Pontificator: News and Commentary

Saturday, January 18, 2003 :::
More BS from Bill O'Reilly regarding his so-called working class background.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:05 AM

Friday, January 17, 2003 :::
Legacy admissions are functionally race-based. A couple of generations ago, universities practiced racial segregation and kept out qualified minorities in favor of whites. By favoring the legacies of those who were racially preferred in an earlier era, universities are perpetuating that earlier racism. Affirmative action, at the very least, simply counterbalances that facially neutral, yet fundamentally racist practice.

Oh yeah, plus Bush was almost certainly a legacy admission at Yale.

Update: Matthew Yglesias makes the same point with a vivid example to boot.

::: posted by Pontificator at 10:47 AM

Thursday, January 16, 2003 :::
Anybody know what Randy DeLay's been up to recently?

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:52 AM

As fat cats getting fatter. . . that old expression still seems to rule in Tom Delay's Republican party: the nail that sticks up gets Hammered down.

If I were Pelosi, I'd start promising committee chairs and re-election dollars to any moderate republican who will listen.

It's time to nail the Hammer to the wall!

::: posted by Pontificator at 12:21 AM

Wednesday, January 15, 2003 :::
I swear, it's like a goddamn broken record with these guys. . .

"Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, suggests that the United States can launch strikes with next to no overseas backing as long as it has active British support, according to informed sources.

But State Department doves, under Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, are pushing for explicit United Nations authority for a war with maximum backing on the 15-member Security Council."

Gee, I can't wait till Bob Woodward gives us the real story behind these latest wheeling-dealings.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:21 PM

This scared me for a minute.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:02 PM

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 :::
Has anyone noticed how high the media's expectations are for American military success versus Iraq? All the news commentors seem to assume that U.S. military action in Iraq will be quick, painless, and unambiguously victorious.

If the Iraq war goes less than perfectly (always a danger in war, even against a supposed pushover like Iraq), I don't think the American public will be prepared for the bad news.

::: posted by Pontificator at 10:40 PM

Jim Henley, author of "unqualified offerings" at "www.highclearing.com" (whew, that's a lot of names!) is all over the John Lott affair. If he keeps this up, soon we'll be saying "Bellisiles who?"

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:46 PM

Approaching a Judicial Armageddon? This is not an overstatement.

::: posted by Pontificator at 9:28 PM

Daschle looks like he's prepared to give Senate republicans a good fristing.


::: posted by Pontificator at 9:22 PM

A FOIA request for Bush's Form DD-214 is in order.

Note to those of you living in St. Louis (and especially if you know how to find 9700 Page Avenue) -- this may be a good starting point for obtaining Bush's military records.

::: posted by Pontificator at 11:04 AM

Sunday, January 12, 2003 :::
Let's put aside evidence of perjury and personal acts of racial insensivity and instead focus on Pickering's disturbing record as a Federal Judge:

"Pickering has done plenty of damage since he ascended to the federal bench, where his evident animus toward blacks has surfaced again and again in his rulings and opinions. In a case called Fairley v. Forrest County, Pickering lashed out against the one-man/one-vote doctrine as "obtrusive". In another case, Citizens Right to Vote v. Morgan, Pickering characterized the Voting Rights Act as "an unnecessary intrusion" of federal authority into matters that the states are "perfectly capable of resolving." This is perverse legal reasoning to say the least, since the federal role that Pickering is carping about came about only after Mississippi's voting procedures had been ruled repeatedly to be racist and unconstitutional.

Pickering has proved to be equally harsh in his rulings in cases involving minorities suits over employment discrimination. Indeed, Pickering has demonstrated an unrelenting hostility toward the very idea of such claims. In a case known as Seeley v. City of Hattiesburg, Pickering set forth an argument that might even make Antonin Scalia cringe. In dismissing a claim brought by a black worker, Pickering wrote that "the federal courts must never become safe havens for employees who are in a class protected from discrimination, but who in fact are employees who are derelict in their duties."

The judge was even more frank in rejecting a case involving credit discrimination. "This case demonstrates one of the side effects resulting from anti-discrimination laws and racial polarization. When an adverse action is taken affecting one covered by such laws, there is a tendency on the part of the person affected to spontaneously react that discrimination caused the action. All of us have difficulty accepting the fact that we sometimes create our own problems."

Even a cursory look at Pickering's rulings reveals a judge who is at war with the very notion of federal law and the very role of the court he seeks to join. Often Pickering can't restrain himself from injecting personal diatribes into his opinions that have little direct bearing on the case but reveal the true nature of his reactionary legal agenda. Take the bizarre case of Randolf v. Cervantes. In this case, a paranoid-schizophrenic had been civilly committed to a state-run hospital. The deranged woman somehow found a hypodermic needle in a trash can and ended up injecting insulin into her eye. The woman's mother sued the state and the hospital, charging that they had failed their court-ordered duty to provide quality care for her daughter. Pickering swiftly dismissed the suit and went on a tirade in his opinion against any judge who might rule that the state should be held accountable. He declared that such liberal judges were engaging in "judicial pyramiding" and "reaching conclusion that [are] ludicrous." He ended by saying that a judgement for the plaintiff would add to a list of "things that has caused some to question whether the law in many instances has lost touch with reality, reason and common sense." "

We don't need this kind of pollution at the Federal Appellate level. A filibuster is most certainly in order. (And not just for Pickering. . . )

::: posted by Pontificator at 2:47 PM


Powered by Blogger