September 2, 2006
Could Mencken Write for a Newspaper Today?
"Doubtful," according to Texas Law Prof Brian Leiter. Read why. [JH]
New Study Ranks Newspapers on Crucial 'Integrated' Readership
The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update, August 2006
September 1, 2006
Locke Would Have Tolerated Our Belated Happy Birthday
John Locke was born 374 years ago on August 29, 1632. Here's the text of his timeless Letter Concerning Toleration (1689). [JH]
Snooping Through Library Records Is Popular
That right or so thinks political pundit Dick Morris. Read more about it. [JH]
Spam from Lawyers
Crime & Federalism has the story. [JH]
Updated CRS Report: Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress
From the summary: Cuba has remained a hard-line communist state under Fidel Castro for more than 47 years, but Fidel’s July 31, 2006, announcement that he was ceding political power to his brother Raúl “for several weeks” in order to recover from surgery could the beginning of a political transition, whether Fidel returns to power or not. Since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has consisted largely of isolating the island nation through comprehensive economic sanctions, which have been significantly tightened by the Bush Administration. Another component of U.S. policy consists of support measures for the Cuban people, including private
humanitarian donations and U.S.-sponsored radio and television broadcasting to Cuba. While there appears to be broad agreement on the overall objective of U.S. policy toward Cuba — to help bring democracy and respect for human rights to the island — there are several schools of thought on how to achieve that objective: some advocate maximum pressure on Cuba until reforms are enacted; others argue for lifting some U.S. sanctions judged to be hurting the Cuban people; and still others for a swift normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations.
In the 109th Congress, legislative initiatives include six human rights resolutions: House-passed H.Con.Res. 81, H.Res. 193, and H.Res. 388; Senate passed S.Res. 140 and S.Res. 469; and H.Con.Res. 165. In addition, P.L. 109-102 funds Cuba democracy projects in FY2006, H.R. 5522 would fund FY2007 democracy projects, House-passed H.R. 2601 would authorize $5 million for scholarship and exchange programs, and S. 3769 would authorize assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition in Cuba.
With regard to sanctions, the House-passed FY2007 Treasury Department appropriations bill, H.R. 5576, prohibits funds from being used to implement tightened restrictions on financing for agricultural exports to Cuba; the President has threatened to veto the bill if it weakens Cuba sanctions. Other initiatives include H.Con.Res. 206 (suspension of sanctions after Hurricane Dennis); H.R. 208 and H.R. 579 (overall sanctions); S. 894 and H.R. 1814 (travel); H.R. 2617 (family visits); H.R. 3064 (educational travel); H.R. 1339 and S. 634 (cash in advance for U.S. agricultural sales); and H.R. 719 and S. 328 (facilitation of agricultural sales). Other measures have provisions on Cuba’s trademark registrations (H.R. 719, S. 328, H.R. 3372, S. 1604, H.R. 1689 and S. 69); Cuba broadcasting (P.L. 109-108, S. 600, H.R. 2601, H.R. 5522, and H.R. 5672); anti-drug cooperation (H.R. 5522); U.S. fugitives in Cuba (H.R. 2601, H.R. 332); sanctions related to Cuba’s offshore oil development (H.R. 5292, S. 2682, S. 2795); authorization for participation in Cuba’s offshore oil development (H.R. 5353, S. 2787); support for U.S. diplomats in Cuba (H.Con.Res. 428); repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act (H.R. 5670); and travel related to the sale of agricultural and medical goods to Cuba (H.R. 5384).
Recent NBER Reports
Recent NBER reports include:
- Globalization and Democracy
- Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined? Another Look
- Openness and Industrial Response in a Wal-Mart World: A Case Study of Mexican Soaps, Detergents and Surfactant Producers
Globalization and Democracy
by Barry Eichengreen
The connections between globalization and democracy are a classic question in international political economy and a topic much debated in foreign policy circles. While the analytical literature is extensive, few previous studies have acknowledged the possibility of bidirectional causality or developed an instrumental variables strategy suitable for addressing it. We do so in this paper and apply our approach to an extensive historical data set. The results suggest the existence of positive relationships running both ways between globalization and democracy, though exceptions obtain at particular times (during the Bretton Woods era) and places (in labor scarce economies).
Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined? Another Look
by Alan J. Auerbach
As a share of GDP, U.S. federal tax revenues from nonfinancial corporations have held relatively constant since the early 1980s, after falling precipitously during the late 1960s and the 1970s. But this relative constancy masks offsetting trends in the ratio of nonfinancial C corporation profits to GDP (declining) and the average tax rate on these profits (increasing). The average tax rate rose steadily between 1996 and 2003, an increase largely attributable to an unprecedented rise in the importance of tax losses. This rise casts some doubt on the importance of tax planning activities as a vehicle for reducing corporate taxes. So, too, does the relative stability of the rate of profit (relative to net assets), which might be expected to have declined had the understatement of profits for tax purposes been increasing.
Openness and Industrial Response in a Wal-Mart World: A Case Study of Mexican Soaps, Detergents and Surfactant Producers
by Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, Wolfgang Keller, James R. Tybout
This paper uses a case study approach to explore the effects of NAFTA and GATT membership on innovation and trade in the Mexican soaps, detergents and surfactants (SDS) industry. Several basic findings emerge. First, the most fundamental effect of NAFTA and the GATT on the SDS industry was to help induce Wal-Mart to enter Mexico. Once there, Walmex fundamentally changed the retail sector, forcing SDS firms to cut their profit margins and/or innovate. Those unable to respond to this new environment tended to lose market share and, in some cases, disappear altogether. Second, partly in response to Walmex, many Mexican producers logged impressive efficiency gains during the previous decade. These gains came both from labor-shedding and from innovation, which in turn was fueled by innovative input suppliers and by multinationals bringing new products and processes from their headquarters to Mexico. Finally, although Mexican detergent exports captured an increasing share of the U.S. detergent market over the past decade, Mexican sales in the U.S. were inhibited by a combination of excessive shipping delays at the border and artificially high input prices (due to Mexican protection of domestic caustic soda suppliers). They were also held back by the major re-tooling costs that Mexican producers would have had to incur in order to establish brand recognition among non-Latin consumers, and in order to comply with zero phosphate laws in many regions of the United States.
Opening: Reference Librarian, Fordham Law School
The Fordham University Law School Library seeks an energetic, innovative, and dedicated librarian to fill an open reference librarian position. JD and MLS are required. For a detailed job description, please visit: http://www.fordham.edu/Campus_Resources/Administrative_Offic/Human_Resources/Employment/Career_Opportunities/Career_Opportunity_L_14241.asp
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references to: Mike Slauenwhite, Asst. Dean for Administration, Fordham University School of Law, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, New York. FAX: 212-636-6069, or Todd Melnick, firstname.lastname@example.org , Senior Reference Librarian, Fordham University Law School, Leo T. Kissam Law Library, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, New York 10023. FAX: 212-930-8818.
August 31, 2006
Special Offer from Opening Argument
Yale Law School has launched a new political debate periodical, Opening Argument. Contributors during the title's first year (2005-6) included Newt Gingrich, Jeffrey Sachs, Alan Dershowitz, Cass Sunstein, Richard Epstein, Harold Koh, Senator Stevens, Senator Burns, the COO of Wal-mart and other thought leaders.
The publication presents intellectually sophisticated commentary on all sides of issues of broad public concern, such as US-UN relations and Supreme Court nominations. It is founded on the belief that much political commentary only presents one side of a debate, shortchanging the reader.
The Editorial Board includes: Harold Koh, Dean of Yale Law School; Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard; Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall Professor of Law at the University of Chicago; John Lewis Gaddis, the Lovett Professor of History at Yale; and Peter Schuck, the Simon E. Baldwin Professor of Law at Yale.
Opening Argument comes out 4 times during the academic year, each issue featuring roughly 10 op-ed style pieces. The price for institutions is $50 per year. 2006-2007 will be our second year in print, and we will include in the $50 subscription price our four inaugural 2005-6 issues, to allow you to amass a complete collection.
To subscribe, please send your address and a $50 check (made out to Opening Argument Inc.) to:
Opening Argument Inc.
Yale Law School
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law
Brookings Institution Press, 2006
Trade Cloth, 0-8157-3508-1, $32.95
Publisher's Blurb: Work over Welfare tells the inside story of the legislation that ended "welfare as we know it." As a key staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee, author Ron Haskins was one of the architects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. In this landmark book, he vividly portrays the political battles that produced the most dramatic overhaul of the welfare system since its creation as part of the New Deal.
Haskins starts his story in the early 1990s, as a small group of Republicans lays the groundwork for welfare reform by developing innovative policies to encourage work and fight illegitimacy. These ideas, which included such controversial provisions as mandatory work requirements and time limits for welfare recipients, later became part of the Republicans' Contract with America and were ultimately passed into law. But their success was hardly foreordained. Haskins brings to life the often bitter House and Senate debates the Republican proposals provoked, as well as the backroom negotiations that kept welfare reform alive through two presidential vetoes. In the process, he illuminates both the personalities and the processes that were crucial to the ultimate passage of the 1996 bill. He also analyzes the changes it has wrought on the social and political landscape over the past decade.
In Work over Welfare, Haskins has provided the most authoritative account of welfare reform to date. Anyone with an interest in social welfare or politics in general will learn a great deal from this insightful and revealing book.
Ouote It! On Religion
The First Amendment grew out of experience which taught that society cannot trust the conscience of the majority to keep its religious zeal within the limits that a free society can tolerate. I do not think it any more intended to leave the conscience of a minority to fix its limits. Civil government cannot let any group ride rough-shod over others simply because their "consciences" tell them to do so. -- Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson, Douglas v. Jeannette, 319 U.S. 157, 179 (1943)
STASI Report Reprinted by WS Hein
Publisher: Hein Reprint
List Price: $60.00
Pages: xxviii, 115 pp.
Provides the English translation of a French document that stirred international controversy with its handling of the separation of church and state in France. In particular, the main international focus of the document surrounded the decision by the French government to ban students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols in schools, especially those of the Islamic faith. In addition, the Report provides other recommendations addressing church-state relations in France, as well as how France is handling the massive immigration of Muslims, which now make up as much as 10 percent of the French population.
Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment
New from the National Academies Press:
Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment:
Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Debate
Committee on Assessing Interactions Among Social, Behavioral, and Genetic Factors in Health, Lyla M. Hernandez and Dan G. Blazer, Editors
National Academies Press, 2006
ISBN: 0-309-10196-4, 420 pages, paperback, $42.00
Check out the Executive Summary (pdf) [JH].
Opening: Reference Librarian (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
The Wiener-Rogers Law Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor/ Reference Librarian. This is a tenure-track, twelve-month academic faculty position at Rank II. The Library seeks a personable, energetic, and motivated individual who will provide service-oriented reference and research assistance to all types of library patrons.
Responsibilities: The Reference Librarian provides service-oriented scheduled reference and research service to the law school and university communities through virtual and in person transactions (required participation in evening and weekend hours rotation). Creates web-based and print research guides, bibliographies and tutorials and collaborates in creating and maintaining the Library's web pages. May supervise and train student research assistants. Participates in the development of legal research instruction for law students. Interacts with vendor representatives to ensure the availability and functionality of electronic legal research resources. Takes the lead in developing and providing Library services and support for law students, including outreach activities for law students and law school student organizations. Works collaboratively to ensure law student success in using Library services and resources. Conducts library tours and coordinates student and faculty training in the use of electronic research tools. Participates in the library's faculty liaison program and actively promotes faculty services. Other responsibilities include participation in evaluating and selecting library materials; serving on law library, law school, and university committees; and performing other public service duties as assigned.
Qualifications: Required: Master's degree in library science from an ALA-accredited institution is required. Demonstrated experience with legal research materials, techniques and strategies; especially electronic resources. Substantial knowledge of web-based subscription services, web-based instructional technology tools, and Internet resources. Knowledge of HTML and web-authoring tools; demonstrated experience with creating and maintaining web pages. Strong service orientation, ability to work well independently, and with others. Excellent interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills. Strong organizational and planning skills. Ability to establish and maintain a good working relationship with colleagues. Strong public service philosophy.
Preferred: JD from an ABA-accredited institution is preferred, however relevant and directly related experience may be considered. Experience with database design and previous experience working in a law library is a plus. WESTLAW and LexisNexis knowledge is a plus. Demonstrated familiarity with library computer applications and internet based-communication tools such as blogs, wikis, and podcasting.
Salary: Salary competitive; contingent upon labor market. This Position is contingent upon funding.
Application Details: Application materials must include a current resume, detailed cover letter, and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references who may be contacted. Applicants should fully describe qualifications and experience, since the initial review will serve to evaluate applicants based on documented, relevant qualifications and professional work experience. The review of materials will begin immediately.
Address materials to Tom Boone, Search Committee Chair, and submit via on-line application at https://hrsearch.unlv.edu . For assistance with UNLV's on-line applicant portal, contact Jen Feldmann at (702) 895-3886 or email@example.com.
UNLV is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.
August 30, 2006
New York Times Uses Ad Software Hack to Block UK Access to Terror Story
The New York Times has withheld publication of an article from UK readers of its website in order to avoid prejudicing a terror trial. The publisher hacked its advertising system to identify the location of UK readers and block the article from them. Read more about it. [JH]
- Times Blocks Article to U.K. Web Readers, Washington Post
- New York Times blocks UK access to terror story, The Guardian
- New York Times bars UK readers to avoid court wrath, Out-Law.com
Who is Holding Up S. 2590?
Red State is reporting that well known porkster Sen. Ted Stevens probably placed the "secret hold" on S. 2590, the Federal Funding, Accountability, & Transparency Act.
S. 2590 directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure the existence and operation of a single updated searchable database website accessible by the public at no cost, that includes for each entity receiving federal funding: (1) the amount of federal funds received in each of the last 10 fiscal years; (2) an itemized breakdown of each transaction; (3) the entity's location and primary location of performance; and (4) a unique identifier for the entity and its parent entity. Or as Wonkette describes the bill:
[This is] a bipartisan Senate bill that would actually do something good for a change. S. 2590 would create a Google-style public database that would show who gets government money through contracts and grants.
US influences, but won't sign, Disability Rights Treaty
"Despite having a heavy hand in negotiations, the United States says it will not sign a global treaty codifying the rights of people with disabilities.
The United Nations has been working on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities since December 2001, when it formed ad-hoc committees to study the issue. Five years later, UN delegates are in a final week of negotiations over provisions of the draft convention, which aims to promote respect, autonomy, non-discrimination, inclusion, accessibility and equal opportunity for people with disabilities."
"Our view is that the US actually already has in existence on the federal level, the state level and the local level a very good framework of laws and practices to assist citizens with disabilities," Paul Denig, with the US State Department, told The NewStandard, referring to the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). "In our view, this treaty would not add to that."
Copy of Google - Univ of California Agreement
Check out Google's agreement with the Univ. of California: Download ucgoogle_cooperative_agreement.pdf . [JH]
The State of the Law Library Blogosphere
Don't miss Bonnie Shucha's The State of the Law Library Blogosphere! [JH]