January 26, 2008
Legal, Financial and Real Estate Industries Dominate Presidential Fundraising, Study Shows
"More than half the major fundraisers for the presidential campaigns hail from just three segments of the U.S. economy: lawyers and law firms, representing both corporate and consumer interests; the financial sector; and real estate, according to a joint study released Thursday by Public Citizen and the Campaign Finance Institute.
These industries account for more than 1,100 of the major fundraisers for the presidential candidates. In contrast, most of the 70 major industries represented in the study furnished 15 or fewer major fundraisers, often called “bundlers.”
“Bundlers are a highly concentrated bunch. The paltry number of people who bankroll campaigns shows this private fundraising system is broken,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. “Congress must require far more transparency in disclosing bundling activity if it wants to fix the presidential public financing system.”
The study tallies the number of major fundraisers furnished by each industry and breaks down each industry’s fundraisers by party and candidate.
The two candidates who provide the most details about their bundlers, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, appear to have received more than half their money from these fundraisers. Though other candidates have been less forthcoming about the details of their fundraising operations, there is no indication that they rely any less on major fundraisers than Clinton and Obama.
The study points to the need to modernize the presidential public financing system so candidates need not rely on deep-pocketed, special-interest donors to run competitive campaigns."
Council on Foreign Relations Launches Campaign 2008 Website
CFR.org's Campaign 2008 site tracks the presidential campaign through the prism of foreign policy issues, featuring Candidate Position and Issue Trackers, a daily blog, transcripts of debates and speeches, up-to-date polling data, and more. Campaign 2008 is a one-stop resource for critical information on the upcoming elections. [JH]
January 25, 2008
Friday Fun: Borat and Ali G Go to Law School
Sacha Baron Cohen impersonators visit (their?) law schools in these two video clips. Well, I think the Borat clip features an impersonator.
Meanwhile it is rumored that the real Sacha Baron Cohen will play Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7. Having lived through the trial and its antics as a suburban Chicago teenage hippie full of righteous indignation against The Man, I think Cohen would be perfect casting for Abbie Hoffman. The film is in the pre-production stage with a 2010 target release date. Hello Hollywood, I'm available to play Mayor Daley. Call my agent.
For the youngsters in the profession who may not have heard of the Chicago 7 Trial, check out this very comprehensive website (if interested in hippie history). What a flashback! [JH]
The Secure Border and Open Doors Advisory Committee Issues Policy Recommendations
The Secure Border and Open Doors Advisory Committee, created by the DHS and State Department, has issued 44 policy recommendations in the Committee's recently release report, Secure Borders and Open Doors: Preserving Our Welcome to the World in an Age of Terrorism (pdf). The recommendations focus on four areas: public diplomacy and international outreach, Visa policy and processing, ports of entry and performance metrics and critical success factors. [JH]
New OUP Law Titles
274 pages; Dec 07
Description: This book explores developments in the system of international safeguards meant to correspond to the deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights today. By analyzing the approach, contribution, and current limitations of the international law of human rights to the manifestations of world poverty, the reader is challenged to rethink human rights and, in particular, the framing of responsibilities that are essential to their protection.
The Prohibition of Propaganda for War in International Law
Michael G. Kearney
Description: This book analyses the context in which international law first came to be concerned with propaganda for war in the years following the First World War. With the establishment of the United Nations and the corresponding development of international human rights law, the issue of the prohibition of propaganda for war in both human rights law and international criminal law became a highly significant, yet frequently divisive matter during the Cold War.
The Law of Adoption
Margaret C Jasper
224 pages; Jan 08
Description: This almanac sets forth the various types and circumstances of adoption, the adoption process, and the state and federal laws governing adoption.
Americans With Disabilities Act, 2d ed.
Margaret C Jasper
224 pages; Jan 08
Description: An examination of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) and the rights disabled individuals are entitled to under the statute.
Practical Guide to Document Authentication 2008
774 pages; Dec 2007
Description: In A Practical Guide to Document Authentication 2008, John P. Sinnott provides an up-to-date desktop reference containing the most current consular legalization requirements. Sinnott explains legalization procedures for 219 foreign jurisdications and all 50 states plus territories. Each entry includes: complete consular and Secretary of State contact information and signature requirements, documents to be submitted, turn-around time and fees and payment methods. Sample forms and documents are also included.
CRIV New Product Award Deadline Extended to Jan. 31
The deadline for submissions for the CRIV New Product Award has been extended until January 31, 2008. The orginial deadline was January 14, 2008. The Nomination form and additional information can be found at the AALL CRIV website. [JH]
What Non-Librarian Blogs Should Librarians Be Reading?
As a follow-up to their 10 Librarian Blogs Librarians Should Read In 2008 [our post], LISNews is soliciting recommendations for the 10 non-librarian blogs librarians should read in 2008.
My suggestion: INFO/LAW by young law profs William McGeveran (Minnesota), Derek Bambauer (Wayne State) and Tim Armstrong (Cincinnat), all former Berkman Center for Internet and Society fellows [Blog's About Page]. Back in 2007, I characterized INFO/LAW as the blog librarians should be but aren't yet reading. Hopefully that has changed. [JH]
Stanford Professor Records 9th Circuit's Oral History
"Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber got a front-row seat on the workings of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 10 years ago at the feet of Judge Stephen Reinhardt. She was his law clerk.
Now she's learning all about the court from Reinhardt once again, but from a decidedly different vantage point.
Dauber has volunteered to take Reinhardt's oral history. She is one of a corps of lawyers and professors who donate essential sweat equity to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society's Oral History Program. That group has collected more than 150 interviews from judges across the circuit. They include both district court and circuit judges." [RJ]
January 24, 2008
Academic Peer Review: Anonymous Blog Commenting v. Traditional Peer Review
Let the games begin! Read more about this experiment in Jeffrey Young's Chronicle article, Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better. Hat tip to INFO/LAW's Can Crowdsourcing Beat Academic Peer Review? [JH]
Tentative Tax Rebate Deal Reached ... Updated
CNN is reporting that a tentative tax rebate deal has been reached among Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, House Minority Leader John Boehner and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. According to CNN's sources:
- Deal would give individuals $600, couples $1,200
- Parents may get $300 more per child
- GOP will allow rebates for people who don't pay income taxes
New Documentary About 1L Life
The Trials of Law School is a new documentary film about 1L life and times. From the synopsis:
[T]he film captures both the stress and emotion, both inside the classroom and out, as [eight students] try to juggle family and relationships with school commitments. These students, including a single mother looking for a fresh start, a husband and father of four, and a military wife trying to raise six children, compete with competitive and highly successful peers for grades and jobs that will determine their future.
Their journey is contrasted with insights from over 25 acclaimed law professors and legal scholars from around the country.
The DVD costs $24.95 and is available from the film's website. Two trailers, including one featuring law profs who participated in the documentary, are provided below, and check out Mitchell Rubinstein's review on Adjunct Law Prof Blog. [JH]
Patrick Schiltz (St. Thomas), Elizabeth Warren, (Harvard), Meg Penrose (OU) John Goldberg (Vanderbilt), Rich Freer (Emory) and David Sokolow (Texas)
HTML5 Working Draft Released by W3W
The W3C has released the Working Draft of HTML5 (Jan. 22, 2008). In this version, new features are introduced to help Web application authors, new elements are introduced based on research into prevailing authoring practices, and special attention has been given to defining clear conformance criteria for user agents in an effort to improve interoperability. See also HTML Design Principles (Nov. 23, 2007) which describes the set of guiding principles used by the HTML Working Group for the development of HTML5.
Hat tip to LISNews. [JH]
Just Released Wikipedia: The Missing Manual
Wikipedia: The Missing Manual
by John Broughton
List Price: $29.99
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pogue Press (January 25, 2008)
Book Description: Want to be part of the largest group-writing project in human history? Learn how to contribute to Wikipedia, the user-generated online reference for the 21st century. Considered more popular than eBay, Microsoft.com, and Amazon.com, Wikipedia generates approximately 30,000 requests per second, or about 2.5 billion per day. It's become the first point of reference for people the world over who need a fact fast.
If you want to jump on board and add to the content, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual is your first-class ticket. Wikipedia has more than 6 million entries in 250 languages, over 2 million articles in the English language alone. Each one is written and edited by an ever-changing cast of volunteer editors. You can be one of them. With the tips in this book, you'll quickly learn how to get more out of -- and put more into -- this valuable online resource.
Wikipedia: The Missing Manual gives you practical advice on creating articles and collaborating with fellow editors, improving existing articles, and working with the Wikipedia community to review new articles, mediate disputes, and maintain the site. Up to the challenge? This one-of-a-kind book includes:
- Basic editing techniques, including the right and wrong ways to edit
- Pinpoint advice about which types of articles do and do not belong on Wikipedia
- Tips on using Wikipedia page histories and reversing inaccurate edits
- Ways to learn from other editors and communicate with them via the site's talk pages
- Tricks for using templates and timesaving automated editing tools
- Tools for fighting spam and vandalism
- Guidance on adding citations, links, and images to your articles
You also learn about other Wikimedia services, such as Wikinews, Wikiquote, and Wikibooks. Wikipedia depends on people just like you to help the site grow and maintain the highest quality. With Wikipedia: The Missing Manual, you get all the tools you need to be part of the crew.
Nominations for AALL's Public Access to Government Award Due Feb. 1
The AALL Government Relations Committee invites members to nominate an individual, organization or institution for the Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award. The Association presents the award annually to recognize special efforts in promoting or preserving public access to government information.
Last year, two winners were acknowledged. Cathy Hartman of the University of North Texas was recognized for the government documents web site, including the Cyber Cemetery, which preserves the web sites of defunct federal agencies, boards and commissions. John Joergensen of Rutgers University Law School Library was honored for his creation of the Rutgers-Camden Law School Library Digital Project that made thousands of Congressional hearings and committee prints freely available on the web.
The committee received a record-breaking number of nominations last year and picking the winners was especially difficult. Please help make our work even more difficult this year by nominating a great public access pioneer or project that you know about!
For details, see http://aallnet.org/about/award_information.asp
LLRX.com for January 2008
Massachusetts Cases Online
New resource from the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries: "We are pleased to announce the availability of all Supreme Judicial Court and Mass. Appeals Court cases from 1986-1996 at http://masscases.com. Cases are accessible by citation, case name, or through a Google custom search on the site. The collection also includes hundreds of the most-cited older Mass. cases." [RJ]
January 23, 2008
Database of Iraq Statements by Bush et al
The Center for Public Integrity has cataloged in a freely searchable database all of the "direct false statements" made by President George W. Bush and other high ranking administration officials following 9/11.
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.
EU Considering Privacy Rights of IP Addresses
This might cause some concern for Google, Yahoo, et al. Full article here.
IP addresses, string of numbers that identify computers on the Internet, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union's group of data privacy regulators said Monday.
Germany's data protection commissioner, Peter Scharr, leads the EU group preparing a report on how well the privacy policies of Internet search engines operated by Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others comply with EU privacy law.
He told a European Parliament hearing on online data protection that when someone is identified by an IP, or Internet protocol, address "then it has to be regarded as personal data."
His view differs from that of Google, which insists an IP address merely identifies the location of a computer, not who the individual user is - something strictly true but which does not recognize that many people regularly use the same computer terminal and IP address.
Top 5 Legal Websites of 2007
From law.com, they are "not necessarily the best or the worst, but the ones that most altered the online legal landscape" this past year:
Professional Reading: Is the Google Generation a Myth?
Yes, according to Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future (pdf), a new report commissioned by JISC and the British Library.
From the press release:
[The report] counters the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation’ – young people born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most adept at using the web. The report by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an ease and familiarity with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to asses the information that they find on the web. The report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors.