Judge Reinhardt’s Order Denying the Motion That Asked Him to Recuse Himself

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

(Eugene Volokh)

Judge Reinhardt has issued an order denying the motion that asked him to recuse himself; the order promises a longer explanation to come. For the text, see the update to my original post. If you’d like to comment, please comment on the original post.




The Volokh Conspiracy

Motion Asking Judge Reinhardt to Recuse Himself from the Prop. 8 Case

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

(Eugene Volokh)

Orin blogged yesterday about the suggestion that Judge Reinhardt recuse himself from the Prop. 8 case, so I thought it would be helpful to post the motion that was just filed with such a request. Here’s the Statement from the start of the motion (with most citations omitted), which summarizes the argument, though please read the whole thing if you’re interested in the issue:

On November 28, 2010, this Court identified Circuit Judges Reinhardt, Hawkins, and N.R. Smith as the members of the panel assigned to this case. Judge Reinhardt is married to Ramona Ripston, the long-time Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California (hereinafter, “ACLU/SC”). As Executive Director, Ms. Ripston is “responsible for all phases of the organization’s programs, including litigation, lobbying and education.” Under Ms. Ripston’s leadership, “ACLU/SC has taken a lead role” in what it calls “the fight to end marriage discrimination” in California. ACLU/SC 2007–2008 Annual Report 24, at http://www.aclu-sc.org/downloads/9/204927.pdf. ACLU/SC represented several same-sex couples and organizations in In re Marriage Cases, in which the California Supreme Court held that California’s pre-Proposition 8 statutory definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman violated the State Constitution.

Following that decision, ACLU/SC put Proposition 8 “at the forefront of [its] civil-rights agenda, sparing no effort to defeat Prop. 8 [and] challenge its passage.” ACLU/SC 2008–2009 Annual Report 8, at http://www.aclusc.org/documents/view/223. After Proposition 8’s passage ACLU/SC represented petitioners before the California Supreme Court in Strauss v. Horton, the unsuccessful state-law challenge to the validity of Proposition 8. The same day the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Strauss, Ms. Ripston issued a public statement on behalf of ACLU/SC, vowing that “[a] renewed effort to overturn Proposition 8 begins today.” Ms. Ripston later signed a letter on behalf of ACLU/SC explaining that as part of that effort, “LGBT people and our closest allies are first going to have to talk to close friends and family about … why this fight [for same-sex marriage] matters. Even if those people are already on our side, we need to talk to them to convince them to join the fight.”

ACLU/SC has taken an active role in this litigation. It appears that Plaintiffs’ attorneys engaged in “confidential discussions” with Ms. Ripston and ACLU/SC’s legal director before filing this lawsuit. See Chuleenan Svetvilas, Challenging Prop 8: The Hidden Story, CALIFORNIA LAWYER, Jan. 2010, at http://www.callawyer.com/story.cfm?eid=906575&evid=1. And ACLU/SC has been actively involved in this very case. Indeed, it represented, as counsel in the court below, parties seeking to intervene as plaintiffs, see Our Family Coalition et al. Motion to Intervene as Party Plaintiffs, Doc. No. 79 at 2 (July 8, 2009), and amici urging the court to decide the case in favor of Plaintiffs and to rule that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. See Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union et al., Doc. No. 62 at 2 (June 25, 2009); Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union et al., Doc. No. 552 at 2 (Feb. 3, 2010). [footnote 3]

[Footnote 3:] Indeed, in the accompanying motions for leave to file these amicus briefs, the statement of amici interest specifically lists ACLU/SC as an affiliate of an amicus curiae. See Motion for Leave to File Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union et al., Doc. No. 61 at 3 (June 25, 2009) (identifying “the ACLU Foundation of Southern California” as one of “the three California affiliates of the ACLU”); Motion for Leave to File Brief of Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union et al., Doc. No. 551 at 3 (Feb. 3, 2010) (same).

When the district court issued the ruling under review in this Court, the ACLU issued a public statement praising the decision and emphasizing that the ACLU, along with two other groups, had “filed two friend-of-the-court briefs in the case supporting the argument that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.” The press release quoted Ms. Ripston as “rejoic[ing]” in the decision striking down Proposition 8, asserting that it “affirms that in America we don’t treat people differently based on their sexual orientation.” Ms. Ripston’s statement was reported in the national media. At the same time, Ms. Ripston stated that the district court’s ruling was not the end of the matter, emphasizing that “it’s a long road ahead until final victory.” Specifically, as one of her colleagues put it in the same public statement, “[i]n order to give this case the best possible chance of success as it moves through the appeals courts, we need to show that America is ready for same-sex couples to marry by continuing to seek marriage and other relationship protections in states across the country” (emphasis added).

Naturally, if there’s a response filed (or some rebuttal published by someone who is not a party), I’d be delighted to link to it as well. I don’t have a fixed view on what the right result is, since I’m not an expert on this aspect of judicial recusal law, but I thought it was worth linking to the legal argument.




The Volokh Conspiracy

British Airways worker offered himself as suicide bomber, advised jihadists of airlines’ weaknesses

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Speaking of air security, this update on the case of Rajib Karim raises questions equally relevant to the state of security in American airports: what did British Airways know about him when they hired him? Were there questions they could have asked, but didn’t? Were red flags in his behavior as an employee missed or ignored?

Political correctness has made it acceptable in practice to play fast and loose with risk management, making air security vulnerable to being treated as an academic exercise and losing sight of what is at stake: if something goes wrong, or if an opportunity is left to be taken in the wrong place and at the wrong time, people will die. And if the potential loss of life does not move the airlines and policymakers, one would think the economic impact might.

That is, unless the air travel industry and security apparatus have decided en masse that, with regard to accusations of “Islamophobia” and “profiling,” “[perceived] persecution is worse than slaughter.”

“British Airways worker ‘offered to be suicide bomber and advised terrorists of airline’s weaknesses’,” from the Daily Mail, November 29 (thanks to Zulu):

A British Airways computer expert who is alleged to have offered himself as a suicide bomber appeared in court today to deny terrorism charges.

Rajib Karim, 31, of Newcastle upon Tyne, remains in custody and is due to go on trial on January 24 at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London.

Bangladesh-born Karim appeared via videolink today at the Old Bailey where he pleaded not guilty to two charges of preparing for terrorism.

Each count covers the period from April 13 2006 to February 26 2010 and includes the allegation that he ‘offered to be a martyr or suicide bomber’.

The first charge alleges that he engaged in conduct in preparation of terrorism, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, including that he ‘incited the giving of permission to carry out terrorist acts in the United Kingdom’.

Karim is also said to have offered to travel to Yemen or Pakistan to carry out terrorism training, and to have advised about potential recruits to commit terrorist acts in the UK.

Also among the conduct said to form part of the allegation was that he stayed in the UK long enough to obtain a British passport.

It is further claimed that he ‘advised and counselled the commission of terrorist acts by providing information’ on topics such as such as liquids allowances on planes, airport security and scanners, and immigration questions to travellers.

He was also said to have provided details on BA computers and their vulnerability to a physical or ‘internal systems’ attack to inflict financial loss….

Jihad Watch

British Airways worker offered himself as suicide bomber, advised jihadists of airlines’ weaknesses

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Speaking of air security, this update on the case of Rajib Karim raises questions equally relevant to the state of security in American airports: what did British Airways know about him when they hired him? Were there questions they could have asked, but didn’t? Were red flags in his behavior as an employee missed or ignored?

Political correctness has made it acceptable in practice to play fast and loose with risk management, making air security vulnerable to being treated as an academic exercise and losing sight of what is at stake: if something goes wrong, or if an opportunity is left to be taken in the wrong place and at the wrong time, people will die. And if the potential loss of life does not move the airlines and policymakers, one would think the economic impact might.

That is, unless the air travel industry and security apparatus have decided en masse that, with regard to accusations of “Islamophobia” and “profiling,” “[perceived] persecution is worse than slaughter.”

“British Airways worker ‘offered to be suicide bomber and advised terrorists of airline’s weaknesses’,” from the Daily Mail, November 29 (thanks to Zulu):

A British Airways computer expert who is alleged to have offered himself as a suicide bomber appeared in court today to deny terrorism charges.

Rajib Karim, 31, of Newcastle upon Tyne, remains in custody and is due to go on trial on January 24 at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London.

Bangladesh-born Karim appeared via videolink today at the Old Bailey where he pleaded not guilty to two charges of preparing for terrorism.

Each count covers the period from April 13 2006 to February 26 2010 and includes the allegation that he ‘offered to be a martyr or suicide bomber’.

The first charge alleges that he engaged in conduct in preparation of terrorism, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, including that he ‘incited the giving of permission to carry out terrorist acts in the United Kingdom’.

Karim is also said to have offered to travel to Yemen or Pakistan to carry out terrorism training, and to have advised about potential recruits to commit terrorist acts in the UK.

Also among the conduct said to form part of the allegation was that he stayed in the UK long enough to obtain a British passport.

It is further claimed that he ‘advised and counselled the commission of terrorist acts by providing information’ on topics such as such as liquids allowances on planes, airport security and scanners, and immigration questions to travellers.

He was also said to have provided details on BA computers and their vulnerability to a physical or ‘internal systems’ attack to inflict financial loss….

Jihad Watch

A desperate Steele wraps himself around the Tea Party

November 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(Paul)

Michael Steele’s days as RNC head appear to be numbered. However, Steele is fighting to keep his job. To that end, he is now claiming credit for saving the Republican Party from a schism by reaching out to the Tea Party movement. He contrasts himself to unnamed members of the “the Washington crowd who treated the Tea Party with disdain or condescension.”

There’s some irony in this, given Steele’s own past condescending statements. In 2009, Steele dismissed Rush Limbaugh as an “entertainer” whose show is “incendiary” and “ugly.” In those days, Steele thought the path to victory for Republicans was through a conciliatory posture, not through the modern equivalent of tossing tea into the harbor.

Steele reinforced this theme later in 2009 when he suggested that Republicans need to offer African-Americans things in order to win more of the black vote. Indeed, Steele foreshadowed leftist attacks on the Tea Party by blaming Republicans for the “impression we’ve created. . .that we don’t give a damn about them or we just outright don’t like them.”

I’m grateful that Steele, having eventually realized which way the wind was blowing, spoke nicely about the Tea Party once it emerged as a force. Had he continued to take his earlier line, Tea Party members might, indeed, have questioned whether they have a place in the Republican Party.

But being a competent “weatherman” isn’t reason enough to keep Steele on as RNC chairman given his history of gaffes and, more importantly, his inability to raise money efficiently, which culminated in the RNC’s cancellation of its 72-hour get-out-the-vote effort due to lack of funds.

UPDATE: Steele’s argument implies that another RNC head in his position would have denounced or otherwise alienated the Tea Party movement after its sudden emergence. I can’t imagine such an RNC head.

In contrasting himself to “the Washington crowd” that “treated the Tea Party with disdain or condescension,” Steele probably has Karl Rove and John Cornyn in mind. But neither treated the Tea Party with disdain and condescension.

Rove, in his capacity as a commentator, merely questioned the quality of a few candidates nominated with the support of the Tea Party Express. His concerns proved to be well-founded. Cornyn threw his weight behind a few candidates disfavored by the Tea Party because he thought other candidates maximized the chances of Republicans winning the seats. In some cases his assessments were sound and in others they were flawed.

But neither Rove and Cornyn was the head of the RNC. A commentator’s job is to comment (Steele would be good at that); the NRSC head’s job is to try to pick winners. Both jobs can entail offending various factions at times. But this doesn’t mean that, as RNC head, either Rove or Cornyn would have blown off the Tea Party movement. In fact, neither blew it off in the capacities they had.

In any event, neither Rove nor Cornyn is in the picture for the RNC job. It won’t be difficult to replace Steele with a non-Washington operative who said nice things about the Tea Party in 2010.




Power Line

Steele Defends Himself

November 19, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele pushed back on his critics this week in a memo to RNC members that highlights the committee’s accomplishments this cycle.

The memo, obtained by Hotline On Call, appears to be a direct response to the letter RNC political director Gentry Collins sent to Steele earlier this week announcing his resignation and roundly criticizing Steele’s fundraising efforts.

It is also a sign that Steele is seeking to save face as an increasingly large number of high profile Republicans have gone public with their criticism of the RNC’s operation and Steele. Those criticisms have called into question whether Steele will be able to win a second term as chair.

The memo is the clearest sign yet, however, that Steele isn’t backing away from a fight and is very seriously considering a run for a second term.

“I wanted to highlight two great RNC success stories-fundraising and get-out-the-vote operations,” Steele wrote in the memo, which was sent to RNC members on Thursday. “Also, with respect to our record turnout operations, I wanted [to] provide further background on how the RNC helped achieve what was, by far, the greatest turnout by any party in any midterm election in U.S. history by translating the energy of grass roots conservatives into record turnout for GOP candidates.”

Steele goes on to note RNC fundraising accomplishments — the area that Collins roundly criticized in his resignation letter earlier this week. Collins argued that there were 21 House races across the country where Republicans came up short because of the RNC’s fundraising problems.

Steele pushed back on that argument. The memo states that the RNC “raised and spent more money in this cycle on behalf of Republican candidates — by far- than any other entity” and the RNC “smashed the record” for most money collected in a midterm cycle “by any political committee whose party did not control Congress or the White House.” He goes on to say that the RNC raised more than $ 179 million this cycle, 37 percent more than the Democratic National Committee raised in 2006, when Democrats were in the minority and a Republican lived in the White House.

Hotline On Call

Rangel defends himself

November 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

After walking out of his own ethics hearing Monday, Rep. Charlie Rangel will appear in front of the full committee to defend himself as they weigh a punishment.

"I truly believe public officials have a higher responsibility than most Americans to obey the rules because we write them. There can be no excuse for my acts of omission. I’ve failed in carrying out my responsibilities. I made numerous mistakes," says Rangel in prepared remarks that he plans to deliver to the committee. "But corruption and personal enrichment are certainly not part of my mistakes and the Committee’s chief counsel made that abundantly clear. And that was the point I was always trying to make."

"Soon after I took the gavel at Ways and Means I have been smeared with allegations of corruption and personal gain. Two years ago I referred these media allegations to the Ethics Committee, confident that I would be protected from these attacks and false accusations" says Rangel in the statement. "The Committee has not met its burden of proof

And POLITICO reported yesterday, a group of Rangel supporters were planning Harlem and D.C. rallies today in his defense. A Rangel spokesman said that those rallies have been canceled.

"Rangel did not know about it and when he heard, he asked that it not happen," said a Rangel spokesman in an e-mail.





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Ben Smith’s Blog

Lieberman Distances Himself From McCain On DADT, Calls On Pentagon To Issue Study Ahead Of Schedule

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Yesterday, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued that he opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and disagreed with the Pentagon’s study of the issue because “this study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not.” “I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale. What this study is, is designed to do is, is to find out how the repeal could be implemented,” he said.

This afternoon, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) distanced himself from McCain’s denunciation of the report, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “in this case I disagree strongly with my friend John McCain”:

LIEBERMAN: I was so encouraged by the first indications of the study that’s been done, thousands and thousands of our military personnel and their families question, more than 70% apparently said, no problem, because, in the classic situation, when you’re in battle, you don’t care what anybody’s sexual orientation or race or gender or nationality or religion is. You care about whether they’re going to fight well. [...]

I’m not giving up on us doing a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell during the lame duck session. To make that possible, I hope that the Defense Department can find a way to issue this report that they’ve got pretty much done, but going through clearance now, as quickly as possible and certainly before December 1st. We’ve got time to do this, and it’s the right thing to do.

Watch it:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has encouraged the Congress to pass repeal during the lame duck session but has refused to move up the release of the study. “The full report will be made public for all to review early next month,” DoD spokesman Geoff Morrell insisted on Friday.

Wonk Room

Obama Blames Himself for Partisan Tone

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

President Obama said his own “obsessive” focus on implementing the right policies “had led him to ignore a part of the reason voters handed him a mandate in 2008,” the New York Times reports.

Said Obama: “I neglected some things that matter a lot to people, and rightly so: maintaining a bipartisan tone in Washington. I’m going to redouble my efforts to go back to some of those first principles.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Can Denny Hamlin beat his greatest opponent – himself?

November 15, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Today’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix was an exercise in dominance-fueled boredom.

Right up until it wasn’t.

Going into and for the most part through the race, everything was going Denny Hamlin’s way. He had the points lead, he was laying down monster laps, and was easily the class of the field. Everything looked set for his going into Homestead with a sweet cushion en route to his first Sprint Cup championship.

There was one little problem, however.

He and/or crew chief Mike Ford forgot you have to put gas in the car.

Even when you’re leading.

Meanwhile, Jimmie Johnson did the one thing most accuse him of being incapable of doing, namely practicing quality fuel economy. As a result, a car that would move forward but then slide backwards during a run ended the day in fifth place. Even on a day when the normally unflappable Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus almost expressed mild irritation with each other on the radio, which for them is the equivalent of a fistfight in the pits, it was Johnson who came out smiling while Hamlin wore the expression of a self-defeating whipped puppy.

Which, come to think of it, he was.

The fundamental difference between Hamlin and Johnson going into the final race of the year isn’t fifteen points. It’s Johnson’s relaxed attitude of having been here before, as well as his generally calm demeanor disguising a merciless will to win, against Hamlin’s internal ticking time bomb. Should it go off in any fashion next Sunday, game over.

It’s all what makes racing the most unpredictable of sports. So much is outside a driver’s control — ineptitude by his pit crew, a wrong adjustment on the car, a mechanical or parts failure, being at the wrong place at the wrong time when someone else suffers misfortune and puts into practice the old adage about misery loving company. That duly noted, there are things drivers can, indeed must, control. Namely, themselves. Johnson is in control of himself. Knaus is in control of himself. Hamlin and Ford? Not today they weren’t.

Hamlin tweeted earlier this evening, “I told u once, ill tell u again.. It aint over” (sic). Which begs the question: does he believe his own words? Come next Sunday, we’ll know the answer.

(Article originally published at )

Liberty Pundits Blog

It’s Safer When You Don’t Let the President Reflect for Himself

November 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I am very very grateful that Ryan Grim exposed Bush as a plagiarist on Thursday.

When Crown Publishing inked a deal with George W. Bush for his memoirs, the publisher knew it wasn’t getting Faulkner. But the book, at least, promises “gripping, never-before-heard detail” about the former president’s key decisions, offering to bring readers “aboard Air Force One on 9/11, in the hours after America’s most devastating attack since Pearl Harbor; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq,” and other undisclosed and weighty locations.

Crown also got a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections. He took equal license in lifting from nonfiction books about his presidency or newspaper or magazine articles from the time. Far from shedding light on how the president approached the crucial “decision points” of his presidency, the clip jobs illuminate something shallower and less surprising about Bush’s character: He’s too lazy to write his own memoir.

You see, I was traveling yesterday, and had almost prepared myself to pay full price for Bush’s memoir so I could do a close reading of the Iraq intelligence, torture, and illegal wiretapping bits. But Ryan’s piece gave me a convenient excuse to put that off until I can get the book for a dollar or so online. After all, if I want to read what Bush’s memoir says, I can just go re-read Woodward, right?

But I’m curious whether there’s another reason than the one Ryan suggests-laziness-that explains Bush’s plagiarism.

For some of the sections that appear to be lifted, is it possible that Bush plagiarized the existing carefully crafted narrative of an event to make sure his “memoir” matched that narrative? After all, Karen Hughes and others did a lot of work on those narratives in the first go-around, so why not lift them?

And for passages such as the following one that Ryan suggests may have been lifted, that may be more important given the underlying legal issues.

From Decision Points, p. 105: “In one of our final meetings, I informed Dick that I would not issue a pardon. He stared at me with an intense look. ‘I can’t believe you are going to leave a soldier on the battlefield,’ he said. The comment stung. In eight years, I had never seen Dick like this, or even close to this.”

Or did Bush pull this from Time magazine, “Legacy Fight: Inside Bush and Cheney’s Final Days,” July 24, 2009: “A day later, Cheney gave an interview to a conservative magazine, saying he disagreed with the President’s decision on the Libby pardon. Other Libby backers were quoted in the article, calling Bush ‘dishonorable’ and saying he had left a soldier on the battlefield, language Cheney had used throughout the debate over the pardon.”

After all, the decision not to pardon Libby was made after consulting with his personal defense lawyer, so I imagine Bush wants to get this one right.

Now, granted, Bush admitted to war crimes in his book, so he did exhibit a general lack of caution in his presentation of some of the touchy legal issues dealt with in the book. But unlike Cheney (who has explicitly said that the statute of limitations will have expired on some of the crimes he’ll describe in his upcoming memoir), Bush may well need to finesse these issues.

Related posts:

  1. Cheney Pissed at Bush: Distraction with the Wrong Cover-Up
  2. Scooter Libby: “Back in 2003 There Was More That Might Have Been Done”
  3. Bush Admits to Approving Torture-But Which Use of It?


Emptywheel

Net Neutrality: The Kid Sitting By Himself in the High School Cafeteria

November 8, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Network Neutrality (NN) is now decidedly, demonstrably unpopular - and unnecessary.

Dunce-Cap

If this were high school (and politics really sort of is), Net Neutrality would be sitting alone at lunch - shunned even by the members of the marching band and the audio-visual club.  Having had its lunch money taken, it would have only enough for milk (and would sadly be unable to open the container).  It would be planning to take its aunt to prom.

But it’s Mom - Free Press and the rest of the Media Marxists - is always there, telling NN how handsome it really is.  And that the other kids just don’t understand it.

In short, almost NO ONE likes Net Neutrality.  Let us look at the debilitating, devastating facts.

The rapid unraveling of the pro-NN movement began almost immediately after the movement itself did.

…(T)he original 2006 coalition It’s Our Netboasted 148 partners.  Just one year later, they’d “reconstituted in a different form” with a broader focus and were rechristened the Open Internet Coalition (OIC).  But that entity had just 74 members – a huge loss of support in but one year.  This despite the broader focus – which you would think would lead to more participants, not less.

The already-diminishing pro-NN push began - rightly - in the House, Congress being the only proper venue for this sort of thing.  But it repeatedly went NOWHERE.

So in 2007 the pro-NN gaggle bailed on Congress - despite the new Democrat majorities - and instead went for a totalitarian Federal Communications Commission (FCC) implementation.

Where they only had to get three votes from unelected bureaucrats - rather than 218 from the People’s representatives.

But the FCC doesn’t have any authority over anything unless and until Congress writes law giving it to them.  And Congress has not yet written said law.

Nevertheless, the pro-NN gaggle spent two years quietly building the fraudulent case for unilateral FCC NN regulatory fiat - when what they thought was their Nirvana arrived.  Barack Obama– an on-the-record pro-NN Democrat - was elected President in 2008.  And with him came a 3-2 Democrat FCC majority.

The Media Marxists were salivating.  Sensing it was their moment, they attempted to seize it.  But a problem arose.  Their greater, more public push for FCC unilateral NN enactment raised the little-known issue’s profile - and nearly every new person who learned about NN loathed it.

And in April, the D.C. Circuit Court further demonstrated the fallacy of their efforts, unanimously ruling the obvious – that the Commission does not have the authority to do anything to the Internet.

Even FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski knows this, as he acknowledged in the Washington Post:

“(W)e have a Communications Act that wasn’t written for broadband.”

Undaunted,  Chairman Genachowski in June called for and got a 3-2 Party-line vote to begin the process of reclassifying the Internet – to (over)regulate the Web the way they (over)regulate land line telephones – and thereby illegally grab the power necessary to enact NN.

This led to even more opposition.  A LOT more.

302 members of Congress said No – a large bipartisan majority.  So did more than 150 organizations, state legislators and bloggers , seventeen minority groups (that are usually almost always in Democrat lockstep) and many additional normally Democrat paragons including several large unions: AFL-CIO, Communications Workers of America (CWA),International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); several racial grievance groups: League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Minority Media and Telecom Council (MMTC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Urban League; and an anti-free market environmentalist group: the Sierra Club.

And Americans certainly love their Internet the way it is – and see ZERO need for huge, dramatic new regulations.  As demonstrated in Election 2010 – when 95 Democrats publicly asserted their pro-NN stance, and ALL 95 LOST.  Meanwhile, 24 Republicans who voiced their opposition to NN won.

There simply is very little support for NN – ANYWHERE, from ANYONE.

From their outset, the pro-NN gaggle stridently asserted that if NN was not IMMEDIATELY implemented, the dynamic open Internet we have been overwhelmingly enjoying – WITHOUT NN IN PLACE – would cease to be.

For four plus years they have incessantly repeated this mantra – all the while, our access to the Web has become far greater, meteorically faster and cheaper - and the Internet has become a far greater free market, free speech Xanadu than anyone in 2006 could have envisioned.

Isn’t it finally time to stop listening to the unpopular kid ranting and raving from his solo lunch table, complaining that Internet life – which everyone else is relishing - isn’t “fair?”


Big Government

UNRWA chief asks for machine guns to protect himself in Gaza

November 6, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

From Ha’aretz:

The defense establishment has taken the unusual step of granting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency approval to take four weapons into Gaza. The weapons, submachine guns, are to serve the security detail guarding the heads of the agency in Gaza.

The request to bring in the weapons was made three years ago and approved last week.

The director of UNRWA’s activities in Gaza, John Ging, said on his website that his life is in constant danger and he needs more suitable protection than the handguns his bodyguards had been carrying.

The UN body asked for German Heckler and Koch submachine guns for UNRWA’s commissioner general, Filippo Grandi, and for Ging.

The organization told Israeli security officials that its personnel are being threatened by Hamas representatives. UNRWA operates 221 schools in Gaza and dozens of medical centers, employment centers and women’s help centers.

More than a million refugees and their descendents are registered with UNRWA, which operates eight refugee camps in Gaza.

In March 2007, gunmen fired at Ging’s convoy and he escaped without injury. In the summer of 2007, armed men again attacked him, in Rafah, killing one.

Ging supports unsupervised flotillas to break the blockade of Gaza, which would be able to bring all the weapons he might need.

So why didn’t he ask his Hamas buddies to smuggle in some submachine guns for his team?

Elder of Ziyon

Breitbart: Boehner’s Full Of Himself For Crying After Election, ‘He Broke Up At The Concept Of Him[self]’

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Appearing on comedian Dennis Miller’s radio show Wednesday, right-wing media tycoon Andrew Breitbart criticized House Republican Leader John Boehner for crying during his self-congratulatory post-election speech, saying Republicans’ electoral victory Tuesday wasn’t about Boehner, but was about the tea party movement, which is skeptical about the future-speaker’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. “This wasn’t about ‘I,’ he broke up at the concept of him[self],” Breitbart said, ironically commenting that he was glad that those comments “can’t get recorded” so Boehner “won’t hear me”:

MILLER: What’d you make of Boehner last night? That got a little weird, huh?

BREITBART: It was a little weird but thankfully this can’t get recorded and he won’t hear me, what I have to say about it. This wasn’t about ‘I,’ he broke up at the concept of him. Nobody voted him — he hasn’t even been elected by his own caucus to be the House speaker, that thing is still up in play. It was not like the fete accomplie that Nancy Pelosi was.

I mean, he was behind TARP. The Tea Party created this environment out there, this Juggernaut, and the tea party and America are going to have to judge whether or not these people are sober and serious and will allow for America to move into a more fiscally responsible era. They did not do this in 1994.

MILLER: Yeah, he’s on the clock now, I would agree with you. I like John Boehner, he seems like a nice man and the initial quiver in the voice was quite touching. When he got seized up and couldn’t move on, I remember thinking like [Tom] Hanks and ‘there’s no crying in blood sport,’ and I wanted him to get on with it. But you’re right, that TARP thing was ill advised in the first place.

Listen here:

Indeed, while Boehner has taken on the mantle of extreme frugality — he told ABC’s Diane Sawyer last night that his first priority is to “stop the spending” — as Breitbart noted, Boehner backed the TARP bailout. Despite its success, the TARP has become universally reviled by tea party activists, but Boehner took to the House floor in 2008 to passionately — though not quite to the point of tears — urge his colleagues to support the Wall Street bailout. Boehner’s support for TARP, and his past support for other supposedly fiscally irresponsible measures, has led several tea party-backed candidates and lawmakers to say may not support Boehner for speaker.

ThinkProgress

Christie removes himself from 2012 contention

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As close to a General Sherman we’re going to get.
American Thinker Blog

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