Patterico's Pontifications


BET Founder and Hillary Supporter Takes on Obama

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 9:04 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From the AP (via Breitbart):

“The billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television says Barack Obama would not be a leading presidential candidate if he were white and that the Illinois senator’s campaign has “a hair-trigger on anything racial.”

The Charlotte Observer reported on its Web site Monday that Bob Johnson, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s top black supporters, was commenting on remarks previously made by Geraldine Ferraro, another Clinton supporter.

“What I believe Geraldine Ferraro meant is that if you take a freshman senator from Illinois called ‘Jerry Smith’ and he says I’m going to run for president, would he start off with 90 percent of the black vote?” Johnson said. “And the answer is, probably not.”

“Geraldine Ferraro said it right,” Johnson added. “The problem is, Geraldine Ferraro is white. This campaign has such a hair-trigger on anything racial it is almost impossible for anybody to say anything.”

I agree. Does that make me a racist?


Eldorado Update: Mothers Returned to the Compound

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law — DRJ @ 8:53 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

While their children remain in State custody, the mothers of children 5 and over have been returned to the Eldorado compound where they answered limited questions from the media:

“A mother at the YFZ Ranch shed tears Monday evening as she shared her experiences with members of the media. The news media was allowed to enter the ranch en masse for the first time to interview the distraught mothers. The women would only say that they miss their children and that the state is abusing them by removing them from their families. Other lines of questioning were not allowed.”

Meanwhile, the San Angelo Standard Times reports that attorneys for the mothers have raised due process and other concerns:

“The concerns, initially expressed by local attorney Theodore A. Hargrove III, were echoed by Rod Parker, a former attorney for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who is serving as a spokesman for FLDS parents, after the informal meeting this morning between 51st District Judge Barbara Walther and nearly three dozen attorneys in the complex child-custody case.

“I don’t see how this can be resolved by Thursday,” when the first custody hearing is scheduled, Parker said. “I’m sure the court appreciates the issues.”

Hargrove read a list of concerns on behalf of attorneys representing the adult mothers housed at Fort Concho.

Among them: The constitutionality of a state proposal that an evidentiary hearing be done en masse, allegations that the women have been tacitly discouraged from visiting with attorneys for fear of being barred from returning to the fort, and persistent problems with as many as 30 young women who have children but whose age – and whether they are adults – is uncertain.

“The adult women’s attorneys don’t feel en masse is the way this should be done,” Hargrove told Walther. “Constitutionally, there are a lot of problems with due process.”

If there were 20-30 underage mothers at the compound, the FLDS parents have problems.


Quote of the Day

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:16 pm

“But, wait. Let me check. (Peering down into pants and then panties) Yup, there’s a vagina in my pants . . .”

It may sound odd, but the link is to a decent little rant about something in the L.A. Times. And the line is relevant to the rant.

Desperado @ the Houston Chronicle Blog

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If this post is any indication, Houston Chronicle blogger Desperado would fit in well here:

“Talk about people who don’t know when they have it good and you are talking about Republicans. They have 2 Democratic contenders tearing each other to shreds while John McCain waits to see which of these 2 will survive this bloody battle and what kind of shape they will be in for the general election. All they have to do is sit on the sidelines and keep their mouths shut.

But nooooooo, not Republicans, they just can’t stand prosperity. Saturday night, at the Northern Kentucky 4th Congressional District Lincoln Day Dinner, Rep. Geoff Davis put his mouth in gear without engaging his brain and this came out:

“U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, a Hebron Republican, compared Obama and his message for change similar to a “snake oil salesman.”

He said in his remarks at the GOP dinner that he also recently participated in a “highly classified, national security simulation” with Obama.

“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Davis said. “He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country.”

Davis has tried to explain his stupidity by saying he was referring to Obama’s youth and inexperience. But you would think that a man who is able to get elected to Congress would be smart enough to know that at no time, under any circumstance is it acceptable for a white, Southern, Republican to refer to any African-American male using that terminology, and especially a candidate for president.

You would think so, but you would be wrong.”

All he needs is some popcorn.

UPDATE: Don’t miss this post (from a blogger who is well-known around here) that analyzes the puzzle that is Obama.


Predictions for a California Quake

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 3:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Researchers believe a big quake will hit Southern California in the next 30 years:

“The researchers found that the chances of a magnitude 7.5 or greater temblor in the next 30 years is 46%. They determined such a quake would likely occur in Southern California.

According to a report from the researchers, the forecasts were made by combining “information from seismology, earthquake geology, and geodesy [measuring precise locations on the Earth’s surface]. For the first time, probabilities for California having a large earthquake in the next 30 years can be forecast statewide.”

Hopefully the researchers are wrong but, if it does happen, the article states that damages may be more severe than in past quakes because of growing population and increased building on fault lines.


Italy Returns Conservative Party to Power

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 2:03 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Early results show the coalition headed by conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi is set to win Italy’s general election:

“The projected results showed Mr Berlusconi’s coalition ahead for both the lower house and the Senate.

The 71-year old told Italian TV difficult months lay ahead. His main rival, the centre-left leader Walter Veltroni, has already conceded victory.

The vote was held three years ahead of schedule after the collapse of Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition.”

So … America-supporting parties and leaders have been elected in France, Italy, and Canada, while sympathetic moderates control Germany, Britain and Australia. Not bad for a President who has alienated most of the world.


John McCain on Osama, Newspapers, and Wall Street

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In what was apparently a wide-ranging discussion, Senator John McCain vowed to get Osama bin Laden and warned the media, especially the New York Times, to be careful with state secrets:

“Mr. McCain, Republicans’ presumed presidential nominee, also vowed to go after Osama bin Laden and “get him,” though he said it may take even more intelligence capabilities than the U.S. has right now.

With his audience of newspaper executives, Mr. McCain singled out the New York Times for criticism, saying it came “too close” to crossing the line to compromising U.S. security when it revealed the government engages in undocumented wiretaps of conversations between U.S. and overseas residents it suspects of involvement with terrorism.

“I understand completely why the government charged with defending our security would want to discourage that from happening and hold the people who disclosed that damaging information accountable for their action,” he said.”

McCain also discussed media transparency:

“Mr. McCain said he will support “shield law” legislation to help reporters protect their sources, saying it was a close balancing act but he trusted reporters “integrity and patriotism” enough to say the good outweighs the potential damage that could be done.

And he warned news executives they need to shape up their own operations, run corrections more prominently, and make their decisions more openly.

The workings of American newsrooms are some of the least transparent enterprises in the country, and it is easy to believe that the press has one set of standards for government, business, and other institutions, and entirely another for themselves,” the Arizona senator said.

“If you don’t mind a little constructive criticism from someone who respects you, I think that is an impression the press should work on correcting,” he said.”

Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that John McCain thinks government regulation is the answer to Wall Street greed:

“Sen. John McCain this morning said “greedy” Wall Street investors are partly to blame for what he said is probably an economic recession the nation is now suffering.

“There has to be a modification of the greedy behavior of some of these people,” he said, using the word “greedy” repeatedly in remarks to the Associated Press annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center today.”

I know that greed is one of the 7 deadly sins but I’d bet money that “excessive government regulation’ is the 8th.


Organizing the Texas Child Custody Case (Updated)

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Current Events,Law — DRJ @ 11:43 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The case involving the children taken from Warren Jeffs’ Eldorado, Texas, compound has been described as the largest child custody case in the past 50 years. The San Angelo Standard Times reports that the Judge presiding in the case met today with about 4 dozen attorneys to prepare for Thursday’s preliminary hearing.

The presiding judge in the case is Judge Barbara Walther. Judge Walther is a Texas district judge of the 51st judicial district which includes Tom Green, Coke, Irion, Sterling and Schleicher Counties. San Angelo is the county seat of Tom Green County. Eldorado is the county seat of Schleicher County. I suspect Judge Walther travels to the various counties on a rotating basis to hear cases.

This case has been set in San Angelo where the children and their mothers are being housed. Tom Green County has a larger courthouse and more personnel than Schleicher County. In addition, San Angelo has a small commercial airport and is more accessible by road than Eldorado. San Angelo also has more lodging and restaurants so it can better support the influx of people that will be involved in the hearings.

The court clerks and the Texas Supreme Court are working on arrangements for the thousands of pages of documents expected to be filed:

“The Tom Green County and Schleicher County district clerks have formed an agreement to allow paperwork to be filed in either court and transferred, while the Texas Supreme Court is meeting in emergency session to consider a request from Walther to allow electronic filing in her court, in the hope that such a move could mitigate the tens of thousands of pages of paperwork expected in the massive case.”

The Standard Times also reported that Judge Walther has appointed two San Angelo attorneys to coordinate the attorneys who will be representing the 416 children who are in temporary state custody. According to the Houston Chronicle, they may be coordinating over 350 attorneys:

“Texas bar officials say more than 350 attorneys from across the state have volunteered to represent the children for free. Child welfare laws require each child in state custody to have an attorney.

“The size, the scope of this effort is unprecedented,” attorney Guy Choate said. “It’s terribly important to the State Bar of Texas that everyone have access to justice.”

As Judge Walther noted, if every party is given 5 minutes to speak, the hearing will last a minimum of 70 hours. The attorney coordinators will probably work to identify children with similar interests, combine them in groups, and designate a spokesperson to speak for them. The key will be getting enough information from the children and their mothers that children with similar interests can be identified and grouped.

Finally, state officials confiscated about 50 cell phones from the children and/or their mothers pursuant to the Judge’s order. I’m interested if the cell phone that was used to call the Newbridge shelter was among those confiscated.

UPDATE: Fox News reports that the children have been moved to a larger facility, the San Angelo civic center, and the mothers were returned to the Yearning for Zion compound.

ABC reports that mothers with children under 4 were allowed to stay with their children, and the other mothers were told to return to the compound.

This makes sense if the State plans to argue that the mothers were complicit in the older children’s abuse. It doesn’t make sense to argue the parents are abusers while allowing the children to remain in their care.


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