Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Woe to England >link<

The story linked to above boggles the mind. An 18 year old Englishman with record of prior convictions for burglary was recently awarded over a $1.1 million in damages by a jury for injuries he sustained 9 years ago (when he was 9?) when he fell through the roof of a warehouse.

What was he doing on the roof? Who knows. I assume that his convictions for burglary took place after his big fall.

Boasting about his new-found wealth in his first public interview after the award, Murphy said he was going to buy "a few houses and a flash car" and was unconcerned about the negative response from the public."I deserve this money and I don't care what anyone says about me," Murphy stated. "I'm going to buy a big house so I have a place to live with me mum when she gets out of jail." Mum is behind bars for three years for selling crack and heroin.

Continued Murphy: "I might buy a few houses. I'll buy whatever I want. The papers call me a yob and a thug because I've been done for robbery and assault but those were just silly stupid little things, like."

The payout to Murphy, reports Peter Zimonjic in London's Daily Telegraph, has been criticized by those who point out that crime victims receive far less under the government's criminal injuries compensation system, "The parents of James Bulger received just L7,500 following his murder," Zimonjic explains, "and the family of Damilola Taylor received L10,000 following his murder," i.e., for murder, these families received less than 2 percent of what Murphy was awarded.

This is obscene! Even worse, consider the fact that England discourages people from protecting themselves. One rural homeowner who shot and killed an intruder was convicted of murder and served a lengthy prison sentence. English law seems to be resolute on making England safe for criminals. One wonders why they even bother having a criminal justice system anymore.

Zimonjic reports that residents of Bootle, where Murphy lives, are fearful of speaking publicly about the case but that privately they describe him as the "king yob" in the area. "He shaves his head so we can all see the scars," said one. "He likes to walk around and play the big man. I've seen him yelling abuse at the shopkeepers, telling them how he is going to buy the shop with his compensation money and throw them out. He is a villain around here. Everybody knows him but no one wants to confront him. He has a big family and they all stand up for each other."

Murphy's response: "I want to spend my money the way I want without people interfering and I want to have a prosperous future. I want to take my mates to Liverpool games and get a flash car. The money is mine now and I'll do what I want. I don't care what they have to say about it. It annoys me that people think I don't deserve this money after all I've been through. I'm going to spend my money on whatever I want and everyone who called me 'Tin Head' can go get stuffed."

This reminds me of a conversation I had at the Federalist Society Lawyer's Convention. One of my colleagues told me that there are some states where Public Defenders are elected officials. He then asked, "Can you imagine their campaigns? 'Vote for me, I will be soft on crime.' Or, 'I will get guilty people acquited.'"

Any society that rewards criminals, or at least diminishes the risks and costs of being a criminal, is soon going to find itself awash with criminals. All this from a country where the people more and more hate Americans and Jews. Maybe they should start hating themselves as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Mouth of the South Blasts Back >link<

What would a year be like if you did not have Ted Turner making some stupid remark. I am sure he has made several during the year, but his latest is a doozy.

Media mogul Ted Turner said Monday that Iraq is "no better off" following the U.S.-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Why, thank you Ted. You are such the expert. Next I think we need to hear from Richard Gere.

Turner said war is an outdated form of diplomacy that has stopped working.

Really? Someone needs to remind Mr. Turner that it takes two sides to make only takes one side to make war. And I seem to recall that Osama bin Laden and the other militant Muslims are focused on bringing the entire world under Islamic law whether we want it or not. Since we don't want it, that means they are going to bring the war to us.

So, if we want to avoid war, the only thing we can do is surrender and convert to their interpretation of Islam. Of course, there are competing interpretations of we probably will still get caught up in wars.

This is the same Ted Turner who was going to make a gift of $1 billion to the UN. I think he late backed out of that gift. I hope so. Much as I think that Turner is a fool and deserves to be parted from his money, I don't want to see that much money handed over to the corrupt bureaucrats in the UN so they can line their own pockets.

Stay in Atlanta Ted and watch your old movies.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Lies lies lies! >link<

What has the White House said about Joe Murtha? Almost nothing. The Administration has been careful not to criticize the errant House Member.

But, that does not stop Dems from CLAIMING that the President's staff has attacked Murtha. Get a load of this piece of felgercarb from Gloria Borger at the NY Daily News:

There are some thoughtful members out there begging for solutions. Consider John Murtha: He's the hawkish Democrat who recently called for withdrawal from Iraq within six months. Murtha is a blue-collar guy who represents a working-class district in Pennsylvania - the kind of folks who might support the President, as Murtha often does, on defense matters. So when he called for the troops to come home, the White House smeared him as a Michael Moore Democrat. Please.

Now here is what the White House actually said:

"Congressman Murtha is a respected veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America. So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party. The eve of an historic democratic election in Iraq is not the time to surrender to the terrorists. After seeing his statement, we remain baffled -- nowhere does he explain how retreating from Iraq makes America safer."

Does that sound like a "smear" to you? No. The White House is saying that Murtha is wrong. Dems have such thin skins. They call Republicans all kind of horrible names and make wild accusations and the main stream media never seems to be critical about that at all. But let a Republican use one charged word and there is much gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing.

Well, let me just say it again, the Dems are CRYBABIES! The world is too dangerous a place for children like them to call the shots. They need to go home and grow up.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The "C" Word >link<

Jean Schmidt is a Republican and is the newest member of the House of Representatives. Her lack of experience showed when she said: "A few minutes ago, I received a call from Col. Danny Bubp, Ohio representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: 'Stay the course.' He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message -- that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

This has been translated by Dems and their friends in the mainstream media as "calling Murtha a coward." Rather than argue semantics, let's just concede that issue for purposes of this post. Ok, she used the "C" word! If you believed the Dems, you would think that the sky was going to fall.

It's unclear whether Schmidt, who will start her 79th day in the House today, knew at the time of her remarks that Murtha had served 37 years in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.

She immediately took back her remarks. It's against House rules to refer to a fellow lawmaker by name or to criticize them.

Well, that was a stupid thing of her to do. Murtha is not "a coward;" he is just a partisan hack who happens to be wrong. Now the Dems (and their friends in the main stream media) are all of the "fact" that Republicans have slandered Murtha.

Since the remarks on Friday, Schmidt has been in headlines around the world, the subject of a "Saturday Night Live" skit, and discussed on countless blogs.

Her apology was conveniently ignored by everyone:

That didn't stop Enquirer readers, bloggers, Democrats and Schmidt supporters from continuing to react to her remarks. Some said they were embarrassed by her comments, while others praised her for taking a stand.

Let's think about all the horrible things Dems have said about Republicans. "Bush lied!" How many times have we heard Dems and liberals complain that Republicans want to "starve the poor?" How about "No blood for oil?"

Dems are allowed to insult Republicans all they want...and the media never takes note. Yet let one Republican freshman make a rude comment and the Dems howl with outrage. There is another "C" word for this: "crybaby."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanks but no thanks! >link<

According to a report in the Washington Times (linked to above), the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is "urging" Iraqis to ask the US forces to leave and promising that Iran would provide for Iraq's military security.

Fortunately, even the Iraqi Shiite Muslims probably will not find that promise too promising. According to my middle east expert, the Iraqi Shia are Arabs; the Iranian Shia are Persians. Also, the Iraqi Shia believe that religion should not play a role in government; the Iranian Shia have take complete control over the Iranian government.

The majority of Iraqis, including the majority of Iraqi Shia, see the corruption and maladministration inflicted on the Iranian people by the current theocracy there. There will always be some power hungry, ignorant, violent people who envy that kind of theocracy (Muqtada Al Sadr as an example), and the Iranians have been flooding Shia militants into the Southern part of Iraq to try and stoke up a Shia rebellion. But most Iraqis probably realise that the US eventually will bring its forces home...whereas, if the Iranians forces are allowed entry, they probably will never leave and Iraq would become a vassal state to Iran.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

NY Times still thinks the TANG documents could be genuine >link<

Jonathan Alter must be a very stubborn political hack. I read his review today of Mary Mapes' book about the Rathergate scandal about the Texas Air National Guard memos...memos that even CBS admitted were not genuine.

Alter says this:

The most illuminating parts of the book are those in which Mapes strikes back at the cyber-lynch mob. Her description of a right-wing veteran of the Paula Jones case, masquerading as an expert on the technology of 1970's typewriters, should help dispel the myth that this case was a triumph for the fact-checking prowess of the blogosphere. (The blogger's anonymous assertion, within hours of the broadcast, that the proportional spacing and type font of the Killian memos did not exist in those days was only one of many falsehoods spread by political hit men.) Seeing how documents change shape and appearance after faxing and e-mailing should give pause to even the most ideologically ardent of amateur document analysts.

Oh my God! This is beyond belief!

I don't know which of the bloggers that Mapes is accusing of being a veteran of the Paula Jones case - Powerline or Little Green Footballs. Be that as it may, there were a good many people who criticized the authenticity of those documents. I for one, remember a series of articles written by an authority in the field of forensic document analysis who posted dozens of pages of analysis on the issue.

I did a little document review trick of my own. I printed out the Killian files from the CBS website. Then I typed my own version of those documents using MS Word and printed them out on my laserprinter. If I overlapped the two documents, the text from both documents were a perfect match. Not a close match...PERFECT!

Oh well, Alter is probably one of those liberal fools who refuses to believe that George W. Bush was elected President.

Blogging while impaired

Sorry for the lack of a post today. I thought I fended off that bug from last week, but it is back with a vengeance!

I think I heard it say that it say: "He tasks me! He tasks me and I shall have him. I'll chase him round the moons of Nabir and round the Antares Maelstrom and round perdition's FLAMES before I give him up!"

And I swear, it sounds like Ricardo Montalban. Oh, I must be getting delirious again.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dead - we hope! >link<

There is a report in the Jerusalem Post, so far unconfirmed, that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in Mosul. The White House says it doubts the reports...but we shall see.

Let's all hope that al-Zarqawi is being tended to by 72 virgins who all look like Yasser Arafat!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Stansfield Turner weighs in >link<

Admiral Turner is badmouthing Dick Cheney and President Bush. Why am I not surprised?

For those of you who may not remember, Admiral Stansfield Turner was President Jimmy Carter's CIA chief. Turner was a big believer in "electronic intelligence." He shared Carter's disdain for "human intelligence" (that is, spies in the field) and did his best to shut down our country's overseas HUMINT operations. This was consistent with the Church Committee's efforts in Congress to stop abuses by the CIA.

The result? Turner's CIA completely missed the coming of the Iranian revolution and the rise of the Mullahs to power. Turner's CIA also missed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Turner's damage to the CIA lasted long after Jimmy Carter was run out of office. It took decades to build and develop our HUMINT capabilities; it only took a few months for Turner to clean house and fire all our HUMINT operatives. President Reagan came to office with a CIA that was bat blind and focused on one task: protecting itself.

The CIA has become just one more government bureaucracy that spends an unbelievable amount of money but gets very little done. Ah, but an agency filled with analysts, electronic monitoring gear, and filtering software (and an occasional person with spycraft abilities) is well suited for survival in Washington, DC. The CIA is one agency you DON'T want to cross politically. "The Company" knows how to leak information with harmful consequences better than anyone else ... just look at the Veronica Plame ordeal and the pain that the CIA has inflicted on the Bush Administration if you have any doubts.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Armaggedon or a bore? >link<

Newsweek's Howard Fineman is predicting that the Dems in the Senate will pull out all the stops to stop the confirmation of Sam Alito. Why? Because of the pro-life content of Alito’s 20-year-old application for a position with the Justice Department during the Reagan administration.

Admittedly, Alito was in major suck-up mode in 1985 when he applied to Reagan’s attorney general, Ed Meese, for a job. But the lengths to which Alito went to express the purity of his New Right views is impressive—and explosive—in 2005, as Alito and his White House backers try to sell him as a blandly cautious incrementalist.

The key line in the application, of course (and it’s already graven on the minds of activists): “the Constitution does not protect a right to abortion.” Alito was 35 when he wrote that; Roe v. Wade was 12.

Alito also boldly denounced other lines of cases crafted by the Warren Court, including landmark decisions on criminal procedure and voting rules.

Of course, Alito could sidestep most questions on this topic by stating that he made those statements prior to the most recent line of abortion cases.

So, is it going to be armaggedon? Will Bruce Willis have to take off in a space shuttle to save the US government from disaster again? Probably not.

Judge Alito does not strike people as a wild eyed right-wing fanatic. Dem attempts to paint him that way will only work to their detriment. The Dems may try to start this game, but they will quickly see that their attacks are not gaining ground with the American people and they will be forced to withdraw.

This will be painful for the Dems, make no mistake about it. Their fundraising base is hyper-partisan on the abortion issue. The major Dem fundraising organs are going to be frothing at the mouth over the Alito confirmation vote...and they are going to be FURIOUS when the Dems back away from the battle (as they did with attacks against Chief Justice Roberts). Alito will be confirmed and the angry left will be angrier.

If they get angry enough, they will turn off the majority of American voters...and lead them to the Republican tent.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What goes around comes around

Bill Murchison has a delightful little lesson for the Dems in his column, posted at (and linked to above). I can only hope that the Republicans follow the Dems' lead and give back everything the Dems have done to them. I am more than eager to follow this path.

It never is fair to posit some magical time when politicians of different parties and large ambitions worked together large-mindedly for the common good. Politics, based as it is on the lust for power, is about as nasty as a trade as, well, pro football. Republicans, we may now have to admit, overdid the Bill Clinton thing -- indeed, showed the guy the same kind of visceral dislike many Democrats manifest toward George Bush.

And yet those relatively recent times were unlike our own. Mainly, there was no war demanding the commander-in-chief's unimpeded leadership until victory. Even if every article of Sen. Joseph Biden's weekend knock against White House integrity proved Gospel true, where would that get us at the moment? What good would it do?

Democratic rancor over the war and the high court makes it hard for members of the two parties even to talk civilly to each other. That's why this word to wise Democrats. What goes around can come right back and bite you in the hinderquarters. Likely the Republicans should have taken that advice to heart back in impeachment times, but you know what? That's gone. What's left is the ugliness and corrosiveness of 2005 -- of which, if you know human nature, you can bet we haven't seen nearly the last.

That's right! The Dems are so hateful of President Bush that they would have us lose a vital war just so they can score points and return to power. Of course, our loss in that war would be a disaster that would leave us with a revitalized Al Qaeda and militant Islam on the march. Eurabia could become a reality and the eventual result would be a world war that would make WW II look like a school yard fight between grade schoolers...imagine a medieval style war fought with modern weapons!

We are talking death and destruction of biblical proportions that will leave over a billion people dead in the end. But the Dems apparently feel this is a worthy risk to take if it puts them back in charge of Congress or the White House. Most sane Americans would disagree and, if there is any justice in the world, will make the Dems suffer for their stupidity and selfishness.

Monday, November 14, 2005

No surgery afterall - Fed Soc photos

Oh well, the best laid plans and all. I got to the office to do a little work on hearing prep before heading to the office, and I started feeling terrible. I went down to the nurse's station and found that I had a 102.3 fever! No surgery today. I went home and got lots of bed rest and plenty of fluids.

Now I am back in action, in a little way. Here are some photos from the Federalist Society Lawyer's Convention:

A little more absence

Sorry folks, no more scoops on the Federalist Society Convention today. I am going in for out-patient surgery this afternoon and I have to get my work finished before I report to the hospital.

Hopefully, your humble Dictator for Life will be back in fighting trim soon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Generally Pleased" Hour - courtesy of the Volokh Conspiracy

Your humble Dictator for Life encourages everyone to attend Professor Volokh's "Generally Pleased" hour this Friday night at the Mayflower Hotel, after the Olsen Memorial Lecture and Reception.

Here is the message from the good professor himself:

Reminder -- Volokh Conspiracy Generally Pleased Hour in D.C. on Friday, November 11:
As I noted last week, we're having a Volokh Conspiracy Bloggers' and Readers' Gathering this Friday (the 11th) at 8:30 pm, at the Town & Country bar, Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. (right near the Farragut North metro stop). Hope to see some of you there!

Be there or be square (or should I say, "curve challenged"?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Off to the Federalist Society Lawyer's Convention

See y'all next week!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Joseph C. Wilson IV - a study in conflicts >link<

The link above takes you to an article about Joe Wilson (husband of outed CIA operative Valerie Plame) and his connections with French interests.

The article poses an interesting question: was Wilson a convenient dupe used by the French government in an effort to embarrass and bring down the Bush Administration?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Swan Dive Off The High Board Into An Empty Pool >link<

Well, the Dems are circling wagons after their embarrassing show this past week. They throw a temper tantrum and call for a closed session in the Senate to discuss alleged "lies" used by the Bush administration to take us to war.

Many Dems refuse to see how embarrassing this was...they feel that they are "empowered." Eleanor Clift certainly is feeling her oats:

Democrats feel emboldened, and they’re dropping the euphemisms. They’re saying straight out that the president and his administration lied and manufactured evidence to take the country to war. The logical extension of such an explosive charge would be impeachment, says Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council, though Wittman doesn’t personally advocate this strategy. “It’s the highest crime and misdemeanor one can think of, the case that they maliciously did this, and it obliges Democrats [who backed the war] to say they cast the wrong vote.” Wittmann is sharply critical of the administration’s performance in Iraq, but he supported the invasion and thinks Democrats would be ill-advised to drag the country into impeachment proceedings.

Impeachment seems a bridge too far, but when the question was posed to a former senior member of the law-enforcement community, he didn’t dismiss it out of hand. “Not at this stage,” he told NEWSWEEK, “but there are three more years left to this administration, and I can see it unraveling.”

Eleanor is sporting the latest in tin foil headwear. The Dems are so detatched from reality that they are actually talking about impeaching Bush. Excuse me, but the Dems in Congress (and most of the rest of the world's intelligence agencies) had the same intelligence information that the White House did and came to the same conclusion...that Saddam was trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. Now they want to rewrite history so that they can shout "Bush lied!" This is the same kind of nonsense that Republicans spouted during the early 40s when they referred to the Second World War as "Roosevelt's War."

Well, considering the evil that Hitler, the Nazis, and the Japanese Nationalists posed, I have no problem if Roosevelt DID trick us into that needed to be does the war in Iraq.

Friday, November 04, 2005


I doubt many people (other than the tin foil hat brigades) would be surprised to hear someone say that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting Services, and National Public Radio are very liberal. And, since the CPB, PBS, and NPR are publicly funded, no one should be surprised that Conservatives (and some Liberals) would like to see some balance added to public broadcasting.

Of course, the Dems in Congress would never let that happen. When Kenneth Tomlinson was board chairman of CPB, he tried to have a study conducted about the liberal bias at CPB, PBS, and NPR. That brought HOWLS of outrage from Congressional Democrats who immediately launched an investigation.

The results of that investigation will soon be released. One result...Tomlinson was coerced into resigning.

I am tired of my tax dollars going into a liberal propaganda machine. There was a time when public broadcasting made sense...when there were only a handful of broadcast options available. But now, with cable TV and satellite radio, there are hundreds of options. CPB does not provide programming aimed at people who cannot afford these private broadcasting options. CPB aims at upscale liberals who could easily afford to pay for their listening and viewing habits.

If public broadcasting were not so patently biased, I might be willing to tolerate their existence. NPR and its public broadcasting siblings often provide excellent programming. But that programming comes at a cost. CPB does not compete fairly when it comes to bidding on available can always go to the taxpayers or to its contributors for more money...there is NO incentive to be cost efficient.

I once read a report about how wasteful public broadcasting was. I do not remember all the details, but the story involved several cable TV networks bidding for the rights to broadcast a new BBC program for a year. Discovery Channel starts the bidding at $40,000; Animal Planet ups the bid to $45,000; A & E comes in at $50,000; Discovery puts in a new bid at $52,000...then PBS enters the fray and bids $250,000 and walks away with the prize. PBS does not try to bid competitively; it is not concerned about saving money. Like any publicly funded entity, it wants to spend its entire budget.

So, PBS gives you the same quality programming as other broadcast outlets, but at FIVE TIMES the cost. Programming aimed at liberal upper middle class and upper class listeners/viewers. Programming aimed at people who can AFFORD to pay for what they want. But remember, one reason the rich GOT rich was because they were good at making OTHER people pay for things they want.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

saucy duck and politics >link<

Well, it's official. Ideology matters.

Time was, senators would avoid directly considering a Supreme Court nominee's politics. Oh, they would consider it...but any opposition would be based on credentials, experience and other non-political factors. Well, no more.

Good. If that is the way they want to play it, then Conservative senators should be free to block the nomination of any judicial nominee who does not support overturning Roe v. Wade.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

You Only Live Twice >link<

In the old Bond movies, James Bond's greatest antagonist was the evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of SPECTOR. In the present day, it sometimes seems that the evil genius doing his best to confound Conservative Republicans is Senator Arlen Specter...chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Well, Senator SPECTOR has done it again. He has delayed hearings on Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States until late January. Thank you, SPECTOR, you ingrate! We should have deprived him of his chairmanship long ago. If he wanted to change parties...fine. Goodbye and good riddance. SPECTOR is another politician whom I hope to outlive so that I can pay my disrespects at his gravesite.

Ring of Fire: The Next Generation

In just a few minutes, there will be an evacuation drill for my building. We have been told to go to the emergency stairwell, but not to actually go down the stairs. I am on the 23rd floor…the building is 40 floors tall. They started the drill at 9:00 am. People on the 40th floor go first; by the time they get to us it will be about 9:30 am…so they said. It is 9:31 am right now and we still have not been told to evacuate.

Evacuating from a high rise office building can be a challenge. Survivors of 9/11 and the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center have my utmost respect. Let me take you back in time to an earlier, more innocent time.

It was the morning of Friday, January 15, 1993 and I was working as a hearing officer for the Franklin County Child Support Enforcement Agency on the 18th floor of the County Courthouse building at 373 South High Street in Columbus, Ohio. My first hearing was scheduled for 9:00 am and I was wasting some time talking with the paralegals and attorneys in the litigation section. One of the litigators was in a lighthearted mood and was going around singing the chorus from old Johnny Cash song, “Ring of Fire.”

Then we heard the building’s PA system click on. The announcement was chilling: we were told that there was a major gas leak in the building and that we were to evacuate immediately…. “This is no drill.” I went straight to the stairwell, went down to my office on the 17th floor, got my coat, and headed for the emergency stairwell.

The stairwell was crowded with people fleeing the building. It was orderly, even after we started smelling gas. Pretty soon, the smell of the gas was overpowering…we held up handkerchiefs and scarves over our faces to block the smell. There was a lot of gallows humor about what would happen if there was a spark…not good!

We eventually made it outside. The fire department showed up and we waited around in the cold to find out what to do. We waited…and waited…and waited. The FCCSEA employees were told to go to the lobby of a nearby hotel for a briefing. We got there and were told to go home for the day.

Eventually, we learned that there was no gas leak. Somebody had sprayed a chemical called mercaptan in the building…this is the chemical used to give the odor to natural gas. Apparently, all it took was a few drops of the chemical in order to make the entire building smell like their was a major gas leak.

So, we got the Friday off. Better yet, Monday was a holiday…so we had a FOUR day weekend! Woo hoo!

The drill is history now.

The alarm went off. We were instructed to close our office doors, make our way to the nearest fire exit, and go down one flight of stairs…and wait in the stairwell till the all clear was given. That was exciting…NOT!

No Time

(No time left for you) On my way to better things
(No time left for you) I found myself some wings
(No time left for you) Distant roads are callin' me
(No time left for you) Da-un-da-un-da-un-da-un-da

Ok...not really. But I am busy today, so with apologies to The Guess Who, I won't be blogging till later today.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Liberal praise for Alito >link<

Here is an article posted at, from the The Legal Intelligencer, describing Judge Alito.

Lawyers who know Alito complained Monday that his nickname -- "Scalito" -- has unfairly branded Alito as a carbon copy of Justice Antonin Scalia and a "knee-jerk conservative" whose vote is predictable. "To call him 'Scalito' is to completely misunderstand him," said attorney Timothy K. Lewis of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, a former 3rd Circuit judge who was Alito's colleague for seven years. Lewis, who describes himself as liberal, said Alito is solidly conservative and that the two sometimes disagreed, but that it was "always a deeply respectful disagreement." "First and foremost," Lewis said, "Sam Alito is intellectually honest. This is what makes him a wonderful judge and also why I feel very good about his appointment to the Supreme Court."

* * * *

Attorney Alan Epstein of Spector Gadon & Rosen also described Alito as "intellectually honest" and said he considers him "eminently qualified" to sit on the Supreme Court. Unlike "result-oriented" judges who "decide where they want to be and then figure out how to get there," Epstein said, Alito has a solid track record of judging each case on its facts and applying the law as he sees it to those facts. "I don't think you can ask more of a judge," Epstein said. Epstein said Alito's "brand of conservatism is encapsulated in a strict adherence to what he believes are inviolate constitutional principles." But while a Justice Alito would likely align himself with the conservative wing of the court, Epstein predicted that Alito would not agree with Justices Scalia and Clarence Thomas on all issues. "He may surprise us," Epstein said.

Sounds fair to me.

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

One must feel sorry for the Democrats in Washington, DC. Things were going so badly for President Bush early last week...the anxiety over the pending indictments regarding the Plame "outing." the Harriet Miers headache...pain for the Administration was good news for the Dems.

But then the clouds began to clear. Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald issued indictments against Scooter Libby but not against Karl Rove. Miers withdrew herself from the nomination and the President hit a home run by nominating Sam Alito. What can the Dems do to stop this? Why, have a temper tantrum!

Which is what they did. In a magnificent display of putting form ahead of substance, the Dems in the US Senate invoked a seldom used rule to hold a secret session, allegedly to discuss pre-Iraq war intellegence failurs. In fact, this was just a stunt to try and attract attention to the Dem's wild conspiracy theories about the Iraq war.

The vast majority of Americans will probably see the Dems as petulant children and yawn at the results of this childish outburst. So much faked outrage over something so boring...spare us! I don't think the Dems helped themselves politically and I think that they helped to solidify the Republican caucus through this hyperpartisan stunt.

If the Dems can get this "outraged" over something this boring, imagine what they will do when it comes time to vote on the Alito nomination? Somebody better have a good supply of smelling salts!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Supreme Court of the United States - what it is like inside

February 28. 2001 was a very fun day for me. That was the day I was sworn in as a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

A few months earlier, Jay Sekulow came in to see my boss, Roberta Combs, at the Christian Coalition. While talking with Jay, I mentioned that I wanted to become a member of the Supreme Court Bar. Jay eagerly volunteered to move for my admission and suggested that I pick 2/28/2001 as the date for getting sworn in because the ACLJ would be arguing a religious liberties case in the Court…Good News Club v. Milford Central School.

I arrived early at the Courthouse and joined Jay and his lawyers in the cafeteria on the bottom floor, near the lawyer’s entrance. We were then all ushered up to room upstairs where we could leave our coats and briefcases. We were introduced to Major General (retired) William Souter (no relation to David Souter), the Clerk of the Supreme Court. General Souter then described the swearing in process.

This was the second time I had met General Souter. Back in April 1994, I had the opportunity to meet General Souter at a CLE conference. I had just submitted my first (and to this date, only) petition in certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. I had a copy of the petition with me and the General was impressed that his office accepted the petition on my first try (because of the strict format requirements, it is not unusual for petitions to be sent back for corrections). At the lunch break, General Souter described my accomplishment to the assembled masses of JAG attorneys…then said, “Petition DENIED!” As it turns out, we had not received the proper number of file stamped copies of the petition back from the Court. I mentioned this to the General. A week after the conference, I got a letter from him with a package containing the missing copies. My boss was impressed. Sadly, cert was not granted in the case.

Anyways, General Souter finally escorted us into the courtroom. Attorney-applicants who are being sworn in, and the attorneys sponsoring them, sit in the front rows on the left side, right next to the press area. I was seated in the second row of applicants and was right next to the press box…my left arm was resting on the railing separating the press from the lawyers. NPR reporter Nina Totenberg was seated in the press chair immediately to my left (the press chairs face that railing….so she was staring right in my direction). General Souter told us that at 40 minutes past the hour, the Chief Justice would stand up and walk behind the curtain immediately to the rear of the bench (he did this to relieve back pain).

[Update] A few minutes before the session was scheduled to begin, General Souter asked if anyone needed to get a drink of water or use the bathroom. I asked about the bathroom; the General gave me a wink and said I should go with him. Instead of taking me to the public bathroom out by the main entrance to the courthouse, General Souter led me back into the middle of the building to a bathroom used by the justices during arguments. Woo hoo!!!

The first order of business after the Justices took to the bench was the swearing in of the new members. The whole process is scripted out and moved with crisp efficiency. Then, the first case of the day was announced: Good News Club v. Milford Central School. Attorney Thomas Marcelle, of the ACLJ, began his argument. He barely got a few sentences out of his mouth before Associate Justice Scalia jumped in with a question. Here is what happened:

Marcelle: The Second Circuit circumvented this Court’s decision in Lamp’s Chapel by resurrecting a distinction that this Court buried in Widmar. A distinction between constitutionally-protected speech and unconstitutionally-protected religious worship and instruction.

Scalia: Mr. Marcelle, did you cite Lamp’s Chapel to the Second Circuit?

Marcelle: Yes, your Honor, quite extensively, and dissent as well said, Judge Jacobs said the case couldn’t be squared with Lamb’s Chapel.

Scalia: Lamb’s Chapel, if I’m correct, is not even cited in the Second Circuit’s opinion, is that right?

Marcelle: Isn’t even mentioned. And I think the way they got around Lamb’s Chapel, Your Honor, was really by embracing the distinction that this Court rejected in Rosenberger, a distinction. . . .

Scalia: I assume the judge who wrote the opinion for the Second Circuit was aware of Lamb’s Chapel, not just because you cited it, but because it had reversed an earlier decision of his, isn’t that right?

Everyone in the courtroom broke out in loud laughter! The rest of the oral argument was a romp. The justices used the attorneys as foils for their humor. One justice would ask a rhetorical question to an attorney…the attorney would barely get an answer out of his mouth before another justice would respond the to partial answer. The justices were really having a humorous conversation between themselves by bouncing comments off of the lawyers.

The next day, I was at the Weyrich Luncheon. At the end of the meeting, when the floor was opened for comments, reporter/activist Tom Jipping rose to tell the assembled lobbyists that I had been admitted to the Supreme Court Bar and mentioned that this was a major honor…hitting the big leagues. I got a round of applause from DC’s conservative core. What a rush!

Several months later, I attended the oral arguments involving the Cleveland, Ohio school vouchers. While I was waiting in line, I talked about the Good News Club oral argument with the lawyer behind me. When I mentioned Scalia’s questions to the attorney, the lawyer’s eyes opened wide. Turns out, he once clerked for that Second Circuit judge. In fact, he had just gotten a news letter from that judge discussing the Supreme Court’s decision in Good News Club. The letter said, “Once again, the Supreme Court got it wrong.” Oh? Really? That was rather pompous of him! Last time I checked my federal rules of appellate procedure, decisions of the Supreme Court outweighed decisions of the Second Circuit.

I guess that just shows you the arrogance of some liberal judges! Good reason to keep them off of the Supreme Court.

JUDICIAL WARS - Episode IV - A New Hope

It is a period of civil war. Conservative activists, striking from a hidden office, have won their first victory against the Liberal political establishment.

During the battle, Conservative lawyers managed to steal secret plans to the Liberal's ultimate weapon, the Filibuster, an armored Senate procedure with enough power to destroy an entire government.

Pursued by the Liberals' sinister agents, President Bush races home aboard Air Force One, custodian of the stolen plans that can save his people, and restore freedom to the Republic....