Tuesday, May 23, 2006

50,000 Internet Predators?

"It has been estimated that, at any given time, 50,000 predators are on the Internet prowling for children."
That's the claim made by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during the launch of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood. Jason McLure has written an article for Legal Times where he tracks down the source of that 50,000 figure. It turns out the DOJ got it from TV.
The AG’s press secretary has the answer, though: "That number is actually pulled from [NBC newsmagazine] 'Dateline' and other media outlets," says Tasia Scolinos via e-mail.
Chris Hansen from Dateline, reportedly says the number comes from unnamed "law enforcement officials". But the former FBI agent he used to confirm the figure says it may just be a "Goldilocks number".

Monday, May 22, 2006

Gonzales: Jail the Reporters!

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is considering prosecuting journalists who publish classified information.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

James Tobin Gets Prison

In New Hampshire yesterday, James Tobin, the former New England regional director of the Republican National Committee, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for his part in a phone-jamming attack designed to shut down a Democratic get-out-the-vote effort.

Tobin is just one of three men convicted in the scheme and the Republican Party has reportedly paid more than $2.5 million for his legal defense. This has raised suspicion that many more officials are involved in voter fraud.

"We need to find out how high this goes in the Republican Party," said Paul Twomey, an attorney for the Democratic Party who is leading a separate civil lawsuit that alleges Republican voter fraud and seeks monetary damages.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Evicting Families in Missouri

The city of Black Jack, Missouri has a law which prohibits four or more people living together, unless they are related by "blood, marriage or adoption". That means families with two or more kids are in violation of the law if the parents are unmarried. Unless mom or dad move out.

Yesterday, the city council rejected a change in the law. The 5-3 vote against the change means the city may evict families of four or more, if the parents are unmarried.

Warmest. April. Evar.

The National Climatic Data Center, a part of NOAA, is reporting that the US just experienced the warmest April on record.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight"

That's the headline from The Hartford Courant story regarding "unstable" troops being sent to Iraq to fight in combat. The paper reports that "fewer than 1 in 300 service members see a mental health professional before shipping out" and that nearly 20% of the Army's non-combat deaths in 2005 were from suicide.
The Courant's investigation found that at least 11 service members who committed suicide in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 were kept on duty despite exhibiting signs of significant psychological distress. In at least seven of the cases, superiors were aware of the problems, military investigative records and interviews with families indicate.