These are my links for December 6th through December 7th:
- Alec Baldwin: A Farewell to Common Sense, Style, and Service on American Airlines – First off, I would like to apologize to the other passengers onboard the American Airlines flight that I was thrown off of yesterday. It was never my intention to inconvenience anyone with my “issue” with a certain flight attendant.
I suppose a part of my frustration lay with the fact that I had flown American for over 20 years and was brand loyal, in the extreme. The ticketing agents and Admiral’s Club staff have always been nothing but abundantly helpful to me, as I have flown hundreds of thousands of miles with the one carrier.
My confusion began when the flight, already a half hour behind schedule, boarded, the door closed, and we proceeded to sit at the gate for another fifteen minutes. I then did what I have nearly always done and that was to pull out my phone to complete any other messaging I had to do before take off. In nearly all other instances, the flight attendants seemed to be unbothered by and said nothing about such activity, by me or anyone else, until we actually were pulling away from the gate.
- Sarah Palin Won’t Endorse Before Iowa Caucuses – Sarah Palin told Fox Business Network today that she will not be endorsing a candidate in the next few weeks.
“Not before Iowa,” Palin said, in an interview set to air at 10 p.m. EST on FBN. “And Iowa’s not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of the road really. Newt Gingrich, I believe, has risen in the polls because he has been a bit more successful than Romney in reaching out to that base of constitutional conservatives who are part of the tea party movement. He hasn’t been afraid of that movement. He has been engaged in that movement most recently in order for them to hear his solutions and there’s been some forgiveness then on the part of Tea Party Patriots for some of the things in Gingrich’s past.”
- Obama administration refuses to relax Plan B restrictions – The federal government Wednesday rejected a request to let young teenage girls buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription.
In a rare public split among federal health officials, the Health and Human Services Department overruled a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to make the drug available to anyone of any age without a restriction.
In a statement, FDA Administrator Margaret A. Hamburg said she had decided the medication could be used safely by girls and women of all ages. But she added that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had rejected the move.
“I agree … there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential,” Hamburg said.
“However, this morning I received a memorandum from the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoking her authority under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to execute its provisions and stating that she does not agree with the Agency’s decision to allow the marketing of Plan B One-Step nonprescription for all females of child-bearing potential,” she said.
- Death penalty dropped against Mumia Abu-Jamal – Prosecutors on Wednesday abandoned their 30-year pursuit of the execution of convicted police killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther whose claim that he was the victim of a racist legal system made him an international cause celebre.
Abu-Jamal, 58, will instead spend the rest of his life in prison. His writings and radio broadcasts from death row had put him at the center of an international debate over capital punishment.
Flanked by Officer Daniel Faulkner’s widow, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced his decision two days short of the 30th anniversary of the white policeman’s killing.
He said continuing to seek the death penalty could lead to “an unknowable number of years” of appeals, and that some witnesses have died or are unavailable after nearly three decades.
“There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner. I believe that the appropriate sentence was handed down by a jury of his peers in 1982,” said Williams, the city’s first black district attorney. “While Abu-Jamal will no longer be facing the death penalty, he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life, and that is where he belongs.”
Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death. His murder conviction was upheld through years of appeals. But in 2008, a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing on the grounds that the instructions given to the jury were potentially misleading.
After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to weigh in two months ago, prosecutors were forced to decide whether to pursue the death penalty again or accept a life sentence without parole.
Williams said he reached the decision with the blessing of Faulkner’s widow, Maureen.
- Poll Watch: A Majority of California Voters Favor Governor Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Plans » Flap’s California Blog – Poll Watch: A Majority of California Voters Favor Governor Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Plans
- Anti-union “paycheck protection” measure qualifies for Nov. 2012 ballot | Politics Blog | an SFGate.com blog – Anti-union “paycheck protection” measure qualifies for Nov. 2012 California ballot #catcot
- President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Leads BIG in 3 Early States – Is Newt the Nominee? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Newt Gingrich Leads BIG in 3 Early States – Is Newt the Nominee? #tcot #catcot
- Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire – RT @pwire: New polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida will be out within the hour…
- O’Grady v. Superior Court – 139 Cal. App. 4th 1423, 2006 WL 1452685 (Cal. App. , 6th Dist., May 26, 2006) – Apple Barred From Obtaining Source Of Blog’s Article
Reversing the court below, the California Court of Appeals holds that the Stored Communications Act prohibits an ISP that hosted a blog’s email account from disclosing e-mails sent to the blog in response to a subpoena issued in a civil litigation. The subpoena sought production of e-mails that would permit Apple Computer (“Apple”) to identify the individual(s) who transmitted trade secret information about an as yet unreleased Apple product to the blog/website Power Page, which information was the source of articles Power Page subsequently published on its blog/website.
The Court further held that petitioners, who acted as publishers of, and/or editors or reporters for, the news blogs that published the stories at issue about this Apple product, were entitled to a protective order against their disclosure of the confidential sources of their stories. Notwithstanding Apple’s claim that the information petitioners received from these services constituted trade secrets disclosed in violation of confidentiality agreements each of its employees had signed, the Court held such disclosure barred by both California’s Reporter’s Shield Law and the First Amendment. The Court held that the Shield Law, which prohibits a court from holding in contempt a publisher, editor or reporter of “a newspaper, magazines or other periodical publication” for failing to disclose the source of a published story, protected petitioners, publishers and/or reporters of news blogs, from having to disclose the sources of the stories at issue. The First Amendment similarly provided protection, given Apple’s failure to fully exhaust other avenues of disclosure before pursuing discovery from petitioners.
- Crystal Cox, Oregon Blogger, Isn’t a Journalist, Concludes U.S. Court–Imposes $2.5 Million Judgement on Her – A U.S. District Court judge in Portland has drawn a line in the sand between “journalist” and “blogger.” And for Crystal Cox, a woman on the latter end of that comparison, the distinction has cost her $2.5 million.
Speaking to Seattle Weekly, Cox says that the judgement could have impacts on bloggers everywhere.
“This should matter to everyone who writes on the Internet,” she says.
Cox runs several law-centric blogs, like industrywhistleblower.com, judicialhellhole.com, and obsidianfinancesucks.com, and was sued by investment firm Obsidian Finance Group in January for defamation, to the tune of $10 million, for writing several blog posts that were highly critical of the firm and its co-founder Kevin Padrick.
Representing herself in court, Cox had argued that her writing was a mixture of facts, commentary and opinion (like a million other blogs on the web) and moved to have the case dismissed. Dismissed it wasn’t, however, and after throwing out all but one of the blog posts cited by Obsidian Financial, the judge ruled that this single post was indeed defamatory because it was presented, essentially, as more factual in tone than her other posts, and therefore a reasonable person could conclude it was factual.
The judge ruled against Cox on that post and awarded $2.5 million to the investment firm.
- Unlike Oregon, Bloggers Are Journalists in Washington State, Do Qualify for Legal Protections – This morning we told you about the troubling case of Crystal Cox, the Oregon blogger who was successfully sued for defamation, thanks in part to a federal court ruling that she isn’t a “journalist” and therefore doesn’t qualify for the state’s media shield laws. Now, the man who wrote the shield laws in Washington state has weighed in on whether such a ruling would fly here.
Bruce E. H. Johnson, attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine, is a veteran litigator in the field of free speech and media law. In 2006 he drafted Washington state’s media shield legislation, and in 2007 the state legislature passed it into law.
He says that had Cox’s case been heard in a Washington court, the outcome (at least in regards to the shield law) would have most likely been different.
“I believe the shield law would have been applied [in Washington state],” Johnson tells Seattle Weekly. “Oregon’s law was probably written before blogging was accounted for
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: December 7, 2011 – The Morning Drill: December 7, 2011
- President 2012: Newt Gingrich the Worst of Both Worlds? | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – President 2012: Newt Gingrich the Worst of Both Worlds? #tcot #catcot
- Blagojevich gets 14 years in prison for corruption – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs – RT @PoliticalTicker: BREAKING: Blagojevich sentenced to 14 years in prison –
- Dilbert December 7, 2011 – Lower the Expectations? » Flap’s California Blog – Dilbert December 7, 2011 – Lower the Expectations?
- Day By Day December 7, 2011 – In Your Face Politics | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Day By Day December 7, 2011 – In Your Face Politics #tcot #catcot
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-07 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2011-12-07 #tcot #catcot
- Getting to a Brokered Convention | RedState – RT @fivethirtyeight: Some Republican donors still trying to draft new candidate.
- No TR: The Limits of Obama’s Bully Pulpit – 2012 Decoded – Sorry but Prez Obama is NO Teddy Roosevelt – not even close –
- Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: December 6, 2011 » Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Afternoon Collection: December 6, 2011
- (500) http://flapsblog.com/2011/12/06/the-afternoon-flap-december-6-2011/ – The Afternoon Flap: December 6, 2011 #tcot #catcot
- Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich: Ramesh Ponnuru- Bloomberg – Heartbreak Awaits Republicans Who Love Gingrich
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