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Archive for the tag “President Obama”

Funeral Etiquette

Dear President Obama,

Yesterday, in Washington D.C., where you reside, a funeral service was held for Justice Scalia, who served 30 years on the United States Supreme Court.  It would have been nice of you to have attended.  The flip side is that it was rude of you to not attend.

Maybe you had an excellent excuse.  I do not know what you were doing yesterday.  But you know.  It must have been extremely important.  It must have been top secret.

Of course, if it was top secret, I could have checked it out in Hillary Clinton’s email.

Supreme Court Justices’ lives matter.  They deserve to be honored when their lives end.  Even if one does not agree with all legal rulings made by Justice Scalia, he deserves the thanks of the American people for his service to our nation.  It would have been a good example for us Americans if you had put politics aside and attended the funeral of Justice Scalia.  Instead, you chose to send a different message.  Shame on you!


An American Citizen


Lois Lerner and Rose Mary Woods

Rose mary Woods

Rose Mary Woods was a White House secretary who accidentally erased 18 minutes of an audio tape that she was transcribing when President Nixon was asked for such tapes in connection with his impeachment. 

  I wonder whether Rose Mary left the White House to go to work for the IRS.  She was probably asked to back up Lois Lerner’s computer in order to save the emails requested by Congress when, dang it, Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.  That inept Ms. Woods must have worked on other IRS computers too because I heard that six other computers crashesd at the IRS.  As bad luck would have it, the six IRS employees who used those six computers are also being investigated.  What are the odds of that happening?  I took Probability & Statistics as a mathematics course many years ago and, golly, even I am astonished by the improbability of all those computers crashing, the very ones containing emails that were being sought. 

I am sarcastically guessing that if my computer crashed, IRS technicians could retrieve all information helpful to convict me of tax evasion, were I being investigated.  I have heard that there are IT people who have the capability of retrieving emails from crashed computers.  Of course, in this investigation of the IRS, that is not possible because, as conscientious environmentalists, the IRS destroys crashed computers by some process of recycling that is very green, and very convenient for Lois Lerner, who “took the 5th.”  Those of us who are trained in the law, formally or by watching TV, know that is saying that one cannot answer because answering could incriminate oneself, and the 5th Amendment to the Constitution protects one from self-incrimination. 

Lois Lerner

I once claimed that my dog ate my homework.  It did not work then either.  I still had to produce the homework, or flunk the assignment. 

Lois Lerner might have a dog who crashed her computer, or maybe Rose Mary Woods has a dog and brought it to work.  It could happen.


For Your Own Good

My wife and I have horses.  We enjoy them. President Reagan famously stated, or quoted, that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.  So, I have an idea.  It is something I might bring up at the next meeting of the Rural Land Use Advisory Committee.  When I am elected to higher office, the plan will be implemented across the nation.

Trust me, it is for your own good.  You do not know what is best for you.  You are just an individual.  I am concerned for the common good.

In the interest of the common good, everyone should have horses.  The government should require it for y’all, and that includes citizens who are allergic to horses, don’t have a place for horses, or simply do not choose to have them.  They might resent being required to have them.  Tough!  I know what they should have.  The government and I just don’t trust the general public to make such an important decision.

If you like the horse you have, you can keep it, probably.  I will decide if it is a good horse.  If you don’t have a horse, you better get one.  I will tell you what kind to get.  If you fail to comply, the government and I will punish you by making you pay for hay anyway, as a tax on the unhorsed.

My idea is not entirely original.  My program is based on a model that I learned from our present president.  Wait until I get in office.  You won’t have to worry about a thing.  I will do all your thinking for you.  For those of you old enough to remember the cartoon character Quick Draw McGraw, he said frequently to his sidekick Babbaloey, “I’ll do the thinin’ around here.”scampaction

If The President Had A Son

President Obama told us that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.  Then he told us that Trayvon looked like the President himself when he was a teen.


Depending on the mother of the hypothetical child, my son could look like President Obama or even Trayvon Martin.  He could also look like George Zimmerman, again, depending on the mother’s ethnicity.

I missed the point of the President’s identification with Trayvon.

If a young Barry Obama had bashed a George Zimmerman-type individual’s head against the sidewalk pavement, I expect self-defense would be appropriate for the person getting bashed.  I did not know looks matter under the law, but the President is a lawyer and he just told us that looks matter.  He told us that if looks don’t matter to the jury who heard the case, looks still matter to him as our President.

If he was talking about racial profiling being unacceptable, then we can compare experiences, for I too have been racially profiled.  I have been the only white person on the bus.  I have been the only white person waiting at the bus stop.  At the time, I did not recognize that I was being oppressed.  I did not think about bashing anyone’s head against the sidewalk.

If the President had a son, he would not look like me.

When I was going to school in Chicago, I had a job in the evenings as a recreation director at a church that had a gym.  Basically, I refereed basketball games for kids in the neighborhood, whether or not they looked like me.  I did not have a car in Chicago.  I would wait for a bus, take the bus to the “L” (elevated train) to a stop where I would transfer to another bus.  It was, as Jim Croce sang about, “the south side of Chicago, which is the baddest part of town….”

I would close the gym at 9 p.m.  It would take me about an hour to get back to my apartment.  No one of any race gave me any trouble in the dozens of times I traveled by public transportation as described — except once.

I got off the “L” one night and walked down the steps from the tracks to the street below, where I would wait for a bus.  As I got to the bottom of the stairs, two black policemen stopped me to ask what I was doing there.

They did not ask everyone, just me.  I understood that I did not look like I belonged in that neighborhood.  So what?  They did not arrest me.  They were just wondering.

Maybe they thought I was a drug dealer.  Maybe they were concerned for my safety.  Maybe they thought I was a foreign exchange student from Sweden who was lost.

If President Obama had a son, he would not look like me.  I look more like President Ford’s sons.  Apparently, we don’t worry about President Ford’s sons being racially profiled, but we should worry about it.  They are not welcome in certain neighborhoods.  Justice for the Fords!  Let my people go to the south side of Chicago!

Now that I know I was wronged, I see how I should have reacted differently.  I should have been offended.  I maybe would have been justified in slamming the head of one of the officers against the sidewalk.  Slow-witted as I am, I guess I did not think about it at the time.  I am too dull to have been out-raged that the policemen stopped me and questioned me.  I had not had the benefit of sensitivity training.   (My wife is still waiting for me to sign up for those classes.)

President Obama has taught me that the black policemen would not dare shoot me for assaulting them because, you know, that would be a racist thing to do.   Looks matter.  A lot.  You can only shoot someone who looks like you if you want to stay out of trouble.  You cannot ask someone of another race the question I was asked — “What are you doing here?”  Those are the rules.  Just ask President Obama or Attorney General Holder.

So, having been enlightened to recognize that I was indeed a victim of clearly racial profiling, I am organizing protests.  Blonde kids can ride the “L” and wait for the bus in the south side of Chicago if they want to and nobody better say nuthin’.  Justice for blondes — now!  That is my cause.  Blonde Power!
Redheads, on the other hand, are on their own.   They need to stay with their own kind.  They are not welcome at my marches.  That is where I draw the line.  I might feel differently if I had a redheaded son.

What? Me worry about al-Qaeda?

Creador de Contenido Colaborador Chistes y Cosas Charras

If my memory is correct, and it is, during the election campaign, President Obama bragged many times about having defeated or at least decimated al-Qaeda, which he assured us was on the run.

Football coaches often put on the locker room bulletin board articles that say the opposing team is favored to win.  It motivates the players to prove the articles are wrong.  Disparaging quotes are also locker room material for the same reason.  President Obama’s comments that al-Qaeda had already lost are probably on the bulletin board of al-Qaeda’s locker room.  Maybe the candidate’s attempt to re-assure the electorate riled up the jihadists.

We should not be surprised to now be warned about al-Qaeda presenting a “credible threat” which was taken seriously enough to cause embassy closings  in Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere.  The threats were taken seriously enough to cause U.S. citizens to be warned that traveling abroad might be particularly dangerous right now.

After the Benghazi tragedy, I am glad that precautions are being taken — this time.

I am simply wondering whether President Obama, having been re-elected, has changed his perception about al Qaeda as posing a danger to our country and citizens or just changed his public relations spin.   He is certainly entitled to change his view in light of new evidence.  I just wish he had been correct when he told us not to worry.

Affordable Political Items - 2012 Obama Alfred E. Neuman Postcard ...

Colorblind Rule of Law

Our President is a lawyer.  So is the Attorney General.  They have sworn oaths to uphold the Constitution.  The Constitution guarantees, among other things, the right to a jury trial.

George Zimmerman had a jury trial on charges of second degree murder and manslaughter.  He was acquitted.

The jurors heard all the evidence presented by each side.  It was a fair process.

Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman.  That is undisputed.  What was disputed was whether Mr. Zimmerman was entitled to shoot Mr. Martin as a means of protecting himself.  The evidence showed that Mr. Martin attacked Mr. Zimmerman, broke his nose, and was banging his head against the concrete sidewalk.  There was a jury instruction about self-defense.  That means that a person is entitled to use deadly force under certain circumstances.   That was the basis of the acquittal.

The President was not one of the lawyers trying the case.  Neither was Eric Holder, our Attorney General.  Since they were not involved in the trial, they should not second guess the results of the trial from their lofty positions.

It does not help racial tension to criticize the trial as if it was unfair because Trayvon was black and Zimmerman white/hispanic.  Each side had its day in court.  If our nation is so racist, how did a black man get elected President by the white majority?

The protestors chanting “No justice, no peace” are not helping racial tensions, nor are they respecting the Constitution and rule of law.  That chant might have made sense if the prosecutors had refused to bring the case to trial.  They did bring the case to trial, however.  That really happened.  That was how we dispense justice under the sacred rule of law.  The way to contest the results is to appeal to a higher court, not to riot in the streets.

Can someone explain how stealing jewelry from Target in the process of “protesting” promotes justice for Trayvon?  As far as I know, Target had nothing to do with the case.  If some priest I don’t know in another city gets convicted of sex abuse, I just might shoplift from Walmart because, you know, I have many relatives who are Catholic.  Feel me?

Maybe President Obama will scold the protestors like he scolded the police before charges were brought against Mr. Zimmerman.

Attorney General Holder, who is black,  added fuel to the fire by holding out hope that he might bring federal charges against Mr. Zimmerman (since the NAACP did not like the trial result).  Shame on him.  He took an oath to uphold the Constitution.  Was he absent from law school on the day they taught about the right to a jury trial?  Double jeopardy is prohibited by the same Constitution.  It does not seem likely that Attorney General Holder, who heads, get this, The Justice Department, got an “A” in Constitutional Law.  Let us chip in and send him back for a remedial course, not in Ethnic Studies, but in Constitutional Law.  I fear that he and the President are confused about the meaning of their respective oaths of office.

cowboyLAWYER re: lying

Many of my posts are about cowboy stuff.  They seem more popular than what I write about legal topics.  What a surprise!

So, I am warning you fans of ranch life that this ain’t about our horses or dogs or wildfires or brandings or buffalo or deer or antelope.  This is about lying.

Contrary to what seems to be the public perception of lawyers, lawyers need to be even more careful about lying than the general public.  Lawyers are members of a licensed and regulated profession.  Also, that particular profession is charged with pursuing justice.  I tell my clients that their credibility and my credibility are crucial to their cases.  We are stuck with the facts, but how we are perceived by the jury, judge and opposing counsel are how cases are won or lost.

I tell my clients about a particular Colorado jury instruction which is read to every jury.  Each set of jury instructions tell the jury about many things regarding how to decide the case before them, so the sets of instructions vary from case to case, but I suppose all sets include the one I am going to tell you about.  I, at least, always insist on it.

The instruction to which I am referring basically says that if the jury finds that a witness is lying about anything, they can disregard that witness’s entire testimony.

Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama are both lawyers.  They know about this stuff.

I realize that every administration is accused of misleading the public.  I realize that a mistake is different than an intention to deceive.  I realize that press conferences are not under oath.

Nevertheless, having said all that, I am concerned about the scandals that involve telling Congress something that the “tellers” knew was incorrect and was told with a deliberate intention to deceive.  For example, Eric Holder should remember if he signed subpoenas in the matter he was being asked about.  Wouldn’t President Obama know that the attack on the embassy was a terrorist act from the beginning?

If they were my clients, we’d have a little talk out by the water fountain during a break in testimony, at which time I would remind them of the importance of what they should have learned at home or Sunday school, even without going to law school — i.e., telling the truth.

Mitigating Scandals By Passing The Buck

A few weeks ago I wrote a few pieces about my pre-campaign for political office, probably the U.S. Senate then, but now I aspire for higher office.  My pre-campaign is like pre-approval for a credit card — it is not yet approved and my campaign is not yet announced.  However, I have been learning a lot by observing the current administration’s approach to what lesser politicians would perceive as criticism.  President Nixon could take lessons from President Obama.

President Nixon thought he had to admit or deny accusations about Watergate.  President Obama is way more cool than that.  He actually jumps on the bandwagon of the accusers.  He embraces the opportunity to empathize with his critics.  He is very upset by what has happened in Benghazi, what has been done by the I.R.S., and what has been done by the F.B.I.  He is appalled, just like the rest of us.

President Nixon was concerned that the famous “buck” which President Truman had said stopped in the Oval Office actually did stop there.  President Obama has a very different viewpoint.

He is unapologetic about not protecting the ambassador killed at our embassy in Libya.  He is appalled that it happened and he is appalled that anyone would blame the State Department or the military or him.  He wasn’t at fault because he did not really know what all was going on that fateful night.  It was his night off.

Apparently, the buck has not stopped at all.  It was no one’s fault, not even terrorists.  The people who attacked the embassy might not have been terrorists as we commonly use the word.  They were terrorists in a very complicated sense of the word “terrorist” that is so complicated that the denial of this tragedy being caused by terrorists for too long was, well, due to a misunderstanding.  It is complicated, like I said.

What I have gotten out of it is that there are real Al Qaeda terrorists, whom President Obama assumed we all were suspecting, when in actuality the terrorists who performed the terrorism at Benghazi were merely wannabe terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda without being official card-carrying members.  It is an important distinction to our president but I’m not smart enough to understand the distinction or why it is important.  Initially we were told that it was a mob upset by a movie.  Then it was a terrorist act by non-terrorists.  Now it is terrorists who are responsible, but not Al Qaeda terrorists — they know better than to do any terrorist acts now that President Obama has Al Qaeda on the run.

President Obama is also appalled by the I.R.S. having targeted conservative groups.  Some might say that was done under his watch, making him responsible.   Those who say that are silly Trumanites who still believe the buck stops with the President of the United States.  This president is appalled just like the rest of us who are not the president.  He is just like us.  He read about it in the papers.  No one told him what was going on.  He is very appalled.  He is not to blame, of course.  He don’t know nuthin’ about it.  Ignorance is bliss, they say.

Well, President Truman did not say that ignorance is bliss.  He said, “The buck stops here.”  He should have said, if only he was not so dang forthright, “I only know what I read in the papers and now that I read what my administration has been doing, I am appalled.”  That is smart politics.    I am catching on to the modern style of leadership.  Accountability is out of style.  Empathy — that is the ticket!

Don’t say that you are sorry for what you have done or not done.  Instead, say that you understand how those of us in the general public “feel” because you feel however they feel.

President Obama and I, a pre-candidate, feel the same.  We feel the same as each other and we feel the same as the general public feels.   We have empathy.  It is easier than leadership because it is reflective and reactive.

President Obama is a lawyer.  So is the Attorney General, Eric Holder.  So am I.  The President, Attorney General and I are all appalled that the F.B.I. violated the privacy of Associated Press reporters.  We all agree that should not have been done.  We did not know and, now that we do know, the three of us are feeling sad even though we are not at fault.   I am under the impression that the F.B.I. is a rogue organization that none of the three of us control.

When I am elected, I too will make it a point to not know about such things.  I would make it my job to not know.  Whoever is in charge of the Justice Department should do something, if we only knew who is in charge.  I used to think the President and the Attorney General were in charge of the Justice Department, including the F.B.I., but it was long ago that I took American Government in high school, Political Science in college, and Constitutional Law in law school.  I was probably absent the day the teachers and professors covered the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.

I am not (yet) in the chain of command, but it is comforting to know that if I become Attorney General or President, I will not be to blame for anything as long as I am suitably appalled by what my subordinates did, or failed to do, which I won’t know about until I read it in the papers.  And, to go beyond my mentor, if elected, I pledge to never read newspapers or listen to the news.

I am also practicing my best sincere look with appropriate body language.  In the photo below I am demonstrating my transparency by gesturing with an open hand, indicating my, you know, openness and, I guess, honesty.  Who wouldn’t vote for an honest-looking cowboy who empathizes with how every American feels?


Un-united States

I’m just a country lawyer and do not understand a lot of the legal stuff going on with some of the conflicts between certain states and the federal government.  It appears that the principle of federal preemption, namely, that federal law trumps state law when there is a conflict, is no longer being followed.

For example, the states of Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana within certain parameters.  The trouble, legally speaking, is that marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance per federal law, which means the folks in Colorado and Washington who rely on the legality of using marijuana under state law are nevertheless breaking federal law.  So now the federal government, headed by President Obama, has to decide whether to look the other way concerning violation of federal drug laws.

Another option is to have the United States Attorney General sue those states, like he did Arizona for passing a law about checking people there to see whether they are U.S. citizens. That law was offensive to the administration, but it is less clear to me that Arizona is in conflict with federal law by asking if federal immigration laws are being followed by persons in Arizona.  You’d think that would help the federal government by identifying those in the country in violation of immigration requirements.   Arizona is not in direct defiance of federal law, it just went a step further by seeking to determine compliance with federal law.

It seems analogous to have the federal government sue the states that still make possession of marijuana illegal for having state criminal laws that make it a crime to do what is already a crime under federal controlled substance laws.  Huh?  I’m lost, but I’m just a country lawyer.  U.S. Attorney General Holder could explain the distinction to me, probably.

Apparently, it was important to President Obama to tell Arizona to refrain from helping identify violation of federal immigration laws.  State marijuana laws that violate federal law  are okay just like violation of immigration law is okay.  This disinterest in enforcing federal laws has created a legal environment that could be advantageous to those of us who are burdened by another federal law.

Since I live in Colorado, and since it has gotten away with legalizing something under state law that is illegal under federal law, I have an idea about making something illegal under state law that is legally required under federal law.  Flip the concept.

As you are painfully aware, especially this time of year, the Internal Revenue Code is a federal law that requires citizens to pay income taxes.  I don’t smoke marijuana but I do pay taxes.  It would benefit me more if my state government would make it illegal in Colorado to pay federal income taxes.  States’ rights!

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