Jun 25 2008

Obama’s judgment on judges: trying to have it both ways… again

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:27 pm

Obama voted against John Roberts as Chief Justice, saying:

…while adherence to legal precedent and rules of statutory or
constitutional construction will dispose of 95 percent of the cases
that come before a court, so that both a Scalia and a Ginsburg will
arrive at the same place most of the time on those 95 percent of the
cases — what matters on the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases
that are truly difficult. In those cases, adherence to precedent and
rules of construction and interpretation will only get you through the
25th mile of the marathon. That last mile can only be determined on the
basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader
perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s
empathy.


For Obama, what it boils down to is this: judges should vote with their feelings when they don’t personally like the outcome produced by the law and the Constitution. He wants judges to legislate. So he wants judges who share his feelings. For him, the appropriate question for a judicial nominee is, “How do you feel about….” Fill in the blank.

Further, his characterization of only 5% hard cases is ridiculous on its face. Cases don’t usually even make it to SCOTUS unless they are hard cases. The Court doesn’t take very many cases that are simple and easy; instead, it lets the rulings of lower courts stand. And he’s wildly wrong in suggesting that Ginzberg and Scalia agree 95% of the time. Does he have anyone doing research on things like this before he opens his mouth?

Obama voted against Sam Alito, saying:

…when you look at his record, what is clear is that when it comes to his
understanding of the Constitution, he consistently sides on behalf of
the powerful against the powerless. If there is a case involving an
employer and an employee, and the Supreme Court has not given clear
direction, Judge Alito will rule in favor of the employer. If there is
a claim between prosecutors and defendants, if the Supreme Court has
not already a clear rule of decision then, Judge Alito will rule in
favor of the state. When it comes to how checks and balances in our
system are supposed to operate, the balance of power between the
executive branch, Congress, and the judiciary, Judge Alito consistently
sides with the notion that a president should not be constrained by
either Congressional acts, or the check of the judiciary. He believes
in the overarching power of the president to engage in whatever the
president deems to be appropriate policy.


His commentary on Roberts (at the link above) makes a similar point: he thinks that judges should be prejudiced towards “the weak” and against “the powerful”. That is, of course, unless we’re talking about the very, very, very weakest among us, who, in Obama’s jurisprudence, will never make it to court at all.

And now, Obama agrees with the judges he voted against

Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision outlawing executions of people who rape children, a crime he said states have the right to consider for capital punishment.

“I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes,” Obama said at a news conference. “I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that that does not violate our Constitution.”

The court’s 5-4 decision Wednesday struck down a Louisiana law that allows capital punishment for people convicted of raping children under 12, saying it violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

The ruling spares the only people in the U.S. under sentence of death for that crime — two Louisiana men convicted of raping girls 5 and 8. It also invalidates laws on the books in five other states that allowed executions for child rape that does not result in the death of the victim.

Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, said that had the court “said we want to constrain the abilities of states to do this to make sure that it’s done in a careful and appropriate way, that would have been one thing. But it basically had a blanket prohibition and I disagree with that decision.”

Obama has two daughters, ages 7 and 9.


But wait: those judges against the death penalty for even the most egregious child-rape cases were following a higher law, that “life” is more important than “justice” when no life was actually taken in the crime. They said so. Surely Obama wanted the powerless child-rapists (probably mostly poor, lower class citizens) to be defended against the powerful prosecutors?

Don’t look for Obama to apologize for voting against Roberts and Alito, even though they are the ones with whom he now pretends to agree.

This entire sorry episode reveals what many of us already know about Obama: he is no deep thinker, he has no serious understanding of complex issues, he is completely willing to pretend anything at all to be elected, and he won’t be able to stick to his guns when a hard decision needs to be made. He knows this “let the child-rapists live” judgment goes against the grain for a large majority of the electorate, so he rushes to get on “the right side” of it, knowing that his left-leaning fans will wink and nod, accepting the political necessity.

The left has no fear of what kinds of judges a President Obama would appoint. He would appoint judges who would make many more very bad decisions, exactly like this one. And that says it all, about a great many things.

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Jun 25 2008

The Idiots Guide to Saddam, Iraq and the Election of 2008

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 11:16 am

Offered in the spirit of simplification for people who need that. It really is this simple.

The problem then

Saddam violated his parole agreement (from the 1991 Gulf War resulting from his invasion of Kuwait, and threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia). He kept taking potshots at the sheriff‘s deputies, all the while claiming he was unarmed, yet still making threats, and hanging out with the criminal element. He was known to be engaged in several criminal conspiracies. He was for sure planning to steal a couple of ranches if he could get away with it.

While the politicians dithered (nearly every one of them from every nation was sure Saddam was busting parole left and right, but half of them were on the take) and the district attorney couldn’t decide what the charges might be after the arrest without seeing more evidence, the USA formed a posse because we had probable cause on a weapons charge (besides current witnesses, he had lots of priors… rapsheet as long as your arm) and frisked Saddam and sent him to jail. He turned out not to be so tough, and in fact didn’t have all the ammo he’d advertised.

It was still a righteous bust, because the perp had clearly violated parole any number of times, and had even bigger plans. In the meantime, more witnesses came forward to testify to Saddam’s previous crimes and he was lawfully tried and punished. Some of Saddam’s gang were still around making trouble, and they allied with a gang from out of town to fight a rival gang. (It was pretty much like fighting the Crips and the Bloods and MS13 all at once… think horsethieves, cattle rustlers and cold-blooded killers.) Though it took awhile, the posse finally figured out how to deal with the various gangs, with some help from the local authorities. Some of the gang members were offered immunity to testify against even worse gang-bangers. There are reports that some of the locals took the law into their own hands in rough and ready frontier justice… regrettable, but probably inevitable. Horse thieves have often been hanged without benefit of judge and jury, when caught riding the horse with the original saddle.

Things have settled down some now. The locals are doing better and better at dealing with the gangs, both local and out of town. They’ve requested that the posse stick around long enough to be sure the situation is stabilized.

The problem now

Unfortunately, some sneaky city-slickers have been trying to convince everyone that the posse should come home, even though the locals want the posse to stick around a while, and everyone knows they aren’t quite ready to handle the gangs on their own yet, though that day is definitely coming. These same city-slicker con artists are claiming that the original posse was sent by a lying Sheriff, who didn’t really have probable cause or a search warrant, when everybody thought that Saddam had even more dangerous weapons and even bigger plans for more... which he definitely did. And it’s pretty sure that some of what he had will never be found, due to fast action when he knew the Sheriff was coming.

Dang city-slicker con artists… most of ‘em are, no kidding, lawyers and pantywaist scribblers and script readers, who actually think they know something. The only thing they know is how to pull the wool over the eyes of decent folk by lying to them constantly… and offering them bribes of all kinds to keep ‘em quiet. Sadly, some otherwise good people take the bribes and look the other way.

Clear eyed, level headed folk aren’t fooled by these guys. There are some decent people who think maybe the arrest was premature (I’m not one of them), but nobody with any sense wants to turn the gangs loose again. I suppose it’s easier for these patent medicine quacks and carpet-baggers to ignore the resulting crime spree and murder rampage because it’ll be somebody else’s kids getting killed in shootouts and ambushes… at first, anyway. What goes around comes around.

And these bunko-frauds claim the moral high-ground (all the while trying to get the public sold on pyramid schemes of all kinds that our kids will be paying for when we’re dead and gone). I’ve seen fake faith-healers in tent revivals with better morals than these guys.

I’m pinning my hopes on more of those guys who were in the posse, coming home on rotation, and setting these swindlers straight… And in the spirit of praying for those who spitefully use us, I’m praying for a little Damascus Road Experience for these snake oil salesmen…. complete with searchlights from heaven and loud voices telling ‘em what for.

Don’t be fooled by fancy talk. Vote for the good guys. They’re the ones not lyin’ to ya about what’s goin’ on now, or what’ll happen if they get their way.

UPDATE:  Just to avoid confusion, one of the candidates was kidnapped by another gang some years back.  He knows what’s like to deal with tough times, and crooked hombres, as opposed to just having some for your friends.  Vote for that guy.

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