Patterico's Pontifications

3/22/2007

Damn Good Spaghetti

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 11:42 pm

Mark Levin likes my spaghetti.

I was surprised to learn that I’m a “former federal prosecutor.”

But then again, isn’t everybody?

(H/t Jack Dunphy.)

Beldar v. Lederman on Executive Privilege

Filed under: General,Law — Patterico @ 11:25 pm

Bill Dyer (Beldar) and Marty Lederman are having a very civilized discussion about executive privilege as it relates to the U.S. Attorney firings. If you’re at all interested in the issue, I recommend reading through them. It all begins here, with Lederman’s original post. Beldar responds here. At the end of that post, Beldar appends Lederman’s response. Beldar responds further here.

I appreciate these gentlemen taking the time to sort through the issues, and I especially appreciate the respectful and high-level way in which they both approach the discussion.

DRJ Pores Through the Border Patrol Trial Transcripts – Robert Russell (Volume XIII)

Filed under: Crime,General,Immigration — DRJ @ 11:10 pm

Ignacio Ramos’ 3rd and last witness (excluding the sealed testimony) was Border Patrol agent and union Vice President Robert “Rob” Russell:

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Martinez Blasts L.A. Times Newsroom’s “Agenda” and “Ostensibly Objective News Reporters and Editors”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:29 pm

In an eye-opening online resignation from his position as editor of the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times, Andres Martinez today lashed out at news reporters and editors for having an “agenda”:

Among the biggest possible conflicts of interest a newspaper can enter into is to have the same people involved in news coverage running opinion pages. I am proud of the fact that Jeff Johnson, Dean Baquet and I fully separated the opinion pages from the newsroom at the Times. I accept my share of the responsibility for placing the Times in this predicament, but I will not be lectured on ethics by some ostensibly objective news reporters and editors who lobby for editorials to be written on certain subjects, or who have suggested that our editorial page coordinate more closely with the newsroom’s agenda, and I strongly urge the present and future leadership of the paper to resist the cries to revisit the separation between news and opinion that we have achieved.

Wow.

Nobody who reads this blog is surprised to learn that the L.A. Times newsroom has an “agenda,” or that The Times‘s “ostensibly objective news reporters and editors” . . . aren’t.

What is important about that statement is that it is made by someone who, until today, held a top editorial position at the L.A. Times.

In other words, he was in a position to know.

Mr. Martinez, if you would like to elaborate on this statement, I’m here for ya, babe. My e-mail address is patterico AT gmail DOT com. If you’re looking to name names and tell stories, you’ve found the right place!

P.S. The newsroom’s “agenda” creates a much greater appearance of impropriety than Martinez’s giving a guest editor spot to a client of his girlfriend’s P.R. firm. Does it really come as a shock that some people get published on the op-ed page because they know the editor?

Rather than wringing his hands over a nonstory like that, publisher Hiller ought to address his attention to appearances of impropriety that really matter. For example:

It creates an appearance of impropriety when one of the fired U.S. Attorneys directly contradicts the major premise of an L.A. Times article published about him — and five days later, there is still no correction.

It creates an appearance of impropriety when the paper splashes on the front page the fact that rationales for firing the U.S. Attorneys were “detailed after the fact” — and saves for the 27th paragraph the fact that they were detailed before the fact as well.

It creates an appearance of impropriety when the paper tells readers that Carol Lam was targeted after she prosecuted Randy “Duke” Cunningham — and fails to tell readers that she was initially targeted several months before the Cunningham scandal saw the light of day.

These distortions, taken together, form a pattern. Misleading stories like these constitute a real appearance of impropriety on the part of the Los Angeles Times — one far worse than any “appearance of impropriety” caused by today’s non-scandal. Such stories create the overwhelming impression that (to use former editor Martinez’s words) the newsroom’s “ostensibly objective news reporters and editors” have an “agenda” — namely, to keep the U.S. Attorney “scandal” alive for as long as possible.

And the facts, and basic concepts of fundamental fairness, can go to hell.

That, Mr. Hiller, is a real appearance of impropriety. This thing with Andres Martinez? Not so much.

UPDATE: Marc Danziger and Hugh Hewitt see an issue where I don’t.

UPDATE x2: It emerges that a cabal of staffers pressured the publisher to kill this Sunday’s Current edition, prompting Martinez’s resignation. Could these be some of the same news staffers who Martinez claims tried to influence the opinion section? Martinez names names here.

Remaining Duke Lacrosse Charges to Be Dropped

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 4:46 pm

The remaining charges in the Duke Lacrosse case will reportedly be dropped soon. From what I know of the case, this is a very good thing.

I’ll bet the defendants all have a big “thank you” saved up for Mike Nifong. (You can’t understand what I mean by this unless you click the link.)

Best Wishes to Elizabeth Edwards

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:41 pm

Elizabeth Edwards’s cancer has returned. Best wishes to her and John Edwards at this difficult time.

A Warning To Alice Cooper…

Filed under: Crime,General,Humor — Justin Levine @ 12:22 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Watch your back Coop. If you vote off the wrong contestant, you may end up getting shived shivved.

[Meanwhile, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is scheduled to be on the Handel show tomorrow at 7:30AM (PST) to discuss the contest.]

DRJ Pores Through the Border Patrol Trial Transcripts – Rene Sanchez, Recalled (Volume XIII)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 9:00 am

Ignacio Ramos’ 2nd defense witness was Rene Sanchez. Sanchez testified earlier as the first prosecution witness.

This might be a good time to review the official report from the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, on the Ramos and Compean case. The portion that pertains to Rene Sanchez starts at page 10 of the linked PDF.

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They Can Spin Anything

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

The Administration’s opponents can spin anything. Big Media admits that one of the fired U.S. Attorneys, Kevin Ryan, was plenty loyal, but just incompetent. The spin? His name was added to the list too late.

See, they can spin anything. This one was fired for prosecuting Republicans, that one for prosecuting Democrats — OK, we’l say the Democrats were prosecuted too slowly. This one wasn’t loyal to the Administration, but that one was — OK, we’ll say his name was added to the list too late.

Why won’t you have public hearings, President Bush? What are you afraid of?

My guess is: the spin.

WaPo Details Potential Politicization of an Actual Case at the Justice Department

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:25 am

The Washington Post reports:

The leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted a landmark lawsuit against tobacco companies said yesterday that Bush administration political appointees repeatedly ordered her to take steps that weakened the government’s racketeering case.

Sharon Y. Eubanks said Bush loyalists in Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s office began micromanaging the team’s strategy in the final weeks of the 2005 trial, to the detriment of the government’s claim that the industry had conspired to lie to U.S. smokers.

She said a supervisor demanded that she and her trial team drop recommendations that tobacco executives be removed from their corporate positions as a possible penalty. He and two others instructed her to tell key witnesses to change their testimony. And they ordered Eubanks to read verbatim a closing argument they had rewritten for her, she said.

An internal investigation revealed no wrongdoing, a fact that, Steve Sturm notes, was buried on the back pages, while the above was all on Page A1. Also, the principals involved argue that they were simply trying to ensure that any remedy would survive appeal, an argument that has some support in the judge’s final order.

Still, I think there are other shoes yet to drop on this one. Do you think there won’t be follow-up stories trying to tie this to specific donations from tobacco companies?

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