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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Being Smart Doesn't Immunize From Stupidity


In addition to being a long time judge on the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Richard Posner is a prolific author of several high-minded books on the law and economics. Education-wise, Posner has a Bachelor's degree in English from Yale and he finished first in his class at Harvard Law School. Posner has also taught law at Stanford and the University of Chicago.

Outside of his impressive background in the law, Posner does not appear to have any formal education in theology, religion or religious history. I can't even find any information as to whether Posner is an adherent of a particular religious faith. With all this in mind, it wouldn't seem that Posner would be dumb enough to attempt to provide any public insights about the specific doctrines of Catholicism without at least doing some cursory research. Yet, Posner did exactly this with the comments he posted a couple of weeks ago on his blog. (See John Breen's excellent take down of Posner's attempt at being a theologian here.)

As much of an intellectual as Judge Posner obviously is, why would he do something so stupid as to discuss a topic that is clearly outside of his scope of knowledge? It's hard to be certain, but hubris and a condescending attitude toward the Church are probably significant factors. I haven't always agreed with Posner's conclusions on various issues about the law, but I at least respected him as a serious academic. The ignorant laden comments Posner has made about Catholicism has caused me to lose a great deal of that respect.

h/t

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ninth Circuit Panel to Hear Prop. 8 Appeal Announced


There are probably only a couple of living judges I can think of off the top of my head who could have written a worse legal justification than the one Judge Vaughn Walker wrote in striking down Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment which limits legally recognized marriages as being between one man and one woman. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is one such judge. I say this on the basis of a previous decision Judge Reinhardt once wrote where he proclaimed a constitutional right to physician assisted suicide, as well as his joining an opinion that basically found the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional.

Now comes word that Judge Reinhardt has been selected to be on the three judge panel that will hear the appeal of Judge Walker's asinine Prop. 8 ruling. This, despite the fact that Reinhardt once opined in another case that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Think his fly might be just a little bit open here? Don't expect Reinhardt to exercise some integrity and recuse himself, though. When you're a liberal hack jurist, political ideology is king and it is indistinguishable from the law.

h/t

Update: As reported by Ed Whelan, Reinhardt's wife, Ramona Ripston, was not only a campaign contributor to the No on Prop. 8 campaign, she directly consulted with the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit to challenge Prop. 8. Solid grounds for Reinhardt to self-disqualify, but again, don't expect it to happen.

Don't let that discourage you, though, from writing the court to let it know just how wrong it is that Reinhardt is on the panel to hear the Prop. 8 appeal.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Whoopi Poop


Rank hypocrisy by politically liberal celebrities is nothing new, as is their penchant for making mindless and unsubstantiated charges against people they think they disagree with. But I wanted to share Whoopi Goldberg's recent rant against bloggers (presumptively conservative ones, but maybe also liberals), because of the underlying homage it makes to one of the greatest fictional comics (in my slightly warped mind, at least) to grace this Earth - Triumph the Insult Dog.
They don't have to find out if they are even current in their information. They don't have to do any of that. And then that is picked up and made into some other story on another station, and it becomes the truth. See, I think fact outweighs assumption. So if you have facts in your hands, then you can talk, then you can have a conversation and say I hated what you did, blah, blah, blah. And I want to know who’s saying it so I can say, well, I think you're wrong here, you missed this. But you can't do that. People just, they poop on you and they walk away.
On a side note, I've seen an episode of Conan O'Brien's new show on TBS, and it seems really lacking.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Power Line's Unbecoming Self Righteousness


Shortly after TEA Party favorite Christine O'Donnell won the Delaware Republican Party nomination for U.S. Senate back in September, several prominent center-right blogs like Power Line persistently complained that O'Donnell was a bad choice and Delaware Republicans/TEA partiers were giving up an almost certain pick up of Joe Biden's old Senate seat with the "moderate" (i.e., liberal) Mike Castle.

Now that O'Donnell has since lost the election to self-described "bearded Marxist" Chris Coons, Paul Mirengoff at Power Line just can't refrain from basically wagging his finger at and telling O'Donnell supporters, "I told you so." Although the tone of self-righteousness is a bit subtle, it's nevertheless noticeable. But lost among the veiled condescension by Mirengoff is his failure to recognize the impact that he and his Power Line cohorts might have had in O'Donnell's predicted loss in the general election. It didn't help, for instance, that they lent legitimacy to the idiotic troll that O'Donnell had once dabbled in witchcraft - while she was in high school. Power Line also conveniently fails to mention the fact that Mike Castle acted like a complete sore loser and refused to back O'Donnell after she won the primary. Had Castle done so, I don't think it would have been unreasonable to believe that O'Donnell's chances of winning would have increased significantly.

Mirengoff concludes his blog post by expressing hope that conservatives don't repeat the "blunder" of nominating another Republican candidate like Christine O'Donnell. I just about wanted to punch through my computer screen when I read that.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

2010 California General Election Recommendations


As I've previously blogged, this is the very first general election that I will not be voting as a registered Republican. Without any sense of obligation to support a a candidate just because he or she won the Republican primary, I can vote for whomever I want. And believe me, there are a few elected government positions where the Republican candidate is less than desirable from a conservative standpoint.

So, without further adieu, here are my recommendations for selected state-wide offices and ballot initiatives (I might add to or change the list if more information becomes available):

Governor - Meg Whitman Although Whitman is not really all that conservative, e.g., she is pro abortion rights and against Arizona's illegal immigration bill, she at least is pro-business and is the only viable alternative to Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown, who as far as I know, never held a private sector job in his life. I'm personally looking at my vote as not for Whitman, but against Moonbeam.

U.S. Senator - Carly Fiorina Almost a clone of Meg Whitman with a dash of the questionably conservative John McCain, a political mentor to Fiorina. A lot of state GOP establishment types, including Fiorina herself, have disingenuously claimed Fiorina is "pro-life." Fact of the matter is that all Fiorina has ever said is that she is personally against abortion. Fiorina has never said she is against abortion rights, and in fact has suggested she supports them as long as the voters of California do so. A cop out to be sure, but since the only alternative is Barbara "Please Don't Call Me Ma'am" Boxer, this is a another "hold your nose" ballot cast.

Lieutenant Governor - Karen England You're going to have to write England in, as she only recently got her campaign going for this almost useless office. The Republican nominated candidate, Abel Maldonado, is pretty much a Democrat in Republican clothing.

Secretary of State - Damon Dunn I think Dunn is a former NFL player. Anyway, a couple of friends are big supporters of his, so that's why I'm making this recommendation.

Treasurer - Mimi Walters Walters is a former Assemblywoman from Orange County who was very effective, and Bill Lockyer is a career political liberal hack from, if I remember correctly, the East Bay.

Attorney General - John Eastman Like England, you'll have to write Eastman in. He doesn't have an active campaign going, having lost in the primary to the Republican nominee Steve Cooley, but I'm writing Eastman in anyway because Cooley is liberal and Democrat Kamala Harris is even more of a liberal hack.

Superintendent of Public Instruction - Diane Lenning Another write-in candidate. Just do it.

California Supreme Court - Vote 'No' on Everyone (Cantil-Sakauye, Chin and Moreno) Cantil-Sakauye is untrustworthy in light of the report that she presided over a same-sex marriage during the period of time before Prop. 8 was approved by voters. Chin voted to strike down the law requiring parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion. Moreno is a flat out liberal political hack in a black robe.

Prop. 19 (Marijuana Legalization) - No I've actually kind of struggled with this recommendation, but because the initiative would be in direct conflict with operative Federal law, I can't support it.

Prop. 20 (Congressional District Drawing) - Yes If this passes, the drawing of district lines is taken out of the hands of the politicians whose main objective, of course, is to make sure they always have voters to keep them, and their party, in office.

Prop. 21 (Vehicle License Surcharge) - No Sounds like a tax hike.

Prop. 23 (Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law) - Yes The law this initiative would suspend is based on global warming junk science.

Prop. 25 (Simple Majority to Pass State Budget) - No This initiative states that the two-thirds vote requirement to impose and raise taxes would remain in place. However, not all taxes are called "taxes." Many are called "fees" for the specific purpose of avoiding the two-thirds vote requirement for taxes. You can bet there will be "fees" stuck in a state budget that requires only a simply majority to pass.

Prop. 26 (Fees Approved by Two-Thirds Vote) - Yes See above on Prop. 25.

Prop. 27 (Eliminates Commission on Redistricting) - No This is basically the exact opposite of Prop. 20. Not having a Redistricting Commission would perpetuate the existence and entrenchment of career politicians. That has obviously not worked well for California.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Anti-Prop 8 Attorneys Have Jumped the Shark


If you're a fan of pop culture, you'll recognize that "jumping the shark" is a term that basically means doing something that is over the top and absurd.

Lawyers representing the parties who are challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 (the California constitutional amendment which legally defines marriage as being between one man and one woman) have seemingly "jumped the shark" with the arguments they recently submitted to the Ninth Circuit of Court of Appeals. As pointed out by Ed Whelan, an example of the over the top rhetorical tactics employed by anti-Prop. 8 lawyers Ted Olsen and David Boies is found in their conclusion which opens as follows:
Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay. A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay. Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society. And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility. The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.
Within the general context that the above appears, it's pretty obvious that Olsen and Boies are saying there's a causal connection between not legally recognizing same-sex "marriages" and gay teen suicide (as well as apparent anti-gay induced violence*). Now, I'm pretty certain this clear suggestion isn't supported by any hard data. Indeed, as the linked to posting by Ed Whelan discloses, there is actually available hard data to refute such a connection (in regard to gay teen suicide*).

So why would Olsen and Boies suggest this outrageous and easily refutable link between same sex marriage and gay teen suicide? This is only speculation, but I think it's principally because they know who their audience is and they have no qualms of trying to exploit it in their favor. Unfortunately, given the earned reputation of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as a liberal and lawless court, this objectively ridiculous tactic by Olsen and Boies is more than likely going to work. Heaven help us all.

*I have subsequently added this text.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let's Rock


A Federal District Court judge in Florida today gave the green light to 20 states that are challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. Obama's Dept. of Justice tried to dismiss the lawsuit primarily on grounds that Congress acted under its constitutional authority to impose and collect taxes. The exercise of said authority, of course, was disingenuously denied by Obama during the health care debate.

News that the lawsuit by 20 states can go forward is very encouraging, especially in light of the recent setback caused in a similar legal challenge by the Thomas More Law Center. Hopefully, the the judge in the 20 states lawsuit won't be the ideological hack that the judge in the Thomas More Law Center case obviously was.

On a side note, it seems that several Volokh Conspiracy blog contributors think Obamacare could be found constitutional under a Necessary and Proper Clause analysis. It's interesting from an academic standpoint, but in the end I think it requires a great deal of tortured logic for anyone to argue that the government may constitutionally force an American citizen to purchase and/or effectively pay for someone else's health insurance.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More Liberal Hackery From the Bench


Following up on her ruling last month that the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is unconstitutional, Federal District Court Judge Virgina Phillips imposed a "world-wide" injunction that basically lets all the happy people in the military come out of the closet, or footlockers, and flaunt their sexual disorders.

That Judge Phillips has egregiously abused her authority with this ideologically based ruling and injunction is without question. The woman is clearly trying to make a name for herself a-la fellow judicial lame brain Vaughn Walker. I'm hoping someone or people in Congress will oblige Judge Phillips by introducing articles of impeachment against her.

Friday, October 08, 2010

When Liberal Activist Judges Go Wild


David Kopel at The Daily Caller has a nice layman's analysis of the recent Federal court decision in Thomas More Law Center vs. Obama, a case which challenges the constitutionality of Obamacare; specifically, the law's mandate that almost everyone carry health insurance. Failure to comply with the mandate results in a hefty fine.

As noted by Kopel, the District Court in Michigan upheld Obamacare on the basis that Congress acted within its scope of power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. The underlying premise for this basis couldn't be any more ridiculous and without legal grounding:
The choice not to buy a federally-designed insurance product is not an activity at all. It is inactivity. Judge Steeh, however, said that not buying insurance is an “economic decision.” Which is true, since all inactivity, including not purchasing products, is in a sense an economic decision. If you’re sleeping, you’ve made the “economic decision” not to spend your time working to make money.

So according to Judge Steeh, Congress can use the interstate commerce power to force you to make the “economic decision” to buy a bureaucratically-designed insurance policy that you don’t want.

However, the Supreme Court has never held that Congress can regulate any “economic decision.” Such a ruling would convert our Constitution of limited, enumerated powers into a grant of unlimited central power. The American people of 1787 never would have ratified unlimited central power, nor do Americans support such power today.

That Judge Steeh had to invent the “economic decision” theory demonstrates that a conscientious judge who wants to uphold the health control law can’t find a plausible way to do so within existing Supreme Court doctrine.
This, of course, isn't the only legal challenge being made to Obamacare, and it's more than likely that Judge Steeh's decision will be appealed. It is, nevertheless, distressing to see the blatantly injudicious lengths that some of these judges will go to, e.g., making legal doctrines up out of whole cloth, in order to sustain an obviously unconstitutional law they find ideologically appealing.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's Like Having a Funeral for Your Dead Goldfish


Divorce ceremonies are apparently a growing phenomena in Japan:
One in four marriages in Japan now ends in divorce, yet it's still considered a cultural taboo. Increasingly popular ceremonies help some Japanese cope with the country's changing social norms, according to divorce ceremony planner Hiroki Terai.

Michiko's soon-to-be ex-husband, Taka, says the idea was surprising to him. He had never heard of a divorce ceremony when Michiko brought it up.

But when he looked at the brochures on-line -- which explained that the divorce ceremony was like a wedding ceremony, with a different outcome -- he decided some sort of formal closure to their marriage might provide him with emotional closure as well.
Illustrative of a culture that is increasingly becoming self-absorbed on the individual level? Seems like it.

With a fifty percent divorce rate, I fully expect divorce ceremonies to be the next big thing here in the U.S. very soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coffee Party Constipation


I think it's pretty safe to say that almost nobody in America was aware or cared that Coffee Party USA, the Liberal alternative to the Tea Party movement, had its first national convention this past weekend in Kentucky. On what basis do I have for this conclusion, you ask? In stark contrast to claims from the Liberal media, e.g., Newsweek, that the Coffee Party has as many as 200,000 members, only 350 people, most of whom were probably hippies in their misbegotten youth, showed up at the convention.

Here's some video from the get together. I don't know about you, but in light of the small turnout of folks who are allegedly looking for a more "moderate" tone in political discourse, the chant of "You can't stop the/a movement" seems a little...backward. Someone pass little Jonny 5 the Ex-Lax!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Say "No"


With the upcoming general election in November, I received the other day in the mail my Official Voter Information Guide. Rifling through it, I saw there are three people up for voter confirmation to the California State Supreme Court ("CSSC"): Ming "William" Chin, Carlos R. Moreno and Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Both Chin and Moreno are currently Associate Justices on the CSSC, while Cantil-Sakuye was recently nominated to be Chief Justice of the court by Gov. Scharzenegger.

If I had the resources, i.e., money, I'd be waging a vigorous campaign against confirmation of all the aforementioned.

Although they have done so in varying degrees of consistency, both Chin and Moreno have shown themselves to be judicial activists with little to no regard for the will of the people. The most exemplary of this for Justice Chin was his decisive vote back in 1997 to overturn the parental/judicial consent requirement for teenage girls seeking an abortion.

As for Justice Moreno, not much more needs to be said than the fact that he was nominated to the CSSC by super liberal Gray Davis, who himself was bounced out as governor in the 2003 recall election. It is nevertheless worth noting that Justice Moreno was the lone dissenter in the state-based challenge to Proposition 8, the initiative that preserves the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

In regard to Cantil-Sakauye, my recommended opposition to voting against her confirmation is largely based on the report that she presided over the "marriage" of a same sex couple back in 2008 when such "marriages" were made temporarily legal by the lawless striking down of Proposition 22, the predecessor of Prop. 8. That Cantil-Sakauye would do this kind of thing strongly indicates to me that she cannot be trusted to respect democratically enacted laws she may find personal disagreement with.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your Abbeys Are Belong to Us

Lifted from Fr. Z's blog, the picture here is of Pope Benedict XVI sitting in Westminster Abbey in London, England. Benedict, I believe, is the first pope to have ever visited the abbey, which was a Catholic edifice until the advent of the English Reformation.

See the red stole the pope is wearing? That originally belonged to Pope Leo XIII, who in the encyclical Apostolicae Curae declared all Anglican Church ordinations, orders and priests to be invalid. It's almost certain Benedict knew this, and chose to wear Leo's stole in Westminster Abbey and elsewhere in England to subtly convey a specific message. Probably not the silly subject title of this post, but maybe something along the lines of letting everyone know that there's only one Christian Church, and it aint the one founded by King Henry VIII.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Misrepresenting Buckley


Professor William Jacobson at his Legal Insurrection blog does a fine take down of the so-called "Buckley Rule" that political pundits like Charles Krauthammer and the Powerline guys have lately been invoking as justification for being against Tea Party backed/conservative candidates like Christine O'Donnell.

In short, Jacobson refutes the underlying assumption that the late William F. Buckley ever intended to make a generally applicable political rule that Republicans should always support the most politically conservative candidate who has the best chance of winning. Such a rule would have been untenable for Buckley since it effectively results in what Jacobson describes as a "tyranny of the establishment."

Having thoroughly dispelled the notion that a "Buckley Rule" exists and is wise, Jacobson goes on to give the normally reasonable Krauthammer, and those who would agree with him, some sound advice:
Make your case for a particular candidate in a particular race. But don't invoke some illusory "Rule" just because you don't like the outcome.
Update: In their commitment to unity in the Republican Party, Powerline perpetuates and gives legitimacy to a typically idiotic Bill Maher troll. Nice going guys - not!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Justice Stephen Breyer: Koran Burning Might Not Be Protected Speech


In an interview with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos, Justice Breyer suggested that burning the Koran is not constitutionally protected speech because it seems to pose the same kind of "clear and present danger" as falsely shouting "fire" in crowded theater.

Hmmm.

There are a couple of things that can be taken from this. First, Breyer is a bigot for suggestively implying that Muslims will go all batsh!t crazy if they see copies of their holy book burned in protest. Then again, look at all the batsh!t crazy stuff that Muslims in Europe did over the Danish editorial cartoons of Mohammed. In light of this, the second takeaway is that Breyer is an effective dhimmi who is more concerned about not provoking batsh!t crazy Muslims than protecting the God-given and constitutionally protected right to free speech.

Whichever takeaway is the more accurate, Justice Breyer comes out looking like a real fool.

h/t Creative Minority Report

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blessed Are the Dhimmi?


Over this past weekend in which the 9th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered across the country, some people of different faiths gathered at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in downtown Sacramento to, as the Sacramento Bee reports, "[bless] copies of the Quran with roses of love." It's unclear whether the Cathedral or the Sacramento diocese approved this kumbaya gathering, but I can't imagine that no one in authority was without prior notice of it.
Father Anthony Garibaldi of St. Francis Church said the blessing of the Quran tonight "needs to be done - on a human level you don't desecrate other peoples' holy objects. I wouldn't want my Bible burned."
Me neither, Father. By the way, did any of your Muslim buddies at the "blessing" expressly condemn the violent acts of their fellow adherents against Christians in Indonesia? Just wondering.

h/t Creative Minority Report

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Best Supreme Court Justice is Also the Most Diverse


At about the time of the Harriet Miers fiasco a few years ago, I got into an online debate with someone over the intellectual prowess of Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court. My position, at the time and today, is that Justice Thomas has a better understanding of constitutional law than anyone on the Court, including Justice Antonin Scalia.

The guy who I was arguing with couldn't disagree with me more, repeating the tired trope that Thomas was Scalia's waterboy who simply signed off in agreement with every opinion Scalia wrote. Ignoring that this guy, who was not a lawyer, probably never even read any of Scalia's or Thomas' opinions, I politely challenged him to back up his assertion. He couldn't do it, of course, and resorted to rhetorically asking me if I was serious in my suggestion that Justice Thomas was the best Justice on the Court.

Looking back, it's too bad Supreme Conflict by Jan Crawford Greenburg hadn't been released, or maybe even written, when I got into this debate. If Greenburg's excellent book had been around, I could have referenced the passage where it was revealed that Justice Thomas had changed Justice Scalia's mind on two different cases - within the first few weeks of Justice Thomas taking his hard fought seat on the Court.

All of the above is kind of an introduction to a short New York Times article I just read about the law schools that Supreme Court Justices hire their clerks from. As therein noted, since 2005 about half of all the clerks who have worked for a Supreme Court Justice went to law school at either Harvard or Yale. Everyone else usually came from exclusive law programs at the University of Virgina, Stanford, Columbia and the University of Chicago. The lone exception to this hiring trend is Justice Thomas, who has expressly said his preference is to look for clerks from non-Ivy League schools, which the Times notes includes a place like Creighton University (which is in Nebraska). Justice Thomas' reason for this preference is simple: clerks should come from a wide range of backgrounds. For a so-called "conservative" whom many on the Left continue to wrongly accuse of not having the intellectual wherewithal to be on the Court, this is pretty "progressive," outside of the box thinking. I like it.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I've Had It. Good Bye.


Today I did something that had some personal significance. I re-registered to vote so that I could change my party affiliation from Republican to Decline to State. It's something I've been thinking of doing for a while, but never really got around to. What finally pushed me to do it, though, was what I kept reading from several "insider" Republicans about GOP U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina during her first, and probably last, debate with current Senator Barbara "Don't Call Me Ma'am" Boxer. These "insiders" kept saying, via Facebook and Twitter, that Fiorina was "pro-life," and wasn't it wonderful how she didn't waver from that position.

The major problem I have with these people's assertion about the pro-life bona fides of Fiorina is that it's totally disingenuous. Yes, Carly Fiorina has expressly said she's against abortion. What she has not expressed, however, is a belief that abortion is far from being a valid right under the Constitution. Fiorina has also never said whether she at least supports enacting laws which would restrict abortion access. For all anyone knows, the stance that Carly Fiorina has on abortion mirrors the famously logic challenged/contorted stance of former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo: personally against abortion, but supports the legal right to choose abortion.*

Adding to my frustration is that none of these "insiders" I have asked who actively supports Carly Fiorina has even tried to refute the gaping holes I have poked in the suggestive assertion that Fiorina believes abortion should not be a legal right, or at least an extremely limited one. These people basically just ignore me thinking that in doing so I'll go away. Well, they're right. I have gone away. But not too quietly.

*So much might even be inferred from the partial response Fiorina gave in her debate with Boxer to a question of whether she supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Fiorina said that since California voters have determined abortion should be a legal right, she is prepared to trust the voters' judgment.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

John Paul Stevens: Dumbest Supreme Court Justice Ever?


Matthew Franck at NRO's Bench Memos blog nicely refutes a kind of homage by Yale Law School instructor Linda Greenhouse to the recently retired Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens. The context of Greenhouse's fawning is a case involving a display of the 10 Commandments on the walls of a couple of courthouses in Kentucky.
[Greenhouse] particularly admires one of Stevens’ worst notions, noting that he was “the only justice willing to articulate the position that laws incorporating the view that life begins at conception are theological exercises that should be invalidated on Establishment Clause grounds.” The “only justice” indeed. No other justice ever joined Stevens in this view, probably because it is one of the dumbest ever pronounced by a justice of the Supreme Court.

Stevens first expressed this view, to my knowledge, in his opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), 560ff. The Missouri law at issue in that case had declared that every human life “begins at conception.” Justice Stevens professed himself incapable of seeing any “secular legislative purpose” in such a declaration, and held that therefore the law expressed a purely “theological” point of view and was thus a violation of the establishment-of-religion clause of the first amendment. But of course the “purpose” of the Missouri declaration was obvious on its face. It was intended to state, and did state, a fact as a predicate for the statutory requirements to follow. Standard textbooks in embryology, then as now, unequivocally declared the scientific fact that every human life begins at conception. What an embryology textbook cannot tell us, as a matter of biology, is what to do about that fact–what moral requirement, if any, that fact should impose on us. This is what the Missouri legislature, quite reasonably, sought to do.
You can read the entirety of Franck's excellent blog post here. There's even some St. Thomas Aquinas thrown in.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Obama Stimulus is the Economic Equivalent of Red Bull


On some of the news commentary shows I've seen, partisan Democrats are trying to put a positive spin on the Commerce Department's downward revision of the country's 2nd quarter GDP rate. What these party hacks are basically saying is that despite the fact that the economy isn't growing as fast as they'd like, there's still growth. As such, Obama's economic policies, e.g., the $800 billion so-called "Stimulus" bill, are working.

This is utter and complete hogwash. The truth of the matter is the big recovery Team Obama assured us would occur if the "Stimulus" bill was passed has not been close to being realized. For instance, Obama's economic advisors claimed that if the "Stimulus" didn't get put into effect, the unemployment rate would surpass an unacceptable 8%. As you're no doubt aware, unemployment has been well over 9% for a while now. At best, the economy as measured by unemployment is just about where Team Obama said it would be without the "Stimulus" bill.

What economic growth that has occurred and can be attributed to Obama's "Stimulus" policies is entirely unsustainable. They are basically like Red Bull. You may get a noticeable energy boost, but it doesn't last for very long. A recent illustration of this point is the home buying tax credit which expired this past spring. Although this credit did spur some demand for homes, once it was gone so too were the home buyers. We know this by the news that previously owned home sales plummeted almost 30% from June to July.

Because of its high caffeine and sugar content, Red Bull has a negative impact on one's health when used. So too with the "Stimulus" on the financial health of the nation with respect to increased debt and the burden placed on future generations to pay it back.

The bottom line here is that when you hear or see Obama and the Dems try to put a happy face on what they have done with the economy, don't buy it. Their policies are nothing more than a short fix that have failed to account for long term consequences.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Killing Fields in Afghanistan


The inestimably insightful John Hinderaker at Powerline has posted some thoughts on our impending departure from Afghanistan, and the picture he paints isn't very bright. It's bad enough that Obama foolishly announced to the whole world when U.S. troops were going to be pulled out of Afghanistan, because he basically signaled to the Taliban, our enemy, how long they needed to try and stay low and in hiding. Obama, in other words, gave the Taliban a reason to try and survive.

What's even worse, however, is that once the Taliban does come back in full force without anything or anybody there to really stop them, the horrors they will likely inflict on most Afghan women and any man who is perceived to have cooperated with the U.S. military will be countless. To say that Afghanistan might become what Cambodia was under the Khmer Rouge when the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam in 1975 does not take a very big stretch of the imagination. In fact, it's more than likely going to happen. That we are basically going to allow this is truly disturbing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Endorsements: Why Sarah Palin is Starting to Piss Me Off


This past May, I posted my thoughts about why it was a mistake for Sarah Palin to endorse Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate Republican Party primary race here in California. Despite the fact that a proven conservative like Chuck DeVore was actually polling better than Fiorina in a head to head battle against Senate incumbent Barbara Boxer, Palin went ahead and threw her heavy influence behind someone whose conservative credentials are, at best, questionable (e.g., Fiorina backed TARP and has refused to say whether she is against abortion rights ).

Fiorina handily won the Republican nomination, and I believe Palin's well publicized endorsement played a big part in that. Chuck DeVore ended up finishing in third, only a couple of percentage points behind Tom Campbell, a liberal Republican and fairly well known former congressman from the Silicon Valley who several years ago had run for Senate against Dianne Feinstein. All things considered, DeVore did pretty well for someone who didn't have Fiorina's personal wealth or Campbell's built in name recognition.

With all this in mind, I got a little irritated when I saw this post on the Conservatives4Palin blog today which basically crows about the impact Sarah Palin had on the U.S. Senate Republican primary race in Washington State. The winner of that contest was Dino Rossi who, like Fiorina, isn't too forthcoming about his views on specific controversial issues, like abortion rights. Although, according to this local liberal rag in Seattle, Rossi does have a pro-life voting record in the Washington State legislature.

Sarah Palin, however, did not endorse Rossi. She endorsed Clint Didier, a political novice and former professional football player with the Washington Redskins. As noted by Conservatives4Palin, prior to receiving Palin's endorsement, Didier was running in fourth place in the Republican primary and polling in the low single digits - 4 percent. The final results of the primary show Didier winning three counties and over three times the amount of support he had been getting before being endorsed by Palin.

Didier clearly had a very slim chance of winning the GOP primary, even with Sarah Palin's endorsement. But her endorsement did make things a kind of interesting in terms of the final election numbers. Given the apparent impact she had in Washington, I don't think it's far fetched to believe that if Sarah Palin had endorsed proven conservative Chuck DeVore over highly questionable conservative Carly Fiorina in the California Republican primary, DeVore quite possibly could have won the GOP nomination. What makes Palin's endorsement decision even more infuriating to me is that DeVore had a better shot than Fiorina at beating Barbara Boxer. In a general election match up against long time Senate incumbent Patty Murray, I'm pretty certain Clint Didier never had as good a chance of winning than Dino Rossi. WTF with your endorsements Sarah Palin?!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jerry Brown Sucks


If you know me or have read this blog before, my less than positive sentiment about the former governor who is trying to again become California's next governor should come as little surprise. However, my expressed belief in the overall "suckiness" of Jerry Brown has recently been underscored by the news that he is attending a private campaign fundraiser today at the Venice, California home of Jodie Evans, a co-founder of the odiously uncivil, anti-American/pro-terrorist political action group Code Pink.

How bad are Ms. Evans and Code Pink, you ask? Here's a sample from Debbie Lee, the mother of a Navy SEAL who was killed in action in Iraq:

In 2008 [Code Pink] barricaded the recruiting office in Berkeley with the blessing of the Berkeley City Council. We at Move America Forward had all we could stomach when we heard them tell the Marines they were unwelcome, unwanted intruders, not in Iraq or Afghanistan but on American soil in Berkeley, California. Americans from across the nation joined us in Berkeley to counter-protest these anti-war hippies. Numerous times they told me they support the troops but not the war, yet over and over when I asked if they had sent care packages, phone cards, written letters, or helped the families left behind in anyway, they conveniently couldn’t remember anything they had done. Yet they had a successful fundraiser to send $600,000.00 to our enemies in Iraq? Yet Jodie Evans and her Code Pink degenerates taunted me and made light of my son’s sacrifice telling me, “Your son deserved to die in Iraq if he was stupid enough to go over there.” It took every ounce of reserve in my body to not level these idiots to the ground. These same people who call terrorists “freedom fighters” says that my son, who gave up his life for their freedoms, deserved death.

By the way, don't interpret my contempt for Jerry Brown as an endorsement of his main opponent in the governor's race, Meg Whitman. The only reason I would ever cast a vote for Whitman is to prevent Brown from winning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Gay Rights Activists May Not Want There to Be a "Gay Gene"

Joe Carter over at the First Things On the Square blog has posted a fascinating and thought provoking piece on natal eugenics, genetic engineering and homosexuality.

In his post, Carter notes the significant observation Francis Fukuyama made a few years ago about how most parents would select a medical procedure to significantly reduce the likelihood of giving birth to gay children, if such a procedure existed and was available. In light of this, it's worth asking gay activists* whether they'd oppose the inevitable development of genetic engineering technology that could alter or eliminate a "gay gene" should one ever be definitively discovered. Perhaps an even bigger question to ask is would gay activists support the legal right of a mother to abort her pre-born child solely on the basis of that child having the "gay gene"?

_______________

*By "gay activist" I basically mean anyone who believes same sex attraction is biologically natural and uses that belief as a basis for encouraging societal acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kind of a Chinese St. Thomas More


I think I've found a new role model. His name is Wu Jingxiong, a.k.a. John C.H. Wu. John was a lawyer and writer from China who had served in the Kuomintang government prior to its collapse at the hands of the ChiComs and Mao Zedong in 1949. After leaving/escaping China, John would become a long time professor at the University of Hawaii and Seton Hall University.

A couple of additional noteworthy things about John was that he was the principal author of the constitution for the Republic of China (more commonly known as Taiwan), and he was apparently somewhat of a pen pal with former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes. His correspondence with and interest in Justice Holmes was such that John would end up writing a scholarly examination of Holmes' jurisprudence.

John was also a Catholic, who converted to the faith during his adult years at the inspiration of St. Therese of Lisieux. The admiration John had for the Little Flower was such that he wrote a short pamphlet about her teachings that you can read online here.

For more biographical information about John C.H. Wu, click through here (it's where I got almost all of the above). Like the author of the linked to blog post, I'm hoping at least one of the Catholic publishers like Our Sunday Visitor and Ignatius Press reprint John's written religious works. It'd be icing on the cake for me if some publishing company would reprint his legal/law writings.

Legal Tip (Not Advice) of the Day


For the longest time I was under the general belief that a living trust protected your assets, like a house, from creditors and lawsuits. I don't know where I got this belief from, but it's not really true. A creditor can make you pull an asset out of your trust for purposes of satisfying an outstanding debt you might owe.

Creditors of named beneficiaries to a trust, however, cannot touch the trust assets. This is possibly where I might have gotten things confused.

In any event, if you want to protect your assets from creditors beyond what the law may already provide, e.g., state homesteading laws, you should get insurance.

Clarification: The above is written in the context of a revocable living trust, wherein the trust creator or settlor is still living and the named beneficiaries possess only a future interest in trust assets.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Gipper Goes Viral


An excellent video ad produced by the Republican Study Committee that's showing up on a whole lot of blogs, Facebook pages and tweets - at least the conservative ones.

I'm almost certain the clips of Reagan are from his 1964 "A Time for Choosing" speech.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It Seems Supreme Court Already Declared No Right to Same Sex Marriage [Updated]


How lawless has Judge Vaughn Walker acted in striking down Proposition 8? In 1971, the Minnesota State Supreme Court in the case of Baker vs. Nelson ruled that it was not unconstitutional for the government to limit its recognition of legally valid marriages to members of the opposite sex, i.e., 1 man and 1 woman.

On appeal by the losing parties, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 summarily dismissed Baker on grounds that the case lacked a "substantial federal question." That's literally all the Court said. However, as a matter of procedure, this summary dismissal by the Court was apparently the equivalent of a decision on the merits. If that in fact is what it means, then the ruling in Baker that marriages may be legally limited to people of the opposite sex is binding precedence upon all lower federal courts.

In his written decision, Judge Walker entirely ignored Baker v. Nelson, even though it contained identical issues and the case was raised by lawyers defending Prop. 8. As a matter of law, then, Walker's ruling should be overruled by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals without much discussion. Whether the most liberally activist and overturned court will do so, however, is a whole different question.

Update: Maggie Gallagher at the National Organization for Marriage lists some key excerpts from the emergency motion brief filed by Prop. 8 lawyers to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The big takeaway is that Judge Walker was determined to strike down Prop. 8, even if that meant ignoring binding legal precedence and grossly abusing his discretion as a federal court judge. Regardless of whether you support legal recognition of same sex marriage as a matter of public policy, you should really be upset at how Walker has conducted himself in this case. I personally don't think it's too far fetched to suggest that Walker be impeached.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Is Law School Becoming a Fool's Errand?


That's the question Mr. Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, addresses in this video with his fellow legal scholars John Yoo and Richard Epstein.

Having watched the whole 18+ minute video, I'm not exactly sure anyone ever suggested an answer. If you were to ask me whether law school is a waste of time, my response would be the same general response that lawyers tend to give to a question posed to them/us by a non-lawyer: it depends.

Putting aside the fact that many, if not most, states make possession of a valid law degree a prerequisite to taking their bar/licensing exams, I would say law school is generally a waste of time if all you want to be is a practicing attorney.

If, however, you wanted to be a legal academic like Messrs Reynolds, Yoo and Epstein, then law school would obviously be necessary.

Given these short answers, I suppose I wouldn't have been a very good guest on Instapundit's web show. Not that I would have been invited anyway, since I'm just a regular "working class" lawyer in a state where I understand there are more of us than in the entire country of Japan.

h/t Volokh Conspiracy

Monday, August 09, 2010

Gay is Apparently the New Black [Updated]

When asked by Chris Wallace where in the Constitution is there a right to same-sex (i.e., gay) "marriage," former Bush Solicitor General and co-lead attorney for the parties who challenged California's Proposition 8 answered with a rhetorical question that it exists in the same place where there is a right to interracial marriage. Of course, no such right is expressly stated in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has previously determined within the context of state racial segregation laws banning interracial marriage that marriage in general is a fundamental right that is constitutionally protected.

OK, via Ted Olson's comments in the video below, we now know for certain that pro-gay "marriage" advocates are hanging their hats on the premise that same-sex attraction is race. I personally find this ridiculous, but I'd be interested in reading any defense for this position.



A couple of pet peeve house cleaning items: I wish people would stop referring to Proposition 8 as a "ban" on same-sex "marriage." The democratically approved state constitutional amendment simply provides a legally recognized definition. To "ban" something basically means to outlaw it. Proposition 8 outlaws nothing.

I also wish people would stop saying Proposition 8 prevents homosexuals from getting married. Again, it does no such thing. In effect, Proposition 8 limits a legally recognized marriage to 1 male and 1 female. Said male and female may either be heterosexual or homosexual. There is no exclusion from marriage on the basis of sexual orientation. Under Proposition 8, "marriages" between members of the same sex are not legally recognized. Such is true regardless of whether these "marriages" are between couples of the same sex who are homosexual or heterosexual. (Oh, can same-sex couples only be homosexual? Why?).

Update: In his interview with Chris Wallace (the above embedded video was edited by whoever posted it on YouTube), Ted Olson repeated the assertion in Judge Walker's written decision that lawyers defending Prop. 8 said they didn't have to prove or provide evidence of the procreative purpose of marriage. That assertion by Walker is patently false. For Olson to knowingly perpetuate Walker's false assertion really reflects poorly on his character.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Let Them Eat Paella!


While unemployment in this country remains on the up tick, General (Government) Motors invests $500 million in a plant in Mexico, and forecasted retail sales fell short for a fourth straight month, First Lady Michelle Obama is spending a luxury filled 5 day vacation in Spain on the U.S. taxpayer's dime.

What a complete joke.

Update: Via Instapundit

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Does Stephen Bainbridge Throw Like a Little Girl?

Or did he get his nerdy wine-swilling butt kicked a few time in high school by some lunkhead jocks? I ask only because of the apparent hostility the good law professor from UCLA has toward sports, as projected in the elitist-laden swipe he took at Sarah Palin in his blog post on the reasons why it's getting to be embarrassing to be a conservative.
Let's tick off ten things that make this conservative embarrassed by the modern conservative movement:

A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a -- if not the -- leading prospect for the GOP's 2012 Presidential nomination.
Why pejoratively mention that Sarah Palin was an "ex-sportswriter," as opposed to a television journalist, if you didn't have some deep seeded antipathy to sports, right? At least give me credit for looking for a unique angle to Bainbridge's snooty comments.

h/t Ordered Liberty

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Example #99823829 That Liberals Really Hate Democracy

In striking down Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment regarding the definition of marriage that California voters approved by a clear majority, Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker proclaimed that "Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage." Perry et al. v. Schwarzenegger et al.

To the extent that this foundational comment is completely without legal basis, as well as the fact that Judge Walker is an unelected public official, there should be no doubt left in anyone's mind - except for maybe the severely deranged - that the policies of liberalism simply cannot prevail in a democratic republic.

h/t NRO

Oh, and by the way, Judge Walker should be impeached for the illegal conflict of interest he had in this case, and for violating the First Amendment rights of Proposition 8 supporters.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Why America is Great: Part Deux


Everyone has an opportunity. Here now is the official campaign ad of Basil Marceaux, a Republican Party candidate for the governor of Tennessee. Have a nice day!



h/t Hot Air

Monday, August 02, 2010

Beyond Outrageous

Below is a video of Joseph Holland (in the striped blue shirt), a 25 year old graduate student at Northwestern University who, as you'll see, was peacefully praying the rosary outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in downtown Chicago. Although clearly not interfering with anyone wanting to enter the clinic, it appears that Joseph was criminally charged for this behavior under the pretext that he was engaged in "disorderly conduct" in violation of the city's "bubble" law.

Outraged doesn't begin to describe my level of anger toward this situation.



h/t American Papist

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Specious Reasoning and Ignores Prior Case Law


That is pretty much how Andy McCarthy at National Review Online describes Judge Susan Bolton's negative ruling on several key provisions of Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law. As a result of the ruling, police officers in Arizona will not be able to basically ask someone who they think is in the country illegally for identification which would tend to prove that person is here legally.

In her ruling, Bolton essentially bought the argument by Obama's Department of Justice that several provisions of the Arizona law are "preempted" by or violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution because they effectively prevent federal immigration laws from being enforced. However, as you and I know full well, federal immigration laws aren't being enforced, so why Bolton would buy the DOJ's laughable claim to the contrary is beyond bewildering.

As McCarthy points out, Bolton also totally ignores prior case law which pretty much says the states may enact laws which deter illegal immigration. In Plyler v. Doe, the Supreme Court stated:
Although the State has no direct interest in controlling entry into this country, that interest being one reserved by the Constitution to the Federal Government, unchecked unlawful migration might impair the State's economy generally, or the State's ability to provide some important service. Despite the exclusive federal control of this Nation's borders, we cannot conclude that the States are without power to deter the influx of persons entering the United States against federal law, and whose numbers might have a discernible impact on traditional state concerns.
Unless you're totally deluded or an open borders zealot (the two of which have a great deal of overlap) this sounds exactly like the Arizona law.

If interested, you can read Judge Bolton's ruling here.

Update: The above excerpt from the Plyler case is at Footnote 23 of the majority opinion.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BP Punks Obama


Remember that $20 billion escrow fund for oil spill victims in the Gulf that Obama pretty much forced BP to open? Well, being the relatively smart business folks they are who hire relatively smart tax attorneys and accountants, BP is planning on writing off as a cost about $10 billion of that fund on their U.S. taxes. Why is this significant, you ask? Because you and I are going to end up indirectly paying for half of that $20 billion that is sitting in escrow. Thanks a lot, Barry!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Test Post

Posting this via e-mail for the first time. Just want to see how it looks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why America is Great

Because everyone, no matter how loony you are/might be, has an opportunity. See, e.g., Al Franken, Alvin Greene, and this dude who is running for governor of Tennessee (who isn't actually the official Republican Party nominee).



h/t Ace

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Democrats Vote Down Elimination of Death Tax

I give Senator Jim DeMint props for making the proposal, even though it had no chance of passing.

As the linked to article reports, super wealthy people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet not only favor keeping the estate tax, but having it at a very high rate. Their rationale is that the tax encourages charitable giving. If you think about it, though, this is really condescending and twisted. Gates and Buffet clearly think that we are incapable of being sufficiently charitable with our money without the heavy fist of government hanging over our heads. They also obviously don't like children very much, since they'd rather see the estate of a parent taken over by the government than fully bequeathed to that parent's child or kids.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Alternate-Bizarro Universe

Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat congresswoman from Texas, talks about the two countries in Vietnam living side by side in peace, and our undeclared military victory there.



h/t Powerline

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Don't Think That's Y

So it appears the Y.M.C.A. will be changing its name to just "the Y."
One of the nation’s most iconic nonprofit organizations, founded 166 years ago in England as the Young Men’s Christian Association, is undergoing a major rebranding, adopting as its name the nickname everyone has used for generations.

“It’s a way of being warmer, more genuine, more welcoming, when you call yourself what everyone else calls you,” said Kate Coleman, the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
Sure, that's the reason. Changing the name has nothing at all to do with the organization wanting to distance itself from the words "Men" and "Christian." That would be too politically correct, and maybe bigoted.

h/t First Thoughts

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Be an Eagle, Not a Pigeon


That's kind of what I remember my former high school civics and AP American history teacher, Wayne Bantau, saying to me and my classmates oh so many years ago. I know the "eagle" part is right, and as you can probably guess, it was used as a metaphor for excellence. Yeah, it was kind of corny, and some of my classmates cynically dismissed it, but I personally found it to be a source of motivation, especially with respect to learning more about politics and the law. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I aced both of the subject classes I took from Mr. Bantau.

I mention all of the above because I just came to learn that after more than 50 years of teaching service at my old high school, Mr. Bantau is retiring. There will never be, in my admittedly biased opinion, another teacher like him at North Torrance High School, and that is truly a shame.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Keith Olbermann Needs to go Back to Only Doing Sports Highlights


He just keeps showing how thoroughly unqualified he is to do serious news commentary.
For those of you who haven't been following, earlier this week, Keith Olbermann mocked Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle for saying of Abraham Lincoln, "He lost quite a few. But he won the big one." For this, Olbermann called her "obtuse" and insisted Lincoln only lost one election. Yesterday on this blog, Jeffrey Lord patiently explained why Olbermann was wrong, and his post was picked up by National Review's Daniel Foster. At this point, it caught Olbermann's eye, and the MSNBC host named Foster the "Worst Person in The World." Rather than acknowledge his error, Olbermann took the weasel's way out with a semantic loophole, embarrassingly insisting that he really meant that Lincoln only lost one popular election. As you know, at the time, there wasn't direct election of U.S. Senators.

But while Olbermann would like to discount several of Lincoln's losing political campaigns to bolster his case against Angle (including the 1858 Senate campaign), that's clearly not how Lincoln himself viewed those defeats at the time.
More here.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Divorce Contagion


Brown University researchers have apparently discovered that if you are currently married your chances of getting a divorce are increased by 75 percent if you have friends who have gotten divorced. That's pretty dramatic.
The researchers describe the effect as 'divorce clustering' - and believe that break-ups within friendship groups force couples to start questioning their own relationships.
They say that a friend's divorce can also reduce the social stigma of splitting up, even when children are involved.
The findings come from a continuing study into the lives of more than 12,000 Americans living in the New England town of Framingham since 1948.
I'm curious to know what the percentage increase of divorce is, if any, for married attorneys who focus in the area of family law. If you know a study out there on this, let me know.

h/t National Catholic Register

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kagan Suggests the Catholic Church Would Have Been Banned From Recruiting Harvard Law Students

Of course Kagan doesn't say this directly, but it's clearly there when you watch the video below. This exchange between Kagan and Sen. Lindsey Graham (who's pretty much of a squishy Republican) is within the context of questions about Kagan's tenure as Dean of Harvard Law School and her banning of military recruiters from campus. Kagan allegedly imposed the ban because she believed the military's "don't ask, don't tell" rule violated the school's non-discrimination policy. Talk about a pretext for hostility. Too bad neither Graham nor the other Republicans on the Judiciary Committee pressed Kagan harder on this.



Video via CNSNews h/t Creative Minority Report

Happy Independence Day!

Hopefully, you know what it's all about.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Obama's "Science" was Actually Kagan's Political Hackery

The following video is part of a speech that then Senator Obama gave to Planned Parenthood in 2008. Obama here is specifically blasting the Supreme Court's ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart where the Federal ban on partial birth abortion was upheld. As you'll see and hear, the crux of Barry's criticism centers on the supposed failure of the Court to give full acknowledgement to a report by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) which concludes that partial birth abortion is medically appropriate in some cases. As we've recently learned, however, it appears that would-be Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who has absolutely no scientific background or credentials to speak of, inserted this conclusion into the ACOG report.

Think Barry knew this before he nominated Kagan?



h/t Powerline

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Equal Protection Under the Law is for Suckers

Former U.S. Dept. of Justice attorney J. Christian Adams writes about his experience with the New Black Panther case that the Obama had dismissed despite clear evidence of voter intimidation. At least part of the reason for the dismissal was racial.
Some of my co-workers argued that the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation. Less charitable individuals called it "payback time." Incredibly, after the case was dismissed, instructions were given that no more cases against racial minorities like the Black Panther case would be brought by the Voting Section.
h/t Lex Communis

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joe Biden is as Thinned Skinned as Barry

Nice way to talk to your constituency. Not. If it had been me that Joe had called a smart ass, I would have reminded him that he works for me as an American citizen, and that I have a right to express my opinion to his face whether he likes it or not. Then I would have charged Joe $20 for the ice cream just because I think he's an asshole.

Correction: Frozen custard, not ice cream.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill!

Just ran across this informative website which promotes oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). According to the site, oil drilling in ANWR could have the effect of creating as many as 80,000 jobs in California. I ask this rhetorically: Why aren't we doing this?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Starbucks-like Lingo

I don't remember what her name is, but one of the Fox business reporters I saw on Hannity tonight made a great analogy to illustrate the inherent deceptiveness of the never before heard of "jobs saved" measurement that Obama keeps using to try and convince everyone that The Stimulus™ (aka Porkulus) is working. In short, the Obama measurement of "jobs saved" is kind of like what Starbucks calls the smallest cup of coffee you can buy at one of their stores: the "Tall" size.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BP Oil Spill Thoughts

Powerline's John Hinderaker posts some interesting thoughts about why he doesn't really think a provable lack of focus by the Obama Administration in the regulation of offshore drilling is a cause of the BP oil spill, and that it makes little sense the government would necessarily care more than BP about preventing spills.

Sort of along Hinderaker's line of observations, I'm wondering if BP had never been a self-identified and committed green company, would it still have conducted off-shore oil drilling as far out and deep in the ocean as it was when the oil rig exploded (notwithstanding stupid federal prohibitions on offshore drilling in shallower waters and on land in places like ANWR). I honestly believe BP would not have, in which case, a significant chunk of blame for the Gulf oil spill of 2010 - the problems of mitigating the damages it has caused in particular - has to be laid at the feet of left-wing political environmentalism.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Revenge of Ralph

Warning: The F-bomb is dropped a few times. As funny as it is (Ralph Macchio is 48?!) this mock trailer makes a pretty insightful criticism of Hollywood culture and values.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You Guys Call Yourselves "Colored People," Right?

The Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP somehow hears "black whore" instead of "black hole" in a graduation greeting card with a solar system theme. A shame Hallmark caved in and pulled the cards, thereby giving legitimacy to the L.A. Association of COLORED PEOPLE'S unsubstantiated claim.






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src="http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=kabc§ion=&mediaId=7475695&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&site=">



h/t Matt Bramanti

Update: Racist! Racist! Listen carefully, they're saying "black whore"! Racist!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cool Civil War Video

I'm kind of a buff of the era, especially anything to do with Abe Lincoln. The total number of casualties that were incurred during the war are mind blowing, even by contemporary standards.

Update: In case you don't catch the quick flash of introductory text at the beginning of the video, it basically says 1 second of video equals 1 week of the war.



h/t The American Catholic