Sunday, December 31, 2006

Can Obama Win Evangelical Votes?

Nicole Russell has an interesting post up on The American Thinker positing that Barack Obama may be able to make inroads with conservative evangelical voters who were sufficiently disenchanted with the GOP to stay home in large numbers in the 2006 Congressional elections. Russell's argument seems to be premised on the fact that Obama is young and charming, which has eeemingly endeared him to some evangelicals, and his willingness to speak openly about his faith, something of a new phenomenon for a Democrat candidate. Russell acknowledges Obama's very liberal record, but points out that he has largely been courting a bloc of evangelicals more interested in AIDS and poverty than abortion and gay marriage. As interesting as the theory is, and as appealing as I am sure the Democrat party finds the prospect of peeling away evangelical votes, I wouldn't bet too much on the likelihood of the outcome. Fact is, evangelicals, and many conservatives, deserted the GOP in 2006 because the GOP deserted the principles that got it elected in the first place. While the Rick Warren's of the world are no doubt happy to have Barack Obama sit on the dais at AIDS and anti-poverty get togethers, the likelihood that a guy with Obama's voting record - and make no mistake, it is very, very liberal - will successfully woo the evangelical rank and file, is virtually nil.

Ford, Reagan and the Conservative Uprising

Jonathan Martin has written a very interesting piece for National Review Online about the 1976 contest for the Republican presidential nomination between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. I remember well that primary season, and the convention in Kansas City in August of that year, as well as the excietment that Reagan seemed to generate. As Martin suggests, I believe that that primary battle did truly mark the end of the Establishment, moderate era in the GOP. The dwindling numbers of the so called moderates in the Republican ranks would seem to bear out that analysis. Ford is of course to be credited for his hard fought win over Reagan. Indeed, I expect that it is likely that the bitterness of that defeat left the conservatives all the more determined to finish the job in 1980, which we obviously did.

Aid and Comfort

Lest there be any doubt as to whose side the Democrat Congressional leadership is on, and whether that band of thugs wishes to see America win in the war on terror, the incoming leadership evidently plans to revisit the question of detainees rights. The ever reliable Arlen Specter apparently plans to join the party.

Mark Steyn on Saddam's Execution

The redoubtable Mark Steyn, as usual, makes some very cogent observations on the demise of the Butcher of Baghdad:

And to have convicted, sentenced and executed the dictator is a signal accomplishment for the new Iraq. When I was in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, shortly after the war, a young boy showed me his schoolbook. It was like my textbooks at his age - full of doodles and squiggles and amusing additions to the illustrations. With one exception: the many pages bearing pictures of Saddam were in pristine condition. Even a bored schoolboy doesn't get so careless that he forgets where not to draw the line. When the cowardly thug emerged from his hole, it was a rare moment: in the fetid stability of the Middle East, how often do you get to see a big-time dictator looking like some boxcar hobo and meekly submitting to a lice inspection by an American soldier?...

The reality is that, as long as he was alive, there was always the possibility that he would return. When a dictator has exercised the total control over his subjects that Saddam did, his hold on them can only end with his death.

Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt.

Happy New Year

Friday, December 29, 2006

President Ford, R.I.P.

I was away for a few days over the Christmas holiday, and wasn't able to post about this in a timely fashion. I would like to join the millions of Americans who are morning the death of former President Gerald Ford. He was a good a decent man who was thrust into the presidency at one of the most difficult times in our history. His steady hand and quiet integrity were a much needed balm after the last tumultuous days of the Nixon Administration. There is much that can and will be said about Gerald Ford the man, the politician and the president. For now, I would simply like to say thank you, sir. May you rest in peace.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rudy in NH? He Should Save Himself the Trip

Apparently Rudy Giuliani, presidential aspirant, is visiting New Hampshire. He should save himself the trip. He has no prayer of being the Republican nominee in 2008. He is stridently pro-abortion and is pro-gay rights. I am certainly willing to commend him for his leadership in New York City after 9/11. But what segment of the Republican primary electorate does he appeal to, aside, perhaps, from the Log Cabin types (as if they have any influence whatsoever over the nominating process)? And we can safely assume that any mainstream Republican primary voter willing to credit Gioulani for his post-9/11 leadership is likely to find almost any other possible candidate, including John McCain. More palatable. My record for predictions of late might not be the best, but I will wager my last nickle that Rudy will NOT be the nominee.

Paleoconservative Primer

Bill Calhoun has presented this pretty good primer on paleoconservatism over at Capitol Hill Coffee House, explaining who paleos are and what they believe. In the aftermath of this year's Republican election debacle, there is a war for the soul of the party, and of conservatism, on the horizon, and its best to know and understand the players and competing philosophies.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Worst President Ever

David Horowitz takes down Jimmy Carter, the worst president and worst former presdient in our nation's history, over at

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why Pennsylvania Voters, and All Americans, Will Regret Rick Santorum's Loss

Outgoing Senator Rick Santorm shows yet again that he is one of the few in Washington that really understands what is at stake in Iraq. One thing is, I think, for certain. Little Bobby Casey doesn't get it. And by the time that Bobby leanrs that he has to actually show up for this job, defeat may well be at hand. God speed, Senator Santorum.

Monday, December 11, 2006

General Pinochet, RIP

History will, I believe, be kind to General Pinochet. The human rights abuses are to be deplored and condemned. He saved Chile from far worse, however, halting, and then reversing. what would have doubtless been a rapid slide into a collectivist totaltitarian nightmare. When the people spoke, the General gave up the reigns of power peaceably. By that time a firm foundation for economic, and, indeed, politcal, freedom, had been laid. Chileans enjoy their freedoms today in n o small part to the efforts of Genral Pinochet. May he rest in peace.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Now THIS is a Big Surprise

Perhaps Le John will rethink whether the "botched joke" will hurt him if he runs in '08 if he's seen this.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What About Judges?

One interesting question that arises as a consequence of the Democrats victory in last week's elections is what happens to President Bush's judicial nominations strategy? It is a virtual certainty that the weaker and/or more controversial of the pending nominees (e.g., Haynes, Wallace, Myers) are finished. There is no possibility of these nominees being confirmed, and re-nominating them again when Congress reconvenes after the New Year would be a waste of time. Others, such as Randy Smith and Peter Kiesler could still possibly be confirmed if the White House and the Republican Senate leadership are committed to spending the political capital necessary to get them confirmed. The more interesting element of this question is what will happen if there should be a Supreme Court vacancy before the expiration of the President's term. Conventional wisdom is that the President would have no prayer of getting a solid concervative (such as Janice Rogers Brown) confirmed. But conventional wisdom can be, and often is, wrong. One of the critical determinants of whether a conservative Supreme Court nominee can be confirmed at this point is whether new Democrat senators such as Bob Casey and Jim Webb cast their votes consistent with the themes they emphasized during the campaign, or whether they bow down and do the bidding of the old bull liberals in the leadership. Time may well tell.

Oops (or, can I change those predictions?)

OK, so for once Terry McCauliffe was right and I was wrong. The Republicans obviously got whooped in last week's election. Congratulations to the Democrats, and good luck. I expect that Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi will find that actually governing is a lot harder than simply repeating "Bush stinks" over and over to anyone who will listen, and even some who won't.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ortega Redux

This is not good news. At 40% Ortega has about the same level of support that Bill Clinton garnered in 1992.

Addendum to Election Predictions

I inexplicably forgot to mention the Missouri Senate race,although my prediction is probably obvious from my predicted bottom line outcome. In any event, I expect Jim Talent to be re-elected and,as with the Allen race, I do not anticipate that the final margin will be as close as the polling data suggests. Look for Talent to win by about 5 points.

White Knuckle Time for the Democrats

Seems that the left is getting a little nervous about what appears to be a gathering of momentum for Republican candidates heading into tomorrow's elections. I have one quibble with Mr. Scheiber's piece - his speculation that there is an inherent pro-Republican/conservative bias in polls conducted in whole or in part over the weekend is incorrect. Historically, such polls skew pro-Democrat. Which means perhaps the Democrats have even more toworry about than Mr. Scheiber would think.

New ECUSA Presiding Bishop Calls for Reconciliation

I expect that what Ms. Schori means by "reconciliation" is for the traditionalist remnant in ECUSA to capitulate and to acquiesce in the ascendancy of the new religion to which she and her ilk subscribe. What she almost certainly does not mean is for the left wing, revisionist majority in ECUSA to show any degree of tolerance for dissent in their ranks. You can be assured that, unless the traditionalists either leave the Episcopal Church for good, or simply give up and give in to the prevailing currents, the ethnic cleansing of those who actually seek to uphold the Faith and traditional Anglican teaching will proceed apace.

Election Predictions

Pronouncements of impending Republican doom emanating from the hallowed halls of such MSM outlets as the New York Times and The Managua,er, Washington Post notwithstanding, there is no reasonable doubt that the momentum in these elections has been all Republican for the last several days and heading into the actual balloting tomorrow. It appears likely that the R's will suffer losses considerably lighter than expected. I expect that Rick Santorum will likely lose in Pennsylvania (although it appears that Rixk has all the momentum, and an upset is not out of the question), as willMike DeWine in Ohio. On the other side of the ledger, look for Mike Steele to take the open seat in Maryland, and Bob Corker to bury Harold Ford, Tennessee. Bob Menendez will probably edge out Tom Kean,Jr., who certainly gave the New Jesrey bosses all they could handle. Also look for George Allen to hold his seat in a race that, when the votes are counted,will not likely be as close as the polls seem to suggest. Finally, Conrad Burns and Lincoln Chafee will also hold their seats. Bottom line - a net gain of 1 seat for the D's On the House side of the ledger, I expect the D's will come closer to taking control, but still no cigar. Net gain of 12 seats, 3 short of a majority.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Snarlin' Arlen v. The ABA

Evidently Arlen Specter doesn't think much of the ABA's hatchet job on Michael Wallace, a nominee to the 5th Circuit. Sentaor Specter has asked the Judiciary Committee to reject the ABA's report, among other measure. Fox News had the story earlier today. Hat Tip: Bashman

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ms. Schori is a Fraud

So it appears that the presumptive Presiding Bishopette of the Episcopal Church is not only a radical, non-Christian revisionist, but she's a fraud, too. Seems she falified her resume. Or at least majorly self-aggrandized. Just what we want in a primate.

More on L'Affaire Mel

Dean Bartlett, Hugh Hewitt's guest blogger, had a very good post this evening on Mel Gibson and anti-Semitism. Because I am stupid and could not figure out how to find a permalink to posts on Hugh's blog, I have taken the liberty of reproducing Dean's post in its entirety below. While I agree only partially with Dean's conclusion (he reluctantly forgives Gibson for his transgressions, while I would forgive completely and unreservedly, given what I believe to be Mel's sincere attempt at Christian repentance) I expect Dean and I differ as a consequence of the differing religious or cultural perspectives that we bring to the table. In any event, I agree with 95% of Dean's analysis, and I recommend that, if you've got the time, you read the whole thing: As Hugh noted, Mel Gibson has apologized. I think its a pretty moving act of contrition. For appropriate context, here it is in full: There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of Anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words. The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is Gods child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith. Im not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing. I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed. This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have. Its about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad. Now, a few random thoughts, speaking only for myself and not as a kind of self appointed pope of the Jewish community. (That's Abe Foxman's job, anyway): 1) FIRST A MINOR QUIBBLE: I don't like the world gone mad ending. In an otherwise forthright acceptance of his own culpability, that verbal tic seems to shift some of the blame on to the crazy world and off of Gibson. We all live in the crazy world; most of us successfully avoid delivering racist harangues. In other words, its not the world's fault; its Mel's. 2) NOW, A DISCLAIMER: I'm a fan of Gibson's - a big one. Or at least I was. Braveheart is one of my favorite movies. Hell, I even liked "The Bounty." One of the things I've often said about Braveheart is that no actor could impersonate heroism as well as Gibson did in that film. In other words, to so convincingly portray a hero, Gibson had to have some hero in him. So I was more than just a fan of his work I was an admirer of the man. 3) HOW DID I FEEL AFTER HEARING HIS COMMENTS? In a word, disappointed. Deeply. 4) ANOTHER THING ABOUT GIBSON. And it would be dishonest to deny this had some effect on me - he was hated by all the right people. Frank Rich, Andrew Sullivan, other self-righteous media types. Gibson was loathed by a virtual Who's Who of annoying Americans. It would also be dishonest to deny that it has been dispiriting to see these people get a victory lap because of Gibson's antics. It was bad enough to watch Abe Foxman claiming vindication, but what was really painful was clicking over to Andrew Sullivan's site to see Gibson's shame had triggered a 48 hour gloat-fest on the Sage of Provincetown's part. Somehow I doubt Frank Rich will be any more gracious in his column this Sunday. 5) BUT SHOULD THEY BE GRACIOUS? This is where we have to deal with the magnitude of Mel's crime. Like I said up top, I'm a fan. I really want to forgive him. He's apologized pretty much unconditionally, which seems to put the ball in my court. Here I have to digress and give you my own little personal taxonomy of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites. The worst kind of anti-Semites are people who hate Jews and want to act on that hatred. Call this the Hitler standard. Of course, Hitler wasn't the last anti-Semite who hated Jews and wanted to do something serious about it. The guy running Iran right now seems to be cut from the same cloth. The entire Middle East seems to be teeming with people for whom their dislike of Jews goes well beyond drunken rants. A grade below the Hitler type is the kind of anti-Semite who doesn't like Jews but will settle for something less draconian than mass murder or any kind of felonious action. For this kind of anti-Semite, merely excluding Jews from their private clubs or avoiding unnecessary interactions with Jews is sufficient. As America has progressed, the second kind of anti-Semite has become increasingly less common and more marginalized. In the not too distant past, it used to be perfectly acceptable to have a country club that openly excluded Jews. While that kind of thing still goes on, it happens much less than it used to and earns the deserved opprobrium of polite society. A third category of anti-Semite is what I'll refer to as the Jesse Jackson kind of anti-Semite. Given some of his comments and actions, Jesse didn't seem to have much fondness for the Jewish community. But, I always argued, that lack of fondness would never manifest itself in him taking any kind of action beyond saying the occasionally stupid thing. A lot of Jews feared Jesse Jackson's not-so-implausible presidential run in 1988 for what would happen to America's Jews if he ever won. I didn't share that concern. (I was concerned about a man of Jackson's dubious character becoming president for obvious reasons and for all Americans, but never mind that for now.) So where does Gibson fit in on this spectrum? Some would say he acted on his anti-Semitism when he made "The Passion of the Christ." I disagree. I never saw the movie that way, and I still don't. I put him in the Jesse Jackson category, but I'm sure Gibson knows that his antics make even that undesirable position hostile terrain to defend. I should add that obviously I find the Mahmoud Ahmadenijad or Yussef al-Qaradawi kind of anti-Semite to be of a lot more concern than a million Gibsons would be. And I would be remiss if I failed to note the irony that a lot of people who habitually ignore or dismiss the "descendants of apes and pigs" rhetoric that comes out of the Middle East (where the rhetoric is meant as a prelude to action) seem oddly scandalized by Mel's tirade. 6) SO, YOU SAY, HE'S BETTER THAN HITLER. BIG DEAL. Actually, because all anti-Semitism is usually lumped together, distinguishing between Gibson and Hitler is actually necessary. The Jewish community is by nature, and justifiably, always on guard. We are also fearful that anti-Semitic words will lead to anti-Semitic actions of the worst kind. While this may sound somewhat daft in 21st century America, it isn't and it's understandable. Every Jew who attends Temple is likely personally acquainted with a Holocaust survivor. Virtually very American Jew is three generations or less removed from an ancestor who came to America because they were fleeing persecution. Fear of persecution is more than a mere aspect of our ancestral DNA. The living reminders of that persecution are still with us. So identifying Gibson as someone with a case of pernicious diarrhea of the mouth as opposed to someone like al-Qaradawi, who is truly a man with a plan, matters. 7) WILL THE AMERICAN JEWISH COMMUNITY FORGIVE GIBSON - Doubtful. Very doubtful. Put plainly, in the eyes of most American Jews, Gibson's outburst is probably a hanging offense. It's hard to imagine the campaign of contrition that would get him the community's forgiveness. Gibson was already (undeservedly) on thin ice with America's Jews after making "The Passion." He slipped through that ice this weekend. Or to use another cliche, this genie cannot be put back in the bottle. 8) CAN HE RESUME HIS CAREER - I imagine that he can. American celebrities have a 12 step Kabuki ritual of image rehabilitation that Gibson has already begun, but with apparent sincerity. When he cries on Oprah's couch, we'll know the end is near. America's a pretty forgiving place for the famous and infamous. Tonya Harding remains a celebrity, and all she did was pay a few guys to maim a competitor. 9) CAN I FORGIVE GIBSON? I found his letter of apology moving. I'm also a lot more concerned about anti-Semites who are unrepentant in their anti-Semitism. So yes, somewhat reluctantly, I'll forgive him. The holiest of Jewish holidays is Yom Kippur which translates into "Day of Atonement." Judaism puts a high value on atoning; I think Mel also deeply believes in the power of repentance and the quest for redemption. So let's let him redeem himself. Let him use his magnificent talents to benefit the Jewish community if he so wishes. Let him make a "Schindler's List" or a "Life is Beautiful." That would be great. Besides, right now, we can use all the friends we can get.

Happy Anniversary, Rush Limbaugh!!

Today marks the 18th anniversary of The Rush Limbaugh Show. I'd like to join all in the Conservative community in wishing Rush well, and thanking him for all he has done for the cause. It is simply not possible that the sonservative movement wwould have enjoyed anywhere near the level of success that it has without El Rushbo these past 18 years. Congratulations, Rush. Here's to many, many more. (Hat tip: Erick at Red State)

I'll bet dollars to doughnuts

That the Old Goat has already croaked, especially in light of this report out of Cuba. History teaches that totalitarian regimes are nothing if not peddlers of mendacious lies. May he rot in Hell.

'Nuf Said

Like a Man

Mel Gibson has issued an apology to the Jewish community for anti-Semitic slurs that he made after having been arrested on suspicion of DUI. Gibson's original statements were reprehensible. His apology appears, on its face, to be sincere, heartfelt and without qualification. The slurs that he made, and the sentiments that underlay them, are to be abhorred. But he is to be commended for taking responsibility like a man, for making no excuses, and asking for forgiveness. The Faith to which Mel Gibson subsrcibes holds that we are all sinners needing to repent and seek forgiveness. Far from besmirching the Catholic faith, Mr. Gibson's fall and effort at public repentance is a stark reminder that we are indeed all sinners in need of God's grace. I wish Mr. Gibson well on his path to recovery.

Castro Ailing

So Fidel apparently is ailing. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if, as in the days of the old Soviet Union, he's already dead and the government is for whatever reason -- most likely the fear of popular unrest and the potential overthrow of the regime -- is holding off on letting out the good news. In any event, let's all raise a Cuba Libre, and hope that the old goat doesn't linger for too long.

Le John Captivates the Crowd.

This photo of John Kerry speaking to a relative handful of old coots in Iowa pretty much sums up the senator's current status in his party and as a presidential candidate. Here's to Le John! (Hat tip: Drudge)

A Slip of the Pen - New York Times

Walter Dellinger cogently defends the use of presidential signing statements by the executive to enunciate the reasons for refusing to enforce provisions of enacted legislation that the president believes to be unconstitutional. Setting aside for the moment whether or not Dellinger is correct that President Bush espouses in some cases an interpretation of the constitution that is incorrect -- and I am inclined to disagree with Professor Dellinger while granting that reasonable legal minds may differ -- I think he is absolutely correct in his criticisms of the report issued by the ABA Task Force.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Wall Street Journal Has the ABA'S Number

In this editorial appearing on the op-ed page of today's paper, the Wall Street Journal correctly labels the American Bar Association as a partisan liberal group whose recent pronouncements on matters such as the nomination of Michael Wallace to the federal bench and President Bush's use of signing statements to set forth his independent view of the constitutionality of certain legislative provisions are motivated by their partisan antipathy toward the present Administration. ABA President Michael Grieco evidently takes issue with an earlier Journal editorial on the Wallace nomination. Looks to me like the Journal has the better of this argument.

Andy Card on Miers

This story appears in News Max, in which Andy Card, President Bush's former Chief of Staff, discusses, among other things, Harriet Miers failed nomination to the Supreme Court. These guys must be sniffing glue or something. Card and his ilk appear to continue to cling to the ridiculous notion that Harriet Miers was appropriately qualified for the Supreme Court. Most troubling to me is the assertion that the Miers nomination resulted from the fact that the President found the other female candidates that had been presented to him to be "somehow not right." Edith Jones? Janice Rogers Brown? Karen Williams? Mary Ann Glendon? Edith Clement? Any one of them would have been preferable to Miers, and all are immensely qualified. Far more so than Harriet Miers. Is the President really that clueless? Or is Andy Card simply trying to avoid admitting that the White House had the gall to approach a nomination for a seat on the Supreme Court as somehow equivalent to a seat on some mid-level regulatory agency, as just another opportunity to reward a loyal crony. I am constrained to conclude that we have gotten quality judicial nominees these last 5 1/2 years in spite of, and not because of, the President.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kofi Annan is a Joke

This is why Kofi Annan, and the UN, are an absolute joke and an embarrassment. They won't condom Hezbollah's terroristic targeting of civilians -- which is in large part what started the current conflict -- but they're very quick to try and stick it to Israel. Remember, these are the guys who years ago passed the resolution equating Zionism with racism. They are systemically anti-Semitic, anti-Western, anti-US an corrupt. As Charles Lichenstein, a reagan era diplomat stated, if the UN were to decide to pack up and leave, we ought not try and stop them but, rather, sand on the dock and wave goodbye. Tonight, I'd settle for Mr. Annan's exit visa.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Re-elect Rick Santorum

In the event that there was any doubt that Rick Santorum's re-election ought to be a critical priority for conservatives, I urge you to read his speech delivered at the National Press Club last Thursday on the subject of the global struggle against Islamo-fascism. With the sole exception of former speaker Newt Gingrich, no one else has expressed in such clear and cogent terms the nature of the struggle that we face, nor has anyone else been as willing to so unapologetically identify the enemy in the struggle. If we could replace the President's muddle headed thinking about Islam being a religion of peace with Senator Santorum's clear eyed analysis, we would take one giant step forward in what truly is a global struggle against an enemy as bent on our destruction as any other we have faced. (HT: NRO).

Why most liberals are hypocrites

Evidently, the New Jersey legislature and its self-absorbed, far left governor, believe that minors ought to have parental permission to get a tan. Somehow I don't expect that this same group of clowns would not be nearly so solicitous if the subject were abortion rather than the scandal of teenage tanning.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Independence Day

Wishing a very happy Independence Day to all! God bless the USA!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Is Hamdan Stevens Parting Shot?

Over at Southern Appeal, Feddie wonders whether Justice Stevens' opinion in Hamdan, which was definitely a defat for the Bush Administration, is Justice Stevens' parting shot before announcing a long overdue retirement. As I said in my comment to Feddie's post at SA, I had the same thought today. For a liberal justice this would certainly represent going out on a high note. If Stevens decides to hang around, he could well wind up being an embarassment before too long. I know he looks hale and hearty -- and I wish the justice many more years of good health. But at age 85, things have a way of happening, and a man in fine health can go into a rpaid decline with even the most simple of traumas or illnesses. I have to say I agree with Feddie -- look for JPS to announce his retirement sooner rather than later.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day

And even a politician driven purely by expediency and self-interest can be right every now and again. But if John McCain thinks that he can run as the heir of Reagan, he is more delusional than I expected.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mother Jesus?!?

ECUSA's new PB is without doubt a thoroughgoing revisionist. Take a look at this sermon and then tell me I'm wrong.

Fr. Neuhaus on the Schori Election

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus offers his opinion on the effects of the election of Ms. Schori in this essay posted on the First Things website. Suffice it to say that I think that Fr. Neuhaus's assessment of the consequences of the Episcopal Church's latest temper tantrum for ecumenical relations is precisely right. ECUSA has forfeited any claim that it had to being a part of the church catholic, and will now reap the whirlwind. For me, I am sorely tempted to say good riddance, at long last.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Judge Spares Lewis the Cat

I trust that all are relieved that Lewis the Cat has been spared. Now I can sleep.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Federal Judge Rules That Spokane Bishop Can't Sell Parishes

A federal district judge in Washington state has issued a potentially devastating decision concerning the ownership of parich church property in the Diocese of Spokane. From the linked news report it is not clear whether the reasoning of this decision could be employed to assist parish churches outside the boundaries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane. Needless to say, however, the analysis employed could have a significant impact on other denominations, as well, including the schsim bound Episcopal Church. In the wake of the ECUSA's General Convention, it is likely that property disputes will erupt all over the place. Once I have had a chance to review the opinion, I'll offer some further thoughts.

Cardinal Kasper addresses Church of England Bishops' Meeting

Cardinal Kasper delivered this address to a meeting of the Church of England's bishops on June 5th. The Episcopal Church's House of Bishop s would have been well served to read this address, and to consider the consequences that Cardinal Kasper explained to the English bishops would follow from the elevation of women to the episcopate. While that particular horse is out of the barn on this side of the pond, there can be little doubt that Ms. Schori's election will have less than positive consequences for relations between the Vartican and the Anglican Communion.

Fallout Starts in the Episcopal Church

The fallout over the Episcopal Church's election of the ultra-liberal Ms. Schori has evidently begun. The Diocese of Ft. Worth issued the following today: "The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative primatial oversight and pastoral care, following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church." "This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendation." And thus the long imminent crack-up of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion begins.

The New York Times Has a Grasp on the Obvious

In a story on the Episcopal Church's election of Ms. Schori, the ever insightful New York Times offers this tidbit: "Church experts predicted that her election might further strain relations with the Vatican, which cooled to the church after the election of Bishop Robinson three years ago." Gee, you think so?

Schism on Its Way

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali predicts, correctly, I believe, that the Episcopal Church's election of Ms. Schori as its Presiding Bishop will inevitably lead to a split in the Anglican Communion. This election will not sit well with the vast majority of the Communion, which does not allow women to serve as bishops. It is hard to see how the traditionalists amongst the Primates (the leaders of the Anglican Communion's various Provinces) can even recognize Ms. Schori as a bishop, let alone as a fellow primate. Not to mention that her stance on the elction and consecration of V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay and non-celibate so-called Bishop of New Hampshire, is squarely at odds with the majority of the Communion. Let the bloodletting begin!

More on Schori

Seems that Fr. Christopher Cantrell at Apostolicity shares my view that Ms. Schori's election was ECUSA's way of making an obscene gesture in the general direction of the Anglican Communion.

Episcopal Church Gives the Anglican Communion the Bird

Bishop Jack Iker's statement in reaction to the Episcopal Church's election of Ms. Schori to be its Presiding Bishop pretty well sums things up. For those interested, I will have far more to say about this on a new blog, dedicated solely to church matters and my work on canon and ecclesiastical law matters, that I will be launching later today. I'll post a link to the new blog later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Why the Enron Verdict Is Dangerous

Jeff Skilling's lawyer, the estimable Daniel Petrocelli, offered on CNBC a spirited argument as to why the verdict in the Enron case is a dangerous example of the criminalization of business behavior after the fact and with the benefit of hindsight. For what its worth, I think Petrocelli is right (HT: WSJ's Law Blog): "I think it was a bad day for the country. A great injustice was done on that day. And it has nothing to do with whether you believe Jeff Skilling is guilty or innocent. But to use the criminal justice system as a means of regulating business conduct is wrong in a case like this where business transactions, business judgments were being questioned. Nobody stole money in this case, nobody swindled anybody, there was no Ponzi scheme, there was no fraud in the sense that the law generally recognizes. What the government was doing was after the fact, simply because Enron went into bankruptcy, challenging transactions that were fully approved by senior management, fully approved by the board of directors, fully approved by lawyers and accountants and scores of other people and after the fact challenging the wisdom of some of those decisions. Well you can do so in SEC proceedings, you can do so in civil cases, you ought not to use the criminal justice system to do so. And I think it sends a very dangerous message to business and to people at large to know that their government can misuse and abuse the laws and the systems of justice of the country for political purposes. And I think that�s what we saw in this case. This was a public lynching to satisfy a heated appetite for retribution because of practices that went on during the late 90s that after the fact now people aren�t happy about. It�s one thing to challenge those things in civil cases; it�s wrong to do so in criminal cases and I feel like ultimately the laws need to be revisited to prevent this from happening again."

Roethlisberger's Risk

The WSJ's Law Blog has weighed in on the possible contract implications arising out of Ben Roethlisberger's boneheaded decision to rid a motorcycle. Apparently Ben's contract does not prohibit him from riding a bike. The Law Blog correctly points out that the standard NFL player contract prohibits "risky behavior," which might give the Steelers an out if Roethlisberger should prove unable to play. The Law Blog has overlooked, however, a possibly easier avenue for the Steelers -- NFL contracts are not typically guaranteed, as they are in other sports, and I expect Roethlisberger's deal is no different. In the NFL, player deals -- even so-called "long term" contracts, are really just a series of one year contracts. The Steelers could just release Roethlisberger and would likely only be on the hook for the current year. I offer no commentary on what the salary cap implications might or might not be.

Kennedy? Guilty.

So, Patrick Kennedy has copped a plea on his DUI charge. He should have pleaded guilty to being a jerk.

Candor is Refreshing

Its a nice change when someone in Washington is willing to speak candidly. Zinsmmeister will serve this President well.

Federal Judge Strikes Down SF Gun Ban

For once, a federal court in California has done something sensible. But I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the 9th Circuit reverses. One of the more interesting facets of the ordinance is the confiscation provision, which compels owners of handguns to turn them in. Wonder if its occurred to anyone that there's a 5th Amendment problem there, especially since, as the trial court judge seems to have found, state law in California recognizes a citizen's right to own a weapon.

Be Careful What You Wish For

As most anyone who follows the news knows by now, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has notifed Karl Rove that Rove will not face charges arising out of the Valerie Plame matter. The attorney representing Plame and her quasi-celebrity of a husband, Joe Wilson, issued the following press release, according to wire service reports: "Statement by Christopher Wolf, Proskauer Rose LLP, Counsel for Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson Tuesday June 13, 11:02 am ET WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 13, 2006--The following is a statement by Christopher Wolf, Proskauer Rose LLP, Counsel for Ambassador Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame Wilson We have become aware of the communication between Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Luskin concerning Karl Rove's status in the criminal investigation. We have no first-hand knowledge of the reason for the communication or what further developments in the criminal investigation it may signal. While it appears that Mr. Rove will not be called to answer in criminal court for his participation in the wrongful disclosure of Valerie Wilson's classified employment status at the CIA in retaliation against Joe Wilson for questioning the rationale for war in Iraq, that obviously does not end the matter. The day still may come when Mr. Rove and others are called to account in a court of law for their attacks on the Wilsons." If I were advising Plame & Wilson, I'd tell them to be careful what they wish for. Should this matter ever find its way into litigation, Joe Wilson's lies and distortions will all be fair game and, I expect, Ms. Plame and her husband will end up being the ones who are sorry.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Senate Invokes Cloture on Kavanaugh Nomination

The Senate has voted 67 to 30 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit. This is good news, indeed. But it ought not have taken this long, and it nis high time that the Senate GOP start to move the President's judicial nominations in a more expeditious manner.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Flags at half mast

We are saddened by the news > that Judge Edward Becker has died. He was a fine man and an oustanding judge. We will miss him, and pray that God will have mercy on his soul. Farewell, Judge Becker.

Friday, May 12, 2006

No More Souters

I don't expect that Justice Souter has to worry about whether conservatives will in a year be crying "no more Alitos." I have every confidence that Justice Alito will be as solid on the Supreme Court as he was on the Third Circuit. Would that that could be said about the odd little man from New Hampshire. Oh -- and welcome to any of the pinkos visiting from the Maclaw Opinion site. Be sure to freshen your tinfoil on the way out.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Earth to John Edwards -- You guys lost

Why on earth does Sir Lightweight, aka former Senator and erstwhile nominee for Vice President of the Donkey Party, think that anyone cares what he thinks about Judge Boyle's nomination to a seat on the Fourth Circuit.