Wednesday, December 31, 2008

His Two and Her Gun

I like this woman.

If there were more like her, we’d all be safer.

Well, at least those of us who aren’t criminals would be.

Hat tip: Instapundit

New Year’s Wishes and a Special Thanks

The URL below links to a fun New Year's card a blog friend sent.

It carries my New Year’s greetings to all of you.

You can move the cartoon “guy” so he pops the balloons with his needle, after which the "fireworks" start.

I think you’ll love it, if there’s “a child” in you.

Blessings in 2009, with good health the first among them.

A special thanks to the JinC Regulars who add so much to this blog.


The Church of England & “the needy” Al Gore org

At Church of England services I’ve attended, congregations are typically urged to “open your hearts and give generously to the needy.”

“The needy” I recall the clerics mentioning include “those in this very city who will go to bed hungry tonight,” “victims of the Iraq invasion,” and “people who’ve come here fleeing persecution and been denied health care and housing; some even threatened with deportation.”

But I’ve never heard any C of E cleric urge anything like the following reported at Religious Intelligence - - -

The Church of England’s Church Commissioners have gone green, investing £150 million with former US Vice-President Al Gore’s environmentally minded investment firm, Generation Investment Management.

On Nov 18 the First Church Estates Commissioner, Andreas Whittam Smith reported that in late September the Commissioners had placed the funds with Gore’s boutique management firm which follows an “environmentally sustainable global equities mandate.”

Funding for the investment came from “cash and Treasury bills”, he said, and not from the sale of UK equities as initially planned. …

The rest of the story’s here.

More about Duke’s Allison Haltom

Monday I posted Duke’s Allison Haltom & the trustees.

The short of it: According to a federal court complaint filed by attorney Bob Ekstrand on behalf of three unindicted victims of the Duke/Durham hoax and frame-up attempt, Duke’s recently retired University Secretary, Allison Haltom, was added to Duke’s Crisis Management Team after its initial meeting on Mar. 25, 2006. The post included the following

The decision to add Haltom to the CMT after its initial Mar. 25, 2006 meeting strongly suggests [BOT Chair] Steel knew then Duke was in for "a long haul," and that trustees would rightly have many questions and want to be kept informed as things developed.

I believe Steel, [President] Brodhead, and other senior administrators communicated with certain key trustees. Haltom no doubt was liaison for the rest and very likely for key trustees from time to time.

It’s safe to say within the CMT group, she was not to any great extent a decision-maker. Her role would have been more to communicate between and among trustees and senior administrators.

If you’re not familiar with Monday’s post, please read it before reading further in this post.

Moving on - - -

In response to Monday’s post, this Anon comment was left on its thread:

Haltom represented Durham's Child Care Council in a funding request before the County Commissioners in 1999 :

(name misspelled as "Halton")

And her Duke retirement article notes :

"...her contributions on child care issues in Durham have been honored with several awards."

These are certainly worthy efforts, but I wonder if she might have crossed paths with Cy Gurney at some point?

I responded on the thread:

Thank you so much for your comment and link.

I plan to put them on the main page tomorrow and remind people who Cy Gurney is.

It's extraordinary all the close connections between people very close to Nifong and other Durham framers and leading Duke figures who were his enablers.


For those who might not know, Cy Gurney is the wife of the now disbarred former Durham DA Mike Nifong.

Gurney’s a regional coordinator for the Guardian Ad Litem program which advocates for abused and neglected children, especially those who come before the courts for various reasons, including foster care placement and review.

The current Durham GAL offices are across the street from the Durham County Courthouse which houses the DA’s offices.

Guerney has more than 20 years experience with the GAL program in Durham.

During those years she’s worked closely with elected officials and “advocates” for causes and organizations, most of which self-identify as supporters of “progressive causes.”

I’ll close with one other example of the many close connections between Duke figures and Durham framers.

In March 2006 when Durham Police Cpl. (now Sgt.) David Addison, the Durham CrimeStoppers coordinator wrote and distributed the text of the CrimesStoppers Wanted poster telling the public a “horrific crime” had been committed at the lacrosse party, the Chair of Durham CrimeStoppers Board of Directors was Duke University Police Director Robert Dean and Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek was a member of the board.

Full disclose: In an email interview Dean stated he only learned of the CS poster after its distribution and after it had been amended to remove the claim of a “horrific crime” as well as the insightful, false descriptions of it Addison included in the original CS poster.

Dean added: “In my experience, [CS posters are] not ordinarily cleared with the Crimestoppers board or the Durham Police Department.” ( For the full text of the interview, see DUPD Director Responds to CS Poster Questions - 3/21/07)

Closing comments:

I often see and hear in media references to how Duke and Durham are “isolated from each other” and how “Duke has walled itself off from the city.”

Those claims are not true as Haltom's leadership in Durham child care issues and Dean's and Wasiolek's leadership of Durham CS illustrate.

The connections between Duke and Durham are many and important; and the university and the city both rightly and energetically work to make that so.

While there's no doubt some at Duke and in Durham did things they ought not to have done during the hoax and frame-up attempt and/or are now doing as part of an ongoing cover-up, we should not let that cast a cloud on those at the university and in the city whose work together has only been for the good of Duke, Durham and those they serve.

With specific reference to the Haltom-Gurney relationship: While it's noteworthy for a number of reasons, including as an example of the many Duke-Durham connections, there is not now even a suggestion it involved anything but two people engaging in the commendable work of helping children and youth in need.

With specific reference to Haltom: She, like other senior Duke administrators, needs to explain what she did as part of Duke's response to the events which grew from the lies of Crystal Mangum and Mike Nifong.

BOT Chair Robert Steel and President Richard Brodhead in Spring 2006 repeatedly urged everyone to tell what they knew about those events.

They and Duke's senior administrators, Haltom included, ought to do that, too; and it shouldn't take multiple lawsuits to make them to do it.

Thank you, Anon, for your comment.

Does the column headline apply to you?

Don't Do It; You're Perfect Already

David Harsanyi’s column is worth a read, whether you’re perfect or not.

Hat tip:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

DC Examiner on Rangel & a "clean" resignation

If you care about honest government or the Internet's power to make information easily and widely available or both, you don’t want to miss today’s DC Examiner editorial which begins - - -

Veteran investigative journalist Bill Allison asked an important question not long ago on the Sunlight Foundation blog. After detailing 2008’s many revelations of conflicts of interest and other apparent abuses by Rep. Charlie Rangel, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, Allison noted that major amounts of time and money were invested by the media organizations that uncovered his unethical behavior.

But the media heat seems to have cooled more recently, and Allison observed that “it will be interesting to see how long reporters stick with this.” …

Among the most serious revelations are these:

· Rangel used official House stationary to seek contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. House rules forbid use of official stationary for such appeals.

· Rangel led a successful congressional effort to protect a tax break that benefited a oil company after the firm’s chief executive pledged a $1 million contribution to the Rangel Center at City College.

· Rangel failed to properly report income he received from a vacation property in the Dominican Republic.

· Rangel failed to comply with state law regarding his ownership of four rent-controlled apartments in New York City.

· Rangel improperly claimed a tax deduction for a primary residence in D.C., despite also claiming his primary residence back home in his New York congressional district.

· Rangel routed $80,000 from his campaign committee treasury to his son for virtually no work on a web site.

Rangel of course has denied all wrong-doing and claimed that many of the problems uncovered by the media were either a product of innocent confusion on his part or mistakes by others preparing his official documents.

Until only a few years ago, a congressman enduring the kind of attention that has focused this year on Rangel might actually have reasonably hoped to survive, once the heat was off.

But Allison points out another critically important factor in Rangel’s media coverage – much of it was made possible by online resources such as the congressional financial disclosure forms archive maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Rangel would do well to ponder the prospect of further revelations, thanks to such online resources. The window of opportunity for a “clean” resignation is narrowing by the day


My comments:

To underline Allison and DC Examiner’s point about online resources being a “critically important factor in Rangel’s media coverage” there's a story - "Rangel Pays Parking Tickets With Campaign Funds" – this morning at Congressional Quarterly’s online news site.

CQ story highlights - - -

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel of New York has used campaign funds to pay $1,540 in fines from parking tickets in the District of Columbia in the last two years, according to federal campaign finance records and his office.

Rangel’s campaign committee and his “leadership” political action committee have combined to make 14 separate payments to the D.C. treasurer for “automobile expenses” since March 16, 2007, and a Rangel spokesman confirmed that campaign aides believe they were for tickets. …

Overall, Rangel’s committees have contributed $2,035 to the parking-ticket coffers of the D.C. Treasury since 2001. ...

The CQ story notes it’s “not illegal to use campaign funds to pay parking fines if they were incurred during campaign activities or in relation to Rangel’s position as an officeholder.”

Right enough. And Rangel will undoubtedly claim he’s a 24/7 guy who can’t recall a waking hour when he wasn’t somewhere doing good for the citizenry.

So as far as any rule- or law-breaking goes, he’ll very likely get a “pass” on this one.

But today’s CQ story, which undoubtedly relied on online resources, adds to the mountain of Rangel-sleaze and should cause him to heed the Examiner’s warning: the window of opportunity for a “clean” resignation is narrowing by the day.

The entire Examiner editorial’s here; the CQ story’s here.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Bill Anderson on the H-S; my response

Professor and columnist William (Bill) Anderson was among the first to call "foul" in the Duke lacrosse case. In his columns and comments at Liestoppers Meeting and elsewhere he's been an insightful, informed and dedicated advocate for as much justice as possible for the hoax and frame victims.

He commented in response to Sunday's post - Durham PD & H-S's big "present" to Duke's laxers.

Bill's comment follows in full in italics, with my responses interspersed in plain.

Bill begins - - -

"Until Proven Innocent" did a pretty good job of demonstrating the complicity of the Herald-Sun in promoting and continuing the frame.

Agreed. I wish it had done the same with the Raleigh News & Observer.

As much as anything, I believe the H-S did much of its work out of fear of retaliation from Durham.

The corporate philosophy of the H-S’s owner, Paxton, and IMO the personal preference of its editor, Bob Ashley, are, to say it as nicely as possible, "to work cooperatively" with the power structures in the community.

In the Duke/Durham hoax and framing attempt, most of Durham’s power groups either leaned in support of the hoax and frame or were full-bore for them.

So I think rather than fear of retribution, it was more the Paxton/Ashley predispositions as well as the same factors that inclined much of media to follow the N&O’s witch hunt lead that influenced the H-S’s on the whole grossly biased and frequently false coverage.

Had the H-S actually spoken the truth, one can be sure that there would have been a large, organized boycott of the paper by the hard left and the NAACP. Thus, the editorial staff there sold its collective soul to the Devil.

Bill, I’m going to assume you mean particularly or wholly the editorial page staff, headed by Bob Ashley, who’s also chief editor on the news side.

Of the four papers I’ve followed on the hoax and frame stories – The Chronicle and NY Times as well as the H-S and N&O – the H-S’s editorial coverage has been far and away the worst.

I don’t know about selling their souls but, by cheerleading Nifong, by turning a blind eye to police and city official's abuses, by failing to condemn extremist threatening violence, and by slandering and libeling transparently innocent Duke students, Ashley and the other editorial writers certainly sold out Durham.

In the end, however, the H-S’s circulation is still declining; and it either will go out of business or become so tiny that it becomes even more relevant than it is now.

Early in ’09 I’ll pull together the most current H-S circulation numbers and talk to people with knowledge of Durham and the news business; and post what I learn.

Newspaper editors love to portray themselves as heroic friends of the truth who stand between tyranny and freedom. In truth, however, newspapers pretty much are the mouthpiece of government.

The Duke/Durham case is an excellent example of news orgs acting like puppies rolling on their backs to have their tummies tickled by government officials and officers.

The vast majority of "sources" for journalists come from government, and when newspapers "expose" government "malfeasance," they usually mean that government is not using as much regulatory power as the editors believe should be used.

"Yes" to what you say. And I'll bet you've noticed so many editors want government to do everything except hold them responsible for what they do.

In other words, modern newspapers pretty much are the cheerleaders for state power. They are not the "watchdogs" of government, as they like to claim; instead, they are government lapdogs. We saw this in all its ugliness in the LAX case, and the H-S played its part well.

Amen and thank you, Bill

Monday, December 29, 2008

Obama has this one right

First, a post lifted from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit; then my comments below the star line - - -

Reynolds' post:


If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it, and I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.

These aren’t my words — they’re Barack Obama’s. But I attach myself to this sentiment.

Me too.



Our President-elect said it just right.

I sign with him, Goldberg and Reynolds.

What about you?

Responding to comments since 12/26/08

If you’ve left a comment on a post dated Dec. 26 between that date and 7 PM ET today, Dec. 29, I’ve responded to it on the thread.

Thank you all for your comments.

To those who don’t read the threads, I’ll say it again: often you’ll find the best material at JinC there.


Kennedy provides more to cringe over

The NY Daily News’ Michael Goodwin as quoted yesterday in If you love Caroline Kennedy:

“Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure.”

Politico's Ben Smith can’t resist ridicule as he brings us the latest cringe-inducing episode - - -

One thing Caroline Kennedy would bring to Washington: A new, distinctive Kennedy verbal tic: She said "you know" 138 times in her Times interview.

The day's other Kennedy read: A more personal interview with the Post, in which she says, among other things, that President-elect Obama had been "encouraging" of her run.

CORRECTION: Gawker counts 138 "you knows," noting that the Times used it a couple of times too.



The “you knows” don’t bother me all that much.

What does bother me is her failure to demonstrate a detailed grasp of any complex domestic and foreign policy issue, including federal legislation in place and proposed regarding it.

Also, Kennedy hasn’t discussed such basic, important questions as whether she supported or opposed the surge and whether she thinks New York’s Charles Rangel should step down from the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee while he’s under investigation for failure to pay certain federal income taxes and for other matters bearing on abuse of his office.

I can't see anything Kennedy's offering New Yorkers besides her name?

Duke's Allison Haltom & the trustees

In response to a recent Dec. 21 post - Why did Duke's trustees enable the frame-up? - a number of you raised questions.

All of you commenting agreed BOT Chair Robert Steel played a lead role in Duke's disgraceful and bungled response to events which grew from the lies of Crystal Mangum.

But many of you pointed out it's impossible to say now whether most trustees were involved in "front end" decision making or merely rubber stamped what was put before them.

There were comments noting it's impossible to say at this time what, if any, information most trustees had before the public had it.

Then there's the question of how much confidence to place in assertions which began circulating as early as Spring 2006 that some trustees had expressed misgivings among themselves, to President Brodhead and senior administrators, and others with major connections to Duke regarding one or more of Duke's actions and inactions related to the hoax and frame-up attempt.

Many critical questions about the trustees' awareness and decision-making during the hoax, frame and cover-up will only be answered during discovery in the suits now pending before a federal court in Greensboro, NC.

If and, as I think, when we do start to get answers to "trustee questions," one of those who may lead in providing them is someone even most people who've followed the case closely have never heard of: Allison Haltom, Duke's recently retired University Secretary.

The following, via, is an extract from the complaint filed Dec. 18, 2007 in federal court by attorney Robert Ekstrand on behalf of three members of the Duke Men's 2006 lacrosse team who were not indicted.

B. The CMT’S Acts in Furtherance of the Conspiracy

414. On or before March 25, 2006, Defendant Steel directed Defendant Brodhead to create a Crisis Management Team (“CMT”) to manage the University’s actions relating to the investigation of Mangum’s claims.

The original participants in the CMT were Defendants [BOT chair] Steel, [President] Brodhead, [Provost] Lange, [VP] Trask, [VP] Burness, and [VP] Moneta. Defendant Victor J. Dzau [Chancellor for Health Affairs, and President and CEO of Duke University Health Systems, Inc.] was added to the CMT shortly after it became clear that DUHS and Tara Levicy were critical to the State’s case.

Defendant Allison Halton (sic) [the University’s Secretary] was also added to the CMT following its first meeting on March 25, 2006 (emphasis added)
For many years at Duke Haltom's principal duty involved trustee liaison.

Here’s part of a Duke News story released in connection with Haltom's retirement celebration :
. . . At a retirement party for her Tuesday, President Richard H. Brodhead listed her many Duke roles and concluded, “I learned today that you did nursing admissions. What have you not done?". . .
Haltom served under four presidents. As university secretary, she ensured members of the Board of Trustees were kept abreast of university issues and oversaw presidential transitions. In 2001, she took over the duties of university marshal, which include the operations of major university ceremonies such as commencement. ...
This excerpt from a Dec. 10, 2007 Chronicle story on her retirement:
As University secretary, Haltom manages the activities of the Board of Trustees, serves as the University marshal-which oversees major ceremonies like commencement-and has either chaired or served on most hiring committees for the University's senior officials, including the search committee for President Richard Brodhead.

"She makes the trains run on time," said John Burness, senior vice president for government affairs and public relations, whom Haltom considers one of her best friends. "Whoever is the University secretary has the inevitable position of both working for the President and working for the Board.... We're loaded with big thinkers, and if you don't have someone in the group who pays attention to the details, the logistics of managing 40-odd people [on the Board] will not get done."

When she retires, the majority of Haltom's responsibilities will be divided between Richard Riddell, special assistant to the president, who will handle the larger duties dealing with the Board, and Laura Eastwood, the current associate University secretary, who will handle many of the day-to-day communications with Trustees.

"The University is splitting Allison's position into two jobs because they don't believe one person can do it," Burness said. "What happens sometimes is you find really competent people like Allison who can juggle many different responsibilities and end up with them because they are so damn good at it. And then when they leave, you realize that the responsibilities are more than one person can handle.". . .

The decision to add Haltom to the CMT after its initial Mar. 25, 2006 meeting strongly suggests Steel knew then Duke was in for "a long haul," and that trustees would rightly have many questions and want to be kept informed as things developed.

I believe Steel, Brodhead, and other senior administrators communicated with certain key trustees. Haltom no doubt was liaison for the rest and very likely for key trustees from time to time.

It’s safe to say within the CMT group, she was not to any great extent a decision-maker. Her role would have been more to communicate between and among trustees and senior administrators.

More than almost all others, Haltom knows what happened during the hoax and frame at the upper levels of Duke. She was surely the bearer to the CMT of many suggestions, concerns and questions from trustees. And she knows how the CMT reacted to them.

It's hard to overstate how important Haltom’s inside knowledge can be to helping courts and the public understand what the key Duke decision-makers did when they were outside the public spotlight and how Duke's BOT has funtioned since it began hearing the lies Mangum told.

Allison Haltom is someone to remember.

Here are the Duke News and Chronicle stories in full.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

If you love Caroline Kennedy

Michael Goodwin today in the NY Daily News - - -

[A] strange thing is happening on the way to the coronation. The wheels of the bandwagon are coming off. Fantasy is giving way to inescapable truth.

That truth is that Kennedy is not ready for the job and doesn't deserve it. Somebody who loves her should tell her.

Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure.

Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name.

Her handlers and family enablers insist she feels no entitlement to the Senate job, yet there is no other possible reason to give it to her.

Her name is the sole reason she even dares go for it.

Camelot must be Gaelic for chutzpah. …

Goodwin’s entire column’s here.

Hat tip:

Durham PD & H-S’s big “present” to Duke laxers

I don’t recall the Durham Police Department and the Durham Herald Sun ever teaming up to give the members of the 2006 Duke Men’s lacrosse team any kind of “present”.

But they did recently, just in time for the holidays. And it was a big one.

If you’ve followed the Duke/Durham hoax, frame-up attempt and their ongoing cover-up, you’ll spot the “present” in this Dec. 16 H-S editorial - -

The Durham police department's investigation into alleged racial slurs involving president-elect Barack Obama on officers' social-networking sites is proceeding with frustrating if unavoidable slowness.

That said, we must say the results reported so far are encouraging, both as the process reflects the department's intent to take the concerns seriously and as so far it has revealed that the postings were more innocent than at first feared.

The department has yet to complete its investigation into the allegations against one officer, so the full extent of the case remains uncertain.

One officer has been cleared, another disciplined -- not for racist remarks, as it turns out, but for comments about women's rights. And while we don't condone that, the remarks were relatively mild, teasing his fiance, investigators reported, about the 19th amendment and women's voting rights.

The racial connotation was originally inferred because the officer confused the 14th and 19th amendments to the Constitution, an embarrassing slip in its own right but the sort of casual error not uncommon in rapid-fire web postings and e-mail.

The department, Deputy Chief Ron Hodge told The Herald-Sun's Gregory Childress, has been weighing officers' rights of free speech against the public perceptions that can be created by what law enforcement officers are saying.

"We take very seriously any activity by a police officer that has the potential to create a weakening of public confidence," Hodge said.

Had the officer not identified himself as a police officer, "you probably have a citizen expressing a political opinion," he said. It's a delicate balance the department appears trying hard to get right.(emphasis added)

Although at least one council member has publicly worried that the investigation might be a cover up, we, like Mayor Bill Bell, are encouraged by the news so far.

We hope the final findings of the investigation are soon in coming, and similarly encouraging.



For those who didn’t know- - -

Beginning in March 2006 and continuing for almost a year thereafter, certain Durham police officers and their supervisors slandered, libeled and in other ways grossly mistreated the Duke students on the lacrosse team.

False statements about a “horrific crime,” “stonewalling” and “really strong evidence” were just part of it, with the false statement of “really strong evidence” coming from Deputy Chief Ron Hodge himself.

The Herald Sun went along cheerleading all of that and more.

Imagine the surprise of faithful H-S readers when our State Attorney General told them and the rest of us there never was any credible evidence of a crime.

Durham City and Police responded to that with something called the Chalmers-Baker report, which concluded DPD did nothing wrong.

When Hodge subsequently appeared at a public gathering, he assured his listeners, he could think of nothing wrong DPD had done.

His claim was greeted with laughter.

But the Chalmers-Baker report and Hodge’s claim that what DPD did to the lacrosse players was appropriate police procedure are now the position of Durham City and Police as they defend themselves from suits brought by the players.

Need I add the Herald Sun is not happy the players now hold Durham Police (and its “lead investigator,” the disbarred former DA Mike Nifong) and others responsible for their flagrant disregard of the Constitution and the laws of our state?

And need I tell any of you why the recent DPD investigation and Deputy Chief Hodge’s statements, so nicely recorded by the H-S, are a big “present” to the laxers, their families and their attorneys?

Are Caroline Kennedy’s prospects weakening?

Yes, according to WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart - - -

…[Kennedy’s] celebrity could have taken her far, were it not for five big political, style and substance mistakes committed by her otherwise able strategic team that have diminished the prospects of the highly regarded Camelot heiress.

Mistake No. 1: Not voting in many New York City and State elections over the last 20 years. It's hard to carry the mantle of America's political royal family, with its well-earned history of public service, when it's been revealed that you couldn't even muster the energy to vote for Democrats.

Mistake No. 2: Refusing to swear allegiance to the Democratic challenger to Mayor Bloomberg when he seeks a third term next year. New York Democrats are right to demand it.

Mistake No. 3: Not giving money to New York's Democratic Party candidates. According to the New York Daily News, in the last ten years, Kennedy has given $1,000 to local office seekers. She was more generous at the federal level. She even maxed out to Clinton, who gave the money back after Kennedy publicly endorsed Barack Obama. …

Mistake No. 4: Avoiding the press. I could understand Kennedy not chit-chatting at length with the press corps in Syracuse on her first day as a Senate aspirant. But her strategic advisers were a little too cute in asking for written questions from media outlets and then selectively answering the inquiries with as much depth as an After Eight mint. …

Mistake No. 5: Refusing to make any potential financial, legal and ethical disclosures until after she's been appointed. Kennedy is not legally bound to do this. But this arrogance won't go over well with most New Yorkers. And considering that most of the other senatorial prospects are elected officials who must submit to all manner of public and financial disclosures, and who are held accountable for them, it's unfair.

Capehart’s entire post’s here.



I agree all 5 mistakes have hurt her.

But another mistake that’s hurting Kennedy isn’t on Capehart’s list.

Kennedy and her team’s failed to prepare for some very obvious problems they ought to have known she’d face once she indicated her interest in the Senate seat.

With some common sense planning, Kennedy could easily have avoided the fallout from what Capehart calls Mistake No. 2 (Bloomberg and the ’09 mayoral race) and Mistake No. 5 (financial, legal, etc records releasing).

Mayor Bloomberg’s been a big booster of hers. So the question of who’d she support in next year’s mayoralty election was bound to come up.

She should have been ready with a standard answer such as: “I’ve worked effectively with Mayor Bloomberg on a number of projects and have great respect for his skills and commitment to doing his best for the people of New York. If I’m appointed to the Senate, I look forward to continuing our work together for all New Yorkers. As for next year’s mayoral race, I’m a Democrat and have every expectation I’ll be voting for the candidate of my party.”

Regarding the financial, ethical and other disclosures, Kennedy should have said something like: “When the possibility of my serving in the Senate came up, I sat down with my husband, and we talked. We agreed if I’m considered for the Senate appointment by Gov. Paterson, he will first want to look at records that bear on my financial, tax and ethical dealings. Our financial advisors, tax attorneys and others are reviewing and updating those documents now so they’ll be ready or as near ready as I can make them should Gov. Paterson request them.”

“At such time as Gov. Paterson may request them, those records will also be made available to the press and public.”

I think party leaders, the press and public would generally have reacted favorably if Kennedy had made Bloomberg/mayoral race and records statements such as I’ve sketched here.

Do you agree Capehart’s Mistake’s Nos. 2 and 5 were avoidable with just some common sense planning?

Some gays engage in shakedown thuggery

From today’s Wall Street Journal - - -

Soon after California's passage of a initiative banning same-sex marriage last month, dozens of gay activists descended on the El Coyote restaurant with signs and placards. They chanted "Shame on you," cussed at patrons and began a boycott of the cafe.

The restaurants's crime: A daughter of the owner donated $100 to support Proposition 8, the antigay-marriage initiative approved by voters.

Gay activists have refused to lift the boycott -- which restaurant managers say has slashed revenues by 30% -- even after some El Coyote employees raised $500 to help repeal the new ban.

The boycotters have demanded that the owner's daughter, El Coyote manager Marjorie Christoffersen, pony up $100 to help repeal Prop 8. She tearfully declined, citing her Mormon faith, during a raucous meeting with activists.

"You are not my friend if you take my civil rights," one activist shouted before she fled the room. …

The entire WSJ story’s here.


The most telling word in the WSJ story is “Mormon”

The boycotters wouldn’t be at the El Coyote restaurant if the owner’s daughter was a Muslim or African-American or both.

Muslims and African-Americans in overwhelming numbers supported Proposition 8.

Yet you don’t read of gays disrupting the businesses of Muslims and African-Americans.

And do you know of a single instance of gays disrupting a black church or Muslim religious service as they have Mormon services?

Something else: The “boycott” described in the WSJ story is not the peaceful picketing and economic boycotting that’s every Americans right.

It’s shakedown thuggery.

Where are the government protections for Mormons now targeted by angry, disruptive and violence-prone gays?

In America, Mormons are entitled to the same protections as African-Americans, Muslims and the rest of us.