Patterico's Pontifications

6/1/2010

Snuffleupagus Jumps Down O’Keefe’s Throat

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe,General — Patterico @ 8:05 pm

Helen Thomas Provides the Hamas Point of View

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:41 pm

I miss Tony Snow.

Meanwhile, we’re learning more about jihadists on the flotilla.

And here is much better video than we previously had, showing us the beginning of the horrible supposed Israeli atrocity, which has been compared to 9/11 by the Turkish foreign minister.

(Thanks to Allahpundit for all links.)

Judge Allows Leach’s Contract Claim Against Texas Tech

Filed under: Law,Sports — DRJ @ 7:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Lubbock district court judge threw out several tort and other claims filed by former Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach, but allowed his breach of contract claim to continue against Texas Tech University:

“Former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach can move forward with a lawsuit claiming breach of contract over his firing, which followed allegations of player mistreatment, a judge ruled Tuesday.

State District Judge William C. Sowder struck down Texas Tech’s claim of sovereign immunity from the breach of conduct claim. But Sowder upheld the university’s sovereign immunity against the lawsuit’s other claims, which included libel, slander and violation of Texas’ Whistleblower Act.

The university fired Leach on Dec. 30, two days after suspending him amid allegations he mistreated a player with a concussion. Leach has denied mistreating Adam James and suspects an $800,000 bonus he was to have received Dec. 31 was the reason he was fired.”

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports the Judge also threw out claims against individual Tech administrators but has yet to rule on claims against the chair and vice chair of the Board of Regents, or on Leach’s claim against Adam James’ father Craig.

— DRJ

Turkey Calls on U.S. to Condemn Israel

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 6:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Turkey has called on the Obama Administration to condemn the Israelis over yesterday’s flotilla raid:

“Turkey demanded on Tuesday that the United States condemn the deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip that ended with Israeli soldiers killing nine activists.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that Turkey, an unofficial backer of the flotilla, was disappointed with the Obama administration’s response to the raid.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said later that Davutoglu did not demand a U.S. condemnation in his meeting with Clinton.

“The secretary reiterated during the meeting what she said afterwards, which is we have to have a careful, thoughtful approach to this going forward,” Crowley said.

Another senior Obama administration official said Davutoglu had in fact made plain to the United States his disappointment in the response. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
***
In a sign of the sensitivity of the raid on U.S.-Turkish relations, the State Department closed coverage of the meeting to the press. It had previously scheduled a photo opportunity, a venue in which reporters probably would have tried to ask questions.

Before they met, however, Davutoglu was perfectly open about the message he would convey to Clinton.

“I have to be frank: I am not very happy with this statement from Washington yesterday,” Davutoglu said. “We expect a clear condemnation.”

He said that Turkey, a NATO member, would bring up the issue soon at the security alliance’s council.

“Citizens of member states were attacked by a country that is not a member of NATO,” he said. “I think you can make some conclusions out of this statement.”

Davutoglu said that there was no need to wait for an investigation of the killings, because in Turkey’s view the raid was illegal under international law because it happened in international waters.

“This is a criminal act,” he said. “We don’t need to make an investigation to see this.

Davutoglu also contrasted his criticism of the United States with praise of the statements by the European Union.”

Will Obama stand firm for Israel despite worldwide criticism? So far he has called for return of the flotilla dead and wounded (most were Turks), a “credible” investigation, and “better ways to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza without undermining Israel’s security.” I support that response and hope he stands firm, rather than looking for a way out that preserves his popularity in the rest of the world.

— DRJ

Japan PM to Resign

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 6:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Apparently Japan’s Prime Minister came into office on a promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the southern island of Okinawa, and he plans to step down because that hasn’t happened during his 8 month term:

“Public broadcaster NHK said Wednesday that Hatoyama told his party executives he intended to step down over his broken campaign promise to move a U.S. Marine base off the southern island of Okinawa.

The embattled prime minister has faced growing pressure from within his own party to resign ahead of July elections.

His approval ratings have plummeted over the bungling, reinforcing his public image as an indecisive leader after only eight months in office since September.”

Americans and Japanese are very different. We expect our leaders to bungle things.

— DRJ

Defining The Right to Remain Silent

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 12:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today the Supreme Court ruled in Berghuis v. Thompkins that suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke their Miranda protection during interrogations:

“Criminal defendants won’t get the benefit of the Miranda rule against self-incrimination unless they specifically invoke it, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.
***
The vote in the Miranda case was 5-4 along ideological lines as the court’s conservatives put limits on the rights of suspects.

Under the Miranda rule, derived from the 1966 Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, police may not question a suspect who invokes his rights—and can’t use as evidence incriminating statements obtained after the suspect does so.

In Tuesday’s decision, the court ruled that an ambiguous situation would be treated in favor of the police.”

Here is the Wall Street Journal’s summary of the facts, Justice Kennedy’s opinion, and Justice Sotomayor’s dissent:

“The case came from Southfield, Mich., where a shooting suspect refused to sign a statement acknowledging that he had been given the Miranda warning but didn’t expressly state he was invoking his right to remain silent.

Police interrogated the suspect, Van Chester Thompkins, for nearly three hours, during which time he said virtually nothing. A detective then began asking Mr. Thompkins about his religious beliefs, asking, “Do you pray to God to forgive you for shooting that boy down?”

Mr. Thompkins said “yes” but refused to make any further confession. The prosecution introduced the statement as evidence, and a jury convicted Mr. Thompkins.

On appeal, Mr. Thompkins’s lawyers contended that use of the statement violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Writing for himself and four conservatives, Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected that argument.

“If Thompkins wanted to remain silent, he could have said nothing in response to [the detective’s] questions, or he could have unambiguously invoked his Miranda rights and ended the interrogation,” Justice Kennedy wrote, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

He added that no evidence suggested police coerced the statement and observed that “the interrogation was conducted in a standard-size room in the middle of the afternoon,” conditions that weren’t inherently coercive.

In sum, “after giving a Miranda warning, police may interrogate a suspect who has neither invoked nor waived his rights,” Justice Kennedy wrote.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a dissent longer than the majority opinion, argued that the majority misread precedent and reached beyond the facts of the case to impose a tough new rule against defendants.

“Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down,” Justice Sotomayor wrote, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak.”

Editor Elie Mystal at AboveTheLaw is not pleased with this decision. While I’m not unhappy with the decision, I think Mystal’s right that this case shows it’s Kennedy’s Court now.

— DRJ

Obama Distances Himself From BP

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 11:59 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

President Obama distanced himself from BP and its oil spill today, and even suggested the possibility of criminal charges:

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday used the strongest language yet to suggest that BP could face charges in connection with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the resulting oil spill, saying if any laws were broken, “my solemn pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice.”
***
Several Senate Democrats have urged the administration to consider criminal charges against BP. In a letter sent last month, eight members of the Environment and Public Works Committee asked Attorney General Eric Holder to probe whether BP made “false and misleading statements to the federal government regarding its ability to respond to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.”

“In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it does not in any way appear that there was ‘proven equipment and technology’ to respond to the spill, which could have tragic consequences for local economies and the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico,” said the letter from Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Holder is in the Gulf Tuesday visiting the area affected by the spill and meeting with U.S. attorneys. He is expected to make a statement at 3:30 p.m.”

Obama has also named a commission to investigate the spill to be chaired by former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham (Fla.) and William Reilly, the Republican former head of the Environmental Protection Agency. My forecast is the report will throw BP, and possibly the entire offshore drilling industry, under the bus.

— DRJ


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