Re: Kobach trial

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Made me wonder if they're hiring people right out of law school with zero real experience under their belt. My understanding is that if all you have done is gone to law school and pass the bar, you are still effectively unqualified to argue a case in court, or even plan it out.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:24 PM
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Doesn't explain Kobach personally. Looks like he clerked federally, then professored a few years, then DOJ for a few years under Bush, then his own political career which includes numerous lawsuits. Maybe he was cossetted with better lawyers around or under him until recently.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:27 PM
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I only personally know (or knew by this point) on of those 200 political scientists on the letter. I feel more people I know should have signed it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:29 PM
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2: Possibly the bar for "qualified" is lower for white male conservatives from states that have been completely dominated by Republicans.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:46 PM
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Kobach for some reason declined to be represented by the attorney general's office and is arguing the case exclusively with his own staff. They're lawyers, but this is not the kind of work they normally do at all, and it shows.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:51 PM
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Seeing his name repeatedly makes me want a kolache.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 12:56 PM
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Kobach for some reason declined to be represented by the attorney general's office and is arguing the case exclusively with his own staff.

This does seem like a strange choice. Still, even an attorney who is not a trial lawyer should be somewhat familiar with the rules of evidence, or at least know that s/he should take a look at them prior to trial.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 1:04 PM
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Making crazy shit up is a time-honored Republican tradition, and it's much more effective than the squares acknowledge. But I think it can become too much of a habit. Karl Rove mostly kept a grip on reality even as he engaged in relentless bullshit. But a lot of modern Republicans have lost the ability to discern the difference between crazy and not-crazy. That's going to hurt them sometimes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 1:24 PM
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This is some bush league nonsense, though. IA in no shape or form AL, but I have seen My Cousin Vinny, and I feel like I wouldn't try to pull some of this shit.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 2:25 PM
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That has to be among the most pointless and confusing uses of acronyms I've ever seen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 2:35 PM
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It's true, though. Iowa and Alabama are really not shaped similarly at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 2:57 PM
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I'm guessing foolishmortal is from Iowa, whereas My Cousin Vinny is set in Alabama, so you can kind of see how it all fits together.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 2:58 PM
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Iowa and Alabama are really not shaped similarly at all.

You're clearly not a topologist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 3:04 PM
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I am... a lawyer.
That was much clearer in my head.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 3:17 PM
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Paranoid theory that came to me while at the gym: This is intentionally bad lawyering to produce evidence of how terrible and abusive courts and judges are to the conservative cause. They don't think they'll win, so they'll generate culture war fodder.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 3:45 PM
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Why should Kobach attempt to make a coherent legal case? He and everyone else ripping up the voting rights act view the very notion that rich white men should have to play by the rules with hostility and so does every single conservative lawyer being churned out of Hillsdale University and so does approximately half of the Supreme Court. Why make a coherent legal case in hopes of getting a coherent legal ruling that might set an unintended precedent when you can just get carve-out after carve-out with a nod and a wink from guys like Neil Gorsuch who will just accept the most craven of arguments as long as they move us further in the direction of an anarcho-capitalist wasteland?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 4:12 PM
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15 is exactly how I see it. They're not trying to win the case, they're trying to set up a right-wing media feeding frenzy against those contemptuous activist judges.


Posted by: (gensym) | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 5:47 PM
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I've just dipped in and out of the twitter coverage. It's not surprising to me that a bunch of policy lawyers, especially of the far right variety, not only have trouble doing this right, but had no idea they wouldn't be just fine at it. Getting all your evidence in at trial is not all that easy even when stuff is generally going your way, and when you have blown deadlines in the scheduling order, federal courts can be amazingly difficult places to be.

My guess is that at this point, they're hoping not only to appeal to stupid right wingers in Kansas, but also hope maybe they'll get lucky with the draw at the Tenth Circuit. Goading the district judge might help them with the right panel.

I'm surprised that the AG would let Kobach do this. He's being sued in his official capacity to enjoin enforcement of a statute,* right? I can only think that (a) maybe there's some kind of wingnut Kansas political angle, with Kobach not wanting the AG to get any glory for defending Kansas from the hordes of illegal voters, or (b) the AG's office took a look at the statute, the controlling federal law, and the kind of fact-finding the Kansas legislature did before enacting the statute, and decided that the fight was unwinnable.

* If it's a regulation, you have the same calculus, just a different body that failed to do any reasonable fact-finding, and adopted a legal framework based solely on deceit and bigotry.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 7:03 PM
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18.1 In trial with competent experienced lawyers on all sides, you see plenty of objections being sustained, and plenty overruled, as the thing goes along. And evidence that was excluded one day might come in later, if some door has been opened through some other evidence that came in between the first and second tries. And you have to literally try everything you can think of, because if you don't the Tenth Circuit can't rule for you on a theory/factual circumstance you had the second time but not the first.

It does sound like the facts are no damn good, which of course makes it all the harder to put on a case.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 7:10 PM
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I got the impression the Kansas AG decided there was no winning the case, but I don't think I've read anything that laid it out clearly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-19-18 10:13 PM
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|| I'm not going to look up whether Justice Kagan's opinion today is the first to use the term "monster arguments" -- as in, to overcome the language of the statute, this party is going to need some monster arguments -- but it does strike me as a harbinger that we're accelerating towards the end of civilization. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 8:51 AM
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Oh please don't go! We'll work pro bono, we love you so!


Posted by: Opinionated Monsters | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 8:57 AM
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I've been struck by the same feeling even with very real wins (e.g. Lamb's election, PA de-gerrymandering) that have happened recently. America is a place with a great many conservative people and is now lacking any broadly accepted model for how to be conservative that doesn't involve some combination of white supremacy, pro-apocalyptic cheerleading, purposeful shittheadedness as a strategy, or the gleeful celebration of incompetence. That they are opposed by a majority isn't reassuring because it takes a supermajority to produce any positive change in America and because requiring everybody else to constantly strive just to keep things from falling apart is a recipe for disaster in the near term.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:01 AM
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whether Justice Kagan's opinion today is the first to use the term "monster arguments"

I still chuckle occasionally about the news report that mentioned Deutsche Bank's difficulties with "managing its mammoth loan portfolio".

Obviously you'd have difficulties; once someone's borrowed a mammoth, they won't want to give it back.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:20 AM
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Zoos loan each other elephants and give them back. More or less the same.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:23 AM
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There may be a job for you at Deutsche Bank.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:24 AM
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Mammoth futures can only grow.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:27 AM
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26: Remote? Because I might be looking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:32 AM
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21: The use of the term "monster" to mean unusually large/strong is well attested in academic literature.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:36 AM
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The problem with the mammoth portfolio is that no one went and took a look at the collateral. Marking to market on extinct security is a tough deal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:47 AM
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23: >is now lacking any broadly accepted model for how to be conservative that doesn't involve some combination of white supremacy, pro-apocalyptic cheerleading, purposeful shittheadedness as a strategy, or the gleeful celebration of incompetence.

It sounds like the Dragon of Chaos has defeated the King of Order and now rules the State of Gold. (As a friend said, it's like Jordan Peterson is one part Dale Carnegie, one part Milo, and one part first edition Dungeon Master's Guide.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:50 AM
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31 was me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:50 AM
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Those charts are just fucking worthless. I make lots of shitty charts, but I still want to hit Peterson over the head with a copy of Tufte or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:58 AM
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What the hell does "lapis" even mean when not bound in "lapis lazuli"?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 9:59 AM
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It just means "stone". So a lapidary is someone who cuts (precious) stones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:13 AM
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As Camus reminds us, we get from the same root "lap" - as in, running laps - derived from the myth of Sisyphus, epitomizing strenuous but ultimately futile cyclical labor.


Posted by: Opinionated Jordan Peterson | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:18 AM
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31 is amazing - it's like what happens when you decide to rewrite Foucault's Pendulum as a self-help book, but you outsource the rewrite to a moron with no sense of graphic design.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:19 AM
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I really enjoyed that book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:28 AM
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Me too. It wasn't quite as good as The Name of the Rose, but that still gave it room to be excellent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:29 AM
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Is the Chewbacca Defence a monster argument? Or is that racist against Wookies?

Terrible pun alert: One thing's for sure about a mammoth loan - it's not covenant-lite.

Slightly better pun that probably won't make sense to outsiders - "It's got hair on it".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:37 AM
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That they are opposed by a majority isn't reassuring because it takes a supermajority to produce any positive change in America

A reminder that CA couldn't write a budget for years under Schwarzenegger, and we joked here about it being a failed state and being taken into receivership.

Then we elected a supermajority and spent Governor Brown's first term cleaning up the budget, including eliminating the supermajority requirements for budgeting. Now we have higher taxes on millionaires and gasoline and a rainy day reserve. We also have a branch of Republicans who would like to be understood as reasonable, and who voted for cap-and-trade for ghg emissions (and got punished by it) and there are at least two Republican mayors that have super excellent city planning reputations. We also have a handful of gubernatorial candidates fighting to be leftmost. There is a path back to order, when the supermajority gets power and ignores the crazies.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:38 AM
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Are New Yorkers excited about Cynthia Nixon? I've heard there's a lot of 'anyone but Cuomo', but is there enough?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:49 AM
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There is a path back to order, when the supermajority gets power and ignores the crazies.

It also helps to have a bloc of extremely wealthy people supporting those policies.

Perhaps surprisingly given their wealth, the tech entrepreneurs strongly support taxation and redistribution: 83 percent support higher taxes on people making $1 million or more per year (76 percent support higher taxes on those making at least $250,000), while 59 percent support increasing spending on federal programs for the poor; only 6 percent support cutting them. And 82 percent say they support universal healthcare even if it requires raising taxes.

I'm not quite sure how the politics of Silicon Valley affect CA politics, but I would suspect that's an element that's difficult to replicate nationally.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:50 AM
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Well, sadly, until I get my way on secession, those same rich people are also rich people in America.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 10:57 AM
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Left-leaning tech money isn't not helpful but has a pretty limited impact on California politics (and a lot of tech money goes in the other direction). The difference from the rest of the country is that we have a ton of Latinos who vote and vote Democratic, which makes up for our white people who are (on net) only a little bit better than your average white person. That's pretty much it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 11:02 AM
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White people advance one funeral at a time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 11:05 AM
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On topic because fucknuts: Armed, violent, crazy liars who can't even see the derp when their wife says it's obvious derp. That's who's running the other side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 1:04 PM
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whether Justice Kagan's opinion today is the first to use the term "monster arguments"

Just learned today of a twitter account which tweets words the first time they appear in the New York Times: @NYT_first_said

Today brought "cisgenderness" for example. (They clearly also pick up typos as the latest is "involvedf.")


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 1:17 PM
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48 Yeah, that's a great account. A couple of weeks ago they had "hoboning".


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 7:12 PM
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Having sexual relations with a transient?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 7:15 PM
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I assume that's what is meant.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-20-18 7:23 PM
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