Saturday, January 03, 2009

Write off Caroline’s chances? I vote “No.”

Former Reagan speech-writer and WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan today speaks in the past tense of Ms. Caroline Kennedy’s changes of being appointed to fill Sen. Hillary Clinton’s seat - - -

The difficulty of Caroline Kennedy’s hopes for appointment to the U.S. Senate is that she was in, or put herself in, a position demanding of more finesse and sophistication than most political veterans have. To succeed as a candidate for appointment, she needed the talents of an extremely gifted natural, which she’s not. . . .

Also today CBS reports - - -

New York Gov. David Paterson says the search is ongoing, but two people close to him tell The Associated Press they believe Caroline Kennedy will be appointed to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. . .

Neither aides for the governor nor Kennedy have commented on Friday. …

Kennedy's less than stellar public performance appeared to be on his mind because he cautioned that just because he selects someone it doesn't mean they will win the election outright.

"The public does not regard my selection as an incumbent. The public regards this as a place holder for two years and then will make their own choice," Paterson said. "And that takes the pressure off me."

The good news for Kennedy is that, as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told CBS 2 HD exclusively on Wednesday, he's changed his mind and is now willing to support her. Silver had been the biggest thorn in Kennedy's side, constantly criticizing her credentials for the Senate position. But now, he's singing a different tune.

"She's obviously very bright and has been around politics her whole life," Silver said.

Sources told CBS 2 HD that Silver's support came after arm twisting by Paterson's staff. …

Noonan’s column’s here; the CBS story’s here.



If I had to bet today, I’d bet Kennedy gets the nod.

When “power hitters" like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver do a 180 turn, it tells you which way the wind’s blowing.

More on the CBS story later today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Hat tips: cks, Drudge

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Gaza Rules

Historian Victor Davis Hanson writes about them. I intersperse a few comments in italics - - -

The Israelis just struck back hard at Hamas in Gaza. In response, the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab world (at least publicly) expressed their anger at the killing of over 300 Palestinians, most of whom were terrorists and Hamas officials. [ “terrorists and Hamas officials.” Is there a difference?]

For several prior weeks, Hamas terrorists had been daily launching rockets into Israeli towns that border Gaza. The recent volleys of missiles had insidiously become more frequent -- up to 80 a day -- and the payloads larger. Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists were reportedly supplying their own training and expertise.

These terrorists point to the Lebanon war of 2006 as the proper template for provoking an Israeli counter-response that will bog down the Israeli Defense Forces in the streets of urban Gaza and ensure that Palestinian civilians are harmed on global television. [ Hamas' deliberate pursuit of a policy that ensures "Palestinian civilians are harmed" has been ignored or underreported by major news orgs I’ve been reading and watching – mainly the BBC, AFP, AP, CNN and Reuters. One exception – Fox News.]

Watching both this week's war and the world's predictable reaction to it, we can recall the Gaza rules. Most are reflections of our postmodern age, and completely at odds with the past protocols of war.

First is the now-familiar Middle East doctrine of proportionality. Legitimate military action is strangely defined by the relative strength of the combatants.

World opinion more vehemently condemns Israel's countermeasures, apparently because its rockets are far more accurate and deadly than previous Hamas barrages that are poorly targeted and thus not so lethal. [“World opinion” has so far failed to explain what's a "proportionate" response to an enemy whose principle tactic involves the carefully planned targeting of your children in schools, civilians riding public buses, etc.] …

Second, intent in this war no longer matters. Every Hamas unguided rocket is launched in hopes of hitting an Israeli home and killing men, women and children. Every guided Israeli air-launched missile is targeted at Hamas operatives, who deliberately work in the closest vicinity to women and children.

Killing Palestinian civilians is incidental to Israeli military operations and proves counterproductive to its objectives. Blowing up Israeli non-combatants is the aim of Hamas' barrages: the more children, aged and women who die, the more it expects political concessions from Tel Aviv. ...

The rest of Hanson’s essay’s here. I hope you give it a read if you’ve not done so already.

Hat tip:

Liberal/Leftist Editor Meets Citizen Journalist

Katrina vanden Heuval, editor of the liberal/leftist The Nation ended 2008 with a column titled “The Trillion Dollar Recovery.”

After references to “record numbers of people … relying on food stamps” and claiming there’s already evidence the recession is “increasing rates of child abuse and domestic violence” vanden Heuval tells readers - - -

We don't need a stimulus, we need a recovery. And that means investing $1 trillion over the next two years.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) has proposed a plan to do just that--a detailed $1 trillion recovery plan to kick start the economy, invest in sustainable, long term growth and target individuals and communities that are most desperate for resources.

Obama political adviser David Axelrod said this weekend that the new Administration is looking at a stimulus bill in the range of $675 to $775 billion over two years. But is that enough at this moment of metastasizing economic pain and deepening recession?

Not according to CPC Co-Chair, Representative Lynn Woolsey of California, who said, "...anything much less than $1 trillion would be like trying to put out a forest fire with a squirt gun."

Vanden Heuval’s entire column’s here.

Immediately following it, citizen journalist YourJomamma comments - - -

This recommendation is nothing more than transfer payments... Another form of a government check.

Nothing of this spending will help grow the economy or improve the atmosphere for economic recovery. All this is nothing more than spending other peoples money, money not yet generated and money not created as wealth. None of the spending is creating wealth and creating wealth is what is needed to generate more capital.

Cutting expenses when money is tight is the correct solution but we will never see that occur. The same people who set up the conditions and the events of the economic crash are now being put in charge of "fixing" it. I can't wait for the healthcare plans. (emphasis added)

Cutting taxes, letting the bad business fail and regrouping in the natural market is the solution we will never see and more government spending is what we will get, along with the largest deficits known to man... make Iraq look cheap.

And it will not help, work, or stop the problem... We will become what ALGORE always wanted...we will become stagnant like Japan for 10 years as no wealth will be created to grow ourselves out of our troubles...just government spending and printing.


My comments:

You can take a look at vanden Heuval’s column and YourJomamma’s comment here.

One following the other on "the same page" provides a nice graphic example of how the Internet is helping "level the playing field."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Funny and Clever Spoof of Hamas

is here.

Attorney Spilbor Proves Duke's Trustees Knew

(Readers Note: Duke's trustees look to 2009 knowing they'll be defending themselves against multiple lawsuits.

The lawsuits are the predictable result of the trustee's disgraceful actions and inactions in the face of the slandering, libeling and attempted frame-up of innocent Duke students by a false accuser, a rogue prosecutor and others who had as their principal enablers President Brodhead, "Dick's senior team," and the trustees themselves.

Duke's seeking to have the suits dismissed. It's also offered two other lines of defense that can be summerized as : 1) It was all Nifong's fault; and 2) Who could have known?

I'll defer comment for now on #1.

Regarding # 2, I encourage you to take some time and read the post below - Attorney Spilbor Knew: So Did Duke - published Nov. 18, 2007.

After reading it, including the extensive excerpts from Attorney Jonna Spilbor's Apr. 14, 2006 Findlaw column published on the Internet and based only on publicly available information, a reasonable person will wonder how any Duke trustee can use the "Who could have known?" excuse.

I've checked all the post's links today and they work.


Duke President Richard Brodhead and his supporters use Duke Hoax myths to excuse the University's bungled and shameful "throw them under the bus" response to Crystal Mangum's and Mike Nifong's lies and the prejudices of many of its faculty.

The myth they most frequently use goes something like this:

It was a really, really confusing time. The facts kept changing. The issues were so complex. Who could have known?
But the truth is very many people knew within a few days or weeks that what the Raleigh News & Observer said on March 25, 2006 about a young mother’s “ordeal” the N&O claimed ended in “sexual violence” was “a crock,” and very possibly part of something much worse.

I’ve posted before on a few of those people. Remember, for instance, citizen journalist McClancy, blogger Barber, and columnist Sowell?

Today I want to recognize attorney and FOX News consultant Jonna Spilbor for what she posted at Findlaw on April 14, 2006; and for what it helps us understand about Duke University's Hoax response then and now.

April 14 was four days after the public announcement the first DNA testing had come back negative, and three days before Collin Finnerty's and Reade Seligmann's fraudulent indictments.

What follows are excerpts from Spilbor’s April 14 posting ( “The rape that never was” ) after which I comment below the star line.

Spilbor excerpts:

From the beginning, attorneys for several team members were clear: "They didn't do it."

It was a gutsy defense -- especially since, at such an early stage in the investigation, the only evidence supporting it was their clients' wholesale denial of the accuser's account.

A safer strategy might have been for the attorneys to wait to see how things played out, and consider whether to argue, instead, that the evidence indicated the victim had consented.

But when the DNA tests came back, the attorneys were vindicated. . . .

Yet the Durham, North Carolina District Attorney, Mike Nifong, has vowed not to drop the case.

In this column, I will explain why he's wrong: In the absence of DNA, he should, indeed, drop the case - both because the evidence strongly indicates the players' innocence, and because it means he will never be able to prove their guilt.

Is "Conclusive Evidence" of Guilt Also, If Reversed, Conclusive as to Innocence?

The D.A.'s written request for a court order to obtain those forty-six DNA samples stated that DNA testing would provide "conclusive evidence" as to which three lacrosse players allegedly assaulted the accuser.

This phrasing poses a compelling question: If DNA can be considered convincing evidence of guilt in sex crimes, as the DA himself argues, shouldn't the absence of DNA evidence provide equally convincing proof of innocence?

D.A. Nifong argues, instead, that the lack of DNA "doesn't mean nothing happened. It just means nothing was left behind." He has pointed out, in addition, that rape prosecutions can go forward - and convictions can result - without DNA evidence. According to Nifong, in 75 to 80 percent of all sexual assault cases, there is no DNA to analyze.

But those cases aren't like this one - for several reasons.

Why, In This Case In Particular, the Absence of DNA Indicates Innocence

Often, women do not report sex crimes for days or weeks - washing much, or all, of the DNA evidence down the drain long before police and prosecutors can collect it. But not in this case. Here, the victim submitted to a "rape kit" examination only hours after what she said was the time of the alleged attack.

Often, rape is accomplished by fear, not force. But in this case, the crime alleged was brutal and barbaric. The accuser said, for instance, that her acrylic fingernails were torn off as she tried to defend herself.

And often, an attacker will use a condom precisely to destroy the chance that he will be caught via DNA.

But here, the alleged victim made no mention of any of her attackers using a condom. (Also, while a condom might prevent organic DNA from being deposited on or around the accuser, it would have left its own trace evidence, especially if coated with spermicide. Here, it appears that no such evidence was found.)

For all these reasons, it seems very unlikely that if the attack alleged occurred, none of the attackers' DNA would have been collected from the accused's body or clothing - or from underneath her fingernails.

D.A. Nifong has pointed out that the accusers' clothing could have protected them - but their hands, face, and necks likely remained exposed. What is the chance that the accuser would not have made contact with any of their hands, faces or necks if a brutal attack truly occurred?

Another Problem with the Prosecution: Apparent Failure to Identify the Alleged Attackers

Of course, the D.A. is technically correct that a rape prosecution may proceed upon an accuser's word alone. Indeed, sex assault cases often boil down to an accuser's word against that of the accused.

But there's a second problem here, besides the lack of DNA evidence: It appears - from news reports, and from the testing of all forty-six white players - that the accuser is unable to identify her alleged attackers. (It also appears that the other stripper who attended the event did not witness the alleged attack - for the prosecution has not cited any witness in its favor besides the accuser herself.)

The accuser's inability to identify any one of her three alleged attackers is very strange.

Reports indicate that she arrived at the party, was paid in part for her anticipated services, and may have performed, at least for a short while. It seems that she should have had ample opportunity to eyeball many of the guests before the alleged attack, including the three who allegedly committed it.

Also, even if the three attackers were initially lost in a sea of forty-plus faces, shouldn't she have seen them during the attack itself - said to have occurred in a room no bigger than a closet? . . .

Spilbor's entire Findlaw post is here. See also this post: Duke Lacrosse: A good attorney and a lousy DA. (6/8/06)



Spilbor is an intelligent, able and experienced attorney. Duke University had access to a great many such attorneys.

How is it possible then, that President Brodhead, Duke's trustees and "Dick's senior team" didn't know and understand everything Spilbor posted on April 14, 2006?

Duke knew, didn't it?

Yet as late as mid-December 2006, Brodhead had still said nothing critical of Nifong and was supporting Nifong's scheme to put the three obviously innocent Duke students on trial.

Spilbor's post makes glaringly obvious the failure of Duke's leaders - trustees, administrators, faculty with few exceptions - to act responsibly in the face of obvious lies and threats against its students.

Does anyone doubt that as we learn more about the Hoax case, it will get uglier and Dukier?

Given that, it's easy to understand why Duke's BOT chair, former Wall Street whiz Robert Steel, keeps urging us to buy into MoveOn.Duke.

There's more I could say but I want to give you a chance after I end with: Congratulations, Jonna Spilbor.

Has Israel learned “the most critical lesson?”

Jeff Jacoby asks that question in his Boston Globe column today. I comment below the star line.

Jacoby excerpts - - -

…. [It] remains an open question whether Israel's leaders have learned the most critical lesson of all: that genocidal jihadists and other mortal foes cannot be wheedled, negotiated, bribed, or ignored into quietude. In a war with enemies like Hezbollah and Hamas and the PLO - enemies explicitly committed to Israel's destruction - goodwill gestures beget no goodwill, and peace processes do not lead to peace.

The proximate cause of the fighting in Gaza was the sharp increase in rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians after Hamas refused to extend its tenuous cease-fire with Israel past Dec. 19.

But the deeper cause was the transformation of Gaza into an Iranian proxy and terrorist hub following Israel's reckless "disengagement" in 2005. Israelis convinced themselves that ethnically cleansing Gaza of its Jews and handing over the territory to the Palestinians would reduce violence and make Israel safer.

It did just the opposite.

In 2000, Israelis had similarly believed that a unilateral retreat from southern Lebanon would deprive Hezbollah of any pretext for continuing its war against the Jewish state.

But far from extinguishing Hezbollah's jihadist dreams, it inflamed them.

The hard truth is that no matter how much Israelis crave peace, they cannot achieve it through concessions and compromises and "road maps" - not when their enemies view such overtures and agreements as signs of weakness, and as proof that terrorism works.

For 60 years, Israel has had to contend with the hostility of its neighbors and the heavy costs of war; its yearning for peace is understandable. But there will be no peace without victory, and no victory without fighting for it.

For a long time now, Israel's leaders have resisted this fact - "We are tired of fighting," Ehud Olmert infamously declared in 2005.

For 15 years, beginning with the sham of the Oslo peace process in 1993, Jerusalem has tried to appease its way to tranquility.

It allowed Yasser Arafat and his PLO killers to take control of the West Bank and Gaza.

It embraced the goal of Palestinian statehood.

It responded to terrorism with ever-deeper concessions.

It abandoned Lebanon and Gaza.

It reiterated, over and over, the false mantra that "you make peace with your enemies."

And from the ongoing captivity of Gilad Shalit to the rockets slamming into Israeli cities to the dysfunction and radicalization of Palestinian society, the results have been disastrous.

With an enemy like Hamas, which boasts that it "loves death" and "drinks blood," truces and deals are illusory.

If Israel seeks lasting peace, it must first win a lasting victory.

Jacoby’s entire column’s here.



At Camp David, Israel agreed to 95% of what Arafat was demanding, at which point he walked away from the negotiating table.

How do you negotiate with people whose goal is to destroy you and kill your children asleep in their beds?

An Anon commenter recently asked for a more evenhanded U. S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.

I’m all for evenhanded policy.

But how do you work one out with terrorists who plot and then send a sick, pregnant suicide bomber into a hospital?

As part of an evenhanded policy, should American government representatives attend ceremonies “honoring a Palestinian martyr” who blew himself up on a public bus in Israel?

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?