr. Obama support the Constitution as it is written, or does he support amendments to guarantee welfare? Is his provision of a "tax cut" to millions of Americans who currently pay no taxes merely a foreshadowing of constitutional rights to welfare, health care, Social Security, vacation time and the redistribution of wealth? Perhaps the candidate ought to be asked to answer these questions before the election rather than after.

Every new federal judge has been required by federal law to take an oath of office in which he swears that he will "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich." Mr. Obama's emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointment of judges committed in advance to violating this oath. To the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale, he wants to tear the blindfold off, so the judge can rule for the party he empathizes with most.

The legal left wants Americans to imagine that the federal courts are very right-wing now, and that Mr. Obama will merely stem some great right-wing federal judicial tide. The reality is completely different. The federal courts hang in the balance, and it is the left which is poised to capture them.

A whole generation of Americans has come of age since the nation experienced the bad judicial appointments and foolish economic and regulatory policy of the Johnson and Carter administrations. If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food.

Nothing less than the very idea of liberty and the rule of law are at stake in this election. We should not let Mr. Obama replace justice with empathy in our nation's courtrooms.

Mr. Calabresi is a co-founder of the Federalist Society and a professor of law at Northwestern University.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122515067227674187.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Miss P

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #5669 on: November 22, 2008, 01:38:46 PM »
This was written before the election, wasn't it? 

Still, I can't believe Steven Calabresi wrote, and the WSJ published, this Rush Limbaugh-type stuff. 

...
These numbers ought to raise serious concern because of Mr. Obama's extreme left-wing views about the role of judges. He believes -- and he is quite open about this -- that judges ought to decide cases in light of the empathy they ought to feel for the little guy in any lawsuit.
...

In a Sept. 6, 2001, interview with Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ-FM, Mr. Obama noted that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society," and "to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical."

He also noted that the Court "didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted." That is to say, he noted that the U.S. Constitution as written is only a guarantee of negative liberties from government -- and not an entitlement to a right to welfare or economic justice.

This raises the question of whether Mr. Obama can in good faith take the presidential oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution" as he must do if he is to take office. Does Mr. Obama support the Constitution as it is written, or does he support amendments to guarantee welfare? Is his provision of a "tax cut" to millions of Americans who currently pay no taxes merely a foreshadowing of constitutional rights to welfare, health care, Social Security, vacation time and the redistribution of wealth? Perhaps the candidate ought to be asked to answer these questions before the election rather than after.

Every new federal judge has been required by federal law to take an oath of office in which he swears that he will "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich." Mr. Obama's emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointment of judges committed in advance to violating this oath. To the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale, he wants to tear the blindfold off, so the judge can rule for the party he empathizes with most.

Cf. http://mediamatters.org/items/200810280007

Also, the notion that the "federal courts hang in the balance," and that the 5th and 11th Circuits in particular are in danger of losing their conservative majorities, is absolutely absurd.  Perhaps he means they may lose numbers that make it virtually impossible to get a moderate-liberal majority on any single panel.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.