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The La's -- "Timeless Melody"

Welcome to the weekly open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Guardian article on Greece's Golden Dawn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    The Guardian has a great article about how the Greek Golden Dawn Party is becoming ever more overt in it's fascism due to electoral successes.  Quotes from Golden Dawn supporters in the article are literally right out of 1930's-40's Germany, complete with blaming the usual scapegoats for their country's failures.  In the recent EU elections they took 3 of 21 seats allocated to Greece, hold 21 seats in the Greek Parliament and are polling at around 10% (a good deal higher than their last election) for the next Greek Parliamentary elections.  There are a lot of scary, fast growing far-right parties in Europe and Golden Dawn is probably the nastiest of the bunch.

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    •  Geez (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      What do you think the best way to reduce their influence is? Banning the party won't eliminate their anti-democratic ideology. Violent suppression might backfire. Assuming the Greek economy doesn't appreciably improve anytime soon, is there any way to get rid of them?

      Well, if nothing else, I certainly won't be going to Greece anytime soon.

      (And I'd like to point out the irony of a party complaining about the economy while they themselves are hurting the economy by scaring tourists away.)

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 12:15:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have Greece's economy improve. (4+ / 0-)

        Extremism is always correlated with a poor economic situation.  Until then we just wait it out and assume that even in a depression a majority of Greece will continue to think Golden Dawn is crazy.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 12:42:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well that's great, but (0+ / 0-)

          obviously that's not going to happen quickly. And quite honestly, who would want to invest in Greece when they have these fascist lunatics running around?

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 12:54:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unfortunately I think he's right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            The far-right always seems to spike in popularity when economic times are bad.  Considering how open perties like Golden Dawn are about their craziness I'm not sure much can be done about them outside of hoping for an economic turnaround.  

            One thing that could ideally be done is a police crackdown on their street level hooliganism/crime caused by party members.  The problem is Golden Dawn has a good deal of support by Greece's police forces and in some places the party itself acts as a street level police force.

        •  Changing (0+ / 0-)

          the EU's immigration policies so Greece doesn't automatically become the default dumping ground for migrants would help as well. A lot of Golden Dawn's support is because the party is willing to lock immigrants up in concentration camps and mine the border with Turkey.

          The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

          by ehstronghold on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:21:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  this (0+ / 0-)

          The Nazi vote mostly dried up after the German economy started improving in the 1920s, and did not reappear until the Depression started.

          SSP poster. 45, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

          by sacman701 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 02:04:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The situation in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, ChadmanFL

    So Iraqi Kurdistan is going to be having an independence referendum shortly. Honestly, I think this is good news. I've always seen it as a particularly stable place, and a decent influence on the very divided region. Also, I think if Iraqi Kurdistan votes for independence, Syrian Kurdistan makes a similar move.

    The entire region could be in for a pretty huge change shortly.

    "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

    by anshmishra on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 04:01:46 PM PDT

    •  Under the circumstances (0+ / 0-)

      it may be a good move, but I wonder whether Turkey will declare war on them, and also how their relations with Iran would be.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 10:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Turkey wants it. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, ChadmanFL, jncca

        The Turkish government has been supporting the idea of an independent Iraqi Kurdistan. I'm assuming it's meant to be a bit of a buffer between it and Iraq. They weighed the PKK and ISIS and and thought ISIS presented more danger. And since everyone in the region hates ISIS, I think they'll all (Iran, Turkey, etc.) be focusing on that at first.

        "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

        by anshmishra on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 12:25:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's really interesting (0+ / 0-)

          and surprises me.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 02:42:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Isn't it? It's a very strange disconnect. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            We're seeing history in the making in that region.

            "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

            by anshmishra on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:55:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, probably a "lesser of two evils" thing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Turkey has always had poor relations with the Kurds, but at the same time they know ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in Iraq and Syria are a much bigger threat.  The last thing Turkey wants is the Iraq/Syria civil wars spilling over into their territory and the Kurds can provide a nice buffer zone.

          •  They may eventually regret this (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje, jncca

            But I like it, because one of the many bad moves after WWI was to deny the Kurds self-determination. They deserve a state of their own, and they've been much more competent in running their area of Iraq than anyone else has in other areas, and seemingly a lot less brutal.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:03:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There's already disputes arising over oil (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, MichaelNY

      There's a lot of money at stake depending on the fate of this oil tanker off the U.S. coast.  It'll be interesting to see if the U.S. recognizes an independent Kurdish state should the Iraqi Kurds vote for independence.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      Iraq persuaded a U.S. judge to order the seizure of $100 million of oil inside a tanker anchored off Galveston, Texas, that it claims was illegally pumped from wells in Kurdistan.

      Kurdish officials “misappropriated” more than 1 million barrels of oil from northern Iraq and exported them through a Turkish pipeline, according to a complaint filed yesterday in Houston federal court. U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson in Galveston authorized U.S. marshals to seize the cargo and have it moved ashore for safekeeping until the dispute is resolved.

      The problem, the judge said at an emergency hearing today, is that the vessel is outside U.S. territorial waters. She said if the ship crosses that boundary, her order must be enforced. But until that happens, it’s out of her hands.

      “Seems to me this is not a matter for U.S. courts to tell the government of Iraq who owns what,” Johnson said. “This just seems way outside our jurisdiction.”

      The U.S. officially recognizes Kurdistan as part of Iraq, although the Kurdish people have jockeyed with the Baghdad-based national government for autonomy for more than a decade. Oil revenues from the northern oil fields could fuel Kurdistan’s fight for independence.

      “Either they’ll bring the oil into port, where we’ll take possession of it, or they’ll sail off somewhere else,” Phillip Dye Jr., a Houston-based attorney for the Iraqi Oil Ministry, said in a telephone interview today. His clients don’t know who bought the cargo, and he said he had no reports that any oil has been removed from the tanker yet. In a separate court filing, AET Inc., a lightering services firm, identified Talmay Trading Inc. as the company that hired it to transfer the crude.

      •  I sincerely hope we do recognize an (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChadmanFL, MichaelNY, jncca

        independent Kurdish nation.

        "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

        by anshmishra on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:56:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If the Iraqi Kurds (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL, MichaelNY

          can create a functional nation, with an effective government and enforced borders, then I completely agree that we should recognize it.

          And then, if Turkey is smart, they'd try to get a lot of Turkish Kurds to move there.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:09:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, if Palestinians deserve a nation - (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          and I believe they do and that the US should recognize Palestine - surely, the Kurds do.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:22:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I doubt that there will be official recognition (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChadmanFL

          though. Compare Somaliland.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:23:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's my thinking (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            The Obama Administration is walking a tightrope.  I'm sure they'd like to fully recognize an independent Kurdistan, but at the same time I don't think they'd want to undermine Al-Maliki's government.  The Al-Maliki government's credibility has already suffered a near fatal blow with the disastrous string of defeats and lost territory to ISIS and it's Sunni allies.  I think you're right in that the U.S. would give Kurdistan some sort of lesser recognition, but falling short of officially recognizing it as an independent country.

  •  OT: So I was accepted for study abroad (9+ / 0-)

    at the University of Richmond!

  •  So (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    okiedem, MichaelNY

    since the NYPD has been in the news lately a lot and because I visited New York City two weeks ago I've been doing some reading on the "Broken Windows" theory of policing that Bill Braton employed back during the 1990's and his present stint as NYPD chief.

    For those who don't know the theory of Broken Windows is that by cracking down on relatively minor offenses (vandalism, fare evasion, panhandling, etc.) you prevent more serious crimes from being committed in the future.

    My question is do any of you believe Broken Windows works in practice and did it help in the huge drop in crime back during the Giuliani years. The answers I've read in Google are mixed and depend on your political viewpoints.

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:26:04 AM PDT

    •  You have to answer those two questions seperately (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, MichaelNY, KyleinWA

      (1) Did broken windows help in the drop in crime  back in the Giuliani year?

      To the extent it mattered at all Broken Windows policing was almost certainly not a decisive factor. Crime has dropped dramatically across the United States and across the developed world over the past twenty years. Because the drop has been so wide spread it's not possible to credit broken windows (or any single policing strategy) for the decline. Social scientists are unsure what has caused the drop (though the most interesting theory I have heard is that it is due to the decline in presence of atmospheric lead in the years leading up to this time period.

      http://www.motherjones.com/...

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      http://www.economist.com/...

      (2) Does Broken Windows work in practice?

      Although Broken Windows cannot be credited with the dramatic decline in crime it could have had some effect. To be fair, the decline in crime in New York has been greater than the decline in certain other cities such as Chicago and Philadelphia. Although I agree that the research is equivocal, I think economic factors are probably more significant in explaining why the decline has been so steep in New York. Cities that have experienced the greatest declines in crime (such as DC and NYC) have also experienced the most dramatic economic resurgences. In contrast the cities that have experienced lesser (but still very significant) drops in crime are cities whose economic situation is less robust (Chicgo, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis).

      28, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:35:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As for the massive crime drop of the '90s (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        USA629, ChadmanFL

        I generally believe Stephen Levitt's explanation that Roe v. Wade had a substantial role. There are a few other causes that are mentioned in Freakonomics as well.

        And if anyone hasn't read Freakonomics, or its sequel SuperFreakonomics, I highly recommend both.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:05:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it was both (0+ / 0-)

          certainly broken windows managed to get people off the street before they could do more damage, but the fact that there were less of these people to begin with once the Roe generation came of age is also a factor.

          idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

          by bonzo925 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:44:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not a huge fan of SuperFreakonomics (0+ / 0-)

          They really screw up the climate chapter, IMO. There's a lot of outright inaccurate information there.  
          Also they seem to prop up a patent troll.

          •  The climate chapter isn't perfect, (0+ / 0-)

            but the rest of the book is great.

            One reason why I still read the climate chapter, despite my being to the left of Levitt/Dubner on climate change, is because I enjoy reading conversations between really, really intelligent people, and the conversation between Nathan Myhrvold, Ken Caldeira, and the rest of them certainly fits the bill.

            Are you referring to Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures as a patent troll? Could you explain why you believe this? I admit that I don't know much about patents.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:24:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's an interesting theory but there are two (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stephen Wolf, James Allen, MichaelNY

          issues with it.

          (1) the drop in crime was international rather than national. The drop was evident across the developed world yet abortion laws only changed in the US during the relevant time period.

          (2) unlike the lead theory it doesn't explain the rise in crime (only the fall). Crime levels are currently more or less near their long-term averages in the developed world. However there was a significant spike between 1970-1990. Clearly abortion did not become less available between 1950-1970, so it cannot explain why crime rose during this time period. The lead theory does however explain both the rise (lead gas came into significant use in the post-war period) and the fall (it was banned across the rich world in the 1970s).

          There is certainly no clear cut answer for this, but I find the lead theory to be generally more persuasive than the abortion theory.

          28, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

          by okiedem on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Levitt did give one hypothesis (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChadmanFL

            for the rise in crime. He said that the relaxation of crime laws in the '60s (such as reduced sentences) gave people less incentive to not commit crimes, and thus crime increased. That theory makes sense to me.

            I hadn't heard of the lead theory before today. Has anyone explained how more atmospheric lead could result in higher crime rates? I'm not discounting the theory, I just want more information on it.

            I also hadn't heard that the drop in crime in the '90s was international rather than just in the U.S. Levitt did not mention that in his book.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:18:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Mother Jones article gives a very good (4+ / 0-)

              summary of the lead argument.

              http://www.motherjones.com/...

              It's basically that lead has demonstrated effect on cognitive ability and behavior and that it's concentration rose and fell in a very closely correlated manner with the rise and fall of crime.

              A good summary of the international nature of the fall in crime is here (apologies if it's behind a pay wall)

              http://www.economist.com/...

              28, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

              by okiedem on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:25:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I like how both (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                you and ChadmanFL below pointed me to the same article.

                But it's a very interesting read. Certainly, it fits right in with my environmentalist views. The first graph is really the best, particularly the dip in 1960/early '80s.

                I just have one question about that. Has anyone talked about why the rate of violent crime leveled off in the 2000s while the amount of lead in people has continued to decline to almost zero?

                I'd love to see a bunch of criminologists, psychologists, and neuroscientists jointly write an article about this.

                (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

                by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:42:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Here's a great article on the "lead theory" (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BvueDem, MichaelNY

              Which I firmly believe to be a sound theory.  Lead use peaked around 1970 an has been on a steep decline ever since.  The coorelation between lead use and crime is quite strong.  Basically toddlers who ingested high levels of lead during the Baby Boom era were much more likely to become criminals in the 60's-80's.  And considering lead was most heravily concentrated in impoverished, urban areas the theory is that's why the crime rate ended up being higher in those areas.  

              http://www.motherjones.com/...

    •  I think the following is the reason the crime rate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, MichaelNY

      Locking everyone in prison for even petty things is going to naturally get you a lower crime rate.  Of course that's not the society I want.  I'd rather have a somewhat higher crime rate than continue to support the astronomical costs of the (heavily privatized) prison-industrial complex.  

      Not to mention there are cheaper alternatives to prison, such as restoring the mental hospitals for mentally ill criminals who are currently just dumped into prisons where their problems will never be addressed.  

      http://www.sentencingproject.org/...

      •  Higher incarceration is a factor but most studies (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, BvueDem, MichaelNY

        have shown that it explains a relatively small portion of the decline.

        http://www.sentencingproject.org/...

        http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/...

        Moreover, most countries did not follow the path of the US in suddenly greatly increasing the incarceration rate, yet almost all developed countries say a significant decline in crime.

        28, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

        by okiedem on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm torn, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem

        because I do think that there are an unnecessarily large number of people in prison, but I also wouldn't want to do anything that would result in more crime. You probably see crime as a routine occurrence, which I imagine is why you'd be okay with a higher crime rate. I don't see it that way. In rural New England (and many other parts of the country), crime is pretty much nonexistent, and I'd like to keep it that way.

        I do think that there are a number of crimes whose offenders should go to rehabilitation facilities rather than prisons. And as for the cost argument, I really don't care about that; I think that ensuring a safe society is much more important than trying to reduce costs.

        These are some of the reasons why I'm not a "bleeding-heart" liberal.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:25:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like I said, it's a trade off (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje, BvueDem, MichaelNY

          It really depends on how much of your civil liberty you're willing to give up to get a lower crime rate.  If you want crime that's as low as it can get you'd have to look at countries with a police state as a model - like the former USSR and other dictatorial states.  Of course with the increasingly militaristic look of police forces in the United States I'd say we're getting there.

        •  Over half of the people in prison (0+ / 0-)

          are there for drug possession or sale or prostitution, and there are loads of poor people who are remanded to prison while awaiting trial, just because they can't afford bail. Many of them are eventually acquitted, yet they did time.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:30:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I personally don't like the idea of bail (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            mainly for the reasons that you specified. I think that it, in practice, clearly violates the guarantee of equal protection under the law in the Constitution, since, as you said, many people are forced to spend time in jail simply because they don't have a certain amount of money.

            FWIW, I would also be open to legalizing (and regulating) prostitution.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:14:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bail is needed for certain charges (0+ / 0-)

              And unfortunately, there are certain charges for which I believe a remand is necessary. But there are an awful lot of poor people who can't afford to put down a hundred bucks or whatever, and they shouldn't be put in jail for 2 years while awaiting trial. If they are remanded and then found not guilty, the state should pay them thousands of dollars in damages for false imprisonment.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:58:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  i'm acually pretty far left on crime issues (0+ / 0-)

          I think Life sentences are the wrong things to do for the worst offenders. Instead of locking them up for decades and bankrupting our prisons, I think a win-win situation is that any sentence that comes with a life (or death penalty) type punishment should be replaced by a revocation of citizenship.

          idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

          by bonzo925 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:13:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Empirically, I believe that this policy helped (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      okiedem

      But as okiedem says, there were many factors at play. Community policing, (re)instituted under David Dinkins, and CompStat, specifically inasmuch as it was used to direct police officers to high-crime blocks and corners, were also important.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:26:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thoughts on encouragement of judicial retirement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChadmanFL

    It's actually quite an exciting time if you like monitoring the party-appointed composition of the federal courts. Obama has done a decent job of filling seats and we've now held the White House for 14 of the past 22 years (after having held it for 8 of 28), and our advantage in federal courts is pretty quickly approaching that ratio. With it looking looking better than even odds that we'll win again in 2016 (with decent Senate control), we can envision the prospect of controlling appointments for 24 of 32 years. Additionally, Dubya didn't have the outsized effect on the judiciary that Carter did, the latter of which allowed Clinton to replace a significant number of willing (same-party) retirees. Beyond the impending retirement of Ginsburg, Breyer will likely retire either next Congress or in 2017 if we control the White House. I can also pretty well guarantee that Scalia and Kennedy won't make it to 2025, and I can easily see Kennedy retiring in 2017. Supreme Court aside, the Appellate Courts are a clear game of chess, and district courts are a pretty random game of chance.

    What I'm interested in is what people think with regard to liberal and moderate Appellate judges' responsibility is towards ensuring that they have judicially sound replacements. Party of appointment is of course not always an indicator of judicial philosophy, but it is the vast majority of the time. Federal judges can assume senior status at the age of 65, allowing their seats to filled. Given that 93 of the 171 active Appellate judges will be retirement age by the time Obama leaves office, it's obvious that most won't leave office by that time, let alone in time for their seats to be filled during the next Congress. Those 93 retirement-age judges are: 1 Ford, 2 Carter, 15 Reagan, 9 Bush Sr., 33 Clinton, 24 Dubya and 9 Obama. The 78 younger judges are 8 Clinton, 28 Dubya and 42 Obama.

    While I look forward to the Reagan and Sr. judges leaving the active judiciary (OMFG a world without Richard Posner!!), we can hardly expect most of them or Dubya's appointments to care whether or not their replacements are qualified. Nor are Obama's (oldest two are 67) likely to assume senior status (though Clinton-Obama nominee Andre Davis has). That leaves us with the Carter and Clinton appointees. Carter's two and 7 of Clinton's sit on the very liberal 9th, so they don't matter as much, and three more of Clinton's are 63-64 currently.

    That leaves us with 23 Clinton appointees, listed
    District: (% Dem appointees, % Dem appointees without them), name (birthyear)

    1: (67%, 50%), Sandra Lynch (1946)
    2: (57%, 43%), Rosemary Pooler (1938), José Cabranes (1940)
    3: (57%, 29%), Julio Fuentes (1946), Marjorie Rendell (1947), Theodore McKee (1947), Thomas Ambro (1949)
    4: (71%, 50%), Robert King (1940), Diana Motz (1943), William Traxler (1948)
    5: (29%, 24%), James Dennis (1936)
    6: (31%, 19%), Eric Clay (1948), Karen Moore (1948)
    7: (27%, 18%), Ann Claire Williams (1949)
    8: (27%, 9%), Diana Murphy (1934), Kermit Bye (1937)
    10: (50%, 33%), Carlos Lucero (1940), Mary Briscoe (1947)
    11: (58%, 42%), Stanley Marcus (1946), Frank Hull (1948)
    Fed: (58%, 50%), Timothy Dyk (1937)
    DC: (64%, 45%), Judith Rogers (1939), David Tatel (1942)

    This is particularly concerning for the DC Circuit, as well as for our position on the 2nd, 4th and 10th Circuits and any chances of making up ground on the 5th and 8th. While ideally politics and judiciary are separate, but that is only possible in a society without administrative law. Now, given that it is clear that any potential GOP president, with Christie a possible exception, would appoint extreme and politically motivated activist judges, is it now a federal judge's responsibility to maintain the sanctity of law through the manipulation of their successor? While I would likely have said no ten years ago, I lean heavily towards yes of this question.

    So what do you guys think? Do Rosemary Pooler, José Cabranes, Bruce King, Diana Motz, James Dennis, Diana Murphy, Kermit Bye, Carlos Lucero, Judith Rogers and David Tatel in particular face a civic duty to assume senior status in the very near future?

    ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

    by GoUBears on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 02:03:57 PM PDT

    •  I would like to see no efforts made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      to try to tell judges what to do. I understand why activists want people to retire, but it's insulting to the people involved. Judges have the right to work as long as they choose to. They're professionals. I think we owe them that basic human respect.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:31:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        I think the responsibility is on voters and elected officials.

        We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

        by James Allen on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:35:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I (0+ / 0-)

        wouldn't be so bold as to say that any of these individuals are not qualified for their positions (though, e.g. Manuel Real famously isn't). However, it's a pretty ridiculous notion that the self-choice of the age of retirement is expectable (though the right of the elderly not to have to work is), particularly among individuals who have a profound impact on the lives of others. Medical professionals must be fit for their job. Lawyers encounter stamina issues in old age and become irrelevant if they are unable to produce satisfactory results. The vast majority of professors retire right around 65, and if a school deems a tenured  professor unfit, they can simply remove their responsibilities (though not their paycheck). Relevant scientists very rarely retain the ability to construct (let alone conduct) cutting-edge research much past their 50s. Google and Apple have quite clearly shown that technological development requires young minds. I realize that these judges delegate however much of their work to their clerks as they desire, and that wisdom and knowledge accumulate in the case of most judges, but those do not seem remotely legitimate excuses to not take a caseload reduction in order to do what the judiciary exists for, to protect society from itself.

        ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

        by GoUBears on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 09:46:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My mother had just be reelevated to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Audrid, GoUBears, James Allen

          Chairmanship of her Anthropology Department at the age of 78, and died suddenly and unexpectedly during the summer. She had taught at an extremely high level throughout her entire career, and was still doing scholarly work that was interrupted by her death.

          It sounds to me like you'd like to reinstitute a form of age discrimination. Since you're bringing up judges, do you seriously think that Justice Stevens was not competent to continue acting as a Supreme Court Justice in his 80s? Who do you want to empower to determine when a judge is no longer competent, and how could such a panel possibly be made free of partisan bias and ageism?

          I agree that life tenure has in some cases produced awkward situations in which Justices tried to hang on so as not to leave an opening to be filled by a president they despised from the opposing party, but in extreme situations, impeachment is always possible, and I think that the solution you're hinting at is worse than the problem, and leaving well enough alone would be the best route.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:11:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hardly think that anybody (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            has the ability to determine continued eligibility, and I would oppose any such effort, first because of its doubtful validity and second because if I believe that politically-timed retirement is a new civic duty it by definition must be self-imposed.  In large part the reason I believe that there may be a valid aspect to this is that these judges can 'retire' without personal ramifications. They aren't even forced to take a reduced caseload, and many of Clinton's best appointees are still working full-time as senior judges. That's why, honestly, I think it's a much greater cause for celebration when a conservative judge retires fully, such as Rader did last month. That likely saved us another 6000 cases with his fingerprints stamped on them.

            ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

            by GoUBears on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 05:14:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Incidentally (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            There's already a procedure to file a complaint if a judge is incapable of conducting his/her business.

          •  Mandatory retirement is common in state courts (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            I haven't done a full canvass of the requirements on state supreme courts, but it appears that it's really common for those courts to have a mandatory retirement age, usually 70. Most of the state supreme courts that don't have mandatory retirement have fixed-length terms.

            •  Yes, I remember when Chief Judge (0+ / 0-)

              Judith Kaye had to retire from the New York State Court of Appeals, the top court in New York State.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 06:24:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  70 is the mandatory for Florida Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              In 2017 one of the court's Democrats - interestlingly enough appointed by then republican Governor Crist will hit mandatory retirement age.  This makes putting Crist back in the Governor's office all the more important.  Right now the court of 4D-2R-1I (who usually sides with the left side of the court).  Replacing Justice Perry with a Rick Scott appointee would create a very divided court with 3D-3R and the fairly centrist Labarga being the swing vote.

              After Perry the next openings on the Florida court are 2019 then the three Democratic appointees of Lawton Chiles who have been in office since the late 1990's hit mandatory retirement.  Those opening will shape the future of the Florida Supreme Court for a long time.  A GOP Governor making those 2019 appointments could conceivably eliminate every Democrat from the court.

    •  I believe that the smart thing to do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      is retire when you will be replaced by someone ideologically similar. While I'd love for the judiciary to be divorced from politics, that isn't reality.

      When it comes to the Supreme Court I would much prefer 18 or 27 year fixed terms, which would: a) somewhat stop political retirements and b) make a situation where this is a semi-senile judge less likely).  

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:30:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, we could propose terms (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        USA629

        But that's different from trying to pressure sitting judges with life terms to retire. I don't think that would go over well at all.

        If it were up to me, I'd suggest a single 18-year term for Supreme Court, then possible 10-year terms afterwards, theoretically in perpetuity, subject to a new vote each time by the Legislature (right now, it's just the Senate, but I'd like to abolish the Senate, if I had my way), with the president having no ability to block the Justices in question from requesting confirmation to a new term by the Legislature. I doubt that this is really so necessary for lower courts, which have more turnover, but I wouldn't strenuously object to such terms for all Federal judges.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 01:03:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Big Problems (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Anything requiring re-confirmation could bias justices to rule in a politically popular way; the whole point of the current judicial system is to avoid such an outcome.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 09:37:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  anyone up for doing what they do in Iowa (0+ / 0-)

      on the federal level, which is that the judges are on the ballot every four or eight years (can't remember which) and you vote to retain or not retain them? Most of the time it isn't a big deal since a lot of people leave that part blank

      idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

      by bonzo925 on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:15:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Government has filed en banc petition (0+ / 0-)

    in the Halbig case before the DC circuit.

    Yesterday, the challengers in the King case field a petition to the SCOTUS. 4th Circuit is now majority Dem appointees(elections matter, example #15769348) so it didnt make sense for en banc petition there.

    Will interesting to see what SCOTUS does. Accepting the King petition would mean a decision in the coming term. Declining would mean a decision in the next term at the earliest. Assuming they take any case.

  •  future of the U.S.-Mexico border (0+ / 0-)

    In thirty or forty years, does anyone see it possible that there will be some buffer zone between the U.S. and Mexico similar to that of Israel and Palestine?

    Another possibility is that of Eastern Europe in the mid 20th century with parts of CA, AZ, NM and TX being "satellite states" of Mexico.

    Anyone see any of these things as possibilities?

    idiosyncratic, slightly anarchist, darwinist, moral relativist, fan of satire

    by bonzo925 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:40:17 PM PDT

    •  lolwut (0+ / 0-)

      You're not serious...

    •  why are so many of your ideas bad (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      USA629, Skaje, okiedem, skibum59

      and reminiscent of racist conspiracy theories conjured up by fringe loons?

      Where does a conspiracy theory come from? Often, it is generated by fringe groups whose information is picked up by more credible sources, until it eventually reaches the mass media. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Potok cites the example of what is known as the “Aztlan Conspiracy,’’ which holds that Mexico is secretly planning to invade the United States and retake seven states in the Southwest. The law center traced the theory to a radical anti-immigration group of about a half-dozen Americans. The idea was picked up and promoted by larger and larger groups, until finally Lou Dobbs, the well-known broadcaster who was then working at CNN, mentioned it.

      “That’s how it goes,’’ Potok says. “It starts with a fringe group, and, before you know it, it’s on national television, which makes it incredibly difficult to have a serious conversation about immigration.”

      We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

      by James Allen on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 07:42:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um no (0+ / 0-)

      I'll pretend that this is a serious question, and not just some fantasy that you hope happens.

      There's a far better chance of the Israel/Palestine situation being resolved than that kind of a border situation.
      Mexico also will be more "Westernized" in 30-40 years as well.

      This kind of Pat Buchanan style racist nonsense is not likely.  Most of the people who subscribe to this kind of shit are old racist whites who are dying anyway.    

    •  This is peak bonzo925/ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sapelcovits

      demographicarmageddon.

      I like to imagine that this user is just an elaborate troll. Otherwise it would be hard to believe that someone could think it was a good use of time to post elaborate racist conspiracy theories on a Democratic/progressive site.

      28, originally OK-1, currently NY-10. Former swingnut.

      by okiedem on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 03:04:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well at least he's moved on from eugenics (0+ / 0-)

      There's that...

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