Patterico's Pontifications


Wednesday is ‘Day Without a Gay’ Day

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 7:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Supporters of same-sex marriage want Americans to skip work tomorrow and call in gay:

“Some same-sex marriage supporters are urging people to “call in gay” Wednesday to show how much the country relies on gays and lesbians, but others question whether it’s wise to encourage skipping work given the nation’s economic distress.

Organizers of “Day Without a Gay” – scheduled to coincide with International Human Rights Day and modeled after similar work stoppages by Latino immigrants – also are encouraging people to perform volunteer work and refrain from spending money.”

Organizers excused those who might actually suffer or sacrifice as a result of their participation:

“Hetherington said he has been careful to design A Day Without a Gay – he came up with the name after the film “A Day Without a Mexican” and liked it because it rhymed – so no one feels excluded or threatened.

He has specifically urged high school students not to walk out of their classes and assured college students they won’t be disloyal to the cause if they go ahead and take their final exams. He also has listed opportunities – ranging from writing letters to members of Congress about federal gay rights legislation to spreading the word about Wednesday on social networking sites – for gay marriage backers who cannot miss work.”

The Chicago sit-in at Republic Windows and Doors is moving in favor of the employees now that Bank of America bowed to public pressure and agreed to provide additional funding. Presumably the organizers of “Day Without a Gay” hope their protest will result in similar public pressure that favors their cause.

We’ll see whether it works but it’s already popular with some, including 25 Philadelphia school teachers who want to use the day to volunteer at the ACLU and talk about ways to “introduce gay issues” to their students.


Obama Administration Won’t Let Economic Crisis Go to Waste

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 12:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

U.S. News columnist James Pethokoukis surveys the Obama economic plan (or as Pethokoukis calls it, “Obama’s depressing economic delusion”) and explains why it will make the economy worse. It’s depressing but also brief, so read the whole thing.

He concludes with the words of Rahm Emanuel, who is loathe to let this economic crisis go to waste:

Then again, an economic crisis that you can continually blame on a previous administration can be politically advantageous. (Heck, it got Obama elected.) It’s the gift that keeps on giving. As incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said last month, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.” With our current economic woes providing momentum for the liberal agenda on healthcare reform, infrastructure spending, and “green” energy investment, the Obamacrats might be thinking, “Fix the economy? What’s the rush?

And we know the economy will get worse, because Obama told us it will.


State of Corruption

Filed under: Crime,Government,Politics — DRJ @ 11:13 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald announced today the indictments and arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff on federal corruption charges based on what Fitzgerald described as a political corruption crime spree:

“Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on Tuesday on charges he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder in what a federal prosecutor called a “corruption crime spree.”

After the Presidential election, Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett was reported to be the person Obama wanted to replace him in the Senate. Just under a month ago, she removed her name from contention and was named as a White House senior adviser.

The indictments resulted in part from wiretaps on Blagojevich’s home phone that Fitzgerald said were authorized over a month ago.

The counts reportedly include allegations that Blagojevich conditioned state aid to the Chicago Tribune on its firing of editor(s) who opposed the Blagojevich Administration, and threatened to pull an $8M grant to a children’s hospital if the director failed to make a $50K contribution to Blagojevich’s campaign.

In a press conference this morning, Fitzgerald suggested that some witnesses were cooperating but urged others who may have been approached – possibly dozens or more – to come forward and talk to authorities.

The Chicago FBI agent-in-charge also made a brief statement at the Fitzgerald press conference. He said he didn’t know if Illinois was more corrupt than any other state but that it was “one hell of a competitor.”

Scott Jacobs posted on this earlier and has more at The Jury Talks Back.

UPDATE 1: The Real Barack Obama has a video round-up.

UPDATE 2: In the comments, daleyrocks points out that I failed to note Blagojevich’s Party affiliation. Governor Blagojevich is a Democrat.


Former FBI Agent Enters Guilty Plea for Illegally Accessing Documents Used in Pellicano Defense

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:56 am

Linda Fiorentino’s boyfriend Mark Rossini has pled guilty to illegally accessing government computers to obtain documents that were used in the defense of Anthony Pellicano.

The linked story is by Scott Glover of the L.A. Times, who did such a great job the other day of catching Pellicano’s attorney Michael Artan in an inconsistency regarding whether he knew who had sent him an FBI report used in Pellicano’s defense. A recent court filing (.pdf) makes clear that the document had been sent to Pellicano’s defense team by Fiorentino, who is described only as “X” in the document. It seems rather unlikely that Artan would have forgotten this.

The court filing in Rossini’s case lists some of the searches that Rossini did, in addition to the downloading of that report. Those searches include:

  • “Bert Fields and Proffer”;
  • “Ovitz and Los Angeles”;
  • “James Wiatt and Los Angles” [sic];
  • a search of an investigative file related to a leak in the Pellicano case;
  • “Marty Singer Los Angeles” and “Michael Ovitz”

As I told you last week, Marty Singer is someone against whom Linda Fiorentino had a special grudge. In my post, I linked a July 9, 2007 “Radar Online” article that said Rossini had boasted to friends that Fiorentino was helping him with his cases. The court document details that the government asked Rossini about that article, and he had falsely denied it in its entirety — a mistake that formed part of the basis of the charges against him.

There is no further reporting on whether Pellicano’s lawyer Artan — who received the FBI report from Fiorentino, and then apparently told the government he didn’t know where he had gotten it — is under any kind of investigation for making false statements to the federal government. If anything emerges regarding such an investigation, you read it here first. (The court document in Rossini’s case makes it clear that the document, which Pellicano’s lawyers claimed had been hidden from Pellicano, had in fact been previously shown to the judge, who had ruled it non-exculpatory.)

Interesting stuff. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 12-23-08: This is not an accusation leveled against Mr. Artan; it’s an observation that reportedly inconsistent statements sometimes trigger the interest of federal law enforcement authorities. More here.

Daily Dish Has Good Post on Trig Palin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:20 am

Words of wisdom about Trig Palin over at The Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan’s site.

No, I’m not kidding. I’m quite serious.

He has a guest blogger.

That blogger states: “I strongly believe that there is nothing to this story.” He quotes Sully’s complaint that there is no record of Trig Palin’s birth as “highly misleading,” because the list is voluntary. “Trig not being on this list isn’t proof of anything.”

The easiest way to disprove these conspiracy theories is to consider what would be required for them to be true. Palin’s doctor, along with a good number of Mat-Su Regional’s doctors, nurses, and administrators would need to be in on the cover-up. On multiple occasions Palin would have had to pad her belly to make herself look pregnant. She would have needed to get friends to lie about seeing her breast feed. She would have had to silence an entire community – including two 17-year-olds and their friends – while the national media and the National Enquirer snooped around. Implausible to say the least.

I vote this guy stays.

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