Patterico's Pontifications


Merril Jessop Trial Begins in San Angelo

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Law — DRJ @ 10:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The FLDS trials continue in Texas with the commencement of the sexual assault trial of Merril Jessop. The courtroom was standing room only for jury selection:

“Attorneys in the trial of Merril Leroy Jessop, 35, who faces charges of sexual assault of a child, finished general questioning of potential jurors Monday and began the lengthier process of questioning them one by one to seat a jury.

Early Monday morning, Jessop, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, stood in line outside the Tom Green County courthouse with people who will decide his fate as the jury selection process began.

Wearing a blue jacket, tan pants and boots and an American flag tie, he blended in with the crowd, which began assembling at 8 a.m. The last of them squeezed into the courtroom at about 9:45 a.m.

“They had us in there like sardines,” one said.

One court official said the room, filled also with law enforcement personnel and lawyers, was about 30 people over capacity. Members of the media were not allowed in when the jury pool arrived.

Others in the crowd included military service personnel, a candidate for the San Angelo City Council and a Tom Green County commissioner.

About a dozen people were excused from jury duty before noon.

Dozens had lined up inside the courtroom for more than an hour to give reasons they hoped might serve as exemptions.

One clergyman said he had a funeral to attend to that day, although he said he would not seek an exemption. He said this trial is one he is interested in serving on.

Potential jurors standing outside conversed about everything from getting a snack to debating whether punishments they had heard of relating to sexual abuse were too strict or too lenient.”

Jessop is represented by Lubbock attorney Dan Hurley and the State is represented by Eric Nichols of the Texas Attorney General’s office. The point of jury selection is to determine whether a potential juror can fairly hear and decide the case. As Nichols put it: “Standing here today, you haven’t heard a lick of evidence. Can you decide this case based strictly on the evidence?”

EDIT: This website posts what purport and appear to be the State’s Witness List and its Notice of Intent to introduce extraneous acts and offenses.


Talk Like a Democrat Day

Filed under: Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 8:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa claims he was pressured to resign by the Obama Administration because he opposed ObamaCare:

“Massa, who is stepping down amid allegations of sexual harrassment, said that Emanuel is a ruthless tactician who would “sell his mother” for a vote.

“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn,” Massa said in a radio interview. “He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive.”

Massa also accused Democratic leaders of forcing him out of office because he had voted against healthcare reform.”

Earlier today, Roll Call said Massa might rescind his resignation but a later report indicated his resignation did become effective at 5 PM Monday. As detailed in the last link, Massa has a history of “salty” language.

I used to think Talk Like a Pirate Day was fun but this is much better. I hope more Democrats try it.


The “flying expletive” school of government

Filed under: General — Karl @ 5:12 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Hey, kids… it’s Howdy Doody Time at the White House:

David Axelrod was sitting at his desk on a recent afternoon — tie crooked, eyes droopy and looking more burdened than usual. He had just been watching some genius on MSNBC insist that he and President Obama’s other top aides were failing miserably and should be replaced.


In an interview in his office, Mr. Axelrod was often defiant, saying he did not give a “flying” expletive “about what the peanut gallery thinks” and did not live for the approval “of the political community.”

I half-sympathize with the Ax (though only half). Beltway insiders — and the journos who depend on them as sources — are always eager to blame an administration’s woes on a failure to rely entirely on Beltway insiders. But Axelrod’s problem is clearly much bigger than that:

Mr. Axelrod said he accepts some blame for what he called “communication failures,” though he acknowledges bafflement that the administration’s efforts to stimulate the economy in a crisis, overhaul health care and prosecute two wars have been so routinely framed by opponents as the handiwork of a big-government, soft-on-terrorism, politics-of-the-past ideologue.

“For me, the question is, why haven’t we broken through more than we have?” Mr. Axelrod said. “Why haven’t we broken through?”

To the carpenter, every problem looks like a nail. To the astroturfing speechwriter, every problem is a failure to communicate.

Axelrod’s problem is that Pres. Obama has in fact pursued big government approaches to every domestic issue he sought to tackle. Obama may think that crony capitalism (e.g., his extension of the Wall Street bailout, taking over General Motors for the UAW, cutting deals with Big Pharma, etc.) represents some sort of compromise position to his ideal solutions, when it merely provides further proof that he is an ideologue in the first instance. In foreign policy, Obama is pressing to leave — and take credit for — a fragile victory in Iraq, but dithered over launching a “surge” in Afghanistan, tried to close Gitmo without a plan, may yet try terror masters like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court, and seriously considered launching political persecutions of the prior administration’s legal staff. The problem is not communications; it is reality.

In hopes of un-baffling the Ax, I note a common theme uniting the policies identified with Obama (as opposed to continuations of Bush policies). The stimulus is unpopular. The GM bailout is unpopular. ObamaCare is unpopular, yet Obama seems set on reconciliation — a process that works with popular bills, not unpopular ones. Closing Gitmo is unpopular. Civilian trials for unlawful combatants like KSM are unpopular. There may be a pattern here that explains the lack of majority support on almost very issue. Axelrod’s problem is not the “peanut gallery” or the “political community.” To the contrary, most of the political community is blaming Obama’s staffers and their tactics to avoid the fundamental problem — the public’s rejection of Obama’s agenda.

Axelrod may correctly view the Beltway as a bubble. But then how does one describe Obama’s inner circle, baffled over their situation, yet concluding the answer is to send the president out on yet another in a seemingly endless series of campaign-style events? As president, Bill Clinton was fond of the old saying defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result. These days, I’ll bet Bill is even fonder of that saying. So long as Obama and the Ax continue to not give a “flying expletive” what the public thinks (let alone likely voters), their administration and their party will remain in political peril.


Election Fraud Charged in Wisconsin (Updated)

Filed under: ACORN/O'Keefe — DRJ @ 2:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Hot Air, Wisconsin authorities have charged 5 with election fraud including 2 from ACORN:

“Before the 2008 election, Wisconsin’s Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm formed a special task force to combat attempts to pervert elections, especially in Milwaukee, where most of the problems occurred in 2004.

Today, Van Hollen announced indictments in five cases — including two felony indictments against ACORN for scheming to have registrants vote multiple times in November 2008.”

***[EDIT: See the Updates below and at the original link.] ***

Details of the allegations are at the link.


UPDATE 3/9/2010: Ed Morrissey added this correction:

“Update IV: Brad from Brad’s Blog takes me to task — rightly — for some very sloppy writing in my second paragraph. The indictments were not filed against ACORN, but against two of their employees. That’s not the same thing, and I’ve corrected the paragraph to make it more specific and accurate. I apologize for the confusion that caused anyone.”

UPDATE 2 — And this:

“Update V: The crimes related to registrations, not actual voting; I’ve amended that paragraph to show that.”

The Left’s Attempt to Rewrite the ACORN Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:23 am

At Big Journalism, Larry O’Connor explains how the left has attempted to rationalize the misbehavior of ACORN employees:

At first, the behavior of the ACORN employees was written off as isolated to a small handful of offices and merely a couple of low-level employees.  Then the angle was that James and Hannah had broken state laws to acquire their reports, so therefore the content should be ignored.  Then they even attempted to claim that nothing was wrong because James and Hannah were lying about their prostitution business, so no actual laws were broken.  Now, the latest distraction is that the videos are too heavily edited to be relied upon and James only wore that ridiculous pimp costume in the title sequences, not in the offices, so the whole story is misleading.

Of course, all of these half-arsed attempts to explain away the laissez-faire attitudes of the ACORN employees neglect to persuade because, much to the chagrin of ACORN and their left-wing defenders, the American people are not nearly as stupid as the left would like them to be.  We have seen the videos, we have read the full transcripts and listened to the full audios, which have been available at Big Government from the moment each new city in the ACORN investigation was released.  And we know what we see, we know what we read and we know what we hear.  We see a disturbing nonchalance from employee after employee hearing all about prostitution and sexual exploitation of minors . . .

Why do I post about this again and again?  Because some on the left have used James O’Keefe’s arrest to mount a new attack on the credibility of the ACORN videos.  Their propaganda machine tirelessly churns out a set of lies that starts with a nugget of truth (O’Keefe posed as Giles’s boyfriend trying to rescue her from an abusive pimp) and then boldly attempts to write out of the history books the second half of the story (O’Keefe’s “rescue” contemplates setting up a house where Giles and underage girls can turn tricks and give the proceeds to O’Keefe for a Congressional campaign).

When folks like myself try to point out the second half of the story, we are assailed with a flurry of ad hominem attacks, impotent attempts at intimidation, misrepresentations of our position, and unashamed repetition of wholesale lies.  Our attempts to cite facts are airily dismissed as “out of context” and our corrections to our opponents’ numerous falsehoods are ignored.  Meanwhile, they maintain the steady drumbeat: “O’Keefe never posed as a pimp.”  Even though he did.  The proof is in the unedited audio that the left refuses to listen to, and the lengthy unedited portions of video that they attempt to spin.

I have more to come on the lies being churned out by these charlatans.  I won’t allow them to reframe the narrative and rewrite history.  Larry O’Connor is standing up to them too.  Good for him.

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