Showing posts from July, 2010

How to Read a Legal Opinion

I frequently discuss legal opinions on this blog. I assume that most of my readers are non-lawyers.

Believe it or not there is an art, of sorts, to reading and understanding legal opinions. It is not difficult, really. Most modern court decisions lack the stilted jargon of days gone by. Still, there are some things that are important that may not be obvious at first blush.

I am pleased to link you to "How to Read a Legal Opinion," which is intended for first year law students (they are not lawyers, either). This readable paper can help anyone understand better what is important in a court opinion and I commend it to your attention.

Democrats Reject Balanced Budget

The Congressional Democrats are going home on recess after having refused to consider a balanced budget offered by the Republicans. Who is the party of "No," now?

Here is the situation explained by Jim Jordan R-OH:

Who would ever believe that all the Democrats want to do is spend, spend, spend? [Heavy sarcasm.]

SEC Helps Investors by Hurting Their Investment

The Wall Street Journal headline reads "Citi Pays for Subprime Feint." So what happened?

The SEC accused Citi Bank of failing to disclose to investors and potential investors that Citi how Citi had risky mortgage assets. The SEC makes civil fraud charges and extracts a settlement of $75 million.

Wait a minute.

Investors got bad deals because Citi failed to disclose its risky investments. So investors bought presumably overpriced-stock, because Citi's assets were worth less than disclosed.

What happens to the investors now? The SEC burns the investors by taking $75 million of assets from Citi's bottom line, hurting the value of investors' stock even more.

Is this a great government, or what?!

Michigan v. Dupree: Self Defense and Felony Gun Possession

Normally, a convicted felon may not possess a gun. To do so is a felony. That is because under Federal and many state laws, the felon is said to be under a firearms disability. On July 23, 2010, the Michigan Supreme Court in Michigan v. Dupree, Case No. 139396, found that a felon is permitted to possess a gun temporarily while the gun is used in self defense.

Here are the facts as presented to and apparently believed by the jury who acquitted Mr. Dupree of assault, but convicted him of the felony of possession of a firearm while under a disability:
By contrast, defendant and two other bystanders testified that the altercation began when Reeves shoved Adrian Dupree off the porch. Defendant told Reeves not to disrespect his sister-in-law and asked him to leave. Reeves then pushed defendant. The two men fell off the porch and began wrestling. Reeves’s shirt was pulled up, exposing a gun in the waistband of his pants. Defendant testified that he feared for his life because Reeves was l…

Obama's consistent Economics Failure

From an op-ed in the Forbes written by Warren Meyer:
My training is not in economics, but in business and management. Perhaps I am biased by my background, which includes 15 years of strategy and planning at large corporations and 10 years running my own business. But my framework for economic growth is a simple one: For growth to occur, someone has to make an investment.

When I use the term “investment,” I am using it rather broadly. Clearly building a new steel mill is an investment. But hiring an additional employee and paying his or her salary ahead of any new revenues is an investment too. Quitting one's job and giving up a regular salary with a large company to start a new business represents an investment as well.

Here is my first law of economic growth: When we encourage more investment, and ensure this investment is being channeled to the most productive uses, growth will follow.

For all the talk about fiscal stimulus and jobs creation at the federal and state level, almost n…

Basil Marceaux: The New Political Activism

Isn't America great? We tell our children that when they grow up, they too can run for president or any public office. This candidate for the governorship of Tenessee shows us all that in this digital age, anyone really can run a home grown campaign:

Be sure to check out his he-did-it-himself website that bares everything for the world to see. He begins his website presentation with the following:
5. A GOOD LISTENER Clearly, his heart is in the right place.

I do not criticize the sincerity of Mr. Marceaux and wish him Godspeed in his campaign and it is not my intent to make fun at his expense. Whatever happens in the actual vote, he will learn a great deal from the experience. We need more people like him to get out and do something positive to change whatever is wrong in the system.

I am not predicting …

Rush to Judgment On BP's Oil Spill Fault?

Here is an important story from the Center for Public Integrity raising questions about the government's role in contributing to the oil spill disaster earlier this year.
Coast Guard officials told the Center for Public Integrity that the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire and that its response to the April 20 explosion may have broken the service’s own rules by failing to ensure a firefighting expert supervised the half-dozen private boats that answered the Deepwater Horizon’s distress call to fight the blaze.

An official maritime investigation led by Coast Guard Capt. Hung M. Nguyen in New Orleans is examining whether the salt water that was sprayed across the burning platform overran the ballast system that kept the rig upright, changing its weight distribution, and causing it to list.

“The joint investigation is absolutely looking into that, and whether it contributed to the sinking,” Capt. Ronald A. LaBrec, the Coast Guard’s chief spokesman, told the …

Butt-Ugly Style Updated

Here is may favorite commentary on the saggy pants style:

Butt Ugly Style No Police Matter

From The New York Post:
You have the right to look ridiculous.

A Bronx judge has thrown out a summons issued against a Bronx man for wearing saggy pants, finding that "the Constitution still leaves some opportunity for people to be foolish if they so desire."

Judge Ruben Franco said that although Julio Martinez may have offended the fashion police with his low-hanging and underwear-exposing pants, his manner of dress didn't deserve a ticket from a cop.

"While most of us may consider it distasteful, and indeed foolish, to wear one's pants so low as to expose the underwear . . . people can dress as they please, wear anything, so long as they do not offend public order and decency," the judge wrote.Read it all.

I am told by a reliable source that shi particular style originated in prison. It is this style by which receptive males advertised their availability, so to speak.

Butt-ugly, without doubt.

Erik Scott, Las Vegas Costco Shooting. Updated

What is the truth behind the shooting of Erik Scott at a Costco in Las Vegas on July 10, 2010?. So far, the best that can be said is that witness accounts differ wildly.

Reportedly, Erik Scott was in Costco looking at water bottles. He apparently was sitting on the floor of an aisle opening water bottle cartons or shrink wraps and trying the water bottles in his back pack. When confronted by a Costco employee, the employee noticed Erik's gun, for which he had a concealed carry permit. The Costco employee called the police saying that a customer with a gun was behaving erratically. All customers were ordered out of the store. Erik was part of the crowd leaving the store. Fast forward: the police shot and killed Erik.

As to what happened the moments before the shooting, the stories diverge.

First, let's look at Erik's background. The following is from the obituary of Erik Scott:

ERIK SCOTT Erik B. Scott was born at Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento, Calif., April 23, …

The Laws of Economics Simplified, Explaining the Stimulus

And it is a campaign ad. I wish there were all this informative.

Law of Economics Trump Government Schools

The laws of economics always win. That is why politicians should be required to understand economics.

Too Many Bureaucrats

Economics of the Deficit and Unfunded Liabilities

Once again here is a Center for Freedom and Prosperity discussing a topic particularly relevant in light of the White House economic report released on Friday.

Report Card: Obamanomics = F

It has been pointed out that the White House released its most recent report on the economy on Friday, apparenlty in an attempt to let it be drowned out by other news. The Wall Street Journal, however, notes that the report is clear: lower tax revenues and higher spending leading to bigger deficits.
Democrats have been running Congress for nearly four years, and President Obama has been at the White House for 18 months, so it's not too soon to ask: How's that working out? One devastating scorecard came out Friday from the White House, in the form of its own semi-annual budget review.

The message: Tax revenues are smaller, spending is greater, and the deficits are thus larger than the White House has been saying. No wonder it dumped the news on the eve of a sweltering mid-July weekend.

Mr. Obama inherited a recession, so let's give him a pass on the budget numbers for 2009. Clearly the deficit would have been large no matter who was President, even if the David Obey-Nancy Pe…

Impeach Obama? Updated

Jeffery Kuhner's opinion in the Washington Times only scratches the surface:
President Obama has engaged in numerous high crimes and misdemeanors. The Democratic majority in Congress is in peril as Americans reject his agenda. Yet more must be done: Mr. Obama should be impeached.

He is slowly - piece by painful piece - erecting a socialist dictatorship. We are not there - yet. But he is putting America on that dangerous path. He is undermining our constitutional system of checks and balances; subverting democratic procedures and the rule of law; presiding over a corrupt, gangster regime; and assaulting the very pillars of traditional capitalism. Like Venezuela's leftist strongman, Hugo Chavez, Mr. Obama is bent on imposing a revolution from above - one that is polarizing America along racial, political and ideological lines. Mr. Obama is the most divisive president since Richard Nixon. His policies are Balkanizing the country. It's time for him to go.Read it all.

If the Repub…

Comic Obama Commentary

Why we need real leadership in America:

Gotta love it!

Journolist: Vast Left Wing Conspiracy Revealed

I don't generally believe in vast conspiracies. They are too fragile. Some member seems bound to squeal if the conspiracy membership gets large enough.

On the Daily Caller, a conspiracy has been cracked. Journolist: a listerv list on which so-called mainstream left wing "journalists" conspired (uh, discussed) how to rip Sarah Palin, Obama opponents, Fox News, and conservatives in general.

With the light of day revealed, the journolist has been discontinued. And the members have migrated to cabalist. Nice name.

A consiracy by any other name....


From Legal Insurrection:
Still Waiting For Apologies

Now that the left-wing blogosphere and Democratic media operatives Media Matters and Think Progress have found the Religion of Context when it comes to Shirley Sherrod ...

how about finally apologizing for the months long smear in 2009 that Census worker Bill Sparkman was killed by anti-government, Tea Party-affiliated, right-wing talk show inspired extremists. Think Progress, which is leading the charge on Sherrod, linked the Sparkman killing to Michele Bachmann's concerns that the Census was too intrusive, and numerous left-wing bloggers did the same.

There never was a shred of evidence to support the allegations, and it turned out that Sparkman committed suicide.

And while we're at it, how about some apologies for all the false allegations by Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Charles Blow and numerous left-wing bloggers claiming that health care protesters were violent, and falsely linking the Tea Parties to the Amy Bishop shooting, t…

Minimum Wage Kills Jobs, Explained

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity does it again:

I apologize to Shirley Sherrod

While there are things in the full video that give me pause, I apologize to Shirley Sherrod for calling her a bigot. She admits in the beginning of her story that she was a bigot, but she was telling the story to stop bigotry by blacks. Good for her.

Congress Masters Orwellian Speech

I came across the following article today:
The Obama administration is backing legislation that includes regulations requiring U.S. businesses to provide to the government data about employee pay as it relates to the sex, race and national origin of employees.

In an orchestrated effort that included a statement by President Barack Obama and an event at the White House featuring Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the president and his cabinet endorsed the Paycheck Fairness Act.One think any Congress-watcher should soon learn, if a bill has the word "fairness" in the titel be certain that the bill is unfair to someone. If the bill has "justice" in its title, be certain that injustice will inevitably follow.

"Don't Talk To Police" Lectures

The following lectures are by a law professor, former criminal defense attorney James Duane and by police officer and law student George Bruch:

These lectures are about two years old. I have been meaning to post them for quite some time.

Bear in mind that the United States Supreme Court recently held that you must speak up to assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Berghuis v. Thomkins. No kidding.

More Guns Helps DC Crime Rate

From John R. Lott concerning Washington DC since the Heller decision:

Washington’s murder rate has plummeted -- falling by 25 percent in 2009 alone. This compares with a national drop of only 7 percent last year. And D.C.'s drop has continued this year.

Comparing Washington’s crime rates from January 1 to June 17 of this year to the same period in 2008, shows a 34 percent drop in murder. This drop puts D.C.'s murder rate back to where it was before the 1977 handgun ban. Indeed, the murder rate is as low as was before 1967.

Other gun crimes have also fallen in Washington. While robberies without guns fell by 7 percent, robberies with gun fell by over 14 percent. Assaults with weapons other than guns fell by 7, but assaults using guns fell by over 20 percent.Read his entire June 28, 2010 op-ed.

Somebody needs to tell Chicago's mayor Daley. Funny, liberals always seem to think that the logic invented inside their pointy little heads is more reliable than actual experience. New…

BS Removal Kit

Act now. These should sell out fast!

Tea Party Resolution; Updated; Further Updated

Since the Tea Party is a movement and not an organization (although some may try to make it one), it seems to me that any member of the movement has as much authority as any other to propose a resolution. Here is my modest attempt:

The Tea Party hereby resolves that it calls upon the NAACP to repudiate the racist elements of its organization and the organizations that it expressly or impliedly supports, and make elimination bigotry from all side and sources a top priority.Let's face it, discrimination on the basis of race is wrong. Bigotry on the basis of race is wrong. You can't define away black bigotry by claiming that only whites can be racist. Such a definition is bigotry per se.

Update: Below is a video of Shirley Sherrod, a federal employee, bragging about discriminating against a white man based on his race (i.e., doing the minimum so she won't get a complaint) speaking to an appreciative NAACP audience. Bigot.

Further update: The lady bigot on the clip resigned …

White Liberal Racists

Hilarious. From the Dallas Tea Party, Janine Garafalo explains racism:

The woman is a mental case, of course, and she was actually referring to anyone who criticizes President Obama, then only Republicans, tea partiers and other regular folks. She did not anticipate that her wrong-headed words would also apply to liberals.

Porkulus Symbol

[Stolen from Michelle Malkin's site's compendium of porkulus sign submissions.]

As far as I can tell, the Porkulus has primarily stimulated government growth. Is there anyone in their right minds that thinks that is a good thing? (Are socialists and communists in their right minds?)

The Corrupt DOJ

Eric Holder's Department of Justice has been exposed as corrupt. It voluntarily reduced in part and dismissed in part the default judgment civil remedies against the black individuals, purportedly representing the New Black Panther Party, who engaged in clear voter intimidation at a Philadelphia polling place in November 2008. Also, DOJ's lawyers were reportedly instructed not to enforce voter intimidation laws against blacks who were accused to voter intimidation, only against whites.

The United States Civil Right Commission issued subpoenas to DOJ lawyers, so it could investigate. Holder's DOJ instructed its lawyers to ignore the subpoenas. Who represented the Civil Rights Commission for enforcement of the subpoenas? Holder's DOJ! That was despite a clear conflict of interest.

Corrupt? You betcha.

More on this here, including a copy of the US Civil Rights Commission letter to the DOJ renewing its request for witness in connection with its investigation. Watch Ho…

Economics: Repeal of Obamacare, What is Next?

This is another in the Center for Freedom and Prosperity's "Economics 101" series. This is a bit more advanced that the previous efforts, but well worth the time:

Moron of the Day: Brad Sherman (D-CA)

Watch the video first:

How is it possible that the 13 year Congressman is the only person in the room unaware of the awful actions of Eric Holder's Justice Department that deliberately snatched defeat from the jaws of victory ... for racial reasons. How is that possible?

My answer. Sherman believes that the voters sent him on a 13 year vacation to historic Washington DC just because he is such a nice guy. There really is no reason for him to know what is going on of importance in Washington. After all, he is just a Congressman.

A well-deserved Moron of the Day. Congratulations Rep. Sherman.

Free Pass for Criminals in Oakland CA

Criminals get free reign in Oakland, California, as long as they are committing certain crimes, such as burglary, theft, grand theft embezzlement, identity theft and on and on, according to the The Bay Area.

Most of the "free pass" crimes are non-violent. To me, the crime that really sticks out here is burglary. In California's gun-unfriendly environment, unarmed citizens are at risk.

Abuse of Discretion: Gun Permit Denial

From the Des Moines Register:
A federal judge has lambasted an Iowa sheriff for denying a gun permit to an outspoken government watchdog and anti-abortion advocate whom some in the area considered "weird."

It was wrong for Osceola County Sheriff Douglas Weber to deny Paul Dorr of Ocheyedan a permit to carry a concealed weapon three years ago, according to a court ruling issued Wednesday.Here is the best part:
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett also ordered Weber to successfully complete a court-approved course on the U.S. Constitution within five months.

"In denying (Dorr) a concealed weapons permit, Sheriff Weber single-handedly hijacked the First Amendment and nullified its freedoms and protections," Bennett wrote in the ruling.Reading the Constitution should be a prerequisite for running for office.

Excellent Question Ducked

I am not impressed with the merits of the DOJ lawsuit against Arizona. Now, here is an excellent question (unanswered, of course):

Obamacare: Working Hard to Destroy America's Health Care System

Obamacare: The solution to health care problems? Or a massive problem in the making? I think the latter. Here is one small piece:

Obama - Holder Corruption

Don't expect the truth from the Obama administration. Ever.

Watch here.

And here.

Understanding of Economics Eludes Obama Administration

In its article "Why Obamnomics Has Failed," the Wall Street Journal highlights the monumental ignorance that the Obama Administration has about basic economics.
The administration's stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.

But they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting over the weekend, continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance.

Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened…