Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2010

Huh?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:05 pm

Not only did the same person write the two bolded statements below, but she separated them by only one sentence, with no indication of shame whatsover:

A good chunk of money from the 2009 stimulus package went to clean-energy programs, infrastructure and research and development, with infrastructure investment alone making up more than $105 billion of the $787 billion total. Those expenditures were supposed to stimulate job growth — and haven’t shown strong results in the struggling labor economy. These funds will also soon expire, leaving future prospects uncertain in labor-intensive industries such as construction and energy. Now the administration is pressing Congress to commit more money, so that the momentum built by the stimulus spending won’t lapse.

The expenditures haven’t done much, so we’d better spend more to keep up the momentum.

The writer? A political reporter for Yahoo News.

Murkowski Concedes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

For the good of Alaska.

UPDATE: Joe Miller tweets that Ace of Spades should get the pudding ready.

For the good of Alaska.

A balls-in-pudding reference, from Joe Miller. So there you have it.

UPDATE x2: daleyrocks observes in comments: “Dip ‘em if you got ‘em!”

A Simple Question; UPDATE: The Simple Becomes Complex!!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:59 pm

Why does one tape a cell phone to a bottle of Pepto Bismol?

Oooh — I have another question. These guys didn’t know each other . . . but they’re two Yemenis, one of whom was headed to Dubai, who both happened to change their travel plans to go to Amsterdam? But they didn’t know each other?

Am I missing something??

UPDATE: OK, let’s review. The link above quotes an unnamed government official as saying the two didn’t know each other:

The U.S. does not expect to charge the men, a law enforcement official said. The two men arrested in Amsterdam — both traveling to Yemen — did not know each other and were not traveling together, a U.S. government official said.

But this link says:

Both of the detained men are friends who lived and worked in Dearborn, said Imad Hamad of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The al Soofi and al Murisi families are prominent within the Yemeni-American community in Dearborn, Hamad said.

Both men worked at area restaurants and grocery stores, and it is typical to spend several months working in Michigan and travel home once or twice a year to visit relatives in Yemen.

“When the news broke, people were surprised because they knew them as good people, respected people who always worked and worked hard,” Hamad said.

Who ya gonna believe?

I think you know where I stand.

Uh . . . we are in the very best of hands.

P.S. That second link comes courtesy of, er, “The L.A. Times Editorial Board.” Not the actual one, but rather a commenter going by that sobriquet — meaning he has a better grasp on the facts than his moniker would suggest.

P.P.S. The second link says that people who knew the pair think the whole story is so funny, that anyone could think these guys could be terrorists. Ha, ha! Uh, except: “Murad al Soofi said his brother was flying to Yemen to visit his family, but had no explanation for why he wanted to change his flight in Chicago.”

Oh, just one more thing:

Why does one tape a cell phone to a bottle of Pepto Bismol?

Did I ask that already?

Well, did I get an answer?

OK, then.

WaPo: Beck Rally Raises Questions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:45 pm

From the “What did I miss while I was gone?” files:

Apparently Glenn Beck had some kind of rally?

Beck’s marriage of politics and religion raising questions

In a matter of hours, Beck went from a hugely popular media figure – a 2009 Gallup poll listed him as the fourth most admired living man in the country – to a spiritual player, embracing a new and overtly religious rhetoric that made him sound like an evangelist.

Yet the Mormon convert seems an unlikely leader for conservative Christians, many of whom don’t regard Mormonism as part of their faith.

I missed the whole thing. Is there a reason I was supposed to care?

And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Glenn Beck pretty much just a giant dork? Fourth most admired living man in the country? Really?

Forgive if that sounds sacrilegious somehow. I don’t really watch the guy, so maybe I’ve got it wrong.

P.S. At least he’s not Ed Schultz.

Open Thread: Obama Iraq Speech; UPDATED with Video of Gibbs Lying

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:40 pm

Not watching. You?

UPDATE: This is worth watching: that moron Gibbs lying to the Fox News audience:

Via Greg Hengler.

L.A. Times Misrepresents Holding of Federal Decision in California Murder Case

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:23 am

A front-page story in the L.A. Times this morning is titled She killed her husband — or did she?

Police got a confession from Kristi Lyn Bateson nine years after her husband was found shot to death while she was shopping. Tests showing her emotional vulnerability helped overturn the verdict.

No, they didn’t.

The story is certainly set up to suggest otherwise. The story is by Carol J. Williams, a name that will be familiar to Patterico readers from her 2009 article mischaracterizing the holding of a court decision concerning the war on terror. (We used to have one.) My refutation of her errors was vindicated in a remarkably lengthy and detailed correction that noted the mistakes that I had pointed out on my blog.

Today, Williams again misleads readers — including her own headline writer — concerning the real reason that Kristi Bateson’s murder verdict was overturned.

Bateson’s husband was shot to death at his home in 1992, while Bateson was ostensibly shopping with the kids. Cold case detectives interviewed Bateson in 2001 and obtained a confession from her that she had murdered her husband because he was controlling. A friend testified that she and Bateson had a running joke about whether they could murder their husbands and get away with it. A rifle that her husband owned, which had been seen in her husband’s truck a week before the murder, was never found.

Still, the key evidence showing her guilt was her confession. Regarding that, reporter Williams writes:

Word of the case reached UC Berkeley sociologist Richard Ofshe, an expert on false confessions. He suggested that Kristi be subjected to psychological screening for vulnerability to stress-compliant confession.

“False confession comes about almost all the time due to police misconduct, but there are a small number of people so stress-sensitive that they can’t withstand the pressure of even a legitimate interrogation,” Ofshe said recently. “In Kristi Lunbery’s case, it appeared she was one of those people so unable to deal with stress that she would comply as a way of escaping the stress without thinking about the consequences.”

Ofshe, who has testified in more than 300 trials, described Kristi as “one of the most easily dominated people I’ve ever met.”

Williams spends several paragraphs discussing Ofshe’s testing and proposed testimony. The reader is left with the impression that the defense failure to present this testimony was central to the court’s decision.

Late in the article, Williams writes:

On May 25, the panel overturned Kristi’s conviction.

Judge John T. Noonan Jr., a tough-on-crime conservative, shot holes in the prosecution’s theory. Kristi had spent a third of Charlie’s life insurance on his funeral. Troy Lunbery “was not on the scene in 1992.” Kristi’s claim that Charlie was “controlling” was an idea suggested by the detectives.

Judge Michael Daly Hawkins wrote that the “only evidence linking Kristi to the murder was her own statement, which she claimed was false. She had confessed, and it is hard to imagine anything more difficult to explain to a lay jury. After all, people do not just confess to crimes they did not commit, do they? Well, it turns out they sometimes do.”

Neither the state nor Shasta County appealed the 9th Circuit ruling. That left the county with a Sept. 1 deadline to set a retrial date or free Kristi.

Given the focus of Williams’s story on Ofshe and his testing, you can hardly blame the headline writer for concluding that “[t]ests showing her emotional vulnerability helped overturn the verdict.” After all, that is what Williams’s story seems to imply was the central finding of the Ninth Circuit.

But it wasn’t.

It doesn’t take specialized legal knowledge to see that tests showing Bateson’s emotional vulnerability had nothing to do with overturning the verdict. Here is the court’s key passage on Ofshe’s testimony:

Petitioner presses her claim that counsel was ineffective because they failed to call Professor Ofshe and failed to investigate further the validity of Kristi’s confession. These failures, if established, constitute errors requiring the grant of the petition. . . .

Failure has yet to be established. As evidence so far, we have only a memorandum in trial counsel’s file stating why counsel decided not to call Ofshe and an affidavit of federal habeas counsel stating that she had interviewed Kristi’s two defense counsel on the subject and that each had put responsibility on the other for not putting on expert evidence. To decide petitioner’s claim we need the live testimony of her
trial attorneys. . . .

We do not, however, need to delay our decision on her other contention.

Her other contention is that the California state courts improperly ruled inadmissible evidence that the murder had been a mistake by a drug dealer who had targeted a previous occupant of the home.

The exclusion of that evidence was the sole basis of the reversal. Judge Hawkins’s quote above is from a concurrence that has no legal effect.

It’s a dramatic quote, though — so why not make it sound like it was central to the decision? After all, in a contest between drama and truth, which is likely to win out?

This is the L.A. Times we’re talking about.

8/30/2010

Open Thread: Yes, I’m Still Alive

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 pm

Looks like the other ones are kind of long.

Regularly scheduled blogging should resume shortly.

8/26/2010

Levi Johnston: I’m Sorry I Said I Was Sorry

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:48 pm

He says he lied when he said he lied:

Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin’s grandson, says he wishes he hadn’t apologized for telling lies about the former Alaska governor because he’s “never lied about anything.”

Johnston said in an interview on CBS’ “The Early Show” to air Friday that he wishes that he hadn’t issued the apology to Palin.

“I don’t really regret anything,” Johnston said, who has appeared nude on the cover of Playgirl. “But the only thing I wish I wouldn’t have done is put out that apology ’cause it kind of makes me sound like a liar. And I’ve never lied about anything. So that’s probably the only thing. The rest of the stuff I can live with.”

He’s no liar. And anyone who says he is — including himself — is a liar.

Stolen from Hot Air — like everything else on this blog.

Open Thread: Muslim Cabbie Stabbed Edition

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:43 pm

James Taranto does a nice job of revealing some media bias about the stabber (he volunteered for an organization that supports the Ground Zero mosque, a fact buried in most stories), while keeping the focus on the criminal.

That last observation is the key. It doesn’t really matter what this guy’s beliefs are; he alone is responsible for his actions. Any analysis that does not put that fact front and center is playing the other side’s game.

Why I Use a Pseudonym

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 9:56 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

I occasionally hear from critics who believe, despite my long years of service as cop in some of L.A.’s most troubled neighborhoods, that I’m a coward for choosing to use a pseudonym in my writing. I’m occasionally reminded of the wisdom of that choice, and indeed a story out of Chicago does just that.

Last month I wrote this piece for Pajamas Media, in which I commented on the sad state of affairs in Chicago and its police department. I linked to an anonymous blog post, the author of which was purportedly a Chicago police officer. That author has since been identified as Lieutenant John Andrews, a 25-year veteran of the department.

Andrews is now under investigation for bringing “discredit” to the police department. Superintendent Jody Weis, of whom Andrews was critical in his blog post, did not comment on the specifics of the case but said, “I don’t think leaders should sit and throw rocks at respective agencies or at those who are trying to address the challenges.”

My own writing efforts began in 2000, during the tenure of LAPD Chief Bernard Parks, under whom the department – and the city itself – suffered badly. I wrote often on the particulars of that suffering (e.g. here), and I was reliably informed there was an effort to identify me, one that I was pleased to see end in failure. I’ve continued to be a burr under the management saddle, and two subsequent police chiefs – and any number of their underlings – would no doubt have preferred to see me take up golf or some other hobby that would keep me away from a computer.

I think Adams’s blog entries will ultimately be found to be protected by the First Amendment, but not before he endures a lot of grief, the same type of grief I would most assuredly experience if my own identity were to become known in the LAPD.

I’ve been at it for ten years now, and I hope to continue for a few more until I retire from the LAPD. After that, the mask comes off.

–Jack Dunphy

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