March 23, 2006

Value Addled

Patrick Hynes responds to an AmSpecBlog post of mine by fleshing out his criticism of David Brooks and Charles Krauthammer. I don't think he defeats what I said in my post-election AmSpec column was the best refutation of the it-was-all-about-values CW, John Hood's; I'd note in particular that I am not ignoring Weekly Mass attendees, because Hood addresses them and other regular churchgoers:

I found that the percentage of voters sampled who said they attended church at least weekly was the same—42 percent—in both 2000 and 2004. The percentage never attending church was also the same, at 15 percent. The middle group, those attending occasionally, was, you guessed it, 42 percent each time. Interestingly, while Bush slightly improved his standing among frequent churchgoers, by about a point in 2004, his support grew by 3 to 4 points among those attending seldom or never.
It is interesting to note that Hynes has gone over the Brooks and Krauthammer columns in the course of research for his book, and therefore must know that the thrust of their argument wasn't that values voters were a myth, but that their importance was overstated. The question becomes: When Hynes wrote...
David Brooks, writing in the New York Times, declared the moral values voter a "myth." Over at the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer said moral values voters were a "myth."
...was he just being a sloppy writer, or did he make a conscious decision to lie?

Posted by John Tabin at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

Why We Fight Club

I enter the "'To Hell With Them' Hawks" debate in today's AmSpec column.

Posted by John Tabin at 12:15 AM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2006

Dubai Debacle

In today's AmSpec column, I do a post-mortem on the ports deal and find no heroes.

Posted by John Tabin at 12:20 AM | Comments (1)

March 07, 2006

"The Man is Simply Amazing"

Over at AmSpecBlog I've noted the bankruptcy judge who cited Billy Madison in dressing down a debtor. More background in the Fark thread, from Nathan Cace ("Lawdude"):

I have had the pleasure of practicing bankruptcy law in front of Judge Clark, and the man is simply amazing. He does not put up with crap from anyone, and everytime I see a case I am working on assigned to his court, I know that things will go smoothly because he is known to do this kind of thing to idiot lawyers and pro se debtors.

A couple of side notes...

First, bankruptcy judges do not have life tenure. Bankruptcy judges derive their power from Article I of the Constitution, while all other federal judges derive their power from Article III of the Constitution, and are appointed to serve twelve year terms. However, Judge Clark is so highly respected that all he has to do is ask and he is re-appointed.

Second, and this is from a lecture I heard from Judge Clark himself directed at opposing counsel, who just happened to be an absolute idiot. The automatic stay in bankruptcy is the most powerful judicial action in the United States. The second a bankruptcy case is filed, the automatic stay kicks in and creditors are prevented from taking ANY actions to attempt to collect that debt without the court's approval. This applies to the IRS, any state collection activity, and in my case, mortgage lenders (who my firm normally represents in these bankruptcy hearings).

What happens is that the second people fall behind on their mortgage and the lender starts foreclosure proceedings, most of these debtors run off and file bankruptcy. The automatic stay then prevents my client from foreclosing on the property. However, this process is often abused, with some parties filing bankruptcies one after another in an effort to keep their house. While this is technically not allowed, it is a pain in the butt and can get expensive for a creditor to stop.

Judge Clark is on the leading edge of judges who proactivly go after debtors who abuse the bankruptcy process, and I love the man for it.

If we had more judges like Judge Clark the world would be a much better place.

Another Farker provides a link to the motion (.pdf) that Clark denied "for incomprehensibility"; the defendant, needless to say, is representing himself. Warning: You may be "dumber for having [read] it."

Posted by John Tabin at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)