#BrettKimberlin update: @AaronWorthing wins free speech rights back! :-) (UPDATE: WORTHING SWATTED)

YEEEHAW! Read all about it here in a post by Walker (online name @AaronWorthing) himself.

While it’s important to note Aaron’s First Amendment rights have been restored (and a little over a week before July 4, no less!), it’s also important to note this (from Aaron’s post):

I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin of reprehensible conduct. In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  As you will see very soon, this kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even been within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  As you will see by the time I am done explaining what has been going on that this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.

While you’re there at his site, make sure to click the “donate” button on the right side column to help him out with legal expenses, too.  He and his wife both lost their jobs because of Brett Kimberlin’s despicable antics so they can use all the help they can get.  And continue to pray.

The fight is by no means over.  But this victory is HUGE. This is one court ruling from today that we can ALL celebrate. Congrats, Aaron.

Update 8:27 PM: Aaron reported the following on his Twitter account tonight:

B*stards struck again. D*mn.

Will Debbie Wasserman Schultz be out as DNC Chair after November?

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker has a link round-up of reports on the future of current DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Contra to the belief of many of us that she has been awful for the DNC (but great for the RNC), it sounds like she may be in for a promotion of sorts after November — but not due to any thought by the WH that she has done an effective job  in her current role (via):

The Florida political blog The Shark Tank is reporting that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is going to lose her position as spokestroll for the Democratic National Committee. This would be a smart move, considering  what an embarrassing  gaffe machine the sandpaper-voiced Congresswoman has been. But a report from the National Journal indicates, as sometimes happens, a smart move  is being taken by accident.  DWS is being considered for higher responsibilities, says the NJ.  

 Javier Manjarres writes in the Shark Tank:

According to our source within the Democratic Party, who is also a close associate of Wasserman Schultz, the arrangements have already been made for her to leave DNC  regardless if President Obama wins re-election or not.

This same source believes that Wasserman Schultz will be forced to resign behind closed doors and then stage an press event in which she tells Americans that her job as the DNC chair was a temporary one and that she is moving on with her congressional career.

  The National Journal has also picked up on the fact that she is indeed getting the boot from Obama-

 When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was tapped last year to lead the Democratic National Committee, it seemed like the latest ascension for a fast-rising star destined for even higher positions. Some stumbles and an apparent falling out of favor with the White House had changed that calculus. Now it looks like it could be changing again. -National Journal

In the same National Journal article it also states that Wasserman Schultz could eventually wind up as Speaker of the House were the Democrats ever to regain control and if former Speaker Pelosi were not to seek the position again.

 Of course, this is all unconfirmed at this point, so take it with a grain of salt.

If she were to be out as DNC Chair and voted in in any type of leadership position in the US House, whether Democrats are in the majority or not come November*, it would still be more advantageous for Republicans than Democrats – especially if she maintains the high profile she currently enjoys.  So, whatever happens, keep up the “good work”, Debbie. ;)

*Assuming her FL-20 GOP opponent Karen Harrington doesn’t defeat her in November.

#FastAndFurious – conspiracy or stupidity? And does it matter?

**Posted by Phineas

In a video last week, Bill Whittle asserted that the only explanation for Operation Fast and Furious was as an effort to undermine the Second Amendment and pave the way for strict gun control. It’s an argument made by others, notably Bob Owens at PJMedia, and it has a certain appeal, if only because there seems to be no other reason for such a stupid idea, an idea that got people killed.

But what if it was “locally-grown” stupidity? What if the ATF simply screwed up, and now the DoJ and the White House are trying to sweep weapons-grade idiocy under the rug? At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff cautions that we should be careful not to assume conspiracy when stupidity will suffice:

First, Fast and Furious does not appear to have been the brainchild of President Obama or Attorney General Holder. Rather, the program reportedly was formulated by the ATF in Phoenix in response to an edict from Washington to focus on eliminating arms trafficking networks, as opposed to capturing low-level buyers, as had occurred under traditional interdiction programs. If Fast and Furious had been the product of a conspiracy by the administration to promote gun control legislation, the program would have come from the top down, not from the bottom up.

Now, it’s possible that a thorough review of documents would show that, contrary to current understanding, the plan originated in the White House or with Eric Holder. But it seems unlikely. For if this had happened, those who have been blamed for the program would likely have said they were following edicts from the highest reaches of the government.

Eric Holder’s claim that he knew nothing about Fast and Furious is implausible. But this doesn’t mean that he and/or the president came up with the idea. As far as I know, there is no evidence as of now that either did.

He goes on to argue that the “pursuit of gun control” theory is unpersuasive be cause a) Americans just don’t care enough about violence in Mexico to demand stricter gun control here and b) the idea of supplying guns to Mexican cartels carries such risks for the administration (as we’re seeing play out now) that it doesn’t pass the rationality test for Holder and Obama to actually do this.

Finally, there’s the question of why, then, would Holder patently lie to Congress and why would Obama try to shield him by invoking a weak form of executive privilege? Mirengoff argues:

In reality, cover-ups typically stem from a quintessentially non-ideological motive – the desire to escape blame and stay out of trouble.

What kind of trouble? The administration may be motivated by the desire to cover up evidence that the Attorney General knowingly and deliberately lied to Congress. It may want to cover up evidence that Holder knew plenty about Fast and Furious and/or that Obama did too.

But it’s unlikely that the administration invoked executive privilege to cover up evidence that it formulated or authorized Fast and Furious in order to promote an ideological agenda.

Read the whole thing. Mirengoff’s a lawyer and he looks at the question with an attorney’s logic.

As for myself… I don’t know. Both sides make plausible arguments regarding the “why,” and my natural predilection is to assume incompetence before malice, so call me a fence-sitter on this question.

On the other hand, the reasons for Fast and Furious and for the administration’s coverup are less important than what we do know as fact:

  • The United States government, through the Department of Justice and its subordinate agencies, not just allowed but encouraged the illegal sales of firearms to Mexican drug cartels, said cartels being in an effective state of war with the government of Mexico, our ally.
  • Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered, shot in the back with a weapon supplied through Fast and Furious.
  • ICE Agent Jaime Zapata was ambushed and killed outside Mexico City, while he was working to intercept firearms supplied through Fast and Furious.
  • Hundreds of Mexicans –soldiers, civilians, and police– have died via weapons supplied through Fast and Furious.

As long as we fix our minds to these facts and unrelentingly demand accountability of our government and justice for the dead, we’ll learn the reasons for this whole sordid, squalid mess.

RELATED: A “Fast and Furious” whistleblower once himself proposed gunwalking. Earlier posts on Operation Fast and Furious.

LINK: And on the “gun control may have been the objective” side we can now add Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who’s been leading the charge to investigate Fast and Furious. (via Hot Air) Like I said above, at this point, the reasons for Fast and Furious are less important than the deaths it caused.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#ObamaCare ruling to come down today from #SCOTUS? UPDATED: Thursday is the day?

Fox News reports that both sides are bracing, and are preparing responses in advance of the ruling:

Republicans and Democrats are girding for a politically explosive week as the Supreme Court prepares to rule as early as Monday on the federal health care overhaul.

The ruling, as campaign advisers are well aware, has the potential to re-shape this year’s presidential race. For weeks, each party has been positioning itself to make the best of whatever outcome emerges from the tight-lipped justices.

And the implications go far beyond the 2012 election. The outcome of the health care case, involving one of the most divisive domestic policies in modern times, will affect millions of Americans. Calling for the law’s survival, supporters trumpet the expanded consumer protections and subsidies that make insurance more available and affordable. Calling for its defeat, critics blast what they describe as an unconstitutional requirement to buy health insurance, and warn the law will pummel businesses with its mandates and fines.

In the run-up to the historic ruling, each party is crafting a game-plan.

House Speaker John Boehner this past week cautioned the GOP ranks against “spiking” the ball if the mandate is struck down. He and other Republicans say the party will remain focused on repealing whatever parts of the law remain following the upcoming ruling. And, they say, they’ll pursue “step-by-step” reforms to replace the law no matter the court’s decision.

[…]

In a memo to colleagues, House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, urged members to prepare for three possible rulings: a full repeal, a partial repeal involving the mandate or a law left intact.

[…]

While publicly expressing confidence that the law will be upheld, both the White House and congressional Democrats are said to be quietly planning for the possibility of at least a repeal of the mandate.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted that this outcome could threaten the entire law. “You have to have the mandate in order for this to work from a financial standpoint,” she said.

If the ruling comes down this morning, I’m not sure if I’ll have the time to blog about it right away outside of noting the ruling itself. Stay tuned to the SCOTUS Blog for further developments and, of course, feel free to comment here. If I’m not mistaken, rulings are usually released to the public at 10 a.m. ET.

*Bites nails nervously*

Phineas butts in: ST will have to keep biting her nails for a few days more. The court issued two rulings today, including a partial upholding of Arizona’s immigration law, but nothing about ObamaCare. That means we probably find out Thursday. Who knew the Justices were such teases? To give you something to think about until then, here’s an interesting observation from Bryan Preston at PJM:

A poll of former SCOTUS clerks finds that a majority expect the individual mandate to go down. By 57 to 35 percent, the former clerks now expect the mandate to get struck down, which is a 22-point swing from March, prior to six hours of oral arguments that the court entertained. Additionally, 79% of those clerks now see the individual mandate as either only partially severable or not severable from the rest of ObamaCare. If the justices see it the same way, striking down the mandate is more likely than not to mean striking down the entire law.

That would be sweet, wouldn’t it?