Patterico's Pontifications

11/29/2007

9th Circuit Reamage

Filed under: Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 1:32 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Is ‘reamage’ even a word? Whatever. I like the sound of it.

Anyway, check out this dismissal of an appeal [PDF link] –

Sekiya’s opening brief is so deficient that we are compelled to strike it in its entirety and dismiss the appeal.

The brief fails to provide the applicable standard of review…makes virtually no legal arguments…lacks a table of contents…a table of authorities…citations to authority…and accurate citations to the record.

Sekiya challenges the district court’s conclusion on summary judgment that she failed to present evidence that would support a finding of discrimination or establish that she was constructively discharged. She does so by asserting that “Plaintiff-Appellant disagrees” and by providing this court with a list of asserted facts without adequate citation to the record and without any argument or authority on how these facts, contrary to the district court’s conclusion, would support or establish the finding that Sekiya seeks. Bare assertions and lists of facts unaccompanied by analysis and completely devoid of caselaw fall far short of the requirement that counsel present “appellant’s contentions and the reasons for them.”

Furthermore, the sarcastic comments made by her supervisor about her foot, though insensitive, do not rise to the level of a constructive discharge under our caselaw.

Aldrete-Davila Accused in At Least Two More Smuggling Attempts

Filed under: Immigration,Law — DRJ @ 12:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, the drug smuggler whose testimony convicted Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean, has been connected to at least two more smuggling attempts after he was shot in the 2005 smuggling incident:

“Months after being shot by a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents, an admitted Mexican drug smuggler was back in the United States driving loads of marijuana, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigator said today.

DEA Agent Robert Holguin testified at a bond hearing that Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, the smuggler shot during a failed smuggling attempt in 2005, has been connected to at least two more smuggling attempts. Aldrete is facing drug charges after his arrest at the border this month.”

The allegations against Aldrete-Davila are based on the statement of Cipriano Ortiz Hernandez and corroborated by an unidentified man:

“Holguin testified that an El Paso County man, Cipriano Ortiz Hernandez, first identified Aldrete as the driver of one of those loads in October 2005, after agents found 750 pounds of marijuana at his house. Ortiz has pleaded guilty to drug charges and is awaiting sentencing. Details of Ortiz’s plea agreement have been sealed.

Another man, who has not been identified, later told agents about the September 2005 incident, Holguin testified.”

Holguin also confirmed Aldrete-Davila was lured back into the US so he could be arrested:

“Aldrete was indicted last month on charges of conspiracy and possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute. He was arrested earlier this month at the border after being lured to the border by federal agents, Holguin said.

“It was a ruse,” Holguin said, adding that he didn’t know what agents promised Aldrete.”

Aldrete-Davila’s request for bond was apparently denied.

— DRJ

More Bad News for The New York Times

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Nat Worden of TheStreet thinks the last great newspaper war in New York City is imminent and The New York Times may be moving closer to surrender:

“With News Corp. (NWS) poised to swallow Dow Jones (DJ) , New York Times (NYT) looks vulnerable on the eve of what could be the last great newspaper war in New York City.

Shares of the Gray Lady hit 10-year lows Wednesday after a Wall Street analyst downgraded the stock to a sell, citing the potential for a recession to weigh on advertising from luxury goods retailers, which make up 28% of the company’s national advertising revenue.

In another sign of weakness, a memo to staff members at the company’s flagship newspaper said the publication is cutting newsroom jobs amid a hiring freeze. This at a time when its chief rival, The Wall Street Journal, is hiring as its publisher prepares to duck under the News Corp. umbrella.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who struck a deal to acquire The Journal’s publisher this year, has said he plans to beef up its political coverage, signaling that the right-wing media mogul, who makes no secret of his disdain for the Times and its perceived liberal bias, is hell-bent on burying the Gray Lady on her own turf.”

Analysts see more bad news ahead for The Times:

“In addition to weakness in the luxury goods sector, Bank of America analyst Joe Arns said in a research note that The Times is also vulnerable to the pain in financial services wrought by the subprime lending debacle, because roughly half the company’s revenue comes from finance towns New York City and Boston. Banks like Citigroup (C) and Merrill Lynch (MER) have taken gigantic writedowns, and many observers say that more trouble for the industry is in store.

Arns said a recession could result in a 20% gap or more between the company’s forecast for 2008 earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization and Wall Street’s expectations.”

In an effort to cut costs, management previously imposed a freeze on hiring and now laid off about a dozen support staff, but no journalists:

“For now, the Times is cutting about a dozen support positions in its newsrooms, according to media reports.

“This staff reduction does not include any journalists, nor any widespread buyouts, as has happened in the past,” Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote in the memo, according to Reuters. “We put into place a hiring freeze several weeks ago, and except for those jobs that are critically important to our future ambitions, we will be trying to fill their positions internally.”

It’s never good news to hear that people have lost their jobs, especially around the holidays, and I hope they find employment quickly. They might try the Wall Street Journal.

— DRJ

Merry Christmas from the Democrats

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:45 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

First it’s possible Democratic plants at debates.

Then it’s GOP mug shots at the New York Public Library.

‘Tis the Season for Democratic dirty tricks.

— DRJ

Republican YouTube Debate Filled with Questions from People with Undisclosed Ties to Democrat Candidates

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am

Back in July, I had a post that asked: Should Republicans Participate in the YouTube Debate? I said:

I read the transcript of the Democrat version, and I understand the reluctance. The Democrat debate was dominated by questioners asking: “Why can’t you be more leftist?” And the Republican debate will be dominated by questioners asking: “Why can’t you be more leftist?”

That prediction was more obvious than it was bold. But it turned out to be worse than even I realized. Remember that the Democrat debate was filled with questions from folks with undisclosed affiliations to Democrat candidates, as this Hot Air video cleverly documented:

And as I noted last night in an update to this post, the Republican debate was filled with questions from folks with undisclosed affiliations to Democrat candidates.

Everyone knows about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell questioner with an undisclosed affiliation to the Hillary campaign. But the blogosphere immediately picked up on several more connections, which were first documented (as far as I saw) in a Michelle Malkin post that Drudge has linked on his front page. (I just accessed her post seconds ago, but apparently she has had trouble keeping up the site due to the Drudge link. If you have trouble pulling up Michelle’s post, you can see a summary of some of the other questioners’ undisclosed ties to Democrats in this Hot Air post.) There’s a woman in an Edwards ’08 T-shirt complaining about how Republicans didn’t answer her question right — and her support for Edwards was easily discoverable before the debate. And there’s another guy who has a blog at Obama ’08.

And Christoph tells us that there’s even more evidence than that, being developed here and here.

I’d caution folks not to overstate the case. Unless there is clear evidence that the campaigns themselves were involved, I’m reluctant to call these “plants” by the campaigns. The clear truth is bad enough: many of these folks had clear ties to Democrat campaigns that CNN should have discovered and disclosed, but didn’t. It’s now happened, not once, but twice. It should be a terrific embarrassment to CNN.

As usual, the lumber-footed Big Media appears slow to discover all this. The L.A. Times has a story about the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell guy, but nothing (as far as I can tell) on the other undisclosed connections. Will such a story be forthcoming? One hopes. If not, we can always leave a comment complaining about the omission on the Readers’ Representative blog.

Of course, our comment may not be published . . .

Readers’ Representative Blog: The Comments Are Very Restricted. With Your Cooperation, I Want to Find Out Just How Restricted They Are

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:54 am

I recently did a post that says, in relevant part:

The blog of the L.A. Times‘s “Readers’ Representative” is now online.

. . . .

I suggest you go to the introductory post and leave a comment, if you are so inclined, and have any unanswered questions about the paper’s recent performance.

You might find fertile ground for comments in my recent post on Tim Rutten — in particular my unanswered e-mail about the difference between making an error and “concocting” a story. Or maybe you’re curious about Rutten’s violation of the paper’s policy on using anonymous sources, and when this issue will be raised on the blog.

You might even have questions that have nothing to do with Tim Rutten!

Go forth and leave a comment!

Well, as I noted here, very few comments have been posted, and I know of at least one comment (by reader nk) that was never posted.

Amy Alkon notes here that this “conversation” between the paper and its readers is intended to be very restricted. Amy’s sharp eye picked up this crucial qualification in the blog’s introductory post:

All comments will be read and forwarded to the appropriate Times staffers. Those that touch on topics of wide interest or raise new aspects of the conversation will be posted.

And those that Jamie Gold deems uninteresting or insufficiently “new” . . . will not be posted. In other words, they aren’t going to post all comments. Just the ones they choose to post.

Amy Alkon says:

I think their error was in calling this a blog not a publicity campaign with a faux comments section.

Ouch. That hurts — but mostly because it may be true.

Let’s find out.

I reiterate my call for my readers to go post a comment. Be polite, and raise an interesting issue about the paper.

And save your comment before you post it.

If the paper does not post your comment, send it to me, and I will publish it in a post.

I’d really like to see wide participation on this, folks. Let’s see what they’ll post and what they won’t. Leave your comment in the blog’s introductory post.

11/28/2007

Memo to CNN: How to Run a Fair Debate

Filed under: 2008 Election,Media Bias — DRJ @ 7:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Rule #1. Google the questioners:

“So, the fellow who just asked the Republican candidates about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, retired Brigader General Keith Kerr, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Presidency.”

H/T The Corner and Instapundit.

— DRJ

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Michelle Malkin has evidence of other questioners’ affiliations with Democrat candidates.

CNN should be deeply embarrassed.

Must have been a helluva lot of money to spend in court costs just to get back less than a third-of-an-ounce of pot

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Court Decisions — Justin Levine @ 5:57 pm

But I’ve still got to admire a guy for standing on principle. [PDF link alert]

[posted by Justin Levine, and most definitely NOT posted by Patterico who, rumor has it, works in the District Attorney’s office and may or may not have his own opinions on this issue.]

Bill Clinton Reinvents His View on the War in Iraq

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 5:08 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Bill Clinton tried to give a boost to wife Hillary’s campaign by reminding Iowa voters of his Presidency (‘back to the future!’), but his efforts may have fallen flat when he claimed he always opposed the War in Iraq:

“Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring America ‘back to the future,’ husband Bill says, promoting his own legacy in public life almost as much as his wife’s presidential campaign.

Showing inconsistency on an issue that has dogged his wife, the former president also told Iowa Democrats that he “opposed (war in) Iraq from the beginning.”

However, Clinton did not clearly oppose the Iraq War and he was forced to explain his inconsistent statements:

“He has not clearly opposed the war from the start. Like his wife, the former president has been critical of the Iraq war in recent months, but at one time he gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt. “I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” he said in May 2003, the same year he was quoted praising Bush’s handling of the war.

Asked about the discrepancy, Clinton aides said Tuesday’s comment was a short-handed explanation of his long-held views that weapons inspectors should have been given more time in Iraq. “As he said before the war and many times since, President Clinton disagreed with taking the country to war without allowing the weapons inspectors to finish their jobs,” said spokesman Jay Carson.”

Clinton also complained that he wasn’t taxed his share for the War in Iraq:

“On Iraq, he told the crowd that wealthy people like he and his wife should pay more taxes in times of war. “Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers,” Clinton said.”

President Clinton: Please feel free to make a generous Gift Contribution to Reduce the Public Debt.

— DRJ

Pakistan’s Musharraf Assumes Civilian Role; May Lift State of Emergency

Filed under: Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf today relinquished his position as Army Chief and the Times of India reports he may lift the state of emergency in the next 48 hours:

“Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who quit as the Army Chief on Wednesday, is expected to end the Emergency he imposed earlier this month “within the next 48 hours”.

Musharraf would make “major political announcements”, including the lifting of the Emergency and freeing of detained persons, while addressing the nation after being sworn in as a civilian ruler for a second presidential term on Thursday, Dawn News channel reported.

Besides the withdrawal of the Emergency “within the next 48 hours”, all journalists, lawyers and rights activists detained under emergency regulations would be freed soon, the channel quoted sources as saying.”

I think Musharraf’s political actions correlate with Pakistan’s recent military action in the tribal areas. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan and Western Pakistan, and it’s believed that Osama bin Laden may be in the tribal areas. This adds a compelling reason for the US to encourage Musharraf to take action in the tribal areas, likely with a threat to end US financial assistance to Pakistan if he refuses.

Recent military actions have resulted in militants trapped in the Swat Valley and many insurgent deaths. Musharraf’s credibility with elements of the military would be damaged, perhaps beyond repair, when he ordered the Pakistani military to mount a serious attack on the tribal areas. Musharraf’s resignation as Army Chief in favor of a hand-picked successor and US ally might be the best result he could hope for under the circumstances.

The next question is what’s happening in the Swat Valley and the tribal areas. The Pakistani military may have intentionally or unintentionally lured local insurgents into the Swat Valley. The military sealed the Swat Valley, killing many insurgents. These may not be al Qaeda or bin Laden’s protectors but they were a buffer that has virtually disappeared in a fortnight.

What’s next? By all reports, Pakistan has pulled thousands of troops from its border with India and put them into the tribal areas. US and Afghan troops wait on the other side of the tribal areas. The vise is tightening. It remains to be seen if the Pakistani military will close the vise.

— DRJ

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