Patterico's Pontifications


WOW — I Didn’t See That Coming: Norman Hsu Fails To Appear In Court

Filed under: General — WLS @ 5:21 pm

[Posted by WLS]

News at 11:00?? 

Not if the Dems and the MSM have anything to say about it.

Courthouse Quote of the Week

Filed under: Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 3:17 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Chandler police officer Ronald Dible was fired for participating in a pay sex website with his wife. He sued – claiming First Amendment violations as well as his ‘Right of Privacy’.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected his claims.  [PDF alert]

Judge Ferdinand Fernandez was particularly scornful of the ‘Right of Privacy’ claims:

Speaking of unwanted publicity leads to the obvious reflection that intimate as their activity may have been in one sense, it certainly was not intimate in the sense of an activity that they intended to hide. Megan Dible was the star of her own show and happily displayed herself to those willing to pay to view her, and even, as a teaser, to those who were not yet paying. Ronald Dible, for his part, participated in the activity, both as a performer, and as a videographer. He even appeared in public places for the purpose of advertising the Dibles’ activities and their products. While some believe that when we assume the bench we enter a hibernaculum and retreat from reality, we can see that on the facts of this case the Dibles’ right of privacy claims are virtually oxymorons.

Jeffrey Toobin On The Supreme Court

Filed under: Books,Judiciary — Justin Levine @ 2:08 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

While at the station today, I received an advance copy of Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Nine: Inside The Secret World of the Supreme Court”.

Sample observations from the book (pgs. 181-82):

When the justices returned following their Christmas break, in January 2001, their docket for the rest of the term finally vindicated Souter’s prediction from the previous fall: it was a boring year.

The relief was especially pronounced because the criticism of Bush v. Gore left some of the justices shell-shocked. It was one thing to be called wrong, or even reactionary and right-wing – that was routine – but this time critics went after the justices’ motives and their integrity. The decision was called a sham, a political fix, a putsch.

The backlash against the decision affected those in the majority in different ways. (more…)

How Robert Novak Is Responsible For Jimmy Carter Having Been President

Filed under: General — WLS @ 12:05 pm

[Posted by WLS]

Novak contends that the most important column he ever wrote, both professionally and personally, came during the Ford Administration when he came into possession of a transcript of a speech given during a closed briefing of US European Ambassadors. The speaker was State Dept. Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt, a close ally of Kissinger in his detente policy, and the leading State Dept. expert on East-West affiars. Novak’s column was in the Spring of 1976 during the Republican primaries, and it exposed a movement in the State Dept. towards a less and less aggressive posture towards the growth of communism in Europe.

The speech was given in Europe, and in it Sonnenfeldt laid out a revised State Dept. doctrine for dealing with the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. This doctrine represented Kissinger’s views, and Ford was at that time in Kissinger’s camp.

The “Sonnenfeldt Doctrine” held that the risk of military conflict between he East and West in Europe was heightened due to the “Inorganic” nature of the relationship between the Soviet Republics and the Eastern European countries — Yugoslavia, Chezkoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. The Doctrine stated that the US should not actively support independence movements within those countries as that would increase the potential for Soviet military intervention, and the happening of some event that might set off WWIII.

Instead, Sonnenfeldt laid out for the Ambassadors that the US policy would shift towards one of allowing a more “organic” relationship between the Soviets and the Eastern European countries with Soviet troops stationed in their borders.

Here is a Time Magazine article from April 1976 that gives good background on this subject.,9171,914055-1,00.html

The exposure of this policy shift at the State Dept. set off a raging debate within the Administration between the Kissingerites and the more hardline Anti-Soviets led by Rumsfeld in the Defense Department.

The real danger posed for Ford, however, was the prospect of losing ethnic Euorpean voters to Reagan who was putting together a primary challenge to Ford. In response, the Administration was forced to pull back publicly from the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine.

Advance now several months to the Presidential debate on foreign affairs. Ford made his now famous mis-statement that there presently was no Soviet domination of Eastern European countries, specifically contending that Poland doesn’t consider itself dominated, notwithstanding the presence of three Soviet Army divisions in Poland.

Novak points out that Ford’s answer was nothing more than a convoluted attempt to explain the Administration policy while simultaneously disavowing the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine which had been such a point of controversy several months earlier. What Ford was trying to convey was that it was US policy to never RECOGNIZE Soviet Domination of Eastern Europe as an accepted circumstance, but rather that it would always be the policy of the US to recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Eastern European countries notwithstanding their current subordination to the Soviets.

The 1976 election saw the entire South line up for Carter, and Ford’s election depended upon holding the steel belt, industrialized Midwest, and the West. But his Eastern European faux paus cost him dearly among the ethnic Eastern Europeans across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois — especially the Poles. As close as 1976 turned out to be, this provided the edge that gave us President Carter.

Had it not been for the exposure of the Sonnenfeldt Doctine by Novak, the attention it garnered in the Spring of 1976 — leading the Ford camp to battle over it with the Reagan camp — Ford would not have been preoccupied with trying to explain it away in response to a debate question that didn’t require him to address it.


Daily Kos Strikes A Small Blow For Freedom In America

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Politics — Justin Levine @ 11:53 am

 [posted by Justin Levine]

Yes, you heard that right. Little Green Footballs concurs. A broken clock is right twice a day….yadda yadda yadda.

I witnessed the same nonsense first hand about three years ago. Can’t we get damages from those who file frivolous FEC complaints in order to harass political opponents?

Confucius say: Don’t Show-Boat

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 11:33 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Chinese don’t take kindly to show-boating in Communist Party proceedings:


Craig Should Reconsider His Reconsideration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:33 am

Larry Craig is reconsidering his resignation. He shouldn’t. With the silly lies he has told, he cannot be taken seriously any more, and we need to put this episode behind us. I can hear the talking heads now:

Talking Head One: Hey Joey, I hear Larry Craig is taking a strong stance on the President’s new Iraq proposal.

Talking Head Two: Yeah, Fred — but is it a wide stance?

L.A. Daily News Interview with Will Beall

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:27 am

The L.A. Daily News has interesting material on Will Beall, the author of “L.A. Rex,” which I favorably reviewed here a while back. There is an article, a video clip, and a blog entry. Good stuff. He seems like a personable guy as well as a good writer.

I managed to convince Will to accept an author account here, but haven’t yet convinced him to post anything. Reading the article, I can see why. He’s a busy guy.

So am I, by the way, which is why I am glad that I have convinced DRJ to continue posting here for a while, to ease the burden on me. WLS will also be posting whenever he can, as will Justin. If I can convince Jack Dunphy to post more, and get Will Beall in on the act, then you won’t need me any more.

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