DC Trawler

TheDC Morning: Should Kagan be recusin’?

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1.) Steered science — As we all know, scientists are mighty, infallible wizards whom we mere mortals may not question. Once “scientific” “consensus” has been reached in a certain area of sorcery — such as, say, global warming — you can just shut up about how your taxes are being spent if you know what’s good for you.

Or not. TheDC’s Paul Conner reports:

“The Environmental Protection Agency has used bogus ‘press release science’ to defend analyses of how Clean Air Act regulations affect the public’s health while downplaying their economic costs, two congressmen declared Tuesday. In an unusually lengthy 11-page letter, Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris and Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun presented White House regulatory administrator Cass Sunstein with over half a dozen examples of administration officials using scientific figures that they said ‘test credibility.’ Sunstein heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a division of the White House Office of Management and Budget… The letter cites EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s claim before the House energy committee in September that ‘if we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer’ as ‘baseless and unsupported by science…’ Harris and Broun also blasted EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy’s September 15 statement before the science committee that the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule would prevent ‘up to 34,000 premature deaths a year.'”

Ugh, these Republicans. It’s like they think science is about building a body of knowledge based on observation and collection of evidence or something. “Science” is a word you throw at people to get them to stop disagreeing with you. Now shut up!

2.) CNN is having trouble convincing you Fast & Furious doesn’t matter — Eric Holder is having a tough week, but at least one largely unwatched cable news channel is trying to provide cover. TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports:

“A CNN reporter asked several congressmen on Tuesday why they think Attorney General Eric Holder should resign now instead of waiting for a long-overdue inspector general report on Operation Fast and Furious. ‘My question is, why now?’ the CNN reporter asked the near-dozen members of Congress on stage demanding Holder resign immediately. ‘Why not wait until the inspector general report comes out?’ The CNN reporter’s question came at Tuesday’s press conference where several members of Congress demanding Holder’s immediate resignation over Operation Fast and Furious amplified their calls. Before other members explained the serious ineptitudes the inspector general has exhibited, Florida Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida joked, pulling a line out of the Obama administration’s new rhetoric book, ‘We can’t wait!’ … DOJ Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar has not signaled at all when she plans to provide a report on the subject, but a CNN.com story stated that it ‘may be concluded before the end of the year.’ It’s unclear where CNN got that information, or if it’s pure speculation. Congressional Fast and Furious investigators have also cast significant doubt on whether Schnedar’s forthcoming report — whenever it comes out — can be at all objective or factual. Schnedar had, according to congressional investigators, handed audio recordings pertinent to the investigation over to subjects without even listening to them… CNN made no mention of the allegations about Schedar’s inability to fairly investigate Fast and Furious in its story.”

Remember when CNN was considered a news service? Why was that, anyway? The novelty of broadcasting people in business attire reading copy into a camera for more than half an hour a day wore off decades ago. If it weren’t for Daily Kos readers and airport lounges, who’d be left to watch?

3.) Should Kagan be recusin’? — Another day, another liberal tripped up by stuff she wrote down. TheDC’s C.J. Ciaramella reports:

“Newly released emails have renewed calls for inquiry into Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in defending the Obama administration’s health care reforms while she was solicitor general. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions issued a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday requesting answers to Kagan’s involvement after emails revealed Kagan enthusiastically supporting President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as possibly orchestrating legal defenses for the act… In a March 21, 2010 email exchange with Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who also served in the Justice Department at the time, Kagan expressed enthusiasm — so much so that it apparently required two exclamation points — at the news of the law’s impending passage through Congress. ‘I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,’ Kagan wrote to Tribe in one of the emails. At issue is whether Kagan, if she did work on the Obama administration’s legal defense strategy for the law, should recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court case to determine its constitutionality. According to 28 USC 455, Supreme Court justices must recuse themselves from ‘any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’ The law also says justices must recuse themselves if they have ‘expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy’ while serving in government employment.”

If you don’t think she should, why not? When do laws count and when don’t they?

4.) What’s Russian for “That explains it”? — Just because you’re an American citizen who hates the U.S. military doesn’t mean you’re a commie, does it? Welllllll… TheDC’s Christopher Bedford reports:

“Michael Avery, a Suffolk University Law School professor who made headlines for an email to colleagues calling care packages for United States soldiers abroad ‘shameful,’ attended the University of Moscow from 1968 through 1969, The Daily Caller has learned. Avery’s studies in the U.S.S.R. coincided with the height of the Cold War and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, punishing a period of liberalization known as ‘The Prague Spring.’ That 1968 invasion marked the launch of the ‘Brezhnev Doctrine,’ which declared: ‘When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries.’ Avery’s time studying in Moscow, then the epicenter of totalitarian expansionism, also corresponded with the height of the Vietnam War when thousands of Americans were serving and dying in combat against Soviet-backed forces. Fox affiliate WFXT-TV reported that in his five-paragraph email to colleagues protesting a school-wide care package drive for the holiday season, Avery wrote, ‘I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings.'”

So now we know that when Avery said “human beings,” he meant “tovarishchi.”

5.) Disarray DC — Occupy Wall Street got the ol’ heave-ho out of Zuccotti Park yesterday, which was a big hit with everyone in the neighborhood who’s trying to run a business and/or possesses a sense of smell. But how about the filthy, granny-trampling hooligans of Occupy DC? Will they be forced out of their Obamaville and told to go chant mindlessly somewhere else? Unlikely, as TheDC’s Caroline May reports:

“While the Occupy Wall Street crowd is being pushed out of their makeshift campsite at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the protesters at the Occupy D.C. encampments in Washington, D.C., are not quaking in their Birkenstocks out of fear of similar retribution. McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza, the two parks currently inhabited by members of the Occupy movement protesting corporate greed and influence, are under the purview of the National Park Service, which has no plans to evict the protesters anytime soon. According to Park Service spokesman Bill Line, the protesters at Freedom Plaza have obtained a permit that allows them to continue to camp out at the park until 10 p.m. on December 30. The occupiers in McPherson Square, however, can remain as long as they wish without a permit so long as their population stays below 500.”

Which is also their collective IQ! Good luck, hippies: Winter is coming.

P.S. Notice how Obama is out of the country as all these Democrat mayors are being forced to break up the Occupy camps they’ve tolerated for months, because they’re public hazards? What an odd coincidence…

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Alec Baldwin’s Truther, er, Twitter feed — “No one brandishes the word putz like Keith Olbermann: ow.ly/7v1dN”

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