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Judging Rudy

Which way will his judges lean? Also: Ken Burns' abs. Paul Revere's last ride. Moore costs. Iraq dissents. Plus: Electric rides.

7.19.07

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COMMITMENT TO NOMINATE
Re: Jennifer Rubin's Why Judges Matter:

Jennifer Rubin writes of "[Giuliani's] commitment to nominate conservative judges," but what are conservative voters to put more weight on, a "commitment to nominate" or an actual record of nominating? The evidence of the latter, or more accurately lack thereof, is fairly well documented in Politico.com's Ben Smith's "Giuliani Judges Lean Left."

Almost all of the literature on Mayor Giuliani's record indicates that he is rock solid on effectively protecting the public against crime, and doing so by using existing law to full advantage. All of the reduction during his term of the NYC murder rate, from over 2,000 per year to just over 600, was done without one new "gun control" law. It is reasonable to infer that President Giuliani would put the same effort into effectively protecting the country against international dangers, and again doing so by using existing law to full advantage. The same laws in the hands of Democrats, municipal and national, resulted in 2,000 New Yorkers murdered each year, and the willful failure to take the fight to the enemy resulting in the 3,000 New Yorkers dying in the WTC attacks.

But it is not sufficient to nominate judges who will enforce the law, if that means enforcing precedent, because there is a record of bad precedent dating back to the Warren Court, and it will take decades of the most conservative judges in every respect to restore the law to some semblance of original constitutional intention. And there is no evidence that a President Giuliani has any ambition to do that. "Commitment to nominate" is not evidence.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

Ms. Rubin writes to win over conservatives, who are still thinking, "None of the above." Rudy Giuliani, considered too liberal on some core social issues, has revealed his choices for the judiciary. Ms. Rubin is rather insightful. The grass root supporters can be won over with a promise of a "big bone," especially one that is chuck full of red meat. Unless the currents of momentum change directions before the autumn of 2008, a Republican president is going to have face down a hostile (i.e., Democratic) Congress in all areas of policy, especially appointments to the bench. Not all presidents have the courage to spend "political capital" on this endeavor. Would Da Mayor of America be willing to fight for what he believes in? Even a popular President Reagan folded under pressure when his nominee was "Borked." While the Boy President was sometimes (rightfully) called "The Teflon President" because nothing stuck to him, President Giuliani might be earn the appellation of "The Iron Frying Pan President": sure, lots of dirt will stick, but a frying pan is too hard to be broken down by dirt. Giuliani will never be the "prettiest" president, but like an iron pan, he will be one of the hardest. In these tempestuous times, strong beats pretty every time.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York

I find Jennifer Rubin's editorial laughable and unimaginative -- did she plagiarize from a GOP "how to scare Americans" playbook? The truth is, Republicans want "strict constructionists" AKA "Judges who kiss the butts of radical conservatives" appointed to bench because they know EXACTLY how they will rule -- they will rule however James Dobson, Tony Perkins and the rest of the Radical American Taliban tell them to rule. It's the pot calling the kettle black to say that any judgment in favor of a more Liberal (you know PROGRESSIVE) situation is "legislation from the bench," but that any judgment for a more Conservative (staying the norm or going backwards) policy is "calling it as the law says."

It appears that Jennifer Rubin has gone through Karl Rove's "mind-wipe" school of Conservatism.

Thanks!
-- Bradley Shropshire
Vice President of Collections Management
Hudson & Keyse, L.L.C.
Painesville, Ohio

Ms. Rubin is right on the mark. We had three couples visit for a cookout this weekend. All six are anti-abortion conservatives. Four derive their positions from Catholic theology. All are very sympathetic to a Giuliani candidacy. Playing "devil's advocate," I probed why, given their views on abortion. Justification: he would appoint conservative justices!
-- Paul

HOW IT BURNS
Re: Iain Murray & Ivan Osorio's The War Over The War:

I am absolutely ecstatic that a liberal icon like Ken Burns, and a liberal bastion like PBS are being flamed by such liberal "I am offended" groups for committing a liberal no no. Every time a liberal individual or group is skewered by their own ideology's agenda, I want to run and shout and do a little Snoopy dance of joy. I can only cry, "More, more!!!!"

Did you know that not a single Union soldier died during our American Civil War? Yep, ask Ken Burns. If you page through his book that came out at the same time as his documentary movie on that conflict, of all the pictures of dead soldiers on the battlefield, every one, 100%, are of Confederate soldiers. Similarly, every picture of brutal, vicious prisoner of war camps portrays Confederate hellholes. I can only conclude that any prisoner of war camps that may have been operated by the Union were sympathetic, humane, retreats that concentrated on winning the hearts and minds of the Rebels by supreme niceness.

Go ahead, Ken Burns, suffer. See what it feels like to endure the character attack avalanche that Conservatives know all too well from the Left that you are a proud, elite member of. You made your bed, now wallow in it.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

In their discussion of the Ken Burns documentary on WW II and the outcry by "Hispanics," Iain Murray & Ivan Osorio wrote, "Private broadcasters don't get PBS-style government funding, but, by arguing that they broadcast on 'the public's airwaves,' politicians can abrogate themselves the power to scrutinize every documentary, sitcom, and reality show."

The definition of the word "abrogate" is, "To annul, cancel repeal or destroy." The word that these gentlemen meant to use was "arrogate," which means, "To take or claim for oneself without right; appropriate."
-- W. B. Heffernan, Jr.

Hate to nitpick, but it was French premier, Georges Clemenceau during World War I who said, "War is too important to be left to the generals." Otherwise, a good article, and kudos to Ken Burns and PBS for not caving. It's high time we start to drive a stake into the heart of PC and kill it once and for all.
-- D. Moroco
Colonel, USMCR (Ret.)
Quantico, VA

Just a note -- politicians "arrogate" power to themselves, not "abrogate," under the so-called, Orwellian, Fairness Doctrine.
-- P.A. Melita
Charlottesville, Virginia

MOORE THE MERRIER
Re: David Hogberg & Paul Gessing's A Democrat Congress Means Rising Health Costs:

Mr. Hogberg must be wrong! I just saw Michael Moore's propaganda piece Sicko. Clearly once the Democrats get the government running health care and forcing a "one-size-fits-all" health care system it will be free for us all. Michael Moore said so!

Just like in Europe, where wonderful health care is free to all. One has only to look at the confiscatory taxes in those countries to see how free all the social welfare benefits are. And, I might point out, those countries do not have nearly the numbers of sick lame and lazy we have here. Nor do they have an invasion of millions of people seeking the benefits without paying the cost of them. Yes, America is a wonderfully benevolent place, which shortly will become Mexico and then how will we pay the costs?

Of course while he entirely depends on apocryphal stories to make his point he deplores it when used against his viewpoint. I just see the VA healthcare system being expanded with all its shortcomings. If we can't take care of our most important citizens, soldiers and veterans, what makes us think we can take care of 300,000,000 people?
-- Jay W. Molyneaux

KNOW NOTHINGS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Not Their Finest Hour:

I suppose you can take Winston Churchill out of the British schools. I suppose it's attributable to the schools being run by people who have interests---and agendas---of their own.

It happens here, too. Once at a small family gathering, the name of Paul Revere came up. From their answers, the older relatives figured the youngsters really had no idea who Paul Revere was. Not the facts, not the legends, no "listen my children and you shall hear," nothing.

We went through all the "what are they teaching in their schools?" attitudes and positions, but in the end, wound up with only sadness. And worry. If they don't know Paul Revere, who's next? And just what are they teaching in the schools?
-- Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

NOT BUYING
Re: Jeff Emanuel's A Surge in Ignorance and Defeatism:

Before accepting Jeff Emanuel's assessment about how we are doing in Iraq, I recommend that you read the latest National Intelligence Estimate and the results of Army and Joint Forces Command sponsored war game titled Unified Quest 2007. The game was conducted at the Army War College (reported by DeYoung and Ricks in the Washington Post).

While neither will lead you to an epiphany about the right course of action in Iraq, neither will they lead you to the conclusion that we are winning in Iraq and should stay the course in order to avoid the horrific consequences predicted by the administration.

Of all the assertions in Mr. Emanuel's article, many unsupported by any evidence, the one I found most incredible was that the American people lack accurate information about this war. With this administration's fabled ability to get its talking points covered by the mainstream media and into conservative talk show host's programs, I can't, for a second, believe that Mr. Emanuel's "accurate information" wouldn't be there if it existed.

I am beginning to see a theme developing in the media: Regardless of what General Petraeus reports, September will be too soon to make any judgments about Iraq and the 18 benchmarks are not all that important to assessing how the Iraqi government is doing. Mr. Emanuel appears to be a part of this emerging media blitz.
-- Mike Roush
North Carolina

A SALT AND BATTERY
Re: Eric Peters's Electric Shock:

An excellent article about the limitations of battery powered automobiles. I suggest one thing to add.

Every discussion of all-electric car range (and other drivability issues) must include a reference to the effects of climate. Specifically, batteries perform poorly in cold or very hot climates. Additionally, heaters and air conditioners must operate even while the car is stopped in traffic.

What will those recharge distances be in Michigan or New York in January? Or Phoenix in July?

Or will these all electrics be used only in the south or in the Spring and Fall?

I remain unimpressed by battery powered automobiles for general use until a battery technology breakthrough has occurred, and brought enormous improvement in both charge capacity vs. weight and charge capacity vs. cost.
-- Rich Renken
Ballwin, Missouri

Eric Peters' "Electric Shock" misinforms the public by parrotting oil and auto industry myths about electric vehicles (EVs.)

He writes: ."..innuendoes floated by conspiracy theorists who believe the world's largest automaker was more interested in suppressing electric vehicle technology."

In 2002, General Motors (now the #2 maker) sued in Federal court (along with some of its California dealers and Chrysler) to void the California mandate to produce EVs. From the beginning of its pinched and bizarre EV test-marketing, GM under-produced and refused to offer the EV1 for sale.

Mr. Peters even invents a new myth: .".. being stuck in an unanticipated traffic jam, for example -- and watching the "charge" meter slide."

EVs use no electricity at a stop, and are far more energy -- efficient than gas cars in stop-and-go traffic.

He blunders onward: "Several electric car prototypes have achieved on the order of 150-200 miles on a single charge.
But these prototypes were bereft of the mandated extras that Uncle Sam insists you must have."

200-mile EVs are selling now: President Bush was photographed next to a Phoenix Motors EV in front of the White House this year. Phoenix and Tesla production EVs meet all US DOT safety standards.

Finally, old oil/auto boilerplate: "In order for one to achieve a consumer-acceptable range, it must be lighter -- absent some as-yet-unrealized breakthrough in battery technology."

GM plans to use lightweight lithium batteries in its Volt, going on sale in 2010. Equipped with more-advanced lithium batteries, EVs will weigh less than their gas-powered cousins.

Most reporters now know the facts about EVs; hatchet-job stories like the Spectator's are fading from mainstream media.

See EVWorld.com for accurate information on present-day EVs.

Breathe free,
-- Hugh E Webber
Florida Chapter, Electric Auto Association

It seems that your author, Eric Peters, hasn't even seen Who Killed the Electric Car. If he had, he would know that Stan Ovshinsky, the inventor of nickel metal hydride, has been waiting to take the U.S. out of its carbon misery for a long, long time. And, regarding the EV-1's price tag, I was one of tens of thousands who would have loved to have leased a car with one of Stan batteries in it.
-- Michael Sales
Waltham, Massachusetts

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