Today’s Links: September 6, 2012


TONY DOKOUPIL: “The Original Drug Czar
“Dr. Peter Bourne is on a high these days. The self-described “first drug czar”—the first with full control over both the punishment and the treatment sides of federal policy—left the Carter administration under a cloud in 1978, accused of snorting cocaine at a party thrown by none other than NORML, the have-a-hit marijuana lobby. He hotly denied the charge, but not his attendance—and that was enough. The scandal ended the only truce in the nation’s 40-year war on drugs, a moment when Bourne—echoing the president and a majority of the country at the time—tried to end criminal penalties against pot.”

JAMES VALVO: “What will the EPA do if Obama is re-elected?
“It’s no surprise that people interested in President Obama’s second-term agenda are having a difficult time figuring out what that agenda is. One of the only hints the president has given about his plans is a now-typical response he gave recently regarding fiscal issues: ‘I’m going to have to look at how we can work around Congress.’ This mirrors his first-term approach to environmental issues, when following a “shellacking” in the 2010 elections Obama turned his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) loose on environmental and climate issues despite Congress never giving him its imprimatur to do so. What would a second-term Obama EPA do? Here’s a quick look at some of the regulatory avenues the president could use to keep working around Congress.”

JERRY BOWYER: “Earth To Conservatives: Immigrant Amnesty Is A Conservative Policy
“Supply-siders rightly argue that widespread tax cheating is a sign that taxes are too high, that they are driving productive people into the black market. They argued that widespread violation of the national 55 mph. speed limit was a sign that law was too restrictive.  Americans concluded that widespread violation of prohibition laws (not just statutes, but an actual part of the Constitution) was evidence that the law was too strict and that laws like prohibition which are so onerous that otherwise law-abiding citizens broke them, undermine the rule of law. Ronald Reagan saw it, even if alleged ‘Reaganites’ don’t. He signed amnesty into law in 1986, inviting three million ‘illegals’ to become ‘legals.’ He even defended the idea in his 1984 Debate with Fritz Mondale: ‘I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally.'”


PRIVACY – Groups seek to overturn ruling allowing warrantless phone tracking
“A coalition of civil liberties groups has asked a federal appeals court to revisit a recent ruling that held the police did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they tracked suspect Melvin Skinner’s cell phone without a warrant.”

TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT – Ben & Jerry’s sues over porn copycats
“Ben & Jerry’s has sued a maker of pornographic DVDs for allegedly infringing the names of its ice cream flavors with a movie series called “Ben & Cherry’s.”

ONLINE ANONYMITY – Federal Prosecutor Loses Job, Faces Lawsuits Over Obnoxious Online Comments
“Not content to go after suspected wrongdoers in court, a Louisiana federal prosecutor apparently spent years attacking them in the comments section of the local newspaper’s website as well. His online barbs, posted under pseudonyms such as ‘Henry L. Mencken1951,’ ‘legacyusa,’ and ‘dramatis personae,’ were meant to be anonymous. Instead, they have cost him his job and made him the target of at least one defamation lawsuit.”