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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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EW: "We're in this position for one reason, and one reason only ...."

Wisconsin: Why the Capitol Settlement is a Win (ACLU) {cross-post from Wisconsin group}

Cross posted per recommendation of AllyCat ... http://www.democraticunderground.com/10849248#post4

http://aclu-wi.org/story/victory-why-capitol-settlement-win

After we announced our settlement yesterday in the Capitol free speech case, the Department of Administration claimed that the ACLU of Wisconsin had agreed that the state’s “permit process is constitutional.” We’re not surprised the state wants to fudge facts and claim the settlement as a victory. But it’s important to cut through the spin and get a few things straight:

We’ve always held that the state’s permitting scheme is unconstitutional — and Judge William Conley, the federal judge who presided over the case, clearly found it unconstitutional. Nothing about the settlement changes that. At the most abstract level of generalization, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that narrowly tailored, content-neutral permit schemes can be constitutional. Judge Conley recognized that, as do we.

...

So, when a certain number of people had gathered inside the Capitol, the state could have required them to submit a full application for a permit, then taken up to 30 days to decide whether to grant the permit, and then arrested people who didn't have one.

This settlement changes that. It’s a victory for free speech because now no one has to receive permission from the government to exercise their First Amendment rights inside the Capitol. Instead of being forced to apply for a permit, now groups of 12 or more can give notice instead. Giving notice is much more informal than applying for a permit, can be done in a variety of ways, and doesn’t even require providing your name. And, unlike permits, the state has essentially no grounds (other than illegal conduct or someone else obtaining a permit) for refusing to allow people who give notice to use the Capitol. The Capitol Police don't get to decide whether to "grant" the notice. The settlement means they must put it on the schedule.


There's more at the link, including how the decision effects past arrests. Also this quote from Judge Conley's decision:

"The Capitol rotunda is closer to an out-of-doors, traditional public forum in that it is a capacious gathering space with a unique history as a place for government and public discourse, which admits for (indeed was designed for) a certain level of disturbance that would not be proper in a typical state office building or even a typical state capitol."

Wisconsin: Why the Capitol Settlement is a Win (ACLU)

http://aclu-wi.org/story/victory-why-capitol-settlement-win

After we announced our settlement yesterday in the Capitol free speech case, the Department of Administration claimed that the ACLU of Wisconsin had agreed that the state’s “permit process is constitutional.” We’re not surprised the state wants to fudge facts and claim the settlement as a victory. But it’s important to cut through the spin and get a few things straight:

We’ve always held that the state’s permitting scheme is unconstitutional — and Judge William Conley, the federal judge who presided over the case, clearly found it unconstitutional. Nothing about the settlement changes that. At the most abstract level of generalization, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that narrowly tailored, content-neutral permit schemes can be constitutional. Judge Conley recognized that, as do we.

...

So, when a certain number of people had gathered inside the Capitol, the state could have required them to submit a full application for a permit, then taken up to 30 days to decide whether to grant the permit, and then arrested people who didn't have one.

This settlement changes that. It’s a victory for free speech because now no one has to receive permission from the government to exercise their First Amendment rights inside the Capitol. Instead of being forced to apply for a permit, now groups of 12 or more can give notice instead. Giving notice is much more informal than applying for a permit, can be done in a variety of ways, and doesn’t even require providing your name. And, unlike permits, the state has essentially no grounds (other than illegal conduct or someone else obtaining a permit) for refusing to allow people who give notice to use the Capitol. The Capitol Police don't get to decide whether to "grant" the notice. The settlement means they must put it on the schedule.


There's more at the link, including how the decision effects past arrests. Also this quote from Judge Conley's decision:

"The Capitol rotunda is closer to an out-of-doors, traditional public forum in that it is a capacious gathering space with a unique history as a place for government and public discourse, which admits for (indeed was designed for) a certain level of disturbance that would not be proper in a typical state office building or even a typical state capitol."

Thinking Like a Conservative (Part Four): Goalpost-Moving

http://www.thenation.com/blog/176585/thinking-conservative-part-four-goalpost-moving?rel=emailNation#

Some thoughts today on the apocalyptic horror that envelops us this week, thanks to our friends on the right. Last week I noted that conservatives are time-biders: “The catacombs were good enough for the Christians,” as National Review publisher William Rusher put it in 1960. That’s their imperative as they see it: hunker down, for decades if need be, waiting for the opportune moment to strike down the wickedness they spy everywhere—in this case, a smoothly functioning federal government. “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years,” Grover Norquist said in the first part of the quote, whose more famous second half is “to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Twenty-five years. Given that sedulous long-termism, conservatives are also, it is crucial to understand, inveterate goalpost-movers—fundamentally so. Whenever an exasperated liberal points out that the basic architecture of the Affordable Care Act matches a plan drawn up by the Heritage Foundation in the 1990s, I feel a stab of exasperation myself—with my side. Theirs is not a clinching argument, or even a good argument. It means nothing to point out to conservatives that Heritage once proposed something like Obamacare. The Heritage plan was a tactic of a moment—a moment that required something to fill in the space to the right of President Clinton’s healthcare plan, an increment toward the real strategic goal of getting the government out of the healthcare business altogether… someday.

I am never more exasperated than when Barack Obama makes such arguments. He loves them! This week it was his observation, “The bill that is being presented to end the government shutdown reflects Republican priorities.” So why can’t they see reason?

Never mind the damage such pronouncements do to the president’s status as a negotiator, a point we’ve all discussed to death, though I’ll reiterate it anyway: even when Obamaism wins on its own terms, it loses, ratifying Republican negotiating positions as common sense. As that same conservative theorist William Rusher also put it, the greatest power in politics is “the power to define reality.” As I wrote last year, “Obama never attempts that. Instead, he ratifies his opponent’s reality, by folding it into his original negotiating position. And since the opponent’s preferred position is always further out than his own, even a ‘successful’ compromise ends up with the reality looking more like the one the Republicans prefer. A compromise serves to legitimize.”

Everything I know about household budgeting, I learned from the Tea Party.

From Jack to Barack

Can someone get a message to Ginny Thomas? I found the notebook she lost.

What Federal Spending Are We Better Off Without?

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/08/what-federal-spending-are-we-better-off-without


What have we learned, seven months into sequestration and one week into a government shutdown?


The Pentagon Needed to Trim the Fat
Lawrence J. Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.



The Pentagon’s base budget (nonwar spending) nearly doubled in the decade after Sept. 11, 2001, allowing military and civilian leaders to avoid making tough choices or prioritizing capabilities. In the name of national security, they could have it all. This gusher of defense spending led to what Senator John McCain has called an “unaddressed culture of waste and inefficiency.” In fact, Senator McCain argues that this perception of inefficiency is one reason that sequestration occurred.

Third, sequestration has forced the Pentagon leadership to recognize that it must reform its acquisitions system, which Senator McCain notes “has been successful, for the most part, in turning taxpayer dollars into weapons systems that are delivered late, flawed, and vastly over budget, if they are delivered at all.” A prime example of this would be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which has doubled in price and is a decade late.


The Benefits of Sequestration
Gretchen Hamel is the executive director of Public Notice.

But is the federal cupboard really bare? Consider a few of the more than 100 wasteful spending examples from a new online database of wasteful spending, Spendopedia:

· $34 million for a 64,000-square-foot building in Afghanistan that the military will not use

· $436 million for upgrading tanks the U.S. Army says it does not need

· $1.7 billion annually for vacant government office buildings


With nearly $17 trillion in debt, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned last month that if we continued to run huge deficits and failed to address mandatory spending, our nation would face increased chances of a major fiscal crisis in coming years. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office reports that since 2011, only 12 percent of more than 300 efficiency recommendations have been implemented.



More interesting stuff at the link.

This time IS different.

150 coal plants retired. What does it mean for our health?

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