Patterico's Pontifications

8/5/2009

Stupid Criminals, Court Edition

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 7:23 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If you are going to do the crime, don’t do it in the courthouse:

“Munoz walked into the Harris County criminal courthouse facing a minor drug charge Wednesday, but law officers charged him with a felony after they reported spotting him pointing his camera phone up an unsuspecting legal assistant’s skirt while he pretended to tie his shoe.”

Munoz confessed and now faces up to two years in prison.

– DRJ

“Well-Dressed” People Storm Town Hall Meetings

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:29 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Sen. Barbara Boxer describing the “organized” Tea Partiers who are “hurting our President” and want to “change the Congress”:

I think she’s right that they want to change Congress.

– DRJ

William Jefferson Convicted

Filed under: Crime,Government — DRJ @ 5:05 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

An Alexandria, Virginia, federal jury today convicted former Louisiana Democratic Congressman William Jefferson of taking bribes. The evidence against him included $90,000 in cash “wrapped in foil and hidden in boxes of frozen pie crust” in his freezer. [EDIT: Jefferson wasn't convicted on one count in which the government alleged these funds were to be used to bribe a foreign official. See below and Nola.com. H/T reff.]

Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 counts, and his case involved a legal issue of first impression:

“Jefferson was acquitted of counts that included obstruction of justice and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He was the first official to be charged with violating that act, which makes it illegal to bribe foreign government officials.

The defense argued that Jefferson was acting as a private business consultant in brokering the deals and that his actions did not constitute bribery under federal law.”

Jefferson’s trial lasted 8 weeks and the jury deliberated 5 days. The prosecutor said that Jefferson could be sentenced to 20 years under federal sentencing guidelines. Defense counsel says Jefferson will appeal.

– DRJ

Obama to GOP: Hey, I Won

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 2:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama announced “$2.4 billion in taxpayer grants for electric cars and tens of thousands of jobs” as well as promising to deliver health care reform:

“I promise you, we will pass reform by the end of this year because the American people need it,” the president said.”

Later on MSNBC, Obama echoed his January 2009 “I won” message to the GOP as he promised reform with or without Republicans:

“Sometime in September we’re going to have to make an assessment” about whether to keep trying to negotiate with Republicans, he told MSNBC.

Obama said he “would prefer Republicans working with us” but that getting his main priorities for a health care overhaul are more important. It represents a marked change from the emphasis Obama placed on bipartisanship when he launched his campaign for a health care overhaul at a White House summit in March.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller says it will It may come down to whether the Democrats can convince 3 Republicans to join them to make a 60-vote majority:

“Democrats will need 60 votes to overcome parliamentary delaying tactics and pass a bill in the Senate. While there are 60 Democratic senators, two have been absent because of illness, and not all Democrats support the legislation that has emerged thus far from committee.”

My guess is that Ohio’s George Voinovich and Maine’s U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, will get a hefty dose of The Chicago Way in the coming months.

– DRJ

Bratton Quits LAPD

Filed under: Current Events,General — Jack Dunphy @ 1:50 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton announced his resignation today, bringing to an end the persistent and widespread speculation within the department that he would do so soon. I posted my reaction to the news this morning at NRO’s The Corner.

–Jack Dunphy

People oppose ObamaCare because they are schizophrenic

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:33 am

[Posted by Karl]

Opponents of government-run healthcare have been called stupid, and mobs of extremists, but the Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Seib adds that they are crazy:

I hate the health-care system — but don’t you dare mess with it.

That’s a pretty apt summary of the American mind-set about health care — and not just now, but for decades. Something about health care calls forth from the national psyche a deep, almost inexplicable schizophrenia, as the latest, delayed effort to “reform” health care is showing President Barack Obama and the rest of Washington.

Indeed, the quest to fix health care has bedeviled every president since Harry Truman. Arguably, only one — Lyndon Johnson, when he oversaw the birth of Medicare — succeeded in making a real dent. Mr. Obama and Congress have, of course, spent much of the summer agonizing over how to alter the system, but this week lawmakers will head home for an August recess without having passed anything in either the House or Senate, largely because of public anxieties.

This seems counterintuitive. People know the system is creaking, frustrating and way too expensive. They complain about it all the time. Yet they can’t quite let it go.

Seib then offers five factors with cutesy names that explain why he thinks most Americans do not seem keen on ObamaCare. Unfortunately, Seib’s piece is based on an almost total misunderstanding of what Americans think about the healthcare system and supposed reform.

Frank Newport recently compiled a summary of ten key elements of American public opinion on healthcare reform, based on a review of Gallup’s latest survey research as of the week of July 27-31. Of these ten elements, four seem most relevant to the discussion. First, contrary to Seib, most Americans do not believe that the US healthcare system is in a state of crisis. Second, contrary to Seib, most Americans are satisfied with their current medical care and access to healthcare — and thus are not convinced that healthcare reform will benefit them personally. Third, Americans do not believe that healthcare reform would lessen costs — neither for the system as a whole nor for individuals. Fourth, Americans have little confidence that Congress can effectively and efficiently reform the country’s massive healthcare system. At least Seib got that last one right, calling it “The Post Office Factor.”

In short, it turns out that we do not need armchair psychoanalysis from a Beltway columnist to figure out what Americans think about healthcare reform and related issues. Indeed, public opinion on these issues has remained essentially unchanged since the last time Democrats tried healthcare reform in 1993-94. If Jerry Seib is looking for crazy people, he might want to start with the people who deluded themselves into thinking the public was demanding a government takeover of the US healthcare system.

–Karl

Judges: California Must Form Plan to Release 43,000 Prisoners

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:18 am

What could go wrong?

California must shrink the population of its teeming prisons by nearly 43,000 inmates over the next two years to meet constitutional standards, a panel of three federal judges ruled Tuesday, ordering the state to come up with a reduction plan by mid-September.

. . . .

The 185-page opinion follows a trial last year and nearly 14 years of deliberations over lawsuits brought by inmates alleging cruel and unusual punishment, which moved the state case into federal jurisdiction. The opinion accuses the state of fostering “criminogenic” conditions that lead prisoners and parolees to commit more crimes, feeding a cycle of recidivism.

Build a camp next to Stephen Reinhardt’s house and release them there. Maybe Ramona can help them out.

P.S. In the article, the L.A. Times continues its longstanding tradition of failing to tell you who appointed the the judges who rendered this decision.

You’ll be shocked to learn they were all appointed by Democrats.

What Fluffy Said

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

I am pleased to see that this blog now contains the top Google entry for the immortal phrase: what Fluffy said.

Must Read: Roger Kimball on Eric Holder

Filed under: Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 12:12 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

“[W]hat we are seeing unfold in the Department of Justice is another facet of Obama’s spread-the-wealth-around, egalitarian, anti-American ideology.”

Read the whole thing here, at Pajamas Media.

–Jack Dunphy


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