• Traditional Conservative

      by Published on 07-08-2014 11:32 AM

      ... Two U.S. senators from opposite sides of the aisle are slated to introduce legislation Tuesday that seeks to ease some criminal justice rules on juvenile and nonviolent offenders—an issue that has united some Democrats and conservatives.

      U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D, N.J.) and Rand Paul (R, Ky) are co-sponsoring the bill, which seeks to lesson sentencing and expunge the records of certain non-violent juvenile offenders.

      “I will work with anyone, from any party, to make a difference for the people of New Jersey and this bipartisan legislation does just that,” Mr. Booker said in a statement.

      Continued: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2014...ffender-rules/
      by Published on 06-27-2014 12:18 PM

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...zones/6698787/

      Abortion remains an issue that divides the Supreme Court, but the justices had less disagreement Thursday in defending the free speech rights of abortion opponents.

      The court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts went too far -- literally -- when it created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep demonstrators away from patients.

      The decision united Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberals. The other conservative justices would have issued a more sweeping ban on laws that restrict abortion demonstrators.
      by Published on 06-25-2014 03:21 PM

      By Adam Serwer
      06/25/14 10:24 AM

      Police need a warrant to search the cell phone of a person who has been arrested, absent special circumstances, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

      “Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.”

      The high court took two cases involving cell phone searches, one involving a smartphone and the other involving a relatively basic flip phone. In both cases, police used information on each phone to connect the plaintiffs to crimes. San Diego Police used pictures in David Leon Riley’s smartphone, and the guns they found in his trunk after pulling him over for a traffic violation, to tie him to a local faction of the Bloods street gang and an earlier shooting. In Boston, Brima Wurie was arrested on suspicion of being involved in selling drugs and a picture linked to a phone call on his flip phone to a stash of crack cocaine.

      The court held that the “exigent circumstances” exception to the warrant requirement also applied to cell phones – that is, imminent danger to life or the possibility that evidence would be destroyed might justify searching a phone without a warrant. Justice Samuel Alito, in a concurrence, opened the door to further exceptions. Alito wrote that he would “reconsider the question presented here if either Congress or state legislatures, after assessing the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the privacy interests of cell phone owners, enact legislation that draws reasonable distinctions based on categories of information or perhaps other variables.”

      more:
      http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/supreme-c...ivacy-searches
      by Published on 06-16-2014 12:13 PM

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...asers/6180633/

      The Supreme Court dealt a rare blow to the gun lobby Monday by ruling that purchasers must report when they are buying firearms for other people.

      The decision upheld two lower courts that had ruled against so-called straw purchasers, even though the justices acknowledged that Congress left loopholes in gun control laws passed in the 1960s and 1990s.

      For gun purchasers to be allowed to buy from licensed dealers without reporting the actual final owners of the firearms, the justices said, would make little sense.

      The 5-4 ruling was wriitten by Justice Elena Kagan. "No piece of information is more important under federal firearms law
      ...
      by Published on 05-16-2014 11:10 AM

      It looks as if Indiana may soon join the list of red states signing up for the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.

      Republican Gov. Mike Pence, after months of discussions with the Obama administration, offered a plan Thursday to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income uninsured Hoosiers.

      About two dozen states still haven't joined the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, which extends coverage to low-income adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Some states like Texas and Louisiana appear entrenched in their opposition to major elements of the health care law. Other Republican states, however, are still looking for ways to accept hundreds of millions, and even billions, in federal dollars to expand coverage — all while trying to maintain some distance from the Medicaid expansion envisioned by the ACA.

      Among the states that haven't expanded, there are about 5 million poor adults who don't earn enough to qualify for federal subsidies on the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces.

      Full story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/s...,1859161.story
      by Published on 04-16-2014 08:15 AM

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...bc3_story.html

      I am not for containment in Iran. Let me repeat that, since no one seems to be listening closely: I am unequivocally not for containing Iran.

      I am also not for announcing that the United States should never contain Iran. That was the choice I was given a few months ago and is the scenario being misunderstood by some in the news.

      To be against a “we will never contain Iran” resolution is not the same as being for containment of a nuclear Iran. Rather, it means that foreign policy is complicated and doesn’t fit neatly within a bumper sticker, headline or tweet.

      Those who reduce it to
      ...
      by Published on 04-07-2014 02:26 PM

      As the ex-veep blasts Paul for being an isolationist, old video shows the Kentucky senator charging that Cheney used 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq and benefit his former company.

      By David Corn | Mon Apr. 7, 2014 3:00 AM PDT

      Last week, continuing the sometimes catty intraparty feud between Republican hawks and GOPers skeptical of foreign intervention, former Vice President Dick Cheney took a shot at Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). But Paul is not likely to be fazed by criticism from Cheney, for several years ago the Kentucky senator was pushing the conspiratorial notion that the former VP exploited the horrific 9/11 attacks to lead the nation into war in Iraq in order to benefit Halliburton, the enormous military contractor where Cheney had once been CEO.

      Speaking at a private Las Vegas gathering of Republican funders and activists on March 29, Cheney blasted what he termed isolationists within the GOP. "One of the things that concerns me first about the [2016] campaign, that I'm worried about," Cheney said, "is what I sense to be an increasing strain of isolationism, if I can put it in those terms, in our own party." He didn't name names, but he didn't have to—at least, in one case. He obviously had Rand Paul in mind. And Cheney, who also approvingly talked about bombing Iran, chided the unmentioned Paul and other less hawkish GOPers for having not learned the supposed lessons of 9/11.

      Cheney's remarks were the latest round in the tussle between the Republican Party's hawks and intervention skeptics. A year ago, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) referred to Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), and other Republicans unenthusiastic about drone strikes as "wacko birds."

      But years before this dustup began, Paul was on the attack against Cheney. In not widely noticed appearances on the campaign trail, Paul claimed that Cheney's advocacy of the invasion of Iraq was partly nefarious and predicated on corporate self-interest, not national security priorities.

      more:
      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...aq-halliburton
      by Published on 03-26-2014 04:34 PM

      US Senate Democrats bowed to Republican demands that reforms sought by the IMF be removed from a Ukraine aid package, acknowledging it could not pass with such measures intact. Lawmakers have spent weeks debating assistance to Kiev's new government and sanctions on Moscow over its Crimea aggression.

      While there was broad agreement on offering $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and imposing some sanctions on Russia, it became clear that a bill which also included the International Monetary Fund changes that are strongly opposed by many Republicans would stall in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

      "I believe we need to act now, this week," Senate Democrat Robert Menendez, who spearheaded legislation that included Ukraine aid, Russian sanctions and IMF reforms, said on the floor of the chamber, on Tuesday
      Full story: http://news.yahoo.com/us-senate-drop...210429762.html
      by Published on 03-10-2014 10:16 PM

      Officially, US debt stands at more than $17 trillion. In reality, it is many times more. The cost of the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq may be more than six trillion dollars. President Obama’s illegal invasion of Libya cost at least a billion dollars and left that country devastated. The costs of US regime change efforts in Syria are likely thus far enormous, both in dollars and lives. That’s still a secret.

      So who in his right mind would think it is a good time to start a war with Russia over Ukraine? And worse, who would commit the United States to bail out a Ukraine that will need at least $35 billion to survive the year?

      Who? The president and Congress, backed by the neocons and the so-called humanitarian interventionists!

      The House voted overwhelmingly last week to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine. That is just the beginning, you can be sure. But let’s be clear: this is not money for the population of that impoverished country. The Administration is sending a billion dollars from US taxpayers to wealthy international bankers who hold Ukrainian debt. It is an international bank bailout, not aid to Ukrainians. And despite the escalating anti-Russia rhetoric, ironically some of that money will likely go to Russia for Ukraine’s two billion dollar unpaid gas bill!
      http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives...d-ukraine.aspx
      by Published on 02-04-2014 11:57 PM

      Sen. Ted Cruz’s disdain for President Obama’s policies is no less ardent than his advocacy of the 10th Amendment – the one protecting states’ rights.

      On Tuesday morning, he released a six-page report on “The Obama Administration’s Assault on Texas,” highlighting some of the legal friction points between the state and federal governments and warning that Obama has sought to expand federal power at the expense of states, especially Texas.

      This isn’t a scholarly legal analysis, though Cruz – a former law clerk to a chief justice of the United States – is certainly capable of that. Rather it’s more of a political indictment and set of talking points for anyone primed to be riled at Washington overreach, as Cruz fans tend to be.
      http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.c...medium=twitter
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