I can tell that Glenn Greenwald's new book, A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, is good without even opening it.
First, it has his name on the cover, and his blog is great.
Second, it has a big blurb from my brother on the back: “Glenn Greenwald has emerged as one of the nation’s most incisive and articulate exponents of the critique of the Bush Administration. In admirably clear prose and with the ferocity of a former litigator, he is day in and day out building a powerful case against an undeniably consequential and radical presidency.”
But if you must look inside, there's a an excerpt online.
I'm back, I'm almost over jet lag, and almost caught up with the news, but not with all the things that piled up while I was away. Fortunately, Patrick has agreed to do a few more guest posts as and when the Supreme Court issues its final decisions of the regular term.
It appears that nothing changed while I was away. Notably:
- The war continues, and the Congress continues to enable it.
- Alberto Gonzales is still Attorney General… although most of the senior people working for him are quitting either in disgust or (in the case of henchpeople) in fear.
- There are near-daily revelations about US misdeeds regarding legal or physical treatment of prisoners in Iraq, or in Guantanamo or in secret CIA prisons, or regarding the coverup of same.
- The Republican primary field appears as hapless as ever.
Or did I miss something?
US House votes to deny all aid to Saudi Arabia (AFP)
We give aid to Saudi Arabia???? A tiny nation awash with petrodollars?
While oil-rich Saudi Arabia has never been a large recipient of US aid, the Bush administration channeled a total of more than 2.5 million dollars to the kingdom in fiscal 2005 and 2006 as part of their partnership in the war on terror, congressional officials said.
Oh. OK. It's walking around money.
I'm Sorry I Read It: James Grimmelmann reads Chambermaid — the supposed roman à clef by a former law clerk to Third Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter — so you don't have to.
From the front page of the New York Times: “Investors' Suits Face Higher Bar, Supreme Court Rules.”
Issued yesterday, the Court's majority opinion in the Tellabs case starts from the proposition that plaintiffs bringing securities fraud suits must allege (in their initial complaints — in advance of discovery) facts in sufficient detail to show statements attributable to defendants to be false either because of affirmative misrepresentations or because of notable omissions — and also facts suggesting defendants knew the statements were false (the so-called scienter requirement). There's nothing new in this. But the majority also held (this was new) that, to be well-pled, facts regarding scienter, more or less like facts regarding falsity, must appear from the allegations to suggest that inferences of scienter are not just plausible or reasonable — but rather cogent, at least as compelling as any opposing suggestion, given the alleged facts, that there was no knowledge of falsity on the part of defendants.
Too complicated, too boring: who cares?
Davenport v. Washington Education Association, decided on June 14, is another case that the Supreme Court seems to have seen as easy work. In Washington, public sector unions represent not only members but other employees included within a pertinent bargaining unit. Only members pay dues, but as a matter of law unions are authorized to charge nonmembers “agency fees” equivalent to dues to cover expenses incurred in representation. Unions often use funds — generated by both dues and fees — to support candidates for public office who union officials think will act in ways furthering the interests of the individuals that the unions represent (both members and nonmembers). Some individuals who are represented — maybe especially those who are not union members — may disagree with union political judgments. The Supreme Court has held that state laws that authorize unions to collect agency fees operate unconstitutionally if they do not recognize the right of objecting individuals to withhold the fraction of their agency fees used for political action with which they disagree.
Flying from Istanbul to Manchester today; long frequent-flier-ticket layover until tomorrow's flight to Boston, followed by long frequent-flier-ticket layover until evening flight to Miami. Many chances to lose luggage.
This is a fascinating city, but it feels like what we saved on the tickets we pumped into the Turkish economy in other ways.