Thursday, August 18, 2005

Morning copy 8.18.2005

Roberts impartiality called into question

Justice Roberts had high level meetings with administration officials, including Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales, while adjudicating on a terror detainee's rights vis a vis the Geneva conventions, LINK.

Federal law deems public trust in the courts so critical that it requires judges to step aside if their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned," even if the judge is completely impartial as a matter of fact.

As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in a 1988 Supreme Court opinion, "the very purpose of [this law] is to promote confidence in the judiciary by avoiding even the appearance of impropriety whenever possible." The requirement of an appearance of impartiality has been cited in situations like the one here, leading to the disqualification of a judge or the reversal of a verdict.

More Roberts

Leading liberal groups leaning toward a little conflagration before Roberts hearings begin, Boston Globe LINK.

Hillary Clinton's approach to John Roberts will have big implications in 2008, LINK.

While Hillary faces a balancing act between the vocal activists and the center of the political spectrum, Dan Balz (he had a busy day) of the Washington Post applies that logic to the entire Democratic party, LINK.

The American Bar Association gave John Roberts a "well qualified" distinction, LINK.

War in Iraq

Reports this morning of 4 more US KIAs due to a roadside bomb.

A State Department memo written in February of 2003 outlined many concerns that were to be realized in the post-invasion Iraq, CNN LINK.

MORE: The memo circulated among CENTCOM figures, and Jay Garner, the first administrator in Iraq (before Paul Bremmer). Washington Post LINK.

Some GOP lawmakers view Iraq as a potential albatross, NT Times LINK. Excerpt:

In Pennsylvania, Bob Casey Jr., a Democratic challenger to Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, attacked Mr. Santorum on Wednesday for failing to question the management of the war. Mr. Casey said the issue would be a major one in what is quite likely to be one of the most closely watched Senate races next year.

Do not think for a second thet Rick Santorum is not in serious trouble; if this were a chess board, Bob Casey is the Democratic John Thune.

Protests held across the country in support of Cindy Sheehan, LA Times LINK.

More international news

Mexico has staging areas for illegal immigration, raising the ire of prominent "frat boy" Governor Bill Richardson, Washington Times LINK.

How much reform will the new Saudi king tolerate/encourage? Washington Post LINK. Excerpt:

In his office, Mubarak had just listened to Abdullah's first speech to the nation, a short declaration in which he welcomed advice and promised to "dedicate my time to enhancing the pillars of justice."

Mubarak narrowed his eyes and nodded his head. "His words tell us what he is planning for his rule," the lawyer said.

Perhaps they do, but mainly in the voice of an elusive oracle. Two weeks after Saudi Arabia enthroned the 82-year-old Abdullah in a scripted transition cloaked in centuries-old traditions, his subjects are debating the portents in his abstract phrases and the meaning of his early pardons for imprisoned dissidents.

This may develop into a substantial story: "The second-highest diplomat at the United States Embassy in Baghdad is one of the anonymous government officials cited in an Aug. 4 indictment as having provided classified information to an employee of a pro-Israel lobbying group, people who have been officially briefed on the case said Wednesday." That was the lede in today's NY Times, LINK.

Pakistan's jihadist schools in the LA Times, LINK.

Russia and China launch their joint-war games, AFP LINK.

Gloria Olivae arrives in Germany on his papacy's first tour, International Herald Tribune LINK.

Domestic news

Governor Bob Taft, descendent of the only man to be sworn in as and to swear in a president, indicted on 4 counts for $5,800 worth of unreported gifts, Enquirer LINK.

William Howard Taft's biography on White House dot Gov. One of two strikes, I can think of this morning, agaist Roosevelt I is his ill treatment of an effective anti-Trust president.

Dan Balz gets ths call on this story for the Washington Post, LINK.

Hanover County, Virginia, scuffles with itself over the word "Dixie", Washington Times LINK.

A minority report condemns NASA's culture, says shuttle crews remain at risk. Houston Chronicle LINK.

Chrysler to move from horsepower to gas mileage, that thing got a hemi? Detroit Free Press LINK.

Stress to treat injured from the war on terror leaves some veterans of prior wars without care, Bloomberg LINK.

Keith M. Woods of Poynter has an Op-Ed on mascot names that should be read and considered, LINK. Excerpt:

In our corner of the stadium, hundreds of beer-ed up young LSU fans mimicked the arm movements, except they used two arms and, in the tradition of beer-ed up young men, their modified "chop" simulated masturbation.

Thus the tradition of the Seminole tribe was honored.

Don't just latch onto an opinion on something like this. Mull it over. Woods has some great points.

As the big three fade into antiquity, CBS is developing prototypes for their new version of the evening news, NY Times LINK.

"An Edinburgh resident has been promoted to one of the most senior ranks in the Norwegian Army after a special ceremony at his home. But Colonel in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard, Nils Olav, is no ordinary soldier. He is in fact a penguin."

That's right, Norway has a penguin as a colonel, and he's Scottish. He inspected the troops recently, with high distinction. LINK with PICS.


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