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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A Rerun Of The Fifth Blogger Costume Party
(Click the animated GIFs to see the original JPEG images.)
Welcome to Hogwarts School of Lawcraft and Barristry, one of the finest secondary boarding schools for young legal talents in the United Kingdom. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Stephen Bainbridge) warns of dark forces that have been on the rise.
But don't worry about that - Hogwarts has some of the most powerful magical defences known to the wizarding world. The faculty will not allow evil sorcerers to interrupt the regular flow of classes and extracurricular activities.
Potions are quite useful to the legal profession. The Elixir of Recollection, for instance, is helpful for jogging the foggy memories of one's clients. Professor Severus Snape (Glenn Reynolds) instructs on its preparation.
All is not work at Hogwarts. Professor Minerva McGonagall (Ann Althouse) celebrates a Gryffindor quiddich victory.
You can bet that the Weasley twins know where that sherry is, too.
Outside the school, evil has been spreading across the land. Retired Defence Against the Legal Arts professor Remus Lupin (Walter Olson) is harassed by Dementors, dark beings that spread gloom and despair by encouraging frivolous lawsuits.
Lord Voldelokh (Eugene Volokh) has set a trap for Harry Potter at the Ministry of Law, and Lucius Malfoy (Randy Barnett) reports that the boy wizard has taken the bait.
Will Harry escape Lord Voldelokh's clutches? Will anyone discover the Potions Master's more exotic concoctions? Will Professor Lupin ever get that Warren Zevon song out of his head? Will anyone ever explain why wizarding medicine can regrow lost bones but it can't cure nearsightedness?
Full transcript of the debate is here.
Krauthammer: "Romney went large — Obama went very, very small."
Elizabeth Price Foley, guest-blogging at Instapundit: Obama "snarky, condescending, peevinsh and small." She offers one example for each characteristic.
Steve Green, who live-blogged the debate: "Obama has run far and fast from his own record. Romney, I’m sorry to say, hasn’t always hit him for that as much or as strongly as I think he should have...[but] Romney is credible."
Ann Althouse: "By adopting a strategy of only modestly challenging Obama and mostly seeming the same as Obama on foreign policy, Romney neutralized foreign policy as an issue and kept the election focus on the economy...The election is about the economy...The only way Obama really could have won is if Romney had tumbled into some kind of exploitable gaffe. That didn't happen."
Two highlights from the debate. First, Russia:
OBAMA: Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not Al Qaida; you said Russia, in the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.
ROMNEY: [Russia is] a geopolitical foe, and I said in the same — in the same paragraph I said, and Iran is the greatest national security threat we face. Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again. I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia, or Mr. Putin. And I’m certainly not going to say to him, I’ll give you more flexibility after the election. After the election, he’ll get more backbone.
Second...Romney brought attention to Obama's "apology tour."
Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region, but you went to the other nations.
And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel. And then in those nations, and on Arabic TV, you said that America had been dismissive and derisive. You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations.
In France he criticized America’s past “arrogance” and its “dismissive . . . derisive” behavior. In Trinidad he lamented a “disengaged” United States that sought to “dictate . . . terms” in the hemisphere. At the National Archives he charged his predecessors with making foreign-policy decisions “based on fear rather than foresight” and “trimm[ing] facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.” Countries, even good ones, may sometimes need to apologize for specific mistakes. Generic national self-flagellation is another thing entirely, particularly when it is a form of personal self-congratulation.
There's a Double Standard Here, But I'm Not Sure What It is
The Commission on Presidential Debates scheduled four debates this year, two moderated by men and two by women. The men, Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer, are well-known, long-established, award-winning journalists.
There aren't any female journalists with comparable careers, but there are several - such as Andrea Mitchell and Judy Woodruff - who pack a lot more accomplishment (and name recognition) than Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz.
Why did the Commission pick top-notch men and third-notch women?
Adams offers a what-if scenario: stockholders learn that a successful CEO had murdered a guy to get ahead in his career.
[T]he CEO doesn't get convicted because his clever attorney gets him off
on a technicality. Assume in this hypothetical situation that the public
correctly believes the CEO killed a guy to advance his career. Should
the board of directors allow the superstar CEO to keep his job? Or is
killing a guy to advance your career always a firing offense?
In a second hypothetical, Adams replaces the CEO with with Barack Obama. Afterward, he makes this assertion:
I predict that every one of you favored firing the hypothetical CEO for killing a guy to get ahead. My second prediction is that every Republican reader of this blog favored firing President Obama in the hypothetical and imaginary case of him murdering a citizen to get elected. My third prediction is that supporters of President Obama will quibble with the hypothetical example, or my comparison to the CEO, or say President Obama is still a better option than Romney. In other words, for most supporters of President Obama, I don't think there is such a thing as a "firing offense."Instapundit excerpts this portion of Adams' article:
Personally, I’d prefer death to spending
the final decades of my life in prison. So while President Obama didn’t
technically kill a citizen, he is certainly ruining this fellow’s life,
and his family’s lives, and the lives of countless other minor drug
offenders. And he is doing it to advance his career. If that’s not a
firing offense, what the hell is?
Who is this fellow doing jail time for the sake of Obama's career? I immediately thought Adams was reacting to the arrest of Innocence of Muslims producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. But that's not it.
Back to Adams' article:
For the record, President Obama did not technically kill anyone to get elected. That was just a hypothetical example. But he is putting an American citizen in jail for 10 years to life for operating medical marijuana dispensaries in California where it is legal under state law. And I assume the President - who has a well-documented history of extensive marijuana use in his youth - is clamping down on California dispensaries for political reasons, i.e. to get reelected. What other reason could there be?
The citizen is Aaron Sandusky (not likely to be related to America's most evil sports figure), owner of G3 Holistic, which was prosecuted by Federal authorities. This excerpt from the linked HuffPo article is relevant to Adams' outrage (emphasis added):
Throughout his first campaign, Obama had said he wouldn't use federal resources to circumvent state laws about medical marijuana. During a 2009 press conference, Holder followed up on that promise, saying that federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries would be coming to an end unless the shops violated both state and federal law.
It appears that the State of California didn't press any charges, but to be absolutely sure on that score that's the the first question I'd ask an FBI spokesperson. I'd follow up with more questions. Did the federal charges stem from activities that G3 engaged in that other dispensaries do not? If so, what were those activities? If not, are all California-licensed dispensaries vulnerable to federal prosecution?
It will be difficult for many Romney supporters to sympathize with a medical marijuana grower. A lot of folks have a hard time imagining that a) marijuana really does have medical benefits, and/or b) California's system adequately keeps medical marijuana away from recreational outlets. Neither of those is the issue at hand. Sandusky was assured by public remarks by Candidate Obama and later by his Attorney General that his line of work would not get him into federal trouble. If there's some issue unique to G3 Holistic we need to hear about it. In any case, Obama and Holder have a lot of 'splainin to do. Government officials, especially those charged with prosecuting it, must be honest about what the law is and isn't. For either of them to lie about a citizen's standing with the law would be utterly evil.
Update: Michelle Malkin spots another debate lie.Repeat after me - PLANNED PARENTHOOD DOES NOT PROVIDE CANCER SCREENINGS. And read the whole thing - Malkin explains how Obamacare threatens access to cancer screenings.
Now that Jimmy Carter has received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2002 (see here for a list of all Nobel laureates), a lot of people think the prize is losing its respectability - especially after Fidel Castro offered his congratulations. I have news for those people - the prize was a joke from the beginning.
The first prize was shared by Jean Henri Dunant, founder of the International Red Cross (which itself won the prize several times over the years), and Frédéric Passy, founder of the Société francaise pour l'arbitrage entre nations. Passy had founded an earlier "peace society," the Ligue internationale et permanente de la paix, a vain attempt to avert war between France and Prussia. In France's Chamber of Deputies he opposed colonialism and pushed for disarmament and international arbitration of disputes. The French peace evangelist died in 1912, two years before World War I proved that the European peace efforts of that time, his included, were on the wrong track.
Passy is representative of one of the chief failings of the Nobel committee: it often gives the Peace Prize to people or agencies for offering peace plans that have yet to be tested. Many of the early prizes were given to people involved with peace organizations. After WWI, the committee demonstrated that it had not learned its lesson. In 1919 it gave the prize to President Woodrow Wilson for founding the ill-fated League of Nations. Five others received the award for their work with the League, at least one of whom fought for disarmament. Two Nobel Laureates of that time were Aristide Briand (1926) and Frank Billings Kellogg (1929), whose drafted the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a treaty that outlawed war.
After outlaw nations Germany, Japan, and Italy were defeated by the Allies, the Nobel Committee continued to dole out Peace Prizes to people who talk about peace more than they implement it. Cordell Hull (1945) was one of the first of several to win the prize for work with the United Nations, an agency which over the years has waged a sort of diplomatic cold war against the United States and Israel. Ralphe Bunche was the first to receive the prize for negotiating nonexistent peace in the Middle East. [Update: He brokered the end of the 1948 war, but no long-term peace came out of it. Indeed, this was just the beginning of the Arab-Israeli cold war, punctuated several times by brief episodes of hot war, and lasting to this day.] Disarmament - a concept which should have been discredited in 1914 and 1939 - would continue to attract the wooing of the Nobel committee, in 1962, 1982, 1985, 1995, and 1997. And untested peace processes would still be honored, as illustrated by the honoring of Nelson Mandela and F. W. DeKlerk (1993) and John Hume and David Trimble (1998).
So who was the first mouthpiece for murderous regimes to become a Nobel laureate? That would appear to be the only person in history to decline the prize: Le Duc Tho (no biography available). He and Henry Kissinger were awarded the prize for the Paris Peace Accords that ended the Vietnam War. Kissinger wrote an acceptance speech that was read by US ambassador to Norway Thomas R. Byrne, who represented him at the award ceremony. The message contained this remark: "Certain war has yielded to an uncertain peace in Vietnam. Where there was once only despair and dislocation, today there is hope, however frail." If Kissinger could get an award for peace that might come in the future, can I get an Academy Award for a movie I might direct in the future? (I'd like to thank the Academy for hypothetically granting me this honor, and Cameron Diaz and Edward Norton for their possibly outstanding performances.) Ironically, Le was the honest one of the pair. He knew that North Vietnam wasn't giving up on its plans to conquer the South. His job was to get the US out of the way so the NVA could march into Saigon as it did two years later. If Kissinger didn't understand that, he was utterly naive.
At least two other such thugocrats would receive the prize. Yasser Arafat (1994) is the most obvious, a man who talks peace with the West but organizes terrorism with his comrades. The other is Rigoberta Menchú. In 1992, coincidentally (?) 500 years after Columbus' subjugation discovery of the Americas (or at least the Caribbean portion), she was honored for raising awareness of the alleged abuses against her fellow Guatemalan Mayan Indians. David Horowitz reported the research of anthropologist David Stoll, whose book reveals the fraudulence of I, Rigoberta Menchú, the Marxist-feminist's autobiography which is required reading at many universities. Horowitz writes:
As a result of Stoll’s research Rigoberta Menchu has been exposed as a Communist agent working for terrorists who were ultimately responsible for the death of her own family. So rigid is Rigoberta’s party loyalty to the Castroist cause, that after her book was published and she became an international spokesperson for indigenous peoples, she refused to denounce the Sandinista dictatorship’s genocidal attempt to eliminate its Miskito Indians.
"Yeah, but what about Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Andrei Sakharov, Mother Teresa, and Lech Walesa? And don't forget about the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)." Okay, so there's a few good apples. But the roster of Nobel Laureates is dominated by ineffectual stabs toward promoting peace, and a handful of stabs against it. To judge the award by the worthy few who won it is like judging a factory that produces 90% scrap by the ten percent products it manufactures correctly. The award is meaningless.
I am just amazed that even Biden could be that PR-challenged. To say he was a rude, arrogant jackass doesn't cut it. I will have to invent new swear words to do any justice to describe the depth of his incivility.
A lot of people would expect me to greet this with gleeful schadenfreude, and yes, this is a gift to the Romney/Ryan ticket. But it freaks me out to see the Vice President of the United States act this childish.
You know what he comes across as? A troll. Biden was acting the way an Internet troll would act if it were possible to interrupt people in online forums. (That people can't interrupt you is one of the reasons the Internet is a superior medium for debate.)
She was against the airing of the video of Obama's June 5, 2007 Hampton University speech before she was for it. What changed her mind? Learning from a Thomas Sowell column a damnable lie that Obama told during that speech.
“Now here’s the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here’s 10 dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not going to wait for you to scratch it together — because you’re part of the American family.’ … What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.”
Dr. Sowell points out the lie...
[L]ess than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.
...and the glaring hypocrisy:
The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against -- repeat, AGAINST -- the legislation which included the waiver.
Second, I deplored the resurrection of the 2007 video of Obama stirring up racial grievances. Yesterday, I read this Thomas Sowell column highlighting a specific, glaring lie, and I completely changed my mind. I still think The Daily Caller presented the material poorly, but I think what Obama did, what Sowell explains, does deserve our attention now. As I say at my home blog: “Obama lied, blatantly and for the purpose of making black people feel discriminated against. That’s evil.”
The CBO and the administration got it wrong in both the short-term and the long-term. The famous debt chart came out in 2009, and the 2009 estimate was off by about $400 billion - the estimates were roughly 30 percent bigger than the actual deficit.
The 2010 deficit was at roughly the average between the White House and CBO estimates. But the two years after that, the budget astrologers' darts aren't even hitting the dart board.
Keep this in mind next time some White House official or member of Congress steps before a microphone and tells us that the new proposal will cost or save X amount of dollars.
This post list s 4 previous attacks in Benghazi - June 6, June 11, June 18, and August 5 this year. Targeted were our consulate, the British ambassador's motorcade, the Tunisian consulate, and the International Red Cross.