Saturday, March 08, 2008

Obama aide: Clintons should release tax schedules

Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe says former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, should release their full tax returns for recent years, including the schedules.

At the end of this story hosted by MSNBC you’ll find:

“The point of vetting and scrutiny raises questions about them [the Clinton campaign],” Plouffe said. “They act like any question about them” is off limits.

He went on to cite again that the Clintons have not released their full tax returns, including “schedules” for the past six years. “They can go to Kinko’s and do that,” Plouffe said.

He said the tax returns could answer questions about Hillary and Bill Clinton’s “relationship with individuals who have ethical digressions.” He added, “We want full and complete accounting, including schedules. If they don’t do that, it raises huge red flags. …”

“At same time she’s trumpeting her experience, she’s preventing the American people from reviewing that experience by releasing these documents. If she’s not open and honest in this campaign, you have to wonder if she’ll be open and honest as president….
I’m with the Obama people on this one. As any tax accountant will tell you, it's the schedules that contain the telling details. That’s no doubt why the Clintons won’t release them.

Why hasn’t MSM paid more attention to the Clintons’ refusal to release their tax schedules?

Why does Obama’s campaign manager have to bring it up?

And who’s Plouffe referring to when he mentions the Clintons “relationship with individuals who have ethical digressions?” And what's an "ethical digression?" Is that something like what crooks do?

If NBC Reporter Domenico Montanaro asked Plouffe those questions, there’s no mention of it in his story.

And why did Montanaro bury Plouffe’s demand about the Clintons’ tax schedules at the end of the story?

I tell you, folks, sometimes I wonder about our media.

The NBC story is here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 7, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Churchill's biographer Martin Gilbert writes in Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite: Churchill's War Leadership (Pimlico, 2005):

Churchill's ability to find, encourage and sustain individuals who he knew would make a significant contribution to the war effort was an important feature of his war leadership.

One of the most remarkable of these characters, for whom Churchill had to fight tenaciously, was a retired major-general, Percy Hobart, who before the war had been one of the main figures in the development of tank warfare.
Hobart, who was unpopular among the officials in the War Office, had been retired in March 1940 and refused reinstatement.
(Churchill asked why and was told Hobart had been)"impatient, quick tempered, hot headed, intolerant and inclined to see things as he wished them to be instead of as they were." (pgs. 79-80)
Churchill didn't let things end there. Gilbert tells us the PM wrote the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Field Marshal Sir John Dill:
I am not at all impressed by the prejudices against him in certain quarters. Such prejudices attach frequently to persons of strong personality and original view.

In this case General Hobart’s original views have been only too tragically borne out.
The neglect by the General Staff even to devise proper patterns of tanks before the war has robbed us of all the fruits of this invention.
We are now at war, fighting for our lives, and we cannot afford to confine Army appointments to persons who have excited no hostile comment in their career. The catalogue of General Hobart's qualities and defects might almost exactly have been attributed to most of the great commanders of British history. (pgs. 80-81)
Hobart served with distinction throughout the war, fully justifying Churchill's confidence and willingness to challenge the War Office.

Series readers, I hope no one springs forward this weekend to pester, nag or bite you.



MSM still footsies with Clintons

Yes, the mostly Democratic MSM has recently been giving the Clintons a hard time while puff-puffing for Sen. Obama.

But MSM hasn’t forgotten the Clintons are Democrats, and therefore deserve friendly coverage as long as it doesn’t hurt Obama.

So we get this from USA Today:

Federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.

The archivists' decision, based on guidance provided by Bill Clinton that restricts the disclosure of advice he received from aides, prevents public scrutiny of documents that would shed light on how he decided which pardons to approve from among hundreds of requests.

Clinton's legal agent declined the option of reviewing and releasing the documents that were withheld, said the archivists, who work for the federal government, not the Clintons.

The decision to withhold the records could provide fodder for critics who say that the former president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, have been unwilling to fully release documents to public scrutiny.
How do you like that?

“Federal archivists … are blocking the release….”

No they’re not!

All the Clinton’s have to do is say the word, and the documents will be made public.

Do you recall the media frenzy during the ’04 presidential campaign over whether President Bush, as a Air National Guard officer during the early 1970s, had attended training sessions in Alabama?

MSM demanded the government find and release any documents it had proving he did.

MSM was in such “hot pursuit” of “the story” that when the records of a dental exam Bush underwent at the Alabama training base at the time he was supposed to be there were released along with x-ray exam data, reporters wanted to know why they weren’t being told where they could locate the dentist who’d conducted the exam.

But there’s been no media frenzy demanding the release of papers relating to Marc Rich’s pardon.

At the time President Clinton pardoned him, Rich was a fugitive from justice. His attorney who prepared the letter requesting the pardon was former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn. And Rich’s wife Denise, a friend of the then First Lady, had just made a seven-figure gift to the Clinton Library.

Where Bush and something about attending training sessions 30 years ago were concerned, we had a media frenzy. But when documents concerning the Rich pardon are withheld by the Clintons, we get MSM “ho-hum’ and spin making it seem the archivists are responsible.

Even USA Today’s story headline,
Clinton-papers release blocked,
is a spin. It should have been:
Clintons block documents release
USA Today’s story is here.

Bloomberg finds “Archie Bunker” voters

Under the headline:

Obama momentum slowed by 'Archie Bunker' voters
Bloomberg reporter Heidi Przybyla tells us [excerpts]:
Barack Obama is having trouble with Archie Bunker.

The white, blue-collar voters personified by the 1970s fictional television character cost Obama this week. His Democratic presidential rival, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, beat him 54 percent to 44 percent in industrial Ohio, and 58 percent to 40 percent in predominantly white Rhode Island.

In Ohio's 10th district of Cuyahoga County, a suburban enclave on Cleveland's west side that includes a large population of Polish-Americans, Clinton trounced Obama 61 percent to 37 percent, according to exit polls.

In the state's Belmont County, an economically depressed Appalachian border area that is predominantly white, she had a 50-point lead over Obama, the first black candidate to have a shot at the White House.

``Race played a significant factor in Ohio,'' said Cuyahoga County Commissioner Timothy Hagan, who supported Obama. The state's white voters aren't ``bigots, but the image they see every day of black America is drugs, crime, guns and violence.'' …
How nice of Commissioner Hagan to take time from his busy schedule to assure us white’s voting 60 to 75% for Sen. Clinton aren’t “bigots.”

I wish the story had reported whether Hagan said anything about blacks who voted for Sen. Obama in many wards by more than 90%.

Does Hagan feel any need to assure us they’re not bigots? (I don’t think most of them are, just as I don’t think most whites who voted for Clinton are bigots. - JinC)

Further along we read:
``I can't support him,'' said Richard Dorsch, a 53-year-old paramedic fire chief from Chicago's Edison Park. Dorsch, who said his kids liken him to Archie Bunker, voted for Clinton in the primary, though he plans to support Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona if Obama wins the nomination.

``When he talks to you, it's like he's talking down to you,'' Dorsch said. ``He doesn't have the experience to talk like that.''

Dorsch's 41st Ward, which gave Clinton, 60, a six- percentage-point advantage, is 90 percent white, dominated by German, Polish and Irish ethnic police officers, teachers and city workers. …
It’s all so neat, isn’t it?

A guy whose kids call him Archie Bunker living in just the type of neighborhood Archie lived in.

We know what we’re supposed to think of Dorsch and his neighbors, don’t we?

I noticed Bloomberg says Dorsch’s 41st Ward which “gave Clinton, 60, a six- percentage-point advantage, is 90 percent white.”

A six-percentage-point advantage for Clinton?

In a two-person race that would be something like 53-47.

I wonder if there was a single ward in all of Ohio that’s 90% black and gave Clinton even 25% of the ward’s vote.

The entire Bloomberg story is here.

The Chronicle Isn't Standing Up For Duke

I’ve mentioned before The Chronicle’s very weak reporting concerning two suits which allege civil rights violations and name as defendants Duke University, President Brodhead and other University administrators and staff. See, for example, Chronicle Suit Story Confused, Avoids Duke Questions. (2/22/08)

We see more very weak reporting in The Chronicle’s story yesterday concerning the impending retirement of Duke’s Police Director Robert Dean.

I’ve just sent Chronicle Editor David Graham the email below.

I’ll let you know if I hear back.


Dear Editor Graham:

Why did The Chronicle’s story of DU Police Director Robert Dean’s impending retirement fail to say he’s a defendant in two civil rights suits resulting from the University’s disgraceful response to the lies Crystal Mangum began telling on March 14, 2006?

Your story quotes both Aaron Graves, associate vice president for campus safety and security and Kemel Dawkins, vice president for campus services.

You fail to say they’re also defendants in the suits. (Graves in both, Dawkins in one)


The Chronicle story said nothing about the Bowen-Chambers committee report which sharply criticized Dean’s and DUPD’s handling of DUPD's investigation of Mangum's lies and its finding she was not credible.

The Bowen-Chambers committee, created by President Brodhead and paid for by the trustees, got a great deal wrong.

Nevertheless it’s report helped propel the frame-up attempt; and for all its errors, its still being used by Brodhead and trustees as one of their fig leaves to cover up their involvement in the frame-up attempt.

So no senior Duke leader has ever hinted publicly what people who’ve followed the facts know: Bowen-Chambers was wrong to place blame on Dean and DUPD; and it was wrong to give Brodhead a pass and praise.

Bowen-Chambers was a critical part of the most important occurrence during Dean’s DUPD directorship and doubtless his entire professional career.

How could you fail to include any mention of it in your story?

The Chronicle’s story’s make not a single mention of anything having to do with the Duke Hoax or the frame-up attempt or the ongoing cover-up of the frame-up.

Why was that?

You’ll recall a column Elliott Wolf wrote about DUPD just a month ago, "A Little Sunshine, Please." Wolf reported [excerpt]:

… Since 2005, two University employees have had operational control over DUPD. Robert Dean was brought out of retirement to lead the department as interim director (not "Chief"). In 2006, his appointment was made permanent and supplemented by that of Aaron Graves as associate vice president for campus safety and security.

Although they were at one point in their respective careers, neither Graves nor Dean is a sworn police officer accountable to the state for his actions. The Allen Building dictates their salaries and budget, and can fire them at will.

To the detriment of the campus community, it seems that such a lack of accountability to the state and to the law - coupled with Duke's typically opaque decision-making - has allowed the leadership of the department to run amok. And at the worst possible time, shortly after the murder of graduate student Abhijit Mahato and a string of armed robberies perpetrated against students and staff.

Information provided by a number of officers, much of it confirmed on the record by Graves, paints a picture of an understaffed, demoralized organization, unable to meet the needs of the University community. The officers I interviewed requested anonymity, since they could be fired for publicly discussing internal department matters.
The Chronicle failed to make any reference to the DUPD problems Wolf documented: problems which are literally life-and-death matters for Duke students and anyone else on campus.

In fact, The Chronicle has yet to publish a follow-up story or editorial concerning the problems Wolf documented.

The Chronicle’s story yesterday and its failure to follow-up on Wolf’s documented finding are troubling, even frightening.

The Chronicle needs to do a better job informing the Duke community and standing up for Duke.

If you care to make a response I’ll publish it in full.

Thank you for your attention to this email.


John in Carolina

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 6, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

One reason we know so much about Churchill's WW II leadership is because of a system he set up to record in written form his thoughts and actions.

According to Churchill's official biographer, Martin Gilbert :

The method used by Churchill and Mrs. Hill (his principal secretary), and by his two other principal typists ...was simple and effective. They would sit "still as a mouse" (in Mrs. Hill's words) wherever Churchill was, whether in Downing Street, at his country retreat at Chequers, traveling by car, on trains, onboard ships, even on planes, with a notepad ready or with a silent typewriter (specially designed by Remington), paper in place, to take down whatever he might say whenever he might say it.

He might be reading a newspaper and be prompted by something he read to dictate a Minute to a Cabinet Minister. He might be reading a clutch of diplomatic telegrams from ambassadors ...and have a thought, a point of criticism ...or a suggestion for action. As he began to speak, often in difficult mumble, the typist on duty would immediately take down his words and transcribe them.

So good were (the three typists that) all that remained was to hand (Churchill)the sheet of paper for his signature.
In addition to the three women, Churchill also used a male stenographer, Patrick Kenna.

Gilbert says Kenna was in Churchill's White House bedroom when President Roosevelt unexpectedly entered it just as Churchill emerged naked from his bath. Thus, Kenna was able to record for history the PM's memorable assurance, "You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to conceal from you."

And since I have nothing to conceal from you, dear readers, I'll dispense with the usual formal form of source citation, and simply say I drew the material for this post from Martin Gilbert’s Continue to Pester, Nag and Bite: Churchill's War Leadership.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 5, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

During WW II Churchill frequently worked 18 or more hours a day. He sometimes went days with just a few hours sleep per night. Much to their displeasure, his aides were therefore forced to keep those same hours, .

Detective-Inspector Walter Thompson, for many years Churchill’s principal bodyguard, recalled the time in June, 1940 when Churchill and his party had just arrived back in England after two exhausting days in France trying to persuade the French not to agree to an armistice with the Germans.

The party had just landed at what was then Hendon Airport near London when Churchill announced, “We will have a Cabinet meeting at 10 p. m.”

The Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, was dismayed. “Surely not tonight, Winston,” Halifax pleaded. “We have had a long day; it will make such a late night.”

Churchill paused a moment before saying, “All right, we’ll make it 9:30 instead.”
Tom Hickman, Churchill's Bodyguard: The Authorized Biography of Walter H. Thompson. Headline, 2005. (pgs. 117-118)

Fig leaves fall at Harvard

Boston Herald columnist Michael Graham begins:

What can a 19-year-old guy in jogging shorts do at Harvard that a rich Saudi sheik who sponsors terrorism can’t?

Get banned from the building.

Six times a week, Harvard kicks all the guys out of the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at the request of the Harvard Islamic Society. This is to accommodate those female Muslim students whose faith won’t let them work out in front of men.

In the old days, Harvard would have laughed if some Catholic or evangelical mother urged “girls-only” campus workouts in the name of modesty. Today, Harvard happily implements Sharia swim times in the name of Mohammed.

At Harvard, that’s called progress.

When I asked Harvard spokesman Bob Mitchell about this new Sharia-friendly policy, he denied that they were banning anyone. “No, no,” he told me, “we’re permitting women to work out in an environment that accommodates their religion.”

By banning all men from the facility, right?

“It’s not ‘banning,’ ” he insisted. “We’re allowing, we’re accommodating people.”
Mitchell’s remarks should fool no one. They’re fig leaves meant to hide what Harvard’s actually done.

The ban is not an accommodation to Muslim women’s “religion.” Mitchell knows that.

The ban's a kow-tow to Muslim fundamentalists who seek to impose their interpretation of Sharia law on every one of us.

Millions of Muslim women in America and elsewhere have no religious objection to working out at a gym or recreation center alongside men. They know their religion doesn’t forbid them from exposing their arms and legs during a workout session.

It’s fervid imams and other extremists who want to forbid that.

And it’s those extremists Harvard’s kow-towed to.

Graham reminds us Harvard’s ban is only one in a series of kow-tow’s to Muslim extremists:
[W]hen it comes to “allowing” anti-Semitism and the promotion of terrorist violence, [Harvard stands out.]

When John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt were looking for a place to publish their “beware the Jewish lobby” propaganda, they found willing partners at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

And who invited former Iranian president Mohammed Khatemi to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11? Who else?

Not only is he a lifelong member of the murderous Khomeini regime, but Khatemi helped create and develop Hezbollah.

There are institutes of over-the-road trucking and schools of straight chiropractic that wouldn’t have allowed him on campus. But at Harvard, he’s an honored guest.

And then there’s that ultimate FOH (Friend of Harvard) Sheik Al Waleed bin Talal.

This Saudi sheik stroked a check for $20 million to promote the study of Islam. Harvard took the check, no questions asked.

They didn’t ask, for example, about bin Talal’s gift of nearly $30 million to a fund for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

Knowing their kin will benefit financially is an inducement to young people planning to blow themselves up in Tel Aviv pizza parlors, and Sheik bin Talal made sure the money was there.

Nor did they ask about the TV company bin Talal owns, where the watchdog group MEMRI has tracked broadcasts of everything from open calls for martyrdom by children to lessons on the proper methods of wife-beating.

For a campus with a Sharia-friendly record like Harvard’s, mandating single-sex pilates is no big deal.

It would be nice to think that there were still a few liberals or feminists with the good sense - or sense of decency - to be embarrassed by all this. This is, after all, the same college that sued to keep military recruiters off campus over the issue of gay rights. ...
Yes, it would be nice.

But Harvard's dominated by leftists, feminists and liberals afraid of leftists and feminists.

Did Graham’s mention of Sheik Al Waleed bin Talal and a check stir any memories?

Maybe you asked: "Didn’t Mayor Guiliani right after 9/11 refuse a multi-million dollar check from bin Talal?"

Guiliani at first accepted bin Talal’s check but when he learned more about bin Talal, he did what every decent American would do. From a CNN Oct. 12, 2001 news report:
Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.

"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."

Prince Alwaleed gave the mayor a check after a Thursday morning memorial service at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks.

The prince offered his condolences to the people of New York, but after the ceremony he released a statement suggesting the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack." …
The rest of CNN’s report is here.

Here's Graham’s column.

Message to Graham: Congratulations on a great column exposing Harvard’s naked embrace of Muslim fundamentalists out to destroy America and Western civilization.

Message to the rest of us: Wherever else we may be having success in the War on Terror, we’re not doing well at places like Harvard, Berkeley, Oakland, and Dick Brodhead’s Duke.

Perhaps someone in the bin Talal Islamic Studies Program could let Harvard know what the sheik’s pals in Saudi Arabia actually do to gay people. It’s worse than just banning them from the weight room.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Jason Trumpbour bio information

Law Prof on Duke’s Motion contains University of Maryland Law Professor Jason Trumpbour’s explanation and assessment of a motion recently filed in federal court by attorneys acting on behalf of Duke’s President Richard (“We had no way of knowing.” ) Brodhead and other Duke defendants in a civil rights violation suit brought by 38 members of Duke’s 2006 Men’s lacrosse team and some of their family members.

Trumpbour also serves as spokesperson for Friends of Duke University, a volunteer organization formed to seek justice for the Duke students who were the targets of a frame-up attempt and to encourage Duke to be part of the justice-seeking process.

While I’ve mentioned Trumpbour here often, it occurred to me today I’ve not provided you with much information about him. So from the University of Maryland’s Law School’s Web site this:

Jason Trumpbour,
Adjunct Professor of Law

Courses: Lawyers and Legal Systems and Their Social Context;

A.B., 1988, A.M., 1991, J.D., 1991, Duke University; Ph.D., 1996, Cambridge University.

Following law school, Professor Trumpbour completed a Ph.D. in law at Cambridge University, studying the development of the Court of Exchequer in the Fourteenth Century.

After a brief stint in private practice, working mainly in the areas of corporate and real estate law, he joined the Maryland Attorney General's Office where he served in the Criminal Appeals Division from 1998 to 2001.

Professor Trumpbour is currently pursuing research interests in criminal law and legal history, including additional work on Fourteenth Century law. He has taught LAWR II, LAWR III, and currently teaches Lawyers and Legal Systems in Perspective.

He also teaches several courses in the Legal and Ethical Studies graduate program at the University of Baltimore.
Quite impressive, isn’t it?

Why didn't President Brodhead listen to Trumpbour in July 2006 when he urged Brodhead to speak out for justice and do other things Duke could and should have done?

IMO - By July Brodhead was too deeply involved in the cover-up of the frame-up attempt, if not in the attempt itself.

Law Prof on Duke’s Motion

University of Maryland Law Professor and Duke alum Jason Trumpbour is spokesperson for Friends of Duke University. At FODU’s Web site he assesses Duke’s recent motion to shut down

Here’s some of what Trumpbour says:

… Duke’s motion [is] to shut down the informational site, which is maintained by a publicist for the players and their lawyers.

Duke's claim is that it violates North Carolina Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6, the same rule that was among those Mike Nifong was disbarred for violating.

Well, I must say that I am glad that, after two years, Duke has finally discovered Rule 3.6. When Mike Nifong was out in front of the cameras violating it hourly, they did not want to know one thing about it.

As late as September 2006, Bob Steel tried to argue with me about whether Nifong was actually doing anything wrong.

Now, if [Duke] could only understand it . . .

First, Rule 3.6 only applies to lawyers. …

Second, Rule 3.6 allows lawyers to comment on matters in the public record, which includes court filings.

Here are the relevant portions of Rule 3.6:
(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:

(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;

(2) the information contained in a public record.
At the press conference linked on the site, attorney Charles Cooper did nothing more than summarize the contents of the complaint, which was being filed as he spoke. He appeared careful to so limit his remarks.

The memorandum of law in support of Duke’s motion conceded this point. It tried to make a “spirit of the law” argument that the complaint itself was inflammatory and thus no public reference should be allowed to be made to it.

Here is the crux of Duke’s argument from the memorandum of law accompanying the motion:
Plaintiffs will almost certainly argue that these statements are fully permitted by Rule 3.6(b)(2), which allows an attorney to comment about “information contained in a public record.”

Many of these statements are direct quotes from the Complaint, while others are slight paraphrasings of the Complaint. (See, e.g., Compl. ¶¶ 3, 11(a), 11(b), 11(c).) When a complaint contains such incendiary language, an attorney should not be permitted to hide behind the language of the complaint and make a statement to the press that strings together paragraphs that are highly prejudicial.

Such an action is contrary to the very intent of Rule 3.6, “materially prejudices an adjudicative proceeding,” and should not be allowed.
This is not a legal argument. Indeed, the fact that it is not a legal argument is also why they cannot offer one shred of legal authority to support it.

Mike Nifong violated Rule 3.6 by commenting on the evidence, lying about the evidence and inviting antipathy toward the accused. This was conduct squarely prohibited by the rule and manifestly prejudicial. …

Others have noticed the hypocrisy of Duke criticizing while at the same time maintaining its own informational site about the case which contains dishonest and self serving accounts of the administration’s handling of the Lacrosse Hoax. …

Duke was anticipating lawsuits from the very beginning. Remember Mark Simeon, Nifong’s political ally, was lining up the Mangum family for a suit and brought Willie Gary to town in furtherance of that goal.

If you will recall, Duke’s site initially linked media accounts that were mostly negative toward the players and ignored accounts critical of the investigation. As the tide started to turn, and Duke’s own misconduct became apparent, Duke began to anticipate suits from the players, instead. …

Duke has known that the present suits were coming for a long time and the twisted apologetics contained on its own informational site were created with that prospect in mind. This strategy reminds me of the famous advice a rugby manager gave to his players before a game: “Be sure and get your retaliation in first!”

What is particularly telling to me is that, while Duke’s motion complains about prejudice caused by, it does not ask for a specific remedy other than asking that the website and its contents be declared violations of Rule 3.6. …

Duke is falsely attempting to create the appearance of similarity between the conduct of the plaintiffs and their nemesis Mike Nifong. In other words, Duke is attempting to try the case in the media while at the same time purporting to uphold the opposite principle.

But then again, Duke signaled how it intended to fight this suit when it hired a lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, whose principal skill set is not federal civil rights litigation, but political infighting.
Trumpbour’s entire post is here.

Trumpbour’s assessment is extremely well-reasoned and based on knowledge of the NC State Bar’s code of professional conduct, the law and Duke as operated by BOT Chair Robert Steel and President Richard Brodhead.

That’s just what you’d expect from someone with Trumpbour's impressive professional training and experience which you can read about here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 4, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

During the winter of 1932, Churchill lectured throughout the United States. Phyllis Moir, his secretary at the time, was one of those who accompanied him. She tells us something of what it was like:

"It means revising speeches in taxicabs and dressing out of suitcases. It means always being the social lion for the lion hunters, however tired and out-of-sorts one may feel. It means eating caterer’s meals. It means living by a train schedule. (And that could mean an evening lecture after which Churchill and his party would board an overnight sleeper around midnight; and then at 6 a.m. having to get off the train at a cold, deserted station in the city where he was to deliver at lecture at noon. - JinC) ...

(All this) Mr. Churchill accepted almost cheerfully. ...

(H)e never made the same speech twice. After each engagement he would think of a number of improvements and would set to work the next morning on the text of his address. He polished and re-polished his speeches endlessly so that they seemed to grow considerably in scope and depth."
What Moir describes is remarkable under any circumstances, but especially so given that, shortly after the tour began Churchill, then 57, was hit and seriously injured by an auto in New York. He was hospitalized for 8 days and confined to bed for another 3 weeks.

Final Tx., Ohio poll results

RCP final polling averages have Sen. Hillary Clinton up over Sen. Obama 7.1% in Ohio and 1.7% in Texas.

Be sure to take a look at the tracking lines below that stat tables.

They indicate significant late voter movement going Clinton’s way.

An Obama letter - real or what?

At Best of the Web Today James Taranto says:

We got a kick out of this letter to the editor of the Journal Times of Racine, Wis. (third letter):

I agree with Kim Morrison that Barack Obama would be a great president. I have hope that he can provide free health insurance for everyone.

I have hope that he can bring our soldiers home and make the world a safer place. I have hope that he can protect Americans from poverty by printing more money at the mints.

And, I have hope that he can make me a taller, more attractive, wealthier person, immune to all illnesses. The best part is that all of these will be accomplished at absolutely no cost to me.

Some skeptics would say that he can't do these things because he hasn't had enough leadership experience, foreign policy experience, or government experience.

Some would say that Obama can't provide for all our needs without doubling taxes.

And, some would say that he hasn't provided one piece of a specific plan to reach these goals.

Well, to those people I ask, "Where is your hope?"

All these years I've been creating accomplishments and gatherine [sic] experience to list on my resume. From now on, I'll just list my hopes and plans.

All that work was so unnecessary.

Angie Smucker

Of course, whether this is hilarious or frightening depends on whether you think it was meant to be taken seriously. Our guess is it wasn't, but then again, Obama has said, "False hopes? There's no such thing." Let us pray that we are right to be cynical.


Folks, it's got to be a joke letter because everyone knows Obama can't give us free health care. Only Hillary can do that.

Hat tip: AC

Is Dean Wasiolek a State Bar Member?

The question of whether Duke Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Suzanne (Sue) Wasiolek is a member of the NC State Bar is very important.

The NC Bar licenses attorneys who are then subject to its code of professional conduct, as we saw in the case of now disbarred Mike Nifong.

The complaint filed Feb. 21 by attorneys acting on behalf of 38 Duke lacrosse players who were members of the 2006 Men’s team and some of their family members names Wasiolek as a defendant and states as part of identifying her in #56 (pg. 20):

…Wasiolek is or has been a member of the North Carolina bar ….
Is or has been?

The complaint filing later says Wasiolek violated part of the bar’s code of professional conduct. But for that to happen, Wasiolek would have to be a member of the bar or in some other way subject to its code. The average citizen is not.

Today I called the State Bar to determine Wasiolek’s status.

I was told she became a member on Aug. 19, 1989 and has been a member at all times since. No complaints have been made concerning her. Her license # is 16880.

With that information confirmed, here’s the portion of the complaint filing which appears relevant to the attorneys’ allegation Wasiolek, among other things, violated the bar’s code of professional conduct.

Complaint includes:

Pg. 45 A. Duke Advises Lacrosse Players Not To Seek Legal Counsel

138. On or about March 15, Robert Dean, Director of the Duke University Police, notified Dean Suzanne Wasiolek, Duke’s Dean of Students, of Mangum’s rape allegations. Dean Wasiolek is a lawyer and a member of the bar of the State of North Carolina. She had also been a revered and trusted advisor to students in difficulty, and enjoyed a special relationship of authority, trust, and confidence with students, including the lacrosse players.

139. Police Director Dean notified Dean Wasiolek that “the accuser was not credible” and that “this would go away.” He advised Dean Wasiolek that neither Duke nor Durham police officers believed that accuser’s allegations. This advice reflected Duke Police Officer Christopher Day’s March 14 report (the Day report”), prepared at Duke Hospital, which stated that the accuser “changed her story several times,” and that “Durham police stated that charges would not exceed misdemeanor simple assault against the occupants of 610 N. Buchanan.” On information and belief, Dean and other Duke Police reviewed and approved the Day report on March 14, the date it was filed.

140. Dean Wasiolek and other senior Duke officials to whom she spoke thus had reason to believe, from the very outset of the hoax, that the accused lacrosse players were innocent and the accuser was not credible. Dean Wsaiolek was advised, specifically, that the number of alleged attackers varied between 20 and 3 in the accuser’s accounts. Moreover, Dean Wasiolkek later recalled that “it did not appear that this case was really going to go very far, because there were some real inconsistencies in some of the information that the alleged victim was providing.” She also stated of the Duke police, “I’ve relied on what they have told me more times than I can count. Their judgment has always proven to be something I could depend on.”

141. During the afternoon of March 15, Dean Wasiolek contacted Coach Pressler o his cell phone to notify him of the allegations. Coach Pressler was at ta bowling alley with the entire lacrosse team at the time. He confronted the four team co-captains, Flannery, Zash, Evans, and Thompson, and they promptly called Dean Wasiolek back. The co-captains spoke directly to Dean Wasiolek on Coach Pressler’s cell phone.

142. The co-captains admitted that two exotic dancers had been hired for the party, but emphatically and unequivocally denied Mangum’s rape allegations and assured Dean Wasiolek that nothing of the kind had occurred at the party. Dean Wasiolek (pg. 46 ends) assured the players that she believed them, and that the police had determined that Mangum’s rape allegations were inconsistent and not credible.

143. Dean Wasiolek advised the players that they should not hire lawyers and that they should not tell anyone, including their parents, about the rape allegations. As one player recalls, Dean Wasiolek said: “[R]ight now you don’t need an attorney. Just don’t tell anyone, including your teammates or parents, and cooperate with police if they contact you.” (Emphasis added.)

Because she was a lawyer, and because of her special relationship of authority, trust and confidence with the players, the players trusted Dean Wasiolek’s advice.

145. Dean Wasiolek knew or should have known that her advice that the players should not tell their parents, and that they should not seek legal counsel and representation, was not in the players’ best interest.

In advising the players not to procure legal representation, Dean Wasiolek, who is an attorney, violated Rule 4.3 of the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct.

147. Coach Pressler passed Dean Wasiolek’s advice along to the entire lacrosse team. In reliance upon this advice, the players did not procure legal representation or tell their parents about the allegations for the next several days, while the rape investigation against them continued. (pg. 47 ends)


In the NC State Bar's code of professional conduct you'll find:

Transactions with Persons Other Than Clients

Rule 4.3 Dealing with Unrepresented Person

In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not:

(a) give legal advice to the person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client; and

(b) state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding.

Folks, the bar's Web site is easy to navigate. There's discussion of Rule 4.3 here.

I hope this post has been of interest and help to you.

We should all bear in mind that what is alleged concerning Wasiolek's actions in regard to Rule 4.3 is, at this point, only an allegation.

MSM's Finally Asking Tough Obama-Rezko Questions

What a difference a day can make. Yesterday I was posting on the reluctance of the MSM & GOP to ask Obama questions he needed to be asked about his relationship with Tony Rezko.

Today? Kaboom!

With the Democratic primary undreway in neighboring Ohio, the Chicago Sun-Times editorializes :

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of political influence peddler Tony Rezko. This would be the time -- before a single witness takes the stand -- for Barack Obama to finally share every detail of his relationship with Rezko.

Rezko stands accused of funneling state business to companies that lined his pockets and made campaign contributions to Gov. Blagojevich. Rezko allegedly directed $10,000 to Obama's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

The criminal charges against Rezko in no way implicate Obama in any wrongdoing, but they do raise the question of dealings between the two men.

As recently as Sunday, on ABC's "This Week" program, Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, insisted that Obama has fully responded to every question posed by reporters. But this is not so.

For months, Sun-Times investigative reporters have had a standing request to meet with Obama, face to face, to get answers to questions such as these:

• How many fund-raisers did Rezko throw for Obama?

• Obama is donating $150,000 to charity that Rezko brought into the campaign. But how much in all did Rezko raise?

• Did Rezko find jobs for Obama backers in the Blagojevich administration or elsewhere?

• Why did Obama only recently admit -- after Bloomberg News broke the story -- that Rezko had toured his South Side mansion with him in 2004 before he bought it?
The Sun-Times is not really asking the hometown candidate tough questions he needs to answer.

But given most news organizations shying away until now from any kind of meaningful questioning of Senator Obama, it’s a start.

Something else before we get to more serious matters: don’t you just love questions which answer themselves.

I laughed when the Sun-Times asked: “Why did Obama only recently admit - - after Bloomberg News broke the story – that Rezko had toured his ……?”

Gee, what’s the answer?

ABC News reports on a news conference yesterday during which ABC and other news organizations say Obama first gave non-answers, then left the press conference with claiming he’d aready answered enough questions.

Hat tips to commenters who said things were about to heat up for Obama.

Also, a hat tip to the commenter who, in response to my asking why the GOP wasn’t out fromt asking Obama-Rizko and other questions about some of the Senator's associates, suggested it would be smarter for the GOP at this point to let matters play out and see what MSM can shake loose.

The commenter’s right.

Now a John Fund column in full from yesterday's WSJ. (It wasn’t at news-google when I searched early last evening.) JinC Regulars know I think Fund in one of the best investigative reporters in America. I’ll offer commentary tomorrow.

Now Fund - - -

On Tuesday, Barack Obama may well wrap up the Democratic nomination. Yet how he rose so quickly in Chicago's famously suspect politics -- and who his associates were there -- has received little scrutiny.

That may change today as the trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, Mr. Obama's friend of two decades and his campaign fund-raiser, gets under way in federal court in Chicago.

Mr. Rezko, a master fixer in Illinois politics, is charged with money laundering, attempted extortion, fraud and aiding bribery in an alleged multimillion dollar scheme shaking down companies seeking state contracts.

John McCain's dealings with lobbyists have properly come under a microscope; why not Mr. Obama's? Partly, says Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, because the national media establishment has decided that Chicago's grubby politics interferes with the story line of hope they've set out for Mr. Obama.

Former Washington Post reporter Tom Edsall, who now teaches journalism at Columbia University, told Canada's Globe & Mail that "reporters have sometimes allowed themselves to get too much caught up in [Obama] excitement." Then there are Chicago Republicans, loath to encourage the national party to pounce because some of their own leaders are caught in the Rezko mess.

For its part, the Democratic Party may once again nominate a first-time candidate they haven't fully vetted politically. Democrats flocked to Michael Dukakis in 1988, ignoring Al Gore's warnings about Willie Horton; later they were blindsided by revelations about Bill Clinton after he was elected president.

This year, Hillary Clinton made a clumsy attack on Mr. Rezko as a "slum landlord" during one debate. But her campaign has otherwise steered clear -- at least until last Friday, when Howard Wolfson, a top Clinton aide, suggested to reporters on a conference call that "the number of questions that we don't know the answers to about the relationship between Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama is staggering."

Mr. Obama's campaign told me they have answered all questions about Mr. Rezko and have no plans to release any further records.

Mr. Obama has admitted that the 2005 land deal that he and Mr. Rezko were involved in was a "boneheaded" mistake, in part because his friend was already rumored to be under federal investigation. The newly elected Mr. Obama bought his $1.65 million home on the same day, June 15, that Mr. Rezko's wife bought the plot of land next to it from the same seller for $625,000. Seven months later she sold a slice of the land to the trust that Mr. Obama had put the house into, so the senator could expand his garden.

Mr. Obama has strenuously denied suggestions that the same-day sale enabled him to pay $300,000 under the house's asking price because Mrs. Rezko paid full price for the adjoining lot, or that he asked the Rezkos for help in the matter. Both actions would be clear violations of Senate ethics rules barring the granting or asking of favors.

Still, there are anomalies. Mr. Obama admits that he and Mr. Rezko took a tour of the house before it and the adjoining plot were sold. Financial records given to federal prosecutors a year later show Mrs. Rezko had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000. In court proceedings at that time, to explain how much his bail should be, Mr. Rezko declared that he had "no income, negative cash flow, no liquid assets."

So where did the money for Mrs. Rezko's $125,000 down payment -- and the collateral for her $500,000 loan from a local bank controlled by Amrish Mahajan, like Mr. Rezko a Chicago political fixer -- come from?

The London Times reports that, three weeks before the land transactions, Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi billionaire living in London, loaned $3.5 million to Mr. Rezko, who was his Chicago business partner. Mr. Auchi's office says he had "no involvement in or knowledge of" the property purchase.

Mr. Auchi is a press-shy property developer (estimated worth: $4 billion) who was convicted of corruption in France in 2003 for his involvement in the Elf affair, the biggest political and corporate fraud inquiry in Europe since World War II. He was fined $3 million and given a 15-month prison term that was suspended provided he committed no further crimes.

Mr. Auchi was also a top official in the Iraqi oil ministry in the 1970s. He has for years vigorously denied charges he had dealings with Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War. However, an official report to the Pentagon inspector general in 2004 obtained by the Washington Times cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal and illicit smuggling of weapons to the Hussein regime.

In 2003, Mr. Auchi began investing in Chicago real estate with Mr. Rezko. In April 2007, after his indictment, Mr. Auchi loaned another $3.5 million to Mr. Rezko, a loan that Mr. Rezko hid from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office. When Mr. Fitzgerald learned that the money was being parceled out to Mr. Rezko's lawyers, family and friends, he got Mr. Rezko's bond revoked in January and had him put in jail as a potential flight risk.

In court papers, the prosecutor noted that Mr. Rezko had traveled 26 times to the Middle East between 2002 and 2006, mostly to his native Syria and other countries that lack extradition treaties with the U.S. Curiously, Mr. Auchi has also lent an unknown sum of money to Chris Kelly, who, like Mr. Rezko, was a significant fund-raiser for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (himself under investigation by a federal grand jury as an alleged beneficiary of the Rezko shakedowns).

Mr. Kelly is himself under indictment for obstructing an IRS probe into his activities.

Mr. Obama says he has "no recollection" of meeting Mr. Auchi during a 2004 trip the billionaire made to Chicago, and no one believes he knew of his background. While his name will come up in the trial as a beneficiary of Rezko donations (since donated to charity), Mr. Obama will not be called to testify.

There may be nothing more in Mr. Obama's dealings with Mr. Rezko beyond an "appearance of impropriety." Still, Mr. Obama does have an obligation to explain how he fits into Chicago politics.

David Axelrod, Mr. Obama's Karl Rove, is a longtime spoke in the Daley machine that's dominated Chicago for a half century. Gov. Blagojevich, also part of the machine, shared key fund raisers with Mr. Obama.

"We have a sick political culture, and that's the environment Barack Obama came from," Jay Stewart, the executive director of the Chicago Better Government Association, told ABC News. He notes that, while Mr. Obama supported ethics reforms as a state senator, he has "been noticeably silent on the issue of corruption here in his home state, including at this point, mostly Democratic politicians."

Mr. Obama will eventually have to talk about Illinois, if only to clear the air.

After John McCain last month was attacked for cozy ties to lobbyists, he held a news conference and answered every question. Hillary Clinton held a White House news conference on Whitewater and her cattle futures. Mr. Obama must do the same for questions about Mr. Rezko and "the Chicago way" of politics. If he doesn't, they may increasingly haunt his candidacy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Churchill Series - Mar. 3, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

The three most powerful WW II allies: America, Britain and Russia.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee: America and Britain.

Why wasn't Russia represented?

In The Grand Alliance Churchill explained it this way:

The Russians were not represented on the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee (because they) had a far-distant, single, independent front, and there was neither need nor means of Staff integrations.
Of course there was more to it than that, but in this brief post we won't get into whys and wherefores historians have disputed for more than half a century.

We'll move along to something else Churchill said about the Combined Chiefs:
The enjoyment of a common language was of course a supreme advantage in all British and American discussions.

The delays and often partial misunderstandings which occur when interpreters are used were avoided.

There were however differences of expression, which in the early days led to an amusing incident.

The British Staff prepared a paper which they wished to raise as a matter of urgency, and informed their American colleagues that they wished to "table it."

To the American Staff "tabling" a paper meant putting it away in a drawer and forgetting it.

A long and even acrimonious argument ensued before both parties realized that they were agreed on the merits and wanted the same thing.
Whatever the case with Russia, any historian questioning Churchill's "table it" story, need only look up table in The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
table verb [T]

1 UK to suggest something for discussion:
An amendment to the proposal was tabled by Mrs. James.

2 US to delay discussion of a subject:
The suggestion was tabled for discussion at a later date.
With that now cleared up, what do you say to tabling the motion?
Winston S. Churchill, The Grand Alliance. (pgs. 686-689)

Hillary's Rezko questions for Obama

Byron York at NRO posts what he calls the"latest from the Clinton campaign:" a set of questions Senator Clinton's campaign wants news organizations to ask Senator Obama about his relationship with Tony Rezko. Take a look. I come back below the star line.

To: Interested Parties
From: Clinton Campaign
Date: Monday, March 03, 2008
Regarding: Questions Sen. Obama Should Answer About Tony Rezko

The trail [sic] of indicted influence peddler Tony Rezko – longtime friend and political patron of Sen. Barack Obama — starts today . Sen. Obama's name has already surfaced in pre-trial documents submitted by the prosecution and, according to media reports, is likely to surface again as the trial progresses. Democrats deserve the answers to these questions as they consider their votes:

1. Will Sen. Obama release all documents related to his relationship with Tony Rezko, including all documents related to his controversial land transaction?

2. When, specifically, did Sen. Obama become aware of Mr. Rezko's legal problems?

3. Sen. Obama has returned money from several individuals who are publicly associated with Mr. Rezko. How much money did Mr. Rezko bundle for Sen. Obama's campaigns in total, including people who are not business associates of Mr. Rezko? How many fundraisers did Mr. Rezko hold for Sen. Obama? Has there been an internal investigation to determine how many straw donors Mr. Rezko used to funnel money to Sen. Obama?

4. Much of the upcoming trail involves Mr. Rezko's efforts to control state boards as a means to defraud the state government. Have Sen. Obama and Mr. Rezko ever communicated about potential appointments to Illinois boards and commissions? It's been publicly reported that Sen. Obama lobbied these same state boards to secure contracts for campaign donors. Did Sen. Obama ever confer with Mr. Rezko concerning how to successfully lobby state boards?

5. The New York Times reported that Sen. Obama attended a business meeting on behalf of Mr. Rezko to impress potential investors for his business schemes. How many events did Sen. Obama attend on behalf of Mr. Rezko to impress investors? What was his role? Why did Sen. Obama agree to attend?

6. How many times did Senator Obama visit Tony Rezko's house? What was the purpose of these visits?

7. Did Sen. Obama intercede on behalf of Mr. Rezko in any governmental capacity?


So Hillary Clinton's campaign has to urge MSM news organizations to ask those questions of Obama.

That being the case, does anyone doubt MSM has been giving Obama "friendly" treatment?

Or is "very friendly" more like it?

York adds a comment. Take a look at it here.

Previous Obama-Rezko posts:

No change in this Obama story

Obama-Rezko relationship closer than Obama has admitted

More Troubling Obama Ties: Where's MSM, GOP?

An anon commenter called my attention to investigative reporter Aaron Klein's Feb. 27 column at World Net Daily [excerpts]:

Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director on the board of a nonprofit organization that granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a "catastrophe." (Obama has also reportedly spoken at fundraisers for Palestinians living in what the United Nations terms refugee camps.)

The co-founder of the Arab group, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, is a harsh critic of Israel who reportedly worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization when it was labeled a terror group by the State Department.

Khalidi held a fundraiser in 2000 for Obama’s failed bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2001, the Woods Fund, a Chicago-based nonprofit that describes itself as a group helping the disadvantaged, provided a $40,000 grant to the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, at which Khalidi’s wife, Mona, serves as president. The Fund provided a second grant to AAAN for $35,000 in 2002.

Obama was a director of the Woods Fund board from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. According to tax filings, Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.

The $40,000 grant from the Woods Fund to AAAN constituted about a fifth of the group’s reported grants for 2001, also according to tax filings. The $35,000 Woods Fund grant in 2002 made up about one-fifth of AAAN’s reported grants for that year as well.

Headquartered in the heart of Chicago’s Palestinian immigrant community, AAAN describes itself as working to "empower Chicago-area Arab immigrants and Arab Americans through the combined strategies of community organizing, advocacy, education and social services, leadership development, and forging productive relationships with other communities."

Speakers at AAAN dinners and events routinely have taken an anti-Israel line. The group co-sponsored a Palestinian art exhibit, titled "The Subject of Palestine," that featured works related to what Palestinians call the "nakba" or "catastrophe" of Israel’s founding in 1948.

The theme of AAAN’s Nakba art exhibit, held at DePaul University in 2005, was "the compelling and continuing tragedy of Palestinian life ... under [Israeli] occupation ... home demolition ... statelessness ... bereavement ... martyrdom, and ... the heroic struggle for life, for safety, and for freedom."

Another AAAN initiative, "Al Nakba 1948 As Experienced by Chicago Palestinians," seeks documents related to the "catastrophe" of Israel’s founding. ...
What do Senator Obama and the Khalidis say about what you've just read?

Klein reports:
Concerning Obama’s role in funding AAAN, Khalidi claimed he "never heard of the Woods Fund until it popped up on a bunch of blogs a few months ago." He terminated the interview when pressed further about his links with Obama.

Contacted by phone, Mona Khalidi refused to answer questions about AAAN’s involvement with Obama.

The Obama campaign did not reply to a list of questions sent by e-mail to the senator’s press office.
Klein ends his column with reporting concerning Obama's ties to William C. Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground terrorist organization:
In addition to questions about his relationship with Khalidi, Obama may face increased scrutiny over his ties to William C. Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground terrorist group that sought to overthrow the U.S. government and took responsibility for a string of bombings in the early 1970’s.

Obama served on the Woods Fund board alongside Ayers (who is still on the board). Ayers, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has written about his involvement with the Weather Underground’s bombing of U.S. governmental buildings including the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.

Although charges against him were dropped in 1974 due to prosecutorial misconduct, Ayers told a newspaper reporter several years ago that he had no second thoughts about his violent past. "I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough," Ayers told The New York Times in an interview published, ironically, on Sept. 11, 2001.

In his memoir, Fugitive Days, Ayers wrote: "Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon" – though he continued with a disclaimer that he didn’t personally set the bombs but his group placed the explosives and planned the attack.

Besides serving with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s senatorial campaign fund and has served on panels with Obama at several public speaking engagements.
Why isn't MSM all over what Klein's reporting?

I just did a news-google search using entry word combinations of Klein, Obama, and Khalidi. With the exception of one brief Fox report, it didn’t turn up a single hit involving a major MSM news organization such as the NY or LA Times, the networks and CNN. All the hits were for smallish news outlets with an obvious conservative bent or blogs, but not any I recognized as high traffic ones.

Another commenter added this:
I'm waiting to see if the GOP is going to press Barack Obama about his close association with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

I was a Special Agent with Army MI in Chicago 1968-74 and I was on the streets when Dohrn and Ayers led the Weatherman Faction who trashed homes and businesses and attacked police and city officials. They also bombed NYC police stations, military recruiters, and were responsible for several police deaths.

I know MSM will try to ignore these facts, but will the GOP have the integrity to push the issue? Or will they lie down and play dead like Burr and Dole have done when asked to address the Duke lacrosse frame-up?
We should be reading and hearing a lot more about all of this, including what Obama has to say about it all. And, yes, GOP leaders should be out front asking questions.

Klein's entire column is here.'s public information services

Many of you know there's disagreement concerning just what the motion filed Feb. 28 by attorneys for Duke President Richard H. Brodhead and other Duke defendants in a civil suit brought by 38 current and former Duke lacrosse players and some of their family members seeks.

Some say one of the things the Duke defendants seek is to shut down a Web site,, maintained by publicist Robert Bork on behalf of the plaintiffs and their attorneys. But others dispute that.

I've relied on for information. In this post I want to give you an example of that so you'll understand why I'd hate to see shut down if, in fact, that's something the Duke defendants seek to do.

The memorandum in support of the motion is here. Footnote 1, page 3 says:

As discussed herein, this motion is limited to attorney-initiated statements, whether made by the attorney or through a third-party, that will likely be disseminated by means of public communication and statements. The motion is not addressed toward any other media coverage or website discussion of this case or the underlying events of this case.
As I read the footnote, President Brodhead and the other defendants don’t want to do anything to interfere with media coverage such as, for example, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Feb. 22 report of the previous day’s press conference. In its report the N&O told readers:
… The players chose not to appear at the news conference, said Bob Bork Jr., the group's hired publicist, because they don't want to attract attention. ...
But Bork said something very different.

I only learned that because hosts a video of the press conference in the first minute or two of which you can see and hear Bork say:
None of the 38 players who are filing this lawsuit are here today. They considered participating, but many have jobs and some are still students and lacrosse team members at Duke. One is in Army Ranger school preparing to deploy to Iraq.

Know this -- the players are united behind this lawsuit. At the same time that they are understandably concerned about retribution and negative, maybe even slanderous media coverage. Who can blame them after what they endured for 13 months in 2006 and 2007. They are walking a fine line between trying to live normal lives in the wake of an unspeakable trauma and at the same time trying to get answers to questions that remain unaddressed by their university.
It was reasonable to hold a press conference to announce the suit. That's often done.

It was reasonable for the press to ask why the players weren’t there. And it’s not surprising the N&O misrepresented what Bork said about their absence.

The N&O, after all, in March 2006 inflamed public sentiment against the players by withholding news of their cooperation with police and instead promulgating the “wall of solidarity” lie.

If wasn’t hosting the video and Bork hadn’t posted a notice concerning it, I’d not have known of the N&O’s misrepresentation and been able to post concerning it with a link to the video.

Nor could I now be asking the N&O for a correction and explanation as to how and why its misreporting occurred. ( 3rd request re: N&O misrepresentation in suit story )

Making available public documents, providing explanations of them and “correcting the record" are important public information services.

I hope the court acts to allow to continue to provide them.

I think it will.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obama’s Iraq Policy Isn’t Just Cut & Run

After run, he says we could always return.

Here’s how a N. Y. Post editorial explains what Senator Obama has been saying about his plans for Iraq should he become President:

Barack Obama says he's got the perfect prescription for Iraq: Pull out all American troops now, but then rush back in once al Qaeda overruns the place - which, of course, it would after a US cut-and-run.

Actually, Obama didn't really promise to confront a resurgent al Qaeda - only that he "would always reserve the right to go in and strike" if "al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq."

John McCain rightly noted just how nonsensical that position is - by pointing out to Obama that "al Qaeda already is in Iraq."

To which Obama replied: "There was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq."

True enough.

Just as it's true that there used to be two tall office buildings in downtown Manhattan until al Qaeda in Afghanistan - that is to say, radical Islam - decided to knock them down, initiating a global war that has taken many unpredictable turns since then.

As it will continue to do, no matter who is elected president in November. …

As Gen. Ricardo Sanchez has noted, Iraq "is exactly where we want to fight [al Qaeda]," because "this will prevent the American people from having to go through their attacks back in the United States."

And as McCain said last week, "If we do what Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama want - which is declare a date for withdrawal - then al Qaeda will tell the world that they defeated the United States of America and we will be fighting again in that region and in the rest of the world and they will follow us home."

Which is why, as the presumptive GOP nominee added, "it should be Gen. Petraeus' recommendation, not that of a politician running for higher office, as to when and how we withdraw."

McCain, in other words, gets it.

Obama, to put it plainly, doesn't.

But we're sure MoveOn supports him anyway.
How did Obama convince himself that cut & run now and maybe return at some future date is the best policy for America?

His position on Iraq worrries me.

And, yes, I know it’s very similar to what Speaker Pelosi, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and MoveOn all advocate.

That worries me, too.

The entire editorial's here.

Duke’s Motion a Stumble

I’ve posted twice concerning a motion filed Feb. 28 in federal court by the Duke defendants in the 38 suit. The issues the defendants raised and their requests to the court are outlined here where you'll also find a link to the motion. This post links to the plaintiff’s statement they’ll respond promptly to what they call an “utterly meritless” motion.

More information and commentary is at this Listoppers Forum thread as well as at Liestoppers here and here, KC Johnson here and here, and the thread of this JinC post.

A lot has already been covered by other bloggers and commenters. So I’ll try to keep my comments brief and concerned with selected matters I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere.

But before getting to that, I want to say I agree with the following two comments I pulled off the LS Forum thread. This first one:

LAXMAN on 2/29 @ 4:50 PM

Attorneys involved in case are subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct enacted by their Bar as well as the Court in which they may appear . Attorneys must abide by NC Rules of Professional Conduct even if the matter is in Federal Court.
and this second one:
Observer on 2/29 @ 5:39 PM

I concur with LAXMAN, and welcome LAXMAN. However, the rules prohibiting extrajudicial statements are much stronger and more likely to be enforced for prosecutors in criminal cases when the defendant faces the possibility of incarceration. It is understood that the rules cannot be used to forbid all communication about the case. For example, there is no prohibition on the dissemination of public documents, like the Complaint. So, the judge may restrict somewhat the material that may be posted on the website, but I will be very surprised if the judge chooses to close the website entirely.

Duke argues that because the Complaint uses "incendiary" language, the Plaintiffs should not be allowed to "hide" behind the fact it is a public document in posting such prejudicial material on the web. Further, Duke claims that because they cannot monitor the website 24/7 for inappropriate, prejudicial remarks, the website should be closed. My instincts, which could be wrong, is that these arguments will not prevail. To prohibit the website altogether is an undue burden on free speech.

And, yes, this is rich irony indeed.
I don't believe a federal court will move to shut down completely. The Duke motion anticipates that when it says just before its Conclusion:
If, as it appears, the pleadings, discovery and other facts and developments in this case are to be the topic of discussion on, and the subject of scheduled press conferences, press releases and attorney-initiated or publicist-initiated media contacts, then the Duke Defendants need this Court’s direction and guidance as to whether there are any limits on such attorney-initiated media contact and the appropriate responses by the Duke Defendants to these contacts.
On another matter, I think it's significant the motion was filed a week after Duke alleges the violations of ethics and court rules occurred. The motion is brief; it looks to be something a few attorneys could turn out in a matter of hours.

Why, then, did Duke wait a week before filing this motion, when it could easily have filed it by Feb. 25?

I'm guessing there was a good deal of discussion - possibly even intense disagreement - concerning this motion.

For example, I can easily see someone(s) urging Duke that if the motion was to be filed at all, that it not repeatedly make the harsh and very, very questionable claim that Charles Cooper was a principal in actions which violated NC's State Bar's code of ethics.

Why not file something saying that as Duke reads the relevant court rule, Cooper's press conference,, and the press release go counter to the court's intention; and in clear, simple language ask the court to rule on the question?

What sense does it make to charge one of the nation's most respected attorneys with ethics violations when it's very likely he did not violate ethics?

How and why did Duke decide to do that?

This motion won't be heard before Judge Ron ("I'm Mike's friend.")Stephens.

A federal judge is very likely to recoil from Duke's sliming of Cooper.

IMO - The motion is a stumble.

It reads like something Nifong would’ve written, with help from Sgt. Gottlieb.

Plaintiffs say Duke’s motion “utterly meritless”

In a brief statement posted at the Plaintiffs in the Duke 38 suit call the Duke defendants motion to suppress utterly worthless and promise a prompt response.

Among those of us following this part of the Duke Hoax, let's have a gentleperson’s agreement: if one of you sees the response first, let me know. If I see it first I'll do the same for all of you.


Duke's boundless chutzpah

At American Thinker Clarice Feldman posts - - - -

After tarring and feathering and discriminating against the Duke lacrosse members at a critical juncture in their college careers and lives, the Duke Administration has gone to court trying to shut down the players' website, which contains the pleadings in their recently filed case against the university and a compendium of press coverage about the case.

The website seems well within ethical bounds and the pleadings by the University cite no authority to suggest otherwise.

As K.C Johnson observes:

[E]thics rules specifically allow attorneys to make public statements countering negative publicity "not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client."

Given the copious negative statements by Duke officials and especially by Duke faculty members about the unindicted lacrosse players, it's hard to imagine a clearer example of negative publicity "not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client." It's not hard, however, to imagine why Duke would want to ensure that the lawsuit receives as little publicity as possible.

On the assumption that the local courts have finally grown chary of giving Duke assistance in further depriving these students of their constitutional rights, I assume that the university's request will be denied, and draw your attention to this conduct and the team's website to help thwart this and further such nonsense by making it utterly counterproductive.


In putting together a nice post, Feldman demonstrates sound judgment in wanting to draw "attention to this conduct and the team's website to help thwart this and further such nonsense by making it utterly counterproductive."

The bloggers at American Thinker led by Thomas Lifson almost always do. If you haven’t already spend some time at AT. Just below Feldman’s post in one with some fine tributes to Bill Buckley from writers at National Review’s conservative rival magazines, The Weekly Standard.