Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford must appear in court two days after running for a vacant congressional seat to answer a complaint that he trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, according to court documents acquired by The Associated Press on Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.
So, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate. You can read all sorts of puffery and journoanalysis about the decision but the crux of the thing is actually really, really simple to anyone who’s taken a class in constitutional law.
1. Congress has nearly limitless authority via their broad taxing powers under the Constitution to impose all sorts of various taxes, fees, levies, duties or anything else that has the basic effect of getting money out of people in a similar way. No constitutional scholar of any credibility would dispute this.
2. Even though the Democrats in Congress (and the Obama administration in front of the Supreme Court) completely pussied out (because they are always scared of the word “tax”) and didn’t explicitly justify the law under the taxing power, the Supreme Court unquestionably has the ability to rule on the validity of a law based on any valid constitutional theory they want to (sua sponte). Nobody except partisan dickjobs (e.g., Justices Scalia and Thomas) would think of disputing this either.
3. The majority of the Court that upheld ACA basically said what I just said in points 1 and 2. Not only that, Chief Justice Roberts nearly almost went so far as to explicitly call out the other conservative justices (Scalia, Thomas, etc.) as shameless partisan hacks:
In a section of his opinion joined by the liberal justices, Roberts noted that the conservative dissenters contend that the mandate cannot be upheld as a tax “because Congress did not ‘frame’ it as such. In effect, they contend that even if the Constitution permits Congress to do exactly what we interpret this statute to do, the law must be struck down because Congress used the wrong labels.”
So, we can all now be perfectly comfortable calling the conservative assholes in the minority on this decision shameless partisan political hacks because their fearless leader basically did the job for us (well, maybe Kennedy gets off the hook but only because his decisions are rumored to sometimes be based on whether his metamucil was up to par on a particular day).
There is a lot of ridiculous stupidity in this world that pisses me off – but there is a special place in my hate-box for patents granted for moronically obvious software features like this:
The patented Microsoft technology solves the problem with “A system and method for capturing annotations for a non-modifiable document. … Once it is determined that an annotation is to be created, the system determines the file position of the selected object. The file position of the selected object is stored along with the created annotation in another file or a non-read only portion of a file storing the document. Using the file position, the annotation may be properly identified with the selected object without modifying the non-modifiable document.”
Yeah, you read that correctly.
Microsoft got a patent for what is basically the electronic equivalent of writing something on a post-it note and sticking it someplace inside a book.
Sure, we can all laugh at how ridiculous it is, but pretty much every technology company of any size or consequence is somehow enmeshed right now in a clusterfuck of reciprocal nonsense suits and countersuits worth trillions of dollars — and most of their claims are based on bullshit like the Microsoft patent above.
Take it from a practicing lawyer, this quote from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the entire argument for marriage equality in a nutshell:
Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently.
The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday evening handed Gov. Jan Brewer a stinging defeat, overturning her removal of the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and reinstating Colleen Mathis as the panel’s leader. [...]
Specifically, the court found that Brewer’s Nov. 1 letter notifying Mathis of her removal “does not demonstrate ‘substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or inability to discharge the duties of office.’” Those are the criteria for removal. [...]
Voters created the commission in 2000, approving a plan to remove the once-a-decade task of redrawing political boundaries from the Legislature and give it to an independent commission. It consists of two Democrats, two Republicans and one member from outside the two major parties who serves as chairman.
Brewer’s attorney, Lisa Hauser, contended the governor can remove any member of the commission and set her own definition of what “gross misconduct” and “substantial neglect of duty” mean.
Acting Chief Justice Andrew Hurwitz tried to test the limits of the governor’s authority.
“If a commissioner wore a purple dress the governor didn’t like, or if she disapproved of a certain haircut, could the governor remove the commissioner?” he asked.
Yes, Hauser said.
Thomas Zlaket, a former Supreme Court justice and Mathis’ attorney, said there needed to be a check on the governor’s authority or else the commission’s independence was destroyed.
The court should reinstate Mathis “or the Independent Redistricting Commission becomes a joke, a laughing joke, subject to the very people the commission was designed to be kept away from,” he said.
These people really are lawless sociopaths. Full stop.
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