Friday, February 10, 2012

From Milton Wolf's Blog...


From Doc Wolf,  Thanks Doc, Bill

Don't listen to them, you one of US...

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm an elistist? Well, kinda...

 0 0
Once again a disgruntled reader has accused me of being an elitist. Well, I do confess that I try to keep my pinky finger in the air...

...when I'm washing down Monster Tabasco-Spiced Slim Jims with a little Diet Mountain Dew (sweet nectar of the gods).

As the 1988 Rice County Cow Milking Champion, let me just say, thank you.


FROM DW 7:54 pm 2-10

I was eating lunch with my 10-year-old
Granddaughter and I asked her, "What day is tomorrow?"  
She said "It's President's Day!"  
She is a smart kid.  
I asked "What does President's Day mean?" I was waiting for something about    Washington or Lincoln ... etc.  
She replied, "President's Day is when President Obama steps out of the White House, and if he sees his shadow we have one more year of unemployment."  
You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out your  nose !


Posted by DH 7:43 pm 02-10

by Don Hank
 No, actually no such study has made headlines lately. But there is a new study on pot that mediocre students will love.
According to UAB News, Associate professor Stefan Kertesz of the University of Alabama has discovered that “marijuana smoke is not as damaging to lungs as cigarette smoke.” In fact, the research also supposedly showed that occasionally inhaling small amounts of the combustion products of this dried weed can even enhance lung capacity.
That will be good news for our sons and daughters struggling against the ignorance and superstition of our benighted generation in their efforts to supplement their alcohol intake this  semester and do so without guilt.
But for me, after reading through the hype and comparing it with the actual abstract of the study, it looks like just another example of research methodology on campus used to achieve a desired result. I am not necessarily impugning the researcher as much as those who seized upon the report with enthusiasm and an uncanny display of uncritical thought. As I have shown here and here, the scientific method (that is, actually looking at data objectively for the sole purpose of finding out the truth, no matter what that may be) has long been out of favor with the media. 
But as evidenced by the “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, it is none too popular even among a surprising percentage of scientists.
With this realization in mind, and also having read, translated and published (here, for example) a report by Portuguese doctors debunking that government’s study fueling a Cato report “demonstrating” that drug decriminalization “works,” and further, having had a pot-smoking friend – who did not use tobacco – die of lung cancer, I immediately smelled a rat.
Now, let me tell you a little about the profession of foreign language translation, which I have plied successfully full-time for over 40 years. In that time, I have translated medical and scientific texts for about 200 clients, including the American Cancer Society (translating reports from various countries in Europe on smoking and its effects in the induction of cancer, emphysema, “smoker’s leg” and other maladies) and some drug companies (series of reports on assorted drugs of various kinds). One of my clients was also the NIH (National Institutes of Health). If you guessed that that agency’s assignments were predominantly medical in nature, you are correct. For a few years of my career, reports on medical studies were the main topic. Caution: I cannot operate on your brain or prescribe liver pills for you. But I will tell you with full confidence: I know the methodology of medical studies. And I know when a research report is pulling my leg.
I can tell you with all sincerity that the media reports on Stefan Kertesz’ studies on marijuana are misleading, and that is being overly generous. Sadly, the report on these studies in UAB News, a publication generally touting successes of persons affiliated with the University of Alabama, is also misleading to say the least. (Which is not necessarily to say that the researcher himself is at fault in this regard).
The headline proclaims: “Marijuana Smoke not as Damaging to Lungs as Cigarette Smoke.” Now, did you immediately assume that the study shows equal amounts of marijuana smoke to be less damaging than equal amounts of tobacco smoke?
I did. Well, I didn’t, but I would have if I had trusted such studies on illegal drugs since I read the Cato report and its thorough rebuttal by the Portuguese MDs who have studied the issue hands-on and met the actual patients (drug users). I have yet to see such a pro-drug study that is not a wide-eyed attempt to justify a bad habit generally endorsed by libertarians and political leftists – who righteously declare drug use of any kind to be a human right that is trampled by most governments generally recognized as legitimate (they think banning anything they like to do is unconstitutional).
So I decided to get a scientific report on the study. Not being a member of AMA, I am not privileged to download articles from JAMA.
However, I was able to obtain for free an abstract of the study from their site.
And lo and behold, what did I find that did not surprise me in the least?
It seems the author has come up with a creative new concept for measuring marijuana smoke exposure. He calls it the “joint year,” and he defines a joint year as 365 joints or filled pipe bowls. He calls this a “moderately high use level.”
Now, of course, in the course of his study, Kertesz no doubt encountered a few subjects who smoked more than these 365 joints per year. But you can see from this definition of a “joint year” that the assumption was for many subjects to have smoked about one joint a day, give or take a few.
One media report quoted the Associated Press as saying that the study:
“…has concluded that smoking cannabis once a week or even more does not harm the lungs.”
The term “even more” is not defined and is therefore meaningless, except as propaganda. But aside from that, if only smoking cannabis once a week is to be compared with what smokers ordinarily do, then the conclusion trumpeted in UAB News (“marijuana smoke is not as damaging to lungs as cigarette smoke”) does not fly. (Most cigarette smokers smoke more than one cigarette a day. You probably knew that).
Of course, there is an outside chance that Kertesz actually did compare the results of smoking 1 joint a day for year-long periods with the results of smoking 1 cigarette a day for year-long periods, but I found no evidence of that. And I can’t imagine where he would have gotten those one-a-day smokers as test subjects.
If it turns out he did, then I stand corrected. On the other hand, if he did make such a comparison, my question would be: why?
At any rate, I will not be advising either of my kids to smoke a joint a day while in college. However, I may tell them to study as hard as they can in a down economy when an alarmingly high percentage of graduates are failing to find jobs in their professions and are saddled for years with college loan payments.
You’d think some researcher somewhere would find the time to study the correlation between not smoking anything at all and not drinking alcohol on student grade levels and chances of graduating from college, as contrasted with a control group of students who indulge in these practices.
I won’t hold my breath for such a breakthrough study. Nor will I expect much improvement in the academic performance of US students over the next few years. At least no judging by their role models on campus.

Since Obama is naming Nameing Advocates of Illegal Activites, I want to Post as Public Advocate for Bank Robber's ?

Posted by DH 7:20 pm 02-10
said I could have it, all of it...U hear me ? I GOT A

Since obama is naming positions for advocates of
 illegal activities, I want the post of Public Advocate 
for Bank Robbers.  Or maybe Public Advocate for
 Meth Producers.  Now there's a misunderstood 
group if there ever was one.  Or maybe Public 
Advocate for the U.S. House and Senate, since you
 people obviously won't do your job and protect us,
 our borders or our Constitution.  This 
aadministration and its activities, supported by 
the actions of the Legislature, are right our of Atlas 
Shrugged.  I remember wondering how The 
 American people could have allowed the  country 
to get that bad.  Now I know because we're living the downhill portion of 
it right now.  An anti-American Executive, a complacent or complicit 
Legislature and a Judiciary which openly mocks the Constitution the other 
two no longer follow. Steve

New Illegal Alien Advocate Undercuts Border Control

Law: If anything shows how ever-expanding government works at 
cross-purposes, it's the Obama administration's newly named post of 
"public advocate" for illegal aliens. What part of "illegal" don't they 

It seems those who've broken the law by entering the U.S. illegally are 
now entitled to special U.S. government protection from — the U.S. 
government. At least, that's the logic of the phony new "public advocate" 
post created for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In naming Andrew Lorenzen-Strait to the job, ICE announced he would work 
"directly for ICE's Executive Assistant Director of Enforcement and 
Removal Operations" to help build "constructive relationships with the 
community and ... resolve problems or concerns."

And for whom would he do this? "(S)takeholders that include individuals, 
public, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations and 
advocacy groups."

"Stakeholders"? Based on that cast of pressure groups, it's plain he'll be 
an illegal alien advocate.

This new position reflects the Obama administration's open-borders policy 
on immigration. It just won't say so out loud. Rather than dismantling ICE 
or offering a blanket amnesty, Obama's creating an illegal alien advocate 
inside ICE, undercutting its very mission.

Why not have a bank robber's advocate at the FBI?

Four faulty premises lay at the root of the absurdity.

• That ICE's mission is at odds with the public. For all President Obama's 
syrupy talk about public service, ICE has been turned into a public enemy. 
Why not just dismantle it if it doesn't serve the public interest?

• That enforcing the law is not the government's job. The advocate twists 
ICE's mission to customer service, as if lawbreakers needed that.

• That illegals are "stakeholders" in the U.S., a place they have no 
business being in. And now as "stakeholders" — the U.S. somehow owes them 

• That some illegals are more entitled to stay than others. 
Lorenzen-Strait has already advised ICE about whom to deport, regardless 
of law. Now his job will be to sort out who is most politically useful to 
Obama to keep.

In reality, illegals already have advocates. They're called embassies. And 
none of them are shy about making a stink on behalf of their own citizens.

Now they've got another advocate inside the U.S. government, paid for by 
you. With that kind of coddling, it's just another reason to keep crossing 
our border.


Steve Clayton

Steve Clayton sent this message via, which uses the Capwiz·XC 
system. is a free public service of Capitol Advantage and 
Knowlegis, LLC.  You may access here:

From Woody P.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has!
-Margaret Mead-


I knew someone would find a name for
our election process for this year.

the inability to become
aroused over any of the choices for President, put
forth by either party in the 2012 election year.

Happen's Every Friday , Even with no Full Moon

Bill Every FRIDAY ?
Bill on Every Friday.    Teeth not shown


 The word 'Dhimmitude" is found in
 the new health care bill;  
we are checking on this Story, If it's correct
it would have been a WOPPER ? Any one with 
Information OTHERWISE please 
From EDR  

Sharyl Attkisson Honored by Accuracy in Media (AIM) Donate's $1000.00 Money Prize to Brian Terry Family Charity Foundation

Posted by BH 2:3 pm 2-10

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has received enough awards to decorate a vanity shelf at her abode. Emmy Awards and noms, mainly. This week, she’s slated to receive a slightly more controversial distinction: Accuracy in Media (AIM) is scheduled to honor Attkisson at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. A press release from AIM reads:
For much of her 30 year career as a news anchor and reporter, Sharyl Attkisson has offered a clear example of what an investigative journalist should be doing. She has flown in a B-52 on a combat mission over Kosovo, shed light on TARP, dared to report on Operation Fast and Furious and has recently exposed dubious green energy loans from the Obama Administration. We are honored to present her with the Investigative Journalism Award.
The left-leaning (Foaming at the mouth, hysterically Radical)  Media Matters for America has a problem with this. It says that AIM is “a right-wing group with a long history of promoting anti-gay views and conspiracy theories. Attkisson — the first reporter from a mainstream news outlet to receive AIM’s annual award — has produced some notably bad journalism over the past year, particularly on the topics of clean energy and vaccines.”
Chill out, Media Matters: It’s just an award, right? This is a question of free speech here — if some group wants to give out an award to a journalist, what’s to stop them!
So long as the journo doesn’t, like, appear in person to accept the award and, perhaps, make some prepared remarks.
Uh-oh — that’s apparently what’s in store here.

Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for AIM, says that the award represents his group’s recognition that Attkisson is not “afraid to investigate and put out hard truths. One of the top reasons that AIM enjoys the work that Sharyl Attkisson does is that we don’t know where she stands on the political map.” Churchwell says that Attkisson has agreed to accept the award “in person” and will speak for eight to 10 minutes.
Attkisson, says Churchwell, has worked with AIM founder Reed Irvine in the past. The award that AIM is bestowing on Attkisson was given in the past to Kenneth Timmerman and Andrew Breitbart, among others.
The award carries a $1,000 prize, which Attkisson will donate to a charity headed by the family of slain border agent Brian Terry, whose death has been linked to Operation Fast and Furious.
Asked about its reporter accepting the AIM award, CBS responded: “CBS News journalists are regularly honored by a broad spectrum of organizations for their outstanding original reporting.”
Another AIM award will go to Dana Loesch, who last month cheered on U.S. Marines for peeing on the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in battle.
Right on Sharyl and you to Dana.... Bill Holland Free Zone Media Center.

Greg Hunter's USAWATCHDOG WEEKLY NEW'S ROUNDUP February 10, 2012

Weekly News Wrap-Up 2.10.12

10 February 2012 No Comment
Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud, Syrian Revolution & More: Weekly News Wrap-Up 
By Greg Hunter’s 
The big news, this week, was the $25 billion mortgage settlement with the five biggest banks in the country over allegations of mortgage and foreclosure fraud.  It has been reported that $13.5 trillion of potential fraud is going uninvestigated and unprosecuted.  This settlement is a travesty of justice and a total rip-off of America.  This deal is being spun that delinquent homeowners are getting a bailout, refinancing and debt forgiveness and that it was the government’s fault because it forced the banks to loan money to people who couldn’t pay it back.  I don’t think the government forced the banks to sell liar loans and package those loans into mortgage-backed securities, selling the toxic junk to unsuspecting investors.
Then, when it all blew up, I don’t think the government forced the banks to commit foreclosure fraud and forgery to take back the houses.  The government did turn a blind eye to all the fraud and is still doing so today.  Not a single financial elite has been prosecuted for these alleged crimes, and I don’t think they ever will.  There will still be lawsuits, but the Federal government looks like it will turn a blind eye to criminal charges now that this deal is done.  Don’t look for the housing market to get better.  This deal shows prices have a lot further to fall as more homes are taken by the banks.
Let the foreclosure flood gates open again so the banks can make some more money to stay afloat.  There was also a $170 billion Greek debt deal this week.  More cuts are coming to wages, pensions and public services.  You wonder why there are more strikes and demonstrations going on in one of the world’s oldest democracies.  Is this a glimpse of what’s in store for America?  Things in Syria are heating up, and it is looking more and more like a full blown revolution that the west is covertly supporting.  It was reported, this week, the U.S. military is looking at its options in the region, as if possible war between Israel and Iran is not enough to consider.  See all these stories and more from Greg Hunter and in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.

Checking the MAILBOX

Bless You, D. Sherman Okst

9 February 2012 41 Comments
By Greg Hunter’s 
Today, I received a personal email from D. Sherman Okst titled “F*** You.”  Okst is an Internet financial writer that, I think, does some very good work.  So, I was taken back when Okst wrote, “ ‘These articles are not written by a bunch of angry uneducated bloggers but by money managers, investors and financial writers.’  Like those f***ing dickless educated assholes saw the biggest bubble or the real estate crash before it happened.”   Evidently, Okst took issue with one and only one line in the story.  He didn’t point out a single thing wrong with the rest of post.  Just this line I wrote that said, “These articles are not written by a bunch of angry uneducated bloggers but by money managers, investors and financial writers.”  (Click here for the complete original post I wrote.)   
Okst wrote an entire post about this one line in my story on his website,  In his post, he wrote, “Seriously F*** YOU and your education.  Right up there with Dennis Kneales ‘all economic bloggers live in their mommy’s’ basements.’  Having an education or being on TV doesn’t make you right.”  (Click here for the complete post.)  
Ok, now it’s my turn.  Okst’s bio says he is an “ex-airline pilot . . . fascinated with the economy.”  I don’t find a thing wrong with that.  As far as my education: I have a BA from University of Missouri.  I am hardly a financial wonk, and there is nothing all that special about my education other than the fact I paid for it myself.   I do find what Okst wrote on his website and emailed to me offensive and vulgar.  I wonder who Okst thinks he is to send out an email titled “F***You” to a total stranger?  More importantly, it makes me question his judgement and logic.
He makes a giant illogical leap to heap me into a category with Dennis Kneale when I am quoting Internet sources that are not part of the mainstream media (MSM.)  My point was that the folks I was quoting should be listened to even though you may not have heard of them in the MSM.    Anyone who reads knows I am no fan of the Federal Reserve, government regulators, the MSM or the big banks.
Okst goes on to say, “Usually Hunters work is good and respectable, but that reference earns him the Dennis Kneale of the year award.  So again: F*** you Greg.  You’re only as good as what you learn in school, and you’re only as good your intuition.  I’d take the “un”educated pissed off economic bloggers over any of the fund managers (whether they saw it coming or not).”  This is another giant leap that claims something I didn’t even say or meant to insinuate.  I guess Okst glossed over the part of the one sentence he didn’t like where I mention “financial writers.”  Isn’t Okst a financial writer on the Internet just like me?  Had I included him in the post, would I have gotten the nasty email and blog post on his site?
I try to inform the public about what is really happening in the economy and politics.  I also try to be fair and do not spin the facts to fit a story I am writing.  In short, being fair is being accurate.  I do not send nasty emails to strangers or allow gratuitous foul language on my site.  (In proper context, off color language has been posted.)   It’s not because I am any better than anyone else.  The situation in the world today is so serious that the last thing I want my readers to question is my credibility and judgement.
Bless you, D. Sherman Okst.  Your post and email diminishes you, not me.

POST: Fed's Free Money Isn't Really Free ?

The Anti Romney Vote by Thomas Sowell

Posted by BH  7:14 am 2-10 

A funny thing happened to Mitt Romney on the way to his coronation as the inevitable Republican candidate for President of the United States. Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado happened. Rick Santorum beat him in all three states on the same day -- and beat him by huge margins in two of those states, as well as upsetting him in Colorado, where the Mormon vote was expected to give Romney a victory.
The Republican establishment, which has lined up heavily behind Romney, has tried to depict him as the "electable," if not invincible, candidate in the general election this November. But it is hard to maintain an aura of invincibility after you have been vinced, especially in a month when pundits had suggested that Romney might build up an unstoppable momentum of victories.
In a sense, this year's campaign for the Republican nomination is reminiscent of what happened back in 1940, when the big-name favorites -- Senators Taft and Vandenberg, back then -- were eclipsed by a lesser known candidate who seemed to come out of nowhere.
As the Republican convention that year struggled to try to come up with a majority vote for someone, a chant began in the hall and built to a crescendo: "We want Willkie! We want Willkie!"
If there is a message in the rise and fall of so many conservative Republican candidates during this year's primary season, it seems to be today's Republican voters saying, "We don't want Romney! We don't want Romney!"
Even in Colorado, where Governor Romney came closest to winning, the combined votes for Senator Santorum and Speaker Gingrich added up to an absolute majority against him.
Much has been made of Newt Gingrich's "baggage." But Romney's baggage has been accumulating recently, as well. His millions of dollars parked in a tax shelter in the Cayman Islands is red meat for the class warfare Democrats.
But a far more serious issue is ObamaCare, perhaps the most unpopular act of the Obama administration, its totalitarian implications highlighted by its recent attempt to force Catholic institutions to violate their own principles and bend the knee to the dictates of Washington bureaucrats.
Yet Romney's own state-imposed medical care plan when he was governor of Massachusetts leaves him in a very weak position to criticize ObamaCare, except on strained federalism grounds that are unlikely to stir the voters or clarify the larger issues.
The Romney camp's massive media ad campaign of character assassination against Newt Gingrich, over charges on which the Internal Revenue Service exonerated Gingrich after a lengthy investigation, was by no means Romney's finest hour, though it won him the Florida primary.
This may well have been payback for Newt's demagoguery about Romney's work at Bain Capital. But two character assassinations do not make either candidate look presidential.
If Romney turns his well-financed character assassination machine on Rick Santorum, or Santorum resorts to character assassination against either Romney or Gingrich, the Republicans may forfeit whatever chance they have of defeating Barack Obama in November.
Some politicians and pundits seem to think that President Obama is vulnerable politically because of the economy in the doldrums. "It's the economy, stupid," has become one of the many mindless mantras of our time.
What Obama seems to understand that Republicans and many in the media do not, is that dependency on the government in hard times can translate into votes for the White House incumbent.
Growing numbers of Americans on food stamps, jobs preserved by bailouts, people living on extended unemployment payments and people behind in their mortgage payments being helped by government interventions are all potential voters for those who rescued them -- even if their rescuers are the reason for hard times, in the first place.
The economy was far worse during the first term of Franklin D. Roosevelt than it has been under Obama. Unemployment rates under FDR were more than double what they have been under Obama. Yet FDR was reelected in a landslide. Dependency pays off for politicians, even when it damages an economy or ruins a society.

Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of "Applied Economics"and "Black Rednecks and White Liberals." 

What's the HOLDUP on Alaskan OIL

posted by BH 7:10 am 2-10


My state's ANWR region could produce one 

million barrels of oil per day if only 

Washington let us.


Finally, some welcome news from Washington: With a bipartisan voice, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 7, the American Energy Infrastructure & Jobs Act.
This bill ties energy production to key projects that would generate well-paying jobs sorely needed for our economy and our energy security. It also enables us in Alaska to pursue production on a small section of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).
This legislation opens 400,000 acres of the ANWR coastal plain's 1.5 million acres—land specifically set aside (by a 1980 federal law) for oil and natural-gas development. The 400,000 acres represents less than 3% of ANWR's 19 million total acres.
So what have we been waiting for?
Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Department of the Interior recommended that Congress open up this area for oil and gas development. Yet year after year, Washington has blocked Alaska from delivering America's oil to Americans, even as the Energy Department calculates that for every barrel produced from ANWR, one less barrel of imports would be needed.
The federal government must drop these roadblocks. This should not be controversial: The vast majority of Alaskans favor the oil and gas development of this small portion of ANWR. Nor does this have to be a partisan issue: Three Democrats joined 26 Republicans in the 29-13 vote.
Getty Images
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline near Valdez, Alaska
The essence of this long-standing argument is this: Greater oil and gas production means jobs and economic growth, which develop the stable communities that underpin a strong nation. Somehow this reasoning continues to fall flat.
Just last month, President Obama said in his State of the Union address that he had directed his administration to "open more than 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas resources." He should have said "redirected," for this simply repackaged his current position on the Outer Continental Shelf, which slowed Arctic development and did nothing to advance ANWR's potential.
ANWR oil—more than 10 billion barrels of it—is accessible. It's extractable. Yet we wait. Ignoring promising domestic production means willingly accepting a steady diet of foreign oil. That's exactly what's happening.
At peak production, ANWR could supply the U.S. with up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day. Over 10 years, it could produce a sustained rate of one million barrels per day.
We have a world-class pipeline ready to assist with delivery. We currently ship slightly more than 600,000 barrels of oil a day through the Trans Alaska Pipeline, but that figure once stood at two million per day.
With oil from ANWR in the Trans Alaska Pipeline, oil producers could develop nearby fields that otherwise might not be economically feasible.
We have a chance to make this happen under a measure cowritten by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R., Wash.) and Rep. Don Young (R., Alaska) within the American Energy Infrastructure & Jobs Act. It's the Alaska Energy for American Jobs Act, which will:
• Direct the secretary of the interior to hold lease sales on the North Slope of at least 50,000 acres within 22 months of enacting this legislation, then hold subsequent lease sales.
• Direct the secretary of the interior to ensure that this would result in no significant adverse impacts to fish, wildlife, habitat or environment, while the best available technology is employed.
• Ensure a minimal environmental footprint by requiring that land used for production and support facilities does not exceed 10,000 acres for every 100,000 leased acres.
Protecting our lands has long been a priority in Alaska. Prudhoe Bay, which sits 60 miles west of ANWR, has churned out 16 billion barrels of oil over more than 30 years. During that time, the central Arctic caribou herd in the Prudhoe Bay area has grown to nearly 70,000 in 2008 from 5,000 in 1975.
It's no coincidence that the states holding their own during this prolonged economic downturn include America's major energy producers, such as Alaska. Yet regulators keeping federal lands off-limits to oil and gas production also keep Alaska from contributing more affordable energy to other Americans.
For those who don't believe one state can make a difference in helping our nation, just look at the boom in North Dakota. The Bakken region is producing nearly 500,000 barrels of oil per day, pushing North Dakota's unemployment rate down to 3.5%, among the lowest nationally. If the Obama administration is serious about job creation, it can look to Alaska to boost America's work force. These are jobs Americans can do immediately. They are drillers, drivers and roustabouts, engineers, graphic designers and geologists, plumbers, painters and educators.
We don't have to make out-of-work Americans wait any longer.
Mr. Parnell is governor of Alaska

Judge Suggest U.S. Misled (Code for Lying) to Court on Immigration Policy

Posted by BH 7:02 am 2-10


The government may have misled the Supreme Court about its policies on helping improperly deported immigrants return to the U.S., possibly influencing a decision to make it easier to deport thousands of aliens, according to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York.
The judge's opinion requires the government to disclose by Monday internal emails in which Justice Department lawyers developed the claim they made to the Supreme Court.

In the January 2009 case, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court that when appellate courts ruled in favor of deported aliens, its "policy and practice" provided "effective relief…by facilitating the aliens' return to the United States" and restoring "the status they had at the time of removal."
Chief Justice John Roberts referenced that contention, made without citation, in his April 2009 opinion, writing that aliens deported erroneously wouldn't suffer "irreparable injury" because the government would help them return if they later won their appeals. However, immigration lawyers said they hadn't heard of deported clients being helped to return to the U.S. under a specific policy.
In his 20-page opinion, released this week, Judge Rakoff wrote there is "substantial evidence that the judicial process may have been impugned if the Supreme Court relied upon what may well have been inaccurate or distorted factual representation" by the solicitor general's office. " 'Trust everybody, but cut the cards,' as the old saying goes," Judge Rakoff wrote.
Judge Rakoff, is known for recent rulings challenging actions by the executive branch. In particular, the judge has refused to approve several settlements between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Wall Street banks over alleged misconduct, finding that the deals didn't adequately establish who was at fault or sufficiently punish the wrongdoers.
The Justice Department didn't return requests for comment. Gregory Garre, who was solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration when a brief making the disputed claim was filed in January 2009, declined to comment.
The dispute arose in a case brought by Jean Marc Nken, concerning the criteria under which immigrants facing deportation orders can remain in the U.S. while their appeals are pending. Lawyers for such aliens argued that their clients could suffer irreparable harm if deported, because even if they later won their appeals, they might have no way of returning to the U.S. or even learning the outcome of their cases.
Mr. Nken entered the U.S. legally in 2001 and then sought political asylum, claiming he faced persecution in his native Cameroon for participating in antigovernment protests. Mr. Nken eventually won asylum and now lives in Maryland with his wife and son, his attorney said.
Nancy Morawetz, who co-directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law and helped file a friend-of-the-court brief in the Nken case, said she hadn't heard of a policy under which the government aids wrongly deported aliens.
"We see it as a mystery," she said. "How was it that the Supreme Court was told something that was not accurate?"
In response to Freedom of Information Act requests from Ms. Morawetz, the Homeland Security and State departments said they had no information on such a policy. The Justice Department said it did have information—four pages of emails among officials—but refused to release them. The NYU clinic sued on behalf of immigrant rights groups. Judge Rakoff, who heard the case, reviewed the emails and held that portions must be released because they are the only evidence regarding "the putative policy."
"The email chain ... evidences an attempt to cobble together a factual basis for making the representation" to the Supreme Court, Judge Rakoff wrote.
Ms. Morawetz said she wasn't certain what steps she would take next, but said "we would like them to have an effective system" for returning aliens who were improperly deported.
Deborah Rhode, director of the Center on the Legal Profession at Stanford Law School, said the implications could be serious if the government wasn't forthcoming to the high court. "Lawyers for the solicitor general's office carry special responsibilities to present a full and fair record," she said. She said that either the solicitor general's office should confess the error "or the policy should be revised to be what the government said it was."
Write to Jess Bravin at

Big Is Back

Big Houses for the Rich
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Condoms Are Only Part Of It

Pruden & Politics

Friday, February 10, 2012

Condoms are only part of it


By Wesley Pruden
Barack Obama thought he was only picking a fight with the Roman Catholic bishops. He thought he could limit the argument over his health-care mandate to a controversy over condoms.
He’s getting a bigger fight than he imagined.
Condoms were once limited to dispensing machines in men’s rooms in bus stations and truck stops (“Sold for the Prevention of Disease Only”). This sometimes confused teenage boys who thought condoms were made for preventing something else. But nearly everybody knew you didn’t talk about condoms in polite grown-up company.
Sen. Patty Murray says Americans support access to contraceptives. Maybe so, but that misses the point.

Now a lot of mothers, including a lot of Catholic mothers, slip a condom into a daughter’s purse before she leaves the house for the prom. President Obama only wants to make sure everyone has a rubber in his pocket or purse. The way to do that is to make them “free” by federal fiat. How could anyone object to doing the right thing?
How, indeed. Jay Carney, the president’s faithful mouthpiece, explains that only Mr. Obama’s heart, ever expanding in pursuit of right things for the federal government to do, is at work here. “The administration decided—the president agrees with this decision—that we need to provide these services that have enormous health benefits for American women and that the exemption that we carved out is appropriate.”
The president’s feminist allies might not always like men all that much, but some things are too important to leave to a woman’s own initiative. “What I can tell you,” said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, a reliable Democratic nanny, “is that women and men, in general, largely support the ability for women to have access to contraceptives. I don’t think they’re going to like having someone represent them that wants to take away that right.” This is an odd argument, since the senator can find all the rubbers she needs at the corner drug store.
But now it turns out that the president’s fight isn’t just against the Catholic bishops after all.  Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, vows that Baptist institutions “will not comply” with the Obama mandate requiring religious institutions, Catholic or not, to cover various birth-control devices, such as condoms, in their health-insurance programs. “We want the law changed,” he says, “or else we’re going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. [Martin Luther] King wrote his from the Birmingham jail.”
“The Obama administration,” says Mr. Land and Barnett Duke, vice president of the Baptist ethics commission, “has declared war on religion and freedom of conscience. We consider this callous requirement by the Obama administration to be a clear violation of our nation’s commitment to liberty of conscience and a flagrant violation of our constitutional protection to freedom of religion.”
This is exactly how the issue should be drawn. The president can win the argument as long as it is a theological debate over the morality of condoms, IUDs and other devices that prevent pregnancies (and what our unenlightened grandparents called “social diseases”). But Mr. Obama and his feminist allies can’t win the argument when the issue is drawn, correctly, as a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of religious conscience.
Condoms today, abortion tomorrow, and who knows what on the day after that. Only last month a committee of the legislature of the state of Washington approved something innocently called the “Reproductive Parity Act” requiring private health-insurance plans to cover abortion through all stages of pregnancy. If a health-insurance plan covers a full-term live birth, it has to cover late-term abortions.
Ideology like that can only be imposed by law. This is what terrifies not only bishops and evangelical preachers, who recognize a slippery slope even when most people can’t, but terrifies the Americans whom President Obama scorns as those who “cling to God and guns.” Mr. Obama takes comfort only in the applause of liberal churchmen who endorsed his condoms-for-everybody scheme—liberal Jews, Unitarians, stray Muslims, something called the “Planned
Parenthood Clergy Advisory Board,” and the usual preachers to empty pews.
The Obama White House may not be a coven of radicals out to impose their secular vision of what American could be, if only they could silence the religious conscience. But the president and his men are eager to do the work of such radicals. Only this week, an interviewer asked President Obama why he hadn’t been the “transformative” president he promised to be four years ago. “I deserve a second term,” he said. “We’re not done.”
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
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