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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Night Card Game (What We Have Here Is A Failure To Harass)

This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:

This clip of youngsters Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes is both funny, and makes a point:

Related Posts:
Saturday Night Card Game
Diversity Consultant Throws The K-Bomb
Is This The Week The Dream Died?

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The Original Sherrod Clip Was Not "False"

The left-wing blogs and media are hoping beyond hope that Shirley Sherrod sues Andrew Breitbart.

One common theme, echoed by Sam Stein at HuffPo, and various people he quotes, is that the original clip released by Breitbart was "false."

To portray the clip as "false" is wrong. The clip itself was what it was. No one is claiming that the words were changed or edited within the time span shown on the clip.

The original Sherrod clip was no worse, and in many way much more fair, than the clips and words taken out of context that we see every day at Democratic media machines.

I previously posted about how Gawker and Think Progress ran headlines that Bill O'Reilly had said that a black guest looked like a drug dealer? Those headlines and the articles were literally true, but wildly out of context meant to portray O'Reilly as racist. Breitbart's conduct did not rise anywhere near that.

The original Sherrod clip certainly gave enough of a flavor that Sherrod was talking about something in the past, and had changed (watch the clip beginning at 1:50, where Sherrod mentions that she no longer views race as the real issue). The full speech gives an even more complete version of that supposed transformation, but that does not make the shorter version "false."

Even Breitbart's original description of the tape -- before the full tape was available, actually disclosed Sherrod's transformation (emphasis mine):
In the first video, Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer. She describes how she is torn over how much she will choose to help him. And, she admits that she doesn’t do everything she can for him, because he is white. Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help. But she decides that he should get help from “one of his own kind”. She refers him to a white lawyer.
To the extent the original clip and Breitbart's description portrayed Sherrod as having engaged in a racist act in the past, such implication literally was true, as Sherrod admits. The actions people in the Obama administration took, and the conclusions the media drew from that literal truth may have been unfair and precipitous, but that does not make the clip defamatory.

I think Sherrod's chances of winning a suit are much, much weaker than portrayed by Stein and the people he quotes.

Any such suit would be political in nature, done for some ulterior motive.

Which, as I have pointed out, may not be the worst of outcomes for Breitbart, because a lot of people will be in the hot seat.

Related Posts:
Shirley Sherrod May Make Andrew Breitbart's Day
Context! For We, But Not For Thee
Shocked - Think Progress Misleading Anti-Tea Party Video

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The Real Reason The ADL Is Against The Cordoba Mosque

The Anti-Defamation League has come out against the building of a huge Islamic center and Mosque near Ground Zero.

Here is the key passage from the ADL statement:
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.
Predictably, the surprising announcement has set off a fury of "first they came for" statements from the left-wing bloggers who usually act in sympathy with the ADL - except when it comes to Israel. The schism between pro-Israel Jews and Israel-meh Jews has been exposed in full force.

People who probably threw hissy fits as kids about having to go to Hebrew School instead of being able to watch TV after public school now remember the lessons learned in religious class as if they were Talmudic scholars.

I think the ADL is dancing around the issue. I don't believe the ADL is motivated primarily by sensitivities to the feelings of victims.

Rather, the ADL, like many of us, does not want to deal with the reality that regardless of the motivations of the individuals who will visit the Mosque, al-Qaeda and Islamists will portray the Mosque complex as the final conquest of The World Trade Center.

The thought of Adam Ghadan, or Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Osama bin Laden issuing a video or audiotape crowing about the ultimate victory, is too much for most Americans of all religions to bear.

The people behind and supporting the Cordoba Mosque surely know that it is not about religious freedom. No one is preventing the building of Mosques in New York City.

At the end of the day, we as a free society must err in favor of allowing the building of religious institutions anywhere religion-neutral laws allow. But that does not change the truth of what is going on with the Cordoba Mosque.

They should have picked a different location. Because respect is not a one-way street.

Update 8/1/2010: Some -- but not all -- of the criticisms of this post are fair. I still reach the same conclusion, but I might say it a little differently. I think the ADL is struggling to balance religious liberty with the clear history of large Islamic centers in Europe and the U.S. being used for radical purposes, both by the people funding the operations and by radical Islamist elements abroad. The centers never start out with radicalism as a stated goal, but seem to turn in that direction with frightening frequency. To have such a center so close to Ground Zero raises such concerns even more so because there is no doubt that al-Qaeda and other radicals will try to use the location to their advantage. Given the highly charged nature of Ground Zero, the organizers should have picked a different location for such a large and high profile complex.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Arizona Appeal To Be Argued Election Week

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the State of Arizona's motion to expedite the appeal from the preliminary injunction enjoining key provisions of S.B. 1070. (h/t Michelle Malkin) The Department of Justice has objected to an expedited briefing schedule.

The case now will be argued the week of November 1.

That may make DOJ lawyers happy, because they will have more time to put together their brief.

But it will not make Democratic politicians happy to have the Arizona case on the front page as voters are walking into the voting booth on November 2.

Democrats wished too hard for something, and they got it.

U.S. v. Arizona - 9th Cir - Order Denying Motion to Expedite Appeal
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Let's Play "If a Tea Party Supporter Had Said That"

There are "elements" within the Democratic Party.

Frightening elements.

Don't talk to me about context. Or try to explain that the words do not mean what they appear to mean.

These were hateful words which must be taken in isolation and then attributed to all Democrats, because that is the way it is done to Tea Party supporters.

Look what the Democrats' paranoid style of politics has led to:
This is just the past week. Surely there are many more examples?

Think Progress film at 11.

Related Posts:
Diversity Consultant Throws The K-Bomb
Context! For We, But Not For Thee
Shocked - Think Progress Misleading Anti-Tea Party Video

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They're Losing It

The Democrats have a new hero, now that Alan Grayson is so yesterday:

Update 8:30 p.m.: Sorry I couldn't update this sooner, but I've been in the car almost all afternoon. The good news is that while in the car I heard Weiner and Peter King on Hannity's radio show debating the legislation (concerning additional funds for 9/11 responders) which gave rise to Weiner's rant. The short story is that the rant was all for show; the Democrats have the votes to pass the bill (255 total) but have decided to use a special procedure that would shut out any amendments but requires 290 votes, which they don't have.

Allahpundit explains the background and why the Democrats did not want any amendments offered.

Weiner is a pathetic joke. He and the Democrats deliberately are not passing legislation so that they can run commercials in the fall about how the bad Republicans would not vote to help 9/11 responders.

Here is an earlier video explaining Weiner's stunt:

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Rewind: Massa A Dem Rock Star
Dems Stuck With Blog Hero Grayson

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Poll: Angle-Reid In Dead Heat

Just yesterday I told you that Harry Reid was beatable.

Today The Las Vegas Review Journal has released a new Mason-Dixon poll showing Reid and Sharron Angle in a virtual dead heat, compared to a poll two weeks ago which showed Reid with a 7 point lead:
The new survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows Reid and Angle neck and neck. The Senate majority leader would win 43 percent and Angle 42 percent of support from likely Nevada voters if the election were held now. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points on the statewide telephone survey of 625 registered voters taken Monday through Wednesday.

A July 12-14 Mason-Dixon poll showed Reid 7 points ahead of Angle, 44-37. It was the best showing for the four-term incumbent -- and the worst for Angle -- in a head-to-head matchup, according to a series of surveys for the Review-Journal since last year.

Reid is viewed unfavorably by 51%, versus 47% for Angle.

60% of Nevadans see the country as being on the wrong track. Considering that Harry Reid is the engineer driving the train down that wrong track, Reid has problems.

Now, can we stop being so damn doomy and gloomy?

Update: Even He is starting to believe.

Related Posts:
The Good News - 48% of Nevadans Still Strongly Dislike Harry Reid
It Is Not. Over. At all. In Reid v. Angle
The Announcement Of The Death Of Sharron Angle's Campaign Is Premature

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A Journolista Wonders: "Was It All For Nothing?"

Chris Muir takes note:

Worry not, Dear Journolistas,

You still have your youthful snark, irrelevant wit, what the f@#k kick ass attitudes, and epistemic closures;

and you still can suckle at the informational bosom of Mother Media Matters, and call it journalism.

Related Posts:
My One Question for WaPo Regarding The Journolist
Journolist Ruins Chuckie T's Sleep Pattern
They Have Nothing To Fear, But Fear Itself

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

DOJ Objects To Expedited Arizona Appeal

Arizona has requested that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals set an expedited briefing schedule which would have the case fully briefed in just over one month. This is about half the time normally allotted for briefing in appeals from a preliminary injunction.

The U.S. Department of Justice has just filed an opposition to the motion, arguing that the regular schedule should be followed, which would not have the case fully briefed until October 7, 2010. DOJ stated that it did not want its usual 28 day time period shortened, even if Arizona shortened its own time for briefing.

U.S. v. Arizona - 9th Cir - U.S. Opposition to Motion to Expedite Appeal

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Note to Viewers

I have not watched any clips of Obama on The View.

I will not watch any clips of Obama on The View.

Although I still may comment about Obama on The View, anyway, because I have seen photos of Obama on The View (I tried not to look).

For now, everything I need to know about Obama on The View, I learned from Michael Ramirez.

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Shirley Sherrod May Make Andrew Breitbart's Day

Shirley Sherrod is going to sue Andrew Breitbart, she says. The liberal internets are all aTwitter with joy. Andy finally is going to get his comeuppance.

It is unclear what the grounds for the suit would be.

Defamation? For what, showing a two-minute clip of her speech, and not showing the rest of the speech (which Breitbart apparently did not have a copy of)? For calling her comments "racist" when she admitted in the speech, at a minimum, to formerly being a racist?

Interference with her employment? When she resigned and turned down the job when she was offered it after her resignation?

For portraying her in a false light? Really? I'd like to see the movie of her real light.

The legal issues -- was she a public figure? -- may not take this case past a motion to dismiss at the start of the case.

But, let's say the lawsuit does get off the ground, and moves forward into discovery.

Will Sherrod assert that her reputation has been damaged? By claiming reputational harm, Sherrod opens up almost her entire life to scrutiny, which is why so many people are hesitant to assert a defamation claim.

Will Sherrod assert the loss of her job as damages? This would permit Breitbart to take depositions up the chain of command, from the person who made the infamous "pull over to the side of the road" phone call, to Tom Vilsack, to the people in the White House.

Now, I'm sure Breitbart does not want to be sued, even though he probably has insurance anyway, which at least would cover the defense costs.

But, if having to defend a suit of dubious merit allows Breitbart to put Sherrod's life on trial, to conduct an inquiry into the NAACP and Sherrod's connections in the movement, and to take the depositions of administration officials, that might just be a price Breitbart is happy to pay.

After all, the show must go on.

Update 7-30-2010: Real Sherrod Story Still Untold, and Breitbart is just the guy to tell it. Somehow, I don't think she really will sue.

Update 7-31-2010: See my new post, The Original Sherrod Clip Was Not "False".

Related Posts:
Diversity Consultant Throws The K-Bomb
Context! For We, But Not For Thee
Shocked - Think Progress Misleading Anti-Tea Party Video

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My One Question for WaPo Regarding The Journolist

More from The Daily Caller today, detailing the political connections on the Journolist, where Obama operatives, Democratic political strategists, and liberal media types mixed:
Despite its name, membership in the liberal online community Journolist wasn’t limited to journalists. Present among the bloggers, reporters and editors were a number of professional political operatives, including top White House economic advisors, key Obama political appointees, and Democratic campaign veterans. Some left government to join Journolist. Others took the opposite route. A few contributed to Journolist from their perches in politics. At times, it became difficult to tell who was supposed to be covering policy and who was trying to make it.

Two of the administration’s chief economic advisors, Jared Bernstein, the vice president’s top economist, and Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council, were members of Journolist until they began working officially for Obama.

Ilan Goldenberg, now an advisor on Middle East policy at the Pentagon, was a member until he joined the administration. Moira Whelan left Journolist to work at the Department of Homeland Security .

Anne-Marie Slaughter left to work at the State Department. Former Journolist member Ben Brandzel is now a top staffer at Organizing for America, the political arm of the Obama White House.

Josh Orton, a former spokesman for Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NM)[sic - should be NV], became Obama’s deputy director of new media during the 2008 presidential campaign. After the election, he joined Journolist.

Brent Bozell has 20 questions for The Washington Post about its knowledge of and involvement with the Journolist.

I have just one question:
In which Washington, D.C. area parking garage will the entire Journolist archive be handed over to us?

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Now I Am A Hero, Too
Journolist Trig Emails - All About The Story Line

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The Good News - 48% of Nevadans Still Strongly Dislike Harry Reid

Rasmussen released its latest polling results in Nevada, showing Harry Reid up 45-43%. The numbers are almost identical to a recent PPP poll; an earlier Mason-Dixon poll showed Reid with a larger lead.

The polls all are consistent in showing that despite the power of incumbency and huge campaign spending, Harry Reid cannot seem to raise his favorability numbers much.

Take a closer look at the Rasmussen numbers, and you will understand that this race is winnable in this year by Sharron Angle.

While unfavorable ratings are even, those who strongly dislike Reid far outnumber those who strongly dislike Angle (emphasis mine):
But 48% of the state’s voters have a Very Unfavorable view of Reid. Forty-one percent (41%) say the same of Angle. Overall, 55% have at least a somewhat unfavorable opinion of Reid and 56% view Angle at least somewhat unfavorably.
Likely voters also self-identify significantly more conservative than liberal:
Forty-five percent (45%) of Nevada’s Likely Voters consider themselves at least somewhat conservative and 24% consider themselves at least somewhat liberal. Those figures include 18% who are Very Conservative and 6% who are Very Liberal.
Yet likely voters view Reid overwhelmingly as liberal, which puts him out of touch ideologically with the electorate:
Sixty-two percent (62%) describe the longtime Democratic senator as a liberal, and 50% characterize his views as extreme. Forty-one percent (41%) put Reid in the mainstream.

Angle, who is seen as a conservative by 81% of the state’s voters, is viewed as holding extreme views by 58%. Thirty-seven percent (37%) see the GOP nominee in the mainstream.

Reid's relentless attacks, supported by a sympathetic mainstream media and active left-wing blogosphere, have increased Angle's negatives.

But, as the paragraph above shows, Reid still is viewed as "extreme" by half the voters. And among independents, slightly more view Reid as "extreme":
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 55% consider Reid’s views extreme while 52% say the same about Angle.
What these numbers show is what everyone knew. Harry Reid was able to take advantage of a superior campaign machine and deep pockets in the several weeks after the primary, but Reid remains very unpopular.

Would I prefer that Angle were up 2%? Of course.

But to paint a picture of doom and gloom is completely misplaced and plays into one of Reid's main campaign themes of inevitability. I am with Ed Morrissey:
Assuming the Angle campaign gets onto better footing and starts getting its ads on television, this race can still be won.
I particularly like this observation from the otherwise gloomy Jim Geraghty:
One big reason Reid is in trouble is that the agenda he’s working to enact in Washington is the opposite of what Nevadans want.
The Rasmussen poll, coming after the best six weeks Harry Reid ever will have, may mark the high water mark for Reid, unless he can move the 48% of likely voters who still strongly dislike him.

When you have been around for decades so everyone knows you, when you have spent several million dollars attacking your opponent almost unopposed for weeks, and when 48% of likely voters still really don't like you, you are Harry Reid and you are beatable.

Update and Question: Similar analysis from Erick Erickson, Sharron Angle is in a Good Position Against Harry Reid, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, Sharron Angle Is in It.

Now, will the right-blogosphere finally get interested in this race, or will we continue to allow the nutroots (TPM, Greg Sargent, Reid plants, etc.) to pound the keyboards unanswered?

Related Posts:
It Is Not. Over. At all. In Reid v. Angle
The Announcement Of The Death Of Sharron Angle's Campaign Is Premature
Sharron Angle Cannot Win - Just Like Scott Brown

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Helplessness and Anarchy

The result of the injunction granted today by the federal court in Arizona preventing the key provisions of S.B. 1070 from taking effect is not just the maintenance of the status quo.

At a legal level, it is true that nothing has changed. S.B. 1070 never took effect, so no law was lost.

At a more realistic level, everything has changed.

States have been left helpless to deal with the anarchy created by the failure of the federal government to enforce border security. Whereas yesterday it was unclear how far states (such as Rhode Island) could go, today states are powerless.

The inability of a state to implement a policy of checking the immigration status even of people already under arrest for some other crime is remarkable.

While I cannot blame the Judge for striking some provisions of S.B. 1070 (particularly those creating independent criminal sanctions), the ruling as to checking the status of people already under arrest is mind-numbing.

As a reader to my prior post points out, states already routinely run searches for a variety of statuses, including outstanding warrants, child support orders, and non-immigration identity checks. Each of these checks potentially could delay release of an innocent person or burden some federal agency.

The Judge's reasoning, particularly that the status check provision violated the 4th Amendment even as to persons already under arrest, applies just as easily to these other status checks.

With a federal government which refuses to take action at the border until there is a deal on "comprehensive" immigration reform, meaning rewarding lawbreakers with a path to citizenship, this decision will insure a sense of anarchy. The law breakers have been emboldened today, for sure.

As it stands this afternoon, it is perfectly rational for someone faced with the choice of obeying the immigration laws or not, to choose not to do so. The choice of lawlessness makes a lot more sense than spending years winding through the byzantine legal immigration system, because the end result will be the same but lawlessness gets you here more quickly.

When the law and the federal government reward lawlessness, something is very wrong.

Update 7-29-2010: As others have noted, the Judge enjoined the checking of status of arrestees by reading the second sentence of Section 2(B) ("Any person who is arrested shall have the person's immigration status determined before the person is arrested") as completely independent of the first sentence, which requires reasonable suspicion prior to a status check. That reading by the Judge plainly is wrong, since the first sentence specifically references the requirement of reasonable suspicion after "any lawful stop, detention or arrest...." (emphasis mine) The language of the statute fully supported the state's position, which the judge rejected, that the state only intended to check the status of arrestees as to whom there was reasonable suspicion, and who did not have any of the accepted forms of identification. Given the Judge's rulings on preemption and the 4th Amendment, I'm not sure the result would have been any different had she read the statute correctly.

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Arizona Law Upheld In Part - Order and Analysis Here (Update: Strikes Most Key Provisions)

The Court in Arizona has upheld the Arizona immigration law in part.

Here is how The Wall Street Journal characterizes the holding:
A judge has blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona's new immigration law from taking effect Thursday, handing a major legal victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The law will still take effect Thursday, but without many of the provisions that angered opponents—including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also put on hold a part of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.
The decision was a surprise to me in that it struck the provision -- which was most controversial -- as to checking immigration status of persons already arrested or stopped for some other offense if there were a reasonable suspicion that the person was in the country illegally.

In rejecting the provision as to checking the status of persons arrested, the Judge found that the legislative language, which had been adjusted by amendment, was not effective (at pp. 14-15):
The Court first addresses the second sentence of Section 2(B): “Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.”

Arizona advances that the proper interpretation of this sentence is “that only where a reasonable suspicion exists that a person arrested is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States must the person’s immigration status be determined before the person is released.” (Defs.’ Resp. to Pl.’s Mot. (“Defs.’ Resp.”) at 10.) Arizona goes on to state, “[T]he Arizona Legislature could not have intended to compel Arizona’s law enforcement officers to determine and verify the immigration status of every single person arrested – even for United States citizens and when there is absolutely no reason to believe the person is unlawfully present in the country.” (Id.)

The Court cannot interpret this provision as Arizona suggests. Before the passage of H.B. 2162, the first sentence of Section 2(B) of the original S.B. 1070 began, “For any lawful contact” rather than “For any lawful stop, detention or arrest.” (Compare original S.B. 1070 § 2(B) with H.B. 2162 § 3(B).) The second sentence w s identical in the original version and as modified by H.B. 2162. It is not a logical interpretation of the Arizona Legislature’s intent to state that it originally intended the first two sentences of Section 2(B) to be read as Section 2(B) are clearly independent of one another. Therefore, it does not follow logically that by changing “any lawful contact” to “any lawful stop, detention or arrest” in the first sentence, the Arizona Legislature intended to alter the meaning of the second sentence in any way. If that had been the Legislature’s intent, it could easily have modified the second sentence accordingly."
The result of this statutory interpretation was that the Court found the procedure -- as written -- to interfere with the federal immigration scheme:
Thus, an increase in the number of requests for determinations of immigration status, such as is likely to result from the mandatory requirement that Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies check the immigration status of any person who is arrested, will divert resources from the federal government’s other responsibilities and priorities.
The Court also opined on potential 4th Amendment issues with the law, and used that as a second basis for the decision (at p. 16):
Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked. Given the large number of people who are technically “arrested” but never booked into jail or perhaps even transported to a law enforcement facility, detention time for this category of arrestee will certainly be extended during an immigration status verification.
Similar reasoning was used in striking the provisions as to status checks during stops (short of arrest).

The decision has to be viewed as a near complete victory for opponents of the law, as it restricts the state from routine and compulsory checks of immigration status as a matter of legislative mandate.

The decision would not, as I read it, prevent police from checking immigration status in a particular case, but would prevent a statewide system to do so.

The result of the decision will be to have a chilling effect on law enforcement officers who, in the absense of the law, would have checked immigration status based on reasonable suspicion anyway. Enforcement of immigration laws in Arizona, as a result of the decision, will be even more difficult than prior to S.B. 1070.

The only portions of the law [added: other than those not specifically challenged by the federal government, see pp. 2-3] upheld were:
A.R.S. § 13-2929: creating a separate crime for a person in violation of a criminal offense to transport or harbor an unlawfully present alien or encourage or induce an unlawfully present alien to come to or live in Arizona
A.R.S. § 28-3511: amending the provisions for the removal or impoundment of a vehicle to permit impoundment of vehicles used in the transporting or harboring of unlawfully present aliens
[Note to readers: The analysis above has been adjusted from the original as time permitted a more complete reading of the decision]

Update: My thoughts on the result, Helplessness and Anarchy

U.S. v. Arizona - Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction
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Harry Reid Will Push Agenda In Lame-Duck Session Even If He Loses

There is no better example of the hubris of Harry Reid than his stated intention last weekend at the Netroots convention to push through major agenda items in a lame-duck session (after the November 2 elections, but before the new Congress is seated in January).

Listen carefully to the opening dialogue in this video:

So, even if Harry Reid loses to Sharron Angle, and even if the Democrats lose control of the Senate (unlikely) or are in a severely weakend position (likely) as a result of the elections, Harry Reid will push forward.

This is similar to the threat Democrats made in the wake of the Scott Brown election, where they threatened to push a health care vote before Brown was seated.

Vote him out, and call his bluff.

Update:  The latest Rasmussen poll has Angle down 2 points to Reid, 45-43.  While some conservatives unfortunately are projecting doom and gloom, I am impressed with the fact that Angle is only down 2 points after a terrible first six weeks of the campaign, and that 48% of people still have a "very unfavorable" view of Reid.

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"Little-Noticed" Is Back!

Remember my now-classic post about all the "little-noticed" provisions in Obamacare, "Little-Noticed" is the New "Unexpected"?

Well, "little-noticed" is back, this time with regard to the equally massive text of the financial regulation overhaul, SEC Says New FinReg Law Exempts It From Public Disclosure (emphasis mine):
So much for transparency.

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from "surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities." Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.
Although I didn't notice this provision (or else it would not have been "little-noticed"), I did call the legislation out as just another "impenetrable behemoth."

Time to re-open the cataloging process.  Any other "little-noticed" provisions?

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People Will Die for WikiLeak's Nobel Prize

Glenn Greenwald:
"Anyone who believes that the Government abuses its secrecy powers in order to keep the citizenry in the dark and manipulate public opinion -- and who, at this point, doesn't believe that? -- should be squarely on the side of the greater transparency which Wikileaks and its sources, sometimes single-handedly, are providing."
People will die for that Nobel Prize.  The Times of London:
Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks' publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals, The Times newspaper reported Wednesday....

The article says, in spite of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's claim that sensitive information had been removed from the leaked documents, that reporters scanning the reports for just a couple hours found hundreds of Afghan names mentioned as aiding the U.S.-led war effort.
Related Posts:
Greenwald Agonistes
The "Israel-Firsters" Slur Rears Its Ugly Head

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Journolist Ruins Chuckie T's Sleep Pattern

Chuck Todd, of NBC, whose nomme de guerre is "Chuckie T.," has lost sleep over the Journolist, as quoted by Roger Simon at Politico in a column, Journolist veers out of bounds:
“Journolist was pretty offensive. Those of us who are mainstream journalists got mixed in with journalists with an agenda. Those folks who thought they were improving journalism are destroying the credibility of journalism.

“This has kept me up nights. I try to be fair. It’s very depressing.”
Welcome to the world of the sleepless, Chuckie.

Conservatives lose much more sleep as a result of blatant bias and pro-Obama electioneering by people at your network, than you ever will over the Journolistas.

What troubles you about the Journolistas, troubles us about NBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the rest of the mainstream media.

At least the Journolistas recognized that they had an agenda. Which means they have taken the first step.

Are you ready to take that first step, as well?

Update: Chuckie T. is still in denial, as he related to Journolista Greg Sargent (oh, the irony):

"I understand what the purpose of the list was," Todd told me. "A minority of folks created a perception problem for the list. And there's clearly a campaign by some conservatives to use this."

The problem, Todd added, is that J-List created a "perception that the right's claim of a so-called liberal media conspiracy is true, which is not the case."

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As Deep Inside The Beltway As It Gets
Van Jones Sends Thrill Up MSNBC's Leg
Obama's First Press Conference An Embarrassment -- For The Press

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I Apologize Profusely

...for thinking that the election of David Cameron in Britain might make a real difference in the direction of British policy.

I was wrong. In a speech in Ankara, Turkey, Cameron did his best imitation of Barack Obama's apology tour:
... let me turn to the prejudiced – those who don’t differentiate between real Islam and the extremist version.

They don’t understand the values that Islam shares with other religions like Christianity and Judaism that all of these are inherently peaceful religions. Nor do they understand that Turkey is a peaceful country, with a long history of religious tolerance.

Turkey thus is absolved of all responsibility for its own actions which in the past several years have been anything but as described by Cameron. The rise of anti-Western, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic forces in Turkey is our fault, no doubt, in this twisted view of reality.

The highlight of the speech, which is sure to have the left-wing media and blogs crowing with ecstasy, was when Cameron attacked Israel for the flotilla confrontation and called Gaza "a prison camp":
I know that Gaza has led to real strains in Turkey’s relationship with Israel, but Turkey is a friend of Israel, and I urge Turkey, and Israel, not to give up on that friendship.

Let me be clear: the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable. And I have told Prime Minister Netanyahu we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous. Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.
Yet Cameron mentioned not a single word of criticism for the fact that Turkey instigated the Gaza flotilla incident, that there were Islamist provocateurs on the lead ship, that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has been attacking Israel for years, and that Turkey has tried to undermine U.N. sanctions against Iran.

If Cameron didn't want to criticize Turkey while visiting, fine, but don't engage in false narratives to please your hosts, either.

As for referring to Gaza as a prison camp, there also was not a single word of criticism for the Palestinians -- particularly the Hamas Islamists -- who turned Gaza into a missile base for Iran and Hezbollah after Israel departed in 2005. If Gaza is a prison, it is a prison of its own making.

Cameron could have shown some guts, and asked Turkey to stop instigating trouble and the Palestinians to abandon the armament of Gaza. The two issues are intimately connected, as the reason the Islamists want the naval blockade lifted is so that Iran more easily can ship heavy weapons.

David Cameron's apology tour will win him no respect, and will encourage those who view the West as weak and in decline.

We've been there, and done that.

Related Posts:
Suicide Protesters Against Israel
The War Against The Jews Is No "Mistake"
The "Save The Babies of Turkey" Flotilla

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arizona Boycott Flops, Stats Show

I have enjoyed chronicling the many not too big to fail boycotts which have taken place in the past 18 months that I've been blogging, including (but not limited to):
So, while everyone got all excited about the boycott of Arizona because of S.B. 1070, I yawned.

Turns out I was right, once again: Arizona Hotels Thriving Despite Boycotts Over Immigration Law:

Arizona's tourism industry has a target on its back, but the widespread boycotts over the state's immigration law might not be hitting the mark.

Recent data compiled by a market research group show hotel bookings across the state -- as well as in tourism hot spots Phoenix and Scottsdale -- have been on the rise the past two months.

The numbers could dispel warnings from local officials that Arizona stands to lose a fortune and dampen the chances that cities and organizations will be able to compel the state to reverse its immigration law by choking its economy with a sanctions-style business boycott.

I almost forgot, how is that Whole Foods boycott going?

While you are at it, the economy is not so good in Rhode Island. Boycott us, please, we need the business.

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Now I Am A Hero, Too

Lowest bar ever set for hero-dom (is that a word?).

Jonathan Strong, writing about the Heroes of the Journolist:
The Daily Caller has highlighted some of Journolist’s worst moments — such as when liberal members of the media plotted to kill important stories about the presidential campaign.

But the 400-member listserv, like any community, was a complex arrangement comprised of many individual voices.

While some urged members to level indiscriminate charges of racism, other postings reflected admirable integrity or civility.

Such as?

HuffPo editor and reporter Dan Froomkin arguing that news should be reported even if it hurt Barack Obama; James Surowiecki of The New Yorker arguing that facts about the Fort Hood shooter should be reported accurately; Ezra Klein, founder of the Journolist, not letting people explicitly coordinate stories on the Journolist (which is what they did implicitly anyway); and Jeffrey Toobin of various mainstream outlets displayed a "commendably open mind and a sense of civility."

Here we go, now I will qualify as a hero as well:

"I will try to understand your point of view. Have a nice day. Are you going to live blog O on The View?"
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Not Just Malmö

I previously posted about how Jews were being driven out of Malmö, Sweden, by violence from Muslim immigrants tolerated by anti-Israel leftists, Malmö Syndrome.

As I made clear in that post, Malmö Syndrome was just one of many examples of how anti-Semitism inevitably rises from the Islamist-Leftist anti-Israel coalition.

This report from Germany (h/t It Don't Make Sense) shows that the Islamists are willing to join forces with right wing extremists as well, The Shared Extremism of Neo-Nazis and Migrant Youth:
Following an anti-Semitic attack in Hanover, German authorities have identified a new source of anti-Semitic hatred in Germany: young migrants from Muslim families. The ideological alliance has officials concerned.

It was supposed to be a carefree festival in Sahlkamp on the outskirts of the northern German city of Hanover. Billed as an "International Day" to celebrate social diversity and togetherness, the June celebration included performances by a multicultural children's choir called "Happy Rainbow" and the German-Turkish rap duo 3-K. Music from Afghanistan was also on the program.

But then the mood suddenly shifted.

When Hajo Arnds, the organizer of the neighborhood festival, stepped onto the stage at about 6:45 p.m. to announce the next performance, by the Jewish dance group Chaverim, he was greeted with catcalls. "Jews out!" some of the roughly 30 young people standing in front of the stage began shouting. "Gone with the Jews!"

The voices were those of children -- voices full of hate, shouted in unison and amplified by a toy megaphone. Arnds, the organizer, was shocked. He knew many of the children, most of them from Arab immigrant families in the neighborhood....

An informal and accidental alliance has been developing for some time between neo-Nazis and some members of a group they would normally despise: Muslim immigrants. The two groups seem to share vaguely similar anti-Semitic ideologies.

Right-wing extremists and Islamists, says Heinz Fromm, the president of the German domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), are united by "a common bogeyman: Israel and the Jews as a whole."

While German right-wing extremists cultivate a "more or less obvious racist anti-Semitism," says Fromm, the Islamists are "oriented toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and support "anti-Zionist ideological positions, which can also have anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic overtones." Both extremist movements, says Fromm, "ascribe extraordinary political power to Israel and the Jews, and their goal is to fight this power."

There is a common denominator in Malmö and Hanover. And it's not just the involvement of Muslim immigrants.

The common denominator is hatred of Israel, which almost always serves as a thinly veiled proxy for hatred of Jews.

Update: Thanks to a reader for reminding me that the connection between anti-Jewish Muslims and Nazis goes way back. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Adolf Hitler were mutual admirers.

Related Posts:
Malmö Syndrome
Being Anti-Israel Is Not Being Anti-Semitic, But It Helps
The "Israel-Firsters" Slur Rears Its Ugly Head

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If This Doesn't Motivate You For November, Nothing Will

So many of the important decisions of the United States Supreme Court are decided by a single vote.

Often that vote is Anthony Kennedy. Not a bad single vote to have, considering the alternatives.

What if Kennedy's single vote didn't matter anymore because Kennedy or one of the four solidly conservative members of the Court retired, became ill, or died, and was replaced by an Obama nominee?

Food for thought: Justices Scalia and Kennedy each were born in 1936.

Obama would have the opportunity to shape the Court for a generation, not just to replace liberal Justices with other liberal Justices.

CBS News' Jeff Greenfield refers to this as The (Possible) Mother of All Battles

Who do you want Chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee in such event, Pat Leahy (D-VT) or Jeff Sessions (R-AL)?

Assuming Democrats retain control of the Senate, and Leahy is Chair, do you want Democrats to have to flip just 2-3 Republican Senators, or 6-7, in order to break a filibuster?

It is going to take years to undo the Obama economic disaster, but it can be accomplished through Congressional elections every two years, and particularly the 2012 presidential election.

But if Obama gets his way in tilting the Court, there would be nothing anyone could do about it for multiple decades.

Given reasonable life expectancies, we will be talking about Justice Sotomayor 20 years from now, and Justice Kagan 30 years from now. Two more in the same mold plus Justice Breyer, and the next presidential election may not matter as to the balance of the Court.

So prepare for The (Possible) Mother of All Battles now.

If this doesn't motivate you, then nothing will.

Related Posts:
I Am Not The Only One Praying For This
Will Anyone Ask Kagan What The Meaning of "Is" Is?
Sotomayor Threw O'Connor Under The Bus

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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Journolistas Were Right About One Thing

How did I miss this. Did The Daily Caller intend it?

By "it," I mean the significance of the fact that the Journolist emails about Trig Palin were posted today. In my post about the emails, I gave no note to the date.

Sarah Palin issued a Facebook post late today, in which she noted that today is the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (emphasis mine):

Journey into the Media’s Heart of Darkness

How ironic that on a day when we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Daily Caller released 15 pages of JournoListers’ email exchanges about a dark and demented conspiracy regarding my son, Trig.

It’s tough to fittingly describe these numerous members of the mainstream media who actively engaged in the debate about this conspiracy back when I was first introduced as John McCain’s running mate, and it’s impossible to legitimize any “prominent” media publication that continues to traffic in this bizarre narrative today.

It wasn’t just a few fringe characters in that JournoList discussion. It included writers for major newspapers, magazines, and online news publications. Those participating in this immature exchange in attempts to plant seeds of doubt and falsely accuse even included a famous historian.

This JournoList exchange exposes the warped nature of today’s media, thus explaining why many of us are forced, in fairness to the public, to utilize other mediums to communicate until the mainstream media wakes up and begins respecting the public’s intelligence and desire for truth in reporting. There is a sickness and darkness in today’s liberal media. With revelations like the JournoList exchanges, may the light keep shining to expose the problem.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. My hope, therefore, is that today, marking the anniversary of our nation’s attempt to show respect for our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters with special needs, will also mark the beginning of a new, more respectful discourse among members of our media who at least aspire to be fair and objective.

- Sarah Palin

As I documented earlier, in their email exchanges the Journolistas were worried that assailing Sarah Palin over Trig's birth might backfire.

At least the Journolistas were right about one thing.

Related Posts:
Journolist Trig Emails - All About The Story Line
WikiLeaks And Journolists
What William F. Buckley, Jr. Would Say About The Journolist

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Best Sign That Harry Reid Is In Deep Trouble

No one with credibility is talking about the Nevada Senate race being over despite Sharron Angle's campaign having to start almost from scratch after the primaries.

That start has taken time to get going, as Angle did not have a multi-million dollar campaign apparatus in place to counter Reid's attacks.

Reid has closed the gap in the polls, and appears to be ahead, but it still is a long way from November 2, and Angle's campaign is getting its act together.

An analysis by CQ Politics reports growing national Republican frustration with the campaign, and that is understandable.

But the good news is that despite a disastrous six weeks, in which Reid was given pretty much free reign to attack, the Angle campaign is in a position to respond while the polls remain close. As reported by CQ Politics:

Jordan Gehrke, Angle's deputy campaign manager, said Friday he understands that some Republicans are concerned about the race. But he said Angle is putting together a professional team of experienced political operatives.

"In just a few weeks, the Angle campaign has raised over two million dollars, assembled a top flight team, and put a significant ad buy on TV that introduces Sharron Angle to the people of Nevada and exposes Harry Reid's disastrous economic record," Gehrke said. "Reid's in for a long couple months."

Would it have been better if Sharron Angle were at this point six weeks ago? Of course.

But you have to run a campaign with what you have, and what Angle had and still has is widespread discontent with Harry Reid and his policies. That is unlikely to change.

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Journolist Trig Emails - All About The Story Line

I have posted before about the left-wing blogosphere's obsession with mocking Trig Palin and attacking Sarah Palin for bringing Trig on stage during the campaign.

Now, in the latest revelations from the Journolist archives, The Daily Caller reprints Journolist emails regarding Trig. And obsessed with Trig they were, filling 15 screens in The Daily Caller post.

BUT, the emails were not what I expected. None of the Trig bashing that was prevalent in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media. Little talk of abortion, again, unlike the public attacks on Sarah.

While it was clear that just days after her nomination Sarah Palin was widely hated by those on the Journolist, at least those who wrote emails had not yet exhibited full blown Palin Derangement Syndrome.

Rather, the focus was on whether to jump on the bandwagon promoted by Andrew Sullivan and many others that Trig was Sarah's grandchild not child, and that Bristol Palin was the real mother. As documented here before, this was a very widespread point of attack immediately after Sarah was nominated, and by no means limited to Andrew Sullivan.

Some of the comments, to be fair, were benign and even protective. For example, Mark Kleiman of the Reality Based Community [sic] was all in favor of attacking Sarah on numerous points, but warned others "But leave the kid alone." Ezra Klein, founder of the Journolist, wrote: "By all accounts she’s a wonderful mother, and devoted to her fifth son [sic]. Leave this be."

A common point throughout the e-mails was that it was better to leave the issue of parentage alone because it could backfire politically.

Katha Pollit of The Nation cautioned:
If this baby story is true, palin will come out looking like a hero — she stepped in when her teen freaked out, threatened suicide, whatever. She went to extraordinary lengths, like a mother should do, to protect her daughter and solve the problem! No abortion necessary! Another pro-life fable for our times.
Shannon Brownlee of the New America Foundation took a similar line:
Katha’s point is that while some might find it reprehensible to raise a grandchild as your own, many if not most American’s don’t share that view. If the point of investigating this is to discredit Palin and show her up as an unfit mother and therefore unfit VP, the story may backfire. She comes out looking like a heroine not a villain.
The other theme was that it might be a set-up.

Lindsay Beyerstein, an author who blogged at numberous websites, warned that it could be a Republican dirty trick:
In the post-Rathergate era, journalists should be on their guard for Republican dirty tricks.

If this story gains traction, regardless of its truth or falsity, the Republicans will take steps to neutralize the meme.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the McCain campaign were to leak doctored evidence for the sole purpose of discrediting it and destroying the journalist who published it. That’s probably what the Killian memos were.

We should also be on guard for “evidence” falling into the lap of an unknown and easily discredited figure. That’s probably what Rove did to neutralize the allegations of cocaine use by George W. Bush, lo these many years ago.

If apparently well-substantiated allegations emerge, we should be alert for the story behind the story, so to speak.

Mark Kleiman reiterated this fear of a set up:

Politically, this smells like a red herring and a trap, and I think that the revelation that someone was sniffing around about it would outrage large numbers of voters. Palin’s public life presents a target-rich environment for

So this story desperately needs a good leaving-alone.

Adam Serwer of The American Prospect also smelled a set-up:
I gotta say, if this is much ado about nothing, the McCain campaign may be very happy to air these rumors in public. It gives them their first big opportunity to say that she’s being attacked unfairly, and because Democrats are sexist.
Rick Perlstein who worked for the Campaign for America's Future, suggested a reporter should obtain medial information about the Palins (which probably would be a violation of law) on the sly:
Remember how Eagleton went down: a reporter got a tip from someone who actually turned out (believe it or not, Nixon had nothing to do with it) to be a McGovern supporter worried he’d drag down the ticket. The reporter went to the hospital where Eagleton had allegedly been treated and said he was there to discuss Eagleton’s treatment, and an indiscreet hospital employee said something like s/he thought someone would find out about Eagleton’s mental problems (check this out; I’mworking from memory).

It’s not like an enterprising reporter couldn’t try the same thing today.

Of all the banter, perhaps the most important big picture item is that the discussion frequently centered on whether the story was worth running. This is the type of coordination and groupthink which has generated the criticism of the Journolist.

Moira Whelan, a Huffington Post blogger and Director of Strategy at National Security Network, was most blunt about it (emphasis mine):
I dont think anyone from this list is running with it, but as I see it, the task is to set the frame that the Palin pick showed bad judgment on McCain’s part. That way when/if it does pop, it gets into that meme without people having to express outrage.

If you really want to know what they were afraid of, Kathleen Geier of Talking Points Meme summed it up:
I am really hoping Palin will self-immolate and bring down the ticket with her.

Because if she proves to be a popular choice who doesn’t screw up too badly, she
could be really, really dangerous in the years to come.
The emerging picture of the Journolist is that it served as a place where like-minded people who had great influence on how the media portrayed events were able to coordinate their story lines for the benefit of the Obama campaign.

We saw the media bias on the surface; the Journolistas helped frame that bias below the surface.

Update: Moe Lane points out that many of the e-mails centered on trying to analyze photos of Sarah Palin for signs of pregnancy, and bizarre speculation as to Sarah's possible motives to lie.

Andrew Sullivan takes pleasure in the fact that the Journlistas engaged in the same speculation he did, even though they criticized him for it publicly:
Well, we now know, that, for some at least, I wasn't crazy. I was just not disciplined enough to curtail what this blog airs in order to conform with what many Journo-listers believed were the interests of the Obama campaign. Any delusions that Journo-List was not, in part, a collusory venture to shape the media narrative in ways to benefit Obama, above and beyond ferreting out the truth about any and all candidates, must now be abandoned. Ezra Klein has already been caught in a bald-faced lie about his discretion in picking members; and the notion that this was simply a water-cooler collection of journalistic thoughts is also belied by the emails now published by the Daily Caller.
Related Posts:
Psst...Don't Tell Andrew Sullivan Our Secret
Wonkette Goes After Trig Palin Again
Are Anti-Palin Intellectuals Anti-Intelligence?

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