Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Boris Nemtsov †

Boris Nemtsov †

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In another setback for political change in Russia, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was gunned down by several men who shot him four times in the back while he traversed a bridge along with a Ukrainian woman. Boris was to speak before a peace rally denouncing Russian involvement in the hostilities in the Ukraine, economic policies, and other issues.

Boris, a former deputy-prime minister, is an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The crime scene was within two hundred meters of the Kremlin.

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Congressional SealSeal_of_the_President_of_the_United_States.svgThe Obama Administration previously filed its Motion to Dismiss in the challenge by the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell. As many of you know, I am lead counsel in the action. The Obama Administration is seeking to block the court from hearing the merits of our Complaint and below is our filing today in defense of the right of the House of Representatives to be heard in the federal court. The case is before Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Despite the fact that the Senate recently voted 98-1 that climate change is real and not a hoax, Sen. Jim Inhofe, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, was back on the floor mocking the notion of climate change this week. Inhofe voted for the earlier resolution but insists that man is not responsible for the changes. Those pushing for measures to combat climate change bring the overwhelming majority of scientists around the world to such debates as well as dozens of studies. Inhofe brought a snowball.

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220px-Biden_2013245px-Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portraitVice President Joe Biden has regularly caused uproars with his off-the-cuff remarks and serial gaffs. However, his most interesting remarks are not gaffs but clear statements of his views on some subjects. This is particularly evident on issues of taxes. Biden has called previously for the redistribution of wealth and called higher taxes an act of patriotism. For many, he epitomizes the image of a tax-based liberal and this week he seems intent of ratcheting up that image. At a Black History Month event at his official residence, Biden called for a new “emancipation:” freeing money from the rich.

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department-of-justice-logo1Zimmermanx-inset-communityYesterday, the Justice Department closed the book on the George Zimmerman case with the announcement that it will not file federal civil rights charges. When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered in federal investigators soon after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, some (including myself) questioned the legal basis for entering the case based on the still developing evidence. The Justice Department usually allows state or city prosecutors and police to finish their investigation before entry into a case. Holder was viewed as responding to political pressure in ordering the premature entry in the case. That investigation will now end shortly before Holder leaves his very controversial tenure as Attorney General.

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Robert_A._McDonald_Official_PortraitWe have another stolen valor controversy this week. This time it involves Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald who was recorded telling a homeless man in passing that he was a member of the “special forces.” People are calling for his resignation. However, as someone who has written a great deal about Stolen Valor, I disagree that this is a serious case of misrepresentation or that McDonald should resign. He did not have stolen valor. He has more than enough. What happened in this case was a mistake but there is still a difference between a venial and moral sin . . . even in cases of valor.

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images-2125px-Flag_of_Indonesia.svgAn execution in Indonesia had led to the withdrawal of ambassadors after an international outcry over the treatment of Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, a Brazilian man who was a paranoid schizophrenic accused of drug dealing. Moreira was reportedly dragged from this cell and denied last rites with a priest. He soiled himself and was quickly hosed down before being thrown in front of a firing squad.

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