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Archive for August, 2008

In today’s NYTimes, Jodi Kantor has an article examining the inner persona of Barack Obama.  It’s an interesting read, if only because it provides a glimpse into how friends and associates of Obama understand him and his thought processes, but I don’t know if the piece hits the right mark.

Now, readers of my posts here will know that I strongly supported Obama’s candidacy during the primaries, and obviously support him for the general election.  But even I think that this quote goes too far:

He developed a self-discipline so complete, friends and aides say, that he has established dominion over not only what he does but also how he feels.

What!?  What does that even mean?  I never bought into the complaints, primarily from the Clinton camp, that the press gave Obama a pass when it came to objective reporting.  But I really think that with a quote like that, the paper went too far.  There are others, but I think this is the most outlandish.  Read in the context of the rest of the article, that quote seems to suggest that Obama is a transcendent glorious figure – precisely the stereotype that the GOP has been trying to paint him with, unfairly I would add.

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I suppose its not a great sign of consistency if in the first week of a new daily feature I forget to post something.  In any event, daily reading is back.

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Well, now its official.  Barack Obama has become the first major party African American nominee for President.

A child killer smiles to the judge as he is sentenced to death in Idaho.

Human rights watch – A Nepalese man sues KBR, an American firm, for human trafficking in Iraq.

Prof. Pasquale wonders what’s more secure: trade secrets or state secrets?

Can you really get tossed from the House that Ruth Built for skipping Kate’s Smith rendition of “God Bless America?

Are high food prices a boon for African farmers?

Nude surfers are fighting to keep their beach open.

Prof. Lindgren contemplates mandatory volunteerism under “President Obama’s” community involvement proposal.

A few days late, but Prof. Rosen looks at Senator Biden’s role in the nomination hearings of Robert Bork.

And Prof. Kerr offers some advice to 1Ls over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Make sure to check out Ms. Heckert’s post on the same here. (I know, I know, its not Ms. Heckert anymore, but it still remains her blog name)

Happy Thursday!

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New Lunch Spots?

Hi, all, I hope you all won’t mind a faculty member blogging here from time to time. While I normally satisfy my blogging urges over at another blog, sometimes I have ideas for posts that are more GW-specific. For example, with the new semester underway, I think it’s time to take stock of the new places to eat lunch around the GW law campus. One happy change is the new sushi place next to the APB in the 2000 Penn complex; for those who don’t venture into 2000 Penn, it replaced the “La Prima” that had been there for ages.

Anything else? More broadly, what are the lunch places near campus that deserve wider recognition?

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This week at the Democratic convention in Denver, the Democratic Party will vote on its platform. I’m sure there are a lot of significant changes to the platform, but one change, allowing gays and lesbians (I will use the term gay to encompass both in this post) to serve openly in the military, is particularly relevant to my internship this semester and I wanted to open up a discussion about it on the blog. I am working for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), an organization that works to overturn “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” and provides free legal advice and representation to members of the military affected by “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”

To give a little historical background, before “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” became policy in 1993, gays were expressly prohibited from serving in the military. Enlistment forms included a question asking potential service members if they were gay. During his presidential campaign Bill Clinton supported open service for gay people. However Congress passed a watered down version of open service which became known as “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.” This bill removed from the enlistment forms the question asking people if they were gay. The idea behind the policy was that no one would ask service members about their sexuality and gay service members were not supposed to talk about their sexuality. At the time it appeared to be a compromise allowing gay people to serve quietly.

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Library Etiquette

Fall semester is here! The 1Ls are fastidiously highlighting every sentence of their casebooks with an assortment of colors, 2Ls are sweating through their wool suits, and 3Ls . . . . what do 3Ls do anyway? Everyone is in the law school getting in the swing of things. All 1200+ of us are going to be in close contact for the next couple of months. So I think it’s time we address some of the unspoken rules that accompany life at the law school. For today’s piece, I’d like to focus on library/studying etiquette. Whether we like it or not, most of us are going to spend time in the school studying. And since GW has a lot of students, we’re going to be studying up in each other’s grills. The following rules are things that I gleaned from my first year at GW:

1. No loud or stinky eating! I can’t begin to express the rage that enters my heart when I hear wet smacking noises next to me. It’s one thing to be eating while you’re in the hard lounge. But for the love of Jacob Burns, please do not eat loudly in the quiet study areas. You shouldn’t eat in the library at all. But if you must feed that hungry brain, please do so with something that doesn’t crunch, smack, or stink.

2. Turn off your computer’s speakers.

3. Don’t talk in a loud voice. I can understand saying a few things to your neighbor in a low whisper, but when you’re in the quiet areas, no loud talking please.

4. Turn down your iPod. For those of you who like to study while listening to music, please turn down your iPod. Journey and Crim Pro just don’t go well together for me.

5. Be considerate of where your things are. The library’s going to be crowded sometimes. Don’t hog two spaces at a table with your books and papers. Not cool.

Do any other unspoken rules come to mind?

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All of those summer associate outings are just a test!

John Tierney wonders how we can get smarter in the face of artificial intelligence.

I sing the body electric! Well, actually, I sing about the body! (slight nudity)

College professors are looking to lower the drinking age.

The Heller case cost the winning attorneys over $3.5 million!

Russia has upped the ante in Georgia by recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

What’s going on at Apple?

Happy Tuesday!

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Let’s play a word association game. I’ll throw out a word, and you respond with the first thought that pops into your mind. Ok? Great!

Beauty pageant?

Nuns?

Nuns in a beauty pageant?

Wait, huh?

In an effort to showcase that nuns aren’t all “old and dour”, a priest in Naples is organizing the first ever “Miss Sister 2008” online beauty pageant. Sisters will have the choice of whether to pose with or without their traditional veil.

Read more about the contest here.

Thoughts anyone?

(Hat tip: Sister Mary Rachael)

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