Jami Floyd appears in the following:
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Last night I watched with 100 of my fellow political junkies as President Obama gave his third State of the Union address. We tweeted along, in earnest, with mostly substantive commentary, though the tweets were laced with wry humor about John Boehner's emotional reaction to Obama's remark about his boyhood and whether Vice President Biden himself was tweeting.
I said on this page yesterday that, for Obama, this speech needed to be a big transformational moment, a speech that would evoke FDR and Kennedy, one that would remind us why we voted for him in the first place.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
No doubt, even a great speaker, like President Barack Obama, will be tinkering with his State of the Union speech up to the last minute. So, here is my humble advice in two words: Think Big.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Simply put, this appearance creates appearance problems. It adds to the politicization of the judiciary. And so, I am forced to consider — with all due respect — whether Justice Scalia should be speaking to the caucus, and whether Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court should speak publicly, at all.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I remember my background check. I thought it was intrusive, a violation of my privacy and unnecessary.
Now, 17 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court has passed on the very question that's been sitting at the back of my mind, ever since: Does the government have the power to insist that federal employees candidly answer intrusive personal questions — including whether they have received treatment or counseling for illegal drug use?
For the Supreme Court, the answer was so clear, it was a slam-dunk: 8-0 voting yes.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Experience suggests there is little chance the attack will produce significant new legislation, let alone change a national culture that has been accepting of guns since its inception—unless we try something new and different.
Monday, January 17, 2011
A national holiday is nice; but it is not enough. To honor and respect the memory of Dr. King, those massacred in Arizona and all Americans who have lost their lives to senseless violence, we must show the courage on the issue of gun control.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Federal judge John M. Roll was among the victims killed in the Tucson shootings last week. His untimely death—and the unnerving frequency with which judges require protection from violence—is a sobering reminder of the perils of public service.
Friday, January 14, 2011
9 year-old shooting victim Christina Taylor Green was born on September 11, 2001, and killed last Saturday.
As President Obama said, “here was a young girl just becoming aware of our democracy...."
"She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted," the president said.
He was right. For while I want to live up to Christina’s expectations, while I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it, I am much older than she and it has become difficult to see past the cynicism and vitriol.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I had just left my job in the Clinton administration. It was a spring morning. April 19, 1995. A bomb went off at the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City.
I did not know, at that moment, what a big part of my professional life that event would become — the first major news story of my journalism career; the many months I would spend in Denver covering the two federal trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols; and the execution of McVeigh another three years after that. All I knew in April 1995 was that 168 people were dead. 19 of them were children. And we knew that this was the worst act of domestic terrorism on U.S. soil, ever.
Monday, January 10, 2011
More charges are expected against the man suspected of killing six people and severely wounding Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Federal prosecutors have already charged 22 year-old Jared Lee Loughner with five felony counts, including attempted assassination of a member of Congress.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
One cannot simply read the text of the Constitution and call it a day. The very real danger here is that the new Tea Partiers in Congress (and some of their followers at home) will actually listen to the reading of the 7,591 word document (that includes all 27 amendments) without the benefit of real constitutional understanding.
The original text has evolved a bit over the years. We've changed it not only by adding articles of amendment, but also through two hundred years of jurisprudence. No one can understand the Constitution without some greater understanding of the amendment process and the case law that interprets the text.
Friday, December 31, 2010
With just a few hours to go this year, let me add my picks for the most fascinating people of 2010 to the mix:
Friday, December 24, 2010
What's in an @name? Alexandra Petri, a Washington Post columnist and a blogger with ComPost, thinks that your email address says a lot about you. She is joined by a panel of distinguished Brian Lehrer Show guests with retro email addresses who defend their digital identities: Doug Muzzio, professor of political science at Baruch College and host of "City Talk" on CUNY/TV; Siva Vaidhyanathan, associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia; and Jami Floyd, broadcast journalist, legal analyst for cable and network news, and blogger at It's A Free Country.
Are you an email holdout? Defend your @compuserve, @aol, @mindspring... And does someone's email address say anything about them? Do you judge according to their @?
Friday, December 24, 2010
-- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
I know it's fashionable to hate the holidays. I think I even heard my neighbor (the one with the dogs who bark at me every morning) mutter “Bah Humbug,” as he passed by in the hallway today.
I refuse, however, to be robbed of my Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas, I say. And a Happy New Year!
That is why, every year, I sit with my children in the living room (we can’t sit around the hearth because we don’t have hearth) to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We take turns reading the various parts aloud – Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Jacob Marley, Tiny Time and of course Scrooge.
[[Editor's Note: Want to see some WNYC stars perform A Christmas Carol? Of course you do.]]
I don't know how long this will last. My daughter is almost a teenager and will no doubt soon be too cool for such corny family traditions as this; but, for now, the age-old tale helps to remind them that Christmas is about generosity of spirit, kindness and love – not gift-getting.
But wait. What’s all that nonsense? Isn’t this supposed to be a political website? Why all the prattling on about kindness and love?
Well, hang onto your antlers. Don’t get your jingle bells in a bunch. This is a political post. Dickens was a political writer, and A Christmas Carol is a political story.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Ten years ago today, my idealism died. On that cold December day, as I stood in the Tallahassee frost, the United States Supreme Court became, for me, a political body, instead of the neutral, objective and purely jurisprudential body I had always hoped it to be. I was devastated.
December 12, 2000 is a critical date in American history. Yet, it is not a date we commit to memory. It is not a date that lives on in infamy, though it should.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
My father worked on an apartment renovation in the Dakota in the late 1970s. That's when we met John and Yoko. I distinctly remember my father having such fond memories of them. He'd never really been a Beatles or John Lennon fan per se. My father was older than John and Yoko, from the generation before — Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington. Still, he always had nice things to say about them when he came home at night.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Today, lawyers on both sides of the gay marriage fight will be back in court. This is the appeal from the lower court ruling on California’s Proposition 8, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to decide whether the United States Constitution guarantees the right to gay marriage.
But it is not that simple. As is often the case with complex legal stories, the reporting has been a little bit off the mark on the primary legal issue in the case. The issue is not only whether gays have a right to marry. The primary issue before the judges is whether the case can be appealed at all.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
This week’s explosive Wikileaks story includes a bevy of cables related to Gitmo. Were the camp closed, these might be the least interesting of all. As the camp is still in operation, however, the Guantanamo cables made the front page of The New York Times and reignited the debate about when, and indeed whether, the detention center will ever be shuttered.
In case you somehow missed it (or got bogged down in the details of the 291 documents published on Sunday), we’re not talking about generalities in the cables related to the Gitmo prisoners. We’re talking about specific discussions between various countries on whether they would take detainees released from the detention facility. If you believe what you read, the Pacific island nation of Kiribati is offered millions of dollars of incentives; Slovenia is actually offered the chance to meet President Obama if it takes a prisoner; Brussels is told that taking prisoners could be "a low-cost way for Belgium to attain prominence in Europe.”