Archive for Justice

Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

Liberal law professor ain’t that liberal:

Speaker of the House John Boehner has hired Jonathan Turley, a renowned liberal law professor, as his lead counsel in the House’s lawsuit against the Obama administration’s delay of Obamacare’s employer mandate.

Turley is a law professor at the George Washington University, frequent legal commentator and self-avowed liberal. He may be the perfect pick for House Republicans — Turley is not only a liberal, but is friendly toward Obamacare itself, according to his writings. But he’s vociferously pushed back against President Obama’s generous use of executive action in the past and has hit the administration for its implementation of the health-care law and he said he jumped at the chance to represent House Republicans.

“It is a great honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office,” Turley wrote at his blog Monday. “To quote the movie Jerry Maguire, the House ‘had me at hello’ in seeking a ruling to reinforce the line of authority between the branches.”

“The question presented by this lawsuit is whether we will live in a system of shared and equal powers, as required by our Constitution, or whether we will continue to see the rise of a dominant Executive with sweeping unilateral powers,” Turley continued. “That is a question worthy of review and resolution in our federal courts.”

As we quoted Turley yesterday:

“What the President is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the constitution. We have a separation of powers that gives us balance and that doesn’t protect the branches. It’s not there to protect the executive branch or the legislative branch, it’s there to protect liberty. It’s there to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.

That post was titled “The Fascist President”. Anyone still care to argue that?

While Turley may be a good fit for House Republicans, they’ve had trouble retaining counsel in the past. Two Washington, D.C. law firms backed out of representing the House thus far — first attorney David Rivkin of BakerHostetler and then Bill Burkc of Quinn Emanuel Urquhuart & Sullivan.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog, is seeking information from the White House on whether administration officials pressured the firms into dropping the case. A Boehner spokesman told Politico last month that political pressure form “wealthy, Democratic-leaning clients” was a factor in the firms backing out.

That sound you hear is the sound of a democratically elected republic slipping through our grasp.

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Yesterday, we implied that Fast & Furious (2010) was the Obama regime’s first “smidgen of corruption”.

Shame on us:

The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ

refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,

refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,

barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),

refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,

invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,

failed to provide a privilege log,

and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPP lawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)

Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)

DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.

There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.

Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.

The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.

Strong words, Eric (the Red). What have you to say for yourself?

“When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.

Your people, Americans, were met with real, obvious, and documented voter intimidation. And you let it go.

In the absence of any explanation, we are left to surmise. Were the Panthers your “shock troops”, your “boots on the ground”?

He’s not too fond of “typical white people” either. Or atypical ones.


Another Bitch-Slap From Lady Justice

Justice is blind, they say. Which is just as well, since the Most Transparent Administration Evah!™ is getting more opaque all the time:

A federal judge has issued a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration’s recent attempt to shield documents from disclosure in a case that could yield important clues about the Treasury Department’s relationship with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Government lawyers had argued they could redact key information before releasing records to the public by saying the documents related to the “deliberative process.” But in a ruling last month, U.S. Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret M. Sweeney rejected that, saying the government was illegally cutting corners.

“Defendant asserts that the court should merely take its word that the documents — some of which defendant itself has not reviewed — are privileged. This is contrary to law.”

That’s legalese for “don’t bring that [bleep] into my courtroom.”

[G]overnment watchdogs cheered the ruling, saying it represented an important pushback against a tool in the administration’s increasingly use of the exemption to try to keep embarrassing information secret.

“Theft is not privileged,” Tim Pagliara, head of shareholders group Investors Unite, said in a statement after the ruling.

That’s legalese for “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” Here’s another, in the original Latin, Praeses Obama gramen anus: Obama’s ass is grass.


How It’s Done

Hamass shows Israel that if you want the job of killing Gazans done right, you’ve got to do it yourself:

Hamas’ public executions of at least 25 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have sparked debate in the West Bank. Those executed, including at least two women, are accused of providing information which allowed Israel to carry out targeted killings of several senior Hamas officials.

Hamas officials continued to defend the mass killings through the Palestine Information Center, a Hamas-affiliated website, reporting that “the collaborators sold out their religion, sold out their people and their country for a cheap price in order to benefit the enemy which resulted in tens of Palestinians killed, homes demolished and led to the failure of some operations of the resistance.”

But the Arab occupiers of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza are at least conflicted over summary executions:

In the West Bank, there were mixed reactions to the killings. Tayib Abdelrahim, the Secretary General of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s office told the Ma’an news agency that the executions were carried out without due process.

“The executions were done in cold blood and according to ‘Hamas law,’ meaning that whoever is not with Hamas is against it,” he added.

Palestinian analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem offered a rationale, calling the executions a “spontaneous reaction” to the Israeli assassinations.

“What Hamas did is just plain wrong. I don’t think a democratic person with ethics would agree with such a practice,” he told The Media Line. “Hamas had no legal right to take matters into its own hands. The death penalty requires the signature of the Palestinian President, as stated in the Palestinian Basic Law.”

Ah, yes, “Palestinian Basic Law”. Three words have never been more at conflict in any language.

Lest there be any doubt about executions in Islam (after James Foley and Daniel Pearl, how could there be?):

But some religious authorities in the West Bank defended the executions, and said the accused could have received a fair trial.

“In Islam, a fair trial could be finished within one or two hours,” Sheikh Abu Ali, an expert on Islamic law told The Media Line. “If the information enables the enemy to target specific Palestinians, leading to their execution by Israel, the death penalty could be permissible. In this case, dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed in the Israeli air strikes that targeted the Hamas leaders.

“In Islam, when any Muslim man or woman who informs the enemy of the location of Mujahedeen (resistance fighters) or senior leaders that the enemy wants to kill or bomb, he or she becomes a partner to the crime of killing and according to Islamic law, must be given the death penalty.”

Take that, US justice system—not years, hours! How’s that for a speedy trial? Here’s your hood, what’s your hurry?

Political analyst Abdelmajeed Sweilem says the Hamas executions will reflect negatively on the Palestinians and the unity government. [No!]

Al Masri, who has long been an advocate of the two-state solution, agreed that the unity government is critical to the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The most important thing is to keep the reconciliation going, to get our independence and remove the occupation. I have been working on it for seven years. Thank God it’s working.”

Just keep telling yourself that, Al.


People Killing People

Apropos of my earlier post on the doctor who shot and disabled a mentally disturbed man who had already killed one person… I visited the NRA website (for the first time in my life) to see what they had to say.

They hadn’t yet opined, but there was much else of interest.

Obama won’t prosecute gun crimes:

While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows.

Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys.

The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.

What inferences are we to draw? That prosecution of gun crimes is a Republican issue? Surely gun crimes themselves haven’t declines, at least not by 42%.

“We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations — in terms of increased background checks for private sales and at gun shows — is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books,” said Robert Cottrol, a gun control historian at George Washington University. “For a lot of people, there’s more ideological cache harassing Bubba at the gun show than getting a handle on gun crime.”

“Bubba” buys his guns legally; “LaShawn” does not. “Bubba” hasn’t shot anybody; “LaShawn” has capped gang rivals. “Bubba” lives in rural Arkansas, “LaShawn” on the South Side of Chicago. Yet “Bubba” is the one feeling the heat.

Here’s another story they link to:

The tragic surge in murders that struck Chicago over the July Fourth weekend has brought forward gun control advocates who want to hype the political battle between Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association (NRA) yet again. The situation in Chicago is a tremendous tragedy, and gun control supporters are acting upon Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s famous advice to never let a tragedy go to waste. They are citing the violence in Chicago to offer misguided solutions that will only impact law-abiding citizens. But as a former deputy sheriff and member of Congress, I can attest that their proposed “solution” is anything but.

Given my experience in law enforcement, I understand that the problem in Chicago, and other major cities with high crime rates, is not the absence of laws, but the lack of enforcement of the ones that already exist. According to Syracuse University’s TRACanalysis, Chicago ranks as one of the lowest cities for the number of federal prosecutions of firearm abusers. Criminals are well aware that current laws are not being enforced, and they can thus operate with impunity.

The irony is that Chicago is one of the last holdouts of strict gun control laws despite the clear rulings of the Supreme Court. It could not be more obvious that these laws are not working. Criminals acquire firearms through illegal means, and no city ordinance can or law will be able to stop them. In fact, in recent years Chicago has had to pay millions of dollars in attorney fees to the NRA for stubbornly defending their unconstitutional restrictions in court. And yet they do nothing to stop the violence. Chicago’s onerous gun restrictions actually exacerbate the problem by preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising the right to self-defense.

That’s two articles cited by the NRA that call for prosecution of gun crimes. Remember that next time someone on the Left demonizes the group. And remember too how many victims of gun crimes are black. Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute violent criminals leads directly to more dead young black men in Chicago and elsewhere. Slobodan Milosevic didn’t get away with such ethnic cleansing.

PS: Since I started this post last night, the NRA did address the shooting in question:

A Pennsylvania police chief says that a doctor undoubtedly saved lives after he shot a gunman who opened fire Thursday in an incident that left a hospital case worker dead.

The gunman, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, opened fire at Mercy Elizabeth Hospital, just outside of Philadelphia, shortly after entering an office with the case worker, the Associated Press reports.

Witnesses said that when they opened the office door after hearing shouting, they saw Plotts with a gun. The witnesses closed the office door and called 911. Minutes later, they heard gun shots.

Plotts had shot and killed a 53 year-old female case worker. He sustained several critical gun shot wounds himself from the gun of a hospital psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suffered a graze wound to his head. Plotts was taken into custody.

“Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives,” said Yeadon police chief Donald Molineux, according to the Associated Press.

“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.


Does He Also Have the Right to Bear Arms?

If Ahmed Abu Khatallah also wanted an abortion or a sex change operation, it would be US Government policy to pay for either one: (His 2nd and 10th Amendment rights are a different story.)

While the suspected mastermind of the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi is now on U.S. soil, the political fallout related to his prosecution may just be beginning.

The criminal complaint against Ahmed Abu Khatallah was filed nearly a year ago, and he was nabbed two weeks ago in eastern Libya. He appeared in a federal court in Washington on Saturday – much to some Republicans’ chagrin.

“I have serious concerns that conducting a rushed interrogation onboard a ship and then turning Abu Khatallah over to our civilian courts risks losing critical intelligence that could lead us to other terrorists or prevent future attacks,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, said in a statement Saturday. “I’ve asked the Defense and Justice Departments for an update on his status-including whether he has been told he has the right to remain silent.”

“If they bring him to the United States, they’re going to Mirandize this guy and it would be a mistake for the ages to read this guy his Miranda rights,” said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Earlier this month, Rep. Peter King of New York expressed other concerns to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer – chiefly, that U.S. authorities aren’t doing enough to maximize the amount of information they get from Abu Khatallah.

“Before he’s turned over to civilian authorities, the FBI and all of our intelligence agencies, CIA and others, should interrogate him as long as they have to,” said King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. “I’m not that concerned about a criminal conviction. We’re going to get that ultimately. It’s important we get as much intelligence out of him as possible. Both what happened, who planned it, how it happened.”

Shame on you, Peter! How dare you prejudge a person’s innocence or guilt! Congressman King sounds like President Obama and Attorney General Holder announcing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed guilty before he had had his (since reconsidered) civilian trial. If our criminal justice system has even a whiff of validity (a shaky conceit, sometimes), it is the bedrock belief in a person’s innocence until proven guilty.

I do not believe Ahmed Abu Khatallah is innocent (though how would I know?), and the manner of his “arrest” would mean that neither would many of my countrymen. How, then, could he receive a fair trial? It’s nonsensical. He must, therefore, be tried (or just dealt with) by different means. Obama has killed American citizens (Anwar al-Awlaki most prominently) without benefit of trial. Why would he get squeamish about Mirandizing a Libyan terrorist? Execute him, leave his head on a pike, and be done with it.

I do bring good news, however:

For Democrats in tight races, Abu Khatallah’s capture only further sheds light on a controversy that has damaged the Obama administration’s reputation for handling national security matters.

Second, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who is toying with the idea of running for president in 2016 – could once again face tough questions about her role in handling U.S. security in the region when the attacks occurred.

A government that couldn’t convict O.J. Simpson thinks it can convict this scumbag. I already know I’d hold out for acquittal—not because I think he’s innocent, but because I have too much respect for our system of justice to pollute it by show trial. If he has rights (and he does not) he has all rights.

Military tribunal, summary execution, poisoned mashed potatoes. They all have more judicial integrity than what this lot proposes.


Congress Shall Make No Law…

But boy, does it ever.

I support gay marriage, but with one nagging doubt. Once we decide we have the right to change the definition of marriage, do we have the right to stop? What are our criteria for defining what is not marriage? Wherever we draw the line, aren’t we just giving in to another set of prejudices and biases?

That’s not enough to change my mind about two men or two women marrying with full legal rights, but my prejudices and biases are piqued. Indeed, we have heard of challenges to marriages from polygamists, incest advocates, and others who want to speed the “evolving paradigm” of marriage. Who are we to bar the courthouse door?

It’s not enough to allow gay marriage; it must be celebrated under penalty of law:

Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission on Friday ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections to the practice did not trump the state’s anti-discrimination statutes.

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission upheld an administrative law judge’s finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. The couple sued.

“I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people,” Commissioner Raju Jaram said.

Phillips, a devout Christian who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. “I will stand by my convictions until somebody shuts me down,” he told reporters after the ruling.

He added his bakery has been so overwhelmed by supporters eager to buy cookies and brownies that he does not currently make wedding cakes.

Perhaps that’s the best solution. Rather than allow a business owner to refuse service to someone (a practice with a very bad history), the business just changes its practices. Phillips never discriminated against customers for being gay—even baking cakes for them—he just refused the business of baking their wedding cakes. As with a lot of thorny social problems, I see both sides. His solution to stop baking wedding cakes altogether seems the best solution. His business is booming, and the gay couple who felt discriminated against feel vindicated. Both claim victory.

Or perhaps not. What was the exact damage down to the gay couple looking to purchase a wedding cake? How many other bakers do you suppose would have refused? I’d say none. In fact, I find it almost astonishing that they had the bad luck to choose the one devout Christian baker who would decline to accept their business. No, that’s not right. He would happily accept their business—for muffins, rolls, scones, even cakes—just not a wedding cake. To do so would violate his religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. How did these three find each other?

I am certain that Adam and Steve (I can’t be bothered to check their real names) would have found joy at just about every other bakery they went to. There was no systemic discrimination against them (as there was with black people at lunch counters and water fountains in the 50s), just one man with a religious conscience. But that could not be tolerated. Tolerance is a one-way street, and that street leads inevitably to acceptance, and thence to celebration. Woe betide you if you try to go against the prevailing direction.

And why stop at marriage?

Medicare will now be covering sex change surgeries–meaning it won’t be long before private insurance is required to do likewise.

But that won’t be the end of it. Over at Human Exceptionalism I nominate Body Integrity Identity Disorder–sometimes called “amputee wannabe”–as the next affliction for which surgery will one day be required to be a covered service. In this time of identity-is-all politics, what principled reason can there be to say no?

I have no good answer. Do you?

PS: The title of the post is misleading. It’s not the legislative branch (or not just) that’s leading the charge against the traditional definition of marriage, but the judicial branch. Marriage is defined in state laws across the country, but court after court now insists those laws are discriminatory. Again, I agree. But now what?


Who Said This?

“Let me also express appreciation to Reverend Al Sharpton, not only for joining us this morning but for his leadership, day in and day out, on issues of reconciliation and community restoration.”

Jeremiah Wright? George Galloway? Rachel Maddow?

How about the Number Three in the US Justice Department?

In his remarks at the “Strengthening the Relationship Between Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Forum” today, Associate Attorney General Tony West gets the ball rolling this way…

As merely an Associate Attorney General, he is perhaps unaware of Sharpton’s highlight moments of “reconciliation and community restoration”.

Reverend Al with Tawana Brawley

Sharpton sued for defamation by Steven Pagones (over Brawley allegations)

Technically, “I want to make it clear … that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”

“If Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” [Perhaps misattributed.]

PS: “I have no problem with Khalid Abdul Muhammad. It is not Khalid who is talking hate, it’s Rudy Giuliani.”


Who-Me-a Abu Jamal

Even convicted (re-convicted) cop killers deserve legal representation. Especially convicted (re-convicted) cop killers, as the system is hardly tilted in their favor.

So, bravo for Debo Adegbile, who took on that thankless role in the defense of the oh so guilty Mumia Abu Jamal. Somebody had to do it.

But I don’t want him representing me:

He was, in other words, an ideal candidate to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division — the division which, among other things, oversees the federal government’s voting rights work in an era where conservative state lawmakers are currently waging a widespread campaign to prevent demographic groups that tend to vote for Democrats from casting a ballot.

And yet, the Senate just voted his nomination down, thanks to seven Democrats.

This is from a wacko Lefty site, ThinkProgress. And they are quite clear who killed this: Democrats. I don’t care who did it, but if you defend Mumia—God bless you, but you’re disqualified.

Let’s just leave the accusations of racism at the door of the Democrat washroom.


For the Children

Even that liberal canard doesn’t hold here.

It’s to the children:

Fire the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families?

OK, so some kids are dead, or missing or living with convicted felons who may or may not be sex offenders, although we’re not really sure because one-third of the department’s social workers aren’t even licensed.

So what? Olga Roche is going nowhere.

Haven’t you read the glowing tributes to Olga from her nearest and dearest that were posted on Friday, attesting to her impeccable credentials?

This, from the Spanish American Center: “We are very proud of her Latino heritage.”

What more do you need to know? You cannot fire this wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences, to coin a phrase.

Olga also gets a thumbs-up from Juan Gomez, who identifies himself as “president of the largest minority multi-service provider” in the commonwealth, who spends his days trying to “reinforce support for minority communities.”

Wait, wouldn’t a number of those children be minorities? So the [bleep] what?

They’re mounting basically the same line of defense as the local NAACP did for jailbird ex-state Rep. Carlos Henriquez, a combat veteran of the War on Women. Some people just can’t be fired, because … well, just because.

Henriquez had kidnapped and beaten a women (he was convicted of two counts of A&B); he was led into the State House in handcuffs for his expulsion vote (146-5). The NAACP took his side.

Next, we have Maria Z. Mossaides of the Children’s League of Mass. She writes how great Olga is for all the DCF “stakeholders.”

Wouldn’t the actual children themselves be the ultimate “stakeholders” in DCF?

But leave it to Gov. Deval Patrick to point the finger of blame right where it belongs — at this newspaper. Once again, everything is the Herald’s fault. Just as we did with the DTA, we have “destabilized” the department by reporting … anecdotes.

There’s an old saying, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. In Deval’s case, blaming the Herald is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

We all understand the sympathy he feels for Olga. He knows what it’s like to be in way over your head, in a job for which you have next to no qualifications. He remembers his doomed (although extremely lucrative) tenures at Coke and Texaco, after he finally passed the bar exam on his third try.

The columnist, Howie Carr, is very hard on Governor Patrick, but deservedly so. This is appalling failure of the state to do the minimum job required of it: to take care of its powerless and vulnerable wards.

But it is hardly the only lapse. My particular favorite is the state drug lab:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts urged the state’s highest court today to dismiss all of the 40,000-plus criminal cases tied to Annie Dookhan, the state chemist whose falsification of test results in drug cases led to the worst scandal to hit the criminal justice system in years.

Which is saying something from the people who brought you Whitey Bulger!

But how many innocent people were wrongly convicted? And how many guilty convicts will be wrongly freed? The ACLU may have its head far, far up its collective backside, but it’s right in this case. Under the governor’s watch, tens of thousands of criminal cases were ruined, the innocent and the guilty wrongly convicted. The line for lawsuits forms to the right.

PS: Others opt for the New England Compounding Center scandal.

The owners and insurers of the bankrupt Framingham pharmacy blamed for an outbreak of fungal meningitis that killed dozens of people last year have tentatively agreed to contribute more than $100 million to compensate victims and creditors of the firm.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 751 people contracted meningitis or other infections from the pain shots, including 64 who died in 20 states, making it one of the largest cases of tainted drugs in US history. Overall, as many as 14,000 patients received the tainted injections, and, beyond those diagnosed with meningitis, some reported suffering fatigue or other symptoms.

Federal inspectors found dirty mats, black specks floating in vials, and other signs the room was contaminated.

“Federal inspectors”? Where was the state?

Critics say compounding pharmacies, which custom-make medications for individuals who need speciality drugs not available elsewhere, have not traditionally received enough scrutiny because they are mainly overseen by states, rather than the US Food and Drug Administration….


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Women’s Reproductive Health Update

Earlier today, I posted about America exploiting the “expertise” of Nazi “doctors”.

Haven’t we learned?

An unlicensed doctor who worked as an assistant at a Philadelphia abortion clinic that authorities dubbed a ‘house of horrors’ has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.

Massof testified he routinely saw babies born alive and then killed with scissors at Gosnell’s inner-city clinic, which catered to minorities, the poor and women with late-term pregnancies.

The judge credited Massof’s decision to plea guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and testify against Gosnell but called what happened at the clinic ‘unspeakably horrible.’

‘As evil as Dr. Gosnell was, as charismatic as he may have been, he didn’t do this alone,’ Lerner said. ‘He couldn’t do this without the assistance of someone like you.’

‘I don’t know how it started,’ the 51-year-old Massof sobbed in front of the judge.

‘I realize that this is something that’s wrong and will never be right and will never go away,’ said Massof, who called his work with Gosnell ‘a horrific part of my life.’

During his testimony he revealed that he witnessed an abortion at 26 weeks – two weeks beyond the 24-week limit in the state.

He also claimed he saw about 100 babies born alive and then ‘snipped’ with surgical scissors in the back of the neck, to ensure their ‘demise’.

He also spoke of the gruesome scenes at the clinic which was allegedly found dirty and rundown with rusting surgical instruments.

‘It would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place. It is literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body,’ he told NBC.

He also spoke of how the clinic’s ultrasound machine was manipulated to make fetuses appear smaller and therefore younger.

Hey, I spared you the rough stuff.But this is the truth of the modern abortion movement.

Just one question. If three-fourths of births among black women are to single mothers, and a disproportionate number of abortions are performed on black fetuses… how are any black children born to two-parent families? Even one! Applying the arithmetic, Sasha and Malia Obama might be the only ones.

I find that immeasurably sad.


More Ways to Help Steyn

We posted here the other day about Mark Steyn’s legal harassment by Michael Mann, the wielder of the Hokum Hockey Stick.

Here’s an update:

I’m a little overwhelmed by your generosity in the wake of Judge Weisberg’s ruling in the Mann vs Steyn case. Readers from not only America but also Canada, Ireland, Norway, India and Australia, among others, have swung by the SteynOnline store to help prop up my unsought sojourn in the DC Superior Court by buying my book on free speech and various other products. However, Neil McNeill in Toronto writes:

Dear Mark,
The battle with Mann is critical to so many people. Let little guys like me support your fight. If I buy $100.00 worth of mugs, you only have the profit with which to pay lawyers. If you pass the hat, all of the $100.00 is available.

You have given me so much pleasure over the years. Let me and you get full legal bang for my buck.

Neil McNeill Toronto

Steyn has an answer (as when does he not?):

[A] couple of readers suggested we bring back our SteynOnline gift certificate, which we usually only offer during the Christmas season. So one way to help out is to buy a gift certificate for yourself (starting at $25 and going up from there). If you want to give us the “full legal bang for the buck” (as Neil puts it), that’s great. If you want to redeem part of it for a book and let SteynOnline have the rest, that’s also fine. If you want to hold on to it and load up with Christmas presents this December, that works, too. The gift certificates have no expiration date, so if, in ten years’ time, Neil has a sudden burning desire for $100 worth of SteynOnline mugs, he’ll still be able to load up.

The gift certificates are available online here, or US and Canadian customers can make a telephone purchase by calling 1-866-799-4500 toll free from 8am to 3pm Eastern time on weekdays. We also take checks (or cheques) drawn on US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British banks, and in euros. Please make them payable to SteynOnline and mail to Box 30, Woodsville, NH 03785. Anyone purchasing a SteynOnline gift certificate will receive by way of thanks one of our SteynOnline “Liberty Stick” souvenirs, in which we reclaim the poor blameless hockey stick from its unfortunate association with Dr Mann.

You will be shocked to learn (ha!) that Steyn is not going gentle into that good night:

In a post at NATIONAL REVIEW’s website, I mocked Dr. Michael Mann, the celebrated global warm-monger, and his “hockey stick,” the most famous of all the late-Nineties global-warming climate models to which dull, uncooperative 21st-century reality has failed to live up. So he sued. We then filed an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss.

SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation” — i.e., using legal action to cow an opponent into silence, and withdrawal from the public square.

In fairness to Dr. Mann, the two-year anti-SLAPP hearing is not entirely his fault. We are now having to start all over from scratch, with a brand new complaint, brand new motions to dismiss, and a brand new judge — all thanks to the original judge’s remarkable incompetence and careless management of her case. I’m an immigrant and I’m told that in America one shouldn’t criticize judges, but I’ve done so in England and Ireland, Canada and Australia, and I don’t really see why a third-rate judge should be any more immune from criticism than a third-rate plumber. At the risk of oversimplifying, I wonder if in a republic a society’s natural monarchical reverence doesn’t simply wind up getting transferred elsewhere — in this case to omniscient robed jurists. At any rate, it seems to me that a fear of offending judges is unbecoming in a free people. So screw that.

Dr. Mann has been brandishing his hockey stick out on the campaign trail against Republican candidates. In Virginia, he appeared in the Democrats’ attack ads against Ken Cuccinelli, and helped get Clinton’s bagman Terry McAuliffe elected governor. When his candidate Mark Herring also prevailed over the GOP in the attorney general’s race, Mann crowed and published tweets from his acolytes congratulating him on “two fresh notches on your hockey stick.” That would seem, definitively, to move the hockey stick into the realm of political speech explicitly protected by the First Amendment — and perhaps one day, two or three or five years down the line, a D.C. court will agree. But it’s not much of a First Amendment that requires a bazillion dollars in legal fees and a half-decade vow of silence to enjoy the security thereof — all while the plaintiff’s using his freedom of speech to knock off your political allies.

Free speech is about the right to thrash out ideas — on climate change, gay marriage, or anything else — in the public square, in bright sunlight. And you win a free-speech case by shining that sunlight on it, relentlessly. As we embark on our second year in the hell of the D.C. court system, that’s what I intend to do.

Steyn has all but split from National Review—over this and other issues. He’s on his own, even serving as his own lawyer. Readers of this site (hi mom!) will know we tolerate being wrong (leading by example every day!). What we do not tolerate is left-wing bullying—Liberal Fascism, as another NR writer put it. Mark Steyn, Caroline Glick, James Taranto, and Dennis Prager have been my wise elders in my reeducation as a conservative. I’ve even written an unabashed fan note to Steyn, offering to buy him a drink next time he ventures down I 93 into Boston (his assistant thought I might have a shot). I hope he’ll take a rain-check on that drink and accept a contribution in its stead. I’ll buy a $100 gift certificate now, and redeem it when he publishes his prison memoirs.


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