Patterico's Pontifications


Rogan Blue-Slipped

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:08 pm

My favorite house manager during the Clinton impeachment proceedings was Jim Rogan. I found him very inspirational. He is a former L.A. County Deputy D.A., and the story goes that he gave a final argument in a vehicular manslaughter case by wordlessly pouring six shots of liquor, snapping his fingers, and sitting down.

I don’t know if that story is true or not, but I like it. And I like Jim Rogan.

I was pleased when I learned a year ago that Rogan had been nominated for a district court judgeship. However, I noted, there was a problem:

Rogan was, of course, a noted figure in the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

This could be very interesting. I’m an admirer of Rogan’s, so I hope it works out for him. What problems could he possibly run into?

My take was tongue-in-cheek — so much so, I’m afraid, that most commenters didn’t seem to get the joke. (This is before I had my joke post link that I now use for deadpan jokes.)

Power Line’s Paul was a little more straightforward:

As to Hillary, it’s almost certain that she won’t want to revive memories of his husband’s impeachment by making public stand against Rogan. However, she may have others do her bidding, as might have been the case with Kavanaugh.

What do you know? It appears that Barbara Boxer has blue-slipped Rogan. John Fund has the details.

Kangaroo Post

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 8:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There’s no point to this post other than I like kangaroos and happy endings:

“Veterinarian B. Kyle Jones was busy hanging Christmas lights at his west Lewisville home when Maynard the kangaroo made his escape. When a strong gust of wind blew open a gate to the yard Sunday, the kangaroo hopped out to the street and into the media spotlight.
Maynard’s suburban escapade began shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday. David Dee, of Argyle, and his friend were at a home near Fox Avenue and Sylvan Creek Drive tinkering with dirt bikes. “Hey man,” Mr. Dee recalled his friend asking him. “Why would a kangaroo be standing on a street?”

Mr. Dee thought his friend had seen a jack rabbit. But when he saw the 60-pound creature about 10 feet away, he realized it was no bunny and called 911. As the dispatcher took his call, Mr. Dee realized how silly he sounded. The dispatcher probably thought, “I got some drunk guy on the phone,” he said.

Officer Hayney was among those who responded to the call. He arrived in the neighborhood to find residents and children outside taking pictures as police tried to capture the animal. “It was crazy,” he said.

Maynard seemed to know where he lived and circled the area, apparently trying to get back home, Officer Hayney said. Police tried to keep the animal off the busy roads so he wouldn’t get hurt. At one point, Maynard led police on a chase that reached speeds up to 25 mph, said Officer Hayney, who followed the animal on his motorcycle.

After about 20 minutes of freedom, Maynard was cornered. Officer Hayney said the animal came at him and he grabbed him by the tail, as he was told to do by the veterinarian. The animal did not resist arrest. “It was like he knew it was over,” Officer Hayney said.”

There is a video here.


Robert Reich (or is that Dick Morris?) Questions Hillary Clinton

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It’s not good news for Hillary Clinton when Robert Reich (Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor and a longtime Clinton supporter) sounds like Dick Morris, a frequent Hillary critic. Here’s Dick Morris last week on his blog:

How Hillary will go negative

As her once-formidable lead in national polls dwindles and Barack Obama moves ahead of her in the all-important Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton will likely intensify her negative campaign against her rivals.

The Clintons’ political MO has always had a good dose of negative campaigning, especially when the going gets rough. There’s no reason to assume that they will alter their game plan now.”

And here’s Robert Reich on his blog today:

Why is HRC stooping So Low?

I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the stridency and inaccuracy of charges in Iowa — especially coming from my old friend. While I’m as hard-boiled as they come about what’s said in campaigns, I just don’t think Dems should stoop to this.
Yesterday, HRC suggested O lacks courage. “There’s a big difference between our courage and our convictions, what we believe and what we’re willing to fight for,” she told reporters in Iowa, saying Iowa voters will have a choice “between someone who talks the talk, and somebody who’s walked the walk.” Then asked whether she intended to raise questions about O’s character, she said: “It’s beginning to look a lot like that.”

I just don’t get it. If there’s anyone in the race whose history shows unique courage and character, it’s Barack Obama. HRC’s campaign, by contrast, is singularly lacking in conviction about anything. Her pollster, Mark Penn, has advised her to take no bold positions and continuously seek the political center, which is exactly what she’s been doing.

All is fair in love, war, and politics. But this series of slurs doesn’t serve HRC well. It will turn off voters in Iowa, as in the rest of the country. If she’s worried her polls are dropping, this is not the way to build them back up.”

H/T Instapundit.


Jena 6 Defendant Mychal Bell takes Plea Deal

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 5:39 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, has accepted a plea agreement on a juvenile charge of second-degree battery:

“The district attorney in the racially-charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana agreed to a plea bargain Monday that sharply reduced the charges against the first of the six black teenagers who was facing trial, while attorneys for other defendants said the prosecutor appeared eager to avoid taking their cases to court as well.

LaSalle Parish District Atty. Reed Walters, whose initial decision to charge the black teenagers with attempted murder for beating a white youth was condemned as excessive by civil rights leaders, dropped a conspiracy charge against Mychal Bell, 17, and agreed to let him plead guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery, with a sentence of 18 months and credit for time he has served in jail over the last year.

District Judge J.P. Mauffray approved the plea agreement Monday afternoon, just three days before Bell’s trial in juvenile court was to have begun. Bell’s attorneys said Walters offered them the plea agreement last Thursday, a week after a coalition of U.S. media companies successfully sued Mauffray to force him to open the trial to the public and the press.”

Bell’s attorneys noted the plea agreement likely reduced the jail time Bell would serve:

“Bell’s attorneys said they agreed to the plea bargain to spare the former high school football star the danger of being convicted of more serious charges and also to win early release from juvenile custody.

In October, Mauffray sentenced Bell to 18 months in a juvenile facility for four prior juvenile convictions for battery and destruction of property. But under the terms of Monday’s plea agreement, that time will be served concurrently with the new 18-month sentence for the Dec. 4 attack, and Bell will get credit for the nine months he spent in jail while awaiting trial. His attorneys said he could be released by June.”

It seems the criminal proceedings are nearing an end.


Notes From A Proud Global Warming Skeptic (Part 10)

Filed under: Environment — Justin Levine @ 12:32 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

Global warming causes everything bad in life.  [h/t: The American Thinker]

Ramos-Compean Oral Argument Update (Updated x2)

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 9:39 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Oral argument in the Ramos-Compean appeal was heard this morning before three judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The Dallas Examiner filed this report:

“Federal prosecutors may have overreacted in their case against two Border Patrol agents who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after they were convicting of shooting a fleeing drug suspect and hiding evidence of the incident, an appeals court judge said Monday.

“It does seem to me that the government overreacted here,” said Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three judges of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.
Jolly, during questioning of [AUSA Mark] Stelmach, said that if the agents had reported the shooting as required, “this prosecution never would have occurred, in all likelihood.”

“For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me,” Jolly added.”

Reaction from the attorneys was mixed:

“There was no indication when the judges would rule in the appeal, but Compean’s lawyer, Bob Baskett, said he was encouraged by Jolly’s comments. “They certainly were aware of the signficant issues in the case,” Baskett said after Monday’s hearing.

Ramos’ attorney, David Botsford, said he didn’t read anything into the judges’ remarks. “The court is going to follow the law,” he said outside the New Orleans courthouse.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Stelmach declined to comment after the hearing.”

I don’t think this statement by Judge Jolly means he necessarily believes the conviction should be set aside but it probably made defense counsel happier than it made the US Attorney’s office.


UPDATE 12/3/2007 @ 1:50 PM PST: Here’s further context from a Houston Chronicle article that suggests Judge Jolly’s comments regarding whether it was appropriate to charge the agents with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence:

“It does seem to me like the government overreacted here,” said Judge E. Grady Jolly, questioning prosecutor Mark Stelmach before a crowded courtroom. “There were plenty of statutes you could have charged.”

Jolly asked whether Ramos or Compean would have been prosecuted if they had reported the shooting of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, who was wounded on Feb. 17, 2005, near Fabens, southeast of El Paso. Compean picked up the shell casings at the scene of the shooting and neither agent volunteered to supervisors that they fired their weapon. “They are being prosecuted for hiding the crime,” Jolly said, suggesting the prosecution “got out of hand.”

Stelmach argued there was “balance in the treatment of the agents,” saying the judge could have given them stiffer sentences on other charges besides the firearm offense such as assault.
Attorneys for the former agents are pushing for a new trial, arguing the agents acted in self-defense. They also contend that Ramos and Compean were improperly charged with discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Bob Baskett, Compean’s attorney, said that statute should not be applied to law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty.”

UPDATE 2, 12/3/2007 @ 11:00 PM PST: Fox News reports Judge Higganbotham’s comments regarding the relevance of Aldrete-Davila’s other smuggling attempts:

“In exchange for his testimony against the agents, Aldrete was given immunity from prosecution for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs the day he was shot. Jurors didn’t hear evidence that Aldrete allegedly smuggled marijuana in the United States several months after the shooting.

Botsford said Judge Kathleen Cardone, who presided over the trial in El Paso, Tex., should have allowed jurors to hear evidence that Aldrete was “not a (drug) mule, a simple one-time (border) crosser.” “He basically left a false impression for that jury,” Botsford said of Aldrete.

Judge Patrick Higginbotham, who heard the appeal with Jolly and Judge Edward Prado, said evidence that Aldrete made multiple attempts to smuggle drugs across the border “strikes me as very relevant.”

[Prosecutor] Stelmach acknowledged that Aldrete told “some lies” to investigators, but he said jurors rejected the agents’ argument that they acted in self-defense when they shot at Aldrete.”


Evel Knievel

Filed under: Miscellaneous — Justin Levine @ 1:37 am

[posted by Justin Levine] has one of the best tribute sites going for him.

What Stuart Pittman of Greensboro, North Carolina writes on the site precisely parallels my own thoughts and experiences (including the scrapes I got on my bike doing stupid stunts and the worry and scolding I got from my mom – all due to Evel’s influence).  

A true American original. He will be missed.

Glad to see that most news outlets have reported on his passing with the attention it deserves.

His official site here. Another great tribute page where you can get Evel merchandise here.

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