I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Congress gave the President the authority to “Establish[ ] national immigration enforcement policies and priorities” and that’s what Obama did

The quote in the title is the full text of 6 U.S.C. § 202(5).

Executive discretion– the most familiar example being prosecutorial discretion– is a bedrock concept of our law.  The executive cannot pursue every case, and so they have the authority, often explicitly granted by statute, to select what cases to pursue.  It is not […]

Random observation about our government’s decision to bug the internet

So this bugging-the-entire-internet thing is going to kinda crush Obama’s credibility when he complains to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Chinese hacking, isn’t it?

headline of the day

From Andy Borowitz on his New Yorker Blog


Story here

Another political t-shirt

This one my daughter had made as a one-time only for her husband, Brian Simonson, who had recently spent 12 months in Iraq and then 12 in Afganistan in a 30 month period.

Some Notes on the State of the Race

I was curious what actually looking at recent polls in the battleground states would show.  I spend a fair amount of time reading Nate Silver’s 548 site, as I did four years ago.  He’s built a model that incorporates polling data and some economic data, and attempts to project from present conditions to electoral college and popular vote results.  Silver explains the components of his model, and that he’s developed it using Bayesian statistics, but you can’t really tell what is going on under the hood.  He’s consistently shown Obama ahead, and recently has shown that Romney’s brief surge (or the polls’ reversion to the mean, you pick) has ceased and things have reached some sort of plateau:  A very close race with Obama slightly ahead.

So I looked at some of the state polls.  41 states and the District of Columbia seem to me to be locked down: They’re pretty certain to go to either Romney or Obama unless something (completely unpredictable) happens in the next week or so and makes this a landslide.

Of the states that seem in play, in Florida, Romney has lead in three (Rassmusen, Susquehana, Angus Reid) and Obama in two (Grove, Gravis Marketing) and there’s one tie (Mellman). That is pretty close to toss up level, but I’ll give that to Romney.

In Wisconsin Obama has lead in every poll in Wisconsin since mid-August except one poll yesterday, where Rasmussen (which leans Republican) shows a tie. That suggests an Obama win there.

Give Romney North Carolina, although in the last week there’s been a tied poll and the other three are split 2 to Romney and 1 to Obama.

At that point, the electoral college vote is Obama 247 and Romney 235, with 56 votes in play.  Obama needs 23 of them and Romney needs 35 of them.

That leaves Colorado (9 votes) , Iowa (6 votes), Nevada (6 votes) , New Hampshire (4 votes), Ohio (18 votes), and Virginia (13 votes).

It seems clear from the polls that Obama has the advantage in Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada, which would give him 33 votes and a clear electoral win. If Obama gets Ohio, Romney has to take away both Colorado and Nevada, plus both Virginia and Iowa, to win. If Romney takes Ohio, Obama is still short 8 votes with Colorado and Nevada.

Here’s why it seems Obama has the advantage in Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada.

Continue reading Some Notes on the State of the Race

Drones and secret government out of control: “The prospect of any additional oversight, however modest, set off alarms at the CIA.”

I’m of the opinion that the word “additional” in the quote in the heading may create a false impression that there’s much oversight going on of the CIA’s drone assassinations.

Rolling Stone has a very interesting and horrifying article by Michael Hastings about the use of drones for killing purported terrorists, sort out the differences in […]

There isn’t much coordinating going on between those coordinate branches

Anderson has an account of a Fifth Circuit argument that is stunning.

Having heard a news report, Judge Jerry Smith of the Fifth Circuit concluded that President Obama was saying that the courts could not hold a statute unconstitutional and demanded a Justice Department lawyer answer for this.  Not satisfied when the lawyer cited […]

Praise that spells doom

In a post headed “The Doom of Broder,” Paul Krugman writes:

Uh-oh. David Broder says the tax deal marks the beginning of Obama’s recovery. The president is doomed.

Remember, Broder declared that Katrina would boost Bush’s image, by showing his forcefulness as commander-in-chief — and then spent the next three years predicting a Bush comeback just […]

Obama’s failure to staff the federal government may be his most consequential failing

There are a lot of contenders (human rights and the rule of law would be a big one, for instance), but I’m about ready to decelare Obama’s bigges failing his failure to make appointments.

We still don’t have U.S. Attornies and marshalls in Mississippi, for instance, and appointments on the federal bench are proceeding […]

I couldn’t resist posting this

After a really unfortunate comparison by Harvard historian Niall Ferguson  (he said Barrack Obama reminded him of Felix the Cat because both were lucky and black), James Fallows (follow up here) and Paul Krugman noted that this was not the best choice of comparisons.  In his most recent post, Fallows included the above […]