Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Archive for June, 2013

… the Battle of the Titans (in Court) …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,June 30th,2013

High Court to Hear Obama Recess Appointments Case

.. The Supreme Court stepped into an important constitutional dispute Monday between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over the chief executive’s power to make recess appointments .

.. The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling [Noel Canning  v N.L.R.B.] that found Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate last year to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board . It is the latest chapter in the partisan political wrangling between GOP lawmakers and Obama over appointments to the labor board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans want to rein in both agencies ‘ powers.

.. The Constitution does give the president the power to make temporary appointments to fill positions that otherwise require confirmation by the Senate , but only when the Senate is in recess . At issue for the Supreme Court: What constitutes a congressional recess , and does it matter when a vacancy occurs ? The nature of POTUS ‘ current actions, during brief Senate breaks that Congress explicitly said were not formal recesses, is driving the current legal controversy.

.. The case stems from Obama’s decision to fill the three NLRB vacancies on Jan. 4,2012 , with Congress on an extended holiday break. At the same time, however, the Senate held brief sessions every few days as part of the Republicans’ explicit strategy . The Senate was forced to do so by the House , by not giving its consent to not meeting for more than three  days .  This  gap in metting is  the commonly accepted definition of a ” recess . ” By doing so  ,both chambers would act to not allow Obama  from filling vacancies through recess appointments.

.. He also used a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray as head of the financial protection agency, which the GOP had blocked for a year and a half.

.. Two of the three judges also said that only positions that come open during a congressional recess can be filled through a recess appointment. The court did not address the issue of how short a break can count as a recess . If it stands, the ruling could invalidate hundreds of board decisions, and call into question the legitimacy of regulations issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, many of which affect the mortgage industry. The NLRB also would effectively be shut down, because a ruling against the administration would leave the board with only one member, and it needs three to conduct business.

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… Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent ?!?! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,June 30th,2013

Do You have a Right to Remain Silent ?

— this one , revisited , in a surprise case for the current Supreme Court term , Salinas v. Texas .

.. in this case , especially since i am not a lawyer , I want to present a post from a favourite blog of mine , the Volokh Conspiracy , and one of their contributors , law Professor Orin Kerr .

.. for obvious reasons  , I believe that it is  important that we should understand our 5th amendment protections . As I understand this case , the basic premises are  you actually have to open up your mouth to invoke your 5th amendment rights , and if you keep your mouth shut , totally , you have  a problem . The right that you have not said anything can indeed be used against you in a court of law .

Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent? Thoughts on the “Sleeper” Criminal Procedure Case of the Term, Salinas v. Texas

Orin Kerr — the  Volokh Conspiracy

This morning the Supreme Court decided a very important criminal procedure case, Salinas v. Texas, by a 5-4 vote. I’m guessing that you haven’t heard of Salinas.

And it probably won’t get much attention in the press. But it should: Salinas is likely to have a significant impact on police practices. And it’s a fascinating case for legal nerds, too. So I thought I would explain the issue in Salinas and offer some thoughts on why it matters and what it might mean.

I. A Brief History of Fifth Amendment Protections

To understand Salinas, you need to know a little bit of Fifth Amendment history. Before 1965, the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination had been interpreted pretty consistently to provide only a relatively narrow right. Under the pre-1965 cases, the Fifth Amendment only gave you a right to decline to answer the government’s questions when asked a question under the threat of judicially-imposed punishment and when you  normally asserted the right.

Imagine you’re a witness called to the stand in a criminal case. If you don’t answer the prosecutor’s questions, you can be held in contempt of court and jailed. Under the Fifth Amendment, if you have a reasonable belief that the answers to the prosecutor’s questions will implicate you in a crime, you can “plead the Fifth” and not have to answer the questions. Under that pre-1965 view, all the Fifth Amendment does is let you assert your right ex ante to get out of answering a question when otherwise the law would force you to answer it under threat of legal penalty. (The thinking as to why you need to assert the privilege is that only the suspect knows when his answer would be self-incriminating; the suspect needs to assert the privilege so a judge can step in at that point and assess whether the privilege applies.)

Two cases in the mid-1960s made important cracks in that doctrinal edifice. First, in Griffin v. California, 380 U. S. 609 (1965), the Supreme Court held that the Fifth Amendment did not permit the government to comment on the defendant’s failure to testify at trial. Pre-Griffin, if the defendant chose not to testify, the prosecutor could argue that the defendant’s silence showed his guilt. (After all, an innocent person wrongly charged with a crime surely would want to explain his innocence to the jury, right?) Griffin reasoned that it would gut the Fifth Amendment if the prosecutor could argue that silence was guilt; the defendant would in effect be forced to testify to avoid that adverse inference. So the “spirit” of the Fifth Amendment barred commenting on the failure to testify even though the defendant did not formally plead the Fifth and was not compelled to speak by force of law.

The second case that cut against the traditional understanding of the Fifth Amendment was Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), just a year after Griffin. Miranda is the famous “right to remain silent” case, and it held that before the police can admit a defendant’s statement during a custodial interrogation, the police must first inform him of his rights and then obtain a waiver of his rights. The reasoning of Miranda was that custodial interrogation was special. When a person was in custody and was questioned by the police, the  environment was so coercive that the Court needed a set of special protections (the warnings and waiver) to ensure that the answers to police questions were voluntary and not coerced.

The complex set of rules announced in Miranda was justified as a way of protecting the Fifth Amendment right. But the fit has always been awkward. Indeed, Miranda was actually argued as a Sixth Amendment case, not a Fifth Amendment case; it was a surprise to everyone when the Court announced that the Miranda rules were part of the Fifth Amendment. And the Court has struggled to find the right place for Miranda in constitutional caselaw ever since. Miranda was a strange fit for the Fifth Amendment because it didn’t fit the classic requirements of a Fifth Amendment right. It applied to police interrogation when there was no threat of judicially-enforced punishment, and it didn’t require a defendant to assert his right. To the contrary, the rights automatically existed in custodial interrogation unless they were formally waived. Nonetheless, the Court announced the Miranda rules as a prophylactic set of protections for”real” Fifth Amendment rights (a characterization the Court stayed with in Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000)). And in Footnote 37 of Miranda, the Court included dicta extending the Griffin rule to custodial interrogation:

In accord with our decision today, it is impermissible to penalize an individual for exercising his Fifth Amendment privilege when he is under police custodial interrogation. The prosecution may not, therefore, use at trial the fact that he stood mute or claimed his privilege in the face of accusation. Cf. Griffin v. California, 380 U.S. 609 (1965)

So after 1966, we have essentially two ways of thinking about the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The first way is the classic pre-1965 approach, in which a defendant must formally plead the Fifth and has a right only when facing the threat of judicially imposed punishment. The second way is the Griffin/Miranda approach, which takes a broader view of the right and considers that would undermine a person’s ability to control when they speak in ways that might incriminate themselves.

II. What Is the Right to Remain Silent?

You can see the tension between these two views if you think carefully about Miranda‘s famous requirement that the police must tell a suspect that he has a right to remain silent. The right to remain silent sounds like a bedrock principle, and everyone knows about it. And the Court was clear that this right was supposed to be a way of expressing the Fifth Amendment privilege. See Miranda, 384 U.S. at 467-68. But it has always been a bit of a puzzle as to exactly what this warning was supposed to mean. What does it mean to say that a person has a “right to remain silent”?

In particular, “right” in what sense? In the narrow sense that the law cannot hold you liable for a crime if you plead the Fifth, as the Fifth Amendment had traditionally been interpreted? Or “right” in the broader sense that your silence can’t be used against you by the prosecution to gain any advantage, which was the gist of Griffin and was extended to interrogations in Miranda?

Miranda doesn’t say. It requires the police to tell people that they have a right to remain silent, but it doesn’t tell us what that right means or when it is triggered.

III. Salinas v. Texas

That brings us (finally) to the new case, Salinas v. Texas. Salinas agreed to accompany the police to the stationhouse to be interviewed about a murder. Once there, he answered a lot of the officer’s questions. But then Salinas was asked a particularly incriminating question: Would the shells from his shotgun match the shells found at the murder scene? Salinas “looked down at the floor, shuffled his feet, bit his bottom lip, cl[e]nched his hands in his lap, [and] began to tighten up.” After a few seconds of silence, the officer moved on to other questions. At trial, the government argued that Salinas had committed the murder based in part on his response to the question about the shotgun shells.

The prosecutor argued to the jury that an innocent person would have said, “What are you talking about? I didn’t do that. I wasn’t there.” But Salinas didn’t do that; he remained silent. And that suggested guilt. Notably, Miranda‘s footnote 37 didn’t apply because Salinas was not in “custody” for Miranda purposes. He was at the stationhouse voluntarily, not by force, so Miranda didn’t apply. The question before the Court was whether the government was allowed to argue about the significance of the defendant’s pre-arrest silence to the jury.

The Supreme Court divided 5-4 on the question, with the majority dividing 3-2. The controlling opinion under a Marks analysis is the plurality opinion by Justice Alito joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy. Justice Alito concluded that it did not violate Salinas’s Fifth Amendment right to comment on his silence because he never formally asserted his Fifth Amendment right. In

Alito’s view, the pre-1965 approach to the Fifth Amendment was the standard approach to the Fifth Amendment, and Griffin and Miranda were two exceptions from this norm. Thus the issue was whether pre-Miranda silence should be governed by the usual rule that the defendant must formally assert his Fifth Amendment right to have that right or the Griffin/Miranda rule that he does not need to do so. In the majority’s view, the usual rule applied because Griffin and Miranda dealt only with specific contexts. At trial, the defendant has an absolute right not to testify, which explains Griffin, and the coerceiveness of custodial interrogation “makes his forfeiture of the privilege involuntary,” explaining Miranda. No such special circumstances existed in the non-custodial non-trial interview of Salinas.

According to the plurality, then, the defendant was required to formally assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. When the officer asked Salinas whether the shot gun shells would match those at the crime scene, Salinas shouldn’t have paused and shuffled his feet. Rather, if he wanted to rely on his right to remain silent, he had to say something that clearly asserted his right. The plurality isn’t clear on exactly how clear is clear enough to formally assert a Fifth Amendment right in the informal context of a police interview. I gather something like “I plead the Fifth” or “I assert my right to remain silent” would do it, but the opinion isn’t clear. Justice Thomas penned a short 2-page concurrence joined by Justice Scalia.

Justices Thomas and Scalia think that Griffin was wrongly decided. When a prosecutor comments on a defendant’s failure to speak, Thomas reasoned, the government is not actually forcing him to be a witness against himself. Thus the Fifth Amendment shouldn’t apply. (As an aside, Justices Scalia and Thomas would overturn Miranda entirely.)

Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.

Justice Breyer’s basic argument uses the basic reasoning of Griffin and Miranda  :

To permit a prosecutor to comment on a defendant’s constitutionally protected silence would put that defendant in an impossible predicament. He must either answer the question or remain silent. If he answers the question, he may well reveal, for example, prejudicial facts, disreputable associates, or suspicious circumstances—even if he is innocent. See, e.g., Griffin, supra, at 613; Kassin, Inside Interrogation: Why Innocent People Confess, 32 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 525, 537 (2009). If he remains silent, the prosecutor may well use that silence to suggest a consciousness of guilt. And if the defendant then takes the witness stand in order to explain either his speech or his silence, the prosecution may introduce, say for impeachment purposes, a prior conviction that the law would otherwise make inadmissible. Thus, where the Fifth Amendment is at issue, to allow comment on silence directly or indirectly can compel an individual to act as “a witness against himself “—very much what the Fifth Amendment forbids. Under Breyer’s view, commenting on Salinas’s silence violated his Fifth Amendment right because the circumstances “give rise to a reasonable inference that Salinas’ silence derived from an exercise of his Fifth Amendment rights.”

IV. Why Salinas Matters

Salinas resolves a very deep circuit split involving a long-fuzzy area in the law of police investigations. I suspect that its green light to comment on pre-arrest silence impact will have a significant impact. That’s true for a few reasons.

First, it is relatively easy for the government to claim that a suspect’s reaction to an incriminating question suggests guilt — and very hard for a defendant to challenge that characterization. Over the course of a long interview, the investigator might ask dozens or hundreds of incriminating questions. If the case goes to trial, a smart prosecutor will ask the investigator if he thought that any of the ways the defendant reacted to the questions was a non-answer or pause that seemed to reflect an awareness of guilt. If the prosecutor can comment on a non-answer, presumably the prosecutor can also comment on a pause before an answer. The prosecutor will then ask about that during the direct examination, and the investigator will give his view that the defendant paused or looked nervous or declined to answer particular questions. The prosecutor can then focus on that before the jury, and there’s not much a defendant can do in response. Taking the stand would require the defendant to testify and let in adverse facts like prior crimes, which most defendants won’t want to do. So the government’s characterization will be tough to challenge, even if the investigator is being unfair in his characterization of the defendant’s acts.

Second, as a practical matter, it seems unlikely that a person questioned by a police officer outside of custody is going to formally assert his Fifth Amendment right. Most people are not lawyers, and they don’t think in terms of legal formalities. And outside of custody, the police don’t have to give warnings or talk about the law. They don’t have to mention the right to remain silent and ask a suspect to waive it, knowing that the suspect can later change his mind. They don’t need to bring it up at all. And that means that they can construct the conversation in the kind of way that makes it extraordinarily awkward for a person to play lawyer and assert his Fifth Amendment privilege. Of course, a really smart suspect will just say that they’re busy so they don’t have time to talk to the police at all. (“I just can’t schedule you in anytime soon. How is 2017 for you?”) But the suspect who mistakenly thinks he can talk his way out of trouble may be in for a surprise.

V. How Will Salinas Work in Practice?

Finally, I have two major questions about how Salinas is supposed to work in practice. The first question is obvious: How clear an invocation of the Fifth Amendment right does it need to be? In Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Supreme Court

said that a suspect who has been told about his right to remain silent during questioning needs to unambiguously assert that right for it to trigger the “downstream” Miranda rules that require the police to stop questioning and leave the suspect alone. But at least the suspect who has been told he has a right to silence may remember that right he has been told about and may invoke it. It’s somewhat less clear what will count as a successful invocation under the Fifth Amendment pre-arrest sans Miranda. Pre-arrest, the person has not been told that they have any rights. How clearly do they need to identify them to count?

Second, and perhaps more interestingly, it’s unclear to me what is supposed to happen when a suspect outside of custody clearly asserts his Fifth Amendment privilege. Recall that under the pre-1965 caselaw, a suspect only has a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when 1) he asserts his right formally and 2) a failure to answer would subject him to punishment under the law. A judge then is called in to rule on the assertion, and the judge either rules that the suspect has to answer the question or not. Salinas deals with part (1); it tells us that the Fifth Amendment privilege in the pre-arrest questioning has to be asserted. But I wonder, why does that even matter given that the second requirement won’t be met? And why does it matter when a judge isn’t going to be called on to review the assertion of the privilege and the suspect isn’t going to be compelled to answer the question?

A comparison with Miranda is instructive. The theory of Miranda was that in custodial interrogation, the coercive pressures of interrogation are so great that they’re akin to a threat of legal punishment. The puzzling line from Miranda was this: “As a practical matter, the compulsion to speak in the isolated setting of the police station may well be greater than in courts or other official investigations, where there are often impartial observers to guard against intimidation or trickery.” And to deal with the fact that there is no judge present, Miranda had to create a set of rules for what happens when a suspect asserts his right: In lieu of a judge stepping in and evaluating the assertion, the questioning has to stop. Whether you think these Miranda rules are sensible or conjured out of thin air — or both — presumably the same won’t be true outside of custody. And that creates a puzzle. If the defendant doesn’t actually have a Fifth Amendment right not to answer a question because an answer would not be “compelled” as it is understood in Fifth Amendment caselaw, what difference does it make if the defendant asserts his Fifth Amendment privilege?

The classic reasoning of the pre-1965 caselaw tells us that the defendant has no Fifth Amendment privilege to assert at that point. What are courts supposed to do when a suspect asserts a privilege he doesn’t actually have? And what are the police supposed to do when that happens?

I can imagine a few different answers to these questions. First, courts might create some sort of Griffin-like rule just for pre-arrest questioning. That is, they might say that the police can’t comment on an assertion of Fifth Amendment privilege in that setting (even though there is no traditional Fifth Amendment privilege to assert) in order to ensure that the Fifth Amendment right is fully respected. Maybe they’ll throw in a bit of Miranda-like reasoning, too, and hold that a formal assertion of the Fifth Amendment right requires the police to stop questioning. Perhaps. But on the other end, the courts might say that an assertion of the Fifth Amendment right when there is no actual Fifth Amendment right at stake is entitled to no special treatment. In that case, the defendant would be allowed to formally assert his Fifth Amendment right but the prosecution would be free to comment on it as indicating guilt.

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.. Even More Crazed Insanity — the George Zimmerman Trial …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,June 30th,2013

[background material , hat tip courtesy of CBSnews]

[h/t — Newsbusters.org]

By Erin Donaghue

.. (CBS) A former neighbor of George Zimmerman testified he saw two men in a “tussle” outside his home the night of Feb. 26, 2012, george zimmermanand said he now believes the person on top in the altercation – which would moments later turn fatal – was Trayvon Martin.

.. In key testimony, he also said he believes George Zimmerman was the person yelling for help.

.. John Good took the stand Friday in the fifth day of testimony in the Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial. The former neighborhood watch captain is charged with shooting the unarmed teen as he was walking back to his father’s fiancee’s home through a Sanford, Fla. gated community.

.. He testified that he saw a man in dark clothing on top of a man who was wearing red or light-colored clothing with lighter skin. Zimmerman, 29, was wearing a red jacket the night of the altercation, and Martin was wearing a dark hoodie. However, Good testified that he didn’t see the person on top smashing the other person’s head into the sidewalk, as Zimmerman claims Martin did before he fatally shot the teen.

.. Taking the stand Friday, John Good said he was at home watching television with his wife when he heard a “faint noise” that seemed to be getting closer. Outside, he said he saw the person on top of another man.

.. The man on the bottom, who he said he now believes is George Zimmerman, yelled for help.

“At first it was “What’s going on,” and no one answered,’ ” Good said, describing calling out to the men. “And then at that point the person on the bottom, I could finally see, I heard a ‘help.’ Then at some point I said ‘Cut it out.’ And then, ‘I’m calling 911.’ That’s when I thought it was getting really serious.”

The altercation seemed to escalate, according to Good. The struggle moved to the cement pathway, and he said the person in dark clothing straddled the other man in “mixed martial arts position” he later described to police as a “ground and pound.” He said he saw “arm movements going downward,” though he couldn’t be certain the person on top was striking the person on the bottom.

“The person you now know to be Trayvon Martin was on top, correct?” asked defense attorney Mark O’Mara. “He was the one raining blows down on George Zimmerman, correct?”

“That’s what it looked like,” Good answered.

Good said he then went back inside to call 911. As he was dialing the phone, he heard a gunshot. His 911 call was played in court as the jury listened.

“I just heard a shot right behind my house. They’re wrestling right in back of my porch,” Good said on the recording. “…I’m pretty suretrayvon martin the guy’s dead out here. Holy sh–.”

Later, prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda asked whether it was possible a police officer could have used the term “ground and pound” before he did.

“It’s possible,” Good said.

De la Rionda honed in on Good’s earlier statement that he couldn’t confirm the person on top was hitting the other person.

“Correct,” Good said.

LEC here .. can you say , “Say Goodnight , Gracie . ”

… the prosecution is in very serious trouble . The defense has , without question , established credible and reasonable doubt about what was alleged in the indictment . Especially , what the “Scream Team” has tried in the media , and has gotten away with , has been totally discredited .

… The prosecution has to tread carefully . They have , but vary narrowly , opened a crack into Trayvon Martin ‘ s actions . They must conduct themselves with great care . Especially their witnesses . Their testimony should be helping their case . Right now , it is not . It is greatly hindering things , at the moment .

.. If the prosecutors are not careful , testimony could open the door to other things about Trayvon . Especially about his background and his charachter . Which are , to say the least , not all that beneficial , in the least . If that door is opened , then the defense case is just about clearly made .

… I would be shocked , right now , if Zimmerman were convicted of second – degree murder . The murder statute in any state , Florida included , I believe requires intent . So far , the prosecutors are not anywhere close to proving any intent , at all . They are , especially with John Good ‘ s testimony , have given the defense a big piece of their self – defense argument , delivered in a package , with a pretty bow – tie on top .

.. As to manslaughter , I will cover that in a later post . Right now , given what I know , and what facts are out there , I would say Zimmerman is not guilty , perhaps even innocent . But not now . More to come …

Posted in Investigative, legal opinion, personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… Crazed Insanity — the George Zimmerman Trial …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,June 30th,2013

[background material , hat tip courtesy of mike mcdaniel , at pjmedia]

.. With an all-female jury seated (five white, one Hispanic) and opening arguments occurring today, understa nd that not only should the charge against George Zimmerman never have been filed, but that the case is remarkably backwards. The shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26th , 2012 , in Sanford, Florida, was an unremarkable event — similar self-defense related shootings occur regularly. In virtually all of those cases, the local police do their work, local prosecutors review it, charges are filed or declined, and only local communities are aware of or care about it .

.. Whereas the Trayvon Martin case is an anomaly that reverses all of the conventions and behaviors normally present in the criminal justice system.

.. With that in mind, a primer about what to expect may be useful.

(The “Scheme Team”) : [neither the defence or the prosecution] Attorneys Benjamin Crump, Natalie Jackson, and Daryl Parks .

.. They are not only closely aligned with the prosecution, but they have already negotiated one civil settlement with the insurance company representing the Retreat at Twin Lakes, the neighborhood where George Zimmerman lived and served as Neighborhood Watch captain. Crump has been instrumental in engaging the full might of prominent racial-grievance figures, and arguably caused Florida Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi to appoint Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to charge Zimmerman with second-degree murder.

.. It was Crump who apparently discovered Witness Eight, “Dee Dee,” Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend who was supposedly on the phone with Martin before he was shot. Crump conducted an interview with her with ABC’s Matt Gutman present, and claimed that her testimony would obliterate Zimmerman’s self-defense claim. His claim would influence the prosecution to charge Zimmerman. He eventually arranged an interview with Dee Dee with deputy prosecutor Bernard0 de la Rionda. Not only was the “Scheme Team” present at that interview, but Martin’s mother was seated next to Dee Dee, an almost unimaginable violation of interview protocol.

.. The Scheme Team represents Trayvon Martin’s parents, “those sweet parents” as Corey called them at her press conference in the style of a political victory rally announcing Zimmerman’s arrest. For the time being, they have contented themselves with conducting daily press conferences in the courtroom, but if the trial should not go their way, expect them to further inflame racial tensions.

(The Prosecution) : Without conducting any new investigation, Corey’s office produced an affidavit that not only failed to produce any probable cause that Zimmerman violated any of the three essential elements of the offense . It was also factually incorrect , and withheld vital information of Zimmerman’s innocence. Any attorney or police officer filing an affidavit promises to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

.. This one, filed by special prosecutor investigators T.C. O’Steen and Dale Gilbreath at the direction of de la Rionda and on behalf of Corey, fell far short of the most minimal requirements of the law. Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz , attorney and commentator Mark Levin, attorney John Hinderaker of Powerline, and other notables took it to task in the harshest terms.

.. Bernie de la Rionda has taken the lead in handling the case. De la Rionda learned no later than August 2, 2012, that Dee Dee committed perjury but, despite multiple requests from the defense over many months, withheld that information until the evening of March 4, 2013, only hours before the matter would be heard in court and he would be forced to divulge the information .

Defense attorney Mark O’Mara filed a motion for sanctions against de la Rionda for improperly withholding important evidence, and de la Rionda filed a petulant, angry, and unprofessional response that is a model of improper legal writing. He eventually admitted in court  to withholding the evidence, with an excuse of: “I forgot about it.” Despite multiple defense requests, he forgot

— for seven months — that his most important witness was a perjurer. Judge Nelson has yet to rule on O’Mara’s motion for sanctions despite de la Rionda’s admission.

.. Another example of de la Rionda’s malfeasance is his withholding — for many months — of digital color photographs of Zimmerman’s injuries taken immediately after Zimmerman was assaulted by Martin. It’s easy to see why de la Rionda would not want the defense to have those photos — they clearly depict Zimmerman’s badly broken and bleeding nose, and his bruised, lacerated, and bloody face, as well as multiple bloody cuts on the back of his head.

.. Recently, the IT director for the special prosecutor’s office blew the whistle on de la Rionda’s hiding of evidence from Martin’s cell phone  , including photos of stolen jewelry, an image of Martin blowing what appears to be marijuana smoke, and an image of what appears to be Martin holding a handgun.

Discovered in early January 2013, much of that and other evidence was not turned over to the defense until June.

(The Defense)  : Mark O’Mara and Donald West are experienced attorneys who have demonstrated professionalism up until this george zimmermanpoint in the trial. Normally, it is the defense that tries its case in the court of public opinion, yet in this case it has been the prosecution relying on public opinion and political support to sustain their case.

The Media : The media wasted no time in working with the Scheme Team — their narrative was quickly born and disseminated: Trayvon Martin, 17, was actually a small, slight, innocent scholar with a bright future. On February 26, he was temporarily living with his father in Sanford and walked to a nearby 7-Eleven, where he bought iced tea and Skittles for his little brother. On the way home,  he was spotted by Zimmerman, a huge, hulking “white-Hispanic” many times his size who “profiled” Martin and ruthlessly ran him down as Martin fled in fright, desperately trying to reach the safety of his temporary residence.  Zimmerman pursued Martin because he was black and wearing a hoodie, and brutally murdered him without provocation.

.. For the media, the Zimmerman case fit well with their preferred narrative lines, and they embraced it fully as a too-good-to-check case. However, their bias and lack of professional skepticism quickly blew back at them.

(The Facts): Normally, the prosecution is the natural ally of the police. Using their investigation — the facts — prosecutors are able to establish all of the elements of the offense and win a conviction. In the Zimmerman case, the prosecution must ignore, try to explain away, or try to construct reasonable doubt about the case of the police — a bizarre state of affairs.

The Sanford Police Department conducted an unbiased and competent investigation , and the local prosecutor, Norm Wolfinger, declined to press charges because all of the evidence supported Zimmerman’s self-defense claim under Florida law, and none contradicted it. Prosecutor investigator Dale Gilbreath admitted this on April 20, 2012.

However, that investigation and its results did not fit the narrative, and so Corey was tasked not with doing justice, but with charging and convicting Zimmerman regardless of the evidence. Corey’s office has never produced the slightest evidence proving that the Sanford Police failed in their duty or exhibited racial bias.

That being the case, what are the grounds for charging Zimmerman with any crime?

The facts of the case are simple. On a cold, rainy evening, George Zimmerman was leaving his neighborhood to shop for groceries when he spotted Trayvon Martin in the gated neighborhood, a neighborhood that had recently been plagued by thefts and burglaries, most committed by young black men. He did not recognize him as a resident. Because Martin was wearing a hoodie, Zimmerman only became aware of his race later when Martin approached his vehicle, and only mentioned his race in response to a dispatcher’s question.

.. Martin appeared to be under the influence of drugs to Zimmerman, and rather than walking with purpose to get out of the rain, trayvon martinMartin appeared to be casing the area. Zimmerman didn’t know it at the time, but Martin was under the influence of marijuana — it would be found in his blood.  Zimmerman called the police and asked for officers to speak with Martin to see who he was and what he was doing, and the dispatcher asked Zimmerman to keep telling him what Martin was doing.

After approaching Zimmerman and circling his vehicle menacingly, Martin ran off between two long rows of homes. Zimmerman told the dispatcher Martin was running, and tried to get to a position where he could see Martin to direct the police he believed to be on the way and due to arrive at any minute. By the time he was able to leave his vehicle, Martin was long gone, and Zimmerman told the dispatcher he had lost him and was returning to his vehicle to meet the officers.

Zimmerman hung up, and within seconds was approached by Martin, who punched Zimmerman in the nose and took him to the ground. Martin repeatedly pounded his head into the concrete sidewalk while Zimmerman screamed for help. This was seen and heard by multiple witnesses, and recorded – poorly — by the police as a witness called 911.

Stunned, helpless, and afraid for his life, Zimmerman drew his 9mm handgun and fired one round into Martin’s torso at near-muzzle contact range. Martin sat up and Zimmerman was able to get away from him.

The police arrived within seconds and Zimmerman cooperated fully with them. Their photographs, observations, and collected evidence — recorded in their reports — fully supported Zimmerman’s account.  Zimmerman continued to fully cooperate with the police, including taking and passing two-voice stress tests (a sort of lie detector), and participating in a videotaped walkthrough of the events of that night with them.

 

There is no question that if Martin wanted to be in his temporary home, out of the rain and out of sight of Zimmerman, he had more than enough time. However, he chose to hide and lay in wait for Zimmerman, a man who thought he had lost track of Martin. Martin was not a slight child, but a lean and muscular 5’11″ and 158 pounds — substantially taller than Zimmerman.

But why would a young man like Martin attack Zimmerman? Martin was a teenager on a fast track to trouble. His social media presence shows a young man immersed in thug culture. He tried to obtain guns, and often wrote about drug use, which explains the narrative’s constant repetition that Martin was carrying tea and skittles when shot. He was not. He was carrying a watermelon-flavored drink and  Skittles, two of the three ingredients, along with Robitussin cough syrup, of a  drug concoction know as “Lean” or “Purple Drank.”  Martin often wrote about using that concoction, and about smoking “blunts,” hollowed-out cheap cigars filled with marijuana. There is evidence that Martin bought a blunt at the 7-Eleven he visited about 45 minutes before his attack on Zimmerman. Martin was caught at school with stolen property — women’s jewelry — and had been suspended from school multiple times. The most recent suspension of ten days put Martin with his father in Sanford.

As for Zimmerman’s racism, the FBI’s investigation not only found no evidence of racism, but quite the opposite. When a relative of a Sanford Police officer beat a black homeless man, his tireless advocate was none other than George Zimmerman.

(Judge Nelson): Judge Debra Nelson replaced the earlier judge, removed for obvious bias against Zimmerman. Judge Nelson would quickly prove herself no slouch at anti-Zimmerman bias. Her rulings have unmistakably favored the prosecution. Among the most egregious example of that bias has been her treatment of Crump.

Nelson initially allowed O’Mara to depose Crump, but before the deposition could be done, Crump submitted an affidavit instead, and Nelson accepted it over O’Mara’s objections and canceled the deposition. O’Mara was soon able to provide evidence that Crump was untruthful in the affidavit, but Nelson would not allow a deposition. O’Mara filed a motion with a higher court that overturned Nelson’s decision. Unfortunately, this occurred so late in the process that Crump has not yet been deposed and likely will not be before the trial begins.

(What To Expect) : As the trial begins, the defense will rely on the police and their investigation — on the facts — and the law. Expect them to move for dismissal at the beginning of the trial, and multiple times during the trial. In an unbiased court, this case would never have been filed. No rational judge would have issued an arrest warrant based on such a badly flawed and inadequate affidavit, and no professional judge would have allowed it to continue.

.. Zimmerman’s self-defense argument is supported by all the evidence and is not contradicted by any competent evidence. The prosecutor will be put in the unenviable position of arguing against the police, the evidence, and the law. Their case is the narrative, a provably false tale of race and hatred grounded only in a desire to inflame racial passions.

.. Do not expect Zimmerman to testify. The facts, including his videotaped reenactment of the events, will speak for him. Also expect the defense to produce highly qualified, impressive, and believable scientific witnesses. Expect the prosecution to produce poorly qualified, confusing, and easily impeachable scientific witnesses (particularly expect Judge Nelson to allow such ncompetents to testify for the prosecution).

.. Expect the defense to be calm, steady, professional and trustworthy. Expect the prosecution to be angry, arrogant, and — if their pre-trial demeanor is any guide — to take considerable liberty with the facts and the truth. Expect them to defend the narrative with all their might; it is their case.

The narrative remains. Several prospective jurors expressed fear that a “not guilty” verdict would result in riots, or put their families and themselves in  danger. Despite evidence of growing public boredom with the case, this is not an unreasonable fear.

.. Should Zimmerman be convicted, expect the case to be overturned on appeal due to prosecutorial misconduct, and to multiple and egregious instances of reversible error by Judge Nelson. There is reason to believe that the appeals court is carefully watching this case. Even so, expect Judge Nelson to do all she can to assist the prosecution and to hamper the defense, and to help the Scheme Team.

Regardless of the outcome, there will be no winners at the conclusion.

Posted in Investigative, legal opinion, personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… Happy Birthday !! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,June 26th,2013

… yea , this blog turns one year old , today ! And , it made it through one whole year . Most blogs that are attempted , generally do not birthday candlemake that long , or anywhere near that far . Well , it made it .  So far , so good .

… I just wish that I could have said more , about more subjects . It is just little old me , so I will do what I can , the best I can .

…  and , in the coming year , I promise to do more , and do it better ! …

… So , once again , Happy Birthday !! …

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… Give It a Little Time …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,June 26th,2013

… I want to give it a couple of days , maybe , before fully digesting the Supreme Court ‘ s actions over the last couple of days . And , Boy , it was quite a bit of action . Yea , the Fisher decision (racial preferences) was a bit of a surprise . The Shelby County decision (voting rights act — enforcement) was a dandy . It was a warm – up act for what came up next .

.. Next up came the two defence of marriage cases . No , it was not good . But , believe it or not , it could have been worse . Hollingsworth is headed back to California , and the brawling in court is going to start all over again . Contrary to public statements , gay marriages in California will not start up again . The judgement that might be entered in Hollingsworth may well be a default judgement . It only applies to the two people involved in the case , not anyone else . It should not take effect statewide . It also should make Governor Brown and the state officials look bad , because they are failing to do their jobs . Thosese referenda are the written laws and constitutional amendments of the State of Californaia , and they have a sworn duty to act to defend them , whether they like it , or not .

.. The end of June always seems to be crazy time on North Capitol Street . However , the other courts of our nation will continue . And , so will I .

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… It is Time to Tell the Truth , POTUS …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 25th,2013

.. The ObamaCrap White House keeps trying the line that the current spate of scandals are not scandals. The administration even tried the excuse that it is all a GOP witch hunt . H.R.C. on Benghazi tried, “What difference does it make?” POTUS

has insisted that he did not know or was not told about significant and unprecedented policies (e.g. surveilling reporters, creating a new criminal theory to punish reporting) . His chief spokesman has even tried the suggestion that it is a good thing for the president not to be told certain things (e.g. the IRS scandal) before he reads about it in the papers .

.. Are you Nuts ?!?!

.. The Boss is not going to know everything . God knows , the federal government is so goddamn big , it is impossible to know everything about everything that is going on . However , morally , as well as constitutionally , he is responsible . The military understands this , all to well , from the doctrine of “command responsibility.” Those people are presidential appointees or , they are career people at senior levels . He is responsible for them , and for their actions .

.. Throwing people “under the bus” certainly not the most senior figures responsible for a spasm of overreach , political witch-hunting and egregious incompetence. Firing underlings isn’t an effective strategy. It’s a start, but not the sort of advice the ObamaCrap White House should adopt with hopes this will all blow over in a month.

.. How about [these] steps?

[-] President Obama instructs everyone in his administration to grant full cooperation to Congress , inspectors general , and the FBI , in whatever investigations transpired . Senior officials would understand that it is not acceptable to take the Fifth.

[-] POTUS asks the State Department Accountability Review Board (already under scrutiny for its slap-dash job) to go back to work , and question Hillary Clinton and other senior officials , whom they did not bother to interview the first time on Benghazi.

[-] He offers his own staff to come clean on their roles in the IRS , MediaGate , and Benghazi scandals .

[-] Finding someone who might be responsible to fire . POTUS fires the AG for, among other things , failing to adhere to and make certain his department followed the practice of every other administration regarding the details of dealing with spying on reporters .

[-] He requests an independent prosecutor (not an independent counsel) to determine if he lied to Congress about the non-written recusal. He hires a respected, independent-minded AG .

[-] The president agrees to a clear-the-air press conference , with notice in advance to the news networks and the broadcast networks that it will be a looong one . He should be expected to answer all questions on Benghazi, the IRS, spying on reporters

[-] This presser should also be expected to deal with the HHS shakedown of the healthcare companies .

[-] He should offer an apology to members of the press who were surveilled . He should apologize to the press corpse , as a whole . He will not filibuster or impune the motives of those asking hard questions .

[-] The president then hires a senior & respected figure as chief of staff [ala Ronaldus Magnus] , who among other things , is directed to replace any member of the staff or the communications team who misled the media and the American people.

.. This administrations has , to say the least , acted in ways that enrage voters and citizens . Those actions embody the Chicago Way (reward your friends, destroy enemies, use the law as a weapon) . POTUS is going to have to try to break himself and his staff of these habits .

.. If he cannot break himself of the addiction to Chicago – style bare – knuckles brawling with political opponents , his presidency may well collapse. If he manages to rise above it , he might accomplish something in his second term .

Posted in Investigative, personal opinion, political opinion | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… How Many Fibs , How Short a Time …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 25th,2013

.. to be frankly honest , it has taken a extraordinarily inordinate amount of time for people to understand that they are being given , at best , half –  truths on everything from Benghazi to Obamacare .

.. This lack of believability has greatly damaged the image of voters on big government , to the dismay of liberal statists.

In foreign policy, the credibility problem plagues him. Consider all the things

Obama has asserted that simply aren’t true :

[-] Israel

[-] the Middle East “so-called” peace process

[-] the “Russian Reset”

the Arms Treaty was a one – sided deal , and now l ‘ affaire Snowden …

[-] Sanctions are working against Iran.

[-] Bashar al-Assad was a reformer before he was on the verge of being ousted before we did not know who to back before we took a half – step two years too late.

[-] Benghazi was the result of some video.

[-] We could exit Iraq with no status of forces agreement without threatening gains there .

[-] We could work with Mohamed Morsi.

[-] China is a constructive operator on the world stage .

[-] Al – Quaeda is out of business , especially without Osama Bin Laden

[-] Vladimir Putin’s election was praiseworthy.

… it goes On and On and On and On …

.. One can understand that Obama may have not been intentionally misleading . Well , to be honest , given the actions (Medvedev , Russian Reset , Iraq , soft on the Palestinians / hard on Israel) , I think that POTUS is a pathological liar .

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… Sorry , Folks …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 25th,2013

… my computer was on the fritz for the last couple of days . As you can see , it is fixed now …

Posted in personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… How God Awful and Horrendous …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,June 19th,2013

… I am reposting links back to both [theOtherMcCain] and [ViralRead] , you should really read this , at length .

.. the conduct of  the public officials was bad , and it should be punished , severly  . The scumbag should never , EVER see the light of day ever again ..

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… It figures , and It explains A Lot …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,June 19th,2013

.. the House G.O.P. has evidently been making excellent strides towards an immigration bill . Maybe not as comprehensive as the Senate bill . But close .

.. However , they have also been making efforts towards a genuine bipartisan bill .

No , not a lapdog surrender-to-the-democrats bill . They are trying to make it one .

But it is having a big problem .

.. As you might think … the DemoCraps …

.. the GOP “Gang of 8” with the dems keep having problems reaching an agreement . Efforts seem to be halting , at best . They are working hard , but it seems other powers-that-be are interfering with their efforts . It may end forcing the bill to be a partisan one , instead .

.. Why ? Neil Munro for the Daily Caller , Ryan Lizza (the New Yorker) , and  Bryan Preston for PJMedia all seem to have nailed it down —

chief problem # 1 — Pelosi — She obviously wants the issue , not a bill .

chief problem # 2 — same reason — POTUS

… make it a partisan bill , then go to conference . If the Dems are screwing around , and the ObamaCraps are running their mouths off , screw ‘ em . Jam a partisan bill through , though not a nativist one , and then go to conference with the Senate .

LEC here — it makes you wonder , if the ObamaCraps have enouh self – discipline to keep their mouths shut . It (for them) may be and will be necessary , especially if any of them , or senior staff are involved in the burgeoning scandals …

[h/t — pjmedia/the tatler– bridget johnson]

.. I am reposting just about all of her post on pjmedia.com , so that you can understand what is happening from the folks themselves ….

 

A Republican member of the House’s version of the Group of Eight indicated there’s still some distance to cross before they arrive at a bipartisan agreement in the lower chamber.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said he’s been working with the House immigration reform group, which includes Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), for four years.

Ideally, he said this morning on MSNBC, they “would be able to finalize a bipartisan agreement.”

“That just hasn’t happened yet. So the House is going to continue to move forward,” he said in reference to House Judiciary Committee’s plans to move ahead with standalone immigration bills.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to have a bipartisan proposal to bring forward to the House in relatively short order. In the meantime, however, it’s important the House do what it’s gonna do,” Diaz-Balart continued. “And, you, ultimately, hopefully, there’ll be a bill that we can conference on, that we’re — the Senate passes a bill, we’ll pass, hopefully, either a comprehensive bill or a number of different bills, and then we can go to conference.”

The Florida Republicans said they had an agreement at one point, but it was torpedoed by the Dems, not the GOP side.

“We had an agreement once. And then, unfortunately, and I think it’s coming from the Democratic leadership and not from the group that I’m negotiating with, a deal that we had already agreed on and, again, I think it’s coming from Nancy Pelosi, we had to reopen the deal,” Diaz-Balart said.

“We had a second deal what was announced to the press, where we all announced, the bipartisan group, that we had reached an agreement in principle. On a second occasion, we had to reopen the same issue that had already been reached, where we had already reached an agreement on a second time. And, again, I think the problem that we’re running into is — is Nancy Pelosi. I’m not quite sure if she wants a bill.”

He said the negotiators are working on border security, interior immigration enforcement and “a modernized visa” system.

“We’ve only had one outstanding issue, which is the health care issue. We’ve had two agreements on that issue. And both times, the folks that I’ve been negotiating with have had to back track on their agreement. That’s not coming from them; that’s coming from likely a higher pay grade,” continued Diaz-Balart.

“Can we get a bipartisan proposal? That’s where I think Nancy Pelosi has frankly become part of the problem. Then, you’re talking about the issue of can we pass anything in the House. And that’s also gonna be a very difficult issue.”

One hangup is healthcare costs, he added.

“And here’s the issue there that we’re dealing with, is should the taxpayer be stuck with the bill of the health care of the 10 million or 11 million people? Or should those folks who are going to be legalized, earn legalization, should they be responsible for their health care bill? That’s the issue we haven’t solved yet. I think once we do that, we’ll hopefully have a bipartisan proposal,” Diaz-Balart said.

“Then comes the, frankly, the second big hurdle, which is can we pass a bipartisan comprehensive bill through the House? That will be difficult, but I’m optimistic.”

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… Urban Planning , and by the E.P.A. ?!?! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,June 19th,2013

.. yea , right . the ObamaCrap loons would drive us back to the Stone Age , with carts , oxen , a lot fewer people , and us living in caves , naked .

.. Yeech !! Here is an article from CNSnews , nailing the OC on this , and this is the link to their idiotic report ..

Posted in Investigative, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Obamaphobia is …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

.. standing for the rule of law  , not the rule of one man ..

.. standing for the rights of the individual , not the rights of a group ..

.. traditional judeo – islamic – christian values , which , when practiced the way they are supposed to be , are not mutually exclusive of each other , or to each other ..

.. the proper separation of powers , where the branches support each other , and their roles , not obstruct each other , and intefere with their work ..

.. religious liberty , not atheistic tyranny ..

.. I have more , add your own , please , keep it clean ! ..

Posted in personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… the G.O.P. stands for …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

.. individual rights , not group rights ..

.. individual liberty , not tyranny

.. religious freedom , not government diktats ..

.. life , and its existence , growth , and enjoyment and pursuit to its fullest extent , or , as the founders said , the pursuit of happiness .

… add your own ideas . Be Honest . Keep it brief . Please , for god ‘ s sake , keep it clean .

[h/t — cybercast news (cnsnews.com)]

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… Obama does not Have the Guts , Er , Balls …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

.. Simply put , POTUS could close the Guantanamo Bay prison right now , if he really wanted to …

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[-] it is a military prison . Guantanamo Bay is a Navy Base , folks . On Cuban soil , no less .

[-] Barack H. Obama is President of the United States , at least the current one .

[-] POTUS is the commander – in – chief of our army and navy , our armed forces .

.. If he really wanted to , he could issue the order , transfer the inmates out to another nation or base , and close Gitmo . Right Now . There are a few problems with that …

.. no other base is really equipped for the inmates ,

.. those bases are in allied nations ,

.. who would want those inmates . Their countries of origin sure as hell would not want them . Most of them are likely from the Arab world , from the Palestinian territories , Saudi Arabia , Kuwait , Yemen , etc .

.. Congress can restrict their transfer domestically . Not overseas . Also , not to another U.S. military base with a prison . If the commander – in – chief says they go , then they go . Congress makes the rules , and pays the bills , but the President commands .

.. Chiefly , POTUS does not have the guts . Which figures . Obama is a wus , a gutless wonder . If he had to stand election again , he would face a primary challenge . Most likely , from Miz Hillary , or some other DemoCrap willing to roll the dice , especially one with $$ .

Posted in intelligence, moral opinion, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Do Senate Dems have the votes for the “Nuclear Option ? ” …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

English: Kay Hagan, U.S. senator from North Ca...

English: Kay Hagan, U.S. senator from North Carolina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

.. a.k.a. , does Dingy Harry have a Death Wish ?

.. that damn fool just might .

.. it is simple math. Lautenberg ’ s death means Dems now only have 54 votes in the

Senate. (His temporary Republican replacement can’t be expected to back rules reform.) Aides who are tracking the vote count tell me that Senator Carl Levin (a leading opponent of the “nuke option” when it was ruled out at the beginning of the year, leading to the watered down bipartisan filibuster reform compromise)  is all but certain to oppose any rules change by simple majority .

.. If Dems lose those four votes, that would bring them down to 50. And, aides note, that would mean Biden’s tie-breaking vote would be required to get back up to the 51 required for a simple Senate majority. That’s an awfully thin margin for error.

.. How precarious , indeed . How about getting anything done , at all . Any business to get done in the Senate requires the at least grudging consent of the minority party . If you want to piss them off that much , you are asking for trouble .

.. And political payback . And , revenge . Large . and , Small .

.. They will not back down , Greggy . Count on a block on Perez , especially with the Supreme Court granting cert in the Mount Holly case . Cordray will be blocked , due to the power grab by POTUS on the recess appointments . As well , the other gal , at the E.P.A. , for obvious reasons to break the back of the EcoSocialists .

.. I do not think that Reid has the votes . Not now . Begich is a No . ditto Pryor . Baucus is a wildcard . Heitkamp is going to be under enormous pressure . ditto Donnelly , and Kay Hagan . Johnson is a possible No . Carl Levin , of all people , is

a possible No . Angus King , as you might think , is a wild card . He is independently wealthy , and $$ pressure will not work .

.. Lautenberg’s passing has put the Dems’ ability to change the rules in peril, it has also increased the potential for more brinksmanship — and more miscalculation. Anyone who is telling you they know how this is going to end is lying to you.

.. The only way to know for sure that Dingy Harry has the votes for sure , is when he calls this forward . Everyone will be in the Senate chambre . Everyone in the Senate . Yea , that includes VPOTUS in the chair .

.. and afterwards , it will be the political equivalent of thermonuclear war .

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… Edward Snowden is …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

.. an America – hating douchbag . and most of all  , a T – R – A – I – T – O – R .

Posted in personal opinion | Leave a Comment »

… it is because the Salary Gap is a Myth ! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,June 18th,2013

… the better our education is , and the broader – based it is , the better off we all will be …

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… Thomas Perez is So Busted …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,June 17th,2013

Thomas Perez is So Busted

… and was said in the ’60s , the whole world is watching …

LEC here — I wanted to paste this together , and repost it on my blog , as one unit , with links [] and [] with the great news that Hans announces below

[h/t to pjmedia , and one hell of a lawyer and writer , hans von spakovsky !]

SCOTUS Takes Up Mt. Holly Case

Posted By Hans A. von Spakovsky On June 17, 2013 @ 7:04 am In Politics

The Supreme Court has just granted certiorari in Mt. Holly, NJ v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens, so it will hear arguments on the case in the fall.  This is the case I  previously wrote about that involves the questionable  “disparate impact” legal theory that has gotten Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights (and Obama Labor Secretary nominee) Thomas Perez into so much trouble.  The Court granted review despite a brief from the Solicitor General telling the Supremes that they should not take the case.  No doubt, civil rights groups will now do everything they can (perhaps with the help of the administration) to convince the town of Mt. Holly to dismiss its case before their pet legal theory gets tossed out by the Supreme Court.

LEC again — you can bet that the Supremes are watching this .

[-] the town of Mt Holly  has taken it this far . I strongly doubt that they are willing to settle . Able to settle , yes . Willing , No . Especially with the spotlight this one is going to get .

[-] the pressure that the interest groups and the ObamaCraps are going to put on them will be enormous . They will play hardball , fair or foul , to get the town to settle . However , they need the Court ‘ s permission . No , not the district court , this time .

[-] One thing that this does is that it gets the case out of the hands of the ObamaCraps . They would not and will not dare pull a rerun of what Thomas Perez pulled in the Magner v Gallagher case , out of the 10th Circuit [St. Paul , Mn] . They may want to , but not with even the chance that the chicanery could screw up Cory Booker ‘ s Senate election . Oh , Booker has to run in 2014 . Someone may want to run then , especially if it looks like a strong Republican year , and Christie wins in a blowout , with coattails .

[-] There are at least 4 votes to shoot down disparate impact . I am thinking that there will be at least 6 [Scalia , Thomas , Alito , CJ Roberts , Kennedy , plus either Sotomayor or Breyer ] . Forget about Ginsberg . Also , given Perez ‘ monkeyshines , I do not think that Kagan can participate in the case .

[-] Briefs , especially the amicus briefs , and the arguments too , are going to be World War III . This one is going to be one of the highlights of the next Supreme Court term .

[-] You can forget about Perez getting a confirmation vote for Labour Secretary . There is no way in hell that he will get it , especially with the other cases on Presidential powers on recess appointments pending .

[-] ditto , POTUS ‘ pseudo appointees to the D.C. circuit . The current cast of regular appeallate judges , plus Srnivisian (the new guy , a conservative , of all things) , plus the senior judges (7 or 8 of them) can easily handle the workload .

PJ Media » More Justice Department Chicanery: Thomas Perez and ‘Disparate

Impact’ » Print

More Justice Department Chicanery: Thomas Perez and ‘Disparate Impact’

Posted By Hans von Spakovsky On June 1, 2013 @ 12:00 am In Judiciary,Legal,US

News | 19 Comments

 

One of the administration’s favorite legal theories, “disparate impact,” may get

taken up again by the Supreme Court. Will the administration try to engineer

some kind of payoff to take the issue away from the Court — again?

In June 2012, the town of Mount Holly, N.J., petitioned the Supreme Court to

review the legitimacy of racial discrimination claims premised solely on a

disparate impact theory under the Fair Housing Act. Under this theory, a policy

— such as requiring high credit scores for loans — can be completely neutral,

but if it yields a disparate impact on a particular racial or gender group, an

institution using that policy can be held liable for discrimination. In other

words, an entity can be found to have discriminated even if it didn’t actually

intend to discriminate.

Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for Civil Rights at the Justice

Department and President Obama’s nominee to be Labor secretary, has used

disparate impact to extort huge settlements from the financial industry under

the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Here, Mount Holly is alleged to have discriminated simply because it wanted to

redevelop and rebuild a rundown housing development in a high-crime area where

almost half the residents are black. Thus, the rebuilding plan would have had a

statistically larger impact on black residents than white residents.

The issue of whether a mere disparate impact claim violates the FHA, or whether

the more rigorous standard of intentional discrimination is required was before

the Supreme Court last year. In that case, Magner v. Gallagher, the city of St.

Paul, MN, was accused of violating the FHA because it aggressively enforced the

health and safety provisions of its housing code. Slumlords sued the city,

claiming that enforcement had a disparate impact because the majority of their

tenants were racial minorities.

In other words, they were using the FHA to obstruct the city’s attempt to

improve the horrible living conditions of poor families.

Thomas Perez concocted a quid pro quo deal to have the Magner case dismissed —

even though the U.S. was not a party in the case. At the time, the federal

government was considering intervening in a separate False Claims Act case worth

almost $200 million against St. Paul. The city had received tens of millions of

dollars from the federal government based on what career attorneys within the

Justice Department called a “particularly egregious example of false

certifications” by the city.

Perez told St. Paul that the Justice Department would stay out of the False

Claims Act case if the city withdrew the Magner case that the Supreme Court had

agreed to hear. The city jumped at the deal.

A report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee later

concluded that Perez “sought, facilitated, and consummated this deal because he

feared that the Court would find disparate impact unsupported by the text of the

Fair Housing Act.” According to the same report, Perez also attempted to hide

both the deal and his involvement in it.

He even called a key lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota and told

him to make sure there wasn’t “any mention of the Magner case” in the False

Claims Act case files.

Fast forward to the new claim involving Mount Holly: although the U.S. is,

again, not a party to the case, the Supreme Court last October asked the Justice

Department to file a brief advising whether it thought the Court should accept

the case for review.

To no one’s surprise, the brief [1] that Justice recently filed told the Court

it should not take the case. The question of whether disparate impact claims are

available under the FHA “does not warrant review,” it declared. The brief was

filed by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., and right under his name is

that of Thomas E. Perez.

Verrilli and Perez argue that disparate impact claims are a “reasonable

construction of the statute’s text, structure, and history” and that there is no

conflict in the courts of appeal on this issue. But the brief ends with an

argument you wouldn’t expect from Justice, given Perez’s sub rosa involvement in

getting the Magner case dismissed — especially in light of recent revelations

that he violated federal law and Justice Department rules by using his personal

email account to facilitate the deal.

Verrilli and Perez fault Mount Holly for even raising the issue of whether

disparate impact claims are valid under the FHA. Mount Holly, they write, had

the “opportunity to raise both questions” in the lower courts when the Magner

case was before the Supreme Court,” and therefore can’t bring it up now.

With stunning chutzpah, the government is arguing that Mount Holly should have

been aware that disparate impact was a live issue when review was granted in

Magner v. Gallagher and should have raised the issue in its own case.

This is wrong for two reasons. First, the timeliness of Mount Holly’s claim that

disparate impact does not constitute a violation of the FHA has no relation

whatsoever to someone else’s lawsuit, such as the Magner case. Second, even if

Mount Holly mistakenly thought disparate impact was not a live legal issue when

Magner was before the Supreme Court, Mount Holly would have learned it was a

live issue when the scandal became public over the government’s quid pro quo

deal that bought off St. Paul and caused the city to dismiss the Magner case.

Therefore, the government’s very actions in Magner make the Mount Holly

disparate impact claims in the current case timely.

It should also be noted that while the brief criticizes Mount Holly for not

raising this issue when Magner was before the Supreme Court, it fails to inform

the Court that a senior Justice Department official (whose name is on the brief)

helped get that very case dismissed before the Court could hear oral arguments.

Should we be surprised by any of these convoluted machinations?

Probably not, given what happened the last time disparate impact was being

considered by the Supreme Court. The House report concluded that the quid pro

quo in the Magner case “manipulated the rule of law and pushed the limits of

justice to make” the deal happen.

The Supreme Court should accept the Mount Holly case. And if Justice approaches

Mount Holly with a Magner-esque deal, the city should reject it so the Court can

finally rule on the validity of disparate impact claims.

 

 

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… Bravo , Star !

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,June 17th,2013

… that ‘ s columnist Star Parker . I am going to link to her column in the Jewish  World Review . It is a dandy about two gentleman who happen to be black and have changed parties , from DemoCrap , to Republican …

Star Parker

Star Parker (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

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… I meant It ! The Illinois Gun Bill is …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,June 17th,2013

.. junk it. it has passed the Illinois legislature , and by overwhelming majorities . They will be enough to over – ride any possible veto by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) . It does not mean that it is good law  . I do not think that it is good enough . Not even close .

.. I will guarantee you , Quinn does not like the bill . He hates it . He also realizes that Illinois ‘ finances are in the tank . And POTUS is

English: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn addresses...

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

no help . They have bigger fish to fry .

.. However , the court case (Moore v Madigan) and the Federal Court (the 7th Circuit) have given them no choice . They have to deal with it . If they do not , then the court will , by throwing out the whole schebang . Then things will get really wild , where there is no law at all  . They are scared of that , but they are even more scared of an appeal  to the U.S. Supreme Court .

.. If this one were to land in D.C. (whose gun laws are even more ridiculous) , then it could make the circus in Illinois pale in comparison to what could happen nationwide . There are some states ,  such as New York ‘ s Williams Act and SAFE Act , that could conceivably be in danger if Moore v Madigan went to D.C.

.. Of all irony , the Federal Appeals Court (the Seventh Circuit) sits in Chicago . They have to watching all of this that is going on with a great deal of interest . They have already made their ruling in Moore v. Madigan , but have stayed it . They have also granted an extension , so that Quinn can evaluate it , either sign or veto it , and then the Legislature can attempt to override . It means that Quinn and the legislature effectively have , no pun intended , well maybe it is , a ” gun at their head . ” They have to do something . No excuses . No cheapy exit strategy . And the court is watching .

.. In my previous post , I linked to that CBS Chicago piece about all of the carnage from that weekend . What a bloodbath . Chicago ‘ s gun laws are a joke . An obscene joke . People are dying because they cannot defend themselves . It is about damn time that they can . And not with that bloody  FOID card . A state I.D. or driver ‘ s license should do , along with a clean (no felonies) criminal record .

.. Requiring training for concealed carry makes sense . Most of the states that have it require it . I am from Ohio . Ohio has it . Ohio is also a “shall issue ” state . it means , once you complete the course , apply for the permit , and complete the criminal background check (no felonies , of course) , you may receive the permit . Yea , it does not mean that you can behave like Wyatt Earp and his brothers at the O.K. Corral . Ohio has quite a few restrictions on where guns are allowed , and not allowed [to deal with the concealed – carry permits] . But , here murders are waaay down . Not in Chicago . Their murder rate is “through the roof . ”

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… Screw the (Illinois Gun) Bill , and Try Again …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,June 16th,2013

History of handgun carry permit laws, 1986-pre...

History of handgun carry permit laws, 1986-present. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are They ? Everyone thinks they might . But , Screw the F.O.I.D.

.. Illinois Legislature Set to End Concealed Carry Ban ..

.. the Illinois legislature has acted , but is it enough ? Will Governor Quinn sign the bill , or will he veto it ? Also , will the Federal Appeallate Circuit Court accept what they have done ? Is it enough ?

.. The Illinois legislature has complied with an appeals court ruling that their concealed carry ban was unconstitutional . Governor Quinn has not said whether he’ll sign the bill or not . It may not matter , though . The bill passed in the legislature with enough votes to override a veto.

.. The new law would allow the Illinois State Police to issue a carry permit to law-abiding Illinois residents who pass the required 16-hour training and pay a $150 fee (a shall – issue law ) . A gun owner must also have a state-issued Firearms Owner Identification card (FOID) to buy a gun in Illinois . Evidently , there have been a record number FOID applications each month, leading to a backlog as police try to process them all . Adding up the expense of buying a carry gun , the $10 FOID fee, the training classes , and $150 application fee , Valinda Rowe , of the group Illinois Carry, expressed concern that this law will deprive poor people from the ability to partake of their civil right of self – defense .

.. I agree . You have to pay , just to be able to have a firearm license . Being an adult , with legal ID , that should be id enough . Screw the FOID .

.. This bill is just to carry the gun outside of the home . In Illinois , right now , that is illegal . It was the cause of a huge legal fight . The result was a historic court decision , Moore v. Madigan , where the U.S. 7th Appeallate Circuit Court threw out the Illinois law . It then gave the state just six months to fix the issue .

Whether  they have done so , that is what is at dispute .

.. The decision may also affect the ability of the citizens of Illinois to carry their weapons on a concealed – carry basis . In Illinois , forget it . You cannot do it . Given current circumstances , especially in Chicago , It is this latter group of people who may need concealed carry the most. Despite inclement weather, Chicago gangs shot eight more people between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. According to BET:

Chicago’s murder rate is widely considered to be fueled by the drug wars that are fought between the city’s network of gangs. The homicide rate has been largely confined to the city’s south and west areas, African-American bastions of Chicago.

.. The new carry law is a step forward, but it nevertheless is a gun control law, controlling how and where law-abiding citizens can legally carry. It contains a clause saving Chicago’s “assault weapons” ban. It raises the financial bar for those who want to carry legally, maintaining the imbalance of power in favor of those who ignore laws.

.. Once again , gun control has been shown to be racist . The bad guys did not wait for a law to be passed before carrying concealed firearms . Blood is already running in the streets of Chicago , despite it having the strictest gun control laws in the country. Those suffering the most, poorer Blacks living in Chicago , risk being barred once again from their right to keep and bear arms.

 

— Update — since I finished this , this popped up on the Drudge Report . You expect people to go out on the streets , undefended , and try to deal with the bad guys , when you are unarmed , and they have the guns .

.. people have an inherent right to defend themselves . they obviously have a right to own guns . part of what makes us American is the right to defend ourselves . Especially when there is evil on the streets , evil that makes us feel unsafe .

.. People should have a reasonable right to concealed carry . No , do not turn the streets into the Wild West . But make the streets safer . Make sure that the good guys are armed . Also , provide for reasonable rules for concealed – carry for everyone . They should have to be trained and pass a course to have a weapon concealed . But , it should be allowed . Not banned .

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… Some Sense of Priorities , huh ?? …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,June 15th,2013

.. It figures , for the ObamaCraps .

.. just when it seems that the ObamaCrap Administration might finally get off of its collective A-S-S to

John Brennan - Caricature

John Brennan – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

help deal with the rebels and the situation in Syria , it shows what it really thinks of the whole

situation . When the announcement is made for the change in policy , who makes it  ?

.. POTUS ? Nope .

.. VPOTUS ? Nope .

.. even FLOTUS ? Nope .

.. a cabinet official worth something ? Nope .

.. Who did the deed ? the Deputy National Security Adviser , of all people . Ben Rhoades . a lower – level

flunkie . for God ‘ s sake , a political hack .

.. Where was you-know-who ?

.. emceeing a LGBT event in the East Room . Also , acting as the basketball junkie in chief , hosting the

Indiana Fever , the 2012 – 2013 W.N.B.A. champions .

.. Some whacko sense , huh !

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… Nice Going , POTUS , You Waited too Long …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Friday,June 14th,2013

.. I am not convinced that the Obama administration has a plan for intervening in Syria, which apparently crossed President Barack Obama’s so-called red line by using the lethal nerve agent sarin against as many as 150 of its own people. Do not be

surprised if it is a great deal thousands more than that . Everything has changed . And because we did not intervene early in ‘11 and ‘12 al-Qaida has penetrated the opposition .

.. I am also not sure that whether the Obama administration plans to see the U.S. intervention in Syria through to the fall of Assad . What we have right now is a decision which on the humanitarian level and moral level if it is fine , but it is late . It is certainly not well prepared. Unlike the situation in Libya, he said , the Assad regime is part of an axis that includes Iran, Iraq, and Hezbollah.

.. The ObamaCraps ‘ decision is a political act . I believe that it has been done with no strategic planning or thought . It was not done as part of a well – thought – out plan . What seems to be happening is a political decision in front of the international community , in front of the Syrian opposition and people that we are doing something . I fail to see the planning for the long – term results of today’s decision. So we are forced to support the principle , but at the same time question the plan . In simple english , what is the plan ?

.. It is my belief that the ObamaCraps are far from ready to confront the Iranians . Until they are , no one , and I repeat , no one will take them seriously .

 

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… Well , What now Genius , Plead Insanity …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Friday,June 14th,2013

… Now , What will this Scumbag do for a Defense ? Plead Insanity ?

Accused Fort Hood Gunman Cannot Use Defending Taliban Defense

..  Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan cannot argue at trial that he was defending the Afghan Taliban when he opened fire in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people, a military judge ruled on Friday. ” There was no evidence that there was any immediate threat to others from your fellow soldiers,” Colonel Tara Osborn said, denying Hasan ‘ s request to use the defense as he represents himself at his upcoming trial on 13 counts of first-degree murder.

.. Hasan, a 42-year-old U.S.-born Muslim, is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in an attack on soldiers at a readiness facility where many of those shot were preparing to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.

.. ” I object , ” Hasan said when the judge ruled that he could not use his chosen defense. He also asked Osborn to delay the court martial by three months to allow him to prepare a new defense strategy and add to the witness lists. Osborn did not rule on that request .

.. With this guy , he is some piece of work . People deserve justice , not stalling . Strip him of his pro – se rights [to defend himself , with himself as a lawyer] , and reinstate his standby counsel . Get the damn court – martial under way . His victims deserve a timely decision on the merits . Hasan does not .

..  Hasan deserves an adequate , but not the 4 – corners strategy that he has been using . Move things along , and let the appeals court referree while the court – martial proceeds .

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… She Cannot be Serious …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,June 13th,2013

.. Late – Term Abortions are Sacred ?!?# ..

… House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was adamant that late-term abortions are “sacred” at her weekly press conference today.  The issue of abortion has re-emerged due to Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-Arizona) bill, which would ban the procedure after 20 weeks into a pregnancy.  The Weekly Standard was present at the conference, and noted that Pelosi wrongly claimed that Franks’ bill would ban all abortions.  In reality, it would bar the killing of babies during the last four months of a pregnancy, with exceptions for the life and health of the mother.  John McCormack, who reported on this development, noted that this is also the “point at which science indicates babies can feel pain and some babies can survive long-term if born.”

.. Yet Pelosi, a Catholic, feels that “this [late-term abortion] is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”  Sadly, when you work on the Hill, everything is politics.  Additionally, when pressed about the moral difference between Gosnell’s actions and those of Leroy Carhart, who was caught in a Live Action investigative video agreeing to a legal abortion in Maryland at 28 weeks, fireworks ensued.

.. from the Weekly Standard ..

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Madam Leader, you mentioned the bill that passed out of the House Judiciary   committee. Members    who  have proposed that bill have done that in the wake of this murder trial in   Philadelphia.

They argue that there really isn’t much of a moral difference between what someone like Dr. Gosnell did   to infants born at 23, 24, 25

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

weeks into pregnancy, and what can happen [legally] at a clinic down the   road in Maryland where a doctor says he’ll perform an   elective abortions 28 weeks into pregnancy. So the   question I have for you is what is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born   alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?

PELOSI: You’re probably enjoying that question a lot, I can see you savoring it. [Laughter in press   corps] Let me just tell you this.

TWS: Could you answer the question?

PELOSI: Let me just tell you this. What was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody   condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is   reprehensible. Next question.

TWS: So what’s the moral difference? I just asked a simple question. … What’s the moral difference then   between 26 weeks elective abortion and the killing of that same infant born alive. This is the issue   that they’re trying to–

PELOSI: This is not the issue. They are saying that there’s no abortion. It would make it a federal law   that there would be no abortion in our country. You’re taking the extreme case. You’re taking the   extreme case. And what I’m saying to you what happened in Philadelphia was reprehensible. And I do not   think you.

TWS: [Inaudible]

PELOSI: I’m not going to have this conversation with you because you obviously have an agenda. You’re   not interested in having an answer.

TWS: [Inaudible]

PELOSI: I’ve responded to you to the extent that I’m going to respond to you. Because I want to tell you   something. As the mother of five children, my oldest child was 6 years old the day I brought my 5th   child home from the hospital, as a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when   we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics. And that’s where you’re   taking it and I’m not going there.

TWS [after tape ends]: It was a simple question. You didn’t answer.

So, there you have it. The leader of House Democrats has endorsed late-term abortion, she considers it   sacred, and any questions that are critical of infanticide are “disrespectful” to women.  A baby at 20   weeks is not a”judgement” on “reproductive health.” It’s a person, and to terminate that child is   murder.    Liberals know this, which is why Pelosi ran away.

From government telling us what to do to the life of the mother superseding that of her child, it is all   part of the top-down model liberals have for civil society.  What’s even more depraved is the fact that   child murder is “sacred” in the eyes of the political left.   from [the Weekly Standard] …

.. the thing is , Nancy Pelosi is a “practising Catholic (sic) , ” and she is Pro – Death . My God , what a colossal hypocrite ! She should be excommunicated on the spot .

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… Nice Going , Loonies !! …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,June 13th,2013

.. the Gender Pay Gap Is A ‘Myth’ ..

.. There is some wage inequality does exist concerning the top jobs in the United States.  Nine of the ten highest-earning jobs in the country are dominated by men, and the data is further skewed considering that women are more likely to enter social work than engineering.  Yet , it is where the fundamental truth in this debate, which is often ignored by the political left to keep the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants together: it’s about choices, not the same job.

.. But even if the gender gap disappears after controlling for experience and job selection, it’s hard to imagine that men thoroughly dominating the highest-paying positions is a good outcome. For example, the expectation that women more than men bear the responsibility to raise children gently nudges thousands of highly educated women out of full-time work .

.. There is a wage difference . It is not the wage difference that you thought . The real gap isn’t between men and women doing the same job. The real gap is between men and women doing different jobs and following different careers. That gap should continue to tighten. Women have earned the majority of bachelor’s degrees for the last few years. They’re well-positioned to benefit from a growing professional service economy, and working moms are already the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households with kids, an all-time high. But if women are more likely to go into health care than manufacturing, more likely to work in human resources than software, and more likely to leave their careers early to start a family, the gaps will persist.

.. Ideally, some day soon, it won’t take a statistical “control” to show that men and women are fundamental equal partners — and equal competitors — in the work force. It will just be the obvious truth.

.. There is no need for a Paycheck Fairness Act .  It is just anouther excuse for the loonie left to interfere in the function of the markets . Especially when it is comparable worth , in sheep ‘ s clothing . There is no need for government intervention at all .

.. Women will continue to strive in this economy, especially as they continue to earn more higher education degrees than men.  As with any societal shift, it’s going to take some time . And that is not a bad thing .

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… the Syrians , Iranians , & Hezbollah …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,June 13th,2013

The Syrians  , Iranians , & Hezbollah are calling your bluff , POTUS !

.. quit being a GOD – DAMNED WUS , and do something . The syrian rebels are losing , and they may lose the civil war with the Ditherer –

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

in – Chief debating with himself about what to do … Get off of YOUR ASS !!

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… the Plot Deepens …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,June 8th,2013

IRS Employees — We Targeted Conservative Groups on Orders from Washington …

.. I figure , see it for yourself , from the release from the House Oversight Committee , that these idiots are really getting themselves in

English: Aerial view of the White House in Was...

English: Aerial view of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

thick in the duck soup . The employees directly contradict IRS honcho Lois Lerner’s claim that the targeting was merely the work of “rogue” employees in the IRS Cincinnati office.

… … … …

Q: So is it your perspective that ultimately the responsible parties for the decisions that were reported by the IG are not in the Cincinnati office?

A: I don’t know how to answer that question.  I mean, from an agent standpoint, we didn’t do anything wrong.  We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do.

Q: And you ultimately followed directions from Washington; is that correct?

A: If direction had come down from Washington, yes.

Q: But with respect to the particular scrutiny that was given to Tea Party applications, those directions emanated from Washington; is that right ?

A: I believe so.

… … … …

Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington ?

A:  [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn’t ‑‑ Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn’t find the paper.  So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C. Q: When was this, what time frame? A: I don’t recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.

… … … …

Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.

A: Yes.

Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.

A: Yes, or parts of them.

… … … …

Q: Okay.  So she asked you to send particular parts of these applications.

A: Mm‑hmm.

Q: And that was unusual.  Did you say that ?

A: Yes.

Q: And she indicated that Washington had requested these specific parts of these specific applications; is that right ?

A: Correct.

.. The Congresscritters on the hill have ways to prove this . However , they need to keep their eyes on the ball . Especially before they decide to make any public comments . Someone was digging for deep ideological and and membership information on these groups that opposed the ObamaCraps ‘ agenda . “Rogue agents” who are career government workers are not going to come up with questions like that on their own , but someone who bounced back and forth between the Obama campaign and his White House might.

.. The claim that “rogue agents” came up with the Be On the Lookout (BOLO) list never made any sense. The claim that “rogue agents” came up with the many detailed questions that conservative groups were subjected to never made any sense. The claim that “rogue agents” would come up with so much extra work for themselves, outside their normal responsibilities and outside their union contract, never made any sense. Getting unionized workers to do extra work requires the union’s buy-in. Getting bureaucrats to do extra work requires orders from their superiors. That’s how government works.

.. The Infernal Service itself has blown Lerner ’ s story to smithereens , saying that as many 88 employees are being looked at . Nice going .

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… A Special Counsel for the IRS Scandal — Yes or No …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,June 8th,2013

.. I wanted to include these columns from theses esteemed writers . I follow them both , and hold them in very high regard . Both have served our country , more than once , and just might do so again . On this subject , I wanted to give you both sides of the debate .

.. I am undecided . I expect that there will eventually be a special counsel appointed in terms of the I.R.S. affair . When that will happen , to be honest , I do not know . But , it will happen . It also has to be balanced against the accountability that is needed to our country for the actions of the ObamaCraps in the gross misconduct of the I.R.S. . How high up it goes , and how far , I am not sure …

… from the National Review …

… No …

.. No Special Counsel for the IRS Scandal

It would address the symptoms, not the underlying cancer.

Andrew C. McCarthy

It is the Washington way. Egregious misconduct surfaces, showcasing the militantly officious nature of bloated big-government bureaucracy. But the Beltway and the commentariat cry in unison for a special counsel, ensuring that the symptoms — a few corrupt bureaucrats — will get all the attention while the underlying cancer metastasizes.

In the unfolding IRS scandal, we already know President Obama’s conservative political opponents were targeted for the revenue agency’s version of waterboarding. On cue, prominent Republicans and conservatives are starting to call for a special counsel — clearly under the misimpression that a “special counsel” would mean a prosecutor “independent” of the Obama Justice Department. Here at NRO, my friend Larry Kudlow lends his voice to those advising the GOP that a special counsel is the way to go. With due respect, I think it would be a blunder.

The special counsel is a legal anomaly. More important, pushing for one sends entirely the wrong signals. It indicates that criminal culpability takes precedence over political accountability. Worse, it suggests that the evil here is the malfeasance of a few government officials. To the contrary, the problem is a perversely complex regulatory framework that gives the IRS — which should simply collect taxes based on an easily knowable formula — enormous discretionary power to discriminate and intimidate. That makes the IRS an un-American weapon, particularly when it is controlled by an Alinskyite will-to-power administration. Sure, we can worry about prosecuting the weapon-wielders at some point. The urgent problem here, though, is the weapon itself. Our energy should be devoted to exposing the scandal in the light of day and shaming Washington into dismantling the IRS — which is actually planned to swell markedly, and grow even more intrusively offensive, under Obamacare.

Let’s start with the law. Special-counsel proponents seem to think “special” means “independent.” Larry, for example, contends that “an independent special counsel can investigate any possible White House connections with senior Treasury officials, connections that could lead to the Oval Office” (emphasis in original) — adding in conclusion that “only an independent special counsel could possibly straighten this mess out.” Under our law, however, special counsels are not independent of the administration in power.

A quarter-century ago, Justice Antonin Scalia presciently argued against the independent counsel in his famous Morrison v. Olson dissent. In our constitutional system, all executive power is reposed in the president. The conduct of criminal investigations is, unquestionably, a purely executive power. Consequently, there cannot be any legitimate federal exercise of prosecutorial authority independent of the executive branch.

“Special” counsels may be special in the sense that they are singularly dedicated to a particular investigation. They may even be exempted from the Justice Department’s ordinary prosecutorial structure (in which each case is investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in the district with jurisdiction over the offenses alleged to have taken place). But special counsels are not independent of the executive branch. They still answer to the attorney general and, ultimately, the president.

Any other arrangement violates the Constitution’s separation-of-powers principle. It deprives the president of control over the exercise of executive power. It creates a politically unaccountable fourth branch of government, whose myopic mission is to pursue one target (or set of targets), burdened by none of the constraints — political, budgetary, substantive, or procedural — that ameliorate the Justice Department’s aggressiveness.

Our historical experience with independent counsels has demonstrated them to be just the monstrosity Justice Scalia foresaw. Although the Morrison Court upheld the independent-counsel provisions enacted by the post-Watergate Congress (in the 1978 Ethics in Government Act), Congress prudently allowed statutory authority for independent counsels to lapse in 1999. By then, both parties’ oxen had been gored aplenty, from Iran-Contra through Monica Lewinsky.

We have had “special” counsels since that time, but no independent ones in the sense of formal autonomy from the Justice Department and the president. And the more independent the charters of special counsels have been, the more strident have been the complaints about their zeal. In the most recent example, Patrick Fitzgerald (full disclosure: a longtime friend of mine) was given an especially wide berth by the Bush Justice Department to investigate an allegedly felonious leak of classified information. As it turned out, the leak was not unlawful, yet Fitzgerald ended up first jailing journalist Judy Miller for contempt (Miller refused, for a time, to identify her sources to his grand jury), then prosecuting Scooter Libby not for the leak but for “process crimes” (i.e., offenses — perjury and lying to agents — alleged to have been committed during the investigative process). Those legitimately worried about leaks were left unsatisfied while Libby admirers remain convinced that he was railroaded.

Let’s put law and atmospherics aside and try to be completely practical. The imperative in the IRS scandal is not criminal prosecution. It is political accountability: to lay bare what corrupt officials have done, for the purpose of swiftly determining whether they are unfit to hold offices of public trust and whether the system in which they operate tends to corruption. The appointment of a special counsel would undermine that goal.

The moment a prosecutor — special or otherwise — takes over, the public flow of information stops. All witnesses will claim that the pendency of a criminal investigation means they cannot discuss the matter “on advice of counsel.” They will cease cooperating with congressional investigators. The prosecutor will claim that grand-jury secrecy rules bar comment about the expansive investigation (a claim the government routinely makes, even though the rules actually bar comment only by the prosecutor, investigative agents, and grand jurors — not the witnesses).

A special counsel chosen by Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama would be no different. It would not get us to accountability; it would be a severe impediment to accountability. And it would be a lifeline for the IRS.

… Yes …   No less than a special counsel

.. Larry Kudlow .. from moneynews.com ..

When you get right down to it, the political targeting and stalling of tax-exempt applications by the IRS was an effort to defund the tea party. Rick Santelli, one of the tea party founders and my CNBC colleague, was the first to make this point. I’ve taken it a step further: The IRS was taking the tea party out of play for the 2012 election, as it looked to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another tea party landslide.

There are a lot of numbers out there. Some say tea party applications for tax-exempt status averaged 27 months for approval, while applications from liberal groups averaged nine. In one extreme case, according to The Daily Caller, the IRS granted the Barack H. Obama Foundation tax-exempt status in a speedy one-month timeframe. Yet some conservative groups waited up to three years, and some still haven’t received approval.

But there can be only one reason for the stalled-out approval process for conservative groups. The IRS was trying to put them out of business. Thus far, there’s not one wit of contradictory evidence.

Think of this: If the IRS wasn’t politically targeting conservative groups, why did its leading spokespeople lie? This was not even cognitive dissonance. It was outright lying before Congress. Lois Lerner, a key player in the IRS’s tax-exempt division, is being accused by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of no fewer than four lies. The inspector general’s report shows that she knew about the targeting problem in June 2011, but wouldn’t admit to it in correspondence with Congress over the next two years.

Then there’s former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee. He apparently knew about the targeting in May 2012, but told Congress in August 2012 that he didn’t.

Or there’s former IRS acting director Steve Miller, who was just pushed out. He also knew about the targeting in May 2012, but later refused to admit it to Congress during testimony.

In fact, the whole bloody agency may have known about it on August 4, 2011. According to the Treasury Department IG report, various IRS big wigs met that day to talk about the conservative-targeting problem. That meeting may have included the IRS’s chief counsel; while the IG report says he was at the meeting, the IRS has denied that he was. But if one of his minions was at the meeting, the chief counsel would have known about the problem.

And it turns out, the Treasury’s inspector general, J. Russell George, told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 that he was auditing the IRS’s political-organization screening. That means White House appointees in the Treasury, including Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, were aware of the IRS scandal before the presidential election. According to The New York Times, IG George “did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper.”

No one knows the exact facts, which presumably will come out in the hearings. But this is important stuff. It is conspiracy stuff. Criminal stuff.

We already know that IRS employees gave heavily to Obama in 2008 and 2012, and very little to candidates McCain and Romney. But who was the quarterback in all this? Who was managing the targeting operation in the bowels of the IRS?

It could have been Sarah Hall Ingram. She served as commissioner of the IRS’s tax-exempt division between 2009 and 2012. And she got a $100,000 bonus for her efforts. And now — incredibly — she’s running the IRS’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) office, leaving her successor Joseph Grant to take the fall. But he just turned tail and resigned.

And now get this: President Obama has named OMB Controller Daniel Werfel the new acting director of the IRS. And he’s only going to serve between May 22 and the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30. Are you kidding?

In four months, we’re to believe Mr. Werfel is going to piece together the lies, finger the quarterback, and replace everybody who was involved, not just in the now-infamous Cincinnati office, but in offices in Washington, D.C., two towns in California, and even Austin, Texas. (That’s the latest count.) And this guy Werfel is also supposed to manage the agency which is adding Obamacare to its income-tax-collection responsibilities. In four months. Nuts.

An independent special counsel with subpoena power is the only possible solution. This counsel must find out exactly what happened and who was involved, and then come up with a fix so it never happens again. Of course, Obama charged Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with straightening this out. But Lew is an Obama political operative.

By the way, a special counsel will have to do a special investigation, since we’re already learning the inspector-general investigation was a very superficial operation. And an independent special counsel can investigate any possible White House connections with senior Treasury officials, connections that could lead to the Oval Office.

We may hate the IRS because of its taxing power. We may hate it more because of its new Obamacare power. But it is a massively important government agency. And now we know that it is fraught with corruption and a liberal-left political agenda.

Only an independent special counsel could possibly straighten this mess out.

 

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