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Muddling Through

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Member since: Fri Jun 13, 2014, 06:54 AM
Number of posts: 18,858

Journal Archives

Free Speech 1, Kamala Harris 0

Looks like the adults are back in charge for a while.

"Kamala Harris has been a hero of the left’s campaign to use donor disclosure as a tool of political intimidation. Since 2013 the California Attorney General has been demanding that nonprofits provide unredacted donor names if they want to solicit donations in the state. On Thursday a federal court declared her disclosure requirement an unconstitutional burden on First Amendment rights.

Federal Judge Manuel Real granted a permanent injunction against Ms. Harris in a lawsuit brought by the Americans For Prosperity Foundation. The group, which is affiliated with free-market supporters Charles and David Koch, has argued that as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, it should not be forced to supply the Attorney General with the organization’s IRS Form 990 Schedule B, which contains its donor names.

In his 12-page decision, Judge Real notes that while Attorney General Harris argued that she needed donor disclosure to identify lawbreaking like “self-dealing” or “improper loans,” that was a stretch. “ver the course of trial, the Attorney General was hard pressed to find a single witness who could corroborate the necessity of Schedule B forms in conjunction with their office’s investigations,” the judge wrote.

Ms. Harris claimed the donor disclosure was only for internal purposes and not for public use or to precipitate any targeting of the donors, but the judge didn’t buy that either. Americans for Prosperity discovered 1,400 publicly available Schedule Bs on the Attorney General’s website. “he Attorney General has systematically failed to maintain the confidentiality of Schedule B forms,” the court wrote, a fact that should be considered “of serious concern.”"

Balance of article at the link, article source is behind the WSJ paywall:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Apr 23, 2016, 03:38 PM (19 replies)

Copper Clappers

Still funny after all these years:

Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Apr 15, 2016, 12:17 PM (0 replies)

Obama to Help Push for Open Market for Cable Set-Top Boxes

Well, I'll be; there is something that Obama is proposing with which I can agree .

"WASHINGTON — President Obama will announce on Friday his support for opening the market for cable set-top boxes, singling out the devices in millions of homes as a clunky and outdated symbol of corporate power over consumers as he introduces a broad federal effort to increase competition.

In an unusual step, Mr. Obama will weigh in personally on a pending proposal at the Federal Communications Commission, filing comments that encourage it to loosen cable companies’ grip on the boxes. And he will sign an executive order calling on every federal agency to send him proposals within 60 days for steps they can take to promote competition in a range of industries and better protect consumers.

The F.C.C. proposal would allow subscribers to choose and purchase the devices they use to view television programming, instead of leasing the boxes from their cable companies at an average annual cost of $231. The F.C.C. approved the proposal in February, starting a 60-day comment period that will soon close.

“This just seemed like a clear-cut case where you could get a win for consumers and a win for innovation,” said Jason Furman, the chairman of Mr. Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. The president, he added, wanted to use the set-top box issue “as an example to lend greater lift” to his push to get federal agencies to propose new rules to create more competition in their areas."

We no longer rent phones from the telephone company; no reason to be required to rent cable/satellite boxes from the provider.

Balance of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Apr 15, 2016, 11:13 AM (6 replies)

Sheldon Silver loses law license as corrupt ex-Assembly speaker awaits April sentencing of up to 130

This story makes me smile.

"A state appeals court on Tuesday ruled the 72-year-old disgraced Democrat effectively lost his license in November when he was convicted in federal court of violating federal honest services laws. A jury found that he took $3.5 million in legal fees from clients and then did favors for them that involved his elected office.

The panel of judges in the Manhattan Appellate Division said that by state law, a felony conviction means an automatic disbarment at the time of the conviction.

"A conviction on a federal felony does not trigger automatic disbarment unless the office would constitute a felony under the New York Penal Law," the judges wrote. "While the federal felony need not be a mirror image of the New York felony, the two crimes must be essentially similar."

The judges equated Silver's federal conviction to a conviction on extortion charges under New York State law."

Balance of article follows at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 04:57 PM (5 replies)

Federal judge rebukes lack of due process in campus sex assault procedures

Finally, an adult is in the room.

"Finally, a federal judge has strongly condemned the lack of due process and fairness that students accused of sexual assault face on college campuses.

Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled that Brandeis University "failed to provide a variety of procedural protections to , many of which, in the criminal context, are the most basic and fundamental components of due process of law."

In his 89-page decision, Saylor criticizes Brandeis for a number of due process violations, including denying the accused student access to the evidence against him or even a detailed explanation of the charges against him.

For example, Brandeis' "special examiner," who investigated the accusation, determined that the accuser, known as J.C. in the lawsuit, was more credible than the accused, because he provided consistent statements while the accused couldn't remember certain events. Saylor concluded that the discrepancy between the two parties was "exactly what one would expect where one party is fully informed of the subject matter of the inquiry and the other remains ignorant, and has to surmise the specifics of the charges over the course of the investigation.""

Balance of article follows at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 04:47 PM (21 replies)

CIA reviews K-9 training after leaving explosive material on a Virginia school bus


"The CIA confirmed that “explosive training material” was accidentally left aboard a school bus in Virginia following a K-9 training exercise last week.

Dozens of elementary and high school students in Loudoun County were aboard the bus traveling to and from school on Monday and Tuesday before the inert explosive was discovered, according to school officials.

Wayde Byard, the public information officer for Loudoun County Public Schools, said the principals for three schools (Rock Ridge High School, Buffalo Trail and Pinebrook Elementary) called the 26 affected students; the district sent an email in English and Spanish to more than 80,000 people to explain what happened.

Roughly a dozen parents from the community expressed concern, but the school district was not inundated with calls, he said."

Remainder of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:38 PM (3 replies)

FireClean Files Suit Against Firearms Bloggers

Makes you go hmmmm?

"Remember last September when everyone on social media was talking about (and laughing at) the idea that FireClean lubricant is Crisco after Andrew Tuohy put up a blog on Vuurwapen titled “Infrared Spectroscopy of Fireclean and Crisco Oils”?

When that blog went viral, Tuohy rode the wave into another round of articles. It even sparked Everett Baker to jump on board, publishing an article backing Tuohy’s research.

When faced with criticism, Tuohy doubled down, claiming FireClean’s demonstration video by tactical trainer Larry Vickers was rigged, which incidentally was originally titled “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Liar”.

Well these assertions have opened up a different venue for Tuohy and Baker to defend their research: a courtroom."

Remainder of article at link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:31 PM (16 replies)

George Mason law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law

This story makes me smile:

"The George Mason School of Law will be renamed in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.

The university announced Thursday that it has received $30 million in combined gifts to the George Mason Foundation to support the law school, the largest gift in the university’s history. The donations make possible three new scholarship programs. Twenty million dollars came from an anonymous donor, and $10 million came from the Charles Koch Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to colleges in the United States. The family is well known for its support of conservative political groups, sometimes stirring controversy.

The Board of Visitors approved the renaming of the school to the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. “This is a milestone moment for the university,” Ángel Cabrera, the university’s president, said in a statement. “These gifts will create opportunities to attract and retain the best and brightest students, deliver on our mission of inclusive excellence, and continue our goal to make Mason one of the preeminent law schools in the country.”"

Remainder of article at the link:
Posted by Muddling Through | Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:15 PM (30 replies)
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