Monthly Archives: January 2008

Edwards Pulls Out

It's soon to be official: after his weak showing in Florida, John Edwards is pulling out of the race.

I guess that means I'm an Obama supporter now. Not that I couldn't support Clinton, but I have enough doubt about the people she surrounds herself with and attracts — DLCers for example — that Obama seems a better bet.

I also think Obama will have an advantage in foreign relations, as he'll be perceived as more of a clean slate than someone named Clinton. He's been an opponent of the Iraq war from the start, and still has a better, clearer position than Clinton on ending the war and removing US troops from Iraq (even though Edwards's position was better still). He's better on telecoms issues too.

That said, on domestic issues there's also much to like on paper about the Clinton candidacy as compared to Obama's especially on health care. How much of that would survive contact with lobbyists and Republicans is the question.

Whoever it was who said that Obama is running as (Bill) Clinton and (Sen.) Clinton is running as Gore got it mostly right. I didn't want either as my first choice; even if I get my third choice it is sure to be much better than the remaining alternatives.

And I hope Edwards becomes Attorney General. That would be something.

Posted in Politics: US: 2008 Elections | 8 Comments

Best Sub-Head of the Day

The day is young, but I declare the sub-head to Radio controlled male contraceptive developed to be the best sub-head of the day.

As the sub-head says, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Posted in Science/Medicine | 1 Comment

Bush Blinks

Like the House, the Senate yesterday also passed a 15-day FISA extension. Bush had said he had to have six years on nuthin' and previously threatened to veto a 30-day extension. But the WashPo says that he'll sign it — I guess that someone over there grasped that unlike three years ago, if you say the sky will fall without the authority the bill gives you and you veto it at the same time, someone might ask an embarrassing question before printing your press release.

I remain very pessimistic about the ability of Senate Democrats to grow spines on this issue, although it is encouraging that weathervane Nelson (D-Fl.) voted for cloture on Monday, and that his DC phone people are saying he'll vote to remove telecom immunity from the bill; this seems something of an about-face from last week's vote to bury the Judiciary Committee version of the bill, but I'll take what I can get.

The bright spot in the story is that prospects on the House side are somewhat better. It helps that key right-wing Democrats are facing some tough primary challenges from progressives. Sometimes, just sometimes, elections help keep people focused on what their constituents want.

Now, about that war…

Posted in Civil Liberties | Leave a comment

FISA Short Course

Sen. Feingold demonstrates how he explains problems with FISA to constituents in a 30-second demo.

Meanwhile, the House passed a 15 day extension of the current (awful) version of FISA. And then it went into recess. Which is actually good, as it puts the Senate GOP on the spot and will probably spike some of their worst parliamentary delay tactics.

Posted in Civil Liberties | Leave a comment

Election Returns

McCain wins over Romney, Rudy! crashes, Huckabee is reduced to “other”.

Look for Rudy! to endorse McCain tomorrow. The chance of a brokered convention just went down — but the intra-party dirt will really start to fly now.

Clinton crushed Obama but gets no delegates.

Both Amendment 1 (cutting property taxes) and Initiative 3 (more slot machines) passed. Sigh.

Will anyone remember this prediction a year from now?

A study done by Coral Gables-based Washington Economics Group for the pro-slots organization Yes for a Greater Miami-Dade said more than 6,400 jobs could be created by the machines in their first year of operation. The study projects $26 million in tax revenues will go to the county and the cities of Miami and Miami Gardens in the first year.

I doubt they'll see that kind of money, although I'll not bet against gamblers' addictions, but I know there's no way they'll see a net increase in jobs anywhere near that size (they may displace a few, though).

Posted in Florida, Politics: US: 2008 Elections | Leave a comment

Would Telco Immunity Be a Takings Clause Violation?

Prof. Anthony Sebok has a really interesting article up at Findlaw: in Is It Constitutional for the Senate to Retroactively Immunize From Civil Liability the Telecoms That Provided the Government with Information About Customers' Communications? he argues that the proposal to give retroactive immunity to telecom companies who illegally wiretapped their customers may be an unconstitutional uncompensated taking as regards plaintiffs in currently pending claims.

Without doing some research, I don't know the law well enough in this area to form an opinion, but it's intriguing and I'd welcome comments from those who know the area.

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law | Leave a comment