Justice Kagan may have lied at her confirmation hearings

**Posted by Phineas

And she should recuse herself from any ObamaCare hearings before the Supreme Court, because of it:

Internal Justice Department email communications made just days before the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act show that then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was brought into the loop as DOJ began preparing to respond to an anticipated legal complaint that Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation were planning to file against the act if the House used a procedural rule to “deem” the bill passed even if members never directly voted on it.

In another internal DOJ email communication that same week, Kagan alerted the chief of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to the constitutional argument that a former U.S. Appeals Court judge was making against the use of this rule.

Then, during Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation process four months later, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her in writing if she had “ever been asked about your opinion” or “offered any view or comments” on the “the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to any proposed health care legislation, including but not limited to Pub. L. No. 111-148 [PPACA], or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation?”

Kagan answered both questions: “No.” (PDF. See questions 8 and 9 in particular. –PF)

Well. I’d say that’s pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you?

Personally, I’d guess she was lying at her confirmation hearings. That’s grounds for impeachment in my book, but that’s politically out of the question. However, far from being “walled off,”  it is clear that she was involved in at least some aspects in a substantive manner and that her objectivity can be called into question. I cannot imagine for a minute that the Solicitor General of the United States would not have offered an opinion or advice on strategy in a case that threatened the overriding goal of the administration in which she served. As the article points out, per statute, justices are required to recuse themselves in such cases.

Read the whole piece. At the very least, I think the revealed emails raise serious questions about Justice Kagan’s ability to impartially rule on ObamaCare.

via Legal Insurrection

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Funds set up for family of murdered Va. Tech police officer dad of 5 / #HokiesForCrouse

As we all know, Virginia Tech is no stranger to tragedy, and it struck again yesterday as a campus police officer who was a father of five was murdered while in the middle of a traffic stop:

The man who shot and killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse at the school’s Blacksburg campus Thursday hasn’t been identified. But he was not a student, officials said during a news conference Friday.

The violence occurred shortly after noon Thursday, when Crouse stopped a driver near Virginia Tech’s stadium parking lot. The shooter approached Crouse’s vehicle and opened fire, police said. Authorities added that Crouse did not return fire and that the shooter was not the person stopped in the car.

More on Deriek Crouse:Crouse, 39, of Christianburg, had been a member of the force since 2007. According to the Associated Press, Crouse, a father of five, was an Army veteran with a specialty in crisis intervention. Officials confirmed during a news conference Thursday that he is the first Virginia Tech officer killed in the line of duty, according to the Roanoke Times.

More on the shooter: Shortly after the shooting, the gunman and a weapon were found in a nearby parking lot. He has not been identified but is not a student, police said. Authorities added during the news conference that the shooter acted alone. Ballistic tests show the same gun was used in both shootings.

It goes without saying that being married to or being the child of a member of law enforcement brings with it the brutal knowledge that one day you could lose your spouse/parent in the line of duty, but that certainly does not make the news that your loved one is gone forever due to a senseless act of violence any easier to take.

With that in mind, there have been two funds set up to  help the family of Officer Crouse.  One was started by Hokie students  (Twitter page here), and the other by Va. Tech alumni.  Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it is especially so during the holiday season when everyone is supposed to be joyful and thankful.  The Crouse family will be mourning the loss of a family hero on Christmas day.  Donations to help with upcoming expenses due to his loss, not to mention lots of prayers, would do them a world of good.

RIP, Officer Crouse.

Officer Crouse

Officer Deriek Crouse

Donation links via Verum Serum. Officer Crouse picture courtesy of Va. Tech.

One more to add to a long list of reasons to dislike Team Mitt

This makes no sense (hat tip):

As you probably heard, some Mitt Romney surrogates hosted a conference call today to attack Newt Gingrich. Because Romney is attempting to win a Republican primary — and cast Newt Gingrich as unacceptable to conservatives — you probably assume that center-right journalists or conservative bloggers got to ask some questions, right?

Wrong. Here’s the list of reporters and media outlets who were permitted to ask questions:

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS
MARK HALPERIN, TIME
LLOYD GROVE, THE DAILY BEAST
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, TPM
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES
PHIL RUCKER, WASHINGTON POST

That’s it. No Townhall.com, HotAir, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, National Review, Weekly Standard, American Spectator, or Washington Times … you get the picture.

Ed Morrissey responds:

Mother Jones? TPM? Great roll call you fellow had, there, for a lecture on conservatism. As far as I know, we didn’t get an invitation to this conference call, although to be fair we were so swamped with registration issues that we could have easily missed it. But if Team Romney wants to argue for conservative support — or at least to argue that conservatives shouldn’t support Gingrich — shouldn’t they be talking with conservative media to get that message out?

You’d think, right? Or maybe Team Mitt has been conditioned to do what the boss does and pay only lip service to conservatives while in reality doing underhanded things when they think conservatives aren’t paying close attention that will royally cheese them off.

Please, please, please tell me I’m not gonna have to vote for this guy in the general election. :-<

Putin claims Hillary responsible for Russian unrest

**Posted by Phineas

Okay, it’s no secret I’m not a fan of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. I think she’s as much of a Leftist as Barack Obama (if made more cautious by her drubbing in HillaryCare); she was nothing more than a moderately competent senator who carpetbagged her state; she only stayed married to Bill after his serial infidelities because he was her road to power; her conduct of our foreign policy has been mostly incompetent, and she’s given to Biden-esque fantasies. In other words, she is less than the dust on my boots.

And yet I may have to change my appraisal of her.

I mean, she scares Vladimir Putin:

Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin accused Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday of inciting unrest in Russia, as he grappled with the prospect of large-scale political protest for the first time in his more than decade-long rule.

In a rare personal accusation, Mr. Putin said Mrs. Clinton had sent “a signal” to “some actors in our country” after Sunday’s parliamentary elections, which were condemned as fraudulent by both international and Russian observers. Anger over the elections prompted a demonstration in which thousands chanted “Putin is a thief” and “Russia without Putin,” a development that has deeply unnerved the Kremlin.

Speaking to political allies as he announced the formation of his presidential campaign, Mr. Putin said that hundreds of millions of dollars in “foreign money” was being used to influence Russian politics, and that Mrs. Clinton had personally spurred protesters to action. The comments indicate a breakdown in the Obama administration’s sputtering effort to “reset” the relationship between the United States and Russia.

“I looked at the first reaction of our U.S. partners,” Mr. Putin said. “The first thing that the secretary of state did was say that they were not honest and not fair, but she had not even yet received the material from the observers.”

“She set the tone for some actors in our country and gave them a signal,” Mr. Putin continued. “They heard the signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began active work.”

Oh, that wily Hillary. With just a toss of her poorly-coiffed locks, she can send Russians into the streets to protest against the new Tsars. Such power she has! A former KGB operative quakes before her might! The guy who flattened Chechnya in a brutal campaign reminiscent of Stalingrad now quails before the threat posed by the former First Lady of the United States.

Yeah, right.

I may refer to her as “Lady Macbeth” (and accurately so, I claim), but what’s happening in Russia is a reflection of Russian disgust with yet another corrupt, rigged election. (Our problems are minor in comparison.) Putin is doing what comes naturally to tyrants, especially paranoid Russian rulers: looking for outsiders to distract his people from his own failings.

But, somehow, I don’t think the Russian people are buying it this time.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)