Patterico's Pontifications


Law Firm Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 8:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy relays the following quote from a law professor who directed a legal writing program for new hires at a large law firm. The law firm also asked the law professor to share his advice with the partners. He told the partners to focus on correcting actual mistakes and avoid imposing their personal writing preferences on the new associates. This was the response of one partner:

“A partner objected strenuously. He said, and I kid you not, “One of the reasons I became a partner was to impose my personal preferences on others.”

I was not asked back.”

Heh. Anyone who’s ever worked in a big law firm knows this partner.


Obama Declares Honduran ‘Coup’ Illegal

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 1:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Breitbart reports international meddler Barack Obama today declared the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya as an illegal coup and says Zelaya remains the President of Honduras.

For those keeping score, it’s: Leftists/Dictatorships – 2, Democracy – 0.


Supreme Court Reverses Sotomayor Decision

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 12:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

ABC News reports the Supreme Court ruled today that the white New Haven firefighters were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing an appellate decision by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The firefighters’ attorney believes the case will have a significant impact on jobs that require an occupational test:

“I think the import of the decision is that cities cannot bow to politics and pressure and lobbying by special interest groups, or act to achieve racial quotas,” said Karen Torre, the attorney for the firefighters. “If the test is job-related, especially in a dangerous occupation, then the fact that more African Americans pass, or more Hispanics pass, or more whites pass, isn’t sufficient grounds to ignore the results of an occupational test.”

The decision split 5-4 along ideological grounds. ScotusBlog has links to the opinion, concurrences, and dissent.

Ilya Shapiro @ Cato notes that Ginsburg’s dissent talks of her sympathy for the white firefighters, which is reminiscent of the empathy Barack Obama says he wants in his judicial nominees. Here is Justice Alito’s response (at p. 54):

“The dissent grants that petitioners’ situation is “unfortunate” and that they “understandably attract this Court’s sympathy.” Post, at 1, 39. But “sympathy” is not what petitioners have a right to demand. What they have a right to demand is evenhanded enforcement of the law—of Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on race. And that is what, until today’s decision, has been denied them.”

I agree with Shapiro and Justice Alito: Americans deserve equal protection, not empathy.


Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 12:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bernard Madoff was sentenced to the maximum 150 years today in connection with his conviction for financial fraud:

“Judge Denny Chin said the sentence was a symbolic one for a crime that showed “extraordinary evil” and “took a staggering human toll.”

The courtroom “broke into applause” when the sentence was read.

In a brief statement before he was sentenced, Madoff claimed he alone was responsible for the scheme. Afterward, Madoff’s wife Ruth released a statement that “The man who committed this horrible fraud is not the man whom I have known for all these years.”


Ed Morrissey vs. Ezra Klein: A larger lesson of Obamacare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:36 am

[Posted by Karl]

Blogger spats are often a bit “inside baseball,” but occasionally, such spats may shed light on a bigger issue.

Verum Serum reports on such a spat between HotAir’s Ed Morrissey and the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, ostensibly over whether Klein believes the “public plan” Pres. Obama would like to see as part of healthcare reform is a “sneaky” Leftist strategy for moving the US towards single-payer health care. It seems to me that Verum Serum has the videos (of both Klein and his fellow travelers), as well as the American Prospect article in which Klein referred to the public plan strategy as “single payer by stealth,” to show that Ed was not out of line in drawing the inference he did, especially given the nature of Klein’s continuing support for a public plan:

This would be like Medicare for the rest of us. It could throw the federal government’s weight around. It could negotiate deep discounts with providers. It could muscle its way into networks. Outside groups like the Commonwealth Fund estimate that it would save the average consumer 20 percent to 30 percent. That would give it a massive competitive advantage over private insurers, and would probably result in tens of millions of Americans dropping their current coverage and entering the public plan to save money. A variant of this was in the draft of Ted Kennedy’s bill that was leaked last week.

As someone who thinks cost control and efficiency are important in health reform, I’m most interested in the strong public plan. Folks who are more interested in preserving something that looks like the current private insurance market tend to fall behind the trigger public plan, largely under the theory that it would be pretty much the same as no public plan at all.

Given the extent to which Medicare dominates its market, Klein’s support for “Medicare for the rest of us” is rather telling.

Moreover, it is not difficult to figure out why Klein would have his backpedal in motion. Pres. Obama has declared, “[W]hen you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this: They’re not telling the truth.” Pres. Obama has always been at war with Eastasia, just as he has always supported the protesters in Iran, and so people like Klein take up the party line.

The dispute is of larger interest because, even as Klein denies that a public plan is a sneaky Leftist strategy, he is blogging the sneaky Leftist strategy to get the public plan into the final version of Obamacare. Klein believes that as long as the Senate passes some healthcare reform bill, it will return from the House-Senate conference with a public plan, at which point moderate Democrats will be strongarmed into allowing a vote. Klein may overestimate the degree to which Senators will be willing to cross their voters and donors for the sake of party unity, but maybe not. Either way, everyone right of center owes Klein a debt for flagging sneaky Leftist strategies on healthcare before they are a fait accompli.


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