Ben Carson, midway through a trip to Israel - sees the realities of the Holy Land

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 09:54

Ben Carson is midway through a significant trip to Israel to see the Holy Land for himself - including the spiritual, political and security-minded factors that are realities for the nation. His journey includes a visit to Nazareth, Galilee and Bethlehem - along with tours of the Gaza strip, terrorist ...

Rubio slams Cuba agreement, says Obama is 'willfully ignorant'

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 09:44

Calling President Obama "willfully ignorant" and "the worst negotiator" the U.S. has had in decades, Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesdayslammed the administration's agreement with Cuba to open normal diplomatic relations for the first time in more than 50 years,vowing that the incoming Republican majority in the Senate will try to ...

Martha McSally declared winner in last outstanding U.S. House race in Arizona

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 09:39

Republican Martha McSally was declared the winner in Arizona's 2nd congressional district race Wednesday, defeating Democratic Rep. Ron Barber by 167 votes out of about 220,000 cast.

The election marks a turnaround from 2012, when Mr. Barber, who was wounded along with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a January 2011 shooting ...

113th Congress ends with more fights than feats

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 09:30

WASHINGTON (AP) - The tempestuous 113th Congress has limped out of Washington for the last time, capping two years of modest and infrequent legislating that was overshadowed by partisan clashes, gridlock and investigations.

"Thank God it's over," Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said as he left the Capitol late ...

Florida editorial roundup

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 09:19

Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:

Dec. 13

News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Florida, on state's pension:

Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday named Julie Jones as secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. When she takes the helm of the nation's third-largest penal system Jan. 5, she will become the ...

Supreme Court Spotlight: Free Speech, Facebook, and “True Threats”

Freedom Works - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:54

After being estranged from his wife and fired from his job, Anthony Elonis began posting a series of disturbing Facebook statuses that spoke of harming and killing his ex-wife, initiating “the most heinous school-shooting ever imagined,” and blowing up FBI agents.

Elonis was charged in December 2010 with “transmitting in interstate commerce communications containing a threat to injure the person of another in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c).” After being successfully indicted, a trial jury convicted Elonis on four counts. After a series of appeals, the Supreme Court has taken up the case.

Elonis questions whether a conviction of threatening another person requires proof of subjective or objective intent to threaten. He argues proof of subjective intent is indeed required for a proper conviction. According to Elonis, his trial jury was incorrectly instructed to judge the case on whether a “reasonable person” would interpret the language as a true threat. In fact, Elonis argues Virginia v. Black holds that subjective intent is required under the First Amendment’s true threat exception. If subjective intent is required under set precedent, then the “reasonable person” standard is not valid.

Over at the SCOTUS Blog, Lyle Dennitson reported on the intricacies of this case and the oral arguments in the Supreme Court. As Justice Kennedy pointed out, the term “true threat” is “a most unhelpful phrase” that results in a wide gap between two legal views to reconcile. One side argues that only the standard of a reasonable person identifying speech as threatening is enough for conviction; the other side argues you must definitively know the intent of the speaker himself in order to convict.

According to Denniston, Elonis’ attorney John P. Elwood faced a “flurry of often-contradictory questions,” as well as comments from justices that he argued the case in a way they were not expecting. In turn, the government’s attorney, Deputy Solicitor General Michael R. Dreeben, seemed to have the justices on his side when speaking about the target of the speech, but may have pushed his argument too far at other times.

The justices explored whether purpose, knowledge, or even recklessness is proper standard for conviction. Also explored was the “reasonable person” standard, and who exactly that would include. Would you need to have an apples-to-apples comparison to find a “reasonable person” in the context? Would you need a teenager to judge threatening language used by another teenager in an online message to know if it is a true threat? The vague definition of who qualifies as reasonable has foreseeable complications.

How the court rules will be interesting because it must set a definition of proof, as Denniston explains. If the true threat exception is literally applied, then any threatening communication is a criminal act. Since the court has in the past stated the exception only applies for a “true threat,” the justices must determine how exactly to identify what is, or what is not, a true threat.

The case is filed as Elonis v. United States.

102K signatures for man trying to save home

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:45

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - An Atlantic City piano tuner whose family home is set to be taken by the state delivered an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures to Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday.

Charlie Birnbaum's petition targets the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority's plan to ...

A Few Confirmation Questions for Obama's SecDef Nominee

TownHall - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:30
Several senators returning in 2015, among them Diane Feinstein, John McCain and Joe Manchin, have already announced that they support President Barack Obama's nomination of Dr. Ashton Carter for secretary of defense. 2014-12-17T00:01:00-05:00 2014-12-17T16:30:11Z Austin Bay

Should Profiling Be Banned?

TownHall - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:30
Last week, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement. Before deciding whether this is good or bad policy, we might try to develop a description/definition of racial profiling or any other kind of profiling. 2014-12-17T00:01:00-05:00 2014-12-17T16:30:11Z Walter E. Williams

Obama is 'worst negotiator' since Jimmy Carter

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:21

First President Obama traded five Guantanamo terror detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now he swapped three Cuban spies for Alan Gross — moves that drew criticism slamming him as the 'worst negotiator' as president since Jimmy Carter.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, made the declaration Wednesday in the wake of ...

Government: Indicted pharmacists showed 'extreme and appalling indifference to human life.'

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 08:16

BOSTON (AP) - Government: Indicted pharmacists showed 'extreme and appalling indifference to human life.'

Bipartisanship Killed the Will of the People

TownHall - Wed, 2014-12-17 07:00
In the wake of the Cromnibus debacle, Republican congressional leadership pretty much turned their backs on wave voters for short term gain (and Democratic leaders did the same). Multiple readers at have asked, Well... now what? 2014-12-17T00:01:00-05:00 2014-12-17T15:00:08Z Nick Sorrentino

Jon Huntsman advises Jeb Bush: 'Gotta play Iowa'

Washington Times Politics - Wed, 2014-12-17 06:36

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, whose 2012 presidential bid ended shortly after his third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush could easily finish high enough in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses to spur on sufficient momentum for a 2016 run.

"You gotta play Iowa. You ...

Pregnant Students on Campus Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Their Child and Their Education

TownHall - Wed, 2014-12-17 06:30
Becoming unexpectedly pregnant while in college can be a scary situation for most women, and many of these students have no idea about the resources available to them on their college campuses to help them stay in school and parent their children. 2014-12-17T00:01:00-05:00 2014-12-17T14:30:14Z Kristan Hawkins

APEE: Banking and the State

Patriot Post - Wed, 2014-12-17 06:22

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