Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DA's Oppose Obama Pick To 9th Circuit

A couple weeks ago a teacher at my school sent out an email announcing that President Obama had nominated one Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Liu had been a student of this teacher's his first year of teaching.

Today I read that a large majority of county district attorneys in California oppose his nomination:

Forty-two of California's 58 county district attorneys are opposing President Obama's nomination of Goodwin Liu to the federal appeals court in San Francisco, saying they believe the UC Berkeley law professor is hostile to the death penalty.

The White House has countered that the prison guards union supports Mr. Liu. Well of course they would! An opponent of the death penalty creates more "business" for the prison guards!


Dean Baird said...

Parse it for me, Darren. Point out the "rather partisan" part. Consider me your student, eager to learn. Here's the email in its entirety:

Rio Alum Makes Good!
Goodwin Liu (RAHS 1987) has been appointed by President Obama to serve on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

I write a post about Goody a few years ago, when he was being called upon for legal analysis by National Public Radio. Even have a picture of him with his PhyzClassmates 86/87.


Dean Baird said...

By the way, FOXNews' Megyn Kelly says Liu's credentials are unassailable. Whitewater prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, endorses Liu. And Liu is a big supporter of school vouchers.

Anyone who wants to can also fact-check Liu's position on the death penalty.

Steve USMA '85 said...

Wait a sec...I'm for the death penalty but your last sentence doesn't make sense to me. The death penalty only 'kills off' a minuscule portion of the prison population. Not enough to warrant a reduction in the guard force. Whereas, the enhanced procedures for handling death-row inmates create opportunities for a specialized guard force to bargain for extra pay and benefits.

I don't see how getting rid of the death penalty will create more "business" for the prison guards. What is your rationale besides just knee-jerk gut feeling?

Darren said...

Dean, that's not the entire email. You left out the part that went something like "the kind of judge liberals want and conservatives don't"--and the wording was much more partisan than that. There was another line in that email that I considered a dig on conservatives/conservatism.

What I didn't state in this post, and probably should have, is that I wouldn't even have noticed Mr. Liu were it not for your email, one I considered somewhat inflammatory.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who think Liu's a good guy; I know very little about him. I found this article from the SF Chronicle, of all places, to be interesting, though.

Darren said...

Steve, the death penalty as practiced in this country probably acts as you state. In general, though, a death penalty would require fewer guards than life in prison would. Your point, though, is well taken.

Dean Baird said...

Darren, that WAS the email in its entirety. Go back and look it up in your school mail inbox. I'll be happy to forward it to you from my Sent Items in the unlikely event you deleted something from two weeks ago that made such an impression on you.

I know you don't intend to deliberately mischaracterize my email. So do the simple fact check and then kindly correct your misstatement.

You've called me a liar twice now. Stop digging. Fill the hole. You're entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Darren said...

Ah, I found the email in my "deleted messages" folder. You are correct--the first paragraph in the article you linked to stated, "Thirteen months into his presidency, Barack Obama finally gave liberal supporters the kind of judicial nominee they had sought and conservatives feared." I attributed that sentiment to you, and I apologize.

I will also alter the first sentence of this post to remove the phrase "rather partisan".

Darren said...

BTW, I considered the email inflammatory because the link was so partisan in nature. If you only meant to advertise Mr. Liu's nomination and the digs at conservatives in the link were not a part of your message, then, to paraphrase, what he had here was a failure to communicate.

Dean Baird said...

The linked article was a Google news article from the Associated Press. A Blog of Phyz reader sent me the link and It was the top Google result when I searched for info the morning I learned of the appointment.

Most people consider AP a legitimate news agency. Clearly, you do not. It's not HuffPo, Think Progress, Daily Kos, MSNBC, etc. But it's also not FOXNews.

It's in the mainstream with ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. You call them Left. I call them Right.

Goodwin Liu is poised to become the most noteworthy/praiseworthy graduate of Rio Americano High School (your school and mine) in the entire history of the school. Support for his nomination is mounting from all sides.

And honestly, given all the young, ultra-right judges Bush unapologetically stacked the federal judiciary with, what kind of appointments did you expect Obama to make?

People who really know Goodwin Liu support his nomination. Even those who disagree with his ideology.

Darren said...

If you can read that first sentence, which often sets the tone for the entire article (as it did in this case), and claim that it's in any way balanced or objective, then we'll just have to disagree. This has no bearing on whether or not the AP is a "legitimate" news source; this particular piece was biased, and I didn't like its bias. I would be surprised to find an AP piece that was so favorable to the "ultra-right judges Bush unapologetically stacked the federal judiciary with", but I guess it could have happened.

As for his being the most noteworthy/praiseworthy graduate of our school, you must be ignoring Barbie Benton :-)

Darren said...

And another "by the by"--if you scroll through the links on this page as it is today, you'll find the most common source I link to is, wait for it, the New York Times. Yahoo News, which gets its news from the AP, appears next by my count. FoxNews? Nowhere to be seen. I don't watch it, either, as I don't get cable. The story in this post came from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Your insinuation about what I consider legitimate and illegitimate sources of news is a bit off base.

Dean Baird said...

Wait. I say you don't consider AP a legitimate news source.

You say:
More al-AP Bias.

I apologize for any mischaracterization on my part.

Darren said...

Yes, they are biased--as they were in the story you linked to about Mr. Liu, and in the link you just provided. I previously pointed out that I do link to AP stories, I also watch out for bias from them.

Dean Baird said...

Still though, for someone who chronically decries lefties' tendencies toward unprovoked undie-bunching to crack wise about a widely admired alum of his own school behind offense taken at the tone of a linked news item from a staff email announcing a presidential appointment?

That says something. And if that's what you intended to say, so be it.

Darren said...

I'm not even sure what *you* just said there.

maxutils said...

Boys, boys, boys . . .save it for trivia. :)

Dean Baird said...

Funny that the DAs so eager to stand up and sound the alarm against Goodwin Liu re their perception of his academic view on the death penalty were nowhere to be found when they had the opportunity to be heard at his California Supreme Court nomination hearing.


Don't get me wrong: I'm glad they crawled back under their respective rocks and revealed the cowardice that was obvious in their previous action. Let's hope they stay under said rocks.

Darren said...

That you tracked this post down a year and a half later to leave that comment doesn't speak well of you. You seem *very* emotionally invested in this guy. I certainly am not, and I doubt those DA's were, either.

Maybe, just maybe, those DA's who weren't so cowardly before knew there was no beating this appointment, and saved their time and effort this time. Maybe that's why they didn't show up.

I still don't agree with Liu's stances. My philosophy is that California is already screwed, how much more damage can this guy cause?

Seriously, that's what I think.

But I'm glad you feel good about yourself. :P

Dean Baird said...

I know the man. You don't.

The DA's chose to engage in what you're characterizing as a drive-by tactic (not really invested). I chose to track down your trumpeting of said tactic so as to call for them to account.

If they had something of substance to say, were they not duty-bound to say it when given the opportunity? I see it as a matter of principle. So I think posing the question speaks very well of me and my character.

The DA's acted out of political opportunism. They are free to do so. And I am free to call them cowards for their behavior. I'll leave it to others to judge for who's right and who's wrong.

If you advocate their unprincipled expediency, it would disappoint but not surprise. It would be consistent with your approval of senators who light up the media with statements of how morally reprehensible it is for the Senate to filibuster judicial appointees... until they get their first chance to do it, themselves.

Darren said...

Your side changed the rules on filibustering judicial appointees. If you don't like how that shoe fits, you shouldn't try to shove it on *my* foot.