Patterico's Pontifications


Ninth Circuit Judicial Council Sanctions Cyrus Sanai

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:23 pm

And refers the matter to the State Bar:

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council yesterday sanctioned Beverly Hills attorney Cyrus Sanai, saying he had filed frivolous complaints against 19 federal judges.

The court ordered that any further misconduct complaints filed by Sanai, best known as the lawyer whose discovery of sexually explicit material on Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski’s personal website led to the judge being admonished, be submitted to the court for review prior to being filed.

Only after “a determination is made as to whether it merits further review” will the filing of a complaint by Sanai be permitted, the order provides. The council also publicly reprimanded Sanai and ordered that a copy of its order be served on the State Bar of California for consideration of further discipline.

. . . .

“An attorney filing a frivolous misconduct complaint diminishes the effectiveness of our system of justice, and also may have an adverse effect on the random assignment of judges who may feel compelled to recuse even in light of unfounded allegations,” the council wrote. “We conclude that both a public reprimand and a pre-filing order are appropriate sanctions for this abuse of the misconduct complaint procedure.”

Here is the opinion.

Caption Contest: Rick Sanchez Fired from CNN Edition

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:18 pm

As you may have heard, Rick Sanchez was fired from CNN today, due to his discomfort with all the Jews working there:

I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like [Jon] Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority? Yeah.

Caption the following photo:

(H/t James Urbaniak.)

Sockpuppet Friday!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:50 pm

This is the weekly thread where readers are allowed — even encouraged — to sock-puppet other people.  Note well: the comments you see below are probably not really written by the person whose name or moniker appears under the comment. 

On a blog where things sometimes get tense and tempers might get short, I think this is a nice stress reliever.

One caveat: please, please remember to change back to your original name when you comment on other threads.  Invariably, 4-5 people forget to do this, and I end up having to correct the names on other threads.

Remember that the people you are mocking are real people.  And as always, if you can’t say something nice, say something funny.

After the midterms: Divide and conquer?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:43 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Yesterday, House GOP leader — and Speaker wannabe — John Boehner gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, including a number of suggestions for cutting federal spending. I am particularly struck by this one:

Let’s do away with the concept of “comprehensive” spending bills. Let’s break them up, to encourage scrutiny, and make spending cuts easier.

Rather than pairing agencies and departments together, let them come to the House floor individually, to be judged on their own merit.

Members shouldn’t have to vote for big spending increases at the Labor Department in order to fund Health and Human Services.

Members shouldn’t have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA. Each Department and agency should justify itself each year to the full House and Senate, and be judged on its own.

This approach is good as a matter of substance and strategy. As Ramesh Ponnuru notes, it would help a GOP-led House avoid a government shutdown showdown of the sort that would otherwise be inevitable. If House Republicans are committed to defunding parts of ObamaCare, they won’t be able to avoid a fight with the administration. While I could cynically make the argument that losing that fight would help frame the 2012 election, it would be bad policy and likely bad for any House GOP leader who wanted to remain House GOP leader. The divide-and-conquer approach would give the GOP much greater leeway in framing funding fights and much less opportunity for the establishment media to hype a budgetary “trainwreck,” as they did in the Clinton-Gingrich context.

If the House Republicans’ Pledge to America showed that the leaders have not yet figured out how to accomodate a likely bolder freshman class, Boehner’s speech shows that at least some thought is being given to the fight ahead. It is thus all the more irritating that Boehner — and the House GOP generally — refuse to commit the party to a ban on earmarks. The divide-and-conquer logic is the same, as earmarks grease the skids for larger and even more odious pieces of legislation. Boehner’s speech acknowledges that voters see the House as a compromised institution. Boehner himself says he is against earmarks. In this environment, it would be a mistake for the House GOP to think it can shy away from an earmark ban with claims that other reforms — e.g., the proposed weekly spending cut votes — are an adequate substitute.


L.A. Times Fails to Give Readers Proper Context Regarding Letter to Whitman

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

The L.A. Times has a front-page story about the Meg Whitman/maid affair that darkly references a “letter” that is supposed to hurt Whitman’s position somehow. Here is the passage about the letter that appears on Page One:

But Whitman’s lengthy defense was undercut by the second in a dramatic duel of widely broadcast news conferences as the housekeeper’s attorney, Gloria Allred, produced a copy of a government letter sent six years before Nicandra Diaz Santillan was fired alerting the couple to potential problems. On the bottom of the letter was a note in what Allred said was Whitman’s husband’s handwriting: “Nicky, please check this. Thanks.”

Here’s how this looks on the front page:

It alerted her to “potential problems,” eh? Well, that certainly sounds damning!

Until you look at the actual letter (.pdf) to see what it actually says — something this “news” publication never bothers to disclose. No image of the letter is provided. No quote from the letter is given.

We can do better and we will.

This letter makes no statement about your employee’s immigration status.”

The L.A. Times describes the letter only as “the letter from the Social Security Administration which told the couple that Diaz Santillan’s Social Security number and name did not match.” Further, editors suggest the letter should have tipped off the Whitmans regarding her immigration status:

But the letter called into question when the couple knew there might be a problem. In a campaign call, Whitman strategist Rob Stutzman called the letter a “rather perfunctory piece of paperwork,” and other campaign officials noted that it came to no conclusion about Diaz Santillan’s legal status. But questions about erroneous Social Security numbers can be a tip-off to a residency issue.

The letter didn’t just fail to come to a conclusion about her legal status — as if that was never mentioned. Rather, the letter explicitly says that it makes no statement about her immigration status. That is a stronger statement. Again, the quote is: “This letter makes no statement about your employee’s immigration status.” Editors do not make this clear; nor do they tell readers that the Whitmans were told the letter could not be used to fire Santillan.

Moreover, editors do not tell readers that the letter asks only that the Whitmans check the Social Security number in question against the Social Security number she had already given them:

Well, she had provided them a fake Social Security card, copies of which the campaign has released. Allahpundit observes:

When you read it carefully, all it says is that there’s some recordkeeping discrepancy related to Diaz’s W-2, which could mean any number of things; her lawyer points out that Diaz acknowledged on page two of the document that she goes by two different names, which Whitman’s husband might have believed was the true cause of the mix-up. . . . Essentially, they’re forced to compare Diaz’s false documents to Diaz’s recitation of the numbers on those false documents, which is moronic. Is that right, or have I misread something here?

Nope, you’ve pretty much got it. It’s a huge nothing — not that you would know this by simply reading the L.A. Times.

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