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"Get Me Re-Write!"

It's becoming clear why President Obama first tapped Elena Kagan for his Solicitor General, and then Supreme Court nominee: their ideologies and ethics are remarkably congruent. And that alone should be enough to scuttle her nomination.

Back in the 1990's, Kagan was working for the Clinton administration. At that time, there was a bit of a fight over partial birth abortion. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offered their professional opinion on the matter, and their paper stated definitively:

"[A] select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman."

However, that statement never made it to the Supreme Court. Instead, Deputy Assistant To The President On Domestic Policy Elena Kagan apparently rewrote that section to read as follows:

the partial-birth-abortion procedure "may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman."

That was not only the report, but the specific language cited by the Supreme Court in their ruling striking down the partial birth abortion ban.

That's right. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan took a report from medical professionals, deleted a politically inconvenient section, and rewrote it so it said the exact opposite -- purely to suit her political agenda. And then she presented it to the Supreme Court as if it was the unaltered expert opinion of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "Perjury" doesn't seem too strong a word here.

But the whole thing sounds so very familiar. Far more recently, the Obama administration solicited the opinions of experts on how to handle offshore drilling in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill. Those experts gave their report to the Obama regime, which studied it carefully -- and then Interior Secretary Ken Salazar inserted a recommendation for a six-month moratorium on new and existing drilling. That was something that the experts had not only not said, but considered and rejected.

What a brilliant tactic. Say you want the "experts" to give their opinions on a highly controversial issue, then take their report and rewrite it to reflect the Obama regime's political agenda. All you have to do is hope that the official authors of the report don't actually read the final version.

Because then, especially if you've submitted the final report to a court, you're open to charges of perjury.

Like Kagan ought to be. Like Salazar ought to be.


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Comments (33)

RE: "The partial-birth-abor... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "The partial-birth-abortion procedure 'may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.'"

Of course! In the eyes of many left-wing fanatics the "partial birth" procedure is the best and the most appropriate because it advances their political cause.

A pretty damning indictment... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

A pretty damning indictment, Jay! What I would give for one honest male or female in American politics!

Actually I don't think you ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Actually I don't think you can be charged with perjury for submitting false arguments or evidence unless you are sworn, or submit them by signing a guarantee. Contempt of court and judicial and bar sanctions, sure.

Naturally, she would argue the hypothetical clause she wrote had in fact been adopted by the ACOG board, so how can it be a false submission in any respect?

Having observed Obama in action in power, I cannot conceive that he would react to a filibuster of Kagan except by nominating an even more radical choice, figuring there is a limit to the number of consecutive nominations we can filibuster before the public turns on us as obstructionists, ruining our preferred themes for the fall election.

This man is the most ideologically committed President in American history, and his ideology is to put America in its place, as defined by the radical left.

The statements don't confli... (Below threshold)
jpe:

The statements don't conflict. If D&X is the best option in given circumstances, it stands to reason that there are other options. They're just not as good.

jpe, the statement was twis... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

jpe, the statement was twisted to convey a different opinion or sentiment. It was done deliberately. Not only that but we have a President who doesn't have a problem with it. (That sort of thing is above his pay grade, dontcha know.) As a matter of fact he was against a ban on partial birth abortion because, in his words, it didn't make exceptions for the health of the mother. When that exception was inserted, he STILL voted against the ban.

So you have that.

Does an "ordinary" citizen ... (Below threshold)

Does an "ordinary" citizen have the standing to sue over this? Or must they be directly harmed in order to have standing? And are Kagan and Salazar immune because they are better than the rest of us?

dfbaskwillThe peo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

dfbaskwill

The people most likely harmed by this are dead. The children who were aborted. Thus no lawsuit.

If a Republican president n... (Below threshold)

If a Republican president nominated a justice with a similar ethical misstep (yes, I realize I'm being generous calling this a misstep as it appears very deliberate) this would be a smoking gun type event that the left and the media (okay, that's redundant) would trumpet until the nomination was withdrawn. The nomination does not need to be filibustered, but her ethical misbehavior needs to be the lead item of every evening news until the administration withdraws her to end the stink.

Partial birth? Which part o... (Below threshold)
914:

Partial birth? Which part of the birth is in part? I wonder how the cause of death is listed? Or do they just appear as ACORN voter's by chance?

Change and additions to the... (Below threshold)

Change and additions to the existing ones, this is what we fear and we ought to.
Would the common man be consulted on this?

Just returning science to i... (Below threshold)

Just returning science to its rightful place*

*that would be in the hands of those that make it up or twist it - see: Carson, Rachel; Kagan, Elena; Stick, Hockey

Agree with Largebill. I'd o... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Agree with Largebill. I'd only add that
She was dishonest but since she did so in support of killing the unborn, she's the perfect liberal candidate.

That kind of blatant intell... (Below threshold)

That kind of blatant intellectual dishonesty in presenting altered evidence to the court should bar her from serving on any bench.

On the other hand, it might... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

On the other hand, it might be wise to have an unethical, hack lawyer as a Supreme Court justice, since she would know from first hand experience, how easy it is to pressure witnesses, even experts, alter evidence, politicize scientific evidence, indeed, twist the statements that are purported to be scientific, so you end up with a document that is completely at odds with what the scientists or doctors wrote initially, furthermore, and all under the imprimatur of a 'neutral' expert authority or board,

so that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf, one of the three federal judges that issued orders enjoining the federal ban (later overturned by the Supreme Court), devoted more than 15 pages of his lengthy opinion to ACOG's policy statement and the integrity of the process that led to it.
Is that the old "it takes a... (Below threshold)

Is that the old "it takes a thief" logic, Steve? I'd give it more credence if it was coming from someone within the Obama regime, and not someone scrambling to spin the story.

On the other hand, I bet you were a big fan of Judge Carswell, and Senator Hruska's novel defense of him...

J.

The Volokh Conspiracy's Jon... (Below threshold)
James H:

The Volokh Conspiracy's Jonathan Adler offers some perspective on this.

Does anyone actually believ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Does anyone actually believe republican committee members will bring this up??!! Why, it wouldn't be "friendly!!"

That is good Jay. From Wik... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

That is good Jay. From Wikipedia:

In defense against charges that Carswell was "mediocre", U.S. Senator Roman Hruska (Republican, Nebraska) stated:

"Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."
The remark was criticised by many and is believed to have backfired and damaged Carswell's cause.

Yes but maybe Obama could fine someone still more 'mediocre' or 'unethical.'

The problem, Steve, isn't w... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

The problem, Steve, isn't with other people or or who was qualified for what when - what's important is NOW, when there's evidence that she forced a change which wasn't supported by the ACOG's opinion.

The report that was changed by Salazar's office to support a preconceived moratorium when the experts disagreed shows what's acceptable to this administration as far as honesty and transparency goes.

It makes me wonder just how much other legislative crap in the past has been pushed as 'justified' when there wasn't actually evidence to support it. Is it acceptable to change the narrative 180 degrees to what it 'should be'?

It sucks to not be able to hide stuff like this any more, doesn't it?


James H, regarding Jonathan... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

James H, regarding Jonathan Adler's perspective;

I read about that this morning and I agree that ACOG has some 'splainin to do. Why would they allow the verbiage to be changed so as to alter the statement's intitial sentiment so completely. As far as I can see, the only word that saved her, or them, in the re-wording is "may".

JLawson, I agree anything ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

JLawson, I agree anything could be possible! Salazar

after arriving in the Senate, Salazar generated controversy within his party by introducing Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales and sitting by his side during Gonzales' confirmation hearings.

Obama seems to have lost 'the audacity of hope' and 'change' and especially transparency factor, almost entirely.

Obama could be doing more and making better appointments rather than recycling all these old establishment normally experienced Clinton Machivellian figures. Decidely, it is not why Obama raised excitement and expectations in 2008.

Oldpuppy has it right. </p... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oldpuppy has it right.

The GOP will NEVER bring this up in committee. They don't have the courage to ask a single hard question. They are too busy trying to look cute and score minor points so they can look like they actually did something. Then they will vote to pass her through the committee and vote for her admission to the court.

Meanwhile, here is a substantive issue of her defrauding the court. What does that say about her willingness to defraud the nation in order to achieve her political ends?

If she is willing to lie to the Supreme Court how do we know when she is telling us the truth?

Steve -Obama gave ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve -

Obama gave good campaign (lol) but it's always what's AFTER that's the hard part.

Sure, she was good looking the bar last night - after a dozen beers and four or five rum & Cokes - but in the harsh light of morning? She's sleeping on your arm, and you're ready to gnaw it off to keep from waking her.

"Decidely, it is not why Obama raised excitement and expectations in 2008."

He LIED to you, you gullible sap. All he had to do was go "I'm not Bush" and spin a good line, and you didn't care whether he could do the job.

And now? 18 months later? No ring, no card, not even as much as a phone call. Yes, he promised - but so what? Hey, he WON! That means he doesn't have to do a DAMN thing you were expecting!

I get the feeling you're starting to feel like you've got a 'coyote ugly' President. Welcome to the nightmare, man. Hope your teeth are sharp...

And for what it's worth, he... (Below threshold)
James H:

And for what it's worth, here's Media Matters. I'm not commenting, really. My attention is mostly elsewhere.

JLawson, I have glanced ove... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

JLawson, I have glanced over the draft/final statements..what was misisng....."[A] select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which [the partial-birth] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman."

I'm perhaps a little less severe in the criticsm of the disortions, parsing of Kagan. it is all lawyerese since her job was bascially to repesent the president by misrepresenting indepedent bodies. And, if this is common practice why bother with the charade, since apprently even justices got sucked into or deceived into analyzing the minutiae of so called independent ACOG policy, without understanding the key statements were, by and large written by the administration, that is Kagan.

My main point is that Obama has made no attempt at 'raisng the bar'. No, I have voiced reservations about Obama being co-opted, before. Even in his autobigraphy he admits changing dates etc to serve his purposes. And he too willingly seems to be part of the process he decries.

Alas, even though Obama has been anything but transformative, he may have been best of the lot, if you are liberal not much I admit, but then look at your side.

There is a raging debate on the center-left about Obama , see comments. Most accept the premise that Obama is more or less, ethical (probably too much of a leap of faith for the right wing or the far left, the enormous civilian deaths with the drone attacks, for example) and the debate is about the end goals, (staying in power with a few significant policy vitories), that can justify the tawdry tactics or means.

Can I pretend to be Preside... (Below threshold)
914:

Can I pretend to be President for a few secs?

Ok, Thanks!

On his mistress: Im sure glad I got that whole thing covered in the gulf.

On Tea Partie's: Should I send in the thug's or pay off the clown's?

On job loss: They never held Bush accountable for 4.4% so how can they blame Me for 14.8%? It's almost 10% better?

On November: The conservative oil rich republicans are so divisive. They will stop at nothing to make sure I fail. They will vote against everything I 'present' and claim to be 'non partisan', about it.

On Israel: Damn Jooos.

On Arabs: Honey' is the stimulus check in the mail?

On immigration: That's it! Im taking over the border.

On State's right's: I have got to do away with this constitution thing.

Steve - I do belie... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve -

I do believe he's ethical - according to his own beliefs and that of the culture he was raised in, both personally and professionally.

But the folks who insist that shari'a law is the only right and proper way to go about things are being ethical in accordance to their culture, too - even if it mandates burquas, stonings, and beheadings. It was ethical in the USSR to turn in those suspected of disloyalty - even knowing it was likely going to result in (at the minimum) a lengthy sentence in Siberia, up to death. Ethical behavior in the Crips or Bloods subculture isn't exactly something you'd want a 6-year old to learn.

So 'ethical behavior' is another one of those nice concepts you visualize according to YOUR thinking - while the thoughts and visualization of someone else may be VERY far off from what you're thinking.

(Might be why we have annual 'ethics training' at work, trying to get us all on the same page ethics-wise.)

But without knowing the specifics of the culture, 'ethical behavior' is exceedingly hard to define. All we have to go on is what we can observe, and then try to infer what sort of ethical culture the behavior fits.

I can absolutely believe he is being consistent and ethical, in his own eyes, for his own culture - and it seems those ethics put self above all else with the requirement that any action be judged by how it benefits HIM or advances what HE wants to have happen. The good of the country or the people is of importance only as it serves his ends. There's no need to hurry the response to the Gulf Crisis, it's useful to push Cap&Trade. Immigration reform/amnesty is what's desired, so it's only right and proper to fight Arizona's desire to have current federal law complied with.

I'd like to think I'm wrong on that - that we're missing something either exceedingly subtle that would make a coherent (and positive) picture of everything that he's done (rather like the key piece of a jigsaw puzzle) or we're missing the whole point because we're simply not capable of comprehending it... when we try, we reject what we're seeing because it's patently absurd.

I can't really help you JLa... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I can't really help you JLawson, you are giving a better defense of Obama than I could. Scrupulous ethical behavior was never his strong point in his record as his Illinois legislator. Someone who gets along with so many people as well as Obama must overlook alot of misdeeds. He did insist to his credit that his campaign be above mudslinging, but since then, as my previous link to the Mark Kleiman blog revealed, he as allowed the previous executive commander-in-chief abuses under Bush to continue, even though he censured them when he was a senator. As the right is unlikely to bring these up, and our foreign allies can't vote, Obama is very safe politically, and how many young idealists who voted for him are in his cabinent.

On the immigration/Arizona issue, I'm afraid that Obama doesn't want to risk losing the Hispanic vote. As to the Gulf spill, only environmentalists anticipated this, certainly no one seriously running for president; the shift in the spectrum was to lesser regulation, so everyone s bit at sea, now. This wasn't in anyone's script book, particularly the oil companies'.

Yes, Obama is a victim and a captive of his own Democratic culture, look at the ribbing he took during the campaign when he menntioned some of of the good things of the Reagan years.

My main solace for those on Wizbang is that with all Obama's limitations - he must remember a leader has to push his own people continously as much as try to move the opposition or independents, who else would you have rather have, the much more partisan, and really ethically challenged, Hillary?


Steve:"he must ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Steve:

"he must remember a leader has to push his own people continously"

Rather like a pimp has to push a hooker?

And you saw my response as a DEFENSE of Obama?

(Shakes head.)

JLawson, yes, your defense ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

JLawson, yes, your defense of him, in so far as in his own terms, Obama thinks he is ethical.
But fundamentally it is about policy, and there is little common ground here.

Okay, I think I see what's ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Okay, I think I see what's wrong there. I am not defending Obama. I can understand why you'd want to see it that way, though.

I attempted to explain what I saw as Obama's ethical stance, being basically "Fuck y'all, I'm the Prez, do as I say or you're gonna get fucked up. You disagree, you're gonna get fucked up. You don't do what I want fast enough, you're gonna get fucked up. Your only chance of NOT getting fucked up is if you treat me like a king, do everything I say, and don't bring me no bad news 'cause I will fuck you up good with the SEIU if you do."

That's not a defense of Obama - THAT would be "Hey, he's right in doing everything that he's doing, no matter how heinous and stupid it may appear he's really got everyone's good in mind and it's all good, so just chill out - it'll be okay once everything's over."

You might want to reread what I posted.

Explaining why someone's acting the way they do isn't defending them - it's analyzing what they've done, and why - and hopefully gathering enough information that you can predict the next thing they do.

(As in, not to Godwin the thread, the Allies tried hard to figure out what Hitler was going to do when faced with certain events. They weren't 'defending' Hitler by that - they were looking to mitigate the results of HIS thinking and actions.)

"The statements don't confl... (Below threshold)
swami:

"The statements don't conflict. If D&X is the best option in given circumstances, it stands to reason that there are other options. They're just not as good."

Jpe is correct. However, the important point is this: Kagan is not a doctor or scientist. Inserting her opinions into a piece authored by doctors/scientists and then passing it off as their expert advice is despicable.

In other words, the lie is in the false attribution and the false claim to authority, the actual content is irrelevant.

We can also take issue with the weasel-words "most appropriate". Beware, when a politician, bureacrat, or administrator says "most appropriate". Since she's already said "best", we can only assume "most appropriate" means "not best, but most convenient for me". The sneaky thing about that phrase "most appropriate" is that it sounds ever so official and educated, and yet the meaning is utterly subjective.

If Bush had simply learned to speak with an Ivy league moderated cadence, and used the phrase "most appropriate", he wouldn't have been as reviled by the Left.

"My main solace for those o... (Below threshold)
swami:

"My main solace for those on Wizbang is that with all Obama's limitations - he must remember a leader has to push his own people continously"

Steve, there is a LOT concealed in that statement, and a lot of hidden wisdom.

Yes, leaders DO push their own people continuously- and should. Leadership at its best is an exchange of loyalty, and the top has to be as loyal to the lower ranks as the lower ranks are to the top.

Obama pushes his people.

But note, please, that on the global stage, he does not push the United States. He apologizes for us, bows for us, rebukes us, tells everyone how awful we've been. Not pushy at all. Quite humble.

This is revealing. In Obama's eyes, Kagan, Holder, the Black Panthers; "My peeps". Americans in general, no.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Obama felt as devoted to the United States of America as he does to his own circle of cronies?




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