Legal Battle Over Executive Privilege, Soda Was Just the Beginning, Professional Licenses and Unemployment: P.M. Links

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  • If it wasn't for booze, I wouldn't be pregnant to begin with.

    President Obama's groundbreaking "executive privilege" claim to block a congressional investigation, and the resulting contempt finding against Attorney General Eric Holder, has set off a high-stakes battle over the boundaries between the executive and legislative branches.

  • Policy -minded physicians specializing in diabetes and obesity have had their appetites whetted by Bloomberg's big-soda ban. "A better option would be an empty-calories tax on sugary drinks and high-fat foods and putting that money back into health and education. Tax your french fries, your doughnuts and ice cream."
  • Jobless claims came down a bit last week, but less than anticipated, meaning that more people than expected filed for unemployment benefits — a total of 387,000. The four-week moving average of jobless claims is at its highest point this year.
  • In 1950, fewer than five percent worked in jobs that required government licenses; today roughly 30 percent are licensed — and many of them like it that way, because it keeps out competition. Which is a problem for the millions of people looking for work.
  • Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina forcibly sterilized about 7,600 people under scientifically fraudulent eugenics policies that were widely imposed at one time throughout the country. Victims of those policies want compensation — but they're not getting it from the current legislature.
  • Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority is dragging investigations of police misconduct allegations out for so long that cases are being dismissed as statutes of limitations run out.
  • Danish research  suggests that "moderate" drinking during pregnancy, defined as one to eight drinks per week, is safe and has no effects on on IQ, attention span and functions like self-control once children reach the age of five. (But even heavy drinking only lowers attention span a tad, and aren't focused kids a little off-putting anyway?)
  • A Dallas sheriff's deputy pulled over a motorcyclist who was driving legally, just so he could gain access to helmet-cam video of other riders to see if they had broken the law. The officer then arrested the motorcyclist on a manufactured charge of driving with an obstructed license plate. Yes, the helmet-cam captured it all.

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