Posts Tagged: Harm’

Oct 10

In Request To Bring Back DADT, DOJ Can’t List Single Specific Harm From Injunction

Following California District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’ official rejection of the government’s request to stay her injunction against enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Department of Justice has filed an emergency stay request with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting that “the Court enter an administrative stay by today October 20, 2010, pending this Court’s resolution of the government’s motion for a stay pending appeal, which would maintain the status quo that prevailed before the district court’s decision while the Court considers the government’s stay motion.”

The 25-page stay request argues, among other things, that the temporary injunction, “if not stayed immediately,” “risks causing significant immediate harm to the military and its efforts to be prepared to implement an orderly repeal of the statute.” Interestingly, DOJ lists at least three different harms, but doesn’t note a single specific instance in which the Pentagon has received a complaint about mass resignations or disruption in the time since it has complied with Philips’ order and stopped implementing the policy:

1. DADT is in the public interest: “Because an Act of Congress is deemed to be “in itself a declaration of public interest and policy which should be persuasive,”…ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in this manner is itself irreparable harm.”

2. Military not ready for repeal: “The Court should defer to the considered judgment of Congress and the most senior leaders of the military that a repeal of § 654 and its implementing regulations should be done in an orderly manner to be successful, rather than result from an immediate court- ordered cessation of the statutory policy.”

3. The injunction is causing “confusion”: “Enjoining the operation of the statute before the appeal is concluded would create tremendous uncertainty about the status of servicemembers who may reveal their sexual orientation in reliance on the district court’s decision and injunction.”

Meanwhile, Voice of America reported yesterday that despite DOJ’s warnings, “A Pentagon spokesman said Monday that no disciplinary problems or mass-resignations have been reported since last week’s judicial injunction.”

Wonk Room

Oct 10

EPA’s Ethanol Decision Could Do More Harm Than Good

Two months ago, I warned you about President Barack Obama’s EPA blending politics and science.

ethanol corn

Now, according to an EPA news release issued Wednesday, the “blending” process appears to be complete:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. This represents the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state and industry towards commercialization of E15 gasoline blends. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the decision after a review of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) extensive testing and other available data on E15’s impact on engine durability and emissions.

What does that mean for American consumers accustomed to gasoline that already contains up to 10 percent ethanol? Plenty! In fact, the decision could do more harm than good, according to Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

In August, Gerard said this decision — made even before key safety and effectiveness studies have been completed — “could threaten vehicle performance and safety, void manufacturers’ warranties, confuse consumers – and create a public backlash against renewable fuels.”

“Consumers need to be assured that the gasoline they purchase will not damage vehicles, void warranties or erode air quality gains,” Gerard added. “And we as an industry want to continue producing safe and reliable fuels for consumers now and into the future.”

To learn even more about the ethanol issue, watch this video.

Big Government

Sep 10

A New ‘Contract with America’ Will do More Harm than Good for Republican Candidates

Talking heads, pundits and bloggers have been buzzing for months now at the prospect of Republicans in Congress releasing a new version of the Contract with America, the set of legislative proposals Newt Gingrich and other Republican leaders cobbled together in the lead up to the 1994 election. While that election saw Republicans sweep into control of the House for the first time in 40 years, and take the Senate, 2010 is not 1994. Nationalizing that election made sense, nationalizing this one reeks of opportunism and a desperation for the Washington establishment to claim relevance.


In 1994, everyone knew Republicans were going to do well, but they didn’t know how well. The battle with President Clinton and liberals over Hillarycare, Congressional corruption and other issues soured a large portion of the nation on Democrats. It was a harmonic convergence of events that set the ball on a tee for Republicans. No one can say whether or not the Contract was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it is given so much credit that logic dictates that at least some of it is undeserved.

While the ideas in the original Contract were put on paper by people from inside Washington, they had been outsiders their whole careers. None in the House had ever served in a Republican majority. Those drafting the new “Contract” have, and lost it by becoming what they ran opposing. It hasn’t been released yet, but the rumors are circulating about its content and release date, possibly as soon as this Thursday. Regardless of what it says, the message it will send, and the trouble for campaigns, campaigns doing quite well without it, is that it this election is about Washington. It could be the unforced fumble as the clock is running out of the 2010 campaign.

Right now Republican candidates, particularly Tea Party candidates, are doing remarkably well in every poll, running on what makes sense for their particular race without significant help from Washington, and, in many cases, against the desire of Washington. This does not sit well with those inside the beltway.

Washington is a town where favors, almost more than our tax dollars, are the currency of choice. Loyalty is as prized as gold. This year the election is as much about a rejection of Washington as it is a rejection of the Democrat’s agenda.

A large group of Republican nominees this year are as much about anti-Washington sentiment as they are anti-Democrat. Washington insiders drafting a campaign platform in an attempt to obtain relevance in races where they are not involved or needed can only cause problems for candidates running well.

The authors of the new Contract say they will not have candidates sign the document, which is even more problematic. They know they would have difficulty getting a bunch of anti-Washington candidates to sign a document of Washington, so they want to skip that step. By doing so, the Contract will automatically be assigned to every candidate with an R after their name by the media.

Each candidate, no matter what issues they are running on, will be asked and forced to answer questions on an agenda on which they had no input. It would alter, even if temporarily, the focus of their campaign.

The story will go from what each campaign wants to talk about to whether or not they support what Republican leaders propose. On the issues they do, their opponent will say they’re of Washington. On the issues they don’t, the media narrative will be about a rift in the Republican Party. It’s no-win.

What matters in Washington may not matter or play well in Kentucky, or California, or Delaware. But candidates won’t be able to accept or reject portions of the Contract, they’ll have to answer each and every point. To hijack campaigns NOT wanting guidance is the ultimate in selfishness.

These candidates are doing a fine job of defining themselves and the issues in their races, which has Washington nervous. If a bunch of new Members come to town without loyalty to Republican leadership, that could cause problems for Republican leaders. That is why they are seeking to insert themselves into these races, and it’s exactly why they shouldn’t.

If Republicans want to regain a majority in the House or Senate this year Washington has to stay out of any race they aren’t invited to join. Unfortunately, that is not the nature of Washington, so they’re set to shoehorn themselves into every race with this new Contract. Should Republicans take the majority, look for current Members to claim as much underserved credit as humanly possible. Should they not, look for them to blame the candidates for not being able to articulate a message imposed upon them by Washington egos. The status quo will be defended either way.

You can stalk Derek Hunter on Twitter by clicking here.

Big Government

Sep 10

Brian Williams Relitigates Bush v Gore, Pushes Breyer to Elaborate on Irreparable Harm

Giving Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer an unusual evening newscast platform to plug a book, on Monday’s NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams brought viewers back to the Left’s ten-year-old grudge, cuing up Breyer to agree: “Do you think Bush v Gore hurt the credibility of the modern court?” Breyer replied with a simple “yes” and Williams suggested: “Irreparably?” “No,” Breyer said in rejecting Williams’ overwrought premise, so Williams pressed: “For how long?”

Williams introduced the September 13 segment by marveling:

We can’t remember a sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court ever stopping by our studios here, but it happened today. We spent some time with Justice Stephen Breyer, appointed by President Clinton and residing on the liberal side of the court. Justice Breyer is out with a new book today. It’s about how the court works, including mistakes the court has made over the years. I started out by asking Justice Breyer, given his love of the Supreme Court, if he’s concerned that just one percent of those Americans polled, in a recent survey, knew his name?

That book: Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.

The second topic raised by Williams:

WILLIAMS: Do you think Bush v Gore hurt the credibility of the modern court?


WILLIAMS: Irreparably?


WILLIAMS: For how long?

BREYER: I don’t know. That’s up to historians. I thought that the decision — I was in dissent. I obviously thought the majority was wrong. But I’ve heard Harry Reid, I heard him say this, and I agree with it completely, he said the most remarkable thing about that case, Bush versus Gore, is something hardly anyone remarks. And that remarkable thing is even though more than half the public strongly disagreed with it, thought it was really wrong, they followed it. And the alternative, using guns, having revolutions in the street, is a worse alternative.

WILLIAMS: To a new area, academic social elitism on the court. What would be your view of bringing in — Presidents appointing justices who went to a couple of state law schools? – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Sep 10

Hebrew Univ researchers first to successfully kill HIV cells without further harm

It’s been proven in the laboratory.  Now onto animals, humans, and release.  So tell me, if Jews solved AIDS, will the liberal intelligentsia give them the credit due?

Liberty Pundits Blog

Sep 10

“I Think the Critical Term Here Is” Littering Prolonged Mental Harm

Here’s how our crack 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee played word games so as to consider bottles of water left for migrants traversing the Arizona desert “litter” even if they weren’t “garbage.” (h/t Balkinization)

1The regulation suffers from several grammatical challenges. The regulation begins with three gerunds listed in series—“littering, disposing, or dumping”—followed by an object introduced by a preposition—“of garbage, refuse sewage, sludge, earth, rocks or other debris.” 50 C.F.R. § 27.94(a). “Littering,” however, does not really match the phrase that follows—it makes little sense to say “the littering . . . of garbage, refuse sewage, sludge, earth, rocks, or other debris.” We don’t ordinarily think of littering in terms of sewage, sludge, or rocks. Moreover, the “of” before “garbage” doesn’t make sense; neither “littering” nor “dumping” requires it. The regulation was probably intended to read: “[L]ittering, or disposing of or dumping garbage, refuse sewage, [etc.] . . . is prohibited.”


Largely ignoring the term “littering,” the majority focuses instead on the term “garbage,” which it defines as “food waste” or “discarded or useless material” Maj. Op. at 13296. The majority concludes that because the water in the bottles is “intended for human consumption,” the bottles have value, and, therefore, are not garbage. Maj. Op. at 13296. The majority holds that “given the common meaning of the term ‘garbage,’ . . . § 27.94(a) is sufficiently ambiguous in this context that the rule of lenity should apply.” Maj. Op. at 13298.

I think the critical term here is not “garbage,” but “littering.” Millis’s citation was not for dumping garbage but for
“littering in a National Wildlife Refuge.”

Mind you, when the issue was whether waterboarding someone constituted prolonged mental harm, Bybee was not really a stickler for precise meanings.

Which I guess means Bybee is consistent: he has the remarkable ability to read a phrase with that meaning that will cause the utmost pain to brown people.

Related posts:

  1. Did Jay Bybee Accidentally Admit that CIA Experimented on Abu Zubaydah with Sleep Deprivation?
  2. Jay Bybee Suggests He Wouldn’t Recuse on Ghost Detainee Case
  3. Jay Bybee Admits CIA Had No Approval for Water Dousing, Diapering


Aug 10

Daily Kos Holocaust Denial: 9/11 Attacks ‘Were More About Optics Than Actual Harm’

While the Ground Zero Mosque controversy strikes the media as an opportunity for "healing" that’s being denied by stubborn conservatives, the leftists at the Daily Kos see it as an opportunity for Holocaust Denial. The blogger known as "Something the Dog Said" dropped this jaw-dropping paragraph Thursday morning about fear of Muslims:

Given that they are such a small minority in this nation, it is odd that so many of our fellow citizens see them as such a threat. Yes, the 9/11 attacks were horrific, but they were more about optics than actual harm. The economy was already taking a hit before the Twin Towers fell.  The reaction of the nation to seeing two major buildings in New York fall on T.V. has boosted the attack out of proportion. While the loss of even a single life is to be condemned and the devastation these deaths caused the families of those killed, more than this number of teens are killed every year in car crashes. These are also tragic losses but we do not make the kind of high profile issue of it that the 9/11 attacks are.

This blogger obviously can’t tell the difference in political meaning between a collection of teen car accidents and an intentional, ideological mass murder. This is the same blogger who just wrote on July 30 that Republicans are much scarier than jihadists:

Find an issue and whip up hysteria, without consideration of the long term affects or what might be lost by the tactic.  It is just another of the legion of reasons why the modern Republican Party can not be trusted with the government of the United States or any single state for that matter. The radicalization they claim will come from mosques is just a pale reflection of the radicalization that has occurred in the ranks of their Party. If there is a group to fear, it is Radical Republicans, which is basically to say the most of the Republican Party at this point.

"Optics" is a word better used for how it looks for Michelle Obama to go on a ritzy Spanish vacation, not to suggest 9/11 was really an insignificant crime.

[Hat tip: Mal Adjusted] – Exposing Liberal Media Bias