Patterico's Pontifications


Biden vs Brown on Military Law

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 9:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Politico:

“On CBS’s “Face the Nation” last weekend, Biden shot back that he doesn’t “know whether the new senator from Massachusetts understands: When you get tried in a military tribunal, you get a lawyer, too.

“He’s trying to give me a lesson on military law, and I didn’t think it was appropriate,” Brown told POLITICO. “And I thought he was off base when it comes to explaining to the American people that somehow I need a lesson on whether people get attorneys — of course they get attorneys. There’s a difference as to what type of attorney they’re going to get and when they’re going to get that attorney, and how are they treated, and what rights do they, in fact, get.”

Brown said he is particularly incensed by Biden’s remarks because he’s served in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for more than 30 years and is currently the Guard’s top defense attorney in New England.

“I know the military rules and regulations and procedures from A to Z,” Brown said.”

Very few attorneys are familiar with military rules and regulations except for those who practice military law, so I’m doubtful Biden knows much about the topic. It would be an interesting area of inquiry if a reporter were so inclined.


Amy Bishop’s Gun

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:48 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Amy Bishop, the professor indicted for capital murder in the deaths of 3 UAH colleagues, recently went to a shooting range with her husband:

“The husband of an Alabama professor accused of fatally shooting three colleagues said Monday that the couple went to a shooting range recently, but that he didn’t know where she got the gun she used for practice that day.
[Husband James] Anderson said he knew his wife had a gun, but didn’t know when or how she got it.

“I really don’t know how she got it, or where she got it from,” he said in an interview at his home.

Police have previously said Bishop had no permit for the gun they believe she used in the shooting, and investigators said they didn’t know where she got it. It’s not clear if that was the same gun that her husband knew about.

Bishop’s husband said nothing unusual happened on their trip to the shooting range, and that she didn’t reveal why she took an interest in target practice. Nothing in her behavior before the shooting foreshadowed the violence last week, either, he said.

“She was just a normal professor,” he said.”

This doesn’t sound credible, although I can’t tell if it’s due to the reporter’s presentation or the husband’s attitude. Was this couple in the habit of going to a shooting range together or was this something new? And why didn’t he question his wife about her gun?


Senator Lautenberg Injured in Fall (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:27 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Bergen Record reports Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) was hospitalized following a fall:

“U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg was taken by ambulance from his Cliffside Park condo Monday night after suffering a fall, a spokesman said.

The spokesman, Caley Gray, said Lautenberg was conscious when he was taken to an area hospital. He said he did not know if the 86-year-old senator fell in the apartment, or if he suffered any serious injuries.

Gray initially said Lautenberg was taken to the hospital as a precaution, and no further details were immediately available.”

It’s not clear if Lautenberg was released or is still being evaluated.


UPDATE 2/16/2010: Senator Lautenberg has a bleeding ulcer that caused him to become lightheaded and fall. He has received treatment and is expected to recover soon.

Biden Travels to the Middle East

Filed under: International,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 7:28 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Vice President Joe Biden has an extensive list of job responsibilities in the Obama Administration:

“The Vice President has been tasked with implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, helping to rebuild our economy and lay the foundation for a sustainable economic future. He is also the chair of the administration’s Middle Class Task Force, a major White House initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle class families in America. In addition, he is providing sustained, high level focus for the administration on Iraq policy and has traveled to the country multiple times since being elected as Vice President. Vice President Biden continues to draw on his vast foreign policy experience, advising the President on a multitude of international issues and representing our country to many regions of the world …”

That’s quite a list for a Vice President: The Stimulus, jobs, the economy, the well-being of the middle class, Iraq withdrawal and reconciliation, and liaison with several countries and regions. Now Biden may be adding the Middle East:

“Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will travel to the Middle East during the week of March 8, 2010. The Vice President will meet with key leaders in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, and Jordan. During the trip, the Vice President will discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues. Among others, the Vice President will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Abbas, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Fayyad, Egyptian President Mubarak, and Jordanian King Abdullah.”

I’m tempted to say Biden has taken on more than he can handle but what I’m really wondering is which issues President Obama plans to handle in the next year or so. He has effectively transferred many of the important foreign policy issues to Biden, and presumably Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in charge of what’s left. I guess that frees up President Obama to focus on domestic and political issues.

In general, Democrats are viewed as more interested in domestic matters than foreign affairs, and as a candidate I thought Obama felt the same way. I wonder if that’s what Biden was counting on.


Should Indiana Republicans Support Tamyra? (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:38 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Remember when Rush Limbaugh encouraged Republicans to “pimp themselves for a day” and vote for Hillary Clinton in the Ohio and Texas Democratic Presidential primaries? This strikes me as a similar situation in Indiana following Evan Bayh’s retirement:

“A chart on Swing State Project lists [the deadline to file for the Indiana Senate race] as tomorrow, but the Indiana Secretary of State lists it as February 19. It seems that candidates have until tomorrow to collect the signatures, and until Friday to turn them in to the state.

ANOTHER UPDATE: On Twitter, there’s some talk that the Democrats might be able to appoint a candidate, contending that there is a ballot vacancy.

Not if little-known art-cafe owner Tamyra d’Ippolito collects enough signatures. As of three days ago, she was 1,000 signatures short.”

I’m not encouraging Republicans to sign Tamyra d’Ippolito’s petition but I am wondering if it makes sense.


UPDATE 2/16/2010: Either Tamyra did not get the requisite number of signatures or the Democrats made her an offer too good to refuse, because she did not file a petition by today’s deadline:

” Party officials say that Tamyra d’Ippolito of Bloomington failed to submit today the needed petitions to qualify as a Democratic candidate for Senate, meaning that no Democrat will be on the primary ballot. Instead, it seems party leaders will have a chance to pick their general election contender later this year.

Had Ms. d’Ippolito, a liberal unknown who has not run for office previously, been able to qualify, she would have been the party’s candidate in Mr. Bayh’s absence, making her an extreme long shot. And her presence on the ballot would have meant there was no vacancy for the party to fill.

Now Democrats say they can select their choice, and attention has focused mainly on Representative Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat from Evansville, as well as Representative Baron Hill, Democrat of Seymour. Party officials say they are also exploring other, less well-known names.”

Republicans say Bayh’s timing may well end up helping the Democrats:

” One problem is that both Mr. Ellsworth and Mr. Hill plan to qualify this week as House candidates. Republicans say it will not be proper if they do so only to later pull out to run for Senate, leaving Republicans with their House and Senate candidates while Democrats play political musical chairs.

To Republicans, that approach is not quite fair and means that Democrats could actually gain some advantage by Mr. Bayh pulling out just before the deadline for qualifying and allowing Democrats to avoid a Senate primary.”

ClimateGate’s Dr. Phil Jones

Filed under: Environment — DRJ @ 4:00 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Clark Baker notes the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice only needs one sentence to raise doubts about Dr. Phil Jones’ contributions to global warming research:

“OMSJ and The Daily Mail report that the academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.”

The second sentence is almost as bad for Dr. Jones.


Baylor University Names New President

Filed under: Education — DRJ @ 3:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has named Ken Starr its new President:

“Baylor University named former Clinton White House nemesis Kenneth Starr its new president on Monday, saying the one-time independent prosecutor’s Christian ideals and experience heading a law school made him the ideal candidate to lead the world’s largest Baptist university.

Starr, whose investigation of the Whitewater land deal and Monica Lewinsky scandal led to Clinton’s impeachment in the House of Representatives, has been dean of the law school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., since 2004. He becomes the 14th president of Baylor and follows John M. Lilley, who was fired from the post in 2008.”

Starr is a fifth-generation Texan — proving once again that with the exception of our host, Texans almost always want to come home.


Another Obama Loss

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 2:47 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

First President Obama campaigned in New Jersey and Virginia but his Democratic Gubernatorial candidates lost. Then he traveled to Massachusetts to appear with Martha Coakley’s Senate campaign, but she also lost. Now we learn Obama unsuccessfully tried to talk Indiana Senator Evan Bayh out of retiring:

“US President Barack Obama suffered another setback Monday as a fifth Democratic senator, centrist heavyweight Evan Bayh, decided not to run for re-election in dismay at the bitter political climate.

Obama, who reportedly tried to talk Bayh out of retiring, faces a looming Republican resurgence and risks watching strong majorities in Congress crumble in November mid-term elections, and with them his ambitious reform agenda.”

Doesn’t this make Obama 0-for-4? He can’t afford to lose the Senate with two Supreme Court nominations on the horizon.


Evan Bayh Must Have Read This Poll

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 2:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

According to a new Rasmussen poll, 61% of American voters give Congress a poor job approval rating and 63% think the country would be better off if most members of Congress lost their jobs:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 63% of likely voters believe, generally speaking, that it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated this November.

Just 19% disagree and say it would be better if most congressional incumbents were reelected. Another 18% aren’t sure.”

63% number correlates closely to a January 31 Rasmussen poll that 65% of voters view themselves as mainstream or populist voters:

“Mainstream Americans tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than their political leaders and are skeptical of both big government and big business (see crosstabs). While Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely to hold Mainstream views than Democrats, a majority of those in the president’s party (51%) hold such views.”

Rasmussen defines the counterpart to Mainstream voters as Political Class voters, and they hold very different views:

“The Political Class strongly rejects these views, however. While 78% of Mainstream voters say it would be better for the country if most of the current Congress was turned out of office, 89% of the Political Class think it would be better if most were reelected.”

Republican voters are the most disenchanted with Congress and their representatives, followed by Independents and then Democrats.


“We Can’t Always Rely on the Government”

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 1:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Maryland bar owner has become a “vigilante plower” after record snows that apparently left the local government unable to cope:

“The owner of Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point was walking in the neighborhood when he said he slipped and fell on ice at Lancaster Street and Broadway.

“I almost broke my neck,” Furman said. “I just said that was it and went up and got the tractor.”

The Upperco resident said he plowed out side streets and parking spaces through the weekend as well as Monday morning, starting at 5 a.m.

He said he decided to take matters into his own hands, rather than complaining that it’s someone else’s responsibility to get the job done.

“Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do to get things done,” said Furman, owner of Max’s for 23 years. “We can’t always rely on the government to take care of it.”

Patrick Russell, owner of Kooper’s Tavern on Thames Street, did the same thing. His restaurant was soon “filled up with everyone who had parked in the spaces he just cleared.” Russell knew what might happen if he didn’t act:

“The bottom line is that the city was overwhelmed with snow,” Russell said. He’s worked in Fells Point since 1991 and knew how snow could affect sales, having lost a lot of business during two previous snowstorms.

This time, “we had an awesome week,” Russell said.”

Transportation officials were grateful for the help but cautioned citizens not to “cause any problems that may hinder our snow removal efforts,” like putting snow on someone else’s property or in the street. Meanwhile, their focus is on snow removal around schools so they can open Tuesday.


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