Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday Morning Round-Up

1. Iraq is moving ahead with a referendum on the Iraq-US security agreement. Such is the perils of democracy. Though Iraqi leaders would almost certainly prefer American troops stay in the country, they can't afford to oppose the referendum in an election year.

2. The Obama administration signals that they may move away from a policy of isolation with the regime in Burma. Since that hasn't worked to date, I think it's worth trying something new.

3. The Senate is moving ahead with a bill that would give the FDA the power to regulate tobacco products.

4. A profile of the guard killed in yesterday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. It would be interesting to ask the murderer what he thought he might accomplish with his act, though fanatics always seem to have a grander view of their place in the world than most of the rest of us do. I visited the museum when I was at law school in D.C., and was surprised at the heavy security required to enter the museum. Now I understand.

5. Some local news: Dallas County meals on wheels needs help. They don't need your money, so much as they need volunteers to deliver meals so they won't have to pay drivers to do so. If you'd like to help, more information is here. Also, local residents know about the odd series of minor earthquakes the area has experienced in recent months. Scientists at SMU hope to get to the bottom of the mystery.

6. Two mentally disabled men in Texas have (separately) been given ridiculously long sentences for molesting young children. Even the jury in Hart's case was shocked by the 100-year sentence the man, reported to have an IQ of roughly 47, received. The question I would like to ask the prosecutors in this case is, if both men are reported to have IQs themselves that are roughly equivalent to those of young children, why are they sentenced as if they were fully functioning adults? And, the Hart story points out, repeat sex offenders routinely receive shorter sentences than these men did, which raises the question of whether there is some discrimination against the mentally disabled going on here, at least in my mind.

7. Perhaps you heard about the collapse of the Cowboy's practice facility in Valley Ranch, Irving, last month that paralyzed a Cowboys scouting assistant? It appears the Cowboys knew of a similar incident involving a canopy built by the contractor they hired. While this isn't exactly proof of negligence on the Cowboys part, it sure does make it easier to add the Cowboys to the lawsuit that I'm sure is being contemplated against the contractor.

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