Patterico's Pontifications


How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 3

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:56 pm

Riomaggiore, Italy:


The Littlest Nazi

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 5:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here’s an amazing Nazi story that I had never heard before:


NY Post: Less Serious Incidents Should Not Lead to Less Serious Charges

Filed under: Crime,General,Race — Patterico @ 1:33 pm

The New York Post on Jena:

Indeed, white teens involved in two similar (though less serious) incidents against black victims in Jena itself faced much lower charges, resulting in no jail time.

Such inconsistency leads Americans to lose confidence in the racial impartiality of law enforcement and the judicial system.

Someone explain this to me. Less serious charges for less serious offenses should concern us all . . . why, exactly?

A Toobin Assertion I’m Not Buying

Filed under: General,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 1:10 pm

From page 103 of Jeff Toobin’s book “The Nine”:

At an appearance at a New York synagogue in 2005, Scalia was asked to compare his own judicial philosophy with that of Thomas. “I am an originalist,” Scalia said, “but I am not a nut.”

The implication here is that Scalia asserted, seriously, that Thomas is a “nut” when it comes to his jurisprudence.

I’m not buying it. Not for a second.

I strongly suspect that in the coming days or weeks, we will learn that this is a misquotation — or at the very least, that critical context is missing.

When the proof comes, I’ll remind you that you heard it here first.

UPDATE: Via ItsMe, this post has a pretty good explanation of what probably happened. It’s not conclusive, but it makes a lot more sense than Toobin’s implication.

Toobin Will Say Whatever It Takes to Slam Clarence Thomas — Even If He Said the Exact Opposite Thing Eight Pages Earlier

Filed under: Books,General,Judiciary,Law — Patterico @ 12:00 pm

In the next few days, I will have a full review of Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Nine.” The book is readable, entertaining — and highly problematic. The issues I’m having with the book stem from Toobin’s prejudice against the conservative justices, as illustrated by two passages I just read about Clarence Thomas.

In the first, Toobin derides Thomas as an extreme conservative — a lonely voice in the wilderness who is “neither influenced by nor with influence upon his colleagues.” Toobin says that Thomas engaged in a “lonely, often solo effort” to restore a constitutional view of limited government. After five pages of describing Thomas as an isolated extreme conservative, Toobin concludes:

So Thomas was ideologically isolated, strategically marginal, and, in oral argument, embarrassingly silent.

A mere eight pages later, Toobin changes his tune entirely. In a snide response to Thomas’s speeches describing himself as a courageous outsider, Toobin sneers:

Never, on these occasions, did Thomas acknowledge that he was not some lonely voice in the wilderness but a Supreme Court justice whose votes, more often than not, were in the majority.

So Thomas is “ideologically isolated,” “strategically marginal,” and engaged in “lonely, often solo” efforts — descriptions that allow Toobin to portray Thomas as extreme. But when Thomas describes those characteristics as a virtue, Toobin suddenly downplays them — and mocks the very description of Thomas that he advanced eight pages earlier.

The only consistency here is in the negative slant against Thomas.

I don’t mean to suggest that the book is nothing but a one-sided screed against Thomas and his conservative brethren. As my upcoming review will show, Toobin also tells some heartwarming stories about Thomas as a man — stories that will no doubt surprise those who have turned Thomas into a bogeyman.

But this set of contradictory passages illustrates why I can’t trust Toobin. As entertaining as much of his book is, I’m taking it all with bucketfuls of salt.

UPDATE: Another Toobin assertion I’m skeptical of, discussed here.

Colin Powell’s State Department ranked Asylum higher than Security

Filed under: Government,Terrorism — DRJ @ 11:18 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The State Department under Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to implement a 2003 anti-terror recommendation that would have barred aliens from states that support terrorism from obtaining diversity visas:

Nearly 10,000 foreigners from states sponsoring terrorism have obtained permanent residency in the United States in the past seven years, congressional investigators say. The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs did not implement a recommendation to bar aliens from those countries, says the report from Congress’ Government Accountability Office. The GAO focused on the issue after the State Department inspector general pointed to the risk in allowing foreigners from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism to obtain visas under the special diversity visa program.”


Was the Delaware State University Shooting Gang-Related?

Filed under: Crime,Education — DRJ @ 9:54 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The recent Delaware State University shooting might (or might not) be gang-related:


MoveOn.Org’s $77,508 Freebie

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 am

What do you know? did get a price break after all.

But not to worry. It was an innocent mistake.

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