Sunday, May 31, 2009

Andrew Sullivan: "Christianists" Killed George Tiller - UPDATED!!

George Tiller, the Wichita, Kansas, abortion doctor, was shot dead today while on his way to attend church services.

The controversy over Tiller's late-term abortion activities drew heavy fire from conservatives.
His Wikipedia entry notes that Bill O'Reilly alleged that "George Tiller performs late-term abortions to alleviate 'temporary depression' in the pregnant woman."

No one has been apprehended in the killing. KMBC 9 News - Kansas City reports "that police were looking for a blue Ford Taurus with a K-State vanity plate, license number 225 BAB. Police described him as a white male in his 50s or 60s, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 220 pounds, wearing a white shirt and dark pants."

But this information didn't stop Andrew Sullivan from convicting Bill O'Reilly and the "Christiantists" for the killing, "
O'Reilly's Target Shot Dead In Church":

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Tiller family.

But let me state unequivocally here: The death of George Tiller is a tragedy. His killers should be brought to justice and the death penalty should be on the table. But Andrew Sullivan is sick man to use this murder for political purposes. The blood of the killing's not even dry, and Sullivan's already smeared the entire conservative movement as a coalition of murderers. There will be more on the left to join him.
David Neiwert's probably writing a post at this moment. But have no doubts: The attacks here on O'Reilly as "Christianist" are tantamount to the attacks on Sarah Palin during the election last year. Andrew Sullivan slurred Palin as the "Christianist culture warrior in Wasilla, Alaska." But obviously Sullivan's allegations this morning are totally off the charts. Tiller's killing was a political assassination. The Christian Defense Coalition has already condemned the murder, and the group will hold a press conference tomorrow morning.

Sullivan's screed is a classic case study in how leftists operate. As demonstrated over and over since the election last year, the Democratic victory is fragile. Lefists will use any and all of
the most unhinged tactics to defend a political program of postmodern nihilism. On a day when Americans should be pulling together, we instead have leftists driving the wedge in deeper. Contemptible.


UPDATE: Right on cue, here's Joan Walsh: "George Tiller is the latest victim of right-wing American terrorism against abortion providers and supporters."

Yep, as I said, Comments From Left Field pegs everyone on the right as murderers: "NOW do all the pearl-clutching conservative bloggers get why that fauxtroversial DHS report on far-right activity was so goddamn pertinent?! As GallingGalla just said on Twitter, “forced-birthers are TERRORISTS on US soil.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates jumps on Sullivan's bandwagon: "We don't have the luxury of thinking about these bilious hate-mongers as loonies running off the lip. People are dying. And these shameless goons are cashing checks. Disgusting. I'm sick over this.


UPDATE II: Unbelievable! Leftists really do believe in "therapeutic" abortions! Here's Amanda "FUCK YOU" Marcotte: "Odds are pretty strong the murderer is a forced childbirth terrorist, out to kill the doctor who focused his practice on providing therapeutic abortions to women later in their pregnancy than most abortion providers can or will service."

Digby also highlights how "vital" are therapeutic abortions: Tiller "was one of only a handful of doctors who will perform this vital service for women under the new law. If you think that women should have to endanger their lives in order to give birth to a fetus with no brain, then you probably think this man was a murderer. For the women who went to him, and for whom he put up with a horrifying amount of harrassment and violence before they finally managed to kill him, he was a Godsend."


UPDATE: III: A suspect is in police custody.


UPDATE IV: This post now has a thread at Memeorandum.

Also blogging and linking, The Daley Gator, Gateway Pundit, The Other McCain, Pirate's Cove, Protein Wisdom, Right Wing News, Stop the ACLU, and Sundries Shack.

Be sure to read Robert George's post at The Corner, "Gravely Wicked":

Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him.
Read Professor George's entire entry, here.

Andrew Sullivan pleads innocence in
an update:

I do not and did not blame O'Reilly for the murder. I think his rhetoric and demonization of an individual subject to violence and threats are excessive and dangerous. He has every First Amendment right to speak the words he has spoken and I am sure he never wanted this to happen. But you can debate these matters with a little less personal demonization and get your point across.
What a sanctimonious gasbag!

"A little less personal demonization"? That's precious coming from the
Queen of Trig Trutherism himself!

Sessions on Sotomayor: "A Judge Should Be a Neutral Arbiter ..."

Meet the Press videos ...

Jeff Sessions, "A judge should be a neutral arbiter ...""

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Patrick Leahy responds, "Nothing in her background that would indicate she is a bigot ...":

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Mitchell Blatt: Interview With Michelle Malkin

Mitchell Blatt interviews Michelle Malkin. An excerpt:

How can conservatives get their message across to the public?

We've e got some big megaphones on our side, too, and obviously conservative talk radio is the biggest. I don’t think there’s a major conservative talk show host who doesn’t have himself or herself or their staff read the blogs. If you listen to Rush on a daily basis, you realize he’s not just picking up on the obvious conservative outlets. … A lot of times, I’ll hear him citing the work of smaller blogs. ...

In the wake of the 2008 campaign, the GOP establishment has gotten their internet operations. … There’s a difference there between the more cool aid drinking GOP blogs and the less partisan blogs that are committed to covering things based on interests and principles. There are some GOP strategists who think the entire right side of the aisle should be focused on raising money for the Party, and I think it’s very healthy that there are a lot of us who do not think like that, who are not beholden to the Party.
What is the future of conservatism?

In many ways David Frum’s thesis is wrong. His last book argued essentially that the Republican Party needed to move to the left and stop talking about these old, tired fiscal matters, that the Reagan nostalgia was not going to work for the Party anymore. And yet what was it that galvanized hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets on April 15?

His way is to elect more Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger who is now in deep doo-doo. I think it’s interesting that these same people will argue that people like me are dividing the Republican Party when it’s things like open borders and amnesty that have really weakened the Republican Party base.

I also think it is a mistake to talk about the future of the Republican Party without acknowledging the radical changes to electoral and demographic landscapes. One of the reasons I’ve emphasized immigration so much, not just because of national security reasons, which I think still have primacy. Secondarily, the effect that demographically this has had on Congressional districts around the country.

I think that by rolling over and capitulating to the open borders lobby, the Republican Party has written itself out of existence, certainly in California. The national security implications and the electoral implications—and of course in California the budgetary implications—this is what happens when you allow open border welfare expansionism to eat up your state.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Latino Census Boycott Sparks Backlash

Cutting off your nose in spite of your face?

Check this out, "
U.S. Census Sparks Feud Over the Counting of Illegal Immigrants":

In a high-stakes battle that could affect California's share of federal funding and political representation, immigrant activists are vowing to combat efforts by a national Latino clergy group to persuade 1 million illegal immigrants to boycott the 2010 U.S. census.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders, which says it represents 20,000 Latino churches in 34 states, recently announced that a quarter of its 4 million members were prepared to join the boycott as a way to intensify pressure for legalization and to protect themselves from government scrutiny.

"Before being counted, we need to be legalized," said the Rev. Miguel Rivera, the coalition's chairman and founder.

But the boycott call has infuriated many Latino organizations. La OpiniĆ³n, in a recent editorial, denounced it as a "dangerous mistake" that "verges on political suicide" while an official with the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials called it "wildly irresponsible."

"This is a phenomenal step backward in the strides we have made to make sure we are equal," said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Latino officials group.

The decennial census, which counts all people regardless of immigration status, is used to allocate federal funds for education, housing, healthcare, transportation and other local needs. By some estimates, every person counted results in $1,000 in federal funds.

The census is also used to apportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which are based on a state's population.

According to a study in 2003, California's sizable illegal immigrant population allowed it to gain three House seats it might otherwise not have received. The state's illegal immigrant population also caused Indiana, Michigan and Mississippi to each lose one of their seats and prevented Montana from gaining a seat.

The study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based research group that promotes immigration restrictions, also argued that the illegal immigrant population skewed the "one man, one vote" principle in elections.

In 2002, the study found, it took almost 100,000 votes to win the typical congressional race in the four states that lost or failed to gain a seat, compared with 35,000 votes to win in immigrant-rich districts in California.

Back in 1988, the effect on apportionment, which also affects the Electoral College, prompted a lawsuit by 40 members of Congress, Pennsylvania and the Federation for American Immigration Reform to prevent the Census Bureau from counting illegal immigrants. The complaint was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court for lack of standing.

"People who have no right to be in this country should not be counted," said federation President Dan Stein. "It's awfully hard to explain to U.S. citizens why they keep losing political representation to states like California because of people who broke immigration laws."

Vargas and others questioned the boycott organizers' political motivations, noting that most of them were conservative.
Might be another sign that border reform is long overdue ...

Amanda Marcotte Freaks on "Reverse Racism"

Reading this, it's easy to see why Amanda Marcotte "resigned" from John Edwards' presidential campaign:

What’s interesting to me about this huge panic attack over Sotomayor, like Limbaugh claiming she’s a “racist” for daring to believe that she can be good at her job despite the lack of the pale-skinned penis in her pants, is how it’s blatantly predicated on the idea that there is no such thing as an intelligent Latina. There’s no way around this. If you honestly believe that being a non-white woman is a twofer advantage that poor, beleaguered white men don’t get, then you have to look around and see that most prestigious positions of power are occupied by white men, and you have to assume that white men must be superhumanly intelligent and awesome to be able to do so much with so many obstacles against them. By god, what white men could do if someone just let them have some access to power without them scraping and fighting “reverse racism” every step of the way!

The sort of thing demonstrates that we’re far from done with the effects of the Bush administration, even though we kicked them out of office. We still have the war and the fucked up economy, and we’re still swimming in a sea of people who have contempt for reality, because it doesn’t fit what they need to believe. Like these fucks with their “reverse racism” nonsense---there isn’t really such a thing in the real world, and even if you can find someone out there who really buys into it, they’re a marginal person that certainly has no bearing on what Sonia Sotomayor believes. It’s actually 15 kinds of ridiculous to suggest that someone who doesn’t accept that white people could be intelligent would get anywhere in our society, since white people are by and large the gatekeepers. A fucking unicorn would have a better shot at the Supreme Court. That our media is taking this “reverse racism” thing seriously enough that Sotomayor had to apologize for saying something that could be deliberately misconstrued is evidence in and of itself that she’s the real victim of discrimination here. Being pushed into a situation where paranoia about her race is so bad that Sotomayor has to play along with an obvious lie to smooth falsely ruffled feathers is what racism actually looks like.
Naturally, we have those f***king "Xtianist Fundie Godbags" to blame.

Bloggingheads: Farai Chideya and John McWhorter

Farai Chideya and John McWhorter debate racial integration in the schools (two links, here here and here):

Maybe this is related: "Spitting in the Eye of Mainstream Education."

The Defeatist Attitude of the Republican Establishment/Leadership

This essay is from Edward J. Lynch. In 2008, Lynch is the GOP candidate for Florida's 19th congressional district: "The Defeatist Attitude of the Republican Establishment/Leadership."

Recently during an interview, a leader within the Republican Party was quoted as saying, about me, “We support him, the problem is that we can’t waste finite resources. At the end of the day, he is not going to win.” At first, one might think that this statement would be something that would offend me, as the candidate. It does not. What I really feel is sadness for a Party ... my Party ... our Party. This is the type of defeatist attitude that seems to be prevalent when there is a lack of true leadership. This attitude of “if you don’t know how to fix it, say it can’t be fixed” is an attitude that fosters losing. It is an attitude where one tries to look smart by being correct about a self fulfilling prophesy.

Let me say that any fight worth winning is worth fighting for with all of your might. It may not be an easy fight and it may not be a popular fight but, if it is necessary, you don’t give up. You see, true leaders do not see obstacles as things that make righteous outcomes impossible. True leaders see obstacles as things that will be overcome on the way to victory. I have never listened to people when they said that things could not be done. I felt sorry for them as I found ways to overcome the “impossible”. I am living proof that if you want something bad enough and you work hard enough, there is nothing that you can not do. I believe this with all that I am and it is what I teach my children and what I tell anyone who will listen.

Over 200 years ago, it was thought of as pure folly for a rag tag group of colonists to attempt to fight one of the strongest and most regimented armies in the entire world ... the British Redcoats. The naysayers said that “at the end of the day, the citizens of colonies would not be able to win.” We are all free because true leaders did not listen and rose up to fight the good fight and secure their freedom ... our freedom. To their credit, they did not heed the negative words of insecurity and fear and secured our freedom by “wasting their finite resources.”

Only a few years ago, other “leaders” of the Republican Party thought that it would be impossible for a black, inexperienced, ultra-liberal, junior senator from Illinois with a Muslim first name to be elected President of the United States of America. Now, as a nation, we will all pay (quite literally) for the lack of leadership allowing that to happen.

Defeating Robert Wexler is a fight that must be fought and must be won for the citizens of District 19 and for the citizens of the United States. I did not choose to run for congress in a district where I did not live, where the demographics would be more in my favor. I chose to fight for my district, my children’s district, your district if that is where you live. I chose to fight the good fight and to undertake the “impossible” task of removing one of the most left wing, corrupt congressmen in our government. A congressman who thumbs his nose at our constitution and who takes for granted his constituents by not even living in the state that he is supposed to represent. A congressman, who is being investigated by the FBI, thanks in no small part to our own investigations. A congressman who has laundered money through his campaign accounts and has been involved in falsifying his FEC reports to hide ill-gotten gains. A congressman who is more concerned with his own political career than he is with the future of his constituents or the future of the State of Israel. A congressman who fights for his constituents’ votes to only count for ½ of the vote. A congressman who has close ties to Rod Blagojevich, to the mafia, to pump and dump companies, to criminal elements and to fraudulent bundlers who raise money illegally offshore.

Keep in mind that when our campaign inspires voters to come out to vote for me, they will also be in that booth voting for other likeminded candidates. Instead of worrying about how to spread around our “finite resources” I would suggest finding a way to get more resources. One way ... get behind good candidates who will fight for you when you are not able or willing to fight for yourself and you will have more resources than you know what to do with. Stop advertising the Republican brand with a lack of leadership by giving up on fights that need to be won. I don’t want to hear why something can’t be done; I want to hear how we are going do it. If you are not part of the solution; you ARE the problem!
Hat Tip: Jessica Johnson Dornblaser.

The Left's Racial Double Standard

Earlier this month I argued that "leftists don't care about the advancement of minorities, they care about the advancement of their own power."

The post generated a lot of
attention and pushback, primarily because the point's so true.

Now with the controversial Sonia Sotomayor nomination, we're seeing the left's racial double standard at work. There's a number of relevant articles. For example, John Romano's essay is worth a look, "
Race Only Matters When it Favors Democrats." And Neo-Neocon offers a powerful analysis of diversity politics in, "Identity Politics and the Sotomayor Nomination." And the New York Times follows that up with, "Court Choice Pushes ‘Identity Politics’ to Forefront."

But today's most brutally revealing article on the Democratic double-standard is Byron York's, "
When Democrats Derailed a GOP Latino Nominee." Here's some background on the left's response to George W. Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:

Born in Honduras, Estrada came to the United States at 17, not knowing a word of English. He learned the language almost instantly, and within a few years was graduating with honors from Columbia University and heading off to Harvard Law School. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was a prosecutor in New York, and worked at the Justice Department in Washington before entering private practice.

Estrada's nomination for a federal judgeship set off alarm bells among Democrats. There is a group of left-leaning organizations -- People for the American Way, NARAL, the Alliance for Justice, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the NAACP, and others -- that work closely with Senate Democrats to promote Democratic judicial nominations and kill Republican ones. They were particularly concerned about Estrada.

In November, 2001, representatives of those groups met with Democratic Senate staff. One of those staffers then wrote a memo to Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin, informing Durbin that the groups wanted to stall Bush nominees, particularly three they had identified as good targets. "They also identified Miguel Estrada as especially dangerous," the staffer added, "because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible."

It was precisely the fact that Estrada was Hispanic that made Democrats and their activist allies want to kill his nomination. They were determined to deny a Republican White House credit, political and otherwise, for putting a first-rate Hispanic nominee on the bench.

Durbin and his colleagues did as they were instructed. But they had nothing with which to kill the nomination -- no outrageous statement by Estrada, no ethical lapse, no nothing. What to do?

They brainstormed. Estrada had once worked in the Justice Department's Office of Solicitor General, right? (Appointed under the first President Bush, Estrada stayed to serve several years under Clinton.) That office decides which cases the government will pursue in the Supreme Court, right? And that process involves confidential legal memoranda, right? Well, why don't we suggest that there might be something damaging in those memos -- we have no idea whether there is or not -- and demand that they be made public?

Durbin and his colleagues knew the Bush Justice Department would insist the internal legal memos remain confidential, as they always had been. It wasn’t just the Bush Administration that thought releasing the documents was a terrible idea; all seven living former Solicitors General, Republican and Democrat, wrote a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy begging him to back off.

But the Democrats didn't back off. They had a new, very serious question to ask: What is Miguel Estrada hiding?

The answer was nothing, of course. But the strategy worked. Democrats stonewalled Estrada's nomination, and, after losing control of the Senate in 2002, they began an unprecedented round of filibusters to block an entire slate of Bush appeals-courts nominees, Estrada among them. The confirmation process ground to a halt. More than two years after his nomination was announced, Estrada, tired of what appeared to be an endless runaround, withdrew his name from consideration. Instead of being on the federal bench, he is now in private practice in Washington.

And that was how Democrats treated the last high-level Hispanic court nominee. Think about that when you watch their lovefest with Sonia Sotomayor.

Full Metal Saturday: Mary-Louise Parker

It's been so hot around here lately I'm actually pressed for some Full Metal follow up action! In the past few weekends I've had Marisa Miller, Jessica Simpson, Heidi Klum, and Bar Rafaeli. Plus, I've done a couple of Rule 5 entries with Britney Spears and Lady GaGa!

Loosen those ties boys!

So this weekend, since Showtime's rolling out
a big promotion for the 5th season premier of Weeds, please enjoy a couple of photos of the lovely Mary-Louise Parker:The photo credits, by the way, are from this awesome Mary-Louise Parker slideshow.

I was tempted to post on
Simona Halep, but lots of others are blogging on her scheduled breast reduction.

And speaking of breasts, test your skills with this "
Whose Boobs" slideshow!

Now, let's do a little blogging roundup!

First, check out
TrogloPundit's regularly-scheduled Rule 5 post (Molly Sims is a nice inclusion!). Also, Chris Wysocki's got a neat Barbara Feldon/Anne Hathaway camparison, "Rule 5 Weekend: Agent 99." (More Anne Hathaway here.)

For a couple of roundups, Smitty at The Other McCain has his Saturday linkfest, "
Flagrantly Myopic Judicial Ruminations Amaze"; as does Carol at No Sheeples Here!, "Full Metal Jacket Reach-Around Saturday For May 30, 2009."

For my other blog buddies, click the links:
Ann Althouse, The Blog Prof, Dana at CSPT, Dan Collins, Dan Riehl, Glenn Reynolds, Jimmie Bise, Little Miss Attila, Moe Lane, Monique Stuart, No Sheeples Here!, Private Pigg, Pundit & Pundette, The Rhetorican, R.S. McCain, Saber Point, Suzanna Logan, TrogloPundit, and William Jacobson.

Apologies in advance if I'm forgetting anyone. Just click on my Blogger profile to send me an e-mail. I'll get you linked up ASAP!

Race Issues Dog Sotomayor

Geez, maybe Sonia Sotomayor will become President Obama's Harriet Myers!

The New York Times has an interesting report, "
Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle." And William Jacobson, in "Sotomayor's Damned Statistics ," takes apart Tom Goldstein's analysis at SCOTUSblog, "Judge Sotomayor and Race — Results from the Full Data Set."

Looking past the "damned lies and statistics," check out
Christopher Caldwell's analysis of Sotomayor on race:

A few of Sotomayor's decisions may ring a bell. It was she who ruled in 1999 that a law-school graduate with a learning disability was entitled to extra time to take a bar exam. More recently, she forbade the Environmental Protection Agency to use a cost-benefit analysis in antipollution enforcement (her ruling was later overturned). But the real fight over her confirmation will focus on her role in a case about tests for promotion within the New Haven, Conn., fire department. Although the tests were designed to be race-neutral, the pass rate for blacks was half that for whites. So New Haven threw out the test results. Several white firefighters who scored high enough for promotion sued the city. One of the plaintiffs was dyslexic and had hired tutors to help him. Sotomayor was on the three-judge panel that okayed New Haven's decision to nullify the tests. The panel did so in a one-paragraph blow-off that ignored a host of pressing constitutional issues and was striking for its lack of empathy, compassion and all those noble qualities that are supposed to come with growing up in the South Bronx. The case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could well overturn the decision in the next few weeks.

Whether or not you like racial preferences, they involve a way of looking at the law that is sophisticated rather than commonsensical. If the New Haven opinion is fair, it is the kind of fairness you learn at Yale Law School, not the kind you learn in the South Bronx. Sotomayor may be a child of the barrio, culturally speaking, but the judicial philosophy she represents comes from the mandarin, not the proletarian, wing of the Democratic Party.

Affirmative action has been a revolution in American rights and in our ideas of citizenship. To judge from almost all polls and referendums over the past few decades, it is reliably unpopular. Judges prop it up. Since the election of the first black President, it has been a shoe waiting to drop. The rationale it rests on — that minorities are cut off from fair access to positions of influence in society — has been undermined, to put it mildly. Elevating a hard-line defender of affirmative action is thus a provocation in a way that it would not have been in years past.
This woman boasts some nasty race politics. But will that be enough to force her withdrawal?

See also, "Top Ten Reasons Sotomayor Won't Be Confirmed."

More at Memeorandum.

Sotomayor's a Disaster on the Issues

Lots of folks are saying conservatives should forget whether Sonia Sotomayor qualifies as a “racist” ... So okay, let's take a look at her record on the issues ...

How about Sotomayor on foreign policy and international law? Well, she's a radical. Check Joshua Keating, "
How Sotomayor Sees the World":

Five ways Obama's Supreme Court nominee could change U.S. foreign policy.

The issue: One of the fiercest debates among legal scholars today is the degree to which it is proper for U.S. judges to cite foreign case law in making decisions. Conservatives, notably Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, tend to take the view that international agreements and laws should not apply, as they derive from different constitutional systems, while liberals, notably Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tend to argue that a more "internationalist" legal philosophy is needed.

Sotomayor's record: The 2000 case Croll v. Croll involved the application of the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Mrs. Croll had removed her child from Hong Kong to the United States in violation of a Hong Kong court's joint custody order and Mr. Croll filed a petition under the Hague Convention seeking the child's return. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where Sotomayor currently sits, sided with the mother, ruling that the convention did not give Mr. Croll the right to determine the child's place of residence.

Sotomayor dissented, not only arguing for a more expansive interpretation of the treaty, but also referring to foreign case law to make her argument. "Sotomayor went through the foreign cases quite extensively and found that the view she was taking was consistent with what had been found by foreign courts. She paid a lot more attention to them than the majority had," said attorney and SCOTUSBlog co-founder Amy Howe.

This suggests that Sotomayor sides with those who believe that foreign case law should at least be considered when applicable. Howe, whose firm is currently arguing a largely identical case before the Supreme Court, is thrilled. "We think she's brilliant," she said.

Sotomayor also holds an expansive view of international insitutions, and hence on limitations on U.S. sovereignty. As Keating observes, Sotomayor seems to take a "positive view toward the construction of international courts and legal institutions."


Okay, how about gun rights? Check Bob Owens, "
Sotomayor: Obama’s End Run on the Second Amendment" (via Memeorandum):

The recent landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller put an end to decades of arguments regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS rejected the collectivist interpretation favored by gun control advocates such as President Obama, noting that the Second Amendment’s protection of the right of citizens to own firearms for private use is an individual right that predates the Constitution, with its authority tied directly to the natural right of self-defense.

Just six months after Heller, however, Sotomayor issued an opinion in Maloney v. Cuomo that the protections of the Second Amendment do not apply to the states, and that if your city or state wants to ban all guns, then they have the right to disarm you. Such an opinion seems to fly directly in the face of Heller, exposing Sotomayor as an anti-gun radical who will affirm full-on gun prohibitions and believes that you have
no right to own a firearm, even for the most basic right of defending your family in your own home.

How about Sotomayor on racial preferences, and not whether she benefitted from them, but whether she'll rule in favor of minority racial preferences? David Paul Kuhn offers a devastating indictment of Sotomayor in, "Obama, Sotomayor, Ricci and White Male Privilege":

It is now asked whether Sonia Sotomayor has empathy for Frank Ricci.

It's a question larger than the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court, larger than the first black president who selected her and larger than the case before the high court of a firefighter who did not get a promotion because he was white and male.

Three personal narratives interlocked as Obama nominated Judge Sotomayor on Tuesday. Sotomayor, if confirmed, would be the first Latina and only the third woman of the 111 justices to serve on the high court.

Sotomayor is a legal heavyweight. But she was also chosen, in part, because of her color and gender.

In an odd twist of fate, the first Latina nominee now finds herself cast not as the discriminated but the discriminator.

Sotomayor sits on the appellate court that decided against Frank Ricci, one of the more significant affirmative action cases before the Supreme Court in decades. The case evokes issues of discrimination. It highlights whether we can see white men as victims, a half-century after affirmative action was first implemented.

It was Obama who emphasized empathy as he discussed the makeup of his ideal Supreme Court nominee. And it was also Obama, in his acclaimed race speech during the presidential campaign, who noted that when whites hear "that an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed ... resentment builds over time."

That resentment is captured by the Ricci case. Ricci has brought affirmative action back into the political debate at a time of towering firsts. It's these same firsts that bring culturally uncomfortable questions forward of affirmative action's role in the era of Obama ....

In 2003, the New Haven fire department had several vacancies for new lieutenants and captains. Candidates for promotion had to take a written and oral test. Candidates had three months to prepare. Ricci gave up a second job to study. Because he is dyslexic, Ricci paid an acquaintance more than $1,000 to read textbooks onto audiotapes. He studied 8 to 13 hours a day. And he succeeded. Ricci's exam ranked sixth among the 77 candidates who took the test.

But New Haven's civil service board ruled that not enough minorities earned a qualifying score. The city is more than a third black. None of the 19 African-American firefighters who took the exam earned a sufficient score. The city tossed out the exam. No promotions were given. Ricci and 17 other white firefighters, including one Hispanic, sued New Haven for discrimination.

In 2006, a Federal District Court ruled that the city had not discriminated against the white firefighters. Judge Janet Bond Arterton argued that since "the result was the same for all because the test results were discarded and nobody was promoted," no harm was done.

But in reality, the decision meant that Ricci and other qualified candidates were denied promotions because of the color of their skin. This is the essence of discrimination. The exclusion of a person from earned advancement because of his or her race. The Ricci case exemplifies decades of faulty policy that mistook equal opportunity for equal outcome.

When the case came before the three-judge panel of the New York federal appeals court, Arterton's ruling was upheld in an unsigned and, as the New York Times described it, "unusually terse decision." One of the judges who upheld the ruling was Sotomayor.

Judge Jose Cabranes' dissenting opinion noted that the ruling "lacks a clear statement of either the claims raised by the plaintiffs or the issues on appeal" and "contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case," concluding that the "perfunctory" actions of the majority in their decision "rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal."

As Slate's Emily Bazelon wrote, "If Sotomayor and her colleagues were trying to shield the case from Supreme Court review, her punt had the opposite effect. It drew Cabranes' ire, and he hung a big red flag on the case, which the Supreme Court grabbed."

In April, the Supreme Court took up the case in oral argument. The ruling is expected in June. Most legal scholars expect Ricci to prevail. But the debate over affirmative action will continue.

Okay, that should be enough substance for a policy discussion on Sotomayor's nomination.

This woman will be a left-wing disaster on the Supreme Court.

Maybe she'll be Obama's Harriet Miers?

Fore more on that, see The Astute Blogger, "
Sotomayor is Tostada, (That's Latina for Toast, Gringo!)."

Obama Denies Fundamental Equality of the Child

Robert George is the most eloquent and powerful pro-life writer working today. Here are excerpts from his essay, "Obama and His Pro-Life Apologists":

A chasm separates those of us who believe that every living human being possesses profound, inherent, and equal dignity, and those who, for whatever reasons, deny it. The issue really cannot be fudged, as people sometimes try to do by imagining that there is a dispute about whether it is really a human being who is dismembered in a dilation and curettage abortion, or whose skin is burned off in a saline abortion, or the base of whose skull is pierced and whose brains are sucked out in a dilation and extraction (or “partial birth”) abortion. That issue has long been settled—and it was settled not by religion or philosophy, but by the sciences of human embryology and developmental biology


President Obama knows that an unborn baby is human. He knows that the blood shed by the abortionist’s knife is human blood, that the bones broken are human bones. He does not deny that the baby whom nurse Jill Stanek discovered gasping for breath in a soiled linen bin after a failed attempt to end her life by abortion, was a human baby. Even in opposing the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which was designed to assure that such babies were rescued if possible or at least given comfort care while they died, Barack Obama did not deny the humanity of the child. What he denied, and continues to deny, is the fundamental equality of that child—equality with those of us who are safely born and accepted into the human community.


Throughout his political career, Obama has consistently and fervently rejected every form of legislation that would provide unborn babies or children who survive abortions with meaningful protection against being killed. Indeed, he has opposed even efforts short of prohibiting abortion that would discourage the practice, limit its availability, or directly favor childbirth over abortion.


We recognize that women with undesired pregnancies can undergo serious hardships, and we believe that a just and caring society will concern itself with the well-being of mothers as well as their children. We agree with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who by precept and example taught us to reach out in love to care for mother and child alike, never supposing that love for one entails abandoning care and concern for the other. President Obama holds a different view. He has made clear his own conviction that the equality of women depends on denying the equality and rights of the children they carry. He has made what is, from the pro-life point of view, the tragic error of supposing that the equality of one class of human beings can and must be purchased by denial of the equality of another.


Because the President does not believe in the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every member of the human family; because he does not believe that babies acquire human rights until after birth; because he does not see abortion as tragic because it takes the life of an innocent human being, he is utterly and intransigently unwilling to support even efforts short of prohibiting abortion that would plainly reduce the number of abortions. Moreover, he is adamantly in favor of funding abortions and abortion providers at home and abroad, and has already taken steps in that direction by revoking the Mexico City Policy and proposing a budget that would restore publicly funded abortions in Washington, D.C.—despite the well-documented and universally acknowledged fact that when you provide public funding for abortion, you get more abortions.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Moment for Conservatives?

Cassandra at Villainous Company sent me her post, "Judging Sotomayor: A Moment of Truth for Conservatives."

Cassandra argues that conservatives have been
reduced to cheap smears against Sonia Sotomayor, that our arguments have lost their punch:

Politics is the art of persuasion. The problem with conservative arguments is that although we're quite good at telling the public what's wrong with what we oppose, we are not so adept at articulating what it is we support. It's not enough to run down the competition. A good salesman highlights the positive attributes of his product as well as distinguishing it from the competition. For as long as I can remember our opponents have successfully (and all too often with our enthusiastic help) characterized conservatism as a negative political philosophy. We are painted as a party full of fearful and reflexively authoritarian killjoys, out to harsh the national mellow and steal everyone else's corn flakes. Unfortunately, our response to this inaccurate portrayal often does more to confirm than refute that flawed premise ....

In watching the debate over the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, I've found myself returning again and again to an ancient legal maxim: Venire contra factum proprium non valet. Loosely translated, it means "Arguments which contradict one's prior actions will fall on deaf ears." For as long as I can remember conservatives have decried the Borking of judicial nominees on ideological grounds. But more than this, we have vigorously defended the right of a sitting President to nominate jurists whose views are compatible with that of the party in power ....

There are principled arguments to be made here. Not against Barack Obama's absolute right to nominate a judge whose views he finds compatible with his own, but against the views themselves. That places the responsibility for appointing Constitutionally faithful judges back where it belongs - at the top. It also makes it a lot harder for our opponents to mischaracterize our arguments as mean spirited or bigoted. It's hard to see how employing the very tactics we've derided in our opponents does anything to strengthen the Republican brand (unless of course our message is "Do as we say - not as we do!").
There's more at the link.

I love Cassandra, and my comments are directed at her arguments, not her. We need less personal infighting on the right (got that Rod Dreher?).

Cassandra notes that it's perfectly fine to hammer Sotomayor on her "wise Latina" statements, as long as we focus on ideas and avoid "over the top personal attacks."

Well, yeah ... I only disagree to the extent that I don't think hammering Sotomayor on her race-consciousness is "over the top." So what, don't call her a racist? Fine, we can then just sit back and oppose her on ideas while THE LEFT ATTACKS US as racist. Yep, that ought to work! That's what it's all about nowadays, you know?. Racist this, racist that ... pretty soon we're all racists!

The truth is, as we've seen in everyday interactions, as well as in academic research, conservatives are nicer, more compassionate people than liberals. Yet, we stand on clear moral principles, and especially on traditional values, and we're thus attacked as "haters," "bigots," and "racists."

Look at what happened to Carrie Prejean. She wasn't being mean or nasty. She called no one names, nor did she turn up her nose in contempt for gay oppositional values. All she did is say she was raised to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman. The knives came out immediately, from all angles. Perez Hilton called Prejean a dumb bitch. Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler attacked Prejean as violating the values of the Miss California pageant, as if honesty and integrity weren't values worth emulating.

But why stop there?

I've been called "racist" so many times for supporting merit in university admissions that I've lost count. Conservatives are excoriated simply for standing up for values that the progressive-left has labeled "archaic" and "Neanderthal." It's kind of sick, when you think about it.

Cassandra basically places herself along with moderate Republicans who pride themselves in the use of "reason and logic informed by an objective approach to the facts."

Actually, so do I. I backed John McCain in last year's GOP primaries. I took a lot of flak for it too. But I don't regret it. I've learned from it. McCain's moment passed him up. His success was in supporting a winning war strategy that paid no political dividends by the end of 2008. The progessive mindset that wars are automatically bad had taken hold after eight years of Democratic betrayal and disinformation (and we were winning, in any case). All Barack Obama had to do was tack with the wind of Bush fatigue and war weariness. In turn, McCain had little in his policy quiver to offer voters besides "fight with me." Well, when people weren't so worried about the fight overseas, when the guts were being sucked out of the American financial system, and when the housing debacle sucked everything under with it, McCain was left stumbling along the campaign trail like a dumb mule.

The funny thing is that conservative ideas are there. In education, in economic policy, in deregulation, in energy. The list goes on. The problem is that ideas such as reliance on personal initiative and self-reliance, on school choice, vouchers, and market competition in service delivery, on domestic energy exploration and production, on downsizing government, on compellence in international relations ... all of these ideas are reviled by progressives, unions, and the liberal media establishment. Conservatives have ideas. They haven't been tried. George Bush managed the war on terror. He fought for American national security in Iraq and the broader Middle East. The conflict was not a "disaster." But we've been told that so many times it's become the conventional wisdom. Young people's minds have been turned off to the realities of market choice at home and the deployment of power abroad. People have been led to believe that spending trillions of dollars, and preparing for Democratic budgets as far as the eye can see, won't cost them anything. The "rich" will pay for it! Let's raise taxes! Make them pay their fair share! And then as soon as hundreds of thousands of Americans take to the streets and the plazas to protest the loss of liberties on April 15th what happened? We were all attacked as ... wait for it ... tea-baggers and racists!

Perhaps Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrinch lack the style and grace of a Ronald Reagan. But who does? Where is our glamorous man (or woman) on horseback to lead us from the political wilderness? Are we even ready for a leader? We don't even have a Republican vision anymore. Governor Taxinator? He didn't even campaign for his own tax increases in California when the voters were about to say, "enough is enough"! And you know where he was ... with Jennifer Granholm in Washington, visiting President Barack "Infanticide" Obama and his tax-cheat adminstration! Now we've got people like John Cornyn saying forget about atttactive young up-and-coming Hispanic conservatives. We need to go with GOP moderate in Charlie Crist, who just Wednesday
broke his no-taxes pledge in signing a Flordia state budget that raises $2.2 billion in new fees and taxes!

Is this the kind of policy conservatives are supposed to argue in favor of? Is this something in which we need to articulate our "support"?

I can't help but think this is a disaster for conservatism. Moderation? Well, sometimes you just have to say no. Reagan did. Reagan said no. Why can't we? Reagan said forget about it brother, "cut taxes, spending, and regulation, and got government out of the way and let free people create new jobs and businesses."

In any case, back to Sotomayor ...

What's the meme right now, against the "evil" conservatives? Well, "
G. Gordon Liddy On Sotomayor: ‘Let’s Hope That The Key Conferences Aren’t When She’s Menstruating’." Wow, Liddy? Oh he's a real spokesman for the party!

And this, "GOP Hispanic Strategists Stunned, Outraged By Sotomayor Attacks." Stunned? Who says? The Huffington Post? Of course they're going to say that.

Meanwhile, the news is out that Sonia Sotomayor attacked Princeton University as an institution of bigotry: "
Sotomayor, as Student, Attacked Princeton as Anti-Latino."

Well, there's that race-consciousness I mentioned! But conservatives will be attacked as "racist" just for pointing it out ...

Now where was that "moment" we're looking for? Will we get another "moment" if we play nice on Sotomayor? Who knows? Maybe we'll get another "taxable-moment" with people like tax-hike Charlie down in Florida!

Now that's the way to eviscerate the Reagan legacy!

Back to you, Cassandra!

Male Prom Queen is Rage at Fairfax High

From KABC-TV Los Angeles, "Male Teen Wins Prom Queen at Fairfax High:

For many high school students, being openly gay can be a long walk down a lonely hallway. But for Sergio Garcia, it helped him earn a title high school students dream about: Prom queen.

The high school senior was one of 10 students seeking the tiara, and as would be expected the other nine were all female.

Garcia didn't let that faze him. "It suits my personality the most, you know. Deep down inside I feel like I am obviously very feminine. I feel like it was something that was meant for me. Like I'm a queen," Garcia said

No doubt RepMasterBarebacker3 approves!

To each his own, you know! Or her own? Oh just forget it!

And where ARE my knitting needles anyway!

On the Chrysler Dealergate Controversy

Here's some information for readers on what's happening with the Obama administration's Chrysler "Dealergate" scandal. The media and leftist bloggers dismissed the fact that almost every single Chrysler dealer being shut down had ties to the GOP.

Via Memeorandum, Robert Stacy McCain has some background,"
What DealerGate Says About the Conservative 'Message' Problem":

Did the administration purposefully use its bailout-acquired influence to put the squeeze on Republican auto dealerships? It doesn't actually matter what the answer to that question is.

The point is, there was evidence to suggest that the Obama administration may have been wielding its economic power -- gained at future taxpayers' expense -- to punish political enemies. The accusation was serious enough to call for very thorough reporting, but the major media tried to dismiss the accusation before actually doing the reporting.
Malkin says:

Some professional journalists, however, have shown obstinate unwillingness to get to the bottom of the decision-making process.
Ask any good reporter. You get a tip that, if true, would be a big story, and so you check it out. I once spent two days in the Library of Congress trying to research such a lead. It didn't pan out, but until you've done the research, you don't know whether it's a story or not.
There's definitely more to this story than what leftists would have you believe. So I was pleased to see the International Business Daily picked up the story from conservative media and blogging outlets:

Earlier this month, Chrysler announced it was seeking permission from bankruptcy court to kill franchise agreements with 789 of its 3,181 dealers to save costs. Dealers, many of whom ran profitable businesses, told the media that the news was devastating.

Aside from the loss of a business, many of these franchisees may have something else in common: It looks like all the dealers who are losing their Chrysler franchises, with only a single exception found so far, have links to the Republican Party.

Chrysler, an American institution, is no longer being operated as a private-sector company. It's being run by a task force appointed by the White House. So far, the government has halved Chrysler's ad budget and forced it into a shotgun wedding with Italian carmaker Fiat.

Has it also directed the company to end its contracts with dealers who dared give contributions to the Republican Party and its candidates? The mainstream media seem less than curious. But the new media haven't shied away from asking the question.

"Many of the closed dealers were also major donors to Republican candidates and political action committees, a review of campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission shows," Kenneth Timmerman wrote at

"How do we account for the fact millions of dollars were contributed to GOP candidates by Chrysler who are being closed by the government, but only one has been found so far that is being closed that contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?" asked editorial page editor Mark Tapscott.

"The initial pass at the list of shuttered dealers showed they had donated, in the aggregate, millions to Republican candidates and PACs and a total of $200 to Barack Obama," writes blogger Doug Ross.

WorldNetDaily reviewed all 789 of the dealerships the company wants to close. It found that "owners contributed at least $450,000 to Republican presidential candidates and the GOP, while only $7,970 was donated to Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign and $2,200 was given to Sen. John Edwards' campaign. Obama received a combined total of only $450 in donations."

Has our political class grown so petty that it would use the power of government to punish the political opposition? We hope this isn't true. If it is, the country's in more trouble than we thought.

This story deserves a lot of attention.

Here's Doug Ross' latest, "
Dealergate: 40 Democrat-friendly Dealerships Become 42 After The Dust Settles; Their Competition Gutted As Well."

Joey Smith has this, "
Information on Auto Task Force Influence on Chrysler Dealer Closings."

And see Gateway Pundit's latest, with links to previous reports, "
Dealergate Update: Corrupt Dem-Donating Auto Group Keeps Dealerships ...Update: Dem Dealerships Go From 40 to 42."

Mancow's Waterboarding a Hoax?

Folks are suggesting that Erich "Mancow" Muller's waterboarding trial last week was a stunt. And it may well have been. Michelle Malkin's even got a post suggesting "lefty blogs got punked."

I watched the original video, and there was nothing fake about "Mancow" having water poured over his face. Did he jump up overly-excited to call it torture? Perhaps. But check out this episode of Keith Olbermann from Tuesday night. "Mancow" talks calmly about how genuine his fear was:

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The folks at Gawker think they were taken for a ride. They provide the video to Christopher Hitchens' waterboarding from 2007:

Readers can compare for themselves. Punked or not punked? Hitchens' handlers are way more professional at waterboarding. But perhaps "Mancow" just wants to shed his newfound "pussy" reputation?

Mancow" has a post up at Big Hollywood, in any case, via Memeorandum.

Cornyn: Calling Sotomayor Racist is "Terrible"

Look, I'm sure Senator John Cornyn's a nice guy, but he's ending up on the wrong side of some things lately.

Clueless Cornyn," as he's been called elsewhere, gave the early endorsement for Charlie Crist's GOP Senate bid in Florida, kneecapping up-and-comer Marco Rubio.

Now Cornyn's taking on
Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for suggesting Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist." But note something important here: It's not like Newt Gingrich, a former House Speaker, is some right-wing extremist; and Rush Limbaugh's got his pulse on the conservative beat. That their criticisms of Sotomayor are dead on just makes Cornyn's howling even more ridiculous. How long are folks like Cornyn going to cave to the left-wing propaganda that the GOP needs to "moderate"?

Raul Bosque, my friend and former student, left a comment on my previous post, "It's Sotomayor's Ethnic Authenticity, and Shut Up About It!."

answers the question of whether Sotomayor's indeed "racist":

She is a racist. The problem is no one has the courage to label an Hispanic woman as such and the left knows it. She's somewhat shielded by popular opinion and by the MSM. As an Hispanic, I have no problem calling her and La Raza what they are, radical leftists and racist scum, I wish the Republicans will grow a pair and call her out on it.
Interestingly, Senator Cornyn has responded to the pushback against the Crist endorsement, at at Red State. Here's a key snippet:

Some believe that we should be a monolithic Party; I disagree. While we all might wish for a Party comprised only of people who agree with us 100 percent of the time, this is a pipedream. Each Party is fundamentally a coalition of individuals rallying around core principles with some variations along the way. My job as Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is to recruit candidates who have the best chance of winning and holding seats – and to do so in as many states as possible. Earlier this month, two Republicans candidates emerged for the open Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez in the Sunshine State: Marco Rubio, the young and talented Hispanic former Speaker of the state House, and Charlie Crist, the state’s popular Governor.
Although Cornyn's discussing the NRSC's decision in the Florida Senate race, the larger "big tent" meme of GOP ideological moderation reflects the underlying tension between the party honchos and the conservative base.

The GOP has lost its backbone, if not its soul. John Cornyn's wrong in attacking critics of Sonia Sotomayor and in disregarding the hunger at the base for real conservative Senate candidates. Florida's primary is August 24, 2010. Sotomayor may have long been seated by that time, but conservatives can send a message to the national party bosses by electing Marco Rubio as Florida's Republican Senate nominee.

It's Sotomayor's Ethnic Authenticity, and Shut Up About It!

Here's Kimberley Strassel on Sonia Sotomayor:

President Barack Obama has laid down his ground rules for the debate over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The big question now is whether Republicans agree to play by rules that neither Mr. Obama nor his party have themselves followed.

Ground Rule No. 1, as decreed by the president, is that this is to be a discussion primarily about Judge Sotomayor's biography, not her qualifications. The media gurus complied, with inspiring stories of how she was born to Puerto Rican immigrants, how she was raised by a single mom in a Bronx housing project, how she went on to Princeton and then Yale. In the years that followed she presumably issued a judicial opinion here or there, but whatever.

The president, after all, had taken great pains to explain that this is more than an American success story. Rather, it is Judge Sotomayor's biography that uniquely qualifies her to sit on the nation's highest bench -- that gives her the "empathy" to rule wisely. Judge Sotomayor agrees: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said in 2001.

If so, perhaps we can expect her to join in opinions with the wise and richly experienced Clarence Thomas. That would be the same Justice Thomas who lost his father, and was raised by his mother in a rural Georgia town, in a shack without running water, until he was sent to his grandfather. The same Justice Thomas who had to work every day after school, though he was not allowed to study at the Savannah Public Library because he was black. The same Justice Thomas who became the first in his family to go to college and receive a law degree from Yale.

By the president's measure, the nation couldn't find a more empathetic referee than Justice Thomas. And yet here's what Mr. Obama had to say last year when Pastor Rick Warren asked him about the Supreme Court: "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation."

In other words, nine months ago Mr. Obama thought that the primary qualification for the High Court was the soundness of a nominee's legal thinking, or at least that's what Democrats have always stressed when working against a conservative judge. Throughout the Bush years, it was standard Democratic senatorial practice to comb through every last opinion, memo, job application and college term paper, all with an aim of creating a nominee "too extreme" or "unqualified" to sit on the federal bench.

Mr. Obama knows this, as he took part in it, joining a Senate minority who voted against both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. Mr. Obama also understands a discussion of Judge Sotomayor's legal thinking means a discussion about "judicial activism" -- a political loser. In a day when voters routinely rise up to rebuke their activist courts on issues ranging from gay marriage to property rights, few red-state Democrats want to go there. Moreover, a number of Judge Sotomayor's specific legal opinions -- whether on racial preferences, or gun restrictions -- put her to the left of most Americans.
Keep reading, here, for Ground Rule No. 2 (Hint: What, you're criticizing Sotomayor? You racist!).

Cartoon Credit:
Michael Ramirez.