Monthly Archives: February 2012

Obama Could Alter Stance Of Federal Courts….And Worse

Posted on February 7, 2012, 4:30pm

These aren’t even the most dangerous appointments Obama could make. Justice Kennedy is retiring soon and Ginsberg is not far behind him. All it takes is one more appointment and the Supreme Court is a liberal one, with at least three Leftist judges.

AP – A second term for President Barack Obama would allow him to expand his replacement of Republican-appointed majorities with Democratic ones on the nation’s appeals courts, the final stop for almost all challenged federal court rulings.

Despite his slow start in nominating judges and Republican delays in Senate confirmations, Obama has still managed to alter the balance of power on four of the nation’s 13 circuit courts of appeals. Given a second term, Obama could have the chance to install Democratic majorities on several others.

Fourteen of the 25 appeals court judges nominated by Obama replaced Republican appointees.

The next president, whether it’s Obama or a Republican, also has a reasonable shot at transforming the majority on the Supreme Court, because three justices representing the closely divided court’s liberal and conservative wings, as well as its center, will turn 80 before the next presidential term ends.

The three justices are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the leader of the court’s liberal wing, conservative Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy, who leans conservative but on some issues provides a decisive vote for the liberals.

The next high court opening would cause a titanic confirmation fight if it would allow a Republican president to cement conservative control of the court by replacing Ginsburg or if Obama could give Democratic appointees a working majority for the first time in decades by replacing Scalia or Kennedy.

The prospect of such dramatic change on the Supreme Court, along with the justices’ strikingly high-profile election-year docket could heighten the judiciary’s importance as an election issue, said Curt Levey, who heads the conservative Committee for Justice. The justices will hear arguments on Obama’s health care overhaul in March and Arizona’s immigration crackdown in April. The court also could soon decide whether to hear a Texas affirmative action case challenging the use of race as a factor in college admissions.

Even one new justice can produce dramatic change. Justice Samuel Alito replaced the more moderate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and shifted the outcome in cases on abortion, campaign finance and other key issues, even though both were appointed by Republicans.

Openings on the circuit courts of appeals get much less attention, but those courts have the last say in most legal disputes that are appealed in the federal system. Only about 80 cases make it to the Supreme Court every year.

There are still more Republicans than Democrats on the circuit appeals courts and on the entire federal bench. But if Obama merely filled existing vacancies, Democratic appointees would be the majority on the influential court of appeals in Washington, where four current Supreme Court justices once served, and the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans also maintain their edge on the 10th Circuit in Denver only because two judgeships are empty.

Two other appeals courts on which Republicans have comfortable majorities could shift over the next four years. The Chicago-based 7th Circuit has four judges in their 70s who were chosen by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. In the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit, Judge Emilio Garza, a Republican appointee, will take senior status in August, a move that will open a seat while Garza takes a smaller caseload. Two Reagan picks in their 70s remain on the court.

Twelve Reagan appointees now in their 70s remain on circuit appeals courts or, in the case of Scalia and Kennedy, the Supreme Court.

Republican presidents, in recent decades, have been more aggressive than Democrats in filling those seats with younger, more like-minded lawyers.

Many nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were in their early 40s, some even in their 30s, and with reputations as bold conservatives. By contrast, Obama has frustrated some liberal interest groups mainly by favoring older nominees over younger ones who might be the Democratic equivalents of some of the Reagan and Bush picks. Obama’s two youngest appeals court nominees, Goodwin Liu and Caitlin Halligan, were stymied by Republican filibusters in the Senate.

The average age of Obama-nominated appeals court judges is more than 55 years old, higher than any president’s going back to Jimmy Carter, according to the liberal interest group Alliance for Justice. The age of these judges matters in an era when presidents regularly look to the circuit appeals courts as the pool for Supreme Court candidates. Younger judges have a chance to develop a record that presidents can examine, yet still be young enough to be considered for the high court.

Alito and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas all became appellate judges in their early 40s. Chief Justice John Roberts, a Republican appointee, and Justice Elena Kagan, a Democrat, would have been on the appeals court in Washington before their 40th birthdays had senators not blocked their confirmations. Roberts had to wait another decade before becoming an appeals court judge, while Kagan is the only justice who did not serve as an appellate judge.

Obama’s picks have yet to surprise anyone with their decisions, said Levey, head of the conservative interest group. “So Obama’s liberal critics can rest assured that if he’s re-elected, his transformation of the appeals courts will make a big difference in the law.”

Party labels do not always foretell a case’s outcome. During recent challenges to the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, Republican appeals court judges in Cincinnati and Washington cast deciding votes upholding the law, while a Democratic appointee in Atlanta voted to strike down the requirement that most people buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

Still, there is wide agreement that Obama picks have sharply altered the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had been dominated by conservative, Republican appointees.

Obama could alter stance of federal appeals courts

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The New York Times Pretends The Ayatollah’s Not Such A Bad Guy

Posted on February 5, 2012, 8:35pm

The New York Times doesn’t lie. They filter. This is an example of the pretend world in which the Left lives.

Weekly Standard – On February 3, during a rare Friday prayer lecture at Tehran University, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would “support and help any nations, any groups fighting against the Zionist regime across the world, and we are not afraid of declaring this.” Khamenei continued, “The Zionist regime is a true cancer tumor on this region that should be cut off. And it definitely will be cut off.”

This threat by the most powerful man in the Iranian regime to eradicate the nation of Israel was televised and reported by many news outlets. The “cancer tumor” quotation was in the third paragraph, for example, of the Washington Post’s Saturday story.

The New York Times also covered Khamenei’s speech Saturday. But the paper–amazingly–chose not to quote the “cancer tumor” remark. Here’s how the Times reported Khamanei’s speech:

In Tehran, the speech by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made during Friday Prayer and broadcast live to the nation, came amid deepening American concern about a possible military strike on Iran’s nuclear enrichment sites by Israel, whose leaders delivered blunt new warnings on Thursday about what they called the need to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its existence.

Without being specific, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran “had its own tools” to respond to threats of war and would use them “if necessary,” the Mehr news agency reported.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the sanctions as “painful and crippling,” according to Iranian news agencies, acknowledging the effect of recent measures aimed at cutting off Iran’s Central Bank from the international financial system. But he also said the sanctions would ultimately benefit his country. “They will make us more self-reliant,” he said, according to a translation by Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency.

And you won’t learn just what Khamenei said in Sunday’s New York Times either.

So, if you read the news pages of the New York Times, you would know that Khamenei “would support militant groups opposing Israel,” which isn’t startling news. You wouldn’t know that the leader of this regime, speaking just after International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had left Iran after an unsatisfactory visit regarding the regime’s nuclear weapons program, had threatened–no, promised–to destroy the state of Israel.

New York Times edits Khamenei

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More Jews Identify As Republicans

Posted on February 4, 2012, 12:00pm

Conservatives, especially religious ones, are the best friends Jews have. What has taken American Jews so long to figure this out?

Washington Examiner – Though still overwhelmingly Democratic, significantly more Jewish voters now identify as Republicans than did so before President Obama took office, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

In 2008, Pew found that 72 percent of Jews identified as Democrats and just 20 percent as Republicans. In 2011, that shifted to 65 percent to 29 percent, marking a 16-point narrowing in the net margin. Part of that has to do with an overall move toward the Republican party in the past three years. But not all of it. Republican gains among Jews were the biggest among any religious group other than Mormons.

“For most religious groups and for the public as a whole, the trend toward the GOP has come from people who are increasingly likely to say they lean toward the Republican party,” the Forward quoted Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew, as saying. “Jewish voters are really the exception.That’s the one religious group we’ve analyzed where the shift toward the GOP is not among leaners, but rather among actual Republican identifiers.”

Obama’s hostile stance toward Israel is one posible reason for the erosion of support for Democrats among Jewish voters, and the issue was a major factor in Democrats losing a New York City Congressional seat last September.

But it’s unclear how much of a difference this will make in a presidential race. Generally, states with the biggest Jewish populations are overwhelmingly Democratic anyway (ex. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, DC). The vote could make a difference in Florida, but during the Republican primary just one percent of voters were Jewish, which was down from three percent in 2008.

Many Jews shifting toward GOP

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White House Is More Concerned With Israel Than Iran

Posted on February 4, 2012, 11:45am

Hey, by default the Left blames the Joooooz. But a bomb that hits NYC courtesy of the Iranians, not a worry. They’re entitled to their peaceful nuclear program.

Investors – Nuclear Terror: The administration claims economic sanctions are working in preventing Iran from making a nuclear weapon. Why, then, is Tehran apparently assembling a missile that can reach the U.S.? To carry TNT?

President Obama has described the waves of economic sanctions imposed on Islamofascist Iran as “the sort of pressure that will have a direct impact on the Iranian government.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month claimed that “sanctions have been working,” making it “much more difficult for Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions.”

Foundation for Defense of Democracies President Cliff May concedes that sanctions have done some good, but are far from enough. In a column last week, he noted Iran’s currency has lost half its value since December, inflation is officially over 20% and may really be twice that, and crude oil production is falling.

Plus, “Iran’s rulers have forfeited more than $60 billion in energy investment and $14 billion in annual oil sales,” with hundreds of billions of dollars in potential natural gas sales prevented.

Yet May adds that sanctions should be “just one weapon in an arsenal of policies aimed at weakening Iran’s fanatical rulers immediately and dislodging them eventually” — with material support of Iran’s grass-roots dissidents a vital ingredient absent from U.S. policy.

As the head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Nahavandian, told Reuters, “the sanctions have raised the cost of trade and economic transactions, but it has not managed to change Iran’s political behavior.”

And political behavior is the key point. These fanatic tyrants view material and economic pain differently than America and Europe. Obama’s insistence that intensified sanctions “will have a direct impact on the Iranian government” is sheer wishful thinking.

Secretary Clinton, what’s more, offers no evidence to back up her contention that sanctions are working beyond what she calls “technological problems that have made it slow down its timetable” on building a nuke — factors that likely have nothing to do with sanctions.

The proof is in the plutonium — or in this case, uranium. Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s vice prime minister, Thursday announced that a 6,000-mile-range missile being built in Iran, which suffered a suspicious explosion in November, was a prototype that could reach the U.S.

There is no point launching an ICBM at Washington if it’s a conventional weapon; clearly this is a nuclear vehicle. And does anyone with his head on straight really believe that any level of U.S.-imposed economic pain will convince a regime planning to nuke U.S. cities for Allah’s glory to cease its efforts?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has apparently leaked to liberal reporters the administration’s fears that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in the spring, spoiling Obama’s “successful” sanctions strategy. It seems that little short of a nuclear explosion can jar this president and his minions out of their naive stupor regarding the most serious threat facing the world.

White House – Israel more of a threat than Iran

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