If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.
If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.
If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.
If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward
National Debt Clock-Click Here-Real Time
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Make the most of every sense; glory in all of the pleasures and beauty which the world reveals to you. -- Helen Keller
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
"Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Are you discouraged? God tells us not to be. God will help you conquer every discouragement! And when you come through the valleys of discouragement, you will find that God was there all the time. He was waiting patiently for you to exhaust your means and energy and turn to Him for His help. What a tremendous encouragement!
Are you lonely? Some of our most lonely moments can be when we are in a crowd, and yet no one notices us. Our heart aches when we think no one cares. But Jesus is our ever-present friend. He promises, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
He is also with us as we face lonely tasks. When David Livingstone sailed to Africa for the first time as a missionary, a group of his friends accompanied him to the pier to wish him bon voyage. They were concerned for his safety and reminded him of the dangers. One man even tried to convince him to remain in England. But Livingstone opened his Bible and read Jesus' words from Matthew 28:20: "Lo, I am with you always." He turned to the man and smiled. "That, my friend, is the word of a gentleman...So let us be going."
No person or circumstance can ever remove us from the presence of our loving God. Paul writes, "I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love." (Romans 8:38).
He is here with us right now and forever---because He is our ever-present God. He is our guide for life and for eternity. What an incredible truth!
"The Patriot Post"
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy." -- Samuel Adams
Gaffes a lot: "And so, next to Obama Beach, we join President Obama in paying particular tribute to the spectacular bravery of American soldiers." -- British PM Gordon Brown with a supposed slip of the tongue on Omaha Beach for the 65th anniversary of D-Day
The BIG Lie: "But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades. ... The model that emerged during the final decades of the 20th century has turned out to be unsustainable." -- former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev **"Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the collapse of his country like Barack Obama is presiding over the collapse of his. And so a man who knows how to collapse his own economy is now advising us on how to collapse ours." -- radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh
Blame Reagan: "I grew up in Los Angeles inner city -- you never saw drugs or drive-byes or homeless people or anything like that [until] all the social programs that were cut as a result of Reagan coming into office and greed just became a hobby.... Like that, to me, made greedy white men feel good about being greedy white men. He was the kind of the Moses of leading them to feeling good about being greedy white men. So to me he wasn't a great man." -- actor and comedian D.L. Hughley on Ronald Reagan and the new statue unveiled in the Capitol rotunda last week
Barnyard analysis: "What a torture it must be for such pretty people to have to see such ugly things. That's what happens when you view the world and apparently hear the world through s**t-colored glasses." -- Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on viewers of Fox News
Biting the hand that feeds: "I'd barter with him [if a wannabe world destroyer threatened], and say instead of the entire planet, can you just take out all of the white trash, hillbilly, anti-gay, super Bible-beating people in Middle America?" -- actress Megan Fox
"Democrats brazenly take policy positions -- think government services and even amnesty for illegal immigrants -- not because they are the right thing to do, but because they are time-tested demographic bribes. Forget cigarettes and beer, Democrats would distribute needles, methadone, medical marijuana and biscotti in voter goodie bags if they could get away with it." -- columnist Andrew Breitbart
"The global political class has always suffered from an excess of immaturity, but every generation or so, political immaturity explodes like a star in its death throes and vaporizes everything in its vicinity." -- Cato Institute senior fellow Richard W. Rahn
"Washington mandates that Detroit build cars for which there is much less demand than Washington demands that there be." --c olumnist George Will
"On the eve of the GM bankruptcy filing an enterprising reporter called around to some big New York ad agencies and asked, 'If you were pitching the GM account, what would be your suggested slogan?' My favorite was: 'You own the company. Why not drive the car?'" -- political analyst Rich Galen
"President Obama left his family in Paris Sunday and returned to Washington. He said he wanted to put his personal touch on the health care legislation. That means getting every person to merge with Fiat, run on batteries, and bleed cash." -- humorist Argus Hamilton
Online version easier to read? Go to www.LC.org
Liberty Counsel Asks Navy To Reverse Prohibition of Religious Speech on Website
On June 22, 2009, Liberty Counsel asked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to stop religious discrimination and reinstate users’ free speech rights on the Navy for Moms Website. Liberty Counsel’s letter to Secretary Mabus was prompted by actions of the United States Navy and the Website’s administrators prohibiting religious speech.
Www.navyformoms.com was set up by the United States Navy to provide support and a means of communication for mothers and other loved ones of current and potential sailors.
On June 12, 2009, a website administrator said that the group’s name, “Christian Chat,” had to be changed because such blatantly religious speech is too divisive for a public forum. In its letter, Liberty Counsel told Secretary Mabus that avoiding controversy is not a valid reason for restricting speech in a public forum.
Read our News Release for more details.
Read Liberty Counsel's demand letter to the Secretary of the Navy.
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Favorability Ratings of Key GOP Members
Tags: Republican Party (6/24) - Synopsis
Sarah Palin has the highest favorability rating of all the Republicans surveyed in this poll.
From Pew Research (conducted: 6/10-14/09)
Sarah Palin has the highest favorability rating of all the Republicans surveyed in this poll.
Favorability Ratings: Palin 45%, Romney 40%, Gingrich 35%, Steele 23%.
Positive opinions of Romney has been increasing, specifically among independents.
Mary, had a little Lamb, His fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went, The Lamb was sure to go.
He followed her to school each day, T'wasn't even in the rule
It made the children laugh and play, To have The Lamb at school...
And then the rules all changed one day, Illegal it became;
To bring The Lamb of God to school, Or even speak His Name!
Every day got worse and worse, And days turned into years..
Instead of hearing children laugh, We heard gun shots and tears.
What must we do to stop the crime, That's in our schools today?
Let's let The Lamb come back to school, And teach our kids to pray!
If you agree, please pass this on. It is said that 86% of the World's people believe in God... Why don't we just tell the other 14% to be quiet and sit down?
Pentagon Exam Calls Protests 'Low-Level Terrorism,' Angering Activists
By James Osborne
A written exam administered by the Pentagon labels "protests" as a form of “low-level terrorism” — enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment.
The written exam, given as part of Department of Defense employees’ routine training, includes a multiple-choice question that asks:
“Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism?”
— Attacking the Pentagon
— Hate crimes against racial groups
The correct answer, according to the exam, is "Protests."
“Its part of a pattern of equating dissent and protest with terrorism," said Ann Brick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained a copy of the question after a Defense Department employee who was taking the test printed the screen on his or her computer terminal.
"It undermines the core constitutional values the Department of Defense is supposed to be defending,” Brick said, referring to the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.
She said the ACLU has asked the Defense Department to remove the question and send out a correction to all employees who took the exam.
“There were other employees who were unhappy with it and disturbed by it,” Brick said.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Les Melnyk said the Defense Department is looking into the matter and expects to provide more information later Wednesday.
“We need to determine if it’s something we’re currently doing,” Melnyk said. “A lot of the information in this exam is intended for people stationed abroad. We counsel those people to avoid demonstrations.”
Anti-war protesters, who say they have been targets of federal surveillance for years, were livid when they were told about the exam question.
“That’s illegal,” said George Martin, national co-chairman of United for Peace and Justice. “Protest in terms of legal dissent has to be recognized, especially by the authorities.
"It’s not terrorism or a lack of patriotism. We care enough to be active in our government.”
Bill Wilson, president of the Americans for Limited Government, which supported the Tea Party demonstrations earlier this year, agreed.
"Groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, paramilitary orgainzations that are striking at out at something they oppose or hate, that's terrorism," Wilson said.
"To equate that in any degree with citizens being able to express themselves seems to me to be headed down a road where all dissent is suspect and questionable."
Ben Friedman, a research fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, said the U.S. government has a long history of infringing upon citizens’ civil liberties in the name of domestic security.
“It’s the kind of thing that happens when you have large security bureaucracies, which is why they need to be kept in check,” Friedman said. “These things tend to occur in times of panic, like after Sept. 11.”
The ACLU, in a letter of complaint it sent to the Defense Department, catalogued a list of what it said were recent civil liberties violations by federal authorities, including the monitoring of anti-war protests and the FBI’s surveillance of potential protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York.
Martin said getting information on the extent of the FBI and National Security Agency’s surveillance programs is nearly impossible.
“I have been arrested within 100 yards of George W. Bush and spoken out against the policies of our government in more than 100 countries," he said. "But they said they have no record on me. I don’t believe that.”
During Bush's presidency, the Defense Department was criticized for infringing on citizens’ civil rights through surveillance programs designed to protect the nation against terrorist attacks. Brick said she has seen no indication that there will be a change in policy under President Obama.
“We need to see what they do,” she said. “In a number of areas the Obama administration has not backed off and kept the Bush administration line.”
Federal Health-Care Agency That Won $85 Million Earmark for IT Program Had 10 Pieces of IT Equipment Per Worker in Its Headquarters
By Monica Gabriel
People sit in the waiting room of the Indian Health Service clinic in Crow Agency, Mont., Oct. 16, 2008. The Indian Health Service system serves almost 2 million American Indians in 35 states. (AP Photo/Mary Clare Jalonick)
(CNSNews.com) - The $787 billion stimulus bill that President Obama signed in February awarded the Indian Health Service with an earmark for $500 million in new funding, including $85 million specifically set aside for “health information technology activities,” even though a Government Accountability Office audit released the previous June concluded that mismanagement of the IHS had allowed $15.8 million worth of equipment to be lost or stolen between 2004 and 2007.
The GAO report released in June 2008 also concluded that wasteful spending by the Indian Health Service had resulted in the service’s headquarters possessing 10 pieces of IT equipment for every employee who worked there.
The report was entitled: "IHS Mismanagment Led to Millions of Dollars in Lost or Stolen Property."
This June, a year after publication of the original GAO report, and four months after the stimulus bill earmarked $500 million in new funding for the Indian Health Service, a new GAO report revealed that the IHS was continuing to lose government property.
The new report was entitled: "Indian Health Service--Millions of Dollars in Property and Equipment Continue to be Lost or Stolen."
“We found that property continues to be lost or stolen at IHS at an alarming rate,” the GAO reported this month. “From October 2007 through January 2009, IHS identified about 1,400 items with an acquisition value of about $3.5 million that were lost or stolen agencywide. These property losses are in addition to what we identified in our June 2008 report.
“Our full headquarters inventory testing and our random sample testing of six field offices estimated that over a million dollars worth of IT equipment was lost, stolen, or unaccounted for, confirming that property management weaknesses continue at IHS,” said the new report.
This 2009 report was a follow-up to last year’s report on property losses due to mismanagement of the Indian Health Service.
The Indian Health Service is a government-run health-care agency that is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides health-care services to American Indians and Alaskan natives, and operates over 100 health facilities around the country. Its 2007 budget was $3.2 billion.
After a whistleblower alleged “gross mismanagement of property” at the IHS in 2007, GAO conducted an audit of the service between September 2007 and June 2008.
“We analyzed IHS reports from fiscal year 2004 through fiscal year 2007 and identified over 5,000 lost or stolen property items, worth approximately $15.8 million,” GAO revealed in a June 2008 report presented to Congress. “These items included all-terrain vehicles, tractors, and pickup trucks worth around $6 million; and 'Jaws of Life' equipment worth over $20,000.”
The GAO found that the service purchased a great deal of IT equipment and had a difficult time keeping track of it both at their headquarters and at field offices.
“Of the 3,155 pieces of IT equipment that were on the books at IHS headquarters in 2007, 1,140 items, or about 36 percent, were lost, stolen, or unaccounted for,” said GAO’s June 2008 report. “These missing items, valued at about $2 million, include computers, computer servers, video projectors, and digital cameras. According to IHS records, 64 of the items we identified as lost or stolen during our physical inventory were ‘new’ in April 2007.”
The IHS appeared to do no better holding on to IT equipment in its field offices, although the GAO was only able to test a random sample of the agency’s facilities.
“Based on our random sample of IT equipment at the 7 selected IHS field locations, we estimate that about 1,200 items worth approximately $2.6million were lost, stolen, or unaccounted for at these locations,” said the GAO report. “This represents about 17 percent of all IT equipment at the 7 field locations we visited. Because we only looked at 7 of the 163 IHS locations, the number and value of lost or stolen equipment is likely much higher. The missing equipment we identified included IHS hospital laptops, which may contain patients’ social security numbers and medical histories.”
The IHS had so many pieces of IT equipment—10 per employee at its headquarters—that some new computers it purchased were stored away unused.
“IHS’s ineffective management over IT equipment has also led to wasteful spending,” said GAO. “Our analysis of IHS records indicates that there are approximately 10 pieces of IT equipment for every one employee at HIS headquarters.
“We also found numerous pieces of recent-model equipment at IHS headquarters, including 25 brand new computers—with a combined value of about $30,000—that were not issued to any employees and were collecting dust in a store room,” said GAO. “The lost or stolen property and waste we detected at IHS can be attributed to the agency’s weak internal control environment and its ineffective implementation of numerous property policies.”
The GAO discovered that some of the redundant IT equipment in IHS’s possession was old machinery that had not been gotten rid of. Other equipment, however, included multiple laptops assigned to individual employees who did not use them all.
“Approximately 10 pieces of IT equipment, on average, are issued for every one employee at IHS headquarters,” said the GAO report. “Although some of these may be older items that were not properly disposed, we did find that many employees, including administrative assistants, were assigned two computer monitors, a printer and scanner, a blackberry, subwoofer speakers, and multiple computer laptops in addition to their computer desktop. Many of these employees said they rarely used all of this equipment and some could not even remember the passwords for some of their multiple laptops.”
The 2008 GAO report said it could not determine the total number or dollar value of IHS property that was lost or stolen because HIS “did not consistently document lost or stolen property.”
The GAO did report, however, that IHS threw away $700,000 worth of equipment because it was “infested with bat dung.”
It also said that IHS staff in Nevada advertised a “yard sale” in which 17 computers and other items that worth $16,600 was to be given away for free.
In the 2009 follow up report, which investigated fiscal year 2008 and part of 2009, the GAO said it especially concentrated on tracking pieces of IT equipment “which are highly pilferable or can easily be converted to personal use.” Such items included laptops, desktop computers, digital cameras, and personal data assistants (PDA).
In between the June 2008 GAO report detailing lost or stolen property from the IHS and the June 2009 GAO report detailing continuing losses of property, Congress passed and President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
This law was particularly generous to the Indian Health Service, despite its reported mismanagement of property and IT equipment. It was especially generous in providing IHS with new funding for IT expenditures.
Page 57 of the final print of the law includes two specific earmarks for the Indian Health Service.
“For an additional amount for ‘Indian Health Services,’ for health information technology activities, $85,000,000,” says the first earmark, “Provided, That such funds may be used for both telehealth services development and related infrastructure requirements that are typically funded through the ‘Indian Health Facilities’ account: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, health information technology funds provided within this title shall be allocated at the discretion of the Director of the Indian Health Service.”
The second earmark was for multiple activities including “the purchase of new equipment.”
“For an additional amount for ‘Indian Health Facilities,’ for facilities construction projects, deferred maintenance and improvement projects, the backlog of sanitation projects and the purchase of equipment, $415,000,000, of which $227,000,000 is provided within the health facilities construction activity for the completion of up to two facilities from the current priority list for which work has already been initiated,” says the second earmark.
Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, newly appointed director of the Indian Health Service, has not commented on the lost property reported by the GAO. She has said, however, that she is optimistic about the $500 million increase in funding coming from the Recovery Act.
“These funds will help improve health care, create jobs and make our native communities stronger,” she in news release on May 15.
Neither Roubideaux nor the Indian Health Service returned phone calls from CNSNews.com in connection with the GAO report.
The Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, which has congressional jurisdiction for the program, also declined to comment about Indian Health Service funding.
But in a June press statement, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), chairman of the committee, made note of the GAO report.
“(The) report is evidence that the Indian Health Service has still not fixed these problems. The taxpayers deserve better,” Dorgan said.
Dorgan said he was looking to Roubidoux to clean up the agency.
“I hope she will give prompt attention to the need to protect IHS equipment that is so urgently required to provide health care to Native Americans,” Dorgan said in a news release.
Iran's Revolutionary Moment?
By Ilan Berman
These are hopeful and perilous times in Tehran. Ever since the blatant fraud of Iran's June 12th presidential election, popular opposition to that country's ruling clerical order has been on the rise, leading more and more observers to wonder whether Iran could really be on the cusp of another revolution.
Maybe so. But any analysis of the current situation in Iran must begin with the acknowledgement that revolutions, properly understood, are notoriously hard to predict. Almost no one in the West accurately forecast the single largest totalitarian collapse in modern history, the fall of the Soviet Union, despite a plethora of Kremlinologists who made it their stock-in-trade to understand the levers of Soviet power. Still, as great thinkers like Hannah Arendt and Eric Hoffer have detailed, there are at least two variables that are useful for gauging the strength and viability of a revolutionary movement over time.
The first is leadership. Ideological movements need charismatic personalities capable of harnessing popular discontent and channeling it in a coherent direction. Three decades ago, Iran's Shah was swept from power by just such a leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whose fiery sermons and radical ideas about Islamic government ignited the imagination of dissatisfied Iranians.
Today, things are very different. The mass protests visible on Iran's streets are certainly emotional and evocative, but for the moment they remain chaotic and unfocused. The Iranians participating in them are doing so as individuals, driven by justifiable personal outrage over a stolen election and regime repression, rather than as a collective animated by a coherent political vision. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the soft-spoken "reformist" presidential challenger at the center of the current controversy, has proven to be little help on that score. In his speeches and pronouncements, Mousavi has made clear that his goal is not an abandonment of Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, but what amounts simply to a cosmetic reform of it. More authentic opposition leaders, meanwhile, are notably absent -- a casualty of the West's preoccupation with Iran's nuclear pursuit in recent years, which has allowed the regime to systematically eliminate potential opponents unnoticed and unhindered.
The second variable has to do with the use of force. In authoritarian and totalitarian regimes, the guys with the guns matter a great deal. When those forces remain loyal to their government in the face of public unrest, as they did in China in 1989, the results are often brutal. When they do not -- like, for example, in the case of Ceausescu in Romania -- the regime in power invariably totters and falls.
So it is with the Islamic Republic. Since taking power in 1979, Iran's ayatollahs have put a premium on the use of force as an instrument of domestic politics and foreign policy. Their weapons of choice are the feared Revolutionary Guard and its domestic derivative, the Basij, which cumulatively serve as the enforcers of clerical doctrine. And so far, neither organ shows much sign of parting ideological ways with their longtime leaders, nor do its members give any indication of having second thoughts about turning their weapons on their own countrymen. Until they do, the possibility of a repeat in Tehran of China's bloody Tiananmen Square massacre remains real.
Iran's clerical leaders have said as much. "It must be determined at the ballot box what the people want and what they don't want, not in the streets," Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned on Friday. "I call on all to put an end to this method.... If they don't, they will be held responsible for the chaos and the consequences." The regime's brutal crackdown on protesters over the weekend, and the specter of worse yet to come, has made clear that he is a man of his word.
It is still to early to tell if the revolutionary stirrings visible on Iran's streets will wither on the vine. What is already clear, however, is that a struggle is underway for Iran's soul. It will be determined by the coherence and organization of Iran's political opposition -- and by the ruthlessness of the regime that it is confronting.
Polls: 'Strong Disapproval' of Obama Growing
By: Jim Meyers
More Americans now "strongly disapprove" of Barack Obama's performance as president than "strongly approve," according to the most recent Rasmussen poll.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 33 percent of respondents "strongly approve" of Obama's performance on the job so far, but 34 percent "strongly disapprove."
Overall, 45 percent of voters disapprove, while 54 percent say they at least somewhat approve.
Obama fares better in the latest Gallup poll, which found that 33 percent of respondents disapprove of his job performance and 58 percent approve. But 58 percent is a new low — since taking office in January, his approval rating has averaged 63 percent, according to Gallup.
Gallup speculates that several factors could be behind Obama's plunging ratings: the administration's deficit spending; public concerns about the cost of Obama's healthcare reform plan; and his cautious response to the election protests in Iran.
In the Rasmussen poll, the percentage of voters who blame George Bush for the country's economic ills is down eight points from a month ago, to 54 percent, while 39 percent say the country's economic problems are a result of Obama's policies. "A growing number say it's Obama's economy now," Rasmussen observed.
Other Rasmussen poll findings include:
Only 46 percent of respondents think Obama is doing an excellent or good job with the economy.
Just 30 percent say they trust Obama to handle the economic crisis.
60 percent of voters now trust their own judgment on economic issues more than the president's.
51 percent of voters favor an across-the-board tax cut for all Americans to stimulate the economy.
45 percent of voters trust the Republicans more to handle the economy, while 39 percent trust the Democrats more.
Half of those polled agree that the economy is getting worse, and only 25 percent think it is getting better.
A majority of those polled, 56 percent, have an unfavorable view of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and 34 percent have a favorable view. Just 27 percent have a favorable view of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
But slightly more respondents have a favorable view of Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell than unfavorable.
Question Sotomayor on Hamilton’s Views
by Jed Babbin
Over Republican objections, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) is rushing the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to a July 13 hearing.
While Judiciary Committee Republicans struggle with her incomplete June 6 answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire, they are working to review her more than 3600 district and circuit court decisions and opinions and dozens of public speeches and statements to define the questions they will pursue in the hearings. It simply cannot be done by July 13.
Many of Sotomayor’s statements are already on the record. The self-proclaimed “affirmative action baby” said, in her 2001 speech at Berkeley, that “Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.”
In that speech she went on to disagree with the comments of fellow Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices saying, “…I wonder whether achieving that goal is possible in all or even most cases. And I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women and men of color we do a disservice to both the law and society.”
The fact that a nominee to the nation’s highest court embraces her personal biases and applies them in selecting the facts on which to base decisions is sufficient reason to deny her confirmation. But in the Senate hearings she will do her best to obfuscate that practice.
Senate Republicans need to penetrate the cloud in which President Obama and Senator Leahy have enshrouded this nominee. They have to learn the questions to be asked from more than the scant analysis they will be able to make before July 13.
There is another, perhaps better way to find the right questions to ask Sotomayor. Judiciary Committee Republicans should study David Hamilton, President Obama’s highly controversial nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
It is necessary to study Hamilton because he is a product of the same Obama nomination process, vetted and chosen by the same team that chose Sotomayor in accordance with the president’s criteria. They are like Russian “Matryushka” dolls, one nested inside the other, all within the president’s smiling visage, intended to impose “change” on our judiciary.
David Hamilton is another Obama empath. In an answer to a question by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Hamilton wrote, “A judge needs to empathize with all parties in the case -- plaintiff and defendant, crime victim and accused defendant -- so that the judge can better understand how the parties came to be before the court and how legal rules affect those parties and others in similar situations.”
According to the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary, Hamilton is one of the most lenient judges in his district. In criminal cases, he leans toward the defense, and is -- in the words of one comment in the Almanac -- the “best bet” for “downward departures”, (i.e., to impose sentences less severe than called for in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.)
As a district judge, on what basis did Sotomayor impose “downward departure” sentences and how often?
In a 2003 speech that Hamilton gave upon the dedication of the Birch Bayh United States Courthouse, he noted, “Judge S. Hugh Dillin of this court has said that part of our job here as judges is to write a series of footnotes to the Constitution. We all do that every year in cases large and small.”
In 2005, Sotomayor said that on the Court of Appeals, “…policy is made.” Hamilton’s 2003 comment illuminates Sotomayor’s “policy” statement in a way Republicans must examine.
By the time Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing is held, the Supreme Court may have reversed her most famous decision, Ricci v. DeStefano. Displaying a remarkable lack of empathy to the appellant -- a white firefighter denied promotion for which he qualified despite a severe learning disability -- Sotomayor upheld the city of New Haven, Connecticut’s decision to throw out the results of a promotion examination without even summarizing -- far less ruling on -- the constitutional issues presented for the first time in any court.
If the Supreme Court decides that case before the hearing, there will be many questions for Sotomayor. But regardless of when the decision comes down, Hamilton’s controversial decisions in that area and many more provide a road map for questioning Sotomayor.
By his decision in A Woman’s Choice v. Newman, Hamilton blocked the enforcement of Indiana’s “informed consent” abortion statute for seven years. Hamilton apparently based his decision on studies of the effect of informed consent laws in Mississippi and Utah which found those states’ laws reduced abortions by 10%. He concluded that those statistics proved the statutes comprised an undue burden on women.
Reversing Hamilton, the Seventh Circuit chastised him for preventing enforcement of a law materially identical to one held valid by the Supreme Court in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision: “No court anywhere in the country (other than one district judge in Indiana) has held any similar law invalid in the years since Casey…Indiana (like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) is entitled to put its law into effect and have that law judged by its own consequences.”
In her interview with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Sotomayor said that she had never thought about whether an unborn child has constitutional rights. How is that possible for a judge who has been on the bench since 1992? And how can that be reconciled with the actions of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, which Sotomayor served as a board member from 1980-1992?
As the Washington Times reported, PRLDEF filed many “friend of the court” briefs in abortion cases, in one writing that it “opposes any efforts to overturn or in any way restrict the rights recognized in Roe v. Wade." Sotomayor reportedly was an activist board member, frequently meeting with the Fund’s staff to review the status of cases it was involved in.
Does Sotomayor agree with the Seventh Circuit in A Woman’s Choice and the Supreme Court in Casey, or does she remain on the side of Hamilton and PRLDEF?
Two of Hamilton’s controversial rulings on religious matters were reversed by the Seventh Circuit. In Hinrichs v. Bosma, Hamilton enjoined the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives from allowing Christian clergy to mention “Christ’s name or title” because it was presumptively sectarian while finding that a Muslim imam’s offering a prayer to “Allah” was not.
Does she agree with Hamilton’s decision in Grossbaum v. Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority in which he ruled against a rabbi’s effort to have a menorah placed in a county building? (The Seventh Circuit overturned Hamilton’s decision in that case as well.)
Where does Sotomayor draw the First Amendment line?
If Pat Leahy has his way, Republicans will be left to question whether Sotomayor -- in a decision she reportedly took only fifteen minutes to render -- saved major league baseball by ruling against owners and ending a players’ strike. How anyone could be proclaimed the “savior of baseball” while leaving the designated hitter rule in place is a logical impossibility.
Republicans can do much better than that. Republicans should study Hamilton, and from his decisions and speeches derive much of what needs to be asked of Sotomayor.
"The e-mail Bag"
GENERAL EQUATIONS & STATISTICS
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.