Friday, June 22, 2007

Friends in high places: Conservative Republican Supreme Court protects corporate greed.

Several recent decisions from the conservative Republican Supreme Court have accomplished what slick Dick Cheney and lobbyist Jack Abramoff were unable to do.

Dominated by the Far-Fetched Four, i.e. Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia, the conservative Republican Supreme Court has handed down decision after decision that hurt working families who try to protect themselves against corporation greed.

The Far-Fetched Four and their conservative compatriots have undermined public safety and have protected and promoted corporate greed by throwing out verdicts against tobacco companies and automakers and shielded various industries from various forms of liability.

How can anyone justify being "conservative" with justice?

David G. Savage, LA Times 06/21/2007 Read Article: LA Times

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Conservative press says, Insurance Cost-Shifting by Allstate, Nationwide and State Farm must stop!

Well it’s about time. Liberals have been saying this for decades. Now, conservative media, which usually turn a blind-eye to corporate greed, are starting to take notice.

Recently, New Orleans CityBusiness criticized Allstate, Nationwide and State Farm for selling as much as 95% of all federal flood insurance policies. Allstate, Nationwide and State Farm Considering are "raking in unearned profits at the expense of taxpayers" by shifting wind damage costs to the federal government.

CityBusiness argues, the “Multiple Peril Insurance Act” will lift the burden from property owners who now have to hire lawyers, engineers and adjusters to prove to insurers that wind, not water, caused damage. CityBusiness acknowledges that the proposal isn’t a complete fix to the problem, but it should make it harder for insurers to rip off or scam taxpayers.

Maybe so, but insurance companies own the legislature and will likely tighten their grip on government if the both houses of the legislature become Republican. In time, they’ll beat the system

Editors, New Orleans CityBusiness, 06/18/2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Good Guys Win. Federal Judge Orders FEMA to Stop Abrupt Cutoff of Rental Aid

The Bush administration doesn’t care about the Katrina-Rita Diasporas; that much is painfully clear. But, U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan apparently does.

Berrigan, who was a Clinton appointee, ordered FEMA to stop cutting off low-income rental assistance to Katrina-Rita hurricane victims without giving them advance written notice and letting them know they have a right to a hearing.

In her ruling, Berrigan states that FEMA appears to treat plaintiffs as "gnats to be brushed away." The ruling also states, "FEMA has been created by Congress and the President to serve the needs of citizens at their darkest hours, which for some citizens are being now measured in terms of years." Susan Finch, New Orleans Times-Picayune 06/16/2007Read Article: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hiss! Health Officials Withheld Cancer Evidence

How nasty can you get.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Health Department withheld information about asbestos-related cancers that killed 35 miners. The Star uncovered documents that exposed the nasty behavior.

The recovered documents showed that Minnesota Health Department officials had known for over a year that mesothelioma caused the deaths of more miners than previously suspected but failed to disclose the information despite urging by scientists.

Health officials have defended the silence saying they did not want to raise alarm without concrete evidence.

Yeah... right!

David Shaffer, Minneapolis Star Tribune 06/16/2007 Read Article: Minneapolis Star Tribune

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Habeas corpus is AWOL. Habeas corpus, phone home.

It was called the “Great Writ.” The English jurist, Sir William Blackstone, dates the “Great Writ” to 1305, when brutal Longshanks, Edward I, ruled England. If you haven’t read the book but have seen the movie, Longshanks is the guy who threw his son’s lover out of a castle tower. You remember…Braveheart…Mel Gibson…William Wallace, the Scottish freedom fighter.

Anyway, the “Great Writ” has been around for 700 years. Back then it was called habeas corpus ad subjiciendum. Today it’s simply called habeas corpus. As the eminent Blackstone explained, it was a command, mind you, in the name of the King, to explain why a person’s liberty was restrained, wherever and whenever that restraint occurred.

In Western legal tradition, the writ of habeas corpus is pre-eminent, as every freedom loving American knows. Heck, it prevents the U.S. government from being arbitrary. You know, simply holding a person without due process. Right? After all, it’s enshrined right there in the Suspension Clause of the U. S. Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 9, Clause 2, which reads:

“The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public safety may require it.”

Yet, on October 17, 2006, the writ of habeas corpus itself went missing. That’s right, habeas corpus is AWOL. That’s the day a Republican Congress and the Bush administration signed the Military Commissions Act into law. Now the U. S. government can hold anyone without due process, even without a preceding rebellion or invasion!Wow…now that’s radical.

Recently, Habeas Corpus briefly surfaced in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. Taking the Suspension Clause of the U. S. Constitution seriously, the 4th Circuit ordered the Pentagon to either charge Ali al-Marri in the civilian court system, deport him, hold him as a material witness or release him.

But alas, soon thereafter, habeas corpus went AWOL again.

Habeas corpus, phone home.