Reason Morning Links: New Round of War Funding, Criminal Probe of BP Begins, Mass. Says Goodbye to Electoral College System

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  1. Ex-Washington Post blogger David Weigel joins Slate

    David Weigel

    1. Who are you voting for in November? I’ve got the luxury of a guilt-free, zero-impact vote in the District of Columbia, which I would cast for Bob Barr if he was on the ballot. Since he’s not, I’m voting for Barack Obama, the only remaining candidate whom I trust not to run the country (further) into the ground with stupid and erratic decisions,…

    1. Since Slate basically IS the Washington Post, the “firing” was apparently a ruse.

  2. Journolist, on sexism:

    Katha Pollitt ? Hayes’s colleague at the Nation ? didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.

    “Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

    Chris Hayes of the Nation wrote in with words of encouragement, and to ask for more talking points. “Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get,” Hayes wrote.

    Suzanne Nossel, chief of operations for Human Rights Watch, added a novel take: “I think it is and can be spun as a profoundly sexist pick. Women should feel umbrage at the idea that their votes can be attracted just by putting a woman, any woman, on the ticket no matter her qualifications or views.”

    Mother Jones’s Stein loved the idea. “That’s excellent! If enough people ? people on this list? ? write that the pick is sexist, you’ll have the networks debating it for days. And that negates the SINGLE thing Palin brings to the ticket,” he wrote….

    1. Any comment from Oliver Stone?

      1. SUGER-TITS!

      2. Wow, I think we have found Tagliafe…err, Suki’s soul mate.

      3. You have to go to FOX for that, or anyplace else but here it seems.

    2. Johny Longtorso=Lonewacko?

      1. LW’s monomania about the Brown Hordes could never be contained for a single thread, much less over months of posting.

      2. Any comment on the substance of the quotes, Piltdown MNG?

        1. Political opinion columnists share opinions about politics? NOOOOOOO!

      3. MNG=Edward? It is looking more and more so.

        1. I don’t think this MNG is the same one who used to go shooting with Thoreau a few years ago.

          He’s making less sense and sounding more partisan.

          1. He wouldn’t be the first leftist we broke.

            1. Why don’t some people just start killing these assholes?

  3. Feds start criminal probe into BP oil spill.

    Just speculating here. The probe is not focused on the government?

  4. If the president were picked by national popular vote, he argued, candidates would spread their attention out more evenly.

    Uh, no, candidates would spend all their time in urban areas where the population is concentrated. Why waste your time out in the country?

    1. I agree.

      Talk about having it completely ass-backwards, no?

    2. State Population Ranking Population Census Data: April, 2000
      1. California – 33,871,648
      2. Texas – 20,851,820
      3. New York – 18,976,457
      4. Florida – 15,982,378
      5. Illinois – 12,419,293
      6. Pennsylvania – 12,281,054
      7. Ohio – 11,353,140
      8. Michigan – 9,938,444
      9. New Jersey – 8,414,350
      10. Georgia – 8,186,453

      I wonder where the candidates will be pandering for votes in a national election.

      Hint: It ain’t gonna be North Dakota, Wyoming, or Hawaii.

    3. Uh, no, candidates would spend all their time in urban areas where the population is concentrated. Why waste your time out in the country?

      Well, not quite. Democratic candidates would spend even more time in urban areas, where Democratic voters are concentrated, sometimes reaching 90% of the population.

      Republican candidates would spend more time out in the ‘burbs and in smaller cities surrounded by rural areas, hoping to draw the rural voters in for scheduled rallies.

  5. I’m no fan of the Repubes, but it’s going to be great to see Mass go red.

    1. That will be good for a laugh.

    2. Until a 10,000 person margin in a close election triggers a massive, multi-state recount by a sore loser.

    3. Don’t worry, the legislature would just repeal the law between the election and the day in December when the electors are officially designated.

      Just like they changed the law about the governor filling vacancies in the Senate while Teddy was on his deathbed.

      1. Yeah, it’s not as if the Masschusetts legislature has ever demonstrated any principles on this sort of issue.

    4. Like when Brown won? Mass doesn’t go red, it just changes to a different shade of blue. 😉

      If any team red members think MA is going their way, they should remember how they felt once they realized Brown wasn’t what they imagined.

      1. Brown is lightyears better than Coakley would have been. You’re not going to get a Rand Paul type winning elections in Massachusetts.

    1. …there’s a measure, authored by Maxine Waters…

      Say no more.

      Still, aren’t there already legal precedents against that kind of thing? I thought only public institutions had to do that.

      1. I know first hand that governments at all levels already put these kinds of restrictions on contractors and bidders for government business, so I presume that when government money is involved the courts have blessed it. Given the size of this bill, I bet there are LOTS of opportunities for Wall Street to stick its snout into the federal trough and I’m fairly sure that these quotas and conditions are going to be slapped onto those opportunities.

        The ironic part is that there is really now no such thing as a completely private company, Congress is basically saying that everything is now government business, so yeah, it’s de facto affirmative action or whatever else you want to call it.

      2. I love the money fires.

      3. I love the money fires.

    2. “It is very sweeping, from my review of the legislation,” said Collins, who voted for the bill. “It talks not just about federal offices and agencies. It also talks about contractors and subcontractors, and so the implications are very unclear and can be read to require quotas, and that’s an entirely different and controversial debate and does not belong in the financial bill.”

      Then why the fuck did you vote for it, bitch?

      1. Wait, you read the bills before they become law? This wasn’t in the Schoolhouse Rock song!

        1. There was once a time when you could explain America’s government in a little song – but no longer.

          1. You can still explain the goals of government with a single song.

            1. I just wanted to note, for the record, that you didn’t SugarFree the link.

              Congratulations!!

  6. France declares war on Al Qaeda after beheading of French aid worker.

    Well, duh! You can’t surrender unless you declare war first

    1. The French may have a bad reputation in open combat, but they are a lot less squeamish than we are about covert operations and targeted assassinations (not saying that I endorse such things). AQ, and especially their enablers, will find themselves playing against someone who uses a different set of rules.

      1. Plus they lay down a mean siege.

        1. I fart in your general direction.

      2. Hey, it worked for them in Algeria, right?

        And it only cost them their republic when they lost that one.

      3. The French may have a bad reputation in open combat, but they are a lot less squeamish than we are about covert operations and targeted assassinations (not saying that I endorse such things). AQ, and especially their enablers, will find themselves playing against someone who uses a different set of rules.

        Why are we so squeamish about covert ops and targeted assassinations?

    2. Judging from the article, they had the balls to actually declare war, which the US still hasn’t done….

  7. Bedbugs are biting New York.

    Take a bath, you filthy fucking hipsters. I bet about 60% of Red Hook has lice too. Both kinds.

    1. As a bedbug sufferer last year myself, I assure you it’s not that simple. You can’t avoid them by keeping your apartment clean or by meticulous hygiene. They’re not interested in rotting food, they only eat blood. They can burrow into anything but solid steel, they can go for a year without eating, they can survive underwater for a few minutes. The only way to kill them (without using heavily restricted chemicals) is to run them through a dryer on high heat for at least 20 minutes.

      And it will take 3-4 visits from a pest control professional and about $1000 per room to get rid of them. In the mean time, itchy red welts are going to cover your body in groups of three.

      So whatever you do, DO NOT take that mattress from the side of the road, no matter how nice it looks.

  8. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) unlikely to strike deal with House ethics panel.

    Little late on getting rid of his ass. Kind of amazed no one has even mentioned Rangel’s H.R. 5741 (Universal National Service Act)and it going to committee in the House.

    1. Fuck you, racist.

  9. Massachusetts lawmakers vote to dispense with the Electoral College.

    1972

    1. Sweet. That means Hospers would’ve come in second in the Electoral Vote.

    2. America was guaranteed to lose that election.

    3. Yes, but what are the odds of something like that happening again?

      1. google the Reagan re-election map

    4. “And the Commonwealth of Massachusetts casts its twelve electoral votes for Sarah Palin…”

      1. I’m not sure anything has ever been more awesome than if that happened.

        People are really dumb enough to think that what happened in 2000 could not happen in the other direction against them in the future. In other words, Massholes are fuckin’ stupid.

  10. Of course Democrats would be behind the national popular vote. They know that under such a plan, the urban areas where they are strongest will take on even more importance in the election and the rural areas where Republicans typically win will be marginalized. Anyone that thinks there’s anything more to this than simple political gain at the expense of the other party, give me a call because I have some land to sell you.

    1. Exactly. They’re trying to decrease the influence of flyover country.

    2. Could this also be behind the enviros insistence that everyone live in high density areas? Make everyone live in hive-cities and the leftist majority is assured forever.

      1. Let’s not argue for or against an electoral system based on the race or ethnicity of city residents. A vote in Massachusetts, Texas, or Utah should be as important as a vote in Ohio, Missouri, or Florida. And how does the current system make this country a libertarian paradise? At the very least ethanol subsidies might be abolished.

        1. Ironically the logic of supporters of the EC is similar to that of Lani Guiner and her ilk who thought certain races should get weighted lest “their vote not be heard because they are a minority.” Supporters of the EC just replace race with geography.

          1. This from someone who oppose secret union certification balloting.

            What is it MNG? Majority rule by secret ballot or not?

          2. Ironically the logic of supporters of the EC is similar to that of Lani Guiner and her ilk who thought certain races should get weighted lest “their vote not be heard because they are a minority.” Supporters of the EC just replace race with geography.

            Our system was designed to give states, as well as people, a voice.

            Note that the Senate is not apportioned according to population.

        2. I really don’t care either way, because as grrizzly points out, we have an ever hungry behemoth of a government now. I can’t see how giving Wyomingans(?) the same proportion of voting power as a Californians is going to totally wreck the country(more so).

          People’s main objection/support for proportional voting seems to stem from the same old red team, blue team horse race, rather than any firm principles.

          Reverse the voting patterns and watch as liberals and conservatives take the opposite view…makes me fucking sick.

    3. Minority rule #1!

      1. Unless of course it is proportional rule for favored minorities, which something liberals have dreamed of for years.

        In MNG world screwing exurban and white people is always good.

        1. John
          I know you have this fevered caricature of “liberals” created in your mind by your right wing media sources, but let me complicate your world view a bit. If there is one movement that over the years I have most consistently given my time and money in support to it has been the movement started by Ward Connerly in ending affirmative action. I chose a job in the private sector over a teaching gig because I saw the abhorent effects of reverse discrimination rampant in academe, I myself felt passed over for opportunities solely based on my skin color.

          I differ from you and most of the right in that I don’t lie awake at night worried that “they” will take over the country and screw “us” but I’m no fan of reverse racism.

          1. But to the point at hand I do support government by the consent of the governed, and the most fair way of deriving that consent is via majority vote. Lil’ something I learned from Locke.

            1. We don’t have a direct democracy we have a republic. We are union of states. We always have been. It has served us well. If you don’t like the government in one state, you can move to another more to your liking.

              Your position on this is so pathetic and cynical. You just want more power over peoples lives. And you can’t stand the fact that people in places you would never live are allowed to have a government you don’t think is proper or worse still have any say the national government. When you say “majority rule” what you are really saying is “let’s make sure only the right people have any say in how the federal government is run”.

              1. No, I mean majority. When we are electing representatives of the entire nation then every citizen of that nations vote will be counted equally. Not some system to weight votes based on what political subunit the person happens to live in. I certainly don’t remember that in Locke or any other defender of democratic theory:

                “And truly the only justification for this power shall lie in the consent of those goverened, to be ascertained through regular elections with the majority of those governed consenting, though of course some political subunits shall have weighter votes!”

                1. Google “Madisonian dilemma” and “tyranny of the majority” and then get back ot us about what a good idea majority rule is.

                  You don’t actually believe that there is no way to influence or distort an election based on straight popular vote, do you?

                2. You should read some of Jefferson’s notes on how they decided to use the EC system, and why there’s a House and Senate.

                  If the system is only based on the population, then states with large populations would be able to force their interests on the smaller states. If the every state had the same number of votes regardless of population, then the amount of power given to the smaller states would be disproportionate because the majority of the tax money, etc would be coming from the states with larger populations and economies.

                  Consent of the governed is great – but you have to guard against a majority consenting to oppress the minority.

            2. “”But to the point at hand I do support government by the consent of the governed, and the most fair way of deriving that consent is via majority vote. “”

              If we were one nation without individual states I might agree. But states also have rights. Without the EC, A 15 mile by 5 mile section of NY would have more voting power than all of Wyoming, Montana, and a few other states. How is that fair to those states, and the people of those states?

          2. And you don’t have a caricature of people who disagree with or anything. You just think anyone who supports the electoral college “lies awake at night worrying about the other.”

            I think the electoral college should stay because I think the people in states like Wyoming or Alaska ought to have a say in the federal government. If you don’t have the electoral college and the Senate they don’t.

            If you were not so terrified of anyone who doesn’t look, act and think just like you, you would think that way to.

            1. They would still have a say, it would just be a say equal to a resident of any other citizen. They don’t deserve some weighted say.

              Btw-it was you who brought up screwing whites, my response was that when you’ve done as much as I have to protect whites from affirmative action then maybe you can say that with a straight face. I didn’t say your support of the electoral college has to do with your obsession over reverse racists taking over America. I imagine it has more to do with your Democratphobia.

              1. They would still have a say just not one that made any difference to anyone. And good for you for not liking affirmative action. But that doesn’t make it okay to destroy the federal system.

                1. They would have “less” a say because their votes would count equally for a change! It just so happens that since there are, you know, fewer of them then a candidate seeking a majority will, yes, pay less attention to them than if their votes were weighted more than equally…

                  I don’t know what the fuss is about, the GOP can cerrtainly win the popular vote. They’ve done so most of my adult life.

                  1. Does anyone else ever suspect there’s a Suki/Tagliafero thing going on with John/MNG?

                    1. It is amazing how they seem to take opposite positions on every issue, even esoteric ones, such as the electoral college.

                  2. Christ, MNG, you are one dumb motherfucker. Go read the Federalist Papers. The founders took the time to write them for a reason. And it wasn’t because they didn’t have TV’s.

    4. Considering the electoral vote and popular vote have agreed in 51 of the 56 presidential elections in our history, I don’t see how this is a big deal either way.

      Of course, the silver bullet solution would be to resurrect the enumerated powers doctrine, so the presidential election wouldn’t determine which side gets to completely fuck the other side over for the next four years.

  11. I don’t understand how the whole “bypass the electoral college” thing is constitutional.

    The constitution requires the states to maintain republican forms of government. To me that means that they can’t set up electoral systems that rely on anything other than the votes of either citizens or legislatures for their outcomes.

    Having a state like Massachusetts make the outcome of an election dependent on what happens in other states completely voids the votes of everyone in their state, and replaces it with an external event. They may as well have a law that says that the state’s electoral votes will be given out based on the number of letters in the name of the Kentucky Derby winner, or which baseball league wins the All-Star game.

    1. If we didn’t have the electoral colege we would have recounted 93,000,000 votes in 2000. Maybe they should given out proportionally by state.

      1. That is a great point. A national recount is not possible. It would tie up the government for months.

        1. Hey, maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all.

        2. “It would tie up the government for months.”

          That sounds like a feature, not a bug.

          1. Only months?

        3. A national recount is entirely possible – we’ll just turn it over to ACORN. Think of all the jobs it will create! Poof – no more unemployment, ever!

          Now, how do we ensure that a recount is required after every election…hmmm…

    2. “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”

      That clause seems to give the legislatures final say on how electors are appointed. They could do it by vote of the legislature and dispense with the direct vote if they wanted to.

      1. And South Carolina did that for a very long time. But that isnt the only clause that applies…as Fluffy points out, the states are also required to have republican forms of government. Vote of the legislature still qualifies. Vote of the people qualifies.

        As long as the electors are selected in a republican manner, it can be in any such manner as the legislature thereof may direct.

      2. I think many states have laws that bind their EC electees to how the citizen votes. MA binding thiers to the overall popular vote is fair game. Stupid game, and conduct unbecoming for one of the original 13 colonies, but hey, that’s MA for ya.

    3. Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

      Aside from picking picking who already have certain jobs, there’s absolutely no constitutional restriction on how a state legislature may pick electors. The custom of the slate of electors being selected by popular vote is the result of (now) long standing custom that all states (&DC;) converged on.

      1. Yes, but article I section 10 says:

        “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation”

        This sounds like a Treaty (or confederation) to me.

        1. Given the stipulation that this goes into effect if enough states to hit the 270 electoral vote mark pass similar laws, that argument against just might work.

      2. darn.
        well to add something new, like the article said several states already have a law similar to the one Mass is trying to pass. Most of them, though, are designed so that would only be activated in a case like 2000, where the popular vote victor is different than the nominal electoral vote victor. The real test, though, is if any of these states stick with it in an election that would be that close overall but their particular state voted largely against the popular vote winner.

        Note that Mass legislature changed the rules for Senate replacement twice within 7 years, depending entirely on who was governor.

        1. “Note that Mass legislature changed the rules for Senate replacement twice within 7 years, depending entirely on who was governor.”

          And thats the irony of it that they changed it to deprive romney of an appointment – kerry loses so it doesnt matter. They they change it back and the dems still lose the special election.

          1. Yes, the dems lost the special election but the appointed senator did cast a decisive vote for the Obamacare. I guess from the MA dems’ point of view it can be considered a success.

      3. Aside from picking picking who already have certain jobs, there’s absolutely no constitutional restriction on how a state legislature may pick electors.

        So the state legislature can restrict the vote (for President) to just whitey?

        Nope. Other parts of the constitution still apply.

    4. electors dont have to be popularly elected. Initially they were chosen by the state legistlators. All this is doing is essentially sending the power back to the state legistlature which is choosing to give it to the national majority winner.

      1. It’s a well-settled principle of constitutional law that no legislature can bind any future legislature.

        If the states in question wanted to return the electoral voter selection to their state legislatures, they can certainly do so. But then the state legislature would have to vote for the electors each time, with no bound set on their selection and no pre-arranged winner.

        1. Any future legislature can repeal the law if they don’t like it. They’re not bound in any way whatsoever.

          1. That doesn’t matter.

            Essentially I’m saying that in order to maintain a republican form of government, the states have a finite number of choices of the method of selection for the electors they use.

            One of those choices would be selection by the state legislature.

            One of those choices would not be a law where the state legislature appointed Bozo the Clown to make the choice, with the proviso that a future legislature could repeal the law if they wanted.

            Having each legislature take a vote on the electors every four years maintains a republican form of government. Delegating the choice to Bozo the Clown doesn’t. That’s because the first legislature to vote would be binding off a power of a future legislature, and forcing them to take a positive action to correct what had been done.

            1. The Form of Government clause is referring to the operation of state governments themselves, which DOES NOT include the process of designating electors — that’s a federal issue which is controlled by the language in Article II on the process of electing the president and vice president.

    5. The state legislatures have fairly wide discretion in setting up how their state chooses its electors. As I understand it, if they chose to put the candidates names on ping pong balls and used the state lottery machine to pick the winner, that would not be unconstitutional.

    6. It would be one thing if they just gave the votes out proportionally. This is ridiculous.

  12. If Massachusetts wanted to pass a law saying that the party of the candidate that won the national Presidential vote would be declared the winner in every race for a Mass state office, would that violate the Constitution? I really don’t see how this is any different.

    1. I’m sure the argument is that the MA voters help select the national winner, so therefore their votes are “voided”.

      If the electoral process is to be changed, it can IMHO be made fairer. (This stuff gets discussed in H&R occasionally — instant runoffs, etc.) The main argument against schemes like multiple votes and plus/minus votes is they are too complicated for the “typical voter”. Perhaps, but given the probable ignorance of many “typical voters”, why not allow a new system that arguably would more completely reflect the (educated) voters’ wishes?

      Mind you, I am *not* arguing for the MA electoral scheme.

      1. Sheesh — *not* “voided”.

    2. First of all, many state offices are appointed, which means they will be occupied by a person from the same party as the governor. So that kind of “partisan daisy chaining” of state offices already exists with no constitutional problems.

      The Form of Government Clause basically just requires that the legislature be democratically elected and that there be no bribery and corruption and such. A state could even have the governor elected by the legislature (a la parliamentary systems) if they wanted to.

      And that clause certainly has nothing to do with state involvement in federal elections, which is governed by its own clauses in the federal constitution. (House being by direct election, Senate and Electors by choice of the state legislature).

      1. All clauses of the Constitution “have to do” with all other clauses.

        You believe that the Electors Clause gives a blank slate to the states to decide the method of selection. I believe that the state can choose the method of selection, but it can’t do so in a manner that violates some other part of the Constitution.

        No state can sign a treaty with Mexico allowing the government of Mexico to pick its electors.

        No state can make a rule that all electors must be white. Or create a religious test for selecting electors.

        I would submit that no state can allow a hereditary monarch to pick its electors. And that no state can create a hereditary nobility, to be known as the Elector Princes or what have you, and set them up [along with their descendants] as the electors for all time.

        And from the perspective of the voters of Massachusetts, basing the outcome of the Presidential election on the outcome in all other states is just as arbitrary, capricious, un-republican and unconstitutional as any of these examples.

        1. You’re drawing examples of methods of selection that are specifically prohibited by the constitution and then taking a gigantic leap in your interpretation of the Form of Government clause. Are the state laws allowing the AMA to determine who can practice medicine in their state a violation of the Form of Government clause, since such determination is not directly controlled by the legislature or the people?

    1. SF, I cannot tell you how glad I am that you have introduced me to the joys of jezebel.

      Now let’s have some love for those fat animals!

      1. There was a disabled man in the Twin Cities who had his service dog taken away because he let it get too fat in the eyes of the service dog guild. Thought that was pretty shitty.

    2. How do you keep your brain from turning to mush while perusing that site?

      1. Pre-mushing.

    3. Is that a springer spaniel or a Stabenow spaniel?

      Holy shit.

      1. Holy shit.

        This.

        Yikes. Don’t do that to your animals people, please. You don’t need to turn them into Mr. Doggy Universe, but give them a chance.

        //It gets worse, ’cause most spaniels have an increased risk of hip problems, and the weight exacerbates it. The poor thing could be in a lot of pain in a few years…

  13. http://www.washingtonexaminer……07119.html

    They sure as hell will kick down a door and shoot a dog if it is a drug raid. But if there is someone in there who might do them harm it is “hey we just terrorize unarmed civilians.”

    1. See also Columbine, Virginia Tech. Police have no responsibility to protect anyone. Their job is to catch the suspect after the crime is committed, not to prevent the crime from occurring.

      1. i know one of the first responding Lts. at Columbine personally. He is a good friend of mine. He was ordered not to intervene until much after he and his team arrived. He gives talks about it. Quite the moving story.

        I am no cop worshiper but the Columbine incident was much more complex than most realize…primarily die to the stupid meadi but also senior leadership within DPD and JeffCo. The whole fucking thing stunk.

        Many beat cops actually wanted to storm the school but were prohibited.

        Not an excuse for the events of that day I just want to make sure there is perspective.

        1. “”I am no cop worshiper but the Columbine incident was much more complex than most realize…primarily die to the stupid meadi but also senior leadership within DPD and JeffCo. The whole fucking thing stunk.”‘

          Yeah.
          http://www.usatoday.com/news/n…..ths_N.htm?

      2. “”Their job is to catch the suspect after the crime is committed, not to prevent the crime from occurring.””

        That’s so pre-21st century.

    2. DC will win the suit.

      Castle Rock v. Gonzales… Justice Scalia says hello.

    3. I thought entry to save a life was one of the exceptions to a warrant and the 4th?

      1. It is, but the police in this case felt that they had to wait for a Captain.

        Also mentioned int he story, the cops on the scene didn’t have entry tools (crowbars and stuff). It took the fire department several minutes to open the barricaded steel door.

        Still, pretty tragic all around. It’s not like these cops wanted two kids to be stabbed.

        1. Want no, but covering your ass while kids die is a pretty shitty thing to do. I have a hard time believing they couldn’t get into the house somehow. Fuck if I had to stand outside knowing just what transpired in the 911 call I’d go crazy in 30 seconds.

          Then again as I learned in another thread police aren’t trained how to subdue individuals in Seattle, so I’m not surprised.

        2. Most cop cars have a shot gun. You can easily shotgun the hinges on a door for entry. Maybe they don’t teach cops that either.

          The more I think about it what the fuck do we teach police? It gets scarier and scarier that a HS diploma and a few weeks of school is supposed to create my protectors.

          1. It’s not that simple, hmm. They don’t teach beat cops to shotgun doors because it’s implicit in shotgunning a door that whoever is on the other side of the door runs a real good risk of taking some damage. Fine if it’s the perp, shitty if it’s the vic.

            Also, consider doctrine for a hinge breach: 3 shots per hinge. I’m guessing cops are loaded with 00 or slug in their guns, and either one won’t stop for most residential doors. 9 rounds of 12 gauge into a room where you don’t know the situation seems like a recipe for a lethal fuckup.

          2. You can easily shotgun the hinges on a door for entry.

            I could see that on a generic door, but this one was apparently a “barricaded steel door”

          3. Unless the wall was steel or concrete hitting the hinges works.

            I don’t care who is on the other side if someone is killing kids inside. Breaching doors via works with any round and what protocol is three shots per hinge or bolt? The one’s I know of are 1 shot each hinge/bolt on one side and kick. Rinse repeat until in.

            I’d say standing outside was a definite lethal fuckup. I’m not advocating cops blowing hinges and dead bolts. I’m saying waiting an hour and then justifying it by saying it took firefighters a long time to get in is bullshit.

            If you want in you could get in.

            1. The kids on the other side of the door might object to taking a 12 gauge slug, hmm. Does you no good to kick the door down if you kill the people you’re trying to save in the process.

              3 shots per hinge is published Army doctrine. I dunno what the troops actually doorkicking these days do, but that’s the standard. It’s also why most people blow the knob side. Quicker and less exposure time.

            2. I’m not typically in support of the police when there is a question, but all we have to go on here is the source article which says the 911 operator was not sure of what kind of situation was happening inside, no way to know the family members were being stabbed to death. No one knew until the apartment was entered. You, and the rest of us, only know now after the entry was made that people were being killed inside.

              Think about you being on the other side of that door and how furious with the cops you would be if they shot through your door and one of your kids was killed as a result.

              Kids (and adults) have dialed 911 for lots of stupid reasons. You cannot assume death is on the other side that needs preventing.

    4. Note to self: always mention a drug deal in progress when calling 911 for this type of emergency.

      1. Just buy a dog you don’t like.

        1. Or a neighbor’s…

    5. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. They break down the door and it’s not an emergency, the city gets sued. They wait for approval and somebody dies, the city gets sued.

      This is a separate issue from the piss-poor warrant service and SWAT raid stuff we see every day here. The questions here are: under what circumstances do you want the cops to be able to break into your house with no warrant? What standard of proof is required for exigent circumstances? The answers for most posters here are “almost none” and “pretty damn high”, and I’m fine with that.

      Inevitably, someone’s going to get the answers wrong. Then what? Which side do you want them erring on? The kick in the doors with drawn guns side, or the wait outside until the carnage is over side? It sucks, but the cops are essentially a clean up crew in cases like this, and we (as libertarians) want the system to continue to work like this.

  14. Some place in Spain is looking to ban bullfighting.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/…..=allsearch

    The downside is the end to all the cool body piercing.

  15. I don’t understand how the whole “bypass the electoral college” thing is constitutional.

    That’s not important!

    If a few states do this (and that’s underway), in the Presidential election that follows, both candidates will wind up with a legally arguable claim on victory. TEAM BLUE! will be the winner under the Massachusetts (et al) standard, and the Supreme Court will rule for TEAM RED!, because of the Constitution and shit.

    It’s to bring the people together.

  16. Steve Smith detained in China

    Considering how easily the real Steve Smith has been shooed away from H&R by some of the regular posters in the past, this isn’t a complete surprise.

  17. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) unlikely to strike deal with House ethics panel.

    Then perhaps the panel will strike a deal with … Mr. Washington?!

    1. Mr. Washington will not do. But a deal with Mr Benjamin or Mr. Jackson might.

      1. I used to have a lot of Jacksons in my office fridge, until Whitey broke in and stole my bribe money…

  18. Massachusetts lawmakers vote to dispense with the Electoral College.

    The dumbness is strong in this one (state).

  19. One thing the left has been consistent on over the years is an antithesis to limited powers and checks and balances in government. This latest attack on the Electoral College is more of the same, but it’s akin to the Progressive Era amendments.

  20. There’s no rule that a state has to give all its electoral votes to one candidate. Why not apportion them based on percentage of votes earned?

    1. At least 1 state does.

    2. “””There’s no rule that a state has to give all its electoral votes to one candidate. “”

      Uh, I believe many states do. They tie Their EC to the popular vote within the state. Othewise, there would be no reason for the citizney to vote. Because the EC could ignore them. In some states they may still be able to.

  21. Democratic party pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen take our divisive president to task for his cynical, polarizing race and class warfare politics.

  22. Inconceivability Alert!
    Charlie Rangel is more concerned with his “legacy” than with helping the Democratic Party keep their majority in Congress.

    1. You’re going down in history as an ineffectual blowhard buffon Charlie.

  23. This law will last until a Republican wins the popular vote. Then it will be repealed.

    The Constitutional arguments make my head hurt, but I’m having a hard time getting past “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors,” . . . .

    1. So if in the first election for President, the legislature of the state of Virginia had said, “We know Washington is our homeboy and everything, but we’ve decided to write to the King of England and let him decide who gets our electoral votes,” that would have been constitutional?

    2. I’m having a hard time getting past it without the exclamation “Sookie!” popping into my head.

    3. “”This law will last until a Republican wins the popular vote. Then it will be repealed.””

      I think so too. When they first get to experience all of their votes going to a republican when the citizens voted otherwise, they will realize the error of their decision.

      1. If this were the law on 2004, Bush would have won Massachusetts.

  24. Geez, no one looked at my bullfighting link (the second one)? Or had you all seen that before?

    1. Ouch. That’s gonna sting in the morning.

    2. I’ve seen it.

    3. My worked blocked it as “Tasteless.” I guess Reason.com is still “Tasteful.” Good job, everyone.

  25. Massachusetts lawmakers vote to dispense with the Electoral College.

    Only thirty-seven states to go.

    1. No one has dispensed with the EC. The Consitution mandates it. MA will still have it’s number of electorial votes in the EC that will be used to elect the President.

  26. Misleading AP headline of the day:

    Ariz. sheriff: I’ll jail immigration protesters

    It is (of course) our friend Sheriff Joe, but he was only saying that he would jail protesters who blocked the entrance to his jail, which of course is fully consistent with the law.

    1. It is (of course) our friend Sheriff Joe, but he was only saying that he would jail protesters who blocked the entrance to his jail, which of course is fully consistent with the law.

      I wonder why the AP would mislead.

      Are they biased in favor of illegal aliens?

      1. “”I wonder why the AP would mislead.””

        We could ask Fox news since they have battled in a Fl court about having the ability to mislead.

        “”In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.””

        http://www.relfe.com/media_can_legally_lie.html

        1. That’s a good thing. If there were such a rule it would be extremely easy for the executive to selectively go after opposition media.

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