Posts Tagged ‘Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’

September 11 roundup

  • House Ways & Means — yep, Charlie Rangel’s own — passes bill slamming taxpayers for innocent errors [James Peaslee, WSJ, via Alkon]
  • Must protect the children! “Parents banned from British school sports event” [Common Room] After-school pickup procedures can get a little crazy too [Free-Range Kids, Florida]
  • Once again, America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure® (that’d be RFK Jr.) sounds off on an environmental dispute to which he turns out to have personal financial ties [Greenwire via Eco-Pragmatism]
  • Allegations in ugly Florida law firm breakup include misallocation of Hillary Clinton campaign money [DBR]
  • When in court, try to avoid following the example of “Girls Gone Wild” impresario Joe Francis [Lowering the Bar and more, earlier]
  • “Judge Allowed to Sue N.Y. Daily News, But Not a Lawyer Thought to Be a Source” [ABA Journal, NYLJ]
  • New Hampshire judge rules for divorced father who disapproves of homeschooling [Volokh]
  • ABA Journal is taking nominations for its annual best-of “Blawg 100” list [hint, nudge]

April 24 roundup

RFK Jr. defends Paul Minor

Over the years we’ve traced some of the shifting theories by which it’s been argued that once-prominent attorney Paul Minor was railroaded and didn’t really deserve conviction in that seedy Mississippi cash-for-judges scandal. Now America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure®, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., has started banging his bowl in Minor’s cause, prompting Alan Lange to do what Kennedy does not do, namely provide supporting documents and links by which the interested reader can check out the actual details of the Minor-Whitfield-Teel scandals rather than taking someone’s word for it.

P.S. Tom Freeland analyzes the legal issues in the Minor oral argument, and follows up. P.P.S. Freeland’s reaction to the RFK Jr. work is not a placid one.

RFK Jr. at it again on hog farms

Six years ago America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure®, celebrity environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. made himself a laughingstock by announcing that large hog farms were more of a danger to America than Osama bin Laden. Asked about it yesterday while testifying to a House Judiciary subcommittee, Kennedy responded as follows, according to Ralph Hallow in the Washington Times:

“I don’t know if that [quotation] is accurate, but I believe it and I support it,” said Mr. Kennedy, who has been involved in a vigorous legal effort against the meat industry for some years, arguing that manure and other products associated with large livestock producers emit toxic wastes that threaten the environment.

Mr. Kennedy also has said that a single hog consignment can put out more pollution than a city of a million people.

He has also said that every public official in North Carolina has been corrupted by the pork industry. He cited as evidence an editorial in a Raleigh newspaper, although he also said there may be some exceptions. …

Mr. Kennedy has said that he plans to go after all large farms in the country, not just pork producers. He has also said that the “right” lawsuit against livestock producers could bring damage awards of up to $13 billion.

Kennedy is deeply involved with contingency-fee private lawyers running the lawsuits against agricultural producers, a fact that only infrequently surfaces in news accounts about the hothead scion, who’s been the subject of regular coverage at this site since its beginning nearly ten years ago. More: Gateway Pundit.

November 14 roundup

  • Pajamas TV interviews me on Obama cabinet prospects (RFK Jr., Caroline Kennedy, Schwarzenegger, Gorelick, etc.) (Nov. 13, subscription-only)
  • Federal court in New Orleans hits attorney with five-year practice suspension after “intentionally contemptuous” filing and other misconduct [Times-Picayune, Ashton O’Dwyer]
  • Lawyer sues his straying wife for giving him herpes, but her lawyer says a test proves she doesn’t have the malady in the first place [Above the Law]
  • Doctors (e.g.) being put through hostile depositions are often tempted to talk back sharply to the lawyer. Bad move, says Ronald Miller [Maryland Injury]
  • It’s a shame most of the press remains incurious about that episode a few days ago in which talk of compulsory national service appeared, then vanished from the Obama site [K. Ryan James]
  • Batting cage pitching machine without prompting hits customer in most sensitive part of male anatomy, he collects $1.2 million [The Big Lead]
  • ACLU will defend preacher sent to prison on parole violation charge after writing “God will smite this judge” newspaper article (having earlier been convicted of election misconduct)[AP/FoxNews, western Michigan]
  • On appeal, Long Island attorney beats charges of coaching clients to fake injury and using “steerers” to gain business [NYLJ]

New at RFK Jr. to EPA?

I’ve got a new opinion column just out at on the reports that president-elect Obama may be considering America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure®, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Earlier this week I posted on the topic here and here (welcome Jonathan Adler/Volokh, Ron Coleman/Likelihood of Success readers).

More: Orac advises writing letters to the Obama transition team urging them to consider the harm to their credibility should a figure such as RFK Jr. get the nod. His comments section includes many good examples of such letters, and Kathleen Seidel, autism blogger extraordinaire, contributes one at her site as well. See also this perhaps unintentionally ironic dispatch by MSNBC’s Alan Boyle on Thursday listing as among president-elect Obama’s “top tasks” “taking the ideology out of scientific issues” and quoting Chris Mooney, author of “The Republican War on Science,” to the effect that “the war has ended, and science has won”. The Center for American Progress’s ScienceProgress site, to which Mooney contributes, doesn’t seem to have weighed in on the RFK Jr. matter.

And: tons of mostly helpful blog reactions. At ScienceBlogs, besides Orac, there are the influential P.Z. Myers/Pharyngula (“another irrational purveyor of woo and fluffy substanceless hysteria”), Chad Orzel, Uncertain Principles (“his highest-profile activity in recent years has been the promotion of nutbar conspiracy theories”), Mike the Mad Biologist (“every bit as ridiculous as creationism”), Around the Clock (“He is the typical paranoid, conspiracy-theorist, hyperbolic quack. A kind of person shunned, ignored and marginalized by the Democratic Party for decades now for two good reasons: such people’s judgment cannot be trusted, and such people give the party a bad name”), James Hrynyshyn (“More worrisome is the fact that Obama on at least one campaign occasion, pandered to the anti-vaccine crowd by describing the science on the subject as “inconclusive” despite loads of studies that show no link”, PalMD, ERV, Science Woman, Effect Measure, SunClipse, and Mark Hoofnagle. Plus: Skepchick, DarkSyde @ DailyKos, Rondi Adamson (“gives me the creeps…The guy’s a complete wingnut”), Wendy Williams, Steven Novella, Neurologica (“This would be an unmitigated disaster for science in government … Putting a known antiscientific crank in this position is inexcusable”), The Amateur Scientist (“an absolutely terrible idea … the guy’s bad news”), Brandon Keim, WiredScience (“America doesn’t need more political officials who skew science to fit personal beliefs.”), Thinking Outside, Science Avenger, Colossus of Rhodey, Politico. Liz Ditz has a great roundup of critical opinions.

Further: Edward John Craig at NRO “Planet Gore” here and here.

“You’ve got yourself an unconfirmable nominee”

The buzz about a possible seat in the Cabinet for hothead scion and anti-vaccine crank Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. continues with a second article in Politico, this time shifting the speculation to the Environmental Protection Agency and citing “Democratic officials” who claim Obama is “strongly considering” RFK, Jr. for that post (Mike Allen, “Obama considers stars for Cabinet”, Nov. 5; earlier). Tim Noah at Slate shouts a timely “don’t”:

Environmental Protection Agency or Interior Department. Do not hire Robert Kennedy Jr. He’s too partisan and kind of a nut when it comes to policy. Check out this dangerously alarmist 2005 Rolling Stone piece about the purported link between autism and childhood vaccines. (To learn why Kennedy’s piece was alarmist, see “Sticking Up for Thimerosal” by Arthur Allen in Slate, August 2005.) Throw in Kennedy’s 1983 heroin bust, and you’ve got yourself an unconfirmable nominee.

(“The Uncabinet”, Nov. 5). Jonathan Adler @ Volokh, frequent vaccine-blogger Orac/Respectful Insolence, Jason Zengerle at the New Republic, and Hans Bader @ CEI are all on the case as well. Even David Roberts at GristMill is very far from enthusiastic, to say the least. I said exactly what I thought of Kennedy’s book Crimes Against Nature in a New York Post review, and our tagged posts here provide a lot of background on the celebrity environmentalist.

More: Orac returns with a lengthy, devastating and link-rich second post; Mike Dunford/Questionable Authority (“The politicization of science is bad no matter who does it. It wasn’t just bad when the Republicans were involved. It will be just as bad if it’s a Democrat doing it.”); Eric Berlin (“hope it’s someone’s idea of a bad joke”). And Michael Moynihan, Reason “Hit and Run” (“nutty” pro-Hugo-Chavez rants).

RFK, Jr. to Interior?

Someone in the Obama campaign seems to be floating the name of America’s Most Irresponsible Public Figure® as a possible Secretary of the Interior. (Mike Allen, “Dems sketch Obama staff, cabinet”, Politico, Oct. 31). More: Stuttaford, NRO; and a new Politico piece quotes “Democratic officials” as saying the president-Elect is “strongly considering” the wayward scion to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

P.S. And now it seems by running this item I’ve killed the whole election buzz for Orac. Sorry!