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The True Cost of Carbon: Chesapeake Energy


Chesapeake Energy, the largest fracking company in the United States, is bankrupt. Chesapeake filed for Chapter 11 protection on June 28. The claimed reason for bankruptcy is some $9 billion in debt and the crash in natural gas prices. The real reasons are much more concerning. WC isn’t talking about the management follies. Under the…

Associate Judge Todd E. Edelman, Superior Court of the District of Columbia

Law, Junk Science and Daubert


WC warns readers in advance we’re going to get pretty deep into law and science in this post. You might want to have a cup of coffee at hand. WC also warns readers that if you are fan of the CSI television series, you’re about to suffer a reality check. The law doesn’t deal with…

A Boise police officer stops his bike in front of homeless residents under the South 16th Street bridge in September 2014. (Photo credit: Idaho Statesman)

That’s $75,000 Pissed Away


The City of Boise has a homeless problem. Depending on who is counting, there are 120-150 homeless folks who shuttle between Boise’s limited number of shelter beds and the streets. Outgoing Mayor David Bieter tried to “solve” the problem by enforcing Boise’s long-standing, if unconstitutional, ordinances prohibiting folks from sleeping on the streets. Never mind…

A cloud of untruths, a fog of lies

Weaponizing Defamation


Defamation – slander, libel and false light – has its origins in Roman law, but American law of defamation came to us as a part of the British common law. Under the common law, truth is usually a defense to a claim of defamation. Fewer than half of the American states still have criminal defamation…

Marc Leder, left, and guests attend a 2015 benefit in the Hamptons. (Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

Sun Capital Is Scum: A Case Study


Mitt Romney looks pretty benign now, at least in comparison to the current clown sitting in the White House. But back when Romney was running for president, WC wrote a series of blog posts attempting to show just how dreadful Romney’s original line of work was: that leveraged buy-outs and Romney’s Bain Capital had done…

Bad Laws: Criminal Libel


There is no shortage of bad laws in America. For example in 23 states, libel – published defamation – is a serious crime, for example. In Idaho, criminal libel is punishable by a fine of $5,000 and 6 months in jail, with each publication  separate crime. It’s a stupid, dangerous, unconstitutional law and it needs…

Justin Schneider in court, photographer unknown

Some Notes on Justin Schneider


Justin Schneider, for readers outside of Alaska, is a 34-year old Eagle River, Alaska man. He assaulted an Alaska Native woman. He picked her up at a gas station in Midtown Anchorage, He told he’d drive her to her boyfriend’s house, Instead, he drove her to a secluded area, attacked her, choked her until she…

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Climate Change Denier (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Lisa Murkowski: Too Little, Too Late


Alaska’s senior U.S. Senator, Lisa Murkowski, has finally issued a statement on the Trump Administration’s child abuse on our borders. The time is now for the White House to end the cruel, tragic separations of families. They are not consistent with our values. The thousands of children taken from their parents and families must be…

Congress: Let’s Have Another Thalidomide!


One of the most infuriating aspects of the Trump Administration’s roll-back of federal regulatory powers is the implied assumption that those laws and regulations exist for no reason. That’s dangerous nonsense. Those laws were passed in response to real, serious risks. The major revisions to the Food and Drug Administration laws and regulations in the…

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Punishing the Blue States


U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, Opportunism) has announced the G.O.P. tax bill is “great” because it gets the federal government out of the business of subsidizing high tax states. Ryan said the rest of the country is “propping up profligate, big-government states.” He said, “States that got their act together are paying for states that didn’t.”…

Hammond Ranch at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

The Hammond Back Story


The Bundy boys seized Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, they said, to protest the U.S. government’s mistreatment of two ranchers, father and son Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr. and Steven Dwight Hammond. The Federal government, the Bundys claimed, had treated the Hammonds unfairly. Really? The Hammonds went to trial on two sets of charges.1 One involved a 2001…

Sessions' Swiss Cheese Memory

Laugh at Your Peril


Desiree Fairooz laughed out loud at Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R, Alabama) assertion that Senator Jeff Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” That was during Sessions’ confirmation hearing to be Attorney General. The Justice Department has announced it will retry Fairooz, who was arrested for her laughter during…

Retired Associated Justice John Paul Stevens (via WikiCommons)

Citizens United and Redflex: More Evidence SCOTUS Screwed Up


Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissent in Citizens United challenged the unspoken majority premise that campaign contributions from businesses wouldn’t corrupt the political process. The majority rejected the argument but the evidence continues to mount that the line between campaign contributions and bribes is too fuzzy to be safe. WC has written before about the Redflex Scandal. Redflex…

Software Patent Troll (Not to Scale)

Another Patent Troll Gets Slapped


WC has been railing against software patent trolls pretty much since this blog began, back in 2008.1 Especially software patent trolls. It’s a self-inflicted wound; noting in U.S. patent law requires computer software to receive a patent. It’s a result of case law, culminating in Diamond v. Diehr, where a software algorithm implementing the Arrhenius Equation…

Software Patent Troll (Not to Scale)

Patent Troll Update: Another One Bites the Dust


It’s been a while since WC excoriated a patent troll. There’s a company in East Texas – the jurisdiction famously most friendly to patent trolls – called eDekka, LLC. eDekka has exactly one asset: US Patent No. 6,266,674. The ‘674 patent was filed in 1992, and it was granted to a man named Donald Hejna in 2001. He assigned it to eDekka.…