Concerning yesterday’s court hearing…
The Other McCain: WALKER V. KIMBERLIN: DISMISSED:
Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Richard B. Potter has just dismissed Aaron Walker’s civil lawsuit against Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser and Ron Brynaert. Will have further details momentarily.
UPDATE: Today’s hearing began shortly after 11 a.m. and was over by noon. Several preliminary motions had been consolidated into one hearing, and the motion heard first was Kimberlin’s motion to dismiss. Clearly, Judge Potter had already decided to grant Kimberlin’s motion, but went through the formality of a hearing.
Acting as his own attorney, Kimberlin argued first, and showed a disposition to argue the facts of the case rather than to argue law. Walker’s attorney Dan Backer objected to this, and his objection was upheld, Judge Potter ordering Kimberlin to stick to the law. Backer briefly countered each of Kimberlin’s points, and then Kimberlin was given an opportunity to respond, once again arguing facts more than law.
Then Judge Potter called a 10-minute recess and returned to read a decision — dismissing the case – that quite obviously took a lot longer than 10 minutes to write. In other words, the judge’s decision was written in advance of the hearing.
Ali Akbar, Natl. Bloggers Club: Press Release: BLOGGER AARON WALKER SUFFERS FIRST AMENDMENT LEGAL SETBACK:
Manassas, VA – Today, after a preliminary hearing that appeared to be a mere formality, a judge in Prince William County, Virginia, dismissed Aaron Walker’s civil lawsuit against Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser and Ron Brynaert. A Virginia attorney and conservative blogger, Walker has said he was cyberstalked and harassed – and eventually fired from his job – after being targeted by Kimberlin and his associates.
Kimberlin’s anonymous online sympathizers have attacked a half dozen members of the right-of-center National Bloggers Club, Inc., which eventually garnered the attention of nearly 90 Republican members of the House of Representatives and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) sent a letter to the Holder Justice Department demanding action.
The National Bloggers Club has helped rally support and raise funds for Walker in his legal fight for First Amendment freedom against the intimidation tactics of Kimberlin, a convicted felon notorious as the “Speedway Bomber.” Kimberlin ventured in the political conversation during the Presidential race of 1988 when he claimed to have sold marijuana to Vice Presidential nominee Dan Qualye and became the subject of a Doonesbury cartoon strip.
“We are profoundly discouraged that Aaron Walker has been denied the opportunity to prove his case,” said Ali A. Akbar, President of the National Bloggers Club and a target of the online harassment himself. “We’ll solicit donations and launch new efforts to protect free speech from thugs like Brett Kimberlin.”
“Stop shining light on Brett Kimberlin’s efforts to suppress free speech? Like hell.”
Hogewash: A Very Mixed Day:
1. The judge appeared to be reading from a prepared order which seemed too long to have been written during the recess he took between hearing the oral arguments and ruling. The Gentle Reader is left to draw his own conclusion.
2. There were a couple of people in the courtroom that I could not identify. One was a well-dressed fellow who seem to be a lawyer—perhaps an associate of Jeff Cohen’s firm observing the hearing? The other was a rather rough looking fellow who sat on the back row—muscle?
3. I had a chance to interview both Aaron Walker and Dan Backer after the hearing. While they haven’t formulated their exact response, an appeal or a motion to reconsider are possibilities. Furthermore, the two Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. suits are not the only arrows in the quiver. They might be merely an opening salvo. Some of those possibilities are very interesting.
Hoge also points out that in TDPK’s legal clashes with Aaron Walker, Kimberlin usually wins the first round. “He has never yet won in the end.”
Oh, what’s this?: WFB: The Ties that Bind: Obama appointee’s foundation supported group of convicted domestic terrorist:
President Barack Obama’s latest round of appointments includes the head of a nonprofit that gave tens of thousands of dollars to a group run by a convicted domestic terrorist.
Obama nominated Lisa Green Hall to the Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board last week. She is the president and CEO of the nonprofit Calvert Foundation, which gave $30,000 over three years to the Justice Through Music Project (JTMP).
Brett Kimberlin is the director of the JTMP, which “uses famous musicians and bands to organize, educate, and activate young people about the importance of civil rights, human rights, and voting,” according to its website.
However, Kimberlin is also known as the “Speedway Bomber” for a series of eight bombings he carried out in Speedway, Ind., in 1978. He is also a convicted perjurer and has been involved in an alleged campaign of intimidation against his online critics.
United Liberty: Why Is The State Department Partnering With Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin?:
If you follow the blogosphere, you’ll know that bloggers who criticize left-wing activist and convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin have been harassed. While doing some research on Mr. Kimberlin, I discovered he runs a group called Justice Through Music, which has received money from Soros and other rich progressives. Looking on JTMP’s front page, I discovered this interesting little bit of information.
MAY 24, 2012 – JTMP has been a participant in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programfor 3 years now, where citizens from around the world involved in the arts get to come to America and visit to learn about the role of arts in the US. This year we had visitors that came from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia to see how Justice Through Music Project uses art to raise awareness on issues, and to bring about social change. This year’s contingent had musicians, playwrights, and people involved in art production. We gave them a presentation and showed them many of our musical art videos that deal with politics and issues, while we spoke about how we operate and produce our art videos. We then showed them how we use this art on our website and YouTube channel to raise awareness on an issue to help bring about positive social change.
Speaking of our esteemed State Dept:
FrontPageMagazine: State Department Spent 4.5 Million for Embassy Art, Had No Money for Benghazi Security:
Remember Benghazi only happened because the State Department had no money for security. And the military had no money for planes. And Obama had no money for his campaign and had to rush to Vegas to fundraise with Beyonce.
Things that the State Department did have money for? Mosque renovations, promoting environmental awareness in Baghdad, and 4.5 million for Art in Embassies.
Caroline May, The Daily Caller: Food stamp enrollment skyrockets as unemployment rate declines:
A new chart produced by Republicans staffers on the Senate Budget Committee shows food stamp enrollment continuing to increase even as the unemployment rate goes down.
From October 2009 to October 2012 the unemployment rate has declined from 10.2 percent to 7.9 percent. In that same time frame, nearly ten million new recipients have been added to the food stamp rolls, according to government data analyzed by the Republican committee staff.
I’m on the list, but not as high as I should be. We’ll forgive Hawkins, this time.
This image is taken from the 1934 Chicago Tribune cartoon ‘Planned Economy or Planned Destruction?’. It focuses on the character of Leon Trotsky, who is laying out a series of policy goals for the United States. The Chicago Tribute suggested in its latest reprint of this cartoon that we take a look at this cartoon and see if it rings true in today’s political and economic climate.
Whereas others have focused on simply analyzing the larger cartoon to identify all the characters in it (for the best analysis see this post), today I am going to attempt to see if this cartoon sheds some understanding on the economic and political challenges facing today and whether it gives us as voters of a free nation any sort of guidance on how to vote in upcoming elections or which way to pressure our public officials:
IBD: Syria’s Chemical Weapons Came From Saddam’s Iraq
War On Terror: As the regime of Bashar Assad disintegrates, the security of his chemical arsenal is in jeopardy. The No. 2 general in Saddam Hussein’s air force says they were the WMDs we didn’t find in Iraq.
King Abdullah of neighboring Jordan warned that a disintegrating Syria on the verge of civil war puts Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons at risk of falling into the hands of al-Qaida.
“One of the worst-case scenarios as we are obviously trying to look for a political solution would be if some of those chemical stockpiles were to fall into unfriendly hands,” he said.
The irony here is that the chemical weapons stockpile of Syrian thug Assad may in large part be the legacy of weapons moved from Hussein’s Iraq into Syria before Operation Iraqi Freedom.
If so, this may be the reason not much was found in the way of WMD by victorious U.S. forces in 2003.
But but but everyone knows Condoleeza Rice lied about WMDs in Iraq. That’s why it was not racist at all to portray her as Aunt Jemima or Prissy from Gone with the Wind in political cartoons.
Weasel Zippers; Obama Meets With Adviser To Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Refuses To Condemn Islamist Power Grab…
Before Obama who would have ever dreamed it would be U.S. policy to back the Muslim Brotherhood?
As protests continued in Egypt on Wednesday, the White House declined to take sides in the conflict, noting that the United States has an important relationship with Egypt, but called for all sides to refrain from violence.
When asked at a White House briefing if President Obama supports Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, press secretary Jay Carney said, “The president has an important relationship, well, the United States has a very important relationship with Egypt. The president has worked effectively with President Morsi on key issues, including recently the negotiated ceasefire in Gaza. We are monitoring the situation.”
Carney did not say whether Obama has spoken with Morsi or taken any other action. A White House official later confirmed to POLITICO that the president did stop by a meeting between national security adviser Tom Donilon and Morsi adviser Issam Al-Haddad. The official did not say what they spoke about.
“Did my “bitch” make it out of the palace okay, yesterday?”
MyFox Detroit: Detroit councilwoman to Obama: We voted for you, now bail us out:
City Council member JoAnn Watson said Tuesday the citizens support of Obama in last month’s election was enough reason for the president to bailout the struggling the city. (Click the video player to listen)
“Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo and you ought to exercise leadership on that,” said Watson. “Of course, not just that, but why not?”
Nearly 75 percent of Wayne County voters pulled the lever for Obama in November.
“After the election of Jimmy Carter, the honorable Coleman Alexander Young, he went to Washington, D.C. He came home with some bacon,” said Watson. “That’s what you do.”
Matthew Boyle: Rep. Hensarling Throws Boehner Under Bus on Conservative Purge:
A spokeswoman for incoming House Financial Services Committee chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling told Breitbart News on Wednesday that her boss had nothing whatsoever to do with the conservative purge of his committee. Hensarling is slated to take over as the committee’s chairman next Congress.
After conservative Republican Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina were removed from their Financial Services committee slots this week, a GOP leadership aide tried to pin at least part of the blame on Hensarling.
“Changes are made for a variety of reasons, most often at the request of committee chairs,” the anonymous GOP leadership aide told Roll Call.
Hensarling saying he had nothing to do with the purge directly contradicts that story coming out of GOP leadership.
Bryan Preston, PJ Tatler: Harry Reid Launches Online Gambling Power Grab:
Sen. Harry Reid is launching a bill in the lame duck congressional session that he says is about standardizing online gambling, but may really be about granting the gaming industry in his state complete power over online gaming well outside Nevada’s state lines. The American Gaming Association is behind the bill, which would have the federal government impose its regulations on online gaming in ways that would end up benefiting…the members of the American Gaming Association.
The states, however, have labeled the Reid-Kyl bill as a payoff to Nevada’s casino industry. State lotteries and governors have argued vigorously that they shouldn’t be limited to offering only online poker to their residents.
Steven Grossman, the chairman of the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission, noted in an Oct. 31 letter to Reid and Kyl that the profits from online poker are minimal. He vowed that “attempts to wish the online gaming genie back into the bottle are doomed to fail,” especially given the easy accessibility of international gambling websites.
“Whether you like Internet poker or not, any American with an Internet connection can even today go online and play Internet poker, bet on sports or play Internet casino games,” Pappas said. “The only thing they can’t do is do that on a licensed U.S. site.”
The bill would even set up a new federal bureaucracy, the Office of Online Poker Oversight within the Commerce Department. In an age of so-called austerity, this is among the last things we need to be doing.
Free Enterprise: Appeals Court Hears NLRB Recess Appointments Case:
What does it mean for the Senate to be in recess? Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was challenged to figure that out.
This stems from President Obama bypassing the Senate in appointing three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Wall Street Journal sets it up:
[I]n January Mr. Obama named three new members of the National Labor Relations Board along with Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when the Senate wasn’t in recess. While Congress was conducting pro forma sessions, Mr. Obama pulled this end run around the Senate’s advice and consent power.
In Noel Canning v. NLRB, a Washington state Pepsi bottler claims that the NLRB lacked a three-member quorum when it decided a labor case because the recess appointments were illegitimate. In order for the President to make a recess appointment, the Senate must adjourn, and under Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution neither house of Congress can adjourn for more than three days without the other’s permission.
On January 4, the day Mr. Obama packed the NLRB, Congress considered itself to be in session. But the White House claimed the pro forma session didn’t count because the Senate wasn’t really available to do confirmations except by unanimous consent.
Yid with Lid has more: Appeals Court Casts Doubt on Obama’s (and all) Recess Appointments:
A federal appeals court not only questioned the recess appointments Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board last January (while congress was still in session) but questioned whether the entire way recess appointments are made were constitutional.