Should Taxpayers Front the Cost for Inmate Abortion?

In a dig I suspect Sheriff Joe takes personally, Judge Robert Oberbillig sided with the ACLU and struck down the policy requiring inmates to pay up front for transportation and security to obtain an abortion.

Of course, viewing abortion as a fundamental right, any law will limiting it will be subject to strict scrutiny.

So, instead of requiring inmates to pay for their own abortions, the state must do it. Not to worry, Judge Oberbillig suggests, bill for services rendered can be passed to the inmate.

Can I get a show of hands – how many people actually think inmates will pay? Even Tim Montgomery, the former 100m world record holder (and drug cheat) in prison rakes in a whopping $44/month. In other words, the tax payers will be the ones footing the bill on this one.

If Sheriff Joe is known for anything, it’s for aggressiveness (among many other things). I’m sure we can (and should) expect a timely appeal. Be sure to follow this one.

For those interested, the case is: Doe v. Arpaio, CV2004-009286

Read the rest of the of story here.

Nobel Prize Committee Defends Obama’s Award

The running joke is that President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for one reason: he wasn’t George W. Bush.

But even more humorous, the Nobel Prize Committee defended its award claiming that Barrack Obama’s accomplishments merited it.

Let’s give the award some context though. The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to be awarded for recognition of accomplishments made “during the preceding year.” Nominations for the Prize end on February 1 at which point the candidates are vetted, names are whittled down until a handful remain, and then one is chosen.

So, let’s fill in the blanks. What did Obama do prior to February 1? Let’s see… He ascended to the Presidency two weeks earlier. Before that he was a junior senator from Illinois. Does that about cover it?

The Norwegian Nobel Peace committee apparently saw it differently:

To those who say a Nobel is too much too soon in Obama’s young presidency, “We simply disagree … He got the prize for what he has done,” committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press by telephone from Strasbourg, France, where he was attending meetings of the Council of Europe.

Jagland singled out Obama’s efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

“All these things have contributed to — I wouldn’t say a safer world — but a world with less tension,” he said.

Read that last sentence again. Okay, never mind that the world is not safer – there is less tension. Currently America is engaged in Iraq and 13,000 more troops are being deployed to Afghanistan. North Korea is developing nuclear capabilities and Honduras is in its own little world. Less tension? For relaxing a Bush policy?

I’m not sure what was in the Committee’s happy-juice:

“Alfred Nobel wrote that the prize should go to the person who has contributed most to the development of peace in the previous year,” Jagland said.

“Who has done more for that than Barack Obama?”

Good question Mr. Jagland. Maybe you should have reviewed the other candidates on your list first.

In Related News, Sun Found to Be Hot, Water Found to Be Wet

Apparently it’s front page news to Washington Post readers that JUST MAYBE banks, that wouldn’t have given people who are credit risks loans if it had not been for the government madates and “pump-priming” that drove the whole mortgage mess in the first place, aren’t too keen on restructuring those agreements now to “help-out” delinquent payers.

Over One Hurdle

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has, as expected, cleared her first hurdle to confirmation, recieving approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee 13-6.

Lindsey Graham was the lone Republican on the committee to vote for Sotomayor. Though not unexpected, Graham’s strategy has raised more than a few eyebrows. The general consensus is that with Graham’s hard questioning, but compromising vote, he is socking away “political capital” for the next time a “controversial” conservative nominee comes before the committee. Given the somewhat prefunctory nature of this whole affair I don’t necessarily mind him leveraging his vote to make a larger political point.

The problem I do have (and have had since the infamous Gang of 14) is that such strategies give far too much credit to those on the other side of the aisle. Storing away “political capital,” favors in the “favor bank,” etc. assume the other side is going to honor such political niceties. And if the history of the judicial confirmation process has shown us anything, from Judge Bork to Justice Thomas, it’s that when conservative nominees are at the plate, liberals are playing hardball (if not dirty pool), while conservatives are lobbing softballs.

Even worse unfortunately, as Byron York points out at The Washington Examiner, perhaps the most pressing questions remained un-asked.

Graphs…Mind-Numbingly Horrifying Graphs…

Keith Hennessey has more insightful analysis of the Congressional Budget Office’s latest knock out blow to nationalized health care, specifically the blatant lie that Rep. Rangel’s “surtax” on the “wealthy” will cover the costs of ObamaCare.

Keith’s site also has an excellent dissection of the various health care bills floating around, and CATO and The Heritage Foundation both have excellent analysis of the health care debate in general.

Keep your power dry, August is going to be fun.