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May 02, 2009

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Hilarious :-)

Did anybody notice how people have started calling US involvement in Pakistan the Drone Wars, btw?

Just thinking, Publius might have gotten a couple of the facts in the plan wrong...

/Limagolf

that was hilarious

No one would believe it as fiction.

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as the Force.

Bobby Jindal knows all about the secret Democrat base on Mustafar. He was trying to warn us, also.

I'm sorry publius, but having exposed the vast Sith, er, liberal conspiracy, you will now be hunted down by Darth, er, Secretary Clinton. I hope you've gotten better at flying that x wing.

Geithner does remind me a lot of Jar-Jar.

Liberals have a deep burning desire to establish a constitutional right to cloning – preferably man-pigs, but any clones will do.

I thought liberals preferred manbearpig. What happened? Did it evolve?

Demonstrating, alas, the same level of insight and knowledge that marked his feeble defenses of Harold Koh (see http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ODQxMjdiNDViYzAwNjcxZjdmM2M0ZDRhZTkyOTg0OTE= and http://bench.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjEyZTRhMGFmNWIwYmMwNTdjMzcwYTE1YmUxOGQ2MTA=), publius thinks it’s ludicrous to suggest that a constitutional right to clone is on the Left’s agenda. I suppose that’s why, to cite but one of many possible examples, law professor Kerry Macintosh’s book arguing for such a right was praised by Laurence Tribe as “a thought-provoking contribution to a constitutional conversation that is just beginning.” http://www.amazon.com/Illegal-Beings-Human-Clones-Law/dp/0521853281/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241289312&sr=1-4

Two decades ago, folks like publius would have contended that it was ludicrous to suggest that a constitutional right to same-sex marriage was on the Left’s agenda. The path from unthinkable to incontestable is an amazingly quick one for folks who aren’t paying attention (or who don’t want others to).

Why the sense of deja vu? I feel like this has happened before-- a long time ago-- in a galaxy far, far away............ Oh, I know, it was on Glenn Beck.

The reason that Whelan and the nutters are so afraid of us liberal clones (and Ed, you don't REALLY think we haven't done it already, do you? Where do you think this huge new Democratic electorate came from?) is because success at cloning also validates Darwin. And we know what THAT means to the flat-earthers, don't we?

Yes, that's right -- the nefarious pursuit of asexual reproduction is definitely in Kos' Little Orange Book, right beside the section proposing constitutional amendments that legalize man-on-dog sex and outlaw Christianity (y'know, because us Godless Communlibs hate Jesus more than we hate Reagan).

Jesus teabagging Joseph.

I really hope that wasn't the real Ed Whelan up there droppin' wingnut BS like an untrained puppy gleefully soiling white shag carpet. Would be a shame to forfeit the option of calling a paranoid douchebasket from the Alex Jones wing of the GOP a paranoid douchebasket from the Alex Jones wing of the GOP simply because said paranoid douchebasket from the Alex Jones wing of the GOP figured out how to respond to a referral link.

o...m...g...hysterical

The path from unthinkable to incontestable is an amazingly quick one for folks who aren’t paying attention (or who don’t want others to).

If this is the real Ed Whelan, I suggest you do a little reading of some SF (I suggest Bujold) and do a little thinking (I'm assuming the IQ is above room temperature).

It's a simple line of thought that arises from a few basic principals taken mainly from American thought (conservative at that). Some of us have been thinking about it for a long time, unlike some of the knee-jerk reactors from the right.

Jeez publius, what part of "secret plan" did you not understand?

Baehr v. Lewin, the "Hawaii marriage case", was decided in 1993, and was not the first case where it had been argued that laws forbidding same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. So Alleged Ed's argument that the homo-hugging left wasn't making this argument twenty years ago is, unsurprisingly, a lie.

Cloned manpigs? Ins't one Rush Limbaugh far too many as it it?

Man-pig clones already walk among us; hence swine flu's recent leap to (normal) humans.

ha - yes. the swine flu should have been a signal. it was basically the byproduct of a manpig cloning operation gone bad

The Framers attempted to address the idiot "Constitutional Right to ______" in Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

I am no constitutional scholar but I think the Lawrence case was an excellent support of the rational basis test of government powers.

Conservatives of all stripes should support private enterprise and the reduction of government interference.

If a ball of cells or a stemline has no personhood (and cannot feel pain), there are no constitutional issues involved in research efforts.

It's when the idiot social conservatives bring their unscientific arguments like vague ad hoc beliefs in the "sanctity of life" do they lose the plot.

Even a potential person is not a person. To insist so would invalidate Griswold and the right to artificial contraception IMV.

Pro-life people who are against contraception may be morally consistent but really have no argument that will gain sufficient support, other that appeals to the moral authority of religious teachings, rejection of which was a large part of the founding of the USA.

I KNEW IT! McConnell and Cantor and the rest are just hopeless dupes in the hands of the Sith master, er, President Obama. But that means, so was Hillary in the primaries . . . and Jeri Ryan's ex in the 2004 Democratic primary . . . hell, he probably threw that House primary to Bobby Rush back in the day to . . . no, wait . . . there must be a Sith master before Obama . . . a sort of Darth Vagus . . . to his Darth Sideous . . .

OMG. The Clenis!

I love the post and its snark, but some mor serious things do pop up:

Assuming that the Ed Whelan comment is genuine, it would behoove him to learn some basic HTML to link properly (he's a blogger now, for heaven's sake), some advanced reading comprehension (his excerpt of Tribe's blurb reads empty to me; basically it says "this book is about something unusual and I don't want to endorse anything in it"), and - as pointed out above - some history (Andrew Sullivan published a book calling for Gay Marriage in 1996, for another example that this idea has been building for a while).

Still, going beyond that, what the flipping heck is Whelan even talking about? There are three arguments I can see against cloning:
1) Cloning using techniques like those used today will probably destroy an oocyte.
2) We Don't Know How To Do It, and our best technology, when applied to animals, creates a great number of crippled and suffering failures for every apparent success.
3) It will in some way offend Whelan's God.

Well, I could give a fig about arguments 1 or 3 (especially 3, as I suspect Whelan's God is also offended by pretty much anything Naughty people do with their Front Bottoms that doesn't involve a married couple of fertile heterosexuals joylessly trying to procreate). But 2 is rather a doozy, in ways that have got nothing at all to do with the Constitution (albeit more to do with basic ethics).

And that brings up the really key point: what does any of this have to do with the Constitution? We don't so far as I know have a Constitutional right to use IVF, or to ride pogo sticks, or to drive cars, or to own atom bombs; but in each of these cases a greater or lesser amount of regulation has been put into place, having nothing to do with the Constitution (and the IVF case is highly parallel to an imaginary future successful cloning technology). The only Constitutional issues I can even perceive (as a non-lawyer) are (1) whether it's Constitutional to destroy totipotent human tissue (which has to some degree been settled by Roe V Wade, not to mention simple basic biology, as roughly half of fertilized oocytes never implant; still, if Whelan wants to fight this battle he'd do better to start by trying to ban IVF or perhaps by protecting the rights of certain cancers) (2) whether a successful clone is a human being, with the rights of other humans, and (if born here or naturalized) a citizen, to which the answer in the affirmative is so obvious to me as to seem unworthy of dispute. Tribe's actual blurb at Amazon (if you follow what I will laughingly call Whelan's "link") appears to relate largely to this second issue.

Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Since cloning is not proscribed by the Constitution, nor is the power to regulate reproduction in the constitution doesn't that mean we do have the right to clone ourselves?

Unless some activist judge as expanded some other article to cover something not in the constitution. A conservative would never do that, would they?

When clones are outlawed, only outlaws will have clones.

Well, give him credit. He's found the one issue on which Souter is probably more conservative than Obama.

Oddly, Ed Whelan's (or "Ed Whelan's") various comments DO raise, if probably without meaning to, the prospect of the law and courts having to deal (and probably in the foreseeable future) with the very real problems which advances in medicine are going to create wrt "reproductive" issues.

We can already see today that issues of conception, pregnancy and birth (parenthood, adoption) are no longer as clear-cut as they were in the days before advanced medical technology introduced factors like IVF, surrogacy, posthumous sperm-donation, etc. And the law has had to come up with acceptable (to modern standards and sensibilities) ways of adjudicating these issues. And, when/if human cloning is perfected to the point where its permissibility/desirability becomes a legal, our courts are going to have to deal with that as well.

It's actually a serious subject: unfortunately, Mr. Whelan has chosen, in this piece, to bring it up in such a flip and dismissive manner, as well as assigning it so sneeringly, to "the Left's agenda", that it fully deserves all the mockery publius (and the helpful ObWings commentariat) has heaped on it. Maybe one day a serious commentator will have a go.


It's actually a serious subject: unfortunately, Mr. Whelan has chosen, in this piece, to bring it up in such a flip and dismissive manner, as well as assigning it so sneeringly, to "the Left's agenda", that it fully deserves all the mockery publius (and the helpful ObWings commentariat) has heaped on it.

Whelan is Old Vor (Vorwhelan?). ObWings are Vorkosigan and their minions.

While you're making trivial fun of people like Whelan your crooked president is extorting people:

http://islandturtle.blogspot.com/2009/05/white-house-uses-strong-arm-tactics-to.html

Isn't he a beauty?

While you're making trivial fun of people like Whelan your crooked president is extorting people:

Hm, Lauria is scared of the White House press corps?

Um, isn't that a little...weak sauce?

Whelan is Old Vor (Vorwhelan?). ObWings are Vorkosigan and their minions.

Never go shopping with hilzoy!

Tip of the iceberg, dave. We're turning Chrysler into an ACORN clone factory with the help of the UAW. And remind me, have we confiscated your guns yet?

Dave, do always you take dubious, unsubstantiated, self-serving, accusations as gospel?

Isn't he a beauty?

Crooked? WTF is he getting out of it?

I have a variety of mixed feelings about how Obama is handling the economic shitpile he inherited, but I never forget where the problem came from.

Last fall, there was a lot of talk about this being the Great Depression redux, about how the wheels were really and truly coming off, etc. Some of that talk probably came from me.

Hasn't happened yet. So I'm giving the man some slack. Knocking heads ain't always a bad thing.

To make some comments on the article you link to:

They are being forced to accept just pennies on the dollar for loans they made in good faith less than two years ago.

The offer was $2.25B, which worked out to about 33 cents on the dollar. They countered for $2.5B and when they didn't get it they walked.

Obama called their bluff.

Just like mob loan sharks, the administration wants them under its thumb so they can extort more and more concessions.

Yeah, just like mob loan sharks, except for the part where anybody's legs got broken, or teeth got removed with pliers, or anybody's loved ones showed up dead.

My guess is Corky Boyd's exposure to the "mob" is watching The Sopranos on HBO, or maybe The Godfather on an in-flight movie.

Corky Boyd can kiss my ass.

This is an abuse of power that goes beyond Nixon.

This is the part where I pee my pants from laughing.

These guys loaned money to Chrysler. Chrysler is basically insolvent. The White House, in an effort to avoid BK, put an offer on 33 cents on the dollar on the table. Everybody except the hedges was fine with it. The hedges held out for more. They thought they'd do better in bankruptcy.

Either they will, or they won't. It's the way they wanted to roll, so now they will get what they get.

Bon chance.

I have no problem telling you that I'm freaking sick of the banks thinking they can dictate public policy.

The put a lot of money into a company that was on its way out, and so they're going to lose money. That sucks. Better luck next time.

And Corky Boyd can kiss my ass.

Thanks -

Having finally regained the internet connection that went out last night ...

I have to say: if "Ed Whelan" actually thinks that liberals as a block want to so much as legalize reproductive cloning, let alone discover a Constitutional right, he hasn't been paying attention. Personally, I think it should be banned, for WT's reason #2 above: we don't know how to do it, and it produces lots of birth defects. If we can ban thalidomide, we can ban reproductive cloning. I would add: as best anyone can tell, the way to learn how to do it in humans would be trial and error, since techniques that work for one species do not carry over into another. And since "trial and error" means using a technique that produces horrible birth defects, I can't see a path from where we are now to any situation in which reproductive cloning is OK.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer is, of course, a different story. But even there, a Constitutional right? Sheesh.

While you're making trivial fun of people like Whelan

And not for nothing, but the "trivial fun" is being made of this comment:

the invention of a constitutional right to human cloning

So, yeah, we're making fun of it. It was a tough week, perhaps you'll forgive us if we go for the low hanging fruit.

Thanks -

d^!, you seem to need an online dictionary; here, consider this a helping hand.

The tactics you term "extortion" were a "threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation" (quoting from the post you so nearly link to) - tactics that constitute blackmail at worst, if even that. In fact, I will argue below that any extortion involved was quite conceivably going in the opposite direction.

As I understand it, the context (completely missing in the post you link) is that the government has been preparing an attempt to bail out and to preside over the restructuring of GM and Chrysler. Part of this is done by convincing the debtholders that they're not going to get the full value back. If the companies went into bankruptcy, this discount would almost certainly be the case, but going into bankruptcy could complicate efforts to maintain the companies as going concerns post-bailout. The trick was therefore to convince the debtholders to accept some losses, and Obama made it very clear that he'd use the bully pulpit to shame debtholders who refused to compromise.

Now, you may well have your disagreements with the theory or practice of the Detroit bailouts, but it seems to me that what you're claiming is almost the opposite of the truth: the debtholders were trying a little extortion, betting that by insisting on repayment in full they could engineer a situation such that the only options were to pay them in full or to take the companies into bankruptcy, and that Obama called them on their bluff (and "threatened" to call them names to boot).

There is a reason that lenders extending credit to troubled firms charge higher interest, you know: it's because they're taking a risk. These people thought they could get the best of both worlds and avoid the risk, and so far it appears that they were wrong. That's assuming they even made the loans in the first place; if in fact they were practicing vulture fund tactics then that would only decrease my already low levels of sympathy for them.

It is at times like these that I wish the world were more like college. If it were, when Ed came rolling into the cafeteria, a bunch of us could start singing Darth Vader's theme.

singing Darth Vader's theme
Now I'm tempted to go looking for lyrics set to Vader's theme ... I bet there are some doozies ...

And Ed needs to learn how to insert a link into a blog post.

Never go shopping with hilzoy!

Well, not unless you're on her support team.

But she does know the best places to shop.

I believe it was Man-Bear-Pig(TM) clone, per Colbert anyway.

Dave, do always you take dubious, unsubstantiated, self-serving, accusations as gospel?

Mike, to ask the question is to answer it.

At that point, Obama will control the universe, except for a few renegade rebel star systems.

I believe they would be called the Red State Strike Force Rebels. Or Rebel Scum if you're into the whole brevity thing.

"We don't so far as I know have a Constitutional right to use IVF"

If if I accepted the Roe v. Wade line of cases, I think I could make a pretty good argument that banning IVF could be violating the right to reproductive choice so laws against it would be unconstiutional.

And I'm actually not very comfortable with the state of play on cloning. In the early IVF years, one of the arguments about it was the status of the extra embryos. At the time, one of the anti-IVF arguments (at least according to my mother who talked to me about her concerns in my teen years) was that there would be incentive to create and use extra embryos for experimentation. This was pooh-poohed at the time, yet became a big deal recently with the stem cell debates. (I think less a big deal now that so many other ways of getting pluripotent cells have been discovered.)

I'm torn on cloning. If we could grow an extra liver in a vat from someone's cells, I surely not against it. If in order to do it we have to grow a clone of him, even to say a 6-9 month embryo stage and harvest the liver and then grow it from there, I'm not nearly as comfortable.

I'd rather talk about the morality of this kind of thing now, before we get the vested interests of someone who wants his liver replaced and sees the hope of actually doing it muddying the waters.

Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Article One, Section 8, Clause 18: "The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof"

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