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As Expected

The Pensacola News Journal carries the report: Judge in Pensacola strikes down Obama health care.

Judge Roger Vinson is a Senior Judge on the local US District Court, and he gets all of the cases the other judges don’t want to deal with, like the terrorism cases against women’s health clinics and the local ordinance that banned The Last Temptation Of Christ. He is a literalist and doesn’t stretch the law at all, which is what you expect from an Annapolis graduate.

That is why he threw the entire law out, unlike Judge Hudson who only ruled the mandate unConstitutional. Judge Vinson didn’t see a severability clause, so the whole thing gets bounced. It was fairly obvious that this would be his ruling to anyone at the oral arguments.

This thing was always going to the Supreme Court and now you will have cases on their way to the 11th Circuit as well as the 4th so the hearing is closer.

January 31, 2011   7 Comments

End Game

I just want Mr. Mubarak to know that there are a number of very desirable properties available for reasonable prices in my area, and that the local Republican politicians have no problem with deposed dictators living in the area.

The Egyptian military has made an announcement that they would not use force against the demonstrators and that the demonstrators have “legitimate” complaints.

The new Vice President, Omar Suleiman, announced that he will be meeting with opposition groups to negotiate an ending to the current situation.

There are three, identifiable major players among the opposition groups:

The April 6 Youth Movement are the people that started the protests. They are a loose association of Internet savvy young Egyptians who are concerned with economic conditions and democracy. Politically, they can’t be placed because they aren’t politically inclined, i.e. they aren’t espousing any particular political ideology, they just want everyone to have the right to support their own politics without getting arrested and/or beaten up. More than anything they want decent jobs.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest opposition group in Egypt, and they are banned. They are definitely Islamists, Pan-Islamists actually, but they back non-violence. Many groups that are identified with the MB actually left because of the prohibition against violence. The MB are convinced that they are right, and will win in the end because they are right, so there is no need for violence. “There is no reason to steal what you will be given”. as someone once said to me.

Mohamed ElBaradei is new to the Egyptian political scene, but is well known to the world. He came out early in support of the protests, and while he lacks any deep political support among Egyptians, he would be very important to establishing the global credibility of any new government. He has Islamic credibility for telling the Hedgemony to stuff it on multiple occasions over Iran’s nuclear program. He would make a good “head of state”, as opposed to a prime minister in a parliamentary system.

We will have to wait to see what happens when Mubarak leaves, because it is certain that he is leaving now that the military has sided with the protestors.

January 31, 2011   4 Comments

Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi

Severe Tropical Cyclone YasiPosition: 14.1S 156.5E [ 9 PM CST 0300 UTC 1PM AEST].
Movement: West-Southwest [255°] near 25 mph [40 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 115 mph [185 kph].
Wind Gusts: 145 mph [230 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 185 miles [295 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 40 miles [ 65 km].
Minimum central pressure: 955 mb ↓.

Currently about 740 miles [1185 km] East-Northeast of Cairns, Australia in the Coral Sea.

A Cyclone Warning is in effect for coastal areas from Cooktown to Sarina.

A Cyclone Watch is in effect for coastal and island communities North and South of the Warning area from Lockhart River to Yeppoon and adjacent inland areas in Queensland.

This classified as a Category 3 Severe Tropical Cyclone, and if the forecasts are correct it will be a Category 4 or 5 by the time it makes landfall. The storm is spinning up over very warm water and is expanding, so it will affect a wide area, not just the center of the track.

The tracking is edging southward slightly from the last forecast and the eye is tightening.

Check the Australian BoM Cyclone page for the most current information.

January 31, 2011   6 Comments