Patterico's Pontifications


Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:07 pm

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Multiple Choice Question

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 pm

Which may be recognized in Hawaii?

a. Christian Day.

b. Islam Day.

c. Jew Day.

d. Catholic Day.

e. None of the above, because we have separation of church and state in America.

Check your answer here.

Interrogation investigations are a farce

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:28 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The New York Times was among those breathlessly reporting:

An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings.

Naturally, unhinged hysterics like Andrew Sullivan find the report — which is not yet public — “damning,” despite the fact that the conclusion flatly contradicts his view that the Bush Administration was filled with war criminals.

The Left is certainly not going to want to hear the truth from Andrew McCarthy:

Yet, even as the OPR report is being finalized, even after Obama declared himself open to the possibility of criminal prosecution against the Bush officials, and even after Holder promised to conduct an investigation that would “follow the evidence wherever it takes us, follow the law wherever that takes us” (emphasis added), the Obama Justice Department is relying on the very same legal analysis in order to urge a federal appeals court to reject torture claims. In fact, as the Obama Justice Department argued to that appeals court a little over a week ago, the torture law analysis in question has already been adopted by another federal appeals court.

Adopted by a whopping 10–3 margin in a decision of the entire Third Circuit federal appeals court sitting en banc, in fact — with full knowledge that they were adopting the 2002 guidance from former DOJ officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

But wait, there’s more!  ABC News Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg reports:

It appears John Yoo cannot be disciplined or disbarred for writing those memos, even if the Office of Professional Responsibility says it has evidence he should be.

That’s because OPR’s five-year investigation—carefully timed for release only as Bush was leaving the White House and Obama was coming in—dragged on too long. As a result of that timing, OPR blew the deadline for referring possible misconduct allegations against Yoo.


And what about Bybee? Now a federal appeals court judge, Bybee is admitted in DC and Nevada—those jurisdictions don’t have comparable limitations periods. But how strange would it be to only refer Bybee, when his involvement largely amounted making a few edits and signing Yoo’s legal work?

Then there’s the report itself. The bar for disciplinary action is incredibly high. Legal ethics experts, like Geoffrey Hazard at the University of Pennyslvania, say they expect nothing to happen, even if the state disciplinary boards were to investigate.

Greenberg then details the degree to which the preparation of the report looks like “old-fashioned politics.”  The only debatable part is “old-fashioned.”  This exercise is part of a much more recent strain called Bush Derangement Syndrome.


Obama’s campaign to takeover healthcare is on

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:17 am

[Posted by Karl]

This week’s rollout of op-eds by Democratic heavies like Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy were the dead giveaway.  The Republicans are trying to get their own talking points together, too.  But the campaign rhetoric obscures the real obstacle to the Left’s ambitions.

The Senate’s newest Democrat, Arlen Specter, said on Meet The Press last Sunday that he opposed establishing a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers (and drive them out of business), which is a key demand of the Left; over 70 House Democrats recently warned that they will not support a bill without the public plan.  Sen. Chuck Schumer is trying to lure moderates with a “compromise” that would require that the public plan abide by the same rules and regulations as private plans.  The are huge holes in the proposal, not least of which is that the people ultimately running the public plan can decide to change the rules later.

However, the question of whether Specter or “moderate” Republicans want to play ball with the Dems is really a secondary question.  The real questions are how much a health care reform bill will cost and who is going to pay for it.  Last December, the Congressional Budget Office released two comprehensive papers detailing the policy and financial options for health care reform, both of which make it abundantly clear that the Democratic proposals do not add up, while the measures that would add up are probably no more politically feasible than they were when the Clintons tried to take over healthcare.

Thus, it is no surprise that Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus is already trying to get the CBO to change its estimates.  But it will be difficult for the CBO to maintain any shred of credibility if it suddenly flip-flopped on its numbers in the space of a few months.  It would be doubly humiliating because the December estimates were rolled out when the CBO was still run by Peter Orszag, who is now Obama’s budget director.

As things stand today, the Democrats envision a health care reform plan and a Medicare physician payment fix that costs $1.75 trillion, but they have only $300 billion in offsetting savings and revenue on the table.  The amount of creative accounting required to close that gap cannot pass the laugh test, even with the aid of the lapdog media.  And that amount of dishonesty will likely shake public confidence in whatever Obama and the Democratic Congress propose.


Miss California/Perez Hilton Copyright Update

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:42 am

A quick update on that Perez Hilton copyright flap.

The National Organization for Marriage, whose 3-second clip of Perez Hilton prompted the serial copyright violator to threaten a bogus copyright lawsuit, has filed a DMCA counternotice. Details here.

Ben Sheffner has obtained Perez Hilton’s cease and desist letter, which amusingly fails to address the doctrine of fair use . . . at all. Which is highly unusual for such a letter — but not surprising in this particular case, where the fair use analysis is so clear.

How bad has it gotten? The Miss USA Pageant has sent NOM a cease and desist letter of its own, for the use of Miss California’s answer. Like NOM’s use of the Perez Hilton clip, this is clearly fair use, and the letter is pure thuggery by a pageant embarrassed by its decision to allow Hilton to be a judge.

Wow. Nobody wants you to see this clip. Luckily, bloggers everywhere have been taking my advice and reposting it. My copy is still up, and I have received no challenge from Perez Hilton or the Miss USA Pageant.

Bring it, Mario.

UPDATE: I initially referred to the cease and desist letter as a “takedown notice.” The error has been corrected.

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