Via Deviantart

While it was very nice of Retired Justice John Paul Stevens to give this in-kind contribution to the efforts of the GOP to keep the house, the fact that one of the leading Jurists in the nation choose to write a piece so divorced from reality demands a proper fisking and I’m just the Sicilian to do it.

For those unfamiliar with “Fisking” my comments on the Justice’s writing will appear in Bold red italics within the NYT piece.  Here goes:

Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday.  Really?  I seem to recall particularly over the past 6 years Tea Party Groups get engaged civically by the millions.  I’m pretty sure you were alive then, or perhaps you didn’t notice them?

These demonstrations demand our respect.  Not when the leave behind a giant mess for other people to clean at the Taxpayer’s expense they don’t   They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.  Funny, every single year a group many times larger than these folks turn up for the actual March for Life, yet for some reason neither the justice nor the NYT finds that as proof of broad public support for legislation to minimize the mass killings of children from abortion.

That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation  As opposed to the tea party and march for life protests that were not a clear sign for anything at all and much be ignored at all costs  prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. Really, given the signs we saw it and the inability of those present to even define an “assault weapon” it seems to me the only clear sign that the “demonstrators” had was:  “elect liberal democrats” But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.  I’m sure many of them would agree but not in public.

Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”   It wasn’t just concern for a standing army.  The colonists had direct experience with a tyrannical government trying to take their weapons away, see Lexington and Concord, they also were plenty on the front lines of the Indian wars and those not on the front lines had living memory of being so.  Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.  Tell the people in countries like Cuba, North Korea, Venezuelan, Nigeria, Syria South Africa and many other places without the 2nd amendment that concerns of a tyrannical government or other various groups threatening violence aren’t a concern

For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation.    As I recall it also believed for over 200 years after the adoption of the constitution and for centuries before that Homosexuality was wrong, that marriage was between a man and a woman and that transsexuals were mental ill, oddly enough that didn’t stop the Supreme Court from declaring these things constitutional rights.  In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”  And in 1896 a 7-1 majority ruled “separate but equal” was just fine in Plessy v Ferguson does that mean we should believe the same today?

During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment.  And during that same period no federal judge to my knowledge expressed any doubt that such a thing as “gay marriage” existed. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”  Oddly enough Chief Justice Taney had some very strong public opinions on negroes descended from African Slaves in the 1850’s.  By your standard those opinions should be cited in arguments about race today,

In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms.  And Brown vs Board of Education overturned long-settled understandings on race?  Did that make it illegitimate?  I was among the four dissenters.  You lost an argument, it happens.

That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable A perfectly valid opinion on his part and one of the few statements in this piece that is solid.  He has the right to his opinion and dissent. — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.  You know I don’t remember anyone arguing Roe v Wade was about “propaganda” for Planned Parenthood.  Nor do I recall anyone ever claiming that about either the Lawrence decision or Brown vs Board of Education etc.  Apparently decisions are only “propaganda” if they disagree with Mr. Justice Stevens rulings. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple Simple?  Really?  There is a reason why there are so few amendments to the constitution because it’s HARD to do.   and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.  Actually such an attempt is more likely to swell the NRA’s ranks and anything close to success in such an effort is very likely to cause a new actual shooting civil war than any other issue.

That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective Of electing democrats and virtue signaling? than any other possible reform. I dispute the use of the word “reform” here but he’s telling the truth because the real goal of the folks behind the march is firearms confiscation.  It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. You know the United States is also been the strongest, richest and most robust large county in the history of history as well, might that unique status have something to do with the freedoms the Justice wants to remove.  It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008   Have our children become less safe?  The stats suggest otherwise, unless you live in a place like Chicago where the gun laws have been written by the very same people leading these marches that isand honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence.  How would disarming law abiding Americans who had nothing to do with a crime “honor” the victims of violent crime?  If you want to honor those folks you could then actually schools with the same armed guards that protected you as a justice, rather than using dead kids a political prop, of course that doesn’t help elect Democrats does it? 

You know what’s really scary about this piece, the fact the realization that a person this out of touch was deciding the laws of this nation for decades.


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We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal conditions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.

US court of Appeals For the 4th District handing Bret Kimberlin another defeat yesterday.

I swung over to Hogewash today and along with the news of the latest blow to the cause of Kimberlin vs the conservative blogging world spotted this Team Kimberlin Post of the Day where Mr. Hoge notes some tweets from Commander Strax Bill Schmalfeldt suggesting that Mr. Hoge has “less than nothing” in terms of legal avenues to pursue against him.

Based on today’s court ruling the “less than nothing” seems to be aptly applied to the ability of the Kimberlin crew’s credibility although for myself I find the fact that the Kimberlin cases are still before the courts years later a bit sad.

While there may be merit in legally finishing off the Kimberlin crowd, who made some real trouble back in the day, to set an example for the next one, given their lack of utility for the left and their legal impotency against the right I can’t get myself all that excited about them.

I’m sure it’s likely the legal trail they have left would put them in jeopardy you would need a person with time, money and the tenacity of an engineer to pursue it to the end and people like Michelle Malkin, Robert Stacy McCain, Lee Stranahan, Aaron Walker, Patrick Frey, Ace of Spades, James O’Keefe, Ali Akbar and Erick Erickson between family and work simply have too much going on to spend precious time finishing off Kimberlin and company.

That’s why they should be worried about Mr. Hoge.

As a retired widower with the children long out of the nest he has the time all of those other lack. As an engineer trained in attention to detail he has the meticulous malicious nature necessary to research the openings that the mendacity of his foes have exposed and most important of all as someone whose expertise is still sought after and compensated accordingly for it, he , even in retirement, has the funds to jump though the various legal and financial hoops to get to the finish line.

In short Mr. Hoge in addition to the truth, facts, law and right on his side, he the time, the money the patience and the tenacity to follow all of this to the end coupled the temperament to do it with a smile.

Murum aries attigit

Update: Thanks to commentator nobody Atall who spotted the spell checker turning “meticulous” which it should be to “malicious” which it should not. Bill Hoge is not malicious in the least

I understand the sentiment behind this post suggesting Amazon choose St. Louis for their second corporate HQ

A particularly compelling pick, according to my extremely nonscientific “what’s good for America” metric, might be St. Louis — a once-great metropolis fallen on hard times, the major urban center for a large spread of Trump country, the geographic center of the country and the historic bridge between East and West.

and I agree with the idea that it would be a good idea to get out of deep blue America and the mindset therein.

But why on earth would any company like Amazon decide to put itself in a city that is becoming riot cental and make it self a target for those from Mizzou to Ferguson in the Black Lives Matter mob who want to go after the system?

After the spasm of violence ended, a reporter for The Associated Press found at least half of the businesses on one side of the street with broken windows along a two block area.

Sam Thomas, who was helping his friend clean up the glass from the shattered windows of his business, OSO, a clothing and accessories boutique, said he understands why people are angry. The U.S. justice system is broken and needs to be fixed, he said.

“I’m not saying this is the right way to fix it,” he said of the damage.

Just as Mizzou and other colleges are discovering that people don’t want to invest tens of thousands of dollars to put their children in the middle of a social justice nightmare, no company with any sense will put itself in a city where the potential to be extorted or threatened with violence if they don’t play along with an agenda (even one endorsed by the owner) is present and no workforce will be all that anxious to head to the area when even the suburbs are being targeted:

Demonstrators shouted slogans such as “black lives matter” and “it is our duty to fight for our freedom” as they marched through West County Center mall in the city of Des Peres, west of St. Louis. A group also demonstrated at Chesterfield Mall in the suburbs and at a regional food festival.

Organizers took their grievances to the suburbs Saturday to spread the impact of the protests beyond predominantly black neighborhoods to those that are mainly white.

“I don’t think racism is going to change in America until people get uncomfortable,” said Kayla Reed of the St. Louis Action Council, a protest organizer.

Well Kayla your achievement is unlocked, your heckler’s veto will guarantee that the people at a company like Amazon will be too uncomfortable to move jobs an infastructure anywhere near you, particularly when there are other worthy alternatives that would meet the goals Mr. Douthat is suggesting.

Closing thought directed to the BLM rioters: While your attacks and riots will produce less jobs, less business less investment and consequently less of a chance for the young men in your community to overcome the disadvantages they have, you can be take comfort in the fact that your actions will definitely produce more votes for conservatives all around the nation in every level of government.

That’s our veto.


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The World’s End 2013

Have you ever heard of the term:  A Lawsuit waiting to happen:

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office has instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration.

Am I reading this right?  Is the State Attorney’s office actually instructing prosecutors to use a double standard when it comes to prosecuting crimes?  Jazz Shaw comments:

For these purposes they want to focus on “minor, non-violent criminal cases.” One could imagine that might include petty theft or any burglary which doesn’t rise in value to the grand theft arena. Perhaps passing bad checks? These are the sorts of things most any of us would wind up in front of a judge for. We might not go to jail, but would probably at least be paying a fine and possibly some sort of probation. But if you happen to be an illegal alien residing in Baltimore, congratulations! You’ve pretty much got a free pass after this. Snatch all the purses you like because even if you get caught there won’t be any consequences.

We’re talking about officers of the court who are charged with upholding the law. And they are seriously cautioning the staff to consider not prosecuting people who are suspected of these crimes on the basis of the fact that they are already committing a crime by being here illegally. If you are a citizen or lawful immigrant living in Baltimore you should be outraged by this.

Well “yes” and “no”.  If you are a law abiding citizen who cares about the rule of law, you should be outraged by this, but if you are a native born person who is a criminal a passer of bad checks, a purse snatcher, a drunk driver, a drug dealer, a vandal or any one of the many people who either have a history of or plan on a career which include the risk of being subject to “minor, non violent criminal cases” your ship has just come in.

This is prima facie evidence of discrimination and even more important it’s discrimination that’s directed against a population that is 63% African American.  Or to put it another way.  If your city has a population of 600k with more that 350K black residences and you have a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of a property crime,  (let alone the serious stuff like murder)  that suggests an awful lot of black people arrested for such crimes.  In 2005 for example:

that year, the city’s police made 100,000 arrests, among a population only six times that.

You don’t have to be Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson to see the potential here.  If it’s the policy of the State attorney’s office to let illegals skate but to prosecute native born blacks, then if you are an enterprising criminal or a lawyer looking for a huge class action score against the city, your ship has just come in.

Alas this might be hard to prove, after all it’s not as if this policy was in writing or something oh wait:

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow, in a memo sent to all staff Thursday and obtained by The Baltimore Sun, wrote that the Justice Department’s deportation efforts “have increased the potential collateral consequences to certain immigrants of minor, non-violent criminal conduct.”

“In considering the appropriate disposition of a minor, non-violent criminal case, please be certain to consider those potential consequences to the victim, witnesses, and the defendant,” Schatzow wrote.

Yes you’re reading that.  He, Michael Schatzow, the guy whose picture from the Baltimore state attorney office site is to the left.  This lily white deputy state attorney for Baltimore, for the sake of tweaking Donald Trump, put in writing a policy that says one should consider the consequences to an illegal alien when “considering the appropriate disposition of a minor, non-violent criminal case” but doesn’t suggest any such consideration for a black, native born legal Baltimore resident.

If I’m Al Sharpton I’d think I had died and gone to heaven.

Prosecutors declined to discuss the memo.

I’ll bet they did.  It’s an easy enough lawsuit as it is, no prosecutor in his right mind is going to comment on this even if they are a liberal democrat looking for elected office in the state.

Now it’s possible the Sharptons. Jacksons or even Black Lives Matter crowd might balk at going after a Black run city or a deputy State Attorney who works under Marilyn Mosby no matter how big the potential payoff, Jazz Shaw again:

who thought this up? The article cites the Deputy State’s Attorney as having written the memo but you know this didn’t happen without the seal of approval of Marilyn Mosby. (The actual State’s Prosecutor of Freddie Gray fame.)

And I admit with DaTipJar lagging a bit there is a little bit of Sicilian in me that says if I’m willing to go though the hassle of going to Baltimore, committing a crime, getting caught and then filing suit the score would be six figure or more.  Sure it might take years but the lawsuit and settlement might be worth it, but then I’m thinking even if I was willing to cross that line for the money, long before I got there an enterprising lawyer would have no problem finding a potential client or even a group for a class action ready and willing to collect on the jackpot that Baltimore is offering to them, in writing.

Who says crime doesn’t pay?


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IDOT facility, Northfield, IL

By John Ruberry

You’ve heard of “Deep State,” right? If you haven’t, it’s the powerful yet anonymous cadre of senior bureaucrats within the federal government who are toiling to undermine President Donald J. Trump. They are “the swamp” Trump wants to drain.

In Illinois, where I live, we have Deep Corruption.

Last week in my own blog I reported on Deep Corruption when former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett received a 4 ½ year prison sentence for wire fraud for her role in a bribery scheme with a former employer, a contractor. Her old boss there likely engineered her hiring as the boss of CPS.

In 2014 as Illinois’ financial situation was clearly dire–it has gotten worse since then–a political hiring scandal broke at the Illinois Department of Transportation. Over 200 unqualified people were hired as “staff assistants.” The title sounds innocent enough, but staff assistants in Illinois government are supposed to be policy-making posts, which makes those positions exempt from anti-patronage rules. Most of these so-called policy makers were hired during the six-year term of so-called reformer Pat Quinn, then the Democratic governor of Illinois. But candidates with backgrounds such as managing an ice cream store, laying bricks, and working for the Democratic Party were hired as staff assistants at IDOT. Well, these hires were diverse that’s for sure. Once on the state payroll, naturally these unqualified employees were given duties that matched their modest skill set. Many of them now hold new titles and are exempt from being discharged–except for extreme indiscretions–because of union rules.

Meanwhile, Illinois has the worst credit rating and the worst-funded public pension system of the fifty states. It currently has $11 billion in unpaid bills.

But under Quinn money was available to place political cronies on the state payroll.

Last week a court-ordered monitor issued her report on the political hiring scandal, or what should be called the Hack Pol Job Fair. The unqualified candidates of course had one thing in common: connections, often family ties, to a Democratic politician.

Rauner: Shake Up Springfield, Bring Back Illinois

Fed up Illinois voters threw Quinn, out of office in 2014, replacing him with Republican Bruce Rauner, who eliminated the staff assistant job classification but has been largely stymied in his attempt to “Bring Back Illinois” and “Shake Up Springfield” by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is also chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Seven staff assistants with Madigan ties were hired by IDOT.

Chicago talk radio host and onetime gubernatorial candidate Dan Proft likes to say “Illinois isn’t broken–it’s fixed.” True, very true.

Quinn’s office was the clearing house for the IDOT job scandal and this episode should finally destroy his undeserved reputation as a reformer. In 1996 a prominent Illinois Democratic politician accused Quinn of being a ghost payroller for the Dan Walker administration. You probably never heard of Walker, but he’s one of those Illinois governors who later served time in federal prison. Public pensioner Quinn now says he’s working on ending gerrymandering in Illinois, yet he approved the current disgraceful gerrymandered map that created supermajorities for the Democrats in the General Assembly.

Who was that politician who called Quinn a ghost-payroller? It was US Sen. Dick Durbin. And the senior senator from Illinois’ office tried to get “Candidate 5” a job “with various state agencies.” And after pressure from Durbin’s office, “Staff Assistant 47” was hired at IDOT.

There is some good news in regards to this scandal, besides its exposure. Honest Illinois state employees alerted authorities of these abuses.

John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

And those were illegal abuses, I’d like to add. Who will be indicted for these crimes?

On personal note, my mother passed away three weeks ago. As is natural for someone going through a parental loss, my thoughts have veered to the past of late. Years ago my mother told me about a conversation she had with my father–he’s gone now too. My dad declared to my mom that his goal was to enter politics, which of course meant Illinois politics as they lived in Chicago. “That will never work out,” she explained to him. “You’re honest.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

“A rose is a rose is a rose”

–Gertrude Stein, Sacred Emily

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

With Justice Gorsuch finally being confirmed to the Supreme Court last week, I wanted to take a moment to look back at the confirmation process and hopefully help explain why putting him on the Court was worth all the parliamentary maneuvering required and why it’s such a good thing for the rule of law. Much of the confirmation hearing was devoted to a discussion of the “Frozen Trucker Case” (TransAm Trucking, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., U.S. Dep’t. of Labor), in which then-Judge Gorsuch dissented in a decision to overturn the company’s decision to fire a driver for violating company policy. Since this case, and particularly Judge Gorsuch’s dissent, hinged on the concept of originalism, I present this story.

Once upon a time, there was a town whose legislature passed a law, signed by the mayor, that gave a tax deduction to every homeowner who planted rosebushes in their front yard. For the purposes of our story, it doesn’t really matter why they did this, only that the law was consistent with the town bylaws and was legally enacted. For the first few years, several homeowners took advantage of the tax break and the town derived benefit from the law by being able to market themselves as “The Town of Roses” and local businesses benefitted from increased traffic of tourists coming to see the roses.

But then something happened. Some of the citizens decided that they didn’t like the law, even if the town benefitted in a tangible way. Maybe some of these citizens were allergic to roses or maybe some just didn’t like roses, but preferred tulips instead. So, deciding that the law was “unfair,” they sued, and brought their case eventually to a panel of judges. They could have lobbied the legislature to change the law, but they thought it would be easier to convince a small number of judges than it would be to convince a majority of their fellow citizens.

The liberal judges looked at the plaintiffs, who were a sympathetic lot, and agreed with them that it was “unfair” that the town should provide benefits to the “elite” who were able to purchase, plant and maintain rosebushes in their yard while “disadvantaging” these “little guys” who, for whatever reason, were unable – or unwilling – to plant rosebushes. So these judges decided that it was unreasonable for the town legislature to limit the benefit to roses but, since it was really about beautifying the town, and tulips are also pretty flowers, the tax deduction should apply to anyone who plants flowers in their yard. And for those really sympathetic allergy-stricken citizens, they should get the deduction without having to plant anything. So, without the wording of the law having changed, the legal effect of the law was altered to something that the legislature did not intend.

Under what system governed by “the rule of law, not of men” does this make sense? Indeed, this decision explicitly goes against the law as written, not to mention the harm faced by the town in trying to market itself as “The Town of Roses and Tulips or Other Flowers” which isn’t nearly as catchy. But there was one judge who understood the rule of law, and the proper role of the judiciary.

He bravely went against his colleagues and pointed out that the judges’ job is “to apply the law Congress did pass, not to imagine and enforce one it might have but didn’t.” As sympathetic as the plaintiffs might be, the judge realized that, as much as the “Tulip Law” might be desirable, “it isn’t there yet. And it isn’t our job to write one” [both quotes from Judge Gorsuch’s dissent in TransAm Trucking v. Dep’t of Labor].  So, even if the judge wanted to find in favor of the plaintiffs, he simply could not because the law wouldn’t allow it. His personal beliefs about whether the law was a good idea were simply irrelevant.

Members of the minority party in the legislature used this eminently justified and reasonable judicial philosophy to paint the judge as some kind of monster, cruelly indifferent to the plight of the “little guy” (Sen. Feinstein, D-CA), too hung up on “legalisms” (Sen. Harris, D-CA) and “out of the mainstream” (Sen. Shumer, D-NY) to be considered for a position on the Supreme Court, because they want unelected life-tenured judges to twist laws to conform to policies that they prefer, regardless of the actual intent of the legislature when the law was passed, and regardless of the consequences. They thought it would be easier to get five liberal justices on the Supreme Court than it would be to control the legislative process, and they were right, for a while.

Justice Gorsuch and the other conservatives on the Supreme Court believe that the judiciary should be limited to interpreting laws as written. Liberals, who cannot fathom that someone with that much power wouldn’t use it to make his own policy from the bench, naturally think that a conservative Court will arbitrarily enact policies with which liberals disagree. But, as Justice Gorsuch testified at his nomination hearing, “It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge—stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands.” When the day comes that a majority of the Supreme Court – and the entire federal judiciary – lives by this code, then America will truly be great again.

Mr. Prosser: Has Mr. Dent come to his senses yet?
Ford Prefect: Can we for the moment assume that he hasn’t?
Mr. Prosser: Has Mr. Dent come to his yet?
Ford Prefect: Can we for the moment assume that he hasn’t?
Mr. Prosser: Well?
Ford Prefect: Can we also assume, that he’s going to be staying here all day?
Mr. Prosser: So?
Ford Prefect: So all your men are going to be standing around here all day doing nothing?
Mr. Prosser: Could be, could be
Ford Prefect: Well, if you’re resigned to doing that anyway, you don’t actually need him to lie here all the time do you?
Mr. Prosser: Well, not as such, no, not exactly need
Ford Prefect: Well if you’d like to take it as read that he’s actually there, then he and I could slip off down to the pub for half an hour. How does that sound?

The Hitchhikers of guide to the Galaxy 1981

There has been a scramble of stories concerning the state of the vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch to the supreme court this week.  Several say the Democrats have the votes to filibuster the nomination  but there is a point concerning this story that I don’t think people are clear on, the “filibuster” of today bears little resemblance to the filibusters of old, either in the Senate or in movies.

You don’t see a Jimmy Stewart holding or a Strom Thurmond holding the floor alone as a bunch of other senators wait for him to crack.  Nor do you see teams of senators making long speeches from phone books or the constitution or anything else.

What you see instead is more like the scene quoted above from the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, the side, the majority having failed to get the 60 votes to end debate takes it as read that the other side is holding the floor as given so that can all pop down to the pub if they want.

But what if they didn’t?

What if the GOP decided, you know what?  If you want to have a filibuster you go ahead, have one, but you’re going to have to have a real one, where you Democrats continually hold the floor of the senate without interruption ,where you have to make speeches, fill the record and so forth, furthermore we aren’t going to allow you to revise or extend your remarks.  We will make you stand there and make government come to a standstill and make sure the American people see you do it.

Now the media being the media will of course spin it as either “Brave Democrats continue to hold the floor on principle.”  or “Republicans obstructing business by refusing to pull the Gorsuch nomination from the floor.” but the actual video and audio will not play that way.

Even more importantly, while the far left will find it inspiring , the video of such things will be ready made ad videos for election 2018 and election 2020 against said senators.

Now granted this will slow down the business of the senate but if the left is so keen to do this make them do it for real and milk it for every moment you can.

If they get sick of it, or make a mistake, after all this hasn’t been done for a while, then you’re able to get the Gorsuch and have egg on the faces of the left.

If not, then you can go ahead and launch that Harry Reid nuclear option , but make sure the left plays the Richard Russell option first following in the footsteps of the old anti-civil rights southern caucus and make sure everyone knows that’s what happening.

Anyways that’s what I’d do.


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

Politicos may still believe “All politics is local,” as Tip O’Neill famously decreed, but it hasn’t been operative for ages. Republicans turned the ex-House Speaker’s truism upside-down in 1994, when Newt Gingrich nationalized the congressional elections with the Contract with America and swept the GOP to control of the House for the first time in four decades.

The idea that backyard issues trump national concerns is even weaker today. Local affairs barely make a squeak amidst the thunder and bluster now rolling out of Washington. Politics isn’t local any more, it’s WhozOx — short for “It depends on whose ox is getting gored.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the old idiom, oxen are castrated bulls used as draft animals that, like their ballsy brethren, sometime go at each other with their horns. The owner of an ox giving a beatdown isn’t likely to stop it, but he’ll call for the fight to end immediately if the tide turns. Thus, “whose ox” is a term for hypocrisy when your stance on an incident depends on your self-interest, not your general principles.

We’re seeing an abundance of WhoZox these days as the liberals scream over the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court because the GOP-led Senate snubbed President Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland last year. That Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer and other Dems have said Republican presidents had no right to name anyone to the high court in an election year is a perfect example of WhoZox.

Similarly, the Left is in full-blown WhoZox outrage over President Trump’s executive orders after showering nothing but praise on Obama’s overreaching — and often unconstitutional — diktats in recent years.

Conservatives historically have faced a huge public relations problem. Thanks to the New York Times, Washington Post, cable and network news, NPR and their collaborators in the mainstream media, the public wasn’t aware of WhoZox. Instead of reporting on political fights as battles of equals, the MSM saw a blood-crazed ox (conservatives) terrorizing an innocent sacred cow (progressives). For the longest time, low-information voters accepted this unbalanced version.

Now, fortunately, the truth is finally getting out. Talk radio, the internet, Fox News and that rarest of birds, honest MSM reporters, laid the foundation, but the change-maker is Donald J. Trump. His fearless approach to the media has blown up the old way.

So who’s ox is being gored? The media is taking on Trump, but its horns are blunted.  He’s getting gored in the process, but he’s giving out a lot more than he’s getting. Let us enjoy their pain while it lasts.

“I only know this is wrong.”

– Guinan
Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”

I’m a sucker for time-travel stories. Whether it’s Harry Potter, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or anything else, a good story about the hero traveling back in time and affecting (or restoring) “the timeline” is one of my favorite diversions. If the plot is clever and resolves itself well, I’m even willing to put up with hokey dialog and two-dimensional characters. I just love it when a story, which can easily open itself to paradox, cliché and deus ex machina anti-climax, manages to apply self-consistent logic and arrive at an exciting, thought-provoking and satisfying ending.

Of course, we know that time travel is impossible. You can’t go back in time and murder your grandfather, there are no alternate universes and there is no grand government conspiracy hiding an actual time travel device so we just think it’s impossible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to change the past, at least not if you’re a progressive, or whatever term the left chooses to apply to itself. The only hard part is getting yourself into a position to do it, such as becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

If you’re like me, and believe that words have meanings and expect that logical self-consistency is essential for any set of laws to make sense, then you would agree that once a law is passed it’s meaning should remain constant until such time as the legislature chooses to amend or repeal the law. That’s a pretty basic feature of any “government of laws, not of men.” The problem, as the left sees it, is that our Constitution was set up to make it hard to change the law, but we conservatives see this as a feature, not a bug.

The way the Constitution says you change a law is to advocate for the change and convince the legislature to pass the amendment, get it approved by the other house and have the president sign it into law. But that can be difficult since (ideally) each legislator is beholden to a constituency (those pesky “we the people” again), so they have to convince them that it’s a good idea too. If they can’t, then they may get voted out in the next election. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. What if there were an easier way?

Let’s suppose that time travel were actually possible. Our legislative crusader could go back in time, maybe to the Constitutional Convention, and actually advocate to change the Constitution. Maybe convince James Madison that the first amendment should include that phrase “Congress shall make no law limiting the ability of a mother to kill her unborn child at any time during her pregnancy.” Then the Supreme Court never would have had to wrestle with the abortion question in Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the left has discovered that Legislative Time Travel is much easier. All they have to do is decide what policy they want to enact and then declare that the meaning of the appropriate legislation is actually different from what everyone thought it was originally, and – surprise! – it actually means just what it needs to mean to enact whatever policy they want. They did it with abortion, they did it with gay “marriage” and now they’re doing it with “transgenderism.” Instead of going back in time and convincing Madison, all they have to say is “Madison really meant whatever I wish he’d meant.”

And the Obama administration doesn’t even have to go back that far. By reinterpreting Title IX to include the nebulous term “gender identity” they have the chutzpah to tell legislators, many of whom are still around, that the law they passed to prohibit discrimination based on sex now means something completely different.

So now we find ourselves in an alternate reality where laws are no longer logically self-consistent, since “gender identity” is completely subjective and this made-up interpretation of plainly written law is now in direct contradiction of the First Amendment in forcing churches and religious organizations and employers to go against the practice of their faith (i.e. the free exercise of their religion) to accommodate what the American College of Pediatricians has classified as a psychological disorder.

Since we don’t believe in Legislative Time Travel, we need representatives who will follow the Constitution and not just make things up as they go along. Since Clinton has pledged to be Obama’s third term, we can expect more of the same if she is elected. It says a lot about how far left Clinton and the democrats have become that Donald Trump is actually the candidate who is more likely to restore our timeline to one that make sense.

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Thomas Jefferson
Engraved on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Thomas Jefferson
The Declaration of Independence

There are two important things to note about the rights guaranteed us by the Constitution. The first is that the Constitution doesn’t “grant” us any rights. Instead, it speaks of rights already in existence (unalienable and endowed by our creator, according to the Declaration of Independence) and explicitly prohibits the government from infringing on those rights. The second is that each of the rights explicitly spelled out in the Constitution is personal.

Liberals tend to talk about rights in terms of what others must give you: a “living wage,” health care, housing, or even an abortion. These liberal “rights” get things exactly backwards. The only way one person can have a right to something that someone else must provide is for the provider to be forced to provide it, regardless of his consent.

The liberals on the Supreme Court, in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, recently struck down the eminently-sensible Texas law that ensured safe conditions for women seeking abortions. Their “reasoning” was that the law unreasonably restricted women’s access to abortions. Let’s think about that logically for a moment. The Supreme Court, citing a “right” that is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, has said that it is unconstitutional to restrict a woman’s access to abortion.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Suppose that all the abortionists in the country suddenly decided to move to Australia. Or, in an unfortunately less-likely scenario, let’s suppose that every abortionist suddenly developed a conscience and realized that they had been murdering innocent children and repented, refusing to perform any more abortions. Could anything restrict a woman’s access to abortion more than that? What then of this supposed “right” for a woman to get an abortion? Is it really possible that the Supreme Court, or Congress, or even a State Legislature could somehow prohibit this mass-exodus of abortionists? I can just see Anthony Kennedy and Elena Kagan at JFK airport looking for that last abortionist and tackling him before he can board that last flight out. The logical conclusion is that the supposed “right” to abortion is no right at all.

Is there a “right” to housing? How can that possibly be when someone must build the house? And who decides what kind of house? Do you have the right to three bedrooms or only two? A cape in the suburbs or a brownstone in the city? If you have the right to a “living wage,” who decides what that is? How hard do you have to work to receive it? How good do you have to be at your job? Does a “living wage” include cable TV and a cell phone?

It simply cannot be that anyone can have a right to something that someone else must provide. The truth is that liberals are not interested in rights as our founders understood them. They invent “rights” for one of two reasons. Either they are trying to force people to behave a certain way or they are trying to buy votes from people who care more about what government can give them than protecting themselves against what government can do to them. Anyone who supports this approach cannot claim to “support and defend the Constitution.”


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed Tech Knight’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Tech Knight’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention Tech Knight’s post as the reason you did so. If you missed his last piece, it’s here




Olimometer 2.52

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