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Monthly Archives: October 2013

After a government semi-shutdown, the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov and the looming budget crisis coming again in January, you’d think the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate would reserve his limited time and resources to focus on fixing these critical issues the federal government has already messed up.

You’d be wrong.

Senator Richard Durbin, the second most powerful man in the Senate, will hold a special hearing this week on state self-defense laws and the death of Trayvon Martin. (PJ Media has extensively covered the Trayvon Martin incident.  See, “Justice for Trayvon, Race Hustler Style,”  or Bill Whittle’s fantastic revelation about Purple Drank and what the media have never reported.)

Dick Durbin represents Chicago, which the FBI reported in September surpassed New York City as the murder capital of the United States, with 500 murders in 2012.

It sounds like Illinois should look into adopting some self-defense laws.

The Chicago Tribune reported that during the 2011-2012 school year 319 public school children were shot, and, sadly, 24 of those students died. But what’s worse is that these 24 dead school children represent an improvement from Chicago’s previous school year, when 28 children were killed.

Contrast the number of deaths in Chicago to the FBI and Department of Defense totals for the war in Afghanistan. Between 2001 and 2012, 2,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, whereas more than 5,000 Chicago residents were killed in the same time period.

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Where was Senator Durbin when his 24 school-aged constituents died? Where was Senator Durbin when 5,000 of his own residents were killed?

When was his hearing to examine Chicago gun laws and their impact on the 500 homicide victims and families in 2012 alone?

Race played a prominent role in the media coverage (or mis-coverage) following Trayvon Martin’s death. Why aren’t hundreds of dead black children in Chicago worth the same amount of attention given to a single black teenager in Florida?

We know the reason. Calling attention to the cesspool of Chicago will draw too much inconvenient attention to too many failed ideas and Democrat policies.

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Ted Cruz Won

October 23rd, 2013 - 7:57 am

It has become clear after the government shutdown that if Obamacare isn’t destroyed now, it will be with us forever. Waiting until after a series of elections to try to kill it is a fool’s errand. There will never be more support for ending Obamacare than there will be in the next few months. Once the dependency class hooks up their Obamacare IV, it’s game over.

Let’s inventory how Texas Senator Ted Cruz won territory in the government shutdown fight.

First, the Left knows victories are won through the fight.  This is the core of the new Alinskyite model of the Left — continuous agitation, continuous fundraising, continuous energy. The fight builds support and support builds the fight.

The Cruz-led fight over the last few weeks has done the same thing for conservatives.  Cruz strengthened the fight against Obamacare because he exposed the insider D.C. establishment in a way nobody else has.  True, polls show that Americans have a lower opinion of the Republican Party after the fight.  But many of those with a lower opinion are regular conservative Americans who saw the establishment members of the GOP turn and bolt in the face of the fight.  Over two million signed a petition supporting Cruz.  That’s a heck of an email list, generated almost overnight.

Deal-making and compromise have pushed the country toward fiscal catastrophe.  Only Cruz and his supporters stood fast, and Americans noticed.

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Second, now is the time to wreck Obamacare.  Some in the GOP think they can win a couple of elections over the next few years and unravel the program once the GOP gains the White House.  This ignores the shrinking attention span of the body politic.  It also ignores the fact that many in the GOP are part of the problem. The establishment GOP needs a series of inside straights even to win the seats necessary to implement this plan.  Worse, the Republican Party seems unable to grasp the ground game of the new Left.  The Left changes the narrative in the short term and ends up winning long term.   Compromise is never the game. Battles are won each day, and not deferred.

What evidence does the GOP offer to show they are likely to draw those inside electoral straights necessary to repeal Obamacare after 2016?  What makes anyone think they will win the Senate or White House? It certainly isn’t the performance in 2012 where an unpopular incumbent saddled by economic malaise crushed a Republican known for compromise and civility.

Fighters win these days, and Obama knows how to fight.

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We have yet more evidence that parts of academia are fully engaged in dividing Americans along racial lines and indoctrinating students with fringe and toxic racial ideas. From the Cornell Daily Sun: Kimberle Crenshaw ’81, Critical Race Theorist, Returns to The Hill (emphasis all mine):

Visiting Cornell, a prominent theorist on issues of race and gender equality said recent Supreme Court cases addressing affirmative action and voting rights have devastated the progress of the civil rights era at a lecture Thursday.

Prof. Kimberlé Crenshaw ’81, law, University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia Law School spoke as part of her five-day visit at Cornell, where she studied government and Africana studies when she was an undergraduate. During the course of her visit, Crenshaw will be meeting with faculty and students.

Crenshaw focused on recent major Supreme Court decisions made primarily this summer, including Shelby County v. Holder, Hollingsworth v. Perry and Fischer v. University of Texas. . . .

Crenshaw said the decision of Shelby County v. Holder –– which was designed to prevent discrimination by striking down the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act –– “was truly ugly in the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. The crown jewel of the civil rights movement … it will surely suppress the voting rights of tens of thousands, perhaps millions of voters of color.”

Millions? This is an outright lie, and the professor either knows it or is not grounded in reality.  There hasn’t been a single voter “disenfranchised” by the Shelby decision.  It gets worse:

Crenshaw focused on the arguments of colorblindness that were brought up through this case.

Crenshaw explained that the rationale of “colorblindness” — the idea that society has become race-neutral and does not have to redesign status quo institutions to prevent discrimination — is used to disguise a defense of the status quo. Crenshaw argued that substantive changes are necessary to be truly post-racial. [Specific institutions please?] . . .

“Colorblindness has been resurrected to roll back the social infrastructure enacted during the civil rights movement,” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw said these setbacks were the result of decisions made by the Supreme Court under Justice John Roberts, since 2005. She said that the Roberts court ended active restructuring of social structures to prevent racial discrimination, pointing to the Parents Involved v. Seattle case where, she said, “the Supreme Court ends active school desegregation.” [the case that said race could not be used to assign children to schools, sort of like the desegregation cases in the 1960s.]

[And this truly Orwellian moment she] said the legal move toward race neutrality is reminiscent of much discriminatory policy like grandfather clauses and literacy tests, “efforts to suppress access to the franchise has always used measures that were formally race neutral.”

Crenshaw concluded by saying truly combating racism requires scrutinizing the structures that perpetuate racism and confronting inequality with the status quo.

Renee Alexander ’74, associate dean of students and director of intercultural programs, worked to bring Crenshaw to Cornell after being inspired by a previous presentation she had seen Crenshaw give.”

This is what passes for credible on elite college campuses today — the idea that treating individuals without regard to race or color but rather as individuals with divine dignity is somehow racially discriminatory.

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Yesterday I posted that conservative journalist James O’Keefe has sued the blog Main Justice for defamation.  Main Justice, started soon after Obama’s inauguration in 2008, has endeavored to provide a positive spin on all of the controversies and scandals surrounding Attorney General Eric Holder.  The Main Justice blog has repeatedly published false information, the latest directed at O’Keefe.  (I wrote about other false, and yet to be corrected, reporting by Main Justice in my book Injustice.)

You can now read a copy of O’Keefe’s complaint against Main Justice.

Mary Jacoby is editor at Main Justice.  A story on James O’Keefe falsely published that James “bugged” the phone at a U.S. Senator’s office.  After O’Keefe’s Project Veritas sent Jacoby a copy of an affidavit submitted by the Department of Justice saying that James did not attempt to tamper with telephones in any office and did not commit any felony, Main Justice altered their blog posting about O’Keefe, barely.

According to Project Veritas, Main Justice changed “bugged” to “tamper”  – something the DOJ affidavit expressly says did not occur. The Main Justice story still says that O’Keefe was attempting to “tamper” with phones in a Senate office.

Expect Main Justice to beg for quick mercy through a correction.  Don’t expect that to satisfy O’Keefe.  The damage done to his reputation by left leaning bloggers exaggerating the events in New Orleans is too much for him, I  suspect.

PJ Media sought comment from Mary Jacoby about the lawsuit yesterday before close of business.  We still have not heard a reply.  But her website has posted this comment:

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My understanding is that O’Keefe has obtained damages against other defendants in at least one libel case.

 

 

Once upon a time, Democrats were giddy about the prospects of Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan joining the Supreme Court of the United States. She had all the right qualifications: partisanship, militancy, and — most importantly — belief in a radical, muscular, transformative government.

Karlan provides intellectual fuel for the most fringe elements of the progressive legal and political machine. She is quoted in the Wall Street Journal, appears on NPR, and is revered by academics on the left — who refuse to lay a finger on her when she misbehaves.

Karlan’s misbehavior most frequently arises as rank dishonesty and dishonest scholarship. You’d think that might disqualify her from teaching at Stanford Law School, but these days, demonstrably false scholarship seems to be no barrier to helping churn out legions of new lawyers from elite schools like Stanford. There are students of Karlan’s — perhaps reading this now — who have nothing but admiration for her despite her scholarly lies.

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Before I detail her scholarly lies, lets first consider those that Ed Whelan catalogs at National Review today in an article titled “Pamela Karlan, Anti-Textualist Fantasist.” Whelan documents Karlan’s utterly dishonest description of an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy. I quote Whelan below at length because the range of Karlan’s dishonesty is so broad:

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart, the 2007 ruling that rejected a facial challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. I can’t say that it bears favorably on her fitness for any position of trust.

Karlan complains that the “tone” of Justice Kennedy’s opinion is “extraordinary”:

The decision is written in a tone in which the pregnant woman is referred to almost entirely as the mother, although these women have made the decision that they do not want to be mothers now. The fetus is always referred to as the unborn child. The doctors are not referred to as physicians but as abortionists. [Video, 0:45-1:05]

Let’s compare the actual text of Kennedy’s opinion to Karlan’s assertions about it:

1. Kennedy uses the word woman or women some 38 times to refer to the pregnant women. By contrast, he uses the word mother 15 times. Of those 15 uses, eight are direct quotations from the Act at issue, and three more use the term in repeating key phrases from the Act. But whether the proper statistic is 15 out of 53, or four out of 42, Karlan is wildly off, and has things very much backwards, in claiming that Kennedy’s opinion “almost entirely” refers to the pregnant woman as the mother.

2. Kennedy uses the word fetus 106 times. He uses the term unborn child only eight times, and six of those eight times are in quoting the Nebraska statute at issue in Stenberg v. Carhart. Karlan’s assertion that the “fetus is always referred to as the unborn child” is wildly false.

So here we have a law professor dishonestly attacking Kennedy’s word choices. Karlan’s is the standard feminist dogma so cozy in campus classrooms: man bad, feminist good, man hates feminist. Repeat.

Karlan’s dishonesty goes beyond womyn’s issues, and extends to the election system. She falsely attacked the Bush administration’s Justice Department for not protecting racial minorities. This is a favorite and well-worn tactic; it’s what old segregationists like Coley Blease and Woodrow Wilson used to do — stoke racial division by lying about opponents.  Unfortunately, Karlan’s lies were published with an air of respectability in the Duke Journal of Law and Public Policy (4 Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol’y 17, 2009). She writes:

For five of the eight years of the Bush Administration, [they] brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own except for one case protecting white voters.

This is demonstrably false; any visit to the DOJ website demonstrates this. Karlan says the Voting Section brought no cases to protect minorities under the Voting Rights Act in five of eight years — let’s look at the record:

2001  (1 of 1)

United States v. Alamosa County, CO, (D. Colo. 2001)

United States v. Crockett County, TN, (W.D. Tenn. 2001)

United States v. Charleston County, SC, (D.S.C. 2001)

2002 (2 of 2)

United States v. Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fl. 2002)

2003 (3 of 3)

United States v. Berks County, PA, (E.D. Pa. 2003)

2004 (3 of 4)

No Section 2 case.

2005 (4 of 5)

United States v. City of Boston, MA, (D. Mass. 2005)

United States v. Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fla 2005)

United States v. Ike Brown and Noxubee County, MS, (S.D. Miss 2005) (Karlan’s dreaded case to “protect white voters.”)

2006 (5 of 6)

United States v. Village of Port Chester, NY, (S.D.N.Y. 2006)

United States v. City of Euclid, et al. OH, (N.D. Ohio 2006)

United States v. Long County, GA, (S.D. Ga. 2006)

2007 (6 of 7)

United States v. City of Philadelphia, PA, (E.D. Pa. 2007)

2008 (7 of 8)

United States v. Euclid City School District Board of Education, OH, (N.D. Ohio 2008)

United States v. Salem County and the Borough of Penns Grove, NJ, (D.N.J. 2008)

United States v. The School Board of Osceola County, FL, (M.D. Fla. 2008)

United States v. Georgetown County School District, et al. SC, (D.S.C. 2008)

Even if Karlan were to claim she meant only “vote dilution cases” (commonly thought of as “redistricting” cases), she is still lying. Dilution cases were brought in four of the eight years, not three of the eight, as she falsely claims. In any event, it’s impossible to claim she only meant dilution cases: she made the bold, broad statement that the Bush DOJ “brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own” in five of eight years. Taken literally, Karlan’s claim is especially false, as cases under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act were brought — as we see above — in every year except 2004.

Perhaps in 2004 the DOJ lawyers were too busy suing Ventura County (CA), Yakima County (WA), Suffolk County (NY), San Diego County (CA) and San Benito County (CA) under Section 203 of the same Voting Rights Act that Karlan claims the Bush administration didn’t enforce in five of eight years.

The truth: Karlan claimed that no cases were brought by the Bush DOJ under the Voting Rights Act to protect racial minorities in five of eight years (except of course to protect those undeserving whites).  Yet the record shows that cases were brought under the Voting Rights Act to protect non-white racial minorities in all eight of the eight years of the Bush administration.

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PJ Media has numerous postings about Kirkland and Ellis representing Shirley Sherrod and the disgraceful effort to drag Andrew Breitbart’s widow Susie into Sherrod’s case against the deceased new-media pioneer.  (Posts here, here and here.)  We also learned that Kirkland and Ellis is attacking North Carolina Voter ID, pro bono.

Taking up these dubious causes is bad, but it’s not like Kirkland and Ellis has had Nazis for clients… except they have.

Kirkland and Ellis hasn’t represented just any old Nazis, they represented a guard at the Treblinka slave labor camp who was fighting deportation from the United States.  Meet Kirkland and Ellis client Liudas Kairys (from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling):

In March of 1943 Kairys was transferred to the Treblinka labor camp in Poland to serve as a Nazi camp guard, where he remained until the camp was closed in July 1944 when the Russians advanced into Poland. At some point during his service he was promoted to Oberwachmann of his Nazi guard unit.

More from the court opinions against Kirkland and Ellis’ Nazi client:

They worked six days a week from early morning until evening. As a result of these conditions the death of prisoners by disease or exhaustion was a weekly, and sometimes a daily, occurrence. Prisoners who became too weak to continue working were killed by members of the guard unit and the German SS. In addition to those deaths, prisoners of the Treblinka labor camp were shot, hanged, beaten or stabbed to death with and without apparent reason by the German SS and the camp’s guards. During the course of its operation several thousand Jewish prisoners died at the labor camp. . . . as the Soviet army approached the vicinity of Treblinka, the labor camp was abandoned and burned. Over 300 Jewish prisoners were shot at that time, with only 10 to 15 survivors. Members of the guard unit participated in that massacre.

Everyone has a right to counsel, no doubt.  But offering free representation to people like Sherrod to hound widows, and to attack election integrity laws is another matter.  And frankly, representing former Nazi slave labor camp guards is a choice that needs no further commentary.  Thankfully Kirkland and Ellis failed in their attempt to keep a Nazi  camp guard in the United States.

Polish Jews Deported to Treblinka

Polish Jews Deported to Treblinka

h/t to Clarice Feldman

Yesterday, I asked: “Is Kirkland and Ellis Pursuing Breitbart’s Widow Pro Bono?”

Today, thanks to the work of Aaron Worthing, we learn the disgraceful answer: “Yes, and then some.”

(Read the first story: “Vampires, Shirley Sherrod Lawyers Seek to Sue Andrew Breitbart’s Widow.” We also learned yesterday that Kirkland and Ellis is attacking North Carolina Voter ID for free.)

Aaron Worthing did what no reporter appears to have done in the last couple of years — simply ask Kirkland and Ellis who is paying for the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart, Larry O’Connor, and now Andrew’s widow, Susie.

Here’s what Worthing found:

So in the response to my letter, still on background, a person speaking for the firm stated that, yes, this was a pro-bono case. Which I have to tell you, is really odd. Ordinarily pro bono cases are about poor people, or otherwise people who have trouble standing up for themselves, or rarely people who shouldn’t have to hire lawyers — like people seeking to end discrimination.

Sherrod, despite her husband receiving $13,000,000 as part of a Pigford settlement, is getting free legal representation from Kirkland and Ellis. That Kirkland and Ellis takes on lawsuits against Breitbart’s widow and North Carolina over voter ID pro bono tells you a great deal about the firm.

Nearly 80% of America supports voter ID, including the Supreme Court. And nearly 100% of America opposes harassing widows in court.

The firm apparently thought the standing it would gain among clients and the public would be greater than the grief it would get by taking the two controversial cases. Perhaps that calculation was wrong.

Notice how a source at Kirkland and Ellis tells Worthing that the lawsuit isn’t aimed at Brietbart’s widow, but rather his estate. Aaron Worthing dispenses with that B.S. nicely by noting:

But that estate is what she and Andrew’s four children are going to live off of. You can’t pretend they aren’t endangering those children’s future.

Further, the statement that Kirkland and Ellis isn’t directing the lawsuit against the widow is an outright lieRead the pleading that Kirkland filed, which plainly states:

Plaintiff Shirley Sherrod respectfully moves to substitute “Susannah Breitbart, as successor to Andrew Breitbart, Deceased” in place of now-deceased Defendant Andrew Breitbart.

Anyone see the word “estate” in that sentence?

And, as Worthing rightly notes, even if it did appear it wouldn’t matter. The “estate” is how Susie will feed and educate her children. Chalk up the too-clever response to Worthing by Kirkland as an example of how lawyers can become so convinced of the correctness of their position that the realities of life cannot penetrate the misconception. The same could be said of much of the culture inside the Beltway. The realities of life outside the Beltway seem to have no effect on the culture of entitlement, plenty and arrogance within.

Worthing’s discovery that Kirkland is representing Sherrod pro bono means every one of the paying clients at Kirkland and Ellis are in some small way indirectly funding the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. After Worthing’s confirmation that Kirkland and Ellis clients are ultimately paying Shirley Sherrod’s freight by subsidizing the salaries of the lawyers, who those clients are becomes extraordinarily relevant to understanding the lawsuit against conservative media and a widow. Without clients paying sufficiently high hourly rates to Kirkland, the lawsuit against Larry O’Connor and Andrew’s widow could not continue in the same fashion.

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Shirley Sherrod, the self-described one-time racialist who was caught on video admitting that she initially denied federal benefits to a white farmer because of his race, is seeking to add the widow of Andrew Breitbart to her lawsuit against the deceased new-media pioneer.

In a 2010 speech before an NAACP awards dinner, Sherrod admitted that she was initially unwilling to help a white farmer because he was white.  Sherrod said she did not give him the help she could have, and instead took him to a white lawyer. She called the white lawyer “one of his own kind.”

Andrew Breitbart’s website posted a two minute clip of Sherrod’s admission.  In the video, Sherrod’s story of refusing benefits to a white farmer is met by laughter and statements of “that’s right” from those in the NAACP audience.  Later in the video, Sherrod reversed her position and provided a story of redemption.

No applause or laughter came from the NAACP audience at the conclusion of Sherrod’s story when she described how she realized race was not an appropriate factor in her behavior.

After Andrew Breitbart posted a video clip of Sherrod’s statement, she resigned from the United States Department of Agriculture.

In February 2011, Kirkland & Ellis sued Andrew Breitbart and others for defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In February 2012, after weathering the pressure of the lawsuit for a year, Andrew Breitbart died of heart failure.  He left a wife and four children.

One might have thought that would be the end of the matter.

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Defending Voter ID by Helping Voters Get It

October 2nd, 2013 - 5:37 am

One can both be in favor of photo voter identification and also active in helping those obtain it who don’t already have it.  True the Vote in Texas has today launched NeedID.org, an effort to get photo identification into the hands of those who don’t have it.

And make no mistake, there are those that don’t have it.

But voter ID opponents seem content to condemn these Americans to marginalized economic lives, the sort of lives that existed during Jim Crow.  Back then, they couldn’t check into a hotel, ride public transportation freely or participate fully in the American dream.  Voter ID opponents are content to preserve economic marginalization across America. They must be content that those without photo identification cannot open a bank account, rent a car, get married or buy medicines.

True the Vote isn’t content with the status quo.

Today they launched the  ’NEED ID?’ program.  It will voluntarily act as the advance team for the State of Texas’ recently announced mobile ID program – parachuting bureaucrats with WiFi and identification card printers into rural and emergent communities. The Houston-based organization will place deputy voter registrars and ID compliance consultants on-site.

 True the Vote also launched a stand-alone website (www.NeedID.org) to educate voters on requirements and a mobilization schedule.

 There is a serious distinction to be made between True the Vote’s new effort in Texas and similar-seeming ones carried out by the racialist Left.  They claim to be helping voters obtain ID, but it’s really about community organizing.

 These other groups are launching ‘voter ID clinics’ and town halls to supposedly offer assistance to urban voters. However, these events tend to serve as underhanded efforts to troll communities for plaintiffs in ongoing DOJ-led voter ID litigation in the state. 

 As it stands, True the Vote is practically the only nonprofit organization in Texas offering assistance to voters that actually support the identification requirement on its face – and are not actively litigating against it. In fact, TTV is the only organization that has petitioned a federal court to defend Texas’ election integrity reform alongside the State. (disclosure: I’m an attorney in the case).

 “True the Vote wants to make certain that all voters are prepared to participate in an accountable election experience,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a press release. “Our ‘NEED ID?’ website was designed to answer any questions a voter may have and offer resources for full compliance with Texas’ election integrity reforms. We stand ready to assist election officials and diverse communities across the state in every election to come.”