Clinton’s “Crime Act” comments not the crime, it’s intolerance of a new party

7 Apr
2016-04-07 (1) If I needed to provide a more specific illustration of just how my old party – the party of FDR, The Kennedys, LBJ, and Clinton built on common purpose, nationalism, and populist policies meant to extend opportunity to the most people irrespective of background and region – slowly worked to abandon me over the past 6-10 years as I was left to toil as a hopeless Red Stater orphaned by national strategists and still touting the glory days of sound economic priorities and political compromise from the 1990s, then today I certainly received a glaring case-in-point. By now, you’ve been bombarded somewhere by the Bill Clinton bickering flap with more aggressive protesting from “Black Lives Matter” campaign disruptors while stumping for his wife today.

CLINTON:

“The ones that won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth,” Bill Clinton admonished protesters at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton today in Philadelphia. The protesters peppered him with questions about the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a piece of legislation that has become wrapped up in this campaign cycle as Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders both build criminal justice promises built on dismantling parts of it. The crime bill [was] a signature accomplishment of his presidency . . . ” [Source: The Atlantic.]
But wait . . . come again? Attacking the Explainer-in-Chief? You mean Thee One and Thee Only Man from Hope?? Our Bubba?!

IN RETROSPECT: Regarding the tenor of modern Monday morning quarterbacking and political critique of a widely-heralded bi-partisan initiative enacted two decades ago.

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Mrs. Clinton (far left) looks on as POTUS embraces then Sen. Joe Biden upon signing Crime Act into law in ’94. 

Yes, folks in today’s arena, and particularly in today’s increasingly intolerant and irrational version of Democratic progressivism, even a global icon and successful two-term POTUS turned revered ex-POTUS, the Dems’ prodigal son and favorite political rockstar who not long ago dropped that campaign-saving convention keynote for the current POTUS, can be memed away without hesitation as some self-serving closet racist who should be subject to an ex post facto party excommunication, officially stricken from the historical record and all federal/state monuments, and subject to universal shaming on every screen we find ourselves staring at the next few hours and coming days.

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Forever living in the past? Or is it still great to be grateful for Clinton Years?

It’s a really sad statement of how the “third way” principles and Clinton’s party shift away from the Great Society to the more broadly inclusive and sustainable “community, opportunity, & responsibility” agenda he pushed for with such great success — whether or not you agree with how they should be viewed in historical contexts a generation later — have been almost entirely rejected in today’s increasingly dissent-free version of the party as somehow “Republican Lite” or just not bernin’ to the Far Left like all the cool kids.

Please, political progressive peoples out there in need of some serious introspection and empathy-refresher: ENOUGH “with us or against us” and more-righteous-than-thou demands and disrespect. Personal attacks to blur meaningful debate USED to be the m.o. for the “other side”, right? That’s the line I subscribed to for a very long time, too. Those vicious and vile Repugs, am I right? Those stupid Fox News and Rush Limbaugh holy rollin’ redneck pigs are not even human enough to warrant humanity seems to be the general take to varying degrees. I mean, sure, we are created equal . . . but some are more equal than others. I think that’s how the story goes, or at least it appears to the general take here as well in terms of recent liberal crusading getting the most attention. The big-tent and diverse views nature of the party has been swept away for a modern version of the party that emphasizes uniformity of beliefs and policies and winning the news cycle with slogans and attacking opponents personally rather than the hard work of building policy consensus and public approval. In many ways, the bumper-sticker debates of complicated problems and questioning the level of American-ism of political foes, and governing in ways that view even minor dissention as treasonous and a question of character very much parallels the Karl Rove -style politics that has been so destructive to our democracy and would presumably be the opposite approach taken by those who opposed him and the GOP brand he sold to the masses.
 
It seems now that despite years of being respected for policies and moderation that brought on prosperous times economically and culturally, today’s loudest voices in the party want him revised down as something entirely different . . .

Without any meaningful consideration of context or legitimate reasoning for differing viewpoints, Clinton can find himself a viral scapegoat on Twitter and in the blogosphere as he’s disrespected and seemingly tossed aside completely in a matter of HOURS as caricatures instantaneous appear and old stories are re-fitted to “confirm” the trending narrative and pile on, almost universally by using the same ol’ trusty GOP attack bulletpoints so many Dems are anxious to get loud about or issue through showing their activist bonafides by making asinine blanket-defriending threats on Facebook if anyone dares admit they might agree (or even just not find particularly disagreeable) whatever the media has deemed newly-scorned public sentiment for that news cycle.

 
Meeting Bill Clinton (2) Lay off my Bill, y’all. Or at least give ol’ Number 42 a basic level of respect when you want to judge his policies and question his motives. Few political or social change movements in recent history have had much impact if they failed to inject civility and build a dialogue from ideas; emotional demands and shaming all others into uniform rationale is not bridging divides, building consensus, or confirming intellectual/moral high ground.
 
I suppose nothing surprises anymore except the unflinching gall and hypocrisy of political idealogues of all stripes . . . many engaging in the very behavior they decry. So much faux-outrage and public affirmation obsession out there it has really halted any chance of meaningful debates and much-needed reforms. Not sure how this changes with the way this election cycle is playing out.
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FURTHER READING: Want more thoughtful takes on the broader Lefty Revisionists v. Bubba’s Brand for national Dems? Check out this great piece (from said Lefties, presumably) over at Salon entitled: “The era of (Bill) Clinton liberalism is over. What does that mean for Hillary and the Dems?”

2016 MLB Preseason Pickin’

2 Apr

2016 MLB Preseason Pickin’ . . .

/drumroll


 
American League:
West (Best) – Los Angeles Angels
Central – Minnesota Twins
East – New York Yankees
* Houston Astros
** Kansas City Royals
[Sleeper] Tampa Bay Rays
MVP – Trout, LAA
CY – Richards, LAA

 
National League:
West – San Francisco Giants
Central – Chicago Cubs
East – New York Mets
* Washington Nationals
** St. Louis Cardinals
[Sleeper] Colorado Rockies
MVP – Arenado, COL
CY – Martinez, STL
ALCS: Angels over Astros in 7
NLCS: Cubs over Mets in 6
WORLD SERIES:
HALOS OVER CUBBIES!!
(Angels over Cubs in epic 7 games; Pujols roasts former NL rival as your MVP)

Woodmansee’s Favorite Quotes

29 Jul
File under food for thought

Here are my ten favorite quotes, y’all. Feel free to be inspired and/or live by them as I have.😉

1. “Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families, but for our communities and our country.” – Bill Clinton
2. “To think is to differ.” – Clarence Darrow
3. “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan
4. “The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
inspirational-quote-avoid-criticism
5. ‎”To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard
6. “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” – John Wooden
7. “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
8. “Fans don’t boo nobodies.” – Reggie Jackson
9. “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” – Robert Kennedy
10. “The hardest thing I learned there was there ain’t no easy way.” – Waylon Jennings

While not a Biblical literalist, but certainly a follower and professor o’ Christ as depicted in The Bible’s New Testament (Vol. II, as I like to call it), allow me to also include my two three most inspirational bits of Scripture:
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
  • “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
  • “One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him . . . ” (Matthew 22:35)

SCOTUS Hears Arguments on Same-Sex Marriage – Quick Resource Review

28 Apr

A Library with a View

U.S. Supreme Court buildingToday, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, consolidated with three other cases, on whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires that states grant and/or recognize same-sex marriages.

The case will probably be decided in June.

If you’re short on time, here are 5 key facts about same-sex marriage from the non-partisan Pew Research Center.

SCOTUSblog editor, Amy Howe, has written an overview of the case in two parts:

Part I http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/04/same-sex-marriage-in-plain-english-part-i/

Part II http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/04/same-sex-marriage-in-plain-english-part-ii/

Nina Totenberg of NPR has said that groups, individuals, and governments with an interest in the outcome have issued a record number of amicus briefs, at 148, exceeding the record of 136 set for the 2013 Obamacare case.

Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), and the Los Angeles Times have examined the case with a view to how crucial Chief Justice Robert Kennedy’s vote may be.

Richard Wolf…

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2015 MLB Season Predictions

6 Apr

Sorry, so-called experts, but Cano & Co. will have to settle for second-place this year…

Sure, the M’s are the trendy “expert pick” to battle it out with the Nats in this year’s Fall Classic, but ol’ Jeffy boy here thinks they’ll just have to settle for SECOND PLACE behind a far more complete Halo-squad…

2015 Playoff Predictions:
*denotes Wild Card 1
**denotes Wild Card 2

AL [B]est —
1. LA Angels
2. Seattle Mariners*

AL Central —
1. Chicago White Sox

AL East —
1. New York Yankees
2. Toronto Blue Jays**

ALDS: Angels over M’s; White Sox over Yanks
ALCS: Angels over White Sox in 5

AL MVP: Trout, LAA
AL CY: Hernandez, SEA
AL ROY:

NL West —
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Colorado Rockies**

NL Central —
1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Pittsburgh Pirates*

NL East —
1. Washington Nationals

NLDS: Pirates over Dodgers; Nats over Cards
NLCS: Pirates over Nats in 7

NL MVP: Tulowitzki, COL
NL CY: Kershaw, LAD

NL ROY: Pederson, LAD

WORLD SERIES: Angels over Pirates in 7
WS MVP: David Freese, LAA

Obama intends to nominate San Antonio mayor as HUD secretary

17 May

CNN Political Ticker

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama intends to nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a government source said Saturday.

Castro gained national recognition when he was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

First elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011 and 2013, the 39-year-old is the youngest mayor of a major American city, according to his website.

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Daily Affirmation…with JBW?!

16 Apr
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Prof. W…at your service?

The Ironic Arkie: Demandin’ Personal Choice

9 Apr

 

Go ahead…and tread on me?

Ain’t it funny how the good folks here in Arkansas think the notion of government-promoted healthcare access as a fundamental right for all of our citizens is somehow an unconstitutional overreach by this president’s administration in dealing with state guidelines, yet have never (until recently) raised much stink about their completely acquiescence to state and local kingmakers in deeming them as lacking the personal responsibility and moral fiber required to let otherwise hard workin’ and tax payin’ Arkansans make the personal choices of whether or not they want to throw down some cash on a card game, purchase Arkansas’s Diamond Bear products freely, play up their southern bonafides by making their own mash at home, or simply drink on the state’s unofficial official deity’s Sunday holidays.

Of course, the sort of “Blue Laws” like we have in Arkansas are ones which restrict certain activities or sales of goods on Sunday, to accommodate the Christian Sabbath, in this case being the sale of liquor. The first Blue Law in the American colonies was enacted in Virginia in the early 1600s, which included required church attendance. Other early Blue Laws prohibited work, travel, recreation, and activities such as cooking, shaving, cutting hair, wearing either lace or precious metals, sweeping, making beds, kissing, and engaging in sexual intercourse.

Blue Laws have operated to protect Christian business owners from competition on their day of sabbath. However, they never sought to protect from competition those Jews and Muslims whose traditions call for Saturday worship, and thus have clearly established a double-standard to promote Christianity, which seems to me, even as a follower of Jesus in my own right, to run far more afoul of the U.S. Constitution than the legislation affectionately known as “Obamacare” could ever been seen as doing.

Although Blue Laws requiring Sunday church attendance disappeared in the 19th century because they so blatantly violated citizen’ rights to 1st Amendment religious freedoms, other such Sunday restrictions have continued to exist into the modern era, including in Texas, where such laws prohibited selling common housewares and washing machines on Sunday until 1985, and car dealerships in the state continue to operate under similar outdated prohibitions. Similarly, courts in New York and Connecticut have ruled that, because blue laws were created and propagated by religious groups for religious purposes, they are unconstitutional:

Buy Alcohol on Sunday? Connecticut Now Allows It

Gary Donaldson, left, Ben Schiano and Brooks Titcomb celebrating the Sunday sale of beer, wine and liquor in Connecticut.
By ELIZABETH MAKER
Published: May 20, 2012 in The New York Times

Nevertheless, we’re all too aware that Blue Laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays continue to exist and be enforced, especially among our fellow freedom lovin’ Southern brethren residing here in Arkansas and elsewhere in Ye Ol’ Confederacy.

The fact that ours remains one of only a handful of remaining states which still prohibit selling alcohol on Sunday — even as it is now the second busiest shopping day of the week — seem to make no sense in terms of economic losses for small business, statewide revenues from sales taxes, and most importantly, the fact that our state chooses to severely limit the personal freedoms of our adult population while their peers from freedom-hatin’ Lib’rul ‘Merica do not encounter the same government “overreach” that we do here in The Natural State. Indeed, as most Christians see little conflict in going to church in the morning, then watching a football game — maybe with the family, or maybe at a sports bar — in the afternoon, what is the remaining valid rationale for this Puritan ritual anyway?

Once again, we have here a severe case of The Ironic Arkie. (Look for more of these rants in the coming weeks.)

Check out some more local flavor on these broader issues from an earlier story by Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times:

City Wire has a good report on a federal lawsuit arising from the newly opened liquor market in Benton County. A prospective retailer has challenged the Arkansas law that prevents franchising of retail liquor stores and multiple ownerships as a burden on interstate commerce.

Macadoodles liquor chain sought to expand its presence in Arkansas in lawsuit, prior to more liquor law loosening seen in other locations after last election.

The plaintiff wants to run a Macadoodles, the retail chain that had to win a legal fight to open its store in Washington County and which has long enticed huge Arkansas business just across the Arkansas line in Missouri.

The link gives you lots more of the legal ins and outs.

Key points include that 1) there’s a grandfather clause in Arkansas law for related ownerships and 2) it’s well-known that there are families with related stores that already operate in Arkansas and, it is suspected, take advantage of combined buying power not readily available to single-permit owners.

Lurking in the background, too, is behemoth Walmart, whose heirs paid for the campaign to open Benton County to retail liquor stores and which is currently restricted to a single liquor outlet, on a nominally separate premises in Fayetteville. It took a long legal battle for Walmart to get that single outlet; it thirsts to sell more booze here. The situation exists because of Arkansas’s protectionist liquor laws. They are aimed, first, at protecting profit margins of wholesalers.

The interstate commerce clause is a mighty tool against state discrimination in commerce. Hard to see the compelling state interest in protecting wholesalers’ profit at the expense of higher retail prices for consumers. But lawyers are ready to explain.

And also don’t miss this 2012 piece from David Kinkade of The Arkansas Project.

A dedicated Arkansas Project reader sends along a link to this nifty map (pasted below) from those limey toffs at the BBC offering “a snapshot of wet and dry America.” They slipped out of their powdered wigs and put on their thinking caps to generate this graphic detailing the lingering effects of alcohol prohibition here in the U.S.

With 43 dry counties in red, Arkansas looks to be a national leader (?) on this front. I don’t think I realized how much of the nation lives in open territory when it comes to alcohol sales. I mean, geez, look at that vast swatch of liberatory bluish gray once you move west out of Oklahoma and Texas, and head north from Kansas. I also like that there’s “no data” on Georgia, so it’s grayed out like a medieval dragon preserve. That actually sounds about right.

This is really just an excuse to link to this masterly 2009 piece from the estimable Michael Tilley of the City Wire in Fort Smith, wherein he explored the “convoluted concoction of rules” that govern liquor sales in the Natural State—and lived to tell the shocking tale! A taste:

We have rules as to when and how alcohol can be sold from either a convenience store, grocery story or a bonafide liquor store; rules differentiating between sales of wine fermented in Arkansas and wine fermented outside the state. There are rules that say your local Chili’s or Applebee’s is simply a restaurant that can serve beer if built in a wet county, but is a special private club with a (wink, wink) membership policy to go along with food sales if it operates in a dry county.

There are rules on specific times hooch can be sold on the weekends because we’re all mindful of and in agreement with the seminal Harvard study proving that a beer sold at 9:59 a.m. on a Sunday morning leads to immediate and terrific societal destruction, whereas the same beer sold 61 seconds later is nothing more than a standard commercial exchange between consenting adults that results in a positive economic impact for the local economy and tax proceeds for state and local governments.

Not familiar with the Harvard study? Of course you’re not, because no such study exists. Which is something to keep in mind when considering dang near all Arkansas liquor laws and wondering if there is some pragmatic reason for their formulation — No Such Study Exists.

Do go revisit the whole thing and weep for the dearth of good sense that requires you to rush out and buy your Sunday beer supply at 11 p.m. Saturday.

MAP: U.S. Alcohol Sale Restrictions (BBC, 2012)

[Editor’s Note: Wait a minute…The Arkansas Project, you say? You just quoted and wholeheartedly agreed with them?!?

Yup. I’ve come to respect the heck out of Nic Horton and how he goes about his conducting his business, building his brand, and is willing to do the dirty work of research before public diatribes via keyboard, even when I might be well on the other side of the partisan fence on any given issue…this state needs more honest & open government crusaders, believe me.]

Mike Huckabee: Not ‘homophobic’ but on the ‘right side of the Bible’

8 Apr

The former Arkansas governor, recently under fire for his controversial takes on the libido status of modern American women, look to clarify his position on gay marriage to Iowa conservatives earlier today.

CNN Political Ticker

(CNN) — Mike Huckabee told an Iowa crowd on Tuesday that he’s “not homophobic,” but believing marriage should be between one man and one woman is being “on the right side of the Bible.”

Huckabee, who is also a pastor, told a conservative crowd, “I’m not against anybody. I’m really not. I’m not a hater. I’m not homophobic.”

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The Beginning of a New Era for Law Librarians – Out With the Old, In With the New

30 Mar

Journal of High Technology Law

POSTED BY Travis Bortz

In a legal world that some perceive to be in a tailspin amidst a less than thriving economy, effectiveness and efficiency have become very important.  As law firms search for new ways to operate more leanly, the question arises whether or not there is a demand for law librarians.  Law librarians have been in the forefront of cost-cutting measures since 2008. Although it can be argued that law librarians are a wealth of knowledge and a valuable resources, as technology continues to transcend the industry it is becoming more transparent their demand is minimal.

However, over the past five years law librarians have viably searched for ways to maintain their importance in the legal profession; most notably leaving traditional roles consisting of on-demand research and moving towards the support of true knowledge management.  How law librarians are to change their roles into the “new normal” in…

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