damnum absque injuria

July 20, 2009

Yes, They Did

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:08 pm

Repress the vote, that is.

December 2, 2008

Georgia On My Everybody’s Mind

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:51 am

Memo to Georgia: Four weeks ago you had the good sense not to elect Obama President. Now all you have to do is have the better sense not to give him a blank check.

November 21, 2008

Stealing the Vote

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:17 pm

Via Patterico (whose jury is now talking back), check out some of the ballots that are at issue in the Minnesota recount (which, depending on the net effect of the Looneytarian Party’s contribution in Georgia, may ultimately prove only slightly less important than the endless recounts in 2000).

Also anecdotal evidence for the proposition that “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat” really means “If It Is Close, Dumbasses Will Carry The Day.”

UPDATE: Chris Lawrence has more.

November 5, 2008

Another Bright Spot or Three?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:27 pm

The rule of law appears to have prevailed in CA, with Prop 8 passing by a not that narrow margin. Right now it looks like Norm Coleman may have edged out Stuart Smalley, though by a margin so narrow as to make the recount look like a tossup at best. We need Ted Stevens like a collective hole in the head, but with a little luck he may win, see his conviction stand, resign his post and have Gov. Palin appoint someone better. We’ll see.

UPDATE: Oh, goody. Seems some activists are now suing and arguing that the constitution is unconstitutional. This should be fun, as should the next case after that, when they argue that Proposition 8 only applies to gay marriages performed in other galaxies or what-not.

Election Post-Mortem

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:37 am

As of this writing, it is unclear whether Obama will carry the Tarheel State or whether Stuart Smalley will unseat Norm Coleman, but no matter how you slice it, the Democrats had a blowout. Obama won by a landslide. Kay Hagan probably didn’t deserve to win, but Elizabeth Dole clearly deserved to lose, and did. John Murtha was too thick to realize that “vote for me, you cousin-humping rednecks” was not a winning campaign slogan, but won handily nevertheless. Even Beverly Perdue, whose surname is French “lost,” didn’t (though in fairness, “la gouvernesse perdue” also means “the lost governor,” and she couldn’t be that if we hadn’t elected her). And while I thoroughly reject the notion that “America wins” just because we held an election, I do see a few silver linings here:

  • Despite her husband’s loss, Cindy McCain will still be proud of her country.
  • America is not now, and will never be, a socialist country. Yes, we did just elect a socialist. No, that doesn’t mean we’ll let him take this country in that direction, at least not very far. If Obama wants a second term, he’ll have to govern a lot differently than he has while representing a quasi-socialist state like Illinois and a straight-out socialist district like Chicago. There’s only so much one can accomplish in two years. [And yes, I meant “two,” not “four,” as there’s even less President Obama will be able to accomplish in ’11 and ’12 if he overreaches in ’09 like Clinton did in 1992.] Even Sweden was governed by socialists for decades before actually implementing a socialist agenda in any meaningful way.
  • In the same vein, it appears we will not have a filibuster-proof Senate. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the filibuster, but I’m even less of a fan of refusing to play on a level playing field. Democrats weren’t shy about using it on us, so there’s no reason for us to be any shier about returning the favor.
  • We haven’t heard the last of Sarah Palin. I think she has a very real chance of coming back on the top of the ticket in ’12 or ’16. By that time, the novelty of the first (second?) black President will have worn off, and so too will any doubts about her qualifications for the Presidency. So she wasn’t a quick enough study to ace the Katie Couric interview mere weeks after being plucked from Alaska. That won’t be an issue six months from now, let alone two years from now (and God help us if we’re even thinking about the ’12 election in ’10).
  • We probably have heard the last of Hillary Clinton, unless President Obama is dumb enough to nominate her to the Supreme Court. And if he is that dumb, thank [God / your lucky stars / John McCain] that we never got rid of the judicial filibuster.
  • We have almost certainly heard the last of John McCain. I must say my opinion of McCain has improved significantly since last spring, but I’d like to think we can do better in the future (though we’d be hard pressed to do as well, let alone better, on taxes, foreign policy, earmarks or guns).
  • We almost certainly have heard the last of Chris Shays. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, it should. Ever heard of the infamous “McCain-Feingold” law? The bill actually bearing that name died in the Senate. The law you know as McCain-Feingold was actually Shays-Meehan. Now if we could just find some way to get rid of Mr. Feingold and Mr. Meehan.
  • The lost governor has a pretty good record on guns, enough to gain the NRA endorsement over McCrory. Too bad she sucks on everything else.

Palin/Jindal in ’12 (assuming we still have elections then).

November 4, 2008

Election Bribery

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:51 am

Starbucks got starbucked for offering a free “tall” (small) coffee to anyone who says he voted. Apparently that’s, um, illegal, so now they’re offering a free “tall” (small) coffee to anyone who asks for one. Which makes me feel a bit silly typing this at a local Starbucks with a fancy-schmanzy conservatives-aren’t-supposed-to-drink-this-crap coffee I paid good money for.

Next stop: Krispy Kreme.

Election Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 6:00 am

I’ma join the team o’lawyers to help Palin and McCain steal the vote in the Tar Heel state, so I’ll be out of pocket for most of the day. All y’all might could weigh in in my absence, though.

And for those who haven’t voted yet, or are likely to talk to people who haven’t, now is a good time to remind you not to trust the exit polls. They’re only marginally more scientific than online polls, and for the same reason: they do a great job of measuring a meaningless sample. The McCampaign concurs, noting a meta-poll in which 46% of Obama supporters indicated that they were likely to participate in exit polls while only 35% of McCain supporters were. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Obama will probably win the election, but he’ll almost certainly win the exit poll by a landslide.

November 1, 2008

Is George Will Smarter Than a Third-Grader?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 10:58 pm

George Will offers a perfect example of why I stopped reading George Will years ago. In his latest screed he writes:

From the invasion of Iraq to the selection of Sarah Palin, carelessness has characterized recent episodes of faux conservatism.

As opposed to Real ConservatismTM as practiced by whom? Patrick Buchanan? Andrew Sullivan? Will’s own private fantasies? Will doesn’t say, but he has made it clear over the years that he detests every nominal conservative who has either held or sought the Presidency since Reagan, so with all due respect to Mr. Will (and note that I did say “due”), there can only be so many real world examples of X that conflict with your personal concept of the “real” X before the real world becomes the real thing and your conceptions become faux.

Tuesday’s probable repudiation of the Republican Party will punish characteristics displayed in the campaign’s closing days.

Right, ‘cuz everyone is really itching to elect the real conservative, Barack Obama, not because they buy into Obama’s personality cult, as some do, and not because they are socialists or near-socialists themselves, as some are, but because they all just want to punish John McCain and the Republicans for not being conservative enough. But hey, you never know. If on Tuesday the first candidate in history to win with almost no experience on an essentially socialist platform is swept into office with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate on the side, maybe the Democrats will interpret this as a strong mandate to become the party of Real Conservatism and limited government. And maybe monkeys will fly out of my butt.

Some polls show that Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain’s saddle than his association with George W. Bush.

Will doesn’t name any such polls, of course, nor does he explain what it is about the polls that supposedly show this. Before naming Palin as his running mate, McCain was down by about 10 points. If he ends up losing by significantly more than that, then sure, it would be reasonable to suggest that Palin may have been a limiting factor (though even then it wouldn’t be a slam dunk). But if the net effect of the Palin nomination is for McCain to lose the election but beat the spread, all this Beltway mumbling about Palin hurting McCain is little more than wishful thinking.

Did McCain, who seems to think that Palin’s never having attended a “Georgetown cocktail party” is sufficient qualification for the vice presidency,

Can you say “projection?” I knew you could. McCain never said anything about not having attended a Georgetown cocktail party supposedly being a qualification for anything; if that were the rule he should have nominated me, instead. What he did say was that not having attended such parties is not a disqualification. Apparently, this statement struck a nerve among Georgetown cocktail party animals.

… lift an eyebrow when she said that vice presidents “are in charge of the United States Senate”?

Probably not, but perhaps the real question should have been, “How many Georgetown cocktails must one consume in order to conclude that someone can be the President of something without being ‘in charge’ of it?

She may have been tailoring her narrative to her audience of third-graders, who do not know that vice presidents have no constitutional function in the Senate other than to cast tie-breaking votes.

Apparently, third-graders in Georgetown are taught a much more comprehensive version of civics than I ever got in high school or law school (not to mention law professors themselves). It isn’t until the fourth grade that they learn about the hidden “ha ha, just kidding” clause of Article I, Section 3 or the corresponding “ha ha, not kidding this time” clause that kicks in in the event of a tie. It’s probably not until the fifth or sixth grade that they learn about the hidden clause in Article II that assigns some unspecified executive roles to the Vice President (aside from waiting around for the President to die, be impeached or otherwise become incapacitated – inert “duties” which could just as easily deem the Speaker of the House, the Senate president pro tem, or anyone else in the presidential succession an “executive” as well).

But does she know that when Lyndon Johnson, transformed by the 1960 election from Senate majority leader into vice president, ventured to the Capitol to attend the Democratic senators’ weekly policy luncheon, the new majority leader, Montana’s Mike Mansfield, supported by his caucus, barred him because his presence would be a derogation of the Senate’s autonomy?

I didn’t know that myself, but then again, like Sarah P. I haven’t downed enough Georgetown cocktails to understand what part of the Constitution allows the Senate majority leader (a nonexistent position from a constitutional perspective) to overrule the “President” of the Senate, who in turn is forbidden to “preside” over anything until and unless a tie arises among the votes while someone else was “presiding.” And I’m not even sure I want to ask how many Georgetown cocktails I’d have to imbibe to understand how the “President pro tem” of anything could outrank its “President.” And I guess you’ll have to wait for the hangover before even asking why Vice President Lyndon Johnson even tried to attend a Senate luncheon if he too didn’t have the crazy notion that being “president” of something makes you part of it.

Perhaps Palin’s confusion about the office for which she is auditioning comes from listening to its current occupant. Dick Cheney, the foremost practitioner of this administration’s constitutional carelessness in aggrandizing executive power, regularly attends the Senate Republicans’ Tuesday luncheons. He has said jocularly that he is “a product” of the Senate, which pays his salary, and that he has no “official duties” in the executive branch.

All of which is true, but never mind that. They don’t talk about this stuff at Georgetown cocktail parties, so apparently it does not exist.

His situational constitutionalism has, however, led him to assert, when claiming exemption from a particular executive order, that he is a member of the legislative branch and, when seeking to shield certain of his deliberations from legislative inquiry, to say that he is a member of the executive branch.

Well, sure, but that kind of goes with the territory of simultaneously being “President of the Senate” by virtue of the Vice Presidency and an executive by virtue of membership in the Cabinet. If Will has a problem with that, he should be arguing, as Reynolds does, that all members of Congress including the Vice President should be forbidden to serve in the Cabinet or to work as an agent of the Executive Branch in any way. Congress can pass that law any time they want. But until they do, no law forbids anyone to wear both hats, and in fact a longstanding tradition of having Vice Presidents serve in Cabinets all but compels them to. If that doesn’t suit Will and his fellow de facto Democrats, then I’m afraid that’s just damnum absque injuria.

Zogby Shocker: McCain Ahead?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 8:18 am

Not according to their latest three-day poll, and a 1% lead is inside the margin of error anyway, but any way you slice it, a single day of McCain up 48-47 is a clearly positive sign for McCain. It sure would be a bummer if McCain ended up winning by a squeaker on Election Day but losing because of early voting.

October 30, 2008

What Are 222 Stab Wounds Between Friends?

Since last week, the Huffington Post has a gleaming tribute to their late reporter cum murderer Carol Anne Burger, of whom they gush:

The circumstances of her death remain unclear; police believe she may have taken her own life after learning that her roommate – and former partner – had been found dead.

Um, yeah.  That’s one way to look at it, I suppose.  A more comprehensive explanation is that she took her life after learning that cops were on to the reason why her roommate and former partner had been found dead.  No hint at all of the fact that St. Burger herself might have had anything to do with it, no sirree.
The Huffpost further gushes on their dearly departed murderer:

Vermonter Christian Avard – who worked with Carol Anne on her final dispatch – wrote that she was “always fun to work with, cheerful, and always very supportive. We are all very lucky to have Carol Anne be a part of the Off the Bus family.”

Jessica Kalish was unavailable for comment.  Meanwhile, the HuffPo invites readers to post only nice things about their dearly departed writer, who aside from stabbing her ex-lover 222 times with a Philips head screwdriver, was apparently a real sweetheart:

Carol Anne will be deeply missed. Please use the comment section below if you wish to offer her family and friends your condolences.

As  best I can tell, all the commenters bemoan the terrible tragedy of their wonderful writer having been so pained by Jessica Kalish’s death (presumably caused by Some Black Guy or some McCain-supporting homophobe) that she felt she could no longer go on living herself.  Granted, all the details weren’t known when the post originally went up on Saturday, October 25, but now?  All they have is a brief update, which reads in full:

Update: For further details on Carol Anne Burger’s death please click here.

Translation:  That was a Greenwald-link to make this post look better sourced than it is.  Please do not click it.


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