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Archive for June, 2008

Hagel Would Consider Post With Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:43 am by HL

Hagel Would Consider Post With Obama
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) “declined to endorse his party’s likely presidential nominee, John McCain, and said he would consider serving as secretary of defense in a Barack Obama administration,” according to Bloomberg.

However, Hagel did say he would remain a registered Republican — at least for a while.

Said Hagel: “I don’t know forever, but right now I’m not considering changing my registration.”


Ireland Debates Statutory Rape

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:42 am by HL

Ireland Debates Statutory Rape

With good reason, almost nobody believes that it should be legal for an adult to have sex with a ten year old child. But what about the 18 year old who participates in a sex act initiated by a 16 year old? What if the 16 year old lied about his or her age to the 18 year old?

The age at which a teenager is legally entitled to consent to sex varies from state to state, but tends to be in the range of 16 to 18. Some states treat “statutory rape” as a less serious offense if the adult and minor are not separated by more than 4 years of age. Some permit a defense of “mistake of age,” but most do not.

Two years ago Ireland's Supreme Court struck down a statutory rape law because it did not permit a defense that the adult was reasonably mistaken about the minor's age. The Director of Public Prosecutions supports a referendum to restore the “strict liability” law; that is, mistake of age would not be a defense. Meanwhile the Irish parliament struggles to replace the law. It must decide whether to set an age at which the defense of mistake will not apply, and where to set the age of consent. Here's one view that American states would do well to adopt: trust juries. [more …]

All parents want to protect their children, but their support for a strict liability law wanes when it is their 23-year-old son who is jailed for child rape when he has consensual sex with a 16-year-old girl who tells him she is 18 and looks 21. Juries know when an age gap is defensible or not: without adequate protections, restoring the offence of statutory rape may create as much injustice as it is intended to prevent.


They Need Enemies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

They Need Enemies
The behavior of Cheney and others only makes sense if that’s the case.

Perhaps, as Mitt suggested, nuclear nonproliferation is just a liberal position. 


Immigration Hard-Liners and John McCain: Strange Bedfellows or Forever Star-Crossed?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Immigration Hard-Liners and John McCain: Strange Bedfellows or Forever Star-Crossed?
McCain was the anti-immigrant movement’s least favorite candidate and now they face a hard choice: support him or sabotage their party.


Obama Social Networking Group Forms — To Pressure Obama On FISA

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Obama Social Networking Group Forms — To Pressure Obama On FISA
There’s been a bunch of speculation about what will happen after the election to the formidable Internet social networking tools Obama’s Internet operation has spawned, such as the networking groups over at MyBarackObama, for instance. Well, here’s one interesting possibility:…


When Anonymity Fails, Be Nasty, Brutish and Short

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

When Anonymity Fails, Be Nasty, Brutish and Short
Dana Milbank, on David Addington’s testimony yesterday….


Supreme Court says yes to guns

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Supreme Court says yes to guns

I find it interesting that the Supreme Court has given a big thumbs up to the 2nd amendment.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court trashed a 32 year old DC law which banned handguns. The NYT described the law this way – Not only did the 1976 law make it practically impossible for an individual to legally possess a handgun in the district, but it also spelled out rules for the storage of rifles and shotguns. But the court did not articulate a specific standard of review for what might be a reasonable restraint on the right to possess a firearm.

I can and will go through this decision. But, it seems to me that we need to make the 2nd amendment clear. We need to amend it. As a matter of fact, walking through East St. Louis today is very different than back in 1789. This amendment needs to reflect today’s reality. You should be able to own a gun if you aren’t a felon or mentality disturbed.

As a trauma surgeon, I see almost everything bad that can happen with a gun. I’ve seen accidental shootings which is left 10 year old boys paralyzed. I’ve seen the anguish of the parents as they are wondering how the kids got into the guns. Unfortunately, I that time I see them, the anguish and the sorrow simply don’t matter. The bottom line, we need to be more responsible with our firearms but, since we aren’t, we must have the ability to make laws that keep us safe. An ER physician from Emory University shares these same thoughts in an OP-Ed in WaPO.

Therefore, constitutional amendments are needed. We must be able to ban assault weapons. We need to be able to ban fully automatic weapons (machine guns). We need to be able to control handguns. Safety locks are not unreasonable. Frequent gun registration is not an unnecessary burden. We should be able to ban armor piercing bullets.

I have no desire to ban all weapons. I have no desire to ban all handguns. Please don’t e-mail me with statistics. This is statistics have been massaged by both sides so much that you can prove almost anything if you look at the right statistic. I’m sure there’s some advocates for guns who can show me a statistic in which having a gun makes you smarter, more attractive and more successful in life. I’m sure someone on the other side of the argument can show me statistics that banning weapons allows you to own two hybrids and increases the whale population.

Reasonable people should be able to sit down and come up with a reasonable laws. Keep the zealots from both sides in the closet. No right in the Bill of Rights is absolute. Freedom of speech isn’t absolute then why should the right to bear arms be absolute?


Video: McCain heckled at Latino conference

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Video: McCain heckled at Latino conference
McCain gave a speech at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ 25th annual conference today, in an effort to court a key, swing-voting constituency. McCain’s speech, however, was interrupted at least three times by protesters. One protester was particularly vocal, holding up a large pink sign that says ‘McCain equals’ war in Spanish, and shouting “your silence is consent to war crimes” as they escorted her out of the hall. Another protester interrupted the end of McCain’s remarks, and the Senator can be seen holding up his hands in exasperation…


McCain: I ?Don?t See How It Matters? That I Don?t Know The Price Of Gas

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

McCain: I ?Don?t See How It Matters? That I Don?t Know The Price Of Gas
In a telephone interview with the Orange County Register earlier this week, John McCain acknowledged he was unaware of the price of gas. The OC Register’s Martin Wicksol reports: WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost? MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But […]

mac.jpgIn a telephone interview with the Orange County Register earlier this week, John McCain acknowledged he was unaware of the price of gas. The OC Register’s Martin Wicksol reports:

WICKSOL: When was the last time you pumped your own gas and how much did it cost?

MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.

McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices is compounded by the fact that he is clueless about what to do about it. He is promoting a gas tax holiday for drivers because he claims to understand “Americans are hurting.” It will provide “a little psychological boost,” McCain said of his plan.

In reality, his gas tax holiday would be worth a mere 60 cents a day for Americans and would be a boon for oil companies and foreign oil-producing nations. It would drive up the deficit. Moreover, the proposal would rob $1.4 billion from “public transportation and severely restrict the industry’s ability to add and improve transit services for a growing number of Americans.”

It seems that gas prices is just one more issue that “is not something” McCain has “understood as well he should.”


The Talk Shows

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 29th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

The Talk Shows
Guests to be interviewed today on major television talk shows:

Obama Plans Meetings With Leaders in Mideast, Europe
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama announced plans yesterday for a midsummer trip that will take him to the Middle East and Europe for firsthand observation and consultations with foreign leaders while providing him an opportunity to bolster his national security credentials for the fall…