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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: March 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez The Morning Flap: March 6, 2013

These are my news headlines for March 5th through March 6th:

  • Hugo Chavez, passionate but polarizing Venezuelan president, dead at 58 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who went from a young conspiratorial soldier who dreamed of revolution to the fiery anti-U.S. leader of one of the world’s great oil powers, died March 5 in Caracas of complications from an unspecified cancer in his pelvic area.He was 58 and had been president since 1999, longer than any other democratically elected leader in the Americas. Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the death.Mr. Chavez first revealed in a brief, dramatic television address in June 2011 that he had undergone two surgical procedures in Cuba. He would go under the knife two more times, greatly weakening the once robust leader. Mr. Chavez had been elected in October 2012 to a third six-year term. But he missed his swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 10 while lying gravely ill in a Havana hospital after undergoing what his aides had called a complex operation a month before.

    The country was plunged into an institutional crisis, with Mr. Chavez’s foes accusing the government of violating the constitution. But Mr. Chavez’s lieutenants managed to buy time until their leader’s pre-dawn return to Venezuela on Feb. 18. He remained at a Caracas military hospital, with his Twitter account bursting out messages such as “Onward toward victory always!! We will live and we will triumph!!”

    As an obscure 37-year-old lieutenant colonel, Mr. Chavez had led a failed coup in 1992 against President Carlos Andres Perez’s government. Six years later, on Dec. 6, 1998, Mr. Chavez was elected president in a landslide after pledging to replace a broken, corrupt political system and redistribute the country’s substantial oil-fueled wealth.

  • Jeb Bush is back in the spotlight — and thinking about 2016 – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who has remained on the sidelines since his older brother left the White House with dismal ratings four years ago, has jumped back into the political fray this week with a new book, wall-to-wall television interviews and a round of public speaking engagements.His appearances mark a change in approach for Bush, 60, who has operated as more of a Republican elder statesman since leaving Tallahassee in 2007 but is now clearly considering a run for the White House.
  • Journalists as Ring Wraiths – Today’s Washington journalists are like J. R. R. Tolkien’s ring wraiths, petty lords who wanted a few shiny golden Obama rings — only to end up as shrunken slaves to the One.The Bob Woodward/Ron Fournier/Lanny Davis psychodrama is another small reminder that the Obama administration continues to assume that the press should be little more than a veritable Ministry of Truth. Its proper duty is to serve the White House and promote the progressive agenda of Barack Obama. Any were considered suspect who questioned whether those exalted ends should really be achieved by any means necessary — but they were so few and far between that it mattered little.
  • Massachusetts needs a waiver from Obamacare rules for small-business health plans – Massachusetts has made a concerted effort in the last few years to rein in health care costs for small businesses. But new federal regulations written to implement the Affordable Care Act threaten to undercut those efforts — and saddle thousands of Bay State businesses with big increases in premiums.
  • God and Jeb at CPAC – CPAC Has Become the Defender of the Status Quo – John McCain’s presidential campaign manager from four years ago, Steve Schmidt, has compared the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to the “Star Wars bar scene.”Reflecting on the dysfunctional 2008 freak show that passed for a campaign against Barack Obama, Mr. Schmidt would know.The conference’s problem, for many longtime participants, is not the diversity and raucous freedom one might expect to find in a social club on an alien planet. The quandary is that what is now the largest gathering of conservative activists in the nation has wandered far from its original intent, which was a rejection of the status quo.

    In the old days, the event represented the best intellectual revolutionary elements of the conservative movement. Panel after panel would argue and debate issues such as abortion, foreign aid, spending policies and about what the true Holy Grail of conservatism entailed – defending institutions or individuals?

    The conference was always separate and apart from the GOP establishment, even in the Reagan years. Today it no longer represents a joyous insurgency but is instead part of the Washington political establishment.

  • The Mighty Jeb Bush Comes Down to Earth – Bush’s flip flop on immigration will doom any chance he had for a 2016 Presidential race.
  • Boehner Pledges to Stick to the ‘Hastert Rule’ – Speaker John A. Boehner sought to assure his conference on Tuesday that the “Hastert rule” is still regular practice, on the heels of breaking it for the third time this Congress.Republicans breached the rule — under which the speaker only brings forward bills that enjoy support from the “majority of the majority” — last week when a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act passed with a majority of Democratic votes. Of three major bills passed this session, two have passed in violation of the rule. The House passed the fiscal-cliff deal Jan. 1 despite the rule as well.The rule — named after former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. — may be tested again in coming months on legislation relating to immigration and gun control, although a GOP leadership aide said that scenario is highly unlikely.
  • Analyst estimates Chávez’s family fortune at around $2 billion – But, u can’t take it with you RT @DRUDGE_REPORT: CLAIM: Chavez Had Amassed Private Fortune of $2 Billion…
  • CDC Warns Of Spread Of Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria « CBS Miami – CDC Warns Of Spread Of Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria #tcot
  • Twitter / RepJoseSerrano: Hugo Chavez was a leader that … – RT @jeffemanuel: So, is it McCarthyism to declare @RepJoseSerrano a dyed-in-the-wool, dictator-supporting socialist?
  • Untitled (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/chavezs-successor-venezuela-nicolas-maduro) – RT @AP: Hugo Chavez’s successor in Venezuela: Nicolas Maduro: -CC
  • Jeb Bush immigration comments spark uproar – Kevin Robillard – POLITICO.com – RT @politico: Jeb Bush immigration comments spark uproar:
  • Jeb Bush: Actually, I could support a path to citizenship in theory « Hot Air – Jeb Bush is all over the place on immigration. He is as much feckless as his brother W was wrong #tcot
  • Video: Jeb Bush on 2016: ‘I’ve Decided . . . Not to Think About It for a While’ – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush continued to fend off speculation about his 2016 presidential prospects this morning, saying that he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run and won’t for at least another couple years.“I’ve decided not to think about it for a while, and I have the discipline to do that,” Bush told CBS’s Charlie Rose, and that his focus is on being a voice in immigration reform, the subject of his new book, Immigration Wars. When co-host Norah O’Donnell suggested that it was interesting he hadn’t ruled out running, Bush laughed it off: “I guess that’s interesting, I don’t find it that interesting.”
  • Rubio in ‘same place’ as Jeb Bush on immigration – POLITICO.com – “@politico: Marco Rubio in “same place” as Jeb Bush on immigration, @mkraju reports: “
  • Ken Jeong AHA Hands-Only CPR video – YouTube – RT @RaDragon: Disco is NOT dead icon wink The Morning Flap: March 6, 2013 PSA: Hands-Only CPR
  • Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – Support @Flap – Gregory Flap Cole in the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon #tcot
  • Jeb Bush’s False-Flag Operation – Jeb Bush generated quite a bit of publicity for his new book yesterday by suggesting that amnestied illegal immigrants should not be eligible for citizenship. Instead, he’s suggesting they be given some kind of permanent status that would provide them work cards, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and the right to travel abroad and return, but not allow for eventual naturalization — in effect, a kind of permanent guestworker program or a green-card-lite, rather than an actual green card. This is consistent with suggestions from other pro-amnesty Republicans, including Senator Rubio and a group of House members working up an amnesty deal.Unfortunately, it’s a trick.
  • Two more casualities of Twitter’s power play | Android Central – @TweetDeck better give mobile users a better app RT @androidcentral: Two more casualities of Twitter’s power play
  • Jeb Bush’s Poorly Timed Flip-Flop on Immigration – NationalJournal.com – Jeb knows exactly what he is doing |Jeb Bush’s Poorly? Timed Flip -Flop on Immigration
  • A Market Solution to Immigration Reform | RealClearPolitics – A Market Solution to Immigration Reform #tcot
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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 14, 2011

These are my links for December 12th through December 14th:

  • Christine O’Donnell: I like Mitt Romney’s flip – Christine O’Donnell, who has endorsed Mitt Romney, appeared on CNN Wednesday and inadvertently drew attention to one of the charges against the former Massachusetts governor from his critics — flip-flopping.

    “That’s one of the things that I like about him — because he’s been consistent since he changed his mind,” O’Donnell said.

    She said Romney is “humble enough” to admit he doesn’t always have the right answers and is open to making the “necessary changes” to his own view points sometimes, but maintained that he never betrays his core convictions.

    O’Donnell, who had the backing of the tea partiers in the 2010 when she ran unsuccessfully for Senate in Delaware, also had a strong warning for members of the conservative movement: Don’t choose Newt Gingrich, no matter what.

    “People are trying to paint Newt Gingrich as the anti-establishment candidate, which I think is funny because in a lot of the tea party vs. establishment campaigns in 2010, Newt Gingrich was on the side of the establishment,” said O’Donnell. “The tea party I don’t think should be behind Newt at all.”

  • The Myth of the New Newt – All that is predictable about Newt is that he is unpredictable, and, irresistibly, an election that should be about President Obama and his record will become about the heat and light generated by his electric performance. That’s the way it was as speaker, too. Eventually, he wore out his welcome in epic fashion. Benjamin Franklin said any houseguest, like a fish, stinks after three days. With the public and his colleagues, Gingrich became the houseguest who would never leave.

    More than a decade after he was cashiered as speaker, he’s back on the basis of his superlative handling of the debates. He is better informed and has more philosophical depth than any of his rivals. Despite all his meanderings through the years, he knows how to win over a conservative audience as well as anyone. The debates have held out the alluring promise of a New Newt. But beware: The Old Newt lurks.

  • Mitt Romney at Bain – A Photo – I wonder how many times the Dems and Obama will use this photo in their ads?
  • Newt Gingrich commits a capital crime – Newt Gingrich — the friend of his detractors, to whom he offers serial vindications — provided on Monday redundant evidence for the proposition that he is the least conservative candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination: He faulted Mitt Romney for committing acts of capitalism.

    Gingrich did so when goaded by Romney regarding his, Gingrich’s, self-described service as a “historian” for Freddie Mac, which paid him more handsomely than anyone paid Herodotus. Romney was asked by an interviewer about the $1.6 million Gingrich earned, or at any rate received, from Freddie Mac, the misbegotten government-backed mortgage giant. In the service of Washington’s bipartisan certitude that too few people owned houses, Freddie Mac helped produce the housing bubble and subsequent crash. It did so even though it paid Gingrich $30,000 an hour. That is about what he received if, as he says, he worked for Freddie Mac about an hour a month, telling it that what it was doing was “insane.”

  • Christine O’Donnell Endorses Mitt Romney for President – Christine O’Donnell, the former Republican Senate candidate and a tea party favorite during the 2010 election, has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

    O’Donnell made her endorsement during an appearance this evening on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

    “It was not an easy decision because I too think any of our candidates would make a great president and a great candidate going against Barack Obama,” O’Donnell said. “But I think there are certain tie breakers and I know that in making my decision I might be hurting some people but I think infrastructure and executive experience are important, and for that reason I’m endorsing Mitt Romney.”

    “I’m very happy,” she added. “This is not anti-[Newt] Gingrich or anyone else, it’s a pro Gov. Romney endorsement.

    “I’m not arrogant to think that my endorsement will make or break his candidacy,” she said, adding she hopes people just “take a second look” at Romney.

  • Scarborough: Like Beck, I’d Consider Third-Party Ron Paul Over Gingrich – Today’s Morning Joe has been one long festival of Gingrich gouging.

    Joe Scarborough set the tone early. During the opening segment Scarborough announced that, like Glenn Beck, if the choice comes down to Obama vs. Gingrich, and Ron Paul is running as a third-party candidate, “I’m going to give him a long look.”

    Last week, Scarborough criticized Gingrich’s political persona, calling him a “terrible person” when he puts on his political helmet. Today, Scarborough focused on his policy differences with Newt, saying that Gingrich is “the opposite of being a small-government conservative.” Watch Scarborough contemplate a vote that he went on to acknowledge would hand the election to Barack Obama.

  • Gingrich needs Rudy Giuliani like he needs another marriage – I must say I got a chuckle out of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments Monday night on CNN: “My gut tells me right now as I look at it that Gingrich might actually be the stronger candidate, because I think he can make a broader connection than Mitt Romney to those Reagan Democrats. . . . You won’t have this barrier of possible elitism that I think Obama could exploit pretty effectively.”

    His timing couldn’t be worse. We’re beginning to see polling (and there will be more later today) showing that Gingrich lags significantly in electability. The Gallup-USA Today race reported: “In swing states, Obama trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among registered voters by 5 points, 43% vs. 48%, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich by 3, 45% vs. 48%. That’s a bit worse than the president fares nationwide, where he leads Gingrich 50%-44% and edges Romney 47%-46%.”

    UPDATE (3:35 p.m.): PPP is out with details from its new poll in Iowa. Gingrich is now at 22 percent and his lead is down to one point over Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), with Romney at 16 percent. Gingrich has gone from a plus-31 favorable rating (62/31 percent) to plus-12 (52/40 percent). He’s dropped 11 points with Tea Partyers.

  • Giuliani: Gingrich may be stronger than Romney – When it comes down to the battle between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, former New York mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Monday he thought Gingrich might have an edge.

    Speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan, Giuliani said the former House speaker’s appeal to a wide array of voters would help him, as opposed to potential problems Romney may have in relating to average Americans.

  • Trump pulls out of GOP debate – Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will not moderate next month’s GOP debate sponsored by Newsmax.

    The reality televison show host’s decision came after most Republican presidential candidates declined to participate in the debate, with only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum agreeing to appear.

  • Axelrod Sets Sights on Gingrich – At briefing for reporters, Chicagoan says of the Georgian: “The higher a monkey climbs on the pole the more you can see his butt.”

    AND: Doesn’t forget to sneak in a Romney tweak: “Generally his practice has been to bet other people’s money, not his own.”

    PLUS: Bonus barb from Bam 2012 spox LaBolt: “The $10,000 bet may end up being Mitt Romney’s grocery-score scanner moment.”

  • When Truth Survives Free Speech – Last week, a story came across my desk that seemed to suggest that a blogger had been unfairly nailed with a $2.5 million defamation award after a judge refused to give her standing as a journalist. A businessman who was the target of the blogger’s inquiries brought the suit.

    I went to work on a blog post, filled with filial umbrage, saddened that the Man once again had used a boot heel to crush truth and free speech. But after doing a little reporting, I began to think that what scanned as an example of a rich businessman using the power of the courts to silence his critic was actually something else: a case of a blogger using the Web in unaccountable ways to decimate the reputation of someone who didn’t seem to have it coming.

    The ruling on whether she was a journalist in the eyes of the law turned out to be a MacGuffin, a detail that was very much beside the point. She didn’t so much report stories as use blogging, invective and search engine optimization to create an alternative reality. Journalists who initially came to her defense started to back away when they realized they weren’t really in the same business.

  • Dan Kennedy: The Real Danger in That Bloggers-Aren’t-Journalists Ruling – You may have heard that a Montana blogger must pay a $2.5 million libel judgment because a federal judge ruled she was not a journalist, and was thus not entitled to protect her anonymous sources.

    In fact, that’s not quite what happened. The case actually had little to do with whether bloggers have the same right to protect their sources as traditional journalists. But U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez’s opinion nevertheless threatens to weaken long-standing protections against libel suits, and to widen the already-gaping divide between the media and the rest of society.

    Let’s take the shield-law issue first.

    Crystal Cox, a self-described “investigative blogger,” was sued for libel by Obsidian Financial Group and one of its executives, Kevin Padrick, after Cox wrote that some of their business practices were “illegal” and “fraudulent.”

    As part of the discovery process, Obsidian demanded to know the identity of the confidential sources Cox said she had relied on in the course of reporting her story. The trial was to be held in Oregon, and she invoked that state’s shield law, which gives journalists a limited ability to protect their sources.

  • More on the journalists-aren’t-bloggers ruling – The redoubtable David Carr has an interesting column in today’s New York Times in which he reports that “investigative blogger” Crystal Cox’s conduct was considerably beyond the pale of what anyone would consider journalism. (My Huffington Post commentary on the case is here.)

    But if her behavior was that egregious, then the plaintiffs should have had no problem convincing a jury that she acted negligently (or worse). The negligence standard is a vital constitutional protection regardless of whether those benefitting from it are sympathetic figures.

    In order to prove libel, a plaintiff must show that information published or broadcast about him was false and defamatory. Starting with the 1964 case of New York Times v. Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court began to require a third element as well: fault. The regime that’s in effect today was solidified by the 1974 case of Gertz v. Robert Welch. Here’s what the courts mean by “fault”:

    A public official or public figure must show that what was published or broadcast about him was done so with knowing falsity, or with “reckless disregard” of whether it was true or false.
    A private figure must show that the defendant acted negligently when it published or broadcast false, defamatory information about the plaintiff.

    U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez, in his pretrial ruling, obliterated the fault requirement for any defendant except those he deems to be journalists, ignoring the Supreme Court’s longstanding position that the First Amendment applies equally to all of us — for the “lonely pamphleteer” as much as for major newspaper publishers, as Justice Byron White put it in Branzburg v. Hayes (1972).

    Hernandez’s contention that journalists enjoy greater free-speech protections than non-journalists is an outrage, and should not be allowed to stand.

  • The Morning Flap: December 12, 2011 | Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: December 12, 2011 #tcot #catcot
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share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 7, 2011

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
share save 120 16 The Afternoon Flap: December 7, 2011

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