Patterico's Pontifications


Boalt Dean Spends Taxpayer Money to Work Against Voter Initiative

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

California’s Proposition 209 states:

The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

So Christopher Edley Jr., the dean of Boalt Law School at Berkeley, is spending our tax dollars to try to provide “ammunition” to supporters of racial preferences:

As dean, Mr. Edley is pursuing an ambitious agenda that would put Boalt in the middle of debates over discrimination as well as over health care costs, technology and other difficult problems. The centerpiece of his plan is to build several new “institutes,” each devoted to studying issues like civil rights, technology, business law and health care.

. . . .

Mr. Edley said he hoped that research by one of the new institutes, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, will provide ammunition to supporters of using race in admissions.

(h/t: The Angry Clam.)

Nice. Always good to see our tax dollars used to work against our popularly passed initiatives. Because that just makes so much sense.

DJs Joked About Contestants Dying of Water Intoxication; Sheriff Investigates; Family Plans to Sue

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:11 pm

Homicide detectives in Sacramento are looking into that death I told you about last night, of the woman who drank too much water and died of water intoxication — part of a radio contest to win a $250 game console. Meanwhile, her family is planning to sue:

On Wednesday, attorneys for the Strange family said they planned to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the radio station on behalf of her husband and three children. Details of the suit were to be announced Thursday.

And in a macabre twist, according to this L.A. Times story, the DJs were warned of the dangers of the contest, and joked about it in that oh-so-funny way that some idiot radio DJs have — an oh-so-funny way that is likely to come back to haunt them:

During the show, a listener calls in to warn the DJs that the stunt is dangerous and says someone could die.

”Yeah, we’re aware of that,” one of them says.

Another DJ laughs: ”Yeah, they signed releases, so we’re not responsible. We’re OK.”

”And if they get to the point where they have to throw up, then they’re going to throw up, and they’re out of the contest before they die, so that’s good, right?” another one says.

There are radio DJs I have heard whom I can picture saying this. In my head, I can hear the words coming out of their mouth.

‘Hey Carter, is anybody dying in there?” a DJ asks during the show. ”We got a guy who’s just about to die,” the other responds, and all the DJs laugh.

”I like that we laugh about that,” another says.

”Make sure he signs the release. … Get the insurance on that, please.”

The spookiest part is that they joked about this to the woman who died:

Several hours into the contest, Strange was interviewed on the air and complained that her head hurt.

”They keep telling me that it’s the water. That it will tell my head to hurt and then it will make me puke,” she says.

”Who told you that? The intern?” a DJ asks.

”Yeah,” Strange responds. ”It hurts, but it makes you feel lightheaded.”

”This is what it feels like when you’re drowning,” one of the DJs says. ”There’s a lot of water inside you.”

I sense this will make for an interesting discussion. Comments are open.

Bypassing FISA Court Suddenly Not Necessary for National Security

Filed under: General,Terrorism — Patterico @ 6:02 pm

So it turns out that we didn’t need the authority to bypass the FISA court after all. We’re perfectly safe doing our eavesdropping under the auspices of the FISA court, don’t you know.

And so the unbelievably incompetent opinion by partisan hack Anna Diggs Taylor stands. And the credibility of this Administration appears to take another serious hit.

According to the linked article, when Tony Snow was asked whether the action was tied to federal court proceedings, he replied, in a quote I am not making up:

No, no, no, no, no. No. No.

It reminds me of what the peasants in Monty Python’s Holy Grail said, when asked if they had dressed up a woman to look like a witch:

No. No. No. No. No . . . Yes. Yes, a bit.

Anyway, Snow says they’ve been planning this for over two years. In the meantime, as recently as one year ago, Bush said that his program was “necessary to win this war and to protect the American people.”

And now . . . it’s not.

Everybody buys that, right?

UPDATE: Dafydd ab Hugh says that the FISA Court surrendered to the Administration, not the other way around.

I’m not sure he’s quite right to say that Bush got exactly what he’d wanted. As I recall, the Bush program sought a standard lower than the probable cause standard that the Court appears to have accepted. But he may have a point to the extent that the Court has speeded up its processes, and has left in place the possibility of some blanket monitoring when probable cause exists to believe one side of the conversation is associated with Al Qaeda.

UPDATE x2; But I think Captain Ed makes the better point, which is essentially what I’m saying in this post:

They took everyone along for a big ride, making all sorts of legal arguments about the AUMF and Article II — and now Gonzales has revealed that even they didn’t really believe it.

That’s how it looks to me. Which is why I say the Administration’s credibility has taken a big hit — even with many of us conservatives.

The Case of the Fired Litigation Associate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:41 pm

Howard Bashman reports on the case of a fired litigation associate.

Oh, sure, that’s not what he says the post is about.

But it is.

As Howard explains, the Second Circuit has affirmed a district court decision refusing to allow the filing of an appeal because it was one day late:

Today’s opinion explains that the deadline by which Travelers Indemnity Company had to file its notice of cross-appeal was no later than fourteen days after the opposing party had filed its appeal. Unfortunately, Travelers, represented on appeal by the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm, filed the notice of cross-appeal one day too late because its counsel waited until what they thought was the last day for filing the notice but had “inadvertently calendared the first notice of appeal on their office records as of the day it was received in the lawyers’ office, April 27, 2006, rather as of the day it was filed, April 26, 2006, the date made relevant by Rule 4(a)(3).”

A link to the opinion is available at Howard’s post, if you’re interested.

This is the type of thing that used to haunt my dreams as a civil lawyer.

Bryan Preston on Assessing Iraq, Plus Other Embed Posts from Malkin and Ardolino

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 6:15 am

We’re starting to see more posts from Michelle Malkin and Bryan Preston’s embed in Iraq. Bryan Preston has one titled Assessing Iraq. It includes a look at our mistakes in Iraq, and what we can do to fix them.

UPDATE: Here’s Michelle Malkin’s first post on her own site about the embed after returning.

UPDATE x2: Also, Bill Ardolino has some random photos from Fallujah.

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