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Obama Sounds Like Bush July 24, 2008

Filed under: current issues,justice,news,politics — javiguedes @ 9:00 pm
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Obama went to Germany to talk to the German people (and the European Union) not as a presidential candidate but as a “fellow citizen of the world.” It’s remarkable, a black guy whose parents were goat shepherds in Kenya comes to Germany to talk about hope and freedom. But then this

“This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it”

and

“America can’t do this alone,” he declared. “The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.”

He’s asking these guys for their troops!

I got this from the NYTimes.

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Debbie April 3, 2008

Filed under: american law,justice,news — javiguedes @ 7:02 am
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Debbie Walmart

Walmart is the country’s largest non-governmental employer (>1.3 million employees). Last year they made over 11 billion dollars in profit. After suing Debbie for 400,000 dollars for medical care she received, they finally came to their senses.

Debbie Shank was a Walmart employee when she had the car accident. Her car crashed into a semi-track causing her brain damage so severe that she can’t feed herself and lost her short-term memory. For some time, she received medical attention from the insurance associated with her job at Walmart. Then, she successfully sued the trucking company, getting some 400,000 dollars to help pay her medical bills. But a clause in Walmart’s contract allowed Walmart to sue Debbie for the fees and expenses paid to her before she got the trust money from the trucking company. And Walmart won! The Shank family appealed but they lost. They took the case to the Supreme Court, but the court decided to not to hear the case. So the funds were frozen, and Debbie’s husband could not use it to pay the sky-rocketing nursing prices.

Jim Shank, Debbie’s husband had to divorce her so that she could receive more money from Medicare.

And then, as if this wasn’t enough, his 18 year old son died in Iraq. Sometimes she remembers. When she asks for him, they have to tell her the story all over again, and she cries again.

Finally Walmart released a statement dropping the suit, so the money for her care can be unfrozen.

Yet another Walmart horror story (though they finally changed their minds). And yet another health insurance horror story.

For more information on this story, listen to the first half of today’s Democracy Now!

 

Terrible News: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated December 27, 2007

Bhutto

Shocking, but not surprising.

Bhutto’s return to Pakistan after years in self-imposed Exile in London brought a renewed hope to the opposition. It was President Pervez Musharraf himself who allowed for her return under the weak agreement that power would be shared by both leaders.

But Musharraf declared the emergency rule instead, she was put under house arrest, and prevented from attending a previous rally.

Now, after the emergency rule has been lifted, she finally had the opportunity to lead her people in protest against the newborn dictator, but she was put down by a double sting of bullet and bomb.

What now, Mr. Musharraf? And Mr. Bush, are we still in support of the dictator? I suppose not!

Ms. Bhutto will always be remembered as the woman who changed Pakistani (and Muslim) politics and fought for the freedom of her people.

 

The Constitution Argument December 6, 2007

habeas corpus is dead

Who doesn’t love law makers that work for the people. The following argument was made by Justice Stephen Breyer against the illegal inability of people to challenge their imprisonment in Guantanamo:

JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: Suppose that you are from Bosnia, and you are held for six years in Guantanamo, and the charge is that you helped al-Qaeda, and you’ve had your hearing before the CSRT. And now you go to the D.C. circuit, and here’s what you say: “The CSRT is all wrong. Their procedures are terrible. But, Judge, for purposes of argument, I concede their procedures are wonderful, and I also can conclude it reached a perfectly good result.” OK? So you concede it, for argument’s sake. But what you want to say is: “Judge, I don’t care how good those procedures are. I’m from Bosnia. I’ve been here six years. The Constitution of the United States does not give anyone the right to hold me six years in Guantanamo without either charging me or releasing me, in the absence of some special procedure in Congress for preventive detention.” That’s the argument I want to make. I don’t see anything in this CSRT provision that permits me to make that argument. So I’m asking you: Where can you make that argument?

PAUL CLEMENT: I’m not sure that he can make that argument, Justice Breyer.
JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: Exactly.
PAUL CLEMENT: I’m not sure he can make—
JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER: If he cannot make that argument, how does this become an equivalent to habeas, since that happens to be the argument that a large number of these 305 people would like to make?

For the full discussion, go to the democracy now website.