Archive for July 17th, 2008
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:40 am by HL
Netroots Nation gathers for its third annual convention this weekend in Austin, Texas. We talk to four prominent bloggers about the future of the netroots and how they plan to influence the ‘08 election.
Formerly known as the Yearly Kos, Netroots Nation gathers this weekend for its third annual convention in Austin, Texas to discuss politics, the media, and how the netroots can influence the ‘08 election. In just three years the event and the blogosphere itself have become a prominent part of our political conversation. Last year, of the Democratic candidates, everyone but Joe Biden made an appearance at the convention. From Howard Dean’s virtual rise and fall to Barack Obama’s web savvy campaign the net has been hyped and some would say over-hyped.
On our roundtable Sam Seder, host of the Sam Seder Show on Air America, Robert George a columnist for the NY Post, Justin Krebs of Living Liberally, and Katie Halper, a blogger and co-founder of laughing liberally discuss the future of the blogosphere.
Halper says that a brief recovery period after Bush leaves office will be necessary but that the left will not retreat. These are after all not the Clinton years. According to Seder the liberal media will continue to grow and in fact become more liberal. Listen to the roundtable here.
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:39 am by HL
Try to wrap your mind around this logic:
Joshua Marquis, district attorney in Clatsop County, Ore. … rarely, if ever, drops criminal charges because a defendant passed a lie detector test prior to trial. “The science behind them is not strong,” Marquis said. “The absolute worst offenders — people who are true sociopaths — lying is a way of life for them, so they're going to probably pass them easily.”
Marquis, does, however, see polygraphs as a useful tool in monitoring probationers, a growing practice that has been upheld by dozens of courts despite defense lawyers' claims that such tests violate the constitutional right against self-incrimination.
So lie detector tests aren't reliable when defendants offer them as proof of innocence, but they suddenly become reliable when a probation agent wants to question a probationer. Can't have it both ways, Mr. Marquis. [more …]
A case can be made that lie detector tests shouldn't be admitted in a criminal trial as evidence of guilt because they are too unreliable to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but should be admissible when offered by a defendant since a defendant has no obligation to prove anything but does have a constitutional right to present exculpatory evidence. Courts generally do not accept that analysis, ruling that if the tests are unreliable when offered by the prosecution, they're also unreliable when offered by the defense. That view, which has the virtue of perceived consistency, is preferable to a rule that allows convictions to be based on the unsound science of polygraphy.
Probation agents love lie detectors. In some states they require probationers (particularly those on probation for sex offenses) to submit to regular polygraph examinations, and then require the probationer to pay for the tests. While probation agents don't have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt, it's a waste of resources (particularly those of the unfortunate probationer who has to pick up the polygrapher's tab) to require probationers to submit to a test that can't be shown to produce valid results.
Even more problematic are the so-called voice stress analyzers, a widely-used gadget that has zero scientific validity. That doesn't stop the police from bullying suspects into taking the bogus test, then telling them they've failed and insisting that they tell the “truth” if they don't want to spend a long, long time in jail. It's the sort of tactic that leads to false confessions.
The linked article suggests that courts are becoming more willing to accept the pseudo-science of polygraphy or voice stress analysis. Let's hope that's not a serious trend.
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:38 am by HL
One for simels, DWD, and the editors.
Out for the evening. Don’t steal all the liquor.
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:37 am by HL
Media Coverage of Obama and McCain: “Nuts” or a “Disgrace”?
The Beltway press has become dysfunctional, failing to see news when it happens and hyping non-stories that require no real reporting.
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:36 am by HL
Obama Goes Up With Second National Security Ad
Obama goes up with his second national security ad in two days, a spot that highlights our changing security imperatives in a way designed to dovetail with today’s “21st Century Threats” summit… There’s no mention of Iraq in the ad,…
Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 17th, 2008 4:35 am by HL
McCain camps unveils new strategy of aggressive whining about coverage of Obama’s foreign trip. From the NYT … The extraordinary coverage of Obama’s trip reflects how the candidate remains an object of fascination in the news media, a built-in feature…