Patterico's Pontifications


M.C. Rove Is in the House

Filed under: General,Humor — Patterico @ 4:16 pm

Oh. My. God.

The best part is, you just know he practiced this.

9th Circuit On Prosecutorial Immunity

Filed under: Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 4:12 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

I know that Patterico is very busy these days. But if he ever gets around to it, I’d be curious to hear his perspective on this decision.

— Justin Levine

UPDATE FROM PATTERICO: I haven’t read the decision, but I do have one question: how does Stephen Reinhardt end up on every single case involving hot-button liberal issues?

Honestly, it’s more than a little odd.

I will add a comment that doesn’t go to the merits of the decision, but is based on news reports I have about read it. I never really held ambitions to be a supervisor. But if I had, this decision would kill those ambitions dead.

Unless, of course, it gets reversed.

UPDATE x2 FROM PATTERICO: I’ll try to post on this more when I’m not dead tired. But the upshot seems to be that, while prosecutors would get absolute immunity for deliberately hiding exculpatory evidence in a case, they are not entitled to such immunity for drafting policies that are insufficient to ensure that exculpatory informaton is disclosed.

I’m not sure I buy that.

The “Readers’ Representative” Responds: L.A. Times Readers Won’t Be Told that the Central Premise of a Previous Article Was Dead Wrong

Filed under: Current Events,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:08 am

The editors of the L.A. Times know that fired U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins disputes the central premise of an article they published, about whether his dismissal was tied to a political investigation.

They know it — but their readers don’t. And they have decided to hide this fact from their readers.

The paper reported that Cummins feared there was a connection between his firing and an investigation he had conducted. Cummins has since unequivocally said that he does not fear that, and knows of no possible connection. He believes he was misquoted. Even if he wasn’t, he says, the quote did not accurately state his beliefs, as should have been clear from the context of the conversation.

No matter. The paper has decided to leave its readers in the dark. Here is the e-mail I received from the Readers’ Representative:


I had assumed that you meant this more as an advisory on Cummins’ thoughts on the subject as discussed with another outlet. As The Times story said, Cummins “wonders whether it had something to do with the probe he opened into alleged corruption by Republican officials in Missouri.” The Times story emphasized that point as more evidence that DOJ simply won’t tell the fired prosecutors why they were terminated. According to what you sent, Cummins said that he didn’t “intend” to say something in a certain way; he didn’t, as seems to be your interpretation, “deny the central premise” of the Times story.

Jamie Gold
Readers’ Representative

The hell he didn’t.

The story in question was titled Cummins fears corruption investigation led to his firing. What do you figure the central premise of that story is? Bingo! The premise was that Bud Cummins feared a corruption investigation had led to his firing:

Still uncertain exactly why he was fired, former U.S. Atty. H.E. “Bud” Cummins III wonders whether it had something to do with the probe he opened into alleged corruption by Republican officials in Missouri amid a Senate race there that was promising to be a nail-biter.

Cummins, a federal prosecutor in Arkansas, was removed from his job along with seven other U.S. attorneys last year.

In January 2006, he had begun looking into allegations that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt had rewarded GOP supporters with lucrative contracts to run the state’s driver’s license offices. Cummins handled the case because U.S. attorneys in Missouri had recused themselves over potential conflicts of interest.

But in June, Cummins said, he was told by the Justice Department that he would be fired at year’s end to make room for Timothy Griffin — an operative tied to White House political guru Karl Rove.

In an interview Thursday, Cummins expressed disgust that the Bush administration may have fired him and the others for political reasons. “You have to firewall politics out of the Department of Justice. Because once it gets in, people question every decision you make. Now I keep asking myself: ‘What about the Blunt deal?’ “

As I previously noted here and here, Cummins disputed the central point of the article in an e-mail to the TPM Muckraker blog. In his e-mail, Cummins said that he does not fear that a corruption investigation had led to his firing. As for his quote in the L.A. Times, he said:

Unfortunately, that isn’t what I said, or at least what I intended to say, and it is not the case.

The context of my conversation with LA Times reporter Richard Serrano was clearly that I do not know of ANY connection between the Missouri investigation (which actually had nothing to do with Governor Blunt) and my termination.

The L.A. Times “Readers’ Representative” claims that “Cummins said that he didn’t ‘intend’ to say something in a certain way.” But if you read the entire e-mail — and I reprint the whole thing below, with certain parts emphasized — you can see that Cummins firmly believes he was misquoted. He says more than once that he believes L.A. Times reporter Richard Serrano misunderstood him. He believes that he said to Serrano: “Now you are asking me — what about the Blunt deal?” He explains that he said this, not to suggest that there was a connection, but simply “to illustrate the point that people are questioning things that weren’t an issue before the information about the firings was recently disclosed.”

What’s more, he says, even if there was somehow a slip of the tongue and he was quoted accurately, the entire context of the conversation made it clear that he knew of no connection between his firing and the investigation.

It is crystal clear from his e-mail that this is not a situation where he simply regrets what he told a reporter. It’s not as if Cummins regrets saying something bad about the Administration, and wants to make nice with the Bush crowd. In his e-mail, Cummins expresses his belief that the Administration lied about the other U.S. Attorneys. These are not the words of someone who regrets something he said. He just doesn’t think he made this particular statement to the L.A. Times.

For L.A. Times readers to understand what Cummins meant, it is absolutely critical that this information be reported. The editors thought the original story was important enough to report. But now that the main player has clarified that the story’s central premise was dead wrong, that’s somehow not news. The editors have decided to allow the original misleading point to stand — just as they have left other misleading impressions to stand in recent weeks with respect to the U.S. Attorney firings.

And somehow, all these misleading impressions harm Bush.


P.S. It’s not “defending the Administration” to point this out. It’s defending the concept of giving the public the whole truth. The L.A. Times has made a deliberate decision to hide the whole truth from its readers. That’s what upsets me.

Cummin’s full e-mail is in the extended entry, with my emphasis in bold.


Getting Information The Hard Way (Or, Why I Should Be Working For

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Snarkage — Justin Levine @ 2:39 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

Roger Friedman from Fox News gives us this breathless tidbit concerning the Anna Nicole Smith story –

How close was Anna Nicole Smith to the psychiatrist who prescribed all those drugs for her? Very close, it seems. Maybe too close. In fact, they were next-door neighbors.

Real estate records for both Anna Nicole and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich reveal that the patient and her doctor actually lived next door to each other in million-dollar homes in Studio City, Calif.

Umm…Note to Roger: Why did you feel the need to spend the time and effort combing through real estate records to discover this? Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to watch the Anna Nicole Smith Show? After all, Episode 18 features Khristine Eroshevich throughout the narrative and clearly announces her as being a neighbor. But then again, the second season is hard to find on DVD, so I guess only true fans of the Anna Nicole Smith Show would consider this to be common knowledge.

Note to  My starting salary for such superior investigative tabloid skills starts at six-figures….


Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 4)

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Environment — Justin Levine @ 11:02 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

I believe that author Michael Crichton is a prophet and the savior of mankind. The Christon has come to dispense with the Goreacle…

Ok, maybe not that. But Crichton is one of the most sensible voices in the global warming debate that I have come across.

I urge everyone to read a recent interview he gave on the issue.

I linked to this Crichton speech in another post in this series, but I didn’t really emphasize it at the time.  Crichton’s “Aliens Cause Global Warming” speech is must reading. I dare say that it is some of the best writing he has ever done. The scientific community should take it to heart.

Just a brief sample of a speech that is solid gold from start to finish – 

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

What does that do, huh? Does that blow your mind?? THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (part 3)

Filed under: Accepted Wisdom,Environment — Justin Levine @ 10:47 pm

[posted by Justin Levine] 

This series of posts isn’t just to spout off my own personal opinions (after all, who really cares?), but to stimulate a much needed debate. However, one commenter asked me a legitimate question – what exactly do I believe or not believe as a self-proclaimed “skeptic” on the global warming issue.

In a nutshell –


Patterico’s Assignment Desk (Part 2)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:01 pm

Undaunted by the poor showing in response to my first assignment, I am issuing a second assigment to you lazy bastards.

Those U.S. Attorneys who were fired — were they the only ones in the country conducting political prosecutions?

Other than Patrick Fitzgerald, who wasn’t fired.

As far as I can tell, the Administration also failed to fire the folks who successfully prosecuted Jack Abramoff or Bob Ney. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Hell, this guy is still getting convictions.

(But, because every point for the Republicans seems to have a counterpoint — we also have the other guy who investigated Abramoff, who was fired.)

Facts and links, folks. Facts and links.

The Inspired Democrat vs. the Angry Republican: Who Should Win??

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 9:57 pm

If you want to know why conservatives get annoyed with Big Media, you need look no further than this post. It shows that, according to the Washington Post, a liberal “spoke with the fervor of a preacher” — while the conservative’s voice “rose in anger.”

In other words, they both got upset and talked loud. But we found the liberal’s speech inspiring, while we found the conservative’s speech to be simply angry.

More Fringe Leftist Tolerance

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:32 pm

Lovely. The T-shirt, about Tony Snow, reads:

My colon may be gone,
But I haven’t lost my Asshole!

By the way: liver cancer? People generally don’t survive it:

Because it is a fast-growing tumor rarely diagnosed in the early stages, liver cancer is typically fatal within a year of diagnosis.

[UPDATE: DRJ says I am mixing up primary and secondary liver cancer. I hope so. I’m no expert in this area and don’t claim to be.]

God, I’m getting sick of these people. There are so many of them who are so self-righteous about their beliefs that they feel comfortable wishing death on their political opponents — or at least having the thought.

Geffen: Clintons Are Fascists

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:38 pm

The New York Observer‘s Off the Record column has this piece about the Andres Martinez debacle. Takeaway quote, about a lunch Martinez had with potential L.A. Times purchaser David Geffen:

“[Mr. Geffen] spent half the lunch talking about how the Clintons were fascists,” said Mr. Martinez, of the August 2005 meeting. He had a few other gripes, according to Mr. Martinez: cuts to the sports section, coverage of his Malibu beach-house controversy, and an editorial critical of DreamWorks.

So there’s your L.A. Times under David Geffen. A big sports section; editorials praising the genius of DreamWorks; zero coverage of anything having to do with private beaches in Malibu — and an editorial slant that reflects the point of view that Bill and Hillary Clinton are “fascists.”

Good times!

(H/t E.B.)

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