Patterico's Pontifications


Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin vs: Socrates/Prepostericity: The Hilarious Result

Filed under: Brett Kimberlin,General — Patterico @ 6:46 pm

So Brett Kimberlin, the Speedway Bomber, got a default judgment by filing suit against a penniless man who lacked resources to hire legal counsel. Yes, he’s still a perjurer and a convicted bomber who blew off a man’s leg. Yes, he was sued for wrongful death by that man’s widow and lost — and thumbed his nose at the judgment, showing his contempt for the rule of law. Yes, his associates who claim he was exonerated are spreading falsehoods. But when the defendant fails to respond, the court issues a default judgment. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how the system works.

But guess what the final damages were? A whopping $100, plus court costs:


Above: Speedway Bomber Brett Kimberlin’s reward for months of frivolous litigation. Don’t spend it all in one place!

Now that’s $100 too much. In a just world, Kimberlin would receive nothing but an order to pay Socrates’s court costs. But think of it this way. Having reviewed many of the court documents, I would imagine Kimberlin put in dozens of hours into the lawsuit. His remuneration doesn’t come close to minimum wage. And there’s a tiny bit of justice in that.

Any way you slice it, it’s a resounding loss for Brett Kimberlin the Speedway Bomber.

He did win this: my promise to tell you much more about the lawsuit in the future. It’s an excellent example of how the left tries to shut down truthful speech with thuggish actions like filing frivolous lawsuits. [UPDATE: More accurately, certain members of the fringe left. These tactics are neither unique to the left nor ubiquitous among all members of the left.]

But for now, I’m just going to enjoy a mordant chuckle over the $100 award.

I encourage Kimberlin’s business partner Brad Friedman and his buddies (you guys know who you are) to have a celebratory dinner to commemmorate their fantastic court victory. If they go to Del Taco on “three tacos for a dollar” night, they just may be able to afford the whole dinner on Kimberlin’s winnings alone.


Tune In Tonight For a Smart Discussion on Obamacare in the Supreme Court

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 4:59 pm

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

Yes, this is another bad pun on John Smart’s name and I am going to be on his radio show tonight at around 9:20 Eastern time.  #Ithinkthatsabout6:20inCalifornia.

I believe you can listen live, here.  And eventually there is some way to download it to iTunes.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Republicans (and Ramesh Ponnuru) lose way by misreading Bush era

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:16 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The latest Bloomberg column from Ramesh Ponnuru argues that the GOP continues to make mistakes because they misdiagnose the party’s failures as stemming from a failure to be sufficiently conservative.  He concedes Bush-era Republicans did spend too much and benefitted in 2010 from rejecting the Obama agenda.  However:

Republicans were more popular in Bush’s first term, when they were expanding entitlements, than in his second term, when they were trying to reform one (Social Security). For most of the second term, they exercised more spending restraint than they had done in the first term — and again, there was no evidence it helped them politically.


If Republican overspending drove voters away, they should have lost support first among conservatives. But there was no sign of a demoralized base in 2006. Exit polls found that self- identified Republicans made up a healthy 36 percent of the electorate that year, and they voted for the party’s candidates by roughly the same huge margin they had voted for them in the banner Republican year of 2004. It was among independent voters that Republicans got slaughtered. (House Republicans lost independents by three points in 2004, but 18 points in 2006.)

It seems much more likely that Republicans lost in 2006 because of the bleeding in Iraq, corruption in Washington, wage stagnation and the lack of any agenda by the party to do anything about these or other problems. Some of these issues had faded in importance by 2008, but in that year voters were also ready for a change after eight years of Republican control of the White House and, above all, dismayed by the economic crisis. In 2008, 60 percent of voters said the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, wasn’t “in touch with people like them” — and 79 percent of people who felt that way voted against him. That’s what defeated Republicans, not a perception that they were doctrinally impure.

Ponnuru concludes:

Republicans had nothing to say about wage stagnation then and are saying nothing about it now. The real cost of Republicans’ fixation on ideological purity is that it distracts them from their real problems, and the nation’s.

I like to talk and write about policy.  I agree that the GOP does not focus on policy as much as it should.  But Ponnuru’s conclusion does not follow from his argument. (more…)

PSA: Buy Frank J. Fleming’s New Book!

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:04 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing. Follow me by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Seriously, buy it. Buttercup needs clothes, food and when she is done with the food, diapers to poop into.*

And it’s probably really funny. I mean there is that.


*Please note that I am trying to be funny in a way that Mr. Flemming would appreciate. And probably failing.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

WTF?! Santa Banned From Children’s Cancer Center (Update: Santa’s Back)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 10:11 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing. Follow me by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

Update: As mentioned in the comments, the Cancer Center has backed down.  Good for them.

Ugh, it’s a bang-your-head-against-the-desk story:

It’s not even December, but Santa has already been fired from Charleston’s Hollings Cancer Center.

For each of the past two years, hospital volunteer Frank Cloyes spent one day as St. Nick, spreading good cheer and snacks to patients sitting through chemotherapy treatments. The 67-year-old James Island resident, a retired insurance executive who calls himself a “gregarious guy,” paid for his own costume rental.

On Tuesday morning, a volunteer coordinator told Cloyes his services no longer were needed.

“Because of our state affiliation, we decided not to have a Santa presence this year,” Hollings spokeswoman Vicky Agnew said. Hollings is a part of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Decorations will be “more secular and respectful to all beliefs,” Agnew said. “We don’t want to offend a volunteer with good intentions, but we need to think of the bigger picture. People who are Muslim or Jewish or have no religious beliefs come here for treatment,” she said.


“Simply Amazing;” Elena Kagan Must Recuse Herself From the Obamacare Case

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:13 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing. Follow me by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

So the Obamacare case is moving forward. You may have heard by now that the Supreme Court has scheduled five and a half hours of argument, including significant time to discuss whether the law is severable. Some people have argued that this is a encouraging sign for the challengers to Obamacare. Some might think that they wouldn’t be talking about severability unless there was a real chance of striking down part of the law. Ann Althouse credibly argues the mere fact that they are taking this long to consider all of the issues is significant in and of itself:

The argument for upholding the law rests on a facile application of an existing line of precedent: Look quickly and see that this case is another one of those cases and stamp the law constitutional. Characterizing the case as easy is thus part of arguing for upholding the law. That’s what Tribe and others have been doing.Many of the lower court cases have, unsurprisingly, taken that route.

The Supreme Court, which controls the precedents, has to choose between that easy course and drawing a line. If it draws that line and takes down the individual mandate — and perhaps the entire health care reform — it will need to inspire our belief in the truly judicial nature of its exertion of power. To set 5 1/2 hours of oral argument is to command a dramatic performance in the Theater of Law. That will help us see the result as the product of genuine legal process.

It is an appealing analysis akin to when lawyers discuss the importance of the length of time of jury deliberations. If a case seems easy for the prosecution, but the jury is taking a long time to consider it, that is often a hopeful sign for the defense, and so on. But part of me suspects that many liberal justices would want to have a long hearing, if only to show respect for the other side. If I was Elena Kagan, for instance, trying to gain purchase on Kennedy’s mind, I would ask for a long time to discuss it just so I could show Kennedy how open-mined I was being, to gain credibility when I argue in favor of the law later.

I wrote that last sentence on the presumption that Justice Kagan has already made up her mind on the matter, mostly because, well… she has. As a recent CNS News article has shown, she was plainly rooting for the passage of Obamacare:

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