Patterico's Pontifications


Yagman Denied Bail Pending Appeal

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:55 pm

Stephen Yagman was denied bail pending appeal today. This development was reported in the San Jose Mercury News.

I don’t know if it was also reported in Yagman’s hometown Los Angeles Times. I can’t read their site from a mobile phone. I’ll let you know later whether they decide to report on this.

UPDATE: There is an “in brief” item about it here.

This Is What Law School And A Clerkship With A Federal Judge Can Do To You…

Filed under: Crime,Snarkage — Justin Levine @ 8:38 pm

[posted by Justin Levine]

A beauty queen can certainly recover from kidnapping and assault charges, but she’ll never recover from a released mugshot. Ooch!

Huckabee has the Fire in his Belly

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Mike Huckabee had fun with a big crowd of supporters in Des Moines Tuesday night:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) put on a show here Tuesday night, and, in what could be a good sign for his campaign, he had a huge crowd to perform for. Huckabee played bass guitar with a local band and he surprised many by pulling MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) on stage to play along.

Huckabee said there were an estimated 2,000 attendees at the Val Air Ballroom, where the former governor was joined by his wife and Chuck Norris. Huckabee supporters said before the event they were thrilled by the crowd size given the near-zero temperatures outside.”

It sounds like Huckabee enjoyed joking with the audience, especially when it came to ways to keep his opponents’ supporters at home:

“As he often does, the former governor drew big laughs from the crowd when he told them to tell their neighbors who might caucus for one of his rivals that they do not want to miss the Orange Bowl, which is being played the same night as the caucuses.

“Shovel your snow into their driveway,” Huckabee joked. “Let the air out of their tires, disconnect their battery cable.”

I guess this is what it takes to be a Presidential candidate sufficiently consumed with politics that he has the “fire in his belly.”


New Year’s Predictions by Consul-At-Arms

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 6:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

As I get older, one of the worst things about a new year is facing the same old New Year’s resolutions that I failed at before, such as “I will eat healthier food/exercise more” or “I will spend more time with my family and work less” (or vice versa, as the case may be). However, one of the best things about the new year is the fun of New Year’s predictions, especially now that we can share predictions on the internet.

Consul-At-Arms has posted what I think are this year’s best predictions. Here are his first 10 (of 20) predictions:

“1. Fidel Castro will continue his quest to outlive every U.S. president ever elected.

2. Hollywood and network television will step up their recycling of old themes, fads, and scripts, moving into the re-hashing of the early 1990s.

3. Someone in Hollywood will be bold enough to make a modern war movie (Iraq, Afghanistan or some other aspect of the GWOT) that actually makes the U.S. seem like the good guys and not victims. It will be wildly successful.

4. An illegal alien with a prior arrest/deportation record will kill an American family and/or children in a drunk driving incident.

5. Paris (the socialebrity, not either of the cities) or Brittany or some other papparazzi-magnet will do something pointless that gets a lot of press.

6. William Shatner will win critical acclaim for a dramatic portrayal.

7. The Chinese government will do something incredibly boneheaded in connection with their preparations for hosting the Olympics.

8. The U.S. fighting soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen will continue their valiant and underappreciated service to this country. Politicians will undercut their efforts.

9. Some perfectly awful musicians will make a great pile of money for performing some utter crap.

10. Putin will remain in control of the Soviet Uni. . . . , er, Russia.”

Check out the next 10 (here’s the link again) and add your own predictions here … or there.


California Rep. Tom Lantos has Cancer, will Retire at End of Year

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Representative Tom Lantos has cancer and will retire at the end of the year:

“San Mateo Rep. Tom Lantos, the 79-year-old Holocaust survivor who became House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman last year, announced today he will retire at the end of this year after learning that he has cancer of the esophagus.

The 27-year veteran lawmaker first heard the diagnosis after routine medical tests the week before Congress recessed for the holiday break in December, according to his spokeswoman. After discussions with doctors and his family over the last two weeks, Lantos decided to announce his retirement.

“In view of this development and the treatment it will require, I will not seek re-election,” Lantos said in a statement.

The announcement was a surprise for Lantos, who appeared to be invigorated by his new role as a committee chairman after 12 years as a member of the minority in the House. As recently as last year he was boasting to reporters that he was “in the midpoint of my congressional career.”

But his decision was made after he learned about the seriousness of the cancer, which affects the tube carrying food and liquids between the mouth and stomach. He is likely to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment.”

It’s a shame to hear that anyone gets a serious illness. I assume he will continue in Congress through December and that’s a long time to work while receiving what I assume will be aggressive cancer treatment. But he’s obviously strong-willed and I like his attitude:

“Lantos, in his own statement, said he felt fortunate despite his diagnosis.

“It is only in the United States that a penniless survivor of the Holocaust and a fighter in the anti-Nazi underground could have received an education, raised a family and had the privilege of serving the last three decades of his life as a member of Congress,” he said. “I will never be able to express fully my profoundly felt gratitude to this great country.”

Best wishes to Rep. Lantos. I hope the Bay Area elects someone with as much character as he has.


Iowa Poll Update (Updated)

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 2:55 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Here are the most recent Iowa polls from RealClearPolitics.


Date Sample Obama Clinton Edwards Richardson Biden Spread Poll
12/26 – 01/01 – 29.0 28.6 26.0 5.0 4.5 Obama +0.4 RCP Average
12/29 – 01/01 – 933 LV 28 28 26 7 4 Tie————— Zogby Tracking
12/28 – 12/30 – 600 LV 32 27 29 2 5 Obama +3.0 Strategic Vision (R)
12/27 – 12/30 – 800 LV 32 25 24 6 4 Obama +7.0 Des Moines Register
12/26 – 12/30 – 482 LV 31 33 22 5 5 Clinton +2.0 CNN
12/28 – 12/29 – 788 LV 22 30 29 — — Clinton +1.0 Insider Advantage


Date Huckabee Romney McCain Thompson Paul Giuliani Spread Poll
12/26 – 01/01 – 29.0 28.3 12.8 11.8 7.5 6.0 Huckabee +0.7 RCP Average
12/29 – 01/01 – 28 26 12 12 9 7 Huckabee +2.0 Zogby Tracking
12/28 – 12/31 – 29 25 12 10 7 8 Huckabee +4.0 Zogby Tracking
12/28 – 12/30 – 28 30 16 13 4 4 Romney +2.0 Strategic Vision (R)

The RCP averages make both races look too close to call.

UPDATE: Let’s guess the results. I call the Republican race for Huckabee-Romney-Thompson-McCain, and the Democratic race for Obama-Edwards-Clinton-Richardson. What’s your best guess?


Breaking News

Filed under: Current Events — DRJ @ 1:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Washington Post

“Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced today that the Justice Department will open a criminal investigation of the CIA’s destruction of videotapes that showed harsh interrogation tactics of suspected terrorists.”

Associated Press:

“President Pervez Musharraf announced Wednesday that Scotland Yard will help investigate the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, reversing his initial rejection of foreign help after he came under pressure to allow a U.N. probe.

Authorities also pushed back parliamentary elections until Feb. 18—a six-week delay prompted by the rioting that followed the opposition leader’s death. Opposition parties condemned the delay but still plan to take part in the elections, seen as a key step in bringing democracy to Pakistan after years of military rule.”

USA Today:

“Oil prices soared Wednesday and briefly hit $100 a barrel for the first time ever, reaching that milestone amid an unshakeable view that global demand for oil and petroleum products will continue to outstrip supplies.

Surging economies in China and India fed by oil and gasoline have sent prices soaring over the past year, while tensions in oil producing nations like Nigeria and Iran have increasingly made investors nervous about supplies and invited speculators to drive prices even higher.”


L.A. Observed: Andres Martinez Quit L.A. Times “After a Fight Over His Girlfriend”

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:37 am

I never really got the impression that L.A. Observed blogger Kevin Roderick much liked Andres Martinez, the former editorial page editor for the L.A. Times. At the time of Martinez’s departure, there was apparently a war between the old-guard liberal Tim Rutten types and the pro-Martinez faction, and Roderick seems much more like someone who sympathizes with the old-guard liberal Tim Rutten type crowd.

Still, clicking on L.A. Observed early this morning, I was surprised to see this description of Martinez’s decision to quit:

The editorial page editor quit after a fight over his girlfriend;


I realize Roderick is including this as part of a year-end roundup, and (unlike myself) he is trying to be very pithy about how he encapsulates the essence of every link. But still, this strikes me as very strange wording. The fight was over the decision to scrap a Sunday Current section guest-edited by a producer who was represented by the P.R. firm that Martinez’s girlfriend worked for. That description is not very pithy, but it’s accurate and not misleading. Saying Martinez “quit after a fight over his girlfriend,” I submit, is misleading. I mean, it sounds like he and another guy were both sleeping with her and duked it out as a result.

Another Pro-Suge Knight Article by Chuck Philips

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 12:20 am

There is an article in today’s L.A. Times that provides an entirely one-sided view of a legal motion filed by a former lawyer for Suge Knight in a civil case. Knight’s position is laid out in detail. The other side’s position is not presented; they couldn’t be reached for comment.

The reporter is Chuck Philips.

I’m just sayin’.

Thompson: Too Substantive for the Oh-So-Serious Nitwits in Big Media

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 12:13 am

When Instapundit is right, he’s right:

[Fred] Thompson is running the kind of campaign — substantive, policy-laden, not based on gimmicks or sound-bites — that pundits and journalists say they want, but he’s getting no credit for it from the people who claim that’s what they want.


Thompson is a guy who has laid out detailed positions on all sorts of issues. He never gets dinged for misrepresenting facts in debates. And I like the fact that he’s not consumed by ambition. That’s exactly the sort of person we should want as president.

But our moronic news media, which pretends to disdain overambitious candidates and to care about policies — doesn’t really care about substance. For them, it’s all about the horse race, the gimmicks, and the pizzazz. Big Media editors are every bit as superficial as you voters, if not more so.

Remember when the oh-so-substantive editors of the L.A. Times swooned about how “handsome” John Edwards was, and how “Lincolnesque” Kerry was — compared to the “lumpish” Cheney, and Bush with his “patented smirk”? We were told that none of this should matter . . . “But you know it does.” Remember how the critical issue in the 2005 mayoral race — the one thing that L.A. Times columnists and reporters couldn’t stop talking about — was whether the incumbent was too “dull”?

This is the sort of deep, substantive commitment to the issues that matters to these giants of the political commentariat.

And so, when a guy like Thompson comes along, who is serious and substantive — but maybe a little dull — they focus on the dullness. If he seems not to be driven by a lifelong hunger for power, they’ll distort his honest and engaging quotes on the subject to make him sound like he doesn’t care.

These people are full of it. The next time they tell you they care about the issues and matters of substance, remind them how they treated Fred Thompson. They won’t show any shame. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show them that you know better.

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