Sunday, July 16, 2006

Crash at Hillsborro Airshow

KOIN News 6 just reported that, about an hour ago, a privately owned British Hawker Hunter WWII era plane crashed into 1 home leaving 3 houses on fire.

KGW story here
Seattle Times story here
ABC News Story here

Blogging the War in the Middle east

Mover Mike is doing a good job blogging the current Isreal conflict

Supreme Court reverses more 9th Circuit cases than any other circut

SCOTUS reversed more than twice as many cases from the 9th Circuit than from any other federal appellate court - 83%. It reversed or vacated 100% t of the time when it issued rulings in cases that arose from the 1st (1 case), 3rd (3 cases), 7th (3 cases), D.C. (2 cases) and Federal Circuits (3 cases). They heard 18 from the ninth, reversing or vacating 15.

48 decided cases from circuit courts, 18 of them were from the 9th Circuit. Doesn't that just make you proud?

found via SCOTUSblog, which I found via an article by Howard J. Bashman at Law.com.

Click on the blue E

This is fun. Click it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is the supreme Court now conservative or liberal?

Georgetown University Supreme Court Institute has an exhaustive summary (pdf) of the latest term of The Supreme Court of the United States.

There are two indicators that I looked at in the summary to see which way the court leaned.
1) If one assumes that Chief Justice Roberts is a tad more conservative than Chief justice Renquist was, then you could argue that the court slid slightly to the right. Roberts voted in the majority 92.4% of the time in the 2005 term in crontrast to Renquist being in the majority only 78.3% in the 2004 term.
2) Justice Kennedy - the new swing vote, and arguably more reliably conservative than O'Connor - voted in the majority 88.4% time in 2005 compared to 85% in 2004. Definitely a good indication.
I highly recomend that everyone download this document. It has break downs by case, and many many other bits of valuable information.

I found this info via SCOTUSblog.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Another county I-tax in Oregon

Lane County wants an income tax on business and personal income, but at least they are smart enough to refer it to the voters.

Story here.

Vice President Cheney to Valerie Plame - "bring it on"

So, today Valerie plame "sued Vice President Dick Cheney, his former top aide Scooter Libby and presidential adviser Karl Rove on Thursday, accusing them and other White House officials of conspiring to destroy her career."

You gotta know that Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove are just dying to have this battle. I don't really think it's smart to go into court just to be told just how many different ways the public or the press could have known who she was, and were she worked.
"Mrs. Plame, Isn't it true that you drove your own car to Langely every day?
"...And isn't it true that secret agents never do that?"

"Mrs. Plane, Isn't it true that your husband said in his own bio that he was married to a CIA agent?"

"Did you ever go out in public with your husband? Did he ever try to hide were he lived? Do you share a residence with him?"

"and didn't he list you as his wife in Who's Who in America?

"Oh, by the way Mrs. Plame, how long exactly had it been since you had been undercover?"

"Your Honor, I'm through with this witness."
I really don't think that she really wants to go into court and make all of the details of her life, career, and that of her political hack husband's a matter of public record.

Should ballot measure initiatives be funded with out of state money?

An interesting article yesterday in the Statesman Journal titled "Handful of people bankrolls state measures" points out how much money comes from out of state to fund in state ballot measures.

I've long felt that the size of contributions to candidates should be unlimited, but there should be instant and full disclosure, and no contributions to in state candidates can come from outside the state, or maybe even more strict, no money can come from outside of the candidates district.

But then that leads to a couple of other issues. 1) How do you deal with interest groups, and 2) how do you address the funding of ballot measures?

What about people like Loren Parks. He lived in the state of Oregon for many years, made his money here, but for the last few years has lived in Nevada. I'm sure that he still has businesses here, owns property here, and still has many ties to Oregon, so shouldn't he still be able to be active in Oregon politics.

Then there are nationally run companies, headquartered somewhere else in the United States that could be effected by a candidate's policies, or by a ballot initiative passing or failing. For example, wouldn't you expect that all three big auto makers to weigh in on issues relating to auto related transportation? What about cell phone companies fighting cell phone taxes.

These questions would then extend to political Action Committees and other interest groups. Wouldn't one expect the NRA to make it's voice heard if a governmental body in Oregon were to try to ban hand guns within it's jurisdiction?

What sounds like a simple solution gets muddy and complicated real fast.

I found this via Mike Caudle's blog in a post titled "New Conservative Coalition in Oregon Has Abramoff Ties"