Patterico's Pontifications

7/24/2007

Adhahn Faces Murder Charges

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,Immigration — Patterico @ 5:43 pm

Catching up with the news: Terapon Adhahn has been charged with the murder of 12-year-old Zina Linnik.

Good thing we didn’t deport him back in the 1990s.

Another Victim

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 5:39 pm

Remember that immigrant whose child rape charges were dismissed for lack of a translator in an obscure West African language? It turns out that his alleged victims included, not just a seven-year-old girl, but also a one and one-half year-old girl.

Hunter’s First Rule of Holes: Keep Digging

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 12:12 pm

After being called on the carpet for her misleading description of a trial lawyer as a “staunch Republican” — despite the fact that he had donated to Democrats over Republicans by a margin of nearly 8 to 1 — Jennifer Hunter first doubled down . . . and now doubles down again.

Namely, she says today that it was a “truthful statement” that trial lawyer Jim Ronca is a “staunch Republican” who “was so fed up by the Bush White House that he was going to support and give money to Democrats.” Those who disagreed, based on his overwhelming pattern of contributions to Democrats, do not care about the truth; rather, Hunter says, they are simply “demagogic Republicans.”

I think that’s “quadrupling down.”

I believe I finally understand her point. In Ms. Hunter’s dictionary, “staunch” is defined as “occasional.”

Under this definition, Ms. Hunter is a staunch truth-teller.

It’s so entertaining to find yet another Big Media journalist who never digs so deep as when she’s digging herself a hole.

Thanks to several readers.

Judge to State of California: It’s *Your* Fault the Federal Government Is Screwing You So badly

Filed under: Court Decisions,Crime,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:10 am

A couple of liberal federal judges have control of the state’s prison system, and they’re considering a plan that could release thousands of prisoners upon society all at once:

Federal judges who have been trying for more than a decade to improve medical care in California’s overcrowded prisons called Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest plans insufficient and cleared the way Monday for a three-judge panel to cap the state’s prison population.

The rare move has the potential to trigger the release of inmates, though experts say less drastic measures also might appease the judges, who years ago found medical and mental care in California’s 33 prisons unconstitutional.

I love this oh-so-ironic line penned by Judge Lawrence Karlton:

“The court wishes to observe again that overcrowding is the state’s problem, and in the interim, the court again urges the state to find its own solution to the crisis,” he wrote.

Why is it ironic? Because it’s the federal government’s fault that we’re in this mess, of course. Yet the judge is right: somehow, it’s still our problem.

How is it the federal government’s fault? I’m so glad you asked.

You see, were it not for the thousands of illegals that California is paying to incarcerate in state prison — illegals that the federal government should be keeping out and deporting — we wouldn’t be in this mess at all. We’d be well within safe and reasonable capacity for the prisons.

Here’s how the math works. Let’s look at a revealing passage from Judge Karlton’s opinion yesterday. Skim it if you have to; it’s deadly dull. Don’t worry, I’ll summarize it after the block quote:

Defendants plan to add 12,000 prison “in-fill” beds by 2009. . . . It is not at all clear, however, that an additional 12,000 beds, even if timely completed, will alleviate the population crisis. As noted above, in June 2004 the independent panel on corrections found that a male inmate population of approximately 141,000 exceeded by 4,000 the “safe and reasonable” capacity of the California prison system . . . The male prison population projected for March 2009 is over 162,000 inmates and exceeds the population analyzed in the 2004 report by approximately 21,000 inmates, or 9,000 more inmates than new beds planned.

This is a long-winded and judicial way of saying that in 2009, there will be 13,000 too many inmates.

But here’s the thing: the Washington Post says: “More than 10 percent of California’s prison population is in the United States illegally.” Calculating 10% is easy math; even an English major like me can do it. You chop off the last zero and you’re done. So: more than 10% of 162,000 (the number of male inmates projected in 2009) is more than 16,200.

So in 2009, there will be 13,000 too many male inmates . . . and more than 16,000 illegal inmates.

Do the math. If none of those illegals were here, we’d be within the “safe and reasonable” capacity of the system by about 3,000 inmates.

But the state can’t monitor the border. That’s a federal function. The state can’t deport illegals. That’s a federal function.

Why, if the people of the state even try to restrict benefits to illegals, a la Proposition 187, some federal judge will tell us that we’re stepping on exclusively federal domain.

Meanwhile, illegals overrun our society, including our prison system, and another federal judge tells us that “overcrowding is the state’s problem.”

Are you getting the irony yet?

It’s like one cop cuffing your hands behind your back, and his partner slapping you around because you won’t raise your hands above your head.

Irony.

Or, I would call it, a pure outrage.

P.S. Where did I get this analysis? Why, from the L.A. Times, of course!

I’m kidding! Jeez, calm down. I hope I didn’t cause anybody to stroke out.

No, of course, despite the fact that illegal immigration is a huge and obvious factor in our prison overpopulation problem, the L.A. Times doesn’t breathe a word of it. Never will.

You’ll have to come here for that.

More on that L.A. Times Article on Executive Privilege: Where’s the Context??

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the L.A. Times story on executive privilege. There are two levels to the issue: 1) has the President validly invoked executive privilege as to Harriet Miers, and 2) must a U.S. Attorney bring a contempt citation against Miers, despite the fact that the Justice Department’s articulated view is that she was privileged not to appear?

The article was primarily concerned with issue #2. Yesterday I discussed how the article painted a dramatic but utterly fraudulent picture of a brewing confrontation on this issue between the Bush administration and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. The article’s narrative portrayed the U.S. Attorney as “pitted against his bosses” on the issue of whether to pursue a contempt citation against Miers. Comically, there is no evidence that any such confrontation took place anywhere but in the editors’ minds. As I noted yesterday, for all we know, the U.S. Attorney in question agrees with the Department of Justice.

In today’s post, I want to highlight the lack of context that the story gives to the President’s actions. The article portrays the Bush administration’s actions as flying in the face of a law:

Despite a federal statute referring to the U.S. attorney’s duty to take contempt cases to the grand jury, they believe it would be impermissible under the law, and violate the doctrine of separation of powers under the Constitution.

An expert is later quoted saying that the statute is “unambiguous” in its requirement that contempt citations be referred to the grand jury. The article acknowledges that the Bush administration disagrees, but cites a Reagan-era memo as the only authority for the Bush administration’s position — as if two Republican administrations are the only ones to have held this view.

Not so. Namely, as Beldar says in this comment, the Bush Administration position is not a radical view of the law. Why, even Bill Clinton’s Justice Department agreed:

As to whether Congress can compel a U.S. Attorney to prosecute the Executive for defying a Congressional subpoena, this isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue. It’s an Executive vs. Congress issue, on which the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush-43 Administrations have all taken absolutely consistent positions. Saturday’s WaPo noted that:

But administration officials and other legal scholars, including some Democrats, noted that Justice Department lawyers in the Clinton administration made a similar argument during a controversy with Congress over the nomination of a federal judge.

Walter E. Dellinger III, who headed the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department then, wrote in a 1995 legal opinion that “the criminal contempt of Congress statute does not apply to the President or presidential subordinates who assert executive privilege.”

That conclusion echoed a broader legal opinion issued 11 years earlier by then-Assistant Attorney General Theodore B. Olson, who headed the OLC during the first term of the Reagan administration.

This was, of course, printed on a Saturday and buried on page 3, since it would interfere with the Dems’ PR campaign for the WaPo to run a story that ought to have been headlined: “Bush Administration, Just Like Every Other, Refuses to Prosecute Itself Over Its Refusal to Be Congress’ Simpering Bitch.”

Heh.

Beldar and the Washington Post make good points — but there’s even more evidence than that. The “broader legal opinion” cited by the Post also cited an example (at page 119) from the Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy administrations in which the Department of Justice refused to refer contempt of Congress citations to a grand jury. The memo also cites 1976 testimony from Assistant Attorney General Rex Lee, given during the Ford administration, to the effect that a valid invocation of executive privilege would justify a refusal to refer a citation to a grand jury.

In other words, this is not a new position, or a Republican (Reagan/Bush) position. It is the position advocated by at least six different administrations over the last 50 years — including JFK and Clinton.

Does the L.A. Times provide this context? Not on your life. Instead, we get seeming astonishment that the Bush administration would take this position, bolstered by the opinion of an expert.

About whom I will have more later this week. He and I have been discussing these issues, and I find his views quite startling in the breadth of the leeway he would give Congress to encroach on executive power. But that discussion will have to await a future post.

P.S. Beldar’s comment also provides a wealth of links addressing issue #1, presenting a strong case that the President’s invocation of privilege regarding Miers’s appearance is sound.

P.P.S. That longstanding position of at least six presidential administrations is described by our pal Glenn Greenwald as an “obviously radical position.” Well, there you have it, then.


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