Tuesday, June 26, 2012



We are all former presidents of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Some of us are Democrats. Some of us are Republicans. Some of us are Independents. We are united in our strong support for Keith Hampton’s bid to unseat Judge Sharon Keller as Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Click here to help Keith’s campaign.

As you know, Judge Sharon Keller brought national embarrassment to the Texas judiciary and legal system when she so famously shut the courthouse doors at 5 p.m. to a death-sentenced inmate whose lawyers had meritorious claims which would have saved his life. Her quip reverberated throughout the state: “We close at 5,” she said.

For this supreme act of judicial recklessness, she was condemned by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. She was also fined a record $100,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for concealing her millions in assets when she asked taxpayers to pay for her defense. For a sitting judge, the record can’t get worse. It is time for her to go.

Please make a contribution to Keith’s campaign by clicking here. Whatever your area of practice or political affiliation, this campaign is crucial to the state and national reputation of our courts. This race is about restoring justice on our state’s highest criminal court. 
If you don’t know Keith, let us introduce you.
  • He has handled death penalty cases at every stage in state and federal court, including the United States Supreme Court (where he won). 
  • He has worked with lawmakers on criminal justice reforms, including DNA testing for inmates to prove their innocence, Veterans Courts to help wounded vets, life without parole as an option for Texas juries in death cases, assistance to the mentally disabled, among his many other accomplishments. 
  • He won the State Bar “Lawyer of the Year” Award in 2008, and won the Judicial Bar Poll this year
  • He has made the list of Texas Super Lawyers every year for the last ten years, something less than 1% of lawyers can say. 
  • He is a prolific writer, having authored or co-authored three books and four law journal articles. 
  • He has earned the respect of lawmakers of both parties, and was appointed to select committees and task forces by Governor George Bush and Supreme Court Justice John Cornyn. 
  • He is the only lawyer in Texas to win a death-sentence commutation from Governor Rick Perry. For more on his outstanding candidacy, go to his website at HamptonforJudge.com.
While Keith was earning the highest rating in ethical standards and legal skills by his peers, Judge Keller was being punished by the Texas Ethics Commission. While Keith was working to establish innocence clinics throughout Texas, Judge Keller was working to deny judicial relief to innocent people. The choice in this race could not be more clear. Please make a donation today, and let’s ensure Texas has a judiciary our profession can be proud of.
Betty Blackwell  l  Ed Mallett  l  Mark Daniel  l  Vincent Perini  l  Michael Heiskell
Scrappy Holmes  l  George Gilkerson  l  Rick Hagen  l  Bill Wischkaemper  l  Charlie Butts
David Bires  l  Ron Goranson  l  David Botsford  l  Dan Hurley  l  Kent Schaffer l Craig Jett
Gerry Morris l Bob Hinton l Randy Wilson l Bill Harris l Tim Evans l Cynthia Orr

Sunday, June 24, 2012



Dems Admit Obama’s Not Eligible
June 23, 2012 By Doug Book


Obama Official Portrait SC 752x1024 Dems Admit Obamas Not Eligible

Weary of defending in court the Constitutional eligibility of their man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Democrat Party has finally admitted Barack Obama is not qualified to be president of the United States– and that it doesn’t matter.

According to a motion filed by Party attorneys in a Tennessee eligibility lawsuit, “…Defendants [the Tennessee Democrat Party and the Democrat National Committee] assert that the Tennessee Democrat Party has the right to nominate whoever it chooses to run as a candidate, including someone who is not qualified for the office.”

In numerous previous lawsuits questioning the Constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama, Democrats have maintained that voters, not the Constitution, should be the final arbiters of presidential eligibility. Though a disgraceful assertion on its face, such mindless rambling was about all that desperate Democrat attorneys had in their arsenals, apart from the perpetually employed “plaintiffs lack standing” defense.

But now, the cat is out of the bag, and the true sentiments of Democrat Party officials have finally been aired. It seems that, according to the left, as long as the acting president has the requisite contempt for the United States, is willing to work tirelessly to destroy the national economy, and will ignore both the rule of law and his Constitutional duty to enforce it, he is eminently qualified to hold the country’s top job.

In February, Georgia Administrative Judge Michael Malihi ignored Supreme Court precedent, made a shambles of case law, and distorted the rulings of other courts in a pathetically obvious mission to find Barack Obama eligible for the Georgia presidential ballot. Although the first judge to decide an Obama eligibility case on the merits, his contempt for an honest judicial process certainly did nothing to mend the rapidly deteriorating reputation of the American legal system.

On Wednesday, United States District Judge S. Thomas Anderson joined a long list of robed colleagues, ruling that plaintiffs in the Tennessee case “lacked standing” to point out Obama’s Constitutional ineligibility for the presidency. That is, plaintiffs could not claim sufficient personal harm should the Manchurian Candidate remain in or be re-elected to the White House.

Strange how the law works. After 3 ½ years of cynical disregard for the borders, language, and culture of the United States, one would think that some 240 million people have suffered “sufficient personal harm” to claim legal standing for a crack at His Royal Highness in a court of law! There are only 30 million illegals currently residing in the United States, and those the Attorney General refers to as “his people” might actually lack legal standing in the eyes of an honest arbiter.

At any rate, Democrats have finally admitted what the rest of us have known for quite some time. Barack Obama is NOT qualified to hold the job won for him by the national media in 2008. But it seems only the voters will have the authority to reclaim it from him. God willing, the vast majority who exercise that authority in November will be both American and alive.

Friday, June 22, 2012



Mark Steyn: Obama the first Invented-American president

Syndicated columnist

Courtesy of David Maraniss' new book, we now know that yet another key prop of Barack Obama's identity is false: His Kenyan grandfather was not brutally tortured or even non-brutally detained by his British colonial masters. The composite gram'pa joins an ever-swelling cast of characters from Barack's "memoir" who, to put it discreetly, differ somewhat in reality from their bit parts in the grand Obama narrative.

The best friend at school portrayed in Obama's autobiography as "a symbol of young blackness" was, in fact, half Japanese, and not a close friend. The white girlfriend he took to an off-Broadway play that prompted an angry post-show exchange about race never saw the play, dated Obama in an entirely different time zone, and had no such world-historically significant conversation with him.

His Indonesian step-grandfather, supposedly killed by Dutch soldiers during his people's valiant struggle against colonialism, met his actual demise when he "fell off a chair at his home while trying to hang drapes."

David Maraniss is no right-winger, and can't understand why boorish nonliterary types have seized on his book as evidence that the president of the United States is a Grade A phony. "It is a legitimate question about where the line is in memoir," he told Soledad O'Brien on CNN.

My Oxford dictionary defines "memoir" as "an historical account or biography written from personal knowledge." And if Obama doesn't have "personal knowledge" of his tortured grandfather, war-hero step-grandfather and racially obsessed theater-buff girlfriend, who does?

But in recent years, the Left has turned the fake memoir into one of the most prestigious literary genres: Oprah's Book Club recommended James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces," hailed by Bret Easton Ellis as a "heartbreaking memoir" of "poetic honesty," but subsequently revealed to be heavy on the "poetic" and rather light on the "honesty." The "heartbreaking memoir" of a drug-addled street punk who got tossed in the slammer after brawling with cops while high on crack with his narco-hooker girlfriend proved to be the work of some suburban Pat Boone type with a couple of parking tickets. (I exaggerate, but not as much as he did.)
Article Tab: File: This undated file photo released by Obama for America shows President Barack Obama as a young boy, and his father, also named Barack Obama.
File: This undated file photo released by Obama for America shows President Barack Obama as a young boy, and his father, also named Barack Obama.

Oprah was also smitten by "The Education of Little Tree," the heartwarmingly honest memoir of a Cherokee childhood which turned out to be concocted by a former Klansman whose only previous notable literary work was George Wallace's "Segregation Forever" speech.

"Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood" is a heartbreakingly honest, poetically searing, searingly painful, painfully honest, etc., account of Binjamin Wilkomirski's unimaginably horrific boyhood in the Jewish ghetto of Riga and the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. After his memoir won America's respected National Jewish Book Award, Mr. Wilkomirski was inevitably discovered to have been born in Switzerland and spent the war in a prosperous neighborhood of Zurich being raised by a nice middle-class couple. He certainly had a deprived childhood, at least from the point of view of a literary agent pitching a memoir to a major publisher. But the "unimaginable" horror of his book turned out to be all too easily imagined.

Fake memoirs have won the Nobel Peace Prize and are taught at Ivy League schools to the scions of middle-class families who take on six-figure debts for the privilege ("I, Rigoberta Menchu"). They're handed out by the Pentagon to senior officers embarking on a tour of Afghanistan (Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea") on the entirely reasonable grounds that a complete fantasy could hardly be less credible than current NATO strategy.

In such a world, it was surely only a matter of time before a fake memoirist got elected as president of the United States. Indeed, the aforementioned Rigoberta Menchu ran as a candidate in the 2007 and 2011 presidential elections in Guatemala, although she got knocked out in the first round – Guatemalans evidently being disinclined to elect someone to the highest office in the land with no accomplishment whatsoever apart from a lousy fake memoir. Which just goes to show what a bunch of unsophisticated rubes they are.

In an inspired line of argument, Ben Smith of the website BuzzFeed suggests that the controversy over "Dreams From My Father" is the fault of conservatives who have "taken the self-portrait at face value." We are so unlettered and hicky that we think a memoir is about stuff that actually happened rather than a literary jeu d'esprit playing with nuances of notions of assumptions of preconceptions of concoctions of invented baloney.

And so we regard the first member of the Invented-American community to make it to the White House as a kinda weird development rather than an encouraging sign of how a new post-racial, post-gender, post-modern America is moving beyond the old straitjackets of black and white, male and female, gay and straight, real and hallucinatory.

The question now is whether the United States itself is merely the latest chapter of Obama's fake memoir. You'll notice that, in the examples listed above, the invention only goes one way. No Cherokee orphan, Holocaust survivor or recovering drug addict pretends to be George Wallace's speechwriter. Instead, the beneficiaries of boring middle-class Western life seek to appropriate the narratives and thereby enjoy the electric frisson of fashionable victim groups. And so it goes with public policy in the West at twilight.

Thus, Obama's executive order on immigration exempting a million people from the laws of the United States, is patently unconstitutional, but that's not how an NPR listener looks at it: To him, Obama's unilateral amnesty enriches stultifying white-bread America with a million plucky little Rigoberta Menchus and their heartbreaking stories.

Eric Holder's entire tenure as attorney general is a fake memoir all by itself, and his invocation of "executive privilege" in the Fast & Furious scandal is preposterous, but American liberals can't hear: Insofar as they know anything about Fast & Furious, it's something to do with the government tracking the guns of fellows like those Alabama "Segregation Forever" nuts, rather than a means by which hundreds of innocent Rigoberta Menchus south of the border were gunned down with weapons sold to their killers by liberal policy-makers of the Obama administration. If that's the alternative narrative, they'll take the fake memoir.

Similarly, Obamacare is apparently all about the repressed patriarchal white male waging his "war on women." The women are struggling 30-year-old Georgetown Law coeds whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year, but let's not get hung up on details. Dodd-Frank financial reform, also awaiting Supreme Court judgment, is another unconstitutional power grab, but its designated villains are mustache-twirling top-hatted bankers, so, likewise, who cares?

One can understand why the beneficiaries of the postwar West's expansion of middle-class prosperity would rather pass themselves off as members of way-cooler victim groups: it's a great career move. It may even have potential beyond the page: See Sandra Fluke's dazzling pre-Broadway tryout of "Fake Memoir: The High School Musical," in which a 30-year-old Georgetown Law coed whose starting salary after graduation is 140 grand a year passes herself off as the Little Rigoberta Hussein Wilkomirski of the Rite-Aid pick-up line. But transforming an entire nation into a fake memoir is unlikely to prove half so lucrative. The heartwarming immigrants, the contraceptive-less coeds, the mustache-twirling bankers all provide cover for a far less appealing narrative: an expansion of centralized power hitherto unknown to this republic. In reality, Obama's step-grandfather died falling off the chair while changing the drapes. In the fake-memoir version, Big Government's on the chair, and it's curtains for America.


Saturday, June 9, 2012



Getting burned by biofuels

Energy firms are caught in green-credit crossfire


    When individuals attempt to solve a problem and end up creating unforeseen troubles, it’s called the law of unintended consequences. When government does it, it’s called the law of the land.

    In its zeal for regulation, the federal leviathan has invented a market for something called renewable-fuel credits and, not surprisingly, it’s filled with fraud. Businesses are getting swindled and Uncle Sam’s unsympathetic response is “heads I win, tails you lose.”

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implement a Renewable Fuel Standard forcing fuel refiners to dilute their petroleum products with vegetable oil, corn, algae and animal fat so companies that label themselves “green” would reap a financial windfall. Refiners who can’t make those substances on their own are allowed to buy renewable-fuel credits to meet their federal quota. Each credit carries a 38-digit renewable identification number (RIN) as proof of purchase. The credits can be traded.

    As this is an entirely artificial market that serves no purpose other than to make politicians and their political donors happy, it’s rife with fraud. Since November, the EPA has claimed 140 million invalid RINs have been sold. The agency alleges 48 million bogus credits came from Absolute Fuels of Texas, netting about $62 million. Another 32 million were purportedly sold by Clean Green Fuel LLC in Maryland for $9 million, and 60 million were marketed by Green Diesel of Texas, worth $84 million.

    House Republicans expect the scam to hit at least 300 million fake credits. “Unfortunately, the production of and trade in fraudulent or invalid RINs has developed into a large and growing problem,” wrote House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and three other committee members in a May 24 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “And EPA’s efforts to address the problem so far appear ineffective, and in some respects have harmed the renewable-fuels marketplace.”

    Rather than taking responsibility for authenticating the RIN market, the EPA is putting refiners on the hook for unwittingly buying fake RINs. In March, the agency announced it would fine firms 10 cents for each invalid credit they use and 20 cents for each credit missing from their quotas. One credit trading company, OceanConnect, filed suit in federal court in April, charging the EPA’s “buyer beware” policy is undermining the biofuels industry.

    That’s an industry that should be undermined if it’s unable to offer consumers an affordable product that they want. Instead, Washington insiders who view Big Oil as the root of evil have decided the nation must transition to energy products that aren’t anywhere near viable. It’s the essence of crony capitalism when lawmakers dictate that one product - corn fuel - the winner at the expense of another - affordable petroleum.

    Ultimately, it’s the taxpayer and the environment that end up paying the price for this folly as the nation’s productive resources are diverted into the most wasteful endeavor of all: satisfying bureaucrats.

    - The Washington Times