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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sunday morning tab dump 

A few accumulated items for your consideration this Sunday morn...

NBC manipulated -- that is the only sufficiently precise verb -- the recording of George Zimmerman's 911 call to improve the odds that Zimmerman would be understood to be a racist. Considering the inflammatory power of the competing narratives in this case and the passions they have ignited, it is hard to imagine a major media organization acting less responsibly. Whatever happens in the ultimate legal process, the actions of NBC news will make it very hard to reconcile public opinion about this case, and that is a tragedy.

Keith Olbermann, man of the people.

An awesome tale of revenge and the internal war for the soul of the Chinese Communist Party. Fascinating stuff.

As of this morning, the United States now has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. It is a great thing that business cannot leave the country for more attractive climes, and that capital cannot flow across borders. Otherwise, we'd be in quite a pickle.

Don't blame Solicitor General Donald Verrilli for his poor defense of Obamacare in front of the Supreme Court last week.

Meanwhile, Wall Street has been paying attention.

When I had a bit more free time, I would go public lectures at Princeton and marvel at the many ways in which even those bright audiences abused the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers. Finally, some proper instruction in the matter.

The United States under Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has stopped adding putative jihadis to its network of hidden prisons, because that is what George W. Bush did. Instead, we just kill them, from as much distance as possible. Setting aside the moral and legal confusion in this "reform," we miss the opportunity to, you know, ask them questions.

Have an awesome Sunday.


18 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 01, 11:16:00 AM:

Hey, to me, Trayvon and Fluke prove something that I don't see mentioned but, if true, will be important over the next six months.
We know JournoList existed. It appears that most of us now believe that, since JournoList was exposed, it no longer exists. I believe that's bunk; JournoList has simply been renamed and it's membership rules tightened.
Someone in the administration is ordering the ultra-left wing presstitutes to cover some issues and avoid others. Trayvon, Fluke and contraception were ordered covered; Fast and Furious, Holder's racism and criminality are subjects that must not be covered.
How can we prove this and publicize it before we get weekly attacks in September and October?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sun Apr 01, 11:18:00 AM:

I don't think that most editors and producers in the non-Fox MSM need instructions to know what is and is not to be covered. They are results-oriented and know as a matter of instinct what will help their candidate and what will not.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Apr 01, 01:07:00 PM:

That is right, TH. I bet some of them even think they are being "impartial" when they slant the news. Just because they are dishonest doesn't mean they can't also be stupid.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sun Apr 01, 02:01:00 PM:

Despite what MSM is writing, the SCOTUS vote on ObamaCare is still jump ball. Because weed isn’t involved, Scalia is now a sure vote. But Kennedy, Sotomayor and Roberts took hedged positions in their questioning.

Roberts doesn’t want a 5-4 vote to overturn on party lines. Only on gut, I’ve long believed that Sotomayor may flip so she’s not forever known as an Obama sock puppet. So I stand by 6-3 to overturn. Then again, my NCAA picks were atrocious, and that had more controlling precedent.

Query: will Kagan find a way to tell Obama how the secret SCOTUS voting is going? Do they already have a secret code for this—like cheaters in Bridge bidding? Lest you think this crazy, we’ve seen this movie before. LBJ put his best buddy, Abe Fortas, on SCOTUS but he was driven off SCOTUS over ethical issues including strong suspicions of his yakking to LBJ about SCOTUS business.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sun Apr 01, 08:34:00 PM:

I thought you might like to see what my Significant Other, a former TV news producer, said about the NBC editing of the Zimmerman 911 conversation:

"The editing may not have been nefarious at all.

We would have to know who wrote it and how much time they had to actually get it on the air the first time. After that, subsequent writers/producers would likely rely on the first cut.

Chances are, the Talent never heard the entire 911 call and just read what was written.

That sort of "sloppiness" can't occur if you have a sharp Executive Producer or Managing Editor on the shift. Sadly, that is a layer of TV management that has decayed over the years. Budget cuts and news operations being run by the incompetent often leave those key newsroom positions in peril. A good EP or Managing Editor know it is their responsibility to have seen ALL the tape and/or heard ALL the original audio used in that night's broadcast.

My guess would be that this happened because someone was lazy, in a rush, or just not smart enough to understand the editorial consequences of editing the 911 call down in that way."

I disagree with her of course.  

By Blogger MTF, at Mon Apr 02, 07:50:00 AM:

"Fake but accurate" turns out to be a recurring and significant theme in MSM. Who could have guessed.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon Apr 02, 07:44:00 PM:

Is today's criticism by Obama of activist judges a tell about last Friday's secret SCOTUS vote, opinion(s) to follow? Was Obama tipped by Kagan?

Drudge thinks so, with a picture of Kagan and Obama beaming at each other: "Did he get a leak? Obama takes a shot at Court".

So do I.

Developing, ....  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon Apr 02, 08:07:00 PM:

Clarification

I saw reports thatSCOTUS vote was taken last Friday, but now I see that may not be true. Anyone have insight?  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Apr 03, 01:15:00 AM:

"I saw reports thatSCOTUS vote was taken last Friday, but now I see that may not be true"

I read somewhere, I think before Friday, that the practice at SCOTUS was to have a private (??) discussion and take a preliminary vote the week of the orals. It sounded like this was not at all binding because the final decision (on this or any other case) might not be rendered for weeks or months. I'm not a SCOTUS expert, don't know how much truth there is to this. While I certainly wouldn't put anything past BO he didn't need a "mole" to inspire his comments; the negative news reports were more than enough.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Apr 03, 01:23:00 AM:

"LBJ put his best buddy, Abe Fortas, on SCOTUS but he was driven off SCOTUS over ethical issues including strong suspicions of his yakking to LBJ about SCOTUS business."

Ig, I remember that Fortas got bounced over some questionable financial dealings but don't recall anything about him blabbing to LBJ. He was definitely a close political ally of Johnson.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Apr 03, 01:33:00 AM:

As long as we're all engaging in thinly supported speculation :^) there are those who say that BO would actually prefer to lose the case, either so he could use SCOTUS as a whipping boy in the election or to make the case later for single-payer. If that is the case he should be especially interested in preventing a no vote from Sotomayor (or Kagan) because if one of his own appointees voted the law down it would severely undercut this position.  

By Blogger MTF, at Tue Apr 03, 09:26:00 AM:

Sure, everyone likes getting gobsmacked over their biggest effort so they can whine about it and achieve epic victimhood.

I've read this meme in any number of places and, while Obama's strategeries may be obscure sometimes, this one looks to me like nothing more than after-the-fact justification. He did, after all, waste a majority in both houses and all his first term political capital to get it.

What's worse is that one gets the impression from reading the New Yorker article on his decision making style that he never thought through the program. It's as if he said to his staff, "with our mandate, our majorities, our ideological party, we need a "Big" program to cap year one of the first term. Have three options for me to look at by Friday, and I will pick one". The New Yorker describes the amount of Presidential thought devoted to these sorts of massive policy/Constitutional changes at about the level I had imagined and feared.

It's such a clusterfark, so indigestible for our democracy, both when it was a proposal, a legislative process and now a law, that getting rid of it feels like a massive kidney stone passing through our national body.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Apr 03, 10:58:00 AM:

"Fortas got bounced over some questionable financial dealings but don't recall anything about him blabbing to LBJ."

The financial dealings came up during confirmation hearings when LBJ tried to move Fortas from Associate Justice to Chief Justice. Fortas first met LBJ during LBJ’s contested 1948 Senate race when Fortas legal skills prevailed. Fortas became one of LBJ’s most trusted advisers.

After he got put on SCOTUS as an Associate Justice, Fortas continued to pal around with LBJ and remained part of LBJ’s kitchen cabinet. This was at a time when LBJ’s legislative programs were being implemented and subject to court challenge. This raised obvious concerns over separation of powers, which came to a head when LBJ tried to move Fortas into the Big Chair. The financial dealings then came out, but it was Fortas’ too close relationship with LBJ that was the cause for why his financial dealings were dug into.

There are parallels between LBJ-Fortas and Obama-Kagan. There’s no way Kagan would have been nominated but for her prior relationship with Obama. A preliminary secret SCOTUS vote happened on Friday. Obama is pissy on Monday. With these dots on the page, I drew a cat. I’m not the only one.

Kagan should have recused herself on Obamacare, but didn’t. She may be “innocent” here, but this may cloud the rest of her SCOTUS career, and should. That’s why she should have recused herself. She’s smart enough to know this, which is yet another dot on the page.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Tue Apr 03, 12:57:00 PM:

Presuming Obama has a "mole" in SCOTUS, we should be able to predict the Unconstitutional/Constitutional split by his behaviour.

9-0 to 7-2 : Cloud of depression hangs over White House
6-3 : Items thrown at reporters
5-4 : Angry outbursts during reporter questions, carefully written out beforehand on TOTUS
4-5 : Happy times reign at White House, seen playing with dog
3-6 : Multiple rounds of golf per week, accidental release of eggs from Marine One while flying over Boener's car
2-7 or better : Mission Accomplished banner hung outside White House, vacations until September  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Apr 03, 03:23:00 PM:

ObamaCare is the BIG NEW NEW THING of the Obama administration. So I obsess.

During SCOTUS arguments, Ginsburg asked “why isn’t this like Social Security … so what’s the big deal about the Individual Mandate?”

Answer: ObamaCare could have been designed differently and would have had a better chance of being constitutional, but Obama would have needed to be upfront about funding it with taxes. Social Security relies on Congress’ power to render an income tax, not on the Commerce Clause. But Obama couldn’t be seen as raising taxes on anyone making less than $200,000. Even Peter Orzag couldn’t have made up numbers enough to have a tax-based system pass the CBO’s bullshit process.

During SCOTUS arguments it was clear that at least some of the Justices are numerate enough to see that the Individual Mandate is about getting young people to pay an average of $5,000 per year for insurance they could otherwise buy for about $800. Wait until the Young figure out that Obama stole all their Beer Money.

During SCOTUS arguments, analogy was made to auto insurance. But it never got taken all the way home. States can require drivers to have auto insurance. The Feds could do so too I suppose under the Commerce Clause.

Conceivably, the States could instead impose a per capita state tax on all persons over 18 to fund a collective auto insurance policy for all, on grounds that all state citizens either drive a motor vehicle, ride in one, or are potential accident victims from one (even the Amish). But that’s because the states have more legal authority than the Federal government, which is supposed to only have limited enumerated powers. Also, the Feds can only impose certain kinds of taxes, like income taxes, and isn’t supposed to do per capita taxes.

States don’t do collective auto insurance because, while you could call it “insurance”, it wouldn’t be in any financial sense, and so is a really dumb idea. Also, they’d rather spend our taxes on something else.

People’s need for healthcare is different, I admit, but what we’ve got is a long way from “insurance.”  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Tue Apr 03, 03:24:00 PM:

ObamaCare is the BIG NEW NEW THING of the Obama administration. So I obsess.

During SCOTUS arguments, Ginsburg asked “why isn’t this like Social Security … so what’s the big deal about the Individual Mandate?”

Answer: ObamaCare could have been designed differently and would have had a better chance of being constitutional, but Obama would have needed to be upfront about funding it with taxes. Social Security relies on Congress’ power to render an income tax, not on the Commerce Clause. But Obama couldn’t be seen as raising taxes on anyone making less than $200,000. Even Peter Orzag couldn’t have made up numbers enough to have a tax-based system pass the CBO’s bullshit process.

During SCOTUS arguments it was clear that at least some of the Justices are numerate enough to see that the Individual Mandate is about getting young people to pay an average of $5,000 per year for insurance they could otherwise buy for about $800. Wait until the Young figure out that Obama stole all their Beer Money.

During SCOTUS arguments, analogy was made to auto insurance. But it never got taken all the way home. States can require drivers to have auto insurance. The Feds could do so too I suppose under the Commerce Clause.

Conceivably, the States could instead impose a per capita state tax on all persons over 18 to fund a collective auto insurance policy for all, on grounds that all state citizens either drive a motor vehicle, ride in one, or are potential accident victims from one (even the Amish). But that’s because the states have more legal authority than the Federal government, which is supposed to only have limited enumerated powers. Also, the Feds can only impose certain kinds of taxes, like income taxes, and isn’t supposed to do per capita taxes.

States don’t do collective auto insurance because, while you could call it “insurance”, it wouldn’t be in any financial sense, and so is a really dumb idea. Also, they’d rather spend our taxes on something else.

People’s need for healthcare is different, I admit, but what we’ve got is a long way from “insurance.”  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Wed Apr 04, 09:08:00 AM:

States can require drivers to have auto insurance.

Yeah, but when I buy car insurance, I'm insuring the other guy against the outcomes of accidents I cause. At least in the in the 4 states in which I've bought car insurance (not a representative sample) over the last decades, I've never been forced to buy insurance to cover me. The minimum required coverage was entirely of the other guy.

When I buy health insurance, I'm buying coverage for my sickness, not the other guy's. I may be paying for his coverage under Obamacare, but the policies I nominally buy pay out to me, not to the other guy.

The whole comparison with auto insurance is a non sequitur, for a number of reasons, which may be why it never got much play, after all.

Eric Hines  

By Anonymous ScottJ, at Wed Apr 04, 12:00:00 PM:

With any luck at all, Zimmerman will have sharp lawyers lining up to make him a rich man.

Spike Lee gave up a large settlement to that elderly couple who's lives he endangered. I wonder how much it was....  

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