Patterico's Pontifications


Federal Tax Money Has Funded Radicals. CAIR, and Even Brett Kimberlin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:49 pm

Did you know that some of your tax dollars go to the Tides Foundation?

And from there, some of those dollars go to CAIR (and from there to Hamas), some go to organizations that promote dictators . . . and some Tides dollars have gone to Brett Kimberlin.

Which means that federal tax money has sponsored harassment of your humble host.

I can’t think of anything the federal government could possibly cut. Can you?

Cyprus Could Be Taking 40 Percent

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

Did we say 30 percent? Well, that was then and this is now:

In the €10 billion, or $13 billion, bailout agreement announced Monday, only insured accounts up to €100,000 were protected from taxation to help fund the bailout, with estimates that uninsured depositors with larger accounts could face losses of up to 40 percent.


At least it’s only Cyprus:

Savings accounts in Spain, Italy and other European countries will be raided if needed to preserve Europe’s single currency by propping up failing banks, a senior eurozone official has announced.


The guy has since retracted his statements, so rest easy, Spanish and Italian bank depositors. Your money is safe.

Just remember: the next time they talk about a “haircut,” that thing they’re holding behind their back? Yeah, that’s a set of number one clippers. You’ll get your “haircut” all right. Now hold still.

Thanks to gary gulrud for the second link.

Is Bob Menendez Being Protected By the Same Spinmeisters Who Protected Weiner?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 am

I have no idea, but I lay out a theory below that suggests that possibility.

I’m catching up to this story after having had spotty Internet access for a few days. But I see that on Friday the Washington Post reported:

A top Dominican law enforcement official said Friday that a local lawyer has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the conservative Web site the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

Since Tucker Carlson obviously didn’t pay someone to make up a story, it makes you wonder what’s really going on. It is interesting to note that everything about this story these days is getting filtered through the Dominican government. Perhaps the most significant line of the WaPo story is: “The account that Dominican authorities said they received from Figueroa could not be independently confirmed by The Washington Post.” Which is not to say, necessarily, that the guy isn’t actually making the silly claims. I’m just noting for the record that it’s not like we’re getting to hear the specifics from him firsthand.

When we last visited this story, we were looking at the Washington Post‘s crappy article touting a declaration that had several Rathergate-style problems with it. I also noted a clever observation made by that the Daily Caller very likely interviewed one of the same women who had been interviewed by Brian Ross, which made the woman’s story questionable . . . again, if we are to believe the Dominican government regarding what she is saying these days.

I am no more impressed with that WaPo article today than I was then. But the possibility still exists, which I raised in the last post, that the WaPo story was “fake but accurate” — that the affidavit they relied on was phony, but that the women’s stories were fabricated.

To me, though, that’s where it starts to get interesting.

For weeks, I have privately raised with some of the people who have been following this story closely the possibility that one or more of the girls who made these allegations were false flags of the type that appear to have been employed in the Anthony Weiner scandal. To me, that theory is starting to look more plausible all the time.

Here’s how it works. Weiner had a genuine “talking inappropriately to an underage girl” issue and a genuine “sending inappropriate crap to women” issue. Breitbart had the goods on some of this, and Weiner likely knew it. So, next thing you know, someone comes along and creates some false underage girls who supposedly talk to Weiner. The girls try to get Andrew Breitbart to bite on the story but he doesn’t. If he had, then the girls could have been triumphantly revealed to be fakes, and now everything Breitbart put out would be discredited. (This is ultimately what John Reid claimed to me in a series of angry emails: that everything I had said about an underage girl in Delaware was discredited because . . . something something. I didn’t follow his logic but his claimed motivations were clear: he wanted to protect Weiner.)

So, apply the same strategy to Menendez. He clearly has a “sleeping with prostitutes” issue — the Dominicans are not the only hookers who have claimed he slept with them. So maybe, just maybe, someone who knows a hooker story is coming out, and who supports Menendez, creates some phony hookers whose stories can be reported and then discredited. Now every story about Menendez and prostitutes looks suspect.

It wouldn’t shock me if the same Democrat spinmeisters were behind both operations.

Just a theory. Another theory is that the Dominican hooker story is true and the government is trying to whitewash it. Since everything that supposedly discredits the Daily Caller stories is coming through the Dominican government, I am perfectly willing to believe that theory as well.

Or, I guess, you could believe that Tucker Carlson reached into his wallet and paid some dude to hire Dominican hookers to make up stories about Bob Menendez. If you find that to be the most likely possibility, then you’re probably a Democrat.

Prop. 8 Arguments Today in Supreme Court: The Backdoor Executive Veto

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:01 am

The gay marriage cases are argued today and tomorrow in the Supreme Court. One big issue is how the Supreme Court will address the situation where government officials abdicate their responsibility to defend measures passed by the people.

Today’s arguments deal with Prop. 8, which Jerry Brown refused to defend in court. Tomorrow’s arguments deal with DOMA, which Barack Obama and Eric Holder refused to defend in court. Indeed, Obama is sending in his Solicitor General to argue for DOMA to be struck down — and his argument, carried to its logical conclusion, would lead to gay marriage being legalized in all 50 states.

The immediate issue is whether lawyers not representing the State of California (for Prop. 8) or the United States (for DOMA) have standing to defend legislation when the executive has decided they will not. If the Supreme Court ultimately holds that the groups now defending DOMA or Prop. 8 have no standing in court to defend the measures, it would essentially confer a backdoor executive veto on any legislation that an executive doesn’t like. You disagree with a law? Don’t bother engaging in the political process and trying to get it overturned. Just wait until your guy sits in the governor’s office or the Oval Office, and have someone bring a lawsuit. Your guy will refuse to defend the legislation, and BOOM! you’re done. The lawsuit wins, the legislation gets invalidated, and there’s nobody around with any right to complain about it. Easy as pie!

Such a result would, in my view, radically restructure the balance of power on both state and federal levels. It’s hard for me to imagine the Supreme Court letting it happen. If even Congress doesn’t have standing to defend its own laws, something really strange is going on.

Although I have to say, it feels a little funny to be yammering on about the dangers of upsetting the careful balance of power established by our Constitution, when in reality we are leaving all such issues to be decided by a single man: our King, His Royal Highness Anthony Kennedy.

It will be interesting to hear how it all goes down today. The L.A. Times has an article today about waiting in line to attend the arguments. Not mentioned: a prominent person who will not be attending — all because he wants the pro-gay marriage side to win. I’m referring, of course, to Vaughn Walker, who shockingly never got back to me concerning those emails he exchanged with a Gibson, Dunn partner about whether his attendance would hurt his preferred side in the arguments. It would be nice if some of the coverage today mentioned Walker’s absence, and provided some context as to why that might be, but I’m not holding my breath. It’s Big Media, and they have their own agenda.

I believe that, in addition to releasing a transcript of today’s oral argument (as is standard), the High Court will also release audio, as it often does in landmark cases such as this. I’ll try to link the audio and transcript later today, and provide a little analysis if I have time.

UPDATE: Audio here, transcript here. Thanks to How Appealing for the links.

Preliminary analyses I have read indicates that the standing issues are not necessarily the same at every level of the process — i.e. a lack of standing at one appellate level does not necessarily mean a lack of standing at the trial court level. I’ll have to listen to it all to make up my own mind.

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