Patterico's Pontifications


Coburn, Kagan, and “Eat Your Vegetables”

Filed under: Judiciary — DRJ @ 10:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Senator Tom Coburn asked Elena Kagan if the Commerce Clause allows the government to compel Americans to eat certain foods. I think her answer was “Maybe” but decide for yourself.


Violence Escalates on Texas-Mexico Border

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 10:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Six to seven shots went through a wall of the El Paso, Texas, City Hall today. Officials believe the shots were fired from Juarez. The El Paso City Hall is about a mile from the River, and city workers were in the building at the time the shots were fired.

In addition, Mexican politician Rodolfo Torre was gunned down today with at least three members of his staff. Torre was the leading candidate in Sunday’s Gubernatorial election in the border state of Tamaulipas. Mexican President Calderon termed his murder an escalation in the drug wars. Tamaulipas borders South Texas across from Brownsville.

Thus, from tip to tip, violence is escalating on the Texas border.

H/T AD – RtR/OS!


Lieutenant Doug Young, LAPD Ret., RIP

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 10:09 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Funeral services were held today for Doug Young, who passed away on June 21 at age 62. Lt. Young retired only three short years ago after an exemplary 38-year career with the LAPD, nearly all of it spent in South Los Angeles. A committed Christian, he chose to live his faith rather than talk about it. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and he was the kind of cop you would be grateful to see at your front door if you were ever to find yourself in need of one. If every supervisor on the LAPD could but emulate him, it would be a far different and far better police department. Countless LAPD officers, including this one, are grateful to have known and served under him. RIP.

–Jack Dunphy

Is This the Kagan Smoking Gun?

Filed under: Abortion,Judiciary,Politics — DRJ @ 7:32 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

NRO’s Shannen W. Coffin has a major story that impacts the Kagan confirmation hearings, and PowerLine’s John Hinderaker summarizes it: While working in the Clinton White House, Elena Kagan was apparently responsible for getting the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) — “a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ organization” — to replace its initial statement on partial birth abortion:

[ACOG] “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”

With the following statement:

[The partial-birth-abortion procedure] “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

Read both links for the details of Kagan’s role in producing the ACOG statement, a role that Hinderaker says could be a “gigantic scientific deception:”

“Unless there is some other interpretation of these documents that does not occur to me, it appears that Elena Kagan participated in a gigantic scientific deception. On behalf of the Clinton White House, she deliberately subverted what was supposed to be an objective scientific process. The ACOG report was certainly seen in that light by the federal courts. Federal Judge Richard Kopf was deeply impressed by the scientific integrity of the report; he wrote:

“Before and during the task force meeting,” he concluded, “neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed” in the ACOG statement.

This statement was obviously false. The federal courts were victimized by a gross deception and a perversion of both the scientific process and the judicial process, carried out, the evidence appears to show, by Elena Kagan.”

Hopefully Senator Lindsey Graham and his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are reading and listening.


Day 70: Obama Finally Accepts Foreign Help

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 6:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s Day 70 of the BP Oil Spill and the Obama Administration has finally acknowledged they need help:

“The United States is accepting help from 12 countries and international organizations in dealing with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Here is the State Department’s press release.

It has always struck me as odd that President Obama has made world tours apologizing for the sins and omissions of America but when we really do need help, he’s the last to say so.


House GOP Blocks Funding Extension of Jobless Benefits

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 1:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bloomberg-Business Week reports the House was scheduled to vote today on H.R. 5618 which would spend $33B to extend jobless benefits through November. The Washington Times reports GOP members blocked the extension, citing concern about the escalating deficit.

Hopefully this is the beginning of a Rick Santelli-style Stop Spending! trend, because it’s not helping Americans to bankrupt our nation.

[NOTE: I added “Extension” to the headline to make it more clear.]


Inside the Obama DOJ

Filed under: Law,Obama — DRJ @ 12:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Times takes us Inside the Black Panther Case and, in the process, reveals the Obama Administration’s corruption of law and justice:

“On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.”

Read the entire thing, and weep.

H/T G and John Hitchcock.


Elena Kagan on Law and History

Filed under: Judiciary,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 12:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

CBS News reports on Day 2 of the Elena Kagan hearings regarding Senator Grassley’s questions about the Second Amendment. Kagan pointed out the McDonald decision was “based so much on history” and stated the Court has decided gun ownership is a fundamental right that is “good precedent going forward.”

All case law is precedent but that won’t stop the Court from changing it if the Justices think it’s wrong. That’s especially true here, where Kagan characterizes the decision as “based so much on history” — presumably as opposed to the law. Kagan reinforces the idea that the decision isn’t based on law when she adds the italicized qualifier: “The [McDonald] case is based so much on history, which I’ve never had the occasion to look at.”

Kagan is a lawyer, a law professor and a former Law School Dean. If she’s never looked at the history of gun rights and the Second Amendment, it’s either because she has no interest in the subject or it’s because she thinks history is not required to decide a Second Amendment legal question. I think the latter is more likely.

Thus, this may be what Kagan is really saying: A judge is not required to know about history to decide a legal question, and a legal decision based on history instead of law can be wrong.


Feinstein on Judicial Inexperience, Then and Now

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 7:12 am

Dianne Feinstein, February 10, 2003:

Miguel Estrada has never been a judge. So we have no record of judicial decision-making to examine. This is not dispositive in itself, but it is the first area where we find no record to help us in our decision.

Mr. Estrada is not a prolific writer. So we have no real record of writing to examine. Again, this alone would not be dispositive, but it is strike 2 in terms of where we can get information about this nominee.

We have not been granted access to the memos he wrote at the Department of Justice. So we can only take the word of the man who supervised him that those memos were ideologically driven and that he could not be trusted.

Elena Kagan has never been a judge. She is not a prolific writer. We have not seen her internal memoranda and correspondence from when she was Solicitor General.

And so we see in the L.A. Times yesterday:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called Kagan’s lack of judicial experience “refreshing,” . . .

It’s just too easy. And I’m sure you could find examples of hypocrisy running the other way, too.

It’s the kind of thing that makes you long to watch actual kabuki theater.

If you’re interested in the snoozefest that is the Kagan confirmation, Jan Crawford has a number of videos at her Facebook page covering this and the gun rights case from yesterday. Check them out.

McCain vs. Johnson Redux, Plus Rev. Wright!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:10 am

Charles Johnson attacks R.S. McCain for posting World Cup related Twitter messages calling Mexicans “beaners,” Brits “faggots,” and Germans “kraut swine.”

McCain tells readers here that Johnson

did not recognize the premise of the joke, i.e., to employ derogatory terms for various nationalities — French “frogs,” Irish “micks,” Italian “dagos,” etc. – whereas Johnson had in mind racial slurs, which terms I had of course avoided. At one point, I asked readers to suggest an epithet for Algerians, a situation where generic anti-Arab terms would not do.

Charles Johnson is simply too dull-witted to get the joke.

Johnson also complains that McCain’s SiteMeter name is s32porchmanque:

Well, isn’t that lovely. “Porch Monkey.” A disgusting Southern slur for black people. McCain obviously thought he was being clever.

In the post linked above, McCain’s sidekick Smitty (who apparently set up the SiteMeter) links his previous explanation of the term:

Commenter ‘Random’ inquires concerning the whole Porch Manqué schtick.

First, I’ll point you to Wikipedia, which discusses the term. . . .

By putting “porch” in front of “manqué”, we get a distinct handle. When first invited to be Vice Deputy Assistant Under-Secretary to the Spitoon Wrangler on this blog, I wanted to have a term to explain the relationship between Stacy and me. If I completely tubed a post, that was because I was an embarrassment; a failure.

The term “porch” allows all sorts of (hopefully comic) allusions to toiling away in abject squalor.

There is also the bit that the term veers quite close to a racial slur. Having served several years in the military, I’m about as un-racially biased as anyone. To the extent that every time I use it, I can play the Alinsky Rule #5 card and mock the ignorance of racism, it’s a good thing.

So there you have it.

P.S. I’ve been too busy to look up what Johnson and/or McCain have to say about the Rev. Wright’s latest:

During a five-day seminar Wright taught last week in Chicago, he was back at it, claiming that whites and Jews are controlling the flow of worldwide information and oppressing blacks in Israel and America.

“White folk done took this country,” Wright said. “You’re in their home, and they’re gonna let you know it.”

. . . .

“Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect,” Obama said.

Yet during this course — which was described as asking, “What is the response and public witness of persons of faith to ongoing developments in both countries?” — Wright made many statements about what he believes are the true aims of whites and Jews.

“You are not now, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be a brother to white folk,” he said. “And if you do not realize that, you are in serious trouble.”

. . . .

He cited the writings of Bill Jones — author of the book “Is God a White Racist?” — as proof that white people cannot be trusted. “Bill said, ‘They just killed four of their own at Kent State. They’ll step on you like a cockroach and keep on movin’, cause you not a brother to them.’ ”

Wright referred to Italians as “Mamma Luigi” and “pizzeria.”

No word on who Rev. Wright rooted for during the World Cup. I have been unable to confirm rumors that, during the Ghana/USA game, he could be heard screaming: “God damn America!”

One post, two topics. Choose one or mix and match, as you like.

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