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How to Help in Haiti

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |

So I will obviously make a more appropriate inaugural post on schedule tomorrow, but first things first. Lots of people are wondering how to get money to organizations in a position to assist Haitians recover from Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. Scott posted a link to links the other day, but it can be hard to know where to leverage your donation to do the most good. The logistics nightmare at the Port-au-Prince airport is styming the wider international response, and already third party solicitors are feeding on the public’s sympathies with internet scams.

The best thing to do is to donate to agencies who already have a presence on the ground. Via Rodger Payne, here is a link to several. You’ll notice the International Committee of the Red Cross tops the list, but I’d actually recommend donating to Doctors Without Borders – 87% of their revenue goes directly to programmatic services, and the Red Cross is already the beneficiary of the State Department’s text messaging scheme for collecting micro-donations.

Here is the Doctors Without Borders secure website.


I hope this isn’t some sort of sign

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |

If you type a word into Google, it will pull up the most common searches that begin with that word. Currently, the three most common searches that begin with “Is” are (in order):

(1) Is Lady Gaga a man?

(2) Is Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite?

(3) Is the world coming to an end in 2012?

Comedy Gold

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |

[Photo: Nashville Post via Yglesias.]

Given that he’d be drawing dead even if he were running a competent campaign (or even showed some recognition that the race he’s considering is a closed Democratic primary in New York), I’m definitely hoping he goes through with it. Watching a DLC honcho and media darling getting beaten like Royals second-stringers against the 1927 Yankees will be richly entertaining.

Sad Week In Memphis

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |

Willie Mitchell
and Jay Reatard, R.I.P. Carrie Brownstein urges us to think of Mitchell not just as a great producer, but as a terrfic musician in his own right.

Addendum: [from PC]: Also Teddy Pendergrass.

I always thought that Al Green being from Grand Rapids Michigan was kind of like Lenny Bruce being from Salt Lake City (for the uninitiated Gerald Ford is one of the funkier people to ever come out of GR).

US Maritime Assistance to Haiti

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |

Galrahn, David Axe, and the folks at the USNI blog are closely covering US maritime assistance to Haiti. Both the USN and the USCG are on the way; the Coast Guard is responding first, largely due to proximity and preparedness. In terms of specific ships, USS Carl Vinson, USS Bataan, USS Fort McHenry, and USS Carter Hall all appear to be on the way. The hospital ship USNS Comfort is also responding.

For a case study of how US amphibious/maritime forces can respond to disaster, I recommend Bruce Elleman’s Waves of Hope, which examines the US response to the 2004 tsunami.

New LGM Contributor

[ 0 ] January 14, 2010 |


I am pleased to announce that Dr. Charli Carpenter, Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, will join Lawyers, Guns and Money. Charli also blogs at Duck of Minerva and Current Intelligence, specializing in foreign policy, international law, and human security. Medium and long-term readers will recall that she served in a guest stint several months ago, during which she demonstrated her value as a technician of empire. We are delighted that Charli is joining LGM; please extend her a hale and hearty welcome.

The Constitutionality of the Filibuster

[ 0 ] January 13, 2010 |

Sad, but true. I’m particularly wary of trying to construct an argument that the filibuster is unconstitutional using the same kind of logic that’s used to argue that health care reform is unconstitutional. I’m also puzzled by the attempt — which will be familiar to people who read stuff analyzing the legitimacy of judicial review — to claim that there’s something unusual or constitutionally deviant about a counter-majoritarian rule within the American political system. Pretty much everything about the Senate was constructed to be counter-majoritarian. This makes it a very bad political institution, but it makes it hard to claim that individual instances of counter-majoritarian rules explicitly permitted by the text are implicitly unconstitutional.

As an addendum, I suppose it’s worth addressing Geoghegan’s assertion that “we needn’t rule out the possibility of a Supreme Court case. Surely, the court would not allow the Senate to ignore either the obvious intent of the Constitution.” On this, Matt is of course correct that the Supreme Court would probably not even hear the case, and if it did I would be willing to bet serious money that it would uphold the filibuster with a minimum of 8 votes, in terms probably similar to Nixon v. U.S..


[ 0 ] January 13, 2010 |

Awful, awful news in Haiti. [via the TD, who has links to aid agencies.)

You look marvelous

[ 0 ] January 13, 2010 |

Lane Kiffin’s head coaching resume includes stints with the Oakland Raiders, the University of Tennessee (9th winningest program in major college football history) and now USC (seventh winningest program of all time).

Lane Kiffin has never won more than seven games in a season.

Lane Kiffin is 34 years old.

I wonder what his views are on affirmative action?

Two questions for Glenn Reynolds

[ 0 ] January 12, 2010 |

(1)If Massoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by the Iranian government because he was reportedly sympathetic to opponents of it, would that terrorism?

(2) If on the other hand he was working an an atomic weapons program for the Iranian government, and was as a consequence quietly killed by the CIA, would that be terrorism?

This is an open book exam. Please be sure to support your answer with specific references to the relevant legal texts and doctrines.

Jon Stewart hearts LGM

[ 0 ] January 12, 2010 |

This is somehow reminiscent of this and this.

Who is the Protagonist in this Movie?

[ 0 ] January 12, 2010 |

I don’t really understand how a 70 minute review of a terrible movie could be incomparably awesome, but there you go.