• Not only is there no duty to defend the case, but even if the govt wins at trial, the AG can decide to concede the case on appeal.  That said, the chances of MA winning this case are not good.  As strong as the moral argument for equality is, the legal argument is not really there.  I would put more faith in Obama and the Congress in advancing equal rights than I would in the judiciary doing it for us.  If nothing else though, the case shows Martha Coakley rocks and that MA is serious about protecting the rights of its citizens.

  • comment on a post Term Limits needed for the Senate over 5 years ago

    This would probably be unconstitutional.  The Constitution lays out the three requirements for election to the Senate: age, US citizenship, and residence in the state where elected.  IN U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779, the Supreme Court said that these were THE EXCLUSIVE qualifications that could be imposed.  The case involved state term limit rules but there doesn't seem to be a logical reason why the Federal govt could add to this list of qualifications either.

  • on a comment on When a "Withdrawl" is not over 5 years ago

    Those who supported Obama as the anti-war candidate had good reason to do so even if they knew that the range of his policy options going forward would be relatively narrow and his choices among these options would likely be similar to Clinton's.  It is one thing to want to cut funding for troops that are already in the field and another to authorize the use of force in the first place.  The concern among most Obama supporters was that the serious lack of judgment shown by Clinton in voting for the AUMF revealed her less than admirable commitment to finding peaceful resolutions to international conflicts.  Obama's unwillingness to leave soldiers exposed without supplies on the frontline can hardly be equated to this blunder.

  • on a comment on When a "Withdrawl" is not over 5 years ago

    I don't think that a lot of the people who supported Obama as the "anti-war" candidate did so because they thought that his policies would be materially different GOING FORWARD in Iraq/Afghanistan.  Much of the appeal of Obama related to the actions that he (and by contrast, Clinton) had already taken.

  • Yeah it seems unfair (except when we consider how overpaid these guys are to begin with), but it's almost certainly constitutional. The Congress has the power to regulate these business under the Commerce Clause of the US Constituition.  The only major restraint on that power would be that the law did not accord the executives due process.  The courts used to uphold challenges to laws regulating economic activity in the 19th century.  They struck down lots of minimum wage and maximum hour laws that way under the Due Process Clause of the constitution.  However, they stopped upholding Due Process challenges to laws regulating economic activity during the New Deal. So they would probably uphold the regulation as rationally related to the Congress's power to regulate commerce.

  • The ex post facto clause of the constitution only applies to criminal penalties. See Calder v. Bull 3 U.S. 386 (1798). This would be a probably not be considered a criminal penalty but a administrative regulation.  It could be applied retroactively.

  • Interesting.  In which elections has the case been used?

  • The Court in Bush v. Gore stated that the decision couldn't be used as precedent for other cases.  It said the decision was limited to the facts of the case.

  • on a comment on Are the PUMA's with us? over 5 years ago

    Anyone who thinks that elevating Palin to power will advance women's issues needs to have her head checked.

  • Where was Stossel's editorial piece on how stupid people shouldn't vote when Bush was elevated to the presidency on the votes of religious fundamentalists who deny the validity of evolution, believe the earth is 10,000 years old, and think that homosexuality is a mental disease.

  • Thanks for joining the good guys this year!

    I think there is definitely room in our party for people like you who can have honest disagreements with a few of our policies and still come to the conclusion that we are on the whole the party that will make America a better society.

    On the issue of the spending tax, I am hoping that I can get you to reconsider your position.  I've read about proposals like this and most economists think that they would not work to generate nearly enough revenue to run the country. Think about it this way, if you eliminate the income tax you're going to need a pretty hefty spending tax to get enough money to do even the basic things that we all agree the country needs to do (ie. pay off our debt, have a military, build infrastructure, etc.), let alone pay for the things that most agree the country should do (i.e. provide aid to the elderly and disabled, make education possible for kids, etc.).
    In increasing the cost of all goods this way, though, you're also going to make spending less frequent, which will itself dillute the nation's tax base under your proposal.  This will mean we'll need to raise taxes even higher just to provide the minimum level of service I mentioned.  And this again will curtail more spending, leading to a vicious cycle where the prices for all goods are extremely high and the demand for them (and thus the need for the jobs that create them) quite low.  It seems like it wouldn't work in practice, but I'd be glad to hear your thought on this.

  • You've already grasped all the straws, there are none left for me.  If having your name on the ballot was not what the pledge intended by the word "participate", then what -- in addition to the activity that was already ruled out by the word "campaign" -- did the word "participate" mean.  All the candidates, except apparantly Hillary, assumed the pledge required them to take their names off the ballot (even if a few others were unsuccessful in doing so):

    "It gives no specific definition of "participate," but the other campaigns say that, clearly, leaving one's name on the ballot falls within the plain meaning of the word."

    http://www.unionleader.com/pda-article.a spx?articleId=6152bb2f-4817-4bf2-b4ee-20 008faab1c7

  • Mocking the title of the diary by insinuating that the diarist and Obama are sexist, when you should know that they are not, is uncalled for.

  • What possible evidence do you have to say that she did not break the pledge.  We showed you the wording clearly prohibitting "participating" in the pledge.  No reasonable argument can be made that allowing your name to be on the ballot is not participating.  The fact that the RBC is being gracious by not calling Hillary a liar for having broken this pledge is not evidence that she did not lie.

  • Forget whether taking his name off the ballot was required by the rules--I am not and have not argued that it was and if you took that as my argument I'm sorry I did not make my point more clearly.  

    The point is, however, that Obama was COMPLETELY justified in relying on statements by the party and the other candidates (Hillary included) that the election would not count.  Given that he justifiably believed that the election was unofficial, any argument that Obama should be deemed to have sabotaged the election cannot hold water -- since as far as Obama (and damn near everyone else) was concerned, there was no binding election to sabotage.  Because of this, Obama's motives for removing his name are irrelavent since even if he did it for political reasons, there can be no question that, so long as the election was unofficial as everyone believed at the time, such an action should have had no effect on the allocation of delegates.  It so happens, however, that Obama had a more high-minded justification for removing his name from the ballot.  Namely, the fact that he had signed a pledge (along with Hillary) agreeing not to participate and he wanted to keep his word.

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