Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court Alienates America with Arizona Decision

If you're like most Americans, you probably suffered a severe case of heartburn today about the Supreme Court decision tossing most of Arizona's immigration law, S.B. 1070. While the High Court did uphold the "status check" part of the legislation, every silver lining has a cloud:
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police...“We will not be issuing detainers on individuals unless they clearly meet our defined priorities,” one official said in a telephone briefing.
Raise your hand if you are fed up with this lawless, pandering administration. Apparently Justice Scalia is:

In a far more rational decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Knox v. SEIU late last week that the big union couldn't continue to steal money from government workers' paychecks. This decision was also discussed on FNC, but please disregard the liberal's tired and lame "police, firefighters and teachers" reference as the public sector is mostly made up of paper shufflers on perpetual coffee break who have nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Most Arrogant Man in the World is...

Or maybe he's the least interesting man in the world:
"Stay ignorant, my friends."

ObamaCare Supreme Court Prediction

Prediction time--Blogger Ben Hart thinks that Justice Ginsberg inadvertently spilled the beans, or the broccoli, that the high court has thrown out the individual mandate in ObamaCare, a.k.a. the absurdly named Affordable Care Act:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg did not mean to, but she appears to have said that the Supreme Court has, at a minimum, ruled that the individual mandate in ObamaCare is unconstitutional.
As reported by POLITICO, the liberal Justice told the American Constitutional Society on Friday, June 15 that the one remaining ObamaCare question the Court must decide is is whether the whole law must fall if the individual mandate is unconstitutional — “or may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of it?”
But they would not need to decide this question if they had already ruled that the individual mandate passes Constitutional muster.
This suggests, at a minimum, that the individual mandate is gone.  But it may well be that the court has ruled that the entire ObamaCare law is, therefore, null and void because there is no severability clause...
The High Court's decision, regardlesss of how it goes, is expected to be released next week.

In the meantime, if you want to stay healthy, eat your broccoli.

Added: Per Intrade, there is almost an 80% chance that the individual mandate gets ruled unconstitutional.

Obama Gift Registry: Your Family and Friends Should Pay Their Fair Share

Could Team Obama, with its world-class campaign fundraising prowess, be that hard up for cash so they had to launch this tacky gift registry?
Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?
Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.
Aside from wedding and birthdays, how would your family feel about Santa visiting the White House rather than your house?

At this writing, there are about 900 comments posted at the registry. Check it out. It's not going well for Team Obama.

Maybe the Obama campaign is falling short of fundraising goals. Per the Wall Street Journal:
The Democrats' official fundraising numbers, released on Wednesday, showed that the $95 million cash-on-hand advantage Obama and the DNC had over the Republicans at the end of April had been cut by two-thirds at the end of May to $33 million. This is in part because the Obama campaign is burning through its war chest so fast and in part because of the impressive $107 million that the Romney campaign and the RNC announced they had on hand at May's end.
Jay Leno weighs in:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fast and Furious: Executives Have Their Privileges

With the 11th hour assertion by Barack Obama and Eric Holder of executive privilege, it looks like the mainstream media will finally have to cover the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

Prof. William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection has an excellent summary of the issues:
First Holder pretends he will cooperate, but doesn’t.  Then he stalls with negotiations.  Then he stalls some more by promising to cooperate again, but doesn’t.  Then, when his back is up against the wall because a vote is scheduled to hold him in contempt, he runs to Obama for some legal protection, which will result in the matter being thrown into the courts for more delay.
 As with most things damaging to Obama, all they care about is pushing the bad news off until after the election.
What all this means, of course, is that Holder has been withholding documents responsive to the House subpoena which have not been turned over.  So he has not complied with the House subpoena, since it only was today that he obtained the protection of an Executive Privilege claim from the White House.
 Darrell Issa and his Republican committee members deserve a medal.  Keep pushing.
 Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy of PJ Media weighs in:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Axelrod was Against Presidential Golf Before He was Fore It

Remember when the media went bananas over George Bush's workout regimen? The president even ultimately gave up golf entirely during his the bulk of his presidency.

Yet as far as Obama's record-setting presidential golf outings, once again the sound you are hearing is crickets:
The next time President Obama hits the links, it will be his 100th round of golf since coming to the White House. That’s quite a milestone in just 3 1/2 years. As it takes him about six hours to drive to the greens and complete 18 holes, Mr. Obama has spent the equivalent of four months’ worth of work time golfing. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been stuck in a sand trap...
Mr. Obama had no sense of the inappropriateness of playing 99 rounds of golf while 99 percent of the country couldn’t even afford the cost or time to go once. Now he wants a second term to finish what he started. After the 100th round, voters may want to think twice about giving him a mulligan.
Ironically, back in 1994, future Obama top adviser David Axelrod criticized President G.H.W. Bush for playing too much golf and therefore being too out of touch with the American people:

Note that Axelrod admits that "beating up on Bush is the only thing we have left."

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


"One-Term Proposition"

Would you believe a one-term presidency?

Executive Disorder on Immigration

Will Obama's political pandering on the immigration issue via his executive order pay off in November?

NRO's Victor Davis Hanson doesn't think so:
Politically, Obama calculates that some polls showing the current likely Hispanic support for him in the high 50s or low 60s would not provide enough of a margin in critical states such as Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado, or perhaps also in Florida and Virginia, to counteract the growing slippage of the independent vote and the energy of the clinger/tea-party activists. Thus, what was not legal or advisable in 2009, 2010, or 2011, suddenly has become critical in mid-2012. No doubt free green cards will quickly lead to citizenship and a million new voters. Will it work politically? 
Obama must assume lots of things: that all Hispanics vote as a block in favoring exempting more illegal aliens from the law, and are without worry that the high unemployment rate hits their community among the hardest; that black voters, stung by his gay-marriage stance, will not resent what may be seen as de facto amnesty, possibly endangering his tiny (and slipping) lead in places like Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. And because polls show overwhelming resistance to non-enforcement of immigration law, Obama also figures that the minority who supports his recent action does so far more vehemently than the majority who opposes it. 
Time will tell; but my gut feeling is that his brazen act will enrage far more than it will delight — and for a variety of different reasons. As with all his special-interest efforts — the Keystone cancellation, war-on-women ploy, gay-marriage turnabout, and now de facto amnesty — Obama believes dividing Americans along class, ethnic, gender, and cultural lines will result in a cobbled together majority, far more preferable than a 1996 Clinton-like effort to win over the independents by forging  a bipartisan consensus.
As far as the underlying policy itself, NRO's John Yoo argues that it is a huge overreach by the administration:
President Obama’s claim that he can refuse to deport 800,000 aliens here in the country illegally illustrates the unprecedented stretching of the Constitution and the rule of law. He is laying claim to presidential power that goes even beyond that claimed by the Bush administration, in which I served. There is a world of difference in refusing to enforce laws that violate the Constitution (Bush) and refusing to enforce laws because of disagreements over policy (Obama).

Neil Munro, American Hero

Remember during the Bush administration how the president was being blasted interminably for "shredding the Constitution"?

Fast forward to 2012: What's more rude, a president disregarding separation of powers or a Daily Caller reporter interrupting the president to ask a legitimate question? What's more important, disrespecting Obama or disrespecting the U.S. Constitution?

As far as the media as the media's reaction of this president doing an end-run around the Constitution, it's generally crickets.

It does seem like that after a terrible week, make that a terrible month, on the economic front, the Obama administration wanted to do something to change the subject in a big way.

Leaving aside the merits of granting quasi-amnesty to illegals, does anyone really believe that this executive order will only involve 800,000 persons? When has a government projection--especially in immigration--ever been correct? And do you think the bureaucracy will be competent enough to root out fraudulent claims under this new program?

As far as governing by executive order, even some leftists don't like it:

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Police, Firefighters, and Teachers"

Watching the Sunday morning news shows is usually a waste of time, but we learned something new from the delusional leftists who were trying to spin the Scott Walker victory: Public sector employment, the way they made it sound, is entirely made up of police, firefighters, and teachers.

Anytime anyone talks about even modest budget reductions, the liberals usually trot out the scare tactics and the fear mongering.

Like most people, when we think of government employees, the clerk at the DMV or the deputy assistant under secretary for such-and-such comes to mind--the kind of "unessential workers" that never have to show up during a snowstorm. If there were far less of these bureaucratic paper shufflers and placeholders, there likely would be more room in the budget to hire additional police, firefighters, and qualified teachers.

Added: As NRO's Jim Geraghty writes:
...if localities want to hire more police, fire, or teaching personnel, there are several tools to do that beyond begging Washington to borrow more money to distribute to localities. The first is to cut other areas of local government — the less beloved categories of administrative staff, make-work patronage jobs, etc. The second is to reform their pension systems.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Piers Morgan vs. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Like John Stewart of the Daily Show, Larry King's left-wing replacement on CNN, Celebrity Apprentice winner Piers Morgan, moved away--for once--from the usual liberal propaganda in this interview with Democrat talking point machine Debbie Wasserman Schultz about Gov. Scott Walker's triumph in Tuesday's recall election:

Perhaps because of lack of knowledge, Morgan let her get away with crowing about the Democrats possibly winning one of the four state senate seats up for recall. The Wisconsin state senate is out of session and if the Dems wind up getting that one seat (apparently a recount may be involved) to flip the senate to their side, their victory may be meaningless and merely symbolic. In November, the Republicans are strongly favored to take back control.

 In the aftermath of the Wisconsin recall, Rick Manning of The Hill had these thoughts:
It is disconcerting that those who were viewed as “public servants” now have higher average salaries, better pensions and better healthcare plans than those who pay the taxes to support them. At some point the public employee unions and the politicians who support them have made the taxpayers the servants of the government, working to pay for healthcare plans for the public employee that they cannot afford for their own families. That is the real story of Wisconsin, the rebellion of those who pay the freight against the public employee unions who have turned taxpayers into servants.
FiscalTimes columnist Liz Peek similarly weighed in on the Walker victory:
Democrats tried to divide Wisconsin into people who were for or against public unions. At the end, the strategy crumbled, because voters saw only one state, one budget, one common good. ..
The New York Times and other liberal outfits will lay the blame for this unthinkable turn of events – Wisconsin went for Obama by 14 points – by noting that Walker outspent his rival many times over. There is no question that heavy advertising by Walker’s supporters helped his cause. But only because his message made sense. In cities and states across our country, citizens are losing their libraries, their parks and their pre-school programs because benefits for public union employees have crowded out everything else.  Money for education is being sucked into a dark pool of protected tenure and guaranteed investment returns on pension assets. Money for public safety is going to rigged retirement pay and disproportionate disability awards. These distortions cannot continue...
Walker’s victory was not the only one this week for those trying to right the balance between public interest and public unions. In San Diego and San Jose, voters approved measures that demanded union workers pay more towards their health care and pensions.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Law Firm Posts $10,000 Full-Time Attorney Job

If you still think that going to law school is a good idea, consider this:
The [Boston Business Journal] received an emailed tip this week from someone who says they’re an employed, Boston  College Law School (BC Law) graduate. The tipster sent screen grabs of a job listing on BC Law’s career site. The post advertises a full-time associate position at a small Boston law firm, Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP, paying just $10,000 per year. (That's $10K, it's not a typo.)
That salary comes out to about $4.81 per hour. The Massachusetts minimum wage is $8.00.

In October 2010, another BC law student made news by asking for a full refund if he dropped out.

More evidence that the legal job market has unfortunately imploded not just in Boston but everywhere, and in what is politely called a "challenging legal environment," law school is probably an expensive waste of time for most.

Jon Stewart Mocks MSNBeSad After Walker Recall Win

Once in a while, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart of the Daily Show strays from the liberal orthodoxy and does some good work. In this Mad Men parody called "Madison Men," he contrasts the Fox News coverage of the Scott Walker Win with MSNBC:

More denial on display from Walker opponents in this video:

[h/t for both videos: Althouse]

Vets Applauded on 68th D-Day Anniversary

Travelers applaud WWII Vets at Reagan Washington National Airport yesterday on the 68th anniversary of D-Day: Omaha Beach:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good Morning: Scott Walker is still Wisconsin Governor

Who was more delusional last night--Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra or those creepy, delusional propagandists on MSNBC who claimed Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker's recall election victory over the massive Big Labor and Democrat machine was "good news for Obama" and that Obama was "the real winner"?

Here is Walker's victory speech:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Most Hated Person in America is...

According an online poll of 9,000 New York Post readers, Casey Anthony is America's most hated person.

Kim Kardashian finished in second place.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mariano Rivera and Marilyn Milian

                                              photo credit: pvera via photopin cc

In a recent episode of The People's Court during which Judge Marilyn Milian resolved a dispute over a Mariano Rivera-signed baseball, she mentioned that she was a big fan of  the Yankee closer and had presented him with a robe and gavel so that he could preside over the clubhouse "kangaroo court."

It turns out that this occurred back in June 2009:

Hopefully she gave Rivera a chance to get a word in edgewise.

Most Viewed Posts in May 2012

By page views, here are the most popular In General Counsel posts of the month:

Mad Men and Women in Advertising

                       photo credit: Christina Saint Marche via photopin cc

Do you watch Mad Men on AMC?

Mad Men, which centers on fictional NYC Madison Avenue advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in the 1960s, is not exactly appointment viewing, but it is certainly worth programming it into your DVR and watching it when you can. The critical praise heaped on the somewhat overrated show is disproportionate, though, to the actual Mad Men TV viewership.

It's hard to believe that people drank and smoked that much in the office in the 60s, isn't it?

In any event, a Mad Men episode can be uneven, pretentious, and feel padded (especially with the subplot involving Betty Draper played by January Jones). Last Sunday evening's show was different as it contained an unusual amount of compelling scheming and scamming, however, to the point where it seemed like the Mad Men season 5 finale--which will actually air on June 10.

Perhaps the best part of the show is the opening theme music and animation sequence.

Apart from that, there are two solid characters that seem "real":

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), the hardworking and sincere copywriter that everyone seems to take for granted (sound familiar?) and obnoxious firm partner Roger Sterling (John Slattery). In the latter case, haven't we all worked in companies where one of the top executives or managers blatantly never does a stitch of work?

The quality of the show aside, what is Hollywood fascination with the advertising industry of all things? Perhaps second only to police dramas, why do so many TV shows and movies have the advertising industry as a backdrop?

Apart from Mad Men, others that come immediately to mind include Melrose Place, ThirtySomething and the Mel Gibson movie What Women Want. There is also a new reality show about advertising agencies competing for new accounts, The Pitch, which airs on AMC immediately after Mad Men.

A quick Internet search reveals others: Bosom Buddies, Bewitched, Who's the Boss?, Full House, Trust Me (one season), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and so on.

Can you think of any reason for the entertainment industry's fascination with advertising?

Breaking News: The Romney Campaign Really Wants to Win

                                              [photo credit: Gage Skidmore]

Unlike the lackluster 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain who inexplicably left so many issues on the table, Mitt Romney's aggressive and rapid response media team shows that the GOP candidate really wants to capture the White House in November.

Using the term "bomb thrower" is gross exaggeration, but otherwise this BuzzFeed piece seems to be generally on the mark, except it that Romney is implementing a strategy for winning the general election:
In the eyes of many on the right, John McCain's 2008 presidential bid was a disaster not because he lost, but because he refused to fight. Conservatives believe McCain bought into a liberal media narrative that personal attacks on Barack Obama were unseemly and even racist. The conservative caricature of Candidate McCain that emerged in the wake of the Republicans' defeat wasn't of an unreliable moderate — rather, it was one of an Establishment figure paralyzed by political correctness, and unwilling to go blow for blow with Obama.
But if the Vietnam veteran disappointed conservatives with his gun-shy campaign in 2008, Romney is uniting the right by playing the role of the bomb-thrower.
The unapologetically aggressive tone of Romney's campaign is manifest at every turn — from his aides' fierce Twitter wars, to the candidate's surprise press conference at failed green solar company Solyndra, and the campaign's continued refusal to apologize for Donald Trump's outlandish conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate. It's all part of a deliberate — and, so far, successful — strategy aimed less at convincing undecided voters, and more at rallying the Republican Party around its candidate.

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Similarly, Byron York of the Washington Examiner writes that Team Obama misses John McCain and said so publicly:
Faced with deteriorating economic conditions and an unexpectedly aggressive Republican opponent, President Obama and his aides are expressing nostalgia for Sen. John McCain, the Republican opponent Obama defeated handily in the 2008 election...
The last week, more than any in the campaign so far, has shown Team Obama that Romney and his aides are prepared to fight as hard as needed to win in November.  The Romney-organized shouting-down [see below] of top Obama aide David Axelrod in Boston; the Romney sneak event at the old Solyndra headquarters in California; Romney's refusal to give in to Democratic demands to repudiate Trump; and Romney's determination to avoid side controversies while remaining singularly focused on the economy all revealed a candidate who has resolved to battle Obama on his own, and not Obama's, terms.  It's no wonder Obama has become nostalgic for the relatively comfortable days of 2008.
Taking a page out of the left's playbook, Romney supporters disrupt Obama campaign honcho David Axelrod's Boston press conference: