Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

250px-46_Dick_Cheney_3x4I have long argued in my column as well as numerous blog postings that our country is legally bound to prosecute people responsible for ordering torture during the Bush Administration. There is no question that water boarding is torture as recognized by President Obama, Attorney General Holder, the United Nations and virtually every expert in this field. However, while you may want to try to rewrite legal precedent (as did John Yoo and Jay Bybee in their infamous Torture Memos), you should not try to rewrite history. That is what former Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be doing this month. He told Chuck Todd on Sunday that we never prosecuted anyone for water boarding — an assertion that I and others have repeatedly raised over the years. The statement is simply false and adds historical revisionism to legal revisionism in our sordid foray into torture.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

This past week’s news reports of the Senate report on the CIA Torture program were both distressing and enlightening.   I was dismayed to not only read what the full extent of the CIA’s Torture program was, but also when I read pundits and former CIA officials claim that rectal rehydration was merely a medical procedure! I was further discouraged when commenters on this blog made claims that waterboarding and other torture tactics were either necessary or what the devils deserved.

Very few pundits or commenters seem to care if the so-called Enhanced Interrogation techniques were legal or ethical when the CIA resorted to them shortly after 9/11.  This “debate” over the actions taken in our name by the CIA has gone from a report based on the CIA’s own words to denials that the techniques were torture, to claims that great intelligence value was gained using the torture and claims that it was a biased report written by Democrats. (more…)

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Cara L. Gallagher, Weekend Contributor

RudyTo say I follow the courts like most people follow professional sports would be an understatement. Court watching is my spectator sport and I’m one of its biggest (nerdiest?) fans. It’s taken me years, but in June of 2013 I had my Rudy-moment when I stepped out of the stands and onto the field. That was the summer I first covered the Supreme Court for C-SPAN. Since then I’ve sat in the front rows covering the decisions in the final weeks of the Supreme Court’s term, created my own blog on the Supreme Court, interviewed Court experts like Jonathan Turley and SCOTUSblog founder Tom Goldstein, and I continue to teach and write about the courts. I’m a SCOTUS junkie who has Google alerts set to “Supreme Court” and “circuit court,” Hootsuite streams set to monitor the latest #SCOTUS news, and bookmarked pages of sites like this blog and Howard Bashman’s HowAppealing.com.  The only time I can’t feed my addiction is when I have to operate heavy machinery, liking driving and biking to work.  Recently my commute to and from work just got so much better thanks to two new legal podcast series I’ve discovered. (more…)

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250px-Cocacola-5cents-1900_edit1220px-Kathleen_Sebelius_official_portraitThere has been a great deal of introspection among leading Democrats after the bruising defeat in the last election — much of its directed at the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” It has ranged from Schumer’s view that the law was political blunder to Harkin’s view that it was a poorly drafted mistake. This week, the highest ranked Democrat, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, said that the Obama Administration may have doomed Democrats in Congress with its poor management and blunders in the rollout of the program. Now the person ultimately responsible for that mismanagement and failure, former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has her own prognosis: bad brand name.

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Respectfully Submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

The Banksters are at it again.  You may recall an article that I wrote in March of 2013 which detailed a plan agreed to by the Bank of England and the FDIC which would allow banks to grab depositors funds in order to avoid a bank failure. The prime example given in that article was a similar plan that was put into action in Cyprus. Similar plans were on the books elsewhere, but the Cyprus grab had actually been activated.

Now it seems that the joint FDIC-Bank of England agreement from December of 2012 was not enough to make the Banksters whole in the event that their derivative gambling went south.  The idea has gone global and it puts all of our deposits, and even our pension investments at risk! (more…)

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2381DB3A00000578-0-image-7_1416962691861It is rare for a college student to trigger a national debate with an opinion column in a student newspaper but, to his credit, Oliver Friedfeld, has done precisely that. Friedfeld wrote an op-ed in the Hoya after he was mugged at gunpoint and defended the black youths who robbed him at gunpoint — a column entitled “I Was Mugged, And I Understand Why” that is drawing praise and ridicule across the country.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving, I was struck by the news that Congress is considering legislation that would grant large tax breaks to corporate citizens and actually remove tax breaks for the poor and the middle class.

‘ “This Congress seems willing to give huge tax cuts to big businesses—who are already doing better than ever—but somehow can’t prevent tax increases on 50 million working Americans that will occur when expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expire,” Harry Stein, the Associate Director for Fiscal Policy at American Progress Action Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This is a great deal for CEOs and a terrible deal for struggling families.”’ Nation of Change  (more…)

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