April 30, 2009

NPR: Souter's Retiring
— Ace

Let me just pretend this is another thread, and not a duplicate of DrewM's post.

Some good p-shops at Free Republic, including a long-overdue return of The Tourist Guy.

This is a good one:

Posted by: Ace at 04:18 PM | Comments (159)
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Al-Marri Pleads Guilty to Supporting Terrorism, But This is Another Failure for Lawfare
— Gabriel Malor

The shameful Al-Marri case is nearly played out; he pleaded guilty to a single charge of providing material support for terrorism. Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri was arrested in December 2001 on suspicion of being a sleeper agent. He was then held as an enemy combatant starting in 2003.

He is the poster-child for the failures of the criminal justice system to cope with the War on Terrorism.

In 2002, Al-Marri was charged in Illinois with making false statements to the FBI and to financial institutions, identity fraud, and credit card fraud. Those charges were dropped when President Bush designated him an enemy combatant in 2003. He was moved to the Naval Brig in Charleston.

He then challenged his detention in court. The Fourth Circuit was happy to oblige and ordered that he be released or transfered back to civilian control and charged with a crime. The en banc court realized that was pure, unfiltered insanity--death pact style--and decided to take another crack at it. The result was perhaps the most fractured, incoherent, and embarrassing decision ever issued by a circuit court of appeals. Here's what I wrote at the time. A taste:

An en banc panel of the Fourth Circuit announced its decision in a Guantanamo detainee case, Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli (PDF) today and it is a mindnumbing 216 pages long. The decision itself is per curiam which means the court came to a conclusion without assigning a specific judge to present it. Why? There are nine judges and seven different opinions, including two different 5-4 decisions and four additional decisions "concurring in part and dissenting in part." This is what the War on Terror looks like in the federal courts. It is an unholy mess.

This was the result of the Supreme Court's abandonment in Boumediene v. Bush of over 200 years of constitutional law. Terrifyingly, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Al-Marri's case this term. Before that could happen, the Justice Department (first under Bush and then under Obama) decided that maybe civilian control would be a better idea after all.

On February 27, 2009, he was indicted for providing material support to al-Qaeda and conspiring with others to provide material support to al-Qaeda. He was transferred out of the Naval Brig and back to Illinois, where the whole thing started seven years ago. He initially pleaded not guilty and the case was set for trial.

Today, he pleaded guilty to the material support charge. The other charge was dismissed. The details are chilling:

Papers filed in connection with Al-Marri’s guilty plea paint an unusually detailed portrait of his dealings with Al Qaeda and, in particular, with one of the group’s leaders, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM. Al-Marri admitted to attending terrorist training camps run by Al Qaida and that he traveled to the United States at the direction of KSM, who told him to enter the U.S. no later than September 10, 2001, one day before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The plea agreement says Al-Marri, using the code name “Abdo,” was to keep in touch with Mohammed, whose code name was “Muk,” by sending e-mails to him at a hotmail account, HOR70@hotmail.com. Details of the arrangements and the codes were found at an Al Qaeda safehouse in Pakistan, the plea deal says.

Court papers also say Mohammed arranged for Al-Marri to meet in Dubai with a financier of the September 11 attacks, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, who gave Al-Marri $10,000 to fund his travels to the U.S. Al-Marri entered the U.S. on September 10, 2001 and enrolled at Bradley University in Illinois. After the 9/11 attacks, he made repeated but unsuccessful efforts to contact KSM and al-Hawsawi by phone and e-mail, the documents say.

The plea agreement also says that Al-Marri conducted research on the effect of cyanide gas and on waterways, dams and tunnels where a terrorist attack could have been mounted.

Under the plea deal, the government agreed not to seek to detain al-Marri again, either through criminal charges or military detention, based on his involvement with al- Qaida prior to his arrest in December 2001. Court papers say he has agreed to be deported to Saudi Arabia or Qatar when his sentence is complete—or possibly sooner.

He faces a possible sentence of 15 years, but may receive credit for time served.

AG Holder is crowing that this is a victory for justice and the War on Terror:

“Without a doubt, this case is a grim reminder of the seriousness of the threat we as a nation still face,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement. “But it also reflects what we can achieve when we have faith in our criminal justice system and are unwavering in our commitment to the values upon which the nation was founded and the rule of law.”

Holder is a deluded fool. The American government walks away from this case with its tail between its legs. It was thwarted at every turn by our own legal system. Read back over the details of what Al-Marri was up to and tell me with a straight face that justice was served. The criminal justice system failed us.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:13 PM | Comments (58)
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NBC: David Souter To Retire From Supreme Court
— DrewM


It's that time of year again and now NBC says they have information that one of the worst mistakes a Republican President has ever made will be retiring.

NPR has it as well.

Waiting for a Democrat to win the Presidency is the perfect way for this unimpressive guy to go out.

And once again, a big shout out to George H. W. Bush, Warren Rudman and John Sununu for foisting this guy on us. At least Bush made up for it with Clarence Thomas.

Thanks to the cowardly Arelen Specter, we have no hope of slowing down whatever leftist douche Obama sends up.

Something I never thought I'd say...God I hope Anthony Kennedy doesn't retire anytime soon. At least there's a chance the coin flip will go our way every once and a while.

WaPo early list of possible replacements

Some of the names that have been circulating include recently confirmed Solicitor General Elena Kagan; U.S. Appeals Court Judges Sonya Sotomayor, Kim McLane Wardlaw, Sandra Lea Lynch and Diane Pamela Wood; and Leah Ward Sears, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

Sotomayor has to be the front runner. A woman and a Hispanic? That's a double whammy.

Posted by: DrewM at 04:12 PM | Comments (143)
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Return of the Overnight Open Thread – May Day Eve Edition (genghis)
— Open Blog

Anyone got any special plans for May Day Eve? I mean besides the annual gathering at the usual anarcho/artists’ collective studio/abandoned garage to paint mispelled slogans on protest signage (bonus if you use the Mercedes logo in lieu of the peace symbol…it’s ironic you see), construct large, crude yet festive paper mache puppets (It’s folk art dammit! It’s supposed to look that way!) followed by the sharing of the communal pot of vegan tofu chili (cold once again because somebody forgot to pick up a full canister of acetylene) and warm conversation amongst friends about how the Jooos and the Zionist Conspiracy have turned this world into a Prison Planet while cherished holiday bootleg remixes by Rage Against the Machine play softly in the background. (If you think that sentence was hard to read, imagine how hard it was to write…now diagram it. Don’t tell me you can’t…any 7th year graduate student in Comparative Lit could handle that with ease. Or at the very least provide a Deconstructionist analysis on why the question itself is invalid due to it’s hetero-normative construct.)

Well, if you can’t celebrate tonight, at least you have the entire day tomorrow to look forward to. I assume most of you scheduled tomorrow as a day off from your jobs to…uh. I mean would’ve taken the day off from your oppressive capitalist pig masters if if only one would ever offer you a job so you could stick it to the bastards. As it is, you may just simply want to set your alarm clock for shortly before noon so you can truly enjoy the full day’s events. How is that possible, you ask? Apparently clocks have an a.m. setting. I know I know, I didn’t believe it at first until a friend showed me how he’d discovered it by accidentally hitting a button besides the one that says “snooze.” I should’ve taken notes, but didn’t. But it is possible.

(more days of rage below the fold) more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 04:02 PM | Comments (279)
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In Unrelated News, Media Outs CIA Interrogation Consultants
— Dave in Texas

Several commenters mentioned this one, seen at Drudge.

The relentless "TORTURE!!11!!" attacks notwithstanding (and by that I mean they aren't going to stop until Cheney and Bush are indicted), you have to love the "$1,000 a day" crap.

Yeah. $125 bucks an hour. That's a princely sum.

This post saved 1,252 jobs today, and created another 175.

JOB CREATION UPDATE: from the comments. Anybody remember when outing "nine to five ninja" (lauraw has such a way with words*) was the most egregious national security leak offense eveh? That was a "crime". This is some sort of moral imperative.

yeah, me either.

* ok, "double oh soccer mom" was ace's. I can't remember what anybody does around here anymore. Original material here.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 02:27 PM | Comments (153)
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Media Blacks Out 9th Circuit Ruling That 2nd Amendment Applies to State and Local Government
— Ace

A huge ruling (even if it was, in fact, substantially prefigured by Heller), and the MSM doesn't even bother reporting on it.

This isn't merely bias. "Bias" doesn't really explain it, exactly, because it's not as if failing to report the ruling somehow makes it go away.

This instead reporters and editors failing to cover it simply because they find this particular news unpleasant, and would rather live in a world in which it were not the law (at least in the states patrolled by the 9th circuit).

And so, simply by refusing to concede the ruling happened, the cocoon their readers -- and themselves -- from the unpleasantness.

Reality-based community or community-based reality? You be the judge.

The Enchanted Media (TM) often knocks the blogosphere as catering to one particular viewpoint, and providing our readers only with stories they like, while avoiding those that might discomfit them.

And that rap is... true, to an extent.

But, as John Bender famously asked, "And what about you, Dad? NO, DAD -- WHAT ABOUT YOU?!!!"

Posted by: Ace at 01:52 PM | Comments (87)
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Obama Just Plain Makes up "150,000 Jobs" He's "Saved or Created" So Far; No One in Press Seems Curious of Provenance of This Curiously Unsupported Figure
— Ace

We're losing jobs at a seriously badwrong clip, but President Crazy-Talk assures us, without citing any support, that his Spendulus has already "saved or created" 150,000 jobs.

In related news, this blog has "saved or created" 600,000 jobs.

I have as much evidence for this "fun fact" as Obama.

I will be "saving or creating' additional jobs every day until the press actually gets around to questioning President Telebluffer about the color of the skies in his world.

These are my demands.

Posted by: Ace at 11:32 AM | Comments (286)
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Cool Health Facts from Joe Biden
— Ace

Allah's having fun with this idea.

Reminder from Joe Biden: You're never more vulnerable than when you're asleep. Stay awake until the swine flu threat is over.

Another tip from Joe Biden: Always leave yourself one bullet. If you feel an itching in your nose or throat, put the gun in your mouth and blow the virus out of the back of your head. Like they say, feed a cold, head-shot a fever.

A Joe Biden Home Remedy: If you feel a sore throat coming on, drink a gallon of Dran-o or other highly-caustic drain-cleaner. Don't worry if you feel a burning or tingling sensation -- that's how you know it's working, and all that rich, healthy sodium hydroxide is burning your virus away.

And a repost from the last thread. Joe Biden explaining how he calmly handled a likely swine flu outbreak:

So the other day, some friends of mine and I were sitting around Katie's Diner, having waffles and goofing around. Without warning, this guy at the table sneezed three times. We knew it was swine flu, and we didn't want to cause a panic so we calmly and rationally beat him to death with our chairs.

Posted by: Ace at 10:18 AM | Comments (252)
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Coolheaded, Comforting Vice President Reassures Nation on Swine Flu: I Don't Want to Say It's Time to Panic, But OH MY GOD IT'S TIME TO PANIC!
— Ace

Don't close the borders-- that would be an overreaction.

However, you should yank your kids out of school and also avoid public transportation like planes and subways. "Wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," he says. "That's me." He cites the difference between someone sneezing in an "open field" and someone sneezing in a classroom, plane, or subway.

: I would tell members of my family, and I have, that I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico, in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft. That’s me. I would not be, if I had another way, another way of transportation, suggesting they ride the subway.

He stops just short of recommending locking yourself in a stainless steel sensory deprivation pod for the next year, year and a half.

But -- don't close the borders. That would be rash.

I haven't been this reassured by an executive officer since Barack Obama threatened to crash Air Force One into the Statue of Liberty.

But "that's me."

Rahm Emmamuel just emailed me to say "Never waste a pandemic." He thinks he can link swine flu to support for doubling teachers' salaries. "They're operating in a war zone 24/7," he explains. I asked him if that meant soldiers should double their salaries, too, but he pirouetted away, which is sort of hard to do in an email. And yet he pulled it off, with moxie and panache.

Incidentally... I had to visit a friend in the hospital yesterday (everything's cool, don't worry). That's why I disappeared.

Anyway, let me tell you, it was wonderful standing amidst likely illegal aliens who were all wearing the facial masks recommended to anyone exhibiting "flu-like symptoms."

I could almost taste the pathogens. Mwah! They were, how you say, magnifique.

So, in related news, it turns out I'll be dead in 72 hours.

Avenge me.

But Seriously... Political correctness is a clear and present health risk. Yes, diseases often afflict one minority group before they hit the general population. and Mexico is brimming with swine flu, it seems, and yet we are to act as if this isn't the case, because to notice reality would be "insensitive" or something.

Tapper Asks Gibbs to "Clarify:" As Allah says, Gibbs can't spin this, because it's quite clear what Biden said and meant. And yet it tries spinning anyway.

Watch the video. Tapper objects "That's not even remotely close" to what Biden said in Gibbs' first attempt at "re-contextualizing" the remark; when Gibbs then says "I'm telling you what he meant to say," the press room breaks out in laughter.

Joe Biden Clarifies: And does so in the comments section of this blog. Odd. But I'll take a vice presidential quote when it's offered to me.

So the other day, some friends of mine and I were sitting around Katie's Diner, having waffles and goofing around. Without warning, this guy at the table sneezed three times. We knew it was swine flu, and we didn't want to cause a panic so we calmly and rationally beat him to death with our chairs.

God love 'im.

Posted by: Ace at 09:47 AM | Comments (123)
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Another Shock: Self-Righteous and Naive President Wrong on British WWII Torture
— Ace

As Michael Shuerer called him -- a Jacobin, someone whose imaginary reality is so totalitarian as to hedge out uncomfortable facts.

"I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees," said Obama, who's evidently reading Andrew Sullivan. "And Churchill said, 'We don't torture,' when the entire British -- all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat."

But reports (at the link) do suggest the Brits used some enhanced interrogation techniques against SS officers.

More links at Just One Minute.

The whole idea of a premise in argumentation is that it supposedly supports the conclusion urged.

The premise here is that the Brits didn't resort to harsh interrogation techniques in WWII, despite the fact they were fighting the darkest army in the history of the world, which was, incidentally, buzz-bombing England's biggest city, attacking purely civilian targets.

The conclusion urged is, of course, Therefore, we must not, and need not, resort to such techniques in fighting Al Qaeda.

But if the premise relied upon fails -- as it seems to here -- doesn't that weaken the conclusion? It may not destroy it (if a then b does not imply if not a then not b, of course), but if it was relied upon as probative, then surely it is weakened by subtraction of one supporting proof.

That's how it works in the real world, of course. Not so much in the Jacobin fantasias of Barack Obama and Andrew Sullivan. Whose minds are, admirably, wholly immune to the contagions of nuance and doubt.

Thanks to someone.

He Lives in an Enchanted World of Fairy-Tale and Fancy: Barack Obama, starring in Enchanted.

Posted by: Ace at 09:36 AM | Comments (173)
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Sad: "Lie to Me" Wins Time Slot, But Not By Much
— Ace

I'd wished that more tuned in to "Lie to Me," just to get people "sampling" the show and helping its ratings down the line. Not because I'm a fan of the show, but simply to teach the networks, and thereby Obama, a lesson about NOTUS' once-a-month primetime press conferences.

But apparently the show just isn't much of a draw, or else everyone assumed, wrongly, that all networks were carrying Obama. It got a meager 2.4 rating, as compared with, for example, ABC's 1.6.

More Hollywood Stuff: Actress Robin Wright files for divorce against loutish thug husband Sean Spicoli Penn.

The innuendo from the article is that a large number of women have "befriended" Spicoli during his marriage.

The immediate cause of the divorce is Wright's discovery of a torrid love affair between Spicoli and Venezuelan tyrant/temptress Hugo Chavez. "My God, he did it right out in public, even cavorted around with him on TV!" a close friend of Ms. Wright said. "It's disgusting!"

Posted by: Ace at 09:02 AM | Comments (69)
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New GOP Outreach Effort...National Council for a New America
— DrewM

Doesn't the name just make you want to run out and take back the country? Or a nap. One or the other.

Maybe this will turn out to be great or maybe it will, you know, die of its own weight and self importance.

In an effort to revive the Grand Old Party's image, congressional Republican leaders are launching a series of forums and town hall meetings to engage the American public in policy discussion.

...The first event will be held Saturday at a town hall meeting in Northern Virginia. Topics will cover the economy, education, energy, health care and national security.

Some of the names involved are good...former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Rep. Mike Pence and noted Jew Rep. Eric Cantor.

Some are meh...John Boehner, David Dreier, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn and Mitt Romney

And some need to go away...John McCain and Lamar Alexander.

It's a little unclear on whether Palin and Stanford were contacted but apparently the group is open to additional participation.

This kind of top down crap isn't going to work. Where are the bloggers, the writers, the folks that organized the tea parties? A bunch of elected officials isn't going to get anyone excited or motivated. The GOP really needs to try and tap into the energy and vitality of the active base and build from there. Some craptastic roadshow of 'notables' who are mostly noted for being an endangered species in the world of politics isn't going to change much.

Posted by: DrewM at 08:53 AM | Comments (117)
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Surprise: Miss California Getting the Joe the Plumber Treatment
— Ace

America: Where powerful political leaders are protected by the Enchanted Media (TM), and ordinary citizens are "vetted."

The press asks, and the California pageant group confirms, that she's had breast enhancement surgery.

Like we couldn't tell (see pic at link). And like most beauty pageant competitors haven't had some work.

So what warrants the special "vetting" of Miss California by the Enchanted Media? Gee, I have no idea.

In related news, Nancy Pelosi, aka Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants, has had no plastic surgery whatsoever.

Can the press make it any more obvious that if you cross them on their preferred politics and candidates, they're going to do everything in their power to harm you?

It's creepy. The press is, supposedly, neutral and independent, so their bad behavior should, in theory, not be particularly frightening.

But they are essentially acting as the bullies and secret police -- secret police as in blackmail and public revelation of embarrassing information, not backroom beatings -- of the government.

They're not actually part of the government. But they sure are acting as if they are the government's goon squad. And while the formal separation of government and media goons is there, in practice... well, the true lines between them seem increasingly obliterated.

Posted by: Ace at 08:53 AM | Comments (144)
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Chrysler Bankruptcy
— DrewM

Chrysler is going to go Chapter 11 but that's not really the big story to me. The really important story is the contempt with which Barack Obama speaks of capitalism.

During his speech announcing the deal they will take to the bankruptcy court, Obama praised various parties, management, Daimler, workers and other stakeholders for their willingness to 'sacrifice'.

Shockingly Obama singled out hedge funds and investors who were holding out for a better deal. He specifically said he did not "stand with" them. It wasn't surprising but it was a shock to hear a President of the United States speak this way. Aparently these investors enemies of the people, who kept the company afloat and workers paid, had the temerity to demand they be compensated for their efforts. It seems the government wouldn't even talk to them.

“We have been forced to communicate through an obviously conflicted intermediary: a group of banks that have received billions of TARP funds,” the lenders who rejected the government offer said.

The holdout lenders -- who said their combined debt holding represents about $1 billion of the $6.9 billion owed to senior secured lenders – struck back at comments from an unnamed administration official this morning that blamed them for causing the imminent bankruptcy. The group said they had offered to accept 60 cents on the dollar, despite “long recognized legal and business principles” that gives senior lenders such as themselves the right to be repaid in full before others recover anything in bankruptcy court.

“Our offer has been flatly rejected or ignored,” the group said. “In its earnest effort to ensure the survival of Chrysler and the well being of the company’s employees, the government has risked overturning the rule of law and practices that have governed our world-leading bankruptcy code for decades.”

During his announcement of the plan Obama also kept talking up Chrysler and GM, two companies the government has major equity stakes in. Notably absent was any chat up for Ford, the automaker who didn't suck at the government tit. Not only does Ford now have to negotiate its labor deals with a competitor but it has to compete with the Car Salesman in Chief.

The so-called 'sacrifices' of the UAW do not include reopening their contracts.

I for one hope Obama and the UAW fail.

And before we get into another 'how can you hope the President fails' crap, let me ask you something. Why do you hope Ford fails? They have played by the rules and Obama wants to take business away from them by propping up the corpses of GM and Chrysler. Why do you want Americans who build, sell and service cars people really want to fail because they lost business to companies which can't compete and are being subsidized by the government?

It's not a matter of wanting GM and Chrysler to fail, they already have.

More: Via Slu...Is this the end of the rule of law?

Posted by: DrewM at 07:01 AM | Comments (181)
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The Role Of The Press Is To Challenge Authority
— LauraW

And the best way to challenge authority is to be lavishly feted at friendly 'off the record' meals, of course.

For more than a year, David Bradley, the Atlantic's soft-spoken owner, has hosted these off-the-record dinners at a specially built table in his glass-enclosed office overlooking the Potomac. And the guests, from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to Jordan's King Abdullah II, are as A-list as they come.

"It's just a joy for me," Bradley says. "These are reflective, considered conversations, which is hard to do when you're going after headlines for the next day's publication." While the guests seem quite open, says the businessman who bought Atlantic a decade ago, he is new enough to journalism "that I can't tell the difference between genuine candor and deeply rehearsed candor."

Emanuel says he enjoyed the chance to "put aside the adversarial. . . . I tried to be honest and frank and hope they felt that way. They want context, they want thinking. You're not selling, you're presenting."

No, you're definitely selling. Because they're buying. Everything.

Folks, please read the whole thing. It's disgusting.

From slublog:

Remember the days when a conservative reporter showing up and asking a question at the White House was cause for major freakout among the left?


Precisely. ONE single sympathetic question to a Republican President caused a furor.

Now, imagine George W. Bush looking out during a press conference and seeing a sea of Gannons willing to craft creampuff after creampuff for the President to swat out of the park.

And that his appointees meet with these Gannons at luxe private dinners, and establish a private website (like Journolist) where they can discuss their scary-smart ideas with a gaggle of sympathetic Gannons.

These Gannons, in order to preserve their 'special access,' will not commit the atrocity of holding these officials to their word in public.

That's pretty much what's going on, yes?

May I ask what purpose this special access serves if it does not inform the public?

It's much like CNN having special access in Iraq before the war, but only using it to report what their handlers allowed them to see. That's not really access, of course. It's merely some variety of whoredom to power. What good is being a witness if you never testify?

Special access is prized by the press, because they get to feel Very Important, a friend of the elite, a member of the club. They get to hear and treasure tasty little secrets and exclusive details, as long as they can keep their mouths shut.

And granting special access is prized by government elites, because they get to transform annoying reporters into friendly little sockpuppets.

Posted by: LauraW at 06:41 AM | Comments (108)
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House Passes Hate Crimes Bill
— Gabriel Malor

This was yesterday, but I didn't really give it a second glance when I saw the headline. It's not really one of those things that should take a lot of time to think about.

Question: Should some criminals be punished more than other criminals who commit the exact same crimes merely because they had "objectionable" thoughts at the time they commited their crimes (and were dumb enough to express those thoughts aloud)?

Answer: Of course not, FUCKWIT. FY, NQ.

Grand High Muckity-Prez Obama the First of His Name disagrees:

Obama strongly supported the measure, which he dubbed an "important civil rights issue" in a statement late Tuesday urging Congress to approve the bill.

Current law gives national law-enforcement authorities jurisdiction over hate crimes only when directed at individuals on the basis of race, religion, color or national origin, and only when the victim is targeted because he or she is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting.

The new measure would expand protections to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim, and would expand help from Washington to local authorities to punish hate crimes.

It's old, it's tired, it's damn-near worn out from abuse, but I hafta say it: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 05:57 AM | Comments (147)
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Sheriff Joe Sez...PANIC!!!1!!!11!1!!
— DrewM

Not content to freak people out with low flying jets, the Obama administration has now decided to go to eleventy on "swine" flu. Fortunately no one pays attention to Biden.

Vice president Joe Biden said today he would tell his family members not to use subways in the U.S. and implied schools should be shuttered as the swine flu outbreak spread to 11 states and forced school closures amid confirmation of the first U.S. death.

"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now," Biden said when asked whether he would advise family members to use public transportation.

Biden made his comments during a brief interview on NBC's "Today" show during an interview with Matt Lauer.

"I would tell members of my family, and I have, I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now. It's not that it's going to Mexico, it's you're in a confined aircraft when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation suggesting they ride the subway. "

Meanwhile back in the real world...it turns out this strain of flu may not be all that bad.

As the World Health Organization raised its infectious disease alert level Wednesday and health officials confirmed the first death linked to swine flu inside U.S. borders, scientists studying the virus are coming to the consensus that this hybrid strain of influenza -- at least in its current form -- isn't shaping up to be as fatal as the strains that caused some previous pandemics.

In fact, the current outbreak of the H1N1 virus, which emerged in San Diego and southern Mexico late last month, may not even do as much damage as the run-of-the-mill flu outbreaks that occur each winter without much fanfare.

Obviously this is a cause for concern but there really doesn't seem to cause for flipping out. It's a fine line for public officials to walk in these cases and not surprisingly Joe Biden seems to have failed to walk it.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:47 AM | Comments (77)
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Chrysler Announces They're Filing for Bankruptcy (genghis)
— Open Blog

Just reported on Fox News about a minute ago. It's not really "breaking" news since it was widely expected they'd take this path. More details as they are released.

Update: CNN story here.

Posted by: Open Blog at 03:17 AM | Comments (213)
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Top Headline Comments 04-30-09
— Gabriel Malor

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 03:17 AM | Comments (47)
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April 29, 2009

Dennis Miller: We're Living In Odd Times When Miss California Gets Tougher Questions Than the President
— Ace

But of course. She, like Joe the Plumber before her, needs to be "vetted."

Obama doesn't.

That quote was from O'Reilly five minutes ago; no link or vid.

Here's one of Obama's tough questions.

Speaking of enchanted...


Posted by: Ace at 03:45 PM | Comments (774)
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