Patterico's Pontifications


Google: Bing Is Ripping Off Our Search Algorithm

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:00 pm

Seems like a convincing case.

Tune in to a Smart Discussion on Vinson’s Ruling (Bumped)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:00 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: The show is on now. I will be on soon.

Update: Okay, done. I think I did a reasonable job. And it appears that you can listen to the recording here and decide for yourself.

I have been contacted by John Smart who runs a net-based “radio” talk show and he has graciously invited me to be a guest on his show.  He said his show will start at 6 pm Pacific time (which is 9 pm Eastern) and at that time you should tune in, here, if you are so inclined.  Afterward it will be in the site’s archive and you can even listen somehow on Itunes.

He seems left of center, but more importantly he seems to be principled.  Consider for instance this passage from his blog discussing the decision:

It defies ALL logic – from the left, right or center – to claim that non economic activity is economic activity. Not buying an apple is not the same as buying an apple. If we can’t agree on this small bit of reality then we’re cooked. The sad, sick, fact here is that those on the Obama Apologist Faux Left don’t give a rat’s a– about logic. They don’t give a rat’s a– about the precedent the mandate sets. Or won’t until the same logic forces them to by war bonds or stock in G.E. under some future GOP admin. They don’t give a rat’s a– about the law or civil liberties. They care about 2 things: Control and Adoring Obama.

And despite that flash of anger and coarse language, my impression is he is generally a calm and cogent man—not some shock jock.  So hopefully this will be fun law-nerd talk and I can keep things interesting.  Or I will crash and burn.  Which might be fun listening in its own right, sort of like video of a car accident.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Scattered News, Reactions and Rebuttals in the Discussion of Vinson’s Ruling

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:59 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

First, the good.  There is good, straightforward discussion of the case at the Wall St. Journal.  And is always good for providing quality legal reporting.  They also give us an update on other cases involved in Obamacare:

The 4th Circuit just last week set an expedited briefing and argument schedule for its review of the two Virginia cases: Sebelius v. Commonwealth of Virginia, and Liberty University v. Geithner. All briefing is to be completed by April 18 with a hearing date for May 10-13. Both cases will be heard on the same day, according to that court.

The Michigan case — Thomas More Law Center v. Obama — is now before the 6th Circuit. Briefing was completed last week, but no argument date has been scheduled.

A case is also pending in the 9th Circuit — Baldwin v. Sebelius, which a district court dismissed for lack of standing.

That last bit should be remembered the next time someone claims that the fact that a lot of other cases have been dismissed matters.  There are a lot of ways to dismiss a case without reaching the question of whether the mandate is constitutional.  As for standing, there can be rational debate about whether it exists now (I believe it does), but there is no question that the first time they try to enforce the mandate, that person will have standing.  So standing is a significant issue in and of itself, but it’s inevitable that sooner or later someone will have it.

Of course also missed a case, discussed here, where they used Roe v. Wade to attack Obamacare.  I haven’t heard anything about this case for a while, so I will try to learn more and post on it.

Now the criticisms.  The first is Jack Balkin, a Constitutional Law Professor at Yale Law School and frankly I am disappointed in this post from him.

In it he first recites the myth that Bush v. Gore was saying it was not setting a precedent, by quoting this passage: “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.”  And thus the left, for well over ten years, have turned a simple and logical statement that election law is complicated, and thus each inquiry is individualized and fact-intensive, into a claim that this doesn’t count as precedent.  It isn’t what the court said, and indeed the courts have regularly cited Bush v. Gore as precedent in about two hundred cases, according to Fastcase and even more according to Google.

And then Balkin turns around and tries to claim that this element, that wasn’t actually in Bush v. Gore, is present in Vinson’s decision, by quoting this line:

The individual mandate cannot be severed. This conclusion is reached with full appreciation for the “normal rule” that reviewing courts should ordinarily refrain from invalidating more than the unconstitutional part of a statute, but non-severability is required based on the unique facts of this case and the particular aspects of the Act. This is not a situation that is likely to be repeated.

(emphasis added by Balkin).  But this supposedly ominous statement is nothing more than an assessment of how likely it is that the judge will be faced with an analogous situation. As he wrote just before the cherry-picked section:

In sum, notwithstanding the fact that many of the provisions in the Act can stand independently without the individual mandate (as a technical and practical matter), it is reasonably “evident,” as I have discussed above, that the individual mandate was an essential and indispensable part of the health reform efforts, and that Congress did not believe other parts of the Act could (or it would want them to) survive independently.

Isn’t it reasonable to say he isn’t likely to see a situation like that again in his life?  A situation where 1) Congress forgets (or intentionally leaves out) a severability clause in 2) a massive statute, 3) the keystone of which is a provision 4) which represented a literally unprecedented grasp for power?  This is not a common occurrence and pointing that out doesn’t mean the judge has suddenly declared his ruling to have no precedential value.

For years I thought of Professor Balkin as inconsequential.  Now I am convinced he is just a hack.

Speaking of hacks, Think Progress has come up with another “scandal.”  The judge borrowed texts from a brief from the Family Research Council that the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group!


Free Advice to Liberal Organizations: If Someone Comes in Claiming to be Trafficking Underage Girls, DON’T HELP THEM

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:26 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: GMTA. Glenn Reynolds offers remarkably similar advice and asks a relevant question: “Do pimps really come in for advice so often that this doesn’t set off any alarms?”

After James O’Keefe and Breitbart aired videos where O’Keefe went undercover as a pimp trafficking underage girls, I thought to myself, “well, that won’t work ever again.”

Man, was I wrong:

Live action, a conservative, pro-life activist group went into Planned Parenthood and, well the video, albeit edited, speaks for itself.  He tells her that these are underage girls in the sex worker business and that he thinks he caught VD from one of them, but he is not sure which one.  And they continue to help him.

You have to think somewhere the people in charge of Planned Parenthood are beating their heads against their desks as they watch this.  It is stunning, almost painful to watch, and almost hilarious in the sheer “fail!” of it, too.

Now to be fair to Planned Parenthood, there are claims they reported this couple to the police at some point.  And I would like to see the unedited video and transcript.  But seriously, unless the missing piece is, “Ma’am, I am rehearsing for a play I am in, where I play a pimp trying to get help with my business.  Can you read these lines for me”—unless there is a deception that radical, at the very least the woman in this video has indicted herself.  Maybe not criminally, but morally.

And Planned Parenthood should be very careful before they issue any denials.  One of the most brilliant elements of the O’Keefe video is that every time Acorn issued a denial, they issued a new video contradicting it.

Hat tip: Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Detroit Mosque (Would-Be) Bomber: Another “Right-Winger” . . . Who Was Jailed for Threatening Bush

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:55 am

So here is a guy who parked outside a Dearborn, Michigan mosque with a truck full of explosives, described as “high-end fireworks.” Who is he?

TPMMuckraker tells us he’s mentally ill and may have praised Tim McVeigh. (I’ll buy the former but question the unconfirmed status of the latter.)

A lefty at Kos assures us he was “another crazed right wing terrorist intent on attacking one of the many ‘enemies of America’ that hate radio and conservative television hosts rail about on a daily basis.”

Just one thing: he’s a convert to Islam who was jailed for threatening President Bush.

This is the part the left doesn’t want to talk about.

Via Instapundit, Nice Deb has much more.

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0708 secs.